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      Rooster Teeth Poppycock

        • Fan Art Friday #56: Crescent Rose by PaulKaryakos

          5 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 Paul Karyakos, AKA @PaulKaryakos, for this fully functional NERF gun Crescent Rose.


          Paul lives in San Diego, California, where he’s a full-time chef and part-time ninja. This Crescent Rose was created with a massive amount of superglue, EVA foam, PVC board, a heavily modified NERF gun, and a lot of patience.


          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 #417

          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 Puppies Like Pancakes – #417.


          Which Guitar Hero were Gavin and Gus playing in that old photo?


          Based on the controllers and the year, the most recently released version of Guitar Hero at that time would've been Guitar Hero II. Released for Xbox 360 in April 2007, it quickly grew to be one of the most popular in the franchise, eclipsed only by Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, though most attribute that to the song collection of the latter game.

          For the trivia-minded among you, Guitar Hero II was arguably the last “real” Guitar Hero developed by Harmonix. Technically, Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80s was their final entry, though it was nothing more than an ‘80s reskin of Guitar Hero II, adding no additional gameplay elements. Harmonix would later go on to develop the Rock Band series.

          Do the emails still work?

          First things first, Becca’s old email does not work anymore. However, from what I can tell, a few old emails still throw a valid ping to the mail exchange server. I suspect this is due to a direct forwarding DNS from the original exchange to their currently mapped email addresses, but I can't be sure of that without sending an email and getting a report back from the respective owners on the results. It is also possible that the emails are no longer mapped at all and are a forgotten relic of the origin redvsblue DNS assignment.

          What is the day before Ash Wednesday called?

          The day before Ash Wednesday is officially known as Shrove Tuesday, or, depending on your location, colloquially known as Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). The origination of the name "Shrove" comes from the English word "shrive," which means to "confess or receive absolution." The intention of the day's observation is to bring about a period of cleansing in preparation for the observation of Lent, the 40-day season between Ash Wednesday and the Saturday before Easter, also known as Holy Saturday. The 40 days represent the 40 days Jesus is said to have spent wandering the wilderness being tempted by Satan, prior to his ministry. In the early days of the church, Lent was typically a time of mass baptism and conversion; however, today's observations by Christians typically involve temporarily giving up something of temptation, desire, or value to the believer.

          Shrove Tuesday, originally intended to be a period of observation and reflection prior to the metaphorical "40-day temptation" of the everyday Christian, has its roots in the Middle Ages. While wholesome in intention, over the course of the last six centuries or so the observation has ironically devolved, generally, into a day of festival, hedonism, and indulgence. In modern parlance, the day's meaning has effectively become the direction to squeeze in as much "temptation" as possible before being forced to give it up until Easter.

          The exact date of the pancake's inclusion in these festivities is unknown; however, the likely time period is somewhere around the early-to-mid-15th century. The first known occurrence of the pancake in a cookbook was in 1439 and, perhaps predictably, the recipe seemed very tied to the religious ideals of Shrove Tuesday. It called for eggs (to symbolize creation), flour (as the staff of life), salt (for wholesomeness), and milk (for purity). Later, the bells calling Anglo-Saxon Christians to confession would come to be known as "Pancake Bells," and Pancake Races became a regular occurrence on the day as well.

          The origin of the Pancake Races, like the date of the pancake's inclusion, is an unknown as well. Urban legends from various small towns in England have laid claim to 500+ year-old stories of an old woman running through the town in her apron, with a frying pan, flipping a pancake, on her way to the church. The most widely accepted being a 1445 housewife from Buckignhamshire.

          Fans of The Amazing Race may remember the Pancake Race detour from Episode 2 of Season 25. Now you know why that is a thing...

          The rationale behind shoving pancake in your face to bring glory to God was actually far more about practicality than religious circumstance. The rough-around-the-edges reason is that people just needed to get rid of their food before lent since staples such as meat, eggs, milk, fish, and fats were banned, thus spoiling before Easter. Pancakes consumed many of these ingredients quickly and easily.

          Similarly, to the south, France's observation became known as "Fat Tuesday" because of their consumption of fatty foods to avoid spoiling. Or, if its Pagan origins are to be believed, the Pagan custom of leading a fat ox through town on its way to slaughter in order to kick off the spring festival. In either case, Fat Tuesday later became known as Mardi Gras, and, given that this festival has become an event of notable debauchery, it is very likely that the original intention of the celebration has been all but lost on most of the party-goers. In New Orleans, specifically, the period known as Mardi Gras now stretches from the last night of Christmas (The Twelfth Night) through Fat Tuesday; however, in the several places around the world which hold their own Mardi Gras, the dates vary greatly, with most countries sticking to the original three-day observation from the Sunday before and being capped by a grand feast on the night of Shrove Tuesday. One notable observation that has become associated with the celebrations around Shrove Tuesday is Carnival, which, in many ways, rivals the New Orleans Mardi Gras with its own level of debauchery. In fact, it was this general loss of control and over-indulgence which led the Church to officially restrict Shrove Tuesday's observations to one day only. However, in contemporary times, this is rarely adhered to.

          With the exception of strictly observant Catholics or Anglicans, the modern view of Shrove Tuesday, for most, rarely extends beyond a general knowledge of pancakes and parties.

          Did Emma Stone have her envelope the whole time?

          She did. Unfortunately, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers accountant Brian Cullinan, there are apparently two identical stacks of envelopes that are stored in two identical locked briefcases until they are needed for the ceremony. Brian and fellow accountant Martha Ruiz were in charge of handing out the envelopes on Oscar night. Unfortunately for Brian, considering he tweeted a picture of Emma Stone shortly after her Best Actress win, he may have been a bit distracted and accidentally handed Warren Beatty HIS Best Actress envelope. Leonardo DiCaprio, having entered from Ruiz's side of the stage for the previous award, presumably received the Best Actress card Emma Stone "was holding the whole time" from that side. Cullinan, perhaps distracted by Stone, neglected to shift his stack and mistakenly handed the previous envelope to Beatty and Dunaway.

          It would be crazy to assume that Emma Stone had any understanding of the logistics of the award show so, for her part, she was just attempting to make sense of what happened as well and, it seemed from her comments, shift possible blame away from her or Leonardo DiCaprio.

          In an interesting turn, Cullinan had actually been interviewed at the beginning of February about the award show's planning, and was asked what would happen if the wrong envelope given to a presenter. His response was: "Whether that entails stopping the show, us walking onstage, us signalling to the stage manager. That’s really a game-time decision, if something like that were to happen. It’s so unlikely."

          I guess we now know the answer... all of the above, plus complete chaos.

          Has Emma Stone won a Golden Globe?

          Emma has won only one Golden Globe award, but has been nominated for two others. She received the Best Actress award for La La Land, but was nominated for Best Actress for Easy A, as well as a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Birdman – losing to Annette Bening and Patricia Arquette, respectively.

          In addition to the Golden Globe and Oscar wins, she has another 30+ awards to her name, including three SAG awards and an additional 100+ nominations through various award ceremonies.

          What is sorghum?

          Originally from Africa and believed to have come to America aboard slave ships, sorghum is a cereal grain that has been gaining in popularity since the gluten-free, non-GMO movement has become more mainstream. For years, an estimated 95% of the crop is used as animal feed or biofuel, with the remaining 5% dedicated to human consumption. Those numbers are changing with the movement as well. In the early 1900s and especially in depression era America, sorghum molasses became the go-to sweetener in the South, most likely due to its lower cost when compared to honey or sugarcane as well as its natural resistance to drought. In some African countries, sorghum has been a staple food source for over 4,000 years. The use of sorghum internationally as a food source is much more prevalent. If you have eaten Indian dishes known as roti or chapati, or tried gluten-free beer, you have likely already consumed sorghum in some way.

          Additionally, since sorghum requires less water than corn or other wheats, environmental researchers have performed extensive studies into the cultivation of sorghum in warmer climates affected by climate change.

