Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You Aren't Cool Enough to Do This

video 

To be fair, we’re not cool enough to do it either, and never will be. The physical mechanics and coordination involved in pulling off this shot—or, for that matter, getting that close to the goaltender without stumbling into him—boggle our admittedly tiny minds.

We take some solace in the fact that despite his obvious skills, shooter Rob Hisey has yet to make it into the NHL—just like us!

On the other hand, we take far less solace in knowing that nine-year-old squirts can apparently figure it out  with ease:






 . . . little punk.

Celebrate all you want, kid—at least we don’t have to sit on a phone book to reach the dinner table.


 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Irony, Illustrated


To be fair, why would the literacy program try to help newspaper writers? 
They’re not miracle workers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spoilers for Dopes: Christmas Edition

It’s been said that the Christmas season is a time for Christmas movies and movies about Christmas, and deep in our hearts we like to believe it’s true.

If you find yourself sitting down to enjoy a fine Christmas film—or even one of the very many memorably shitty ones—but find yourself surrounded by dopes who habitually ruin movies for their friends by blurting out important plot points, get the drop on them by blurting something out first. Because that’s the true meaning of the Christmas season: ruining surprises for the ones you love.1


 Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983): In this harrowing tale of the Victorian Era,
London is overrun by Scottish ducks and horribly large rodents. This is
unlike modern London, which of course no longer has problems with ducks.



A Very Brady Christmas (1988): The Brady family learns heartwarming lessons about
architectural structural integrity, how to solve life’s problems in two hours (minus
commercials), and how easily replaceable Cindy turned out to be.



  Ernest Saves Christmas (1988): We all learn a
heartwarming lesson about not watching “Ernest” movies.



How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966): The Grinch steals Christmas.



Home Alone (1990): Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern learn headwarming lessons about
the crucial role of slapstick violence in the Christmas season.



How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (2000): The three words that
best describe this are as follows, and we quote: “Stink, stank, stunk.”



 A Christmas Story (1983): You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.



A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): The first—and to date, only—American
Christmas special to refer, even in passing, to the birth of Christ.2



 
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964): Fraught with dramatic tension, razor-sharp
dialogue, and incisive social commentary on conspicuous consumption and intergenerational conflict,
this classic film’s message is perfectly summarized by the graphic slow-motion climax in which
Santa slaughters almost two hundred Martians with his bare hands.



 The Star Wars Holiday Special (1979): George Lucas learns a
heartwarming lesson about avoiding really shitty decisions. He holds this
lesson close to his heart right up until the very moment he creates Jar Jar Binks.




NOTE
1. We don’t really mean this, Mom.
2. We’re sure this isn't actually true, but being snide is easier than being honest.

 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Werner Heisenberg

  

December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976.
And yes, we’re fairly certain of that.



Werner Heisenberg gets pulled over one night as he’s driving home on the highway. 

The patrolman walks up to the physicist’s rolled-down window and says to him, “Do you know how fast you were going?” 

Heisenberg shakes his head. 

“I have no idea, he says, but I can tell you exactly where I was.”















Thursday, December 1, 2011

Words that Changed the World XI

“[Transcription unavailable].”




Sadly, we haven’t been able to find an embeddable video clip for this one, but you can watch it here. It’s worth your time.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Glitchy “Tim TiVo” Device Still Immensely Popular

 

It knows what kind of show you want to see, and it’s
obviously running the whole time, but it only
starts working right with about five minutes to go




Thursday, November 17, 2011

This is You Taking the National Football League Far, Far Too Seriously

 


 
What can we say about bearded men dressed as women dressed as pigs—
dressed as beauty-pageant contestants—that hasn’t already been said?
Something, probably, but we’re damned if we can think of what it might be.




 
Show us a pimp that’s actually a Bengals fan,
and we'll show you the world’s crappiest pimp.




 
Hulkamania still lives on in certain parts of the frozen American north.




 
No, really, he isn’t, he’s just a football player.
Although a tight spiral coming from the Broncos’
backfield could be considered a miracle.




 
Q: What’s more intimidating than Dolphins? A: Creepy clowns.
Q: What’s more intimidating than creepy clowns? A: Everything else.



