Sunday, March 30, 2014

DotTeeVee: No Poker Face by WBC

We recently saw the passing of everyone's favorite civil rights attorney and Democratic Party member. And I guess he also generated some minor side controversy via being opinionated about societal norms and American foreign policy, but this is America and it's not like we condemn people for having unpopular opinions or something. What, we do now? Ok, whatever, as long as my moron box keeps showing sports.

Anyway, here's a video of members of his church/family singing a song at a university. What, you were expecting nuanced commentary about our increasingly eroding freedoms to believe anything other than a handful of pre-apporoved positions versus the need for societal cohesion and respect toward the individual? Forget that, let's hear some modified pop music.

We start with the idle chatter and giggling that confirms we're in a higher education setting. All that's missing is woo woo wooing and maybe a beach ball. We're at Central Michigan University, an institution that has the proud distinction of being the third best college located near Michigan's geographical middle. Having some bitter experience myself, I immediately note the male-pattern baldness on one of the students. Man, probably not even 21 and already losing your hair. Maybe God really is angry with us.

 God hates your scalp.

I should also point out there are electronic devices everywhere (the future!) but we still get the cliched "giant chalkboard covered with esoteric mathematical equations." I honestly believe this is required by some obscure law. "Those punk kids with early onset hair loss won't think we're a real college unless we have tons of meaningless gibberish written in chalk." It's not like this shit is related to the Bizarro World Von Trapp Family routine we're getting. Unless it's some kind of complex equation quantifying how "tolerance" goes out the window as soon as you disagree with our Plutocrats, but somehow I doubt it.

Anyway, pop music. "Poker Face" plays, but we get highly witty and subversive new lyrics from the Ungood Family, such as calling the original artist "Lady Gay-Gay." Man, this really is cutting edge satire. Insults that a playground bully would reject as not sufficiently original or sophisticated are going to be the rule rather than the exception for the next couple of minutes.  

   This simple formula allows me to accurately predict March Madness winners 52% of the time.

The "She's-a-witch! Someone call the Kommissar!" mother and her two daughters sing along mostly on-key to what I assume is the original copy, much to the delight of the students who get some good laughs at the "poopy head" level insults. It's this sort of thing that makes me wonder if this all isn't some super elaborate prank. The only question that this raises is why would anyone invest so much in trolling the powers that be? Where's the payoff? A big invitation to a third tier school from the MAC conference? Is it really worth being the official Two Minutes Hate subject for such a pathetic reward? 

Sorry, I promised we wouldn't think too much. Luckily lyrics about "pissing off God" come next. Now there's some Biblical language. "And THE LORD said to Moses "I'm pissed now!" 

The chorus, or "hook" as we say in the industry, hits and as much as I loathe pop music I have to concede it is pretty catchy, even with new lyrics about your "whorish face" being sung off-key by the least popular women in America. One of the girls also imitates what I assume to be the dance moves from the music video, although it seems like a pretty joyless experience. I guess if you like it too much it's probably some kind of sin.

More Illuminati evil from MTV...wait, this is just some family from Kansas?

We cut to the students and at least one girl, possibly a "monster," I don't know how to tell, is showing the proper scandalized reaction, although not so much that it prevents her from recording the proceedings with a camera phone. Of course, the average young person is so passive and dead to reality that they would probably keep recording through that phone if their entire family was being slowly tortured to death right in front of them. On the other hand she is covering her mouth in the universal sign of either "speak no evil" or "I can't believe I heard language not approved by our billionaires!" so there's that.

I'm gonna tattle to the Ministry of Love...

She keeps eating her hand and it's back to the three part harmony, now promising "a little fire" and then unleashing a put-down that really needs to come back into style, namely "clod." This is great. It calls to mind old issues of Mad Magazine and "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions."

Question: Are you reviewing this Youtube video for a blog post?

Answer: No, I just wanted to get on a George Soros watch-list, you clod!

Answer: No, I just can't get enough of novelty songs performed by victims of cultic brainwashing, you lame-brain!

Answer: No, there's a big test on the equation on the chalk board and this video is the only place I can check my work, you schmuck!

That sort of thing.

After Dostoevsky and Motorhead this is my biggest writing influence.

We get a crowd-pleasing reference to 9-11 that I guess would be more shocking and proof of this family's profound evil if it already wasn't being used as a punchline on network television "comedies." I remember in the days following that tragedy and the brief window of national sobriety and decency that followed thinking to myself "it's just a matter of time before this becomes a sick joke for horrible bastards." I must be some kind of prophet.

