But I’d rather just get into VIX.
But I’d rather just get into VIX.
What up, WordPress! Today’s song of the day is Bringin’ on the Heartbreak by Def Leppard. Epic. I have some random crap to share with you today so sit back, unbutton your fly, and let it all hang out as I serenade you with my rap. Typing is going VERY fast as this is only the second time I’ve posted on a computer. Random shit to follow:
“All I’m for is the liberty of the individual.” – John Wayne
I keep a list of interesting tidbits I pick up from being EXTREMELY ONLINE all day for later editions of this format that no one but myself appreciates. I was trying to find a good one for today, when I noticed a good chunk of these are pretty straightforward, and there’s not much of a story to tell beyond the bare bones. I was kind of disappointed I wasn’t able to spin these into fuller stories, but here are some interesting historical factoids I bet you didn’t know:
/opens YouTube tab playing “Proud to be an American”
/reads anything ever written about Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
//realizes we’re due for another wave of hysterical old people in Indiana panicking about invisible threats
I know it’s Wednesday, but:
Today’s EXCELLENT, OVER THE TOP CATCHY song of the day is Further On by Bronze Radio Return. Listen to it through. Don’t confuse this with Führer On by Adolf Ft. The Jeffersons. Sorry if that was a little on the nose – I’m sitting at work, popping out the world’s hardest turd. A true diamond dump, this thing has absolutely NO give. Rock hard. This turd is literally the last thing you want falling in the footwell and rolling behind the brake pedal. I take good poos.
I don’t understand the problem. I’ve been eating Whole Foods’ air-chilled chicken (below) but the poltergeist in my lower intestine remains.
Finally, a coworker brought in this Ukrainian crepes which are ON FLEEK. Home-made jam from her garden and it also has home-grown flower pedals that gave the crepe an almost surreal taste. Try some the next time you’re in Russia (née Ukraine).
Finally, an amusing license plate:
“I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.” – John Wayne
Sometimes I have the urge to write, but I can’t find something that sounds compelling or interesting at the moment, or I have no desire to do actual research (yes, I do research). Usually, this is because I want to watch TV and don’t want to look at the depressing sinkhole of Twitter. When this strikes, that’s when I turn to compiling a list of something. Today – megafauna! Do you know what megafauna are? They are giant animals, generally ones over 90 pounds. Today they are mostly pretty well-known – elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, whales, bears, bison, moose, etc. We aren’t going to rank them, because this isn’t a Richard Scarry book. We’re going to focus on the extinct ones and exclude dinosaurs, because I’ve grown out of that stage of my life earlier this year, instead let’s investigate prehistoric, now-extinct species of megafauna, because it’s been a while since you felt insignificant.
Moa: Twelve-foot tall flightless bird. Identified as “cursorial”, meaning they just wandered around aimlessly not necessarily in pursuit of food because they had no natural predators on the ground. As we’ll see, there’s a loophole to this statement. Originally wiped out once humans showed up on their island and killed them with dogs, hunted them for meat, and had their nests wiped out by rats (which arrived with humans). Spoiler – this isn’t the last time we’ll see humans stomp one of these creatures out.
Beelzebufo: A large frog, like ten inches. Meh. Really only got included because it’s got a rad list of nicknames: “devil frog” and “frog from hell”. Dramatic namings will be a recurring thread.
Diprotodon: Hippo-sized wallaby from Australia (obviously). Killed by over-hunting from prehistoric humans. Pssh, those prehistoric idiots didn’t even have spears and still managed to eradicate them. Trash.
Paraceratherium: Not a room in a Dr Seuss book, but a twenty foot… thing. Estimates suggest it looked like a hornless rhinoceros with a much longer, stronger neck, with the picture I looked at depicting it like the proto-humans responsible for the xenomorphs from “Prometheus”. That’s probably far too deep a reference since no one saw that movie. Because life is about context – a modern rhino, if large, grows to be six-feet tall, and weighs roughly only one-tenth of a paraceratherium. Guys, these assholes were HUUUUUGE.
Coelodonta: A hairy rhino, but slightly bigger. Whatever.
Megatherium: Twenty-foot tall sloth, which sounds incredible until you realize they were far too large to actually climb trees and really just pulled anything they wanted towards themselves. Allegedly, they would plant their enormous ass on the ground and just pull everything directly into their mouths. The hedonistic Roman Emperor of extinct megafauna (the panda would be the modern designation for this classification).