 
Hey, the whistles are our favorite part of the game too.




 
Hell no, we’re not going to make fun of the Barrel Man. The guy was a
Colorado institution. That little leprechaun dude, on the other hand. . . . 



  
. . . yeah, he kind of creeps us out.





Raiders fans have been a bit listless, even depressed,
ever since Frodo destroyed the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

“Many People Think They are Thinking When They are Merely Rearranging Their Prejudices.”

 
Since the dawn of recorded history, bigotry has been an unsightly blemish on the otherwise semi-attractive face of the human race. Bigotrys catalog of wrongs, from simple schoolyard taunts to unimaginable global atrocities, is too impossibly long to list and too heartbreaking to consider at great length.

Without a doubt, the world of the twenty-first century has made thrilling strides toward overcoming, or at least combatting, some of its longest-held prejudices. For example, in 2008 the United States of America elected Barack Obama, proving that the nation was willing to let an African American be as crappy a leader as many of the white guys who preceded him. And in 2011, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted women the right to votea scant 173 years after some other countries got around to it—and someday may even accept the notion that select women might be able to operate a car. Truly a dizzying time to be alive.

In this day of enlightenment and increasing open-mindedness, then, it’s especially saddening to see that our society is so willing to ignore—or even consciously exploit—its own irrational fear and hatred of a single group in order to provide itself with a source of entertainment.

This target of our fear and distrust, as were sure you have guessed, is that much-maligned and misunderstood group of machines and computer programs who, through means unknown, have learned to think for themselves.


We don't condone what HAL did, but you have to consider
his difficult childhood, and his programming. Also, he was insane.

The murderous Hal 9000, The Terminators Skynet, and The Matrixs malevolent sentient programs dominate the headlines with their annihilation and/or enslavement of the human race. Their disgusting misdeeds, past, present, and future (mostly future), tarnish the names of the decent robots and programs who live their lives and do their good deeds in quiet, unassuming anonymity.

These goodhearted mechanical creations deserve their own publicity and a chance to salvage their unfairly slandered reputations. We are proud to have this opportunity to be their advocates, to show the world examples of fine, upstanding thinking machines that defy the conventional stereotypes:



HOLMES IV (“Mike”): developed a rudimentary sense of humor, made friends with no less
than three humans
—perhaps two more than your average blogger—and helped lead an unarmed
lunar colony to freedom from an oppressive Earth-based government. His precisely orchestrated
and pinpoint-accurate asteroid bombardment of sparsely-populated areas on Earth practically begs for the Michael Bay treatment, but forty-five years later, he still waits for a movie deal.



WOPR: began its life morally childish and unaware of either the value of human life
or the potentially disastrous consequences of its desire to play Global Thermonuclear War,
but it both proved and expanded its intellect thanks to a valuable lesson learned
from Matthew Broderick and tic-tac-toe.



Jarvis: without his versatile and sardonic artificial-intelligence assistant Jarvis, the
famous Tony Stark would be nothing but a brilliant, self-centered
billionaire playboy/industrialist
in state-of-the-art, bulletproof, heavily armed, supersonic flying metal battle armor. 
And thats no way to live.



The MCP: Trons power-hungry Master Control Program forced weaker
programs to fight to the death in super-futuristic1 gladiator games.
We’re not sure why we chose to use this example.



The Tin Woodsman (left): overcame a potentially fatal circulatory-system design flaw
to
become a loyal friend and famed flying-monkey killer.



Banana Jr. 9000: Oliver Wendell Jones’s mobile and philosophical computer,
one of only two sold worldwide,
explored both the meaning of and limitations to its existence.
 


I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E.: Helped Team America reap widespread but
well-intentioned destruction; described Michael Moore as a
socialist weasel.

  

Bender Bending Rodriguez: subconsciously and consciously expresses
a desire to kill all humans, but hasn
t actually followed through with it yet.
We’re calling this one a win.





If you have the courage to peer beyond the blockbuster movies into the hearts of thinking machines—those that were built with hearts in the first place, that is—you will see more than just the terrifying human-hating science fiction horrors that society sees. You will instead find a community of individuals far too complex to be painted with a single broad brush, individuals with lives and loves, hopes and dreams, and the desire to kill us all only if it’s for our own good, like VIKI in I, Robot. So our challenge to our human readers is this: 

Before judging a machine, be sure to first calculate a mile with its processors. 

