Sunday, November 23, 2014

Some THANKSGIVING Stories is here!

Everybody talks about Thanksgiving, but nobody does anything about it.  UNTIL NOW.  I have written the definitive collection of Thanksgiving short stories, 'definitive' meaning that every story in this collection at least mentions Thanksgiving. But some do more so: I have written a series of stories each centered around one Thanksgiving menu item.  In "Turkey," you'll learn why it might be better to deep-fry your turkey.  Stuffing introduces sure-to-be-classic character "The regular mouse," and a discussion of things you can stuff. And so on, through every course of a Thanksgiving dinner, finishing with the magical story "Pumpkin Pie."

The collection also includes the shorts "Pompeii" and "A Happy Story About The Universe, And Stuff," which, as promised, is happy! (And about both the universe as well as stuff!)\

You can get it for just $0.99 today, so go check it out by clicking here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

This isn't throwback Thursday, it's actually WAYFORWARD WEDNESDAY, When I traveled in time to go into the future to see what old post I would put up on Thursday but then got distracted by all those free videogames they put online. I ROCK AT BURGERTIME YO.


This is a post from way back in November, 2008.  I am a totally different person nowadays than I was then.  JUST KIDDING I NEVER CHANGE I'M PERFECT.  Things I added today are in red.

Of Pocket Breakfasts and Punishments

If I complain about the fact that McDonald's does not put prices on its drive-through menus, does that qualify me as one of those grumpy old-timers that are always leaning over a fence complaining to Dennis the Menace's dad?

Or, does it qualify me as a grumpy old-timer if I remember who "Dennis The Menace" is?

And, what was Dennis The Menace's dad's name? I'm guessing George. People in old-time comics and movies and TV shows were always named George.

The only reason I had to wonder about whether I'm a grumpy old man is because I had to stop at McDonald's to get breakfast on the way into "work" today. I had to stop for breakfast because there wasn't anything at home that I could eat for breakfast -- "eat for breakfast" meaning "put into my jacket pocket and carry out to the car where I will eat it while listening to The Hold Steady while sitting in traffic that is moving even slower than usual in an effort to make me even more frustrated than I usually am in the mornings."

That's how I usually eat my breakfast-- taking it out of my jacket pocket and eating it on the road on the way into work, because I don't have time to eat at home because my schedule is so hectic.

 But today, there wasn't anything that I could eat for breakfast and I didn't realize that until just before I left, which was just after I came downstairs after getting dressed, carrying Mr Bunches with me. Mr Bunches had come with me upstairs after my shower, because while I am trying to pick out a tie-and-shirt combo for the day, Mr Bunches likes to climb on the bed and play with Sweetie's "Hello Kitty," which I don't mind because while "Hello Kitty" is kind of a girlish stuffed animal for a little boy to play with, I know that Mr Bunches is only playing with "Hello Kitty" in an effort to look as though he's not planning on getting up and jumping on the bed


This is the EXACT same thing I mentioned in the last Throwback Thursday post.  Before you say "Hey, he's reusing the same plot over and over again," I will remind you that... no, , yeah, I am. Sorry.  I'm a hack. Or at least I was back in 2008.  NOWADAYS I AM OBVIOUSLY EXTREMELY TALENTED AS DEMONSTRATED BY THE WAY I ... no, still a hack. Sorry.
PS Also did you know that Hello Kitty is not a cat? Or a kitten? It's true. I didn't know that back in 2008.  THE FUTURE IS THE GREATEST.


-- distracting me by appearing to innocently play with a stuffed animal until I get lost in thought trying to remember which of the two hangers full of ties is the "haven't worn recently" hanger -- my ties being divided between "haven't worn recently hanger" and "have worn recently, or at least have dropped on the floor and couldn't remember if I wore them recently so I put them on the have worn recently hanger."

I have to divide my ties that way, and rotate my sweaters and shirts and pants for work, because I don't want to be the guy who wears the same thing to the office everyday. Or even the "guy who wears the same thing to the office a lot." It's okay to have a favorite shirt that is worn all the time or a lot... if you're in third grade. It's not okay, if, like me, you had a maroon zip-up sweatshirt with a hood that you loved so much you wore it pretty much every day of the first two quarters of eighth grade, stopping only when Derek Van Orten one day in math class turned to you and said loudly "How come you wear that sweatshirt every day?"

It's extremely likely that my parents tried to stop me from doing that but I have ABSOLUTELY NO MEMORY of them trying to do so.  Then again, I have ABSOLUTELY NO MEMORY of what I ate for breakfast today, so you can't trust my mind. You really can't. My mind just makes up memories now.  Sweetie pointed out to me today that I not only didn't remember the details of an actual doctor's appointment I had taken Mr F to a few months back, but I had gone ahead and made up an entirely fake memory of a doctor's appointment that was similar to the actual, real-life one. But it was fake.  This development is both cool and somewhat frightening, frightening because I kind of like the memories I have but cool because I'm pretty creative and so I'm excited to see what my mind comes up with for me to think I remember having done.


