Thoughts on quirky news and life in Buenos Aires and Washington, DC

China bans long, strange company names

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce has banned “excessively long or strange” company names, reports AFP.  But one person’s “long and strange” may be another’s catchy and innovative.  Luckily, regulators have provided examples of names they frown upon.

The Legal Daily cited names of existing firms that would not be allowed under the new rules, including “Shanghai Wife Biggest Electronic Commerce” and “Hangzhou No Trouble Looking for Trouble Internet Technology”.

The state newspaper also gave the example of a condom company called “There is a Group of Young People with Dreams, Who Believe They Can Create Wonders of Life Under Uncle Niu’s Leadership Internet Technology”.

With all due respect to Uncle Niu, that name was pretty long and strange, not to mention possibly at odds with the business goals of a condom manufacturer (these typically don’t include “creating wonders of life”).  Also on the black list are “Beijing Afraid of Wife Technology” (huh?) and “What You Looking at Technology.”

Who brings a rifle to a nudist beach?

An angry Corsican businessman, apparently.

A woman has been shot in the thigh on a beach popular with nudists after a local businessman opened fire in protest at their presence.

Dozens of nudists fled after the man pulled out a rifle and started firing on Carataggio beach – also known as “Little Tahiti” –  near Porto-Vecchio on the south of the island.

According to eye witnesses the man, who has not been named by police, first threatened nude bathers, instructing them to get dressed or leave.

The Telegraph has the full story.

Prominent German politician complains of too much English in Berlin

From The Telegraph:

One of Germany’s most prominent politicians has launched an oustpoken attack on the increasing use of the English language in every day life, and called for a crackdown.

“Co-existence can only work in Germany if we all speak German,” Jens Spahn, seen by many as a potential successor to Angela Merkel, said. “We can and should expect this from every immigrant.”


“It drives me up the wall the way waiters in Berlin restaurants only speak English,” he told Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper.

Comparing Germans’ often relaxed attitude to the fierce French protectiveness of their language, he added: “You would never find this kind of lunacy in Paris.”

Herr Spahn sounds like a bit of an Arschloch, don’t you think?  Cheblogudo greatly appreciates Berliners’ English skills, which contribute to the city’s openness and friendliness and make it easier to order breakfast before the first cup of coffee of the day has kicked in.  So keep on speaking English, dear Berliners!  And since when does Germany look to Paris for policy lessons anyway?


Australian dual citizenship rule threatens deputy PM, government majority

More and more politicians down under are losing their seats in parliament due to a long neglected but recently resurgent constitutional ban on MPs holding dual citizenship.  The Wall Street Journal reports:

[Barnaby] Joyce, […] Australia’s deputy prime minister, is the highest-ranking lawmaker so far to fall foul of an obscure constitutional rule stating that lawmakers must not owe allegiance to a foreign power.

He discovered the breach when New Zealand diplomats informed him he was a dual citizen because his father was born there. On Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English confirmed that Mr. Joyce is a Kiwi.

Mr. Joyce’s citizenship status potentially threatens the government’s narrow grip on power. He leads the Nationals, the junior partner in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ruling conservative coalition. His disqualification would likely trigger a by-election, potentially imperiling the government’s one-seat majority in the lower house.

Until July, only two lawmakers in history had ever run afoul of the divided loyalty clause in Australia’s 116-year-old constitution. But in the past month, thanks to a wave of inquisitions, five lawmakers have now been scooped up in its net.

Mr. Joyce is the second accidental New Zealander of the lot.  The first, former Greens MP Scott Ludlam, resigned on July 14 after finding out he was still officially a Kiwi despite settling in Australia with his family before he turned 9.

“Resigned as, bro,” he tweeted to supporters, a play on the New Zealand slang: “sweet as, bro,” meaning “everything’s OK.”

Another recent casualty, former resources minister Matt Canavan, unwittingly obtained Italian citizenship when his mother applied for it on his behalf.  As a result, Signor Canavan had to resign his parliamentary seat and cabinet position on July 25.  He did not tweet any Italian slang.

