T-Day Musing Attempt #2…

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Mornin’ all!

I’m sorry I did not do the promised Thanksgiving Musing. Mother Nature had other plans and sent a storm up our way. I called to all my allegedly telekinetic friends to combine forces and move the storm off shore. Since that didn’t happen, I dealt with two disappointments yesterday. First, the storm dumped heavy, wet snow on the trees causing the branches to entwine with the power lines in a most inconsiderate way. As you can imagine, that did not turn out so well, but more on that in a sec.

The other disappointment was the confirmation that telekinesis is bunkum. The storm didn’t even take a quick dip in the other direction. This is a sad revelation. Without telekinetic powers, about half of what makes The Force cool has been negated. You can’t force grab anything, can’t play pranks from across the room, can’t open doors with your mind when your arms are full of groceries. You’ll still need to buy gas because you can’t just think your motor into running and you can’t make the remote control that’s allllll the way on the other side of the couch come to you.

“That’s not so bad, Bethie. Minor annoyances.”

Okay, fair point. But what if you get your Y-wing stuck in a bog? What then? You can’t just mind-lift it. You’ll have to call for a tow like everyone else. You’re a fricken Jedi who needs to call AAA for A TOW. You know the tow guy’s gonna wanna know how in the hell it happened, too.

How humiliating.

Without telekinesis, what’s left to make The Force enticing? Nudging peoples’ opinions with suggestive thoughts. Great. I can get the discount even without a physical coupon next time I buy Charmin. Big whoop. At least if I go to the Dark Side, I can do that cool lightning trick out of my fingertips.

Thanks for killing my dreams, telekinesicists.

…telekinecians?

I must admit, the tele-revelations took second place to the lack of power on the importance scale in the overall scheme of things. I just didn’t have the internet to distract me, so it made the Jedi thing seem so much more important than it probably is. I just sat there, listening to the battery powered clock tick, thinking about how I’ll never be a Jedi now, even if I still wanted to. Sad.

We lost the juice at about 5:30 on Wednesday. Since we’re a blended family, with his and mine having other turkeys to go eat, we did our T-Day feast on Wednesday afternoon. We were fat and stuffed full of bacon wrapped turkey…

Yes, you read that right. Bacon wrapped turkey. JEALOUS? HMM?? You should be.

…and pie, watching a movie we were just really getting into when the power went out. It was dark, but we had a wide array of hand held digital gadgets that produce a surprising amount of light, candles, a battery operated color-changing dragon lamp…we were all set. I had the kiddies bed down in the same room and thought that the lights would be on shortly.

They were not.

The morning came with nothing but muted sunlight. Seventy-five percent of our kids left to go to the others’ houses for the others’ turkeys (that were NOT bacon wrapped, I might add), and we shoveled out.

Look. I’m going to complain for a minute. I know that I’m a native, I know that I’m used to these storms. I know I choose to live here and get what I deserve and blah blah. But what non-natives don’t realize is that we put up with the snow in the winter, the black flies in the spring, the humidity in the summer, and the panicked road crews who block off every other mile in the autumn to race to get the road work finished before winter that they damn well SHOULD have done in the spring. We put up with that so we can have the right to a soul-cleansing bitch-fest about winter. Anyone who does not want to read whining this morning, please skip ahead to paragraph 18.

There are many types of snow. If you live in any area that gets snow on a fairly regular basis, you understand. However, for those who don’t, I’ll give you a bit of a lesson. First you’ve got your puffy snow. The flakes are large and stick together. They pile up quickly, but usually don’t amount to much. Those flakes look impressive in the air, like you’re trapped in a snow globe. When you see that snow, you know that it’ll probably either stop soon or change over to rain. Either way, it’s warm enough that if you leave the snow for a few hours, it’ll pretty much take care of itself by melting.

Then you have fluffy snow. Don’t be fooled, fluffy snow is not the same as puffy snow! Fluffy snow tends to be tiny flakes that don’t stick together. This is the kind you get when it’s really cold. The fluffly flakes pile up, but when you go to shovel them it’s like you’re shoveling soap suds. All fluff and no heft. If it’s a windy day, that gets annoying, but at least it’s light and dreamy. You can blow on it and send the whirls in all directions off your car. This kind sucks for snowballs, but is great for your back when you’re looking at an entire drive that needs clearing.

