Wednesday, March 14, 2012

They Saw Us Coming

 Everybody who's anybody believes evolution to be an undeniable fact, to question its validity today would be like admitting to treason or slavery. So all of humanity knows evolution is an absolute fact, but, are other species that inhabit the planet with us privy to this important information? "Yes", says one biologist from Melbourne, Australia. Kenn Thompson, an independent researcher Who emigrated to California thirty four years ago, claims that hundreds, possibly thousands of plant and animal species are consciously aware of the evolutionary process and use it to their advantage; and how are they using it? Humans.

"The dawn of man has been long anticipated by our flora and fauna," boasts Thompson, as he takes aim at a California Bighorn sheep with his big brown hunting rifle. "Bang. Not today, Dokey," he laughs, and props the weapon against his dirt bike. When I asked him about his theory, he almost got angry... not angry, but agitated, as if I should have figured it out myself. Anyway, here's a transcript of the interview, although I only asked one question.

Me:  How does this work?
Him: Alright, It's like this, yeah. It's like the birds and the animals, and even that big old dokey sheep over there, can feel when they're entire species is threatened. Like a bird millions of years ago notices a squat, hairy thing with a long tail and skinny grabby fingers swinging him through the jungle, and he thinks to himself, " that guy is gonna be trouble a bit down the road." The bird, or whatever animal, knows that that monkey is going to evolve into some higher human-like species that will give him and his the business in a few million, you know. And from that day on that species starts making adjustments, little tweaks that'll prepare it for the onslaught of the human race. Ok... uh, you following me, Dokey? Yeah, let's skip forward those few million, yeah? So this bird or whatever is living right in the middle of this human barrage, I mean like in the eye of it, yeah, and he's like, "OK, it's time," and all that prep work kicks in, all those hours pay off. And say these particular humans are bugging this particular type of bird or whatever, and he's throwing up farms and crops and silos or whatever, and this bird knows he can't compete against agriculture, against the human machine, so he starts building his nests and homes or whatever smack dab in the middle of all this human business, and they start getting steamrolled, yeah. I mean these birds or whatever are taking it on the chin. And these guys know exactly what's gonna happen, they know that some wandering bearded bum drifter from one of the lefty coasts is gonna hitchhike his way into a job on one of these farms, take a lunch into the woods with a notebook or sketchbook, notice that this particular bird species is getting it's ass kicked and is disappearing like hotdogs in Texas, and POW! Endangered list. And they knew it! Because this bird or whatever knew this guy would call his buddies in No Cal and spill his guts about the farms and the birds or whatever and cause this whole shit storm, yeah. They knew it, they've known it for all these years because they've been watching us and storing the data away in their DNA. They were waiting and ready. They knew that they were gonna get their lunch eventually, so instead of waiting for what was inevitable, they threw themselves into the grinder first, for the good of their species. Now this bird or whatever sees its population rising, stabilizing, yeah. Protected, see? Now they've got the protection that evolution has afforded them. Sure, there aren't nearly as many of them now, but it's better than none, yeah? Amazing. Right. Put that in your bowl and eat it, Dokey."

 That last comment wasn't directed at me, he said it as if he were addressing the entire scientific community. He took off on his dirt bike after a few more words. It's an incredible theory, and I have a feeling we haven't heard the last from Mr. Thompson. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pictures in the Wall

Shane Prendergast, age 51, applies a coat of orange peel texture with his spray hopper

Have you ever seen an image of a face, or a demon, or an animal in a wall or a ceiling? I'll bet you have. Nearly every human on the planet, with the exception of a substantial hunk of the male Anglo-Saxon population in the American south and Midwest, have seen elaborate, beautiful pictures hiding in the cracks and creases of their wall and ceiling textures. Carpets are also a great source of these images. Animals, skulls, demons, and even dragons are just a few among millions and millions of the things you will see when you look at almost any flat surface, preferably with some sort of orange peel or knock-down texture applied to it. Berber and shag carpet work nearly as well.

