Category Archives: Humor

Funnies of the day

Do not do whatever this cartoon is depicting or else!

Funny Pie Chart

Worst ‘Before and After’ pics ever
japanese.jpg
Only in Russia
Found around the Internets today….

Yup, that’s me!

this%20modern%20life.jpg
From here

The day when just anybody can become a President may arrive sooner than expected

This is how media should have written about McCain all along

Top Story On John McCain Run Out Of Obligation:

Although his lack of charisma and charm has lately prevented the Arizona senator from grabbing front-page headlines, the tenets of journalistic objectivity made it necessary today to publish a top news story on Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
According to the newspaper’s editors, the decision to run the story came after they realized that they had not printed a cover story about Sen. McCain (R-AZ) in a number of months, despite the distinct possibility that he could become the leader of the free world for the next four to eight years….

As usual, The Onion gets it where others don’t. I have said this before: if there is no reason to invite a Flat-Earther on the show when there is a geology story, and no need to interview a Creationist when there are news in evolutionary biology, why should a Republican be considered when the topic is politics, policy, foreign policy, economy, health care….? They are demonstrably wrong on everything, so why are they still considered a legitimate political party and their leaders taken seriously?

When AP makes a funny typo.

Try this search but click on “Sorted by date with duplicates included”:
Lieberman2.JPG
(Click here to see enlarged)
Hat-tip to Anonymoses (also see Kevin Z)

Today’s winner of the internets….

…is this picture by Patrick Moberg:
patrickmoberg_illustration_106_450px.jpg
No comment.

Bush or Batman?

The movie with the longest title ever

Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D:

Reverse Magazines

These are funny! (via PZ):
ModestyFair.jpg

Hopefully, in a few months, ONION will be satire again….

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

LOL PLoS

First LOL PLoS images are now on Flickr and Facebook. If you use the correct tag in Flickr, yours will be added to the set. Please link to the original paper when you do this.

Colleges should not discriminate against Martians and Tralfamadorians

Our governor agrees. At least in the print version of this article which has a somehwat different title: “Easley supports college for aliens”. I wonder why they changed it for the Web version – is the editorial position that having green or purple skin disqualifies one from higher education?

The Deep History of the Microsoft Help-Desk

Welcome the newest SciBling!

Go say Hello to Bill Demsbki (yes, affirmative action, I know….)

NIH getting serious about brain doping

There have recently been several articles in the media about brain enhancers, so-called Nootropics, or “smart drugs”. They have been abused by college students for many years now, but they are now seeping into other places where long periods of intense mental focus are required, including the scientific research labs. Here is a recent article in New York Times:

So far no one is demanding that asterisks be attached to Nobels, Pulitzers or Lasker awards. Government agents have not been raiding anthropology departments, riffling book bags, testing professors’ urine. And if there are illicit trainers on campuses, shady tutors with wraparound sunglasses and ties to basement labs in Italy, no one has exposed them.
Yet an era of doping may be looming in academia, and it has ignited a debate about policy and ethics that in some ways echoes the national controversy over performance enhancement accusations against elite athletes like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.

And here is a recent article in the Baltimore Sun:

Despite the potential side effects, academics, classical musicians, corporate executives, students and even professional poker players have embraced the drugs to clarify their minds, improve their concentration or control their emotions.

It is apparently used in business:

I’ve long thought that the use of performance enhancing drugs, typically associated with professional sports, would spread to other endeavors as science progresses. Arguably, many professionals already use chemicals to improve their performance. Constant nicotione and caffeine consumption has been endemic in the business world for a long time, and more recently prescription drugs such as Adderall have been used and abused by white collar professionals to improve focus and concentration. Chemical-assisted performance is by no means a panacea. It carries with it a host of medical and ethical questions. Yet as we gain deeper insight into the way the human brain works, we’ll inevitable be confronted with new opportunities and dilemmas such as these.

Nature also recently had a discussion on the use of brain enhancers by the academics:

Barbara Sahakian and Sharon Morein-Zamir from the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge University argue that the increased usage of brain-boosting drugs by ill and healthy individuals raises ethical questions that cannot be ignored. An informal questionnaire Sahakian and Morein-Zamir sent to some of their scientific colleagues in the US and UK revealed fairly casual use by academics, and we now want to hear your views on the topic..

The problem is getting serious enough that an international organization has recently been founded, the World Anti-Brain Doping Authority:

The agency works to help individual academic federations implement testing procedures in the fields of academic research. It also produces a list of prohibited substances that academics are not allowed to take and maintains the World Anti Brain-Doping Code.

