Teenagers Are Failing The Tide Pod Challenge

Your kids are idiots.

Alright, just the teenage kids.

Fine, some of you have very smart teenagers. But the rest of you? Your kids are idiots.

Specifically, those kids who are taking the Tide Pod Challenge.

That's where kids, mostly teenagers are challenging each other to eat a Tide Laundry Pod and upload a video of it to social media, including the inevitable choking and vomiting.

These are our children. The children who, when we brought them home for the first time, we laid them gently down in their cribs, and stared at them as they slept. We gazed upon them, imagining their bright and amazing future.

We whispered, "My darling child, you can be anything you want: a scientist, an artist, or an engineer. You'll cure diseases and build bridges. You could even be the President. If you wanted to. I believe in you."

Well, in the first two weeks of 2018, 39 of these future scientists stuck a laundry detergent pod in their mouth because the Internet dared them to.

While it d…

What I Believe: A New Annual Disclosure

At the beginning of each year, Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell writes an annual "Where I Stand, What I Believe" column to tell readers about his stance on certain issues, current events, and topics. However, I always use that first week to write about words we should stop using because other people think they're irritating. But I liked Scott's idea, so I'm going to try it too.

I believe Facebook is making us depressed, angry, and sad. It was meant to be a simple communication tool that let us share our thoughts and ideas. Instead, it has been a major contributor to social, racial, and religious discord around the world, and played a major role in disseminating fake and inflammatory news stories led by the Russian government.

Also, I've realized my high school classmates are staggeringly old. What the hell happened to them?

I believe toddlers should not be allowed to scream, shout, or run around and play at any restaurant that doesn't have a big …

Let's Unpack LSSU's List of Banned Words

I have a few favorite days each year: my birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, baseball's Opening Day, and the day Lake Superior State University (LSSU) releases their annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

That's also New Year's Day, which is another favorite day. In fact, that day is a two-fer: First, it's a brand new start for a brand new year, and second, I get to feel a sense of moral superiority for just a brief and shining moment.

This year, the 43rd annual Banished Words list was released right on time, and I'm covering it for the thirteenth year in a row.

More than 900 items were submitted for consideration by people who love language and hate to see it abused. Then an LSSU editor unpacked the list and came up with the terms we should all stop using this coming year.

Except we can't say unpacked anymore, since that actually made it to the top of the list. Calling it a &qu…

The Great Snake Awakening of Manitoba Gives Me the Willies

Erik is taking a break for the holidays, so we're reprinting an article from 2005 while he hibernates.

Scientists call them herpetologists. I call them weirdos.

People who watch and study snakes all descend on Narcisse, Manitoba every Spring to watch the Great Snake Awakening.

That's when as many many 70,000 garter snakes slither out from the cracks in the limestone bedrock and do what snakes like to do: scare the bejeezus out of me.

I hate snakes. I don't just dislike them, I hate them with a white-hot passion that's usually reserved for tobacco executives, and I scream like a girl whenever I see one (a snake, not a tobacco exec). I've also checked under my desk several times as I write this to make sure one hasn't snuck in here (a tobacco exec, not a snake).

Why people would want to watch snakes pop out of the ground without beating them with a large stick is beyond me. But starting on Mother's Day, snake geeks begin showing up at the Narcisse snake dens …

British Council Angers Residents Over Brussels Sprouts Tweet

What's the difference between boogers and Brussels sprouts?

One is a vile little wad of disgusting nastiness, and the other is something you pull out of your nose.

I've never been a big fan of Brussels sprouts, but I can manage a couple to be polite. Sure, they taste bitter and terrible, but if you cover them in butter and cheese, and maybe even a heavy sprinkling of bacon, I can eat a few.

Before I go on, let me say that, yes, it is spelled "Brussels sprouts," as in Brussels the city in Belgium. In fact, these modern mini-cabbages were first identified and grown there, although their agricultural forerunners were grown in Ancient Rome. Many of the sprouts I've eaten tasted like they actually were harvested in Ancient Rome.

Brussels sprouts are a divisive vegetable. People either hate them or they hang the toilet paper so it rolls under, not over.

Not like corn. Corn is a vegetable we can all get behind. Corn unites us in peace and harmony, man or woman, black or…

Science Says Man Flu is Totally Real and We Could Totally Die

Every winter, I find myself near death for a day or two when I am struck down like a bear in a trap, and I get laid out by the worst cold of all time in the history of the world ever.

And every winter, I'm accused of overreacting and being a big baby.

My nose runs like Usain Bolt, my head gets stuffed up worse than Grandma's suitcase, and I'm so foggy, I can barely lay in bed and watch TV all day. Last time I got sick, I accidentally took two different cold medicines and slipped into a coma for seven days.

My wife says I only fell asleep on the couch for three hours, but she already under-exaggerates all my other near-death experiences, so I don't believe her about this three-hour nonsense. It felt like a seven-day coma, so I'm sticking to my story.

I'm not wimpy. These are serious, grave illnesses that have nearly killed better men than me. In fact, I have science on my side in this. Science says I'm not as wimpy as my family and the rest of society would …

'Twas Two Weeks Before Christmas

'Twas two weeks before Christmas, when all through the land
Everyone was so angry, and taking a stand.
People online were spouting their ire,
And innocent victims were hit with crossfire.

We were bundled up warm in holiday sweaters,
With Christmastime movies, there is nothing better.
Call me eccentric, call me unwise,
But it just isn't Christmas 'til Hans Gruber dies.

When my phone alert sounded, so loud and so strong,
I opened it up to see what was wrong.
Notifications and updates galore,
My phone burned so hot, I dropped it and swore.

My screen was aglow with new messages of
Facebook and Twitter, and they weren't filled with love.
I've always loved Christmas, you can't dampen my cheer,
But the Internet smiled and said "Hold my beer."

With an angry complaint from a bitter aggressor,
He looked like he'd die from soaring blood pressure.
"There's way too much Christmas," he said with a shout.
"I'm being smothered, day in and da…