Danger 5

I stumbled onto this on Netflix. If The Man from U.N.C.L.E were set in WWII, written by 4th graders on a sugar high (episode 2 centers on Nazi dinosaurs), directed by the makers of Airplane! using special effects straight out of Godzilla vs. Megalon, and starred an international cast of baristas (including one that only speaks Russian, but everybody understands her), you would have the Australian TV series Danger 5.

I mean that in a good way. The best thing to come out of Australia since that other really good thing that came out of Australia that no one ever talks about.

Disclaimer: The preceding message has been an enthusiastic endorsement of the first two episodes.  The rest of the series might suck, although I’d be really surprised.

Update and Correction: I’m really surprised.  The second season does suck.  The inspired lunacy of the first season is gone.  In the three years between seasons 1 and 2, the sugar-buzzed 4th graders grew into vulgar, puerile 7th graders, and all the satire that made season 1 so good has been replaced by the kind of cheap, unfunny sex and drug jokes you get from vulgar 7th graders.  Two episodes into season 2 and I can’t finish it.  If it gets better in episode 3, I won’t know.

This is why I don’t generally endorse things.

Gifts from the 9 of hearts

(Disclaimer: Why is there a cat staring at a dove on my 9 of hearts?  Beats me.)

A number of people have come up to me recently and asked, “John, what should I get my loved one for Valentine’s Day?” (Disclaimer: I checked with a mathematician friend of mine, and zero (0) is a number.)   And I always respond “Why are you asking me?  She’s your loved one.  I can barely stand to be in the same room with her!”

So this year, I went to my good friends at Hammacher-Schlemmer for some holiday gift ideas.  (Disclaimer: I am good friends with neither Mr. Hammacher nor Mr. Schlemmer.  Based on the fact that I constantly mock their products and refuse to endorse them, I’m probably banned from their store.  If they even have a store.)  So here are my top 9 Valentine’s Day gift ideas.  (Disclaimer: It appears that 9 is no longer a number, but has been demoted to ‘dwarf number’ status.  Please plan accordingly.)

(Disclaimer: These gift ideas are primarily for Him.  For Her, I don’t know.  There’s a reason I’m single.  Get her flowers, I guess.  Girls like flowers.  And maybe tell her she looks 23.  Just don’t get her any of this crap, particularly if you want her to stay around.) *

shearling moccasins

Mongolian Shearling Moccasins – $79.95

These hand-sewn indoor/outdoor moccasins are made from the coats of sheep that roam the indoor/outdoor steppes of Mongolia.  The leather uppers’ abrasion resistance provides years of wear, in case you have to walk on the tops of your feet for years.  An EVA midsole cushions the foot during extravehicular activities such as repairing heat tiles and orbital thrusters, and the sheepskin insole can be removed when a more uncomfortable moccasin is desired.  The moccasins have a waterproof thermoplastic rubber sole, keeping feet soft as a Mongolian sheep’s hoof.

himalayan singing bowl

Authentic Himalayan Singing Bowl   $199.95

Used since 560 B.C. to invoke a deep state of relaxation, meditation, and chicken soup, this is the authentic Tibetan singing bowl.  (Disclaimer: Bowl does not sing, and may not actually be from Tibet.)  The bowl is hand-hammered by a guy with a hammer in his hand from gold, silver, spare change, recycled beer cans, and stuff we found on a beach outside Kathmandu with our metal detector, ensuring every bowl is at least partially Himalayan.  Etched on the side of the bowl is “Om mani padme hum,” a Buddhist mantra which probably means, “Almost done polishing your nails, Queen Amidala.  I’ll just sing quietly to myself while I finish.”  Running the wooden striker along the rim creates complex, harmonic tones with subtle variations that differ from singing in almost every way.  Tapping the bowl with the striker generates a bell sound that signifies that your host is about to invite the Dalai Lama to say a few words.

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Murder in Cydonia

In weapons of Mars destruction (WMD) news, authorities are investigating a recent nuclear bomb attack on the peace-loving people of Mars.

Dr. John Brandenburg (no relation to the concerto) of the Martian Completely Stupid Ideas Unit (CSI: Mars) believes that nuclear explosions are responsible for the massive deposits of Maybe which cover the Martian surface.

One of the supposed nuclear explosions maybe wiped out the smart civilization at Cydonia Mensa and another, smaller bomb maybe destroyed the more disorganized but happier Utopian civilization at Galaxias Chaos.

Brandenburg’s research centers around the high concentration of Maybe in the Martian atmosphere and on the surface, possibly spotted by NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft.

“The Martian surface is covered with a thin layer of radioactive substances including uranium, thorium, and potassium.  The presence of radioactive potassium convinces me that Maybe the Cydonians liked bananas,” he told Fox News.  Martian banana futures soared on the news.

“Analysis of new images from the Odyssey, MRO, and Mars Express orbiters show strong evidence of eroded objects at this site,” he writes in the abstract, because there is no concrete evidence.  “Everybody knows that the only source of erosion is atom bombs.”

“Taken together, the data (erosion and the presence of elements) requires that the hypothesis of Mars as a site of a nuclear massacre must now be considered.  So, hop to it!  Start considering!  What are you waiting for?”


The Department of Marsland Security are on the lookout for this man (pictured above), known only as “the Face of Mars”.  The Face was last seen in Cydonia in 1976.  Computer experts from CSI: Mars have used digital aging software to extrapolate the Face’s current appearance (below).

Mars_face_Global Surveyor 1998

Mars-nuclear-annihilation-deniers continue to insist that these are natural elements found everywhere.  Brandenburg points out that the presence of natural elements is proof that nuclear warfare is happening everywhere, and is a primary cause of global warming.

Dr. Brandenburg says his theory could explain the Fermi Paradox — namely why, if the universe is abundant with life, we haven’t heard anything from anyone else yet.  He warns, though, that we should be fearful of an attack on our own planet, based on the non-existent evidence.


Hot and/or Bright Star Scarlett Johansson (shown above using 62% of her brain to search for uranium and thorium) said Brandenburg’s theory could also explain the Gigli Paradox — namely why, if The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp made $260 million, we haven’t ever met anyone who’s seen it.

He will lay out his research tomorrow in his talk titled “Evidence of Massive Thermonuclear Explosions in Mars Past, and Why I Should Get a Grant to Study It”.  CSI: Mars spokesman Jonathan Carter said that Brandenburg is a person of interest, and they are sifting through his psychic messages, interpreted ancient texts, and automatic writing of grant proposals for evidence of collusion with the Face of Mars.

Click here to investigate for yourself.

Spoiler alert

CDC Spokesman:

U.S. hospitals can safely manage a patient with the zombie plague by following our recommended infection-control procedures.  It’s important that we do not let fear of the undead overtake our reasoned approach to any zombie apocalypse.  There is zero danger to the U.S. public from these two zombies or the zombie plague in general.  People who are zombies are not walking around on the street.  They are very, very dead and pretty much confined to a hospital.  Zombies do not pose a significant risk to the U.S. public.  Keep in mind that zombie plague is not something that is easily transmitted.  That’s why, generally, outbreaks dissipate.  But the key is identifying, quarantining, and isolating those who contract it and making sure practices are in place that avoid transmission, such as not biting or getting bitten by a zombie.

 – Leaked script page from the upcoming prequel filmThe Walking Dead: We’ve Got This Under Control

Earth’s Mightiest Lookers

In cosmic crimefighting news, nefarious space villain The Wiggle is once again terrorizing the universe. The observations were captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory*, and the Viewing League of America (VLA) Fortress of Seeing**. Emissions have … Continue reading