February 09, 2007

LinkNews Digest [02/09/2007]

"The Hoohaa Monologues" Open in Fla.

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. -- A modified marquee in Atlantic Beach has been drawing some attention. "Hoohaa" replaced a word in the title of a play after a driver complained about finding the previous wording offensive.

The marquis for Atlantic Theaters advertises a number of plays including, the Masquerade Ball, Band Jam, and now The Hoohaa Monologues. Some said hoohaa is a strange word and that its definition depends on its context, while others said it sounds like a country band. However, it's not a band at all. In fact, most people know hoohah by a different name -- vagina.

"We got a complaint about this play The Vagina Monologues," said Bryce Pfanenstiel, of the Atlantic Theater." The Hoohah Monologues is a replacement title for The Vagina Monologues -- a well-known play about that part of the female body.

"We decided we would just use child slang for it. That's how we decided on Hoohah Monologues," Pfanenstiel said. They did this after a driver who saw it complained to the theater, saying she was upset that her niece saw it. "I'm on the phone and asked 'What did you tell her?' She's like, 'I'm offended I had to answer the question,'" Pfanenstiel said.(LINK )

U.S. Sent $4 Billion in Cash to Baghdad on Pallettes

Feb 6, 2007 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve sent record payouts of more than $4 billion in cash to Baghdad on giant pallets aboard military planes shortly before the United States gave control back to Iraqis, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The money, which had been held by the United States, came from Iraqi oil exports, surplus dollars from the U.N.-run oil-for-food program and frozen assets belonging to the ousted Saddam Hussein regime.

Bills weighing a total of 363 tons were loaded onto military aircraft in the largest cash shipments ever made by the Federal Reserve, said Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of cash into a war zone? But that's exactly what our government did," the California Democrat said during a hearing reviewing possible waste, fraud and abuse of funds in Iraq. On December 12, 2003, $1.5 billion was shipped to Iraq, initially "the largest pay out of U.S. currency in Fed history," according to an e-mail cited by committee members. It was followed by more than $2.4 billion on June 22, 2004, and $1.6 billion three days later. The CPA turned over sovereignty on June 28.

The special inspector general for Iraqi reconstruction, Stuart Bowen, said in a January 2005 report that $8.8 billion was unaccounted for after being given to the Iraqi ministries.

"We were in the middle of a war, working in very difficult conditions, and we had to move quickly to get this Iraqi money working for the Iraqi people," Bremer told lawmakers. He said there was no banking system and it would have been impossible to apply modern accounting standards in the midst of a war. (LINK )

Good TV?: Watching Cheese Mold

LONDON - As pastimes go it is in the same league as watching paint dry, with perhaps a frisson of extra excitement.

English firm West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers has turned a web camera on a rack of its maturing cheddar cheeses to give aficionados a chance to watch in real time the slow process of mould growth for a whole year and without having to leave home.

"It puts watching paint dry in the shade. If you happen to tune in at the right time you will even get to see them being turned," a company spokeswoman told Reuters by telephone.

Already nearly 49,000 people have clicked on to CheddarVision.tv to enjoy the thrill.(LINK, Thanks, Maggie. )


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