Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sic semper asshats!

Now if someone wanted to compose a
 poem about said mustache, we can talk.
I admit that sometimes I get irrationally irritated when a word gets overused. 'Literally' would be a good example, but everyone's sick of hearing about it, so let's take 'epic'. It's supposed to refer to a story about a hero or an exciting event, but somehow it's become totally acceptable to use it to describe a really good party or a unnecessarily long movie. Sometimes we use it to describe someones mustache. Like, what the hell? Unless that mustache killed Grendel, we're totally cheapening the word 'epic.'

But I digress. What I really wanted to talk about is this asshat: Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who recently took the word 'tyranny' and used it to describe the rapid erosion of same-sex marriage bans in the U.S. after District Court Judge Callie Grenade overturned Alabama's ban on Friday.
As has become traditional, Judge Grenade issued a two-week stay on Sunday so that
homophobes can get an appeal together. Of course, I'm not sure why they need two whole
 weeks when all they're going to come up with is Because Jesus, but still, the law's the law.
Huh, they taste a little like sour grapes...
"As of this date, 44 federal courts have imposed by judicial fiat same-sex marriages in 21 states of the Union, overturning the express will of the people in those states. If we are to preserve that "reverent morality which is our source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement," then we must act to oppose such tyranny!" 

crying in his goddamn Cheerios, because
the courts say gay people have rights too

Yeah. Tyranny. Because asking States to treat gays and lesbians equally under the law when it comes to the tax-breaks, adoption and hospital visitation rights that come along with marriage is just another example of oppressive government rule. 
Behold: The brutal tyranny imposed by our cruel overlords.
The Constitution: It says pretty
much whatever you want it to say.
I'm not like, a lawyer, but it seems that his argument is based on two points. First, that the Federal Court, in striking down Alabama's ban on gay marriage is trampling on the 10th Amendment which says that powers not specifically enumerated in the Constitution belong to the State. Secondly, on the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that "marriage is a 'divine institution' imposing upon the parties higher moral and religious obligations than those imposed by any mere human institution or government." Uh-huh, a 'divine institution.'

Above: What doctors say will happen to
your brain if you think about this too hard.
Sounds a little religion-y, but doesn't the First Amendment prohibit any law respecting an establishment of religion? So like I said, I'm not a constitutional scholar or anything, and he's a Judge, but yeah it sounds like he's trying to have it both ways. He's totally down with the 10th Amendment when he's cherry-picking a couple lines from Leviticus as grounds to deny civil rights to gay people, but the First Amendment can suck it if anyone tries to tell him he can't make Jesus-ism the official religion of Alabaman theocracy.

Incidentally, what the shit is up with anti-gay marriage people holding up opposite-sex marriage as the only thing holding our civilization back from spiraling into the dystopian chaos of a Mad Max movie? Like is there some magical power of societal stability that only comes from straight, married sex?
Pictured: Alabama after same-sex marriage causes the collapse
of civili-actually, that might be Alabama right's hard to tell.
Patricia's new campaign slogan:
Don't fuck with me. Seriously.
I will break you. Vote Todd.
Because if that's the case, then the people of Alabama are about to have a problem. State Representative Patricia Todd is threatening to go the media with her fellow Representatives many extra-marital affairs if they don't back off and stop trying to stymie marriage equality in the state. Todd, Alabama's only openly gay lawmaker, says she's fed up with these jerks who spend their days railing against gay people and bloviating about family values while Gingriching* all night.

It may sound like a jerk move, I mean, the personal lives of lawmakers aren't really anyone else's business-wait, no, actually it's an awesome move. Awesome, both in the literal sense of awe inspiring and the informal sense of kick-ass.
*to Gin-grich, 
verb \giŋ-gər'ich\ 
to have an extra marital affair, whilst at the same time leading impeachment proceedings against a sitting President for an extra marital affair. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thundersnow II: Electric Blanket-a-loo...?

Sorry, that title worked better in my head but the point is there's a shit storm of a snow storm going on right now on the east coast and it's supposed to bring more thundersnow. Regular snow too, but thundersnow! Ok, so what the hell is thundersnow?
Pictured: Thundersnow...or possibly Ragnarok.
No he doesn't. Like, at all.
 Here, click on this to watch Al explain:

"It's called literally thundersnow, when you get a very violent storm, a very vigorous storm like this last one, you basically have the same ingredients as a thunderstorm, however, instead of getting rain out of it, you get snow." 

