We Haven’t Been Moving In Circles, The Rooms Have
Dated August 13, 2011
Today I learned that A Rubik’s cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations.
That’s…ones, tens, hundreds, thousands…carry the illion…over forty-three quintilian combinations. You could round that number down to forty-three quintilian and you’d be lopping off 252 quadrillion combinations.
If Ernő Rubik had written the Kama Sutra that thing would be the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica (RIP). And also sex would be much twistier and confusing and most people would never finish unless they peeled off the stickers and cheated.
Moving at a speed of one rotation every second you would need fourteen hundred trillion years to work your way through every combination of the cube. The big bang was about fourteen billion years ago so…yeah. It’d be a little while.
Here’s the most amazing thing, though. The most inspirational, holy-crap-that’s-sweet thing I’ve heard in ages. Here’s the thing to take with you into every room you ever walk.
You are never more than twenty moves from solving a Rubik’s Cube.
When you’re stuck and twisted beyond recognition and everything, everything, everything seems wholly intractable, when it’s all gone sideways and there are forty quintilian ways for things to go wrong and it seems like you’d need a trillion years to get to good, you are never more than twenty moves from sorting it out.
You are never more than twenty moves from awesome.
And, anyway, it’s just a game.
*Drops the mic*
Fun (Ish) Fact of the Day To date more than 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide. One of those can be found in several shots in my first film, “For Catherine.” I still haven’t solved the damn thing. But I’m close.
Band Name of the Day: 20 Moves
Quote of the Day: “We turn the Cube and it twists us.” -Ernő Rubik
IBM’s New Motto: Think…About Murdering Everyone!
Dated August 12, 2011
Today I learned that IBM was behind the holocaust. Not solely, you understand, there were others who helped out. Hitler, for example. And probably Leno, though I haven’t been able to prove it just yet. But IBM had enough involvement that when I read about it I went to get a beverage so I could take a sip, spit it all over my monitor and shout “WHAAAAA!?”
Also disturbing is the fact that a book about this sort of thing came out eleven years ago and no one bothered to tell me. Among the things I always want to know is which people and organizations systematically murder folk. I’m making a field spotters guide. I imagine my future as an evilologist, wandering the national parks and clocking a nazi or what have you in a tree and saying, “Oh look! There’s a genocidal fuck! Let’s go that way!” And then I would go in a different, less murdery direction. Like a boss.
This book, helpfully titled IBM and the Holocaust, from Edwin Black (who I’m pretty sure also sang “I’ll Be”) lays out, among other things, the close, personal involvement and micro-management of Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, in his companies co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler’s campaign to destroy Jewish people.
Hitler was like, “You know my methods, Watson. Basically it’s all just brutally killing dudes for no reason.” And Watson was like, “Cool. I’ve got an app for that.”
Not to make, you know, the murder of millions of innocent people all about me or anything, but the whole thing kind of makes me feel better about the poor, sad, suicidal Chinese bastards who make the Apple products which run my life. Not that much better but, at least I don’t own a Thinkpad.
According to Black, from the beginning of Hitler’s regime in 1933 and on through for twelve years, “IBM used its exclusive punch card technology and its global monopoly on information technology to organize, systematize, and accelerate Hitler’s anti-Jewish program, step by step facilitating the tightening noose. The punch cards, machinery, training, servicing, and special project work, such as population census and identification, was managed directly by IBM headquarters in New York, and later through its subsidiaries in Germany.”
Basically they created and maintained a database of Jews and how to round them up. This list was later recovered and renamed the “IMDB”.
IBM also kept punch card records of every inmate in concentration camps with specific codes for how they died among many, many other things, all of which are detailed in Blacks book. In no uncertain terms the man for whom the Jeopardy computer is named (of which I have written earlier in this book) is guilty as hell of genocide.
That’s fucked up.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: IBM has never denied any of this.
Band Name of the Day: International Business Murderbastards
Quote of the Day: Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice. -Adolph Hitler
I Once Caught A Fish This Big, And It Was The Saddest Thing Ever
Dated August 11, 2011
Today I learned that the male anglerfish is the saddest fish in the sea. Really the saddest thing ever. Basically, no matter how shit your life is take some time today to thank whatever god you believe in that he or she or it didn’t make you a dude anglerfish. If you believe in no god, I don’t know, thank your barista or something. Just be wicked, wicked grateful.
Male anglerfish are born pathetic. They are tiny and weak and barely able to find food. Many of them are born so shitty that even if they find food they can’t eat it because their alimentary canal (their gut) is “stunted” preventing feeding. Tiny, hungry and unable to eat. Brutal. This will never change. He doesn’t grow up strong and brave. He doesn’t turn into a beautiful swan. Milk does his body no good. The only thing he has going for him at all is that he has a great sense of smell.
