Tuesday, December 30, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About Oprah Winfrey

Ladies and Gentlemen, for a year or so, my fiancee lived in Chicago and I would visit her regularly. While there, I observed Oprah in her natural habitat to learn more information about my secret arch-nemesis (next to Oliver Cromwell, but he's only a recent edition to the nemesis list, and Oprah is first on the list anyway. But I digress.) In the past, I posted about Oprah's motives, her plans, her plots, her schemes. Today, I'll be sharing ten unknown facts about her morphology and physiology, so that should you ever find yourself in one-on-one combat or held captive by the Queen of Talk, you'll better know what you can and cannot do to escape.

10 Unknown Facts About Oprah Winfrey:
  1. Oprah Winfrey is a grazer, or cud chewer. Like the cow, she has four stomachs that allow her cud to ruminate.
  2. Oprah Winfrey is a highly vocal creature. Long ago (yes, she is centuries old), scientists and sailors nicknamed her the "Sea Canary" due to the birdlike sounds they observed her making far out at sea.
  3. Oprah Winfrey usually travels alone, marking her territory with urine, droppings, and scratch marks to warn off trespassers and other predators.
  4. Oprah Winfrey has a large muscle running along her stomach which pulls her body into a tight, spikey ball for defense.
  5. Oprah Winfrey is known to roost in bare trees, lofts, and caves.
  6. Oprah Winfrey has a very unusual symbiotic relationship with algae. She has specialized hair that encourages algae growth, which aids in camouflaging the celebrity. It is also believed that Oprah will eat some of the algae and, interestingly, will absorb some of the nutrients from the algae through her skin.
  7. Oprah Winfrey is perfectly designed for tree-dwelling life. Her hands have a large gap between the first and second finger and her big toe is set at a wide angle to the foot. This gives Oprah a vicelike grip on branches.
  8. When chased, Oprah Winfrey can run up to 48 kmph (29 mph)! I learned this fact the hard way.
  9. Oprah Winfrey has poor vision, but excellent senses of smell and hearing.
  10. Oprah Winfrey is able to climb on steep rock surfaces because of physical adaptations on her feet. She is capable of retracting up the center portion of her feet into a concave dome, which creates a vacuum-like suction to solid surfaces and aides in her climbing ability.
What all of this tells us is that Oprah is highly mobile, being able to run quickly, swim long distances, and climb almost anything. The climbing, I suspect, is used to literally get the drop on her opponents. Coupled with her spikey ball ability, I suspect she likes to climb up trees and then drop down in ball form and stab her pray. Her four stomachs mean that when she's full she can go for extended periods of time without eating, so laying siege to her lair may not be an effective offense, and waiting for her to eat to escape from her clutches may not be a solid plan either. She eats primarily plants, which means her predatory acts, such as the ball drop, simply feed her need to hunt, and not her belly. This means if you do find yourself as her prey, your best bet is to distract her so that she'll lose interest. Also, if you must take her on, do so during the day. She isn't any weaker during the day, but you are at a disadvantage at night.

You have been informed.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oprah's First Move

Ladies and Gentlemen, just to keep you informed on the actions of Oprah Winfrey and the progress of her universal domination plan, I am sharing some news I discovered. While going out to eat with my fiancee and her mother, I overheard an advertisement for an upcoming episode of Oprah (or maybe it was for her Oprah and Friends show on XM). She said it was important that we all watch said episode together. She said she'd be introducing some very important people. She said the episode would have three hundred "of the most beautiful youths" on it to help launch her "O Ambassador Program." This can only mean one thing. The attack is coming soon.

Let's examine each of her three statements.
  1. We should all watch the episode together. This means one of two things. First, the episode will contain some subliminal mind control, and if we don't watch it together, those who missed it the first go-round will see what has happened to those who did see it and will be able to form an armed underground rebellion. If we all watch it at once, we can provide no resistance. The other possibility is that she is going to give the secret order to launch her CoO Coup and anyone who misses the episode could cause the elements of her battle plan to not fall exactly into place the way she needs them too. After all, if one person's job is to detonate a bridge to prevent government military reinforcements to the Federal Resistance, it's important that that job gets done as soon as possible, preferably before the assault. At least, it's preferable if you're on Oprah's side.
  2. She had some very important people. These could be leaders of her Fabulous Revolution or if my suspicions are correct, aliens, which means she plans to start the Quilting Camps soon. Why do I suspect aliens, you may ask.
  3. She has three hundred "beautiful youths" for her "O Ambassador Program." Three hundred is a lot. Where could these kids possibly be sent as ambassadors> The stars, that's where. And why must they be beautiful> Because she's trying to create a master race of humanity in the stars composed of nothing but beautiful people. She's planning on using selective human breeding to make a "pure strain" of humanity. Tsk tsk, Oprah. Further, she's using youths because the human race has yet to discover FTL (Faster Than Light) propulsion systems. As such, any trip to neighboring planetary systems will take a long time. Adults won't survive the trip, but children might. She's planning on creating a master race of ubermen (and women) in the stars, ubermen (and women) who will bring with them their diseased blankets, wiping clean the face of three hundred worlds and creating outposts for the new superhuman empire of O.
Oh Oprah. You must be stopped.

You have been informed.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Women Love Men Who Lose

Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize for my absence yesterday. It was very busy, and by the time I was done doing all I needed to do, I was exhausted and my fiancee was angry with me, so I could not post. I did, at least, learn something valuable.

Women love men who lose.

Yes, I know that's the subject of the post, but I figured it was important enough to bear repeating. Last night, my fiancee and I and another couple were playing a game of Descent (with the Road to Legend expansion for those who care) and they decided it would be a good idea to take on a certain major bad guy and his minions that I control. I cautioned them. All day, I had been telling them, "If you do this now, you guys will lose, and here is how it will happen." I showed them his stats. I showed them the stats of the minions he would have. I emphasized that they weren't ready to take him on yet. The male in the party who was on the heroes' side convinced the two women playing (his girlfriend and my fiancee) that they should take him on. So take him on they did. And they all died really horribly. In exactly the way I said it would happen. And everyone hated me and no one blamed the guy who said they should do it.

What this tells me is that women love men who lose. (See? There it is again.) After all, after a guy gets beat up by a bully, who gets the attention? The victim. Who gets the cold shoulder? The winner. After a tough game of (insert sport here), sure afterward, women may be excited when their men win, but they are affectionate and caring when the guy loses. When I play a game of Settlers of Catan and I win, who gets the cold shoulder? I do. And who is she suddenly chummy with as they complain about me? Whoever lost.

There are many possible explanations. Perhaps losers appeal to the genetically hardwired nurturing caregiver role. Perhaps it's a result of the Feminist movement, in which winning gives women a sense of smug superiority and men who win challenge their faith in equality. I don't think this is the case. After all, they lost as well last night, so they wouldn't have that sense of superiority over the losing man. I suspect women are planning a coup and things like this are all shadowy information gathering practices. When a man loses, they say kind words like, "It's ok if you lose. It happens to everyone." Then they report back to their secret female headquarters and inform their leader that one more male has been neutralized. He was found not to be a threat to the cause and was made less dangerous by being convinced that when the time comes, it's ok to be defeated by women so he won't try as hard. And when men win against them, women get angry, they give cold shoulders and otherwise make things unpleasant so that the winning men begin to think that perhaps life would be easier if they allowed their girlfriends to win. Another threat neutralized.

And who is this leader? Gloria Steinem, the American feminist icon? Hardly. The real leader of the revolution is someone almost every woman on the planet looks up to, turns to for advice, and otherwise lets dictate their lives and opinions. I'm talking about Oprah Winfrey. She has her daily propaganda hour for the Cult of Oprah (or CoO). Don't think we don't know your book club is really all about subversive literature with subliminal messages and secret codes. Why did everyone in your audience get a car that day? Blitzkrieg, baby. You needed your army mobile and figured any man in your audience was already on your side. You teach men that it's okay to deny our instincts and not fight when we feel threatened so that when the OLA (Oprah Liberation Army) rolls through, we'll sit idly by reading The Color Purple, drinking our chamomille tea, and talking about our feelings. We'll be unable to react to your CoO Coup ways.

Oprah's plans don't end there though. Once Overlord Oprah has proclaimed herself Dictator for Life, she'll ship men off to sensitivity camps where we'll stitch blankets for sixteen hours a day while watching Thelma and Louis and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. It seems innocent enough I suppose. Not pleasant, but at least not physically dangerous. But the plot spreads even wider, for she broadcasts her show via uninhibited VHF airwaves. That's why she isn't on cable tv. It limits her audience. It only goes where the hardwired cable goes. If she broadcasts on a non-premium  analog-and-antenna network, the signal for her show goes everywhere. Even into space. Aliens get her show. Suddenly, femaliens tell maliens to take their feet off the coffee table because it's not an ottoman. Intergalactic workshops all across the galaxy are turned into intergalactic crafts and scrapbooking rooms. Now, extra-terrestrial cultures are no longer technologically or psychologically prepared for an Oprah attack. They'll just want to cuddle up with each other and share their hopes and dreams. And what will they cuddle up under? Blankets. Blankets made by Earth males.

