Archive for January, 2013

NOC THE BELUGA WHALE sounded exactly like a human. A human who has swallowed a kazoo and is completely drunk-off-his-ass wasted:

I can’t listen to this without visualising a man staggering home from the pub banging into streetlights and singing, his hat held out in one hand saluting an invisible audience as he tap-dances and jigs his way down the footpath. Listen to it again and imagine with me.

NOC level drunk

NOC level smammered

Captured by Inuit hunters in 1977, NOC lived in captivity until passing into drunk Beluga afterlife in 1999. Beluga whales have often been noted for their mimicry, but Noc’s vocalisations were particularly human. According to Sam Ridgway, from the National Martine Mammal Foundation, “They were definitely unlike usual sounds for a [beluga], and similar to human voices in rhythm and acoustic spectrum.”

I imagine there are a lot of false alarms, where handlers think that their whales/dolphins/whatever are using human speech:

“Eeewaeeepeeneep totally said her own name the other day. We were all shocked. I turned to my colleague and I was like ‘Did she just say Eewaeepeenoop or Eewaeepeeneep?’ He said it was Eewaeepeeneep FOR SURE.”

But NOC was the real deal.

Now watch this beluga whale dancing to a mariachi band:

But most of all, this:


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THE PEEL-MCGILL PROXIMITY MYTH asserts that Peel and McGill metro stations are ridiculously close together. I set out to prove it wrong. Part I: HERE.


SO. I took the metro three times, then realised I needed to actually go somewhere and took it a fourth time, and averaged the times between stations. Here is the raw data. If it doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s probably because you have difficulty understanding formal scientific documents:

more numbers

The average times between each stations were:


The total average time between stations – the average of these averages – was 54.38 seconds. The sample standard deviation of aforementioned averages was 8.04 seconds.



Let’s start by comparing the average times between stations. At 47 seconds, Peel to McGill IS the quickest. Note, however, that this is only 2.25 seconds less than the average time between St. Laurent and Place Des Arts, and 3.5 seconds less than the average times between Berri and St. Laurent and Place Des Arts and McGill.

Because that would be incest!

Because that would be incest!

Now, when we compare the Peel-McGill average to the total average time between metro stations (54.38 seconds), we see a difference of 7.38 seconds. Which IS a significant difference. But it’s not CRAZY GET OUT OF TOWN shorter. It’s not SPOONING YOUR COUSIN close. In fact it is within one sample standard deviation (the sample standard deviation being 8.04 seconds). Here’s a list of things I thought up that I could do in 7.38 seconds:

* Breathe in and out at a normal rate one and a half times
* Pick my nose
* Jump about eight times
* Laugh and stop suddenly
* Entertain the idea that the Parti Quebecois want me to live here
* Pat my belly while rubbing my head 43 times
* Dribble

Not much of any use. So there’s a difference, but it’s not massive.

Why then does Peel-McGill feel sooo short? It could be because Peel-Guy is longer than average: 8.62 seconds longer, just outside of one standard deviation. Since these travel distances are adjacent, it might be that Peel-McGill seems that much shorter in contrast.

Consulting Google Maps, the relative average times between metro stations more or less matches the distances between stations:


The closest stops are Peel and McGill; the furthest away are Peel and Guy. In fact, Guy is furthest from all the other stops. Guy is a noble station, like the loner seat on the metro, sitting proud and alone.

The only anomaly in these distances is this: why does it take 3 seconds longer between Guy and Atwater compared to Guy and Peel, when Guy and Peel are in fact CLOSER? There’s a simple explanation for this. Between Guy and Atwater, I believe, there’s a time warp, where the metro carriages are transported into the future by just a few seconds.

Which solves that discrepancy.



The Peel-McGill Proximity Myth is kind of true, but not ridiculously true. The metro is fun when you’re sitting in the loner seat, and safe to ride when you’re in the natural selection carriage. The metro station Guy is in a sort of No Man’s Land, far away from neighbouring stops, whereas Peel and McGill snuggle up close at night, but in a Platonic way, and do not actually spoon.


Guy on the left: “Best. Metro Ride. EVER.”

