Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011



Wow! 2011 has been a most difficult year for tyrants.  First HOSNI MUBARBAK goes down in Egypt. Then MOAMMAR GADDAFI is killed. And now...the craziest dictator of them all...KIM JONG IL...is dead!  To celebrate the end of terror, we here at the DUNER BLOG would like to set the record straight about some of the North Korean's "legendary achievements" and do some serious Myth-busting!  Here are the top five:

#1 His legendary birth.  
MYTH:  It all began on a chilly February day in the year 1942.  Inside the walls of a simple log cabin...on the windswept hills of sacred Mount Paektu...a miracle occurred: The "Glorious General Descended from Heaven!"  A new star appeared in the sky, followed by a double rainbow, followed by a sacred swallow...who brought spring to North Korea two months early.
FACT:  The truth is our "Dear Leader" wasn't even born in Korea.  His father, KIM IL-SUNG, was living in Khabarovsk, Siberia at the time.  He was plotting with the Soviet Army to overthrow the Japanese occupation of Asia during World War II. 

#2 His ability to control the weather.
MYTH:  Of all of KIM JONG IL's amazing talents, this one is the best...because no one else on earth can do this.  Our "Dear Leader" controls the weather with his moods .  If he's angry, expect a violent snowstorm.  Sadness brings rain; melancholy moods warrant fog.  Expect sunshine when his shipments of caviar and cognac arrive. (KIM JONG IL spent $750,000 on Hennesey each year!)
FACT: We here at the DUNER-BLOG have a meteorologist on staff.  He confirmed: It is scientifically impossible to control the weather by your thoughts.

#3 His legendary golf game.  
MYTH: It's a shame he never competed in any PGA events...because the 'Dear Leader' had mad golf skills.  When the first ever course opened in Pyongyang in 1994, KIM JONG IL naturally played the first ever round.  His score was 38 under par!  This included a whopping five holes-in-one.  All 17 bodyguards signed oaths attesting to the feat.
FACT: We consulted the Guinness World Records.  The lowest golf score ever is 55.  It was achieved by HOMERO BLANCOS in 1962.  To beat this by 18 strokes is impossible.

#4 He invented the hamburger
MYTH: In addition to being head of the armed forces, KIM JONG IL is also the "Highest Incarnation of Revolutionary Comradely Love."  To show this devotion, our "Dear Leader" toiled day and night to come up with a wonderful, new dish for all to eat and enjoy.  His "discovery," was called a "Double Bread with Meat" sandwich. They were cleverly packaged in paper bags for easy purchase.
FACT: Pyongyang restaurants first served this "new" delicacy in the year 2004.  If you have ever eaten a hamburger prior to this year, you can de-bunk this myth yourself!

#5 He doesn't need to urinate or defecate.
FACT:  The North Korean State Media removed this legend from their website years ago.  But we still had to include it in the list!   Let's face it...even an "Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander" has to go to the bathroom!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



Psst.  Are you planning a trip to Thailand?  Here's some good advice: Don't say anything negative about the Thai King.  Why?  Because it's against the law.  Thai officials will arrest you up, give you a sham trial and then lock you up!  Don't believe me?  Then ask JOE GORDON.  He helped translate the banned biography "The King Never Smiles."  On Thursday, he was convicted in a Bangkok court and sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.  And...no...it doesn't matter if you're a Thai citizen, an American citizen or a visitor from Mars.  Say anything that "defames, insults, threatens, or is unflattering to the King" and you'll end up in jail. 

Psst.  Wanna impress someone from Thailand?  Here's some good advice:  Mention some random facts about King Rama IX.  You'll have a Thai friend for life.  Okay, it's hard to pronounce his real name (Bhunibol Adulyadej), so let's try these tidbits instead.  With 65 years on the throne, King Rama has the longest reign of any current monarch worldwide.  The King speaks three languages: Thai, French and English.  He is blind in his right eye after a car crash in Switzerland.  He holds a patent for a sprinkler design, composes jazz music and keeps two loaded pistols in his nightstand.  Finally, if your acquaintance is older, talk about how the King kept Thailand out of the Vietnam War.

Psst. Wanna know what not to talk about with folks from Thailand?  King Rama IX's wealth.  The anti-monarchists are furious about it and the conservatives are embarrassed by it.  Here are the facts: The Thai King is the richest royal on the planet.  Forbes estimates his wealth at $35 billion.  That bests Queen Elizabeth ($30 billion), the Sultan of Brunei ($20 billion) and the Saudi King Abdullah ($18 billion).  Rama owns three private jets including a Boeing 737 and an Airbus A319.  But the King is most proud of his crown jewels.  In fact, he owns the largest faceted diamond in the world.  The GOLDEN JUBILEE diamond has an amazing 545 carats!

Pssst. Are you planning to eat at a Thai restaurant soon?  Here's some good advice: Make sure there's a framed photo of the Thai King hanging on the wall.  Why?  Because everyone in Thailand worships the monarch and has pictures of him everywhere  So...if you want to know for sure the owners of the restaurant are from Thailand...look on the walls for that framed picture.  That way your meal will always be authentic and yummy!  You see, all other Asian nations (except Japan) have been colonized by a European power.  The kings and emperors of Laos, China, Burma, Korea...have all been long disposed and replaced by boring prime ministers.  But not in Thailand!  Here...and in Thai restaurants worldwide...the King still reigns supreme.

Psst. Wanna know how to annoy the crap out of your readers?  Begin five paragraphs the same exact way! Sorry about that literary stumble.  Okay...to summarize.  The love of the Thai king runs deep in the heart and minds of Siam.  This would be fine...except for the fact that the king actually believes he is above the law.  He is cool having astronomical wealth while many in his country of 66 million are horribly poor.  The final evidence of King Rama's lunacy is his official title.   As with Gaddafi and Kim Jong Il, King Rama has a ridiculous amount of flowery, descriptive words following his name.  Here it is:  (Thanks...Wikipedia!)

Phra Bat Somdet Phra Poramintharamaha Bhumibol Adulyadej Mahitalathibet Ramathibodi Chakkrinaruebodin Sayamminthrathirat Borommanatbophit

พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช มหิตลาธิเบศรรามาธิบดี จักรีนฤบดินทร สยามินทราธิราช บรมนาถบพิตร
  • Phra—a third person pronoun referring to the person with much higher status than the speaker, meaning "excellent" in general. The word is from Sanskrit vara ("excellent").
  • Bat—"foot," from Sanskrit pāda.
  • Somdet—"lord," from Khmer "samdech" ("excellency").
  • Poraminthara—"the great," from Sanskrit parama ("great") +indra ("leader")
  • Maha—"great," from Sanskrit,  "maha"
  • Bhumibol—"Strength of the Land," from Sanskrit bhumi ("land") +bala ("strength")
  • Adulyadej—"Incomparable power," from Sanskrit atulya ("incomparable") +teja ("power")
  • Mahitalathibet—"Son of Mahidol"
  • Ramathibodi—"Rama," the Avatar of God Vishnu to become the great ruler"; from Sanskrit rama + adhi ("great") + patī ("president")
  • Chakkrinaruebodin—"Leader of the People who is from the House of Chakri, from Sanskrit Cakrī + nari ("men") + patī ("president")
  • Sayamminthrathirat—"the Great King of Siam," from Sanskrit Siam (former name of Thailand) + indra + ati ("great") + rāja ("king)
  • Borommanatbophit— "the Royalty who is the Great Shelter", from Sanskrit parama ("great") + nādha ("the one who others can depend on" or "Power/Right") + "pavitra" ("royalty")

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



Last Friday, the US Congress passed legislation re-legalizing the slaughter and sale of horse meat in the USA and all territories.  “I find it disgusting,” said Patricia Fazio of Cody, Wyoming, echoing sentiments of most Americans.  In the US, horses are placed in the "pet / companion" group of animals...along with cats, dogs, gerbils and guinea pigs.  And we all know: You don't eat your friends.  So it came a huge surprise to many over the weekend when animal-obsessed PETA announced its "temporary" support for the lifting of the ban.  What?  Has PETA lost its mind?  Hasn't PETA seen horse-themed movies like "National Velvet" and "Seabiscuit"?  Neigh!

We here at the DUNER BLOG were surprised as well...so we did some research.  And it turns out to be a little more complicated than expected.  See...our earliest ancestors ate horses long before riding them.   So it only makes sense to continue eating them ...right?  Anyhow, over time, certain cultures  attached specific 'moral / religious' baggage to each animal with regards to consumption.  For example, Jewish and Islamic cultures won't eat pigs...but Christians and Buddhists are okay with it.  Horses are one of the animals that humans can't agree on...it's fine to eat them in other countries but not in the USA.

Believe it or not...one major proponent of eating horse meat is celebrity TV-chef GORDON RAMSAY.  The Scot says we are "too sensitive" in the UK and USA towards horse meat consumption.  To force the issue, he serves it in his restaurants and receives much discord.  Gordon says it's low in fat and more tender than beef.  Yuck!  Hasn't Gordon seen movies like "Black Beauty" and "My Friend Flicka"?  You can't eat Mr. Ed!  Sorry...but he does have a point.  Around the world, horse meat is prepared in numerous delicious ways.  Here are the top eight consumers of horse meat worldwide:

1. China          2. Mexico            3. Mongolia            4. Kazakhstan
5. Italy            6. Argentina         7. Brazil                 8. Kyrgyzstan

Anyhow, despite its popularity overseas, its highly unlikely that horse meat will be accepted by American society anytime soon.  However, let's agree that eating horses in other countries is acceptable moral behavior.  This means other nations want to purchase American horse meat...and they're willing to pay $20 a pound.  So, during the ban on horse meat, many Americans sold horses illegally to the black market.  They were then smuggled into Mexico and slaughtered for a profit.  PETA felt this practice was much less humane than allowing horses to be slaughtered in the US...and hence gave tepid approval for the measure.   In a statement PETA said horses endure "more suffering on a frightening, long, and miserable journey to Canada or Mexico" than being killed in a regulated, inspected slaughterhouse in the USA.

But don't worry...they're won't be a 'Secretariat Special' at Burger King anytime soon.  So far, there are only a handful of horse slaughterhouses in the nation who want to open up: Two in Wyoming and one in Montana.  One such company, United Equine, plans to sell most of their meat to a distributor in France.  Finally, one easy way to can tell which animals are acceptable to eat...in any language...is to see if they have two separate words, one for the animal and one for the food.  For example, 'cow' becomes 'beef,' 'pig' becomes 'pork' and 'baby calves' are turned into 'veal.'  There is no word in English language for prepared horse.