Category Archives: Science

In what film is Nicolas Cage missing a hand*?

*That’s how I feel tonight.

There was lots of talk of rape and murder in the local news tonight as my mom watched it waiting to hear word about that potential snowstorm that might hit the Northeast on Christmas night into Boxing Day.  And there was also talk about the full lunar eclipse tonight!  How it coincides with the Winter Solstice, which, by the way, hasn’t happened since December 21, 1638, and won’t happen again until 2094 (via Huffington Post).  That’s special.  Apparently NASA says that for East Coast viewers the optimal time to see the full eclipse is at 3:17 a.m., which, lucky for me, is right about when I’m going to bed these days.  Optimal time, indeed.

I know.  Everyone’s blogging this and reblogging this.  It’s always a slow news day in the blog world, huh?  But I really am excited about this.  Look in my recent posts–you’ll notice there aren’t many.  That’s because I haven’t been excited about much of anything.  But the moon and the sun and the planet and rare astral happenings?  That’s exciting.

I probably won’t take any pictures of the eclipse later tonight, but I did happen to take this picture earlier of the full moon rising.  After which point I was promptly eaten by a werewolf. 

(The Inevitably Vagina-Related) Search Phrase Free Write!

I don't know who this is. It doesn't matter who this is. He is pretty cute, though.

People don’t get tired of searching the net for vagina stuff, and I have not yet gotten, nor anticipate getting, tired of writing about vagina stuff.  Today’s search phrase free write, courtesy of two aspiring ornithologists, is: “bird vagina”.

The closest I’ve come to seeing two birds having sex is the male pigeon’s courtship dance.  Beyond that, it’s easy to forget that birds are sexual.  It’s kind of like when you see your mom and dad flirting.  Or Santa and Mrs. Claus giving each other eskimo kisses.  “Oh yeah,” you think to yourself. “They have urges, sexual and otherwise, just like the rest of us. Weird.”

Hey, remember how last year my dad bought my mom Predator on DVD?  He accidentally did that again this year. 

Other noteworthy Christmas gifts: our cat (my dad) bought the entire family a copy of Terminator: Salvation.  My dad let me open it.  When he handed the present to me I asked him why the tag (To: Family, From: Critter) was taped onto the back of the gift instead of the front.  And my dad said, “It’s from the cat.  He’s stupid.” 

So, bird vagina.  One of my favorite things about home is that outside of our big kitchen window, right in front of the sink, my mom hangs a bird feeder and suet from the tree.  So it makes this perfect bird-watching spot!  In the comforts of the kitchen!  It’s really great.  Sometimes I can see their vaginas.

Some people are probably sexually attracted to birds.  I started to write more on this idea, but decided it wasn’t worthy of anyone’s time.  One of the sentences may have posited: “Women like a nice beak.”

Anyway.  I’m thankful for a lot this holiday season.  I’m pretty ecstatic about where I am, who I am, and the people who are surrounding me.  And I’m especially ecstatic about bird vagina.

The Things We Do For Love

Oh snap!

Oh snap!

Imagine one of these billboards placed in, say, Effingham, Illinois right next to the world’s biggest:

I saw multiple giant crosses while driving from Massachusetts to Arizona a couple years ago, and the sight never got less alarming.  It’s like…highway, highway, tractor trailer truck, highway, blinding sun, and BAM! GIANT CROSS!  My friend and I had this game going.  First person to see a cactus was entitled to a free beer.  First person to see a free range buffalo: beer.  His ideas were all things from nature, while mine were things like, first person to see a giant, tacky thing on top of a building:

It’s a great game because no one really loses.  But yeah, had I realized that there was such an abundance of giant crosses in Middle America…that would have definitely been one of my road trip drinking game items. 

It’s funny because…that Darwin billboard was one of the first things I saw when I woke up this morning.  (I roll over, open up my phone, check my e-mail, lament that I’ve received no e-mails, and then I click on random links provided by my mobile browser.)  So I was like, WOW!  Religious people are gonna freak!  Then, my mom calls a little while ago and is like, “I found this poetry contest you WILL enter.”  (She means business.)  Then she adds, “If you want to.”  She goes on to explain that it’s sponsored by the Christian Poets Guild…  This so-called guild doesn’t seem to have a website, it just seems to advertise its poetry contests in small newspapers around the country, such as “The Eagle” out of Byron, TX, the “Hot Springs Village Voice” out of Arkansas, and my very own “Pennysaver” out of Western Massachusetts.   

