Saturday, July 30, 2016

Which Way Books #6: Sugarcane Island

After experiencing a very, very poor man's Narnia via the magic of Twist-a-Plot it's back to the other cheap knockoff series, but today's subject is something a little different. Somehow, through the magic of public domain or perhaps high-powered copyright lawyers (all that Simon & Schuster money had to be buying something and it sure wasn't quality authors) Choose Your Own Adventure founder Edward Packard shows up for his lame competition. Making this even more incredible is the fact that "Island" may have been the first interactive work of fiction ever created and here it is as a throwaway entry in a lazy "me too!" series, with Packard's name replacing the steady march of Alan Smithees (R.G. Austin???). My mind can barely handle this, I'll be honest. We'll talk more about it when we look at the revised C.Y.O.A. version, but for now let's do this.

We got the rights to this book by some Packard goof. Only 99 cents! Cheap!

Betraying the fact that this book was straight-up poached from the godfather of the genre, this one has a completely different appearance than the other Which Way titles, including different numbers, black lines as a divider before most of the choices and an extremely brief reminder to use our head because on Sugarcane Island you can get wrecked quick. Not unlike how your hard work can be stolen out from under you by another publisher, I guess.

The set-up is pretty straightforward. I'm on a boat in the Pacific on the way to see a Doctor Frisbee (no Vivaldi, not yet) on the Galapagos Islands. The merciless sea has other plans, however, and I get swept off the boat by a rogue wave, finally washing up on a beach after blacking out. Yes, the human body has an automatic "tread water" ability that kicks in when you're out cold, in case you didn't know. Anyways, tropical island paradise or horrific death await and concerns about food and rest are already pressing to the fore. I decide to climb a "rocky hill" in search of food and perhaps sports balls to befriend.

It's actually not subtle at all, bro.

Being sure to keep a watch for snakes I climb the hill and manage to find some "tasty berries." Man, this survivalist stuff is cake. Now I just need to build a bug-out shelter. Or keep climbing that "hill" which apparently more like the cliffs of Dover. To reach the top I must contend with "dangerous looking rocks" (don't like the look of those rocks...don't make eye contact...just keep walking) but decide to lie down and rest instead because sloth is the solution to all of life's difficulties.

Strangely, another Deadly Sin kicks in and I decide to keep tucking into the berries and perhaps look for more instead of maybe getting some winks. It appears the whole "hill" plot-line has been abandoned, not like I miss it or anything. Hey look, an "enormous white dog!" Better approach and domesticate this sucker as I rebuild civilization piece by piece from first principles in this new Eden. If this goes well I'll be building ziggurats and making crude clay records in a pictograph alphabet within a week or two, max.

This is clearly designed to appeal to adults over the age of 21.

Sadly, my animal training skills aren't really up to it as I end up being herded by the K-9 to a clearing where another dozen similar dogs are waiting. Assuming I can turn this around and eventually have a hound army I decide to stick around instead of running. Then the pack runs off after "unseen game" and I run off, too. Well, that was something. During my cowardly retreat I encounter a turtle and am given a chance to ride on it. I can't really think of any compelling reason not to.

Incredibly, this well-conceived Jeb Bush strategy leads toward disaster as Mr. Turtle swims into a some crocodiles and then is heading out to sea because I guess sea turtles sometimes spend long periods of time on land for whatever reason. Not wishing to get chomped on by a future pair of boots I hang on. So it's into the ocean where I get devoured by a shark, complete with a lovingly crafted illustration of this awful fate. By trying to avoid being torn apart by a toothy predator I caused it to happen anyway. Oh, the irony. So many spoons, etc.

 Make sure none of the guests lost loved ones to Mr. Jaws before holding this particular party.

Like all classic, pioneering works of high art this one is basically review-proof, but I will say it was a bit of a mess. Most of the events were just bizarre in their randomness and it didn't feel like there was any goal I was getting closer to or further from, just various compartmentalized encounters loosely tied to the island itself. You have to start somewhere, so you can't really complain too much. We'll save that for when we review the amazing "revised" edition next week.

