Friday, November 30, 2012

Today in Dutch soccer news, we learn about wildpoepers

From De Telegraaf:

Emmen - 
FC Emmen en aanvaller Jeffrey de Visscher maakten donderdag bekend in goed overleg uit elkaar te gaan. Maar er is meer aan de hand. De Visscher blijkt de dronken wildpoeper te zijn die twee weken geleden in Emmen zijn rijbewijs moest inleveren en op de bon werd geslingerd.

To the translators!

Emmen -
FC Emmen and striker Jeffrey de Visscher were announced Thursday in consultation part ways. But there is more to it. De Visscher shows the drunken wildpoeper to two weeks ago in Emmen his license had to hand and on the receipt was thrown.


There's a lot of noise there, and I don't really understand the syntax, but I did notice two items regarding the word "wildpoeper": one, it wasn't translatable, and two, that word is fantastic and I will be using it if I can ever figure out what it means.  Luckily, someone over at "Who Ate All The Pies" (motto: The Tasty Football Magazine) has already looked into this.  

Dutch second division side FC Emmen have terminated the contract of a player after he was arrested for being a ‘wildpoeper’ in the Hollandish vernacular – which is, we’re afraid to say, exactly what it sounds like.

Oh man oh man oh man I was so hoping it would be what it sounds like do go on tell me go go go

Police apparently found Emmen striker Jeffrey de Visscher (who was briefly on Aberdeen’s books a few years ago) alone, heavily inebriated and squatting at the side of his car at the side of a road through a forest in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately, this is only the second most embarrassing arrest of a professional athlete this week, thanks to Riley Sheahan, who was pulled over in Grand Rapids with a BAC of nearly .30, which legally qualifies him as "super-drunk" in Michigan (seriously, they have a law called the "Super Drunk Law").  Also, he is 20 years old, and was carrying the license of a 23-year-old teammate.  Also, he was wearing a Teletubby costume at the time (specifically, Tinky Winky):

Does anyone else wish he had kept the head part of the costume on?
Entertaining as Mr. Sheahan's arrest is, let's try and remember why we're here: to discuss "wildpoepers".  Back to our friends at Who Ate All The Pies:

At the time De Visscher, 31, claimed a friend was driving his car and had walked off after pulling over to give him some privacy while he ‘wildpooped’ – though De Visscher was unsure who the man was or where he had gone.

"Yes, officer.  My friend was driving, but I told him I needed to go shit in the woods, so he pulled over and then deserted the vehicle.  Also, he isn't my friend and I don't know who he is."

De Visscher, demonstrating his wildpoeper face.

This is by far the most useful search engine on the internet

Morning productivity GONE
Try for yourself.  Seriously, I'm not doing anything else today.

Joe Biden goes to Costco

Joe then returned to his racecar shopping cart and insisted on racing a Costco employee down the aisle.
Idea blatantly stolen from Nick.  Thanks, Nick.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What the hell, Russia

This article is regarding things that schoolchildren in Russia do.

MOSCOW (AP) - Most primary school classes get a goldfish to keep, a hamster or a turtle if they're lucky - but children from one village in southern Russia got to play with a lion cub.

Okay. 

Children in the Rostov region found the 5-month old cub on the steppe Wednesday and brought it to their teacher, who kept it in the school gym, police said Thursday.

In Russia, children find a lion and take it upon themselves to bring it to their schoolteacher, who then keeps it in the gymnasium.  In America, the kids would be in the fetal position, rolling around on their Lysol-treated tarps to avoid touching germs while calling for an adult.  How did we win the Cold War again?

While waiting for police, children petted and played with the cub, named Barsik. One boy even tried to ride it like a horse while it mewled and swiped at the air.

Oh come on.  I wasn't even allowed to ride large dogs as a child, and Russian kids are riding lions?  This is bullshit.

Mark Sanchez finally speaks out about butt fumble, gives most depressing interview ever

Mark Sanchez has finally agreed to speak about his hilarious fumble of last week; if you somehow missed it the first 147 times it was on SportsCenter, here it is again:

I say this a lot, but this gif will never get old. 
 Anyway, let's see what Handsome Mark has to say about his blunder:

It's embarrassing, you screw up the play and I'm trying to do the right thing. It's not like I'm trying to force something. I start to slide and I slide in the worst spot I possibly could -- right into (right guard) Brandon Moore.

It definitely is embarrassing.  I do agree with Mark that it's necessary to reassure everyone that he was trying to do the right thing, because from the outside it looks like he was trying to run into a lineman's ass.

I guess (I was) more stunned than anything. It was just like a car accident. I was like, 'Whoa, what just happened? The ball is gone.' It was weird, man. That sucked.

