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Unpopular Science

15 Apr

April 15, 2015

A couple of issues back, Popular Science (their motto: we’re not really popular, we just have a big ego) published an article about how to build a DIY hovercraft. For those of you not in the know, DIY means “do it yourself,” which is what I plan to tell my kids someday.

So “Hey,” I thought. “I always wanted to ride around in a hovercraft.” So I read a little further and found that it was an article about how to build a DIY hovercraft out of a pair of paper plates.

Clearly I was not going to do much hovering on that.

But hey, I kept reading and for sure, I learned a few things.

1- I would need to go out and buy three small fans (with particular wiring requirements)
2- I would have to use a drill and attach the fans with certain screws that I would also have to buy somewhere to the paper plates.
3- I repeat- I would be using a power tool to put a tiny hole in a paper plate. Isn’t a safety pin good enough?

I already had the paper plates, but I did not have the fans with the particular wiring requirements, the right size screws, a bracket to hold the batteries, or the technical ability to follow the directions.

Making the “hovercraft,” and I use the term loosely as it is made of paper plates, required following a complex schematic and some precision drilling. And what did the article say I would end up with? I am paraphrasing, but it more or less said that I’d end up with an expensive paper plate that hovered an inch or two off the ground.

I’d get better results with a Frisbee and a dog in the park.

The month before, Popular Science had the directions to build some DIY electronic thing that had more warnings than your average Fukushima reactor. And what did it do? It was an umbrella stand that lit up when it was rainy out. Seriously.

Here is the actual hovercraft diagram from the magazine:

supplies-hovercraft

Helpful, isn’t it?

And here’s an actual step from the directions:

Saw two corners off each fan case, leaving the wired corner and the one opposite attached. Arrange the fans inside the top plate as in step 1, and pass nylon screws, from below, through the eight mounting holes in both the top plate and the fans.

Note that I have to use a saw to lop off part of the fans. For a paper plate toy!

I’m not sure this is worth losing a thumb over.

On their site you can also find an article on, and I swear I am not making this up, how to build a laser-sighted blowgun for only $3. What could possibly go wrong?

Michael Jackson vs. Russell Crowe: This Is Real

4 Apr

April 4, 2015

Russell Crowe: Hollywood A-list actor best known for his crankiness.

Michael Jackson: Music superstar best known for, well, you know.

I am not making this one up. Russell Crowe may be making this one up, but I am in no position to challenge him. (And if I were, I still wouldn’t do it. I am not crazy.)

According to Crowe, he was the victim of prank calls for years, all perpetrated by Michael Jackson. I’ll let the New York Post (our motto: “Sure, whatever, we’ll print it.”) take it from here:

rm12

The only thing in that article that raises a suspicious note is that Michael used “a strong voice.” I imagine that even your average castrati could muster a stronger voice than Michael Jackson.

“Do you have Prince Albert in a can? OOOOH! Just kidding, this is Michael!”

Am I the only one who imagines Russell Crowe acting just like Moe from the Simpsons? “Listen up Michael, when I catch up to you I’m going to rip your lungs out of your anus!” Then he pulls the phone out of the wall and throws it out the window.

entertainment-film

However, I am happy to say that the story gets even better from here. I’ll let the New York Daily News (our motto: “buy us for our pretty ads.”) continue:

rdm2

Russell Crowe has just jumped to the top of the list of people I’d like to have dinner with. This guy has all the best stories.

I really want to know what his fake name was. It couldn’t have been “Mr. Big Pants.” That’s me.

Snappy Answers to Stupid Newser Headlines February 2015

22 Feb

 

February 22, 2015

Hello again, devoted readers. (I’m talking to you, Randall from Austin Texas.) Time for more Snappy Answers, the blog feature which has been the subject of numerous accolades over the past months. Here’s just a sample:

“I look forward to your snappy answers blog because at least it’s better than when you try to write stories.” – BoredReader27
“Funny that you make fun of Newser when at least they have readers.” – getmoreinsurance.com
“Tolerable.” – your loving Aunt Matilda

With love like that, how can I stop?

ns1

Spoiled Monkey Named Couple’s Sole Heir. Ostracized pair say Chunmun is like son they never had.

I hate spoiled brats. Never have to work a day in their lives, get everything handed to them on a silver platter. I bet that monkey never had to earn a single banana in his life. I wonder what kind of people these are, because saying that a monkey is like the son they never had really doesn’t say much about them.

ns5

Fake Jackson Pollock? Software Lets You Know. And it goes to show how unique painter’s work is.

Don’t you hate it when this happens? You go to the store, and you see a beautiful painting in the Jackson Pollock section. You buy it, and when you get it home the neighborhood art critic tells you that it’s a fake. Happens all the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bough fake Jackson Pollocks at the corner deli. Thank goodness there’s an app that can spot them. (I’m pretty sure they don’t come in six-packs, but they’re on sale at Wal-Mart this week and I have to know.)

ns2Lawmaker Blames Absence On Tight Underwear. “I find it difficult to sit for any length of time,” Says Canada’s Pat Martin.

This guy must be nuts. (Cue rim shot.)

For a view of the opposite problem, read about the time Christopher Hewett Belvedered right here.)

ns3‘Toxic Poopsicle’ Closes Indiana Exit Ramp. Tanker truck dumps up to 400 gallons of raw sewage on roadway- and then it froze.

Don’t you hate it when this happens? “Sorry boss, I can’t come to work today. The highway was shut down because of frozen raw sewage. No, I haven’t been drinking. No, this isn’t the worst excuse I ever had.”

But really, I just chose this article because of “poopsicle.”

ns4Beloved Clown Found In Sex Offender’s Home. It disappeared from amusement park years ago.

Do I really need to add anything? That picture speaks for itself.

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