The Ratcar is Awesome, Kinda Gross

Another genius/disgusting scientific breakthrough is careening your way: Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed a motorized system they call “Ratcar,” which is controlled by electrodes in Master Splinter’s motor cortex that read his brain and respond accordingly.  Suck on that, PETA!

The researchers first implanted electrodes in the motor cortex of each rat’s brain, and then trained it to tow the contraption around while the motor was turned off. Next the rat was suspended beneath the car so that it could only lightly touch the ground, and couldn’t actually move the robo-car with its limbs. Then the car was switched to brain-reading mode and researchers watched to see if the rat could control the car’s movements with only the pulses from its motor cortex.

“We wanted to develop a brain-machine interface system aiming for future wheelchairs that paralyzed patients can control only with thought,” says Osamu Fukayama of the university’s Medical Engineering and Life Science Laboratory. “RatCar is a simplified prototype to develop better electrodes, devices, and algorithms for those systems.”

Discover Magazine

How could they possibly call it anything besides the “RatMobile”?? Is there no love for cheap puns anymore? Anyway, sounds like a solid cause, but c’mon, we Americans know what this thing will really be used for: Lazy fatasses like myself who tire of pushing the accelerator buttons on our Rascals.  I may have legs but YOU CAN’T FORCE ME TO USE ‘EM. And have we discovered which region of the brain is responsible for milkshake cravings? If you could hook that up to my blender, that would be great.  But maybe we should leave rats out of the testing phase for this one…

ASU Challenges Duke as Top University for Women’s Studies

See, Karen Owens, there’s no need to worry about that whole “Fucklist” ordeal, the Internet has already moved its microscope onto some other jackass! Elizabeth Hawkenson has become today’s queen of the Intertubez, after appearing in an amateur “audition” porn for the site BackroomCastingCouch, in which she used her real name AND showed her student ID from Arizona State.  The initial uproar concerned revoking her $32,o00 scholarship to the University, as seen in the below reader email from Boston Barstool Sports

Arizona Board of Regents 2020 N. Central Avenue Suite 230 Phoenix, AZ 85004-4593 RE: Elizabeth A. Hawkenson (Copperas Cove, Texas), 2010 ASU Freshman Class Distinguished Regents, I am writing to express my shock and horror at the public conduct of a member of Arizona State University’s 2010 freshman class, Elizabeth A. Hawkenson of Copperas Cove, Texas. This person recently appeared in an internet video in which she identified herself by name, showed her ASU student ID card, then proceeded to engage in explicit and degrading sexual activities with a stranger. She was paid for the act and signed a waiver allowing the video to be posted on the internet. As an ASU alumnus, I object to Ms. Hawkenson’s choice to identify herself as an ASU student in a pornographic video that is available to the general public. I feel that which clearly violates the ASU Student Code of Conduct. On behalf of my fellow ASU alumni, I demand that Ms. Hawkenson’s $32,000 New American Scholar Award be revoked immediately. A young woman who brings shame on her university in such a public and degrading way does not deserve the financial support of that university. Yours Sincerely, Anonymous ASU Alumnus BostonBarstoolSports

Random message boards all over the Web are now claiming that she has been expelled.  Well, WAY TO GO, ASU.  Man, you blew this one (no pun intended).  First of all, ASU is already known as the biggest party school in the country, so nobody’s taking your academic credentials any more seriously for kicking this chick out.  And unimpressive as the curriculum is, this wannabe-pornographer was still doing well enough in the classroom to hang on to her scholarship and probably graduate, at which point she would likely go on to do something OTHER THAN PORN with the rest of her life.  She’s obviously short of cash, not only relying on the school’s financial aid also but banging out strangers to pay for Ramen Noodles.  Now what does her future hold?  Well she still doesn’t have that degree she wanted, and she has even less money now.  I’d bet the farm on “straight back to porn before she gets any older.”

She’s gotta feed the monkey, man.

Anderson Cooper to Michigan Assistant AG: There’s Something a Little Queer About Your Behavior

Before everyone gets their panties in a twist, this guy has every reason to campaign against, and not-so-covertly stalk University of Michigan Student Council President Chris Armstrong.  The late-night selection at the cafeteria is a COMPLETE waste of time, and anyone who actually wants to eat that pizza is quite obviously a racist Nazi liar.

But seriously, am I wrong or is this guy 100% giving handjobs in the confessional booth every Sunday before dusting off his finest “GOD HATES FAGS” sign and heading to Armstrong’s dorm room? Throughout this whole interview I was just waiting for Anderson to give this poor bastard some advice and say, “If you like him, tell him you like him!”

How is it possible that I’m a worthless nobody and this guy is among the top 10 most important decision-makers in the great state of Michigan?  Dios mio, mang.  Hard to imagine he can even get any work done from inside that closet.

P.S. Just want to remind everyone that just because you have a right to say what you want doesn’t mean you’re not being a complete and total jackass.  In fact, if you ever have to point out to someone else that you’re within your rights, chances are 95% that’s exactly what’s going on.  I can just see this guy getting inches from Chris Armstrong’s face going “I’m not touching you!”

So Duke is the Best Place to go to College

We all know the lacrosse team knows how to party.  So their choice of stripper was a little misguided, but come on, their hearts were in the right place.  Anyway, some mediocre broad who builds her sense of self-worth solely on the attention of men decided the best way to spend her 4 years of higher education would be to create an incredibly detailed account of all the “scientific research” she did hanging out at a place called Shooters and going home with whichever horny Blue Devils laid the best line on her for 4 years.  And the Internet thanks her by (obviously) spreading the 42-slide Powerpoint presentation all over the damn place, complete with subjects’ real names and likenesses.

Memorable Moments [with Subject 7]: Hooking up on Subject 4’s couch, as he lay sleeping ten feet away.  The quote: “I just want to come all over you.” The Subject successfully (and accidentally) marking his territory with reproductive fluid on the couch, in the exact spot that [subject 4] sat upon his reentry (to much general amusement).  His dirty talk (his voice is actually incredibly sexy). The randomness of the entire encounter.”

You can check out Jezebel for a woman’s perspective, but they’ve redacted all the names and faces.  So if you think you might know some of the poor bastards who’ve been outed for their small weiners and lackluster attempts to bring da noise and/or funk, head over to Boston Barstool Sports to see the PPT in its entirety.

That’s her up top, by the way, on the left.  Meh.  Seen better, seen worse.  But in the eyes of many men, mediocre + DTF = 9/10.  I guess it just reinforces the Seinfeldian theory on female sexuality.

For women, sex is like the garbage man.  You just take for granted that anytime you put some trash out on the street, some guy in a jumpsuit’s going to come along and pick it up.

-Jerry Seinfeld

Some people are concerned about gender discrimination because of the fact that this broad has sullied a lot of men’s, citing the fact that if the roles were reversed, and a man was objectifying and ranking women, no one would think this was funny at all.  Remember that New York Times article about how high school freshman drafting fantasy teams of girls they wanted to hookup with? Caused a fuckin outrage over the “Dangerous Swagger” of high school athletes.  So add to that actual encounters, followed by the public release of all the incriminating details about the innocent underequipped garbagemen involved.

But who really cares about whining about someone else’s problems? Douchebags, that’s who.  The real issue is this bitch does not know how to tell a story at all.  I mean she’s a big enough whore to get banged by all the LAXers and baseball players at Duke, yet she somehow finds a way to make it all completely uninteresting??  You need to set the mood for your reader, honey.  Quit the clinical bull and give me some imagery.  Tell me about the soft candlelight at the restaurant black light at the frat house, the complexity of the merlot tequila you’re sipping puking up at Chez Quis Shooters, while a gentleman fratboy approaches to tell you you’re beautiful ask, “so you want my D?” Phewf, I’m getting all hot and bothered already.  Slap a portrait of bare-chested Fabio on the cover and you’ve got yourself a national best-seller.  Maybe throw in a few vampires just to seal the deal.  And for Pete’s sake, woman, how dare you forget the golden fucking rule of the Internet – PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!

Attention New York/Bean Towners: Freakonomics Movie Sneak-Preview Tonight, Pay-What-You-Want Pricing

The freaks over at table 9 Freakonomics have decided to run (what else) a little pricing experiment, and are offering a screening of the new movie with a pay-what-you-want pricing scheme.  So if you’re looking for a way to get rid of all those pesky pennies and nickels, why not put on your finest mustache and go to a quasi-intellectual screening to see some entertaining research projects coming to life?  There’s hookers! And crack!

Interstingly enough, co-author Stephen J. Dubner has already fuxed with some of the early data and found that 18 people have already paid the maximum of $100; about 10x the average ticket (the movie can be rented on iTunes for $9.99).  He hasn’t said how many people paid the minimum of $0.01, but being just one-thousandth of the average $10 ticket, it only takes 1 purchase at that price to offset 10 at $100 and bring that average right back down to earth.  And knowing that the price of movie tickets is actually high enough to prevent me from going to see films that I’m interested in, I’m going to have to take the obvious answer and go with the under $9.99/ticket for this experiment.

I am guessing most of the $100 payees thought they would be the only person to do so, and would therefore show up in the data set as the sole high-roller. Sorry, folks.