It was just like a car crash, if car crashes were hilarious and happened to the quarterbacks of terrible sports teams.  I like how Sanchize appends "that sucked" to his response, because it's what the QB of a middle school flag football team might say about a bad play.

It'll probably be on a blooper reel for a while.

Yeah, that one's gonna stick around.




It easily made SportsCenter's not top 10:


And a helpful Youtuber has even set it to Benny Hill:


So, yeah, not only will this one not go away--it might even end up being the defining moment of his career.  Of course, I couldn't be happier about that.  Sanchez's interviewer throws in this line, regarding Marky Mark:

This has been the most challenging season of his career, and it hit the lowpoint with last week's embarrassing loss, which dropped the Jets to 4-7.

Whoa there, let's not assume this is the low point!  If I've learned anything about Mark, it's that he can always get worse.  This, however, is great writing:

Turns out Sanchez was indirectly responsible for the retirement of longtime Jets super-fan Ed Anzalone, who announced he no longer will attend games as Fireman Ed because he was constantly harassed by other fans for wearing a Sanchez jersey to games this season.

Mark Sanchez is so bad that he's forcing fans who want to wear his jersey to stay at home, for fear of being harassed by other fans.  (Side note: giving publicity to super-fans is really the worst, and I wish everyone would stop.  Fireman Ed is a jackass.)

Not sure what I like more: the guy on the right wearing the wrong sport's hat, or the rest of the crowd that clearly does not give a shit about the game at all.
Sanchez, does it disappoint you that your most die-hard fans will stop attending games?

"Obviously, if his safety is in jeopardy, maybe it's a good move," said Sanchez, adding that he appreciated Fireman Ed's support.

God, that's sad.  "Jets fans, go home, it's not safe at our games."

"I don't know how to explain it," Sanchez said. "It was a wild one. & Hopefully, we'll laugh about it later."

Sanchez then retreated to his bedroom and slammed the door before bursting into tears.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Which one of these is not like the others?

The GOP has released its slate of House Committee Chairmen, and...well, see if you can spot the different one:

GOP Committee Chairman "Guess Who?" proved to be extremely difficult.
Of course, it's a trick question, because there is no different one, because they're all white men.  You have to wonder if the GOP learned anything from an election where their presidential candidate polled at around 7% among blacks, 27% among Hispanics, and 44% among women (source, source).  Looks like Romney decided not to share those binders of his with his House colleagues.

Fun with non-existent Constitutional loopholes, featuring Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is upset that Obama won the election.  Unlike most disappointed Republicans, though, he's got a bold plan to fix things.  He's discussing this plan over at WND, which some of you may recognize as the "media outlet" responsible for propagating the birther conspiracy and Joseph Farah's mustache.

I believe that if left untrimmed, it would just continue to grow outward horizontally forever.

What's the way forward, Judson?

We have one last, final chance to save America. We have one last, final chance to stop Barack Obama. One final chance.



This should be good.  Let me go make some popcorn.

What is this final chance? Will the Republicans step up to the plate and do what is necessary?


Barack Obama has not yet been re-elected president.

I can't wait to see whether this article will rely more on denial, anger, bargaining, or depression!  Based on that sentence, it definitely won't be acceptance.

Yes, the election is over – but remember, a presidential election in America is not by popular vote. We vote for the candidate, but what we are really doing is voting for the electors who will meet on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December.

That is when the actual re-election of the president occurs.

OK.  I guess technically, that's accurate, although it is already clear that your "plan" is to find an absurd loophole based on a misreading of the Constitution regarding the Electoral College.  At this point, it may help to have a better idea of who Judson Phillips is; he's the founder of Tea Party Nation, which has a wide variety of goals, of which most are summed up in this screenshot of their website (purple highlights are me, pointing out the more inane items):


Alright, the twinkie thing is pretty good.  I see you, Tea Party Nation.
Anyway, let's move on!  So far, I get that Judson wants us to understand that the actual re-election hasn't occurred yet, but even if it hasn't, is there any chance that Obama won't win the Electoral College at this point?

Is there a way to stop this?

I don't know, Judson!  You tell me.

Yes, there is.

(Tea) Party time!
And the best part – this is totally constitutional.

The 12th Amendment of the Constitution as well as Article II of the Constitution govern the Electoral College.

According to the 12th Amendment, for the Electoral College to be able to select the president, it must have a quorum of two-thirds of the states voting. If enough states refuse to participate, the Electoral College will not have a quorum. If the Electoral College does not have a quorum or otherwise cannot vote or decide, then the responsibility for selecting the president and vice president devolves to the Congress.

The House of Representatives selects the president and the Senate selects the vice president.

