Great Moments in Spam Responses: International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology

“Get me off your fucking mailing list.”

~David Mazières and Eddie Kohler

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If you put a gun to our head and told us to tell you one thing that’s wrong with America, we’d press our forehead into the barrel and say, “That pussies like you don’t have the stones to pull the trigger.”  But if you asked nicely, and weren’t a dick about it, we’d say, “probably the existence of companies and publications employing predatory tactics to gain profit.”  And while businesses that gain all their profits through legal-but-shady means are a global phenomenon, America does unfortunately have its fair share of assholes who trick the gullible, frightened, and elderly into giving them money.

One surprising and somewhat unsettling form this has taken involves, of all things, science.  Specifically, “academic journals” that solely exist to mill out publications for graduate students and members of STEM academia.  These publications spam academics and will post just about anything so long as they get their publication fee.  One of those publications is the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology which is the equivalent of us calling our website the International Publication of Extraordinary Patriotic Informative Studies, which is to say it’s a bullshit name for a bullshit publication (yes we are including ourselves in the “bullshit” category).  And that’s why it was so wonderful when, in 2014, Peter Vamplew, Associate Professor at Federation University Australia, decided to fuck with this publication, to amazing effect.  This is his story.

Great Moments in Spam Responses:  International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology

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The World’s Saddest Cuisines: Mordvinia

“Wait, so this is depressing even for RUSSIA?  Jesus.”

~AFFotD’s Food Critic

 mordvinia

We very clearly love food here, but we also love calling out other countries for how bad their food is.  Granted, it’s not particularly noteworthy to have bad food (cough, sup England) or weird food (how you living, Japan). But we prefer to focus on depressing food cultures.  Like, yes, Iceland eats rotted fermented shark, and that’s gross, but the fact that they ferment everything because they can’t afford to import salt, or that the shark has to be fermented so that it stops being poisonous is legitimately depressing.

So we are here to keep our proud tradition of looking at rich, steeped culinary histories and going, “Oh God, that’s so sad.”  Now let’s hop on a plane to the federal subject of Russia, Mordvinia, where things get depressing, even for Russia.

The World’s Saddest Cuisines:  Mordvinia

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The First Season of the NFL was Ridiculous

“You can’t both be called the Tigers.  Or you can.  Whatever.  We’re kind of making this up as we go along.”

~Jim Thorpe, the first president of the NFL

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The NFL is part of our nation’s DNA, exhibiting everything we stand for.  Teamwork.  Perseverance.  Struggle.  Old white men punishing people when they dance too much in celebration.  A shocking inability to properly handle domestic abuse.  And, of course, Tom Brady’s cleft chin.  Imagining America without football is almost impossible.  What would we do with our winter Sundays?  Football is in the bible, you guys.  “On the seventh day, the Lord kicked back a 12 pack on his recliner and watched NFL Red Zone with a close eye on his fantasy team.”

We think.  Listen, just like most Americans, we like to use the bible to make our point, despite not having really “read it.”  But we digress.

The point is, as much as we assume that football has always been with us, there was a time when the league was brand new and very, very ridiculous.  So let’s hop in a time machine of words and go back to 1920, where the first season of a National Football League took place.  It was sloppy as hell.

The First Season of the NFL was Ridiculous

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The 5 Most Expensive American Guns Ever Sold In Auction

“Pew pew pew.  That’ll be a million dollars, please.”

~Gun Auctioneers, Probably?

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America loves and hates guns more than any other country in the world, though apparently Serbia is trying their best to give us a run for our money.  We’re not here to talk about gun laws or crime in the nation, because God that just sounds like a fucking chore.  So instead, we’re going to talk about very old guns that were purchased by very rich (presumably white and old) people, because no matter what you think about gun culture, it is pretty wild to imagine spending a million dollars on some two hundred year old metal contraption that could maybe still kill a person.

The 5 Most Expensive American Guns Ever Sold In Auction

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The Weirdest Christmas Dishes From Around the World

“We wish you a merry…oh God what are you putting in front of us?  You want us to EAT that?”

~Greenland residents during Christmas

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We’re just a few short days away from Christmas, a time for reflection, forced familial-interaction in the guise of gift giving and, above all else, feasting, American-style.  Every family has their own different tradition for Christmas, ranging from “it’s pretty much like a second Thanksgiving” to “my family died in a fire and the holidays are a cold reminder of how I’m alone in the world, oh God now I’m crying in public again, thanks a lot assholes” but generally, an American Christmas feast falls well within the definition of “normal.”  Ham?  Sounds delicious.  Turkey?  Sure!  Egg nog?  Booze it up and we’ll talk.

But we were recently informed, much to our surprise, that countries other than America also celebrate Christmas, which is insane to think about because America is the only country that actually makes good Christmas movies.  But it’s true, we’re not alone in celebrating Christmas.  However, less surprisingly, most other countries get real weird about it.  So we decided to cast our xenophobia aside (reluctantly) in the spirit of Christmas, and look at some traditional Christmas dishes around the world.  And since it’s the holidays, we’re not going to say that all of these are gross and must be set on fire, and instead are just focusing on Christmas meals that are…weird.

