The Burning Questions Mailbag, pt. 3


Welcome back to the Burning Questions Mailbag. Everyone’s favorite recurring segment has returned with a vengeance, and this is the biggest one yet. The people didn’t disappoint and submitted more Burning Questions than ever before, and I’m more than happy to answer all some of them. Let’s dive right in.

Jerry S. asks: What’s the deal with math?

I’ll be honest, this was my question, not Jerry’s. This is what prompted me to revive the BQMB. What’s up with math? Why do all these complex equations and formulas exist? Every single one of them is an arbitrary human construct designed to solve a problem that humans created. It’s all fake. What real world application does calculus have? When’s the last time algebra helped anyone? What’s the point of any mathematical function outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? Who decided what pi is and who decided it’s infinite? Sine and cosine are the fakest, most pointless things ever. Like who gives a shit what the area of an isosceles triangle is? Why do we still teach our children this crap? If you want to spend the rest of your life playing make believe with all the other mathematicians, you should have to declare yourself a math loser in like, fourth grade so everyone else doesn’t have to waste valuable education time on such a nonsensical and impractical discipline. Like the math problem from Good Will Hunting? Why does that even exist? Why are there unsolvable math problems if math itself is 100000000% man-made? Why did we create something we couldn’t solve? Just proves my point that advanced math is illegitimate and clearly something that should be kept in Neverland where it belongs.

pestooneverything asks: Why would Tory Lanez use a stage name when his real name is Daystar Peterson and what would your stage name be?

That’s a great question. As for the first part, you’d have to ask Tory Lanez himself. I tried contacting him, but he’s not returning my calls at the moment. It’s a long story. As for my stage name, I’m not quite sure. It’s have to be something catchy, and probably short. Maybe I’ll just be Brian. I don’t know, needs workshopping. One thing I know for certain, though, is that my nickname would be Mr. Mistoffelees. The nickname to the nickname is arguably more important, and I need to let people know what I’m all about. I think Mr. Mistoffelees gets the point across.

WhiteKong asks: What’s the worst city in America?

There are a lot, and I mean a LOT, of contenders for this. There’s my hometown of Rutland, Vermont. There’s good ol’ St. Louis. There’s my new home of New York City. There’s probably ten thousand terrible cities across this great country. But, in my mind, the big three of terrible American cities are Reno, Nevada, Detroit, Michigan, and Tampa, Florida. Detroit is obvious and kind of sad, but Reno and Tampa are living monuments to the most reviled sect of the American population: white trash. Nevada opened itself up to cities like Reno getting so bad by making the entire state a lawless commune. If you have the opportunity to trick people into thinking you’re just like Vegas, you’re gonna do it. It’s just when you don’t have any of the allure and panache you’re left with a hellhole of epic proportions. And Tampa is like if every stereotype you have of white people in Florida was a city.

ConfusedReader asks: Can someone focus on their career and have a family without compromising on either end?

Welcome to the Dear Abby portion of the program. Friend, I don’t know if you’ve ever read this website before, but I’m about as close to having a family or fulfilling career as I am to curing cancer, and I can assure you I’m not particularly close to curing cancer.

Out of goodwill, though, I must answer. I’d say yes, because people have been wondering this since the dawn of time and nothing about the way we structure professional lives has ever changed, so I’m guessing people figure it out? If you’re super dedicated to your work, a workaholic, or just plain old obsessed with your career, good luck finding someone that puts up with that longterm, but if you’ve got a regular 40-hour-a-week position, I don’t see why not. As long as you make it to little Jimmy’s baseball games so he doesn’t resent you for not being there, I think you can, at the very least, trick your family into thinking you care more about them than that nice promotion on the horizon.

movieman asks: I’m a little late, but I should totally get MoviePass, right?

Totally. Love MoviePass. It’s how I can afford to see all these movies and live in New York at the same time. Really, if you go like, ten times in a year it pays for itself. Wait, what’s that? MoviePass literally ran out of money and had to get a $5 million loan and is now raising prices and restricting access to blockbusters? Yiiiiiiikeessssss. R.I.P. MoviePass. It was a good run that seemed too good to be true every time I used it. Turns out it was. A free tip for every fledgling business owner out there: make sure you have a way to make money. Hard to stick around if you don’t.

Brian asks: Who was the first underwear manufacturer to account for erections?

Wonderful question, Brian. I’m not sure the answer to that, but I do know who has the most comfortable underwear. That’s right, it’s MeUndies! Right now, my readers can get 10% off their first purchase. Just go to and enter the promo code: Brian.

DesperateLover asks: What’s the most polite way to ask for nudes?

“Excuse me, can I please have some nudes?”

BlacktopLebron asks: What’s your current All-White NBA Team?

Don’t know if you mean American white or Euros included, but I’m gonna include Euros just because.


G- Luka Doncic

G- Evan Fornier

F- Gordan Hayward

F- Kevin Love

C- Kristaps Porzingis


F- Dirk Nowitzki

F- Doug McDermott

G- Kyle Korver

C- Marc Gasol

C- Pau Gasol

G- Matthew Dellavedova

G- JJ Redick

We’re scoring a lot of points, buttttttt defense might be a bit of an issue.

X asks: Now that Dad Hats are back, what will be the next cool hat?

Cycling hats. Trust me, these things are gonna be huge.

AngryPerson asks: Why did you love Mamma Mia 2 so much? I hated it and loved the first one.

Well, you have my condolences. Being born with no taste must have been very hard for you. Mamma Mia 2 is better because it takes the best part about the first one (the music) and puts it front and center. Mamma Mia tried to have a real storyline, when, in reality, this is quite possibly the most far-fetched franchise plot-wise in history. Mamma Mia 2 embraces the absurdity and just gives the audience banger after banger, while Mamma Mia was caught trying to be both Les Mis and Grease, which didn’t work. 2 knows what it is, 1 didn’t. Both are still fire movies, though.

GuythatworksforXboxandisalegitimateInsiderwhothinksIhaveactualanswers asks: What’s going to be the next big technology that changes gaming? Better AI? 8K? Cloud computing?

Just going off my gut instinct, here, but the next big shift in gaming technology is going to be physical gaming. Imagine this- you have a representation of the game’s world in front of you (let’s call it a board), and a piece (or two, or three, etc.) that acts as a stand-in for the avatar, and, using things like random number generators and games of chance, you move your piece across the game board, fulfilling objectives, collecting loot, and competing against other players. I just think that’s where games are going.

Joseph asks: What’s the most annoying fan base?

