Criticism. Essay. Fiction. Science. Weather.
1"Mark it 8, Dude." Get it?
Plus, fake facts are for sissies. 2The reality of the unreal
and the art of chewing. 3Getting interrogative with the Dark Continent
and ants are the Internet's idol. 4The author displays his clothes in piles on his bedroom floor. And 1,000,000 Rhode Islanders can't be wrong. 5One size counterfeits all, plus there's a run on limes and the movies don't talk good no more. 6The sweet and no-so-sweet of time travel
and the rigors of uncancellation. 7Personal Parties and Friend Finders considered 8Gamers of the world unite too much
and the new Star Wars scores. 9This week: one guaranteed way
to make yourself more famous. 10Awkward and tacky journalism in celebration of journalism. Plus, individuality now more expensive. 11There are balls in your head
and buds in your heart. 12The upsides of federal incorporation.
The downsides of shoddy adevertising. 13The first 90ways Quaterly Review begins!
1, 2, 3 pieces of Criticism! 14Not being able to look away from
bad grammar and junk material but still LMFAO. 15Spam can be fun if you don't
mind the corporate pimping. 16Some movies go Direct-To-Video.
We feel their pain. 17What the American media doesn't
want you to know about the Tour. 18Dumbing down The Honeymooners for
the preschool set; plus, pain as upper. 19It's 2005. Do you know what your
building's ecological ethic is? 20That building is whispering
ethical nothings in your ear. 21These movies will never know the
warm embrace of a projector lamp. Direct-to-video reviews return! 22The English language is growing & 90ways is on the case.
Neologisms Spoken Here. 23The American frontier is back and ugly as ever:
Here comes Sheriff Privatization. 24When making a British book into a British movie, it's all about the British, no matter what galaxy you're in. 25Condi bites the big one, Apple bites Condi, or Apple just bites. Plus, all the news that's packaged poorly. 26The Second Quarterly Review cometh... 27The rap album based on [adult swim]
has already been leaked. 28The road to Blockbuster is paved with good intentions: Direct-to-Video reviews are back! 29The preschool set belongs inside the lines
and the rain belongs in It. 30They're what everyone's talking with:
Neologisms Spoken Here. 31What time is it?
It's Standard Candy Time. 32Transportation is overrated.
And underrated. 3390ways' investigators go into the field.
And are vaguely saddened. 34See it again, whether you want to or not.
Picture this, in spite of yourself. 35Old comedians don't die,
they just get taken seriously. 36Pro: It's a 90ways debate.
Con: Both sides are just so salient. 37As long as Brokeback Mountain is sold out, we'll keep giving you Direct-to-DVD Reviews... 38At least we can all agree those people who say "Happy Christmas" are insane. 39The Third Quarterly Review
is ringing out the old year! 40New words for the new year. 41False starts and happy endings.
There's value in dead-ends. 4290ways has a confession to make.
We made up our history, too. 43Bringing you the latest from the world of dissembling: 90ways inaugurates the Hoax Report. 44It ain't about the facts, ma'am.
It's about the truth. 45Oscar nominations have been handed out. Direct-to-DVD movies snubbed again. 46What are the 90 points of it all? 47Spring: new growth, redemption,
Spring Traning. 48Technological advances notwithstanding, there's a whole new kind of static over the 6 o'clock news. 49O'Reilly's on the warpath.
The Chinese are not. 50The Hoax Report returns. And Canada beats Team USA. (That last part's actually true.) 51There's a lot packed into that intro and we feel no need to approach it in an organized manner. 52It's a surprise;
that's why you should have seen it coming. 53It's our party and we'll cry if we want to. 54Now that big, gothic banner looks positively antique. Plus, who cares about which cares about baseball. 55Being proud of Junior and bored in June. 56Every time I hear that song, I see a Cornell alum hitting a home run. 57What do heroin and Christian prayer have in common? They both star in the Direct-to-DVD finale! 58The cutting room floor in the desert.
The recording studio at first base. 59Tinted contact lenses and poorly delivered jokes. Foolproof. 60If you can't make a real quick 70 mill, how else do you justify a $125 million budget? 61Landmark case of 2006:
Orchestra v. Organ. 6290ways is interested in the words here, too. 63Everything in Criticism today is not quite right. 64Sports Utility Vehicles. Sort Of.
Sports. Golf, anyway.
65It's our Second Annual First Quarterly Review! 66Behold: The return of new word reviews. 67Bringing global warming in from the cold,
one dollar at a time. 68Don't believe the zinc industry's hype. 69It's crazy on the street.
It's best-selling on the teevee.
70Still crabbing about lost CD revenue?
Time to learn to shake your new moneymaker. 71Thrown into a plane.
With snakes. 72Space and Worlds and
snakes on planes. 73One giant vehicle is for war,
the other is for one day sales. 74It's all laid out for you.
From the numbing consumerism to the noble freedom. 75Sure the natural majesty was great,
but how about that Motel 8? 76One of life's great mysteries:
An Arby's in Mountain Time. 77Fall teevee is upon us.
Maybe some of it won't suck. 7852 + 26 = 78.
One and a half years of Ways. 79The smell of pigskin is in the autumn air. 80Someone needs to speak up in the name of common sense. 81New words are all around us.
Neologisms Spoken Here. 82What Dallas is now to someone who never knew it before: The Nostalgia Watch. 83Oh. The Horror.
A special Halloween installment of The Hoax Report. 84It was awful.
WomenAndChildren awful. 85It's like Carrie, but even better.
And somehow that became a great movie. 86He's in the corner.
And he wants to help you sleep. 87Up in the air. It's a bird. It's a hot-air balloon.
