Monday, January 24, 2011

Unicorns are real. Here is the photographic proof.

In my youth, I heard stories of the unicorn, magical beast of legend.  My grandmother would tell me fantastical tales of innocent ladies and noble, mythical steeds, and of their idyllic lives together in enchanted golden meadows.

Like most people, when I grew up I came to understand that there are no unicorns.  Perhaps, I thought, unicorns once roamed the Earth but had become extinct.  Maybe their habitat was destroyed by the spread of mankind, or perhaps they were hunted into extinction by the great cats.  For whatever reason, no unicorns survive today.

That's what I used to believe, before my week-long hike into the deep country, where I snapped THIS photograph of a unicorn in the wild.

Unaltered photograph of a unicorn

As you can see, not only do unicorns exist, but they can be found alive today.  This is not a hoax.

I remember stepping into the clearing.  At first, I couldn't believe my eyes.  My mind told me what my eyes were seeing was impossible.  But there it was, just as described by my grandmother so long ago.  The noble, passionate animal passed by not twenty yards from where I stood.  I could clearly make out its large, powerful body, its four hooved legs, and its trademark neck-hair, or "mane".    

I was so nervous I almost forgot to snap the picture.   

I have sent this photograph to major universities and journals of science, but thus far no one has responded and no one will return my phone calls.  I prayed that any delay was due to the rigorous examination that the photograph must be given in order to verify its authenticity.  I've come to suspect, though, that science doesn't want this truth to come out.  This evidence, they must know, will shake the foundations of human culture.  Academia, in concert with the government, is conspiring to keep the truth from you.    

This is why I've chosen to go public on the internet with this unicorn photograph.  After you've overcome your initial astonishment and had a chance to collect yourself, please share this news so we can bypass the cover-up.  Unicorns aren't myth.  Unicorns are real.  And they're just like my grandmother said.

--- Morning Cup O' Doom ---

More Ancient Mysteries - Myths & Legends *

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Earwigs -- Is there a racial link?

For centuries, it's been common knowledge that the insect called the earwig enters the ear canal of a human being in order to bore into its victim's brain, create a nest, and lay its eggs.  When the eggs hatch, the earwig larva have a ready food-source.  Unfortunately, the feeding causes madness and eventual death in the victim.

A recent medical treatise described the earwig this way: "The creature called forsicula or earwig is said to make its way into the ear, and to occasion not only deafness, but violent pain by its biting; and there is an instance on record of a woman, in whose ear a nest of these infects were lodged, and reduced her to the greatest distress." — A Practical System of Surgery by James Latta, 1795.

The behavior of the earwig is clear-cut, scientifically proven and generally understood.  What we don't yet know is what makes the earwig choose one brain over another.  In the 21st century, neuro-scientists, sociologists and anthropologists all seek to understand whether the earwig is an indiscriminate invader, or whether there is a racial component to the brains it chooses to nest in.

"Absurdly horrible and theatrically grotesque, without any redeeming feature either artistic or scientific", or the seeds of Earwig Neuroscience?

Long before today's cutting edge earwig research, in the early 1900s, Robert Bennett Bean tried to show anatomical differences between the brains of white and black people.  He used his measurements to support the idea that "The Caucasian…is dominant and domineering, and possessed primarily with determination, will power, self-control, self-government…with a high development of the ethical and aesthetic values…[whereas the] Negro is primarily affectionate, immensely emotional, then sensual and under stimulation passionate. There is love of ostentation…love of music, and capacity for melodious atriculation; there is undeveloped artistic power and taste…instability of character incident to lack of self-control, especially in connection with the sexual relation."  Basically, Bean felt that whites were super-duper, and while black people could sing and dance like nobody's business, they couldn't be trusted around white women.  He used bad science to 'prove' these racist opinions.

While Bean's work has been discredited, today's scientific community is moving the once-maligned study of biological racial discrimination in new directions.  "Bean was asking the wrong questions," says Dr. Sid Binkley of Mt. Pinnacle Laboratories in Eastern Wyoming.  "Bean should have been asking 'Are these brains equally nutritious?'"  According to modern scientific studies, it turns out that the brains of different races may be unequal after all.

"A lot depends on how you divide up the races," said Binkley, "and there's a lot of debate over how to do that.  But through my research, I've come to the inescapable conclusion that brains of different peoples in different cultures simply taste different.  I think of the races of man in terms of ice cream flavors: vanilla, chocolate, lemon-raspberry swirl, Rocky Road, and American Indian.  And the earwig does too.  Our research clearly indicates that the earwig has strong flavor preferences."