So this is suspicious.  She’s suggested this contest to me before and I’ve always been like, “Yes, I’ll look into it,” when really I’m thinking, “Praise Darwin.”  …Then Mom tells me that I can enter online at freecontest.com.  Moms don’t tend to know these things, but a web address like that is highly questionable!  It’s usually smart to avoid any URL with “free” or “contest” in it, and this one has both.  If you’re brave enough to click the link, you’ll see that this contest in no way looks legit.  My mom was so excited about it, though, that I might risk having my identity stolen or being sold into sex trafficking just to make her happy…

What’s Wrong With Me? (Inevitably an Ongoing Feature)

Something happened tonight that is likely an indication of a larger problem/neurosis/obsession, as is the case with most (Freudian, I guess) slips.  It was similar to the time in high school when this kid Jake was reading aloud from a science textbook and accidentally replaced the word “organism” with “orgasm.”  But even though we all laughed at his expense, that really is an honest mistake.  Just two letters off, and on top of that, a sizeable number of organisms can achieve orgasm.  Some organisms even have pills designed purely to help achieve orgasm

But anyway, let me set the scene of my own slip.  I was at work, getting settled at my computer.  I consider myself a pretty computer-savvy individual, but this computer was misbehaving in ways that I just could not understand.  Ctrl-Alt-Del failed to help the situation.  Repeatedly clicking ‘Retry’ in the Error Message is always useless.  So, as much as I hate bothering the IT Guy, up I was forced to march to the IT Guy Spot. 

The first time was slip-free.  “I’m having trouble opening Crappy Application.”  Stuff is always going wrong with Crappy Application, so IT Guy is used to hearing this.  He followed me to my computer and proceeded to open Crappy Application on the first try.  “Sorry.”  He said something about having the magic touch and walked away.

Not two minutes later, I tried to open up Excel and another problem…a pop up message informed me that there was not enough disc space to open it.  So I’m like, fuck you!  I don’t want to visit IT Guy again!  I put it off, but eventually I did go back to IT Guy Spot, and the conversation went a little like this:

Me: Hey, sorry to bother you again.

IT Guy: What’s up?

Me: Now I can’t open up Excel.  It says there’s not enough dick space.  (Catching myself, but really thinking/hoping that IT Guy didn’t pick up on what I said…)

IT Guy: Say that again? 

Me: (Trying very hard to enunciate) Disc space.

IT Guy: Oh, okay.  That makes more sense.

Like I said, I really didn’t think my slip was so noticeable, but on the way back to the computer IT Guy said, “The first thing you said sounded more like a personal problem.” 

Anyway, I’m not easily embarrassed, but that was a doozy.  And not as understandable as the whole organism-orgasm thing. 

In other embarrassing computer happenings, a bunch of my friends have signed up for Match.com.    I have nothing to say on the topic of online dating websites, except that the culture they create is pretty fascinating/scary.  There’s this shame about even having to resort to creating a profile, there’s the whole necessity of using the most effective photos and copy to best market yourself, and then there are the eventual bizarre real-life dates that can result after the virtual courtship of winks and emails is completed. 

But okay, I admit it, I was on there a couple years ago for like, a month.  I went on a date with some NYU Grad student whose username was something about shark attacks.  He looked like A.C. Slater in the single photo he included with his profile.  So between the shark thing and the Slater thing, I figured, why not?  Anyway, that was my one and only Match.com date.  Not that it was even a terrible date, but most of the time I could just care less about courtship, the virtual kind and the ever decreasing actual kind. 

I know, I know.  I say that, but then I show up to work complaining to the IT Guy about not having enough dick space…

Global Orgasm for Peace Day Approaches!!

It’s not just a Facebook event created by someone in Finland.  It’s a legit initiative for peace brought about by a non-profit: http://www.globalorgasm.org/

I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced:

WHY? To effect positive change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible instantaneous surge of human biological, mental and spiritual energy.

