Archive for the ‘Funny’ Category

Top Ten Myths About Sex

September 24, 2010

There is a lot of sex talk out there, but there are just as many fallacies finding their way between the sheets as there are truths. Now we all know that the size of a man’s appendage versus his outer extremities (hand, head, foot) has no proven correlation, and nor does the act of self-gratification stand to make one go blind. There are however several myths that have not been publicly chastised for their ridiculous nature, and often are still believed to be truth rather than fiction. Let’s look at these top ten myths about sex.

10. A Cold Shower Dashes the Libido

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A cold shower has been said to curb peak sexual appetite, simply by reducing the amount of testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in women. There is simply no proven basis for this belief, and in fact, an English study for Thrombosis has shown that a cold shower actually stimulates libido by increasing hormone levels. The end result is even more sexual excitement than was first started with. Take heart all ye anxious ladies and gentlemen, as I hear a ball peen hammer and wooden plank still does wonders for destroying ones sexual appetite!

9. The Power of a Lover’s Stare

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The power of a lover’s stare has been written in romance novels ever since an ink pen was first laid to a piece of parchment. True lovers have been said to have the ability to stare into each others eyes for hours on end, falling in love again and again, without ever growing tired. However, what has actually been found in studies, is that staring at your lover has about a 50/50 chance of promoting feelings of love and passion. The other fifty percent of the time it promotes aggression and annoyance, which has been documented in couple studies as fighting and arguing. I guess it is true… all’s fair in love and war!

8. Sex During the Final Stages of Pregnancy

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A lot of expecting couples express fear of hurting their baby during intercourse. Especially during the final trimester. However, most research today not only shows that intercourse is completely safe for the child, it actually can promote a healthier, speedier labor and delivery. It is an old wives tale that sex is bad for the fetus once it is past a certain stage of growth. Many doctors say that you should be able to have a healthy sexual relationship with your partner right up until the day of delivery. Chalk much of this myth up to man’s over-exaggeration of his unit!

7. Thinking of Someone Else During Sex is a Bad Sign for a Relationship

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Did you know that upwards of 90% of all sexually active folk in the world think about someone else during sex with their partner. It is actually a completely natural part of a healthy sexual relationship. The majority of folks think about friends, neighbors, or co-workers, while a slightly smaller percentage (25% of Canadian men) prefer fantasizing about imaginary characters. Everything from Betty Boop to the Lone Ranger has run through the minds of countless lovers over the decades, and should not be considered an indicator that a relationship is heading for the rocks.

6. Women and Fast Cars (Modern Myth)

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If you were to ask a woman today if she was turned-on by the growl of a big engine, she would probably scoff at the thought. In fact, in light of the popular green movement, it is now popular for women to prefer men who drive environmentally-friendly vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius. However, a recent study says differently… a lot differently. It turns out, women show substantial increases in sexual arousal (measured by testosterone in saliva) while listening to the sound of a high performance Maserati, as compared to a low performance Volkswagen (VW) Polo. In fact, the VW actually decreased the arousal of women below that of the baseline of watching the nerdy scientists test their equipment before the study began. Talk about an anti-aphrodisiac!

5. Inbreeding Produces Babies with Three Heads

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While considered a bit of a joke, inbreeding has been said to cause everything from a baby with three heads to mutant X-Men. In truth, while inbreeding should not necessarily be considered a good thing, it is not nearly as bad as some people think. A 30-year Western Australian study, looked at cultures who regularly practice first cousin marriages and found no abnormalities in their offspring beyond that of what would be expected from any other traditional, unrelated couple. The same myth also applies to inbreed animals, who are not always the weaker of the species.

4. Race is a Good Indicator of a Man’s Sexual Endowment

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While some races have enjoyed basking in the limelight of these rumors, there is actually no scientific basis of this myth. While your cousin’s friend, who knew a girl, who dated several professional basketball players claims this myth maybe true, a study from the Porterback Clinic, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and St. James’ Hospital, says differently. The study found that a man’s physical endowment had absolutely nothing to do with his race, creed, or color. It’s has much more to do with that haphazard toss of the genetic die that came soon after that glimmer from our parents eye.

