Archive for December, 2017

Science Now: The origins of the Himalayan yeti myth have been revealed at last — thanks to science. Big furry animals, larger than humans and capable of walking on two legs do indeed roam the highest mountains on Earth, according to a study published Tuesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a biological sciences journal.

But they’re not yetis. They’re bears.

After analyzing the DNA of nine purported yeti specimens, scientists found that five of the preserved “yetis” were in fact Tibetan brown bears, two were Himalayan brown bears, and one — a relic which looked like a fossilized hand — originally belonged to an Asian black bear.

The ninth specimen — part of a tooth belonging to a stuffed yeti in the collection at the Reinhold Messner Mountain Museum, turned out to be from a dog.

Man, this has got to be a historic letdown of epic proportions for the mythical folklore crowd, amirite? All those stories we’ve heard for years about hairy man-beasts roaming the Himalayas and terrorizing the countryside, only to find out they’re damn bears. And a dog. Bad day for ape-like entities I guess?

What’s next, we find out the Sasquatch is really a damn Irish Wolfhound? Good God.

PS- I’m not sure I’m buying it. This Proceedings of the Royal Society B sounds shady as hell.

 

 

 

Now that I think about it, they’re not secret anymore. Sorry. Anywho, click on a photo to peruse.

A Cama is a hybrid between a male camel and a female llama and has been produced by artificial insemination at the Camel Reproduction Centre in Dubai. Yes kids, Dubai has a Camel Reproduction Centre. Why does a Cama have to be reproduced through artificial insemination, you ask? Because an adult camel can weigh up to 6-times as much as a llama and that could make things a little awkward for the llama if you get my drift. Anywho, Cama.

Thoughts?

Shabani is a gorilla that lives in Japan. He’s a beast with the ladies, who love him for his brooding good looks and animal magnetism. Shabani spends his days flexing, staring thoughtfully into the distance, and enjoying bona fide celebrity status at the Higashiyama Zoo. He’s Dutch-born, Australian-bred, and now resides in lady gorilla’s dreams worldwide. Word on the street is that this dude is wild. Shabani, man. Check him out.

[click on a photo to scroll through Shabani’s awesomeness]

I’ve been an unabashed lover of the Electric Light Orchestra since the early 70s. Man, when I first heard the opening to Roll Over Beethoven it was on. Later, the band just kept getting better. Over time Jeff Lynne proved himself to be a musical genius, and in addition to his ELO stuff he produced some amazing music for George Harrison and was a member of the legendary super group The Traveling Wilburys with George, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Roy Orbison.

Elite company indeed.

And yes, this past summer the Electric Light Orchestra was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sure, they were elected about 25-years too late, but still.

Which leads me to the point of this blog – my favorite ELO songs. Since Jeff Lynne was ELO, I’ll include his solo stuff along with his group releases. Let us commence:

Save Me Now – This is a great tune hidden at the end of Jeff’s great 1990 solo album Armchair Theatre. It’s a simple, acoustic little number about the environment, Just beautifully written and gorgeous in its simplicity.

If you liked that, here’s an electric version. You’re welcome.

Mama – From ELO II in 1973, it’s a long, haunting song about losing your mother. Again, just achingly beautiful.

It’s Over – From the great Out of the Blue double album in 1977, this song was played by yours truly after every gut-wrenching break-up of my young, relationship troubled life.

It’s all over now, and the way you look don’t even mean I’m down.

Oh yes it does, Jeff. Oh yes it does.

Can’t Get It Out Of My Head – From 1974’s ungodly album Eldorado. I’ll let Jeff Lynne himself describe this one – “It’s about a guy in a dream who sees this vision of loveliness and wakes up and finds that he’s actually a clerk working in a bank. And he hasn’t got any chance of getting her or doing all these wonderful things that he thought he was going to do.” Fun Fact #1: The song does NOT include the line, “Walking on a wave she came” but rather “Walking on a wave’s chicane” which is the peak of a wave. That line is widely misheard and often repeated even when you look up the lyrics. Fun Fact #2: The album cover to Eldorado, a screenshot of Dorothy’s shoes when the witch tried to take them in The Wizard of Oz, is one of my all-time favorites.

Poker – A little-known but blistering track from 1975’s Face the Music, this tune begins, continues and ends with straight-ahead rock fire.

