"The prison population of England and Wales has hit a new record high of 86,608 people," thanks to several hundred young rioters being held in the system. Yup: 86,000 people are in prison out of a population of 53,390,300. Yeah… so that's .0016% of England and Wales. (The U.S. has about 2,300,000 people in prison, out of 307,006,550 people—almost five times as many, by population.)
Guess what? This means England has surpassed its tragic colony, old Prisoncrime Island, in rates of imprisonment—with all of 22 million people, Australia has only like 30,000 people in prison. (Though they're trying desperately to up their rates!)
Good lord, Prison Island, what next? "TO PUT it bluntly, we're all f—ed. It might be therapeutic to let off a stream of expletives if your team is getting flogged or if you hit your finger with a hammer, but it can also be illegal. And under laws set to be introduced to State Parliament this week, Victoria Police will get permanent powers to slap potty-mouthed perpetrators with on-the-spot fines of up to $240 for using language deemed to be indecent, disorderly, offensive or threatening."
To Prison Island, where an Australian rules football player was recently removed from the field "'because his hair was too dangerous' and might have poked another player in the eye." Nathan Van Someren was sent off during the third quarter after an umpire decided that his gelled mohawk represented too much of a threat to other players.
• Shifting, avalanching, freezing-and-unfreezing dark basalt sand dunes encircling the North Pole of the planet Mars
• Area flooded around the city of Rockhampton, in Queensland, Australia last month
• God's rusty steel ring
• The hole you left deep inside of my heart
Travelers to Australia need to declare the porn they're bringing into the country to customs agents. The Prison Island government is actually asking you to declare illegal porn, but as you can imagine, there has been some confusion: "According to the Australian Sex Party spokesman Robbie Swan, one case involved a couple on their honeymoon, who thought they had to declare naked iPhone pictures of themselves after reading the incoming passenger card. They were made to display a nude photo of themselves in a line with all these other people; they were so embarrassed." Nobody tell Brett Favre!
This is a strange and sudden turn for the New Yorker's poetry section: it's Australian week! There's a tribute to the Australian auteurs of "Who Can It Be Now?" and a weird old one-line joke from David Musgrave. (Which, really? Um? You sure? Seriously? Okay!)
A drunken Australian, having been ejected from a pub in Broome, Western Australia, for being intoxicated by even the heroic standards of Prison Island, decided to visit the local crocodile park, where he scaled the fence and attempted to ride a giant saltwater crocodile named Fatso. Fatso, however, was reluctant to be ridden, and took a chunk out of the man's leg. Deciding on reflection that it might not be the most propitious occasion for an excursion atop a crocodile, the fellow returned to the pub from which he had been cast out, "with bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs." He was [...]