Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday: The Mantis Shrimp

The Mantis Shrimp is possibly one of the most innovative creatures of the ocean due to its cleverness and undeniably powerful jabs. If you thought that you were a good boxer, wait until you meet this little guy and get introduced to a whole new world of pain. But how could a small marine crustacean pose any threat to your masculinity? It may or may not be related to the fact that they're common referred as "sea locusts" and "thumb splitters".

"Why hello there, my good man!" - The Mantis Shrimp

To emphasize how hardcore these creatures are, the Mantis Shrimp are commonly placed into two different groups depending on which type of claw they have. There are "Spearers" which have spiky appendages with barbed tips, which are used to rapidly stab and break prey. The other group is called "Smashers" which have their appendages in a blunter form which gives them a more developed club that can be used to smash their victims apart like a hammer, while making their stabbing less effective as a result. But you can't win them all, right?

But despite only having a "spear" or a "club", these creatures are capable of taking on and killing much larger victims with these rudimentary weapons. They are commonly known for their unbelievable quickness in both spear and club, capable of firing a single jab/smash at the same acceleration of a .22 caliber bullet. Their lunging punch can be shot at their prey with an acceleration of nearly 335,000 ft/s^2. What does this all mean? It means that by the time you finish your first punch, this little guy would probably be starting dinner.

"Would you like a plate? I've made way too much for my own appetite." - The Mantis Shrimp
Monday, November 28, 2011

Things You Don't Want - Fatal Familial Insomnia

Since it's the season of giving and receiving, one of the most talked topic of the month is "getting things". From Black Friday to "Cyber Monday", getting things for cheap is all the rage. However, while you can probably get a great deal at your local Best Buy or internet retailer that you'll love, I'll give you one thing that you probably wouldn't want, for free. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to, Fatal Familial Insominia, a disease so horrible that it'll practically turn your brain into a ticking time-bomb.

Pictured: Fatal Familial Insomnia?

Fatal familial insomnia or FFI, is one of the rarest diseases of the brain that you can inherit in the entire big, bad world. Only 40 families in the entire world have been recorded to have such disorder in which their DNA contains a mutated version of the gene PrPc. If you're in one of the lucky few families, it only takes one parent to give their offspring (You!) a 50% chance of taking on the gene and developing the disease later in life. Luckily, you can still get this disease spontaneously without any family history indicating the disorder. (In which case it would be called sporadic fatal insomnia, SFI, or extremely unlucky.)

But what does FFI/SFI do exactly? We've all heard of the words "insomnia" and "fatal", so it has to do something with inability to sleep and death, right? Right you are! You're on a roll today! But kidding aside, FFI is an incurable disease that involves a slow painful path to death. People that suffer from FFI typically have 18 more months to live before they finally succumb to the dementia-like symptoms of the disease and die.

Move unrelated.
Saturday, November 26, 2011

3 Reasons To Get Shorter Hair

Have you had your fill of turkey meat and super-early shopping this weekend yet? Me too. It's about time to hang your coat, put your new game consoles in the closet, and put your feet up with a sigh of content, right? Nope, you've probably got work, school, or work-finding to do on Monday. Life never gives you a break, does it? However, despite the amount you work on weekdays, there's one thing that'll follow you from weekday to weekend. Your hair. Unless you find yourself as a victim as a horrific radiation incident between the time you read this until Monday morning, this article probably applies to you.

Unless you're a BALD Eagle, if you catch my "drift".

I'm here to present the case of short hair. Have short hair already? Great! Move along with your shoulders high and chest bloated! You deserved it! Hold on, you've got long hair? What type of witchery are you trying to pull on me! (Thankfully, we're not in the same room.) Ignoring how far or how close you may be to my person, short hair is the optimal hair length for almost every gender. Why? I'll give you three reasons why you should reconsider your hair length below.

3. Hair In Your Face

Every person that has ever had long hair has been faced with this problem, me included. Unless you tie up your hair in a bun-shaped manner, (which isn't a very acceptable social norm for males) your hair will be in your face. Depending on hair length, you may get the standard "hair-in-eyes" annoyance, all the way to the  "grudge-girl-scare-everyone-away" appearance every time you bend over and look back up without adjusting your hair. We've all been there.

Especially her.