But the anglerfish’s sense of smell reminds me of a girl with purple hair that I slept with a hundred years ago. On her stomach she had a tattoo that read “quod me nutrit me destruit,” because of course I would sleep with the girl with Latin on her stomach.
“That which nourishes me destroys me.”
The anglerfish isn’t going to use his sense of smell to have the greatest ever trip to Dean and Deluca or to gather his rosebuds or to smell all the food he’s too shitty to eat. No, he’ll use it to seek out a lady anglerfish.
Fair enough, right? He’s tiny and he can’t eat, at least he can get some.
When he finds his lady fish, he will find, also, that she is enormous and vicious and….just…so many teeth. Her jaw wraps around the entire anterior circumference of her head. She has a part of her spine that hangs out in front of her head and glows, to attract her prey (kind of like a fishing pole at a rave) and when her food lines up for her she’s able to distend her jaw and her stomach to consume shit twice her size. Imagine, I don’t know, imagine Paula Abdul eating John Goodman. Something like that. Basically she’s like the evil fucking monster-fish version of the fliptop jaw guy from the Reach toothbrush commercials.
So the tiny, hungry, piece of shit male will sniff her out and when he sees her he’ll be drawn to her and he will start to bite her. Not a bad way to spend a night, really. As Papa Gaiman taught us biting is like kissing but there’s a winner. Slow down. This fish doesn’t even get a single decent night.
As he bites her skin he releases an enzyme that melts the skin of his lips to her body and that poor, hungry bastard fuses with the lady down to the blood vessel. That enzyme then melts all of the fishes internal organs and then its brain and all the rest of the thing until it is just a pair of balls that is fused to the body of the lady fish, there for whenever she decides to make babies.
And that’s it. That’s the short, fucking horrible life of a male angler.
The lady angler, by the way, can fuse with multiple males so, basically, she’s also a slut. Bong.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: Mitochondrial genome phylogenetic studies suggest that anglerfishes diversified in the early to mid Cretaceous period, between 130 and 100 million years ago. This has been going on for 130 million years. Good grief.
Band Name of the Day: Fuse the Fish
Quote of the Day: “Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” -Mark Twain
Burning Bright And Factual
Dated August 10, 2011
Today I learned that tiger’s are able to see in the dark six times better than humans. So if you’re going to fist-fight a tiger you should do it in the day. Don’t even make it on, like, an overcast day, probably. Or you could get hurt.
I also learned today that a tiger’s stripes, like fingerprints, are unique and identifiable to each different cat. So, basically, if you think they all look the same you’re probably a racist.
Some other stuff I learned about the biggest of the big cats:
There are six subspecies of tiger left in the world. All six are endangered. Probably because of the daylight fist fights.
“Tiger” means “Arrow.” It comes from the Greek word “Tigris” (like the river) which is derived from a Persian word that means “arrow.” Most scholars believe the cats were probably given this name because they are nearly universally recognized as badass archers.
And a tiger’s growl may be heard up to two miles away. Because tiger’s are fucking metal.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: An estimated 12,000 Tigers are living in captivity in the US. This is more than are registered in the wild.
Band Name of the Day: Fearful Symmetry
Quote of the Day: “It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.” -Henry David Thoreau
Japan Is Voting For The Turd Sandwich
Dated August 9, 2011
Today I learned that Japanese scientists are out of their damn minds. If you’ve ever been to Japan or seen an anime or have ever heard of things you probably realize that the fine people of Japan are not the same as other people. Something goes on on that tiny island that makes these people orderly in a way that makes German’s almost emote, and then make lists of the emotions they almost felt. The Japanese people are quiet and polite and into western shit in an odd , sometimes bizarrely pastichey way and often brilliant and ahead of the curve. But if this is the curve coming up I’ma stay on the straightaway I’m pretty sure.
See, the Tokyo Sewage service, which serves over 13 million people, has a problem. There’s poop everywhere. Too much poop. They’re up to their crazy ases in poop. So they went to a guy named Mitsuyuki Ikeda, a researcher from the Okayama Laboratory and he decided that the natural thing to do is to make people eat it.
Eat the shit.
This guy, I’m guessing, had a difficult time in High School.
He’s turning it into beef-ish.
First he cooks the human feces to kill the bacteria, then he extracts the poops proteins via separation techniques (that’s what they call it). Next soy protein is added to, I swear this is what they say, “enhance the flavor.” Enhance the flavor. Of the poop. Enhance it.
The “meat mixture” (that’s a mouth watering term) then makes it’s way to a “reaction enhancer” (a chemical reactor of some sort is all we’re told because at some point even I’ll admit it’s probably best to not know everything) where it turns into a “textured” “meat”
Lastly it is extruded through an “exploder” which is kind of how it made it’s way to the sewers in the first place.
That’s the circle of life, guys.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: The poo meat currently costs between ten and twenty times as much to produce as proper meat. Let me get my wallet.