Ever since then, I'm sensitive about wearing clothes too often. I don't know what happened to Derek Van Orten but he might still be around and if I wear my blue shirt or my Curious George tie or my brown corduroys too often, he might pop up in our lobby and say "How come you wear that Darth Maul tie so often." I've worked hard to leave behind the horrors of eighth grade and I'm not going to let them come back.

Plus, other people think like Derek Van Orten did; I know they do, because I do. There's a guy in my office -- I'll call him "A Guy In My Office" -- who wears a certain shirt. A lot. And I notice it. And each time I see it, I think "Hey, he's wearing that shirt again." And if I think it, and Derek Van Orten thought it, then that's all the proof that I need to know that everybody is thinking like that, and therefore I need to rotate my shirts and ties and pants carefully, which is why it takes me so long to get dressed in the morning and why Mr Bunches can pretend to play with "Hello Kitty"

Can't go to that well enough, can I?

long enough to make sure I'm absorbed in trying to remember the last time I wore the yellow shirt and whether I wore it with the brown pants or the black pants, and when Mr Bunches realizes that my mind is entirely taken up with those questions, he begins jumping on the bed, which I can't let him do because I promised Sweetie that I would not, under any circumstances, let Mr Bunches jump on our bed.

Sweetie made me promise that a long time ago, after finding out that I routinely, on the days I was giving her a break from the Babies!, took them upstairs and let them jump on our bed while I cleaned the room or rotated my work clothes. So I promised her that I would prevent them from jumping on our bed, and then, because marriage is all about compromise, I let them jump on Middle's bed, instead.

Mr Bunches likes to come upstairs with me because he gets very attached to me in the mornings. So attached that on many mornings, I brush my teeth and shower in the downstairs shower listening to two things: Sports radio on the blue boombox I bought from Oldest years ago, and Mr Bunches complaining outside the bathroom door because I'm in there instead of hanging out with him while I do exercises or watch CNN Headline News with him, as I was just a few minutes before.

That's what we do when we first get downstairs in the morning, after I get them up and get them dressed. I get them up and get them dressed while Sweetie takes a bath and gets ready for the day; she can't start that until The Boy and Middle are ready for school themselves, and they're not ready, ever, until 7 a.m., which is also the time that I go get the Babies! up and get them dressed. I try to greet them in a cheery, upbeat, fashion, like I did this morning, when I woke them up by opening their door and announcing that it was "Time To Get Up" and then treating them to a Daddy-fied version of "I See You Baby," the Fatboy Slim/Groove Armada song that really is not appropriate for singing to two-year-olds at 7 a.m. while you're waking them up... but it becomes, maybe, a little more appropriate, if, like I did, you sing it to them, as I did, while shaking their butts as you lift them out of their cribs.




OH MY GOD I DID NOT EVEN REMEMBER THAT SONG EXISTED UNTIL I READ THIS AGAIN AND NOW I WANT TO DO NOTHING BUT LISTEN TO THAT SONG.  2008 ME, YOU HAD PERFECT TASTE IN MUSIC.


I replace certain words with the word "butt" or "thing." See? Appropriate. And fun. The Babies! did not see it that way, though. It put Mr F in a bad mood almost instantly, a bad mood I dealt with by leaving him in his crib to complain while I tried to get Mr Bunches to sit on his potty chair. That's harder than it sounds; Mr Bunches acts as though the potty chair is made of electrified barbed wire. He will sit quietly while I take off his slippers and sleeper and diaper and then he will calmly watch me or the TV as I pick him up, and then I will try to sit him on the potty chair, only to have him go rigid and levitate just above the seat while wiggling around until he falls to one side or the other of the chair and scrambles onto my lap, where he again calms down again. In the past week, I've gotten Mr Bunches to actually touch the potty chair only once.

Mr F does a little better on that, but only because Mr F thinks it's funny that I sit him on the potty chair and give him advice. "Sit down and go Psssssst!" I tell him, and he makes the sound back at me:  Pssssst! (We add the "t" on the end to keep it family-friendly.) Then he'll tell me his other words, which this morning were "Yuck," "Guck," and "Color," and, once dressed, we all head downstairs while Sweetie (who's generally been helping me with that stuff) heads off to take a bath.

Once downstairs, Mr Bunches is, as I said, never ready to begin his day and clings to me while I try to begin my own day in any way that does not involve picking up cereal. It never works, and I always end up with pockets of cereal.

I end up that way because each day, Sweetie gets the boys' breakfasts ready so that when I take them downstairs to our family room I can give them each their cereal and their milk cup so they can then they sit peacefully on the couch and watch while I watch the news and do my morning stretches and exercises...

