Monthly Archives: November 2009

This blog is a Consumers Digest super-duper best buy gold star platinum winner

After much scientific inquiry, I have come to the conclusion that there are three things in life that are incontrovertibly fake:

1. The moon landing

2. The female orgasm

3. Consumers Digest

You may have already shared my conclusion on the first two, but the third is slightly more obscure. Here, let’s let Howie Long and his cop hair fill you in on what Consumers Digest is:

Like many who end up buying a Chevy Malibu, you may be confused. Specifically, you may have confused Consumer Reports with the Consumers Digest mentioned in the commercial. The former is a well-regarded, non-profit consumer advocacy publication. The latter is… well, jeez, just what is Consumers Digest?

According to their Web site, Consumers Digest is this:

For 47 years, people have trusted Consumers Digest magazine to identify outstanding values in a complex and often confusing marketplace. Consumers Digest is working to extend that promise to the Internet.

So it’s a print magazine? Well, no. According to Wikipedia, the “communications” firm behind Consumers Digest stopped publishing a print magazine in 2001. So now I guess it’s a Web site?

Well, not exactly:

If you are interested in receiving information on how you can subscribe to our Web site, please write to: Postmaster, Consumers Digest Communications, 520 Lake Cook Road, Suite 500, Deerfield, IL 60015 or send an e-mail to:

Now, some people might think it’s ridiculous to have to send an email to an anonymous address via a Web site in order to receive information on how to subscribe to that Web site. I, on the other hand, think it’s… well you’re right that’s fucked up.

Anyway, there is a button on their Web site that takes you to the official list of Consumers Digest automotive “Best Buys.” I’m no forensic Webologist, but it appears this Web page was built by Mrs. Simonson’s 4th grade class at Mount Sorrow Elementary using the Newberry Prize-winning “My Very First HTML PAGE!!” as a step-by-step guide. Included among the 2010 best buys are the Malibu as well as six other Chevy models, plus assorted models from other car manufacturers. Nowhere are there listed any criteria upon which they arrived at their conclusions.

However, some of the models have links you can click to read the Consumers Digest expert “review” of the model, which includes sentences like this:

If you’re a fan of the TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” you know the shocked responses that appear on the homeowners’ face when Ty Pennington and his crew “move that bus” and reveal a newly refurbished home.

I give that sentence a Pax Arcana Golden Viking Dildo Award for Awkward Phraseology and Dumbness.

In conclusion, WTF Chevy? Really?

Consumers Digest [Home… page?]

***Update: I have just sent the following note to the email address supplied by Consumers Digest in order to receive information on subscribing to the Web site. I will let you know how that goes.


My name is Pax Arcana, and I am interested in receiving information on how to subscribe to the Consumers Digest Web site. Please send the aforementioned information along presently.

Also, it occurs to me that there may be a better way to provide potential subscribers with this information. For example, you could post this information upon light towers in every major city. It would have to be laminated, of course, to protect it from the elements. As an alternative, I suppose you could simply post your subscription information on your Web site — but really who has time for all that?

I look forward to your reply. With as much sincerity as I can muster, I am humbly yours,

Pax Arcana


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Tuesday filler: Sexy pilgrim

Because the Big Aristotle himself tweeted this last night:

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Monday Random 1

Sorry about the lack of a random 10 post on Friday. I’ve been up to my ears in automotive hassles for more than a week now (do you have any idea how difficult it is to train a bonobo to drive a standard shift?), and could not attend to my normal meaningless rituals.

Same goes for today, as Thanksgiving is breathing its hot turkey breath down my neck and there is much to do. So for today, please enjoy this charming tale of a man who once cut the paws off kangaroos, and the asshole who yelled at him for doing it wrong.

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Science is drunk and horny

The conventional wisdom holds that the average scientist is a sweaty, heaving nerd in a lab coat — a sticky, awkward, bearded trekkie with oversized square glasses and a piece of an onion bagel lodged in his hair.

That’s true, but he’s also drunk and horny.

The proof is in the extraordinary lengths science will go to in order to

1) Prove that drinking is good for you


2) Check out the sexxy lay-dayys


A team of Spanish researchers studied the habits of more than 15,000 men and 26,000 women and discovered that boozing — and I mean really BOOZING — is good for your heart. If you’re a man, that is. YAY MEN!

The researchers, led by the Basque Public Health Department, placed the participants into six categories – from never having drunk to drinking more than 90g of alcohol each day. This would be the equivalent of consuming about eight bottles of wine a week, or 28 pints of lager.

For those drinking little – less than a shot of vodka a day for instance – the risk was reduced by 35%. And for those who drank anything from three shots to more than 11 shots each day, the risk worked out an average of 50% less.


But not before we prove — with the science — that ladies are hotter when they’re not all bundled in mom jeans and bulky flannel shirts (damn you 1990s!!). Let’s go to England, where science took a big ass notebook into some nightclubs and just sat there, staring:

Using tape recorders hidden in their handbags, the researchers took note of what female clubbers were wearing and how many times they were approached by men asking them to dance.

For the purposes of the study, each arm accounted for 10 per cent of the body, each leg for 15 per cent and the torso for 50 per cent.

