I like Turtles.

Donatello: You’re a claustrophobic.
Casey Jones: You want a fist in the mouth? I’ve never even looked at another guy before.

Leonardo: [Raphael has brought an unconscious April O’Neil into the sewer] Are you crazy?
Raphael: Yeah, Leo, I’m crazy, OK? A loony, OK?
Donatello: But why?
Raphael: Why? Why, oh I don’t know, ’cause I wanted to redecorate. You know, a couple of throw pillows, a TV news reporter, what do ya think?

Leonardo: Awesome!
Michaelangelo: Righteous!
Donatello: Bossa Nova!
[Leonardo and Michaelangelo look at Donatello]
Michaelangelo: Dude, “Bossa Nova”?
Donatello: Chevy Nova?
[Leonardo and Michaelangelo groan]
Donatello: Excellent!
[Leonardo and Michaelangelo cheer in approval]

[Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)]

Bossa Nova. Is it surprising that jazz once again inspires me to put finger to keys? (It did here, I want to be Kelsey Grammer”, but I don’t think I said it.) I favorited a song on Pandora, and not until seeing the album’s name did I understand to what Donny’s nerdy reference was! And now, here we are: talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“Green Against Brick,” as put by Jerry Sachs, ad consultant of Sachs-Finley Agency and collaborator with Playmates Toys Inc., is probably the best way to stage the scene. Perhaps it’s better to expand and say that it’s lit in a harsh yellow, cast by a street lamp onto concrete. Surrounded by a lady’s spilled affects, a hood rat is gagged and tied up, and over his garbling you can hear the clatter of high-heels escaping, and a sewer lid dropping into place. It’s nostalgic, isn’t it?

Millennials, like myself, grew up with those covert heroes. The cartoon had a near intangible 80s charm to it: implausible villains with oversimplified motivations; pizza addiction; random trash cans materializing out of nowhere, simply to be thrown at said villains; sophomoric humor; MacGuyver-esque contraptions; blimps—it’s a continuing and endearing list. But Gen-Xers had the better incarnation.

20140701-100910-36550442.jpg

Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman originally crafted a darker, more violent series. One where the turtles enforced the Bushido code when they cornered their dishonorable samurai foe, requiring him to commit seppuku. It was also more snarky, drawn as a joke meant to lampoon contemporary comics such as Marvel’s Daredevil and Frank Miller’s Ronin. And the turtles were true to their age in their low-brow, sarcastic humor. This is the better version.

The 1990 film returned the story closer to its roots. It was designed to be familiar to the cartoon’s kid audience, yet was darkly lit, and served themes on death and loss, honor, juvenile delinquency, and New York City culture. This film, regardless of my age, will always be in my top ten films. I reminds me of my childhood and the fantasies that I dreamed [I once spaced-out in first grade, imagining I was secretly Leonardo under a human costume, and would tear out, in a furry of batting, to (as bloodlessly and benignly as a six-year old would) stab my teacher with my twin katana and lead a revolt with my classmates (they declined—imbeciles).], and, now that I’m old enough to understand the dialogue, induces deep, belly-laughter.

This. THIS! It’s not only my youth, but my burgeoning adulthood. The reconnection of my current self to who I was. It’s the self-powered light bulb that not just feeds, but produces off the same current. It helps to center and direct myself to identity and even a code of ethics. You see, Ninja Turtles, as a concept, doesn’t just represent fantasy, but a quasi-Bushido: discipline, mind-over-matter, physical fitness and deftness, responsibility, altruism, humor, youthfulness, and, lastly, achieving dreams. Since I was a kid, I wanted to take karate (what early 90s kid didn’t?—it was the martial arts era!). Rediscovering TMNT in 2010, coincidently in the franchise’s 25th anniversary, helped me to pick up the sport. Actually, let me be more explicit.

In 2010, I suffering from a break-up. I was engaged to a girl who I thought I’d spend eternity with, and the relationship quickly fell apart. Since relationships often help us reaffirm our qualities, and thereby ourselves, since our character effectually defines us, losing this relationship felt like I’d lost myself, especially since we were still in the infatuation stage of love. Never mind that our connection was more puppy-love and immature; perceived loss is actual loss to the mind. I was mourning, and with absoluteness. I was blindly grasping for who I was.

I came to live with my mother, who had an extra room and could help me get back on my feet. Naturally, my mother’s materialism coupled with my seeming lack of identity led me to feel very childlike—and childish. I didn’t have a job for the first month, so it fit. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not trying to nobilify myself. It was a pathetic time, indeed. But in this state I drew towards the things I knew I enjoyed, even as a kid. I quickly snatched up the TMNT 25th Anniversary DVD set, and even donned the ninja masks that came with it, while shiftlessly playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Being a curious cat (a not-always desirable trait), I wanted to know more about this media empire. With cursory research, I discovered its satirical origins, and began reading the comic. I also borrowed Ronin from the library, and fell into the feudal Japanese atmosphere. I even borrowed an academic textbook on samurai. I remembered my youth’s unrequited love, and began to study the distinguishers between each of the martial arts disciplines. I definitely wanted to learn ninjutsu, but the closest dojo was in California. Karate was the next closest thing to my heart.

I called around, and had a ridiculous time getting my calls returned. Even finding a dojo that was still in business was hard. One address lead me someone’s suburban home. Awkward.

It wasn’t until I was running errands a few months later than I passed by a red sign on the roof of a strip mall: “KARATE,” naked and in sans-serif type. Luckily, I was in Utah, or else I would have been ticketed for my ensuing traffic maneuver to reverse my course and get me into the parking lot. I dropped in, and was welcomed to come back for the adult training night. Six months later, I had my orange belt.

See, for me, TMNT isn’t about being a man-child; it’s about reinvention. And that’s very personal. Through karate, and the values it disseminates, I began to master myself, and have dignity. Like an athlete develops self-confidence through understanding his or her own capabilities and skills, so did I. And that was very important for me. The last time I achieved something substantial was when I completed my mission in 2008, and that was more spiritual discipline than physical. This was change I could see by taking my shirt off. And TMNT got me there, via nostalgia.

The lesson of self-improvement was probably the most important for me, but it’s not all. The Bushido code is one I plan to teach my kids. It’s a credo. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael—they’ll all learn it.

Ethics. NYC. Perpetual advancement. Childhood. Ninja Turtles mean a lot to me.

No more Daylight Saving Time!—sorta. (First 100 Days in Office, 2036, Bill #2)

The switch to Daylight Saving Time is so annoying. I get that Ben Franklin satirically created the idea to poke fun at the French, and that, later, supporters wanted to take advantage of the productivity that could be had by moving the work day to fit daylight hours; but today the switch is just nonsense.

I should really try to present the benefits and disadvantages of DST, in a discovery method for rhetorical reasons, but every year this just cheeses me off! Nay, twice a year! I’m obviously biased. We “Spring forward, fall back” each year, and for what? Which professions in our modern-day world necessitate daylight to begin the workday? I’d wager that it is a majority of professions that work indoors, with the aid of electricity and lighting, and even that half of American jobs are at a desk. Who works outside? Farmers? The Forest Service? Police officers? Commercial fisherman? Construction workers? Yes, I have named six, and not that any of them are unimportant, but only if this were a civil rights issue would we let the minority govern the vast body of whom this affects. And, regardless of which profession you have, you will still use electricity in lieu of daylight—whether in the morning or the evening!

The idea is that you go to work while the sun is up, and thereby don’t procrastinate capital gain or squander opportunity. You will naturally work while it is, because the tilt of the earth wanes the sunlight in the winter months. But is that really the case? Aren’t we just transposing when we use electricity? Until the Winter Solstice, the sunrise is continually moving later into the day. So before the sun comes up, you must use electricity to light the construction site, the field, or what have you. Only when the sunrise fits into your particular workday does DST actually benefit you. But even then, we still go home in the evening to be with our families: we still watch TV, use the microwave, charge our cell phones, and, let alone, light the house! It’s not the eighteenth century (no matter how much I wish it was)! We use power whenever we are awake. And there are laborers whose shifts run through the night. More businesses are open during sunset than sunrise. What is the difference? Only 1% savings during the summer, and 1% rise in cost in the winter. Indiana, a state that was only partially in with DST, found that switching off from DST cost them $9,000,000 (in unconverted 1970s dollars) more. Whether the goal is to be more efficient or to conserve energy, the results are lacking.

From a health standpoint, our circadian rhythms don’t adjust to an instantaneous jump. Our bodies are askew for eight months of the year. It’s even shown that men are more prone to suicide just after the change. Also, earlier daylight only makes people stay indoors after sunset. They certainly don’t prolong their time outdoors, especially in the cold. (I grew up in Alaska, and even in the land of snow, you can only snowmobile in the dark so easily.) They intuitively move from one warm and well-lit place to another. And what do people do when they’re cooped up? Binge watch Breaking Bad with a bowl or cone of comfort food.