Since I've had relatively long hair for a majority of my life, I understand these pains. The agony of getting loose hairs fall into my eye or having to push hair away from my face every time I look down. It's horrific! The itching and irritating specks of wonder-hair that never leaves your eye socket by choice, or the hair that constantly hangs in front of your eyes, blocking your view of the outside world. It can even go as far as covering your vision by simply looking down to do your homework or take a test. Nobody should have to live that way!

Unless you want to get a mullet to preserve your "youthful-angst" or such, cut your dang hair, hippie.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

As you may know, tomorrow's Thanksgiving!  A time to give thanks for the things we have and to eat turkey along with miscellaneous other foods, with family! A time for family and friends to come together and binge eat for two to three hours, followed by ten hours of occupied toilets. (I mean, the food's gotta go somewhere, right?)

Well it's not going to digest itself.

For that single reason, we're going to hold off from any articles until the holiday is over so that you can spend more time with your family and less time reading my master-crafted articles that excel any other blog on the internet by yours truly. Am I exaggerating in the slightest?

I knew this image was a keeper!

Anyways, regardless of the amount of food and friends you have around the table tomorrow night, lets remember all the things we've been given to work with in life and give great thanks to whomever has given them to us. Lets not stupid-fy the holiday to simple feast with family, or as a holiday that simply doesn't apply to you since you don't celebrate it with cranberry juice in one hand and a turkey leg in the other. Lets not spend another day of our lives in front of our TV/computer screen and take a moment out of a day to reflect.

Before we let you go back to families and lives, some of you might be wondering what we are thankful for. Well that's none of your business, move along now. Just kidding, simply adjust your eyes slowly towards your nose and scroll down with your mouse until you see inconspicuously placed paragraphs. 

If you see this turkey, you're going in the right direction.

What We're Thankful For:
"Firstly, I'm thankful for having a job. I can have a steady souce of income to carry myself and help out others when necessary as I continue school.

Next, I'm thankful for family and friends who through this past year, I've been able to build deeper relationships with. I've learned a lot about some people and gotten much closer with them, which is very edifying and joyful to become close with them.

Lastyle, I'm thankful for God and the church that I go to which is what really keeps me going a lot of the times where I feel hopeless and lost. The very people I have become close with come from this very church and so I am thankful that it is there for me, both the building and the people."

"I'm grateful for the support I've received from this blog. It's hard to put a number, or even words to describe how I feel about the support that I get from this blog. As it started only a few months ago, we've undoubtedly expanded beyond my small social group and we've began to outreach people from around the country, and the world. Regardless of expansion, I wouldn't be writing here today if it wasn't for the comments and kind words I've received about my articles and writings throughout these tough times. It's extremely hard to explain the psychological "lift" that I get after a long day of school and writing from a simple "Hey, nice article."

In a personal note, I'm thankful for all my friends and family that have supported me throughout the year and my overall life. As I've grown and matured in the past few years, I've realized the large contributions people have made in acts of selflessness that have really effected my life and the other people around them. Thinking back, without these specific people who have help shaped me and guided me to who I am today, I would be feel great shame and pity for what I could have become as a result. 

While I'm not the most sociable and pronounced guy in person, I am truly grateful for practically every person I've come across, as they have greatly impacted my life for the better. Some of the people I know that I've yet to thank due to social, physical and emotional barriers, I would like to thank you today. Thank you."

Now that we've told you what we're thankful for, why don't you exchange the favor and tell us what you're thankful for on this faithful day/evening? Don't worry, we won't charge you a dime. (Like we totally used to do.)

Here's a autumn-themed image to lighten the mood. 

Happy Thanksgiving,
Skyakes Staff

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday: Sydney Funnel-Web Spider

Ah, it's that time of the week again! The sky's shining, the air's crisp, and children play in the fall leaves, what else could be added to that equation to make a better day? You know where this is leading, Horrifying Tuesday! Today, we're going to talk about one of the most deadliest and aggressive spiders known to man, the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider. So yeah, if you're a little jumpy around spiders, you should probably close this page and turn on your TV to watch some children cartoons.

While you're at it, why don't go you knitting or something?

The Sydney funnel-web spiders are  medium to large in size, (in spider terms) which honestly doesn't matter due to the fact that you'll find yourself in the fetal position regardless of their size. The spiders are usually glossy dark, ranging from dark blueberry to dark apricot colors. Thanks to nature, the spiders are practically hairless, which allows the spider to come off with the famed black glossy finish on its body. Just like a well-waxed head, without the lethal venom thing though.