Flash back to Earth. The men in the Quilting Camps will be watching sad movies ALL. DAY. LONG. That's a lot of tears, and more importantly, a lot of sniffling. So at the end of Beaches when she sings "Wind Beneath My Wings," the men will need someplace to blow their noses from all of the sad, sad sniffling. Our blankets are now filled with disease. Oprah then takes these diseased blankets into space and gives them to the (now) peaceful aliens who just want to cuddle and snuggle. They get sick. They get weak. They get taken over by Oprah, intergalactic reinventor of the colonists' conqueror's oldest trick.

Oprah wants to be Queen of the Universe.

And that's why women love men who lose.

You have been informed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Key Is To Believe

Ladies and Gentlemen, everything you know is wrong, including this. Therefore, the secret to being right is to believe without any empirical evidence.

You have been informed.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blue Collar For The Win!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I missed an important lesson growing up. It's a lesson that hit me in the face time and time again, and still I would pay it no mind. I went to college to teach because I thought it was the best way to change the world. That's what Dead Poets Society taught me. That's what The Emperor's Club and Dangerous Minds and Freedom Writers and Stand and Deliver told me. But the real answer, the real key to saving the world was in front of me all the time. Blue collar work. The Republican Party constantly touts the blue collar worker as a hero, as the backbone of America. They're absolutely right. Mario and his brother Luigi are plumbers and they fight monsters and save the world all the time. Arthur, the Tick's partner, was a CPA. Mitchell Hundred, aka The Great Machine, did maintenance for the city before becoming a super hero and later mayor. The Toxic Avenger was a janitor. 

If I'd have paid attention when I was younger, I could have learned to be an electrician instead. Evidently, it's a growth industry whose career advancement opportunities include superheroism.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About Santa Claus

Ladies and Gentlemen, I missed Ten Facts Tuesday AGAIN. This is just getting ridiculous. I suspect, however, it has something to do with me getting so very very few shifts at work. It's hard to keep track of what day of the week it is when you have no where to be for eight days straight. Regardless, it's time to make up for lost time, and so today we take a closer look at everyone's favorite Jolly Old Elf, Santa Claus or Father Christmas or whatever you care to call him. Today, however, we'll do 12, one for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

10 Unknown Facts About Santa Claus:
  1. Santa Claus does not employ children, those are elves. Elves who would look like adults if it weren't for the fact that every elf Santa employs suffered a mysterious injury to their pituitary gland shortly before receiving job offers from Old Saint Nick.
  2. Santa's bottomless sack can hold a bag of holding without exploding or tearing dimensional fabric to bits and pieces.
  3. Santa Claus's "flying reindeer" are actually pegasuses (pegasi>) with an illusion spell on them. Because, seriously, who steals reindeer>
  4. Santa's elves don't actually make the toys. They order them from Amazon. The elves are more or less just glorified warehouse attendants these days.
  5. Santa is able to afford all of these toys because the government uses his list to profile future candidates to become covert assassins. Also, he bought a large amount of Microsoft stock at a dollar.
  6. Santa Claus wants to exercise and get in shape, really he does. But his publicist keeps telling him that the public would react negatively to a thin Santa.
  7. People wonder how Santa flies around the world in one night. "The flying around the world part is easy," he says. "Leer jets can do that. The tricky part is augmenting smart bomb technology to the presents I throw over the side of the sleigh at 20,000 feet."
  8. Santa Claus is actually not anti-Semitic. He just knows where he isn't wanted.
  9. Santa Claus has a serious foot fetish. Hence, hanging stockings by the chimney.
  10. Santa Claus's favorite color is not red, nor does he much like velvet. It's just all they had when he ordered the suit, and though he's tried to get a nice three piece blue pinstripe number, we all know how his publicist feels about change.
  11. Santa's wife, Mrs. Claus, is smokin' hot, and resents being portrayed as grandmotherly in the media.
  12. Santa's spying on children was brought to court for invasion of privacy against American citizens, but the charges were dismissed because his surveillance is covered by the Patriot Act. 
And now you know there's more to Santa than an inevitable case of diabetes.

You have been informed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Heartbroken Homeless Heroes

Ladies and Gentlemen, the movie Hancock made me realize something. Our superhero population is destined to suffer in our society. Granted, the plot of the movie did nothing to bring me to this realization. I'm not talking about murdered loved ones or the inevitable betrayal by the best friend who secretly turns out to be your arch-nemesis kind of suffering. I'm talking about being socially dysfunctional. I'm talking about a string of break-ups and pink slips. A superhero must keep his identity secret for the safety of his loved ones. After all, if every villain in the phone book knows who a hero is and where they live, it's only a matter of time before the significant other is thrown over one side of the bridge and a bus full of orphans over the other. The superhero will ultimately save the orphans, because deep down, all superheroes are utilitarians. They all believe that the action that produces the most good must be the best action. I suspect utilitarianism is, in fact, a prerequisite to gaining superpowers. But are we as citizens of the world the protect mandated to be utilitarian as well> After all, superheroes are forced to suffer in their own personal lives for our own well-being. Think about that. Every time you let Superman or the Green Lantern save you, you are essentially saying, "My happiness is more important than yours."

Alright, I've dwelled on this point for a while. I should explain. Superheroes must drop what they are doing and act at a moment's notice to save the world in times of crisis. How many dates, anniversaries, and school plays do you think these guys miss> And it isn't like they can say, "I'm off to save the world." They have secret identities. They have to say instead, "Honey, I'm sorry to rush off and miss the entire first act of our child's first play, but the boss really needs me to get that paperwork filed. You know, the paperwork I said I finished at the office today>" They get labeled by their loved ones as dead beats, workaholics, or even adulterers. Superheroism is a divorce mill. And while we're at it, how is a hero supposed to maintain a steady job if he's secretly skipping out of work for an hour or two at a time to go save the world or stop a robbery> Do you think any employer will allow that sort of absenteeism to go unpunished> I don't. What about the sheer number of "family emergencies" they have to attend to> What boss will believe your same child gets sick five times a week. But our heroes can't exactly give an honest explanation. Once again, they're bound by the secret identity, and they let the break-ups and the firings continue because, once more, their utilitarian needs are superseded by the needs of the many. Further, their alter egos gain reputations. He's an unreliable boyfriend. He's an irresponsible flake. He can't hold a down a job, so don't even bother hiring him. "Have you seen the resume of this guy> Twenty jobs in a year. We don't want to take that kind of risk."

The result is a batch of resentful, heartbroken heroes unable to afford a place to live, let alone eat. They suffer. Constantly. They become bitter alcoholics. Then, they realize that they're loaded with powers enough to gain everything they need and want, if they can just get past those ethics. Thus, another supervillain is born. Secret identities create villains. Or at least, secret identities left unchecked can create villains. 

We need to socialize superheroes. We already socialize our police force, and superheroes are like police, only with earth shaking powers and fewer restrictions (go illegal vigilanteism!). Sure, giving them a by-the-book, cigar smoking chief who will strip them of their badge right as they're about to solve the case will limit them with the handcuffs of red-tape bureaucracy, but it also provides them with reliable lifestyle. There's no worry about being fired for disappearing constantly for "family emergencies." (Unless of course, they're still faking family emergencies, in which case they were going to end up as super villains eventually anyway.) With reliable food and lodging (see Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs), the hero is much less likely to go rogue. Sure, they may still have many short-term relationships, but at least they'll have their own bed to sleep in when they get kicked out for missing another date. Voila. Our heroes don't have to suffer as much and we still get our day saved. Call your congressman (202-224-3121) and demand state sanctioned heroes to prevent villainy from becoming a growth industry.

You have been informed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Music and Dance Soothe the Savage Beast

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have previously stated the importance of dancing to human existence. Singing, it seems, is likewise important, particularly to those of a violent bent. After all, were not rival gangs the Sharks and Jets both trained in jazz-tap and vocal performance> This trend continues with Stewie Griffin's penchant for song and Hannibal Lecter's love for opera. Tomorrow evidence of a new breed of musical madman hits the digital archives. A DVD containing posts from the nefarious supervillain Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog will be available, presumably to help the public remain informed in the event of a villainous attack. 

It makes me wonder what all of the singing is for. Perhaps a good vibrato is the key to an evil laugh. They say that students of music tend to perform better at math, and a good villain should be well versed in all sciences, chemistry, atomic, pseudo, or otherwise. The music, then, would help them plot better. Or perhaps like V (you know, the one with the vendetta), they just feel it fulfills their need for the dramatic. After all, you can't dress in a flashy costume and take a name like "Mister Malcontent" without wanting some kind of attention. Music and dance, it would seem, appeal to the villainous psyche. A soft shoe and a hard heart go hand it gloved, cane-holding hand. Rock stars add to the evidence, for though they aren't as musically talented when it comes to melody and timing, rhythm and arpeggios, they also aren't as evil as your typical criminal mastermind. Crime and evil, then, must be bedfellows with song and dance. No wonder Cromwell wanted to shut down the theatres. Perhaps there is evidence that they were breeding grounds of sin and vice after all. So next time your child asks to take ballet or voice lessons, make sure she isn't planning a bank job first.

