Friday, March 16, 2018

Square-Head Bolts for Dummies - The Freelance Files MCXL

square head bolt
If you took a poll of the staffers here at the Antisocial Network, you would probably learn that the freelancers for which our team members reserve the most scorn are those with "journalism" degrees. We aren't certain when the degree changed to "communications," but they're just as bad. Apparently these people are taught that they can appear to be experts on anything, even when they know jack about the topic. Well, they can't – and Lori Kilchermann of proves that point with the post, "What are Square Head Bolts?"

The staffer who turned up this post has seen a few bolts in his time; so he was nonplussed, to say the least, to note that nowhere does Kilchermann mention that there are also hex-headed bolts - with one notable exception, in which Lori "explains" that
"Square-head bolts, which often actually have a hexagonal head, can be used to secure wooden planks and other materials."
Ummm, no, Lori, the use of the word "square" specifically refers to four sides. Dumbass! With an opening like that, our staffer soon realized that Kilchermann had no earthly idea what the difference between a square-head and a hex-head bolt is, and conflated them throughout her post; to wit:
  • "Square head bolts are typically lag bolts. These lag bolts resemble very large screws and are used when assembling heavy lumber." – No, lag bolts don't "resemble very large screws", lag screws do. Lag bolts are used to assemble all sorts of things, and can have either square or hex heads.
  • "The advantage in using square head bolts is that they can be tightened with an adjustable wrench." – Ummm, so can a hex-head... idiot. That's not to mention socket wrenches, which are specifically designed for use with hex-head bolts and nuts.
  • "[Electrical] Connections, such as wall outlets and light switches, enjoy the advantages that square head bolts provide when being used in close quarters." – "Enjoy"? Moron.
Kilchermann failed miserably in answering the question, since she never once used either the word "four"or the word "six"; never once mentioned that square head bolts have largely been replaced by hex-heads.  Only someone completely ignorant of tools could answer the question "What is a Square Head Bolt" without mentioning those facts... and that sort of ignorance makes Lori our Dumbass of the Day – again.     


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Crown Molding Separation for Dummies - The Freelance Files MCXXXIX

caulking molding gaps silicone
In a recent staff meeting at Antisocial Network world HQ, one of the staffers was telling us about a type of DotD nominee she'd been seeing a lot lately. The articles and posts seemed as though the freelancer in question had started off with a bang, and then their efforts had just petered out into random factoids connected by the written equivalent of mumbling – because, she opined, the writers had wandered too deep in the weeds for their background. Today's nominee is one such writer, contributor Lauren Miller, and her post, "What Causes Crown Molding to Separate from Walls?"

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Layered Earth, the Dummy Version - The Freelance Files MCXXXIII

crust lithosphere mantle asthenosphere
For whatever reason, the official search-engine optimization (SEO) guru at Demand Media Studios¹ insisted that the optimal content size be 300 to 500 words. While some questions (the meat and potatoes of the flagship DMS site, could be reasonably answered in such a space, others could not. Today's DotD goes to an eHow contributor, Jean Asta, who we caught introducing dumbassery to pad the simple answer to the question, "What Is the Difference Between the Crust & the Lithosphere?"; which now appears at Ick: hate that name...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Folding Bicycles for Dummies - The Freelance Files MCXXXII

fold-up bicycle
Remember those essays your English teachers used to assign, the ones called "compare and contrast"? The whole idea of doing that was to get you to tell how two things are similar and how they are different. Today's freelance DotD picked an assignment sort of like that at eHow (Leaf Group has moved it to for some reason), but Michelle Wishhart had a problem when it came to describing the "Disadvantages of a Fold-up Bicycle": she had no idea what she was talking about...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Miter Joints, the Dummy Version - The Freelance Files MCXXXI

compound miter
This is a compound miter, Parker
We have to be honest: slogging through the bullshit barfed up by self-appointed freelance "experts on everything" (a status apparently conferred along with a BA in Journalism) gets old after a while. Sometimes it seems as though we're just running on autopilot, paging through post after post of old eHow rubbish... so that's when we take a "vacation" at another site. Another site like, say,, where we happened upon an article titled "What Is a Miter Joint?" by one Parker Brown; a fellow who, it appears, has an unusual obsession...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Laminate Countertops for Dummies - The Freelance Files MCXXX

laminate counter screws
You screw it from the bottom, Robin!
If asked to list "dead giveaways" that a freelancer is way outside his or her comfort zone, our staffers might point out that people writing to topics about which they know nothing often get confused trying to juggle multiple sources. The smarter ones know to just reword one article and give multiple, fake references... We caught today's DotD nominee, eHowian Robin Hewitt, fumbling about in the text of her article, "How to Attach Laminate Countertops."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Pyrometers for Dummies - The Freelance Files MCXXIX

We admit it: sometimes our staffers get lazy and, instead of a hardcore search for internet dumbassery, they just google the name(s) of self-appointed freelance "journalists" we already know have sacrificed accuracy in the name of cash in their pockets. This happens a lot on weekends... like today, when we just looked for more stupidity in the back catalog of eHowian Mark Fitzpatrick. Here's our introduction to Fitz's sixth DotD, a post called "Types of Pyrometers."