Former “90210” star and lifetime nepotism receptacle Tori Spelling (the one on the left) claims that during a session with celebrity psychic John Edward, she was contacted by the late Farrah Fawcett. “I can't believe she came through to me -- the most nonconfrontational person in the world,” Spelling said. “What am I supposed to do with this information?” Who can really understand the motivations of dead people who only communicate in charades via a mush-mouthed douchebag like John Edward? It’s possible Fawcett’s ghost mistook Spelling for someone else. Or she’s just a horrifying, undead prankster. Or Spelling’s just making the whole thing up to promote her new book “TerriTORI”. (Get it? It’s about the time a mad scientist tried to create a plastic, cat-faced abomination by fusing Tori Spelling and Teri Hatcher.) Apparently, Spelling’s been doing all sorts of weird stuff on her book tour, including making up a nightmare scenario where all her former cast mates hate her. Which is, like, totally something Donna would do. What a drama queen! More details here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Scientists from the University of Michigan claim to have observed chimps in Tanzania killing each other to gain territory. In other words, they believe apes are capable of waging war on one another. This is patently absurd, as apes are well known to abhor violence toward one another. And when one ape violated this law, the consequences are harsh:
The Republican Party of Texas just published its new policy strategy and official platform for the next two years, and it’s awfully pre-occupied with hot man-on-man action. Specifically, they want anyone issuing a gay marriage license to be brought up on felony charges. And they definitely don’t want homosexuality referred to as an alternative lifestyle in public schools. Plus, they took this opportunity to reiterate the fact that God hates fags. This may seem needlessly harsh coming from a state where the men where skinny Wranglers and belt jewelry, but you must understand that Texas was nearly decimated under the rule of known homosexual George W. Bush. Texans also lost the Alamo to the Mexican army due to Davy Crockett’s preoccupation with what he called “booty roopin’”. But it’s not like gay sex is the only sex Texas Republicans hate. They can’t stand any sex. So their official platform also calls for banning any “sexually-oriented business”. Which, of course, would include such smut dens as strip clubs, novelty shops, adult book stores, and gynecology clinics. That’s right, girls. If God had wanted you spreading it for strange doctors, He wouldn’t have invented cervical cancer. More details here.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Some horrible company is marketing a new brand of snacks called Gamer Grub. These are sealed pouches full of bite-sized morsels meant to be tipped back and swallowed by people too busy playing video games to eat human food with two hands and/or utensils. Which seems unnecessary, since there are already several different types of bite-sized, bag-based snacks out there. But what sets Gamer Grub apart is its claim to provide its victims with vitamins and neurotransmitters that can boost video game performance. The excellent gaming site Kotaku has a review here. No, the photo is not of a handful of off-brand kibbles.
There’s a bill before the U.S. Senate that would grant the president emergency powers to shut down the internet. Which at first glance seems like another example of our congresspeople having little to no idea what technology is or how it works. The idea that the president could run some kind of giant off switch directly to the Oval Office seems pretty ludicrous even before you ponder whether he or she should have such power at all. But before you poo-poo the feasibility of this bill, you might want to read “Star Trek: The Return” by William Shatner and his army of unpaid Malaysian ghostwriters. In it, Captain Kirk returns from the grave and saves the universe from a Borg invasion by going to their home planet and flipping a giant off switch that shuts down their entire race. So, not so silly after all, is it? And while we’re on the subject, there should really be some wording in there about banning William Shatner from using this power should he ever become president. It’s one thing to worry that he might use it, but it’s another to know that he already has. More details here.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Japanese scientists have conclusively proven that monkeys enjoy watching television. So, think about that the next time you criticize me for keeping my monkey locked up in a 2’x2’ steel box for days at a time with only a portable DVD player and a box set of “The Wire”. Researchers used near-infrared spectroscopy to determine that when monkeys watched circus animals perform acrobatics on TV, their brains’ pleasure centers lit up in roughly the same way a human baby’s does when it sees its mother smile. Just one more thing we have in common with monkeys. Of course, we won’t know the full effect television can have on a monkey’s brain until we show them the dinner scene from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. But that’s what grant money is for. More details here.
The drug flibanserin is supposed to be the Viagra for pre-menopausal women with a low sex drive, but FDA trials have shown it doesn’t work much better than placebo. This may be bad news for women who’d love a way to bolster their libidos, but it’s great news for America’s unfrozen ‘80s standup comics. If somehow women could reverse the perception that they’re generally far less interested in sex than men, these comics would lose another of their dwindling material wells, which include the relatively low quality of airplane food, the natural dancing talents of black people, and musings on the biological origins of the McNugget. Still, it’s a good thing my lady doesn’t need a pill to get in the mood. All I have to do is a little bit of laundry once in a while! Am I right, guys? But seriously, what part of the chicken does a McNugget come from? More details here.
