Posts Tagged Stupidity
Five Fantastic Facts About Donkeys
Posted by Keith Spillett in General Weirdness on October 6, 2011
Recently, I have developed a bizarre fascination with donkeys. They are odd-looking creatures with funny ears that make terrifyingly amusing noises. What’s not to love? I have spent the last few months of my life reading extensively about donkeys and have discovered several incredible, mind-boggling facts that I’d like to share with you so maybe you can find the same feeling of joy and love that I feel when I see one walking down the street.
1. DONKEYS HAVE 14 STOMACHS!!!!
That’s right! Your average donkey is able to consume 40 pounds of carrots in less than an hour thanks to all of these wondrous organs. A donkey can also generate additional stomachs throughout their lifetime. A donkey in Uzbekistan is the current worlds record holder with a reported 59 stomachs. How about that!?!?!
2. DONKEYS CAN LIVE FOR UP TO 3,000 YEARS!!!!!
Not only are donkeys loveable, but they are durable as well. The donkey that belonged to Plato, affectionately known as Rufus, is still with us today. Donkeys are able to regenerate any cells that die within a span of minutes. Nessie, the world’s oldest donkey, just had her 3,357th birthday. Back in the 1960s, the U.S. Army experimented by dropping 500 donkeys out of an airplane at 30,000 feet into occupied Czechoslovakia. Only one was slightly injured. The rest were healthy and immediately able to produce milk for American soldiers who were bravely battling the Germans in World War II.
3. DONKEYS ARE DESCENDED FROM LIONS AND HORSES!!!
Sure, lions and horses seem like a strange match, but hey, love is a many splendored thing! If you mate these two beasts you will produce a donkey. As crazy as it sounds, lion ranchers in New Zealand have been mating these two types of animals for the past 20 years. As a result, the donkey population has tripled. And as you well know, more donkeys mean more happiness for everyone!
4. DONKEYS CAN GROW TO THE SIZE OF ELEPHANTS!!!!
It’s true! When properly fed a balanced diet of oatmeal cookies and orange sherbet, donkeys can grow to the size of full-grown elephants. This can mean serious trouble for those who keep donkeys as house pets. Sure, tiny baby donkeys can be cute, but a full-grown mammoth jack donkey can grow to the amazing height of 160 hands (53 feet tall). An angry mammoth jack donkey can go on a rampage and destroy an entire village causing massive damage and severe injuries. So BE CAREFUL!
5. SIXTY FIVE PERCENT OF DONKEYS ARE ACTUALLY ROBOTS!!!!
It’s sure hard to tell the difference between a robot donkey and a real one. Here’s a tip, if your donkey starts going wild during a lightning storm, it’s probably a robot. If your donkey gets a cut and begins leaking oil, it’s probably a robot as well. Robot donkeys were first built during The Great Donkey Shortage of 1927 and have been with us ever since. They are just as friendly and good-natured as donkeys, but often have additional fun options like the ability to blend smoothies in their mouths. If owning a regular donkey seems financially out of reach, you just might want to consider picking up one of these wonderful mechanical creatures at your local Wal-Mart or certified Robot Donkey outlet.
6. DONKEYS CAN TELL TIME!!!!
Ever notice how a donkey sleeps at night and runs around playfully during the daytime? Can you guess why? It is a known fact among donkeyologists that these wonderful beasts can roughly tell what time of day it is based on whether the sun is out or not. They sure are smart!
7. ONE IN EVERY TWENTY DONKEYS ARE BORN WITH THE ABILITY TO SING!!!!
They are known for that ridiculous braying noise they make, but did you know that 1 in every 20 donkeys, if properly trained, can become remarkable singers. These special donkeys are born with unique vocal chords that allow the donkeys voice to create beautiful melodies. The Turkmen Donkey Choir, a group of talented donkeys from Turkmenistan who travel around singing old Rogers and Hammerstein show tunes, have performed to packed houses around the world and even had an audience with the Pope! Recently, a first in donkey musical history took place when a jenny named Roberta starred in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera performance of Turandot. She received rave reviews and a bouquet of carrots from the audience. Oh what a night!
8. SHERBET IS MADE FROM DONKEY BONES!!!!
Next time you are settling down after a hard day of work to a heaping bowl of everybody’s favorite delicious treat, remember to thank a donkey. If it weren’t for the Kraft Corporations decision back in 1953 to mix vanilla ice cream, ginger and donkey bones, sherbet would never have been discovered. Sherbet, once only believed to be a wonderful dessert, has recently been used successfully in medical trails for the treatment of Exploding Head Syndrome. So, not only do donkeys make people happy, they might just save some lives.
Gods and Ends
Posted by Keith Spillett in General Weirdness, Pointyheaded Highbrow Stuff on September 4, 2011
Greek Mythology has always been a source of great fascination to me. The Ancient Greeks had an uncanny way of explaining the random, capricious nature of life through their deities. The gods were wild and erratic. They could hand you a check for a million dollars one minute and throw you in a pit with a thousand rattlesnakes the next. Imagine the entire Old Testament was The Book of Job and you have a decent sense of how things worked for The Greeks.