3. Plentiful Sex and the Swinging Single

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While it is common belief that once you get married, sex gets thrown out the window, most research suggests that married couples actually have more sex than the swinging single. This is mostly because couples living together are presented with more opportunities to have sex. Anywhere from 25 to 300 percent more opportunity for sex, on average. However, over the course of marriage, sex dwindles, leaving the frequency of sex comparable to that of a lifetime of living single. One way to improve your odds of having more sex, is to marry multiple times. However, the stress of all those marriages/divorces just might toss you right into an early grave, leaving you with even less sex!

2. Sex Every Seven Seconds

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The common belief by many women, is that men think about sex at least once every seven seconds. Truth is, men today are actually too weighed down with thoughts of success and finances to devote that kind of brain power to the subject. In fact, only half of men (54 percent) think about sex once per day according to the Kinsey Institute, while the other 43 percent designate just a few fantasies spread out over the course of a week. An abysmal 4 percent think about just once over the course of an entire month. Talk about a grossly overinflated female-chauvinistic rumor.

1. Premature Ejaculation (PE) is an Abnormality

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No man has ever been proud to be deemed a “premature ejaculator” by his lover, but in truth it is more of a hardwired system for survival, than an abnormality. The average male can last 5.4 minutes before lift-off, which was biologically pertinent to the population of the planet back in the early days. When faced with man-eating chickens, men had to get the job done quick. There was no time for flowers, song, and love poems. The threat of a Tyrannosaurus charging while in the throes of passion, was enough to make him even quicker, which is why anxiety is still one of the leading causes of PE.

Top Ten Mustaches

September 16, 2010

If you are male (and a probably a few females), at one time or another you have sported a mustache. While most of us don’t have the testosterone to do the ‘stache proud, here are few individuals, both real and imaginary, who have pulled off the the mustache with great aplomb. As a matter of fact, you probably can’t picture any of these personalties without a mustache and with that I give you the top ten mustaches.

10. Salvador Dalí

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Being great artist and a little weird (or eccentric, if you are a great artist) usually go hand in hand. It was said that Dalí wore mustaches because he was inspired by dictators who wore them. Dalí was a colorful and imposing presence in his ever-present long cape, walking stick, haughty expression, and upturned waxed mustache, famous for having said that “every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí.”

9. Rollie Fingers

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A baseball hall-of-famer, Rollie Fingers was one of the first players groomed in his minor league career to be a relief pitcher once he reached the majors. Thankfully, his mustache was also groomed and he delivered a entertaining handlebar mustache along with a great pitches. To his credit he won the American League MVP and Cy Young Award in 1981 besides rocking the handlebars.

8. Charlie Chaplin

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This toothbursh mustache is most famous for having been worn by Adolf Hitler, although it was already well-recognized due to movie star Charlie Chaplin wearing it as part of his Little Tramp costume. Chaplin did not wear the mustache in daily life. Chaplin said he added the mustache to his costume because it had a comical appearance and was small enough so as not to hide his expression. Chaplin took advantage of the noted similarity between his on-screen appearance and that of Adolf Hitler in his film The Great Dictator, where he again wore the mustache as part of two new characters that parodied Hitler.

7. Gene Shalit

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Gene Shalit is the film and book critic on NBC’s The Today Show. And, wow, he really looks like an owl in that picture. He is known for his frequent use of puns, his over-sized handlebar mustache, and for wearing colorful bowties. During major league baseball spring training in 1994, Shalit was run over by a car. To the disappointment of many Hollywood movie-producers, he recovered.

6. Yosemite Sam

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Was there any man who was more mustache and less face than Yosemite Sam? Two eyes, a bun shaped nose and red hair was the sum total of his his face. With a mustache longer than his arms, the only thing bigger was his cowboy hat. Bugs may have gotten the better of Yosemite Sam, but as a hairy red fashion statement, he couldn’t be beat.

5. Badamsinh Juwansinh Gurjar

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A simple Indian villager, Badamsinh wears his mustache here on February 29, 2004. Badamsingh displayed his 12.5 feet long mustache, which he said he had not cut for 22 years, in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World records.

