Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sisters Do As Sisters Should...

This was a smash hit at the Benson's Christmas, ironically my sister was the one who played it. See if you can make it through the first play through with out crying. I still can't breath I'm laughing so hard....do do-do do...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Spend It While You Got It!

You youngsters get all the luck! From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Recession offers bargains for young, employed
Reyhan Harmanci, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
(12-22) 19:21 PST -- Sarah Krasley, 29, a business management student at the University of San Francisco, is buying small amounts of low-priced stock these days - and advising friends to follow her example.

Planet Out writer Josh Rotter, 30, isn't rich by any means, but this November, he decided to splurge, purchasing heavily discounted tickets to travel around the East Coast during Christmas.
San Francisco couple Maria McKee, 29, and Stephan Tsochandaris, 31, took an even bigger plunge: The duo bought an Oakland condo early this month.

"We didn't really start looking until late September, early October," said McKee, who works as a program analyst for the San Francisco Superior Court's Office of Collaborative Justice Programs. Until housing prices tumbled this fall, McKee said, buying property in the Bay Area seemed impossible.

For the younger employed set who lack crushing debt, mortgages or families to support, the recession has a silver lining: Previously out-of-reach items are suddenly affordable. As consumer prices fell 1.7 percent in November, the biggest monthly drop on record, some have decided to take advantage of the deals - though not without caution.

"In a year where we would have expected the consumer to say 'no' to spending, this younger generation - the young adults who have not had to divert all of their discretionary spending to other family members - continues to self-indulge," said NPD Market Research Chief Analyst Marshal Cohen.

"It's not a new concept," Cohen added, noting that "mobile young adult consumers" have always wielded buying power. "It's just a surprise that people are doing it when they are told not to."
Assessing the effects of the current recession on the Bay Area's younger set is difficult, as the credit crunch extends into many facets of life, and the region's demographics vary widely.
But if any place has plenty of young people with discretionary income to spend, it's San Francisco. With a high percentage of adults between 20 and 40 (34.9 percent versus 27.5 percent nationally, according to a 2004 American Community Survey estimate) and 61.6 percent of the city' residents renting their homes, San Francisco ranks high in "creative capital," according to Richard Florida, author of "Who's Your City" and director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto.

"Young people will be hit far less hard than other people, and San Francisco in particular will do OK - the population is highly educated and diverse," said Florida. "They're not older people on a fixed income. They still have time to make up ground."

Cynthia Jaspar, a consumer spending expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that although young people are vulnerable to job loss in a recession, they will continue to be an important retail sector. Indeed, both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine have reported on the youth-driven bright spots in retail: American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and Buckle stores are some of the only clothing companies to see sales rise in November. Analyst Cohen points to the video game industry as a sign that young adult buying power remains strong.

"The fastest-growing market for video games is the adult man, 18 to 35 ... not teens or preteens. Even if they are living at home, they are the least likely to cut back on consumption," he said. "Whoever figured that was going to happen."

But just because young consumers may be able to afford holiday sales doesn't mean they are spending with abandon.

"It's all about cutting corners," said Rotter, who is using coupons for the first time in his life. Many are using the Internet to compare prices, and others, like San Francisco resident Michelle Quint, 24, want to simply focus on saving: Quint plans on making most of her holiday presents to her friends, even as she considers adding discounted stocks to her portfolio.

Keeping tabs on debt is a big concern. Web designer Omar Lee, 36, who bought a flat screen and Apple TV in quick succession this fall, made both of his purchases with an ATM, not credit, card. "I definitely felt the opportunistic window. Stuff is cheap. But after (the TV purchases), I felt a quick sobering," Lee said. His next concern was making sure he had a "cash cushion" going into 2009.

Certainly, the culture of excessive spending itself has been called into question by the current recession. Many report a newfound sense of guilt or unease about buying things.
"I feel like there is a model for how you're supposed to act in a 'recession' and that is, tighten your belt," said Quint. "But logically, that doesn't make much sense when you're not personally losing any money."

It may be gauche to admit, but the lack of hefty obligations, financial or otherwise, remains a perk of youth. "If I had kids right now, I wouldn't be thinking of shopping at all. I wouldn't be thinking about $500 shoes," Rotter said.

"But I'm young, single and don't have the burden of property. This sounds really sad, but maybe we're like the carpetbaggers of the horrible economic situation."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jews Beware! Christmas, Straight Ahead!

Oy, Hark!

A Jewish parent's guide to Christmas specials.

By Dahlia Lithwick

If you are a little Jewish kid, Santa Claus does not enter your home via the chimney on Christmas Eve. Instead, he arrives in late fall, usually by way of the Target catalogue and the television set. And if you are a little Jewish kid confronting old St. Nick for the first time via Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, or the 1966 animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you may find yourself with a lot of questions. "Mamma, who is Center and where are my presents?" asked my 3-year-old, rather randomly, in October. "Mommy, is Santa real?" my 5-year-old asks pretty much daily. In the way of 5-year-old boys everywhere, he follows that one up with "Mom, if Santa and Judah the Maccabee got in a fight, who would win?"

One needn't be virulently anti-Christmas to experience the seasonal anxiety felt by parents who want their children to enjoy the winter holidays while avoiding religious indoctrination. That's what makes parenting Jewish kids at Christmastime such a fraught proposition. Jewish women who as children were whisked away to Jewish vacation resorts in Florida marry Jewish men who hung Hanukkah stockings next to a Hanukkah bush, alongside the plate of gefilte fish they'd left out for Santa. It's hard enough reconciling two deeply held versions of the Jewish holidays. Just try blending two deeply held traditions regarding the noncelebration of Christmas.

I, for instance, grew up in a household that viewed only How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas as acceptable Jewish holiday fare. My husband, on the other hand, tells me he grew up with unfettered access to the whole panoply of animated Christmas specials. When we discussed this for the first time last weekend, I gasped: "They let you watch Rudolph?" I confess that I spoke the words as though his family had permitted him to spend his Decembers camped out in a crèche.

Whether you are Christian or Jewish, come Easter and Passover, The Ten Commandments represents one-stop entertainment shopping. But there are few winter holiday movies that speak to all religions. So last week I sent out an e-mail and posted on Facebook asking Jewish friends how they decided on the permissibility of the Christmas television specials. The responses were amazing. And also bonkers.

