Friday, April 30, 2010


Do you enjoy words? How about when those words are organized into sentences? Okay, now tell me this: Do you like those sentences to be arranged in such a way that reading them conveys some type of narrative? Well, then you might be interested to know that I arrange words and sentences in that very fashion. I call this process "writing short stories". No, these aren't necessarily stories about the short. They're just the type of thing you might take in all in one sitting.

"Fuck you," you might be saying. "How dare you tell me this when there's no way I can consume your stories? Why do you always have to be such a goddamn tease?"

Hold on, now. This where it gets good. See, you can read my stories through the magic of modern technology. Do you have a thing with a screen on it? Then chances are good you also have access to the Amazon Kindle service. No need to own the Kindle device itself. You can download the free Kindle app for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or your Blackberry.

Wait, wait! Come back! I haven't told you why you should care yet. Yes, there are a bunch of books and crap you can download through the Kindle store, but those all suck. What you really want to read are my aforementioned stories! "Told you I wasn't a tease," I say while slapping your hand away from my cock cleavage.

Some are comic. Some are serious. Some are comically serious. All are just 99 American cents, and all may be previewed for free. (Also, they're DRM-free, if you care to pirate. [Please don't.]) I'll be releasing a new story every week. The first is called "The Distance Between Here and There" and is about a physically handicapped man who makes his first surrealistic connection with another human. Find it here. If you like it, why not leave a review? "If you don't like it, why not suck on this?" I ask before slapping your hand away from my cock cleavage.

You'll notice that there's a pretentious middle initial in my name on Amazon. This is to stand out from some impostor who also writes things. Also, I'm a stuck up artfag.

Thank you for your attention.

I've Got a Golden Ticket (To Depression)

Scientists at UC San Diego have discovered that people who eat chocolate regularly tend to be more depressed than those who only indulge in the occasional nosh. This should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever worked in an office environment, since the middle-aged ladies who screech about their chocolate fiendishness every time they dive into a break room birthday cake are also the ones tho write sad letter to the editor whenever their local papers drop "Kathy" from the comics page. But researchers say they're not sure whether or not chocolate can cause depression. It's possible that depressed people seek out chocolate more than others. It's also possible that chocolate creates a spike in mood, which sparks a feeling of depression after it wears off. Regardless, this study isn't going to stop me. I am a chocolate fiend, y'all! *sob* More details here.

Abduction by the Dashboard Light

The Mutual UFO Network released details of their investigation into the claims of two New Hampshire teens who say they were assaulted by a mysterious craft. The 18-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy allegedly borrowed the girl's car for a nighttime drive/fingerbanging session. When the girl looked up at the moon, she saw a black UFO approaching the car from above. The car was lifted into the air and dropped 180 feet away before the UFO fled. According to MUFON's investigation, the car suffered about $5,000 in damage to the underside and a cracked windshield, plus the asphalt curb at the impact site appears to be damaged. There's really no way of proving whether or not these teenagers are telling the truth, since any number of things could have damaged the car, not least of which being an uncontrolled spin-out following a successful fingerbanging session. But I really hope extraterrestrials aren't involved, as I certainly don't want to think any interstellar species could be so prudish as to mess with horny teenagers in the middle of nowhere. If they'd dumped abstinence-only education pamphlets from an airlock before flying away, I'd say this should be considered an act of war. More details here.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Brief History of Isolationism

Cybernetic astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has a new series premiering on the Discovery Channel next month in which he warns against humanity ever contacting extraterrestrial species in case they decide to kill us all. Hawking believes that alien life is basically a given, though most of it is of the dimwitted animal variety. But intelligent races may also be out there, and chances are good they aren't friendly. He cites the historical human tendency for more advanced nations to conquer and rape their technological lessers as an example of what could happen to us if we're visited by the equivalent of an interstellar Christopher Columbus. But I'm not sure Hawking's reasoning is sound. True, our more primitive ancestors had a disturbing trend of clubbing to death those people they happened upon in their sea travels, but such a thing would be unthinkable today. I'd like to think someone would speak up if a NASA expedition someday discovered crossbow-wielding native Martians and threw smallpox-infested blankets at them so we could mine their delicious, delicious ores. I mean, worst case scenario, we have to deal with rogue sex tourists who travel to Mars for a suction cup reach-around. More details here.

