Tuesday, January 12, 2010

368. Blame a Remote Motorcycle Bomb on the US

A prominent Iranian Physics professor was assassinated in Tehran by a "remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle." A Foreign Ministry spokesman said "in the initial investigation, signs of the triangle of wickedness by the Zionist regime [Israel], America [America] and their hired agents [Blackwater?] are visible in the terrorist act."

Whoa. Ease up there, Persian Tiger.

1. He was a theoretical physicist, studying particle dynamics and stuff like that. He wasn't involved in their nuclear program, therefore we didn't really have a reason to blow him up.

2. That's cute. You think we'd use a "remote-controlled bomb attached to a motorcycle." That's so quaint. Ahem. I don't know if I can make this clearer. Iranian Foreign Ministry, State Media, all y'alls:


Notwithstanding the Reaper and Predator drones, we have so many other ways to relieve someone of the corporeal existence and it sure as hell won't be some TNT on a Kawasaki.

Pictured: F-22 Raptor (Right) and P-47 Thunderbolt (Left). Doesn't look very stealth, what with the propeller and yellow nacelle and all...

Like how about an F-22? Your radar wouldn't even see it. Fly over a house, level the block. Dead.

We wouldn't send these guys. I think they'd stick out. I mean, he's wearing Orange.

What about a Barrett .50 Calibre sniper rifle? Thing's got a range of like 4 miles.

Wow. This post just got bohring. Get it? Ha. I'm so lonely.

And finally: Polonium.

Oh wait. That's the Russians. My bad.

Monday, January 4, 2010

367. Visit the 124th Floor of the Burj Dubai

The Burj Dubai's spectacular view.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen! At a reported height of 2,684 feet, the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest structure - not just building, but structure - is having it's gala opening, replete with sharpshooters, plainclothes security and fireworks. In that order. The Burj Dubai's complex will boast the tallest inhabitable floor on earth, the largest mall in the Middle East, a Giorgio Armani designed hotel and a grand total of over 160 floors. One of the highlights is the 124th floor observation deck. Just check out the view above.

Wait. What's that? That's NOT the Burj Dubai's view from a breathtaking 124 floors above the city? Then what do you see?

So what's that other view? Oh. An actual city? You don't say.

Oh. That. A bunch of middling high-rises, infinite swaths of desert interspersed with artificially irrigated oases and a perpetual haze of smog.

Well that sucks. That's just about the worst view on earth. Who the fuck cares if you're that high if you're looking at the skyline of Stamford, CT? With apartments selling for about $1,900 per square foot, you better get a kick ass view. Instead, you get this crappy bird's eye view of a glorified sandbox for the uber-wealthy in a city that is fast becoming a terror magnet and is now in the headlines for collapsing economies of scale? Doesn't sound worth it. Frankly, that sounds like the worst city on planet eart - oh crap. Ignore that last line. Cities that are natural targets for terror with unstable financial systems are the BEST!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

366. Live Through 2009

I will fist you, 2009!

"Two-Thousand and Nine was a steady stream of suck." - Me.

2009 blew. Let's do the year in review:

January: 01/01/09, approx. 2:30am - Girl I liked makes out with a spiky-haired midget in front of me. Also sucked to be John Travolta's son.

March: Broke my leg. Sucked.

May: Can't remember so it must've sucked. Definitely sucked for Manny.

September: Best friend got married. That was awesome but still predominantly sucked - especially for Ivy League Asians.

November: Ate some food so that was just OK. Yankees won and that was nice. But "The Blind Side" came out and that ruined the mood.

December: Worked a lot. That sucked.

So good-bye 2009. You can get hit by a bus.

Hello, 2010. By the way, what are we calling it?

Two-Thousand Ten?
Two-Thousand AND Ten?
Twenty Ten?
Two Oh One Oh?
Bill, or George, Anything but Sue?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

365. Be Dan and/or Dave

The Paynesville High School class of 1992 reunion photo. DAMN, Nikki Guptill - (middle row, second from left) - you aged well.*

Oh the halcyon days of 1992. America, victorious in the campaign to rid the world of the scourge of Saddam Hussein, had purged itself of all the demons of Vietnam. A new, young and hip President was beginning a decade-long run of unprecedented economic prosperity. A novel show named the "Real World" would re-write television history as young people spoke openly of political, religious and sexual orientations, showing the world that the youth of America are not shallow, materialistic and sexually amoral and can take their place upon the world stage. And Dan & Dave charmed us with their friendly competition at the Barcelona Summer Olympics.

