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Archive for September, 2013

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John Slattery’s “Open Letter to Science”

This is actually an ad from Honeywell for its new voice-activated thermostat, but I’ve been here too.  It’s almost 2015, where are the flying cars already?

So to ‘celebrate’ that advancement, “Mad Men’s” John Slattery a.k.a Roger Sterling put hand to keyboard (Oh, how low tech!) and “wrote” this letter to Science to catch up already.

I found it amusing.

Dear Science,

This is not an easy letter to write. You know I love you very much, and I’ve always been a huge fan of yours. But this is getting ridiculous, Science. It’s 2013.

I want you to know that I am not writing this letter from the moon right now. I want you acutely aware of that fact, Science, just in case you weren’t sure. I am not writing this from a robot-proof bunker deep beneath the Earth’s crust, or from the captain’s chair aboard my starship. This letter is being composed on my four-year-old laptop, aboard the U.S.S “my living room reclining chair.”

I don’t mean to pressure you, but we are way behind schedule here. Yes, I know you’re working very hard, and sure, you’ve been doing some great things. But seriously? Where’s my flying car? Where’s my immortality pill, my moonbase, my affordable jetpack? Is it not 2013? Do I have my dates mixed up? Because if it’s 2013, this crap should all be old news.

We were supposed to have robots by now. You know that, right? Siri and my Keurig don’t count. I’m talking reliable, friendly robot butlers. They were supposed to be here. Look around you, Science. Do you see any friendly robot butlers? Because I don’t.

We have the Roomba. That’s it. The Roomba is not exciting. It doesn’t talk, it doesn’t fetch, it doesn’t plot mankind’s demise. It just get’s stuck in the same corner under my couch every day and revs its little engine until I save it or the battery dies. This is not acceptable.

Seriously, Science. Where are the robots? Why am I still bathing myself? Why am I still using my own hands to turn on my house lights? Why am I still physically lifting a fork to my mouth in order to eat food? Can we please get the ball rolling here?

Maybe I’m focusing too much on the negatives. I hear your latest Mars rover is doing well. That’s great to hear, congratulations. Honestly, very impressive stuff, Science. But if it were up to me, I’d be teleporting to Mars to get pizza on my lunch break.

My co-workers and I would be standing around the hovering watercooler, and I’d say, “Anybody in the mood for a moon slice?” And they’d say “Nah, I’m not feeling thin crust, let’s make a quick run to Mars.” This is literally all that I think about, Science. I get an incredibly small amount of work done.

Listen. I know I’m being a bit harsh. But is it really too much to ask for a little bit more future in my present? I’ll accept a lack of time machines, but you have to give me something. Brain chips, instantaneous limb regeneration, a sentient refrigerator; anything.

Just help me out, Science. Throw me a bone. Make it a hologram if you want.

With love,

Me

The Roomba.  Man, that is actually kind of sad when you think about advancements in personal home robotics…

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Cartoon of the Day

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S.S. Badgers to Add Evening Runs Thru October

To help expedite shipments of wind turbine parts, manufacturers are opting to put parts on the Badger in Ludington, MI and unload them Manitowoc rather than driving them around Lake Michigan.  As a result, for the first time ever, the longest-running car ferry still serving the Great Lakes will do night-time runs.

Those wanting to hitch on the boat during these late night runs, will get a 40 percent discount.

Due to the increased need to accommodate wind tower cargo, Lake Michigan Carferry will schedule additional round-trip evening crossings of the S.S. Badger between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich., through Oct. 12.

To encourage passenger travel during these additional evening crossings, LMC will offer a 40 percent discount on passenger and vehicle fares.

“The demand for additional crossings is great news and will offer additional fall travel options for our passengers and added benefit to our staff and port cities,” said Pat McCarthy, LMC vice president of shore operations, in a news release.

The S.S. Badger arrives in Manitowoc at noon and departs at 2 p.m. It also will arrive in Manitowoc at 11:30 p.m. and depart at 1 a.m.

 

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Pope Reminds American Liberal Media He is Indeed, Catholic

Oh, it’s a funny thing to watch, the media grasp to Pope Francis hoping that he can be the liberal, pro-choice papacy they’ve been clamoring for decades to see.

Last week was full of screeds about “This pope gets it!” from the media and Democrats — but why distinguish the two?  By Saturday, it completely faded away when the pope urged the world’s Ob/Gyn community to exercise conscience and ‘help to bring lives into the world.’

Sort of hard to see that as any other way as a major world religion being against abortion, isn’t it?

In his comments, Francis denounced today’s “throw-away culture” that justifies disposing of lives, and said doctors in particular had been forced into situations where they are called to “not respect life.”

“Every child that isn’t born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord,” he said.

He urged the gynecologists to abide by their consciences and help bring lives into the world. “Things have a price and can be for sale, but people have a dignity that is priceless and worth far more than things,” he said.

In my opinion, the pope’s original statements on the issues of abortion, contraception, and gay marriage were about public perception (typically called marketing) on the church’s priorities.  Pope Francis has clearly made his papacy to be about one in which pastoral work meant to shepherd the flock.  The areas in most need of shepherding are the U.S. and Europe, where things such as materialism — the pope is attacking that a lot, as did Benedict XVI before him — have become more prominent in the First World.

Not putting abortion, contraception and gay marriage on the church’s front burner might put some more people in the pews, but those liberals thinking the Catholic Church has changed are about to make a serious fool of themselves.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Chicago: America’s Latest Homicide Capital

Not at all that surprising.

The city of Chicago registered more homicides than any city in the nation in 2012, surpassing even New York — despite the fact that the Second City has only one third as many residents as the Big Apple.

In new crime statistics released Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, up sharply from the 431 recorded in 2011. New York reported 419 murders last year, compared with 515 in 2011.

But residents of Chicago and New York were much less likely to be victims of a homicide than residents of Flint, Mich. Sixty-three murders occurred in 2012 in Flint, a city of 101,632, meaning one in every 1,613 city residents were homicide victims. Detroit, which experienced 386 homicides in 2012, was almost as unsafe; that’s enough murders to account for one in every 1,832 residents.

In related news, an apparent gang-related shooting at a south side Chicago basketball court, 13 were shot around 10:15 PM last night.  No fatalities, but a 3 year-old little boy was among the wounded.  Police report the child was shot in the head and currently hospitalized along with two others.

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