Who Exactly Is Going to Carry This Child? 

Friday, May 24th, 2019

A young man named Peter Zhu died recently, and that’s a shame. However, a court has just ruled that his parents may use Zhu’s sperm for reproductive purposes, and that may be even more tragic. Creating a child with the sperm of a dead man strikes me as misguided at best, even for a spouse. In this case, it’s truly bizarre for the man’s parent to be involved in this.

Please allow this post to serve as an official and explicit declaration that if there’s ever a chance for someone to harvest my sperm and create a child with it after I’m dead, I do not want that to happen. I also can’t believe I might actually have to spell that out beforehand.

The Knock-Off Culture of Jordan 

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

There’s apparently at least one place on Earth where “Papa” John Schnatter hasn’t been disgraced. The Middle Eastern country of Jordan abounds with American bootlegs, including unlicensed versions of American chains like Papa John’s, which still feature Schnatter as their spokesman. There are also illegal Burger Kings (Burgers King?) and Fuddrucker’s, as well as knock-offs like “Donuts Factory”:

In America, it’s now just “Dunkin’”, so perhaps they’ll change to just “Factory”.

It would be fascinating to see a side-by-side comparison of the food from some of these places, as these unlicensed locations presumably no longer have access to the official supply chains for these franchises.

He Who Represents Himself 

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

It is extraordinarily rare for a defendant representing himself to have any success in court. Hassan Bennett recently beat the odds.

See Some Different Looking Squirrels 

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Over two weeks ago, Saturday Night Live aired a tremendous bit that I’ve been continually reminded of ever since. It continues to crack me up, so now I’m sharing it with you. If you’re from the Northeast, you may recognize the underlying spoof of Perillo Tours and its CEO Steve Perillo.1

But even if you’ve never seen a Perillo Tours ad, you can enjoy a laugh from this. Give it a watch.2

Kenan Thompson realizes that pictures of him will have him in them.


  1. In addition to leading Perillo Tours, Steve owns the steve.com domain name, which is pretty impressive in its own right.↩︎

  2. As always, the video is archived here. ↩︎

We’re Already Giving You Money 

Monday, May 20th, 2019

Buying a subway ticket really, really shouldn’t require you to sit through an ad.

Mouth-to-Beak Resuscitation 

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Recently, I read the bizarre story of a Canada goose groan-inducingly named Pierce:

Photo of the goose, with an arrow through his chest
That’s Pierce. Get it?

After being shot with an arrow by an unknown assailant, the goose eluded capture attempts by animal control offices for quite some time. Eventually, he was caught and given emergency surgery to remove the arrow.

It was there that veterinarians discovered that the goose had previously broken one of his legs, had been shot with a hunting pellet, and had elevated levels of lead in his blood.

That’s pretty bad, but it gets even more ridiculous.

Dr. Greg Mertz, the chief medical and program officer for the New England Wildlife Centers, said the goose died twice on the operating table and had to be resuscitated.

Maybe we should just let Death have this particular goose. It obviously wants it pretty badly.

The Worcester Bravehearts Should Listen To Jimmy Dugan

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

This is a very, very bad slogan.

Billboard for a local baseball team announcing 'The clap is back!'

However, the prevalence of STDs on college campuses coupled with the fact that this is a collegiate league means it’s probably also true.

More on Siri and Numerical Days of the Year

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

When writing about Siri and the Kilomile last week, I noted some strange and useless responses the virtual assistant provided when trying to determine what numerical day of the year it was. Shortly thereafter, I received multiple replies from folks who noted that at least my last query (“How many days until 2020?”) worked for them. I don’t know what changed on the Siri side since my first tests, but this does indeed work for me as well:

Answer: It's two hundred thirty one days until then.

With this answer, we’re at least getting somewhere in the quest to determine what numerical day of the year it is. If we take 365 days and subtract that answer of 231, we get 134. Today (May 15th, 2019) is actually the 135th day of the year, so perhaps Siri isn’t counting today in this. We have to add 1 at the end (or subtract from 366), but we can at least use this to work out the answer we want.

Having finally gotten something useful from Siri, I set out to see if there was an easier method. First, I again tested the real head scratcher from my first post. Regardless of the day of the year, when asked “How many days are left in this year?”, Siri thinks there are three hundred sixty-four days left. That issue persists:

Answer: It's three hundred sixty-four days.

Experimenting further revealed additional problems. I got another weird reply when I asked “How many days into 2019 are we?”:

Answer: It's two hundred thirty days until then.

This phrasing seems to indicate Siri is still living in 2018. On a hunch, I then asked “How many days from 2020 are we?”, and got this:

Answer: It's three hundred sixty-four days.

A quick check reveals that this was the exact number of days from 2020 on May 15th, 2018. Why is Siri living in the past? What sort of off-by-one error have we hit?

Eventually, however, I figured out the exact right question to ask. Reader Michael L. put me on the right path, suggesting “How many days since the first of the year?”

Answer: It was one hundred thirty-four days ago.

This is very close, and doesn’t require subtracting from 365. Still, it’s off by one day, requiring us to remember to add one. What if we instead ask “How many days since December 31st, 2018?”:

Answer: It was one hundred thirty-five days ago.

Success! This gives us today’s numerical day, with no additional math required.

It’s good to know that Siri is indeed capable of doing calendar math. Now the trick is remembering how exactly to ask this question to avoid multiple different weird or wrong answers.

Turning Things Around 

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Ed Kressy was addicted to meth for 11 years, but he eventually managed to turn his life around.

That’s 138 Million Misspellings 

Monday, May 13th, 2019

It seems someone in Australia shirked their “responsibilty”, and as a result, the latest Australian $50 note has a typo repeated three times in its microprint. With 46 million notes out there, it’s not likely to reach the collectible state of something like an Inverted Jenny. It is, however, rather embarrassing.