The Mayan apocalypse is neither Mayan nor an apocalypse, but the world has been preparing by:
1. Building an ark. A Dutchmen named Pieter Frank van der Meer has purchased a $17,000 enclosed lifeboat and installed a toilet, a sink and a child's car seat in preparation for the floods he expects to accompany doomsday. Can't he just put his finger in the dike?
2. Building a bigger ark. Lu Zhenhai, from landlocked western China, has dedicated his life savings to building a 21-meter-long monument to human irrationality.
3. Closing schools. More than 30 Michigan schools closed due to violent threats made in relation to the Mayan "prediction," because people can be terrible.
Tags: Australia, China, Conspiracies, Mexico, NASA, Star Wars, Ukraine
Every democracy has its own quaint traditions surrounding the opening of a new legislative session. A new term in the U.S. House of Representatives begins with the words "the House will come to order" and a swearing-in of the Speaker. In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament begins with the traditional search for religious minorities to persecute, though in recent years this has taken the form of a pro-forma search for Catholic traitors in the Westminster cellars.
If the frequency of their parliamentary brawls is any indicator, in the Ukraine, parliament opens with the ceremonial punching of the crotch.
Tags: Ukraine, United Kingdom
Is it really so much to ask that our own country's congressional business be conducted with one-fifth the aplomb and sobriety of the Ukrainian parliament's?
Lawmakers in Ukraine scuffled with each other, throwing punches and eggs, as parliament met Tuesday to ratify a treaty with Russia that extends the latter's navy presence in the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula until 2042.
The ruling Regions party eventually ratified the treaty but not before howls of protest from the opposition.
Someone set off a smoke bomb inside the building, while Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn sought refuge behind an umbrella as he was pelted with eggs.
I can, with all honesty, say that given the choice between smoke bomb attacks and talking-point debates on cable news networks, as a regular aspect of American political discourse, I'd go with smoke bomb attacks every time.
Those involved come out looking decidedly more dignified I think.
Tags: House of Representatives, Russia, Senate, Ukraine
So, while we're all waiting for everything in the world to get better and political power to be doled out fairly according to those who have earned it, let's watch some Daily Show clips…
September 17, 2009: Voter Fraud in Afghanistan
The Daily Show airs Monday through Thursday at 11pm / 10c.
Tags: Afghanistan, George W. Bush, Iran, John Kennedy, John Kerry, Jon Stewart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia, Saddam Hussein, The Daily Show, Ukraine, Video