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Commercial for Cotton Raises Awareness of Cotton

Mine Hill, NJ – Local resident Carl Swinson today told an assembled group of reporters that he may soon have to purchase some cotton garments.  Even though cotton has been regularly used for over 8,000 years, Carl says the television commercial he saw featuring musician Leona Lewis has finally sold him on it.  “I always thought polyester, or possibly wool, would be the one and only fabric of my life, but after a commercial like that, I think cotton could now have a chance to take over,” Carl said.  “It just looks so light and breezy, I bet it’s soft!”  Carl also said that seeing Leona singing about the benefits of cotton in a variety of settings, including a closet, near a horse, and at a swanky party were key factors in swaying his opinion of the fabric so old that Alexander the Great had used it.

Swinson addressing his views on cotton

“I did a little further research after the commercial,” Carl continued.  “Apparently, George Costanza had the Yankees’ uniforms switched to cotton in an episode of Seinfeld.  It’s been in pop culture for decades, where have I been?”  Carl says that his normal shirts chafe his nipples and aggravate his skin.  He said he hopes that if he were to buy a cotton shirt it would stop the irritation as well as accentuate his muscular physique better than his current clothing.  As we went to press, Carl was on his way out to Walmart to buy a six-pack of cotton t-shirts so he could finally “see what all the fuss is about.”

Local Man Takes Notes During Episode of “Man vs. Wild”

Perkasie, PA – Citing his upcoming trip to Costa Rica, local businessman Frank Logue took detailed notes on the survival techniques Bear Grylls used on his trip to Belize for “Man vs. Wild.”  Frank believes that even though they are different nations, he may still face the same challenges on his family vacation.  “What if I get stranded on a man made raft for a day or two in the ocean and all I find is some rancid freshwater on a deserted island?” said Logue.  “If I do, now I’ll know how to give myself an enema and stay hydrated!”

Frank learning how to make a fire with two sticks

The part that most concerned Logue about being lost in the jungle was what to eat.  However, he believes that Grylls’ show has also prepared him well for that.  “He said I shouldn’t eat tree leaves that have a white milk coming out of them, but I can definitely eat a scorpion, a raw egg, or maggots with no worries,” Logue noted.  “I figure this one hour show has shown me enough wilderness survival training to spend a week in any conditions.”  When reached for comment, the Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, where Mr. Logue will be staying, said that he had called numerous times to inquire if there were any nearby beaches with “flotsam, jetsam, debris, or anything else that could be used to save water or build a shelter” as well as if there was a “good local helicopter pilot that could extricate him when the trip was over.”

Trans-Ethnic Man Believes He is Really Asian

Boston, MA – Citing his capabilities in math as well as his love of General Tso’s Chicken, college student Brandon Franklin today took the first steps to formally change his ethnicity from Caucasian to Asian.  Franklin had long felt that he did not fit in with the white community, but only recently realized that he was actually an Asian man trapped in a white man’s body.  “It started in middle school.  I was great in science and math, I played the piano and violin, but I was awful at sports and in any social situation,” Franklin said.  “Then in high school I barely passed my driving test, loved watching Naruto, and discovered I was really good at tennis.”

Brandon (R) with his best friends

Unlike gender reassignment, there are no hormone pills that can be taken to ease the transition.  Ethnic reassignment relies totally on physical plastic surgery and behavioral adjustment.  “In Brandon’s case, we will most likely tighten the skin around the eyes and make his skin pigment a bit more olive toned,” said Dr. Steven Tomlinson, a Boston area plastic surgeon.  “While we will not have to create a penis or a vagina, I definitely think that his genitalia will have to be reduced to truly make him feel Asian.”  Franklin, who just declared his major in mechanical engineering at MIT, does not currently have the financial means to pay for the surgery.  That does not mean that he won’t be able to change his behaviors to be more in line with his desired appearance.  “I figure a good start will be to squint all the time and to take my shoes off whenever I enter a home,” Franklin said.  “Oh, and I’ll pronounce all my Ls as Rs.”  Franklin then told reporters he had to leave so he could play six straight hours of World of Warcraft in his underwear.

Local Man Hires Alleged Rapist to Wax Car

Hill Valley, CA – Citing his role in helping him ultimately meet his wife, local man George McFly once again hired auto detailer Biff Tannen to wax his family’s vehicles.  “Oh I’ve known Biff for years,” said McFly.  “Sure, he bullied me throughout high school and tried to violate my future wife the night of the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, but he does a hell of a job waxing a car!”  Biff’s Auto Detailing has been serving Hill Valley for over 10 years, and in that time has built up a loyal customer base.  Most customers tend to prefer Biff’s “Two Coat” service as various reports suggest that two coats of wax really bring out a nice, glossy sheen.

Biff starting the second coat

“Yep, people love getting their cars waxed,” said Tannen.  “I’m only glad to help.  It shows how good I am at my job that Mr. McFly would hire me.  I mean, I made him stay out of the café and forced him to do my homework all through school.  Oh, and one time I tried to rape his current wife.”  When asked if she felt uncomfortable with having Biff around the house so frequently, as the McFly’s get their cars waxed every week, Lorraine McFly nodded.  She said that Biff was never convicted of attempted rape of her or arrested for destroying the town square in a wild chase with Calvin Klein a few days earlier.  “Biff did about eight things the week before the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance that should have gotten him arrested, yet he always got off scot free.  What’s the deal with that?”  As we went to press, sources reported that Biff is trying to save up his money from the auto detailing business to open a small casino, a lifelong dream of his.

