Gaze Upon the Skull of Pooh-Bear

Fans of the Hundred-Acre Wood rejoice! The skull of the bear that inspired A.A. Milne’s classic “Winnie the Pooh” stories is now on public display at the Royal College of Surgeon’s Hunterian Museum in London.

The skull belonged to Winnipeg, “Winnie” for short, a female black bear who lived at the London Zoo. Lieutenant Harry Colebourn of the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps purchased Winnie when she was a cub from a hunter in Canada prior to World War I. He then brought the cub overseas with him to England, where she became the unofficial mascot of his regiment.

When Colebourn had to travel to France in 1914, he left Winnie in the care of the London Zoo. The zoo is where a little boy named Christopher Robin, author A.A. Milne’s son, met Winnie and became enamored with the silly old bear. He named his toy bear after Winnie and the rest is history.

Winnie died of old age in 1934. Her skull has been in the possession of the museum ever since, but this is the first time it will be on public display.

Museum staff saw the skull “with fresh eyes” when they recently reviewed some of the items in their collection. The skull’s unveiling also comes shortly after the publication of Finding Winnie, a children’s book about the true story behind Winnie the Pooh. The author, Lindsay Mattock, is also Colebourn’s great-granddaughter.

No One Likes a Quitter

Hey, did you catch Game of Thrones Sunday? Turns out that Sunday’s episode upset a bunch of people.

Why are people upset? Turns out about halfway through the episode (*spoilers* by the way), Jamie and Bronn finally catch up to Myrcella at the same time the Sand Snakes make their move to kidnap her and what should have been an awesome five-way fight scene turned out to be clunky and awkward and didn’t lead to much other than everyone involved getting captured.

They can’t all be winners I guess.

Oh, and at the end of the episode Ramsay Bolton marries Sansa Stark and is…let’s say “less than gentle” when it comes to consummating the union, all while castrated man-slave Reek is forced to watch. Shocking right? Who would have thought that Ramsay would be such a douche to his new wife?

Apparently it was shocking and upsetting to a lot of people. The ending of the episode is so controversial in fact that it’s got the Internet Outrage Machine churned up to full throttle. It’s gotten so out of hand that many have announced (via twitter of course because that’s where internet outrage lives) that they are “quitting” the show. Feminist site The Mary Sue has vowed to no longer cover Game of Thrones episodes following such an unprecedented and problematic scene.

Which in my mind begs the question: Has The Mary Sue even been covering Game of Thrones to begin with? I’m more than ready to call bullshit on the “twitter quitters” as mostly being outrage bandwagoners who don’t watch the show but can’t miss an opportunity to be morally indignant about something, but if The Mary Sue has really been regularly covering Game of Thrones episodes, shouldn’t they know better by now?

In all fairness, the final scene in Sunday’s episode was extremely disturbing and upsetting, it was meant to be. George R. R. Martin and the show runners have established Ramsay as a lunatic sadist since he first appeared and there was very little chance of that scene going down any other way. In fact, it closely mirrors a similar scene in the books, the main difference being that Sansa wasn’t the victim but rather a young woman posing as Arya Stark.

Additionally, while the “rape of Sansa” is again disturbing, it’s hardly the worst thing to happen in the show, even to a woman. Remember the Red Wedding? Where a pregnant Talisa is murdered via several stabs to the abdomen? Having read to books, I knew that the Red Wedding was coming but even I wasn’t ready for that. Or in Season Two (I think) when Tyrion hires a couple of prostitutes for Joffrey hoping that it would mellow him out a bit and how horribly pear-shaped that goes? Ramsay’s a bastard (in more than one sense) but he’s not even in Joffrey’s league when it comes to tormenting women.

Game of Thrones has decapitated characters, castrated them, and even featured far worse treatment of some of its female characters. So why was this too far? Is this really the worst thing the show has yet done, or is this just the internet outrage du jour for people who are on a hair trigger when it comes to being offended at anything that they find to be personally distasteful?

Video Definitively Proves that Bro-Country Sucks

I have a simple relationship with country music: If it’s not Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan or Willie Nelson, it can go die in a fire. “Bro-country,” on the other hand,  somehow manages to be even worse.

Not only does every song in the genre suck, they all suck in the same manner: 30-something alcoholics crooning about the kind of reckless freedom you only ever get from chugging Jim Beam until you pass out behind the wheel of your pickup truck on Friday nights and drinking shots off girls in jean shorts.

They are all the same shitty song with just enough minor elements switched around to prevent the same target demo that made the creators of “Truck Nutz” a millionaire from catching on before they cash in, too.

It’s nice to have my suspicions confirmed courtesy of Saving Country Music, which has proof that bro-country does indeed suck Nutz. YouTube producer Sir Mashalot took some of bro-country’s biggest, shittiest hits over the past few years and combined them into one remix straight out of low-rent redneck Hell.

The video mashes up six terrible songs: ”Sure Be Cool If You Did” by Blake Shelton, “Drunk on You” by Luke Bryan, “Chillin’ It” from Cole Swindell, “Close Your Eyes” by Parmalee, “This is How We Roll” from Florida Georgia Line, and “Ready, Set, Roll” by Chase Rice. Four of them were #1 country hits, while others were ranked 5 and 11. They are all also freaking interchangeable.

I actually think the mashup is better than any of its terrible component songs (an extremely low bar, but still), especially if you imagine that Blake, Luke, Cole, Chase and every member of Parmalee and Florida Georgia Line are all trying to bang the same chick using the same lines at the same time. Probably at a kegger in a South Carolina farmhouse. I feel cold and frightened just thinking about it.

Please keep this video out of the hands of bro-country fans, who will appreciate it non-ironically and pressure the artists involved into forming a supergroup that will usher in the end of all things.

Neil deGrasse Tyson Explains ‘Interstellar’ (Spoiler Alert!)

Neil deGrasse Tyson has already assessed the science in “Interstellar,” but since you’re probably still confused about the movie’s ending (as I am), here he is explaining things like time, space and how Coop (Matthew McConaughey) was able to enter the fifth dimension (that library tesseract thing) to contact his daughter in the past.

Mostly Tyson explains the overall mechanics of these concepts and how they relate to black holes, but it’s fairly simple to apply his explanations to Christopher Nolan’s complicated conclusion. He does emphasize that it’s all speculative since we don’t actually know what’s in a black hole or whether past events are amendable in higher dimensions.

Still, maybe the video will help you to wrap your head around the movie’s puzzle. If not, he pretty much says, “Oh, whatever!” at the end,  and what Neil deGrasse Tyson says goes.

Fifth Victim of Marysville High School Shooting Dies

Last Friday November the 7th, another child died as a result of the school shooting that occurred on October 24th at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg died Friday evening of his wounds. […]

We express our thanks for the amazing support from the community, as well as from everyone around the world that have been praying for us all through this tragic event,” Andrew Fryberg’s family said in a statement released by the hospital. The family also thanked “all the amazing staff” who cared for the boy in Harborview’s pediatric intensive care unit. The relatives asked for privacy.

Gia Soriano, 14, died Oct. 26 at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett and 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit died Oct. 31 at the Everett hospital. Thursday, 14-year-old Nate Hatch was released from Harborview and returned home. He had been shot in the jaw.

It’s important to remember however, that Anita Sarkeesian is the real victim of this tragedy. After all, people on Twitter were mean to her after she tried to use the victims as props in her crusade against The Patriarchy ™, oh and to promote books, all mere hours after the news broke.

The Associated Press reports that Andrew Fryberg was the last victim who remained hospitalized, meaning the final death toll of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting will likely stop at five.