Friday, March 30, 2007

Pencils made out of Human Remains

Hypothetically, let's say I’ve got two major problems:

Problem #1:
Arrrgh -- I just don’t have enough writing implements! Whenever I need to write a note, it seems like there’s nothing at hand!

Problem #2:
Arrrgh -- Grandpa just died and I don’t know what to do with this body! Somebody help!

Well somebody did help, by inventing a way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Why not cremate Grandpa and turn his ashes into lead pencils? One typical grandpa makes 240 useful pencils! Win-win!

Overweight grandpas will make even more pencils!

Sure it’s reassuring to know someone’s looking out for you from heaven. But wouldn’t it be even more reassuring to have them with you during times of need—like whenever you took a Scan-tron test?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Feel-Good Family Fun Story from the Old Country!

The following is a continuing series, that attempts to, if not explain, then at least examine the philosophical differences between a certain "G" and myself.

We we're talking about “family values” and G shares following fun family story from the old country:

During WWI, my grandmother’s grandmother, Anna, was widowed in a small farming town. She was a large, strong woman who after her husband disappeared in the war re-married to a small, lazy man named Laszlo. He was a useless drunk who spent all of the family’s income at the town’s only pub.

One night, Lazlo comes home stone drunk and starts punching the stove. Back in those days, they were wood-burning with hot metal stovetop rings to regulate the fire. One of these rings lands on his hands and he starts to scream. Anna wakes from the commotion and instead of removing the hot ring holds Laszlo’s hands in the air so he can’t free himself, “So you want to punch our stove! Punch it with these.“

He passes out from pain and drink. When he wakes up the next day with huge blisters on his hands; he asks Anna what happened. Anna responds, “How should I know, you shouldn’t drink so much!”

At this point G is laughing uproariously. My jaw has dropped about 45 degrees from horizontal.

The story continues some weeks later with Laszlo stumbling home drunk again. He loudly shouts, “Woman! I’m hungry--make me a sausage sandwich!” She shouts back for him go get fucked. He stumbles into the smokehouse (a shack where they used to preserve meat) angrily knocking sausage strands into the dirt. Anna bursts in and starts beating him with a fallen sausage, “You want sausage? I’ll give you sausage, you miserable drunkard!”

He’s ineptly fighting back and she calls in the children to sit on his legs while she grabs a broom. With him restrained, Anna uses the handle and proceeds to beat his shins into bloody shin-pulp. He passes out.

The next morning he wakes up and asks his wife why he can’t walk. She again responds “How should I know, you shouldn’t drink so much.”

Somehow my jaw had dropped a few more degrees, “All this really happened--and you’re actually related to these people? What the fuck?!"

G just laughs more uproariously, “Oh don’t be such an uptight prude, he totally had it coming.”

The story again continues some time later. Laszlo is drunk and the neighbors hear another explosive argument from the couple. Then nothing. According to Anna, she threw his clothes out the window and politely asked him to leave. He was never seen by anyone in town again. According to the neighbors, she probably just hit him too hard on the head and dumped his body in an abandoned well.

Me: stunned silence.

G: Pretty cool story huh?

Me: No, it’s pretty un-cool. That’s an absolutely horrible story.

G: Well, I say good for that Anna! She really stood up for herself. And besides nobody knows for sure what happened to that worthless Laszlo. Anyway, he probably beat her too.

Me: Uh, maybe, but that woman sounds like a vindictive husband murderer, and you’re related to her, making you a woman of murderer-descent.

G: She did what she had to. I think it’s a good story because she’s, you know, like an early feminist, a woman who refuses to be a victim. The story also shows that she was an early advocate against alcohol abuse; which was really progressive back then.

Small fry

A new Japanese invention.

Goldfish aquarium combined with a deep fryer. The hot oil floats on top and doesn’t hurt the fish, and they get to eat the crumbs that fall out of the fryer.

Now, that's just some cool synergy.

Reminds me of the old saying:

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man how to build a fryer/aquarium and he’ll eat fish until the health inspector shuts him down.

(Via BoingBoing)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

McJob Part 2

Offical McDonald's Press Release

McDonald's is redefining the phrase McJob in a bold, disruptive new campaign to address negative misconceptions of work at the company. A series of posters will examine the benefits of working at McDonald's and round off with the phrase 'Not bad for a McJob'. The aim is to turn the negative connotations of a McJob into positive ones and set the record straight.

The hard-hitting campaign goes live in McDonald's 1,200 restaurants around the country on 20 April. An example of the posters include:

- McProspects - over half our Executive Team started in our restaurants. Not bad for a McJob

The Other Official McDonald’s Break Room Inspirational Posters:

3/29 Update: Mayor McCheese responds in the comments:

Please remove the offensive image immediately or I will be forced to turn this matter over to my legal counsel, McRothberg & McWeinstein, who share our corporate slogan: "Billions and Billions Served."

Monday, March 26, 2007

McDonalds Declares War on How People Talk

McDonalds has launched a campaign to pressure the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to change its published definition of the term “McJob” which it finds objectionable.

The word has meant a bad job for at least 20 years. The first documented print citation occurred in 1986 via the Washington Post. The term was later popularized by Douglas Coupland's 1991 book "Generation X." and has been in the dictionary since 2001.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a "McJob" is "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector."

Doesn’t sound too controversial, but there’s a dissenter:

"It's the complete opposite to that," Amanda Pierce, McDonald's spokesperson told ABC News. "It's stimulating, rewarding and offers a wide range of opportunities,"

Those pointy-headed dictionary guys really dropped the ball on “McJob”, accidentally printing the exact opposite definition. What an e-gre-gious error! The truth is from now on McJob will only mean a stockbroker salaried at $200K+ starting.

There’s an inherent conflict between how the public talks about McDonalds and how McDonald’s wants the public to talk about McDonalds. Ask a random person off the street to free associate McDonalds and they will never say the words “stimulating” or “rewarding” or “edible”. They will instead say things like cheap…greasy…styrofoamy…gassy...clown molestation-y… but terms like that won’t be appearing in the latest McRib commercials. Except for that one David Lynch is guest directing.

It’s not the dictionary that’s making people say McJob. It’s because they already say McJob that it’s in the dictionary. What McDonald’s needs to do is organize a grassroots protest petition of the people or something—

In May, McDonald's will offer its employees the opportunity to sign a petition to change the term McJob into something more positive, changing the public perception of McDonald's jobs. This request will be submitted to dictionary publishing houses.

“Opportunity” in this case means all valued urinal-cake replacement team members must sign the manager's petition before going home.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A salt on nature

Did ancient conquerors punish their enemies by sowing captured fields with salt?

Don't be stupid.

As with most things, it's all about the money. Spitefully punishing your enemies with pestilence and death is good innocent fun-- but not if you have to dump precious commodity on the ground to do it.

Consider these facts:

Cecil estimates it'd take 31 tons to ruin an acre of farmland. Salt was the bling of the Roman era and in fact the word "salary" comes from "salt". Ergo there's no way that conquering Roman soldiers would take a pay cut to teach Carthage a lesson about throwing down.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Book of Banana 3:16

Of all the imitators of YouTube, again, GodTube delivers the goods. I can't help but wonder how long this is going to last. PornoTube will no doubt be here to stay for years. BeastTube will no doubt be shut down by the authorities any minute. But the administrators of GodTube have to be wondering if people are linking to them for all the wrong reasons...

This is the same "Way of the Master" clip that that was on TV that calls the modest Banana the “Atheist's Worst Nightmare”. This is fruit-based logic at it's most logical.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Increase Your Slur Word Power!

This is just interesting. The people who work at the Random House Dictionary have taken it upon themselves to quantify exactly how inappropriate certain words are:

When we label sensitive terms for Random House Webster's College Dictionary, there are a lot of factors to consider. The way we decide has to do with how offensive a word is (the degree to which a word offends the person it is used to describe) and how disparaging a word is (the degree to which the person who uses the word intends for it to be hurtful).

Here are the 2 tables; both get worse as they go from 0 to 5:

Level 0 – Random House is right, these terms aren’t very offensive. Moslem just sounds old-timey; Guys has developed into a casual way to address a group of mixed-gender people; and Cover Girl actually sounds like a compliment.

Level 1 – Housewife could just be descriptive…but I guess Homemaker or Stay-at-Home-Parent are the more neutral terms of today. Domestic Engineer is just too absurd. Old Maid should probably be higher than a 1. French Maid should score a 5 for hotness. Bored Housewife a 4.

Level 2 – Eskimo? Seriously? Nobody is going to buy Inuit Pies.

Level 3 – Indian Giver is definitely worse than Gypped (I’d say it’s a 2), which is supposed to be bad because it’s derived from Gypsy and they’re stereotypically known for stealing--and for ancient curses to drive contrived movie plots. Many professional sports team names would fall at level 3 (Redskins, Indians, Braves).

Level 4 – Okie? Like is that a slur for all people from Oklahoma or just the ones who fled the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression? There can't be too many of those people around today. Should the musical “Oklahoma” be deemed offensive, I mean besides for general suckiness? No way Okie should be this high.

