Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Dr. Who Prequel

A Dr. Who Prequel

Tonight marks the return of the almighty. I don't mean Jesus' ressurrection, you silly fool. I'm talking about Doctor Who coming back cause it's about to be Easter and that's what the BBC demands. I'm not complaining. So hey, to put you in the mood for some Doctor Who'ing, here's a mighty nice little prequel that will make you go awwww

Capitalism Works In Theory

Capitalism Works In Theory

I am a critic of capitalism.

You hear it said over and over again "socialism doesn't work." This idea has been drilled into us for as long as there has been socialism, certainly most intensely during the cold war. And if you repeat something often enough, people will just assume it is true. While the USSR could be brutal at times, remember that it was as much a dictatorship before the revolution as it was afterwards. They were continuously besieged by enemies from its founding. Berlin was not taken by the British, or the Americans, but rather it was the Russians that cornered and finished off Hitler. Another example is Venezuela under Hugo Chavez that has a far higher standard of living now for all Venezulans, and not just the rich and Chavez has been re-elected by large majorities despite subversion and coup attempts by the United States.

While I do not know what the best system is and know socialism is not without problems, I can say that capitalism has a lot of serious inherent flaws. Poverty is a fundamental aspect of a capitalist society. It is the punishment for being unwilling, or unable to sell one's labor on the so called free market. Another is the drive to constantly consume and make more money which has implications for environmental sustainability.

Also given that huge numbers of people in Israel can't vote, they are hardly a beacon of democracy. They are also not the only democracy in the region. Turkey is a democracy. Jordan is becoming increasingly democratic. The Arab Spring countries recently had elections. In Egypt's case it was after overthrowing a US backed dictator. You also seem to not understand that democracy and socialism are not mutually exclusive as one is a government style and the other is an economic system.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Social Media Activism

Social Media Activism 

Over the last few days it's been pretty clear that a lot of friends of mine are bleeding together with their updates. Why you gotta be all changing your profile pictures all the time to the same thing? It's worse than when Major League Baseball host Jackie Robinson Day and every player wears 42.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I want to honor the first major league negro by giving him a day, but think about Vin Scully up there in the announcing booth. That would be the one day I fucking call in sick. "42 makes a line drive up second past 42 and 42 can't stop it as it goes into the out field where it's met by 42. Who throws it over to 42 on first. But he's not in time. 42 is safe! There will be an error charged to 42 on that play"

In any case, I'm so very proud of everyone who had the courage to change their facebook profile pictures over the past few days. We won't have true equality until everyone on Earth is willing to risk the loss of a facebook friend. Cause really, that's what gay rights means to me. By all means, go ahead and post a picture of a same sex couple kissing as well. Hopefully one with two very lipstick lesbians kissing. That will surly teach those conservative friends that you don't have to feel awkward about commenting on any of your uploaded pictures.

Together we can treat this cause like that Kony2012 cause and kill it, yo.

Listen. No one cares what your facebook picture is. For a brief time I had mine be Homer choking Bart. I wasn't rallying against child abuse or anything. I just wanted to have the Simpsons related profile picture. 

If I had any energy I would probably argue with you... and I'm for gay marriage. I just feel like changing a profile picture isn't going to do much of anything. Other than confuse your whole friends list on who is saying what based on avatars alone.

Then again, I don't really "do" profile picture activism. And I guess that's the problem in itself.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Doctor Whoing it Up

Doctor Whoing it Up 

We're only a couple of days away from Easter... which also happens to be new Doctor Who. So how about we give you some new teaser images for the first four episodes of the season?

As a bonus, Matt Smith was on the Jonathan Ross show not too long ago, in case you missed it or aren't in the UK, here it is...

Paintings, eh?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Deathstar Was An Inside Job

The Deathstar Was An Inside Job

I mean, you tell me how a fucking moon size battle station is taken out by a simple farm boy from a desert planet.

Deathstar Was an Inside Job!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gearing Up For Game of Thornes

Gearing Up For Game of Thornes

If you aren't pumped for the end of the month, then you haven't been watching the trailers for the new season of Game of Thrones. Let me fill you in on the haps, yo.

