Archives '“Journalism”'

5 April

Since Easter is coming up, I was thinking of how much fun we had as kids, searching for Easter eggs that the Easter Bunny (whose connection to Christianity is tenuous at best) had hid around the backyard.  Fun, that is, until the year that the Wester Chicken visited us.

We awoke early that crisp spring day, the sun cresting over the horizon, rays of warm light beaming through the Piney Woods of East Texas.  Mom and Dad were up already, cooking us a breakfast of pancakes and Owen’s Country Sausage.  We’d be getting dressed in an hour or so for Easter Mass at the Catholic church, but we had just enough time to scarf down our breakfast and go outside to hunt Easter eggs.

Except there were no eggs to be found.  Instead, our backyard had dog shit hidden around it.  Big piles, like those left by a Labrador Retriever or Doberman.  Not the kind left by our toy poodle.  We cried and cried, unable to comprehend why there was excrement rather than just eggs left to be found.

But we moved on.  The Easter Bunny had still left us Easter baskets, filled with sugary treats that made us forget our predicament.

The Easter Bunny came through the next couple of years, before declaring us to be too old for such things.  And, most importantly, we forgot about the misfortune of the dog shit.

Until a few years ago, that is.  I was lying in bed, unable to sleep on a hot summer night, when it popped into my head.  The dog shit.  What did it mean?  Where did it come from?  What happened to the eggs that we had diligently applied PAAS and Dudley’s dyes to the night before Easter morning?

I started asking around, “Did you, as s kid, ever wake up on Easter morning only to find that the eggs you meticulously dyed had been replaced with dog shit?”.  Surprisingly, several people replied in the affirmative.  I was on to something.

Further research, involving trips to the library and Google-fu, led to me discovering the secret of the Wester Chicken.

“What?” you ask.

By the middle of the Twentieth Century, the world’s chickens had come to discover that their eggs were being misappropriated by both people and the Easter Bunny as some sort of game during the Paschal season.  To combat this, in 1972, the chickens convened the The International Congress of Concerned Chickens on The Easter Problem (Le Congrès international des poulets concernés sur le problème de Pâques) in Montreal.  After much deliberation, they nominated Antoine van der Cluck to be the first Wester Chicken.

The Wester Chicken would travel the world, following the movements of the Easter Bunny, replacing the hidden eggs in people’s yards with dog shit.  The only problem was, where does one acquire so much dog shit?

The Congress hit upon the idea of creating dog parks…places where unsuspecting people could take their dogs to play.  They would provide bags with which people could clean up their dog’s shit and deposit into special containers that were ostensibly trash cans but were actually collection points for dog shit.  Periodically, chicken agents would collect these bags of dog shit and forward it to the Wester Chicken’s Headquarters in Ossining, New York, where it would be carefully preserved in a 7,500 square meter facility for distribution.  Since the chickens lacked the technology used by the Easter Bunny to make it to every household during the night before Easter (technology licensed from ClausCo, Inc.), only a subset of houses would be visited each year.  Eventually, both humans and the Easter Bunny would get the message.

Alas, it hasn’t happened yet.  The chickens haven’t been victorious in their quest to end the misuse of their precious eggs.  Dudley’s and PAAS are still making dye.  Kids everywhere still get up on Easter morning to hunt eggs (though, one supposes, some are disappointed to find feces instead).  But maybe, just maybe, this will finally be the year.

A typical, yet overloaded, dog shit collection station, ready for harvesting:


30 December

Follow this link for RegretTheError.Com’s compilation of the best media errors and corrections of the year.

Some favorites:

A Nov. 26 article in the District edition of Local Living incorrectly said a Public Enemy song declared 9/11 a joke. The song refers to 911, the emergency phone number.

IN my column on August 22 I suggested that Sharon Osbourne was an unemployed, drugaddled, unfit mum with a litter of feral kids. This was not intended to be taken literally. I fully accept she is none of these things and sincerely apologise to Sharon and her family for my unacceptable comments. Sorry Sharon…

This article was amended on Tuesday 20 January 2009. In our entry on Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon Days, we referred to a Prairie Ho Companion; we meant a Prairie Home Companion. This has been corrected.

Garrison Keillor loves him some pussy, obviously.

7 August

Does pollution cause rainbows?  Apparently so, at least according to the dumbest woman in the world.  In this video, listen to this whorebag explain how we never used to see rainbows near the ground, only around the sun and the moon.  Watch as she wonders what could be in our water and air to cause rainbows.  Laugh at her moronic stupidity.   Mock her grammar and spelling mistakes.

28 July

As you may have noticed, we here at SSW like to point out douchebaggery, be it in the form of Spencer Pratt or lame Craigslist ads.  Now, Radar has an interesting article on the history of the term, which you can read here.

20 July

The people in these stories are so incredibly educated and offer interesting insight into the respective situational aspects of each piece.

16 March

In the interest of public service, today’s blog is an informational treatise on everyone’s favorite pleasure thief, the condom.

Everyone knows what a condom is, and if you’re like me, you’re not a huge fan of them. After all, nothing beats the raw, frictional pleasure that unprotected sex provides. However, in this day of rampant, uncurable sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia, AIDS and pregnancy, it’s often hard to come across (so to say) sexual partners that will engage in unprotected sex. Luckily, space-age designs and materials have advanced condom technology to the point where one can wear one and almost–if they get totally lost in the moment–forget that they are in fact protected. And, after all, isn’t sex more important than whether or not you might be missing a fraction of the pleasure? “Poon with a condom is better than a condom with no poon” goes the ancient Mycenaean proverb, and I tend to agree. If I’m going to have sex with a strange girl (and why do I always seem to attract the strange ones?), I’ll err on the side of caution and wear one…no point in getting a disease the first time you have sex with a partner–it’s much better to wait until you’re in a committed relationship and no longer using condoms for that! So, really, when getting some random sex, guys, put a condom on–women don’t fall for “don’t worry, I’ll pull out” anymore and you yourself don’t fall for “We don’t need to worry about protection, I’m already pregnant!”. Besides, you never know what STDS your random hookup is hooked up with (just check, you may be surprised). You don’t want to have to worry about importing cheap Valtrex from Manitoba for the rest of your life, do you?

The condom’s first modern description was recorded by Italian scientist Gabrielle Fallopius (inventor of the Fallopian Tube) in the sixteenth century. He claimed to have invented a condom made of linen for the protection against syphillis. Somehow, I don’t think this quite worked–if the stuff soaks through your sheets as easily as it does, it’s probably going to go right through cloth it’s shot at at point-blank range. Around the same time frame, the Japanese are said to have been experimenting with two types of condom–the Kyotai, made of thin leather, and the Kabutogata, made of tortoise shell. These might’ve been “bulletproof” so to say, but they sex a moot point–you’re not going to feel anything at all with a turtle shell strapped onto your dick. The modern latex condom, mass-produced on glass molds in the finest condomology labs in the world, were introduced in the 1930s, just in time to prevent helpless French maidens from giving our fighting men their evil diseases, such as the clap, while the Allies liberated Europe.

But I digress. I’m here to talk about condoms and how they relate to our modern world. First off, what’s up with the “reservoir end”? Obstensibly placed to provide semen some place to go upon ejaculation, I think it’s a total misnomer. Assuming that the average load is 4 cubic centimeters, this is hardly enough liquid to call it a reservoir. Lake Mead is a reservoir. Lake Powell is a reservoir. A tablespoon of semen is not enough to go waterskiing on.

Many condoms are supposedly “ribbed for her pleasure”. What about my pleasure? I’m the one wearing the damn thing…what about me? She’s getting plenty of clitoral stimulation while I plow away, hardly feeling anything. Oh, sure, you can get mylar condoms that are much more “feeling intense”, but I can’t help but think about those silver balloons you get for your birthday when I think of “mylar”. And I really don’t want to think about birthdays when I’m trying to prevent a birth. They also have lamb skin condoms. Another misnomer, but I guess “lambskin” sounds better than “lamb intestine” condoms.

In the last few years, they’ve come out with flavored condoms. What’s up with these? Supposedly marketed to prevent the spread of disease during some good old fashioned knob-slobbin’, they’re just weird. In the interest of science, we tasted (and I can’t believe I’m admitting this) a vanilla-flavored one at a party a couple of years ago that I’d received as a freebie in a package of more normal Durex condoms. It tasted like a balloon dipped in Adams Extract then dried out. Nastiness…

Trojan…Ramses…what’s with these names? Trojans were citizens of Troy and are most well known for the Trojan horse, wherein the Greeks used a giant wooden horse to surprise the Trojans. What does this have to do with condoms? The last two things I want a woman whom I’ve finally convinced to hop in the sack to being thinking about are 1) surprises and 2) horses. And then there’s Ramses–great Pharaoh and, supposedly, the father of 400 children. Probably the last person in the world who should have a condom named for them. Another popular brand is Lifestyles. Personally, I think it should be called “Preventing-of-Life Styles”, but that’s just me.

Another recent development in the condom world is Reality, the female condom. I’ve never encountered on “in the wild”, but it sounds unappealing. You have to insert it–carefully–prior to sex and a lot of people complain that it causes a peculiar “rustling” sound during sex because of its looseness. To me, Reality seems to be like shoving a garbage bag up there. I don’t know about you, but my reality doesn’t include messing around with Glad bags while I’m trying to get laid.

As an aside, doesn’t an unrolled condom look like a sombrero? You could draw a face on your penis and put on one the end and call it Speedy Gonzalez. Just thought I’d throw that in there–not that I’ve ever tried.

All this talk about condoms got me to thinking about something Minotaur told me the other day. We were talking about A&E’s Biography, as we are wont to do, and this, naturally, led to the subject of this fine program’s former host Jack Perkins. He informed me that Mr. Perkins now does commercials for Minotaur’s local cable company, Cox Cable. In one particular commercial for Cox Broadband Internet, Mr. Perkins states “Here at Cox <smirk>, we like to call it the fatpipe <double-smirk>”. Well, if that’s the case, I like to call my penis the big fatpipe. And not because of its girth, though that applies as well. No, I’m talking about the amazing bandwidth of the human cock. Allow me to explain: The human genome is roughly 3,120,000,000 base pairs long, according to the fine folks over at the Human Genome Project. Since a single sperm has half the base pairs (the other half being in the egg), that comes out to 1,560,000,000 base pairs. Since each of these pairs can either be a guanine-cytosine bond or a adenine-thymine bond (that high school biology finally came in handy (pun intended)), the pairs and their alignments can be represented with two bits of data. If you figure that the average load has about 200,000,000 sperm in it, the average amount of information per squirt is 1.56X109 * 2 bits * 2.0X108, which, according to my trusty TI-92, is 6.24X1017 bits. Or 78,000 terabytes of data. The entire text collection of the Libary of Congress would only take up roughly 20 TB. Now, if we assume that the average ejaculation lasts about 2 seconds, then we get a bandwidth factor of about 39,000 TB/s. My trusty cable modem maxes out at about .5 Megabytes per second. An OC768 fiber line (used for major Internet/telephony backbones) maxes out at 5 Gigabytes/second. Meaning that my dick, and probably yours, too, if you have one, is capable of carrying about 8 million times more information that your top-o-the-line Internet backbone fiber core. Fucking amazing. Of course, packet loss and whatnot are another question.

Coincidentally, this also reminded me of another sex-relate
d back of the envelope math problem I tackled once when comforting a friend who’d just broken up with her boyfriend and was worried that it’d be a while before she got laid again. I quickly calculated how many feet of dick were in the DFW area for her to enjoy, should she decided to become a whore. The basics went something like this: 5,500,000 people in DFW. Half are men, giving us 2,750,000 men. Assuming 10% (based on conventional wisdom) are gay, that leaves 2,475,000 men. Drop off that last 75,000 to account for rounding errors, the impotent, and those with strange fetishes she would never go near, and another 400,000 for school-aged kids, gives 2 million potential sex partners (assuming, of course, she could use her feminine mystique to lure them away from their current partners). I’ve seen figures stating that the average penis is between 5 and 6 inches long while erect, so I’m going to use 5.5 inches. Doing a little division, we get 916,000 feet of cock. Or, 173 miles of man meat in the immediate area for her to enjoy. That’s enough cock to reach from downtown Chicago (no doubt somewhere on Wacker Drive) to Indianapolis!

So, in short, use condoms when necessary, be mindful of how much informational power you wield in your pants and just think about how much dick is out there.

