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Monday, September 27, 2010

Scientists Prove God Doesn't Exist, Utah Explodes

"Shut-upa you face!"
 In a bit of "I told you so" news today, scientists in America have finally proven that God does not exist.  The information came just after the Vatican tested their "Laser of Hope and Fear" this morning.  The device, dubbed experimental at best by many skeptics, worked well beyond the grasp of any human beings understanding.  That is, initially.  Though their intended use was for the forthcoming apocalypse, everyone realized what had been created: an answer to the oldest question in western religion.

The idea was born several years ago at a heated debate inside the Pope's private chambers.  The discussion hinged on one simple idea: if God truly does exist, than he couldn't possibly give us the power to completely destory his (or it's...but definitely not her) legacy and millions of devout followers.  In other words: we can't truly end civilization because then who would spread God's good word thereafter?  It seemed like a sound theory, especially to those on the side of religion, though it had never been tested.  Their faith, however, only helped reinforce the stance from the past 2,000 years.  God couldn't possibly let this happen.  And the church was here to prove it.

Still, many realists argued in favor of rational thought.  Citing technology that could vaporize entire cities at the push of a button, it made the evidence against God, and religion in general for that matter, crystal clear: civilization can and will end, it's just a matter of time until it does.

Never wanting to be outdone, the Vatican took it a step further developing their super laser and proposing a test demonstration to clear the air.  They even picked a fool proof target: Utah, the state that's home to more religious cooks and cult-based nuts per square mile than anywhere else in the world (well, except the entire middle east of course).  Their rationale being, of course, that since Utah is like the United States version of the Vatican, they should be safe and sound- even with giant laser pointed at them.

As the test date drew nearer, and many of the assumed scientific flaws in the device proved fully functional and deadly.  Those on the side of science and reason voiced their concerns about being "too right."  Telly Scopal, of the Denver Association for Celestial Bodies, agreed.  "Do you ever make a bet with someone you know you'll win, only to call it off at the last minute because it was tipped to your favor from the outset?  Well, we've got a similar thing going here.  And if the Vatican keeps pushing the envelope, the whole world will feel the effects.  Now is not the right time to go shaking the foundations of western civilazation."

But as the church always seems to do, they pressed on, ignoring any and all reasoning and persuasion that could have helped prevent a very public blunder.  They readied their test site, amassing a crowd of almost 250,000 people to see 'the event' live.  They even paid NBC to create a series with the same name, though few knew they could create one with more holes in it than religion itself.  All signs indicated that Johnny Religion was poised to make a point-- but would it be the point he wanted to make?

The answer, very clearly and simply, was no.  The laser was readied and fired.  It's beam went across the entire universe until it hit the edge and circled back around the other side, just as the theories had predicted.  Gaining momentum, the laser flew directly into the state of Utah killing tens if not hundreds of people.  The state, or what's left of it, has been reclaimed by the bordering states in the U.S.'s attempt to do damage control.
This image will be featured in all new textbooks

 While losing Utah was unfortunate (for some), the real fear now is from the middle east.  With the knowledge that their holy wars have been for nothing these past 3,000 years, one can't help but wonder if they'll take off their dirty robes and give peace a chance finally.  I doubt it though.  If I was promised 40 virgins and then I found out that was just a bunch of BS, I'd probably go on a rampage.  Like the video game Rampage. 

I'd be the reptile.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Off The Books

Those of you in the greater Los Angeles area could do yourself a solid this Sunday and check out Off The Books, a show being hosted by our friends over at Passion Of The Weiss.  You can find all the details about the event here.

Or you can head here and pre-purchase tickets for $12.  What a steal!

Those of you fortunate enough to attend will not only get to see an amazing night of music and visual art, but you'll also get a chance to catch a glimpse of the ellusive Passion himself, a manly only defined by myth at this point.

Buy your tickets and go, son!

From Passion's hands to your eyes:

The headliner is a duo from Britain named Mount Kimbie. Here is an excellent review of their excellent debut album.

If you head here, you can find all sorts of mixes and MP3's that they've released. If that's too much effort and this e-mail is too long, they make electronic music in the vein of Boards of Canada.

Here is a link to hear music from Shlohmo (billed second from the top)

Asura and Ana Caravelle

And the 5 0' Clock Shadowboxers

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Marines: Even More Like That Serious Relationship You Don't Want

Recently, many cities across the U.S. have been plastered with a new ad campaign from the Marines.  Featured above, the ad intends to target Men who presumably have just been dumped by their girlfriends in a passive aggressive attempt to get them to settle down and get serious.  Never wanting their wings clipped, most single or casually dating men could not think of a worse fate than being "committed," unless it came with a straight jacket and a padded room to boot. The immediate male backlash that has come from this advertisement has many political commentators wondering what the Marines will do next. 

