| Filed under You Missed It

You Missed It: Silent war edition

Warmongers everywhere.

This is the worst time of year for sports. Football is over. Baseball isn’t here yet. It’s the dog days of the hockey season. And basketball sucks. Sure, there’s March Madness to look forward to, but that’s just about brackets, not about the sport. Regardless, it’s basketball, which is just barely above racing in terms of sports I care about. If you were busy asking the FBI to go to bat for you this week, odds are you missed it.

Phones can start wars
Kids are always texting and tweeting on the cellphones, right? No one thinks that it’s a bigger problem than Pope Francis. During an address to some students, His Holiness advised the kids to put their phones down at the dinner table and have a real, face-to-face conversation with adults, or else it’s “the start of war if there is no dialogue.” However, the students were too busy plotting their war against adults via text message.

New level of s*&^$y performance
A band made headlines this week after reports surfaced that a failed enema stunt on stage got them banned from a venue in Houston. According to the bar owner, Sonic Rabbit Hole performed on stage, and then one band member gave another member an enema, and the bag burst. And that, Mr. President, is why we need to support the arts.

Joke’s on him
Speaking of disgusting enemas, some guy got dropped from his book deal, as well as a speaking gig at an ultra-conservative conference, and was forced to resign from his job because he argued for child molestation. Moving on.

| Filed under Sex Sells

Swedish town may enact the paid funch

Sweden, the land of cheap furniture and imaginary terrorist attacks, could soon have another great thing going for it.

One town council member there has suggested that citizens be allowed to take an hour off from work to go home and bang. Sweden already has a mandated coffee breaks during the day, but this could take things a step further. Under the proposal, workers would have a paid one-hour break to go home and spend time with their partner, and we all know what that really means. Critics say the rule would be unenforceable, as workers could simply spend their paid break doing anything.

Besides, they should only need a minute or two, or is that just us?

| Filed under It Must Be Science!

#MPGA

Eat sh*t, My Very Energetic Mother who Just Served Us Nachos. This isn’t a ballgame — we demand Pizza.

Can you believe that, 10 years ago, Pluto stopped being a planet? Well, a planet planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) made it a dwarf planet, along with Ceres (OPA, represent!), Makemake and Eris. Yes, it’s been a decade since the only time Neil deGrasse Tyson disappointed anyone who isn’t a creationist. Everyone above a certain age beat their breasts and tore at their clothes because My Very Energetic Mother no longer Just Served Us any Pizzas, much less Nine of them.

But, the world, solar system, our universe and even the rest of us moved on. Except for some NASA scientists who allege that Pluto’s demotion has reduced interest and possibly even funding into projects like New Horizons to explore it. So, they’re proposing yet another definition for planets: any self-gravitational spheroid object that’s never undergone nuclear fusion. Or, round, but not a star.

Seems good enough, right? Let’s #MakePlutoGreatAgain!

Except … that means that we won’t have just nine planets again. The new definition will encompass moons, asteroids, balls of ice past Pluto and possibly even comets as planets. Oh, the things we’ll have to make our mothers do to memorize that list!

If these scientists think dwarf planets bore people, imagine how boring planetary exploration will become if everything’s a planet. Or, stated more simply: if everything is exciting, nothing is. Such is life.

| Filed under It Must Be Science!, War on Animals

Study: Cats not making crazy cat ladies crazy

Cats have long held us under their spell, and science has done a lot of important work trying to explain why. In recent years, researchers have linked a parasite from our feline friends to slowed reaction times and mental illness. And now none of that may actually be true.

According to researchers in the U.K., studies that have linked the parasite Toxoplasma gondii are flawed because they had a small sample size, or failed to account for other factors where exposure to the parasite was caused by having a cat in the house. Basically, they’re not saying cats do make you crazy via parasite, they just don’t have enough information to definitively say that having a cat increases your odds of exposure to T. gondii.

That sounds suspiciously like what a scientist whose brain is under the control of cats would conclude.

| Filed under War on Animals

Texas in panic amidst “feral hog apocalypse”

As if living in Texas wasn’t bad enough, residents now have to be worried about feral pigs overrunning society as they know it. That’s not hyperbole, that’s the state government’s position.