You have been informed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Board Games Attract Women

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have to make this quick. I had a rollickin' party that ran until five a.m., woke up at ten to clean, and now I have more Christmas shindigs to go to very shortly. Clearly I'm a very busy man so I don't have time to read whole articles, but if the headlines are any indication (and they should be, headlines are meant to be interpreted literally), but men seeking mates should carry around board games. The headline was "Guys may flirt with risk more to score a mate." Some of you may think that the word "risk" is not applying to the board game, because it isn't capitalized or it doesn't make sense. Let me tell you something, every word except articles and prepositions, except when at the beginning of a title, are supposed to be capitalized. Therefore, failure to capitalize Risk is a mark of laziness, not a sign that it's not referring to the board game. Secondly, it uses the word "score" in regards to mate. Not secure. Not attract. Score. As in games. The technique then, as I am forced to assume due to time constraints, is to carry around a copy of risk. When an attractive female comes by, flirt with Risk. Give it all of your attention. The woman will then become jealous of the board game and fight for your affections. It makes sense to me. Everyone knows jealousy and denying attention is the best way to attract a mate. Make them prove they're worth the effort, that the domination they're proposing is more fun than the game of global domination.

You have been informed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ninja vs Turkey

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the past, I've discussed the relationship between Don King and the various ninja of the world. Oh relax, it's not that kind of relationship. He periodically ambushes ninja to keep them on their toes. But how does Don King stay sharp? That's what I wondered. Today I've found the answer. Once a year, he retreats to a secluded glade in the middle of a forest in Pennsylvania. Then, using a secret ritual, he summons one hundred thousand turkeys to attack him at once. Sure, turkeys may not seem scary, but when 1/6th population of the state of Alaska in thirty pound birds tries to peck you, you find a new terror you never knew existed. For forty years, Don King has participated in this ancient ritual. One by one (and sometimes five or ten at a time), he defeats the turkeys, which then commit a form of seppuku in shame. Don King, in his generosity, then gives these turkeys to needy families around the nation.

This year, he's giving them to families in my state, and personally in my city. I've volunteered to help, because anyone powerful enough to take on so many turkeys at once who doesn't use said power to try to take over the world, well, that's the kind of guy you personally help to distribute turkeys to the poor. Only in America...

You have been informed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Egypt's Death Hotels

Ladies and Gentlemen, I like to think of myself as a friendly guy. I'm not one to judge based on race, class, or creed. That being said, I'd like to take a moment to speak the portion of the Islamic population that's trying to ban bellydancers and alcohol from their hotels. Did you miss my report yesterday on the importance of dancing? Sure, ban booze all you like. It's your prerogative. After all, according to Maslow, we have the need to drink, but booze dehydrates as the body tries to flush the intoxicating toxins from the body, so drinking is counter productive. But I wrote a whole piece about the importance of dancing to continued human survival. Did you miss it? It explained how dancing is as important as eating, breathing, and breeding to our ongoing existance. Are you trying to kill these poor bellydancers? You may remark that it is too racy, to sexy for married couples and families to witness. Fair enough. The married couples are already breeding and meeting their needs. But what about the dancer? She needs to support herself. She needs to buy food, and so she uses one need to draw attention to another. She dances. She sways her uncovered belly about as if to say, "Do you see this belly? I left it uncovered for you to have a good look. Examine this flat tummy. Not an ounce of fat. Please pay me so that I may eat."

Do you not see? You are depriving the poor woman of two of life's necessities: eating and dancing. Is this not considered torture? Is this not prolonged homicide? How long can the human body go without dancing before it dies? Without air, several minutes, without water, several days, without food several weeks. Though all evidence is anecdotal without years of scientific research to support it, following the short lifespans of those deprived of other physiological needs, surely these bellydancers, even if able to scrounge scraps, cannot hope to live for more than two months tops without the ability to dance. Let them live. Let them dance.

You have been informed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

An Update to Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sure I've spoken about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs before in this blog, but for those of you who do not know what it is, it's a, well, it's a hierarchy of needs that people need met to be well adjusted. The bottom level must be met before the level above it becomes important, and so on, essentially stating that we can't reach our full potential as self-actualized human beings until all of our lesser needs are met.

As you can see, the order of importance for needs is as follows:
  1. Physiological needs such as air, food, sleep, pooping, and sex must be met if we're to care about anything else. After all, if you're starving, are you really thinking about what's on friends tonight? No. That's why mice go for food on mouse traps. Risks to safety, priority 2, are outweighted by the need to eat.
  2. Saftey needs are the next to be met. We need shelter to make sleep more reliable, employment to ensure we are able to eat tomorrow.We need others to help watch over us as we sleep to keep us safe. Once immediate needs are met, we start to ensure that we'll be able to meet these physical needs in the foreseeable future.
  3. Now we need love and belonging. We have everything we need to survive. Now we need to ensure that we enjoy what we have. Beggers can't be choosers, but now that we've reached this level, we have what we need, we want it better. We want to like the people who look out for us and we want those providing sex to be people we can deal with when the sex part isn't happening.\
  4. Now that we're happy with everything around us, we have food, we have love, we need to be happy with ourselves.
  5. Finally, at the self-actualization stage, now that we like everything around us, we have to find something to keep us from being bored with how great things are, so we use our creativity, we are driven by the need to solve problems. Essentially, now that everything else is great, we need to have something to work on to, something to create or improve or we'll feel useless.
So what does this long mess of psychology have to do with anything? The team down at Sony has created, free of charge, something called Home for the Playstation 3. It's a virtual world in which people can, in theory, form deep connections and lasting friendships with those they play with online. However, according to one user, it seems like all anyone ever does in the virtual city is flirt and dance. When we look at the hierarchy of needs, the reason for this becomes glaringly apparant. At the physiological level, almost all needs are met by the very nature of the game. The in game avatars require no food or water and as such do not need to use the bathroom. Breathing is rarely an issue, and the same can be said for heat and cold, making homeostasis a non-issue as well. Characters simply aren't programmed to worry about these things. But what about sex? If it weren't important, why do designers program in both genders, particularly in rather attractive forms? The mind of the player still responds to the overt sexuality in the game while shrugging off the character's lack of need for food and sleep. As such, before people can make these deep meaningful online friendships they need online sex. Ok, the flirting is an attempt to replicate that. But what about the dancing?

It's a fact that almost every MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) has commands to make your character dance. Some online games are dedicated exclusively to dancing. Clearly this is some deep-seated need of the human condition. Dozens of movies are made about the need to dance: Flashdance, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Take the Lead, Save the Last Dance, and that one scene from Hot Rod. Even in Jane Austen's book Pride and Predjudice, Mr. Darcy comments that "Every savage can dance."

Ok, so we all like to dance, but do we need to? After careful examination of Maslow's hierarchy, yes. Yes we do. You see, if we must flirt, if we must seek sex, even online, then we cannot do anything else online until we find said sex, hence the prevalence of porn on the internet. According to the hierarchy, we cannot seek lasting friendships until the potential to mate has been secured. Hence all the flirting online in chatrooms before anyone even considers having a real conversation. That being said, we wouldn't desire to dance until all physiological needs are met. A quick survey of these MMORPGs, however, reveals that we are clearly not meeting these needs. Therefore, if we must flirt AND dance, it can only mean that dancing is a physiological need on par with eating and breathing and needs to be added to the most fundemental level of human need. If we cannot dance, we cannot live. We can have no friends unless we dance first. We can have no job unless we dance first. We cannot respect ourselves unless we can dance. I believe no one has made the need to dance as clear as our good friends Men Without Hats.

Therefore, I shall wrap up this mini-thesis on the newly discovered importance of dancing to continued human existance with the following thought, before you can succeed any day of the week, after you wake up and have your breakfast but before you step out that front door, dance as if your life depends on it, because according to Maslow, it does.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Never Trust an Ant

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sure by now you've all heard about the shoe thrower but surely there must be more to the story. After all, in a region of the world as notorious for hating George W. Bush as much as the Democratic National Convention, the question is how is a person so dissatisfied that he'll risk the repercussions of assaulting a world leader but commit an act of such low effectiveness that at best is considered a mild annoyance? He threw two shoes at the leader of the United States. That could lead to some heavy consequences for something that is clearly easy to dodge. What message is he sending? "I hate you so much that I'll potentially spend the rest of my life in prison for attacking you, but I don't really want to hurt you." No... that much dissatisfaction will usually net you at least a knife wound if not a suspicious letter with a white powdery substance. But a pair of size ten loafers?

