You Might Be Eating the Evidence 

Friday, August 18th, 2017

It’s difficult to believe that the “Emergency Nut Theft Summit” was a real, necessary thing, but in recent years, thousands of tons of nuts have been stolen.

Say Goodbye to Your Own Ignorant, Saliva-Splattered Bliss 

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

For anyone celebrating a birthday today, be aware that when you blow out the candles on your cake, you’re really grossing it up. A recent study shows a massive increase in bacteria on cakes following this common ritual. Fortunately, this increase is clearly fairly unimportant, even if it is a bit stomach-churning.

The experiments themselves also sound like a college student’s dream:

To simplify things for the study, Dawson and his students dispensed with an actual cake and frosted a piece of foil atop a cake-shaped styrofoam base. His students stuck candles in, lit them, and blew. Oh actually, they did something before blowing out the candles: They ate pizza. “We also wanted to simulate a birthday party,” says Dawson. “We thought it might help the salivary glands get going.”

Confirmation Shaming 

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The site’s description explains confirmation shaming perfectly. They collect instances of “a site ask[ing] you to sign up for their thing and then the ‘no thank you’ link is some hot garbage”. Like so:


I actually like how emphatic this one is. [Link]

Personally, these things just make me laugh. They’ve never made me change my mind.

Put That Golf Cart in Some Rice

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

I love this story of a city employee in Columbus, Georgia, who took a golf cart on her smoke break. The cart wound up in the river, and the woman eventually found herself justly terminated. The best part, however, is the photo accompanying the story.

Golf cart in river

I didn’t realize what this was at first, but it eventually clicked that this is the roof of the golf cart, barely protruding from the water. Look closer, and you can see the full cart in its watery resting place. This hilarious image shows me two things:

  1. The depth of the water appears to perfectly match the height of the golf cart.1

  2. This woman got some distance off the shore!


Footnotes:

  1. I considered the possibility that the cart isn’t actually resting on the bottom of the river. It seems unlikely, but perhaps the roof is keeping it afloat. A search for information didn’t turn up anything definitive, but I did find plenty of other golf carts in the water.↩︎

What the Hell Is “Fooseball”? 

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Recently, Louis Bien unearthed his first website, a GeoCities page dedicated to the Michigan Wolverings Wolverines. Like most pages on GeoCities, it’s something to see. Join Bien for a nostalgic trip back to a simpler time on the web.

Friends of the Court 

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Back in June, John Oliver ripped into the coal industry in a tremendous segment on “Last Week Tonight”. As part of this segment, he tore into coal executive Bob Murray, who has a history of being litigious when it comes to supposed defamation. Predictably, but no less the ridiculous for it, Murray sued.

Now, HBO is fighting back, and the ACLU has filed a tremendous amicus brief in support of Oliver.1 With sections like “All of John Oliver’s Speech Was Protected by the First Amendment. You Can’t Sue People for Being Mean to You, Bob.”, this brief is an enjoyable read even for folks with no legal background.


Footnotes:

  1. The brief is available on the ACLU’s site, but a copy is also archived here. ↩︎

For Want of $14 a Year, the Street Was Lost 

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The residents of a private street in San Francisco were recently shocked to learn their road had been purchased out from under them, due to unpaid tax bills.

Anything’s Possible

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Some severe weather occurred in Maryland on Monday, leading to a great deal of property damage, as well as this headline:

Possible Tornado Tosses Cars, Destroys Building, Knocks Over Trees

Yes, it was possibly a tornado, but let us not be hasty. After all, other possibilities include “Sudden Gravity Malfunction”, or perhaps even “Angry Wizard”.

For what it’s worth, the Weather Channel was less equivocal about this, using a much better headline:

Likely Tornado Flips Cars, Downs Trees in Salisbury, Maryland

There may not be 100% certainty of a tornado, but we can be pretty sure, and “likely” sounds a lot better than “possible”.

That Car Seat Is a Pretty Good Driver 

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Apparently, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute wanted to collect real-world reactions to a driverless vehicle, without actually having such a vehicle available for real-world testing. Instead, they put a driver in a car seat costume.

AAnd You Can Keep Waiting

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Requests for me to spend my time filling out surveys, leaving reviews, and giving feedback come more and more frequently of late. This, however, is a new low. It wasn’t even the first nudge I’d received to leave a review for some damned gelato I bought in New York City, but the subject was certainly the most presumptuous.

Presumptious email with subject 'Paul, we're waiting'

I don’t know why the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program only allows reviews within 30 days, but at least it means they’ll stop bugging me now.