Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10 Unknown Facts About Al Gore

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm sorry I've been away so very very long. I've been caught in a dizzying flurry of activity, what with work, mountains of job applications, errands to EVERYWHERE, and planning for my June wedding. It's been a nightmare just trying to find sleep, let alone Truth. Still, I couldn't miss Ten Facts Tuesday.

This week, we'll be learning a bit more about one of America's favorite (to mock) former vice presidents, Al Gore (it's his birthday today). We've heard all about his accomplishments. His Nobel Peace Prize, his invention of the internet, his sleep-inducing lecture documentary about global warming that reminded us all of being college freshmen without the beer, awkward dating, and 2:00 a.m. Nerf wars. I'm tired. I was at work last night until the time I normally clock in for work in the morning. I'm skipping the rest of the intro and going straight to the facts. Sorry, Al.

10 Unknown Facts about Al Gore:
  1. Al Gore sounds like a robot because he is a robot. I know, this one is the fact most likely to be already known.
  2. Al Gore wanted to be a pirate growing up until he realized how completely ineffective and inept modern pirates are.
  3. Al Gore can only draw polygons with a prime number of sides.
  4. Al Gore's favorite hobby is swimming with the dolphins. Yes, he can swim. His metal frame is made of an exceptionally light--but durable--titanium alloy. And yes, he's water-proof.
  5. Every day for breakfast, Al Gore eats 3.14 pies. Yes, Al Gore can eat.
  6. Al Gore can pull quarters from behind anyone's ear. He laments that if he could only pull larger denominations of currency, he could pay off these mounting national debts and save the economy.
  7. Al Gore has friends exactly like the friends on Friends.
  8. Al Gore knows exactly how many Earths were involved in the so called "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
  9. Al Gore once hunted the Loch Ness Monster all the way across the Serenghetti, which is why sonar tests were not always able to detect the beast in the lake.
  10. Al Gore loved Will Eisner's The Building so much he built a large apartment building in the hopes that over the course of its history four people who felt unimportant in life would die there so that their ghosts could watch over it and ultimately find validation to their existences. This is clearly not the best idea he's ever had.
Yup. I'm totally going to sleep now.

You have been informed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

10 Unknown Facts about Harry Houdini

Ladies and Gentlemen, today (March 24) is the birthday of the world's most famous magician, Harry Houdini, real name Ehrich Weiss. In his early career, he did feats of escape and transposition with at the time equally famous brother, known as Hardeen (both based their stage names off of French magician Robert-Houdin). Though known for being a stage magician, Houdini's act primarily focused on escapology. His later career focused on debunking fraudulent spiritualists and mediums who claimed to be able to speak with the dead. He also wrote books on magic theory and the tricks of the medium trade. There is, in fact, quite a lot to learn about this amazing individual. Here are ten facts you didn't know. 

10 Unknown Facts about Harry Houdini:
  1. Harry Houdini could escape from anything, including awkward blind dates.
  2. Harry Houdini was Hungarian, and was thus, always hungry. Always.
  3. Harry Houdini could take a blow to the stomach from anything, including fists and cannon fire. 
  4. Harry Houdini could breathe fire. This was not magic. It was science.
  5. Harry Houdini knew the secrets of the ninja masters but did not use them in his act because he felt they'd make things too easy.
  6. Harry Houdini was the inspiration for Superman due to his ability to outrun speeding bullets and leap tall buildings in a single bound. He couldn't fly, though. That's just ridiculous.
  7. Harry Houdini could make Belgian waffles out of anything, provided he was in Belgium.
  8. Harry Houdini fought the law, and the law lost.
  9. Harry Houdini gained sustenance from applause the way most people gain it from food. Hence, his career in entertainment.
  10. Harry Houdini had a ten octave voice but did not go into a career in music because he couldn't sing on key.
Thrilling stuff, I know. He brought magic to the world and then debunked it, but you had to love him anyway. And now you know.

You have been informed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rare hands are not much better than normal hands

Ladies and Gentlemen, surgery is getting ridiculous. In this tight economy, people are being picky even with their organ transplants. While perusing the news, I saw an article about a man receiving a rare hand transplant. Really> A rare hand transplant> The subheading states that this is the sixth such hand transplant in the nation. Come on, people. Money's tight. Don't flaunt your wealth with your rare hand transplants. Get common hand transplants. Ordinary hands, I'm sure, will work just as well as rare ones. The doctors even say that with all hand transplants, it takes some time before they get full use and early on, small amounts of movement are ordinary. That's right, buddy. You just spent all of that extra money on your rare hand and it isn't even acclimating to your body any faster than a common hand. And the worst of it is that this is the sixth such surgery in this country. Five other people have had that hand grafted to their bodies. A smart consumer would have checked with previous hand owners to see if the rare hand was really worth the extra money. In this economy, we simply cannot be too careful with our purchases. It's up to us to be wise consumers and cut the unnecessary extravagances from our purchases. Our budgets won't fix themselves after all.