Here's the truth, and believe me, I was as shocked to learn it as you were. That wasn't George W. Bush. It wasn't even human. People attack people with bullets and knives and bombs. What do people attack with shoes? Bugs. Insects. The attacker was attempting a projectile squish. It all makes so much sense. Looking back on the last eight years, you have to ask, "How can one human being possibly screw up this badly?" One human being can't. But one human sized insect in disguise can. Shortly after being elected, oversized insects from below the earth replaced the president with a giant ant disguised as Dubya sent on a mission to destroy the surface dwellers whose walking and dancing keeps them up all night. It explains his abominable speech patterns. English is a second language to insects and as such they don't have all of our grammar, pronunciations, and idioms down, leading to all of these "Bushisms" we know and love. Further, it vindicates Doctor Cynthia Kenyon's work. She created the army of super worms to attack the bugs where they live: underground. Alas, if only Doctor Kenyon, the man who threw a shoe at "Bush," and I could have made this discovery years ago, the world could have been a much better place.

You have been informed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About: Philip K. Dick

Ladies and Gentlemen, I love a good read, especially if it involves robots or space or things of that nature, so when I saw that today was Philip K. Dick's birthday, I had to learn more about him. He may be the author of numerous science fiction novels, several of them became movies (Minority Report, Blade Runner, Total Recall, and A Scanner Darkly). but here are a few things you probably didn't know.

10 Unknown Facts about Philip K. Dick:
  1. After writing Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep? he decided, in fact, that no, they shouldn't since real people don't dream about real sheep. So he built a robot to have dreams about flying gravy boats like the rest of us.
  2. Philip K. Dick's first name was originally spelled Phillip, but the other l was shot off in the war and doctors were unable to reattach it.
  3. Philip K. Dick could grow his beard at will, hence its impressive bushiness.
  4. Philip K. Dick took on a part-time job as a temporal conduit through which time traveling tourists could experience life in our days by mentally possessing his body from time to time. In return, he was able to visit their times (similar to Quantum Leap). This was often mistaken as mental illness.
  5. There have been so many adaptations of Philip K. Dick's books and stories that some scientists believe they spontaneously adapt themselves to film, television, and radio if left unattended for too long.
  6. Philip K. Dick was a pastamancer who could summon a plate of spaghetti five times a day.
  7. Philip K. Dick knew how to fly an interstellar space shuttle. His greatest sorrow was that they didn't exist yet for him to fly.
  8. The K stands for "kick a-- and take names," which made it difficult for him to fill out forms.
  9. Philip K. Dick was able to punch through walls no thicker pi inches thick, regardless of what material it was built out of.
  10. The scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly plays the song at the dance and Chuck Barry's cousin calls Chuck and lets him hear it was based on an incident from Philip K. Dick's life (again due to the Temporal Conduit job), except the song was "Stars and Stripes Forever" and John Phillip Souza's cousin Cindy Souza passed the song along.
You have been informed.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Information on Vampires

Ladies and Gentlemen, after spending the evening among the vampires, I've learned a few things that I would pass on to you so that you may perchance survive should you ever encounter a vampire.
  • When vampires get sick, they melt. Into smelly puddles. When they die, they turn to ash. So if you see a sick vampire, kill it. It'll be easier to clean up the body.
  • If you are ever incarcerated and a vampire tries to interrogate you, do not assault it with a cross. Sure, you may hurt it a little, but it will get the guards to beat you unconscious afterward.
  • If a group of vampires decide unanimously something is Absolutely Not A Good Idea, chances are at least one of them will do it anyway for no reason other than spite.
  • A vampire driving a car is asking to get shot. Maybe not deliberately, but statistically speaking, a vampire is more likely to be attacked in a car than out of.
  • Speaking of vampire cars, vampires rig their cars to ensure that any mortals climbing in or out will injure their knees. I confess it was very difficult pretending all night that my leg felt fine.
May this knowledge help keep you safe.

You have been informed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Zombie Facts

Ladies and Gentlemen, last night in New Orleans I learned quite a few things about zombies. Sure, I've watched zombies from afar, mostly watched through a scope before inserting Bullet A through Forehead B, but I've never worked with zombies up close. And for good reason. Zombies are freakin' dangerous.

Last night, however, I did get up close and personal with the zombies. Here are a few things I've learned.
  • First and foremost: If you smudge some dark makeup around the eyes and maybe splash a little fake blood around the mouth, you can totally pass for the undead. Or at least I did. If you get eaten by zombies, I can't help you.
  • Zombie Easter Bunnies lay zombie eggs. Awesome awesome zombie eggs.
  • Zombie Easter Bunnies tend to outnumber Zombie Santas about five to two.
  • Zombies don't have to be slackers. They can have worthwhile professions like police officers and strippers.
  • Zombies are really good at air hockey. Really. But they choke up at Point 5, at which point you think maybe you'll make a come from behind victory, but no. The zombie finishes rolling over you after giving you a point or two. Zombies don't want to embarrass you with a close out nine-to-nil victory. Zombies are nice like that. And then they try to eat your brains.
Strange I know, but it's all true. Tonight I lurk among the vampires. Let's see what I can learn there.

You have been informed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vampires and Plagues.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there are strange things afoot. From time to time, I go undercover and try to figure out what the vampires of my area are up to. Mostly it's just burning down buildings and writing bad poetry and killing each other. And dancing. Some vampires really like to dance. But the vampires in Fort Worth, Texas are particularly heinous I'm told. I don't know if that means their poetry is worse or their dancing more pretentious, but I don't want to find out. What I do know, is that there's been talk among the vampires about a killer virus. Granted it killed vampires and not people, but that's beside the point. So what does any of this mean?

Recently, I ordered a board game called Pandemic. In this board game, a number of viruses are spreading all over the world and the players must work together to stop the outbreaks before all of humanity is destroyed. While shipping the board game to me, Fed Ex stopped its travel for the night at Fort Worth. The vampires surely know I'm in their midst even if they don't know who exactly I am. They've read my blog, cyberstalked me, and have intercepted my package. It can be no coincidence that a game about a humanity killing plague stopped in Fort Worth of all places.

I think these evil vampires have a deadly virus or two and are using my board game to determine how, where, and when to best release the virus(es). If they lose the game enough times in a row, they'll determine the outbreak pattern is sufficient to kill us all.

Tomorrow, I go undercover among the vampires again. I must learn more about what they want with my board game and try to stop them. I'd do it tonight, but tonight, I'm hunting zombies in New Orleans.

You have been informed.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow in Mississippi?

Ladies and Gentlemen, as my fiancee may have informed you, it snowed yesterday. Well, there was snow mingling with rain. And in that cold snowy rain, I had to climb on the roof and rehang lights. As such, my fingers were too frozen to type and I had her post for me. I hope you enjoyed her guest appearance.

This does, however, make me question the weather. If we were promised global warming, why am I getting snow two years in a row in southern Mississippi, where it's usually balmy even in winter? Jackson, I'm told, a city a mere three hours north, took six inches. Prior to these, the last real snow I remember was when I was in Jr. High (eighth grade). Perhaps someone actually attempted that fire-extinguisher bomb I proposed. Probably not, or we would have noticed a climate change much sooner. No, what must be happening is that the Southern Hemisphere, sick of Florida, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean getting all the snowbird tourists seeking warmth and as such have created a heat-vacuum, which is sucking all of the hot air toward the south pole to boost seasonal tourism. Now even people in warmer climes need to go south for winter. As the hot air moves out, the cold air rushes in to fill its place, pulling northern cold fronts down. Those cheeky Australians! Stop stealing my heat!

In other news, sugar molecules were found in a nebula far far away by French scientists. What this means is that when we start interstellar travel, we can bring along a pastry chef and not have to waste valuable storage space on sugar. Mmmm... pastries without the closet space.

You have been informed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fairy Tales and Monsters

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Truth is hanging christmas lights today, so I - Ms. Taken - shall be filling in.  

I have been following a news story for a couple of years now.  It's almost more than a news story, considering how deeply the journalist seems to be covering the lives of the people in it, but that's beside the point.  It concerns a small neighborhood in New York City.  Apparently, until this story started being published in a magazine, no one even knew this neighborhood existed (rumor has it that this may one day become a television documentary-reality show without voting and stupid challenges).  I imagine that every day, people still pass by it without ever knowing what a thriving, unique culture is right under their noses.  
The people in this neighborhood seem to possess supernatural abilitles.  Many are of royal blood, though few still possess their former wealth.  However, all of their histories are familiar to us.  For some unknown reason, the authors of our world have been able to record some part of their lives.  The major events in their early lives are in every fairy tale book around the globe.  I'm not sure how these writers gained the knowledge...if perhaps there are rips in space and time that link our two universes.  I do not believe I am the one who can say how it happened, only that more people must be made aware of the current events which threaten both our worlds.
Because of their abilities and histories, they felt they had to hide themselves in a tiny corner of New York City.  They say they've been here well over two-hundred years - before the United States was even formed.  They've tried to stay out of our politics and world events as much as possible.  However, in World War II they did come to the aid of the Ally forces.  And they do help us when we are in dire need.  Now, they are in need.  
They came here when their Homelands were taken over by an evil dictator.  Any who opposed him were slaughtered, and so they fled to this world.  They thought the portals of travel between the two worlds were secure.  Recently, they have become...less secure.  The launched a counter-attack most recently to try to drive away enemy forces.  They were successful, but I believe that they will need our help to sustain the resistance.  I know they will never ask for our assistance, but that is exactly why we must offer.  They are not only defending themselves, but our world as well.  The evil dictator of their Homelands is not content to stay within his world, but now has plans to invade and conquer this one as well.  If we do not aid them in their fight, we may very well be facing a threat more powerful than anything we have ever imagined.  

