Arch Stanton Guest Post: Animals With Fraudulent Diplomas

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A while back I wrote an article about a bleakly American Wikipedia page (“List of federal political sex scandals in the United States”), which started as delightfully anodyne – he may have been gay! He loved a black woman! – and ended up with a lot of sexual assaults and a suicide. Sorry about that. It took a turn I did not expect, and I wasn’t about to toss the whole thing (I am not a very diligent editor). As you can tell by the title here, it is unlikely we run into such a macabre conclusion this time. ANIMALS WITH FRAUDULENT DIPLOMAS!

Before we dive in, let’s consider the pretext for this article more closely – are we to understand there are animals out there with LEGITIMATE diplomas? Where is THAT list? I imagine it’s the hypothetical monkey who eventually tapped out Shakespeare on a typewriter after an infinite time frame and that painting elephant with an honorary art degree. Alas, there is a trend you will soon see.

Colby Nolan: Colby Nolan was a six-year old house cat who was awarded an MBA in 2004 by the illustrious Trinity Southern University. Are you unfamiliar with Trinity Southern? It’s probably because it was a Dallas-based diploma mill that would send you a diploma for $299.00. Colby’s owner, a Pennsylvania deputy attorney general, sent a resume stating Colby – who is a cat by the way, let’s not forget that critical detail – had taken classes at a local community college, worked at McDonalds, babysat and maintained a newspaper route. This cat is out there trying to provide for his family. Trinity responded due to the lack of experience, they would need another $100.00 to process his degree. Lo and behold! Colby got an MBA. Trinity was subsequently sued into oblivion. THIS CAT EARNED HIS DEGREE DAMNIT.

George: George is a cat owned by BBC host Chris Jackson who wanted to prove the illegitimacy of hypnotherapy. Jackson got his cat registered with the British Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming, the United Fellowship of Hypnotherapists and the Professional Hypnotherapy Practitioner Association, thus securing George’s licensed accreditation as a hypnotherapist. I would still let George tell me my future.

Henrietta: Another house cat owned by a journalist with a vendetta, Henrietta obtained a diploma from the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Upon being accepted, her owner responded it was an honor that would have to be award posthumously as the cat had passed away. I SWEAR THIS IS AS SAD AS THIS GETS.

Kitty O’Malley: Obviously another cat (she is also identified as Spanky, which is a WAY better name), this one obtained a high school diploma from Washington High Academy in Florida. Kitty/Spanky then applied to multiple local colleges, none of which accept her. I am as shocked as you she did not get into Florida State, where she could have majored in prescription forgery, insurance fraud, or aluminum-siding resale.

Oliver Greenhalgh: A cat accepted into the English Association of Estate Agents and Valuers after sending eleven guineas, a piece of British currency that had been out of commission for over a century. The English Association of Estate Agents and Valuers aren’t even good at being paid for their scam.

Oreo C Collins: A cat who “graduated” from an online high school, despite later admitting she had to lie about her age in order to qualify. Oreo was heading an investigation by the Better Business Bureau.

Zoe D Katze: Cat owners really ride hard for puns while naming their pets. This German cat also obtained multiple hypnotherapy certifications after her snitch of an owner followed a vendetta against palm readers and tarot card readers. Get a hobby nerd.

Lulu: In 2010, a class action was underway against Virgin Islands’ Concordia College for defrauding “students” with bogus degrees. Mark Howard, one of the attorneys for the claimants, used his dog Lulu as evidence of the illegitimacy of the college. In court, Lulu had “graduated” with a better GPA than one of the key defendant witnesses. This is the academic equivalent of the kid who was benched on his high school basketball team in order to open up playing time for Air Bud.

Molly: In 2012, a Houston news team got a degree from a local diploma mill for a photographer’s basset hound after sending a $300.00 check and completing a “laughably easy take-home test”. This news team could have just completed the take-home test on their own to show how easy it was, but a wise producer managed to shoe horn a dog into the story, and here we are, talking about it six years later. That is a producer who is good at their job.

Pete: The American University of London offered a four-year lurcher (basically an off-brand wolfhound) an MBA for $4,500.00 despite making up all his work experience and an undergrad degree from a fictitious undergraduate program. Pete managed to get his MBA just four days after applying. Good boy, Pete.

