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        • Eleven Little Roosters Cosplay Guide: Marquee Marquis

          1 day ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          Hello again, secret agents! It’s time for another Eleven Little Roosters cosplay guide, compliments of Erika Slay, Rooster Teeth’s costume designer. For this installment, we’re focusing on Marquee Marquis from the French Association of Professionals.


          Hat: A black knit beanie is crucial for this look. This black watch cap will do the trick.

          Glasses: Marquee’s exact glasses are still available at Urban Outfitters. Snatch up a pair before they’re gone!

          Shirt: Any white, long-sleeve henley will work here. Here’s a very similar option.

          Pants: Marquee’s pants were found at a thrift shop. They are Merona brand, which means they were originally purchased at Target. Here’s a very similar pair, but any black chino pants will do.

          Suspenders: You won’t have to look too hard to find an appropriate pair of black suspenders. Here’s a good, cheap option.

          Shoes: Any black, cap-toe oxford shoe will work here. Here’s an affordable pair to get you started.

          Cigarette: Smoking is almost as deadly as being an international spy, so don’t opt for the real thing when duplicating this look. These novelty cigarettes are just as convincing.

          We hope this guide came in handy for anyone who’s looking to cosplay as Marquee Marquis. If you end up joining the French Association of Professionals, make sure you share your photos with us!

          More Eleven Little Roosters agents will be featured in the future, so stay tuned...

        • Fan Art Friday #52: Funhaus Comic by Zeptodroll

          6 days ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Dónal Mac an Fhailigh (pronounced “Mac an allee”), AKA @Zeptodroll, for this Funhaus comic.

          Here’s the cover:


          And you can read the full comic here:

          Dónal lives in Ireland, where he’s a computer science student who dabbles in comics and other art in his downtime. He wanted to do a large-scale comic for a long time, and decided to use the Funhaus crew as characters for a base.

          After working on drafts for the story, Dónal penciled the pages and scanned them, then spent the second half of January converting each page to grayscale in Photoshop. Overall, this creation took six months to complete. He’s looking forward to continuing the series in the future, so stay tuned!


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #414

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for The Just Had Sex Look – #414.


          How does testosterone affect your ball size?

          Interestingly, and perhaps strangely when considering @Jon's experience, an accepted side effect of testosterone supplements is a decrease in the size of the testicles. Since the body naturally produces testosterone as needed, the introduction of testosterone from an outside source, via gel, injection, etc., tricks the body into believing that the amount currently in the body is sufficient for the body's needs. This reduces the amount of testosterone produced by the testicles, causing them to eventually atrophy and shrink.

          In Jon's case, it is difficult to say why his experience is different, though it could absolutely be related to those cells that should be producing testosterone already being atrophied due to his medical condition. Obviously his doctor would be a better person to answer this question, but until we are all "lucky" enough to see "RT Life - Jon's Ball Doctor Edition" appear on the feed, we'll have to make our own assumptions.

          On an extremely loosely related side note, while investigating testes sizes, I stumbled across an interesting bit of etymological trivia and, because we all could use a palate cleanser after discussing Jon's sack, figured I'd share it. For some time now there has apparently been a bit of an urban legend attached to the origin of the word "testify" that suggests it is a descendant of the latin word for "testicle." This rumor was further supported by accounts, though likely fictitious, which explained that an ancient Roman's method for "pinky swearing" was to grab each other by the balls and "testes-ify" to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God... or Zeus... or Jupiter, or perhaps the God of testicles, which I suppose is Mars. Who, in a tangent of a tangent, apparently had a mini-god follow him around as his "official" symbol. This mini-god was a woodpecker, so it is totally full circle.

          Back to the rumor! The reality of this rumor is that everyone seems to be ignoring the Latin root of both words: "testis." This word, meaning "three," was also used to describe a witness to an event, with the use of "three" signifying a trusted "third" party. The connection to your man-bits is that your testicles are the trusted "third" party signifying your virility. Additionally, while no evidence has been found that swearing on your sack occurred in ancient Rome, the act does appear in the Old Testament of the Bible, though modern translations have moved away from this potentially homoerotic narrative, opting for the much less dramatic “grasping the thigh.” In the end, we will likely never know exactly how much ball-grabbing occurred during the reign of Caesar. The real takeaway is that, for just a moment, I got you stop thinking about Jon's nuts... oops.

          When would the use of a "questions word" not be followed by a question mark?

          In honor of everything @Becca does to make me sound intelligent, we will have to flag this question for use in the 2017 infographic of "things we learned." On that note, I wonder what type of sly addendum to my findings we may see. >_>

          First, grammar is not nearly as cut-and-dry as I had initially assumed. While I think any one of us who has taken even the most basic high school level English class is familiar with the various stylings of MLA or AP, primarily because we all struggled to find the right damn template to plug into Word in order to actually conform to the damned stylebook, the rabbit hole is significantly deeper than anticipated. Apparently these stylebooks are specific to the types of paper being written. The Associated Press Stylebook (AP) is directed toward newspapers and journalists, while the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is intended to be used by every American high school student fighting with Microsoft Word over proper spacing in a bibliography. However, research papers originating from the high scientific world would typically conform to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) or American Medical Association Manual of Style (AMA). This last part leads me to question the necessity for the MLA entirely...