This is a call to arms.  I implore you to aid the Fables, as they call themselves, in their struggle against a most evil force.  If we don't help them now, we might not have another chance to stop this man before his iron fist reaches too far.   

You have been informed

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

War in the Eighth Dimension?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the U.S. military is stalking Wil Wheaton. If a stealth bomber flew over his house eight times, clearly they're looking for something. The dogs went crazy every time they passed over head, which makes sense. Dogs can sense stealthy things like burglars and ghosts. My question is, what do they need him for? They could probably just ask him for assistance, you know. He's an approachable guy. Their purposes must lean toward something Mr. Wheaton would not approve of. My guess is that they intend to start a war with the eight dimension and cannot simply ask Wil to lend them his oscilation overthruster (see #8) to get there because they know he's not one to condone unnecessary violence, or at least not since the AADA incident (see #5) when he became Three Laws Safe (see #10). They must be flying over trying to get a glimpse of how he built the overthruster, or at least some peek at where he keeps it.

It's a good thing you have those dogs, Mr. Wheaton, to let you know they're watching you. Now hide that oscilation overthruster quickly!

You have been informed.

10 Unknown Facts About Robert Kirkman

Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize. I've been late on Ten Facts Tuesday two weeks in a row. I've got to go ahead and do a second post today after this one to put me back on schedule.

Today, I've decided to post ten unknown facts about Robert Kirkman. Most of you, I'm sure, are scratching your heads wondering who that guy could possibly be. Robert Kirkman is a comic book artists who brings us such wonderful titles as The Walking Dead and Invincible. But here are a few things you may not know about him (in addition to the stuff listed above, which you probably also did not know, including his name).

10 Unknown Facts About Robert Kirkman:
  1. Many attribute Robert Kirkman's success to his luck in finding fresh undiscovered talent. Robert Kirkman is actually so lucky, he doesn't play the lottery because it "wouldn't be fair."
  2. Robert Kirkman does not have super powers on a permenant basis, but was able to temporarilly assume a few as research for the title character of Invincible to "get a feel for how a guy with those powers would react to things."
  3. Robert Kirkman is Mavis-Beacon certified at 500+ words per minute. He goes through a lot of keyboards.
  4. Robert Kirkman is always allowed to eat his dessert before his dinner. Always.
  5. Robert Kirkman was deeply disappointed after dating his first super model, when he learned that the "super" did not mean they had powers. He hasn't dated a super model since.
  6. Robert Kirkman's character Science Dog is actually based off of his own dog Rex, who won a Nobel Prize for science in 1997 under an alias.
  7. Robert Kirkman was troubled as a child when he read the ending of To Kill a Mockingbird, so using sheer force of will alone he changed his copy to the much more optimistic To Save a Mockingbird. No, you can't borrow it.
  8. Robert Kirkman does not have x-ray vision, but he can see x-rays.
  9. Robert Kirkman writes every comic he's credited with except The Brit. His beard writes that one while he sleeps.
  10. Robert Kirkman has killed more zombies than you could ever count. As such, he often gets hired as a technical consultant on zombie movies, though he requests not to be creditted so the zombies don't know who he is.
You have been informed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's Stop the Round Worm Army!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it seems someone out their either reading my blog or watching the news and taking their own initiative has taken steps to protect us against the army of super worms I mentioned the other day. A farmer in Lebanon has grown a 22 pound potato. He may pass it off as a fluke of nature, but we know the truth. He knew that if he could only draw the worms away from fault lines and other areas of importance, we could distract them long enough to find a way to fight them. Solution? Giant potatoes. They grow underground. They're already wormbait, right? Yes, he may be in Lebanon, but he knows this army affects everyone. Further, by making it seem like a random thing and not the result of deliberate genetic experimentation, he threw our evil worm doctor off the scent. Thank you, farmer. You may have saved us all. If I don't see any headlines about killer worms rampaging across the breadbasket, I'll know I have you to thank.

You have been informed

Monday, December 8, 2008

Don King: Ninja Slayer

Ladies and Gentlemen, two odd things happened at work today. First, my hand was mysteriously sliced on something. It's possible one of the teachers at the teacher conference we hosted got me with a shiv, but that's unlikely. When I did my student teaching with the violent drug-addled seventh graders who shoved each other through windows, the shiv was saved for students who showed up high for the sixth school day in a row. I felt that, as an accommodating fellow teacher, it would be unlikely that they would pull the shiv on me, especially after I just got them two tables at the last minute. Plus, it happened without me knowing it happened until later. That's not the way shivving works. Shivving usually gets done with some kind of battle cry, like the name of your gang or something. I heard no "East Central Elementary Power!" when I got cut. It just happened. And we already know that my place of employment is inhabited by ninja. You may wonder what that has to do with Don King. 

The other strange thing at work is that everything metal I touched shocked me. Doors. Water pitchers. Other metal things. We all remember that Don King is surrounded by an aura of static electricity from his lightning powers. Clearly so much static at work could only be generated by that man's presence. It can also be no coincidence that the presence of Don King coincides with the increase in ninja activity at work. Don King has it out for them. My suspicion is that personally, Don King has no reason to hunt the ninja, at least not economic or emotional. I suspect it's to keep them on their toes. He is Cato to their Inspector Clousseau. Ninja pay him to jump out at them when they least expect it to keep them ready for attack at any moment. So if you notice a lot of static around you, beware, Don King is near, and where there's Don King, there's ninja.

You have been informed.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

An Army of Immortal Worms

Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been brought to my attention that a scientist in San Francisco has created super worms. Using genetic manipulation, she was able to increase the lifespan of roundworms from roughly 20 days to over 140 days. That's a 600% increase in longevity. Such a change in humans would bring the average lifespan to approximately 525 years! What's more, says mad scientist of the worm world, "you can beat them up in ways that would kill a normal worm—exposing them to high heat, radiation and infectious microbes—and still they don't die"

Allegedly, this is all being done to help understand how to extend youth in humans to keep us productive longer. I think there's more to it than that, but what depends on whether or not this Doctor Cynthia Kenyon is using her science for good... or evil.

If the good doctor is using her super worms for good, then kudos to her. Perhaps she is trying to use these worms to help improve soil quality in less arable parts of the world. Worm waste, after all, makes pretty good fertilizer. Further, these super worms would be able to be used as bait for fishing with multiple fish, since being hooked by fishers and eaten by fish clearly won't kill these immortal invertebrates. There would be an increase in crop production and the homeless population could obtain food for cheap with only one worm and a fishing pole. As they say, give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime. These worms could be an effort to solve world hunger.

Or they could be up to something... sinister.

If Doctor Kenyon (if that's her real name) can develop super worms like these, she can surely develop a means to control them. An ultrasonic device that tells worms things like "attack," "kill," and "Get me the jewels out of the vault!" This wouldn't be the first time a horde of worms has taken over a town. Couple that with the fact that these are immortal worms and the terror could be endless! Or if not directly attacking the population, perhaps an underground assault is this evil genius's plan. She lives in San Francisco, correct? What if she orders her army of super powered worms to dig down to the bedrock and aggravate the San Andreas Fault, causing an earthquake on par the the deadly 1906 San Francisco quake that nearly wiped the city to the ground?

Time will tell what her true intentions are, but I say, unless you hear about deserts becoming good farmland soon, or that the homeless are getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, beware. Especially you, San Francisco.

You have been informed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What Goldfish Don't Remember They Know

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a common misconception that goldfish only have memory spans of ten, five, or even three seconds. In reality, goldfish, and all fish for that matter, have memories much longer than this. From an evolutionary standpoint, a species unable to remember where to obtain food would quickly die off. As such, I find myself wondering why this rumor would persist year after year. In my investigation, I was shocked to discover who perpetuates this rumor, but I could at least understand why they would spread the lie.

Approximately one out of three homes owns, or has owned, fish as pets. A large percentage of murders occur within the home. The police have discovered a way to communicate with fish to obtain leads in investigations. This interrogation technique is kept a closely guarded secret (oops... sorry for telling) because it keeps people from killing the fish and information obtained isn't legally admissible in court due to the fish being unable to request lawyers and the fact that courts currently do not issue subpoenas for sea life, and if the fish is unable to testify in court, its testimony is automatically considered unreliable. Regardless, because criminals rarely are aware that the fish can rat them out, the witness remains unmolested and is able to share information with the authorities. This is where the lie becomes important. Even if criminals do discover that cops can communicate with fish, the police-perpetuated myth that fish have no memory convinces any criminals who do know about interspecies communication that attacking the aquatic pets is pointless as the fish will forget the whole event the moment the crook steps out the door. Once more, the witness lives. 

And I know, you're all asking why I'm sharing it here if it's such a big important secret. Simple. No one goes around killing fish because Aquaman can talk to them, and he's a superhero. Crooks are lazy. They want to do things the easy way. Otherwise, they'd get real jobs and and earn their money the honest way. If they aren't concerned about protecting themselves from the Justice League, they certainly aren't worried about the cops.

You have been informed.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Wake Up Call to Our Education System

Ladies and Gentlemen, you may or may not know this, but I am a licensed high school teacher in these United States, so matters of education hit close to my heart. That is why I found this especially disturbing. I admit, the American Education System™©® may not be the best in the world. However, we are trying to turn things around. You may have heard of a little piece of legislation called No Child Left Behind? Well, it's failing us, but worse than that, it's failing the kids, and worse than that, it's failing the kittens even worse. We may have a problem with juvenile delinquincy, but cats are hit especially hard. When I went to college, the campus was littered with litters of cats, lying about, never going to class. Never studying. They were like townies or hippies waiting for a jam band to come to town. But problems like these do not start in college. No, it starts when they're young. The problem is we aren't educating these lolcats.

What is a lolcat, you may ask? (look! New keyboard! I can ask questions again!) Lolcats, as you can see from the site and sample pictures above, lolcats are poorly educated, often lazy, violent, or greedy. They act upon their most id driven instincts and rely on looks and charm rather than hard work and a solid education to get ahead in life. They are the slackers of the animal kingdom.

What I want to know is, how have we failed them so much that they are only barely literate? Their spelling is atrocious and their grammar is worse. Who will inspire them to excellence and pull them from their wayward ways? Where are the
Jaime Escalantes, the Erin Gruwells, and the John Keatings for the kitten community? Where are the teachers willing to use unorthodox teaching methods and put it all on the line to ensure their feline students grow up to be intelligent, educated, productive free thinkers willing to take a stand against the cycle of violence and oppression they find their families caught within? These are not stupid kittens. They have brilliant minds that just need to be honed. After all, a look through these photographs will reveal that they've mastered invisibility technology. They can make indetectable to the human eye and visible spectrum cameras items such as beers, video game systems, transportation devices, and even other cats! Think of the great strides we could make technologically if they could be properly educated!

Please, write letters to your congressmen urging them to pass Kitten Education legislation. For the kittens. Without proper education and guidance, it's only a matter of time before an army of incomprehensible invisible kitty bots come to wipe us out. But if we educate them now, if we show them that they can make a place for themselves through hard work and literacy, then perhaps the life you save won't just be the cat's. It may be your own.

You have been informed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

No Questions Asked

Ladies and Gentlemen, the question mark key on this keyboard is broken. On the surface, it's just a mild inconvenience, sure. I have to do this > instead of... well, I guess I can't really type what it's replacing, but it's a question mark. What does this mean> It means someone feels I've been too inquisitive. Too many questions leads to uncomfortable answers. Remember the vampires seeking the bailout to buy up houses so they could get in without having to be invited> Well, since I reported on that, banks that received bailout money have been buying up other businesses instead of mortgages at-risk of foreclosure. Suddenly, that vampire free-ride buffet is gone. The vampires, clearly, were not pleased at all with my expose' (it won't even let me put an accent over the e! but I mean ex-pose-AY and not ex-POSE), and have sabotaged this keyboard to prevent me from asking too many questions. Sure, I may have a right to freedom of speech which no citizen of this country should be able to strip me of. However, these vampires with their "centuries older than thou" attitude unfortunately means they can grandfather clause out of it. Having lived here prior to the formation of the United States means they are allowed to live here without claiming citizenship, and as such don't have to abide by my rights. Grrr... Likewise, the Freedom of Information Act keeps me from obtaining any government assistance in tracking down info about these ages old creatures of the night. As official non-citizens they are immune to laws that require Americans to reveal subpoenaed information, which means I can't even use the courts to require them to tell me why they broke my keyboard or what they want me to not ask about (that's what I really wish they'd tell me. You know, so I can ask about it.) Once more, the evil Red Tape of Bureaucracy thwarts my best intentions of informing the public about what's really going on. The only real question left is... Who invited the vampires into the house to break my keyboard in the first place> (insert dramatic music here)

Hide your keyboards, seekers of the truth. The vampires are coming.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About: Vin Diesel.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I can't believe I missed Ten Facts Tuesday yesterday! Man, missing a day has really thrown my internal calendar off. I think I reverted to Julian instead of the proper Gregorian Calendar. Craziness. Regardless, let's get on with it, shall we?

Vin Diesel is a star of countless action movies (it's nine. I counted.) and is a self-professed geek. That's right. The man with that bald, jocular physique got that way by putting his bonus ability point every fourth level into Strength (and probably Constitution). He'll kick your butt in real life and then critical slay you in D&D when you're laid up in the hospital. But here are a few things you may not have known about this nerd-turned-knight.

10 Unknown Facts about Vin Diesel:
  1. Vin Diesel can karate chop lunch meats into deli-thin slices.
  2. Vin Diesel requires 15% fewer experience points to level up.
  3. Vin Diesel's real home is actually a secret underground lair hidden beneath his real him by a camouflaged elevator with biometric locks.
  4. Vin Diesel can train a dog to sit, stay, fetch, roll over, and do his taxes.
  5. Vin Diesel really does have polarized eyes. The producers on Pitch Black thought it was cool, so they worked it into the script.
  6. Vin Diesel has read the phone book. He says last years was better, but won't divulge any spoilers.
  7. Speaking of, Vin Diesel killed a man for telling him how The Sixth Sense ended, even after he'd already seen it. He's that serious about spoilers.
  8. Vin Diesel can knit a cardigan in 23 minutes. For those of you who have never knitted a cardigan, that's really fast.
  9. Vin Diesel is unstuck in time, though he can control it much more than Billy Pilgrim. Some suspect he's part Trafalmadorian.
  10. Vin Diesel's favorite day is Saturday. On Saturday, he can eat all the ice cream he wants.
I hope this information enlightens you and makes you realize that He isn't just a big guy in big movies or a geek made good. He's a human being. (probably.)

You have been informed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In which we all fail at something

Ladies and Gentlemen, some days you just can't win. I've yet to earn an Eagle Talon High Five despite many attempts. Perhaps it's like dating. If you go looking for a girl, you'll never find one, but whenever you give up the hard search and just let the drunk ones stumble into your life, you're bound to find one eventually. So perhaps I should wait until I see a drunken eagle, do something moderately impressive, and then hope that's enough to sway his or her impaired judgment.

I likewise failed to make the MSNBC 11 Lamest Blogs on the Internet. Sure they're lame, but at lest they're recognized for some kind of achievement. Maybe next year.

In other news of failure, those wacky pirates we've been seeing all the time these past few months have failed yet again. No, it wasn't a botched hostage situation or stealing something they can't sell. No, this time, they failed to outrun a cruise ship. A CRUISE SHIP! A ship whose purpose is to go slow, to get places at a relaxing leisurely pace. Really, pirates? Are you guys even trying anymore? And what were you going to do? Sneak into the magic show for free? Take all the caviar in the buffet so no one else can have any? You, sirs, fail. I don't think I can ever dress up as a pirate for Halloween again. I have to say, given the current state of piracy these days, ninjas win hands down EVERY time.

Also, my friend's roommate failed at robbing my friend and other roommates. He reported the house being stolen before actually getting everything out, leaving an awkward moment in which my friend rushes home from out of town upon hearing news he's been robbed only to find most of the stuff reported missing still there. Further, the guy left evidence everywhere, gave a really flimsy story to the police, and left notes from his friends lying around asking when he was going to sell said stolen goods, which they were holding for him. You sir, suck worse at your job than the average modern pirate. And thank goodness, for my buddy's sake.

What we've learned today is if you must fail, you may as well do it today and get it over with. Today feels like a good day for failure.

You have been informed.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The history buffs won't let me sleep...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I haven't really had a good night's sleep since August of 2007. Suddenly, I began waking up constantly in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. And not once. Multiple times throughout the night. Every hour or two. A good night's sleep is one where I only wake up once or twice. I'm exhausted all of the time and I've decided to figure out why.

  • I had slept moderately at the MANsion (what my roommates called my old abode), though I occasionally had sleepless nights.
  • At the very end of July, I moved in with some friends and my sleep became irratic.
  • In August of last year, I started a semester of almost nothing but history classes.
  • In August of last year, i started my final year of college.
  • In August of last year, I was supposed to have started my student teaching.
  • In January, I moved out and lived with a few other people for the next several months.
  • During my student teaching the following semester, the sleep problems grew worse and my eyes would twitch very frequently.
  • Having graduated, my sleep is still bad but not as bad as it used to be.
  • Having graduated, my eyes rarely twitch, but that doesn't mean they don't twitch at all.
Here's what it looks like to me. When living in the MANsion once I woke in the middle of the night and thought I saw a ghost. When I moved in July, the house the ghost must have followed me. After all, I was the only original resident of the MANsion left when I moved out. So the ghost follows me. It knows I'm taking history courses because it must have sat in my room planning my schedule for the coming semester. The ghost is into history. Plus, as the only college student remaining at the MANsion, it knows without me, it doesn't have access to classes. When I move, it follows.

