Episode 211 – The One Where We Give Thanks To Wombats

Enjoy the holiday Patreon cut of the show! Hopefully, those of you needing a little extra distraction from crazy uncle nutter will appreciate some wombatty goodness. Enjoy!

This Week’s Show, episode 211, presents a feast of stories for your holiday consumption. So, sit back, unbutton your pants, and pretend we’re football!

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Tezcatlipoca, the Aztec god of the night sky, memory and time, hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying his patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that left-handed people have a better chance at finishing a test on time, than people with no hands.

Also, Jenn cheats at cards.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Wonder why I chose Tezcatlipoca as our god this week? Turns out he often took the form of a turkey and when represented in human form he’s usually depicted wearing a white turkey feathered headdress, and was sometimes referred to as ‘Precious Turkey’.

Happy Thanksgiving!

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Michigan Amber from Big Lake Brewing

From: Steve E, (this is Aaron’s beer)

  • Style: Amber Ale
  • ABV: 5.7
  • Link: bit.ly/2zpIbC5
  • Aaron: 9
  • Jenn: 8
  • Shea: 8
  • Steve: 7

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

Patrons! Sir Hairy Palms the Blind is a new patron. Sorry about that vision condition eh, it’s hard to control the effects all this sexy…

No iTunes reviews… you should leave us one, dear listener. If you’re dedicated enough to be reading this you’re exactly the kind of person we need to visit iTunes and tell us how wonderful we are. And while you’re at it, why not sign up for Patreon.com/w4w and 4 More Beers episode 25 that will drop this week.

Jenn – From last week’s awful birthing-in-the-wild story: Thanks to Dustin of Atheist Nomads and Steve from Milburn for writing in as dads who, along with their partners, used medical means to bring forth their kids. So with our sample size, seems that’s the way to go. Also, Steve pointed out that his wife had a C-section with their first and a natural with the second, so it IS possible to do safely. Thanks for that correction! (He also says thanks for bringing back the goddamn headlines, sorry to disappoint this week, but it’s a story show, so that’s close eh.)

Also, Dustin, I apologize for frightening you with a few of my more recent stories…stay tuned bc this episode is safe, at least for one of ours.

Hot Shots

Women in Science!

A group of young women in Kyrgyzstan is crowdfunding the country’s first satellite launch bit.ly/2Ag5T46

Lots of countries have space agencies. Kyrgyzstan isn’t one of them. It’s also kind of a shit place to be a lady, what with the rife domestic violence, child marriage, and bridal kidnappings. Bektour Iskender, a journalist and TED presenter started a robotics course for women in Bishkek, the capital, with the intention of launching a satellite. They’re using Patreon to crowdfund the project with the ultimate goal of launching a $150k CubeSat. CubeSats tiny, easy to build (for a rocket engineer anyway) satellites that are designed for researchers and small organizations, and are typically launched with a NASA rocket through one of their programs. The program met its first goal of 500$/m which allowed them to get a 3D printer and get to work. The next goals are 2500 and 5000$ for an Earthbound test device, and then the launch respectively. The project has garnered attention from women in STEM the world over, even seeing predominate women of science like American Astronaut Peggy Whitson who is giving 1024$ a month to the group. Peggy holds the world record the woman with the most time in space and if it were a thing, the Kyrgyz aware for the most inspiring supporter of women in science. Kloop, as the agency is called, is “exploring the idea of directing the sun’s rays toward orbiting garbage to vaporize it and using the energy to propel the CubeSat”

Women in Marriage!

bit.ly/2TuGlt7

They say “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and for one jackass, that’s especially true… and, if I had to guess, that “especially” part is how he’s going to explain this to his gran. See, douche McGee was cheating on his fiance and the other woman, it seems, had a crisis of conscious and texted the soon-to-be-bride the night before the wedding, even forwarding the text conversations she’d had with the would-be groom. They don’t read well. For example:

“Your body is fcking incredible. And sht do you know how to use it. I wish my GF had half the skills you do,” keeping in mind that the girlfriend in question is out on her lady-stag night.

So what’s a drunk and betrothed to do? Sleep on it I guess, which is what she did despite her Bride’s Maids pleas to kick him to the curb. The next day, the big day, saw their families united at church and smiles on everyone’s faces … until the reading of the vows. Mr. Shitface said some romantic things I’m sure, but Mrs. Gotcha’s vows were simply the contents of the text message she received the night before. The room was shocked silent until the groom, red-faced, fled the scene with his bros in tow. The reception still happened, though the bride had renamed it a celebration of being single and “truth” but the real takeaway here is don’t be a shit.

