Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End List Three

Well well well. Here we are, finally on the last day of 2008. It's been an interesting run through the seasons, and we're about ready to say hello to 2009. But wait, we can't jump the gun on this one. After all, there's that extra lingering "leap second" that we all get to deal with this year. So what will you do during that extra second? Maybe today's list will help, as we present...

Things To Do During a Leap Second

Look for Dick Clark's Soul
We admit it. We have a fondness for Dick Clark. While the man is approaching his 80th birthday, he's also been a perennial teenager, ushering in the New Year every year in his own "Rockin'" way. It's been painful to see the years catch up to him, as well as seeing his pairing with Ryan Seacrest. But this year may finally break Clark, as he gets to be part of a show that includes the Jonas Brothers. During that leap second, you may see a wispy form leave Clark.

Be Born
If there are any fetuses reading this, there's very little that you could do to cause a more profound impact on the world than being born in the very final second of 2008. In fact, you'd be among the first ever, since it's the first time in recorded history that we've had a "leap second" (no, we didn't research this, so we're trusting our guts).

Surfing the Internet
Why do something different during the extra second of the year than you did for a large number of seconds already? Besides, there may be some enterprising websites out there that will offer special content for readers during that second of time. We won't, but that's because we'll be doing something else.

Remembering Previous New Year's Insanity
Ah, remember the old Y2K bug that was supposed to kill all computers? Or how about any time that the world's supposed to have ended (which seems to happen every couple of years). Sure, it's already the New Year on the other side of the planet, but that won't stop people from holding onto fears. On the plus side, the Western Hemisphere will have plenty of time if 2012 really is the end of it all. So why not treasure those previous freak-out moments, while planning for another one in just a few years.

Flip Through the Channels
Instead of fixing on just one NYE count-down, maybe you can flip rapidly through the channels, lingering for just long enough to see if ABC jumped the gun on 2009, or if maybe CNN was just a hair late.

Let the Champagne Sit a Second Longer
After all, those bubbles are just going to tickle your nose anyways, so maybe it would be best to let them die down a little longer.

Resolve to Resolve Your Resolutions
You've got an extra second to the year. Pull out that tattered list of New Year's resolutions and edit it. For the fifth time today.

Escape "Auld Lang Syne"
Sure, you'll only be able to escape it for an extra second, but that span of time might just be enough to buy you freedom. After all, when everyone else is gearing up to sing about things "never brought to mind", you can be changing the CD to something like Parliament.

If you're going to be part of a gathered throng, the extra second in 2008 can give you time to prepare yourself to be heard above everyone else. Just don't hold it too long, or you'll be the fool saying "New" when everyone else has finished "Year".

Make the Most of it
Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you do with the leap second, if you do anything at all. Just use it however you feel best, whether that's sleeping, drinking, laughing, talking, watching, or just simply being. After all, it's not every year that we get to have this extra time with the rest of the planet before we're forced to roll the calendars over.

Well, that does it for us for 2008. We'll see you again in 2009. Have yourself a Happy New Year, everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Year End List Two

Only a couple more days remaining for 2008, and now we have to look backwards. Yesterday, we were wistful. Today, we're simply reminiscing. With that we bring you, today's list...

The Top 10 Things We Remember From 2008

10. That Time We Found Our Keys
Seriously, we were looking for those things for days.

9. Weddings
Major celebrities. Minor celebrities. We're sure that even some homeless couples got married, too. If only California hadn't screwed everything up. Speaking of which...

8. California Screws Everything Up
You know you've done something big and (potentially) bad when Keith Olbermann looks away from the Gdub Presidency to address you in his "Special Comment". Way to go, California.

7. MTV Airing Music Videos
Hahahahahahahahaha*gasp*hahahahahaha. No, seriously, it may have happened sometime during 2008. If so, it was probably a video by Fallout Boy or Katy Perry, being played either at 2:47am, or as an end credits for one of MTV's overwhelming pile of reality shows.

6. That One Really Funny, Timely Joke
We'd share it, but, well, it just isn't as funny today.

5. When TV Stopped Sucking
Man, did TV ever have us fooled. Here we were, anticipating everything coming back to glorious channel surfing now that we were done dealing with the writer's strike, and the wasteland that was summer viewing. Little did we know that we'd remember this moment for the fact that it has yet to happen.

4. Breakfast
What? It's a tasty way to start the day, so we remember it fondly.

3. New Yorkers Find a New Meaning to "Humble"
If you're from New York, especially if you're affiliated with a sports team, "humble" now means spending freely and foolishly, in the face of tragic economic downfall.

2. The Dark Ledger
Yeah, we know that we'll be bombarded with Heath Ledger stuff during the run-up to the Oscars, but we're still amazed at his portrayal of Jack Nicholson.

1. Post-Election Hangover
Not from celebrating. We actually started drinking when the first campaigns got rolling across the country, and didn't stop until we knew we'd have a month and a half before the NEXT campaign started up. Our livers may never forgive us.

Well, that's a list of things for today. We'll have another list tomorrow.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Year End List One

Welcome to the year end. As is legally required of all blogs (and just about anything else you can find on the Internet), we are here this week to present you with lists. Random lists. Lists that we probably concocted in our sleep. Lists that just might not make any sense to us.

Anyways, today's list is special. Normally, here, we pass out some sarcasm and commentary, none of which is too favorable to our subjects. Today, we're going to actually passing out some real kudos, in our list of...

The Top 7 Websites We Wish We Were

Alright, we admit it. When it comes time for us to dig around and find a news article to rip apart, we look around. Before too long, we've found ourselves at Fark. Besides, while it's great fun to do what we do, just imagine how much fun we could be having if we got other people to find stories for us, as we sit back, come up with headlines, drink beer, and profit. Sure, that may not be the glamorous life lead by Fark, but we like to picture it that way.

6. Topless Robot
We have a severe love for all things geeky. Topless Robot takes that love to a whole new level, devoting themselves entirely to covering all that's geeky. That, combined with the word "topless" in their title, and the fact that they've actually got a media organization behind them makes us love them just a little bit more.

5. Penny Arcade
If you haven't heard of Penny Arcade yet, we wonder where you've been hiding. Not only are they one of the best webcomics out there (other people with more knowledge have confirmed that for us in their research labs), but they also get to delve into serious video game discussions, and they take time to help out those that are less fortunate. Well, not other less fortunate websites, but you catch our drift.

4. Cracked
It may have started out as a Mad magazine knock-off, but Cracked has become a powerful voice on the Internet, just so long as you equate comedy with power. We'd be remiss to mention them in any posting about lists, since that is pretty much their bread and butter. But they just do it oh so well.

3. Pajiba
We like our geek culture. We also like movies. There's also an affinity for sarcasm and snarkiness. And bacon. So what do you get when you combine all of those into one website, and then take away the bacon? You get Pajiba, with their "scathing reviews for bitchy people". They haven't steered us wrong yet, and their more honest than Leonard Maltin. Their sister site is pretty good, too, tackling celebrity gossip.

2. Giant in the Playground
Time for the second webcomic page in our list, but Giant in the Playground is more than just the home for the Order of the Stick. Compelling stories, crude stick figures, cruder jokes, and a wealth of geekery in the role-playing realm adds up to one giant pile of critical success. If only we could make stick figures look so good.

1. The Onion
We take news stories and make fun of them. The Onion does us many many times better by crafting funny stories so ridiculously sublime that you can almost smell hints of truth coming off of them. When you can make up stories that cause people to want to double check the facts, and loop in just enough truth to point out the ridiculousness of the world, you've got a winning combination. Much like a Daily Show for the Internet, without that burden of reality to hold the funny back.

And that does it for this list. Just a few of the websites we love to visit. We'll be back tomorrow with an entirely new list, or at least one recycled from 2006.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ignore the thud

You know the biggest problem with bus passengers? No, not that any of them might want to talk to other people on the bus. Certainly not bringing weapons on board. And while we are distressed by a lack of hygiene, we can't even point out that one. To find our answer, we just have to look to Florida, and what a bus driver there might think.

They just can't keep quiet when the bus hits a guy on a bike.

Yes, that's right. After the bus driver hit a biker and then continued on, he asked all of the passengers to just keep quiet about it. This could either have kicked off the worst game of "I've Got a Secret" in existence, or it could lead to the quick arrest of the bus driver for hit-and-run. Take a quick guess which happened.

