The Phoenix

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Way To A Man's Heart Is Through His Stomach

I just love these interesting studies scientists conduct...

A British study has found that the level of hunger a man is feeling can influence his taste in women.

I find this both unsurprising and so damn funny at the same time.

Researchers interviewed 61 male college students as they either entered or exited the cafeteria. The guys were then asked to rate their level of hunger from one to seven, and of course, 30 of them were hungry (duh - they're on their way to eat) and the remaining 31 had just eaten and were full. Then they were asked to look at pictures of 50 ladies and score the attractiveness of the women of varying body types dressed in leotards.

The hungry men overwhelmingly rated the "larger" women as more attractive than the men who weren't hungry.

So what's the explanation?

"Your cognitive state, your drives and your interests are dependent on your underlying physiology, your blood sugar levels and your hormone levels and these depend upon hunger," co-researcher Dr Martin Tovée, from Newcastle University replied.

The study also looks at societial and cultural influences on what is deemed the ideal body. In parts of the world where food is tougher to find, such as the South Pacific, women with a larger body type is deemed the ideal. In the Western world where food is just around the corner and readily available, a thinner body is preferred.

This actually makes sense, since the drive is to create healthy offspring. Survival rules. And a place where food is scarce, it makes sense men would be attracted to a woman that is heavier.

But there are a few issues I have with this study, which is being published in the The British Journal of Psychology:

* They only interviewed 61 guys? Come on, get a larger sample. Geez.

* And the control group? Couldn't they find guys that were maybe just a tiny bit hungry instead of ravenous?

* What about the cannibalism factor? What if these guys were so damn hungry, they wanted to actually eat the plump women? I think Freud would have something to say about that.

I also think it would be fascinating to do a comparative study of early man versus modern man. Perhaps early man found "big-boneded" women more attractive because it signaled to them the chubby lady knew where some food was stashed. Men are known opportunists.

And when it comes to modern man, not much has changed. When a guy is hungry, being attracted to a larger lady makes perfect sense. Either she can cook, or she's got some Doritos at her place.

Are you gonna take me home tonight?
Ah, down beside that red firelight;

Are you gonna let it all hang out?

Fat bottomed girls
You make the rockin' world go round.

Freddy Mercury must've been not only temporarily heterosexual at the time he wrote that song, but also incredibly hungry.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Let Me Hear Your ZetaTalk...

Here at The Phoenix, I have scoured the information highway to bring you some of the biggest freaks this planet has to offer. In my first year of blogging, I have brought you:

Prophet Yahweh, the UFO-whisperer.
John Locke, the inventor of headgear that prevents aliens from controlling your brain.
Les Knight, the founder of a group that advocates the extinction of the human race.
Prince Mongo, the millionare alien among us.
Sharon Tendler, the woman that married a dolphin.
Dr. Burda, the man that can telepathically cure you from afar.
Matt Feshbach, the scientologist that has developed superpowers.
and finally, Derek Ogilvie, the psychic that communicates with infants.

In this nut-job tradition, I now bring to your attention Nancy Lieder - the lieder (ahem) I mean leader of a cult called ZetaTalk. What is ZetaTalk exactly? Simply put, if you combined every single X-Files/Conspiracy Theory/Bunch of Hulabaloo idea out there and shoved it under one umbrella, that umbrella would be ZetaTalk.

But this umbrella is full of holes and will leave you wet. (OK, that really doesn't make sense).

Let's break this down further and begin with the Zetas. Who are they? Zetas are those little grey aliens with big heads and bug eyes. These aliens are capable of answering what's called The Call. Think ET phone home for humans. Apparently, there are humans that have the ability to telephathically link with Zetas and ask for help.

And help us they do! They will be there when there's a massive pole shift and our Earth undergoes dramatic climactic changes. Zetas visit us, communicated with us, and of course BREED with us. How nice.

Nanc of ZetaTalk originally called for the end of the world in 2003. A comet will pass, signalling the pole shift, many will die, others will be saved, aliens will come, and of course only the memebers of ZetaTalk inherit the Earth and live happily ever after. But 2003 came and went, and nothing happened. So of course, the cult had to edit it's prophecies. Geez - talk about a bunch of amateurs. Don't they know cults should keep their prophecies open-ended and ambigious? But no, now they say it will happen in 2011.

The amount of crackpot theories surrounding this cult is just way too much to even begin to mention. But you get the point. Nancy is clearly insane. She insists she is not, and she and her group are constantly having to defend their beliefs. Nancy has also admitted to killer her own dog back in 2003 in order to spare it the wrath of the Earth's climatic shifts.

