Gotta get down on Friday.

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am taking the weekend off. Tune in Monday for glow-in-the-dark animals, Canadian politics, plants that make noise, and a list of things that Google will not let you love (including “boobs”). In the meantime, here’s a picture of my cat in a cardboard box.

(@handsomefrank: “I wonder if they’ll deliver pizza to my cardboard box. I’ve got the munchies. Cat nip rulez. LOL. #legalize-it”)

Maybe some new cartoons on Monday, too!

Oh, and just to make sure that I don’t miss out on any Google hits, Katy Perry is hot.

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


There is no Santa Claus.

July 28, 2011 § 6 Comments

Okay, Chinese scientists are starting to bum me out. Not only did a dude named Shengwang Du disprove time travel, but now it seems that a dude name Xi Xing is trying to pull the rug out from under the archaeopteryx.

The archaeopteryx (Archaeopteryx lithographica) was discovered in 1861 and since then has be known as “the earliest bird,” or maybe more accurately, “the earliest flying thing with feathers.” We had all agreed on it. It was one of those things in science that we had pretty much figured out: when it came to flying things with feathers, archaeopteryx was the first. It was around in the Jurassic period (plus-or-minus 150 million years ago). We imagined it flying around among the dinosaurs, eating prehistoric bugs and pooping on prehistoric windshields. But now the latest hot shot Chinese scientist, Xi Xing, has a rock with an old bird-looking thing in it, that he claims is older than archaeopteryx.

Xi Xing’s flying feathered thing (Xiaotingia zhengi) apparently existed plus-or-minus 155 million years ago, which means that it was flying around among the dinosaurs, eating prehistoric bugs, and pooping on prehistoric windshields five million years before archaeopteryx. I hate it when scientists do stuff like this. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but it’d be like if scientists came out and announced that gravity was more of a suggestion than a universal law. It’s like when we lost the brontosaurus. Do you remember that? When I was growing up, we basically had Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, the thing that looks like a turtle, the Pterodactyl, the thing with the gnarly spikes on its tail, and the Brontosaurus. But then in 1990s, our science teachers started telling us that Brontosaurus was actually Brachiosaurus, and also there is no Santa Claus, and that sound that you hear your parents making at night is not them “moving furniture.” So now the archaeopteryx is going the way of the Brontosaurus which went the way of the buffalo (so to speak). I, for one, am annoyed. I’m too old to be learning new kinds of dinosaurs. Especially ones with unpronounceable Chinese names. (@PaleoDudeXiXing: “I’m going to pick a bunch of Scrabble tiles at random and put them together to name this new dinosaur. Lol! #xiaotiangiazhengi #38points”).

Meanwhile, the Russian Federal Space Agency (for some reason abbreviated as “FKA”) has decided that if NASA won’t keep taking them widgets and sprockets, then they’re taking their ball and going home. Well, more accurately, they’re taking their International Space Station and going home.

The FKA have decided to “sink” the I.S.S. in 2020, because the United States has stopped the shuttle program and is no longer taking spare parts and spare astronauts up there. Russia’s plan is to aim the I.S.S. towards Earth, and try to get it to land in the ocean. They are apparently worried about space junk. Rather than aim the colossal metal jungle gym into the vast expanse of space, the FKA have decided to bring it back here to earth and drop it into the ocean. As if the fish aren’t dealing with enough of our human bullshit (pollution, oil spills, chopping up manatees in boat propellers, and melting the ice caps), we’re going to drop this overgrown piece of exercise equipment into their backyard. Thanks for taking another one for the global team, fish! We wouldn’t keep messing with you, but you’re so delicious! God forbid we should just let the I.S.S. wander off into the infinite expanse of space. You don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands and have creatures from Alpha Centauri 4 figuring out the recipe for astronaut ice cream!

I was about to lose faith in humanity, but then I remembered: “Katy Perry is hot.”

(I just doubled my google hits)

(@kidsoftherecession: “Beating the system! #suckittrebek”)

Speaking of “Suck it, Trebek” (raise your hand if you get that joke…well done), apparently the game show host and Canadian icon recently tore his Achilles tendon and generally messed up his leg trying to thwart a robber in a hotel. Apparently a woman broke into his hotel room at 2:30am and tried to make off with cash and valuables. But Trebek, as we all know, is constantly in a state of cat-like readiness, and as the woman tried to make her escape, he dashed off down the hotel hallway after her. Bravery, thy name is Trebek.

The thief tried to ditch the stolen goods in the ice machine, but was caught by police, with Trebek hobbling onto the scene, having torn his Achilles. At 72 years old, Alex Trebek is not really in the prime thief-chasing stage of life. And can you believe that Alex Trebek is 72? That might be the most surprising thing in this whole story!

