Category Archives: Our World Today

Lab-grown meat

The Medical University of South Carolina recently suspended Vladimir Mironov, a scientist working on a project to grow meat in labs. The project could potentially solve problems like world hunger and his kinda wondering whether he can do it.

The following article provides more information:

http://www.nydailynews.com/tech_guide/2011/01/31/2011-01-31_south_carolina_scientist_works_to_grow_meat_in_lab_.html

The following is a leaked photo of one of his experiments:

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Audience members shot in an acoustic performance of MIA’s Paper Planes

LOS ANGELES – 10 people were injured during MIA’s acoustic performance of the hit single “Paper Planes.” The song involves gun fire from a 9mm pistol and a ringing cash register. 9 members of the audience were injured by pistol rounds reflecting off the ceiling. One member of the band jammed his thumb shutting the cash register’s tray.

In other news, STOP TELLING ME I CAN’T EAT PEANUT BUTTER. I LIKE TO EAT PEANUT BUTTER.

Katie Stam crowned Miss America

Today, Miss Indiana Katie Stam was crowned Miss America. And you know what?

I CALLED IT!

 

And I don’t mean, “I saw all of the contestants at the beginning of the show and predicted that Miss Indiana would win.” No. I called this WEEKS AGO. Really. Anyone that follows the Miss America competition would have seen that Katie Stam was the far stronger contestant.

Local man hits jackpot at casino

casino On Saturday, Aaron Turtleman, IT manager for a local software business, hit the jackpot at the Tulalip Resort Casino playing nickel slots, winning a whopping $20 after spending only 30 cents.

“I was so surprised,” said Turtleman. “I never expected I’d ever be this lucky. I was just hoping to make between $5 and $10!”

Despite his new fortune, Turtleman plans to continue working as an IT manager. “I won’t let this money change me. I’ll still keep going to work every morning. It’ll just be nice to know that I can have a little extra money to retire on.”

Zimbardo puts an end to San Francisco

goldengate 37 years after psychologist Philip Zimbardo ended the Stanford Prison experiment early, citing problems with ethics, Zimbardo does the same with the San Francisco experiment, citing similar ethical concerns.

For his San Francisco experiment, Zimbardo purchased 100 acres of deserted farmland by Oakland, California in 1972, and populated it with approximately one million participants. Participants were originally paid $15 per day to “live life normally.”

“I had originally set out to set up a psychological experiment on a grander scale when I created San Francisco,” said Zimbardo. “I thought a hilly environment by the bay with great year-around weather would inspire positive social interaction. I regret that I was wrong, and I just produced a city of a bunch of ass holes.”

Study participants will be asked to evacuate so that the land may be reclaimed as a landfill. On the reclamation, Zimbardo comments, “a landfill will be an upgrade from the current cultural wasteland that it currently is.”

East vs West: Fireworks

washingtonGrowing up in the US, I’ve always associated fireworks with Independence Day and New Years celebrations. On these special days, big cities and hillbillies would light up the sky with fireworks displays, and everybody would go, “ooh… ah…”

But fireworks weren’t always used for this purpose. Back when the Chinese invented gunpowder sometime between 9AD and 12AD, they originally thought, “wow, this stuff is loud. Let’s use it to scare away demons,” marking the beginning of the use of fireworks in festivals. (Little did they know that loud noises only scared away harmless, loser-demons).

A short time after that, they decided, “wow, these things are neat, let’s stare at them in awe,” marking the beginning of the use of gunpowder in fireworks.  And of course, the jerk in the crew saw it and said, “wow, let’s use this to launch projectiles at our enemies.”

Thanks to the prolific trade between Europe and the Orient in the 13th century, some guy from Europe saw the gun powder and thought, “wow, launching projectiles! Let’s just go with it!” And thus he harnessed the power to destroy armies and level towns.

Jumping ahead to modern times, both the Eastern and Western worlds still use gun powder as weapons similarly (inside firearms pointed toward neighbors), but our uses of gunpowder for fireworks have diverged slightly.

Specifically, a common fireworks display in the United States involves loading a barge full of explosives and lighting them over water in a manner that allows spectators to enjoy the light show from a safe distance. In many cases, music is played in sync with the fireworks.

taipei101fireworksIn Taiwan, however, fireworks are brought closer to the audience. For example, on the New Year’s celebration of 2008, the skyscraper Taipei 101 was rigged with tons of explosives to serve as the launching point for Taipei’s fireworks. On a side note, I like the guy who said, “Now that we’ve spent several years building the world’s tallest skyscraper, let’s rig it with explosives to celebrate the New Year of the less historically significant of the two calendars we currently use.” Ehh, okay, to be fair, this sounds a lot more reckless than it really was… unlike the Yenshui Fireworks Festival, which is as reckless as it sounds.

Yenshui Fireworks FestivalIn the Yenshui Fireworks Festival, fireworks are brought even closer to the audience in a participatory BYOFMHTCT-style celebration. That is, Bring Your Own Fireworks, Motorcycle Helmets, Thick Clothes, and Towels. In this celebration that dates back to the 19th century when fireworks were used to fight plague, fireworks are fired in all directions within the crowd itself. Participants, wearing home-made body armor consisting of thick jackets, a motorcycle helmet, and a towel, try to get hit by them for good luck.

