Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Talking plants

I’ve mentioned my reading of the book “The Great Animal Orchestra” which looks at the sounds made by animals natural phenomenon such as wind. But get this: plants also make sounds. And they seem to use these sounds to communicate.

[Exeter University scientist Monica Gagliano], along with fellow researchers Stefano Mancuso and Daniel Robert, used powerful acoustic instrumentation which allowed them to hear clicking sounds coming from the roots of corn saplings. They also found that when they suspended the young roots in water and played a continuous noise at 200 Hz – a similar frequency to the clicks – the plants grew towards the source of the sound.

Gagliano and her team concluded that plants are indeed communicating with each other by making clicking sounds that travel easily through soil. It’s thought that, like the methyl jasmonate, these signals are warning of incoming threats.

I myself have heard clicking sounds coming from corn — when I’m heating it up in a pan and making delicious popcorn! I now understand those clicking sounds to be plant screams of pain as they are literally burned to death. But so delicious!

Checking in

It’s doubtless seemed kind of dead around here as of late. I’ve been in New York city and been too busy wandering around to post bits of erudite wisdom. Things should pick up this week when I return.


The L.A Times reports: Surfer killed in shark attack died ‘doing something he loved’

He loved being eaten by sharks?

Giant eyeball discovered

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about a giant eyeball which was found on the Florida coast.

The orb was found on Wednesday by Gino Covacci, who was taking his usual stroll along the sand at Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He told the Sun Sentinel that he saw it lying at the high tide line and kicked it over, only to be staring at something that, well, stared back.

Covacci said he put the eye in a plastic bag and popped it into the fridge when he got home.

β€œIt was very, very fresh,” he told the newspaper, noting that it still had blood on it when he put it in the bag.

From there the article speculates that the eyeball belongs to some kind of marine creature. Is there any speculation on the far more likely source of the eyeball: an alien creature who has been bloodied and battered during interstellar warfare and will now rise from the depths of our oceans, angered and determined to conquer the human race?

Of course not. Wouldn’t want to alarm people, would we?

Lovecraft’s wisdom

Interesting… today Andrew Sullivan’s site highlights a quote by H. P. Lovecraft I’ve featured myself.

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

Uncomfortable truths

It interesting to notice how, when birds and animals see us, they react as if they’re seeing some horrible monster. (“WHAT IS THAT!? I’ve got to get out of here!”) We are the horrible monsters of the bird and animal world.

That about that. It’s deep.

The Internet is rewiring your brain!

I’ve been complaining lately that the frequent interruptions in our daily lives have reduced our ability to focus. I stumbled across an article on the topic in the August 10 issue of this new, rather bizarre newsmagazine called “The Week.” It states…

Research shows that our constant use of these devices is actually rewiring the physical structure of people’s brains. Every time your phone, tablet, or computer pings with the new text, tweet, or e-mail, it triggers a sense of expectation, and the reward centers in your brain receive a pleasurable “squirt of dopamine.”

I can definitely relate to that. I know I check my e-mail much more often than is really necessary. And, for those 30 seconds or so during which I’m waiting for my new e-mails to appear, I have an almost gambler’s like sense of expectation. (“Is it gonna come up triple sevens?” “Am I finally getting an e-mail from Scarlett Johansson saying she saw my Facebook profile is so attracted to me that she’s willing to submit herself to me sexually for the next five years?”)

I used to have a similar sense of anticipation about blogs. I’d be working and have the sense that I really had to see what Andrew Sullivan had said over the course of the past two hours. It’s stupid, of course; I could just wait till the end of the day. (And, indeed, that’s what I’ve learned to do. Sometimes I go days without checking blogs.) But I would have this nagging sense of anticipation. And that is exactly what dopamine is.

The article continues…

Over time, a brain habituated to these quick fixes shrinks the structures used for concentration, empathy, and impulse control, while growing new neurons receptive to speedy processing and instant gratification. Brain scans of Internet addicts… can resemble those of cocaine addicts and alcoholics.

Right there you have a physiological description of what I’m arguing has been changing in the human brain over the course of centuries. A composer such as Bach, who could sit there and create ornamental and very structured pieces of music, probably had pretty rich structures for concentration and impulse control. He wasn’t checking his twitter feed every 20 minutes.

Sexual creativity

As I suppose is obvious I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the creative process. I’m interested in how to facilitate it, how to hone it, how to be creative on command as opposed to waiting on the wings of fate for ideas to appear. It’s the mystery of creativity that beguiles me. Even if I accomplish a goal – say, writing a fugue – I have no confidence I’ll be able to repeat it because I’m not sure how it did in the first place. Nothing about creativity is predictable.

In a sense, it’s very similar to sexual relations. You meet a nice girl and think, “I should ask her out.” But then you wonder, “What if we have a few dates and then one evening find ourselves back at her place, about to commence sex? (It would only take a few dates because all women are whores these days.) What if I can’t get it up and she looks at me with puppy dog dissappointment and then tells me it’s best if I leave? Or what if I do get it up and we have sex and I immediately ejaculate? And she says, “Is that it? You better get that thing hard again because I’m NOT SATISFIED!” And I say, “Please, just give me some time… I’m trying,” and she says, “Did you hear me motherfucker!! Get that thing hard or my cholos gon’ come in here and bus’ up your face!! I’m not satisfied!!!! I’m not satisfied!!!,” and “I say, “Please, don’t hurt me… wait, almost there… aw, doggonit,” and she says “Cholos! Cholos! Come in here….!!!!!”

Just to be clear, in that metaphor, the women is the creative force.

Crazy German words

A while back, my pal Tarryn introduced me to the phrase “hen party.” This is when a bunch of chicks get together and… I dunno, have lesbian sex or something. Today, by pure chance I came across the German version of the phrase and it has got to be seen to be believed.

der Junggesellinnenabschied

Jesus, those Krauts are wacked!

Homeless for hire

There’s an intersection several miles from my house which always seems to be populated by some homeless person holding up a sign begging for cash. Lately I’ve seen a couple girls there and I have to say that they are the cutest homeless chicks I’ve ever seen. Usually homeless chicks have that methed out no-teeth-and-leathery-skin look; these gals are in their early 20s and are quite fetching. (One of them has really got some curves, too.) It makes me wonder how far they’d go to earn a buck if you know what I mean. I can think of quite a number of jobs I’d like to see them performing! Of course, working for Wil Forbis can get very, very dirty!

For instance, the city dug up one of the trees in front of the house and I’ve been thinking it would be very helpful if someone could cover that area with some cement brick. Also, there’s a tree stump in the garden area that really should be dug up and possibly chopped into firewood. Also, I’ve been considering a long-standing project which would be hiring someone to go through my extensive collection of cassette tapes, label and organize them, and then enter all the information into a computer database.

Yeah… I really should talk to those girls.