Sassafras Herbert: FINALLY someone who knows how to name a dog! Sassafras got a diploma for $50.00 from the American Association of Nutrition and Dietary Consultants. Let the free market settle which degrees are fake and which are real, I always say.

Sonny: Sonny got a medical degree, excuse me – A FUCKING MEDICAL DEGREE – from Ashwood University after listing work experience of “significant proctology experience sniffing other dogs’ bums.” That’s just A+ comedy writing guys. That’s better than you’ll get on this internet backwater of a site.

Wally:  Wally received an associate degree in childhood development from Almeda University in 2004 after claiming to “play with kids every day… teaching them to interact better with each other… teaching them responsibilities like feeding the dog.” Almeda University returned fire, claiming Wally’s owner had committed perjury by creating a false identity using a fabricated name and date of birth, thus illustrating Almeda University’s lack of understand about the concept of perjury. Wally was born to be a star, because he went on to be featured in a Wisconsin mayoral campaign with a dialogue bubble “I graduated with [mayoral opponent] Bill Chesen”, referencing the candidates phony Almeda University bachelor’s degree. Wally is better at political satire than any other writer, dead or alive.

Ollie: Mike Daube, a public health expert in Western Australia, used his dog to promote a list of made-up credentials like “past associate of the Senton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies”, which was the pound where Daube had rescued Ollie. Multiple predatory journals accepted her application as a member, with the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine naming her an associate editor. Jesus guys, get it together, you aren’t even TRYING anymore.

Maxwell Sniffingwell: HELL YES this is the good stuff. Pompous British name by someone who clearly has never been out of the tri-state area? Big ol’ checkmark. An Arkansas veterinarian submitted an application to Belford University on behalf of his English bulldog based on his work as a reproductive specialist (NICE), noting his natural ability in theriogeneology (basically animal husbandry, or “pet-fucking” for the less initiated). The application was accepted with a payment of $549.00.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m about to pet my dog and pad my resume. Au revoir!

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F SJWs, I’m an ILJW

HEAR YE, HEAR YE.  My body and mind grow weak with the boatload of politically correct rainbows and unicorns shit to which we’ve been subjected for too long.  Today, I announce that I’ll be the first rat down the anchor line.  To quote Rooster Cogburn, “I bow out.”  I guess there’s nothing left to do but claim my own faction within the Tea Partay.  Here and now, I’m coining the phrase: Individual Liberty Justice Warrior.  Write that down.  I’m here to halt the phony baloney nonsense, pack it up, and ship that shit back to Berkeley where it belongs, oozing it’s unproductive juices into the bay.  OH!  Speaking of the gay bay, big news in Tim Cook’s Apple:

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First things first, you just know that Tim Cook heard “bull” and is already planning on how he and his team can get caught with their pants down around their legs on this partnership.  Second things second, you just know that once Tim Cook gets his hands on Tesla, the market for novelty penis stick shifts is going to take off.  Speaking of which, how ballin is this:

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If Mr. Cook were to identify with one particular variety of Apple, which would it be?  I’m guessing there would be a special place in his heart for Spartan apples but what about Bloody Ploughman apples?  Or Cockpit Improved apples?  He definitely wouldn’t go for the Pink Sparkle apples.  Maybe the Pixie Crunch variety?  Or the Queen Cox apple or Bundy’s Ringwood apple.  Or the Lord Hindlip.  He’s gay.  You get it.

I should probably bounce but wanted to share some neat resources with my reader.  This website (https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-the-fed-dot-plot-416891) has some great stuff for people dipping their toes in finance.  The background on the Fed dot plot is helpful but there are other articles that are similarly interesting and educational.

Thinking of investing in TSLA or buying one of their sweet rides?  Check out this article titled “Wall Street analysts tore down a Tesla Model 3 and found ‘significant fit & finish issues’ (TSLA)” from Business Insider first.  That shit is a little disconcerting.

I’m getting lazy.  This post was originally intended to be about something else entirely but I thought-masturbated the ILJW concept into existence this evening and had to share it with the world.  Stay hungry, hombres.

