Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017



There's nothing DUNER BLOG loves better than a Royal Wedding! Although Pippa isn't technically a member of the House of Windsor, lots of royals showed up...so that's close enough! Anyhow, after countless interviews from 'close sources,' we've complied some highlights from the momentous occasion.

ROYAL ATTENDEES. While the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles & Camilla did not attend the nuptials in Berkshire, plenty of younger royals did. Front and center was Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who served as the Maid of Honour. Her hubby, Prince William was helping out with their two toddlers. See, Princess Charlotte and Prince George were the flower girl and pageboy. Also in the bridal party was Princess Eugenie and Countess Philippa Hoyas.

THE DRESS. Pippa shone brightly in a stunning white lace gown with dramatic cap-sleeves. Made by famed designer Giles Deacon, it cost around £40,000...what a bargain! Meanwhile, fashion critics have been quick to sour on the choice of her sister. Kate wore an Alexander McQueen ensemble that clearly underwhelmed. Described as drab and unimaginative, it was unlike her usual fashion savvy. We here at the DUNER BLOG know why she said yes to this dress. As a bride, she was overshadowed by Pippa at her own wedding. A true royal doesn't get even, but instead plays it forward.

THE UNWANTED GUEST. For the last year, Prince Harry has been dating C-List American actress Meghan Markle. Speculation about her attending the wedding has been swirling around tabloids for months. However, since the two are NOT married, this would be a clear violation of Pippa's rule for attending the ceremony: No Ring, No Bring. So after the ceremony, Prince Harry drove to Kensington Palace, picked Meghan up, and then drove fifty miles back to the reception....where Pippa does allow girlfriends. Apparently, Meghan wore a black dress, but we cannot verify this report.

THE AWKWARD TOAST. Weddings are tough. You can spend a million dollars. You can invest a thousand hours. But you cannot control the weather (it rained), nor can you control what the Best Man will say in his speech. Justin Johannsen began his toast by comparing Pippa to a dog "they both come on command.." Cringeworthy jokes continued about where he kept the ring, but he finished strong. "You warm the hearts of everyone who knows you" he told Pippa. "And you have won the heart of the best man I know." Awww!

THE GROOM. James Matthews is an London investment banker. The financier comes from a wealthy family (No surprise) and he stands to inherit half of Scotland upon his father's death. James loves to play polo and holiday in the South of France. While he seems right for the job, we just wish Pippa had considered marrying a successful blogger instead!

Saturday, May 20, 2017



The most frightening development in the Trump presidency isn't what you think. It doesn't involve surprise attacks in Syria, department heads being suddenly fired or health plans being cancelled. Nope, what scares us most at the DUNER BLOG is the continued blurring of the line between celebrity and politician. Inspired by The Donald's leap from NBC reality TV to the Oval Office, dozens of actors, talk-show hosts and singers are now contemplating a presidential candidacy in 2020. Here are the Top Five to worry about:

#5. Kanye West. Long before Trump won his first primary, the quixotic hip-hop icon stated his intentions for the White House in 2020. Like most candidates, he made the announcement at the MTV Music Award Show. While clutching the Moon-Man statue for Video Vanguard, Kanye ended his 10-minute rant with: "As you've probably guess: Yes, I will run for President in 2020." Let's hope the rambling rapper changes his mind on this one. Kim Kardashian as First Lady seems downright weird.

#4. Katy Perry. Given the sub-par effort shown on her latest album, Witness, it seems Katy's mind is elsewhere these days. During the election, Katy became an avid Hilary supporter, appearing beside her at numerous events and tweeting up a storm. While Ms. Perry has yet to make a grandiose statement like Kanye, she did drop a serious hint on Instagram last year. At a gala, Katy posted a photo of herself sandwiched between two former presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. She captured it "42, 43...46?!" thus referring to herself as the 46th president. While no one can doubt Ms. Perry's enthusiasm, it would be nice to have someone in the White House with a college degree.

#3. The Rock. While Kanye and Katy's careers are in decline, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is clearly on top. Raking in $64.5 million last year, he's the highest paid actor on earth. In an interview in this month's GQ Magazine, he stated he would gladly leave Hollywood behind for a higher calling. As an independent, he would make bipartisanship his top priority. "Disagreement informs us," The Rock notes. He isn't shy about his anger towards Trump and his "snap judgment" on immigration policy. But mostly, we think it would also be fun to see him wrestle with Putin at a G8 Summit!

#2. Mark Zuckerberg. Perhaps the most qualified entry on our list is the Harvard grad and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. While the billionaire spends lavishly on himself, he seems to have a soft side. His philanthropic organization, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, already touts many politicians as members. It seems Mark is also behaving like a politician these days. He's on a quest to visit all 50 states by years' end. Last month, Mark went to a Ford factory in Michigan and a fire station in Indiana. At both stops, he meets with locals, listens to their problems and then posts everything on Facebook. Unlike the singers on this list, Mark has proven his amazing creativity with an invention that has touched a billion people worldwide.

