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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5 Life Hacks You Absolutely, Positively, Cannot Live Without

Life is difficult.  Like, really, painstakingly difficult.  And if you're like us, you crave any and every workaround possible for you to increase your efficiency, productivity, and ease of existence.  That's why we are proud to roll out five new life hacks that promise to change the world as you know it.  Try them at home or with a friend.  Suggest one to a colleague at work.  Share them with your book movie gossip club.  Honestly, we could care less.  Just remember: you aren't living your life to the max without these essential hacks.  And those are the facts.  Jack. 

Let's start with something needlessly complex.  Need some water but all you have is ice?  LIFE HACK: take the ice out of the freezer and let it sit there until science transforms into water.  Presto!  You're done.  See?  Life hack!  It's.  Just.  That.  Simple.  Note: this process also works in reverse, but because of God not science. 

Are your shoes feeling too small?  Are your toes feeling too long?  If you answered yes to either of the previous questions then you'll love our next life hack.  Simply cut off the ends of your toes (or your shoes, depending on the situation) and blamo!  LIFE HACK ACHIEVED.  This one is especially great for families with young children.  Now you can buy one pair of shoes and it will fit until they are 18 years old and out of the house, working for the city.  Will they be made fun of at school the entire time?  Sure, but that would have happened anyway.  You can't win them all. 

Don't you just hate Mondays?  So do we!  That's why our next life hack may be the best one yet.  To avoid Mondays for the rest of your life, follow these easy instructions:

-Wait until Sunday night.
-Eat entire box of Tylenol PM^.
-Wake up Tuesday.

Tired of all those pesky passwords you have to remember?  It can be taxing to keep a sequence as complex as 0-1-2-3-4-5 or P-A-S-S-W-O-R-D in your head for multiple years, we know.  Luckily there's a life hack to remedy this very situation!  Just plug all of your passwords into 1Password, then sit back and enjoy the ease of never remembering anything ever again.  Bonus hack: all of your data and personal info will eventually be compromised.  Why?  Because you willingly handed over all of your personal details to a website that promised to keep them safe.  Nice one!  LIFE HACK AND REAL HACK, ALL IN ONE!

Our last life hack should please all the maids of the world.  Are you tired of making your bed and cleaning your sheets?  Then enjoy this two-for-one life hack.  Next time you wash your sheets, simply remake the bed and sleep on the floor from that night forward.  You'll wake every day to a perfectly made bed.  Bonus hack: sleep in the clothes you plan to wear the next day.  When you shower in them they'll be clean for another 24 hour romp with destiny!  HACKITTY, HACK, HACK-HACK-HACK. 

See what we mean?  Life hacks are all around us.  Heck, you may be sitting on a treasure trove of life hacks and not even know it.  So what life hacks do you employ?  We want to know!  Leave your favorite in our comments section or AIM it to us.  Our screen name is KewlGrrl85.*

^ Thye Tylenol thing is a very absurd joke.  Don't do that under any circumstances.
*Apologies in advance to the real person with screenname KewlGrrl85.

Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Dangerous Foods You Should Like Totally Never Eat

Have you read enough op-ed pieces chastising American eating habits to make you puke?  Are you tired of Huffington Post judging seemingly every decision you make?  Not us!  We here at Great Scott love when know-it-all websites talk down to us about the lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis.  In fact, we love it so much we're going to do the same thing for all of our readers out there so that they can make safer, more informed choices when deciding what to eat or feed their families.  So with a little help from our under-utilized staff nutritionist, Milly Potatoface, and Pepperdine University botanist, Charles Sativa, we present to you the top five foods you should like totally never eat ever.

5. Finger Sandwiches

Sure, finger sandwiches sound delicious.  Especially when paired with some British people and a copy of Wuthering Heights.  But let's be real here: who actually wants to eat a severed human hand between two pieces of bread? "You'd be surprised," quipped Potatoface between bites of her quinoa and kale stink-bucket.  "They're awfully tasty.  But they pack a dangerous secret, too.  Finger sandwiches have been known to crawl off the plate and strangle the eater."  And apparently it doesn't stop there.  One report out of Get Bent, Indiana stated that a man consumed a finger sandwich, "turned," and has been undead ever since.  As if that wasn't scary enough, some restaurants have been caught serving toes instead of fingers, which is just bonkadoo.  "Everyone knows toes are used to make jam, and jam is packed with sugar, fat, benzine, doritos, chlorine, poison, and talcum powder...many of which can be harmful to your health."  So don't eat these, dummies!

