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.