4. Groucho Marx

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Groucho’s glasses, nose, and mustache have become icons of comedy—to this day, glasses with fake noses and mustaches (referred to as “Groucho glasses”and other names) resembling Groucho Marx are still sold by novelty and costume shops. Although his mustache started out a simple grease paint, by the time he was hosting “You Bet Your Life” he had grown a real mustache which he kept for the rest of his life. – Wikipedia

3. Adolf Hitler

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I can’t think of any other list that you would find both Tom Selleck and Adolf Hitler to be members of. Is it any wonder the “Hitler” mustache went out of style about the same time Hitler went of style? As one man, he had the power to throw the world into war…and forever end the fashion statement of the “toothbrush” mustache.

2. Tom Selleck

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As my wife will tell you, there is a lot to like about Tom Selleck, not the least is his iconic mustache. Tall, dark, handsome and hairy, Tom Selleck has made a living at being easy on the eyes and he pulls off a mustache better than any other male. The legend of his mustache was illustrated wonderfully during his appearance on the hit sit-com, “Friends” when Joey and Chandler both tried growing mustaches in order to be more like Tom’s character, Richard. Needless to say, they paled in comparison.

1. Fu Manchu

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Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, one giant intellect, with all the resources of science past and present … Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man.

Reading this you might say, “How could the author Sax Rohmer forget to mention his incredible mustache.” Actually, he didn’t forget, Fu Manchu didn’t originally have a mustache when he was in print. It was added when Fu Manchu made the leap from book to film. So popular was this mustache that Fu Manchu’s name evolved into the actual name for his type of mustache–A “fu manchu” is a full moustache that extends downward past the mouth and on either side of the chin. Often, the ends of the moustache will hang past the jaw line with pointed or tapered end

Top Ten Comic Book Anti-Heroes

September 15, 2010

I have been fascinated with the concept of antiheroes since I was ten years old and Han Solo shot first.  Good guys are not supposed to do bad things, good guys are supposed to be just and noble and always do what is right, yet Han Solo far and away was the much cooler character than Luke Skywalker.

According to dictionary.com, an antihero is “characterized by a lack of traditional heroic qualities, such as idealism or courage”.  What makes them so popular, I think, is they are more relatable than most heroes.  Like us the antihero is flawed, so we can identify with them, even sympathize with them.

But mostly it is because we like seeing them be bad and get away with it.

I composed the list below by factoring in several elements: character longevity, popularity, success in crossing over into other mediums, inspiration on other characters, and a certain “cool” factor.  It is, of course, highly subjective.

10. Deadpool

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Cancer victim Wade Wilson volunteered for the Weapon X program to gain a healing factor to cure his cancer.  Thing was, the healing factor caused his cancer to create tumorous growths all over his body, making him look hideous.  It also made him nuts.  He first appeared as a villain in the pages of Rob Liefeld‘s New Mutants and right off the bat he was seen for what he was: a rip off of DC Comics‘ Deathstroke, The Terminator.

Love him or hate him, the “merc with a mouth” has proven to have legs.  Marvel comics has milked the one note villain for all he is worth and just when you think the writers have run out of ways to use him, someone else comes along with a fresh twist to keep the money rolling in.

9. Cat Woman

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She started off as a member of Batman’s rogues’ gallery, whose only remarkable feature was her gender. Yet, over the years Selina’s motivations have grown from simple cat-inspired crimes to something more complex, graduating from villain to vigilante and antihero due in no small part to Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One story (written at a time before Frank Miller descended into self parody) where her origin was changed from an amnesiac to a prostitute inspired by Batman‘s “gimmick”.  Selina’s popularity has further grown through a successful solo series run.  Even with the end of her series she is still a popular character, appearing in such DC Comics as Salvation Run, Detective and most recently, Gotham City Sirens.  Cat Woman plays at both being the hero and the villain, alternating between a desire to do good, an annoying sense of responsibility, and cheap thrills…

8. Wolverine

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He is the best he is at what he does, if what you mean by what he does is sell comics.  Wolverine is Marvel‘s cash cow, a mutant killing machine that racks up an implausibly high body count wherever he goes.  He would rank higher on this list, except Wolverine is too much the team player.  Seriously, he is on at least two X-Men teams as well as The Avengers, not to mention the guest appearance of the week.  Add to that his tendency to take teenage girls under his wing and this Wolverine is practically…domesticated…

7. The Incredible Hulk

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The green one, I mean…who is sometimes gray…

Doc Bruce Banner was belted by gamma rays and thus his monstrous alter ego was born, a creature formed as much by his subconscious fears and rage as he was by a world intent on destroying him.  The Hulk has played many roles over the years: rampaging monster, full-fledged superhero, Las Vegas mob enforcer, revolutionary on an alien world, and later a global threat intent on revenge against the Illuminati he felt destroyed his planet and wife.  The Hulk in all his incarnations has proven popular enough to have sustained a pretty consistent run in comics from his first appearance in Tales to Astonish back in ’64.  Not bad for a guy who spent quite a few years saying little more than “Hulk Smash!”

