Singer Jewel, who apparently is releasing an album of children’s songs, also for some reason has written a song about Walmart. No, it’s not an anti-establishment, pro-living wage song like you’re thinking, it’s more of a “roses are red, violets are blue, I love Walmart and you should too!” type of corporate-shilling little ditty. Some are calling this the best corporate whoring track since that guy who reworked U2’s “One” for Bank of America. Alright, only I’m calling it that. But it’s pretty fantastic, if you’re into songs about everyday products at discount prices.
Two things. One, keep in mind that Jewel used to live in her car, so for her Walmart is probably considered luxury shopping. It’s not that much different than P. Diddy rapping about Jacob the Jeweler. Two, is there really that much difference between commercial jingles and pop music anymore? Thanks to technology, commercial jingles keep getting catchier and easier to produce. Meanwhile Clearchannel has reduced pop music to a series of generic, sound-alike rhythms. Turn on the radio today and you can barely tell what songs are songs and what songs are commercials. The other day I was driving and a new song came on, and I was like, “Is this the new Foo Fighters?” “No, wait, it’s Executive Honda.”
Linkin Leatham was described as a “miracle” child by the Provo Daily Herald in Utah, after overcoming multiple illnesses as an infant and going on to become a fully healthy toddler. Unfortunately Linkin couldn’t overcome the dangers of his own household. The toddler accidentally shot himself in the head with his father’s handgun, which apparently was left loaded and sitting out in the open. More, from the Huffington Post:
Melinda and Owen Leatham were in their Springville home last Tuesday when their son picked up a handgun left at his eye level and inadvertently fired it, according to KSL. But they didn’t see him do it.
Owen Leatham is a police officer, but the weapon that killed Linkin wasn’t his service gun, reports said.
This is a tragic story, but there’s one important question that must be asked. I know, I know, people would like to simply mourn for this child instead of discussing difficult issues, but when a story like this emerges, we owe it to ourselves to ask the tough questions. And that tough question, as I’m sure you can guess, is this: Is this kid named after Linkin Park? I mean, Linkin isn’t a name, right? And even if it was, it would be spelled Lincoln. Plus he’s a few years old, so he would have been conceived right around the time that Linkin Park’s “Minutes to Midnight” was popular. I know America was founded on freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility, and I think it’s the height of irresponsibility to name your child after a rap-rock band. I’m sure the father will claim that he chose the name to protect his child from being associated with pussy indie bands. But you know what? Ultimately it was the father who made his child suffer. Suffer through a horrible name. That’s why we need name control in this country.
A Harvard professor has discovered something that is causing uproar in the religious community; a new scroll that suggests Jesus had a wife. And better yet, the scroll suggests that his wife was Mary, who FYI for you non-religious folks was Jesus’ mom. Maybe that’s why they call Jerusalem “The Biblical Tennessee.” Fox News elaborates:
Karen King, an expert in the history of Christianity, said the text contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers to “my wife,” whom he identifies as Mary. King says the fragment of Coptic script is a copy of a gospel, probably written in Greek in the second century.
Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was unmarried even though there was no reliable historical evidence to support that, King said. The new gospel, she said, “tells us that the whole question only came up as part of vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”
Before everyone jumps to conclusions, I should point out that this type of language was once used to refer to your faith, so even if the scroll is legitimate, Jesus could be referencing his “marriage” to Christianity. Either way, it’s strange. I never really thought about this before, but most people who worship Jesus also support marriage and family values. Yet they hold these beliefs knowing that Jesus was unmarried, had no children, and grew up with separated parents. So how did they come to this idea that family was the core of religion, when their savior was a swinging bachelor? It’s like if everyone in the ASPCA worshipped Michael Vick. That’s a statement on the contradiction between followers and their idol, by the way. I’m not trying to imply that Jesus was anything like Michael Vick. After all, Jesus was a much better pocket passer.