You will entscheidest so hard you'll barely believe it. Also, watch out for snakes!

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

News You Can't Use: Dunkin' Donuts Employee Allegedly Sprayed Donuts With Bleach Before Giving Them to Teens

You can chart the decline and eventual collapse of doughnut humor by figuring out what year offered the first season of Zombie Simpsons and then drawing a downward line at a 45 degree angle, with said line reaching zero or perhaps negative numbers in our present year. If you're hoping that today's post will spark a renaissance in bakery guffaws I'm not gonna throw no shade on ya but keep in mind most of this blog's viewers are Russian web-bots and the story I have to work with contains almost every evil the modern world has to offer. All right, just a few specific evils like entitlement and trying to poison your fellow meat-bags, but that's enough, right?

An employee at a Dunkin' Donuts in Virginia allegedly sprayed day-old donuts with a cleaning solution that contained bleach before giving them away to a group of teenagers who later ate them, Virginia police said.

The banality of evil doesn't get much more banal than this. We may have reached peak trite malevolence.

The teenagers had previously received the store's leftover donuts for free, and they had returned to the Dunkin' Donuts in the 2900 block of Chain Bridge Road for more on July 25, Fairfax County police said.

"Don't worry, these entitlements are just a safety net to get you back into the work force," someone said, once.

Someone at the store denied their request multiple times but eventually relented and told the teens to come back later in the day, police said.

This is the kind of behavior that would make Gandhi try to kill you with cleaning products, let alone some put-upon minimum wage slave.

Before the group came back, that employee allegedly sprayed the donuts with "a cleaning solution that contained bleach" and then handed them off to the teenagers, police said.

Y'all bout to get "trolled" by rolled bread.

The teens ate "anywhere from one bite to a whole donut," police said, before they realized something may be wrong with the food and called police.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" is finally a relevant reaction.

No one was injured, and a criminal investigation is ongoing.

Everything's fine, better put someone in a cage or whatever.

Full Article.

Komment Korner

You would probably be in more danger by eating one licked by Ariana Grande.

You should be the first to be 'exterminated' when the donut peddlers decide your poverty is punishable by death. 

The attack on morality continues!

I don't eat donuts

He thought it was "doughnut freshener". Give the guy a break.

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

Monday, July 25, 2016

News You Can't Use: The Apocalyptic Rise of Nude Dating Shows

One might argue that rise of the "hook-up" culture and the easy, meaningless encounters it promises combined with the decline of traditional courtship rituals is having some sort of negative effect on society as a whole but this hypothetical arguer is clearly wrong. After all, we now have something called "nude dating shows" which, and this is just me guessing here, combine unclothed bodies and the high drama of "swipe right!" in front of an audience of drooling, hooting scumbags. Still, not everyone is convinced, including the author of today's subject who likens it to Saint John's Revelation. It's just limp penises, dude.

That’s it. There’s nowhere left for the dating show to go. Between TLC’s Undressed and Channel 4’s Naked Attraction, the entire genre feels like it’s reached its natural endpoint.

Talk about a small imagination. We haven't even started in with the chemsex, or the harems, or animals...

We’ve had shows like Blind Date, where desirability is judged by personality. We’ve had shows like Take Me Out, where desirability is judged by physical appearance. 

As opposed to basing desirability on not immediately screaming and giving me a full face worth of  wasp spray

And now we find ourselves at a terrible new dawn, where desirability is judged by genitalia.

"You seem nice, but that thing looks like it was made by a blind woodsman with a dull axe."

Undressed puts two strangers in a room and makes them undress each other before they sit on a bed and get subjected to a hideous Clockwork Orange-style barrage of orders from a giant faceless screen.

You're actually thinking of 1984 (All right contestants, here comes a chopper to chop off your heads!), which is why you get assigned to cover the naked dating craze and not prestige topics like accidental celebrity nudity.

