Fatty, Fatty, Two-By-Four, Got a Job and Gained Some More

Bad news, everyone–it turns out that employment will make you fat. In what must surely be the most causally determinative and well-respected study of all time, researchers found that your job is responsible for that button-strain you now feel. According to the Boston Business Journal, “Around 44 percent of workers say they’ve put on pounds at their current job, with 26 percent saying they’ve gained more than 10 pounds, per the report.”

Naturally, some jobs are worse for you than others:

The jobs where people are most likely to gain weight include: travel agent; attorney; social worker; teacher; doctor and public relations professional. The job descriptions weren’t ranked, but were grouped by their potential for causing weight gain.

Seemingly, it’s the combination of sedentary work conditions and a high-stress environment that provide the conditions for eating Italian subs every day for lunch. Notably, the study does not comment on the deliciousness of Italian subs or your weak will; hopefully, further research is forthcoming.

In other news, I now want an Italian sub.

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“The Banning of Foie McGras”

I will begin by saying that I am heavily biased on the matter of foie gras; I love the stuff, and I find attempts to ban it to be offensive and idiotic. If you don’t want to eat it, don’t fucking eat it; if you try to stop me from eating it, I will slap your grandmother.

Sadly, California just doesn’t seem to value their grandmothers enough to avoid my wrath, and soon enough a full ban will take effect:

July 1 is the start date of the hotly debated and divisive ban, which prohibits the sale of any product derived from the force-feeding of birds to enlarge their livers — the most common way to mass-produce foie gras. (The law was passed in 2004, but included a seven-and-a-half-year grace period.)

Naturally, both chefs and lovers of delicious food are outraged; culinary hero Thomas Keller and other luminaries are currently attempting to repeal the ban while their customers enjoy Romanesque orgies of fattened goose and duck liver (duck liver being the more common form) for what could possibly be the last time in California.

Perhaps the saddest thing about the ban is the rather nutless logic that underlies it, artfully crafted by a man who I strongly suspect of fiercely masturbating to movies like Hostel:

John Burton, the former California legislator who drafted the law, has shot back at the chefs, likening the tradition of foie gras (which dates back centuries) to waterboarding and female genital mutilation.

“Why don’t you tell those chefs to have a duck cram a lot of food down their gullets and see how they like it?” he asked.

Yes, fattening a goose’s liver is exactly like having several adults hold down a screaming pre-teen girl while her aunt takes glass from a broken bottle and carves off a piece of her anatomy. And it’s definitely like simulated drowning to extract information:

“Tell me what you know, you goose bastard!”

“Quuuuaaaaaccccckkkkkkkgargleegarglescream!”

Thankfully, there are those that see the inherent flaw in this argument: geese are not people, Goddamnit!

David Kinch, the acclaimed chef at Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif., who opposes the ban, said part of the problem with the ban’s logic was that its supporters had mistakenly anthropomorphized the ducks’ experience of being force fed. “They imagine a tube being shoved down their human throat,” he said. Rather, he said, ducks have no gag reflex, nor are geese as cuddly as they appear.

Indeed, it’s rather unlikely that a goose or duck will break into song and dance its way around the barnyard while a candlestick plays the fiddle.

However, allowing for a moment the ethical objection to the production of foie gras, it’s worth pointing out what many other critics point out–that factory farming, which is far more ubiquitous in America than foie gras production, is much more harmful to the environment and moreover to food. But, as Michael Pollan rather sensibly noted, “I think it’s really a way for people to feel like they’ve done something without doing anything…there’s so many more serious problems we’re not dealing with.” Thus it becomes a matter of missing the ethical forest for the twee moral tree; that is to say, your stupid ideology is showing.

But really, why bother fixing your fucked university system when you can shit on people for eating delicious food?

Education News A-Go-Go!

Boy, I knew that subscription to the New York Times would pay off! Just today there were forty seven billion articles about education, ranging from disturbing to so nihilistically stupid that the abyss will, instead of looking into you, cover its eyes because it’s so embarrassed. First up:

Public Higher Education in California is Fucked:

Despite rising student attendance and years of budget attrition the university system will likely be forced to cut services even further if a proposed tax increase fails to gain approval. Even soaking out-of-state students with further tuition hikes and lowering academic standards (not enough TA’s to grad papers!) won’t solve the problems created by too many philosophy and women’s studies departments; according to John Coupal, the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Californians “had the luxury in prior years of heavily subsidizing colleges…but like anything in California, the delivery of higher education is not performance based. They’ve created new campuses and programs based on politics and not need.”

When will those damn women’s studies majors learn to stop reading Judith Butler and start creating tech ventures?!!

