Tag Archives: science

The Best Thing I Have Ever Written*


*This is how I felt immediately after writing this blog post. Upon reading it through a couple of times, I’m not so sure this is true. Nevertheless, the title remains.

You can feel it when you meet someone, when they let you in on their jokes or if you find they prefer to be the one making all the jokes or if they want you to entertain them, or if they expect something of you that you’re not going to give them.

Social interaction is a drug. It’s hard. It’s something most people have to do. It’s why humans are animals and animals are some of humans’ favorite things, because somewhere in there we’re laughing because what if we were the ones sniffing each other’s butts and isn’t that pretty much what’s happening at bars on Friday night anyways?

It can be wanting to be loved and cherished by everyone and wanting to get invited to their birthday parties, even the ones where you have to dress up and wear pearls and pretend that you like shaving your armpits because it’s better to have parties to refuse than no parties to go to at all.

It’s pretending to like people that you don’t like and pretending to hate people that you’re in love with and finding those people that you don’t have to pretend for, ever, and those are the best people of all. Because they’ll see you say something incredibly stupid in a crowd of people and know that that one statement isn’t who you are, because none of us are just one thing or just one sentence. And we have the lizard part of our brain and the dog part of our brain and the robot part of our brain and the iPhone and the troll and we’re all living together under one roof and sometimes it gets really crowded in here and a little smelly because – let’s be honest – we’re smelly people and the sheets have that human scent to them, but it’s kind of nice in the way that it’s a smell that reminds you where you are and signals to your body that it’s okay here, you can sleep with your mouth open.

And social interaction is everyone being the person that sleeps with their mouth open but only some people are allowed to know about that part of their lives even though if you took it one level beneath the surface you would see – and you would really see – that everyone has these embarrassing secrets that they only reveal to true friends and that we’re more alike than different even though we don’t know everyone’s names or their whole stories but that’s okay because sometimes words just get in the way of things and besides in 1,000-10,000 years all the words we use will be obsolete anyways and our Facebook pictures will have decomposed into virtual fossils that scientists will have to try to understand because our cultural customs – why are we always grinning at the camera – don’t make any sense anymore.

Photo credit: Subharnab, flickr

Photo credit: Subharnab, flickr

And the only thing that will be left after all is said and done is the feeling in the air and in the soul of every living thing that there were other living things here on this earth that felt things towards one another and created things together and despite their very thick skulls that kept them apart, managed to communicate something of who they were to another and were able to be heard. And it will be nothing more than an electromagnetic exhaust in the breeze, nothing more than a lurching in the belly of some kind of future-human with three heads and a heart bigger than the foot or in the aliens that have colonized us, but it will be there as sure as the sun is going to explode and as sure as the universe will continue expanding until all of us are asleep and no one can watch it anymore like a television left on after everyone’s gone to bed.

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How to Tell Your Partner About the Black Hole You Just Created

a photo I just took in my laboratory

Telling your partner you accidentally set the earth on an irreversible path to destruction is not a comfortable subject. However, if you care for them, then you understand that he or she deserves to know they have roughly three minutes before being swallowed up into an abyss of infinitely dense spacetime.

The ideal way to address the subject is in a romantic environment, while walking on the beach at sunset, gazing into each others’ eyes after a fancy meal, or watching the lights twinkle on in one of the world’s great cities.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely you’ll be in any of those situations. In reality, you’re lucky if your loved one is even close enough to your laboratory so you can run up and tell them the news in person.

But, if you have the good fortune to be addressing them in person, the first thing you should do is look deeply into their eyes and reaffirm how much you care about them. At the same time, remember the black hole is expanding as you speak. Be brief.

Once you make your feelings clear, lead into the subject gently by saying, “You know that secret particle accelerator I’ve been working on? Well, it turns out that just seconds ago I created a very small black hole. It’s not dangerous now, but–this is the scary part–in three minutes it’s going to engulf the entire earth and swallow all of us into oblivion. There’s a way to reverse it, but the internet’s being weird so I can’t look it up. I’m telling you this because I really care about you. On the bright side, we won’t have to get the transmission fixed. Let’s just spend these last few minutes together.”

Keep in mind that the most difficult part of telling them will not be the black hole itself, but the fact this hole will suck up the entire earth and end both of your lives. Also, make sure they know this is not a joke.

They may or may not have a chance to respond, but if they do, it will likely be garbled nonsense because of the mental shock. They may laugh, say I love you back, or feel a vague sense of gratitude and admiration that you had the guts to tell them in the first place.

You should be grateful for their confusion, because it will allow you to spend your last moments together in relative peace, regardless of what your relational status was beforehand. It will be like the time your puppy was adorable and sleepy after she got spayed. The most important part is that you enjoy your last few moments together.

Should you have to send a text message instead of telling them in person, use the bad news sandwich method, putting the unpleasant revelation of the black hole between two happy bits of news. Here’s an example: I love you and I’m so sorry but I just created a black hole in my laboratory and the earth is going to be destroyed. :(. No need to worry about making dinner tonight. Love you always.

