Archive for ‘Random dumbness’

January 30, 2013

The kinda dumb story of “the cup song”

by Me

Those of you older than 14 may not have heard the cup song, or heard of “Pitch Perfect.” The story of the cup song is simultaneously a wonderful allegory for the power of social media and the future of music, and proof that kids are, essentially, dumb.

From old-timey country ballad to tween sensation, the cup song has gone through some odd iterations — and most of the thousands of little girls currently annoying their parents by banging cups on desks and tables have no idea of the song’s origins.

This is the cup song, as performed by Anna Kendrick in the film “Pitch Perfect.”

That’s cool. But, wait — there’s this band from across the pond, Lulu and the Lampshades, who did an even better version of it, way, way back in 2009.

And, as Know Your Meme points out, the two, too-cute girls from Lulu got the cup beat from a different YouTube video, published more than a year earlier.

But, long before that — like 90 years before — Mainer’s Mountaineers recorded a country tune called “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

Knowing the long and tortured history of “You’re Gonna Miss Me” isn’t dumb, and seeing how social media can turn a dusty, half-forgotten country tune into a tween mega-hit is fascinating. Do kids even care that Mainer’s Mountaineers recorded, nearly a century earlier, what would become a bit for Anna Kendrick on David Letterman? Probably not.

UPDATE: As a few commenters (see below) have mentioned, the cup beat portion is far older than we at Dumb Things previously thought.

The classic show “Full House” featured the “cup game” way back in season three, in 1989, as seen in the clip below.

But before that, Christian singer Rich Mullins played the cup game in 1987 to accompany his song, “Screen Door.”

Probably, though, the cup game is older than that. Was Mullins the first? If you know differently, leave a comment.

January 17, 2013

Will the real groundhog please stand up?

by Me

The complete and utter idiocy of the pagan-esque tradition known as Groundhog Day has grown exponentially. You can’t turn around without smacking a groundhog in his weather-predicting mouth.

We all know Punxutawney Phil, or however the Hell you spell the name of the small town in Pennsylvania with only that one dumb claim to fame. But did you know about Western Maryland Murray?

Groundhog,_eating

How about Nibbles? No?

Well, you must know about Smith Lake Jake, Patty Pagoda, Shubenacadie Sam, General Beauregard Lee and Wiarton Willie.

Groundhog Day itself is idiotic, like Paganism-lite, a way for God-fearing Christians to dabble in a bit of Nature worship on the side. But the proliferation of rodent weather prediction takes the dumbness to a level only the Tooth Fairy could reach.

Each town, and that’s only a small selection, relies to some degree on a rodent for weather prediction and/or tourism dollars.

And it’s just dumb. I mean, look at that a picture of a groundhog.

Look at his face. Cute, you say? I say that’s not the visage of a trained meteorologist. Ol’ Phil in Pennsylvania is only right 39

percent of the time, anyway.

July 25, 2011

For God’s sake, put some clothes on

by Me

As a news site in Florida is reporting a pair of sunbathers crashed on a water scooter and had to get taken to the hospital.

What’s special about that? Well, let’s say the injured couple were going for that full-body suntan.

That’s right, as wesh.com reports, two people were injured in a water scooter accident at Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee.

The kicker: They were both 62 years old.

Now imagine that portly gentelman on the right with two broken arms and bleeding profusely.

Now, let’s go ahead and imagine the scene. You’re an ambulance driver. A call comes on the radio reporting a water scooter crash. You turn on the lights, step on the gas and go. You arrive, you and your cohorts get the gurney out of the back of the ambulance and race to the scene to help and … OH MY GOD WILL YOU PEOPLE PLEASE PUT SOME CLOTHES ON! SHIELD YOUR EYES! AAAAHHHH!!

The unidentified couple were apparently traveling at a speed of about 40 mph when the water scooter they had borrowed from a friend hit a sea wall.

According to the report, the man suffered two broken arms, which means he’ll be wearing something, at least a few casts and a hospital gown (thank God) for a while.

June 20, 2011

Hackers hit dating site with the ugly stick

by Me

Here’s a case where hackers did something positive.

Website hacks have become ever more prevalent these days. Lulzsec, for example, is credited with cracking the CIA’s site (and no, not the Culinary Institute of America) as well as PBS’ website.

If you look like this, don't bother dating at all. Unless you can find an enchanted princess chained to a rock by a dragon and who, therefore, can't run away.