(Alternate title for this article: “The recipe for astronaut ice cream.”)

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

A type of fuzzy vegetable.

July 27, 2011 § 9 Comments

Terrifying news from South of the border: whatever you’re doing, for the love of God, don’t eat that papaya! Eating Mexican papayas can give you salmonella food poisoning (Salmonella enterica), which means that along with your papaya, you’ll be getting diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Yum!

I don’t care for papaya, so I am not worried about papaya-poisoning. I used to work in the produce business (really), and I generally found that papaya tastes a bit like cantaloupe and dirt. But I guess that it’s a tasty treatĀ for people who love the flavours of cantaloupe and dirt, or those who have pica. (Raise your hand if you got that joke…well done). But whether they taste like dirt or not, the Food & Drug Administration is offering you the following warning: Eating Mexican papayas can give you salmonella. There have already been ninety-nine reported cases in twenty-three states, and according to the FDA, the food poisoning is “especially affecting children under five years old.” I can only assume that these young children are being fed papaya as some sort of punishment, for saying something inappropriate (child: “Katy Perry is hot!”) or disobeying parental orders (parent: “Don’t you dare exhume Simon Bolivar, or I’ll make you eat a papaya!”).

People in Australia ought to consider feeding these poisoned papayas to the native kangaroo population, because some of those little spring-loaded marsupials are getting out of hand. It seems that an elderly woman was out in her yard (in Australia) putting out her laundry on a clothesline when she was attacked, unprovoked, by an adult kangaroo (Macropus rufus).

Apparently this kangaroo had a score to settle with this woman. Maybe she owed it a Foster’s. It’s tough to say what would cause a generally placid, grass-eating kangaroo to go all Rowdy Roddy Piper on this old woman, but admit it: you wish there was a video of it, because it’s probably hilarious. (Would it have been funnier to say that the ‘roo went all “Ultimate Warrior” on her?). You will think that I am lying, but I have had several encounters with kangaroos, and generally found them to be boring, lazy, and perhaps actually a type of fuzzy vegetable. I cannot imagine one deciding to attack an old lady, but in fairness, we don’t know whether or not she had been frequently getting up very early in the morning to take the kangaroo’s newspaper and the ‘roo had simply had enough.

Gone are the days when a gentleman could get in the ring and box a kangaroo for sport.

How much do you wish you could’ve seen a dude fight a kangaroo in boxing gloves? I feel like that’s the sort of thing we should make inmates do, although being that Australia started as a penal colony, I’m sure that they’ve already had the idea.

And speaking of inmates, this one refuses to tell anyone his name.

This dude was arrested in Utah for prowling around in parking lots, peeking into peoples’ windows, and generally giving the local residents the heebie-jeebies. When he was arrested, he had no wallet or identification, and when the police asked his name, he politely refused to answer. So he was taken to a county jail and held for more than three weeks while the police tried to figure out his identity. His fingerprints didn’t produce any results in local or FBI databases. He was held on $1200 bond, which he politely refused to pay, and continued to not identify himself or contact family members who could help him. (@JohnDoeUtah: “What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? #rumpelstiltskin”) Yesterday, after the Utah state police released a photo of him, a family member identified him for police, stating that he had recently lost his job and could not find work. He is still being held on bond, and has been described by police as “polite and quiet.” Being quiet and polite probably means he’s not the ideal candidate for a kangaroo boxing match, but we shouldn’t rule him out just yet.

(Alternate title for this article: “The ideal candidate for a kangaroo boxing match.”)

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

The butler did it.

July 26, 2011 § 4 Comments

I have a cavity.

I try not to get too personal here on Kids of the Recession, because there’s nothing worse than reading someone’s blog, and then suddenly they’re talking about their cold sores or their hang nails or their love of Ginger Spice’s solo stuff. (Hands up if you got that joke…well done). But I have a cavity. It’s my lower right first molar, which means that whenever I try to chew something (which, as it turns out, is almost every time I want to eat something), I feel like I’m rubbing steel wool on a paper cut. The only thing worse than having a cavity is going to the dentist. I hate the dentist.

But not as much as I hate it when my favourite vacation destination is overrun with green algae.

Allow me to explain.

