Let's Talk about Sex… and Birth Control.

Step one to survival is being prepared for the worst before having to actually survive the worst. Some might say one of the worst consequences of sex is pregnancy. Fortunately, birth control exists to prevent pregnancy– If you’re prepared.

All of the many forms of birth control seek to accomplish the same goal: prevent pregnancy before it happens.

Some methods are for use before sex. Some for use after; and a few for use during sex. Regardless of the method, it’s imperative to have a plan if your plan isn’t to make a baby.
Planned Parenthood does a fantastic job outlining the many birth control options the world currently has to offer. They even offer a handy quiz to help you determine what the best method might be for you.
The Pill or condoms might be a great option while we’re living in the current state of things and shit has yet to hit the fan. However, after an apocalyptic event, while we’re seeking comfort in the private parts of others, The Morning After pill might be the best option. Continue reading “Let's Talk about Sex… and Birth Control.”

Likely Apocalypses: Asteroid Apocalypse

It’s time to look at another possible apocalypse! (This is actually the last in our series of likely apocalypses, so if you have any ideas for other things that could wipe us off the face the planet, let us know!) This month’s apocalypse is an asteroid or meteor strike. (Probably an asteroid.) Unlike some of the possibilities we’ve looked at, this one doesn’t give us much control. There aren’t a whole lot of things we can do at the moment to nudge an asteroid if it’s on a collision course with the planet. (And, you know, sending Ben Affleck to nuke an asteroid isn’t really the world’s best solution to inevitable doom and destruction.) One day we might be able to use the USS Enterprise to pull an asteroid away with its tractor beam, but at the moment, we have…uh, we have Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, and some nukes.
Let’s face it: in the grand scheme of things, Earth is a sitting duck. I mean, it’s not exactly going anywhere. (Relative to some astronomical objects, that is. You know, like asteroids.) Compared to the much more mobile asteroids, meteors, and comets, Earth is…well, it’s stationary. Which means that it’s a pretty easy target. And we know that we’re not immune to space bombardment — there are impact craters all over the world; currently, the Earth Impact Database has 190 confirmed “impact structures.” Okay, so 190 doesn’t seem like a lot, considering how big the planet really is, but have you looked at the moon lately? Impact craters, ahoy!
Anyway, my point is, asteroids, meteorites, and other assorted hurtling space objects have the ability to wipe us all out. The possibility is there, and it pops up every now and again.

What would an apocalypse by an asteroid look like?

Well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Big boom, lots of destruction, ash and debris covering the sun, doom, despair, yada yada. I mean, the dinosaurs aren’t here to talk about what they went through, but I can’t imagine it was anything fun.
The immediate impact zone would be obliterated instantly, but the rest of the world would probably die a slow and painful death. Lack of sunlight would mean less plant growth, which would mean less food, which would mean starvation. The water supply would probably be cut off or contaminated to some extent. The Internet would be cut off. People would lament the loss of funny cat videos and Instagram photos of people’s lunches. People would riot (because people always riot; also, see: no Internet). People would die. People would eat each other when the food ran out (well, hopefully not, but who knows). People would turn into zombies (kidding).
Of course, that’s assuming it’s a large asteroid, one capable of triggering an extinction event similar to the K-T event (the one that killed off the dinosaurs). If were smaller, then it would look a bit different. So, in that case, maybe things on Earth would change just enough to make it difficult or impossible for humanity to survive. For example, maybe the soil changes just enough so that crops won’t grow. Or it would “just” wipe out a major city or two. Or, like the Tunguska event, there would be damage, but not mass destruction.
I suppose, in some ways, that anything is possible, depending on the size of the asteroid and where on the planet it actually hits.

How likely is an asteroid apocalypse?

Impacts from space objects/debris are actually fairly common, but most of those are pretty small and land in places where no one notices. However, large meteorites (objects that actually hit the planet are called meteorites), especially extinction-triggering ones like Apophis, are rare. So while I don’t think a full-on extinction event is likely, a smaller but still devastating impact could be.

What could we do to survive an asteroid apocalypse?