Meanwhile, Naked Attraction – which starts tonight – promises to present its subjects with a cavalcade of naked strangers and ask them to pick the sexiest.

It's like choosing your favorite hanging dead rabbit from a Chinatown market.

Naked Attraction is barely even a dating show. It’s Am I Hot Or Not. It’s a knobbly knees competition. It’s a place where your parents can validate all the unspoken disappointment they ever felt about you.

Your parents are very disappointed you showed your completely flaccid joystick on the Sex Box.

It feels like we’ve painted ourselves into a corner here, doesn’t it? How can anyone keep making dating shows any more, now that there’s a programme about people picking willies from a lineup?

Tonight the slippery slope let me down.

The bottom of the barrel has been located. Dating shows: completed. Well done everybody.

That sounds like a challenge to me.

These people realise that nudity is weird and shameful, and that it should be hidden from a prospective romantic partner until the last moment possible, long after the point at which they can politely back out.

Your body is an evil thing, full of death, decay and demons. It should be covered as completely as possible and any intimacy (hopefully there's none!) should be done under the cover of complete darkness and under the influence of as many numbing agents as possible.

But perhaps my natural inclination to equate Undressed and Naked Attraction to the death of all civilisation is premature. 

And speaking of other things that can go wrong when you're "dating."

Hot sexy singles naked! Look at this, oh wow!

They understand that nudity is humiliating, because it is, and the parts of the show where the contestants work through their anxiety over this is much better than the rest of the show, where they tend to just get barked at by a Twister-obsessed Jumbotron. 

Personally I think the barking is the best part, but I suppose I could be wrong.

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

News You Can't Use: Saudi Arabia Renews Fatwa Against Pokémon Franchise

What is that wacky Generation Nothing up to this time? More staring into phones, I bet! Well, yes, but believe it or not this pathology has metastasized into some even more incredible. Namely blundering around the so-called "real world" in search of various poorly draw "monsters" that are then captured and forced into a life of gladiatorial slavery not unlike what was depicted in "Spartacus" just with more neck-beards and early onset obesity. So now we have millennials literally blundering off cliffs lemming style while a formerly apathetic older generation must now get all "Get off of my lawn!" on the youthful walking dead. Not a very good state of affairs. Fortunately clerics in Saudi Barbaria have taken a break from attacking the basic laws of motion to condemn this fresh evil from the Western (and Eastern!) infidel.

Catch Squirtle at your own risk — at least in Saudi Arabia.

On tonight's episode Squirtle is beheaded for apostasy...

The kingdom renewed its 2001 fatwa against the cute cartoon creatures on Wednesday, saying the viral cellphone game Pokémon Go is a form of gambling, and therefore forbidden under Islamic law.

You are in fact wagering your personal well-being (there was a Charizard in front of that moving car!) and remaining dignity, in addition to gambling that Friend Google won't do any funny business with the massive amounts of data mined by this horse hockey, so it turns out The Kingdom is right. As always.

The edict renews a 2001 decree by the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, issued when the game was still played with cards and on video game consoles.

God has not changed His mind, it would appear.

Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan, a member of the Council of Senior Religious Scholars, said that the mobile version of the Japanese scavenger hunt-style game is the same as the card version — and does not get a pass.

After much prayer, fasting, meditation, level grinding, silent reflection, player vs. player matches to raise my rank and win badges and self-flagellation I have arrived at this divinely ordained conclusion. Just like the card game, although with more bricks to the face from criminal element and oblivious trespassing.

Pokémon Go is not officially available in Saudi Arabia, but many in the country are believed to have figured out how to download the app, according to reports.

Can't wait to blunder out into this completely inhospitable desert because I think there might be Japanese cartoons hiding in the dunes.

This is the best image on the entire internet for a variety of reasons.

Three Saudi men in their mid-20s were recently arrested while playing Pokémon Go at an airport in the kingdom, a Saudi online newspaper reported. 