It's ghosts keeping me up all night, for sure. The house did creep me out a little. And it was always pretty cold. Ghosts make the air cold, right? However, I was living with a bunch of people (at one time I had five other roommates). Therefore, the ghost woke me up, but not often, because it had several other people in the house to disturb. It had many people it could follow to classes. Still, I slept terribly, so I assume the ghost was most interested in history, something only I was really studying at the time. Great.

In January, I move in with someone else. Just one person. The ghost follows me, hoping for more history. I am after all licensed to teach history in this state. Perhaps the ghost hopes I will be teaching history during my teacher candidacy. I don't. I teach language arts and literature instead. The ghost is not pleased, and as such makes sure I don't sleep well for the entire sememster. I get all of the attention because the roommate is neither college student nor history buff. All of the ghost's attentions are on me. No rest for our scholarly shade, so no rest for me either I guess.

I graduate. I move out. I'm living with a couple of people, but still, I'm the one who reads history books, so the ghost keeps his attention on me. Even so, my sleep isn't as bad as it used to be. I assume this is because my old ghost is now distracted by Oliver Cromwell. After all, if you're a ghost who is into history, who would you rather hang out with? A student of history or a historical figure? So while he's getting his primary sources for his afterlife PhD, I'm sleeping mildly better, though not wonderfully. I guess the ghost still needs access to that contemporary historical critism.

Lately, though, my sleep has been really bad again. Perhaps because I've been coming down so hard on Oliver Cromwell, he's decided to back off a little, leaving my history ghost with no one to talk to and nothing to do... except bother me. I never thought I'd say this, but come back Mr. Cromwell. I miss you. That or our ghost is a hardcore restorationist and wasn't happy sharing a place with Cromwell, and because Cromwell began acting up over the past couple months, Mr. Restorationist Ghost is acting up too, which in turn is keeping me up.

Oh ghosts... will you never let me sleep?

You have been informed.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What I learned in my Absence

Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize for my absence. Yesterday was the first day since starting this blog that I was unable to share a little truth with you. My internet was down all day and nothing I did would change it's mind and make it cooperate. I even tried water-boarding, and while it was fun to hit the beach for a while, I seriously do not understand how that's supposed to make someone spill a secret. Maybe the idea is you keep them in prison for a long time, and then you say, "Hey buddy. Me and some of the guys were gonna go hit up the beach. You know, have some barbeque, play some volley ball. Maybe surf some waves. You wanna grab a board and come along?" And then after having such a fun day after years of torture, they're like, "You know, you cats aren't so bad. Tell you what. The secret plans are buried under my basement." I guess. My router, however, sucked on the surfboard, so I had to break up with it and get a new one.

But I did learn some truths in my absence.

  1. Leonardo da Vinci started painting the "Mona Lisa" in 1400 B.C. (or B.C.E. if that's how you get your archaeological jollies off). No, he isn't an immortal like Duncan McLeod or Dorian Gray or fruit cake. He's a time traveller, as any well educated child of the 1990s can tell you. The fact of the matter is that da Vinci really wanted to capture an accurate representation of the natural beauty upon which he would later canvas his subject and its contrast to the invasion of "modern conveniences" like roads. Using his time machine, he went back in time to before that road in the background was constructed and painted the flora and fauna first. Then he painted the road atop the initial landscape to exemplify the invading nature of society on the countryside. Then he painted a woman in front of it because he "really mucked up the middle bit."
  2. Ninjas attacked me at work. I didn't see them, but that's because they are ninja. I am, however, feeling rather battered and bruised and don't recall being assaulted by tables or chairs, so I am forced to conclude that it was done by a clan of meeting-hating ninja. I hate meetings. Maybe I can be a ninja too.
  3. Oliver Cromwell is still a jerk. Stop breaking my technology.
You have been informed, albeit somewhat late.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Rainbow Comspiracy

Ladies and Gentlemen, there's something in the water. Oh sure, we've been saying it for years. The government's putting something in the water. But now there is proof that our drinking supply has been compromised.

You see that? Rainbows! From a sprinkler! You never saw this twenty years ago. I know I never saw it twenty years ago when I was a small child playing in my sprinkler. I thought I did, but she said I never did, and she's older, so she must be right. Something is clearly being injected into the water that's causing light to refract the same way it does up in the atmosphere after rain. Perhaps some put those "metallic oxide salts" in our water supply and oxygen supply that are causing this. I will say, however, that I don't think that this is a threat to our health, at least not directly. No, this is a threat to our well being. This is not the work of the government. This is the work of leprechauns.

Leprechauns are hoarders, amassers of treasure, which they hide away. Whether this money is made through ill means or an endless stream of shoe repair has yet to be determined. What is known is that it is commonly believed in America that leprechaun treasure is at the end of rainbows. While there is little evidence in Irish folklore that this is the case, the belief still persists. As such, with the economy growing ever more sour, the leprechauns who have immigrated to the U.S. over the years are no doubt growing increasingly concerned over the safety of their valuables. They've added metallic oxide salts to the water supply to create additional rainbows and draw people away from where their treasure is really located. What's more, once an individual has found the end of a rainbow, it's very likely that a leprechaun will be waiting for him, using his smooth talking ways to con said treasure seeker out of whatever they have on them, perhaps by trying to sell him a condo or an AMWAY distributorship. After all, leprechauns have bills too, and it's not like there are a lot of job opportunities for shoe repairmen anymore. Plus, they also kinda feel justified in taking people's money as repayment for the way their stereotyped in the media. It is, after all, those who believe the "pot o' gold" myth that follow rainbows anyway.

Fact: Leprechauns are amassing wealth. Rainbows are increasing. But don't be fooled. The rainbow is an ambush.

You have been informed.

And as a bonus today:

Good luck topping that one, internet.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, Happy Thank the Native Americans for Sharing Their Food so the Pilgrims Wouldn't Die Day!

Ordinarily, on this day, I make a post saying I'm thankful for my friends and family and freedoms and education and stuff, but that's an every year thing, and I think by this point, it goes without saying. Likewise, I've already shared ten facts about this holiday, so further illuminating you on the subject would only give me less to say next year. So today, I'm going to express gratitude for the more unlikely things in my life that helped me get here.

Thank you, Pen-and-Paper RPGs, for introducing me to so many friends and for helping me develop my creativity and social skills growing up.

Thank you, Theatre for letting me be someone else for a while and for introducing me to my fiancee.

Thank you, Calvin and Hobbes, for telling me as I was growing up that it's ok to be smart and a little different.

Thank you, Good Books, for finally breaking me of the habit of literally walking around crying as a small child saying, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do!"

Thank you, Internet, for making it easy to keep in touch with old friends, learn more about new things, and watch amusing videos like this.

Thank you, Movie Theater Job, for giving me so much time to design board games on the clock when business was slow.

Thank you, Readers, for giving me a reason to keep researching.

I think that'll about do it for now. I have cooking to pretend to help with. Now go out, be thankful, eat food, spend time with your family and friends, andget to bed early in a combination of tryptophan overdose and getting ready for the Black Friday sales tomorrow. (except for readers abroad. I'm sorry. I don't think you guys have Black Friday sales tomorrow unless you shop from online American retailers.)

Happy Holidays.

You have been thanked.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Answers to Questions that Plague Me

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have nothing fancy for you today. What I do have are answers to three to questions that have always bothered me. Today, with the help of CNN, I've discovered the truth, and I'm here to share.

1) What did the turkeys with the presidential pardon do to warrant execution?

It's no secret that every year since Truman has pardoned the presidential thanksgiving turkey, thus sparing them from execution and becoming dinner. But what did the turkey do to be given the death penalty in the first place? We know that it must have been bad. The death penalty is pretty much only given for murder and treason. Even so, most states have a moratorium on capital punishment. Therefore, it must be a federal offense, and not state, meaning the bird committed treason. Perhaps there was talk of him defecting from the U.S. and being the dinner of the president of Iran instead. Further, I think it's obvious he showed no remorse. The farmers saw him "strutting, fanning, and preening." So what's to become of him now? I suspect he'll be forced to spend the rest of his days at the butcher's shop, watching what becomes of traitors like him.

2) I wouldn't date Barbara Streisand if we were the last two people on Earth. What could I do to avoid it?