Back to "offended girl" who hasn't moved an inch since we last saw her, still consuming that hand, camera still held in front of her like a cross against a vampire. That arm must be getting tired. Someone promises that "we're almost done." I guess this performance has already worn out its welcome, or maybe some actual instruction was planned and we really should get to that.

Can you at least pretend that you're interested?

One more reference to the "whorish face" which only gets a courtesy laugh this time, and we're done. I really only have one more thing to say.

"Is any on this gonna be on the test?"
Komment Korner   

I think there is so much INTOLERISM

Why don't you move to Iran

At least they know how to have fun.

9/11.  This song is cracking me up.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

News You Can't Use: Man Hit Girlfriend With Anger Management Book, Both Arrested

Who here likes irony? Based on the popularity of his annoying and moronic little brother "sarcasm," I'm guessing we all do. Well, we're in for a treat because today's story is serving some up, and I mean the real irony and not the off-brand fake stuff like a man scared of planes dying in a plane crash or rainy weddings.

A Spartanburg County man is accused of hitting his girlfriend with his anger management book while she was accused of stabbing him with a boxcutter, landing both of them in jail.

After the inevitable lawsuit we'll get a warning label on the book that clarifies it's not a weapon for bludgeoning truculent loved ones into submission. Or at least the soft cover version isn't, the hardback would probably be serviceable.

Deputies said they were called to the woman's apartment Monday night where the fight broke out while watching a movie.

"He spoiled the mystery of what "Rosebud" was so I ran up on him. Sled, my ass. I'm a gonna cut ya for that."

Seriously, how does a fight start when watching a movie? Was he loudly rooting for the C.H.U.D.s or something? Constantly making MST3K-style obscure snarky references? I just don't get it.

According to the deputy's report, Sheelah Thompson, 22, claimed Tyler Ford, 23, strangled her and threatened to kill her several times

I'm assuming that means he made the threat several times and not that he was going to kill her, somehow resurrect the mortal remains, kill her again and keep repeating that process. That's how that sentence actually reads, but I'm pretty sure if we could bring people back from the Big Black we wouldn't waste that technology on Jerry Springer brawls that erupt over movies.

He put her phone in the oven

Today on the "Cell Phone Chef" we share amazing recipes that only require an oven, a phone, and a state of temporary insanity created by ugly disagreements over whether of not the guy in Blade Runner is a robot.

At one point, Thompson said Ford rolled up his anger management book and hit her with it, according to deputies.

The amazing thing is this is just the main highlight of what sounds like a 15 round knockdown-drag out.

The report stated Ford was asking Thompson questions about their relationship, about why she tries to get him angry knowing he was in anger management class, but she would only shrug in response, so he hit her on the foot and then the cheek with his book.

Looking forward to reading about how he assaults her with a "Couple's Communication Skills" book in a few months.

Both Ford and Thompson were arrested. Thompson was charged with criminal domestic violence high and aggravated while Ford was charged with criminal domestic violence second offense.

The "it was mildly humorous if you ignore some of the more horrific details so don't punish me" legal defense seems likely.

Komment Korner  

Ain't love grand?

Really, does it get any better than this? HAHAHA!

South Carolina, the part of the bible belt that stresses good family values.

Wait until Charlie Sheen hears about this

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

News You Can't Use: Rise of the Machine Reporters

Are we entering an age of mechanized reporting, where the three corporations that own everything simply use sophisticated, or, let's be honest, not especially sophisticated devices to report the news of the world? This would remove the always annoying possibility of human error, where the biological resource says something that runs contrary to the profit interests or Right Think requirements. Besides, think of the productivity. We will replace flesh, which is weak, with steel, which is strong. We'll replace the human brain, which is all gooey and gross, with algorithms that are neat and clean.

A few minutes after a minor earthquake hit Southern California on Monday morning, the Los Angeles Times featured an article about the event on its website, with help from a computer algorithm written by one of the paper's developers.

Well, there is still a human element. I mean, someone must write and maintain those codes, right? Some jobs will still remain. Stop worrying.

Entire companies, such as Narrative Science (business news) and Automated Insights (sports), have business models built around the idea of mechanised journalism.

It seems hard to believe that a computer could have the passion, empathy and deep love of humanity to write a "More Lay-Offs Expected After Algorithms Replace Workers" or "Yellow Beats Green" story. I just can't accept it.

Next you'll tell me that those Penthouse Forum letters aren't entirely legitimate.

Having spent some years as a local news reporter, I can attest that slapping together brief, factual accounts of things like homicides, earthquakes, and fires is essentially a game of Mad Libs that might as well be done by a machine.

Let's try it.