Then you have the heavy, wet stuff like we got yesterday. It happens when the temperature is juuuuust cold enough to keep the flakes all snow, and juuuuust warm enough to glue them together when they land. It’s heavy. It’s wet. Each shovelful feels like you’re lifting boulders. It sticks when you step in it, making it impossible to use your shovel like a snow plow and push the snow out of the way. Add to that the fact that we’ve got about 30 feet of driveway on the main road, with a berm of salt and ice from the road the town crew seems to get great pleasure in building up, and it was not a fun morning. Bethie’s back is not a happy camper today.

18. There. Complaining over. Those who skipped it, welcome back!

Once the drive was shoveled, we were bored. The roads were clear and we thought we’d just drive around for a bit and warm up in the car. Did I mention that we have electric heat in the house? Would you know that doesn’t work when the power’s out, either? So we got in the car with the 1/4 child population of the house and drove around.

I tell you what. Like any decent Bond villain, Nature is both stunning and evil. I say I hate snow, but really I just hate dealing with it. I love looking at the White Nasty. It’s so very beautiful. Here. Look. Look upon the destructive beauty.

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See? Postcard. A fricken Currier & Ives postcard. And yet, those heavy, gorgeous branches are exactly why we had to tool around in a car to be warm. As soon as we got on the road, we saw branch after branch leaning on or snapped off and entwined in the power lines. We figured we’d be without power for days for certain. There was just so much damage!

We drove around, went to a store just before it closed early for the holiday, bought some kickass flashlights. We got back home and realized we were still very bored. After feeding the .25 of our kids lunch, we went back out the other direction. The trees on that side of the town fared no better, and it was with a sinking feeling of dread that we were in this for a long haul that I turned into a Walmart parking lot to turn around and head home. Do you know what we saw? The store was open.

Look. I know there’s a ton of controversy about retail stores being open on Thanksgiving, our Nation’s second biggest holiday. I’m not here to debate the sides. All I can tell you is that we saw lights on and we were sold. We went in, found about half of our town was wandering around in lighted heat, too, and accidentally did Black Friday shopping.

We don’t usually do that. We usually get gifts online because we’re just that kind of people. It’s so much easier to shop in your bathrobe and give Amazon the hassle of actually having to physically pick up the products off the shelf. Besides, I hate shopping in a crowd.

I’ve been before, though. When I was younger, I did a couple of Black Friday events. It was a huge deal in my ex’s family, and they treated the whole thing like a black op. I got my list, was handed a stack of cash, put on war paint and my game face and dove in with the rest of them. The older I get, the more I hate having to elbow little old ladies for the last $5 electric ChopMaster.

I mean, I’ll do it if I had to. C’mon, $5 ChopMaster! But I don’t feel GOOD about it.

And I have never once gone to a store to shop on Thanksgiving Day itself. Never thought I would, either.

We certainly didn’t intend to shop when we pulled in. We saw the lights on, watched fellow townies walking like frozen zombies towards the beacon of the glowing Walmart sign, and followed suit. It occurred to us that we might want a better lantern once we got inside. The dragon lamp is great and all, but it kind of felt like we were stuck in a disco all night with no music.

So we headed toward the camping section, and along the way found five things on the list we wanted to get the kiddies for Christmas, at greatly reduced prices. I’m not going to lie. We walked out of there happier than we’d been all day. I guess I’m now part of the problem. Ah well. It killed two hours and as we drove home still commenting about the downed trees everywhere, we had a niggling of hope that maybe the lights were back on.

Walmart gave us hope. THAT’S how desperate you feel when you’re looking at another dark night with no heat in sub-freezing temperatures.