Why do we see these images? Simple. Because they're there. It's as easy as that. When these textures are applied, the individual who's responsible for doing so subconsciously projects his/her inner feelings through the spray-hopper or the thing or machine that sews the carpets together. Most of these people who're are in this menial sort of position are day-dreaming about skulls, dragons, elves, or many of the other images previously mentioned. An eight hour day of wiping goop on a wall or assembling floor coverings is the most boring line of work there is; so it's quite obvious that when the surfaces are being created, the images are inadvertently transferred through the medium of imagination and rhythmic muscle memory . The muscles receive the images, without the knowledge of the individual, from the brain, and they accidentally leave their imagination on the wall. Literally! Take a look at any shoe made by Reebok or Nike, do you think all that squiggly shit and those plastic nodules get there by chance?

It works nearly the same way with airline pilots and clouds. If you were to ask an airline pilot to apply a layer of orange peel texture on a wall, it would be just that, a layer of pasty slop on a wall with nothing to see. Now, put that same pilot in a jumbo 747 airplane jet, and he'd paint with clouds his dreams and aspirations on a canvas of sky. And these cloud images would be vastly more detailed than any knock-down texture picture, due to the pilots higher I.Q. and greater understanding of spatial temporal reasoning. The contrast in these pictures would be, say, the difference between a Frank Frazetta and someone's nephew who can draw. Both very interesting, regardless of sophistication. 

I challenge you to lie down in a room and look at whatever surface you like, find the images and jot them down, then do the same with the clouds and compare the two. You'll see the benefits of an education and an interesting, stimulating career, as opposed to a dreary, proletariat low-wage position.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snowflakes No Longer Boring

The fact that every snowflake contains the exact same crystallized pattern may have been shattered by researchers in the Bahamas last month. In a lab, in a massive cold room, ice and snow experts have been attempting to create an original snowflake for over 34 years, without success...until now.

Two unnamed Russian cold-fusion science majors, on a visit to the island lab, got stinking drunk and, after punching two lab techs in the face, gained access to the top secret cold room and began pushing buttons and throwing switches at random. "You want new ice flake, I give you one (laughing wildly)", one of the Russians, the smaller of the two, was reported to have said. His larger companion then shoved a protesting tech over a large snowman, turned to an important control panel, and brought his fist down onto several crucial knobs and toggles. A predictable shower of sparks erupted from the data banks, and almost immediately a fresh burst of snow began to fall.

An undisclosed source from the scene claims that there was something decidedly different about this snowfall."You could just feel it, you know? We all just stared, even the Russian guys. It was like electricity was sizzling the air, but made of snow, you know?", the source stated. "All of us grabbed our special equipment and analyzed the new flakes at once, and we knew what we had. These two dolts come in here, shit-boxed, and accomplish what we've tried to do for over three decades...we had our new snowflake pattern. It was amazing."

Both Russian scientists were given high ranking positions with the facility and are now attempting to recreate the success of that evening. the tragedy is that no images were captured of the new pattern, the lab was only equipped with two Nikon digital cameras, which, earlier in the day, were destroyed when the two Russians took them snorkeling in order to photograph some of the local marine life. "And no one thought to use their smart-phones," said Louis Simmons, the facility's accountant.

How do we know this new pattern exists? I'm going to have to give them the benefit of the doubt. More than ten people saw it and they've been at this for years.

Below is a simulated image of the new pattern alongside the existing classic one. I can't really tell, but these guys know their stuff.


Friday, February 24, 2012

S. American Entomologists Decide to Quit Cataloguing Newly Discovered Insect Species.

 They are Glasgow mice. They can easily fuck up a scorpion.

Researches from the Chilean Institute of Entomology have given up identifying new species of insects, citing that it's much too time consuming and incredibly boring. "There are so many, and most of them look exactly the same, except for a difference in genitalia or wing structure or something. I hate it!" says Brenda Cobb, a Jr. researcher at the institute. Paulo Reyes added, "the really tiny ones kept breaking in half or getting crushed under the microscope. It's incredibly frustrating."