-Al Roker, on how thundersnow
is snow...with thunder 

Still unclear? Me too. That's because Al Roker didn't give us any information that we didn't already glean from the term 'thundersnow.' Maybe this graphic will clear things up:
Above: Nope. Still confused.
Hey, how about those Greek election
results, huh? Wanna screw?
Anyway, in addition to the usual panic and unnecessary hoarding, there's also this thing about ads for anonymous sex on Craigslist using the storm as a pretext. As in (and I'm paraphrasing): 'hey it's snowing, so come over to my place and we'll have like, snow sex.' Which, whatever, it's cold out and people want to get laid, but why are they dragging a snow emergency into it? It's not like the world is ending, it's snowing. On the east coast. In winter. I mean, when the storm's over, are they going to latch on to some other current event?

Oh, and just to be clear, I'm not judging anyone for using the internet to meet people, it's just that...Craigslist? People have been eaten on goddamn Craigslist. I realize that most ads on the site are not placed by crazy people who plan to murder you, but still, it's probably safer to stay off the roads and stream Black Mirror or something...
* Jan 27 HIGH PRIEST of Kali Seeks TERRIFIED VILLAGER for dark ritual 
Pls incl pic! (Secret Temple/mine complex under Pankot palace) human sacrifice 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The one with telescopes, not fortune tellers.

Ready to have your mind exploded? You are? Great, because astro-scienceticians (or astronomers as they prefer to be called for some reason) believe that there might just be two, count'em two heretofore unknown planets in our solar system. Not planetoids, not more loser dwarf planets. Planets, possibly even bigger than Earth.
I propose we call them New Alderaan and Pluto 2: The Revenge.
Way to go astronomy...
Can you believe it? No? You can't? That's fair. After all, we live in the future and have had telescopes since the 1600's. Are we supposed to believe that astronomers just missed these guys for 400 years? Well, yes, it looks that way. Sure, space is really big and dark and I suppose it's possible that something could be overlooked, but seriously? Entire planets? C'mon. Astronomy, as a scientific field of study, has really dropped the ball on this one. Although Carlos de la Fuente Marco, the scientist who led the team whose research is blowing our minds right now (click here and here for all this science I don't understand), cautions us that nothing's actually been discovered yet. All he has is indirect and math-heavy evidence.

Now brace yourself as I try and sum up something I only sort of understand: De la Fuente's team analyzed the the motion of trans-neptunian objects (space rocks floating out past Neptune) whose crazy, elliptical orbits seem to suggest that something large and planet-like, say, like a planet or two, is exerting a gravitational influence on them. Still with me?
Or possibly that Unicron's coming, although they admit it's a long shot.
Or maybe it's like discovering your dad
has a secret Canadian family. A Canadian
family with 2-15 times the mass of...forget it.
Anyway, these hypothetical planets, if real, are probably terrestrial and have a mass 2-15 times that of the Earth, each. Holy shit, right? As if we needed more reasons to feel small and insignificant in a cold, godless universe that's completely indifferent to our existence. Thanks science...this is like living in a house all your life and discovering that it has two whole rooms you never knew about. Two whole rooms with 2-15 times the mass of the room you did know about...and...ok, sorry, it's not the best analogy, but go with me on this.

My Very Educated Mother Just Served
Us Nachos, Not Any...uh, Pluto 2...The-uh-
hey, back off, it's just a rough draft... 
So if this discovery pans out, it could have enormous ramifications for...well, uh, pretty much no one. Like it's cool and all, but for the the vast majority of us, two new planets really won't have any impact on our lives. Sure, we'll have to make up a new mnemonic for the planet names, but otherwise it's just-oh, shit. Astrology. This is totally going to screw up astrology. You know, that word you always say when you mean astronomy, and then someone corrects you and you feel like an idiot?

Like, I know it's kind of bunk to begin with, but you can't just throw two more planets into the mix, can you? I mean, for the horoscope fans out there, this has got to be the equivalent of archaeologists digging up a couple new commandments or something.
"...number ten: thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's stuff, number eleven thou shalt
remember casual Friday and maybe wear a t-shirt with a funny joke on it, and finally number
 twelve: thou shalt be nice to gays, seriously people, the burning bush was very clear about this."


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


According to Oxfam, the richest 1% of the world's population is on track to own 50% of the world's wealth by 2016. Goddamn half. So like, let's get'em.
Starting with this guy...
0.01%. That's like an earlobe.
For real. 1% of seven billion is, what, 70 million ultra-rich people? Look, I'm not saying we should beat anyone up and take their stuff. All I'm saying is that we could. Easily. Here, let me do the math (yeah, suddenly I think I'm some kind of math guy): As I'm writing this, the world's population is 7,289,331,336. So one percent of that figure is 72,893,313.36. That means each of the remaining 7,216,438,022.64 people on earth only has to deal with .01 rich people. I think we can take them.