The gods seemed to be a great way to explain anything and everything. At times, it can seem as if there were more gods then Greeks. Often, scholars spend their time focusing on the better-known gods like Zeus, Poseidon or Athena. However, there are many fascinating stories of gods that were widely worshiped in their day, but have disappeared into the great dustbin of history. Here are some great examples:
Arteriosclorities-The God of Deep Fried Foods
Beyond contributing democracy and many other key philosophical insights to our world, The Greeks are also the first society to deep-fry their foods. From yak to Snickers bars (a delicacy first created by Aristotle), the Greeks would throw nearly anything into a bubbling cauldron of oil. It is no wonder that the Greeks are believed to be the progenitors of Western medicine. Most Greeks weighed upwards of 300 pounds and were barely able to run. This fact tends to throw their achievements during the Olympic games into a whole different light.
Supposedly, Arteriosclorities was one of Zeus’ many sons from an affair with Eris, the goddess of strife and discord. In order to hide this affair from his wife Hera after the child was born, Zeus placed Arteriosclorities into the stomach of Dionysus while he was sleeping off a wild night of overeating and general debauchery. Dionysus awoke with a terrible feeling of discomfort and collapsed. Zeus, not meaning to have harmed Dionysus, sent Indigestius, the Greek god of stomach acid and ulcers, into his stomach to destroy Arteriosclorities. The two had a great battle, which was won by Indigestius. Dionysus finally awoke with terrible stomach pains that could only be allayed by eating massive amounts of antacids.
McKuenius-The God of Bad Poetry and Greeting Cards
The Greeks are known for creating some of the most poignant and moving poetry in human history. But, for every Homer, there were 1,000 less talented hacks trying to write their own Iliad. Many of these no talent writers ended up working for the Hallmark Corporation, which was founded in 654 B.C., with the mission of sending sappy, dull poetry to people on important days of their lives. Their patron saint is the god McKuenius.
McKuenius was known for writing terribly boring, pointless poetry and asking Hermes to deliver it. Hermes, the busy messenger god, was forced to deliver idiotic compositions like “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, You are a Goddess and Athena is too” to Aphrodite or “Poseidon likes water, Demeter is his sister, She gave birth to his daughter,” to the god of the sea. After growing tired of having to read this drivel, Hermes begged Zeus to punish McKuenius in order to make him stop writing. First, Zeus sentenced him to one hundred years of writing dirty limericks on bathroom stalls. However, Zeus quickly discovered that he was enjoying his job. Zeus realized he was a lost cause and sent him to pits of Tartarus and made him write a detailed description of Sisyphus rolling a rock up the hill for eternity. He is still there today, happily describing suffering and misery in a pithy, gleeful, and highly moronic way.
Aggasius-The God Of Male Pattern Baldness
The gods seemed to all have some sort of fatal flaw. Be it rage, greed, avarice or just plain old insanity, they all seemed to have something locked into their character that made them both all-powerful and amazingly vulnerable. One of the earliest examples of this is Aggasius, the god of male pattern baldness. Aggusius was one of the original Titan gods who were overthrown by Zeus and The Olympian gods at 4:22 PM on February 12th 3212 B.C. Aggasius was capable of creating tornadoes, causing earthquakes and smiting entire nations with a wave of his staff. However, he was unable to grow hair on the top of his head. The tragic irony of Agassius was that he could grow massive amounts on his back, his ears and even on his shoulders like Sonny Corleone in the first Godfather film. He tried several potions created by Greek pharmaceutical manufacturers, a terribly made hairpiece created from the beard of Hyperion, and even tried to rubbing pomegranate seeds on his head three times a day, nothing seemed to work. In spite of his great power, the other gods laughed at “The Bald One” whenever his back was turned. Eventually, he grew tired of the mockery, quit being a god and moved to a suburb of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he still lives today working as a successful middle manager at a meat packing company.
Everything Is Dumb
Posted by Keith Spillett in Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing, The Politics Of Catastrophe on August 11, 2011
“It is not a case of choosing those [faces] that, to the best of one’s judgment, are really the prettiest, nor even those that average opinion genuinely thinks the prettiest. We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some, I believe, who practice the fourth, fifth and higher degrees.”
