Wednesday, December 28, 2016

News You Can't Use: Too Many Air Passengers Fly with Phony Support Pets, Critics Say

I think I'm going to re-purpose this as a travel blog in 2017, even though I never travel, ever, and most of what I do know about the subject was cobbled together from Youtube "truth" videos and Wesley Snipes films. Still, when it comes to getting on that silver bird, always bet on annoyance. First it was the add-on fees for basic services. Now, you can expect someone to bring aboard phony support pets, creating a barking and biting nightmare under the veneer of "this here hound helps partially control my compulsive novelty disorder."

With the holiday travel season now here, many air passengers are boarding the plane with service dogs and emotional support animals — a practice that critics say is open to fraud.

Honor system can be abused, cynics claim.

How do airlines know whether these pets are true service animals and not impostors wearing an official-looking vest bought online for $39.99? The answer is, they don't.

We'll irradiate and/or grope your bikini area all day, but no way we're doing thirty seconds of research to determine if the pit bull wearing a vest that says "Sar Vice Dawg, fo' real doe" is actually legitimately needed to provide emotional support.

While many of these animals are dogs, passengers have also gotten on board with birds, including a peacock, cats and other animals. 

For the last time, no one wants to see your peacock.

"I see more violations than legitimate use of service dogs in public. A drastic majority of what I've observed in airports is misuse of the service dog law," said Brian Skewis, executive officer of the California State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind, the only state agency in the nation that regulates guide-dog schools and individual instructors.

All I see is pet related evil. I spend my days doing pull-ups and pointing guns at a mirror, fantasizing about my imminent revenge.

“The law is so ambiguous the airlines don’t know what side to come down on. Everyone is afraid of the ramifications of not allowing someone equal access,” Haneline said.

Clearly the solution is more laws and more impenetrable bureaucracy.

Deb Davis, community outreach manager for Paws with a Cause of Wayland, outside Grand Rapids, said it's easy to spot the impostor service dogs: those carried in a purse, or those that growl, bark or act aggressively. In other words, the pretenders often lack good public manners, she said.

The phony Lassie can be recognized by its aggressive behavior, slobbering and taste for human flesh.

"We know there is fraud because our clients see it very frequently when they travel," said Davis, whose nonprofit annually places about 65 trained dogs with people who have a disability.

Well, they don't actually see it, of course. Me and my terrible word choice.

But it is such a vexing problem that not even a committee of experts appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this year could agree to a solution. It voted in November to discontinue discussions because further talks seemed unlikely to reach a consensus.

Let's us begin the "total and complete surrender because it was hard" vote. All in favor?

At one point, some committee members favored recognizing as service animals only dogs and miniature horses, which are the only animals covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sorry sir, your six-inch horse is covered. My mistake.


Like dogs, miniature horses can be trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, according to the ADA. 

It's a real thing, it's not funny so stop laughing.

A DOT spokesperson said the department is now considering rewriting the rules for service and emotional support animals on its own, but a timetable has not been set.

I'll do it later, okay?

Among the service and emotional support animals prohibited by Delta Air Lines, the largest carrier at Detroit Metro Airport, are hedgehogs and farm poultry such as chickens or turkeys.

Sorry Sonic, you didn't make the cut.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.   

Saturday, December 24, 2016

News You Can't Use: 5,000-Year-Old Nativity Scene Found in Egypt

It might be time for the ACLU to take action against an Egypt that was still being tormented by demigods because we've found amazing evidence of a nativity scene from 3000 years before the event, you know, actually happened. This logic trap aside, the drawing itself is, shall we say, less than impressive, but that's not the sort of thing you put in click-bait titles, so here we are. One thing is clear, this story is an ink-blot held up to your ideas about religion and civilization so feel free to make whatever crazy conclusions you want because everyone involved clearly did.

Italian researchers have discovered what might be the oldest nativity scene ever found — 5,000-year-old rock art that depicts a star in the east, a newborn between parents and two animals.

Suffice it to say, get ready to deploy what's left of your imagination if you want to share in this incredible discovery.

The scene, painted in reddish-brown ochre, was found on the ceiling of a small cavity in the Egyptian Sahara desert, during an expedition to sites between the Nile valley and the Gilf Kebir Plateau.

Your blasted desert wasteland has some cavities, we're gonna have to drill. I also like how the author assumes we're familiar with the Gilf Kebir Plateau, because who isn't deeply interested in mapping out the various formations of an inhospitable strategic hour glass contents reserve.

"It's a very evocative scene which indeed resembles the Christmas nativity. But it predates it by some 3,000 years," geologist Marco Morelli, director of the Museum of Planetary Sciences in Prato, near Florence, Italy, told Seeker.

 We're about to lose our funding, so please play along with this nonsense.

Morelli found the cave drawing in 2005, but only now his team has decided to reveal the amazing find.

The reason for withholding this incredible discovery will be become clear when you actually see it.

 Seriously, look at this p.o.s.

"The discovery has several implications as it raises new questions on the iconography of one of the more powerful Christian symbols," Morelli said. 

I felt it was best to wait eleven years, until y'all were ready for this shocking revelation.

The scene features a man, a woman missing the head because of a painting detachment, and a baby.

Yeah. I guess.

"It could have been interpreted as a normal depiction of a family, with the baby between the parents, but other details make this drawing unique," Morelli said.

Before you come to the boring, correct conclusion please keep in mind I have a wife, two children and a mortgage and I'd kinda like to keep that plum job at the Museum of Planetary Sciences.

He noted the newborn is drawn slightly above, as if raising to the sky. Such position, with the baby not yet between the parents, would have meant a birth or a pregnancy.

It certainly doesn't represent the limitations of Neolithic art, that's for sure.

"As death was associated to Earth in contemporary rock art from the same area, it is likely that birth was linked to the sky," Morelli said.

I'm not saying it was aliens, but it was clearly aliens.

In the east, the Neolithic artist drawn what appears to be star.

I personally interpreted that smudge as an ancient Pac-man.

