How to Make Glass, Part I
It has come to my attention that many of you do not know how to make glass. I find this to be utterly reprehensible and personally blame our embarrassing educational system and those brightly colored faggy creatures on all the public access children's shows. Many youth growing up in today's confused society do not see the glass industry as a viable career option, mainly because they are stupid and spend too much time shooting at each other with handguns. Proponents of the anti-glass lifestyle have successfully brainwashed our children, the future youth of tomorrow's past, into believing the production of glass isn't "hip" or "totally radical to the max." How could such a vibrant and exciting job opportunity be so callously cast aside like a pile of rotting duck meat that has been sitting out in the hot summer sun for three days after a Polish wedding? The glass industry is as profitable and exciting as ever, and I refuse to let a few nay-sayers throw scalding frozen water upon the potential hopes and dreams of millions of Americans and other morbidly obese people of different nationalities.
THE ENCHANTING HISTORY OF GLASS
Some scientists who write glass fan-fiction websites claim "natural glass has existed since the beginnings of time," which is ludicrous when you think about it, because that's like suggesting glass has existed alongside God and was there during His conception. What, did God have a magic monocle he was born with or something? This same website goes on to explain:
Stone-age man is believed to have used cutting tools made of obsidian (a natural glass of volcanic origin also known as hyalopsite, Iceland agate, or mountain mahogany) and tektites (naturally-formed glasses of extraterrestrial or other origin, also referred to as obsidianites).
I added the bold print for emphasis and also because I wanted to see what would happen if I hit control-B. Do you understand the significance of what you just read? According to a website scientist, cavemen used alien glass from the moon to do whatever it was a caveman would normally do with glass! I'm no expert on hunting and gathering, but I do remember that the Glass Sword from Ultima V was pretty worthless, so I can't imagine the secret lure behind creating an entire arsenal of glass weaponry. Maybe cavemen were planning a revolt against Lord Blackthorne and the Shadow Men or something. Or maybe the aliens stole the glass from God and delivered them to the cavemen so they could fight Xenu.
Glass production was formally discovered nearly 3,300 years ago, possibly even more if you live in the future, by the ancient Mesopotamians who were trying to create something that would fill the space inside a window frame. Nobody knows exactly who created glass, but I'm guessing it was Ed because I heard that guy was one smart cookie. Also all those rumors about Ed getting beaten up by the rooster are lies created by somebody out to smear Ed's good name. Mesopotamia was an area somewhere near Iraq and Syria, which may be surprising to people like me who thought it was next door to the Mayans and Aztecs. I mean, they all built pyramids and hoarded precious jewels in their basements, right? I guess I just assumed the Mesopotamians lived down in South America in Mayansville or wherever all those people who spent their free time drawing stupid pictures of the sun lived. They created an absolutely breathtaking manual detailing the "secret instructions" for furnace building and glassmaking, which have since been turned into a spy novel by Tom Clancy featuring a spy plane that shoots lasers. To prevent people from stealing their precious glass secrets, the instructions were written in cuneiform upon clay tablets. This worked particularly well since nobody could read back then and "cuneiform" is just a fancy word for "nonsensical scribbles." The Mesopotamians used their skills to create beads, which was the only thing anybody made out of anything back in those days. If you tried to build something that didn't look like a bead, the King of Mesopotamia would kill your daughter. If you tried it again, they would put an ancient curse on your dead daughter so she would come back to life and then they'd kill her again.
In 1500 BC, the Egyptians developed a method of producing glass by dipping a sand mould into molten glass and then turning it around until they were smited to death by Jesus Christ. The earliest examples of Egyptian glassware are three vases bearing the name of the Pharaoh Thoutmosis III (1504-1450 BC), who brought glassmakers to Egypt as prisoners following a successful military campaign in Asia. I just directly copied and pasted that previous sentence from somewhere and didn't even bother reading the whole thing. I saw it on a website and the words "glass" and "Egypt" stood out so I thought "what the hell" and just threw it into the article. If there are any factual errors in it, don't bitch to me because not only did I refuse to write it, but I didn't bother reading it either. I kind of glanced over the end of the sentence and I'm starting to wonder how successful a glassmaker could be if he's got some Egyptian asshole sticking his spear down his ear and shouting "BLOW THAT GLASS YOU FILTHY SLAVE!" I think I saw a movie like that on the dirty pay-per-view movie network last week, starring somebody named "Christopher McTesticalalia."
There wasn't really much progress in the field of glass production until the 9th century BC, which I guess was the time that all the enslaved glassmakers created tiny glass daggers and used them to break free from the ropes which bound them to their glass chairs. The imprisoned glass producers escaped into the wild where they built glass houses and proceeded to throw stones at each other. Word of their accomplishment soon spread to Alessandria and Italy, and you know what they say: "if you can make it in Alessandria, you can make it anywhere." Assyrian king Ashurbanipal saved a few tablets instructing how to make glass and they can now be seen in someplace somewhere that would show off old crap like that. Also, if you'll look closely, you'll notice the word "Assyrian" is inherently humorous. I can imagine the types of conversations he'd get into during parties:
ASSYRIAN KING ASHURBANIPAL: "Hey baby, ever give head to the head of a country? I'm the king, you know?"
WHORE: "Oh really? What country?"
ASSYRIAN KING ASHURBANIPAL: (Mumbling) "Assyria."
ASSYRIAN KING ASHURBANIPAL: "Assyria."
WHORE: "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Could you repeat yourself?"
ASSYRIAN KING ASHURBANIPAL: "ASSYRIA. I AM THE KING OF ASSYRIA. I AM ASSYRIAN KING ASHURBANIPAL. There, are you happy?!?"
WHORE: (Outraged) "You're no King Sennacherib!"
