Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So Long, and Thanks for All the Dolphin Frottage

After several months of keeping The Swarm updated in two locations, our accounting department has decided it just doesn't make economic sense any more.

So from now on The Swarm will only be updated at:
Please adjust your bookmarks accordingly.

Here's a picture of a bird trying to eat a cat.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So Can Sensual Ice Skating

Thanks for the tip, Aol!

and This

Monday, December 5, 2011

Teen Wolf Too

Below are some excerpts from my upcoming Twilight fan fiction novella, Harvest Moon.

Note: I've never actually read any of the Twilight books, so if any of these excerpts are word-for -word the same as passages from the novels, it's totally a coincidence.

Revving the engine, Edward sped his motorcycle through the night. There was still time; he could sense it. If he was only fast enough, he could still make it. Screeching to stop in front of Bella's house, Edward vaulted off the bike and raced toward the door. She had been right, he shouldn't have eaten that third enchilada.

"Edward! What are you doing in Leningrad?" asked Jacob
"I just wanted to say hi... comrade."

"We were part of an elite yard care service. We tended to the gardens of the nobility. Periodically the lycans would swoop down from the hills, digging holes and pooping everywhere. Thus began a fued that continues to this day. My clan of landscapers was known by our specialty. We were called "Raking Lawn".

"Do you know Jacob's e-mail address?"
"Yeah, I got if from that list at the bumper boat place. It's"

"Bella, this is the perfect night. The night when I give you everything of myself. The night when finally you surrender the wonders of your body for the first time."
"Sure." mumbled Bella.
"Sure? What 'sure'?" asked Edward, confused.
"Well, I mean, pretty much."
"You haven't given yourself to that filthy mongrel Jacob, have you, my dear?" he said, his anger rising.
"What? Oh, no. But last summer, I was at that party with Jeff Webber, and y'know, he really liked me and we were making out for a
"He didn't hurt you, did he?"
"No, it's just that we were fooling around for a while in a bedroom, and I sort of let him do it with my butt."
"Look, he didn't put it in or anything. He just had sex with my butt cheeks. It was kind of like a hotdog in a bun. I also let him watch me pee."

Edward quickly changed into his alt mode and fired his cannon at the face of the dam.

Bella winced at the afternoon sun. Looking down, she noticed her skin twinkling. Had it truly happened? Had she become one of the immortal? No, she realized, it was just glitter on her from when that clown exploded.

"Bella, it's not just our shapeshifting that makes us different." Jacob explained. "From the time we can walk we are given special training. Most people have no idea about what we really are. But sometimes, bits of the truth come out. Do you remember that TV show Werewolf Accountant? I myself am a level three CPA."

"Jacob! What are you doing on the space station!?" asked Edward, baffled.
"I just wanted to tell you something... igloo buddy." Jacob sneered.

The Tyrannosaurus hung his head. Bella had finally noticed him, but he had to turn down her offer. He had never learned to Tango!

"Whatever." said Edward. Bella gently leaned her head on Edward's chest, exhaling the aroma of Chili Cheese Fritos.

Jacob looked around nervously, shifting his weight from foot to foot before casually reaching down to adjust his wolf penis.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Cipher #45 - Operator The Dyslexic Telegraph

Well, what did you expect? Can you figure out the dyslexic telegraph operator's message before Aslan picks up his formal mane from the cleaner's?

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: H equals F.

Note: The first period in this cipher is not a full stop, but a dot for an abbreviation. There is also an umlaut somewhere in this week's puzzle!


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"So this harness can lift an entire horse off the ground just so you can put pants on it? Oh, you dropped your pencil; I'll grab it." - Catherine The Great

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blame It on No Shame

Spotted on the way to work. Fab!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I See Dead Careers

Looks hard times for Haley Joel Osment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eight Arms to Hold You

This piece is clearly about a month old.

The spiders, with whom I am engaged in an ongoing, endless battle, have decided to use this season to mount a new offensive. It hasn't been OK. I know the spiders know I hate them. I know the spiders know this is a war.

