Noted booze-hound, insult comic and occasional Prime Minister of the U.K., Winston Churchill believed that life — including intelligent life — existing elsewhere in the universe is possible. He wrote an 11-page an essay in 1939 on the possibility, presumably because if Nazis are pushing the idea of racial superiority around un-punched, then, dammit, there has to be a species somewhere that’s smarter than us.
Timothy Riley, director of the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, discovered the essay — titled Are We Alone in the Universe? — sitting in archives last year and passed it on to Israeli astrophysicist and author Mario Livio. Dr. Livio cannot publish the essay in full yet because of pending copyright issues to resolve, but we hope that it includes classic Churchill language.
For instance, should aliens also require Churchill’s famous “blood, toil, tears and sweat” for being interplanetary douchebags:
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in space, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Or, if they just get a little lippy: “Klaatu, my dear, you are ugly, and, what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober, and you will still be disgustingly ugly.”
We’ve reached the end of the year. I know, I didn’t think we’d make it, either. We found new reasons every day to get mad at each other online. We dumped ice water over our heads so we didn’t have to donate to charity, and felt good about it. We allowed Taylor Swift back into our lives. We voted out a bunch of Democrats because of Ebola. We watched Vladimir Putin close the Winter Olympics with the ceremonial invasion of Ukraine. In a year this dismal, one can feel lost. When I start feeling that way, I just ask myself, “What would Ernest Hemingway do?” Then I get rip-roaring drunk and forget the question. So pour yourself a glass and let’s do this.
At least she was clothed
Lena Dunham (of course we’re starting with her) was on the cover of Vogue magazine in January, and not in an ironic way. It got all the lady bloggers of all the internets upset, too, because her picture was clearly touched up. The Girls creator has touted herself as an example of what real people look like, and the photo betrayed all that, they said. In other news, Dunham was given an award for best magazine cover ever.
Let your bowels take a vacation
It was not a good month to be on a boat. First, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship had to cut its tour short because some 700 crew and passengers got sick. Then, a Princess cruise ship had a similar outbreak. We’re not talking about a head cold going around on the ship–it was the norovirus. A sizable amount of people were enjoying their vacations either in their cabin bathrooms without ventilation, or heaving over the side. They say bad things come in threes, but sadly the Bud Light cruise ship at the Super Bowl wasn’t affected.
In case you’re not sick of him already Justin Bieber was arrested after police said he was drag racing in Miami while drunk and high, which is probably how everyone else in Miami drives in the first place. Bieber reportedly cried when he got arrested, and compared himself to Michael Jackson after posting bail. Between him and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, it’s nice to see that Canadians can be just as big asses as Americans. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2014 edition
Just when the world thought we could rule out Egypt from starting sh*t with the U.S., their Foreign Ministry dropped what may be the nation’s first snark bomb. They urged U.S. security forces in Ferguson, Mo. to “exercise restraint” in dealing with protests after local police reportedly shot an unarmed Michael Brown six times, twice in the head.
U.S. State Department officials are examining Egypt’s weapon of farcical intent to determine the severity of their sarcasm. This investigation includes learning whether the bomb-maker simply read the U.S. government’s 2013 warning to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in a whiny voice and if there are any hidden implications about our moms.
Robin Williams died this week. There’s no punchline. He took his own life for some reason, widely suspected to be related to his battle with depression. It doesn’t make sense how such a force of humor and kindness could end alone and sad. He had a bigger role in the formation of my sense of humor than I realized until now, even going back to re-runs of Mork and Mindy as a kid. Millions have stories they could tell about how he touched their lives. I’m planning on trying to focus on all the great things he did with his life, rather than they way he took it, just as I’ve grown to admire his entire career, rather than focus on his terrible accent in Good Will Hunting. If you were busy dumping a bucket of ice water over your head this week, odds are you missed it.
The Don’t Shoot Me State
The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri has seen countless protests–not all of them peaceful–after an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer. The Ferguson Police Department responded to the protests by suiting up in camouflage and body armor, rolling around town in armored vans and brandishing automatic rifles, which some saw as excessive for any police force to have in the first place. Ferguson Police Thomas Jackson denied his department was militarized, and took off in his F/A-18 fighter jet before the press could ask any other questions.