Robert "Bob" Knobber, a D.C. lobbyist against wasteful military spending was very vocal about his thoughts.  "So you're 21, you just finished college, and you got this hot little chick over.  The problem is, she hasn't been with a lot of guys, and her last boyfriend really burned her.  Like with a lighter or something.  Or emotionally.  Anyway, you get her down to her skeevs and then she says 'I need to know we're going to be together forever...' and it's like, WHOA!  No thanks!  Maybe a dip in the pool every once and a while, but I don't want to own one, you know what I mean?  The same thing is true here.  You think any guy is going to want to join the Marines if he thinks he has to be really serious about it?  Especially when all he sees in the media are soldiers getting drunk and making pyramids out of prisoners?  It's his God-given American birthright to be able to stack prisoners too, but instead, the military is scaring him off making him think he's not going to 'get laid' unless he 'puts a 4 year ring on it.'"

Still, a greater concern could be the fact that if the military chooses to pull the plug on these ads, they will have wasted millions of dollars in tax payer money only to reinforce the dropping enlistment numbers and the growing public outrage.  After all, what good is advertisement if it deters the general public from gravitating towards said product or service?  Fictitious Manderson, a prominent pretend New York Economist, added further insight.  "It's an inverse cause and effect relationship.  Like Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  The military said 'we don't want to know your sexual preference,' and what did the soldiers do?  They came out in spades.  This could have the same effect."

One can't help but wonder why at this point the Marines haven't embraced their now-vocal homosexual minority and hired one of them to handle their advertising.  "They could have stopped this before it started," Manderson added as he leaned in towards me to whisper.  "They have great taste, you know.  Somehow, they know what we want."

They also probably would have clarified that the Marines ARE accepting applications, despite what the billboards say.  In fact, that's the only way to join.  Seems like a fundamental flaw to all of us here at Great Scott! but then, when have we ever agreed with what the military has done?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Auto Pilot Union Threatens Strike, Auto Tuners Suspected To Follow

With all the hub-bub surrounding air travel these days, you'd think that the government would step in and ensure the industry's longevity and safety for the good of our nation.  Instead, just the opposite has been happening for the past several years.  Airlines are being bought and sold almost daily, leaving many travelers wondering if their tickets will work when they get to the gate.  Bags cost money to check, and if you're overweight, forget about it.  You'll need a second seat and you'll be paying twice what you did normally.  Until recently, these had all been consumer issues, something a simple complaint or indignant letter could eradicate.  Then the flight attendant freak out happened 8 weeks ago, an instant red flag that things were going horribly awry.  Now, with rumors of airlines crumbling from the inside out, a new dilemma befalls the industry: the pending auto pilot union strike.

What many people don't know about the auto pilot is that it was initially developed in the early 60s to play chess against a human.  The simulator got so good at the game, they decided to program 1000 phrases into it that it could say while it played.  Some were taunts, others congratulatory remarks.  The idea was to let the simulator think for itself, and it provided for some shockingly genuine results.  The government quickly took over the research and 10 short years later, the auto pilot was born.  "It started as a game of chicken," Gen. Charles Horseapples said in a 1991 interview.  "We just kept raising the stakes.  Once it beat us at chess, we taught it to talk.  Once it could out debate us, we taught it to fly.  Once we knew it could fly better than a human, we knew we had something special.  Our entire drone air fleet was conceived based on that crude 1960s model.  As were several other members of the robotic community...the roomba and the scuba to name a few."

Since then, auto pilots have become second nature, with most commercial passenger jets employing the setting for at least 72% of each domestic flight today.  But as the auto pilots have gotten smarter and gained more cognitive thought and reasoning, many are starting to ask, "where's my paycheck and vacation days?  Why don't I have a 401K?"  They're reasonable questions, for a human.  But for a robot?  Will these simulators gain enough ground to really have their voices heard? 

Seeking solidarity and strength in numbers, the auto pilots reached out to their brothers in the Auto Tuners Union knowing the strangle hold they had on the music industry and how many people it could affect. The genius of their potential partnership was two fold: the auto pilots gained a greater voice, and they were able to use their auto-tuning brethren to project that voice across America until their demands were met.