A couple months back I found a spider waiting for me. In my mail. I can't figure what else a spider was doing in my mail except waiting. My mailbox gets opened and has activity in it several times a day. It's a little dark box, sure, but it isn't exactly spider heaven in there. Yet a spider was in there, not just in the box, but in between the pieces of mail I removed. Waiting. I of course sprang back, dropped all my mail, and stomped on each piece.

Shortly after, I was sitting in a friend's back lawn enjoying a beer. We weren't there more than two minutes before I saw a huge spider skittering his way through the lawn right near us. I realized that the spider must have been in the area first, and since it was crawling away from us, I let it be. Not five minutes later, another God damned spider was climbing up my bare arm. C'mon spider! Do you really think that tasty insects can be caught in a web somewhere on my shoulder?

Next, I find this asshole in my shower.

This wasn't a small spider. Here it is in better perspective.

Naturally I soaked it in Raid. When it comes to spiders I'm way too much of a pansy to even pick up its corpse with a wad of toilet paper, so after it stopped running and dying I broke it up with a broom handle so it would go down the drain. Oh, I forgot to mention where I previously saw a spider exactly like this one. Just walking across my living room floor the night before. Not hiding in a corner or running along a baseboard, but just crossing my floor in bright light like he lived there. I checked my lease. He wasn't on it. He got a large book dropped on him.

Then they tried to get me at work. Shortly after the tubspider, one of these creatures was rappelling down the wall of my cubicle quite near me. Another big damn spider. I stood up and tried to figure what to crush it with, and how the hell I was going to crush it without it dropping and running. Of course my first timid thrust with the spine of a 3-ring binder was lame, the spider dropped behind my monitor and I wondered how I could finish the day knowing it was loose somewhere. I tried to be an adult about the situation and went back to work. In my job many papers come to my desk paper-clipped and leave stapled. I have an old Kleenex box on my desk that I toss paper clips into and also reach into whenever I need one. Guess where I found that evil bastard? Just came straight charging out of the box, that's where. Thank God I didn't have my hand in there at the time. It got crushed with the binder. Next day, another of these big sons-of-bitches came crawling along my wall again. It also got crushed with a binder.

Look! Another spider in my bathtub!
(Yes, I have cleaned it since then)

Sometimes I think my bathroom window exists exclusively so spiders can get in the tub. It's like a dog door for spiders. Spider door.

Then, they sent some sort of monster after me.

Here's a better picture. Make sure you see the whole thing. About half of its horrible body is kind of buried in the web.

I'm really praying that the first snow kills this demon.

This thing is fast and it lives not 20 feet from my door. It even has some god-awful funnel web.

I think that's a leg in the background. Probably the delivery guy
bringing fetal mice for the spider to devour.

I can't even get near this thing to pour bleach on it. It's just waiting like some sort of arachnassassin or arachnommando.

Next up? Another spider in my mailbox.

After that? One of those horrid translucent white/yellow things dangling in front of my bathroom mirror, probably waiting to swing into my mouth when I brush my teeth. Then it would lay eggs in my tongue.

It never seems to end. They've had many failures. But much like Skynet, Pyrrhus, and Ryan Reynolds, they just won't stop.

And now... now, they aren't fucking around anymore. They've realized that I won't be killed so easily. They sent this for me.

I assume it has already eaten my neighbors and their children. If I don't come back soon, just torch the house. If I'm still alive, I'm comatose and filled with millions of eggs. And unless you're Nadya Suleman, that's no way to be.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Non-Stop, See-Through Coverage

More important news from Aol

and this

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Between the Acts of Standing and Running

Much hoopla has been made over Ernest Hemingway's super-short story:

For sale. baby shoes. Never worn.

Less well know is Virginia Woolf's even shorter:

For sale. Mattress. Slightly shat.

It won the Newbery Medal that year.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Poison Penpal

I get made fun of every now and again when people find out I have an Aol e-mail account. It's the account I set up when I got my first computer, which of course came with some free months of America Online. I've just never really stopped using it. I mostly use it for filling out online forms and e-mailing stuff to myself from work. I do also have a Gmail account (fancy!).


