Category Archives: Blog

What to do With Your Embarrassing Confederate Statue

So you’ve got an old Confederate statue you need to toss out. Don’t worry, many cities in America are going through the same spring cleaning you are. The relevant question is: what do you do with a marble effigy of an old bearded racist once you’ve knocked it off its pedestal? The main argument against read more »

Science: Power Causes Brain Damage

A spate of recent articles corroborate what I already suspected, that holding elected office is the neurological equivalent of getting kicked in the head by a donkey. “Subjects under the influence of power,” Dacher Keltner, a professor at University of California, Berkeley found, “acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, read more »

Why America Needs A Monarchy

We threw the baby out with the bathwater when we kicked the monarchy out of America, and we ought to bring it back. To be clear, I do not mean the sort of hereditary tyrants who rule North Korea, Saudi Arabia, or the New York Yankees. Rather, I’d like for us to get one of read more »

Riding Horses Above the Clouds

I’m not a trained equestrian by any stretch, but I did ride horses occasionally as a kid on my Uncle Dan’s farm, and even got a merit badge in horse riding as a Boy Scout. As an adult I have lost forty or so dollars betting on them in small increments at the Remington Race read more »

The Rainforest, And Other Water-Related Tirades

The thing about rainforests is: they are always raining. In retrospect Young and I probably should have packed raincoats or umbrellas or something, but how could we have possibly known that the Cloud Forest would be perpetually moist? There is no way we could have foreseen this. As it is, we’ve more or less been read more »

“La Vida Pura” and other Helpful Costa Rican Phrases

It’s helpful to learn a local catchphrase when you’re traveling. For example, tourists visiting Detroit should learn how to say “Just take the money! Don’t shoot!” before leaving the crumbling ruins of their hotel. I don’t know exactly where people yell “YOLO!” but apparently that’s a thing. Maybe in Boulder, Colorado while rock climbing? Or “YOLO!” might read more »

A Brief History of Costa Rica

So it looks like my ambitions of becoming a colonel in some gritty banana republic militia have been squashed. Because it turns out Costa Rica disbanded its army in 1948, making it one of the few nations on Earth to function–even thrive–without a military. That’s terrific for Ticos, but decimated one of my four vacation priorities before the plane even read more »

I’ve Got a New Book!

My next novel comes out this January 8th, and it combines my sense of humor, my folksy disposition, and also werewolves. You can pre-order a copy for your Kindle by clicking this link. If you live in New York, come out to my book launch at The People’s Improv Theater on January 12th at 7:00. read more »

Man Lives with Cobra he Believes is his Reincarnated Girlfriend

Don’t let anyone tell you love is dead. It’s not–and in what I assume will be the next greatest premise for a Paul Rudd romcom, a man in Singapore lives with a cobra he is convinced is the reincarnated soul of his dead ex-girlfriend. Apparently he spotted a ten foot cobra and immediately noticed a read more »

Bomb-Sniffing Plants

Botanists have figured out how to design plants sensitive to bomb materials. Once these plants pick up on the offending chemicals, their leaves change the type of radiation they emit under infrared light, so that nearby smartphone sensors can pick up on it. This is neat, but in my opinion, pretty worthless compared to a read more »

Spanish Prime Minster Tries to Ban Memes

Spain’s new government is about to fix everything wrong with Spain. By banning memes. Memes are, as you know, a snarky way to make fun of political figures, and memes are a viral visual medium. I can see no possible way that this plan will backfire. I am confident that the Spanish, and trolls of read more »

Scientists Create first “Space Nation”

This week an international consortium of scientists announced the creation of Asgardia, a new “space nation.” The idea behind it is to create a country (in space) which shoots down asteroids and space debris which might otherwise hurt Earth–even Oklahoma! The Asgardians have plans to put up a satellite in 2017 and, eventually, build space read more »

Iraq’s Transportation Minister Insists New Airport is Built on Ancient Alien Launchpad

Iraqi Transport Minister Kazem Finjan held a press conference this week to announce the site of a new airport; the suitability of the site, the high-quality facilities, and also that it’s built on the exact spot extraterrestrials constructed their own spaceship launchpad 7,000 years ago. Before we start questioning the “accuracy” or “sanity” of his statements, let’s at least read more »

Electronic Spoon Makes Food Taste Sweeter

A new invention called “The Tasty Buddy” emits a low-level electrical current that activates certain taste buds, so that your tongue perceives it to be varying levels or sweet or salty. This is a huge game changer, and I predict “smart spoons” will be the norm in homes within ten years. Think about the implications of read more »

Toyota Unveils Robot Baby for Lonely People

We all know that sex robots are going to be at the forefront of anthropomorphic automatons, but Japan is adding something else: babies. It’s a big deal because Japan has the world’s oldest population, and it’s only getting older. Right now a quarter of all Japanese people are at least sixty years old. Not only are Japanese people read more »

Elon Musk and the Mission to Mars

The billionaire behind Tesla Motors is fully committed to getting mankind to Mars, and intends to die there himself (though not on impact). His ambitious plan involves building a BFR (literally “big fucking rocket”) that’s reusable for multiple trips. Rockets are presently single-use, which makes them vastly inefficient and costly. He plans to build a ship capable of transporting 100 people per load, read more »

Norwegian Prime Minister Caught Playing Pokemon Go in Parliament

Erna Solberg didn’t just get caught playing a cell phone game while her political opponent was speaking, she’s also been caught playing Pokemon Go in a defense hearing. (Although to her credit, Norway’s sovereign defense fund invests in Nintendo, so in a way she’s sort of helping the economy.) And, based on the fact that one of read more »

Swedes Urge NASA to Send Condoms into Space

Our Scandinavian friends over at the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (note to self: ask for personalized tour of facilities on next trip to Europe) are urging NASA to include a pack of condoms in whatever rocket we next fire into orbit. This is because, obviously, if aliens ever swing by Earth and decide to read more »

Scientist Develops Alcohol Substitute, Cure for Hangovers

I am highly intrigued by Dr. David Nutt, who has developed a chemical substitute for alcohol that mimics being tipsy without any of the nasty side effects: hangovers, bar fights, paternity lawsuits, and so forth. His chemical compound releases some of the dopamine (happy brain juice) we normally get from alcohol, and also looses you up the way a pint read more »

Pandas Are No Longer Endangered

By far the single most-read blog post I have ever cranked out is “Pandas Are Dumb,” in which I make the argument that pandas, while adorable, are pretty much an evolutionary dead end. If humans weren’t pushing them around, their species is so unfathomably stupid that something else (like dolphins or possibly even clever rocks) would instead. I still get read more »