Archive | November, 2010

The 10 Most Important Things They Didn’t Teach You in School

15 Nov

From the funny guys at Cracked:

By the time you’re 30, you’ll be hit with the crushing truth of just how much the grownups didn’t teach you when you were in school. And, while liberals and conservatives haggle over whether public schools need more funding or more lessons on the Ten Commandments, we think all can agree there are some very basic, useful things that our children really, really should know.

Therefore when Cracked starts its line of private schools, know that your kids won’t graduate without having passed…

#10. Sex Ed (for Girls): How to Spot a Douchebag

Young ladies, you’re in your teens now and already you have no doubt run into some guys who are being suspiciously nice to you. Likely you have figured out that in many cases, this has nothing to do with them being nice guys and everything to do with them desperately wanting you to touch their boner.

What you may not realize is that over the next few years, a string of rejections will cause many of these men to start hating you. Some of them hate you already, because they grew up hating their mothers and it kind of carries over. Boys are like that.

Now, some of these men will then become members of the Pick Up Artist Community, also known as the Seduction Community. This is a loose club of guys who see females as a collection of walking masturbation aids. They have websites and seminars and chat rooms where they trade tips on how to manipulate you into having sex with them.
They believe the male/female relationship is adversarial in nature, and that sex is a way of conquering you. Thus many of their techniques work by playing on your insecurities, like “the Neg,” where they first engage you in conversation, then drop subtle criticisms that will undermine your self-esteem and subconsciously make you want to gain their approval (by letting them touch your boobs). Believe it or not, it works–if you’re not ready for it.

This is just one type of douchebag; this class will cover several varieties. And, while we’re not telling you not to sleep with these men, the lesson you will learn from this course is that they will put the same effort into making you happy as they do the semen-encrusted sock under their bed.

Chapters Include:

I. Types of Douchebag;
II. How to Tell When He’s Lying;
III. Why Your Male Friends Almost Certainly Want to Have Sex With You;
IV. Why There is Nothing to be Gained by Showing Your Boobs to a Camera.

#9. Sex Ed (for Boys): Why Porn is Not a Good Way to Learn About Sex
Young men, you’re in your teens now and that means already you’ve seen several thousand hours of Internet porn. Many of you will soon engage in your first sexual encounter, having no practical instruction to guide you beyond those videos.
Unfortunately, what you see on PornTube represents only what certain men wish sex was like. We’re not saying that you’ll never meet a woman who enjoys, say, having semen squirted into her eyes, or having sex on camera with five strangers in the back of a decorated van. What we’re saying is that just about everything you see in those videos–including the ones that claim to be hidden camera or “reality” porn–is there specifically because real women are not like that. These videos fill a gap between fantasy and reality.

So how do you figure out what to do when you’re finally alone with a lady? Well, we can give you the basics, but the rest will be up to you.

Chapters Include:

I. It’s a Vagina, Not a Slab of Meat You’re Trying to Tenderize;
II. Your Penis Size is Probably Perfectly Fine;
III. Why Your First Time is Going to be a Humiliating Disaster, No Matter What You Do;
IV. Most Women Are Not Sexually Stimulated by Spanking;
V. Every Woman is Different and You Will Only Learn What She Likes Via Practice;
VI. That’s OK, Because the Practice is Awesome.

#8. Phys. Ed: Practical Self-Defense
We’re calling this course “Practical Self-Defense” but a more accurate title would be, “How To Get Away From Somebody Who is Trying to Mug or Rape You.” Yes, “Get Away.” Some of you guys who grew up on The Matrix still fantasize about beating the shit out of a street full of thugs in a fight that looks like a choreographed dance. This class will not teach you how to do that. No class will teach you how to do that.
Oh, there are guys out there capable of kicking ass. They’re called criminals. They’re good at fighting because they have poor impulse control and anger management, and thus are constantly getting into fights. If you, on the other hand, are going to be civilized and successful parents and homeowners and taxpayers, the odds are overwhelming you will not ever be good at fighting. This fact is thus reflected in our curriculum.

Chapters Include:

I. Why Your Wallet is Not Worth Dying For;
II. Why Guns and Knives Are Not Awesome (Includes Visual Aids Depicting Wounds of Gnarled Strips of Exposed Fat, Tendons and Skin, Plus Graphic Descriptions of Life in a Wheelchair);
III. How to Break Off an Argument With a Hobo Before He Stabs You;
IV. Why You Can’t Reason With a Screaming Drunk;
V. Why Believing Action Movies Are Real Will Get You Killed;

#7. Industrial Arts: Emergency Repairs

This does not require a great deal of elaboration. Quite simply, there are certain things a person who is about to be living on their own needs to know how to do.