Mellowing for two centuries
This week, scientists determined that a bottle found on a 200-year-old shipwreck in the Baltic Sea just off of Poland contains alcohol. The stoneware bottle was found still sealed tight, and the booze hadn’t turned to vinegar. The contents are estimated to be 14 percent alcohol, or 28 proof. Researchers believe that based on the chemical composition, the booze was watered down, which leads me to believe that the Polish don’t know how to drink.
Stroll to the border
Taco Bell announced this week that it is planning to open an upscale Tex-Mex joint in California called U.S. Taco Co., apparently not caring to spend money on coming up with a name. The restaurant seeks to tap into the foodie world, and if it’s successful, more may open across the country. Man, I cannot wait for a Belgian waffle taco.
Ah, college. At some schools, you get the most unmotivated students around the world, and at other campuses, you get some of the most independently motivated people in history. Washington University apparently has the latter.
Sydney Kendall of Missouri, for the better part of a decade, has not had a right arm. But thanks to the glorious magic of 3-D printers and engineering students, she now has a pink, plastic, robotic arm that can open and close the fingers and move the thumb. Already she’s better than a cat.
A truly inspirational story like this deserves a movie to be made of it. Can we suggest it be titled “Terminator 4: Rise of the 3-D Printer Machines?”
It’s February, that means that your single friends won’t stop complaining about being single, and your friends in relationships keep posting stupid stuff on Facebook. February is known for some bad movie releases, but around Valentine’s Day it gets even worse. This year, we’ve got Winter’s Tale, which from the previews, it’s about a time-traveling Irishman and a redhead who keeps taking her clothes off in a PG-13 movie. Then there’s Endless Love, which is apparently about a love without an end, and no famous people. It’s also about teens, so high school girls will probably love it. Smart money is that the male lead dies at the end. If you were busy watching your Corvettes get sucked into a sinkhole this week, odds are you missed it.
Bob Costas scratched from Olympics
Bob Costas has a pretty sweet gig. First off, he covers sports, the easiest news-related job in the world. Secondly, he covers one NFL game a week for a few weeks a year, plus the odd horse race or golf tournament. Every couple years, he’s the guy you go to for the Olympics. But this year, he’s recovering from some kind of double eye infection–during his big event. Trooper that he is, Costas hosted for the first few nights of the games, not even doing shots on the air would fix it. He had to step out Wednesday, only to be replaced by Matt Lauer, NBC’s guy with a functioning voice on their morning show. Next up, is … Meredith Vieira. Get well soon, Bob.
The military is now more accepting than the NFL
Missouri defensive end Michael Sam came out this week. (Side note, does anyone one say “came out of the closet” anymore? Did we stop doing that?) He told the New York Times that he’s gay, and unsurprisingly, the NFL all of sudden lost interest in drafting him. They said he would be a distraction in the locker room, as they do any time anything happens off the field, like every player on every team has ADHD or something. Rapists, abusers, drunk drivers, dopers and murderers aren’t distractions, but being gay is. They must think he’s going to wear shiny things on his clothes.
Not official until it’s on Facebook
Fresh off of celebrating 10 years of existence, Facebook introduced a landmark update this week. Users can now select from more than one gender. Facebook now allows selections of “male,” “female” and “it’s complicated.”
At long last — after 55 smurfing years of Smurf comics, cartoons and dolls — we finally know what the smurf those smurfing Smurfs were smurfing about.
Thanks to a recent anti-meth campaign in Missouri, we’ve learned that “smurfing” means “to buy the legal limit of pseudoephedrine-based products and sell them to meth cookers.”
‘With the anti-smurfing campaign, Missouri leaders are coming together … to send an unmistakable message: If you’re buying this product for a meth cook, you are committing a serious criminal offense and could end up behind bars,’ [Missouri Attorney General Chris] Koster said.
And we all know what happens next after locking Smurfs up behind bars: they’re melted into gold for our privatized prison system. Things are looking up for Warden Gargamel, indeed. But they’re also looking much, much darker for Smurfette, who’s doing smurf-knows-what for her meth.
For those that didn’t catch Savages in the theater, allow me to sum it up for you: it’s not good. Oh sure, it’s got some moments, it’s got Salma Hayek in thoroughly unattractive haircut, it’s even got the always entertaining Benicio Del Toro. Despite those traits, it’s still not good.
Could someone do it better? Potentially. Is it a worthy movie to view while inebriated? Sure.
Should you try to recreate the movie with real guns and real ammo after consuming a sizable amount of real alcohol. Probably not.