On the way home we also saw fleets of tree trucks heading to the worst spots. We cheered them as we passed, as if they could somehow hear us. I mean, you do realize yesterday was Thanksgiving, right? These hundreds of men and women worked through the night before, gave up their turkey time all through the day, worked through last night, and will no doubt spend more time today, tonight, tomorrow…working in the foot of snow, hiking over the iced up berms, performing surgery to get the branches out of the highly charged electrical lines all so I could take a hot shower this morning. I didn’t care if they could hear me or not, I cheered.

The cheering worked, too. I’m sure it did, because at midnight last night, when the inside of my house was a scorching 41 degrees, the lights came back on. Only about 30ish hours, with all that massive cleanup, and we had the lights and heat back on. I got up this morning and while it’ll take awhile to get fully back up to temp, it’s already 58 in here. Not bad. I can deal with that. Especially since I have the internet for entertainment and fresh, hot coffee.

So, yay and thanks to the tree crews! Yay and thanks to the power line workers! I guess my mental cheering did help. I mind-nudged them into working in my area. Maybe The Force still has some appeal after all.

Thus concludes a chilly-but-thawing-quickly Musing for Friday, November 28, 2014. Here’s hoping the rest of the folks without power get it back today. We were lucky that we’ve got a gas stove and town water instead of a well. The power outage is fun to bitch about, but we really were better equipped than many. We had water and a way to cook. People on a well with electric stoves did not. I hope everyone still without power gets through this. Send good thoughts up for them and maybe we can reassess the telekinesis theory…

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We interrupt your NaNoWriMo for this fast breaking news…

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Mornin’ all.

Imagine you’re at work scanning packages of cheap childrens’ toys. You’re hot, you’re tired. It’s been a long day of looking at hundreds of x-rays of knock-off Barbie dolls and plastic “Hotter Wheels” the people in the Bangkok factory down the road want shipped to the US, and all you want to do is go home to your family and cruise the uncensored version of the internet your brother-in-law hooked you up with. You glance at the clock, realize you’ve got another few hours in warehouse hell, grab the next box and feed it into the machine only to have your entire world turn so completely upside down that you actually WISH the only problem you still had was having to listen to the woman who works next to you keep blathering about her grandkids all friggin’ day.

I’ve never been too hot on practical jokes myself. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not above a good “got yer nose” to gullible toddlers or the confused elderly. I’ve even managed to pull off a few pranks on my kids that made me laugh and gave them more stories to share with their friends about their lame mum (I went all out and did those while wearing mom-jeans for added effect. Just makes the story better for them to tell. Really adds some ambiance.) But I’m a practical joke opportunist at best. I’ll get a random urge here or there to be mildly annoying, and put very minimal effort into getting a harmless, cheap pity chuckle. Life has to pretty much hand me the joke on a platter in such a blatant way that almost everyone expects SOMEone to take the bait for me to be moved to participate in practical jokery.

I’m not one of those people who looks at life and sees nothing but a series of dickish opportunities to torture the lives of friends and family. I’ve never said, “You know what would be rad? Let me take five years to carefully construct the seven thousand small, seemingly unconnected events that will lead to one, grand ‘gotcha’.” If it takes actual effort, I’m out. If it takes self-control to pull off, forget it. If a practical joke requires more than one step, I’ve got better things to do.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m no expert in the pastime of practical jokery. I don’t get why people spend so much effort for such a little payoff. I also don’t understand why these “jokesters” can’t see that they quite often cross the line between humor and horror. If a “joke” causes actual, real pain, be it physical, mental, or emotional, then I just don’t see how that’s funny. I don’t get that part of the practical joke culture.

Perhaps this is why I don’t understand one of the biggest news stories of the week.

Some poor sap in a Bangkok shipping warehouse was zipping a box through an x-ray machine fully expecting to see another package crammed full of the cheap dollar store toys Americans can’t seem to get enough of, when he saw…body parts. No, I do not mean broken dolls. I mean actual body parts. Feet. “Sheets of skin,” and that’s a direct quote from the news stories. Sheets. Of. Skin. But that’s not the worst. Oh no, not nearly. Also included in the Little Box of Horrors: A baby head.

To be abundantly clear about the level of horror here so there is absolutely no ambiguity, we’re talking about the actual cranium of a real, human infant.