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

This is my entry for the semi-finals of “America’s Next Top Car Blogger.”  The article also appears here: Jalopnik

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

He worked with Lotus, Vanwall, and Maserati. He cofounded Marcos. He was first to use a NACA duct in a car. His shapes were uber slippery. But mention the name Frank Costin and you’ll probably hear “who?”

British aerodynamicist Frank Costin and his brother Mike were silent yet powerful forces in the auto industry for over four decades. While Mike helped make one of the greatest engines ever, the Cosworth DFV (guess which part of the company Mike named), Frank was responsible for some of the most iconic shapes of all time.

The Lotus Elite, Lotus Eleven, Vanwall VW1, Vanwall VW6 Streamliner, and the Vauxhall Firenza “Baby Bertha” touring car were among the superstars penned by Costin. His collaborations with Maserati and Jaguar, as well as his own Costin Amigo were epitomes of the classic tear drop shape.

Costin’s use of the NACA duct on road and race cars like the Vanwall VW1 and Lotus Elite has since been emulated countless times. The NACA duct is a low drag intake that is only fully functional if placed correctly on the car. However, in the ideal position it draws in air with minimal disturbance to the flow. While a great aero solution, it also looks awesome. The F40, Viper, Sauber-Mercedes C9, and the Veyron Super Sport all make prominent use of this beautiful and functional vent.

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

Costin made up half of Marcos (the second half), one of the quirkiest British sports car builders of all time. He also created the Speedwell Streamliner, an Austin Healey Sprite with 92 horsepower that achieved 132 MPH over a standing mile.

Frank Costin: The Man Behind the Legends

While he made successful racecars, Costin was also eco. He had his own Peel P50-esque shopping car and also designed the Costin Ultimate Low Drag Vehicle. It was powered by a two stroke DKW engine, went over 100 MPH, weighed under 1000 pounds, and had a shape that decidedly influenced modern hybrids.

So remember: next time you see a NACA duct laden supercar or just a run-of-the-mill hybrid, thank Frank.


Democrats Regretting Not Inserting ‘End of Career Consultation’ Into Health Care Bill

(This is an article I was asked to write for a website.  I was given the headline and asked to write around 400-500 words.  The final, edited product, appears here:

The workplace that will be missed

Washington, DC – With the mid-term elections quickly approaching, Democratic Senators and Congressmen have begun to lament not including a few key provisions in the monumental health care bill that they passed earlier this year.  The bill, which was passed solely on the support of Democrats, includes numerous facets that were meant to ease the burden of health care on the middle class.  It was declared partisan by Republicans as their support was not even asked for in passing it while Democrats painted them as enemies of the middle class.  However, Democrats are beginning to regret the omission of end of career consultation from the bill.

Democrats believe that their jobs have been put in danger due to smear tactics by Republicans who are trying to sully the name of the bill.  The fear that is sweeping congress’s majority party is that their majority may be thoroughly eroded or even lost in November during the mid term elections.

“Our jobs are on the line,” said Senator Russ Feingold (D, WI).  “What am I supposed to do if I can’t try to reach across the aisle everyday?  I don’t know how I’ll get by…I haven’t worked at a real job since 1985!”  Feingold then added, “not that this isn’t a real job, but I still get paid even when I don’t show up and we get vacations like teachers.  That’s pretty good.”

Feingold is not the only Senator who believes that the provision would have come in handy for them this November.  Ironically, political backlash that originated with this very bill has put Democratic seats across the nation in jeopardy.  The Tea Party and other influential political organizations believe that this bill has constituted a socialistic approach to health care, and they have begun to be very vocal about their dissatisfaction with the government.

“I think it shows that the very brief honeymoon with Obama is over,” said Christine O’Donnell, the Republican Senatorial candidate from Delaware.  “My deficit in a Democratic stronghold isn’t that big, and I used to dabble in witchcraft and am against masturbation.  I’m overcoming a lot of odds here!”

Representative Chet Edwards (D, TX-17), who is currently behind in the polls and in danger of losing his seat, agreed with Feingold.

“This is a tough time for anyone, I can’t imagine being out of work,” Edwards told gathered reporters.  “If we had just included this in the bill, then people that are out of work could be consulted on how badly things are going for them, us included.”

When asked if he realized that this consultation was only for those that were at the end of their careers, not those currently unemployed, Edwards said that they should have added consultation for everyone to the bill.  “That would have made those unemployed people complain a hell of a lot less, I’ll tell ya.  Well, complain publicly that is.” Edwards added.

Jason Altmire (D, PA-4) was able to sum up the thoughts of the Democratic camp.  “If we lose, we lose.  While the public may disagree, we did a great job this year and got some tough legislation passed,” Altmire said.  “This won’t be the end of the world. I think we’ll get by without this career counseling.  Wouldn’t it be worse if we had to be consulted on the options that we had for end of life care?”

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