Above: A gold Ferrari. The seats are genuine
dolphin leather and it runs on Chateau Margaux
But that's just abstract numbers (calculated by my own remedial, at best, math). According to Oxfam's report, the combined wealth of 80 people, like 80 specific people at the top, equals the total wealth of the poorest half of the population. Holy shit, right? Now say those 80 people each had exactly the same amount of money (they don't, but let's just say they did), just one of them would have more than 45,558,320.85 people. That's just, mathematically speaking, seriously fucked.

So what's to be done? Well, I suggest level caps, but what do I know? Realistically, this is probably going to get worse and worse until finally it all explodes into some kind of bloody, 21st century Bastille Day. I'm not trying to be a pessimist here, but the people in a position to actually do something about the wealth disparity are generally not in the biggest hurry to do something about it.
"Yes. Totally. We'll get right on redistributing the wealth of the very people who fund our careers."
-The people in a position to actually do something
He means that literally. You
guys should probably run.
And seriously? I'm not kidding about the Bastille Day thing. The conventional wisdom is that people don't hate the rich, they want to be the rich, but I'm not sure that's going to hold out forever. Remember when all those angry people occupied everything? Exactly zero of their concerns were ever addressed. Fixing this is kind of in everyone's best interest. You know, before people start eating each other. No, really, I think we're heading that way.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Google Glass: We hardly knew ye...or cared.

Remember Google Glass? No? Sure you do, it's a wearable, internet connected device that makes people hate you. Like, really hate you. I mean, passersby will rip them off your face, stomp on them and then accuse you of being personally responsible for the gentrification of San Francisco. True story.
That's not the phone number, that's the rent. Thanks Google Glass...
The whole point of drinking is to think
you're awesome for a while. Seeing
video of yourself later defeats this. 
Anyway, while tech reviewers kind of dug it, the general consensus was that it kind of makes you look like a dipshit and the fact that it can record video makes you the person to avoid at any party. If I'm talking about you, let me be clear: nobody wants everything they do and say at a party immortalized for all time. Take off that ridiculous space-camera and try interacting with your fellow humans. There. I've said it. Sorry, I get irrationally angry about this thing, but it really was stupid and lame, so much so that they're pulling it off the market. Today. Finally.

If only there was some way to
strap the internet to our faces...
Supposedly this is so Googgle can go back to the drawing board and maybe redesign Glass so that doesn't send complete strangers into a violent rage. The plan is to re-release a more mainstream (re: less smack-worthy) version down the road, but I'm thinking that if you didn't already get one, you've missed your one and only chance to drop $1500 on something that does everything your smartphone does, but without you having to look down like a goddamn barbarian.

Oh well, so long Google Glass. I'm sure we'll see you again, perhaps 20 years from now being mocked by marginally famous people on VH1's We Love the 20-teens. The sad irony is that we'll likely be watching on our fancy internet glasses.
"Pfft...Google Glass. God, people were idiots back then."
-Everyone in the future

Man-Cows! Everybody freak out!

Wait, what? Yes, man-cows! The future is here and it's a little terrifying. Scienceticians at SAb Biotheraputics (none of which are words) have produced a herd of 50 genetically engineered part cow/part human abominations whose blood will be harvested to protect people against Ebola...and sleeping well ever again.
Above: The grim and unsettling future predicted by Chic-fil-A may finally be here.
I'd skip the SAb Biotheraputics company
picnic if I were you. Trust me on this one... 
These cows have been engineered with human immune systems, and when vaccinated against Ebola, will manufacture antibodies that can then be used to treat humans infected with the disease.

"These animals are very unique, as you can imagine."

-Eddie Sullivan, CEO of SAb
Hey Eddie, you know something can't be
very unique, right? It's either unique or it isn't.

Man, there's like nothing we
won't squeeze out of cows.
Doctors have had some success transferring antibodies from the plasma of human Ebola survivors into patients to help them fight the disease. The problem is that you can only draw the plasma once a month and since there's not like thousands of Ebola survivors lining up at the Red Cross for cookies and juice, it's a pretty big gap between donors and patients. Enter the man-cows. The company says they can get 500-1000 treatments worth of human antibodies out of each animal per month.