A North Carolina man says he was spending a typical night sounding his coyote call at three in the morning, only to be confronted by the legendary Bigfoot. Only, instead of being a snarling, vicious, brunette monster, this Bigfoot was something of a golden god. “The thing was ten feet tall with beautiful hair. Yellowish hair and a yellow beard,” the man told his local news. Also, this gorgeous vision of cryptozoological perfection appeared to have six fingers on each hand. So it should probably prepare to die. Watch:
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
A 52-year-old contractor from Colorado has been arrested trying to cross the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. According to Pakistani police, Gary Faulkner says he was on a mission to kill Osama bin Laden for organizing the destruction of the World Trade Center on... The date escapes me. Isn’t that weird? Anyway, Faulkner was caught with a pistol, night vision goggles, some Christian literature (“Twilight” books, most likely), and a sword. It’s the sword part that’s getting all the ridicule here, since swords are what crazy people use on assassinations. But I think this was just due diligence on Faulkner’s part. Every government in the world has been hunting bin Laden for almost a decade now, and he’s consistently eluded capture or death. There’s a good chance bin Laden is actually an immortal, in which case severing his head may be the only tried and true method of killing him. So it’s possible the sword was simply a corpse desecrating tool. An insurance policy, you might say. Plus, decapitating him would also keep bin Laden from rising from the grave as a vampire. (“Twilight”.) More details here.
Some say this photograph of a bird feces splatter on a car windshield captures a divine apparition of comic book writer Alan Moore. I’m not so sure. But as far as divine apparitions go, I’d say it’s much more likely this is Alan Moore than any random splotch or burn or tree gnarl is Jesus or the Virgin Mary or Elvis. Why? Because Alan Moore is a master of chaos magick. And in chaos magick, all things are possible. Moore details here.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
They say never discuss religion or politics with people. And by “they” I mean “the boring”. What could be more fun? Especially if you treat all those who disagree with you as sub-humans worthy of a phenomenal beating. And by “fun” I mean “criminally deranged”. Three men have been arrested for beating up another man at a Memorial Day bonfire in Illinois. The motive? They were having a religious discussion, and when the victim brought up demons, things got out of hand. There aren’t any more details than this, which is a shame. It’s possible the victim could have told his assailants that he was, in fact, a demon with terrible demon powers. In which case, this could be spun as self defense. But I guess we’ll never know. Fun fact: the three attackers were 18-year-old twin brothers and their 44-year-old father, pictured here in his favorite shirt from Irony Outfitters. More details here.
Scientists at the University of Essex have completed a study comparing the physical fitness of professional video gamers to pro athletes. Turns out the athletes are in better shape, which probably has something to do with the fact that they move around a lot. Thanks, science! While gamers may have better than average reflexes and coordination, they can barely make it to the bathroom without doubling over in agony. But again, this is to be expected from a group of people whose urine is 98% Mountain Dew. More surprising is the fact that professional gamers even exist. Apparently, they can make tens of thousands of dollars per year in prize money, but I wonder about the actual statistics on that. Gamers are often known to stretch the truth. For example, many of them claim “Gears of War” is actually a fun game rather than a mindless slog through an oatmeal-gray universe of shouts and steroids. And despite a total lack of corroborating evidence, some say the reason I’m so terrible at “Gears of War” multiplayer is because I’m “a fucking faggot”. More details here.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
A scientist at University College, Cork (British towns have stupid, stupid names) [UPDATE: I've been informed Cork is actually an Irish town. For those who don't know, Ireland is the walled-off area where Britain stores her piles of human garbage.] has been reprimanded for sexually harassing a colleague. But unlike normal sexual predators who simply cop feels or leave their pubic hairs on Diet Coke cans, this professor allegedly attempted to arouse a co-worker by sending her a link to a study on bat fellatio. The woman complained, and the university found in her favor. But the professor feels he's been wrongly accused, claiming that he only sent the bat blowjob story because is was relevant to his field of study. And a cadre of academics has expressed support for the professor, saying that reprimanding a scientist for distributing a scientific study is an affront to academic freedom. That may be true, but I think we're missing the forest for the trees here. What I want to know is why anyone would think a story about bat fellatio is sexually arousing? I mean, I'm as freaky as anyone, but even the taboo aspect isn't enough to turn my crank, since BATS ARE HORRIBLE, DISGUSTING CREATURES. I'm not saying they don't have any value in nature. I'm only suggesting they should be eradicated. Unless they know how to deepthroat, of course. More details here.