Canine Homophobia

The owners of an Australian Thai restaurant have been ordered to pay a man $1,500 for refusing entry to the man's dog, because they thought it was gay. Actually, the man is blind, and when waiters were told he wanted to bring his guide dog into the restaurant, they misheard "guide" as "gay". And the fine isn't for practicing sexual discrimination against dogs so much as refusing to allow entry to a guide dog, as is mandatory under Australian disabilities laws. So the gay thing is really just an excuse. A strange excuse, though, as it outs this restaurant as a homophobic establishment. Though I suppose it's possible they have nothing against homosexual humans and instead direct their hatred only at gay animals. Is there anything in the Bible about a male Corgi lying with another male Corgi? I don't think so, but I've never read a Thai translation of the Old Testament. You know, the more I think about it, the more I suspect this whole thing boils down to a massive copy editing error in southeast Asian Bibles. More details here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vote for the Best Fat Jesus!

Deciding on four finalists for the Fat Jesus Art Contest was tough. Almost as tough as it is for Fat Jesus to stop stuffing his maw with loaves and fishes. All entries are worth an honorable mention. Well, except for Rebecca's, since she hasn't been forgiven for rigging the Amateur Scientist Podcast raffle at last year's Dragon*Con. But the rest? Superb. (And even Rebecca's is pretty great.) Check them all out on the forum.

But whittle them down I have. Vote for your favorite in the poll below. And click on the thumbnails at the bottom of this post for full-size versions. The winner will be announced on the 100th episode of The Amateur Scientist Podcast on May 1st and shall receive a free podcast t-shirt for his or her trouble. I don't need to tell you the stakes are high. Happy voting!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Still Putting it On

You may recall that Jesse Thorn appeared on The Amateur Scientist Podcast last year to discuss his men's style web series "Put This On" and bust some myths about dressing well. I'm happy to report that a full season of "Put This On" has been funded, and here's the first of several regular post-pilot episodes. On tap? What to look for in a quality shoe. Recommended. And also be sure to check out Jesse's public radio and podcasting endeavors at MaximumFun.org. Everything he does is worth your time. (Yes, poops included.)

Put This On, Episode 2: Shoes from Put This On on Vimeo.

A True Likeness

In support of the first annual Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, I present to you this work of art by Molly Norris, which I originally discovered here (click to embiggen).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sometimes an Abcock is Just an Abcock

Many parishioners in the Oklahoma City Archdiocese are upset at this 10-foot icon of Christ on the cross that's hanging in their church. They say it's sexually suggestive, and the controversy has even moved the church to commission the icon's artist to alter it. For the life of me, I can't see what all the fuss is about. Can you?

Bringing it Back Home

Britain's University of Hertfordshire recently hosted a conference called "Open Graves, Open Minds," which gathered literature experts and students to discuss the history and current state of vampire fiction. But while most of the proceedings were undoubtedly devoted to discussing the best way to achieve maximum skin sparkle without getting glitter in your eyes, there was a decidedly nationalistic subtext to the affair. Prof. Sam George, who now heads a master's degree program in vampire fiction at Hertfordshire, says that it's about time vampires returned to their British roots. After all, "Dracula" was written by Irishman Bram Stoker, and the character has historically been played by British actors. George is tired of all these American pretenders to the gothy throne. And I, for one, support the effort to send vampires and their fans back across the pond. If only so I can go to an American comic book convention in my Rocket Racer costume without having to elbow through all those "Twilight" nerds. More details here.

Hairless Hostage

There are lots of things to fear when you're taken hostage by rebel militias in war-torn countries. There's execution, of course. But assuming you aren't immediately killed, you may also suffer beatings, malnutrition, or other health problems while in captivity. Even worse, the mysterious workings of the human mind may trick you into falling in love with your captors, which some rebels use as their primary recruiting method. But one Spanish traveler in the Congo has been subjected to another kind of torture by his hostage takers. They've shaved off all his body hair and braided it into magic trinkets to wear into battle. According to the Congolese government, a rebel leader known as Ibrahim believes that the hair of white people possesses certain mystical powers that can aid his underlings. Some hair-based talismans are said to turn oncoming bullets into water. As hostage treatment goes, being shaved probably isn't the worst thing that could have happened to this poor fellow. But then again, it's probably a safe bet that these rebels are dangerously untrained in the fine art of administering a Brazilian. More details here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Cathomplicated

Looks like the Catholic Church is up to no good. Sorry, I meant to write "uptonogood," which is an ancient Inuit word for covering up widespread child rape. We all know priests have been raping kids for a long time now. Like every ubiquitous thing that makes us uncomfortable, we've turned it into a joke. (See: Carrot Top)

But lately, it's become clear that not only are the bureaucratic leaders of the church aware of said kid rape, but even Pope Joey "Ratzo" Ratzinger personally dumped some administrative dirt on the crimes when he was in charge of policing them. This irks me for a couple of reasons. Mostly because I've taken an admittedly controversial anti-kid raping stance ever since I had a conscience surgically implanted in my frontal lobe. But also because I know, respect, and like many Catholics, including a few priests. None of them are kid rapers. And none of them have much to do with the Vatican administration that seems to be most at fault here.

