Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Inventors

With the death of Robert Adler, the world is in need of another great inventor. As far as the Invasion is concerned, the search has over. Feast your eyes on the Robotic Beer Launching Refrigerator and be amazed.

Robotic Beer Launching Refrigerator

ATHF


kingcolon.com
music is killer

Friday, February 23, 2007

Soccer, No Gypsies This Time

While Banel Nicolita (see below) may be the One Man Invasion's fave Romanian player, there's no question that Brian McBride is our favorite American. Capped 90 times, McBride has scored 30 goals for the USMNT including three World Cup goals. The first ever #1 pick in the MLS draft, McBride started with the Columbus Crew before trading up and heading to England where he is currently starring with London side Fulham. Last year McBride was Fulham's player of the year as Fulham is slowly becoming the home for ex-pat American soccer players. American defender Carlos Bocanegra has been there for a few seasons and this past winter midfielder/rapper Clint Dempsey made the move to the Foxes. The Fulham web site recently posted an article/interview with McBride and it's a nice read that highlights the striker's toughnessand his face that is "reinforced with six titanium plates after both cheekbones fell victim to defenders’ elbows or heads." This weekend Fulham take on league leaders, and scourge of the Invasion, Manchester United. Go Fulham.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Gypsy Flash

Second-tier European soccer tournament, the UEFA Cup, resumes tonight with Romanian big shots, Steaua Bucharest, in a 0-2 hole against Spanish title contenders Sevilla. Last week Steaua lost in Bucharest to Sevilla and now must perform the near impossible and win in Andalucia where Sevilla is seriously badass. Basically Steaua has no chance. Win or lose, Steaua's fate should not overshadow the great story that is Banel Nicolita. Nicolita (Nick-o-leets-a) or as the Invasion prefers, The Gypsy Flash, is one of Romanian soccer's hot young prospects that has come from the absolute bottom to be on the top. The 22-year old winger is currently being courted by Western European (read: richer) clubs, Nicolita got his start for a no name village team where "fans tried to lynch him after he was caught stealing apples from an orchard on the way home from a game." Due to his ethnic background (gypsy/rrom/tigan), Nicolita takes a lot of abuse from fans and deals with tons of racism. He's the one of the few big-name gypsy soccer player in Romania and is so associated with his race that the opening lines to the Steaua manele song are "Forza Steaua, Forza Steaua, Forza Banel Nicolita!" For those of you not versed on the intracacies of Romanian music, manele is strongly associated with Gypsies. The Invasion could go on for hours about the state of Gypsies: Romanians are racist, but Gypsies don't try to integrate into society although they take/ask for handouts from society, but even if they try to integrate they are so discriminated that it's near impossible, etc. While all the sociological stuff is interesting and all, it doesn't matter on the pitch and Nicolita is the OMI's favorite Romanian player. Indeed, forza Banel Nicolita.

Hotness and Jess Czerwin

They recently fell to 2-8-1 record against the US Men's National Team since 2000, tortilla prices are at a record high and illegal border crossings into the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave have been cut by 40%. Now add losing the title of world's hottest pepper to Mexico's recent woes. Step back Red Savina, step forward India's Bhut Jolokia. The Bhut Jolokia or "The Ghost Pepper" packs over 1 million Scoville Heat Units, the measuring unit of pepper 'hotness', trouncing the former record of 580,000 SHUs held by the Red Savina. Just for comparison, standard grade pepper spray measures between 2 million and 5 million SHUs while Habanero Tabasco Sauce hits only 8,000.
The Invasion doesn't dabble much in flaming hot peppers; Romanians are unbelievably touchy when it comes down to hot foods and the OMI is no pepper masochist. While we're no expert, we're sure that we've tasted the world's spiciest drink. Many moons ago a man known as Patass made a bloody mary in which he mixed a vial of Mephisto's blood. The Invasion took a sip and a thermometer-busting fever immediately set in. A braver soul took up the challenge for quite a tidy sum but after a few gulps, she puked. So someone make the order (call The Chili Pepper Institute at (505) 646-3028) for Bhut Jolokia and see if Jessica Czerwin is up to the task.

Poverty and Death

According to a recent Eurostat study, the eastern province of Romania, Moldova, is the poorest region in the entire European Union. Per capita income in Moldova is only 24% of the EU average. No special prizes to those who guess where the One Man Invasion lives. Neither Bridger "King of Moldova" Bishop or Russell "King of Culdalbi" Shankland could explain Moldova's poverty. Perhaps living under the rule by fiat is a bit harsh, no? Neither man would comment.
In other good news, Romania leads the European Union in road fatalities. A 10-year study yielded (again Eurostat) statistics that show the road safety gap between East and West Europe to be quite large. Hotnews.ro described the difference as "hallucinating." The OMI has no idea why, or more importantly how, these facts would make one hallucinate, but we'll make sure to pass the step-by-step process for achieving a statistical trip the moment that we are made aware. Our best guess involves a lunch of racitora, a garlic flavored gelatin interspersed with pork. It is as revolting as it sounds.
For every 1 million Romanian passengers, over 700 bite the proverbial dust. Leading Western European countries have just over 100 deaths per 1 million passengers. The study may or may not go on to rebuke the popular Romanian belief that the massive number of religious trinkets and baseball card-esque icons on car and especially maxi-taxi dashboards will keep passengers safe.
For an explanation as to why the death rate is so high, please see the previous Dacia entry and know that Romanian drivers are not only bad but crazy. Don't fret, loyal reader, for The Invasion sticks to trains.