Showdown – An ominous, sort of threatening song, also from 1975’s Face the Music, about a looming conflict.

She cried to the southern wind,

About a love that was sure to end, every dream in her heart was gone, heading for a showdown.

Roll Over Beethoven – As I mentioned before, this is the song that introduced me to ELO back in 1972. A cover, it begins with those strings, followed by Lynne’s searing guitar. An American classic. So. Damn. Good.

Steppin’ Out – Another song from Out of the Blue, this song has always struck a chord deep inside me. The lyrics speak of getting away, just packing up and rolling out. And not only that, you’re going to prove all your doubters wrong.

Did you hear what he said?

He said they sold me down the river,

They thought I thought I was a fool,

They said the rain would fall,

What did they know?

Hold On Tight – A rocker from 1981’s Time album about holding on tight to your dreams. Who can argue with that sentiment?

When you get so down that you can’t get up,

And you want so much but you’re all out of luck,

When you’re so downhearted and misunderstood,

Just over and over and over you could.”

Hold on tight, man.

Do Ya – An absolute rock and roll song that blows the roof off the joint live. And oh, those lyrics:

In this life I’ve seen everything I can see woman
I’ve seen lovers flying through the air
Hand in hand
I’ve seen babies dancing in the midnight sun
And I’ve seen dreams that came from the heavenly skies above
I’ve seen old men crying at their own grave sides
And I’ve seen pigs all sitting watching
Picture slides
But I never seen nothin’ like you.

Evil Woman – ELO’s first big-time hit, this is a song that rips a poor former girlfriend to shreds. The lyrics are brutal, man.

Evil woman how you done me wrong
But now you’re tryin’ to wail a different song
Ha-Ha funny how you broke me up
You made the wine now you drink a cup
I came runnin’ every time you cried
Thought I saw love smilin’ in your eyes
Ha-Ha very nice to know, that you ain’t got no place left to go.

Ouch.

Telephone Line – Just a simple, beautiful song about trying to contact somebody you love and not being able to get through. It sort of has an old, 50s doo-wop feel to it, and Lynne’s vocals and harmonies are stellar.

Note: Now that I think about it, he actually sings the words “doo-wop” in the lyrics. Cool.

Rockaria! – A rock opera of the highest order, complete with, well, an opera singer. It’s hard to explain, but the song begins with a woman singing opera, she’s soon joined by ELO, and then they all come together for the ending. Hell, just listen:

Shangri-La – This is the last song of the great 1976 album A New World Record, and I love these lyrics:

My Shangri-La has gone away
Faded like The Beatles on “Hey Jude”
She seemed to drift out on the rain
That came in somewhere softly from the blue.

I’m getting out of love . . .

Just a very, very pretty song.

Oh No Not Susan – From the band’s third album, On the Third Day. It’s about a young woman who lives amongst the wealthy in a society she despises.

Susan met the lords and dukes of everywhere
Smiling kissing wishing that they’d go to hell
And then she’d laugh – wonder why
Take a nap – sit and cry
Oh no not me – I wouldn’t
Oh no not me – I couldn’t
That’s all she says, her money and her place
They just don’t mean a fucking thing.

Rock and Roll is King – Another Lynne rocker from the underrated 1983 album Secret Messages. It’s just a simple song about a girl who loves her some rock and roll.

It rolls like a train that’s comin’ on down the track
She rolled over Beethoven and she gave Tchaikovsky back
Oh, she loves that drivin’ beat, she goes dancin’ on down the street
She said rock ‘n’ roll is king.

Bluebird is Dead – Another great, relatively unknown song from On the Third Day. It’s a song about a lost love, one who passed away, and man is it sad . . .

Why do they say, Bluebird is dead?
I can still see her, touch her, my Bluebird.
The love that she gave, I don’t believe, no, no, I don’t believe . . .

Moment in Paradise – From the amazing comeback album Zoom in 2000, this is a song about finding a new love that gives you a new perspective on life. Lovely melody.

She said that it’s your duty to save your soul,

To save it for someone . . .

Stranger – Another beautiful song from Secret Messages, it’s sort of a an enigmatic tune about seeing the world through the eyes of someone else. Love the guitars in this song.