It's the 90ways Hoax Report! 88Tearing through the sentimentality and the water-colored memories: It's the Nostalgia Watch. 89Of all the Anabaptists in all the world... 90It's the week we've all been waiting for. 91We're reviewing the quarter to ring in the new year. 92Ringing it in is a burden we all carry. 93Am I my brother's keeper? 94This is all true. 95Notes to Notes.
Sometimes ears taste better than pens. 96Neologisms Spoken Here.
New words created through misappropriation. 97The lies of the diamond dealers. 98Crime, punishment, and the bits in between. 99Same name.
Different albums. 100All the forensics in the world can't
turn up any evidence of character. 101What makes America great
and not so great. 102Fanboy hand-wringing. Shocking. 103Panic in the streets,
Monsignor style. 104It's our second anniversary.
Break out the cotton. 105He kills for all the right reasons. 106The World's Cheese Imagination is within our grasp... if only. 107It's never an easy choice. 108Just give me one thing I can play for.
The Hoax Report: tastes like carob
When I first learned that 90ways was launching the Hoax Report, I was on the job like ants on a discarded Sugar Daddy. I mentioned the assignment to my children who started yelling out "Cardiff Giant!", "Fiji Mermaid!" and "Giant grasshopper!" When my eight-year-old had the audacity to imply that jackalopes were a hoax, I had to gently remind him that jackalopes are real and that I have seen their eggs...
But, as my children were yelling ideas at me, it occurred to me that a critique of a contemporary hoax might be the best way to inaugurate the Report. At first, I couldn't think of a single one. Then, in an attempt to stimulate my thinking, I looked up the word "hoax" in the dictionary. IT WASN'T A WORD AT ALL! I was shocked -- see for yourself. I'll wait here.
Okay, it IS a word. I have simply initiated a hoax. Do you feel used? I hope so.
I would imagine that the people of South Korea feel pretty used by the hoax perpetrated by theriogenologist Hwang Woo-suk. Recently, the researcher claimed to have cloned a human embryo and created stem cells from it. Of course, cloning a human being opens up a host of other problems, such as finding a human being on this planet worth duplicating.
Anyway, Dr. Hwang's research turned out to be fabricated, his numbers false and his embryos constructed out of Wrigley's chewing gum and dead tropical fish. His motive, though unclear, could have been one of several.
1. South Korea needs attention. Every time that South Korea is on the verge of getting a kudo from the international community, North Korea steals its thunder. South Korea cloned a cow; North Korea started riding its bicycle with no hands. South Korea cloned a pig; North Korea proved that it had missiles capable of reaching Japan. South Korea announced that it had cloned human embryos; North Korea blew up much of the Yanggang province. South Korea got pulled into a pissing match with a country that doesn't know the difference between good attention, say for allowing a free press or making floats out of carnations, and bad attention.
2. Dr. Hwang thought that he could work it out later. You know how it is: You've promised a paper to someone and, even though you've done nothing, you assure that person that the paper is "going fine." Then, the night before it is due, you go without sleep to produce a literary work that is superlatively mediocre. Perhaps the good doctor thought that he could CLAIM to have cloned human embryos, and while the accolades were still being sent, he could work really hard and actually clone some. Then, when someone noticed the flaws in his data, he could retort, "Oh yeah?" and dramatically pull a cloned embryo from his jacket pocket...
3. Revenge. Apparently, Dr. Hwang claims that he was lied to and that data was manipulated to embarrass him... that other researchers are jealous of his successes and his funding. Proof of this is the famous "Case of the Ghost Embryo": For many months after the doctor cloned a pig, a ghostly apparition was seen floating up and down the hallways of his research facility. Subsequent investigation showed that the "ghost" was actually created using a film projector and a fog machine. The perpetrator was actor/director Mel Gibson. He would've gotten away with it, too...
4. Power. The South Korean government had already named Hwang "Supreme Scientist." It would've only taken one more discovery to kick him up to "Double Happy God-Doctor." This would've entitled him to a five percent increase in salary
There are plenty of other possible motives. The real question is "Why were we so BLIND?" Wasn't it obvious that something was amiss? Shouldn't we have asked questions when the doctor spent an entire press conference speaking to reporters with his fingers crossed? He claimed that it was to keep vampires away, but I feel that the reporters were too quick to accept this explanation. Perhaps the lack of baldness in Hwang should've raised a few flags. Speaking as an engineer, I know that all great scientists are bald. This comes from when they reach their first epiphany and the top of their skull actually flips three hundred and sixty degrees, Hanna-Barbara-style. I've seen it happen. It is startling...
But, we'd all like to BELIEVE that intelligent people can have hair too, so that is forgivable. Actually, therein lies the problem: Belief! A hoax is only successful if people WANT to believe it. People only believed in the Fiji Mermaid because they wanted to believe in mermaids. If there were no mermaids, that would imply that Hans Christian Anderson was simply a nut. People want to believe that there are still dinosaurs on earth and will even accept that one (the Loch Ness Monster) lives at the bottom of one of the world's coldest lakes. People even want to believe that carob tastes like chocolate, making carob one of the most heinous hoaxes ever to be pulled upon the human race.
The same goes for Hwang's research. His cloned stem cells are the perfect solution to one of our last universal fears: Growing old and dying. If we get some kind of disease associated with old age, we can merely add cells from a young us and presto, not only are we cured, but, since they are our OWN stem cells, we won't owe anyone else any favors. It is the perfect blend of medicine and rugged individualism!
So, what does the future hold for cloning? What barnyard animal will researchers be cloning next? And, if they clone a human being, what will the world do with a horde of Bill Gates' duplicates roaming California? And, the question that most people are asking, "How has this incident hurt the field of theriogenology?"
I understand that Dr. Hwang is desperately trying to clone someone who gives a damn.