Extra points if you sneeze mid-orgasm.  December 21, 2008 at 12:04 GMT.

Ah!  Naked war protestors!

Ah! Naked war protestors!

I’ve Been So Happy Since Tuesday Night

THIS is why I love the ridiculous genius that is The Onion. Right after I devote a post to the time-space continuum, they go and devote an article to not only the time-space continuum, but to how “skyrocketing consumer prices coupled with stagnant wages have forced many Americans to work a fourth shift in another dimension in order to make ends meet.” It’s so silly and satirical and subversive and it makes me so happy.

I read it on my commute home from work yesterday/earlythismorning and probably disturbed quite a few 3am Flushing-bound subway sleepers. I never officially announced not being unemployed anymore, but that’s just because I still kind of feel poor and unsure of everything. I’ve been thinking about taking the GREs, but that requires something like $140 and…I don’t even know what I want to go back to school for or when or even if. I’ve entertained ideas of getting my master’s in a different country. Canada, Australia, or North Korea. Still deciding. Australia has Hugh Jackman, but North Korea has this guy–

Too gorgeous for his own good.

Too gorgeous for his own good.

The Smallness of Our Blips and the Largeness of Today’s Election

Apparently the Queens Library is pretty slow about delivering materials to one branch requested from another branch, so instead of taking out the book I’ve been waiting to arrive for a good 7-10 days, I took out a book called Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang. Intriguing, right? I’m not sure what caught my eye about it while walking through the stacks, but there’s a plug from Stephen Hawking on the front cover AND upon looking at the back flap you find photos of the authors who are two of the cutest bespectacled men this side of the Big Dipper. I even showed Kathleen their pictures, but she wasn’t as impressed as I was. A few minutes later I was still ridiculously excited, going on and on about this book and she said, “I can’t begin to deal with you right now.”

Books like this are great because they tell you things you kind of already had an idea about, but you hardly ever stop to think about. Like this:

The Milky Way’s cosmic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, lies 2.9 million light-years from the Earth; the light received from its stars today was emitted before the earliest humans roamed the Earth.

I just read that, say, 20 minutes ago on the train. It made me go, “Woah,” and I looked up at the guy across the aisle from me with huge awestruck eyes who looked back at me like, “I can’t begin to deal with you right now.” So then I looked up at the train ceiling trying to imagine just how far the universe would extend past where I was sitting, trying to fathom just how small of a blip of my existence really is. I’ve never understood why people aren’t more preoccupied with stuff like this. I mean, I know people turn to religion to answer silly questions like…where the hell are we right now and what the hell are we doing here…but still. Even during Sunday School when I was, like, nine years old it occurred to me to ask my teacher how God could have just always existed.

Anyway, enough about light-years and bespectacled men for now. The polls open in a few hours!! Maybe people aren’t stopping to contemplate time and space like me, but they’re definitely stopping to contemplate politics. The people across from me on the train were talking about baby daddys, baby mamas, and Barack’s grandmother. The woman with the 7 month old daughter whose baby daddy is doing time (1-3 years), said, “Maybe it’s a sign how she died right before the election and all.” And the man with the 16 year old daughter whose baby mama remarried, said, “I hope not.”

Seemed like the man took the woman to mean her death would have to be a bad sign, but I don’t think so. My grandmother died a couple weeks ago. She was in my dream last night, watching me while I read a passage from the New Testament at the funeral of my former bus driver who in real life is actually a crossing guard who wears a wig. I was completely fumbling over my words, but regardless, she was watching peacefully from the back row.

I wear a scarf she knitted years and years ago. Her photo is on my newly installed Ikea shelf. I keep thinking about how she told my cousin she never remarried because, “There are a lot of crumbs out there.” Guess what I’m trying to say is, death is sad, paralyzingly sad sometimes, but I don’t think it can ever be a bad sign. People are created, people travel through space for a short amount of time, and then who knows what happens? We leave this dimension? We cease to exist? We burn in hell for all eternity? I dunno. But I’m voting in a few hours and I’m infinitely glad I exist at this time and this place to be able to do it.