Sunday, July 6, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
From the magazine “Naked Science” Lyle Crump’s questions column: ask me anything science related if you can manage that..
Q1) I phoned last week, to ask why we have dreams that we are falling. You know when you are sleeping and all of a sudden you wake up because you feel that you are falling off the edge of a cliff or something. The person I spoke to on the phone was very helpful, and gave me the answer I was looking for. I was wondering, if you could send the answer to this question to my E-Mail, so that I can keep it, as I have forgot[ten] the total explanation. Asks Clive (84) from and old folk’s home in
Well, Clive, it’s a good thing I’m a dreams expert (although any fool could figure it out). The falling is a metaphor. A metaphor for how your life is going: rapidly down hill. You fall past the depression and anxiety and you come to realise your own mortality. The empty blackness represents the life you’ve had and everything you’ll leave behind. Of course the dream wakes you up before you die as you’re not going to get any sneak previews of death. That’s for the best really as if you started babbling about meeting famous dead people they’d up your meds, killing you faster. That was the answer you were looking for wasn’t it?
Q2) I understand that it takes about 6 months to travel to Mars. What obstacles do a crew have to overcome travelling to Mars? Asks Somebody (someage) from Someplace.
Many. There are many problems when travelling to mars. The first of the many problems is that they have to exercise simply because we cannot send fat ugly people to Mars. We don’t want Martian bacteria thinking we’re all hideous farting skittles so exercise is top priority. Never mind if she can’t fly a spacecraft send Charlize Theron. The second of the many problems the crew will face is having sex in zero G. It’s much harder than it sounds, cos you’re floating and you can bump your head off things, like the air lock button. It’s just dangerous. But an even bigger (of the many) problems they’d face is not having sex. Imagine being cooped up in what amounts to a complicated flying cupboard and having nothing to screw for six months? You’d go mad and start killing everybody (blood is notoriously hard to clean up at the best of times but in zero G?) it may make a good movie and would ensure you were the first person on Mars but it is a little, how should I put it? Impractical. The last of the many problems (that I care to mention) would be giving birth to mutant Martian children.
P.S. if any movie writers are reading this I copyright that idea of sexually frustrated space murder.
Q3) In chemistry what is an active site in a catalyst? Asks Yaisha (not old enough to buy her own drink (not that I buy it for her as that would be illegal and I’d loose my job)).
You appear to be mistaken, Yaisha, active sites have nothing to do with chemistry and everything to do with biology. I hasten to add they have nothing to do with penises or vaginas either.
Q4) XD Nice one, I'm guessing this is going to become a series? Asks SysRq (too young to understand what he’s doing) from
How do you even pronounce that? For fucks sake, what is it with people and ridiculous names all of a sudden? At least “Yaisha” is pronounceable.
Readers may find it strange that I am including such a vague letter basically I’d just like to show, for future reference, how not to ask me a question (And I only got sent four letters this week). For a start, Siss-irk, has phrased the question in such a way that nobody but him understands it. I do not know what “this” is or in what way it could become sequentialised. Try again next week, Siss-irk. And, just as a further note, it’s not really polite to second guess people when you’re asking their advice.
Q) Can colour blindness be cured? A) Is the sky green?
Q) Is schizophrenia fun? A) I dunno what we think to be honest. I’d say yes, he’d say no.
Q) How does Ryhipnol work? A) Very well in my experience.
Q) Do you watch lost? A) May I refer you to the first answer?
This letter I thought I’d include just for comic value even though it must be a hoax (see last issue if you feel you’re missing something):
QX) After the amazing, hypothetical, advice you gave me in last weeks “Naked Science” I thought I’d e-mail you again with another hypothetical question: Supposing you are a stranded alien running around in a adolescent human skin, working in McDonalds and rebelling against his adopted parents. Supposing that and you’ve fallen in love with your new best earth friend, Dan, what would you do? Would you ask him on a date or just not ask him or tell him anything (he knows I’m alien but he doesn’t know about my feelings for him). Asks Cxsixz Smith (4 (Clome years)) from Planet Clome.
P.S. Dan tells me that my name isn’t pronounceable in your language so just feel free to call me C.X.
Well, C.X., it’s nice to hear that you’re settling in. About your problem though. I’m not certain how much help I can be. I’ve never been a refugee alien in a teenage skin suit that fancies his friend Dan. It’s a complex issue and I can’t say I know many people that have been through it before. I used to work in a McDonalds though, I wrote the menu.