College Administrators Have Agreed to Stop Being so Goddamn Shady About Financial Aid:

Yes, it’s true–college and university presidents have agreed to meet at the White House to discuss reforms in the ways student loan information is parsed to students; now, students will be provided a “shopping sheet” that provides the necessary information to make an informed decision, rather than the usual documents which obfuscate and cause terrible debt. I know what you’re thinking: how is capitalism supposed to work if the consumer has access to accurate information? This is America, dammit! Go back to China with your “shopping sheets”! And while you’re there, make sure to hand out some applications to American universities (and loan paperwork).

Ignore Anyone Who Tells You that Rankings Don’t Matter:

If you attended the New York Times “College Life Fair” in Chicago, it’s possible that you received some idiotic advice about choosing a college based on rankings; if you did, I can say (with furious conviction) that the morons who told you to ignore rankings ought to be flogged:

The No. 1 rule in the college admissions process: “Ignore the rankings.” This is according to Dave Marcus, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right College — and Find Themselves.”

Jed Hoyer would likely agree. He began his professional life as an admissions officer at Wesleyan University. He said he decided to attend Wesleyan on instinct, and advises students to trust their gut. He said he tries to do the same in his current position: as the executive vice president and general manager of the Chicago Cubs.

This advice is patently absurd; and moreover, anyone who went to a highly ranked school like Wesleyan (as well as an elite prep school) and is now singing the praises of “ignoring the rankings” is attempting to screw you. Rankings matter; do you honestly believe that your Pine Manor B.A. is going to get you in the door over a Harvard grad? What’s that? You’ve never heard of Pine Manor? Neither has anyone else. So go to the ranked school, fuckwit.

Also, if you had to attend a college fair to learn that you should have good grades to go to a good college, and that your personal essay should be free of typos, then you are a complete dipshit who should not be attending college anyway.

Much Like the Real “Boston Legal,” This Boston Legal is not Funny

Everyone knows the legal market sucks. Students pony up $150K with no guarantee–wait, fuck guarantee, prospect–that they’ll ever be able to pay it back, the ABA continues to accredit the educational equivalents of aborted fetuses, and even the lucky douchebags that get into HYS (that’s Harvard-Yale-Stanford, the perennial top 3 in the rankings) have difficulties landing those plum jobs that grant some measure of financial freedom.

Yet before now the market was more like a speedy subway frottage and less like an outright teabagging. Alas, some balls are coming your way:

The BBJ received an emailed tip this week from someone who says they’re an employed, Boston College Law School (BC Law) graduate. The tipster sent screen grabs of a job listing on BC Law’s career site. The post advertises a full-time associate position at a small Boston law firm, Gilbert & O’Bryan LLP, paying just $10,000 per year. (That’s $10K, it’s not a typo.)

Larry O’Bryan, one of the firm’s partners, said he’s received about 32 applications for the $10K per year job, since posting it one week ago. He said that while the pay is low, the lawyer who is eventually hired will gain valuable experience.

That’s right, a full-time associate’s position will yield you a whopping $10K per year. But cheer up! They offer a “clothing allowance,” which probably means that they’ll buy you some ties at Target (Penney’s if you were cum laude!). Also experience, which in this context constitutes the experience of a demoralization so great that your soul will literally fall dead from your ass while you’re arguing a third-rate tort claim before a judge who just wants to get back to his ham and mayonnaise dinner.

The tipster, a recent grad of BC Law employed outside the Massachusetts legal market, calculated the hourly rate at $4.81, which is well below the minimum wage in Massachusetts. As he also pointed out, the janitors that work at BC Law will make much more than this, and it’s pretty likely BC Law didn’t make them fork over a couple hundred grand for their training in toilet-scrubbing and floor-mopping.

To anyone reading this and still considering law school, I have these words of advice: you’re a dumbass, and will never practice the kind of law that will remunerate you for your investment. Because you’re a dumbass.

Not Surprisingly, Textbook Publishers Don’t Want You to Have Free Textbooks

Sadly, it looks like the days of free textbooks might be over. In a move that shocks no one, at least two publishing giants are suing the small start-up Boundless Learning over the alleged “theft” of content. According to the suit, Boundless Learning “generates these ‘replacement textbooks’ by hiring individuals to copy and paraphrase from Plaintiffs’ textbooks.”

The suit also departs from the characteristic bland language of most lawsuits in a number of places — stating at points that “Defendant teaches only the age-old business model of theft” and that “Boundless gets an ‘F’ in originality.”

