While there's no shortage of totally amazing true stories in the world, the problem with those is that you actually have to go out and find them -- and why bother, when you can just make shit up and everyone will share it anyway? So in the interest of preserving our own journalistic credibility of bringing you stories of ventriloquism sex and real-life ghost hunters, here is yet another sifting of dung gold from the plethora of ridiculous online media ...
#6. Women Don't Avoid Exercise Because "Boobs"
We understand the impulse to put "boobs" or "breasts" in as many headlines as possible. We just did that. But, if you decide to use this powerful tool, the Mirror, the Independent, and Yahoo, at least make sure the story is true:
But not of "journalism," clearly.
Man, boobs suck. This all comes from a research study at the Univers(t)ity of Portsmith, which concluded that "nearly one in five women" avoid exercise due to discomfort from their breasts. Right away there's the notable fact that nowhere does the study mention "big" breasts being the problem -- in fact, it specifically points out that the size of the breasts has nothing to do with their findings. A little thing like that never stopped the Mirror before, though.
"You think we should ask one before running this?"
What's more, once you actually analyze the study (i.e., read it), you discover that while it's true that "nearly one in five" women reported this, it's out of a pool of only 249 people who were asked -- breasts being listed as the fourth most common reason for absence of exercise behind lack of energy and time, as well as health issues. We're pretty sure that if you did a similar study for men, "awkward boners" would be somewhere down the list, too, and yet you don't see that in headlines. So far, anyway.
#5. No, Teens in Australia Aren't Pissing into Their Own Mouths
First it was the Lindy Hop, and then the Twist -- teens getting feverishly seduced by the radical culture of their time while the squares take to fist in air. So what's the new big thing this generation is doing at parties? Glad you asked:
Still more dignified than twerking.
Really? Really, guys? We're not shocked by the act of high-saluting your wiener into a billowing piss arch so much as the collective ability of sites like Medical Daily and Elite Daily to completely buy into the idea that, somewhere in the world, there's a teen watersports craze. The story, having been originally "broken" by Vice, completely boils down to a single pro skater and his friends saying that pissing in your mouth is an everyday thing in the land Down Under. The reason? To fuck with people. Thankfully, after numerous attempts to make the bullshit viral, Vice was more than happy to help.
And of course, as is the case with most of these nonexistent teen "trends," this one has become slightly less nonexistent due to all the media coverage leading to a few stupid kids actually trying it, but that's still far from the mouth-piss epidemic they were trying to sell us. You can stop eating asparagus now.
#4. The Pope Can't Actually Excommunicate the Entire Mob
Like everyone else on the planet, you've probably spent a fair amount of time thinking about what would happen if the Punisher became pope. According to the New Yorker, CNN, USA Today, and NPR, you don't have to imagine anymore. It's here. It's happening.
There's only room for one shady organization in Italy.
Pretty fucking ballsy, right? Maybe it's high time the white wizard whips out the ol' impenetrable Popemobile lest he reach sainthood prematurely. Or not, since it turns out that the pope didn't really excommunicate a large group of people ... because that's not even within his holy powers. For all you sinners, excommunication is a rare and complicated process reserved for individuals and not vaguely outlined groups, filled with rules and no doubt tons of tedious paperwork. Pope Francis can't just say the word (in an unofficial setting, even) and automatically banish his foes to hell, just like he can't shoot lightning bolts from his hands.
Franco Origlia/Getty Images News/Getty Images
That was the other guy.
So what was Francis going on about then? In P-Dogg's own words, "Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as Mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated." Anyone (who isn't a journalist) can tell he was being hyperbolic about the Mafia cutting themselves off from the church and not making an official declaration -- something the pope might consider when he tosses around the ol' "E-word" next time he gets a shitty meal at Olive Garden and off-handedly condemns the kitchen staff to the depths of eternity.