          There are also Garner’s Modern American Usage, The Gregg Reference Manual, The Elements of Style, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, The Columbia Guide to Online Style, New York Style Manual: The Tanbook, and about twenty others which are, naturally, only applicable to accepted grammatical practices in America. One of these 20 others is The Chicago Manual of Style and it is the only one we care about for the time being because, from what I've been able to find, it is the only one that actually gives us a legitimate answer to this question. While it is echoed slightly in a few of the other publications, Chicago, as it is more commonly referred to, certainly seems to have the most concise definition of proper punctuation use in general. (Note from Becca: Chicago is by far my favorite style guide. I always keep a copy on my desk.)

          According to Chicago, the three acceptable use cases in which a question should not have a question mark are an indirect question, indirect one-word question, or a courtesy question. Here are a few of the examples given by The Chicago Manual of Style for these three incidents, respectively:

          • "How the two could be reconciled was the question on everyone's mind."
          • "The question was no longer how but when."
          • "Will the audience please rise." or "How do you do."

          How did I do, Becca?

          (Not too shabby!)

          What is Jay-Z's 99 Problems about?

          While the well-known hook, "If you're havin' girl problems I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one," was borrowed from a 1993 Ice-T song of the same name, that is where the similarities of the songs end. Ice-T's song, as well as Trick Daddy's later follow up, are both obviously about women, specifically their apparent success with them. However, Jay-Z's version, as the Podcast mentioned, is far more nuanced. According to various fan interpretations and Jay-Z himself, the overall meaning of the track is identifying various male figures that Jay has had in his past, be they police officers, supposed friends, enemies, critics, etc. that have doubted the artist in some way, essentially calling all of the doubters a bitch and, in the words of the song, making it clear that they are not his problem any longer because he's proven them all wrong with his success. While this higher level meaning isn't made clear until the final verse in which he points out that he has had to "strong arm a ho" for his moment, and now that he has it, all of the "bitches" who tried to block him are unworthy of being listed among his problems.

          In the video below, Jay-Z explains the meaning behind the second verse. Interestingly, the explanation begins as a third-party omniscient narrative; however, by the end, it becomes a first person account of the incident. In a later interview on the topic, Jay-Z revealed that the story of the near run in with the K9 unit had actually happened to him in 1994 while transporting crack along the I-95 East Coast corridor.

          In general, the layered meaning of the song is actually pretty impressive and, while I had realized that at least the second verse wasn't about some woman, I was not aware of just how nuanced the track was.

          What kind of bug was up that woman's nose?

          Oh god... I have watched, read, and thought about a lot of horrifying and disturbing things since starting this answer series and I can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that nothing has disturbed me as much as this. I can also tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I have never cringed more while writing out an answer.

          Perhaps, as a callback to the unnatural abhorrence all humans seem to naturally have against cockroaches, which we discussed in the Podcast #382 Answers post, the cringe is so real on this. Here is how the story breaks down.

          Selvi, a 42-year-old Indian woman, visited several doctors, reporting a crawling and burning sensation in her nose, just under her eyes. According to Selvi, she was "sure it was some insect. There was a tingling, crawling sensation. Whenever it moved, it gave [her] a burning sensation in [her] eyes." After being diagnosed incorrectly by several physicians, Selvi eventually found herself at Stanley Medical College Hospital in Chennai where Dr. M.N. Shankar discovered the disgusting culprit and performed a 45-minute procedure, using tongs and suction, to remove the still-alive insect.

          While the nose is a rare case, apparently other orifices – specifically the ears – are a prime target for cockroaches. Several doctors that were consulted by the various news agencies reporting on Selvi's experience stated that cockroaches are more commonly found in human ear canals than ear mites; however, finding any insect still alive is a rare case. Moral of the story? I may have to start sleeping with pantyhose on my head. Heard it works against spiders.

          I'm not sure how to fully express my disgust in text, so I will just leave this video here with a warning:

          What was the name of April O'Neil's Star Trek porn?

          That would be Star Trek: The Next Generation – A XXX Parody. Rather unimaginative...

          Other classic titles starring O'Neil include: Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles: The XXX Parody (I mean, how could she not be in this one?), Assventure Time, Fap to the Future: The XXX Parody, Game of Bones: Winter Is Cumming, and The Doctor Whore Porn Parody, among others. I have to say that, although the movie titles are occasionally lacking in creativity, the character names Ms. O'Neil happens to play are quite the opposite. Ambassador of Planet Queef, Marty Dickfly, and Rocket Racooch are particularly imaginative.

          Why do some people pronounce "vase" as "vahz"?

          To clarify, the majority of people who still pronounce "vase" as "vahz" fall into one of three categories. They are either over the age of 70, British, or just plain pretentious... though the last two points may be a bit redundant. :P

          With regards to the question of "why" Americans sometimes pronounce the word as "vahz," we have early film, or the original "Talkies," to thank for that. Specifically at fault is the Mid-Atlantic, or Transatlantic, accent of the early 1900s. It should be noted that, technically this "accent" is actually an "affectation" of speech, but in the interest of time and simplicity, I'll continue to refer to it as an accent.