6. The Sub Mariner

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Namor, The Sub Mariner first appeared in the spring of ’39 and proved to be a complex character in a four color world and may very well be the first comic book antihero, setting the standard for complex villains such as Magneto, for example.  The Sub Mariner is every bit as interesting today as he was when he first fought the original Human Torch, and he has maintained his shades-of-gray status by being both a member of Iron Man and Norman Osborn’s Illuminati organizations.

5. John Constantine

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A man who faces demons, both inner and real, Constantine has faced horrors that would drive most men mad (and in John’s case actually has on at least one occasion).  Just knowing John Constantine is likely to get you killed: during his comic’s run just about every member of his supporting cast has either been killed, maimed, mutilated, tortured, and coerced into making deals with fiends from The Pit.  And yet Constantine goes on, a supernatural warrior willing to pay almost any price to keep the darkest evil at bay.

In recent times Constantine has gotten rid of the guilt and self-loathing plaguing him by magically giving it the physical form of a baby and throwing it off a cliff.  What a magnificent bastard…

4. Iron Man

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Tony Stark is very much a self-made man with a host of flaws.  An alcoholic unable to maintain a steady relationship with a woman, he is a control freak willing to do anything to forward his personal agenda.  It is only fortunate for the Marvel universe his agenda usually coincides with that of most heroes.  Stark is manipulative (he faked his own death and guilted James Rhodes into both running Stark International and becoming War Machine). He founded the Illuminati, a group of like-minded arrogant bastards intent on solving problems “lesser” heroes could not. Iron Man inadvertently killed The Gremlin during Armor Wars in an attempt to take back complete control of his armor technology and then avoided prosecution by claiming his “employee” had died). He also became a government stooge to take control of The Initiative after the Super Hero Registration Act was passed.  Stark became such a totally irredeemable bastard Marvel Comics had to reboot him, wiping out the past five years of his memory is a massive do-over.  Sad thing is, it is not the first time something like that has happened…

3. Rorschach

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Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s dark creation was just one of many outstanding characters introduced during the landmark Watchmen series, but he is far and away the most popular and fascinating.  The child of a broken home, Walter Kovacs was a typical costumed hero (if there is such a thing) until one day he discovered a crime so horrific (a girl was kidnapped, and when the kidnapper realized he would get no money for her, he killed her, chopped up her body and fed it to his dogs) that it put him over the edge.  That day, as he explained to his prison psychiatrist, Walter Kovacs died and Rorschach was born.  A paranoid reactionary more than willing to break a man’s fingers for a scrap of information, Rorschach was uncompromising in his principles to the point where he was willing to die rather than live and perpetuate the Utopian lie Ozymandias had created.

Perhaps part of what makes Rorschach such an outstanding character is the fact that he only appeared in twelve issues so his image has remained unsullied.

Sometimes less truly is more.

2. The Punisher

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Starting off as merely a Mack Bolan (the Executioner) clone, Frank Castle has become so much more.  He is the unstoppable vigilante, a mere human fueled by an unquenchable desire to murder each and every piece of criminal scum on the planet.  Never mind that he has probably already killed the men who killed his wife and children, for Frank the war has become an end in itself, a way of life this soldier is unable to give up.