Song of the Day (8/14/2018)

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:

  • Where are my Western Frontierspeople (#feminism) in this readership?  Okay, now that I’ve narrowed it down to two of you (one of them being me), who among you remaining individuals is a BIG LEAGUE fan of private equity/venture capital?  Down to just me now?  Well, Disillusioned Dilettante, you’re going to love the fuck out of Lowercase Capital.  Go to the firm’s website and you’ll be immersed in a perfect marriage between frontier manifest destiny and rockstar PE/VC returns.  Best.  Investment Firm.  Ever.  John Wayne would’ve been proud.  Their list of portfolio companies is under the “Posse” section and is segmented by current holdings (“Still on the Range”) and exited investments (“Sold off Their Claims”).  Apply to this firm.

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  • Planning on having a child soon?  Not planning on having a child but still having a child soon?  Great!  Want to figure out a way to REALLY jump start your child’s 529 college saving plan?  Bet on the sex (“gender” or do I smell another lawsuit from LGBTQIA?) of your baby!  BabyBookie allows you to start a baby pool and let your friends and family bet on your child’s genitals, among other possible wagers.  Place your bet on the baby’s arrival date, gender, weight, or length.  Turns out having children can have its minor thrills.
  • Like big military equipment?  Want to drive around, pretending you’re just innocent, little old Uncle Sam fighting off the ever-threatening, oppressive trade war regimes of the orient?  Well get your ass in the car and head to Kasota, Minnesota to try your hand at driving a tank.  Drive a Tank allows civilians to drive American tanks starting as low as $299 for the basic package and going up to $2,599 for the full package.  Driving tanks, crushing cars, shooting machine guns, perusing geodes at the gift shop.  There’s plenty to keep you busy.
  • The 78 maps they didn’t teach you in high school.  I question the academic rigor of some of these creations but they’re pretty interesting and likely worth your exploration.  Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.  Check them out, broheims.
  • Check out the Jacaranda Tree in Australia.  I think these only grow in this one area.  Photos below:

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“All I’m for is the liberty of the individual.” – John Wayne

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Arch Stanton Guest Post: Today I Learned – Quick Hits

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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:

  1. From April 15, 1919 to April 27, 1919, Limerick, Ireland was a self-declared Soviet state. At the start of the Irish war for independence, Irish unions declared themselves part of the recently established Russian state, partially out of devotion to the cause, but primarily to piss off the British Army stationed there. For twelve days, Soviet Limerick printed its own money and began to organize the supply of food. Eventually Irish republicans told them to quit being assholes. Imagine – drunk Irishmen and drunk Russians working together! Why, even less would get accomplished!
  1. There is a burger shop in Las Vegas, NV called the Heart Attack Grill with the intent of serving “nutritional pornography”. That makes no sense – food you masturbate too? I already have an Arby’s across the street through (Arby’s: the most erotic fast food chain). ANYWAY two people have died in the restaurant. One was a regular who was waiting for a bus in front of the building, and the second was midway through the “Triple Bypass Burger” when he collapsed, which many other patrons assumed was a stunt and proceeded to take pictures of a dying man.

/opens YouTube tab playing “Proud to be an American”

  1. In 1997, poacher Vladimir Markov shot and wounded a tiger, and stole part of his dinner in southern Siberian (near the Chinese border). Markov got away, but this tiger was pissed. Think about the most pissed off you’ve ever been (for me, when I was thrown out of Arby’s for taking my pants off), and amplify it by a multitude of thousands. This tiger managed to track the poacher’s scent to his cabin, where he proceeded to destroy everything in the cabin with the poacher’s scent on it. And then, he waited. One estimate states the tiger waited behind the front door for 48 hours without food or water. This guy, ho-humming his way through the woods got home, pleased as punch after a thrilling weekend of poaching animals, opened his door to a MOTHERFUCKING TIGER HE THOUGHT HE KILLED mauling the ever-loving shit out of him. The tiger killed him, dragged him into the woods, and ate him, with one source guessing “the eating may have been secondary. I think [the tiger] killed [Markov] because he had a bone to pick.” Unfortunately, those bones were his own. Many researchers claim tigers possess a level of vengeance unseen anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Tigers are cool as hell.
  1. Iceland has a Christmas Eve tradition called ‘jolabokaflod’ where you buy a special book for everyone in your family as well as chocolate for each of them, and you spend the evening reading the books your family bought for you and eating chocolate. It directly translates to “yule book flood”, which is very much my shit. Feel free to include me in any and all future jolabokaflod festivities.
  1. In South Africa in 1881, there was a baboon who served as a railroad assistant for nine years, helping his double-amputee signalman get around in his wheelchair while performing other basic functions. In his nine years of employment changing railway signals, Jack the baboon never made a mistake. He was paid twenty cents a day and a half bottle of beer a week. Next time you receive a “thank you for your interest, but no” email for a job application, remember a baboon was paid in beer and still managed to get a job.