Overwhelmingly, the consensus was this: Jewish kids of my generation were permitted to watch one or all of: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Year Without Santa Claus. Therefore, their children are also allowed to watch them. But ask them why these movies pass muster and prepare for whomping exhibitions of illogic as only the People of the Book can practice it.

I learned this week that there exists an unspoken "no Jesus" rule, a "no Santa" rule (thus no Rudolph), a "no saints" rule (thus no Night before Christmas), a "no resurrections" rule (even if it's resurrection by proxy; thus no Frosty), and also a "no bad music" rule (thus no Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special). Perhaps my favorite e-mail laying out a Unified Theory of Jewish Christmas Viewing drew the line thus: "claymation and puppets, esp. from Europe = yes; cheap animation and pop music, esp. from US = no."

All of these rules would make more sense, of course, were it not for the fact that, as I mentioned above, apparently all Jewish children are permitted to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. This despite the fact that the classic ends with Linus Van Pelt earnestly reciting from Luke 2:8-14: "Fear not: For behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you."

It nevertheless seems there's something about that poor schlump of a Charlie Brown and his inability to get into the spirit of Christmas (much less receive a single Christmas card) that speaks to the Jewish people. Indeed, if there is a more profoundly Jewish line than Linus' "How can you take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem?" I have yet to hear it.

Many Jewish kids I heard from were permitted to watch the Grinch every year, yet somehow nobody (including my parents) is able to explain why this is so. Nearly everyone who wrote to me explained that the Boris Karloff version of the Grinch was "a classic." OK. But dig a little deeper and what surfaces is a universal (and discomfiting) sense that the Grinch is a fundamentally Jewish show because the Grinch himself is a fundamentally Jewish character. I got one e-mail that concluded, "Who is more of a Grinch than a grumpy old Jew?" And a Jew with a heart problem no less?

A fair point, perhaps, but why do Jewish parents want to be pushing this peculiarly self-loathing vision of the bitter old Jewish man on their kids? Do we drag our kids to see The Merchant of Venice? If anything, the weird Grinch-as-old-Jew notion would seem to suggest that of all things Jewish kids should not be watching at Christmastime, the Seussian classic tops the list. But perhaps my colleague Emily Bazelon is right, and Jewish kids like the Grinch because "Without the ending, the movie is the ultimate fantasy for a Jewish kid with a case of Santa/tree/carols envy—Christmas, canceled."

To the panoply of Christmas rejecters and cancellers above, one can readily add the Heat Miser and Snow Miser from The Year Without Santa. Again, the show clearly violates the "No Santa" rule, and yet nearly everyone I spoke to grandfathered it in as Jewishly acceptable. Asked why, the response is that the sheer genius of the Heat Miser/Snow Miser musical rivalry redeems any sectarian message. Yet it's hard not to wonder again whether there's something about the grouchy, bitter misers—misers!—poised to wreck Christmas that seems to speak to Jewish parents.

Ultimately, most Jewish parents wrestling with what to let their kids watch at Christmastime seemed really to be coping with their own remembered feelings of exclusion. (That's why this may be the single greatest Jewish Christmas song ever written.) It may also explain why little Jewish kids get to watch so many shows in which Christmas almost doesn't happen—or about grouchy people who feel bitterly lacking in the Christmas spirit.

None of this solves any of my own questions about what to tell my children about the sudden appearance-but-not-acceptance of Santa in their lives. Perhaps it is instructive that my 5-year-old's Judah the Maccabee story is a seamless and lengthy narrative of Hasmonean warriors, light sabers, and the spiritually redemptive powers of heat vision, such that tossing a Rudolph or Frosty into the mix will hardly dilute its already syncretic spiritual appeal. This is not so much an argument for the great universalist Teddy Ruxpin Christmas display as a suggestion that the proper non-Christian response to Christmas joy is not to try to block, suppress, or hide from it. Or to limit our kids' Christmas viewing to movies featuring charming yet bitter protagonists bent on blocking, suppressing, or hiding from it.

In my research for this piece, I finally sat down and watched Frosty, Rudolph, and Pee-Wee's Christmas special. And in doing so, I came across a good deal of material that may well have been more familiar to the Maccabee brothers than to Santa. Indeed, Rudolph's immortal words to Hermey the Misfit Elf may be said to poignantly encapsulate 5,000 years of Jewish aspiration: "Goodbye, Hermey. Whatever a dentist is, I hope someday you will be the greatest!"

Dahlia Lithwick is a Slate senior editor.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2206361/

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008: Brought to You By the Letters HIMYM

The men lost a lot of hair to play the U.S. 4x200m relay team; Harris (far right) even cajoled Segel (far left) into shaving his 
armpits. ''The guys sounded like they didn't think it was going to grow back,'' laughs Smulders. ''Dude. Trust me. It grows back. 
 I wish it didn't. It does. You're gonna be fine.''

Smulders (left) didn't see Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (she says the key to Cate Blanchett was ''just look like a badass''), while Harris studied Indy hard: ''It's sort of a quarter-squint. The lips go down, but there's a hint of a smile. But he's not amused, because he's always got other things in mind.''

Hannigan (far left) ditched her heels before the shot: ''I couldn't do it,'' she sighs. 
''They were too high. I had to catch Cobie and not fall on my face.'' Radnor (right), 
on the other hand, had no trouble stepping into Mr. Big's shoes: ''I get hit with a 
 bouquet of flowers at least once a month.''

''I don't often wear skinny jeans. It's not my thing. 
 But I heroically squeezed into some,'' says Radnor. Harris worked to internalize his character deeply, as well: ''I got to be the straight-ironed guy. Not the curly. I don't know their names...Alvin? Theodore?''

''It probably will just be an imitation of Tina Fey,'' admits Hannigan, before slipping on her Sarah Palin suit. For Segel, this role is a culmination of a lifelong dream: ''Ever since I was a kid, I always imagined someday 
I'd get to play Joe Biden in a photo shoot.''

Omigod, Omigod You Guys!

And what guys they are!  Introducing, from the touring cast of Legally Blonde: The Musical...

D.B. Bonds (Emmett)

Ven Daniel (UPS Guy)

PS, Ven Daniel is also on Facebook.  And D.B. Bonds is just an ABSOLUTE HOTTIE!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Honesty on Craigslist

Room for Rent -- Inauguration Day/ObamaCon 2009

Date: 2008-11-11, 11:45AM EST

In a search of a room in DC so that you can spend Jan. 20 standing in the bitter winter cold with thousands of like-minded souls watching the historic transfer of power from one Harvard grad to another? Look no further. 

Me: Heartless, greedy right-wing oppressive type looking to make a buck. 

You: Obama's election was Christmas/your first kiss/May Day all wrapped into one. You dutifully wore his button -- which you have yet to remove -- contributed money to his campaign from your non-profit job and chanted "yes we can" as if it were the 11th commandment. A strange void now exists in your life and -- like an old hippie looking to recapture the spirit of Woodstock -- you are undertaking a pilgramage to Washington for one last gulp of the Kool-Aid. 

Along with my bedroom you will have access to the house's many amenities including cable television (not that you watch much TV) for viewing Keith Olberman's latest unhinged rants and CNN in high-def. Wireless internet means that the Huffington Post and DailyKos are only a click away on your MacBook. American flags and other patriotic paraphernalia in the room can be removed upon request. 

The house is located in the diverse neighborhood of Adams Morgan with people of many different skin pigmentations that will allow you to revel in your tolerance. Rest assured, however, that this diversity does not extend to ideology and that you are sure to march lock-step with the prevailing sentiment ensuring that your most strongly held beliefs remain unchallenged. 

Easily accessible subway and bus stops will help ensure a minimal carbon footprint while fair trade coffee is never more than a few steps away at any number of independently-owned establishments. Nearby non-chain bookstores similarly mean that tomes such as Mao's Little Red Book, Chomsky's latest masterpiece or additional copies of The Audacity of Hope can be easily purchased either for yourself or as early holiday shopping. 

Rather than state a price I am requesting that you bid on this fabulous opportunity to ensure profit maximization on my part so that I can better weather the Bush Recession. 

Lanier Pl. at Ontario   google map   yahoo map
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
PostingID: 914613135

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Birthday Fairies are In full Force

How those little birthday elves manage to break into my apartment and office every year is beside me. So called friends, fail to witness the sneaky little efforts. Ah maybe next year we'll catch those little guys. In the meantime I was able to collect some evidence...Linds bust out your NCIS kit! 
(Thanks Guys!!!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Who Said What?

It's time to play Name That Goon! Rod Blagojevich vs. Tony Soprano.

Hands on buzzers: One's a trash-talking thug trying to stay one step ahead of the law. The other was played by James Gandolfini. Can you identify the speaker of the ten quotes below?

1. "Unless I get something real good...shit, I'll just send myself, you know what I'm saying."

2. "What the fuck am I, a toxic person or something?"

3. "Log off, that "cookies" shit makes me nervous!"

4. "They're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them."

5. "You got no fuckin' idea what it's like to be number one. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other fucking thing."

6. "I've got this thing and it’s fucking golden, and I'm just not giving it up for fuckin' nothing. I'm not gonna do it. And I can always use it. I can parachute me there."

7. "That motherfucker's full of shit. He's shaking me down."

8. "Our recommendation is fire all those fucking people, get 'em the fuck out of there..."

9. "I could have made a larger announcement but wanted to see how they perform by the end of the year. If they don't perform, fuck 'em."

10. "Jesus Christ! The money I've been dropping in here, I could've bought a fuckin' Ferrari."

Tony Soprano: 2, 3, 5, 7, 10
Governor Blagojevich: 1, 4, 6, 8, 9

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Contagious Like the Flu Contagious?

Happiness is contagious in social networks

  • Story Highlights
  • Study: Happiness spreads more reliably than unhappiness in a network
  • You are 15 percent more likely to be happy if your direct connection is happy
  • People who smile on Facebook are generally friends with other smilers
  • Cigarette smoking and obesity also spread in social networks
By Elizabeth Landau

(CNN) -- If you're feeling great today, you may end up inadvertently spreading the joy to someone you don't even know.

New research shows that in a social network, happiness spreads among people up to three degrees removed from one another. That means when you feel happy, a friend of a friend of a friend has a slightly higher likelihood of feeling happy too.

The lesson is that taking control of your own happiness can positively affect others, says James Fowler, co-author of the study and professor of political science at the University of California in San Diego.

"We get this chain reaction in happiness that I think increases the stakes in terms of us trying to shape our own moods to make sure we have a positive impact on people we know and love," he said. VideoWatch more on how happiness spreads »

Sadness also spreads in a network, but not as quickly, the researchers found. Each happy friend increases your own chance of being happy by 9 percent, whereas each unhappy friend decreases it by 7 percent. This reflects the total effect of all social contacts.

When framing the question differently, the study found that you are 15 percent more likely to be happy if a direct connection is happy, 10 percent if the friend of a friend is happy, and 6 percent if it's a friend of a friend of a friend.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, used data from the Framingham Heart Study to recreate a network of 4,739. Fowler and co-author Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School charted friends, spouses and siblings in the network, and used their self-reported happiness ratings from 1983 to 2003.

Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of "Stumbling on Happiness," called the study "a stunning paper by two of the most respected scientists in the field" in a statement he e-mailed to CNN.

"We've known for some time that social relationships are the best predictor of human happiness, and this paper shows that the effect is much more powerful than anyone realized," Gilbert said. "It is sometimes said that you can't be happier than your least happy child. It is truly amazing to discover that when you replace the word 'child' with 'best friend's neighbor's uncle,' the sentence is still true."

If you are the hub of a large network of people -- that is, if you have a lot of connected friends or a wide social circle -- you are more likely to become happy, the study found.

But the reverse is not true.

"You might only have one friend or two friends or something like that, and if you become happy, you're not going to try to get more friends. You're probably going to stick with what worked in the first place," Fowler said.

The researchers are also looking at the phenomenon on Facebook, which has more than 120 million active users. This study, which has not yet been published, looked at who smiles in their profile pictures who doesn't, and whether their connections also smile or not, Fowler said.

"We find smiling profiles cluster in much the same way as happiness is clustering in the Framingham Heart Study," he said.

It's not just happiness that spreads in a social network. Fowler and Christakis have also looked at trends in cigarette smoking and obesity using the parts of the heart study network.

They found that when someone quits, a friend's likelihood of quitting smoking was 36 percent. Moreover, clusters of people who may not know one another gave up smoking around the same time, the authors showed in a New England Journal of Medicine article in May.

Social ties also affect obesity. A person's likelihood of becoming obese increased by 57 percent if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given time period, Fowler and Christakis showed in a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in July 2007.

And, like happiness, both smoking behavior and obesity seem to spread within three degrees of separation in a social network, Fowler said. Beyond three, things get fuzzier.

"Eventually you get out far enough in the social network that you're competing with all these other cascades of happiness and unhappiness that are sort of duking it out," he said. "Happiness on average wins, but once you get far enough away from someone in a social network, it's not possible to detect their effect anymore."

It's Shmeat, Shtupid!

Checkout Line: Meet shmeat

Test-tube flesh, coming soon to a hot dog near you

Posted by Lou Bendrick (Guest Contributor) at 4:45 AM on 05 Dec 2008

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night.


Dear Lou,

I hear that PETA has come out in favor of the development of test-tube meat. What's up with that? I like to eat meat, and I try to be conscious about it -- but I can't tell if the prospect of test-tube meat should make me feel relieved or horrified.


In the lab
Blinding meat with science!

Dear Lisa,

You heard right. Earlier this year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced that it will offer a $1 million X Prize for the creation of affordable, humane, and "commercially viable" test-tube meat by 2012. This announcement, not at all surprisingly, piqued public curiosity (for starters, why is PETA endorsing anything with the word "meat" in it?).

I assure you that you are not alone in your ambivalence about test-tube meat. When I first read about test-tube meat, I experienced psychological delight at its humanitarian prospects coupled with a simultaneous gag reflex at the thought of actually eating it.

Test-tube meat is also known as in vitro meat, cultured meat, victimless meat, vat-grown meat, hydroponic meat, and, finally, shmeat. (Note to self: Be sure to apply for inevitable X Prize to rename this stuff.)

For now, let's call it shmeat.

Shmeat is grown from a cell culture (hence the in vitro or cultured prefixes), not from a live animal. These harvested cells are taken from an animal, such as a pig, and placed in a "nutrient-rich medium" that mimics blood. Once the cells multiply they are attached to a spongy scaffold or sheet (sheet + meat = shmeat) that has been soaked with nutrients and stretched to increase cell size and protein content.

This shmeat could, in theory, be harvested in vast quantities and used in minced meat products: burgers, nuggety things, or potted meat-food products, etc. While scientists (they call themselves "tissue engineers") admit that growing a pork chop with a bone without a real pig attached is not likely, the say also that affordable, palatable minced shmeat might be available at a grocery store near you within a decade.

To help you sort through your feelings, lie back on the couch while we take a look at some pros and cons of shmeat. (Most of these points are hypothetical, given that shmeat is in the experimental stages, but let's take a novel approach and think seriously about a possibly harrowing technological advance before it becomes a widespread reality. Just a thought!)

Shmeat pros:

Proponents of shmeat say it might:

• Help meet the protein needs of a growing and protein-hungry world. Factoid to lose sleep over: In 2050 the world's population will likely reach 9 billion.

Meanwhile, according to Jason Matheny, director of New Harvest, a nonprofit working to develop meat substitutes, "a single cell could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply."

• Curtail the horrific animal suffering that comes with factory farming -- hence the PETA endorsement. Unless we come up with other solutions fast, factory farming will likely expand to feed our future's 9 billion people. To underscore the point that factory farming is a living hell, PETA created the video Meet Your Meat, narrated by that hunk of shmeef-cake, Alec Baldwin.

• Reduce the environmental impacts of factory farming (by eliminating or greatly reducing the farms themselves). These factories (it's wrong to call them farms) use an enormous amount of fossil fuels, cause lots of air and water pollution, and create vast clouds of greenhouse gases. "I actually think the carbon footprint of this will be around 10 percent of the carbon footprint of conventional meat," Matheny told me. But what about those industrial-scale bioreactors that will be needed to make this stuff? "The nice thing about those bioreactors is that most the energy from their operation comes from the biological processes themselves because things warm up when they're growing."

He added, "We could absolutely go without fossil fuels throughout the entire process and rely on solar energy or wind or geothermal or whatever."

• Be healthier for you. Tissue engineers (a renaming X Prize is desperately need for them, too) could manipulate shmeat's fat content or add Omega 3 fatty acids. Shmeat would also be free of the hormones, antibiotics, and diseases (salmonella, e-coli, Mad Cow, etc.) associated with CAFO meat.

• Be tasty. The yuck factor may be temporary and overblown. PETA co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk told me that she attempted to serve vegetarian hot dogs at a baseball game in Virginia just 12 years ago. The baseball fans recoiled and reached for the real ones. "Do you know what's in a real hot dog?" she asked in disbelief. "Pigs anuses, bits of their inner snouts, nipples, tail, and fecal matter?" The point is that a food's acceptance is cultural. "So it's not really that there's a grossness factor [to test-tube meat]," she insists. "It's a visceral reaction to something new. A new generation will come along and not believe that generations before them actually ate the decomposing corpses of tortured animals."

• Be no less natural than, say, yogurt, cheese, or bread, which, according to a New Harvest FAQ, "all involve processing ingredients derived from natural sources. Arguably, the production of cultured meat is less unnatural than raising farm animals in intensive confinement systems, injecting them with synthetic hormones, and feeding them artificial diets made up of antibiotics and animal wastes."

Shmeat cons

In the other camp, skeptics say shmeat might:

• Be too yucky. What shmeat needs, in addition to more research and venture capital, is a market of willing eaters. Skeptics say that Americans, some permanently spooked by Soylent Green, won't eat it, especially in an era that is starting to embrace a local/organic/slow/artisanal food movement. When told that animals wouldn't suffer for shmeat, San Francisco chef and pastured-meat enthusiast Chris Cosentino replied, "Yeah, but my fuckin' taste buds will." He went on: "That meat? It's not meat. We're talking about something that could have serious long-term effects. They want Star Trek food. They want to push a button and have it drop out, shovel and fill their tanks, and move on. There's no enjoyment process of this. It's not going to taste like real food. Why not just put everything in a blender and put it into your arm with an IV?"

• Be a safety risk, given all of the unintended and unforeseen consequences of tinkering with nature. After all, "History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man." (To see who wrote these immortal words, go here.) And in the words of holistic farmer and author Joel Salatin -- whose farming practices were immortalized in Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma -- "Even if we could make shmeat, how do we know that whatever we create is not going to become a technological master?" He also pointed out the unintended consequences of GMO foods. "As far as I know there is no genetically pure corn in the world because of pollen drift."

• Not be environmentally friendly. Because shmeat is still a dream (or, to skeptics, a nightmare), its environmental effects cannot be measured. New Harvest has commissioned a lifecycle analysis by Oxford University that will compare shmeat to conventional meat in terms of energy use. It's due out in February; stay tuned. In the meantime, Salatin says that his model of farming is humane, energy efficient, and can feed the world. "As we have demonstrated here on our farm, we can raise three times the beef per acre as any other farms in the whole region and we haven't used a bag of fertilizer in 50 years. What we're doing is going back to biomimicry," he says. "I will not back down for a moment to say that our model can't feed the world. I think that our model is the only one that can."

• Create yet more distance between humans and nature, which is arguably the reason that factory farming came about in the first place. Josh Viertel, president of Slow Food USA, believes that problems in our food system have arisen because of a gap between people who grow food and people who eat food. "The problems with cruelty to animals are born of that gap. I see this [shmeat] as a solution that just increases that gap. The root cause of the problem is that we're too far away from the way our food is grown. We don't have a connection to the people who grow it. We don't understand the story behind it. This is a technology that's just going to give more to companies and create a larger distance between us."

• Not be humane for animals. Scientists have yet to come up with a "nutrient-rich" solution that is both animal-free and economically feasible. Currently, this blood-like serum is made, at least by American scientists, from calf fetuses. The conundrum: European scientists have found a way to make veggie blood, but it's expensive. They can make it more cheaply, but the cheap veggie blood comes from bacterium that has been genetically altered, a marketing downer.

• Will pass through the FDA approval process without public input. The government waved through genetically modified foods without listening to public concern and has refused to require processors to label GMOs. Likewise, shmeat will ease into the food system, where it will be easily assimilated, not labeled, and minimally regulated. Result: You'll eat shmeat without even knowing it.

• Not be a health food. In all likelihood, shmeat will need additives and flavor enhancers to make it palatable. Also, it will be coming to us, at least at first, in the form of highly processed products. "Great, let's process more processed crap food to make fat kids?" asks Cosentino. "That's a fuckin' righteous brilliant idea. I don't get it."

• Be very gross to vegetarian purists because it is still derived from animals, and consumes tons of precious research money perpetuating what PETA calls a "meat addiction."

Phew! Lisa, I know this is a lot to, ahem, digest. Good luck sorting it out. My best guess is that shmeat, like it or not, will indeed come to a supermarket near you, and that it will become a part of the complex puzzle of feeding the planet. Although some of this is disturbing to think about, take heart in knowing that shmeat's most passionate defenders and detractors agree on this point: that factory farming must end.

"I think it's cool that [Ingrid Newkirk] doing that kind of activism," says Slow Food's Viertel. "But I think the next step is to find a positive solution that isn't gross."

Your source for interesting dinnertime conversation,

P.S. Pass the ketchup, would you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

The Best of Craigslist

Hideous, Mean, Saggy-titted Cur

Date: 2008-10-24, 11:35AM CDT

Okay, so about three months ago my roommate takes in this stray dog. She's horrible, and I'm a dog lover, so I don't say that lightly. I say that as heavily as possible. And please don't flag this post for removal, because there is a real dog whose life is at stake here, and although you may disagree with my not writing flowery Ad-Man prose about her, hell, I'm just being honest. This dog sucks.

When my roommate found her on the streets, she was malnourished and skittish and had heart worms. You know, I've read more and more stories about pets being abandoned lately because of the economy. I recently got back from a gay wedding in California where one of the grooms had just rescued a Papillon he found starving in a ditch. He was neurotic and defensive for like the first few days, but now a week later he has settled in, and is doing great. And the Papillon's doing well, too. But this pendulously mammaried cur - Elzora, my roommate calls her, though you might as well be meowing at her, because she doesn't know the difference - she is not like that. Not. Like. That. At. All. This is not the precious, precocious Papillon someone rescues from a ditch. This is the miserable, ugly bitch (I use the term technically) that you make a little scrunchy-face at while glancing at it askance...before calling fricking Animal Control.

Roomie, who seriously must have a heart the size of the state, felt sorry for her and took her in and he fed her and took her to the vet. Roomie and I are poor, but he treated her heart worms, got her shots, etc., all with the idea that eventually he was going to put her up for adoption here or take her to a no-kill shelter. (Roomie is also, evidently, a dreamer.) But then she's got behavior problems (which I'm getting to...), and is as ugly as a dead frog squashed by a semi (which I'm also getting to...), and has health issues likely stemming from past abuse (which oh boy, I'm getting to...).

Elzora, or "Mama Dog," as she is more frequently called, is supposedly an Australian Kelpie (according to the vet) though she looks to me like she's got some Doberman in her. But ironically, Kelpies are renown for their agility. Mama Dog is supposedly around 2 years old, but is as agile as a drunk granny on crack. (UPDATE: The hive mind consensus is that she is more Dobie than Kelpie.)

If you want to know what she looks like, she's a dead ringer for the Capitoline Wolf. Look it up on Wikipedia while the article is still accurate. So Elzora would be great if you had two infants, for example, that you wanted to abandon in the woods only to have them found Western Civilization. Without the two little baby statues beneath her, though, I have to say that the first thing you notice about Mama Dog is: nipples. Obscenely large nipples. We think she was probably used for breeding or something because there's really no other explanation. I'm not being cruel, I'm just saying. Because there's one nipple in particular that is really disturbing. The rest you could maybe overlook. But she has this one nipple that hangs really low, and it's fat, but then it gets really skinny, and then it gets fat again. It's like it's just barely hanging on, though it's not, and evidently there's nothing 'wrong' with it except how it looks. But man, that nipple is unsettling.

Having been used for breeding might also explain the issue with her hind legs. When she lies down, it's normally with her legs fully extended, off to the side. And she walks funny, like her back legs don't bend that well. The vet didn't say anything about it and she doesn't appear to be in any pain, so it may have come from being raised cramped up in a cage, or from always being lying down, nursing puppies, or maybe from giving birth so many times: who knows. She doesn't really run unless she sees a squirrel, but even then it's kind of limpy-gimpy. She loves to play with tennis balls, but because of the past abuse to her rear legs, she just kind of lamely bats them around in front of herself with her front paws. It's endearing in a sad way. I don't know: maybe she'd make a good pet for someone who wanted to teach their children that life is cruel and unfair and that people sometimes mistreat animals. That's not what I'd want to teach my kids, but who's to judge? Anyhow...Kelpie, yes...but the whole Agile Kelpie thing: Just Not Happening.

