Personally, I Prefer Big Dogs 

I also like them to live for more than 10 hours.

Over on Mars, NASA has been generating oxygen. That’s very cool!

When the Perseverance rover touched down on Mars in February 2021, one of the instruments it carried was a 40-pound, microwave-sized device called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, aka MOXIE.

MOXIE has been working over the last 2.5 years to extract the trace amounts of oxygen from Mars’ atmosphere, which is mostly carbon dioxide (95%) and nitrogen (3%). On its 16th and final run on August 7, the instrument made 9.8 grams of oxygen, bringing the total to 122 grams.

However, the current results from MOXIE aren’t exactly jaw-dropping on their face. In fact, the headline “NASA generates enough oxygen on Mars for a small dog to breathe for ten hours” sounds more than a little ridiculous. In truth, however, this system has worked even better than expected. In the future, it’s possible that large dogs could breath for weeks, months, or even years on Mars. Also, humans, I suppose.

Free Inside! One Jagged Metal Multigrain Cracker! 

Simpsons did it.

Thanks to reader Chris M., I can advise my readers to watch out, because Trader Joe’s Multigrain Crackers with Sunflower and Flax Seeds may contain metal. The product has now been recalled, at least the third such recall in just over a month. I suspect the explanation for this one is a machine that broke in such a way that small pieces of metal sheared off into the food. That’s a lot easier to understand than food inadvertently containing rocks or insects.

Regardless of the cause, Trader Joe’s, you need to get your shit together, and then keep it out of your food products.

Conducting a Manifestly Unsafe Voyage 

Jack Johnson says don’t let your dreams be dreams, but I dunno.

Friend-of-the-site Alex S. passed along the bizarre story of a man named Reza Baluchi trying to run a giant hamster wheel across the Atlantic. This is the vessel in question:

It doesn’t exactly look like the kind of thing that can get someone from Florida to England. Still, Baluchi is nothing if not a cockeyed optimist, having made similar attempts repeatedly in the past. The man knows what he wants, and what he wants is to traverse the Atlantic Ocean in barely seaworthy vessels. For the doubters, he has this advice:

“Dream no coming after you,” Baluchi told VICE. “You must follow your dream.”

Though his mission may be foolish, those are wise words. Your dream definitely is not going to follow you. You’d better follow your dream, even if the journey is manifestly unsafe.

The Cheater’s Marathon 

26.2 miles IS really far, though.

One need look no further than the infamous Rosie Ruiz to know that people cheat in marathons. Nowadays, however, timing mats placed along the course can at least verify that runners correctly crossed various checkpoints. Marathon course-cutting can still happen, but it’s generally rare. As such, this is very difficult to believe:

Mexico City Marathon organizers have disqualified 11,000 runners for cheating, after trackers revealed participants had been cutting out sections of the course.

The Mexico City Marathon is a massive organized event, with around 30,000 participants. The idea that 1/3 of the entrants cheated seems a bit far-fetched. An alternate explanation could be that one (or more) of the mid-race mats failed, though you would hope that officials have analyzed the data well enough to dismiss that possibility. I’d certainly like to better understand just what happened here.

Still, this massive disqualification is not without precedent in Mexico. The very same race has had issues before:

In 2017, 6,000 runners were denied their finishers medals after participants were found to have not completed the full course.

The same thing happened again the following year, when a further 3,090 participants were disqualified from the 2018 event.

Perhaps the Mexico City Marathon has garned a reputation, and is now particularly popular with course-cutters.

Why Gerald Ford?

Per Futurama, we do know that Ford has never felt voting to be all that essential to the process.

This morning, my pal Amy Jane pointed me to a tidbit from a mostly-unrelated story about one of Donald Trump’s many lawyers, Evan Corcoran. Please enjoy this peculiar image:

[W]hile sitting together in Trump’s office, in front of a Norman Rockwell-style painting depicting Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Trump playing poker…

I am fascinated by the idea of this painting, and boy do I have questions.

Questions about a bizarre painting purportedly showing Donald Trump playing poker with Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Bill Clinton

  • Has Donald Trump ever played poker in his life? Do you imagine that he thinks he can play poker?

  • Can you conceive of a worse poker player than Donald Trump? Keep in mind that bluffing is a strategic maneuver, different from simply lying about reality.

  • Why Gerald Ford?! Even with Republicans turning on and abandoning Reagan, and despite the fact that Trump continues to harbor an epically pathetic grudge against Hillary Clinton, I find Ford to be the absolute oddest inclusion at this imaginary table.

  • Is it because the only thing possibly more ridiculous than being elected President while not receiving a majority, or even a plurality, of the votes, is attaining the office without anyone outside of Michigan ever voting for you?

  • Was this painting commissioned by Trump? Was it an unrequested gift?

  • May I see this painting?

After a bit of searching for a picture of this ridiculousness, I suspect the description is wrong, and that the real painting contains no Clinton at all. It seems likely that the work in question was instead this painting by an artist named Andy Thomas, which was notably mocked a few years back. That piece includes Gerald Ford solely because he is a Republican president. Hell, even Coolidge is in there!

