A Few Truly Awful Jobs One Can Have

If we were to take all the information and the talks we hear seriously, we might conclude that nobody – like, really, nobody – is happy with their job at all. Complaining about your job and the fact that what you have to do is very boring, or stupid, or hard to do, seems to be everyone’s real job. At least judging from the effort and enthusiasm invested into this complaining. But if everyone were to look beyond their (sometimes) petty reasons to whine and get over the pretentiousness, not only would the world be a better place (because maybe then we could actually move on to having better conversations), but we might also notice the truly awful jobs out there.

Some people are either very brave, or have a very strong stomach, or are simply out of better alternatives and have to settle for jobs that most people would avoid like the plague. Honestly, there are probably few worse ways to make a living than what you’re about to see. I, for one, would prefer to gurn every day for a living rather than doing any of these really awful jobs. Therefore, let’s pay a bit more respect to the people whose jobs actually suck and stop complaining like a bunch of frustrated teenagers about ours. Nothing most of us do could possibly compare to any of these:

Bull (or elephant) masturbator

Nope, there will be no picture posted of this job. Really. But the description may be suggestive enough for any reader to be grossed out by now. You know, in zoos and also in modern farming, there’s no time anymore to allow the animals to naturally reproduce, and therefore semen must be collected from a male and used to inseminate quite a high population of females (at least in farming). Well, that semen used must be collected somehow. And guess what – there’s actually a position for that (no pun intended). The official name for the job is barnyard masturbator and it involves holding an artificial vagina really steady on the bull’s penis until the animal has had its fun and the liquid is collected. Needless to say, it is tricky and quite dangerous. Plenty of people have been injured and had to be taken to the hospital while trying to do their work at this job. Lovely, right?

Janitor at an Adult Movie Cinema


Well, it’s probably in the same category as the one above, but minus the danger part. Imagine the kind of people that go to see adult movies in a theater and imagine what goes on during the movie projection. Yup, your guess is right. And now imagine the delight of the poor soul that has to clean up the floor and the seats after each movie. You’re starting to be more content with your job now, I bet.

Carcass cleaner

Probably the job of a butcher isn’t something very appealing to most people. It could be considered one of the awful jobs out there, even if a necessary one. But if you imagine butchering animals up for a living is gross, imagine what it would be like if instead of just chopping, the person would have to carefully clean up all the rotting flesh from a corpse in order to preserve the skeleton (for museum-related and scientific purposes). This is usually done by a taxidermist who either allows the flesh to rot into an advanced state of degradation so it gets easier to remove, or boils the corpse to soften it up faster, or who enlists the help of bugs and worms and vermin to do part of the job of removing that flesh.

If you’re already happy to go back to whatever work you do, also note that these were just a few examples. There are plenty of other awful jobs out there to further horrify you, but perhaps on another occasion. In the meantime, enjoy your work and stop whining.

Cinco de Mayo: A Look into a Mixed Holiday’s Background


Since it’s almost the beginning of May and in the U.S. that means Cinco de Mayo will soon be here, perhaps now is a good time to delve a bit into the background of this odd holiday. The label of odd comes here because of the ambiguous status of this relatively recent and quite fabricated holiday. Don’t misunderstand us: there’s nothing wrong with yet another reason for a pretty public celebration, or with giving a cultural minority an opportunity to express itself. Nor is there anything wrong with drinking tequila and sampling various kinds of enchiladas and generally eating guacamole on anything until you’re ready to burst. Nope, there’s definitely nothing wrong with those at all, scout’s honor.

A slight problem arises mainly when people are confronted with the question “What exactly is celebrated on the 5th of May, or during Cinco de Mayo?”, because this is where things usually become blurry and tricky.  Many wrongly believe it’s the date when Mexico celebrates its Independence Day: while that may indeed be the most important patriotic holiday in Mexico, it is actually way later in the yearly span, on September the 16th. Even more, Cinco de Mayo isn’t really that much of a big deal south of the U.S. border; the main celebrations are held on American soil. Think that’s strange? The reason for this is that, actually, Cinco de Mayo is a sort-of “fabricated” holiday for the territory of the ‘states, meant to give the Mexican-Americans an occasion to celebrate their identity with pride. There is a smaller holiday in Mexico that the larger one in U.S. is based on, El Dia de la Batalia de la Puebla  (The Day of the Battle of Puebla), commemorating a victory against French troops, but that original holiday is so small-scale that it doesn’t really matter much. It’s not even celebrated in all of Mexico, but just one state and area, where the historic event occurred.


