March 23, 2007

Not safe for work

Via Adult Swim: Five Minutes to Kill Yourself could be one of the greatest Flash games ever made, ever.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:01 AM

March 22, 2007

I will never call it "Mickey D's" because that's the stupidest thing ever

Ezra questions the mathematical logic of the McDonald's dollar menu:

A cheeseburger at McDonald's is 99 cents. A double cheeseburger is...100 cents. I can't figure out how this is economically advantageous for McDonald's, and nor are any of my friend's explanations proving persuasive.

First, I would guess that while base prices can be regional, the dollar menu items sort of have to be, well... a dollar. In other words, while the single cheeseburger is 99 cents in Washington, DC, I recall it being only 89 cents in New Jersey, and I'm guessing it's even cheaper in other parts of the country. In much of Manhattan, the double cheeseburger doesn't even appear on the dollar menu.

Second, McDonald's is definitely not jacking the price on the single cheeseburger. Rather, they're taking a loss on double cheeseburgers. And it's worth it to them purely on a marketing level. The reason they put a double cheeseburger on the dollar menu is so... of course... they can advertise that they sell double cheseburgers for a dollar!

There's actually less meat in a Quarter Pounder than a double cheeseburger, but there's no point in 99-cent Quarter Pounders, because A. they sell much better on their own and B. Wendy's already has a 99-cent 1/4-lb. burger, so there wouldn't be any marketing advantage.

Third, that appeal puts butts in the chairs. According to reports from last year, the double cheeseburger is the fastest seller on the McDonald's menu, and has in turn increased overall customer numbers.

Finally, once again all the food sales come down to drink sales anyway. The incentive on McDonald's is to sell as much food as possible because they can then sell more drinks, which are literally pure profit (similar to Ezra's single/double conundrum, ever notice how drinks at 7-11 double in size at 5-cent increments?)

The bigger question, of course, is just what the hell they use to make McDonald's double cheeseburgers to keep the price so low and still make them edible, which is a question I must leave for scientists and alchemists who might know more about it than I ever would.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:57 AM

March 21, 2007

The ancient Indian burial ground of irony

Apparently, a lot of people are upset with an Arizona tribe for building a giant glass walkway over the Grand Canyon so visitors can pay to stand over it and look down.

But environmentalists and others have criticized the skywalk project since its inception, saying that the overhang will tarnish the pristine canyon and that a less intrusive tourist attraction could have been developed.

"I think it's a real travesty," said Robert Arnberger, who was superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park from 1994 to 2000. "I understand the need for the tribe to consider the economics of the tribe, but . . . it desecrates the very place the Hualapai hold so dear."

Yes. Truly, those Native Americans have some gall to desecrate the land like that. It's like they think they own the damn country or something.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:05 AM

March 19, 2007

My brains, they asplode

The Turkish version of Star Wars. It involves bootleg footage from the original movie, the soundtrack to Raiders of the Lost Ark, and exploding mummies.

I have to go lie down now.

(via MetaFilter)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:54 PM

Michelle Malkin to travel to Arlington to confirm existence of 30,000 war supporters

Sadly!No's analysis of this weekend's counter-protest in D.C. is truly a bright spotlight on how deranged the right-wing bloggers are getting.

Basically, tons of right-wing bloggers are trumpeting a claim that 30,000 pro-war demonstrators showed up in DC to "protect monuments" they heard war protesters were going to deface. Despite countless "personal reports," a few Flickr feeds, and as always an in-depth on-site report from the queen of lunatic media herself, Michelle Malkin, there is in fact not a single shred of evidence any of what they claim is true.

Here, to avoid any suggestion of bias, is a video of the pro-war protestors taken by Malkin herself. If you wanted to be incredibly generous, you could suggest a thousand Freepers showed up. That would make the claims of the pro-war bloggers off by a mere thirty times their claim. Apparently, they are all trading the same claim from an unidentified source who told someone that the National Park Police told them that they estimated the crowd was around 30,000 people. There is no link to any official statement from any DC Park service. None.

There are also, of course, no documented claims from any anti-war groups to attempt defacing monuments. No one said they would. It all stems from a war protest a month earlier when a handful of protestors spraypainted the steps of the Capitol, which was then washed off that evening. I am actually typing this. Jesus.

So the New York Times reported on the protest noting the few hundred Freepers, and oh for crap's sake do I even need to write the rest of this? I can just stop at "The New York Times reported" and you can guess what Michelle Malkin said, can't you? Of course, she screamed that the Times "lied."

Fine. Here is my open challenge to any and all right-wing bloggers: provide me a photo that Malkin, NPR, the AP, the New York Times, and every right-winger attending the event all apparently missed of this magical crowd of 30,000 people. I'll post it here.

This stuff is just ridiculous. This isn't about being right-wing or left-wing; it's about basic rational thought. What is Malkin's excuse here for claiming the Times "lied?" Does she have any evidence to back that claim up? The Times' report is accurate based on her own footage.

Granted, every single right-wing blog on the internet is flogging this number now, thanks to one person who originally pulled it out of their butt, so why am I singling out Malkin here? Well, obviously, the "The New York Times lied!" tantrum is hilarious. Seriously. If a schoolchild said this in a classroom I would understand the teacher instructing the rest of the class to point at her and laugh. But more importantly, Malkin pretends she is a journalist. You know, HotAir? That site of hers that's all about getting video and pictures of stuff the "MSM" is conspiring not to show? This is the woman who flew to Iraq to verify her claims that mosques weren't destroyed because she didn't want them to have been (and as if you have to ask, yes, she was wrong) and yet she's trumpeting a statement as ludicrous as a phantom army of war supporters not a single damn person on earth documented on film and fails to find any aspect of journalistic guidelines.

In the meantime, let's briefly turn to City Stadium in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I picked this random obscure structure because the stadium has a seating capacity of roughly 30,000 people. This is a photo of a third of it. According to the right-wing blogers, three times this many people showed up to counter-protest and failed to be captured on camera. D.C. doesn't have that many trees.

Update: I got a rejected trackback ping from Michelle Malkin's site; the word "analysis" is blocked because it contains "anal." This has nothing to do with my post; I just find it absolutely hysterical.

Second update: I'm sure we can power a turbine with the energy produced by how fast you leaped from your chair in surprise at this, but Sadly!No bothered to do what "journalist" Michelle Malkin didn't and called the National Park Service, who promptly verified that they don't even do crowd counts, let alone gave one for the GOE rally.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:10 PM

"Gay bomb"

Latest comic - click here!

Putting aside whatever moral issues you have with gay people, I just don't understand the logical argument required to say it's bad for the army if gay people who want to join are allowed to. You would need to believe this is the most advanced fighting force in the world, comprised of some of the strongest and bravest people in America, but although they can handle murderous, violent terrorists and 110-degree weather, they couldn't possibly handle a gay guy. Alllllrighty then.

I actually have a pet theory about this, but it's not a very friendly one. I think a lot of militant homophobes out there are actually just terrified about the possibility of trying to beat up on a gay guy one night and discovering the hard way he's actually a Navy SEAL.

Anyway, gay bombs. Yessiree. Here's the article that mentions the gay bomb, just in case you had a moment of weakness and dared to think I would ever lie to you, the dear readers. Now I'm not saying I want there to be a weapon that makes everyone want to have sex with each other, but if it was really possible to alter emotions, even temporarily, that might be a better battlefield tool than the ones that melt people.

And be sure to buy some crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:14 AM