These spiders commonly create burrow-retreats in which the entrance appears to look like a "funnel" due to the amount of webbing that the spider usually creates. Instead of making some type of lame floating web between a few branches or corners, these spiders prefer to make their homes in small burrows in which they fill up with web to make a tube-shapes.

The arrow indicates where hell begins.
Monday, November 21, 2011

3 Things You Didn't Know About Your Eyes

If you're reading this, you probably have the gift of vision. (If you don't, you should write me a letter that details your magical abilities of sight without using your eyes.) As you know from your mom, your eyes are one of those miracles of life, a scope to the outside world and a mirror into the soul. But how much do you really know about the human eye other than the cones & rods system? Unless you're an eye care professional, I suggest you to read on!

Eye professional? Hahahaha.

3. Your eyes are fully developed by age seven

You may have noticed that kids under the age of six are usually forced to take eye exams to check their vision, after elementary school and middle school, they pretty much stop checking your vision. Why's that? Because after you're seven-years-old, your eyes are fully developed.

That's right. By the time you're seven-years-old, your eyes are at their tip-top quality that they'll ever be. After that age, the only direction your eyes can go is down. Other than occasionally repairing small cell loss every now and then, your vision will cease to improve. The height of your visionary capabilities would have hit the roof, and the only way it can go is down. Do you see what I'm trying to say? (Get it? 'See'? Nevermind.)

The reason they give such "extensive" vision tests before your eyes are fully developed isn't to mock your inferior vision, but to make sure your eyes are developing properly and to catch little disorders that can only be treated before your eyes are fully developed, such as lazy eye/Amblyopia. If it's caught early, it's still possible to achieve that 20/20 vision on your vision test and make your parents proud.

"I'm sorry, I can't hear you over my perfect vision."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Cassowary - Another Animal That Will Most Likely Rip You Apart

According to this title, this animal must be some type of fearless, muscular, super-dexterous animal capable of ripping you apart with his/her bear hands. What if I told you that the Cassowary was a shy, two limb bird that resembles a turkey to the untrained eye? Before you close this page in betrayed disgust, I assure you that this bird is fully capable of destroying you on the multiple levels.

I mean look at him, he looks like a little Bruce Lee incarnate.

The Casssowary is one of the heaviest known flightless birds in the world. They generally eat fruits, plants, grass, seeds, fungi, and the occasional small animal. Thanks to their diet, Cassowarys are known to be a keystone species in the rain forests because they help re-distribute seeds from fallen fruit after they eat them; they're known to eat fruit whole from apples to bananas. When eating however, they are territorial about their their land (up to 1,700 acres) and defend it for themselves and their mate.

So... What's the big deal? Why are these animals "likely to rip me apart?" Other than a few birds or rats every year, how do they pose a threat to me at all? Are they going to run after me and peck my eyes out in a stereotypical bird manner as depicted in cartoons, animes and humorous movie/TV scenes? Looks unlikely since I'm a highly sophisticated human that's capable of a few punches or two. The thing about Cassowaries is that they're known to be extremely shy animals towards humans unless they are disturbed. When the are "disturbed", they're fully capable of completely dominating you in footsies. (The bad kind.)
Friday, November 18, 2011

"Don't Bottle It Up" - Horrible Advice

Ever had a bad day? A bad week? A bad month? Does it get to you sometimes? Yeah? Here's some advice from good ol' licensed psychologist Joe from history class, "Don't bottle it up, man. Let yourself go and punch your pillow or something." Wow, Joe, thanks for the advice, I'll go relieve some of my stress now. But wait, is Joe giving me good advice that will benefit me both psychologically and physically or is he just pulling another quote from the books and misinterpreting it entirely in order for me to go away with a acceptable reply/answer? Lets find out.

I don't know about you, but I trust that face.

In reality, "blowing off some steam" and "letting yourself go" is probably one of the worst advice you could ever get from someone that means well. Other than your friend Bill or Robert at english class, thousands of organizations have built real-life therapies for such people with this same concepts; examples would be stress balls and punching bags. But before you start swaying your hand at me in a disapproving and discrediting manner, hear me out.