THE HEAD OF A MUTHEREFFIN’ BABY.

If you’re like me, after you finished simultaneously crying and vomiting, the first coherent thought you’ll have about the situation is, “This must be the work of a serial killer.”

Indeed, that’s what authorities thought initially, too. Though details are light because, well, Bangkok, I also bet Mr. Mindless Box Scanner also had himself one horrible stint of brutal interrogations, along with every other person who could have possibly handled that package. Clearly it was a sick, dangerous mind they were up against. Only the criminally insane would put body parts in a box and mail it.

Imagine the shock and surprise when it turned out that the two men responsible for attempting to mail human baby body parts (and “sheets of skin.” Can’t forget that Silence of the Lambs shit.) did it as a joke.

Two men are being accused of collecting the body parts from a medical facility, packing them in a box, and attempting to ship them back home to Las Vegas as a practical joke they were playing on a friend.

^That was an important sentence, so let’s just examine the many points the few words made so we don’t miss anything. First, the two guys are just being accused at this point. The cops found a few direct links and some good circumstantial evidence, but not enough to officially charge them yet. The cops let the two men go, who immediately fled to Cambodia in spite of authority requests to stay put. Could they be innocent? Sure. I mean, it’s Bangkok and we’ve all heard stories about the police over there.

…but on the flip, it IS Bangkok and we really HAVE heard stories about the police over there. Some are saying the Americans paid off the cops to release them. Maybe. But if that really was the case, would the cops really say anything to the press at all? Would the names of the men be released? Would the details be described to the press? If you’re going to get a huge payoff, especially from known media whore Americans, don’t you think you’d make a modicum of effort to keep the situation on the down low?

…and yes, I said Americans. The two guys under investigation are Americans. *sigh* Of COURSE they are. These two poor excuses have a history of questionable decisions, too. Several years ago they made their money by paying homeless people a few bucks to have what were essentially cage matches while they filmed it. Let that one roll around for a minute. They paid desperate people a few bucks to beat the shit out of each other while they filmed it for yuks. With all of the possible ideas a human brain could come up with to make money, the one they went with was abusing the lowest, poorest members of society for a laugh. These are quality individuals we’re dealing with here.

*wipes the dripping sarcasm off the screen*

I also said that the body parts were medical waste. There are mixed reports on exactly what type of facility the parts came from. Some say it’s a forensics museum, some say it’s a science lab and the parts are cadavers used for education. Wherever they came from, the parts were not from “kills”. The men did not kill people to get the parts, they merely stole the already removed bits. The parts were from people who died in other ways. So, the accused are not killers.

I know this should make the story more palatable, but somehow, it does not.

I can’t get over the fact that they did all of this for a joke. That’s the part of the story that, in some ways, is sicker than if they murdered someone and tried to get rid of the evidence. Think I’m wrong? Okay, let’s play the worst game of “what would you do” ever.

Say you killed someone. We’ll say it’s in the heat of passion. You walked in on your spouse screwing someone in your very own bed, or someone made a threat to your family, or an argument spun out of control. Even if you, personally, would never, ever kill someone in any situation, you can at least understand it. We all can. That’s what makes us animals…the deep urge to do away with a perceived threat once and for all. There is no shame in being able to say, “Okay, even though I would never do it, I can at least understand the emotions that lead someone to that point. I’ve been wicked mad myself before and perhaps if I didn’t have a sense of guilt or shame, I would have offed the bitch, too.” It’s okay to understand, it does NOT make you a killer in any way. You’re just an animal. The fact that you hold yourself back from actually going through with it, that’s the line. That’s where your humanity comes into play. If you’ve been trained in the more refined human ways, then you’ll get to the point of anger and just simmer. Some people can’t. Some people can’t pull back from that point. Some people get there and the animal urge is stronger than the past human training, and they act all great apey on the offending person.

Psychology lesson #1 over. We can put ourselves in the mind of a killer and at least understand. Now, let’s get to the next part.