The Institute issued a statement earlier this week illustrating their reasons for the decision.
I've included the statement from the press conference in its entirety
             We regret to inform the world that the Chilean Institute of Entomology has decided to discontinue our long standing policy of capturing, identifying, and categorizing new  species of insect life. We are not alone in this decision, several of our colleagues working in the field throughout South and Central America have come to the same conclusion; that the work is never ending, and we'll most likely never stop encountering these new forms of life. Some of you may not agree, and we understand your concerns, and are fully aware of the potential benefit that some of these discoveries would hold for mankind. But we're just not up to it. There are so many existing bugs to focus on that we'll have our hands full for the remainder of our lives. We also received word that many Botanists are in the same pickle, and are considering the same action when it comes to new plant life, regardless of the inevitable effect it will have on the global pharmaceutical industry.
My feelings are mixed when it comes to this subject, but it's very understandable considering the work involved. Just naming the new species would be a massive effort, let alone finding enough glass cases, little white labels, and pins to display them.

One source close to the institute did say that the policy didn't restrict researchers from identifying new insect life, and that they're free to do so if they wish; It would be at their own expense, and no overtime or fifteen minute breaks would be included. they would be required to submit the new species name to institute officials for approval, but this would just be a formality. 

 Myrmelachista clavata

Thursday, February 23, 2012

To Them, Everything's a Swear

 Millions of people in the United states are afflicted with a form of Verbophobia, which has only recently been discovered, but not classified or verified by the medical community. it's unofficially labelled, "double-entendrophobia"; the fear of words that may have a second risqué or raunchy meaning. Most people suffer from an expected, mild form of this phobia, while leading perfectly normal lives.
One of my patients suffers from double-entendrophobia, and some of the words she avoids you'd never even suspect of being crude or indecent. Here's a list:

Pole, log, taint, squat, greased, rubber, chub, slot, ding-dong, plop, burgle, wipe, knob, clot, sputum, crack, bush, beaver, taco, snatch, burger, shaft, rod, load, sack, cheese, wind, blown, blew, flaming, fluids, gash, shaved, chowder, yak, pie, hole, peanuts, butter, cream, slide, stuff, pump, push, pound, lick, lap, whopper, massive, hung, limp, bung, beef, power, tool, rode, riding, rapier, pork, sword, milk, lunch, snack, bag, pile, swollen, purple, Pooh-Bah, felt, feel, munch, meat, mighty, monster, niggle, sore, prod, probe, cork, yank, trouser, snake, worm, wiggle, waste and juicy.
Quite a list of words. Words I use every day. Can you imagine having your vocabulary stifled by this affliction? not being able to say things like...

...yearn, dung, flesh, peel, brown, clod, chunk, nugget, twig, spank, burrow, tunnel, slippery, hot, organ, squirting, crammed, nice, inside, caverns, portly, hotdog, franks, buns, sauce, spread, thick, tasty, sausage, burp, spewed, goobers, mound, puddle, shank, nub, bubble, steaming, slit, peppered, coating, stroked, jerked, wrenched, twisted, cupped, wrung, reaped, blubber, loaf, ejected, swallowed, tangy, wretched, splatter, scrubbed, tossed, salad, garbage, junk, jasper, dangle, speared, slobber, bob, fondle, squeeze, torque, eat, grovel, grub, soil, sully, pulsing, throb, hardened, tumescent, wrinkled, pouch, cheeks, oily, slime, yolk, doughy, ramming, plunger, pop, sport, raging, mistake, tuber and too many more to count.

I feel so bad, so hard and long for these people. My head throbs when I think of their dripping hot tears soaking the sheets as they toss in their beds at night. Coming to the realization they'll never be able to spout these things without deep, penetrating therapy.

I don't have the answer, I just sit and listen, telling them it's all going to be OK. I shouldn't have even taken these patients on. It's really quite interesting, so i keep seeing them.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What's Happening to the Cork Tree?

 Nobody is quite sure what's happening to the cork tree, only about eight hundred of them are left in the wild, and nearly fourteen thousand in captivity.This has leading scientists concerned about the effect it will have on the bulletin board industry. Without this precious spongy material, teachers, moms, and organized children would need to rely on an artificial surface to pin their memos. One such replacement is a rubber like material, much like what the wine industry uses for their bungs. Since wine bottles use rubber bungs and screw caps exclusively now, they are obviously not the source of the cork shortage. The rubber bulletin board is very popular as a replacement, and an independent study showed that when replaced with the artificial material, people just stopped using pins and paper memos altogether, choosing refrigerator magnets and dry erase boards to relay messages. "I like dry erase boards better anyway, cork boards always dry out and crumble," a leading mom and amateur archeologist from Los Angeles, CA. says.