There are logistical problems as well. Night shift workers get paid for an hour less work when the day is shortened, and an hour more when it’s lengthened. A passenger train only leaves a station on time, and thus must sit for an hour with all its passengers because of this cluster of a mess. And in the spring, because you can’t jump ahead, the only thing to do is just drive faster and try to not be late.

Some argue that in an increasingly DST world, it would seem a step backwards to abandon the practice. So? Since when have proclivities of other nations affected our domestic policy? (And when it has, is that right?) Isn’t it American culture to pursue your own happiness? Isn’t non- conformity what we teach in our schools? If a village is practicing superstition, does it obligate a disagreeing family to participate?

Is time is so arbitrary that we can actually choose when it is? If so, why not choose when it is forever? I advocate permanently setting the clocks to DST, and forgoing the change we make in November. By doing so we would save money, as was done during the oil embargo of 1973, to the tune of 10K barrels of oil a day.

I see no reason to continue applying this snake oil under poor guises.
Hats off to Arizona, Hawaii, India, Japan, and China for abstaining.

Public tx and pedx (First 100 Days in Office, 2036, Bill #1)

The above video is part of a vlog series my friends and I tried to do, and is related to “Am wahkin’ heeah!”

Look it up. For your health.

Also, this article is great: Minneapolis Skyway System

The Metric system & the US (First 100 Days in Office, 2036, Executive Order #2)

Stuff You Should Know—I’m listening to it again ,right? Episode “Why isn’t the U.S. on the metric system?”. And I’m hearing all the reasons, and I’m more frustrated with America over it than before, because we are almost there!Turns out that it’s the federal government’s standard for everything, and it’s basically already our official weights and measures system, but private businesses are the only ones to not catch on because it’s expensive! What?! Expensive? Holy crap! That’s it? That’s your big hold-up? Good Gandhi.

Now, I’m not one for compulsion, and I strongly support the maximum amount of freedom with the minimum of government involvement, so although the easiest thing (and possibly the most simple thing) to get America on the party train would be to just executive order that the imperial system is discontinued, I would rather permit the conversion expense to be tax deductible. That’s it! That fixed the whole debacle. No one would have any excuse for abstaining. At least not any excuse I can think of (let me know in the comments if you have one or some).

This is all I’ve got for now on the subject. I’ll update it later if/when I get more. Listen to the podcast and get familiar with the subject; I know it’s not the academic thing to base all my opinion on one source, but both of these guys have degrees in history or anthropology, and they’ve compiled a tonne of research for us already. Scope it out—see watcha think. Peace OUT!

I want to be Kelsey Grammer

I told my wife today that I have to have a home office that looks like it’s from New York, with red brick walls, wood floors, and leather couches. Maybe even a fire escape out the window. We’ll build a house eventually, so this is doable. She wants to live in the country, far away from people and where she can have a barn. She loves animals. And the country. I love the city. This is our compromise.

I love the country too—the crisp fresh air, the trees (oh Gandhi, I love trees), the mountains, the freedom, the independence—but I can’t seem to give up the city. Coffee shops, book stores, taxis, brick buildings, jazz. It seems to have an intellectual stir about it. Some call it snobbery (or thanks to freaking How I Met Your Mother, “douchey”), but I’m okay with that. It breathes a certain competition, and that’s exactly what my BA demands. Classmates always one-upped each other with what they knew about literature or grammar, and, although it turned me off at first, I found it kept me on my toes and necessitated that I knew my bag. It goes without saying that no one should be an a-hole, so know that this is different.

Even the baser things have their pull. The subway is this amazing transit where diverse and even opposing strangers sit next to each other and get along. Everyone just wants to get where their going without drama. Graffiti brings a life, color, and dimension to the city that is hard to find or replicate elsewhere. The artisanship is complex and can’t be done without an eye for perspective and a graceful hand. While I disagree with the vandalism of others’s property, I champion the deftness and artistic style. The rest of the hip-hop culture is also fascinating. Break dancing, which was innovated through a desire for nonviolent turf battling, is a physics marvel. The lyrical flow of rappers, and the inventiveness of beat-boxers, echoes in the alleys. And then there’s food: from street vendor, to pub, to even the (non-base) fine Italian, each brings a layer that help define the city. The city is a fantastic ecosystem.

Crime is, of course, a downward aspect, and it’s a shame that the Ninja Turtles and Spider-man can’t actually be there for us in NYC. Sadly, in cities, the ability to protect one’s self is more limited due to the left leaning culture. I’m not so much a fan of paternalism, and since it permeates much of urban life, that is a huge drawback.

