Dear Kim Jong-un,
Hey, we wanted to drop you a note about your country’s threat to “…exercise the right to a preëmptive nuclear attack.”
You know, we’re all down with countries looking after their own interests and borders. It’s cool that your country does that. Maybe you’ll be upset by us saying this, but we do that sort of thing too. Our methods are a little different, but our nations are alike in that general respect.
Ah, respect. That’s pretty important to us both as well. Do you know why we respect you? Because of your choice of Dennis Rodman as your friend and favorite basketball player. Read the rest of this entry »
Big news last week – scientists have developed a concept of what the earliest mammal looked like.
Finding out what the earliest mammal looked like is critical. That animal had a lot of responsibility. It is the ancestor to elephants, cats, dogs, monkeys, monkeys who ride dogs, even humans.
Imagine what we could learn from an animal that could handle that responsibility. I am the ancestor to one person and the pressure…my God, the pressure! If I multiply that pressure by billions of species and billions of individuals of each of those species, I get an animal that must have been superb. The scientists didn’t come up with superb.
I remember the moment like it was yesterday; it was yesterday. A talking head on ESPN, the text below him parroting the hard truth he was speaking. “Manti Te’o’s girlfriend never existed.” It was the moment I knew I’d been hoaxed.
Mr. Te’o, the best player on a great college football team, became an inspirational figure by playing on in the face of the passing of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day. So many of us felt for the kid.
I didn’t know how to help. Then, late one night, it hit me. She probably had a pet that was left behind. It was probably a cat. I’ve never had a cat, but I would have this one and raise it like my own.
I Had A Cat…
After some internet research and a few calls I heard the words I was hoping for from an animal shelter worker: “yeah, we’ve got Manti Te’o’s girlfriend’s cat and you can adopt him. We’ll fly him right out.” It sounded like he said something about a nut job as he hung up, but I can’t be sure. Read the rest of this entry »
I love Iceland.
Iceland, if you’re reading this, call me, maybe?
I’ve never been to Iceland, but I like the people and the country anyhow. There were Vikings in Iceland. That should raise the nation to the top of anyone’s list.
But Vikings are not the only great thing about Iceland. The country has volcanoes and glaciers. Hawaii shows off its volcanoes. Iceland dismisses Hawaii by pointing to its volcano with a glacier on top of it. Imagine a country that has so many natural wonders it has to stack them up. What you just saw in your mind’s eye is Iceland.
As my vast blog wealth starts to come in, I am still planning how to spend it. Planning is the responsible thing to do, even for someone like me who plans to spend it irresponsibly.
The other day I read an article about a town in Sweden. A headline about how the town’s giant straw Christmas goat keeps getting burned made it a must read. Just as I think many of you would, I thought “well of course it does.”
So, If You Don’t Want It Burned…
The giant straw goat is a Christmas tradition in this Swedish town. Inexplicably, the goat is not intended to be burned. This begs the question “hey Bjorn, have you thought about a plaster goat?” It seems that Bjorn and his friends have not, because the goat typically burns down before Christmas. Read the rest of this entry »
Those of you who’ve been coming here for a while know that I’ve been a police officer for, well, a really long time.
My colleagues and I tend to minimize what we do. We’ve all got our assigned specialties or things we do because we’re good at them. To say we do them routinely is a disservice to those acts. Perhaps the best way to say it is that we do them well without thinking about what it looks like to our peers and the public.
As an example, I have a particular specialized assignment. It suits me. Other officers ask me how I do it, how I put up with some aspects of that assignment and finish the conversations with “I couldn’t do what you do”.
It strikes me that the person who is saying those things to me might be a detective who investigates fatal traffic accidents, or a vice officer who deals with unspeakably bad folks, or someone who runs 911 calls all day every day and never sees anyone who is having a good day. They all look at what I do and say “I couldn’t do what you do”. The funny thing is, I say the same thing back to them. I don’t know how my friends investigate child sex abuse cases. I’ll work drug cases, but I don’t like them. I’ve handled traffic fatalities, but how someone does so over and over is beyond me.
There are two things that we all agree on when we bump into one another in the hall. One is that we all have great jobs that are sadly necessary. The other is that there is always someone else who has it worse. Read the rest of this entry »
The Cold War. It’s been over for a while now. That’s not news to you. You’re all bright people. You know things. But today, I’m going to pass on a revelation that will change what you think you know about The Cold War.
You might want to sit down for this. Ready? The Cold War didn’t happen. Historians misread what they saw. The truth is, the United States secretly was really into the U.S.S.R. I’m serious, major international crush.
It’s a shock. Take a minute, then read on. When I lay this on you, you’re going to want to call your freshman history teacher and get that midterm exam re-graded.
The Behavior Of Thirteen Year Old Boys
Think back a few years to when you were thirteen. You either knew a lot of boys your age, or you were one.
Boys that age are a lot of noise and bluster. Rarely does the noise and bluster mean anything of significance. They haven’t learned how to express themselves in other ways. The result is a lot of bragging, early experiments with cursing, some one-upmanship and displays meant to draw attention.
Attention, that’s the thing. And whose attention does a young man of that age need most? That would be the attention of whatever young woman is the object of his affection. Because our boy doesn’t know any other way to get that attention (and warn off other suitors), we see lots of that noise and bluster when he’s near that girl.
118, 119. Whatever It Takes.
Do you know about Project A119? I just learned that A119 was a 1950′s U.S. Government plan to detonate an atomic bomb on the moon to intimidate the Soviets and boost the esteem of the United States. Concerns with the danger to people here on earth in case of a mission failure scrapped the plan.
Is there anything that generates more noise and bluster than an atomic bomb? Not really.
So, if we had a more reliable missile in the 1950′s, we would have detonated an atomic bomb on the moon. Then we’d have looked at Russia and said “hey, did you see that?” Russia would have said yes and we’d have been so cocky for the rest of the day.
Russia would have been impressed. When other countries like China and Finland saw our big detonation they’d have felt completely one-upped. That would make them think twice about calling and asking Russia to the dance on Friday.
The Cold War Was No War At All
The U.S. had a huge crush on the U.S.S.R.. We were so convinced the Russians hung the moon we were willing to blow it up to get their attention. The Russians kind of liked us back. Both countries were newly minted superpowers. Their developing atomic stockpiles and changing places in the world community caused them to have feelings they didn’t understand how to express.
There was a lot of yelling, drama and tears. It looked like a kind of war, but most countries at war don’t fire weapons out into space. We couldn’t shoot at each other. Deep down, we kinda dug each other.