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Technology wants to murder you. Maybe not literally, and maybe not metaphorically, either, but in some third way that you wouldn't even be able to wrap your head around because it's so advanced, its user interface so complex. Naturally, you are worried about the freedom we've so recklessly handed to machines in the name of convenience. Every new invention, every advancement in gadgetry is an encroachment on human control and, more importantly, your own personal relevance on Earth. But as you try to understand technology better, where can you turn for honest answers? Sadly, most people ask technology itself, naively thinking the Internet wouldn't be biased. But it is, it is biased. Google has been harvesting your searches and selling them to advertisers bent on selling you more technology.

But there is hope. For the better part of his parole, my Uncle Frank has been answering completely absurd but very real questions people ask search engines every day. In an extra effort this time around to fight technology with technology, he's upgraded his advice column to make the answers crawlable by search engines. What his guidance may lack in factual accuracy he makes up for in sincerity. Most importantly, these are exactly the answers humanity must have been hoping to hear when it pecked these insane questions into Google.

What Rights Do Robots Have?

Look, we live in a time when being kindly and sensitive is more important to everyone than common sense. It's just something we have to put up with. Robots have pretty much the same rights as you, so that means it's only a matter of time before they're mixing them into our schools and letting them drink out of the same water fountains as us. I don't mean to scare you, but some day your daughter could be dating a robot. It's gotten that bad.

Plus, people are so excited to be open-minded that everyone forgot to write a single real law that robots have to live by, so they can pretty much do whatever they want. And guess what? No robots have ever been put in jail, either. Not once. It's like judges are in love with robots or something.

The worst part is that you can't do anything about it. Like say you're in your ex-girlfriend's trailer and you get spooked by one of those robot vacuums so you kick it through a wall. Everyone will treat you like a bad guy, even though that robot snuck up on you first.

Good luck out there,

Uncle Frank

Hearing Voices Through Electronics, How to Stop It?

One of the worst things about technology is that it attracts ghosts like ticks to hair. Sometimes when you're just trying to record one of those late-night TV tit movies on VHS all you'll end up with is 90 minutes of spirits telling you to go dig body-sized holes in an old barn.

If you're hearing voices every time you turn your television to a dead channel or if you're hearing screams coming from your tape deck between songs, there's only one good way to get rid of them: Listen carefully and do exactly what they say.

You'll find that their requests are usually pretty reasonable. Most of it is stuff you've been sort of thinking about doing anyway, like pushing cursed cars into the lake by the highway or breaking into the house of that guy who was rude to you at the library once.

If you do what they say, usually they'll leave you alone. Probably because they get to go to heaven after you help them with their unfinished business in this world. It's just weird how many of them forgot to burn something down while they were alive.

Your pal,

Just Frank

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Who Invented the Ice?

No one knows for sure, but boy did that guy ruin things for the rest of us. Ice is the worst. It's always getting under car tires and sinking ships and hitting you in the face at the end of your drink. Ice never did anything good for anyone. If I had to guess, I'd bet it was probably some Canadian who invented it because he couldn't think of anything better to invent, like an MP3 player or a cellphone or something. Canadians pretend they love ice just to make the rest of us feel stupid when we don't know how to ice skate. But now we've got more ice than we know what to do with and it just gets in everyone's way.

You know, in some countries, like El Salvador, they don't even have ice, ever. Not even in January, and they're doing just fine. If I knew who invented ice, I'd hit him right in the jaw. Then I'd tell him to put some ice on it. What a jerk.

Mad just thinking about it,

Ole Frankie

Can You Make a Lot of Money Reading Emails?

You bet you can. The catch is that you have to find the right ones to read. Just reading your own emails probably doesn't pay much, but if you can figure out how to access your boss' email or the email of someone famous, then you can make piles of money. The trick is to know what you're looking for. You may have to read through hundreds of emails, but you'll know you're done when you find any combination of these words:








From there, the money part just locks into place. You don't even have to keep doing the job after that, and you'll still get paid. Remember that sometimes important people will try to trash those emails, but if that addiction hunch pans out, they probably aren't thinking clearly enough to empty their deleted items folder. See, for all the bad things that technology puts you through, it turns out there are at least some paying jobs out there if you understand it pretty good.

-Fortune 500 Frank

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What Inventions Haven't Been Made?

Great question. I like where your head is at. It's pretty unlikely that technology will ever stop, so it's smart to get on the train early and invent some stuff that will pay out in the long run. Fortunately, there are still a lot of things we humans have always needed but that no one has had the time to make yet. Here are a few I think about almost every day:

- Special glasses that let you see which animals have souls and which ones don't. If that doesn't pan out, then one that just works for birds.

- Glow in the dark magazines.

- A secret translator for bird calls so you can tell if they're just pretending to sing and really laughing at you.

- A fork that's a fork on one end and a toothbrush on the other.

- A remote control bird that can fly and tricks real birds into flying through wind turbines.

- A goose scooper.

Really, if you invent just one of these things, you can probably make millions and be remembered forever. But if you were thinking about trying to make a hummingbird feeder that attracts lightning, you can forget it, because that idea is taken.

Friend forever (except to those goddamn birds),


For more from Soren, check out Answering The 6 Craziest Pet Questions Ever Googled and The Spambot Who Seduced Me: A True Story of Forbidden Love.

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