In a mirror, temporally

In cosmic archery news, scientists are once again asking questions they can’t answer about things that don’t matter instead of trying to make a difference.

They seem like obvious questions: “Why does time only go in one direction?” and “How do I turn this obvious question into grant money?”  Giant space brains (below) worked the answers out eons ago and moved on.  But they have troubled scientists for over a century.


A new theory has proposed an answer — time used to run in both directions, but somebody from the Mirror Universe took the other “arrow of time”.


Most scientists believe that the universe is some sort of giant star-spangled bell (above) with the open end on the right.  And usually, when scientists model the beginning of the universe, they point the bell in the right direction.

An experiment to recreate the beginning of our universe suggests that as the Big Bang happened, someone held up a mirror, creating a mirror universe that took the other arrow and ran backwards to get away.  This Big Bang theory gained widespread acceptance on Thursday night at 8.

The experiment solves a key problem in theoretical physics: why can’t you just turn the bell around and point it in the other direction?

The current theory suggests that entropy — the force of the universe that converts lost socks into keys that you don’t remember what they go to — also drives time forward. Since the universe began with two million billion zillion socks and only one lock and key, as it gets more disorganized, it takes longer to find the right key to unlock the door to the laundry, allowing socks more time to disappear into a parallel universe.*

While that is many scientists’ working theory, it is impossible to prove. Scientists love when theories are impossible to prove, so when this theory meant they could just say that time doesn’t have to flow in just one direction, theoretical physicists got all excited.

This other, or “mirror”, or “wrong” universe has the bell pointing to the left (below). As a result, all the printing in that universe is backward and hard to read**, making the denizens of this Mirror Universe particularly cranky and evil.

mirror big bang

Early negotiations between Spocks from both universes (see picture at top) to share the arrows broke down after our universe started allowing every Rom, Dax, and Harry (below) with a transporter to access their universe and interfere with their Empire.

Eventually, the other Arrow of Time decided it was not inspirational enough for the cranky and evil Mirror Universe, so it faked its own death.  It had to become something else: it had to become the Green Arrow of Time (below).


Attempts to re-open negotiations with the Mirror Universe (Motto: “Building a Better Yesterday”) began earlier this year, but have been stalled amid allegations that due to differences in the flow of time, Ambassador Spock (below left) has become his own mirror grandfather.

When the universe began, it could have created another one flowing in the other direction when no one was looking, wrote Julian Barbour, Tim Koslowski, and Flavio Mercati.  “Any internal observer will only be aware of the records of one branch because they’re observing internally,” they write.  “Would it kill them to try observing externally every once in a while?  It’s a nice day!”  Their ideas have not gained wide acceptance, however, because they were written down in backward script, causing those who read them to become cranky and evil.

Click here in either the past or future to explore this theory.

* Some scientists have postulated the existence of a perpendicular universe where the arrow of time points up, but to date nobody cares.

** Interestingly, this mirror time flow allows for the correct sequence of events for the development of the first stars, galaxies, planets, and giant space brains (billions of years ago), the Dark Ages (500-1000 A.D), and the period of high inflation (1974-82).

The other major point of contention is why we keep sending them all those unmatched socks.

Arbor dog

In misplaced priorities news, multiple first responders showed up because of something a dog did.

On Saturday morning at 10:30AM (9:30 Central time), owner Wes McGuirk says when he and his friends returned home from a deserted ghost town in Omaha, he found his pet Great Dane Kora on a tree limb about 20 feet up .*

“Zoinks!  Like, I would never have thought it was possible,” said McGuirk between bites of an extremely large sandwich.  “Like, not this close to that spooky old mansion down the street, man!”

McGuirk attempted to lure the dog out of the tree using what he called “Kora Snacks”, unidentifiable pinkish-brown blobs of matter. When that failed, he called for help from firefighters.

“While we were responding, we were admittedly somewhat skeptical,” said Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department officials, all at once, before picking one official to speak for the group.  “After all, it’s a dog in a tree. We didn’t volunteer for this!”

Several crews from Cass County responded, including the K-9 handler from the sheriff’s office, leaving more than 25,000 citizens defenseless against the possibility of roaming bands of arsonists terrorizing the greater Omaha area.

