Apocalypse Porn

I don't know why this is, but pop culture is obsessed with the various ways the world can end. And I blatantly admit I am part of that group. Why is it so intriguing to imagine the planet engulfing itself into a black hole (my favorite), or freezing over, or having all of human life wiped out by a super virus? Hollywood has been banking on these scenarios for a while now, and I'll put my $11 down more often than not just to watch the CGI rendering of it on the big screen.

Well, Discovery channel is praying on my disaster lust with a really beautiful HD scenario of an asteroid making earth a little less hospitable for a while, all to the tune of Pink Floyd's Great Gig In The Sky. (Via fellow Apocalypse Porn Addict, Alex Rainert)

(Here is the link to the HD version if it didn't embed properly below...)


The Hiccup Project

A long time ago, I had this idea I would write a screenplay about a guy that rises to fame curing hiccups around the world. I deemed myself a shaman that had the powers to sniff them out, and exorcise the demons from the body. If I put on a good enough show, it really did cure people's hiccups because they believed it. It was a form of hypnosis really.

I can't say I understand a lot about the mechanism of hiccups or why they happen, but I did figure out that if you can distract someone from them, they go away. From Wikipedia:

"While numerous home remedies are offered, they mostly fall into three broad categories. These categories include purely psychosomatic cures centered around relaxation and distraction..."
As people were leaving my friend Alex's holiday party last night, I noticed my tipsy friend had the hiccups, and I could tell they were the lethal kind that makes you feel like either you can't breathe or that you might puke. Since I didn't have the energy to put on the old hiccup-curing shaman act, I asked her to count down in sevens from 101, which she found really irritating. One, because I think she was paranoid that she wasn't good at math (distraction #1), and two, that she was a bit annoyed that I was forcing the issue so much (distraction #2).

So with some more coaxing, we did it together: "ninety....four....eighty...seven..." She was so self-conscious and distracted that by the time she got to seventy three, they were gone. Felt good that I was able to help, but I think she was still mad that I made her do math on a Saturday night...go figure...

Upon a little more research, I found an evolutionary theory of hiccups. Amphibians have a specific motor respiratory mechanism that has them gulp air and water, which basically looks like a human hiccup. So this respiration reflex is an antecedent to our modern, mammalian version of breathing. This would explain why infants have the hiccups so frequently - they haven't fully developed the normal breathing mechanism, and are still enacting a phylogenetically earlier respiratory characteristic.

It seems we are on the precipice of learning how much willful control we can have over what we ordinarily consider our "automatic" physiology. The process of how to manipulate physical processes is obviously still sloppy, but I have a feeling new and proven techniques are going to explode into pop culture. Curing hiccups is only the beginning my friends...

[Another thing to consider - why is it so fun to watch people with hiccups?]

Especially Southern Meteorologists:


Homosexual Necrophiliac Ducks

I found about this from a friend last night in the typical perverted mallard sex practices conversation one often overhears at New York art openings. Frankly, I figured she was making this up, especially when she casually mentioned that the scientist studying these little miscreants, Kees Moeliker, won the Nobel peace prize for biology.

He describes hearing a thud outside his office, which was a specific genus of mallard doing a nose dive right into his window (one of those tragicomedy realities of civilization throwing curveballs at nature). When he went to survey the damage, he noticed another mallard casing out his dead counterpart:

The unfortunate duck apparently had hit the building in full flight at a height of about three metres from the ground. Next to the obviously dead duck, another male mallard (in full adult plumage without any visible traces of moult) was present. He forcibly picked into the back, the base of the bill and mostly into the back of the head of the dead mallard for about two minutes, then mounted the corpse and started to copulate, with great force, almost continuously picking the side of the head.
Apparently, this particular Sting-esque mallard practices tantric necrophilia, as he made sweet duck love for (and I shit you not) over SEVENTY FIVE minutes.

My big question last night - was this ever repeated? And it seems the answer is no. I haven't looked closely yet, but I'm a little unclear what it is about one case of a psycho sexual duck that warrants receiving a Nobel peace prize. Then again, it seems they'll give those things to anyone these days. Here's Donald reenacting the scene: