Caw II

Posted March 17, 2008 by mtown
Categories: Random Funny Articles

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Another Wittenberg crow-related article I wrote:

I had a terrifying experience the other day.  I was walking from the Hyper-Center towards Ferncliff when I passed a tree filled with roosting crows next to Myers Hall.  I know this is going to be hard to comprehend but right as I was passing the tree, the crow-scaring electronic bell went off on top of Myers and the crows didn’t even budge!  Horrifying I know, but I somehow I managed to keep my composure and make my way down to Ferncliff.  Why was this occurrence so scary?  It’s because this is proof that the crows are evolving!  Think about it from a medical standpoint.  When penicillin was first discovered, it did EVERYTHING.  It destroyed bacteria and viruses, cured diseases, eliminated back pain AND removed tough stains.  Now penicillin is kind of a joke in the microbe community; in fact, most bacteria like it.

“Oh no!” the bacteria will cry, trying to keep a straight face while writhing their cilia in fake agony.  “Not Penicillin!!  Anything but that!  Please, have mercy!”  But as soon as the scientist turns off the microscope and leaves the room, all the bacteria erupt into laughter and high-five each other’s flagella before sitting down to a banquet of penicillin.  Now let’s look at the crows:  During the fall of 2006 the crows were completely terrified of the air cannon. Even though it work well against the crows, it also caused everybody within a two mile radius to either drop to the ground and cover their heads or sprint indoors while weaving back and forth in a serpentine fashion.  But by last fall the air cannon didn’t even cause the crows to flinch.  So Wittenberg implemented the next crow-scaring tactic: the Electric Bell/Shrieking Demon Monkey Recording.  This worked very well at first.  In fact, even I was scared the first time I heard that weird shrieking recording.  But now it appears that the crows no longer fear even that, so what next?  What if these evolved “Super-Crows” begin breeding with America’s normal (as in “stupid”) crow population and they begin to branch out?  I can only imagine the horror:  News programs begin broadcasting non-stop coverage and information on the locations of the spreading Super-Crow flocks.  A permanent ban on bird trading between countries is put into place.  Terror sweeps across European nations upon hearing rumors of a villager encountering a crow that did not fly away when it heard a church bell.  Citizens are required by law to shoot and kill any crow that remains in a tree after an air cannon is fired.  Newspaper headlines read, “Bird Flu Outbreak is the Last Hope for Mankind.”  Society falls into turmoil.

But don’t worry, we have a chance to prevent a future like this!  A permanent and entertaining solution would be for the Student Senate to advertise crow hunting as an attractive and fun sport.  Every year once all the students are home for Winter Break, a 3 week “crow season” would open on Wittenberg’s campus.  The best part is that because of the crow’s familiarity with the air cannon, most of them will be sitting ducks.
BOOOOM!!!
Crow #1: “There they go again with that air cannon.”
Crow #2: “Haha yeah.  Hey Steve, want to fly up for a few seconds and pretend like we’re scared?  Steve?  Why’d you fall to the ground Steve?”
BOOOOM!!!

Some nitpickers might point out that this plan isn’t exactly environmentally friendly, but we can counter this by sending the dead crows to Antarctica to become food for seals.  Everybody wins!  Remember, we aren’t doing this for ourselves;  we’re doing this for our children.  Do you want your kids to live in a world where every morning they wake up in fear, dreading to look outside and see their car carpet-bombed with bird droppings?  I didn’t think so.

Intro to “Caw”

Posted February 29, 2008 by mtown
Categories: Random Funny Articles

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The following is an article I wrote last year for the humor section of my college newspaper. Unfortunately the amazing comedic genius’s at the Wittenberg Torch felt that the article wasn’t funny enough so they rejected it (they’re the same people who rejected my Vista article). Instead they ran another crow-related story about a fake “poopiest car” contest that was so terrible that many of the papers, so ashamed of the drivel that was printed on them, spontaneously combusted in a merciful attempt to prevent more people from reading it.