And if your not ready to buy stock in SAb Biotheraputics just yet, they're also working on using this technique to fight other diseases including hantavirus and MERS. Yup, if might not be long before all kind of diseases are being treated with SAb® brand cures. Hurray for for-profit medical research...
What could possibly go wrong?
For all we know, the test-subjects could
end up as were-cows, which, in itself
wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Ok, this is science, so I suppose it's time to tap the breaks. This is still in the 'could' help patients and 'may' be a new treatment for Ebola stage. There's a ways to go before you can just tap a cow and vampire your way to perfect health. Even the human-to-human antibody transfer is, at best, if-y. The problem is that researchers aren't yet sure if it's just the anti-bodies, or things like the human t-cell, which isn't being manufactured by the cows, that fight the disease.

Not pictured: ethical or religious
concerns about eating animals.
But still, science, right? Pretty cool? Well, yeah, assuming it works the way researchers think it will, this technique could save millions of lives even if it is, you know, against the laws of nature or whatever. Don't laugh, plenty of people have completely valid ethical and religious concerns over eating animals, and now we're throwing human genes into them and then harvesting their blood? There's bound to be some serious freak outs over this. Look, I'm not saying shut it down or anything, I mean, I'll take people over cow-monsters any day, but let's just hope everyone keeps their heads and that this pans out.

Hey, remember when George W. Bush warned old people about how animal human hybrids were going to take over if they voted Democrat? Well shit, here we are and now who's laughing?
The answer is us. At him. To this day. Because for real.
But you've got to hand it to him: we do have man-cows now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Advantage: Randy Weber

In a risky political move, Ted Cruz
has come out against terrorism.
Look out Senator Ted Cruz, because Congressman Randy Weber just one-up'ed your attempt to turn last weekend's massive march for unity and peace into a crass political jab. If you recall ( from like, yesterday), Ted Cruz wrote an editorial complaining that President Obama should have been at the rally, linking arms with other the world leaders, which is a fair statement. Cruz then went on to suggest that the President's absence is basically a tacit approval of terrorism, which is bullshit.

Get it? It's funny because Hitler.
While Senator Cruz did manage to work 9/11 into his rant (as required by GOP by-laws), what he failed to do was compare President Obama to Hitler. Enter Congressman Weber who Tweeted this last night:

"Even Adolf Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn't do it for the right reasons"

-Congressman Randy Weber,
shortly before one of his interns took his iPhone away

Burn! Take that Obama! Man, Randy got you good-wait...I'm Weber suggesting that the President failed to be like Hitler? Like, I get that the goal here was to find a way to mention Hitler and Obama in the same Tweet, but holy shit dude, you should probably let your staff screen these things before you post them.
Just so we're all clear, Randy knows that tens of millions of people died in that war, right?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sometimes it's not all about us, Ted.

So yesterday, millions around the world including one point six million people in Paris alone took to the streets as a show of solidarity against extremism after last week's massacre at French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. 1.6 million people. It was moving. It was unprecedented. It was about a minute and a half before somebody politicized it. Although now that I think about it, a minute and a half is probably some kind of record.
French aristocrats, sensing trouble, packed up their
powdered wigs and ermine robes and fled the city.

Pictured: the scene earlier today.
The march included more than 40 world leaders with the notable exception of President Obama or anyone from the administration, which they admit, was a mistake. "We should have sent someone with a higher profile." said Press Secretary Josh Earnest in his wea culpa. Someone with a higher profile than nobody at all? Shouldn't have been too hard, but hey, they said they're sorry. I mean, there's no reason to jump all over this like a pack of hyenas on a kill in the desert, right?

From the party who brought us
goddamn Freedom Fries
Oh, apparently there is. Here's what Texas Senator Ted Cruz had to say about it, because if there's one thing the people who marched really, truly give a shit about, it's what Ted Cruz thinks:

"The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous."
-Ted Cruz, who stayed
up all night writing his editorial

Wait, who's Benjamin Netanyahu waving at?
There's one and a half million people there,
like, does he see someone he knows?

Actually it was symbolic of scheduling conflicts and insufficient time in which to put together an adequate security detail and shut up jerk, this isn't about us. The march wasn't a photo op, and it wasn't about how much Democrats and Republicans hate each other. Yes, it was pretty lame that we (as in America) didn't have anyone official on hand, but this weekend saw the leaders of dozens of countries, a lot of whom spent the 20th century bombing the shit out of each other, walking arm in arm in common cause. Can we maybe just enjoy that for a minute before swooping in and trying to score political points?