Band Name of the Day: Poop Meat
Quote of the Day: “I admit that few people would be keen to eat it knowing its made of human excrement.” -Mitsuyuki Ikeda
Hitler Was Not A Minimalist
Dated August 8, 2011
Today I learned about the Schwerer Gustav. In English that translates to “Heavy Gustav” or “Great Gustav.” But “Great Gustav” sounds like the German bootleg version of an F. Scott Fitzgerald book, so I like “Heavy.” For the record, “Heavy” is also how I prefer my “D’s” be served.
The Heavy Gustav was a Nazi gun that weighed in at a svelte 1,350 metric tons and fired seven ton shells. Presumably this thing was invented to be fired at the frickin’ Incredible Hulk because damn.
It was an 800 millimetre (31 inch) caliber bit of horror that was effective up to nearly twenty-five miles. It took 250 evil fucktards to assemble the thing over the course of 3 days (54 hours), and a crew of 2,500 to lay the guns track and to dig embankments. So basically it was just point and shoot.
The Heavy Gustav had a sister, too. Menacingly named “Dora” because, let’s face it, Nazi’s were shit at naming things. It is one of the few places where they are distinctly varied from Republicans. Or maybe it just loses something in translation. Maybe German’s are terrified of that chick that explores shit on Nickelodeon.
Both guns were destroyed during WWII either by US troops or by the Germans who took them apart to avoid their capture. So, you know, America, fuck yeah!
I predict a huge upswing in people naming their penises “Gustav” in the wake of this entry.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: Heavy D’s twitter is verified. So all those guys out there who want to pretend they’re Heavy D are shit out of luck.
Band Name of the Day: Dora the Death Dealer
Quote of the Day “I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler.” -Jack Kirby
Matriculate Her? I Barely Understand Her!
Dated August 5, 2011
Today I learned that Tyra Banks is attending Harvard. I mean, I don’t want to be unkind, I really don’t but, what the fuck Harvard? If Harvard were a friend of mine at this point I’d be showing up at her place with a list of things she has left to live for. I’d be rifling through her medicine cabinets and taking the sharp objects and shoelaces away.
Fun story. An ex of mine once showed up at my place in the middle of the night. She had just come from her most recent ex, whom she had only broken up with days before, and the back seat of her car was filled with all of his steak knives and kitchen utensils and particularly sharp pastas and shit because he was threatening to kill himself. It’s funnier than it sounds. She asked me if I would take them and I told her, “Sure, but I’m just going to give them back to him.” Strangely she didn’t leave them.
A few days later that guy asked her to marry him by writing “Will you marry me” on a tree branch in sharpie and leading her to the tree that held his message. Seriously. That happened.
Anyway. Harvard. She’s actually attending Harvard Business School, which also turned out George W. Bush so I guess their motto is something like, “Fuck it.” at this point. Except it’s probably in Latin.
That’s according to Google Translate. I’m not sure how that shit works, but my guess would be, “badly” since I’m fairly sure “tempus” means, “time.”
But tempus it, right?
Sometimes these things get away from me and there’s really nothing I can do about it.
I’ll tell you this, though. Last time I was at Subway, like, the fast food restaurant, my sandwich artist was a graduate of Harvard. Don’t know what that means but it’s probably something.
Good luck at Harvard, Tyra. Take The Economics of Bat-Shit 101. It’ll be a walk for you.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: On average, Harvard accepts only 7.2% of their applicants each year. I’m willing to bet that percentage rises steeply when you have your own long-running reality show. Snooki is gonna love the campus.
Band Name of the Day: Tyra, Tyra Burning Bright
Quote of the Day: “”It doesn’t take a lot to wow them when they have low expectations.” -Tyra Banks
What Do You Mean Funny? Funny How?
Dated: August 4, 2011
Today I learned that science has discovered the funniest joke of all time. Because if there’s anything you can say about science it’s that it really gets comedy. Did you hear the one about the Hypothetico-deductive model? Of course you didn’t.
But I’m a big believer in science. Once you start doubting whether or not it can figure out the funniest joke of all time you’re only sixty or seventy thousand steps from believing that global warming is a myth and then I don’t want to know you. So I’m in. What’s your methodology science folk?
It seems a study was conducted out of England, a country that has produced some truly great comedy throughout the years, wherein people across the earth were asked to rate a series of jokes on a five-point scale from “not very funny” to “very funny.”
Nothing is more scientific than a scale of one to five, but, fuck it, at least they didn’t let Pitchfork run this shit. So. Moving on.
The “LaughLab” research, was conducted by psychologist Dr. Richard Wiseman, out of the University of Hertfordshire, brought in more than 40,000 jokes from submitter and almost two million ratings.
