Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wait. In the future, people might remember the movie Species for something other than Natasha Henstridge('s boobs)?

Ah the Chupacabra. More specifically, the Puerto Rican Chupacabra. Not the the mange ridden dog of south Texas.

Cryptomundo is showcasing a theory that links the Chupacabra to the movie Species. It basically says that this girl saw Species in 1995 in Puerto Rico and described a monster that looked like the one in Species, and begat the classic Chupacabra image (above above). The movie also began at the Arecibo observatory, which she noted in an interview. I like the theory, but agree with Mr. Coleman (Mr. Cryptomundo if you will) that it could be a little less confident in it's definitiveness.

Anyway, the Chupacabra has been a cryptozoological mystery because it's so new and there are two descriptions of it: it's a lizard alien, or it's a dog with fangs. The fact remains that some people report that their livestock has been bit on the neck and drained of blood. Is it a tactic of a known animal? Is it the work of crazy people? Who knows, but I love blaming pop-culture.

Here's a link to my favorite video from the last year or two. If there's a pop-culture to blame, it's viral cell-phone videos.

The sidling Argentinian gnome that makes the boys scream girlishly:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Who's extremely gullible?

But I wore the juice...

I know no one reads the comments on here, but a mysterious Ryan pointed me to the source of the Sheep Throne. It's pretty good.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What free stuff am I trying to get on Craigslist right now?

This is the first time I've ever posted anything personal on here, but I feel that it's in the vein of what's appropriate for this site. Thanks to a sweet facebook heads up from Nina, I am trying to get this chair for free. Why don't I just go pick it up? Well, the owner of this fine piece of furniture is making everyone who wants it write a little bit about how the "sheep throne" would improve their lives. I will share what I wrote about it because it is basically what I would have written about it on this blog.

While I enjoy just looking at this object on the internet, I do have a perfect place for it in my house. I need a reading chair in my bedroom, and this looks like an excellent chair to read in.

I wish I could say that this chair would help me get women or something like that. I am enfianced.

I wish I could say that it reflects my long years of work as a shepherd. Although I do sometimes volunteer at a farm that has a few sheep, I mostly deal with the goats, chickens and vegetables.

I wish I could say that I have always dreamed of this chair. I have never even thought of this chair as a possibility before.

What I can say is that if I had that chair, I would read in it every night, probably with a small glass of bourbon on the nightstand next to it. People would hear of my excellent chair, and some would be afforded a view of it. A few others would be allowed to sit in it; however, it is in truth, a throne, and it would mostly be used by myself and my fiancé to sit and read novels, non-fiction books about the obscurities of common objects or materials, poetry, and comic books. Throughout Santa Fe, people will be paraphrasing Vigo the Carpathian: On a lot full of barbecues, in a house of adobe, he sat on a throne of sheep.

What will all the New York actors do?!!

I don't know!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why is the Dunning-Kruger effect so funny?

One short answer is that the Dunning-Kruger Effect is funny because of cognitive dissonance (because it is a classic irony, you see). A shorter and more obtuse answer is that it's because the word "juice" is funny. The long answer is that this theory from 1999, which I just learned about, is most often explained using this anecdote:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1995. A local man, McArthur Wheeler, walks into two banks in the middle of the day and robs them both at gunpoint. Making away with the cash, he is arrested later that evening. Back at the station police sit him down and show him footage from the banks' security cameras. Wheeler can't believe it, the cameras had somehow seen through his disguise. He was seen mumbling to himself, 'But I wore the juice.' His was no ordinary disguise; no balaclava, mask or elaborate makeup, just lemon juice, liberally applied to the face. He was certain that the squirt of citrus would render him invisible to security cameras.


You see, the word juice is funny! Examples include, "You like-a the juice?" "Juice is good yes?"
"You've got the juice now." (It's funny because Omar Epps doesn't want the juice.) Or even just the phrases "Give it some more juice" or "He's juicin'". They're all at least sort of funny because, much like the word "pants", "juice" is a funny word.