The Punisher has had his ups and downs over the years, ranging from over-saturation during the nineties (a period where every other hero wore black and/or had a gun, not to mention the rash of mullets) to the period when Frank became an angelic avenger (Marvel’s valiant attempt to completely destroy a good thing).  Garth Ennis’ outstanding work in recent years has once again elevated Frank Castle to the status of the greatest antihero of all time…Well, almost.  There is one greater…

1. Conan

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Mercenary, thief, adventurer… men want to be him and women want to belong to him.  The smoldering-eyed Cimmerian may have his own code of honor, but it does not get in the way of heavy drinking, womanizing and making sure his sword (or dagger, or fists, or whatever weapon is handy) is soaked in some poor bastard’s blood.  While other vigilantes may have a higher body count, none can match Conan’s sheer savagery and courage.  There is no healing factor, no automatic rifle.  For Conan it is blade to blade against brigand, sorcerer and hell spawn horror!  Conan is the oldest and most enduring character on this list and is the quintessential antihero, as much an inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons role players as is Lord of The Rings, as well as numerous fantasy novels populating bookshelves.     He has had two successful comic book runs: first with Marvel Comics and currently with Dark Horse.  Unlike many pulp characters of his era Conan’s popularity seldom wanes for long and his influence endures.

Top Ten Best Joker Stories

September 15, 2010

To go along with the recent Top 10 Lamest Batman Villains post, here’s top 10 list of the best Joker stories. The criteria in picking these was that it had to be a story that features the Joker, not just a great Batman story that the Joker appeared in briefly. If you’re a Joker fan, you owe it to yourself to read all of these.

“What? Not laughing yet? Just wait ’til I get to the punch line.
It’ll kill you! HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa”
~The Joker

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10. The Clown at Midnight

by Grant Morrison & John Van Fleet (2007, batman #663)
Grant Morrison returned to Batman after eighteen years to write the seminal modern Joker story. If you like Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight movie, then you will absolutely love this story!

The Great Clayface-Joker Feud

9. The Great Clayface-Joker Feud

by Bill Finger, Jim Mooney & Sheldon Moldoff (1963, Batman #159)
Batman, Robin, Bat-Girl, Batwoman, the Joker, Clayface, twists, turns, battles, surprises… what more could you want!?!

Mad Love

8. Mad Love

by Paul Dini & Bruce Timm (1994, Batman Adventures Graphic Novel)
From the people who brought you Batman the Animated Series comes the best Joker love story around, and also one of the most hilarious comics you’ll ever read. Dive into the shallow end, and try not to hit your head against the insane love affair between Harley Quinn and Mr. J.

The Laughing Fish

7. The Laughing Fish, The Sign of the Joker

by Steve Englehart & Marshall Rodgers (1978, Detective Comics #475-476)
A quintessential classic Joker tale. During the 70s, writers stopped portraying the Joker as a campy villain, like in the TV show, and yet Englehart perfectly wove a corny yet serious tale.

The Joker\'s Five-Way Revenge

6. The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge

by Denny O’Neil & Neal Adams (1973, Batman #251)
Heralded as the first story to strip the Joker of his 60s campiness. This tale along with Neal Adams terrifying pencils, portrays the Joker as a true psychotic maniac. And the Joker goes after his own henchmen.

Death in the Family

5. Death in the Family

by Jim Starlin & Jim Aparo (1988, Batman #426-429)
This time the Joker kills someone very close to home for Batman and Bruce Wayne. No other death, save for Bruce’s parents, had such a resonating effect on the Dark Knight as did the death of Jason Todd.

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4. Batman vs The Joker

by Bill Finger, Bob Kane & Jerry Robinson (1940, Batman #1)
This is it, the first appearance of the Joker, the one that started it all.

The Man Who Laughs

3. Batman: The Man Who Laughs

by Ed Brubaker & Dough Mahnke (2005, Graphic Novel)
Ed Brubaker wrote this wondrous story as a sequel to Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and to Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. Not only did he pull off this gigantic daunting task, but he crafted one of the best Joker stories ever.

Arkham Asylum

2. Arkham Asylum

by Grant Morrison & Dave McKean (1989, Graphic Novel)
What happens when the inmates take over the asylum? Grant Morrison not only showed us that, but re-invented The Joker into a totally deranged maniac that puts on a different persona like we put on clean underwear. A chilling tale to say the least.

The Killing Joke

1. The Killing Joke

by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland (1988, Graphic Novel)
Certainly number one on many people’s list, and rightfully so, easily the best Joker story of all-time. A masterful tale that changed Batman and Barbara Gordon’s life forever.

“Any man can have one really bad day and end up just like me.”

