We have a new contender for the list of Greatest Things Ever:

Via Graham Linehan, who states entirely reasonably: ‘This is my favourite news ever. Why isn’t this ON the news?’

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Now, I’m not a financial expert, but I’d like to give you a little bit of financial advice. If you’re investing any money following the recommendations of Investor’s Business Daily, I’d strongly advise you to reassess those investments.

Why? Because they’ve printed what may be one of the all-time great moronic statements in the history of the Internets, one so caked in ultimate wrongness that you can’t help but question just how they manage to turn computers on, let alone publish a website and financial advice. The context is in a discussion of the latest proposals for health care reform in the US, a debate that I’ve only been following peripherally, so can’t say how the rest of the article stacks up in the whole ‘truth vs oh-my-god-you-really-believe-that-nonsense’ stakes. (The article I got the link from seems to think it’s slightly bonkers overall).

But, let us cut to the chase and the idiocy you came here for. Strap yourself in and read this:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Yes, someone wrote that, someone edited it and approved it to go out in the name of Investor’s Business Daily. Others have put it on the Internet and kept it there for well over a week, allowing the whole world to gaze at the stupid.

So remember – if you’re ever tempted to follow their investment advice: remember the stupid, and look after your money.

(Thanks to Mark on Facebook for the original link)

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I never win things – I’m one of the vast bulk of people who make up the non-winning section of the population, yet still enter prize draws and the like because of that perennial triumph of hope over expectation.

So, I was rather surprised to receive an email this morning letting me know that I have been selected for something. Well, I get those all the time, but this time it wasn’t from the Kazakhstan National Lottery telling me that I may have already won TEN MILLION ENGLISH POUNDS.

This was from One and Other, informing me that I’ve been selected as one of the people who gets to stand on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square as part of Antony Gormley’s latest project. So, between 5pm and 6pm on August 1st, I’ll be up there. No idea yet what I’m going to do beyond admire the view, but all suggestions are welcome – and if you can make it past the heavenly fire, plague of locusts and other obstacles that are no dount conspiring to thwart my triumphal pproach to the plinth, then feel free to come along and join the crowd.

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Via Jamie, a story for children from North Korea.

I’m trying to work out who wrote this piece on Comment is Free, supposedly by Jack Straw. My initial suspicion is Armando Ianucci or Chris Morris, as it has that level of absurdity, that sense of turning the whole world inside out so black is white and up is down that they try to infuse their work with. After all, it takes a master satirist to even attempt to write a piece claiming that the last decade has been ‘liberty’s best since the vote was won’ that seems to be claiming that having ‘only’ 28 days detention without trial is a triumph of liberalism, rather than a dangerous threat to liberty that far exceeds the measures used in other countries, even those exposed to the threat of terrorism as much, if not more, than the UK.

So, congratulations to Armando, Chris or whoever it was, and I look forward to seeing what else ‘Jack Straw’ will end up championing, now he’s shown us how slavery is freedom.

Is there anyone surprised that while the rest of the media have stories like the BBC’s ‘No evidence’ of Diana pregnancy the Express (supposedly the World’s Greatest Newspaper) leads with Diana May Have Been Pregnant – in the same way, I assume, that she ‘may have been’ an alien disguised to look like a human being in a way we couldn’t detect.

Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Mohammed Fayed declare that this was irrefutable proof that she was ‘homeopathically pregnant’ – after all, how could you disprove that?

Sometimes it’s just too easy:

Tony Blair avoided talking about his religious views while in office for fear of being labelled “a nutter”, the former prime minister has revealed.

Yes, because there’s absolutely nothing nutterish at all about this, is there?:

Holidaying on the Mexican Riviera in August 2001, they underwent a “rebirthing ritual” in a temazcal – a Mayan steam bath which represents the womb. Herb-infused water was thrown over heated lava rocks to create a cleansing sweat and balance the Blairs’ “energy flow”, while their therapist, Nancy Aguilar, told the credulous couple to imagine animal-shapes in the steam and explained what such visions meant.

The Prime Minister of Great Britain and his wife, a Crown Court judge, wished for peace on earth, then screamed to signify the pain of rebirth before venturing outside again.

They were offered watermelon and papaya, then told to smear any uneaten fruit over each other’s bodies, along with mud from the jungle outside. They then walked hand in hand down the beach to swim in the sea.

From a recent 419 email sent to me by Mrs Amina, a ‘citizen of the Nigel Republique’:

I WAS BORN AN ORPHAN IN 1942

Which must have impressed the doctors, if no one else.

Watching Louis Theroux: Under The Knife on BBC Two just now, a thought struck me. Well, several thoughts struck me during the programme but beyond the obvious ones of ‘I’m going to be seeing my dinner again if I don’t look away now’, ‘was this how you envisaged your career being on your first day at medical school?’ and ‘it’d cost you less and you’d end up feeling better about yourself if you just joined a cult to try and find your self-approval’, there’s a semi-serious question. Surgery in general is a very male-dominated field, but is cosmetic surgery even more male-dominated? It just seems to me that you wouldn’t find a woman using the various bits of snake oil hucksterism the male surgeons use to justify what they do their (mainly female) patients.

And in the bit at the end when Louis asked the woman if her new look matched how she felt inside, was it just me who felt her eyes were communicating the message ‘How should I know? I’m dead inside.’?

Via LDV, I notice that Iain Dale has released his latest list of the top 100 Liberal Democrat blogs. Now, I know I was jokingly suggesting at the Blog of the Year awards that I deserved some kind of lifetime achievement award (the kind the Oscars give out to people just to make sure they’ve got a statue before they die) but somehow I’ve managed to rise from number 27 to number 20 in a year when I’ve been far too busy to blog.

I’m almost tempted to stop writing entirely to see if that gets me into the top 10 next year, but I will try to find the time to write more over the next year.

Of course, there’s also the possibility I and the other inhabitants of the top 21 may all fall silent in a bizarre variety of blog-related accidents over the next year as Don Liberali clears his way to the top in traditional family style.