Just kidding. Saddam Hussein stuck around long enough to make sure we added another Vietnamiraq atop the Afghanistaninam we were already in for the (inflation adjusted) price of seven Vietnams while Bill Clinton just presided over an unregulated shitshow engineered by Alan Greenspan creating first the internet bubble which crashed on his watch followed by the time-delay explosion of the hedge fund and mortgage securities debacle in the mid 2000's while the Real World spawned (pun intended) numerous rip-offs - including "Jersey Shore" and "MILF Island" - while the progenitor of the whole reality TV phenomenon degraded into a reasonable facsimile of Cinemax at about 1:35am on a Sunday and Dan O'Brien didn't even qualify for the Olympics while Dave Johnson only got a bronze medal in something lame like the decathalon. I mean for Christ's sake: Johnson couldn't even beat Antonio Penalver or Robert Zmelik. Fucking Zmelik was born is Prostejov of all places. Call me crazy but no way would I ever own up to being from the northern edge of the Hornomoravsky uval basin or the foothills of the Prostejovska pahorkatina uplands. What a homo.

*Dear Nikki Guptill - if you are Googling yourself and for some reason find this, give me a shout out. I'm clearly intelligent as my prose is immaculate and I'm definitely taller than Brad Fenske but maybe not as tall as Shawn Gilbertson. I'm better looking than Brad Fenske also. You know what? Screw you Brad Fenske. You were always so cool, in your striped polo shirts. Hell, you were the first guy to get a Jetta, you bastard. I had to drive that POS 240 DL my mom left me and you're all riding up in your Jetta, blasting "Jump Around". You suck, Brad Fenske.**

**And this, children is why you don't put the class of 1992 reunion photo from Paynesville High School on the internet and then label everyone's names because if I Google image search "1992" I'm gonna find this - on the very first page - and do something like this with it. All kidding aside: Nikki Guptill - hit me up. You're freaking hot.

Monday, December 28, 2009

364. Utilize a PETN-Based Explosive Device Without a Blasting Cap or Wire Detonator

Not only did I fail my mission, I ended up with third-degree burns, I did not get my virgins, and worst of all - I'm stuck in Detroit.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab*:

You're an idiot on so many levels. The first - and probably most grievous - error is subscribing to a gospel of violent extremist Islam. You're a wealthy and entitled son of a prominent Nigerian financier and had an upbringing of privilege and were enrolled towards a prestigious education. If you played your cards right, you could have been a businessman or even a regional warlord, but no. You have to go ahead and get a bomb from Yemen and attempt to detonate it over US airspace.

Secondly, you sat through a 12 hour flight before unsuccessfully trying to bring down the fully loaded Northwest Airlines (as operated by Delta) flight. That means you were probably subjected to at least 2 showings of "Marley and Me". My God, man. That's worse than death itself. You could have blown up the plane in mid-Atlantic flight, sparing everyone on board several viewings of whatever half-assed Sandra Bullock romantic comedy that was featured as the in-flight entertainment. That would have sucked to check into heaven, be greeted by St. Peter who says "I'm sorry you have joined us before your time, my son. Is there anything we can do here in heaven to make it up to you?" "Yeah, erase from my memory the fact that I was stuck on a plane for half a day and had to watch 3 Meg Ryan films." Bad taste, Umar.

Third. You actually left Amsterdam, for Detroit? Didn't they suffer enough? You basically boarded the world's most depressing flight in the first place yet you chose to exacerbate it by immolating yourself. Don't you think these people were already depressed, knowing full well that they were voluntarily going from the most fun city in the Western World to the only Third-World City in North America? Hell, the people who flew United Flight 184 from Sarajevo to Mexico City with stopovers in Beirut, circa 1983 and Vladivostok - with a 5 hour layover in Tampa - would be less resigned to their dismal fate than the occupants of that flight. They basically had no will to live anyway due to the fact that when they deplaned in Michigan, they could have said "I was in Amsterdam just a day ago. Where did my life go so horribly wrong that I am now consigned to be in De-fucking-troit?"

The pointy tip of our spear. (Not pictured: The handle of the spear, roughly 4,230 miles to the right).

