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.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Researcher's block

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have researcher's block. I have no idea what to investigate, what to share today. No matter how hard I try, nothing seems to demand to be researched. I look at the headlines and nothing screams, "There's something more going on here than what they're saying." Why would I, of all people, be unable to seek out hidden truths today?

I find it highly unlikely that there is nothing important happening. Something must be happening, but for me not to sense it, it must be something so huge that someone would use a mind scrambler of some sort on me to keep me from discovering it before I can leak word and stop it.

But who could possess such a mind scrambler? Mad scientists? The government? The Screen Actors Guild? I do find it suspicious that I wasn't suspicious when I read about their impending strike. It must be them.

So, SAG is up to some big secret plans beyond the strike and they're scrambling my brains to keep me from investigating. Those sneaky jerks. But what could they be up to? Oscar season is upon us. Perhaps they have the Super-Movie, no doubt staring a recently deceased celebrity (or one they plan to make deceased very soon) about a mentally handicapped Jewish gay man during the Holocaust fighting for the right to die, but with dignity and on his own terms. Such a movie would be bound to win best picture and gross millions upon millions in DVD sales. And they're hiding this movie. No, they've stolen the movie and they're holding it hostage unless the studios give into their demands! They probably have the star kidnapped too, with the promise to kill the actor once their demands have been reached and the film returned.

But what are their demands? Money? No. They always ask for more money. That wouldn't justify all of that effort. Jet packs? Eagle-Talon High Fives? Jet packs they could probably buy, and you can't force an eagle to give you a high five. One way or another, after a plan like this, the actors will need to lay low for a while.

That's it! They are demanding that for every role they play, the studios provide a legal identity for that character including birth certificates, drivers licenses, social security cards. This makes perfect sense. Actors are constantly getting DUIs. It will let them drive drunk without the tabloids getting them, because it isn't Mel Gibson throwing racial slurs at a cop. It's William Wallace, or at least that's what the license says. Further, with multiple social security cards, they'll collect multiple social security checks when they're older, thus cheating the American tax payers out of their money. Such a sinister retirement plan. This money will no doubt be spent to... no...

This is what they're up to.

The screen actor's guild is holding hostage a movie about a gay, mentally challenged Jewish piano savant with tuberculosis fighting for the right to die on his own terms in a Nazi concentraiton camp. They are also holding the staring actor hostage with a promise to kill the actor when talks are resolved, thus ensuring the greatest Oscar win ever, making the studios tons of money. In exchange, the actors get official identities for every character they've ever played. As such, any character they've played old, or any character from a time set before now will be able to collect social security checks, which they will use to go on an alcohol and drug induced killing spree across the country as they flee from Hollywood to Canada (I don't know why they aren't fleeing to Mexico). With their new drivers licenses, however, all of the DUIs won't slow them down, since they can surrender a different license every time they're pulled over.

Look out, Canada! There are about twelve thousand coked up alcoholic actors coming your way!

No wonder they scrambled my brains. If only they hadn't, I could research that...

You have been informed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Power of the Future

Ladies and Gentlemen, people ask me where I stand on the future of energy. I have to throw my vote in for nuclear. Oh, sure things like hydro-electric, solar, and wind power all seem like the better choice. They're clean. They're renewable. They're good for the planet. But how beneficial are they for society?
  • Fact: Shipping and disposing of toxic waste requires people to do it. It creates jobs.
  • Fact: Solar, Hydro-electric, and Wind power plants cannot melt down the way nuclear plants can. Your friendly neighborhood EPA has to start laying people off because business is slow.
  • Fact: Meltdown irradiates communities, spreading cancer like a plague... of cancer. Hospitals are booming. More doctors are needed to treat people. More hospitals are needed to house people. More lawyers are needed to help the people get the compensation they deserve. A new power plant needs to be built. It creates jobs.
  • Fact: For every person irradiated, there is a chance someone will develop superpowers and a superhero will be created. It creates jobs. It protects society.
  • Fact: No one has ever gotten super powers from the failure of a solar panel or windmill.
I think the benefits are clearly on the side of nuclear. Without the failure of nuclear plants, bombs, and experimentation, we'd have no Incredible Hulk, that juggernaut of rampaging green fury. There would be no Toxic Avenger, driven by his tromatons to vanquish evil wherever it shows. We would have no Doctor Manhattan to stoically look out for the best interests of a world he finds himself increasingly detached from after being persuaded on the surface of Mars by his former lover. So many heroes obtained their powers via nuclear forces gone awry. Who are we to try to stop more forces from going awry that a small handful of individuals among the teeming masses of cancer patients should find their lives' purpose?

Plus, it lets us feel superior when we hear people say "nucular."

And just to give you heads up, do not let your dogs have coffee. They could become addicts, which could lead to breaking and entering and acts of vandalism to get their morning fix.

You have been informed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Ladies and Gentlemen, today's truth comes from approximately thirteen years of research. I have a confession to make, and chances are, it will shock none of you, but...

I'm a nerd.

I spent my youth playing Magic: the Gathering, Vampire: the Masquerade, and other fancy games with colons in the title. Over time and lots of research down in a dark room with pasty friends and lots of dice, I've learned a few things about these games: the names are all deceptive, and as such are false advertising. So today, I'll list my favorite games, describe why they're misnamed, and propose new names more befitting their nature. And along the way, I'll use lots of fancy colons.