Women who revealed around 40 per cent of their skin attracted twice as many men as those who covered up.

The researchers did find, however, that exposing more than 40% reduced women’s chances of being mobbed by sweaty douchebags in nightclubs. The lesson — as always — is that science is staring at your ass. And drinking.

Alcohol ‘protects men’s hearts’ [BBC]
Women ‘should bare 40 per cent of their bodies to attract men’ [Telegraph]

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Ladies, start your engines

I hate to generalize based on decades, but I think it’s safe to say that the men of the 1980s were the sexiest men there ever were.

Careful, watching this video more than once can lead to pregnancy.


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Wednesday Wobbling Whimperfest (and link dump)

Normally it’s Father Scott’s job to clean up the sad tears and corndog crumbs of the prior evening’s episode of The Biggest Loser. But he’s in Prague on my behalf this week, trying to secure me several necessities for my new Czech mountain redoubt.

Last night was the “makeover episode” which is like the Super Bowl of weeping. Not only do they dress the rapidly reducing contestants in silk finery hand-picked by tastemaster Tim Gunn, but they also “surprise” them each with visits from family members on the show.

Here’s a math formula I devised to show how the makeover episode works:

Presence of family members + new threads – (Jillian² + Bob) = (∑)∞

Where ∑ = the number of times someone cries openly.

In the end, one of these blubbering messes had to go home. Turns out that was Rebecca, who complained the entire time about people pointing out that she had such a pretty face for a fat girl. While her complaint is understandable, she should really take a look around before saying stuff like that at a TV camp full of fatties. Most of those people are fat and ugly, Rebecca. They don’t want to hear it.

Rebecca’s loss keeps Liz in the competition. Liz is funny, because she is slowly morphing into President Bush. Last night, as the contestants pulled their way across a gorge on ropes, she did it with her eyes closed the entire time. She literally said “I know that whut I cain’t see cain’t hurt me.” TELL THAT TO THE TALIBAN, PRESIDENT BUSH!

Meanwhile, former Biggest Loser contestant Tara is blogging about the show for People magazine’s Web site. Here’s her lede from last night:

“I can remember so vividly the memories of makeover week.”

And they say journalism is dying.

Anyway, here’s some links to shit that I’ve been sitting on for a while. Enjoy.

  • Scientists have successful regrown replacement rabbit penises in a lab. Because why the fuck not? [Wired]
  • Newly discovered Mayan murals depict the lives of regular people. They are shown drinking Velveeta from clay pots and watching Two and a Half Men. [LiveScience]
  • Researchers in Egypt may have found the remains of 50,000 members of the Persian army that were consumed by a sandstorm 2,500 years ago. Long story short: prepare to be massacred by the howling reanimated bones of an ancient desert army. [MSNBC]
  • Here’s more than you ever needed to know about the dust under your couch. [LiveScience]
  • Check out this map of the US states by smoking rate. Look at it closely. There’s a subtle trend there. Here’s a hint: The moron states have the most smokers. Nice work, Kentucky. [WSJ]
  • I love Steven Pinker, even when he’s tearing people I like a new one. Here he is explaining why Malcolm Gladwell is part genius, part nincompoop. [NYT]
  • Wine rankings are total bullshit. Except for mine. I give points based on whether I paid for it or not. It’s free? Perfect score!! [WSJ]
  • New Yorker writer Ken Auletta hosted a panel discussion on the topic of humor with Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman. He tried to be funny. Bad idea. [NYT]

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I am a strong and virile man, with a gruff disposition no tolerance for all that namby-pamby shit. In fact, I am best known three things:

1) Chopping wood with the sides of my hands

2) Scaring off neighborhood ruffians with a glare and a low growl


3) Stirring boiling liquids with my fingers

Despite this overflow of machismo, even I find myself emotionally vulnerable at times. Like that time the lithe and lean Mrs. Pax Arcana and I went to the (awesome! kick ass!) Museum of Science to watch “Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure” on the IMAX screen.

It turns out I can watch movies of orphans being dismembered by roving bands of Nazi werewolves with zero emotional attachment, but the story of one man’s struggle to save his crew from icy death in Antarctica made me tear up like a fat kid who dropped his cupcake in the mud.

So you’ll forgive me for getting overly excited to hear that workers New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust are preparing to unearth several crates of scotch that Shackleton buried in the snow. The bottles of McKinlay whisky have been lodged under the floorboards of Shackleton’s makeshift hut for almost 100 years, though producers say the ice around it may have preserved it perfectly:

Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender, said the Shackleton expedition’s whiskey could still be drinkable and taste exactly as it did 100 years ago.

If he can get a sample, he intends to replicate the old Scotch and put McKinlay whiskey back on sale.

“I really hope we can get some back here,” he was quoted as telling London’s Telegraph newspaper. “It’s been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born.”

I think I speak for all scotch enthusiasts when I say this is the single most touching story ever told.

*tears up, grabs bottle of Bruichladdich*

I mean, to think of what that man went through…



*now openly bawling*



I love you guys

Lost Scotch Whiskey Cache Buried in Antarctica [Discovery News]

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