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  1. In 1977, a bridge collapsed in Vulcan, WV. No one was hurt, but the town was essentially cut off from the rest of society as it was the only (legal) roadway in and out of the town. After petitioning the state for weeks to replace the bridge, mayor John Robinette wrote a letter to the Soviets asking for their assistance. A Russian reporter showed up to document the woefully American infrastructure, and immediately stated the USSR would happily pay to replace the bridge. Within an hour of the reporter’s arrival, the West Virginia legislature approved $1.3 million in funding to replace the bridge. I have no joke here.
  1. In 897, Pope Formosus was brought to the Basilica of St John Lutheran in Rome to stand trial for perjury and having been elected to the papacy illegally. This seems pretty bland until you learn Pope Formosus died the year prior. The backstory – the papacy was basically a position for Roman leaders to place sympathetic individuals in order to benefit their own standing, and Formosus was named the pope under peculiar circumstances considering he had previously been ex-communicated from the Church (the modern equivalent of muting someone on Facebook, but like, from heaven). He died, and people were still pissed about the whole thing, so they dug his ass up, interrogated him, and concluded his answers clearly implicated him in wrongdoing, leaving many burning with a desire to read the court recordings here. This whole event was called “the Cadaver Synod”, and resulted in Pope Formosus technically never having been pope. I don’t think he minded that much. Below is a painting of the incident, and not actually a black metal album, although if it were, I would definitely listen.

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  1. The first commercial passenger airplane attacked by hostile forces occurred in 1938. The Chinese Kwellin was shot down north of Hong Kong by Japanese forces who believed the Chinese President’s son was on board (he wasn’t). Fifteen of the eighteen people aboard were killed, but the Chinese, knowing a suitable aircraft when they see it, patched it up and refurbished it for reuse and named it the Chungking. In 1940 the Chungking became the third commercial passenger airliner to be shot down by hostile forces. Talk about shitass luck.
  1. At the outbreak of World War II, the United States was worried about German and Italian agents (most so the former, not so much the latter I presume) sneaking into the US through the New York City ports. These ports were heavily controlled by the mafia at this time, and the US, seeing the time was ripe for a deal, negotiated a deal to commute mafia kingpin Lucky Luciano’s prison sentence in order for his and the mafia’s assistance in protecting the docks from sabotage. Luciano later set up the Navy with Sicilian contacts for their planned invasion of Italy in 1943. This clusterfuck was called Operation Underworld, and the US reluctantly commuted his sentence but still insisted Luciano be deported despite being an American citizen.
  1. In 1986, Lajitas, TX elected a beer-drinking goat mayor. The goat’s name was Clay Henry, and allegedly could drink up to 40 beers per day. The goat lived/remained mayor until 1992 after his son, Clay Henry Jr, also an extremely drunk goat, fought and killed him. Clay Henry Jr was named mayor, because apparently Lajitas, TX is a Game of Thrones-esque bloody monarchy. Clay Henry III was “elected” in 2000, and by all accounts remains the mayor today (seriously I can’t find anything that states who the mayor is – Lajitas: “We Still Don’t Have Internet!”). In 2006, Jim Bob Hargrove (OF COURSE his name is Jim Bob) attacked and castrated Clay Henry III out of jealousy. Jim Bob was sentenced to jail for animal cruelty, and Clay Henry III continues to swig beer right in Jim Bob’s face.
  1. Zanjeer was a bomb-sniffing dog in Pune, India, and he was fucking awesome. Zanjeer uncovered 11 military bombs, 57 homemade bombs, 175 petrol bombs and roughly 600 detonators during his life, as well as acted as a pivotal character during a spate of bombings later called the 1993 Mumbai Bombings. After bombings started increasing, Zanjeer was dispatched to high-risk areas where he uncovered a scooter loaded with explosives, ten suitcases filled with assault weapons and grenades outside a temple as well as two more similarly-packed suitcases at a bazaar. After his death, Zanjeer was given a buried with a full service and given full state honors. Zanjeer was the goodest boy.