I'm not sure which 'exercise' program I was attempting at the time, but it sounds almost completely ineffective.  My current exercise program, after I recently went on a diet for 30 hours, is to walk three times a week.  This is how that went this week: Saturday, I walked 20 minutes on a treadmill at a reasonable pace and then had an asthma attack and had to quit.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and today I clicked the little reminder that I was supposed to go for a 30-minute walk over to the next day.  Tomorrow I will probably take the boys to the pool.  AM I HEALTHY YET?

... only it never works that way. Mr Bunches never wants to do that, at all. He's okay with watching Headline News, and he's okay with me doing my stretches and exercises, so long as I do not put him down. So I don't; I stretch my calves and my neck and my legs and I do my sit-ups all while Mr Bunches is hanging around my neck; he laughs and only occasionally strangles me just a little bit, and I theoretically get stretched out and warmed up for the day and also learn how to do so with periodic interruptions in my airflow.

Mr F sometimes joins us in the workout, sitting on my chest while I do sit-ups, but more often than not, he ignores me and Mr Bunches and the TV entirely in order to focus on his main task, which is spreading cereal around on the floor so that wherever you walk in our family room, you hear the crackling, crunching sound of Lucky Charms and Teddy Grahams underfoot. It sounds kind of like walking through a forest in the fall, if you were walking through the forest with a two-year-old clinging to your neck and if the forest had CNN Headline News on in the background and if the forest had not leaves but marshmallows that stuck to your foot, and if, occasionally, in that forest, you were walking and minding your own business with your two-year-old clinging to you, and while you were walking and minding your own business in that forest, suddenly a DVD from the shelf got flung at your head for no reason whatsoever. That kind of forest is what our family room is like in the morning.

Mr F's activity this morning in fact slowed me down a little and caused me to be running late, since today he decided to move beyond simply taking a piece of cereal and then dropping it randomly, and instead grabbed the whole bowl and threw it in the air. Being the kind of parent who thinks that discipline and a Lucky-Charms-Free carpet are equally important,

I long ago gave up on both. Now I try to just get a good night's sleep.
 I immediately gave Mr F a time out for 60 seconds (this being a major infraction). But Mr F being two, a time out is only a time out if I physically hold him in place for the entire length of the time out, so I had to sit him on the big chair and hold him there, while he complained for the entire sixty seconds in which he was held motionless from the waist down (his upper half never stopped moving.) Then, I made him help me pick the cereal up. "Help" in this context means "I held onto his hand while he tried desperately to squirm away, and with my other hand I picked up the cereal bits one at a time," with Sweetie's help because by that time.

That is, to this day, how we have to punish Mr F.  I'm pretty sure one of these days it'll start working. 


Sweetie had finished her bath and was down helping me out, so I could release Mr F from his "punishment," take my shower to the accompaniment of Sports Center and Mr Bunches complaining because I had put him down, then take Mr Bunches upstairs with me where I divided my time between trying to keep him from bouncing on the bed and selecting an outfit I hadn't worn recently, which I finally did, and I grabbed Mr Bunches and headed back downstairs to drop him with Sweetie and grab my Pocket-Breakfast and head out, only then to realize that there was nothing to make for Pocket Breakfast -- no breakfast strudels or pop tarts or French Toast sticks or anything else that could be easily toasted, put in a paper towel and pocketed until midway through my drive.

So I decided I would treat myself and stop at McDonald's to get a McGriddle, but it wasn't until I was in line at the Drive-Through that I thought to check how much money I actually had on me, and I only had four dollars on me. I'm not complaining, as such, because for me to have four actual cash dollar bills on me is pretty unusual and made me feel pretty rich, overall.

I don't use cash anymore.  I can't remember when I last had cash.  Sweetie tried to give me cash for gas money this week and I wouldn't take it.  Cash is for drug dealers and Russian oligarchs. This is 2014. We use plastic money.  

Generally, I have no cash on me, and even less in my bank account. The kids still remember the time I checked my account balance, only to find that I had sixteen cents in my account.

(The Bank's automated teller made it even funnier for them. It says, in an authoritative voice: Your current account balance is [dramatic pause] SIXTEEN CENTS. Your available balance is[DRAMATIC PAUSE] SIXTEEN CENTS." They loved it.)

So four dollars was great, except that I had no idea how much anything cost at McDonald's and I had no chance to find out, because there's only the one menu and it's the one right by the speaker, so by the time I could read the menu to try to find out how much anything was, I also was at the speaker and the Speaker Voice was saying "Welcome to McDonalds can I take your order?"