(photo courtesty of Fenblog)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Obits

Robert Adler, co-creator of the television remote control, died Thursday and The Associated Press has easily the best lede: "Hit the mute button for a moment of silence: The co-inventor of the TV remote, Robert Adler, has died." A prolific inventor, Adler created the Zenith Space Command remote control in 1956 and along with it lazy, zombie-eyed couch potatoes. He also is the father of other technologies that are/were used in missiles, color televisions, mobile phones and scores of other things.
Although the OMI's current television doesn't have a remote, we vaguely remember ones that had them and we must admit that remotes really rule. Getting up to change the channel completely ruins the TV watching experience and the more we think about it, the more important we deem this invention. Imagine a world without remotes. Stuck watching hours of commercials b/c you're too lazy to get up, no endless searches resulting from a lost remote and always getting caught by roommates while you're watching scrambled Spice Real World/Road Rules Challenge reruns. So place your hand over your heart, say a prayer and pour some out for, a truly visionary man.
In related news, a 70 year old New York resident was found dead in his home Thursday. He had been dead for over a year and his mummified corpse was found sitting in front of a blaring television set. No word on whether or not he was watching scrambled Spice Real World/Road Rules Challenge.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Apologies, Mr. Holmes

Public transportation isn't quite up to snuff in CampMo, but why should it be? Town is small enough to walk around except if you live on the outskirts. Since it's basically just one long street (CampMo is 13km long but less than one wide) public transportation is just two buses that go from one end of the town to the other, turn around and come back. The town has recently purchased a new bus but it's still probably 10 years old. Regardless, the new acquisition has significantly lowered the average age of the fleet because the other ones are straight ancient. How ancient you ask? Apparently, pipes were being smoked frequently enough to warrant a reminder not to smoke them on the bus.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Death for Dacia

In a bid to meet European Union pollution standards, the Romanian government is offering owners of old Dacias 3000 new lei ($1100) to junk their decaying rides. Dacia was the national Romanian car manufacturer from 1966-1999 but is now a subsidiary of Renault. Dacias were originally built with help from Renault, but under communism Dacia attempted to go at it alone starting in the late 70s. The communist Dacias followed the august tradition laid by other commie autos like Trabant, Yugo and Lada. The current Dacias, in particular the Dacia Logan, have been completely revamped and are loved throughout the developing world and even Western Europe for their low price, fuel economy and no frills quality. The One Man Invasion even spotted them in Morocco.
Many Americans have seen an old Dacia in its glory in the opening scenes of Borat as the car being towed by a horse. The OMI has had the distinct pleasure of taking several rides in varying ancient Dacias and they all were pieces of junk. With the diabolical contribution of Romanian roads, riding in one of the old Dacias is simply hell. Add that to the pollution factor (as well as the fact that they are far from safe) and The Invasion applauds the decision to get them off the roads and the planet.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hello English

Life as a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) volunteer is serious stuff. Enriching the minds of foreign youth while making sure that the cultural brainwashing they receive is well disguised is quite the responsibility. Daily contact with Romanian youngsters makes molding pro-American minds a bit easier, but the ultimate tool in mental zombification, the television, has always been just beyond our grasp. Thanks to the stellar efforts of some OMI colleagues, this is no longer. Hello English, a soon-to-be hit educational program, is written, acted, produced, etc by Invasion friends. Below is a sneak preview of the series, prepare to be blown away.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Back That Thang Up

The year was 2000, the Invasion was finishing up high school, Anna Nicole Smith (RIP) was still alive, and Juvenile was spreading the Cash Money gospel across speakers nationwide. Now it goes without saying that the One Man Invasion preferred the dirty version, rap without swearing is like the internet without pornography, but for the sake of this post lets hark back to the MTV version of Juve's masterpiece.
Unfortanately for the OMI it was too much harking as we recently forgot the prophet's message. We failed to back that thang up; the thang in this case being our computer data. This left the Invasion stuck in Romania asking 'may i have another?' (think Animal House, not Oliver Twist) and Dell was the dude holding the paddle. Yes, loyal reader, our hard drive crashed; not pleasant at all. Eventually the OMI got a hard drive but just in time, the Man has decided to infiltrate the Invasion with rules and regulations. For this I will refer you to the newly relocated Fenblog, but for the moment, we will leave you with some links to Lifehacker.com to show you how to heed Juve's gospel.

Self Repairing Hard Drive
Automatically Back Up Your Hard Drive
Hard Drive Janitor

The Juvenile video is below for those that forget it. All that dancing and rapping, no wonder the Lord smote New Orleans.