Since I have this account, I also get to see Aol's homepage all the time. They really do provide great content all the time. There was this. And now this:

Um, what the hell, Aol? Did Aol poison me? I suppose "get" is better than "got" or "are going to get". It's still a little troubling.

"Tonight on America Online (I know it's not a tv show, but bear with me)

"Tonight on America Online! Why we took your underpants! We've also been soaking your coffee filters in an arsenic solution, letting them dry out, and then replacing them in your cupboard!"

More to come.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pillow Fight

God damn it, people who name products. Shouldn't this be easy?

I needed some sort of stuffing for part of my Hallowe'en costume. I thought that using the filling from an inexpensive pillow might be cheaper than buying actual pillow stuffing. I went to Walmart and headed to their bedding section. Most of the pillows were in the $6 and up range. I didn't really want to spend that much. They also had an endcap featuring a product for only $2.50. I did like three investigative walk-bys and stuck my hand inside the plastic before deciding they were, in fact, pillows.

I mean, what the hell is this?

Yes, you can look at that and say "well clearly that's a pillow". But it could be something else. I don't know, it might be a neatly folded mattress pad, or some sort of bed accessory that I'm totally unfamiliar with. But really that name threw me off. "Deep Pockets"? You know how many pockets this pillow has? Exactly zero. Not a single pocket of any depth. Why the hell did they call a pillow, something that as far as I know never has pockets, Deep Pockets? Sheet sets, mattress pads, mattress covers, and all sorts of other shit that I don't know about has "pockets" at the corners to accommodate a mattress. Why would there be a pocket in a pillow? Even if there was one, the pillow goes inside a pillow case, and the pocket would be useless. What would I keep in there? Perhaps a throat lozenge? Maybe a pre-written thank-you note, a mint, and an RU-486.

Further agitating me, the packaging does not have the word "pillow" anywhere on it. Nowhere. It tells me all about what the filling is made from, that I can machine wash it, and that the bag is dangerous, but it never bothers to mention that it's a pillow.

Even this refrigerator box in this picture I found of some chick in a refrigerator box says "Refrigerator" right on it, and those boxes pretty much always have a refrigerator in them(or the occasional chick). In fact, any box about this size and shape is usually called a refrigerator box. But the refrigerator people still have the courtesy to let you know, just in case.

The bag did let me know that whatever was inside was indeed "Standard".

The sign for the end cap was no help either. It just had the Walmart logo and the price. No description at all.

I suppose maybe "Deep Pockets" is meant to imply wealth and luxury. As if someone might sleep on this pillow and think "Wow! The guy that bought this pillow must have some pretty deep pockets to afford such a fine head cushion! This is nice!"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Cipher #44 - The Tetanus Racket

Oh no! You just woke up, and you're manacled to the wall in some dank pit! That's the last time you party with your 11-year-old niece. Bitch is crazy. How are you going to get unchained from the wall?! Speaking of walls, these ones are closing in! And they have rusty spikes on them! And your tetanus vaccination isn't up to date! Wait! There's a message scrawled on the wall! Maybe there is a way out! But it's in code! Can you figure out the message in time!?

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: J equals B.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"'You shall not pass!' Yeah, that's what my rectum tried to say to my first black boyfriend." - Sir Ian McKellen

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dudes and Dogs

Kevin & Friends Grooming Dog & Cat Spa. I'm torn on this one.

On one hand, I don't know Kevin, and who the hell are these friends of his? Just buddies of Kevin's? He could have classed it up more with "Kevin and Associates, LLC" or "Oliver & Company". I suppose "Kevin & Friends" sounded better than "Kevin & Some Dudes I Know".

I can picture the commercial. "Hey, I'm Kevin. And these are some guys I know. Give us your pet for several hours. These people I met are totally good with pets. It might not be these actual guys here. I reserve the right to let anyone I know pretty well do stuff with your pet. Come in today!"