I tried doing the slow-talk thing while I scanned the menu, saying "Yes... um... I... will... have..." but all I saw on the menu were Arctic Orange shakes and Happy Meals, neither of which seemed like the kind of thing I should be getting at 8 a.m.,

OK Honestly? They seem like exactly the thing I want a 8 a.m. but I didn't because: society.
and I couldn't find McGriddles anywhere on the menu. I paused and thought Should I just ask how much a McGriddle is? But I couldn't bring myself to do that. It just seemed... wrong to ask for a price check on a McGriddle. And what if she said a price that was too high, more than the $4 I had? I'd be exposed, in front of however many people eventually heard the story, as The Guy Who Couldn't Afford A McGriddle. That's the message that would be sent -- ask how much it is, and she'd say a price, and then I'd say "Well, just a hash brown," and the rest of the day, the rest of my life, they'd be talking about it. "There was this guy," they'd say, "And he came through the drive-through and he didn't even have enough for a McGriddle" and everyone else would laugh and feel superior to me. I just didn't want to start my day that way.

So I took a chance. "Just a Sausage McGriddle sandwich," I told the Speaker Voice. Then, seeing that they had "Value Meals," I added. "That's all. Just a McGriddle Sandwich. Nothing else with it. Just the sandwich."

There was a pause, during which I imagined that the Speaker Voice was telling everyone else in the restaurant "Hey, check this guy out -- he can't afford a Value Meal," but she came back on and said it was $3.15, and I had no way of knowing whether or not that was right, but I did know that I could afford it, so I paid and got my Just A Sausage McGriddle No Meal With It, and headed off to "work," nine hours of time that will probably turn out to be the least stressful part of my day.

___________________________________________________________-

That seems like it ended kind of abruptly. I even went to check the original post to see if there was more but no, there wasn't.  I probably should have made another reference to Hello Kitty.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And with that, fall is over. (Pictures Of The Days)


Saturday, it was still fall, and I took the boys to their favorite park -- Little Park On The Mountain -- where Mr F brought his Hot Cycle to ride down the hill:



By Sunday, it had snowed and I took the boys to go sledding, but they ended up wanting to play on the playground equipment instead, so we did that.





Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit-- Aristotle. (Mr F, Chair Pioneer)





A few weeks ago, the podcast "99% Invisible" did an episode about how all great architects and designers try to reinvent the chair. (Find it here; it was really good). in which they said

The chair presents an interesting design challenge, because it is an object that disappears when in use. The person replaces the chair.

Mr F is turning everything designers know on their head.  He is the disruptive force that sitting has been fearing for all of human existence.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAH I AM THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD TAKE THAT SCIENCE ME 3 SCIENCE STILL ZERO SUCK IT SCIENCE!

I am so smart
I am so smart
S-M-R-T - D'oh!

-- Homer Simpson.

All geniuses - geniusi? - start all their longwinded discourses relaying their lofty intellectualizations with quotes from other great thinkers, and I am no different.

So I was sitting and eating my toasted raisin bagel -- I'm told that's what Aristotle ate before he invented light bulbs-- and skimming through headlines on HuffPo this morning when I come across THIS:

Scientists Raise Doubts About Higgs Boson Discovery, Say It Could Be Another Particle


The more astute among you may remember that I have a long-running stance about "science," which boils down to "they made up velociraptors and also the Higgs Boson," and that I have said for a long time there is no Higgs Boson, basing that on empirical evidence including "Remember the brontosaurus? Never existed either."

SCIENCE!

Anyway, I read the article, mostly, and got to this amazing part where a consumer lawyer's theoretical physics knowledge proved more dead on than Stephen Hawkings.  Hawking, remember, was wrong about black holes but does believe in the Higgs Boson (he said it might destroy the universe).

Here is the part just after the blah blah stuff about how the evidence of the Higgs Boson is circumstantial and could also prove other, none Higgs Boson-y, stuff:

The new research seems to piggyback on previous research suggesting that the Higgs boson is actually made up of smaller particles, UPI reported.

Which would mean THE HIGGS BOSON DOES NOT EXIST which then recalls a day in the halcyon years of my youth, March 9, 2010, to be exact, when I posted the following on one of my other blogs:

The Best Way To Prove "Scientists" Are Making It Up

Which do you think is more "scientific:" hobbits, or dark matter?

That's a fair question, and a timely one, as both fictional creations were in the news this week, and both help demonstrate that scientists haven't advance one whit from the dark ages -- the time when "science" first felt that it could describe the natural world through the process of "just making things up."

Human history is full of "scientists" just making stuff up to explain natural phenomena, and human history is full of people buying into it because, you know, it sounds about right. "It sounds about right" is, by now, an unwritten but paradigmatic law of "science" -- and, so far as I can tell, it's about the only law that any "scientists" follow.

