Groundbreaking Olympian of the Day: In a surprise last-minute decision, the South African Olympic committee and national track federation said today that double amputee Oscar Pistorius can run in both the individual 400 meters and the 4×400 relay at the London Olympics. Pistorius, who runs on carbon fiber blades, will be the first amputee track athlete to compete at any games.
“Today is truly one of the proudest days of my life,” Pistorius said in an official statement. “I am so pleased that years of hard work, determination and sacrifice have all come together.”
He took to Twitter after the news had a little time to sink in: “Still on cloud 9 but need to keep at what got me here so off to the Gym. Thank you all who shared today with me, I really appreciate it!”
Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day: Four-year-old comic book fan Anthony Smith is deaf in his right ear and has hearing damage in his left. He also refused to wear his hearing aid (which he calls “Blue Ear” because it is blue), because “superheroes don’t wear hearing aids.” So in a long-shot attempt to help her son, Anthony’s mom emailed Marvel for ideas.
“She didn’t know a specific person to write to here at Marvel, and even figured it might get caught in our spam filters, but she sent it in anyway, because that’s the kind of great parent Christina is,” said Marvel editor Bill Rosemann. “And it was her inspiring effort to help her son that touched so many of us here. As a fellow parent of a toddler, I can understand where she’s coming from, so I forwarded the email around the rest of Editorial, asking what we could do to help, and like when Cap yells, ‘Avengers Assemble,’ the gang leapt into action.”
Not only did Anthony receive an image of the superhero Hawkeye, who lost 80 percent of his hearing back in the ’80s and wore hearing aids — Anthony also received a drawing, by Nelson Ribeiro in Collected Editions, of a brand-new superhero: “Blue Ear.”
Now, with his hearing aid back in, Anthony is able to “fight battles and help people.” His preschool, for hearing-impaired kids, recently hosted a superhero week to inspire the students to overcome their limitations.
DON’T miss the video. It’s the best thing you’ll see all day.
Saying What We’re All Thinking of the Day: Sarah Burge, who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for undergoing the most plastic surgeries, appeared this week on Anderson Cooper’s show, where the “Human Barbie” told the host about how she was getting her daughter on the same process and encouraging her to pole dance.
Finally, Cooper had had enough, and he gave her the boot:
I honestly have nothing more to talk to you about… I gotta be honest, I gotta just stop. I’m sorry. I try to be really polite to all my guests, but I just think you’re dreadful and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore.
Cooper later admitted: “I regret having her on in the first place, and I regret that that’s how things ended.”
This Is All Kinds of Wrong of the Day: Banksy’s famous Parachuting Rat, located on a wall in the Melbourne, Australia suburb of Prahran, has been destroyed by builders doing drilling work for a café.
Local business owners were upset by the needless demolition of the piece by workers who apparently didn’t realize what they were destroying. The wall did contain other graffiti, but area taggers had avoided painting over the Banksy.
“Had it been 20cm higher or 20cm to the side this would never have happened,” neighboring business owner Jacqui Vidal told the Stonnington Leader, “This should have been avoided. It’s not a big piece, but it is one of the few remaining Banksys in Melbourne.”
The Rat was destroyed once before by cleaners who painted over it during a 2010 anti-graffiti campaign, but was later restored.
There is some good news, though: a possible new Banksy piece — showing an Asian boy hunched over a sewing machine and a Union flag — has appeared on the wall of a Poundland shop in London. It has yet to be confirmed as authentic on the artist’s website.
IMDB Bio of the Day: Much to the Internets’ delight, IMDB writer Jon Hopwood profiled Kim Kardashian in a thoughtful, well-argued roast of an IMDB bio.
Kim Kardashian is emblematic of the shallowness of American culture in the first two decades of the new millennium. While some cultural critics call her the prime avatar of the “famous for being famous” faux celebrity crowd, she along with Paris Hilton is a new breed of cat whose celebrity comes from the release of a sex tape and the canny exploitation of the resulting publicity. Like her good friend Miss Hilton (their relationship predates Kim’s “celebrity”, Kardashian is possessed of photogenic good looks but is short of any other discernible talents outside of the bedroom. Both expanded their celebrity by becoming reality TV “stars”.
Porn pioneer Harry Reems has commented how surprised he is at how porn stars like Jenna Jameson are accepted now in mainstream culture. His life was ruined by his participation in porn in its “Golden Years”. As for Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, the release (accidental or not-so-accidental) of boudoir tapes didn’t result in shame but celebration. America like ancient Rome seems to have shuffled off the moral coil of virtue of the Republic and is now enjoying its Imperial self in an orgy of ignominy. It’s always more fun on the toboggan ride down the hill than it was schlepping up it in the first place.
Say What Now of the Day: Dan Rather joined George Stephanopoulos today on Good Morning America, where he doubled down on the 60 Minutes story in which he asserted that George W. Bush had deserted the Texas Air National Guard, and which got him fired from the network.
“We reported a true story. I am not at CBS now because I and my team reported a true story. It was a tough story, a story a lot of people didn’t want to believe and it was subjected to a terrific propaganda barrage to discredit it.”
Stephanopoulos asked Rather whether it was possible to know the entire truth without all of the documents.
“No, what story does anyone know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?. But we reported the truth and that is that President Bush — later President Bush — when he was in National Guard service, he was at least AWOL and we had a top general in the Army saying on the record he was a deserter. Now everybody makes mistakes. I made some, President Bush obviously made some. But because we reported that story, they put heavy pressure on the corporate entity and the corporate entity voted.”
Craigslist Ad of the Day:Craigslist Seattle brings us the most over-the-top ad for a crappy used car EVER:
“Never in your life has a car made you so appealing to the opposite sex. I know what you’re asking yourself, ‘Am I man enough to handle a car this flawless?’ The short answer is no. I tried to be. I grew my beard to unreasonable lengths, trimmed my fingernails with [a] belt sander, ate nothing but lumber for 6 straight days and knocked a polar bear unconscious.”
Burger King Announcement of the Day: Burger King said today that it will begin buying eggs only from farms that don’t cage their hens — and similarly, pork only from producers that don’t use gestation stalls to confine sows — with a plan to complete the transition by 2017. The decision is the first of its kind by a global fast food industry giant, and comes amid recent undercover investigations by animal rights activists and concessions from major companies.
“So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States. “Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products.”