          Regarding Maotai specifically, it is only one of many different brands of baijiu. Baijiu is a distilled Chinese liquor also known as shaojiu or sorghum wine. It has been made for over five millennia and is actually the best-selling type of liquor in the world. Several American distillers and distributors have attempted to introduce it to us and, for various reasons (usually related to cost), the "earthy" liquor has never really taken hold. Arguably one of the few distributors to somewhat succeed in introducing the west to sorghum wine is Byejoe Spirits, headquartered in Houston, Texas. Byejoe's CEO, Matt Trusch, recommends starting slow and sipping, or visiting a trendy bar that has managed to create a good cocktail using it as a base. Lists of these suggested bars can be found on his company's site.

          How big is a turtle's sinus cavity?

          Obviously the size of a turtle's sinus cavity depends on the age, sex, and species of turtle; however, in reference to the specific sea turtle discussed, the sinus cavity was likely around four inches, or roughly the entire length of the lodged straw.

          As you can see from the image below, a sea turtle's sinus cavity, similar to our own nasal structure, is open to the mouth. The researchers, who arguably saved the sea turtle's life, believe that the turtle likely swallowed the straw at some point after mistakenly believing it to be food. He later attempted to regurgitate the plastic straw, which led it to be lodged into his nose and sinuses from the inside, rather than externally.


          Vegetarians and anemia?

          Iron deficiency in vegetarians is a very real concern due to what is essentially cutting out the most iron-rich foods available. If a vegetarian does not take special care to supplement this loss of iron with a greater intake of high-iron-volume, non-meat foods, anemia is an unfortunate but likely affliction. Quick ways to increase iron levels include increasing your intake of vitamin C, avoiding tea or coffee, ensure legumes are a part of every meal and/or snack (i.e., peanuts and peas, learn to love them!), or, as Becca mentioned, cook your foods, especially pastas and sauces, in a cast iron skillet.

          It is important to note that while meats do typically contain much higher sources of iron, a normal healthy vegetarian diet can easily provide a healthy alternative source of iron. While plants do not contain greater quantities of iron, their likelihood of being eaten in greater quantities and variety can actually increase iron consumption and, in some cases, a vegan diet may actually contain more iron than a non-vegetarian. The key difference in this is that the absorption of iron from plant-based sources requires an extra step of digestion which involves using more of the body's energy stores, particularly a protein called transferrin. This leads to an increased risk of anemia or other vitamin shortage maladies due to an inefficiency during digestion.

          I briefly touched on this idea a few weeks ago when discussing our bodies' natural affinity to an omnivore diet, but the essential point of this boils down to a pretty simple understanding. If you are going to choose to live a life that is most certainly outside of the direction our evolution and organic construction has prepared us for, that is your choice. However, you must be aware that you are fighting against your body's expected way of survival. It isn't a question of whether it can, or even should, be done. It is just a matter of understanding that you have to pay more attention to you because your body isn't as equipped to do it for you. So… you do you, but be safe about it.

          Are you supposed to have a lot of iron when you are pregnant?

          You are. Along with pregnancy anemia posing a greater risk of early delivery and infant mortality, it also helps ensure a healthy immune system. The reason behind the increase in iron is due to the increase in blood production. Iron is essential in making hemoglobin, which is what red blood cells rely on to carry oxygen throughout the body. During pregnancy, an expectant mother can see as much as a 50% increase in the amount of blood inside their body. This increase in blood, naturally, demands an increase in hemoglobin. Without the added iron to your diet, anemia is extremely likely. While most moms-to-be can supplement this need for iron with a few extra pieces of chicken, many will just opt for the prenatal vitamin which covers iron as well as several other possible vitamin deficiencies.

          Why is cooking with a cast iron skillet better?

          This depends on whose grandma you are asking, but the general consensus is that they provide a simple "one-pan" cooking method. Occasionally you will see articles referencing increased vitamin infusion or "flavor sharing" but, aside from a slight increase in iron intake, there is very little "shared" vitamins, regardless of what your grandma may have told you.

          There are a few other "facts" which I feel need to be clarified before we can move on.

          The first is that cast iron skillets distribute heat more evenly than modern pans. Unfortunately, again despite your grandmother's insistence, this is simply untrue. In fact, the "casting" of a cast iron skillet naturally leads to slight imperfections in the metal as it hardens, be they air pockets, bits of foreign matter, or uneven hardening during cooling. These imperfections actually lead the skillets to be TERRIBLE at even heating. Additionally, iron's thermal conductivity is around a quarter of aluminum's, which means that, directly over the flame, it is very easy and normal to get extremely hot spots while the rest of the pan remains somewhat cool. Where cast iron does flourish, and perhaps what led to this "even heated" confusion, is its ability to retain heat. In other words, while it may be somewhat of a chore to get the skillet fully heated, it stays hot for a while once it gets there. Additionally, cast iron radiates a large portion of its heat as well, which is what gives you the ability to cook everything from steak to biscuits because you are cooking food above the rim of the pan as well as what is in it.

          Next up is the idea that cast iron pans are non-stick. I'm sad to say that anyone who has used a cast iron skillet for any amount of time, regardless of how well "seasoned" it is, cannot possibly believe that it is more non-stick than a modern Teflon pan. While a well-heated cast iron skillet with a bit of oil should function as a non-stick pan just fine, Teflon it is not.

          On to soap and water washing. Get off your high horse and wash your damn dishes! Seriously do it. Here is the dea: the "seasoning" on your beloved pan is what is known as a polymerized oil. What this means is that the oil has been continuously broken down and bonded, at a chemical level, to the metal itself. It is this bonding that creates the non-stick, Teflon-like surface. While soap is intended to break down oil, in this case, the oil's bonding to the metal protects it from being broken down by the soap. Assuming that you are not allowing the pan to just soak in the soapy water, a quick scrub is perfectly acceptable and, depending on the mess, encouraged. That said, most cases can, and should, be solved by a quick rinse with hot water followed by a drying session on the stove, but the next time you make an utter mess of your pan, don't be afraid to use a quick squirt of Dawn.

          For the polymerized oil reason above, you also should not be afraid to use metal utensils on your skillet. Iron is a resilient material, obviously, and a properly seasoned pan will not be damaged by the occasional scrape of a spatula. Assuming you are not literally gouging the metal, you don't really pose a risk to the seasoned coating.

          Lastly, the age of your pan does affect your ability to cook, but likely not in the way you may think. Most owners of cast iron skillets feel that their centuries-old pan that has been handed down through multiple generations is the best because of the amount of food that has been cooked in it over the years. While there is little doubt that this process has absolutely locked down that whole polymerized oil seasoning we discussed above, it is far more likely that the reason your pan is "the best" has more to do with when and how it was cast rather than how much it has been used. Although virtually nothing has changed with regards to the iron used, the casting process and production method has changed just enough to be in a pain in the ass. One important part of the old school production cycle was a final polishing of the pan's interior. The removal of this roughed up surface prior to use allowed for a more even bonding during seasoning and would create a better non-stick surface as well as a more even cook, assuming the pan is properly heated. Unfortunately, the modern production process has dropped this step, effectively causing all modern cast iron skillets to be of a slightly lower quality than the original pan your grandma willed to you.

          What are you not supposed to put in the dishwasher?

          Ultimately, I would defer to the manufacturer's recommendations on the various utensils and flatware; however, generally speaking, most recommend against putting wood, knives, crystal, pots & pans, or anything with gold/silver trim in the dishwasher. There are a myriad of reasons for each of these recommendations, but most relate to the eventual, and likely, ruining of the washed item in some way. For example, wood has the potential of permanent warping due to the hot water, and knives will be dulled by the use of harsh detergent or high pressure water jets. This latter point is also the reason why flatware with gold or silver trim should be washed by hand, as the high pressure will likely strip away the coating on those dishes as well. With respect to pots and pans specifically, most only adamantly oppose putting pots and pans with a non-stick coating through a dishwasher; however, there are many who would state that none should go through a cycle because of the possibility of loosening handles and seals, or other general destruction of the pot or pan.

