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You aren't the world's strangest person

PRAISE the Lord and pass the wingnuts. The year 2013 has dawned and human beings are as ill-advised as ever, if not more so.

PRAISE the Lord and pass the wingnuts. The year 2013 has dawned and human beings are as ill-advised as ever, if not more so.

What else accounts for the fact that an English artist thought it was a grand idea to lay out sheets of manuscript in Liverpool parks so birds could compose a score there with their droppings?

I listened to an online excerpt of the 20-minute composition Bird Sheet Music - A Movement in Three Parts, which had its premiere at the Tate Liverpool art gallery. I regret to inform you here that bird turds are tone-deaf. Despite the best efforts of sound artist Helmut Lemke to incorporate birdsong and ambient noise, and an allegedly faithful rendition of the score by a professional orchestra, The Beatles clearly have nothing to fear from their fine-feathered fellow Liverpudlians. Incidentally, The Bird Sheet "art intervention" was intended to draw attention to, er, waste.

British artists currently seem obsessed with bird scat. According to GeoBeatsNews online, one art studio calling itself Cohen Van Balen has created bacteria for a project called Pigeon d'Or that modifies pigeons' metabolisms and allows them to defecate window soap. Talk about cleaning as you go!

Much more accessible British potty humour comes compliments of one Jennifer Barkness, a 64-year-old former typist for the Adults, Health and Housing department of Derby City. The back story: Barkness asked her employer to make her redundant, according to the Mail Online. Derby City council apparently refused her request and asked her instead to take over the work of two other employees who had been "allowed to leave." In a huff, Barkness resigned.

She was not content to go gentle into that good night. Before departing, Barkness set up an out-of office computer reply that said "No longer work for the council. P*** off the lot of you." She then sent out a group e-mail that referred to one former co-worker as "a lump of canine excrement." One only hopes that Barkness doesn't dream of a future career in the diplomatic corps.

I love The Mail Online, which continues to faithfully report all the news that isn't fit for real newspapers. Its story last week describing Victoria Beckham buying take-out fish'n'chips with her son Cruz, for instance, contained nine pictures of the "event," far more than those illustrating a story alleging that famine-ravaged parents in North Korea were eating their children.

Not all the loonies are based in Great Britain - or North Korea - though. According to the online newspaper Orange., European snowboarders have started taking nude photos of themselves on mountain peaks - thanks for that, global warming - and posting them on Facebook. The paper also states that China's national pole dancing team is taking its talents to the snowy streets in an effort to win respect. One "spectator" commended their resolve, noting, "Those poles must be freezing in this weather."

Even the ordinarily no-nonsense Dutch occasionally lose their wits. Amsterdam's Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, for instance, is capitalizing on its inadequacies by advertising itself as one of the world's worst hostelries. "The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel has been proudly disappointing travelers for forty years," its current website boasts. Comparing its charms to those of a minimum-security prison, it itemizes such treats as "thin mattresses," "rooms without views," and "Amusing witticisms and speculations about former guests' sexual preferences scrawled on most surfaces." Those wishing to stay at the hotel "do so at their own risk and will not hold (it) liable for food poisoning, mental breakdowns, terminal illness, lost limbs, radiation poisoning, certain diseases associated with the 18th century, plague, etcetera," the website blithely continues.

In its guest comments section, "Lisa from Oklahoma" writes "What is that smell? I demand to know what that smell is," while "Charlotte from Texas" remarks "What can I say? It was cheap. But not that cheap. I mean, a bus shelter offers the same facilities."

Meanwhile, back in Japan, one of its national newspapers, The Asahi Shimbun, claims that developer Shota Ishiwatari is creating, for human use, a "wearable tail attached to a belt containing heart-rate sensors." When the heart rate of the person wearing the "Tailly" increases, the tail wags with the enthusiasm of, say, a Labrador let off its leash by a creek on a summer's day.

The Tailly doesn't just allow you to be more dog-like, but acts as an "extension" of your body. It could be, for example, "a way to express your true feelings on a date."

I think that would have to be a first date, since wearing a tail will absolutely guarantee that you won't get a second.

I'm just sayin.'

Of course, due to the lack of an Accuracy Police Force on the free-for-all that is the Internet, none of this compendium of "facts" may actually be true.

You gets what you pays for.

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