Well, if anyone is qualified to comment on theft as a business model, it’s the textbook publishing industry. Naturally, the CEO of Boundless Learning disagrees with the publishing giants:

The content comes from openly licensed educational content, created and posted online by faculty members over the past two decades, and curated by Boundless Learning’s domain experts, he said. Offerings so far are in biology, economics and psychology.

The publishers also contend that Boundless Learning’s products have “a corrosive effect on learning.” Personally, I believe that the runaway inflation of textbook prices is slightly more deleterious to education than what amounts to a more accurately sourced version of Wikipedia, but hey, what the fuck would I know? I couldn’t afford to buy textbooks when I was in school, so I didn’t learn shit.

Anchorage Morons Fight Bravely for Their Right to Discriminate Against the LGBT Community

In a stunning show of stupidity and small-mindedness, Anchorage voters decided to reject a measure that would have prohibited discrimination against members of the LGBT community:

Anchorage voters rejected a proposed ordinance to add legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people in a chaotic municipal election fraught with ballot shortages and high voter turnout in many precincts.

With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting late Tuesday, 58 percent of voters had voted against Proposition 5, the equal rights ordinance that was far and away the most controversial and emotional component of this spring’s election.

It’s about damn time that a brave, Amurrican city stood united against the scourge of the LGBT community, with their musicals and flannels and gender conflict, and said: “Yes, Goddamnit–we would like to discriminate against you!” Sadly, this is the third time that an anti-discrimination proposal has met with rejection in Anchorage (the other two times were not ballot issues, however).

Apparently, the measure was such a hot button issue that polling places ran out of ballots; one hotspot had to resort to photocopying ballots on the school’s Xerox to meet voter demand. Those ballots will be counted as “questioned ballots,” so it remains unclear what the exact percentages will be; despite this, however, the idiots clearly won the day. And the driving force behind the idiots? You guessed it: Jesus.

A group of clergy supporting the ordinance, Christians for Equality, was a key part of organizing efforts, campaign spokesman Trevor Storrs said.

Opponents, campaigning as Vote No On Prop. 5, complained that the law was vague and poorly written and would impinge on the religious freedom of residents opposed to homosexuality. The proposition included an exemption from the law for churches and religious organizations.

I’ll give you a moment to savor the name “Christians for Equality.” Also, take a few minutes and peruse the “Protect Anchorage” website. Just make sure that you have something to release your rage upon after you visit.

But really, one must feel some sympathy for those poor, put-upon American Christians–truly they are the last disadvantaged group in the world! To not be able to discriminate against someone on the basis of some shit scribbled down thousands of years ago is well beyond the pale, sir!

Perhaps it’s unfair for me to paint a portrait of Anchorage based solely on the retards that rejected this proposition; after all, roughly 40% of the people said “Hey, assholes, discrimination isn’t cool–let’s smoke a jay and pet a moose or something.” And I can attest that there are a great many good people in the City of Anchorage who lament the influence of inbred Godtards on Alaskan politics.

Therefore I applaud the minority of citizens who decided that open discrimination is unacceptable and voted against stupidity.

And I issue a hearty “fuck you” to the tyranny of the majority.

First They Came for the Pasties, and I Didn’t Speak Out Because I Wasn’t Hungry…

Then they came for the crisps, and I didn’t speak out because I didn’t have 50p anyway…

That’s right, Britons–get ready to pay an extra 20% on your beef and onion pasty thanks to Oxford twat George Osborne, who while increasing the tax on a beloved food item of the 99%, decreased the taxes for all the Lord Nimblybottoms in the financial sector:

The tax controversy, which the British press has called, inevitably, “Pasty-gate,” has come to symbolize the increasingly vitriolic debate in Britain over who should shoulder the burden of the government’s drive to cut debt and spending.

Of course the tax decrease on the wealthy pasty-avoiders is justified by the standard logic that accompanies any tax decrease for the wealthy: if the wealthy have more money to spend, they’ll improve the economy. Yes, the wealthy; not some plodding sow from Shropshire with pasty crumbs on her rubbery bosom.

Not surprisingly, the Times highlighted the pasty’s populist credentials:

At lunchtime Thursday at the closest shop on the Times list — less than a mile from Mr. Osborne’s residence in the Westminster area of central London — a line of civil servants, construction workers and others waited to pay 90 pence, or $1.43, for a sausage roll or £1.42 for a heartier steak bake.

Yup, for about a quid you’ll get a delicious pastry filled with ground beef, sausage, or whatever the hell they feel like putting in there–and that’s the same for everyone, doctors to ditch-diggers. It truly is the food of the people.

Thus, methinks this tax situation is going to get pasty.

Totally Awesome Bear Saves Old Guy’s Life: “No Thanks Necessary,” Says the Bear

Robert Biggs, some old guy from Paradise, California (who will probably win the lottery, considering his luck and age) was out for a hike on Monday when he spied a familiar group of black bears. Stopping to take a look, he admired the bears and went on his way.

Historic Mega Millions Jackpot of $640 Million Will Likely Be Won By Some Old Jackass

Isn’t that what usually happens? Some old bastard retiree who owns his own house and has no student loans wins it all and still keeps his job mowing greens at the golf course? Well, even though it’s possible for this record jackpot to be won by someone who deserves it (read: me), it’s not very likely. And that possibility is clearly fueling the record ticket sales, as CNN reports:

The multistate jackpot, which lottery officials are calling “the largest lottery jackpot in world history,” has captivated the nation, has caused long lines at convenience stores and has many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they get the lucky numbers.

“Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group.

And perhaps crazier still, if no one wins tonight, the jackpot for next Tuesday will reach $975 million bones. Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner (and asshole!) advises purchasing tickets in groups and avoiding the quick-picks, but cautions against profligate spending:

“Don’t go crazy with this,” he said. “Don’t get what’s called lottery fever. Do not spend grocery money. Do not spend rent money.”

Even a University of Evil (Chicago) economist is getting in on the lottery advice action, cautioning winners to avoid the annuity and take the lump sum:

The choice comes down to interest rates, and with interest rates at zero, the lump sum just makes better financial sense, Goolsbee said.

“If you are fortunate enough to win the lottery, you most certainly want to take the lump sum,” Goolsbee said.

Yesterday, Gawker’s own Hamilton Nolan wrote a piece in which he reminded us of the odds against winning the lottery. While his math is solid, his reasoning will doubtlessly fall on deaf ears as millions of people buy tickets in the hopes of quitting their jobs, paying off their student loans, or perhaps more humbly, sexing up a bunch of Hungarian strippers in the greatest coke party that the world has ever known. Oops–I guess I gave away my plans for the winnings!

Did you buy your tickets yet? What are your plans for the winnings? Do they involve Hungarian strippers? Or robots? Discuss in the comments!

Rick “The Trick” Promises a Newer, Cleaner Santorum for America

Well, it looks like the Lenny Bruce of the GOP presidential pack is going to tone down his act. That’s right, Rick “The Trick” Santorum is going to offer a kinder, gentler discursive environment for his followers. Or, at the very least, an environment where he won’t comment on the relative qualities of a Romneybot presidency:

After several highly publicized remarks that left many in his party questioning whether he had crossed the line in attacking a fellow Republican, Mr. Santorum has struggled to find the balance between being a tenacious underdog and leaving himself open to criticism that he is just an embittered also-ran.

Nevertheless, he still has some harsh criticisms for his opponent; Above the News was able to obtain this unedited draft transcript of a Santorum speech attacking Mitt Romney (I’ve censored it for your protection):

“Mitt Romney can suck a d**k, folks. Yes, that’s right: Romney’s nothing but a f**king c**ks**king a**clown. First he’s over here, then he’s over there; he’s like a f**king retard. He just can’t make up his mind. ‘Duh, I like health care–it nice. I wear magic panties!’ And speaking of magic panties, what about his wife? Have you ever seen such a b****y looking c**t in all your life? I bet her p***y’s as cold as a glacier. And probably as big, too. The magic of her panties is that she can fit her oversize c**t in there.”

It only gets worse, folks, I can promise you that. But as the Times article noted, Santorum is aiming to clean up his act; thus, speeches like the above will become a thing of the past.

Though he may be Wal-Marting his speeches, Santorum still has some vague criticisms of Romneybot, as well as some reiterations of his credentials on battling health care:

“I’ve got a long, strong, consistent record on the issue of health care,” Mr. Santorum told a group of more than 100 supporters at a campaign rally in Janesville on Tuesday night. “No wobbles, no bobbles.”

It is unclear whether Santorum weebles; nevertheless, he does not fall down.

But some Santorum fans are upset that he no longer spits hot fire:

Paul Kurtz, a high school social studies teacher from Janesville who was at the rally, said he thought Mr. Santorum seemed to be repressing his trademark tenacity.

“I think Rick tempered what he could have said,” said Mr. Kurtz, 36, who was sipping the dregs of a beer as the crowd filed out of the Armory in Janesville. “I think he was really close to going there. I was waiting for the personal attack on Romney.” But Mr. Kurtz left disappointed.

Yes, Mr. Kurtz is responsible for educating the youth of America. I’ll give you a moment to cry.

What remains to be seen is whether Santorum can maintain this pretense of civility. Oh, wait–

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