          The accent in its modern usage has been naturally updated to display far fewer British characteristics than its "old-timey" predecessor. "Old-timey" is the perfect explanation for the Mid-Atlantic accent since, upon hearing it, all of us would likely immediately attribute it to the old-timey movies of early Hollywood. Despite its relatively abrupt removal from common usage, the crisp aristocratic flair associated with the accent made popular by early screen stars such as Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Vincent Price, and Humphrey Bogart still has a bit of subconscious upper-echelon elitism attached.

          It was the unusual, and deliberate, combination of established American pronunciations with the posh formality of specific vowel sounds from the British language that formed a truly unique and purposely non-native pattern of speech. You can still hear the short "a" sound in the way most Brits pronounce the word "vase," and this vowel usage was one of several specific vowel sounds that were borrowed from British pronunciation during the creation of the Mid-Atlantic accent. It was this deliberate construction of pronunciations that made the creation of the accent so unique.

          In a similar vein as the British Received Pronunciation, the creation and use of the Mid-Atlantic accent was a way for the members of high-society America, specifically in the Northeast, to set themselves apart from the common folk. This divide was further widened when the first films with sound (Talkies) appeared in the late 1920s, and America's fascination with movie stardom began. The movie industry's beginnings in the Northeastern urban sprawls of Philadelphia and New York City, combined with the desire to make the post-silent-era film industry appear even more distinguished and important, caused them to adopt the Mid-Atlantic accent as the defacto speech pattern across the industry.

          Shortly after World War II, widespread usage of the Mid-Atlantic accent in both film and daily practice began to wane quickly. However, over the years, there have been a few notable figures that have come from obscure pockets of the Northeast that still retain some part of the classic Mid-Atlantic flair. These have included Jackie Kennedy and even John Kerry to some extent. Additionally, community members who remember the 90s sitcom Frasier may recognize that the brothers Crane also have a slightly out of place "old-timey" feel to their speech. This is perhaps the most recent, widely circulated example of a contemporary recreation of the Mid-Atlantic accent, with very limited adjustments from its original speech patterns.

          In other words, "vase" is pronounced with a long "a" like "vayse" or "vayze," just absolutely not with the short "a" of "vahze"... unless you are British, or pretentious, or 70+... You know what, pronounce it however you want, just know that if you are using the short "a," it hasn't been cool since the 1940s, so get over yourself. :P

          Burglar gets stuck?

          How old is Queen Elizabeth II?

          Queen Elizabeth II will be 91 years young on April 26, 2017. In addition, she and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will be married 70 years on November 20.

          To give a bit of perspective on just how long she has reigned as Queen, which, at 65 years makes her the longest-reigning monarch in British history, here are some things that have happened since her coronation:

          • 34 different Olympic games
          • The entire history of man's travels to space
          • 13 US Presidents
          • The entire history of man's interactions with computers
          • McDonald's
          • The era of modern television
          • The Berlin Wall, construction and destruction


          • All of video gaming history

          What are Her Majesty, the Queen's duties?

          Wow... so far more than I had anticipated, honestly. I had always been under the impression that the British monarchy has been relatively stripped of rights and responsibilities since the creation of the United Kingdom, and its Parliament, in the early 1700s. While the monarchy certainly no longer possesses the heavy-handed power of Ye Olde Kingdom, there is a definitive amount of responsibility on the Monarchy shoulders that I was unaware of. Arguably most important among these duties is that of Constitutional Arbitration, which states, in brief, that in times of crisis, such as a hung Parliament, the Monarchy's role is that of a "non-political arbitrator." In other words, the Monarchy, in times of dire indecision, is empowered to intervene as a referee of sorts in hopes of providing a third-party "voice of reason" in order to sway the indecision in one way or another. Additionally, this duty gives the Monarchy the ability to completely dissolve Parliament, prosecute or pardon Parliamentary officials when accused of criminal acts, abolish elections, and even appoint or remove a Prime Minister.

          In the case of the latter duty, Queen Elizabeth did have to manage the appointment of a Prime Minister, in 1974, following the resignation of Edward Heath and the subsequent hung Parliament when electing his successor.

          Additional duties of the Monarchy include instilling a sense of stability and continuity in the nation since the reign of the Monarchy exists across, and irrespective of, political parties, elections, or term limitations, as well as functioning as the UK's Head of State in regards to its foreign affairs and relations. There are others, of course, but these seem to be a few of the most important.

          Among the powers of the Monarchy is the power to make war and peace, command the armed forces of the UK, ratify/dissolve treaties, issue passports, appoint bishops in the Church of England, control the marriages and relations of their peers, and drive at any speed on any road in the kingdom, regardless of speed limit or whether the vehicle even has a license plate.

          Does the Queen have a Twitter?

          She does, though it is highly unlikely that the Queen actually is the one doing the tweeting. Unlike our current president's obsession with sharing his 140-character opinion with anyone who will listen, the official Twitter of the British monarchy, RoyalFamily, is far less concerned about using all caps to explain how we are all surrounded by fake news and terrorists. Instead, opting for the occasional update on events the Royal Family is attending, as well as posting tons of pictures of the Queen wearing what can only be described as her infamous "cake hats."

