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LITERATURE

Reviews of books, articles, and poetry written by or about ssbbw/bbw


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2011 in Review

Right out of the gate: my joking that it couldn’t get any worse had nothing to do with what a miserable year 2011 has been. But, really, if you pay attention to the news and credible sources every year is miserable and filled with hate, violence and politicians. If you’re smart (and I’m sure you are) you’ll pay attention to me instead, where I make half of these Year in Review articles up off the top of my head using my Double Cat Method (patent pending). My first cat, Olivia, is there to notarize all my articles before I send them in to SSBBW Magazine whereupon she will either approve of it (by nibbling the edge of the paper) or disapprove of it (by nibbling the edge of the paper but in a slightly more melancholic way) whereupon my backup cat, Tobin, will flee in terror and cower under the bed. This way, I know for certain I’ve written enough to technically qualify as “having mentioned at least the name of each month in a year”.

To begin, let’s start with my favorite lot of complete lunatics who accomplish nothing else during the year; the United Nations declared 2011 the International Year of Forests and the International Year of Chemistry. I think we can all agree this is no mere coincidence as I have no doubt that the people responsible for this were, indeed, participating in a certain form of chemistry using things found in the woods, if you get my drift. In lighter news, the New York Yankees once more failed to win the World Series. Not that I have any biases or anything but I believe the phrase for this would be: Boo-Yah. With that cheerful intro behind us, let’s dive on in:

In January…

Lots of bad things happened. However, as is tradition, I will not discuss bad news. However, this makes January last about as long as the Kardashian marriage (BA-ZING! And you people thought I couldn’t make dated pop culture references!). But in the interest of not leaving months blank, the truly bizarre instance of Italian man, Darco Sangermano, then-28 was shot in the temple with a .22 caliber bullet and rushed to the hospital, whereupon he SNEEZED the bullet out. Not only that, there was no serious injury afterward. Can they even charge you for the hospital visit if you do that? And in warmer news, when a Chinese truck driver’s vehicle nearly went off a highway (about 200 feet above the ground, no less) his vehicle was caught on a broken tire and a part of the concrete barrier, suspended upside-down. The driver was rescued and brought back to safety where a single flaw would’ve sent him plummeting. Simply amazing.

Then in February…

In World Series Poker (apparently that’s a real thing) Brent Carter won it all by taking the biggest risk a player can take (betting it all on one hand). He did this because he desperately needed to take a restroom break (which the tournament officiators denied him) and he wished to finish quickly due to nature’s call. Would that be a “Lucky Bathroom Break” or just the regular Lucky Break? In yet another instance of what I can only call “Oh, wow, how do you not NOTICE these things?” one Mr. Ni had a rusty knife blade removed from the lower right part of his jaw (which was apparently lodged there when he was robbed by a knife-wielding thief). Mr. Ni is expected to make a full recovery and clearly never took an airplane trip before because I imagine the security staff would’ve otherwise been absolutely mystified. Speaking of which, Israeli security teams are apparently training mice to check airport bags for suspicious substances. So if you’re ever accosted by a mouse when you fly, remember, he isn’t going to hurt you and, if nothing else, won’t ask to pat you down either.

In March…

In what might be one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen this year, scientists in New York’s Columbia University have created artificial trees that can properly convert carbon dioxide into oxygen (http://www.aolnews.com/2011/03/16/need-more-air-artificial-trees-to-convert-carbon-dioxide-to-oxy/). And just when I thought I was finished discussing the Large Hadron Collider, scientists (and possibly cultists) are under the impression that the device could be used to go back in time. My official response – and I feel I speak for us all when I say this – is “You first, gentlemen” followed by “Leave H. G. Well enough alone,”

In April…

Not a whole lot happened, if by “not a whole lot” you mean “the entire world was fixated upon the English Royal Wedding”. A lot of noise was made concerning successors this and popularity that, but I don’t quite understand why. In case you, dear reader, have forgotten Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen since 1952 and is still kicking. For reference, Harry S Truman was the American President at the time. One of the above two is dead and you only get one guess as to which. She isn’t going anywhere. The wedding was a wonderful spectacle and all that, but I’m just saying on the off-chance the Queen is secretly a robot, you heard it here first. Just saying.

