Will Facebook Donate $3 For Every Share of Pic of The Baby With the Burned Face? No.

Will Facebook donate $3 (three dollars) for each time the picture of a burned baby is shared?

No, they will not.

It’s not from refusal, but because someone made it up. It’s a hoax that’s seven years old, and suckers who never look things up first won’t figure it out until after they’ve already done it.

Snopes notes that the burned infant, named Alexandra (Olenka) Cukzma, is Polish and that the photo is several years old. It started in 2005 as an email forward, and continues today.

Congratulations to you, my friend, if you decided to look this up before you Shared it or forwarded it. You might make an okay journalist one day.

But a stern-faced, sour glare of bitter disappointment if you’re reading this after you’ve already Shared/forwarded it. You will be this world’s undoing. Now go delete the post you shared (or promptly re-email all of the innocents you emailed the picture to explaining your grave folly) before anyone else succumbs to your propaganda, so that some shred of your future credibility remains intact.

BBC Radio 4’s “News Quiz USA” Sucks By This American’s Standards

I regularly visit the BBC Radio 4’s comedy section to listen to a stream-feed of shows available, and have come to rely on it as much as my beloved Car Talk, Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, The Splendid Table, and A Prairie Home Companion each week.. except that these fine American shows make all their past shows available online (either free or by fee) whereas the BBC shows are only up for a couple days and then slip into near-oblivion.

BBC seasons work on some erratic, bizarre scheduling block of perhaps 4-6 episodes weekly and then stop for an excruciating amount of time in between just when you’d gotten a nice pattern established. One such show I have come to love is The News Quiz, hosted by Sandi Toksvig — whose voice I would find pleasing even if she were announcing that I’d been lotto-drawn for the Hunger Games — has inspired an American version, The News Quiz USA.

I was hoping this particular broadcast just a one-off version of the show where producers decide to detour for a moment with something wacky (as they’d once done recently with a Panto version of the British show), but it turns out that it was actually an attempt to jump-start a real series of which this was the pilot, I’m afraid. I had never even heard an ounce of promotion for it, except from seeing it listed on the BBC site just today.

Lewis Black, who I’ve laughed at/with on occasion when he does a segment with the Daily Show, is moreso known by me for red-faced-and-spitting, smoker’s-voice-and-lung-capacity bouts of get-off-my-lawn rants that appeal to the two-finger-whistling, Kelly Bundy-cheering kind of audience of Comedy Central.. but not so much the talk-radio-listening base of NPR.

Lewis Black’s performance here wasn’t so much the problem with the pilot (aside from the suggestion that he’s a suitable American version of Sandi, or the curiously-abrupt ending) but the choice of panelists and quality of those panelists’ material. I thought I recognized two of the panelists by voice alone (thinking I was listening to Andy Dick and Stewart Francis), until I saw some pictures of the recording and saw their faces, and realized that I recognized neither their faces nor names.. If News Quiz USA wants to stir things up, they need to enlist the aid of, at minimum, readily-recognizable and well-established talent as the British forefather does for their audience.

The pilot for this show just fell flat for me. The only thing “exceptional” as Black described them, about the comic minds on the panel is that they have all performed on a pilot episode of a radio program inspired by a successful British panel game. Who was that lady? Who cares?

I’m not sure if the American accent(s) just makes everything funnier to the British, as the British accent(s) do for me when I listen to the regular BBC News Quiz, but it just seemed really bland and ordinary. Don’t get me wrong — NPR, and otherwise American radio, is in desperate need of panel games. Britain, by far, leads the world in high quality panel games both on radio and television, and I think America needs to take a cue from them in that regard, certainly. NPR has Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me that, aside from the loathsome limerick segment (not that I mind the rhyme puns before it) that I always try to skip if listening online.. but that’s about it, unless you count Weekend Edition’s Sunday Puzzle.

This is a pretty large market, by my estimation, that is woefully unsatisfied. There are several panel-interview type shows like the always-impressive Diane Rehm Show and the often-thoughtful Focus On The Family on Christian stations, but America is sorely lacking in panel comedy whereas Britain really delivers.

The effort was appreciated, but the fruit of those labors.. let’s just not speak of this again. I’ll give it another chance, certainly, but it hasn’t started out with much promise.

