I Feel You, Bears 

Friday, November 27th, 2020

Over a century ago, the Japanese wolf was hunted to extinction. Now, in an effort to combat bears entering human neighborhoods, the Japanese town of Takikawa is turning to a new breed of wolf for assistance.

The so-called ‘Monster Wolf’ robot consists of a shaggy body on four legs, a blond mane and fierce, glowing-red eyes. When its motion detectors are activated, it moves its head, flashes lights and emits 60 different sounds ranging from wolfish howling to machinery noises.

Don’t miss the full video.1 It includes a night vision capture which shows, in hilarious fashion, that bears are not fans of the robotic Monster Wolf.


This bear wants nothing to do with a demonic robot wolf.


Footnotes:

  1. It’s archived here. ↩︎

The New Year’s Countdown Has Nothing on This

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Today is Thanksgiving in America, and one thing I’m extremely thankful for how soon this clock will reach 0.


Accurate as of the exact time of this post, 8:30:00 AM on November 26th, 2020

At exactly 12 PM on January 20th, 2021, the clock will expire on Donald Trump’s monstrous presidency, and the world will instantly be a markedly better place.

His Eviction Notice Was Served in Early November 

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

When the Boston Globe tweeted about a humorous story on how various professions deal with unwanted pests, they included this note:

A tweet reading ‘Even a nation hooked on drama does not want to see a US president dragged out the front door…’

The overwhelming response was, approximately, “Sez who?!”. It’s not pretty or pleasant, but that is where Donald Trump has brought us. After inflicting so much suffering on so many, it’s only natural that folks would in fact love to see him dragged out by his ear like the petulant toddler he is. There were plenty of amusing replies, including suggestions that we could balance the national budget or retire the national debt, just by setting up this event on pay-per-view.

Meanwhile, the article itself featured solid advice from five different professions. My favorite comes from an animal control officer:

“…[W]e install one-way doors,” he said. “They’re like little exit tunnels where they go out but can’t get back in. They squeeze out and the door closes behind them.

There are enough resources in the White House that a normal person could stay holed up in there for weeks, if not months. However, there is no golf course, and thus Trump needs to leave the building nearly every day.

Still, if that doesn’t work?

[I]f the animals are being “difficult,” the firm may sprinkle coyote urine around.

Hey, besides the Road Runner, who isn’t scared of coyotes?

Venezuela, Syria, and America 

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Donald Trump’s attempts to subvert American democracy are reprehensible. Fortunately for the world, it appears they will also be ineffective. The authors of a book called “The Dictator’s Handbook” have some astute observations about exactly what Trump and his team are doing. Here’s one relevant note:

Trump is trying to make the people who report the vote into the actual winning coalition. He’s going to fail. The courts are not going to allow him to get away with it. But it’s horribly clever.

“Horribly clever” is one way to describe attempting to alter the outcome of a national election in which over 150 million people voted by having a tiny number of election officials alter the results. “Treasonous” might be another.

A Rather E-Gregious Idea 

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

If you’re fortunate enough to be the (welcoming) recipient of intimate photos, it is obviously the very poorest of form to then share those photos with others. Nevertheless, this apparently happens frequently, because people are the worst.1 Still, I’m not sure the very, very sexy idea of an NDA app for sexters is going to solve much.


Footnotes:

  1. Seinfeld really nailed this one.2 ↩︎

  2. This perfect summation of all humanity is archived here. ↩︎

The Ruined Sanctity of the Pro Bowl

Friday, November 20th, 2020

Despite the unceasing lies coming out of the mouths and fingers of Donald Trump and his toadies, America’s recent elections were safe and secure. In contrast, the NFL has a very real, very funny problem with election tampering. Friend-of-the-site Chris D. alerted me to this delightful nonsense, and I’m very glad he did.

If you’re not familiar, each year, the NFL holds a terrible all-star game called the Pro Bowl. The violent nature of American football coupled with a sensible desire by the players to avoid career-altering injuries results in an unentertaining game that few people watch. For many years, the Pro Bowl took place the week after the Super Bowl, providing a lousy coda to the football season. In recent years, the game was moved to the bye week before the Super Bowl, which allows it to at least serve as a time-filler as fans await the championship.

