Recess.

October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m going on an extended recess for a while. I’ll let you know when I come back. In the meantime, you can get official sumo results and information here.

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

Thanks, Latin 102.

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m on the road. Have a good weekend! Noli simul flare sobereque.

Here’s something to entertain you.

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

Frank & Louie.

September 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but I stayed up late last night watching baseball and enjoying several domestic beers with my buddies. So I’m tired. And a little hungover. With that in mind, this morning I was not prepared to see a cat with two faces. If you are also not prepared to see a cat with two faces, you might just want to go back and read about Korean prostitutes. Because there’s a cat with two faces coming up.

(1) So let’s just get it over with. This cat has two faces.

This cat just celebrated his 12th birthday, making him the longest-lived “janus cat” (a cat with two faces) on record. And his name is Frank & Louie. (Really. His name is “Frank & Louie”). Frank & Louie is from Massachusetts, and has been able to live for so long (most two-faced cats die as kittens) because unlike a lot of janus cats, which have two brains fighting each other for domination of the body, Frank & Louie only has one brain. Both his faces react at the same time. When one of his faces eats, the other face just chews on nothing. So, happy birthday Frank & Louie! I hope that both of your mouths get to eat some birthday cake!

(2) I know that the two-faced cat was weird. So here’s a bunch of cute baby pandas.

This photo is from a giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) sanctuary in China. I don’t know what the story here is, but damnit if giant panda babies aren’t just about the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

(3) If cyborg rats aren’t a sign of the end of humanity, fish that use tools probably are.

Want to see a video that will mess with your head? Watch this. It’s an orange-dotted tusk fish (Choroedon anchorago) using a rock to break open a clamshell so that it can eat the soft delicious clam inside. So not to stress you out, but something with a brain the size of sucked-on Gobstopper has figured out how to use basic tools. Next thing you know, orange-dotted tusk fish will be making 3D remakes of Disney movies. If the rest of the animals figure out how to use tools, we could end up with two-faced cats vying for the Republican presidential nomination. They’d have as good a shot as anyone else. (Zing! Political humour!)

(4) Sometimes Nazis didn’t think things through very well.

Recently maritime archaeologists found the wreck of the S.S. Gairsoppa. The Gairsoppa was a British transport ship that was sunk by U-101 (a German “U-boat” submarine) about 70 years ago. If the Nazis were smart, they would’ve tried to capture the Gairsoppa instead of shooing it with torpedoes, because its cargo is very valuable: the Gairsoppa was loaded with 200 tons of pure silver. The silver, which is worth about $200,000,000, makes the S.S. Gairsoppa the largest treasure find in maritime archaeology history. The finders get to keep 80% of the profits from the sale of the silver, and the British government gets the other 20%, which they will presumably use to get women’s volleyball uniforms.

I had more to cover today, but as I said: I’m hungover. I’m going to watch “Man v. Food” and then go to bed early.

Facebook.

(Alternate title for this article: “Political humour!”)

Science fiction’s worst idea run amok.

September 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

I am going to warn you ahead of time: if you don’t want to hear about Korean prostitutes, you may want to cover your eyes. I usually do a good job of warning everyone when I’m going to talk about shit or pornography or other tawdry topics (like having hummingbirds in your pants), and generally we do a pretty good job of keeping things PG-13. So I’m going to warn you now: the phrase “Korean prostitutes” appears a few paragraphs down. Proceed with caution.

(1) Don’t panic, but if you’re afraid of (a) rats, or (b) cyborgs, you might want to skip down to the Korean prostitutes.

I feel like this is a bad idea of Jurassic Park-ian proportions, but scientists in Israel have replaced a rat’s cerebellum (part of the brain) with few electronic gizmos, and the rat is doin’ just fine. Allow me to say that a different way: a couple of Dr. Frankensteins in Israel have replaced a rat’s brain with a computer, and the rat (Rattus norvegius) is ratting around like nothing ever happened. Didn’t we learn anything from “The Matrix”? This is science fiction’s worst idea run amok on little rat feet. Cyborgs? Check. End of humanity? Pending.

(2) Dead Sea scrolls, now available online! Sponsored by GoDaddy.com!

I’m just kidding about the GoDaddy.com thing, but the Dead Sea scrolls really are available online. I don’t know any Hebrew or Aramaic or whatever ancient language the scrolls are in, but I’m assuming that those who can read it are pumped. I just shuffled stupidly through the images and thought, “Cool! An old piece of paper that I can’t read!” But apparently it’s several documents encompassing: a copy of the book Isaiah (from the Bible), something about Habakkuk (the book of the Bible that presents the funniest rhyming possibilities), and some general behavioral guidelines. I’m not sure; I just have to take their word for it. You can read (or, like me, stupidly stare at) the scrolls here at the Israel Museum website.