Since it’s such less of a big deal in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is now understandably a holiday with relevance for the Mexican-Americans first and foremost. It makes sense, actually, since they were the ones deeper into not always friendly territory, and needed to find a way of asserting their identity, preferably in a cultural and creative way. And what better way could it be than this wonderful collection of colorful parades, singing and dancing and all the spicy Mexican food and drinks you can muster? Probably none. It’s completely understandable how Cinco de Mayo rose to prominence so quickly in the U.S. The holiday existed since 1860, but it became popular sometime in the 40s, along with the rise of the Chicano movement (which emphasized a pride of one’s Latino identity).

But was the sudden popularity of Cinco de Mayo only related to the rise of the Chicano movement? Unfortunately, whenever there’s a celebration, there’s always some corporate interests involved, at least since the second half of the 20th century and to this day. Grand American companies that specialized in consumer goods like food and drink saw a major opportunity in capitalizing any holiday man can think of, and Cinco de Mayo was no exception. Especially a beer giant was involved in a bit of controversy about aggressively promoting its beverage on behalf of the Mexican holiday and community, but then again, it would be hard not to find a holiday that wasn’t capitalized upon in a similar manner.

The morale of this story, folks, if we’re permitted to suggest one, is that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your Mexican food and drinks this upcoming May, even if they’re advertised by all-too-eager commercial interests, but a least let’s pay better attention to history. Taking part in the celebration is always nice and even a bit mandatory if we’re to be respectful to the minority celebrating it, but you know what would be even more respectful? Not confusing Cinco de Mayo any more with their Independence Day, for instance. That being said, enjoy the fiesta!

Best 10 Beers in the World

Beer needs no introduction.  It’s the world’s favorite alcoholic drink, surpassing other favorites such as wine and cocktails. But while some brands of beer are widely known and easy to find, others are somehow reserved for initiates and beer geeks. And, according to a study carried out by two Stanford University Computer experts, the beer geeks seem to have the best tastes. As we consume more and more varieties of a product, our ability to detect fine nuances improves and we discriminate better between the various types of taste we experience. This observation, proven right by the scientific study mentioned above, can actually be applied to almost anything. Some things are more for beginners, while others are more likely to be enjoyed by initiates who had already gained some expertise.

As for the best 10 beers in the world, the study has shown that the ones rated as being the best in terms of taste and quality are unfortunately not the widely known and available ones, but rather the specialty beers which tend to be harder to find. But if you’re a beer enthusiast, do yourself a favor and seek out at least a few of these. Your taste buds may experience a sudden revelation.

1. Westvleteren’s 12


This beer scored the highest rating in the study and it’s apparently widely appreciated by people who can get their hands on it. It’s brewed by the monks of the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in Belgium and sold right at the gates of the monastery, weekly. It has no label and contains just water, yeast, hops, malt, sugar and caramel. If you’re not planning a visit to Belgium too soon, you can also buy the beer online, sometimes.

2. Three Floyd’s Brewing Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout


Three Floyd’s Brewing has many famous beers, but Dark Lord tops them all. It’s a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with coffee and honey and molasses and it tastes divine. Unfortunately, they only sell it on Dark Lord Day (the last Saturday of April) and customers need to have some pre-bought tickets to the event.

3. AleSmith’s Speedway Stout


This is another Imperial Stout, brewed with coffee and with a total of 12% alcohol in full volume. It’s a strong beer, with a toasted hint.

4. Bell’s Expedition Stout


This is produced by Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan and it’s yet another strong stout (apparently these seem to be deemed the best for beer connoisseurs). It has a pitch black color and a strong coffee aftertaste, while also being somewhat sweet.

