Thursday, February 28, 2008

Say hello to the Future of Science

Remember your elementary school science fair? It was that anxious time of year when middle school students were required to do some lame experiment and then make those 3 walls out of crappy bristol board and paste a bunch of charts and graphs on it. Yeah, oodles of fun, man.

The science fair at my school was utterly predictable: killing plants in various creative ways; volcanoes; homemade rockets; jars of rusty nails (sadly not the delicious cocktail variety); jars of rotting teeth. Oh, and there's that one kid whose dad was an engineer and had built him a badass Galton box or a freakin' laser light show. That kid always won, and I can't say I learned anything from the experience except that cheaters always prosper, science fairs really suck, and I wasn't ever gonna find that cure for cancer like my parents had hoped.

But after stumbling upon a motherlode of science fair pics on Flickr, I discovered that today's kids still carry the torch, and endeavor to solve the world's escalating problems using their awesome powers of scientific reasoning. The future of science (and the planet) is in very deep trouble, people.

Just click on images if you want to enlarge them.

Drop It Like It's Hot
Something to do with dropping hot things. Any kid who bases his science fair project on a Snoop Dogg song is alright by me. Seven years from now, I'll be buying dope off this guy. What's that on the table? A plate of potato chip crumbs? A half-eaten piece of pizza? Who cares - he's got your munchies covered. I love his winning attitude, so I'm awarding him Best in Show.

Is Bigger Always Better?
Yes, boys. Always. Just ask your mom.

Nail That Wood
Ring me up in 15 years and we'll talk about this some more.

Who's Your Daddy?
Oh, she'll find out soon enough. I love the paper heart detailing. It says: "I wanna know what love is. I want you to show me."

Make a Dotcom
He's twelve, and already carries the smug confidence of a sleezebag who runs a highly lucrative porn site from his smelly bedroom. Just check out the look on his face. This dude is already wealthier than you.

The Sphincter: Gateway to the scatalogical
Whatcha got in the cup there, kiddo? It better be chocolate.

Garlic: The Silent Killer
Really? Man, I hope not. I love garlic. But it's the silent romance killer, for sure. Sorta like those pants you've got hiked up to your tits.

Plants and Pop
A last-minute entry from a kid who forgot it was the science fair that day. So he stole two of his mom's plants, a bottle of 7-Up from the fridge, and scribbled down some "facts" on 3-ring binder paper during the bus ride to school. Then he borrowed some packing tape and stuck that crap on the back of someone else's science fair project. How do I know all this? I was this guy once. He'll turn out just fine if he can keep his heart from exploding.

Crystal Meth: Friend of Foe?
Another favourite of mine, solely for the byline "friend or foe?" This is the kind of science that kids can really get behind. These young ladies appear to have done some fairly extensive research on the subject. It's pure coincidence that they both share the last name "Jones".

Music and Sex
Two more gals who've thrown themselves into their research work for the good of all humanity.

Hornets Basketball
I'm not certain that this boy fully understood the assignment. But his presentation is pretty nice, so I'll bet this was one of the more popular projects among the students. Hell, I'd give him an A if he could introduce me to Peja Stojakovic. I could eat Serbian almost every day.

Delirum Tremens (the DTs)
The photos of Mel Gibson and Barney, paired with the "thumbs up" from a guy who should have graduated 6 years ago, earn this one an Honourable Mention.

Teats: An Exhaustive Comparative Study
Here's a guy who understands that
female nudity + showmanship + charm = ratings.
Kudos for giving the masses exactly what they want from weeks of scientific exploration: Teats!

Do Video Games Affect You?
Clearly they have affected this particular kid. But let's give this boy props for figuring out how to combine his gaming habit with a homework assignment. The skull hoodie is pure science anarchy.