Finally, there's her temperament. She's loving and protective of her humans. Maybe a little too protective, as she can growl at strangers. But put her with a dog that's slightly larger than her and she goes nuts. Like, foaming at the frickin' mouth nuts. She probably would not be a good Dog Park dog, though we've never tried it. On the other hand, she would likely provide excellent protection from zombies.

One of my dogs, Chloe, is slightly larger than Elzora and Elzora hounds her constantly. She stares her down, incessantly circles her - she seriously will not leave Chloe alone. Again, maybe due to past abuse or her previous environment, I think Elzora feels like she has to establish herself as alpha dog for reasons of survival. But she's hindered because due to her hips she cannot engage in typical dominance behavior (mounting - yes, even females do it). So she growls and will attempt to corral the dog that intimidates her. If you try to stop her or get her to leave the other dog alone, she will start foaming at the mouth. Seriously. Eventually, Elzora goads the other dog enough that they will fight. She can't win because she's disabled, but she 100% will not listen and will not back down. She doesn't seem to be threatened by smaller dogs...but she would probably be best in a one-dog household.

On the positive side, she does appear to be house trained and gets along well with cats. And again, there's the thing with zombies.

But okay, seriously, if somebody doesn't take her off of Craigslist, then she's going to the pound, where it's guaranteed euthanasia. My roommate wanted to write a "nice" ad for her, but he's out of town, and frankly, he kept putting it off and putting it off because he probably couldn't think of anything nice to say about her either. He gave me the go-ahead to post an ad and if nobody responds, to drop her off at the pound.

PLEASE don't write any sanctimonious responses about all the things we really should do for this dog. My roommate's on disability and I've just moved to town and have yet to find a steady job - I'm doing landscape work currently, and the damn dog's not mine to begin with. But neither of us has the time or money for aggression training or cosmetic nipple surgery or anything else. Simply put, her time here is done and her only hope for a solution now is you. Don't write me with suggestions. Come get her and implement them yourself.

Let's Teach Kanye a Lesson!

Help Stephen Colbert teach Kanye West a lesson in humility.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

51st Reason to Have Sex

...to thank this vloging (video blogging) brother Hank for making this video!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ten Most Devastating Insults of All Time

The French call it “l’esprit d’escalier,” or “staircase ghost.”

To the rest of us, it is known simply as the comeback, that divine and tender coincidence of all the universe’s comedic forces at the perfect moment. A truly good comeback can instantly turn tables, elevate the terminally zinged to the status of champion, and reduce the zinger to a stuttering fool.

Sadly, many of us will go our entire lives without scoring a decent comeback, doomed to pause awkwardly and mutter some pathetic variation of “your face” for the rest of our miserable lives. For us, it must be enough simply to marvel at the comebacks of the better equipped, and possibly memorize them for later personal use. After all, you never know when you’re going to have to take that bitch Lady Astor down a peg.

John Wilkes vs. John Montagu (AKA The Earl of Sandwich)

The Players:
Most sources credit this exchange to John Wilkes and John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich, although occasionally it’s also credited to British Prime Ministers Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone. I’m going to assume Sandwich said it, because it’s less satisfying to make fun of a guy who is considered the precursor of the modern politician than a guy who invented putting stuff in bread.

Setting the Scene:

When not revolutionizing the consumption of sliced meats and cheeses, Montagu was known for his incompetence, cruelty, lechery, and Satan-worshipping. The Earl was a member of The Hellfire Club, a “satanic” group dedicated to amoralistic hedonism, which totally explains all the sandwiches. There’s not a lot more seductively evil than a hot pastrami on rye. He was also responsible for commanding the British navy at the time of the American Revolution, and his incompetence at doing so is considered by historians to have been a large deciding factor in the war, so much so that when he died a popular proposed epitaph was “Seldom has any man held so many offices and accomplished so little.” Posthumous zing! Basically, the Earl of Sandwich was exactly like that Jack in the Box commercial made him out to be.

John Wilkes, another politician and member of The Hellfire Club, apparently pointed this out to him at some point, because the two were mortal enemies for most of their lives. Wilkes even famously Punk’d him by releasing a baboon dressed in a cape and horns at a meeting of THC while Sandwich was “invoking Satan.” It’s said to be this incident that inspired Sandwich to clutch his fear-soiled robes about himself and declare–

The Zing:

“Sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox.” To which Wilkes replied–

The Comeback:

“That will depend, my lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.”

Then the baboon clawed Sandwich’s face off while the real Satan appeared and congratulated Wilkes on the burn.

What We Would Have Said:

“Well I do know. I will die on the gallows…for murdering thee–in the face!”

Winston Churchill vs. Lady Astor

The Players:

Winston Churchill, one of Britain’s best-loved Prime Ministers, helped lead the nation to victory in World War II by sitting on his fat ass, smoking cigars, and delivering more quotable lines than an entire staff of Simpsons writers. Churchill was such a powerful force in English politics that his death ensured work for ugly British actors for at least the next millennia. During his time in Parliament, he often had the occasion to square off against the conservative Lady Astor, first female member of Parliament and renowned wit. Whether Astor’s penchant for attacking Churchill was due to his being a heavy drinker, occasionally sexist, or simply a worthy sparring partner, their scuffles proved that if there’s anything politicians do well, it’s talk some serious shit.

Setting the Scene:

I should actually say “scenes.” Astor, who eventually became a Christian Scientist, didn’t much cotton to Churchill’s habit of smoking cigars by the case while double-fisting whiskey sours. Churchill may have started the rivalry when he compared Astor’s election to Parliament to be “like being intruded upon in the bathroom.” To which Astor replied “you’re not handsome enough to have such fears.” Reportedly Churchill then choked on a lungful of cigar smoke, eyed her through the haze, and muttered “it’s on now.” And on it was, with such exchanges as:

Churchill: “What disguise would you recommend I wear to your costume ball?”
Astor: “Why don’t you come sober, Prime Minister?”

Astor: “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”
Churchill: “Madam, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

But perhaps the best-loved Astor/Churchill battle is the following, made doubly impressive by the fact that, by the admission of both parties, Churchill was visibly drunk at the time–

The Zing:

“Mr. Churchill, you are drunk!”

The Comeback:

“Yes, and you, Madam, are ugly but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly.”