4. Biting Apples

Ever wonder where the phrase, "once bitten, twice shy" comes from?  Well keep wondering.  Because it didn't come from these apples.  No, sir.  These apples have their own saying.  It goes, "biting apples bite you like some sort of biting thing that hurts when it bites."  All idioms aside though, the biting apple lacks any nutritious value and over 9 out of 100 dentists agree that eating teeth is bad for your teeth.  But the real whammy comes when you discover there's peanut butter all over the inside of the fruit, and we don't think we're alone when we ask, "how do you get butter out of a peanut?"  It's unanswerable questions like these that make this one of the most dangerous foods in the known universe.

3. Wolfermelon

Another fruit you shouldn't mess with is the wolfermelon.  They seem great when they sprout out of the ground, but looks can be deceiving.  Botanist Charles Sativa explained the phenomenon in his most recent book, HEY! Why Is There A Wolf On My Watermelon?.  "Imagine this...  You're a farmer growing watermelons just down the river from the Monsanto factory.  One night you look out and all those huge juicy melons seem like they could be ready to be picked.  So you go out to your field and BAM!  There's a wolf attached to it.  Bet you didn't see that coming, the wolf on the watermelon."  More correct he could not be.  Wolfermelon has now been outlawed in the United States, except on Halloween and the hotly anticipated 2018 purge.  And though many contend it's because a hybrid Werewolfermelon has taken the place of the once overly complicated fictitious fruit, the truth lies somewhere in between.  Still, it is worth mentioning that the wolfermelon is eerily similar to the biting apple in it's comedic makeup.  It's a wonder how our editors chose to run two long, midly-funny seemingly-interchangeable jokes over the course of the past two paragraphs.  "That's the curse of the wolfermelon," Sativa chortled before he hopped on Taylor Lautner's back and rode away into the night.

2. Snake Flowers

Snooty, ass-hole chefs have been adding flowers to salads for years.  Many are convinced it's because they want to see just how far they can go before you drop your fork, look back at the kitchen, and declare, "That's it, I'm out."  The problem these days however, is that with all the gene splicing and Jurrrasic-Park-level mad scientists in the world, the flowers that were once used to dress up a meal can now send you to an early grave.  Take the snake flower, for example.  There are several emerging varieties of this flora fauna flora fauna florafauna, and though the majority of them are not lethal, they still come with several dietary restrictions.  First and foremost, you can't eat this plantimal raw because that's what it wants to do to you.  Secondly, children should not consume snake flowers unless they are prone to obesity and confusion.  Finally, men over the age of 50 may experience an erection lasting longer than five hours depending on what breed of snake flower is consumed, so be sure you're not sitting at a glass table with your in-laws when you do so.  Consult your doctor to see if you are healthy enough for snake flowers.  Don't let old age stand in the way of snake flower satisfaction.

1. Gin and Tonic and Bees

If you happen to be over the age of 21 then you'll be familiar with how depressing it is to get old.  But a lone silver lining exists for you perpetual worrywarts out there.  It's called alcohol and it is used to clean wounds, numb the mouths of teething frontier babies, and cure dandruff.  Shockingly, some people also drink it.  Those that do consume it often can find themselves bored with the usual hum-drum frothed-egg-whites-with-angostura-bitters-and-home-made-moonshine-infused-with-garden-grown-mint-and-sage-leaves craft cocktails that they find at their local 7/11.  So what do they do?  They put a bunch of bees in it to spice things up, which is as dangerous as it gets.  You don't need a questionable Pepperdine University botanist to tell you bees have stingers.  And those stingers primarily do two things: they dance the Merengue and they sting.  Double duh, right?  Not right.  Double duh isn't a saying* and chances are a person who makes up phrases like that also puts bees in their drinks because they like to live on the edge or play with fire.  "The bee craze has been popular overseas for decades, but it's just recently become popular over land.  I think people assume bugs are safe to eat but the reality is they are not.  They're loaded with saturated fats, covered in sugar, and then rolled in peanuts.  ... Oh no, wait.  I'm thinking of a PayDay bar.  Sorry."  Either way though, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't consider a drink filled with bees to be absolutely frightening.  Unless you're a bird, of course.  Birds can eat innumerable amounts of bees (like at least seven).  They just can't hold their liquor for shit.  So if you aren't a bird, and you're reading this, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

*But it was a popular obstacle course game show on Nickelodeon in the '90s.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Video Free For All!