Building a goddamned birdhouse is not one of them.

Chapters Include:

I. How to Patch and Paint a Wall So You Can Get Your Deposit Back From Your Landlord;
II. Identifying Which Wires in Your House Will Kill You if You Touch Them;
III. What to do When You Wake Up to Find Your Toilet/Refrigerator/Hot Water Heater/Air Conditioner/Sink is Puking Water Onto Your Floor;
IV. When to Call the Repair Guy;
V. How to Figure Out if the Repair Guy is Screwing You;
VI. Foreign Objects You’re Going to Try to Put in the Microwave at Some Point so Let’s Just Get it Out of Your System Now.

#6. Business: Success = Meeting the Right People

All of those successful people you see around town, with their convertibles and huge televisions? Approximately 100 percent of them got where they are because they had three things. All three are absolutely essential, but one of them is almost never mentioned. They are:

* Talent
* Hard Work
* Randomly Meeting the Right People and Not Pissing Them Off

The autobiographies of famous people will do everything they can to downplay that third part, because it has the element of sheer luck. People get offended when you mention it, because they think it somehow undermines the first two. But remember, we said you need all three.

For instance, let’s take maybe the most successful movie actor of all time, Harrison Ford. He farted around Hollywood for nine years, taking bit parts without anything major ever coming his way. Clearly talented, very hard-working. Yet not once did anybody look at him and say, “This guy will sell several billion dollars’ worth of tickets and action figures some day!” He was just another ambitious, pretty face, in a city full of them. He got so fed up, he quit acting and became a carpenter.

Then one day he got hired to install cabinets in the home of a guy named George Lucas. They became friends. That got him the role of Han Solo a few years later. Click the link; that’s a true story.

Decades earlier another Ford, Henry, was just one of many engineers screwing around with early car engine designs until he became friends with a wealthy businessman named Alexander Malcomson who forked over the money to get Ford Motor Company started. This also works for guys not named Ford; Justin Bieber was one of several hundred thousand teenagers singing on YouTube videos before a former record exec named Scooter Braun clicked on one of his videos by accident and got him a record deal.

But everyone already knew he was an accident. Hehe.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have guys like Edgar Allan Poe, whose legendary poem “The Raven” earned him… nine dollars. He burned so many bridges he wound up basically begging the public for money before dying at 40.

At some point Poe probably met his George Lucas, but made such a horrible impression on him the guy wouldn’t return his calls.

Chapters include:

I. First Impressions are Really Important;
II. Subsequent Impressions Are Also Important;
III. No, You’re Not Terrell Owens (aka Why Acting Like a Douchebag is a Bad Investment).

#5. Health: How to Stop Throwing Your Money Away on Snake Oil
Go to the drug aisle in your grocery store. In between the pills and the vitamins will be a huge shelf full of herbal supplements that promise to do everything from helping you lose weight to easing joint pain to making your brain work better.

And it’s all bullshit. All of it.

Worse, it’s bullshit that we spend $34 billion a year on, almost a third as much as we spend on prescription drugs that actually do something.

Just to be clear: Scientists have spent billions in government money carefully testing the effectiveness of this stuff. Their results? No, echinacea can’t cure your cold. Gingko doesn’t do anything for your brain, glucosamine and chondroitin won’t fix your arthritis. Hoodia gordonii won’t help you lose weight.

Don’t get us wrong; we completely realize that lots of the drugs we have now were once naturally occurring in plants and that it is therefore possible that out there, somewhere, is a leaf yet undiscovered by science that will cure your diabetes. But if so, these jerkoffs in the grocery aisle aren’t going to be the ones who find it.

They’re scam artists.

They’re so sure their supplements don’t do anything they don’t do any actual quality control to track how much of the supplement is in each pill. They just throw a little bit in there and shrug. Aren’t they worried about people accidentally overdosing? No, they’re not. They know you can’t overdose on a placebo.

All they’re doing is “curing” ailments that either naturally go away on their own (colds, joint pain) so you wind up falsely attributing the relief to the supplement, or they’re claiming to cure conditions that are hard to quantify (see supplements for “alertness” or “stress relief”). Snake oil salesmen have been getting away with that technique for thousands of generations.

Students, we’re counting on you to make sure that ours is the last.

Chapters Include:

I. Pharmaceutical Companies Are Dicks, But at Least They Use Scientists;
II. Why Hippies Have Never Discovered a Single Disease Cure;
III. “Homeopathic” is Another Word for Voodoo Bullshit;
IV. Just Go See a Doctor You Big Baby.