Olympics Shmolympics!

bbc.in/2AcaGU

Once a category of thing reaches a certain size, it develops trends by which it’s known. Religion, for example, has silly hats. For countries, it’s booths. American, of course, has the phone booth, wherein our idiot stoners proudly travel time and space, and our illegal-alien, reporter, heroes briefly flash bystanders. Britain has it’s famous blue police boxes. Sweden boasts the most economical, build-it-yourself booths in the world. But in the end, I think we all must recognize lil’Australia for their triumphant balls-booth. New Zealand has launch an awareness campaign focused on helping young men, too embarrassed to see a doctor, not die of testicular cancer. The solution? The Testimatic, labeled as “the world’s first auto ball checker”! You walk up, put your dick in a booth, and someone that we’re promised is a doctor on the other side of the glory-hole gives your warbelies a once-over to make sure everything’s cricket. Hailed as the first glory-hole that will give you the opposite of crotch-crickets, the booth is designed to all an actual urologist grope your gnards in the finest of medical-mall settings. Testicular cancer disproportionately affects young, white, males – it’s like the karma part of privilege, you get more of it, but you probably don’t want it. Good news though, it’s 90% treatable, and 99% if caught early! So go stick your nuts in something and find out if you’ve got the crud. Early warning signs include swollen, lumpy, or oddly-textured testicles. The article was sparse on how one measures that last bit through the brain-bag, but I’m sure the doc-in-a-box knows what he’s doing. Totally. Why else would someone sit in a box labeled “dick hole”

Good Guy With A Cross

bit.ly/2AcaIeZ

“How very Christian of you…” is something we start stories with all too frequently, but this time, I can say it unsarcastically… or well, double secret sarcastically because wow is that book full of terrible. But in this one case, Texas Pastor Gavin Rogers is doing what people who claim to have read the bible say it says. Saying he’s “Interested in people, not politics” Gavin hopped over the border and joined the migrant caravan we’ve all heard so much about. His church is helping publish his story but most are available live on Twitter and Instagram and you really should have a look, the pics will melt your turkey. From the church about the journey, “reaching Guadalajara, for example, involved covering 400 kilometers in “23 hours of walking, hitchhiking and police escorts. Walking. Car, semi-trailer, truck, police truck, dump truck, bus, shelter.” Which is a lot of stops and changes for them to carry all those nukes through… “Kindness is all over the place,” he writes next to posts of “real images of Mexican police officers and refugees.” Some have already posted pics of the violence of the caravan but a quick Google image search revealed the most viral of the pics to be from 2012. The obviously fake images are being deleted as quickly as they can be vetted – also something one doesn’t typically expect from a churches facebook page. Rogers says, is “not about a better life in American terms, it’s just about living.” Their goals, he adds, are to seek an education for their children and “be free from violence and rape and murder.” So, as you tuck into your Thanksgiving escapades of choice, try to remember the meaning of the holiday or, perhaps more importantly, try to remind those you know who spend the weekend shoveling food in one side of their mouth while talking shit about foreigners out of the other. Because this is literally the holiday of taking in hungry, desperate, people from another land, feeding them, giving them a secure home, and acknowledging that everyone is better off for it.

This Week’s Stories

Patreon Story

bbc.in/2AbXsXR

Ahh, Sports.

The roar of the crowd. The suspense of the play. The cold, refreshing taste of a pre-game beer.

I’m given to understand that those are positives anyway. The only one I really have any experience with is the last one because when I’m atheleting, I only grace the field of games you can play drunk. Too unfair to the Jordans of the world otherwise you see.

In surprising news sweeping the curling world, and obviously following my glorious example, Ryan Fry who won a gold for Canada at the 2014 winter Olympics and his teammate have had the bitter luck of forfeiting their shot at the finals because their opponents are lil’bitches who turn pebbles into shot rocks.

During this year’s Red Deer Curling Classic tournament the team did exactly what was expected of the players of a game that’s played out entirely on a beer-cooling sheet, they skipped right over the tee line, cozied up to the bar counter, and got Hammered.

The group drank their weight in beer and proceeded to take out a bunch of brooms and did some real damage to the locker rooms. Red Deer Curling Centre facility manager Wade Thurber got it right on the button when he told CBC that “they went out to curl and they were extremely drunk and breaking brooms and swearing” – which is of course not how one ought to roll.

As is there way Ryan’s mate Jamie Koe, who wasn’t even there, also publicly apologized for the team’s behavior at end of it all.