–John Maynard Keynes discussing Beauty Contests in the General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, 1936
Do you believe in big government? Then you must be a communist who looks to manipulate lazy poor people into voting for you by offering them the opportunity to spend the rest of their lives as indolent pikers. Dumb. Do you believe in small government? Then you must be an evil spirited misanthrope who doesn’t care one bit about anyone but yourself. Dumb. Are you pro-choice? Then you must be a maniacal baby killer who seeks to undermine basic human values. Dumb. Are you pro-life? Then you must be one of those religious psychopaths who want to force women back into the June Cleaver model of complete helplessness and social inferiority. Dumb. Do you like Obama? Then you are clearly in favor of the destruction of the American Way of Life. Dumb. Do you hate Obama? Then you are clearly a closeted racist unable to cope with the forces of progress. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
It’s all so insanely dumb. CNN had a question on their Facebook site last night asking all of their likers the question of what should be done about the economy. Everybody responded with some inane pet theory running the gamut from the flat tax to value added taxes to the repeal of all taxes to forcing the Chinese to send their entire work force to Africa to the Fair Tax to more sin taxes, etc. 2,658 comments in 15 hours. People inevitably started arguing and quoting dumb things they heard other people say. People called each other names. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Everybody’s an expert. Each man a king, each woman a queen. Dumb.
I am not exempt from this sort of asinine posturing. I have moments where I forget that I am part of the mob. Wishful thinking does occasionally overtake my brain. The wicked, awful truth is by contributing to the blogosphere, I have merely exchanged my pitchfork and torch for a MacBook. I get worked up over the horrors of military spending or the Ponzi scheme-like quality of modern finance or the disgusting, venal nature of American politics from time to time and write about it. Dumb.
The truth of the whole thing is far worse than a person can contemplate without a complete psychic meltdown. It’s not just that we are dumb, that idea by itself is tolerable, even somewhat amusing. It’s that the product of all modern discourse seems to be dumb. Let’s assume for a moment that some of us want to use reason as an antidote to the basic dumbness of our world. Fine. Good luck. The non-dumb folks among us are welcome to use subtle, intelligent arguments to understand the world. It’s a free country, as they say.
Now, let’s say one of the non-dumb want to step outside of the perimeters of their mental world and, say, lessen the suffering of others or effect social change on any level. Well, those folks will present their ideas to a population that, for the most part, is uncomfortable and even threatened by anything that resembles reason. Let’s say you are making a reasoned argument for the truth of global warming. How on earth could you possibly explain the nuances of a concept like that to a person who believes that science is completely untrustworthy and dinosaurs weren’t real? Every time it snows they will thumb their nose at you and scream out “SEE!” Let’s say you are a bright and articulate religious person and you want to make a reasoned argument for what you believe? You will be met with every anti-religious cliché in the book and lumped together with sycophants from Jimmy Swaggart to Ayman Al-Zawahiri. You can’t win.
Eventually, the pure force of dumbness will overpower any even moderately intelligent argument. Seeing this, a person making reasonable arguments might well begin to lose trust in their audience. In order to enact any sort of change in our world, one must not just have a great idea, one must have an idea that the mob can be talked into. When the realities of the situation begin to occur to someone with an idea, they naturally begin to tailor their ideas to the wild eccentricities of the mob.
Most people might not understand the nuances of the idea of a welfare state, but they can certainly be convinced that its not right that someone who has a private jet pay the same taxes as they do. Now, the argument has moved out of the realm of thought and into the realm of pure, visceral dumbness. Pretty soon, an intelligent point about general inequity has become a shouting match between “the defenders of those with private jets” and “those who hate America.”
The upshot of all this weirdness is that extremely intelligent people are forced into becoming absurd polemicists. The merits of the idea take a backseat to the constant push and pull of public opinion. This idea is perfectly captured in the earlier quote by Keynes. The whole thing becomes a Faustian Beauty Contest fought not on the merits of what is beautiful, but rather, on the merits of what the mob might find the most beautiful.
Finding a point of view that makes sense becomes a lot like defensive driving. You are not driving based solely on the rules of the road, rather you drive based on what the idiot in the Camaro doing 100 miles per hour with a Pabst Blue Ribbon in his lap might think the rules of the road are. Even if you drive well, the moron next to you can still kill you. So, you adjust to the stupidity of the whole venture. In that adjustment, ideas that are logical are often jettisoned for more acceptable generalizations that can be absorbed by a mass of angry people. And those generalizations are met with counter generalizations, which are met with counter generalizations. The whole thing gets pushed out to the n-th degree. Suddenly, we are excitedly screaming at each other over what Joe The Plumber thinks. After a few hundred rounds of this everyone’s an idiot and no one can tell the difference. Over and over and back and forth. Dumb.
I offer no solution to this problem. This may well be how democracy works when you get it out of the textbooks; I’m not sure. I do wonder what the outcome of this insanity will be. I feel like I’m chained to 300 million lunatics going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Everyone is paddling in different directions. Everyone thinks that they know how to escape and are just as convinced that the morons next to them are messing things up. We argue over how we got in the barrel, we argue over how to best get out of the barrel, we argue over whether The Falls are even real, we argue over how big the barrel is, we argue over who should get out of the barrel first, we argue over whether we should work together or separately. The result of all this strain and turmoil is no different then if we did nothing at all. We move towards The Falls with no clear explanation of what is happening and no possibility of ever getting out of our predicament. Dumb.