Avoiding a collision with an asteroid would be ideal, really. I mean, if nothing hits us, then it would be super easy to survive, right? (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
So, how do we avoid an asteroid impact? Send Bruce Willis and his scrappy team of drillers to nuke it out of orbit, obviously. (But in case our intrepid team is unavailable, I’m sure Elon Musk will come up with something.)
In all seriousness, I’m not exactly sure how we would truly be able to avoid an asteroid impact if one was on a collision course with Earth. NASA is currently working on technology that will deflect an asteroid, which would be pretty cool if it actually gets up and running, but as of now it’s still in development.
At the moment, all we can really do is keep an eye on the skies and track near-Earth objects as best as we can. Luckily, NASA has a project that does just that (you saw that one coming, didn’t you?) NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies has several teams who search for and track all the fun things that are zipping around out there in space. Hopefully they can give us enough notice of anything big enough that could kill us (and hopefully the DART program is fully operational when they do).
But if an asteroid hits us before we have the ability to redirect it, well, things could be bad. Our ability to survive would likely depend on the size of the asteroid that hits — if it’s a smaller asteroid, survival could depend solely on where it lands. If it hits a city, it would be super crappy to be living in that city, now wouldn’t it?

Likely apocalypses: the hyper-intelligent animal

It’s time to look at another likely apocalypse! We’re nearing the end of our list of possibilities, so if you have a possible apocalypse you’d like us to take a look at, just let us know. This month’s possibility is a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse. I know, I know — it sounds totally out there, but hey, dolphins are super smart, and at some point they might get tired of jumping through hoops on command, so an animal revolt could be a thing one day. (Are you prepared for your dolphin overlords?)
Of course, I’m not saying that animals aren’t smart. I mean, okay, so they may not be Einstein, but animals are intelligent — some more than others (looking at you, dolphins). That said, they haven’t figured out how to make nukes (yet, anyway), so there’s that.
Anyway. If, one day, there are suddenly a bunch of animals who can communicate in Human and use opposable thumbs, what would happen if they wanted to take over the world? Just in case you’ve been pondering this burning question (who hasn’t, right?), then you’re in luck, because that’s what we’re looking at!

What would a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse look like?

(First, I’m going to say here that “hyper-intelligent,” for the purposes of this article, is to have a level of communication, intelligence, reasoning, deduction, and analysis that is comparable to that of humans. That may be closer to reality for some animals than others, of course.)
Personally, I’m thinking a reverse zoo. At first, anyway. Honestly, I think a pissed off and vengeful Shamu would want to lock us up in similar conditions, even if it’s only for a little while. And while we’re all locked up in cages, they can a) point, laugh, and ask us how we like them apples, and b) go take over the world.
Then, of course, we’ll have to bow down to our new animal overlords.
Or maybe we’ll just spend the rest of our lives trying to escape from angry badgers bent on revenge. Who the hell knows.
Okay, in all seriousness, I’m not convinced that animals on their own could cause an apocalypse that would wipe out the human race. But, in the right circumstances, they could take advantage of an extinction event (whatever that may be). So, to speculate a little: let’s say that there’s a nuclear war (I’m not going to speculate on what causes that war, though). Let’s just say that the world goes boom. There’s nuclear winter, radiation everywhere, humans do not survive. But, like in the aftermath of the dinosaur extinction, something survives. Maybe it’s lizards. Maybe it’s snakes. Maybe it’s the peregrine falcon. Maybe it’s the Canada goose. Maybe several animal species survives. In any case, let’s say that these survivors, helped along by radiation, evolve much faster than they normally would. Now they’re “hyper-intelligent.” They may not have opposable thumbs, but they’ve found a way to compensate.
And then…they take over the world. And Earth becomes the planet of the geese. Or something.

How likely is a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse?

Well, it depends on what apocalyptic scenario we’re looking at. The scenario in which one or two animal species rise up and take over the human race? Probably not all that likely. But the scenario in which a surviving species (or multiple surviving species) pick up the pieces of a decimated world in which humans have already been wiped out? Likely.
After all, it’s already happened. (Poor dinosaurs.)