8 March

If you’re like me, you’re a fan of the Food Network‘s Unwrapped, hosted by the “great” Marc Summers, formerly of Nickelodeon’s DoubleDare. In each episode, the show explores a certain type of food, such as hamburgers or cheese or pizza. Some of my favorite episodes, however, are about those weird regional foods, such as White Castle hamburgers or the Philly Cheese Steak. But the creme-de-la-creme of episodes are the ones that feature obscure, regional candies, such as Necco Wafers and Chick-o-Sticks. Having grown up in -yawn- East Texas, we only ate mainstream candy, such as Hershey’s Bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (which, for some odd reason, are called “Reese Peanut Butter Cups” in Canada, as if they don’t know of the possessive construction).

I recently came across a few different gums that are certainly obscure enough to be featured on one of these Unwrapped segments. They are Beemans, Black Jack and Teaberry gums. In the interest of science, as well as content for this website, I purchased a pack of each and proceeded to taste test them. These were the gums of our forebears, the candy that our grandparents chewed while they were growing up. The sugary snacks that led to them having to keep there false teeth in glasses on the nightstand years later. I hoped, through this experience, to get in touch with what it was like for my grandparents growing up. And this was the best way to do it, because I’ll be damned if I try to go a summer in Texas without A/C. My results are as follows:

1. Beemans. My first thought upon seeing this package was this particular cartoon character:

But why would a Hispanic character on The Simpsons have a gum named for him? Then I thought that perhaps Beeman is a superhero of some sort.

The mighty Beeman, defender of freedom and upholder of justice for the citizenry of Buzzopolis, never rests, fighting crime with his trusted sidekick, Hornetboy.

By day, he’s mild-mannered Daily Wasp ace reporter Ted Hughes, but when danger rears it’s ugly head–be it in the form of a grizzly bear in search of honey or a can of Raid Wasp & Hornet Killer–he transforms into the protector of the hive.

I was beginning to think that perhaps Marvel was starting to really reach for ideas. It turns out, though, that Beemans was named for Dr. Edward Beeman, who, in the 1880s, added pepsin to chicle and promoted the resultant gum as a digestive aid.

I opened the pack. The stick of gum was your standard size, covered in a white powder–determined to be confectioner’s sugar–though lacking the distinctive cross-hatch pattern of most modern gums. I popped it into my mouth. The flavor took a few chews to come out. It wasn’t very sweet and what little flavor there was was non-identifiable. Biting the gum between my front two teeth, I noticed a slight grittiness. I chewed for about three minutes before the flavor was gone.

Overall, I’d give it 2 out of 5. It would’ve scored more, but the grammatical error of not including an apostrophe to indicate the possessive is inexcusable

2. Black Jack. The packaging stuck me as rather bland, not unlike those cans of Heinz Beans from England that show up in specialty shops here in the States:

This gum was freshly-poured-cement grey in color. Not the most appetizing shade for a candy, but I was determined to taste it.

One word: disgusting. Vaguely licorice-like, but not that licorice that you’d buy by the stick from the candy shop out of the jar, but more like licorice that had freezer burn. I spit it out after about a minute, then drank some Drano to cleanse my palate of that horrible flavor. I was tempted to take the loofah to my tongue, but decided that I didn’t want to be bleeding from my mouth for the next week, as that might be unbecoming to my coworkers.

Overall, I’d give it…well, shit…I don’t know. If there were some way to award negative point values, then I would.

Shit, wait…I’m writing this, I make up the rules. I give it -17 out of five.

3. Teaberry. I’m not sure what teaberries are. I mean, I’ve heard of tea and I’ve heard of berries and I’ve even heard of teabagging with your berries, but as for teaberries, no fucking clue. Oh sure, I could assume that teaberries are where tea comes from, but everyone knows that tea comes from little bags full of shredded leaves. Not berries.

The stick of gum was the traditional color of these sort of things–pink. I was pleasantly surprised, as most pink things taste good.

Unfortunately, teaberry gums really doesn’t have much of a flavor. There’s a sweet note and it kind of makes your tongue tingle a bit, but other than that, there’s not much there. But as far as chewing enjoyment, it was much better than the other two selections.

Overall, I’d give it 3 out of 5. Not great, but not bad. Fair-to-middling, as my grandfather would say, if he were alive. And not senile.

Having experienced firsthand these treats from times gone by, I’ve come to one conclusion: it must have sucked being my grandparents, because their candy sucked. And that’s not to mention that it must have sucked to be my grandparents because they were old.

28 December

Another Interesting CNN article

Found this one on CNN about the tidal wave/earthquake disaster in Asia:


21 December

Interesting news story about much-hated emo-kids here: CNN

17 November

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