I feel like I’ve touched on this before, but the five most annoying fan bases are 5. Patriots (I concede we can be very annoying and easily #triggered at times, but when the entire world makes it their mission to #trigger you, I’m sorry if I have a short fuse) 4. Star Wars (they hardcore fans that complain about everything and make me like the movies less) 3. St. Louis Cardinals (like Yankee fans but midwest) 2. Kobe (Kobe is not a top ten player of all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time. Kobe is not a top ten player all time) and, of course, 1. Yankees. I’m admittedly biased. But that stupid candle-light vigil for Aaron Judge (who hasn’t even Earned his Pinstripes, IMO) is why the entire country hates every single one of those mongoloid losers. There isn’t a more self-serious and self-aggrandizing group of people on the planet. Please @ me so I can tell you how stupid and detestable you all are.

DP asks: Why are you so soft on Kevin Durant?

Because everyone is so hard on him, and it makes me feel smart to go against public opinion, especially when the basis of most people’s argument is the imaginary concept of “loyalty.” Yes, it completely shattered the competitive balance of the league, but, I don’t know. I just don’t care.

FootballJunkie asks: Who’s your top ten skill position (non-QB) in the NFL?

God, just seeing the word football has me fiending something fierce. This is summer is last in my seasonal power rankings- training camp is the longest period of time ever. I just want some regular season action. Feed me Bengals-Colts on Thursday night. Anyway, top ten skill guys, non-QB.

  1. Healthy Rob Gronkowsi
  2. Antonio Brown
  3. Odell Beckham, Jr.
  4. Julio Jones
  5. Le’veon Bell
  6. A.J. Green
  7. Todd Gurley
  8. DeAndre Hopkins
  9. Travis Kelce
  10. David Johnson

Mr. Thoughtful asks: What’s a good first anniversary gift to give my girlfriend? She likes adventures and traveling but I have no money 😦

Ahh, the age old question. How to keep my significant other appeased despite the fact that I don’t have the necessary funds to shower them in lavish gifts? A true dilemma, if I’ve ever heard one. A love of adventures and traveling, you say? Hmmm. I think I know just the thing! How about a trip to lovely Reno, Nevada! It’s all some of the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas at half the price! It’s an adventure because you won’t know if you’ll get sick from the used needles on the side of the road or the extreme second-hand smoke inhalation, and it’s traveling because I’m assuming you’re a real person and don’t live in Nevada. It’s a win-win! Or, you could make a bunch of artistic renderings of the two of you in all the places you’d like to go and hide them throughout the house. She might appreciate the effort.

BlacktopGriffey asks: Who’s your top ten current MLB players?

A lot of lists this time, but I’m always game to give definitive player rankings that no one can possibly dispute. I’ll do top ten position players and top ten pitchers.

Position Players

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Mookie Betts
  3. Jose Ramirez
  4. Nolan Arenado
  5. J.D. Martinez
  6. Francisco Lindor
  7. Manny Machado
  8. Jose Altuve
  9. Aaron Judge
  10. Joey Votto


  1. Chris Sale
  2. Max Scherzer
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Jacob deGrom
  5. Justin Verlander
  6. Aaron Nola
  7. Gerrit Cole
  8. Corey Kluber
  9. Luis Severino
  10. Zack Greinke

Briansden69 asks: Remember when you went to the Denver Airport and became indoctrinated by the Illuminati? Whatever happe-

Well, I think that’ll about do it for this edition of the Burning Questions Mailbag. Always good to hear from readers and ease their troubled minds. I’ll keep my brain churning to come up with some more Burning Questions as long as you all do, too. Remember, if you have a question, I have the answer.


It’s Back…

Legends have long spoken of an ancient ritual practiced deep in the catacombs of the world’s most powerful cities. An arcane and dangerous rite than cannot be comprehended by the uninitiated and can alter the very fabric of reality as we know it. It has long been forbidden by civilized societies for obvious reasons. But, recently, rumors have begun spreading of a new sect ready to revive the hedonistic act and once again terrorize the world. And, if these rumors are to be believed, sometime early next week they will emerge into the light and present the fruits of their pagan labors. They will present…..the Burning Questions Mailbag.


It’s back. After over a year, it’s finally back. Why did it take so long to get part three of the Burning Questions Mailbag saga? I kind of forgot about it, if we’re being honest. But I just thought of my own Burning Question, and boy, is it a doozy. I knew then that I had failed the people. How many Burning Questions had gone unanswered and forgotten because of my laziness? I had to open up the mailbag once again. What is a Burning Question, you may ask? Well, if you’re new to the site, a Burning Question is exactly what it sounds like. A question that needs answering, ASAP. Doesn’t matter the topic, doesn’t matter how deep or complex. If it’s boring a hole in your brain, it’s a Burning Question. Yes, many Burning Questions could be misconstrued as “high thoughts” by those who lack vision, but, I assure you, at no point in the Burning Question process am I under the influence of any foreign substance. I just have a naturally inquisitive mind (my readers, on the other hand…). So, how do you submit a Burning Question? It’s easy. Just leave a comment, or send me an email (, or shoot me a DM (@TheBrianCurran for Twitter or @briansden69 for Instagram), or, let’s be honest, just text me since the only people who actually care about this segment already have my number, anyway. Get those brains working.

Happy One Year Anniversary to Me


Wow. As of today, it’s officially been a full year since I started The Brian’s Den. I know, I know. Congratulations to me and all that. Hard to believe it’s been 365 days since, a day after George Michael’s death, I decided to start this website. There’s been a lot of ups and a couple downs, but hopefully it was never boring. The world takeover hasn’t quite happened yet, but I still appreciate everyone who comes here to waste a few minutes every day. You’re all part of the the most exclusive club in the world, so don’t be afraid to puff out your chest a little bit and act like you’re better than everyone. You read the most educational website in the world, after all.

Now, were I a true professional, I’d have something special planned for my one year anniversary. Unfortunately, I’m not, so I don’t. So instead of forcing some content to materialize that undoubtedly won’t be good, I figured I’d just run back some posts that I know are good. That’s right, it’s the Official Brian’s Den clip show!

The Videos

Coors Field Concession Review

Denver Airport Conspiracy

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Episode 1 of my short lived cooking show (RIP)

How I Saved New York City

Can’t go too long without mentioning my (sort of) signature series, Burning Questions

Burning Questions Hub

The Food Takes

Which Fast Food Place Has the Worst Dressed Customers?

Fast Food Sauces Stink

Halloween Candy Power Ranking

Crab > Lobster

Why I Hate Lunch

The Grocery Store Rules

Best Pizza Chain

The Best #sports Talk

What’s up with JJ Redick’s tattoos?

The NBA’s Hidden Crime Syndicate

This is probably problematic but I still think it’s funny

Is Aaron Judge a True Yankee?

Pats Won the Super Bowl if you hadn’t heard

Entertainment News

Best Action Movie Characters

Stop Calling Die Hard a Christmas Movie

The Greatest Video Ever Made

Is The Weeknd a Virgin?