The Catholic Church is a huge organization. It's the Walmart of religions. A lay priest has as much say in what Vatican officials do as a Walmart store manager has at corporate board meetings. All of my BFPs (best friend priests, natch) are too busy hearing confessions, wiping off the parish potluck card tables, and trying to feed the poor to put in much effort trying to change things. This is as disappointing as it is understandable. Which is to say, lots. Same goes for those Catholic faithful who don't speak up about the kid raping going on in their club. But the fact remains that kid rape has nothing to do with the religion. It has everything to do with some people who belong to the managerial structure of that religion.

Which is why it's also disappointing when someone like the phenomenally bearded atheist P.Z. Myers writes that Catholicism is a "baby-raping religion." That kind of thing is just lazy and witless. By that logic, fatherhood is a baby-raping state of being, since a huge percentage of people who rape babies are also fathers. And not the collared kind. Well, unless they're wearing collared shirts, like an oxford or a polo or something. Anyway, the point is this: The situation is more complicated than "Catholics iz eval." Mostly because there are few if any LOLcats involved.

But as much as I like my Catholic friends, it's pretty hard to defend idiotic and disgusting attempts at shifting the blame coming from the church's management. They're desperate to make you think the Jews or the homos are to blame for kid rape. If nothing else, this is just silly. I don't know for certain, but I'm pretty sure shape-shifting lizards are at fault. (And by "shape-shifting lizards," I obviously mean "the Jews.")

At the same time, your antisemitic and/or homophobic bishops don't have a monopoly on saying things that aren't based on any kind of fact. According to noted psychologist and star of 87% of Comedy Central's defunct "T&A Matinee" programming block Bill Maher, kid rape is a direct result of clerical celibacy. Sure, there's no evidence for this, but since when is it acceptable to simply not have an opinion on topics when you don't have enough information?

What causes priests to rape kids? I don't know. What causes Midwestern fathers of four to rape kids? I don't know. Will the support of atheist activists like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens help encourage law enforcement officials to crack down on kid rape in the Catholic Church? I don't know.

I do know that the police should be going after those who do rape kids, clergy or no. And they should also be going after those who worked to ensure kids were put in situations where they would likely be raped, even if that includes Pope Ratzo. Kid rape is a serious issue that deserves serious discussion. So, let's can the hyperbole and stick with what we know? Or at the very least, limit our conversation to what we can do about those shape-shifting lizard Jews*.

*I hear they're vulnerable to water.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fat Jesus Art Contest Reminder

Just reminding you all that the Fat Jesus Art Contest is still ongoing, and the submissions are rolling in (not a fat joke). Pictured here is one of the latest submissions, this one from a certain "Mr_Hunnicutt", and I think it's one of the best so far. The deadline is Sunday, April 25th, so you have a little under two weeks to finalize the crosshatching on those roles and get to posting. I'll select a few finalists, and you'll be able to vote on a winner during the following week. I'll announce the results on the 100th episode of The Amateur Scientist Podcast on May 1st. Click here for more details. Good luck!

Really Most Sincerely Dead

Meinhardt Raabe died Friday at the age of 94. He was one of the last surviving actors who played a Munchkin in "The Wizard of Oz." As the official Munchkinland coroner, Raabe's character was responsible for declaring the Wicked Witch of the East dead, thus proving Dorothy as a murderer and the entire land of Oz 25% safer from potentially deadly witches. Both very valuable services. More details here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mind Over Manners

An unidentified man is now being held by the Singapore police after he threatened to crash the plane with his mind powers during a Qantas flight from Australia. According to a reporter who happened to be on the flight, the man appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It's also possible that the psychic energy absorption necessary to launch an all-out telekinetic attack on such a scale could work a number on a person's cognitive faculties, so let's not jump to conclusions. The most worrisome part about this story is how flight attendants handled the situation. After the man made his threat, they cuffed his arms and legs to prevent him from moving. Which is, of course, completely useless when dealing with a powerful psychic warrior. If he needed his arms and legs, he wouldn't be destroying the plane with his mind powers, would he? The only way to properly restrain such a villain is with one of Dr. Reed Richards' psi-blocking helmets made of unstable aluminum molecules. But despite how many angry letters I write to airlines and Marvel comics, no carriers stock their planes with such helmets. Unbelievable. But since this guy didn't end up destroying the plane, I guess we'll never know how dangerous he really was. Unless the Singapore police can somehow cane that information out of him. More details here.