Since the Republicans hold a majority in the House, presumably they would vote for Mitt Romney, and the Democrats in the Senate would vote for Joe Biden for vice president.

So, first of all, this is all entirely untrue.  The 2/3 quorum refers to what is required in the House of Representatives to vote on things like who will be president IF the electoral college can't decide on a president for whatever reason.  Having 1/3 of the electors refuse to show up will do nothing.  Second of all, do you not feel at least a little weird about basically advocating a course that would circumvent our entire electoral process?  Not only will it not work because you got the law wrong, but also this sounds like the kind of thing that happens in countries run by people whose names rhyme with Gladimir Bootin.

Democratic process?  Nah, that doesn't sound fun at all.
Can this work?

All together now!

No, Judson, no.  It can't.

Sure it can.

Sigh.  I'm not going out and finding more gifs just for you, Judson.

Democrats have actually set this precedent of refusing to participate to deny Republicans a quorum. They did this in Wisconsin and in Texas. Why can’t we do this with the Electoral College?

Like I said, it's because that's not how the rules work in the Electoral College.

[Several paragraphs redacted for being further explanation of Judson's incorrect understanding of the Electoral College]

It does not matter who gets credit for this. The credit is not important. Using our last chance to defeat Barack Obama is important.

You guys, I'm pretty sure Judson wants some credit for his terrible wrong idea.

Far too often the Republican Party seems more interested in losing gracefully than winning and governing.

Fox's election night coverage would like a word.
This is our last chance. We the people must contact the electors, party officials and secretaries of state from every red state and insist that they refuse to participate in the Electoral College.

We can still save America and use the Constitution to do it. But this truly is our last chance.

We can still save America!  By refusing to participate in our Constitutionally created democratic institutions!


UPDATE: Before I finished writing this, it appears that someone alerted Judson to the fact that the entire basis of his article is incorrect, since this disclaimer appeared at the top:

Editor’s note: Since this column was posted it has been discovered that the premise presented about the Electoral College and the Constitution is in error. According to the 12th Amendment, a two-thirds quorum is required in the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College.

In true WND style, while they do acknowledge an error, they won't change the initial article to reflect the true facts, and put up a vague disclaimer that isn't clear as to how much of the article depended on that one fact.  Journalism!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2000 Onion article is oddly prescient


The Onion posted a piece back in 2000 which made fun of the idea that we might someday use the internet for everything--apparently, this idea was ludicrous in 2000.  I guess I do remember my WebTV being so incredibly slow that I often wouldn't notice for several minutes that someone had picked up the phone and I was no longer connected because seriously, fuck dialup.  Ah, childhood.

Jesus fuck, WebTV.  I just want to look up my damn Pokemon walkthroughs why is this so hard fuuuuuuuck.


 Here's the Onion headline I mentioned:

Comedy in 2000 becomes a boring factual article in 2012.  Progress!

Ha-ha, checking a newspaper website for movie times?  How quaint.  We all have apps to do that now. 
The article continues:

Larry has used the Internet to assist friends, as well. "Last week, we had a houseguest who was wondering if there were any Jesuit colleges in Ohio," Wisniewski said. "All I had to do was open up my AOL software, enter my password, point the browser to www.yahoo.com, and click on Society & Culture, followed by Religion & Spirituality. From there, I had only to click Faiths & Practices, then Christianity, then Denominations & Sects, and then Catholic. Then I simply clicked on Orders, Jesuits, Colleges & Universities, Ohio, and boom, right there in front of me are Xavier University in Cincinnati and John Carroll University in Cleveland."


Aside from the ladders of links that Area Man has to navigate to find information, this is basically how a lot of people look things up now.  Google was in existence in 2000, but hadn't totally taken off yet, so people were still going through page after page of Yahoo! links and using AOL keywords to find things. 

No, Grandma, that's not where that goes, and you should really pick a new password.
Wisniewski's friends, for their part, are impressed by his technological savvy and access to limitless global databases. "I feel like such a caveman for looking up phone numbers in a phone book," neighbor Steve Lindblad said. "All those pages and that ink–it's so embarrassing."

It's funny because that really would be kind of embarrassing now.  I don't think I even have a phone book.  The last phone book I remember having was the one we set on fire in a dorm basement (NOTE: depending on who's asking, I did not set a phone book on fire in a college dorm.  I was studying that night).

For all of Wisniewski's success in surfing for online info, he said Pamela is "still getting the hang" of the Internet and its power. "Pam is always asking stuff like, 'Why don't we just look the word up in our old-fashioned dictionary?'" Wisniewski said. "The answer, of course, is simple: because we don't have to."