Level 5 – These are all really bad. I do wonder how they decide what gets capitalized. Like do they survey KKK chapters and ask how they spell them in their official paperwork?

Level 0 – I was always taught: rugs are Oriental, people are Asian. Just as an FYI: Occidental is the word that describes all that is not Oriental. Welsh Rabbit (toasted cheese) seems more disparaging than “Welsh On a Deal” since it implies that the good people of Wales are too stupid to tell rabbit meat from cheese.

Level 1 – Egghead seems roughly equal to Pointy-head or Ivory Tower Dweller. I have no idea what they mean by “grind”…is this an adjective that describes a type of person? And these “grinds” would be disparaged by this? That would be so grindy- of those grindish grinds. Grind them!

Level 2 – Little Woman only gets used as a joke these days, unless she’s literally only 3 feet tall and you’re into that. Harelip seems like a mere medical description, but if I HAD a harelip then this word should be a 4+. Cripple seems worse; Crip and Gimp far worse. Just in case, maybe it’s just best not to talk to the 3-foot tall crippled harelip at all.

Level 3 – Canuck seems silly, I rank it down there with Yank and Limey. All 3 are at least a point higher than a more neutral Aussie and half a point lower than a dismissive Kiwi. I don’t know what a “haole” is so it’s hard to be properly offended. I hope I’m not one—cause it’s so easy to call someone an ass-haole

Level 4 – Spaz should not be anywhere near this level! It’s should be below Egghead and Nerd. Even Geek is worse than Spaz since it originally meant Circus Geek who bites the head off of chickens. Spaz might be worse only if you have a spastic medical condition, which makes you involuntarily spasm (as opposed to ‘gasm). Honky doesn’t seem as bad as Cracker because the latter implies lower class. Redneck is right around here too.

Level 5 – I can only assume “ofay” is a really bad word by the company it keeps at this level. But what is it? According to Random House, currently the very worst word in the English Language is Nigger since it’s both highly disparaging and highly offensive. It’s like the Perfect Storm. Changing it to Nigga or Niggaz probably drops it half a point. “N-word” even lower. Speaking of softening up a slur qualitatively: Faggot > Fag > Homo > Queer > Gay > Tidy; maybe dropping a point at each step. I just came up with that.

In conclusion there’s a complex relationship between speaker and audience. And context. Many of these terms can be appropriated with a sense of pride by the described party. Like you know, using the n-word.
Here’s a chart to prove these conclusions. Notice the half-assed valley of semi-offensiveness in the middle. That’s where you go if you call someone an “Eskimo Egghead” or a “Moslem Spaz”.

Knowing lots of words can make you sound smart and boost your career—but to impress employers you only have to use some slurs on your resume, not all of them.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

March 21st - Happy Vernal Equinox Day

It's not an important holiday in modern times, but in traditional agrarian cultures the Vernal Equinox meant farmers could start planting without fear of late frost. So every year it was celebrated with elaborate public festivals--the Venereal Equinox not as much-- although it did involve a lot more private scratching.

Learn all about it: over here.

‘Tis spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love—and plowing*

True fact: Did you know the Vernal Equinox is the reason that that the Vatican employees actual astronomers? Easter is timed to occur on the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the vernal equinox.

Why the Holy See has to hire an expensive team of PhDs to figure this out instead of just say looking at a calendar remains, like many things, mysterious and divine.

*anonymous NSA plowing


GodTube is the new YouTube

Presenting Exhibit A: Baby Got Bible

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

It's a silly nonsensical message, but this Supreme Court case actually has important ramifications for free speech. Specifically can schools and other public institutions limit speech if it contradicts their "educational mission"?

I say no.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lady Justice

Recent Harper’s Index Item:

*Amount Judge Judy’s salary last year exceeded the combined salaries of the US Supreme Court: $23,243,000

No way, that just can’t be true--Harpers committed a typo.

Turns out it’s true. Supreme Court Justice is a pretty good gig if you can get it…the average SC Justice has a $194,000 salary, which is enough to keep anyone in black robes and cans of Coke. If you’re especially ambitious you can work your way to the top and become the SC Chief Justice for a nice little raise. The top guy pulls down $203,000. Of course they’re all working hard hearing cases, setting precedent, writing opinions and generally defining how the nation’s laws are to be interpreted.

Judge Judy on the other hand is a former judge acting as an arbiter in Small Claims Court where the maximum settlement is $5,000 and no lawyers are present. Mostly it’s next-door neighbors complaining about each other. Needless to say history-altering legal precedent is not being set in her chambers.