Yes. Now you can't wait till the end of March, can you? I know I can't cause my Birthday is coming up soon. HINT HINT. Don't get me something shitty, readers.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Game of Thrones, To the Maxx, Like Totally

Game of Thrones, To the Maxx, Like Totally

To hype you up a little more for the season 3 premiere pf Game of Thrones, here's a little flash back to the early HBO version...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Do You Mean, 'Rape Culture'?

What Do You Mean, 'Rape Culture'? 

I'm not sure if you've been made aware of, but this actually happened and, well. I'm really saddened that the streets aren't lined with the blood of these reporters.

Now, if you're a little thick in the head and don't get why I'm outraged by this, perhaps you should remember that A GIRL WAS RAPED IN THIS CASE! I mean, you wouldn't know it watching CNN reporters weep for the poor lives and potential future lives of the two rapers. My fucking god. Why is CNN even talking about how the poor sports players lives will now be ruined.

Not to mention that one of them took fucking pictures of this rape. TOOK FUCKING PICTURES! My god. It's bloody sickening that CNN is talking about the ramifications and hardship that will come because the evil ol' Judge gave them a few years in Juvenile prison. 


I hate to admit it, but it seems reality has reached The Onion levels. To the point that The Onion is becoming irrelevant, especially if this is how our news outlets are going.

The whole story is vile and the coverage on it and reaction to this verdict makes me wish I had a hammer just so I could break some fucking kneecaps.

Still, some people are calling this the "Rape Culture's Abu Ghraib moment" which is probably accurate because there will be a lot of anger and some "soul-searching" and then nothing will change.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rare Beer Getting Rarer

Rare Beer Getting Rarer

I think this is a nice little nugget that reflects the snobbery within the snobbery of craft beer.

I laughed.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Nixon Abides

The Nixon Abides

This weekend is the famed Lebowski Fest L.A.. A time when all the little Lebowski achievers come together and watch The Big Lebowski together in a concert venue. The tradition has been happening for many many years now and it's not stopping soon. Though the biggest celebs you will find going to this are usually the C-listers who never amounted for much after the film's release. Then again, the film sort of tanked in the box office.

It wasn't till much later did this now cult classic just, mellowed out, man. But still, let's take a moment to look at Nixon bowling with some Lebowski music playing in the background.

I mean, the dude would totally abide this since he had a poster of Nixon bowling on his wall. You can even say it helped tie the room together.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tom Hanks is Awesome

Tom Hanks is Awesome

I mean, it's a given. The man who was great in BIG, as well as just about any other countless movies he has been in, is pretty awesome. Need photographic proof?


The story is simple. Redditor runs into Tom Hanks and then poses in a really cool manner to suggest he had a night out of drinking with Tom Hanks... or some found footage the day after. Still, Tom Hanks is awesome. Proof right there.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Of Pokemon and Racism

Of Pokemon and Racism

In the last few weeks I have been seeing a lot of the following photo;

I have to tell you, that's pretty fucking racist. Jynx maybe the most obvious racist caricature I have seen created for some Japanese cartoon... and that's saying a lot. Jynx is a blackface mammy in a blond wig, and comparing Nicki Minaj to it is incredibly racist. It's racist on top of racism.

Then again, to be fair, the Pokemon series is literally about trapping random wild animals and having them fight each other for the amusement of children, so, y'know, a racist caricature in there seems kind of pair for the course. Though, considering that these are supposed to be wild animals, maybe that makes it a fuck of a lot worse....

