Tony Abbott and his truck fulla hope - 10 Things
Getting information about Kate Middleton's pregnancy is tricky for media types. Not only is it a medically-sensitive time (the pregnancy is is in its early days, only came to light because Middleton was hospitalised with morning sickness, and most couples prefer not to make enormous public pronouncements until the end of the first trimester, around 10-12 weeks, when the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically) but it's also, y'know, private information. So you could just wait for the official word to come through Buckingham Palace, or you could ring up the hospital's switchboard, say you're the Queen and get some nurse to tell you everything. That second strategy was the one employed by 2Day FM's Mel Grieg, who put on her best Queen voice and asked to be put through to "my granddaughter Kate", got some info from the duty nurse about how Kate was doing, and asked "When is a good time to come and visit her because I'm the Queen and I need a lift down there." OK, we admit it: that's actually pretty amazing. "We take patient confidentiality extremely seriously," hospital Chief Executive John Lofthouse inaccurately declared, "and we are now reviewing our telephone protocols." Here's a suggestion: when someone rings up saying they're the Queen of England, ask for the number on their Queen Licence.
Yes, Australia, our electioneering season has begun in earnest. And Tony Abbott is taking a leaf out of the American playbook by giving it the ol' razzle dazzle, a little bit of spectacle, something audacious and inspirational, a showcase of… OK, he's, um, got a truck. But that's not all: he's going to drive that truck from Rocklea to Terrigal - those two well known political hotspots - with a load of (and we swear, this is not made up) "hope, reward and opportunity". We feel honourbound to point out that those things are all abstract concepts rather than physical goods and that they probably don't need a diesel-fume-spewing truck to transport them, although since this is a political stunt we're guessing there'll be a metric shittonne of bullshit in there too. Word on whether the Gillardcopter is operational wasn't available at press time.
Hey kids! If you're wondering how to really enliven your next show-and-tell at school, why not follow the lead of the 11 year from Newcastle's Hunter Christian School who brought a "money box" in that wasn't so much a "money box" as a "second world war grenade". The school was evacuated and the bomb squad brought in, who confirmed that the grenade was inactive. "She's not in trouble," Principal Boyd Allen assured the media, no doubt while wondering what else this child had in her arsenal. "She's a sweet young lady from a lovely family." That's right, Allen: keep talking nice and no-one gets hurt.
Gah! We were so excited about the discovery of North Korea's Lair of the Unicorn, as we reported mere days ago, but now it turns out that the Korean Central News Agency's story wasn't true - sorry, little girls and people who take internet memes literally. It turns out that the journalist misunderstood what the archaeologists were saying plus the story was butchered in translation: for one thing, the legendary kings of Korea didn't ride unicorns but kris (a deer with a dragon's head, basically) and the discovery was actually of the site of Kiringul, where kirins were said to appear to wise rulers. And this is where the KCNA are back on firm ground as the unbiased news organisation determined to get to the truth of just how awesome Kim Jong-un is: scholar Sixian Wang told the Guardian that he suspects it's all a bit convenient, since the discovery helps "secure Pyongyang's connection to the ancient kingdom of Koguryo, while creating an association between their own president, Kim Jong-un, and the larger-than-life rulers of old." Still, we can agree on one thing: Kirin's a pretty sweet beer.
How unhappy are you with the way you smell? Is it "very"? Then you're in luck because not one but two signature scents came out this week. The first is Eau de Pizza Hut - capturing "top notes of freshly baked, hand-tossed dough" - which was invented as a marketing ploy by Pizza Hut Canada, in a limited run of 110 bottles. Although if it was really trying to capture the smell of pizza hut pizza, it's going to need notes of sharehouse fridge, grease, hangover and morning after regrets.
Alternatively, you might want to smell like beardy indie rock, acting and occasional comedy - and now you can thanks to Wil "Bonnie Prince Billy" Oldham's 'Bonnie Billy' aftershave, which boasts mukhallat, Egyptian jasmine, tobacco and the Agarwood tree. Which actually sounds kind of nice. Maybe not US$220 a bottle nice, sure, but nice nonetheless. If it doubles as a beard moisturiser, we're sold. Although… aftershave? When was the last time Oldham shaved? We assume it's not for the face…
In what's actually probably the most uplifting story out of Egypt this week (yeah, clashes between supporters of revolutionary President Morsi and protesters are starting to get more frequent and violent) comes the news that an Egyptian reptile dealer decided to smuggle a cobra onto a flight from Cairo to Kuwait, only to have the ungrateful reptile bite him and slither off into the cabin. The incident forced and emergency landing in Al Ghardaqa, but the dealer refused treatment for the bite, the snake was recaptured, and everyone went on their merry way. So yes, there was a plane with snakes in it: just like in that film, The Empire Strikes Back.
Sure, we've all had discussions with the people we love about the coming zombie apocalypse - it's one of those stages everyone in a healthy relationship goes through, like visiting IKEA or learning to diligently clear one's browser cache. But what do you do when your significant other calls your concerns "ridiculous" and denies that The Walking Dead is a documentary of the future? Well, if you're 26 year old Long Island resident Jared Gurman, the answer is obvious: shoot your girlfriend in the back. Jessica Gelderman went to speak to her beau on Monday morning after "a text exchange became heated", only to find him waiting with .22 caliber assault rifle, which he proceeded to unload into her when she entered his house. She's in a serious but stable condition in hospital with a shattered rib, a pierced lung and a pierced diaphragm. He's been charged with second degree murder, and going by the mugshot in this story, the idea that he has a girlfriend at all is the bit of this story that makes the least sense.
The Murdoch family matriarch Dame Elizabeth has passed away at the age of 103, sparking a flood of tributes for her lifetime of philanthropy and good works. Sorrow at her passing has been tempered with concerns that her Ring of Power - which grants unnatural long life, invisibility and control of the kingdoms of Earth - may yet fall into the hands of her son Rupert; and reports that a plucky band of unlikely friends are already taking the Ring to be destroyed in the fires in which it was wrought, assumed to be somewhere on the Murdoch estate at Cruden Farm outside of Melbourne, could not be confirmed by press time.
And finally: look, we know there are a lot of parodies of 'Gangnam Style' floating around, but have to concur with Gawker in that this one really should be the last: they ain't getting more amazing than this. It's been called "the worst video on the internet", and for once the hyperbole seems legitimate. To be fair, no-one's ever likely to say "why, I bet this half-assed version of a novelty song expressing school spirit for Garden Spot High School (go Spartans!) will be a powerful piece of art," but if you were ever wondering if Michael Scott's occasional Scranton-rapping videos on The Office were authentic in their dreadfulness… look, you're just going to have to watch this. Trust us. And we're sorry.