Friday, December 21, 2007

2007: What a Year in Review

January – A Muslim (or Moslem) congressman is sworn in using a Quran (or Koran) once owned by Thomas Jefferson; the TSA immediately adds Thomas Jefferson to the No-Fly list. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announces that although he has no recollection of personally authorizing the firing of federal attorneys based on politics, he will definitely investigate himself. With 0% of the primary returns tallied, the press anoints Senator John McCain as Frontrunner and Foregone Conclusion with all other Republican contenders vying to be his running mate. Hogzilla’s reign of terror over South Georgia comes to a violent end; local residents describe the boar as huge, horrifying, and delicious.

February – President George W. Bush accuses Iran of destabilizing the security situation in Iraq; Iran responds by saying that the U.S. is doing a great job of destabilizing Iraq without their help. Footballer David Beckham arrives with great fanfare in Los Angeles only to discover that the city’s football team moved to St. Louis years ago. Astronaut Lisa Nowak is arrested after driving from Texas to Florida while wearing a diaper in a bizarre space-sex kidnapping plot. When asked if she planned on using the diaper during the trip or stopping for bathroom breaks, she replies, “Depends.” Anna Nicole Smith dies tragically of untreatable celebrity.

March – The Democratic Congress finally stands up to President Bush by funding the Iraq war with no timetable for troop withdrawal. They do include a caveat in the spending bill stating that the President can’t make them like it. An audit reveals that the FBI misused certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act to spy on the Facebook accounts of American citizens. Philosopher Jean Baudrillard dies—really. With 0% of the primary contests decided, TV talking heads unanimously declare former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani as the de-facto Republican nominee due to the events of 9/11.

April – In response to a subpoena for any e-mails from White House adviser Karl Rove, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says he has no recollection of anyone by that name. Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz loses his job as president of the World Bank—not for being one of the chief architects of the disastrous U.S. occupation of postwar Iraq, but for giving his girlfriend a raise. Radio personality Don Imus loses a game of horse against the Rutgers women’s basketball team; he only gets two letters. With 0% of the primary votes cast, political pundits tap Senator Barack Obama as a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination due to his unstoppable momentum and his natural African-Indonesian-Hawaiian-American charisma.

May – Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney reveals that his favorite books are the Bible and Battlefield Earth; John McCain says his favorite books are the Quran (Koran) and Atlas Shrugged; Rudy Giuliani announces that his favorites are the Torah and whatever Christian Scientists read. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claims he has no recollection of getting his job by visiting John Ashcroft in the hospital and tricking him into altering his will. As a direct result of Congress’s boycott of French fries in favor of Freedom fries, the conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is elected president of France.

June – Inspired by America’s plan to bring democracy to the Middle East, the democratically elected terrorist organization Hamas takes over the Gaza Strip. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) urges Congress to finance his proposed "Bridge to Nowhere" because Alaska has less bridges and more nowhere than any other U.S. state of equal size. Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Keith Urban, Robin Williams, Brigitte Nielsen, Richie Sambora, and David Hasselhoff make the news and ensure their continuing celebrity by checking into rehab. Always one step ahead of the curve, Paris Hilton goes to prison. President George W. Bush, facing flagging popularity, reminds the American people that he once went to rehab also.

July – An internet hacker discovers that the CIA has been editing wikipedia entries, but a quick wikipedia search finds no evidence of the existence of such an agency. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales denies having any recollection of the CIA or any other acronym. TV actor Fred Thompson announces that he just might consider declaring himself a theoretical contender for the presidency, possibly. Republican officials immediately enthrone him as the future of the party after carefully weighing the 0% of actual votes cast in the primaries. Bowing to FEC rules, NBC gives each candidate from both parties their own Law & Order spin-off.

