Science Saturdays: Mushroom Power

triple super mushrooms

Why was the mushroom invited to the party?

Because he was a fun-guy.

Why was he asked to leave?

Because there wasn’t much-room.

In the latest podcast of the Scientific American, it was discovered that mushrooms can create their own breeze!

Have you ever been walking around and been like, “man, it’s so hot. I wish there was a breeze.” Well, mushrooms have, and they figured it out. When releasing spores, mushrooms actually create a water vapour to help the spores spread out. This allows the mushroom to continue its evolution in more diverse environments.

Now what does this mean? It means if scientists can can discover the function the mushroom uses to perform this feat, they may genetically manipulate other plant seeds to do the same thing. By doing so, these plants will be able to spawn more offspring in different environments, creating more lush and diverse green spaces. (Hah, I just made that up; sounds credible though).

Post Script: Here’s Dave’s take on mushrooms:

Shaq Vs Yao: Black Friday Edition

shaq_yao

Remember these guys? They were the biggest deal in the NBA for most of the 2000s, literally (ugh, I hate using that word). I  remember watching them in the 2004 NBA playoffs playing in the first round. I thought it was going to be a tight matchup: a goliath versus goliath feat of strength. It was going to the be all and end all of NBA showdowns. It didn’t turn out to be so: the Lakers won in 5 games, pretty handily. But whatever, still a big deal.

Today, the continue to fight it out: for the headline ( not really). Today Shaq is releasing his first shoe since his retirement, and has gone back to Reebok to do so, and Yao is back in school.

The ad shows Shaq back on his childhood courts in Newark, New Jersey. Many of us may know that Shaquille was raised on an army reserve, where he learned discipline and had a great relationship with his step-father. What many of us may not know, however, is that Shaq’s biological father was a great high school basketball player from Newark who wasted away his opportunity to play in college with drugs. So despite being estranged with his father, Shaq was raised in Newark and used the local basketball courts as a refuge from his troubled home-life.

The commercial is great. It starts off with a serious Shaq talking about how he made it out of the streets. Then fun-time begins and local kids start dunking and shooting in Shaq’s face. Also, Reginald Noble–AKA Redman–shows up and he brings even more fun-times with him. He’s also a proud Newarker (Newarkite?) and he’s repping a Winnipeg sweater, super cool beans.

As for the shoes, they’re alright. Very 90’s, which is in right now.

How does Yao rebuttal? Well, by almost finishing up a university degree. Yao has been back in school in Shanghai since 2011, at Jiao Tong University–one of the top 9 universities in China. It hasn’t always been smooth for a world-famous giant to go back to school, as you would imagine.

It hasn’t always been easy. The 33-year-old can hardly walk anywhere on campus without being swarmed by fans and reportedly complained once that one of his professors was a former high school classmate. But true to his word, Mr. Yao has diligently continued studying, taking English, journalism and finance electives in addition to his required classes.

The way it works in China, when students have exceptional talents, they enter schools that specialize in that talent. They have schools for acrobatics, basketball, military training, art, etc. So for Yao, he was taken at a young age to develop his basketball talents, and started playing in the Chinese Basketball Association very early. Then he was drafted into the NBA at 18 years-old. Such is life for the talented in China.

However, he made a promise to his parents that he would get a university degree. So here he is: a retired professional basketball player, with millions of dollars, keeping a promise to his loving parents. Such a sweetheart.

Post Script: Hat tip to BL and the New York Times for the news.

Robo-Creep

HEY YOU! Yeah, I’m talking to you. What are you doing? You’re sitting on your couch and you’re surfing the web and being creepy. However, you’re only being a creep in one spot: at home. Haven’t you ever wanted to be creepy and weird all over the world, FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME? Haven’t you ever asked yourself, “isn’t there more out there for me?” or “isn’t there a way I can personalize my creepiness without having to take my hand out of this Cheetos bag?”

Hmm, so maybe you never wanted to be a creep. But maybe you’ve experienced something great and went, “nah, I don’t need this”. I mean isn’t physically being at a beautiful place to see, feel, smell, and touch something overrated?

Well, if you either fit the creep or the lazy criteria, I have great news for you! For the very low, low price of $2 499, you can have your head floating on a make-shift Segway all over the world! According to the website, it’s a great way to have a “physical presence in the office [to] speak to co-workers at any time”. Well, except there’s really no physical presence. Also, just invest into a text plan.

Realistically, if your boss was a floating head on a Segway, wouldn’t you just leave any room robot-boss is in? Also, wouldn’t you be tempted to “accidentally” lock Roboboss in the bathroom? I mean, he doesn’t have arms, or even the ability to call for help.

This invention is stupid and creepy and unnecessary. I can only see it helping if you have a disability. But even then, there are still text plans out there. And Skype–remember Skype?

Diplo and Justin Bieber Attend Crazy After Party (not)

This is Diplo, famed DJ and music man, talking about his relationship with the 2011 NBA (celebrity) All Star MVP, Justin Bieber.

