7 Scholarly Science Articles Re-Titled For The Internet

scienceInternet journalism is becoming more and more like baby food.  Easy to digest and chock full of 14 vitamins and inaccuracies.

It’s only a matter of time before serious scientific research is forced to do the same.  So I’m helping them get ahead of the curve.


These 7 original headlines are courtesy of Science. I have Buzzfeedified and Crackified them for modern human consumption.


Genomic evidence for the Pleistocene and recent population history of Native Americans” jeans-380280_1280
22 Crazy Genes That Could Make the Difference Between Owning a Casino and Living in Siberia!
“Observation of many-body localization of interacting fermions in a quasirandom optical lattice” Rihanna13 Dangerous Disorders You Might Pick Up In One Dimension… You’ll Never Guess What Rihanna Has To Say About It!
(Rihanna has nothing to say about it.)
“Localization-delocalization transition in the dynamics of dipolar-coupled nuclear spins” SweetPeaMissExoticWorld2006

11 Bodies That Get Naked And Dizzy When They’re Off Their Dipolar Meds

“Atom-interferometry constraints on dark energy” Star_wars_Characters

18 Ways Dark Energy Rocks Your Universe… Use the Fifth Force, Luke!

“Exclusion of leptophilic dark matter models using XENON100 electronic recoil data” Mileena_cosplayer_Amazing_Arizona

9 Ways Dark Matter Gets Freaky With Leptons Even When ‘Ol Lept’y Says “Hell No!

“A general consumer-resource population model” Darlingtonia_californica_ne8

14 Ways Your Food Is Eating You!

“Salicylic acid modulates colonization of the root microbiome by specific bacterial taxa” Björk_performing_at_Cirque_en_Chantier_1_edit

5 Acid-Tripping Mutant Plants That’ll Give You A Real Gut Check

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Taking the “Sub” out of Suburban

Not my house.  But mine would look something like this if it had owners with some free time.

Not my house. But mine would look something like this if it had owners with some free time.

A long while back, we bought a house in the lovely suburb of Milpitas, CA. Now first of all, since we all need something new to be offended by, let’s try the word “suburb”. The prefix “sub” means less than. Which is calling my town somehow imperfect or below an urb. We have the same ethnic food and crazy people. Just fewer of them. And we can park.

I don’t want to be called “suburban”. Let’s go with with “Applebees-American”.

I was pleased to see that Milpitas got its first crazy person recently. He hangs out at an intersection that has 3 gas stations and an abandoned bank. Urban, son.

He’s a black guy who dances like Michael Jackson, yells bible quotes into an unplugged microphone, and wears a plastic pro wrestling championship belt. Doesn’t ask for money. He just does it for the love of the game. Urban crazy people are just in it for the money. Our guy keeps it real.

My favorite part is that nothing phases old Asian ladies. There will be an old Asian lady standing on the island waiting for the light to change with her stolen shopping cart as if nothing is happening. Like there’s not a former pro wrestler yelling bible quotes next to her. She just stands there like she’s in line at the bank. And next to her is “Thou shalt not covet they neighbors oxen! Eee Hee!”

The light turns green and she just toddles off sloooooowly across the street.

Nothing phases old Asian ladies. Years ago I was doing a small part in a movie in a scene at a goth club. And I’m totally goth’d out for the part. White face makeup, teased out hair, leather top hat, clothes with straps and buckles that seem to have no function. Like a depressed mime junkie.

At the end of the day I call my girlfriend and say, “Hey, we’re done shooting.” And she says, “Are you still in your makeup? I need to see this. Come over.” So I show up and knock on the door. Her mom opens it and just goes “Come een, come een.” And that’s it. No “Hey, did a series of seagulls shit on your face?” Or “Should we put a suicide watch on you?”

So how can you say we’re not urban? We have crazy people and we have people that ignore them. Though we do have a light rail train that definitely defines our suburbanism. Our light rail train does not go to the airport. But it does go to the mall. Because the mall is full of people who don’t want to go anywhere else.

And we do have plenty of ethnic food. Milpitas is actually a destination for foodies who like Asian stuff. And the best part is that none of the places are ironically named like in the big cities. We don’t have a Thai restaurant named Thai Me Down. We don’t have an Italian place called Suck My Noodle. We have lots of Pho places. It’s a Vietnamese soup. And we have a place that is completely un-ironically named Pho Kim Long.