From my limited experience with women though here’s my secret. Just the next time you’re hangin’ about somewhere and there’s a moment of silent universe contemplation. Turn to her and in a deadpan voice ask “you wanna fuck?” she may play along in which case you’ve scored. Congratulations. She may also scream “RAPE” in which case you probably should run.
Though I can’t be certain this’ll work for you, try ringing up the Samaritans and tell them your about to kill yourself (nothing gets their attention like a sleeping pill overdose) and then they’ll talk to you. That’s what I do when I have a problem.
Do you have a question for Lyle? Post it in a comment and I’ll make sure he gets a look at it. I’m really not joking; do you know how hard it is making up questions that you can answer?
Monday, June 16, 2008
From the magazine “Naked Science” Lyle Crump’s questions column.
Q1) Do the holes in a shower head have names? Asks John Fields (8) from
Well, John, mine do. I spent a whole three hours one day naming them each individually. In answer to your general question though: no. the holes in the shower head do not have a ‘proper’ name. Though I’m sure if you started calling them urethras (or the more colloquial term “piss holes”) no one but your parents’ll mind.
Q2) What are the effects on the human body when you drink bleach and how long does it take to kill you? Asks Grace Holden (23) from
Well it’s actually not as bad as people make it out to be, though it does sound horrific when people say “it burns up your insides”. Basically what happens is it dissolves the lining of your digestive tract which isn’t too much bother until it bursts your stomach. If it didn’t break your stomach it would do nothing more than itch your insides for a few days and make pooing sting a lot. But when the bleach breaks down the walls of your stomach it’s like releasing water out of a damn, except the water is acid and instead of rushing all in one destructive direction it flows through your body breaking down your cells and burning your flesh from the insides (ironically transported by your blood flow, normally the only thing keeping you alive is the thing that’s killing you). The whole process takes about fifteen minutes. My editor tells me that I really don’t recommend that you try this but if you do, at least make sure you get a nice tasting bleach; choose one that at least sounds like food. None of that lavender and camomile shit.
Q3) Will you marry me? Asks Anita Clay (42) from
The short answer, Anita, is no. I’m sorry it’s just you live five-hundred miles away and I don’t really know you and these pictures you sent me were a tad forward. I just don’t think it’ll work. But as this is the sixteenth time you’ve sent me a letter (with pictures) I’d like to take this opportunity to digress, slightly, into the science of stalking.
As I’m sure you know stalking starts with an obsession. Catching a glimpse of someone, or reading their work, you suddenly have a desire to know more about them. More than just what days and hours they work in the coffee house. You begin to start forming an imaginary relation ship with them in your head. Every little smile she gives you as she hands over the coffee. The brief touching of skin when she puts the change in your hand – it’s like sex! It all adds up and allows you to further solidify the belief that you have a chance when you don’t. Then you follow her home and stand outside her house in the rain for ten hours wondering if she’ll believe that your car broke down, even when you don’t own one. Most of the time police will let you off with a caution but if the behaviour continues, so I am told, you could be facing a heavy fine or prison sentence.
Q4) I think I might be gay, how can I know if I am or not? Charlene Nicholson (15) from
Well, Charlene, (according to my editor) if you were just a year older I’d invite you round to mine and we could see if you were gay or not. If I didn’t work out for you we could invite my friend Fiona around and she could “talk things over with you” while I “supervised”. Oh and for future reference readers I wish you’d stop treating me like an agony aunt, this is a science magazine.
Q5) How is Caffeine removed from decaf coffee? Asks “Cornell Grain” (84) from ‘Back in the day’
Well, Cornell, I remember a time, 1932 I think it was, before The War anyway, when decaffeinated coffee was a rarity. Back then, before The War, the caffeine molecules were extracted by hand. As you can imagine adult hands were far too big to pluck out the nasty caffeine so they had to employ children to do the job, girls under five to be exact as their hands were more delicate and boys sweat too much (and you know the sweat melted the coffee granules and made it virtually unsaleable).
Nowadays, however, being a civilised society (though it never did me any harm), they no longer employ children to do the job. They just don’t do it. The coffee remains caffeinated and the company profits twice as much from the same thing labelled differently. Though with emerging technology they do hope to be able to actually remove the caffeine once more, this time using cyborg girl children.