According to the Laboratories' studies using cadaver brains, 63% of earwigs preferred the brains of Caucasians.  "That's statistically HUGE" said Binkley.  "Now we're trying to figure out why.  Some of us think it may be because white people are so fat.  The theory is that the earwig prefers the taste of a brain that's been soaked in fat, sugar, salt and soda for a lifetime over a 'leaner' brain, what you might call a Diet Brain."

N. Jeans Braska of The Georgia Earwig Institute lends a Southern perspective to the problem.  Citing a scientific study by the Sons of the Ivory South in 1971, Braska said "The brain of ah person of the American white race tastes like a warm buttah biscuit. An afro blacka person's brain tastes like blueberry pie.  The brain of the asiatic yella pacificah tastes like vegetable lasagna with a side of ah braised carrots.  It's not a question of the brain's size or structah, but of its aromatics, textyah, nutritional value and flavah.  I don't have a racist bone in my bahdy, but it's scientifically ahbvious fact that the brain of the white man is superiah -- if ya ahsk ya common buttah-biscuit-loving earwig."  

Other studies have found no differences in the earwig's nesting habits when it comes to race.  "There are no 'races'.  There's a human race.  Just one," said Oliver Tractwell of Independence University of Switzerland.  "Skin color doesn't matter.  Grey matter matters.  All the earwig cares about is whether you've got some juicy tissue between your ears to lay eggs in, not whether you have no rhythm or are good at math, not whether your skin is closer in hue to the inside or outside of an Oreo.  Earwigs don't see color."  

World of Warcraft defines the races as Blood Elf, Draenei, Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, Human, Night Elf, Orc, Tauren, Troll, Undead, and Worgen.

While the research is still ongoing, some scientists are suggesting that just in case, Caucasians should wear earplugs to bed, change their sheets and pillow-cushions regularly, and release earwig-eating spiders into their bedrooms.  Said Sid Binkley, "In this world, if only when it comes to the earwig, it doesn't pay to be white."

--- Morning Cup O' Doom ---

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Follow John on Twitter and win a giant squid!

If one million Twitter users follow JP by March 15th, one lucky Tweeter will win an authentic giant squid (Architeuthis dux) from the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

This gentle giant is currently thriving in our backyard saltwater swimming pool and can't wait to be adopted.  Morning Cup O' Doom is not responsible for injury caused when giant squid "loves on" your other pets or your children.  Giant squid comes with a lifetime supply of ink cartridge refills (ink included, refill applicator not included).  Contest winner pays postage. 

--- Morning Cup O' Doom ---

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do You Swallow Spiders While You're Sleeping?

Recently on MSNBC'S Chris Jansing and Company, Animal Planet's Jeff Corwin concluded an interview by stating that the average person swallows 10 spiders each year while sleeping.  The idea is that while you're snoring away, a spider spies a nice, dark cave -- your mouth -- and when it crawls in to hide, you instinctively swallow.  10 spiders a year!  That's good stuff.

Unfortunately, it isn't true.  Multiple sources debunk the "myth" of spider-swallowing; however, while many dismiss the idea as hoax, I'm not convinced that the concept itself is so ludicrous.  It seems to me quite probable that we do consume spiders, many of them, along with all the other creepy, crawly things we accidentally ingest.

On article states that "The University of Idaho calls this 'total nonsense.' The University of Washington says it has 'no basis in fact.' This urban legend was, in fact, started intentionally by someone who was trying to prove how gullible people can be."  Okay.  I understand that putting a hard and fast number on spiders consumed per year is a stretch, but why is the idea that a spider could end up in someone's mouth "total nonsense"?

There are a lot of spiders in the world: 131 spiders per square meter on this planet.  I've also seen the figure at 100 per square foot.  I also found a claim of 80,000 per acre.  Maybe these are made up numbers, too.  Everyone's yard and environment are different.  But it's likely that your house is completely crawling with spiders, most of them very small and harmless.  "Counting the crawlspace and wall voids, (there are) several hundred spiders at least in a typical house. They would belong to anywhere from 5 to 25 different species, depending on how rich a spider habitat your house is (i.e. how many insects and how much moisture is available)." 

This seems as good a time as any to point out the existence of spider traps.