          Is pancake and waffle batter the same thing?

          While it is true that most hotels and even the batter manufacturers tend to present the two batters as the same thing, true waffle batter has some very real differences to that of pancakes. In much the same way crepe batter has a slightly different consistency and a few additional ingredients, waffle batter also sets itself apart from pancake batter in a few key ways. First, it should be noted that the reason there HAS to be a difference between these two batters is because waffles are made to have a much crisper outside and lighter inside than pancakes. While the geometry of a waffle does contribute to this in many ways, a higher percentage of sugar, for higher amounts of caramelization, also helps with building that crispy exterior. Additional, a higher amount of fat helps lock down that waffle outside as well.

          However, all of this batter is essentially some combination of eggs, flour, leavening agent, sugar, milk, etc., so at some level they are all close enough to make the argument that they are the "same batter." It is just a question of whether great pancake batter makes a great waffle or a great crepe. My answer would be no. Could it make one, sure, but not necessarily a great one.

          Percentage of morning vs. evening showers?

          When I originally wrote this question down, I was expecting to get some sort of clear winner. Unfortunately, after reviewing 10 different polls with participants numbering from a few hundred to a few thousand, there is just not a consensus. It looks like, for the most part, there are more morning showers than evening; however, based on some of the accompanying comments, the margin of error looks to be pretty equal to those who feel that showering is more about convenience/timing than anything else. With that in mind, can we really count that as a valid motivation for showering in the morning?

          Various blog posts and articles on the subject have taught me a few things that I can pass on. First are the morning showers. According to a PSU entry, those who identify themselves as having oily skin, work in a creative field, or are not "morning people" should try for the morning showers as a way to, respectively, clear out pores that have been blocked during sleep or to "clear out the cobwebs" and relieve the grogginess of sleep.

          For the nightly shower, the reasons include the need to feel clean before being able to sleep, help to moisturize dry skin and/or clean off makeup, and general difficulty falling asleep. For the last point, several studies have shown that a nightly shower is a relaxing, stress-relieving experience for many. Interestingly, these same studies have also explained that, for some, a shower is an invigorating and stimulating experience. The difference being the nighttime versus the morning shower.

          Naturally, this is where you all come in. Which are you? How does the RT Community break down? Only this Strawpoll will tell.

          Sugar rushes and highs are not actually a thing?

          This is 100% true... Which means I can no longer blame my children's bad behavior on an overload of sugar. Well, that blows. Let's get to the details!

          It is difficult to say where the link between sugar and hyperactivity first occurred, but most researchers point to a mid-1970s study in which 265 "hyperkinetic," or essentially insanely hyper children, were admitted to outpatient treatment for their excessive energy. The only connection between these children besides, presumably, them being children, was what appeared to be an abnormally low blood sugar level. Diagnosed as reactive hypoglycemia, it was surmised that their excessive consumption of sugar led them to be extremely hyperkinetic while also having low blood sugar. Follow-up studies occurred within the next few years, including studies which specifically compared two differently sugared-up sets of children. This study's results would show that the children identified as being more "clinically hyperactive" had also been the children that had consumed more sugar prior to the review period. Later review of both of these studies have shown glaring flaws in their construction and implementation. However, the damage was done.

          This particular "fake news" pervaded quickly and most of the relevant scientific community has spent the better part of four decades attempting to set the record straight. Eventually these multiple independent studies and reports culminated in a 1995 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In it, they reviewed 23 studies conducted between 1983 and 1994, all of which were conducted using a viable double-blind test involving a stated control group, placebos, and various artificial and natural sweeteners, as well as their immediate effects on the children involved. The meta-analysis study found that there was absolutely no "statistically significant" effect of sugar on a child's mood. Beyond the kid just being happy to get a lollipop.

          The official conclusion stated:"The meta-analytic synthesis of the studies to date found that sugar does not affect the behavior or cognitive performance of children. The strong belief of parents may be due to expectancy and common association. However, a small effect of sugar or effects on subsets of children cannot be ruled out."

          Well, damn...

          Seinfeld episode about eating from the trash?


          What is the difference between a Mars bar and a Milky Way?

          There is essentially none. Technically the UK version is slightly longer and taller, but they are effectively no different. This was a purposeful decision by the creator of the Mars bar, Forrest Mars. As son of the infamous candy maker Frank C. Mars, Forrest purposefully modeled what would become the Mars bar off of his father's very successful Milky Way bar.

          On this side of the pond, the Milky Way bar was originally launched in 1924 to great acclaim. Its appearance in the UK would occur after the 1932 introduction of the Mars bar, which is why it appears to be a different bar entirely. The removal of the caramel and a smaller amount of chocolate coating was a decision made by Mars, Inc in order to make inroads in the European candy market. The 3 Musketeers bar was simultaneously launched in America because why not?! Naturally, it was given a different name because there was already a Milky Way bar in America.

          Hopefully someone pings @Gavino with this so he can finally get some peace of mind.

          Why is a Kit Kat in the US made by Hershey but Nestle everywhere else?

          Originally developed by Rowntree's of York, England in 1911, Kit Kats are currently produced in 16 countries by Nestle and by Hershey in one. The reason for this separation is because Kit Kat is produced under licensing rights. The short story is, in 1969 Rowntree merged with Mackintosh, another small UK-based chocolate company made famous for the Rolo bar. This merge was in an effort to expand globally; however, despite being able to create some small distribution streams on this side of the Atlantic, Rowntree-Mackintosh slowly lost traction. In the late 1960s, Rowntree-Mackintosh partnered with Phillip-Morris (of Marlboro fame) to handle American distribution, before finally teaming up with Hershey in 1970. In 1978, the contract was renegotiated, granting Hershey the rights to both manufacture and distribute Kit Kats and Rolos in the US "in perpetuity." It is this permanent licensing deal that has remained a thorn in the spine of Nestle since they purchased the failing Rowntree-Mackintosh candy company in 1988.

          For those interested in this, or other candy lore, TheCandyGeek is pretty damn interesting.

          What is the origin of the word "treacle"?

          The origin of "treacle" actually goes back to the greek word "thēriakos," which meant "of a wild animal." Its transition to the use case we, or rather the UK, may recognize has to do with Romans borrowing the related word "thēriakē," meaning "antidote," and creating "theriaca." This then gave rise to the Middle English "triacle," which eventually evolved to "treacle." Molasses, otherwise known as "black treacle," gets its origination from the same antidote usage, with the slight implication of being a "sweeter antidote."

          What is up with Gavin's “new” landing experience?

          This was likely what is known as a Cat III landing. It is also sometimes referred to as an ILS autolanding. In other words, the plane landed itself. It varies by airline, but most require a live test of the CAT III procedure at various established flight hours. The instruction to turn electronic devices completely off is not always accompanying the ILS autolanding. This is largely up to the discretion of the captain and is usually dependent on weather conditions upon landing. If instrumentation is reporting possible interference sources or it is especially foggy, the instruction to turn off all possible interference sources is standard fare.

          Is LA a vacation destination?

          This would depend on who is doing the vacationing. For those of us who don't make regular trips to Hollywood, LA is surely on the bucket lists of some community members. With regards to its consideration as a vacation destination, I can tell you that there are more than a few travel sites trying to get me to drop thousands to go there. I can also tell you that, according to USNews Travel rankings, LA ranks fifth among the Best Shopping Destinations and the Best Foodie Destinations in the US. Additionally, it ranks sixth for Best Nightlife in the US and is seventh on their list of overall Best Spring Vacations.

          Personally, it wasn't terrible when I visited. The food is good, everything is overpriced, and the "touristy" streets are far too crowded; it felt a lot like NYC in that way. That said, other than the fact that every surfing movie I've ever seen never bothered to mention how damn cold the Pacific Ocean is, I had a good time.

          What is the definition of "vacation"?

          According to Merriam-Webster, a vacation is "a respite or a time of respite from something." Alternative definitions include "a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended" and "a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation." Despite that final definition, the internet consensus seems to be that a vacation is generally being able to spend time outside of the daily grind and is not really dependent on where you happen to be.