Yeah...she's not insane in the membrane, huh?

What intrigues me is The Call business. I want to learn how to contact a Zeta. Here's what the ZetaTalk website says: When giving The Call to aliens, humans are issuing a request for contact, without a voice, without words, but the meaning is sent and understood nonetheless, by telepathic and other such wordless and wireless means. The Call is made, received, and understood, and a conference is subsequently arranged.

So, does that mean I make The Call collect? Or do I get rollover minutes?

On second thought, it doesn't even matter. When it comes to Nancy Lieder and her ZetaTalk, I think her line is disconnected.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Freaky - Doo Animals

Strange animals have been making the news the last couple weeks. Mother Nature can sometimes do some very weird and twisted things when it comes to mutant animals. Here are just a couple that have gotten some press just this month:

Two-toned lobster.

This creature was captures in Bar Harbor (or as the locals call it, "Ba Haba"). It's right side is all dark green and brown. But the left side is flame orange. Scientists say this type of mutation is extremely rare - one in 100 million.

12 year old Alyssa Bonin of Webster, MA said upon seeing this freaky lobster, "Dude, it's half orange and half, like, regular color for a lobster."

Four-footed duck.

Zhang Baoxiu of Zaozhuang, China, bought this rare specimin at a flea market. The two front feet are quite normal, and this duck is very able to walk and swim. The other two legs are fused together and are useless. When the duck walks, they just drag along the ground.

Two - faced cat.

OK, this one is the freakest out of all of them. This kitten was born with four eyes, two noses, two mouths, and even two tongues. It seems the two mouths actually go into one throat. And a vet believes the cat only has one brain.

Lee Bluetear, the kitten's owner, has named this mutant kitty very appropriately: Gemini.

Finally, we have Suri Cruise.

The spawn of TomKat has produced the world's first invisible baby. Suri does exist, but no one can actually see her. And no, Tom Cruise did not allow high level Thetans to whisk her away in a spacecraft to seek Xenu.

Suri has the power of invisibility, which will probably come in handy when Crazy Tom actually goes looking for her.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Duct Tape To The Rescue!

Hey, did you know NASA allocates $5 billion dollars just to the Space Shuttle operations?

Dat's a lotta meatballs right there.

Despite utilizing the latest technologies, employing some of the greatest aeronautical engineering minds in the world, and definitely leading the world in the realm of space travel, you wouldn't think one of the most crucial tools our shuttle astronauts had to use recently was something most of us can find in our own utilitry drawers.

Duct tape.

You'd think MacGyver was on board, fixing the astro-potty with a paperclip or something. But it was astronaut Piers Sellers that suggested using NASA-grade duct tape to repair a broken jetpack used during spacewalking missions. It seems his propulsion jet pack kept coming lose. If an astronauts tether should somehow fail, this jetpack allows the astronaut to quickly fly back to the shuttle for safety.

Two fasteners kept coming loose on Seller's pack, so they used Kapton tape to keep the pack secure. Kapton is just like regular duct tape, but it's able to withstand high heat and ice cold temperatures.

This isn't the first time good 'ol duct tape has rescued a space mission...

Last year, astronaut Stephen Robinson had to remove some fibers sticking out of Discovery's belly. After just trying to pull the stuff out, he utilized a bent blade, pastic ties, some velcro, and of course duct tape in order to make a miniature hacksaw.

During the Apollo 17 Lunar mission 1in 1972, the astronauts had to figure out a way to keep the fine lunar dust known as regolith away from their gear. I guess they didn't have Dustbusters back then. The lunar rover's front left fender had broken off, so they used some old maps, some clamps, and duct tape to construct a new one - and the fender helped keep that moon dust away from their equipment.

Finally, who can forget the scary yet heroic Apollo 13 mission? The craft was damaged, and the crew didn't have enough oxygen to survive the trip back to Earth. Houston, we have a problem. So the NASA engineers put their heads together and came up with a solution. Using some hoses, cardboard, plastic bags, canisters, and regular duct tape to hold it all together - they devised a way for the astronauts to construct a CO2 filter that would allow the crew to breathe.
Here are some other novel uses for duct tape:

1) Wart removal

2)Forget the push-up bra, use duct tape!

3)Don't spend money on laser hair removal. Duct tape will work just fine, you hairy ape.

4)Tore a hole in your jeans? Don't throw it away. Just duct tape the inside of the tear.

5)Being attacked by assasins? You can use a roll of duct tape like brass knuckles to defend yourself.