#1. Oprah Winfrey. While the other four folks on this list seemed pumped and ready to run, the Queen of Daytime Talk has been curiously quiet on the matter. Her friend Gayle makes hints and her publicist is coy, but nothing official has come from Ms. Oprah on the matter. This hasn't stopped pollsters from asking Americans what they think about her. They found she has one trait that no other candidate has: Likability. 82% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of the Talk-show host. As they say on TV: "STAY TUNED, AMERICA!"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017



Over the weekend, Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge smashed the all-time record by two and a half minutes! Why wasn't this the top story on ESPN's SportsCenter? Well, the race was not officially sanctioned by the IAAF. In fact, it wasn't even a race actually. See, Kipochoge ran in a completely controlled environment, aided by anything possible (except steroids) to help the runner. The goal of the event, (named Breaking2) was to break the elusive two-hour mark, which no human has ever accomplished. Although Eliud bested the world record, he was 25 seconds over two hours. Curious? Let's answer the obvious questions:

What were the alterations? First, it was held on the Monza Formula One Racetrack in Italy, which has the optimum climate for distance running. Next, race time was oddly at 5:45 am, when only Kenyans enjoy running. Then, there were the pace setters: Two-time Boston Marathon champ Lelisa Desisa & Zersenay Tadese, the current half-marathon champ. Also helping with the pacing was a green light that shone on the ground by an electric Tesla driving in front. If Eliud simply kept up with the line, he could finish in two hours flat. Finally, he had mopeds deliver fluids while he ran.

Why are Kenyans such great distance runners? Since the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Kenyans and Ethiopian runners have dominated distance events. One reason is genetics. This part of the world has people with a body type featuring longer legs and a smaller rib cage than other folks. Next, both nations have high altitudes. Runner's bodies adjust to functioning with less oxygen. Socially, these regions rely on walking great distances for water sources, school and work. Kenyans don't drive their kids around town. Finally....like baseball players from the Caribbean...distance running is seen as the only way out of extreme poverty.

Why do we obsess about Marathons? Funny, nothing else from the Greco-Persian Wars remains relevant today. But the Battle of Marathon still permeates. While horribly outnumbered, the Greek city-states had one major advantage over the Persians: Smarts. Knowing that the cavalry was the Persian's strength, the Greeks lured their enemy into the soggy marshes where the horses' hooves got stuck. Since there were no cellphones in 490BC, a messenger named Philippides was chosen to run to Athens with news of the stellar victory. He sprinted the 26 miles before announcing; "νενικήκαμεν" Historians debate the validity of the tale, but Olympic founder Pierre du Coubertin didn't care. In the first modern games in 1896, he re-created the race with a big finish in Athens. Since then, the event has evolved into the ultimate challenge in track.

Who pays for all this? Nike funded the entire event. They're hoping bloggers mention that next month, a new Zoom Vaporfly Elite running shoe is coming to a sporting goods store near you. Oops. While the CEO back in Oregon is disappointed Kipchoge didn't break the two-minute barrier, we salute Nike for having the courage to try. We are also in complete awe of the athlete himself. "No limits" is Kipchoge's slogan and he isn't lying. He's won seven of his last eight marathons, including two Olympics. It's just a matter of time before he tries again and breaks one of sport's most intimidating records.

Friday, May 5, 2017



Buckingham Palace dropped a major announcement yesterday. Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's 96-year-old husband, is officially retiring from public engagements. What a relief! For sixty years, this royal put his foot in his mouth all around the world. Let's recap some his worst moments.

On China. Philip seems more racist towards some cultures than others. Aside from Africans, the Chinese are most often the butt of his "jokes." At a World Wildlife banquet, he quipped about the diet of his hosts. "If it has four legs or two wings. If it flies or swims...it doesn't matter. The Cantonese will eat it." In 1986, when meeting British students in Wuhan, he warned them: "If you stay here much longer, you'll be slit-eyed too."

On Africa. Everyone's favorite ambassador has traveled to nearly all of the 52 Commonwealth nations. On a stop in Kenya, Philip was confused that ladies had clean, shaved heads. "You are a woman, aren't you?" he asked after a local woman presented him with a gift. Recently, he met with Nigerian president Obasanjo, who wore an Agbada to the occasion. "You look like you're ready for bed." exclaimed the prince.

On Island Nations. The Commonwealth is packed full of island states, who often host Royal visits. During a stop in the Cayman Islands in 1994, he needed clarification on the ethnicity of the lighter-skinned residents. "Aren't you all descended from pirates?" he asked. When meeting Aborigines in Papua New Guinea, Philip asked if the residents "still throw spears at each other."

On Women's Rights. The Prince doesn't just insult foreigners, he has some great positions on issues at home as well. "I don't think a prostitute is more moral than a wife, but they do the same thing." Not very forward thinking, your highness. Philip does believe in chivalry...to a point. "When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife."

On Children. Kids around the U.K. must be rejoicing that Philip won't be visiting their schools anymore. When a 12-year old said he'd like to travel in space someday, he replied; "You're too fat to be an astronaut." After hearing the Edinburgh Children's Band: "You were playing instruments? No, you all have tape recorders under your seats." He also told a group of girls wearing matching burgundy dresses: "You all look like Dracula's daughters!"

However, not all of Philip's comments are offensive. Sometimes, the Prince can be downright funny. When meeting Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for being a female student, he told the teen: "In England, the reason children go to school is because their parents don't want them in the house." The Nobel Prize winner giggled. After a thousand inappropriate comments, he finally got one right! Sigh. We here at the DUNER BLOG can't wait for a new generation of British royalty headed by Wills, Harry, Kate and PIPPA!!!