| Filed under Regular Post

Canadian drivers are too nice, police say

Let it never be said that the police in Prince Edward Island, Canada don’t enjoy their jobs. Fresh off of threatening potential drunk drivers with Nickelback, they now want people to drive more selfishly.

The province is plagued with drivers who are so considerate that they are causing accidents, police say. Drivers are stopping and waving along people making left turns, which can end up in T-bone accidents, and could make the waver liable for insurance costs. That’s why authorities are asking drivers to stop being so nice to each other.

Did you know that turning right on a red light is illegal in Canada? An oppressive regime.

| Filed under Booze News

Craft beer’s war isn’t with Bud, it’s with bud

Washington state, Oregon and Colorado are home to some of the finest craft breweries in the country, but beer isn’t selling like it used to in those states, thanks to marijuana.

According to a new report, residents in those states are increasingly choosing weed over suds. Legalized marijuana has allowed more choices for those who want a buzz, which means people aren’t picking up as much craft beer as they used to. Data shows that beer sales haven’t matched expectations in the past two years, meanwhile, marijuana sales are high. (GET IT?)

But all this really means is that the brewery that makes a smokable beer will be  very rich.

| Filed under It Must Be Science!, Nostalgia Craze Gone Too Far

Extinct plant perfume: Smells like nostalgia

For the last couple centuries, humanity has been kicking ass in the War on Plants. But some perfume makers want to bring some of those long-extinct species back–at least their scents.

Ginkgo Bioworks is going to make a whole new slew of scents from plants that have gone extinct in the last 2oo years or so. Researchers plan to take DNA from extinct plants and splice them into yeast to create produce the essence of the plants’ flowers. Of course, no one living can actually verify what these plants smelled like, so it’s very possible they’re just going to charge you for a bottle of scientist farts.

It’s sort of like Jurassic Park, only stuff is only a couple hundred years old and none of it will kill you, unless chaos theory is right again.

| Filed under War on Animals

‘Crazy ants’ hit us where it hurts: our screens

"Oh, were you going to charge that phone? Eff you!"
“Oh, were you going to charge that phone? Eff you!”

For all their preparation, ants have had it rough lately. Nobody goes on picnics, or outside at all, so they’ve been forced to live on bugs and dead stuff like it’s the Stone Age or something. It was only a matter of time before a species figured out how to still get handouts from humans. In this case, it’s crazy ants, and they’re going directly after our electronics.

Tawny crazy ants, or Nylanderia fulva, are the latest South American import ant and may soon replace the fire ant — they’re immune to the acid in fire ant stings. But, let’s not celebrate yet. They also have a weird thing for swarming and destroying electronics, including power boxes, outlets and devices like televisions. In Texas, they’ve already driven down home prices by invading and destroying home electrical systems.

So, since we wouldn’t go outside and feed the ants, they’re forcing us back out by taking away our porn and Netflix. Nature always finds a way.

| Filed under Booze News

Your pets are swiping your booze, vets say

If you pour a glass of something, make sure you finish it. It’s common decency, and it could save a life, according to vets in the U.K.

There are awful people out there who don’t finish the drink you made for them, and your dogs are literally booze hounds. Vets say that pets are more likely to get alcohol poisoning this time of year by drinking unattended or abandoned drinks at parties you host. So make sure your guests gulp down every last sip before you allow them to leave.

Also, teach your dogs and cats that they are not allowed to drink until they are 21 human years old.

| Filed under Pro vs. Con

Pro vs. Con: Yule be sorry

argument

The Guys – well, Rick and Bryan, anyway – are at an impasse. We both agree that, since Thanksgiving is over, we’re in the officially acceptable period of expressing Christmas joy. But, is there a Too Soon for dialing Christmas up to 11? Are there limits, both structurally and psychologically, to how quickly we should ramp up Christmas? Can we maintain the holiday spirit for an entire month, or should we taper it off a bit to make it to December 25th? Bryan believes this is stupid and insane (Con), and Rick thinks it’s not only inevitable but makes December better (Pro).

We hash out all this and more in Pro vs. Con: Yule Be Sorry Edition.

Christmas trees and other decorations

In the real vs. fake tree debate, the only one that can entertain for an entire month is fiber optic.
In the real vs. fake tree debate, the only one that can entertain for an entire month is fiber optic.

Rick: There’s definitely a Too Soon for Christmas decorations, and that’s any time before Thanksgiving. Stores setting up Christmas displays before Halloween? That’s ridiculous, and Christmas in July is a buttf*cking blasphemy. But, once we’re past Thanksgiving? I say go for it.

Christmas decorations in my house mean rearranging furniture, heaving lifting, gardening/floristry, ladders and outdoor work. You won’t have a larger unpaid labor force any other day of the year than on the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving, which you can pay in leftovers. With that amount of work put into decorating, I’m not taking them down until my final eviction notice in mid-January. I figure there’s Advent, Christmas Eve and Day, the twelve days of Christmas, the Epiphany (if you’re Catholic), New Years, and then the two weeks of 2016’s hangover.

