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Windows Pro (phylactic)

Software billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates just issued his latest “Grand Challenge.” Create the next generation condom and win $100,000 start up money.

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Don’t hold your breath for the punch line. There isn’t any as this challenge is genuine. Bewailing the lack of innovation since latex condoms were introduced about 50 years ago, the Gates’ foundation could offer as much as $1 million in further funding to the innovation “that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use.”

Good luck with that.

In the meantime, here are some actual bleeding-edge condom designs:

 

Formal wear condom

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What pretentious men would probably want to wear. Using it could make one feel like James Bond.

 

Edible condom

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There are already flavored condoms. And edible panties. So it doesn’t really take a quantum leap of intelligence to come up with an edible condom. No need to throw the thing in the trash after use.

 

Whole body condom

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For the ultimate in safe sex. Protects you not only against HIV, but also against mononucleosis, hepatitis, and even the common cold.

 

Spray-on condom

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This may be what Gates’ had in mind when they issued the challenge for the next gen, high tech prophylactic. Specially useful when you are unusually “oversized.”

 

Junior-sized condom

On the other side of the size spectrum are a couple of contenders.

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Probably designed for Japanese and other Asians.

Or young sacristans/church-goers being molested by priests and bishops. The kids may be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives but at least the condoms guarantee that they are HIV-free.

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It Aint’ Easy Being Green

According to Yahoo! News, a couple living in the small European country of Jersey (sic), married in a Shrek-themed wedding, green makeup and all.

And I was like “What? There is a European country named Jersey?”

Paul Bellas, 42, and Heidi Bellas, 30, got the idea while watching the movie with their son.

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“The essence is that Shrek represents true love. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, if the love is there then that is what it is about,” says Paul.

I don’t know. I think you should say something like that only when you’re good-looking. Definitely not when you look like an emaciated/anorexic Shrek:

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Or when you already look like Fiona (without the green skin) to begin with:

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They should be thankful that their son Leo doesn’t look like either of them:

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Registrar Sue Groves said: “I had to see them before the got their make-up applied as I can’t marry people who aren’t recognisable.” She claims to have carried out many novelty weddings in her time.

Yes, I know. There are weirder things going on in New Jersey, but the couple is from Jersey (off the British Isles), which is arguably an independent state. They probably should have just named the place Far, Far Away.

Twin-Twin Situation

A Texan woman had a Valentine’s Day surprise when she gave birth to four boys. Not quadruplets but two sets of twins. Identical at that. Tressa Montalvo, 36, of Houston, said she and husband Manuel, 43, have been going for a brother or sister for firstborn son Memphis for more than two years, but got substantially more than they bargained for.

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And they’re not stopping until they get a girl, according to Manuel. In a masterpiece of “you don’t have to tell us” news, online news agencies report that all four were born by Caesarean section on the same day. As if it’s likely for some to be delivered vaginally and others by C-section, and on different days at that. Two sets of identical twins happen when ova split twice before implanting in the uterus, and share two placentas.

What are the odds of that?!

Actually, scientists know. The odds of a woman giving birth to non-identical twins are one in 80. Identical twins are bit rarer, with odds of one in every 240 cases. However, two sets of identical twins happen only once every 70 million births. Multiply that by 365 if the birth has to happen on Valentine’s Day.

The lucky couple has named the four boys Ace, Blaine, Cash and Dylan. “We tried to stick to the A-B-C-D theme when naming them,” Tressa Montalvo said in a statement.

In related news, former Philippine president, former actor, now Manila mayoral candidate, and well-known womanizer, Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada has admitted that he has three sets of firstborn sons. That he knows of.

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These three sons are Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Ejercito with wife, former First Lady and Senator Luisa Ejercito; congressman Joseph Victor Ejercito with First Mistress (and now San Juan City mayor) Guia Gomez; and Jojo Ejercito with former model Joy Rowena. “We tried to stick to the J-O theme when naming them,” Erap says.

Pope Benedict resigns! Hell freezes over!

Pope Benedict XVI announced that he is resigning as head of the Catholic Church. The 85-year-old pontiff cited age (too much) and physical strength (too little) as the reasons for giving up the papacy.

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The news was met with shock and disbelief from the faithful, since popes usually serve until they die (John Paul II), or are killed (John Paul I  – just kidding, lighten up non-conspiracy theorists). The last papal resignation occurred in the 15th century, as the joke goes, when Joseph Ratzinger was still in short pants.

Many leaders of the Vatican hierarchy were caught off guard, with Cardinal Angelo Sodano saying the announcement came “like a lightning bolt in a clear blue sky.” Coincidentally, a photo taken during a rainstorm the night of the announcement (February 11) showed just that (news item).

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In related news, Satan released photos of Hell when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, 89, resigned declared the post of senate president vacant during the height of the “Christmas bonus” scandal a few weeks ago.