However, there's still proof of the holiday spirit as well, since there is still a silver lining to the story. That silver lining? The bus driver was suspended, but he was suspended with pay.

After all, if he had has pay suspended as well, it would have been kind of like being hit by a bu--- oh. Um, yeah.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No place like home

We've been away for awhile, so we're going to ease ourselves in a little slowly. Thankfully, the news itself hasn't been lax during our absence, so we hope that you've been able to catch up through the other resources that the 'net has to offer. And, well, we're glad to be back, just in time.

Besides, it's good to be home. As we've all heard, "If you want to be happy in a million ways" home is a darned good place to be. In fact, some people look at home sweet home so fondly that they're willing to go to extreme lengths to get there.

Lengths like stealing a fire truck.

That's right. A man in Salt Lake City decided that he just had to get home to visit his mom for Christmas. Instead of looking into things like bus fares or a plane ticket, he did the next logical thing, so long as your idea of logic includes giant leaps that result in criminal offenses. He jumped into a shiny fire truck, turned on the sirens, and started to head over the river and through the woods. Well, we can assume he would have, because he made it approximately fifty feet before he was subdued by the very firefighters who the truck belonged to.

We'll just go ahead and assume that he never got the fire truck when he was a child, either.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of December 8, 2008

Another week is ticking past us, and we're going to be absent next week (we might pop in here and there, but no guarantees). So, because of that, we're going to just plow ahead with our awards right away.

Don't Feed the Geese Award
If you live in or around Kansas City, you may have to stop taking afternoon trips into the park to feed Canada geese. The city is thinking about outlawing this practice, because of the increased mess (we're just not crass enough to go there). However, as long as you're feeding America geese, or geese that have secured their green cards, you should be just fine.

World of Dropcraft Award
The FCC commissioner has something to say about a potential cause for college dropouts. Yes, we said "FCC commissioner". No, we don't care that he's not really part of the education field. Anyways, he seems to believe that video game addiction, specifically to something like World of Warcraft, might be a leading cause of students deciding to drop higher education. In response, schools are planning on renaming field trips "raids", and freshmen are now "n00bs".

Elephant Lives Award
In a recent study, scientists have made a discovery sure to shock everyone on the planet. As it turns out, elephants in captivity tend to live shorter lives than elephants left in the wild. Because nothing says longevity quite like being transplanted out of your natural habitat and then being put on display. You know, unless your name is Keith Richards.

I Will Follow Him (Follow Him) Award
Sometimes, it's best just to leave your cell phone in your pocket. Especially when you're being followed by someone shortly after attempting a robbery. Unfortunately, a burglar in Idaho didn't think that way, and called the police to report that he was being followed. By the neighbor of his recent attempted victim. The burglar is now expected to work with OJ to find the "Real Culprits".

The Pope and the Poor Award
You know the global economy has gotten bad when the Pope weighs in on how "self-centered and short-sighted" the financial system is. He even chastises world governments for not doing more to help the poor. If only there was some organization that regularly received millions of dollars every week, and happened to be the home to priceless art...

Christmas Miracle Award
Okay, so maybe it's not a miracle, but the recent weather systems have actually led to snowfall in Texas and New Orleans. In Louisiana, they referred to the snow as being "magical". The same snowfall in Minnesota would have led to people wondering when it'll become winter, as everyone forgets how to drive.

A Use for Sarcasm Award
Well folks, it's finally happened. We may actually be useful, at least to medical science. Not through donating our livers (trust us, that won't work at all). We might be helpful in helping diagnose dementia. According to research done in Australia, many sufferers of dementia find it impossible to properly identify sarcasm. Which definitely makes us wonder about any politician who agrees to a guest spot on The Daily Show or the Colbert Report.

Well, folks, that does it for us this week. We'll be back just prior to Christmas, unless we feel the drive to pop in and deliver more strangeness to your corner of the world. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How embarrassing

Which is worse? Handcuffing a partner and losing the key, or trying to convince the authorities that you really aren't dead?

How about if you need the police to respond to help open the cuffs? Does that tip the scales? Because that's what a Michigan man had to deal with, after losing the key to the cuffs keeping his wife attached to the bed.

On the plus side, the police just thought it was some sort of kinky sex game, and not any weird kidnapping or "unlawful imprisonment". On the negative side, we're fairly certain that the next time the husband suggests breaking out the handcuffs, his wife will respond with a swift "I have a headache" or "Why don't you put them on?".

But what about proving that you aren't dead? How about if you learn about your own demise when you're trying to renew your ID? And, to make it worse, it then takes a year before the courts accept that you really are alive. Is that embarrassing?

A Romanian man has been dealing with that struggle, and it just got worse for him. Now that he's been confirmed to be alive, he's been charged the legal costs for appealing his own death. So, while apparently death isn't horribly certain any more, it seems that taxes still have a grip on everyone.

Really, the only way it could be worse would be if you lost the key to the cuffs of your wife who then had to prove that she wasn't dead. Or if you were caught dressed like a clown. Just saying.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Down under blunders?

We admit, we often turn our gaze on Australia when looking for inspiration for our articles. Maybe it's the fact that the entire island used to be a penal colony, or maybe it's just that much of our understanding of Australia comes from Fosters and "Crocodile" Dundee, but there's just something charmingly wacky about the entire place. Sometimes, we agree with that wackiness, and sometimes, we just have to wonder.

Take, for example, a recent story about police stations in Perth. Apparently, these stations have been subject to vandalism and arson attempts. Now, one would figure that a police station would have some sort of force nearby that could help curtail these attacks. In Australia, they're considering hiring security to help watch the place.

That's right. Security. At a police station. Maybe it's just us, but doesn't that seem a little crazy? We can understand the need for keeping such a location safe, but to use a security force? Especially when, at least in America, so much security is people who couldn't quite cut it as cops? That almost seems like staffing a professional pastry kitchen with someone cut cuts open the buns at McDonald's.

Of course, this could actually be one of the most beneficial and symbiotic of business relationships ever created. The police could teach the security guards a thing or two, to help them hone their skills. The security officers could teach the cops how to chase after a shoplifter, or patrol a food court. And, hopefully, they'll both figure out what it takes to keep people from lighting a police station on fire.

At least we know that if they make mistakes, they won't be marked in red ink. It might hurt their feelings.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A wink and a smile

Oh, the Department of Motor Vehicles. Such a fun place, filled with balloons, party favors, and the ever-smiling staff. What, you're experiences aren't like ours? Maybe you've been going to the wrong ones.

Of course, in Indiana, there's even less hope for a happy time at the DMV. In an effort to better use facial recognition technology, they are getting going to start enforcing a ban on certain things for driver's license pictures. Things like hats, scarves, and glasses. Oh, and smiles.

Well thank goodness for that. People were getting out of hand, with all the smiles and laughter that generally accompanies waiting in line for an hour or more to be "helped" by someone who would obviously rather be spending their days flipping burgers at McDonalds. While other states are also looking into ways to improve facial recognition, in an effort to slow down the production of false IDs, Indiana has so far taken it the furthest. After all, a smiling picture could never be recognized as being the same person, especially when they're showing their license to a police officer.

Looks like this will stop our plans for installing small stages for stand-up comedians at the Indiana DMV. Which is a shame, because we just love observational humor.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Recession proof

We all understand the urge to fight a parking ticket. After all, none of us like to think that we may have broken some sort of law when we were pulling our vehicles up to a curb, and that money we're supposed to send off to our local government center would be better served by getting a few DVDs and a bottle of wine.

But some people take it a little too far, as is the case with a retired man from New York. He fought his $115 ticket, so far to the tune of $7500.

Of course, the man was fighting the ticket because it was the right thing to do. Well, that, and he had extra spare time, having retired from being the vice president of a company. True, the ticket may have been a mistake, and true, the man plans on donating the money of his appeals (should he win it back) to education, but there are much easier ways to go about being a philanthropist. Our first suggestion? Instead of hoping that you get your money back in an appeal, just go ahead and donate it right away.

It is somewhat comforting to know that, even in these dark economic times, someone can fight so hard (and waste so much money) for what seems to be, to them at least, a frivolous matter. We also find ourselves assuming that this man spends at least $1000 to complain that his gallon of milk shouldn't have cost so much.

Meanwhile, in a few short months, we fully expect to see another vice president spending money to combat the shocking lack of quality and nutrition in a bowl full of kittens.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of December 1, 2008

Wow. It's been a little while since we've done one of these, but with the Thanksgiving holiday, we were just too full of turkey to be able to see the computer screen. And, well, we're writing this a day early because we've got some big things going on over the weekend, but we want to give our readers something to tide them over. Anyway, let's get rolling, shall we?