Anyway, here’s the background required to understand the article. During the Fall and Winter months, thousands and thousands of crows come to roost in the trees on Wittenberg’s Campus. They have done this for hundreds of years and were roosting there before the school was even built (apparently the contractors decided the location of the school during the summer and were not aware of the Crow Swarm). So during the cold months, thousands of crows will sit in the trees around some of the dorms. Every morning starting around 6, they will begin to caw. This will go on until maybe 9:00 A.M. and then all of the crows will fly away to god knows where. Than at 9:00 at night, they will return and start cawing again until sometimes 1 or 2 A.M. If you’ve ever wanted to see a massive flock of birds, just come to Wittenberg University’s campus during the winter. Feel free to kill a few if you’d like, they won’t be missed.

Here’s the article

Caw

Posted February 29, 2008 by mtown
Categories: Random Funny Articles

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If you are like me, there’s nothing you enjoy more then waking up every morning to the calm, soothing sound of about 700 screeching crows, but recently they have become an annoyance. Occasionally, instead of waking up at 8:00 every morning, I would like to sleep in to maybe, oh, about 4-5 PM, but the crows seem intent on preventing that. Back in the fall when the crows first arrived, it was kind of cool to see whole trees covered with them. But now, “Cool, look at all the crows!” has turned into “Oh damnit, they’re BACK!” Back in the middle of November, I was already ready for the crows to move on and was expecting one of the following to happen as winter approached:

A: It would get cold, and the crows would all leave

B: It would get cold, and the crows would all die.

Any one or combination of the options above would have been fine. Instead, the crows chose option C: Hang around through the winter and annoy the hell out of everybody. For some reason they chose the trees around Myers Hall as their official squatting grounds.

I’m not sure if people in other dorms get to experience the joy of this, but every morning starting at around 6:00, the crows start singing (and I am using “singing” in the sense of “hellish screeching”). What are they talking about? There can’t be that much information for crows to talk about for hours on end; crows are only about as intelligent as the average hamster or State Representative. My guess is that they just tell each other, “It’s cold!” over and over, occasionally agreeing with another crow (“yeah, it IS cold!”). It’s not just a constant noise either; after a while the cawing starts to die down, and just when you are about to fall back asleep, about half of the crows have an amazing epiphany and realize that – get this – it’s cold! Then the feel the unquenchable urge to loudly explain this amazing fact to all the other crows around them, and the loud/quiet cycle begins anew. Closing the window helps, but in Myers, you have two options: You can either have the window cracked and have a comfortable room filled with the loud noise of crows, or you can shut the window and have a uncomfortably hot room with only the muffled sound of crows.

One time my friend, (who for the sake of protecting his privacy, will only refer to as “Cory Shoemaker, room 101 Myers hall”) got so fed up with the crows he grabbed his trombone (everybody has a trombone, right?) went outside, and started blaring it back at the crows. I have actual video footage of this, but I have not shown it to anyone yet for several reasons. One reason is that the entire video is pretty much just a black screen, because it was about 1:00 in the morning, and all you can hear are the crows, a few trombone blasts and the occasional, “DIE you damn crows!” and then maniacal laughter. Another reason was I was afraid that our mental health would be put into question. I have to admit, the trombone worked pretty well and the crows abandoned their trees for about two minutes, but eventually they all came back. That actually wouldn’t be a bad job; walking around campus, scaring crows out of the trees with a trombone in an attempt to get them to stay away for good. The only downsides would be getting pooped on by hundreds of birds, and of course looking like a complete lunatic striding around campus blasting a trombone.

Speaking of poop, you may have noticed that the sidewalks between Myers, Hollenbeck, and the Science Center looks kind of like some crazed, abstract-expressionist artist’s painting. This is because crows, just like other animals and some people living in the Deep South, do not care in the least where they poop. I thought geese at golf courses were bad, but they have nothing on these birds. If some sort of sellable product could be made from bird poop, tuition at Wittenberg could be cut in half. Then and only then will I put up with these crows. Until that happens, I’m going to carry a trombone.

