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Stranger Things than the Phoenix Suns

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NBA: All Star Saturday Night Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Phoenix Suns can be a lot of fun. However, there are only so many ways to approach a losing record or trade hysteria before the whole thing devolves into tedium.

Luckily, the world provides all sorts of whacked-out news that can serve to break the monotony, and losing oneself in some of the zaniest news out there can act as a needed refresher before returning to the salt mines.

That’s what this article strives to accomplish. However, there is a problem with doing that here. You see, Bright Side of the Sun is a Suns blog as you may or may not be aware, and The Madhouse already handles off-topic stuff. The good news is that the Phoenix Suns are like Kevin Bacon — able to be linked to just about anything. That trait allows this article to exist by containing what surely must be the bare minimum of Suns content to qualify as a legitimate article on this site (unless this doesn’t get published, in which case I stand corrected).

So without further ado, I invite you all to come in from the storm that is the trade deadline for the first installment of the award-ready column, Stranger Things than the Suns.

A pole-arising topic

Back in December, China’s national pole dancing team withdrew from the Pole Sport World Championship in Florence, Italy after the event failed to display China’s flag alongside the flags of the other competing countries during the competition. The organizer later apologized, citing cultural differences for the mix-up.

Now, if you are anything like me, you at a minimum paused after word eight or so of the above paragraph and asked yourself, “There are national pole dancing teams?” Yes, there are. You may also be inclined to further investigate this topic on your own time with the help of Google, but let me warn you now that your boss will not believe you when you try to explain that you were only doing research. Neither will Pam, the head of HR, and you and your co-workers will likely find yourselves called into the conference room for a refresher course on appropriate uses of company time. Don’t ask me how I know this, just remember that you were duly warned.

Anyway, returning to the topic of pole dancing teams, the sport of pole dancing has been gaining in popularity for years now, and the International Pole Sports Federation was just recently confirmed as a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency code, which could pave the way for pole dancing to become an official Olympic sport.

“You can tell it’s becoming a sport by the physiques of the athletes,” said IPSF President KT Coates. “When we started, it used to be quite slim girls. Now most of the athletes are incredibly muscular. You have to have every element to win — flexibility, strength, choreography. It’s tough.”

As absurd as pole dancing in the Olympics sounds at first blush, it does raise an interesting question. Exactly what constitutes a sport? After all, curling is a sport. Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport. Why shouldn’t pole dancing be a sport as well?

Sports as we know them may be on the precipice of greater inclusivity, and if he’s smart, Alan Williams will be all over this. All he needs to do is go find Drew Stanton (résumé here) and name themselves heads of the International Sideline Celebration Federation. Just think of it — the excitement, the creativity, the endurance. And have you seen their physiques? Very muscular.

Topic number two

Sir Patrick Stewart has enjoyed a long and prestigious career. He has embodied iconic characters such as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies while also staying true to his theatre roots in stage performances of Othello, The Tempest, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Waiting for Godot.

But Stewart may have signed up for his most difficult role yet, as a perusal of his IMDB.com page shows:

You read that right. Sir Patrick Stewart will be the voice of poop in The Emoji Movie, due in theaters in August of this year.

Some may wonder why such an accomplished thespian would stoop to a role that by any measure is beneath him. But I don’t. I understand completely, and let me be the first to thank you, Sir Patrick Stewart, for taking a, ahem, crappy role and giving it your very best. Someone send Brandon Knight the Blu-ray when it comes out.

A billion-dollar idea

Stop me if this sounds familiar. You’re on Skype or FaceTime with someone and are about to sign off. They lean in to kiss you goodbye and you do the same only to crash face first into your screen. There has to be a better way! Now there is, with Kissenger.

Kissenger, developed by researchers in London, is an app/adapter combo that allows users to simulate kissing over the phone via a silicone lip pad when circumstances like distance prevent you from actually kissing your spouse/significant other/debt collector/Time-Life operator. The exact mechanism behind how Kissenger transmits kisses across the Internet is complicated, so let’s just say it does a lot of science stuff to let you make out with your phone.

Adding a bit more intimacy to long-distance relationships is nice, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The real money here is in the ability to kiss your favorite celebrities. I am definitely an interested investor, but I need to know who the researchers can get to sign on with this tech before I open my wallet. I mean, the ability to receive a kiss from the likes of Beyoncé or Gary Busey will certainly move product, but get Devin Booker attached and I’ll clean out my life savings. Teens and tweens are just flush with disposable income, and that’s when the billions start rolling in.