The streetlights looked so pretty
As they spread into a town
I was lookin’ for another sundown
And my head was spinnin’ round and round
Round and round . . .

When I Was a Boy – This was the single from the band’s 2015 album Alone in the Universe, and it’s basically the story of Jeff Lynne’s life. Love it.

When I was a boy, I had a dream
Finding out what life could really mean
Don’t want a job cause it drives me crazy
Just wanna sing, “Do you love me, baby?”
When I was a boy, I had a dream.

PS- After seeing ELO live several times from 1973 to 1985, I’m going to see them again next summer in Detroit. Can. Not. Wait.

 

Ever notice how sports talking heads have to constantly beat us over the head with useless statistics? Just mindless, meaningless, dare I say counterproductive information that actually leave us dumber in their wake?

Yeah, me too, and I’m sick of it. Theretofore, today begins my war against this useless drivel that rains down upon us on with alarming regularity. First off, some stats are so ridiculously obvious they’re worthless. To wit:

“Golden State is 89-0 while leading by 23 or more points with less than a minute to play in regulation.”  

Gee, ya think?

Other stats are even more witless. I shall now point out a few examples of what I may or may not have heard on TV and radio over the past few months but I quite possibly may have simply made up. Either way, you’ll get my point.

I hope. Let us begin . . .

“Jimmy Joe Snorkelwhipple is the 2nd player to have a triple-double on Christmas Day whilst wearing a man bun.”

“Artie ‘Goatface’ Mortlingdickle is the 3rd player to gain 100-yards on his 25th birthday while wearing #32 and having the nickname ‘Goatface’.”

Max Smorkendoodle is the 7th player to hit a home run while playing against a team with 3-players named Henry who have sets of triplets named Michael, Mika and Mickey.”

“DeShawn Jackson is the 33,510,113th player to play professional sports while being pursued by a Kardashian.”

Incidentally, I made up those names. Didn’t want you think those were actual professional athletes. But you get the picture, right? Do we really need the dumb sports stats? I think we do not.

I mean, can’t you make up a statistic about anything? For instance, I just created this stat about me, which happens to be true:

“Dave Shoemaker is the first Paint Valley basketball coach in history named Dave Shoemaker to coach a team that defeated Southeastern and Adena a week prior to eating 37-shrimp cocktails on Christmas Eve while owning a dog named Sparky who once won a fight with a coyote.”

See what I mean? Dumb.

In the interest of my blogging integrity I shall now give you actual, real-life stats given by actual, real-life sports announcers. Be amazed.

“He was the second pitcher in the last 83-years to win 13 more games than he lost for a team finishing 13-games or worse under .500.”

83-years? Really? On a related note, I had to read that 5-times before I sort of understood it.

“He’s the first player since 1912 with 50-doubles and 50-stolen bases in one season.”

So we’re combining doubles and steals to make up a stat? What’s next, foul balls and ear hair?

“He’s the first catcher over the age of 35 to hit .330 with 20-homers and 85-runs batted in.”

So let me get this straight. There could be another catcher over 35 with 25-homers and 80-RBIs? See what I’m saying? Geesh.

In conclusion, I give you one more meaningless statistic:

“What you have just read is the only blog written on December 26th, 2017 that contained the words Snorkelwhipple, Mortlingdickle, Goatface and Kardashian.”

God I’m bored. I need a nap.

Name a better Christmas gift than a puppy. You can’t.

“And all over town, little kids will get down.”

A sentimentally festive song about Santa being mugged by hooligans. Enjoy!

“Baby Jesus, born to rock.”

Love. It. Click photo and scroll, ya filthy animal.*

*Home Alone reference.

The rent for a 100-square-foot home ranges from $0.04 per square foot to $0.06 per square foot.

Remember that big story yesterday where we found out the US government has been investigating UFOs for years? Well, now we have some actual, real video of a goddamn UFO. Did you read what I just wrote? We have video of an alien spacecraft. Watch the video for yourself, man. That spaceship flies off like a damn bumblebee at the end. What the hell moves like that? An alien craft, that’s what. Seriously, the pilots witnessing this are just dumbstruck. I’ll tell you something else, folks – being able to fly like that means they have the technology to travel at the speed of light. Which means they can bend time. Which means they are probably bending time in space so they can’t be seen. Which means we are beyond screwed and we’re all gonna die soon because we would totally lose an intergalactic war. Hey, I’ve seen movies. Those alien transformer freaks don’t mess around. Meanwhile we’re still trying to put a person on Mars while these ETs are cruising from universe to universe like it ain’t no thang. It’s all over but the dying.

