Posts Tagged ‘Science Fact’

I believe it was our President’s idea, with a tropical storm as of this morning on a track that could have it reach Puerto Rico, to just drop a hydrogen bomb on the thing.  Well, maybe not this one, but in theory if you can nuke a country, why not the weather if you don’t like it?  Oddly, today, an email came on that very topic, “Why Can’t We Stop a Hurricane Before It Hits Us?” by Charlie Jane Anders via POPSCI.COM.  Also, I’d remembered before that when I was a kid, I’d read a Tootsie Roll (yes, the candy) comic about “Captain Tootsie” and how he was able to break up a tornado by having him and his squadron fly their jet planes through it — and that’s covered in Anders’s article too (that is, for hurricanes, not necessarily tornadoes, but one might suppose the principle’s the same)!  So, to find out if either, or both, or a few other ideas included would actually work, one need but press here.

(Hint: Don’t cancel your storm insurance just yet.)


Of course I’m talking about special dreams, the ones where you’re chased and it’s like you’re trying to run through a lake of molasses.  Or worse, you can’t seem to move at all!  Welcome “Night Terrors:  Why Do We Wake Up Frozen in Fear? by the Lineup Staff, via THE-LINE-UP.COM.  Or, [w]hen you first hear a sleep paralysis story, it can be all too easy to dismiss as something fake or all in the teller’s mind.  You wake up.  You know you are in danger.  An intruder is after you; the water is rising above your head; an evil creature is sitting on your chest and crushing the air out of your lungs.  You need to escape, but you can’t move.  You can’t even scream or call for help.  Could it have been real?

The answer is yes, the feeling of paralysis at least, and a good thing too — if it weren’t for that lack of physical movement you could conceivably end up being seriously hurt.  And could dreams of this sort could be sources of inspiration as well?

Well, that last would be up to you, but to see the article for yourself press here.  And once you’ve read it, note the link toward the bottom to “a sampling of the terrors” for fifteen case reports from other readers in some detail of their own dream experiences.

Who can resist this one, courtesy of SNOPES.COM:  “Can a Bug Crawl in Your Ear and into Your Brain?” by David Mikkelson?  Subtitled “Bugs do wander into people’s ears sometimes.  But where can they go from there?” the article is admittedly a rerun from December 5 1998, but a possible menace of this sort deserves renewed attention, don’t you agree?  Or in any event, for horror writers and readers out there, for the full monty (as it were) press here.
And while we’re at it, let’s not neglect earwigs.

Well, there’s APOLLO 11 which I think was on CNN on TV a week or two back (also, I believe, being re-screened locally this weekend by Ryder Films), but that’s not on this list.  Rather this is a list of Hollywood films, some of epic proportion like 2001:  A SPACE ODYSSEY, some uplifting like THE RIGHT STUFF, even some you might not have immediately thought of as about space like HIDDEN FIGURES.  So the list for today is by Libby Plummer, “The 11 Best Space Movies that Are Out of This World,” brought to us via SHORLIST.COM.  We’ve trawled the galaxy to pick out the best of the bunch so if you’re looking for something to watch in celebration of Apollo 11’s historic mission to the moon or you’re just a massive space nerd, here’s our shortlist of the 11 best space movies around.  Since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on the moon 50 years ago, space has been a popular destination for filmmakers.  Whether it’s true-life stories of daring space missions or the possible future of Earthlings in space you’re after, the movie world has you covered.

Others noted: CAPRICORN ONE, THE MARTIAN, APOLLO 13 . . . the list goes on.  But see it for yourself by pressing here!

This time I’ve swiped the headline from the label over the video itself, encased in an article by Sara Chodosh on POPSCI.COM, “We Finally Have Footage of a Giant Squid in U.S. Waters.”  The waters themselves are the Gulf of Mexico and the squid in question far from fully grown.  This squid comes at the camera head-on, so it’s difficult to tell exactly SQUIDDOhow large it is.  The NOAA researchers think it’s around 10 to 12 feet long, which would make it but a wee juvenile in the giant squid world — adults can grow to staggering lengths of 43 feet.  That’s like stacking more than seven average adult American men on top of one another.  And there are hopes that further attempts might snag pictures of some of the really big ones, but as monsters go (see post just below) it’s still worth a glance, for which press here.
(Incidentally for giant squid fans see also, below, January 6 2016 and December 17 2015, the latter of these with some interesting links too.)

“Don’t blame Hollywood.” the come-on via Facebook’s SUPERNATURAL TALES page began, including a link to “The History of Creepy Dolls” by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie on SMITHSONIANMAG.COM.  So okay, I’ll bite.  McRobbie’s piece starts with a note about Pollock’s Toy Museum in London.  And in it, just before the exit, the “Doll Room”:  Dolls with “sleepy eyes”, with staring, glass eyes.  Dolls with porcelain faces, with “true-to-life” painted ragdoll faces, with mops of real hair atop their heads, with no hair at all.  One-hundred-and-fifty-year-old Victorian dolls, rare dolls with wax faces.  Dolls with cheery countenances, dolls with stern expressions.  Sweet dolls and vaguely sinister dolls.  Skinny Dutch wooden dolls from the end of the 19th century, dolls in “traditional” Japanese or Chinese dress.  One glassed-off nook of a room is crammed with porcelain-faced dolls in 19th-century clothing, sitting in vintage model carriages and propped up in wrought iron bedsteads, as if in a miniaturized, overcrowded Victorian orphanage.  The point then being that charming as the museum may be in general, some people can’t quite take the Doll Room, even going back all the way to the entrance to leave.