The Next Oscar Winner

The comprehensive list of Yu-Gi-Oh! takes

The Special Occasions

Countdown to 2017

Valentine’s Day

Eclipse 2017


Christmas (including Hawaiian Christmas)

So, what’s your favorite post? Did it show up here? Or do I have so many good ones that I overlooked some? What was my worst one (trick question, of course)? Let me know what you liked and would like to see more of. It was a good year one, and hopefully year two will be a big one.

I Stand with Michael Beasley


This is coming a day late so I’m sure everyone’s already forgotten about it, but I couldn’t address it yesterday and it was too important to ignore. Michael Beasley, who has been on a rampage the last few weeks, giving amazing, possibly cannabis-fueled comments left and right. This sit-down interview was merely the culmination of an artist at the top of his game. Hearing Beas try to wrap his mind around the “ten percent of the brain” theory and who discovered it put me firmly in his corner, because I realized I had a brother in arms. I had discovered a fellow deep thinker and asker of Burning Questions. While I’m just naturally curious and don’t have access to whatever kind of industrial-grade drugs Beasley has, we’re both burdened with the weight of a ponderous and philosophical mind, so, in an act of solidarity, I’ll try and break down Mike’s quandary as best I can.

I’m 100% with Mike, here. Who even discovered that we could only use 10% of our brains? (We’re going to ignore the irksome fact that this is all just a myth because that makes it no fun) Socrates essentially said the smartest people know that they know nothing, so clearly whoever decided we only use 10% was the smartest person ever. Or was it the dumbest, and they just had a good reputation and a big enough platform to convince everyone that their brains were on the same subpar level as his and no one questioned it after? And, if Beasley is to be believed and someone out there had access to 11% of their brain, how did they unlock it? Can I use 11% of my brain or do you have to be born with it? If humans only have the capability to use 10% of their brains, wouldn’t that mean someone using 10% of their brains is really using 100% of their available brainpower? What’s the point of the other 90% if I can’t actively use it? If everything doctors learn is, as he said, “man-written,” how do we know if anything is actually true? Are we just supposed to take some random guy’s word for it? What if the guy that wrote about the brain only had access to 9% of his own brain, and thus couldn’t fully understand the brain and all its intricacies? Is any medicine real or is it all placebos and dumb luck? How can we be sure anything is real if everything originated as here-say? Can I even be sure I exist?

Sorry, got a little off track there. That’s just the kind of thing that can happen when you get wrapped up in a Burning Question. I can fully understand where Mike is coming from here, and I support any future Beasley Burning Questions. #Istandwithbeas

Do I Have to Become A Baseball Promotions Guy Now That I Went to Xander Bogaerts Gnome Night?

On Wednesday night I went to the Red Sox-A’s game in Fenway. There was a rain delay and the Sox got killed by a terrible team with nothing to play for despite desperately needing wins to build any kind of momentum whatsoever. It was a great time. Silver lining, though, I got this sweet Xander Bogaerts gnome.

Guess I have a new most prized possession @redsox @thexman2 #redsox #imagnomeguynow

A post shared by Brian’s Den (@briansden69) on

Don’t worry, I haven’t taken it out of the packaging. I’m no fool. That would kill the resale value, and everyone knows how valuable these things can be in the long run. This beauty is about to take up a prominent place on my mantle, showing that I love the Red Sox but I also have a lot of class. All was well in my world until I realized something troubling: this was actually the second time this season I’ve been to a Promotion Game. When I took my famous trip to Denver, the Rockies game I went to was giving out Rockies Wiffle Ball Bats. I had to leave it behind because it wouldn’t fit in my luggage, but the question remains: now that I’ve been to multiple ballpark giveaways in one season, do I have to become a Baseball Promotional Giveaway Guy?

Here’s the thing- if you have more than one gnome/bobbleheads/pennants/whatever you got from a special giveaway at a baseball stadium, you can’t have less than five. And if you have more than five, you can’t have less than ten. You can’t dip your toes into the water of the promotion pool. You’re either in or you’re out. Right now I’m in no man’s land. Luckily, I don’t physically have the second item anymore, so I can avoid commitment for a while. I’m not sure if I’m ready to go all the way. It’s a lot of work becoming a promotions guy. You’ve got to keep tabs on the ever-changing promotion schedule of not only your favorite MLB team, but also any local minor league clubs. A true promotion guy doesn’t limit himself to only one team’s promotions, and lives to fill his home with minor league knick-knacks. Sure, eligible members of the opposite sex your friends will compliment your tasteful and understated design choices, but chasing promotions can add up. There’s ticket expenses, travel expenses, lord knows how much money you’ll spend on concessions. That’s a lot to put in just to get a handful of small ceramic statuettes that somewhat resemble popular athletes in funny outfits or in signature poses. Plus the crippling loneliness that comes with all that traveling and attending games at random times during weekdays. I’m too young for that fate. I’m not ready to give up on my hopes and dreams just yet. I am officially renouncing my right to collect stadium giveaways. Until I’m still single at 35, I will never willingly go to a baseball game that has any kind of promotion planned. No more clever but cheaply made t-shirts. No more hats with beards attached anytime a team has a player with facial hair. No more magnetic team schedules. No more bobbleheads of the backup catcher. No more playoff games, either, since they’re always handing out shirts and towels and such. It’s a sad life, sure, but not as sad as the alternative. I’m doing this for all of you, really. The longer I fight off a stadium giveaway obsession, the longer I can give out the flaming hot takes you’ve all come to expect.

This only applies to baseball games, so you better believe I’ll be first in line anytime the Celtics give something away.

The Burning Questions Mailbag, pt. 2


It’s been a little while, but we’re back with some more Burning Questions, straight from the People. The Burning Questions Mailbag was starting to get some serious buildup, so I had to give it some release. Plus, what better way to celebrate Memorial Day than answering other people’s important quandaries? Considering how heavily these Questions have been weighing on my readers’ minds, solving their problems kind of puts me in the same class of hero as the brave men and women we’re remembering today, right? I’ll keep telling myself that, at least. As with last time, we have to start with a question from the most important member of the #BurningQuestions community, myself.

Brian asks: Why do some people put toothpaste on their toothbrush before running it under water?

There are of a lot of great mysteries out there. Who was Jack the Ripper? What is the Meaning of Life? What happened to Jimmy Hoffa? What’s up with the Bermuda Triangle? Even the Mysteries of the Rosary. But for my money, absolutely nothing beats this. Why the hell do people put toothpaste on first? The order is wet toothbrush, put on toothpaste, brush teeth, wash toothbrush. It’s not exactly rocket surgery. There’s four steps and people somehow still mess it up. You don’t put milk in the bowl before the cereal, you don’t put socks on before underwear, and you don’t put toothpaste on before running it under water. Not to take a shot at the fine parents across this great nation, but if you allow your kids to do this, you’ve failed to produce a contributing member of society.

pestooneverything asks: Does Sean Paul make songs better or worse?