People from all over weighed in and, though some jokes did better than the winner among certain people no joke had more broad appeal than this:
‘Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator says: “Calm down, I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: “OK, now what?”’
And there you go. Not awful. Not great. Which I guess was bound to be the result of a joke that everyone loves.
Much more interesting, to me, than the joke itself, was the breakdown of the type of jokes that different people liked most.
Folk in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand most preferred jokes with word play. Much of the rest of Europe, e.g. France, Denmark and Belgium dug surrealist humor and Americans were most into jokes where there was “a strong sense of superiority” meaning a character in the joke looks really stupid or is made to look stupid by someone else in the joke. Which I guess explains Will Ferral.
And Germans liked every single joke. Germans love to laugh. That’s what they’re famous for.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: Computer analysis of the data collected during LaughLab showed that jokes containing 103 words were found to be especially funny. The winning joke about the hunters is 102 words long. Also, jokes that mentioned ducks were considered particularly funny.
Band Name of the Day: Duck 4 Lyfe
Quote of the Day: “Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me.” -Robert Frost
Let’s Make Like A Tree And Explain Some Stuff!
Dated August 3, 2011
Today I learned that the “J” in Michael J. Fox stands for “Andrew.” In a way. After a fashion. Jegging, I believe, was the fashion. And, no, I don’t really understand that joke, either. I also don’t understand jeggings. Or fashion. This thing has gone off the rails in a pretty impressive way. Like the train in Super 8. You guys see Super 8? That was an awesome picture.
Anyway. The “J” stands for “Andrew.”
Maybe I should explain, as is my custom.
The man was born Michael Andrew Fox, but he was born in Canada and so he lived only a half-life. He appeared in some film and television things up in Vancouver town, but at some point he decided he wanted to be a whole person so he came to the United States. Here, after doing some TV movie stuff under the name “Michael Fox” he had to register with the Screen Actors Guild, which already had a Michael Fox and does not allow duplicate credits. This is the same reason that the molten hot “Emily Stone” became the molten hot “Emma Stone” and why I, Barnumumbus Fitzberry Assclown Trinkleton, had to change my name to “Ethan Hunter.”
Michael apparently considered going by “Andrew Fox” or “Andy Fox” but people named Andy are liars and psychopaths who will cut you as soon as look at you (just ask my brother-in-law) so he decided to include a middle initial. But “Michale A Fox” is the kind of name that gets your ass beat up on the SAG playground at actor recess, so he decided to take the middle initial, “J” as an homage to actor Michael J. Pollard. And, no, neither I nor Fox nor Michael J. Pollard have ever actually heard of Michael J. Pollard. It’s weird how that works.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: Michael J. Fox won the part of Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties only after Matthew Broderick, who had originally been cast, pulled out. And was given the role of Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future only after Eric Stoltz was fired. He was also crowned Miss America after nude photos of Vanessa Williams emerged in 1987.
Band Name of the Day: Initial Lies
Quote of the Day: “Pain is temporary, film is forever.” -Michael J. Fox
Don’t Drink And Drift Through Space
Dated August 2, 2011
Today I learned what it looks like when two galaxies crash into one another. Well, I guess first I learned that two galaxies CAN crash into one another and then I learned what it looks like.
Or, at least I learned what it looked like this time. Probably it looks different every time it happens depending on sizes and shapes and whether or not the galaxies have crumple zones and airbags and whatnot. This time it looks like an exclamation point. Honestly it does. A red and blue exclamation point that has a badass black hole in the middle. Google this shit. Normally I don’t approve of exclamation points but I think if there’s ever been something worth shouting about it’s two frickin’ galaxies smashing into one another at the speed of…gravity? I guess. Anyway, I’m down with getting excited over that. That and sometimes key lime pie because yum.
Alternately the collision kind of looks like one of those giant lollipops you get at, say, Disneyworld. The ones you really shouldn’t buy because you can’t finish the thing and your whole face gets sticky and you look ridiculous and the mouse ears aren’t helping. It looks like that. Only instead of being candy it’s, you know, two fuck-off huge galaxies and they’re smashing into one another.
But, yeah. I guess the VV 340A galaxy forgot to signal and maybe the VV 340B galaxy was distracted by the hot lady-galaxy running along the cosmos in a jog bra and the rest is really up to the insurance agents to sort out.
Apparently these two have been intermingling for years and I’m just now being told about it which is something I’m really going to have to talk with NASA about. I expect to be kept in the loop about these things. Geez.
In a few million years these two will be one big happy galaxy and that’s pretty cool. Also, I’m told in three to five billion years our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is gonna crash into the Andromeda galaxy so, you know, wear a sweater.
Fun (ish) Fact of the Day: In the time you spend reading this sentence you will move through about seven hundred and fifty miles of space. That information probably won’t get you out of a speeding ticket.
Band Name of the Day: Galaxitives
Quote of the Day: “Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” -Carl Sagan