According to Fox News, Spot Squad is a new app that allows you to “report illegally parked cars,” but let’s be honest, this is an app for angry people to snitch on anyone who parks their SUV an inch over the line. Full disclosure, I’m the only white guy who thinks “Stop Snitchin’” was our best domestic policy of the past ten years. Either way, here’s how it works:
The reporting process is as simple as taking a photo of the car, which is GPS tagged while optical character recognition reads and records the license plate number, then choosing from a list the type of infraction observed — everything from expired meters to unauthorized parking in a handicapped spot.
Based on the location of the vehicle, the report is automatically sent to the operator of the lot, or local law enforcement if it’s on public property. Then personnel is dispatched to issue a notice, ticket or have it towed.
I feel bad for mall parking enforcement. They’re already making $7 an hour and are looked down upon by all of the shoppers. Now we’re essentially telling them that the obese guy in the Hawaiian shirt riding the Rascal Scooter can do their job using his Galaxy S5. If someone creates an app that stops public urination, these guys will be out of a job completely. Think of the economy, Spot Squad!
Kim Jong Un is always staring off into space, as if his eyes are chasing an invisible butterfly. He cuts his own hair and attended college under a fake name. His age is a mystery and he once claimed to be hiding a magical unicorn lair in North Korea. What I’m trying to say is, distributing copies of “Mein Kampf” to his advisers is probably the least crazy thing he’s ever done. Still, his recent book club selection has raised some eyebrows, because, you know, Hitler. From the Washington Post:
“Mentioning that Hitler managed to rebuild Germany in a short time following its defeat in World War One, Kim Jong Un issued an order for the Third Reich to be studied in depth and asked that practical applications be drawn from it.”
North Korea is a strange place. They don’t allow books, but you can get a copy of “Mein Kampf.” They don’t allow Americans, but they will have Dennis Rodman over for dinner. So they will bend their rules, but only for the craziest people. It’s like if America said women can’t go to school, but oh yeah, our Secretary of Education will be a crack whore from Mississippi.
Erin Brady of East Hampton, Connecticut is your new Miss USA. She beat out the other 50 contestants by looking elegant in her evening wear and not sounding totally retarded during the Q&A. Congratulations, Erin Brady! From People.com:
Brady, 25, will become a spokeswoman for breast and ovarian cancer awareness and travel the world for various charity work.
I caught the very end of the Miss USA pageant. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but apparently all beholders think alike, because 9 of the top 10 finalists were super-WASP-y brunettes. I wasn’t sure whether to bask in the radiance their beauty, or apologize for stepping on their dad’s tennis court.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush stirred up some controversy during a speech earlier today, when he said that immigrants are “more fertile” than native-born Americans. His words, courtesy of CNN:
“Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity,” Bush said at the annual Faith and Freedom conference in the nation’s capital.
Bush continued, “What I’m trying to say is, immigrants love to fuck. It’s like, their thing. Pretty much all they do is drink horchata and pop out babies. Once in awhile they watch a soccer match, but then it’s immediately back to fucking. I’ve heard that Big Pun song, I know how those Boricuas and Morenas like to get down. Plus, my neighbors are from Mexico and it sounds like they’re running a damn jackhammer over there. All day long, it never ends. In case it’s not clear, what I’m saying is, I should have married a Latina. With these Florida chicks, it’s like breaking into Fort Knox. And when you do actually crack the code, they don’t do anything, they just lay there like a dead fish. Yeah, this guy over here knows what I’m talking about. That’s why we need immigration reform immediately. Now who else wants a margarita?
Once in awhile, someone will be struck with an idea that so magnificent and forward-thinking that it demands to be executed immediately. Other times, some guy in a suit will see a Powerpoint saying that kids like Twitter, and then he’ll come up with some piece of crap to try and make a quick buck off the youth demographic. I’m not saying which of the two cases best describes the new reality show “Summer Break,” but on the other hand, I am absolutely saying that it’s the second case. From the Wall Street Journal:
“Summer Break” will offer tweets, pictures and videos within minutes after cast members create them… Sixty-second daily “episodes” assembled by professionals will typically post on YouTube within 24 hours of the events they portray. Weekly wrap-up videos will look like marathons by comparison, running three to five minutes each.
The web producer side of me appreciates this effort, because they’re attempting a new method of distribution and abandoning the staid rules of television that have made that medium nearly unwatchable. But the human side of me realizes this is just another shitty MTV reality show repackaged in shorter clips. So I’m torn. It’s like if Taco Bell suddenly offered home delivery. I like the fact that I no longer have to drive to the ghetto and wait in line for my order, but at the end of the day, you’re still feeding me dog meat.
[PS - All of the cast photos from "Summer Break" look like child porn, so instead I chose to use a photo of a hilariously bad driver. Hey, still better than the drivers in Blue Back Square, am I right?]
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but when the economy is struggling to recover from a recession, I don’t think discouraging people from ever going anywhere or doing anything is a great plan. Of course not everyone agrees with me, including UCLA professor Donald Shoup, who argues that charging a lot more for parking could reduce traffic and keep us from wasting so much fuel. From Salon.com:
In his 2005 book, The High Cost of Free Parking… Shoup has amply illustrated how the lure of free or low-priced on-street parking relative to much more expensive parking in a lot or garage slows traffic, puts stress on local business, and harms the environment. “The combination of low prices for curb parking and high prices for off-street parking increases the incentive to cruise,” he has written.
