Casa Bonita: Skeleton pirate at the entrance to Black Bart's Cave

Why Did Pirates Wear Eye Patches?

This Wall Street Journal article from back in 2013 answers some important questions about whether reading in dimly lit conditions or reading on a device like an iPad or phone can actually cause damage to your eyes. It turns out there is no evidence of long-term damage or change in the physiology to the eyes but it may cause discomfort or fatigue.

However, the lead is buried in the last paragraph of the article and explains why pirates wore eye patches:

“Ever wonder why a pirate wears patches? It’s not because he was wounded in a sword fight,” says Dr. Sheedy. Seamen must constantly move between the pitch black of below decks and the bright sunshine above.

Smart pirates “wore a patch over one eye to keep it dark-adapted outside.” Should a battle break out and the pirate had to shimmy below, he would simply switch the patch to the outdoor eye and he could see in the dark right away—saving him 25 minutes of flailing his cutlass about in near blindness

Traits That Happy People Have In Common

Mark and Angel provide some great reminders that life is what you make of it. I know, it is sometimes difficult to make anything of it, but happiness is often found in trying. Bottom line: You can choose happiness. Enjoy

  1. They are ‘glass half full’ people – while still being practical and down-to-earth. They have an ability to find the good in any situation.
  2. They understand that happiness is a choice, and consciously and methodically create their own happiness, while others hope happiness will find them.
  3. They are ambitious. They don’t believe in, or wait for fate, destiny, chance or luck to determine or shape their future. They take control and choose to live their best life rather than spending it on auto-pilot.
  4. They have clarity and certainty about what they want and don’t want for their life. They visualize and plan their best reality while others are merely spectators of life. They have identified their core values – what is important to them – and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of these values.
  5. They ask the right questions – the ones which put them in a happy, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.
  6. They rarely complain because they know it’s a waste of energy. All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative state of mind.
  7. They don’t procrastinate and they don’t spend their life waiting for the ‘right time’. They are busy, productive and proactive with their goals. While most are laying on the couch, over-planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands and generally going around in circles, they are out there taking steps in the right direction.
  8. They are fearful like everyone else, but they are not controlled or limited by their fears – they face them and grow beyond them over time.
  9. They don’t blame others. They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes, or their lack thereof.
  10. While they are not necessarily more talented than the majority, they always find ways to maximize their potential. They get more out of themselves by exercising their talents and their passions. In other words, they use what they have more effectively, which leads to long-term personal achievement and happiness.
  11. Read More

Bouncehausen Halloween Performance

At the Art Of Bleeding’s Halloween extravaganza held in Los Angeles this year, they will be hosting a rare live appearance by the enigmatic band/art-collective known as Bouncehausen. Their performance sounds like it is going to be both spectacular and horrific.

Bouncehausen will sonically recreate the exact moment of impact of a terrifying automobile crash, slow it down 300 million times and stretch it into one seven hour epic “song” that will take three days to play. If you are able to witness even a small part of this historic event you will have a much greater understanding of what it sounds like to exist on a molecular level as steel and glass twist and explode.

The collective is expected to sustain and revive themselves for the duration of the three-day performance through intubation. Yikes!

Am I Shortsighted?

Test For Shortsightedness

If you want to check if you need glasses while sitting at your computer, the above image will help you test whether or not you are shortsighted. At normal screen viewing distance you should see the face of the great scientist Albert Einstein. This would indicate you have normal vision. Shortsighted people will see Marilyn Monroe. If you squint, or move a few meters away from your screen (replicating having short-sighted vision) you will see Marilyn Monroe.

The Marylin Einstein hybrid image was created by Dr. Aude Oliva for the March 31st 2007 issue of New Scientist magazine. Other examples of hybrid images can be found in the links below:
Cat/Dog
Cheetah/Tiger
Leopard/Elephant
Dolphin/Car
Astronaut/Scuba Diver (my favorite)

The 12 Easiest Ways To Avoid An Untimely Death

Dr. Doug McGuff is an emer­gency physi­cian in South Car­olina. He has com­piled a list of twelve tips on avoid­ing what he calls ‘neg­a­tive Black Swan events’—an early death from things we con­sider unlikely (but in reality are quite recurrent to emer­gency physicians). His advice prevent you from offing yourself prematurely is this:

  1. Drive the biggest vehi­cle you can afford to drive.
  2. It goes without saying to wear your seatbelts, and you should be engulfed by as many air bags as possible. If we were truly rational about risk, all seat belts would be 5-point restraints and we would wear helmets while driving.