This does bring up other really fucked up stuff because in the lore of the universe Pokemon are incredibly intelligent-- in the show all of them understand language-- but you "can" still own them and make them fight for sport and money. So the presence of a specifically black caricature is all kinds of super fucked up.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trolling You From Beyond The Grave

Trolling You From Beyond The Grave

For all of you who thought death could stop the vast amounts of worthless internet posting and white noise you come across from your annoying friends and family daily, guess what, now We've discovered a way to spam you from beyond the grave

Death already has a surprisingly vivid presence online. Social media sites are full of improvised memorials and outpourings of grief for loved ones, along with the unintentional mementos the departed leave behind in comments, photo streams and blog posts.
Now technology is changing death again, with tools that let you get in one last goodbye after your demise, or even more extensive communications from beyond the grave.
People have long left letters for loved ones (and the rare nemesis) with estate lawyers to be delivered after death. But a new crop of startups will handle sending prewritten e-mails and posting to Facebook or Twitter once a person passes. One company is even toying with a service that tweets just like a specific person after they are gone. 
DeadSocial covers all the post-death social media options, scheduling public Facebook posts, tweets and even LinkedIn posts to go out after someone has died. The free service will publish the text, video or audio messages directly from that person's social media accounts, or it can send a series of scheduled messages in the future, say on an anniversary or a loved one's birthday. For now, all DeadSocial messages will be public, but the company plans to add support for private missives in the future.
DeadSocial's founders consulted with end of life specialists while developing their service. They compare the final result to the physical memory boxes sometimes created by terminally ill parents for their children. The boxes are filled with sentimental objects and memorabilia they want to share.

Also, they really went with DeadSocial as a brand name? I mean, that was god awful and probably the worst part of all this. Well, besides the notion of talking to a dead person because they're spamming your twitter account with pointless hashtags.

Even better is that this is a free service. So now you can't wait to see all the emails from your grandma spamming the shit out of your life with ACAI berries and payday loan bullshit. Not to mention the vast amount of sexual health medicine.

Your dick too small for that wooden coffin? Try this new penis pill!

Though, I guess most people don't need grandma dead for that to happen. They get enough spam in their inbox as it is right now.

The scary or at least sad thing is that this happened already to someone I know. Their friend had died and I guess someone got a hold of their password really easily and spammed a ton of advertisements. Then there's always the whole write yourself a letter that just freaks people out. You may as well write yourself a death note, because when you do die, it'll be all ready to go.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Doctor Who For Easter

Doctor Who For Easter

Holy hell, is Easter this time around all about satisfying nerds around the world? Not only do you have a new season of Game of Thrones starting up, but you have the rest of the season of Doctor Who kicking back up again.

Not excited? Oh, you will be...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Paddy's Day

St. Paddy's Day

An interesting thing happened on the most generic Irish-American created holiday. People started giving a shit about the lack of Double D's in Patty's... Which, I guess is important. Since Patty is short for Patricia. And really, a lack of dd's is something to be concerned about as I know I get really lonely when I don't have dd's and instead two tt's....

Okay, never mind that green beer isn't a thang, that corned beef is actually a Jewish invention and that Irish Car bombs are an offensive drink that would be equal to calling a mixed drink a "9/11 Jihad" Which I guess would be one awesome drink come September.

In any event, here's a video to tell you what happens when you ingest all that green booze.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Still Confused About Hugo Chavez?

Still Confused About Hugo Chavez?

This little video should put to bed all the concerns about Hugo Chavez and his actions in Venezuela

So shut your liberal mouths now, damn it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

School of Thrones

School of Thrones

A friend of mine has a little bit to do with this, so here's some shameless plugging as well as enticing you with some form of Game of Thrones before the new season starts up later this month.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Bad Taste

The Bad Taste

Now that Anthony Bourdain's food porn reality take on spoon fulls of bites from both home cooks and professional chefs in a 'the voice' like fashion is done, I have to just wonder what the hell was the point of all that?

I watched it from the start for two reasons. I worshiped Anthony Bourdain from way back when I first read Kitchen Confidential and then Cook's Tour started airing. He was, well, he was larger than life. The second reason is because of Nigella Lawson. Who, well, she's just damn beautiful to watch and listen.

You put two of my favorite food celebrities on one show and my interest is peaked. Of course I was going to take a loo. What ended up being the show was really... well, underwhelming at best.

