• Prepare thyself for International Dark Sky Week

    The ominous sounding International Dark Sky Week is anything but. There will be no four horsemen galloping down to lay waste upon civilization, at least I hope not, plus, that's already happening with Covid. Instead we have a week where the Earth basks in the darkness of a new moon and allows for the most spectacular stargazing.

    via Good News Network:

    International Dark Sky Week was launched in 2003 by, fittingly enough, the International Dark Sky Association—an Arizona-based non-profit that works to "to preserve and protect the night time environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting."

    But what if you're in an area where abundant city light blocks out the meteor spotting you would like to do? The International Dark Sky Association has an interactive map showing special 'dark sky' designations to places around the globe , check out this interactive map to see where there's a dark sky site near you. Other benefits of the new moon is werewolf-free environments, and generally fewer vampires.

  • Celebrated zookeeper and Letterman guest Jack Hanna retiring due to dementia

    One of David Letterman's greatest guests, Jack Hanna, has to retire, according to his family. The animal expert has been stricken with dementia.

    via CNN:

    "Doctors have diagnosed our dad, Jack Hanna, with dementia, now believed to be Alzheimer's disease," Hanna's family wrote in a statement posted to his verified Twitter account. "His condition has progressed much faster in the last few months than any of us could have anticipated," the statement read. "Sadly, Dad is no longer able to participate in public life as he used to, where people all over the world watched, learned and laughed alongside him."

    Jack Hanna's visits to the David Letterman show were legendary and this particular segment with baby tigers, scorpions and tiny snakes writhing all over Dave's desk is one of the best.

  • Mississippi Republican Secretary of State worried about "woke college students" voting

    Not that we need blatant boneheaded statements to know the nefarious thoughts that dwell within the GOP, but this kind of reminder is still nice. Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson gives the same reason men gave for over a century prohibiting women to vote up until 1920 and the 19th amendment: they're too uninformed to cast ballots. Too stupid, Mr. Watson? Too liberal? Thank God, as Secretary of State, with the charge of protecting your state's voting rights you are here to save us from these "woke" college students. Watson's statement is in response to President Biden's executive order to expand voter registration.

    via Salon:

    Biden's March 7 executive order instructs federal agencies to find ways to "expand citizens' opportunities to register to vote" and evaluate ways they can "promote voter registration and voter participation," such as including information in agency materials and websites. It also instructs agencies to find ways to "provide access to voter registration services and vote-by-mail ballot applications" in their dealings with the public and to assist applicants who need help registering. It makes no mention of colleges or universities, nor automatic voter registration.

    Watson falsely described the order as "basically employing all the federal agencies, universities and colleges to register as many folks as they can via this automatic voter registration."

  • Discarded masks and gloves on the rise in oceans

    Masks and gloves are saving us all from the scourge of the pandemic. They're also helping poison the Earth's oceans, thanks to the negligence of oafs. How a conscientious mask-wearer can also be a litterer, dropping their PPE into waterways rather than garbage cans, is a true head-scratcher. Here's a solution: wear reusable, washable cloth masks to cut down on plastic consumption altogether.

    via AP:

    In the second half of 2020, more than 107,000 items of PPE were collected by volunteers around the world according to the Ocean Conservancy group — a figure its members believe is a vast undercount of the year's true totals.

    "Once in the environment, disposable PPE act like any other single-use plastic, likely never breaking down but rather breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces and persisting indefinitely," said Nicholas Mallos, senior director of the Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program. "In fact, a recent study found that a single disposable mask can shed up to 173,000 microfibers — tiny plastic fibers — in a single day.

    The revelation that the average American consumes a credit card size amount of plastic every week continues to be very believable and gross. But, lest anyone read this and think they are doing their part saving the environment by NOT wearing a mask. Do not let anyone get away with that. And using the "173,000 plastic micro fibers" stat as an excuse for going maskless in the Panera, is some bologna. Wear masks. Cloth ones if possible.

  • MLB moves All Star Game to Denver to protest new Georgia voting restrictions, Jen Psaki weighs in

    In protest of the new voting bill signed into law last week by Georgia Governor and sucker for Trump's big election lie, Brian Kemp, Major League Baseball has pulled the All-Star Game from Atlanta. The law requires identification for absentee voting, limits ballot drop boxes and prohibits offering food or water to voters in line, all of which makes voting harder on people of color in underserved areas. The All-Star Game has been moved to Denver's Coors Field.