In a tragic turn of events a [number] magnitude quake hit [location]. There's, like, rubble and [additional noun related to ruin/death] everywhere. [Noun] estimates that at least [number] human lives have been lost. Our thoughts and [plural noun] are with the victims.

"Quakebot neatly illustrates the present limitations of automated journalism," he writes. "It can't assess the damage on the ground, can't interview experts, and can't discern the relative newsworthiness of various aspects of the story."

We all know the average reporter is an expert at assessing damage, as in "saying that ethnic slur on the air is going to damage my career A LOT" and so on.

And they're much much more meticulous about fact checking and accuracy. Ha ha, just seeing if you were paying attention.

They gave a developer one day to come up with GUARBOT, which they then assigned to write an article about the health-food staple quinoa.

If robots took over the health-zealot arena would anyone even notice? "Meat bad...eating disgusting vegetables makes me morally superior...bleep...bleep...I'm so much better than the rest of the're a

Here's what their electronic partner came up with:

"The crime-ridden family of quinoa has taken US by storm this month. According to Peru, New York has confirmed that quinoa is more story than anything else they've ever seen. Quotes from top Yotam Ottolenghi eaters suggest that "crop" is currently clear top, possibly more than ground black pepper. Experts say both Salt and University need to traditionally grow to strengthen a common solution. Finally, it is worth slightly rattling that this article was peeled until it made sense."

This is more story than anything I've ever seen, way more story than I could even handle.

The idea of having computers do the rote work that used to be assigned to cub reporters certainly has its allure.

Think of the entry level positions we could destroy, making it impossible for recent graduates to gain experience! Aw, yeah!

"Surely we should just let computers do the work, while humans get on with more investigative and analytical pieces?"

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Meet the new intern.

Of course the journalists who are writing investigative and analytical pieces probably cut their chops working on the kind of rote articles that GUARBOT and Quakebot are now tackling.

Yeah, there is that. Oh well, can't mourn forever. 

And don't think it's just reporters whose livelihood is in danger, either. It's only a matter of time before their editors will feel the machine's icy gaze, as well.

Could a machine be programmed to yell about the lack of good Spiderman pictures? Dangerous ideas, these.

Hal, I'd like to do an investigative think-piece on pod bay doors and the debate over whether they should be opened or closed.

"It's full of editorials!"

I, for one, will not welcome our new robot overlords.

So, those Ant People got to you, too?

Komment Korner

Just lost one --400chrs probably

I wish the BBC would consider holding open one general blog with higher character limits, enabling a discussion beyond what's possible here.

I ignore and GO BACK one page --usually works.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

News You Can't Use: Bridgeport Man Faces Felony After Speaking Too Long at Township Board Meeting

In the first few years of your life everyone is trying to get you to speak. The remaining balance of your life is spent with everyone trying to get you to shut up. Please just listen passively and then quietly do whatever it was you were told. I don't think that's too much to ask, but it was for one man who refused to be silenced and in the process created the first non-boring township meeting in human history.

A Bridgeport man faces a felony charge after he was arrested by police at a township board meeting when he refused to stop talking past a three-minute time limit for public comment.

Because any opinion, no matter how complex and nuanced, can be communicated in 180 seconds. Think of it as a political shot clock, minus the loud buzzers and fans waving their hands in approximation of a seizure. Here it was just "time up, tell your story about zoning concerns walking" followed by All-American Gestapoism.

Mark A. Adams, 59, was arraigned Friday, March 14, by Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank on a felony charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

Since our prisons are completely full according to everything I've ever been told, we'll have to release a murderer or rapist to make room for this guy. It's worth it to keep people from trying to talk past that three minute limit. Imagine if we let them go for a full five? It would be anarchy. Put him in prison.

Adams was arrested during a March 4 Bridgeport Township meeting by three Bridgeport Township police officers after violating the township's three-minute time limit set for people making public comments and refusing to stop talking when township officials told him to.

Yes, it took three Stud Muffin Freedom Defenders to subdue some old guy that was rambling about redistricting or leash laws.

"Sir, have you been trying to use your First Amendment freedoms tonight?"

The arrest was on Adams' 59th birthday, according to public records. 

I'm not sure if this counts as a violation of the "Anything for the birthday boy!" rule or the correct enforcement of the "Birthday Beat-Down" policy. Enjoy the "spanking machine" at the local lock-up.

Adams handed a four-page document to members of the board and offered it to others at the meeting before he spoke. The document, typed with an Adams Oil logo and Adams' contact information at the top, outlines 21 grievances against Bridgeport Township officials and other government officials.

The modern day Martin Luther gets sent to the Green Bar Motel.