To say that they don’t care for homosexuals in Malaysia is an understatement. Now, to help combat the spread of gay, the Malaysian government is working with teachers and parents to help identify markers of homosexuality. Public enemy #1? V-neck shirts. The government also warns about sleeveless shirts, as well as these characteristics…
So far, the group has organized ten seminars on this new form of parental gaydar with the latest one attracting 1,500 attendees in the majority Muslim country. According to Asian media outlets, other tell-tale signs of homosexuality for men include carrying “big handbags, similar to those carried by women,” wearing tight, light-colored clothes and possessing a “chiseled” physique.
So wearing V-necks, taking the sleeves off your shirt, carrying a bag and having rock-hard abs makes you a homosexual. By that logic, pretty much every meathead at New York Sports Club is secretly gay. Hmmm. Yeah, I can get on board with that.
There are many annoying things about political season, but one stands out above the rest: robocalls. With these automated sales calls, telemarketers are able to call millions of people within a couple hours. And it’s not just politicians using this tactic. Robocalls have tripled over the past two years, and the amount of complaints that the government has received regarding telemarketers has more than doubled. All this has occurred despite the government’s Do Not Call list, which was created specifically to stop this kind of thing.
Telemarketers are supposed to check the list at least every 31 days for numbers they can’t call. But some are calling anyway, and complaints about phone pitches are climbing even as the number of telemarketers checking the registry has dropped dramatically.
The industry says most legitimate telemarketers don’t utilize robocalls to generate sales.
"They give a bad name to telemarketers and hurt everybody," says Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at Direct Marketing Association, a trade group.
I signed up for the do not call list a year ago and it has made exactly zero difference in the amount of telemarketing calls I get. If anything it’s gotten worse. How is that possible? It’s like if you signed up for match.com, and instead of meeting your soulmate, they sent girls to your house to laugh at you and ask why you can’t get a date.
You ever see that movie Limitless? No? It’s that movie with Bradley Cooper, where gets takes these pills to give him… Bradley Cooper… you know, that guy from the Hangover. No, not the one from The Office. The good-looking guy. Still nothing? Alright, well anyway, scientists have created a brand of nootropics, or “smart drugs,” that are designed to create superior human beings by regulating the brain’s neuron synapses in order to achieve maximum levels of neurotransmitters… Dude, this would be a lot easier if you had seen Limitless. Just picture a drug that makes you Superman. Now read this:
In the US, racetams and certain other nootropics can only be sold as research chemicals, not for human consumption. Despite this fact, many companies still market their wares as supplements on various merchant sites such as Amazon and Ebay and as the FDA shuts one down two more pop up. Other companies have relabeled their products as research chemicals in an effort to sidestep the FDA’s jurisdiction. On the customer’s side, it is completely legal to order and possess any amount of racetams if ordered domestically, and up to a three month supply (as defined by Customs) if ordered from overseas.
Too bad being smart has little to do with success. The smartest kid in my high school had an 85 average because he preferred listening to Queensryche albums over doing homework. I have a few friends who are studying to be doctors, and don’t get me wrong, they’re bright, but they succeed because they do 30-shifts and spend countless hours reading up on biology, not because their neuron synapses are blocked by a reversible acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. If scientists want to make better human beings, they need to invent a drug that inspires people to work harder and never rest on their laurels. I’m not sure how those drugs would work, but I assume when you take them, an Asian father would appear and scream, “WHY YOU NO GET PERFECT SCORE?!?!?!??!?!?!?”
Los Angeles rapper Jew’elz, who is equally unknown by his real name Ervin McKiness, died the other day when a car containing five rappers drove recklessly through an intersection and crashed into a residential backyard. The driver of the vehicle was drunk at the time. And now, in an ironic twist, it has been revealed that Jew’elz tweeted the phrase “YOLO” just before the crash. For the uninitiated, “YOLO” stands for “You Only Live Once,” a phrase that has become popular with “the kids.” The full tweet, which will wipe away any sadness you may have had over this guy’s death, can be seen above. The LA Weeklyhas more about the incident:
The vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Sentra, was reportedly being driven by 21-year-old Jonathan Watson, another young rapper who affiliates with Ontario rap crew Fly Rider$ on his Facebook profile. The car’s three other passengers — 23-year old Marquell Bogan, 23-year old JaJuan Bennett and 20-year-old Dylan George — were likewise declared dead after the Sentra allegedly ran a red light and crashed into someone’s backyard in suburban Ontario.
Even by the comically low standards to which our society holds rappers, this is a new low point in displaying good judgment. We should really change the phrase YOLO to YODO, “You Only Die Once.” People live for a long time, and you’ll have plenty of chances to have fun and make an impression on the world. But you only get one death. You should try to die as an old man, with a loving family who cherishes your memory for a long time. Or, if you’re gonna die young, it should be as a hero, on an Afghan battlefield or running into a burning building to save a child. You don’t want to use up your one death drinking Alize and driving your Sentra into someone’s barbeque pit. But hey, maybe I’m just too old to understand “YOLO” like the kids. It’s possible. I don’t really get Skillrex either.
For a long time we’ve heard about the differences in pay between men and women; how women earn 70 cent to a man’s dollar despite doing equal work. It seems that the current recession has changed all of that. It’s men who are now struggling, losing jobs en masse while more and more women are getting hired for important positions. What caused this change? Here’s one opinion, from the NY Times:
In elementary and high school, male academic performance is lagging. Boys earn three-quarters of the D’s and F’s. By college, men are clearly behind. Only 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees go to men, along with 40 percent of master’s degrees.
Thanks to their lower skills, men are dropping out of the labor force.
The women she meets are flooding into new jobs and new opportunities — going back to college, pursuing new careers. The men are waiting around for the jobs that left and are never coming back. They are strangely immune to new options.
Let’s not forget that most CEOs are still men. Guys are hit-or-miss. We’re like USC football. Sometimes we’re winning the National Championship, and sometimes we’re on probation for rules violations. Meanwhile girls are more like Texas A&M. They always end up 7-5 and playing in the Alamo Bowl. I know that might sound harsh, but don’t worry, the metaphor involves football, so no girls will understand.
The FBI is about to spend $1 billion to implement facial-recognition technology as a crime-fighting technique. This will allow the feds to pick out criminals out of a crowd using basic everyday security cameras. It will also make it a lot easier for the FBI to tag people on their Facebook page. From Mashable:
Government agencies will now start using a person’s face, along with other biometric data like DNA analysis, iris scans, and voice identification, to determine a person’s identity. In other words, if you have a criminal record, the police will no longer simply take your fingerprints and snap a mugshot; they’ll keep a record accurate enough to let them pick you out of crowd anywhere you go.
I should have become a cop. The way technology is going, in ten years cops won’t even have to leave their desk to bust crime. A facial-recognition camera will identify the perpetrators and a robot will apprehend them. All the cops will have to do is control the robot with a joystick. It’ll be like playing Mario Kart, except now Bowser is a breaking & entering suspect. If any high school kids are reading this, make sure you think about where technology is headed before you choose your college major. You can major in criminal justice, and in ten years you’ll be paid for watching video screens. Or you can be like me and major in radio/TV/film, and in ten years, two of those three things won’t even exist.
Following the lead of successful companies like AirBNB, a new app called Local Drunk helps connect strangers by finding someone for you to have to beer with. Which is great. Because whenever I meet up with random strangers from Craigslist, my only complaint is, “I wish these people were drunk.” From TechCrunch:
Here’s how the app works. First you sign in with Facebook and state if you are visiting the city or if you are a Local Drunk. As a guest, you pay for the drinks and the local shows you the places to go. On your profile, aside from the traditional profile pic, name and age information, the app invites you to input your drink of choice and budget.
Then, it’s all about the evening. A chat is initiated and you can share your location and pictures of the night. The next morning, you get a notification to rate each other — let’s hope the hangover is not too bad. It is built for multiple people but the current version showcased the one-on-one experience.
I’m looking forward to the Missed Connections portion of this site. “You were standing at the 7th Street bus stop with a bottle opener keychain, looking completely sober. I was sitting on the bench with a 6-pack of Sam Adams and no way to open it. We belong together. Call me.”