Saturday, September 17, 2022

Never Ending Story: Yeet! American Dictionary Grows Every Year

Linguistic scholars generally agree Mandarin and English are two of the toughest languages in the world to learn.

Rather than go into the multiple reasons why let's focus in on the English language and why I think it's tougher than Mandarin... for one big reason.

We annually add words and phrases to our dictionaries making it nearly impossible to keep up with Mirriam-Webster's continual additions. I'm still waiting for Trumpism to slink into our lexicon.

The good news is that many of those new words and phrases can be amusing, inspirational and even provoke debate.

This year 370 words and phrases were added. Here's three of my favorite words:

** Yeet - it either means "used to express surprise, approval, and excited enthusiasm," or as a verb it means "to throw especially with force and without regard for the thing being thrown."

** Shrinkflation - is now a household word thanks to a newspaper publisher from Massachusetts who defined the word as "the practice of reducing a product's amount of volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price."

**Adorkable - combine dorky and adorable and you have "socially awkward or quirky in a way that is endearing."

ICYMI which is short for "in case you missed it" also made the cut this year. Finding out that Pumpkin Spice was just added surprised me somewhat. I would have thought it made the cut a long time ago.

According to Merriam Webster's editor at large, "Words offer a window into our ever-changing language and culture and are only added to the dictionary when there is clear and sustained evidence of use."

As it stands, if that's true, why hasn't Trumpism been added yet? It's been around for years? I'm suspicious of their methodology.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Pet Bills in Congress Not Likely to Pass Anytime Soon Unless Animals Given the Right to Vote

Democrats and Republicans love animals.
 
Bipartisan support for their welfare is commonplace. 

Just don't expect any legislation to slide through Congress soon.

Meanwhile...

California Rep. Tony Cardenas is going to host a meet-and-greet with some of the beagles rescued from Virginia to highlight his proposed bill, the Companion Animal Release from Experiments (CARE) Act.

The bill requires NIH-funded research facilities to implement post-adoption policies for dogs, cats and rabbits.

I suspect it will pass through Congress without any notable friction if they ever bring the bill up. But that's the problem. There are five other well-meaning animal bills that are sitting on the bottom of future bills yet to be considered.

* The Planning for Animal Wellness Act

* Right Whale Coexistence Act

* The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act

* The Big Cat Safety Act

and

* The Beat Poaching Elimination Act

It's obvious (to me) that animals don't vote in the midterms, or those bills might have garnered some consideration. 

Which leads to my proposal of allowing animals to vote using a system where their owners are their proxies and will be allowed to fill out all forms and cast a ballot.

Imagine what a pet friendly nation we'll become after introducing such progressive legislation?

My dogs Molly and Butters think it's a great idea.

As it stands, the idea of electing pets puts a real interesting spin on future elections - Elect Fido and Get Free Bones with Meat still on them! 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Political Plants Put the Garden of Democracy in Peril

According to Biblical accounts a snake (representing the devil) slithered into the Garden of Eden and tempted Eve to take a bite out of a forbidden apple. She did. After that everything went to hell in a handbasket.

More than one snake has slithered into America's Garden of Democracy threatening the republic.

Right-wing extremists like Trump and his supporters, seeded Congress, federal judge ships, and state political positions for years with upcoming wackos loyal to a totalitarian rule. Now in full bloom the deadly plants are invading the American political landscape.

Like unwanted weeds MAGA morons are running for more political offices than ever before. The general feeling being there's enough MAGA gardeners right now to nurture the spread of Trumpism and to overthrow democracy.

For the sake of our nation's future the spread of misinformation from these political plants has to be exposed and dealt with by the Department of Justice.

That fight is in progress.

How far the investigations go will have a lot to do with the midterms. If the Democrats hold Congress, the chance of cleaning our Democratic Garden greatly improves.

If the Democrats only keep the Senate but loose the House, MAGA gardeners will be able to spread their seeds of sedition even further.

Some of the current full-grown MAGA plants in Congress are facing investigations into their roles in the Jan. 6 coup attempt. Others will have to fight off being pulled from Congress in the Fall midterms by motivated Democratic voters.

As it stands, historically Americans have had to defend our Garden of Democracy against multiple enemies. The good news is we're still here tending to the Garden.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Can We Just Get Past Mourning for a British Monarch?

Why are all the major US news organizations covering the death of Queen Elizabeth in such fawning detail?

With everything happening in America today we're being dish fed massive TV coverage highlighting the hauling of the old gal's body around for endless ceremonies. The actual funeral isn't even until next week.

Pause.

Didn't we fight a war of independence and break away from the overbearing monarchy across the sea? The last thing Americans wanted to see was a monarchy. Democracy overcame the British monarchy, and we were freed of all that royal bullshit.

Yet here we are in 2022 mourning the loss of a monarch like it's the most important thing for Americans to pay attention to despite upcoming midterms and countless lawsuits against a former president intent on destroying democracy.

This fascination for English royals is especially stupid today because the whole family are cretins born with silver spoons in their tight lips. 

Think about it. You have an accused pedophile prince and his brother, a cranky and eccentric King who accepted suitcases and bags stuffed with $3.2 million in cash from the former prime minister of Qatar, and who has millions stashed in offshore accounts.

We can't forget the queen's late husband Prince Philip, who died in 2021, was notorious for making racists and sexist remarks. He described Beijing, for example, as "ghastly" during a 1986 visit and told British students "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty eyed."

Lest we forget monarchy obscures the crimes of empire and wraps them in nostalgia.

Those Americans glued to their TVs waiting to see who gets the late queen's Corgis are a mystery to me. I'll admit it.

One passing thought I had was that after the Revolutionary War there were a lot of British loyalists who stayed in the colonies. Perhaps today's royal followers in the US are descendants of theirs.

I also believe that when we allied with England during World War I and II a lot of cross continent marriages occurred possibly adding to the goodwill we see today between the two countries.

None of the above fully explains the mind-numbing coverage devoted to the queen's death and ascension of their new king, who by the way, I suspect isn't going to be a popular monarch.

As it stands, all of that pomp and pageantry is a mere puffery trying to preserve another time in history.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Ig Nobel Prizes: A Sidewise Look at Some Scientist's Silly Research

You may not have heard of this breathtaking scientific study that came out of the Ecole Nationale de Toulouse, France, so I'll share it with you.

Proud researchers have determined which type of flea - the dog flea and the cat flea - can jump higher! How exciting is that? Also, how many millions of dollars were spent to find out that the dog flea is the jumping champion of the animal kingdom? 

The innovative research team was awarded the Annals of Improbable Research's Ig Nobel Prize in 2008 under the biology category. The reward was created by Marc Abrahams to recognize the feats of those who "make people laugh," and then think.

One of my favorite Ig Nobel Award recipients was the team of researchers from the University of Bern whose seminal research paper on Beer vs Human Skull got a lot of attention in 2009.

The big questions were which would cause the most damage? A full or empty beer bottle? And which one would fracture a human skull?

When you stop laughing, I'll continue...

Dr. Stephen Bolliger and his colleagues tested the breaking energy of full and empty bottles using a drop tower. No surprise. The full bottle strikes a target with 70% more energy than an empty one.

Just think what a moment that must have been! The sheer joy of discovery! One more observation; both bottles will fracture a skull.

If you think that was exciting wait till you read about the 2002 research paper by Stefano Ghirlanda, Liselotte Jansson and Magnus Enquist at Stockholm University.

These dedicated devotees of science have answered the age-old question... "Do chickens prefer beautiful humans?

The researchers trained six chickens to "react" to images of ordinary male and female faces. The chickens were tested on a series of images ranging from the average face to a face with exaggerated male and female characteristics.

Surprisingly (maybe not to the chickens) the team claimed they showed preferences for faces consistent with human sexual preferences.

Some other award winners over the years  

** Can Pigeons Tell a Picasso from a Monet? (1995)

** The Nature of Navel Lint (2009)

** The Effects of Cocaine on Bees (2009)

** Fruit Bat Fellatio (2009)

** Does Country Music Make You Suicidal? (1992)

** Do Cabbies Have Bigger Brains? (2011)

** Flatulence as a Self-Defense (1996)

As it Stands, I hope you enjoyed this moment of levity.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Let's Have Some Fun Playing Solve that Trump Mystery

Do you like mysteries?

Do you have fun trying to solve mysteries big and small?

This post is for you.

Today's Mystery

Why did Trump flee from New Jersey Sunday night, and fly to Washington DC?

He was spotted leaving from Morrison Municipal Airport in New Jersey and landing at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. When he got off the plane observers noticed he was looking bedraggled as he disembarked down the stairs.