          Bonus Question/Answer from ALWAYS OPEN #19! (Because the RT Podcast isn't the only one throwing out random, albeit rhetorical, curiosities.)

          Do toes have names like fingers?

          They certainly do! However, only the "Big Toe" has an "official" name. The other toes vary in name, but, generally speaking, are usually referred to as the following (in order from largest to smallest):

          • The Hallux or "Big Toe"

          • Second Toe, "Long Toe," or "Index Toe"

          • Third Toe or "Middle Toe"

          • Fourth Toe or "Ring Toe"

          • Fifth Toe or "Pinky Toe"

          The practice of only naming the Big Toe, and occasionally the Pinky, is pretty standard across most languages. Theories on the rationale behind having names for fingers but not for toes typically point to the idea that our toes rarely do anything individually, so do not need to be addressed as such. In other words, there is no "Pinky" in team!

          Swedish is one notable exception to the whole most-languages-do-not-name-toes thing. A fairly popular Swedish nursery rhyme gives the toes' names as Lilltåa, Tåtilla, Kroknoso, Tillerosa, and Stortimpen. I suppose, by that logic, their names could be referred to as the "Market," "Lazy," "Fat," "Starving," and "Baby" Piggies, but that is far less impressive than Kroknoso... what a name! Time to create the next RT Community inside joke and start giving everyone the Kroknoso Finger! :fu:

        • Fan Art Friday #55: Pyrrha Crest by Joron093

          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!

          This week’s featured artist is Joron (pronounced like “drawn”), AKA @Joron093, for this incredible brass and copper Pyrrha crest.



          Joron lives in Ketchikan, Alaska, where he’s a blacksmith (bladesmith to be precise) and part-time videographer for his local news channel.

          Curious about how something like this is made? Here’s what Joron had to say about that process:

          “I cut out brass and copper discs, raised them into shallow domes using a hammer, and cut the design out of the brass using a dremel tool and files; then the two domed pieces are sweat soldered together. I cut out the center piece of the spear from thin brass sheet with scissors, sweat soldered that on, then cut off a strip of metal from a cabinet door and shaped it for the clip, then soldered that on too. I polished the surface with a buffing wheel to get the glossy shine at the end.”

          This is the third crest Joron has made. Once his technique was streamlined, he was able to create this one in roughly five hours.


          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!

        • Quiz: What’s Your Sexual Education Quotient (SEQ)?

          1 week ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @bransonbranson

          Teaching children about sexual education is of the utmost importance. Kids need to be armed with relevant, accurate sexual information and be knowledgeable of the sexual realities that they will be dealing with in their adolescence. However, is the information we equip kids with nowadays even known by most adults? Take this quiz to find out where you stand.

          1. How many STD’s have been contracted this year alone?

          A) I don’t know

          B) 10,000,000

          C) 4,000,000

          D) It’s just a rash, don’t worry about it.

          Correct Answer: D. It’s cool, it’s just a rash. It happens sometimes. I have cream for it.

          2. Are condoms 100% effective?

          A) Yes

          B) No

          C) Who cares?

          Correct Answer: B. Condoms are not 100% effective. The FDA has said that condoms feel “weird.”

          3. When is pregnancy most likely to occur?

          A) During ovulation

          B) After you beat Zelda: Breath of the Wild

          C) When you haven’t had sex

          D) I don’t know

          Correct Answer: A and B. You are going to be a father and/or mother.

          4. What is a choad?

          A) A peener

          B) A shrimpo

          C) A turtle head

          D) A dinger

          Correct Answer: None. A choad is slightly bigger than a turtle head but smaller than a dinger, but wider. The World Dinger Association claims the width must exceed the length. This is the time in class when all the boys have to go to the gym and pull out their dingers in front of the nurse.

          5. How big is the average penis?

          A) 10 inches

          B) 11 inches

          C) 12 inches

          D) 13 inches

          Correct Answer: B

          If you passed, congratulations! You know as much about sex as a 9th grader!

          Side note: Alex Branson, the guy who wrote this quiz and many other funny articles on this site, just published his first novel. You can pick it up here.

        • Eleven Little Roosters Cosplay Guide: Gavin the 3rd

          2 weeks 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 Gavin the 3rd.


          Jacket: Get hyped, because Gavin’s exact tuxedo jacket is still available!

          Shirt: Gavin wears a pretty standard white tuxedo shirt. Here’s an affordable option.

          Pants: These are pretty standard black, slim-fit suit pants – but NOT tuxedo pants. These pants have a similar look.

          Bow tie: Black bow ties are extremely easy to come by, but they can be difficult to tie. That’s why I recommend using a pre-tied bow tie, like this one.

          Lapel flower: If you don’t want to deal with a real flower in your lapel, a lapel pin with a faux flower is a great alternative.

          Shoes: Gavin sports black leather loafers featuring a stacked heel and a subtle metal accent across the top. Here’s a similar, affordable pair.

          We hope this guide came in handy for anyone who’s looking to cosplay as Gavin the 3rd. If you end up joining Military Intelligence: Section 6, make sure you share your photos with us!

        • Fan Art Friday #54: MrBunns

          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 Brendan Horn, AKA @MrBunns, for this RWBY-inspired song entitled “As A Ghost.”

          Brendan is a musician based in Sydney, Australia. He had written a lot of songs based on how Jaune was feeling after losing Pyrrha, but he had an idea about Pyrrha looking down from the beyond and wanted to explore her thoughts and feelings. This track was recorded, edited, and produced by Brendan, and all instruments were performed by him except the main female vocals, which were performed by Gemma Horn.


          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 #416

          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 People Poison Cats – #416.


          What is President’s Day all about?

          Apparently President’s Day has had a pretty long and sordid past which, as recently as 2001, is still a matter of discussion for some members of Congress. Let's dig into it!

          As mentioned on the podcast, this all goes back to Washington. He was a pretty important guy in American history; if it hadn't been for the man's own humility, the American people would have gladly "elected" him our king – if not in power then, at minimum, by name. Upon his death in 1799, the public reeled and, as a gesture of their love for the man, declared in a largely unspoken kind of way that his birthday, February 22, be glorified as a day of remembrance.

          Interesting fact here, which was touched on in a previous podcast and answers post: With the change to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, Washington's birthday was actually moved. His original birthday under the Julian calendar was February 11; however, the miscalculations of the Julian calendar over time had led to an 11-day gap between the two calendars. This caused Washington's birthday to shift to February 22 under the newly accepted calendar.

          To continue, it was not until 1879 that President Rutherford B. Hayes recognized the date as a national holiday in honor of our first president. It was the first federal holiday that was created to celebrate a single notable American in our nation's history, and remained the only one of its kind for over a century, until the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. Additionally, the holiday continued to be known as "Washington's Birthday" until the mid-1980s.

          While the holiday was still officially recognized as "Washington's Birthday" until the 1980s, the move toward genericizing the holiday into a celebration of U.S. presidents in general began in the 1960s, with something called the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This was a legitimate law, crafted by then-Illinois Senator Robert McClory, in the hopes of shifting several federal holidays to various Mondays, as opposed to specific dates. The law found great support among the American population and took effect in 1971. Part of that law was an official "unofficial" recognition of Lincoln's Birthday celebration being combined with Washington's federally recognized celebration because the Monday for Washington's new holiday fell between the birthday of both presidents. While Lincoln's Birthday was not a federally recognized holiday at the time, it had been celebrated by the state of Illinois for decades, and the push to combine the two celebrations seemed like a given for most Americans. Part of McClory's proposal also included changing the name of the holiday to "President’s Day," since it would be effectively recognizing both Washington and Lincoln; however, that component did not make it through the finalized law. This was largely due to opposition from prideful Virginians who did not want to give up the holiday dedicated to their state's presidential history.

          In addition to shifting Washington's Birthday to the third Monday in February, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day were all shifted to specific Monday occurrences. However, in 1980, Veterans Day was returned to its original November 11 date due to general unrest about the movement of that particular holiday.