This is one that kept me up at night. The fear of a weird plague that killed everyone but me and someone else, and that someone else being Barbara Streisand terrifies me to no end. What could I possibly do in that scenario to save myself from her? As it turns out, the polar bears at a Japanese zoo have the answer. I could simply will myself to become female. Come on, the Japanese are really intelligent people. They make all of the cool robots and video games. And if ever there was a culture with no problems researching sex, it is the Japanese. Surely their zoo keepers would have noticed some time in those three years that both polar bears were female. They must have checked when they bought the new bear, and they wouldn't mistake girl parts for man bits. The only logical explanation is that their male bear wanted nothing to do with the Streisand of the Ursa persuasion, and spontaneously changed gender like the dinosaurs in Jurasic Park. It's a comfort to know that if I'm ever in that situation, I can just become a woman and tell her that we'd never be able to repopulate the world so there's no use trying.

3) Why do these aliens keep coming to Earth and abducting people?

There are so many theories about alien abductions. Scientific experimentation, sexual experimentation, enlightenment, and even the unlikely "it's all bunk" theory. But today, after watching an interview with an abductee, I believe I've found the answer. Abductions aren't about science or cosmic truth. The aliens are drumming up tourism for their medical themed amusement park called "Wackyville." Except I hear the rides are lame. "What? Lie down on this table and don't move while you implant tracking beacons in me? Sweet! How tall do I have to be to ride?" Personally, I recommend EuroDisney instead. Why stay in a real castle when you can visit one made of plastic instead?

If you have any questions that need answering, feel free to let me know and I'll see what I can uncover for you.

You have been informed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About Thanksgiving

Ladies and Gentlemen, we're going to do things a little differently this week. Instead of sharing ten facts about a celebrity, I thought I'd share ten facts about the upcoming holiday. We have some international readers here, and Thanksgiving (at least as we celebrate it in the U.S.) may not be something they know much about. With that in mind, I thought I'd enlighten everyone about a holiday instead of a person.

First, what is commonly known about Thanksgiving. A long time ago, some settlers from England came to America and got slapped around a bit by nature and their own hubris. They had no food that first winter, no way to stave of the bitter cold they hadn't anticipated. So the local Indians (I know, I know. The P.C. term is "Native American" but at the time they were called either Indians or savages, and Indians sounds nicer.) came and gave them food and blankets. Those who survived the winter cultivated the land, again with some help from the locals. At the first harvest, they threw a big feast celebrating. They drank beer and ate venison and gourds and stuff. And then we stopped celebrating it regularly for a few hundred years until, I believe, the mid(?) twentieth century when the fourth Thursday in November became a federal holiday called "Thanksgiving" where we eat way too much food and (in theory) celebrate things we're thankful for. We also gloss over the dead Indians who were later robbed and killed. We're not so thankful these days for that ordeal.

And now we get to the purpose of the post.

10 Unknown Facts About Thanksgiving:
  1. Prior to eating, the Pilgrims and Indians laid out some cardboard, plugged an iPod into some speakers, and had a b-boy dance off to see who got to sit at the head of the table.
  2. They not only feasted on those foods mentioned above, but they did also feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and other items as well.
  3. The image of the cornocopia, or horn of plenty, is actually a misinterpretation of the facts. There was no woven horn filled with foods to feast upon. Rather, Old Man Smythe had a hearing problem, and many people at the table thought it would be fun to try to see what they could throw into his antiquated hearing aid from twenty paces.
  4. After eating, the Indian warriors and the strongest of the Pilgrims (mostly the sailors who brought them there) played a game with an inflated pig bladder in which they each tried to get the ball to the other side of a clearing while the opposing team beat them up. Thus was there an Army-Navy game at the first Thanksgiving (a couple of weeks early, sure, seriously. They had work to do. They couldn't have fun every day.)
  5. One young Pilgrim girl performed magic tricks for the kids and was used to roast marshmellows that night when it got a little colder.
  6. The first Thanksgiving took place at Plymouth, Massachusetts, though after a few too many drinks, Myles Standish declared the village be forever known as "Party Town!" He then fell off the table and vomitted into Old Man Smythe's hearing aid.
  7. The Society section of the newspapers called it "the party of the century" and that "everyone was there." This is an accurate statement, as only fifty-three of one hundred twenty Pilgrims survived the first year and if they didn't show up, they didn't eat that day. Also, they didn't exactly party often, so the bar was set pretty low.
  8. John Smith cooked the deer with his eye lasers. He cooked the vegetables with a cast iron pot.
  9. The Indians were not entirely peaceful. They conducted take semi-military action against the colonists after the Pilgrims went to bed. The pantaloon raid lasted seventeen minutes and resulted in 23 bloomer and petticoat casualties and, according to one Indian in his journal, "showed those Alpha Betas that the tri-Lambs rule the school."
  10. The days after were generally referred to as "No-thanksgiving" as the overstuffed colonists both turned down leftovers and dealt with e. coli from improperly cooked food. As it turns out, eye lasers are not a Safeserv approved means of cooking.
Enjoy Thursday with your family and friends, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.

You have been informed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Are you suggesting pianos migrate?"

Ladies and Gentlemen, I was surprised to discover this story about a piano found in the middle of the woods. Now, this may seem strange to you, but the more I think of it, the situation is perfectly logical.

My first thought was that the piano was migrating for the winter. It seems logical. Many things migrate for winter. Birds, butterflies, elderly New Yorkers. Why not pianos? En route, it stops in the woods, as birds so often do. This of course raises the question, "Where is it coming from?" Police were unable to answer this question. Perhaps it didn't feel like answering any questions without a lawyer present. I don't blame it. That wooded area was probably private property. To find the answer, we must look at the anatomy and physiology of a piano. Unlike grandmothers, pianos thrive in colder weather. Heat and humidity loosen the strings, making it harder to keep the instrument in tune, and with insurance rates what they are, it is not unreasonable to assume the piano was in transit to colder climes to cut down on visits to the piano man. His time isn't cheap, you know.

The only problem is, well, it doesn't make any sense really. A piano migrating north for winter? Absurd! That would place it in the hot humid south during the hottest and humidest time of the year. And if it already lived in the north, why move at all for winter? And so I abandoned my original thesis and began working on a new one, one upon which I am sure I have struck right (good luck diagramming that clause).

It's the holidays here in the U.S. of A. That's right. Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away. It's a time of family, food, and football if you like that sort of thing. If not, more food and family. And probably fighting. Families fight around the holidays too. What does this have to do with a roaming piano? Everything. The piano wasn't migrating. It was visiting relatives for the holidays. After all, what is a piano made of if not wood? (other than metal). The piano returned to the woods from which it was born, to the glen and glade of its youth to visit its family. You see, this particular piano grew up in that very forest, but during an angsty adolescence ran away for a career in music. However, having never made it to the big show, he grew disaffected with his life. He spent his days entertaining in the suburbs. The suburbs! At least he got to spend time around children. He does so love children, even if they don't always respect him or play gently. He also met his fiancee there, a sweet little bench, who came home with him for the holidays, presumably to meet the family.

It's really not such a big mystery after all once you think about it.

You have been informed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wii're Coming For You, Mr. Truth

Ladies and Gentlemen, yesterday I bought a Wii. And it's fun, sure. Somewhat, but that's because I bought it used and the only game it had is Wii Play, which you really only get for the free controller. And the cow race. That's kinda fun. I digress.

I was really looking forward to the internet features. The news. The weather. Everybody Votes. But I can't get it to connect. I've gotten error 51030, 51330, and 51332 so far. I've adjusted the router channel, the firewall, the WEP key. All no dice. Grrr... There's only one logical conclusion.

The my Wii is trying to undermine the United States of America by denying me internet access. It woudn't be the first time Japan has tried to take us out.
  • FACT: Without the Wii Weather Channel, I will not know how to dress when leaving the house. That's an important deal when you live in Mississippi, as January 12 is just as likely to be twenty-eight degrees (Fahrenheit) as eighty-two. It could be gorgeous all day and then throw a monsoon at you in the mid afternoon. The Wii is trying to give me heat stroke, pneumonia, exposure, and other weather related badness. Plus it's trying to get my clothes wet to make me uncomfortable all day.
  • FACT: Without Wii News, I'll have difficulty seeing what's going on in the world today to know what needs researching. If I can't research, I can't share the truth, and thus help thwart SAG and the zombies and then I'll never earn that ETHF.
  • FACT: Without Everybody Votes, we won't be daily reminded of our dedication to democracy in this country. Without the daily reinforcement of the importance of voting by being asked what our favorite color is, we will be unable to remember how important it is to vote when congressional and presidential elections come up. Voter numbers will return to their pre-2008 election levels of 30%. 
  • FACT: Most importantly, without the internet on my Wii, I will be unable to watch streaming videos of the episodes of How I Met Your Mother on the big TV as opposed to on the tiny computer screen with the lame sound system, and keeping people away from the TV, that is the most unAmerican thing of all.
Alright, Wii. Today, I break the proverbial smack down on your internet denying hiney. You will yield up your internet to me or face the consequences of me just using you as a game machine and sticking to the desktop computer I've been using with very little change to my actual life. You have been warned, Wii. 

And the rest of you...

You have been informed.