Q6) supposing you were completely new to Planet Earth. Hypothetically you’d been joyriding around the galaxy in your parents new hyper-ship and you’d crash landed on a planet (that the common wealth have noted as being insufficiently developed to make contact with) how would you go about blending in and hiding from your parents? Asks Cxsixz Smith (4 (Clome years)) from Planet Clome (currently in a motel off the M4).
What a bizarre, hypothetical, question, Cxsixz (would you be able to tell me how to pronounce that sometime?). For a start though hiding in a motel for any length of time is probably a bad idea; people only ever go there to have an affair or hang themselves not doing either of those will look conspicuous. I’m presuming that, hypothetically, you do not look especially human, it may be and idea to call for room service and kill the teenager that comes to serve you, and then steal his skin and identity.
After you have assumed this messy camouflage it’s time to go back to his house and adopt his unwitting parents. Learn his lifestyle and habits, almost certainly things like sleeping and shitting – you do, hypothetically, shit right, Cxsixz?
Is the world really flat and the government just lied?
Why am I asking you this question?
Is my dad gay?
Do you watch Lost?Please feel free to leave additional questions in the comments section and I shall make sure Lyle get's a look. He may even answear your question.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Me and Hannah end up sitting at the same table across from one another, like prisoners at the lunch table, and we get talking. Talking until Grooves dances into the room dragging behind her a giant battle axe and hollering threats of cannibalism. So with that I went back to trying to figure out what this particular branch of mathematics was about. After a few silent minutes of staring at a text book a new piece of paper flies into my field of vision. I pick it up and unfolded it, glancing and smiling at Hannah as I did so.
“Like OMG what is up with her?” the note says. What the fuck does OMG mean? I wonder. In fact that’s what I write back, or words to that effect (I don’t think I swore though, you can’t swear in front of the woman it aint riight.) Kirsty, the best friend (need I say more?), laughed out loud.
“Be quiet please.” Grooves requested in a dangerously calm voice.
“What does “lol” mean?” I ask in response to the next message. At this point in my life I had not started playing RuneScape and knew nothing of the shorthand “Text Speak”.
The conversation carries on like this for a while and I feel the stirring of friendship, which is always nice: making new friends. Then. Then I unfurl the next piece of paper.
“Will you go out with me?” it asks. When you look like I do, anyone asking you out should be taken as the highest compliment and being put off by a small thing like gender is really being very picky.
“Sure.” I reply hoping that having a girlfriend will help this “gay phase” pass. Of course I was ignoring the fact that I hadn’t had a straight phase yet (still waiting for it too).
Some how my mum found out about this event (I swear she’s planted a listening device to me or something) and started spreading the news around; doling it out like confetti at a wedding or caviar at a banker’s convention. Granny was so pleased she gave me money. With a toothless grin and a wheezy smokers chuckle I remember her saying “Aye hae iss and take your new lassy to the pictures, mibie get a seat in the back row.” Like you, dear reader, I almost vomited (talking with parents about sex is bad enough but grandparents implying a blowjob in the back row of the cinema is mental abuse). Three days after the decision to say “sure” mum is badgering me to “get together” with Hannah, so she decides to call her up on my behalf. After getting her number from the phone book. How dare she!? No really it’s my girlfriend and my mother is caller her up! Is she trying to make me look foolish?
This was probably entirely the most awkward and embarrassing phone call of my life.
“Erm, hi Hannah.” I say.
“Hello” she says and I’m sure I can hear Kirsty laughing in the background.
“Was just wondering if you wanted to go to the cinema or something? You know I’m going away on Friday yeah? So just thought you might wanna do something or something before I go.” I ramble.
“Er, I’m actually kinda busy tonight.” She says.
“Oh… well that’s ok.” I say trying to keep the right amount of disappointment in my voice: enough so she doesn’t feel bad but enough to convince my mum who decided to supervise the phone call.
“Bye then.” I say before hanging up rather abruptly, almost callous.
As it happened the trip away was going down to
I was sitting in one of the motor way stop toilets. It was a gleaming cubicle clean and disappointingly had no phone numbers on the wall. I really, really needed to masturbate I hadn’t in a while and my balls were busting. But for some unfathomable reason I felt guilty. Every thought I had about
Eventually I returned from the holiday and went back to school. The first day back I never saw her but everyone new that we were “going out”. Like syphilis it had gone around except people didn’t stay at home when they caught it. Jeers and sarcastic congratulations followed me around that day. Questions were asked by “the lads” if I’d done her yet and such promiscuous activities were enquired about.
