Eat it, Canada: Santa is American

Aside from the Property Brothers, Canada has very little to boast about these days. And for a long time, Canadian officials have argued that Santa Claus is Canadian. Jolly Old St. Nick is here to say that that’s not true.

The Canadian media interviewed Santa Claus himself, only to find out that he’s an American, born in Washington, D.C., to boot. As we’ve covered before, Santa lives in North Pole, Alaska, and is on the city council there.

But what’s this? There’s a new claim being made to Santa Claus’ nationality. And it’s the Palestinians? Chris Kringle himself was spotted throwing rocks at Israeli troops recently, taking part in the protests of Palestinians that have taken place since U.S. President Donald Trump decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Father Christmas’ participation in these protests could mean that Trump is on the naughty list.

Science: Don’t use emoji in your work emails 🙁

One day we will do all of our written communication through emoji, but today is not that day, according to a recent study.

Researchers in Israel tested hundreds of people from 29 different countries, and found that pretty much everyone around the world who reads a work email that contains an emoji immediately thinks the person who wrote it is an idiot. Rather than see the icon and interpret it as an emotional reaction, the readers just think less of the writer. On top of that, if they don’t know the gender of the person, they are more likely to assume the author is female.

The lesson here is that if you are a dude and use emoji in your work emails, it’s probably best to put an eggplant in your signature.

Ancient letter: Send more wine

A long time ago, if you wanted to communicate with someone who wasn’t within shouting distance, you had to write something down and have someone physically carry your message to them. Think of it as e-mail, but without the E. And because of one of these cell phone-less text messages, we now know that soldiering in 600 B.C. was thirsty work.

In 1965, archaeologists in modern-day Israel found a shard of a pot with some writing on it. It turned out to be a letter from one soldier to another. (This was ancient times, and pottery was shattering all the time, so using shards for stationery was apparently a common thing.) But since the letter was more than 2,500 years old, the writing had faded a bit. Researchers using modern technology were able to uncover the previously hidden message and it’s a request for more wine. The letter also talks about other goods and a trade, but really hammers home that the author really needs more wine, and the recipient should be a chum and ship him some.

What’s even better is that the soldiers could be talking about beer, not wine. Grapes don’t grow in the Middle East, so it’s more likely that it was an alcoholic drink made from the grains that do grow there, maybe even honey. Translations of these ancient words were done centuries later by people who drank wine because trade was way better and it was a status symbol. They saw some ancient word for an alcoholic beverage and thought “wine,” when it was probably a drink closer to beer.

This shard could be evidence of the first beer run.

GFC: Gaza Fried Chicken

When you get really hungry, there’s nothing like fast food. It’s universal. So when Palestinians get hungry after a long day’s work of throwing rocks at Israeli tanks, naturally, they get a hankerin’ for some downhome country cookin’. That’s why KFC is one of the more popular things to smuggle into the Gaza Strip.

Just call up al-Yamama (don’t laugh, we’re trying to be culturally-sensitive here), a fast-food smuggling service. The food starts frying at a KFC 35 miles away in Egypt, and in just three short hours, the food is delivered to your door by way of a tunnel system.

The Colonel has officially been drafted into a war he never asked for.

Israel passes ‘Why don’t they eat something?’ modeling bill

Israel is the latest nation to join the “No Skinny Models” club.

Their legislature has passed a new law that requires all models — male and female — to pass a body mass index test that was administered by a licensed physician before they can be hired for modeling jobs. They have to have a BMI of 18.5 or above, otherwise, no catwalk, ad or billboard fame. Additionally, advertisers must state in a clear graphic if the model has been photoshopped into appearing thinner.

One of the lawmakers behind the bill, Rachel Adato, believes that this will help promote healthier body images for women and, by extension, help curb rising anorexia and other eating disorders statistics.

However, that’s not to say this bill doesn’t have it’s own victims, and by that, I mean all the people stuck in line behind models in Israel’s All-You-Can-Eat kosher buffets.

Archaeologists find earliest evidence of Peter Benchley in 1st Century tomb

A group of archaeologists who thought they found Jesus’ tomb a few years back believes they struck paydirt again, this time unearthing what may be the earliest grave ever marked with the Jesus fish. The inscription (see above) is theorized to represent Jonah — the testicle hanging off the fish’s lip — being eaten by the fish God sent after him. (It was the Old Testament. Fatherhood really changes a deity.)

The tomb in question dates back to the 1st Century. Previously, the Jesus fish has only been found on tombs as far back as the 2nd Century, when early Christians believed in adorning the most expensive thing they owned with faith-advertisements and representations of how many times they’ve procreated.

Even if you don’t believe, just remember: one day in the future, somebody is going to unearth your remains and think you might be Steve Jobs because you insisted on being buried with your iPad.

We smell a cyber rat

No, we’re not talking about the return of the Cybermen on the most recent episode of Doctor Who. But, according to this story, that’s not far off.

Scientists from Tel Aviv University in Israel have restored brain function in test rats’ disabled cerebellums (they started on the right track) with a synthetic one (and then leapt right off onto the wrong one). Sure, they only taught the rat to blink to a sound tone, but the goal is to eventually “replicate complex areas of the brain,” which could restore full function to the disabled or even improve undamaged brains.

The only silver lining is that there will now be some competition with the cockroaches to succeed the human race should we lose this war.

SyFy Channel movie, meet real life

I’m calling it now: NUCLEAR DEATH JELLYFISH.

Doubt me if you will, but at least be aware of the facts. A metric crap-ton (roughly millions) of jellyfish made their way into nuclear reactors in both Israel and Japan. The power plant in Japan had to be shut down, and in Israel, the sea-water cooling system was clogged, which is never a good thing. Scientists have no idea at the moment why the poisonous jam entities are going after dangerous structures such as nuclear power plants, but just like aglets, we can only assume that their purpose is sinister.

It gets worse. If they become irradiated, a lifetime of comics tells me that the jellyfish will mutate into monsters. We may not jsut end up with some kind of Eldritch horror, we may end up with an electric Eldritch horror. Someone get the Ghostbusters suited up and enlisted, just in case.

Oh, the emails we’re going to get

Don’t get us wrong: American racists are some of the finest racists in the world. Sure, Mel Gibson carries most of the team like Michael Vick in the Iditarod, but a ring is a ring, right? So, know that we’re not dissing our ignorant, homegrown bigots.

That said: When it comes to racism, there are racists, and then there are paranoid, delusional racists.

It takes a special level of irrational hatred to believe that the Hebrews next door are attacking your homeland with birds and fish. Not only is it absurd to think that anyone has that kind of Beastmaster control over animals, but that condor doesn’t even look Jewish.

Today’s attire: ‘protest casual’

Demonstrating precisely why they get paid half as much as their defense and intelligence counterparts, Israeli foreign ministry workers are protesting their low wages by dressing down in the work place.

Calling it “a strike,” the diplomatic employees have refused to wear a suit and tie to work. However, they still show up to work and perform work duties, only in jeans and flip-flops.*

The dispute has lasted six months now, but we only just noticed because Israel rarely engages in diplomacy nowadays.

*Fun Fact:
In some regions, flip-flops are called sandals, tongs, slippers or Buffett low-kickers.