Science Fiction Scores One For Prescience

So get this. They’ve discovered actual ‘kryptonite’ in a Siberian mine, you know that stuff that drains Superman of his powers? I think this is pretty fucking weird. When I was reading the article, I was just thinking, “stupid fucking journalists, what are they talking about?’ before I realized that they were being serious. Kryptonite’s properties are displayed in Superman Returns on the museum case from which Lex Luthor steals it. “Sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide with fluorine”—with the fundamental difference that the real-life ‘kryptonite’ does not contain fluorine. And it’s not green. And it’s actually called jadarite. But still.

Isn’t that weird? Next thing you know they’re going to discover that Star Trek was somewhat accurate in its descriptions of teleportation dynamics. . .

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Honey Bees Be Dyin’

Have you heard about the honey bees? That they are dying in vast numbers, and nobody knows why? That’s kind of scary. First and foremost, because I love me my honey. Second, because they pollinate most of our flowers, fruits, and food plants.

There’s endless speculation as to the cause, such as that the bees are getting “stressed out.” Whatever. More like “they’re getting bombed with toxic chemicals.” Let’s face it, the agribusiness in this country essentially grows its plants on steroids and antibiotics. And it’s like we’re surprised when suddenly all the adults start getting cancer, all the children are born with some kind of disorder, whether physical or mental, and all the food tastes like crap unless you add some of that manufactured “natural flavoring.” And we’re in the midst of what is quite soberly termed an “obesity epidemic.” So the human signs are quite readily visible, if you realize what you’re looking at: the cumulative effects of years of growing and serving food based on business instead of health. And so I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising that now we’re beginning, inevitably, to see the devastating effects on animal, plant, and insect life. And microbial life, such as the growing amounts of “superbugs” that are completely resistant to any form of antibiotic. Forget global warming. I think this complete disassociation of human life from natural cycles is what constitutes the greatest danger to our survival as a species. We collectively have only the dimmest awareness that we are wholly dependent on biodiversity and connectivity with animals, plants, insects, microbes, and the soil.

In order to survive, we have to understand just how connected we are with everything around us.

Quantum

I admit to having a certain fascination with quantum physics, especially as applied to cosmology. But I have absolutely no propensity for mathematics, equations, or really anything scientific at all. I just like the ideas that come out of it. And I find that oftentimes some of the principles and theories that arise out of those areas of research seem to make a philosophical, poetical sense. Poetical in the way that a quantum tunnel can be formed across seemingly uncrossable barriers, so too in language a metaphor links together seemingly unrelated things. Philosophical in the sense that as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle states that any attempt at measurement will be subject to some form of uncertainty, so too the philosopher recognizes that the very attempt to define and articulate certain aspects of things only blinds one to other potential viewpoints.

If quantum theory can be applied to the entire realm of the physical universe, as it is in quantum cosmology, then I do not see why it could not be just as readily applied in the realm of everyday thought and perception. I think that Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, for example, is readily understood on a conceptual level when it comes to individual perception and its power on the formation of potential outcomes in the universe, on the everyday scale of life. For example, if we look or talk about other people in a certain way, we can delimit or expand their potentiality, we can effectively destroy or create some of their possible outcomes. This is the power of gossip, the power of the observer.

Malaria Vaccine

Researchers got smart with malaria. They’ve developed a vaccine which destroys malaria in the mosquitoes which are carrying the virus. Obviously, this won’t prevent the person who gets bitten from getting malaria–but it will prevent all subsequent people getting bit from being infected. What’s ingenious about this vaccine is that it reverses the viral process itself. It operates on a community based level of prevention, rather than trying to destroy the virus per individual, which has proved essentially impossible.

This finding may pave the way for more ingenuous, community minded viral prevention.

Cellphones = Selective Birth Control

So a study just came out saying that men who use cellphones more than 4 hours a day could be rendered infertile. Meaning that all those executive men who walk around all day talking corporate blather on their cellphones will not bear children on this earth. That sounds pretty good to me. Keep using ’em, suits!

Teenage Wars

Did you know that there is a repellent for teenagers, used by storekeepers and other such fascists? Yes, the device, called the Mosquito, operates by emitting a high pitched frequency that has been found to be audible only to those roughly 20 and under. Older people can’t hear the sound.

What is the most interesting twist in this story, however, is that teens have figured out a way to utilize this “weapon” to their advantage. They are able to install the frequency as a ringtone on their cellphones, and thus now can receive cellphone calls in class without their teachers hearing the ring.

Now it’s not just class warfare; it’s generational warfare.

Medicalism

Apparently I have labyrinthitis, a viral infection of the inner ear. So all I can do is take anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea and dizziness medications and wait for it to pass. I’ve been stumbling around like a drunkard all week.

I had been getting fed up with doctors and dentists after this past month, when I had to go to the dentist 4 times to try to correct what began as a simple filling and turned into a crown. The doctor I went to last week when my vertigo started was incompetent and a waste of my co-pay and hour sitting around in his office.

But today, I went first to my dentist, to make sure that it wasn’t my tooth which was causing the loss of equilibrium (it wasn’t), and she and her receptionist were genuinely concerned for my well-being, and made sure that I called them after my visit to the doctor. Then the doctor I visited later took her time with me and listened to my symptoms and patiently explained to me why she diagnosed it as she did. And so I feel a little bit better about doctors and dentists now. Apparently, women tend to be better care practitioners for me, so I’ll just try to get women from now on to look after me. Guy doctors always seem to make me feel like I’m wasting my time visiting them unless I’m near death.

In any case, I feel like it would have been just as effective to go to a shaman and have them blow mapacho over me and then suck the evil from my body while tripping deeply off ayahuasca. I mean really, what is the difference, when the doctor can’t really diagnose what is wrong with you except to prescribe painkillers and tell you to wait for your body to heal itself? It’s just as effective to get some esoteric healer to placebo effect your mind, and at least a shaman gives you a sweet performance to boot, making you feel like they’re really investing something of themselves in healing you. A doctor just comes in and diagnoses you and scribbles some shit down and gets their nurse to clean the cerumen out your ears.