NOTE: Weight Loss supplements will be explored in-depth in…

#4. Health: Why Losing Weight Requires Some Amount of Suffering
First of all, know that some people are naturally thin. They often skip meals just because they forgot to eat, and/or enjoy hobbies that involve burning calories as a byproduct–basketball, cycling, whatever. They’ll never be fat and they’ll never have to think about it. They’re excused from this class.

This course is for the rest of you, who will spend your life fatter than what our society considers ideal, and who will forever be uncomfortable in your own skin as a result. You’ll spend many dollars on bullshit exercise equipment that promises to make working out “easy.” You’ll jump on diet fads, eating a bunless hamburger with a knife and fork one week, eating nothing but cabbage soup the next.

Each and every one of these will fail (the success rate for dieters over the long term is close to 0 percent) because they’re all based on the utterly false premise that you can lose weight without ever feeling sore or hungry or some other negative sensation. It is not possible.

Students, imagine that in front of you is a castle. That’s where you want to be. But surrounding that castle is a moat, full of piranha. The only way to get into Sexy Abs Castle is to swim across the moat and let the little fish painfully chew off hunks of fat. The real situation is exactly like that, only the swim will take years.

Your body will get really mad at you when you try to lose weight, because it thinks you’re starving to death. You have to go into any weight loss plan knowing that you will suffer, and just have to man up in preparation for it. Otherwise, just live with it. Being fat isn’t the end of the goddamned world.

Chapters Include:

I. Hunger is Fat Leaving the Body;
II. Eating Three Square Meals a Day Will Absolutely Make You Fat if You Sit in a Chair All Day;
III. Have You Considered Walking Instead of Driving;
IV. How to Dress in Ways That De-Emphasize Your Fatness

#1. Social Studies: Life is Hard and You Will Die, Get Over It
We’re not foolish enough to think one semester of this course can deprogram years of Hollywood bullshit. That’s why we make this a daily class, that continues from K through 12.

Many of you will get very depressed in your 20s, and some of you will stay that way the rest of your lives. Over the years your garage band will break up, you career dream will fall through, a girl will break your heart, you’ll be unhappy with your body, you’ll lose your parents, your favorite pet will die, you will endure at least one very terrible injury that requires hospitalization and breaks new boundaries for what kind of pain you thought was possible.

The reason why this will lead to depression, where it may not have done so for an equivalent person 200 years ago, is because you were raised on illogical stories where things always work out for the main character for utterly arbitrary reasons. Han Solo can shoot straight, but none of the bad guys can–even though they train more. John McClane beats the terrorists because he has toughness and perseverance–something the bad guys lack, even though they should be equally desperate. If a guy and a girl are right for each other, they always wind up together, careers and geography and personal hang-ups be damned.

Here’s the problem: these fantasies were created by adults, as a means of escape from the real world. You, however, have been watching them since you were five–for most of us these were our first impressions of how the adult world works, even if on a subconscious level. You had no context to realize they were bullshit. It sounds frivolous, but that doesn’t change the fact that some of you reading this will not survive the long process of learning how different the real world is.

If it helps, try to remember that you’re still one of the one percent of humanity that was born in a time and place where there is such a thing as anesthesia.

Chapters Include:

I. You Can Die at Any Moment, Get Over It;
II. Required Reading: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy;
III. Roleplay Exercise: Various Scenes from The Road, by Cormac McCarthy;
IV. Yes, It Takes 10,000 Hours to Get Really Good at Something, But At Least You’re Not Scavenging Through a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland.

This is of course just a sampling of the curriculum at the Cracked Institute for Higher Learning. If you would like to suggest additional courses, please post them in the comments.

Chapters Include:

I. You Can Die at Any Moment, Get Over It;
II. Required Reading: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy;
III. Roleplay Exercise: Various Scenes from The Road, by Cormac McCarthy;
IV. Yes, It Takes 10,000 Hours to Get Really Good at Something, But At Least You’re Not Scavenging Through a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland.

This is of course just a sampling of the curriculum at the Cracked Institute for Higher Learning. If you would like to suggest additional courses, please post them in the comments.

Read more:


5 Things You Wouldn’t Believe Aren’t in The Bible

15 Nov

As a predominantly Christian people, Westerners, and Kenyans, think they know the Bible pretty well. But not everybody realizes that many of the most iconic features of Christianity were never mentioned by the holy book or the church, but were actually pulled from the ass of some poet or artist years after God turned in his final draft of the Bible.

