Category Archives: Current Events

Crime Fighting Robots Prevent The Apocalypse

Daily Express

Some guy named David Meade predicted that the end of the world would begin today. Some other guy named Phil Taylor (Me) predicted in this blog post from January 1st that the world would not end this year. Looks like we’ve got a showdown. Go ahead, read the blog post. Also, note  in that blog post I predicted Princess Kate would get pregnant again. Obviously my track record as a psychic is pretty good. David Meade’s, not so much. So who are you going to believe?

By profession, David Meade is a research scientist, holding a master’s degree in statistics, his background in research and experimental design has enabled him to develop a unique and powerful approach to Pinewood Derby racing. He also enjoys model rocketry and astronomy.” Basically, he’s a professional nerd and an amateur astronomer. I have no problems with professional nerds. They make all the important stuff happen. Amateur nerds however do not impress me. David Meade, you sir are an amateur nerd.

In 2006 David Meade wrote a book about cheating at Cub Scout crap. In 2006 I was writing this blog. If you’re racing a Pinewood Derby car at a Cub Scout meeting, call David Meade. If you want predictions about the future, call me.

The crux of David Meade’s prediction is that Planet X, an alleged mysterious planet that NASA denies exists, will crash into the Earth today. Also Dave says there will be a sign in the skies over Jerusalem today. Well, what is it Davey boy? Are we getting a sign, or will a planet crash into us and wipe out the Earth? Make up your mind!

Here’s what really happened: David Meade previously predicted that Planet X would crash into the Earth today. As today drew nearer David Meade heard about the crime fighting robots. What?!!? Crime fighting robots? Yes, crime fighting robots.

Yes, a California company makes crime fighting robots. A world with bad ass crime fighting robots is a world I want to live in. So David Meade heard about the crime fighting robots, and realizing that they would detect the threat of Planet X and use their robot crime fighting skills to defeat the rogue planet, he changed his prediction to just a sign in the sky that heralds a seven year period of the world going into the crapper. (Some say that period began in January)  

See? I didn’t take the obvious route and use R.E.M.’s End of the World. I pulled out the Rick Springfield that the world forgot. That’s how you know you can trust me instead of David Meade. Well, trust me and the crime fighting robots. We’ve got your back. Again.

Also in other news that proves we have a future. In a recording studio somewhere, an accomplished voice actor who has done over 400 books is reading my book Time To Lie into a microphone so you can listen to it on your commute. Would he be doing that if the world is going to end?

Thank you to my friend Casey for warning me about our not so imminent demise. Have a great Saturday and make plans for the future! ~Phil

Dear Donald Trump,

Dear Donald Trump,

I’m only using “Dear” in the most traditional sense, not because I have an affection for you, but because it is traditional and respectful to start a letter that way. Traditional and respectful are both things with which you seem unfamiliar. I have taken it upon myself to write this letter to you on behalf of the rest of the human race. Yes, I said the rest of the human race, as if we are separate from you. Your words and actions seem to indicate that you are very separate from us.

To borrow from George Bailey, on behalf of the human race, I’d like to say: Just remember this, Mr. Potter Trump, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community country. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.

Designating myself to represent the rest of the human race may seem arrogant on my part, but I assume that is a characteristic that you understand and respect. I know that you always think that you’re the smartest guy in the room, but the smartest guy in any room is never smarter than the rest of the room together. I’d like to see you get you’re hearing problem checked out. You’re an older man and you seem to have significant trouble hearing your advisers, your cabinet members, and the American people telling you to shut the eff up. Maybe if you aren’t good at listening, you’ll be good at reading. Maybe people will like this blog post so much that it gets retweeted to you. That’s a medium you seem to understand.

You seem fixated on North Korea and their crazy dictator right now. That’s valid. They pose a danger to the rest of the world if they start launching nuclear missiles. You and Kim Jong-Un are trading verbal nuclear missiles right now like two junior high bullies in a pissing contest. How about, for a change,  you be the adult in this one. With all your “fire and fury” and “Locked and loaded” comments, do you know who you sound like? You sound like Kim Jong-Un, a crazy, irrational dictator. In the words of President Teddy Roosevelt, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Look, we’re the United States. Everyone knows we have the big stick. We have the worlds largest arsenal and the worlds largest military force. You have the big stick and everybody, including Kim Jong-Un knows it. Just shut the eff up and take care of the problem the way your cabinet and advisers, except your son-in law, tell you to.

As for your domestic agenda, what is it? Is it to reverse everything your predecessor did? That seems to be all you’re doing. Like Richard Gere’s character in Pretty Woman learned, if you want to be remembered, build something. If you just destroy without replacing you’ll have a hole. And people will regard you as one as well.