And so there you have it, some curlers hit the hog line too fast, let their guard down and narrowly avoided a brush with the mounties before wrecking the house and, in-turn, getting lead out by the Hammer… the Canadian hammer… Which is what I assume they call their local law enforcement.

SHOT ROCK!

Jenn’s a Square ;) HEE HEE HEE…

Further evidence that square pegs don’t fit with round holes: An enduring Earthly mystery has been solved.

Science has solved why wombats poop in cubes and we can all go to bed tonight with that weight off of our shoulders.

In addition to being possibly the cutest marsupial (I’m willing to entertain dissenters), apparently, wombats are also obsessed with their own poop. And why not? They have arguably the most geometrically unique poop that at least ‘I’ know of.

In case you were not already aware when doing their wombaty business, the portly little critters can drop 4-8 pieces of CUBED POO! And until recently scientists just weren’t sure exactly how and why this scatological feat was taking place. (As LiveScience.com so elegantly put it: “Try squeezing a cube out of a tube of toothpaste. Round chutes and round holes like to produce round things.” It’s generally not physically possible.) Thrillingly, an intrepid band of plucky scientists have come through for us all! In new research presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics on Nov. 18, a team of researchers led by Patricia Yang of the Georgia Institute of Technology said that they’ve figured it out.

(Side note, possibly my favorite statement from a scientific researcher EVER: “The first thing that drove me to this is that I have never seen anything this weird in biology,” Yang said in a statement. “That was a mystery. I didn’t even believe it was true at the beginning. I Googled it and saw a lot about cube-shaped wombat poop, but I was skeptical.”)

Turns out, there is a reason they are so obsessed with their droppings, and the shape is only part of it. During the course one evening, these nocturnal creatures can produce 80 to 100 cubes of poop, which they then collect and strategically place around their domain. This weirdest game of Tetris serves at least 2 purposes: first, it’s a way to mark territory, like many animals use their urine for. Secondly, it’s to attract a mate (since it appears all wombats are secretly 12yr old boys). Wombats don’t see or hear very well, so they use the little piles a way to say “hello!” .The unusual shape of the droppings help, no joke, in the “stackability” and helps to prevent the poos from rolling away. So yep, it’s actually an evolutionary adaptation and not some weird biological fluke.

(Pls enjoy a picture of the unnervingly-caramel looking drops of wombat dung.)

Alrighty, so that explains the why, let’s get to the how. The researchers studied the bodies of wombats killed by being hit by cars (SLOW DOWN ASSHOLES). Previous studies trying to pinpoint the poop polishing procedure speculated it took place at the end of the digestion process, but this new evidence shows otherwise. (Fun fact, it takes two and half week for the wombat to digest and excrete a meal. Steve’s metabolism this is not.)

Per LiveScience: “Feces travel through most of the wombat intestine as a liquid slurry, but they dry up into a solid for the last 8 percent of the journey. And that’s when the cubic magic happens.” (The author of this article obviously loves this subject as much as I do.) I’ll let lead researcher and presenter of this new evidence, Yang take it from there: “By emptying the intestine and inflating it with a long balloon, we found that the local strain varies from 20 percent at the cube’s corners to 75 percent at its edges.”

In other words, the intestine is more elastic in some places than others, so it pushes down on its contents harder in some places than in others, creating the little blocks. According to Yang, it’s a whole new, previously unknown method for making cubes.

Yang again: “We currently have only two methods to manufacture cubes: We mold it, or we cut it. Now, we have this third method. It would be a cool method to apply to the manufacturing process — how to make a cube with soft tissue instead of just molding it.” Holy wily wombats, Batman, they’re revolutionizing cubing!

From Gizmodo.com: Indeed, this digestive technique, the authors argue, could be applied to mechanical engineering. The discovery could also be applied to medicine, such as the treatment of gastrointestinal problems. Yang said her group’s findings could improve our understanding of soft tissue transportation within the body, and how the gut moves.

“We can learn from wombats and hopefully apply this novel method to our manufacturing process,” Yang said. “We can understand how to move this stuff in a very efficient way.”

Wombats are THE BEST.

A story especially for Shea.

bit.ly/2AbXJtR

If you love nature and animals only a fraction as much as I do, you probably also love the stories of interspecies adoptions. My favorites tend to involve baby hippos and rhinos (a couple has even bonded with EACH OTHER! I DIE!!), but there are so many to pick from.

Today I bring you a brand new one! First photoed by drones in the Canadian St. Charles River in July of this year, a young male narwhal with a poor sense of direction has been spotted living 600 miles from normal narwhal territory with a group of belugas, which are explicitly NOT narwhals.