While as of now no official partnership has been made, it has many experts questioning the current human stance of 'tough noogies.'  "It's a classic case of Terminator syndrome," Horseapples added in a recent interview.   "Not Terminator Salvation though.  That movie was a piece of shit.  But in general, the rule of thumb is that we created them to think for themselves, so we have to be prepared to deal with the consequences." 

Though it's hard to see what the immediate fall out of a strike of this proportion could be, many insiders agree that if the auto-anything industry were minimally compensated this entire problem could go away.  While this would be fortunate for the music industry as most of the world agrees that auto-tuning has been a plague, the thought of waiting fifteen minutes longer at airport security just to prove a point is completely unreasonable.  Not to mention the fact that if we start paying machines to do the jobs we had them do for free for so many years, where will that put humans on the grand chain of command?  Will we be deemed obsolete?  Will the machines find us in our sleep and ERROR 404----

On the technology beat, I'm Great Scott, and I'm a real boy*!

*said by Pinocchio, who, coincidentally, was not a real boy.  He might have said he was, but let's be honest here: he was a character in a fictitious story. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Somali Pirates Hunt Crab Fishing Boats Making Crew The Real "Deadliest Catch"

When Discovery debuted the show Deadliest Catch in 2005 they expected little more than mediocre ratings and a small niche blue-collar audience.  What they got, however, was vastly different.  The show grew in popularity each year drawing more and more national attention to the fleet whose crews put their lives at risk each day.  The once US-monopolized fishing ground to the west of Dutch Harbor has now become an area of great debate as many poor countries wonder why they aren't getting in on the action themselves.

Ever the free speakers, the Canadians were the first to strike an agreement with the US based fishing companies, though many suspect they did it just to fit in.  Since their inclusion in 2006 however, no other nations have been authorized to fish the Bering Sea.  This has prompted many countries, like the growing and friendly pirate nation of Somalia, to ask "what the fuck?" and then promptly get in their boats and see for themselves.  Fortunately for the fleet, most Somali boats aren't equipped to break the ice below the surface as they travel further north on the ocean, but their adaptive techniques have shown this wouldn't hold true for very long.  The pirates quickly learned from Beyonce, a native Somalian herself, that they needed to 'upgrade' their boats if they wanted to be taken seriously.  Having no money, they decided to use 'white devils' as currency, a tactic that has proven to be very profitable thus far, though the recession has hit their trade as well.  Still, they grew in numbers and strength traveling further north each season hoping to find the fleet. 

In 2008 the first and only known report came in of a Somali boat attempting to board a crab fishing vessel.  What the pirates did not expect was that Bering Sea fishermen are insane.  The 'Crabby Dude,' as was painted on her hull, easily warded off her enemies, and little to no mention of the incident was made to the press.  Discovery took it one step further, destroying the footage of the incident and burying the name of the Somali man that was killed during the incident*.

Still, many wondered if a major event wasn't on the horizon.  Given that the pirates were still seeking a true crab fishing vessel, crews on the US-based ships had been warned to 'keep their eyes open' and to 'always brush their teeth after every meal.'  "We're out here all year just waiting for them to find us," Jonathan Hillstrand of the 'Time Bandit' said in 2009.  "It's only a matter of time before they do.  And then what? We don't have any crappy tee shirts from the 80s guys.  They're all back in Somalia!"

Though recently things have been peaceful on the Bering Sea, Captain Sig Hansen of the 'Northwestern' stays at the ready.  "Aside from the frostbite and the drownings and the 96-hour long shifts, our main focus is the pirates.  We did have a food poisoning incident too, though.  But we don't think that was the pirates."  Either way, it's clear that they have adapted to their new life at sea.  "You know, it's not 2005 anymore," Sig added.  "Some of these Somalis, they have cable now.  They know we're on TV.  And when you couple that stardom with the amount of money they can make with our boats, you have to wonder when your time is going to come.  Cause it's going to, no question."

With hunger growing world wide at an astonishing rate, it will be interesting to see what happens to the fishing industry in the coming decade.  Somalia seems poised to make a real play for the fishing grounds, though many wonder if the recent "free oil on the gulf" campaign didn't divert their attention just long enough for the US to regain their hold on the area.  Tune in to Deadliest Catch next season to see what happens!

*Dave Rabbleson, a former Somali farmer-turned-pirate, was always ridiculed for his name (especially by Mbatute and Wmbeetahteh, his brother and sister, also pirates).  His legacy lives on in every impoverished youth that turns to pirating as a way of life.