If a person decides to express their anger and frustration regularly, they may find themselves more angry and frustrated than ever before. The act of taking out your anger by flipping your desk over a loud scream acts as a temporary relief from life's woes and troubles. But who would ever want it to be temporary, right? Why can't we live in the ecstasy of the moment forever? Either consciously or unconsciously, you may find yourself becoming "addicted" to the rush from smacking your boss across his smug face and begin to strive for that same relief you've felt before.

"I got you a gift, it's in the palm of my hand."
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

4 Tips On Surviving Prison

Ever wonder what you would do if you were sentenced to jail for a un-specified amount of time? Well worry not! We've wondered the same things you've wondered in the past wonderment of wondering. Thanks to our grueling hours of research, you can now learn four lessons of prison, before you get there! Don't worry about paying us back, we'll put it on your tab.

4. Never become indebted to anyone

Let's say that you just got sentenced to jail for money laundering and you get off the prison bus with a confident mind set and rushing adrenaline in your veins. You stroll into the jail and the first guy you meet offers you a calming box of cigarettes and/or some naughty magazines to help you get on your feet. Isn't that nice? Maybe jail isn't that bad after all? Maybe these inmates are excited to meet you and become friends to help you get back on your feet and back home in one piece?

Pictured: Jail

Chances are, they're trying to take advantage of you. After accepting the item or service they offered for "free", they may come back later for a favor or task to make you both "even". If you refuse, they'll have a justified reason to beat you up every day until you can cough out the dough. This trick is extremely common for many first-time prisoners that have yet to learn the ropes and cogs of the prison social structure and economy. After becoming indebted to someone without the ability to pay them back, you'll be lucky to simply be beaten up. You never know they if take you as the payment (or until you can make the payment) and use you for sexual favors or "sell" you to other more ambitious inmates.

With that in mind, never gamble in prison. While you may have had a hot streak in that casino back in 09', if you find yourself unable to pay for your gambling bills, you won't simply receive a stern notice from the casino. Instead, prisoners will do practically anything to get the money you owe them. But on the other hand, if you're an expert card player, you should avoid gambling even more than before. If you start winning like it's your birthday, they may suspect you of cheating and beat the crap out of you and steal your money. You never know.

Unless "winning like it's your birthday" means going broke after five minutes to you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Horrifying Tuesday: Premature Burial

As you may have noticed, we haven't had a "Horrifying Tuesday" segment since 1753! Thankfully, we will today! Instead of making an excuse relating to brainstorming a truly horrifying topic, I'll tell you the truth. I literally could not find the right topic to talk about. From super-sized crabs to crazy freak of natures, almost nothing compares to the fate of dying due to "premature burial". Even while  movies and TVs have you on the end of your seat praying that the main character will make it out alive, it's extremely difficult to capture the true essence of being buried alive.

This game on the other hand, captures the minute details of premature burial.

If you were declared legally dead and buried, your death would most likely be cause by suffocation. But what exactly does it mean to be suffocated to death? You'll probably just smack around for a few hours before succumbing to a familiar warm feeling of death, right? Unsurprisingly, it can be one of the most horrifying ways to die in the book of methods of dying.

Unless you wake up in a coffin full if angry dwarves with knives, you'll probably die from carbon dioxide poisoning and lack of oxygen in general. Every breath you take will further assure your slow and painful demise. If you thought that dying in a coffin would be comparable to slowly passing away in your sleep, you would be wrong, dead wrong.

Because you'll be dead.

Monday, November 14, 2011

3 Things I Hate About Fall/Winter

As much as I love the cold compared to the blistering heat, there are some things about the season that I'm not very happy about. While this might come as a surprise to you, Fall and Winter aren't perfect despite what we crank them up to be. Sure, you can sleep comfortably and avoid the sweltering heat, but that doesn't mean there aren't any compromises.

1. Day Light Savings

We all know what day light savings is. It's that time of the year to switch your clocks back an hour. Just kidding, your magical technological contraptions will do it themselves! Anyways, we can all agree that getting an extra hour to sleep on Saturday is one of those little gifts from life to give you a break, right? So what's so bad about it? Does the Skyakes Staff hate rest? Do we have something against sleep and extra time?

Somebody stop that dog! Won't anyone think of the children?!

The problem with day light savings is that the benefits don't last forever. After getting a nice hour of extra sleep, what then? We suddenly change our minds and switch our clocks forward and call it a day? Of course not; we have to live with it until summer. Suddenly, we have to endure extremely bright mornings that feel like afternoons and late afternoons that look like sunsets.