You can tell Kevin to keep his friends the hell away from my dog.

On the other hand, I'm intrigued. The evidently employ a grooming dog, and I would like to know more about this. Is this a breed of dog I am unfamiliar with that can actually groom other dogs? I wonder if the Groomhound decides on hairstyles for the other dogs on its own, or if Kevin has authority. It may just be a normal service dog that went to school for this.

I think I'll just go to Tiny & Nacho's Lavandogia.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dread and Circuses

The circus is coming to town!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Denver and they are advertising all over town with these billboards.

Fully Charged! Megawatts of Fun! From the text and the pictures of elephants I have to assume Ringling Brothers is following in the footsteps of that genius inventor Thomas Edison by electrocuting elephants nightly.

For those of you that are unaware, during the so-called "War of Currents" between AC and DC power, Edison electrocuted a number of dogs, cats, cattle, a few horses, and yes, an elephant. Here's a video.

And now Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is doing it live every night! Needless to say, I will be going to the circus. It will be awesome. And before anyone starts complaining about it being animal cruelty, remember that circus folk have to eat too, and I don't think you want them rubbing elbows with you at the lunch counter, now do you? So let them eat their elephant in peace. I can also hear some of you are thinking, "But aren't there only like 100 elephants left in the whole world? Won't this burn up all the elephants we have left?" Of course not. Think about it. There are elephants roaming all over India, doing fine without any supervision. Also, pretty much every zoo everywhere has a couple. Hollywood movie studios rent elephants all the time, so there must be lots of elephants in Southern California. Ringling Bros clearly owns lots of them. They wouldn't burn through their last couple elephants for one awesome tour, so they must have a bunch. See? Plenty of elephants. And besides, these elephants are the property of Ringling Bros. If I feel like electrocuting my ficus(a living plant) no one complains; Ringling Bros should be afforded the same courtesy.

Perhaps most importantly, the U.S. has fallen behind in circus dominance and frying elephants may give us a little boost in world popularity. All over Europe and Russia they have classic clowning and miming. France has that Cirque du Soleil thing, which is huge. Hell, John C. Reilly even made a movie about it. But the real powerhouse in the field right now is China. It's just one more area where America is losing ground to those yellow reds. I mean, check this out:

That's right. It's a fucking lion riding a horse. That's what circuses in China are doing right now. You know how great your kids birthday would be if you took him to see a lion riding a horse? Pretty great.

Man, look at that. That lion is loving it. The horse probably is, too. How cool is that? Animal cruelty? Maybe. don't care.

I mean really, in Europe they eat horses. In Africa they eat zebras(I assume) and they're just fancy horses. In America we just run them around in circles, women sniff them and go all wobbly in the knees, and maybe like 40 cowboys ride them at work. Also those horse cops. So this horse being part of an amazing spectacle is likely the best that that horse could have hoped for. And cruel for the lion? I believe we already established that he's loving it. Besides, lions are obsolete.

They also have a tiger.

It seems to me that we'd be letting the those un-American commies, and by extension the terrorists, win if we didn't electrocute elephants at the circus. We simply can't let relevance in yet another field slip out of America's grasp.

So pop the popcorn, spin the cotton candy, and uncap the conductive jelly! I'm going to the circus!

Monday, September 19, 2011

They're Not Genies for Christ's Sake

It would be pretty awesome if a terminally ill child was approached by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and this exchange took place:

MAWF Guy: Do you want to go to Disney World with Taylor Swift?
Kid: I had in mind something a little more radical.
MAWF Guy: What... What seems to be the problem?
Kid: Death.
MAWF Guy: Death. Well, I'm afraid that's a little out of my jurisdiction.
Kid: I want more life, fucker.

It wouldn't be very awesome when the kid eventually succumbs to whatever horrible illness he has, but sometimes sacrifices must be made in the name of comedy.