For Science!

Next, Dr. Golubovic and her team plan to
investigate the dynamics of turtle stacking.
Science has given us some really amazing things like the internet, the polio vaccine and verifiable proof that the universe is a cold, godless void bereft of meaning. Well, now it has given us this. We both know that you're not going to click on the link, so let me summarize: Dr. Ana Golubovic and a team of what I can only assume are incredibly board and/or drunk colleagues from the University of Belgrade have conducted a study of the physics involved in tortoises flipping themselves over once they've been set on their backs.

To unlock this mystery that has baffled humankind since the dawn of never, Golubovic and her team put 118 tortoises on their backs and then watched as they thrashed around trying to right themselves.
"Wha-what are you doing? You asshole! What'd you do that for?"
-Subject 35
Who knows? Perhaps this study will
someday lead to un-flippable smart cars.
Their findings: it's really goddamn hard for tortoises to get back on their feet, particularly for larger tortoises with flatter shells. now we know that. I don't mean to sound unimpressed, I mean, I wouldn't have the patience to round up 118 tortoises and be a total jerk to them, but I'm having trouble seeing the practical applications here. Don't get me wrong, there is no avenue of scientific discovery that doesn't deserve to be explored, but seriously? Were they just out of things to science?

I know most of the easy discoveries like fire and electricity have already been taken, but there must other things to investigate, like a unified field theory for example. Or a maybe a limitless, clean source of energy? Hey, how about a cure for all known diseases? Like, are we even working on that anymore?
Hey scientists, we live in the future, don't we deserve holodecks?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mike Huckabee: Still a thing!

For some people, having an opinion about other people's lives is a job. Take Mike Huckabee for example, he's been making a career out of railing against gay marriage for years and now that there's another Presidential election on the horizon, he's clawing his way back up from obscurity and taking aim at the homophobic pensioner vote. Hurray for politics!
You think he'd be nicer to gay people. I mean, without gays he wouldn't have a job.
"Liberals. Am I right? Pfft..."
-Mike Huckabee's entire show
But first let's back up and answer the question that's probably on your mind: who the hell is Mike Huckabee? He's been under the radar lately, but you might remember him as one of the many Americans who didn't win the 2008 Presidential election. Unlike most Americans however, he went on to parlay his folksy homophobia into TV show on Fox News on which he spent the better part of the last six years telling old white guys how awesome everything would be if he did win.

Oh, and he also organized Chic-Fil-A Appreciation Day, a sort of counter protest to the backlash that company faced when the owner of the fast-food chain thought everyone wanted to hear his opinion of gay people getting married. It was sort of a stand against the people taking a stand against bigotry. Still with me?
Lured by the promise of fried food and free media attention, Sarah Palin
was all over it. Holy shit, remember how close she came to being VP?
"Sorry, it's actually not
that near at all. I may
have overstated it a bit."
Anyway, in Huckabee's upcoming book entitled, (I shit you not) God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, the not-President throws us all a curve ball saying that '[t]he claim that same-sex marriage is destroying society is actually greatly overstated.'  Wait, wah? Overstated? Ok, kind of a weird statement coming from someone who's professional life has kind of hinged on stating it, but maybe this is a sign that Huckabuck is finally coming around. Or maybe it's just his way of getting our attention so that he can hit us with even stupider arguments against gay marriage. Like this one:

"Shouldn't a bisexual be able to have both a male and female spouse? Wouldn't restricting that person access to both genders be denying the bisexual his or her marriage 'equality?'"

-Mike 'Unclear on the Definition of Bi-sexual' Huckabee

"Honey, I'm sorry, I can't marry you.
It's like Mike Huckabee says: we
just don't have enough reliable data."

"When advocates of same-sex marriage say, 'What's the harm?' the honest reply is that at this point, we simply don't have enough reliable accumulated data to be able to say."

-Mike Huckabee, 
rhetorical genius

Not having enough reliable data is a great reason to think twice about investing in Bitcoins or taking up e-cigarettes. Saying that we should ban gay marriage because there hasn't been enough gay marriage just makes you an asshole.

Sorry to be harsh, but it's true. Like, since when have things like studies and evidence ever played a role in informing Mike Huckabee's worldview? You don't get to cry 'no reliable data' when it comes to gay marriage, but then dismiss evolution as some crackpot theory.  
"There's no reliable evidence that the Devil didn't plant these fossils here
to confuse us, so evolution is probably just a load of liberal horseshit."