In Canada, strip joints recruit at high school job fairs

Plus AC/DC "visits" an Iranian nuclear facility, and Bangkok is the world's best worst city.

Jack Rodolico By Jack Rodolico

Each week, in a segment we call the Mishmash, Latitude News offers the three weirdest, most disturbing or just plain charming stories we find while scouring the world’s press. As always, be sure to send us any you find.

A woman’s work is never done

A man looks at a job board posted at a fair in Toronto. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

A high school job fair can be the first opportunity for teens to enter the workforce. Looking to land that strategic internship? Of course, you head to the job fair. Looking for a job as a stripper? Well, in that case, you usually head…somewhere else.

Unfair, says a Canadian exotic dancing advocacy group. A representative of the group, Tim Lambrinos, told The Globe and Mail, “Since [schools] are publicly-funded institutions, and we are tax-paying businesses, there’s got to be a policy that allows us to participate in those types of things, too.”

First of all, what’s up with an exotic dancing advocacy group? They’re legit – check it out.

The Canadian federal government recently rolled out laws restricting strip clubs from hiring foreign workers. So, in all likelihood, the job fair idea is probably a political stunt designed to snub the government.

A flier designed for the fairs reads, “Earn your tuition fees for university or college,” and, “No actual sex or sex acts to occur –guaranteed.”

From the Vancouver School Board to the owner of Penthouse Night Club, many Canadians think the idea is insane.

But it’s an entertaining story nonetheless. Probably my favorite part is that the reporter delivers the facts in a deadpan, five-o’clock-news style, and all the while the story is flashing through images of strippers half-heartedly swinging around poles in varying levels of nakedness (though they are far more clothed than naked). See for yourself.

Burning the midnight plutonium

It’s hard enough working the overnight shift in an Iranian nuclear facility. Obviously, the hours are less than ideal, though Latitude News cannot verify the pay. Of course, too, there is the constant threat of a hacker’s virus melting down the facility.

Fortunately for the Iranian nuclear technicians working the late shift this week, hackers took a decidedly more benign, and more comical, approach. As a virus disabled the automation network in two facilities, speakers mounted at workstations began blasting “Thunderstruck” by the Australian metal band AC/DC, Al Arabiya reports.

A Finnish Internet security site called F-Secure received an email from an unnamed scientist in the facility.

“There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out,” reads the note. “I believe it was playing ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC.”

To be fair, the song was probably not chosen “randomly.” If you want to use music to surprise the hell out of someone in the middle of the night, there’s probably no more fitting tune than “Thunderstruck.” The first notes issue forth like a combination rock anthem and satanic chant. For the uninitiated – and hardcore fans alike – check out the video below.

Welcome to Bangkok, the world’s best worst city

Travel + Leisure has voted Bangkok as the world’s number one city for the third year in a row. But one Thai writer questions why in a story entitled “There’s no better city than Bangkok?”

Writing for the Bangkok Post, Onsiri Pravattiyagul does a nice job of summing up Bangkok’s glorious perks and seedy flaws:

“…I guess I can’t argue that Bangkok is a must for any keen traveller (sic) wanting to see the world, traffic, con artists, prostitutes, cheap drinks and drunk drivers alongside the famous Thai smiles, temples, markets, gender diversity, pleasing service staff and visa on arrival policy. Just like someone who’s been in love for a long time, I also see flaws, which I’ve come to accept and, to an extent, love, in Bangkok.”

As someone who’s spent more days than I can count lost in Bangkok, I have to agree with Pravattiyagul.

Residents sit on a “tuk-tuk” tricycle taxi as they travel along a flooded street in Bangkok, November 6, 2011. (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom)

In Bangkok, I ate a scorpion, which tasted like a rotten apple wrapped in plastic. In Bangkok, I ate exquisite pad thai everyday. In Bangkok, I was swarmed by teenage prostitutes, whom I learned to avoid deftly before they could make their unsavory pitch. In Bangkok, I paid five dollars for a two-hour massage. In Bangkok, I watched foreigners – farangs – pay to commit what would be called crimes in their own homelands. Tuk-tuk drivers in Bangkok get commissions for bringing Westerners into high-end tailors to buy silk suits. In Bangkok, I watched a thousand Thais make offerings to their ancestors in the form of tiny boats overflowing with flowers and incense. Down river, I met a man plucking them from the water to sell on the street. In Bangkok, a muggy, sweaty, grimy city of millions, strangers smile at you on the street and laugh when you say “hello” in Thai.

Once, in Bangkok, as I was just about to spring across a five-lane highway with no stoplights or crosswalks, a man stepped up to the curb, looked at me, then stepped into the oncoming traffic with his palm outstretched. The traffic slowed to a halt. The man turned and beckoned me to cross.

World’s best city? If a city is a place where we are meant to see the best and worst of our species, Bangkok has my vote.