Burger King trying to unseat Belgian monarch

Belgium, Europe’s favorite place to fight major wartime battles, has a royal family. This may come as a surprise to many in the U.S., because we like to obsess over the British royal family like a woman we broke up with but still miss. But the Belgian king now finds himself under attack from a foreign power that wants to unseat him.

Burger King in a new ad campaign is asking Belgian citizens to vote on who should be their king: King Philippe, or the Benevolent Dictator of Broiled Meats. Stubbornly, the sovereign has refused to let the people have it their way in the free, online election. In fact, the campaign has drawn the ire of the Belgian royal family, which issued a warning to Burger King to not use Philippe’s image in its advertising.

This could turn bloody.

Stoned Age: Ancient humans used, traded cannabis

Thousands of years ago, humans were scattered across what are now Europe and Asia. They hunted, they fought the brutal elements, and they survived long enough to found Western civilization. They also got down with cannabis.

Researchers believe the three tribes responsible for populating Eurasia long ago also spread cannabis across the land. Scientists found that the herb has been found at archeological sites in Japan and Eastern Europe at about the same time, suggesting that ancient humans started using it for food and a buzz around that time. The various tribe may have even traded it. That means cave men were drug dealers.

But if ancient humans smoked cannabis, why don’t all modern European and Asian language share the word “Dude?”

Man’s best friend, but not yours specifically

Before becoming our dogs, wolves formed packs to fool each other into second breakfasts.
Before becoming our dogs, wolves formed packs to fool each other into second breakfasts.

Don’t let dogs fool you. They may act all hungry when you first wake up; but, if you’re the second one up, then somebody already fed them. It’s the oldest trick in dogs’ book (were they literate). We know, because they’ve pulled it on us from the very beginning of our relationship.

Dogs were domesticated not once, but twice. We’re not sure who did it first one morning 12,000 years ago, but dogs somehow managed to get domesticated both by Asians and Europeans at roughly the same time.

Sure, it appears that these were two different breeds of wolves on two different continents, but who hasn’t put on a mustache and traveled across the International Date Line on Free Donut Day? (It was Friday. You and your ne’er-do-well doppelgänger already missed it.) In this case, it was for steak, and dogs got teriyaki and bourguignon in the same day.

Heck, we’re not even mad. That’s amazing.

Scientists discover granddaddy of Europe

Artist depiction.
Artist depiction.

Here in the U.S., pretty much everyone with any European background can trace their lineage back to someone who came over on the Mayflower. In Europe, they can all look back at some caveman.

According to a new report, half of all men in Western Europe are descended from the same dude who lived 4,000 years ago. Scientists believe this “king” of sorts, rose to power in the Neolithic age, and was basically slaying anything in a bearskin skirt. He fathered an brood of ruling elite who spread across the continent.

This common ancestry can easily been seen as the reason why European nations never went to war with each other right down through history.

The McBournie Minute: In defense of Christopher Columbus

This is one of those weird holidays. Some people have it off, some don’t. Some people think it’s a terrible day to celebrate, some don’t. I believe Christopher Columbus was the original American. Here’s why. (Originally published Oct. 8, 2012)

Years ago, Columbus Day was a major holiday for the Italian community. Think St. Patrick’s Day, but with less puke, more mustaches and the same amount of Catholics. It’s probably still celebrated that way in some areas of the U.S., but it’s just not the big deal it once was, in part because we figured out that Columbus wasn’t the first European to find the New World, that honor belongs to the Vikings, most likely.

It’s a strange quasi-holiday. Some people have it off, most people don’t, and no one is sure how to celebrate it. I never had it off as a kid, but I heard tell of a time, also known as When My Parents Were Kids, when Columbus Day meant a long weekend, even for students. Since then, a lot of people have said, “Hey, this Columbus guy didn’t really ‘discover’ America, because there were civilizations living here long before he showed up.”

Well, hippies, here’s why it’s an important holiday, particularly in the U.S. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: In defense of Christopher Columbus

When Germany thinks you’re a little racist, damn

Even German right-wing tabloid BILD took a time-out from antisemitism to call David Cameron a slacker on helping non-white people.
Even German right-wing tabloid BILD took a time-out from antisemitism to call British Prime Minister David Cameron a “slacker” for not helping non-white people.

The issue of immigration is a complicated one, fraught with legitimate concerns on both sides. Only one side, however, believes in building walls and using the military to keep barbarian hordes out, though. And, when it comes to the ongoing North African refugee crisis in Europe — Britain, Germany is looking your way.

No matter what your perspective is on letting poor brown people who no longer have a home into your country, you know you’re kind of an assh*le when even German racists call you out for not doing enough for African and Arabic people.

Your ancestors were killed by gerbils

Humans and animals have been at war through the ages–everyone knows that. But according to a new study, one animal hasn’t killed nearly as many of us as we give it credit for.

Science has long said that rats were the cause of the Black Death, which first struck Europe in the 1300s, and kept coming back for centuries, killing millions of people. But according to a new study, gerbils in Asia are to blame for the plague. Those cute, squeaky vermin you watch crawl around in their little plastic tube mazes? Their ancestors killed some of your ancestors.

According to the study, the summers weren’t hot or dry enough for the cause to be European rats, but conditions were just right for Asian gerbils to get the party started. This is why every single animal, no matter how small or cute, is a threat to our very existence.

The Niña, the Pinta and the — Santa María, that burns!

It’s been nearly 65 years since Alphonse “Scarface” Capone died in Alcatraz in the middle of a then-historic sentence of 11 years for tax evasion. It was the best authorities could do since they couldn’t convict him of the many murders, racketeering and bootlegging that had been attributed over the years. But, it looks like somebody dished out a little prison justice, sapping Capone’s physical and mental faculties with chronic syphilis. And that someone? Christopher Columbus.

Scientists believe they have found evidence that proves the controversial “discoverer” of the New Wyrlde also brought home a scorching case of the clap, then unknown in the Olde Wyrlde. It spread quickly from sailors in port towns because, well, that’s what they do earl-eye in the mornin’.

So, there you have it. Chris Columbus redeems himself the teensiest-tiniest bit, Al Capone dies embarrassingly of venereal disease and Native Americans get some revenge for those small pox blankets. Happy Friday? Happy Friday.

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.