Ben Dreyfuss

Ben Dreyfuss

Engagement Editor

Ben Dreyfuss is the engagement editor at Mother Jones.

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How to Open a Wine Bottle With Your Shoe

| Fri May 9, 2014 7:07 PM EDT

Once upon a time a father sat his son on his lap and said, "Son, one day you will have a bottle of wine, but you will not have a corkscrew to open it with. You will look around for some sort of apparatus with which to free the wine from the bottle."

"Daddy, should I use a knife to push the cork into the bottle?"

"Ha. No. That's a horrible idea. Use your shoe!"

And so began the legend of the wine-bottle-shoe-trick. But many were dubious. Was this just a story? An old wives' tale told by frat boys with an urge?

It turns out: No! You can really open a wine bottle with your shoe*.

How do we know? Smart, fearless Mother Jones reporter Tim McDonnell made it happen (watch the video above).

Here's how:

  1. You need a solid-soled shoe. No work-out soft-soled BS.
  2. Find a really sturdy wall. We're talking brick.
  3. Have courage and strength.
  4. The shoe must be perpendicular to the wall.
  5. Have faith, and take several determined, precise swings.
  6. The cork should slowly emerge over the course of several swings.
  7. Keep your face and other vulnerable bits away from the impact zone (SCIENCE).
  8. The force of the liquid inside the bottle will force the cork out.
  9. Drink!!!

*Mother Jones does not endorse that you try this at home in any way. Please drink in moderation. And don't drive.

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"Community" Has Been Canceled

| Fri May 9, 2014 2:56 PM EDT

Community, a show that you and all your Twitter friends sure did like a lot, has been canceled.

RIP Community—may its legend live on in stories.

CNN to America: Where Do You Think the Plane Is?

| Wed May 7, 2014 5:30 PM EDT

According to a new CNN poll, 9 percent of Americans believe "space aliens, time travelers, or beings from another dimension" are responsible for the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370.

According to a 2012 National Geographic survey, 36 percent of Americans believe that aliens have already visited Earth.

If you are one of the 27 percent of Americans who believe that aliens have visited Earth but aren't responsible for the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370, please let me know. I'd love to pick your brain.

Bonus: The new CNN poll asks respondents where they think the plane is. Fifty-one percent of Americans believe the plane is in the Indian Ocean around where the search teams are looking, but 46 percent of Americans think it's "somewhere else." None of the people polled could possibly have any idea where the plane is. The question is itself ridiculous, but maybe more ridiculous is the idea that almost half of America thinks the experts are wrong. "The search teams say it's in that one bit of the Indian Ocean, but I think it's in Canada. Or Hawaii. Or Scotland. Or the moon. Or Benghazi. Why? I've just got a feeling."

Forty-six percent of Americans are living in a world of pure imagination.

Watch Barack Obama & Joel McHale Make Jokes at the 2014 White House Correspondents' Dinner

| Sun May 4, 2014 12:33 AM EDT

The White House Correspondents' Dinner was tonight. President Obama told some jokes. Joel McHale told some jokes. None of these jokes were terribly funny, I thought. They weren't awful, but they weren't great. McHale sort of "went after" the Beltway types in the room (a la Colbert), which was neat, but I don't think the jokes themselves were very funny. But who knows, really. Maybe they were? I don't know. Maybe I'm just not in the right mood.

Here are the videos. Decide for yourself.

Obama:

McHale:

I'm genuinely curious what other people thought. Yay/Nay? Let me know in the comments.

Also, if Obama and McHale didn't do it for you, here's the funniest standup ever, Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill:

 

The NBA Just Hit Donald Sterling With a Lifetime Ban

| Tue Apr. 29, 2014 2:21 PM EDT

The NBA is no longer OK with awful racist Donald Sterling's awful racism.

Commissioner Adam Silver just announced that the Los Angeles Clippers owner has been banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million. Sterling will be banned from all basketball operations and from attending any NBA games.

Further, Silver said he will be urging the NBA Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the franchise.

Two-and-a-half million is the largest fine allowed by under the NBA's constitution but, as Mother Jones' Ian Gordon points out, it's really just pocket change for him.

"The discipline issued today is based on the Commissioner’s conclusion that Mr. Sterling violated league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the impact of which has been widely felt though out the league," the NBA said in a statement.

The announcement was immediately hailed by league players. The Clippers website right now:

This post has been updated.

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