So you killed someone and now have a body. The dead dude in front of you presents a new problem. Again, here’s another animal/human internal war. An animal would look at the slain enemy, maybe take a few bites, definitely piss on it for emphasis, and stroll away to go about its life knowing it bested a foe. An animal does not need to worry about who the hell will pay the mortgage if they get caught and go to jail. Because we are animals first and people second, a person will stare at the corpse of the guy they just killed and see two distinct options. They’ll see the completely human-training choice to confess and face the punishment. But, they’ll also see the animal choice. Get rid of the evidence and move on.

As ghastly and horrible as it is, I can understand the second option. I would never do it, because I wouldn’t be a murder in the first place. But I CAN understand. I can at least comprehend the instincts involved in hiding a body and resuming life as usual, and I think if anyone reading this is honest, they can also follow the train of thought behind such actions, too.

What I can’t wrap my mind around is someone having the thought that mailing severed body parts to someone is “funny.”

Think about it. These dudes were walking down the street one day and one of them turned to the other and said, “Bro…listen to this. I just had the best idea evah. Okay, so we find a bunch of body parts. I dunno, maybe some feet, a couple-a hands…NAW DUDE WAIT. I got it! A head. But it’s gotta be a baby head, right?”

To which the other guy, the other human being, another brain that can allegedly put together a coherent thought, HAD to nod and say, “I like where this is going. Keep talkin’…”

“So, like, we pack them all up. We put all these parts in a box and we, like, MAIL them to Jim and Frank! Imagine the looks on their faces. Dude, it’ll be SO sick!”

“I get what you’re saying, but it’s missing something. Can we put in some ‘sheets of skin’?”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way!”

“Epic. Let’s do it!”

“YOLO!”

I cannot understand what kind of thought process someone has to be able to go through in order to come up with the idea of mailing rotting body parts to someone as a joke. And it boggles the fricken mind that this idea slipped through the filter of not one, but TWO people.

Two adults thought this was an acceptable expression of humor. Two American adults thought the best way to get one over on their buddies was to mail them rotten body parts. TWO ADULTS thought that everyone would just chillax when they heard it was all for kicks. They did this AS A JOKE.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
BABY HEAD.

See? It’s not funny. It’s not remotely funny. In fact, there isn’t a parallel universe out of all the potential universes in which this would be considered even slightly amusing.

Now let’s get back to why these two are worse than murderers. Er, allegedly.

What kind of sick bastard can come up with this plan for kicks? Seriously, can you honestly put your head in their mindset? I can watch the gag reels of people putting saran wrap over toilets so the pee splashes on their roommate, or watch the footage of someone popping out of a closet to get a funny scream from their mum. I can view these things and even though I personally don’t get the humor in some of them, I can at least understand why certain folks would find it funny. I can get that part of practical jokes.

But this is not a practical joke. This is not an IMpractical joke. This is in no way, shape, or form at all amusing to anyone who is sane. If this is what they’ll actually go through for a laugh, I literally shudder to think about their rejected ideas, what they would consider taking it “too far.”

Can you imagine being the poor guy who discovered human body parts in the box? Do you think he found it funny? Or even worse, the friends on the other end? What the hell do you think they would have said if the shipper had been less diligent and allowed the package through? They would have opened that box and discovered a FRICKEN BABY HEAD!? Can you imagine their reaction??

“I think they’d say, ‘What’s in the box, man? What’s in the baawwwx….'”

Stop it. You stop the Brad Pitt impressions right now.

“But Bethie! If ever there is a time to quote Seven…”

Too soon, man. Too soon.

Thus concludes the Morning Musing for Tuesday, November 18, 2014. There. I had my say. I need to keep writing for NaNoWriMo and take care of my eldest as he recovers from having unwise wisdom teeth removed, but I just couldn’t let this one pass. I’ve hit the word count requirement for NaNo, but still have about a third of the book left to go. I’ll be back for regular chit chats after that!

Grab some coffee and help me procrastinate…

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Mornin’ all!

“Bethie, aren’t you supposed to be writing for NaNoWriMo?”

Shh. I’m playing hooky.

Actually, I’m pausing. That’s it. I’m taking a small break from the planet of Zanxa to check in with the people of the planet Earth for awhile.