    Faux News' Peter Doocy couldn't resist trying to zing it to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki with flimsy facts and a Colorado comparison question:

    via CNBC:

    MLB has faced backlash from politicians for moving the game and also faced opposition from the Braves, which is owned by Liberty Media Corp. An official from Cobb Travel and Tourism in Georgia told CNN the state could suffer an economic loss of over $100 million due to the relocation.

    Critics, including the CEOs of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, have condemned the changes as being too restrictive.

  • Long shot Akil Baddoo does this with his first MLB pitch, his parents go wild

    Akil Baddoo was surprised to even be invited to spring training by the Detroit Tigers, but to make the regular season team? A pipe dream. But after having a scorching hot spring training with the Tigers that pipe dream became reality. Baddoo was selected by the Tigers this year in the Rule 5 draft, where one team can pick unprotected players from another team, in Baddoo's case the Tigers snagged him from the Minnesota Twins. Baddoo played 4 years in the depths of the Twins' minor league system, suffered career hampering injury and did not play at all last year due to the minor leagues' covid cancelled season. So, Akil was a long shot at best, but his storybook start could not have been written better, with his very first major league pitch in his very first major league at bat.

    The fact that his parents got to witness what Akil did with that first pitch is the icing on the Baddoo cake.

    via AP:

    Baddoo gave the bat a little flip, and his excitement was obvious as he rounded the bases. He said after the game he didn't remember what exactly was going through his mind.

    "I couldn't tell you," he said. "I was just so happy that I was able to put a good swing on the ball and hit a home run."

    The Tigers host a series versus the Minnesota Twins this week. Will Baddoo be extra motivated to beat the team that overlooked him? Stay tuned.

  • Watch The Daily Show's Women's History Month calendar montage…of recent acts against women

    Women's History Month is supposed to be about lauding accomplishments of women in hopes that the victories of the past might open the door wider for the future. That doesn't seem to be happening. The Daily Show's day-by-day video calendar account of all of the atrocities that happened during this Women's History Month isn't even ironic. It would be ironic if during Women's History Month an inORDinate explosion of offenses, assaults and crimes against women suddenly sprang up, but that's not the case. These things are just daily life.

    But it's a sound juxtaposition to have all of these recent high profile acts against women highlighted in the month that is supposed to be focused on honoring them. I'm certain we could do the same for Black History Month, it wouldn't even have to be February. Pick any month and I'll bet you we can find accounts in this country of daily horrific acts against African-Americans…or Asians, or LGBTQ+, or immigrants, or indigenous peoples, or the disabled, or…

    The Daily Show is generally hilarious while being poignant. This is not one of those times. This is infuriating while being poignant. Sure our schools need to keep teaching STEM but how about a full course load of HTRTPETWADTY (How To Respectfully Treat People, Especially Those Who Are Different Than You).

  • The Lion King: Did Scar eat his brother?

    A theory sprouted up on Tik Tok about the the Disney movie The Lion King. It posits that after the evil Scar orchestrated his brother Mufasa's untimely death, he devoured the corpse–which is chilling to say the least. This video explores that and then blows several holes through it, using 3 major zoological points to contradict the assertions the Tik'ers and Tok'ers make.

    Here are those points, in the event the video is too long for you: 1. Hyenas will easily eat a lion's corpse. So it stands to reason that the lion king's body was a prize left to the henchmen hyenas and not eaten by Scar. 2. Lions eating other lions is extremely rare and only done in desperation. Though a lion killing a lion, especially a cub, is more common, eating them after is not generally done. 3. The skull Scar holds up and talks to is not even a lion's skull. Upon closer inspection the skull has all of the characteristics of a baboon instead. Debunked? Sure.

    While it is interesting to muse about the morbidity of Disney brother eating Disney brother and it's just as fun to use science to quash those theories offered by children on Tik Tok, none of that really matters unless you speak to the writers/creators/director of the film to ever really know what the intent of the writing was. Sure, because the Lion King follows a lot of the science of animal behavior in it's story, we have to remember that it's fiction, before digging in and using science to win here. Hyenas don't generally let some lion boss them around the savanna, do they? Wart hogs and meerkats palling around is highly unlikely. And, if a baboon tried to hold a lion cub up to the sun in front of its mother that would be the last thing that baboon ever did. Look, if the writer says Scar ate Mufasa, then Scar at Mufasa. If the writer did not, then a dozen other things could have happened to the body. Maybe it's in Joe Pesci's trunk. Who knows?