  3. Never get on a 4-wheeler ATV.
  4. I would also suggest that you not get on a jetski or get in the water in areas where jetskis are running about.

  5. Do not road cycle or jog on pub­lic roads/roadsides.
  6. Do not fly a plane or heli­copter unless you are a full-time pro­fes­sional pilot.
  7. If you are walk­ing down a side­walk and are approach­ing a group of loud and appar­ently intox­i­cated males, cross to the other side of the street imme­di­ately. If con­fronted, run.
  8. The best advice is to avoid a potentially physical confrontations.

  9. If your gas grill won’t start… walk away.
  10. Never dive into a pool or body of water (except in a pool div­ing area marked 9 feet or deeper after you have checked it out feet-first).
  11. Always make your first dive in a pool that is new to you feet first even if it’s clearly marked.

  12. Never get on a lad­der to clean your gut­ters, or on your roof to hang Christ­mas lights. Do not cut down trees with a chainsaw.
  13. In general, any house or lawn work that you can hire for an amount equal to or less than your own hourly wage is money well spent.

  14. If you are retire­ment age and plan on mov­ing to a new home… think twice.
  15. A change in living conditions can be an extremely stressful life event. The stress pushes many seniors over the edge.

  16. If any­one tries to force you into your car or car trunk at gun point, don’t cooperate.
  17. Fight and scream all you can even if you risk getting shot in the parking lot. If you get in the car, you will most likely die (or worse).

  18. If you are in any per­sonal or pro­fes­sional rela­tion­ship that exhausts you or oth­er­wise causes you recur­rent dis­tress, then end the rela­tion­ship immediately.
  19. Don’t play the lot­tery… you might win.
  20. Any unearned wealth, or wealth that is disproportionate to the objective value you provide will destroy you. Lottery winners and Sports/Movie stars share a common bond of disproportionate rates of depression, addiction, and suicide.


Euthanasia Coaster Detail

Death Coaster

Euthanasia Coaster

I love roller coasters but I don’t think the Euthanasia Coaster designed by artist Julijonas Urbonas is one I would ever ride – mostly because it is designed to kill its riders.

“Euthanasia Coaster” is a hypothetical euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in aeronautics/space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body, this ‘kinetic sculpture’ is in fact the ultimate roller coaster

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The coaster would have a 510 meter drop and get you to 10 G’s (gravitational force) in 60 seconds. I must admit, however, it does sound like a pleasurable death. Julijonas’s website has a detailed description of the effects that riding the Euthanasia Coaster would have on your body.

Euthanasia Coaster Detail

Cause of death: Cerebral hypoxia, a lack of oxygen supply to the brain. Additional effects: Greyout – a loss of color vision; Tunnel vision – a loss of peripheral vision; Blackout – a complete loss of vision; G-LOC – g-force induced Loss Of Consciousness).

Moist Panties

A compendium to Wet Panties. Originally titled “A New Dynamic Clothing Model. Part 2: Parameters Of The Underclothing Microclimate”

Based on a new modeling, described in the first part of this paper, which takes into account the pumping effect under garments, the various parameters characterising the confined air, and managing its dry and latent losses, are determined. The mean temperature, calculated from heat exchanges with skin (or underwear) and with the garment, progresses exponentially as a function of the trapped time, until a limit. The mean humidity amount, determined from the energy of total evaporation, from the air layer renewal rate and from the water vapour diffusion through the fabric, increases linearly. Using a movable thermal manikin, walking at various speeds, and with a combined effect with wind, the intrinsic air speed and convection coefficient are defined. The intrinsic air speed combines the effects of external air and body motions. The intrinsic convection coefficient is a linear function of the square root of the inner air speed.

Kissing Cooties

Just in time for valentines day, I discovered this interesting study. According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 150, no. 2, August 1984, pp. 189-94, it is very unlikely you can catch a common cold from kissing. According to the journal, “Casual social encounters or kisses between infected and susceptible individuals are probably unlikely to result in the transmission of rhinoviruses.” Below is the data from the experiment

Bonus quote from the study: “During kissing the lateral margins of donor and recipient noses may also touch. [Our observations, as well as previous data] suggests that transmission resulting from nose-to-nose contact during kissing is infrequent….”