Category Archives: Humor

And now for something completely different. . .

Really, really different. . . and featuring William S. Burroughs, Yoko Ono, Salvador Dali, Ayn Rand, James Joyce, Cthulhu, John F. Kennedy, and many, many more.

Yep, it’s another of those brilliant animations from the National Film Board of Canada, dramatically and delightfully depicting an everyday dilemma.

Click on that gear wheel to ramp it up to the highest resolution you screen will afford and click off that “Annotations” slider to get the full, mind-blowing impact:

Subconscious Password

Program notes:

In this short animation, Oscar-winning director Chris Landreth uses a common social gaffe—forgetting somebody’s name—as the starting point for a mind-bending romp through the unconscious.

Directed Chris Landreth – 2013|10 min

The election’s rigged, says Trump, and many agree

The story and the numbers from The Independent:

As Donald Trump insists that the election will be rigged, a significant portion of voters are convinced that the White House will be “stolen” from the Republican candidate.

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 41 per cent of registered voters believe that Mr Trump could lose the election as a result of widespread voter fraud. The results of the poll fell along party lines as 73 per cent of Republicans and 17 per cent of Democrats believed in such an outcome.

Mr Trump has been unrelenting in his indictment of the electoral process since his campaign descended into a freefall after the release of tapes that captured him bragging about sexual assault in 2005. The tapes worsened a campaign already dwindling from the New York businessman’s lacklustre debate performances.


“The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect Hillary Clinton president,” Mr Trump said at a campaign stop in Bangor, Maine, on Saturday. “We are going to stop it. We are not going to back down.”

And at least one celebrity agrees

That would be Stephen Colbert, who gave his explanation of the conspiracy last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

One Diagram Explains Every Conspiracy Against Donald Trump

Program note:

Stephen brings out the chalkboard to illustrate the multiple connected conspiracies swirling around Donald Trump’s campaign.

Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin trumps Trump

A thing of beauty, from Saturday Night Live:

VP Debate Cold Open – SNL

Program notes:

Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) interrupts an encore presentation of the vice presidential debate between Tim Kaine (Mikey Day) and Mike Pence (Beck Bennett) to address the vulgar comments he made in 2005.

John Oliver nails cops, the nonpublic servants

Back when esnl started reporting in California 50 years ago this month, police records were freely available to reporters in their full, unredacted form, leaving to the journalist’s discretion the withholding of  critical information.

At three departments we covered, the reports were deposited in in-boxes or files, and the journalist could peruse them at leisure.

Similarly, police disciplinary hearings were, at least in some cities, open to news coverage, so reporters could give thorough coverage of alleged misconduct.

No more.

Police incident reports are usually no longer available, and reporters are left dependent on police public relations officers to give a few tidbits.

And police disciplinary actions are never open, and their results are rarely reported — and never in full.

The police and their actions are no longer public, and that should concern us all [and already does if you’re a person of color].

Take it away, John Oliver.

From Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Police Accountability: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Program note:

John Oliver discusses the systems in place to investigate and hold police officers accountable for misconduct.

Graphic Representation: The Masterdebaters

We confess that we didn’t watch last night’s debates, and everything we’ve seen and read today confirms that we didn’t miss much, given that the outcome was precisely what we’d expected.

So we’ll let some of America’s few remaining editorial cartoonists sum up.

We begin with the editorial cartoonist of the Kansas City Star:

Lee Judge: The decisive debate

And from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Mike Luckovich: Fright night


Next, the editorial cartoonist of the Columbus Dispatch:

Nate Beeler: Growing Ulcer

And from the Indianapolis Star:

Gary Varvel: Political messaging

Next, from the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Clay Bennett: The Debate

Finally, from the Miami Herald:

Jim Morin: Whatever you say . . .

And a bonus. . .

Steven Colbert covers the debate.

From The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:

The First Presidential Debate Lives Up To the Hype

Program notes:

At the first debate the candidates delivered plenty of barbs, insults, and one of the biggest lies of the entire campaign.

And now for something completely different. . .

Those Taiwanese Animators are at it again, with two twisted takes on political stories that have the world’s attention.

First up, their take on the American presidential race:

Trump vs Hillary: Trump and Clinton are neck-and-neck in the battleground states

Program notes:

With only seven weeks to go until Election Day, the race for the White House is getting close.

The Clinton camp is now officially in panic mode as her campaign tries to do anything it can to fend off a surging Donald Trump.

Hillary’s lead has been declining for weeks, and now a recent poll by CBS shows her and Trump neck-and-neck in key battleground states at 42 percent apiece.

It didn’t help Clinton when she described half of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables”.

Let’s not forget about her collapsing while trying to get into a Secret Service van at a 9/11 event.

This may help explain why she’s collapsing in the polls amongst black voters too.

And what about Trump’s tax returns? Is his 12,000-page tax return really that complicated?

Well, at least we all have the upcoming debates to look forward to.

And, for them, a story closer to home:

Philippines President Duterte is nuts: Duterte needs to put a sock in it already

Program notes:

President Rodrigo Duterte is putting the country in a rather precarious situation.

An ex-militiaman testified in front of the Senate last Thursday that President Duterte, when he was still a city mayor, ordered him and other members of an extermination squad to kill criminals and opponents in gangland-style assaults that left about 1,000 dead, according to the Associated Press.

Since becoming president in June, Duterte’s anti-drug campaign has left more than 3,000 suspected drug users and dealers dead.

Last week, Duterte also said he would no longer allow joint patrols of disputed waters near the South China Sea with other countries, according to the Philstar.

He also said he was considering buying defense weapons from Russia and China, the Philstar reported.

What will come out of Duterte’s mouth next? Will he follow through on those promises?

John Oliver tackles, destroys charter schools

Charter schools, those private institutions so beloved by Republicans, have been judged and the results are mixed.

One recent study [open source] concluded:

We estimate the impact of charter schools on early-life labor market outcomes using administrative data from Texas. We find that, at the mean, charter schools have no impact on test scores and a negative impact on earnings.. . .Moving to school-level estimates, we find that charter schools that decrease test scores also tend to decrease earnings, while charter schools that increase test scores have no discernible impact on earnings.  In contrast, high school graduation effects are predictive of earnings effects throughout the distribution of school quality.

More on the study from Education Week:

Texas charter schools on average have a negative effect on students’ future earnings, according to a new working paper by two economists.

Although attending a “no excuse” charter school, which the study describes as having stricter rules, uniforms, and longer school days and years, leads to higher test scores and four-year college enrollment, it has no meaningful effect on earnings.

Other types of charter schools, however, stumble on all three measures: hurting test scores, four-year college enrollment, and earnings.

These findings are almost the opposite of another study of Florida charter school students released in April from Mathematica Policy Research. It found that attending a charter school had little impact on test scores, but students went on to earn higher salaries than their peers in district schools.

Enough with the prefacing, and one with the show.

From Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Charter Schools: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Program notes:

Charter schools are privately run, publicly funded, and irregularly regulated. John Oliver explores why they aren’t at all like pizzerias.