UNSCIENTIFIC URBAN LEGENDS
Cabbage patch kids are nuclear mutants
Myth: The toys were orders by the US government to prepare us for life post-nuclear holocaust.
Truth: If they were to prepare us for anything, it's the modern obesity epidemic.
Smile to save energy
Myth: It takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 to smile. Smiling saves energy.
Truth: It depends on the type of frown, the sincerity of smile and the pedantry of the researcher.
KFC's mutant meat
Myth: Kentucky Fried Chicken changed to KFC because their chickens were mutants.
Truth: Mutant chickens? Really? Oh come off it, only MacDonalds use those.
Blondes face extinction
Myth: Blondes are slowly going extinct and the last one will die out in Finland in 200 years.
Truth: You're telling me there isn't a preference for blondes. Get back to your lab, freak boy.
No swimming after dinner
Myth: If you go swimming after lunch, that's it, you're dead. This must be true, Mum said so.
Truth: There has never been a reported death linked directly to a post dinner dip.
Myth: Lemmings leap to their deaths from cliffs in mass fits of suicidal fervor.
Truth: It was Disney. They made them jump. They pushed them off a cliff on camera. Bastards.
Myth: 90% of our brains go unused, sitting dormant until we get consciousness expansion.
Truth: If you only use 10% of your brain then you're an idiot. In more ways than one.
The success of the "Wonder Bra" for under-endowed women, has encouraged
the designers to come out with a bra for over-endowed women.
It's called the "Sheep Dog Bra."
It rounds them up and points them in the right direction.
10 Symbols Whose Origins Have Been Forgotten
Lovers of mysteries know that a “red herring” is a false clue given to divert attention from the track of the real criminal. This one, however, began with an actual fish. Bloodhounds, the sharpest trackers in the world, are difficult to lose when on a scent. But a red herring, especially if it is a day or two out of the water, can produce a scent strong enough to confuse any hound if the fish is drug on the ground behind the escaping criminal.
Shaking hands in greeting or to seal a contract has been done since at least the second century BC. The gesture demonstrates that the hand holds no weapon, and is a symbol of good sportsmanship, equality, and trust. Shaking the right hands sealed a bargain, but it was important not to use the left hand, as the left hand handshake dissolved a bargain.
For many years, American president Theodore Roosevelt held the world record for handshakes. On January 1, 1907, President Roosevelt shook 8, 513 hands at a White House reception. The record was broken in July, 19 77 by a New Jersey mayor, Joseph Lazaron, who shook 11,000 hands in a single day.
Two Finger Salute
The two-finger V sign has had prominent displays. Many people remember American president Richard Nixon flashing a V, and Winston Churchill, who used it to stand for victory. Churchill turned the V around with the palm facing outward to avoid the obscene connotation the symbol has acquired in Great Britain if performed with the palm facing inward.
In the 1960s, the V became a symbol for peace. Today it is commonly used as a peace sign. The V sign was first used, as far as we know, by British bowmen after winning the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. The French bowmen had threatened to cut off the first two fingers – those that hold the arrow in place – of the British bowmen. After the battle, the British archers flashed their first two fingers to show that they were still intact.
The custom of blessing a person who sneezes has various origins. It was once thought that sneezing might release one’s soul, which was then prey to lurking evil spirits, so a person needed to be blessed. It was therefore considered bad luck to open the mouth again to thank the person for the blessing, as the evil spirits would have another chance to enter.
Another theory is that sneezing was an indication of robust good health, and that blessing the person sneezing was a form of congratulation. Most responses to sneezes, such as the German “Geshundheit!” wish the sneezer good health and/or a long life.
The thumbs up sign is most commonly (but wrongly) thought to descend from gladiatorial contests in which the audience determined whether the combatant was eligible to live or die by a thumbs up / thumbs down vote. But there are other theories. There is an old English saying ‘Here’s my thumb on it!’ which was used to seal a bargain. The two people involved each wetted a thumb and then extended it, held upwards, until the two raised thumbs came into contact with one another. It is easy to see how this custom could lead to, or support the idea of holding out a raised thumb as a sign of friendly agreement or approval. The signal has also been used by some ape species, who may just be celebrating the fact that they, like we, have opposable thumbs in the first place.