You could make a case that throwing a thorn into the side of national security and public broadcasting is not that nice. But, according to media like The Guardian, among others, a group of hackers infiltrated Beautifulpeople.com and let 30,000 ugly faces in the front door.

In case you don’t know, Beautifulpeople.com is a dating site that relies on no fewer than three mortal sins — lust, pride and greed. In order to be accepted, a potential dater must be rated as beautiful, and the site itself boasts thousands of people rejected for not being pretty enough.

And it doesn’t end there — last year, 5,000 people were kicked off the site after Christmas when they appeared to have gained some weight.

Really.

Then the hackers opened the door.

“We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting,” managing director Greg Hodge told The Guardian.

Upwards of 30,000 “ugly” people were let in the door, many of whom were then kicked out, costing the site tons of cashola.

This is Monica Hansen, Miss Norway. Apparently all Norwegian women look like this.

Oh, by the way, the virus was called “Shrek,” after the animated ogre who proves that looks don’t matter.

Interestingly, it matters where you’re from. Swedes are the most represented nationality on the site, as are Norwegians. Brits, Irish and Americans, apparently, need not apply.

God bless those hackers. Score one for the homely.

June 8, 2011

Connecticut’s mountain lion tweets his banality

by Me

It started with the Bronx Zoo’s cobra, which supposedly escaped.

Then other people — and we must stress this point, they are people — started Twitter feeds for various animals and inanimate objects. Teddy bears have had Twitter pages, as have cats, mice and God only knows what else.

Now the Connecticut mountain lion has gotten into the act.

The debate of whether or not Connecticut is home to mountain lions has raged for years. The Department of Environmental Protection has denied the fact while residents across the state have sworn up and down that the “big cat” they saw was a real, honest-to-goodness mountain lion.

Meet Connecticut's newest social media guru.

But now the DEP has changed its tune — the department issued a statement confirming that a big cat sighted in Greenwich is, in fact, a mountain lion.

And all of two hours later it was sending out tweets. Here’s a sample:

“You said I didn’t exist #DEP but I do – This is my coming out ceremony! ROAR baby!”

Which, we have to admit, is pretty funny.

But, really, who has time for this sort of thing? One imagines some fat, bored journalist, vainly attempting to interject a bit of excitement into his banal existence, and maybe create something viral, too.

But, then, who are we to judge?

June 6, 2011

Pennies as protest — or, 2,500 reasons to get arrested

by Me

News media were abuzz this morning with a report that a Utah man paid a disputed $25 medical bill with pennies, and was subsequently arrested and charged with disorderly conflict.

Really.

Fast fact: When Seal Team Six found Osama bin Laden, he was reportedly discovered with literally tons of pennies, just waiting to drop them on an unsuspecting populace.

No, to be clear, he didn’t just pay with pennies — Jason West (no relation to Kanye, we assume) didn’t take the time to roll them into nice little cylinders. No, he walked in, said something along the lines of “Say hello to my little friends” (we hope), and dumped about 15 pounds of pennies on the counter and floor.

The folks at the medical clinic were flabbergasted, to say the least, more than one shouting, “Oh! The humanity!” before collapsing into piles of gurgling piles of flesh (again, we hope).

And, for this reason, West was charged with disorderly conflict.

As for the pennies-to-weight conversion, we checked. Each U.S. penny (post 1982) weighs 2.5 grams, so 2,500 of them equals about 15 pounds.

We also did a bit of other research: We tried to find out what, in 2011, you could buy with a single Lincoln pseudo-copper penny. To help out all the money-conscious out there, we compiled a list (because it is our lot in life to be a salve to those in need). That list is below:

 

 

 

 

 

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May 26, 2011

Sex offender busted trolling web in public, next to a cop

by Me

There are those who say that sex offenders suffer from a disease. Then there are those who say that child molesters are the scum scraped from the bottom of some primordial tide-pool and deserve whatever genital mutilation they receive.

Whichever it is, the first rule for any convicted criminal should be don’t get caught again. Go straight. Keep your nose clean. Suffer for your sins.

If California authorities can be believed, Robert Nicholas McGuire didn’t follow that advice. A convicted sex offender, he was arrested after allegedly trolling Facebook on an iPad at an Apple store while standing next to a police officer.

Facebook. THE source for child pornographers worldwide.

He had previously been convicted on a child porn charge, as the Huffington Post reports, and was recognized and followed as he walked into the retail outlet in San Louis Obispo.