As to the disappearance of the cork tree, biologists have several theories: the wild tit may be using the tree as soft bedding once chewed and spat out; it could be a possible food source for apes and beetles; as well as a biological strain of Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome that affects plant life and some species of stone and metal, particularly zinc alloys and many noble gases. None of this is confirmed, just pure speculation and conjecture.  One scientist agreed to speak with us, he wasn't the first choice but we didn't have much to choose from.

"One of the problems is that not a single scientist has conducted any field research on the subject. It's all been word of mouth and rumors," says leading entomologist Michael Kohne of the Catholic Science Institute in Cork, Ireland. "Nobody really has time. It's not that big of a deal," says another source close to the cork industry. We speculate that some cork experts agree, and some Disagree.

Another concern is the durability of the tree itself, cork is very squishy and an entire tree made out of it tends to flop over and rot easily. The tree is also very finicky about water; half the year it needs at least 92 gallons of liquid H20 a day to keep it tumescent, and the other half it requires a great deal of snow and ice buildup that hardens around the trunk to keep it standing. The water isn't always available in those forms or quantities. So the tree will probably disappear within the next year or two according to our best guess.

The global cork industry is tremendously concerned about the depletion of the tree, but says it's production line won't skip a beat because there are plenty of alternatives. Walt Knutson, the CEO of claims that they weren't going to be using it much longer anyway, and their new website name was slated to change to in 2013.

A shame. Cork is a cool looking tree, but it seems to be of very little use to modern day industry.


CGI: Real and Fake

The introduction of CGI into cinema has changed the look of film(as well as television)immensely. For better or worse isn't for me to say; what I will say, though, is how to spot the difference between real CGI and fake CGI.  The abundance of fake CGI in the movies today is overwhelming and, In my opinion, we deserve better.

For the layman It's difficult to tell what's real and what isn't, for a majority of reasons: they either don't care, or don't see enough to make a difference to them, or the bogus stuff looks so close to the real deal they let it slide, even if they know what they're getting. I myself can't stomach fake CGI, I'm not even a fan of most of the real stuff. This is just my opinion, so you'll need to decide for yourself.

Let's look at some examples of real CGI, starting with the trailer for Avatar, the popular film by James Cameron.

 :37 seconds in, notice the floating mountains, they look so real with the misty clouds hovering all around, very difficult to fake. The ship, the camera pan, all too much to deny that we're seeing an example of real CGI.

At 1:17 take a close look at Sully's feet, tell me how to fake that, it's impossible. His hand against the glass, those ears, no disputing the authenticity of the CGI in these scenes. The dragons and the little floating seed things blow me away, this is as real as it gets. There is one fake scene in Avatar that I will let slide, because rumor has it that a subcontracted company slipped it in without the knowledge of Cameron. It went unnoticed until after the premier but I believe it was fixed for the DVD release. It's at 1:53, the floating cinder and ash behind the blue lady is obviously fake.

OK, let's look at the Scrat short film from Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, a film so fake you won't believe your eyes. 

The first shot with that rat thing is ridiculous, totally fake, nothing in the real world of CGI can bounce around like that. They didn't even try to hide it. At 1:21 the ground just opens up? I don't think so. Are those giraffes? You can't even tell what they're doing the scene and camera move is so quick. Terrible. Take a lap, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift: Scrat short film.

At 1:38 the awful Mt. Rushmore scene really pisses me off, it doesn't look anything like the original carvings. It's the same rat thing over and over. Shameless. The planet Earth is fake CGI, the acorn, the sky, everything. Even the sound is fake. You get the idea.

So when you're watching a movie or T.V. show, make sure to choose something authentic, the fake stuff gives the industry a bad name, and if you don't, soon all CGI will be a big fraud and everyone loses.