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Sun, 20 Jan 2019
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Cats will be cats!

Kotatsu
© Twitter
First, let's take a moment to introduce one of Japan's greatest products: the kotatsu. A staple of Japanese homes, the kotatsu is a heated table that can function as an ordinary surface space in the summer and transform into your own personal heaven-on-earth in the winter. Just throw a special futon blanket on top, switch on the heater, and stick your legs underneath for a blissfully toasty experience that is further enhanced while watching the snow fall outside.

One of the coolest things about kotatsu is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the more unusual designs we've seen include movie theater versions and even a tiny kotatsu for one. But despite the variety, even we were a bit surprised to learn that there are kotatsu out there not just for us but for our furry friends as well!

Japanese Twitter user @usagi_drive recently purchased one such special pet kotatsu for her cat. It seemed like a foolproof idea at the time-cats love curling up in warm and cozy places, so what could her pet possibly not like about it? As it turned out, she forgot to factor in the simple fact that it's a cat we're talking about:

"I bought a cat kotatsu! I'm so glad that he seems to like it."
Yes, that tweet was laced with more than a little sarcasm. Poor @usagi_drive...she was so excited to give her cat such a wonderful gift, only to become increasingly frustrated as he ignored it for the cardboard box instead (ah yes-classic cat play).

Smiley

Longstanding American tradition of staying in the Middle East indefinitely, broken by Trump

Trump
© Babylon Bee
Washington, D.C.- After Trump announced that US troops would be pulled out of Syria, the President was quickly criticized by leaders on both the left and the right for breaking with the longstanding American tradition of remaining in Middle Eastern countries indefinitely.

Trump drew ire from both sides of the aisle for his "careless and reckless" disregard for the beloved American custom of meddling overseas without a congressional declaration of war and then hanging around for another few decades.

"Occupying a country on the other side of the globe and staying there forever is an American pastime," said a CNN host. "For Trump to pull out when we haven't even been there a decade yet is a disgusting display of his selfishness and unwillingness to conform to the standards of presidential decorum."

Smiley

"Stupid Woman" the nicest thing anyone has called Theresa May in months

Jeremy & Theresa
© (L) Reuters/Simon Dawson; (R) Reuters/Toby Melville
Whitehall insiders have secretly revealed that Downing Street is actually quite touched by the kind words directed at Theresa May by Jeremy Corbyn during parliamentary questions today.

During a fractious round of question, the opposition leader took time out to mouth the words "stupid woman" at the prime minister, in a show of solidarity to illustrate that some people think she's merely incompetent and out of her depth, rather than the Machiavellian villain of the piece secretly intent of ruining life as we know it.

As one party official told us, "Theresa has been called everything under the sun in the last 18 months, but I think it's fair to say that in context 'stupid woman' is about as harsh as a back rub and a cup of tea - and she recognises that show of support from the Labour front benches.

Cookie

How the cookies crumble: Gingerbread men banned at Scottish Parliament in drive to 'stamp out sexism'

Gingerbreadpersons
© Shutterstock/Marie C. Fields
Offensive cookies no more
Gingerbread men have been replaced by gingerbread persons in the Scottish Parliament's coffee shop in case the traditional name causes offence.

The move comes as a strategy aimed at stamping out sexual harassment and sexism was introduced at Holyrood this week after a survey found 30 per cent of women working there believed they had been sexually harassed.

But the decision to rename the sweet treat has not gone down well with everyone.

Scottish Conservative equalities spokesman Annie Wells said: 'Surely the Scottish Parliament has got better things to do than worry about what to call gingerbread men? This is an utterly pointless gesture which simply trivialises the real issues of gender equality.'

A Scottish Parliament spokesman would not comment except to say: 'They [the gingerbread persons] were delicious and sold out.'

Smiley

Parrot tries to order items using Amazon's Alexa

Parrot Uses Alexa
© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited
A mischievous parrot was caught ordering strawberries, watermelons and ice-cream after 'falling in love' with Amazon's voice-activated device Alexa.

Rocco, a homeless African grey, keeps using the personal assistant to order his favourite treats, as well kites and light bulbs, and likes to set the mood by playing romantic music.

The clever bird was taken in by the National Animal Welfare Trust's Berkshire centre earlier this year after he was found as a stray.