Somebody decided to discover glassblowing at some time between 27 BC and, well, I guess whatever day it is now. It turns out the secret for glassblowing was located in the dining room, behind the cabinet the entire time! What a delightful mixup! Syrian craftsmen used long, thin metal tubes to beat their slaves while shouting "you'd better hurry the hell up and come up with some good glass ideas or else I'm going to shove this long thin metal pole into your naughty location." This gave them an incredible idea: if they submerged their thin metal tube into molten glass and then spun it around really quickly, they'd have something which would injure their slaves more effectively! This somehow led to glass blowing. Don't ask me how. If I had to guess, I'd probably chalk it up to black magic.
This glassblowing technology was soon spread around the world by the ancient Romans, who had previously gained notoriety around the globe for spreading around homosexuality and that one rule that says something about adding up the angles of a triangle. Their society did a whole hell of a lot to get the world interested in glass, just like how George Foreman inspired an entire nation to get healthy and fit by purchasing his tiny plastic grille which magically makes fish and chicken and meat taste like a tiny plastic grille. The Romans used their advanced transportation technology of "roads which you can walk on" to trade their glass wares with surrounding countries. Then they would conquer these countries, take their glass products back, and trade them with the next country in line. This is why you should never befriend a Roman or shop at any Roman stores, as it legally gives them permission to annex your kitchen and rumpus room. Emperor Augustus scattered the seed of glass trading to such exotic places as France, Germany, Switzerland, and even China, which was particularly impressive when you consider eBay wasn't around back then. By introducing manganese oxide, the Romans soon discovered glass could be used for architectural items such as windows and well, windows. I suppose somebody somewhere probably built a glass wall for a reason which sounded good at the time, but that's not a proud moment in world history.
Alexandria became the glass capitol of the universe, producing stuff known as "Portland Vases" despite the fact that they probably were not from Portland. This lead to the world's first class action lawsuit. Once the Roman empire began to decline, the glass industry waned as well, with many craftsmen becoming lazy and refusing to manufacture anything more complicated than marbles. Something then happened in Italy around the 7th or 8th century. After that event transpired, the Germans developed the concept of "sheet glass," which was glass in the form of a sheet, as opposed to glass in the form of a knife (a glass knife) or glass in the form of a lump under your breast (a glass breast cancer tumor). This was done in the following miraculous fashion:
By blowing a hollow glass sphere and swinging it vertically, gravity would blah blah blah 3 meters blah blah blah semi-molten ball blah blah bake at 450 and baste, serves four.
Italy decided to steal the crown of "Miss Glass Bitch" from Alexandria in the Middle Ages, resulting in a flurry of controversy from judges who were influenced by the Italian glass special interest groups. Italy used their Venetian merchant fleet to supply their craftsmen with supplies and the technical skills of their glass producing arch-enemies in Syria. Along with this know-how came the artistic influence of Islam, resulting in the construction of the first known glass suicide bomb. At one point in time there were over 8,000 glass craftsmen inhabiting Venice, so that should say something about how fragile their economy was! Ha ha! Get it? Fragile? Because glass is fragile? That joke works on so many levels. This is the greatest day of my life. Everything was peachy keen in Venice until the authorities realized that all the beautiful glass furnace fires were causing large portions of land to be burned down, so they banished all the craftsmen to Monster Island and renamed it "Murano" because they didn't want to kill the prospective tourist industry there. The glass freaks eventually stumbled upon the brilliant idea of using quartz sand and potash made from sea plants to produce particularly pure crystal. I guess this ultimately led to the invention of crystal meth, so keep this in mind before you start prancing around the house like a liberal jackass while shouting "thank god for 15th century Murano."
France decided to butt its ugly butt into the lucrative glass industry around that time, and before you could say some word which is intentionally short in order to emphasize the notion that not much time elapsed, they were stealing glass craftsmen from Venice. Oh, being a glassblower in in 1688 must've been so exciting, like a CIA agent who rides a roller coaster to work every day! To further up the ante of this already spicy pot, the assholes in France chose to invent a new method of producing plate glass which I will not explain because I don't know what it was and I'm fairly confident you don't care. Mass production, however, did not begin until the Industrial Revolution, when a bunch of Germans devised fiendish ways to strengthen and improve glass, as well as increase its bust size and lose 10 pounds in 10 days. One particularly famous glass German was Friedrich Siemens who invented the tank furnace, which was a tank that turned into a furnace that turned into Optimus Prime. Michael Owens brought pride back to the US of A around 1910, inventing an automatic bottle machine which made bottles... er, automatically. This was followed by the development of a machine named "the gob feeder," which if I recall correctly, was one of the evil creatures who gave me nightmares as a kid. "Now Rich 'Lowtax' Kyanka, you go to sleep!" my mom would shout. "But mother," I would reply. "I can't sleep! The Gob Feeder will eat me!" Well the good news is that I didn't get eaten by the Gob Feeder. The bad news is that my mom married him.
This brings us to modern times, a period of time we are currently experiencing. In part II of "How to Make Glass, Part I," I'll cover all the modern tactics and techniques of the glass industry so you too can one day be an unemployed glass manufacturer! Let the good times roll!
Hurricanes Are Upon Us!
Zack "Geist Editor" Parsons here with THE ultimate survival guide to surviving this year's hurricane season. It may come too late for those of you in North Carolina, but that's okay, you guys all sucked anyway. It's funny because they are all dying in a hurricane now and can't read that!
If you're Jewish you can always turn to the ever amusing Dreidel for entertainment. Look at it go, will it ever stop spinning!? For people of other faiths you can just try throwing a knife up into the air and catching it. It's dangerous and not as fun as a Dreidel, but…whoah…gotta go, that fucking thing just started spinning again. Woooooo!