          Was Valentine's Day invented by the greeting card industry?

          Surprisingly no. While it is true that the greeting card industry rakes in millions during the first few weeks of February, the origins of sending notes and messages of love during the month of February dates to the middle ages, specifically the Pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia, observed on February 15. During this festival, a priest would sacrifice a goat and dog and, in order to bless them with fertility, cover the Pagan women and crops in the animals' sacrificial blood. Names and messages of love would be offered up as sacrifice as well, in hopes of being paired or conceiving with the mate of your Pagan dreams.

          Naturally, in much the same vein as Christmas and Saturnalia, a corresponding Christian "love" celebration appeared to distract from the accepted Pagan ritual. This celebration centered around St. Valentine who was, coincidentally, martyred by the Church on February 14. What luck that this date would coincide with the Pagans’ February celebration! Part of the Church's tale surrounding St. Valentine's martyrdom was a story about Valentine's forbidden love and a note he had sent her, just prior to his death, that read "From your Valentine."

          The commercialization of Valentine's Day did not appear in the American lexicon for hundreds of years following the Church's recognition of St. Valentine. This commercialization began with Ester A. Howard's mass-production of cards in the 1840s, and, by the early 1900s, the printing industry had evolved enough to support the growing popularity of the holiday and premade cards became the norm.

          Who decided cauliflower should be white over yellow?

          It is difficult to say when or who was responsible for deciding that white cauliflower is the most appetizing cauliflower. A few things that are certain, however, is that yellow isn't the only color to be concerned with and cauliflower is not the only vegetable to have its natural color systematically removed from acceptable consumption.

          As you can see from the image below, there exists several colors of cauliflower beyond the standard white and shunned yellow. These various colors are caused by natural pigment mutations caused by an overabundance of specific vitamins or, similar to red cabbage, the antioxidant anthocyanin. These cauliflower variations technically have an identical taste to that of the common white breed; however, connoisseurs of the multi-colored vegetable world will claim they can distinguish between the differently shaded plants.  


          In addition to cauliflower, other vegetables that have had their colorful counterparts phased out include carrots (which also occasionally appear purple), potatoes, and broccoli. Interestingly on the part of carrots, until the 17th century, the orange carrot was a rare mutation. However, Dutch breeders purposely bred and cross-pollinated existing carrot varieties to create a more widespread occurrence of the orange hue naturally. This was done to honor the Dutch royal family and quickly became the "standard" carrot color. Again, it is difficult to say with any certainty as to why this seemingly arbitrary color became the choice of the people, but similar to cauliflower, it likely has very little to do with differences in taste. In the case of the carrot, the adoption of the orange standard, given its connection to the Dutch royal family, is more than likely related to the desire to partake in the "food of royalty”... much the same way the Mid-Atlantic accent, discussed above, took hold because of its connection to high society.

        • Fan Art "Friday" #51: Amplifyre97

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE

          I just realized I forgot to post this on Friday. I'm so sorry! Last week’s featured artist was Claudi Dimalanta, AKA @Amplifyre97, for this illustration of Ruby Rose.


          Claudi lives in Utah, where she’s a university student looking to get into animation and game design. She loves Ruby because of her cheerful, childish personality, but she remembers having a different impression of Ruby from the "Red" trailer. Ruby came off as cool and mysterious rather than energetic and quirky, which is what we now know her to be. Claudi wanted to showcase that misleading cool persona she believed Ruby to have.

          This illustration was created using a Wacom Bamboo tablet (ctl-471) and Clip Studio Paint Pro. Claudi started off with a sketch, then gradually built upon the piece. Overall, it took roughly four hours to complete.


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

        • Relationship Goals Advice: Valentine’s Day

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          Valentine’s Day can be a stressful event for many people, regardless of relationship status. Luckily the first episode of Relationship Goals, Geoff and Griffon’s new show, premiered today, which should make your day a whole lot brighter. 

          To celebrate, we invited Relationship Goals’ first guests to answer a question from the Rooster Teeth community. Michael and Lindsay Jones, the official cutest couple in Austin, are here to share their relationship wisdom.


          Q: I hate Valentine's Day, and I've made that very clear to my husband, who respects my hatred of this made up Hallmark holiday. And he's always been on board with ignoring VDay. Still, there is SO much pressure from all sides for him to do something, and I don't want him to be unable to defend himself when accused of "no she SAYS that but what she really MEANS is..." crap. What is something super easy and simple for a couple to do for Valentine's Day that isn't cliche or expensive? The easier/cheaper the better.

          -Lauren (@OboeCrazy)

          A: Michael and I are all about low-key dates and holidays. We often don't have time for extravagant outings and feel that the thought behind a gift is far more important than the price tag. So, we feel you. Our usual Valentine's Day go-to is the simplest of all: spending time together. We enjoy a casual dinner for two and a romantic movie date night in theaters or at home (can't go wrong with dinner and a movie). There are also plenty of cheap ways to spend Valentine's Day around the house. You could exchange back massages, cook a meal together, or share a bubble bath. If those ideas don't fit your style, simply reminisce about the best times you've shared by looking through photos or re-watching home movies.


