Friday, November 18, 2016

Things That Happened On Earth This Week (11/17/16)

Just a few things that happened here on Planet Earth this week…

• This week the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game was inducted into the Toy Hall Of Fame.

The game was first released in January 1974 by creator Gary Gygax's TSR company. It quickly became a nationwide sensation, as the rule book sold out everywhere. By the early 1980s over four million people were playing the game.

My, oh my, how times have changed. Believe it or not, back in the 1980s, evangelicals and Brittle Soccer Moms nationwide tried their best to get the game banned, claiming it was "Satanic." 

See, in 1979 a Michigan University student named James Dallas Egbert III sadly committed suicide. Investigators quickly blamed the game on Egbert's untimely demise.

Never mind that he was under an unhealthy amount of stress due to his academic load and the fact that he was a homosexual in the intolerant environment of the 1980s. Or that he was saddled with the name was James Dallas Egbert II. No, according to the authorities it was a goddamned game that caused him to kill himself.

Of course the calls to ban the game turned out to be an early example of the Streisand Effect, all this did was make the game even more appealing to teens.

So congratulations to D&D. Take that, Jack Chick!

• This week professional asshole and Vice President Elect Mike Pence held a press conference to let the public know that he doesn't "accept" the Theory Of Evolution. That's OK Mike, I'm sure the scientific community doesn't accept you either.

Pence said that Charles Darwin "offered a theory of the origin of species that we've come to know as evolution. Charles Darwin never thought of evolution as anything but a theory."

Jesus Jetskiing Christ, how is this still a thing in the freaking 21st Century? They don't have to put up with this kind of crap in Germany and other progressive countries, so why is this still an issue in America. Our country's supposedly the leader of the free world, for cripe's sake. Why are all our politicians stuck in the 1700s?

There's no doubt in my mind that Mike Pence also believes the sun revolves around the Earth, people get sick because their bodily humors are out of balance, and maggots don't hatch from fly eggs, but magically appear on rotten meat due to Spontaneous Generation.

Why does it matter what Mike Pence does and doesn't accept anyway? He's not a goddamned scientist, so why's he sticking his nose into their realm? You don't see scientists telling him how to pass laws forcing women to have funerals for their miscarried babies.

In case you hadn't figured it out by now, Mike Pence is an evil, evil bastard who's brand of old fashioned "Family Values" would make even the Puritans say, "Woah, lighten up, man!" Even his name hearkens back to a less enlightened time— he just had to be a Pence instead of a Penny.

Methinks Mr. Pence needs to consult a dictionary and look up the word "theory." A scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation."

A scientific theory is not a guess. It is, for all intents and purposes, a fact.

The best thing the scientific community could ever do for itself is to stop using the word
"theory." The vast majority of mouth-breathing Americans, like Pence, don't understand what the word means in the scientific context, as they lean toward the "vague notion" definition. Hey Science, stop calling it "The Theory Of Evolution" and just call it "Evolution." That may not be 100% accurate, but you'll save yourselves a LOT of grief in the long run.

• This week famous theoretical physicist Stephan Hawking said that the Human Race has less than a thousand years left, due to environmental change, nuclear bombs, and… robots.

Oh, we have far, far less time than that, Stephen. By my calculations we've got less than four years left.

• This week Hong Kong toy manufacturer Hot Toys announced they're releasing a new 1/6 scale (12" tall) Star Wars Stormtrooper figure with a special "porcelain pattern."

Believe it or not, this isn't a late April Fool's joke, but an actual product that's already available for pre-order.

I'm puzzled as to just who the audience is for this figure. Apparently Hot Toys believes it'll be snapped up by elderly grandmas across the nation, who'll no doubt want to display the figures in their China cabinets along with all their "company" dishes. Cause Grannies just lovvvvve Star Wars, dontcha know.

The baffling Porcelain Pattern Stormtrooper is priced at a whopping $234.99.

• This week Morgan Spurlock— director of the 2004 documentary Supersize Me— opened his own fast food restaurant. 

This is exceptionally puzzling, since Spurlock's film heavily criticized the fast food industry, blaming it for the nation's obesity epidemic.

Spurlock's restaurant is called Holy Chicken, and will serve antibiotic-free and hormone-free chicken sandwiches, which he describes as "healthy-ish."

I move that we all immediately agree to totally disregard anything Morgan Spurlock says from this point on, as he just completely destroyed any credibility or relevance he may have once had.

• This week Leonard Rinaldi. of Torrington, Connecticut. stole his father's valuable coin collection and fed it into a supermarket Coinstar machine in order to fund his crack addiction.

To demonstrate the absolute genius of the younger Rinaldi, the coins were worth an estimated $8,000, but the machine only gave him their face value, which was around $60.


Stay in drugs, kids! Don't do school!

• This week Nintendo released their new Nintendo Classic Mini Entertainment System. As you can see in the photo, it's a tiny recreation of a NES console that comes hard-wired with thirty classic Nintendo games.

Naturally the game sold out in seconds, causing a huge panic among would-be buyers.

The Nintendo Classic retails for $59.99. Due to the shortage, it's currently going as high as $2,000 on eBay. Did you get that? $2000 freakin' dollars for a $60 video game system. And these are not new games, folks. These are the exact same games that have been freely available since 1983.

You could no doubt scour eBay, flea markets or yard sales and buy an ORIGINAL NES System, plus all thirty game cartridges, for under a hundred bucks. Or you could, you know, wait a goddamned month until Target gets a new shipment of the mini consoles in and buy it for $60 then. But no, paying a 3000% markup is good too.

Never underestimate the stupidity of masses who want something NOW.

• And finally some good news— this week Mondo released a vinyl album of the original 1984 Gremlins soundtrack.

What's so special about that, you ask? The album cover features a UV sensitive ink, and reveals hidden messages when exposed to light! In addition, the album sleeves are water sensitive, so additional messages appear when they're wiped with a damp cloth. Cool!

Don't feed your album after midnight! Bright light, bright light!

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