Yet, I want to be that guy with the perfect diction, whose book review appears in The New York Times, and which he wrote while listening to some talk radio or Miles Davis. I want that concrete jungle towering over me as I play chess in the park. I want to enjoy a date with my wife on Broadway. I want to take my kids to the museum. I want the diversity.

Yes, the city life.

#ArmyStrong

Today I start to feel the dregs of deployment: I leave for Basic Combat Training (BCT) in thirty-six days and Emily is extending a gift vacation to a stay-cation and living with her mom until I get back. Nine weeks at BCT and twenty-eight at Advanced Individual Training (AIT) = eight months. So with this extra month and change it’s ten and a half months! (Did I get my math write? Whew, that’s nerve wracking to publish your arithmetic online.) We could have made a person in that time. Wow.

Actually, I do get to see her at BCT graduation (one day, around late September), and for Christmas (probably a week). But I’ll miss her for our anniversary, my birthday, let alone Independence Day, Halloween, and Valentines Day. Estimated time seeing her is less than it takes to get over a bad cold.

It’s funny because over the past week I’ve struggled at grasping the finality of this moment; not that I won’t see her again, but that it is definitive and comprised of 3,000 miles. It’s not easily reversible, and to plan to not see your spouse for that long takes a lot of faith. But now I feel like her hair eye color could change by then. Ten and a half months? We’ve been married for only twenty-two and a half. [I feel like I should title this “Math.”]

And this is nothing compared to to what experienced servicemen have endured. Me, lil’ ol Future Soldier Nevitt: what’s he got on them?

I just know I’m going to miss her. Her smell that I nuzzle into when we hug. The kryptonite effect that baby animals have on her. Her Victorian profile. The assurance she’s near by the feel of the bed. Her diamond sharp sarcastic wit. The dependability of partnership. Her partnership. Her.

This is what I should get used to. The moments we’re close and relish/can’t stand each other, juxtaposed with the separation. The Army’s motto seemed like something with to hashtag this Twitter moment—ya know, since the circumstance is via the Army. “Something-something ARMY!” But the more I thought about it, the more I understood another facet: because you have to be strong to be the occupying force; occupying a distant place when you’d rather be occupying any space with your loved one.

Hooah.

The sweatiness of my soul

I’m sitting here in my hotel room on the fourth floor of the Holiday Inn Suites. The view is high and far. Thunder rolls in, as does the dust that the wind stirs up. I look out the window as far as I can see. “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Tomorrow I swear into the United States Army. My recruiter drove me down from O-town to Salt Lake, and at 4:45 AM tomorrow I begin processing. Uncle Sam didn’t pinch pennies on picking a place for us to stay over night. I’m not really a connoisseur of hotels, but, respective to my budget, this is nicer than most I’ve seen.

“I have no idea what I’m doing,” may not be apt. I’m enlisting four ranks up (thanks to my bachelor’s) and doing satellite communications (a well-paid job in the civilian sector). I just don’t know what comes after this. It’s that sense of emboldenment and risk that comes when you’re committing to a life-changing decision. The last time I felt this way was when I entered the Missionary Training Center for my mission. The two experiences have formality, and brick and mortar establishments dedicated to your processing. There’s decorum. There’s a uniform. There’s distinction.

This is adventure. And it’s what I live for.

US History, p. 72

I came across a song with the lyrics “Heard talk of a country that valued its freedom, but when I protested, I was arrested and beaten.” It reminds me of the photographs I’ve seen from the Civil Rights era, with protesters marred with black eyes and broken noses. The textbooks I saw them in, and the classes that discussed them, had the goal to teach me the struggle some Americans went through for the American Dream. But, I also remember confusion with the reality of such suffering and oppression within the last fifty years—within my parent’s lifetime. It’s too real. Too close to home. That’s too hard to process. And I don’t think I’m alone in those thoughts.

The cognitive dissonance we experience when we learn history or when we hear the news, I think, is a factor of our political distance. And by we, I mean the vast body of citizens. US citizens have very infrequently dealt with the unveiled despotism that other nationals do. And that indeed is, in part, due to culture: some peoples confront governmental displeasure with Molotov cocktails before they try the ballot box. But it also seems that the more egregious tyrannies happen outside the US. Instead of slowly being boiled alive, certain foreign citizens feel the heat turned up all at once. Take Turkey for an example, when it shut down the internet. When was the last time Americans felt that sort of coercion?

