Lecturers, maybe don't fap at work - 10 ThingsWe know that 10 Things attracts an academic sort of a readership, so this piece is less news and more a public service: if you've just delivered a lecture on Advanced Food Chemistry and are thinking you might queue up a video to which you might later knock out a crafty one, then maybe check that your computer is not still hooked up to the projector. That's the fate which befell an unnamed visiting professor during his visit to Wageningen University in the Netherlands: the lecture was over and the theatre was empty, but students watching the lecture online were in for an unexpected sexy treat when their teacher switched over to PornHub. Screenshots were sent to the university and the professor was asked to leave - so remember, unhook the laptop and don't still be at work BEFORE you call up that amateur blowjob clip. You're welcome, higher education.
Bad news, J-Ratz: once you hang up the Poping trousers tomorrow, you lose the sweet kicks. The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict's resignation means that the uncharacteristically still-alive former Pope will be appointed Pope Emeritus and still get to tool around in the white cassock, but the trademark red shoes will remain the exclusive style choice for sitting Popes, early Elvis Costello fans and homesick witch-slaughtering girls from Kansas. Benedict chose the new title and sartorial rules himself, oddly dropping "Bishop of Rome" from his list of appellations, and meaning that the Vatican will have two popes within its walls. Which, if popular culture has taught us anything, means we're either going to get a wacky Odd Couple-style sitcom, or an 80s cop film where the grizzled veteran has to show the ropes to a loose cannon rookie. Frankly, we can't wait for the first instalment in the Papal Weapon series.
Vodafone are facing a class action from former customers claiming that the mobile phone giant didn't provide a reliable service, with lawyers planning to claim "tens of millions of dollars" on behalf of customers from 2010-11. The company pursuing the claim, Piper Alderman, have something of a reputation for big flashy class action suits, and we've not been able to confirm that Vodafone are planning a defence that simply denies that they were ever a telecommunications company, or that their mobile coverage was actually a pioneering service targeting the growing movement of people seeking to get some time away from the digital world, who don't want to be constantly "connected" or "able to make calls". Glass half full, Vodafone.
In what seems worryingly like a thin-edge-of-the-wedge, let's-try-the-waters sort of a move, Democratic Labor Party senator John Madigan is planning to introduce a bill into Federal parliament preventing Medicare funding for those seeking to get an abortion on the basis of the gender of the foetus. It's worrying for a couple of reasons: one, that there's zero evidence that it happens at all (although he's pretty sure it happens overseas so "it is likely to be happening here", which puts a weirdly racisty sort of a sheen on it); and two, that any time people that declare themselves to be "pro-life" start putting fun new conditions on access to termination services - conditions that they themselves admit have no need to exist, as far as they know - people should go "hmmm, what's this crazy kid up to?" And attacking at a federal funding level has been a nifty strategy by the more women-hatin' elements of the right in the US, so maybe we should be bracing ourselves for a new moral panic over women's rights in the likely-to-be-more-conservative political years to come, Australia…
Janet Jackson is tired of your constant badgering and would appreciate you respecting her privacy, entire world. That's why she's finally released a statement letting everyone know that she married billionaire Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana last year in a quiet, private ceremony and would like you to stop going on about it, just in case you were planning to do so. The fact that no-one knew or appeared to care in the least before she issued a statement asking everyone to stop potentially speculating about her long-past wedding is neither here nor there: why won't you leeches of the media just let her live her life? Finally, a celebrity prepared to stand up and fight those not-rumours that are failing to swirl around her. Still totally relevant there, Janet.
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority are a bit miffed that they've had their funding cut by 70%, leaving them with a bit under $AU9 million a year to maintain the nation's entire inland water resources upon which most of the eastern states rely. The three states that fund the Authority - NSW, Victoria and SA - are all pretty sure that they use the least amount of stuff and that it's up to the others to take up the slack with such fripperies like "maintaining dams" and "ensuring that water actually gets to towns that rely on it", with the NSW government deciding that our native fish can go fuck themselves if they expect some sort of fancy-pants "conservation" programme and the SA government deciding that having life-giving water flowing through the driest state is nice and all, but not something they should have to pay for. So, Victoria, your turn to explain why water's for jerks.
God, it's almost like you can't slaughter sentient beings at sea anymore without someone preventing you from refuelling your murder boat. That's our entirely unbiased interpretation of the mewling of the adorably named Institute of Cetacean Research, Japan's "scientific whaling" organisation (who are no closer to publishing results on their long-term research on whether whales like harpoons, it would appear) who are up in arms about Sea Shepherd's Bob Barker vessel preventing the fuel tanker Nissan Maru from docking with the Sun Laurel, a floating research laboratory dedicated to pure science with no particular interest in killing whales, but hey, they're open to it happening if it seems right in the moment. Both the Maru and the Barker were damaged in collisions, but at this point it's whales 1, petrol 0.
Oscar Pistorius is holding a personal memorial service for Reeva Steenkamp in a move that suggests that he's taking this trial-by-media thing very literally. A press release was issued about the service, which should be a huge comfort for the Steenkamp family, since knowing that the person who shot a loved one dead is holding a public event effectively saying it wasn't their fault and it totally wasn't murder is the first step in the healing process. Pistorius is still facing murder charges for Steenkamp's death, but hey: he's holding a service! Must be an OK sort of a guy, then. Hey, let's buy him a present!
Oh, you sneaky US government you! For all your tough talk on the immorality of using cyber attacks, it turns out that you used an early version of the Stuxnet computer virus to attack Iran's nuclear facilities! This adorable tidbit of information was discovered by the folks at security firm Symantec, who claim they've found evidence of it being released as early as 2005 - which should mean that the US will be perfectly OK with all those Chinese incursions into their servers that are going on at the moment, right?
And finally, because most of the above has been depressing and sarcastic, watch official World's Best Couple Megan "Will & Grace" Mullally and Nick "Parks & Recreation" Offerman cover Riskay's immortal 'Smell Yo Dick'. Think of it as a palate cleanser. Or something less offensive.
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