“Oooh somebody responded to my presentation review! I wonder who it wa-OH CRAP SHE READ IT!!!”

Posted February 25, 2008 by mtown
Categories: Random Funny Articles

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I’ve always had this weird scenario running though my head; What if I lived in a country run by a malicious dictator?  And then what if I wrote or said something bad about the dictator and later found out that he read or heard what I said?  What would my reaction be?

I think it would be, “HUUAHGGHUPTTHT!”

At least that’s what I did when I discovered what Kathy Moore, an artist who gave a presentation at my college, read a review I wrote poking fun at her presentation.  I was sitting in the science building’s study hall eating breakfast and checking this blog using my laptop when…  “Oh somebody commented on my last post!  Wow she wrote a lot, who is she?  …Kathy MoorHUUAHGGHUPTTHT!”  That last part was me inhaling my milk.  In cartoons if something surprising happens when the character is taking a drink, they violently spit it out, but apparently in real life you just inhale whatever you are drinking and almost die.

Here is my response to Kathy:

Your paintings were all really well made and I liked pretty much all of them (except for a few of your self-portraits –  some had super-intense eyes that seemed to stare into my soul, but maybe that’s what you were going for).  Your perspective paintings with the planks and boards running everywhere were very cool, especially how you could see both the ceiling and the floor in the painting.

However, I was attempting to write a humorous article so I played off the fact that at least 50% of your paintings or drawings had some kind of 2×4 plank of wood running through it somewhere.  The paintings were awesome, but saying something like, “Kathy used long wooden boards in most of her paintings to help make her extremely accurate use of depth and perception more prominent” is not funny.  Saying something like, “I really liked Kathy’s paintings of wooden planks, especially the first 229 of them,” or, “If the 2×4 industry ever goes into recession, Kathy Moore could single-handedly bring it out of decline just by re-purchasing all of her still-life materials,” is funnier.

As for Abstract paintings…   I used to like them.  Most abstract paintings look cool or interesting, but then I realized that the artists were selling them for more money than the last 5 generations of my extended family have made in their entire lifetimes combined.  A few years back Dateline, 60 minutes, 20/20 or some other news show ran a program where they had 4-6 year old kids take a paintbrush and flick paint at a canvas.  They then took the “paintings” to professional art appraisers but didn’t tell them that they were made by kids throwing paint around.  The art appraisers thought the paintings were amazing and priced them at several million dollars each.

So because of this I have an innate dislike towards abstract paintings.  I mean if I knew I could paint two slightly-tilted rectangles of different colors and then sell it for billions, I would have done that years ago!  In fact, I think I did paint that years ago!  In kindergarten.  But I made the mistake of sticking it on my fridge instead of taking it to an art museum.

So there was nothing wrong with your abstract art and you have every right to show it off as an example of variety if you want to, but in the back of my head I was thinking, “So did she have a design plan behind that painting or did she just flick paint at the canvas like those kids did?”  But that’s just me.

So sorry if I hurt your feelings Kathy.  I was just required to write a review of your presentation for a class and I tried to make it funny.  Then I posted the review on my blog because my blog was starved of material.  Then you read it.  Didn’t see that coming.

And if anyone else has the opportunity to see Kathy’s work, please go check it out.  It’s really good, especially if you like perspective or have a general liking of wooden boards.  Oh and while you’re there, check out her super-intense self portraits; you’ll feel like the eyes of God are looking deep into your soul.  You’ll know what I mean when you see it

This next one I call, “Wooden Plank-strewn landscape #172…”

Posted February 13, 2008 by mtown
Categories: Random Funny Articles

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The following is a response paper that I wrote for my Photography class. The presentation I saw was given by the artist Kathy Moore at my University.

Note: Kathy Moore is probably an excellent artist who really knows her stuff. I’m pretty confident that if I compared the best drawing or sketch I’ve ever done to a finger painting that Kathy Moore made when she was 3, her fingerprinting would be several times better than my best effort. However, since (A:) I have no interest in paintings, and (B:) I was trying to be funny, the article comes off kinda harsh. So if you ever happen to read this Kathy, haha I was just kidding! Not really!