If you want to act like a dictator, go back to a reality TV show. In the real world, your act doesn’t work. Name one real life crazy dictator that had a reign that ended well? You know, if you don’t like this President job, you can resign. Nobody will think worse of you. It’s impossible to. If your ridiculous behavior continues, it’s possible the American people will say, to borrow a phrase from a clown I saw on TV, “You’re fired!”

Sincerely,

Phil and the human race.

I Bloody Love Chips!

The original quote, which I borrowed from the old British sitcom, Miranda, is actually “I bloody love crisps!” Unfortunately, for the purposes of this post, crisps just won’t do because I’m talking about chips, microchips, and those just aren’t good in dip. But apparently they might be good in your arm or neck or where ever!

My cat has a microchip in his neck so that if he ever gets lost and is returned to a shelter or vets office, they will know who he belongs to. In an article in The Independent, (which I obviously read religiously) a Swedish office that employs 400 people offered the opportunity to get microchipped to all of their workers for the purpose of gaining access to the office, using copy machines and buying stuff at the cafeteria. “We already interact with technology all the time,” says bio-hacker Hannes Sjoblad, the “chief disruption officer” at the office block. “Today it’s a bit messy—we need pin codes and passwords. Wouldn’t it be easy to just touch with your hand? That’s really intuitive.”

He does make it sound awfully tempting, doesn’t he? We already have smart watches that record our pulse, steps and sleep patterns and glucose monitoring contact lenses. Many people with certain diseases and medical conditions have technology implanted in their body. Some have entire artificial organs. Let’s face it, we started on the slippery slope to becoming cyborgs or androids a long time ago, so why not embrace it? Soon, after I start selling the Phil Factor microchip, you’ll just wave your hand over your device and it will take you right to #ThePhilFactor. How great would that be, right?

Let’s be honest, as a group we’ve fantasized about having the brains and strength of robots for a long time. Remember the 70’s TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man? “We can rebuild him. We have the technology…Better, stronger, faster”

I know a lot of you are saying,”Phil, this is crazy. None of us wants to be part machine or to have tracking chips in us like a dog.”  Well why the heck not? “Oh, the government will track us. They’ll know where we go and what we buy.”  Guess what folks, the ship sailed on that long ago. And the invasion of privacy argument is gone too. Hell, Netflix and Facebook know more about us than our own relatives!

A Wisconsin technology company, Three Square Market, (which sounds a little too close to Three Doors Down, who unbeknownst to them, have all been microchipped so I can track them for the purpose of avoiding their concerts) is a company that provides technology for break-room or micro markets, has over 50 employees who plan to have the devices implanted. The tiny chip, which uses RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification, can be implanted between the thumb and forefinger “within seconds,” according to a statement from the company.

You know what? I’d get microchipped if only to avoid having to remember or write down all the passwords that I need regularly. Seriously, who enjoys trying to remember twelve different passwords that combine upper case, lower case, haiku, Sanskrit and your mother’s maiden name and a special character? A special character? Like from a movie or TV? My drunk uncle is often referred to a special character but I don’t want him knowing my passwords to anything!

In last summer’s movie Suicide Squad, microchips were implanted in the necks of crazy prisoners recruited to go on a dangerous mission to save the world. They were told that if they tried to escape or revolt a button would be pushed and the microchip would explode and kill them. That seems useful if you want to parole someone from prison. Also, if I’m a parent of young kids I would find that idea very useful. The day before all the kids get vaccinations for mumps or something, show them that movie and Voila! They’ll never misbehave again!

It’s inevitable. We’re already halfway down that slippery slope, so let’s embrace it. Microchip implant party at The Phil Factor next week. Who’s coming?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

 

Psychic Phil Strikes Again!

I hate to say I told you so. OK, no I don’t. I love to say I told you so.

Remember my January 1st post My Psychic Predictions for 2017 ? If not feel free to click that link and read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. ………..You back? Good. See? On January 1st of this year I predicted that Princess Kate would get pregnant again and the world will lose it’s collective minds when we find out it’s twins. The rumors are out there that it is twins. I’ve got the first half right. Time will tell if I nailed the landing.

Also just to update my other predictions at the halfway point in the year:

The world did not end, exactly as I predicted.

People will lose interest in the Kardashians: Who? Exactly!

The United Kingdom will try to #UnBrexit: The most recent election results were underwhelming for Prime Minister Theresa May, indicating that the public is not happy with her leadership. There is published speculation that England my try to reverse this colossal blunder. Sounds like Psychic Phil may have nailed this one too. BTW, #unBrexit is a hashtag on Twitter just as I predicted it would be 6 months ago. You’re welcome.

