You Missed It: End of 2016 edition

My drink order has arrived just in time. Get your own.

Well look who finally got on the “this year sucked” train. I’ve been doing this for years, everyone just finally caught up. I have a theory that 2016 was the Rapture. Everyone you love who was good is gone. Now we’re just in a hollow wasteland, and there’s the devil about. Either that, or we’re old enough that famous people we’ve heard of are starting to die off. This year was a lot like 1941 — we all knew there was conflict, and the headlines were really interesting, then an awful day toward the end of year made nothing feel the same again. This was indeed the worst year yet. Kim Kardashian had something bad happen to her for once. We cheered for sad sack teams. The Supreme Court became an octet. We held a months-long funeral for a gorilla we’d never heard of. We bought some Cuban cigars. We stood really still in videos. Let’s do to 2016 what it did to a lot of famous people, shall we?

January

Let freedom wear a c@#k ring
The armed hicks occupying a tiny federal office building at a remote Oregon wildlife sanctuary complained in a video that people keep sending them sex toys, including a whole bunch of dildos. The group made an appeal to “real patriots” to send them supplies, as they were so busy packing their guns they forgot to bring food and water for their camping trip. America responded by sending them plastic penises, which is a phrase I’ve waited to write my whole life. Upon hearing the news, Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin, really, sent the occupiers a 55-gallon barrel of lube.

Blowing up the airwaves
North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, but experts weren’t so sure it worked. In any case, the test marked another act of defiance of international sanctions. In response, South Korea set up loudspeakers along the border and began blasting K-pop. These two countries are like feuding neighbors in an apartment building. One keeps making the floor shake with loud thumps, so the other cranks their music, in this case, Psy.

From Mexico with love
After capturing escaped drug lord El Chapo, Mexican authorities published his text messages on his phone. Many were shocked not only to see that he was in contact with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo, but that his texts were quite romantic. He told her, “I’ll care for you more than my own eyes,” and even suggested having her meet his mother. Maybe we’ve got these guys all wrong. We just need to help these drug cartels find love and they’ll stop massacring entire towns. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2016 edition

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.

There’s a slight chance your burger has people in it

Probably not *that* much.
Probably not *that* much.

Burgers are great. They are what make Americans so fat. But according to a new study, the burger you order may come with some extra ingredients.

A lab right here in the USA took 258 samples of hamburger from grocery stores and such, and found that in some cases, DNA from other stuff was in the meat. Three burgers tested positive for rat DNA and one had human DNA (probably from a hair or something). On top of that, two veggie burgers had traces of meat in them, and one black bean burger didn’t have any black beans in it–serves those hippies right.

Most shockingly, there was no ham detected in any hamburger.

700 people claim to be at least one-sixteenth sexy MF-er

Considering that, in 2007, Prince helped 140 million television viewers conceive in a single half hour performance, it's no stretch that 700 people were related to him.
Considering that, in 2007, Prince helped 140 million television viewers conceive in a single half hour performance, it’s no stretch that 700 people may have been related to him.

Morse Genealogical Services, the Florida-based firm in charge of identifying heirs to Prince’s estate, has reportedly received “between 600 and 700 calls” from people claiming to be related to him. Unfortunately, most of the applicants don’t have prerequisite paperwork establishing a familial link — birth, marriage, death, divorce certificates, census records, etc. — so, they won’t have the chance to take a DNA test.

It was worth a shot, though. Considering how much DNA that the human being formerly known as Prince spread around — prior to finding Jesus — you never know who in the world is or isn’t at least a little sexay motherf*cka.

In fact, the odds are so good of so many relations, that they might have to distribute Prince’s earthly wealth like this through the streets of Minneapolis:

Better case-solving through LEGOs

True Detective 2
True Detective 2

Cold cases are the worst.

But there’s one less in the world. A case over two decades old has been solved thanks to a handful of LEGO bricks. In 1991, Lucille Johnson was found brutally murdered. Unfortunately, investigators just weren’t able to solve it. That changed last year. DNA scrapings were found on some bricks (presumably the 4×4, though they could have been 2×8), and after a long and arduous search, the evidence was paired with that of a septuagenarian prison inmate. It may be 23 years late, but at least it’s closure.

You just don’t get that type of case-solving assistance with MegaBloks.

A horse, a horse, my genome for a horse

One of the Tudors favorite tactics was to paint enemies trying foolishly to bring back the beret.
One of the Tudors’ favorite propaganda tactics was to paint their enemies in berets.

And speaking of things we shouldn’t clone, let’s let sleeping dicks lie, OK?

After finding Richard III buried under a car park — which is British for either parking lot or a nightmarish playground for anthropomorphized automobiles — scientists plan to sequence his DNA to find out what he really looked like.

Part of their curiosity comes from a lack of portraits of Trey painted during his lifetime. All the ones we know were painted 40 to 50 years later after well-established Tudor rule, so not under the most flattering of lights.

"Come at me, dead bro!"
“Come at me, dead bro!”

Turi King, the geneticist originally identified 3Dick from his DNA and will lead the genome project, believes that sequencing his DNA will shed some light on his hair and eye color, whether he was predisposed to having scoliosis — proving that he could have indeed been a hunchback — and if he could take Prince Charles in a fight. (See? Told you they were gonna clone him!)

We’re not sure what restoring the Plantagenet line means for Britain — since we’re not sure what exactly a Plantagenet does — but we’re positive that this can’t be good for the Windsors.

Geneticist foils bears’ abominable hoax

Get away from him, beloved actor of the stage and screen John Lithgow! That's just a bear disguised by Rick Baker's magic.
Get away from him, beloved actor of the stage and screen John Lithgow! That’s just a bear disguised by Rick Baker’s magic.

It took 40,000 years, but it looks like respected British geneticist Bryan Sykes has finally cracked the mysterious Case of the Yeti: Man-Beast or Symptom of Living at the World’s Highest Elevation? And the results point to the chicanery of our constant animal foe: bears.

DNA samples from alleged Yeti scalps and other bits matched neither ape nor human genetics, but those found in a 40,000-year-old jawbone from a Norwegian polar bear ancestor. This means that the Yeti may be nothing more than a bear that descended from this species.

The Guys are shocked and appalled, mostly because we trusted you, Sasquatch. We brought you into our home after hitting you with our station wagon, and how do you repay us? By being that which we hate most: a bear. Also, by eating all of our ice cream, which was clearly labelled “NOT FOR BEARS.”

We will never trust again.

And you thought the 70s were hairy …

Gym rats: no matter how hard you work out, the world’s most dangerous exercise is long extinct. Having sex with Neanderthals and Denisovans made your ancestors stronger, so long as it didn’t kill them.

We call pandas#@t on those numbers

It’s been 10 years, and you all know what that means: it’s time for another panda census in China. Just like here in the U.S., certain elements are afraid to comply with the once-a-decade count, even if an undercount could mean a drop in state support for panda services.

So, what is the Chinese government to do? Does a bear crap in the woods? Unfortunately for paranoid pandas, yes, they do. And China’s gonna count your turds.

In Other News: Anti-census crusader Michelle Bachmann wants you to know that she is not a flake, just a serial killer.

How humans got head

The human genome has been mapped, but that doesn’t mean that science is done poking around with our source code. Much like bebop and other free-form jazz, sometimes you have to find the genes that aren’t present to learn what separates us from our animal foes.

And that is how David Kingsley of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stanford University School of Medicine in California and colleagues found the gene that makes beejers possible.

Also, something or other about our brains.

(P.S.: As you can tell by the category list, this story was really in our wheelhouse.)