PS- The chances of us being alone are as infinitesimally small as the universe in exponentially big. That’s just science.

PPS- No way I’m getting captured either. Nobody’s probing me, man.

The Bearded Fireworm looks like a big, cute, hairy caterpillar on steroids. One of those big, cute, hairy caterpillars you shouldn’t touch because it’s horribly venomous and will sting the bejesus out of you. The Bearded Fireworm has hollow, toxic bristles which will puncture your skin. Bearded Fireworms come from rocky areas around the Caribbean and Mediterranean. Most of them scarcely reach 4-inches long, but some can get to over a foot in length. Anywho, Bearded Fireworm.

NY Times — In the $600-billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22-million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find, which was exactly how the Pentagon wanted it.

For years, the program investigated reports of unidentified flying objects, according to Defense Department officials, interviews with program participants and records obtained by The New York Times. It was run by a military intelligence official, Luis Elizondo, on the fifth floor of the Pentagon’s C Ring, deep within the building’s maze.

The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program. 

“Hmmm. Is it aliun or alien?”

Well, well, well. For years our government has denied that UFOs exist, yet all the while operating the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program deep within the bowels of the Pentagon. Guys just investigating aliens like you read about. And you just know they’ve found something and aren’t telling us. I guarantee they have photos of alien craft or maybe even have knowledge of aliens among us. Then again, I think they have to brief the president on this stuff, right? If so that really clouds the issue because you just know that upon hearing anything cool Trump would tweet about it within minutes. No way he could keep that knowledge to himself. Trump, man. Shoots out tweets like a 5th grader, except with poorer grammar.

PS- I’m sure you read my acclaimed blog titled Aliens Among Us. In it I laid out my theory that they’re here and living with us. We all know a couple. With that in mind, here are my top 5 possibilities of aliens living among us:

  1. Oprah. Of course Oprah’s an alien, except when they made her up to look like a humanoid they made her head too damn big, a dead giveaway. Clearly not human.
  2. Ryan Seacrest. You know how I’m certain he’s an alien? It’s those

    Seacrest, man.

    staring, soulless eyes. Chills, man.

  3. Tom Cruise. Come on man. He’s a Scientologist. They believe that a galactic being named Xenu brought billions of people from a “Galactic Confederacy” to earth in spaceships shaped like jet airplanes. Xenu then stacked the people around volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. The people didn’t die though, they became spirits that have caused harm to humans for 75-million years now. Dead serious. Look it up. Anywho, alien. Duh.
  4. Steve Buscemi. Obvious choice, amirite? Please. Dude has eyes that bore right through you. And I’m pretty sure a young apprentice alien was in charge of his mouth. Just a poor effort there.
  5. Christopher Walken. Ever notice how he really tries to talk normally but struggles putting sentences together? Yeah, me too. And once again, the eyes give it away. Not only is Walken obviously an alien, he may actually be their leader. It’s definitely him or a former administrator at the school where I taught. Anyway, Walken? No brainer there.

Interesting.

Source – A professor at Boston University has proclaimed Christmas carol favorite “Jingle Bells” to be a “racist song” and is urging people to shun the jaunty tune. Kyna Hamill, a theater history professor at Boston University, recently told the Boston Globe that the venerable Christmas song has a “secret” racist past that has been “systematically” hidden from Americans as they celebrate the Christmas season. Hamill claims the song, written 160-years ago by James Pierpont, was written to ridicule black people and was first performed in a blackface minstrel hall in Boston in 1857. The professor said that her study of the history of the song proved that the song was made to satirize how black people reacted to winter activities such as sleigh riding. 

Wow. And here all these years I thought the song was about riding in a one horse open sleigh and laughing and jingling all the way and whatnot. Now Kyna Hamill has gone and ruined it for me. Seriously, how in the hell can a song be racist when not one person on earth sings it with that intent? Answer: It can’t be.

PS- I also read where “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was totally about date rape. I don’t understand anything about anything anymore.