Dungeons and Dragons: The quintessential geek game. Players take on the role of fantasy adventurers killing monsters and taking treasure.
  • FACT: Most games don't involve dragons. In fact, the bulk of the creatures you fight, that party can kill in one hit.
  • FACT: Many games don't involve dungeons, but rather tombs, keeps, castles, lairs, labyrinths, and fortresses. Almost all games, however, involve a tavern of some kind.
  • FACT: Every game involves getting treasure by taking it from cursed tombs and looting the bodies of dead monsters.
  • SOLUTION: Since most games don't involve dungeons or dragons, the name ought to be changed to something more appropriate.
  • New name? Taverns and Grave-robbers.
Vampire: The Masquerade: Characters are vampires living in our world pretending to be human. They walk among us just below the surface. It's the game that made being goth cool, or if not cool, at least, not as whiney. Plus, we've avoided the D&D trap, in that all games of Vampire involve vampires, and there is a major premise called the Masquerade. How could this possibly be a misnomer?
  • FACT: Vampires have nifty powers that let them shapeshift or pick up cars. And they have pointy teeth. All of these things kinda break the Masquerade, which states that vampires should act like normal people.
  • FACT: Most vampires in these games blatantly use these powers in ridiculous combat sequences and then slaughter wholesale all mortals unfortunate enough to have seen the events, which in turn, prompts huge police investigations into the activities of the undead. It's not a smart way to hide.
  • SOLUTION: The vampire part can stay. It's accurate. However, the Masquerade is often a laughing afterthought in the games I've played. In fact, quite the opposite happens. Too much attention is drawn to the characters.
  • New name? Vampire: The Big Neon Sign.
Cyberpunk 2020: Corporate greed, data espionage, street gangs. The gritty urban computer driven future. What's not to love?
  • FACT: The game does involve punks who are both online and often cybernetic.
  • FACT: The game is allegedly set in the year 2020, and while I can easily see corporations all but ruling the world by then and an increase in gang activity, I think it's safe to say that I won't be able to buy cybernetic adamantite retractable claws from a street doctor any time soon. Or have infrared sensors augmented to my eyes. Or use a neural relay to log onto a super-sweet virtual reality internet.
  • SOLUTION: There are two ways we could go. Set in what 2020 will probably really be like. Today with smaller cellphones and better gas milage. But then the game loses a lot of its flavor. So instead, we need to set it at a time when the future really could have those cool techno-gadgets. Unfortunately, technology never seems to advance as fast as we would like it to.
  • New name? Cyberpunk Undetermined Year at least One Hundred Years from Today (or Cyberpunk UYaLOHYfT for short).
Rifts: Post apocalyptic high tech, high magic goodness. This is a powergamer's dream. You will meet dragons in this game, and almost every character can drop a tank with ease and the U.S. is led by a xenophobic facist military government called the Coalition. And the world even got this way after a surge of magic energy tore open rifts to other dimensions. So what's the problem?
  • FACT: I've never played in a game where I've actually seen a rift. Sure they still open from time to time in the game world, but mostly that's all past.
  • FACT: People want to play the cool characters that can bench press battleships and blow up buildings with their minds, not the wimpy humans who need armor to survive. As such, the almost always end up fighting against the Coalition.
  • SOLUTION: We need a name that captures what games ultimately devolve into, and not a reference to a past event.
  • New name? Power Gamers Fight Space Nazis.
Magic: The Gathering: Sure, this one is a card game and not a role playing game, but the gamers, they love it. In concept, every player represents a super-powerful mage who is summoning all kinds of monsters and spells to beat up other mages. It's never really explained why these mages fight so much and don't just sit down, talk, and resolve their differences peacefully.
  • FACT: Calling the game a gathering seems wrong. Gatherings are for friends and family. They are a coming together, not a tearing apart by violent warfare and devestating spells.
  • FACT: Perhaps the gathering refers to the gathering of players, but I've seen many games get heated, even among friends. Or perhaps it's about the gathering of cards. Who can buy the most packs, the best cards, to ensure victory? The player who can afford the most packs and the best cards, that's who.
  • SOLUTION: Magic can stay. The game does involve magic. But Gathering? We need to clarify what that means.
  • New Name? Magic: The Rich Kid Always Wins.
Kobolds Ate My Baby: This game is exactly what it sounds like, almost. You play a kobold (or to be more accurate, several kobolds) trying to steal babies to eat. It's a fun, tongue-in-cheek, beer-and-pretzels rpg. What's the problem?
  • FACT: It isn't "my" baby the kobolds are eating, since I'm playing a kobold myself and we aren't after kobold babies. We want plump, tender, juicy human babies. Plus, the players go through kobolds rather quickly. They aren't the hardiest of monsters.
  • FACT: Mostly the kobolds don't actually get to eat the baby. Just their leader, King Torg. All hail King Torg!
  • SOLUTION: In theory the old name was fine. It just needs a couple of tweaks to get the name accurate.
  • New name? Many Kobolds Died to Serve Your Baby to King Torg (All hail King Torg!)
Before closing, I would to mention that there are many games with accurate names. GURPS really is a Generic Universal Role Playing System. Toon really is about cartoon characters. Paranoia really will make you think your friends are out to kill you (and they will). I applaud the honesty of these game titles. It's just the above Big Offenders that I feel ought to present themselves more accurately.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just a Minor Truth Today

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is no great earth shaking truth, I'm sharing today. It's simply an ordinary every day truth, but extracted from a whimsical lie. Many of you are no doubt familiar with Deep Blue Something's classic one hit about attempting to save a failing relationship through similar tastes in movies. It was a little song called "Breakfast at Tiffany's." The song was fun and catchy, but it didn't really feel like the end of a relationship. It felt like naive optimism, that both parties liking the same Audrey Hepburn movie would save the relationship. Olde English (not the malt liquor) has done their research and reconstructed the way the inspiring break-up actually went in an attempt to correct this long standing, much beloved mid-1990s musical hoax.

You have been informed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About Jessica Alba

Ladies and Gentlemen, we all know Jessica Alba from her work in films such as The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Into the Blue, Good Luck Chuck, and The Love Guru. But did you know she has many talents beyond being pretty in really bad movies? I've discovered ten facts about this actress that you may not have known. Let's see what we can learn, shall we?

10 Unknown Facts About Jessica Alba:
  1. Jessica Alba always floats on her back when she eats.
  2. Jessica Alba can lift fifty times her own weight.
  3. Jessica Alba looks white, but she actually has black skin.
  4. Jessica Alba always keeps her eyes open, even when she's asleep.
  5. Jessica Alba has ears on her legs.
  6. Jessica Alba can hear and smell termites and ants.
  7. Jessica Alba was able to will with a bite from the time she was born.
  8. Jessica Alba's knees can bend backwards.
  9. Jessica Alba catches her prey by surprising it witha loud banging noise she makes with her claws.
  10. Jessica Alba has been known to eat her relatives when food is scarce.
And you thought she was just a harmless actress.