(3) This is the part about the Korean prostitutes.

The government of South Korea wants to make stricter laws regarding prostitution, and apparently the prostitutes are upset about it. They are anonymously protesting, with masks and sunglasses, basically sending the government a Braveheart-esque message: “You can take our lives, but you can never take…OUR PROSTITUTION!” I’m not sure what the proposed laws are, but I imagine they’re something like what they did in Germany, to make sure that prostitutes paid their taxes. If the laws are aimed at day-to-day execution of their trade, then…I am reserving comment (my mother might be reading this). Best Korean prostitute joke wins.

(4) Closely related to prostitution: music videos.

A big time pop singer named Rihanna, was recently filming a music video on a farm in Ireland, when the farmer (on whose land they were filming) caught a glimpse of what Rihanna was wearing, and he shut ‘em down. He had agreed to let them film on his land, but didn’t realize that there was going to be “questionable” attire. So when Rihanna stripped down to a red bikini, he stormed out of his farmhouse and told them to shut it down. The farmer, who is 61 years old, could not have his mind changed, even when Rihanna’s handlers tried to negotiate and then explained what a superstar Rihanna is, so they had to shut it down. He kicked the bikini-ed pop singer and her whole entourage off his land and went back to growing barley. I, for one, am pumped. I am always in favour of curmudgeonly old Irishmen ruining peoples’ music videos.

(5) Would anyone care for some “miracle fruit?”

So this little berry-looking thing (Synsepalum dulcificum) is called “miracle fruit,” and here’s why: by itself it is tasteless, but if you let the juices get in your mouth, you can eat anything and it will be sweet and delicious. Things that are sour taste sweet (“Lemons taste like sweet oranges,” says a dude from the U. of Tokyo), things that are bitter taste delicious (“Beer tastes like sweet juice,” says the Japanese guy). Apparently you pop a “miracle fruit” into your mouth and then eat anything: pickles, old cheese, Tabasco sauce (“Tastes like doughnut glaze,” he says), or whatever. So people are now having “flavour tripping” parties. What they do is they get a bunch of wacky slash bitter slash sour foods, they chomp a miracle fruit, and then they start eating. Allegedly you can drink a whole glass of vinegar and it’ll be awesome. I’m going to track down some of this miracle fruit and have a “flavour tripping” party. Who wants to come?

We’ve got to enjoy ourselves before the rat cyborgs take over the world. (@CyborgRat2XR7Q: “Resistance is futile. #wearetheborg”). (Did anyone get that mid-90s Star Trek joke?).

(Alternate title for this article: “The Irish ruin everything.”)

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

Bested by a wad of sea snot.

September 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

No post yesterday, sorry. I was busy out looking for pieces of the UARS satellite which fell through the atmosphere and (probably) into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning. I say “probably” because somehow those nerds down at NASA lost track of it, and they have no idea where it went. How do you lose a six ton satellite? Especially one that may or may not have hit people…wouldn’t you want to warn people to get an umbrella? My favourite part of this story is what Neil Armstrong, most famous astronaut of all time and first man to walk on the moon, said: “[this is] lamentably embarrassing and unacceptable.” Ha! Burn! Take that, NASA nerds!

But because I was busy writing a will and renewing my space debris insurance, I have two days worth of stuff to cover, so here’s a few things to get you through your Tuesday.

(1) Spoiler alert: Mufasa dies.

The Lion King was the top grossing movie of the weekend, even though it was firsts released in 1994. Don’t we all already know what happens? Mufasa dies, Simba runs away, everyone’s “hakuna matata-ing,” there’s some hyenas, then a girl lion, then Simba is the king. I guess the big draw is that now it’s in 3D, so you really feel like you’re a part of the action when the warthog is eating bugs. The whole 3D thing is not a big draw for me, because I tend to get a little “seasick.” Although I must say that the last 3D movie that I saw was Jackass 3D and it was awesome.

(2) “Where’s the beef?” you ask? It’s in the trash.