Deinotherium: Eurasian elephants with downward-curving tusks. Look like regular elephants with Down Syndrome.
Indricotheres: Basically Asian rhinos. Manged to become extinct before their modern comrades by a few thousand years. Oh modern rhinos aren’t extinct you say? Give it fifteen years.
Dire wolf: Did you think dire wolves were a fictional creature developed by George RR Martin? Because they’re real and awesome. Well, not really. They were the same size as a modern gray wolf. Okay maybe I oversold how awesome they are.
Daeodon: Big ol’ pigs. Fossils suggest they were omnivores with a predilection for dining on animals the size of modern cows (again, BIIIIIIG ol’ pigs). Considered so dominant in their food chain, they ere nicknamed “hell pig” or “terminator pig”, because fuck yeah.
Macrauchenia: Long-necked sloth that looked like a humpless camel. It’s such a shame to be humpless.
Glyptodons: An armadillo the sized of a Volkswagen Beetle. I mean, sure.
Gigantopithecus: A really big ape. So far, paleontologists have only found teeth because its location in Southeast Asia makes it extremely difficult to uncover more fossils due to the heavy jungle canopy, but estimates suggest it being twice as tall as a modern human, like a real life King Kong. Really loses points because it’s one creature we actually have a real life comparison for, even if its fictional and the source of a dumb remake by Peter Jackson.
Macrauchenia: Identified as “long-snouted creatures like llamas” that looked like dick-nosed llamas. I call it how I see it.
Phorusrhacidae: Almost ten-foot tall flightless bird. Why is this ranked higher than the moa? This son of a bitch was carnivorous. MEAT-EATING EMUS.
Megaloceros: Also known as the Irish Elk. With a rack spreading up to twelve-feet across, had a pretty awesome geographic footprint with fossils of close genetic relatives being found in China. The megaloceros was a big fan of “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson apparently.
Dunkleosteus: Thirty-five foot armored fish with no teeth. A terrifying reminder of why you should never go in the ocean, lest you be gummed to death.
Teratorn Argentavis: South American bird with twenty-four foot wingspan. Let that sink in – 24 FEET. The largest bird alive is a condor, which is not even HALF as big. This was basically a feathery pterodactyl, and a fair justification to ornithophobia. When you stand in the shadow of the wingspan the length of a school bus, you are allowed to be scared of birds.
Bullockornis: An 8 foot 2 inch duck. A bit ho-hum, until we get to the rad as hell nicknames: “demon duck of doom” and “THUNDERDUCK” (emphasis mine). Thunderduck. You guys, thunderduck. He would make the best villain in a Darkwing Duck reboot.
Sarkastodon: Not a sarcastic elephant, but actually a big-ass hyena. Sources classify it as a “hypercarnivore”, or John Candy at an all-you-can-eat buffet in Las Vegas.
Mastodon/Wooly Mammoths: Actually made extincted by humans! Fuck yeah humans, don’t take shit from prehistoric monsters. Also going to be brought back by humans, because fuck yeah humans! (https://bigthink.com/dr-kakus-universe/back-from-extinction-scientists-plan-to-clone-woolly-mammoth) They are actually two different species – the prior lived 15 million years ago (not driven to extinction by human) while the latter lived as recently as 1.2 million years ago. I don’t know how the math works when my religious texts assures me the Earth is only 40,000 years old. Both have the benefit of having an awesome name, but the former has the benefit of being the inspiration for my favorite band. Fuck yeah Mastodon.
Let’s sidebar and discuss the interesting anthropological theory of island dwarfism/gigantism, which is how the size of an animal evolves to match the size of their geographic locale. Animals from small territories or islands tend to be smaller, whereas ones with larger areas grow to be larger. Surprise – this is why everything in Australia is evolutionary-bred to terrorize you.
Sabre-toothed tiger/American tiger/Smilodon: There are actually a dozen different types of these, all of which have a terrible case of overbite. The earliest fossils date back 34 million-ish years ago, while the most recent fossils were dated to 9,000 years ago. A little too close for my anthropological tastes given they sported twelve-inch fangs. The largest modern tiger was measured at 670 pounds, and smilodons, the smallest and most modern, were estimated to be 900 pounds. The cavemen that squared off against these with sharp twigs they found on the ground had tremendous balls.