Get ready for some of that hand removal, bros.

The men were using their smartphone cameras to illegally take pictures in the restricted area of the King Abdullah airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, according to the report.

Once again a Theocratic nightmare state dominated by a handful of fossil fuel plutocrats and governed by superstition and terror has shown us the way.

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

Saturday, July 16, 2016

DotTeeVee: Jeffy show - "It was like the matrix!"

A long time ago I provided all of you lonely hearts with sure fire dating advice for men featuring a torso-reffic model who might have been a rejected Kelly Bundy prototype and, ironically, no actual dating advice whatsoever, save "go buy this highly dubious product." Pump dat fast forward button and here we all are, none the better for it. I have on good authority that the amount of "same day bangs" for the average man continues to be a national embarrassment and in the interest of sincere patriotism it's time to willingly enter the pecuniary pick-up tips sewer.

The good news today's carnal banquet is something called the "Jeffy show." I have to admit I was really excited to hear the little kid from Family Circus is all grown up and doing well for himself but it turns out the truth is much less than this and yet somehow far greater, all at once. Take the red pill, wash it down with two white ones and maybe half a black and a quarter blue to even out the rush and prepare to learn how to defeat ten men (!) in the quest to have a meaningless encounter with someone you don't consider fully human in the latest hollow chapter of your empty, nihilistic existence.

Also this guy went on a date with a prostitute and didn't get any freebies, so there's that.

Open your wallet, sucker!

The action is joined already in progress with the "douchebag PUA" asking his audience of marks if they've heard about something. Only one guy has. "Jeffy" makes no effort to suppress his obvious disappointment. These are the people I have to teach the "loop and doop" to? I mean, he's a Spartan hero and all but he's not some miracle worker. We never do find out what he was inquiring about, but I like to pretend it was "Does anyone here know who Charles Whitman was?" 

Anyway, time for a lengthy anecdote that will, hopefully, be instructive and justify exposing ourselves to this spiritual leprosy. It turns out "There was this girl." I guess saying "There was this warm human-shaped object I wanted to mount" would be a little too on the nose. Speaking of which, this guy has some serious condor beak going on. 

It turns out the fair maiden in question was at a bar this guy frequents and he was interested in obtaining Biblical knowledge of her. The only snag, other than his rat-like demeanor, high riser hair style, general dishevelment and the fact he's been walking around with a goblet full of water is that the sex holes attached to a body and maybe some sort of mind are surrounded by the ten guys mentioned previously. You've heard of cock blocks, this is like an anti-erection phalanx.

Every generation gets the hero it deserves.

Now it's time to get angry, because there's nothing more attractive than a hate-filled goof that haunts bars and goes home alone despite investing thousands in special hypnosis tapes. We call the ten man adult anti-sex league the "chess club" because they look like "dorks." You know, sweaters, throwback glasses, tattoos...I guess the pawn pushers this guy knows are a little different than my experiences with the 64 square clique. "I got this giant "King Killer" tat, bro. Let me pull up the argyle sleeve so you can see.

"I ain't no Bobby Fischer nut-hugger, bro. War Alekhine!"

Anyway, these individuals are the villains of this impressive morality tale. Attempts to approach the young lady and mumble "me want sex you" before guiding her to the second base mobile are repeatedly defeated, National Geographic style, by this herd of poor fashion, bad ink and female pedestalization. Meanwhile the camera cuts back to reveal the sad sacks paying to hear this drivel and the general mood and enthusiasm level calls to mind an early November lecture in a 101 social sciences pit class.

Like any epic tale of a hero's journey, it's time for the training montage, as "Jeffy" explains how he was doing "boot camps" all the time. I should clarify that we're not talking about the military here but rather "You will talk to a woman, like it or not" seminars for dateless wonders. This expensive and humiliating process apparently is the "Shield of Achilles" portion of our legend and now properly armed it's time to show the full fury of the Gods ask for a phone number or whatever.