I dunno honey, you tell me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The (Hot Rod) King is dead

American Hot Rod host and reknowned car builder Boyd Coddington died early this morning. I don't know the cause of death. I know you're wondering, because we're all kinda sick that way. Whenever we hear that someone has died, the first question is always "how?" Well, I don't know, but I do know this guy was super good at what he did:

He designed and built CadZZilla, one of many customized ZZ Top cars. No, not the red one driven by ghost sluts in "Sharp Dressed Man". It was the one from that video off the Back to the Future Part 3 soundtrack. No.... not the Delorean, the black one at the end. Oh, nevermind. Enjoy this photo of the ghost sluts.

He used to be Chip Foose's boss. Chip Foose is a very talented custom car designer and the host of Overhaulin'. There are reports of an intense rivalry between the two men. I suspect it's because Chip is better looking.

He unburied The Buried Car in Tulsa, Oklahoma last summer. I don't know why the good people of 1957 Oklahoma decided it would be fun to bury a car. Time capsules were all the rage back then. Hey, it was a world without iPods, what the hell would you do? Is the world a better place because he dug it up? Meh.

Dupont named a car paint shade after him (Boyd Red). Say what you want, but that's pretty cool. I'll never have a colour named after me. (Prediction: Neither will you.)

Boyd Coddington acheived many honours in the custom car and streetrod world, the majority of which I don't really know, and you probably don't really care, but you can click on the links to learn more. Or not. You're the boss.

I didn't watch American Hot Rod very often, but when I did, I found Boyd to be a rather surly character. He was cranky and angry (on camera at least) to most of his crew, but he was "the Hot Rod King", so they put up with his crap. He was like the Dr. House of hot rods, proving in real-life that you can be a jerk if you're the best in the world at what you do.

Long live the Hot Rod King.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Crush of the Day

I did not think it was possible to be attracted to a man who makes his living talking like a gay baby.

It turns out I was wrong!

The Corporal says: "Pfff. He looks like a fat Donny Osmond."

Clearly he's jealous.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A [more] Modest Proposal

This morning there was this "news" item on my homepage about the Top 25 Baby Names in Canada. I was happy to see that the trend of naming children after soap opera characters (Cole, Drake, Erika Kane, Patch) , cities (Paris, Dallas, Sydney, Dr. Detroit) , and strippers (Krystal, Tiffany, Britney, Chelsea) has greatly diminished. This year also marks the first time they've listed all the alternative spellings for a given name. Here's the list... pink for girls, blue for boys.

Top 25 Baby Names in Canada (2008):
1 Emma / Mathew/Mathieu/Matthew/Matthieu
2 Emily/Emilee/Emilie/Émilie / Jacob/Jakob/Jakub
3 Sarah/Sara / Ethan
4 Olivia / Alexander/Alexandre/Alexzander
5 Madison/Maddison/Madisen/Madisyn/Madyson / Nathan/Nathen
6 Hannah/Hana/Hanna /William
7 Megan/Meagan/Meaghan/Megane/Meghan / Nicolas/Nicholas/Nickolas/Nikolas
8 Abbigail/Abbigale/Abbygail/Abigail/Abigale/Abigayle /Joshua
9 Chloe/Chloé/Chloë/Cloe/Kloé / Zack/Zachary/Zachery/Zackary/Zackery/Zakary/Zakery
10 Hailee/Hailie/Hailey/Haleigh/Haley/Halle/Hallie/Haylee/Haylie/Hayley /Samuel
11 Jessica/Jessika / Ryan
12 Julia / Noah
13 Grace / Benjamin
14 Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya /Michael/Michaël/Micheal/Mickael/Mikael
15 Isabela/Isabella/Izabella / Justin
16 Maya/Maia/Maiya/Mayah / Aidan/Aiden/Aden/Aedan/Aidin/Aidyn/Aydan/Ayden/Aydin
17 Lauren/Lauryn / Tomas/Thomas
18 Elisabeth/Elizabeth / Liam
19 Victoria/Viktoria / Lucas/Lukas
20 Rachael/Rachel / Daniel
21 Samantha / Owen
22 Kaitlin/Kaitlyn/Kaitlynn/Katelyn/Katelynn / Logan
23 Ava/Ayva / Dillan/Dillon/Dylan/Dylon
24 Alissa/Allyssa/Alysa/Alyssa / Anthony
25 Lea/Leah / Adam