Along with the region's seasonal day changes, the hour set-back pushes days to start earlier and end earlier. By the time you're leaving work or school, the sun is waving you goodbye and you end up stuck with lame ol' moon for the rest of your "leisure" time before the next full day of work.

Go away! Nobody wants you!
Saturday, November 12, 2011

3 Food Label Trickeries To Sell You Food

Around the world there's one thing we all have in common, we eat food. Unless you're illiterate, dead, or both, you've probably seen pre-packaged food with fancy labels that exclaim how healthy and good it is for you. But since your mother told you to not believe everything you see on TV, we can probably apply it here as well. Can we really trust those large bolded text on the sides of our food? Maybe not.

3. Sugar-free, no added sugar, sugarless

Sugar-free?! I know you've made a joke at least once that included the sugar of the product is, free. Very funny buddy but let's leave the funnies to me. Anyways, what exactly does "sugar-free" mean? Well Norman, it obviously means that there isn't any sugar in it. Said you in your head. But does it mean that the product is healthier for you? Isn't sugar the main cause for obesity, tooth-decay, and diabetes?!

Don't do it Mr.Ant! You'll get tooth decay and diabetes!

Sure, you're right. Absolutely right. But hold on, how do they make "Mr.Awesome's Super Sweet Chocolate of Indulgence" without adding sweet delectable sugar? By adding artificial sweeteners, that's how. Instead of natural, wholesome sugar, we have artificially sweeten snacks that may have the same amount of calories if not more compared to sugar-sweeten foods and drinks. Not only that, but we have no idea how harmful the artificial sweeteners may be to our bodies, as far as you know it can possibly be even more harmful than sugar.

But hold on, I can't possibly say "Eat sugar! Sugar is good for you!" as I get paid by the pro-sugar lobbyist, right? Yes. I can. In reality, while sugar is still a major cause of obesity and other major health conditions, sugar doesn't force itself down your throat and prevent you from practicing healthy life practices such as exercise, healthy dieting, and life management. Deciding to drink sugar-free Pepsi on Friday doesn't make you any more healthier than normal Pepsi on Monday if you eat six pounds of lard at lunch everyday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

As most of you know, today's Veterans Day. A day to remember and honor the veterans that have fought for this great country's security and goals. The fact that we still stand here today is thanks to the sacrifice of the millions of servicemen that risked life and limb to secure our country's future. Hopefully, we can put ourselves out of the picture for a moment, and pay our respects to our quiet benefactors and have a private moment of silence for them.


As a small history lesson, Veterans Day actually started out as "Armistice Day", which only celebrated the veterans of World War 1 at the time. It was first introduced on November 11, 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson first introduced "Armistice Day" as a holiday for the American people to honor it's World War 1 Veterans. However, it took almost 19 years before "Armistice Day" was proclaimed a legal holiday. What took so long?

Painting depicting the signing of the armistice with Germany.

15 years later on 1953, a humble Kansas man named Alvin King thought that it would be a better idea to honor all the veterans in history instead of just a single war's veterans. Alvin decided to begin a campaign to change Armistice Day to "All" Veterans Day. Thankfully, the Emporia Chamber of Commerce decided to support the cause after finding 90% of their Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education willingness to close their doors on November 11 for this holiday. Only a year later on 1954, with help from U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, the bill for Veterans Day was thrown into Congress and bounced onto the President Dwight D. Eisenhower's lap. It was signed into law on May 26, 1954 and put into effect on June 1st.

So now that you know how the holiday was created and because you probably know a thing or two about American history, instead of treating this day as just another "vacation" day, let's remember the men and women that have fought and are still fighting for our past, present and future security.


Did You Know: While "Veteran's Day" and "Veterans' Day" are both grammatically acceptable, the United States government declared that "Veterans Day" shall be the official spelling.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

3 Things You Suspect About The Witness Protection Program - That Aren't True

Talk about long titles eh? Anyways, we all probably know what the Witness Protection Program is; a worthless program to create a false sense of protection for snitches so that we can extract information out of them, right? We've all seen those TV shows and movies where they track down the snitch within a single episode's time and kill the snitch as he/she begs for mercy with their white collar family in a sub-urban home, but is it true? Well it's about time to shine some light into the Witness Protection Program once and for all.