Top Ten Humorous Awards

August 28, 2010

February means the awards show season is in full swing, as accolades are handed out for the best movies, television shows, and records of the year. But this time of the year is also when a lot of the best joke awards come to pass. While the Oscars are busy honoring the best acting performances of the year, there are other ceremonies that honor the worst acting. And while every year the Nobel committee honors the geniuses and do-gooders of the world, there are other groups that seek to “reward” the stupidest and most malevolent nominees possible. The following is a list of some of the best and weirdest of these joke awards and competitions.

10. The Bad Sex in Fiction Award

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Before you start trying to publish that romance novel you’ve been working on, make sure you’ve put some real effort into writing your love scenes, because if you don’t, you might end up winning the “Bad Sex in Fiction Award.” Put out every year by the British magazine Literary Review, the prize jokingly awards the worst depictions of sex in literature. As the creators say, the award seeks “to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.” The award isn’t just reserved for hack writers, either. Past winners have included such literary luminaries as Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer, and many other famous novelists have been nominated. Winners are presented with a plaster foot each year in a ceremony in London. (Above: Courtney Love presenting a plaster foot to 2006 winner Iain Hollingshead, for his book Twentysomething.)

Most Famous Winner
This is a matter of opinion, but one of the most egregious offenders has got to be 1997’s winner Nicholas Royle, whose book The Matter of the Heart included such steamy one-liners as “she made a noise somewhere between a beached seal and a police siren.”

9. The Pigasus Award

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The Pigasus Award is handed out nearly every year by James Randi, a noted magician, skeptic, and debunker of “paranormal phenomena.” As he describes it, the award seeks to “honor” the worst of the charlatans and phonies who claim to have special psychic, magic, and paranormal abilities. Randi has unofficially given the awards out almost every year since 1982, and there are different categories to honor all varieties of fraud. These include the worst example of pseudoscience, the most fraudulent performer, the organization that funded the most useless study, and the media outlet that reported on the most outrageous instance of a paranormal phenomenon.  Past winners have included the Montel Williams Show, for continually having psychic Sylvia Browne as a guest, and Dr. Colin A. Ross, a Canadian psychiatrist who claimed he could shoot electromagnetic radiation from his eyes. Randi doesn’t officially give out the awards; instead, he claims to send them via telekinesis, saying that if the winners don’t receive the trophy then it must be due to a “lack of paranormal talent” on their part.

Most Famous Winner
The most notable winner of the Pigasus Award is surely Uri Geller, a UK-based psychic performer whom Randi has lambasted time and again for being a fraud. In fact, in its earliest incarnation the Pigasus Award was known as the “Uri Award.” Geller, who is known for bending spoons and performing other tricks with his supposed telepathic powers, has sued Randi repeatedly for slander and libel, with little success.

8. The Lanterne Rouge

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It’s typical to reward the winner of a race, but in cycling there is another more dubious honor called the “Lanterne Rouge,” which is handed out to the rider who finishes in last place. The French term is translated as “red lantern,” and is supposedly a reference to the light that is placed on the back of the caboose on a train. It has become most famously associated with the Tour de France, where it has been unofficially handed out every year since 1903. Ironically, the competition to become the Lanterne Rouge has often been as heated as the race for the win, the logic being that unlike those who finish in the middle of the pack, the last place rider will be remembered by the public. This has proven to be true, as the winner of the race for worst often becomes a cult hero among the fans and is able to make a good amount of money from public appearances. This became such a problem that in 1980, the Tour briefly instituted a rule that said the last place rider from each stage would be dropped from the competition. Naturally, riders just raced for second to last in each stage in order to make it to the final day and claim their honor as the best of the worst.

Most Famous Winner
The man who holds the record for most Lanterne Rouge wins is Wim Vansevenant, a Belgian cyclist who claimed last place three years in a row from 2006 to 2008. He retired after his last “win,” and has supposedly become a farmer (pictured above).

7. The Bulwer-Lytton and Little-Lytton Fiction Contests

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The Bulwer-Lytton award is handed out each year by the English department of San Jose State University. It’s a writing prize, but unlike the Pulitzer or the National Book Award, it seeks to honor the entrant who can provide the worst of all possible opening sentences to an imaginary novel. The contest is named after the nineteenth century novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose book Paul Clifford opens with the now universally hated sentence “It was a dark and stormy night.” Today, there are tens of thousands of entries every year, each one more convoluted, purple, and hilarious than the next. There are now a number of different categories, and there are even several offshoots competitions of Bulwer-Lytton, like the Lyttle-Lytton contest, which restricts the contestants to 25 words or less. Lyttle-Lytton has since become its own phenomenon, and has given us such gems of so-bad-it’s-good prose as “Because they had not repented, the angel stabbed the unrepentant couple thirteen times, with its sword,” which was Graham Swanson’s winning entry from 2008.

