Don't Panic! Lighten Up!


Darth Vader is polling higher than presidential candidates for 2016

On Tuesday FiveThirtyEight released the results of a poll of Americans' opinions on the "Star Wars" universe. Not surprisingly, Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the series. As Walt Hickey notes, the Gungan from Naboo posted lower favorability numbers than Emperor Palpatine, "the actual personification of evil in the galaxy."

On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65. In fact, the last time congressional net favorability was above that was February 2005. Incidentally this was just before the release date of "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," which marked Jar Jar's last appearance on the big screen.

But picking on Congress' unpopularity is a bit like beating a dead tauntaun. After all, the legislative branch has been less popular than lice, brussels sprouts and Nickelback for some time now. What if we compared the favorability of 2016 presidential hopefuls and other political leaders with that of "Star Wars" characters?

Hillary Clinton currently has the highest net favorability of any 2016 White House contender. But to put her 19 percent favorable rating in context, she's tied with Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who froze Harrison Ford in carbonite.
Grey Alien

Space program should end because aliens are going to hell anyway sez Creationist Ken Ham

© Rawstory
Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.

"I'm shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life," Ham wrote in a Sunday column on his Answers in Genesis website.

Ham argued that "secularists are desperate to find life in outer space" as a part of their "rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution."

"Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn't expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe," he continued. "Now the Bible doesn't say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space. I certainly suspect not."

But regardless of whether there was life in outer space, Ham asserted that it could not be truly "intelligent."

'NSA in da house': German artist illuminates US Embassy

The facade of the US embassy is illuminated with a light installation by German artist Oliver Bienkowski showing an image of US President Barack Obama wearing a baseball cap and reading "NSA in da House" in Berlin on early July 19, 2014
German artist, Oliver Bienkowski made a point of criticizing the USA's surveillance program by projecting the words 'NSA in da House' over the walls of the US Embassy in Berlin.

The image featured the US President in a back to front baseball cup, as well as him holding up a sign for peace.

The Friday stunt is not the first time that Bienkowski has tried to ridicule America. Just over a year ago, he projected the words 'United Stasi of America' together with a picture of Kim Dotcom on to the wall of the US embassy in Berlin.

He was making a point of comparing the United States to the notorious East German secret police force. The Stasi employed extensive surveillance tactics against East German citizens during the Cold War, which still holds unpleasant memories for Germans.
Black Cat 2

Smart cat feeder can recognize cat faces

© Discovery
At the risk of upsetting my cat Murphy - who I'm convinced can not only read, but speed-read - here's the latest bulletin from the world of cat feeder facial recognition technology.

The Bistro smart cat feeder, designed by a team called 42ARK out of Taiwan, is the sort of crazy idea that Just Might Work. Currently in crowdfunding stage, the device combines several different technologies to ensure your cat is eating properly.

That's "properly" as defined by humans, not by cats, which is why I just let Murphy outside and am typing this in the closet. Like other automated cat feeders, the Bistro lets owners dispense measured amounts of food when kitty is home alone.

But that's just the beginning. Weight sensors beneath both the food bowl and the platform in front calculate precisely how much food gets eaten. Information is sent wirelessly to the Bistro smartphone app, which logs all dietary data so you monitor or restrict your cat's intake.

Here's the ingenious part: For families with multiple cats, the Bistro incorporates a camera and a facial recognition system to identify which cat is eating what, and when. So if your alpha cat is bullying the others and stealing food, you can bust the furry little devil - with photographic evidence.
Grey Alien

Wierd Al 'goes there' with new parody video

Wow... He totally went there. Watch and you tell me: did you see it coming?


World Cup Hangover: Brazilian government posts listings for 12 soccer stadiums on Craigslist

the Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (£300 million could have financed much needed local schools and hospitals!)
Listing the athletic facilities within two hours of the conclusion of the World Cup final, the Brazilian government has reportedly posted 12 separate advertisements for soccer stadiums on Craigslist, sources confirmed Wednesday.

