The knife hands nearly came out at my laptop screen – okay, that was a joke, but seriously what in the world is this guy doing? If you can’t tell from the disturbing picture above (all three photos below after the link), we have what appears to be a Marine/former Marine that has apparently hung himself (not around his neck – he’s just fine) by his dress blues in the heart of Washington D.C. in some form of religious and/or other protest. What you do not see in these head-shaking images is every 1stSgt and SgtMaj in the world – in or out of CONUS – bursting at least three or veins as they try not to kill the first person that walks into their field of vision; heck, how can any Marine – former or active – not feel a little irked by these pictures? I know I am, but I’ll hold the rest of my thoughts for after the jump.
Advertising vs reality: we’ve all experienced it, whether it was that glistening new cheeseburger you saw on that Sonic commercial last night, only to get a flat, depressing sandwich shoved in a bag by some pimpled kid on roller skates, or that new laptop with a supposed 12 hours of battery life, which promptly succumbs just two hours after you proudly unplugged it. While false advertising is legitimately illegal, there are obviously ways of stretching the truth, from miles and miles of -50 sized white font at the bottom of car commercials, or having 50 million ways to interpret the definition of “all natural” on those granola bars you bought this weekend – companies know it, and so do we, the consumers. Some consumers however pick up on this fact earlier than others, and in this toddler’s case, he’s already raising the bullshit flag.
Trojan condoms are easily the most recognized, and according to CompaniesandMarkets Trojan dominates [US condom market share] with 69% of sales. (Source) No, you immature bastards, that is the actual, estimated market share percentage – calm yourselves. But could they do any better – after all, there is still 31% of the market potentially available for the taking from the likes of Durex, the next biggest player? Of course they could, and that’s likely what every Trojan senior executive has and should have been pushing for, but have they ever done an objective analysis on their own brand name – Trojan Condoms? The good news is that someone already has – hit the link below for the full brand name analysis (and a laugh).
Just…Wow. It’s like…Man. They can only sit there and take it.
Here’s the context: About five years ago Common Core state standards came into existence, and one by one about every state in the US adopted them. Now, I’m a high school English teacher, so I can tell you first hand how this is affecting schools. Some teachers love them, some teachers hate them, but everybody is already sick of hearing the term “Common Core.” It has become a catch-basin term for wholesale rewriting of curriculum and, potentially, redesigning the school district personnel infrastructure.
Now, I’m not as up in arms over this as this student is, but I may be more vested. And if I was in this meeting, I’d be watching the body language of each and every school board member, because I know they’re going to owe the community a response on the heels of this verbal beat down.
“Rip It? What are you talking about – it’s an energy drink?” Yes, it’s an energy drink, and that’s usually the confused response I receive whenever I ask one of my civilian friends if they’ve ever had one. You see, it’s extremely rare to find one of these delicious sugar free energy drinks out in the American wild – and by wild I mean at truck stops, gas stations or convenience marts. On the other hand, where you will find unlimited amounts of Rip Its and all their caffeinated glory is at American combat military outposts throughout Afghanistan. While I had heard about the awesomeness that is the Rip It energy drink (I love the sugar free version) during our battalion’s deployment work-up, I wasn’t able to taste one until I touched down at FOB Geronimo in Central Helmand Province, Afghanistan, sometime in 2010. All I can say is those tiny little cans (they have tall boys as well) made a big impression on my caffeine-seeking soul, and if you can find one here in the States, it will be well worth your journey. (Rip It Treasure Map after the link!)
So as I’m sitting here watching Forrest Gump and the awesome scenes from when Forrest enlisted and went on to Vietnam, it made me think about war soundtracks: Vietnam obviously solidified its soundtrack years ago through the countless movies that have defined it, but what about OEF? What’s our war soundtrack? For those out in SQ Nation that aren’t sure what OEF stands for – Operation Enduring Freedom – it’s the official name to the “War in Afghanistan”. For that matter, OIF could be included as well in this conversation since the two wars completely overlapped. I just posed this very question over in Reddit’s excellent /r/Veterans subreddit, but would love to hear the thoughts of our fellow OEF’ers (and OIF) here at SQ.
His name is Temeraire. And he’s hell-bent on saving his rider from Napoleon’s vast army.
