Curse of the Hidden Shirt

I am delighted by the story of the Boston Red Sox jersey that was concealed in the foundations of the new stadium for the New York Yankees. A Boston-loving worker buried it there in hopes of cursing the Yankees.
After a tip-off, Yankees owner Randy Levine ordered the jackhammers be produced and the curse-jersey be dug up. They take their ritual magic seriously in Major League Baseball, where many fans don’t have their tongue in their cheek when they talk about the curse that has stopped their team winning the title. The Red Sox and the White Sox won in ’04 and ’05 respectively, officially ending the two best known curses in baseball, so there is a bit of a curse vacuum right now – giving Levine reason to be super-cautious, one suspects…
(Maybe New Zealanders need to stop grumping about the All Black coach and start blaming the voodoo. It’s been two decades since NZ’s rugby world champs win – is that long enough to count as a curse?)

Forbidden Words of the 90s

Judge&Jury gifted me with a ’91 collection of Groening’s Life in Hell strips, which contains one of his regular bits, a list of Forbidden Words – words of the moment that he wants to never hear again.
Here are excerpts from the list in the collection. This list is from the end of 1989, attempting to blacklist a bunch of words for the coming decade. As ever, it’s an intriguing snapshot of the times that were.
Betamax
Bimbo
Cassingle
Celebutante
Chill out
Croissandwich
Cyberpunk
Dancercize
Def
D.I.N.K
Dramedy
Eclectic
Hypertext
Hyper anything
Infotainment
Jazzercize
Liposuction
Male bonding
Neo-Geo
Neo anything
Networking
Passive-aggressive
Peacekeeper missile
Politically correct
Power breakfast
Power lunch
Quality time
Robo anything
Significant other
Spokesmodel
Synthpop
Tubular
Ultra anything
Vidiot
Wilding
Workaholic

Manbeasts of New Zealand!

Not, as it happens, a reference to rugby league.
This week’s Salient (local university rag, surprisingly good this year) has a feature interview with Tony Lucas of NZ Cryptoologist talking about the mysterious critters of the NZ depths.
There’s a great page on the Maero or Moehau, NZ’s answer to bigfoot. The Moehau were describes by the Maori as being “Terrible creatures, half man, half animal”, with a very aggressive temperament, they were only too happy to massacre and eat anyone that strayed into their domain.”
I love this stuff. Why have no bodies of these beasts ever been found? I think that is readily explained by the fact that these ‘Manimals’ may have a conception of death and bury their deceased.
Also on the site is a slightly more fact-based account of the elusive NZ moose, largely accepted to be living in the inaccessible depths of Fiordland but never seen by human eyes. As far as I’m concerned, that’s another reason why this is a damn cool country: we have secret mooses, and we can prove it with science!