August – David Vitter, a Republican Senator from Louisiana, admits to having sex with a prostitute and apologizes for perpetuating the stereotype of the senator from Louisiana who has sex with prostitutes. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigns, saying that he has no recollection of ever being attorney general. With 0% of exit poll results from the primaries in, the nation’s media pronounce that Senator Hillary Clinton’s fundraising prowess will most definitely make her the first female to head the ticket of a major American political party. Former President Bill Clinton smiles and claps politely. Senator Larry S. Craig of Idaho is arrested for attempting to use the bathroom in a homosexual fashion.

September – In response to Turkey’s threats to attack Kurdish separatist camps inside Iraq, Washington reminds its NATO ally that large, complex, socio-political issues can’t be solved simply by invading another country. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the United States to deny the following:
  • The support of terrorist organizations by Iran.
  • The existence of a secret nuclear weapons program in Iran.
  • The existence of homosexuals in Iran.
  • The existence of Israel.
  • The Holocaust.
  • That he is now or ever has been a member of the Communist Party.

October – When asked by Congress about the controversial practice of waterboarding, Michael Mukasey (the nominee for Attorney General) points out that anyone with a computer can look up “torture” on wikipedia and see that waterboarding does not qualify. Al Gore wins the Nobel Prize for inventing the internet. With exactly 0% of the American people having spoken at the voting booth, news outlets posit either Scientologist Mitt Romney or Arkansian Mike Huckabee as the single, solitary, inevitable choice for the Republican nomination due to the fact that they both believe in some kind of Supreme Being, unlike any other candidate of either party.

November – FEMA apologizes for orchestrating a fake press conference about its response to the San Diego wildfires; the agency goes on to say that the fake press conference was still more constructive than anything it did the first week after Hurricane Katrina. Home run champion Barry Bonds is indicted for perjury, quarterback Michael Vick is convicted for running a dog fighting ring, and runner Marion Jones loses her five Olympic gold medals after admitting to steroid use. Experts urge parents to buy more video games for their kids to keep them from developing a dangerous interest in sports.

December – The CIA divulges that it destroyed videotapes of prisoner interrogations by posting them to wikipedia. A new National Intelligence report reveals that Iran abandoned its secret nuclear weapons program in 2003. The report does not address the existence of homosexuals in Iran. President Bush sends Senator Larry S. Craig to investigate. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says he has no recollection of going to the bathroom with Senator Craig. Since the beginning of primary season (and therefore the end of primary season) is right around the corner, Washington insiders, bloggers, wags, and other windbags proclaim that unlike any other election in history, this one is up for grabs.*

*Unless you are John Edwards, Ron Paul, Joe Biden, Alan Keyes, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, Tom Tancredo, Mike Gravel, Duncan Hunter, or Bill Richardson. Then you have absolutely no chance ever, ever. And don’t even think about mentioning a third party candidate. Are you kidding? Having more than two choices is NOT what democracy is all about. It’s in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or something. Maybe the Gettysburg Address. In any case, you don’t want to throw away your vote, do you? Do you?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cold and Flu Season Strikes Back!

Ah yes, as Christmas and/or the Holiday Season approaches, so also lurks the sinister specter of Cold and Flu Season 2007-2008.

But take heart! Scientists are beginning to understand the diabolical mechanisms of this potentially deadly or possibly just annoying duo of illnesses.

As a supplement to our groundbreaking post for last year's Cold and Flu Season, our crack researchers have found the following articles that pretty much tell you all you need to know about how to avoid getting sick:

Cold and Flu germs are spread indoors much more easily than outdoors. Remember that you get sick from people, so always avoid other people at all cost. This article also tells you to bundle up since lowering your body's temperature do to cold hampers your immune response and makes you more susceptible to infection.

Cold and Flu germs are spread outdoors much more easily than indoors. This article highlights new research showing that germs hang in the cold air, so whatever you do don't leave your house. Additionally, a article about this article tells you that dressing warmly is absolutely no protection against getting sick, so let's all party naked in the snow!

