Archive for February, 2013

Here’s the deal. I’m on Twitter. I would have done this sooner, but there was some confusion as to how it works. Every morning for the past couple of years I would wake up, say something clever to my computer and then shout, “Tweet!” at my monitor. I erroneously assumed that these comedic nuggets and insightful quips were being shared with the world. I was wrong.

So I started up this week in earnest and now I try to tweet something that will help make the Universe a better place every day. And I’ve been assuming all week that these comedic nuggets and insightful quips were being shared with the world. I was wrong again. They were only being shared with my eleven followers. If I recall, Jesus had around eleven followers and he did alright…but I’m shooting a little higher.

Thus, I’ve included a little twitter update on my sidebar and now you too can conveniently follow me on Twitter via the simple click of a button. Take a look. It’s over there. What’s in it for you? Well, the Lady Gagas of the world have over thirty million followers. And my plan is to overtake them by the end of the week. If you secure yourself as one of my first followers, you’ll be able to join me on this journey of laughter and learning (I, for example, just learned that there is apparently more than one Lady Gaga – weird).

Now…where was I? Oh, yes, constellations. I’ve always thought these things were ridiculous. Some Babylonians looked up at the night sky thousands of years ago, squinted their eyes and kind of sort of thought they saw a bull and somehow it stuck. Here’s my problem – none of the constellations look anything like anything. That’s not a ram. It’s a clump of five stars. And when you connect the dots you get…a bent line. A bent line that by no stretch of the imagination even begins to resemble a ram. Just stop it.

In 1922, the International Astronomical Union adopted the 88 officially recognized constellations. But who the hell does the International Astronomical Union think it is? No, seriously. Who the hell is the International Astronomical Union? Is that a real thing?

When they created the official list, they weeded out some of the wackier constellations. We used to look up at Hirudo (the leech), Polophylax (the guardian of the pole), Officiana Typographica (the print shop), Dentalium (the tooth shell), and Frederici Honores (Frederick’s honors). I have no idea what a tooth shell is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not up in the sky.

But they also left in some bizarre ones. Sure, we all know about Aquarius (the water-bearer), but who among us has heard of Antlia (the air pump), Caelum (the chisel), or Puppis (the poop deck). True story, those are all officially recognized constellations. I don’t know what kind of oddly specific imagination looks up at a random blob of stars and thinks, “Hey, that looks exactly like a quarter deck. Wait, no…more like a poop deck,” but they are incorrect.

And what’s with all the antiquated language? These things haven’t been updated in centuries. Today we’ve got constellations that translate as: the pendulum clock, the mariner’s compass, and the river Eridanus. Why can’t we bring our astronomy into the twenty-first century? I suggest we add the LOLcat, the iPhone 5, and the Beyonce.

Actually, were I in charge of naming the constellations, I would be much more accurate. I would name them exactly as they appear. Join me, romantics, and gaze up at the beautiful night sky. I think I see Humus (the cluster), Militus (the wad) and Astrum Nihilum (the group of stars that don’t look anything like any animal, person or thing).

Here’s the deal. There’s been a lot of talk in the news about gun control. But I say, talk is cheap…let’s shoot something.

The notion of even thinking of limiting any of the rights provided in the Constitution is decidedly un-American. These rights are absolute and cannot be infringed in any way. Take, for example, the first amendment. I’m a big proponent of our right to peaceably assemble. Anytime. Anywhere. (Last week, for example, I peacefully assembled inside the penguin exhibit at the zoo – it was awesome!)

You don’t see anyone trying to curtail that right. There’s no precedent. Except for the many precedents. When judges shut down Occupy movements they said that, “Government can make reasonable stipulations about the time, place and manner a peaceable protest can take place.” Like I said, the bill of rights is absolute. And, with the exception of when, where, and in what manner you may exercise these rights, no one has ever tried to put limits on them. But the first amendment right was limited for reasonable reasons. There are no reasonable reasons to limit our right to bear arms. During Occupy Oakland, for example, the mayor shut down the protest when a man was shot and killed near the sight. That’s sensible. Someone was killed, so you put limitations on people’s right to assemble. But I still can’t think of a single reason to put similar limits on guns.

Bottom line – guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people. And there’s no way to stop that. Short of taking away their guns. But that would be crazy.

I simply don’t understand why those left-wing nuts insist on blaming the gun rather than the person firing the gun. It’s not as though a gun could kill someone if there weren’t murderous intent behind that trigger. Sure, you can talk all day about the five to six hundred people who die in the United States every year when guns are accidentally discharged. But so what? Do you know how many people die in accidental toaster deaths each year? Me either, but I’m sure it’s thousands. And no one’s yelling about taking away our toasters. And what’s five or six hundred accidental gun deaths? That’s nothing compared to the tens of thousands of intentional ones.

And yet Obama and his Kenyan cronies still want to take away our guns. Obama’s gun control proposal includes the following preposterous thingies:

(1) Criminal background checks for all gun sales. If I’ve said it once, everyone else has said it a thousand times…criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law so why are we trying to implement gun control laws that criminals will continue to defy? For that matter, why do we have laws against robbing banks or kidnapping or jaywalking? Why do we have any laws? If people aren’t always going to follow them then they’re pointless, right?

(2) Banning armor-piercing bullets. Absurd. I need my armor piercing bullets when I hunt bullet-proof elk and pheasants in shining armor. If I may humbly quote the second amendment, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear light weight ballistic-capped, trinitrophenal-charged depleted uranium core, steel alloy piercing ammunition with fuse delay designed to explode inside the target, shall not be infringed.”

(3) Taking every single gun away from every single person. Oh…wait, that one’s not in there.

Look, there are a lot of reasons why the United States has far more gun deaths than any other country. Violent video games. Mental health issues. Liberals. Pretty much anything but guns. Blaming gun violence on guns would be like blaming mesothelioma on asbestos. Asbestos doesn’t kill people. People who use asbestos in construction kill people. Sure, asbestos is dangerous…but only when used a certain way. Like a gun. The government had no business regulating our asbestos and they have no business regulating our guns.

English: Indian Spectacled Cobra, Naja Naja Fa...

I feel safer already.

What these pinkos fail to understand is that guns are a crime deterrent. If your neighbors know not to mess with you or you’ll shoot them…and you know not to mess with all of your neighbors or they’ll shoot you…then soon everybody’s out on their lawns, guns drawn, shouting back and forth about who’s messing with who and who’s going to shoot first…safe and sound. In fact, the more lethal things you have in your house the safer you are. It’s just common sense. That’s why I keep Uzis, cobras, cyanide, switch blades, grenades, hemlock and puffer fish lying about the apartment.

 

Hey, if loving guns is wrong, I don’t want to be safe. And if you come for my weapons, you’ll find out just how unsafe I am. Allow me to close by quoting the slogan of “un-biased”, “independent”, “non-profit” “brain” trust – the National Rifle Association. “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” Which, because I own a gun, might not be too long.