The researchers called the site the "Cave of the Parents."

It's better than "Cave of Please Don't Fire Me I'm Finding Stuff" although significantly less honest.

Komment Korner  

You are a Dork

Do you believe aliens might exist somewhere among our billion stars?... yes?... but you are 100% sure there is no god?... Idiot.

Please I need to hear you answer before I escape to my safe space. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. 

Chealsea Clinton was the result of a virgin Birth from Hillary Clinton because there is NO TRACE of Bills DNA in Chealsea 

Now I am confused, thanks gary

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

News You Can't Use: An Extreme Couponer is Attacked by a Furious Customer

There isn't a lot I miss about the nineties. Certainly not the absolutely slammin' junior anti-sex league and it's funky-fresh music videos and I suppose "extreme" everything would also fall into the category of memories that I'm glad were destroyed by the Russia soda. There was just something inherently insulting in pretending the same old garbage was suddenly edgy and dangerous (Jiff Peanut Butter...Extreme!!!!) to say nothing of the vomit-inducing imagery that generally accompanied such claims. Nevertheless, one "extreme" trend actually lived up to the hype and endured and I'm talking about coupon clipping junkies. Not everyone appreciates it, but such is the nature of "in your face" and "radical."

Megan Wilson claims a man yelled at her and called her a 'junkie' for taking too long at the Poplar Plaza Kroger in Memphis, Tennessee on Friday. 

I just want to get my intense-to-the-max Lunchables and hit the door, hurry up you no-good needle enthusiast!

She later took to Facebook, saying he grabbed the 'back of the head and smashed [her] face into the cart' after she accidentally spilled a drink on him.

It really is a war zone out there, fellow clippers. You gotta watch your back, there's plenty of aggressive jerks that don't want us to save that ten cents on used batteries.

But police released surveillance footage of the incident, and it appears as if Wilson purposefully dumped the contents of her drink on him. 

It's kind of like the movie Rashomon if the samurai were replaced with the worst Murrikan human beings available and then someone had a camera so there was no need to hash out the competing individual narratives.

Wilson posted a lengthy video on Facebook sharing her side of the story, and told WREG she spent 20 minutes with her special binder filled with coupons.

Everything I do takes super long, except shooting up.

She said: 'I do carry a binder with a filing system in it. And then I usually also have a duffle bag or a large purse-type bag that I carry full inserts and things like that in.' 

Your filing system is not the envy of corporate America.

Wilson said she was bothered by his words, and even said at one point: 'I really wanted to hurt the guy but, you know, he's three times my size.'

I want everyone to suffer, but you know, "reality."

While Wilson claims that she accidentally spilled her drink on the man as she was leaving the store, it appears she purposefully flung it at him.

As long as we record everything we should restore a basic level of civility a few days before the Sun becomes a massive Red Giant and devours our feeble, unimportant planet.

The man can then be seen moving towards her, although most of fight takes place outside the frame of the surveillance camera.

We need more cameras. A lot more.

She said: 'Everything kind of went black for a minute and when I came to, I was on the ground.

All the best days of my life summarized in one sentence.

'So I stumbled to get up and the floor was slippery because obviously when he hit me, my drink went everywhere.'

My deductive skills were not damaged in the altercation, clearly.

We gettin' Scrooge McDuck coupons.

Police say they are looking for the man for questioning after he drove off in a Ford F-150.   

We can add "horrible taste in vehicles" to the list of your crimes.

Komment Korner  

Couponers Lives Matter!

People like that are willfully ignoring the needs of other people. Happy Grinchmas!

Express lanes are BS. Most people disregard the items limit and usually there are too many people in it in the first place. Oh and my favorite scam-separating a cart full into separate orders.

No footage and what we do see is her clearly tossing her sticky beverage at the man.

After the tens thousands of customers I've come across, the extreme couponer can be, for the most part, a "special character". Self entitled, unapologetic, narcissistic. They are pros at the register, efficient and helpful to the cashier to get the transaction done quickly but if one thing goes wrong, if one coupon is rejected. Look out for b ! tch mode. Wish I was there to have seen this.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

DotTeeVee: Proposing To Elsa

What happens when a twig of a man with pattern baldness and general social incompetence decides it's a good idea to propose marriage to a young lady he doesn't even know? And did I mention the woman in question is portraying a Disney princess at the time? The short answer, obviously, is "lots of involuntary cringing, total failure" but we're here because we want the long answer. Besides, at least the amazing professionalism that will be displayed by "Princess Elsa" will restore some of the faith in humanity you'll lose thanks to our balding anti-hero.

It's not a bald spot, it's a solar panel for a social retardation machine.

We get off to a promising start as our scrawny shut-in approaches reasonable facsimiles of his favorite movie princesses and announces he's going to be celebrating something, earning the enthusiastic response from the royal sisters that Disney kayfabe demands. While this is happening we can note the slouching posture, noodle arms, glasses, terrible hairstyle and ragged hoodie on this piece of work. As we all know, wearing a hoodie, up to no goodie. I honestly feel a little bad piling on this guy like this (and we only just started!) but trust me, he deserves every bit of it.

He informs the live-action re-imaginings that he'll be getting married, "I hope." There is a time and a place for deploying your awesome hoping powers, but when it comes to Holy Matrimony there's a certain advantage to being reasonably certain of a successful outcome. Excellent life advice aside, the Hans Christian Andersen characters react with appropriately over-wrought joy. We're all rooting for you to beat the odds you pathetic rat of a man, honest we are.

 Let the entire kingdom celebrate!

It's time to veer into uncomfortable territory as he asks the one that isn't Elsa (I'm sure she has a name, but come on, I ain't looking it up) if she's eighteen. We're about one awkward step away from "I can't control my horny level" full-on creeping. Luckily this goof is so physically unimposing the ladies can play it off as a joke and go into this bit about how "Princesses never tell their age." I don't know if that's true or not, but it's fine improvisation when faced with a potential supreme gentleman. 