I don’t know, you tell me:

Infinitely better. Next.

xboxguy asks: As the streaming industry takes off (this year there will be more time spent watching games than playing them) and services like Mixer offer a more interactive viewing experience (crowd can vote on key decisions and impact the gameplay), will we see a shift in the way games are designed?

Well, I didn’t really expect to get into a discussion about the fate of the video game industry, but here we are. This may get a little nerdy, so bare with me. As far as Mixer is concerned, while it is assuredly the most advanced and efficient version of this type of populist streaming, it’s not the first time we’ve seen it. Consider the tale of Lord Helix, the central deity from Twitch Plays Pokemon, a bizarre experiment that asked the question “what if every decision in a Pokemon game, down to the direction the main character walked, was made by an internet comment section in real time?” Needless to say, they made a complete mockery of the game. But, by introducing complete chaos into the relatively straightforward story, an entirely unique experience was created. It was so popular, they did it more than 10 more times. Now, Pokemon games are handheld games with simple mechanics and rudimentary decision-making. It’s relatively easy to subjugate them to the whims of the masses. If things like Mixer can effectively bring a similar experience to current-gen console games, then it’s almost guaranteed to change the way games are developed. Considering the popularity of streaming (I’m not really a streaming guy, but, for some games, I understand the benefits of watching someone else play. Now, if you’re going to sit there and watch someone else play, and then make all the key decisions and impact the gameplay? Just play the game yourself), games who focus on streaming will undoubtedly add features to encourage audience participation. I suspect, soon enough, almost every game will introduce some kind of peanut-gallery-friendly mechanics. The gaming industry has never been one to stand in the way of progress, and I fully expect this to be a massive hit.

BlacktopLebron asks: Couple NBA questions- is the lottery rigged, and who are your top ten NBA players right now, based purely on talent (not age, contract, success, etc.)

Rigged? The NBA Draft Lottery? It can’t be. Not the same lottery the Celtics just won by pure chance and of their own merits? Never! (But, in all seriousness, yes, of course it’s rigged. You think the Lakers kept their top-3 protected pick by chance? You think the still-NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets won the lottery because of luck? Or that the Cavs won a million straight lotteries despite having astronomical odds after LeBron left town? Or the Bulls somehow winning the Derrick Rose lottery? Please. Russian elections think the NBA Draft Lottery has a dubious history)

As for my top ten, it looks something like this:

  1. LeBron James
  2. Kevin Durant
  3. Kawhi Leonard
  4. Russell Westbrook
  5. Anthony Davis
  6. Steph Curry
  7. James Harden
  8. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  9. John Wall
  10. Karl-Anthony Towns

JoeyGSp0t asks: What’s the most degrading thing you’d do for money? Would you ever do porn?

Well, I’m flattered that you would consider asking if I’d ever do porn. Truth be told, though, I’d do pretty much anything for money. Now, if I did ever delve into the adult entertainment world, I’d probably have to create an entirely new life for myself, because you can’t be a part of the regular world and the porn world at the same time. I’d need new friends, new family, most likely a new identity (besides my stage name Rodrigo Waters, obviously). I might even need to fake my own death. That’s a lot of work. Too much work, you might say. So, I probably won’t do porn, mostly because of the inconvenience it would cause me. Not the shame. I abandoned all shame long ago.

WhiteKong asks: What’s the best specialty sandwich?

Excellent question as always, WhiteKong. Not many things in this world better than a good sandwich. I’m assuming by specialty sandwich, you mean anything more complex than a basic deli meat sandwich. Don’t get me wrong, good deli meat is excellent. But sometimes, your body needs a something more than just turkey and condiments. Now, to avoid the more annoying, trapped-in-2015 sections of the internet mob, I’m drawing some guidelines here: this only counts regular sandwiches. Meat between two or more separate pieces of bread. Anything served in a hot dog bun doesn’t count. Also, no specific fast food items, either. Only things you can either make at home or get at any good sandwich place, not one specific restaurant.

Top Five Sandwiches

  1. Cuban
  2. PB & J
  3. Cheeseburger
  4. Bacon (or sausage), egg, and cheese
  5. French Dip

XtothaG asks: Will Andre 3000 ever come out with a solo album?

If I knew the answer to that, I’d be doing something better with my life than writing this blog.

dpower asks: What’s the best pickup line on Tinder?

Easy. “Hey, do you read Wow, me too.” Hope you’re ready for what comes your way.

KingRichard1911 asks: What would be the best period of history to live in?

I assume you mean besides “right now.” Quality of life in anything before 1950 is going to be pretty lousy, so I’ve got to pick a time where my modern-day knowledge would make me a king, but where it’s not so much greater than what the people have that I’m considered a witch. And, in the likely event that I’m killed, I’d prefer it to be something quick like a gun, not a dull bone knife. That’s a pretty small window. I’m thinking anywhere from the late 1600s through the 1700s or so would be good for me. If I went back there with a set of modern maps, I could easily become the greatest pirate ever. All I’d have to do is not get caught. Avoiding the law in any time before the Civil Rights Movement should have been the easiest thing ever, so I’m good there. Or, since I’d be the biggest, strongest, and smartest person there, maybe I could lead the Continental Army against the British. I’d be the first president, not George Washington. And, since I lack his honor and foresight, I’d just stay president until I die, creating the exact same system of government that I just spent many years fighting to avoid. Or I could just be a taller, smarter Napoleon who doesn’t do stupid shit like invade Russia or get into pointless wars with Spain. Really, the possibilities are endless for anyone who just isn’t an idiot. That’s the only pre-requisite for world domination.

WhiteKong also asks: What’s the most overrated food?

Last time I discovered that cantaloupe was the most underrated fruit, so I guess it’ll now become tradition to debate which foods are properly rated. Not that I’m complaining, or anything. My food takes are rock solid, so it’s an honor that many people come to me looking for guidance. Now, there are tons of overrated foods. Off the top of my head there’s things like Taylor Ham, Sriracha, quinoa, kale, wasabi, the list goes on. But, I keep coming back to avocado, but I actually don’t think it’s the true answer. Let’s get it out of the way, though: avocados suck. I know I have to renounce my status as a millennial for saying it, but someone has to. I’m sick of being held hostage by this stupid fruit. Avocados don’t taste good. They don’t even really have a taste. They’re just mush. Hey, Chipotle, I’ll keep my $20 for a small cup of guacamole, thank you, because guacamole stinks. But, as I said, avocados aren’t the most overrated food. You know what is? The term superfood. It’s the entire reason avocados became popular in the first place. They’re the original superfood. People are completely obsessed with the concept of superfood. What, do you think an avocado is going to do your taxes or something? Rescue your cat from a tree? What happened to something just being healthy? Now it’s got to be a superfood. And they’re all so in-your-face, too. People trying to get my to eat açai berries or something. Please. And everything’s a superfood, now, too. “Blueberries found to be newest superfood.” Just because it tastes good and is healthy doesn’t mean it has to be called a superfood. Pretty much everything outside Chili Cheese Fritos is a superfood these days. Literally every fruit. Pretty much every nut. Most fish. People saying wine is a superfood. If everything is a superfood, how can anything be a superfood? It’s so stupid. Avocados are healthy. That’s good to know. Calling it a superfood doesn’t make me want to eat it. It doesn’t make me want avocado-flavored stuff. It doesn’t make me want avocado-themed clothing. It doesn’t make me want to name my first ten children Avocado. It’s like the insufferable bacon craze that finally died down. There’s always the It food that everyone thinks everyone else loves and wants to jam it down the public’s throat 24/7. And right now, it’s Superfood.

