Now gluten-free!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Celebrate Christmas and 'Star Wars' with this Darth Vader Yule log video

I thought Nick Offerman's Yule log video was the best Yule log video ever. Now, I'm not so sure. With the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Christmas within a week of each other, this just might be the best Yule log video ever. Either way, enjoy!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Nick Offerman's Yule log video is the best Yule log video in the history of Yule log videos

There are countless Yule log videos out there, but only one features Nick Offerman sitting in silence with a glass of whisky next to a crackling fire. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Video conference call in real life

So true.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My take on the Starbucks "controversy": It's entirely fabricated

My conspiracy theory for the week: The Starbucks red cup "controversy" is entirely fabricated. Aside from Joshua Feuerstein (a guy no one had even heard of until this thing got started, and who I'm not entirely convinced isn't a character created by comedian Kevin James), not one professing Christian has complained about Starbucks. The only complaints I have seen are from those complaining about those who are complaining...who don't even exist. It's like starting a nationwide protest campaign aimed at unicorn poachers. You gotta love social media.

It is often said that any publicity is good publicity. And if New Coke worked for Coca-Cola in 1985, "anti-Christmas" cups will work for Starbucks in 2015.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Christopher Walken reads 'The Raven'

I thought this seemed fitting, being so close to Halloween. And seriously, who better to read Edgar Allen Poe's classic poem than Christopher Walken? This track is from the 1997 recording Closed on Account of Rabies: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The perfect cocktails to serve during the Democratic debate

These wonderfully appropriate cocktail recipes are courtesy of Actually, tipping back a few cocktails is probably the best way to make it through tonight's debate.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Super-fast camera can capture the movement of light

Photography is a field that has seen quite a few advancements since the very first camera photo was taken nearly two centuries ago. But nothing is quite as impressive as this high-speed camera developed (no pun intended) at MIT. At 1,000,000,000 (yes, that's one trillion) frames per second, it is so fast that it can actually capture light as it travels. Check it out:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

British police: 'Turn in your knife, surrender your life.' Or something like that.

Six years ago, I made note of an interesting story from Great Britain about an "anti-stab" knife invented by industrial designer John Cornock. His line of knives, aptly named New Point, was inspired by a report about the life-threatening knife injuries doctors had to deal with every day.

Unfortunately, Mr. Cornock's potentially life-saving design hasn't caught on fast enough. Last year, police in Lancashire took a more drastic approach, starting an amnesty campaign designed to get Brits to turn in their more lethal, pointy knives.

It's a rather simple concept, much like the gun buyback scams perpetrated here in the U.S. Lancashire's law-abiding residents simply deposit their blades into designated "amnesty bins" conveniently located at various police stations across the county, and knife crime magically disappears.

Labour Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw funded this brilliant program. "No-one should live in fear of knives being used in their community," he said (presumably in a snooty, condescending tone), "and I hope anyone in possession of an offensive weapon will use this opportunity to protect both themselves and those around them, by handing it in."

The amnesty program is still in effect, and the Lancashire Constabulary wants to reassure those who might be afraid of knife-wielding maniacs:
Don't be a victim

If you feel you are in immediate danger from knife crime there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself:
  • Move away from the situation towards a public place (shop, house, restaurant etc.) as quickly as possible.
  • Make as much noise as you can.
  • Instead of carrying a knife, carry a personal alarm.
  • Don't fight back.
And, above all, don't even think about bringing a gun to a knife fight. This is Great Britain. If you want the right to defend yourself, move to America.

Similar programs have since sprouted up all across the U.K. The result? As of this past July, knife crime has gone up for the first time in four years. A 2% rise in all knife offenses has been reported, along with a 13% rise in assaults with a knife. What a shock.

You've got to hand it to our progressive friends across the Pond. They may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they certainly are a persistent lot.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Adorable BB-8 droid from 'The Force Awakens' is now available to own

For $149.99, you can take home the adorable BB-8 droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It's remote-controlled and interacts with your smart phone. "But for all the added bells and whistles," we are told, "the BB-8's primary directive is really just to be a ball of cuteness." And that it is.

Amost as cool as the Millennium Falcon drone.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Man saves ribs from apartment fire

We've all thought about it at one time or another: If there was a fire, what would I save?

Robert Wright, of Fresno, made sure to save his ribs. After he saved his kids, of course.