It turns out that there has been a “significant green algae bloom” in the Yellow Sea (in China), which covers more than 200 square miles. So the Chinese people who are visiting the Yellow Sea (a popular vacation destination) are faced with a difficult decision: do I just stay on the beach and get sunburnt? or do I go splash around in the sludge? I don’t have a degree in Child Psychology, but these Chinese children do not seem to be too pumped about the algae. I feel like they’d rather be watching Harry Potter or googling “katy perry hot”. I am one of those weenies who hates seaweed, so to be one of these Chinese kids poking my head out through the goo would be the 4th circle of hell. (The 5th circle is for dentists). I don’t want to call these kids “idiots,” but it’s not like you were swimming in the Yellow Sea, and suddenly a two-inch layer of algae formed on top of the water; these little idiots saw the gunk and thought, “Swimming in goop! Awesome!” and jumped on in. I bet that a National Geographic photographer put them up to it. (@NatGeoPhotog777: “Convinced some kids to go swim in the algae. Next stop – PULITZER!! Lol! #chinesekidsaregullible”).

But the significant green algae bloom is not the only bad news coming out of China. It turns out that Chinese scientist Shengwang Du is ruining everybody’s fun: he’s discovered that time travel is not possible.

Thanks for nothing, Chinese scientist Shengwang Du! He apparently discovered that something called a “photon” can’t move faster than the speed of light, meaning that blah blah blah science science science blah blah blah time travel is not possible. So, a big “sorry!” to H.G. Wells and Superman and Sherman & Peabody and the writers of “Hot Tub Time Machine” and Marty McFly…none of your adventures are possible, because this Chinese guy has ruined our fun. It turns out we’re stuck in this stupid Starbucks-overloaded century. All those Austin Powers movies were a lie! Damn you, Shengwang Du!

So there’s no hope of time travel, but there’s still fun to be had elsewhere in the world. In Venezuela in 2010, wacky dictator Hugo Chavez ordered that Simon Bolivar, the 19th century “hero of Venezuela,” be exhumed. Oh, Chavez, you zany South American dictator! You and your kooky shenanigans!

Chavez and his chums suspect that Bolivar was murdered. So last year he ordered Bolivar’s body be dug up and given a full modern autopsy by Venezuelan scientists, to look for evidence of murder most foul. So now it’s more than a year later, and the scientists have their answer:

Was Simon Bolivar murdered? Results: Inconclusive.

It turns out that after 181 of being dead, Bolivar’s remains did not offer a lot of clear answers. Have you ever left a piece of bacon in the sink overnight because you were too lazy to do the dishes? Multiply that by 66065 (that’s how many days Bolivar has been dead) and you will get an idea of what his remains looked like. I think that maybe Chavez hoped that the scientists would find a note in Bolivar’s pocket that said, “Fui asesinado. El mayordomo lo hizo.” (“I was murdered. The butler did it.”) (@SBolivarVenezuela: “Colonel Mustard in the library with the lead pipe. LMAO! #diedin1830”). But alas, there was no such note! So the mystery carries on!

According to Wikipedia, Simon Bolivar died from tuberculosis. Unfortunately, thanks to Shengwang Du, we can’t go back in time and ask him.

(Alternate title for this article: “Damn you, Shengwang Du!”)

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

Secret invincible mice.

July 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

This has really been a banner week for Arctic bears. First of all, a polar bear swam 426 miles without stopping, as a part of an ongoing effort by polar bears to give the finger to global warming. It’s the polar bear version of the Montgomery bus boycott. And now they have the grizzly bears on their side, too.

It seems that a group of Alaskan young people were attending a camp wherein they learn survival skills, and they were attacked by a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis). Apparently the teens were attempting to ford a shallow river, when the bear decided to give them an object lesson in survival skills: Rule #1 – don’t get attacked by grizzly bears. No one was killed, but several of the teens were injured and the bear wandered off to pick bits of Teenager McNugget out of its teeth. (@GrizzlyBear22: “Would’ve been better with BBQ sauce. Where are my french fries? Lol! #humansaredelicious”).

But bears aren’t the only ones having a good week. A group of lab mice (Mus musculus) at Rice University have been found to be unaffected by rodent poison. Scientists at Rice have created a strain of secret invincible mice! Thanks, Rice University scientists! What the world needs is mice that cannot be killed! Everyone is pleased, especially farmers and exterminators and frightened women standing on kitchen chairs waiting for their husbands to come home! It turns out that the Rice University scientists were monkeying around with a gene called VKROC1, and they inadvertently created a tiny brown Frankenstein monster that loves cheese.

While we’re at it, why don’t we give them guns! Or infect them with horrible diseases and turn them loose at a local Applebee’s! Yes, Rice University scientists, let’s bring back The Plague! The 14th century was awesome! This should be added to the lessons from the survival skills class that got attacked by a grizzly bear: Rule #2 – if you must try to play God, don’t mess with the VKROC1 gene; it’ll just make ’em invincible.