5. Three Floyd’s Brewing Dreadnaught Imperial IPA


The first non-stout on our list is yet another brew from the Three Floyd’s Brewing. This one has mango and peach undertones to keep it from tasting too bitter and an extreme flavor profile.

6. Founder’s Brewing Co.’s KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)


Apparently, if you’re a true beer lover, there’s nothing wrong with starting your day with a strong stout for breakfast. This one is brewed not just with coffee, but also with chocolates. It has a very dark and rich flavor and it’s only served after cave-aging in bourbon oak barrels.

7. Russian River’s Pliny the Elder


Yet another non-stout: this one is a Double India Pale Ale and it contains citrus, pine and fresh hops. It has a balanced taste and a dry finish.

8. Russian River’s Temptation


This time, the Russian River Brewery made it to the top with a sour blond ale, aged in Chardonnay barrels.

9. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout


This stout is brewed in 18 year-old bourbon barrels for two years and its delicious chocolate undertones will make you come back for more.

10. Hair of the Dog’s Adam


The Adam ale from the Hair of the Dog brewery is actually a recreation of a historic beer style from Dortmund, Germany.

These were the best 10 beers in the world. May you get to enjoy them all.

Source of info and images: mainly here.

How One Little Mistake Can Lead to Disaster

This is why people should do and re-do their math until they’re completely sure they got it right. Because in the real world of architects and engineers and so on, a slight miscalculation can wreak havoc: after a certain figure leaves the writing sheet, there might be no turning back. And by the time the people who are applying the miscalculation can figure out what’s going on, it might just be too late. Here’s a small list of famous disasters brought upon by one little mistake.

1. Square Windows on an Airplane


As anyone who’s ever ridden an airplane knows, the windows we peek through today have round edges. And their round shape is designed like that for a reason: to prevent the pressure build-up from breaking into the airplane at its weakest spots, those square points. In engineering language, those square angles are now called a “stress concentration. But what today is common wisdom, back in the 50s was yet to be discovered.

It took the crash of two Havilland Comets that disintegrated into thin air mid-flight for no predictable reason for the scientists to finally figure it out: it’s the square windows that get people killed.

2. The Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse


In the early 1980 Kansas City, the Hyatt Regency was attempting to be the talk of the town with its posh designs and breath-taking views. To this effect, the hotel managers ordered several aerial walkways to adorn the top of the room, so people can admire the lower lobby in its full splendor. Unfortunately, at one point during the build planning, they decided to do a minor design change, meant to make the whole build easier: namely, they replaced a long rod with two shorter rods. Seemingly harmless, right? Well, yes, until the whole thing collapsed and killed 114 people and injured a further 216. This disaster was considered the world’s greatest structural collapse until the World Trade Center. And it all started with one little mistake.

3. The Nuclear Disaster of Chernobyl


Everyone has heard of this one. The nuclear catastrophe that left the region desolate (the after-math can be explored through this series of hauntingly beautiful pictures) could have been prevented by simply paying more attention. After first placing the blame on power plant operators, the Russian authorities later admitted that a design deficiency was in fact responsible for the explosion. The event took countless lives, either immediately or by slower paced cancer and deformities caused by the radiation.

4. The Cocoanut Grove Fire of 1942 Chicago


A fire broke out in Cocoanut Grove, a hip club that was all the rage at the time. Never mind that the club was highly flammable to begin with, but the really outrageous mistake is how the bar’s doors functioned. They were typical-looking saloon doors that only allowed the user to enter the bar hands-free, but required to be pulled back upon exiting. So guess what happened when hundreds of scared people attempted to get out once the fire broke loose? They crammed against those doors and there was simply not enough space for to pull the doors back and thus be able to exit. Official estimates say that if the doors would have worked both ways, at least 300 people would have escaped.