It does remind me of something that happened in college. I had a brand-new girlfriend, Sandy, and we were planning to go to the movies one night, along with a friend of hers. Sandy told me that if you showed up at the movie theater in town (this was Boone, N.C., with only one theater) with a $100 bill, they’d let you in free because they never had enough cash on hand to make change.

How could you not be attracted to such a clever girl?

So I went to the bank, drained my account and walked out with a crisp $100 bill. That night at the movie theater, the cashier took my $100 bill without a second glance, gave me three tickets and gave me back the change. Sandy smiled. I did too. She wasn’t clever in exactly the way I thought, but she was clever nonetheless.

Freakonomics Blog

Cities that can check the movie out tonight are Boston, Cambridge, Mass., Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.  No reason not to, people, YOU CAN PAY A PENNY.

Maybe the theater should try a pay-what-you-want plan for food.  That way I can enjoy a film without spending $30 on nachos.  Come on, you HAVE to get that extra cheese.

Jobs: I’m a Little Busy Being God Right Now, Please STFU

Over the weekend, some whiny girl who wanted some comments from Apple so she could write a killer article on the use of iPads in academia got an iSock stuffed her mouth when Jobs responded, “Please leave us alone.”

She needed the company’s input for an article she was writing on the topic.  But her repeated phone calls and voicemail messages to Apple’s media relations department went unreturned.  So she wrote to Jobs himself. “The completion of this article is crucial to my grade in the class, and it may potentially get published in our university’s newspaper … I have called countless times throughout the week, leaving short, but detailed, messages which included my contact information and the date of my deadline. Today, I left my 6th message, which stressed the increasingly more urgent nature of the situation. It is now the end of the business day, and I have not received a call back. My deadline is tomorrow,” she wrote.

After Jobs replied that “Of course, she naturally went on to blame her problems on other people, just like everyone else in this country.  She wrote that Apple was hypocritical for being a company that does so much for students (presumably the thesis of her article), yet doesn’t “responsibly handle the inquiries of professional journalists on deadlines.”

Thankfully, Steve Jobs’s sense of self-importance is pretty spot-on and he replied:

“Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.”

Awesome.  Hilarious girl thinks that the face of modern American entrepreneurship should write her paper for her.  She could probably even avoid failing out of school if he manages to give her few quotes that could make her article worthy of a D+.

sjobs@apple.com: “We have over 300 million users and we can’t respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry.”

Chelsea Kate Isaacs: “I AM one of your 300 million users…Please, I am on deadline.”

sjobs@apple.com: “Please leave us alone.”

-All quotes from abcnews.com

Ironically, by being a bit of a jerk, El Jobso seems to have spoon fed her a far bigger story than she ever would have written otherwise.  But she’s also an idiot because he told her exactly how to get their attention: claim to have an issue with a product.  You have to be creative in this business to get noticed, lady.

Fed Maintains Target Interest Rate, Markets Act Like it’s the First Time They’ve Heard That, Mike Vitiello is Face of Sleeplessness/Joblessness

Gold shot up, the dollar index shot down, and somewhere, Scott Baio staved off foreclosure for another 30 days.  As I astutely pointed out yesterday on the Dylan Ratigan Show, the Gub’ment seems to be basing its approach to recovery on the ol’ trickle-down mechanism.  Unfortunately, that only works when people aren’t coming off of a stern finger-wagging and “See what happens when you don’t save??!” lecture.  Right now, Johnny Small-business Owner is playing it safe, worrying more about staying afloat than bringing other onto his lifeboat.  Obviously, anytime you go through a financial clusterfuck like the one we experienced over the past few years, the natural reaction is to become cautious.  Couple that with the fact that we’ve basically concluded that the shitstorm resulted from everyone in the damn country behaving recklessly to begin with, and you can bet your bottom Yuan the result is going to be a doubley-cautious fear of investing in growth, which has manifested itself in the form of 9% unemployment.

The only way the businesses who have cash are putting it to work right now is by acquiring smaller fish.  And that’s NOT GOOD for the unemployment picture.  It certainly contributes in the way of redundancy-layoffs but also widens the gap between the huge “too fat to fish” mega-corps and American small business – the supposed engine of job-growth.  Think the New York Yankees, whose above average cash flow affords them the strategy of routinely paying-up for low-risk high caliber talent instead of doing their own R&D in the farm system like the Marlins.   What we need is to jump out of this thing like J-Becks and the NL did in 2003 – with some grassroots innovation that knocked the high and mighty Yanks out of their ivory tower.  Now if we could only come up with ideas that don’t involve taking jobs away from us monkeys and giving em to bloodthirsty, illegal Japanese immigrant robots.  THEY DURKA DAAURRR!!

PS – Yes, that’s a Yellow Submarine tie.