But on the second day. At break time, I walk up to her and say “hi, do you wanna go somewhere and talk?” the plan was to tell her that I liked guys and that I shouldn’t have said yes and such but I never got that far.
“Actually George, no, I don’t really want to go out with you anymore.”
I was stunned.
She’s breaking up with me? What gives her the right!? What did I do? She asked me out in the first place, I’m the one that decides if it gets called off or not. She blatantly strung me along. Although, unsure of the correct response, I manage to say.
“Oh, ok.” Realising that that’s probably a bit too nonchalant I add “I’ll see you around.”
The fall out of the break up was almost as interesting as the relationship. ‘The lads’ at school made all sorts of obscene suggestions which, though I laugh them up now, were actually pretty confusing for a naive thirteen year old.
Granny gave me more money – because it’s a commodity for any occasion – while informing me that “she disnae now what she’s missin’.” I really struggle to keep lunch down whenever she speaks.
Mum was probably the worst offender though, constantly trying to console me and make sure I was alright when in reality I was nothing more than perplexed and slightly relived.
Thankfully I have learned my lesson though. Girls are icky, stick to boys. Literally.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Don’t lie. Of course you would! You’re human.
I should explain why there is a picture of Mr Mischief in a secondary school. Each section of the school is plastered with posters of Mr Men characters and each Mr man is awarded a shiny gold star if the area he lives in is kept clean by all the enthusiastic boys and girls. It wasn’t like I’d added gender clarifying genitalia to the picture of Mr Mischief (primarily because it had already been stolen) was it?
Although I cannot be entirely sure what possessed me to draw on the page in such a vulgar manner, I’m guessing it was one or a combination of: playful childishness, momentary insanity or just simple minded mischievousness. It’s hard to tell.
But, anyway, before I could add the splashings of seamen and reallocate myself away from the crime scene one of those half-teachers (teachers that write for those who cannot write, talk for those who cannot talk and shite for those who cannot shite) comes bounding up the corridor seizing her moment of power.
“What do you think you are doing young man?” she huffs in a hugely self important tone.
“Well I was er…” I giggle sheepishly, half contemplating finishing my sentence. I saw he look at the drawing.
“Do you really think that is appropriate for a boy of your age?”
“No.” I say shaking my head in embarrassment and self disgust looking at the floor and swinging my leg in shame.
I could tell she was amused and that she’d leave within seconds, and probably implore one of the janitors to replace the poster. But she didn’t. Instead one of the senior management team decided it was time to stroll up this particular corridor and enquire.
“What’s going on here then?” he may as well have had the prefix “Ello ‘ello ‘ello…” I was actually almost shitting myself. He’s one of those teachers that has a mild appearance but will kill you with hammers for any minor infraction, and let’s face it this was about medium on the misnomer scale.
“And do you think that’s appropriate, George?” he said in a disturbingly calm voice.
“No.” I say shaking my head in embarrassment and self disgust, looking at the floor and swinging my leg in shame.
“Well what do you think should be done about it?” he asked as if I was four.
“Erm…” I responded as if I was four.
“Well I think you should go make a new one. You can do that, can’t you?”
“Er, yeah.” I lied. Burning with humiliation. They left. I ripped the poster off the wall in frustration only to be greeted by an equally expert drawing of a penis.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
To the Right of the main blog words you will see, among other things, the list of labels. So as to avoid future confusion I shall explain what I mean by them and what you can expect from blogs labelled with them.
Truth: By truth I mean things that are true. Things in this category will, hopefully, still have a comical slant but will be entirely true.
UnTruth: Things marked out as UnTrue, are not lies (as they would be in Newspeak). They are things that have a strong basis in truth but have been distorted or exaggerated for purposes of satire and comedy.
Lies: Things that I call lies are frequently things that actually have a slight basis in truth or a truthful idea but like the story of Noah’s Ark has grown out of anything that can be called true.
Utter Lies: Much like Truth but the exact opposite.
You may also notice that I will mark things with my user name (Orian57) this is to show that it was written by me and not just posted by me as on occasion I will write things “in character”, by which I mean I will be writing things not as myself but as a fictional character or in a satirical view of someone else.
