Noah’s Ark Owners Sues Over Rain Damage!

❝ A gigantic ark gets built with the help of a higher power, a symbolic refuge from the depravity of humankind. It is a huge, grandiose structure constructed out of wood that is perhaps larger than anything comparable in the world. Then heavy rains begin to fall, inundating the earth around it.

And that is when the lawyers are called.

OK. The damage results from how the grounds around the Ark were contoured – and affected by 40 or 50 days of rain in a year. Not quite up to the biblical standard. Still, pretty funny.

Welcome to Dismaland — Banksy’s dystopian theme park

Inside the walls of a derelict seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK, mysterious construction over the last month—including a dingy looking Disney-like castle and a gargantuan rainbow-colored pinwheel tangled in plastic—suggested something big was afoot. Suspicion and anticipation surrounding the unusual activity attributed to fabled artist and provocateur Banksy has reached a Willy Wonka-esque fervor. Well, if Banksy’s your bag, continue fervoring

The spectacle has since been revealed to be a pop-up art exhibition in the form of an apocalyptic theme park titled Dismaland – “The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction” – that will be open to the public for five weeks.

Hardly a better reason to book travel to the UK under – way under – a Conservative government.

More photos inside the article

Thanks, Honeyman

Poor old Noah – he doesn’t qualify for an $18 million tax break

A Noah’s Ark-themed amusement park may have sprung a financial leak after being denied millions of dollars in tax incentives.

The Ark Encounter, a Genesis-themed attraction with a 500-foot-long wooden replica of Noah’s Ark, was denied approximately $18 million in tax breaks from the state of Kentucky. Why? According to Think Progress, it may have something to do with refusing to comply with the state’s existing nondiscrimination policies…

This isn’t the first time that Ark Encounter and its parent company Answers in Genesis have been tied in with state taxes. When the park was announced almost four years ago, MSNBC reported that it would be eligible for $37 million in state tourism incentives, despite worries that taxpayers were funding a religious theme park.

Fast forward to early October, when the park’s president Mike Zovath let it slip that he only planned to hire creationists. Ark Encounter had received preliminary approval for $18 million in sales tax rebates over the next 10 years, but the Secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet had warned Zovath that companies which discriminate on religious bases cannot receive these incentives.

And it turns out that the Cabinet was true to its word. In a letter, Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart noted that “the use of state incentives in this way violates the separation of church and state provisions of the Constitution and is therefore impermissible…”

Is there a Christian nutball in the country who doesn’t also feel it’s their fundamental[ist] right to be given taxpayer dollar$ to fund their personal religious beliefs?

Thanks, Mike

Angry Birds battle in the Middle East

Yas Waterworld, just next to Ferrari World, in Abu Dhabi

Those countries in the Middle East that have been spared political upheaval find themselves enmeshed in a different sort of battle of late. As Qatar, the UAE and Jordan split what’s left of the region’s tourists, each is fighting to pull in the lion’s share. Their weapon of choice? Theme parks.

Currently, Abu Dhabi and its scrappier sibling, Al Ain, are duking it out with Doha for the rights to build the region’s first Angry Birds theme park.

Not surprisingly, the Middle Eastern version of Angry Bird Land (there are already outlets in Finland, Singapore and the UK) would also be the world’s largest.

“[The competition] is getting quiet fierce,” says Nigel Cann, director of operations and development at Gebal Group, the local agents for Lappset, who first developed the brand’s entertainment complex.

“They all want to find a space for it, and to do it as soon as they can. They all want to be first.”

As one of the most downloaded apps of all times (the game has amassed 1.7 billion downloads since launching in 2010), Angry Birds’ name recognition is almost unbeatable.

Though it is a global phenomenon, it’s proved particularly popular in the region. Over a fifth of all downloads come from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Rovio Entertainment, the developers of the game, are even toying with the idea of creating a localized version of the game…

Just a reminder that often portions of the world with too much money, little or no democracy, even less good taste, will spend enormous sums of money to impress the neighbors and visitors. Sound like someplace in your neck of the prairie?

China to open first Love Land sex theme park – UPDATED

Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Maybe it was the giant revolving model of a woman’s legs and lower torso, clad only in an unflattering crimson thong, or perhaps it was the oversized replica of a set of genitals. Either way, many residents in the south-west city of Chongqing are not happy about the development of China’s first sex theme park, which has been described as “vulgar” and inappropriate.

The park manager, Lu Xiaoqing, who was inspired by South Korea’s popular sex theme park in Jeju, says that Love Land, due to open in October, will improve sex education and help adults enjoy a harmonious sex life. Inside, visitors will be able to view naked human sculptures, giant replicas of genitals and an exhibition about the history of sex and sexual practices in other countries.

The park will also offer sex technique workshops and advise on anti-Aids measures and using condoms properly…

We are building the park for the good of the public. I have found that the majority of people support my idea, but I have to pay attention and not make the park look vulgar and nasty…”

Li said that while disapproval of sex stemmed from religion in the west, in China it was largely rooted in a traditional focus on the family instead of individual enjoyment – leading people to deplore premarital and extramarital sex.

I can see the “family values” crowd sending a delegation from Colorado Springs to picket ASAP.

UPDATED: Oops! Local authorities shut it down.