Botticelli's "Venus and Mars", the wispy scene of Mars and Venus lounging about post-adulterous liaison, has long been seen as a celebration of sex. Especially behind the back of Venus' husband Vulcan, who was an asshole who deserved it. But new analysis may provide a different perspective on the classic painting. In one corner of the canvas, a satyr is shown holding some kind of fruit. A Sotheby's employee consulted with some horticulturalists to find out what kind of fruit this is. Turns out it's Datura stramonium, a.k.a. Devil's trumpet, a mind-altering plant which causes lethargy and a feeling of heat that makes people want to take off their clothes. Where can you get your hands on this plant? I'm not sure. I've called my guy. But in the meantime, we're left to wonder whether Venus and Mars are depicted in post-coital bliss or simply hopped up on the trumpet. Whatever the outcome, we know this much to be true: Vulcan was an asshole. Seriously, fuck that guy. More details here.
Of course the world's going to end. Everything does. Which raises a few existential questions. Most importantly, will a post-apocalyptic world still have sloppy joes? Thankfully, one company has an answer. Entrepreneur Robert Vicino is collecting deposits on behalf of his company Vivos to build a 13,000 doomsday shelter somewhere in the Mojave Desert. Not only will it accommodate at least 132 people in its nuke-proof bunker, but it will also feature an atrium, a gym, and a restaurant with (thank God) sloppy joes on the menu. "I'm careful not to promote fear," Vicino said, before going on to promote fear by adding, "But sooner or later, I think you're going to need to seek shelter." Truer words were never spoken by someone swimming in a pool full of fear money. More details here.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Scientists at the University of Western Australia have determined that ugly guppies have better sperm. There's a lot of competition between males in the guppy world. Baby batter that can swim harder and faster than its rivals has a better chance of getting a lady pregnant, which is all those uptight guppy chicks are interested in. Some males try to get a leg up on their rivals by making sure they're as colorful and attractive as possible. But these males often tend to have weaker sperm, which may explain their overcompensation. It's important to note, however, that the same theory doesn't hold true in humans. Many men would like to think that attractive guys who put a minimal amount of effort into their appearance are secretly sexual retards, but that just isn't the case. It's less likely that a soiled t-shirt-wearing video gamer with a grease helmet will have robust sperm than it is his sperm have been permanently irradiated by the years he's spent warming his balls on the power brick of a Sega Dreamcast. More details here.
Bad news, New Zealand. There's a grim eater on the loose. But despite the fact that yours is an island chain populated by fantastical creatures such as orcs, hobbits, and Lucy Lawless, the grim eater isn't some kind of ancient monster. Instead, he's just an unidentified man who happens to enjoy attending funerals for people he doesn't know and stealing a bunch of food. According to witnesses, he carries a backpack full of Tupperware containers, which he fills with anything he can pilfer from the buffet. Which is disappointing. Not because these poor mourners are short a few pigs-in-a-blanket. But because "grim eater" should be a term reserved exclusively for characters that appear on Hot Topic t-shirts, in Neil Gaiman novels, or on a Hot Topic t-shirt worn by someone reading a Neil Gaiman novel. More details here.
We're sure to see many loving tributes to recently-deceased actor Dennis Hopper. Prepare for a lengthy applause break during next year's Academy Awards death montage, for example. And the next time you visit your friend with the collection of "Waterworld" action figures, don't be surprised if they're draped with a black cloth. But paranormal researcher Jon Kelly is celebrating Hopper's life not as an accomplished thespian, but as a proponent of true facts about UFOs. According to Kelly, Hopper's scene with Jack Nicholson in "Easy Rider" laid out many realities about extraterrestrial visitation that the public had yet to absorb. In the film, Hopper tells Nicholson about the strange lights he's seen in the sky, and Nicholson launches into an explanation of how aliens began building bases on the earth in the late '40s, after humans "started bouncin' radar beams off the moon". Kelly says before this scene, ideas like this were dismissed as belonging only to "marginalized kooks". "Easy Rider", he suggests, might have been created in part to indoctrinate the public to the realities of extraterrestrial visitation. Although that doesn't seem like the best idea, since the characters in the film are almost all marginalized kooks. Anyway, you can read more about Kelly's hypothesis here. Watch the scene yourself and make up your own mind:
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Bad news, coke heads. Your flesh might be rotting off. According to a new report in "Annals of Internal Medicine" ("annals"...heh, heh), nearly 80% of cocaine in the U.S. is cut with levamisole, a veterinary anti-worming agent that can cause a drop in white blood cell count and the disintegration of your outer skin layers. Doctors discovered the connection after noticing purplish, rotting lesions on patients with a history of cocaine use. There's no way of knowing if your coke has levamisole in it, nor is there any way of knowing exactly how you'll react to it. So, better safe than sorry is the takeaway here, I guess. In other words, I picked the wrong week to quit heroin. More details here.