Sing it Loud, Sing it Proud Award
People tend to think that waiting at the airport is one of the most painful things that they could do. Of course, that applies double if you're flight has been delayed. But don't worry, George Bush International Airport in Houston has decided to give everyone a little holiday joy, and is bringing karaoke to the terminals. Naturally, this won't be the first time that the name "George Bush" has been associated with anger, headaches, and potential international confrontation.

A Religious Stretch Award
Sometimes, you need to take a stand regarding the education your children receive. When they're asked to create a scale model of Noah's Ark, we can understand being upset. When they are watching "Evan Almighty" to learn about animal noises, we think a different outrage should be used. Namely, that any school would rely on such a poor movie to help learn anything.

Taking Time Off Award
Maybe it seems like a good idea to some folks out there, but we have to pass along this tip. If you're planning on robbing some place you work at, don't call in sick first. After all, when you show up to take their money, there's just no way that they're going to believe you were really all that feverish to begin with, and you might lose your job.

Rickrolled Award
We're not going to link to it. We refuse. Because we like our readers. But seriously, now that Rick Astley and some overgrown puppets have "rickrolled" the Macy's Parade, can we just put an end to this trend? Seriously, people, when the jokee is now using the joke, it's time to let it go.

Clearing the Jam Award
Sometimes, it's just better to get a new printer. That seems to be the case with an office in Australia, which has had to remove a venomous snake from their computer room more than once. For the record, the "Snake in Paper Tray" light is usually found right next to the "Toner Needed" light.

Shocking Award
Hey look. It's a study that showcases something that nobody could possibly have figured out. It turns out that female art students tend to have more sex than male science students. Man, we could never have guessed that. And yes, the study also found good information about the rise in STDs and promiscuity, but what's important is that knowing the girl from your Monet class is more likely to be getting some tonight than the guy from Chemistry 101.

Don't Lick It Award
Seriously, for the last time, if there's a strange white substance on your coins, don't lick them. Thankfully, this time, it only seemed to be a laxative medication. And yes, that's a "thankfully" at the start of that last sentence.

I've Got Your *hic* Filibuster Right Here Award
We all worry about politicians making their decisions while a little intoxicated. Looks like New South Wales, Australia, may be putting a stop to that. They are seriously considering breathalyzers for politicians, in light of some recent events. Meanwhile, in America, they are considering a related proposal, called "Drink and Legislate, or How to Pass Nonsensical Laws You Won't Remember in the Morning".

And with that, we wrap up our awards for another week. We'll be back next week before taking a long vacation, and then returning with our year end lists. If they follow trends from past years, they'll be completely nonsensical, but hopefully a little amusing. Stay safe out there.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I can has century-old postcard

So there's a little website out there, one that we won't name by name, but let's just say that it's got some level of popularity. It's spawned multiple "sister" sites, and now has a book of some of their own "greatest hits". And why? Because people like taking pictures of things, and adding captions to them.

But at least we can rest asserted that this form of expression is only a few years old, right? It's not like this is something that existed before the Internet.

Or did it? A postcard from 1905 proves otherwise, and may feature one of the first ever "cat-and-caption" pictures ever found. While the slaughtering of the language is definitely a more recent development, we now know that people have been trying to caption cute pictures for over a century. In fact, at this point, we wouldn't be surprised to see hieroglyphics that say something along the lines of "I can has pyramid burial chamber", or "Anubis impresshun".

What does this mean? Well, one thing it means is that this particular captivation is not new in the slightest, but is simply being spread to a larger audience due to the nature of the Web. And it hasn't shown any signs of really slowing, because there's always someone with a camera and a thin grasp of proper spelling.

It also means that there's a chance that Beethoven was the victim of the very first Rickroll.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Um... okay.

We applaud people for wanting to stay safe. Which is exactly why we have to congratulate risk assessors in Bournemouth, for deciding to tackle fire safety, and taking a novel approach.

They're banning fire extinguishers, calling them fire hazard.

In many ways, this actually makes sense to us. Not only do fire extinguishers give people the sense that they can actually combat a fire themselves (trust us, if it's bigger than catching your microwave on fire with popcorn, it's best just to let the professionals handle it), but we've seen what happens when you find yourself suddenly thrust into an action movie. In those situations, not only is the fire extinguisher absolutely useless when it comes to the job it was designed for, but it also becomes a handy melee weapon.

Seriously, though, instead of banning fire extinguishers, wouldn't it just be smarter to find ways to encourage people to use them responsibly and safely? Isn't this kind of like removing bandages from a first aid kit, because the wrappers that they're in might cause paper cuts?

Sometimes, it feels like we're a step away from banning food because it leads to obesity.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Blackest Friday

Generally, we like to find stories that have at least a little piece of humor to them. Unfortunately, a story from last Friday has left such a bad taste in our mouths, that we have to touch on it.

As just about everyone knows, the Friday after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Stores offer deep discounts and sales, and customers flock to said stores. It's gotten to the point where stores even open at ridiculously early hours to help bring in the sales.

And yet, sometimes the sales cause people to lose sight of what's important. A prime example of that happened in New York, when Wal-Mart customers trampled a temporary employee to death, which has even prompted a police investigation.

Seriously? Was that discount really so worthwhile that people not only knocked over other human beings to get to the DVD player, but then continued to step over (and on) those other individuals, even in the face of people trying to help them out? Will that shiny new TV really still look great in the living room, knowing that it may have caused injury and death just to get the savings? Have people truly become that blinded by commercialism and gathering more personal possessions that the welfare of others takes a backseat?

Honestly, while we are saddened that people were so blinded by saving a few bucks that they were literally willing to kill for the deal, we also find it hard to be completely surprised by it. These types of sales (and injuries) have been happening for years, and it was only a matter of time before things came to a head.

The saddest part of all of this? Even when the store announced that they were closing due to the injuries and death, people tried to get more shopping finished.

Maybe next year these stores will offer sales on basic humanity.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Legend- wait for it... crazy

Living in Minnesota, there are definite times that we'd like to distance ourselves from our local politicians. While we don't know who's moving in to the Senate, thanks to a state-mandated recount, we do know some of the people moving back into the House. And, well, when it comes to people like Representative Michele Bachmann, we'd like to be able to put a little distance. In fact, we'd often like to think of Bachmann as being something like Minnesota's very own Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster.

Well, recently, Bachmann pulled a step closer to that level. Remember just before the election, when she went on Hardball and started saying things about "anti-American sentiments"? Remember when she asked the media to look into those things?

No you don't. Not even if it was something you heard from a friend who's mother's hair dresser's son was watching it. Because, according to Bachmann, it's all an "urban legend".

Whew. Here we were thinking that she was trying to rekindle the fires of McCarthyism, when really, anyone thinking seriously that she really made those comments also probably believes other urban legends, and therefore doesn't ever mix PopRocks and soda. Well that's just ridiculously comforting to know.

Hey, wait a minute here. We've seen the footage. We've heard it delivered in Bachmann's own voice, complete with her pasted-on smile that says, "I don't have a clue what I'm saying, but I'm pretty sure it's setting back many social movements decades."

Guess we should be careful when travelling. Someone might want our kidneys, but be kind enough to leave us a note suggesting we call 911.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


We all have moments were art imitates life, and vice versa. We've all also had moments that seem really cool, and would work as short little vignettes of a film. By and large, though, most of life's moments are the kind where you're fairly glad that there isn't a camera trained on you twenty-four hours a day, because they just aren't that interesting.

Well, folks, that's where a new group of delusional psychiatric patients come into play. For them, life really is a movie. They believe that they are in a grand "Truman Show", with themselves playing the wacky Jim Carrey character.

In some ways, this could actually be somewhat comforting of a world view. Your candidate lost the election, or the economy is falling apart around you? Obviously the director wants to see you struggle through some global issues. Get fired from your job? It must be setting up a scene down the road, filled with emotion.

But, by the same token, it would be hard to look at the good things that happen without something of a cynical eye. Married the person of your dreams? They're simply scripted to love you. Did you win the lottery? Cue the comedic scene detailing you almost losing those riches, and learning a little bit about life along the way to recovering them.

