Long before they were a football team, the Vikings raided northern European towns at will. But we didn’t know why they did it. Turns out they were going cruising for chicks.
Researchers think that the Vikings left their Scandinavian homes to travel the seas — going as far as North America — because there were no single women around. Viking society allowed powerful men to monopolize large groups of women through polygamy and concubinage. And because so many women in the village were spoken for, young men went to sea to find themselves some strange on a distant shore.
The murdering and pillaging were just perks.
Ireland gets a lot of crap from the rest of Europe–not that it hasn’t been taking crap from the English for centuries. They say the country owes all of its culture to the Brits, they say it’s not very historical. Today, those critics have been proven wrong.
Scientists have found a big lump of butter dating back to the days of Jesus Christ, and they found it in a bog in County Meath, Ireland. Now who lacks historical landmarks?
England is covered in historical stuff. You can’t walk two metres without hitting a pub that some dandy drank a hogshead of ale at some six centuries ago. But not everything old and historical is worth it.
A monument dating back to medieval times was due for its once-a-millennium cleaning, and experts found it was filled with about 28 tons of pigeon crap stacked three feet high. The towers on the Landgate Arch has no roof. That means they are basically open pits for birds. The cleaners had trouble opening the door to the tower because of the weight of the pigeon poop inside. They said the interior was “like walking on a giant chocolate cake,” only it didn’t smell like cake.
Hope you weren’t eating just now.
Happy Presidents’ Day, everyone. If you live on the East Coast, there’s a decent chance you were just hit or are now being hit by a snow storm. That means you’re hoping you don’t have to go outside for any reason tomorrow, and would rather just drink.
It’s the most appropriate way to celebrate Presidents’ Day, aside from visiting a president’s grave, or offering a living one sexual favors or something. So we’re going to take a step back to Feb. 20, 2012, where I talked about the drinking habits of our first three presidents.
We now join that column, already in progress. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Drink like a president
In yet another reactionary move against an imagined enemy, Arizona has passed a new bill, this time to ban “schools from teaching classes that are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, promote resentment or advocate ethnic solidarity over treating pupils as individuals.”
So, that should remove the following classes from Arizona schools:
1) Any language class. English? Spanish? French? They all sound like an insidious attempt to change the way we think, starting with the voice in our heads. Plus, we all know that the native speakers typically take these courses because they’re an easy A … well, except English.
2) American History. Oh, so we’re only going to learn about Americans, eh? Let’s look at the section on World War II–just as we thought! Anti-Nazi biases! And just where are the sections about famous Asian-American philosophers?
3) Lunch. The spice levels of cafeteria food are clearly set for a Caucasian digestive tract.
4) Physical Education. We’re OK with keeping PE if they don’t teach basketball. Or baseball. Or soccer. Basically, they just need to teach non-team sports that the white kids can excel at while encouraging their individuality.
Arizona: where passing unenforceable laws is OK, so long as they can convince Mexicans to move along.
As a child, my parents had a no swearing rule. They worked hard to clean up their language, and the resulting stress caused them to flip out whenever I broke that rule.
There was one morning, though, when my dad was watching a movie with explosions, camouflage and all of my favorite words. I asked why the men in the movie were allowed to cuss, and he said, “Because they’re at war.”
Imagine the impression this would make on a 5-year-old boy. From that point, I resolved to become either a soldier or a war movie actor, just so I could say whatever I wanted. (This same logic made me want to become a bowler so I could smoke and Robocop so I could eat baby food.)
Growing up, I learned there are a few other exceptions to the no swearing rule in the general public beyond international conflict.
- Moments of great pain
- In newfangled non-rhyming poetry
- While making love for the first time
But is that all? Surely there are more situations where we–not just I–need to express ourselves with the lambada dance steps of communication. Continue reading Take it from Snee: We need more swearing exceptions
My apologies for not telling you last week what came after the 1950s. With Labor Day and all, we were off from work and observing the Holy Day of the Worker by refraining from blogging. Today I am pleased to tell you that the 1960s came after the 1950s, but they are more commonly referred to as The Sixties.
For America, it marked a time of great change, you may have heard about that once or twice. But is what happened forty years ago really over? Of course not, the Baby Boomers are still around arguing over whether or not we won the Vietnam War.
Hit the jump, do some ‘ludes and free your soul, man. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1960-1969)
When I was in school, in history classes they only taught us up until the end of World War II. This was not because I was going to school in the 1940s, but the teachers just ran out of steam or did not want to cover any of the controversial topics of the rest of the 20th century. The Nazis were evil, we beat them, America is a super power, the end. I had one high school American History course that made it to the Marshall Plan.
Still, I feel like something happened in those remaining 55 years that could better explain where we are today. That’s why I, Bryan McBournie, who minored in history, am here to help you learn about what happened through the decades since World War II. If you watch enough television or listen to enough music ,you should know some of this yourself.
I’m starting with the 1950s. Why? Because nothing happened from 1946 to 1949 and you know it. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1950-1959)
Before I get started, I just want to wish everyone a happy National Grammar Day! If you are inclined to comment on the following article, please observe this holiest of days in the comments section by posting a coherent response. All failures to do so will be ridiculed to the point of suicide.
So I was waiting for a haircut when I witness this scene:
MAN walks into the shop.
MAN: Excuse me, when’s Shakira* working next?
HAIRCUTTER: I honestly have no idea. She hasn’t shown up for work that past two days.
MAN: Ah. OK.
*This name was changed to protect my failing memory.
I’d already heard of people quitting their jobs by just not showing up anymore. I always knew it said very little about that person’s intestinal fortitude, but that was their problem that they could ignore, hoping it goes away.
But, when I consider the problems our country faces these days, I couldn’t shake it off this time. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Quit your job
Following a tradition going on for at least 15 years, Thursday was once again followed by Friday. That means we have reached the end of the week once again. If you were busy getting booed by protesters in the U.K., odds are you missed it.
Oui are in control
French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced on Tuesday that France would take a command role in North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the first time in 40 years. France left the command position in the 1960s after policy disagreements with the U.S. The reintroduction of France to NATO command means that the allied countries now have another military option in their repertoire: immediate surrender.
Cease in the Middle East
Israeli and Palestinian forces began a six-month truce this week and guns fell silent for the first time since anyone can clearly remember. The truce has been hailed as a sign of progress with peace efforts in the Middle East. Both sides said they were inspired to agree to a truce after watching You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.
Wait, there aren’t any lakes in L.A.?
After a six games, the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers to win the (NBA) World Championship. The final game of the series was a blow out, but nonetheless, the postgame interviews were priceless. The best of all was the interview with Kevin Garnett, who told ESPN’s Michelle Tafoya “Michelle, you look great tonight, girl,” in between incoherent answers, shouts into the air and admitting that he is indeed “certifiable.” We are now more afraid of Garnett more than we were of Ron Artest.
Finally, a superhero movie this summer
Will Smith’s latest effort, Hancock, premiered in London earlier this week, but it is not scheduled to be released into theaters until July 2. Not much is known about the plot from the commercials, but SG has learned it is a biopic about founding father John Hancock and is seen as a cinematic response to HBO’s mini-series John Adams. In the movie, Smith portrays Hancock as a black, homeless, drunk superhero who is jaded by society but has the power to sign his name in really large letters.