Kim Kardashian will fall for another: She’s still married to Kanye, but how long can this possibly go on? Apparently not for much longer according to this article from May which seems to indicate I got this prediction right too.

Donald Trump will resign from the Presidency: I predicted this weeks before he even took office. Doesn’t seem so far fetched now does it?

Celebrity Deaths: Not that I’m rooting to be right on these, but Betty White, Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, and Queen Elizabeth. Rumors have been swirling about the Queen’s health…

Well? What do you think? It seems like my psychic predictions are all looking pretty good so far. Should I start a separate psychic predictions blog?

Have a great Friday!  ( I know you will. Well, not you. I was talking to her over on the left) ~Phil

Do We Have The Right To Free Speech Even If It Offends?

tmz.com

“It was just a joke!” or “I was only kidding!” Those were always my responses as a kid when I had offended someone. This past week that was also the response of comedienne Kathy Griffin after she posted a picture of herself with a fake, apparently decapitated President Donald Trump head. The United States collectively lost their minds over the stunt. Kathy Griffin was fired from CNN on which she had a very successful New Years Eve show with Anderson Cooper. Sponsors of her comedy tour and shows cancelled their contracts. Her current stand up comedy tour is in shambles after venues have cancelled her. Personally, I shrugged my shoulders until I gave a little more thought to the national reaction.

charliehebdo.fr

In January 2015 Islamic terrorists stormed the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing twelve people and injuring eleven others. The provocation for this attack was a cartoon of religious leader Muhammed which was considered offensive.

Sony Pictures and imdb.com

In December 2014 Seth Rogen released his comedy movie that focused on a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jon-un using two inept journalists who had landed an interview him. The movie did very well in the United States. Six months prior to release of the movie the North Korean government threatened action against the United States if the movie were allowed to be released. Columbia Pictures delayed the release and edited the film to be more acceptable to North Korea. A month before the release of the movie the computer systems of Sony Pictures, which is Columbia Pictures parent company were hacked by a group that the Federal Bureau of Investigation said had ties to North Korea.

So wait, let me get this straight, everybody in the United States condemned Kathy Griffin for a tasteless joke, but we all thought it was funny when Seth Rogen and James Franco made a comedy about trying to kill another country’s leader? Either both were offensive, or neither was. We can’t have it both ways.

The United States Constitution’s First Amendment gives us the right to free expression. Kathy Griffin isn’t being prosecuted for her “joke” but at the same time is suffering career altering consequences. So, we do have the right to make jokes, but there’s no law protecting us from unintended consequences of those jokes. My issue isn’t with her joke, it is with the attitude of those who didn’t condemn a joke about killing a foreign leader, but did condemn a joke about killing our own leader.

This also brings into question our freedom of speech. If I make a bad joke at work, on my blog or in a book I write, should my employer have the right to fire me like Kathy Griffin’s did? At what point do jokes go too far? Can they go too far if they are “only jokes”? If something appalling is done in the name of art, whether it be comedy, songs, or paintings, should there be some standards which apply and are enforced? Should someone be policing the internet where all types of tasteless and offensive things are posted every day? If I post an offensive rant on my blog, should WordPress have the right to take it down against my wishes?

I know this wasn’t funny as my Saturday posts usually are, but I’m seriously curious as to what everyone else thinks about the Kathy Griffin controversy and the questions I asked in the last paragraph.

Have a great Saturday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! A Spell Checkmate? What’s Your Kabaragoya?

WXYZ.com

In “honor” of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is going on this week, I post this annually. I wonder if #covfefe will be a word this year.

)5/31/14) See what I did there with the title? That was clever right? For the first time in 52 years the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie. 

Kabaragoya? That’s what’s wrong with the spelling bee. There has never been, in the history of planet Earth a practical reason for anyone to use the word kabaragoya in any context. The fact that I’ve used it twice in this paragraph is already a new world record. Here’s your chance to win something. I’m trusting that you’ll be honest. The first commenter to tell me what the word kabaragoya means, without looking it up, wins a free copy of one of my books. All three are in e-book format and the two novels are also in paperback.

spelling

It’s a good thing the contest ended in a tie. I doubt that any single spelling bee contestant has the muscle mass required to lift that trophy by themselves. It ended in a tie? Apparently after the competition was whittled down to two, the contestants both spelled twelve words correctly before it was declared a tie. Really? Twelve words? Are you telling me there wasn’t an adult somewhere in that room that couldn’t have cracked open a dictionary and pulled out a few more words?  How about if you asked the contestants to spell the word “girlfriend” or “social life.” I’m pretty sure those are terms they’re not familiar with. Did they have to declare it a tie because the competition is so physically grueling that the contestants couldn’t go on? Were they worried that the audience was in danger of literally dying of boredom?