What We Would Have Said:

“I won World War II, Ass-turd, so shut it. You know, Nazis? Hitler? Your face.”

Dorothy Parker vs. Clare Boothe Luce

The Players:

Dorothy Parker and Clare Boothe Luce are the type of women destined to make this list. Both were renowned for their incisive wit, both were prolific and award-winning writers, and both loved a good old-fashioned cat fight. Parker was one of the founding members of the Algonquin Roundtable, a group of writers, editors, and intellectuals who met for lunch every day to say quotable things and laugh urbanely about how much smarter than the general public they all were. Luce, aside from being a playwright, served as U.S. Ambassador to Italy and a Congresswoman, thereby posthumously zinging the hell out of Lady Astor.

Setting the Scene:

By the time these two fulfilled their comedic destinies, they had a lot to be pissy about. Parker had become a left-wing activist, picketing for Sacco and Vanzetti, penning the disillusioned Oscar-winner A Star Is Born, and promptly getting blacklisted by the McCarthy machine. Meanwhile, Luce had converted to Roman Catholicism and become more conservative than ever, as well as one of the leading voices against the “growing threat of Communism.” Basically, they did everything they could to become exact opposites of one another, short of Parker getting a sex change. Thus, when they arrived simultaneously at the front door of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel to attend a party, both had to get a dig in. Luce began the proceedings by holding the door for Parker and intoning–

The Zing:

“Age before beauty.”

Parker then ended the proceedings by stepping through the door and shooting back–

The Comeback:

“Pearls before swine.”

Luce’s Bible then burst into flames, burned its way out of her purse onto the ground, and flipped open to that particular verse while the Pope, who had been arguing with the guy at the check-in counter, started to high five Parker repeatedly.

What We Would Have Said:

“More like beauty before age! Which is why I’m going first, because I’m the most beautiful, and also the oldest. So yes, age and beauty both first, together. Fuck you and your stupid face.”

Buddha vs. Random Asshole

The Players:

Not a lot of religious figureheads are known for their sharp wit. Jesus kind of painted himself into a corner with the whole “turn the other cheek” thing, and Jehovah’s idea of a comeback was killing your entire town in a rain of brimstone and blood. Not exactly Friar’s Club Roast material. Meanwhile, Mohammed’s pathetic attempts at insult are the stuff of legend, and while Joseph Smith once said something about Vishnu winning an “arms race,” the reference was lost on most in attendance.

Yes, in the religious world, Siddhartha “The Buddha” Guatama is the undisputed king of zing. Raised in a palace and educated as a prince, he had the broad knowledge base required for improvisational mockery. And, as a proponent of balance in all things, he’s one of the few religious figures who can justify the use of a withering comeback. After all, what better way to balance out an insult than an insult of equal force in the opposing direction? This concept encompasses all the teachings of Buddhism (there’s some Newtonian physics mixed in there too).

Setting the Scene:

Buddha was meditating beneath a tree, as he is wont to do, and presumably wondering why he found it so difficult to shed those few extra pounds of belly fat (hint: try standing up some time). Naturally, this made The Buddha cranky, so when some random asshole started hurling petty insults at him, he decided to get all Socratic on his ass a full century before Socrates was even born. The lesson goes something like this–

The Zing:

Asshole: “Buddha, you are one fat piece of work. Wow. I hope you eat some bad pork and die.”

Buddha: “If a man offered a gift to another but the gift was declined, to whom would the gift belong?”

Asshole: “To the one who offered it…but I really don’t see where you’re going with—“

The Comeback:

Buddha: “Then I decline to accept your abuse and request that you keep it for yourself.”

The asshole was then spontaneously reincarnated as the lowest form of life, a list-based comedy writer.

What We Would Have Said:

“You’ll be sorry when I’m Enlightened! Then you’ll pay…then you’ll all pay, right through your stupid faces.”

Winston Churchill vs. George Bernard Shaw

The Players:

Churchill you may remember from several minutes ago. At this point in our story, he’s still the British Prime Minister, still drinks and smokes like a fish’s chimney, and still seems to spout off horrendous burns like some kind of reverse fireman. This time, the target of his fire hose is George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, author of Pygmalion, and Socialist extraordinaire. Shaw spent most of his life crusading for the working class, even going so far as to donate the monetary portion of his Nobel Prize in literature to the effort to translate Swedish works of literature into English. This also qualified him for the Nobel Prize in Most Obscure Donation, the financial proceeds of which he used to build a gold statue of himself.

Setting the Scene:

When Shaw’s play Major Barbara went up (or by some accounts Pygmalion), he decided to invite Winston Churchill to the opening via personal telegram. Shaw and Churchill had what could be termed a “friendly rivalry” going on, insofar as both had at one point publicly called the other vastly overrated. But since Nobel Laureates are “above” expressing rivalry by punching each other mercilessly in the shoulder, Shaw’s telegram read–

The Zing:

“Have reserved two tickets for opening night. Come and bring a friend—if you have one.”

Churchill wired back–

The Comeback:

“Impossible to come to first night. Will come to second night—if you have one.”

Churchill then chuckled at his own telegram, rolled over in bed, and helped Lady Astor sneak out the fire escape.

What We Would Have Said:

“Request another ticket, as I am bringing two friends–my balls. Will introduce them to your face.”

Calvin Coolidge vs. Dorothy Parker

The Players:

Calvin Coolidge isn’t known for a lot. He’s one of those Presidents you tend to shuffle into the Pearce/Taylor/Hayes/Garfield category, and even Garfield inspired a fat cartoon cat. Any cartoon character inspired by Coolidge would likely be “cold, distant, silent and detached,” as papers of the day described him. And while I personally would find a cold and detached cartoon cat to be an awesome concept for a comic strip, no brave artist has as yet stepped up to the plate. Until then, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with this anecdote, which will probably have a more lasting impact on the nation than anything else “Silent Cal” did while in office.

Setting the Scene:

Coolidge earned his reputation for silence at a string of lavish dinner parties thrown by New York and Washington’s high society. When asked why he attended so many of these parties, despite seeming to be a general downer at them, he shrugged and said, “Got to eat somewhere.” So you get an idea of what a great guy he was. At a particular party, Dorothy Parker—the pearls/swine lady from before—decided that devouring the soul of Clare Boothe Luce wasn’t enough; she wanted the President. Turning to him, she said–

The Zing:

“Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.”