“Like any hard working and responsible student, I walked into the artist talk last Monday without doing any background research on the artist whatsoever.  In fact, I didn’t even know what her name was; All I knew was that there was some sort of presentation thing starting at 4:00 and that I was supposed to be at it.  It turns out that the artist’s name was Kathy Moore and she had won several awards and art shows with her work.  One of the first things that I noticed about her photographs was that there weren’t any.  Kathy was apparently a painter and was not involved in photography in any way.  This was disappointing because I don’t know anything at all about painting.  If she was showing off some photographs I would be able to talk to people around me and make statements like, “Notice how she used a low aperture to narrow the depth of field?” and “Her use of a contrast filter really brings out the color in that moose’s left nostril”.  Instead I was reduced to asking those around me things like, “What does “Contay” mean?  Is it a certain color of crayon?”  Kathy paints and draws a variety of different ways.  She does charcoal drawings, pencil sketches, abstract paintings, color still-lifes and self-portraits of herself with scary eyes.  The subjects of many of her still-lifes seemed to be big piles of junk mostly consisting of 2×4’s or planks of wood.  While these chaotic still-lifes were interesting at first, after what seemed like the 37th wooden-plank-filled scene it kind of became uninteresting.

Another issue I had with the presentation is that if you were not very educated in the painting or art show world, you might as well have been listening to some squirrels chatter.  For example, most of the presentation sounded like this to me:  “For this still life I combined blank and blank techniques along with blank strokes in a blanky manner.  I like its blank style and how the blanks contribute to the blank.  This piece won the blankest blank award at the National Blankity-blank Blank-Blankington Art Show.”  All the “blanks” were words or terms that I had never heard of before.  These words and terms were apparently vital for understanding what the heck she was talking about.  Other than not knowing the terms, the only other thing I did not like about her presentation is the fact that she showed off some of her abstract paintings.  For some reason a lot of people really like abstract paintings, but to me they just look like an extremely sick person sneezed on the canvas.  Bragging about your abstract-painting-abilities is kind of like saying, “Well I might not be able to paint photorealistic pictures, but at least I can hold a can a paint and trip towards the canvas several times in a row!”  Besides, the abstract paintings did not fit in with her other paintings at all so I feel that it would have been better if she had left them out.

In conclusion, the presentation made me feel out of place and confused.  Most of her paintings and drawings were very nice but none of them really interested me, and not being able to understand half the things she said didn’t help.  Seeing that she’s won several awards, a lot of people must really like her work.  Oil painting and charcoal drawings are just too much for me, I’ll just stick to coloring books.  Just as soon as I find the Contay-colored Crayon.”

I would link pictures of Kathy’s work but I was unable to find any on the first page of google images so I gave up

Ever need to hide something? Just Staple it to a Video Game Manual

Posted October 29, 2007 by mtown
Categories: Computer/Games Stuff

Tags: , , ,

Recently I had the sudden, random urge to play the Sims 2. I bought the Sims 2 a little after it was released and also own two of the current 113 expansion packs available for it. I had uninstalled it from my computer so I would have more space, so I was going to have to re-install all 7 or 8 disks.

I popped in the first CD and began the installation, only to have the game ask for the CD key. Of course, the CD key was not on the CD itself. It wasn’t even on the game box or CD case. It was on the game manual. Now anybody who owns several video games will tell you buy a video game, 3 things almost always happen.

Step 1: You open the box
Step 2: You read the manual
Step 3: You lose the manual forever

I had taken step 3 about 2 years ago, so there were about an infinite number of places that it could be located. Game Manual Technology (GMT) has dramatically increased over the last few years, so much that the newest game manuals are actually biological lifeforms, and as soon as you open the box they will jump out and skitter across the room, looking for a place to hide. I suspect that government officials hide their top-secret documents by simply stapling them to a video game manual and setting it on their desk, confident that in a few minutes the manual will be gone, never to be seen again.