So, there he (allegedly) is, trolling for child porn on an iPad in an Apple store, and a cop walks up and starts browsing the computer next to him. The cop pulls up a Megan’s Law website which identifies McGuire and provides a photo.

McGuire, not surprisingly, was arrested. There was little question about his identity, after all.

This is akin to a bank robber walking into a Western Union to case the joint while his picture is hanging up on the wall.

If guilty, you can argue that McGuire is scum — or, you can argue that he’s sick. But you can’t argue with the idea that, as criminals go, he’s more Darwin Award than Professor Moriarty.

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May 24, 2011

‘Hey let’s all get together and breastfeed for mom’s rights’

by Me

It sounds like some sort of weird sexual deviant’s idea of a good time, but it’s not.

No, it’s a matter of freedom of expression, and the right to breastfeed any damn place we choose.

As the Valley Independent reported, a mom from Shelton, Conn. was asked to “cover up” while breastfeeding her child at the Trumbull Mall. A security guard, apparently offended by the sight of a naked breast, asked her to keep her private parts, well, private because as we all know, mall cops are the bastions of decency and morality.

If not them, who?

Of course, mall cops are not real cops, so the poor guy didn’t know that the mom was legally allowed to breastfeed, in public.

What else are malls for?

We grant you, there’s a fine line between a bunch of women taking off their tops and running around yelling hoogah hoogah hoogah and a mother breastfeeding her child. It’s a very fine line indeed, but clearly defined by law.

Don’t take our word for it — CLICK HERE for the real skinny on the subject.

The solution? A “nurse-in.” Here’s a quote from the story: “We’re going to go there, we’ll sit down in the food court and we’ll do what’s meant to be done in a food court — feed our kids.”

That’s right, a bunch of nursing mothers are planning a 1960s-style sit-in with added breastfeeding in protest, perhaps, of the antiquated and holier-than-thou outlooks of mall security guards everywhere.

Eight mothers have already signed up to take part in the milk-based protest.

So, what you’ll have is a bunch of young women taking (parts of) their tops off while their infant children make sucking noises in unison.

In the immortal words of Yakov Smirnoff, what a country!

May 19, 2011

CDC warns against zombie attack

by Me

The Centers for Disease Control, is its Public Health Matters blog, has warned against the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, and offered methods of survival.

Really. Here’s what some of what Ali S. Khan wrote for the CDC yesterday:

“The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder ‘How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?'”

The real question is, which is more frightening, zombies or Michael Jackson?

The post goes on to list several common sense ways a zombie apocalypse might be survived, and “double tap,” one of the rules mentioned in the Woody Harrelson flick “Zombieland,” is not mentioned. The CDC tells the zombie-fearing populace to stockpile water, food and first aid supplies, to pick a meeting place and identify emergency contacts among other advice.

OK … so the nation’s top health and safety organization is offering an amusing way to spread the word on what to do during any natural disaster. It’s all a scam — the CDC isn’t REALLY worried about a zombie apocalypse. Khan is just trying to fool us.

“If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation.”

Of course, this does gloss over the only advice one can give in the event of a zombie attack — run. Well, almost. This is #4 on Khan’s list of things to do in the event of zombies:

“When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast!”

But, Ali, there’s no where to run when zombie attack.

May 17, 2011

Planking: The single dumbest fad. Ever.

by Me

If you needed a reason NOT to lay flat in random places and pictures on the web, you’re probably not the swiftest person out there. But now there’s a reason (other than common sense). It can KILL YOU.

What do you say while you plank? "Yay! We're planking!" doesn't seem to cut it. This picture, by the way, is courtesy of the Brisbane Planking Association, which actually exists (God alone knows why).

Various news outlets are reporting that an Australian man in his 20s fell seven floors while trying to plank on the balcony of a pretty tall building. Perhaps he couldn’t lay flay enough, or maybe the wind caught him. The cops aren’t saying. HERE’S what the Christian Science Monitor reported.

But let’s examine the colossal, gargantuan level of dumbness here, piece by piece. Planking in itself is a pretty darn stupid form of entertainment, ranking way above cow-tipping and just below banging one’s self in the head with a hammer. But, as regular old planking wasn’t good enough for those ca-razy Aussies, this dude had to plank at the top of a tall building.

(Warning: Tasteless joke coming). Of course, after he fell he did the planking thing really well. He couldn’t help but to lay flat — really flat.

Sorry.

Brisbane, where this unfortunate tragedy took place, appears to be a planking hub. There’s actually a Brisbane Planking Association. Really. Here’s its logo:

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