Bryan: If you’re able to move off the couch after Thanksgiving, you’re doing it wrong. The day after Thanksgiving is for one thing only: praying for a smooth bowel movement. Continue reading

| Filed under Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, Scurry '16

In democracy, machines count for something

Letting machines take over our elections means that people who protest the results will look less crazy and more like John Connor.
Letting machines take over our elections means that people who protest the results will look less crazy and more like John Connor.

Good news, everyone, about the recount in Wisconsin! … No, not that. He probably still won. But! The recount should prove that, when (not “if”) the machines take over, they’re even better at democracy than we are. So, the singularity shouldn’t be a totalitarian dictatorship!

For all the worries about human error in vote counting and machines screwing up, four election experts believe that the Wisconsin recount will prove two things: (1) we’re better at counting votes than we think, and (2) machines are better than us at it and, therefore democracy.

Previous recounts show a 0.28 percent discrepancy in hand-counted votes, while computer-counted votes only had a 0.17 percent discrepancy. And even when the machines screw up, it’s mostly when a human factor interrupts the computer process, like a human logging computer counts incorrectly on a pen and ink form.

So, if we really want a more representative government, then perhaps it’s time to throw out the factor that keeps (minutely) screwing it up: humans.

| Filed under You Missed It

You Missed It: Nurse Molly edition

Side effects include excessive accessorizing.Last week my wife and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever. Technically, that makes us grownups. The thing is, I don’t think you ever really feel like an adult, you just do things you want or have to do, and without realizing it you make yourself into a decent member of society. A great example is the turkey I cooked. I had no idea what I was doing. I just googled things on how to thaw, brine and cook a turkey, and sort of did it on my own. It came out great, which means I’m a turkey expert now, only I don’t feel like it. If you were busy being named the National Mall’s first black Santa Claus this week, odds are you missed it.

Operation Rollin’ Thunder
This week, the Food and Drug Administration approved new trials for testing MDMA, the 90s and early 00s party drug better known as ecstasy, to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. Test subjects so far have reported generally positive results, although they have requested that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs hotline hold music have more EDM in the mix.

Study: Your grandparents were right
A new study has found that the old adage “never go to bed angry” may be good advice after all. Scientists found that subjects were less likely to think back on something negative, like an argument, if they resolved the issue and had a solid night’s sleep. Those who didn’t resolve the issue tended not to sleep as well and were more likely to have memories of the issue associated with anger. The scientists’ wives remain unconvinced.

Secret to long life is breakfast at every meal
The oldest person in the world, Italy’s Emma Morano, celebrated her 117th birthday this week. She attributed her longevity to her diet of biscuits and raw eggs, which she has been eating for 90 years. So if you don’t want to end up like her, avoid those foods.

| Filed under Regular Post

Alt-right declares war on cereal

Breitbart, the self-proclaimed mouthpiece of the conservative white nationalist rebranding movement known as the “alt-right,” has had a lot to celebrate lately. They got their horse to win the horse race, and then their horse picked their executive chairman to be a part of the horse’s transition team. But now comes the real war.

A number of companies have stopped advertising with Breitbart, most notably, Kellogg’s. Being the tough, rational news outlet that it is, Breitbart responded by calling Kellogg’s decision “un-American” and calling on its readers to boycott the company. The supposed lovers of free markets and corporate personhood don’t like that a company has chosen to take its business elsewhere.

This is 2016, a supposedly credible news source is starting a war with what is widely regarded as part of this complete breakfast.

| Filed under It Must Be Science!, Sex Sells

Astronaut blindness explained, hairy palms still mystery

NASA ruled out masturbation after removing the bathroom door did not affect vision impairment rates.
NASA ruled out masturbation after removing the bathroom door did not reduce vision impairment rates.

It’s not exactly well advertised by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on LinkedIn, but extended stays on the International Space Station — or in micro-gravity in general — may irreparably damage your vision. Two-thirds of astronauts spending six months or longer on the ISS now suffer from permanently blurry vision. Unsurprisingly, this “blindness” is fluid-related; surprisingly, it’s from brain fluids, not … idle hands.

We already know that fluid behaves differently in zero-G. What we didn’t realize is that, given enough time, the cerebrospinal fluid in the skull’s brain cavity flows willy-nilly and can eventually press on the backs of the eyeballs enough that they flatten a bit. And changing the shape of the eye even a little is enough to impair the ability to focus.

At the moment, NASA has no plan to prevent this as there’s no way to control where fluid flows within the skull. The only current possibilities are either shorter stays or inventing artificial gravity — which introduces its own problem:

Nobody installed seatbelts onboard the ISS.
Nobody installed seat belts onboard the ISS.