You have Anthony Bourdain, who seemed really neutered in a show he was executive producer of. How exactly does this happen? This man has wit and smarts oozing out of his skin and he's just... there. I'm not sure if having to go through so much make up touch ups on camera opposed to not having to do any of that in No Reservations threw him off? Perhaps it was simply that he's limping to the barn now knowing he isn't SCRIPPS personal slave anymore.

Ludo was indecipherable to understand the entire time and let's be honest here, I worry about his wife since he was practically humping his mentored person Sarah. So much so that he really just neglected being a mentor to anyone else in his kitchen.

I still have no idea what Brian Malarkey has done other than being a reactionary ponce in reality television cooking shows to warrant him being a go to chef on the matter. The little leprechaun constantly wears sneakers without socks and rolls his designer blue jeans up to flood levels. He's as edgy as allowed on network television. But perhaps that's more of the fault of the Networks, which have mandated that anyone with a genuine personality is not allowed on television as it offends the people that vote the milquetoast white guy every season to win on American Idol. 

I love Nigella and her breast and British accent are something to always enjoy, but she was constantly wrong in most everything she advised and choose on this show. Her opinions on just about everything ended up having her lose every single one of her mentored choices. Which does beg the question about her ability to pick winners in this sort of game. She's very kind hearted, but there wasn't a choice she made on here that ended up correct.

The show constantly did the worst in product placement possible. Only second to when Chase credit card showed up on No Reservations. Which is making me wonder if Bourdain has simply said 'fuck it' and just embraced the whole notion that he's sold out, may as well make as much money with it.

It ended up being one giant commercial for Best Foods Mayo. It was a common thing that they would highlight some god awful recipe that incorporated it into the dish, for a lack of all common sense as to why anyone would put mayo into it. I'm not even going to get into the car promotion. That went to levels that I didn't want to remember of my American Idol working days.

But the worst thing about the taste was the way it ended. The finale of The Taste was about as rewarding as finding out you have pancreatic cancer. Here is your winner, POP the confetti cannon and everyone be happy for them. Annnnnnnnnd FADE TO BLACK!

Um.. okay?

In the past episodes, the show went into a little bit of detail about why people lost the game or why their spoon full of food was bad or what made it amazing. But when it came down to the final two it was never discussed about how Charlie Sheen's lesbian personal chef won vs the self-entitled chick who is so much better than anyone ever, just ask her. Which the editing on that self-entitled bitch was really strange. In some footage they'd try to play up that she lived in her car and this was a sort of underdog. But then in others they really played up the fact that she hated everyone else and should have won whatever challenge.

But they never got into why one beat out the other when it came to their final spoon fulls of food. It's as if the network wasn't willing to give them that extra hour to play up the whole final four to final three to final two situation that most reality television loves to squeeze an extra hour or two out of advertisers with.

I guess I'm a bit impressed that Kristianne won it all. Not because of her cooking skills. She had gotten gold star after gold star in the last wave of episodes. But she is far from the conventional conservative/traditional looking chef that network television would have liked. Then again, there wasn't a cook book deal or a TV show contract on the line for the grand prize. So maybe that worked in her favor by ultimately not being factored in.

But overall, I was left feeling like even my passing watching of this show, which was just typically background, left me with not much. I actually kind of liked the idea of the show on paper, even if it was just a culinary ripoff of The Voice, but the way it was executed really was disappointing, especially since it felt like they constantly had to remind the viewers of the rules every fucking five minutes. 

In the end, The Taste had the ability to be much better than the sum of its parts and not be just another cliched vessel for a Hell's Kitchen knockoff, but it failed on all of those things. Instead, this show just left a horrible taste in your mouth.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Pope!

New Pope!

Earlier today when the news came out that white smoke was billowing out of chimney pipe, I thought to myself that they either just selected a new out of touch ghoul to run the global blight that is the catholic church, or they all realized just how evil they were and set themselves on fire.

We clearly aren't so lucky for the second one just yet. But hey, we are lucky enough to get an Argentinian Pope who is something called a Jesuit. You're probably wondering what that shit is. We'll get to that in a bit. Let's focus on his chosen name.

