Freaky Friday News: September 9, 2016

North Korean Bans Sarcasm

Yes, you read that correct.  This week, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un decided to ban sarcasm because he worried that people only agreed with him ironically.  That is "according to reports" because we all know that he would never admit to such a thing out loud.

I'm caught between laughing and cringing at the absurdity of this latest edict.  It can be hard to tell the difference between sarcasm and sincerity so I wonder if this is just justification for killing more people.  I mean, it's not like people have a sign saying "Sarcastic!" pop up whenever they say something sarcastic.

This also reminded me of an early scene in the movie "Roxanne".  I included it here because, well, it's funny.

Donald Trump Might Get Kicked Off the Ballot in Minnesota

Okay, I did a double take when I read this headline.  But it's true.  You see, Minnesota requires political parties to elect presidential electors and alternate presidential electors at the state convention.  The Republican party elected 10 presidential electors at the state convention, but failed to elect the alternates.  After someone noticed this oversight, a group of state Republican went behind closed doors to decide the alternate presidential electors.

Now, the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman Ken Martin is attempting to remove Donald Trump from the state's ballot using this error as his lever.  Mr. Martin filed a petition with the State Supreme Court asking for the Republican nominee to be eliminated from the ballot.

I have no idea what the State Supreme Court will rule; in all honesty the Republicans did not follow the law.  But I wonder if Mr. Trump will use this as "proof" that the national election is rigged.

Another New Parasite Named after President Barack Obama

This past month, the Journal of Parasitology published an article about a new type of parasite found in black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtle -  the Baracktrema obamai.  Thomas Platt, one of the article's authors and a now-retired researcher from St. Mary's College, admires President Obama and wanted to honor him.

The Baracktreme obamai joins the following other animals named after our current president:

Aptostichus barackobamai holotype

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