Judge Judy’s in the 3rd year of a $100 million 4-year contract meaning she got paid $25 million for last year. So mathematically she’s 14 times as important as the entire Supreme Court and 123 times as awesome as Chief Justice Roberts.

As the following chart proves:

She’s also a million times better than Judge Joe Brown times Judge Wapner. Based on belittling skills.

And even though King Solomon was the most famous judge of all (he’s the one who decided that two women claiming the same baby should each get half*) and absolute ruler of his people AND had 300 wives and 700 concubines—I’m pretty sure Judge Judy makes more money than he ever did too. And that’s just got to sting.

Related: The World’s Richest Bailiff

Byrd's [Judge Judy’s Bailiff] duties aren't onerous. He spends a fair amount of time doing crosswords that he affixes to an official-looking clipboard when the cameras are rolling.

* Case of Baby vs. Sharp Knife (later reversed on appeal)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Like many Americans, 67 million and counting, I'm part Irish. That's why I'm so offended after reading this ...

Myth: Shamrocks are associated with the holiday because St. Patrick used them as a teaching tool for the pagan Celts he converted to Christianity. The Shamrock's 3 leaves symbolize the holy Trinity.

Reality: Shamrocks were just the first things Patrick saw when he woke up face down in a field after a particularly bad bender.

He's the one Saint most associated with our land and our people and the Internet just disrespects him like a common Italian Saint. And that's just the distasteful beginning of the 13 Common Myths of St. Patrick's Day

Extreme Price Discrimination in Prescription Drugs

Man the elderly are sure getting hosed!


90 tablets of generic Prozac:

Walgreens: $117
Sam’s Club: $15
Costco: $12

Get rid of the Dollar

No more dollars!

So like, hey man, can I have your dollar? I gotta buy me a sandwich. Anything helps.

This year, the United States Treasury is trying to replace the one-dollar bill with a one-dollar coin. As the article notes, this is the fourth time they’ve tried to do this. The other 3 were failures:

There are good reasons to use dollar-coins vs. dollar-bills. Coins cost 3 times much to make, but last on average 30 years vs. a mere 22-months for a paper bill.

It’s one of those things like adopting the Metric system that makes sense. It’ll save the US Treasury money in the long run and other countries already do it, but also nobody cares.

From Slate:

But back to dollar bills: Why keep producing them? The Bureau of Engraving and Printing pumps out 3.4 billion fresh singles every year. Pressure from bill partisans at the BEP even kneecapped the Sacagawea ad campaign. According to the GAO, "an informal Treasury restriction" prohibited the Mint from suggesting that a coin was superior to a bill.

One TV spot showcasing a frustrating vending-machine moment (vvmp-vvvvmp, vvmp-vvvvmp) was scotched, after a combative meeting at the Treasury, on the grounds that it "negatively portrayed the dollar bill."

Who on earth thinks like this? People who have a vested interest in producing dollar bills, that's who. They come, principally, from three groups: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing; Mississippi cotton farmers, whose fibers make up the 100-percent-rag currency paper; and Crane & Company, a Massachusetts paper mill known for excellent stationery and a century-old papermaking contract with the government.

I love the battle-royale of big special interests that’s shaking up:

· Vending Machine Industry (people spend more money when it’s in coin form and it’s cheaper to not fit machines with bill readers)
· Mining Interests (copper, zinc)
· Coin Collectors (people who live with their mothers)

· Cotton Growers (the bills are 100% cotton fiber)
· Specialty Paper/Ink Suppliers
· Strippers' G-string Alliance
· People who do coke

It's pretty much a toss-up. But this time the US Treasury Department is taking no chances and have developed some sure-fire ad slogans to convince the American public to switch from dollar bills to dollar coins:

Ad #1
[scene: children sitting with elderly woman in front of a fireplace]

"Grandma, tell us another long-winded story about driving the Model-T Ford to a vaudeville show and paying using paper one-dollar bills.”

[Announcer voice-over: “Paper Dollars…Grandma…Pterodactyls….They’re all extinct. Evolve with the new Dollar Coin – It’s So Money! ™”]

Ad #2
[scene: Superbowl MVP directly shouting into camera]

"Hi, I'm Peyton Manning and I'm here to tell you just one thing: only monumental pussies still use dainty little paper doll-ars! Dollar coins: it's a Currency Touchdown!"