The Journal notes that “the divided loyalty rule is especially inconvenient in a country where nearly half the population was either born overseas or had at least one parent born abroad, according to the latest census,” which brings us to a question many Australians are probably asking as their elected representatives are forced to step down in droves: does an MP dual citizenship ban make any sense in Australia?  And if allegiance to foreign powers is the real issue, is that still a concern when a legislator is unaware of her dual citizenship?

In case you’re keeping score, there is no dual nationality ban for US Members of Congress, although the president must be a “natural born citizen.”


Contrary to what you might have heard, Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t drink four cocktails a day

One of the most popular posts on Cheblogudo described Winston Churchill’s prodigious daily drinking routine, so when several international media sources broke the news of Queen Elizabeth’s alleged four-cocktails-a-day habit, it caught our attention.  This is how Food and Wine initially summarized Her Majesty’s daily alcohol intake:

Just before lunch Queen Elizabeth reportedly has her first cocktail of the day, a gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice, according to Darren McGrady, a former royal chef.

Then, during lunch, McGrady revealed to The Telegraph that the Queen will pair her simple lunch of vegetables and fish with a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate.

“She loves it,” McGrady said.

Moreover, Margaret Rhodes, the Queen’s cousin, claims that the Queen will also imbibe in a dry gin martini with lunch for good measure.

The Queen then balances out her day during afternoon tea, where she sips on an herbal drink and enjoys another sweet, such as a slice of pie or chocolate biscuit cake.

Finally, the Queen ends her day with a light dinner and follows a “no starch” rule if she’s dining alone, according to McGrady. She then finishes it all off with an elegant glass of champagne before heading off to bed.

Four drinks a day, of which three by mid-afternoon?  If it seemed too good to be true, that’s because the story turned out to be, in the words of the Queen’s transatlantic counterpart, “fake news.”

Darren McGrady spoke with CNN to set the record straight about the queen’s drinking habits, telling the outlet that his accent and a bad phone connection let to a miscommunication. “All I said was she likes a gin and Dubonnet. That’s her favorite drink,” he explained. “She doesn’t wake up in the morning and have a large gin and tonic. She certainly doesn’t drink four glasses a day.” Turns out, our fascination with the Queen’s boozy inclinations was, sadly, short-lived.

Ah, those perfidious British accents can cause so much trouble… But since some media outlets that recycled this story couldn’t be bothered to publish a correction, Cheblogudo is setting the record straight here, reminding you that not everything you read on the internet is true.   Unless you read it on Cheblogudo.

Irish MP blames road damage on upset fairies

From The Telegraph:

In Irish folklore, tampering with fairy forts can cause one to become cursed.

A dip on the N22 road in Ireland was repaired recently, but re-appeared mysteriously.

[MP] Danny Healy-Rae claimed the issues with the N22 were caused by “numerous fairy forts in the area” in an interview with the Irish Times.

He said “there was something in these places you shouldn’t touch” and that the road passed by a place that was full of fairy magic and folklore.

Let’s hope the new Irish government incorporates these insights into its infrastructure plans.  It would be a shame if truculent leprechauns sabotaged new road construction.

British pub chain bans swearing

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Samuel Smith Old Brewery, the 250-year-old brewery that operates The Cock Tavern and more than 200 other pubs across Britain, in April instituted a “zero-tolerance policy” against swearing—the first time, pub historians say, a British pub chain has sought an official ban.

The pubs’ “landlords,” as the British call tavern operators, have been instructed to refuse orders from foul-mouthed drinkers and have begun ejecting some patrons who refuse to curb their cursing.

Some punters are less than pleased with this effort to make pubs more family friendly.

Petr Knava, a 29-year-old public-health worker and longtime Samuel Smith’s patron, promised to unleash a barrage of blasphemy at the pubs to protest “this shitmonkey of a decision,” which he calls “arse-backwards twattery.”

Quite right!