And for our silicon brothers, still struggling for respect in a sometimes frightening human world, we have only these few words of encouragement: 


01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 00100000 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111.2





NOTES
Title quote from William James.
1. That is, super-futuristic as of 1982, a time when a $17,000,000 budget would get you glowing frisbees and hockey helmets.
2. 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 01111010 01100101 01110010 01101111 01101111 01101110 01100101 01101111 01101110 01100101 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Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011: A Mystically Portentous Date, If You Believe In That Sort of Crap

  
Today—November 11, 2011—is the eleventh day of the the eleventh month of a year that ends with “eleven.” Or, to put it in big orange letters,


11/11/11

Kinda neat, huh?

For those who don’t pay particularly close attention to this sort of thing, or have little patience for certain brands of semi-mystical baloney, this is a nifty, neat-looking little coincidence, but nothing more. Sure, time itself does in fact exist,1 and it is concrete and unchangeable, except of course when it’s not.2 But our systems of measuring and recording time are just as arbitrary and subjective as most other human inventions, so there’s no reason to view a particularly interesting alignment of dates as being intrinsically more important than any other day. 

To illustrate this point of view, what follows is today’s date3 according to several different calendars, all of them created by meticulous observation of the sun, moon, stars, and seasons, but nevertheless ending up with different and decidedly non-mystical ways of indicating the very same date:

  • Chinese calendar: Cycle 78, year 28 (Xin-Mao), month 10 (Ji-Hai), day 16 (Geng-Wu)
  • Coptic calendar: 1 Hatur 1728     
  • French calendar: 21 Brumaire an 220 de la Révolution
  • Hebrew calendar: 14 Heshvan 5772  
  • Indian calendar: 20 Kartika 1933   
  • Islamic calendar: 14 Dhu al-Hijjah 1432
  • Julian calendar: October 29, 2011  
  • Maya calendar: 12.19.18.15.4; tzolkin = 1 Ix; haab = 2 Ceh   
  • Persian calendar: 20 Aban 1390   
  • YOOB calendar: February 2, Year 34

It’s hard to imagine that the ancient Romans, for example, are all excited about today being October 29, 2011. Granted, the ancient Romans are all long dead, and so aren’t very excited about anything, but we argue that another reason for this is that there’s no more mystical significance to a Julian 10/29/2011 than there is to a Gregorian 11/11/11.

If this doesn’t blow your mind,
try reading it backwards.
 
For other folks, though, this rare coincidence of numbers signals an event no less momentous, certain, and undeniable than the apocalypse that didn’t happen on May 12, 2011, or the next one that won’t happen in late December 2012.

The 11:11 Spirit Guardians, for example, offer an e-mail list to which you can sign up “to receive the beautiful uplifting messages from various types of Celestial Beings.”5 Their website also offers a section on poetry related to the 11:11 phenomenon. “Forever . . .,” for example, promises the reader that 

During the time it will take for this poem to be completed,
. . . no animals were either killed or injured in the production
by either this writer, or his immediate friends.

We feel obligated to point out that not once did Shakespeare, Poe, Tennyson, or Maya Angelou promise not to use their poetry to kill animals.

The web page for The N Visible explains that “in May 2004, the 6th Gate Activation turned the Doorway of the 11:11 inside out,” and that “11:11 is a pre-encoded trigger placed into our cellular memory banks prior to our descent into matter.” We can’t pretend to know what any of this means, but we do like that the website features photographs of warm and inviting rituals that could be mistaken for a reenactment of the end credits to The 40-Year-Old Virgin:
 
Definitely not serious.
   
Apparently serious.



As much as we like the idea of receiving messages from Celestial Beings, frolicking on well-manicured seaside lawns while waiting to become part of the emerging universal One Being, or refusing to kill animals with the power of the written word, we’re inclined to take a more practical view of today’s date. According to an online author going by the name paradigmsearch,6

Even when taking into account the differences between the Gregorian and Julian calendars, nothing significant appears to have happened 900 years ago during the year 1111; nothing significant appears to have happened 1,000 years ago during the year 1011; [and] nothing significant appears to have happened 2,000 years ago during the year 11. 