          As stated above, the final push to make President’s Day a celebration of all U.S. presidents happened in the mid-1980s. This shift was largely influenced by retail stores that found it much easier, and more profitable, to advertise "President’s Day" deals as opposed to deals specifically for Washington's Birthday. It is unknown why this push to recognize all presidents seemed to be more profitable for business when compared to those who stuck to the standard "Washington's Birthday" line, though I would theorize that it had something to do with a general disconnect with a two-centuries-old founding father as opposed to the person we just elected, or the influential presidents we remember in our lifetime. Then again, perhaps I am way off and it was just more profitable because there are six fewer characters to print on the signage and the use of "day" over "birthday" makes for a more pleasing proportion of text on a flyer. Wonder if there are any marketing, design, or retail signage experts in the community who can add to this. That would be an interesting addendum for sure.

          Good lord, we've spoken a lot on President’s Day. Let's wrap this up!

          The official renaming of the holiday to "President’s Day" has not actually happened yet! On the list of recognized federal holidays, the third Monday of February is still listed as "Washington's Birthday." While many states (more than half as of the early 2000s) do recognize the holiday as President’s Day and believe that it honors all past and present presidents, other states have taken ignoring the federally recognized holiday to a whole other level. For example, Alabama recognizes the date as a celebration of both Washington and Jefferson, and Arkansas uses the date to celebrate Washington and Daisy Gatson Bates, one of the civil rights leaders instrumental in the infamous Central High School integration in Little Rock. Going even further, several states have created their own additional holidays around the birthdays of various presidents, purposely placing them later in the year to artificially lengthen holidays around Thanksgiving and Christmas without mandating an additional paid holiday for local businesses.

          So, to summarize all of this: President’s Day is not an officially recognized thing. In my opinion, like most things related to US history and/or US government, it is far too complex for what it actually is or does.

          Rock the vote with RvB?

          State rules for campaigns and candidates?

          What I believe the Podcast crew was trying to get at with this discussion were the specifics surrounding ballot access at the state level. Essentially, these ballot access laws are individual, state-specific laws that govern the requirements and restrictions surrounding any person, or party, attempting to get on a state's election ballot. The rules can vary greatly by state, and depending on whether you are a party member or an independent, they also can dictate whether your vote actually counts.

          For example, while the federal government kind of recognizes write-ins as a valid vote, most states do not. Eight states don't even have a line to write-in somebody, and in 32 other states the write-in vote will be completely ignored if the would-be write-in hasn't registered as a possible candidate. This means that, despite rumors Mickey Mouse has received 15,000+ votes in every election since the 1960s, they were a) not even counted so there is no way of actually knowing how many he received, and b) wouldn't matter even if he had enough to win the popular vote. This is not just because he is a fictional mouse. His lack of pre-registration as a candidate or inability to be written in at all lumps him to the vague generic bucket of "unofficial vote."

          In addition to these restrictions, some states require a certain percentage of the general election vote to be won in order to qualify for statewide ballot access. This is the reason why anyone running on an independent ticket is constantly fighting an uphill battle, depending on their state. It is also one of the reasons why former presidents George Washington and John Adams opposed the strict use of a two-party system. The limitations set by states to even allow access to a potential vote ostracizes third-party candidates. This is also the reason why such a large spectrum of moderate to extreme representation exists in our two parties. If the only way you have a chance of being elected, because the only way you can even appear on a ballot, is to find the party that aligns closest to your views and then claim membership of that party, then the likelihood of finding fair representation under any party system is significantly diminished because now there are strict partisan lines attached to the candidate's leanings. This limited, or nonexistent, access of candidates outside of the two established party lines is a known and accepted ballot restriction in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

          Proponents of the access restrictions feel that the limitation of the access to two parties guarantees a more equal representation of the majority vote of the populace. By observing only two parties, the election mandates a majority vote to gain office. It should be obvious that these points apply to elections that are not dependent on the Electoral College. While arguments for the two-party system in regards to the Electoral College are strikingly similar, historical voting statistics show that the use of the Electoral College does a far from perfect job assuring the majority representation claims victory.

          Although, it should be noted that the goal of the Electoral College isn't about majority population representation but rather fair representation of American interests across the multitude of individual American priorities. In fairness, or perhaps "bias-ness" (depending on your own leanings), one could argue that this goal of fair representation across the varied swath of American interests has been potentially influenced by the recognized demographic pockets, gerrymandering, and social manipulation of American citizens over the last 50+ years.

          I recognize that the last statement may have come off a bit "conspiracy theory-ish," so to clarify, while it may not be on a nationwide scale, the individual manipulation of districts at local levels have absolutely inadvertently, or purposely, influenced the nationwide demographics that we all accept as "just where, and how, people live."

          Now that I've gotten that tangent out of the way, just for fun, let's run through some of the recognized "worst ballot access laws" in the country, as laid out by I just picked out five of my "favorites," so feel free to investigate/comment with yours.

          Arizona has blocking text that makes it illegal to speak of the virtues of Communism while campaigning, in addition to outright banning the Communist Party from the ballot.

          Illinois requires that newly qualifying parties file a separate petition for federal, county, state, district petitions for every candidate in that party depending on what representation level they are running for. Additionally, the petitions only circulate for three months and must receive 5% of the vote in order to be ratified. This essentially means that in order for someone to run as an independent federal senator in Illinois, they would have to received hundreds of thousands of signatures in less than a three-month period on four separate petitions.

          In Maryland, a statewide independent candidate would have to get four times as many signatures as an entirely new party.

          Pennsylvania requires a party membership of at least 15% of registered voters in order to remain a recognized party. If this were a law in DC, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts, the entire Republican party would be off the ballot, with the same for Democrats in Utah and Idaho.

          In order to run as an independent presidential candidate in Texas, a petition containing 1% of the last presidential vote count is required. However, for ALL statewide offices, the petition is 1% of that gubernatorial vote. Because presidential elections have a much higher turnout than elections for governor, the difference in the amount of available required signatures can be as high as 40%.

          James Bond's Passport?

          In order to add legitimacy to the movie Casino Royal, the British Home Office created a real British Passport under the name James Bond, with Daniel Craig's image on it. According the Home Secretary John Reid, "The Identity and Passport Service require such passports to be returned and destroyed immediately after use." However, the film company has since stated that, "they [Identity and Passport Service] haven't asked for it so we'll be keeping it indefinitely."


          How did the North Korean brother get poisoned?

          Controversial North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's, half-brother Kim Jong-nam was not assassinated via injection, as they briefly debated on the podcast. Authorities now believe that the woman who attacked him actually smeared a fast-acting topical poison to his face. CCTV from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (where he was accosted) shows the woman approaching Jong-nam from behind and wiping the liquid on his face and then immediately fleeing with another woman. As of last week, a four have been arrested in connection with the murder and four more are being pursued by Malaysian authorities.

          Perhaps predictably, North Korea's response to the murder and its investigation have been a bit confusing. While the current North Korean ambassador to Malaysia has claimed that the man who died is not actually Kim Jong-nam, he has also stated that the investigation of the murder by Malaysian authorities cannot be trusted and that the body should be returned to North Korea immediately. Later claiming that the Malaysian government's insistence on an autopsy was proof that the government had "something to conceal."

          Little news beyond these statements, including the North Korean leadership's response to his half-brother's possible death have come out of the country.

          Who narrates the Harry Potter audiobooks?

          I actually answered this one already, kind of. In Podcast #380, it wasn't technically asked word-for-word, but I answered it regardless. Quick facts on that Podcast, it was only the second Podcast to have an official Answers post, also featured Chris Demarais, and was the source of the infamous "Apple or the Egg" slip-up. Now to my previous answer!

          This completely depends on where you get them from. As of November of last year, has made the full Harry Potter series available for download; however, which side of the Atlantic you hail from determines which narrator you end up with. This has led to predictable turmoil and debate among Potter fans as to which is the "real" voice of the Boy Who Lived. The publishers, who placed the territorial restrictions on the recordings, have yet to relent and give fans the freedom to choose.