    I know it's enjoyable to stick it to the Tik Tok'ers flimsy theories, and these kinds of debates are good fun but when you leave out the part that this is a MADE UP story and the science is only applied to certain parts anyway, then it's a hollow victory. Get the writer/director/studio to go on record for the real answer.

  • Ravens stealing food from Anchorage Costco shoppers

    The "ravens of Anchorage" sounds like a viking jazz trio and, as it turns out, are as equally smooth as the musical ensemble name intimates. Actual ravens have been plundering shopping carts at a Costco parking lot in Anchorage, Alaska. One poor sap turned around and two of these winged-raiders made off with a short rib, tearing it right out of its packaging and flying away, presumably to feast at their evil lair.

    The line that broke me was when Anchorage resident Tamara Josey refers to the ravens as "calculating." Those little so-and-sos! I admire every bit of their oily black feathers and thieving little hearts.

    Tamara said some ravens hovered over her at the Costco, plotting a way to make off with some of her newly purchased goods.

    via AP:

    "I had two ravens, one that was on the car next to me and he kept squawking really loud," Josey said. "He would sit on the car and stare at me, then hop next to the bed of the truck on the other side, and he kept going back and forth. The other raven was on the ground. He kept trying to pull — I had those little mini-melons you have in the mesh baggies — he kept trying to grab the netting and pull my melons off the cart."

    A raven started to fly in a circle around Josey until she got them to scram.

    "He was waiting for another opportunity to grab the melons off the cart, but they never were deterred," she said. "They just stayed posted, waiting for their next opportunity to steal something out of my cart."

    "They are very dedicated to their mission," she added.

    Well put, Tamara Josey. Thank you for putting the actions of scrounging hungry birds into terms of an elite strike force bound by honor.

  • Throwback video of Daily Show's response to Anti-Asian "comedy" piece on Fox News

    Fox News harbored sexual harasser Bill O'Reilly, whose offensive show pandered to the gaggle of dopes his former network still attracts. The pre-2016 presidential election segment featuring correspondent Jesse Watters going to New York's Chinatown to denigrate and ridicule the Asian-American people living there, and the Daily Show's Ronny Chieng's response, was revisited recently in this current time of hate received by Asians. Watters' trip to Chinatown was his attempt at doing comedy Daily Show-style–like a Bizarro World cookie cutter–it was backwards. It reinforced the notion that conservatives generally struggle with comedy because they so often "punch down" at the innocent rather than skewer those who have it coming.

    Ronny Chieng's answer to the ignorant Watters video is a partial map of where we were and how we got here when it comes to the hatred Asian-Americans have faced and has recently intensified. The hatred is in no small part due to the right's normalizing of terms like "China virus" and "Kung Flu", propagated by the disgraced former buffoon-in-chief Donald J. Trump. No, Trump did not invent Americans hating Asians, those atrocities are well documented over the last 200 years in our country. But he certainly rekindled it by pointing all of the Covid blame at China, and sent the not-so-subtle message to Americans that we're only in this mess because Asians brought a disease to our shores, so…

    Look at Watters' video work here as the continued sowing of the Trump seeds of anti-Asian sentiment from the 2016 campaign. Also see how comedy is done poorly, and then watch how it's supposed to be done. Fabulous work Ronny Chieng.

  • "Not haunted" house for sale in Boston area

    A good way to take care of the nagging suspicion home buyers most certainly have about a potential home they are looking at being inhabited by specters and ghostly ghouls, is to state clearly a strong selling-point to the contrary right on the real estate yard sign. "4 acre lot", "In-ground pool" and "Not haunted" really step up a unit's first impression. God knows, in the Boston area all those ghosts of the Revolutionary War commonly menace the New England populace so it's best to nip any possibility of it in the bud from the outset. In this case, however, no one associated with the sale of the home attached added paranormal information to the sign. It is believed to be a prank by an unknown party (damn kids!). Twitter user Margot Bloomstein spotted the sign and posted this photo:

  • Cargo ship stuck in Suez canal took a route that resembles genitalia

    There is a gigantic container ship that's remains run aground and is currently blocking the Suez Canal. After closer inspection of the ship's GPS tracking it seems that the route taken by the quarter-mile long vessel named MV Ever Given, drew out a dick, balls and ass in the Red Sea. The same Red Sea of the Bible and the one that Moses parted to get his people to safety. Dick, balls and ass in the Red Sea. Come on!

    via HuffPost:

    Disinformation researcher John Scott-Railton suggested the X-rated route of the boat ― which is traveling from China to Rotterdam ― was not intentional, describing it on Twitter as "innocent, but terrible luck."