I'm really hoping this interview gets "songified"!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Inconceivable one-star reviews of 'The Princess Bride'

I never understood how The Princess Bride, one of the best movies ever made, could wind up with a rating of only 8.2 on IMDB. It even has several one-star reviews. I can only surmise that these people were mostly dead when watching it.

Here are several excerpts, bad spelling and all:

Sexist pile of garbage - posted by mthessian
Hated the Princess Bride. It is a sexist pile of garbage.

Terrible - posted by markb80
Not remotely funny, at least not intentionally. The only part that had me and my g/f laughing was the part where they encounter the rats. They looked so bad it was amusing.

It brought a smile to my face....WHEN THE CREDITS BEGAN TO ROLL!!! - posted by batpickle
Can anyone explain to me anything about this movie that is mildly amusing, Wallace Shawn is so annoying, the dialog is replete with stinkyocity and the story is so simplistic a baby would be bored! Now there is nothing offensive about the movie but I will bet you my kids would hate this but I may never know because I can't bare sitting through it again.

My six year old puts on better shows than this in the back yard. - posted by helgabono
Scores highly on the sphincter clencher scale. I was also surprised that Peter Falk would lend his talent to a production of this caliber. Maybe he was in need of money, who knows. Anyway, a waste of my money (I was foolish enough to buy the DVD) and of my time.

A Load of Puke Bile - posted by britishdame7001
This movie is nothing but a load of boring, contrived, clichéd, CRAP!! No originality whatsoever. AND don't get me started on the acting!!!! This has to be the worst acting I've seen in my life....totally laughable and amateurish to say the least.

a blend of blandness and bloodiness - posted by buliabyak
It's outright disgusting. The torture scene alone is enough to get this movie banned from my family video library. It's so senselessly, meaninglessly cruel that I couldn't watch it myself, let alone show to my kids. The sick obsession with bloody vengeance ("Prepare to die! Prepare to die! Prepare to die! Prepare to die!" ad infinitum) is immoral almost to the point of absurdity.

Inconceivable! I can't believe I just used that joke. - posted by Saphire Alcehmy
This film fails as a fantasy by being predictable, fails as a comedy by not being funny, has awful effects, and boring, uninteresting characters. They're all flat, I knew nothing about them at the end of the film beyond 'He's really tall, they're in love, he's a idiot and he's Spanish and wants to avenge his father.'

Completely overrated rubbish - posted by TheConsigliere
I felt it was utter trash. There was very little I could say was even mildly amusing here...Much of Andre's (The Giant) lines were about as effective as he would have been if he'd tried to play a slim, short, well-spoken Englishman
Send in the brute squad! Such people deserve to be thrown into the Pit of Despair!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

As if grammar wasn't hard enough, here come 'gender-neutral' pronouns

This past Wednesday, Donna Braquet, Director of the Pride Center at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, made some waves. She (assuming I'm using the correct pronoun here) encouraged staff and students to abandon all common sense when it comes to names, pronouns, gender identities, and official school rosters. She writes:
We should not assume someone's gender by their appearance, nor by what is listed on a roster or in student information systems. Transgender people and people who do not identity within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth.

In the first weeks of classes, instead of calling roll, ask everyone to provide their name and pronouns. This ensures you are not singling out transgender or non-binary students. The name a student uses may not be the one on the official roster, and the roster name may not be the same gender as the one the student now uses.
Leaving aside the question of why, given such reasoning, a school would bother having a roster at all, what kinds of pronouns are we talking about here?:
We are familiar with the singular pronouns she, her, hers and he, him, his, but those are not the only singular pronouns. In fact, there are dozens of gender-neutral pronouns.

A few of the most common singular gender-neutral pronouns are they, them, their (used as singular), ze, hir, hirs, and xe, xem, xyr.

These may sound a little funny at first, but only because they are new. The she and he pronouns would sound strange too if we had been taught ze when growing up.
Folks, let me remind you that this is someone holding an influential position at a university.

Imagine if students' personal preferences were allowed free reign in other areas of college life. "Yeah, I know I've been getting Cs and Ds on all my assignments, but deep down I identify as an A student. Come on, professor. Why are you being so hateful and intolerant? Isn't this supposed to be a safe zone?"

Ms. Braquet (I'm using "Ms." because I haven't seen a list of gender-neutral personal titles) concludes:
How do you know what pronoun someone uses? If you cannot use the methods mentioned above, you can always politely ask. "Oh, nice to meet you, [insert name]. What pronouns should I use?" is a perfectly fine question to ask.

The more we make sharing of pronouns a universal practice, the more inclusive we will be as a campus. When our organizational culture shifts to where asking for chosen names and pronouns is the standard practice, it alleviates a heavy burden for persons already marginalized by their gender expression or identity.
She (ze?) then invites anyone wishing to learn more to sign up for a Safe Zone workshop. I'll bet they'll need the large conference room for that.

I don't know what kind of feedback UTK received when people read Donna Braquet's suggestions, but I imagine it was quite critical, especially since the school released the following statement just two days later:
We would like to offer clarification on statements referring to gender-neutral language.

There is no mandate or official policy to use gender-neutral pronouns. We do not dictate speech. Most people prefer to use the pronouns he and she. However, some don't.

The information provided in this week's Office of Diversity and Inclusion newsletter was offered as a resource to our campus community on inclusive practices.

We strive to be a diverse and inclusive campus and to ensure that everyone feels welcome, accepted, and respected.
My apologies to the "we're not happy unless we're offended" crowd, but let me make this clear: I will not use gender-neutral pronouns, no matter how mainstream the practice may become. The world is already complicated as it is. Why must we complicate it further?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Watch the latest (and shortest) 'Star Wars' teaser

The latest (and shortest) teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted today on Instagram. Enjoy!

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blind mother 'sees' her unborn son thanks to 3D-printed ultrasound

Few words are able to describe the feeling an expectant mother has when she is waiting to see her unborn child during an ultrasound for the first time. But what if the mother is blind? A hospital in Brazil was able to find a way around that thanks to 3D printing technology:

On a more sobering note, I ran across this story the same day I found out a Planned Parenthood clinic opened just a mile-and-a-half from my house. That somehow made this video even more touching.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Eagle punches drone out of the sky

Concerned about the proliferation of drones and the loss of privacy? Just get yourself a pet wedge-tailed eagle.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Satirical video series sums up just about everything you need to know about government

Poor Alexis. All she wants is to live her life and follow her dream, but her overbearing boyfriend, Scott "Gov" Govinski, insists on saving her from herself. Yeah, it's a pretty thinly veiled metaphor, but it's pretty funny. And pretty spot-on. This five-part comedy series is brought to you by the Independent Institute:

Episode 1: An Education in Debt

Episode 2: Protection from Jobs

Episode 3: A Remedy for Healthcare Choices

Episode 4: House Poor

Episode 5: Keeping a Close Eye on Privacy

Friday, July 31, 2015

Modern medieval-style knight fights

Are traditional MMA fights getting too boring for you? What if we threw some armor on the competitors and tossed a couple of swords into the ring?

As our parents used to say, "It's always fun until someone loses an eye."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Healthy seaweed that tastes like bacon: The perfect food?

Researchers at Oregon State University have created and patented a new seaweed.

Uh-huh. Sooooo...what's the big deal?

It just so happens that what looks like translucent red lettuce tastes like bacon when you fry it. It's easy to grow, and it has twice the nutritional value of kale. It's full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. You say it tastes like bacon?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

When offered a bar of chocolate or a bar of silver, these people chose chocolate

No wonder our economy is in the shape it's in.

And to think that these people are allowed to vote. Heck, even Homer Simpson had more sense...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Behind-the-scenes look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Here's the sneak peek of Episode VII that debuted at this year's Comic-Con in San diego. The most exciting aspect for me is to see this new production trying to remain true to the originals by, as Mark Hamill notes, "keeping one foot in the predigital world."

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Stephen Colbert guest-hosts local show on public access TV

You've never heard of the local public access show Only in Monroe. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most people in Monroe County, MI, have never heard of it. But that didn't stop Stephen Colbert from stopping by to guest-host the entire 40-minute show. Featured are interviews with the show's regular hosts, Kaye Lani Rae Rafko Wilson and Michelle Baumann, and Michigan rapper Marshall Mathers. (Hey, wait. Isn't that...?)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

'See-through' trucks could make roads safer

Without x-ray vision, you and I are at a bit of a disadvantage when driving behind a large vehicle. Thanks to Samsung's "see-through" truck, that may no longer be a problem. Check it out:

Now, if they could only make one that plays movies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

GoPro captures friends saving pets from apartment fire

Spencer Butler and Grant Krause wanted to break in their new GoPro camera by going rock climbing. On their way back home, they spotted smoke coming from a nearby apartment building and thought they could get some interesting footage of firefighters in action. But when they realized that firefighters were not yet on the scene, they began going door to door checking to see if anyone was still in the building. The GoPro caught it all. They ended up saving three dogs, and no one was hurt in the blaze.