In 2021, the Pro Bowl will be extra pointless, because it will take place as some sort of tournament within the “Madden NFL 21” video game. Lest you think things couldn’t get more ridiculous than that, however, know that fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars found a way. You see, back in August, the Jaguars traded defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to the Vikings. That deal includes language which states that if Ngakoue makes the Pro Bowl, the Vikings will have to send back a better future draft pick to Jacksonville. The final key here is that fans can vote on who makes the Pro Bowl. I’ll let SBNation take it from here:

Jaguars fans took to Reddit to push for mass voting to get Ngakoue into the Pro Bowl, and elisted friends from around the NFC North. Now Packers, Lions and Bears fans are helping Duval in its quest, because for them screwing over the Vikings is hilarious.

It should be noted that Ngakoue doesn’t deserve to make the Pro Bowl this season. It’s not entirely his fault after bouncing from team to team, but he currently ranks tied for 20th in the NFL in sacks (10th in the AFC), and without a major push down the stretch it’s doubtful he’d make the team this season.

To summarize: Jacksonville Jaguars fans are joining forces with supporters of the division rivals of the Minnesota Vikings in an effort to vote in to an all-star game that isn’t really happening a player who doesn’t deserve to be there anyway, so that the Vikings are forced to screw themselves over by sending the Jags a better draft pick as recompense for receiving that undeserving player. Well done, all around.

America’s Moron 

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

After September 11th, 2001, Rudy Guiliani could’ve ridden out the rest of his life as “America’s Mayor”. Instead, he’s repeatedly chosen to associate himself with loathsome soon-to-be-former president Donald Trump. As Guiliani argues in court for disenfranchising millions of voters on utterly meritless grounds, that’s going especially poorly. Guiiani’s performance in court this week was so bad, it earned him comparisons to cartoon lawyer Lionel Hutz. As “Simpsons” writer Bill Oakley notes, those comparisons are unfair…to Mr. Hutz.

Our Vaccine Fairy Godmother 

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Back in 2013, famed amusement park owner Dolly Parton was involved in a minor car accident, which led her to meet Dr. Naji Abumrad. Parton and Abumrad formed an unlikely friendship, one which eventually led Parton to donate $1 million to COVID-19 research. Now, it seems Parton’s donation helped to fuel the promising new Moderna vaccine. It’s a weird, weird world we’re living in.

Your Order Has Arrived, Maybe

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Recently, friend-of-the-site Amy G. was informed of the delivery of a turtleneck poncho from J. Crew.1 Sort of. In an email with the rather ludicrous subject of “Best News Ever: Your order has arrived!”, J. Crew suggests possibilities for where the package might be found:

An email reading “Psst! Check your mailbox, doorstep…wherever!!!

It would seem that we’ve given up entirely on the idea that a delivery person comes, rings the doorbell, and hands us a package. Now, they leave it somewhere, anywhere, and hopefully we’ll be able to find it before it’s stolen by a porch pirate.

However, it gets worse. The next paragraph of the email says

Can’t find your package? Carriers sometimes mark packages as “delivered” when being passed off from one carrier to another. Please allow one additional business day for your package to arrive or reach out to the carrier directly with additional questions.

So this email is essentially pointless. Despite the excessive enthusiasm, J.Crew actually has no idea where the package might be. Worse, despite the presence of a definitive statement, the order may very well not have arrived at all. “Delivered” no longer has any meaning whatsoever.

Meanwhile, their social media team is so excited, they’re speaking in rhymes:

We hope you really, really love it! Share how you wear and pair it by tagging us @jcrew.

Me, I’d really, really love it if, when they don’t have anything useful to say, companies just didn’t say anything.


Footnotes:

  1. That might sound like a ridiculous garment, but she pulls it off! ↩︎

Medical Delivery via Lamborghini 

Monday, November 16th, 2020

The Italian State Police own multiple Lamborghinis, which might not be the best use of resources. However, they did recently used one to transport a kidney over 300 miles in just two hours, which is pretty awesome.