Among the grievances are alleged wrongdoings of various governmental bodies including violations of the state open meetings act and Freedom of Information Act, police harassment, corruption, hate crimes, trespassing, tax fraud and more.

Whoa, comrade. That sounds like Wrong Think.

The document describes some of the alleged activities as "Taliban" style.

No, that's not the one with the pudgy Korean rapper pretending to ride a horse.

Licht said Adams was escorted out two other times in the past but was not arrested. Tuesday, March 4, was different.

"It was different, man! He crossed the line!"

"Several times the supervisor asked him to take a seat and he refused and the police department asked him to have a seat and took him out of the building."

He never did take that seat.

The issues between Adams and the township have been going on for several years, Licht said, regarding vacant land he owns in Bridgeport Township and compliance with township ordinances.

Just reading that sentence made me drowsy. Imagine years of this guy going on and on about ordinances and vacant land. I'm surprised anyone was awake to arrest him.

Messages left for Adams seeking comment were not returned. Saginaw attorney Tom Frank confirmed earlier that Adams is his client, but had no comment.

It looks like he's learned to be quiet, now that it's too late to matter.

Bridgeport Township is in Saginaw County and had a population of 10,514 as of the 2010 U.S. Census.

It appears on most maps of the area.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

News You Can't Use: Undercover TV Reports on School Security Raise Ethical Questions

I walk into some building and then announce to a camera crew that if I was a heavily armed lunatic everyone in there would now be dead. This is "investigative reporting" which is both unbelievably valuable to society and a lot more fun for the participants than, say, actually fact-checking stories about world events. But what about the ethics?

The three news reports followed the same format: Television reporters walked into schools with hidden cameras, under the premise of testing the security measures.

I broke the law, but it was for "research" purposes, so I can't be punished. For some reason that defense didn't work when I vandalized a bunch of pinball machines while under the influence of several handfuls of assorted colorful pills. Then again, I wasn't going to do a news report like "Our two remaining national arcades...shockingly vulnerable to goofball abusers!" so that might have been the problem.

Each time, the anchors provided a sobering assessment of the findings.

Well, not literally sobering. In other words don't assume you can drink nine beers, watch an assessment of school security findings and then operate heavy machinery.

“One of the more depressing reports I’ve seen in a long time,” said Matt Lauer, the “Today” show host, after a report showed unsettling lapses in security.

"We can only chalk this up to EastAsia sabotage, Goldstein, and the fact that some people don't love Big Brother enough."

“What we uncovered may shock you,” Chuck Scarborough warned viewers of WNBC in New York.

Or not, assuming you're at all conversant with something we call "reality" and don't expect the average elementary school to be surrounded by guard towers, razor wire, attack animals, proximity mines, etc.

Similarly, an anchor with the NBC affiliate in St. Louis prefaced a story by saying, “Some of it will disturb you.”

"Will there be 'accidental' nudity in the next segment? There's only one way to know for sure...keep watching!"

But these episodes have raised broader questions about the ethical and practical implications of this type of reporting. In some cases, things can go disturbingly wrong.

Or shockingly wrong. Or perhaps even depressingly wrong. Please don't turn us off and start getting your news online like everyone else!

That’s what happened in suburban St. Louis in January when an employee of the news channel KSDK walked into Kirkwood High School unannounced and began to roam the hallways.

"Wooo!!! Now that we're College Freshmen let's visit the old high school and say hi to the teachers! It'll be awesome! Par-tay!!!"

After several minutes, he aroused the suspicion of the school’s office staff.

Aroused. Staff. This is real investigative reporting. Our government is printing trillions in worthless currency, the world is on the brink of a possible nuclear war, there's massive corruption at the highest levels...Gary, we want you to skulk around a high school and see who gets aroused first, you or the people working there.

Soon, the whole school was in lockdown. Police officers rushed to the scene, teachers turned off the lights and crowded students into the corners of their classrooms, and worried parents raced to check on their children.

The land of the free and home of the brave. Nice to see prison culture entering our public schools. Kids, line up in front of the shakedown room. Do that again Timmy and you're going to the hole. Stop sharpening that tooth brush, Betty.

“They certainly didn’t do me any service,” she said. “I have a few more gray hairs because of it, and it terrified my kids and a lot of other kids.”

Reporter pulled a prank. A massive over-reaction occurred. No one learned anything.

Some journalists question whether the news organizations become too much a part of the story, and whether it is dangerous for reporters to wander into schools now that students and staff are often on heightened alert.

"Forget you man, the only reason I spent four years at Columbia studying journalism was so I could wander into local middle schools!"