Things like …


The image of an angel is so recognizable that you can immediately spot one if somebody makes its shape in some snow. They’re sparkly people with two white wings and occasionally swords, who sit on clouds ripping out awesome harp solos while protecting humans from harm. So basically, the protagonists of the next Stephenie Meyer novel.

The Only Problem Is …

Now, there are angels in the Bible. But if you encountered some of the angels it describes, you’d probably need a shotgun under your bed to sleep soundly for the rest of your life.*

*NOTE: that is a joke. If angels turn out to be real, and you encounter one, do not shoot it with a shotgun.

There are several kinds of angels in the Bible and you’ve probably heard about some of them, like archangels, cherubim and seraphim. They all look different, and very few actually have wings. Those who do, like the seraphim, actually have six wings and need all of them to cover their body, lest they blind/incinerate whoever is unlucky enough to bump into one.

Then we have the cutest order of angels, the cherubim. As we all know, a cherub is a baby angel, usually with a little bow and arrow and a leaf protecting his modesty. Except that Ezekiel 10:14 describes them as frightening four-headed monstrosities that included the faces of a man, an eagle and a lion.

Actually Came From:

Painters took liberties when portraying angels, and just like putting capes on superheroes, giving them wings was a visually interesting way to identify who was the angel in a painting full of regular dudes (wings were also used in the early church to denote that these creatures lived in the sky). Archangels like Michael and Gabriel were given contemporary military garb.

Cherubs in particular didn’t get their extreme makeover until Renaissance sculptors revived the ancient practice of putti, which depicted cute babies dancing and playing around on infant tombs.

Lastly, the thing about the harps was actually invented by John Milton who wrote about angels “plucking harps” in Paradise Lost, basically just because it was the cutest thing he could pull out of his ass.

#4. The Devil is red and has horns, a pitchfork and goat legs.

The devil, also known as Satan, Beelzebub, Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness, Mr. Scratch, Old Nick and Al Pacino, is the cloven-hoofed, pitchfork-wielding, red-skinned, horned king of hell and founder of the metal genre of music. He’s also a gambler and a businessman, willing to make bets or contracts with you and grant you wishes/musical abilities in exchange for your immortal soul.

The Only Problem Is …

Not one inch of that is in the Bible. Anywhere. Not even the goatee (and this is a book where every other character has a goatee. Or at least we picture it that way).

So what does Satan look like in the Bible? We don’t know — he’s never physically described except when he visits Eve as a snake, and some think that the snake in the Garden of Eden wasn’t actually Satan anyway. Other than that, he’s just a disembodied ghost-voice, kind of like a really evil Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Actually Came From:

Medieval artists who wanted to portray the devil visually had to take a bit of artistic license, generally drawing whatever seemed evil at the time. No single source is responsible for the common depiction of Old Nick, but he picked up bits and pieces of his traditional costume as time went on, like a hipster trawling dozens of op shops over the course of a month.

Speaking of hipsters, what about that pitchfork? It’s really a trident, a popular accessory of the Greek and Roman gods. The horns? Possibly a hand-me-down from animal-worshipping religions that Christianity didn’t like. Scholars believe that Satan got his goat-legs as recently as the 19th century during the Romantic period, when neo-paganism came into vogue and a lot of writers, poets and artists started talking up the Greek goat-god Pan as a source of their inspiration, a claim about which numerous panties became quite tightly knotted.

As for the devil’s famous habit of gambling with people’s souls, that’s not canonical either. Though his job is to tempt people to sin, he never grants anybody miraculous powers. We have an old German legend to thank for that. The legend of Faust, made popular later when it was dramatized by Christopher Marlowe, tells the story of a doctor who gets bored and decides to strike a deal with Lucifer in return for knowledge, converting the devil from the Prince of Darkness into a shady snake-oil salesman.
#3. The Holy Grail

The cup that Jesus drank out of during the Last Supper is the ultimate lost treasure, having become a slang term for anything long sought-after or world-changing. And while the Indiana Jones franchise seems to think drinking from the legendary cup will grant you eternal life and heal gunshot wounds, the exact kind of magic powers we can expect to obtain when we find it is a matter of dispute.

Also, there’s the question of whether it’s a cup, a bowl or, as Dan Brown speculated, a holy vagina.

The Only Problem Is …

If you try to find the story of the magical cup in the Bible, you’ll wind up flipping around confused, thinking you’ve got an abridged version or something. While the Bible does mention Jesus using a cup during the Last Supper, the cup itself is not treated any more importantly than anything else in the scene. It’d make just as much sense to say the table itself is holy, or the chairs, or the menu, or the leftovers, or the tip.