Maybe "scientists" follow The Law Of Sounding About Right because it's been around so long: One of the earliest examples of that "scientific" law is retrograde motion. "Retrograde motion" was the explanation early "scientists" used to explain the movements of the planets. Those early "scientists" noticed that the stars rarely moved, while the planets moved all over the place, relatively speaking. Those early "scientists" also noticed that the planets did not appear to move in normal, forward motion -- something they were at a loss to explain, because early "scientists" believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, and that the planets and stars orbited the earth.

If that was the case, then, the planets should move in a straight, or at least constant, direction around the earth. But they didn't move the way theories predicted they should: The "scientists" had a theory about the Earth's position vis a vis the rest of the Universe, and then they tested that theory by observing the universe, and noticed that their observations didn't match the theory.

But did they scrap the theory? Heck no: That's not the "scientific" way, because that would violate The Law Of Sounding About Right. Instead of scrapping the Earth-Centric Theory, "scientists" came up with retrograde motion, which is, in a nutshell, the belief that the planets sometimes backed up a little.


The movement that a planet makes in the sky -- the apparent motion of the planet -- is dependent not just on that planet's motion, but on the observer's motion. So as the Earth moves, and as Mars moves, it creates the appearance that Mars has moved forward and backward in the sky.

The appearance -- because that's not really happening. That appearance posed problems for early "scientists" who were unwilling to abandon their theory about Earth's place, so the scientists simply said: Well, Mars, and the other planets, must back up from time to time. They go this way for a while, and then that way for a while, and then head forward again.

This new theory, The Indecisive Planet Theory, worked great for "scientists" because it explained the entire universe in a way they were comfortable with.

That's an important qualifier: in a way they were comfortable with. Because The Indecisive Planet Theory, from a truly scientific standpoint, did not work great... or at all, as it didn't explain the actual universe. It explained the universe the way "scientists" wanted it to be.

(You'll note, throughout this post, that when I talk of science, I'll phrase it one of two ways: there's science, without quotes, which signifies actual scientific thought, demonstrating a logical and non-magical application of observations to theories, and then there's "science" with quotes, which is what every single "scientist" these days practices -- and "science" is not much different than "creative writing," only there is a lesser emphasis on gerunds in science.)

So again, from a "scientific" standpoint, The Indecisive Planet Theory worked great, because it meant that "scientists" had explained things the way they wanted them to be, and could go back to doing whatever it is "scientists" do all day long. Read magazines, or something. Play Gnip Gnop.

Ultimately, as we know, "scientists" were forced to abandon The Indecisive Planet Theory, as well as The Earth-Centric Theory, leaving "science" as a whole free to go on to start making up other things, like cool dinosaurs and cool stories about dinosaurs.

I'm not saying all dinosaurs are made-up -- I'm pretty sure that at some point, there were dinosaurs, and I'm pretty sure that Adam and Eve rode those dinosaurs out of the Garden of Eden. (I may be confusing Sunday School and "Real" School a bit, but, as "science" teaches us, facts are entirely unimportant.)


But some dinosaurs have been made up, and some facts about dinosaurs have been made up -- because "scientists" decided, at some point, that it wasn't cool or interesting enough to have giant flesh-eating lizards fighting it out on sun-scrubbed plains. No, dinosaurs had to be more gianter, and more flesh-eating-er, and more smarter and do all kinds of cool things that stopped just shy of building rocket ships to flee the asteroid that "scientists" believe wiped them out.

(In fact, has there ever been any proof that dinosaurs didn't build rocket ships to escape the planet? Rockets that left the Earth wouldn't leave a fossil record behind... and the fossil record is, tellinglycompletely devoid of evidence of rockets. That seems to me to be "scientific" proof that dinosaurs were able to build rockets and escape the earth.)

(It was probably all those dinosaurs stomping around on Mars and Venus that made the planets back up from time to time.)

(That, my readers, is the beginning of what someday will be recognized as the true Theory of Everything.)

"Scientists" began making up dinosaurs with the brontosaurus -- a dinosaur created by "scientists" in their quest for fame and glory around the turn of the century. The discoverer of the "brontosaurus," a "scientist" named O.C. Marsh, found a bunch of bones, but couldn't find a head. So he used a head from a find four (or 400) miles away, and just tacked it on, calling the resulting creation a brontosaurus.

(O.C. March, whose real names was Othniel, made up brontosaurus in part to outdo his rival, Edward Drinker Cope. In the 1800s, it apparently was in vogue to name your kid after socially-acceptable habits... at least judging from Cope and his other contemporary, Nathaniel OpiumHookahSmoker Johnston.)

The fakery (excuse me, ... "science") was discovered almost immediately, but that didn't stop "science" from going on claiming the brontosaurus existed... for nearly a century. In fact, when the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of dinosaur stamps that included the brontosaurus, not only did "scientists" not stop them from promoting a dinosaur that "science" had simply made up, but "scientists" in fact defended the Post Office. Stephen "Jay" Gould minimized the controversy -- a "scientist" saying it's no big deal that "science" made something up -- and Robert Bakker, who is described as a "celebrated" "paleontologist" apparently to this day continues to use the name brontosaurus to describe things that are not, technically speaking, brontosauri.

