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The Bizarro Alternate Universe's List of the Week

According to the parallel universe (or “multiverse”) theory, our entire universe exists in a bubble, and all around (or possibly inside!) that bubble are other bubbles containing other universes. It’s been a theory among physicists for years, because those guys are WAY into magic mushrooms. And also because of math. Or something. What do I look like, a physicist?

Anyway, if you take this theory seriously, that could mean that there’s another universe out there with another version of you, reading another version of this very blog post (though, to be fair, he may have better things to do… Hey, you don’t know Alternate You. Whatever.)

At Ranker, this intrigued us. Not enough to actually go out and learn more about cosmology, physics, string theory and the elegant science behind universes. That sounds hard. But definitely enough to get interested in Autumn Spragg’s awesome look at pop culture alternate universes. Top of the list, naturally, is the Fox science-fiction show “Fringe,” which is largely about the combative relationship between our world and a parallel reality.

Wait, in an alternate reality, I’m a Harvard scientist? What’s a Harvard?

The 2012 presidential election was also in the news this week, as the Republicans held their annual straw poll in Ames, Iowa, which helps to determine some of the front-runners in the party’s primary election. The big loser this year was former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who had been an early favorite among pundits but who came in a rather disappointing third place, and soon after dropped out of the election entirely.

What was his downfall? Perhaps these Tim Pawlenty Quotes from the campaign trail can shed some light on why Iowa voters failed to connect with him.

The big winner, by the way, was another Minnesotan, Michele Bachmann, who not only took first place in the straw poll but also contributed this photo to Internet culture:

And for that, we are forever in her debt.

On the movie front, following last week’s surprise success “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” expectations were high for a few big new releases. “The Help,” based on an already-popular novel, seemed to score with audiences despite some controversy over its handling of the civil rights movement. Less controversial, but almost assuredly more stupid, was the fifth entry in the “Final Destination” series, in which attractive young people cheat death only to end up temporarily delaying it. Which really irritates Death, who is fond of keeping to tight schedule and enforcing the rules, somewhat like a high school Vice-Principal, but less terrifying.

I said show me your hall pass or you can forget all about the Winter Formal, young lady! (Photo by Mario Valencia)

Finally this week, a petition spread around the Internet asking the Children’s Television Workshop to finally declare Bert and Ernie to be gay, and to hold a wedding for them on air. The CTW has denied that Bert and Ernie are lovers, arguing that they are puppets, and thus not capable of having a sexual orientation. But, come on… Kermit and Miss Piggy are clearly heterosexual, despite being puppets. Let’s have some consistency, Muppets!

Anyway, we at Ranker have no opinion about these singing roommates’ proclivities in the bedroom, but user Joanne has nevertheless written up a fairly compelling argument that Bert and Ernie are gay. (To be fair, most male roommates don’t spend too much time together while bathing but this is hardly conclusive evidence.) Read on and see if you’re convinced…

Not THAT kind of love. Like the love of a man for his pigeon. Get your head out of the gutter.