Actually Came From:

The Holy Grail was first invoked just as a plot-driving device in the legend of King Arthur. Even then, the item that Arthur’s army sought was not Jesus’ cup at all — it was a magic cauldron. Since cauldrons were used quite often at parties and Celtic sleepovers, having a magic cauldron would come off today like a plate of fries that never ended or a bottomless beer keg.

It was the French poet Chretien de Troyes who reinterpreted the Arthurian legend as a quest for the Holy Grail. And even then, the Grail was not a cup, but rather something resembling a really nice serving dish.

No, it was another poet, Robert de Boron, who planted the Jesus-cup story in the world’s consciousness. According to his (quite fictional) masterwork Joseph d’Arimathe, the cup was used by Joseph of Arimathea to collect Jesus’ blood and sweat after his crucifixion.

It was his possession of the Grail that granted him the Jesus-powers to survive his own death and burial, and then for some reason he delivered it to Britain. This provided not only the first description of the Grail as Jesus’ cup, but also an explanation as to why the hell we’re looking for a piece of Israeli tableware in goddamn England.
#2. The Anti-Christ
Type “Is Obama” into Google and one of the top three suggested searches will always be “the Antichrist?” If the Web had existed in Ronald Reagan’s day, you’d have gotten the same result for him and (likewise for Mikhail Gorbachev).

So clearly there is a huge chunk of the world waiting for someone to come along and fulfill the old biblical prophecy: A charismatic leader will fool the whole world, rise to power, institute a worldwide dictatorial regime and (finally) bring about the Apocalypse. There exist entire religious sects who keep a sharp eye out for the smooth talking sign of the End Times who will trigger the destruction of everything we know and love.

You skeptics can laugh, but know that many Americans who vote in 2012 will be doing it based on which of the two candidates is least likely to be the Antichrist.

The Only Problem Is …

The Antichrist is mentioned only four times in the Bible, and each time he’s described the same way:

“Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the Antichrist.” (2 John 1:7)

Yep: The Antichrist is anyone who doesn’t believe in Christ. The “anti” is basically being used the same way it’s used when we say someone is “anti-war.” So anyone who wants to accuse Richard Dawkins of being the Antichrist is actually entirely correct, and what’s more, he’ll agree with you.

Actually Came From:

There are characters in the Book of Revelation who will help usher in the End of Days: for instance, there is a False Prophet, who looks like a lamb and talks like a dragon (figuratively, we’re assuming). And then we have “The Beast” from Revelation 13, which is described as “coming out of the sea” with 10 horns, seven heads, 10 crowns and other body parts that do not even resemble a human body accidentally.

The beast is who is associated with the number 666, by the way. It wasn’t until the second century that some dude named Saint Irenaeus started calling it the Antichrist, borrowing the term from another part of the Bible that wasn’t referring to it. But even that did very little to change the fact that The Beast would have a hell of a time getting elected to public office since it looked like … well, a @#$%^&* beast.

It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the Antichrist was portrayed as a guy rather than a huge multiheaded monster. Thus the Antichrist, as a figure in pop culture and cheap-shot accusation was born. Countless novels (like the worldwide bestselling Left Behind series) and movies have helped push the concept to where it is today.

So to summarize, millions are awaiting what they believe is the fulfillment of an ancient biblical prophecy that is in reality cobbled together from at least three different characters from the Bible, with a little bit of Rosemary’s Baby for good measure.

#1. Hell: Everything other than the fire

Hell is a place of eternal torment, a realm of unrelenting suffering for all sinners, heretics and unbelievers. It is a land of fire and brimstone arranged into nine circles and filled with imps and demons who deal out cruelly ironic punishments for all of eternity. Ruling over all of it is Satan, who probably sits on a throne made of skulls or something.

The Only Problem Is …

Of all that, the only part you’ll find in the Bible is the fact that Hell sucks and that there is fire (from passages like Matthew 13:42: “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”)

And … that’s as specific as it gets.

Actually Came From:

As usual, artists and writers took those vague descriptions and ran with them. The understanding of hell as a fiery subterranean cavern full of lava and demons shoving flutes up your ass for eternity owes its popularity largely to the medieval double-team of Dante and Hieronymus Bosch.

Dante’s Inferno popularized the idea of hell as a nine-level first-person-shooter. He pioneered the concept of contrapasso, the idea that prisoners of hell are subject to ironic tortures related to the sins that brought them there. Like the “flatterers,” who spent their lives bullshitting, and were forced in hell to “wallow in shit” for eternity.