Even more curious he was still wearing golf shoes and carrying a hat like he was abruptly taken off his golf course in Bedminster.

What was the hurry? And why go to Washington DC, a place he's shunned since getting booted out of office?

Naturally, theories abound like free range rabbits in a no-hunting zone.

1. Trump may have gotten word his club was going to be searched by the FBI and took off like a scared rabbit.

The question still hanging out there like a hanging chad in Florida's infamous presidential recount is why go to Washington DC at all?

2. Trump was going to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for medical reasons.

One question remains with this guess; why he would go that far when he could go to any hospital in the area and have the government pick up the tab?

3. Trump flew to Washington DC to settle for a negotiated self-surrender that involves not going to jail.

I have a problem imagining Trump surrendering to anybody. Journalist Maggie Haberman has a book coming out about how Trump was going to refuse to leave the White House, according to numerous aides.

Does surrendering to anyone sound like our treasonous former president? 

The three guesses above are a consensus of theories trending on Twitter. What do you think?

I've read and heard some pretty crazy guesses coming from Trump's minions, which is of course to be expected. After all there is an alternate universe operating in the country that needs fed.

I think my favorite wacko theory is Trump flew to Washington DC to take over the reins of the government because Joe Biden was exposed as a traitor to the nation. Trump didn't have time to change clothes before answering his country's call.

Back to reality.

One more strange thing I forgot to mention: as of the time I posted this... Trump hasn't said a word on his fake Twitter (Truth) account or anywhere else.

It's just not like Donny to pass up his daily ranting sessionEveryone agrees that the whole thing is weird. 

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(NEWS UPDATE: Trump holds private meet with his lawyers at his golf course in Sterling, Virginia. No one brought golf clubs!) 

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As it stands, like any good mystery I expect some entertaining twists and turns before we know the answer.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

'Conspiracies R Us' Goes Public: Shares Being Sold in Time for Midterms

What a day for trolls!

After six years of growth in red states "Conspiracies R Us" has officially moved into Wall Street where corruption is rewarded.

According to legal eagles "Conspiracies R Us" was founded in 2016. The founder, Donald. J. Trump had a pipeline into the crazy community (being president and all) and was pumping out rumors and lies daily to his supporters.

His brick-and-mortar stores are full of illustrated books about Trump's humble upbringings and rise to sainthood in Red States. And so much more.

There's a number of reasons why the franchise is growing rapidly, but the scariest is knowing there's millions of wackos who are just discovering "Conspiracies R Us" as they spring up like poisonous toadstools across the country.

Don't quote me here, but I heard a rumor that a new extremist store chain called "The Sedition Corner" is opening up in Florida so its founder Gov. Ron DeSantis can make it his campaign headquarters.  

Meanwhile you're probably wondering what else can be found in "Conspiracies R Us?"

Imagine what troll heaven must look like. Yep. A building with TVs on every wall so Trump minions can listen to old and new conspiracy theories. Rows of computer stations featuring the best of the dark web are discreetly hidden behind curtains. 

Trump's merchandize from T-Shirts to sets of extra-large plastic hands hang from the walls. Posters hailing the return of JFK to coronate King Trump to photo-shopped images of Rambo with Trump's head on top cover the ceiling.

The piped in music ranges from "All Hail Master Trump" to "God Bless His Majesty Trump."

Contributing to the store's popularity is the fact they have special discounts for late night dwellers and stalkers because their open 24 hours a day.

One popular new video displaying Democrats as murderers, pedophiles, and godless creatin's, is now on sale in time for the midterm elections.

Another way the stores create excitement is by having monthly prize drawings for in store shoppers. Last month's prize winner got a scaled down version of Mount Rushmore with Trumps mug added next to Lincoln's head.

Canny stock investors are aware that Trump's foray into the stock market will eventually turn out to be just another pump and dump enterprise following a history of bankruptcies, fraudulent charitable foundations, and a rip-off university that ended up being sued and paying back students.

Despite that, some brokers will buy into the scheme and purchase stock hoping to dump it for a profit before the business inevitably collapses.

As it stands, if you want to raise money for your public campaign to be an elected official just tell your supporters to shop at "Conspiracies R Us" and that you sent them!

The Year Domestic Terrorists Openly Declared War on the Nation's Power Grids

Note: The Government Accountability Office says their recommendations from years ago still "have not been implemented yet leaving the p...