Fourth. You just brought the smack-down upon Yemen. Seriously. We all know that there have been covert US actions in Yemen ever since the USS Cole bombing but - apologies to the servicemen and women injured and slain in that attack - the victims were US military personnel, aware of the inherent risk involved in their line of work. But by crossing the line into attempted US civilian murder you just opened a can of Raytheon and General Dynamics whoop-ass upon Yemen. You've heard of the Predator drone, right Umar? Well have you heard of the Reaper? Yeah. Not really a confidence inspiring name if you're on the receiving end, is it? That's because it's a bigger, badder, more heavily armed version of the Predator and my guess is there are currently several hundred circling well out of the capabilities of the human eye, just waiting to launch a fusillade of anti-"looks like militants to me" missiles all over Yemen. It must be seriously inconvenient fighting someone in Arizona from Yemen. Just look at how much Pakistan likes it.

Fifth. Everyone knows that while pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN for short, is more susceptible to shock or friction detonation that standard TNT is still very difficult to ignite and needs an external source to properly detonate. Umar used some sort of liquid catalyst in a syringe to attempt his silly martyrdom. Professor Jimmie Oxley of University of Rhode Island, a chick (!) explosives expert who no doubt would be played by Megan Fox in the film adaptation offered this not-really-advice: Dr. Oxley said it was conceivalbe that the contents of the syringe were sufficient to set off the PENT. "I've been thinking about it," she said. "I know what I would do now, but I'm not going to tell you." Chick is hard as nails. Thus, Umar, your lack of chemistry professorship coupled with the exclusion of a blasting cap or explosive detonation cord basically doomed yourself to third degree burns. And apparently the proclivity to confess everything immediately afterwards will doom your colleagues in terror to some high-tech ass-kicking (see the fourth point).

To sum it up in words you might understand, Abdulumar Farouckutallabadterrorist, you had several choices afforded you but picked the worst. Not only that, once you picked the worst choice, you executed it miserably. When confronted with the choice of "solo martyrdom for a misinformed cause" or "posse-havin', bitch crushin', money-burnin' Nigerian warlord," I would have picked the latter.

*I'm convinced that devout Muslim names are sorta like Madlibs with derivations of Muhammed or Abdul instead of "noun" or "adverb". "Excuse me sir, are you Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab?" "Oh, no. I'm Abdulfarouk Umar Muttalab." "My mistake. Say hi to your mother for me."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

363. Stay for the End Credits of "Avatar"

James Cameron: An Autobiography. Chapter XII - I'm FUCKING RICH AGAIN, ASSES.

Is "Avatar", James Cameron's new epic, a "game-changer" and as revolutionary as the critics say? In a word: yes. The dialogue is predictably cheesy - this is of course from the man who wrote "What's the dog's name?" "Max." "Hey Janelle, what's wrong with Wolfie? I can hear him barking. Is he OK?" "He's fine dear. Wolfie's just fine. Where are you?" "Your foster parents are dead" - and the criticism you've read that it's just "Dances With Wolves" in space is pretty much spot-on; but this movie kicks some serious ass. The 3D glasses and shock factor of depth perception take roughly :30 seconds to get over and then the effects, no matter how in your face with explosion or how soft-focused during discussions become seamless and fully integrated into the film. Cameron lovingly lingers upon the flora, fauna and geography of his intricately created world, Pandora with the care of a seasoned documentary filmmaker and it doesn't seem to drag on. The latent new-age "parable-for-earth-we-are-all-interconnected-maybe-the-natives-of-every-culture-had-it-right"* is a tad heavy-handed at points and the love story - like his previous "Fuck You, I'm Rich" movie, "Titanic"** - is both wholly predictable and formulaic but it really doesn't matter. The lush vistas of Pandora, the attention to detail for creating a whole new ecosystem with it's own animal and plant morphology and the overall premise of corporate greed and the potential for unsupervised private security forces to go awry (Cough - Blackwater, ahem) mesh together the push-and-pull of harmony and discord that are the hallmarks of all great movies.

I must reinforce one thing about this movie though:


Fuck you, James Horner! Fuck you and the "Near, Far, Where Ever You Are" horse you rode in on.

Seriously. The end of the film is capped with "I See You," performed by Leona "Keep Breathing" Lewis. The song fucking blows. With this schmaltzy load of horse dung, Cameron and his composer de rigeur, James Horner are trying desperately to do to Leona Lewis what they did for Celine Dion - which is to make her universally reviled due to this craptastic musical odyssey through fake ethnomusicology. I wanted ear-bleach to rinse the sound from my head but what has been heard cannot be unheard. James Cameron basically tacked this treacle on to the end of the film with the same care that George Lucas replaced the Ewok's FUCKING AWESOME "Yub Yub" song at the end of "Return of the Jedi" with that new-age orchestral/choral makes-Pachabel's-Canon-in-D-sound-like-it's-a-good-song piece of feces and requisite "ooohhh, I get it, you have computers now" montages of Coruscant and Naboo and all his other gay planets celebrating the midgets in furrie costumes overthrowing the Empire montage.