DeerHit45 asks: As medical sciences continue to push towards reversing the effects of aging, humans are quickly becoming immortal. Will this make life lose all meaning?

Had to end with a feel-good question. I mean, yeah, if everyone was immortal I don’t think everyone would care about anything anymore. What would be the point? The skydiving industry would love it. Casinos would be thrilled. Amusement parks would be on the rise. People would just spend their infinite lives searching for thrills, for anything that made them feel alive. Or feel anything at all. There wouldn’t be some great progress or new utopian society. That’s just not how humans are wired. If our lives had no end, all meaning would be sapped from it. Why should I ever go to work? Why should I leave the house? Whatever it is I was going to do, I can do it tomorrow. After all, I have all the tomorrows in the world. If you think humans are lazy now, just wait until we’re immortal.

Which Fast Food Place has the Worst Dressed Customers?


So last night, I found my cupboards bare and my stomach rumbling. I decided to take the easy way out and get some fast food. While at this establishment (to be revealed later), something struck me as I looked around the room- everyone was dressed horribly. Like, social-life-killing horribly. And no one cared. It got me wondering- which fast food place has the worst dressed customers? I knew it needed a full investigation. To put together these rankings I took everything into effect, but the most important factors are average level of dress during busy times, price and quality of the food (it matters, as we’ll find out), and any intangibles that are specific to one restaurant only. Going in ascending (or maybe it’s descending?) order, saving the best for last. If you disagree with any of this, odds are you’ve never been to a fast food place before. I’m not including any of the weird Southern-only chains like Bojangles or Cook-Out or Whataburger or Zaxby’s because I don’t support anything that clings to the vestiges of a divided United States (/I’ve never been but would really like to). Sorry not sorry. Besides, they probably wouldn’t do too great on these rankings, anyway.

(Side rant before we get going: they’ve been doing nonstop road work on one of the streets near me that leads to a lot of different fast food places, and it’s getting really annoying. Mostly because they’ve exposed a million manhole covers. Literally every two feet there’s another thick manhole surrounded by a deep gully. They’re in the middle of the street and almost impossible to avoid when there’s traffic going the other way. It’s turned my suspension into spaghetti. I know the city’s not going to pay for it when the Grim Reaper finally comes for my tires. They’ve been there for over a year! Clearly they aren’t doing any work on them anymore. How long does is take to just dump some asphalt on it? This isn’t rocket surgery, just fix it already! End of rant.)

1200px-innout-svgIn-N-Out Buger

I know I said I didn’t want to include regional chains, but In-N-Out is too big to ignore. It’s pretty much it’s own religion. People make sacred pilgrimages from all across the globe. People get married there. I’ve never had it. It’s my white whale, my raison d’être, if you will. When I go for the first time, you better believe I’ll be in my Sunday Best. Add in the Cali Bros and Valley Girls that go there regularly and In-N-Out doesn’t even register on the scale.

Filth Rating: 0


I heard somewhere that young people spend more money at Chick-fil-A than any other chain restaurant. Young People would rather be dead than go anywhere looking like a slob. Me going in gym shorts a few times can’t counteract that. Nothing can subtract too much from the power of Young People, but actually loses points for not being open on Sunday, since you know people wouldn’t hesitate going straight from church and getting some of that luscious Chick-fil-A sauce all over their best coat.

Filt Rating: 🐷

Panera Bread

I went back and forth on whether or not to include some of the “fast-casual” places like Panera, Chipotle, Shake Shack, etc. In the end, I decided against it. But, and this is a big ol’ but, Paneras have drive-thrus. My hands are tied- if you have a drive-thru, you’re in the rankings. Panera should consider itself lucky, too. Probably the most consistently well-dressed place out there. Only knock is that I always see people coming there after a workout in their sweaty gym clothes.

Filth Rating: 🐷


Despite my best efforts, McDonald’s is just too corporate. People go on their lunch breaks from real jobs. People go after school. According to their commercials, you go there to be seen. And, most importantly, it’s the place to go when you’ve had too many beverages, so half the time you’re dressed up when you go. It’s also the go-to place the morning after when you look horrible, and there’s still some other brave souls out there going to Mickey D’s in sweats, so they don’t get the perfect rating they crave so much.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷


I came close to making two different Sonics, but I decided on one. My experiences in Sonic’s dining room have actually been very pleasant. It looks a lot like Chick-fil-A: plenty of people wearing hip clothes. I’ve even worn real clothes (jeans) there before. But Sonic is more than just a dining room. In fact, the dining room is secondary to the drive-in. And the drive-in are too much of a mystery to accurately gauge. I don’t know what people are wearing in their cars. I don’t know if they’re even wearing clothes at all. But I know they aren’t particularly well-dressed, because otherwise they’d be inside.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷


I don’t usually consider Subway to have a particularly well-dressed following, but there’s just so many locations they’re bound to draw the occasional professional-looking customer. Subways are everywhere- in malls, on college campuses, in nice neighborhoods, in bad neighborhoods. If you turn your head, you’ll see a Subway close by. Considering the diverse range of people, they would serve as a bit of a baseline, but I’ve never seen the type of critter that frequent the lower ranking places in a Subway

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷

carls_jr_logo3d-versionCarl’s Jr./Hardee’s/Jack-in-the-Box

I’ll be totally honest: I’ve never been to these places. My impression of them is shaped only by commercials, not by personal experience. So, I’ll make them the baseline. Maybe the average Carl’s Jr. looks like a GQ photoshoot. Maybe Jack-in-the-Box is the second worst (nothing can dethrone number one). Out of respect for the game, I can’t give them any other rating.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

800px-taco_bell_2016-svgTaco Bell

I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve been in a Taco Bell before, and half the time it’s a pretty ugly scene.” That’s true. Very true, in fact. Half the time, Taco Bell is pretty bad. But what about the other half? TB is a mall staple, and unless you write for the internet’s hottest website (, you don’t go to the mall looking like crap. Taco Bell is also the crown prince of the dunk food throne, meaning they get plenty of late night business from people who chose their clothes with the intent of looking nice, not being comfortable. Strange concept, but works in the Bell’s favor.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷


I don’t particularly like Arby’s food, but I won’t let that stop me from being objective. I haven’t seen too many stand-alone Arby’s, and I’ve only been inside of one, and it wasn’t a particularly pretty scene. But it wasn’t a disaster. Their biggest advantage is that they’re often in malls or airports and things of that nature, and, as previously discussed, those places don’t usually have the true slobs.