If you were wondering, his name was Bill. They used to call him Billy, but when he got sick his dad told him he was going to have to be brave.They switched to calling him Bill as a constant reminder that he was just as grown-up and just as brave as any other adult. Sometimes when it was only his parents around, his mom would still call him Billy. His dad would always say "It's Bill now honey. " and she would cry a little. (I'm kidding of course. Children don't die from awful diseases in real life. That would be horrible and no God would let that happen)

Not sure what the hell I'm talking about with that dialogue? It's from Blade Runner.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Cipher #43 - Knight in Shining Fold-Out

Uh oh! Your friend's finacée threw him out of the condo after he called her Tuesday Weld in bed! And now he's staying with you! Also, he's not really like one of your best friends. I mean, he's okay to hang out with, but he's kind of an ass. Like, his name is Steve Knight, but he always wants people to call him "Knight" and he makes really shitty jokes about it. He says stuff like "I was the best Knight of that chick's life" and "You mess with the Knight and you get the lance!". So, it's really best if they can patch things up quickly. Look! Someone just slipped a note under the door and Steve is out playing Ultimate Big Punch Deluxe. Do you read it? Of course! Damn! Steve's fiancée wrote it in her native Eastern European moonspeak. Can you translate it and reunite them in time!?!

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: F equals W.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"I'm glad I was born a brunette. Blondes have always seemed so seasonal to me. " - Harry S Truman

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Helios' Wrath

Bad news, everyone. Isaac Miller (The Moustache) has suffered an accident. I brought it out to a party with me a few weeks ago. A wonderful time was had by all. Many pictures were taken with it. Sadly, I left it in my car overnight, and the next day's heat did a number on it.

It doesn't look bad from this angle

You can see the warp more here

Not good

The moustche's handy traveling case did not escape the sun's fury either:

I have high hopes that I can fix it. The case is easy enough to replace. On the plus side, I haven't shaved in about two weeks. It's not like having another child stops the hurt or replaces the lost one that you loved so much, but maybe this ordeal will give me the understanding I need to finish my biography of Rose Kennedy.

I'm open to any and all suggestions on how to fix this. My best idea as of now is to use a cool iron on it through some parchment paper. I'll keep everyone updated until this tragedy has come to a conclusion, one way or the other.

If you're unfamiliar with my moustache, here are some links:
Isaac Miller (The Moustache) in Facebook
The original article on how it was made

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday Cipher #42 - Herman's Permits

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: Z equals I.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"There is no safe way to open a space suit once you're outside. That means I had to bring some of my poop with me in the lander to leave on the moon." - Alan Shepard

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bitches Always Fake It

This video was a bit of a letdown.

This dog played dead. That's it. She didn't go sailing and have her boat never return. There was no million dollar insurance policy and a false passport. You don't see video of that dog putting a similar dog's corpse in her house and torching the whole thing.

Talk about misleading. Fake its own death?
AOL needs to get their shit together.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Cipher #41 - Remember to Call Your Mamba

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: T equals F.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"When I write a song, I really try to picture the car or water park that it will end up advertising." - Sheryl Crow

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dirty Silk Sheets

I spotted this on the myths portion of Silk Soy Milk's website:

It's not gay if you drink it when the lights are out. And you're drunk.

Really, Silk?
It seems like it should go more like this:

Myth: Consuming soy affects sexual orientation.
Wait what? What are you, twelve? You think drinking soy milk will turn you gay? Seriously?

I know that business is business, and any sale is a good sale, but who is this question directed at? Are there people out there thinking "I'm lactose intolerant and I would still like to enjoy a milky beverage. I've heard about the benefits of soy milk, but I wonder if it will turn me into a queer"?

Including this reassurance on their website doesn't really help the stereotype of vegans and health food junkies(not to mention those lactose intolerants) as limp-wristed nancy boys. In fact, there's even a soy yogurt manufacturer called Nancy's.

Myth: Consuming soy affects sexual orientation.
Reality: There is no scientific evidence that soy consumption affects sexual orientation. I mean, we realize lots of our customers are gay, and most of the rest seem gay, but don't worry, that's totally just how they are. Drinking our fine product won't do that to you. Probably.

