According to SocialFlow, in the past 12 months we have collectively spent more than 1,284 years reading about Donald Trump on social media. Yes, that’s years. Subtract this wasted time from our current year and it means he’s helped take us back to the year 732AD, about the time the Chinese invented gunpowder and Charlemagne expanded his empire to include Germany. This is a far cry from the dire predictions that Trump will send us back to the Stone Age. But then the election’s still seven months away.
Time, Inc. has bought MySpace. Yes, the precursor to Facebook that Mark Zuckerberg ate for brunch. It turns out Time is buying Viant, a company that had purchased MySpace from an investor group that included Justin Timberlake who bought it from Rupert Murdoch. Got all that? In related news, Netscape has announced the purchase of Friendster for $23.42 plus a 300 baud Hayes Modem and a carton of green-lined dot matrix printer paper.
When asked during tonight’s Republican debate what woman he would put on the $10 bill, Jeb Bush, proving that verbal gaffs are a dominant trait in his family, said, “Margaret Thatcher.” Social media instantly lit up. Come on, folks, give the guy a break. It was a simple slip of the tongue. Obviously he meant to say, “Margaret Hamilton.”
The IRS has announced that beginning next year they won’t accept any checks written for more then $999,999,999.00 because check-processing equipment at the Federal Reserve banks can’t handle checks that large so they have to be processed by hand. That means all IRS payments of $100 million or more will have to be made electronically or split into several smaller checks.
According to CNN, prison tailor instructor Joyce Mitchell has admitted to putting hacksaw blades in frozen hamburger and asking a prison guard to pass it to Richard Matt, one of the two convicted killers who hacked their way out of the Clinton Correctional Facility two weeks ago. Prison authorities said it was a very clever move since they routinely check all cakes for hacksaw blades but never thought to check frozen hamburger. Nor wonder what a prisoner was going to do with frozen hamburger in his non-cooking cell. IQ tests will be administered all around.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, a North Korean military official stated that, “We have had the capability of miniaturizing nuclear warheads, as well as producing multiform weapons, for some time.” When asked to comment on this breakthrough, leader Kim Jong Un said, “It’s very exciting. We can put them in our pockets with our loose change, keep one on our keychains, and even pull the eraser out of a pencil and put a teeny tiny nuclear warhead in it. I’m just saying.”
Jeb Bush yesterday backpedaled once again when asked about whether the U.S. should have gotten involved in his older brother’s war in Iraq, “Knowing what we know now, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq.” When asked for a comment about his sons, George H. Bush, said, “Knowing what we know now, I would have gotten a vasectomy on my wedding night.”
Commenting on the NFL’s decision to suspend New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games for using underinflated footballs in the playoffs, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid Tweeted that, “I find it stunning that the NFL cares more about how much air is in a football than it cares about a racist franchise name,” referring of course to the Washington Redskins. Interestingly, he doesn’t seem to care that the government has Tomahawk missiles; Apache, Blackhawk, and Lakota helicoptors; and used the code name Geronimo in the attack on Osama bin Laden. Whatever you do, don’t go scalping tickets to the next Reid fundraiser.
In an interview Friday night with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner admitted that, “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.” Then he really shocked Sawyer and the world by admitting that he’s a *gasp* Republican. “I lived a lie my whole life and I can’t do that any longer,” he said. He went on to admit that he’s always felt he’s African-American, is actually more attuned to his Vulcan half, and thanks to the decathlon can’t stand anything that includes the number 10.
New Belgium Brewery in Colorado has teamed up with Ben & Jerry’s to create a beer inspired by ice cream – Salted Caramel Brownie. Apparently they were afraid that a beer named Chubby Hubby would be a little too close for comfort to sell well.
A photo of Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has been circulating in which he’s standing on the, uh, wrong side of a boy who’s wearing the classic ’70s tourist T-shirt: “I’m With Stupid.” Since Correa speaks fluent English and holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Illinois we can only assume he has a sense of humor. As for the boy, he said, “Ese es el Presidente? Yo pensaba que era Ted Cruz!”
The United States Postal Service is unveiling a stamp Tuesday morning honoring the late author Maya Angelou. The stamp features the quote, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Unfortunately, it turns out Angelou didn’t write that, children’s book author Joan Walsh Anglund did in 1967 in her book, A Cup of Sun. When he heard, Mark Saunders of the USPS responded by sending a link to a 2013 blog post interview that quoted Angelou saying the phrase and later said he found “numerous references” that attributed it to Angelou. Snopes probably wasn’t one of them. The USPS says it’s not going to pull the limited edition stamp but may re-release it with a different famous Angelou quote, “Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am.”
The Indian Journal of Dermatology announced that it was withdrawing a paper published in 2014 titled “Development of a guideline to approach plagiarism in Indian scenario” because sections of it were plagiarized. It turns out that the paper’s author, Thorakkal Shamim of the Department of Dentistry in Malappuram, copied whole chunks from someone else’s dissertation. The journal is taking a hard look at other of Shamim’s submissions, including “The effects of Irony on publishing careers.”
After months of threatening, House Speaker John Boehner filed a lawsuit against President Obama for what he calls abuse of the president’s executive authority relating to the healthcare law hereinafter known as Obamacare. In spite of his earlier threats to include Obama’s new immigration order in the lawsuit, in the end it wasn’t a part of it, though one Republican official says it’s still under consideration. Another proposal, intended to save money, time, and the American people’s dwindling patience, is to take it to Judge Judy. With luck it will be on next Wednesday’s show. It will be quick, painless, and much funnier. Then we can get on with our lives and back to discussing important things like Kim K’s butt.
After two months of air strikes and a lot of careful thought and consideration, the Pentagon announced yesterday that it had come up with an official name for the war on Islamic State – Operation Inherent Resolve. Apparently Operation Wishy Washy was rejected as being too forceful and militaristic. Not only will the new battle slogan instill fear – maybe even shock and awe! – in the enemy, but it will look really good on CNN and Fox News when they flash it on the screen accompanied by the strains of 101 Hollywood Strings performing “Oops! I Did It Again.” Heck, even the lame Invasion of Grenada in 1983 was called Operation Urgent Fury.
Not to be outdone, the Surgeon General announced today that the fight against Ebola would from now on be officially known as Operation Try Not to Catch It.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has finally made a public appearance after 40 days out of sight, visiting a new housing complex and sporting a spiffy new cane. When asked by a reporter about his lack of public appearances, Kim replied, “I overslept. One of my lackies must have forgotten to set the alarm. Now go to prison and do hard labor for the rest of your life.”
A company in Cuba that manufactures homeopathic medicines, cleaning products and dietary supplements is moving into the cologne market. Labiofam is releasing two scents: “Ernesto” and “Hugo,” in honor of Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Formulated by a French company, “Ernesto” is a woodsy and refreshing citric scent with notes of talcum powder while “Hugo” is softer and fruitier with hints of mango and papaya. The scents took 1½ years to formulate because the original version of “Ernesto,” which featured more authentic notes of sweat, jungle, and gunpowder, oddly didn’t fare well in the focus groups.
Two hundred sixteen experts who attended the Food Safety Summit in Baltimore last April got sick after eating lunch. It turns out the Chicken Marsala that was served was contaminated with Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, headaches, chills, vomiting and fever. Hopefully they’ll be more careful at next year’s event, which has the theme: “Hey, let’s go out for lunch!”
This is a formal request to Congress to outlaw the word “epic” unless used to describe The Odyssey, The Ramayana, Beowulf, or a song title by AFI. This campaign is bound to be a, well, big fail.