Now, before you start your own Yenshui style festival, remember this: these nuts have been doing this for centuries, and though they were the descendants of the same guys who thought fireworks could fight plague, they do have some idea of what they’re doing, as opposed to you. Fireworks cause people to lose things that are attached to them and that they want. Bleeding is often involved. Don’t do it.

Happy America Day!

july4th08 On this day, the day of American Independence, wave around your American flag, have some American apple pie, and try some of these activities that celebrate things that are uniquely American:

  1. Charge something to your credit card. Americans love credit! In fact, we can’t get enough of it. Fortunately for us, predatory lenders can’t give enough of it either!
  2. Complain about gas prices while you drive your truck. Japan is pretty good at making smaller, more fuel efficient cars, but we don’t care. We like our women big and our cars MASSIVE. We like being able to move around a lot of stuff, even when we have nothing to move around. And we like low gas prices.
  3. Complain about global warming while you complain about gas prices. Because you can’t drive your truck around in a Water World.
  4. Outsource your labor. When there’s a job to be done, pay someone far away much less to do it.
  5. Burn your house down while your abusive dad is in it. “Independence Day” by Martina McBride.

Happy 4th of July everybody!

Euro 2008 and an end to an era?

300px-UEFA_EURO_2008_New_Logo_svgThis past Sunday, Germans all over Germany had their hearts broken as Spain shamed Germany 1-0 in the finals of the Euro 2008 soccer tournament. What does this mean for Spain? That they won! But what does this mean for the game of soccer? So much more…

So much more…

Euro 2008 was actually the first UEFA soccer tournament over the last century in which the United States hadn’t come out on top. In fact, not only were they not in the finals, they hadn’t even qualified to participate in the tournament. Many are saying that this is an end to the dominance of the United States in the world of soccer.

A popular explanation is that the United States, having been at the top for so long, has become complacent. Players aren’t training as hard while countries in South America and Europe, traditionally not known as strong soccer countries, are training younger, more talented players. It was inevitable that they would eventually catch up.

But looking at overall trends, it’s hard to ignore the fact that soccer just isn’t as popular in the United States as it once was. With stories such as that of the 2007 Boston Celtics, an underdog story about a team with 5 no-name starters making minimum wage becoming champions, it’s easy to forget about a sport in which players are overpaid and under-delivering.

The fact of the matter is that the United States has to step up the intensity of American soccer. How to do this is the question. Perhaps they need to recruit more talent just as they signed Pele with the New York Cosmos in 1972. Alternatively, they could require mandatory steroid injections to increase player speed and power. In any case, they’ll have to do something or this may be the end of a great era of American dominated soccer.

Melissa Theuriau and why the Web exists

In 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. Why? So that some time in the distant future, some guy could spend 10 minutes learning html and create this web site (safe for work), posting 29 screen caps of the French news anchorwoman Melissa Theuriau. Mr Berners-Lee, I have one thing to say to you:

 

mission-accomplished

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Downtime

PicardAre you a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Or any Star Trek series for that matter? If so, you’ve probably wondered:

  • Why is the ship constantly malfunctioning?
  • Why don’t members of the crew ever have to use the bathroom?
  • Why are all of the command officers constantly going on away missions together?

The fact of the matter is that if this were not the case, then the series would not be very exciting. Most people would not pay to watch things on the Federation flagship go smoothly. But for everyone else, Viacom is releasing the DVD set Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Downtime is for you. This set, to be released in both standard definition and BluRay formats, will include 5,0o0 hours of mundane footage aboard the Federation Starship Enterprise D. Included will be the following episodes:

  1. Episode 5 – An away team of one ensign and several crewman come in contact with a mysterious form of bacteria on a planet near the Romulan Neutral Zone. When beamed back to the Enterprise, biofilters in the transporter remove the bacteria, and the crew remains healthy.
  2. Episode 12 – Lt. Commander Data takes command of the bridge during the night watch. He stares blankly at the viewer for 8 hours until Captain Picard relieves him. An ensign at the helm is seen nodding off at hour 4.
  3. Episode 23 – Commander Riker orders some Pad Thai (spiciness level of 3) from the replicator. He makes a comment that replicated Pad Thai does not taste as authentic as the real thing. Geordi makes a comment about never having been to Thailand. After dinner, Riker drops a deuce and then returns to bridge duty.
  4. Episode 40 – The Enterprise encounters an alien probe floating through space. Their analysis shows that the probe is technologically archaic. The probe then opens fire on the Enterprise and attempts to take control of the ship’s computer. The deflector shield blocks the phasor blasts, and the computer does not give archaic probes control of the ship. Picard orders the probe to be destroyed.
  5. Episode 43 – Ensign Crusher develops a love interest with a girl. To impress her, he goes to the gym and does bicep curls, push ups, and crunches for half an hour. He then hops on the elliptical machine for another half hour.

Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Downtime is expected to hit stores in August, 2008.