In tonight's special report I sneak into a junior high and bum cigs from the burn outs. Courage.

“I think that for a news organization to just go on this type of random fishing expedition, there has to be a really good journalistic purpose,” said Bob Steele, a professor of journalism ethics at DePauw University.

Another DePauw snob. Yes, it better be "really" good. I don't think "I wanted to see if they still have that stuffed cougar in the library" counts.

Covertly testing the public defense structure has essentially become a tradition for reporters.

Time for the traditional homecoming week "reporter hide 'n' seek" day. 

After the Sept. 11 attacks, several outlets tried to sneak banned items through airport security lines.

"Now watch as I try to get this sack full of C-4 through the genital-groping station..."

In 2011, a newspaper parked a car at a spot considered potentially vulnerable near the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City, to test the police response.

Basically reporters are irresponsible douche bags. Sorry if we keep dancing around that truth with endless anecdotes instead of just saying it.

In Fargo, N.D., a correspondent who entered a school clandestinely in December was investigated for trespassing but avoided charges when her station agreed to keep her away from school-related news coverage for 90 days. 

I honestly expected this paragraph to end with the reporter going through a wood chipper.

“I don’t know how you see what the truth is if you don’t go in that way,” Ms. Wallace said, referring to the hidden camera technique. “The moment you show up with a big camera, things look a lot better.”

It's not how big your camera is, it's how well you frame your shots.

Also: "Hey everyone! The giant camera is here! Man, this situation sure looks better!"

“What happens is you’re spending all this energy and time investigating school safety when that’s already the single safest place for your child anyway,” he said, adding that this “sort of reaffirms the false notion that my kids are really in danger at school when they’re not.”

If you ignore the communist indoctrination, the drugs, the sex, the gladiator training and so on, it really is the best place for your children. Better than leaving them in a junk yard for eight hours, for example.

For instance, he asked, what if wandering into a school caused such alarm that the school security officer pulled out a gun? How would the reporter react in such a situation?

Would the reporter feel lucky? Well, would he or she?

“Is it O.K. for them to set a fire and see how fast the fire department responds?” he asked. “It’s a safety issue. It’s not responsible. It’s the wrong way to do it.”

Please, don't give them any ideas.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

News You Can't Use: Human Unexpectedly Beats Robot in Epic Ping Pong Battle

We'll gladly surrender our jobs, dignity and free will, but when it comes to goofy pseudo-sports we're not yet ready to let robots step in and take over. No, the continued human dominance of the miniaturized Wimbledon simulator must be protected, if only to guard the national self-esteem of Indonesia and so on. This powerful force naturally results in snark-laden "techie" articles about the modern day John Henry and his tiny ball driving hammer.

Good news, humanfolk: we don’t have to prepare ourselves for the inevitable robot apocalypse quite yet, because a ping pong pro beat a super powerful robot at table tennis yesterday.

You just know that the winner of this match is going to end up being murdered two years ago by a time traveling robot assassin.

As we noted last month, robot manufacturing company KUKA Robotics decided to celebrate the opening of its first plant in Shanghai, China, with a battle royale between ping pong champ Timo Boll and the company’s own “Agilus” robot.

A factory...opening? As an American I recognize those words, but that particular combination makes no sense to me.

Also, any educated person knows that a battle royale is an all against all war featuring many competitors, while this was clearly just a one-on-one match. Does anyone even fact check this shit? If you can't even get basic pro wrestling terminology correct I doubt you have much of substance to say about anything else.

We predicted the result might determine whether humans or robots would ultimately win the race for total world domination.

"We have never felt the touch of a woman."

Thankfully Mr. Boll emerged on top, winning the game 11-9, the Mirror reported.

It was his proudest moment since that Olympic qualifying match where both he and his opponent were trying to lose.

The victory was somewhat bittersweet, since later that day he was defeated by a concrete wall. Meanwhile the robot fell to 0-2 after losing to one of those "prove you're not a robot" letter jumbles.

"You're going down, net bot!"

Judging by the heavily-edited YouTube footage of the face-off and the catchy “Not the best in table tennis. But probably the best in robotics” catchphrase, the whole thing looks pretty staged, but we’re fine with it — as long as they didn’t let the robot win.

It was all fake b.s. but I'm fine with it - as long I get paid to vomit out an article almost completely bereft of any value.

Komment Korner  

And keep in mind the human brain is also balancing the body, digesting food, controlling the circulation of blood, regulating breathing and heartbeat

Comments have since been disabled on youtube and thousands of unlikes because of it...

The difference is, humans are capable of determining their weaknesses, not so with robotics.

One thing I realized, this is a hoax.

Worst insult so far this year.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure #7: The Third Planet From Altair

I haven't done one of these in awhile, but I'm still determined to eventually write a wacky run-through for all of these books, even if it means reviewing hot garbage late entries like "Roller Star" and "SuperBike" from a nursing home, in between trips to the death panel and falling in the tub and whatever else happens in the twilight of this human condition. Anyway, back at it. And what better way to return than yet another "space" entry? Everything was space and dinosaurs back then, just like if this series came out today we'd get futurist fantasies about everyone getting a free phone from the government and the thrilling new frontiers in taking "selfies."

You are devoured by Space Weed. The End.

An observatory has detected a signal from the Third Planet alluded to in the title that while it remains undecipherable at the present it also clearly suggests intelligence trying to contact us. If this really happened, of course, it would be suppressed and ignored for "our safety" and to "prevent panic" and that would be the end of it. In the future presented in T.P.f.A. a spaceship is sent to go check out this mysterious message and guess what, I made the cut. Joining me are the three people huddled together on the right side of the cover: big-chinned Action Man Bud Stanton, Brainy Girl Nera Vivaldi and pathetic Einstein-wannabe Henry Pickens.

Stanton promptly proves why he's the right man to lead this expedition by becoming "rigid" and not in the good way. Instead it's paralysis caused by an "antimatter storm" which sounds pretty bad but is apparently the rough equivalent of bad turbulence in a plane or driving on a Wisconsin road on the first warm day after the winter season. Still, I decide to change course just to be safe.

  If this lasts longer than four hours get to a doctor.

We get out of the storm, but the problems are just beginning. The Captain has now apparently been possessed by an alien parasite and is ordering us to go to some other planet in a creepy monotone voice that suggests either outside control or giving an undergraduate lecture. They really need to do a better job of screening these guys. We're barely out of the solar system and this guy already suffered undignified full-body stiffness and now alien possession. It's clearly time for a regime change on this ship.

Stanton proves no more competent when under the manipulation of unknown intelligences, quickly surrendering to my "mini laser" and allowing himself to be locked up. A little while later he's all "I'm fine now!" Yeah, I've seen the movie "Alien," dude. You're staying in there.

This apparently deals with the former captain and his major malfunction/lack of parental attention as a child but almost immediately some new "It's full of stars!" bullshit unfolds when we hit a "Time Warp Disruption" and are pinballed across space and time, leaving us hopelessly lost. Pickens wants to activate one of those patented sci-fi "whatever devices" that apparently exist only to solve the very specific problem currently being faced. He also admits there's a better than average chance activating this thing will end in disaster, because we have to try to wring some drama out of the "instant fix button" plot. I decide against it and stay in the new time, whenever it is.

Against all odds, we reach Altair and its Third Planet. However the other planets are now gone and the star itself has "lost a lot of mass." Meanwhile the solar system is full of dangerous "anti matter." Can we just get on to me laughing bitterly at my crew putting up a tiny American flag over the captain's grave and then explaining to them that everyone they care about is long, long dead, along with the earth itself in all likelihood. Yeah, let me do that.

Instead someone or something shoots a "missile" at us, I destroy it by having a seizure on the buttons and then we grimly look at each other and realize "there is no hope." Yay?

There's also no hope for my "dirty south" demo tape.

This one wasn't bad. There was a lot going on, not much padding and enough science fiction weirdness to get the job done. The ending didn't make much sense, but you can't have everything. This is a solid early entry. Speaking of which, I've now reviewed every single digit book in this series which feels like a considerable achievement until you look at how many remain and how many of those are almost certainly going to be extremely painful to read through.

But hey, maybe "SuperBike" will turn out to be an amazing forgotten classic. You can't rule it out!

It's a bike. It's super. Are you not entertained!?!

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

News You Can't Use: Caffeine Dependence Tied to Physical, Emotional Problems

Right now there aren't any serious problems in our nation or the world as a whole, which is nice because it frees up time to pathologize the minutia of day-to-day life, like your addiction to Colombian drugs. By which I mean coffee, of course. Yes, it now appears that consuming massive regular amounts of caffeine, perhaps the equivalent of your own body weight ever day, can cause a veritable laundry list of minor physical and mental problems.

It's 4 in the afternoon, and Adam Sandoval, a San Francisco handyman who starts work very early most mornings, is finishing up his second 16-ounce tumbler of black coffee for the day.

