Monday, September 29, 2014

67 - Answers

Q: BillJ - Is Tupac still alive?
A: Sadly no.Tupac Shakur was shot on September 7, 1996 and died in the hospital six days later on September 13, 1996 of internal bleeding. I don't have time to go into it now but here's the wikipedia article of the East Coast vs. West Coast Rap Rivalry of the 90's. Enjoy!

Q: Mike Guethle - Why do white people like Wayne Brady so much?
A: As a certified white person (but not a member of the American Socialist White People's Party) I am qualified to comment on this. I enjoyed watching Wayne Brady during his time on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. He is a funny, talented performer with a good singing voice. Most recently he has acted as host on the TV show "Let's Make a Deal", which I haven't seen but he's been doing it for 5 years so he can't be too bad at it. He is not controversial, doesn't get his name all over TMZ, and (publicly at least) seams to have his act together. Therefore I would think that lots of kinds of people would like him.

Of course the definitive answer comes from the Chapelle Show's own Negrodamus: White people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumball look like Malcolm X.

Q: democko - he lives! why can't Tom Brady get a high five?
A: Yes he does. Good to see you again, Mr. Democko. I had heard about this "story" but wasn't aware that it was such a big thing on the Internet. Lots of articles and blog posts and videos about this rather humorous thing. The cocky homer Patriots fan in me says that he can't do high-fives because his brain is so full of football awesomeness that there isn't room for such silly things. But having watched him play three games thus far I know that can't possibly be right.

So absent that I'd say that Tom Brady can't get a high-five because the people around him are just too damned busy or distracted to give him one. And that's sad. It makes me weep for Tom Brady. Well, maybe not weep exactly, or even feel sorry for him, but it makes me think about him. And that's probably the point.

Q: MattB - zomg Mit Ssob!
A: I assume that "zomg" is some kind of greeting that evolved since the last time I did this feature, so zomg right back at you!

Q: Barn - I still want to know why farts smell worse in the shower. I reject the previous response of "because you're showering with Banjo."
A: I did provide a pretty comprehensive answer to this question in Episode 63, which is provided below:

Q: Bridget Murray - Why do shower farts smell more than regular farts?
A: I think there are two reasons for this (and I base this on absolutely no medical knowledge or research):
1. Your body has had the chance to digest and process the food from the day before and thus generate a lot more gas. Concurrently that gas has had a chance to build up and become more, um, potent I guess is the polite way of putting it.
2. The confined space of a shower combined with the steam (presuming that you're not taking a cold shower, if you know what I mean) would have an amplifying effect on said fart.

I was going to leave the answer at that and then our own Matt Barrett chimed in with this gem: "Because you shower with Banjo." Never before in Ask Mitssob history has a user-provided answer been both concise and horrifying. I'd like to thank you for planting that mental image and thus denying me hours and hours of sleep. Well played, sir.

I stand by my original answer, though now that I think about it including the "because you shower with Banjo" portion was a mistake since I have no way of knowing whether showering with Banjo makes your shower farts smell worse. And no, before anyone asks, I'm not going to do the research necessary to find out.

As became tradition with Ask Mitssob, here are some user-provided insta-answers:

BillJ - It seems to me all smells are worse when wet. Maybe the water vapors get into your nose easier? I'll be interested to hear what he comes up with.
Banjo - I thought this was already answered in a satisfactory manner (aside from the very true statement "because you're showering with Banjo"). The steam and water vapor acts to mix constituents in the air much faster and more thoroughly than normal. While normal farts rely on standard brownian motion (lol in regard to farts) and diffusion to disperse, a fart in a hot shower with lots of steam will move much faster as it is borne by the bulk motion of the steam and air. Thus, a shower fart is generally more intense, but shorter lived, than a standard toot.

At this point I'm content to let this subject rest, but if the world keeps asking fart question then I'll keep answering fart questions.

Q: Jacob - Why should I ask you questions over Mike Guethle?
A: Excellent question. Before I answer, who is this so-called "Mike Guethle" anyway? I'm sure he's a nice guy and all, but really, what are his qualifications? Has he ever watched The Room, one of the worst movies ever made, and provided analysis? Has he ever done an epic breakdown of Crimson Tide vs. The Hunt for Red October? Has he publicly pondered physics? I think not!

In short, you should ask me questions because I am superbly qualified to answer any and all of the questions you and your feeble mind could possibly imagine. I am, frankly, much smarter and better educated and more worldly and better looking and...


Sorry, I couldn't keep going with that. Seriously, you should ask me questions because hopefully I can provide you with some answers, analysis, research, and entertainment. Thanks for playing.

Q: Jackie - Drive on parkway. Park on driveway... Discuss.
A: Normally I'd say something like, "That's not a question, try harder," but since I've been gone my editor has been striving to make me more, shall we say, friendly, so I'll skip that part.

This is another example of a question that I've tackled in the past, but it was a while ago so I'll happily cut-and-paste what I came up with last time.

Q: Bill Jeffers - Why DO we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
A: I can actually answer this classic question. No, really, I can. Just give me a minute and I think you'll be satisfied.

