Woman's epic conversation with her printer proves they are designed to drive us all mad

Anyone who has owned an inkjet printer knows the invention is rife with complications and frustrations. We managed to put a man on the moon five decades ago, but we still can't create a printer that works like it's supposed to? Really, humanity?

All we want is to be able to push a button and print the thing. That's it. So simple. We've been carrying complex supercomputers around in our pockets for years. I can send a video to my friend on the other side of the planet in a matter of seconds. I can tell you right now exactly what the weather is like in a tiny town in the Arctic. Printing a damn form in the room I'm sitting in really shouldn't be this hard.

And how about making it so we don't have to sell an organ to afford printer ink, please and thank you. Did you know that the cheapest printer ink costs twice as much per ounce as the world's most expensive champagne? And pricier inks cost upwards of seven times that? It's literally one of the most expensive liquids on the planet, and it's not like we're injecting it into people to save lives. It's freaking ink. And unless you're printing things constantly, that liquid gold tends to dry out before you can use it all anyway, making it functionally even more expensive.

Get it together, people. We shouldn't have to live like this.


You may wonder if printer woes are a distinctly American phenomenon, like some kind of annoying marker of late-stage capitalist dystopia. The pain almost feels purposeful at this point, doesn't it? Like printers are some sort of sociological experiment designed to test our mettle and weed out the winners from the whiners. Is it the printer, or is it me? Maybe I'm just an idiot.

Or maybe I'm an idealist who thinks putting ink on a page in my own home shouldn't cause me this much mental angst.

I know I'm not alone in these thoughts because pretty much everyone I've talked to about this topic has expressed the same sentiments. And judging by this hilarious viral video from the U.K., our friends across the pond deal with the same kinds of printer woes we do. The only difference is they hemorrhage money in pounds instead of dollars.

Check out this hilarious conversation between writer and comedian Stevie Martin and her printer and see if you can't relate:

In defense of multi-function printers, I will say that having the photocopy/scan option does come in handy. But do people fax things anymore? I feel like it's been 20 years since I faxed something, but maybe that's just me.

The "I can't print in black and white without blue ink" thing is legit. As are the connectivity and wifi issues. As is finding the model number for the printer. (Whyyyyyy is that so hard?)

But the best part is when the printer says it's out of paper, Martin says she's looking at the paper, and the printer says, "Well, I can't feel it."

Why are you like this, printers? Why?

I actually solved 95% of my printer woes after years of wasted frustration and money by doing two things:

1) I bought a basic, black-and-white only laser printer. It copies and prints and so far has been far less of a pain than every inkjet printer I've ever owned. Laser toner is massively less expensive than inkjet ink, and though laser printers themselves used to be a lot more expensive than inkjet, that's no longer the case.

2) I use a local print shop for printing things in color. I used to assume this was more expensive than printing at home, but as infrequently as I print things in color, and as frequently as my color cartridges would dry out, I figured out the cost of color printing at home was far higher than paying someone else to print things for me.

But for those who absolutely need an inkjet printer at home, for whatever reason, the struggle is real. You're not imagining it, you're not an idiot, and you're definitely not alone.

(You can find Stevie Martin on Twitter, and if you'd like to buy her a cup of coffee to thank her for the laugh, you can do that here.)

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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