LAME: Star Wars, Episode VI: Featuring Homo-tastic Music by Rusted Root

FREAKING AWESOME: Ewoks Singing Their Own Music, Unadulterated by the White Man

And speaking of George Lucas. Hey George. You might want to pull your pants down, because James Cameron just made you his bitch. All of the bad tastes of Jar-Jar Binks, the Uncle Ben/Aunt Jemima of Naboo and Watto, the Flying Jew and the clearly Chinese Trade Federation characters of Episodes Gay through Fag are immediately washed away by the brilliantly rendered NOT RACIST Na'vi natives, their habitat and their language as portrayed in Cameron's "Avatar".

So in the end, what's the take on "Avatar?"

1. See it in 3D.
2. The second the title card "Avatar" comes on screen at the end of the film, RUN FOR THE FUCKING EXIT.
3. George Lucas is a giant douchetard.
4. Peter Jackson - you're still cool. Gollum was pretty awesome.

*Just for fun and games, people are always railing that the native lifestyle of whichever continent was colonized was more in touch with the land, but what about the native culture of Western Europe? You know? The one that made roads and aqueducts and created the three field system and mobile artillery and steel plate armor and Messerschmidt Bf-109s? Why doesn't anyone ever say anything about that native culture? Like a Hutu comes to Paris and says "wow. The natives of this place really know how to live off the land. I mean, they took rocks out of the ground, processed them and built the EIFFEL FUCKING TOWER. Now that's living off the land. Fuck this spear and llama-eating shit. I wants me a Citroen." Then when he gets the Citroen he realizes maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be. If only he chose Munich. Then he would have gotten a much better car.

**"Titanic" was a pretty decent movie except for one thing that will always, always irk me. When they're on the research vessel, they're always talking about "There she is [dramatic pause / music swells].... Titanic." Really? Is it that hard to throw a fucking "The" before "Titanic?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

362. Be Radio Host; Be Completely Uneducated

Radio host Kevin James is a bona fide moran. Since he is a conservative radio host, I'm going to go out on a not very far-fetched limb and also say that like most of his Family First, America First, Down With the Homos, Don't Kill Babies brethren that he is indeed a closeted homo-sexual and this will come out eventually due to a dalliance with an intern, Republican Congressman or Tom Cruise.

Kevin James is gay and that is OK, buddy. There's no problem being gay. There's just a problem having zero education and espousing hatred. Now that's a problem.

Say it with me, idiot: Sudetenland. Say it again. Sudetenland. That's all you had to say and then you would have looked marginally less ignorant. Still would have been painting with the broadest brush strokes possible, but that sole name drop would have alleviated a great deal of sorrow. A great deal of repressed, man-loving, latent boy-desiring sorrow.

Kevin James is gay. Join the good guys, Kevin James. I've got a couple great friends to hook you up with. Watch the video again. Is that a left earring?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

361. Drink the Tap Water of L.A., Chicago, Houston, Miami, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore or Philadelphia

Mmmmm. Tasty.

The nation's second largest municipal water system the City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Water & Power, provides water to 3,828,700 people. Within that water are 30 contaminants, five of which are above health limits and one that is above legal limits. Just for future reference, why are the LEGAL thresholds higher than the HEALTH thresholds? Shouldn't it be in the reverse?

"But that stifles competition," scream the free-marketists. It also probably stifles infant development.

I digress. Basically, the New York City-Catskill/Delaware water system is the nation's largest, serving 6,552,718 people and contains 12 contaminants only one of which is above the recommended health level. Now them's good gamblin' odds. Meanwhile, the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Authority serves 2,100,000 people has 22 contaminants and the two over the health guidelines - but still within legal limits - are Radium Isotopes. #226 and #228 to be exact. Radium 226 is a by-product of the decay of Uranium and Radium 228 is the decay yield of Thorium. Now that's OK, because Thorium's just slightly radioactive.

Just so we're clear: Radium killed Marie Curie. Uranium is used in nuclear plants and bombs. Thorium has been used in weapons and reactors. If you worked in a watch factory in WWII and had to paint the luminescent dots upon military timepieces, you probably developed cancer, because the paint used radium to make the dials glow.

And this stuff is floating around in the Miami water supply. No wonder everyone's so flamboyant there. They truly are glowing.