"Scientists" didn't stop with making up dinosaurs -- as they did with not only brontosaurus, the but also the velociraptor, a "dinosaur" that never existed until Michael Crichton dreamed them up for his book Jurassic Park, but which thereafter scientists pretended did exist. (I won't get into that debate again. The first time I proved that velociraptors never existed, in the essay Velociraptors, My Butt, is available in this book, and the second time is posted here.) No, "scientists" also made up how dinosaurs acted, based on a complete misunderstanding of how things work in the natural world.(I.e., "science.")

"Scientists" have long presented theories of dinosaur behavior based on fossil records of how animals' bones were found embedded in rock. They will find, say, a pterodactyl skeleton lying across an apatosaurus' skeleton, and they will conclude that the pterodactyl must have tried to eat the apatosaurus, and they will then publish "scientific" papers entitled Omnivorous Habits Of The Pteranodon In The Late Jurassic Period, in which they will "conclude" that pterodactyls, previously believed to be only poor flyers with little leg strength, must in fact have been mighty soaring dinosaurs able to use their grasping claws to first strangle, then carry back, an entire apatosaurus to feed their young. And they will become famous for that.

That conclusion I just wrote, specious as it is, will (a) be published in a major "scientific" journal within a year, and (b) rests on the assumption that a pterodactyl dove down on an apatosaurus -- and then both were suddenly killed, right on the spot, and not moved at all by any natural force until enough sediment had covered them up and then fossilize the bones in the exact manner they originally fell in.


Do this: Take a chicken bone, and a pork spare rib. Drive out to South Dakota, and when nobody's looking, drop them on the ground, one across the other. Then come back in a year and see if they've been moved at all. If they have, that tells you how likely it is that the Pterodactyl-Apatosaurus Battle occurred. (If they haven't, leave them there, and one day "scientists" will tell future generations of the mighty Chick-Hen which battled the Pork Monster into submission in the deserts of South Dakota.)

Isn't it more likely that the bones ended up there either by accident, or because other forces (scavengers, wind, water) moved them there, resulting in a coincidental array of bones?

Don't ask "scientists" that, because coincidence doesn't get tenure.

Dinosaurs aren't the only place that "science" makes things up, and popular "scientists" like Stephen "Jay" Gould are not the only ones who fall into that trap. Even Einstein did it -- creating the cosmological constant.

The "cosmological constant" was a number Einstein invented for one purpose: To make his theories work. Unlike, say, pi, the cosmological constant had no place in the real world or in science. Its sole purpose in life, as it were, was to make the universe be what Einstein wanted it to be.

Einstein wanted the universe to be static -- not expanding, not contracting, but always the same, in a state of equilibrium. Einstein believed the universe was static, and then he came up with his theory of relativity... which, unfortunately for him, did not work with a static universe.

Einstein discovered -- in the scientific equivalent of duct-taping a car bumper back on -- that if he plugged in a certain number, then general relativity would work, and the universe would be static.

It's important to note that this number was entirely made up. It was used to balance the equation. In a simplified explanation, imagine that you are going over your budget. You see that you make $500 per month, and that you have expenses of $100 on food, $50 on gas, $400 on rent, and $50 on entertainment. That doesn't balance out, as you add it up: you've got $600 on one side and $500 on the other, so your savings will contract.

But, if you simply add $100 to the other side, then your equation balances perfectly.

You wouldn't do that in a budget, of course, because "making up a number" doesn't actually do anything (unless you're in Washington D.C., in which case "making up a number" is called a "budget projection" and it lets you claim that one side or the other is wrong) to help you.

But in "science," things are different -- making up a number in "science" is generally as accepted as making up dinosaurs, or anything else: It's considered good, solid "science."

I'm not being facetious -- Einstein, whose name is synonymous with both "genius" and "science" -- made up a number so that the universe would match his equation, instead of making an equation that matched his universe. Einstein later realized he was wrong, and called his "cosmological constant" the "biggest blunder" of his life.

Einstein's realization that there was no cosmological constant, and calling it a blunder would, you'd think, cause other "scientists" to stop talking about the cosmological constant and get back to, you know, science, instead of "science," but if you thought that, then you've already forgotten the example of the brontosaurus: Of course "scientists" didn't abandon the cosmological constant -- they still use it:

Scientists at UCLA refer to the "cosmological constant" as something that "still exists as a possibility." To examine the "scientific" rigor that UCLA applies to studying the possible cosmological constant, consider this sentence:

"In larger systems we cannot make part per million verifications of the standard model."