What's your name, scumbag? Bullshit! From now on you're Private Incel!

Empowered by chasing self-destructive hedonism in "tough venues" it's time to deal with the old enemies. But first we get some ethnic stereotyping, apropos of nothing. This "Taco Bell Dog accent bartender" bit only emboldens him and it is, as the kids say, "on." After parting the Red Sea of beta orbiters he tells his lady love "I hate you." See, this is the good stuff you're paying for. Go tell that thing you hate it, then slam. You're the man, now.

After this we're just "tooling" his pathetic competition, in a sequence similar to the Matrix movie, presumably the decent first one and not the awful sequels. After a mild seizure intended to simulate the fighting from said movie he relates one of the putdowns, namely "nice scarf, buddy!" Consider yourself officially wrecked, faceless barfly. He gets the "digits." Amazing. Here's my wallet, take whatever you want.

Komment Korner

jeffy looks like a twilight extra..all pale and shit

i hope that wasnt supposed to be funny.

Den var ju inte precis överrolig :/

this guy is awesome

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

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

News You Can't Use: Half of all US Food Produce is Thrown Away, New Research Suggests

Trends come and go, but wasting food is something that is always at the bleeding edge of what is considered "with it" or "23 skiddoo," if you will. And there's no food more deserving of being wasted than vegetables, natures cruel joke on our taste-buds and internal digestive systems. With ideas about cleaning the old plate to broom the stomach correctly held in derision by picky eaters everywhere it's perhaps a fitting irony that the current piles of rotting Michelle Obama lunch waste is actually being caused by the tiny and hated minority that, for whatever reason, likes broccoli.

Americans throw away almost as much food as they eat because of a “cult of perfection”, deepening hunger and poverty, and inflicting a heavy toll on the environment.

You Americans and your perfectionism, as demonstrated by your intellectual rigor and svelte belt-lines. Because of the demands for the elusive perfect radish (real radishes, who a man like you couldn't handle by the way, are misshapen and covered in spots) we're somehow causing world hunger, making people poor and destroying our environment with compost piles, the natural enemy of all plant life.

Vast quantities of fresh produce grown in the US are left in the field to rot, fed to livestock or hauled directly from the field to landfill, because of unrealistic and unyielding cosmetic standards, according to official data and interviews with dozens of farmers, packers, truckers, researchers, campaigners and government officials.

I  blame Hollywood and the media for created an impossible standard of vegetable beauty that fails to recognize that all produce is uniquely beautiful and special and certainly doesn't need to change for a brute like you as it's taken from the field straight to the landfill. Also, someone is going around interviewing truckers about vegetable waste. Really. "Yeah, foughettaboutit, I dumped all that cauliflower in the gutter and spend the rest of the day leaning against my truck and making threatening and/or lecherous faces at passerby."

“It’s all about blemish-free produce,” says Jay Johnson, who ships fresh fruit and vegetables from North Carolina and central Florida. “What happens in our business today is that it is either perfect, or it gets rejected. It is perfect to them, or they turn it down. And then you are stuck.”

Just take this jet-black banana that's currently dripping foul liquids and eat it. I don't think that's asking too much. Think of Ray-Jay Johnson and his North Cakalaki shipping concern next time, so you can attach a face and annoying comedy act to the damage your selfishness is causing.

Food waste is often described as a “farm-to-fork” problem. Produce is lost in fields, warehouses, packaging, distribution, supermarkets, restaurants and fridges.

And yet, in a highly magnanimous display, the ordinary consumer gets blamed.

By one government tally, about 60m tonnes of produce worth about $160bn (£119bn), is wasted by retailers and consumers every year - one third of all foodstuffs.

Love those wacky non-metric measures. We're talking 60m rands of green sludge, worth 160bn Imperial Ducats, wasted every year.

“I would say at times there is 25% of the crop that is just thrown away or fed to cattle,” said Wayde Kirschenman, whose family has been growing potatoes and other vegetables near Bakersfield, California, since the 1930s. “Sometimes it can be worse.”