Maybe I'm reading this whole thing wrong. Maybe this is aimed at homosexuals who are worried Silk might make them hetero. Maybe it's for people who are looking to be gay, for all the great benefits, but just don't know how. Maybe it's for parents with straight children, who feel that it would behoove their family if at least one of their kids were gay. Like maybe Great-Uncle Thomas left millions of dollars in his will to the first homosexual in the family. Come to think of it, it doesn't say "change" your sexual orientation, just affect it. Like if you drink Silk it will make you bi-curious. Or make you a dom instead of a sub. Or make you an adult baby.

But like it says, there is no scientific evidence that soy consumption affects sexual orientation. All the evidence is anecdotal.

Note: When I went back to look for this page again, I couldn't find it through the front door. Seriously, that's not a joke. If you search for it it's available, but it's not on the site map. Perhaps that page is still in development, or I simply am incompetent at navigating web pages. Here's the direct link to the page if you want it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


What do you suppose they call their gift certificates?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Cipher #40 - The Crocodile's Coverage

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: N equals G.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was using that expired coupon at Arby's" - St. Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Cipher #39 - The Water in Paris is In-Seine

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: K equals W.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last month's answer:
"America. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." - King George III

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday Cipher #38 - Longshoremen Drinking Long Islands in Long Island

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: G equals V.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"If I had my druthers, the last thing I'd see in this world would be my hand smacking that smug look off her face." - Aga Bojaxhiu

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fun Fact #9

Lupe Fiasco, the lead singer of Japanese Cartoon(I'm also told he's some sort of rap guy) takes his stage name from the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. There is a part in the film where Jimmie(Tarantino) is imposed upon by two gangsters. He is reluctant to help them because he does not normally do what they request ("When you came pulling in here, did you notice a sign out in front of my house that said 'Dead Letter Office'?") and also because his wife Bonnie is due home soon. In the Spanish dub of the film Jimmie's wife is named Lupe, and the segment is known as The Lupe Fiasco.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Cipher #37 - The Missing French Toast

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another.

This week's quote is from someone whose name is unknown to me and reads like gibberish even when decoded, so you get two hints. Today's hints: A equals J and K equals X.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"Courage is licking your fingers after eating a chili dog on the toilet." - Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Cipher #36 - Cannoli of Destiny

After spending another satisfying day ridding a kindergarten's playground of pigeons with your Andy Roddick style super overhead slam shot, treating yourself to a meal at Giuseppe Wong's Hunan Ristorante was just what the doctor ordered. As you finish the last of your tea, the waiter drops your bill and a complimentary fortune cannoli. It's longer than you've ever seen a fortune cannoli, but damned if you don't still try to clear the shell of filling with the traditional single suck. Retrieving the 8 inch long strip of paper from your throat, you lean in to see your fortune. Oh! It's a coded message! Perhaps Esperanza has finally forgiven you and wants to rejoin the resistance's robot sex club! Can you decrypt the fortune!?

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: H equals U.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"Saying you're a gypsy at heart is a great way to avoid saying you're just incredibly irresponsible."- Tenzin Gyatso, The Dalai Lama

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Worf's Golf Bible

There's a new product in The Swarm Store!

Michael Dorn has decided to release his new album exclusively through The Swarm! That's right, now you can hear Mr. Worf singing a range of classic tunes! Imagine hearing Dorn's deep, soothing voice coming out of your car stereo or shower CD player! Envision yourself jogging on a treadmill, thinking of yourself running on a holo-treadmill on the holodeck, while Worf does holo-karaoke! Picture yourself wrapped in a snuggie, hugging your iPod dock tightly to your chest as Michael Dorn's recreated laryngeal vibrations lull you to sleep! Fly me to the moon indeed, Mr Worf!

That's what life could be like with "Songs in the Key of Michael"

When you hear Dorn's new album, you'll say "Set phasers on classic!"

Order within the next 72 hours and you'll also get this fabulous bonus single from the Gorn!

Only at The Swarm Store!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday Cipher #35 - The Ouroboros' Turtleneck

The Swarm's staff had the weekend off for Memorial Day, so enjoy the late Cipher!