You have been informed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The sleeps... he needs them.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I need sleep. A lot. I mean. A Lot. I have not slept well recently. And last night I was up very late helping some friends of mine get to the bottom of a post-apocalyptic murder mystery. Then I had to go in to work an unscheduled six a.m. shift this morning that, to me, seemed unnecessary. We did nothing but work on a room that doesn't start for five days. That's right. Tables are down. Chairs are down. Linen is down. And it doesn't start for close to a week from now. Evidently, it is more important to get all work done well in advance so yo can get as much sleep as you can later. This validates the theory that some guy put forth a long time ago that states that you work x number of years in your life, so you should just work those years straight through so you can get all twenty-five years of sleep in one terrific dream-filled go. I guess my boss subscribes to that theory, and my place of employment is a meritocracy, so they say. Therefore, that theory must be true. I suppose I'd better get to that 24-7 work so I can take that twenty year nap on my sixtieth birthday. You might want to think about doing the same. It's probably what your boss expects of you anyway.

You have been informed.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

10 Unknown Facts about William Jennings Bryan

Ladies and Gentlemen, this week's 10 Unknown Facts is about my all-time favorite historical figure. Everyone loves an underdog. Everyone loves a man who gives his all and loses anyway. Today, on his birthday, we celebrate history's greatest loser, William Jennings Bryan. He was a U.S. Representative who ran for Senate and lost. Shortly thereafter, he ran for president on a platform of "Cross of Gold" and Free Silver (coinage of, not the idea of just giving silver away) and lost. He even championed creationism in the famous Scopes "Monkey" Trial (as semi-depicted in the film Inherit the Wind) and lost. In all honesty, he was a running joke in my U.S. history class. My teacher would say, "And guess who he was up against?" and we'd all reply semi-knowingly, "William Jennings Bryan!" and immediately knew who the victor would be in the debate, the trial, or the election. Here are several other things he's lost that you may not have known about.

10 Unknown Facts about William Jennings Bryan:
  1. William Jennings Bryan was abducted by aliens and lost time.
  2. William Jennings Bryan rode a wild bull through the streets of Brazil and managed to stay on, but he lost his lunch.
  3. For a while, William Jennings Bryan thought his wife was having an affair and he lost sleep, but as it turns out, she was just planning a surprise party.
  4. William Jennings Bryan was being chased by the cops after an Ocean's 11 style caper, and he lost the police in a dark alley.
  5. William Jennings Bryan went on a proto=Adkins diet and lost 25 pounds.
  6. William Jennings Bryan--or his ghost at least--is a huge fan of Lost.
  7. As a child, William Jennings Bryan was lost in space. His exploits have been reproduced as a show of the same name. His character was renamed William Robinson.
  8. William Jennings Bryan once told President Taft a joke about a bath tub, but the joke was lost on him.
  9. William Jennings Bryan once was supposed to be downtown for a very important meeting but he got caught up in a battle of wits with extraterrestrials for the fate of the planet and lost track of time.
  10. William Jennings Bryan spent a month trailing Big Foot through the Pacific Northwest. He followed the beast's trail for days and finally found him. He reached for his camera quickly, but lost sight of his prey in the trees and mist.
  11. (Bonus Fact!) William Jennings Bryan lost his temper in 1906 and leveled a city. History has attributed the destruction to earthquakes.
He was a remarkable man with a penchant for losing things. He will be missed.

You have been informed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Invisible Balls

Ladies and Gentlemen, I just saw this music video (posted below) and I must confess, I was astounded.

Not only is the song fun and catchy, but it features invisible basketballs! How amazing is that? Science has gotten to the point where we can safely and effectively augment invisibility technology onto an object whose purpose is to be thrown around and slammed repeatedly against the floor. That, my friends, is one sturdy cloaking device.

The question is why would we go to so much trouble to make invisible something that is both heavily abused and needs to be seen. Some would argue that it's simply experimentation in an effort to create a more sturdy invisibility field generator, presumably to survive the rigors of war. I doubt it thought. Clearly, the purpose behind the innovation was to make basketballs invisible, though it would make the sport ridiculously difficult. After all, could you imagine playing a sport with a ball you couldn't see?