But it’s not all good news in the animal kingdom, particularly if you are a Palouse giant earthworm (Driloleirus americanus). Scientists (no word on whether or not they were from Rice University) have been trying to get the Palouse giant earthworm onto the endangered species list, but this week the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife turned down their request after a study found that they are “more widespread across their range than was previously thought.” It is the second time that the Palouse giant earthworm has been denied “Endangered Species” status.

So if you come across a Palouse giant earthworm, don’t worry – it’s not an endangered species. And, as far as we know, it’s not invincible. But it is gross.

In human news, I can announce that after doing some preliminary research that I have discovered that humans love Katy Perry. I say this because Google has told me that the two Google search terms that are directing the most traffic to Kids of the Recession are “katy perry hot” and “hope solo hot.” Apparently the secret to internet success is writing about women’s soccer (make sure to include Hope Solo), then mention in passing that Katy Perry was nominated for several Video Music Awards, and then write an entire article about how damn hot it is outside. You will be a Google search superstar.

So I decided to do a little research on the universally interesting subject of Katy Perry, and I was alarmed to find out about the recent controversy surrounding her hair. Apparently Katy Perry has had dark hair for a long time, and was recently seen at the premiere of the Smurfs movie wearing a Smurfette-themed dress and (gasp!) blonde hair. The staff down at TMZ have been having panic attacks all day.

And for those of you who might be suspicious that I am only talking about Katy Perry in an effort to get more “katy perry hot” Google hits, then all I can say to you is: you’re probably right. (@kidsoftherecession: “I’m glad I didn’t get attacked by a grizzly bear! #katyperryishot”).

(Alternate title for this article: “The 14th century was awesome!”)

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

Why do you have chickens in your car?

July 24, 2011 § 4 Comments

So apparently Amy Winehouse died. You would naturally think that I have spent a couple hours whipping up a fresh batch of “They tried to make me go to rehab” jokes, but it’s too damn hot. If you’ve looked at a weather map recently, you’ve seen the heatwave (usually shown as a giant red pulsating liver-shaped blob covering everything except Washington state and some of the more worthless parts of Montana) that is currently baking most of the United States like a Christmas goose. I don’t know how hot it is where you live, but if it’s anything like where I live, it’s 186 degrees outside, with 95% humidity, and the Sun is about twenty or thirty inches away from earth. My air conditioner has been running non-stop for several days, and yet it is still 104 degrees in here; all I can do is sit in the living room in my underwear and think about polar bears swimming 426 miles without stopping.

Scientists are super into polar bears (Ursus maritimus) these days. Whether or not it’s 186 degrees here or not, apparently the whole world is getting hotter, and all the ice in the Arctic is melting, and now these polar bears are having to swim great distances from one iceberg to the next while hunting for seals or fish or careless Eskimos. So you can imagine that the polar bear scientists were amazed when they tracked a female polar bear on a 426 mile swim, which is (as far as these scientists know), the longest distance ever swam by a polar bear. And I imagine that the Eskimo that she ate at the end of her swim was probably delicious. (@PolarBear6924: “I swam all the way to Yellowknife, and all I got was this lousy Eskimo. LOL! #humansaredelicious”)

But polar bears are not the only things setting out to sea this week. You may remember that Adolf Hitler had his Austrian citizenship revoked, and it seems that these are tough times for the Nazis. Rudolph Hess, one of Hitler’s good buddies, who died in prison in 1987, has been exhumed, cremated, and had his ashes scattered at sea.

Apparently, the good people of the town of Wunseidel (in Bavaria) took a page out of the playbook of the good people of Branau, Austria, and decided that they were tired of having their quiet little town serving as “pilgrimage site for Neo-Nazis.” Apparently what Strawberry Fields is to Beatles fans, Wunseidel was to Nazi-ism fans (“fans”? That can’t be the word I was looking for). No word on whether Hess’s ashes were spread anywhere near where the polar bear was swimming, but I feel like we would have heard about it. (@PolarBear6924: “Somebody just dumped something over the side of a boat; I don’t think I want to swim over there. #ivegotabadfeelingaboutthis”).

If I die during this heatwave, scatter my ashes someplace cold.

Speaking of dying during this heatwave, if you leave your dog in the back of your car, even just for a couple minutes, and even with the windows down, you are an asshole.

It’s too damn hot out to leave your pets in the back of your car. Don’t be an asshole.

This is a lesson that not everyone in this miserable heatwave have learned yet. A family in Georgetown, Kentucky, apparently went shopping at a WalMart on a hot day and left a dozen chickens in their car. This brings many questions to mind, not the least of which is, “Why do you have chickens in your car?”