Most Famous Winner
There’s too many great Bulwer-Lytton winners to choose just one, but a personal favorite would have to be Martha Simpson’s winning entry from 1985: “The countdown had stalled at T minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick, rubbery lips unmistakably—the first of many such advances during what would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my career.”

6. The Ernie Awards

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One of Australia’s most famously ironic accolades is the Ernie Award, a trophy handed out every year to the man judged to have made the most sexist remark in the media. The awards were first started in the early nineties by Australian politician Meredith Burgmann, and are handed out every year at a dinner attended by hundreds of women. The “winners” are decided by which nominee receives the loudest booing when their name and comment is read aloud to the group. The Ernies are broken up into different categories, so there are separate awards handed out for offenders in the realms of industry, politics, the legal system, the media, sports, and celebrities. There is even an award for the woman who’s made the most harmful remark of the year. Past winners of the “Golden Ernie,” the overall award, have included magistrates, private companies, and even the Prime Minister, while the “Silver Ernie” has been handed out to everyone from the father of tennis player Jelena Dokic to Tom Cruise.

Most Famous Winner
One of the most notable recent winners was 2008’s champion John Maloney, the mayor of the small Australian mining town of Mount Isa, who remarked that “beauty disadvantaged” women should move to his town because its mainly male population didn’t have very high standards.

5. The Big Brother Awards

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George Orwell’s famous novel 1984 describes a dystopian society where freedom and privacy are nonexistent and “Big Brother” is always watching. The Big Brother Awards, which are presented by the nonprofit watchdog group Privacy International, are inspired by Orwell’s cautionary view of the future and seek to “reward” the “government agencies, private companies and individuals who have excelled in the violation of our privacy.” Nearly every year, a jury of academics, journalists, and lawyers come together to judge who is the worst offender in the realm of surveillance, the illegal collection of data, and the invasion of privacy. The awards began in the UK in the late 90s, and since then they have spread around the world and are now held in as many as 18 different countries, including the United States. Winners have included everyone from Google, for its controversial policy of collecting information on users, to Vladimir Putin, for pretty much anything you can think of. In true tongue-in-cheek fashion, the winners receive a trophy depicting a golden boot stomping on a human head. No word yet on whether anyone has actually tried to collect.

Most Famous Winner
Most of the winners of the Big Brother Awards are the types of companies and individuals that tend to fly under the radar, but there have been some well-known recipients. One of the most famous from the UK ceremony was Tony Blair, described on the Big Brother Awards’ website as “the smiling puppeteer,” who received a “Lifetime Menace Award” in 2005.

4. The Stella Awards

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Sue-happy Americans have become notorious for filing frivolous lawsuits in order make a quick buck. The Stella Awards, which were started by journalist Randy Cassingham in 2002, seek to draw attention to the most absurd and egregious examples of people abusing the legal system. The awards are named after Stella Liebeck, a woman who won a $2.9 million lawsuit in 1992 when she sued after spilling a cup of McDonald’s coffee on herself. That might be one of the most famous frivolous lawsuits of all time, but it seems almost reasonable compared to most of the Stella Award winning lawsuits, which range from the greedy and disingenuous to the downright ridiculous. Some examples include an Oregon man who sued Michael Jordan because he claimed the NBA star looked too much like him, a woman who sued Mazda after getting injured in a car accident because they didn’t “provide instructions regarding the proper use of a seatbelt,” and a man who legally changed his name to “Jack Ass” and then sued the MTV show of the same name for plagiarism.

Most Famous Winner
It seems like the Stella Award winners just get more ridiculous with each passing year, but one of the most famous recipients has got to be Christopher Roller, who was 2005’s big winner. He sued the illusionists David Copperfield and David Blaine for millions, claiming that their magic tricks defied the laws of physics and that they must be wielding some kind of godlike powers. As if that wasn’t weird enough, Roller went on to claim that he was God himself, and that if the magicians were in possession of supernatural power, they must have somehow stolen it from him.