You have been informed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Will Pirates Never Learn...

Ladies and Gentlemen, those wacky pirates are at it again. You may remember that long stand-off between the U.S. Navy and pirates onboard the hijacked boat carrying all those weapons (all those weapons the pirates didn't use in their defense). Well, this new breed of inept buccaneer is at it again. This time, they've captured a super-tanker of oil from Saudi Arabia.

Seriously. Look, pirates. It's high time you start taking this job seriously and stop grabbing every boat you see going past. First you took a ship full of guns that you didn't use to defend yourself and kept backing down from your threats for weeks and weeks before finally letting yourselves be captured. Now you've captured a tanker whose contents become decreasingly valuable every day. I hope you learned your lesson from the last prolonged hijacking, because if you don't move those crude oil goods quick, you'll be lucky to sell the oil for enough money to buy your old boat back. 

Remember, pirates. This isn't a hobby. It's not a game. It's a hard work job that requires you put in the training and the man hours to do it right or you'll just get crushed by the competition, who happens to be a modern navy with heavily armed warships. I assure you, the merger will be a hostile takeover. So act straight, or learn to ask if people want fries with that, because you are wholly unsuited for your current career choice. But then, that's kids today. Expecting everything to be easy and thinking everyone should just give them what they want without doing any work for it. **sigh**

You have been informed.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1960s Rock Science

Ladies and Gentlemen, we all know the Beatles were great musicians, but what you may not have known is that they were also scientists. Paul McCartney is now trying to release an experimental track they laid down in the 1960s called "Carnival of Light," in which they wandered around the studio banging on all kinds of things and shouting random things. You may be wondering how that makes them scientists. I'll illuminate.

  • The track is "experimental." Scientists do experiments. Need I say more, I ask. No, I need not. But out of consideration for my readers, I'll tell more.
  • Sound is a wave. The song is a random assortment of sounds. Light is a wave\particle. The song is called "Carnival of Light." Clearly, light and sound are at least moderately similar from a physics standpoint.
  • Scientists recently managed to stop light and then restart it. The Beatles stop and start their sounds throughout the song.
If you read between the lines and analyze the similarities, clearly the scientists who stopped light were following on groundwork laid by the Beatles in the 1960s. The Beatles were hardcore particle physicists in their time, but due to their amazing popularity as singers, they decided the time was not right to come out as the brilliant nerds they were. After all, had they revealed themselves to be nerds then, they would have stopped selling records, and particle physics experimentation is crazy expensive. Not until the 1980s with the Hong Kong Cavaliers could a band be rockin' and rocket scientists. Even so, the Fab Four couldn't stand the idea of their hard work advancing human science going unused, so they slipped in references into their song "Carnival of Lights" in hopes of scientists deciphering the meanings and continuing their research. And now that contemporary science has finally caught up to their discoveries, the time is right for the song to go public. And for those asking why it couldn't be released earlier, don't forget that the song was written during the Cold War and the Beatles played all over the world. They couldn't risk the Russians getting the secrets to stopping light, lest they pull a caper of Lex Luthor proportions and block out the sun over the free world. That's the Beatles for you. Always looking out for democracy. Don't even get me started on Seargant Pepper as coded battle plans for our only successful major operation in Vietnam.
And once more, we find ourselves one day older and one post wiser. Next time you listen to the Beatles, take a moment to really soak in the lyrics and ask yourself, what the glass onion really was.

You have been informed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cromwell Strikes Again!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Oliver Cromwell struck again. I woke this morning to find my clothes hamper tipped over, dirty laundry spilled everywhere. We all know the ghost of Oliver Cromwell resents me and my rising lower class affluence (at least in comparison to the standard of living three hundred fifty years ago). Clearly he is filled with some kind of unholy undead rage over my having so many clothes that it fills my hamper beyond capacity. Or perhaps it's not the clothes he dislikes, but that I haven't washed clothes in long enough time that my hamper runneth over. Regardless, surely there must be some way to keep this specter of Puritans past from knocking over everything I own.

Possible solutions:
  • An exorcism. Cromwell was a Protestant and a Puritan and in those days, those two meant anti-Catholic, so in theory a Catholic ritual may be just the thing I need to chase him away. On the other hand, it may make him stronger and angrier if I mess it up, especially since I'm not Catholic.
  • Ghost Malaria. Sure malaria and kidney stones killed him the first time, but I don't think they have diseases like this for ghosts. They don't need their kidneys anymore, so the stones thing won't work, and ghosts are kinda bloodless, so it's unlikely that a bloodborn pathogen would do the trick. Even if it is the ghost of dead bacteria.
  • Take a vow of poverty. Nope. Not gonna happen. I was born to a vow of poverty. I'm not gonna toss what I've painstakingly accumulated. I'm a pack rat.
  • Find a way to make the house haunted by the ghost of King Charles II. Sure he took the throne back from Cromwell's son Richard and not Cromwell himself, and yes, he may have enacted anti-Puritan laws upon his return, but really, that was under pressure from his constituency. He was a tolerant person. He did, after all, allow women on stage in English theatres. He probably wouldn't try to destroy my books or computer, especially if I'm acting as his modern day General Monck and invite him to take over where a Cromwell holds court. Now if only I knew how to summon the ghosts of long dead royalty. Any suggestions?
You have been informed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who Hurt My Ankle?