I'd propose a solution, but there really isn't one and we're just wasting our time here.

Then they're going to throw me away or send me to a landfill...OH MY GOD!!!!

Table grapes that did not conform to a wedge shape were dumped. Entire crates of pre-cut orange wedges were directed to landfill. 

Parsnips that refused to take a loyalty oath were lined up against walls and shot.

In June, Kirschenman wound up feeding a significant share of his watermelon crop to cows.

You can make your own joke, I'm not touching this one.

Imperfect Produce, a subscription delivery service for “ugly” food in the San Francisco Bay area, estimates that about one-fifth of all fruit and vegetables are consigned to the dump because they do not conform to the industry standard of perfection.

Imperfect Produce, when you care enough to feed your family food that isn't considered adequate animal fodder.

That lost food is seen increasingly as a drag on household incomes – about $1,600 a year for a family of four – and a direct challenge to global efforts to fight hunger, poverty and climate change.

We also have on good authority this caused Donald Trump.

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

Monday, July 11, 2016

News You Can't Use: 'Hacking' the Brain

If there's one disappointing aspect of the old flesh, bone and fluid prison we've been mercilessly locked into it's that the so-called "executive functions" or "brain" if you really need it dumbed-down, have proven themselves to be extraordinarily resistant to attempts to manipulate or "hack" them. What I'm getting at here is that there must be at least One Weird Trick, but so far this has proven elusive. That is until some computer job in LaLa-Land discovered that simple things like withholding food and taking "smart drugs" can in fact trigger massive increases in productivity, which should be your main life ambition if you're a total and complete idiot.

Employees at San Francisco startup Nootrobox don't eat on Tuesdays.

Thirsty Thursday is bad enough, why do we need starvation Tuesday? It's like checking yourself into a monastery, just with all the spiritual benefits stripped away and replaced with "Time is money!" existential cancer.

"We're actually super productive on Tuesdays," co-founder and CEO Geoffrey Woo said. "It's hard at first, but we literally adopted it as part of the company culture."

I have a graph with a jagged line going primarily upwards to prove it. Can I interest you in some securities, dirt cheap?

Woo and other entrepreneurs are using fasts and other tricks to "hack" their brain chemistry like they would a computer, hoping to give themselves an edge as they strive to dream up the next billion-dollar idea.

It's 2016 and we still have to pretend that no one understands how a computer works or how it might be used as a metaphor for the human mind. Also, sorry to disappoint, but the next "billion-dollar idea" is going to be more Generation Zombie members milling about aimlessly while fixating on tiny glowing screens. Sorry to bear this bad news.

Known by insiders as "biohacking," the push for cognitive self-improvement is gaining momentum in the Silicon Valley tech world, where workers face constant pressure to innovate and produce at the highest levels.

Seriously, this stock isn't going to buy itself. Can I put you down for 10,000 shares?

Some use vitamins or other nutritional supplements known as nootropics or "smart drugs" to improve their cognitive function. Others have a more expansive view of brain-enhancers, taking off-label prescription drugs, small doses of LSD or Russian pharmaceuticals not approved for consumption in the U.S. 

I'm ruining my health and causing permanent brain damage, but flying off on a flashback from taking The Ticket is more than justified by the exciting "Touch screen to make sex" innovations that are resulting.

"Entrepreneurs and executives and investors are not normal people," said San Francisco-based Dr. Molly Maloof, who emphasizes nutritional supplements with her biohacking clients.

They are, instead, pathetic broken shells living in a haze of poor nutrition and krokodil side effects. 

"They are like high-performance race cars that are nonstop moving, and they need pit stops more often than normal people."

Quick, pour this bag of sugar into the gas tank, it's sure to make the car run better!

Research into the cognitive benefits of nootropics is still in its early stages, and some experts worry about the long-term health effects of ingesting potent synthetic smart drugs, which are largely unregulated. 