This is pretty scary stuff. On one hand, these drugs have not been tested very well, so nobody knows what nasty side-effects they mat have with repeated and prolonged use, so this is certainly a worry. But I thought that it was a little bit too much, or at least premature, that the NIH is jumping in on this bandwaggon, with, IMHO, quite drastic proposed measures:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced three new initiatives to fight the use of brain enhancing drugs by scientists. The new initiatives are (1) the creation of the NIH Anti-Brain Doping Advisory Group (NABDAG), a new trans-NIH committee, (2) a collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) and the European Commission to create the World Anti-Brain Doping Authority (WABDA) and (3) the adoption by the NIH of the World Anti-Brain Doping Code – a set of regulations on the use of brain enhancing drugs among scientists.
“These new initiatives are designed to level the playing field among scientist in terms of intellectual activities,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. “These three activities are designed to get NIH ahead of the curve in terms of performance enhancing drug use among scientists.”
NABDAG will serve to coordinate activities across different NIH agencies in terms of regulating the use of brain enhancing drugs. The trans-NIH group will be directed by internationally renowned doping authority Jonathan Davis, Ph.D., current director of research at WADA.
“The priority of NABDAG will be to seek out input from the scientific community and from within NIH,” Davis said. “The availability of tremendous expertise and the remarkable infrastructure at NIH will make our activities more robust and will allow us to tackle questions about brain doping that were not possible to address in the past. For example, new testing procedures will need to be developed and we will be able to bring the entire NIH infrastructure to this task.”
While “doping” is now accepted as a problem among athletes, it is less widely known that so-celled “brain doping” has been affecting the competitive balance in scientific research as well. It is for this reason that NIH is collaborating with the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA), which has led the fight against doping in athletics, to create the World Anti Brain Doping Authority (WABDA). “Because brain doping is not just an American problem,” said Richard Pound, the current Director of WADA and acting Director of WABDA until a permanent head can be found, “we are working with the European Union’s research funding agency, the European Commission Research, to make sure WABDA is effective.
NABDAG will be established within the NIH Office of Intramural Research and administered by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Additional support for the center will come from the NIH Office of the Director, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). The research activities of NABDAG will take place on the NIH Bethesda campus. An additional focus of NABDAG will be to provide training opportunities for students and established scientists from developing countries and from minority groups in the United States.
Together with WABDA, NABDAG will work to develop the international rules for the use of performance enhancing drugs among scientists as well as testing and punishment procedures. Most importantly they will administer the World Anti Brain-Doping Code, a set of uniform anti-brain doping rules. The NIH and European Commission have formally adopted this Code for the conduct of all scientists which receive funding in any form (intramural or extramural) from these agencies. The Code includes regulations on which drugs are prohibited, what the recommended testing procedures should be, and what the punishments should be for positive tests. More information on the WABDA Code can be found at http://wabda.org/. We note that the implementation will include testing of all NIH funded scientists both at the time they receive funding as well as at random times during the course of working on an NIH funded project. Testing will also be implemented at all NIH-funded or NIH-hosted events such as conferences and workshops and at grant review panels.
NIMH, NIDA, and CSR are among the 27 institutes and centers at the NIH, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The NIMH mission is to reduce the burden of mental and behavioral disorders through research on mind, brain, and behavior. More information is available at the NIMH website http://www.nimh.nih.gov. The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and further information on NIDA research can be found on the NIDA web site at http://www.drugabuse.gov. The Center for Scientific Review organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health. CSR recruits about 18,000 outside scientific experts each year for its review groups. CSR also receives all NIH and many Public Health Service grant applications — about 80,000 a year — and assigns them to the appropriate NIH Institutes and Centers and PHS agencies. CSR’s primary goal is to see that NIH applications receive fair, independent, expert, and timely reviews that are free from inappropriate influences so NIH can fund the most promising research. For more information, visit http://www.csr.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