Ladies and Gentlemen, today I went to work and out of no where, my ankle started hurting. With every step, the pain that shot up my shins became sharper and more intense. I don’t recall every taking a bad step or losing my footing. I never twisted it, stubbed it, smashed it, jarred it, or dropped anything on it. No one else did either. Even so, it swelled. It hurt. It caused me pain. There are only three explanations.
  1. The Ghost of Oliver Cromwell. Sure, he seems to have it out for me and I didn't see anyone, so it could have been a ghost, but he has not motive. I really haven't done any of the things that make him seek vengeance upon me lately. Plus, work is a little out of his jurisdiction. He normally only harasses me at home.
  2. The Invisible Man. Well, let’s be a little less specific. An invisible man. Or person. However, if I get too vague, it’s hard to come up with any kind of justification for them. It could simply be a cruel invisible prankster, but I didn’t hear any laughter as I winced, so this seems unlikely.
  3. Ninjas. I do have an interest in ninjas, which in theory goes against their mystique. After all, if I’m researching them, they become less mysterious, correct? Further, I saw no one do it and heard no laughter. Ninjas would strike imperceptibly quickly and would make now sound, not even the sweet gloating of revenge. Also, it did start hurting while I was setting the night club, which is a much darker location, giving said ninjas ample shadow to lurk in.
Given the evidence, I’m going to have to say it was probably ninjas, who wounded me for looking too deeply into their secrets, and by too deeply, I mean looking into their secrets at all.

Moral of the story: Don’t investigate ninjas unless you can take the pain.

You have been informed.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How the Zombies Will Rise

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have made a shocking discovery. We all fear the inevitable zombie outbreak and the end of our world. I'm sure all of you dedicated readers ready yourselves daily for the coming undead apocalypse. However, today, I have learned that the zombie plague will almost certainly not come in the ways we've always expected. There will be no radioactive meteor. There will be no flesh-eating ecstasy. There will be no cosmetics gone awry, desecrated burial grounds, or books of arcane secrets. No, the zombie apocalypse will come not with a bang, but with a whimper. Or rather, with a yawn. I suspect the makers of Benadryl are secretly attempting to create the zombie virus and release it on the world's populace in an easy to swallow, over the counter format.

My proof? Last night, I took a Benadryl. Despite getting nine hours of sleep, I woke feeling like a corpse risen from the dead. I shambled. I couldn't think. I had a strong urge to bring bloody violence on every stupid guest and to tear my over-demanding boss limb from limb. I was hungry. Very very hungry. Co-workers commented that I looked dead. All signs point to zombie virus. Granted, their virus clearly is not as strong as they would like, I'm sure. At least, it isn't strong enough yet. But soon, I fear, perhaps during cold and allergy season in the near future, the outbreak will come as more and more people turn to the zombifying Benadryl. Consider yourself warned.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Explanation of the Ads and Some Random Facts

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me first apologize for the ads. I know they aren't pretty, crowded there at the bottom of these posts. They are there for two reasons.

1) With the amount of time I spend on the computer, I felt obligated to carry on the illusion that there's at least some possibility of getting paid for it.

2) The ads are allegedly content based, meaning if i talk about whales a lot, it will, I don't know, try to sell you a pet humpback or something. I'm curious as to what it will advertise based on what I write. Currently, it's just Obama stuff, but that's probably because that's almost all I've written about recently.

That being said, here are a few things I've learned lately.

  • Those of any moral alignment other than evil should never investigate an assassinated emperor with associates who are lawful neutral and chaotic neutral. They will not investigate the crime, but rather will remoreselessly do everything in their power to thwart the rest of the group's investigation, which in turn, draws too much attention to the investigation and gets everyone kidnapped, killed, or both.
  • The most magical animals in the world are penguins. Seriously. You can learn more arcane secrets from penguins than from any other magical animal, including how to tie your shoes with no hands. Who would have thought penguins would have a spell for putting on an article of clothing they never wear?
  • If you become unstuck in time, your best bet is to try to end up in an alien zoo with a porn star. You have to mate to get your food in a protected environment. Bam! First three levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs taken care of in one swoop.
  • Hugh Grant's crotch kills innocent people. (Bet you'll think twice before you do Notting Hill 2, won't you Julia Roberts?)
  • The universe assumes that if you come here for your daily truth, you probably want to buy a President-Elect You-Know-Who collectible plate.
You have been informed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About They Might Be Giants!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I've been talking a lot about politics over the last few days, and I apologize. Elections bring out the worst in me. I've been spending too much time on opinion and not enough time on cold hard facts and equally hard, though less cold investigation. Therefore, today we return to the light and bouncy world of fact with the lightest, bounciest band of all time, They Might Be Giants. This band, composed of Johns Linnell and Flansburgh and a revolving cast of others, is dedicated to fact with their catchy upbeat songs about U.S. presidents, mammals, Belgian painters, and everything else under the sun (and the sun too, now that I think about it, but that's a cover). They are, hands down, my favorite band, and to honor them, I present 10 Unknown Facts about They Might Be Giants (or rather, five facts each about Johns Linnell and Flansburgh).

10 Unknown Facts About They Might Be Giants' own Johns Linnell and Flansburgh!
  1. John Flansburgh gets his name from an accomplishment of his in his youth. He built an entire city, or burgh, out of flan. Then someone made a loud noise and it collapsed.
  2. John Linnell can shapeshift into any former U.S. president. In January, he'll be able to become George W. Bush. Had he lived in the late 1800s, he would have temporarilly lost the ability to turn into Grover Cleveland when he was reelected to a non-consecutive second term.
  3. John Flansburgh speaks dog.
  4. John Linnell learned to play the accordian from a stranger on a side street. After teaching the young Linnell to rock out the accordian, he vanished into thin air, leaving behind only the instrument he played.
  5. John Flansburgh can escape from a straight jacket AND a curved one.
  6. John Linnell can travel through time, but only to the 1964 World's Fair, hence its prominence in his songs.
  7. John Flansburgh can operate any pieces of electronic machinery with his mind (and electricity, obviously, but other than that, he needs only his mind).
  8. John Linnell was once both a doctor and a worm. He has since gotten better.
  9. John Flansburgh spent a great deal of his spare time for several years studying psychology and sociology. Shortly thereafter, he wrote a musical called People Are Wrong. Coincidence? You decide.
  10. John Linnell is a white collar superhero in his spare time, often busting illegal back-alley insider trading deals.
If you'd like to learn more about this fantastic band (though arguably, it's more of the widely known knowledge), I strongly recommend the documentary Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns. And then go buy their CDs afterward.