May…

The infamous terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden, is removed from the mortal coil. The grand total of two people in the universe who were actually saddened by this shared a sigh before realizing they lived in the room next to his in the Pakistani hideout. The rest of humanity had their faith in justice restored. And that was good enough.

Come June…

In northern England, someone found it necessary to make a (remember: I am not making this up) a massive map out of cake. The 10 square meter display was then eaten during a picnic on June 26th. I’m not sure it’s humanly possible to one-up a story like that. So I won’t bother trying. Because we have no choice but to skip to…

July

In the first week the first artificial organ transplant is successful, implanting an artificial windpipe. Smokers, meanwhile, are too busy violently expelling bodily fluids directly in front of the door to my favorite eateries to celebrate this news. Not that I’d be bitter over such a thing, even though it happens everywhere I go. But nothing else really happened in July, so we opted to leap ahead to…

August

Early in the month, NASA’s Mars Recon Orbiter has apparently caught photographs of liquid water on Mars’ surface during the “warm seasons”. For a planet with no atmosphere, this raises a lot of questions. Speaking of atmosphere, at the same time, a solar-powered spacecraft, Juno, was launched for its destination: Jupiter. Jupiter is also a gas giant, which is to say that there’s probably no way sunlight can get to Jupiter’s solid surface. Good plan, NASA. Thoroughly red-faced and no other good news on the horizon, we skedaddled over to…

September

On the 5th, India and Bangladesh signed a pact to end a 40 year “border demarcation dispute” or, put into layman’s terms, “This land is my land; this land is your land” but instead of five year old children, it’s adults with guns. The rest of the world takes a deep sigh of relief, not having known there has been a 40 year border dispute anyway. Unfortunately , we rapidly tired of September and decided to fast-forward to…

October

Sweet mother was October depressing. Call up any general news listing for it and prepare to see a litany of murder, death and war. However, there was one iota of hope amidst Pandora’s Box and that was that the human global population had finally tipped seven billion. How on Earth it managed that seeing as how there was so much DYING (apparently) I’ll never know. Speaking of which, Muammar Gaddafi becomes the second dictator to bite the dust in the year, meriting nods of approval from the entire judging panel.

In November…

The Mars Science Lab set up the terrifyingly originally-named rover, Curiosity, and launched it from Kennedy Space Center on the 26th, with the goal for it to arrive in August of 2012. And in what might be single-strangest event of the year, Vladimir Putin appointed former Playboy Bunny, Maria Kozhevnikova, to a parliament position. You’d think the jokes would write themselves but I’m too dumbfounded to really come up with any. And before anyone volunteers any, we moved on to…

December

In a strange, but somehow heartwarming, example of human decency, a Houston, Texas, gentleman paid a $1 parking ticket he had been issued 58 years ago – a span long enough for the driving records to have been expunged since then – all in a show of good faith and conscience. In yet another heartwarming example of human decency, Kim Jong-Il, maniacal (and oft-hilarious) dictator of North Korea, is the third dictator who died this year, slating 2011 for a solid D- overall, narrowly avoiding being on the absolute bottom of the totem pole.

In January 2012…

No one knows what’s going to happen in the wild and whacky Year of (and I swear I’m being serious here) Cooperatives and Sustainable Energy for All. All I know is that the UN needs to cut back whatever prescription they’re taking because this is getting beyond ridicule. And in other brighter news, I can safely say the world will NOT end in 2012. Why? Because if I’m right, I’ll be here to brag about it. If I’m wrong, we’ll all be dead so no one will get the chance to say “I told you so”, that’s why. So, join me for another exciting year, won’t you, here at SSBBW Magazine. See you in the New Year.

Written by: Jeff M.


"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
~Mark Twain
"Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

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