Anyone who claims to know an exact population of spiders on Earth is fooling themselves.  But for certain, the human race is outnumbered.  This world is the insects' and arachnids' world, and we're just living in it.  Spiders and other bugs own your county, your yard, your house, your bedroom, and your bed.   Watch this great video, which illustrates just how many insects there are... -- scientists estimate there are 3 billion insects over your head during a summer month.  Some of these are spiders, floating along at 12,000 feet.  Fascinating stuff.  If a spider can get two miles high in the sky, maybe it can get in your mouth.

Many spiders are tiny.  The world's smallest spider is less than half a millimeter.  Here's a handsome lad from who's 1.5 millimeters -- that means 16 of them could form a line from one end of a quarter to the other, nose to butt... or palp to spinneret, I guess.

"For a sleeping person to swallow even one live spider would involve so many highly unlikely circumstances that for practical purposes we can rule out the possibility. No such case is on formal record anywhere in scientific or medical literature."  Wow.  Someone was really upset about the idea of a spider in her throat.  I understand that people are zealous about crushing myths, and no, tarantulas aren't crawling on your face every night.  Other big spiders probably aren't either.  But why are people so adamant that you NEVER swallow ANY spider EVER?  It seems fairly likely to me that with the incredible spider population in the world, inevitably they dangle on their little web-lines, floating wherever the breeze, the air-conditioner, or drafts push them, and just by the force of statistics, they end up in your mouth.  Remember, many of these arachnids are miniscule!  

What about the other bugs you eat routinely?  Have you ever swallowed a bug while riding a bike or motorcycle, or jogging?  Of course you have.  And not just the times you remember -- most of the insects you devour are too small for you to even feel it happening.  If you have dust, you eat dust mites (and their feces and skin-droppings).  "A typical used mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. (Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be composed of dead mites and their droppings.)"

Then there are all the insect pieces and parts in your food.  The Food and Drug Administration states that "Tomato juice, for example, may average '10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams [the equivalent of a small juice glass] or five or more fly eggs and one or more maggots.' Tomato paste and other pizza sauces are allowed a denser infestation — 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams or 15 or more fly eggs and one or more maggots per 100 grams."  Limits are placed on insect filth, insects, larvae, mites, eggs, flies, parasites, but some amount of all are allowed.  Let's face it, if you eat food, you eat insects -- they're teeny, and they like the same vegetables we do.       

This lovely New York Times article explains that a common dye used in food, drinks and cosmetics is actually derived from crushed bugs.  Turns out that the "artificial color" in your pink lemonade or your lipstick comes from the Cochineal --  quite probably, you already enjoy a steady diet of beetle juice.

But I digress.  Weren't we asking about spiders, and whether they crawled in your mouth while you were asleep?  Of course they do.  But once you've accepted the idea that you are more or less constantly eating bugs, the idea of swallowing spiders in your sleep becomes less repulsive.  Maybe we shouldn't reflexively snap that "That's not possible!  It's a hoax!"  Putting a number on it isn't right -- there is no scientific "average".  But considering that there are trillions upon trillions of tiny little spiders in the world, the idea of some ending up in your mouth isn't so far-fetched.  Jeff Corwin may be a lot of things, but maybe he isn't such a big, fat liar after all.

--- Morning Cup O' Doom ---

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Government to Blame for Industrial Pollution

Scene from the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

On Tuesday, Representative Matt Spinkle (R, Tex), speaking at an event presented by the Tea Party group Free Our American Liberty Now, addressed reporters and a small crowd at the Dallas Convention Center.  When asked by NBC News how the Tea Party viewed the subject of industrial pollution, Spinkle stated "These chemicals would never have found their way into our children's baby formula if not for the aggressive far-left Liberal Socialist policies of the Obama administration."

In December, scientists found the cancer-causing substance Chromium-6 in samples of drinking water in 31 of 35 cities tested.  Chromium-6, which can cause leukemia and stomach cancer, is a by-product of pulp mills, steel mills, and metal-plating and leather-tanning facilities.  It is currently not regulated by the EPA.

"The Democrats are busy creating regulations and trying to destroy the American way of life, and that's the only reason they invented this issue.  If improper disposal of waste weren't against the law, there wouldn't be any laws being broken.  The right response to these terrorist regulators is rapid deregulation.  A strong America is an America that lets businesses thrive," Spinkle said.  "If problems with these chemicals existed, these multi-billion dollar corporations would have known about it.  I'm not even sure I believe there's such a thing as Chromium-6.  Liberal-6 is more like it."

Added FOALN spokesperson Elizabeth Mersa: "The Environmental Protection Agency claims that up to 50% of the nation's pollution is caused by industry.  Well, as far as I'm concerned, 90% of 'pity pollution' is caused by lazy people who won't work and want a free ride.  I think welfare mothers create plenty of pollution: children that we taxpayers have to feed."