Happy weekend, chitlins!  Thought I would share a video I wrote and directed for our team over at Better Ads this week.  If you look closely you just might see me as well. 

We had a lot of fun making this, and wish a big thanks to Kara McNally and Kelli Jordan for joining our team this week.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Your Tablet from Better Ads

Are you as tired of the ridiculous commercials you see on TV as the guys at Better Ads are?  Then you'll enjoy their take on the advertising world in their premier spot "Your Tablet."  Their production team has assured me they will continue to release new ads as often as possible on their youtube channel.  And considering how much we love to skewer the real world here at Great Scott!, we couldn't be happier to see content like this being produced.

The video was conceived by and features the talented Andrew Shaw.  The cast is rounded out by Jon Olmstead and your editor in chief, Great Scott!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Has Dog Bullying Gone Too Far?

It started over a decade ago when Will Ferrell, comedian and actor on Saturday Night Live, created a commercial that promoted dog bullying.  Though it was initially intended as a joke, the movement has caught fire in recent years.  Dogs are the subject of more ridicule than they have ever been, and even the most amateur bully-cum-photographers are taking jabs at their own pets in an effort to hop on the bandwagon.  Images like the one featured above are all but commonplace today as sites like Dog ShamingDog-Shame, and the Dog Shaming Tumblr site exist purely to bully the animals we claim to love.  And it doesn't stop there.  Countless lists have popped up online as well, culling the "best of" dog shaming and putting it in one convenient place so that even the most passive bullies can fuel their hate.  All this content has many folks wondering if dog bullying has gone too far.

In order to better understand the motivation behind dog bullying, we reached out to the Los Angeles chapter of the ASPCA for more information.  The ASPCA was created in 1866 to help rescue pets from abusive situations and rehabilitate them so they can reenter the world as functioning members of society.  Seeing-eye, police, fire, and bomb sniffing are just a few of the careers rehabilitated dogs can pursue to integrate themselves back into the world once they have completed their ASPCA training.  But as the dog population rises those jobs have become more competitive over the years.  Today more and more dogs are simply being adopted by families so that they can live out their years in plain fashion: loosely protecting a single-family home from mailmen, garbage men and other dogs.  So then why are they being bullied?

It stems from the fact that the dog has lost their sense of purpose. They get bored.  Their families (the ASPCA does not like the term "owners" for obvious liberal-guilt related reasons) leave them home alone all day and then are shocked to find things in disarray when they return.  So they bully them under the auspices that it will help curb that behavior.  But that's no way to get results.  

"If a child was treated this way, you can bet Oprah would have done something about it by now.  But because it's a dog, most people tend to look the other way," commented ASPCA president Melanie Starflower from her dog ranch in Topanga Canyon.  "But dogs can't speak up for themselves.  They can only make that sad face they make.  You know the one.  It's so fucking manipulative.  And really that doesn't even work on people until you play some Sarah McLachlan music over it anyway.  Plain and simple: bullying requires a group mentality.  In this case it's a different species that's the bully.  And though there is normally one leader, or alpha bully, they tend to sway the opinions of those around them until eventually everyone is bullying.  And then we're right back where we started with less people on our side."

Many of these so-called "angels" who take these dogs into their homes to provide them with a better life end up doing just the opposite.  They shame their animals for not behaving like humans, a notion that seems quite absurd if you break it down.  They chastise them for actions they have little control over, their "animal instincts" as it were, then make them the subject of public displays of bullying. Now with the advent of technology bullies are able to document and share their bullying over social media more easily than ever, sometimes garnering the attention of millions of people in the process.  It's a disturbing trend.  One that needs to stop before things go any further.