Researchers at Punjab University claim to have discovered the reason for the decline in bee populations these last few years. They say an atmosphere full of cell phone signals gunks up the bees' workings and slows down their reproduction. The fact that bees have been dying off lately isn't controversial. Great Britain alone has recorded a 15% decline in bee populations in the last two years. And the number of Pooh bears found stuck in treeholes has similarly fallen. But to this layperson's mind, there seem to be a couple of problems with this particular study. The scientists set up two bee hives. One had working cell phones attached to it, and the other was fitted with dummy phones. They say the hive with the real phones shrunk, its queen produced fewer eggs, and its workers stopped making honey. But the thing is: cell phone signals are everywhere. Sticking a dummy phone to a bee hive isn't going to protect it from the radio signals flying through the air. Plus, similar signals have been transmitting since the dawn of radio. So why are the bees dying off now? I'm no researcher, I have no science degree, and I'm pretty much an idiot. But this smells like bullshit to me. For what that's worth. More details here.
Five female anchors at Al-Jazeera, the Arabic news network, have quit after being pressured by executives to wear more modest clothing. Lest you think Al-Jazeera is anything like Naked News, you should know that these anchors usually don't wear anything sexier than a blouse under a suit jacket. But then again, they have been known to show a hint of clavicle from time to time, which is prettyUGGGHHH!!! I just came all over my keyboard. Apparently, the key issue here is these women's refusal to cover their hair, which is seen as disgustingly provocative by a large portion of the network's Middle Eastern audience. No, their hair doesn't have tits all in it. This isn't an early "Star Trek" episode we're talking about here. It's just hair. But that's enough to throw some psychopaths into a homicidal rage. People are weird. More details here.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Uganda may be full of homicidally insane homophobes who'd love nothing more than to literally destroy the lives of all gay people within and without their borders, but it's important to let them have their say. Apparently, the reason they hate the queers has nothing to do with religious fundamentalism or even self-centered bigotry. It's all because of what should and should not be done with "doo doo". Warning: You probably shouldn't let your children watch this video, but you definitely SHOULD show them how feces is consumed through a human anus BEFORE sending them out of the room.
Look, I can't embed it here, but you must click through to YouTube and watch the video for "I Feel Better" by Hot Chip. Not enough musical groups are addressing important issues about the horrible powers we just grant willy-nilly to our cancer patients.
The Japanese aren't letting the world economic apocalypse get them down. While NASA announced plans to sell the Space Shuttles to the highest bidder and trade the Constellation program for the right to strap our astronauts to Russia's rocket bumpers, Japan has announced its goal of building a robot moon base by 2020. Unlike the little R/C cars we've been sending to Mars, Japanese moonbots will be vaguely humanoid, with two arms, a torso, and a head-like area. Of course, this is strictly required by Japanese laws mandating that all robotic entities be at least semi-fuckable. But still. Having a functional moon base is an important step toward better exploring the solar system. Plus, it'll be a great place for space explorers to get away from the wife for a few days and fuck a robot or two. More details here.
Over at The Skeptical Review, our own Karl Mamer has a lengthy and insightful interview with our own Doctor Atlantis. You may remember Doctor Atlantis for his contribution to the Amateur Scientist Podcast Halloween special or from his dealings with Glenn Beck's army of seed people. Or from some tentacle fetishist program he hosts. And you may remember Karl from his years spent chronicling mediocre podcasts and their gimpish creators. He also interviewed me for The Skeptical Review not long ago, and aside from the part about my relationship with Helen Mirren (it was STRICTLY consensual), I was quoted warmly and accurately.
Public service announcement: If you're at the ATM in Toronto and someone tells you you have poop on your pants, probably best to run away. Police are investigating a series of robberies in which the perps approach ATMs and splatter patrons with liquid feces from squirt bottles. While pretending to help their marks dab at the dooky stains, the bandits then make off with a wad of cash. This is a unique approach to the old bait and switch style of short con, but I'm a little surprised it works so well. I can't think of anything more embarrassing than being caught in public with visible mudbutt except for maybe being caught in public with visible mudbutt and having someone offer to help me clean it up. I may not assume this person is a robber, but I'd definitely suspect he might be some kind of coprophile. Regardless, citizens of the greater Toronto area should be on the lookout for gentlemen skulking around ATMs with bottles full of brown liquid. So, you know, proceed as usual. More details here.
- Apes Kill Apes
- Steers and Queers
- It’s What Gamers Crave!
- Kill Switch
- The Monkey Box
- Limp Ladies Remain Limp
- Gentlemen Prefer Blonde Bigfeet
- Bin Laden Hunter
- The League of Extraordinary Shit
- Demon Fight
- Muffin’s Devil Music
- De Blob
- Guppy Spunk
- Beware the Grim Eater
- The Hopper Files
- Coke Rot
- Cover or Walk
- Eat Da Poo Poo
- I Feel Better
- Under the Diving Helmet
- Poo and Run
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