Normally when I open a new video game or appliance box, I take the following measures:

1. Grab the manual
2. Put glue on the back of the manual
3. Stick the manual to some cardboard
4. Staple it a few times, just to be safe
5. Use a Nail gun to nail the cardboard to a sheet of steel
6. Weld the sheet of steel to a rectangle column granite that I had piledrived into the underlying bedrock and anchored there with 16 concrete blocks.

Now most people reading this are probably saying things like, “That’s way too much effort for something like a game manual” and “You can’t weld steel to granite” and so on, but thats the price you have to pay nowadays to keep a manual safe. However, when i bought the Sims 2 I followed the “read manual then lose it” method, so my manual was nowhere to be found.

After hours of searching and hanging up “Lost: Sims 2 game manual” posters around the neighborhood, I gave up. I suspect that in 3000 years, explores walking through ancient mine shaft in Africa will find a crumpled booklet of paper on the ground, and they will all stand around asking each other what “The Sims 2” is and exactly how the hell it ended up in a mine shaft in Africa.

When I was putting the Sims 2 CD #1 away, I noticed that I was also somehow missing the 4th CD, so I wouldn’t have been able to install it anyway. If anybody is willing to donate a Sims 2 CD #4 and a non-lost Sims manual, please let me know. Also before you send it, please make sure to secure the manual in a small straightjacket and put it inside a vacuum-sealed bag.

On the Road to Vista

Posted October 8, 2007 by mtown
Categories: Computer/Games Stuff

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Remember to keep you eyes on the road; you don’t want to crash. (rimshot)

Unless you have been living in a drain sewer for the last 5 years, you probably know that Microsoft has released its new operating system, Windows Vista. Microsoft announced its plan to release Vista several years ago under the catchy slogan;

“Windows Vista: Welcome to the Future of CompERROR 005: SLOGAN NOT COMPATIBLE WITH VISTA.”

The announcement was met with an Uproar of Approval from the public, followed shortly after by a Groan of Frustration when the public realized that it had not saved the document that it was typing when the power went out. Vista gained even greater publicity when its “Speech-to-Text” program was given a public demo test. Everybody watched in awe as the spokesman “Steve” asked out loud for the computer to type, “Dear Grandmother, how are you doing today?” and the computer responded, “Steve, you don’t have a grandmother. She died 2 years ago.” This was immediately followed by a little animated paper clip popping up and stating, “It looks like you are having some trouble accepting this loss. Would you like me to find a 4-step program to help you overcome your grief?

Haha, of course something this interesting or cool did not happen. Instead, when asked to type “Dear Grandmother, how are you doing today?”, the computer typed something along the lines of, “Deer Gram Cracker, I has a school bus for dinner todayyychnnng..,,!$3^v”. Microsoft called the demonstration a “complete success” and quickly renamed the program, “Speech-to-Garbled-English.” Over the coming years new Vista features were introduced to the public, each more fascinating then the last. One of these features allow you to “parade” all your open programs and windows by in a little animated flipbook, providing HOURS of entertainment to the easily distracted. This includes me.

Friend: Hey, you working on your project?

Me: No, but come look at this. I opened 250 internet explorer windows. Look at them all flash by! Isn’t that cool!?

Friend: I guess… How much of your project do you have done, anyway?

Me: I haven’t really started… Hold on, one of these windows has what my project topic is. Crap, they’re flashing by too fast for me to read.

Friend: What!? You’ve had 2 months to do it and it’s due in 3 days!

Me: Ok ok. Computer, type “The effects of global warming on the Spiny Lobster population.”

Computer: “Three frets go warm > October *yarg |_0b573r 3.1459”

Warning: Reading the following may make you incompatible

As you are reading this, you are probably dying to run to the store and buy Vista so you can parade your internet explorer windows around. Before you do that, you should download “Windows Vista Compatibility Advisor”. This is a tool that checks all your hardware and programs installed on your computer and lets you know if some of them will not work with Vista. Sometimes a couple minor things will not work; for example, here’s my Compatibility Adviser results:

Windows Vista Compatibility Advisor has found that following programs/devices will not work once Vista is installed:

– Weather-Channel storm warning popup

– Audacity version 1.2

– “Math Blaster: Blast Off to 3rd Grade Math!” Video game

– Your printer

– The paper in your printer

– Your mouse

– DVD drive

– Your secondary hard drive

– Your chair

– Solitaire and Minesweeper

– Windows Vista Compatibility Advisor

So as you can see, there are quite a few important things that won’t work with Vista. I can do without my mouse and printer, but how the hell am I going to learn 3rd grade math without that video game!? There is a little sticker on my laptop that says, “Windows Vista Compatible” but apparently the little sticker is the only thing on my computer that will actually work once Vista is installed.

But don’t let that discourage you! Who needs things like printers and CD drives when you can parade your folders and internet browsers back and forth! Now let’s get to the next step: actually buying Vista.

Gotta Catch ’em All!

Microsoft originally designed Vista as one operating system simply called, “Windows Vista”. However, they realized that they were making it too easy, so they split up all the features and accessories into different versions of Vista. This means you could buy one version of Vista and realize after you install it that it doesn’t have what you wanted, so you have to go buy another version with different features. Microsoft calls this process, “Guess, Check, and then Pay us More Money.” Remember those old Pokémon games where some Pokémon were only on one version, while some were only on the other, so you had to buy both versions in order to have them all? (Because you NEED to have them all, damnit). Well Vista is kind of like that, only much more expensive, plus your Vista features can’t shock each other with lightning or shoot fireballs from their noses. All the Vista versions are listed below, along with their features and cost.

Vista Standard Edition

Features: Has everything except anything that you might consider cool, interesting, or useful

Cost: Low

Vista Business Edition

Features: Watches what you are doing and reports when you are slacking off or viewing pornographic sites to your boss.

Cost: Medium

Vista Millennium Edition

Features: Appears to be good because it has the word “millennium” in it, but it’s actually a trick and nothing works.

Cost: Medium-High

Vista Super-Deluxe Amazing Ultimate Banzai Power2

Features: Uses a potent combination of 3.0GHz processers and OxiClean to quickly perform tasks and remove tough stains. Call within the next 15 minutes and we’ll throw in TWO free copies of Windows 95! That’s a $2.00 value, FREE! 1-800-525-5555

Cost: 37 easy payments of $29.99 Allow 2-8 months for shipping.

Grande Mocha Frappuccino Ristretto Vista Edition

Features: Vista served with a shot of espresso mixed in with chocolate and topped with whipped cream.

Cost: $5.99

Vista 300bit Edition

Features: This is compatibility… It can Dual-Process! Dual-Process…?

THIS… IS… VISTAAAA!!!! This version is so great, it kicks Mac computers right down a bottomless well.

Cost: A mix of loyalty and blood

Vista Quasi Omniscient Omega Edition

Features: Uses the power of quantum computing to bypass normal thresholds of space and time, allowing you to save and print documents before you even write them and receive error messages from programs that haven’t yet been installed. Safety not guaranteed.

Cost: Hundreds of thousands of dollars, plus your soul.

Vista Utter Crap Edition

Features: It’s basically XP, only you give Microsoft more money and most of your programs don’t work.

Cost: Low

Unfortunately due to my budget, I will only be able to afford the Utter Crap EditionTM. The only reason I haven’t gotten it already is because the Vista Compatibility Adviser keeps telling me that several important programs, along with my face and multiple other aspects of my life, are not compatible with Vista. I guess that’s kind of a good thing though; if I had already gotten Vista, I would be too busy parading back and forth through my open windows to write this article! So what are you waiting for? Go to the store, pick up Windows Vista and enjERROR 005: CONCLUDING SENTENCE NOT COMPATIBLE WITH VISTA.