That’s right! Along with all the other food that’s been recalled recently (including the listeria-bearing cantaloupe that has already killed numerous people across the country), we must also fear for our beef. 40,000 pounds of ground beef which was supposed to go into school lunches for children in Georgia was tainted with E. coli and has been recalled. So if you live in Georgia, you may want to pack your child’s lunch for the next couple of days. “Meatloaf Day” down at the cafeteria may become “Three-days-of-diarrhea-and-vomiting Day” if you’re not careful.

(3) Beware of jellyfish!

Diana Nyad is a lady who swims. According to Wikipedia, she has swam around Manhattan island (7:57:00), across Lake Ontario (4:22:00), the Bay of Naples (8:11:00), and several other “marathon” swims. So she decided to swim from Cuba to Florida (which is 103 miles). She’s tried twice before and never succeeded, due to adverse weather. This time she had completed 80 miles of the trip (in about 40 hours), before they had to call of the attempt because she was getting repeatedly stung by a Portuguese man o’ war (Physalia physalis), which is an extremely badass jellyfish. Nyad, who is 62 years old, says that she’s not going to try again. Something about almost being killed in the middle of the ocean by poisonous jellyfish is not her idea of “a good time.” Alas, bested by a wad of sea snot. What would Neil Armstrong say about that?

(4) There are a lot of dogs in India.

There are thousands and thousands of stray dogs in India, and officials are starting to do something about it. Apparently people are tired of being harassed and injured by roaming packs of wild dogs (sort of like they were tired of having their heads eaten by leopards). So the government of Delhi has decided to wrangle and sterilize all the wild dogs in their city. This is similar to the gatti di Roma (all the stray cats in Rome), but with fewer saucers of milk. (@gattidiroma2011: “Tourists love me! #SPQR”). (Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what “SPQR” stands for without googling it).

(5) If you must smuggle hummingbirds, perhaps don’t put them in your pants.

This photo (and a few others) were released by French customs officials are discovering that a man was trying to smuggle several hummingbirds in his pants. Do you really want several tiny birds pecking at your private areas while you try to sneak through customs? There are probably several good jokes here, involving nectar slash woodpeckers slash hummers, but I will leave those to your imagination. Best hummingbird joke wins.

Do you know what “SPQR” stands for? Go to our Facebook and brag about how smart you are.

(Alternate title for this article: “Meatloaf Day”).

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

1815 Revisited.

September 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Because I know that you have been sitting at home worrying about getting killed by flaming pieces of satellite falling from the sky onto your heads, here’s an update: apparently North America is back in play. So the chances of you getting skulled by a piece of cosmic recycling are slightly higher than yesterday! Get a helmet! This morning the nerds down at NASA said that the UARS was going to fall harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean, and we can all stop freaking out, but now this afternoon, they are telling us that the falling satellite has slowed down considerably, and so they have no idea where it’ll hit. In fact, they’re saying that it might not even fall until Saturday. Hopefully it lands after the LSU-WVU game. I’ve got $10 on the Tigers, minus six.

It’s Friday afternoon. It’s been a long week, hasn’t it? Here’s five things I think you should know about:

(1) Melissa McCarthy (left) and Jenny McCarthy (right) are cousins.

Melissa McCarthy is the very funny actress from the show “Mike & Molly” and Jenny McCarthy is an actress slash former Playmate slash MTV personality slash autism awareness advocate. Jenny also featured prominently in my puberty, for reasons that I won’t mention because my mother might be reading this. But there has apparently been a lot of speculation in Hollywood (by people who don’t have lives) as to whether or not they are related. So after Melissa won an Emmy (or whatever award she won; I can’t keep the awards straight. Emmys are for TV, right?), Jenny tweeted something about “congratulations to my cousin Melissa” blah blah blah they’re related. I don’t really care that much about this celebrity stuff; unless it involves Katy Perry.

(2) Mount Tambora is going to erupt, and it’s going to get messy.

Mount Tambora is in Indonesia, and it has started to belch puffs of smoke and ash, and people (specifically Indonesians) are starting to get genuinely worried. You see, when Mount Tambora last erupted, in 1815, it was the largest and most destructive volcanic eruption in human history. And it killed more than 71,000 people. And if it decides to go all “1815 Revisited,” it’s not just the Indonesians who should be worried: in 1816 there was no summer in North America or Europe because of “volcanic weather.” No summer! So people who live near Mount Tambora are wisely taking shelter far far away, and hopefully there will be a summer in 2012. As long as we don’t all get killed by falling space junk first.

(3) If you live in Australia, you have more gender choices than the rest of us.

Our old friends the Australians are back at it. They have decided that when applying for an Australian passport, when it comes to gender, you may either select M (for male), F (for female), or X (for “other”). I don’t even know what to say about this. I’ll quite comfortable to just stick with “M.”