5. The Titanic


This is most probably another story that everyone’s familiar with. But fewer people know that what sunk the mighty ship wasn’t the iceberg that collided with it, and not even the lack of boats from the ship’s decks. It was actually the fact that its center propeller didn’t work in reverse, but only the left and right ones did, in order to make the ship make gentler moves through the water. But when the First Officer Murdoch wanted the ship to really reverse fast in order to avoid the iceberg, the only result was, unfortunately, an epic fail.

So beware and do your math right: one little mistake can breed chaos.

5 Politicians with the Weirdest Backgrounds

If you think Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are weird, because they’re actors turned politicians, then you really don’t know the first thing about just how strange the world of politics can be, in terms of backgrounds. Then, there’s former beauty queen Sarah Palin, astronaut John Glenn, and singer Sonny Bono. And, of course, some politicians, like Finland’s Jon Gnarr and Toronto’s Rob Ford are just weird, because… well, they behave in ways quite unlike any we’ve seen before them. But they’re not the focus of today’s post either – for today we look at the five politicians with the weirdest backgrounds. Brace yourselves, because the people on our list really come from the strangest, most unexpected places.

5. Francisco Everado Oliviera Silva ‘Tiririca’ – Clown (congressman, Brazil)


Clown has got to be one of the tamer professions on our list of politicians with the weirdest backgrounds, but this guy sure has some story. Silva was born into one of the most underprivileged areas in Brazil. He left school at 9 years-old and became a clown immediately after that. It was the circus that helped turn his dream of a singing career into a reality; from music to TV comedian it only took one step. And then, in 2010, his political career began, with a run for the country’s National Congress. The odds against him ran high, as many deemed him a joke and illiterate, but in the end Tiririca prevailed. He was the most popular candidate in the vote and won the Sao Paulo seat. He went on to become one of the most notable and appreciated congressmen in the country.

4. Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura – Wrestler (mayor, state governor, MN, U.S.A.)


You wouldn’t believe it if you saw it in a movie, but here’s a man who went from professional wrestler to actor to mayor to state governor to Harvard faculty! Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, a former U.S. marine and Rolling Stones bodyguard performed for the World Wrestling Foundation for more than 10 years. After discovering he had blood clots, he became a TV commentator and an actor, but in 1990 he decided to run for mayor in Brooklyn Park, MN. He defeated the former mayor of 18 years and, in 1998, ran for governor, on a platform that promoted pro-choice, the right to bear arms, and LGBT rights. He never ran for a second term, but briefly taught at Harvard and had his own talk show.

3. Peter Garrett – Rock star (member of the House of Representatives, Australia)


Remember Midnight Oil, the band that sang about serious issues like the nuclear threat, homelessness, and Australia’s aboriginal population? Remember their hit single Beds Are Burning? Well, what you might not know, however, is that their lead singer Peter Garrett has a longstanding history in politics too. In 1984, he ran for Senate for the Nuclear Disarmament Party and lost, but he did become a member of the House of Representatives in 2004, on behalf of the Labor Party. In spite of the fact that his former rock star status makes him one of the politicians with the weirdest backgrounds ever, Garrett has served two terms (1989-1993; 1998-2004) as the President of the Australian Conservative Foundation.

2. Ilona Staller ‘Cicciolina’ – Adult film star (MP, Italy)


She barely needs any introduction, especially for Europeans. She held a 5 year term in the Italian Parliament, founded the ‘Party of Love’ together with colleague Moanna Pozzi, struggled to get brothels in Italy legalized and played a part in the furthering of sex ed in Italy. However, she also continued to perform in adult films. During the Gulf War, she actually proposed she have sex with Saddam Hussein, the then-leader of Iraq, in order to persuade him to make peace in the area. Hussein did not respond – nor did the Hungarian-born bombshell receive a second term.

1. Stubbs – Cat (mayor, AK, U.S.A.)


Forget about those human politicians with the weirdest backgrounds. Mayor Stubbs is, well, a cat. And, yes, he’s the (honorary) mayor of the town of Talkeetna, AK. He’s held that position since 1997, when he got elected into power. He’s a major tourist attraction, hugely fond of catnip-spiked water, and a Facebook star, with more than 10,000 followers. Also, he’s adorable.