He did pick his name to be Francis the first. Way to go and fuck up that whole doomsday prediction that the next and last pope would be called Peterus. You could have just named yourself that so you could appeal to the doomsday preppers in all of us. Doesn't anyone get the memos at the Vatican anymore?  

Back to the whole Jesuit thing. Clearly it's just another arm of the church in an attempt to get new followers. But hey, go on about having a Black President and now a Mexican Pope. The minorities are clearly winning again.    

Oh wait, I spoke too soon...
 On April 15, 2005, a human rights lawyer filed a criminal complaint against Bergoglio, accusing him of conspiring with the junta in 1976 to kidnap two Jesuit priests, whom he, as superior of the Society of Jesus of Argentina in 1976, had asked to leave their pastoral work following conflict within the Society over how to respond to the new military dictatorship, with some priests advocating a violent overthrow. Bergoglio's spokesman has flatly denied the allegations. No evidence was presented linking the cardinal to this crime. 
 What the world gets is a guy who talks about poverty but won't make a move on gay rights. We have a liberal pope indeed! Besides, did anyone expect anything less? He's from a white Italian expat family and is pro-poors and anti-gays who supported the rightist Junta. It seems pretty status quo to me.

His stance on gay adoption is that it's a "plot straight from the Prince of lies", but was more than happy to give communion to Videla, a man who literally stole babies from leftist parents

Maybe his plan to tackle poverty is that by tackling atheism and gay rights and other scourages of Satan, compassion for the poor will be increased to the point where the problems uuuuuuugh, I can't even finish this sentence. It'll be really funny when he eventually gets sainted, he'll be San Francisco.  

The only shocker really is that he's a Jesuits. I was under the impression that the Jesuits were on the church's shit list lately. Then again, I'd be a bullshitter if I said I was following the box scores or anything. I mean, in the end, he's a cardinal. So of course he's going to be who he's going to be.

The new pope just has to remember that a life time supply of root beer isn't the same as an unlimited supply of root beer.

Female Empowerment in the Video Game World

Female Empowerment in the Video Game World

It's well worth noting this video should be watched as it does make a great many points about the state that the video game industry not only is in, but has been in for the last couple of decades of its creation.

So how would Donkey Kong look like with the damsel positions flipped? This is how

I mean, I think that's pretty damn cool. The story behind it in the comments;
My three year old daughter and I play a lot of old games together. Her favorite is Donkey Kong. Two days ago, she asked me if she could play as the girl and save Mario. She's played as Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. 2 and naturally just assumed she could do the same in Donkey Kong. I told her we couldn't in that particular Mario game, she seemed really bummed out by that. So what else am I supposed to do? Now I'm up at midnight hacking the ROM, replacing Mario with Pauline. I'm using the 2010 NES Donkey Kong ROM. I've redrawn Mario's frames and I swapped the palettes in the ROM. I replaced the M at the top with a P for Pauline. Thanks to Kevin Wilson for giving me the lead on the tools and advice.

Now that's a good dad

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Kate Up(ton) No Good

Kate Up(ton) No Good

Okay, so that was suppose to read a little bit like a play on words. Who knows if that came across or not. Either way, this is a really strange little video that I have no idea what to describe it as, besides an excuse to look at the amazingly beautiful Kate Upton.

Because really, how the hell do you explain this video...

"Hush Lil' Baby, Don't You Cry" feat. Kate Upton from Bruce Weber on Vimeo.

Besides saying it's freaking freaky, yo.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Bahooka

Saying Goodbye to Bahooka

Yesterday The Bahooka closed the doors forever to the land of alcohol, fish tanks, alright food, but most of all, a slew of amazing times and memories. A moment of silence for such a great place, please.

And with that, we say goodbye to The Bahooka;

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Proletariat 101 - Lessons for the Revolution

Proletariat 101 - Lessons for the Revolution

With Occupy Wall Street being the completely ineffective protest that wasn't needed, perhaps it's time to teach you the very basics for when 'da govubment' comes for your freedoms or when you plan another civil disturbance that will land an army of riot geared up cops on your ass as if it was raining.