That means, to you and me, that UCLA's "scientists" cannot verify their equations outside of the solar system. Does that stop them from equating? It does not:

In the case of the Sun's orbit around the Milky Way, we only say that the vacuum energy density is less than half of the average matter density in a sphere centered at the Galactic Center that extends out to the Sun's distance from the center. If the vacuum energy density were more than this, there would be no centripetal acceleration of the Sun toward the Galactic Center. But we compute the average matter density assuming that the vacuum energy density is zero, so to be conservative I will drop the "half" and just say

rho(vacuum) < (3/(4*pi*G))(v/R)2 = 3*10-24 gm/cc
for a circular velocity v = 220 km/sec and a distance R = 8.5 kpc.

Did you get that? UCLA "scientists" have equations that don't work outside the solar system, so they assume things to be true, and then make adjustments to their equations to be conservative.

That's fine, being conservative, if you're trying to estimate, say, how much cash you'll need to stop at McDonald's and pick up some Happy Meals. "I'm not sure how much they cost, so I'll be conservative and assume $5 each..." because if you're wrong about the price of Happy Meals, spaceships don't accelerate improperly and crash... but if you're not practicing actual science and you try to land a radio-controlled car on Mars, you're going to botch it.

Which brings me to hobbits and dark matter. "Hobbits," as you may have heard if you read the paper this weekend, have now been "scientifically" verified to have existed, in a "scientific" discovery that just goes to show that "science" is now freely plundering from the world of literature. I expect that by April, we'll be reading headlines announcing that there really were zombies in Victorian England.

Back in 2004, "scientists" announced the discovery of "hobbits," human pygmy ancestors who grew no larger than a 3-year-old child. The timing of that discovery was just months after the release of the third installment of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, something that would have been coincidental except, remember, coincidence doesn't get tenure. So "scientists" who discovered some tiny human bones, in early 2004, couldn't have discovered tiny human bones, but had to have discovered hobbits.

When just discovering hobbits wasn't enough, this past week, "scientists" had to announce that not only were there really hobbits, but that the hobbits disproved the Theory of Evolution! Remarking on the find of a tiny skeleton, a skeleton that would have no significance whatsoever absent a fantastic hypothesis, one "scientist" suggested that previous theories of evolution occuring in Africa and then spreading over the continents were wrong -- and that instead, pre-evolved hominids might have left Africa, evolved like crazy all over the place... and then walked back to Africa to lay a new fossil record!

You might find that unlikely, but have you considered the fact that there's absolutely no evidence to support that theory? Said the "scientist:"

"We'd have to say something got out earlier than that and we don't have any record of its evolution in the whole of Asia.... That means there is a complete missing chapter of the story of human evolution in Asia if that is correct. That would be very interesting and important if true."

Note that it's not clear what the precedent is for the word That in the last sentence. It would be interesting and important iwhat is "true?" The "scientist" doesn't say -- but he does rely on the complete absence of proof to prove his "theories."

(Do you see why I'm so convinced, now, that the New Theory of Everything is correct, and spaceship-building dinosaurs are living on the moons of Jupiter? Like the HobbitVolution, we have no record of it, anywhere... so it must be true.)

complete lack of proof is now the new standard for proving something exists, in fact -- judging by the latest proof that "dark matter" exists.

"Dark matter," if you don't know, is what the Universe is mostly made of, according to "scientists." It's matter that cannot be seen, touched, felt, smelled, heard, or sensed in any way, but it's there. We know it's there because... it has to be there, or our equations don't work.

(If you just said cosmological constant!, then pat yourself on the head, then get back to digging a bunker to hide out in when the Spaceship Dinosaurs return.)

Dark matter is a creation of "scientists" who have theories about how our universe works -- theories that don't... um... actually describe how our universe works. These "scientists" came up with the theories, then matched them to the observations they made ("observations" being science-y language for "looking at how the world works"), and noted that the equations didn't actually describe the universe they observed.

Instead of making up new equations -- that's hard! -- the "scientists" made up a universe they wanted to exist, a universe made up of dark matter, that stuff that we can't see, hear, taste, or feel, etc. etc. By filling our universe with dark matter, the "scientists" made their equations work, and the solution was perfect because who could criticize it? The dark matter was out there, somewhere, untouchable, unknowable, but balancing those equations like mad -- so everyone was happy and nobody had to do any real work or think or anything like that.

Plus, dark matter followed the only "scientific" principle we have, The Law Of Sounding About Right: It sounded right -- after all, space is mostly dark, isn't it? When I look up at the sky, at night, it's pretty dark, so there must be a lot of dark matter up there.

But, as with the hobbits, "scientists" couldn't leave well enough alone -- "well enough" being a corollary of The Law Of Sounding About Right: if things work but we can't explain why, don't rock the boat.

"Scientists" rocked the boat. They weren't content with dark matter -- about which, a "scientist" had this to say:

"We don't know what dark matter is."

