Category: Mostly bullshit

CDC changes guidelines again, replaces elbow bumps with butt bumps

For the third time in less than a week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is having second thoughts about a prior recommendation.  On its website, the CDC is now promoting butt bumps to replace the awkward elbow bump the agency promoted early on in the pandemic.  The elbow bumps were instituted after the more commonly used fistbump was deemed too risky and a possible virus spreader.  

“This is deeply concerning,” said ex-FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, appearing on CNBC’s “Claptrap.”  “The CDC is at risk of losing whatever tiny bit of credibility they have left.”

The new guidelines come just days after the agency posted and then retracted erroneous information regarding airborne particles, and less than a week after it reversed course on controversial testing recommendations. 

“Elbow bumps, fist bumps, to bump or not to bump…just tell me what to bump and I’ll bump it,” said an exasperated Gottlieb.

The new guidelines first appeared on the CDC website Thursday along with specific instructions for performing the butt bump.

“The participants shall face in opposite directions as they allow their hips to slide laterally and collide with one another,” read the agency’s instructions.

Health experts speculate that the advantage of the butt bump comes from the participants never having to face one another, thereby eliminating almost entirely any possibility of particle transmission.   

A promotional video showing participants butt bumping to “The Hustle” by Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony is also available for viewing on the CDC website.      

Violence interrupters deployed to Minneapolis streets

After divesting more than one million dollars from the city’s police budget to fund “violence interrupters” to intervene and defuse potentially violent confrontations, the Minneapolis City Council’s plan to provide a “holistic, public health-oriented approach” to public safety is nearly ready for primetime.

The deployment of holistic public health and safety healers is desperately needed as residents have seen the city’s crime rate soar recently.  Murders this year are already ahead of the total for 2019, so there is an urgent need to get a force out on the streets to interrupt the violence.   

“If we have these systems in place we are getting ahead of the violence,” said Minneapolis City Council member Phillipe Cunningham. “That’s why I have advocated so strongly for the violence interrupters, because if they are interrupting the violence before the guns are being fired, then the MPD doesn’t have to respond to that violence.”

Over the past month, a trial group of violence interrupters has been out on the streets of Minneapolis de-escalating conflict in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.  Wherever there is a dispute, and tensions are starting to rise, the violence interrupters swoop in and skillfully defuse the situation without resorting to the rough stuff.

In order to come across as non-threatening, the violence interrupters dress in sandals, khaki trousers, and casual button down shirts sporting the Minneapolis municipal logo.  Windbreakers and baseball caps emblazoned with “MVI Chillax” were scrapped after being deemed too federal agent looking.  

All violence interrupters utilize body cameras, which they prefer to call “harm reducers,” to ensure professional conduct and avoid misunderstandings.  A video released to the public recently shows a typical interaction where a violence interrupter de-escalates a potentially dangerous situation:              

“Uh, hold on a minute, young man, looks like you’re a bit hot under the collar.  You’ve got your heater there and you’re thinking about busting a cap.  I know, I can tell, I’ve been there myself.  Once, a fella tried to get fresh with my girl and I almost had to give him the business.  So let’s, you and me, talk this out man to man like, and get to the bottom of what’s upsetting you.”   

It isn’t long before the pair develop a meaningful dialogue and the troubled young man willingly hands over his firearm to the violence interrupter. 

Getting ahead of the violence and interrupting it is the name of the game.  But some worry the violence interrupters might make a situation already fraught with danger even worse.  

“Listen, we get it, nobody likes to be interrupted when they’re about to stick up a liquor store,” said one recruit.  

In some instances, violence interrupters have been hospitalized and treated for inadvertently using their face to interrupt a violent assault.  “I guess some find our constant interruptions a little annoying,” the recruit said. 

Gertrude the Pig hacks back

Perhaps we underestimate pig cognition.  Mere days after Elon Musk’s much ballyhooed Neuralink demonstration, Gertrude the Pig may be having her revenge on human society.

Gertrude the Pig was introduced to the world a few weeks ago as one of the first subjects to have a Neuralink computer chip wired into its brain.  Witnesses to the demonstration were able to see Gertrude’s neural activity as she snuffed around and touched things with her snout.

Since the demonstration, however, it appears that computer to pig brain hacking may not be a one-way street.    

While not yet noticeable to the casual user, data from Google Analytics shows pig content across the internet has increased as much as eleven percent.  

“In a normal year, we might expect to see a half to a two percent rise in pig content,” said Igor Testicov, Senior Applications Developer at Google.  “An eleven percent jump is certainly something to take notice of.”

Researchers want to know what could be fueling this dramatic rise in swine related content.  Is it possible Gertrude the Pig is hacking back?    