If there really is a painting of Trump playing poker with Clinton, I want to see it. For now, however, my bet is that the details got lost in the shuffle.

Some Recalls Are More Urgent Than Others 

🎶 Paw Patrol, Paw Patrol, you’ll see porn on the double! 🎶

Recently, Lidl issued an “urgent recall” of packages of Paw Patrol snacks. While the food itself is fine, a URL listed on the packaging is “not suitable for child consumption”.

Lidl has urgently recalled Paw Patrol snacks sold in its stores after customers complained a link on the product packaging took them to an explicit website.

Whoops! I don’t want to rub their noses in it, but that’s a pretty big mess.

A Parade of Corgis 

I would definitely have liked to see that.

I don’t have much interest in the British royal family, but I do love a good corgi, so I can get on board with a parade of corgis in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

A corgi in royal garb

Seafood Is Expensive 

Also, koi remain overpriced.

Over in England, at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, one hungry otter has managed to eat $125,000 worth of koi.

Mr Nelson said it was “definitely a surprise to find that an otter was the culprit for our huge loss of fish”.

It would not a surprise long-time readers of this site. At this point, koi ponds are basically just otter buffets.

A Wild Hair

“Do you, Sir? Well, for sure!”

Reader, I groom my eyebrows. A quiet ritual I have: a trimmer and I are alone present. Well, that and the constant fear of Mona Lisa-ing myself.1

You see, every few months, I notice that a couple of stray eyebrow hairs have grown longer than the rest. At that point, in the hopes of avoiding looking too much like a mad scientist, I trim those rogues down. Naturally, each and every time I undertake this task, I contemplate what would happen if I slipped. It would not be a pretty sight.

Fortunately, I have had no major shaving mishaps thus far in my life. However, in the distant past, I did once find myself with a different problem. At a time when I was more trusting and perhaps less vigilant, an evil eyebrow hair managed to grow to truly monstrous size before I finally noticed it. When at last I did see this mutant hair, it was necessary to pluck it completely from my head. It simply could not be permitted to continue residing there, lest it take over my entire face.

So with a pair of tweezers and a sharp “Ow!”, I brought the beast low. After that, I placed its corpse in a tiny, fancy box. As one does.

A long eyebrow hair in a lush box.

Perhaps that hair doesn’t look so humongous, nestled as it is in white gauze, but I assure you it was massive. In order to establish a proper record, I eventually used some hair gel to straighten it out on a sheet of paper to take proper measurements. Again, as one does.

An eyebrow hair being measured, appearing to be close to 3.5 cm long

The fiend had a length of nearly 3.5 centimeters. Yes, it was well over an inch and a quarter long, and that’s ridiculous! I don’t know how it evaded my defenses. Did it slip past those sporadic visual scans by laying low, in preparation for some sort of strike? Or perhaps it sprouted overnight. If asparagus can grow two inches in a day2, why not this sinister strand?

Having defeated the demon, I now wished to show it off as a hunting trophy of sorts. Swiftly, I was off to eBay. A few days later, I was able to properly show off my catch:

A LEGO fisherman minifig holding the eyebrow hair.

I think you’ll have to agree that at a mere $5.14 shipped directly to my door, this “LEGO Town Minifig Fisherman Green Vest & Pole” was worth every penny.

A LEGO fisherman minifig holding the eyebrow hair.


  1. If you’ve never noticed, have a look, that gal’s eyebrows are gone. Thought it’s sometimes claimed this was a reflection of the beauty standards of the Renaissance, the painting apparently did originally have eyebrows. It now seems they may have been a victim of time and overcleaning. ↩︎

  2. Gross! But also, true. ↩︎

Can Fat Do That? 

Or more likely, are the machines just not very good?

A few years back, Major League Baseball mandated that all stadiums have metal detectors to prevent attendees from bringing in weapons. After a recent shooting at a Chicago White Sox game, their effectiveness must surely come into question. It would seem they might need some work.

On Tuesday, ESPN Chicago reporter Peggy Kusinski said that the gun was snuck into the stadium by one of the women who was hit. The shooting was “an accidental discharge” by the woman whose injury was previously identified as “a graze wound.”

“She reportedly snuck the gun in past metal detectors hiding it in the folds of her belly fat,” Kusinski said in a post on X.

On the one hand, that might seem difficult to believe. On the other hand, I attended a baseball game just last night where I was instructed to keep my keys and full-of-metal cell phone in my pocket as I went through the clearly-not-very-sensitive metal detector.

Update (September 5, 2023): When I wrote about this, I made it a particular point to not convey anything here as established fact. Over a week later, there’s still a lack of clarity. One of the women involved denies bringing in a gun, and police have merely said they’re still investigating:

Chicago police earlier Tuesday issued a statement saying the claim that a woman had brought in a gun and suffered a self-inflicted wound was “not released or confirmed by the Chicago Police Department.” Police said the investigation was “still active and ongoing.”

Meanwhile, White Sox sources believe the shots came from outside the park, but of course they’re incentivized to think that.

Hopefully the mystery will be solved eventually.