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  1. In 1953, the Indiana Board of Education entertained the idea of removing all mention of Robin Hood from textbooks due to his communist-leaning sympathies. The leader of this deadly serious issue responded to the same criticisms you currently have by saying, “because I’m trying to get Communist writers out of textbooks, my name is mud. Evidently I’m drawing blood or they wouldn’t make such an issue out of it,” clearly not recognizing the irony of making an issue out of something so preposterously stupid. She also took issue with the Quakers because of their nonviolence, which really hurt her chances of anti-Robin Hood gaining steam. If it seems like there’s a lot of wild shit Communist shit from the mid-twentieth century, it’s because the Red Scare was real as hell. Good thing we’ve all come so far since then!

/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

  1. In 1838, the Aroostook War broke out between the United States and British Canadians. Have you not heard about the brutal war fought between the US and Canada? If not, it’s probably because it was completely bloodless, outside the Battle of Caribou. Both countries wanted to log the area, which was so far north in Maine that neither country really knew who owned what, or cared for that matter. One day, lumberjacks from the competing countries crossed paths, started yelling about who had the rights to this specific patch of trees in the middle of over 9 million acres worth of goddamn trees, pulled guns on each other and were promptly attacked by bears. The Canadians were attacked first, and started shooting, so then the Americans started shooting, because America never misses a chance for a gunfight. No one was injured by gunfire, but two Canadians were injured by bears. Maine Governor John Fairfield directed a local militia to arrest “the unruly wood thieves”, and Canadian lumberjacks responded by capturing a Maine Land Agent. This lasted for FOUR MORE YEARS before someone from either country realized what a bunch of assholes these guys were being in the woods.

Arch Stanton Guest Post: Megafauna, Ranked

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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.

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Castoroides: A giant beaver the size of a cow, AKA your mom.

Random Bidtits (7/24/2018)

Psyche!!!!! It’s a song of the day today and it’s San Francisco by Scott McKenzie. As some of you will know and none of you will care, I was in San Francisco last week and had quite the experience. Whether wading through a sea of homeless wanderers, stumbling into a dispensary 10 minutes before 8am open because you can’t wait another minute, or dodging a never ending platter of aggressive dick, San Francisco has something for everyone. The city is mostly safe. Still, avoid the clubs frequented by Kevin “it’s o-kay, I’m a gay” Spacey. Anyway, San Francisco is an eclectic city known to flip social norms on their head. For instance, I passed this group during my journey:

Just what are you looking at? It’s a group of Filipino missionaries spreading the word of God on the sinful, sodomized streets of San Fran. That’s a complete reversal from 50 years ago and I appreciate how the advanced Filipinos are willing to leave their families and homes behind to bring civilization to those Left Coast savages. So I donated a couple sawbucks.

By the way, quick digression:

Someone please help me understand why NYU is using rainbow colors on its logo. Why.

Back to my voyage. I saw many things, including this:

Look at that hair! Doesn’t it look like you’re staring at the ass end of a horse with this woman’s face peering through the horse’s ass? Of course is does. Speaking of ass, I got a strange alert on my rental car:

Anyone know what a courtesy wipe is in this situation? Do I floss my asscheeks with the seatbelt?

Fuck this blogging is too time consuming. Okay, adding photos from my travels and you write the punchline.

Ha! Good one.