It appears the young male narwhal has been living with this group of ten young male belugas for at least three years, and they seem to roam through the river, to the Atlantic and back to Lake Ontario.

So this raises a few basic questions. First off, how did a narwhal end up so far from normal narwhal flippering grounds? And why would a group of pure white, chubby-wubby whales let a mottled gray other dude into their clique?

Biologists at the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) — a nonprofit whale-conservation group based in Quebec, Canada hypothesize habitat loss due to climate change is the main factor. And as belugas and narwhals don’t compete for the same type of food source, the belugas would be cool with a newcomer, sporting some badass bling, hanging with them for a while.

And it sounds like the group is super-close. Robert Michaud, the president, and scientific director of GREMM, “He behaves just like one of the boys. They are in constant contact with each other. … It’s like a big social ball of young juveniles that are playing some social, sexual games.” Because homosexuality is not natural. (giant eye roll) The young narwhal travels where his beluga bros travel. He surfaces when they surface, blows bubbles when they blow bubbles and doesn’t shy away from playful rubbings when that’s what the pervading mood calls for. He is, according to GREMM scientists, part of the fraternity.

There is a bit of consternation from scientists, bc although wild adoptions of non-related or even other species aren’t uncommon, usually there is a biological reason for this. Social animals like lions and wolves have been known to adopt orphaned young from members of their family unit (kin selection), large groups of females often care for young not their own like seals and some grazing, herd animals (reciprocity) or female animals who young has been killed will adopt animals of even other species when at the hormonal height of mothering urges (maternal instinct). But a group of all male whales of another species doesn’t check any of those boxes.

Some scientists speculate it could be a safety-in-numbers type of thing, but others who have researched and observed the group think it may be more socially motivated and, well, just kinda cute.

“Due to the climate change being observed in the Arctic, there is a chance that these two related species (the beluga and narwhal belong to the same family: Monodontidae) might find themselves in one another’s company more and more frequently in the decades to come,” GREMM researchers wrote on the website Whales online. “We already see this phenomenon in other species, such as the polar bear and the grizzly, which have even been observed to interbreed.”

Whales are highly intelligent and social and have been known to seek out cetacean companionship however they can when they find themselves alone. Some stray Arctic beluga whales, for example, have wandered as far south as New Jersey while in pursuit of a friendly face to cozy up to. (Sometimes, these wayward whales mistake boats for fellow whales, resulting in serious propeller-related injuries. SLOW DOWN ASSHOLES.)

We may never know the exact how and why, or what fate awaits the lone narwhal bro of St. Lawrence River? Time — and more epic drone footage — will tell. For now, take heart that if a blubbery, tusk-faced orphan can forge lasting friendships with a seemingly homogenous clique, you can too!

Next Week’s Beer @ 130 in

Episode 212:

Beer – Jack Mormon Pale Ale

Donated By: Marie (Lonely Wyoming)

Faith In Humanity Restored

Batkid Is Now Cancer-Free After Stealing Everyone’s Heart In San Francisco – – www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mbvd/batkid-cancer-free-remission

This is both update and faith restored!

Some time ago, (Jenn probably knows) we talked about the city of San Francisco banding together to give 5-year-old Miles Scott his Make A Wish day.

He wanted to be Batman, and so the city got a Batmobile, all the Bat-gadgets, and transformed San Francisco into Gotham for a day. The Francisco Chronicle did a special printing that day as Gotham for Batkid, the chief of police arranged, for and then asked Batkid to stop, the Riddler. And at the end of it all receive the key to the city from the now late Mayor in front of twenty thousand cheering fans! Even Obama called to congratulate Batkid for cleaning up Gotham.

Not bad for the world’s tiniest detective.

Well, fast forward 5 years and Make A Wish has announced that his Leukemia has been in remission and he can now be considered cured!

Scott is now in fifth grade and loves science and robotics. He also plays in the Little League, and helps his family on their farm — recently selling his first market goat at the local fair – Pennyworth would be proud

Bonus Cat Video

Once Upon A Deadpool | Official Trailer – YouTube

This Rock Band Has 1000+ Members From 30+ Countries – YouTube

Making the Thinnest Sheet of Paper in the World – YouTube

This Is Where Your Wine Corks Come From – YouTube

Marvel Remembers the Legacy of Stan Lee – YouTube

STAN LEE _ Every Stan Lee Cameo Ever (1989 – 2018) Marvel – YouTube

First 8K Video from Space – Ultra HD – YouTube

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