The answer to the first part of the question can be found by tracing back the meaning of the word "parkway". A parkway was originally a road that lead to and passed through a park or other scenic area. Thus the "park" part of the word "parkway" is literal, which I find interesting. As automobiles became popular new parkways were built. These were usually wide roads with landscaped medians, and while they still often lead to parks they also began to include longer scenic drives. Today a parkway generally means that it serves passenger vehicles only, and there are usually lower speed limits on them than on other highways.

And that's why you drive on a parkway.

The second part of the question is harder. A "driveway" is defined as a private road leading up to one or more buildings. Technically this includes the short little strips of asphalt that are in front of most houses, though I would really classify those as parking spots rather than a real driveway. In fact, that's my answer to the question. You don't really park in your driveway. You drive on your driveway until you reach the parking spots in front of your house.

Satisfied? No? Well I like the answer, and more to the point it's all you're going to get out of me on this one.

Oh, and one more thing: that's not a question, try harder. Thanks!

Q: Mattb - Ok, here's a question for you that I don't think was ever covered in a previous week (but correct me if I'm wrong). The issue of climate change has become a divisive topic, particularly along party lines. Democrats seem a lot more jazzed up about the issue while Republicans are generally more skeptical of the research that's out there. It would seem to me that an issue rooted in science shouldn't fall so cleanly on either side of the aisle but that's probably just my small, idealistic mind spewing out crazy ideas. Why has climate change become such a polarizing political issue?

A: Wow, not going to let me ease back into this, are you guys? Just going to make me hit the ground running on all cylinders. Before I start let me just state upfront that it's these political questions that usually take the longest for me to reason through and answer, which is why my answers are usually late. I'm going to try to be better but no promises.

I've talked about the issue of climate change a few times over the years. I had a back-and-forth with Jarsh about it back in 2008 and 2009 that I thought was interesting. In the interest of brevity I'll keep my answer narrowly tailored to your exact question. I'm sure that this topic will come up again so I won't try to answer all aspects of it this time.

To properly answer the question let me define "climate change" as "human-induced changes to the climate resulting in catastrophe for Earth". Even if you don't agree with this definition it will at least give you an understanding on where I'm coming from.

Your statement about this being "an issue rooted in science" is where the I think the disconnect is. Climate change has become a polarizing political issue because climate change is not about science. To people who believe in climate change it is about good vs. evil. If you "deny" climate change then you must be evil, and therefore you must be destroyed and silenced because evil cannot triumph over good. Republicans (of whom I count myself a member) are skeptical because of the track record of those on the left when it comes to predicting crisis during the past fifty years. A good article on this topic can be found here:

My view is that the climate is changing now, has changed in the past, and will change in the future. Why do we think that we are so special that we can change that change? That we can somehow move the Earth to an ideal temperature and climate? Seems pretty arrogant to me. And we think that we can predict what's coming? Or that computer models are accurate? Try this for a recent example where people are still figuring things out about the climate:

So in short it's political because the supporters and "believers" have made it that way. Whether that's a good or bad thing I won't comment on right now, but my door is always open!

Q: Brett - With the return of Ask Mit Ssob, can the return of the Brett Gobe Quiz of the Week be far behind?
A: I was unaware that the longest-running feature in Jolinko history had gone the way of Ask Mitssob. I hope that you decide to resurrect it. I think it will do you and us some good.

Q: karyn - WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU JULY 10-13????
A: I was navigating a bus full of drunk and disorderly college students (many of whom played musical instruments and all of whom were fans of a certain sport played on ice by people wearing metal blades on their feet) to a small college in Hamilton, NY. Unfortunately my navigation skills proved unequal to the task and I ended up directing the bus up a hill to a dead end and the bus became stuck in snow.

[Ed: Why was there snow in July in Hamilton, NY? I don't know, climate change maybe?]

Q: democko - is New Coke returning too?
A: I sincerely doubt it, though in the nostalgia cycle (where everything that was new and became old old is now new again) anything's possible.

In doing my research for this question (and this is part of Ask Mitssob that I missed a lot so thanks for the weird question) I learned quite a bit about the Coke/New Coke debacle of 1985. New Coke was first dreamed up in the early 1980's by marketing and sales executives at Coca Cola. Their goal was to stop the market share losses by Pepsi by coming up with a new taste for their classic beverage.

It was introduced on April 23, 1985 and was nearly instantaneously panned and rejected by the public. Oddly it was this very public that the marketing and sales executives had subjected to taste tests and who had told those marketing and sales executives that they liked the taste. Apparently they were wrong, which is an interesting subject all in itself (see Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink for a detailed study of that aspect of the story).

Three months after the epic fail Coca Cola reversed course and re-launched its original recipe as "Coca Cola Classic". New Coke was rebranded as Coke II in 1992 and lasted through the nineties until it was finally discontinued in 2002. So in light of all that I'd say that the odds of it making a return are slim, but again, anything's possible.

A: I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locus. It wasn't my fault. I swear to god!

A: Okay, okay, fine, here's the truth: I was in my new house with my wife. We had just finished a month-long whirlwind where we:
1. Sold my old house in Chili, NY (sorry sports fans, Fort Mitssob is no more)
2. Finally found THE house (after looking at and rejecting houses since February). It was listed on a Wednesday, we looked at it on a Thursday afternoon, put an offer in Thursday evening and it was accepted at 11pm that night.
3. Put my wife's house in Irondequoit on the market. This involved me moving about 2/3 of our stuff into my storage unit (where I'd been keeping some of my stuff since moving in with her two years earlier), coordinating major repairs to plumbing, replacing carpet, cleaning, and making the house look presentable.
4. Sold my wife's house a week after it was listed (cash offer, no inspection, near asking price).
5. Closed on the new house and began moving some stuff over.
6. Had movers move our stuff from both the old house and the storage unit to the new house.
7. Begin the long and (still incomplete) task of turning our house into a home.

So unfortunately, even though reunion had been on my calendar for years, circumstances prevented me from going. And for that I am truly sorry and beg everyone's forgiveness.

Q: waits - When I talk to jolinko what am I actually talking to?
A: If by "talk to jolinko" you mean actually talking out loud to the website, then you're talking to whatever Internet browsing device you are using. So you're really talking to the Internet. It's basically a series of tubes.

[Ed: Making that joke multiple times does not make it funnier. Just making sure that you're paying attention.]

Q: Jacob - Why hasn't Mitssob answered our questions yet?
A: I'll take this as a hint that I need to be speedier and more responsive in my answers. [Ed: And would it kill you to up the quality while you're upping the speed? Unless you want me to actually develop a drug habit, this is all you're gonna get.">

Q: Sheamus - Where are my co-workers hiding the coffee?
A: If it was up your ass you'd know where it was. Sorry, that was impolite. But also true.

Anyway, the answer depends on your relationship with your co-workers and your company's relationship with coffee. Is coffee provided by your company? Do you have a kitchen area? In that case I would check there first. Next I'd check where office supplies are kept (that's where our extra coffee is hidden). Do you get along with your co-workers? If you do then you should ask them since I'm sure they have a better idea than me. If not then there are all kinds of ways to get the information out of them. Good luck in finding your coffee.

Q: waits - What prompted the mitssob to make his return?
A: A few things. I've been considering a re-launch since December (and even posted a couple things on the blogspot account formerly known as Ask Mittsob). I haven't sunk enough time into it yet so I figured an injection of questions from the place that started it all was called for. Also it's getting close to NaNoWriMo time again and I need to get back into the writing mentality, and what better way than answering your questions?

Q: democko - was it really Apple's fault that those nude photos were stolen from those poor celebrities?
A: Short answer: no.

Longer answer: As I understanding it the "hacking of iCloud's servers" that was so breathlessly reported on in August was actually hackers figuring out celebrities' passwords and using them to get to the photos on iCloud. Put another way, "hacking iCloud" would be like someone breaking into your car and hot-wiring it, while this incident was like someone stealing your keys and using them to steal your car.

A couple of thoughts on that incident. One interesting comment I read as it was all unfolding was that blaming the celebrities for having nude photos in the first place was blaming the victim. I understand this argument. Celebrities absolutely should have the freedom to take nude pictures of themselves for their own private use. However by its wording this argument is trying to establish equivalence with the "blaming the victim" argument that rapists use, and that makes me uncomfortable. If you're a celebrity then by definition your life is public. Therefore you should assume that if it's on your camera or your phone, assume that it's public. Period. Is that a good or a bad thing? I won't comment on that, it's just reality.

Another angle was that the problem was us (the public) and our desire for more and more information and details about celebrities. I actually agree with this argument, but to me it dodges the larger point, which is, again, IF YOU DON'T WANT NUDE PICTURES OF YOURSELF ON THE INTERNET DON'T TAKE NUDE PICTURES OF YOURSELF IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Returning to my car analogy, there is no legal difference between stealing a car outright and stealing the keys and using them to take the car. I submit that there's no difference here either. The people who did the "hacking" should be subject to the same laws and regulations as if they'd broken into the servers directly. I know it's not that simple. Once the pictures are out there there's no getting them back. So, say it with me:


Q: democko - follow up question: Is Tim Cook taking Apple down the shitter? also, will you buy an AppleWatch?
A: I'm not sure I would go that far or state it so dramatically, but I agree that Tim Cook is taking Apple in a different direction than Steve Jobs did. The stock price of Apple has gone from $55/share to $100/share (with a few splits thrown in) since the passing of Steve Jobs, so financially he must be doing something right. Does that extend to design and products? I think the jury is still out but I'd say they're still innovating. Maybe not fast enough or as fast as the old days but I'm not ready to give up just yet.

And no, I'm not going to buy an Apple Watch, mostly due to the price point but also because it's not something I can justify right now.

Q: Sheamus - Did you bring me my Cheez Whiz, boy?
A: No, I did not. I don't know where you live. In fact, I don't even know who you are. Allow me to introduce myself. Tim Boss, former pep band president. Damned glad to meet you.

Now that we have that out of the way, the only true answer to your question is this.