Woop! It was bound to happen eventually but today I lost my queer bashed cherry!
James, you know James – everyone should have one (they’re all the range in
Like Madonna I feel sorry for disadvantaged foreign children, and so I gave it a hug (well I can’t afford to adopt it) that lasted no more than 3 (4, 5, 6, 7) seconds. This however, was clearly the row-boat that broke the whales back.
It went berserk.
Started thrashing the place and mutating like some retarded
“ROAAAAAAR!” the killer bear roared “ROOOOOOAAAAAAR!” it said emphasising its point. Pumping up its ‘muscles’ it stumbled after me, shouting “Stay the fuck away from me! Stay the fuck away from me!” in a pseudo-hard ass accent. While trying not to let my bladder weaken out of sheer mocking laughter, I stayed put. Until the he shoved me away from themselves.
A friend intervened separating us before I had chance to retaliate (for the best I suppose).
“For fucks sake, man! What the hell is wrong with you?” I casually enquired, not even attempting to wipe the grin of my face (Jameses are so funny when they’re angry).
“Stay the fuck away from me!” he recycled.
“I hardly think I could do that.” I said coyly.
Now it is hard to miss a fat white fist coming at your face but, like if a baker were to fire raw dough at you from a spud gun, it’s also hard to avoid.
I could hardly move it was so funny. It felt more like an incredibly obese fish slapped me. But the James felt that it had won and plodded off to the other end of the room (apparently getting the fuck away from me.)
Within ten minutes it was after me again.
“Whey, it’s Stuart Retsis.” I greeted my friend (Stuart Retsis) before launching into the story of the unfortunate incident of the queer and Dr Evil in the daytime as said fictional character look-a-likie growled behind me. Giving it all the attention it deserved I carried on flaunting my wit and explicitly implied its parents were brother and sister.
“ROOOOAAAAR” it replayed. Shoving me (face first) into the wall and trying to hold me as if I were some sort of perp from “The Shield”.
“Don’t beat me!” I begged “I’ll get an erection.”
“You stay the fuck away from me!” he said pushing me against the wall as he pushed away. Chortling to myself I walked away. “You stay the fuck away from me!” he sounded like he was begging now. Smiling nonchalantly I turned around and said: “Oh come on James, don’t be embarrassed. You’re my best customer.” At this point I thought I’d better quit before I got raped and so I ducked into Mr Stuart’s room redy for an invigorating English lesson.
I’m sure we’ve all seen that deodorant advert, for the new Lynx fragrance. The one where he put it on and then turns into that hideously fattening lump of chocolate with the heinous smile. Then he walks around having girls biting chunks of his ass off and stealing his arm. That one.
Well being the corporate whore that I am, I bought that deodorant recently. And yes it smells nice but I haven’t turned into chocolate man or had girls chasing me. Let me make it clear that on neither account am I disappointed, I just feel I’ve been conned somehow. Conned and then insulted.
Reading the back of the can, as all people do. I find the “directions”: a fancy and patronising word for “instructions”. The tell me to “hold can 15cm away from the body to spray”. Which is unhelpful. Unhelpful because I don’t know what fifteen centimetres looks like and unhelpful because it doesn’t tell me how to spray the deodorising mist from its pressurised prison; it simply tells me what to do before this.
Following this statement and several others it goes on to say “do not spray on a naked flame” again this isn’t particularly helpful and comes about six years too late. Me and a group of friends decided it would be fun to imitate a TV show and use a deodorant can as a flamethrower, we made it interesting as instead of the undead we decided to torch an eraser. Near a wooden fence. And a stack of dry wood. And several houses. That’s by the by though we never got that far before Dean’s leg almost caught fire.The piese d'resistance: “Chocolate scented body spray. This is not food. Do not ingest.” It’s actually highly depressing that obesity has reached such a critical state that manufacturers have to put “don’t eat me” on their deodorant. Although *cough* I *cough cough* thought that *cough cough coughack* thought it was a breath freshener.
The observant amongst you may have noticed that I have recently obliterated the blog that used to reside at this URL. This is because it was what Tarquin Middleton would call “word syphilis”. And because I hated it. In a moment of blind inspiration I decided that I needed to just start again.
I am hoping to make this blog more clearly a comical blog. I shan’t be talking about myself anymore as I want to write a blog filled with stuff that people will want to read. So with a clearer direction and a fundamental basic idea we press forth.