[fade out, next scene: MVP is shown in hottub with 3 bikini models. Dollar coins shower down from the ceiling]

Ad #3

Ad #4
[scene: man enters a crowded coffee shop]

"I used to be just a normal wimpy guy until the US Treasury Dept. convinced me that real manly men pay by slapping down a gleaming hunk of metal on the counter and motherfuckin’ roaring “Iced Soy Latte!!!” right into the barista’s ear"

[fade out, next scene: man is shown smoking in bed with the attractive barista. Dollar coins shower down from the ceiling]

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I’m not at liberty to say where I’ve been for a week, but there’s that famous old folk saying:

If you swim in the Puget Sound towards the military base—at night—wearing a turban. Then you have to expect that you’re going to get bounced around a bit by trained Navy dolphins.

Lesson learned, lesson learned.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Coalition of the Swimming

In addition to chimpanzees and snow leopards, it looks like animal week continues here with local news story.

And it comes from Newsweek (full disclosure: I'm a self-loathing subscriber) which sometimes borders on parody. Like the following article, is this for real?

Actual Newsweek Title:Coalition of the Swimming

Actual Newsweek Graphic:

Actual story: The Navy said it needs to bolster security at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, on the Puget Sound close to Seattle.The base is home to submarines, ships and laboratories and is potentially vulnerable to attack by terrorist swimmers and scuba divers. The preferred plan would be to send as many as 30 California sea lions and Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins from the Navy's Marine Mammal Program, based in San Diego.

Dolphins are excellent at patrolling for swimmers and divers. When a Navy dolphin detects a person in the water, it drops a beacon. This tells a human interception team where to find the suspicious swimmer. Sea lions can carry in their mouths special cuffs attached to long ropes. If the animal finds a rogue swimmer, it can clamp the cuff around the person's leg. The individual can then be reeled in for questioning.

(1) Is America attacked so often by sinister SCUBA DIVERS to justify a program like this? Once snorkels are criminalized, only criminals will snorkel.

(2) If sea lions can really chase down and cuff a suspect, why is it the only jobs they get are clapping their fins at the circus?

(3) The dolphin to the left looks like it's packing some serious heat on it's starboard fin. Halt! You have the right to remain silent and squeeee-squek-squee-eeeee.

(4) Are sea lions going to make trustworthy cops, or will their integrity be compromised the first time a perp bribes them with a smelt?

Friday, March 2, 2007

Overheard on the Bus - Fur Real

[The scene: #540 bus, early morning commute. Loud Woman, mid-20s sits behind me with a much quieter friend]

So you know Tommy, that guy I’m dating off and on? We’ll guess what, he’s seeing this little 20-year old skank in Tacoma. Yeah they met on the fucking Internet, probably using the computer I bought for him. But whatever, I don’t care.

He can do whatever he wants, except that she’s a real freak. She’s a furry. You don't know what
that is? Well, she dresses as a snow leopard—in bed--and her IM handle is SnowLepordess or some shit like that.

And get this; he says he only IM chatted with her because he thought I’d like her. Bullshit! Like she’d be my type! I mean she’s sort of pretty in the face, but this chick is short and a fat ass. And she has a horrible personality, that’s probably why she needs to dress up like animals so she can meet other freaks on freak websites. Tommy and I so don’t have the same taste in women.

I really could care less what he and his new little skankette friend do with their free time. Do you know what an anthropomorphic animal is? Yeah it’s all kinds of anime animal costumes and fucked up half human shit. And there’s always a flap at the crotch.

I mean, I personally think those animal costumes are beautiful with the realistic fur and feathers and whatnot. I really admire the artistry. And I could see wearing something tasteful, like to rave, but wearing that shit while fucking—that’s just wrong.

And she’s a freak. You know what she said she wants sexually? So she wants to be dominated in bed by a man dressed as an upright fox. With fox ears and fur and a fox tail. Oh yeah, did I mention she still lives at home with her parents?

Paul’s notes and observations:

(1) Even though she "doesn't care", Loud Woman spoke on this topic for the entirety of the 30-minute bus ride
(2) Loud Woman’s friend said no more than 10 words during the 30-minute bus ride
(3) Presumably Loud Woman is bi-sexual. Because she must’ve loudly informed the entire bus of this fact at least 3 times.
(4) The Loud Woman herself was, shall we say, zaftig. But at least she had a great personality. Right?
(5) I don’t see how an animal as small as a fox could ever “sexually dominate” a full-grown snow leopard. Unless sexually dominate is code for “become a meal for”.
(6) Really, I’m trying to read my magazine up here, but how can I?
(7) Public Transportation is so awesome it hurts

Thursday, March 1, 2007


I need to see this movie, based solely on the concentration of beautiful stupidity in this one still:

So awesome! This is America's official currency 500 years in the future. Given where we're at now, this is entirely plausible.

A movie review, based on the type-setting used in the film: