Archive for the ‘ Humor ’ Category

The “Blue Dragon” Glaucus Atlanticus, While Beautiful, Is Not a Good Fursonality

You may have seen one of these floating around Facebook recently (or around the oceans of the world, if you live a much cooler life than I do): the Glaucus atlanticus sea slug.

blue-dragon-sea-slug-glaucus-atlanticus

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

That’s a real critter, with some very weird biology: it drifts around the ocean, nibbles off the top of other soft-and-drifty sea life, and in the case of the poisonous ones (like the Portugese man o’war, which it loves to eat) stores the larger creature’s toxin-bearing nematocysts in specialized sacs at the tips of those beautiful blue feathery “fingers” you see in the picture above.

That means pictures like this one are incredibly stupid, since the beautiful, alien-looking slug in question might or might not be able to deliver a powerful jolt of venom when picked up, depending on what it’s been noshing lately:

blue-dragon-sea-slug-glaucus-in-hand

But at any rate, it’s rare and beautiful and has “dragon” in one of its common names, and this is the internet, so of course people have made furries out of them.

glaucus-atlanticus-sea-slug-furry

(As usual, I’ve left the most explicit examples out. Feel free to Google around if you want to see similar drawings with humanish naughty bits exposed.)

Which really begs the question: if you are into anthropomorphized animals in a sexy way, and part of that thrill is giving characters the identifying characteristics/attributes of their “template” species, what the fuck do you do with a G. atlanticus?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not seeing the fact that, like most slugs, G. atlanticus is hermaphroditic as a turn-off for the target market here. I know the internet better than that. I’m just curious how you make “functionally brainless, floats wherever the current takes it; often attacks much larger and deadlier creatures” into a compelling human personality. A drunken hobo that picks fights with biker gangs, maybe?

Let this one go, boys and girls. The “blue dragon” is beautiful, and has a very nerdy name, but it is not your go-to “fursonality.” Trust me on this one.

Groupon’s Chicagoland May Not Look Quite Like Your Chicagoland

Ah, “Chicagoland.” That blessedly vague friend to advertisers everywhere.

It manages to combine the allure of the big city with the friendly, folksy suggestion of “the Heartland,” all in one phrase that’s as juicy and delicious as an all-beef hotdog (no ketchup!).

It also apparently describes a swath of land encompassing most of northern Illinois and a bit of Wisconsin, all of which is “near shopping” in Chicago. Land.

Everyone does it, but Groupon is far and away the worst offender I’ve found to date. This should be particularly embarrassing since Groupon launched in Chicago, but that hasn’t stopped their copy writers from assigning any hotel with a Midwestern zip code to the Chicago destinations section. Search for hotels or “getaways” in Chicago and you’ll end up as far afield as Elmhurst (half an hour from downtown in good traffic), Buffalo Grove (closer to Wisconsin than it is to Chicago), and, my personal favorite, this gem:

groupon-hotel-chicago-algonquin

…in Algonquin, IL.

Algonquin? Yes. Algonquin. It’s a place. I didn’t know either. Let me put it this way: when your promotional copy is urging people to visit Schaumburg’s Woodfield Mall (“where you’ll find Lord & Taylor, Armani Exchange, The Cheesecake Factory, and Rainforest Cafe”) as a driving-distance attraction worth driving for, you’re not in Chicagoland anymore.

You might not even be in “land” anymore. Here there be dragons, or at least creepy storefront evangelical churches and weird, low-rent, specialty businesses like VHS tape repair.

Not Chicagoland. Come on, Groupon. Show some local pride as you slide inexorably into obsolescence.

You can get offices in Algonquin after the bankruptcy.

That Forest Moon: Admiral Ackbar’s Ambiguity

star-wars-forest-moon-of-endorIt’s no secret that I love Star Wars, and therefore no surprise that Star Wars has given me my favorite example of what ambiguous prose can do to a story.

You may recall, if you’re a total fucking nerd, that in Return of the Jedi Admiral Ackbar describes the Death Star as “orbiting the forest moon of Endor.” (Grainy bootleg clip here if you’re interested.)