People are going to be really disappointed in about 15 years, when everything is door-to-door delivery and leaving the house has become too expensive for the average human. Oh sure, the mailman will drop off our Starbucks lattes, our 3D printers will print us out sushi rolls, and we’ll be able to marry a Virtual Kate Upton in our living rooms, but one day we’re going to look around and go, “huh, didn’t I used to have friends?” Then we’ll realize that, even though traffic, parking, and doing anything else in public are a major annoyance, it’s worth it to reap the benefits of exercise and human interaction. Then, as you’re pondering that moral dilemma, an Arrested Development rerun will come on your floating television screen and you and Virtual Kate Upton will forget what you were talking about and start watching that instead. Can you believe Virtual Kate loves that show? We have so much in common!
Apple releases its newest operating system, iOS7, this fall. However, visitors to Apple’s WWDC conference – which stands for What Would Don Cheadle do?* — were offered a sneak preview of the system. The early reviews are in, and they range from glowing to disappointing. Here’s a sampling, from The Verge:
The icons are striking to see, and they’re the first sign that there are points of confusion and even missteps in Apple’s new approach… the Camera icon recalls something more like clip-art… It looks shockingly basic, and more childish than elegant… Maps icon is a mess: too many colors and lines intersecting at once. Messages’ word balloon is so puffed up and oversized compared to its fine point that it looks like it will topple over… [the Settings icon] looks like clip-art of an oven burner, and again, that lazy gradient isn’t doing the icon any favors.
I haven’t gotten the chance to upgrade to iOS7 yet. Which is disappointing. Because I’m a rich white guy with no problems, and I want to make sure that everyone knows I’m a rich white guy with no problems, and complaining about an Apple iOS update is the best way to do that. But if I can’t update, then people might start thinking I have real things going on in my life, or worse yet, that I’m only upper middle class. I might as well just buy a Dell laptop and wear clothes from The Gap. Dammit Apple, don’t you see how you’re ruining my life?!?!
[*this may not be true]
Every year there’s one guy who gets an invitation to meet the President, and declines for political reasons. This year that honor goes to Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, who has refused to join his team at the White House. Birk, whose job is to give others brain damage, is a staunchly pro-life Catholic whose views on abortion conflict with those of our government. By the way, at this point, starting a sentence by saying you’re Catholic is like starting a movie trailer with “From the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.” It’s supposed to establish credibility, but really it means that whatever’s coming next is a bunch of nonsense. From the Huffington Post:
“Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year,” the NFL veteran, who announced his retirement in February, told the radio station. “I am Catholic, I am active in the Pro-Life movement and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way… For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend.”
This is why our political system is in shambles. Not because people disagree, but because no one has respect for the office of the President any more. Even if the worst President of all-time asked me to come to the White House, I’d be there in a second, because it’s an enormous honor just to be invited. I’m referring of course to Millard Fillmore. That guy was a total hack. His stance on the Fugitive Slave Act is atrocious, and God help me if I have to hear another one of his anti-Masonic rants. But if he wants to have me over for crumpets and a wig-powdering session, I’m in. Why? Because he’s the President, and I respect that.
During a fundraiser event on Tuesday, Michelle Obama was accosted by a heckler, who interrupted the First Lady’s speech about children in an attempt to get across a message about gay discrimination. Though Obama refrained from losing her temper, she did threaten to leave the event if the heckler could not be stopped. CNN has video of the confrontation. More:
The protester was identified as Ellen Sturtz of the gay rights group GetEQUAL. She was calling on President Barack Obama to sign an executive order barring discrimination based on sexual orientation by federal contractors.
People know that Michelle Obama isn’t the President, right? In fact she has no control over our national laws whatsoever. I like Michelle Obama a lot, but she’s not a legislator, she’s just a famous lady who goes around telling people to exercise. You might as well yell at Jane Fonda or the chick from the P90X video. This is what happens when every guy in our country is completely p-whipped. You can’t watch TV for 3 minutes without seeing a sitcom about a timid guy and his overbearing wife, or a commercial where a mom goes to the store and the dad ends up using an old oil rag for their baby’s diaper. My friends go directly to my girlfriend when they want us to attend an event. They don’t even tell me, they let her plan my schedule. And these are MY friends, they didn’t even know her before we started dating. All guys are now deemed incompetent by default. So people yell at the First Lady and expect that she’ll instruct Barack to make gay marriage legal, like she’s helping him pick out a tie or something. Michelle will go, “hey Barack… did you legalize gay marriage yet?” And Barack will be like, “Not right now honey, I’m busy.” Then Michelle will say, “You know, these people really need their equality, their struggle for civil rights isn’t getting any younger.” So Barack will be like, “Fine…. Jesus!” and then he’ll go and make gay marriage legal. And then gay people will finally have equality, all because Barack wanted to watch the Bulls game in peace.
There are many ways in which the Internet is better than real life. For example, figuring out directions, or booking a vacation, or watching voyeur porn. And now another thing is better online… dating. At least according to one new study. From the Scientific American:
Cacioppo’s team also found that meeting your spouse online was associated with a lower rate of marital breakups than were offline venues (5.96 versus 7.67 percent). And couples who met online also reported a higher rate of marital satisfaction than those who met without a computer intermediary. (Despite meeting online, all of the couples got together in person before they married.) The differences are slight, but meaningful.
As I was reading this article, I kept thinking about my friends and what I’ve experienced in my life, and I couldn’t help but think that this conclusion was wrong. Then I got to the part where it said the study was funded by eHarmony.com. Well, of course. Now it makes perfect sense. The online dating site says that online dating is amazing! Good news guys, I just funded my own study on dating, and the results were that the most satisfied daters were all the ladies who ever got to go out with me. I know, weird, right? But hey, you can’t argue with science.