For even more internet health information that is even more definitive than this internet health information, check out our previous article Health Info on the Internet: Lethal? If you don't read it, you might already have cancer.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Name That Name

Isn’t it inconvenient when famous people have similar names? I mean, how are you supposed to keep up with your favorite celebrities when you can’t remember the difference between Bruce Jenner and Bruce Jennings, Rod Serling and Rod Steiger, or Liv Tyler and Lili Taylor and Liz Taylor?

Well, we here at Very Little Known Facts have come up with some handy pneumatic devices to jog your memory about who’s who,what’s what, and which one is which!

Sheena Is a Punk Rocker…Or Was it Sheila?

Even the most rabid Prince fans have trouble distinguishing between Sheila E. and Sheena Easton. Here’s an easy way to keep them straight:
  • Sheena E. actually had the last name Estefan—which meant she was the sister of Miami Vice Sound Machine singer Gloria Estefan.
  • Sheila Easton also went by the name Apollonia.

Obama, Osama, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Much has been made of the fact that the Senator from Illinois and official candidate for President of the United States is named Barack Hussein Obama. Any relation to Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein? Not that we know of—but then again, you never can tell.

Mary Carey, Quite Contrary

Although their names sound similar, there really is no confusing the porn star Mary Carey who ran for governor of California and the singer Mariah Carey. But that didn’t stop Mariah from suing Mary, who was forced to change her name to Brittany Speares.

Simply Reds

Many people get Red Skelton, Red Buttons, and Red Foxx mixed up. How can you keep track of these three redheads? Try this method:
  • There was a widespread rumor that actor Red Skelton was so named because he had a red skeleton due to a rare condition. To quell these rumors, in 1996 a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ordered his corpse exhumed, and a post-mortem autopsy revealed that he died tragically of natural causes.
  • Red Buttons was actually just a stage name. He died in 2003 and had no confirmed autopsy.
  • Red Foxx played the role of Sanford and Son on the TV show with the same name. His real name was Red Fox, and foxes have red fur. Ironically, Red Foxx died of a heart attack, just like his TV character. He will be missed by some.

Who Gives a Rip?

Could anyone really confuse the wacky antics of confetti-tossing Rip Taylor with the gravitas of actor Rip Torn? Perhaps. But one way to keep them “straight” is to think of R.I.P. which stands for Rest In Paradise, a homonym often seen on gravestones. You can apply this memory device to whichever one of the two Rips dies first. To make it more fun, perhaps you can start an office betting pool!

That’s a Fact, Jacks

Many people get the popular actor Jack Nicholson and the popular golfer Jack Nicklaus confused because they have similar names. A good way to remember the difference is that Jack Nicholson is the son of Jack Nicklaus.

They Call Me Mr. P.

Actor Sydney Poitier and director Sidney Pollack have both had distinguished careers in Hollywood, but sometimes it's hard to know which one is which. Sidney Poitier is the black one.

He Coulda Been Somebody

Oftentimes moviegoers are often perplexed by the fit, attractive actor named Marlon Brando who starred in On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire and the bald, overweight ham named Marlon Brando who starred in Superman 2 and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Bizarrely, these are the same person!

The Fabulous Baldwin Brothers Boys

How many Baldwin brothers are there? Surprisingly, the answer is several. Here’s how you can keep them straight:
  • Alec Baldwin is an Oscar- and Emmy-nominated actor of screen and stage who was named by People magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. His film credits include Beetlejuice, The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Pearl Harbor. Alec currently plays the boss in the hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock.
  • Daniel Baldwin played a vampire in the movie Vampires. He also played a homicide detective in the TV show Homicide.
  • William Baldwin is Alec’s brother. He changed his stage name to Emilio Estevez to make it on his own outside his big brother's shadow.
  • Adam Baldwin got his big break in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and now stars in the TV show Chuck.
  • Stephen Baldwin followed up his role in The Usual Suspects by co-starring with Pauly Shore in Bio-Dome. Recently he was in that one episode of The Sopranos.
  • Billy Baldwin was in that movie about firemen.