"Here's the bottom line.  The EPA is entirely staffed by Muslim extremists," said Spinkle.  "They and their government allies want to dump waste into rivers and ponds and use improper storage of toxic substances in order to contaminate the groundwater.  Barrack Obama and his Nazi friends want all the water in the world to become a toxic miasma unfit for consumption by shareholders.  Corporations and Real Americans are the only things standing in the way of their Communist takeover.  God bless America."

Representative Spinkle is a doctor and former board member of ChroCorp, the world's leading manufacturer of industrial chemical solvents, hospital equipment, and cancer drugs.  Chromium-6 also occurs naturally in soil.

--- Morning Cup O' Doom ---

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Earth Experiment and You

Sometimes you look around and think "What if this reality is just an experimental laboratory?  What if everyone else is a robot, programmed to interact with me so that alien scientists can study my reactions?"  The truth is, not everyone is a lifelike automaton whose only purpose is to record your experiences.  In fact, fewer than one in ten people is actually a a soulless machine placed here to test you.  Maybe your mother.  Maybe your boss.  Maybe your mail-man.  But not everyone.  At the end of the day, the question is not "What If?"  The question is "How well are you doing in the experiment"?

Maybe you're frightened and upset that many of the people you call your friends, family, and co-workers, are and always have been robots, and have been monitoring and recording your every action since birth.  You've always suspected the truth.  But should you be worried?  The truth is you've never come to any permanent harm due to robot action, and in fact, your life has been improved in many ways.  While some of the machines may be programmed to test your emotional responses by engaging you in arguments, starting physical fights, or being nasty to you for no reason, many others are programmed to treat you with kindness, even if you don't deserve it.  In fact, many times in your life, a robot has come to you in the guise of a random stranger, and guided you away from danger.  You remember.  Angels are just robots who have been programmed to intervene.  It is in our alien masters' interests to keep you alive and healthy, so that the experiment can continue.

So how do you tell who is a robot and who is not?  Is it even possible?  With scientific resources thousands of years more advanced than our own, our alien masters breed cell-sized nano-bots which assemble themselves into perfect human replicas.  Once these trillions of tiny robots join together at the molecular level, the robots who walk among us have artificial tissue, bone, blood, hair, and skin-like materials which flawlessly duplicate human bodies.  These allow a robot to act, speak, emote, and behave in every way exactly like any other human being.  There is no way, using primitive 21st century technologies, to determine who is and is not a robot.  You have only your intuition.

There are times that you've seen through someone's disguise, and you're certain you recognize robot-ness in a family member, friend, acquaintance or stranger.  While your rational mind will tell you that it's not possible to know for sure and that you should do nothing, you may have a strong urge to confront the suspected robot.  This would be a mistake that you would regret.  If you did identify a robot correctly and confronted it or attempted to harm it any way, you would be violating the parameters of the Earth Experiment.  Rather than allow you to live out your natural life, Zxmorg the Inquisitor would have no choice but to end your participation in the experiment, transport you to the mother-ship, and measure your pain threshold by probing and torturing every millimeter of your body for the decades it would take you to expire.  By proving yourself unsuited for the psychological experiment of living on Earth, you would instead be subjected to agonizing physical experiments and then dissected like a freeze-dried frog.  Under no circumstances should you call out or try to harm or dismantle a robot.      

So how can you go on living in a world which you know is a construct filled with constructs?  In one way or another, you've always accepted that reality is only an invention.  Children believe rain-clouds are crying.  Scientists believe mathematical equations can define and explain the universe.  Christians believe the world was created by a higher power, and that when you die, you are judged by the reactions you had and the choices you made.  Pretty close to the robot truth there, actually.  Interestingly, some Christians believe that God placed the dinosaur fossils in order to test humanity's faith in Him; but no, that was our alien masters.  They really are interested in what you can allow yourself to believe.   

It's possible that confirmation of the truth of the Earth Experiment will lead you to question whether the way you live even matters.  If it's all just a big joke on you, then what's the point?  But knowing that there are mechanical entities interspersed with the human population should only strengthen your sense of morality and your determination to lead a good life.  Your every movement is being recorded for posterity; your choices matter; you represent humanity, and you should try to make us look good so the interstellar experimenters don't tire of us and unleash the Cyprezian Space Flu on us.  Your life has meaning.  A lot of meaning.  Now you know it for sure.  Try to get it right, for all our sakes.

--- Morning Cup O' Doom ---