I couldn't help but be reminded of this Foo Fighters music video:

Monday, June 22, 2015

What happened to Luke's hand after his duel with Darth Vader?

I remember when I saw The Empire Strikes Back in the theater for the first time how shocked I was when Luke Skywalker lost his hand in that lightsaber duel.

"Whoa! Did I just see that?! Did Darth Vader really cut off Luke's hand?!"

Yeah, that was the real surprise in the movie. The part about Vader being Luke's father had already been spoiled for me.

But then I started to wonder: "What happened to his hand? Where did it go?" Well, the mystery has been solved...

(from JKA Gear)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

All six 'Star Wars' movies in one video

If you're pressed for time but still want to get through all six Star Wars movies once more before Episode VII comes out, you may try watching all six at the same time. And I don't mean watching them simultaneously in six separate videos; I mean watching all of them layered on top of each other in one video. You are about to experience a great disturbance in the Force.

(via The Daily Dot)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Brand new trailer for 'The Peanuts Movie'

I must admit that I'm impressed. The movie promises to appeal to a new generation while remaining true to the classic comics and TV specials we old folks know and love.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Dinosaurs wouldn't make good pets

Jurassic World has hit the theaters, and once again we are faced with the question of whether or not it's wise to be tampering with things we don't fully understand. Like resurrecting dinosaurs. I think we can all agree that probably isn't such a great idea. Just take a look at this video...

(via Tastefully Offensive)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

'Amphibious' pitcher makes MLB debut

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte of the Oakland Athletics is a natural. I heard he's been playing baseball since he was a tadpole.

(via SB Nation)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

8-bit video game version of 'The Shawshank Redemption'

The Shawshank Redemption is one of the best movies ever made, so it makes sense that it should get the 8-Bit Cinema treatment.

(via Tastefully Offensive)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Squirrel steals plane

Just another scary example of what these things are capable of...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

What if 'Man of Steel' had been in color?

One of the criticisms leveled at Zack Snyder's Man of Steel was that is was too dark and bleak. That might work for Batman, but come on. This is Superman we're talking about.

So, the folks at VideoLab did some tweaking and discovered there was actually a colorful film hiding underneath. What do you think?


Friday, April 17, 2015

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

'Elderly Man River' by Stan Freberg (1926-2015)

Stan Freberg passed away yesterday at the age of 88. I have long considered him one of the funniest people who ever lived. He will be missed.

In honor of Freberg's comedic brilliance, here is one of his best-known classics:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Shocker! Government plan to reduce obesity doesn't reduce obesity

When Los Angeles city lawmakers passed a zoning ordinance in 2008 limiting the opening of fast food restaurants in an area plagued by high obesity rates, who could have guessed that it would fail? Well, pretty much everyone with an IQ higher than a Big Mac—which might explain why government officials actually thought it would work.

The AP reports:
The research by the Rand Corp. think tank found that obesity rates in South Los Angeles continued to rise after passage of the law.

"It had no meaningful effect," Rand senior economist Roland Sturm said. "There's no evidence that diets have improved more in South LA. Obesity and overweight rates have not fallen."
I'm sure we can expect lawmakers to ask for more funding and propose further restrictions. After all, there isn't a problem in the world that can't be made worse with more bureaucracy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Scare your kids with the Hillary Clinton action figure

No, this isn't a joke. Creator Jason Feinberg is a fan of Hillary Clinton, and he wants to immortalize her in the form of an action figure that will surely terrify young kids everywhere.

From Feinberg's KickStarter site:
We started with one simple goal; to make Hillary Clinton into an awesome iconic action figure. Basically, we're hoping to kick off some light-hearted excitement about her campaign and the amazingly cool prospect of America getting its first woman president.

After months and months of work, we're all ready to go!
Actually, this four-inch piece of plastic would be less annoying and a much more effective leader than the real thing. If only this version could get on the ballot next year.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Even the U. S. Postal Service is spying on you

A hidden camera that was set up at a post office in Golden, Colorado, to record the license plates and facial features of customers, vanished without a trace within an hour of being discovered by FOX31 Denver:

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Bank of Canada upset at Star Trek fans for increasing value of its currency

Canada's five dollar bill sports an image of the country's seventh prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier. It just so happens that Laurier looks a bit like a hairless Spock, so Star Trek fans have been having a little fun:

Bank of Canada spokeswoman Josianne Menard acknowledges this kind of doodling isn't illegal:
However, there are important reasons why it should not be done. Writing on a bank note may interfere with the security features and reduces its lifespan. Markings on a note may also prevent it from being accepted in a transaction. Furthermore, the Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride.
Seems to me Ms. Menard should be thanking Trekkers for increasing the value of Canadian currency.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The future of the internet under new FCC rules

"Net-neutrality" is here! And this brief video shows us what the internet might look like under the FCC's new regulations:

(via The Tea Party Economist)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bionic eye lets blind man see his wife for the first time in 10 years

68-year-old Allen Zderad's new bionic eye has allowed him to see his wife for the first time in more than a decade.

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota implanted the device, which involved inserting 60 electrodes into the retina, allowing images to be transferred directly from the camera to the optic nerve. Not quite the stuff of The Six Million Dollar Man, but it's certainly a huge step forward.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A brief glimpse at how the clock changed the world

When we mechanized time, we also, and completely by accident, mechanized us. And when the clocks got smaller, time could follow us everywhere, a constant reminder of hours, minutes, seconds lost or won. Now we don't eat when we're hungry, we eat when it's time to eat. We don't sleep when we're tired, we sleep when it's time to sleep. We've built an amazing world that runs like clockwork, meaning that these days, so do we.


Friday, February 06, 2015

Pennsylvania town posts warning signs for visiting criminals

Residents of Conoy Township in Pennsylvania want to make it clear that criminals are not welcome in their quaint little community:

We already know that criminals don't pay attention to signs banning guns. Perhaps they will pay attention to these.

More on this story here.

Friday, January 30, 2015

'Sleeping Tapes': New album from Jeff Bridges

There is little doubt that Jeff Bridges is one of the coolest guys on the planet. Who better to make an album designed to help you chill out and sleep better at night?

Why did he do it? The Dude explains:
The world is filled with too many restless people in need of rest – that's why I filled my sleeping tapes with intriguing sounds, noises and other things to help you get a good night's rest.

Check out Jeff's new album at Pay what you want. 100% of your donation goes to No Kid Hungry.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Check out the piano of the future

Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi has designed the piano of the future. The Bogányi is the result of over 10 years of research and 8,000 hours of engineering:
The new soundboard and the reconstructed agraffe system together with the new shaping concept of the cast-iron frame – all create a new quality that affects and provokes a novel perception of sound. The absolute distinction of tones let us reveal more of the inner structure of music – with a more refined tone sensation.

This is a piano rethought, reassessed: reinterpreted from the origins of classical piano. The new action of the piano, produced and delivered by Louis Renner of Germany is founded on years’ long, meticulous scaling and calculating of the Bogányi piano team.

The design minimises the piano into two legs, instead of the traditional three, enabling sound to reach the audience with higher efficiency and more clarity. The curved shape and structure of the leg creates a supporting effect, thereby conducting the sound, from below the piano, towards the audience.

The design also turns the piano into a piece of functional art and design. As spectacular architectural compositions have mastered the style of new performing arts centres and concert halls alike, the new approach to piano design may well enrich the tradition of instrument making.

The Bogányi piano design is a unique answer to a shift in time and style.
Hear the difference for yourself:

And, of course, its sleek, aerodynamic design makes it more wind-resistant. So there's that.

(via io9)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Man 'unboxes' his new family in clever video parody

If you've spent any amount of time on YouTube, you've run across more than a few "unboxing" videos featuring people eager to share the joy of opening their latest purchase. This one has them all beat:

(via 22 Words)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

School to arm students with canned food to ward off gun-toting intruders

There is no stupidity quite like the stupidity demonstrated by central planners. How else can you explain an idiotic idea like arming students with canned food to give them a fighting chance against a school shooter?

Sure. Bring a can of creamed corn to a gun fight and see what happens. If these "experts" really cared about the students in their charge, they would at least teach them how to weaponize school and office supplies.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Anthony Bourdain explains why he loves In-N-Out Burger

Anthony Bourdain, renowned chef and writer who has traveled far and wide in pursuit of the most delicious foods in the world, readily admits that one of his favorite restaurants is In-N-Out Burger. Can you blame him?


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