3. The Witness Protection Program is a hack!

Many people believe that the Witness Protection Program is equivalent to calling yourself Timmy and hiding in your closet. At most, the program will simply give you a different name and re-locate you a few miles south! Even at that, the police are as corrupt as a giant rocks balancing on larger stationary rocks! They'll give up your location at a heart's beat!

You got me. I only made made that simile so that I could use this image.

In reality, not a single member of the Witness Protection Program has ever been harmed while they followed the guidelines of the program. That's right. As long as you don't call your friends back in prison to tell them how you got away and how lame they are, you've gotten away scot-free. Which brings me to my next point.
"U.S. Marshals Service Witness Security personnel are the leading authorities and foremost experts on witness security matters, providing guidance and training to many government officials throughout the world."[1]

Monday, November 7, 2011

4 Suggestions To Pull Off The Perfect Crime

While we don't endorse crime, haven't we all thought, "Hey, I wonder how I would pull off the perfect murder" or "Wow, that criminal's stupid, I would have totally done it this way" at one point of our lives? Of course! Can't blame you! But before you stroll around like the perfect criminal, why don't you read some of the following suggestions to help you pull off the perfect crime? Ahem, I mean "business meeting". Pull off the perfect "business meeting".
"Business meeting"

4. Go With Generics
You know those people that dress for murder? Those people are probably already in jail right now, so lets completely disregard them. One of the first things you can before you plan to rob a store or murder someone is, make sure that none of your tools or possessions can link you to the crime. 

When collecting evidence, forensic scientists classify evidence as either individualized evidence or class evidence. Individualized evidence directly links a specific person to a crime while class evidences only narrows down the possible suspects to a specific group or "class" of people. Wouldn't it be better if any evidence found in the crime scene can only link people with Nike shoes to the crime scene to opposed to people with hand-crafted shoes made out of extremely rare material only found from a specific region of the world?

If you're a horse, then you're on your own.

When purchasing clothing and tools to commit a crime, it's generally better to use 'new' and extremely common clothing and tools in order to increase the possible suspects of a crime, therefore reducing the chance of being caught red-handed the instant you leave the crime scene. Using 'new' generic items also assists your cause because any scuff marks on the "item" can make that item individualized evidence. For example, if you have a giant cut in the sole of your left shoe, your shoe print will mark out that special cut in extreme detail for your criminal investigators.
Saturday, November 5, 2011

Vasili Arkhipov: The Other Man That Saved The World From Nuclear Holocaust

We've all heard of Stanislav Petrov, the man that helped avoid global nuclear warfare, (If not, you should read about him here) but what about Vasili Arkhipov? The man that both figuratively and physically had a button in front of him that could potentially start World War 3 in a split moment? What about that guy? Well worry not, we're going to discuss this handsome man right, now.

Pictured: Vasili Arkipov
At the time, Vasili Alexandrobich Arkhipov was probably another run-of-the-mill Soviet naval officer working in nuclear-armed submarine. No, I don't mean a submarine with cartoon arms that spell "nuclear". I mean a full-blown submarine with nuclear weapons on-board. Thankfully, the submarine was oceans away from America, and posed no threat to anyone. It's also a surplus that war was not imminent and that tensions were at ease as ever. Oh wait, it was right next to Cuba, (Near Florida) during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On October 27, 1962, eleven United States Navy destroyers along with an aircraft carrier, trapped a mysterious foreign submarine near Cuba. The little brigade of ships decided to drop practice depth charges near the submarine to force it up to the surface for identification. Hopefully, this little submarine would comply and simply float up to the surface, identify itself as a Soviet submarine, and receive a kind escort back to the Soviet Union with a fun tea party afterwards.

"Hurray for communism!"
Friday, November 4, 2011

Stanislav Petrov : The Man That Averted Global Thermonuclear Warfare

Global thermonuclear warfare. Isn't that a fun topic? Sure it is. But what do we do if it actually happens? Hiding in your damp closet in the fetal position probably isn't going to help much. The truth is, an all-out nuclear war would probably mean the end for humanity. So it's safe to say, we should probably avoid it. However, there have been several points in history in which global thermonuclear warfare was as close to reality as you and me. Today, we're going to talk about the 1983 Soviet false alarm incident that could have potentially brought the end of the world as soon as September 26, 1983.

Brought to you as soon as September 26, 1983.