~ REMEMBER THE NAME ~ JOSEPH KONY ~

There’s a criminal mastermind in Africa, more specifically the Uganda region, named JOSEPH KONY, who is in control of a large army made mostly of children and youth. They’re forced to kill and mutilate other people — often even in killing their own parents or suffer dire consequences. If you would just take a few moments to watch this video, it will be explained in greater detail. There are some gruesome images, but they move along fast.

The idea is to spread the name of JOSEPH KONY, to raise awareness of his widespread crime and detestable demands over children in Africa. PLEASE watch the video, but make and informed decision about how you will handle what you’ve learned.

There has been plenty of backlash about the KONY-2012 project itself (headed by Invisible Children, Inc) and is rated 3 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator (their entry) — partly because their finances have not been audited by a third-party source and rely strictly on in-house accountants, and have no accountability board to justify or vote on use of expenses, with the top three admin wages pushing $88,000 each.

A “fact sheet” about their broad-spectrum spending can be found here (PDF), according to tumblr site dedicated to critical thinking about the Invisible Children cause, called Visible Children, written by a sociology and political science student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. One major problem has been that IC has been in league with the Uganda army — which itself, has been accused of corruption and tormenting the people of Uganda. Although critical of the KONY-2012/Invisible Children organization, VC still maintains that the issue of these children is a genuine concern and must be handled promptly.

Does Pepsi Use Aborted Babies To Test Their Formulas? No, and Here’s Why.

The big headline lately is from the super-sensationalized-world known as LifeSiteNews, a watchdog for abortion subjects. Their recent article, Obama Agency Rules Pepsi Use of Aborted Fetus is “Ordinary Business” is woefully, woefully inaccurate immediately from the headline alone.

Obama Has Nothing To Do With It
The “Obama agency” that ruled the use was ordinary is the Securities and Exchange Commission which was begun in 1934. Anyone who would have been president at this moment would have given the same ruling, because it is ordinary. Be prepared to be completely bored and how ordinary the ruling is. If McCain had been elected instead of Obama, it would have been McCain’s agency, so to speak. And they still would have made the same ruling.

Pepsi isn’t the culprit, either.
Kraft, Campbell Soup, Cadbury, and Nestle have all used the same biochemistry outfit called Senomyx which owns a proprietary technique for figuring out, essentially, whether something objectively tastes good without asking a subjective person to taste it themselves. The reason they don’t just go straight to human tests is because there are 800,000 formulas to try out.

The sensors used for testing are made from cells. The cells are made from other cells, that reproduce to make more cells, times upwards of 10,000 generations ago potentially. The original sample of cells used in the original dividing process to reproduce them was taken in ~1972 from an aborted fetus. The cells used today are not “aborted fetus” cells, but rather, cells that are zillions of generations down the line from the original sampling which was from an aborted fetus.

The cells don’t go into the formula
An amount of a potentially-tasty formula from a recipe is placed into a device containing the cells, and various reactions are measured, and from those results the recipe is approved or disapproved and may go on to people taste-test trials — not using the amount that was used in the test. It’s a little like suggesting teflon could be found in some newly-prepared stir-fry asparagus made in a teflon-free wok, when instead actually the original recipe was devised years ago in a teflon-coated pan, but the asparagus you’re using now never even touched that pan from years ago. The teflon in the old original pan has nothing to do with the asparagus you’re making now in the wok, in the same way that there are no Nth-generation fetus cells in Pepsi soda.

Or if you prefer, it’s like suggesting a surgeon uses X-Ray film developer fluid inside your knee replacement surgery — when instead the fluid was only used to develop the X-Ray to figure out why you need surgery, but the fluid itself doesn’t have anything to do with the actual operation. The cells are like the developer fluid, used to determine if the recipe meets certain standards, and then the recipe itself is made separately for other people to try out.

The cells aren’t fetal remains
Think about a person who is dead in the ground, rotting in a coffin, perhaps named Winston. Say that Susan finds an old diary of Winston’s that contains a locket of his hair, and that Susan puts that hair into a culture and brews live cells somehow to make new cells based on the original sample of Winston’s hair. From those new cells, those divide into new cells, those divide into still newer cells, and so on. Is it fair to call the newest generation of cells part of Winston’s “remains”? They’re arguably not even actually Winston’s anymore, because they had to be spliced into something else to restart the process of replication.

