You Missed It: Canberra calling edition

A diplomatic incident with Australia? ‘Simpsons’ did it!

I’m not a Trump supporter, but I think I know what it’s like to be one. After all, I’m a New England Patriots fan. I know what it’s like to be part of a group that has clearly had the rules systematically bent in their favor, only to develop a persecution complex when things don’t go our way once or twice. Also, I’ve talked myself into believing that the leader of my team doesn’t really mean it when he supports questionable political ideas. Most of the country hates us, but we win anyway. No wonder Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are friends with this Trump guy. If you were busy this week taking weird photos to announce that you are pregnant with twins, odds are you missed it.

Trump vs. Australia
This week, President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a phone conversation, and it did not go well. At one point, Trump criticized a refugee agreement between the U.S. and Australia, and eventually he hung up on Malcolm. Sen. John McCain called Australia Ambassador Joe Hockey (who should really be the Canadian ambassador) to smooth things over between the two countries. I don’t know if the good-cop-bad-cop routine has ever been used in international diplomacy, this should be interesting.

Attention whore gets attention in attention-grabbing move
In the most predictable news story of the week, alt-right white nationalist darling Milo Yiannopoulos was forced to cancel his speaking engagement at Berkeley due to student protests. Yiannopoulos and his supporters criticized the violence conducted by some demonstrators, including a big fire, but really, they were just upset they couldn’t throw books into it.

Don’t eat fast food packaging
And finally, scientists revealed this week that chemicals used to block grease in fast food containers are leeching into our burgers, fries and burritos. Great plan, guys, telling Americans that fast food is bad for them hasn’t worked so far, but why not try it again?

Newest weapon: Bomb-sniffing spinach

In the not-too-distant future spinach will contact you on your smartphone, and it will have terrifying news.

Researchers at MIT have given spinach plants the ability to detect chemicals often found in landmines and other explosives, because fighting terrorism can never get too creative. According to their published work, the scientists implanted spinach plants with nanotubes (science-speak for “small tubes”). When water was sucked into the plant by its roots, that water eventually made its way into the leaves where the nanotubes were implanted. If the water contains chemicals found in mines or bombs, those nanotubes emit a near-infrared light that can be seen by smartphone cameras.

Clearly, spinach has more wartime uses than bulking up our sailors.

Take it from Snee: Psuedoscience abound

Another parallel to 1925: we're still easily distracted by animal memes.
Another parallel to 1925: we’re still easily distracted by animal memes.

If there was one surprise about the first 15 years of the year 2000, it’s been that science is now more politicized in general than it was during the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Which is really surprising when we can finally agree that cigarettes do cause cancer and that tobacco companies and their handful of hired scientists lied to us while the vast consensus of the scientific community agreed that inhaling fire is super bad for you.

However, now there’s an entire political party dedicated to pushing back against science when it comes to climate, human reproduction and the exact age of the Earth. And for their efforts to undermine the scientific progress of the 20th Century, we have rightfully named the Republican Party the “stupid party.” And the worst part is that they’ve taken these positions based on donations from energy companies and megachurches.

But, aren’t pastors and oil and coal magnates considered experts in their respective fields? How is an elected official supposed to know that guys selling purity rings maybe don’t have a sound medical understanding of what the birth control pill does? Or that, when your only tool is a coal-fired pneumatic hammer, then all your problems are solar-resistant nails?

Maybe it’s because, for the myriad of ways that science has shaped and defined the 21st century, we don’t really understand any of it. Oh, sure, we talk a big game based on our high school biology class and the occasional Wikipedia timesink, but can we really blame Republicans being the only ones who fall for faulty — and sometimes fraudulent — pseudoscience?

After all, you can hear both conservatives and liberals (but mostly liberals) complain about the following …  Continue reading Take it from Snee: Psuedoscience abound

Why you should care about the health of otters

You guys, we need to clean up the environment like right now. It all has to do with the health of otter penises.

According to a recent study by the Cardiff University Otter Project, otter male organs are shrinking as a direct result of pollution. The otters, however, insisted it was just that the water was cold.

Now, this blog isn’t one to give a rat’s ass about an otter’s penis, but scientists are worried the same could happen to human male dudes. The theory is that the more chemicals that get into the water and air, the more wildlife consume, and some of those chemicals are affecting their bodies in bad ways. That means the same could happen to us.

For the record, pollution has yet to affect The Guys, since we flush the bad chemicals from our bodies with alcohol.

Men now anxious for Armageddon

We already knew that bras could save your breasts from swinging National Geographically, but did you know that a bra could save your life?

Well, not in every situation. It can save you from “chemicals as harsh as the ones at Chernobyl,” tuberculosis and maybe even pollen. But it won’t work on gunshots, bee stings, lightning, cancer, plane crashes, Daleks, meteorites, AIDS, high-five accidents, Shug Knight, sharks, samurai swords, faulty parachutes, the hand in the toilet, stampedes, ninjas, old age, skiing, HDL cholesterol, grammar Nazis, Nazi Nazis, wild boars, kitchen fires, improper flare use, licking a transformer, maulings, bludgeonings and quarterings.

Otherwise, they’ve successfully made the brassiere even more complicated.