The military salute is traditionally performed by touching the eyebrow with four fingers together. Roman soldiers are thought to have initiated the procedure as a sign of shielding their eyes from the great light of their superior officers. Knights may have used it to raise their helmets as an indication that they did not intend to fight. This theory is supported by the fact that the helmet on a suit of armor is called a “sallet,” very close to the word “salute.”
The so-called Roman salute, used in the 20th century as a symbol of Fascism, has no Roman record in discourse or art. In Germany, that salute is now prohibited, punishable by up to three years in prison.
Crossing your fingers to hope for good luck used to require two people – the forefinger of one to make the wish, and of the other to support it. The cross formed was a symbol of unity and strength, and was used to ward off witches. Crossing your fingers, of course, can also be used to nullify a promise. In that case, the middle finger crossing over the index finger leaves a loophole the false promiser plans to exploit.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
Rochambeau, or rock, paper, scissors, is played all over the world as a means of resolving difficult disagreements. In one unusual case, a Florida judge tired of endless debating over the appropriate venue for depositions to be taken and ordered the participants to settle the case by an RPS game.
In Indonesia, it is earwig, human, and elephant. The earwig drives the elephant insane. The human crushes the earwig, and the elephant crushes the human. One amazingly complex version has 101 different gestures and 5050 possible non-tied results. If you’re ready to take it to another level, consult the World RPS Society. If you find out why it is called Rochambeau, please let them know. It’s still a mystery.
The source of the ubiquitous “OK” or “Okay” is lost to history, but there are many theories. One is that in the 1830s there was a rash of comic misspellings and shortened communications. NG was commonly read to mean, “No go.” SP meant small potatoes, and OK stood for “Oll Korrect.”
Another theory is that the symbol represented American president Martin Van Buren, often referred to as “Old Kinderhook.” Others say that French soldiers during the American revolution would invite girls to meet them “aux cayes,” down at the docks.
Still another possibility is that bad handwriting caused the OK to flourish. It should have been OR – standing for “order received.” Others think that Obadiah Kelley, an early railroad agent, certified bills with his initials. It is often said that American president Andrew Jackson learned a similar word from Choctaw Native Americans and popularized it. What do you think?
Most historians agree that Christ was most likely born in the spring, when Mary and Joseph went to pay their taxes. If that is the case, why do we celebrate Christmas in the wintertime? Pope Gregory can be thanked. He ordered the absorption of other religious festivals into Christianity. Pagan celebrations lightened the burden of cold, dark winters, and evergreen trees were a symbol of hope, that spring and new life would return. It was a natural fit with Christ’s promise of resurrection.
Christmas trees as we know them probably began in the 16th century. It is said that Martin Luther, walking home at night, saw stars through the branches of evergreens and found it a beautiful sight. When he duplicated the effect by putting candles on an evergreen, the modern Christmas tree was born.
Early Christians in the English-speaking world avoided Christmas trees, seeing them as a pagan custom. They became popular in America in the 1820s among Pennsylvania Germans, and the idea spread from there.
St. Nikolaas himself actually lived in Turkey in the 4th century. Known for his kindness and generosity, he was a delegate to Constantine’s Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. His name was eventually shortened from St. Nikolaas to Sinterklaas, and to Santa Claus.
Candy canes? Formed into shepherds’ staffs in the 1700s to transform a simple candy into a Christian symbol. Holly? Christ’s crown of thorns. Gift-giving? What the Wise Men started. Carols? What the angels sang. A star atop the tree? The new star said to have been first seen on the night of Christ’s birth.
Many well-meaning Christians are upset by Xmas, rather than Christmas, on Christmas cards and greetings. They see the X as a way to “take Christ out of Christmas.” Actually, the opposite is true. X is the Greek letter Chi, the first letter of the word Christ. It was used originally to prevent the disrespectful overuse of the Savior’s title in greetings and correspondence.
An expectant mother was being rushed to the hospital, but didn't quite make it.
She gave birth to her baby on the hospital lawn. Later, the father received a bill, listing "Delivery Room Fee: $500."
He wrote the hospital and reminded them the baby was born on the front lawn. A week passed, and a corrected bill arrived:
"Greens Fee: $200."
Nation's Slicked-Back-Hair Men Rally Against Negative Hollywood Portrayal
LOS ANGELES—Thousands of members of the slicked-back-hair community gathered in Hollywood Monday to protest the film industry's longtime trend of depicting men with slicked-back hair as untrustworthy, unlikeable antagonists.