I believe this difficulty is the very purpose sought. The invisible basketball was designed to hinder score inflation. Here in America, we're trying to put on a new face to the world. One that says, "Honestly, we really can do things your way. Honest!" The some of the most popular sports in the world are Soccer, Hockey (field and ice), Volleyball, Baseball, and Tennis. Let's look at the average scores, shall we?
  • Soccer teams average average one to two points per game depending on ability. This is the world's favorite sport.
  • Hockey teams average two to three points per game depending on ability.
  • Baseball teams average only five points per game.
  • Tennis players may seem to have high scores (forty for the winner), but really, that's just four successful hits.
  • Volleyball is played in three rounds. Rounds end at no more than 25 points. That's a lot of points in comparison to these other international sports.
  • Basketball teams average about 65 points per game.
Making the ball invisible would complicate the game. Imagine shooting an invisible ball. Try making a pass to another player when you can't see the ball. And don't even get me started on rebounds. Invisible basketballs reduce scores to numbers more in line with the rest of the sporting world.

You have been informed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vampire Remains Found

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe today's nugget of truth needs no explanation. Reading the article tells you everything you need to know, but just in case you're busy, I'll give you a quick recap. An archaeological dig in Venice, Italy unearthed the skeletal remains of a female vampire. This tells us six important things.
  1. You can bury something in Venice, even though it's famous for having watery roads.
  2. Vampires can come from places other than Transylvania.
  3. Even vampires like nice warm Mediterranean climates.
  4. Vampires can exist in Italy. Therefore, garlic can't possibly hurt them as much as previously thought.
  5. If you are ever attacked by a vampire, your best defense may not necessarily be a wooden stake to the heart, but rather a brick to the mouth.
  6. Even the Italian government is bent on covering up the truth with their "scientific explanations."
You have been informed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why I Don't Trust Renee Zellweger

Ladies and Gentlemen, for the longest time, I've found myself put off by Renee Zellweger. I couldn't place my finger on what exactly. Perhaps it's her overall lack of talent or perhaps the "Bugger off, I'm Renee Zellweger" better-than-you air that surrounds her. Either way, for years I've found myself avoiding any movie she's involved with (the exception, of course, being Empire Records because Mark and Lucas are just that cool). Today I figured out why my instincts told me not to listen to her.

She's not human.

Let's look at her face, shall we. 
You see that face. It's the same face you always see on her. That "I just ate a lemon and I am confused by everything" face. 

The only logical reason for her to have this face on at ALL times is if she has, in fact, always just eaten a lemon and is, in fact, confused by everything. You see, lemon juice is an acid. A person cannot consume so much acid without causing a serious imbalance in the digestive system. That is, of course, unless her body chemistry is much more acidic than a human body. You see, blood is basic. Not that it's a simple thing, but it is a base, and bases neutralize acids. As such, Miss Zellweger must consume additional acids to counteract the bases pumping through her system. Still, a human does not find his body's blood neutralizing all of his acids. 

Why would blood, which should be in her body, act against the body carrying it> Because her body is synthetic. She's an android with real, though grown and grafted, flesh covering her mechanical insides, much like the Terminator. Thus the blood, though necessary to feed the grafted skin tissue, then, is not natural to her body. As such, it attacks and neutralizes the acids in her body. Battery acids. She must consume large quantities of lemon, then, to counteract the anti-acidic properties of the blood's basic nature. The constant influx of lemon juice prevents the accelerated wear on her batteries.

This also explains her constant state of confusion. The reason androids disguise themselves as human, the only reason I've ever seen, is to learn about us, to gain information, or as it's called in military applications, intelligence. She's working for those robots trying to figure us out. Trying to bring us down. We need Edward Furlong and Christian Bale to immediately drop her post haste. And they should probably take out Schwarzenegger too. Sure he's governor of California and all, but on at least three different occasions he's portrayed a robot bent on world domination. Ergo, he can't be trusted either.

You have been informed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

10 Unknown Facts about Jim Butcher

Ladies and Gentlemen, today on Ten Facts Tuesday we dig deeper into the world of author Jim Butcher. Those of you unfamiliar with his work will of course know of him from the Harry Dresden novels, comics, and tv show. He is also the writer of the Codex Alera books and one Spider-Man novel. He's even married to a romance novelist. But here are a few things I hope you didn't know, because, well, if you did, I'd have to change the name of my column to Ten Barely Known Facts, and that doesn't have the same ring to it.

