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Those crazy candidates!

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Still a year and a half til the US presidential election, and the internet is already littered with campaign sites. Besides the declared major party candidates, there are unofficial websites for candidates who aren't running but may conceivably change their minds, like Al Gore, and Condoleezza Rice. There are also campaigns to draft candidates who don't want the job, fringe candidates who haven't got a chance, and fictional characters who are running for president. There are even two guys on my blogroll who have announced their candidacy!

Florida humorist Dave Barry runs for president in every election, despite never actually getting on a ballot in any state. 2008 will be no exception. His campaign website hasn't been updated for the 2008 campaign yet, but its just a matter of time, as he has now his first endorsement. Already, bumper stickers are available. Notice the bumper sticker does not specify which election, so its recyclable.

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When the Christopher Walken for President 2008 website went up last year, a lot of people thought it was real. It looks real. You can even buy a t-shirt. The press release explained that "there would be relatively minimal publicity at this early stage," due to Walken's contracted film production schedule. In a world where Arnold Schwarzeneggar is a governor, Ronald Reagan became president, and Al Franken is running for senate, Christopher Walken would be a believable candidate you could get behind. Alas, Walken himself has no plans to run, and had nothing to do with the website.

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Bill Gates has billions of dollars, a foundation formed to save the world, and a corporation full of geeks to invent toys he can play with. Why would he want to be president? He doesn't. The site Bill Gates for President admits that Gates isn't interested in getting involved in politics, but also states that "this website will probably never change Bill's mind, but we feel we have the right to try."

More potential candidates, pseudo-candidates, and fictional candidates after the jump.

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Jeff Bridges for President is an online petition to draft the Big Lebowski actor into the election. Bridges played a US president in the 2000 movie The Contender. Although the petition has been online since 2005, there are only 86 signatures so far.

 

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In his book Dude, Where's My Country? Michael Moore described the perfect presidential candidate: Oprah Winfrey. He has a draft petition site where you can add your name. The Oprah Winfrey for President movement is made up of fans who think she'd be a great choice. They've even got a theme song! The problem is that Oprah doesn't want to have anything to do with them.

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The Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert campaign website features a petition drive, but neither candidate appears to need an arm-twist to get them to run. Their slogan: Trust and Truthiness.

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Cthulhu is a monster from H.P. Lovecraft's book The Call of Cthulhu, described as "humanity's most basic nightmare". This fictional character has a presidential campaign at The Home Page for Evil. Campaign slogan: Why vote for a lesser evil?

 

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Another science fiction candidate is General Zod. Zod, best known as Superman's nemesis, has a platform that includes the end to the war in Iraq, universal healthcare, and corporate reform. He also pledges to disband Congress and the Supreme Court because they are so meddlesome. All he asks for is your tribute, your lives, and your vote. I-Mockery has a Help Zod page and a merchandise page.

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Ackbar, a rebel alliance leader in Star Wars, was endorsed early by the Llama Butchers. If support builds, we may see a website soon.

There are surely more candidates out there, and more to come before November, 2008. If you are over 35 years old and a natural-born US citizen, you can run for president. Winning, on the other hand, is very difficult.

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0
SpaceX Is Sending Two Private Citizens Around the Moon
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Falcon Heavy and Dragon. Image credit: SpaceX via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 1.0

Two members of the public are set to take an historic trip around the Moon, according to an announcement from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. As The Verge reports, the anonymous private citizens have already placed substantial deposits on the commercial space flight.

The private spacecraft company SpaceX revealed on Monday that the Falcon Heavy rocket will be launching with its Crew Dragon spacecraft in late 2018. The mission will consist of a circumnavigation of the Moon, passing over the body’s surface before traveling farther into space and returning to Earth. In total, the trip will cover 300,000 to 400,000 miles and take a week to complete.

A noteworthy part of the plan is the human cargo that will be on board. Instead of professional astronauts, the craft will carry two paying customers into space. The passengers, who’ve yet to be named, will both need to pass several fitness tests before they're permitted to make the journey. According to The Verge, Musk said the customers are “very serious” and that the cost of the trip is “comparable” to that of a crewed mission to the International Space Station. The goal for SpaceX is to eventually send one or two commercial flights into space each year, which could account for 10 to 20 percent of the company’s earnings.

[h/t The Verge]

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