"There have been 4,192 films in the past 10 years in which male characters with sleek or slicked-back hairstyles have been portrayed in a negative light," said Ray Swartz, chairman of the National Organization of Men with Slicked-Back Hair. "Even though men with this hairstyle comprise just 3 percent of the U.S. populace, they make up nearly 80 percent of all film and TV villains, bad guys, and just plain assholes. As a result, thousands of men who enjoy wetting their hair and then combing it straight back face a silent but pervasive form of discrimination every single day."
"I'm just a man with slicked-back hair," Swartz added. "Does that make me a sleazeball?"
According to statistics released by the organization, five out of every six characters with slicked-back hair are cast as the primary antagonist. Of this group, 29 percent are depicted as greedy and manipulative Wall Street sharks, 22 percent as cold, emotionless murderers, 19 percent as evil coaches or mentors, 12 percent as corrupt mafiosi, 8 percent as undead creatures who feast on human blood, and the remaining 10 percent fall into the general category of jerks/pricks/John Travolta.
More alarming, Swartz said, is that certain subsets of slicked-back-hair Americans endure even worse prejudices. He cited men with slicked-back hair who also talk with cigarettes dangling out of their mouths, wear blue button-down shirts with white collars, or place toothpicks behind their right ears as the most victimized.
"Just because I have heavily gelled, jet-black, slicked-back hair does not mean I can't lead a normal, productive life," Kettering, OH native Martin Sutulovich said. "I'm not consumed by an insatiable thirst for power, I know nothing about the high-pressure world of real-estate speculation, and I have a wife and kids whom I love very much. The last thing I want to do is murder them, cut them up into tiny pieces, bag them up, and put them out with the trash, but when strangers look at me, that's all they think."
A recent study conducted by Swartz's group indicates that Americans who slick back their hair usually experience typical development, have life spans equal to those without slicked-back hair, and are no more likely to stoically torture people with medical instruments than the average dry-haired citizen.
"You always see crooked lawyers and politicians with slicked-back hair in the movies, but when was the last time you saw a computer programmer with slicked-back hair, a farmer who built a magical baseball field in a cornfield with slicked-back hair, or a man who defused a bomb at the last possible second to save thousands of innocent lives with slicked-back hair?"
Swartz said. "Never."
"The closest thing we've ever gotten to a hero is Steven Seagal or that Spanish neighbor guy on Sanford And Son," he added. "And Seagal's hair is pulled back into a ponytail, so he doesn't even really count."
Swartz also pointed out that even females who appear in films with slicked-back hair often end up transforming into aliens who have sex with people and then kill them.
"I have naturally oily hair. If I leave it dry, it ends up messy by the end of the day, so I slick it back," Doug Roessner of Brockton, MA said. "I sell insurance for a living, so how am I supposed to get my clients to trust me when they all think I'm some money-hungry scumbag? And every time I tell my bosses that I'll 'take care of' a problem, they immediately assume I mean murdering someone. It's pathetic."
"My son hasn't been the same around me since he watched D2: The Mighty Ducks last month," said slicked-back-hair man Mick Romanini, referencing the film in which coach Gordon Bombay slicks back his hair when consumed by fame, then wears it dry again upon realizing the error of his ways. "Is this what we want to teach our children about slicked-back hair?"
Added Romanini, "He should be able to do whatever he wants with his hair when he gets older and not worry that people are going to assume he's the kind of guy who would plot his best friend's death and then seduce the widow to get his hands on the insurance money."
In interviews, studio executives have countered the protests by citing a number of realistic and sympathetic characters with slicked-back hair, including James Bond, Superman, and Data from Star Trek.
But Swartz rejects such claims. After closer examination, he said, Bond's hair is slicked "more to the side than back," Data is not a human being, and Superman has a distinct curl of hair that falls on his forehead, which his group considers a different hairstyle altogether.
Hollywood is facing similar protests from groups such as the National Association of Maniacal Laughers, the American Mustache-Twirlers Coalition, and the Alliance of Gentlemen with Scars and Eye Patches.
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Smashing Through the Glass Coffin by Jim Goad
When it comes to sexual equity in the workplace, the biggest “gender gap” of all is the fact that men suffer around 92% of all job-related fatalities.