The Weirdest Christmas Dishes From Around the World

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Jackie Coogan: Uncle Fester Was Kind of a Badass

“Holy shit, I can’t believe I got killed by Uncle Fester.”

~An Actual Murderer

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“Actors aren’t as tough as they used to be” sounds like a sentence you’d hear an angry old man shouting from his porch, possibly to children gliding down the sidewalk on Heelys.  But there is some truth to it.  Sure, a lot might have to do with the times we live in, but it’s easy to forget that Hollywood wasn’t always full of glamour and George Clooneys.  The Golden Age of Hollywood was pretty much fueled by animal deaths on set and carefully regimented drug cocktails forced upon strung out teenage actresses off it, and if you managed to pull through that minefield relatively successful and sane, then you had to be made of some pretty solid stuff.

We mention that because while we (correctly) look back at groundbreaking actors such as Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, and Humphrey Bogart as visionaries and badasses, there’s one actor who probably was the toughest son of a bitch to step in front of a camera (yes, we know that list includes Danny Trejo) if for no other reason than the fact that his childhood, we’re pretty sure, was haunted.  Which probably helped him prepare for the role of Uncle Fester.

Yes, we’re going to talk about Jackie Coogan, who could totally beat you up.

Jackie Coogan:  Uncle Fester Was Kind of a Badass

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Your American Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

“I’m too drunk and full to talk about politics.”

~Someone doing Thanksgiving right

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Thanksgiving is two days away, which means that some of you are definitely using that as an excuse to eat unhealthy and drink on weekdays.  And that’s good!  The best holidays are the ones you can kind of streeetch into a full week or more of unhealthy behavior, sort of like how Halloween almost always has a party for the weekend before and after the 31st of October.

But some people might not like Thanksgiving as much as our staff does.  While we enjoy spending time with our families, carefully navigating the “when do I switch from beer to wine so I’m not double fisting at the dinner table” dynamic and watching football games where people fumble off of butts, some Americans aren’t that lucky, and have to spend most of their time biting their tongue at Uncle Richard’s assertion that “Anderson Cooper’s one of those damn lizard people” as their Aunt Edna passive-aggressively criticizes all the dishes that she didn’t make. So for those of you who view Thanksgiving as a time to take a deep breath and mumble, “Okay, let’s get this over with” we humbly offer a few suggestions to make your Thanksgiving tolerable.  Or even kind of okay!

Your American Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

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Ray Caldwell: The Alcoholic Lightning Rod of Major League Baseball

“*gets hit by lightning*  *chugs a beer*  Don’t worry guys, I’m good.”

~Ray Caldwell

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Most history curriculums are pretty bad at telling us about the crazy things that have actually happened in the world, if you think about it.  Sure, McCarthyism during the Cold War is “something we should know” but how come no one talks about the time we tried to build a military base on the moon in 1959?  Hell, even when history tries to get edgy (like, for instance, the existence of Teddy Roosevelt) it somehow manages to leave out some of the best parts (like how his daughter was a pet-snake keeping badass).  This goes double for history.  We know about Babe Ruth and his philandering, boozy ways, but we don’t know about the pure insanity that was Charlie Sweeney.  Likewise, everyone and their mother knows at least the name “Cy Young” when it comes to pitchers, but was Cy Young an alcoholic who once was struck by lightning during a game that he stayed in and finished?  We didn’t think so.

So we here at America Fun Fact of the Day have decided to do history a favor and help them spice things up a bit by telling you a little bit about Ray Caldwell, one of the most badass pitchers to ever play professional baseball, and one of the few people who can give Charlie Sweeney a run for his money.

Ray Caldwell: The Alcoholic Lightning Rod of Major League Baseball

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The National Anthems Of The World Series: Part 4- National Anthems With The Lowest Self Esteem

“This is our national anthem, nobody likes me L”

~Huh, How Do You Get an Emoji in a National Anthem?

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We’ve spent the last few weeks telling you about countries that aren’t America, which we know is very jarring for many of you.  But in our attempts to be cultured (read as: making fun of other nations) we’ve found a broad spectrum of National Anthems that range from “Okay that’s pretty badass” to “please stop crying, please stop crying, it’s making us very uncomfortable.”  Make no mistake, a National Anthem is supposed to be your country at its most very badass.  But that’s not always the case.  So we’re going to close out our series with a handful of nations that, just, really need to boost that self-esteem.  Come on guys, chins up!

The National Anthems Of The World Series:  Part 4- National Anthems With The Lowest Self Esteem

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The National Anthems Of The World Series: Part 3- The Most Depressing National Anthem Lyrics

“I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.”

~Bangladesh’s National Anthem, Basically

national-anthem

For the past few weeks we’ve been looking at various National Anthems, and judging their lyrics in our own judgey way.  We started off with those anthems that we deemed to be particularly “metal” because that’s by far the most fun thing to read, but there are all sorts of National Anthems out there.  Some are origin stories.  Some are proud.  Some are, meh, boring (sup Canada).

But, notably, a lot are surprisingly depressing.  Let’s all get sad together, shall we?

The National Anthems Of The World Series:  Part 3- The Most Depressing National Anthem Lyrics

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