And yet, while there are probably a few people in the conspiracy theory realm that believe more strongly that these events ARE somewhat pre-ordained, most of us see that there's simply no logic to life being like a movie. First off, it doesn't begin to explain the really weird things, like John Travolta's career or people's fascination with reality television. And secondly?

We're just confident that the Almighty doesn't wear a hat. It would mess up His hair.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gone to the dogs

We thought about a couple of news stories today, before landing on our winner. We were temporarily swayed by a list of the worst toys (due to potential to cause harm) only because of the inclusion of a set of plastic nunchucks on the list. However, a lot of the other toys made sense, so we backed away. Then we were lured in by the sweet promise of a potential "War on Thanksgiving" article. And yet we just couldn't find the heart to perpetuate another "holiday under attack" premise. But, thankfully, there was a glistening savior. A story that stood out above the rest.

A story of a woman constructing a $2M+ home. To her dogs' specifications.

We do understand, to an extent. After all, people love their pets, and often consider them almost like children. And it's not like the woman doesn't necessarily have the money, given that she's a surgeon (that's no guarantee that she has it, either, but she's got more chance than someone working at WalMart). It's really the fact that the entire home will be set up for the dogs that gets us.

Sure, automatic food and water dishes make great sense. Cameras to watch the pets when they're in another room even seems somewhat logical. But a saline bath specifically for them? Retinal scans to make sure that other dogs aren't sneaking in, through some sort of advanced canine identity theft procedure? That's where it seems excessive.

All we really hope, when all is said and done, is that the dogs are at least given a pet door so that they can come and go as they please. Either that, or train them how to use the toilet.

After all, we can't imagine how many newspapers would be required to cover that large of an estate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 17, 2008

We're closing in on a day full of food, so we've naturally got a few stories cooked up that apply somewhat. We also have some stuffing to sit around the meat, and some stories that don't work well at all into a food analogy. So let's get rolling.

Danger Danger Award
It seems like a story like this comes along every year around this time. But just for anyone that didn't know, deep-frying a turkey could be dangerous. Um, yeah, for the turkey. For people, deep-frying a turkey is just delicious. Right? You know, just so long as you actually understand how to work a deep fryer, and have experience with one other than making french fries at McDonald's.

The Commercials Made Me Do It Award
Speaking of McDonald's, we've apparently found the root cause of childhood obesity. It's certainly not a lack of emphasis on proper nutrition and exercise. It's the commercials. Okay, so maybe they aren't the root of the problem, but they're apparently a factor. Which begs the question, if we can't trust commercials when TV is raising our kids, then who can we trust?

She's So Fine Award
Remember that Janet Jackson incident from a few years ago at the Super Bowl? No? Really? Anyways, it turns out that, even though there was a court ruling claiming that the network couldn't be responsible for the bared breast (which wasn't actually bared, by the way), the federal government is asking the Supreme Court to slap down a fine anyways. Apparently GDub doesn't want to be the only boob that costs people money in the next few months.

Precognitive Costuming Award
It's a case of life imitating art, or, at least, life imitating a Halloween idea. A person who went dressed as an inmate was later arrested. He's now wishing that he'd dressed as either Ozzy Osbourne or a basketball player.

For the Birds Award
Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin took part in a traditional turkey pardon this week, as you can see here. Just don't tell the other turkeys behind her, being lined up for butchering. The turkey who was pardoned is planning to be Palin's running mate in 2012, on account of having more experience handling sensitive issues.

Thanks, Newsweek! Award
Any publication with the word "news" in it should be respectable, right? Okay, maybe it only applies when "news" is first. So that's why we're so thankful that Newsweek took the time away from reporting on the economy, world affairs, and the political transition to let us know about dangerous dips. Their editorial staff wasn't mentioned.

Token Toke Award
Who would've known it? Apparently, the Dutch aren't the biggest fans of "drug tourists", given the strain it puts on small towns and out-of-the-way places that aren't necessarily prepared to handle the higher traffic flow. If only there was some sort of chemical they could take to mellow out a bit.

And that wraps it up for this week. We'll see you all on the other side of the weekend. Stay safe out there!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A hot trail

Sometimes, we have to wonder about how perceptive people are. We're not talking about whether or not someone notices that another person got a hair cut, or even if they're driving a different car. We're talking more on a grand scale, like spotting a fight or noticing that a building has been knocked down.

Or, you know, that a box full of money you're carrying is smoking and leaking.

Well, maybe it's not so much a matter of perception as it is a matter of making the proper choices after noticing the events. After all, it's not like the Dublin man in the story didn't realize that the box was smoking, or that it was leaking ink all over the place. What he failed to realize was that he probably shouldn't have proceeded directly home before setting the smoking box onto a balcony to "air out".

And air out it did, simultaneously leading the police directly to his door. Admittedly, they had a good chance of knowing where he'd gone simply by following the dribbles of ink that marked his path, but the smoke in the air served to confirm their trail.

So what have we learned from all of this? We've learned to carry a bucket if we plan on stealing a box full of money. Oh, and weve learned that letting the smoke out off of a balcony may not be the best plan.

Although it's probably better than setting off the sprinkler system in your home. After all, water damage can get expensive.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Things not to do

Today, we found two different articles, both connected by one key idea. Namely, certain things that you probably shouldn't do. In one, it's a matter of public impressions. In the other, it's all about personal safety. And yet, avoiding either course of action would be helpful for everyone in the long run.

First off, when you're planning on asking for money, be careful about how you travel. That's something that the CEOs of the "big three" auto manufacturers could have remembered, as they decided to inform the federal government how badly they needed funds. The problem? They arrived in private jets, costing many millions of dollars themselves.

Now, this doesn't just apply to the wealthy, and it's a good rule of thumb. After all, few people are going to take the time to help out a "needy" person who looks like they're in better shape than most of the country. Of course, that hasn't stopped the government from ever stepping in to assist, so maybe the auto folks have the right idea.

Secondly, if you see someone wearing some sort of weapon as a necklace, maybe just let them say what they will. Especially if that weapon is a meat cleaver.

You know what? That first rule is helpful, but the second rule is much more important. Just keep that one in mind, and you should be fine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Make a splash

Sometimes, people need to relive aspects of their childhood. This could mean venturing to a playground, climbing into a ball pit, or playing in a mud puddle. Most of the time, engaging in these activities will run the risk of smelling urine, and that's about it.

However, a man in Australia decided to go the "extreme" route with his mud puddle dive, as he did it in the middle of a race. Oh, yeah, and he was naked at the time.

Luckily for the man, race organizers were able to stop the competition before the cars returned to the mud, but still, he definitely took an extra dose of stupidity in planning his events for the day. Now normally, an article like this might have escaped our attention completely. What sets this one apart? Why, it's that final sentence.

"Alcohol was believed to be a contributing factor."

Really? Seriously? You think that maybe the person who randomly took off their clothes during a race and then dove into a mud puddle in the middle of the track might have been influenced somewhat by drinking? Honestly, that's like saying that someone stopped at a McDonald's, and then claiming that hunger "was believed to be a contributing factor", or that someone took a shower because of dirt, or a desire to be clean.

Listen, unless someone is on a combination of more illegal drugs, if they ever decide to throw themselves in the middle of an in-use racetrack, it might just be a good idea to assume that alcohol was involved. Either that, or that they're incredibly stupid, with no regards to self-preservation.

You know, like being a Yankees fan in Boston.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Don't know much theology

According to the Bishop of Lancaster, there's a big problem running rampant through the Church right now. That problem?


That's right, folks. According to the big B, the more educated members of the Church are spreading "dissent and confusion" amongst the rest of the flock. After all, education and knowledge come imprinted with heavy doses of original sin, so it's only natural that they'd be working to dismantle religion.

Wait just a minute, here. Now, we're not the type to automatically assume that a strong religious base implies lesser intelligence or education. Far from it. Sure, before science and other developments were able to answer questions about why things were they way they were, the divine was often looked to as the reason. But just because those answers exist doesn't make the world any less divine. In fact, we'd even like to postulate that having more education could directly lead to MORE faith. Not saying that it's a guarantee either way, but there's always a chance.

Still, the way that the Bishop is phrasing his words, it almost sounds as if he'd prefer to have a church full of mouth breathers who barely graduated high school. Naturally, part of the job of the leaders of the Church would be to bring more people into the flock, but with people globally having access to more and better education, why would he cast aside those who have pursued learning?

