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?


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

Newest weapon: Bomb-sniffing spinach

In the not-too-distant future spinach will contact you on your smartphone, and it will have terrifying news.

Researchers at MIT have given spinach plants the ability to detect chemicals often found in landmines and other explosives, because fighting terrorism can never get too creative. According to their published work, the scientists implanted spinach plants with nanotubes (science-speak for “small tubes”). When water was sucked into the plant by its roots, that water eventually made its way into the leaves where the nanotubes were implanted. If the water contains chemicals found in mines or bombs, those nanotubes emit a near-infrared light that can be seen by smartphone cameras.

Clearly, spinach has more wartime uses than bulking up our sailors.

Norway, once home to Vikings, has PM that plays Pokemon Go

The scourge known as Pokemon Go has largely left the U.S. But other countries aren’t as fortunate.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg took advantage of a state trip to Slovakia to hunt for Slovakian Pokemon. She took some time in between meetings to walk around with her head buried in her phone looking for fake creatures in a game on her smartphone.

Want to know why America is the best country in the world? We give our president a Blackberry so this embarrassing crap doesn’t happen to us.

Pokemon Go to hell

There’s a major problem in society today. Normally, The Guys try to stay away from politics, because unlike other blogs, we know we’re just making stuff up. But this problem is so big, and such a threat to the future of the U.S., we need to make a stand. The problem of course is Pokemon Go.

Last week, the augmented reality smartphone game by Nintendo was released, and people who alternate between trying to relive their childhoods and complaining about the ruining of their childhoods could not have been happier. Across the US, people discovered what their legs are for, and it predictably went horribly wrong. Many Pokemon Go players are reporting injuries from walking around in the real world and not watching where they are going. Some reports say the game was used to rob people. Also, the game has turned the National Sept. 11 Memorial in New York into a hot spot for the game.

This game is stupid, hurtful and dangerous. Undoubtedly, it will enjoy great success in America.

The McBournie Minute: Dying to take a selfie

I like to think of myself as a well-informed consumer of media. I don’t always trust a news source just because it is able to put words on a page. Instead, I read a lot of news and then draw my own conclusions, as any thoughtful citizen of the world should do.

It’s because I am so versed in media literacy that I feel especially good when I work myself into hysterics because of a handful of incidents happening around the world at any given time. That’s why I’m here to plead with you: Please stop taking selfies. Not because it might make you sad if people don’t like them, not because your lady friends will judge you, and not even because it’s a fake word that is now treated like a real one in Scrabble.

Your selfie just might kill you. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Dying to take a selfie

The McBournie Minute: You have been poked

In the U.S., we tend to think of the British as uptight or overly formal, which may not be entirely accurate. It’s not our fault, they don’t really send us the best examples of their culture, even though we ceded PBS to them. If they’re not doing something magical, or being incredibly charming in a shy way, they are looking down at us for showing emotion or not having an unspoken caste system.

Sure, they gave us one of the greatest bands of all time (the Spice Girls), but aside from that, we just don’t see the passion in their culture. This could be why we see them as being generally cold or aloof to each other.

Yet paradoxically, some of them check Facebook while (whilst, for our outraged British readers) having sex. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: You have been poked

The McBournie Minute: Crap smarter, not harder

We’re getting closer to the day when your microwave will need to have its own security system to keep hackers at bay. You’ve probably heard about the “internet of things” or “smart appliances.” In layman’s terms, it’s the idea that one day you can control everything in your house from a mobile device. Sounds kind of cool, right?

Put on your tin foil hats, everyone. (Also, where did you buy that tin foil? They sell aluminum foil now.) A few weeks ago, we started seeing reports that smart refrigerators and TVs were susceptible to cyberattacks, and some had even been found to be sending spam. Scary stuff, man.

But why isn’t anyone looking to upgrade our toilets? Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Crap smarter, not harder

Now you can resign with an ‘LOL’

How many times have you wanted to quit your job, but found you were too lazy to get up from your desk and do it? Do you have a really intimidating boss, and just can’t stand to face him in person? Luckily, there’s an app for you.

The Quit Your Job app for iPhone does exactly what its name says. It quits your job for you, via text message. So now, instead of being all professional about it, or taking time to really think things through, you can be impulsive and passive aggressive.

Unfortunately, Quit Your Job does not have a Can I Count On You As A Reference? sister app just yet.

Take it from Snee: Seemed like a great idea at the time

Any great devourer of science fiction will tell you that science fiction isn’t about the future. It’s about the present in which it was created — and, really, either solving that present or diagnosing its ills.

For instance: in 1910, the French turned to science fiction to solve their contemporary problem of wingless firemen.
For instance: in 1910, the French turned to science fiction to solve their contemporary problem of wingless firemen.

So, if you live long enough, then it stands to reason that you must find new sources of science fiction or suffer reading and watching the same aging stuff that no longer applies to your present. And now that current technology is developing faster, time ravages predictions and fantasy within our own lifetimes, no matter how many times Lucas tried to cosmetically “rejuvenate” Star Wars to make it look as new as it did in the late-’70s, early ’80s.

"Kill ... me ..."
“Kill … me …”

And that’s why it saddens me that I will probably never use these upcoming new technologies, even though they are exactly what I wanted and asked for. (Sorry about all those letters, Gene Roddenberry’s lawyers.)  Continue reading Take it from Snee: Seemed like a great idea at the time