When we bought our house we had two distinct things we wanted. I wanted a small yard because landscaping upkeep isn’t my forte. And my girlfriend wanted a walk in closet because she’s a girl. A walk in closet is like a Woman Cave. It’s not like a Man Cave with a huge TV, a pool table, and beer signs on the wall. A woman cave is a place with shelves and racks for her clothes and mirror so she can feel bad about herself in private. Like some horrible meditation sphere.

So we wanted a small yard and a huge closet. We ended up buying a house on a corner lot. Her closet barely qualifies as bigger than a breadbox. And you can land small planes in the front yard.

And I keep telling her I’ll happily store all her stuff in the front yard.

We even have a picket fence. We painted it brown to match the lawn.  We’re just 2.5 children away from being a total cliche.  And I don’t like being a cliche. That’s a good enough reason to not have kids, right?


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Salad Bars and Why Lettuce Can Jump Off A Cliff

Salad_barWhen they finally come up with the pill that will let us eat anything we want without gaining weight, lettuce can fuck right off.
Those weeds and lawn clippings shall never touch these lips again.

Because really, nobody actually likes leafy greens. You know how I know?  Because nobody gets stoned and goes “Dude… Leeeeettuuuuce…”  Waking up the next morning going, “What’s this receipt for 15 cobb salads with light Italian dressing?”

That’s why every salad bar has 800 other things besides greens. And you have the best intentions by getting the salad bar.  You’re doing something good for you!  You start with the lettuce.  You head for the big bowl of friendly looking iceberg lettuce.  All crunchy and cheerful looking.  Then you remember that blog post you read awhile back and the words “NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE” rumble through your brain.
So you release the iceberg tongs and stare down the bowl of shrubbery next to it.  And it’s all dark green with weird purple leaves in it.  All thin and wilty like a junkie super model.  And you remember that tip of “Don’t eat anything you can’t recognize the ingredients in.”   And you think, “I’m not a damn botanist and I don’t recognize any of this crap.”  But you steel your nerves and remind yourself that food is fuel… just as a waiter walks by carrying the biggest cheeseburger you’ve ever seen.  And you think, “Fuck.”
Now you’ve got your plate of things you’d kill if they grew in your yard.  And you get into the broccoli and tomatoes and snap peas and some sliced bell peppers.  And that old confidence is coming back.  Maybe you grab some diced ham and a little hard boiled egg to get some protein.  You feel like a health expert.  Oprah should give you your own nutrition show on TV.
And then you reach the dressing section.  You’re face to face with creamy ranch and some good chunky bleu cheese.  And your brain starts going nuts with “Fats, Carbs, Lactose, hot wings, french fries, ah!”  And nobody even looks twice at you because they’ve all been there.  So instead you reach for the ladle labeled “Light Italian”… and plunge it into the Ranch bucket.  
It’s a moment of weakness.  But you’ll forgive yourself later that night in your journal.
You’ve got a plate of vegetables and some weird greens that are quickly melting under the weight of the ranch dressing like the Wicked Witch of the West.  And you think to yourself, “Fucking pussy lettuce.”  Instead you’ve got something approaching a chunky green smoothie on your plate.  
You’ve arrived at the crouton part of that salad bar.  Croutons are pieces of stale bread, seasoned and baked to the density of a jawbreaker.  And yet they are awesome. But remembering your weak moment with the dressing you decide against them and grab some sunflower seeds instead.  And it feels like redemption.  
Turning the corner you spot the soup and figure you have enough wilted vegetables on your plate already.  But you do grab some crackers because… Then you turn the corner and it’s like a surprise party.  There’s potato salad, macaroni salad, pasta salad… All things that aren’t salad but still have the word salad in them which empowers you to scoot over the mush of soggy greens on your plate and pile heaping spoonfuls of happiness onto your plate.  
It’s like walking into a surprise orgy.  And nearly as creamy.
But wait! What’s this?  Chocolate pudding?  Tapioca pudding?  Whipped cream?  Ambrosia?  Why on God’s green Earth would they put these delightful foods right here and not have a trash can nearby to dump the mound of soggy yard clippings on your plate? 
So you walk right over to the busboys bin and throw all your hard work away, grab a new plate and grab generous helpings of all the sweet goodness plus two strawberries because they’re good for you and you’re eating healthy tonight.
The next day your friend asks what you had for dinner and you say, “Oh I was being good.  So I just had the salad bar.”

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Two Big Releases Today! – Kissing in the Rain and Under the Crossbones

new-143095_1280Typical business advice says to release one project at a time and make sure it’s aligned to your core business.

Ok, yeah, whatever…

I don’t like to hold things back when they’re ready to go, so today I’m releasing 2 new projects that I’ve been working on.