But staff member Marion Wischnewski agreed to become his foster parent after he caused a few issues in the Great Shefford office by swearing and throwing his water bowl around.

Ms Wischnewski said fun-loving Rocco enjoys dancing and putting on his favourite tunes.

But thanks to a parental lock on her Amazon account, the attempted purchases have not gone through, The Times reported.

Cell Phone

Titania McGrath: "I now understand how Nelson Mandela felt"

joan of arc
My name is Titania McGrath. I am a radical intersectionalist poet committed to feminism, social justice, and armed peaceful protest. In April of this year, I decided to become more industrious on social media. I was inspired by other activists who had made use of their online platforms in order to spread their message and explain to people why they are wrong about everything.

This week the powers-that-be at Twitter hit my account with a "permanent suspension" (a semantic contradiction, but then I suppose bigots aren't known for their grammatical prowess). This was the latest in a series of suspensions, all of which were imposed because I had been too woke. The final straw appeared to be a tweet in which I informed my followers that I would be attending a pro-Brexit march so that I could punch a few UKIP supporters in the name of tolerance.

Comment: For any that don't know, Ms McGrath's Twitter account has some of the best examples of parody and satire to be found on the platform. It's well worth the follow - @TitaniaMcGrath


Christmas Tree

Wild beaver spotted in supermarket looking for the perfect Christmas tree

Beaver
A beaver left his or her dam in Charlotte Hall Monday on a quest to find Christmas decorations at a local dollar store, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office reports.

Witnesses say they saw the beaver attempting to select the perfect Christmas tree and checking out other discounted holiday decor.

Corporal Yingling was called in after the beaver reportedly caused some property damage to the store.

Officials say the beaver attempted to flee the area when Yingling arrived but he or she was safely "apprehended" by Animal Control.

Black Magic

Traditional Krampus Run around the Munich Christmas Market

Krampus
They look scary - but actually they're totally harmless: about 300 masked beings frighten passers-by during the big traditional run of the Krampusses via the Munich Christmas Market on Sunday, December 9th 2018 from 3 to 5 pm and Sunday, December 23rd 2018 from 4 to 5 pm.

The Krampus tradition

The Krampus is the scary assistant of kind Saint Nicholas. Whereas the latter likes to turn a blind eye when children are naughty, the Krampus prefers to rattle his chain in a terrifying manner, to attain the required level of respect and to reprimand his disagreeable contemporaries. The Krampus Run dates back 500 years to a tradition from the Alpine regions. As early as the 16th century, the so-called "Klabaufs" paraded around: Schoolchildren, choirmasters and school teachers of the Frauenkirche and St Peter's church dressed up as bishops and caused so much unrest that the policed had to be summoned. The tradition of the Krampus Run is once again very popular, especially among young people.

Smiley

Gollum actor Andy Serkis trolls Theresa May in hilarious Brexit video: "We's in a nasty mess my precioussss"

gollum May brexit

Andy Serkis shared the brilliant clip of him mocking Theresa May
The Lord of the Rings star shared a "leaked" video from inside 10 Downing Street.

Gollum actor Andy Serkis has ridiculously trolled Theresa May over her Brexit agreement.

The motion capture star shared a "leaked" video from inside 10 Downing Street.

The almost 3-minute-long clip shows Serkis combine both Gollum, a fictional character from Lord of the Rings, with the Prime Minister.

Megaphone

Teen quits Walmart with epic rant

Jackson Racicot
© Jackson Racicot
A screen grab from Jackson Racicot's Facebook video quitting his Walmart job in Grande Prairie.
A Facebook video of a 17-year-old worker airing his grievances over a Grande Prairie Walmart intercom system and then quitting is attracting some online attention.

The "How I quit my job today" video posted to Jackson Racicot's Facebook page at around 4 p.m. on Thursday shows him dialing into the intercom system at a Grande Prairie Walmart and addressing shoppers, associates and management in a speech that could rival Howard Beale's famous "I'm as mad as hell" monologue from the movie Network.

"I got fed up," Racicot said in a Friday interview, explaining he felt employees were not being treated well and others should know about it.

He said had been working in various Walmart department for a little over a year and a half, "I don't regret what I did, I went into this knowing what will happen," he continued.