Spongebob Squarepants Rectal Thermometer

Jerry Beck, who co-edits the Cartoon Brew blog, found a disturbing thing in the supermarket recently. "This officially licensed item is wrong on so many levels," he says, and right he is. Link.


  1. Very funny, but it’s oral, axillary or rectal. Preferably not with the same thermometer. In the hospital, they’re color coded so that you don’t take a rectal temp in the morning and use the same thermometer to take an oral temp in the afternoon. Can I vote for a George W. Bush rectal thermometer? With his face on the business end?

  2. Who checks the temperature inside your bum?
    SpongeBob SquarePants!
    Invasive and yellow and probing is he?
    SpongeBob SquarePants!
    Who’s hoping he’s lubricated and been warmed?
    Spongebob Squarepants!
    So drop your shorts and spread your cheeks!
    Spongebob Squarepants!
    Spongebob Squarepants!
    Spongebob Squarepants!
    Spongebob Squarepants!
    Spongebob…… Squarepants!

  3. hee hee…:

    Continuous beep confirms you are using the thermometer correctly
    Lets you know the thermometer is properly positioned
    Signals when done

  4. Holy poor choice of product licensing, Barnacle Boy! James Dobson and other fundamentalists already claim Sponge Bob is gay. Now they really have some evidence.

    Of course, my hetero gaydar detects Squidward as being gayer than Snaglepuss in a tutu. SpongeBob might be, but he is still a sexual naif, whereas Squidward attended Bikini Bottom Community College, so we know he at least had the opportunity to explore his sexual identity. Then again I suppose SpongeBob is technically asexual, being a sponge and all.

    It’s very much confusing. I guess you have to be a hardcore born-again Christian filled with the Holy Spirit to really figure out the sexual proclivities of cartoon characters.

  5. This post amounts to ‘Ha ha, you said rectal!’ I mean, it’s a standard, normal thermometer. Yes, it can be used rectally, just like any other digital thermometer of this sort — but then, it can also be used in the other typical ways, too.

  6. They’re idiots. Fred Flintstone makes the list, but The Mighty Hercules doesn’t? “Softness in his eyes, iron in his thighs”? He ditches his beard, I mean girlfriend, Helena, to hang out with an effeminate jailbait centaur with echolalia. He derives his power from his jewelry for chrissakes. Even the villain, Daedelus, wanders around with a big fluffy cat. That cartoon inducted an entire generation of American boys into the innuendo of man-love. I still can’t hear that theme song without, er, feeling funny.

  7. maybe there can be a the gay teletubby (as if there’s any other kind) ass thermo-meter. that would sell like flapjacks.

  8. No, I don’t see Fred as gay at all. What about gay anime characters? Naruto is kind of gay. And the Transformers? Definitely.

  9. What about gay anime characters?

    Almost the whole cast of Fruits Basket. Also incestuous. And transgendered. Several of Inuyasha’s foes wanted to shag him and kill him, not necessarily in that order. Anime from Japan is rife with gay and transgendered characters, particularly if the show is aimed at twelve year old girls.

    And the Transformers?

    Bumblebee is pretty gay. In the film, you can tell that he really wants Shia LeBeouf inside him.

  10. What about gay anime characters?

    I guessing the listowner thought about it, then quickly realized that the list would be absolutely flooded if he included anime characters. So he wisely decided to leave them off.

  11. @27: it was a Pentagon report, not CIA. The news article about it was four years out of date. The spin on the story was misleading, suggesting that the Pentagon had said that global warming was real and that cities would be inundated by flooding due to rising sea levels “as early as next year”.

    As the report was from 2004 or earlier, and none of the floods in the past four or five years was due to sea level rise, it looked a little foolish.

    The Pentagon was gaming out scenarios, and correctly suggesting that catastrophic climate change should be considered a security threat. Doing so would allow the armed forces in the U.S. to expend resources preparing for it.

