Ben Dreyfuss

Engagement Editor

Ben Dreyfuss is the engagement editor at Mother Jones.

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Michele Bachmann Just Posted One of the Most Hateful Obama Rants You'll Ever Read

| Wed Apr. 1, 2015 8:35 PM EDT

Michele Bachmann was a member of the United States House of Representatives for 8 years. Here's a thing she just wrote on Facebook.

Facebook

I need a drink.

Update: The Washington Examiner's T. Becket Adams noted earlier today that this is a day old and no one noticed. Once upon a time the media would have pounced on anything Bachmann wrote this incendiary. We had Google alerts set up, damnit! Now? It took a day for the national media to stumble on to this. I mean, I guess this could be considered...progress?

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This Is the Only Funny April Fools' Prank That Has Ever Been Pulled

| Wed Apr. 1, 2015 12:56 PM EDT

It's April Fools' Day! Or is it? It is. But how could you know? I'm just some schmuck stating a fact. On most days you could believe me—but on this day, April 1, according to tradition, anything stated as fact must be viewed with suspicion. Because it's April Fools', and on April Fools' otherwise normal, sane, decent, jazzy, fun, neat, and cool people lie. For no real reason, really. Rarely are the lies funny. Mostly they're just "haha, I tricked you into believing something that could be true but isn't. GULLIBLE IS WRITTEN IN THE SKY, DIPSHIT."

The internet is so awful on April Fools'. It makes me want to put a knife in my head. The information superhighway is filled with hoaxes and bullshit on a normal day! On April Fools' Day, it's extra unreliable. Sometimes the "pranks" aren't even pranks. Here is the front page of Amazon today:

"Whoa, what happened to Amazon? This new design is crazy! It looks like it's from like olden days or something! Oh, snap! It's an April Fools' Day prank! This corporate web portal just S-E-R-V-E-D me good." Except, not really, because it says in big bright words "Amazon.com has gone retro—April Fools." It's explaining it's own awful prank. It's supposed to be what? Cute? Is that what April Fools' Day is now? An opportunity for #brands to be #cute? It's ironic because in reality April Fools' is about misleading people and #brands spend every day doing that.

To be totally real, April Fools' essentially exists to allow boring unfunny people to let loose one day a year by lying to their friends and colleagues.

Want an April Fools' joke? Here's an April Fools' joke:

Man runs into apartment. A beautiful woman with a very sad way about her is there. He says, "honey, baby doll, light of my life, I love you!" "Leave me alone," she says. "No, honey, you don't understand. I did it." "Did what?" "I left her! I left my wife!" He shows her his left hand. There is no ring on his ring finger. She's overjoyed. She jumps into his arms, wraps her legs around him, kisses him hard and long, and they fall back onto her bed and make passionate love. Then the guy gets out of bed, puts the ring back on his finger and says, "April Fools'!"

Resolved: April Fools' is evil. (And OVER.)

However there was once a funny April Fools' prank. It happened once and only once and it will be told about in stories for generations to come:

Greg Stekelman

In 2012, this image made the rounds on the internet purporting to show how the BBC "won April Fools" with a great prank. (For some reason many news organizations prank their readers on April 1.) But it was not the case. It was actually a joke created by writer Greg Stekelman.

As he put it in a comment on this Gothamist post, "It seems ironic that an article about April Fools you didn't take the time to check whether the article was actually from the BBC. I thought it would be fun to do an April Fools' story that was so implausible that no one would think it was real. Oh well."

So on April 1 let us think of Greg Stekelman, the man who told the only funny April Fools' joke ever.

"The Americans" Is One Of The Best Shows On Television—And It Just Got Renewed For Another Season.

| Tue Mar. 31, 2015 3:49 PM EDT

Do you watch The Americans? You should watch The Americans! Why don't you watch The Americans? Do you not watch it because it's about Soviet spies who love each other and also work together to bring down America by wearing wigs and having sexxxxxxx? Well, guess what? That's only sort of what it's about. It's really about a marriage. Are you married? If you're married, you'll relate to this show a lot.

You'll watch it and be like "God, my wife and I just had a very similar fight about how to raise our daughter." Just replace spying for the Soviets with whatever you do for a living. They're so cute together, The Americans! They love each other so much, but they're torn in different directions by competing loyalties, and they don't know what to do! Bonus: I recently found out that The Americans are dating in real life, which is so cute OMG.

I love The Americans. I'm not nuts about the dumb kids, and some of the storylines are dumb, but the show is really great. The one thing I don't like about the show is that The Americans are not actually Americans, they're Soviets and I don't like rooting for people who are trying to bring down America. I keep hoping they're going to defect.

But I think they probably won't. They seem to like communism a lot. But at the same time they also like living in America and enjoying the fruits of capitalism. Their minds are all messed up! You can see what a complicated situation they're in. A lot of D-R-A-M-A.

Anyway, it's maybe the second best show on television (after The Good Wife).

The problem is, not that many people watch it. :(((.

The ratings for season 3 are in the hole. A cloud of pessimism and fear has overshadowed the last few episodes; I figured it was unlikely to get renewed by FX for a fourth season. But, guess what? Good news! It's coming back!

So start watching it please oh dear god I beg you please watch it, please! We can be best friends if you watch it.

Look At These Crazy Wave Clouds!

| Tue Mar. 31, 2015 1:31 PM EDT

Look! In the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a cloud that looks like neither a bird or a plane! A wave! It looks like a wave!

High above South Carolina yesterday "wave clouds" rippled through the sky. They are bonkers!

Look at this video:

Now look at this one:

Weather.com has a whole gallery of crazy shots.

What is a wave cloud? WIRED explains:

These crazy clouds that look like a row of crashing waves are known as Kelvin-Helmholz waves. They form when two layers of air or liquid of different densities move past each other at different speeds, creating shearing at the boundary.

“It could be like oil and vinegar,” Chuang said. “In the ocean, the top is warm and the bottom is really cold. It’s like a thin layer of oil on a big puddle of water.”

When these two layers move past each other, a Kelvin-Helmholz instability is formed that is sort of like a wave. Parts of the boundary move up and parts move down. Because one layer is moving faster than the other, the shear causes the tops of the waves to move horizontally, forming what looks like an ocean wave crashing on the beach.

“It really is like breaking waves,” Chuang said. “A wave breaks when the water on top moves so much faster than the water below that it kind of piles up on itself.”

The world is a weird and beautiful place.

The Largest Newspaper in Indiana Just Made One Hell of a Statement

| Mon Mar. 30, 2015 11:06 PM EDT

This is the front page of tomorrow's Indianapolis Star:

@markalesia/Twitter

Hell, yeah.

We are at a critical moment in Indiana's history.

And much is at stake.

Our image. Our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse backgrounds and makes them feel welcome. And our efforts over many years to retool our economy, to attract talented workers and thriving businesses, and to improve the quality of life for millions of Hoosiers.

All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent already has done enormous harm to our state and potentially our economic future.

The consequences will only get worse if our state leaders delay in fixing the deep mess created.

Half steps will not be enough. Half steps will not undo the damage.

Go read the whole thing.

Tue Mar. 31, 2015 1:31 PM EDT
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Mon Dec. 22, 2014 2:02 PM EST