The way "Elsa" will stay in character, it's impressive. She's almost as good as this one dude at the Renaissance fair who acts amazed and/or terrified toward all modern technologies, gives historically accurate answers to every question that isn't dismissed as "witch/heretic speak," talks about retaking Constantinople and demonstrates flails and war hammers by smashing watermelons with them. 

Now that we've established that Elsa is the older sister and thus more likely to be past the age of consent it's time to take a knee and present the ring. When it comes to watching a man kneeling on my China box, I think I had a more positive reaction to Colin Kaepernick. Considering the circumstances, the Princesses do a decent job of hiding their obvious discomfort and disgust. Whatever Disney pays them, it should be a lot more. Imagine, for example, if store clerks were expected to be comically happy and deeply enthusiastic for every customer, while at the same time behaving in a special affected way that isn't their real personality. You probably can't imagine that, because it's what's waiting in Heaven.  

Can that funny snowman character show you out while you still have some remaining dignity?

The Snow Queen even cites events from the movie "Frozen" to back up the rejection, noting that she can't marry someone she "just met," even if that person is a handsome Prince for fictional Russia with the serial numbers filed off and not a hoodie-wearing degenerate. She even invites him to "hang out" in her fantasy kingdom sometime, but let's start with a super awkward picture, shall we? I'm talking double hover-hands. And, to be perfectly frank, there's enough separation that we might be seeing orbit hands. Good grief. Life has completely kicked your ass, dude. Let it go.

I'll stand behind you in cruciform, women love that.

An unseen woman announces this is also being video-taped, because this is clearly a moment you'll want to relive over and over. More beta body language, the decrepit light jacket has Mickey Moose on it...there's more but I'm through with this. Time to send us home smiling with the best YouTube comment section ever. I'm dead serious.

Komment Korner  

I couldn't watch the whole thing, this shit had me clutching my chest and grinding my teeth... oh fuck...

"are you 18" its a place for childred fgs. leave the creepy shit out you weird balding loser

General Hoverhands, reporting for duty.

Man, imagine having a job where you have to play along and be nice to these weirdo creeps.

yo why is everyon hatin yo this guys a boss yo keep up the good work yo i tried to fuck tinkerbell yo

Damn that elsa was smooth af being able to come up with that on the spot. GGWP.

make it stop, dear god

this is what 2pac was working on before he died

keep trying. maybe itll work next time. be sure to record it and upload it next time again so the whole world can see you!

Well, final commentator, we know that's not gonna happen. He clearly learned his lesson, right?


No God, no!!!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

News You Can't Use: US Airline to Charge Passengers Extra to use Overhead Lockers

It's time again for completely secular and unconnected to any traditions spend, gorge and travel season, and this, incredibly, means wasted money, gluttony and airplanes. Or so I'm told, anyway, I sure ain't moving away from my beepers and football box, that's for sure. For other individuals, or "losers" as I sometimes call them, getting on that flying tube is going to be even more unpleasant this year, something that, strictly speaking, shouldn't even be possible. Forget groping, radiation and being rejected for mile-up fornication, we've got a bigger problem. Overhead locker price gouging.

United Airlines, one of the world’s largest carriers, is facing fresh criticism over plans to charge passengers extra for the use of overhead lockers.

Aren't they out of business? No, you're thinking of one of a half-dozen other American tin-pushers that destroyed themselves in various fashions, like, hypothetically, going crazy with added charges.

The airline, which welcomed almost 139m passengers in 2015, will introduce a new “basic economy” fare in 2017. Those who opt for the cheapest ticket will be allowed to travel with a single small item of luggage, measuring no more than 9” x 10” x 17” (23cm x 25cm x 43cm), but they must place it under a seat and not in the overhead bins. 

The new "serf fare" includes luggage size restrictions, no lockers, and the "stews" are allowed to spit on you or trip you.

They will also be automatically allocated a seat on the day of departure, meaning passengers on the same ticket could be forced to sit apart.

On the other hand I saved four dollars, got a free radiation bath and TSA scumbags laughed at my small penis.

United claims the move, announced last month, does not amount to a new fee. Those who want to stow their hand luggage overhead can still do so if they choose the standard economy fare, it says.

Think of it as a new tax, because everyone loves those.

But those who choose the cheapest fare are unlikely to be making any savings. According to Reuters, basic economy fares “will be comparable to low fares it now charges for the economy cabin, but with more restrictions”.

I know, can you imagine?

Travellers reacted with anger over the decision, with some calling for a boycott of the airline, and now the outcry has reached US Congress.

Save us bloated, ineffectual and out-of-control big government!

There ought to be a law!

“It’s one of the most restrictive policies on airline passengers we have seen in a long time,” said Chuck Schumer, a New York Senator.

We'll legislate away capitalist practices we don't like, because that's our job.

“The overhead bin is one of the last sacred conveniences of air travel and the fact that United Airlines – and potentially others – plan to take that convenience away unless you pay up is really troubling."

Our inalienable right ordained by our Creator to stuff our junk into head-high bins. 

United is not the first airline to charge extra for carry-on luggage. Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz, for example, permits passengers to carry a small item of luggage (25cm x 32cm x 42cm) for free, but charges for larger cabin bags (typically around £16 per flight). Those smaller bags can however, space permitting, be placed in overhead lockers.

Your best chance might be the old Magyar loophole, but read the fine print.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

News You Can't Use: Forest Phototrap Snaps a Naked Man High on LSD Who Thinks He is a Tiger

I'm sure all three of my regular readers will be thrilled to learn that I didn't get spirit cooked and the long absence was actually caused by a combination of technical issues with the old sex-box and blatant laziness. In any case, I'm back and better than ever (Disclaimer: not actually a true statement). And what better way to resume the mantle as the best source of Real News than with a story from Poland about some guy that took The Ticket, had a freak-out and was caught on camera frolicking naked in the forest? Kids, just say "no" to hallucinogens.

The man, identified only as Marek H, is believed to have been high on LSD after taking the psychedelic drug to treat his depression.

