Sunday, March 1, 2009


In rebus mediis est sapientia

Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist at the California Institute of Technology. His recent book is The Drunkard’s Walk. This is a book about statistical inference. We at Doombrothers have previously warned about statisticians (see Doombrothers November 22, 2008). However, we feel called upon to re-alert you about the dangers of this baleful pseudo-science.

Dr. Mlodinow, who clearly needs to buy a vowel, discusses the horrible statistical phenomenon of “regression to the mean.” What he speaks of with apparent unconcern and insouciance is the phenomenon that performance or gifts or acquisitions out of proportion to the ordinary are typically followed by gifts, or acquisitions or performances that are more in line with the ordinary. So, for example, landing on the front page of Sports Illustrated is associated with an extraordinary performance one week and will more typically be followed by a less than extraordinary performance the following weeks – thus the “jinx” of the magazine. Or, the extraordinary achievements of one man, say a Henry Ford, are followed by children with less than extraordinary gifts.

What Dr. Mlodinow DID NOT say to you is that this implies that we, at the very apex of achievement are gradually slipping downward in an inexorable slide toward mediocrity, the arithmetic mean. Statistically speaking, the more amazing are our lives or our feats the more rapidly we will fail and the further we will fall. As an illustrative aside, regression to the mean implies that one Doombrother is fated to be gap-toothed, barely literate and semi-articulate, wandering the hills and hollows of Appalachia and marrying my first cousin while the other is fated to a similar outcome in the swampy regions of the Middle Atlantic States.

We at Doombrothers have carefully studied this conundrum and we believe we have crafted an elegant, foolproof and realistic alternative to the fatal slippage and inherent disappointment of this doomful statistical nonsense. We have decided to EMBRACE THE MEAN. If we comport ourselves in an average fashion then we will not fall far away from the mean and thus will not be a disappointment to ourselves or to others!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mysterious Green Comet Nearing Earth: Refuses to communicate with NASA, Intent unknown!

Esse veridis non est facile

In the bland underspeak of NASA, Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA’s NEAR EARTH OBJECT program and NASA astronomer Stephen Edberg announced the latest THREAT TO LIFE AS WE KNOW IT.

The comet Lulin, recently discovered by a CHI-COM teenager (the same teens perhaps who participated in the Olympics), is plunging will-he nil-he towards the earth. The comet came from the edges of our solar system, eighteen billion miles from us, and no one professes to know what it wants. Attempts to establish communication with the comet have been abysmal failures.

The comet still retains the gases usually stripped by approach to the sun. This virginal comet is greenish in appearance due to the type of carbon contained in its vapors and CYANOGEN, A DEADLY POISONOUS GAS.

NASA admits that the comet could come even closer than the 38 million miles from earth projected. The comet is coming on Monday, February 23 and will close with Earth at 10:43 p.m. EST. Edberg stated “…it’s not going to be a real great blast ….” That alone should tell us the doomfulness inherent in this event. This from the same people who underplayed the cataclysm of Apollo 13 with “Houston, we have a problem”.

For those of you who may survive the event, rest assured that we in the Doombunker will continue to broadcast from the safety of the bunker as the Earth is coated with cyanogen. The horror… Good night and good luck.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

War of the Worlds – Redux

Mars ructat, Terra tremit

Doombrothers has learned from secret NASA files that Mars has had a methane belch!!!! Not only is this unseemly, it is alarming. We at Doombrothers have previously warned of the perils of methane (See Doombrothers post: Nov 22, 2008 “Blame Canada”).

Since it is well known that on earth methane comes from such things as cows and Boy Scout campouts, it is clear to us that this means the methane must be coming from LIFE ON MARS! Now the NASA scientists, retreating from facing the inevitable, are trying to trot out a theory that the gas could have come from molten rock or even from comets or asteroids striking Mars. It seems equally likely to us that the Iranians, having mastered launching satellites in preparation for peace, have been offloading their spare dead bodies into the Martian interior.

But we at Doombrothers are unafraid of facing the truth head on and using Occam’s Razor even though we occasionally get nicked by it. What this intelligence really means is that the methane must be coming from organic materials - things such as pork rinds, tofu and your Aunt Mary. Let’s face it; what happened is enough to show us beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are MARTIANS just under the surface of the planet. And, if there are Martians, then QED, they can only have malign intent. We believe it no coincidence that we have a wealth of literature carefully documenting the machinations of the Martians.

Doombrothers has our crack research team working three shifts to develop a dual purpose aerosol spray (a pump of course, and totally environmentally friendly) with one end containing happy smells (to combat the methane) and on the other containing rhinovirus to deal with the invading Martian swine. You should check back at our Doomstore in the near future to order your supply. Remember our motto: being prepared for anything is everything.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Consilium simplex

One fine day in 1931, the learned and beloved Herr Doctor David Hilbert was reviewing his notes for the lecture he would give the next day at the assembly of mathematicians who had converged on Konigsberg to assist him in his endeavor to bring logical and axiomatic consistency to the theory of mathematics. He was also to receive a “major prize” from the City of Konigsberg recognizing his contributions to the field of Mathematics (and the tourist dollars being generated by the conference).

Due to expansions in the field of mathematics, such as non-Euclidian geometry and the specter of multiple infinities, Dr. Hilbert had been dissatisfied with the state of mathematics and determine to solve the 23 problems he had posed several years ago that needed to be solved in order to bring mathematics into logical and axiomatic consistency and prove-ability. Dr. Hilbert was doubtless in a good mood on that day and was preparing for a well-deserved triumph.