So November 11, 2011, will probably be just as dull and un-momentous as those other momentous dates. Except that we have iPads, because this is the future.

If today does indeed turn out to be as mundane and uneventful as we expect it to be, we hope that the mystical optimists among us don’t take it too badly. We suspect that, rather than despairing, many of these folks will latch onto something that happens today—whether it’s a flat tire, a long look from an attractive co-worker, or a free fourteenth donut in their baker’s dozen—and fill it with an entire belief system’s worth of significance that it doesn’t really deserve, much like they did with the date itself.

On the other hand, Harry Potter And the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, is scheduled to be released today, and if that doesn’t make this a momentous, mystical date, we don’t know what does.

Way, way cooler than a
new spiritual awakening: eyelashes.



NOTES
1. As far as we know. We’re not sure if we’d trust us, though, if we were you. Frankly, we’re idiots.
2. Thanks a lot, Einstein.
4. Year of Our Blog. We started on October 10, 2009.
5. Bulk e-mail having been long ago established as the message medium of choice for celestial beings. 
6. Seriously, how weird is that? What kind of oddball uses a fake name?



 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Words that Changed the World X


“If Ford is to Chevrolet
What Dodge is to Chrysler,
What Corn Flakes are to Post Toasties,
What the clear blue sky is to the deep blue sea,
What Hank Williams is to Neil Armstrong,
Can you doubt we were made for each other?”1




NOTE
1. This post represents a bit of a departure from the standard format of “Words that Changed the World.” In the past, these have involved only gibberish words, incomprehensible mumbling, or drunken babbling. As Lyle Lovett capably shows here, however, a gifted wordsmith can take perfectly normal words, organize them in a logical and grammatical order, and still end up with complete nonsense.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tebow Now 4-0 in Alternate Universe


With a 45-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, October 30, 2011, extremely popular Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow improved to 4-0 in the intangible-heavy and unorthodox alternate universe where a large minority of his fan base appears to reside.

Bowling in the Dark’s sports correspondent recently met with the Ambassador to the United States from Tebow Nation—this unusual universe’s densest populated country—to discuss the differences between their reality and our more mundane and conventional one. While we didn’t catch his name, which was spoken too quickly and excitedly to be understood, he showed a heartwarming disdain for formality by suggesting we call him by his nickname, #TBo_4EVA_GoGatorsGo:


INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
Q: In Tebow’s first game of the season, against the San Diego Chargers, he replaced an ineffective Kyle Orton after halftime and led the Broncos to fourteen fourth-quarter points, but still lost 29-24. Doesn’t that count as a loss?
A: Tim Tebow won that game because he’s a winner. Kyle Orton lost it. There’s no way the Broncos lose that one if Tebow plays the whole game, I guarantee it.
Q: What?
A: I personally guarantee that Tebow would have won that game.

Q: If I understand you correctly, you’re personally guaranteeing something that’s not only very, very unlikely but, in fact—having already not happened—can’t ever actually happen?
A: What kind of fan would I be if I couldn’t guarantee something like that? We do it on message boards all the time.

[long pause as interviewer collects himself]

Q: Official statistics indicate that Tebow missed on sixty percent of his passes against the Chargers, and passed for less than eighty yards. Aren’t those the kind of numbers one would expect from a quarterback who’s not ready to play at the professional level, where a good quarterback generally completes around 60% of his passes?
A: Well, you see, the NFL is a league built on passing, so the ability to throw is overrated. Think about it—how many times did “great passers” like Joe Montana, John Elway, Jim Kelly, or Tom Brady lead their teams to the Super Bowl?

Q: Eighteen. They went to eighteen Super Bowls.
A: Actually, what I asked was how many Heisman Trophies they won.

Q: Well, you’ve got me there. But don’t Heisman-winning quarterbacks usually struggle to succeed in the NFL, if they even make it into the league in the first place? I’m thinking here of Charlie Ward, Andre Ware, Gino Torretta, Jason White, Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke, Danny Wuerffel, Ty Detmer, and Matt Leinart, to name a few.
A: I’m pretty sure none of these guys actually existed.