Then the Dutch artist, Bosch, came along and painted it.

As for Satan being the ruler of hell, that’s a misconception we can probably blame on John Milton. In Paradise Lost, Satan famously bitched: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.” But there’s a reason why God cast Satan and his minions into hell instead of Wisconsin: Hell sucks for everyone including imps and demons. According to 2 Peter 2:4: “God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into chains of darkness to be held for judgment.”

That’s right, chains and prisons … for them. No iron fortresses, no fiery thrones, no mention of Satan ruling the cell block … all of that is from the Bible’s extended universe and fan fiction.

5 Famous Inventors (Who Stole their Big Idea)

15 Nov

From the guys at Cracked:

It has become clear that it’s up to the Cracked staff to re-educate the world. See, we slept through high school, so we were lucky. We avoided the years and years of brainwashing that accompanies a standard education.

To those of you unfortunate enough to have been subjected to a lifetime in the public school system, we’ve got some bad news for you that you probably won’t find in your text books: Every brilliant inventor you’ve ever loved is a huge, thieving asshole.

#5. Galileo Galilee

Galileo Galilee or “Gal-Gal,” as he is more commonly known, was an Italian astronomer, physicist and mathematician. If you asked the average high schooler what Galileo’s lasting contribution to science was, they would most likely reply “the telescope” before going off to listen to their Rihanna records and play with their… (What do high schoolers do these days? We don’t even know anymore). Well, put down that Digital Monster, high schooler, because we are about to blow your mind: Gal-Gal did not invent the telescope. Also, Rihanna sucks.

Who Actually Invented It?
While everyone was probably looking up at the stars, no one was doing it quite as hard as Dutchman Hans Lippershey. In 1608, Lippershey completed the first ever telescope and attempted to receive a patent for it, but was denied for no discernible reason.

A few countries over, when Galileo heard about Lippershey’s work, he quickly built his own telescope in 1609. A telescope, it should be noted, that could see just a little bit further than Lippershey’s.

Necessary? Not particularly. Emasculating? Oh, you betcha. While Galileo never registered a patent for his telescope, the fact remains that his name is synonymous with the telescope, while Lippershey was most likely absent from your old textbooks.

In a final shot to show just how fairly each scientist was rewarded, four moons surrounding Jupiter are named after Galileo, and do you know what carries Lippershey’s name? A crater. A fucking crater on Earth’s moon will forever be known as Lippershey’s Crater. The Moon’s Ass Crack.

#4. Alexander Fleming

Sir Alexander Fleming is the name people think of when penicillin is brought up. There’s even a charming little story that goes along with it. According to the legend, Fleming’s father saved a little boy from drowning in Scotland, and the father of this boy vowed to fund the young Fleming’s education to repay the kindness. Eventually, Fleming graduates med school and discovers the healing nature of penicillin which eventually saves Winston Churchill’s life when he is stricken with pneumonia. And who was the little boy that Fleming’s father saved in the first place? Winston motherfucking Churchill.

This would all be very cozy, if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s total horseshit on several counts. For one, Churchill wasn’t treated with penicillin and, for another, Fleming wasn’t the guy who discovered it. He was just some asshole.

Who Actually Discovered It?
Difficult to say. North African tribesmen have been using penicillin for thousands of years. Also, in 1897, Ernest Duchesne used the mold penicillum glaucoma to cure typhoid in guinea pigs which, OK, was about the stupidest waste of time in the history of science, but proof that he understood the possibilities of penicillin all the same.

Other scientists at the time didn’t take him serious, due to his age and strange preoccupation with guinea pigs, so he never received a patent for his work. He died about 10 years later from a disease that would have been completely treatable with penicillin and he was survived by his healthy, yet totally indifferent guinea pigs.

Even when Fleming did accidentally discover penicillin years later, he didn’t think it could actually be used to help anyone, so he stopped working on it and moved on. Meanwhile, a few other scientists, Howard Florey, Norman Heatley, Andrew Moyer and Ernst Chain started working on penicillin and eventually mastered penicillin as well as figured out a way to mass produce it.

So even though Fleming wasn’t the first person to discover penicillin, and even though he didn’t actually believe penicillin was in any way useful, he will forever go down in history as a penicillin-inventing, Winston-Churchill-saving genius.

#3.  Alexander Graham Bell

Ah, Bell. The man behind the telephone and a good guy all around. Bell spent a whole lot of time working with deaf people. His wife was deaf, his mother was deaf and he was even Helen Keller’s favorite teacher. With this time-consuming near-obsession with deaf people, it’s amazing that Bell found time to invent the telephone. Wait, not “amazing.” “Impossible.” That’s the one.