But these people went in to WalMart for half an hour, and the chickens started dying from the heat. A concerned shopper saw the chickens dying and called Animal Control. The Animal Control officers confiscated the remaining live chickens (they are being resuscitated at the Scott County Animal Shelter), and charges for animal cruelty were filed with the local police. There are a lot of “Kentucky Fried Chicken” jokes available to accompany this story, but seriously: Why do you have chickens in your car?

So try to stay cool, hopefully the heatwave will break…the Arctic will freeze over again and polar bears will have better access to tasty, tasty Eskimos, and all will be well with the world once again. And don’t leave animals in your car like an asshole.

(Alternate title for this article: “Tasty, tasty Eskimos.”)

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

Welcome home, you valiant nerds.

July 21, 2011 § 5 Comments

Well, the Atlantis space shuttle has landed safely on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The brave and intrepid nerds who made up the crew of STS-135, NASA’s last space shuttle mission, have disembarked and are back on planet Earth, none the worse for wear. Their mission was to deliver spare widgets and sprockets to the Russians on the International Space Station. Welcome home, you valiant nerds!

Now, I am not technically an astronaut, physicist, NASA employee, or even someone who scored in double digits on the math portion of the A.C.T., but it seems to me that there are a few problems with abandoning the space shuttle program. First of all, am I the only one who’s a little worried that we’re opening ourselves up to alien invasions? I mean, I don’t necessarily think that if the Atlantis space shuttle had come up against an attacking alien armada that the nerds aboard would’ve done much good as a “first line of defense,” but they could at least send word home that the aliens were on their way. (@STS135Nerds: “Just saw the DeathStar headed towards earth. Look out below! #darthvaderismyhomeboy”).

And do we really want to leave the vast expanse of space to the Russians? If the aliens do attack, they won’t be able to understand what the Russians are trying to say to them, on account of their Chekov-like accents.

(@EvilAttackingAliens: “They keep telling us to ‘surrender our wessel.’ LOL! #kirkisbetterthanpicard”) (Raise your hand if you got that joke…well done.)

But I suppose we shouldn’t just think about the forthcoming alien invasions, but instead, we should consider the many wonderful things that the Space Shuttle Program has done for humanity. This list includes taking spare widgets and sprockets to the International Space Station, taking American hero John Glenn to space the second time, occasionally horrifically exploding and killing innocent nerds, and testing the effects of zero gravity on potted tomato plants (I don’t know if they actually did this experiment, but it sounds like something NASA would have done). And let’s not forget the summer of 1989, when my brother went to Space Camp and I had an entire summer without noogies or wedgies, and significantly less purpling of the nurples. Thank you, NASA!

Oh shit! I almost forgot astronaut ice cream!

But while we salute the many nerds who went to space with widgets and sprockets to give to the Russians, let’s not forget the more terrestrial issues that we are facing. An old guy named Rupert got pied (Three-Stooges-style) while testifying to some tribunal in England or something, Katy Perry kissed a girl and she liked it and then got nominated for more Video Music Awards than Lady Gaga, and China secreted measured Mount Everest and found out that it was four meters (about 12 feet) shorter than those liars in Nepal had claimed. The world is full of interesting news, which is why I can’t wait to try the new L.S.U. beer.

Starting this year, Louisiana State University will brew and sell its own beer at home football games in Death Valley (the playful nickname given to LSU’s home football stadium). All that school officials will say is that “it won’t be called LSU Beer.” I guess that there are better options out there (like “L.S.Brew”, which I just thought of this morning while thinking about this in the shower). But I have to say this: I went to an Southeastern Conference school, and I have been to my fair share of LSU games, and I’m not convinced that LSU fans need more beer. It’s like never-ending Mardi Gras, with booze and nakedness and party music and contests of strength and drunk people everywhere…and that’s just in the parking lot. Inside the actual game, the fans make Wang the bee man look like a sane and thoughtful person.

I will say this, though, in defense of those lunatics in Baton Rouge: the best food I’ve ever had in my life was off a grill on the back of dude’s truck in the parking lot at Death Valley before an LSU game. Those people know food.

The curious news is that the decision to flood Baton Rouge with beer comes during the same week that the government of Louisiana has decided that, despite record heat and drought which have turned most of Louisiana into basically a toaster oven filled with kindling, they are going to lift the current “burn ban.”

Good thinking, Louisiana! Give ’em all a beer and let ’em start a fire! Remember, Smokey the Bear says, “Only you can get drunk and burn down a portion of the Pelican State!”

(Alternate title for this article: “The summer of 1989.”)

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

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