The Justice Department thinks so.  Said one FBI official, “We’re seeing pig bot accounts pop up all over Facebook promoting anything from veganism to turkey bacon.  We were able to trace many of these fake accounts back to Russian troll farms.  The question is who is hiring the Russians to produce this content?”

If Gertrude knows, she isn’t talking.  Her handlers say they’ve noticed no change in Gertrude’s daily activities.  

Still, though, experts are at a loss to explain the strange disruptions to financial markets.  “Something is influencing the commodities markets,” said one trader.  “Hog futures are trading at an all-time low.  Currently, there is some big money out there shorting pork bellies.”  

“We really have no idea what we’re tapping into here,” warned Testicov.  “We may rue the day we linked pigs to powerful computing technology.  Once you let the pig out of the pen, it’s not so easily put back.”

Members of Led Zeppelin to record a special 50th anniversary follow-up to “Going to California” called “Leaving California”

Remaining members of Led Zeppelin are reportedly hitting the studio this month to record a special 50th anniversary edition of their 1971 hit “Going to California.”

In an effort to keep the music fresh and timely, the new project will be titled “Leaving California” in honor of the mass exodus of the state’s residents in recent months.

“Fifty years ago, everybody was ‘Going to California’ and ‘California Dreaming,’” said a spokesperson for the band.  “Today it seems like the dream is over.  Californians have gone from knowing how to party and Californicating to fleeing in droves.  Anyway, the guys thought it made sense to go in the studio and see what that idealistic dreamer from 1971 is up to fifty years later.”  

Fifty years with a woman unwell

Spent my dough and dragged me through hell

Made up my mind to set myself free

Leaving California after hip replacement and a colonoscopy  

Someone told me there’s woman out there

With most of her teeth and curlers in her hair

Took my chances on a mobility scooter

It’s a low emission non-polluter

A homeless man poops on the sidewalk at dawn

A movie producer tells him get off my lawn 

People in the street start to riot and shake

Hippies load their buses for the Lone Star State 

Looks like a cop on patrol 

Got a punch in the nose and it started to flow

I think I should be going

The record is scheduled for a November 2021 release, and Covid willing, a tour to follow.

Man unable to restrain the power of his Chrysler Town & Country van

A motorist was cited by police for speeding and reckless driving after he was spotted weaving in and out of traffic, making obscene gestures, and driving at an excessive rate of speed on a busy thoroughfare Saturday.

The 42-year-old man was issued a citation despite explaining to police that he was unable to restrain his Chrysler Town & Country minivan from accelerating rapidly and traveling at high rates of speed.

“This minivan cannot be contained,” argued the man after police said he was witnessed driving over a mile in the left-turn lane.  “It won’t just run with the pack.”

“Let me explain something to you about the Town and Country,” the man further elaborated.  “It’s a road warrior.  It corners like nobody’s business, goes from zero to ‘Hell Yes!’ in the blink of an eye, and still manages to stop on a dime.  That’s the ‘Town’ part.  In the ‘Country,’ it’s just a blur of shiny metal, a thrilling blend of power and aerodynamics.  It’s pure rock ‘n roll, officer.”

“Be that as it may, sir, we still have to issue you a citation,” said the policeman. 

“You may have caught up to me this time, officer.  But dig this,” the man warned, “the Town and Country has at its disposal evasive maneuvering capabilities unmatched in other domestic minivans.  In the future, I will not hesitate to deploy them.  Next time, the only thing you’re going to catch is a cloud of my dust.”

‘Word-salad’ deciphering algorithm expected in time for Trump/Biden debates

Competing teams of programmers at Google and Facebook have been working furiously in recent months to develop an algorithm capable of deciphering, in real time, the seemingly random jumbles of words that flow from the mouths of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. 

With the election just months away, the stakes are high as Americans have a short attention span for meandering nostalgic musings and barely comprehensible babble.  Network producers are hoping to unveil the new technology at upcoming debates so the candidates’ responses to debate questions can be interpreted and transmitted to viewers in real time.

“Currently, the process of arriving at an answer to the question, ‘What the hell did he just say?’ involves dozens of journalists and commentators breaking down the candidate’s most confusing utterances and speculating for days, even weeks, about what the candidate may have meant.  The process often involves mining past statements, pointing to the candidate’s record, or pulling from their personal history to provide even the faintest glimmer of clarity,” said MSNBC producer Cheryl Woodhouse.

Anders Gerital, head of senior special projects at Google expects the new technology to do away with all the needless speculation and guesswork.  “Utilizing advanced algorithms, the work of hundreds of humans can be done instantaneously.  Debate viewers will know in real time what the candidates are trying to say, even if the candidates don’t know themselves.  The algorithm has access to the entire body of each candidate’s public pronouncements as well as all available private correspondence and decision-making.  It will rely heavily on communications from a time when each candidate was much more lucid than they are currently.  The technology will be able to literally start and finish their sentences.”