Who Actually Invented It?
In 1860, an Italian named Antonio Meucci first demonstrated his working telephone, (though he called it the “teletrofono,” mostly because Italians are wacky). Eleven years later, (still five years before Bell’s phone came out), he filed a temporary patent on his invention. In 1874, Meucci failed to send in the $10 necessary to renew his patent, because he was sick and poor and Italian.

Two years after that, Bell registered his telephone patent. Meucci attempted to sue, of course, by retrieving the original sketches and plans he sent to a lab at Western Union, but these records, quite amazingly, disappeared. Where was Bell working at this time? Why, the very same Western Union lab where Meucci swore he sent his original sketches. Eventually, Meucci died penniless and faded away into obscurity.

Did Bell, given his convenient position at Western Union, destroy Meucci’s records and claim the telephone as his own invention? It’s difficult to say. One source says “Yes, definitely,” while others just say “probably.” It makes sense, if you look at the facts: Bell already had a number of important inventions under his belt; it isn’t unreasonable to assume he just got greedy and didn’t want to see anyone else succeed. Further, why would Bell even need a phone? Both his wife and mother were deaf. Who the hell was he gonna call?

#2. Albert Einstein

According to all of your science books and that one episode of Animaniacs, Albert Einstein, Time Magazine’s Man of the Century, invented the theory of relativity. Certainly, when you hear the name Einstein, you undoubtedly will think “He discovered relativity” or “He came up with that E=mc2 equation” or “He was a total sex maniac.” Only one of those things is true. (It’s the sex maniac part.)

Who Actually Invented It?
Henri Poincaré, mostly. Poincaré was the foremost expert on relativity in the late 19th century and was most likely the first person to formally present the theory of relativity. If you were Einstein and you wanted to write about relativity, you might consider meeting with the foremost expert on relativity, yes? If you answered “yes” to that question, then you’re not Einstein at all.

According to Einstein’s famous On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, which contains his theories on relativity, Poincaré, despite publishing 30 books and over 500 papers, is not worth mentioning. It’s true, pick up Einstein’s paper if you don’t believe us, (you won’t): Poincaré doesn’t receive a single reference, unless you consider plagiarism to be some kind of indirect reference. As a matter of fact, Einstein does not reference, footnote or cite a single goddamn source in his entire paper.

Really? Not one source? Even we cite sources, Albert, and we’re friggin’ Cracked. What the hell?

We don’t want to jump to any conclusions here. Maybe Einstein’s paper didn’t contain any sources because he genuinely didn’t read any other current physics texts or papers. Maybe he was seriously that smart. According to Peter Galison’s Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time, Einstein and a small group of his fellow nerdlings formed a group called The Olympia Academy and would regularly gather to discuss their own works as well as the works of current scientists. The book goes on to specifically mention how Poincaré was one of the scientists that Einstein and his battalion of nerds would discuss.

Shoots that whole “maybe Einstein didn’t read any other papers” theory right to shit, doesn’t it? It’s interesting that Einstein sat studying and discussing the work of Poincaré for years, published a book that featured a theory that was startlingly similar to Poincaré’s, and then didn’t reference Poincaré once in the entire book. Wait, that isn’t interesting? It’s plagiarism. It’s total bullshit plagiarism. Good luck sexing your way out of this one, Einstein.

#1. Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison. The “Wizard of Menlo Park.” Described as one of the “world’s most prolific inventors” with a record-breaking 1,093 patents to his name. You know, a guy could round up and kidnap a buttload of children and keep them forever, but would you call that guy the “world’s most prolific father?” No, of course not. A “soulless monster,” maybe. A “skilled thief,” if you’re being generous. Perhaps even the “King of Pop.” But you wouldn’t call that guy “the world’s most prolific father,” because those aren’t his kids. He stole them. Such is the case with Thomas Edison.

Sure, Cracked’s staunchly anti-Thomas Edison stance is already fairly well documented, but we’re afraid one article detailing what a prick this prick was just isn’t enough. Edison is still celebrated in schools across the country for inventing the light bulb, the motion picture, electricity and a shit-ton of other important crap he had very little to do with.

Since there literally isn’t enough space on the internet to cover all of the inventions that Edison didn’t invent, we’re just going to focus on the light bulb today.

Who Actually Invented It?
Everyone else. We all know how Edison exploited and took advantage of the poor, but brilliant Nikola Tesla, but who else did Edison step on? Sit back.

