The swine flu, which has actually destroyed human lives, is no laughing matter. The good news is, after a quick analysis, Science Correspondent Ron Bailey is not panicked, nor scared. Neither, it seems, is Senior Editor Brian Doherty. But as long as you're huddled in the dark corner of your computer room safe and sound, here's an interesting news (flu) flash.
Kiss Of Death
Lebanese Health Minister Mohammad Khalifeh has encouraged the country's citizens to refrain from the traditional greeting:
"If you visit someone, don't exchange kisses… Let's stop the social kissing habit," Khalifeh said. Lebanese have long greeted each other with three kisses to the cheek.
Orthodox Jews will not be referring to the flu as it relates to filthy pigs. So dirty are the animals that their name can't be uttered. However, Israeli Health Minister Yakov Litzman has declared "Mexican Flu" to be a fittingly swinish substitute, making it Kosher to identify a particular country with filth and disease. Apparently, Kosher does not mean "it's cool," which confuse Goyim, who still struggle with the meaning of other Jewish words, like "shmuck."
Good For Business
While markets wobble over the news of the swine flu and travel companies expect a nose-dive, there is one company that sees a potential silver green lining: Telemex, one of Mexico's phone service providers:
A rising number of phone calls from Mexicans concerned about friends and family …could increase traffic for Telmex, a company official said.
"This could be reflected like positive impact for Telmex," Chief Financial Officer Adolfo Cerezo [said].
Telemex, however, is providing a toll-free number for information about the flu.
Salma Hayek Has Swine Flu
…Well, not really. Maybe. But that's just one of the headlines used by spammers to boost online pharmacy sales, steal information and infect computers. According to InformationWeek, the panic has, "spawned a spamming frenzy, like sharks smelling blood in the water…" There has also been an outbreak of Internet domain registrations related to all things swine flu. It appears however, that pigsqueal.com and swinesluts.com are still available.
Masked and Anonymous
Mexican sketch artists might as well give up the pen. The same goes for surveillance operators:
Three armed thieves wore the blue surgical masks now ubiquitous in flu-hit Mexico City to hide their faces as they robbed watches from a department store, Mexican media said Monday….
Employees and security guards at a branch of the Sanborns department store told the daily Excelsior the thieves were able to slip through the shop Sunday without attracting attention as they blended into a sea of masked shoppers.
If anyone discovers that some company has been making specially designed masks meant to "enhance and accessorize the cautionary step of a pandemic while maintaining the personal touch and character of today's modern woman" please, let me know. The Japanese–as always–are ahead of the curve when it comes to being prepared for airborne viruses and looking your bestest. Along with the Chinese, they have mask fashion covered.
On a random note: A quick Google Trends search on bacon, pork chops, pork ribs and chitlins reveals little significant change over the past year, month, or week.