Haast’s eagle: The story of Hasst’s eagle is the epilogue to the story of the moa mentioned above. Remember when we talked about how the moa had no predators on the ground prior to humans? That was true, but Haast’s eagles literally evolved to utterly destroy the shit of these hopeless idiots. These birds had short wingspans to navigate the jungles of New Zealand (remember when I said I didn’t want to do research? I have done way more than I bargained for), but these dudes BRAWLED. Their remains have been found with moa bones scattered around, so they were sturdy enough to maul the ever-loving shit out of packs of twelve-foot ostriches. Fun fact! Once the natives of New Zealand hunted moas into extinction, these eagles immediately went extinct as well, as they were all about the easy targets. This all happened in the late 1400s. A gentle reminder that your forefathers lived a far more difficult life than you could even imagine.
Titanis walleri: Also known as the “TERROR BIRD”. You know why this particular bird is ranked ahead of the Haast’s eagle, the overachiever of the extinct monster-birds (aside from the fact it’s called the TERROR BIRD)? Because this monstrosity was restricted to the ground and was purely carnivorous. A 350-pound flightless bird that is pissed about looking like a toucan on meth and whatever they gave Bane in “the Dark Knight Rises” is a recipe for disaster.
Paleozoic sea scorpions: BIGGER THAN A HUMAN HOLY SHIT THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE.
Pliosaurs: Latin for “more lizard”, an extinct genus of thalassophonean pliosaurid known from the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian stages (Late Jurassic) of Europe and South America. Who fucking cares about that boring shit – more commonly nicknamed PREDATOR X. San Fernando Valley is so bummed they didn’t name the Arnold Schwarzenegger-themed-action-movie-porno-rip-off of his classic this. A pliosaur was basically a fifty-foot crocodile, with pieces of one discovered mandible coming in to roughly 9.2 feet. A FUCKING NINE FOOT JAW. MOTHER OF GOD. These things were bigger than modern orca whales. Predator X suddenly seems vastly inadequate.
Siamoglae melilutra: GIANT OTTERS. They grew up to 110 pounds, or twice the size of a large modern otter. Everything on this list has been ferocious and world-crushing behemoths, but this is just a pet I want. I will take two. I will flood my second-floor apartment if necessary to accommodate them.
Megalodon: Because Jason Statham demanded it. They grew up to FIFTY-feet long – for context, an average great white is twelve- or fifteen-feet (male and female, respectively). The movie debuting this summer definitely exaggerates the size of these things, but really not by that much! A modern great white can casual chomp off someone’s leg, and they are only roughly a quarter of the size of a megalodon. I don’t know how I can make this more terrifying. Great whites are considered the finest predators on the planet, and they were SHIT compared to these horrors. They had EIGHT-INCH teeth. ROWS AND ROWS of them. A tyrannosaurus rex is widely considered the most fierce animal to ever roam the earth, but that’s only because they were mortified of going into the water and seeing one of these demons.
Castoroides: A giant beaver the size of a cow, AKA your mom.
WE MISSED SOMETHING BIG:
And if that isn’t enough to put papers in hands, then you’ve got to appreciate this helpful insight:
I’m coining it right here and right now: snowflake journalism. Enjoy it before it gets popular…
HEY GUYS! Want to know the sort of innovative projects that your tax dollars are supporting?
The Ohio Department of Trans-Deportation, woah, “Freudian slip” (I hear these go for $50 down on the seedy TS side of town), Transportation has decided that smartphone-wielding consumers can use an app that provides a GPS/map with all sorts of neat functionality like identifying traffic, estimating delay times, and re-routing. Um. Ohio. PIIIIIISSST. Come here a second.
THE LARGEST TECH COMPANIES IN THE WORLD HAVE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE BEFORE LEBRON PUT YOUR DICK-SNEEZE, SHIT-UGLY STATE BORDERS ON THE MAP. I’d threaten to send in The Donald to drain your swamp but we’d just end up with another Kentucky/Tennessee.
Finally, I was passing through Columbia City last week and saw their beautiful water tower:
Impressive, right? Feeling hungry? Feeling like a burger and fries? Maybe a Diet Coke? Maybe it’s because the city ripped off White Castle’s logo:
Today’s episode has it all, assuming “all” is tons of gay sex and Franklin Roosevelt and the Navy. Do I have your attention? I know Disillusioned Dilettante is listening closely because of one of those specifics (spoiler – he’s a big FDR fan!).