The Comeback:

“You lose.” Coolidge continued staring into his soup, spoon poised, waited for a proper amount of awkward silence to pass, then slurped continuously for upwards of twenty seconds.

Although Parker still got Coolidge in the end, famously responding to the news of his death by asking “How can they tell?” Posthumous zing number two!

What We Would Have Said:

“Your face.”

Winston Churchill vs. Francis Crick

The Players:

Yes, the estate of Winston Churchill is sponsoring a large portion of this article. In case you’ve forgotten, he’s the UK PM with Hitchcock’s physique and Castro’s capacity for oral tobacco intake. Francis Crick, along with his loyal manservant Watson, sleuthed the basic helical structure of DNA and single-handedly foiled the evil Professor Moriarty.

Setting the Scene:

When Cambridge put in a chapel in the early 60’s, Crick, who at that time was keeping busy nailing the hell out of his bio students and driving around in a Beemer with the vanity plate “ACGT,” became morally outraged and resigned his post. As it is a British the custom to grind salt into the wounds of fellow celebrities by mail, Winston Churchill wasted no time in sending Crick a letter “consoling” him for the loss he suffered due to his stubborn ideals.

The Zing:

Churchill’s letter urged Crick to take back his old job and try not to mind about the church. After all, he argued, “its mere existence should be of no consequence, as no one will be forced into it against his will.”

The Comeback:

“Dear Mr. Churchill. Enclosed are ten guineas towards the construction of a brothel at Cambridge. Its mere existence should be of no consequence, as no one will be required to enter it against his will.”

Crick then performed his patented victory move, “The Helix,” though as the insult had been delivered through the mail, much of the effect was lost.

What We Would Have Said:

“Here’s ten guineas, ugly. Go fix your face.”

Oscar Wilde vs. Lewis Morris

The Players:

Oscar Wilde, author of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Picture of Dorian Gray, was a renowned Irish playwright and wit who wore fur coats in public, had catty feuds with other poets, and just went around generally acting so gay that he was ultimately put on trial and imprisoned for his homosexuality. His works and legacy are still going strong, despite tremendous efforts to silence his “indecency” in his own time, although his is still occasionally mistaken for actor Gene Wilder, probably because he’s as close to Willy Wonka as any living human’s ever been.

Lewis Morris was another poet and friend of Oscar’s who wasn’t nearly as gay and has therefore rightly been forgotten.

Setting the Scene:

It seems Mr. Morris was a bit of a Kanye, as one evening found him bitching to his friend Wilde about his narrowly missing being appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom. In fact, as it’s probably his association with Wilde that cost him the appointment, we should imagine the complaints to be suitably passive-aggressive. At the time, Wilde was probably organizing his legal defense, which ended up being so eloquent it was later adapted into a popular play.

The Zing:

More of a whine, actually. But Morris reputedly complained–

“There’s a conspiracy against me, a conspiracy of silence; but what can one do? What should I do?”

Wilde shuffled in his satin robe, roused from a deep Opium dream, and answered–

The Comeback:

“Join it.”

Then came his signature fluting laugh, and the chorus of naked boys burst into scattered applause. Then Calvin Coolidge appeared from beyond the grave to give him a Presidential thumbs up.

What We Would Have Said:

“Here’s a poem, you emo prick: Ace of Base, shut your face.”

Neils Bohr vs. Albert Einstein

The Players:

Albert Einstein, a Nazi defector, is best known for the series of posters he appeared on with his tongue sticking out. He also invented radiation, daily exposure to which tragically caused him to always have “static electricity hair.” This obvious physical defect led to his name becoming synonymous with idiocy or buffoonery (i.e., “great job irradiating my turtles, Einstein; they’ve transformed into man-sized ninja monsters”).

Neils Bohr was a Nobel Laureate physicist with the Manhattan Project who provided powerful insights into atomic structure and early quantum mechanics. His mother was from a wealthy political family, his father had a molecular function named after him (the “Bohr shift”), and his brother was an Olympian. He is considered to be one of the fathers of modern physics, and was considered “adequate” by his parents.

Setting the Scene:

When quantum mechanics first introduced the idea of probability wave functions, a lot of physicists were like “what? I don’t even know what that is.” Then when it was explained that this basically implied a certain amount of indefinable and inscrutable uncertainty on the atomic level, most were still confused, but some started to get pissed off. One of these some was Einstein, a religious man, who proclaimed quantum theory bunk on the grounds that–

The Zing:

“God does not play dice.”

Bohr, being better acquainted with God’s gambling habits, offered the following advice–

The Comeback:

“Don’t tell God what to do with his dice.”

Two large dice then crashed down from the heavens, killing Einstein and proving God’s existence once and for all. The people rejoiced.

What We Would Have Said:

“Yeah he does, ass! That’s exactly what I’m saying!”

Keith Moon vs. Jimmy Page

The Players:

Keith Moon, of The Who, is one of the greatest drummers and rock stars to ever grace a stage. His unique style of drumming like a goddamned madman and insisting that the drums be treated as a lead instrument paved the way for 32-piece, revolving drum sets everywhere. Further, his habit of utterly trashing hotel rooms, throwing TV sets out of windows, and blowing up toilets got him personally banned from no less than three major hotel chains and basically started the trend. He was a tortured, bizarre little man who hit his women, forced enough drugs through his system to mildly discomfort Keith Richards, and made some of the best noises in the history of rock.

I’d tell you who Jimmy Page is, but that kind of gives away the comeback, so I’ll act like you’ve lived under a rock for forty years and have no idea.

Setting the Scene:

One night, Robert Plant, John Entwhistle, Page and Moon were partying together at Moon’s house. We can safely presume both were high out of their minds, and at this point in the night had wearied of driving cars into pools full of groupies. Plant took the edge off by telling Moon all about his concept for a new rock band of tight-jeaned, open-shirted, long-haired men singing ten minute songs in falsetto about goblins raiding Middle Earth. Shaking off the effects of the horse sedatives he’d just taken rectally, Moon pulled himself out of the haze long enough to analogize–

The Zing:

“That idea will go over like a lead zeppelin.”

The Comeback:

The entire Led Zeppelin discography, not to mention the fact that more people associate Jimmy Page with the hard-rockin’ lifestyle than even know who the hell Keith Moon was.

What We Would Have Said:

“Is that girl’s pubic hair on fire? Seriously, Keith, what the hell is going on man? I’m really worried about you. Also, you’ve got some food on your face.”