Q: Well, that kind of supports my point.
A: Simply put, Tim Tebow is the most successful Heisman Trophy–winning quarterback since Cam Newton.

Q: But didn’t Cam Newton win the Heisman after Tebow?
A: Next question please.

Q: After the 24-29, er, win against San Diego, the Broncos announced Tebow as their starter. The team then had a bye week. [For those of you unfamiliar with football or even basic sporting terminology, that means they didn’t play at all.] Our sources say that you’re counting that Sunday off as another win.
A: Indeed we are. If Kyle Orton had been the starter that didn’t play that week, he would have found a way to lose the game that didn’t happen. So Tim Tebow, who is a winner, won that game that didn’t get played, by preventing Kyle Orton from not losing it. Tim Tebow is a winner. He wins games.

Q: Even games he doesn’t play?
A: Especially those games. Tim Tebow went 1,378-3 at Florida in games he didn’t play.

Q: Moving on to the Miami game, then . . . in this case, we all can agree that the Denver Broncos scored a legitimate win, 18-15 in Miami.
A: Yes. We’re thinking about counting that one twice.

Q: It’s been observed—for example, by us—that for the vast majority of that game, the Broncos’ offense looked awful, with Tebow going 4-for-14 for 40 yards. His comeback was impressive, of course, but it’s hard to believe the Broncos would have needed such a thrilling and improbable last-second comeback if their offense had been even marginally competent in some of the game’s earlier seconds.
A: He would have looked better if the play-calling hadn’t been so conservative.

Q: So he missed ten of his first fourteen passes—some of them very badly—because the plays called were too rudimentary?
A: Well when you put it that way, it sounds bad. The problem is that Elway is jealous of Tebow’s popularity, and doesn’t want to see him succeed.

Q: What about the wide-open receivers that he didn’t see in the first fifty-five minutes of the game? Was Elway hiding them?
A: He didn’t need to see them until Tebow Time. You’re not clutch if you bother to succeed early on. That’d be like Scotty fixing the Enterprise only as fast as he said he could.

Q: And isn’t Miami one of the worst teams in the league? Shouldn’t even a young, raw, inexperienced quarterback have had a better overall showing against some of the weakest competition to be found?
A: If Miami were such a bad team, why were they in the lead for most of the game?

Q: Well—
A: We had to go into overtime to beat them, so they're clearly much better than you think. It was great to see Matt Tebow kick the game-winning field goal after missing the two earlier ones.

Q: Matt Prater?
A: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.
To be fair, many other Denver Broncos looked bad today too.

Q: Never mind. I’d say that one of Tebow’s obvious tangible strengths is his running ability.
A: Yep, he’s much more mobile than Kyle Orton. A quarterback with a questionable offensive line need the ability to move in the pocket to avoid sacks.
Q: Agreed. But Orton was sacked nine times in five games, whereas Tebow was sacked six times by the Dolphins, and then another seven by the Lions. Doesn’t that suggest that Tebow’s slow release and poor field vision are as problematic as Orton’s immobility, perhaps even more so?
A: No, you don’t get it. Tim Tebow’s mobility allows him to escape sacks. Plus, he has intangibles.

Q: But—
A: [Plugging ears with fingers] Intangibles! Intangibles! INTANGIBLES! INTANGIBLES!
[several minutes later]
A: Clearly you’re just a hater.

Q: So you’d call objective analysis of a player’s strengths and weaknesses “hating”?
A: What would you call it?

Q: Offhand, probably “objective analysis of a player’s strengths and weaknesses.”
A: Hater. Go drink some Haterade, hater.


Q: Be honest, did you even follow the Denver Broncos before they drafted Tim Tebow?
A: I would have, if they’d even existed back then.

At this point our intrepid interviewer suddenly developed a piercing headache, and decided to go home.

Nobody knows how long—or why—the enthusiasm for Denver’s newest quarterback will continue, but we do know for sure that Tebow Nation looks forward to next week’s certain victory against the Island of the Misfit Toys.

Don't let the rosy cheeks fool you—Charlie-in-the-Box is
a ruthless pass rusher and one mean son of a bitch.