Plenty of people messed around with the idea of the light bulb, (Jean Foucault, Humphrey Davy, J.W. Starr, some other guys you’ll never read about in a history text book), but Heinrich Goebel was likely the first person to have actually invented it, back in 1854. He tried selling it to Edison, who saw no practical use in Goebel’s invention and refused. Shortly thereafter, Goebel died and, shortly after that, Edison bought Goebel’s patent, (you know, the one he saw no merit in), off of Goebel’s impoverished widow at a cost much lower than what it was worth.

Screwing over just one inventor might be alright for Galileo, but Edison was a dreamer and he couldn’t be satisfied with just one, dead disgraced inventor under his belt. So, after Goebel, and a year before Edison “invented” his light bulb, Joseph Wilson Swan developed and patented a working light bulb. When it was clear Edison’s “Fuck Swan” defense wouldn’t hold up in court, he made Swan a partner, forming the Ediswan United Company and effectively buying Swan and his patent.

Soon enough, Edison acquired even more power and bought out Swan completely leaving all records of the light bulb under the care of the Edison Company. Sure, Swan had money, but in buying all of the records, Edison could take sole credit for the light bulb. So, he’s got a laundry list of inventors he’s either stepped on, bullied, exploited or bought out to his name, but what do they say about Edison in the textbooks? Father of the fucking light bulb.

Partying for A Good Cause

2 Nov

If you’re going to party, it might as well be for a good cause. Last week’s gig at Sin Bin was a success, so we are doing it again this week. Youth for Kenya presents: Thursday Thriller.

A night of fun, networking, patriotism. There will be interesting raffle prizes to be won and part of the proceeds go to charity. Come along and bring your friends.

Venue is Sin Bin Sports Lounge in South B, at the SouthGate mall. This Thursday the 4th of November 2010, starting at 6 p.m and going on till very late.

On Face Book the link to the event page is:


Better Days

2 Nov

Been holding this pain inside for so long
Though the rain never goes away…

They say I should leave these streets behind me
But it’s so hard to escape

Oh lord please send me an angel
To lead me out of this place
Take me away,

Far away,

To better days

First thing I want to do is say what up to T.I.
King of the south now everybody see why
I’m just driving and thinking how I survived here
And I ain’t seen Dre and Eminem in five years
That sounds Shady right?

I live a crazy life
So many black thoughts I had to paint the Mercedes white

I could tell you about the rims, but I ain’t here for that
Going out like Big and Pac, I fear for that
Take this lambo and put six holes in it,
Shatter the glass and leave my body exposed in it
Lift the doors up and let all my demons out

And I can see my brother now cause that’s what I’ve been dreaming about
I ain’t thinking about bitches and pulling beamers out
I’m thinking about my daughter’s safety every time they leave the house

I know how to make it out the hood, I’ve seen the route
And here’s the proof, me, Venus and Serena out

I’m sitting on these stairs at this church about to start a verse
And somewhere in the world somebody about to start a hearse
Tell me who inside it?

Whose son is that?
And how he get there now tell me whose gun was that?
I ain’t saying confess

Definitely ain’t saying snitch
But if you killed the nigga, help his mamma dig his ditch

I’m from a hood were niggas gotta keep their gun cocked
And kids wear Dre beats to stop the sound of gunshots
But at least they got the Dre beats
Cause kids in africa ain’t even got shoes on they feet

And I’ve seen it with my own eyes
At the same time I’m picking flies off my own eyes
Can you feel that?

If you can hear them buzzing
You can feel the pain in Mike Tyson and his baby mother
They lost their baby daughter and she was only three
She never got a chance to blossom on the family tree

We got a new president and I love that he black
But I’mma ask him like Bush, where the soldiers at?
Now move the camera to New Orleans where the soldiers at?
The water dried up well nigga do you know your clap

We all juveniles, we all been through some trials
And some tribulations, I’m in this booth pacing
What do I say next should I talk about some cars
Or the next chapter of my life and show you all my scars
Or my bullet wounds, and my stab wounds
I can’t show you I covered them up with tattoos
I can’t do nothing but spit the truth

On probation smoking, drink patron before I hit the booth
You making songs for the club when niggas drinking
I’m make them for the ride home, when niggas thinking
One minute you here, next minute shit is tragic
And this a Jim Johnson track now feel the static

Been holding this pain inside for so long
Though the rain never goes away…

They say I should leave these streets behind me
But it’s so hard to escape

Oh lord please send me an angel
To lead me out of this place
Take me away,

Far away,

To better days.

%d bloggers like this: