WORLD'S BEST HACK
It's time once again for the only literary contest that matters, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the Dark and Stormy Night contest), which challenges writers to create the worst possible opening sentence to an imaginary novel. This year's winner is Garrison Spik of Washington, D.C., who came up with this piece of crap: "Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.'" Check out Bulwer-Lytton.com for a list of finalists in several categories, including this winner from the detective genre: "Mike Hummer had been a private detective so long he could remember Preparation A, his hair reminded everyone of a rat who'd bitten into an electrical cord, but he could still run faster than greased owl snot when he was on a bad guy's trail, and they said his friskings were a lot like getting a vasectomy at Sears."
HOW TO GET A BOOK DEAL WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
The man who created the brilliant "Garfield Minus Garfield" Web site has now scored a book deal with the publishers of the original Garfield comics to publish a book version of the Web site with the full support of Garfield's creator Jim Davis. In case you haven't seen it yet, GarfieldMinusGarfield.net posts versions of the Garfield comic strips after stripping out the cat, creating a mildly disturbing (and often hilarious) comic about a lonely young man named Jon. According to the site's creator Dan Walsh, stripping Garfield from the comic leaves an "even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and the empty desperation of modern life." The blog has been a sensation since it was created last February and will be turned into a full-color book and published alongside the 30th anniversary Garfield collection, Thirty Years of Laughs and Lasagna: The Life and Times of a Fat, Furry Legend.
LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND BORED
Scientists in South Korea unveiled the world's first commercially cloned pet dog last week after fleecing a Californian woman for $25,000 in order to clone her pitbull Booger. The company, RNL Bio, used a piece of Booger's ear tissue to breed a litter of five identical puppies for the woman. "They are perfectly the same as their daddy. I am in heaven here. I am a happy person," she exclaimed at the press conference. The CEO of RNL Bio predicted that the company would clone as many as 300 more pet dogs next year for wealthy pet owners, adding "for my next project, I will consider cloning camels for rich people in the Middle East." (Ananova)
SPORTS FOR DORKS
With the Olympics now upon us, the good folks over at The List Universe (ListVerse.com) have posted a roundup up of 10 real but unusual sporting events that you probably won't ever see at the Olympic Games. So if you can't find fame and fortune at a normal athletic event you might want to start training for one of these: 10. pigeon racing; 9. barefoot waterskiing; 8. underwater hockey (now officially called aquachallenge); 7. freestyle skydiving; 6. skysurfing; 5. speedcubing (i.e. solving a Rubik's Cube as fast as possible); 4. competitive eating; 3. lawn mower racing; 2. belt sander racing; and 1. dwarf tossing.
FIRST LESSON OF CAPITALISM: SELL TO A CAPTIVE MARKET
While the rest of the world has long abandoned the cassette tape, at least one entrepreneur is making a killing off the classic old format. Bob Paris, owner of a company called Pack Central, sells music on cassette to a huge market of prisoners locked up in America's jails, where CDs are not allowed because their hard plastic cases can be turned into makeshift shivs. "I have dodged every conventional bullet that has hit most music retailers," Paris says. "I don't have to worry about downloading, legal or illegally. The beauty of it is that prisoners don't have Internet access and never will." So what are prisoners listening to? Paris' perennial best-sellers include Al Green's Greatest Hits, Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon and a best-of collection by the Stylistics. (NY Times)
INTERNET FACT OF THE WEEK
Cap'n Crunch's full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch.
More bizarro news at CuriousTimes.com.