He is believed to have been high on LSD after taking LSD. Never change, semi-mainstream press, you're the best.

A phototrap caught a flash of the 21-year-old man running stark-naked on all fours through a forest in Poland.

If this doesn't finally lay to rest the remaining arguments about the need for cameras absolutely everywhere I don't know what will.

According to authorities, Marek, from the Czech Republic town of Liberec, discovered his “true personality” when he stripped naked and pretended to be a tiger.

When I said "be yourself" I wasn't suggesting you should take acid and become a human version of a Voltron leg, dudemar.

He explained how he believed he had become a Siberian tiger once the drug kicked in, which is when his “true personality woke up”.

It's possible, just possible, that getting blasted out of your mind on chemicals may lead to false ideas.

After mapping out his journey, cops realised the 21-year-old had travelled 25 kilometres (15.5miles) through forest which marks the Czech-Polish border in this way.

And this, class, is how the dope-head tiger refugee problem began in Europe.

At the time of his questioning, Marek did not have any drugs in his possession.

Being naked and all, that's probably a good thing.

In May this year, a man stripped naked and entered a lion enclosure in a Chilean zoo, prompting keepers to kill two lions.

Before there was Harambe there was this worthless moron in Chile.

The man, who was named locally as Franco Luis Ferrada Roman, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, and survived the incident.

Another highly uplifting tale about how we saved someone from their own idiocy.

After stripping and jumping down into the big cat enclosure, the lions pounced on him and began to “play” with the intruder, horrifying visitors.

I guess we were supposed to be talking about this naked Czech, but I get easily distracted by other vaguely related topics. Because I drink.

“It was from there that he jumped, took off his clothes and started to attract the lions.”

Another possibility for the opening sentence of the greatest novel ever written.

Full Article. 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

From Joke to President

Since reading isn't fun and using your eyes and brain to process written words brings pain for the entire organism I thought I'd sum up the Election of 2016 in a single incredible video. Think of this as the long awaited sequel to the Hall of the Trumpen King. When the subject is taught in school a hundred years from now a simple showing of this should more than suffice. Their laughter has turned to mourning, their smug self-assurance to fear, their "Right Side of History" to riots and burning dumpsters. 

Still not tired of winning? Well, pop a top and grab some tendies because here's a much more lengthy treatment of the same subject from my old friends The Young Turks. Apparently they do more than impotently railing against crooked casinos, they also impotently wail against the Democratic process. This video truly has it all, going from arrogant over-confidence and "how I hurt a child with a bowling ball" drivel to complete and total meltdown into teeth-gnashing defeat, worthless profanity and finger pointing. It's the entire last ten days distilled down to a single video. Truly incredible stuff, here.

Komment Korner

I had to immediately bring the bar to left and replay this. Absolute gold.

If this was shown on the GTA 5 TV I wouldn't know any different and would think it is actually a show in the game

I use to think Ann was pretty but God damn she's an ugly person on the inside

And Confucius said, "It takes many nails to make a crib, but only one screw to fill it."

Bernie can still win this.

Denied Trump's victory just like how he denies the Armenian genocide.

This is better than cocaine.

Like a pimp. Get us some jobs man.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

News You Can't Use: Study Finds Lonely People Humanize Tech Gadgets

Since I was raised as a feral child by friendly calculators and speak-n-spells in the basement of a Radio Shack it comes naturally for me to assign human characteristics to Chinese light boxes. But what of the so-called "lonely," those wretched souls who want for human companionship and, I guess, can't afford regular lap dances or trips to a Mormon singles retreat or what have you. It appears that the man-shaped hole in your bed can, in fact, be poorly filled in by pretending the electronic devices in your life are capable of returning the love and affection you shower on them. This is all a clear sign of societal health.

Many of us have had the experience of talking to — or, more like, swearing at — our computer as if it had a mind of its own. 

Yeah, my computer or "device," as it now calls itself. I tell it "Listen up, device. I got vices of my own and I'll crush you in one of them. PAIN!!!"

Some of us, ahem, have even treated our iPhones or Kindles like they were willfully trying to screw with us.

All right Kindle, everything up until now has just been fun and games as far as I'm concerned. But now you're starting to make me mad. And when I get mad, bad things happen, so please display the written vampire capitalist with a heart of gold pornography.

As relatable as this impulse is, though, a new study published in the journal Psychological Science suggests that it’s lonely and anxious people who are most likely to anthropomorphize technological gadgets.

Losers most likely to engage in pathetic dork-meister behavior, imagine that.

But, according to researchers, when we’re reminded of our close connections with other people, regardless of how lonely or anxious we are, we are less likely to humanize these inanimate devices.

I had a friendly conversation with another Wise Wise Man so you're not getting any love, Central Processing Unit.

“We think this work really highlights how important feeling socially connected is to people and the lengths people will go to ‘reconnect’ when they feel disconnected, and it reminds us of the value of our close relationships,” said lead researcher Jennifer Bartz of McGill University in a press release.

Another McGill University snob.

The researchers put 178 participants through a series of questionnaires that measure things like a person’s loneliness and self-esteem.

Darling are you lonesome tonight? y/n

Then, half the participants were asked to think about an “important” and “meaningful” relationship and answer a bunch of questions about that particular person.

Then we got a boodle of statistics which were wirr-zizzired into some highly dubious conclusions about y'all folks.

Mud, slime, necrotic rotting bodies...uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Then the participants were asked to read descriptions of four different gadgets, including Clocky, an alarm clock with wheels that rolls away from you when it goes off.  

Conversely I'll roll right up on your grill when I go off.

The researchers found a strong association between loneliness and a tendency to humanize gadgets.

They also found a strong association between grant money and making some sort of finding.

The researchers suggest that anthropomorphizing tech is a way that lonely and anxious people seek out a sense of connection — but it’s not exactly a great long-term strategy.