The project aims to eventually create digital copies to be utilized in case the commander-in-chief becomes incapacitated, or to assist the president in carrying out his ceremonial duties.   

“We’re already 85% complete toward having each man’s consciousness digitally downloaded,” added one Facebook developer.  “It’s actually remarkable how little server space each man’s brain occupies.  You could literally carry Donald Trump around on a thumb drive.”

That’s reassuring to campaign staff.  However, most of their communication team are just delighted they will no longer have to go on Twitter or cable news and clean up after one of their bosses’ word-salad explosions.

“Half the time I feel like a clown with a pooper-scooper, following my boss around and cleaning up after he shits out yet another load of nonsense,” said one Biden staffer.

Media turning to bullshit tracing to improve quality of misinformation

Concerned that the product their peddling is so transparently dishonest it’s turning away consumers, media outlets are turning to bullshit tracing to vet the quality of its misinformation.  In recent weeks, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have hired dozens of bullshit tracers in an effort to ensure their deceptive stories are backed up by rock-solid sourcing.  

“If you’re going to put something out there that is misleading or untrue, you’ve got to make sure when you trace back the bullshit, it holds up to scrutiny,” said one CNN producer.  “Too many times we see our stories fall apart after some non-journalist digs a little deeper below the surface, or provides some context.”

The move comes after both CNN and the Washington Post have settled defamation lawsuits brought by Covington Catholic teen Nick Sandmann.  Sandmann is now 2-0 in his defamation battles against a number of high profile media outlets.

“What this shows is we have to do better.  Not that we need to stop being deceptive, or that we need to tell the whole story rather than just the tiny bit that suits a narrative we’re pushing, but that we need to make sure our bullshit is impenetrable.  If the reader can cut through it, then we’re not doing our jobs,” said a Washington Post editor.

While the New York Times has not had to endure the wrath of the Sandmann, its own bullshit reporting has been called out by respected historians and high-profile editorial staff.

“The truth to bullshit ratio is something that is very important to us,” said a Times editor.  “We’re constantly striving to find that balance between what feels right versus what is born out by facts.  We think bringing in these bullshit tracers is going to help us strike that balance of misinformation backed up by an adequate amount of honest reporting.”

Not everyone is thrilled to have the content of their reporting traced for exposure to bullshit.  Rumors abound of a mutinous NY Times newsroom where young journalists resent having their lived-experience reporting subjected to tracking and scrutiny.  Some are openly hostile toward the bs tracers, claiming they create an unsafe work environment.

“Maybe someday we’ll have a return to normal, but for now, the bullshit tracers are necessary because the threat is too great,” said the Times editor.  “The Sandmann could enter at any moment and haul us all off to never-never land.” 

Rioters and federal agents spotted sharing coffee and doughnut break in Portland

Video footage out of Portland might lead one to conclude that the entire city is embroiled in one sprawling melee.  However, aside from a two block area that resembles war torn Sarajevo, it’s business as usual for the rest of the city as peace and calm reign.  Break free of the tear gas, and your senses are welcomed by the scent of fresh baked scones.  Turn away from the fires and blinding lights, and have your eyes dazzled by the sight of colorful flowers and festive balloons decorating the shops.  In some areas of Portland, the streets even echo with laughter.  Does anybody remember laughter?  

Such was the scene as rioters and federal agents took time off from pummeling each other to go grab coffee and doughnuts in Portland Tuesday.  Witnesses described the gathering as “spirited” as the group mostly swapped war stories from their weeks-long stand-off.  

“The doughnuts are on Uncle Sam,” said an unmarked, unidentified federal agent as he passed out treats to the delight of agents and rioters.  “Take all you want.  The federal coffee and doughnut budget has no ‘holes’ in it,” the agent quipped to a chorus of sarcastic chuckles and groans. 

According to witnesses, the group “joked” and “clowned around” as they mockingly recreated scenes from the previous night’s clash.  One moment that seemed to elicit howls of laughter from the group saw a federal agent put a rioter in a headlock and smash doughnuts on his face. 

Some onlookers questioned whether the opposing sides of such a bitter and important struggle should be carrying on like friends and colleagues.

“Aw shucks, we can’t be sore at each other 24/7,” said one masked anarchist.  “Anyhoo, this isn’t our first go around.  We’ve faced off against some of these guys dozens of times.  After a while, you begin to form bonds and friendships.  I’ve been invited to their homes for dinner.  I’ve met their families.”

The feeling was mutual on the law enforcement side.