    Terrible luck? That captain accidentally took a phallic, testicular and gluteus route by happenstance? Like most juvenile stunts gone wrong, I think dude thought it would be funny to show his other little seamen buddies what he drew with his boat in the Red Sea via GPS tracking. He got blown off course, ran aground and now has to deal with this embarrassment. But I do give respect for the artistic and comedic expression of it all.

  • Racist anti-mask Trump supporter on camera at bakery

    This woman transcends the term "Karen". She's ten times worse than someone with a dated haircut who wants to complain to a manager. Stephanie Denaro of Queens, NY shows her absolute abhorrence of her fellow man by calling the worker at this Manhattan bakery a racist slur and refusing to wear a mask in Essex Market.

    If there is anything humorous in this video, and there really isn't, every part of it is infuriating and insulting to every person who believes in showing common decency to others, it might be the annoying way the woman pronounces "bagels" when she says "I just want to order some…Bagels". Listen for that one. Shortly after that she drops a hate-filled "N" bomb at the guy just trying to calmly do his job…with her 4 kids in audience.

    via Huffpost:

    Someone in the clip can be heard saying the woman claimed a medical problem. In an interview with the New York Daily News, the woman, who identified herself as Stephanie Denaro of Queens, griped that "they're forcing people in New York City to wear masks."

    "It's political theater," Denaro told the paper. "I don't believe in COVID-19. It's a hoax to convince people to use absentee ballots to steal the election from Donald Trump."

    Asked why she used the bigoted taunt, the woman replied: "All of my children have a Black father. That's a term I've heard them use all my life."

    I'm relatively certain that without reading my headline or the quote in the HuffPost you would have figured out that she supports the disgraced former president and current mastadon Donald J. Trump.

  • Small piece of Wright brothers plane will take flight on Mars

    NASA's Martian chopper, named Ingenuity, will take flight on the red planet some time in April, and attached to the helicopter is a fabric swatch from aeronautical history. A piece of muslin from the Wright brothers' first airplane has made the trip to Mars and will be part of the first helicopter ride there. NASA requested the historic artifact and the Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio, the Wrights' hometown, agreed to donate a stamp-size piece of fabric from the plane's bottom left wing.

    This is a very symbolic and heart-warming gesture but if this unnecessary piece of fabric, which is taped to a cable (Taped??? Like duct-taped? Oh crap) beneath the helicopter's solar panel–if that damn tape or fabric interferes with the copter and is in any way the cause of its failure to fly on Mars and gather precious Martian rocks–I am going to be so pissed!

    This is not the first time pieces of the Wright brother's plane have accompanied American space craft on important missions.

    via AP:

    A fragment of Wright Flyer wood and fabric flew to the moon with Apollo 11′s Neil Armstrong in 1969. A swatch also accompanied John Glenn into orbit aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1998. Both astronauts were from Ohio.

    Let's be forward-thinking here. If we keep jettisoning pieces of Wright brothers' planes into space there won't be anything left by the time we send our manned mission to Pluto, and then how silly will we all feel?

  • Jeanine Pirro cuts off guest praising President Biden and ends interview

    Embalmed talking head Jeanine Pirro had had enough factual information on her Fox News segment and abruptly ended the interview with prominent immigration attorney David Leopold as they discussed the immigration situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Because if you continually say nice things about President Biden on her show you're out!

    via HuffPost:

    "Jeanine, just because you say my numbers are wrong, doesn't mean they're wrong," Leopold said.

    "These are the facts!" Pirro insisted.

    "They're not facts Jeanine," Leopold replied. "Very few things that I hear on this show tonight have been facts."

    Despite her claim she doesn't tolerate lies, Pirro is one of three Fox personalities named in a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit accusing the company of repeatedly and falsely reporting that voting system company Smartmatic rigged the 2020 election.

    In the event that you are able to tolerate lies with a heaping helping of racism here is a clip featuring Pirro saying such things and yelling at Geraldo Rivera. If you can make it all the way through the clip without even as much as a single wretch, you deserve an esteemed award.