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law mandating that if the spelling bee is down to two contestants and they’ve both spelled two words correctly the tie will be broken by a physical competition. The first contestant to successfully demonstrate any actual dance move wins. Moonwalk, Gangam Style, Harlem shake, anything close wins.

Now I know that you may be thinking that I’m just a mean jerk for mocking these kids. I may be, or perhaps it’s just green eyed envy. I was almost one of them. Almost… That’s right, as a 13 year old I was my school’s alternate to go to the county spelling bee championships. Had I gone and won, it would have sent me to the state championship and then the National Spelling Bee. We took a written test that we never got back, so I don’t even know what my kabaragoya was. It will haunt me forever. One more correctly spelled word, or a convenient “accident” to my in school competitor and fame and fortune could have been mine. Instead I’ve just got this blog, so please leave a comment to help me overcome the demons of a spelling bee past that has scarred me lo these many years.

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share by Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog. Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

You Were Wrong, Yes, YOU

Yes, you. You were  wrong yesterday. No, not the whole day. Just a tiny part of it. What part? The part where you voted on my Friday poll. If you didn’t, go ahead, scroll back, look at the poll, and feel free to vote or just think about what your answer would be. I’ll wait.

OK, done? Yes, you were wrong too. Yes, I said I would write about whichever subject got the most votes, but what I didn’t tell you was that you’re not the boss of me, and it’s my blog and I’ll write about whatever I want. I didn’t tell you that because I never imagined that so many would be so wrong. If I listened to all of you I’d have to write about the ridiculous, cartoonish, buffoonish, wanna be dictator who is currently employed at the White House.

In my poll results he was far and away the winner of who is having the worst year as far as public relations go. But that was just a poll, and you were wrong. Did I mention that? Your wrongness was astoundingly bad. As bad as Donald Trumps wrongness on nearly a daily basis. You were ‘navigator on the Titanic’ wrong. So, if you were wrong, as I’ve so eloquently established here, that begs the question, who is the right answer, Phil, or United Airlines? (And yes, I said Phil. It’s my blog and I’ll speak of myself in the third person if I want to. Phil doesn’t care what you think!)

Look, I’m sorry that you were wrong. Don’t worry, we all are sometimes. It’s just that most of the time some jackass with a blog doesn’t point it out to you in front of millions of readers. Just sip your coffee or tea and relax. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Rest secure in the knowledge that the next time that you’re this wrong, I probably won’t be there to point it out to you. Life will punish you.

Although one intrepid voter did give me credit for having the worst 2017 so far, I contend that United Airlines has had a worse year than Donald Trump or I. Why, you ask? I know that we’re all familiar with the scene depicted in the picture above of a passenger being forcefully dragged off of a plane because United wanted to fly their own employees somewhere. But, were you aware of all the other stupid things United Airlines has done this year? You’re not? Let me count the ways!

Another Scorpion reported on United Flight: This one came in just yesterday. Look, it’s ok if it happens once. Occasionally the stray, venomous, killer creature will slip onto a flight, (Donald Trump gets on Air Force One almost every day!) but notice the title says Another Scorpion! It’s happened already this year. United Airlines has a scorpion problem like Florida has an alligator problem.

United Airlines Forced Woman To Pee In a CupApparently on a flight earlier this week a woman had to pee really bad. We can all empathize with this, right? Whether it’s on a flight, in a work meeting, or in your car on a road trip, we’ve all had to go to the point where we worry we’re going to ruin a good pair of pants if we don’t find relief soon. Apparently this woman wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom because the United flight attendants had the cart in the aisle to serve drinks . So, because they refused to let her go, she peed in a cup, then was reprimanded by the same flight attendants.

United Airlines Stopped Girls In Yoga Pants From Boarding FlightYes United Airlines, I know it’s your policy that anyone flying with a free ticket provided to them by a United Airlines employee has to adhere to the United Airlines dress code, but that is just stupid. Not allowing women on flights in yoga pants eliminates roughly half of all travelers. Also, 100% of men are in support of women in yoga pants. You’ve now made women and men mad and I’m pretty sure that most of your passengers are women or men. Also, yoga pants can be gender neutral and anyone can wear them. They make my ass look amazing.

So to summarize, United Airlines has scorpions, is opposed to yoga pants, but wants their passengers to pee their pants, and will occasionally brutalize passengers when their employees need a seat. That’s been their year. If I’m a competing airline, I’d be busy creating ads with people in yoga pants getting up and going to the bathroom on scorpion-free flights. Ok, this is enough words for one day. Yes, you were wrong, but now you’re an informed, and smarter reader. Oh, and please hit the Facebook share button below so that this eventually gets back to United Airlines. I’d love to write about them suing me. Have a great Saturday! ~Phil