How do you survive a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse?

Scenario one: make friends with your new animal overlords, pronto. Maybe they’ll consider you useful. Or it’ll be a reverse pet thing. Either way, you’ll (hopefully) be alive, and you’ll (hopefully) be treated well.
Scenario two: you can’t.

Into the Archives: SOLARIS (2002)

SOLARIS is a 2002 movie about…. Space? Love? Time? Truth or Consequences?

SOLARIS is the kind of movie that means different things to different people. It might be a horror movie if you identify with Dr. Gordon. It could be a Love story if you relate more to Dr. Kelvin. Finally, if you relate to Dr. Snow, it’s a kind of existential introspection.
There is a beautiful planet called Solaris that demands to be explored. As with many beautiful things, the planet may be dangerous. Is it’s bright and beautiful display a beacon or a warning?
This ambiguity is what drives the ground crew behind the mission to Solaris to send a security team when they lose contact with the original team. The security team didn’t make it. No one really knows where they went or seems to care. Whatever. Apparently, the next step it to send a psychologist… He also happens to be friends with one of the doctors on the mission… and a qualified astronaut.

Continue reading “Into the Archives: SOLARIS (2002)”

For-profit Corporate Care Centers: Why Don't Corporations Literally Invest in Children?

With all the children living on the streets, in orphanages, or in prisons, maybe the best solution to the issue of these discarded children is one we haven’t tried yet: For-profit Corporate Care Centers.
Okay, hear me out. I understand that corporations, even though they can sometimes be considered people, can’t provide everything children need to be successful humans. Mainly, a loving household and the social-emotional whatever that teaches children how to act right in society. However, corporations can afford to hire people to provide those things. Continue reading “For-profit Corporate Care Centers: Why Don't Corporations Literally Invest in Children?”

Can't Live Without [July '17]

Crayon Shin-chan

Starting the day with the news is horribly depressing. Instead, I watch cartoons. Specifically, this summer, I’ve been all about watching Shin-chan on Hulu.
When I get up and start my putzing about, I put on the Chromecast and stream Shin-chan.
Completely vulgar, inappropriate, and satirical, this show has it all. Ass dance? Got it. Joking about things that are no laughing matter? Yup. Parents regretting all their choices and just trying not to get sued? All day? Teachers, who only teach because it’s the job they happen to have? Check.
Crayon Shin-chan is a wonderfully cynical and sunny way to kick off the day. Continue reading “Can't Live Without [July '17]”

Super Growth Hair Story!

Tavia and her Mum both with natural hair
That Fat baby is my big sister; Lady with the legs is our mum.
(I wasn’t alive when this picture was taken.)

I was always a “tender headed” child. That is, I cried when I got my hair combed.
I don’t remember when my mother[1. My mom is awesome and I love her to pieces and wouldn’t trade her for anything or anyone. She’s super nice and when the car dealer tried to screw me I called her to straighten them out– and she did. She’s wonderful and inspiring and shit at doing hair. She gets her’s done at a salon(not black) every weekend.] started relaxing my hair. I remember that it was probably, in part at least, my fault. At least once a week, getting my hair combed was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. It was exhausting for our whole family. Continue reading “Super Growth Hair Story!”

I'm 100% here for Debris (the video game)

Today I stumbled across a new game coming out in October called Debris by Moonray Studios.  This is an indie game that feels big but doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard or doing too much.
Indie games come out every ten minutes. However, quality indie games are diamonds in the rough. This game is looking pretty shiny. There are a vast amount of research and unique perspectives built in. From the trailer alone the artwork, voice work, and quality are all top notch.

It’s a breath of fresh air[1. Pun completely intended] to come across a game like Debris. The developer, instead of creating something based on what they think people want, made a game based on what they know they’re good at.