Have you tried getting married and raising a family instead of having Omega Man conversations with Clocky, in other words.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

DotTeeVee: My Summer Car Early Access Gameplay Trailer

Around these parts it's a very poorly kept secret that I'm a huge fan of My Summer Car, the greatest game ever produced that's set in 1995 Finland, even better than EA Sports Reindeer Hunter '95, a TurboGraphix 17 exclusive. By the time you've read the above lines I'll have already logged countless hours of engine construction and Suomi countryside wandering because the bug-riddled and pitifully incomplete early access version was released on October 26. Suffice it to say, you're going to want to get in on the ground floor of this one, even if it means a few things might not be completely ready yet. One must be patient, quality is not something you can rush and this game is already a glorious beacon of light in the otherwise gloomy nightmarescape that is my life.

Let's look at the release video!

We're not even messing around this time, as we get subtitles to render our heavily-accented narrator understandable. We hit the ground running with an unsuccessful merger leading to gory death, a common enough flight of fantasy during my highway driving days made into glorious Scandinavian reality by this computerized world of fantasy. The fact that the "cylinder head" isn't working yet doesn't even faze me. I've played Paradox games, I'm used to everything being broken during the initial release and then a series of patches making it even worse, somehow.

In other news the shiny paint jobs still won't increase the performance of your Soviet-era compact, but on the other hand there is something to be said for looking good. Maybe a lot of something, because society will correctly make conclusions on your character and competence using that as the primary metric.

It's fine, I'm not in any hurry.

Next up, some hot car-part ordering action, back when you had to fill-out so-called "paper" forms and send them through something called the "mail." Hard to believe, I know. On the downside it's going to be expensive, but my wallet is already spread as wide open as it can be and is completely unashamed. 

Improving the obscene gestures will be a top priority of patch 7.43c.

Sadly the early access "car inspection" is going to be a "fail." Again, would that every game was this honest. Our new Madden game will feature maybe one new, worthless feature you'll go into the options to turn off and half the players will be on the wrong team until we mostly fix that a month later. What are you going to do, buy a competing egg-ball game?

In other news the windshield wipers, they do nussink!!!

One of my favorite pastimes.

The store can also be broken into, because there's just something about automobile games that demand the opportunity to commit crimes. Besides, it's the only way to get at the slot-machine, a feature that I practically begged like a starving hound for. Then it's back on the road for some of that "major engine failure," which I guess is severe tire damage's even less felicitous sibling. 

The sauna doesn't work yet, but I can use my imagination, since I haven't destroyed it with too much counsel gaming and am an independent PC game playing immortal god-king.

The car crashes again. "Welcome everybody!" Aw, yeah. I feel a song coming on.

Hey, do ya love me. I'm non-functional cylinder head
A hot new paint job, a merger that leaves you dead
Hey, do ya love me I'm a Soviet-era machine
Get into my world 1995 Suomi dream 

I'm Finland Speeding

Get it on, get it on, get it on...

Komment Korner

Early Access to My Summer Car gives Russian malware.

Finland, what are you doing?

Be careful what you wish for, someone will dent your shit.

where hakka-pelitta

Cancelled my Titanfall 2 preorder for this.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

News You Can't Use: Future of TV Could be Pills that make People Hallucinate Television Shows

If there's one aspect of our garbage culture that has staying power and isn't going anywhere it's definitely the electronic toilet. After all, what could be more satisfying than passively sitting in front of the glow-box absorbing the Right-Think from the five four giant monopolies that control the flow of information and are sure to sanitize it for your protection? Yes, this pastime of the fool, the lazy and the lazy fool is not going anywhere. Even if we need to start giving you the blue pill so you can wake up in television land, fat and happy in the vast wasteland.

The future of TV might everyone taking hallucinogenic drugs, according to the head of Netflix.

He's on the roof of the school fighting invisible snakes and try to fly, must be watching "television" again. Well, time for me to watch "Celebrity Dancing." *takes several tabs of acid*

The threats to the streaming TV company might not be Amazon or other streaming services, but instead “pharmacological” ways of entertaining people, Reed Hastings has said.

I'm pretty sure we already have those, dudemar. It's called "getting wasted."

In the same way that the cinema and TV screen made “the opera and the novel” much smaller, something else might be on the way to do the same thing, the Netflix boss said at a Wall Street Journal event.

Yes, books are now in the same category of cultural irrelevance as singing crying clown stories. Read it and weep, "am writing" newbs.

Those challenges could come from anywhere, he said. They might not be another form of screen: “Is it VR, is it gaming, is it pharmacological?” Mr Hastings asked the event.

Is it stagnation, lazy writing, endless offensive commercials, bland story-lines, pandering, lack of imagination, cookie-cutter ideas, intelligence insulting or the general trend of "this show ain no good neither?" No, clearly we need a virtual reality world to properly display the staggering artistic vision of "Big Brother: Canada."

He went on to say that it might be possible that in the coming years someone will develop a drug that will make people get the same experiences that at the moment come from streaming services like Netflix.

Yeah, if only someone would develop this so-called "hallucinogen." PCP and chill, anyone?

Apparently making reference to The Matrix, he said that we might be able to take one pill to escape into a hallucination and then another to come back.

Not sure how you'd take the come back pill while doing what the scientific community refers to as "tripping balls" but these ideas are so compelling and well-conceived I'll give you a pass.

“In twenty or fifty years, taking a personalized blue pill you just hallucinate in an entertaining way and then a white pill brings you back to normality is perfectly viable,” Mr Hastings said.

Twenty, fifty, whatever "the future," you get the idea. We'll finally create a way to have entertaining delusions. Maybe next we'll invent something that might be called "buzz juice" that you drink to lower inhibitions and create a pleasurable numbness.

Mr Hastings didn’t indicate whether or not Netflix would look to make such drugs itself, or how it would fend off any companies that did. But it does sound a little like something out Black Mirror, which Netflix is showing the new season of at the moment.

See, TeeVee is actually educational. Keep watching, you drooling moron.