In 1919, a senior member of the US Navy was hanging out in a Naval training base in Newport, RI when he overheard a rumor of a particular subculture seeping below the coast town’s veneer – Bronies. JK, there was talk of gay stuff happening at the Army and Navy YMCAs as well as the Newport Art Club (shocking!). This senior member, Ervin Arnold, felt it was his responsibility, nah, his DUTY to dig into this. He petitioned his superiors to conduct a full investigation into reports of parties of homosexual activity, liquor, cocaine, cross-dressing and, I quote, “effeminate behavior”. I don’t know about you guys, but these parties sound pretty rowdy.
Eventually, this investigator took root in the senior ranks of the Navy, including then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt. See, FDR was eyeing the White House as a possible future VP in the near future, and thought a good ol’ moral crusade could thrust him (pun absolutely intended) in national prominence. After failing to find a dedicated third-party to manage the investigation, Arnold was placed in charge of ferreting out the homosexual behavior, and boy, did he have a strategy. You see, Arnold proclaimed to be an expert at spotting gay men, in what is certainly the first documented report of a gaydar.
Arnold went through the available sailors and tapped thirteen of them based on their youth and looks to identify all the gay stuff in Newport. The underlying strategy involved getting gay. Seriously. The Navy trained these guys in gay stuff, and dropped them into the scene to document what they experience firsthand. The men were set lose, “observing all and ears open for all conversation and make himself free with this class of men, being jolly and good natured, being careful to pump these men (ed: NICE) for information, making them believe that he is what is termed in the Navy as a ‘boy humper,’ making dates with them and so forth” and were outright encouraged to have gay sex in order to uncover the other gay men in order to locate the “cocksuckers and rectum receivers and the ring leaders of this gang”. I imagine much of the planning involved conversations like “…and you can suck him off, but it’s totally NOT gay because you’re straight.” This is like Charlie Kelly attempting to retrieve a cat of the wall in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wco2uE6vyQ) – the only way to root out the gay stuff is to add a ton more gay stuff to the pile, but it’s okay because all these guys were totally not gay, just extremely patriotic.
The logic here is astonishing, even by interwar America standards. So these guys went out there and just plowed their way through the underground gay scene of Newport, doing tons of drugs and dudes. Over the course of three weeks, fifteen sailors had been arrested, dragged before a military tribunal and dumped into prison for being gay. While unsettling, it was still pretty normal for the time frame of everyone to be terrified of “TEH QUEERZ!”. During the military tribunals in which gay guys were testified against by their TOTALLY NOT GAY ex-lovers, the court frequently had to pause and ask for clarification for what certain terms or acts were. Oh to be a fly on that wall. To see a bunch of stodgy old New England Protestants listen to TOTALLY NOT GAY sailors report about “cock sucking”, “sucking off”, “screwing in the rectum”, “browning” (I have NO IDEA what browning is either), and “giving loads” would have been a delightful experience.
One gay spy reported he sucked off one guy in an alleyway, but never got his name, which had to have been a debilitating way to fail a mission. Another fingered a local reverend who, despite eleven counts of “gay stuff” – I mean, “moral contamination” – was eventually let off due to his nobly standing in to assist the sick during the influenza epidemic a few years prior. Oh yeah, and because he wasn’t actually a sailor. Turns out, you can’t try someone in a military tribunal if they aren’t in the military. And “by let off”, I mean Arnold immediately turned around and tried him a second time in a federal court, because double jeopardy is no match for being gay.
This investigation eventually got picked up by local newspapers who were by no means pro-homosexuality, but definitely thought it was a little suspicious the Navy is encouraging their sailors to gobble dicks in order to prosecute the others who may or may not actually be in the Navy. This was picked up all over the country, where it was eventually revealed FDR not only signed off on this, but got regular reports delivered to his office of the gay activity. FDR – homoerotic romance novel early adapter.Still trying to diddle his secretary in a different, bigger office, FDR resigned from the Navy when the heat picked up and was officially condemned by Congress for his involvement in the gay Gestapo. He and his running mate, James M Cox (I SWEAR TO GOD FDR RAN WITH A GUY NAMED ‘COX’ WHILE EMBROILED IN A GAY SEX SCANDAL), lost to Herbert Hoover. Nothing bad happened while Hoover was in office.
Arnold was pushed out of the Navy, but suffered no repercussions for his role in the sexiest task force the US Navy ever embarked on. I like to imagine he was just trying to prank his friends by tricking them into blowing dudes in the name of military superiority by assuring them it’s definitely not gay. Either way, I’m sure they look back fondly on the summer they sucked their way through Newport. Ahhhh, to be young again!