That’s pretty harsh, don’t you think? And if egalitarianism is the goal, this will backfire due to inherent differences between people – an insomniac like me can certainly get more done than someone else who actually gets 8 hours of sleep every day. Back in the day I did experiments that lasted 24 hours, sometimes 36 hours, a couple of times even 72 hours straight. Not everyone’s physical and mental constitution would allow for such exertion. This would actually favor people like me. And the others? Let them eat Provigil!
Then, is the next step going to be to force morning people to work only in the morning and the evening types only in the evenings?
Will research that involves mental rotation of 3D objects be limited only to female researchers, or will the men have to be handicapped in some way, perhaps by having more than 0.08% blood alcohol so the 3D objects spin faster?
There is also a dangerous potential for going down the slippery slope. Will they start adding new chemicals to the list? In my long experiments, I was also aided by copious amounts of chocolate, Coca Cola and junk food from the vending machine (and who knows what chemicals are in those!). If NIH bans caffeine, the entire business of science in the USA will grind to a halt. No coffee, no data, sorry, sir.
Environment is known to affect our cognitive abilities as well. A factor that probably helped me the most during my long experiments was the radio tuned to a local station specializing in reruns of the Rush Limbaugh show. Our technician thought it was great that Rush was speaking the Truth to the Power, while I was inclined to scream but held back as I did not want to stress my birds and thus get unreliable data (hmmm, in retrospect, does listening to Rush affects a bird directly?). Will NIH ban radios? iPods? If it does try to completely control the environment, say Good Bye to all the field work, not to mention all the research going on up on the Space Station.
But all of this is besides the point – who ever said that science should be egalitarian!? Scientists are selected and self-selected for their intelligence, curiosity and overall geekiness. It is in the interest of scientific progress that scientists always do their best, so if they want to use brain enhancers, that’s fine, its their own choice and their own sacrifice for the greater good.
I think that NIH thinks of science like running. On an even playing field, the best runner will win. But why limit oneself to running speed. Give runners additional equipment and they go faster and soon enough you will have another exciting sport – NASCAR! I think of science as NASCAR! The spoils go to the one with the best brain enhancer! And next, we will have people racing their small personal spaceships, just like in Star Wars!
And that is just how it should be. The competition should not really be between scientists, but between Science and Nature (not talking about the journals here, as anyone knows there PLoS wins, of course). And Nature is powerful, autonomous from NIH, and as we all know, loves to play dirty. So, we should use everything we can come up with to speed ourselves up. As Nature tries to hide her secrets from us, we need to deploy all our armamentaria to snatch them from her.
And that is why we need Open Access. Just sayin’ (they pay me to do this, you know?). And I even did not have my coffee yet!
Hat-tip to Jonathan who has more.

Update:

Anna has more….
Blake puts it in proper context.
Chris has a good point.
Update 2: There is more from:
Pedro
Howard
Jenna
Martin
Bob
Hsien
Steve
Andy
Genome Technology

PZ in Chapel Hill

Well, well, well, I went to my office this morning and, just as I got my coffee, opened up the laptop and logged in, who walks in? PZ Myers! What a surprise.
So, we chatted some. He thought that PLoS ONE should be the place to have all the Intelligent Design papers published. Since it is Open Access, everyone could see for themselves how foolish those “papers” really are and he can send the Pharyngulites to post thousands of comments. I thought that would be pretty poor framing for PLoS, though.
Anyway, I asked the barista to take a picture of us (under the fold):

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The age of the machine


Via

When things go downhill….

Stolen from here:
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Brainial Stimulation!


From this

The power of humor


There are other versions of this on YouTube as well…some funnier than others….

May you be Onion in interesting times….

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

This is So.Not.True!

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(from here; hat-tip)
Or perhaps Gabe has been right all along and I am not really a science blogger….

An Onion? Not a cancer?

Yes and No. But the article is not from the ‘Onion’, it’s from the Hot Medical News. It’s about an onion, in a strange place….

I get mail, too

Bloggers often highlight e-mail they get. I also get a bunch of loony stuff (and if it is not loony I try to respond, unless it is a medical question which I cannot ethically answer as I am not an MD, or a “do my homework for me” requests from students which I ignore) which ends up in Trash in nano-seconds. The loony stuff is soooo easy to recognize at first glance, there is no need to actually read that stuff and I am usually not compelled to use that kind of stuff as inspiration for blog posts. Just a waste of my time.
But what I got last night is something I just cannot help but wish to share with you because it is beyond loony. At first I thought it was a parody, the way it uses every quackery theme in the book. But it appears this is real. Yes, my friends, some people’s brains actually think this way – enjoy the laugh:

from Margaret McElroy
reply-to Margaret.Mcelroy.pe@gmail.com,
to coturnix@gmail.com,
date Jan 10, 2008 6:36 PM
subject For Immediate Release – Photon Energy to Peak in 2012
mailed-by netzero.net
Photon Energy to Peak in 2012
She says that people are finding there aren’t enough hours in the day because of something called the “Photon Energy” which peaks in 2012. “No, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s going to feel like it to many.” Who is she? Her name is Margaret McElroy, or Margaret M as she is known. An Australian now living in Seattle with her husband Alan, Margaret says “The Photon Energy is causing so many problems for people all around the world. We think there are 24 hours in the day, but really there are only about 6 – 8. So many people don’t have the time to do the things they plan each day. They go to the bank and, before they know it, it’s lunchtime. One more appointment when they should have had two or three, and it’s time for dinner!”
Scientists have long recognized that the Universe has been growing larger since its origin 13.7 billion years ago, but it was assumed the expansion should be slowing down due to the pull of gravity. In 1998, two teams of astrophysicists discovered that the expansion is actually speeding up. Scientists call it the “Dark Energy” because they have absolutely no clue as to what it is. Margaret said her friends in the world of spirit have told her it is called “Photon Energy,” a band of energy traveling the Universe that is speeding everything up.
Margaret also says the Photon Energy is causing many problems in the world today. It is compressing time, pressuring people, causing road rage, and bringing a lot of anger out. Metaphysically, it is designed to do just that – to bring out of humanity all the trapped energy that the majority on the Earth plane have, not only from this lifetime, but – as Margaret says – from previous lives. Margaret is renowned around the world for her accurate past-life readings both on radio and in person that tie in with people’s lives today. She is uncannily accurate if one listens to the radio show “The Sixth Sense” which is broadcast on WARM FM 106.9 HD3 in Seattle, KCAA 1050 AM in San Bernardino, California and also streamed and archived on http://www.contacttalkradio.com and http://www.kcaaradio.com. As soon as Margaret hears a person’s voice she tunes in to their energy and hones into a past life and the problem it is causing in their life today.
“If people understood the Photon Energy, many of them would feel better about their lives instead of thinking there is something wrong with them because they do not have enough hours in the day. I am not a scientist,” Margaret says, “but I do have the metaphysical reason for the phenomenon and, for those who have discovered what it is, it has created a great deal of relief in their lives.”
Margaret’s office is at 2260 152nd Ave. NE, Redmond, WA 98052. She can be contacted at (888) 644-3263, fax (888) 643-3593 or e-mail Margaret.Mcelroy.pe@gmail.com.

Perhaps this could be used in the classroom, training 1st grade kids in critical skills, starting with something easy to debunk like this one, before moving on to more sophisticated quackery and pseudoscience in higher grades.

The Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Theory and Practice

First: the difference between theory and practice.
Second: the theory.
Third: still to come, I hope, a YouTube video of Steinn demonstrating the practice of parallel parking.

OK, I like bacon, but…

this much?
This is the source of the very funny bacon flowchart, discovered by Dr.Bacon.

Security! The issue Republicans run on (or should they?)

LOLDinosaur!

LOLNigersaurs.jpg
From here about this.

Importance of a short catchy name for a drug that cures every ailment known to man

[hat-tip: Graham Steel]

This is me…hahahaha!

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Hahaha – all your comments will be DELETED! Hahahahahaha!

Nothing beats the Hands-On experience!

Just watching someone give a talk is often not enough to remember it later. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. And certainly, seeing is believing. But, this presentation is impossible to forget, even if one would rather not remember it so vividly. Oh, and it was absolutely NSFW!
Obligatory Reading of the Day.

LOLTesla

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From here (hat-tip).

Pay attention in biology class if you want to avoid embarassment when you get older

This story is making the e-mail rounds and I cannot resist posting it here. I started rolling on the floor laughing about a quarter into the story. See how far you can go and still keep a straight face (under the fold)….

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The funniest “Rove resigns” post

That must be this one:
Rove quitting to spend more time with his iPhone:

Rove is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on e-mail deletion, although he – like the rest of us — is relatively new to making things disappear from the iPhone. Rove has long been an innovator in leveraging the phone for “competitive advantage” in the often rough-and-tumble world of national politics.

Paul adds:

The funniest “Rove resigns” entry may be the most factual. I do hope he figures out how to do mass email deletions on the iPhone and that he shares that info with the rest of us.

Things one learns at PLoS….