One ore thing before I wrap up today's post. Thank you veterans for all you've done for me, for us, and for the world.

You have been informed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ocean Census

Ladies and Gentlemen, I've just read an article about scientists discovering new species of creatures while conducting an underwater "census." This makes sense to me. The purpose of the census is to document what the current population is, who was born, who died. It's an effort to get the lay of the land (or current of the sea) of a population. Here's my question regarding these newly discovered species. If we have no documentation that they existed before, and we discovered them via this census, what measures are being made to remove these undocumented sea creatures from places where they clearly don't have the right to be? We must be wary of undocumented sea life, else they take all the best plankton.

I think we need to create a means for these undocumented organisms to gain legal access to these underwater areas if they agree to contribute to the ecosystem. Sponges, therefore, are obviously out. Likewise, we must remove those new species who fancy themselves at the top of the food chain because they take food, but provide none for other organisms. The spend their days on the aquatic welfare system. Back to other parts of the ocean, I say. If you're going to suddenly show up with no previous documentation of your existence, you certainly better prove you're willing to contribute to your seaciety or it's back to where you came from, and since we have no record of you being anywhere else, we must assume you are the result of spontaneous genesis. Ergo, you must be sent back to non-existence.

Extinction for freeloading undocumented species. Get to work or cease to be.

You have been informed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Proposal to End Non-Suffering

Ladies and Gentlemen, daily I'm bombarded by people complaining about how this election turned out, and I always say, "Things could be worse." It occurred to me that for some of these people in their mostly cozy lives, this could very well be the worst thing that's ever happened to them. I thought about those who suffer and those who do not. It is no small tragedy that in these trying times of rampant poverty and crime abundant, of economic failings and civil unrest, that one portion of our society falls between the cracks, obscured and neglected. Those who suffer abuse and loss can turn their pain into book deals, find solace on the Oprah Winfrey show, and find opportunity to succeed. But what of those unexceptional masses suffering through their lives of ease, living unimpressively with nothing to bemoan or overcome? Not long alog, one such victim of non-victimization had to resort to lies in order to feel the same sense of los the rest of us are blessed to have, all to win expensive Hannah Montana tickets so hard to obtain by those in the tragically untroubled upper middle class. How can her daugheter ever win an essay contest to gain scholarships or enter college with no trials to overcome or losses to recover from?

I propose that these unlucky fortunate few be assigned a tragic relative to incorporate into their lives. Each child suffering through privelidge can be given a fictional brother killed in combat, mother battling cancer, and father in a coma after saving orphans from a fire. The imaginary abusive uncle will give the child just what she needs to milk sympathy from contest judges and office co-workers with dying pets and drug-addled siblings. No one need ever be uninvited to our great nation's favorite passtime: pity parties. James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, will once more be able to hold his head high with a false sense of triumph over tragedy. New government agencies, such as the Office of Adversity, can be created to regulate these fictitious injuries to ensure no one has more misery than they are legally entitled to, giving false misfortunes to those unable to suffer and taxing those with more than their fair share of troubles. True our government already funs in a deficit, but what is the only thing more American than playing the victim and shifting blame? Debt. Through my proposal, America will be able to increase its debt while providing more illigitimate reasons to embellish one's achievements, shift blame for one's failures, and deny responsibility for one's own actions. Debt and self-pity. Finally a marriage both parties can support.

You have been informed.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Obama's Challenges, Part 3

Ladies and Gentlemen, we come to my final piece of advice for the Obama administration in dealing with the myriad of problems facing them. Without further delay, let us discuss what's to be done about this country of ours, shall we?

7) Social Security

Social security is becoming increasingly costly, but I have a plan to reduce it fourfold. I can't speak for everywhere, but where I live, the elderly tend to congregate in the casinos, wheeling their oxygen tanks up to the slot machines. Now, these elderly individuals are invariably members of the players clubs of every casino on the coast. These casinos give points for playing, which are redeemed for free meals and rooms and the occasional chintzy gift. Further, to lure these septuagenarian players from one casino to another, they offer coupons and incentives which multiply these points. Therefore, if we give them one quarter of the usual money we give them, but in the form of a gift certificate with attached players club cards and coupons, they'll be able to take that money, throw it into the slots, get four or more times the points out than they put in, then have them present their "We'll double any competitor's coupons" to bump their points up even more. At this pace, your grandparents can be living the high life with a free buffet dinner a week, and every couple of months or so, a room and tickets to see Howie Mandell do stand-up (remember when he used to be a comedian?). Best of all, unlike the Bush Stock Investment Social Security Plan, this one actually admits to being a gamble, making it a more honest way to look after dear old grandma.

8) Climate Change

No, I won't suggest we revisit the Bush Giant Air Conditioner Plan. That would never work these days. For starters, you can no longer set the thermostat to "economy" because that button broke in recent months. Second, do you realize how big a plug outlet we'd have to build? It'd be way too easy for babies to stick forks in it. No no no no no.

My plan is much simpler, straight forward, and long lasting. For those of you who have seen the movie Sunshine, you may already know what I'm getting at. In that wonderful science fiction movie from earlier this year, the sun is going out and a nuclear bomb the size of Manhattan is launched into the center of the sun to reignite the star's core, thus heating it back up. I propose we do the opposite. We make a fire-extinguisher bomb the size of Manhattan and launch it to cool down the center of the sun a little. The sun doesn't burn as hot anymore. We can push global temperatures back to what they were a hundred years ago, or possibly even 10,000 years ago. No more global warming.

9) Uniting America

Wil Wheaton says, "Don't be a dick." This is sound advice, but as a governing individual, it will no doubt need to be made more complex a solution. So here's what we do. First, we break The Ungame out and use it to talk about our feelings. Then, we build the biggest campfire the world has ever seen and roast weenies and s'mores while everyone in the country takes turns saying something nice about the person sitting to their left and right. Then we all sing Kumbaya and start doing trust falls and role-reversal exercises. Finally, we put out the campfire, lay down in our sleeping bags, staring up at the stars and sharing mildly embarassing stories about what we were like as kids while asking semi-philosophical popculture questions before promising each other that we'll be friends for ever, exchange phone numbers and friendship bracelets, talk about how much we can't wait to come back to summer camp next year and then go to sleep.

