Culture

Ups and Downs: How many energy drink products is it safe to consume before my heart bursts out of my chest?

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Up: It’s the Headline of the Week!: This week’s winner comes from the web-based medical magazine Health Day: “Health Tip: Your Child May Be Stressed.”

It’s a ground-breaking article that suggests the pressures of watching cartoons and not shitting his or her pants may be getting to your child, causing elevated levels of stress. Doctors have long maintained that the most effective and safe way to combat stress in America’s youth is to give them a pack of smooth-flavored, long-lasting cigarettes. It will calm their nerves, and make them look cooler in front of older kids.

Down: This poor animal and its impending shitty life: People love animals. Well, actually, I love animals. Most other people think that they love animals, when in reality they hate anything that makes an animal remotely animal-like. They yell at dogs for not ignoring hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary behavior and abstaining from barking at night. They get upset when cats use the claws attached to their body to climb up a piece of furniture, or when a pet smells human food and has the fucking AUDACITY to be interested in it. They get annoyed when a dog has to go outside to use the bathroom early in the morning or late at night. In essence, what most pet owners are looking for is a small human child that is covered in soft fur, that understands and responds to complicated commands in English though itself doesn’t speak, and that only shits between 10 am – 7 pm.

But what people really want from an animal is for it to look goofy or to do goofy things. That’s why pictures of kittens sleeping in a shoe, or puppies drinking from the toilet are so popular; we get the chance to think to our selves “Mr. Mittens! That’s not your bed!” and “Wiggles! That’s not where you drink from, that’s where I deposit fecal matter and other bodily waste LoL JK.” It should be no surprise, then, that for the last few months an opossum (which is an animal that normally looks like an otter with diabetes) at a zoo in Germany has gained a ton of internet attention for her crossed eyes. Hiedi the Opossum is a popular attraction at the Leipzig Zoo and an even more popular Google search, mostly because you can just imagine her saying “Sorry I barfed on the rug, guys, I couldn’t see where I was going and got dizzy when I was walking!” Hiedi was so popular that she appeared on numerous American television shows, including Jimmy Kimmel’s late night program

Now another zoo, this time in East Germany, is hoping to capitalize on an odd-looking animal with Frank, the cross-eyed Jaguarundi.

According to an exhaustive 4-second Wikipedia search, a Jaguarundi is a type of South American puma, and as Seymour Skinner once reminded viewers of The Simpsons, the puma is “sleek, vigilant” and “the principal of the mountains.” Moreover, pumas typically do some pretty hardcore things, like track and hunt antelopes and gazelles. Then they eat them, nom nom nom. But the cross-eyed Jaguarundi has a number of things working against it:

1) Someone decided to name it Frank, which, while not a bad name for a human being, is not the least bit scary or intimidating. They might as well have just named it “Dingus the Retarded Cat.”

2) Hiedi the Opossum was cute, but Frank the Jaguarundi just looks confused. If you had not otherwise heard of him, you would assume the animal had bladder control issues and ate a lot of dirt.

3) He has some terrible PR people handling his celebrity. A Reuters story about Frank included this gem of a quote from zoo head Katrin Ernst:

“So far the Delitzsch zoo has yet to receive any offers from Hollywood or endorsement opportunities, said Ernst. “‘We’re waiting for what comes,’ she said. ‘If someone should inquire and perhaps would like to make little chocolate jaguarundis or something similar, then we certainly wouldn’t be disinterested.'”

Wait…what? THAT’S your marketing plan?? To make miniature jaguarundi-shaped chocolates? Do you really need Hollywood’s help for that? Just buy some molded plastic and a Hersey’s bar and get cracking, lady. This poor cat is fucked. People are going to be gawking at it all day and eating small chocolate versions of its body for at least the next three months.

Up: Sweet sweet weed, baby!: In what is sure to be a landmark article in the journal So What You’re Saying Is Essentially Nothing?, researchers from the University of Ottawa and Queens University in Canada have released the findings of a study that suggests that marijuana use may or may not beneficial or detrimental to sexual performance for men.

The study broke ground in discovering that the human penis–and some small mammal male genitalia–contains receptors for tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis. Some previous research suggests that light marijuana use may increase a man’s sex drive, while this most recent study theorizes that the THC acts on the penis much in the same way it acts on the brain; that is, to mellow it out, and make sexual performance more difficult.

This is a problem for me, because I clam-bake my underwear for 2-3 hours before any predicted sexual encounter, mostly because my testicles love to spark a joint and chill out with some Radiohead. It’s just what we do, MAN. The scientists behind the new study say that more research is necessary to understand the effect of marijuana on sexual performance, and that that research could be conducted at, oh, I don’t know, any college campus in the United States, ever, at 11 p.m. on a Friday night.

Down: Lazy people not getting totally shredded from energy drinks: You’re never going to believe this, but in an article for the medical journal Pediatrics, doctors are arguing that energy drinks may actually be bad for teens, causing heart palpitations, sudden strokes, and ever death in rare cases. University of Miami’s Dr. Stephen Lipshultz, the study’s lead researcher, says that some energy drinks can have up to five times the amount of caffeine as a regular can of soda, and that some teens drink as many as four per day, which can have a serious effect on their heart, nerves and brain chemistry.

This, of course, makes no sense. Everyone knows that energy drinks are awesome, and feature not-at-all-moronic names like “Monster,” “Full Throttle” and “NOS.”* Moreover, commercials and viral videos produced by energy drink manufacturers make it abundantly clear that nothing but good things — like hip-hop theme songs and dope-ass babes — come from these drinks:

When was the last time orange juice did anything this cool? If you ask me, this is America, land of the free, and teens should be allowed to drink the equivalent of liquid cocaine if that’s what they choose to do. Otherwise, where are they going to get the courage to catch some gnarly air down at the skate park while listening to Justin Bieber?

*NOS? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.