What if you stubbed your toe on a sharp rock, and left behind a splotch of blood. The rock washes into the ocean, and a shark smells the blood. The shark swims over, and gobbles up a nearby child. Are you responsible for the child’s death? Did your own carelessness cause the child’s gruesome fate? The blame game is far too complicated to pin down specifically. Maybe some kid was skipping rocks and had to leave when his father called him, and left that rock in the sand that you stepped on. Maybe the father who called his son away from skipping rocks got called into work early. Maybe you buying up the last loaf of bread from the supermarket earlier that day caused the manager to see the shelf empty, fire the person who normally stocks it, and that person in frustration drinks heavily before driving home, smashes his car into a tree, causes a power line to fall down, creating the need for the father in to work early. There are too many unanswerable questions to be answered to pin blame on “the cells of an aborted fetus.”

MAYBE, the mother gave up the child for science. Maybe, the sincerely missed, yet-unborn fetus had to be given up and was instead of being discarded as it might normally by incinerator — instead was given for the promotion of scientific research, and that contribution to science later became groundwork for testing retrovirus cures, and among other high-demand intensive research matters, a better tasting soda.

Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke Remarks Anger The Unintelligent

“How aboutcha we go get some sandwiches, my treat?”
“Did you just say, Go make me a sandwich, with cheese? How rude!”
“No, I said, ‘How about, we go get, some sandwiches.'”
With cheese? Nice try, mister. You’re not getting away with this.”
“…like, from Subway or something, my treat.”
“You are the most chauvinist man-pig I’ve ever met!”
“…Huh?”
“You just use women, don’t you?
“N… No….?”
“So you can assert your big male dominance?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I can’t believe you could say that to me!”
—– a sample conversation between an un-self-disciplined woman
and any guy you’ve ever known

Recently, Rush Limbaugh blew his strumpet-trumpet, about a fictitious woman — but that didn’t matter to people who can’t think on their own and left to the wild abandon of their imagination and subject to the mercy of their unfettered emotions, apt to turn Tasmanian Devil over something they didn’t even really hear.

By the droves, dopey people who have the listening comprehension and critical thinking traits of a half-awake armadillo, chimed in to denounce Rush’s remarks without even really listening to what he said. Oh, they heard the key words he used and went positively bonkers at the mere mention of a fictitious woman being called a harlot, but they didn’t really catch who he was actually addressing — a fictitious woman.

Rush had intended, presumably, to describe the testimony of law student Sandra Fluke — but getting the facts wrong about Sandra’s message. Instead, Rush actually went on a rant about Susan Fluke (not Sandra) and claimed that Susan needed contraception because of her painted nature.

Had I been Sandra at this point, I would not have responded to the effect, “Woe is the cause of women everywhere, an outspoken radio personality has accused someone of my gender with slattern activities like any logic-devoid man-baby would,” but rather, “Who is this Susan person he’s talking about? If he’s talking about me, he didn’t even really listen to the testimony…,” and then dismiss it as the ravings of Flush Lintball whose opinion especially matter much anyway, and perhaps feel sorry for whoever this Susan-person is. The real person, Sandra, had been testifying that Georgetown University should allow contraceptives in some University insurance program despite Georgetown’s religious objections of the use thereof.

A friend of Sandra needed those contraceptives because they prevented ovarian cyst growth of which the friend suffered — which, in fact, could’ve plausibly been used to preserve the possibility of future childbirth by keeping the friend’s last remaining ovary (one having been removed due to cyst buildup) rather than prevent pregnancy, for which contraceptives are generally intended.

But naturally, like any media-sensationalized misquote that belittles fictional women who didn’t actually do as described, Rush’s verbiage must certainly have been issued as a Grand High Memo from the Ambassador Of The Male Righteousness Council — which is something all women should certainly add to their mental rundown of offenses committed by those wretched man-pigs (in a totally un-hypocritical way).

For some reason Rush was pressed to apologize, despite missing the golden opportunity to say, not to the effect, “I’m sorry I called Sandra’s sensuality into question and said her name wrong,” but instead, “I’m sorry the bozos who are running this outfit are forcing me to apologize to “Sandra” who didn’t actually say any of the dreadful things my fact-checking team thought she did.”