Now you may be thinking that this book was published in 2006 – so why are we reading about this eight years later. My response would be: would you never watch The Matrix just because you didn’t see it right when it came out? No, you’d watch it. You’d watch it.
If you haven’t seen the excellent Afghanistan war (Operation Enduring Freedom) documentary Restrepo yet, then you absolutely need to as soon as humanly possible. Korengal, which comes straight from Restrepo’s award winning director Sebastian Junger’s camera, basically continues on where Restrepo left off, as he states its “the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war.” (http://goo.gl/w4RXtG) With 44 days left until the Kickstarter ends, Mr. Junger still needs about $55,000 to reach his goal of $75,000, which he is utilizing to bring Restrepo – and the intimate war stories of not only this incredible US Army infantry platoon, but of every force that has fought in the Korengal and Afghanistan for that matter – to the big screen around the entire country. I am pumped for this film, as Restrepo ranks as #2 on my favorite OEF documentaries to date; find out what my number one – as well as more slightly qualified thoughts on Korengal, the movie and the valley – after the jump.
Although this Marine’s biological clock will strike 31 years of age next month, I am still a science fiction enthusiast and will be until the day I die. Outside of the awesomeness that was Star Wars growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s (VHS!), my first jump into the fantasy side of the sci-fi realm (I consider them together) was Terry Brooks’ Shannara book series. Although Mr. Brooks (not the evil Kevin Costner Mr. Brooks) first began with the epic Sword of Shannara in 1977, I jumped into the land of Shannara with the last, and in my opinion best book of his four-title “Heritage of Shannara” mini-series, The Talismans of Shannara, which was released in 1993. While I couldn’t give you a stronger, more enthusiastic endorsement or recommendation to pick up the Shannara series (you will not be able to put them down), I just find it hilarious that everyone and their mothers are now obsessed with Game of Thrones. Am I alone on this, or does anyone else just feel like it’s just the new hip thing to watch and talk about at work on Monday mornings? Hit the link below for more soapbox thoughts.
Since I’m on the topic of colleges (see the epic IU Wheel of Fortune fail here!), why not touch on my undergraduate alma mater, SIU, or Southern Illinois University for all those who were thinking Southern Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, or well, I think that’s all of the “I” states, which just made the news headlines for what else – partying. If you’re from Chicago, then you are probably well aware of SIU’s party-school history, as it routinely made Playboy’s Top Party School’s list back in the 70’s, when riots were the norm. Although the party scene has definitely toned down since the 70’s, and even the epic Halloween bashes of the late 90’s, early 2000’s (I attended from 2001-2005), SIU has always had a much better “social scene” than the majority of the other universities in Illinois. Well, with the video above as evidence, apparently the current generation is doing their best to get back to our party school standings that we held in the 70’s, as this past weekend was the annual “city-wide” drinking game in Carbondale, IL, where the school is located. Yes, you read that correctly – city freaking wide. More after the jump.
It has been fifteen calendar days since a letter from Marine Corps 2ndLt Sage Santangelo blew up just about every news outlet across the country, spurring intense conversations on television and Internet comment boards about women in the military, and more specifically whether or not they should be in combat. While I have kept pace with the rampant discussion that is still burning today, I have refrained from joining the conversation – until now. As a former Marine Corps officer myself – a male ground intelligence officer (MOS is 0203) that successfully completed the Marine Corps’ grueling Infantry Officers Course – I believe I am more than (slightly) qualified to provide a unique response to Lt Santangelo’s letter, defend her in many instances, but respectfully disagree with her in others. Please click on the link below for my full response.
I’m not going to lie: I like Chili’s – especially when the other option is Applebee’s – but I hardly ever go there. I am travelling a ton for work lately, and I just happened to find myself somewhere in Oklahoma the last two days, so as you can guess, my eatery options were somewhat limited. Actually there were a ton of options available, but if you’re looking to stay healthy and not eat garbage than you don’t have many options. Well, there happened to be a Chili’s restaurant right next to my hotel, so I decided to order online to get pick-up. I haven’t seen the menu in months, so I did a little perusing and came across something new that honestly surprised me: the Margarita Chicken Fresh Mex Bowl. At a little under $10 bucks for the entree, I decided to give it a whirl – in the end, let’s just say the next time I am trying to out to eat back home, Chili’s will actually come to mind as a legitimate option.