I can only assume that this article was funny when it was written because there was a time when early adopters were a little over-excited about the internet.  It used to be super slow, and there was a time when retrieving a dictionary was faster than waiting for this:


And this:

The use of an old-timey wooden sailing ship tiller in the loading screen turned out to be quite appropriate.
Just to look up one word, that might be excessive.  Actually, looking at all this old internet stuff, it's pretty amazing just how quickly this Onion article became factually accurate.  Thanks for being ahead of the curve, Area Man!

At least they're motivated sellers

So...you need someone to come dredge your trampoline out of the neighborhood pond, for free, and in exchange they get a broken trampoline.  Let the bidding commence, I guess.


This is the least inspiring Craigslist post ever.  All interested parties in an orderly line, ple--I SAID ORDERLY, DAMMIT.  Ms. Jackson, you'll have to calm down.

Sounds like a really interesting family.  I guess I can't blame you for having difficulty sleeping with a walrus head in the house.

Yeah, I know, it's obviously fake.  Still, I would absolutely use this as an art installation if it's still available.

All images courtesy of Huffpo

With 43% of precincts reporting, Nick Crews is the early frontrunner for Father of the Year


From the Daily Mail comes this letter, written from a disappointed father to his three children (or, as he affectionately calls them, "bitter disappointments"). 



Yahoo news: The entire population of the United States went shopping on Black Friday

Per Yahoo! News, 247 million people shopped in person or online on Black Friday.  Given that this number is slightly higher than the number of adults in the US (approximately 238 million, estimated from 2010 census), there was reason for doubt; therefore, they consulted a second study, which found that the number was in fact over 307 million, this time not including online shopping.  That leaves just over 4 million of us who stayed home.  Either illegal immigration is far more widespread than anyone realized, or math is just really hard for some people.

The quote from the CEO of the NRF about BFS is horrific.  OMG WTF BBQ QED.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Tories are being oppressed! (Not a repeat from 1776)

Members of the conservative Tory party at Oxford university are claiming to be victims of oppression and intimidation at the hands of their political opponents.  Their complaint is that they are unable to freely speak their political views without being "actively isolated, personally attacked and made to feel unwelcome."  Which, yes, that is unfortunate.  However, their claim features gems such as:

Students claimed they needed the same rights as minorities who are 'often perceived as being subject to prejudice from society.'

This makes me think your claim is bullshit.  Minorities are often perceived as being subject to prejudice because in some cases they are in fact subject to prejudice.  Your assertion of oppression doesn't become more valid because you cast doubt on other "perceived" cases--oppression isn't a game of King of the Hill where the most oppressed person wins.

Third-year student Samuel Roberts, 21, had proposed a motion calling for more protection. He told the Sunday Times: 'It made an atmosphere in which I felt uncomfortable.'

This is not an actual picture of Samuel Roberts.
While Stephanie Cherrill, the president elect of the association added: ' There has been a deterioration inn the attitude of several JCR members towards people who are right of centre.

'It is my strong belief that this poses a threat to the atmosphere of intellectual discussion as well as to the welfare of members who may feel victimised.'

Ways in which the Tories are oppressed:
  • forced to feel uncomfortable sometimes
  • occasionally openly disliked by other people
To which I would respond:

Deal with it.
To be fair, it's not impossible that Conservative/Tory views are being pushed to the side at Oxford, and that is kind of an important thing to keep an eye on, generally speaking.  However, it's hard for me to have much sympathy in this case.  The Tories are saying that others are creating an uncomfortable atmosphere for them while speakers at their political conferences say things like this:

Asked about opponents of gay marriage being described as "bigots" – on one occasion by Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister – Carey said: "Let us remember the Jews in Nazi Germany. What started against them was when they started to be called names."

To clarify: Carey (who, incidentally, is the former archbishop of Canterbury) is saying that opponents of gay marriage are like the Jews in Nazi Germany, because supporters of gay marriage are calling them names.  Maybe he misspoke?

[Carey continued,] "And that was the first stage towards that totalitarian state. 

Name-calling: UNACCEPTABLE.  Implying that your political opponents are attempting to institute a gay-marrying totalitarian state, citing Nazi Germany as a specific example: OKAY. 

We have to resist them. We treasure democracy.  We treasure our Christian inheritance and we want to debate this in a fair way."

"It's totally unfair for them to call us names and refer to us as bigots, and that's not democracy!  Can anyone stop these Nazis?"

Anyway, I should note that Carey is just another Tory supporter, and not someone directly affiliated with the Oxford Tory group--that said, he's hardly an isolated example.  The British Parliament is nearing a vote on allowing gay marriage, and it appears that over 100 Tory MPs are set to stage "the biggest Tory party rebellion in modern times" in an effort to stop it from passing.  In the UK as in the United States, people have a right to whatever political views they want; that said, it seems to be the height of hypocrisy to protest an atmosphere that makes you feel uncomfortable while you support policies that create an atmosphere that makes other people uncomfortable.