(4) If you have plans to make a pornographic movie involving a firetruck this weekend, make sure you first consult with the fire marshal.

What you’re looking at is an adult film actress named Charley Chase and LAFD engine #263. Apparently engine #263 recently appeared in an adult film (starring the aforementioned Charley Chase). Two problems quickly emerged: (1) the city of Los Angeles doesn’t want their firetrucks co-starring in pornographic movies, and (2) some of the gentlemen in the film were actual on-duty LAFD firefighters, who engaged in “lewd acts” with the film’s star. Amazingly, this is the second time that the city has had to investigate a public department for making pornographic films while on the clock! You can imagine that there’s a really good joke here about getting a government job from Charley Chase, if you catch my drift, but (as I said before) my mother might be reading this.

(5) Just because nobody knows who/what you are, doesn’t mean you’re not cute.

At this point I would usually say, “this happy little fellow is a blahblah (Blahblah blahblah),” but this mysterious raccoon-like chap, who was anonymously donated to a zoo in China, is a totally unknown creature. Chinese scientists (who, let’s be honest, have disappointed us before) have no idea what type of thing he is. I think it’s a potto (Perodicticus potto) with a funky patterned coat. Either way, cute.

Do you like the new “point form” format? Go on Facebook and let us know.

(Alternate title for this article: “The Ballad of Charley Chase and the LAFD.”)

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

Squids have different priorities.

September 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Today we don’t have time for dilly dallying. I have a list of five things that I think you should know. And some of them you should know before tomorrow. Because tomorrow you may be killed by a falling piece of satellite.

(1) If you are stressed out about being killed by falling space debris, you can relax. Sort of.

The UARS, which we have talked about before, is falling to earth, and now NASA knows when it’s going to hit: tomorrow afternoon. The nerds down at NASA are able to tell us when it’s going to fall, but not yet where it’s going to fall, only that it will “leave a debris trail 500 miles long.” Latest reports indicate that it’s not going to hit North America, though, so I am canceling my space debris insurance. In fact, NASA says there’s only a 1 in 3200 chance that someone gets killed by falling pieces of satellite. Multiply that by 6,775,235,700 people in the world (according to Wikipedia), and that means that the chances of you (that’s right, I’m looking at you) being killed by a piece of the UARS is 1 in 21,680,754,200,000, or about the same as the odds as winning the lottery on the same day that you are struck by lightning and attacked by a polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

(2) Dolphins are total assholes.

A harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) recently washed ashore in San Francisco (home of the world’s only Franciscan manzanita), and biologists now believe that he was the victim of “porpicide.” It was murdered by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Yes, that’s what I said: a bunch of dolphin bullies murdered a harbor porpoise. So much for dolphins being the friendly happy clowns of the sea. Think twice before going to SeaWorld.

(3) R.E.M. broke up.

At first I was like, “Oh no! R.E.M. broke up!” and then I was like, “Oh wait. R.E.M. kinda sucks.” So if you go out drinking tonight, ask your bartender for a “Losing My Religion” (1 oz peach schnapps, 1 oz lemon pucker, 1 oz coconut rum, 3 oz Sprite). (I don’t think that’s a real drink; I just made it up). (And it sounds terrible).

(4) Squids aren’t gay, they’re just not that picky.

Researchers observed several years of mating behavior of a certain species of deep water squid (Octopoteuthis deletron), and noticed that males are equally likely to mate with males as females. Suddenly everyone was talking about how squids were bisexual. But if you read to the bottom of your squid fact sheet, you will see that squids don’t “mate” per se. Males of the species stab a “sperm pack” into any random part of the female’s body, and her internal systems are designed to move the sperm to the necessary location. So imagine that a bunch of people are in a bar, and all the guys have darts. And if a dude can hit a girl with his dart, he wins a prize (in this case, he gets her pregnant; squids have slightly different priorities than we do). Now imagine that no one knows the difference between males and females, so the guys are just tossing sperm darts willy nilly around the bar. That’s what the squid dating scene is like. So they’re not bisexual, they just don’t know the difference between males and females, and couldn’t be bothered to stick around to find out.

(5) Katy Perry’s going to be on the cover of InStyle magazine.

It turns out that she’s not just popular in Australia.

Go! Go to Facebook! Go now!

(Alternate title for this article: “Ask your bartender for a ‘Losing My Religion’.”)

Keep a good heart; the worst is yet to come.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.