Lesson 1; How to get out of zip tie cuffs.

But what if they cuff me from behind?! Well do I have the answer for you

But that's not all. I mean, what if there's even more niche ways they have you subbeded.

And here's one method in the event that you have women's hands.

And one more for the road

Or hey, maybe if your Valentine's day spicing up of your relationship may end up in a tragic incident and this advice will come in handy when attempting to escape from a ghetto hanky panky bed foreplay.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Daft Punk

Daft Punk 

Last weekend when SNL did its typical limp to the barn, something amazing happened and it wasn't even part of the show. It was actually a commercial that aired during it. One for a certain little band and it was only 15 seconds of music from their upcoming album.

And even though it was 15 seconds only, it was still an amazing segment of television. Just take a listen;

It was very simple and used the glittery Daft Punk logo that we all have come to know so well. As well as finishing off with the image posted earlier when they made their Columbia Records deal official. 

I love that it sounds like Discovery. I mean, that album was one of my all time favorite albums. I would drive at night aimlessly to it. Yeah, it sounded like 70's disco, and while I can't judge the new sound based off 15 seconds, I do think that those 15 seconds sound like they're straight out of the 70's. I really wonder what the finished product is going to sound like.

All I know is that I'm going to their tour no matter what happens. That is a must.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chavez is Dead, Long Live Chavez

Chavez is Dead, Long Live Chavez

While I knew it was coming all the way in January. Enough to put him on my celebrity dead pool list, it has come to pass. Hugo Chavez has died from his battle with cancer.

First off, I want to say FUCK all the white Americans and Venezuelan expats who are celebrating this death. It's just a question on how long until Venezuela turns into an American-backed neoliberal plutocracy. A part of me really won't be stunned at the speed at which it will happen....

FUCK! They waste no time. The body isn't even cold yet and you're already trying to come up with plans on getting your hands into those oil fields. fuck man. Though, my guess is that Halliburton has had something lined up for years now for just this exact moment.

I want to believe that just because one man has died, that the rights of the people will not suffer. That the nationalized companies will continue to run. I want to believe this because, if you recall, it was the people and the army that rescued Chavez from prison when he was almost couped. This despite the ouside help of the state department, the afl-cio, the media and all of the other counter-revolutionary forces both inside and outside the country. It's really an amazing feat that the people continued through all that and I think that they will continue to fight through this as well.

The fact is that international observers have confirmed that every election Chavez has been involved in has been clean. Even Carter has said that Venezuela's election system is one of the best in the world. As for the standard of living, if you want an accurate picture of the changes Chavez has presided over, read this

Further, you must situate Venezuela in a larger context. It went from the one of the most unequeal societies in Latin America to the most equal, in a region that is on aggregate the most unequal in the world.

Look, he wasn't perfect. He had a massive ego and was full of neopotism. But he was the world's champion against the neo-lieberalism of the global north and the imperialism of the United States. And as much as the U.S. harps on unfair or rigged elections, the people went back and re-elected him and loved him. How could they not. He didn't pander to the rich. He took their companies and gave the profits to the people and traded it to Cuba for health aide for the people.

Hasta siempre comandante. Latinoamerica esta de luto! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Now Illegal To Hold Companies Accountable Through Video Footage

It's Now Illegal To Hold Companies Accountable Through Video Footage

While you weren't paying attention and just assuming that Obama getting sworn in means he's about to bust out that sweet sweet change and hope we could all believe in, this little news articles slips by without a trace;

In a shocking turn of events, reporting factory farm abuses via hidden camera tricks will be considered terrorism...
How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.

And who better to write the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, than the lawyers on the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the corporate-funded and infamous American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws aimed at preventing employees, journalists or activists from exposing illegal or unethical practices on factory farms. Lawmakers in 10 other states introduced similar bills in 2011-2012.  The laws passed in three of those states: Missouri, Iowa and Utah.  But consumer and animal-welfare activists prevented the laws from passing in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York and Tennessee.