3. The Ig Nobel Prize

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While the Nobel Prize is busy rewarding its winners for breakthroughs in science, literature, and economics, its smaller, more irreverent cousin the Ig Nobel Prize honors people for inventing bras that can be turned into gas masks or extracting vanilla flavoring from cow dung. The awards are a play on “Nobel Prize” and the word “ignoble,” which means dishonorable or not of nobility. They are handed out every year by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research and seek to honor discoveries and achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.” The Ig Nobel is known for honoring bizarre and seemingly inconsequential research, but the organizers insist that they are only trying to highlight imaginative work that will encourage public interest in science. This hasn’t stopped some from seeing the award as a backhanded compliment: in 1995, the science advisor to the British government asked that British scientists no longer be given the Ig Nobel, as it risked exposing legitimate research to undeserved ridicule. Still, despite any criticisms, the Ig Nobel continues to be one of the most popular, if least prestigious, awards in science.

Most Famous Winner
One of the most notable Ig Nobel Prize winners was the United States Air Force, which won the award for Peace in 2007 for its theoretical “Gay Bomb,” a device that would scatter female pheromones over enemy soldiers and cause them to become sexually attracted to one another.

2. The Darwin Awards

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You don’t necessarily want to win any of the awards on this list, but you definitely don’t want to be honored with the Darwin Award, a darkly comic accolade given out each year to the people who manage to die in the most idiotic ways possible. The awards began as a bizarre stories discussion group in the late 80s, but they grew with the rise of the Internet and now feature a popular website and a bestselling series of books written by Wendy Northcutt. The awards are named after the evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, who popularized the phrase “survival of the fittest,” and they seek to honor the unfortunate people who “do a service to humanity by removing themselves from the gene pool,” most often in a “supremely idiotic fashion.” This can happen in a variety of ways, from the guy who thought it was a good idea to juggle live hand grenades, to the one who decided to use a lighter to look inside a fuel tank to see if there was any gas in it. In all cases, the winners must fit a few criteria: they must be rendered unable to reproduce (either through death or sterilization); the accident must be their fault; they must be of sound judgment; and the act itself must be notable for its stupidity. There is also a category of honorable mentions for candidates who didn’t die but suffered injuries because of their foolishness. One famous example occurred in 2001, when two burglars broke into the house of professional soccer player and notorious brawler Duncan “Disorderly” Ferguson. Ferguson caught the men in the act, and one of them ended up being hospitalized for three days.

Most Famous Winner
There might be no more classic example of a Darwin Award honoree than the lawyer who thought it was a good idea to test how strong the windows of his 24th floor office were by running into them at full speed. As you might imagine, they weren’t strong enough.

1. The Razzies

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Actors and filmmakers like to say that it’s an honor just to be nominated for the prestigious Academy Awards, but the same can’t be said about the Golden Raspberry Awards—also known as “the Razzies”—which precede the Oscars by a day and seek to reward the year’s worst achievements in film. While the Oscars are busy honoring No Country for Old Men and Meryl Streep, the Razzies are handing out accolades to The Love Guru and Paris Hilton for her turn in The Hottie and the Nottie. The Razzies were started in 1981 by John Wilson, a professional copywriter and movie buff who used to have guests at his Oscar party provide joke nominations for the worst films of the year. Today, as many as 650 judges vote on the worst achievements in cinema, and the awards have become so famous that some celebrities, including Bill Cosby and Tom Selleck, have even gone so far as to accept their “honor,” which comes in the form of a plastic trophy spray-painted gold. The Razzies have often overlapped with the mainstream awards shows in unusual ways. One notable example is the film Mamma Mia, which won several Razzies despite also being nominated at the Golden Globes. This year features another first, as Sandra Bullock has simultaneously been nominated for both an Oscar (for The Blind Side) and a Razzie (for All About Steve).

Most Famous Winner
The most famous Razzie Award Winner is undoubtedly Halle Berry, who won the 2004 Worst Actress trophy for Catwoman only two years after claiming the Best Actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball. In a legendary display of good sportsmanship, Berry appeared in person to accept her award and, while holding her Oscar statuette in her other hand, gave a speech where she thanked her director and manager for helping her deliver such a terrible performance.

Funny and Ambiguous Photos

August 28, 2010

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