Inside this cubicle the air is thick as honey, with asphyxiating flecks of the mundane bracing against the irrefutable promise of a golden weekend. Outside these pin-cushion partitions – and indeed inside as well – every tiny molecule in the universe is saying its goodbyes to its neighbors and preparing to splash into the unknown permutations of a distant someday. My fingers hammer at these tiny plastic letters, fully ignorant of what’s to come.
Or are they? The hallowed fingers of esteemed science – no doubt similar in size and shape to my own, only tasked with a far more specific purpose – have combed back the hair of the observable now and picked at the scalp-nits of projection. The fields of astronomy, physics, mathematics, and a cabinet full of –ologies have given us a map of what’s to come. A timeline of time’s last hurrah.
And the best part? If any of these predictions are wrong, every record of them will likely be destroyed before anyone finds out. That’s my kind of science.
Within 10,000 years, human genetic variation will no longer be regionalized. This won’t mean we’ll all look the same – the blonde gene will still speckle crowds and set up offensive jokes, but it will be distributed equally worldwide. This forecasted panmixia is far more optimistic than astrophysicist Brandon Carter’s Doomsday Argument, which places our present at roughly the halfway point of humankind’s civilized journey, and projects a 95% likelihood that we’ll be wholly extinct in 10,000 years.
If global warming hasn’t already soaked us into a Kevin Costner-esque hellscape by then, we may also be facing the melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which will raise the sea levels by 3 or 4 meters above wherever it will be once we lose the rest of the polar ice caps, which should happen long before then.
Long term forecast: buy a big-ass boat. Read more…
You know what’s wrong with the world today?
I’m not talking about their slimy little running noses, their unmitigated X-box apathy or the horrific Beiberfication of what was once a proud, noble, Huey-Lewis-worthy pop culture. No, it’s their very existence that’s dragging us down, the fact that two people bumped groin-toys and spurted yet another savage, eco-thrashing soul upon our poor beleaguered planet.
Such is the philosophy of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, also known as VHEMT (the ‘T’ at the end only exists so they can call themselves ‘vehement’, which apparently they are). Where other environmentalist organizations seek to reduce pollution, VHEMT aims to reduce polluters. Where Greenpeace strives to protect endangered species, VHEMT wants us to become endangered. Voluntarily.
Don’t confuse these folks with those pansy-ass moderates who merely seek to lower the planet’s population through families having fewer kids or some other half-measure. Humans are the scourge of the earth, and this group feels that our best bet is to wipe ourselves out completely. Not through war or disease or a collective sprint off the crusty cliffs of the Grand Canyon, but rather via a (sort of) natural extinction.
This is Les U. Knight. Les was a part of the environmentalist movement a couple decades before it was trendy and corporate-sponsored. After watching the relative disinterest in planet-saving throughout the 70’s and 80’s, Les launched VHEMT in 1991, deciding a more completist solution was necessary. He’s not asking for a massive genocide or for government-mandated sterilization. Les simply hopes we can all agree to sheath our testicular might and stop having babies. Read more…
Even for those of us who don’t hang their spiritual hats upon the rack of organized religion, there exists the very real possibility that we are cosmically intertwined with forces and energies mightier (and invisiblier) than our own. Some of these forces – gravity, aging, the uncontestable craving for pizza after a night of drinking – have been proven. Others are clearly ridiculous (if you think you’re more of an aggressive driver because of your astrology sign, you’re wrong; you might just be an asshole). Still others are open to interpretation.
I have had this discussion with my wife so often, it’s almost like watching a rerun whenever the topic comes up. She is a teacher, spending her days surrounded by squalid little junior-high germ-buckets whose behaviors are subject to hormonal whim and hyperactive attention spans that could frustrate a housefly. She is convinced that when the moon is full, her students become more unruly, more emotionally explosive. A walk past our kitchen calendar can send a telegraph of dread up her spine.
Ever the cynic, the skeptic, the buzz-kill (her descriptor, not mine), I disagree. The moon is hovering in the sky, some sixty-five billion miles (give or take a lot) from these children’s fluttery brains. How could a slab of grey rock minding its business in our orbit possibly transform these grub-balls into more manic grub-balls? It’s time to do some really quick and sloppy research and settle this once and for all.
If there’s one concession I’ll grant my wife’s argument it’s that she has buckets of history on her side. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder observed that full moons would spark psychotic episodes among those who were susceptible to such things. Right through the 1700’s, actual doctors believed that the moon phase would have an impact on epileptic seizures, rheumatism and fevers. Hell, even the Latin word for moon, ‘luna’, forms the root of the word ‘lunatic’. This is not a recent superstition.
Are we hornier at a full moon? Do women’s reproductive systems tend to spurt out babies when our sky is lit up by a perfect white circle? Do our veins bleed more on that one day of every month? Read more…
We’re all looking for the answers.
In this chemically-saturated culture of corruption and perpetual impurity, we have a seemingly unending array of potential branches with which we can hoist ourselves a little closer to salvation, to spiritual enlightenment, to… dare I say it?… immortality. So which do we grab? Which branches will support our karmic weight and which ones will snap off, covering our hands and wrists in the sap of disappointment and astral imbalance?
Many follow the security of age-old religion, the oft-translated texts and teachings that have comforted and confounded terrestrial travellers for several millennia. Others opt for less-encompassing and more specifically focussed tenets, such as Transcendental Meditation or staunch veganism. Some folks allow themselves to drift upon the waters of rampant materialism and pop-cultural chew-toys, believing the truth will wash us all clean in the end anyway.
Then there are those who feel the road to the soul’s sustentation runs right through the County of Weird, never intersecting with Reason Street or Common-Sense Boulevard. These are fun people to know, but only if you keep one eye on the nearest exit. Buckle up – you’re about to take a Thursday cruise with the Breatharians.
Breatharianism is the belief that food and water are unnecessary, that human beings can exist solely on light and the Hindu energy of prana, that which binds the universe together. It’s a beautiful and peaceful construct, one which promises a wholly clean and unfettered life, ensconced in the aura of awakening and light, except for that tiny little asterisk because THIS IS ENTIRELY BOGUS AND MORE THAN A LITTLE BAGEL-HUMPINGLY INSANE! Read more…
The beauty of subjecting oneself to the fickle cough of Wikipedia’s ‘Random Article’ button is that sometimes the end result reveals a fascinating slice of history, or a deliciously sparkling canvas for low-brow comedy and pop culture references. And sometimes, you simply end up with Fugitive Glue.
“Am I really writing about glue?” I asked myself.
“It would appear I am,” I replied, drawing deeply on a mentholated cigarette, which is weird because I don’t smoke. I decided to stop conversing with myself right away, lest I develop any more bad habits.
Fugitive glue, also known as E-Z release glue, gooey glue, or booger glue, is that malleable gob that affixes credit cards to paper, or paper to other paper. It’s a one-time slab o’ sticky, peeling cleanly away from each non-porous surface without leaving a residue on either side. The good stuff is made from latex, not oils, tastes mildly like chicory, and can be used in a pinch to stuff a pillowcase for a comfy night’s sleep (note: you’ll need to order a lot of credit cards to get enough for this). Read more…