According to Bureau of Labor statistics from 1992-2014, women laborers accounted for 43% of total hours worked, yet they suffered a scant 8% of workplace fatalities. In what world could this possibly be considered respectful of women’s endless quest for equality?
We still hear about the “wage gap” almost daily, and even though it’s a myth, we should still marshal our resources to rectify this imaginary injustice. Yet no one is willing to stand tall and address the fact that selfish men are robbing female workers of the right to die on the job at a ridiculously unfair rate of almost thirteen to one.
This disgracefully unjust pattern persists all over the world—in Australia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and even Canada, a nation so uniquely fixated on social justice at all costs, it’ll eventually bankrupt them.
“Women workers of the world, unite—you have nothing to lose but your lives!”
The sad, inequitable truth is that when it comes to jobs that actually kill you—noble working-class professions such as logging, fishing, roofing, mining, truck driving, and toiling away on electrical power lines—men unfairly comprise more than 90% of the workers in each profession. Conversely, women dominate some of the safest jobs—things such as administrative support, education, and library work—by a factor of around three to one.
It is shameful and horrifying and totally problematic and completely unacceptable that gender activists have failed to address this gaping inequality. It’s almost as if the patriarchy intentionally denies women the natural privilege of dying while working.
Women have been making strides toward equality in every aspect of the American workplace except for the jobs that actually kill you. The ladies simply aren’t dying on the job nearly as frequently as men do, and this savage inequity needs to be addressed. It behooves us as radical egalitarians to remove all the barriers that prevent women from performing deadly work.
This savage imbalance is, of course, based on patriarchal tropes such as the idea that women don’t have enough “upper body strength” to lift logs and shovel coal. We’ve been led to believe destructive and damaging myths about women being “fragile” and “emotional” and “living longer” and “having the law on their side” and “enjoying the legal and societal presumption of innocence in any dispute involving a male.” We even hear the easily debunked and totally discredited idea that “there are some jobs women just won’t do.” We must explode these harmful myths as we push ourselves blindly and self-righteously off a cliff toward equality.
The “glass coffin” is a term coined by graphic designer Kevin Slaughter to describe the fact that women haven’t quite “broken through” toward equality when it comes to working jobs that can kill you. Sure, we often hear about the impermeable “glass ceiling” that prevents women from becoming CEOs and billionaires and Supreme Court justices and running for president, but our male-dominated society turns a deaf ear to women’s righteous quest for equality when it comes to sharing the right to suffocate under a ten-ton tsunami of human waste while working in a sewer because that’s supposedly a “man’s” job.
We live in a sexist society that patronizes women and sends hurtful messages that they aren’t “tough” enough to lose their lives on the job. Equality is for everyone, and that includes the right to get squashed like a bug by heavy machinery. Why aren’t women afforded the right to be struck dead by falling objects? Didn’t Susan B. Anthony struggle nobly to make it possible for the sisterhood to drown overboard on Alaskan crabbing expeditions? Women have the same right that men do to be crushed to death in a coal-mining explosion. They deserve the freedom and dignity to be pulverized into tomato paste when their semi truck jackknifes around a mountain curve.
Enough posturing. Now is the time for action. Now is the time for women to face all the real-life danger that true equality brings. They’ve shrieked for two generations about how they aren’t the “weaker sex.” Now it is time for them to prove it. It is time for women to put their noses to the grindstone, even if that means getting their hair caught in the grindstone and being strangled to death by it.
As a forward-thinking nation of workers who have more genders than Baskin-Robbins has ice-cream flavors, we must rectify systematic inequities that permit women to suffer lower unemployment rates than men. We must no longer permit a sexist climate that forces women all across the globe to suffer life’s miseries longer than men do.
In order to reach the equality they understandably seek, it is obvious that women must start dying equally. Silence equals death—for dudes, at least. Death equality NOW!!! Close the Death Gap NOW!!! Let us raise our hammers and sickles—ladies, if they’re too heavy to lift, that’s OK, because we’ll help—and SMASH the Glass Coffin! It’s time to shout loudly for Gender Death Equality in the workplace. Women workers of the world, unite—you have nothing to lose but your lives!
Quote of the Times;
“What are people for?” – Vonnegut
Link of the Times;