On the other hand, productivity!

"I have not heard of much in the way of exciting evidence that supports these products to a point that I would routinely be recommending them to patients."

Leave it to the hopelessly backward medical establishment to come down against the Moscow Miracle.

For Woo, who founded nootropics company Nootrobox, biohacking poses one central question: "Can we enhance humans?"

The answer is "no."

It's pseudosciencetastic!

The purpose of the fasts is to achieve a state of ketosis, which means the body has run out of carbohydrates and instead is burning fat for fuel. Ketosis has been shown to affect the brain in various ways -- it helps prevent seizures in children, for example -- and some biohackers say it keeps them focused and alert. 

I'm not thrashing around like a freshly landed walleye, so it must be working.

"By the end of the day I just have way more energy," said Katie Fritts, founder of San Francisco-based Underclub, an underwear subscription service.

Since joining the "Underwear of the Month Club" I've become less burdened by crushing despair than ever!

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

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

News You Can't Use: Goats are as Loving and Clever as Dogs, Say Smitten Scientists

We're definitely living in the age of the goat. First everyone's favorite can-eating symbol for the hell-bound enemies of God became synonymous with "The Greatest of All Time." Then a goofy video game, the highest honor anyone or anything can aspire too. As if that isn't enough, now the science that we all freaking love because having intense affection for a process is spiritually healthy has determined that nature's garbage disposal is in fact every bit as "loving" and intelligent as that other animal you allow to live in your house and ascribe human traits to for some reason.

They may seem an unusual candidate for the title of man’s best friend, but scientists have suggested that goats could rival dogs in forming an emotional bond with their owners.

After years of staring at goats, this is our amazing conclusion.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London aim to prove that goats are much cleverer than previously thought and interact with people in a similar way to pets, having trodden a path of domestication for 10,000 years.

Well, it was that or try to cure cancer. We stand by our selection.

Their latest experiment, documented in Biological Letters, showed that goats will gaze imploringly at their owners when they are struggling to complete a task, a trait common in dogs but not wolves, for example, who have never learned how to co-exist with humans.

I think I'd rather hang out with the team of scientists that studies wolves, primarily by engaging in the last good fight against them.

The team has also demonstrated that goats can work out how to break into a sealed box using levers, a task used to gauge intelligence in apes.  

We tried this task on college students, but after an hour the box was still unopened and everyone was crying and begging for a safe space and for the government to come and open it for them. Better stick with apes and goats for this one.

“Goats gaze at humans in the same way as dogs do when asking for a treat that is out of reach,” said Dr Christian Nawroth, one of the study’s authors.

I spent countless hours exchanging loving gazes with cloven hoofed animals. Science!

In many countries, including Italy, and Germany the phrase “as stupid as a goat” is used as an insult.

In fairness the more correct translation of the German phrase is "As inefficient and lacking in will as a can-eating swine dog with horns."

“We know that in some areas goats are as intelligent as dogs, but there has been a lot more work done on dog behaviour and we are really just scratching the surface with goats.”

It's more likely to eat your slippers than fetch them, but it knows what it's doing.

“If we can show that they are more intelligent, then hopefully we can bring in better guidelines for their care,” Dr  McElligott said.

Why are all fudging scientists liars?

 The big brains of the animal kingdom.

In the most recent experiment the team trained goats to remove a lid from a box to receive a reward. In the final test they made the box impossible to open and recorded the goat’s reaction.

Someone is getting paid to mess with goats. Let this sink in for awhile.

The bemused goats turned towards their owners in a pleading manner, clearly asking for help in getting to the treat.

"I thought we were friends, baaaaa."