That’s an ambiguous description. It could mean “the forest moon belonging to Endor,” in which case Endor is presumably the planet that the moon orbits (although it could also be a government, a corporation, or even a person). It could also mean that “Endor” is the name of the moon itself, as in “the land of Oz” or “the kingdom of France.”

If Ackbar had said “the planet Endor’s forest moon,” or “the forest moon known as Endor,” we’d know for sure. But all we get is “the forest moon of Endor,” and since that’s the only time anyone mentions the moon by name, that’s what we’re stuck with.

No big deal —  until Star Wars became a massive media enterprise with literally hundreds of contributing authors, and thousands of obsessive fans. The subsequent attempts to fix Return of the Jedi‘s ambiguity, as laid out on Wookiepedia, are frankly hilarious:

The planet Endor was never visible in any scenes in Return of the Jedi set on the forest moon, a fact which the novelization explains by asserting that it was destroyed some time earlier, and that the moon now orbits its star in a planetary orbit of its own. It should also be noted that in two of the space battle scenes, a pinkish planet can be seen in the background, in the vicinity of the forest moon. Another shot showing TIE fighters flying towards the Death Star (and camera) with several Star Destroyers in the background shows the pinkish planet. This, coupled with the fact that a moon without a planet should itself be defined as a planet in its own right, has caused some fans to speculate that this pinkish planet is in fact Endor, and the novel is wrong. In addition, a large body, probably the planet Endor, can be seen in the sky during some scenes in the two Ewok telefilms (Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor), though this does not closely resemble the planet seen in Return of the Jedi. Star Wars: Battlefront IIshows the planet Endor as a large blue planet, possibly a gas giant, when in Galactic Conquest mode.

Apparently there’s also stuff in other Expanded Universe novels about how the planet Endor (not the moon Endor) was destroyed, leaving the moon to orbit its star on its own, but later that turned out to be an elaborate hoax? Something like that, anyway. The point is, a lot of people have tried very hard to turn “the forest moon of Endor” into something that makes sense and stays consistent throughout a massive and badly-organized canon.

It’s almost like Admiral Ackbar was laying a massive…linguistic…wait a minute…

Just Once I Want These Weirdo Perverts to Go to Court

trenchcoat-flasherWhat is it about the perverts with really unique cases that makes them all take a plea bargain?

Okay, okay, obvious answer: they’re weirdo perverts who got caught doing weirdo pervert stuff, and neither judges nor juries tend to be sympathetic to that shit, no matter how clever your legal loophole is.

But just once, I want to read the transcripts where one of these guys fights the case all the way.

Take my deer, excuse me, dear old home state of Wisconsin, for example, where back in 2005 a man named Bryan Hathaway found a dead deer by the roadside and made the obvious and logical choice to have sex with it then and there. Charged with “misdemeanor sexual gratification with an animal,” he ended up pleading guilty to “misdemeanor mistreatment of an animal,” despite the fairly obvious argument that the deer was not, in fact, an animal, but rather a corpse, and in no shape to be mistreated worse than it already had been.

Which, absolutely true, right? Not to beat a dead horse here or anything (HEYO!), but we draw a pretty distinct line between living animals and dead corpses. There are sometimes laws about what you can and can’t do with corpses, too, but those didn’t seem to come into play in Mr. Hathaway’s case.

And that’s a shame! I would have liked to see what legal precedent the courts ended up setting if they’d had to make an actual ruling, instead of accepting a guilty plea for a crime that was obviously not committed.

Or here’s another weird one: Jacob Bovia of Maryland, who was arrested after police received multiple complaints about a man exposing his genitals to women on the Anne Arundel Community College campus in Arnold, MD. Only catch was, they weren’t actually his genitals. He was using a fake penis that police discovered in his car.

Initially charged with three counts of indecent exposure, Mr. Bovia ended up pleading guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct and walking away with a probation and a psychological examination. Which, again, talk about a loss to the annals of legal history, right? Oh to be the fly on the wall of the courtroom where they decide whether shaking a dildo out your fly at someone is “exposing” anything or not.

