Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bush Makes Surprise Visit To Work

WASHINGTON, DC—In an unexpected move that shocked White House staff and stunned the nation, President George W. Bush arrived unannounced at the Oval Office Monday.

Bush, who flew in from his home in Texas, was greeted by security forces upon landing outside the White House, and quickly escorted through the building's back entrance. Wearing a special suit-and-tie uniform intended to boost morale and show support for men and women serving in the Beltway, Bush entered the East Room at about 3:30 p.m. and addressed a bewildered but enthusiastic crowd of staff members.

"Am I late?" Bush joked to the group of approximately 200, who were led to believe they would be attending a ceremony to honor Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters. Bush's entrance received a standing ovation.

"It is incredible to see firsthand what you brave men and women do every day," Bush said to rousing applause. "You are all heroes."

Telling the group he wished he had the time to work alongside each and every one of them, Bush made general inquiries about conditions at the executive mansion, recruitment of new personnel, and where everyone was eating for lunch.

According to sources close to the president, Bush barely had time to rest during the four-hour visit. He first met face-to-face with several high-ranking U.S. officials, who briefed him on the situation in Washington. Bush then signed a number of documents, took a guided tour of the facilities, and in a symbolic show of support for the current administration, shook hands with the vice president.

Bush was also granted permission to sit in on an important Cabinet meeting concerning U.S. counterterrorism efforts. Those who were present said the president mostly observed, but noted that he did ask "a lot" of questions. Afterward, Bush sat behind the Oval Office desk and shuffled papers for 15 minutes while news photographers snapped photographs.

For most members of the White House staff, it was their first chance to meet the president. Many said they were "overcome" with excitement.

"When I was getting ready for work this morning, the last person I ever thought I'd see was the president of the United States," said Alexander Mistri, special assistant to the president for legislative affairs.

"I actually got to shake hands with the president," Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said. "He seems like a very nice man in person."

While Bush made surprise trips to work in August 2004 and stopped by in July 2005 to pick up a paycheck, Monday's visit marked his first extended stay since last December.

For security reasons, the trip was shrouded in secrecy. Sources say the president was ushered out of his Crawford, TX home just before noon Monday, while his family and closest friends were under the assumption that he was sleeping in, per normal vacation protocol. Only a few officials were informed of the trip, including his chief of staff Joshua Bolten, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Bush's fishing buddy Dale.

Many claim the trip was staged as a "media ploy" intended to convince the public that the administration's occupation of Washington, D.C. is not a lost cause.

"President Bush wants us to believe that he is in touch with the Bush administration," political analyst Garry Wills said. "But this is too little, too late. Mr. Bush has staked his legacy on the success of the work being done in the White House, but if I were him, I'd be thinking more about an exit strategy than rallying the grunts on the ground."

Despite such criticisms, Bush's visit ended on a positive note. At 4:55 p.m. Monday, he gave a parting speech to staff, thanking them for their hard work, explaining that the future of the country rests in their hands, and promising that they would all be sent home to their families "very soon."

Article Courtesy : The Onion

Eklavya selection for Oscars biased, says Bombay HC

New Delhi: The Bombay High Court on Saturday noted that prima facie the selection of Eklavya as India's entry for the Oscars looked biased.

This comes after hearing a petition filed by filmmaker Bhavna Talwar challenging the selection of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's film for the award ceremony.

The Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud issued notices to the Film Federation of India (FFI) - the body that selects India's entry to the Academy Awards in Hollywood.

The respondents in the case have been asked to file a reply by October 10.

Talwar whose film Dharm was also in the running to be selected as India's entry for the Oscars had filed the petition alleging that some members of the FFI were close to Vidhu Vinod Chopra and so the selection of Eklavya is not a fair one.

Film editor Ranjit Bahadur, one of 11 jury members who picked our Oscar entry this year, was also the man who edited the behind-the-scenes capsule of Eklavya which appears on the film's DVD.

With the film already in the eye of a storm over allegations that its selection may have been dubious, this development certainly adds fuel to the fire.

Hell's Kitchen chef to star in ads

Hell's Kitchen chef Marco Pierre White has become the new face of Knorr stock cubes.

He got the job after describing the cubes as "the best... in the world".

The 45-year-old, the youngest Briton to win three Michelin stars, will feature in a Knorr advertising campaign over the next 12 months.

White shocked foodies when he also praised ketchup, Colman's mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

He said: "I built my reputation using Knorr cubes and truly believe you can't cook properly at home without them."

Katie Lindridge, Knorr brand manager, said: "Throughout his career, Marco has talked about how essential Knorr stock cubes are to his cooking.

"We really believe his passion can inspire people to use them in different and exciting ways to help them in the kitchen."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hilarious Signs

Over a gynecologist's office: "Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

On a plumber's truck: "We repair what your husband fixed."

On the trucks of a local plumbing company in NE Pennsylvania: "Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

Pizza shop slogan: "7 days without pizza makes one weak."

Outside a muffler shop: "No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."

In a veterinarian's waiting room: "Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

Door of a plastic surgeon's office: "We can help you pick your nose!"

On an electrician's truck: "Let us remove your shorts."

In a non-smoking area: "If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

On a maternity room door: "Push. Push. Push."

At an optometrist's office: "If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."

In the front yard of a funeral home: "Drive carefully. We'll wait."