Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Weird Bodily Stuff

Fresh off of a nice long weekend, I’m back with some stories and observations that may not be for the faint of heart.  All of these tidbits are recent news articles dealing with the human body and its odd and unusual behavior.

First off, we have this guy:

He apparently encountered a nice little surprise while visiting a Washington state Wal-Mart.  While shopping in the garden section, he bent down to brush a stick off of some mulch and was promptly bitten by a rattlesnake.  He was rushed to the hospital, and he may eventually lose the feeling in two fingers.

It’s incredible to me how something so small can inflict so much damage.  I’m not really afraid of snakes, but I tend to stay out of areas where they may thrive.  When I’m working in my yard, I’ll be certain to wear high-ankle, steel-toed boots and jeans rather than trotting around in sandals and shorts.  If I see a snake, I’ll just stay clear of it.  Of course, if I’m shopping in Wal-Mart, I’m not expecting to run into any snakes, so yeah, this would totally freak me out.  The article says he stomped on the snake to kill it.  I’m just wondering how it got in there.  Did it hitch a ride in the mulch?  Maybe it heard they had a special sale going on goldfish.  Wal-Mart really does sell everything, doesn't it?

Spiders are the worst for me.  The other day I was sitting in my bed, watching TV, and I saw a flash of black on my left upper arm at the edge of my sleeve.  I looked down and saw nothing, but just as I turned my head back, I saw a spider jump back out from under my sleeve and onto the exposed part of my arm.  Man, I freaked out like a little girl!  I bolted upright, swiping at my arm until it landed on the bed sheets.  I recall doing a little dance.  Twisting my shirt all inside out.  I think I screamed.  After I'd recovered, hahaha, I squashed the spider in a napkin, although the thing was crazy fast and was half-way down the bed before I got it.  I wish I could have captured it all on video.  I don’t know if I’d consider myself an arachnophobe, but I get a little antsy around every spider I see, thinking it may be a brown recluse and that I’m going to be bitten and lose my fingers or hand.  I swear I must have looked over my arm thirty times that night.  And I think I’ve even passed down my fear of critters to my son, because while most little boys play with or are at least interested in bugs and snakes, he gets freaked out by them as well.  And my wife?  Well, she called me into the bathroom a week or two ago to kill an ant.  Yeah, an ANT!

And that’s just spiders.  Imagine being that poor girl from Georgia with the flesh-eating bacteria that’s already taken her leg and will probably take both of her hands.  Why are our bodies so fragile?  I’ve seen quite a few stories about people losing limbs or being horribly disfigured because of necrotizing fasciitis and other ghoulish germs.  It makes me totally understand how people could become agoraphobes.  Then again, somehow that rattler got into Wal-Mart.  What’s stopping the spiders and snakes from getting into their houses or the flesh-eating bacteria infecting a paper-cut or some other innocuous scratch?  It makes me want to know how much those bubble-boy bubbles cost?  Not that I'd get one.  But I AM curious.

Ewww…enough of this subject.  Next we have this article:

I just had to laugh when I saw this.  Kids actually were thinking that hair constantly hanging over one eye could cause a lazy eye.  Seeing as how this hairstyle is so prevalent today, I guess I could see why people would worry.  I mean, they say that if you don’t use it, you lose it, right?  =P  The article itself goes on to poke fun at all of the emo boys and girls who frequently style their hair in this fashion.  I did a Google image search of “lazy eye”, and I swear nearly a quarter of the people have comb-overs and/or bangs that hang over one eye.  Obviously people will style their hair in this fashion to hide their condition, and so naturally it’s going to seem more common for these types of people.  It just cracks me up that some kids out there actually believe the backwards logic, that the cause was due to the effect.  Silly emo kids!  I also have to wonder if emo kids who actually have lazy eyes ever considered hanging their hair down to cover the stronger eye, so that perhaps it would begin to wander as well in the same direction as the first.  Seems like it would be reasonable logic to them, doesn’t it?

Also, just to note—this is not intended to poke fun at people with amblyopia.  It’s a serious condition that not only causes vision problems but also can cause self-esteem and psychological issues.  Rather, I’m poking fun at the na├»ve people who believed it could happen due to the way they comb/style their hair.  Making fun of people’s disabilities is wrong no matter how you do it.  Unless they are just dumb.

OK, so back to all of this silliness, finally we have this lovely piece of art:

I remember reading about this a few years ago when the guy was first building it, but it just made news recently again for going on display in this museum in Australia.  I love crap like this, pun intended.  It must take one messed up, insanely creative mind to think of something so disgusting.  Ummm, yeah, I want to build something that will shock the world.  I know, a machine that creates poop!  You have to wonder where this guy was when he thought of this.  I know I personally do some of my best thinking while…

Anyway, the museum itself is host to a bunch of other freakish pieces of art, and one patron described the work there as “confronting.”  Gee, you think?  This museum also had a "vomit room" at one point.  I’d love to go check this place out, and my wife would agree, so we’ll add it to our bucket list.  It reminds me a little of the show “Oddities” on the Discovery Channel, which is about the Obscura Antiques & Oddities store in New York.  The owners collect and shop around for some very bizarre items, many of which are human oddities, bizarre medical instruments, etc.  Every time we watch it my wife thinks she knows the patrons, saying, “that guy went to Stuyvesant” or “that chick was one of my mom’s customers at her nail salon.”  It makes me think my wife hung out with some really strange people before moving to Pennsylvania.  I also just have to shake my head about the Stuyvesant comments.  If you don’t know, Stuyvesant is a high school in Manhattan very close to the World Trade Center area in Battery Park City, and dozens of famous people have graduated from the prestigious school.  My wife never fails to let me know all the celebrities that went to her high school, including Nobel winners, famous authors, musicians such as Thelonius Monk and actresses and actors such as Lucy Liu, Paul Reiser, Tim Robbins.  One of the Beastie Boys was rumored to have gone there, but alas it is not true.  Sorry, babe!  But hey, the former coach of the New Orleans Hornets went to Hollidaysburg!  At least my school had one celebrity.  Sort of.

I digress.  Back to the poop machine, I just have to wonder what this guy’s thought process was when making this.  As he’s building each component, obviously studying the science and technology required to make poop, he was probably so proud of himself.  That’s one guy whose life’s work has gone down the crapper—and he’s damn proud of it!  Seriously though, if this guy was interested in a poop machine, I have a two-year-old who is great at it.  Making poop, that is.

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