When the owner inexplicably asked the dog what she was doing in the tree, Kora (above) barked, “Ri raw a rirate rhost!” McGuirk, who speaks great Danish, explained to emergency personnel that little Timmy from down the block had fallen into a well. The firefighters sped away, sirens blaring, hoping that at least the well was on fire, so they’d get to use their new fire hoses.

The initial plan was to get a harness on the dog and see if he would follow a friend of the owner back down the tree, so he called for help from his friends, who had arrived in a van with him a few minutes earlier. “Jinkies!” said one young woman, who requested anonymity because she had lost her glasses and couldn’t see who she was talking to.

McGuirk’s friends also included a guy in a white shirt who provided constant exposition, and a pretty redhead who was there also.

McGuirk says his pet probably ran up the tree to escape some sort of spectral buccaneer she encountered while exploring the haunted amusement park next door.

It was finally revealed a half-hour later that the dog had been chased into the tree by Tom Jenkins, the K-9 handler from the sheriff’s department, who was the only other person mentioned in the story.  Jenkins, an old man, had buried pirate’s gold under the Tilt-a-Whirl at the haunted amusement park, but Kora kept digging it up.

The youngsters were last seen in their van, heading in the direction of a spooky old abandoned mine near the 7-Eleven in Plattsmouth.

A report on whether those meddling kids prevented him from getting away with it is expected later this summer.

Click here for the barely credible true story.

*McGuirk’s nosy environmentalist neighbors from across the street told anyone who would listen that their mathematical models predict that by the year 2000, all Great Danes would be forced to live in trees due to deforestation.  Mathematical model Natalie Portman (below) said that the environmentalists had forgotten to carry the 2, and instead predicted that by 2004, noise pollution would force all Great Danes live in beakers full of water.

natalie harvard

Johnny Manziel, Von Miller become roommates

On March 11th, Johnny Manziel was asked to remove himself from his current NFL franchise.  That request came from the Cleveland Browns.
Deep down he knew they were right, but he also knew that someday he would return to the NFL.
With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend Von Miller.  Several years earlier, Miller had been suspended by his team, requesting that he stop violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Can two complete idiots share an apartment without driving each other crazy?

Author’s Note: The reference for those of you young enough to think that Matthew Perry makes a good Oscar Madison.

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.

A more perfect boson

In particle extremist news, a group of boffin hardliners are now claiming the Higgs boson is the Higgsiest bosons you can get without a prescription.

Bosons are one of the three basic “-sons” that make up the universe, along with unisons (“particles that happen at the same time”) and johanssons (“hot and/or bright particles”). Bosons decay into fermions, which are a group of particles that include leptons and quarks, as far as you know.

Preliminary studies hinted with a fair amount of certainty that the particle spotted by ATLAS (A Tunnel Like A Subway, pictured above) and CMS (CERN Metro Station) experiments had properties consistent with a Higgs boson.

The results were confirmed by boffins at the Mysterious Item Talkathon (MIT).  “This is an enormous breakthrough,” said Markus Klute, a leader of the International Group of Boffins.

(Author’s Note: A boffin is a genetically altered bobolink / puffin hybrid).

But the work doesn’t stop there. Boffins always like more evidence for a start, because it makes them feel like actual scientists, but they also need to know what kind of Higgs they’re looking at. For example, there could be a group of many different kinds of Higgs particles, depending on different extensions of the Standard Model, like leather leptons or V8 quarks.

(Editor’s Note: No, a boffin is a genetically modified bobcat / muffin hybrid.)

“What we’re trying to do is establish whether this particle is really consistent with the Higgs boson, and not an impostor that looks like it but is really one of those cheap knockoff bosons you see for sale on the streets of New York City,” Klute explained.

To do this, the CMS Collaboration, an all-star team of boffins from London, Paris, and Wisconsin fired protons at each other in a six metre solenoid, forming a liquid known as bosonic vinegar. (One metre = 2.32 times the height of a bishop’s mitre). (Disclaimer: No boffins were injured by flying protons in the course of this experiment.)

(Reader’s Note: You’re both wrong. A boffin is a boat shaped like a coffin.)

Just to make extra sure though, the team plans to spend more time fiddling around with the LHC (Looking for Higgs Contraption) again next year. “With the current level of precision, there is still room for other models, so we need to accumulate more grant money to figure out if there is a deviation,” Klute said with his hand out. “Hey, us boffins gotta eat, you know.”