Let's get back to the main article at hand here: Tories at Oxford are being made to feel uncomfortable.  What kinds of things are they doing to improve the political discourse, given that they seem so upset about the current state of affairs?

Their cause was not helped when Joe Cooke, a recent president of the Oxford Conservative Association, reportedly upset students as he arrived in a Rolls Royce wearing a silver suit and carrying a silver-topped cane.

This is an actual picture of Joe Cooke.
This is not a picture of Joe Cooke.  In fact, I don't know how this got here at all.  Huh.
Gosh, I wonder why people didn't respond well to this guy cruising up in a Rolls Royce, silver suit and cane.

Look, guys, I get that it sucks when people call you names and all--it's just hard to feel bad when your political party does the same thing, not to mention that you seem to be making no effort to avoid being mocked.  There sure do seem to be a lot of people eager to jump on the "Help! I'm being oppressed!" train at the slightest provocation, but it's tough to justify that when the ill treatment you're accusing people of is virtually identical to your party's treatment of other groups.  An atmosphere where you feel uncomfortable?  Policies that damage the welfare of some individuals?  These are things that will absolutely exist for as long as there are political issues being debated, and to pretend like your own policies are somehow not causing these things to other people is unbelievable to me.

If you feel uncomfortable when people claim that your preferred policies damage them, you can do one of three things: stop talking about politics, change your political views so that people don't feel harmed by yours, or feel uncomfortable.  I guarantee you that the gay rights advocates that your Tory party opposes feel uncomfortable a lot of the time, because a fair number of people are for some reason upset when they act like they should have the same rights as everyone else.  People disagree about the best way to improve the welfare of all individuals in a country for a lot of reasons, and that will not end.  If you want the right to tell someone else that your idea of equal rights isn't the same as theirs, you damn well better afford them that same courtesy.  If someone calls you a bigot, there's a way to approach that rationally and have a reasonable discussion about why you feel your position is not bigoted, and there's a way to respond by yelling HELP HELP OPPRESSION which accomplishes nothing but to make you look thin-skinned (and, incidentally, makes me assume that your position is based on an argument you don't want to share).  Political discussion gets heated, because it involves policies that affect millions of people for better or for worse, and shockingly not all of them agree on the best approaches.  You're going to have to deal with that.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today in great headlines, featuring Mark Sanchez

His mom must be so proud.
UPDATE: For clarification, this is the play being discussed:

I've watched this probably 75 times at this point, and it's not getting old

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's like that Minority Report computer in real life


When it comes to claiming voter fraud, dream big

Prior to the election, Dean Chambers had a site called Unskewed Polling.  You may remember them as the group that claimed to believe this would be the outcome of the election:

I tried to make sure this was the correct prediction, but unsurprisingly, the site has been taken down.
One might expect that Chambers would take a few months off to recover from his glaringly incorrect predictions and maybe learn math, but he's back with another web venture: BarackOFraudo.com!  No, really, that's what he called it.  It looks like this:

O'Fraudo?  Is that a reference to Irish heritage?  Why?  Is O'Fraudo supposed to sound like Obama?  What the hell, man.
Ignoring the terrible site design--no, just kidding, I'm not going to ignore that.  First of all, there are random links everywhere, 90% of which are broken and go to a 404 not found page.  The image in the upper left is a link, which takes you directly back to the same page it appears on.  Click on the words "Barack O'Fraudo?"  Also a link back to the same page.  You'll note that in the maroon links running horizontally across the top, the first one is slightly lower than the rest.  Why?  Because the blank space contains the words "QStar Network", but for some reason the letters are white on a white background.  His coding is so bad that I couldn't copy-paste any text from the article, because he kept leaving open html tags everywhere and making everything go wonky. 

Of the many, many links, most are about various voter fraud items; for some reason some of them reference voter fraud in 2008 (which, okay, that's semi-related to your crazy person point), and some of them reference voter fraud by Obama Kerry Gore Clinton Dukakis Mondale Jimmy Carter, in 1980, which is 32 years ago.  Why?

If the 1980 election could have been handed to Jimmy Carter by stealing fewer than 2 million votes, less than 3 percent nationwide, then the much closer election of 2012 won by just 2.6 percent in the popular vote and fewer than 400,000 votes in the four key swing stats that denied Mitt Romney the presidency, could easily have been stolen by various methods of vote fraud and ballot-box stuffing.

Okay, the argument is that if we assume Jimmy Carter could have stolen the election by somehow getting 2 million fraudulent votes, then it'd be totally feasible for Obama to do the same, since he only needed 400,000.  Why is that an argument?  This is entirely made up.