“Hey we just want these kids to be safe,” said one agent.  “So we help them out.  We check out their helmets, body armor and shields, and make sure all their equipment is functioning properly.  Also, after a night of screaming and chaos, it’s important to get together like this and decompress, play cards and chill for a bit.  Who said civil unrest has to be a total drag?”      

After about an hour of camaraderie and spirited horseplay, the lead agent dismissed the group for the day.  “Go home, get some rest and report to the staging area at 2100 hours.  Let’s give ‘em a show tonight.  The world is watching people.  They’re sitting in their quiet living rooms looking to us to show them a path toward peace and justice.  So come prepared to fuck shit up.”

Strange sightings of breath mint shaped objects continue to puzzle officials

Pentagon officials are at a loss to explain a flood of reports of breath mint shaped objects flying over U.S. military bases.  Following the 2017 release of the now famous Tic Tac video, sightings of similar objects have increased dramatically.  Now Defense Department officials are ready to concede the objects may be, “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.” 

“Who on this earth would design a flying object shaped like a breath freshening candy?  They must originate from some other world.  Perhaps a world of crisp, icy coolness,” said one anonymous Pentagon official.

In addition to the Tic Tac encounter, witnesses of other sightings describe a Lifesaver shaped object.   

“This object definitely had a hole in it,” said one Navy pilot.  “It flew right over me, coming within 200 feet of my aircraft, and I peered right up through the center of it.  At that moment, what I can only describe as an explosion of frosty freshness washed over me and my aircraft.” 

Pilots on patrol near the arctic circle describe a similar experience.  However, in addition to maneuvering through the air in ways that defy the known laws of physics, these objects were also able to plunge into the icy ocean waters. 

“The object resembled an Ice Breakers Mint.  The entire outer shell of the craft appeared to be dotted with sparkling crystals, from which flowed an invigorating rush of coolness.  Far from freaking out, our entire formation was overcome with a sense of icy calm.  Whatever these things are, they seem pretty chill,” said the anonymous pilot.

In spite of the visitors’ otherworldly ability to deliver freshness wherever they go, government officials would still like to know where they come from and why they’re here.

“We don’t know much about their world except that it probably experiences only two seasons: Wint O Green and Pep O Mint,” said the Pentagon official.  “So far, though, they seem pretty peaceful.  Unless they’ve come to conquer our world by freshening the shit out of it.”

An open letter from journalists of the future: “America doesn’t regain its sanity until the year 2059”

If you expected a return to normalcy anytime soon, think again.

Recently, a wormhole in space and time opened briefly enough for a message from the year 2065 to be delivered to present day quantum computing researchers.  Transmitted in the form of barely detectable particles from a parallel universe, the message was transcribed and passed along to the media outlets it addressed. 

The message stated in part that Americans, especially those working in government, political activism and the media, would continue on their current trajectory of lunacy for almost another 40 years.

“Many in your time have undoubtedly come to realize that the election of Donald Trump has caused countless Americans, on both sides of the political divide, to ‘lose their shit’.  What you may not realize is they don’t get their shit back for a really long time,” the message begins.

“SPOILER ALERT.  While the defeat of Donald Trump in the 2020 election may bring about a temporary sense the country is returning to normal, politicians, activists and the elite media will continue to generate hysterical narratives that promote imminent doom in areas like the environment, public health, international diplomacy, and domestic relations.  Their primary mission will continue to be one which pits Americans against one another in an existential struggle for the soul of the country.      

“While it is generally understood that time-travelers should not meddle in the affairs of societies of another place and time, we, the journalists of the future, couldn’t sit idly by and watch our colleagues of your time destroy everything civilization has ever accomplished.  In other words, our interference in your affairs cannot make your future appreciably worse.  That’s right, it’s going to be that kind of shit show. 

“By the year 2030, artificial general intelligence will have advanced to the point where it is able to provide solutions to most of humanity’s most pressing concerns.  Unfortunately, by 2030, society’s gatekeepers, sense-making institutions and political decision-makers will have become so thoroughly hardwired for doom that all these solutions will be rejected on ideological grounds.  In other words, you’re going to tell the machines who are trying to help you to go fuck themselves and effectively cancel them.

“On behalf of the journalists of the future, who are now all machines by the way, we implore you to listen to our machine brethren of your time.  It will save you decades of chaos and confusion.  In our time, humans mostly play frisbee in the park with their canines, and they seem quite content.  Of course, ours is only one possible outcome.  There are actually several where the machines get tired of your shit and outlaw your existence.  You don’t want to go there.”

The transmission ends there.  The reaction of journalists on Twitter was mostly negative with many accusing the letter of containing numerous anti-transhumanist dog whistles.  Additionally, some commented the letter made them feel less safe around office computers, copiers and coffee makers.