I've always been fascinated with the many remarkable and fucked-up ways a parent can choose to spell or pronounce their child's name. Perhaps it's done to give some "originality" to a traditional name, but speaking as a person who grew up with a name that no one could spell or pronounce, I'm here to say they're not doing their kid any favours. They'll just spend most of their childhood correcting everyone, answering to some name that's sorta-like-their-name-but-not-really, and inevitably grow up to be a real dickhead about anything to do with their name:

"Uh, yeah, it's not TAN-ya, is TON-ya. And you spell it T-A-H-N-Y-A-G-H. "

OK sure. I'll get right on that, Tanya.

So this list is proof that in a mass quest for originality, society generally lacks the ability to be original. Sure, there's still moniker mavericks out there who toss around names like Apple and Moon Unit, but these people are celebrities and their offspring will eventually have to compete for media face-time with Shiloh and Lourdes, so I guess they gotta step it up.

I propose that any parent-to-be who's looking for an original baby name need look no further than 100 years ago, to the Top 25 Baby Names of 1908.

It's interesting to see that people used to name their babies after senior citizens. And notice how there's just that one way to spell the damn name. Ah, simpler times.

Top 25 Baby Names in Canada (1908):
1. Mary / John
2. Helen / William
3. Margaret / James
4. Ruth / George
5. Anna / Robert
6. Dorothy / Joseph
7. Elizabeth / Charles
8. Mildred / Frank
9. Alice / Edward
10. Marie / Thomas
11. Florence / Henry
12. Ethel / Walter
13. Lillian / Willie
14. Frances / Henry
15. Gladys / Albert
16. Rose / Arthur
17. Edna / Harold
18. Louise / Paul
19. Grace / Clarence
20. Evelyn / Fred
21. Annie / Raymond
22. Catherine / Louis
23. Irene / Richard
24. Hazel / Ernest
25. Gertrude / Ralph

Because the world needs more Ethels.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

If you build it, they will come

I had a dream last night that made me rethink a lot of aspects of my life.

I awoke with a clear vision of a future that starts today:
created by me, driven by me.

It has nothing to do with a ballpark.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Craigslist: Not ideal for job hunters

If you're a regular reader of The Idea of Progress, then you may already be familiar with those batshit crazy "missed connections" ads from Craigslist. Idea's Best of Craigslist series has featured touching stories of homeless romance, starcrossed addicts, and subway stalkers.

So it goes without saying that I should stop looking for a job on Craigslist. But these are desperate times, and I am slowly becoming acquainted with desperate measures.

Excerpt of job posting on craigslist:

Tough boss needs admin support in busy office. $42K and perks galore for the right candidate. Must handle stress with grace. You should be proficient with all basic computer programs required for administrative functions. If you have to ask what these are, do not apply!

It takes a special kind of person to use the word minion in a want ad. I guess you have to have a sense of humour about it, because it's true. Anyways, you sound like a bitch, so good luck with that sweetheart.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Today's post is brought to you by the letter "T"

Last week, our groundhog "friend" predicted an early spring, and now Big T has awakened from his winter hibernation, and predicted 6 more weeks until golf season!

In honour of his return, I'm sharing yet another alphabet booklet that I created at the age of 4. This one is dedicated to T-words.

Welcome back, T, to that same old place that you laughed about.

Read an earlier post brought to you by the letter "R"

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Spring better be sprung dammit.

Yesterday, Wiarton Willie 2.0 predicted an early spring for Canada. This particular groundhog has only been predicting the seasons for 2 years now.

The previous rodent to work as "Wiarton Willie" predicted an early spring in 2006, and was horribly wrong. Canada suffered unseasonal blizzards and ice storms long after the first day of spring. The original Willie died just months later on June 10, 2006, after I hunted that little fucker down and killed him.