"I mean, what's next?  You know?" Melanie wondered.  "Some sort of dog internment camps where bad behavior is 'trained' out of them? Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds?  Training a dog to not pee in your house or eat your shoes?  Why don't we just domesticate the elephant while we're at it?  Then we can teach spiders to drive cars and invite hammerhead sharks over for Thanksgiving dinner."

Though she flew off course quickly, Starflower has a point: we live in a progressive world today where behavior like this should not be allowed to flourish as it has.  So if you or anyone you know is a dog bully, direct them to the ASPCA commercial with all the sadness in it* and help them change their ways.  Life doesn't have to be so ruff for these loving creatures.  Together we can build a better world. 

*Literally any ASPCA commercial.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Biogenesis Rabbit Hole Goes Deeper as Players Attempt to Speed Evolution

Well, Major League Baseball, you've done it again: you've managed to rebuild your credibility only to completely obliterate it less than a decade later.  The phrase "Hulk SMASH!" comes to mind when I think of the most recent debacle to plague the already ailing professional sport, though I'm not even sure that does it justice.  And just when we thought things couldn't get any worse for the league publicity-wise, new information begins to make its way to the press today that sheds light on just how much player "enhancement" has actually occurred.  The information proves startling at best and raises many ethical questions that reach far further than the confines of the game.

Brother of Kid.  Or was it Play?
What we knew up to this point was that several players in the league were using performance enhancing drugs to improve their strength and endurance on the field.  These were provided to them by a now-defunct company called Biogenesis (or perhaps through one of their certified intermediaries).  The Florida-based clinic, initially known as an anti-aging facility for leathery-skinned grandparents, had grown into a full-scale weight loss and hormone replacement therapy center.  Naturally, as science and medicine improved, the clinic was able to develop several other products and services to support their generally vague mission statement and continue to generate revenue.  Couple that with mankind's obsession with greed and success, add in MLB's looser-than-a-two-dollar-whore drug testing policy, and you get a waiting room full of professional athletes filing anonymous paperwork so they can reverse the aging process and sign that hundred million dollar deal.  Makes enough sense, right?

Tongue numbness is a common side effect of being an idiot
Until this week it did.  On Monday, Brewers star Ryan Braun received a 3.5 million dollar fine and a 65-game suspension that effectively ends his season for his involvement with the clinic.  A-Rod is sure to follow next, and many experts agree his suspension will be even longer and could carry even greater financial penalties*.  To top that off, there's the 20-some-odd players that have yet to be named that could suffer a similar fate.  You can bet it will be as stern a ruling as those passed on to Braun and Rodriguez.  Though most fans agree that they are pleased to see the league cleaning house, some are left wondering if there isn't more work left to be done.  After all, with how rapidly science is progressing, there aren't even ways to test for new enhancements, let alone to name those who are using them.

This day and age, cheating, or "performance enhancement" scandals are all but commonplace in professional sports, from Lance Armstrong's recent colossal embarrassment to whatever the flavor of the week may be.  But what is most shocking about Biogenesis is just how much further they planned to delve into cheating as not just an enhancement, but a completely new way of life.  Given enough time and coupled with the continual loosening of the reins by Major League Baseball, you can bet that the game would have gone so far down this road that purists like myself wouldn't even recognize it anymore.  Biogenesis was a pioneer in the field of body magic, second only to the good folks behind HGH, and Great Scott was lucky enough to obtain a rendering of their final unrealized concept.  Biogenesis called it "Mechanized Human Integration," a concept that combined stem cell genetic therapy with advanced robotics (see figure 7).

Figure 7, Biogenesis' unfinished symphony
"The idea was to create a non-violent Robocop," quipped Seth Green, legal counsel for Biogenesis and no, not that Seth Green.  "A seamless integration of organic organism and robot intelligence combining the best of man's natural abilities with the calculable precision of robotics, optics, and preset programming."  When he was reminded that Robocop was not violent, rather he was programmed to his operator's preset controls, Green seemed enthusiastic.  "Even more apropos in today's world.  Take a chicken for example: some eggs are good and some are bad.  But what if there was some sort of Robot Chicken?  One that had a sensor in it's butt that could tell you if an egg would be good or bad before it was laid?  Wouldn't we be obligated, as a society, to enhance our own lives with this knowledge?  Or should we continue to live in the stone age?"