Coming Storm

As a resident of Louisiana, I have to put up with some pretty shitty elected officials. My governor, Bobby Jindal, is an idiot manchild hell-bent on destroying the state university system by sucking even more money out of its coffers than the massive federal stimulus funds he accepted after turning them down. And one of my U.S. senators, David Vitter, is a bloated, hateful ball of saliva-soaked partisan hackery. Also, he runs on a platform of family values even after he was caught whoring it up in New Orleans with prostitutes who may or may not have been paid to clean up after the messes he made in his diaper when engaging in his alleged adult baby fetish. But there does seem to be a light in Louisiana's political future. It's looking like Vitter's seat will be challenged by porn star Stormy Daniels. Not only does she embody the kind of no-nonsense ethics I look for in a politician, but she's also really, really funny. I can't find a clip online, but check her out in the special features on the "Pineapple Express" DVD where she goes toe-to-toe with comic genius Danny McBride. No, seriously. Do it. And afterward, read this statement she released to the press yesterday, in which she announces a stunning development in her senatorial campaign:

After months of careful deliberation and consult as to the true nature of my political affiliation I am ready today to declare that should I seek the office of US Senator from the great state of Louisiana that I will do so as a Republican.

While this decision has not been an easy one, recent events regarding Republican National Committee fundraising at Voyeur, an LA based lesbian bondage themed nightclub finally tipped the scales.

As I have said for well over a year, it is time that our government and our tax policy begin rewarding entrepreneurship and creativity again. It is time again to inspire positive risks and out-of-the-box thinking in the interest of growing a strong economy and a strong America.

For me, this spirit can be summed up in the RNC's investment of donor funds at Voyeur.

As someone who has worked extensively in both the club and film side of the Adult Entertainment Industry, I know from experience that a mere $1900 outlay at a club with the reputation of Voyeur is a clear indication of a frugal investment with a keen eye toward maximum return.

And I firmly believe that it is precisely this type of creative and calculated investing that we, as taxpaying Americans, should expect not only from our political parties but from our government. The American taxpayer deserves consistent conservatives who reject wasteful spending and unwarranted government intervention in the private sector.

As is the case with so many of my fellow Louisianans, I have been a registered Democrat throughout my life. But now I cannot help but recognize that over time my libertarian values regarding both money and sex and the legal use of one for the other is now best espoused by the Republican Party.
Looks like I'll be voting Republican this year.

Wiggle Room

The Catholic church isn't the only place that's plagued with pedophiles. Australia has its fair share as well. Maybe it's genetic. Aussies are, after all, fourth or fifth generation criminals. But no matter the reason, the government is striking back. Senator Nick Xenophon is proposing that as part of a new law meant to crack down on internet solicitation of underage sex, it should be illegal for an Australian adult to lie about his age to a child. On the surface, this doesn't seem too strange. There aren't many situations where it would be appropriate to lie to a child about your age. But critics have pointed out a couple of reasons why such a statute would be unnecessary at best. For one thing, it's already illegal for adults to woo children over the internet, so this new law would be redundant. And for another, the wording would technically make it illegal for adults to play childlike characters on children's TV programs like "The Wiggles". But I don't think that last point holds much water, since there's absolutely nothing appropriate about "The Wiggles". More details here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nuclear Shrinkage

On the campaign trail, President Obama promised to reform America's nuclear weapons programs with the ultimate goal of drastically reducing worldwide nuclear stockpiles. And unlike some of his other promises (closing Gitmo, letting gay soldiers not live a lie, allowing me to touch his beautiful abs just one more time), he seems to be hell-bent on keeping this one. The last couple of weeks have seen a new nonproliferation treaty with Russia, and the White House just announced new defense guidelines that limit the U.S.'s usage of nuclear weapons in retaliatory strikes. Specifically, we're no longer allowed to nuke the everloving shit out of non-nuclear countries in compliance with the international Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if those countries attack America with biological weapons. According to Obama, we live in a new age where huge nuclear stockpiles are an anachronism considering our greatest threats aren't massive national military forces so much as cave-dwelling psychopaths with expense accounts. However, our new policy does leave a loophole when dealing with Iran or North Korea. Because, you know, they're fucking crazy. And personally, I'm glad Obama's on the nonproliferation track. Though this means hack science fiction writers are going to have to get creative for their post-apocalypse scenarios. Instead of a nuclear wasteland, maybe our Mad Max protagonists can stoically make their way through a barren world that suddenly ran out of Wendy's Baconators? I don't know. There's got to be some kind of horrible thing that could kill us in droves. More details here.


