Snopes.com frequently irritates me with their liberal use of the blanket terms "True" and "False" to denote things they have no way of knowing about. What generally happens is they come up with a plausible explanation for something and decide that this had to be what happened. I feel that it is irresponsible of them to go around claiming things as true or false on a flimsy basis when the entire internet treats them as the be-all-end-all source for the truth about sketchy things. They need to be more honest and broaden up their determinations a bit.
The most recent example of this is Phallus in Bugs Bunny Cartoon. In it they do no more than suggest a POSSIBLE explanation for the mystery flesh, yet they outright claim that it is "False." Here's the picture in question for those that don't feel like clicking over:
Their claim is that a white area on Bugs Bunny's crotch (that's much more impressive in the video) is, in actuality, just the tub behind behind him, and that what looks like a penis is just the natural curvature of Bugs's legs. Never minding the fact that Bug's's's legs never, ever, extend up into his abdomen, this answer just doesn't hold water for me. I downloaded the video off YouTube, extracted the three frames in question and examined everything thoroughly, and -- guess what -- I have reached an entirely different conclusion than the one they did.
The first thing I did was look for other pictures of Bugs with legs extending into his abdomen. Go ahead and watch the video for yourself, where you can see Bugs in that same position several times without ever having his legs extend up that high:
It just doesn't happen... they stop below his abdomen. That said, his legs do seem a bit short in the 'penis' shot; if you WERE to extend Bugs' legs into his abdomen, the length would be about right.
The next thing I did was find a frame with that area of the tub unoccupied:
I then cut out Bugs and overlaid him atop the empty tub:
As you can see, the area that people are claiming to be a penis is now the same color as the tub -- much darker than the white area in the original shot. Clearly this means that Snopes is mistaken with their assessment of the situation. Rather than the tub, it's more likely that the white in question is supposed to be Bugs' towel draping around his backside.
Except for one little detail:
Bugs' towel can be clearly seen at several points in the episode tied ABOVE his tail, meaning that it could never be seen behind his legs in the first place:
So what's all this lead to? The 'penis' can only be one of two things: a) a penis snuck in by a feisty animator, or b) a result of a poorly-sketched-out Bugs with too short of legs that was quickly 'fixed' by extending his legs up into his abdomen. After all, there are only 3 frames affected by this problem, and who would ever know? It's not like nerds are obsessively going over these things with a fine-toothed comb, right?
In any case, without any way of ever knowing whether this was an animator goof or some animator shenanigans, we can't call the claim "True" or "False." I think the reasonable answer is the goof one, but it would be dishonest to say for certain one way or the other. Which is exactly what Snopes did, and does on a regular basis.
This got me thinking, though. If it's possible to convert the CO2 emissions from industrial plants into baking soda, what's to stop the same process from converting the exhaust from the millions of vehicles on America's roads as well?
Remember when I suggested that we should be paving our roads white instead of black, so as to reflect more of the suns rays back out of the atmosphere? Well, having every car on the road leaving a fine dusting of white baking soda everywhere it goes seems like a pretty simple solution for the short term. This does cause a few problems, however: 1) the frequent overturned-vinegar-tanker incidents we have will suddenly be a lot more catastrophic, and 2) the amassing white powder might reflect TOO MUCH of the suns rays, putting us into a permanent winter. Hopefully these two problems will simply cancel each other out; when too much baking powder piles up, it will increase the frequency of vinegar tanker crashes, turning the baking powder back into CO2 where it can enter the atmosphere and encourage global warming. It's win/win, really.
"I was the biggest skeptic in the world," Dr. Rubin said."“And I sit here and say, 'This can’t possibly be happening.' I feel like the credibility of my scientific career is sitting on a razor's edge between 'Wow, this is really cool,' and 'These people are nuts.'"
Other scientists are understandably hesitant to buy into this, citing that "correlation does not equal causation." Just because the fat levels are decreasing while the bones get denser doesn't necessarily mean that the fat is turning INTO bone. I think further study will probably bear out that there is some other cause for the fat decrease -- like maybe the fact that the mice are forced to stand rather than lie down, thus expending more energy, or maybe that the vibrations excite them sexually and thus increase the metabolism -- but the bone density findings are pretty cool. Imagine osteoporosis sufferers simply standing on a vibrating plate to strengthen their bones a few times a week, no longer worrying about going ballroom dancing or tying eachother up in the backroom of the bingo parlor.
If the findings are proven conclusive, however, it will be finally possible to say with utmost truthfulness that you're not fat -- just big-boned.
It seems I'm a participant in an unfolding scandal. I was under the impression that I'd have more time to prepare a statement, but it seems the story is breaking faster than I had expected it would, prompting me to hurry this post out the door. Please excuse any typos, spelling mistakes and/or bad grammar. (My grammar is so bad that one time, she rode her Harley right into an IHOP and demanded a "Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity" or she'd tear up the place.)
Entertainment Weekly contributor Sean Gleeson recently made some allegations incriminating tabloid newspaper The Sun in yet another scandal over the Bad Boy Prince photograph they published. The Sun has printed a retraction, apologizing for the timeline mistake, but Sean maintains that editors at the paper willfully manipulated the photo in question, increasing Miss Natalie Pinkham's chest size dramatically.
Sean's allegations were based on "impossible shadows", which I determined to be nothing more than the natural behavior of light on 3D objects. (Or, in this case, boobs.) Sean demanded video evidence to back up my assertions, so I decided to put aside all modesty and demonstrate the shadow-forming power of a pair of small breasts. Assuming I wouldn't be able to get permission from the owner of the only female breasts I have access to, I decided the only thing to do was use mine. If you've ever wanted to see me topless, now is certainly your chance.
In any case, because of my selfless actions, I'm now up for the prestigious "Sean Gleeson Researcher of the Century Award," which as of yet, has not actually been awarded to anyone before. Also coming with the award is a pint of Guinness, which due to not living in the same part of the country as Sean, I'll be asking he give to the charity of my choosing. (I choose the Oklahoma City Alcoholism Center.) Tomorrow morning, Sean will announce whether I've won it or not, but either way, it's going to be huge news. Heck, it's huge news already. I'm sure by now you've seen countless links to Sean's extremely influencial site from places like boingboing, digg, fark, slashdot, the Sun, and -- of course -- perezhilton.