It's 4 pm, the fear is gone/I'm sittin' here waitin' the coffee still warm/Maybe my handyman connection is tired of taking chances/Yeah there's a storm on the loose, caffeine in my head/I'm wrapped up in jitters, all ability to sit still is dead/I can't stop with the tumblers, my whole life spins into a frenzy

Everybody sing!

Help I'm steppin' into the caffeine zone
This place is a coffee house, feels like the various hipsters are cloned
My terrible blue collar job rises with the moon and stars
What am I gonna drink now that the caffeine dependence has gone to far

"I've tried to quit it, but I get headaches," Sandoval, 47, said with a shrug. "So I stopped using sugar and cream. That's the bad stuff. Now I just drink it straight, and it feels like I'm getting more caffeine somehow."

"I am weak of will and pray every day for the sweet release death. I solve my problems with lame half-measures and denial. The pursuit of the Big C has taken my soul, taken everything."

Like millions of Americans, he doesn't see much of a downside to the regular shots of caffeine.

Always with the America bashing. Shouldn't we be blaming the Ottoman Empire?

There's even a medical term to describe it: caffeine use disorder.

As far as medical mumbo-jumbo goes that's pretty weak. What no "Generalized Osman Neuro-Vascular-Caffienation Proliferation Disorder?" Come on medical-industrial complex, put in a little effort.

"Caffeine has caused significant problems for some people," said Laura Juliano, a psychology professor at American University in Washington, D.C., and part of a team of researchers studying the harmful effects of caffeine use disorder.

"Like, I know this crazy dude that drank a case of Jolt cola and stayed up all night running into walls and headbanging to Slayer albums, for example."

"We have people who say caffeine is interfering with their life. They keep saying they're going to stop, but they can't,"

What part of "I'll kick tomorrow" don't you understand?

"I knew one woman who pretty much ruined her husband's tropical vacation because she spent half the day looking for caffeine."

"Please stop climbing the walls honey bun, I'm trying to enjoy this sunset."

Juliano and her team - which includes behavioral science experts from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the University of Vermont - wrote a lengthy report late last year about caffeine use disorder and the need for more research in the field.

Has there ever been a research study that wrote a succinct report that concluded the field of study was worthless and deserved no further study? "Yeah, it ain't no big deal. I'm sure you other professors and whatever have better things to do with your time."

For the most part, evidence suggests that caffeine is probably benign in moderate doses.

The problem is, we can't make any of that sweet "false panic money" off of this self-evident conclusion.

More valuable research on "caffeine use disorder."

But when it comes to misuse of caffeine, astonishingly little data exist about how widespread the problem is, Juliano said.
It's almost like the "problem" doesn't actually exist, but we know better.
"We're not talking about cancer here. It's a quality-of-life issue," said Dr. Robert Cowan, director of the Stanford Headache Program.

Please keep your voice down while inside the Stanford Headache Program building.

"I tell patients, 'If you'd rather have daily headaches than give up your caffeine, you can make that choice.' It's not a life-or-death situation," Cowan said.

"Then I load 'em up on sex pills and send those crazy patients on their way."

Komment Korner  

Oh no! I see another sales tax coming!!

Scientists at the Minsk Institute for Food Allergies have made a shocking find. Food is actually addictive. Studies have found that the human body actually comes to depend on substances in food called “nutrients” and a human being can die without these nutrients being provided.

We need to declare a war on coffee. It should take the form of an open ended commitment of 50 or more years with unlimited funding ( couple of trillion ought to do it).

Mankind is in bad need of some hard lessons about pain, real strain, and reality. ...wimps just waiting to die.

And don't get me started about the psychology professor at the heart of this item

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

News You Can't Use: The Benefits of Eating Bugs

What happens when you combine fad diets, lying scientists and our good friend the insect? Well, you get today's article obviously, I don't know what you expected to happen here. Yup, it's all the fun of "gross" foods, evolutionary biology and her patented "It might have been like this, maybe, use your imagination" just-so explanations and maybe the occasional dig at feckless modern humanity. Let's solve all our problems by shoving handfuls of mealworms into our catcher's glove faces.

You've probably heard of the Stone Age diet craze known as the Paleolithic Diet, made popular most recently by Dr. Loren Cordain's best-seller The Paleo Diet.

Everyday is a battle against the urge to give myself a phony doctorate and promptly vomit out a book full of junk science that would kill you if you actually followed it to the letter. Luckily, knowing who reads those sort of books, there shouldn't be too many causalities to this outrageous fraud I've committed in my own mind many, many times.

It's the one time, it seems, that being like a caveman is a good thing. 

I mean you wouldn't want to emulate the self-reliance, independence or unapologetic masculinity. We need you in that cubicle, after all. Eat bugs, sure.