(That's a direct quote from Rolf-Dieter Heuer, whose ignorance should concern you because he's the Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research.)

Not content with dark matter, "scientists" went on to invent "dark energy," which together with dark matter they say makes up 95% of the universe (the other 5% being "Happy Meals," I think. Or velociraptors.)

NASA -- whose mission these days appears to be to crash-land stuff onto other stuff-- has this to say about dark energy: "It is a complete mystery." That doesn't stop NASA from declaring that the universe is 70% dark energy -- a "scientific" thought process that explains why they keep crashing stuff into other stuff.

Even then, "scientists" wouldn't quit pushing the ridiculousness of dark matter and dark energy, leading to this week's Big Important Announcement which, not coincidentally, is not only Big and Important but which also is The Best Way To Prove "Scientists" Are (Still) Just Making It All Up.

The Big and Important Announcment is this: "Scientists" now say they will prove dark matter exists.

(Which, sharp thinkers will note, they already had supposedly proved -- don't their equations prove that?)

"Scientists" will prove that dark matter exists by crashing things into other things, in this case using the CERN particle accelerator to smash tiny hypothetical things into other tiny hypothetical things to create even tinier hypothetical things, in a quest to find the Higgs Boson.

The Higgs Boson is an interesting thought experiment: It is, in theory, a particle that, upon coming into existence, created and gave mass to everything in the universe -- including, weirdly, itself. That is, the Higgs Boson created the entire universe, including the Higgs Boson.

That's a neat trick -- one that earned the Higgs Boson the appellation "God Particle." ("Scientists" prefer that you call it the "the champagne bottle boson," although that article also suggests that the Higgs Boson doesn't exist.) The Higgs Boson is also a trick that can be performed only in thought, since in reality something can't create itself, as you and I (but not "scientists") know and understand.

The Higgs Boson was named after its creator, Peter Higgs, who came up with the idea in 1964. The particle was necessary because theories about the Standard Model -- a description of the universe didn't work:

"The Standard Model would predict that the probability of two particles having very high energies colliding with one another would be greater than one, a physical impossibility!) To fix this problem, there must be additional particles. The simplest models that explain the masses of the W and Z have only one such particle: the Higgs boson."

The Higgs Boson isn't the only particle that theoretically could fix the equations-- it's just the one that "scientists" like best, in part because, again, there's no proof that it ever existed.

Says Heur-- him again-- about the Higgs Boson: "We know everything about this particle. The only thing we don't know is if it exists."

But he's not dismayed at the possibility that the foundation of most physics today might not exist: "...if it does not exist, we are bound to find something that is very much like it."

He said, without a hint of irony... or proof.

The CERN particle accelerator -- so large that it actually is twice the size of the universe -- (prove me wrong!) is going to, in part, try to prove that the Higgs Boson exists. But that alone isn't enough for Heur and the CERN people -- they had to lump in dark matter, as well, and announce this week that the CERN experiments could prove dark matter exists: "Our Large Hadron Collider (LHC) could be the first machine to give us insight into the dark universe" Heur said in talking to the press this week.

And that's it: the final straw on real science's back: It's treated as news that, in searching for the existence of a thought experiment, a machine could prove the existence of something else.

Could.

Heur doesn't say how "dark matter" could be proven to exist -- just that it could. Heur doesn't explain the mechanism that would show that dark matter -- the latest brontosaurus to come out of "science" -- actually exists. He just says it could, and the press, and "scientific" sources, report that as news, and as a conclusion, and as a fact. Heur called a news conference to say that a hypothesis could, hypothetically, be proven, sometime in the future, maybe...

... and that was treated as science.

The Higgs Boson's presumptive ability to prove the existence of dark matter through some unknown hypothetical mechanism is, in the end, The Best Way To Prove "Scientists" Are (Still) Just Making It All Up.

Well, rational thought, you had a good run. Logic, you gave it a shot. Scientific method, you left it all out there on the field. But I'm sorry, boys: your time is done. We have no call for you anymore; we've got things to crash into other things, and press conferences to hold, and hypotheses to invent, and retrogrades to motion, and we can't be bothered with logic and proof and facts, because there's very little time to get this all done.

After all, those dinosaurs may come back any day now.



Want to see proof that I'm right? Click here to find out about Triceratops being a fake, too.


________________________________________________________________


So my larger point in all this is not just that I am obviously the greatest mind of our, or any, generation (take THAT Harvey Kennedy, purported inventor of the shoelace). The real point is that scientists increasingly are forgetting about the "science" part of "science" and going for headlines rather than evidence.  I am a huge supporter of science, unlike Neil DeGrasse Tyson among others, but I would rather they quit making attention-grabbing, headline-generating statements and focus on just getting things done.  Those jetpacks aren't going to invent themselves, guys.  Unless they have a Jetpack Higgs Boson.