You know, unless he wants to have the shiniest robes AND be the smartest person in the building.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 10, 2008

Ah. Do you smell that, America? We're over a week past the election, and we can finally breathe clearly, knowing that it's going to be awhile before we hear any more campaigning. Unless, of course, you live in Alaska. Or Georgia. Or Minnesota. Or any state that has people jumping the gun to get the next campaign started. Oh well, it was a beautiful moment while it lasted. On to the awards, then.

A Lasting Legacy Award
As it turns out, GDub may actually have something positive to leave behind when he ends his term of office. In the future world leaders may actually govern a bit more thoughtfully, not wanting to "end up like Bush". It's already happened with Russia's Vladimir Putin. If this continues, children may be told to finish their vegetables to keep the Bushieman from visiting them at night.

He's Too Drunk, I'll Drive Occifer Award
It's not often that the police get to make two DWIs at one traffic stop. And yet, when the drunk passenger decided to move into the driver's seat and start going while the original driver was being given a field sobriety test, the police were able to achieve a rare double. Police are now hoping to get the incredibly rare octuple, which requires a drunk driver in a clown car.

Shaken Up Award
It was only a matter of time before we finally saw one of these. A Mississippi man has invented the first vibrating toilet seat. Right, because men need another excuse as to why they miss the bowl in the morning.

An Odd Complaint Award
Some things, people really shouldn't complain about. Whether or not they actually got sesame seeds on their Big Mac. If their pizza had a few too many pieces of pepperoni (actually, this complaint is acceptable if you didn't order a pepperoni pizza). Whether or not a bank had empty cash drawers when you went to rob them. Later, the robber went on to complain that Taco Bell didn't have any hamburgers.

My Eyes! Award
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This particular picture is worth eye bleach.

Saw It Coming Award
A UK couple is currently in the middle of a divorce. Why? Well, after meeting online, the wife found out that the husband has been cheating on her. Online. With other pixellated floozies. As part of the settlement, the wife is expecting to be given some mad l00tz with which to pwn n00bz.

Cured? Award
There's a legitimate chance that an AIDS patient may have been cured with a targeted bone marrow treatment, one generally reserved for leukemia patients. We have absolutely nothing snarky to say about that... we actually think it's pretty darned cool.

And on that uplifting note, that brings us to the end of our awards for this week. We'll see you next week. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Party proceedings

Just when we thought that the world was in some sort of economic (and potentially, social) free-fall, something that only world governments could step in and help with, it's nice to know that at least Sweden thinks everything is well in hand. In fact, the Swedish are so confident that members of their parliament decided to weigh in on the case of a school and a child's birthday party.

Yes, you read that right. Now, after eight years of GDub, maybe it's not uncommon to think of government and children being linked. But keep in mind that this Swedish case did not directly involve any of the children of the politicians. The real problem, according to the school at least, was that the child neglected to invite all of his classmates.

Well, obviously that's a huge problem. The mere fact that he had the gall to leave two of the other students off his list, one who had not invited him earlier and the second who had been a bully, just shows the overall lack of disdain the student obviously had. Nevermind that he was turning 8. Oh, and keep in mind that the school has an "unwritten policy that either all children, or all the boys, or all the girls in a class, had to be invited to parties when invitations were handed out at school."

But thank goodness parliamentary officials were able to step in, and to properly scold the school for confiscating the invitations. It's nice to know that with the growing global crises, in Sweden, they're still looking out for the (very) little man. Which is fair, especially for a country so plentiful with both blondes and moose.

After all, my sister was bit by a moose once....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Check next time

We really thought that this went without saying, but maybe, when accusing someone of giving you a disease, make sure that they actually could have transmitted it. Especially if the disease in question is sexually transmitted. And be beyond certain when they're you're wife.

Otherwise, you could be making a huge mistake.

A Manhattan lawyer is learning that lesson now after having accused his wife of cheating on him, giving him grounds for divorce. His proof, or so he thought, was the strain of herpes that he'd picked up, supposedly from her. Given that herpes isn't really something that goes away on its own, the lawyer had to feel confident.

That is, until his now-estranged wife visited a doctor and was her tests for the disease came back negative. Um... oops. So either she found a way to be one of very few people throughout history to completely rid themselves of this mostly incurable disease, or maybe the lawyer caught the herpes from another place.

Oddly enough, this should still give grounds for the divorce, but we can't see this going well for the lawyer at this point. Of course, it's entirely possible that he was lying about the disease in the first place, and, really, that's probably the best he could hope for.

So, seriously folks, next time, double check before making accusations. It's just less embarrassing in the long run.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hard to tell

A definite mark of shame for a museum would be the improper displaying of an art piece. Of course, with most art, it's often very easy to determine the proper setting for it. Some pieces enter into the realm of "confusing", making it more difficult for the curator to determine the intention. That's a time when the museums and art historians can look for clues within the piece itself showing how it was meant to be displayed.

This is all well and good, provided that you aren't looking at the works of Mark Rothko being displayed at the Tate Modern in London. See, Rothko was a modern artist, which meant that his pieces could also theoretically have been painted by a five-year-old with some good color theory. And, well, it seems that the Tate has been hanging some of his pieces the wrong way.

One of the pieces in question is a dark canvas, with two bars painted on it in a contrasting color. Currently, the bars are vertical, but it seems as though the proper way to hang the painting would be with the bars running horizontal. We know, it's tragic. Besides, as any fool could easily see, the horizontal bars carry deep meaning about the separation between man and the divine, while the vertical bars are little better than a knock-knock joke.

Alright, honestly, we could see how the mistake was made. And sure, Rothko's signature could have been an indication, but, as the article itself even says, the artist seems to have changed his mind about the intended orientation while creating the work. And again, this is modern art we're talking about. It's not like they weren't able to notice a church being stolen, one brick at a time.

That's been happening in Russia.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heavy lifting done

Where oh where would we be without Florida? We wouldn't have the "dimpled chad", we'd probably have less citrus fruit, and we wouldn't look like we were always peeing on Cuba. But, by having Florida, we don't just get the good stuff we've mentioned above. Sure, while some people may think that locating a good portion of the nation's elderly in a hurricane bulls-eye seems like a good idea, others may think that trying to play ice hockey that far south seems a little bizarre.

But let's put all of that aside for a moment, and thank Florida for something recent. Specifically, a story published by the St. Petersburg Times, where readers were able to get how-to tips on a very important subject. That subject? Reading aloud to your kids.

Yes, folks, we're being serious about that. They put together an article giving parents advice on exactly how to go about reading to their kids. While we aren't parents ourselves, we thought that doing something like that wouldn't involve a log of rigorous training. We kind of assumed that rules were simple. One, get child. Two, find age-appropriate book. Three, read book to child. Well, thanks to St. Petersburg Times, we now know that there's a lot more involved in the process.

We're just waiting for their next hard-hitting expose. We understand that they're putting together a fantastic "How to Drink Water" story for next week.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of November 3, 2008

What a week this has been. Especially with the results of Tuesday night leading to spontaneous outbursts of rainbows, puppies, and shining sun throughout the world. What? That didn't happen? Hmm... maybe this "Change" thing isn't making the world into a Disney movie. For further proof, let's get rolling with our awards, shall we?

Clothes Call Award
Remember all of those clothes that the Republicans bought for Sarah Palin when she was asked to run along with John McCain? Turns out, now the GOP is sending lawyers to get the clothes back. While we also have heard that she likes to great reporters wearing only a towel, we're just not sure what she'll wear when she runs for President in 2009.

Forgetful Award
Let's say that you're planning something big. Now let's say that, part way through your plan, you forget a key element. That's what happened to a thief in Indiana, who, after robbing a gas station, left the money behind. The policing are hoping that now the suspect will conveniently forget to evade capture, while still remembering to wear pants.

Don't Chop Me, Bro Award
After being arrested for driving on a revoked license, a Kitsap County man countered with a strange admission. Looking at the police, he proceeded to tell them that he was versed in the ancient art of karate. The police, unimpressed, proved that they were versed in the ancient art of "arrest the crazy person", shortly before the man could demonstrate his technique of "Wax Off".

The Tragedy of Others Award
According to a recent study, part of the reason why bullies exist may be due to some people actually deriving pleasure from other people's pain. No word yet on whether simply open mocking and heavy use of sarcasm can lead to the same things.

Obama Mamas Award
It's entirely possible, given the results of Tuesday night, that there may be something of a baby boom coming down the corner. At least, that's what a Huffington Post writer postulates. Because, after all, this year's election was just so sexy that people can't keep their hands off of each other. Thank you, Obama, for ensuring that procreation will still happen (thereby, ironically, providing VPCheney with a restocked food supply).