Filt Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷


The best thing Popeye’s has going for it is that it’s not the lower ranking places. You’ll find all of the telltale signs: sweatpants, unseasonal jackets, dirty shoes, but there’s a certain civility still present. It’s bad, but it’s not that bad. It’s close enough to the edge to stare down into the abyss, but something keeps it from diving in. It mostly has these next few to thank for that.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

300px-burger_king_logo-svgBurger King

As hard as it is these days, I still consider myself a Burger King guy. I have such fond memories of it that I refuse to acknowledge it’s sharp decline. I even still enjoy some of their menu items. But Burger King is trash, and the average BK dining room reflects that. Here’s where you start to see people that don’t have the best personal hygiene. There’s plenty of Kmart-chique. Might be some holes in the clothing. Definitely the type to make a scene and ask to speak to a manager. I guess that’s what charging $1 for 20 chicken nuggets will attract.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

224px-little_caesars_logo-svgLittle Caesars

The first time I went inside a Little Caesars was my true loss of innocence. I had obviously been exposed to fast food outfits before, but seeing what lay inside Little Caesars truly shocked me. The stained sweatpants. The body odor. The dental issues. Little Caesars has everything you’d expect from a place with $5 pizzas. It’s a true hell-hole, but it’s somehow not the worst. Bring children at your own risk.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷


In a vacuum, the outfits you’ll find at Wendy’s are virtually indistinguishable from the ones you’ll find at Burger King. It’s the same Wal-Mart 2 for $10 graphic t-shirts, the baggy jeans, the Avia shoes. But the fact that Wendy’s is the undisputed king of the Big 3 (McD, BK, Wendy’s) brings their rating way down. The customers are an insult to the food. Not to be an elitist snob, but coming to Wendy’s dressed like a homeless person should get you kicked out. You shouldn’t be served. You should have to submit some kind of proof that you’ve showered in the last 48 hours if you want Wendy’s. All these dirty scoundrels just bring down what should be an enjoyable dining experience. I turn my nose up the Wendy’s patrons, whether that makes me a bad person or not.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷


The mystery restaurant that inspired this blog. If you didn’t see KFC coming as number one, I don’t know what to tell you. If this starts even a bit of controversy I guess there’s a lot of people out there who have never entered a Kentucky Fried Chicken. The people at KFC are a different breed. And that includes myself. If my friends saw some of the things I’ve worn to KFC they’d never look at me again. Some of my worst, oldest, most stain-filled clothes can’t even make me the worst dressed, though, because the creatures that crawl out of the barrels of grease in KFC are truly something else. Imagine the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone wear, rip a million holes in it, add some prominent stains, some of the greasiest, most matted hair in human history, some very cheap and very worn out shoes, then make everything a size or two too big. Once you add the confrontational attitudes and indecipherable white-trash accent and you’ve got a special species of “human” that can only be found here. I hardly ever go to KFC, but when I do, I usually sit in the car for a few seconds considering whether or not I truly want to go in and face the crowd that awaits me. If I ever went to a KFC in a high end neighborhood (if they even exist), I think even the millionaires would be wearing some cheap $50 sweats. It’s just something about KFC that draws the worst out of people’s wardrobes. And I don’t think anything could ever change that.

Filth Rating: 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

The Burning Questions Mailbag


So we all know that I’ve established the Burning Questions brand. The random questions that pop into my head that need answering. I’ve taken other people’s Burning Questions occasionally, but only a couple times. Well, that doesn’t seem fair, does it? I decided I had to open up the Burning Question Hotline and take #BurningQuestions from the public. I have no idea what to expect. These Questions could be literally anything. I’m not sure if I’m emotionally ready, but let’s get into it.

Brian asks: What’s the point of tax returns?

Alright, I couldn’t resist. I had to start with one of my own. Having just done my taxes (before April, nbd), this is fresh in my mind. I pretty much have the lowest possible return- No kids, I didn’t get married, I didn’t buy a car or house, I don’t have any business expenses, as popular as this site is, it’s not quite a religion yet, no student debt or anything. I’m literally the definition of a bare bones tax return. And I still got half of my taxes back. So what’s the point of it all? If someone like me gets it all back, why even tax me at all? Or just tax me half as much and save me the ten minutes it takes to do my returns. Do they want to make sure everyone gets annoyed at doing something that is practically automated in 2017? Make us all be active members of society? It just makes no sense to me. You should just alert the government when something that effects your taxes happens then they should adjust accordingly. No one should have to do tax returns. So I’m supposed to feel good about getting half the money the government took from me back? Just don’t take it in the first place! Or is that too logical for a bureaucracy?

JoeyGSp0t asks: With so many birds out there, why do you rarely see dead birds?

Without go too deep into the natural life cycle of carbon-based lifeforms, I’d say the fact that the mostly live in places people don’t live is a big reason. Although now that I think about it, I grew up surrounded by trees, and I never saw dead birds either. Never really saw skeletons, either. So where do the dead bodies go? Are they so light they just decompose faster than everything else? Hmmm, you may be on to something here, JoeyGSp0t.

BlacktopLebron asks: If the NBA had a real-life fantasy draft what would the top 5 look like?

Always good to #embracedebate like this. Not only do I know how NBA teams think like the back of my hand, but I’ve played enough NBA 2K to know my way around NBA fantasy drafts, and I can say with confidence this is what the top ten (could’t limit it to five) would look like:

  1. Lebron James
  2. Karl-Anthony Towns
  3. Kevin Durant
  4. Kawhi Leonard
  5. Anthony Davis
  6. Russell Westbrook
  7. Giannis Antetokounmpo (spelled it right the first time, not to brag)
  8. James Harden
  9. John Wall
  10. Steph Curry

Crazy that Westbrook would go so low and that Steph Curry is barely top 10, but NBA teams always have been and always will be obsessed with size, length, and athleticism (what idiots, right?), so freaks like KAT, Kawhi, and Giannis get priority. Something I always think about is every single player who ever played in the NBA was in the draft, but all we knew about them was what teams knew before the draft, what would that top 10 look like? In other words, at the time they were drafted, who did everyone think had the highest potential. People knew Lebron and Shaq would be amazing, where guys like Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry were unheralded. So in this scenario, guys like Tyrus Thomas and Kwame Brown who were highly touted would go way ahead of Curry and Leonard, even though both those players are future Hall of Famers. Actual draft position doesn’t matter, since many times the player with the highest upside isn’t taken number one overall. Obviously I can’t account for teams’ poor decision making, but I think the top ten would look something like this:

  1. Shaquille O’Neal
  2. Lebron James
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  4. Patrick Ewing
  5. Hakeem Olajuwon
  6. Kevin Durant
  7. Michael Jordan (people forget MJ was taken #3 overall. Teams don’t know what his career will be)
  8. Magic Johnson
  9. Tim Duncan
  10. Anthony Davis

Anyone complaining about the lack of guys like Oscar and Wilt- it’s impossible to judge the talent of the 50s and 60s to today. Wilt was averaging 50 and 25 against teams with five guys that looked like me. What would he do against a team with David Robinson (who absolutely deserved to be in the top 10 of that draft) and Tim Duncan? I’m not saying he’ll suddenly become Jah Okafor, but he’s not gonna get 50. Same with Oscar. Kareem is pretty much my cutoff, because his skill set translates to the modern game. Wilt was just bigger and stronger than everyone he faced. Would his ceiling be Dwight Howard or something more?