Then there's Houston. Come on, now. Like you really expected the water of that festering swamp to be healthy? The City of Houston Public Works Dept. water system serves 2,700,000 people and is the United States' fourth largest. It tested positive for a whopping 45 contaminants. Six of those - Both Radiums, Trichloroacetic acid, Lead, Arsenic and Combined Uranium (?!?) were above health limits and three were above legal limits. Those three were:

1. Alpha particle activity: Sounds like a weapon from Starship Troopers. Instead, it's much more benign than that. Alpha particles are just "a form of radiation released from mining waste pollutants and natural sources." Oh sweet. That's cool that that's in my drinking water and above legal limit, to boot. No problem.

2. Total haloacetic acids: Sounds bad but it's not that bad. It's just the sum of all the disinfectant acids - which are predominantly harmless - and their concentrations. This can be easily remedied.

3. Gross beta particle activity (pCi/L): Great. You're basically drinking either nuclear fallout or the run-off from mining radioactive materials. Sounds tasty, Houston. Granted only one of the sixteen tests was over legal limit, but that's one too many for me. That's why I don't live in Houston and raise a flipper baby colony.

Here's a little vignette from LA. The caption below this photo read: "This Los Angeles reservoir contained chemicals that sunlight converted to compounds associated with cancer. The city used plastic balls to block the sun, but nearby homeowners asked why, if the water didn't violate the law."

Wow. I got a couple questions. 1. Sunlight + Chemicals = Cancer? That's terrifying. 2. How ingenious are the LA water engineers? That's seriously some out of the box, push the envelope, move the needle, synergistic thinking. All joking aside. That's like something the British would have come up with in World War II like the dam buster bomb or the Mulberries. 3. Homeowners asked why, if the water didn't violate the law? "Why are you marring the view of our reservoir with those plastic balls if the water's not illegal -yet?" "Uh, because sunlight turns some of the chemicals found within this water into a carcinogen." "But you said 'turns', not 'turned,' right?" "Correct, we're just trying to..." "Ew, whatever. They're ugly. Make them go away." Fucking LA - taking aesthetics over health, any day. Shallow sons of bitches.

Finally, San Francisco only had eight contaminants and not a single one over either the health or legal limit, so kudos to you, the mistake by the mmm'bay. But SF's water system on serves 2.5 million, so that's really not all that much of an accomplishment. They basically have to refill a giant Brita pitcher every 3 or 4 days. Basically what I'm saying is, per capita, NYC water is freaking awesome when compared to the drinking supply of the rest of you rinky-dink backwater towns.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

360. Invent/Design This



Listen. I know people get off on weird stuff. Like really weird stuff. Basically say "Geographic Name" and then "Incongruous Action" and it's someone's idea of a good way to pass a Saturday night with a consenting male/female/houseplant. The "Calcutta Dropkick" is my personal favorite. I also know a guy who hooked up with this girl who gave him an unsolicited "Lancashire Stenographer". It involves... well you can use your imagination if you know what I mean.

In any case, there's crossing the line then there's crossing the line into the realm of war crimes. Utilizing the above mask is akin to handing over the keys of Buchenwald to the Khmer Rouge who subsequently appoints Stalin as exclusive caterer. He must REALLY like Dobermans.

Not. Cool.

359. Be Taylor Lautner

Mr. Taylor Lautner is on top of the world. He's jacked. He's a talented martial artist (watch the above). He's dating probably the hottest* pop musician (oh don't you dare call that country) in the country right now. He's in one of the top grossing films of the year. He seems to be bordering on midget.

Won "Most Jacked Little Person" in his High School Yearbook.

Wow. Like that is either 1. really short or 2. Bill Hader was last seen of the coast of Tokyo, emerging from the ocean. And since several sources list Hader as 6'1" - my height - that means that Taylor Lautner is shorter than pretty much every girl I've ever met in my life.

So all you swoontastic Twilight Team Jeremy - that's his name in the movie, right? I know it's not - oh - shit - it's right there in the photo. Team Jacob. Yeah. Anyway. So all you Team Jacob chicks, unless you are a misshapen dwarf - and you probably are if you're swallowing this tripe - Jacob/Taylor will be shorter than you. Which might not be that bad for you. Since you'll never have the opportunity to procreate, you can instead harness your misplaced maternal instincts on babying upon your bosom little Taylor Lautner instead of nurturing your seventy-three cats and one guinea pig. His name's Mr. Wiggles!

* I mean "hottest" as most popular. Jury's still out on if she is actually hot.

Yet Again - More Junk!