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But my cheeks hurt

But my cheeks hurt

I THINK A LOT on the metro. Who should I mentally undress? Is anyone mentally undressing me? If we mentally undress each other, do I need to call her the next day? But what I think about most is the Peel-McGill Proximity Myth. The Peel-McGill Proximity Myth asserts that the Peel and McGill metro stations in Montreal are really, really, really close together. Whereas other metro stations on the Green Line keep a respectful distance, Peel and McGill are practically spooning. In this post, I argue that their relationship is actually more like two second cousins holding hands. Awkward, but not illegal.

Well. This going to make things a lot easier for everyone.

Well. This going to make things a lot easier for everyone.

In order to do this, I decided to conduct a rigorous scientific experiment, recording the average times between Berri and Atwater on the Green Line. I would leave out everything east of Berri because what are those places and I would stop at Atwater because Lionel-Groulx is FAR. I’d ride the metro three times in total, recording the times from the door closing to the door opening, and calculating the standard deviation.

Then I realised I could just check the STM website.

Well fuck.

I went to the website and couldn’t find the average times. So WEEE metro ride.

I settled into my favourite seat on my favourite carriage, the only seat I ever ride on: the loner seat on the natural selection carriage.




"Excuse me. Can I sit here?"

“Excuse me. Can I sit here?”

The loner seat is by far the best seat in the carriage. There are four basic categories of seats: the window seat, the aisle seat, the loser seat and the loner seat. The window seat, when attached to an aisle seat, forms a double seat. The loser seat, which is at a right angle to the window seat, is called so because when the window seat is part of a double seat, you’re forced to third wheel with people you don’t know, often a couple. Your legs intermingle but you don’t really belong. Even when the window seat is alone, it’s like you’re on some awkward first date, both sort of facing sideways away from each other in quiet alarm.

Me in the loner seat

Me in the loner seat

In contrast, the loner seat is positioned apart from the others, a world of its own, a small kingdom in its own right. It’s the lone wolf’s rock, from where he howls at the Moon. It’s an Iron Throne, the seat of kings. You can read whatever you like on this seat and no one knows what it is. You can read Fifty Shades of Grey or even something worse, like whatever the sequel to that book is called. Half a Hundred Monochrome Hues feat. Penis. You will not be judged.

And this is my seat – the seat of wolves and kings.


Or rogue Balrogs

Or rogue Balrogs

The natural selection carriages are the second to last carriages. The problems with the end carriages are that a) they are cluttered with bicycles and b) when the metro breaks down between stations, they are most vulnerable to whatever waits in the tunnel. You peer nervously into the dark, then go back to Hues feat. Penis. But your imagination has run away with you. At any moment, cannibal pygmy men are going to rush out of the darkness like angry hobbits. Or a stampede of wildebeest. Or tyrannosaurs. All suddenly possible scenarios.


Happened to me between Berri and St. Laurent

The middle carriages are even worse, being both crowded and vulnerable to other kinds of attack. For example, the kind where simultaneous collisions at either end compact the carriage into a tin can. Or the kind where tyrannosaurs, woken from their peaceful slumber, take the end cars in their jaws and shake them like angry dogs would do, stretching and splitting the middle carriage in twain and spilling out people like candies from a piñata.

No matter how you think about it, the second to last carriages are the survivor carriages.

In sum: in every possible scenario, the loner seat in the natural selection carriage wins.

And it was from this majestic vantage point that I began recording times.


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PSY’S GANGNAM STYLE was a massive hit, reaching over 1.2 BILLION views on YouTube. The song parodies “posers and wannabes” who claim to be “Gangnam Style” – Gangnam being an affluent suburb in Seoul associated with a lavish lifestyle. Even without understanding the words, it’s catchy and hilarious.


Enter Bart BaKer, an American entertainer . . . comedian . . . thing, who decides to make a parody. Why make a parody of a parody? I don’t know. Because you have money, a camera crew, and it’s bound to get views.


But BaKer’s version makes no sense. It’s about nothing; it’s a parody of something that’s already a parody; the humour is dull and forced. The original used exaggeration to make fun of music video cliches, using silly over-the-top sets and dancing. BaKer’s version uses exaggeration to make fun of Gangnam Style’s exaggeration . . . which seems to miss the point.

How someone manages to look like this much of a dick in a photo, I don't know.

How someone even manages to look like this much of a dick in a photo, I don’t know.