Okay, so you're a Lieutenant Colonel of the Soviet Air Defense Forces, on duty of the Soviet early warning system at the Serpukhob-15 bunker. You're job is to receive the message the warning message from the soviet satellite early warning network and to notify your direct superiors of any nuclear missile attacks against your great nation. As you sit in your chair of undetermined comfortability during the darkness of the night, your computer screen lights up and notifies you of five ICBMs heading towards the Soviet Union from the hated United States of America. It's time. The war's begun. Right?

Instead of being a mindless puppet like his superiors wanted, Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov decided to not notify his superiors and declared the attack as a false alarm. This would have meant certain doom and charges of treason (if the Soviet Union survived) if the attack reached tangibility. Despite protocol of telling his superiors and letting them decide the fate of the world, Petrov went against the status quo and went with his gut. Luckily, he was right.

"What?! We already put the windshield back up and everything!"
Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Men You May Not Know Responsible For Mass Hysteria

Let's get one thing straight here, when I mean Mass Hysteria, I don't mean that these guys were trending on Twitter or had the most Google searches today; I mean thousands of people were driven towards near insanity by their devotion and love of these men. They literally brought people together to be psychotic within close proximity to them without any particular cause or reason besides the fact that they existed. These guys are the bee's knees, not just one bee's, a whole hive's worth of knees. Yup, they're just that darn popular. Anyway, let's jump into it!

Note: To remain unbiased, Norman and I have both excused ourselves from this list. Your mass hysteria about us is very heartening though, so thanks!

1. Franz Liszt - Franz Liszt is perhaps the greatest pianist to ever live, hammering the ivories in the 19th century. A Hungarian, Franz began learning to play piano at the age of seven and it would be this instrument that would be his great success. Franz Liszt lived til seventy four, and while very successful, his personal life held many tragedies in failed romances and the death of his children. However, Franz held the attention of everyone who had ever heard him play. Franz Liszt was known in his time to be brilliant, as so few great people are. He was loved, adored, frenzied over to the point where a phenomenon known as Lisztomania occurred. Franz Liszt in his adept virtuosic playing ability would whip his adoring fans into literal frenzied states. They would rush around him and grab at his clothes. A glove or item of his clothing was a treasure of a lifetime. Women would grab his hair to gain a lock of it, a broken piano string from his often forceful playing from his own frenzy as he played would be asked as a favor. Franz Liszt held everyone captive, yet they were driven to a "veritable insanity" by him. Screaming fans of today's musicians cannot hold a candle towards Franz Liszt, though The Beatles "Beatlemania" and Elvis and his gyrations are more modern and somewhat similar phenomenon.

Go crazy.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eddard's Guide to Ostentatious and Sumptuous Words: Boss Edition

Let's face it, you're a boss. You're the man (or woman, we're all about equality within the borders of this land mass), you're the top dog, you're the alpha (fe)male. Well do you talk like a boss? If your conversations end up like this,

Maximilian: The meticulousness of that particular mummer's pantomime was quite galvanizing!
You: Pancakes.

You clearly have some work to do. If you're a boss or aspiring to be one and don't quite have the lexicon to match your stupefying ability to be a boss, have no fear, for Eddard is here to pave you a grammatical road of sheer erudition!

Note: This article applies to both actual bosses and the colloquial version of the word. Oh, Colloquialisms!

1. Paramount - Superior to all others - You are a boss. Normally that means everyone knows you're the man (or woman), but in case some lackwits haven't gotten the message, use paramount to show just how darn important you are. The word paramount exists to show just how good you are because its a word that means you're the best and if you're a boss, it gets no better. Someone is not listening you, lash out at them with paramount and get them to steppin'. Yeah, steppin'.

2. Puissance - Strength, Power - Puissance. It sounds just a bit prissy, doesn't it? That's only because they both have that double s sound, okay?! If you're a boss like me, you've already realized the potency of this word. You as a boss, are puissant. You command with an iron fist, no, a steel fist, no, a fist made of a meteor covered in exploding volcanoes that shoot out flaming diamonds. Yeah, your fist is the bee's knees. More importantly your fist is puissant. Use puissant when you are dared to be questioned or need to show capability. (as though you should have to prove yourself. Such insolence!)
June: I don't want to file your paperwork.
You: Must I prove to you my puissance?!
June: No, please. I love paperwork. I just attended a seminar about paperwork. I have the papers to prove it.
Paperwork done.

Boss Puissance. And you thought puissant was a funny word.