“…plot wall you can’t see how to write around?”

Pretty much. I figured what better way to solve my writing conundrum than to ignore it completely? Seems like a solid plan to me and my ulcer right about now. Sure beats jotting useless notes on sticky paper and then crumpling them up and throwing them across the room in an unsatisfactory outburst that does nothing but entertain the cat.

Besides, once I turned my bleary, screen-strained eyes from the blinking cursor of the stalled manuscript and took a look around the real world, do you know what I found?

“*squee* *gasp* Is that the sound of tap shoes I hear?”

*catchy theme music* *go go dancers enter stage left in glittery leotards and top hats*

I found… HEADLINES!!!!

*wild applause*

Yep, I found me some headlines that need roundin’ up.

*tappity tip top tap*

Thank you, go-go dancers. Your intro is over.

*sccchhhllllap pop tap tee tappy tappy tooooo*

ACHEM.

*….tap* *hurried scuttle off stage*

I knew letting the girls get the tap shoes was probably a bad idea. Oh well. ANYWAY…

Yes, it’s a Headline Roundup! I didn’t expect to need the comic relief until the second or third week into the NaNo experience, but since I’ve hit not only the wall but the halfway mark of the requirements as well, I decided to shift my focus for a bit and see if I can’t make myself giggle enough to have my “eureka” moment. I mean, come on…it can’t be that hard to figure out the politics involved in a human relations disaster on a foreign planet and how that directly effects one lone varsek rancher and her Granthato employees, can it?

So let’s get to it and see if taking the focus off the problem for a bit helps to make a good idea click! As always, these are real, undoctored headlines. I simply supply the commentary.

– Japan Scientists Make See-Through Mice

How’s THAT for an opener, eh? Though it might be a bit of a clichéd reaction, let’s all shake our heads as one and say, “Oh, Japan.”

– Metta World Peace Wants to Return To the NBA

Sorry, Metta, there’s no room in professional sports for peace.

– Obama Sent Secret Letter to Iran on Fighting IS

If this letter was not sent in invisible ink, I will have absolutely no faith in my government anymore.

– Pope Sacked Church Official for Selling Annulments

“We only sell absolution, you moron!”

– Attempting to Procure a Murder Charge Dropped Against AC/DC Phil Rudd

“Attempting to procure a murder” sounds ridiculously civilized. “Pardon me, good chap. Would you happen to know where one might procure a murder? I seem to be fresh out.”

– Oregon Immigrant Who Hid in Church Arrested

Apparently the church no longer sells sanctuary, either.

– Two Dead After Cannibal Attack in Britain

CANNIBALS, Britain? Tighten it up.

– Lava Outbreaks Remain a Concern

Lava outbreaks!?! On an active volcano?!?! If only there was some way we could have foreseen this…

– Previously Classified Nixon Audio Released

Let’s hear from all those who care.

*crickets*

…exactly. Moving on…

– The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall

…what the hell? Another old news story that would have mattered decades ago but is really mostly irrelevant to our lives today. Did we…OMG. Did we somehow get sucked into a time vortex?! Could that last birthday candle *actually* have granted my wish? Over thirty years of trying and now finally, FINALLY we’ve got time travel and…

– 11 Things Taylor Swift Does That Would Be Awkward if You Did Them

…*sigh*…alas, no time machine. But the moment I get one, I’ll shove Taylor Swift in and send her to live with the Eloi.

*sci fi fist bump*

– New Fashion Trends to Battle Ebola

Should I quit? I mean, should we, as a race, just give the hell up right now? World faces a potential pandemic, and we’re designing…fashion. *sigh*

– School Shelling Deaths in Ukraine Hurt Peace Hopes

Odd how the slaughter of innocent children tends to threaten the peace of the community.

– Ebola Infections Lessen, Tensions Ease in Liberia

Well that fashion trend didn’t last long. Looks like they’ll have to wait for the next humanitarian crisis to cash in.