Public perverts of the world, do this humble blogger a favor and fight the case some time, will you? The law is on your side! (But the jury probably won’t be. Just FYI.)

Chicagoans, It’s Time to Get Over the “Willis Tower” Thing

sears-willis-towerLook, guys, I don’t wanna sound cruel here, but you’re not a special snowflake because you grew up calling that big building on South Wacker the “Sears Tower.”

Pretty much all of us who were born in the 20th century did that. (And as long as I’m telling hard truths, we can tell you were born in the 20th century just by looking at you. Huffing and interrupting whenever someone says “Willis Tower” ain’t telling us anything we don’t already know.)

It’s time to let go. Buildings change names all the time. Even buildings in Chicago change names all the time.

If you don’t believe me, just swing on by the London Guarantee Building (formerly the Stone Container Building, not to be confused with the Smurfit-Stone Building, which was named for the same company but is now the Crain Communications Building, and which everyone calls “that diamond-shaped building” or “the vagina building” anyway).

Besides, you can say “Willis” like “willies” and it’s funny, because the building has two giant penises on top of it.

And really, what exactly are we celebrating by clinging to the name “Sears Tower”? Sears never managed to fill more than two-thirds of the building during the company’s entire ownership. The name (and in a lot of ways the building itself) is a monument to corporate hubris and unrealized expectations.

I suppose this is the town that roots for the Chicago Cubs.

But seriously, guys, grow up. Be mad about things that really matter, like how some building in New York gets to count the fiddly bits on top toward overall height because they’re “spires,” but somehow the Willis Tower fiddly bits don’t count because they’re “antennae.” (Highest roof, occupied floor, and now pinnacle height in America still the Willis Tower; suck it New York and shove your bullshit “structural height” right up your not-actually-1776-foot-tall building’s ass.)

We need to show a little maturity is all I’m saying here, all right?

Cheese-Based Snow Control Should Never Be a Buried Lede

Come on, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. What are you doing, here?

Yes, yes, there was a winter storm that snarled traffic and caused fatal crashes. If it bleeds, it leads — we get it.

But how, in the name of all that is good and holy, did you wait until the penultimate paragraphs to share this tidbit?

“The City of Milwaukee had 93 salt trucks working the streets Sunday morning, officials said. A few of the trucks were spreading an experimental mix of rock salt and liquid cheese brine on streets in the Bay View neighborhood.

Use of cheese brine, a byproduct of cheesemaking, could help city crews reduce the amount of rock salt spread on streets in winter.”

Everyone has winter crashes. Only in Wisconsin do we have cheese-based snow control measures. Which is really the important story, here?

wisconsin-cheese-spread-merkts

Every guy on the road crew gets a crate of these and an industrial-strength spreader…

Polonius Would Be Proud

We’ve mentioned before on this blog that the character of Polonius, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, is not a source of good advice.

His long, rambling string of paternal advice is written to be just that: long and rambling. This is, let’s remember, the man that stumbles around ineffectually for nearly four acts before he gets himself killed, making everything he touches worse in the process.

So I’m always at least a little entertained when Polonius quotes are used with evident sincerity. But this one might be a winner:

polonius-to-thy-own-self-tattoo

Yes, that’s a tattoo, and yes, it’s directly above the crotch — and yes, it’s a misquote.

Shakespeare wrote “To thine own self be true,” following the convention of using “thy” as the attributive possessive in most cases, but “thine” for words beginning with vowel sounds. The version rendered above is grammatically odd in the same way that a tattoo reading “I Am a Awesome Motherfucker” (instead of “an Awesome Motherfucker”) would be odd to us today.