Then in the morning, we'll wake up and forget everything we learned about ourselves and each other over the past twenty-four hours and start arguing, which will lead to a no-holds-barred, last party standing battle royale to the death. The survivors reflect on what a frail thing is man and what his role is in the world, both current and potential. We'll quote Plato, Descarte, and Shakespeare. Someone will ironically quote The Clash. We'll giggle because on the surface we want to pretend its funny, but deep down inside, we'll know they were probably right. Then we'll help each other limp to the hospital, questioning whether man is worth saving at all, as the sun sets fiery golden red in the distance. Problem solved.

Take heed, Obama. Follow my advice and it's smooth sailing for the next four years. You're welcome.

Y0u have been informed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama's Challenges, Part 2

Ladies and Gentlemen, as mentioned yesterday, all is not sunshine and daisies for President-Elect Barack Obama. He has his work cut out for him in his four-year term. He's inheriting a major financial crisis, two wars, immigration, health care, education, national security and foreign policy, social security, climate change, and uniting America. That's a tall order for just one man (and the house, and the senate and 55% of Americans). s a sign of my support for our new president, today I'm continuing my offer my suggestions to help Obama work through this massively backlogged presidential inbox of responsibilities.

4) Health Care:

Everyone is freaking out because Obama has "Marxist tendencies" and he wants to "socialize health care." As someone born during the Cold War, I'm shocked that anyone would even consider socialism. It's the step brother of Communism, right? And once you go Communist, it's only a matter of time before all of society falls apart, the kids start worshipping Satan and doing the drugs. We all know that's what communism leads to. So rather than simply taking a stand against socialized health care, I think Obama needs to roll back all of the socialism that anti-American liberals like Benjamin Franklin and FDR put into place. That's right. No more socialized police, fire, education, or military either.

Won't life be better when your friendly police officer releases the man who just tried to kill you because you can't pay your bill? Or when the fire department refuses to put out the fire that's consuming your house because you can't cut them a check first? (look, it's not their fault you left it inside while trying to help your family flee the inferno). It'll be just like that scene in Gangs of New York. And Americans can take more personal responsibility for their safety by taking up arms against invaders when Russia comes marching through your neighborhood because you didn't pay your defense bill on time. Or when your child brings home a progress report and an invoice every four weeks? Then only the wealthy can afford schools, just like that wildly successful time in human history known as the Dark Ages.

For the moral health of this nation, we need to get rid of socialized education, military, and civil service as well as health care. And while we're at it, let's desocialize religion. It'd be like that poem about the foot prints, when the guy asks Jesus why there was only one set of footprints when things were hardest for him, and Jesus said, "Because, my son, that was when you didn't slip a fifty in the collection plate."

The fact of the matter is, people shouldn't have equal access to health care, just like they don't deserve equal educations, police, fire, or military protection, or even equal access to God. Historically, all of the above were reserved only for the wealthy elite. It wasn't until the past couple centuries that we got uppity and decided to spit in the face of oppressive history and focus on absurd notions like "equality" and "basic human rights." And hasn't the big push recently been toward traditional values? Why break thousand year old traditions now?

5) Education

See the previous entry. Desocialize it. Think of all of the money we could save, that, when not going toward programs that improve the quality of life in America, can instead go into politician's pockets. Meanwhile, we'll lower that pesky literacy rate that's way too high in this country and Oliver Cromwell can stop knocking over my bookshelves. And while we're at it, let's get rid of the socialist free-lunch program for school kids as well. Maybe then they'll finally decide not to be poor.

6) National Security and Foreign Policy

What should we do about national security? Two words: Super. Heroes. Two more words: Jack. Bauer. Two more, plus nine in a parenthetical expression: The. Doctor. (If. We. Can. Get. Him. On. Loan. From. England.) Between those three elements, there's nothing that could possibly threaten our national security and get away with it.

As for foreign policy, once more, why argue with history? Everyone loves a bully, right? Or at least they don't stand up to them and generally acquiesce to demands. That's worked for us pretty well for the last eight years, right? The world won't mind. Forget about this mamby pamby co-operation, make peace, make the world a better place for all and show some kind of responsibility on a global scale touchy-feely nonsense. In other words, make sure you pay that military bill; we're going on tour.

You have been informed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama's Challenges, Part 1

Ladies and Gentlemen, by this point we all realize how flawless our electoral system is. It lets our support blossom. An impressive 55% popular vote majority can bloom into a two thirds majority electoral vote. Hope grows. However, all is not sunshine and daisies for President-Elect Barack Obama yet. He has his work cut out for him in his four-year term. He's inheriting a major financial crisis, two wars, immigration, health care, education, national security and foreign policy, social security, climate change, and uniting America. That's a tall order for just one man (and the house, and the senate and 55% of Americans). So, as a sign of my support for our new president, over the next few days I'm going to offer a few suggestions to help Obama work through this massively backlogged presidential inbox of responsibilities.

1) The Economic Crisis

This one is easy. As we all learned from the Bush administration following 9/11 and this recent hardship, the answer is always "spend more money." Too much credit got us into this mess. Too much credit will get us out. It works in Paranoia. It worked in that episode of Sliders with the SkyMall. Simply require Americans to spend a percentage, upwards of 80% of our income on frivolous things we don't need (since I pay 20% in taxes right now on average) . This will put more money into the economy, create jobs and jumpstart industry. Saving money is unpatriotic. Plus, it will keep me from getting into trouble with my fiancee when I purchase more board games instead of saving for the wedding.

"But what about my bills?" you may ask. We have all of this credit, right? Too much? Use it, baby! To paraphrase Palin, "Charge, baby, charge!" In abusing all of this credit we have now, credit lenders will realize how foolish they were to give us so much in the first place, thus preventing them from ever making the same mistake in the future. Besides, what's more American than debt? Problem solved.

2a) The War in Iraq

I specifically recall George W. Bush saying this war would be over in months when we started it. I also remember him saying several months later that the war was won. We all know that the Dubya would never lie to us. That means its over, right? Has been for years. This is not a problem. Break out the pina coladas for some celebratory victory drinks.

2b) The War in Afganistan (it is Afganistan, right? Or is it the War on Terror? Or Drugs? Or Obesity? We've declared so many wars recently, it's hard to keep up.)

Ok, we have to do this one one war at a time. If the war is in/on:
  • Afganistan: Shoot the bad guys. Everyone knows this is how wars are fought. We must not be shooting enough bad guys if it's still going on. Not winning? Shoot more bad guys. And people think military strategy is hard. Bah!
  • Terror: Ban scary movies and books. Let's lock up Steven King and Dean Koontz and ship them off to Guantanimo. We'll get Wes Craven too on attempted terror. And I love you, but sorry, Dad. Looks like you have to go too for telling me those scary stories as a child. Maybe next time we'll learn our lesson and declare war on terrorism instead.
  • Drugs: We begin an aggressive new ad campaign. Here's the shot. We're in an airport. A fat, sweaty, unshaved man in tight sweatpants and an REO Speedwagon shirt is standing in line glancing nervously around. A customs agent pulls him out of line. We see him take the man into a back room. Close-up of a latex glove going on the agent's hand. Shot of lube optional. Close up of our drug mule's face cringing in pain during the cavity search. We pull back. Our agent is seen standing behind a pantsless drug mule. He holds a balloon of cocaine. Then we get the following caption: "This is how the drugs you just took entered the country. Any questions?"
  • Obesity: We sue fast food places until they can't afford to sell us high fat, high cholesterol, high calorie meals anymore. Since we've shown that we as Americans are incapable of taking personal responsibility, we must instead punish those who enable us to make our own bad decisions.
3) Immigration

What we do is we build a big wall with barbed wire and trenches and guard dogs and machine guns along the border. You know, kinda like that one they had in Berlin a few years ago. That'll keep people from wanting to leave a bad situation to move to a land of freedom and opportunity. Anyone industrious enough to get passed that we probably want in our country anyway. They're smarter than the average bear, and should be immediately put to work developing super science gizmos like time-freezing rays and jet packs. If you can build a jet pack for me, I'm all in favor of giving you citizenship.

Tomorrow, we'll tackle the next three items on the list.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

10 Unknown Facts about Barack Obama

Ladies and Gentlemen, after yesterday's very serious plea for all able Americans to go vote, I give you, as promised, a one day delayed Ten Facts Tuesday about now President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama.

10 Unknown Facts about Barack Obama:
  1. Barack Obama paid his way through college by killing vampires. While not a professional job persay, you are allowed to keep any money or valuables found on the vampire. And no, it's nothing like mugging someone or graverobbing. It's freelance supernatural policework.
  2. Barack Obama did eventually get that change he was looking for.
  3. Barack Obama once went on a road trip and drove his car to every state in the nation including Hawaii.
  4. Barack Obama rolls natural twenties and eight sided dice.
  5. As a champion of hope, Barack Obama learned how to pilot the TARDIS, on the optimistic chance the Doctor ever chooses him to be his new companion.
  6. When Barack Obama asks "Can we do it?" Bob the Builder replies, "Yes we can."
  7. Barack Obama can leap over moderately sized buildings in a single bound.
  8. Barack Obama has laser eyes, but they are only class 1 lasers, and thus are pretty much only useful for pointing out things during PowerPoint presentations.
  9. Barack Obama can temporarilly turn his bones to gelatin, allowing him to squeeze through tight spaces.
  10. Barack Obama learned to speak Japanese so that he wouldn't have to deal with a lame dubbed version of Akira. Discovering Dragon Ball Z made him wish he never learned.
You have been informed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Go Vote, America.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s election day here in the U.S. and so I’m begging each and every one of you who is registered to go vote. Vote your conscience, whether they be republican, democrat, third party or otherwise. Go vote even if there are no candidates you like. Get out there, get your ballot and do a write-in. At least that way you send a message to the candidates. “Look, I was registered. I got up and went to my local polling place and I wrote someone in. You may think my vote was wasted, but in coming out today and casting my ballot for Mickey Mouse, I’m letting you know that I had every opportunity to vote for you, but YOU failed to convince me that ANY of you were fit to lead.” At least that way, Unwanted Winner X won’t be able to claim a mandate.

And as for the notion that voting third party helps the wrong guy win, let me enlighten you. Most of you don’t live in Swing States. That means one candidate or another will almost certainly win in your state regardless of how you vote. The electoral collage is a winner-take-all affair, so what’s the harm in voting third party? Unwanted Winner X was going to get all of those electoral votes anyway. If you vote for someone you disagree with just to try to keep Unwanted Winner X out of office, you’re not saying “I think Unwanted Winner Y is better.” You’re saying, “I think Unwanted Winner Y is right.” Which you don’t. Besides, if you vote third party, at least next time, the Losing Party will see that a significant number of people believe one way and will create policies to reflect your voting tendencies because politicians will do anything if they see there are votes to be gained for it. Or in a perfect world, those of you voting your conscience instead of your fears will show, at least in your state, that third party candidates can draw in voters and that they are a viable option, thus bringing us one step closer to fixing this broken two-party system.

For those of you in Swing States, I still say vote your conscience, not your fears. Again, politicians are especially desperate for your vote. Let them know where you truly stand (as opposed to where you’d rather not stand), and they’ll come courting you. Why? Because they desperately need you four years from now.

Get out there. Vote. Vote right. Vote your conscience, even if your conscience says don’t vote for any of them. That’s what the write-in area is for. Silence is tacit approval to anything they do. Speak up. Vote. Let them know who gave them their job.

To those readers in other countries, I urge your to urge people you know in this country to get off the computer and vote. It matters to them and it matters to you.

As for Ten Facts Tuesday, it is being postponed, at least for a while, so I can share ten facts about the winner once he (or she, in the unlikely but wonderful event a third party wins it all) is declared.

You have been informed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Subscriber Appreciation Time!