Check out the trailer and press release below:

Continue reading “I'm 100% here for Debris (the video game)”

Likely Apocalypses: Government Collapse

It’s time to look at another likely apocalypse! This month, we’re looking at government collapse.
Let’s be honest — if there’s a likely apocalypse that’s more likely than others, it might be this one. The world is sort of terrifying and terrible right now. And is it just me, or does it seem like the world is a hair trigger away from world nuclear war? (And if it comes to that, I’m pretty sure my country is doomed. We have no nukes, and we live next door to a country that does, but has also said they won’t come to our aid.)

What would an apocalypse by government collapse look like?

Probably nothing good. (I mean, really.) But let’s break it down a bit. For a government collapse to cause a worldwide apocalypse, it would have to be the government of a large, powerful country. It would have to be powerful enough to wreak havoc on the global economy, and would have to be big enough that its collapse would trigger a worldwide threat. So, this would probably mean the collapse of the U.S., the U.K. (maybe?), Germany, Russia, or China. Maybe France. And I think it would have to be more than one government collapsing at the same time. It might be possible for the world to overcome one major power falling apart, but two or even three or more? That’s harder.
Aside: if France or Germany collapse, would that also trigger the collapse of the EU itself? Because that would domino this apocalypse into fast-forward.
Also! I think that, for a government collapse to bring about the apocalypse, it would have to be the total breakdown in the government itself. Like, maybe a Designated Survivor season 1 type of collapse, only without Kiefer Sutherland there to save the day. Not “oh the government is collapsing based on the results of the last election.” Though…I suppose that might be true, in a slow-and-painful-death sort of way. And, of course, I suppose that the population could rise up and there could be a revolution or a coup or something, and a government could collapse because of the people. (If there was a revolution, what would happen after? Anarchy? A puppet government? A military dictatorship? The next Napoleon? The possibilities are seemingly endless!)
In any case, regardless of how it happens, a country’s government would have to fall apart, completely, with chaos and confusion and all that fun stuff. The local currency is devalued (probably), people lose money, there are riots, borders close, people (probably) die. (It doesn’t sound fun.)
And what happens after? Once all the chaos dies down, are we then left with the Hunger Games? Or maybe Incorporated? (That show was cancelled far too soon, by the way.) Or Blade Runner? Or Planet of the Apes if we all end up mutated from radiation?

Is an apocalypse by government collapse likely?

Well. I think it could be. I mean, I think it’s certainly possible. More possible than any of the other likely apocalypses I’ve talked about, with the exception of maybe nuclear war (which, in all likelihood, would be related to a government breakdown).
Let’s face it — the world is a touch unpleasant and scary right now. I think, honestly, that the world going down the road toward anarchy or dystopia is quite possible. Would that be caused by a government collapse (or many governments collapsing)? I don’t know. It could. Or it could be caused by governments hitting red buttons and the world going poof. At this point, anything’s possible, really. But I think that the world is on a very precarious ledge at the moment, and at it could crumble and collapse at any moment.

How can we survive an apocalypse by government collapse?

Um. I don’t know. Go off the grid, maybe? Build an underground bunker? Pray and hope for the best?
Honestly, I don’t know. I think that, whether we like it or not, the government plays such a big role in people’s lives (either directly or indirectly), that there’s just no surefire way to survive a collapse.

I tried to make a Community for fun and profit and everyone died [Community Inc.]

Community Inc. is a video game that would fit in a crossroads of genres.

Those genres that Community Inc. bridges are hard to define though they’re mostly exemplified by:

  • Black & White – a God Game Simulator with citizens to tend to and keep happy
  • Viva Piñata – a garden-based life simulator with a community of individuals who each offer something different and outsiders to protect from
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization – a turn-based strategy game centered on world domination via tile acquisition and resource leveling.

tinyBuild tried something different by taking aspects of different kinds of games and putting them into Community Inc. Afterall, Community Inc asks the player to create a whole, fully-functioning community – that they can then sell to new overlords.
The difficulty is that all these aspects are available and in the mix right from the start. Citizens’ happiness, resource planning, enemies, contracts, and more are all fighting for space on the player’s list of things to do. Continue reading “I tried to make a Community for fun and profit and everyone died [Community Inc.]”