Omar Epps has no need for the juice.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's going on with the Pizzly Bear these days?

Yeah the pizzly bear is sweet. The rich hunting dude that shot the proving example in 2006 got fined about $1,000 because they said he had a permit for a polar bear, and it wasn't a polar bear. The guy was really pissed off, saying the only bear he thought it could have been was a polar bear. Canada might have a point though, in that it wasn't a polar bear and he shot an evolving species, even if it did prove it's existence. Now a guy in Ulukhaktok, N.W.T, shot a second generation Pizzly, who they say was half Pizzly half Grizzly. This has Canadians rallying for protection for Pizzlies. I think you should protect the rare large fauna of your home.
I'm sure a lot of Hoopa Indians wouldn't be happy if someone shot a Sasquatch.
"Muthafuckah shot Oh Mah? Someone needs to get got."
(I hate watching The Wire, but it really works it's way in there doesn't it?)

I can just see a future Disney movie about a young Pizzly cub looking for his soulmate/female Pizzly bear. Original songs by NeYo! (It's the future.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How do I get insect DNA incorporated into my offspring when I can't have sex with insects?

Yep, a recent article in Popular Science suggests that DNA transfer happens between insects and mammals. So that kissing bug above may be affecting the genetic makeup of South America. It really makes me think about how when we're defining a person, there are a lot of microorganisms involved that may be actually a part of the person as we understand it. Freaky stuff, and stuff that can lead to very hippyish thoughts about how we're all in it together and connected and shit. I still want a Delorean Monster Truck though.

What is the equivalent of adding helicopter style double kick drums to Highway Star?

I wish that I could make this photo much larger. Remember the wallpaper that was the view of the Earth from the Moon? Can I get the same thing, but instead of an astronaut and the American flag, just put this on the moon? Can that image be the new American flag? Do I realize that the phrase American flag irritates Canadians? Yes. American flag. That's just what this image does to me.

Update: If you're in the Chicagoland Area, you can go visit Delorean Monster Truck. It's at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, which is by Chain o' Lakes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's that kitten disease that killed the AIDS guy in Trainspotting?

Why it's Toxoplasma Gondi! According to this website, 1/4 of people are infected with it. What exactly is it? Well, it's just a little parasitic protozoa that sets up shop in your brain. It mostly doesn't affect people, but if a woman gets the parasite during while pregnant, it can cross over the placenta and infect the baby, which is bad. People suffering from AIDS can also die of it, just like that guy in Trainspotting.

While it is interesting that so many people have a secret disease, that's not the real interesting thing about Toxoplasmosis (T. gondii infection). The really interesting thing is that Toxoplasma gondii is able to affect the behavior of rats. If you don't want to clink the link, here's the best part of the experiment abstract that I linked to,"Here we report that, although rats have evolved anti-predator avoidance of areas with signs of cat presence, T. gondii's manipulation appears to alter the rat's perception of cat predation risk, in some cases turning their innate aversion into an imprudent attraction." The assumption is that T. gondii does this in order to make the rat get eaten so that it can live in a cat.

So if it affects the behavior of rats, does it do anything similar to humans? Is this some sort of deep physiological cause for cat-ladyness? Possibly. Toxoplasmosis has statistically been linked to schizophrenia. I've sort of been following this for a few years, and new reports indicate that T. gondii produces a chemical that is a step in making dopamine, which is a key ingredient in brain functioning and linked to schizophrenia (drugs to treat schizophrenia always target dopamine). There is also evidence that toxoplasmosis affects the attitudes of the people it infects, making men more jealous and irritable, and making women more outgoing. This has even led one guy to posit that rates of toxoplasmosis could affect the culture of an entire nation or region.

It's all interesting stuff, and there's a LOT more on the web about it. I mean, it is a parasite that lives in your brain and may subtly affect your behavior, which is pretty sci-fi and internetty, and it involves cats, which is also a favorite subject of the internet.

Anyway, just thought I'd share this. One of these assholes peed on my jeans, and it got me to thinking about the dangers of cats, and toxoplasmosis is tops on that list for me.