BlacktopLebron also asks: Who are the five best coaches in all of sports?

For this to work, you have to determine which sport coaches have the most impact on. In my mind, that’s football and basketball. Baseball has too many uncontrollable variables, and soccer and hockey are more freeform than the other sports. Due to the smaller number of players and court size, I’d say basketball coaches have the highest potential for micromanaging, the cardinal sin of coaching. Therefore, I’d posit that basketball coaches have the greatest impact on their sport, followed by football, soccer, baseball, and hockey. Then there’s how you judge things like recruiting for college coaches, roster moves, off-the-field player management, how much their players like them, and so on and so forth. I value in-game decision making most, so here’s what I think:

  1. Bill Belichick (who else?)
  2. Gregg Popvich
  3. Brad Stevens
  4. Coach K
  5. Joe Maddon

soaringeagle52 asks: What’s the most underrated fruit?

Hmmm, that’s a decent question. I suppose it all hinges on which fruits you consider overrated and properly rated. And are rare tropical fruits that no one’s ever eaten underrated or just unknown? First, let’s establish the mainstream fruits. Apples, bananas, strawberries, cherries, oranges, lemons, limes, grapes, watermelon, tomatoes and pineapple all have established positions in the fruit hierarchy. Ever since the term superfood was invented to make people feel better about themselves for eating obviously healthy fruit, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and avocados have gotten plenty of hype. There’s not a ton left. There’s known fruits that are rarely talked about like pears, but I’ve never been a pear guy.  Maybe something like mangos? I love mango flavored things but I wouldn’t write home about actually eating one. Grapefruit maybe?  I don’t really know what else is out there. I don’t eat pomegranates or açai berries. Dragon fruit seems kind of gross. You know what? I think I’m gonna say cantaloupe. Think about it: it’s a key part of every fruit salad ever made. How many times in your life have you eaten cantaloupe? A hundred? A thousand? And how many times have you said “oh, man, I love me some cantaloupe?” Probably never. It’s time we start appreciating cantaloupe, the bread of the fruit world.

WhiteKong asks: Could you get away with murder?

With all due respect to my friend WhiteKong, I’m going to alter this a little bit so I don’t wind up on any FBI watch list. I’m instead going to ask my own question, how did anyone get caught for a crime before like, 1975? No one had any way to prove anything. Like unless someone saw you in the act, who’s to say whether or not I really robbed that 1800s General Store? And don’t get me started on the Dark Ages. I could go back in time and kill at least 1,000 people in the 1300s. If you just kept moving from town to town no one would ever catch you. Ancient police was totally clueless. They burned people for being witches because they didn’t like them, for crying out loud! I think I could outsmart them.

XtothaG asks: In 50 years, with the rise of non-state actors and a global society, will the traditional “states” still matter?

Ummm, maybe?

XtothaG also asks: Why is pepperoni so overrated? I get that it’s iconic in terms of pizza, but c’mon there’s so many better options to put on pizza.

That’s more like it. First of all, let’s ease up on the pepperoni slander. Second, I actually think this in an interesting study in group-think and the power of reputation. I’m sure pepperoni was used as a topping in the early days of pizza. Someone told someone else it was good. Next thing you know, it’s the most popular topping ever. I’m an open pepperoni lover, but what if it really isn’t the ideal topping? What if the ultimate topping is really dried haddock or something? What if we, as humans, are missing out on the best version of pizza simply because our forefathers decided pepperoni was the base topping? That’s why something like Hawaiian pizza is met with such scorn-it’s different than what everyone’s used to (it’s easily the most divisive thing in the world of pizza, so it’s important that I say I love Hawaiian pizza and you’re weak minded if you refuse to try it). Maybe it’s all just a conspiracy by Big Pepperoni to keep the other toppings down. If I had the willpower, I might suggest trying a ton of other toppings to try and spread the love a little, but I know that’s not realistic. Heck, I’ve already mentally committed to getting some pepperoni pizza tonight. Maybe I’m just putty in pepperoni’s hands, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Stay woke, as they say.

KingRichard1911 asks: Why is the speed at which the Universe expands increasing as opposed to decreasing?

In other words, how can something that’s already infinite keep expanding? Well, if I had the answer to that, I probably wouldn’t be writing this, so consider yourselves lucky. I don’t get how the universe expands at all. They say everything is moving away from the center of the universe. How can something that has no limits have a center? How do we even know if the universe has limits? What if it isn’t infinite, it’s just a little bit bigger than what we’re capable of detecting? What’s at the edge of the universe? What’s outside the universe if it has edges? Why is it getting bigger in the first place? What force is driving entire galaxies to move? How insignificant are humans, really? What’s the meaning of life? Let’s move on before I get too depressed.

WhiteKong also asks: What if there’s other things out there that we can’t detect because we don’t have the organ capable of sensing it?

Oh, nice some more light discussion. Maybe this is why we don’t know why the universe is expanding. We just physically don’t have the capability of sensing it. There might be some Galactus-style being who is just pushing the galaxies outwards. Maybe there’s something like another color spectrum out there. Maybe wind doesn’t even exist, it’s just the wings of some giant bird whose feathers are a color we can’t see. What if water is actually the most flavorful think on Earth and our taste buds can’t comprehend it? Are we even really on top of the food chain? Is Godzilla real and we can’t see him? What if every unexplained death an disappearance was really just some invisible thing killing people? Is it even safe to leave my house anymore? I can’t really be certain.

WhiteKong also asks: What if nothing ever existed?

Damn, man, you trying to make my brain explode? Well, I can say with a certain amount of confidence that if nothing ever existed we wouldn’t be here. I don’t really even know what would happen if nothing ever existed. But what if whatever creation event you believe in (be it God or the Big Bang or whatever) happened like two minutes later? Would anything change? Two minutes is such an insignificant amount of time, but what about two hours? Two years? Did time even exist before it happened? If everything was set back a little, would all the Mass Extinction events have still happened? Would humans have ever evolved if dinosaurs were still around? Would dinosaurs even exist if all the random invertebrates and bacteria were still around? Would life have ever developed? If the creation event was even slightly delayed would it have even happened at all? Would the universe itself even exist? Most importantly, would this website have ever been founded? I’m beginning to think maybe not.