10 Unknown Facts about Jim Butcher:
  1. Jim Butcher was once offered an Eagle Talon High Five, but declined because his hero J.R.R. Tolkien died before the practice was instituted and, to quote the eagles, "You can't high five a man who cannot raise his own arm. It's just a low five." He didn't want the honor if Tolkien didn't have one first. Eagles are currently debating changing their anti-posthumous ETHF stance.
  2. Jim Butcher is a pretender.
  3. Jim Butcher can butcher a bottle of Jim Beam like you wouldn't believe. He doesn't, but he can.
  4. Jim Butcher is not a wizard per say, but he did figure out how to do magic. See List Item 2.
  5. In the summer between high school and college, he worked as a London Chimney sweep just to see if they do dance, sing, and have animated escapades with mystical nannies. And to answer your question, yes. They do.
  6. Jim Butcher goes antiquing on Saturdays, sometimes at the Smithsonian museum.
  7. Jim Butcher once convinced NASA he was an astronaut to sneak about the international space station. See List Item 2.
  8. Jim Butcher can read with his eyes shut. He learned this from the Cat in the Hat.
  9. Jim Butcher doesn't understand the expression "he acts like his (feces) don't stink" because his, in fact, don't.
  10. Jim Butcher was the inspiration for a Foo Fighters song.
He's an interesting guy, that Jim Butcher. I'm glad I could expand your knowledge of him just a little bit more. Until next time, 

You have been informed.

Kidnappers for Jesus

Ladies and Gentlemen, it seems I'm constantly missing two and three days at a time. This time I've been working ten to twelve hour days and slipping into a NyQuil coma as soon as I get in thanks to this cold or flu or whatever it is that's been getting me down lately. I've been meaning to share something for the past few days and could never stay awake long enough to write it down.

Christian church groups, particularly "non-denominational" groups are abducting children in broad daylight. I know this may come as a shock. It shocked me, but the more I looked at the evidence, the more obvious it became. As children, I believe we were all raised by our parents to follow two simple rules to ensure our safety.
  1. NEVER get into a stranger's car.
  2. NEVER take candy from a stranger.
I cannot speak for your childhood, but I know when I was growing up here in the Bible Belt, there were things called Church Buses. They were typically old school buses that had been painted blue and white (they were always white with blue trim, and I don't know why). They would randomly drive through the neighborhoods taking people to church, stopping every random person they saw asking if they wanted to climb aboard and go to church. I did not know these people. I did not attend their church. Still, every week, especially during summer, they would drive down my street, see me playing in my front yard, and try to get me to go to church with them.

How would they try to convince me to climb onto this stranger's big scary bus? Candy. "Hey kid, you wanna climb on my bus and go to church with us? We've got candy!" Clearly, religious groups were trying to kidnap me when I was a child. If only I knew why. It couldn't possibly have been for ransom money. My parents were poor beyond poor. I am almost certain as a child we lived below the poverty line. Why would they do it? Why would they want to kidnap me?

My suspicion, of course, is that they were preparing for the end times, you know, the ones described in the bible where the dead rise up and there are dragons and the like. I assume that these kidnappers for Christ were attempting to raise an army of holy avengers for the coming Armageddon. Naturally they would watch to raise their warriors from childhood. After all, if Star Wars has taught us nothing else, it is that unless you train your warriors from early childhood, they'll grow up to be whiny upstarts who kill everyone and give bland "pretty boy" acting performances.

But then, I never got on that bus, so this is all conjecture.

Did anyone else have this experience during childhood? Can anyone confirm these holy warrior theories?

You have been informed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mr. Truth, Sith Lord?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I suspect my place of employment is run by Sith Lords. I used to be a nice, friendly, genial guy before working there. I suppose I still am. Ever since I started working there, I found myself losing my patience much faster than usual, becoming angrier and more full of hate and spite. Fortunately this growing hatred of people hasn't spread home yet. It seems I'm only under their thrall within the confines of its walls. For now. Regardless, the fact is Sith Lords thrive on anger and passion and intense feelings (usually more anger). What does my work produce? Anger and passion and intense feelings (again, usually more anger). Further, a couple of years ago at an employee of the month luncheon, my boss recommended a Star Wars theme. Oh sure, everyone assumed it was because he was a big nerd, but the truth of the matter is he looked pretty convincing in that Sith Lord outfit he wore. He even had a Sith name for himself: Darth Hall.

There can be no mistake. I work for the Sith and I have no way to defeat them alone. I need an astromech droid to send a message to wherever astromech droids go when they have messages to deliver. "Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."