Stalin is more right today than ever, that “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” Since Americans have it so cushy, it’s hard for us to sympathize (or to accurately empathize) with tragedy. I’m not forgetting 9/11 nor the hurricanes that have ravaged the South and East. Somehow I feel those are different. Perhaps because the storms had more an effect on materials than they had on life; and maybe the fact that September’s 2,996 died in an instant flash and crumble instead of via torture or languishing—in essence, they were here, but now they are instantaneously not, and their death seems like an illusion—that we feel the events differently. Perhaps it’s because we don’t have the storytellers to say what it was like facing their oppressors. We have Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, but I think we all agree that the war was muddied by ulterior motives, and that a homeland battlefront would have been different and made a case for what I’m driving at. Not since the sixties have Americans been in a physical struggle against unjust treatment (I am discounting the Rodney King and Treyvon Martin incidents, since they quickly became about looting and terror than they were about racial equality; plus, neither persons were the sanctimonious title bearers they were chalked-up to be).

Perhaps what I mean is that our cognitive dissonance is more due to our violence distance. And thank God for that. We are privileged to not need violent revolution every few years, nor to have a domestically violent government. But I wish to God that I felt more of an honest relating to those in tragedy—which is sort of like praying for humility: you will have humiliating things happen to you. I don’t want violence or aggression.

But it’s just an odd thought.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1954)

Godzilla is remade and cinema history could be made again. From the review I read at The A/V Club, director Gareth Edwards has achieved a Zilla film above anything else since the 1954 original. I’m excited. So much is at stake here; everything since I was six years old and fell in love in the radioactive dinosaur; everything that was at stake and lost with each Godzilla sequel or remake. Sadly, even Toho, the studio that hatched Gigantis, arguably failed at every other film within the respective universe. I remember even as a kid, I was deplored by the direct sequel Godzilla Raids Again.They didn’t even get the roar right! If you lose that then you lose the meaning of Gojira. It was made less than a decade after the original! Let me explain what the original did well, as a prototype, and as a classic piece of cinema.

First of all, the original still holds up well today, because it exhibits foundational film making principles. It’s a horror film, and horror done right; horror, not in the slasher sense, but more akin to Alfred Hitchcock. It is horror, as all horror films should be, in the imagination of the viewer, not in the details of vision. For the first thirty minutes, you don’t see the monster. You see signs of it’s destruction, or even more telling, the reaction of those that do see it’s awesomeness, in the word’s true sense. When you do see it in the first act (and I’ll continue to address the abomination in gender-neutrality, since ascribing sex was done after the classic, and only endears us to “him,” something one doesn’t do towards a terror), the view is fleeting, and partially obstructed (at what Raids Again screwed the pooch). Not only does the 1954 film obscure the antagonist, but also morally-askew characters, like the mad scientist Serizawa. A well arranged shot introduces us to the him through a lattice of beakers, tubes, and Bunson burners; and he stands profile, so we only see him from his eye-patched side. When we initially see his experiments, we only see his fiancée’s face aghast, illuminated by electrical bursts in front of her. This creates a mystery and a foreboding to what they mean to the audience, which is ultimately revealed to be Tokyo’s saving boon. To be short, the 1954 film’s cinematography is superior to many modern films. The A/V Club says this year’s is better.

The story and pacing is done right: a remarkable stunt for a foreign film that spliced American-shot footage into a completely Japanese movie. The cuts are so clean and sets so similar that you’d hardly realize it unless you knew the tricks of film (I almost second-guess myself and believe the Japanese and American versions were shot simultaneously). And instead of eradicating all Japanese dialogue, like most American adaptations, they wisely left much in, creating a feeling that the audience is spectating an almost private national crisis. I’ve never seen this trope used before, and it gave me a new sense of drama. Raids Again adapts every bit of Japanese into Engrish, and although it’s done with clumsy finesse I feel like in some way the story had to be sacrificed. Some dubbing is done in King of the Monsters, but I feel like it changed very little plot.

Raymond Burr does an excellent job at portraying a reporter for a Chicago-based world newspaper. This concept is the most obvious part to be added after principal photography, but it serves as an indeed perfect medium to serve Western audiences. The character’s die-hard resolution to report for the globe, even if it demands his death, inspires duty.

Without relent, the film is somber in a way no horror film has been. On behalf of the deceased, a radio reporter relays a request for national prayer. A choir sings a hymn during the [SPOILER] death of Godzilla [END SPOILER]. Serizawa commits seppuku, as a disgraced samurai would at his failure to serve his master—in this case, science and the love of nature. As a deliberate and direct allegory to weapons of mass destruction, it instructs and pleads with the world what to do in the literal wake and ruin of Fat Man and Little Boy.