6)Business meeting or college class boring you to sleep? Use duct tape to keep your eyes open.

Finally, Hillary Clinton gives us her favorite way to use duct tape:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Apple iPod, A Shocking Experience

Last week in Denver, 17 year old Jason Bunch was mowing the lawn and listening to Metallica. A storm was coming in from the north, and very suddenly, he was struck by lightning.


He has no idea how, but Jason made his way into the house where he took off his burning clothes and was vomitting in his bed. A next door neighbor went outside to take a look after hearing the tremendous lightning explosion, and she spotted Jason's burning green and white tennis shoes several feet away from the lawn mower. She immediately called 911.

At the Sky Ridge Medical Center, Jason spent a day in Intensive Care before going home last Tuesday. His hair was singed, he has burn marks on his face where the ear bud chords were, and the insides of his ears were burned as well. He also had large welts all over his body. Long term, he might suffer from permanent hearing loss in his right ear. Currently, he can't stand up as the equillibrium in his inner ear is still affected.

Interestingly, the burn marks follow where the iPod and it's chord ran, going from his hip up his side, and then along his face. The iPod itself was fried, with a hole blown through the back and the ear buds were pretty much toast as well.

Jason and his mother believe the iPod served as a lightning rod, drawing the lightning to him since there were trees all around him that weren't struck. Looking at his picture at right there, maybe the lightning was attracted to his pork chop sideburns. But Jason believes the iPod attracted the lightning.

Scientists disagree, however: "There is no scientific evidence to show that lightning is 'attracted' to items like an iPod. However, if someone wearing earbuds is struck, current may travel along the wires into the ears," said Gregory Stewart of the Denver-based Lightning Reference Center.

After doing some research, I found some interesting facts. First of all, Colorado ranks in the top 10 states of human lightning strikes. I had no idea.

Secondly, I believe his wearing the iPod probably saved his life. Had he not, the lightning would've gone through his body - probably through his heart. And that could've ruines his whole day right there.

Thirdly, if it was raining, that might have contributed to saving his life as well. Water is an excellent electrical conductor, and the lightning would've passed over Jason's body instead of through it.

Also, I think pushing a metal lawnmower in a yard during a storm is probably not a great idea in the first place.

Fifthly, perhaps the lightning wasn't an "act of God." What if the Metallica song Jason was listening to was downloaded illegally? Perhaps Lars Ulrich of Metallica got together with iPod, and that whenever a pirated song was played on an mp3 player, lightning would be drawn to the special negative ionizer chip and strike the lawbreaker.

I wonder if Jason was listening to Metallica's "Ride the Lightning."

Friday, July 07, 2006

What's Next? Bell-less Dumbs?

Are you wanting to get in shape, but are discouraged by your lack of coordination? You know that jumping rope is one of the best exercises out there, but you keep tripping over that stupid rope? Well, my clumsy bafoon, have we got the solution to your problem. May I present:

The ropeless jump-rope.

What is it and how does it work?

Lester Clancy, of Mansfield Ohio, has invented a cordless jump-rope for those that are just too clumsy for the real thing. How many times has that annoying rope gotten in the way of a good jump-rope workout for goodnessakes? Well, U.S. Patent 7037243 is going to make jumping rope fun again. Goodbye pesky rope!

The contraption looks like two doughnuts with handles. They look more like fancy maracas then a revolutionary excersie apparatus. Inside each ring, there are weighted balls that go round and round as you simulate the movement of jumping rope.


Clancy is still looking for financial backers, as he's only been able to afford to build just one cordless jump-rope handle. However, I don't think it'll take long to find someone willing to pump money into this incredible invention. Think about the need for such a gadget! You can still get a great cardio workout without all the fuss. Clancy believes his invention would also be great for those in mental institutions or prisons where ropes are banned due to suicide risk.

Double Dutch brilliant!

Clancy should know about the needs of inmates, as he is the laundry coordinator at a state prison. Low ceiling fans or crowded prison cells shouldn't be an excuse to not get your jump-roping workout. The cordless jump-rope is a savior.

Mike Ernst, a professor of kinesiology at California State University in Dominguez Hills commented, "I think it's silly but at the same time if somehow, some way it promotes physical activity, gets kids active, then I'm all for it." But he goes on to say, "But I wouldn't buy the product, I can tell you that. I'm not an idiot."

But I'm the idiot that would! I love the idea of a ropeless jump-rope. Although as far as using them in mental institutions, many of the patients are already quite proficient in imagining things, which I assume includes imagining to jump rope.

And as far as using them in prisons...I'm thinking an inmate could take advantage of the weighted balls inside to increase momentum and break someone's skull with the ropeless jump-rope handles. So I'm not to sure about the whole "marketing to prisons" thing. Anyone else remember all the prison violence utilizing the ab-blaster and thigh master?

Finally, if it's jump rope without the rope...shouldn't it just be called a "jump?"

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Just One Suck Can Show A Lot

One of my favorite party gags is to suck helium. Sure it's juvenile, but oh so much fun. And usually when one person does it, at least a couple other partygoers join in the helium maddness. Before you know it, there's a group of four of five people talking like Alvin & Chipmunks and cackling like tiny demented elves.

Now science has found a great benefit from sucking helium:

Examining the lungs.

University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have devised a new test that involves patients sucking in helium with a little nitrogen through a straw. Then they use MRI scanning technology to see how far the gas has penetrated even the smallest cavities in the lungs. Doctors can then more clearly determine the amount of lung damage a patient with asthma or emphysema has.

The traditional MRI creates images scanning the tissues and tracking the differences in water content. The use of helium actually creates a sharper contrast, and thus a much clearer picture of the lungs. "This approach allows us to look at lung micro-structures that are on the scale of less than a millimeter," reports Sean Fain, the lead author for this research.

Having a much more accurate and detailed scan of a patient's lungs will go a long way towards treating their diseases. "Spotting lung damage at an early stage allows us to evaluate the efficacy of lung therapies as well as better understand the mechanisms underlying the disease," Fain adds.

This is truly an amazing finding, but it makes you wonder just how the hell these scientists came up with this idea. Many times, these discoveries are so novel and goofy, that I'm lead to believe there's a ton of scientists out there just messing around until they disover something new and profound by total accident. Dr. Fain was probably sucking some helium, getting a buzz, and in his helium-induced high thought, "Hey dude, let's suck some helium and watch the gas fill up our bronchials on the MRI!"

For fun, here's a quick list of some famous "accidental" scientific discoveries:

1) Alexander Flemming was studying the flu when he noticed a mold had accidentally invaded one of his petri dishes and killed the staphylococcus bacteria inside. That's how penicillin was discovered.

2)Microwave emitters powered radar equipment in WWI. One of these emitters melted a candybar inside of engineer Percy Spencer's pocket. Voila! The microwave was born.

3)In 1853, George Crum was pissed off at a customer when the guy said that his potato fries were cut too thick. So George took the plate back, sliced the potatoes paper thin, and fried them to a crisp. Although it was done out of anger, it's pretty obvious the customer was more than satisfied with his brand new side order of potato chips.

4)In 1970, Spencer Silver was trying to create a stronger adhesive at the 3M company. Well, Silver's new glue was weak, as it would stick but easily become unstuck. 4 years later, a colleague was singing at his church choir and used paper bookmarks to keep his place in the hymn book, but the darn things kept falling out. So he used Silver's weak-ass glue so his markers would stay in place and not damage the pages. That's how we have Post-It Notes today.

5)In 1992, the clinical trials for a new drug to treat hypertension failed miserably. Those involved with the tests in England weren't able to get their blood pressure levels down to normal with this new drug. The project was almost dumped, until researchers discovered a very interesting side effect to the drug...

Viagra - loved by sugar daddies worldwide. Serendipity baby!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Fireworks, Heavenly Bodies, and a Spaceship...Oh My!

Happy 4th of July everyone.

While millions of Americans stare up at the sky to watch fireworks, or maybe some cheap bottlerockets, there will be another kind of show for everyone to see.

In the evening, on the 4th of July, the Moon and Jupiter will appear side by side - providing a neat little twilight show for you to enjoy.

Also, keep your eyes out for the International Space Station (ISS) flying overhead. It will be visible to the naked eye, and it's going to make a very appropriate trip on the 4th. At 9:40 EST, the ISS will be orbiting directly above Valley Forge...and then Philadelphia, the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Very cool, huh?

If you want, you can go here to SkyWatch and find out when the International Space Station is going to be flying near you. How do you know you're seeing the space station when you're looking up into the night sky? It's going to be reflecting the sun, so it won't twinkle. Also, it will be moving. If it's not the space station you see, then it's a UFO...and get the hell outta there!

I hope you have a safe, fantastic Independence Day.

Established 2005...

Welcome to the blog that aims to examine the lighter side of science. From the paranormal to wacky inventions, to strange mysteries and goofy experiments, I cover it all. Thanks for stoping by science is always stranger than fiction


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