Note: This is a scenario, we are NOT suggesting there was any vote fraud in the 1980 election. 

Does anything mean anything?  What are words?  What is life?
What the hell was the point of that?  "If we assume a thing that we are not assuming then this other thing is presumably assumable."  So far, Dean's evidence for voter fraud is that he created an imagination picture where it could have theoretically happened before and if that were true, it could happen again.  Madness.  Anyway, Dean goes on to lay out a whole scenario where Carter could have hypothetically committed voter fraud--it's batshit crazy, and the whole point is that the existence of a theoretical election theft proves that it could happen again, or something.  I can't even paraphrase it without sounding ridiculous.  

Anyway, Dean's main point, aside from showing us how Jimmy Carter helped Barack Obama steal the 1980 election or something, is that the 2012 election is dubious, as some states were affected by (gasp) VOTER FRAUD, as shown:

If Obama had just stolen 63 more electoral votes from Romney, "Obama Fraud" could have placed second in the election.
Shockingly, Dean gives very little evidence to explain why he believes these 4 states were stolen; here's literally the entirety of what he has to say about it.

Evidence of vote fraud is very much like that. Those who engage in it are slick and do all they can to hide it, so the evidence is often quite circumstantial. In fact, often the circumstantial evidence is all the evidence we have, such was finding tens of thousands of bogus votes in the ballot box, we didn't see someone actually put them there, but they are found, they are there, and they are clearly evidence of vote fraud. Such is true of the voting divisions where Obama gets 100 percent of the votes cast. As if anyone REALLY believes that is legitimate...

Let's break down his points:
  • We don't have evidence of voter fraud, which is evidence of voter fraud because vote frauders are slick and good at hiding their work, so the lack of evidence proves it's happening
  • I didn't see people put all those ballots in, so fraud (note: I don't understand what he's saying with "we didn't see someone actually put them there, but they are found, they are there, and they are clearly evidence of vote fraud." If anyone does, please let me know).
  • Obama swept districts that are often swept by Democrats?  As if!
That's all of them.  I guess it's not surprising that the guy who kept saying that the polls were skewed would go ahead and say the vote was skewed after the polls turned out to be right.  Let's close with a quote that Dean uses on his site:

"Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
           -Henry David Thoreau


I give up.

 

Simile of the day, regarding live explosives

Jim Clingan of Illinois, regarding how to handle live explosives:

I have been around finding old live ammunition before. The only grenades I've ever run across had already been discharged. In this situation there were one too many danger signs there, so we didn't even stand around the thing. It's like being in a room with an elephant with diarrhea. You gotta' give them plenty of room. That's what we did with that box.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Red Panda interlude


Jay Nordlinger discovers pop culture trend of "fist-bumping" or "knuckles", tries to figure out what this crazy concept is all about

Jay Nordlinger, writer for the National Review, is currently writing dispatches from a cruise in Jamaica for some reason.  I am assuming that Jay is one of the stereotypically whitest people in the known world for a few reasons:
  • He refers to each one of his dispatches as an "Impromptus".  Collectively, they would be called Impromptuses?  Imprompti?  Just call it a blog like everyone else, Jay.
  • His last name is Nordlinger, which translates into some variation of "North lingerer" depending on which language it's actually from.
  • He writes for the National Review.
  • He looks like this:
Jay North Lingerer
Anyway, in the most recent of his Impromptuses, entitled "Knuckle Non-Sandwiches," Jay mentioned a curious observation:

In today’s Impromptus, which is Part I of a cruise journal, I mention a Jamaican practice: You offer knuckles — a.k.a. a fist bump, a kind of handshake — and say “Respect” (alternatively, “Respec’”)

Wowzers!  What an interesting cultural observation!  For what it's worth, it's probably not necessary to mention that people with different accents pronounce words differently.  The only reason to mention this "alternate" spelling is if you think "Respec" means something different that "Respect" (note: I am not certain that Jay does not think this).  One additional issue I have is that your sentence referring to fist bumping as a Jamaican practice should be stamped all over with [citation needed].  I did a little of my own research (using Wikipedia--suck it, high school teachers) and found that while there is not a clear origin story, it's pretty safe to assume that Jay is wrong.  Here is the Wikitruth about the fist bump (if you prefer a summarized version, skip ahead a paragraph):

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, the fist bump was created by baseball player Stan Musial. Time magazine wonders if it evolved from the handshake and the high-five. They cite knuckle bumping in the 1970s with basketball player Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Others claim the Wonder Twins, minor characters in the 1970s Hanna-Barbera superhero FISH cartoon Super Friends, who touched knuckles and cried "Wonder Twin powers, activate!" were the originators. However, the "fist bump" or "pound" can easily be traced as far back as the late 1800s and early 1900s to the boxer's handshake as a way to greet when hands are gloved. In fact, the fist bump's origins may well lie in the animal kingdom as the gesture is natural behaviour observed in primates, according to a book published by Margaret Power in 1991.