    I have no idea why the article was pulled. It seems to me to be an excellent window into the nature of environmental politics, and the effect of the web thereon. Political organizations like Greenpeace have always made their money from hysterical predictions.

    I’m old enough to remember when the Alaska Pipeline was going to kill all the caribou, but those predictions are for the most part dead and buried in newspaper archives, unlike the caribou herds that continue to flourish. Today, we can all see how the lying bastards have been claiming for a decade that the sky is going to fall tomorrow.

    Perhaps this will eventually lead to a greater degree of responsibility from lobbyists, as they realize that the only way to deal effectively with serious environmental threats like anthropogenic global warming is to not deliberately mislead people about the nature of the situation, the uncertainties involved, and the practical ways of mitigating risks.

    Unfortunately, for political lobbyists who thrive on disaster populism, practical mitigations often do not involve increasing their own political influence, which makes the whole approach kind of irrelevant for them.

    As it stands, global warming has been going to kill us all next year, for the past decade.

  12. Can someone tell me why exactly this is “wrong on so many levels”? Someone doesn’t have kids if that’s what they think.

  13. Thanks Tom,

    I agree with you. It has become a social rather than natural disaster waiting to happen.

    It has become a witch hunt. And like the case was im sure it still is, those behind the plot should be put on trail to be burned a the stake.

    Everyone knows they are scared that when the pole caps melt, we will find out about the entrances to middle earth where Hitler rules over the lizard people. And this before his army is ready to enslave us all for the rest of our lives.

  14. #@9 Tom
    those predictions are for the most part dead and buried in newspaper archives, unlike the caribou herds that continue to flourish.

    Those predictions were accurate had accommodations in the pipeline’s design not been made.

    the only way to deal effectively with serious environmental threats like anthropogenic global warming is to not deliberately mislead people about the nature of the situation

    Tell that to Exxon and General Motors. The lies and propaganda against the reality of climate change have been coming chiefly from the corporations affected and from the nutcase right.

    #30 Jacques
    Can someone tell me why exactly this is “wrong on so many levels”? Someone doesn’t have kids if that’s what they think.

    I’ve been through this age with my children. You don’t need cartoon characters on a thermometer to get them to cooperate and take their temp. It isn’t that hard and this really is kind of creepy if you ask me. It’s also funny.

    #31 Johannes
    It has become a witch hunt.
    The oil industry has deliberately gamed the debate. They hired “scientists” to submit fraudulent studies. They had their shills in the media ridicule and deceive. The level of pure bullshit is on par with the Creation Science Inst. They deserve to be held to account, though I doubt that will ever happen.

  15. Is this really a hybrid, global warming cover-up / Spongebob ass-jabber thread? OMG! They’re both about temperature.

  16. noted climate scientist and General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz today commented on the SpongeBob thermometer as “for a crock of crap”.

  17. Noen@32: With regard to the Alaska Pipeline, there were claims made that caribou would not cross disturbed ground, ever, and therefore would never cross the pipeline route, anywhere, ever. Absolute falsehoods, but hard to find the exact references today. The Web makes it much easier to spot this kind of thing and embarrass the lying bastards who do it.

    I don’t see the relevance of your comments regarding Exxon et al, although there’s a parable about motes and beams that might apply, I guess. I am a computational physicist, and as such know a little bit about the business of modelling. There are very good reasons to be concerned about the accuracy of GCM’s, and while I support action on carbon emission reductions it is simply not rational to put all concerns about the effect and severity of anthropogenic climate change into the same bucket as creation “science.”

    As soon as people get typed according to their results rather than their methods you know you’re not dealing with science any more. On that basis, there is virtually no science in the public debate on climate change, on either side. Any time I try to bring science up, I get pasted from one side or the other, depending on the forum where the issue is raised.

    Johannes @31: That’s right! The Hitler-lizards are going to come storming out and stick Sponge-Bob thermometers up our butts!

  18. Absolute falsehoods?

    Two minutes googling make it clear it is not that clear. Words like “absolute” seldom go well with animal behaviour.

  19. On that basis, there is virtually no science in the public debate on climate change, on either side.

    The trouble with science is that the scientists sometimes don’t look up from the beaker to notice that the lab is on fire. Climate change models have repeatedly proven to be too conservative. I think that we have to put a little more faith in empiricism than theoretical models at this moment in time.

  20. you really do have to consider who you are going to trust regarding “scientific opinions”. Edward Teller a good case in point.

  21. Tom – this has gone way off topic so I don’t know if I should pursue this much more. On the other hand Teresa has said that online discussions can meander so I think there is some leeway.

    Hummmm… computational physicist, does that mean oil industry? Are you here on your own free time or is this a professional visit?

    Re: The Alaska pipeline. My point is that we have an adversarial system. If environmentalists never pushed for clean air and water we’d still have lead in our gas and a Love Canal in your backyard.

    I don’t see the relevance of your comments regarding Exxon The relevance is that you complained about people being deliberately mislead and I replied by pointing out that the big culprits there are Exxon and other similar interests who do exactly that.

    re: The quality of the computer models used by climatologists. From what I have read on Real Climate and other science blogs, the models used are physically based. That is, they model the interactions down to the atomic level using conventional physics. Perhaps you could provide a link to any discussions you’ve had. I would be interested in reading them.

    it is simply not rational to put all concerns into […] the same bucket as creation “science.” In 99 percent of the debates that I have had my opponents were very much in the same league as creationism. They usually get their “facts” from JunkScience.com. Many are illiterate and can barely form a coherent sentence. The rest are exactly at the same level of understanding as any creationist. As a practical matter, I have seen little difference between the two.

    Any time I try to bring science up, I get pasted from one side or the other I can understand how frustrating that is. I’ve had similar experiences in different places too. I have found that it requires a little extra diplomacy on my part. Not fair but whadda ya gonna do?

  22. @#33 Antinous

    Is this really a hybrid, global warming cover-up / Spongebob ass-jabber thread?

    Makes a lot of sense to me….goes with BB’s fondness of mashups…

  23. Umm.. it’s a regular digital thermometer.

    Virtually any thermometer can be used in a variety of locations, even rectally -if you want to bad enough.

    Submitter may suffer from IFSS (Internet Freudian Slip Syndrome)

  24. Takuan @37: Caribou are negatively affected by pipelines. That is not an issue, at least to me. There’s debate about the size of the effect, but I don’t think anyone is claiming it to be anything other than negative.

    Rather, I’m talking about the claims that were made in the ’70’s that caribou do not cross disturbed ground, ever. That is an absolute claim, and it’s falsity is therefore equally absolute. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a link to those claims, as the Web hadn’t been invented back then. Whereas we do have links today that makes it easy to reference equally embarrassing gaffs on the part of political lobbyists who want to use climate change for their own ends.

    Noen @41: I was wondering if you’d suggest that I might be a shill for Big Oil. I’m not, but you only have my word for it, and if I was that’s exactly what I’d say, isn’t it?

    If I were really an agent of Big Oil, I’d clandestinely support the most radical members of the political climate change lobby. I’d encourage them to make outrageous claims, like “millions will be displaced in flooding due to sea level rise as early as next year!” And after encouraging them to cry wolf for a few years, I’d pay off a few reporters to make them a laughingstock.

    In any case, your understanding of GCM’s is optimistic. They are based on physics, obviously, but very coarse-grained physics. Everything that happens in the atmosphere at less than grid scale (which is typically tens of kilometers even in fine-grained models) is handled heursitically. Vertical flows are particularly problematic. This does not mean that they are certainly wrong with regard to scales much larger than grid scale, but let’s just say I wouldn’t want to fly in an aircraft that had been designed using nothing more than a laminar flow code.