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Senator Enrile, is of course, still Senate President at this time. When asked for comment about the Pope’s resignation, JPE reportedly said “Talaga? Bata pa yun ah!” (“Really? But he’s still young!”)

Dog Face

Cats seem to be lording it over the Internet these days, but this dog certainly went viral. Tonik, a Shih Tzu–poodle mix, avoided being put to sleep by having a face that to some, resembles a human.

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Because of his new found fame, Tonik has 350 people willing to pay $250 to adopt him. Homeward Bound (the dog halfway house where Tonik is being kept) owner Jen Schwartz, said that the dog was very reserved and might not be a good fit for families with children. Well, you would be shy too if you were a dog looking like a human.

Or not. This human who is a dog looks like a dog, is a very outgoing and popular child.

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The world’s hairiest girl (as certified by Guinness), 11-year old Supatra Sasuphan, is one of just 50 known sufferers of Ambras Syndrome. Other than thick hair growing on her face, back, arms and legs, the Thai seems like any child her age, enjoying swimming, dancing, TV, and playing with friends.

She is not up for adoption anytime soon.

War of the Words

It’s a sordid tale of a rejected Christmas gift of biscuits, a May-December romance (if you can call an 89-year old hooking up with a 50-year old that), dug-up multi-million peso debts of dead people (legal or otherwise), and unequal show of generosity of what is basically the people’s money.

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Complaints about Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s uneven distribution of excess Senate funds last Christmas (friendly senators received PHP1.6 million, while four senator-enemies received only PHP250 thousand) reached a fever pitch the past week. Senator Miriam Santiago was apoplectic (she was one of the unfavored four) and developed a mild stroke as a result. Senator Antonio Trillanes again failed with a coup-de-etat on Enrile’s senate presidency (he tried to oust former president Gloria Arroyo years back, and got jailed for the exercise).

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Enrile’s chief of staff, lawyer Gigi Reyes, joined the fray by calling the complaining senators “hypocrites” by accepting the money the past years. Senator Alan Cayetano was not too pleased by the name-calling and made references to Reyes acting as if she was one of the senators. Enrile responded by using his debt-of-gratitude card, claiming that Cayetano’s father, a former senator and Enrile’s law partner, owed him 37 million pesos (almost a million US dollars). The rumor mill was busy about stories of Reyes being Enrile’s mistress. Gigi later resigned and apologized by saying that “the Senate stinks” (news item).

While all these were going on, a Canadian being sued for unruly behavior and due for deportation, went amok in Cebu, killing two people before he shot himself. Despite the COMELEC gun ban due to the coming May elections, John Pope managed to slip a pistol into the Cebu Palace of Justice and shot the plaintiff (a physician) and his lawyer.

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The Canadian bad boy then roamed the justice complex but failed to find the fiscal, whom he intended to shoot also. People are aghast at the waste of bullets at the Palace of Justice, when it could have been put to better use at the Senate Building.

Speaking of gun bans and foreigners, an Indian expat was asked what he thought about all these. “Gang bang? Oh, we have a lot of that in India!”

Pinoys in Space!

Even though there is a move by some scientific sectors to create a Philippine space agency, the notion of a Filipino astronaut seems like a pipe dream. But it may happen as early as 2014. Axe, the deodorant brand, will be sending 22 humans to space in the Lynx suborbital space ship, and one of them will be a Filipino.

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“The program we’ve launched is an opportunity for our great nation to join the global community in taking the next big leap. We’re very excited to meet the first Pinoy astronaut. It could be anyone,” said the Philippine Axe brand manager.

I initially thought the whole thing was a joke, particularly because the marketing campaign was named the “Axe Apollo Space Academy” (AASA), as in “AASA ka pa ” (“In your dreams”).  And Axe? Really? Until I realized astronauts don’t really take showers during space missions, so it may actually make sense. The Axe contest is promoting a new fragrance line called Apollo, and even hired the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, as spokesman. Neil Armstrong is most definitely spinning in his grave.

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From the first 10,000 Pinoy applicants, two candidates will be chosen for astronaut training at the Axe Apollo Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida. One of them will eventually take the $95,000 space ride for free.

More space news. Advances in ultrasound technology will allow NASA’s scientists to see more clearly what happens to astronauts’ spines under zero-gravity conditions. It has been known for a long time (probably since the Skylab missions) that astronauts can grow by a few inches during space travel due to a lengthening of the spine from lack of the Earth’s gravity pull. The vertebrae basically just relax and expand. The ultrasound device will be used for research in the next mission to the International Space Station.

In related news, spokesmen for Vice-President Jejomar Binay (height 5’2″) and former president Gloria Arroyo (height 4’11”) deny rumors that the two were among the first applicants in the search for the Philippine Axe astronaut.

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