At an upcoming World Health Organization conference, Catherine Ison of Britain's Health Protection Agency will give a speech encouraging health experts to change the way they treat gonorrhea. According to Ison, many parts of the world have reported an upswing in antibiotic resistance in certain strains of the bacteria. To prevent it from becoming a multi-drug resistant superbug, she suggests doctors begin treating the infection with two different antibiotics simultaneously. Of course, gonorrhea is a preventable disease for anyone who uses protection when having sex, but a lot of people are apparently willing to undergo multiple antibiotic treatments and a little genital swelling if it means an infinitesimal increase in sexual sensitivity. That, or they've just never learned how to use a condom, since wasting sperm makes Jesus cry. Drug resistant gonorrhea strains have mostly been reported in southeast Asia and southern Africa, so it might be wise for those who plan to have sex in those regions to settle for lightly humping their partners while encased in a Glad bag. More details here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clearing the Air

A gentleman living in Santa Fe, New Mexico thought he'd found refuge from his electromagnetic radiation allergy when he moved into an isolated house at the end of a narrow street. But there were a few problems with his plan; the biggest of which is probably the fact that electromagnetism allergies don't exist. Also, you can't escape EM signals at the end of a deserted road, because they're literally flying through all of our heads at all times in the form of radio waves. Plus, a friend of his rented a house adjacent to his property, and she had the unmitigated gall to use a wireless router. Now, he's suing his friend for $530,000 in damages and an injunction to force her to shut off her Wi-Fi network. He says her internet use has caused him to experience nausea, vertigo, body aches, dizziness, and even a heart arrhythmia. And he has a doctor who backs up his allergy claims. Of course, this doctor specializes in "environmental medicine," which is like regular medicine in almost every way other than being based on reality. But I think this man's biggest mistake is in publicly discussing his special weakness. Now all of his nemeses know that they can render him helpless simply by pointing at him with an iPhone. More details here.

No Genes for You

A federal judge has ruled that biotech company Myriad Genetics can't patent human genes. I know what you're thinking. "Why the fuck was anyone ever allowed to patent a human gene?" Well, it's because not everyone's a dirty communist like you. See, Myriad and other companies have been filing patents on genes they've isolated and "purified" so that they can license medical research on those genes. In this particular case, Myriad patented the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have been linked to breast and ovarian cancer. So anyone looking to develop new treatments for these cancers based on research involving these genes would have to give Myriad some money. Everybody wins. Well, except for future cancer patients who would like that research done cheaply, openly, and quickly. But they're probably communists, too. Myriad is, of course, appealing the ruling, since it goes against the current patent law. It's likely this case will end up in the Supreme Court, which has previously ruled in favor allowing patents on genes. It'll be up to the ACLU and others who are suing Myriad to show that the genes being patented aren't significantly different than those occurring in nature. And it'll be up to the godless communists to whine about putting scientific freedom and basic human decency before making a few bucks off the helpless. Whiners. More details here.

Standing Up for Idiocy

Lieutenant Colonel Terry Lakin is a U.S. Army physician with eighteen years of service under his belt. Well, for now. Lt. Col. Lakin may not keep his position much longer, since he's decided to disobey a deployment order to Afghanistan until President Obama produces his birth certificate. Lakin believes any order coming from a military with Obama as commander-in-chief is potentially illegal unless Obama can prove he's qualified to be president as a natural born citizen. But the chances that Obama is a foreign impostor seem pretty slim. Partly because Obama has already produced his Hawaii birth certificate and partly because any coverup of Obama's foreigner status would have to involve the Hawaii state government, Obama's parents, all of the mainstream media, and (I'm assuming) the Moonies. However, it is the duty of all military personnel to refuse orders they believe are illegal. But it's also their duty to know enough about reality to discern an illegal order from a legal one. More details here.