I like how he said Justin was self-aware. Yeah, that’s right: he said Justin was “[a]ware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors,” according to the definition of “self-aware”. I’m not kidding; he actually said that.

bieber_in_a_stupid_hat

Here’s Justin Bieber being fully aware of himself at a Miami Heat game wearing a leather ensemble, complete with matching leather pants and leather shirt. Also, he is rocking a gold Jesus chain. Oh, and sunglasses inside: class all the way.

great wall biebs

Here he is being aware while lifted by two grown men at the Great Wall of China.

justin_bieber_peeing_in_bucket

And now this is Justin being aware while pissing into a mop bucket. I mean, you only urinate in a custodian’s equipment when you’re completely and utterly understanding of your circumstances and how it will all work out.

justin-bieber-tati-neves

Finally, this is little Bieber being completely aware of his surroundings while being videotaped by a Brazilian prostitute the morning after paying for sex.

The story from Diplo continues to talk about how the party was so crazy that Riff Raff–a white rapper of little to no importance–uses Bieber’s computer and breaks the screen. I know all the craziest parties I have ever gone to resorts to me finding the closest computer to get onto Reddit. Wild nights for Captain Overpants! Bieber, being the Canadian he is, does not get upset and even gives the perpetrator a gold Versace chain.

Moral of the story is, if you party with Bieber, break all his stuff. You’ll get free expensive jewellery for it. Then you can sell it to Peter Oliver, the Cashman, because he will buy your gold.

Post Script: For those who don’t know anything about really, really, really, bad rap music, this is Riff Raff.

I apologize for that.

A How To Guide: how not to be a jerk

Remember those stupid “shit ______ says”? You know, it started off pretty funny, but then deteriorated when everyone started to made them, just to get cheap views? Yeah, those ones.

Well, this video might as well be called, “things to say if you want to pretend to be Canadian”. I was on the subway once, stepped on someone’s foot, and  THAT person apologized. He apologized for having his foot in the way of my clumsy walking path! Only in Canada.

Now, let me dissect the video a bit–but not too much, because it’s amazing.

Nos 18 and 11 : I love corn dogs. I wish, just once in my life, a friend would bring me a corn dog. Hopefully, this Friday. Also, love his Oprah impression while he mimics distributing the corn dogs.

No. 14: “I’ve got barbecue sauce on my shirt too.” Gosh, you know how often I get insecure about getting BBQ sauce on my white skinny jeans? It would most certainly be comforting to know that I’m not the only this happens to. No? No one else gets BBQ sauce on their white skinny jeans from American Apparel? Really? Oh…

No 10: “I don’t know.” Perfect.

No. 7: “My sports team is not always the best sports team.” I know how this feels.

No. 5: *Fart noise* HECK YEAH! I do this all the time–not with my hand and mouth, but with my butt.

No. 2: “Life is tough, but so are you.” That’s a perfect place to stop this unnecessary analysis.

How about you say something nice today?

Post Script: For those who have never seen this little guy before, here he is being amazing in the video that really shot him off into the stratosphere of amazing incredibleness.

 

Bench Profiles: The Charlotte Bobcats’ James Southerland

james southerland

As some of us know, NBA teams have 15 players per roster. However,  only about 7-10 get to play any given night. That means 8-5 players are on the team for practice purposes only and to get that NBA money–can’t hate on that. Anyway, be prepared to get to know these guys pretty well, one 15th man at a time.

I know, right? Aren’t you so excited to learn about the least known player in the NBA?

What’s James’ basketball story?

So he’s a 6’8″ forward who played really well in high school, and was the 87th ranked small forward from his high school year (I wonder if  the other 86 made the NBA as well; if not, then what the heck happened!?)

He went to Syracuse where he spent all four years. His trajectory is similar to you’d expect from a will-be-fringe-NBA-player: didn’t play a lot in his freshman year and got to play more and more, then became the team’s third leading scorer in his senior year. He finished college with averages of 7.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 0.6 APG. Just meh, right?

DRAMA ALERT: In his senior year, while the university was under scrutiny by the NCAA for recruiting violations, James was suspended for both “improper benefits” and “academic issues”. Improper benefits means he accepted gifts from someone (or some store/organization) simply on the basis of being a student athlete. This is a stupid rule: only the NCAA and school may monetarily benefit from these students’ hard work. Ugh, don’t even get me started.

I have qualms with the academic issues. He was accused of having a tutor write a paper for him. You know those flyers around campus that says “WE’LL WRITE YOUR ESSAYS FOR YOU!”? Yeah, James pretty much used that. JUST WRITE IT YOURSELF! You know how hard it is to fail a paper? Ugh, don’t even get me started.

He was not drafted to the NBA. He has never played a minute in the NBA. I have never seen him or heard about him. He may not even be a real person, and the Charlotte Bobcats may be ‘catfishing’ us. Who knows? All I know is that according to Hoopshype, he’s making $490 180 this year on a non-guaranteed contract (meaning he can be cut at any time). Man, that’s so much money, and he can’t even write an essay. Ugh, don’t even get me started.

What does social media tell us about James?

Hm, gimme a couple minutes to find out.

Oh, this:

For those not well-versed in bad rap music, the 😠 represent “molly” or MDMA, and ❄️ represents “white” or cocaine. Sounds like a party is being thrown with that recently acquired $490 180. So apparently, not only is regular balling his hobby, but also big balling. Inferences, yo.

Also, he really loves Hannah Montana–or Miley, depending on who you ask.

So yeah, that’s all you need to know about the player who will make barely make any noise in the NBA for the foreseeable future. You’re welcome, world. Come back next week when I tackle the 15th man for the Brooklyn Nets–whom I forgot about because I’m still not used to two teams starting with a ‘B’. Give me a B for that (hah, awful jokes).

Post Script: Here is his college game mix tape to the lovely Niggas in Paris: