POTENTIAL APOCALYPSE ALERT.

I come out of my self-imposed exile (caused by the fact that studying a degree, writing a book and looking for a job all take a shocking amount of time) to tell you about THIS.
A naked man has been shot dead after attempting to chew a homeless mans face off in Miami.
Now, I’m not trying to say this is the start of a Zombie Apocalypse, but… this is the start of a Zombie Apocalypse.
Continue reading “POTENTIAL APOCALYPSE ALERT.”

The Zombie Apocalypse is COMING NOW.

At least if reports coming in from Africa are to be believed.
The ‘Nodding Disease’ is a virulent condition affecting African children in Uganda. The symptoms include seizure, bizarre personality changes, mental degradation, and, in a so-far unconfirmed report, irrational violence in a small number of victims. The CNN report actually refers to the victims as ‘zombies’
According to reports, one mother of infected children has to tie them up whenever she leaves the house, or they wander around and ‘set fires’ randomly with no seeming reason. The children cannot be reasoned with, and will attempt to gnaw through their restraints.
Infected children are doomed to a slow, mental degradation, leading to loss of speech, partial paralysis, personality changes and the supposed violence.
Continue reading “The Zombie Apocalypse is COMING NOW.”

Speech jamming gun: a step toward a dystopian society?

The world may not end this year, but we might end up living in a dystopian society anyway. It looks like Big Brother is taking another step forward.
I came across this article the other day that talks about the creation of a “speech jamming gun.”
Oh sure, while I want to shut up the annoying, shrieky people (or *coughmykidsinthestorecough*) I’m not entirely sure this is a good idea.
The story behind the speech jammer is this: Japanese researchers Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada created the SpeechJammer device based on the principles of Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF). According to the researchers, DAF has been used successfully to treat stuttering. (Where they made the leap from “treat stuttering” to “forcefully shut people up” I’m not quite sure, but leap they did.)
Continue reading “Speech jamming gun: a step toward a dystopian society?”

Did a drought contribute to the decline of the Maya civilization?

I came across an article titled “Global warming, drought likely lead to decline of Mayan civilization.” Now, word choice error aside (pretty sure the ancient civilization isn’t still declining) the title caught my attention, and I promptly saved it for later reading.
The article talks about the possibility of a drought/dry spell being the possible final nail in the Maya coffin (not global warming per se).
Let’s back up here a minute and look at global warming, the phrase. Global warming is:

an increase in the average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, especially a sustained increase sufficient to cause climatic change.
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

but, no, actually, it’s linked specifically to the greenhouse effect:

an increase in the average temperature worldwide believed to be caused by the greenhouse effect
(Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged)

but wait–it’s a general warming and a warming caused by the greenhouse effect?

An increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, especially a sustained increase great enough to cause changes in the global climate. The Earth has experienced numerous episodes of global warming through its history, and currently appears to be undergoing such warming. The present warming is generally attributed to an increase in the greenhouse effect , brought about by increased levels of greenhouse gases, largely due to the effects of human industry and agriculture. Expected long-term effects of current global warming are rising sea levels, flooding, melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, more frequent and stronger El Niños and La Niñas, drought, heat waves, and forest fires.
(The American Heritage Science Dictionary)

Continue reading “Did a drought contribute to the decline of the Maya civilization?”

Edible microchip: good for your health?

So last Wednesday, on January 18, there was this little online movement to protest SOPA. Maybe you heard of it? (Students everywhere may have lost their minds temporarily, since English Wikipedia was one of the protesting sites and went dark for an entire day. Hell, forget the students, *I* went slightly nuts that day, since most of my daily go-to sites had gone dark. Like ICoS.)
Ahem. Anyway. When discussing the SOPA blackout, Tavia and I also briefly discussed how something like SOPA could spiral toward censorship very easily. (It was brief because of this pesky thing called work. So annoying, that.)
But this post? Is not about censorship. (Well, not specifially, anyway.) (Haha, made you look!)
Continue reading “Edible microchip: good for your health?”

Edible microchip: good for your health?

So last Wednesday, on January 18, there was this little online movement to protest SOPA. Maybe you heard of it? (Students everywhere may have lost their minds temporarily, since English Wikipedia was one of the protesting sites and went dark for an entire day. Hell, forget the students, *I* went slightly nuts that day, since most of my daily go-to sites had gone dark. Like ICoS.)
Ahem. Anyway. When discussing the SOPA blackout, Tavia and I also briefly discussed how something like SOPA could spiral toward censorship very easily. (It was brief because of this pesky thing called work. So annoying, that.)
But this post? Is not about censorship. (Well, not specifially, anyway.) (Haha, made you look!)
Continue reading “Edible microchip: good for your health?”

Supertuberculosis

Sadly, this isn’t a post about crime-fighting tuberculosis (even though that would be cool). Ann emailed us this link last week about totally drug-resistant tuberculosis (TDR-TB).
There have been at least 12 patients who have contracted TDR-TB in India, though this first popped up in Iran in 2009. (Clearly I read the wrong magazines. That was, what, three years ago? Why are we just hearing about this now?!)
The drug-defeatable (yeah, that’s a word now) kind of TB is already a hard disease to kill, and is one of the biggest killers out there (well, out of the tiny, need-to-be-seen-with-a-microscope brand of killers, anyway). It’s also hard to treat. According to the article,

“At the best of times, TB treatment is difficult, requiring at least 6 months of pill combinations that have unpleasant side effects and must be taken long after the patient begins to feel well.”

Continue reading “Supertuberculosis”

Is Occupy Wall Street The Start of a Slow, Apocalyptic Decline?

What does a slow, apocalyptic decline look like?
Almost two months ago, protests began in New York City in opposition to … stuff and things and inequality. There was definitely a general outrage about inequality. But what did they want to be done about it?
Everyone who has learned the basics of capitalism knows that some people have more than others do. Not because they necessarily work harder but because whatever they’re selling has more demand and thus they earn more. Our society is based on supply and demand.
What about this example of a real life teacher participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests after quitting his full time teaching job to pursue a MFA in Puppetry and then finding that three years later there was no work to be found for a Master of Puppets?
Continue reading “Is Occupy Wall Street The Start of a Slow, Apocalyptic Decline?”

Zombie wasps promote anarchy and parasite life cycle

A few days ago, Tavia sent me a link to a story that disturbed me. Actually, it freaked me the hell out, and kicked up my paranoia by a few many notches.
You know how we’ve all pretty much said that a zombie apocalypse is unlikely? We might be wrong about that. Because the zombie apocalypse is HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.
Okay, so, it’s happening to wasps, but it’s still happening. (I know, right? The apocalypse cometh.)
There is a lovely little parasite with a Latin name I can’t pronounce (vesparum something), whose larvae burrow into the belly of the European paper wasp when the two species make contact. (Let me repeat that. BURROWS INTO. As in, tunnels through this thing’s belly. Ew. And ow.)
Continue reading “Zombie wasps promote anarchy and parasite life cycle”