Full Article.
Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

News You Can't Use: Woman Mistakes Meeting for Trump Gathering, Smears Peanut Butter on Cars

Are you aware that there's an election in the United States coming up in November? Probably not, it's been a very noncontroversial and sedate lead-up to what is certain to be a well-supervised and fraud-free snout count. Still, it's a great time for people with faulty mental functioning and I don't just mean the chance to get paid by acting as shock troops for the Democrats. There's also just the chance to theme your meltdowns into something nice and topical instead of the usual "stop stalking me" or headbanging behavior.

An Amherst woman is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct after she smeared peanut butter on 30 vehicles she believed were parked outside a Trump gathering.

Savor this sentence like an aged cognac, in a few weeks it will all be over and the Ministry of Truth will be back to reporting our military victories in Yemen and how we're certainly not teetering on the edge of civil and/or nuclear war. For now, let's talk about a woman with bad head-wiring who meticulously applied Jiff, presumably after drawing little hearts in each can with a knife, to numerous vehicles. You're gonna need those proteins and massive calorie content after all that hard work.

Investigators said the gathering was actually a conservation group and had nothing to do with politics.

Trust me, our discussion circle on the little red book is completely apolitical.

The incident was reported Monday evening when the group's meeting was interrupted by a woman that appeared intoxicated. 

Yet another incident we can blame on demon juice. Don't worry, booze-bags are also on the shortlist of paid under-the-table in Soros paper donkey party professionals. 

According to the incident report, the woman identified by deputies as Christina Ferguson, 32, entered the meeting and began yelling she hated Donald Trump. The woman was asked to leave, and did.

I asked you to leave and you did. Everyone's happy.

Drinking is very sophisticated.

According to the incident report the woman used peanut butter to make phallic symbols and wrote profanity across the windshield of another vehicle.

This is really some high effort chaos for a prematurely aged cork-sucker. Let's meticulously draw the male wedding gear on dozens of cars. Also, cussing. It's almost like all those alcohol commercials are lying to us about all the fun we'll get out of binge drinking.

Ferguson had a preliminary breath alcohol concentration of .218.

When you're above the Mendoza Line with the old alcohol concentration you might find yourself in trouble.

Ferguson is free on bond. 

You call this justice? *pukes into dumpster*

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

News You Can't Use: Classes for Jedis Run Afoul of the Lucasfilm Empire

Would you like to take a class where you learn to use your nerd stick and get valuable tips on life destruction via escapist fantasy worlds that now must be treated with the sort of grim seriousness formerly reserved for "this time we get to win" Vietnam war movies? Well, there's this thing called "intellectual property" and "litigation" so get ready for a lesson in the real dark side, you rebel scum. It's a Disney property now and, in case you didn't know, if you mess with the mouse you lose your house.

Obsessed fans of “Star Wars” have long enjoyed a tolerant relationship with owners of the pop culture empire’s copyrights and trademarks.

There was this crazy idea that encouraging fandom might actual lead to more revenue in the future. I know, pretty wild stuff. Let's shake off that bizarre idea and start suing the basement boys into oblivion.

But several companies that offer lightsaber combat and Jedi training classes for adults and children apparently went too far for Lucasfilm and its new owner, the Walt Disney Company, which has a reputation for zealously guarding intellectual property.

Your lightsaber moves are no match for our massive illegal monopoly. Here come the lawyers. I've got a bad feeling about this.

Lucasfilm filed a lawsuit last week against New York Jedi and Lightsaber Academy, which teach classes on how to engage in Jedi battles, alleging that the businesses’ use of the words “Jedi” and “lightsaber” along with a logo of the Jedi Order are in violation of intellectual property laws.

New York don't play, sucker. Up here in the world's worst city we fight off underground cannibals and subway dancers with fudging hand-lightning and crazy battles. Come and try it, addict in a Hello Kitty costume, I've had numerous Dirk Starkiller classes.

The lawsuit identifies Michael Brown, also known as Flynn Michael, as the man behind the businesses.

Hands up, don't sue.

Mr. Brown answered emails on Tuesday but said he was too busy and had poor cellular reception, so he could not answer questions about the lawsuit. He did not respond to an email message early Wednesday.

Never change, rotten apple. "I had trouble with my phone, ah'ight? My e-mail's broken too, so don't even bother."

A spokeswoman for Lucasfilm declined to comment on details of the lawsuit but said, “We protect our intellectual property rights vigorously and we take reports of suspected infringement seriously.”

Yeah, right. You can't do anything to me if I stop answering my phone.

New York Jedi offers private lessons and weekly group classes in Midtown Manhattan with “experienced dancers, martial artists, and cosplayers that know a thing or two about saber choreography.”

You'll be surrounded by mentally healthy individuals who enjoy successful and well-balanced lives at pew-pew fantasy academy.

On one part of the site, the classes are listed with a price of $10; elsewhere, it says the classes are free, but donations are accepted to help cover room fees.

Leave your "donation" on the nightstand. If you want me to do the Yoda voice or make droid sounds that costs extra.

The New York Jedi website also advertises a separate group called “Saberkids” for children ages 7 to 13.

Son, I don't think you're getting picked on enough in school so I signed you up for "sand gets everywhere" training.

For a small "donation" this could be you!

Lucasfilm has a long history of fan-created projects, some of which have had implicit endorsement from the company, which was purchased by Disney in 2013. 

The end of that nonsense is a small price to pay for one new soulless and uninspired film per year for the next century.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #1 Spain

We've finally reached the end of the road and it's almost time to discuss what is, in my correct personal opinion, the best play choice in Civilization 5. Before we do I wanted to throw out a few honorable mentions that didn't make the Top Ten list but are also favorites of mine. We've got the Mayans (Pyramids for faith and science, wacky date counter, yes please) Egypt (Wonder time!) and Russia (Extra iron? Wow!) just missing the cut and maybe one of them would have made the list if I slapped it together at a different time. Well, no. Let's be real, what you got was completely scientific in its development and brilliant in its execution. Let's take it home.