    To take a concrete example: hurricanes are still a very active area of GCM research, because no GCM is capable of modelling eye-wall physics natively. That is, GCMs used for modelling global climate change over a century or more do not have adequate resolution to model important aspects of hurricanes without adding additional physics by hand, based on what the modeller thinks ought to do the job. Hurricanes are quite significant climate influencers. Gaps like this in our models are areas of legitimate concern, but while the research is going on, there hasn’t been much acknowledgement of the potential for revisions (upward or downward) of climate predictions based on the current more limited models.

    I am not a climate modeller, although I know a bit about fluid mechanics. Most of my modelling work has been in nuclear and particle physics, where we really are modelling things down to the atomic scale. In that case, where we have exact theories for almost every important cross-section, and a wealth of precisely measured input data, agreement between model and reality at the 10% level is considered extremely good.

    By comparison, climate models are far more complex and approximate. It is a triumph that they resemble reality at all. But treating their results as anything other than an impressionist’s sketch of future climate is a mistake.

    That said: we’d be fools not to limit our greenhouse gas emissions. We know that there has been catastrophic climate change in the past, and we know we’re hitting the planet’s atmosphere with a hammer and waiting to see what happens.

    But just as fear that creationists would misconstrue legitimate scientific debate as “proof evolution is wrong” stifled progress in evolutionary theory for decades, fear that Big Oil will spin any disagreement within the scientific community into political gain is stifling progress in climate modelling by creating political fissures within the scientific community over issues that should be simply matters of scientific disagreement.

    The trick is to get people to take action on climate change without making claims that cannot be scientifically justified. I think this can, and should, be done.

    And with that, I’m going to stop hijacking this thread. Thanks for the discussion.

  25. Climate changes; that’s what it’s always done and always will do.

    The causality is of less importance (to me) than the fact that it happens. Seems to me the challenge is to redesign our infrastructure to be lighter, more flexible, and more mobile. Large, centralized systems like our power grid need to be re-thought now that technology allows options such as numerous decentralized power generating nodes instead our current few centralized ones, making the grid more resilient in a way similar to the internet. Some locations are better suited for solar, some for hydro, some for wind, some for natural gas. Build what works best where it works best, and feed the grid that way. This type of approach may work well for a lot of our current problems.

    That said, I don’t think the “Spongebob Squarepants Rectal Thermometer” is nearly as disturbing as, say, a “Where’s Waldo” or maybe a “Transformers” rectal thermometer would be. It would be very unfortunate if you couldn’t find Waldo or if the thermometer started transforming at the wrong moment, you know…

  26. Likewise Tom, thanks for the discussion. The only reason I asked if you were shilling for big oil is because I know it happens. People are paid as “Blog Warriors” to troll certain websites. I didn’t know for sure so I asked.

  27. I am seriously tempted to remove all the global warming comments from this thread. I won’t, though. I’m just going to require that they also contain discussions of Spongebob Squarepants, rectal thermometers, and gay cartoon characters.

    Antinous, for a while I thought that list gave negative-number ratings to characters that the voters thought definitely weren’t gay, but that can’t be true. They’ve got Bugs Bunny listed at -18, and he’s the only character in the Warner continuum who likes to cross-dress and smooch Elmer Fudd.

  28. Is this really a hybrid, global warming cover-up / Spongebob ass-jabber thread? OMG! They’re both about temperature.

    Yay, now we can stick SpongeBob up the ass of the Global Warming Cover Up people.

    wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong……yet creepy and funny, too.

  29. Wimps. There are a lot of global warming posts in jeopardy, but hardly anyone’s working to save them. Perhaps I should assume that there’ll be no outcry if they’re removed.

    Tom, I’m still not pleased with you. This isn’t your weblog. How do you figure that when the editors decide to remove something, it’s your place to revive it?

    Johannes, because they wanted to. You got a problem with that?

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