10 Great Big Movie Douchebags

From Your Mom’s Basement:

There are many things that contribute to making someone a douchebag. An overinflated sense of self-worth. A worthlessness despite pedigree. And an inneffectiveness that, when all is said and done, borders on the pathetic.

But douchebags aren’t jerks. Jerks are generally more effective and/or aggressive than douches. Johnny Lawrence was a jerk. Biff Tannen was a jerk. Anakin Skywalker was a jerk. These guys below? Douches.

(via YesButNoButYes)

The Poe Toaster

From Wikipedia:

The unexplained tradition began in 1949 and has occurred on the author’s birthday (January 19) of every year since. In the early hours of the morning on that date, a black-clad figure with a silver-tipped cane enters the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland. The individual proceeds to Poe’s grave, where he or she raises a cognac toast. Before departing, the Toaster leaves three red roses and a half-bottle of cognac on the grave. The roses are believed to represent Poe, his wife Virginia, and his mother-in-law Maria Clemm, all three of whom are interred at the site. The significance of the cognac itself is unknown. Many of the bottles left behind have been taken and stored by the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore.

The Toaster wears a black coat and hat, and obscures his or her face with a scarf or hood. A group of reporters and Poe enthusiasts are usually on hand to observe the event. Generally, none have attempted to interfere with the Toaster’s entry, tribute or departure or to identify the individual out of respect for the tradition (and, perhaps, the mystery).

(via Reddit)

YouTube’s Craptacular New Feature

YouTube decided to add a “related video” feature to embedded vids so that if you mouseover an embedded YouTube video that is playing related videos will popup at the bottom of the screen obscuring most of the video. Here’s an example of what all of YouTube’s embedded vids look like: (Taken from yesterday’s Two O’Clock Trailers)

There’s a way to turn off the related vids feature by modifying the video URL by attaching a “rel=0” (without the quotes) parameter to each video but there’s no easy way to do this for every embedded video in your archive. And I’m not the only one who thinks this feature is horrible.

Update:

Kudos to YouTube for listening to the complaints and fixing this immediately. You can still see related movies if you desire but by going to the menu instead.

A Biologist Replies to Sen. Brownback’s Questioning of Evolution

From The Third Culture:

Suppose we asked a group of Presidential candidates if they believed in the existence of atoms, and a third of them said “no”? That would be a truly appalling show of scientific illiteracy, would it not? And all the more shocking coming from those who aspire to run a technologically sophisticated nation.

Yet something like this happened a week ago during the Republican presidential debate. When the moderator asked nine candidates to raise their hands if they “didn’t believe in evolution,” three hands went into the air—those of Senator Sam Brownback, Governor Mike Huckabee, and Representative Tom Tancredo. Although I am a biologist who has found himself battling creationism frequently throughout his professional life, I was still mortified. Because there is just as much evidence for the fact of evolution as there is for the existence of atoms, anyone raising his hand must have been grossly misinformed.

I don’t know whether to attribute the show of hands to the candidates’ ignorance of the mountain of evidence for evolution, or to a cynical desire to pander to a public that largely rejects evolution (more than half of Americans do). But I do know that it means that our country is in trouble. As science becomes more and more important in dealing with the world’s problems, Americans are falling farther and farther behind in scientific literacy. Among citizens of industrialized nations, Americans rank near the bottom in their understanding of math and science. Over half of all Americans don’t know that the Earth orbits the Sun once a year, and nearly half think that humans once lived, Flintstone-like, alongside dinosaurs.