Newton Leroy Gingrich, a former college professor who co-writes speculative novels about alternative versions of history, has just coauthored the most momentous counterfactual of his career. Forget wondering what would have happened if the Confederates had won at Gettysburg, or if the United States had fought Imperial Japan and left Hitler alone: What if the two most absurd and most widely loathed candidates in last year's Republican presidential primaries had joined forces to win the White House?
It's New Years Eve and not too much is going on on the internet so let's contemplate The Most Important Question In The World: "Who would win if every country sent their leader to fight to the death?" Yesterday a user on Reddit posed the question that every stoned college sophomore home on winter break asks himself when ambling to the corner store to get some Pop Chips not because he's even that hungry but just to get out of the house for a minute or two.
Last night Earth came very close to being destroyed by its own moon, which, through a combination of factors, looked slightly larger than usual. Thankfully, at the last second, the planet was spared. Above is an image of what the moon might have looked like hovering ominously over New York City, had it not been snuggled down deep under a blanket of clouds.
Sigmund Freud theorized that humans have a death drive, a latent desire for self-destruction. In a media ecosystem rife with celebity death pictures, celebrity death bets, Celebrity Rehab, I'd say we have a culture-wide "death drive," too. The reaction to Whitney Houston's death two weeks ago, reported the day before the Grammys, underscored our obsession with such celebrity tragedies. What would be the Oscars' version of that particular fallout?
"What If All the Cats in the World Suddenly Died?" Yahoo News asked today. Intrigued by this mysterious world without cats (What would we put bread on?) I clicked the link and found myself at Life's Little Mysteries, a LiveScience sister site dedicated to answering search-engine optimized questions of childlike wonderment like "Why are there holes in 'Swiss' cheese?" and "Who Will Succeed Kim Jong-Il?" (Trick question. Can't be answered.)
CIA director Leon Panetta said that if the agency does catch Osama bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri (ha, good one) — he'd send their asses straight to Guantanamo Bay: "We would probably move them quickly into military jurisdiction [...] then eventually move them probably to Guantanamo." Good luck with all that.