Cuddle parties

So…cuddle parties are a thing.

For those rare few who have no idea what a cuddle party entails, they are gatherings of people who spend a few hours engaging in, well, cuddling. There’s no hanky-panky, just a bunch of fully clothed adults who, in a world increasingly devoid of touch, enjoy getting together to embrace one another and release endorphins and such.

I bet you think you know where I’m going with this whole cuddle party thing. Well, you’re wrong. I would never call Earl Watson out like that.

Part of a balanced diet

In January, a truck hauling red Skittles lost hundreds of thousands of the little candies on an icy road in Wisconsin. The crazy thing about this story? Those Skittles — all factory rejects missing the ‘S’ on them — were headed for a farm to be used as filler for cow feed.

Yup, you read that right. They’re feeding Skittles to cows…and apparently have been for years. It seems that bakeries and candy makers will often sell defective products to farms as cheap carbohydrates to be mixed in with other food for cows as a cost effective way to fatten them up.

This begs the question: Who on the Suns is in charge of feeding Skittles to Dragan Bender?

Elon Musk and The Boring Company

Entrepreneur and possible mad scientist Elon Musk has a new project. He plans to dig a network of tunnels underneath Los Angeles as a way of relieving traffic congestion in the city, and he’s already begun to dig, tearing up a patch of parking lot at his SpaceX headquarters and purchasing a boring machine to start on the first tunnel.

Musk is no stranger to far-out ideas. Along with his involvement with PayPal, he has been the driving force behind Tesla, SpaceX, and might even be developing an Iron Man-style suit for the Pentagon for all we know. As for this tunnel idea, which naturally came to him while caught in traffic, Musk believes it to be a far better solution to the issue of traffic congestion than other futuristic proposals, such as flying cars.

One might wonder if it is wise to hollow out the ground underneath a city and risk having it all cave in, but Musk believes that to be a non-issue considering the size of the Earth relative to humans, probably viewing his tunnel idea similarly to ant colonies.

And even if the tunnels did collapse, would it really be that awful if, say, Staples Center were swallowed up by the Earth? Compelling arguments exist on both sides.

First World problems

A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Feb. 8 that seeks $1 billion from the Miami Heat for copyright infringement and discrimination among other things.

Nkrumah Akanno, the man behind the suit, claims he is owed this hefty sum because the Heat “will not let me play for them because I am good-looking and they have been copying me and I am copyrighted.”

Frivolous lawsuits are nothing new, but it might be worth watching this one as it makes its way through the court system. If by some far-flung chance it is upheld and Miami is ordered to pay the $1 billion judgment, then millennials may wish to consider a class-action lawsuit suing Suns owner Robert Sarver for defamation.

What will they think of next? No, seriously, what?

Food has been on a steady tack away from being edible for years, but Taco Bell and KFC seem bent on expediting that process.

By now, you have probably seen the commercials for Taco Bell’s Naked Chicken Chalupa that debuted in late January. For the uninitiated, imagine a regular taco but with the shell replaced by a flat piece of fried chicken folded into the shape of a taco shell. Mmm, that sounds unnecessary.

As though it sensed Taco Bell horning in on its territory, though, KFC responded by dusting off (possibly literally) their own diabolical chicken-themed food concoction — the Chizza, a melding of fried chicken and pizza, in early February. The Chizza, previously released in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines and now in Singapore, uses a flat piece of fried chicken as the pizza’s crust and tops it with pizza sauce, pineapple, mozzarella, cheese sauce, and “chicken ham”.

These are not only unusual ideas, they are terrible ideas deserving of censure. I mean, who is coming up with these half-baked combinations, the Phoenix Suns front office?

39 Hours

A recent study out of Australia found that people, on average, should be working no more than 39 hours per week. According to Dr. Huong Dinh of the Australian National University Research School of Population Health, “Long work hours erode a person’s mental and physical health, because it leaves less time to eat well and look after themselves properly.”

I would love to explain how this ties in with the Suns and share a great joke I had, but unfortunately my 39 hours is up right about …………….............................……….. wait for it ……….....……..................…............. now.