Arch Stanton Guest Post: Episode 9 in Today I Learned – the Finland Conspiracy

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Do you ever get tired of the same old conspiracy theories? I think people just got tired of trying to convince normal people we never landed on the moon or that 9/11 was an inside job, and that’s how we ended up with a new brand of asshole who thinks the earth is flat. Personally, I’m onto newer and edgier things like the Sun is actually cold (I swear this is real, you can look it up) and, a personal favorite, Finland does not exist.
Before we get into the details/I blow your mind – name one thing you know about Finland. I have nothing. I know it’s somewhere in Scandinavia near Sweden and Norway, but I have no idea which is which, and I think I once read something about how they were trying a universal basic income that was failing dramatically. The point is – you don’t know SHIT about Finland. Don’t be embarrassed, because it doesn’t actually exist. Not in the sense that there isn’t a Finnish government, but more in the sense the land we identify as Finland is open ocean.
This FACT was first brought to us from the most reputable of sources, Reddit, from a delightful thread about the weirdest things your parents taught you as a kid (truly worth a read: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/2qjohv/what_did_your_parents_show_you_to_do_that_you/cn6pn30/). A poster unspooled a thread about how his parents casually broke the news to him about how Finland was concocted by the Russians and Japanese during the Cold War. Unrelated to the theory, but I would LOVE to meet this guy’s parents. The theory goes that the growth of environmentalism and preserving the earth and all that hippie bullshit pushed the USSR and Japan into adding onto their already numerous secret alliances dealing with fishing rights among other economic concerns dating back to 1925. Consider: Japan and USSR had almost no direct conflicts during WWII despite being so geographically close, Japan signed a peace treaty with the USSR just months prior to Germany declaring war on the USSR, and how great their relations were despite stark ideological differences in the Cold War. During the final days of the USSR, Gorbachev made frequent trips to Japan and remarked how their relations continued to improve despite their rapidly declining standing with the rest of the world. (“Twilight Zone” theme song plays).
These two countries had always looked out for each other because they were fishing the region of the ocean between Sweden and Russia. The theory posits the Japanese were free to ignore all fishing limits or regulations in this area because, ya know, no one knew it existed, and the Russians benefited from receiving a part of the fish while the Japanese returned the rest to their homeland because obviously Japan is starved of fish given its geographical location in the middle of the ocean. In fact, the Trans-Siberian railway was built in order to expedite the transport of fish across Russia and back to Japan. Wouldn’t other nations notice thousands of trains full of fish going back and forth across Russia? One step ahead of you – the company Nokia – yes, the phones you had in high school – is actually a faux Finnish company that ships all of its products to Japan in order to cover their tracks.
This is all patently insane right? But don’t worry, we have answers to your concerns. Helsinki is a massively and internationally respected city, but it is merely located in eastern Sweden. What about all the Finnish people and” culture”, whatever that may entail? They exist and are real, but they are really just a cluster of small towns and enclaves along the eastern Swedish border, the western edges of Russia or northern Estonia. But c’mon, if you fly there you would certainly notice ocean where land should be? BUT WOULD YOU? YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE BECAUSE IT’S ALL THE SAME AND FINLAND IS BASICALLY FOREST SO WHO COULD EVER REFUTE THIS? GPS and satellite imaging, all faked, duh. Pilots and astronauts are all in on it as well. Let’s go even further and examine the name “Finland” – since this is a libertarian fisher’s dream, the “fin” is for fish fin, get it?  This conspiracy has been so deeply rooted it has been propagated by children’s movies like “D2: the Mighty Ducks”. Guys, the Finnish Flash was really just the Swedish Flash.
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Unlike every other conspiracy you read on the internet, this one has the most plausible reasoning (note – “most plausible” does not equal “actually” plausible). OF COURSE other nations have noticed this glaring omission of terra firma, but they originally held this in their back pocket as a bargaining chip. What you would bargain for with this information, I have no guesses, but eventually other countries used the concept of Finland as something to aspire to. You see, Finland consistently rates highly in education, healthcare, gender equality, literacy rates, stability, least corruption, individual freedoms, etc, and this can ONLY be because other countries want to inspire their own people to improve. I don’t think Finland’s literacy rate has inspired me to be a better citizen, but that must mean the conspiracy has rooted itself deeply in my subconscious. To quote directly from the Reddit page “No country in the world can possibly be that good.” Well, when you put it like that, that’s just irrefutable. Finland is the country equivalent of the girl you made out with at a party with last weekend who was a model, but she went to a different high school and you wouldn’t know her guys, definitely don’t look her up online. Finland is actually an ocean, because that is more believable than a small population has wholeheartedly bought into free market capitalism with high social safety nets.
I swear this is a real conspiracy with actual constituents. There are people who legitimately believe Finland was faked by the Soviets and Japanese, and the rest of the world went along with it because, fuck it, why not? The Nokia phone you had in high school was actually made of fish. The good news is the subreddit also operates as a support group for Finnish people going through the trauma of realizing their entire existence is a Soviet lie. Here we should consider Poe’s Law, which states “it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.” This is a real theory that has been parroted on multiple sites, and I have no idea if it is something people sincerely believe in, but I know I will tell the next (or the first) Finnish person I meet to suck my dick because their existence is a lie.