Friday, April 22, 2011

The Most Badass Animal in the Gayest Documentary

Have any of you heard of an animal called a Honey Badger? There’s really only one thing you have to be aware of regarding this creature—it doesn’t give a sh*t. No joke. This guy will literally take on any other animal. They have been known to face other creatures more than 3 times their size. Just like the wolverine, they will readily tell things like bears and cobras and jackals “I’m a badger, bitch!” and proceed to maul their faces off. Don’t believe me? Watch this overdubbing of a nature documentary by what has to be one of the gayest voices I have ever heard…

Via CollegeHumor

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Douche Planet

It was only a matter of time till the BBC had nothing left to film in HD and with amazing cameras. First, it was “Planet Earth.” Then, it was “Blue Planet.” Afterwards, came “Life.” Last, came “Human Planet” (which, at the time of this posting, is airing, and I highly recommend it). Now, the newest addition to the lineup of amazing nature documentaries is a segment attached to “Human Planet.” The subject of this short piece—the douche. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Inform Yourselves...But Only Slightly

If there was ever a question on a woman’s intelligence, it is examined in this video. Everyone knows that old informational are possibly the most accurate and specific pieces of recorded history. This one is no exception. Containing what can be considered irrefutable evidence for its assertions, the video attempts to grapple with the concept of women and education. I hereby postulate this solution to all of humanity’s woes. Please, my dear readers, take this information and pass it on, for there is more truth in a 1950s mock informational about women knowing their place than there is in the modern day. Oh, and if you are a woman, then just watch the video because you probably can't read this.

Mythos: Thicker Hair and Shaving

“If you shave, your hair will grow back thicker and fuller,” goes the old story that your mom told you before you shaved. But does it really? It sure does feel that way. The reality is far from this, as many of the myths examined in this series. Your hair doesn’t grow back thicker, and here’s why…

After you shave, the blunt ends of your hair can make it appear like your hair is, indeed, coarser when it isn’t. If shaving actually made you grow more hair or make it coarser, the scenario I will now postulate will elucidate the situation. Let’s say that a guy called Jim shaves his facial hair for the first time when he’s 13. Back then, his hair would have been soft and peach-fuzzy. But, the more he shaves, the faster, thicker, and more it grows. By the time he is 19 or 20, he will be living in the forest with wolves, his face will be covered in hair, and he will be more in tune with nature. Ask any doctor if this myth is true and the answer will be a resounding “no.” Because your friends and family have repeated this myth so much, it is all psychology from there.

Mythos: Healing Bands

This is a relatively new phenomenon—magnetic healing bands. They come in all shapes and sizes, but all are equally ineffective. You might know them through the most prominent amongst the competition: Power Balance. Top tier athletic celebrities have been used in their ad campaigns and everything. The truth remains…they are a hoax. Here’s why…

Magnetism…it has been around for the longest time. No, really, the Earth has a magnetic field. The thing with magnetism is that it is very weak. So weak, in fact, that if you wear a bracelet with magnets, the effects would diminish before they even reached your hemoglobin. Not even MRI machines (MAGNETIC Resonance Imaging…just saying), which have incredibly strong magnetic fields, can claim to solve any problems. If the idea that magnets would help your health is correct, anyone that went into an MRI machine could come out a young child with superior health. This, of course doesn’t happen. Hey! Maybe we can travel to a neutron star and get super healthy at the cost of being crushed to death. Besides this, Power Balance is on the nuttier side (saying that the holographic thing with their logo resonates with your body and fixes everything…yeah, they say that) of the entire competition. It’s ok, though, because they have already been outed as frauds.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mythos: Brain Power

How many of us have grown up with the “You only use 10% of your brain” (or any derivation thereof) myth? I know I have. From self-help books that boost memory to “quantumly” activating the other 90% to attain higher consciousness, all of these things that are mentioned in popular culture are dead wrong. Here’s why…

Firstly, I would like to point out that people say you only use 10% of your brain, but are very vague as to which 10% it is, or where it is located. Is it a certain spot? Is it spread across multiple spots? Is it a fuzzy area with percentages of usage going up and down depending on the contours of the brain? If any of these are true, then if I were to take a pickaxe and stab the 90% of your brain that you don’t use without remorse, you should still be able to function perfectly. Now…will you let me put my idea to the test? Didn’t think so.

Secondly, if indeed we were to postulate that 90% of our brain was not being used, why is it still there? In case you don’t know, your brain is a very costly organ to maintain and activate. Lots of energy goes into it. If 90% didn’t have to be used, evolution would have made our brains smaller and more efficient. The dead weight of the unused 90% would be gone. The result would be two types of humans—normal ones with smaller and more efficient brains, and blondes, who’s brains would not have shrunk because (let’s face it) they would end up without one at the rate that they use it. Ah…evolution.

Lastly (and probably the most popular one), the whole New Age movement has given more power to this myth by stating something that can be generalized into this: “You don’t understand, man. The 10% of the brain that we use isn’t actual brain…it’s consciousness, man. Tap into that extra 90% of your brain power and you can be…like…psychic. Connect with the universe, man!” Of course, this is…quite difficult to disprove. It just goes to show how myths change shape over time so that they may survive being demystified. The only thing that can be said is that there is no evidence whatsoever that this is how it works. Period. People can say all they want, but no evidence means no conclusive answer.