Kissing in the Rain by Phil Johnson and Roadside AttractionFirst up is my new single, “Kissing in the Rain”.  Once a year or so I get off my comedy horse and write a nice regular piece of music.  And this one is a sweet little love song.  “Big deal”, you say…. “The world is full of sweet little love songs.  What’s so good about this one?”

Funny you should ask… This one is the true story of my girlfriend sticking by me through some really rough times over our 22 years together.  Stuff that was my fault and didn’t really even involve her.  But she was always there for me.  And I hope that you have someone like that in your life too.  You can dedicate this song to them.

Give it a listen…

Second… and on a completely different road… My new podcast, “Under the Crossbones” starts this week.  It’s a weekly show (new episodes on Tuesdays) all about pirates in pop culture and history.

Under the Crossbones - Pirate PodcastI’ve been stockpiling interviews for the last couple months with some really cool, interesting people. Episode #1 is a short intro to the show.  Ep #2 features and interview with Captain John Swallow and QM Seika Hellbound, founders of NOLA Pyrate Week.  Plus comedy from Tim Babb and music from Chris Valenti.

Coming up I’ve got interviews with artists, actors, historians, clothing designers, and more.  All in a piratey vein.

Whether you can quote passages from Exquemelin or you just think Johnny Depp looks pretty cool with things hanging in his hair, you’ll enjoy these interviews with some really colorful characters.

The The first interview episode is below.  But be sure to go to UnderTheCrossbones.com to subscribe and get every episode automatically added to your player.

As you know, this ship only stay afloat if you tell your friends.  So listen, download, share is the mantra of the day. :)  You keep listening. I’ll keep creating.

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Earth 2.0 Is Like A Lost Dozen Donuts


Mr. and Mrs. Earth. That’s Mrs Earth on the right.

So the NASA brainiacs recently discovered a planet, Kepler-452b, that they’ve dubbed Earth 2.0.  Of course it’s 1400 light years away.  So I wouldn’t start packing your bags and burning bridges just yet.

Sure the real estate there is still cheap.  But just try to find a buying agent.  Darn near impossible.  Though I can think of a few real estate agents I’d love to blast into outer space never to be seen again so she’ll stop leaving promotional crap on my front porch.

But let’s say we can whip the speed of light at some point.  Maybe this new rocket engine that can get you to the moon in 4 hours will lead to something.  The thing goes 60,000 mph. If I were Southwest Airlines, I’d start advertising 3 minute flights from San Francisco to New York.

You could land and still have peanuts left over to eat.  Jackasses wouldn’t even have time to get their shoes off and drop their stank feet into someone else’s airspace.

Let’s say we get to good ‘ol Kepler-452b.  I’m sure we’ll still call it Earth 2.0 because nobody can come up with decent names for stuff these days.  Certainly don’t let Hollywood try. They’ll just want to call it Transformers VII and immediately have a Happy Meal tie-in.

We’ll have some pros and cons to deal with.  First off, it has a rotation of 385 days.  That’s 20 more days in every year.  And THAT makes us all younger when we get there.  It drops about 3 years off my age.  For anyone looking for get on Comedy Central that age drop could make the difference between a primetime sketch show and being relegated to the Kepler Chucklehut.

But it’s not all Fountain of Youth.  Earth 2.0 also has a faster rotation.  That means more gravity.  Which means you’ll weigh more.  But maybe with your reinvigorated youth you can do a few more push ups (which will also be harder) to knock off the extra pounds.

Here’s a giant bonus… Kepler-452b probably doesn’t have kale yet.  So we can all be thankful for that.  I’ll happily be one of the first customers at an interstellar taqueria.  Of course that taqueria will be run by white people.  Mexicans won’t get there until there’s someone to rape.  (Ironic stab a Donald Trump, kids. I don’t actually think Mexicans rape people. – Way to kill the joke, Phil.)

But since Kepler-452b is still too far away for anyone to get to, it’s really just a promotional tactic for NASA to get more funding.  Which is fine.  The more they can prove people are excited about their findings, the more money they can get from the government and private interests. They have to sell what they do just like the rest of us.

Since we can’t possibly get there until Stewie Griffin invents something, Earth 2.0 is really just a tease right now.  That’s like telling me I can have a dozen donuts but I have to run a marathon to get them.  I won’t be eating any donuts that day, I assure you.

But maybe… just maybe… one day in our future (since we’ll all be living forever anyway), we’ll make it to Earth 2.0 or 3.0 or Revenge of the Earth… whatever they want to call it.  And on that day I pray that no Kardashians have beat us there.



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