Tim Sullivan demonstrates the proper gear for blogging against Creationism – a banana and a helmet:
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Blogging About Bush

Everyone always blogs about Bush…
After all, Bush is such an easy target – there is not a day that he or some of his buddies do not do something outrageously bad. And with the Media covering it as if it was OK, where else can one voice outrage if not on blogs.
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So, it is refreshing to see people, for once, blogging about something else, for instance about bush…
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Ooops, not the Burning Bush…
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And not this kind of bush either….
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But bush in the sense of “hair” you know….
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No, not that hair…
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No, not that hair either, this is a science blog, after all….
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But, this kind of hair and this kind of hair and this kind of hair and this kind of hair and this kind of hair

Notworking…

I got this comic strip from Chris, through the Facebook, of course:
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Related

An Intelligent Storkist Designs a Straw Man

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Explanation
Actually, the picture (author is Antun Zuljevic, a birder extraordinnaire) is from the village of Svilojevo in northern Serbia (Vojvodina, near the town of Apatin on the Danube) where the Locust Trees have been cut, and nobody is building large haystacks any more, so the storks are forced to build nests in crazy places. This pair of White Storks was not successful in nesting on this factory chimney last year, but they had better luck this time around. Yup, storks prefer nesting on chimneys only in fairy tales. In reality, that is the site of last resort.
Source: Google group of Ptica
Hat-tip:Tatjana

Proper behavior in a coffee-shop

Before I start telecommuting, I need to learn some basic rules of behavior

Bill Clinton meets an untimely end after a week on the run

Fortunately, Janet Reno is still OK.

The police brought Bill Clinton to the Orange County Animal Shelter, where he later died.

With perfect quote-mining, I made you look, didn’t I?

41

Two years ago today, I posted this. One year ago today, I only linked to it, though I should have reposted it instead to start a tradition. Well, I’ll fix that this year on this day – under the fold:

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I can feel it in my bones….

Sperm Cells Created From Human Bone Marrow:

Human bone marrow has been used to create early-stage sperm cells for the first time, a scientific step forward that will help researchers understand more about how sperm cells are created.

Gives a new meaning to the word “boner”, doesn’t it? OK, too late at night – I am losing all sense of what is appropriate on a science blog. Actually, the study is interesting besides its potential for humor.

Suckered?

OK, admit, how many of you really got suckered? (in reference to yesterday)
Quite a lesson in credulity and perception for many…(yup, I was in on the joke from the very beginning/planning/execution stages)

Suckered

Suckered
Suckered!
Suckered?

BREAKING: G.W.Bush apologizes for everything, quits his job and the Republican Party and sends in a donation to MoveOn.org

….

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Save the Mountain Walrus

First, there was a Tree Octopus, but now, there is an even more endangered animal – the Mountain Walrus:
mountain%20walrus.gif

Having just eaten a substantial meal, this herd will not have to hunt again for many days. For now, these mustangs are safe from the satiated walruses. Mountain walruses are carnivorous animals. They eat many species of animals, from mice to horses and elk. The cows will venture forth in small groups and hunt for the entire herd. They will bring whatever meat they were able to find back to the dens and all will partake. The younger cows are in charge of looking over the calves while the bulls protect the herd. The hunting cows can bring back enough food to last for a week before having to hunt again. They may travel as far as 10 miles to find food.

Mythusmage has more.
…hmmmm….should have saved this post for April First and written it seriously….

Intelligent Timekeepingism

This is, after all, A Blog Around The Clock, so, I guess I should be a strong and vocal proponent of the Clock Theory aka Specified clockplexity. After all, nobody’s ever seen a clock move! So, I should start fighting against vile, rabid, Atheistic Blindtimekeepingism:

Atheists often level a strawman at Intelligent Timekeepingist (hereafter referred to as IT) views. They force you to stare at a clock for 5 minutes or so and claim vindication when the big hand of the clock moves. But DTists all agree that the big hand moves! This is simply microtimekeeping, and it does not go against ITist views. The problem is that these movements of the big hand are just as likely to give an incorrect movement as they are to give a correct movement. There is no new information about the current time added by these microticks! *Nobody* has ever seen the little hand of a clock move. This is what we refer to when we say macrotimekeeping. It does not really matter if the current minute is 13, 14, or 15, but it *does* matter what the current hour is. Are we to believe that billions of people show up to work on time every day due to chance?

The Iraq War is four years old…

…yet even at the start of it, back in March 2003, The Onion understood the dynamics of war and the psychology of defenders of war better than almost half of Americans and all of GOP today.
[Hat-tip, commenter Lindsey]

In Memoriam, Cava 1920-2007

Osvaldo_Cavandoli aka Cava, the author of the amazing and hillarious cartoon La Linea, one of my childhood favourites, has died about two weeks ago. Here is the very first episode:

There are several more available on YouTube (I just watched about a dozen and laughed out loud).
Unlike most of the episodes seen on TV this one below is definitely NSFW (i.e., if your work does not find this safe, you should find a saner employer):

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