"This is a great, gently used stadium that seats almost 40,000," read the post for Arena das Dunas, which featured three grainy photos of the locker room, pitch, and a concession stand, adding that prospective buyers could view the sporting arena, or any of its other 11 for-sale structures, in person by simply touring the unlocked facility on their own.

"This is perfect for soccer matches, conventions, and college graduations, and would go great with any of the northeast stadiums that are also available. All buyers must be willing to remove from site on their own. Serious inquiries only, please." At press time, the ad had reportedly been updated to state that Brazil would only be willing to sell the stadiums in one-to-one trades for schools and hospitals.

Prank with graffiti cans in Israel

Hilarious prank pulled at a bus stop in Israel with spray paint cans. Enjoy!


Jihadi 'bottom bombers' exposed and more news from the SOTT Satire Desk

jihadi bottom bombers
"Trust me, I really don't enjoy my work! But it is for your security. Ok, bend over."
Armed police were dispatched after reports of a 'serious disturbance' in a men's toilet at Heathrow airport last night, with two suspected terrorists detained for questioning. With the current 'emergency' at the Home Office (see below), the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, offered to personally take responsibility for the interrogation. He stated, "National security is my prime concern, and after recent warnings from our allies in American Intelligence pertaining to a new insidious terrorist threat to airlines, this case required 'delicate handling' and a 'sure touch'. Although he later admitted he could not find any hidden explosive material or WMD's (Weapons of Mass Deception), despite numerous searches, Mr Hague added, "The great British public understand that these new invasive security measures are necessary and 'wholly' justified."

Following their implementation in America, Westminster sources have confirmed that the controversial, 'rectal probing' security measures at British airports will be used "indefinitely" as part of the never ending "war against terror". The spokesman continued, "in our attempts to thwart these evil plots, we will seek out these terrible weapons wherever they may be, exploring every nook and cranny if necessary." However, Whitehall officials were left red-faced earlier today, as further details emerged about the alleged 'Jihadi bottom bombers'. Travelling under stolen passports, as Ben Dover and Phil McAvity, the two men were in fact prominent married Tory MP's, booked on a flight to Thailand for 'research' on the paedophile sex tourist industry
Magic Wand

Not Satire: Virginian father claims land in Africa so his daughter can be a 'real' princess

© David Crigger/BHC
Jeremiah Heaton and his 7-year-old daughter, Princess Emily, shows the flag that their family designed as they try to claim a piece of land in the Eastern African region of Bir Tawil
An Abingdon man claimed a kingdom so his daughter could be a princess. Jeremiah Heaton, who has three children, recently trekked across the Egyptian desert to a small, mountainous region between Egypt and Sudan called Bir Tawil.

The area, about 800 square miles, is claimed by neither Sudan nor Egypt, the result of land disputes dating back more than 100 years. Since then, there have been several online claimants to the property, but Heaton believes his physical journey to the site, where he planted a flag designed by his children, means he rightfully can claim it. And call his 7-year-old daughter Princess Emily, the fulfillment of a promise he made months earlier.

Bir Tawil
© Bristol Herald-Courier
Bir Tawil, Northern Africa
"Over the winter, Emily and I were playing, and she has a fixation on princesses. She asked me, in all seriousness, if she'd be a real princess someday," Heaton said. "And I said she would."

Steven Spielberg mercilessly trolled by Facebook users who think he killed a dinosaur

© The Independent, UK
This is not a joke – Facebook users riot over an image of the director on the set of Jurassic Park.
Steven Spielberg has been trolled by numerous Facebook users after a photo was shared of the director with a mechanical Triceratops on the set of 1993 film Jurassic Park.

The image was posted on the Facebook page of Jay Branscomb as a joke, alongside the caption:

"Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man."

Incredibly, a fair few members of the public didn't grasp that the picture was taken from the Jurassic Park set, believing that Spielberg had actually poached a dinosaur; dinosaurs, a breed of animals that became extinct 66 million years ago.

The image has been shared over 33,000 times attracting thousands of comments, initially from misinformed users (apparently unaware that dinosaurs are no longer) and also those lamenting their stupidity.