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

Monday, July 4, 2016

News You Can't Use: Everyone Secretly Hates Going Out, Study Says

The outside world is bad. Highly reliable statistical analysis has proven that this is where the majority of crime occurs, that there's this hot ball thing up in the sky for some reason and that guy bumped into me and didn't apologize. It's clearly far safer and healthier to live an isolated and deeply alienated existence viewing glowing screens and patiently awaiting the chilling embrace of death. If you don't believe me maybe you'll be more inclined to trust a hack writer from some b.s. clickbait site who is probably a few weeks away from being permanently replaced by image slideshows of thong disasters and celebrities at their worst and so forth.

There has never been a more unrealistic show on television than Friends.

The hallmark of quality writing is to open with a reference to something that's lost all cultural relevance via the passage of time and will need to be completely explained to your audience of generation nothing droolers and then top that off with some wildly inaccurate hyperbole. Yeah, that nighttime area show had nothing in the unrealism department on Ross and Rachel.

The fantasy it sells its audience on—that six people in their 20s can get together regularly without any sort of apparent planning—is a bald-faced lie.

Fudging "Let's all meet up after we finish our jobs!" how does it work?

Can you imagine the group texts, the email chains, the interlocking commitments, the sheer complexity of organizing a six-person gathering at a coffee shop? 

Well, that or it could just be your regular thing everyday. I know, crazy, but it is one possible explanation for why large portions of the urban comedy half-hour weren't devoted to "texting," something that didn't actually exist in any meaningful way for most of the show's run.

If it wanted to make any effort at realism, Friends should have been a show about six people calling each other, leaving messages, and making excuses so they could stay in their apartments and watch TV.

This would have been the greatest show ever. On tonight's episode everyone makes phony excuses and ends up weeping in front of the idiot box. Laughing yet, young person?

Last week, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the American Time Use Survey, an annual look at how people spend the precious minutes of their short lives.

"Remember thou art mortal!" declares someone who works for a website dedicated to cat pictures and broad-brush sensationalism.

Mostly, people sleep (almost nine hours a day on average), work (just under eight hours on days they work), and watch TV (a bit under three hours).

Those "You got to LIVE, man" posters just flat-out aren't working.

A scant 41 minutes of each average day are spent socializing in person with other humans, a number that's fallen by 9 percent over the past decade. 

Well, that teevee ain't gonna watch itself.

Maybe something darker is at play here: Maybe Americans aren't hanging out because we're all hiding in our apartments and inventing elaborate lies about why we can't come out.

I guess almost anything is possible.

That's the conclusion of a recent study by something called Yelp Eat24, which I guess is like Seamless but run by Yelp? 

This sentence has all the formal elements of a joke but I'm sitting here stone-faced wondering what the hell I just read.

"It may be that FOMO—the Fear of Missing Out—has run its course, as a new survey identifies the power of POMO... the PLEASURE Of Missing Out."

My life is an empty spiral toward cold oblivion, but it feels so good.

According to the study, almost 30 percent of people are disappointed by nights out, more than a third are stressed out and anxious by them, and hangovers and arguments are also common side effects.

Then they made me drink booze and joke around, it was horrible.

Now, obviously spending time with your partner and children is a pretty good reason not to go out, and chores have to be done, but "listen to music" is not generally an activity that takes up an entire evening.

Honestly, you should be able to get that Ninth Symphony done in like one commercial break if you really lean on the skip button.

No matter what you think of "going out," this is kind of grim stuff.

Let's rail impotently against a massive societal trend we have absolutely no power over. Then go have jello shooters, assuming you're not gonna listen to music all night alone or what-evs.

Why can't I be alone in front of screen right now?

And apparently we're all lying to cover up that fact, spinning tall tales about needing to work out when really we're getting shithoused in front of Call of Duty.

Social awkwardness and uninspired first person shooter fandom...coincidence or something more sinister at work?

Your laziness, and your inability to be honest with others (and probably, yourself) about what your life has become, is not a personal problem, it's a symptom of a broader malaise. 

This is why it's important you vote for the evil old lady currently being charged with various high crimes.

That's why I'm not coming to your party, because society is slowly sliding into lethargy. I'll try to make the next one! 

Yeah, we're all rooting for you, dudemar.

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