Why is Spain #1

With most civilizations you're directed in a certain direction by the unique ability, unit, improvement and/or building and I'm not nearly enough of a cool and original rebel to go against the obvious designer intentions. With Spain, you could get a variety of possible bonuses or none at all from whatever natural wonders you find and this gives every game a different character. It's refreshing not knowing. Your start could be absolutely dominant or complete garbage and it's out of your hands. And when it is a good start, forget about it. Throw in the Conquistador's ability to both fight and settle and the Tercio, which is, well, something and they're my clear favorite. I've played them enough to have actually gotten a workable Krakatoa, for goodness sake.

As for Isabella, I think the following amazing image is all you need to know.

Honestly, it's not even close.

Most Memorable Game as Spain?

Finding King Solomon's mines in the first ten turns, settling a city with the 500 gold and building almost every early wonder, even ones I wouldn't normally even consider like Temple of Artemis and the Great Wall. The city's production was absolutely insane even with a few citizens. The neighboring Mayans, perhaps rightly sensing that I wasn't going to share when it came to bronze age monoliths declared war, melted against some hastily raised defenses and ended up getting conquered. Later I founded a city on a City State island and got Krakatoa (!), adding a ridiculous science city to go with the production one en route to winning a cultural victory. 

Time to prevent that whole silly "Netherlands" thing.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #2 Poland

We're getting toward the end of the list and there won't be any lightweights from here on in, that's for sure. Today's topic is Poland, a civilization that for whatever reason hasn't been a major player in the Civilization series until Brave New World when they claimed a spot as one of the strongest choices. My list is all about that sweet subjectivity, of course, but even on a more legitimate "power ranking" I doubt many people would argue against putting them at #2. Well, those cranks that will argue anything, because manufactured drama is a lot of fun and a good use of my time would, but that's only like 70% of the internet, tops. As for me, no one will ever accuse me of forgetting Poland.

Why is Poland #2

Solidarity! This is, hands down, the most enjoyable unique ability of any civilization in the game. I love exploring the social policy tree, but dislike the fact that you generally open Tradition or Liberty, finish whichever you took, throw a few picks into one of the filler choices and then focus on Rationalism and your Ideology. Any other choice is sub-optimal and will likely lead to defeat on higher difficulties where this little room for error. Playing Poland solves this problem with free policies, allowing for some experimentation. Also top it off with some rather uninspiring horse-themed specials, but for me it's all about the chance to fill in aesthetics or try a hybrid opening or the many other little bonuses that open up, both providing strength and encouraging replay-ability. And, of course, Poland can into space.

Casimir III wields a scepter, has a formidable beard and my spellcheck thinks I was trying to type "similar." He's also the "Polish Justinian" a patron of the University system and an army reformer. He was killed while hunting, probably because they didn't have those orange vests in the 1300s.

He's also the Polish Henry VIII, fathering only daughters.

Most Memorable Game as Poland? 

Playing on "Emperor" for the first time I went with Poland and was able to play a four city turtle, not even fighting a war until a brief conflict in the modern era. I eventually won a space victory, beating several other nations that were also attempting it. After that I realized I could win on higher levels, shrugged my shoulders and went back to King without looking back. Honestly, what is the point of being forced to play one very specific strategy, over and over, and deal with the same inept AI that simply receives comical bonuses? The game has a better feel when there's actual room to make mistakes or suffer setbacks. I've even played games where I lost cities in war, couldn't get them back and kept playing. I know, crazy.

Not a flying toy.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #3 Venice

The release date is creeping closer for Civilization 6, which in my case will be in about three years when all the expansions, patches and mods are out, I'm finally bored with 5 and the price has fallen dramatically. Still, after seeing some actual game footage from Generation Nothing representatives with bass-free voices that talk like they're blasted out of their minds on Quaaludes (HELLO INTERNET! Thisisthebasementdwellingpolicalfantasyberniegamer! WHAT'S GOING ON?) I have to concede that six is likely to be a good game. Certainly the treble-heavy exposition from paid do-nothings made a better impression than the intelligence-insulting official hype videos (Wow, Builders! That's a new name and everything! Builders! Oh, wow.). There you have it, friends. Ordinary and soft as hell human derelicts of questionable talent are more convincing in marketing a new game than the slick corporate presentations the makers put together at extreme cost.

I thought we were gonna talk about Venice? Yeah, let's do some of that.

Why is Venice #3?

"It's a playable city-state!" declares someone who has completely missed the point. Naturally, Venice can do a lot of things city-states can't, but they are clearly an experiment in how much the basic rules can be changed while still being fun and playable. The good news is Venice is a lot of fun to play and a real challenge as well. Somehow, "we'll put handicaps on you, the player" tends to get a worse reaction than the equal and opposite "we'll give the AI free stuff to make up for its poor play." It's really two sides of the same coin and when you pick Venice, you know you're going to get a very different game. It's because of this issue, not in spite of it, that I love to play as them. Add in flavorful bonuses like double trade routes and merchant takeovers and maybe they're not as weak as the reputation. Also, don't forget the Great Galleass, which never seems to rate a mention but is actually one of the very few unique naval units and a very appropriate choice, too.

Besides, who wouldn't want to be the Doge? Former trivia contest answer Enrico Dandolo truly shines as the wealthy blind old man whose schemes sometimes get a little out of hand. Like that whole Fourth Crusade misstep, for example.

You can pay me by attacking other Christians, it should work out.

Most Memorable Game as Venice? 

I was going for the Great Betrayal achievement (I can't praise the number and creativity of the achievements in this game enough) and Byzantium was actually in the game and converted Venice to the One True Faith. Time to reward that with senseless violence. Nothing like a little historical propriety in what otherwise tends to veer into the most ridiculous historical "what ifs" imaginable. Apply the unique unit, send in some Knights, next thing you know the Crusader army is repeating the same mistakes because we don't like to learn from them. After this atrocity it was back to sending out cargo ships and building toward the diplomatic victory as if nothing had happened, just like in real life.

A funny thing happened on the way to Jerusalem...