Billy Goat Mower Award
In another sweeping move by Science, a recent study in Canada indicates that some smaller towns could benefit from doing something instead of using herbicides and lawn mowers. Instead, they suggest raising goats to help keep weeds under control. Canada is now researching bridges, and exactly how to get trolls to live under them.

Live-Blogging the Trial Award
According to the English Lord Chief Justice, the younger and more web-savvy a potential juror is, the less likely that they'd be a good candidate. Apparently, he said something about jurors not really listening, but we were too busy surfing the 'net to pay closer attention. Besides, thanks to episodes of Law & Order, we know that all trials end in under an hour.

And that wraps up our awards for this historic week. We'll be back next week, as we start to inch towards Turkey Day, and the benefits that go along with it (namely, turkey). Stay safe out there.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Get your tickets here

Alright. We like to make fun of Canada, but, in all honesty, we currently live in the state that, if it got annexed by our neighbors to the north, things wouldn't change too drastically. Well, sure, on a governmental level, but not necessarily within the mindset of the people. After all, there's a certain symbiosis when you live through long, cold, bitter winters all your life. Besides, we refer to ourselves sometimes as the state of a certain Canadian sport.

Still, maybe it's because of the cold, but it seems that some people in Canada are just now getting familiar with the existence of ticket scalpers. More specifically, they're getting used to the notion that maybe some of the scalpers aren't the most upstanding people.

We're shocked, too. Shocked that people continue to assume that scalpers are really doing it because they just happened to have a few extra tickets, and they want to make sure that others can attend the specific event. After all, why would people attempt to make money off of the goodwill (and/or hope) of others? We'll be able to answer that question when we get our return emails from Nigeria.

Listen. If you want to get tickets that someone has left over and not get charged more than face value, that's when you need to hope that one of your friends got tickets and someone cancelled last minute. Otherwise, for the "convenience" of being able to purchase tickets through a reseller, or from a street corner, you need to expect that you'll be paying more than what they did. It's a simple rule of the economy, where people want to see profits, not losses. Does this automatically lead to scams? No, but throw in the anonymity of the internet, and you've increased the likelihood.

But enough about that. Does anybody want tickets to see Neil Young?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Don't know much about history

Today, it's time to drop a pretense. It'll probably only be dropped for today, so tomorrow, things should be back to normal. And it is all in light of what happened yesterday. For the first time, in the couple of years of this blogs existence, it seems important to speak personally, without the conceit of their being multiple people writing it. It's just me, and, for today, that's enough.

So, last night, as the world as a whole knows, the American people elected a new President. During the campaign, I've tried to point out foibles and mistakes by both sides, but, throughout it all, it was hard to deny that we were approaching a historic moment. Either way, America was going to see it's first "minority" (and I'm using the term somewhat loosely) in one of the highest seats in the land. In the red corner, we had Sarah Palin, almost assuredly unqualified, but still the first woman with a real shot at becoming VP (and, let's face it, with McCain's health issues, President). In the blue corner, the first legitimate African American candidate for President, Barack Obama.

Now, everyone knows what the outcome of the election was. And, honestly, everyone knew what that outcome was going to be for quite some time. That doesn't detract for the history that was made. It doesn't change the fact that, for America, for one election at least color and gender were no longer barriers to leading the country. Yesterday's election is something we can leave for the children, as something positive to move forward.

Now, do I believe that the Messiah was elected POTUS last night? No. After all, Jesus never really wanted the job he got, and it became abundantly clear over the last year or so that Obama desperately did. While he may be coming from a place of hope and change, and wanting to fix what's wrong, he still wanted the power. And he's got a long road ahead of him. For proof of that, just look at how he fared in the South.

Also, do I believe that the country would be destined for absolute destruction had McCain/Palin won the election? Again, no. While the President does have a lot of power, no one person can cause either total collapse or complete recovery, even if GDub seemed to try. In fact, it may even have been more beneficial for the GOP to win, providing some semblance of a balance of power. After all, while John McCain has often sided with GDub, and Sarah Palin made it clear in interviews that she sided with whoever would get her more spotlight time, McCain is also known for reaching across the aisle and working on compromise. Hopefully Obama will take that same spirit.

One thing that I honestly hope we don't pass to future generations is the negativity that we all had to deal with during the campaign. Far too often, instead of the candidates explaining what they would do to help the people, they spent time pointing out what their opponent would do to hurt the people. Unfortunately, it does feel like we're only at the tip of the iceberg for that type of campaigning.

Either way, and putting personal politics aside, last night was a historic moment. For the first time in history, a black man and a woman squared off for the White House with legitimate chances to take office. Somewhere, a barrier fell, and a glass ceiling shattered. For Obama and Palin to both be on the precipice of history was a tremendous moment, and one that could (and possibly should) define a generation.

And now it's time to put down the pitchforks, the attacks, and the slanders, and get to the business of governing. It's time to take a historical moment and take advantage of the opportunity provided. It's time to lead, whether you won or lost the election.

The time is now. Don't screw it up.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Turn left at the nipple

Here we sit, Election Day in America, and we're going to be able to extricate ourselves from the endless speculation, exit poll tallying, and bickering over what's going on in our country. Why are we able to do that? Because, thanks to news from across the pond, we've found something more appealing than trying to handicap something that won't be determined for another 7 hours, at least.

But just what is it that we've found more appealing? Simple. It's lingerie fitted with a GPS system.

Now, in spite of today's title, it won't help those guys who are clueless in bed. And, in spite of what (according to the article) feminists the world over are saying, it won't work as a long-distance modern-day chastity belt. What it is meant to do, however, is to be like a distance game of hide-and-seek, where the woman wearing the tracking lingerie would be able to head to a steamy location, with the hopes that her partner of choice uses his TomTom to find her. Oh, and if she ever decides that she wants to get away for some quiet alone time, the owner of the lingerie has the ability to turn off the device.

In many ways, this is the next logical step in today's increasingly high-tech world. And yet, we have to wonder where some of the quiet simplicity has gone. Sure, it could be fun to track your girlfriend down using a GPS device. And sure, it could be amusing to see how long it takes for your lover to find just which seedy motel or secluded park you've chosen for a little late night rendezvous. But there's something to be said for finding those locations together, and not needing any sort of mechanical assistance.

Besides, as we all know, there's no place in a romantic relationship for tools. Well, not without being open-minded.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama Christ Superstar

Now that we're a mere day away from the election, it only makes sense that newspapers would start running more and more sensational stories about the candidates. After all, we've only been having them force-fed to us for the last couple of years. If we didn't get another big story soon, we might forget that there's an election coming up.

Which is why we're not horribly surprised to see a story that ties in the current global economic crisis, climate change, and the presumed rise of Barack Obama to the presidency as indications of the coming Judeo-Christian Apocalypse (which would be a kicking name for a metal band, by the way). That's right, folks. According to a group who've been following the signs for the Rapture, it may just be coming at some point near in the future. Or it could take a while. But we should be ready now.

Whatever your particular religious stance, there's a lot to gain from this article. Everybody can learn something. For example, we learned a little something from the quote attributed to one of the Left Behind authors, who stated that, "The Bible makes it clear (the Antichrist) will be from an obscure place, like Romania".

Well that's a huge burden off of our shoulders. And here we were, trying to figure out (aside from those ten rules on stone) where the Bible was clear. Meanwhile, for all of you living in Romania? We apologize in advance. Just saying.

So go out and vote tomorrow. In the meantime, we'll be studying a globe, looking for places even more obscure than Romania. We're looking at you, Botswana.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of October 27, 2008

Welcome back, folks. Here we are, mere days away from the election, and we're still awaiting our October Surprise. Of course, at this point, it may be a November Surprise, but that suits us just fine. The November Surprise comes with whipped cream and a cherry. And now, on to our awards.

Combating Fear Award
Some people are afraid of spiders. Others are afraid of clowns. And some, like this guy, are afraid of being buried alive. Of course, not everyone builds themselves a custom tomb to help out in just such a situation. Next up? Taking on the fear of heights by encouraging people to build their own skyscrapers.

Well, Crap Award
Turns out, not even having diarrhea is a good enough excuse for speeding. That's according to a court in Sweden, who stated that only emergencies give just cause for going above the speed limit. Apparently, ruining a perfectly good pair of pants just doesn't make Sweden's list of "emergencies".

A Champion Shall Fall? Award
It takes chutzpah to declare yourself a "champion of the people" when under 15 percent of your state approves of the job your doing. It takes even more chutzpah to declare that you're proud to be getting your "ass kicked" for those same people. By that line of thinking, Carrot Top is, and always will be, the champion of our particular corner of the world.

Naked Bowling Award
Alright, so it wasn't actual naked bowling that got an Iowa business man into trouble. It was naked beer slides on the bowling lanes. However, the owner is allowed to keep his liquor license, in large part due to the fact that bowling without drinking gets boring after a frame or two. No word on whether the naked beer slides still included gutter balls...

Sin Here Often? Award
In a prime example of "doing it wrong", we look in on a priest from Queens who decided to use his confessional booth as a pick-up location. First sign that you might be at the wrong parish? When you say, "Forgive me father", his response is "Sure. The absolution is on the nightstand."

Follicle Follies Award
In continuing efforts to find the silliest things to research, a new survey has been released stating that men prefer to date blondes, but to marry brunettes. Interestingly enough, Guy Ritchie and Alex Rodriguez were used as the control group for this particular survey.

Trick or Trick Award
Being that it's Halloween, we would be remiss if we didn't have some sort of holiday-themed story. Of course, being that this is the CSM, we'd also be remiss if we just mentioned candy or decorations or costumes. So we instead look at the state of Maryland, and the signs that they are requiring sex offenders post at their homes, to keep children away. Earlier this week, the state decided to change their signs, which had previously included the words, "No Candy at this Residence" and a jack-o-lantern. The new signs? No pumpkin. And problem solved!

That wraps up our awards for this week. We'll be back next week, inevitably to discuss the fall-out from the election on Tuesday, and the beginnings of the recount on Wednesday. Oops... we should have said "spoiler alert". Stay safe out there.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally, election news that makes sense

Alright. Yesterday we talked about one big endorsement that had come in for Republican John McCain. Well, it looks like another big one has come through, and this could spell the end of the Obama campaign.

After all, it's hard to keep going when the aliens are siding with your opponent.

Yes, we know that this is a story written for the always questionable Weekly World News, but we have to admit that it's finally something about the election that's gotten our interest.

Of course, we're also confident that Obama is currently holding onto the endorsement of Bigfoot. When it comes to mythical creatures, it's nice to know that the candidates are dead even.

Looks like it's going to come down to Bat Boy, yet again. Isn't that always the way?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


As we draw ever closer to the election, we've been waiting with baited breath to see which candidate gets some of the major endorsements that have been lingering out there. A big one came in recently, and the nation as a whole can breathe a sign of relief.

No, we're not talking about the endorsement by Colin Powell. That's old news. We're talking about the recent endorsement picked up by the McCain/Palin campaign.

You know, from "Joe the Plumber".

Well thank goodness we can finally know who he was supporting. After all, we were still confused about where his loyalties were lying. But now we can put those doubts and concerns to bed.

Wait. How on earth is this news? Seriously, how did it get to become a major endorsement? The guy isn't a politician, or a well-known public figure. His last name isn't even "Plumber". He's just a guy who asked some questions of the candidates, and got thrust into the spotlight because McCain wanted to seem more populist than he is (after all, he feels the pain you do regarding mortgages, except he feels it seven times more strongly). And now some average guy who accidentally found his way into national attention is being asked about his endorsement, and it's being reported like real news.

Listen, if "Joe the Plumber" really deserved our attention, he would have whored himself out on a reality television show by now. Although maybe that's coming just down the road. What's next, a headline screaming, "Random Blogger Decries Importance of 'Plumber' Endorsement"?

Yeah, because that will narrow it down.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not thirsty


You hear that, folks? That was a sigh of relief. And you may ask yourself, why are we sighing in relief (you may also ask yourself, "Where does that highway go to?")?

Easy. According to the TSA, we might finally be able to bring liquids bigger than 3 oz. onto the plane with us again in the next year or so.

That's right. Our long, dehydrated nightmare may finally be coming to a close. Long have we wished that we could just stash a full-sized tooth of toothpaste into our carry-on bag for a three-day trip. We've practically begged for the ability to haul a gallon or two of water with us. And don't even get us started on our hair spray. And now, we might be seeing a time come where all of those options are once again open to us.

Even better, there's a side bonus to this easing of restrictions. Airline security is even going so far as to guess that possibly having fewer restrictions on what people can and can't bring on the planes might speed up lines through the checkpoints. Do you hear that, America? That's the sound of passengers rushing from a crawl to a slow walk as they hope that they can find their gate before the plane boards. Finally, airline passengers will be able to feel a slight self-generated breeze ruffling their hair (for better results, stand near a fan).

Why, we're in such a good mood, that we can't even make fun of the fact that politicians are encouraging one of their own to resign, since he was recently convicted of violating federal ethics laws. Sure, we could mock them all for waiting until after the verdict was returned, but, darnit, we're going to be able to bring liquids onto planes again.

Happy day indeed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Money well spent

Boy, it's a good thing that there isn't some sort of a global economic crisis going on right now. We only say that because, if there was some sort of problem like that, it might make our story seem a whole heck of a lot worse. After all, people get a little antsy no matter what the financial climate when they see any large expenditure of money by local governments.

And this time, it's all about the image. Specifically, the image that the Norfolk Constabulary uses to promote their crime prevention efforts in the UK. And, well, at the price tag of 35,000 pounds, it's hard not to argue.

Especially when the image is different largely in coloration only.

Well that's just a relief. Honestly, we were quite afraid that they were going to remove the comfortable star-and-crown motif that we would have come to recognize as the symbol of the Norfolk Constabulary, if only we lived anywhere near where they patrolled. And when we think about that 3,000 pounds used to create the new design, we're just impressed.

Impressed that anyone could command that sort of money for tracing something previously created and applying a new palate to it. Of course, that style of artistry isn't unheard of, but we're fairly certain that Andy Warhol had nothing to do with the new Norfolk shield.

But before we get too bent out of shape, we need to realize that the new logo will also include the phrase, "Our priority is you". That's a nice sentiment, even if the priority really did seem to be a misappropriation of funds to color in an old picture.

Heck, even Ted Turner got in trouble when he did it. Why should Norfolk be any different?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Coffee-soaked Awards - Week of October 20, 2008

Blah blah blah insert something witty here blah blah.

Sorry... we're a little run-down. This whole election thing is just getting to us. Only a couple of weeks to go before we have to deal with recounts and one party complaining about the outcome. Anyways, on to our awards!

Sometimes It's Just Bad Award
Newt Gingrich, former Republican powerhouse, and current crazy person, has apparently decided that Sarah Palin can't be the only politician getting mileage out of Saturday Night Live. Earlier this week, Gingrich called the sketch comedy show "slander" and said that it was worthy of being sued, proving that Gingrich doesn't understand the difference between slander and farce. Meanwhile, the careers of Dana Carvey, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, Joe Piscopo, Cheri Oteri, and Victoria Jackson couldn't be found for comment.

Burn, Dude, Burn Award
What would you do if your significant other didn't stop strangers from looking at you in a potentially sexual way? If you said "douse them in gasoline and light them on fire," you may be a recently convicted Michigan woman. We all know that she thought he was hot, but this is ridiculous.

Go Outside Award
Just a quick tip for anyone planning on huffing aerosol fumes. Seriously, people, do it outside, and definitely don't light a cigarette shortly afterwards. Oh, and no one is allowed to touch you in your bathing suit area without your permission. We now return you to your regularly scheduled awards.

Must Be From All That Reading Award
Earlier this week, John McCain and Sarah Palin were interviewed by Brian Williams of NBC News. One question he asked was regarding domestic terrorism, and whether abortion bombers qualify. Palin, proving that she's read things handed to her, answered the question by talking about William Ayers. McCain, proving that he's read things handed to him, ordered a cup of coffee and a slice of blueberry pie.

Pinching the Pint Award
It looks like Britain may be about to follow Australia when it comes to servings of beer. Floating somewhere between a half and a full pint, the "schooner" has taken root in Australia, and it may be appearing soon at English pubs. To combat this, Germany has unveiled the UltraStein, which is just an above-ground swimming pool filled with beer. It also comes with a beer chaser.