          The narrators, Jim Dale and Stephen Fry, have understandably remained mum on the subject, while their respective fan bases hurl stinging jinxes across the Great Hall… er… Reddit. This issue probably wouldn't be such a heated discussion if it weren’t for both narrators having other popular titles released with their voices on opposite sides of the pond. Because of this, both Americans and Brits are clamoring for the narrator they can't have. This has led to the Harry Potter audiobook series being near the top of the list for most torrented audiobook series of all time. While the voices of Westeros are pretty solidly in the hands of one individual, Hogwarts seems split between the "emotional storytelling" of Fry and the "character development" of Dale. In the end, it would probably be in the publishers’ (Bloomsbury and Scholastic) best interest to just relent and make their versions available everywhere – if for no other reason than fans will absolutely "double-dip."

          Which flowers are poisonous to cats?

          According the ASPCA's section on poisonous plants, there are over 400 plants that are known to be poisonous to cats in some way or another. Additionally, of these 400+, only 10 are not also poisonous to dogs or horses, which surprisingly have even more plants to be avoided.

          For cats, the most poisonous, and most common, plants among these are the autumn crocus, azalea, lilies, daffodils, sago palms, tulips, and hyacinths. All of these plants can be linked to severe gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting and internal bleeding, as well as comas and death in some cases.

          The short answer for the owner of essentially any domesticated animal is that it seems like all plants are pretty much poison to our pets, so embrace your black thumb and just don't bother growing anything.

          Has someone poisoned a cat purposely with flowers?

          I was unable to find any verifiable articles or anecdotes about the purposeful poisoning of a cat. That isn't to say there aren't several posts about the possibility of such a crime, just that they are either random personal stories or do not involve a cat. Specifically, I was able to find several news articles and court documents concerning the purposeful poisoning of dogs.

          I suspect the persuasion toward the poisoning of our canine companions is because they are more easily accessible, tend to put anything in their mouth, are more likely to cause a nuisance that would drive someone to the perceived vindication of poisoning, and humans in general tend to be more attached to our dogs than our cats. That last part isn't true for everyone obviously, but, as Gus stated, dogs tend to "care" about us a bit more, which I think naturally drives that connection home faster.

          Either way, it is a crime, as it should be, and while every state handles the punishment slightly differently, depending on the animal, severity of poisoning, etc., most states recognize it as a minimum Class A misdemeanor which is usually accompanied by a hefty fine and at least a year in prison.

          Bereavement cancellation policies of airlines?

          Most of the large, American-based airlines do have some type of contingency coverage for the cancellation of a flight due to the death of a family member. Of these, most also require some type of documentation to support the claim, and most will only offer the refund as a travel voucher that can be redeemed toward a later flight. Of the major airlines, the only one which offers a lower "bereavement fare" is Delta. This fare is a lower cost ticket if you are traveling for a family member's funeral.

          For reference, the airlines this is confirmed for are: American, Southwest, United, JetBlue, Delta, Frontier, and Spirit. It also may be important to note that all of these policies reference a "family member's" death.

          Allegiant Airlines?

          Allegiant airlines, though, is a whole other animal. According to their site's FAQ section, "In an effort to keep our fares low for all passengers and to stay competitive, Allegiant does not offer a bereavement exception," and "you can receive a full refund of your ticket purchase if you notify us within 24 hours of your purchase... After 24 hours, tickets purchased are non-refundable."

          In December of last year, the Tampa Bay Times released the results of a months-long private investigation of the airline, with special attention paid to the FAA's lack of oversight. The report found that the FAA has been grossly negligent with its oversight of maintenance best practices and follow up on private citizen complaints. In regards to Allegiant airlines specifically, according to the Times report, the FAA has yet to bring any fines against them for maintenance negligence that led to two serious near-accidents. While the FAA has stated that they are actively investigating Allegiant airlines concerning a four-day stint in 2015 that grounded 10 flights due to mechanical failures, the report contested that the alleged firing of an Allegiant pilot who was terminated after evacuating his plane as well as a collection of other questionable business practices have all gone uninvestigated by the FAA. The report wraps with the contention that a primary reason for the lackadaisical oversight on behalf of the FAA is proof of ethics violations and corruption as "a steady stream of officials" have left the agency to work for individual airlines.

          Is the term "cat" a racial slur to someone of Asian descent?

          According to the Racial Slur Database, which is quite possibly one of the more ridiculous things that unsurprisingly exist on the internet, the term "cat" is not attributed to any slur for any race. The closest proximity to this would be a "Roof Rabbit Killer," which is defined as "Roof rabbit = cat. Chinese eat cat, therefore roof rabbit killer."

          Latest John Oliver video on Trump?

          Does the Queen use a real sword during Knighting ceremony?

          Yep. The current sword used was presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 from her mother, the Late Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Apparently it was a near-exact replica of an older sword that was originally commissioned for Queen Victoria for the same ceremony. That sword was made with an aluminum hilt, which made the knighting ceremony far easier to manage without taking away any of the typical bravado associated with being knighted by a legit sword. Unfortunately Queen Victoria's original knighting sword was misplaced after her death, likely due to the fact that the kingly succession which followed her would use their own crafted swords as opposed to the lighter one specifically made for the Queen. Assuming Queen Elizabeth II's copy was made to same specifications, the entire sword would weigh in at just over one pound.

          Why do people turn down Knighthood?

          As you can imagine, there is no blanket reason that people have turned to in order to justify refusing what most would consider the greatest honor in the land. Notable reasons, and the notable people who gave them, have included protests against current military operations ala John Lennon, Aldous Huxley due to a protest against the concept of the Monarchy as a whole, T.E. Lawrence (AKA Lawrence of Arabia) due to personal issues with the meaning, and Rudyard Kipling, Michael Faraday, and John Cleese all declined because they "thought it was silly" and purportedly said something to the effect of they "rather liked their own name as it was."

          Does Brandon have a better chance of Knighthood than Gavin?

          Given that Gavin is the only one of them that can, based on current British law, actually be knighted, I would absolutely say that it is a bit more than a "zero chance" for both, as Brandon insisted. If anything, it is an absolute zero chance for Brandon, and Gavin likely has a slightly more elevated chance than a normal British citizen due to his enlarged sphere of influence.

          Used cat litter is a toxic gas?

          Just a heads up, there will be a fair amount of assumption and guessing made on this one...

          Anyone who has spent any time around a litter box can attest that even a clean box with fresh litter can be, depending on the brand, irritating to be around. I can only imagine the insanity of being in Gavin's shoes during his ordeal with the multiple loads of dirty litter that had likely congealed into some type of poop-riddled block of urine-solidified concrete.

          Among all of my research on this, I was unable to shake one word. On every site, every article, every search result, the word "ammonia" kept appearing. This term likely comes as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about cats. The fact that the smell of a used cat box is associated with ammonia is not a new thing for anyone, and the cause of this smell is not an unknown to scientists. Despite what many of us may associate with ammonia, it is actually an invisible compound gas composed of nitrogen and hydrogen.

          Small amounts of ammonia are not necessarily harmful to humans; in fact, they are surprisingly common. We are probably all familiar with ammonia cleaners, but small traces of ammonia can also be found in the soil our food is grown in, the clothes we wear, and even the water we drink. However, in large quantities, ammonia can quickly lead to severe respiratory issues, especially in those who may already suffer from some type of respiratory ailment like asthma. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the CDC, the greatest risk of ammonia poisoning to a human comes from interactions with normal household cleaners, and, as far as I can tell, there has never been a case of acute ammonia poisoning or death from exposure to dirty kitty litter. That said, the idea surrounding its possibility may not be entirely impossible.

          During a cat's normal digestion, they will produce a small amount of ammonia as waste and eliminate through their urine. Researchers believe that a healthy cat's urine only contains roughly .05 percent ammonia. This is such a negligible amount that, even in the concentrations Gavin had likely gathered in his "bin," exposure was likely minimal. Additionally, there is the consideration that the vast majority of the ammonia-laden urine had already been absorbed by the cat litter itself, so it was, in effect, a minimal amount of a now largely inert gas... Or was it?