So, not only is it probably not Jamaican, but the following are all better explanations for the creation of the fist bump than Jay's:
  • It was created by baseball player Stan Musial
  • Whatever speculative bullshit Time published because someone wondered about a thing
  • It was created by basketball player Fred Carter of the unfortunately named Baltimore Bullets
  • It was created by minor characters in the 1970s cartoon Super Friends, and you were supposed to say "Wonder Twin powers, activate!" rather than "Respec"
  • It was created by boxers in the 19th century
  • It has been around forfuckingever as long as humans have existed ever in all time
This is a fairly minor quibble, but it indicates that Jay assumes trends start wherever he sees them first.  The more interesting part of Jay's recent Impromptus is that he posted a followup, which appears to be intended to prove himself right about where fist bumping was invented, saying:

I got a letter from a friend of mine I thought you’d enjoy. He once worked as a bouncer in L.A.

Alright, Jay, we all know you are almost certainly not friends with bouncers in LA. 

He writes, 
        Knuckles and “Respect.” Now I know where that came from. We used to do it all the time in the clubs in L.A. I didn’t think much of it. But now that I am, I remember it was one of my buds, a dude from the South Bronx, of Jamaican heritage, who started it.

So Jay's fake bouncer friend from LA has a fake friend from the South Bronx who invented fist bumping, which proves that it is from Jamaica.  His friend continues:

As with any verbal judo technique, its effectiveness depends on the target. Probably wouldn’t go so well at an Upper East Side dinner party.

Even Jay's fake friends know that he spends more time at Upper East Side dinner parties than bars.

But you should totally give it a shot, especially if we win the midterms:

Them: “Can’t believe the racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, Nazi GOP now controls BOTH houses of Congress!”

Jay, that's not fair.  Very few people think that GOPers are Nazis.

You (presenting knuckles): “Yo, dog, don’t get it twisted. We all still family. You gonna make it. Respec’.”

What?  I don't even know what to say about that.  This "friend" of Jay's is faker than my high school girlfriend from Canada.  Additionally, if wealthy white males start going around the next time Republicans win an election saying "Yo, dog, respec" it's going to be pretty uncomfortable for everyone.  Back to real Jay, as opposed to fake friend of Jay:

Hmmm. Will think about it. By the way, the first time I saw the fist bump, it was on the PGA Tour. I was not actually playing the Tour, I should clarify; I was merely watching television. (Oh, the shame.)
One more thing: I know a great writer who sometimes signs himself “Respec.” Really.

Why is it shameful that you watch golf on TV?  Also, I think the "great writer" is as fake as your bouncer friend.  I think this even more so after reading the "Really" that you felt it necessary to append to this paragraph. 

Respec,
        Fossi

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to greatest in sports that are not ultimate frisbee

In ultimate, the act of jumping from inbounds, catching the disc, and throwing it back into the field of play to a teammate before landing out of bounds is called a "greatest".  This happens occasionally in basketball, but I found out today that it can happen in football under extremely random circumstances:

I can only assume this is what the Cardinals have been practicing when they were supposed to be learning the offense.
That's fucking insane in the best possible way.  Fortunately for those of us that are entertained by insanely bad football, there's always Tony Romo, perfecting his spiral:

Does that count as intentional grounding?  It probably is by the letter of the law, but it's pretty obviously not intentional.

One man's defiant effort to be the whiniest dick on the planet

Adam Probolsky, of the OC* Register, was directed to write a story about the recent 20th anniversary celebration at his local Costco.  He got off to a decent start:

The Irvine Chamber of Commerce and Costco's Irvine Spectrum location will have a special ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 16 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the store at 115 Technology West.  The public is welcome from 9 to 10 a.m.; a ribbon cutting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. 

Factually accurate.

Seeing this calendar item from the Irvine Chamber reminded me that I wanted to write about Costco.

Do go on.

I have a Costco membership and go a few times per year. However, I am not an avid discount warehouse shopper like a lot of other people I know. 

This is a fairly normal relationship with Costco.  I would be curious to see what percentage of the population Adam thinks of as "avid discount shoppers", though frankly I wouldn't be that curious, because this whole thing is boring.

I do not appreciate being asked to show my card on entry and then my receipt upon exiting. In fact, I ignore these requests every time.