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #4 Ethiopia

Growing up in the eighties the word "Ethiopia" called to mind starvation, human misery, an expanding desert and dying children. Not exactly themes that would make for fun times in a vidiot game. Then there's Mussolini's aggression and massacres against hopelessly out-matched soldiers and I think we can all agree that the 20th century wasn't exactly good times for the land of Prester John and the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Suffice it to say, the Civilization 5 incarnation focuses more on these aspects and is actually a lot of fun to play.

Why is Ethiopia #4?

One of my favorite aspects of Civ 5 is the religion mechanic and Ethiopia is arguably the best choice to fully explore it (The Celts must rely on unmodified forests, ugh). The Stele gives a strong faith boost right away and, combined with shrines and temples, you might be able to still get a strong religion without relying on faith pantheons and faith natural/world wonders. Or you could throw those into the mix too and really go wild. The unique ability is a strong defensive bonus and you get a unique unit that presents a more optimistic impression of the Italian conquest. These elements combine for a very strong start that is resistant to enemy aggression. It probably isn't a coincidence that the AI Ethiopia always seems to be a powerhouse when they show up in my games as other civilizations.

The leader is Haile Selassie, Time magazine Person of the Year for 1935, symbol of noble but doomed opposition in the face of tyranny and trivia question answer.

Then I told the class about Gandhi's love of nuclear missiles.

Most Memorable Game as Ethiopia? 

Playing on Prince difficulty I was able to peacefully spread my religion almost everywhere. It was ridiculous, the other civilizations with religions were hard-pressed to even keep their Holy Cities. This, combined with the tithe belief led to sickening amounts of income and an eventual diplomatic victory. Is it just a coincidence that some of the most fun games happened on the lower difficulties, while winning on high levels requires a strict adherence to an optimal development path that tends to be largely forgettable? Nah, can't be. I must play on at least Immortal every time or people I've never met and couldn't possibly care less about will be disappointed in me.

I *heart* these.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #5 America

America, fudge yeah! Is any more of an introduction necessary? Well, yes, obviously. America has always been a strange case in the Civilization games, a relatively recent "tribe" going against opponents with thousands of years worth of history in some cases. In later iterations of the game this became less of an issue, but it always struck me as strange to see Boston as a bronze-age city with clay buildings and stone monoliths. The bottom line is America was never a favorite of mine until Part 5, which really got it right with the USA, as it did with so many other things.

Why is America #5?

Part of me likes America just because it's off badmouthed as a weak civilization or an inferior version of other, better choices. Even the usually even-handed Civilization wiki feels the need to tell us that America has boring unique abilities and won't come into its own until the modern era. None of that is even true, let alone the bottom slot on tier list America sometimes inhabits. In reality the extra line of sight is a nice ability for the entire game, helping with both exploration and war and the cheaper tile purchases is nice for anyone who regularly buys tiles i.e. any competent player. The unique units are fun as well, with the Minutemen getting an advanced promotion right away and the B-17 bomber which is both powerful and hard to hurt. I'm not sure why there's all this negativity against America, but I am a bit of a contrarian (wait a few days for my Venice review...) and this is a fun civ to play as.

The leader is Washington this time (Lincoln has appeared as well and in part six we're getting a ridiculous cartoon version of Theodore Roosevelt) and he appears in Mount Vernon, complete with a picture of the Oracle on the wall, finally solving that whole ancient 'murrca problem. It's such a cool little detail, well done whoever got that put in there.

  If you print this out and fold it you can make his head into a mushroom.

Most Memorable Game as America?

What started with the usual peaceful development became a battle for survival against a very hostile Mongol horde that wanted me gone. About halfway through the war I was able to start building Minutemen and was soon using them to fight steppe riders in the forests around New York. It's moments like this which make this game so much fun. It was like the world's worst, or possibly best, alternative history novel. American revolutionaries throwing off the Mongol yoke, using their own novel tactics to counter a ruthless and bloodthirsty Genghis that wants to make them a Golden Horde colony. One of you #amwriting newbies needs to make this concept happen, I'm dead serious. 


Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Civilization V Countdown: #6 Babylon

Today we're going to tuck in between the Tigris and Euphrates and talk about the Neo-Babylonian empire or the Chaldeans if you prefer. That's what is clearly represented here, rather than the more ancient version of Babylon led by Hammurabi from the first game of the series, but as the world's biggest fan of the ancient Near East I'll still take it. Can you guys please include Sumeria, complete with a godawful mobile phone cartoon version of Ur-Nammu, in Part Six? You might get one extra sale, maybe. Think carefully before you say no.

I am aware that there's a mod that lets you play as Sumeria in Part 5 and that's all I'm going to say about that. Aren't we supposed to be talking about tertiary characters from the Old Testament?

Why is Babylon #6?

In this case there's more than just my unhealthy fixation on silt, complex irrigation, ziggurats and cup-bearers that later become kings and conquerors. The ability to quickly generate Great Scientists, including getting a free one just for researching Writing, is probably a bit overpowered and this is the reason this civilization tends to appear on the top of tier lists. The bowman is a fun throwback to early games and could be used for early rushes if you want to play against the obvious focus on peaceful development the science bonus encourages in the early game. The Walls of Babylon, a sort of off-brand Ishtar Gate, fit nicely with this theme and your typical "four city tradition" is going to be very strong as Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar II is a colorful character as well, what with his madness and cup-holding butterfingers. Not quite the cup bearer skills I was hoping for, but it will do.

My days of putting people in furnaces without result are over.

Most Memorable Game as Babylon?

I was playing on a lower difficultly level and got an absolutely ridiculous technology lead while otherwise avoiding conflict. We're talking nearly the "tanks vs. spearman" ridiculousness you could pull off in the early Civilization games. Instead of using this edge to conquer I played the policeman of the world, restoring nations that had been conquered, liberating city states, punishing warmongers and gifting generously to weaker rivals. I eventually won a science victory, but the entertaining part was being the world's sole Super Power and actually acting in responsible fashion. We are nothing if not civilized kings.

This particular museum wall is now much tougher.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.