The feral pig situation in Texas is so bad that state Agriculture Secretary Sid Miller cited concerns about a coming “feral hog apocalypse” as a reason to take drastic measures to fight off the swine. Miller approved the use of a pesticide to combat the exploding wild hog population. The decision has drawn criticism from hunters, but that’s probably because they want to see society collapse so they can live out their survivalist wet dreams.

And for the record, secretary, a pig-related end-of-the-world scenario is called an “aporkalypse.”

| Filed under War on Education

Canada way ahead of U.S. in meth cooking education

“I am the one who politely knocks.”

Canada is our neighbor to the north, if you believe what the dishonest media says. And it’s no secret that the Canadian education system beats ours in a lot of different ways. They even teach their kids to learn a trade by giving them instructions for cooking drugs.

In Ontario, a teacher has found herself suspended after she assigned homework that included instructions on how to cook and inject crystal meth. The drama teacher reportedly printed out instructions, which included ingredients, for meth, so that her students could create a skit about it.

There have been no reports as to how good the recipe is.

| Filed under Facepalm

Remember the emoticon!

We don’t have the heart to tell Texas how many other places thought of using red and white stripes, blue fields and white stars for their flags. But, Puerto Rico had better be ready for anything.

The phase-in of emojis is one of the fastest growing phenomenons in online communication … but not fast enough to avoid offending Texans. While the state flag of Texas is not a standard emoji, the national flag of Chile is. And confusion by some people using the Chilean flag to tweet about Texas has struck deep in the heart of one of their state legislators.

State Representative Tom Oliverson filed a non-punitive resolution for his fellow lawmakers to “to reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.”

Well, look at that. He expressed a grievance in order to educate in a fun way and even added that the Chilean flag “is a nice flag.”

Of course, it would be an awful shame if Chile asked Texas to stop referring to their meat and bean slurry as “chili” — an easy confusion. But, we’d consider that the price of using legislative hours for pedantry, even fun pedantry.

| Filed under It Must Be Science!, War on Animals

Woolly mammoth will return by 2019, researcher says

For years, science has been threatening us with unleashing one of our long-vanquished foes, the woolly mammoth. And luckily for humanity, it hasn’t happened yet, but it’ll be a reality by 2019.

At a conference this week, the leader of a team of  Harvard University researchers boasted that his people are just a couple years away from having a de-extinctified woolly mammoth. Much like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, the mammoth wouldn’t be 100% original parts, some of the genes would have to come from a similar creature. That creature in this case is an Asian elephant. So the thing that they make will actually be a hybrid.

We killed all the woolly mammoths thousands of years ago, and we’re pretty close to finishing off the elephant population. We need to step it up to ensure this abomination is never made.

| Filed under War on Animals

Deer carries out Harrison Ford-style attack on passenger jet

As many East Coast travelers know, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is an awful, awful place. It’s the busiest airport in North Carolina, so it’s fitting that it’s such a hole. But innocent travelers found their lives in danger when a deer attacked a plane during takeoff.

According to the FAA, a jet carrying 44 passengers headed to Mississippi was struck by a deer on the runway during takeoff yesterday. The plane made it into the air, but was damaged and leaking fuel. Fortunately, it was able to make an emergency landing a few minutes later, and no humans were harmed.

This is yet another reason why you should never fly to, from or through Charlotte. There are plenty of other airports you can gamble your life on.

| Filed under War on Aliens

When life gives Earth Nazis, pray for intelligence elsewhere

It’s easier to argue for keeping your empire and other countries’ antiquities if aliens built their stuff.

Noted booze-hound, insult comic and occasional Prime Minister of the U.K., Winston Churchill believed that life — including intelligent life — existing elsewhere in the universe is possible. He wrote an 11-page an essay in 1939 on the possibility, presumably because if Nazis are pushing the idea of racial superiority around un-punched, then, dammit, there has to be a species somewhere that’s smarter than us.

Timothy Riley, director of the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, discovered the essay — titled Are We Alone in the Universe? — sitting in archives last year and passed it on to Israeli astrophysicist and author Mario Livio. Dr. Livio cannot publish the essay in full yet because of pending copyright issues to resolve, but we hope that it includes classic Churchill language.

For instance, should aliens also require Churchill’s famous “blood, toil, tears and sweat” for being interplanetary douchebags:

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in space, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Or, if they just get a little lippy: “Klaatu, my dear, you are ugly, and, what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober, and you will still be disgustingly ugly.”