The theory goes (and archaeological evidence corroborates) that early hunter-gatherers, while they may not have lived as long, still had some major health advantages on most of us modern humans.

Much healthier than you, but dead by twenty from a wasting disease. Do you see the inherent contradiction here?

Higher levels of physical activity also played a vital role in cave people's vitality, and so did their high levels of wild food consumption: wild game meat, gathered greens and fruits, and healthy fats such as nuts.

This massive speculation is science.

Cordain suggests that prior to the agricultural revolution, early humans ate this Paleo Diet for 2.5 million years.

Long, long ago, in a magical kingdom far, far away...

"From the time mammals first appeared until 50 million years ago — a total of 150 million years, three quarters of the entire time mammals have existed — our ancestors were primarily insectivorous," write S. Boyd Eaton and Dorothy A. Nelson in their paper "Calcium in Evolutionary Perspective."

Take at seat and get comfortable kids, S. Boyd Eaton and Dorthy Nelson are going to tell you a fairy story about our lemur-like forebears and their calcium consumption during the time of the Thunder Lizards.

It's easy to observe this early pre-human diet in the wild today, since versions of this prehistoric bug-guzzler still exist in the form of bush babies, tree shrews, and similar small mammals.

And let's be honest here, you're basically a glorified shrew or bush baby.

It turns out that for a certain size of primate, bugs are one of the best things on the planetary menu. If we were still that size, that's pretty much all we'd eat, too.

But this is America and we've got curves and only dogs dig on bones and you can't even handle all of this I bet.

But for whatever reason, we grew, in both body and brain size.

Then something happened for no discernible reason and the bush babies of the Jurassic are now walking upright, using glory holes and writing erotic stories about the living dead.

The problem was not with the bugs themselves, but just that we couldn't find enough of them.

The problem isn't you, termite mound. The problem is me. We drifted apart. I've grown in brain and body size. It was fun, but it was over. Please, just be glad it happened instead of angry it ended.

This is one of the miracles and geniuses of being a primate: our innate adaptability to different diets, also known as omnivory ("omni" = everything, "vory" = eating). We adapted so that we could eat everything and anything and still survive.

We even adapted special motor scooters and wet rags on poles to support this "everything and anything" lifestyle.

The main reason for this is that insects are a much higher quality food compared to things like leaves, fruits, flowers, and even nuts.

Yeah, that fad diet scam is really starting to take shape in my mind. "Eat all the flowers you want!" maybe? "Leave the fat with leaves?" Still needs some work.

Nutrition is sort of like money: If leaves represent dollar bills, fruits are fives, nuts are tens, and insects and other forms of animal flesh are crisp fifty-dollar bills.

A somewhat decent pizza would be equivalent to winning the lottery.

When you think of the hallmarks of evolution, what image pops up?

Fraudsters attaching human jaws to monkey skulls.

But like a dog that stares at the pointing finger instead of the ball

We missed out on all the ball-related GLORY.

In fact, as it turns out, the skill of collecting termites is easier observed than done.

Here at Career Institute University Employment College we'll teach you real job skills like fixing submarine engines and termite collection.

"Termites are a valuable source of protein, fat, and essential amino acids, in the diets of both primates and modern humans," wrote Backwell.

Lift balls to the walls + eat the termites from said walls = massive gains.

Let's imagine you are an evolving proto-human, and you have this excellent source of protein

It's sort of like in Altered Beast, except it's horrific vermin making you bigger instead of flying blue orbs.

As the author of the blog PaleoVeganology quips, "It's as though someone took a big can of Raid to the authors'

See, this is why no one ever says things like "Man, that scientist party was awfully crazy."

So steeped are they in their Western food bias and paleofantasies that the possibility of Paleolithic man fulfilling his nutrient requirements with a diet of creepy-crawlies never occurred to them.

Stop using your so-called life experience and eat these grubs I found under a rock.

Oh, how times have changed: When an early female hominid saw a bug and shrieked, it was in excitement, because hey, lunch.

We know everyone stopped reading this article about ten paragraphs ago during that whole "150 million years ago!" mess so we might as well sneak in some casual sexism.

Full Article.

Komment Korner


I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterward) before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges/universities.

This gives me butterflies in my stomach.

I wonder how much PETA contributed to this article. I don't know where they find the time, I'm sure there's still some puppies and kitten that need to be killed in the back of a van somewhere

The way Lucifer Jr. is printing money & driving us into am imminent financial collapse, we will all be forced to eat grub, worms, & dirt.

Shill Section

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read a free excerpt here.

His first novel The Foolchild Invention is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.