I think I’ll stop here to keep my mind from getting tied into an inescapable knot. Some good questions here, though. My ears are always open to the Burning Questions of my readers. It’s good to get them out of your head before they drive you crazy. Remember, if you have a Burning Question that needs answering, you know where to find me.

Burning Questions, round 2

A few nights ago I was watching Sportscenter as per usual, and two things caught my attention. The first was the fact that they were showing a random TCU basketball highlight. I don’t think I had ever seen TCU basketball highlights that didn’t involve a Kansas blowout or some superstar Big 12 prospect dominating, but there it was on my television. And while I was trying to wrap my mind around the reasonings behind a TCU basketball highlight package being broadcast, the TCU point guard demanded my attention. At first, I thought he was white. Then, I thought he was just light skinned. Then they showed his face and I saw he was actually albino. And no offense to my man Jaylen Fisher, the first jacked and tatted up albino guy I’ve ever seen, but he looked weird.


Seeing him sent my brain into overdrive. Mostly because I just don’t understand how albinism even happens. Actually, hold on a second. I need to change the title of this blog.

Burning Question: How does albinism happen?

This is too important not to dive into, so we’re back with another round of Burning Questions. First one is simple: how do albinos exist? Wikipedia tells me there’s a list of genetic factors that lead to it, but my one weakness is that I am not, in fact, a geneticist, so it all seems like gibberish to me. I just don’t get how it happens. How does skin and hair forget to have color? Does the key gene in the complex sequence that makes up an animal just not show up? What makes a body not produce melanin?Things like this always have some evolutionary reason. But I feel like the first albino was probably feared and an outcast. How could they have passed on the gene? If it’s true people can carry the gene without having albinism, did people have the gene before the first actual albino? And if so, why? What’s the advantage of being whi- actually, let’s move on from that. Mostly, it just boils down to my uncultured mind being scared of things I don’t understand. And I certainly don’t understand albinism.

Where did words come from?

Tower of Babel 

I think about this every time I see a word that I think is weird or when I think about different languages. Like why are there so many languages? Who was the first person to talk, and who was he talking to? Who was the first person to use words? Who was the first person to understand someone else’s words? Who decided what word meant what? Who decided that a spoken word meant the same as a written word? In my extensive schooling I learned about the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, which says language shapes our view of the world. For example, when I see a dog, I think it’s a dog because I know the word for dog. What did the ancient people think? What if whoever decided these things said that instead of dog, the word for man’s best friend was actually milk? (Side rant: how do people not know how to pronounce milk correctly? It’s the most simple, straightforward word out there and people still pronounce it a thousand different ways. I’ve heard people say malk, melk, molk, mælk, and everything in between. It’s spelled m i l k. Do people not know the sound the letter i is supposed to make? What causes so many people to butcher the easiest word in the English language?) What caused them to string letters (or whatever they used) together to form words? Who created the first different language? Why create a different language in the first place? It’s so hard. Some languages were created well after people in different parts of the world had contact with each other. Who has the gall to say I hate your words so much I’m going to change every single one of them even though they’ll mean the same thing? And why do dialects exist? Why alter a language everyone speaks just so you can be unique? Why make it harder on yourself? And how did the first person to translate things ever translate anything? How could anyone who didn’t know already possibly be able to tell you that želva is the Slovenian word for turtle? We’ve had language for thousands of years now. How is there still not a universal language? Everyone who writes a fantasy novel is able to create their own unique version of Elvish. No one can make a generic one for every human to use? And who was the first person with a name? Who came up with a word they liked so much they were going to call someone by it? And did people have pets during the development of language? If so, did they have names? What if someone got confused and dog was actually the name of someone’s pet, and the intended word for dog was actually Fido? Who decided that curse words were, in fact, curse words? Why does spoken language even exist at all? I think I just twisted my brain into three different pretzels.

Why doesn’t grape flavored stuff taste like grape?


Kind of a short and sweet (maybe overly sweet? Get it?) Burning Question: Why do grape flavored things taste entirely different from actual grapes? They’re legitimately two different flavors. With the exception of blue raspberry, every traditional “fruit flavored” drink, candy, etc. at least kind of tastes like its inspiration. All these companies pass around the same recipes, so did the first guy to perfect grape flavoring never eat grapes before? Had he never seen a grape? Was he just going for what he thought the signature deep shade of purple tasted like? It’s so sweet and not grape-like. I’ve never eaten a grape and been like, “wow, this really tastes like that grape drink I got at the gas station the other day.” I can’t imagine anyone else has, either. Grapes are a top 5 fruit (in no particular order: grape, pineapple, blueberry, orange, apple. Limes would make the cut if you could actually eat them.) and deserve a better representation in our synthetic flavor market.

Burning Questions


Busting out a new segment today called Burning Questions. Sometimes when I’m lying awake at night, important questions pop into my head. Left unanswered, they escape my mind and drift into the ether, never to be considered again. Well, no longer. Now, I’ll just dump them here. Let’s get right into it with some tough questions:

Who was the first person to make macarons?


For the less gastronomically sophisticated, macarons are distinctive looking cookies that are quite difficult to make. There’s about 10,000 steps in the recipe. They’re literally impossible to make unless you know exactly what you’re doing. So, like, how did these get discovered? This question can really be a stand in for any complex recipe. I know you can find the “history” of macarons pretty easily, but it still doesn’t say what inspired it. You can’t make this by accident. To get the top perfectly smooth and the feet to show up takes decades of training and study. Using only the egg white doesn’t seem like a natural inclination when experimenting. I just don’t get how someone invented this. I literally can’t wrap my mind around how stuff like this gets discovered. For me, the greatest mysteries of the world are Stonehenge, the Nazca Lines, and the invention of the macaron recipe.

How do companies get into the industrial machinery manufacturing business?


I realize this seems like a foolish question. They simply realized they could exploit a market deficiency by producing the tools of manufacturing. But some of these machines are so specific there couldn’t possibly have been a gap in the market before they made it. Most of these things can only be used by the one company producing whatever it is that’s being made. But some of the companies that produce the machinery are older than the ones making the products. Is it a huge ring of shell corporations? Do huge monopolies control our manufacturing sector? Did the founders of these companies originally set out to do something different and accidentally invent a hydraulic press? There’s a chance I might be overthinking this.

If every currency is down, how can any currency really be down?


I may be biting off more than I care to chew with this one, but how can every currency be either up or down at the same time? Along with things like GDP, isn’t each currency’s value based on its relation to every other currency? Or its relationship to gold? Well how can they all be doing the same thing at once? If everything is down, then shouldn’t the value remain the same? I don’t actually want an answer to this, because I think knowing the true economics of it would confuse me more than not knowing.

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