I highly recommend a viewing of this movie before seeing the 2014 remake, not to see if they keep to source canon, but to see if a comparable message is present. The old film is heavy, and I expect the new one to be Gareth-gloriousness as was his Monsters (2010), and Bryan Cranston-beauty, as we knew him in Breaking Bad, but to fall short in lasting lessons.

The Way-back Machine

Do any of you listen to the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast? I do. I can’t tell you how many hours of mind-numbing work I’ve survived because of Josh Clark and Charles W. “Chuck” Bryant and their investigative approach to minutia. When you first listen to them you think, “My gosh, what NERDS!” But soon their comic-reading, Cheetos-munching, math-tinkering, pubescent voices become dulcet, and you find their dry-as-Mojave humor cathartic (seriously—I don’t think I’ve laughed alone harder than when Josh called early Chinese guns “hand dragons” in the [can’t find it] episode, or secondly, when Josh had a Vault on an empty stomach in the “How Can I Erase My Identity and Star Over” episode). Their humor is
as subtle as a pickpocket, and not until the moment is past do you react. To be candid, I don’t think I felt my world more flipped than when they played their 2014 April Fool’s prank that Chuck quit (seriously, look at my Twitter feed). Aside from persuading you that I’m an
extreme and unnatural fan of the show, I hope I’ve also persuaded you to give it a whirl.

Now, the titular protein of this entry: in the “How Gypsies Work” episode, Chuck was asked by a listener when he would go and what he would bring if he could take any object back in time with him, and he said he’d videotape Jesus since he’s struggled with his own faith, and he thinks it’d be of good use to the world to have definitive proof on the man. That sounds like a spectacular short film.

I can see it: in what can only be described as an implosion, a complicated and foreign machine materializes in front of the Smithsonian and immediately breaks down in an odd way. Above the badly worn text, Wayback, a hatch is opened and an agonizing scream is heard by people in the close vicinity. Emergency services are called on suspicion of a failed suicide bombing. Terror management officers arrive and find an extremely old corpse, indeed wearing Arab garb, but holding a modern DSLR camera, but no one else.

Forensics survey the machine and its contents, finding the modern-looking machine, its passenger, and the camera to be thousands of years old, based on carbon dating. The man carried a modern wallet and modern identification on him, seemingly prepared to be found and wanting to be identified. Charles Wayne Bryant, a swarthy man, according to his Georgia driver’s license, was indeed a real and recent person, despite his mummy-like body.

The craft was harder to rationalize, since it’s components were manufactured in the United States and China, but were so old that they exceeded their intended shelf life, but somehow without wear or friction. They were just—old. Witnesses reported that they saw the electronics and lights working, but that they instantaneously shorted out. The investigation was taking months, and nothing made sense.

The oddest part of all of it—beyond a man older than America, or what looked like the advent of teleportation, was what was on the camera. Remarkably, despite the SD card being paradoxically ancient and recently manufactured, the data was uncorrupted. For the most part, everything recorded was clear. Although recorded in 1080p, it now had the resolution of the Nixon-Kennedy debates.

Yet the footage was not remarkable to the public. No dinner conversations or golf chats were spent on the subject. It was not apropos. No one could even tell what was on the video. How could they had never seen it. And how could they see it if it was withheld?

A lab video analyst leaked that the audio was mostly Aramaic; some was modern American English—probably Bryant’s voice, his narration. Quickly, Twitter was ablaze. What the world officially new was that Congress had created a special committee to “discuss” the vehicle and it’s contents. Conspiracy-theorists blogged that Congress was actually weighing the ramifications of what the footage held. Other Americans lobbied for our borders to be strengthened and for airspace security to be heightened. Late-night variety shows had a hay-day.

Within fifteen days, a non-related scandal marginalized the event, and soon the only thing the twenty-four-hour-news networks were outraged over was a fast-food employee being fired for having bestial relations on company property. Animal-rights activists, the LGBT community, and minimum wage hikers were indignant with accusations and victimist claims, and all attention was re-focused towards them.

Several hundred miles away, in a Georgia recording studio, a tall man with an unassuming voice divulged into his microphone the secrets of how time-travel works.

Check out theirPodcast: http://www.howstuffworks.com/podcasts/stuff-you-should-know.rss

By the way—none of those claims about their voices and Cheetos, math, or comics are founded.

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