Isn't It Ironic, Don't You Think Award
A city in Canada may be about to put their foot down when it comes to a menace terrorizing front yards. That menace? The ever-present hockey net. No mention of whether or not curling will still be encouraged as soon as the streets ice over. It really is like a free ride when you've already paid (minor mention because, well, Alanis is Canadian. See how we tied that together?)

Since I'm Already Here Award
A Vermont man had been taken to the police station under suspicion of having committed theft. So, while he's at the station, he decides to steal something off of the police bulletin board. The thief may have just wanted to save the cops on gas money. But wait until you see his disappearing pencil trick.

And that does if for our awards this week. We'll be back next week, looking ever more paranoid. But that's just because we'll be spending next Friday running from gangs of children who want their candy back. Stay safe out there.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It's a sad story, but one that's been seen time and time again. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. There's a wedding, and, over time, boy and girl start falling out of love, so they get a divorce. Girl takes the concept of divorce badly, and makes the decision to exact vengeance on boy. Girl tracks boy down and commits murder. We wish that such a story would never happen, but it does pop up from time to time, and it just recently did again in Japan.

Except for the key detail that the two were married online, and she killed his avatar.

That's right, folks. She got so distraught over the concept of her online (read: totally fake) marriage falling apart that she decided to remove from the equation the thing that was causing her such pain. That thing, for those curious, was a collection of pixels on an MMORPG. And now, because of it, the woman is in jail, awaiting charges.

Naturally, this could be seen as yet another reason for people to avoid online gaming. Sure, you might be able to run around a lush, virtual world, casting yourself as the hero in a global conflict, but you might meet a crazy person that wants to get compu-hitched. Next thing you know, you're sharing LAN cables, have a separate teamspeak set up for the person in question, and spend all of your time trying to craft them a perfect piece of jewelry. Then they decide that they want to leave you for that awesome character with all of the awesome equipment, and you never see them again. Obviously the only recourse is to log into their account and have their avatar commit suicide, preferably in a grotesque fashion.

Or, you know, you could meet people in the real world. Just think of it as the most realistic MMO ever.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spend, baby, spend

Maybe it's just us, but it seems like, right now, some of the high-profile Republicans are watching their party implode around them. From John McCain possibly already abandoning states to Barak Obama, to Michele Bachmann talking about "anti-American" sentiments in Congress (but it was just a media trap, and she certainly didn't mean it if she did say it), the GOP is definitely having a rough time. Thank heavens they're being fiscally conservative, and are dealing smartly with the current economic turmoil.

Well, just so long as you don't look at the money spent by the party on making sure that Sarah Palin and family look good for the cameras. And it just goes to prove that not even $150,000 in clothes can make someone seem more qualified.

Yes, you read that correctly. And, if you're like us, you're a little upset by this. Of course, the GOP is attempting to downplay the whole thing, pointing out (and rightly) that there are more important issues facing this country than the dollar value of the clothes for their candidates. The only problem is that they're expecting us to completely ignore the furor raised over a $400 haircut by John Edwards during the primaries for the Democrats. Oh, wait, he didn't visit his barber during a recession.

Now we're not going to say that the Republicans are the only ones that play this game of double standards. After all, the Democrats are pouncing on the comments made by Bachmann, but seem to be trying to sweep under the rug comments made by Jack Murtha as being merely a mistake, and not that big of a deal. Sure, saying that members of Congress may be anti-America is bad, but so is calling half of your state racist and/or rednecks.

Of course, we've got an idea for this whole mess, but we doubt it would be followed. First and foremost, force the candidates to dress themselves, on their own dollar. And secondly, instead of toeing a double standard within the parties, how about we take time to actually address the issues that pop up fairly on both sides of the aisle.

Or is that just too radical of a concept?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sometimes, people break into houses just to avoid inclement weather. Other times, they do it because it's their own home, and they lost their keys. Still other people do it because they heard that it would be a great place to host a party. You know, the kind of party where you invite twenty of your closest friends and, by the end of it, over 200 people, a llama, a rock band (complete with their own stage) and the police have arrived. The kind of party someone can only have when their parents are out of town. And yes, there are a good portion of people who break into house (to get ourselves back on track) simply because they're fairly certain that the people who live there have nice stuff, and they themselves would like some of that stuff.

But it's definitely not common for someone to break into a house so they can charge their cell phone.

Apparently, though, that's exactly what happened. We can't really understand the scenario that might lead to such a decision, but we're sure it made a lot of sense to the culprit at the time. Was it that he was maybe waiting for a call from a significant other, and realized that he only had one battery bar left? Was he trying to win tickets from his local radio station, and knew that, if he didn't charge his phone, there was no way he'd be able to be caller number fourteen? Was he maybe just really really high at the time, and thought that his cell phone was a magic toaster oven that might provide him with a freshly-warmed bagel?

Of course, it's possible that he had just run down his phone's battery by answering calls from political parties. If that's the case, then we think he might have been justified at least a little in his actions.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A wee nip

We understand. Sometimes people engage in hard work, and there's nothing more rewarding than a cold, frosty beverage as a special treat on a break. It's a great feeling to be able to step away from the job, put your feet up, and quench your thirst.

While most jobs give you scheduled breaks throughout your time on the job, one place that you might benefit from working all the way through would be in the middle of a crime. Just ask the California man who was arrested for breaking into a liquor store, all because he was found drinking in the store's walk-in cooler.

Really, we're sure he was thirsty, and the beer he consumed probably felt great going down, but there are just wiser times to do these things. Heck, taking a break in the middle of a robbery is probably pretty similar to suspending your campaign in an economic crisis. Sure, it seems like a good idea at the time, but all it's bound to do is damage your long-term chances.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Coffee-Soaked Awards - Week of October 13, 2008

Alright. Before we get too deeply into this post, we just have something to say. A deep breath. Okay. Okay, we're ready.

Joe the Plumber. Joe the Plumber Joe the Plumber JoethePlumberaaaaugh!!!!

Whew. Now that we've got that out of our systems, let's move on to the awards, shall we? We already feel a little more presidential.

Smelling Space Award
Since we haven't been able to send a manned mission to the moon for decades, it only makes sense that NASA would try a new foray into their research. That foray? Trying to find someone to recreate the smell of outer space. The next step? Finding a Febreeze strong enough to purify even the uncharted reaches of space. It will first be tested in high school locker rooms.

Dangerous? Really? Award
We have to give a nod to the CDC. Thanks to them, we now know that car-surfing may not just be a fun past time. In fact, it might be dangerous. The CDC is now looking into picking a fight with a Hells Angel and skydiving without a parachute.

Squeak Award
A man from Auckland now faces community service for cruelty to a mouse. Apparently, the mouse was retrieved from a woman's cleavage, and then the man proceeded to kill it while pretending to eat it. Minnie couldn't be reached for comment, but sources close to the deceased mouse claim that he always enjoyed cleavage.

Smashing Pumpkins Award
David Letterman has made a big of a history for himself out of smashing pumpkins from outside of his show. Now he's angling to blow up a pumpkin weighing in at almost 3/4 of a ton. Letterman originally went for a second-place pumpkin, but the owner declined, forcing him to move on to the champion, or "pumpking", as it were. If only Billy Corgan could be the musical guest that night...

Monkeying Around Award
When told by a court commissioner that you aren't allowed to keep a pet monkey, don't try to fool them by staging a photo that shows them having been relocated to Mexico. Especially when you live near a large Hispanic community, such as Los Angeles. Oddly enough, in at least one of the photos, the monkey has an expression saying, "THIS is your best plan?"

Joe the Plumb-DANGIT!!!

Mother-Daughter Day Award
Some parents go the extra mile for their children. A California mother did just that, by driving her 12-year-old daughter to a park so that she could fight with another student. But that's not all. When it became clear her daughter was losing, the mother stepped in to help out. Because the first rule of School Fight Club is "Don't talk about School Fight Club", and the seventh rule is "Bring a bigger parent."

Fake Arrest Award
Sometimes, people can get away with portraying police officers. By sometimes, we mean when they have been cast as a cop, or possibly when they are stripping for a party. One time that you definitely can't get away with pretending to be a cop is when you pull over your neighbor at a traffic stop. On the plus side, the fake cop was merely giving warnings to people, as opposed to writing tickets. The first tip that the man was a fake cop? There was no doughnut dust on his shirt.

And that wraps up our awards for this week. We've just got to end it before, like John McCain and Barack Obama before us, we find ourselves referring to a random name and occupation like it's going to save the campaign. Besides, "Bertram the Janitor" just doesn't have the same ring. Stay safe out there.