          Have a question you’d like future Relationship Goals guests to answer? Leave a comment below!

        • Rooster Teeth Valentines!

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          Want to show your special someone how much you care in the most Rooster Teeth way possible? We have you covered. (We love you.)
















        • While I Respect the Vigilante Who Caught My Brother’s Killer, I Would Have Preferred Good, Honest Police Work

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @bransonbranson


          January 3, 2017. The worst day of my life. My brother shot dead in the street as he walked to his car after work. No one understood how or why, initially. We were all in shock. The only way we ever knew is thanks to the hard work of a masked man who hogtied the shooter and left him on the front door of the police station with all the evidence they’d ever need.

          Hey man, how about you let the police do their jobs? I would never, ever disrespect the boys in blue who put their lives on the line for us daily by thanking such a reckless vigilante with no oversight, no one to answer to. I mean, who gave him the right to singlehandedly track my brother’s murderer and guarantee he pays for the sins he committed? News flash, it wasn’t city hall. Leave justice to the professionals. To even do so much as thank the masked man who singlehandedly tracked and caught my brother’s killer would be to spit in the face of every cop making an honest living in this increasingly dangerous city.

          So what if during the initial interview they accused me of killing him so I could sleep with his wife and that I was jealous of his kids because mine are “ugly little gremlins with sticky hands.” The detective was just doing his job. It’s called good, old-fashioned police work, and it used to mean something in this country. I have full faith in Detective Jack “The Butcher” Browntown’s investigative process, even the part where he said I looked like a real “dog-faced son of a bitch with a limp, weird dick to boot.”

          This is a country run by the rule of law. Although this masked man was able to sneak into a crime scene late at night, analyze evidence that the police missed, and begin tracking down leads and kicking down doors until he captured my brother’s murderer, a process that took many days, if I were to even smile in his direction, I would consider that a fundamental failure of the American justice system and a stab in the back to all police officers everywhere.

          And although I hope my brother is resting in peace knowing his killer was caught, I know he truly would have wished it were the police that would have done it, and that maybe, just maybe, he would prefer to be completely unavenged than to be done justice by a masked vigilante with absolutely no regulatory oversight or paperwork to complete afterward.

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #413

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It's time for our regular segment in which @Gafgarian (AKA Jeremiah Palmer) provides answers to the burning questions left unanswered in each episode of the Rooster Teeth Podcast. Read on to get closure for How Up Is Space? – #413.


          What are the longest flights in the world?

          As discussed on the Podcast, the direct flight to Australia from Texas is no trivial thing and, until recently, took the second spot on the list. When I say "recently," what I mean is that less than a week ago Qatar Airways added an 18 hour direct flight from Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar to Auckland Airport in New Zealand. This 9,032-mile flight literally touched down on its inaugural flight on Sunday February 5th. So... as of Sunday it is now the longest. At nearly an hour longer than the previous record holder (an Emirates Airline flight from Dubai to New Zealand), the new Qatar flight is officially the longest flight by time.

          The longest flight by distance is a relatively new route as well. An Air India flight from Delhi to San Francisco utilizes the high-altitude jet stream over the Pacific ocean to make a 9,400 mile journey in a little over 15 hours.

          Why haven't we gone back to the moon, and is someone working on it?

          Assuming that you don't buy into the conspiracy theories surrounding our visit the the moon, the simple answer for "Why we haven't gone back?" is “We won.” The underlying purpose of the Apollo mission was to best the Soviet Union in the space race. After successfully flexing the muscle of Uncle Sam, we diverted the already dwindling government funds of NASA into something a bit closer to home, namely Skylab.

          Regarding someone "working on it," that someone would be China. With two robotic lander missions planned for 2017 and 2018, respectively, as well as a Mars lander in 2020, our flag may not be the only one up there for very long.

          Mortgaging the Space Station?

          I was finally able to find an online mortgage calculator that allowed for the high values required for this calculation, and I can confirm a few things here. First, the $20,000 down payment is absolutely pointless, though does reduce monthly payments by $95. Second, the total payment over a 30-year mortgage would be $257,804,225,177 (that’s $257.8 BILLION). And, lastly, we can take solace in the mortgage amortization at right around year 19. This means we would only have to wait two decades to "break even" on the equity of the ISS.

          Until then we will dutifully make our monthly payments of $716,122,848.

          Redditor's dad paid for AOL dialup for the last decade?

          According to Redditor MPTPWZ1026, his dad has been auto-paying a monthly $30 AOL dial-up fee for at least 10 years. The post was brief but spawned several responses with similar stories regarding AOL's inability, or lack of initiative, to cancel or refund essentially inactive accounts. These apparently, according to another Redditor, included the account of someone's deceased mother. In that comment, the Redditor said that, "AOL was the only company that wouldn't accept her death certificate." The defunct ISP demanded her account password to close the account.

          A few quick follow-up searches led me to a 2015 CNet article which found, based on AOL's quarterly earnings report, that an estimated 2.1 million people were still paying $20/month for a dialup connection to the interwebs. This article was published only a few months after an 83-year-old man made national headlines for racking up a $24,000 AT&T bill due to long-distance charges incurred during his connection to AOL's dial-up internet service.

          While AOL, in recent reports, has been a bit more discreet about how their earnings breakdown and the sources of the income, it is suspected that the 2.1 million number hasn't changed drastically. This means that over 2 million people still get to listen to that sweet modem sound in a completely legitimate, non-hipster-ringtone sort of way.

          Do cats love people who don't love cats?

          Apparently yes! Unlike dogs, cats are not very social creatures. Or rather, they tend to be social on their own terms. This means that you can go days without really seeing your cat and it also means that when your mother-in-law who is allergic to cats comes to visit, you aren't too worried about Garfield sleeping on her face in the middle of the night. I mean he barely likes you, why would he devote effort to the new person who hates him? Unfortunately, cats may not be social butterflies like dogs, but they do, apparently, have a very clear expectation of dominance in any of their relationships. This expectation, for those of us that have owned cats, is usually something along the lines of the cat is always dominant and you are merely pawns in his game... now shut up and get him some tuna!

          Moving on! Researchers now believe that it is the avoidance by the anti-cat person that leads the cat to latch onto them. Since that person purposely avoids the cat, never making eye contact or even acknowledging it, the cat doesn't feel threatened by that person. Your allergic mother-in-law is essentially the safest lap in town. Researchers now believe that, if you would prefer a cat didn't bother with you, the best thing to do is immediately chase the cat down and force it out of its own comfort zone. By contrast, if you just want the cat to love you, then play hard to get. :)

          The Walkie-Talkie in The Watchmen trailer?

          The image below was the best capture I get of the brief, but very real, walkie-talkie. The actual scene occurs at the 1:30 mark of the trailer, if you’re interested.


          Interestingly, while director Zack Snyder did ultimately choose a walkie-talkie as the gun's replacement as a homage, or perhaps jab, at Spielberg's changes to E.T., his reason for changing the gun was far less jovial. For many years, Article II, Section 5 of the MPAA's Advertising Handbook has stipulated that advertising "shall not include... Depictions of violence, including but not limited to: excessive gunfire or weapons around children; guns pointed directly at people or the audience; and people in an explosion or violently thrown from an explosion..." If you rewatch that trailer, you'll notice that their choice to cut the scene at that particular point left them with a gun pointing directly at the audience. Rather than pull that scene from the trailer, Snyder chose to go the route of Spielberg and CGI in a walkie-talkie. Given that the screen time of the walkie-talkie is so minimal, and is almost immediately cut to a followup scene with the same person holding the gun, unless you are actively keeping an eye out for the walkie-talkie, it isn't something that really stands out.

          How “up” is space?

          This largely depends on who you ask to define the limits of space. The first definition of the beginning of space was given by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, who determined that space began when atmospheric pressure was less than one pound per square foot, roughly 50 miles up. Shortly afterward, Hungarian mathematician Theodore von Kármán determined that, at an altitude of 62 miles, an aircraft must be traveling at orbital velocity to get lift. Known as the Kármán line, this limit remains the boundary which a military officer must cross to get their astronaut badge. However, in some circles, space is defined as the lowest altitude that satellites can maintain an orbit. This is roughly 100 miles above Earth.

          All of that said, if you were to ask a random person on the street where our atmosphere fits into these numbers, nearly all would likely tell you that "space is where our atmosphere ends and the rest of space begins," or something similar to that. If I'm being honest, up until a few minutes ago, that is exactly what I would've told you as well. How can we honestly say that we are floating in space if a legitimate part of Earth, loosely speaking of course, completely surrounds us? This is, apparently, where all of those people, including me, are wrong – the reason being that Earth's atmosphere is really fucking big.

          Let's all think back to Earth Sciences class with Mrs. Wright... who by the way was a moron who thought that our Solar System was the center of our galaxy... and still owes me an hour of my life for the unfounded detention I found myself in, but that is a story for another time. Moving on!

          Our atmosphere consists of five layers and the final two are where things get a bit crazy. The second highest, and second largest, atmospheric layer is the Thermosphere. Extending from 50 miles to roughly 620 miles above the Earth, this layer apparently contains most of things we normally think are in space. Our weather satellites, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the International Space Station are all floating comfortably in this layer. At least they appear to be. In reality the friction of the atmosphere is totally still a thing so all of these man-made objects require boosts from time to time in order to keep them from tumbling to Earth. This layer also contains the ionosphere which is funnily, along with the Stratosphere, one of the only atmospheric layers that can usually be remembered despite it being part of a larger layer and not technically a main layer on its own. The ionosphere is also home to the Aurora Borealis which means that, regardless of what videos/pictures you may think you've seen online, no plane is flying above the Northern Lights. Any videos that may appear that way are either optical illusions of their own due to the curvature of the Earth, or just plain fake. (Or should I say “plane” fake? God dammit, Barb.)

          Finally, the Exosphere is the outermost layer of our atmosphere, and ends at approximately 6,214 miles above the surface of the earth. It is in this layer of pseudo-atmosphere and the nothingness of space that the rest of our satellites for scientific study live. Beyond that is truly space, as well as the geosynchronous, and semi-synchronous, orbital plane of our GPS satellites. For those playing along at home, you may have come to the realization that calling the ISS the International SPACE Station and saying that we are launching astronauts into SPACE may be a bit of a misnomer. While the scientific community agrees that space begins at 62 miles up, I think there are quite a few people who would argue it should be higher than that. I leave the question for you all: Is Low Earth Orbit part of space? Keep in mind that if you answer no, that would mean there hasn't been a person technically in space since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.


          Do animals need passports?

          Pets DO need passports when traveling from or, particularly, into specific countries. This passport-for-your-pet-initiative has been overwhelmingly championed by EU regulations within the last decade. Known as the Pet Travel Scheme, or PETS, this passport for domestic pets is essentially a complete and verified list of requirements and vaccinations for any animal traveling internationally. Although it is not currently a standardized document or globally recognized international document, PETS has drastically cut down on mandatory quarantine times for your traveling companion in many countries.

          The initial implementation of PETS was an attempt by the UK to better manage their oft-criticized policy of a mandatory six-month quarantine for all imported animals. As the PETS program has been adopted by the rest of the EU, as well as various other countries around the globe including the US and Australia, the requirements for PETS have become more varied. Microchip implants and proof of a current rabies vaccination have remained mandatory across all countries accepting the PETS passports. Additionally, various countries also have restrictions governing recent treatments for fleas, ticks, and tapeworms.

          Ultimately, the PETS passport is not widely accepted enough even within the EU to consistently, and with any real peace-of-mind, facilitate the travel of your furry friend alone. Most countries will suggest a combination of the PETS passport as well as a recent copy of your animal's veterinary records just to ensure that there are no complications during travel.

          Does Johnny Depp watch his own movies?

          According to Captain Jack, he does not. However, he is not alone. According to various interviews on the subject from various news magazines, he is accompanied by notable names such as Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, Joaquin Phoenix, Jesse Eisenberg, and Meryl Streep, among others. While each of these actors and actresses have varied reasons for not watching their own films, according to an interview with Depp, his reason for avoiding them is because, “I made a choice a long time ago, that I was better off not watching my films, which is a drag because you miss out on a lot of your friends’ incredible work. But I feel like it would just harm me. I would rather stay as ignorant as possible about the result of anything because once you’re done playing that character, it’s really not your business anymore.”

          Gus's augmented reality airplane information app?

          There are actually a few applications which tote this feature set, including Siri to some level, though there is no AR component to her information. Two applications specifically are Flightradar24 and Plane Finder. Both of these applications have been around for some time; Plane Finder, specifically, has been around in some form since 2010. Given its dependence on augmented reality for its core feature set, that early adoption is pretty impressive. In addition to the Plane Finder application, the developer (Pinkfroot LLC) has also released Airline Finder and Ship Finder, which allow you to track Airline specific traffic and traffic on the high seas, respectively. Naturally, both of these also offer an AR option to "Jarvis-up" your iPhone a bit.

          While both apps offer a free and paid version, they also both look like they prefer the "double-dip" by adding in-app purchases to a paid application. BOO! The in-app purchases look to vary by application, from route-specific FAA charts to special icons which correspond to the type, and make, of aircraft above you.

          One additional cool feature, which looks to only be available on the Plane Finder app, is the ability to track back historical flight plans. This includes their AR trajectory, and their extensive history apparently has flight data as far back as 2011. By contrast, Flightradar24 has an updated interface, higher ratings, primarily cosmetic in-app purchases, and the ability to "experience what the pilot sees in real-time 3D." I'm not entirely sure how great that last feature actually is but, judging from the ridiculously low-res image they used for their app store screenshot of that function, I'm not getting my hopes up. It should come as no surprise that this is the one which Gus has become so fond of.

          I was just going to leave it at that but the more I dug into Flightradar24 specifically, the more impressed I became with their whole operation. Apparently they started initially as a hobby with a goal of building a homegrown Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) receiver network over Europe. An ADS-B is a periodic broadcast which every aircraft automatically transmits, at regular intervals, to facilitate tracking by air traffic control and other aircraft.

          They began with allowing aficionados who happened to own their own receivers to upload their tracked data to the database. Realizing that there were far too many holes in the network, they brainstormed a bit and came up with a solution: they would send free home receivers out to anyone who wanted one. In return for plugging one of these receivers in and allowing it to borrow some electricity and a constant internet connection, the person would get free premium subscription to Flightradar24 for as long as the receiver stayed in their possession. To clarify, the premium subscription gives you no ads, no search timeouts, various advanced charting tools, and various cosmetic and filtering options. Within a few years, their private network had over 10,000 connected receivers, becoming the largest ADS-B network in the world. Their network has become so large and powerful that it is used frequently by major airlines for precise flight tracking. According to their website, they still send out 30-50 receiver kits a month to those who are determined to be "suitable hosts." For those interested in joining the network, you can apply for a free receiver here.

          If nothing else, you should do yourself a favor and review their site. There are some serious facts that would make any air traffic nerd take pause... probably better to just keep @gus away. He may never get work done again.

          Is it illegal to be drunk in a driver's seat if the car is not even on?

          Much to my surprise and self-reflection, yes it is. Additionally, under specific circumstances, and with the right (or wrong) officer, you could be charged with an equivalent crime to actually driving under the influence. This all has to do with a concept known in the legal world as "Care or Control." The basic premise of this is that, even if the keys are not in the ignition and the car is not turned on, if an officer believes that you are in full care and/or control of that vehicle, then your potential inebriation causes a potential danger to yourself and others. In the same way that the old adage is "possession is nine-tenths of the law," if you just happen to be sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle, then you are considered by the law to be in charge of that vehicle. This "Care or Control" all comes back to the possibility of mistakenly setting the vehicle in motion.

          This component is an important piece of the puzzle because it also means that if you decide to grab some shuteye in the back of your car in order to sleep off the booze while avoiding that pesky driver's seat, you may, depending on the circumstance and the officer, still be guilty due to this "Care or Control" business. It is also important to note that the "Care or Control" law can affect you without involving alcohol at all. If an officer, for any reason, feels like the condition you have left the vehicle in creates the possibility of setting the vehicle in motion without your ability to immediately control said motion, then you can absolutely be found guilty of not being in control of the vehicle.

        • Kids Corner: I Would Like to Clarify on My Earlier Statement Regarding My Girlfriend Who Goes to a Different School

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock


          Editor’s note: Rory Horton* is an 8th grader who won our Rooster Teeth Youth Essay Contest with a brilliant essay on the Cultural Implications of the Rise of VR Technology. We told him he would be able to write anything he wanted to for Rooster Teeth. This is what he chose.

          On January 11th, in the lunchroom of Ross Perot Middle School, I claimed to my friend Ronald (in a private conversation, mind you) that I was the recent recipient of a girlfriend. This claim was overheard by the table next to us, which is populated by antagonists of mine. They are unsophisticated types, prone to games of sports, and I want nothing to do with them.

          The primary villain of this lunch table is a peer of mine named Eric. He approached Ronald and me and began to ask me a series of incredibly rude questions about my sweetie. During this, I will admit, I was incredibly afraid and blustered, as he drew in a crowd with each and every question. I seek to clarify all of this confusion in this essay here today.

          The first goonish question my opponent Eric asked me was the name of my beautiful girlfriend. While I admit I did hesitate, it wasn’t because I was trying to make up a fake name for an imaginary girlfriend, but because the audacity of the question took me aback. My girlfriend is named Tiffany, I met her at a 2 week theatre camp during winter break, and I love her.

          In the further line of questioning from Eric, I will admit that I made some mistakes. Now, these were not lies, per se, but I was nervous because of the attention he was drawing and said some things incorrectly. First and foremost, her father does not work for the Nintendo Gamecube. This was not true and I said it in the heat of the moment. I do not know what her father does for a living. I was simply afraid that if I admitted I didn’t know what her father did for a living that I would look like I was inventing a girlfriend to look normal, which I am not, because I am. I believe my superior intelligence makes me a target.

          In response to my claims that my girlfriend was a model, this too was a fallacy. While she could easily model if she wanted to, she wants to be taken seriously in academia and not be viewed as an object first and foremost. Tiffany, my girlfriend, goes to DJ Tiesto Middle School over in the next county. While it was originally reported that I said that she want to Mike Tyson Academy, this was a vicious lie made up by Eric, who, coincidentally, is currently without a girlfriend. I believe that the lunchroom should instead spend its time investigating Eric.

          I will be the first one to admit that my nose started bleeding while Eric was questioning me. However, I don’t see how that fact is related at all to this subject. Moving on.

          I will also admit that when Eric asked me if I had sucked on her “titties” that I immediately crushed the carton of milk that I was holding in my hand, spraying it everywhere, hitting my poor friend Ronald (a trooper through all this, mind you) and me. I didn’t do this because the mention of titties made me horny, but because I am a gentleman and such crass vernacular simply unleashes my inner strength.

          Contrary to the initial reports, I never said that Tiffany could do the following: dunk, DJ, tie a cherry stem into a knot in her mouth, speedrun Mario, or throw a knife like a trained Yakuza.

          To clarify, I love my new, real girlfriend Tiffany. She doesn’t have a Facebook and I don’t want to tell you her last name. I hate Eric, peace be to Ronald. I will text my girlfriend now and I will ask her to go to the Winter Formal, where we will dance an adequate distance apart to the song Cotton-Eyed Joe.

          *Just kidding. This was actually written by @bransonbranson.

        • Fan Art Friday #50: GraphicTitan

          2 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          It’s time for our weekly look at the best Rooster Teeth fan art from our community, curated by the fine folks at BIGBITE!

          This week’s featured artist is Brandon Horvath, AKA @GraphicTitan, for this illustration of Kali.


          Brandon is a graphic designer based in Rocklin, California. After he watched Menagerie, Kali stood out as a calm, collected character, and Brandon wanted a unique way of representing her design. He started by sketching out the character, then inked it and finished it in Photoshop. Overall, this piece took seven hours to complete.


          Want a chance to be featured in future Fan Art Fridays? Head over to the Fan Art Friday thread in the Art forum to find out how!

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