Is this what baseball will look like in 2020?
Though many progressives out there say yes and then no, fans of the sport worry that too many changes could lead to a different dynamic at the stadium.  "First we let them get Lasik, then we allowed them to take Advil for headaches.  What's next?  Some sort of needle injected drug that makes you bigger and stronger?" one fan wondered.  Plain and simple: yes.  And until the day that robotic implants become the norm^, players will have to stick with bluetooth, google glass, and needle drugs to reach the pinnacle of performance.  Or they could just work out hard and use the gifts they were naturally bestowed with, like the rest of us.

*Rumored to be something in the vicinity of infinity billion dollars.
^Predicted to be sometime around 2047.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Battleship Prompts Other Board Game Adaptations

If you're as excited as we are about the new Battleship movie, you'll be pleased to know that Hollywood has taken note.  In the past six months the entertainment industry has been clamoring for any content that could share the same success that the toy company Hasbro has enjoyed in recent years.  If you're unfamiliar with Hasbro, look no further than the successful Transformers franchise.  Hasbro launched it as a toy, adapted it into a movie franchise, and then launched new toys to support those films.  In short: they are printing their own money and the inflation rate appears to be zero.  To date there are 4 Transformers movies (if we count the cartoon) and a seemingly unlimited number could follow*.  With that in mind, a few of the burgeoning off-shoot projects have started trickling out to the press.  Here's some of the most interesting projects we've become aware of:

Matel has launched a talent agency and signed Polly Pocket as their first A-list client.  We hear it's a seven year agreement at a mind-blowing 5% commission as opposed to the 10% that is standard payout for most actors.  The hope is to partner with Disney/Pixar to launch a franchise of Polly Pocket films.  We hear a script for the first installment is in the works and could be in production as early as September.  Naturally, Michael Bay is attached to direct.  We also hear that Matel has resurrected the toy company Worlds of Wonder and with it their best-selling Teddy Ruxpin who is fresh out of a stint at Promises Rehabilitation Facility in Malibu, California. 

Tyler Perry and his production company Tyler Perry Studios has purchased the rights to Guess Who? (The Mystery Face Game) from the Milton Bradley Company.  He plans to adapt the game into a murder mystery, though says any comparisons to the game and movie Clue are completely coincidental.  He also promises for a much more diverse cast in his version of the game story, having already attached Sidney Poitier to star.  When critics asked if that wouldn't defeat the purpose of the game movie (in the game you and a opponent trade questions based solely on physical appearance), Perry responded by saying that it was clear that the critics were superficial and probably racist.  Many of the critics agreed with his assessment but also cited that had nothing to do with what they were talking about. 

Milton Bradley also made another pair of sales officially cementing their place as the number two^ toy/movie company in the entertainment business today.  The first is a live-action adaptation of the popular board game Mall Madness.  What was once the mall with it all will now be the movie with it all.  John Travolta and Tom Cruise are set to star as a pair of girlfriends who get locked in a mall over night.  In order to escape the zombies security guard they have to visit seven stores and collect a variety of items.  Kevin James will reprise his role as Paul Blart in a terrible cross-over attempt that would even make the executives behind T.G.I.F cringe.  As to whether the actors will be in drag, Travolta commented that it actually takes him longer to, "get dressed like you men do."  Cruise could not be reached-around for comment.

Mouse Trap, the second of Milton-Bradley's sales, will prove to be a bit more difficult despite it selling for a steep price tag.  The script with "the most difficult set-up ever" will be written by Charlie Kauffman.  We hear George Clooney's Section Eight Production Company is attached to produce the film, though Clooney will not direct.  Michael Bay will.  We also hear that the team behind Wipe Out could be contributing the vast majority of the set, although this is all based on the assumption that Kaufman will take a literal interpretation of the material.  No release date has been set, but should the rumors be true that Universal Studios is co-financing the film you can expect a Mouse Trap ride to launch the weekend the film opens as well.

Whether or not these films will be commercially successful is hard to say.  If Hasbro's previous success is any indication, I'd say that Dec 21, 2012 end-of-the-world-thing is pretty spot on. 

*I fainted after writing this sentence.
^Yes.  That number two.