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Five Blogs and One Website You Must Read


Not too long ago a certain lady at Life in the Boomer Lane was featured on Freshly Pressed for her piping hot word cakes that flew off the griddle and were gobbled up by hungry bloggers. I, a mere blog-troller, came along and posted a comment that was just bizarre enough to lure her to my blogging den, where—wonder of wonders—she liked what she saw and said this to me (paraphrased): “By golly kid, you got some kinda spark and I’m a gonna feature you in my neck o’ the woods sometime pretty soon now.”

And I thought that was just swell. Feature me (and others) she did, and my smile beamed a little brighter that day.

Fast forward some amount of time. The trees are slightly leafier. Children have eaten after school snacks and burned holes in their clothes while playing with matches. Gas tanks have been refilled, credit cards maxed out, light bulbs replaced, and Snotting Black was—wonders of wonders—freshly pressed, my hungover mug gracing the cover of wordpress.com for the longest 3 days of my life (they keep the Friday ones up until Monday.)

Apparently people liked the tasty blog pudding I mixed up that day and customers came in by the dozen and left lots of nice comments and some lies like “Your hangover picture isn’t that bad” and “You  shouldn’t drink.”

Then I remembered the day not too long ago when a certain blogger  burned her spotlight on the rest of us. Now it’s my turn. Check out these blogs I’ve found and one website that I have to promote because I love it.

The Rumpus: If you like to read or write, you need to be exploring The Rumpus like you don’t have a day job. This website is one of the best things I have found on the internet. If you want to cry, go here. If you want to laugh, go here. If you want to listen to good music, go here. If you want good advice, go here. It’s all on The Rumpus. And sign up for emails from Stephen Elliott because they will touch your heart.

Cosmic Revolutions: A blog dedicated to exploring the fascinating world of the future. Beware. You might learn something while reading here.

A Rebel with a Cause: Come for the beautiful photography, stay for the interesting prose and the worthy cause of SAVING THE ENTIRE EARTH.

Red Herring Online: Read his essay on how the English language is a sandwich. I was impressed and you will be too. A friendly and well spoken socialist, because we’re all comrades.

Dashtodine: Finally, a unique food blog concept with great writing to boot. This dude likes to dine, and makes time to appreciate food. I’m tearing out a page of his book and using it to wipe hot dog grease off my hands after I read it. Implementation of the philosophy comes later.

Girl in the Hat: It starts out as an attractive blog layout and gravatar image, but it doesn’t stop there. Read something! You’ll like it! You don’t even have to read all of a post—just the beginning is enough to enrich your day.

And thanks to all of you who read my blog, even just once. That’s time you’ll never get back and you gave it to reading, skimming, and/or commenting on my blog. For that I am grateful.

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The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

I want a magical forest filled with unicorns

I’ve taken naps at night for as long as I can remember—really hearty ones that last anywhere from six to eight hours. I don’t know much about what goes on during these night naps, but apparently I just lie motionless. The doors to my auditory, olfactory, and oral sensory headquarters are shut and padlocked and my capabilities at controlling drool levels are severely reduced.

If that’s not weird enough, I don’t even remember most of what I do for these periods of time. I’m pretty sure I just lie still, but I could also get up and squirt cheese whizz at the dog. Who knows? I have no control over my body during these dark gaps in my consciousness. It’s quite terrifying.

After waking up from one of these naps, however, sometimes I can kind of remember stuff from the great beyond I just sailed through. Most of it is dark nothingness with wisps of things I’ll never quite remember. Sometimes I think of ham inexplicably. Yet on the rare occasion, I remember a dream and catch a glimpse into the journey my mind sneakily made behind my back.

Dreaming, to put it simply, is amazing. There are endless possibilities of a sleeping mind roaming through territories ungoverned by reality’s mundane laws. The dreams don’t even need to involve hardware or flooring materials. That’s the beauty of dreaming: it’s limitless and free.

This is why I regret almost every single dream I remember. My dreams, far from being fantastic, are disgustingly boring and feel more like a poorly written office memo. Invariably I’m doing the exact same things I do in real life except for sometimes it feels “weird.”  My brain, as a dream-maker, sucks big time. Why can’t it create cooler things for me? Why am I not soaring to a floating feast where I sit in a barrel of spaghetti while eating ribs with Conan O’Brien? Why can’t I zap period clothing into existence and have the sickest privately owned collection of bonnets? Why am I not in the trenches with my best talking animal friends while we defend ourselves against an evil giantess that looks like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz?

They always say something is “the stuff dreams are made of” like it’s a good thing, but this clearly doesn’t apply to all dreams. Mine seem to be made out of dust covered toilet paper rolls, empty ball point pens, generic brand Cheerios called something like Happy-Oh-Nos and the stuff people give away for free on Craig’s List.

I would rather not even remember my dreams if it only means being depressed at my pathetically low dreaming horizon. I mean, I would like to see results from the 6-8 hours a night I put into these naps. All I want to do is wake up and not want to drop acid in order to make my dream life more interesting. Is that too much to ask?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that not all dreams are made of the same stuff, so if you’re buying some you better give the label a good look.

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