The comedy feels contrived, with the “jokes” consisting of BaKer singing the actions that he’s performing, replacing the chorus with the words “hotdog condom style”, and suggesting that he’s a pedophile and attracted to horses. The entire approach has a sense of desperation: in the first minute, BaKer references pedophilia, bestiality, and bukkake for no real reason, throwing in words like “semen”, “fat”, and “slut”, pretty much at random, just in case it elicits a chuckle. It’s the machine-gun approach to comedy. ONE OF THESE HAS GOT TO MAKE YOU LAUGH. In the grand finale of the video, he eats a hotdog that had presumably been housed in a condom, letting the chewed meat fall out of his mouth.


There IS one part at which I chuckled. It was when BaKer lunges toward a girl in slow-motion singing “…”. Apart from that I went through the same progression of awkward faces that I wore when watching the opening monologue for Taylor Swift’s music video “Trouble”:


2dd9e9223798a6f6b4cd7ad023fcd33490cc715dThe worst part of the whole idea is that since the original is also a parody, BaKer’s parody invites a direct comparison with the original. The original represents original comedy, and the parody is actually clever. It’s making fun of posers and wannabes, which has a universal element. BaKer’s version, on the other hand, is about singing words that sound funny together: “hotdog” and “condom”. “Hotdog condom”. Hahaha. Ha. Ah. It is the American toilet humour response to social satire: the equivalent of smearing poop on a wall and calling it comedy.

Somehow it boasts almost 15 million views and over 72,000 likes.

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I am speechless.

"Fuck you and your dirty dishes."

“Fuck you and your dirty dishes.The full story:

The full story:


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Sweating Balls

I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT “SWEATING BALLS” meant . . . well, “sweating balls”. I never understood. You’re so hot that you’re sweating balls? Why would being hot make testicles emerge from your pores?

Ballception: requires adjustment

Ballception: requires adjustment

The other day I followed this thought through and it raised some questions. If someone is sweating balls, actual balls, then are those balls also sweating balls? Presumably, the balls being sweated also possess sweat glands and pores. So the same process of thermoregulation would apply. And what about the balls coming out of those balls? And the balls coming out of the balls coming out of the balls? Since when are testicles like Russian Dolls? Where does it end? How small do the balls get?

It’s genital Inception: balls within balls within balls.


Another troubling question: how does this work anatomically? Are the balls within balls within balls all stored inside our sweat glands, each inside the other? Or are the extra balls grown on the spot, as they are needed?

Sweat catchers?

Sweat catchers?

Anyway, this made no sense to me, so I turned to my friends. Here is what I found: no one knows why the hell we say this. But there are at least two alternate theories that the people I asked came up with.

One is that the phrase means “I am sweating so profusely that my sweat is pouring out of me in giant beads of perspiration, the size and shape of spherical objects used in some sporting activities.” Another is “I am sweating all over my body as profusely as balls sometimes sweat”. In the former interpretation, a case of hyperbole, the phrase “I am sweating balls” is an abbreviation of “I am sweating balls OF SWEAT.” In the latter interpretation, the phrase “I am sweating balls” is a garbled version of the intended meaning, because it should really be a simile, such as “I am sweating LIKE balls sweat”. I find this interpretation less probable because of the grammatical gymnastics required to make it fit. I think that “I am sweating balls OF SWEAT” is the winner.

This post is for the ladies

This post is for the ladies

But a few other takes that my housemate had on the subject:

“I am so sweaty and it is concentrated in my balls.”

“I am so sweaty, a measurement of perspiration from my balls represents this fact.”

If anyone has another theory, set us straight.

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AM I THE ONLY ONE who thinks that dwarven bridges need guardrails? It’s a work safety disaster waiting to happen.

Elven bridges suffer the same design flaw:


Potential lawsuit

Best that’s what she said quote:

the one

TIMEOUT. How did you recognise a weapon lost to history for six thousand years?



Best hairstyle:



This may or may not have actually happened:


Runner up that’s what she said quotes:

“But what has it got in its pocketses, eh?”

“What has roots as nobody sees, is taller than trees, up, up it goes . . .”

“What is this? Where’s the MEAT?”

Other thoughts

I enjoyed watching The Hobbit, but I don’t think it’s a good movie. The book is a tale that Tolkien made up for his kids. The movie tries for the epic feel of The Lord of the Rings and it’s just too damn long.

My reaction to the way Peter Jackson dumps exposition in the introduction:


A relevant quote: “Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.”

So. I can’t wait to watch the Unextended Edition.

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