Wyoming’s HB 0126 is the perfect example of a direct link between an undercover investigation of a factory farm and the introduction of an Ag-Gag law. The bill was introduced mere weeks after nine factory workers at Wheatland, WY-based Wyoming Premium Farms, a supplier to Tyson Foods, were charged with animal cruelty following an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). HSUS activists videotaped workers kicking live piglets, swinging them by their hind legs and beating and kicking mother pigs. Charges were filed in late December. In January, State Rep. Sue Wallis and Senator Ogden Driskill introduced Wyoming’s Ag-Gag bill which would make it a criminal act to carry out investigations such as the one that exposed the cruelty at Wyoming Premium Farms.

Most of the Ag-Gag laws introduced since 2011 borrow the premise, if not the exact language, from model legislation designed by ALEC. ALEC’s sole purpose is to write model legislation that protects corporate profits. Industry then pushes state legislators to adapt the bills for their states and push them through. The idea behind the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act is to make it illegal to “enter an animal or research facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other or other means with the intent to commit criminal activities or defame the facility or its owner.”

tldr: ALEC/koch bros are trying to criminalize exposing crimes and cruelty within factory farming, bringing back the old hobby horse of "eco terrorism"

I mean, there's cartoon evil and then there's this sort of sick levels of disturbing. I... just don't get it. I mean. Wow.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Watering Down Your Bourbon

Watering Down Your Bourbon

Earlier this week bourbon fans got some pretty shocking news. Their drinks would no longer be as stiff as one would expect them to be as Maker's Mark is diluting their proof
Maker's Mark announced it is reducing the amount of alcohol in the spirit to keep pace with rapidly increasing consumer demand.

In an email to its fans, representatives of the brand said the entire bourbon category is "exploding" and demand for Maker's Mark is growing even faster. Some customers have even reported empty shelves in their local stores, it said.

After looking at "all possible solutions," the total alcohol by volume of Maker's Mark is being reduced by 3 percent. Representatives said the change will allow it to maintain the same taste while making sure there's "enough Maker's Mark to go around." It's working to expand its distillery and production capacity, too.

Maker's Mark, made by Deerfield-based Beam Inc., said it's done extensive testing to ensure the same taste. It says bourbon drinkers couldn't tell the difference. It also underscored the fact that nothing else in the production process has changed.

"In other words, we've made sure we didn't screw up your whisky," the note said.

On the surface of this story you would expect people to be pretty pissed about it. I mean, you're watering down the product, man. And while it is shown in studies that the consumer base couldn't tell the difference, it does mean you're getting less alcohol content per bottle.

At the same time, they're making it so that they can actually meet the demands. One of which is from Asia, where the consumption of barrel aged spirits like bourbon is taking off like a bullet. Though you have to wonder if they mess around with it too much, if that demand will suddenly drop like a ton of bricks.

I get it. I mean, you can't really predict for these sort of market forces when you're making a product today that will not hit the shelf for at least six years. So you have to plan accordingly and roll with the punches, so to speak.

But yes, you can blame Asia for taking it all. In fact, 35% of liquor sales is accounted for by bourbon. So it really is a growing industry. I also don't blame them or even think this is all that bad of a thing. Brands like Maker's need to do this instead of raising prices by a couple of bucks. It's not like it's a cult favorite anymore anyway. It's a supermarket bourbon that needs to appeal to the bargain shopper. If the price tag is higher than Four Roses, Bulleit, Buffalo Trace, etc. Then people will just buy those instead. There's too many choices at that $20 price point for them not to go with the watering it down option.

Besides, these people aren't going to check the proof anyway. They just know everyone drinks Maker's Mark and it comes in a bottle with melted wax on it. 90% of this stuff seems to be used in mixed drinks behind bars anyway. I imagine the average joe won't even notice even if the study saying they won't notice was just a PR fluff piece.

Besides, Maker's is a starter bourbon that a lot of drinkers cut their teeth on and then move on to the more interesting stuff. You're not going to have the taste suffer since the flavor of Maker's isn't that complicated to begin with.