So I have a friend who doesn’t like puppets, but the thing is he’s not alone, that people in general may be creeped out by dolls and other human-like objects — Japanese designing overly anthropomorphic robots are reportedly contending with the same problem — and, according to McRobbie, it isn’t just because of movies with Chucky and other murderous play toys, but goes much deeper.  Much, much deeper.

According to psychologist Frank McAndrew, dolls inhabit [an] area of uncertainty largely because they look human but we know they are not.  Our brains are designed to read faces for important information about intentions, emotions and potential threats; indeed, we’re so primed to see faces and respond to them that we see them everywhere, in streaked windows and smears of Marmite, toast and banana peels, a phenomenon under the catchall term “pareidolia.”  However much we know that a doll is (likely) not a threat, seeing a face that looks human but isn’t unsettles our most basic human instincts.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of a little piece of plastic, but it’s sending out social signals,” says McAndrew, noting too that depending on the doll, these signals could just as easily trigger a positive response, such as protectiveness.  “They look like people but aren’t people, so we don’t know how to respond to it, just like we don’t know how to respond when we don’t know whether there is a danger or not  . . .  the world in which we evolved how we process information, there weren’t things like dolls.

But, hey, it’s a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon outside so let’s save the rest of this for tonight, as shadows lengthen and, perhaps, even a tiny chill wafts through the air.  Look behind you first, and make sure that noise you just heard is the cat, and then continue by pressing here.

This one’s been predicted often enough, actually, that it seems more like a joke than news — and as for the news part it’s really not actually being planned . . . yet.  But the power of advertising is great and, as a background detail when, say, those romantic sexbots of the previous post gaze out of their window to see the moon, well light pollution could also be a factor and who’s to say smog won’t obscure it all?  As for the joke part, this did come to my attention courtesy of Michael Parisi on Facebook’s FANTASY/SCIENCE/FICTION NEWS AND HUMOR site.  The article itself, by Anthony Cuthbertson on WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK, is titled “Pepsi Considers Space Billboards to Project Logo Across Night Sky Using Satellites” and can be seen by pressing here.

But then as the article itself states:  It is not the first time extra terrestrial advertising has been proposed, with one Japanese startup aiming to place billboards on the surface of the moon by 2020.  Tokyo-based Ispace raised $90 million in 2017 to kickstart what it calls the “lunar economy”, which involves – at least in part – setting up small advertising hoards on the moon that can be viewed from Earth.

Okay, there’s no particular reason for it save that, by pure serendipity, I came across this one on the Interwebs and, what the heck, why not share?  Perhaps good for a laugh — or possibly compassion for our animal friends (the article explains that “the eel didn’t make it”) — but courtesy of POPSCI.COM, herewith “Megapixels:  This Is a Seal With an Eel Stuck Up Its Nose” by Rachel Feltman.  To see all click here (or, to start off your week. . . .).

Okay, this has to do with a commercial product, so all you’ll see here is a video of it in use (albeit with a link to press if you scroll beneath it).  But it made my day — and even if I’m not going to buy one, I can’t say I’m not tempted.  It comes to us courtesy of Peter Salomon, Danielle Kaheaku, et al., via HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION on FaceBook (which subsequently deleted it!), from “The 55 Most Genius Products We’ve Found on the Internet” by Danny Murphy on BESTPRODUCTS.COM.

So get ready, don’t blame me if you never want to take a bath again, and to see something you possibly never realized you were missing press here.

Though it was originally intended for biomedical research, the Mütter Museum is a funhouse for those with a morbid sense of curiosity, explains Jessica Ferri on THE-LINE-UP.COM.  She also suggests:  The next time you find yourself in Philadelphia, you may want to consider paying a visit to the infamous Mütter Museum.  It was founded in 1863, after Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter donated his collection of medical anomalies, wax models, diseased specimens, and medical equipment to The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  Today, the museum boasts a collection of over 20,000 specimens, with about 15 percent on view to the public.  Believe us, that small percentage is plenty for nightmares to last a lifetime, and adds this warning, be sure to skip lunch before your visit, lest you want to lose your meal.

And so, the wonders one might find there include objects removed from people’s lungs, anthropodermic books (that is, bound in human skin), “wet specimens” (don’t ask), the Hyrtl Collection of 139 human skulls, a two-headed baby, the “Eye Wall” . . . well, you get the drift.  All these and more which you can read about yourself in “The 12 Creepiest Exhibits at Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum of Medical Oddities” by pressing here.

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