Ladies and Gentlemen, to celebrate this blog having four subscribers (one of my favorite numbers), I give you four sets of four facts. One set for each subscriber.

Four about Michael Glass
  1. In Covington, Kentucky where Micheal Glass calls home, strange temporal distortions swell up around Renaissance Festivals, thus putting them actually in modern times AND the Renaissance. And here you just thought the guy who refused to break character was just being a tool.
  2. Because the universe loves a good pun, strictly speaking, Michael Glass's father was a Glass maker, and thus, you can see through him when he stands in front of the TV.
  3. Michael Glass can outdrink Johnny Tarr (and not just because he died of thirst several years ago).
  4. Michael Glass is actually working hard to realize his dream of playing pool in a pool, with funoodles as pool cues, inflatable billiard balls, and six strategically placed pool filters to function as the corner and side pockets.
Four about Amera Hearts
  1. As a biotech grad student, Amera Hearts was very disappointed to learn that no one was trying to genetically engineer centaurs.
  2. Amera Hearts once won the International Truffle Shuffle Contest.
  3. Amera Hearts was afraid to move to Utah because, as the Beehive State, she was afraid to wear her hair up all the time. She was relieved to learn that they were referring to the industriousness of bees and not the frightening hairstyle when they chose their name.
  4. Amera Hearts likes music so much because it literally saved her life. One day she was crossing the street and a bus came careening at her out of nowhere. Music ran and pushed her out of the road just in time to save her.
Four about Gwenny
  1. Gwenny always expects the Spanish Inquisition.
  2. By the time Gwenny moved to California, the mont was no longer free. She had to pay $7.95 + tax for the mont. Stupid economy.
  3. Gwenny is able to follow news from around the world as well as she is not because she filters through various international news feeds, but rather, because the heads of state from 37 acknowledged countries (and one contested country), call her daily to personally inform her on how things are going in their lives.
  4. Gwenny's wardrobe does not take her to Narnia, but her tea cabinet does.
Four about Anna
  1. Fun Fact: Wales, where Anna lives, is not named for whales as most of us believe, but rather for wails. Originally, you had to be able to complain at the top of your lungs for a minimum of one hour (they didn't have minutes in those days) in order to gain citizenship. Anna practices once a week, just in case they ever reinstitute the residency requirement.
  2. When Anna says she's currently discovering Batman comics, she isn't kidding. She puts on a forehead light and searches caves and archeaological ruins for them.
  3. Following the wise advice of a favorite book, Anna takes a towel with her wherever she goes, and never ever ever panics.
  4. Two episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer are based on experiences in Anna's life, though I'm not at liberty to say which two. I will say that it wasn't a two parter.
You have been informed, except for the four of you, who already knew that stuff about you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

11) Wil Wheaton's Security Clearance

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's been a long ride, but I think it's time to go ahead and finish off the Wil Wheaton list by telling the story behind the final item. So, without further ado, we bid adieu to this undertaking with the story behind Wil Wheaton's security clearance in Alpha Complex.

11) Wil Wheaton is Security Clearance ULTRAVIOLET.

To tell this story right, you have to go all the way back to when he was just WIL-IR-WTN-01 working in the Extra Classic Bouncy Bubble Beverage factory when [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-01, you do not have clearance to know the censored fact. Knowing this fact is treason.], so he went [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-01, you must be Security Clearance ORANGE to speak that name. Speaking that name without clearance is treason. Please report to the nearest Confession Booth for termination]. Now obviously, he couldn't just [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-01, you must be Security Clearance BLUE to describe that product. Describing that product without clearance is treason. Failure to report to the Confession Booth is treason. Friend Computer wishes you to please report immediately to the nearest Confession Booth for termination.]

So there he was, [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-01, this story is not fun. Fun is mandatory. Not having fun is treason. Not reporting to the nearest Confession Booth is treason. Warbots have been dispatched to better facilitate your termination.]. Instead he

[Blogger MRT-R-UTH-01, please enjoy your termination. Enjoying your termination is mandatory. Not enjoying your termination is treason.]

Where was I? Oh yes. By this point the jackobot [**Carrier Interrupt** Paid Advertisement: Enjoy Thirty-Second Flavor ColdFun! The Flavor that keeps you guessing! End Advertisement **Resume Transmission**] into the [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-02, You do not have security clearance to be interrupted by that advertisement. Allowing an advertisement for a product above your security clearance is treason. The Thirty-Second Flavor is a controlled substance. Advertising the Thirty-Second Flavor is treason. Please report to the nearest Confession Booth for brain-scrubbing and termination. Be happy. Happiness is mandatory.]

Of course he had to [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-02, your uniform is dirty. Cleanliness is mandatory. Your unclean uniform is treasonous. Please wait while Warbots are dispatched for your termination.] pillow [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-02, Friend Computer asks that you please enjoy your termination. Enjoying your termination is mandatory. Not enjoying your termination is treason.].

From there, it was only a matter of time before [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-03, you do not have security clearance to know that name. Possessing knowledge above your security clearance is treason. Friend computer asks that you please enjoy your termination. Enjoying your termination is mandatory.]

Which is how he became [Blogger MRT-R-UTH-04, you do not have security clearance to know that security clearance level. Possessing knowledge above your security clearance is treason. Friend computer asks that you please enjoy your termination. Enjoying your termination is mandatory.]

[Blogger MRT-R-UTH-04, Friend Computer detects that you are not enjoying your termination. Not enjoying your termination is treason. Please wait for additional termination.]

You have been informed. [RED-R-BLG-01, you do not have security clearance to be informed. Being informed without security clearance is treason. Friend Computer asks that you please report to the nearest Confession Booth for brain-scrubbing and termination.]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Terrorist Sabotage

Ladies and Gentlemen, just a brief update for you. A recent study has found that more U.S. Marines have died in motorcycle crashes than to enemy fire in the past twelve months. Clearly the terrorists have realized they're no match for the United States Marine Corps in open combat, and have taken instead to getting jobs in motorcycle factories and, via a series of psychically guided messages, sabotaging only the motorcycles that would end up belonging to U.S. Marines. Those sneaky terrorists...

You have been informed.