But, lurking in the wings, the unremitting and unforgiving gnome of chaos lurked in the unprepossessing form of Dr. Kurt Gödel. Even as Dr. Hilbert was reviewing his notes, the fiend Gödel perpetrated his Incompleteness Theorems upon the hapless audience of mathematicians, and other bon vivants, in attendance. What Gödel’s demonstrated showed that mathematical theorems, even those thought very probably true, could not be proven within the axiomatic framework of the theory of mathematics. The old “proof is not truth” dilemma. He converted the following statement into a mathematic framework to convey this:

“This statement is false.”

Logically, if this statement is inaccurate, it is true and thus not false. So it is inconsistent. Also if the statement is accurate, then it then it must be true, thus leading to yet another inconsistency.

Imagine Dr. Hilbert’s surprise the next day when, after his triumphant lecture he was told about Gödel’s theorems that suggested that his entire quest was in folly. It is not recorded whether or not he pulled out his hair, nor how he actually reacted. It is enough to know that he never published another article concerning this issue.

The moral to this story, boys and girls is there is always a Gödel waiting in the wings.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Schroedinger's Cat Bites

Fele, veni feles

We at Doombrothers have recently been assaulted by Shroedinger’s cat. While motoring from the bunker to get supplies we came across the traffic sign seen above.

As shown, the sign insists that we choose one of only two options. In this instance we had to either choose to go left or to go right. This forced choice is exactly the same type of conundrum that has bedeviled theologians and physicists for many years. Let us elaborate.

In 1843 Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian and well known depressive, purposed in Either/Or that one could choose between a hedonistic life of sybaritic pleasure, irresponsibility and fun OR a dull, long and plodding life filled with duty, ethics and responsibility. You would not know what the correct choice until is after death. Mr. Kierkegaard, in a typical display of what passes for Scandinavian humor has not yet given up the correct answer.

In 1935 Ervin Schroedinger, the Austrian physicist, torturer of cats and well know bad-boy proposed a thought experiment in which a cat is to be locked into a box with a tiny amount of radioactive material and a small flask of hydrochloric acid. If an atom decayed in the course of an hour a Geiger-counter would be activated which in turn would shatter the container of hydrochloric acid killing the cat, OR, none of the material would decay and the cat would be alive. In keeping with his humor, this twisted-sister also said that we could not know if the cat was dead or alive until we opened the box.

When we at Doombrothers saw the sign, we knew that we were being forced into a realm of doomfulness in which there was a fifty-percent chance of failure, gloom and potential disaster no matter which way we went.

We do not presume to tell you what is correct for you; you have to choose yourself, left or right? We can only tell you what we did to solve the dilemma. We turned the doommobile around and chose another route less fraught with potential failure and which gave us many more choices. Our advice to you is to watch out for true/false questions, moral bipartite dilemmas, forced choices and Schroedinger’s cat - they all bite.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Ille venit
DOOMbrothers has recently uncovered documents revealing that we are being surveilled. It is not just the surveillance of the 12,007,083 spy satellites aimed at us by the Rooskies, the Europeans, the Japanese and our own government. It is not just the prying eyes of Google. No, DOOMbrothers has found that we are being spied upon from a reputedly innocuous and benevolent figure. We are being spied upon by Santa!

Yes, recently obtained documents, have been found to include this tell and chilling phrase: “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake”. Clearly, we are not simply dealing with your Google taking embarrassing pictures of us sunbathing in our back yard or relieving ourselves in the woods. No, these documents reveal that the dwarves have perfected technology to allow them to view us through the very walls of our homes! Assuredly, even viewing us in the privacy or our bedrooms and bathrooms.

Even more fiendishly, these secret documents reveal that Santa “knows when you’ve been bad or good”. Clearly these fiends have found a way of putting an electronic tag in our ears and are tracking us wherever we go! But even much worse than this is that we at DOOMbrothers have reason to believe that Santa is a white, European male! And, we wonder, how can we allow this being to impose his Euro-centric, outdated and right-wing religious views of morality upon us!

The final and perhaps most doomful detail of this sordid mess is that DOOMbrothers is fairly sure that Santa Claus is in reality, that most chilling of all beings, a CLOWN!

While we are not yet ready open our protective Beta test methodologies to the public, we can give you two words: aluminum foil.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flux Transfer Events Threaten Life as We Know It

Scientists have recently revealed that giant rolling pins are moving over the Earth’s magnetosphere. Not only that, but these doomful devices are actually rolling over the NORTH POLE in December and, apparently, every December!

David Sibeck, an apparently sane individual and an astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland reports that the evidence for this is “incontrovertible.” Sibeck and other detached and seemingly unalarmed scientists such as Jimmy Raeder at the University of New Hampshire are happily studying these terrible events. When the magnetosphere (whose very purpose is to protect
us) is pierced by these rolling pins then millions of high-speed particles from the SUN stream down upon the earth. And, these events, called Flux Transfer Events or FTEs, happen approximately every eight minutes.

We at Doombrothers regretfully accept that scientists need to be detached and non-emotional in their approach to things. But the undercurrent of gleefulness detected in this information begs the question: What are they thinking of??

Let us break it down for you. Where are these events occurring? At the North Pole. When are these events occurring? In December, the very coldest time of the year. What is occurring exactly? High-speed particles from the SUN are piercing our defensive shields.

Given this data, is it any wonder that the polar ice cap is melting AND that the polar bears are losing their habitat? We think not. We also wonder if anyone has considered the effects of these killer rays upon Santa and the elves and the reindeer?

We at Doombrothers are committed to stemming the invasion of foreign particles upon our formerly pristine environment. We will soon be offering readers the opportunity to contribute to the SAVE OUR MAGNETOSPHERE FOUNDATION, but more on this later.