But fuck it. Girl is being true to herself, in fine Polonius style. Or maybe it’s a truly sublime irony, mocking the whole breed of querulous demi-intellectuals that Polonius so perfectly represents by inviting them to obsess over the insignificant error inked on her skin. Ironic allusions have their place in tattoo artistry, after all, as the numerous “Leviticus 19:28″ tattoos out there show us.

leviticus-19-28-tattoo

(If you’re too lazy to look it up: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.“)

Now if you’ll excuse me, the rest of that photo that I cropped the Polonius tattoo from was topless, and I think I need to go spend some time being true to myself, hur hur hur!

Seriously, though, spellcheck your tats. And maybe read the Cliff’s Notes on the source while you’re at it.

CAPTCHA Me If You Can

You guys, I can’t tell if the machines are still safely dumber than their human masters, or if we’ve already lost the war:

captcha-words-numbers

Is it a trick question? Are you supposed to prove you’re human by pointing out that neither of those is a word? Or are they words, in some insidious computer code, screening out the feeble human brains that might try to access the site? Are the correct answers perhaps “Reload” and “Cancel,” the two words directly below the empty space after the colon?

Has the Robot Uprising been farmed out to Bangladesh like everything else?

These things weigh more heavily on some minds than others, particularly when those minds haven’t had enough sleep.

Friday Fuck-Ups: Subway Gets “Meat” Wrong

I keep thinking I’ll make “Friday Fuck-Ups” a regular feature, but then someone goes and fucks up early in the week and ruins the alliteration.

Ah well — for today, at least, we have this lovely, non-time-sensitive fuck-up for you to enjoy:

subway-cold-cut-combo-turkey-based-meats-ham-salami-bologna

Ha! Silly Subway. That must be a typo — everyone knows ham isn’t made from turkey. And while technically you could make a turkey salami or bologna, it certainly isn’t what most people think of when they see the words. You goofed on that description, Subway!

subway-cold-cut-combo-turkey-meats

…or, okay, alternative theory, you’re just really bad at food.

You know what isn’t ham? Turkey! It’s not ham, it’s not bologna, it’s not salami, and as long as we’re on the subject it’s not goddamn bacon either (seriously, I thought we as a country were past this whole “lean meats” craze, and yet every time I go to the supermarket there’s the turkey bacon, sitting all innocent and pretending it’s not a travesty).

I could almost — almost — let it slide, if their description didn’t start with “Can’t decide what kind of meat you want? Get them all.”

Turkey, turkey, and turkey is not “all kinds of meat,” you horrid butchers. (Get it? ‘Cause they’re horrid at the job of butchery? I crack me up.)

Your Friday fuck-up. It’d be a regular feature if only people would stop fucking up more than once a week.

The Lighter Side of Amazon Porn: Let’s All Relax and Enjoy Some Dinosaur Sex

It’s been a kind of intense week so far on MA101, so let’s all relax and read something that makes us smile today.

And hey, you know what makes a lot of people smile? Dinosaur porn!

taken-by-the-t-rex-christie-sims

No, really. It apparently makes a lot of people smile. And, um, do other things as well.

These got a nod at the start of the month (about a week before Amazon started pulling down erotic titles, as a matter of fact) from New York magazine (not to be confused with The New Yorker, although I’ve read some fiction in there that was probably crappier than “Taken by the T-Rex”).

Apparently the brainchild of a couple of Texas girls who met when they were roommates at Texas A&M (or at least that’s what they’re telling journalists, and if it sounds suspiciously like the “profiles” that accompany Playboy photo spreads, so be it), dinosaur erotica is going gangbusters. Their catalog of over 100 titles has made the “Christie Sims” author profile one of the most popular on Amazon.

And yes, they books are just as campy as they look. The stock art covers (recently roasted on Cracked.com) and purple-prose blurbs are part of the schtick. Would you really read something called “Ravaged by the Raptor” in gold-foil-embossed leather binding?

Not that kind of leather binding, people. 

So here’s to finding a void and filling it (hur hur hur). The people have spoken, and the people want…dino porn.

Eh! Who am I to judge?

(Oh, and if you were wondering: what we actually know about dinosaur sex and how it worked. Slightly less thrilling than “Taken by the T-Rex,” I’m sorry to say.)

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