I don't really know what to say, Adam; that's how shopping at a place like Costco works.  A followup email to Adam yielded some other requests that he ignores on (dubious) principle:

-when movie theater employees request his ticket
-when police officers request his ID
-when children request Halloween candy
-when his wife requests sex on a weekday

Anyone who has been with me on a Costco run is either entirely amused or very embarrassed by my behavior.

Pictured: All of Adam's former friends after one disastrous trip to Costco
I push my cart, with purpose, through the entry threshold. This is usually when a card checker says, "Sir, I need to see your card." I ignore him or her and press forward. 

Phrases like "with purpose" and "press forward" make me think that Adam is taking this campaign just a little too seriously.  Additionally, the title of the piece is "One man's defiant Costco run".  That's really what he called this, because he is a valiant freedom fighter against the tyranny of requesting proof of membership to enter a members-only store.  To return to the passage at hand, though, it would be far easier and less confusing if you just said "I don't want to do that".  Silent protests are useful for cases where people are being denied a voice and the protesters wish to visually represent this injustice by wearing tape over their mouths or similar, like so:

Pictured: How Adam Probolsky sees himself when he goes shopping
Silent protests are less useful when you are just acting like you cannot hear a person who is asking you a question because that is their job, especially when there is no sane reason for you to ignore that person.

With two or three more attempts at getting my attention, and with escalating decibels of "Sir!" being shouted, another member will usually tap me on the shoulder to let me know the card checker needs to speak with me. 

You say that as if this is somehow not a typical response to a person ignoring another person who is speaking to them.

I thank them politely

Seems unlikely.

but continue on my way. The member, who thinks they were being helpful,

Because they were.

oftentimes acts befuddled and gives the impression of feeling slighted that 

you acted like an asshole towards the greeter at Costco?

I didn't hurry back like a good little sheep would do.

Oh, right.  Let's break down the Costco shopping population:

Ignorant Costco masses.
Adam Probolsky.
Once I am in the store, no one bothers me. I make my way through the aisles, filling my cart as all the other shoppers do until I am uneasy about having enough money to cover the cost of what I am buying. 

Holy shit, that's the most boring paragraph I've ever read.   "I went to the store, selecting items that I needed for personal consumption, until the cost of the items I had approached the funds I had available for the purchase, at which time I went to the cashier to exchange my money for goods."  I'd rather read the fine print on my bank statement than this bullshit.

After checking out, I deliberately leave the receipt at the register. Sometimes the assistant to the checker will hurriedly bring it to me. I refuse it.

How interesting!  Please, Adam, explain why this is important!

This is an important step in the process of keeping the honor of free people everywhere. 

...to not show membership cards and to litter my receipts about wherever I please

This is when things get fun. 

Debatable.

Costco's policy of checking your receipt before you leave is, to me, unacceptable. And therefore I will not adhere to it. 

Adam Probolsky is to Costco what James Harrison is to the NFL.
"Roger Goodell's policy of not allowing helmet-to-helmet hits on defenseless receivers is, to me, unacceptable. And therefore I will not adhere to it."
There is a good chance I will lose my membership over this column, but I am OK with that because I feel like it will give aid and comfort to other receipt checker dodgers and perhaps start a movement that will overwhelm the system and break Costco's idiotic policy.

If you change the words "membership", "column", "receipt checker dodgers", and "Costco" to "life", "protest", "prisoners", and "Britain", this paragraph could be a speech given by an Irish political prisoner going on hunger strike in the 1970s.

They claim it is as much for your protection as it is for theirs. This is ridiculous. Other than perhaps a candy bar when I was 10, I have never stolen anything. So don't treat me like a criminal. 

Adam's argument is that he's so trustworthy, no one should ever be suspected of stealing anything ever.  For what it's worth, they do allow 10-year-olds in Costco, and they do have candy.  Where do we draw the line, Adam?

Getting out of Costco without showing your receipt is much more dramatic than entering without showing your card. Upon exiting, the staff will follow you or send security after you. 

Because the main reason people do this is because they are trying to steal things.  Adam seems like the kind of guy who would get indignant if a police officer asked him why he was hanging around that bike rack with a hacksaw, because can't they see how trustworthy he is?

I know my rights though. Once I paid for it, I get to leave. You can't hold me hostage. 

I would guess that most Costco employees are so excited for Adam to leave that they just give up and let him go at this point.

If you want to join me on this little effort, know full well that you are within the law and any attempt to physically stop you is not only wrong but likely either false imprisonment or assault or some other crime that Costco doesn't want its employees charged with.

Join the movement!  It's likely not illegal, but I don't want to come out and say that in absolute terms because I didn't bother making sure I'm right.  Let's get a reaction from Costco employees and fellow shoppers everywhere:

Fuck off, Adam.

* Don't call it that.