          In the spirit of Eleven Little Roosters, let's play detective for a bit and dig into the other circumstances around this. What we know is that there were roughly 8-10 loads of a cat box-worth of litter in the bin, which was then left outside and filled with rain. Gavin's temporary solution to this dilemma was to cover it to prevent any more water from getting into the bin, and allowing the water to evaporate naturally from there. There was no indication of how long this took to happen, but presumably it was a time period of several weeks. When Gavin next attempted to dispose of the litter, he found that it had essentially become a trash can filled with something between oatmeal and concrete. When looking back on his and Dan's attempts to move the trashcan, he realizes that he felt like he was surrounded by "less oxygen" and that it seemed to be an unnecessarily exhausting chore.

          Knowing that a relatively small amount of ammonia is eliminated with the other normal contents of cat urine and recognizing that it, as a gas, is going to be something that gets trapped within the solid masses of the cat litter as well as something that won't evaporate away like the rest of the urine content, I have a theory.

          My suspicion here, and I am 100% open to being wrong, just felt it an interesting thought exercise to run through, is that when the rainwater filled the can, it essentially served to temporarily lock in the ammonia that had been trapped in the litter previously. The mistake, though, was covering the can. My thought is that Gavin trapped in the gases within the bin. As the water inside evaporated and the contents of the can got hotter, releasing more gas, a legitimate toxic cloud of ammonia began to build up under the lid. By the time the lid was removed again and the cloud was released, all of the previously trapped/sealed ammonia had been released since it is the moisture of the urine with the litter that allows it clump together. As Gavin and Dan shifted the cat waste slop, it released additional pockets of gas until the cloud of ammonia had begun to displace the oxygen around the can. Ammonia is a little more than half as dense as air, so in its gaseous form it will dissipate relatively quickly, but I suspect that Gavin's issues were further exacerbated by the shifting of the can's contents, leading to additional pockets of what had essentially become straight ammonia gas being released pretty much directly into his and Dan's faces.

          Symptoms of ammonia gas exposure include headaches, sore throat, dizziness, running or burning nose, shortness of breath, and feeling on the skin and eyes of itching and/or burning; prolonged exposure at high levels can easily become a much more serious malady.

          Assuming that the buildup of the gas is a given, the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) claims that at a presence of only 50-80 ppm, ammonia gas can begin to be highly corrosive and a powerful irritant to the human senses. For reference, this is only .008% of your immediate breathable air that is required to be ammonia gas to begin to experience adverse effects. 50 ppm is also the limit which OSHA sets for exposure to ammonia in the workplace over the course of an eight-hour workday. Given these facts, they, and we, are lucky that exposure was in an open environment and not prolonged, but, in this non-expert's opinion, it definitely seems like they were temporarily gassed by an ammonia cloud caused by cat piss.

          It is quite the children's story. Anyone have any other theories?

        • Jocks Are a Bunch of Nerds

          3 weeks ago

          Rooster Teeth Poppycock

          By @charlesaustin

          No matter how complex the world gets, there are some simple rules we can usually count on. Yin needs yang. A by-the-books cop needs a loose-cannon cop to reluctantly partner with. And jocks need nerds to be cooler than. The jock has no identity without the nerd, nor the nerd without the jock. Like yin and yang, they must coexist as contradictory opposites. There is no overlap in the jock and nerd venn diagram.

          Or at least, so we believed for thousands of years.

          There is a disturbing trend underway that threatens to destroy one of the very cornerstones of human society and overturn what we thought were universal laws. Everywhere you look, jocks are participating in behavior that frankly makes them look like a bunch of fucking nerds.

          Exhibit A: The Entire Green Bay Packers Organization


          Photo: Mike Daniels’s Twitter

          Where do I even begin with these guys. Every day it gets harder to tell whether Mike McCarthy is coaching a football team or chaperoning an anime club. Green Bay has a shameful lack of strip clubs and other respectable places for rich athletes to feel comfortable in their natural habitat, so the Packers developed a well publicized and highly unnatural habit of playing Settlers of Catan together.

          The minute he got wind of this, McCarthy should have shut down all this Catan crap and opened a damn strip club to give his players something good to do at 3 a.m. They shouldn’t be up late trading wool to get lumber; they should be trading dollar bills to get wood.

          But without a strong leader to guide them away from this dweeby gateway drug, the team has only grown nerdier. This terrifying exposé reveals that the Packers watch anime together and openly talk about Pokémon in the locker room without being punished with wedgies and/or swirlies. The result? Now you’ve got players more focused on Super Saiyans and less focused on Super Buhhh… You know, that game we legally can’t mention because Rooster Teeth is so cheap that they won’t let me start frivolous legal battles with the NFL.

          Exhibit B: Russell Wilson’s Batman Cosplay


          Photo: Russell Wilson’s Instagram

          First of all, a jock shouldn’t even be familiar with the concept of “cosplay,” so that’s strike one. But cosplay isn’t the only thing Russell Wilson stole from nerds. He also culturally appropriated one of the most distinct features of being a nerd: virginity. Until he got married last July, Wilson wasn’t even having sex with his celebrity girlfriend. Not having sex with celebrities is supposed to be what nerds do.

          Exhibit C: This Guy’s Mask


          Photo: Stéphane Bergeron’s Facebook

          What the hell is this? Let’s imagine the most generous possible situation for this colossal nerd of a goalie. Let’s say that every single player in the Minnesota Wild locker room is familiar with Sonic the Hedgehog. Let’s assume every single one of them played Sonic 2 on Sega Genesis, and they all know that Tails’ full name is Miles “Tails” Prower. Some of them even played Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine.

          Given all of those very generous assumptions, how the fuck do you look your teammates in the eye and explain to them who Shadow the Hedgehog is? Or worse yet, Rouge the Bat, such an irrelevant character that it took me multiple Google searches to figure out her name.

          The Verdict

          These musclebound meatheads are actually a bunch of egghead nerds. While they act like their heads are full of good, strong meat, they are actually weak like eggs.

          The real problem is, athletes simply can’t cross over into the nerd world and expect to compete. In the NBA, it’s impressive that Michael Jordan got six rings. But another way to look at it is, he was 94 rings short of an extra life. MJ will never live up to Sonic the Hedgehog and all honest sports fans know it.

          But Jordan isn’t free from blame. Some historians (probably) believe that Space Jam opened the door for all this jock and nerd intermingling, while others blame fantasy sports for its satanic marriage of sports and math, but one thing is for sure: jocks are turning into a bunch of fucking nerds.

        • Answers to Questions Posed in RT Podcast #415

          3 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 Gavin Forgot the Podcast – #415.


          Do pilots and flight crew fly with one another regularly?

          This fully depends on the airline. Most airlines have a specific number of pilot and first officer (co-pilot) positions across the company. The number is largely influenced by the current markets being covered by the airline as well as the number of aircraft owned. Again, depending on the airline, but most pilot positions are dictated by seniority at the company, and only the most senior pilots will be granted a standardized "line." A "line" is essentially the term used to describe a set constant route flown. This may be something short and repetitive or cross-country, but in most cases these lines will have the same pilot – or group of pilots – manning the captain's seat. However, the co-pilot will very often switch to other lines and aircraft, and, depending on the size of the company, may very infrequently see that specific captain. The airline's size, coverage, and fleet variety plays a big part in this. For example, when British Airways were still operating their trans-Atlantic Concorde flights, there were predictably few pilots that were qualified to fly the supersonic jets. This meant that these pilots and copilots all were on the Concorde's lines. In this case, these flight crews were almost always the same crew. A very similar example of this, though admittedly more extreme, is the crew of Air Force One.

          This same seniority-based stability applies to the rest of the flight crew. In addition to the captain position, there is a lead flight attendant position. This position, in most cases, would also be stuck to that specific flight, route, and aircraft. Predictably, these positions are limited in quantity as well, so all new flight crew members (pilots and attendants) are typically placed in a type of reserve scheduling. This means that flight crew members will be on call for up to 12 hours at a time, get essentially no say in when they fly, and, in many of these cases, do not even know where they are flying to until they reach their home airport.

          Burnie spit on Geoff?

          Unprepared talk show hosts at PAX South?

          Why is the Japanese burger all black?

          Burger King Japan's Kuro Burgers were originally unveiled in September 2012 in an effort to increase notoriety and, ideally, popularity of the brand. As of 2015, the count for Burger King restaurants on the island nation was less than 100, which is pretty low when compared to McDonald's 3,000+. In response to this, a five-person marketing team set about finding a way to make Burger King a household Japanese name. Since its announcement, the all-black Kuro Burger has certainly succeeded in building a general virality and intrigue around the fast food company. This is despite the burger being far from the first recipe to include a bit of squid ink to dye the food black. Most notably, a burger restaurant based in France released a burger with a black bun, dubbed the Dark Vador, in honor of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace being re-released in 3D. One can only assume they never saw it the first time around, because surely they couldn't have thought that seeing Jar Jar in 3D would make him more bearable.

          Various other chains and food manufacturers have included the use of squid ink in order to add some "shock value" into their respective food's look. Regarding the Koru Burgers, specifically, the cheese and buns actually get their color from bamboo charcoal, while the ketchup and onions are the only ingredients using squid ink.

          For the adventurous (and Gus), the video below seems to provide an adequate recipe for an at-home version of the burger. Fair warning: It could be poison, I didn't test it... but, given that round-trip flights to Japan average around $2k per person, I just may take my chances.

          On a related note, Burger King Japan's five-person crew isn't exactly new to the business of offering obscure burgers to generate discussion around the brand. In addition to the Kuro Burger offerings, they have also created the Five-Patty Whopper, the Pizza Whopper, and a Whopper to commemorate the release of Windows 7, of all things. There have been several others; however, so far, it seems only the Black Koru has had any staying power. The latest color burger, unveiled in 2015, may be providing some competition. The Aka Burgers, or Red Burgers, use a mixture of tomato powder with the buns, meat, cheese, and sauces to give the entire burger an obvious red hue. Time will tell which of the colored burgers will win out. Personally, I'm hoping that now that RWBY is making waves in the Land of the Rising Sun, RT can pull some strings, find some way to tint some burgers blue, and get some RvB burger competition going.


          Which podcast episode had Burnie's Tupperware joke?

          The infamous Tupperware joke occurred at the end of Podcast #22, way back in 2009. Three years later the corresponding RTAA episode was released.

          For those interested in the actual answer to Gavin’s original question regarding which company has the most storage, the short answer is Amazon. The long answer is that, as of mid-2016, Amazon's cloud storage service was responsible for storing almost twice as much data as all of the other seven major storage providers combined. In addition to their actual stored data, their estimated volume of storage dwarfs the seven even further, and none of these figures take into account their popular Glacier solution for long-term "cold" storage.


          What can a pilot be demoted to?

          A captain can absolutely be demoted to a first officer. Referencing our conversation above, this would mean that a senior captain who has a steady "line" could, under certain circumstances, have part – or all – of their seniority stripped, costing them their established route, among other things. The first officer demotion is not quite as clear, though I would suspect that if there is limited seniority to lose, the easiest way to "demote" them would be to just terminate them completely.

          Difference between Germany's Nazi anthem and current?

          The melody was initially written in 1797 to honor the last Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II; however, since then the “Song of Germany (Das Lied der Deutschen),” or “Deutschlandlied,” has had quite a history associated with its lyrics. While some portion of the song has been the national anthem of some part of Germany since 1922, the stigma surrounding the first two verses have made signing it, even with the best intention, a bit of a minefield.

          Shortly after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the song's original lyrics were modified slightly to call out to whomever the sitting emperor to the Austrian, and later Austro-Hungarian, Empire was at the time. This new use drew little complaint from the few that may have looked back on the Holy Roman Empire fondly, and the tradition of changing the first line of the song to match that of the sitting emperor continued until the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I. However, the first bit of controversy surrounding the tune, aside from it being written to honor the man who dissolved what was essentially the 1,000-year monarchy of the Catholic Church, actually occurred five decades earlier. The original composition was meant, by its composer, to rival the more well known "God Save the King," so when the melody was used in 1841 with revised lyrics encouraging the unification of Germany as opposed to the accepted royal connection, its author wasn't exactly awarded. Nevertheless, the move toward unification of the German states would find success only seven years later, and the revised song's author would find himself pardoned for his treasonous ways.

          Despite this pardon, the anthem was not officially adopted as such until 1922, when the nation would begin moving away from the imperial rule of the Kaiser that led them into the Great War eight years earlier. With Hitler's Reich, the song would see yet another modification, this time the complete loss of the second and third verses. Hitler's "official" anthem was actually "Horst-Wessel-Lied," written in 1929 by a Nazi commander to the tune of what sounds strangely similar to the well-known hymn, "How Great Thou Art." However, in order to maintain some reverence to the nation of Germany in his anthem, the Reich recognized the new anthem of Germany as the first verse of "Deutschlandlied" immediately followed by the praises of "Horst-Wessel-Lied." For those interested, if you've ever played pretty much any Wolfenstein, you have absolutely heard, at a minimum, the melody to "Horst-Wessel-Lied."

          With the collapse of the Reich at the end of the second World War, all Nazi paraphernalia, including the entirety of "Deutschlandlied," was outlawed in Germany. The Soviet Union was quick to provide East Germany with a decidedly communist sounding anthem; however, the more fractured West Germany would not have an anthem again for several years. In 1952, "Deutschlandlied" was officially approved as the anthem once more and, in 1954, the world was a bit taken aback when attendees at that year's World Cup began singing the anthem following a surprise win by West Germany. Interestingly, only the first verse was sung, presumably because it was all that most could remember of the song since it had been the only part repeatedly sung since 1933.

          Several attempts have been made over the years to remove the stigma attached to that first verse; however, in 1990, shortly before the reunification of Germany, the final verse was officially declared to be the only part of the song recognized as the country's national anthem.

          It is important to point out that the snafu by Kimball at the beginning of the USTA match a few weeks back is far from the first time someone has come under fire for mistakenly reciting the part of the song that is attributed to Nazi Germany. Though, admittedly, this hasn't always been an "accidental" oversight. It also may be relevant to note that while the association with the first verse and Hitler's Reich is a hard fact to dispute, the inclusion of the second verse in that stigma is a bit of an oddity.

          This, along with some of the arguably extreme censorship in Germany since 1945, leads me to suspect that it is just a general attempt to disassociate the country with the Reich altogether. For example, I was recently listening to a podcast on the history of World War I, and it mentioned that we have many reports of "brilliant" strategic maneuvers performed by the Kaiser's military, but essentially nothing out of Germany's military successes during World War II. Are we to assume that this means the Nazi war machine was just a terribly trained and poor-performing military, or that any story or memory that may have existed was purposely suppressed in an attempt to forget it ever happened? Given the size of the RT community, I would love to get some German responses on this one.

          P.S. This may be a bit of bias leaking through, but I feel that, in light of recent events in our "modern" world, it may be a bad move to ignore both the good and bad of any one country – or person's – past because of an overwhelmingly perceived "bad" aspect of that past. Insert something about learning from history and being doomed to repeat it here...

        • Fan Art Friday #53: ChrisFutch

          3 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 Chris, AKA @ChrisFutch, for this RWBY-inspired illustration.


          Chris lives in Florida, where he’s currently a student. Drawing inspiration from the finale of RWBY Volume 4, he took a screenshot from "No Safe Haven" and cut out Jaune, Nora, and Ren. Then he colored in each character while removing the details. Finally, he traced the bitmap in Inkscape to smooth out any rough edges, and applied a dark red background to represent Pyrrha, who was absent from the shot. Overall, it took Chris about three days to complete this piece.


          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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