So hey, keep drinking. And if you want to be nostalgic, go out and buy a bottle of it, it's only like $20 at CVS right.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Looking To The Simpsons For Answers

Looking To The Simpsons For Answers

In this latest edition of real world looking towards a yellow colored cartoon family for answers, we tackle the serious question of unwanted pest in an ecco system that can barely handle it. For you see, The US is planning to use poison rats to handle Guam's snake problem. 
Animal rights activists have dismissed as "absurd" and "cruel" the American government's plans to bombard Guam from the air with toxic dead mice in a bid to curtail the spread of invasive snakes.
The US air drop over the the Pacific island is due to commence in the spring, and is aimed at addressing the problems caused by non-native brown tree snakes. Having hitched a ride to the island some 60 years ago on military ships, the colony of reptiles have been deemed responsible for killing off native bird species, biting human inhabitants and knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.
Meanwhile, in Hawaii – some 3,000 miles away – environmentalists fear a similar invasion from the snakes, possibly through unwitting transportation in aircraft that have spent time on Guam.
But the US Department of Agriculture's plans to reduce the number of brown tree snakes in Guam – population estimates reach up to 2m – have been attacked by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
Martin Mersereau, director of cruelty investigations at the animal rights organisation, described the plan as a "clumsy dangerous massacre".
"Brown tree snakes did not ask to be stowaways on planes or ships and then forced to survive on a foreign island," he said.
But irrespective of how they got to be on Guam, some residents say the snakes – which are native to Australia and Papua New Guinea – are a menace.

There's no way this could go wrong, riiiiiight?

At this point, you should be wondering where your blunt object is as it's almost time for whacking day.  What I'm confused about is why the snakes can't be trapped. Apparently the mice are to be filled with acetaminophen or something like that, which you have to wonder if it's toxic to other animals. They don't exactly come out in mentioning what it does to any other wildlife that might, you know, come across a dead animal like a rat and decide to eat the easy food.

And while I don't give a shit what PETA has to say, about anything, like, ever, I do have to wonder what the long term effects on this will be.

Florida already had their situation with the release of pythons all over the place killing off all sorts of native species. They even did a mighty python hunt over the last month considering how big the problem of pythons being released into the everglades and wrecking shit up. They basically decimated the local wildlife because they have no predators there. But in true Florida fashion, it wound up being nothing more than a joke of a hunt with them only getting three dozen snakes turned in.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Alcohol and Foreigners

Alcohol and Foreigners 

The latest news that Maker's Mark was going to drop the ABV% in their bourbon only to meet a PR nightmare and buckle in restoring the ABV% to normal unearthed the basics that American bourbons are in hot demand overseas. That is, after all, what caused the prices to fluctuate and have them consider such a move.

Apparently this is big business, maybe it's because of their mascots and marketing....

Sort of reminds me of....

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Little Mermaid is Much More At Home In Florida

A Little Mermaid is Much More At Home In Florida

I'm one of those people who have been to both Disney Land and Disney World. The difference? Oddly enough not much but at the same time a lot. It's almost as if you've stepped into a parallel universe, String theory all up in this bitch, if you know what I mean.

Mainly because things are the same, yet they're slightly different. In some cases it's not as cool as it is in LAND as it is in WORLD. In other cases, it's a lot better in LAND. The pirates ride in WORLD for example actually looks a lot more unique in the line area. But the ride suffers because of the fact that Florida is at sea level, so you only have one drop.

Same with the Haunted Mansion. That elevator ride is actually the ceiling stretching. There's one thing new in Disney that doesn't suck in Florida as it does in Orange County. The Little Mermaid Ride. Don't get me wrong, it's one of those terribly condensed story kiddy rides that you'd find in fantasy land. But at least the Florida version has a line and scenery that isn't just a previously built for Whoopi Goldberg building.

Take a look

Don't the stuff in the line look really fun and well worth enjoying? The California Adventure version is just that really short and really oddly summed up Little Mermaid storyline and I have no idea who could be satisfied with that.