“Although if we do find a deviation from the Standard Model, it is likely to be a very closely related one,” he added. ® (Disclaimer: Yes, this statement is trademarked in the original article.)

(Bystander’s Note: I was just passing by and I heard your argument. A boffin is actually when you use a bonobo as the MacGuffin in a story, as in the classic 1942 film The Maltese Bonobo).


Hot and/or Bright Star Scarlett Johansson (shown here with her clones searching for bosons in unison), told paparazzi that the main characteristics of this new particle are consistent with the Standard Model, but that she was waiting for the Deluxe LX Model to come out sometime next year.

(Ransom Note: A boffin is the genetically modified offspring of singer Bonnie Raitt and talk show host Merv Griffin. Put $100,000 in unmarked bills under a bench in Griffith Park or you’ll never see her again.)

® “Although if we do find a deviation from the Standard Model, it is likely to be a very closely related one.” is a Registered Trademark of closely related Standard Models Kendall and Kylie Jenner (pictured below).


Holy conditional assistance!

The other day I was leaving my grocery store. As I’ve written before, there’s a bank just inside the door, and they have a whiteboard out front that often has some mention of their latest loan rate or some special promotion. Or a list of things to do before you die on Christmas.

The sign above was sitting out front a few weeks ago, and the sheer inanity of it made me want to capture the sentiment. At first, I just figured it was a dumb play on words: SUNtrust… SHINE… get it??? Very clever.

But wait! What’s THIS!* A disclaimer?!


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What the heck’s in a name?

Not to be too judgmental (WARNING: Extremely judgmental post ahead), but one of the most important tasks of a new parent is naming your child.  That name will be with a child for a long time, and could have a profound impact on a child’s emotional and psychological development, as well as limiting their choice of vocation in the future.

I’m not talking about trendy Hollywood idiots who name their children Apple or North or even Dweezil.  They can live in trendy hipster enclaves and get trendy hipster careers in colour science and technology or goat arousal, although their options in the real world can be limited.  (Good luck winning a seat on the Omaha City Council if your parents named you Moon Unit Lynn Anderson.)

I’m not even talking about clueless simpletons like Lord Marmaduke Scrumptious and the lovely Lady Scrumptious.  Go ahead and name your daughter Truly Scrumptious.  You’ll get your comeuppance on prom night.

No, I’m looking at you, Bob and Margaret De Vil of Columbus, Ohio.  Of all the names in the baby book, you decided on Cruella?  Your last name already looks and sounds like “devil”.  Never mind being elected Municipal County Clerk.  You’ve pretty much guaranteed your daughter a lifetime of “poor attitude”, detention, shady boyfriends, and making coats out of dalmatians.  I hope you’re pleased with yourselves.

Editor’s Note: Many states allow you to apply to the courts for a change of name.  If your last name looks and sounds like “devil”, you might want to look into it.  This also applies if your last name happens to be Von Doom or Sinestro.  You’ll thank me later.

Rise of the Planet of the Cats


As I have always suspected, the Internet of Everything is a massive Rube Goldberg-style conspiracy by cats to get more milk.  This process seems overly complicated, but perhaps that’s why cats on the Internet seem to be so grumpy.

In the future, humans who lack pouring skills will be relegated to giving orders to coffee makers and telling our cars when to look for parking spaces.  I’m not sure how exactly this serves our feline overlords, but at least it means I’ll have coffee and a place to park after the Siamese Apocalypse.

Spoiler alert II

CDC Spokesman:

At approximately 1230 hours on Tuesday, October 14th, sensors at the National Irresponsible Research Laboratory in Chicago reported an Expected Apocalypse Event involving a lethal biological agent.  The incident has been traced to a lone researcher who accidentally shattered a vial of zombie virus while eating his lunch.  Per standard procedure, the laboratory was instantly sealed from all outside contact, and the laboratory automated sensor system immediately began analyzing the environment for any pathogens.

Upon verification of exposure by automated and manual systems, the CDC triggered Phase One of its SHAD Protocol.  As a Phase One risk factor, the exposed researcher was immediately Shot in the Head And Decapitated by the cleanroom’s Containment Drone.  The contents of the room were subsequently incinerated at a temperature of 2000°F, followed by radiation exposure sufficient to make the surrounding area lethal to all forms of life for the next 500 years.

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