– Moscow to Help Find Solution to Iranian Nuclear Issue

…um…didn’t these guys just drop bombs on a school? Clearly the Russians are not making smart life choices right now. Let’s keep the dudes jonesin’ for a war away from the nuclear nose candy, okay?

– Luxembourg Under Fire After Global Tax Leaks

Whoa! I have now read about Luxembourg in a context other than “one of the smallest nations in the world”! Pity about the tax fraud and international shame, but I can finally cross Luxembourg off my Obscure Nations in the News Bingo. I just need a story about Guam or Djibouti and I’ve got this game in the bag.

– Former Mississippi Prisons Chief Pleads Not Guilty to Bribery

…but that can change…*wink*wink*…you know…*nudge**nudge*…for the right price…

– Half of Universe’s Stars Are Orphans With No Galaxy

I just started a new charity to help these poor, lonely stars. AdoptAStar.org. Every donation goes to help raise awareness for the rampant issue of cosmic abandonment. Adopt A Star today…because even gas giants deserve a home.

– Alcohol Scientists Exist and They Have an App

So download it today, bro, and, you know, like…*hic*…science ‘n shit.

– Nixie Wearable Drone Promises Perfect Selfie

At first this pissed me off. But you know what? This may actually cure the horrendous selfie addiction in the world today. The drone will come and take one perfect selfie, then there will be absolutely no need to ever take another selfie again. People will stop with the clicking and the stupid duck faces and the “left, no right…no, left” side comparisons and… what? That’s not how it’s going to work? Then SCREW YOU NEXIE.

Scientists Take Pictures of Dusty Discs Around Stars Using Hubble

Those aren’t dusty discs. Those are the drying tears of billions of motherless stars. Feel good about yourself today. Donate to AdoptAStar.org and tell the cosmos you care.

– Tesla Loses $75 Million in Net GAAP Revenue in Q3

This tends to happen when you make cars that spontaneously explode, then go on public tirades against the owners of the quarter-million-dollar cinder piles when they get upset. Just a tip for all you electric car upstarts out there.

– Indian Plane Hits Stray Buffalo During Takeoff

Maybe the internet has jaded me, but I don’t consider it headline-worthy unless the plane hits the buffalo mid-air.

– Bargain Florida Home Comes Complete With Corpse

Hey, that IS a good deal. Usually corpses are extra.

– Report: Scientists Use Robot to Lure Shy Penguins

To Catch a Predator: Animal Planet Edition

– San Fransisco Plans to Produce More Fog to Build Community Spirit

Oh, Japa…wait. This effed up idea is NOT from Japan?

– Cat Mayor Just “Announced” His Run For Senate Seat in Alaska

I’d make a Palin contemporary joke here, but I really think it makes itself.

– Next Up: The Zombie Congress

Finally! A political party I can get behind.

– Will Obama and Republicans Get Along On Iran, Syria, and Russia?

No.

…shortest article in history.

– Parents Raise Money to Buy Strip Club

Best PTA fund-raising idea EVER. Text book companies accept payments in ones, right?

– Hippo’s Mystery Conception

Uh oh. Looks like the scientists weren’t only luring shy penguins

– Sick Teen Gets Wheaties Box

Guess Make-A-Wish donations are down this year. Maybe he can do crafts with the cardboard or something.

– NFL Player Gives Wedding Gift

Yes. This was actually news. I suppose it IS newsworthy these days when an NFL player is a moderately decent guy…

– Dark Spaces Between Huge Galaxies Not Really Dark, Researchers Say

But to the billions of orphan stars they are. To these poor, motherless bastards, everywhere seems like a dark, lonely place. AdoptAStar.org. Please, won’t you donate today? Together we can shine the bright light of hope.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Friday, November 7, 2014. If you’ve already googled “AdoptAStar.org” (which I totally know you have), you’ve discovered that it is an actual website written entirely in Japanese. Allow google to translate it for you. While it won’t help solve the orphan star problem, the poor translations will give you a chuckle. It’s okay to laugh. The stars we’re talking about are so many millions of light years away that by the time your well-wishes and donations reach them, they’ll have long since burned out in an angsty emo-filled supernova anyway. Isn’t that a cheerful thought?