Besides, studies have shown that your brain is active all the time. There are always parts of the brain doing something related to your bodily functions, even when you are asleep (during REM sleep, your brain is immensely active)! As I sit here typing this, there are parts of my brain reading, typing, thinking about the next bit of gibberish I will spew, moving each of my fingers, breathing, pumping my heart, feeling my surroundings, recognizing smells, tensing and relaxing muscles to keep me in my chair, blinking, letting me know that there is a possible annoying itch on my back, trying to come up with funny things to say, hearing sounds from the outside, interpreting said sounds, and many, many, many, many more bodily processes. The whole thing is likely to have originated form a misinterpretation of something William James, a psychologist in the 1900s said: "The average person rarely achieves but a small portion of his or her potential." It is ridiculous, if not downright stupid, to believe that you only use 10% of your brain. Anyone that does is, well…probably only using 10% of their brain.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mythos: Flat Earth

The earth is flat, I tell you! FLAT!” This was repeated verbatim until around the 1500’s, when Magellan circumnavigated the globe. He, obviously, feared he would fall off the side of the plane where the oceans ended the entire time. He knew that as soon as he saw the majestic waterfall at world’s end, he would immediately ask for his brown pants. At least, that’s what everyone would want you to think. For some reason, this has been repeated for a long time…with evidence to the contrary! Here’s how it actually happened…

Well, we don’t actually know how it came about per-say, but what is known is the fact that by 5 B.C., no Greek in his/her right mind would say the earth was anything but a sphere. In all honesty, if they mapped out the stars and predicted events, they would have logically noticed something was amiss with a flat earth, no? Probably one of the more famous developments that came from the spherical earth was from an Ancient Greek poet, geographer (He invented geography! How many people can say that?!), and mathematician, Eratosthenes. This guy was the definition of a bad-ass. Not only did he invent latitude and longitude, but he also went on to measure the circumference of the earth using this system…then he wrote a poem about it afterwards!

Using the Summer Solstice, he knew that in Syene (modern day Aswan, Egypt) the sun would be directly overhead, but at the same time in Alexandria, it would cast a shadow. Using awesome math (the shadow showed that the angle of elevation of the sun was 7°12' south of directly overhead, the division of 360° by 7°12’ was 1/50, the distance from Syene to Alexandria was 1/50th the circumference of the earth, the distance between the two cities was around 500 miles, and presto!), he calculated the circumference of the planet. His calculations were so accurate that he was only off by about 2%.

The only reason why everyone “believed” the earth was flat was because of the Catholic Church. It exerted dominance over most of Europe for a long time, and kept differing ideas at bay. Eventually, though, the physical evidence from Magellan’s voyage was too much for their idiosyncrasy to remain.

Mythos: Swallowing Gum

I bet everyone reading this has heard that age-old adage: “Don’t swallow your gum! It will stay in your _______ (select: stomach/digestive tract/system/body) for seven years!” Maybe it was when a teacher walked by and you had to swallow it for fear of repercussion or maybe it was that time when you were dared to swallow it by a myth-believing friend—in any case, the statement is entirely false. Here’s why…

Normally, food takes anywhere from 4-12 hours to be digested (this is referring to stomach and small intestine only…large intestine can take up to 72 hours extra). The big gap in time is because of the content of the food and how long that takes to digest. Overall, food spends a surprisingly long time inside of you (don’t try and find the food you ate at dinner in your stool later…I beg you…it’s uncalled for and nasty—if it’s brown, flush it down!). The rubbery part of gum can’t be digested, but that doesn’t mean that it can't pass through you’re digestive system. It’ll eventually find its way out. Dr. Milov, a pediatric gastroenterologist (digestive system doctor) from the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Orlando, Florida, says that he has found gum inside kids that might be about a week or so old more or less. Rest assured, though, that it won’t be in there for seven years. You still shouldn’t swallow it, as it has no nutritive value.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mythos: 4G

Everyone has heard of 4G. It’s sort of the new “thing” that telecommunications companies are using to sell their products. Starting with Sprint and then Verizon, the concept of 4G has spread like wildfire. But, what exactly is 4G? I can’t be bothered to explain it, since these blogs are meant to be short, sweet, and to the point, but if you want to know what true 4G is, click here. Otherwise, I will just cut right to the chase—they are lying to you. Here’s why…

True 4G is insanely fast. When I say insanely fast, I mean crazy fast. Remember all those days you had to wait for your YouTube video to load? No more! It’ll be done so fast, you won’t have time to socialize with anyone anymore. Human connection will be cut off. But who needs them when you have blazing fast internet? The supposed 4G we have right now is fast, but it’s nowhere near what true 4G speeds would be like (around a gigabit a second). It’s turned into more of a marketing ploy. They will shout 4G till your ears bleed just to make it sound like they are offering everything the opposition is offering. It’s sad, really, what they have come to. At least for now, the only thing 4G is good for is fickle signal and battery draining superpowers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mythos: The Great Wall of China

Have any of you guys heard this being said anywhere: “The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object that can be seen from space!” If you think it can, you are very wrong indeed. It’s one of those things that you just accept as true as soon as you hear it because, well, that wall has the word “great” before it, so it must be ginormous! When you think about it, though, you realize that the wall couldn’t possibly be seen from space. For starters, it’s only about 30 feet wide. What does this mean, you ask? This means that it’s about as wide as most highways. Can you see highways from space? Of course not! Earth would look so ugly if you could see highways from space! Furthermore, if you can see highways, then many long buildings should also be seen from space, when they are clearly not. One of the few man-made objects that can be seen from space are the Pyramids of Giza (the bigger ones, of course…not all of them) because they are freaking huge.

But Rafa, I can go on “satellite” images in Google maps and see everything! Ok, for one, these satellites are equipped to map out Earth and all man-made streets and such, meaning they don’t really count (because of the cameras and such). Even if they did count, though, they still go against what was said because they would make the Great Wall one of the many millions and billions of man-made things observable from space! The myth is so prevalent that China has even tried to step in and squash the myth itself. Astronauts have even tried taking pictures from the ISS when they were over the Great Wall and haven’t been able to find it or see it at all. Just one example of the many urban legends that are simply not true. Fight ignorance and spread the word!