You have been informed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm so confused

Ladies and Gentlemen, I've been doing some thinking. Lately, I've had the very best intentions of sitting down to research and uncover some long lost truths, but I find myself perpetually distracted by movies and games and tv and quality time with the fiancee. All of this is fun, but it keeps me from investigating the truth. I now find myself at a moral and logical dilemma that I must resolve.

Learning and seeking the truth is Good. Therefore, that which keeps me from seeking the truth is Evil. Games, movies, TV, and relationships keep me from seeking the truth. Therefore, games, movies, TV, and relationships are Evil. Games, movies, TV, and relationships are also Fun. Because these things are Fun and also Evil, we must conclude that Fun is Evil. Fun leads to Happiness, which makes Happiness also Evil. The United States Constitution guarantees all the right to the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, the United States Constitution guarantees all the right to pursue Evil. If, as they say, the most feared Evil is the Indifference of the Good, that is the Good that allows Evil to flourish, then the United States Constitution must be Evil. If the Constitution is Evil, than anything that bases its governmental philosophy upon it must likewise be Evil. Those who act to destroy Evil are Good. Terrorists seek to destroy the United States, which is Evil. Terrorists must therefore be Good.

Except that Terrorists deliberately spread fear, hate, and violence, all of which are Evil. Those who deliberately spread fear, hate, and violence must therefore also be Evil. Evil cannot abide Good, and seeks to destroy it. Therefore, that which Evil opposes must be Good. Terrorists oppose the United States Government, so the United States Government must be Good. The Good cannot draw their morality on Evil philosophies. Therefore that on which the United States Government bases its moral precepts, the United States Constitution, must be Good. That which is good cannot condone Evil. Therefore, the pursuit of Happiness must be Good. If pursuing Happiness is Good then Happiness itself must be Good. Fun is a means to pursue Happiness. Therefore, Fun is Good. Games, movies, TV, and relationships are Fun and so must therefore be Good. Games, movies, TV, and relationships prevent me from pursuing the Truth. Again, the Good must attempt to thwart that which is Evil. Therefore, because games, movies, TV, and relationships prevent me from pursuing the Truth, and games, movies, TV, and relationships are Good, then pursuing the Truth must be Evil. If Happiness is good because pursuing Happiness is Good, then we are finally forced to conclude that the Truth must be evil because pursuing it is evil, which ultimately means lying is Good. If lying is Good then I've been doing this blog all wrong. Rather than seeking out the truth, I should have been making stuff up, exaggerating, and jumping to absurd, sensational conclusions based on the tiniest shred of fact if anything at all.

I find myself at an impasse. Because logic cannot make up its mind on whether things are Good or Evil, I am forced to sit back for a moment and contemplate the moral imperative behind this blog.

You have been informed.

10 Unknown Facts about James Doohan

Ladies and Gentlemen, in honor of his birthday, this week's 10 Unknown Facts segment is about Canadian actor James Doohan. That name may not be familiar to some of you, but perhaps if I gave you the name Mongomery "Scotty" Scott, it would. James Doohan played the Chief of Engineering on the original Star Trek series, which inspired numerous individuals to pursue degrees in science. He developed the "first draft," so to speak, of the Klingon language for the show. He also served in World War II (even losing a finger to machine gun fire), and once saved a fan's life. He was an amazing guy. Here are a few amazing things about him you may not have known.

10 Unknown Facts about James Doohan:
  1. When Scotty told Captain Kirk that he was giving him all the Enterprise had, James Doohan would sigh on the inside knowing that if he were there, he could give a little more.
  2. James Doohan could recite Pi. All of it.
  3. James Doohan once led a camel through the eye of a needle to give his rich friends hope.
  4. During WWII, James Doohan would volunteer for two shifts on the nightwatch. He would take the first one and when he got tired, his mustache would take the second.
  5. James Doohan could fly any plane including a Euclydian plane.
  6. Despite his degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering being honorary, James Doohan could still rewire a damaged warp coil if he needed too.
  7. James Doohan not only helped invent the Klingon language, he also helped invent leetspeak (1337 5p34k) and English.
  8. James Doohan coded a biometric lock to his missing finger, making it impossible for anyone to unlock it without putting the absence of his finger on the fingerprint scanner (it's a lot harder than it sounds).
  9. James Doohan fought the law and the law did not win.
  10. James Doohan built his own rocket so that he could be there on the moon waiting to photograph man's first step on an unearthly body.
He was truly an amazing man. Some say he was the kindest of all of Star Trek's cast members. In July of 2005, he passed away and boldly went were all of us are destined to go: to the undiscovered country (and I'm not referring to the set of Star Trek VI.)

You have been informed.