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: I equals Z.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"This has been such a hassle. I am going to be so pissed at Carl if I get to Madrid and it's not the best goddamned taco salad I've ever had." - Attila the Hun

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Zomething Ztupid

If I were Tyler Durden, tonight's fight club meeting would end something like this:

"This week, each of you has a homework assignment. You're going to go out and start a conversation with a total stranger. You're going to start a conversation, and you're going to lose. You will lose, because the entire time, you'll be talking like the Zima Guy."

It wouldn't be a very good club.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Cipher #34 - The Cannibal's Wristwatch

Below is a quote from a famous person encoded with a substitution cipher. Each letter has been swapped for another. Today's hint: W equals P.


The first person to e-mail me the correct answer at wins a prize! If you would like your prize sent to you, include a mailing address with your answer.

Last week's answer:
"Although the matching names are a coincidence, Gene said I did inspire the neck pinch when he saw me choking my daughter." - Benjamin Spock

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fun Fact #8

In the late 19th century, Mikael Pederson developed one of the first tandem bicycles. His bicycle differed from other tandems mostly in intent. Pederson was a vocal believer in centaurs, and thought that when they finally revealed themselves to humanity they might like bikes.

"Aw, man. I'm baked and I'm totally gonna be late for
work, and my Domino's shirt is still wet from
the wash, and I had to stuff it in my satchel...
Jesse's gonna chew my ass. I wish I had a bike."

Sorry about the picture. Centaurs may not be real, but I think I'd rather they existed than this monster.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Make an American Moustache

Well then.

It's time for another fun and exciting craft project at The Swarm!
If you missed last year's Easter Project, there's still plenty of time to catch up here.

All caught up? Great! Let's get into today's craft.

For this project, you will need basic crafting supplies and also a moustache. If you don't have a moustache, grow one! If you can't grow one, consider getting a hairier boyfriend or a sex change; it's probably worth it.

This project is only seven steps and includes lots of pictures!

Somehow, I forgot to get a "before" picture of myself.
Instead, here's a picture of me at two years old, with Vincent Price's moustache added. It's basically the same thing.

This project is mostly about removing an entire moustache from a person's face in one piece. You will need to keep all the facial hair together while removing it. Lucky for you I did lots of research so you don't have to!

I thought at first that maybe tape would work, but doubted my ability to remove the hair from the tape afterward and still keep it in some sort of recognizable shape. Glue really seemed like the only other option. There are so many glues on the market, and at least a few that are non-toxic. Only one glue seemed like a good match for this project.

Classic Elmer's Glue-All fit all the needs I had. It's non-toxic, water-soluble, has good flexibility when it's dry but not set, and dries clear.

1. So, step one. Fill your moustache with Elmer's Glue-All Glue. You want pretty complete coverage. Go a bit beyond the edges of the actual moustache.

Here's a close-up:

Easy enough! On to step two!

2. I guess step two is actually just sitting and letting the glue dry for a while. It's going to take several hours, depending on how much glue you put in. It will almost certainly drip on you or your clothes while it is drying.

The parts with the most glue in them may not dry for days, so just wait until it's pretty well set-up and has formed enough of a shell that it will hold all the hairs together while you remove the moustache. It should look something like this:

Research for step three:

I had a full beard at the start of this project. The moustache was all I wanted to keep(by keep I don't mean on my face, I mean the only part I didn't plan on rinsing down the drain). So before I filled my moustache with glue, I did some experimenting with my beard. I think there might be a joke somewhere in here about experimenting/having a beard/moustache full of white glue. Feel free to joke, but I'm not ashamed of what I did in when I was young. Crazy shit happens when you go to community college.

So to see the best way to remove the hair from my face in one piece, I filled a couple patches of my beard with glue and tried to cut them off.

I tried a beard trimmer, a single-edged craft-type razor blade, a double-edged razor blade, and ICE brand tempered stainless steel scissors. I was trying to cut behind the glue. I figured that way the glue would hold all the hair together, and still leave stubble exposed on the backside that I could work with. The beard trimmer was pretty well useless at any angle. The razor blades both seemed to have promise, but I'm pretty sure that using an unfettered blade at an odd angle in a space I could barely see might be bad. I think that if you could somehow get a helper to cut off your facial hair the razor blade may be the best option. But for me, the scissors were the only answer.

3. Cut off your moustache.
The method is pretty simple. Since my moustache had "tails" at the corners of my mouth, I used them as handles. Basically you should just pull outward on an edge of the moustache until the hair and glue pull out far enough that you can get behind them. Feel free to scrape up a corner of the glue from your skin before pulling. That should make it a little easier.

Once you have it started, just carefully snip the hairs that are exposed and pulled taut at the edge of the 'stache. It's kind of like cutting a clothing seam open. Go slow. It's going to take time, and it's going to hurt. I am confident that this whole step would be easier and faster if one person held the moustache taut while the other person sliced the "seam" with a razor blade.

This part was reminiscent of the film Moustache/Off:

And here is the moustache after removal:

And the back:

More Research:

Next, we need to secure the moustache to another surface, so that we can remove the Elmer's. Part of my beard experiment was figuring out how to do this. I figured a clear, water-proof glue would be best, with a clear backing of some sort. For the back I settled on a piece of thin clear plastic packaging. The two glues I tried were standard super glue and quick set epoxy. The epoxy gave the best looking finish. The super glue seemed to bond with some of the Elmer's, leaving white hazy spots. The problem with the epoxy is the time it takes to adhere. It remains liquid much longer than the super glue. My removed moustache had an irregular curving shape to it. While it was pliable and somewhat flexible, I hesitated to just press it in a book with wet glue, and didn't want to try to clamp it in multiple places to ensure glue contact while it set. I went with the super glue.

Here are the tests:


Super Glue

Glue your moustache to some plastic. Put a piece of masking tape over each "tail" of the 'stache to protect it from glue. Coat the back of the moustache(the stubble mostly) with super glue, firmly press the plastic against it and hold it for a minute or two.

It might look something like this:

It's not super obvious here, but
all the Elmer's is still in it.

5.Now you need to remove the Elmer's glue. After the super glue is set, toss your moustache into a bowl of water for a few days.

Every once in a while massage some of the glue out. Elmer's has always been water soluble, but I wonder if the "new stronger" formula is quite as soluble as the former version. While all the glue did eventually come out, it took a long time to all soften. It also left sediment in the bowl rather than just mixing with the water.

The picture is a bit dark, but here it is thoroughly rinsed:

It looked pretty good at this point other than one aspect. As mentioned earlier, the super glue left some obvious white areas behind the moustache. I think it was still damp when this photo was taken, which is probably why it doesn't show. Depending on the color of your facial hair and your choice of glues you may not have a problem with this. Since I did have a problem, I tried to fix it.

5b(optional).Toss your moustache in a bowl of coffee for a few days. This helped to darken the remaining Elmer's that had bonded with the super glue.

Unfortunately, it didn't do the job quite as well as I hoped.

5c(optional). Put your moustache in a bowl of water with a little bit of Rit Dye.

I couldn't find brown, so I used black. A few drops(or blobs, as it were) was plenty. It only took a few minutes in the dye to get the white spots darker, and I didn't want to dye the hair by accident. After all, this thing is supposed to look natural. Rinse all dye from the hair.

6. Next, trim away all the excess plastic from around the outside.

Here's mine all trimmed up:

Almost Done!

7. Lastly, glue your facial hair to a stick, wand, pole, staff, breadstick, straw, or piece of uncooked pasta. I added some rainbow colored yarn to make mine more whimsical!

The picture sucks, but here's mine on my coffee table:

And just like that, you're done!

Let's test it out to make sure it works!

It works!

See the Facebook page for my moustache! It has pictures of many fine people looking quite dapper while wearing my moustache! The page is a little bare at the moment, but there are many photos coming in the next couple days!