Category Archives: science!

join the war against germ warfare!

The Evil would like you to ponder the above picture of a sign taped to the door of the men’s room in his office. (And before you begin bitching about the blurriness, note that this picture was taken on Evil’s iPhone. It’s not like he was going to traipse into the john with his dSLR.)

Now let’s close in a little, get a tight shot of the illustration and focus in on the reason the Evil (or anyone) would be taking pictures in a bathroom that didn’t involve that unbelievably long and intact turd you just dropped in the toilet. (You have got to win that bet!) And . . . there:

Cute little germs, ain’t they? Especially the eyestalk guy sporting a flamethrower, bottom right. They’re even kind of sexy—by the logic of our times—right? This sign is roughly equivalent to what would happen if you replaced the trillion fiendish spiders of Arachnophobia with adorable puppies. (And yes, we’re accepting less-dated pop culture references here at the Evil. Just queue up at the window to your left.) Those germs just look like they’re playfully gnawing at your hand with their harmless little puppy teeth, no?

But perhaps the illustrator had something more devious in mind when he drew these sexy germs. Perhaps s/he, like the Evil, realizes this obsession with sterilizing every touchable surface, including our bodies, with space-age antibacterial goop is only giving evolution a goose and creating a race of überbacteria that will soon consume us all. And he was trying to subtly alert us to the fact that not all germs will stone-cold kill ya.

You need a little filth in your life, people. This is a scientistic fact—children raised in an environment which stinks of industrial-grade cleaner are much more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses of all stripe. Without the little doses of everyday scum, how can you build up a tolerance?

Which is not to say the Evil doesn’t wash his hands after doing his bathroom business. But he doesn’t fondle every object in his visual spectrum with Lysol deathwipes, either. The Evil believes in the five-second rule—still, in this day and age!—especially if the foodstuff dropped to the floor is wrapped in precious, precious bacon.

And yet . . .

Here’s the question Evil poses to you: in a world where everyone else is violently sterilizing themselves, does it even matter if you take a principled stand against paranoia? If you’re one of the dwindling number of reasonable people in this world who does not, in fact, rub the dirt off your shoulder, do you stay strong . . . or give up, because the superbug is coming whether you want it or not, thanks to your germophobe “friends?”

evil has a bone to pick with science!

creation

Says here a team of scientists in Germany have created a new form of matter from aluminum. They’ve dubbed it “transparent aluminum,” which we can all agree is a stupid choice when “transluminum” is just hanging out there unused.

Now, you know Evil loves science. But this kind of story always chafes his inquisitive soul. It’s not the scientists’ crazy scifi claims about how transluminum might, just might, lead to nuclear fusion on earth that will power us forever. Know what? Let’s hand the floor over to said scientists:

“The physical properties of the matter we are creating are relevant to the conditions inside large planets, and we also hope that by studying it we can gain a greater understanding of what is going on during the creation of ‘miniature stars’ created by high-power laser implosions, which may one day allow the power of nuclear fusion to be harnessed here on Earth.”

This naturally falls under the “justifying our grants” portion of any scientastic press release. Can’t blame them for that; baby needs a new pair of braces.

Nay—what bothers the Evil is this claim that they have “created” something that they admit only existed for 40 femtoseconds. (A femtosecond is 10-15 of a second. In the time it takes you to read this parenthetical note, you will have decided you really don’t care how many femtoseconds it took you to do so. Science!)

Scientists do this all the time with exotic elements—claim to have “created” something that existed in our reality for a measure of time that is essentially meaningless. And Evil says: no!

Continue reading evil has a bone to pick with science!

the human thumb, vector of insanity

all-thumbs-up

Today I took delivery of a portable hard drive in the mail. You know, for the gigs upon gigs of dinosaur-on-robot porn I collect.

But ‘tis the not the profane coupling of the ancient and the future that I wish to speak of today. This post is about the thumb. No, not about how the thumb is one of the things that separates us from the blah blah blah.

I’m talking about how the thumb has made us crazy.

That’s right. That’s the theory I’m pimping. Our thumbs have made us insane.

The hard drive was shipped in a box the likes of which I’d never seen. A byzantine system of flaps, flanges and slots must be negotiated to open and close the box—which didn’t prove problematic as I tore into the packaging like a toddler on Christmas morning (that’s my way). It was while I struggled to repackage the sucker for the schlepping-home-from-work part of the experience that I discovered the key to our insanity.

Continue reading the human thumb, vector of insanity

do NOT play the dozens with a supermassive black hole

supermassive black hole

Here’s a thing. The largest known supermassive black hole turns out to be even . . . larger, according to a “new model.” That would be Yahoo-speak for “black holes are cool if you take out the science!”

Anyway. This does not seem wise to me. At all. We might live in a rapidly expanding universe, but ain’t no sense mocking the gravity-devouring maws that are the beating, all-consuming black hearts of our universe with fat jokes. Are we not asking for it, just asking for it, when we point at galaxy M87 and snap, “Your black hole is sooooo big, it’s got its own active jet shooting light out of the galaxy’s core!”

If sci-fi movies have taught us nothing else, it’s that we either need to (1) be supremely good neighbors to our undoubtedly more advanced, starfaring aliens-next-door or (2) hurry up with the planetary death ray and take ’em out before they fall on us like maggots to a deer carcass. And since I haven’t read word one about the Obama administration’s planetary death ray initiative (It’s green[-man-killing] technology! It’ll create jobs in battered industrial states!), it seems we need to approach the case of M87’s black hole thusly:

Continue reading do NOT play the dozens with a supermassive black hole

possible causes of the dinosaur extinction if an asteroid didn’t do it

dinosaur-asteroid-wrong

“Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is . . . maybe he didn’t?” —Eli Cash in The Royal Tenenbaums

. . . And everyone knows the dinos went extinct because of an asteroid impact. What these two geologists presuppose is . . . maybe they didn’t?

If not, here are some ideas as to what really did wipe out the dinosaurs:

  • Mass volcanic eruptions in the Deccan Traps in present-day India.
  • Land-bridge formation leads to species admixture and spread of disease.
  • Deadly ankle-nibbling by rudimentary rodent-like mammals.
  • Dinosaur-eating spiders.
  • Dinosaurs discover time-travel, journey one billion years into future en masse.
  • Murder-suicide.
  • Wrath of God.
  • Wrath of Khan.
  • Dinosaurs discover faster-than-light space travel, journey one billion light years from Earth en masse.
  • Dinosaur economists speculate wildly on fossil fuels, only to discover fossil fuels can’t exist until all dinosaurs die. Ensuing killing spree framed as “necessary to drive economic growth.”
  • Continue reading possible causes of the dinosaur extinction if an asteroid didn’t do it

destroy all (mythical) monsters!

unicron

We begin with this picture of Unicron, the Orson Welles-voiced archvillain of 1986’s animated Transformers: The Movie. What does a nearly omnipotent robot/planetoid have to do with today’s subject matter? Nothing, really—other than the fact that “Unicron” is just two transposed letters away from spelling “Unicorn” . . . and that today’s concern is Evil, in which category both Unicron and unicorns emphatically fall.

Not actual unicorns, of course, but the idea of them. I’m not here to argue for or against the existence of unicorns. What concerns me is convincing you that horny horses shouldn’t exist, even if in fact they do.

That’s right: I’m here today to advocate the utter annihilation of a mythical species.

And that, on a brief tangent, is what really separates the National Evil from other bloggers. So many naïve fools while away their days wishing nonexistent creatures did in fact wander the Earth. “Wouldn’t it be cool,” you’ll hear them say, “if there really were centaurs?” No. No, no, and again: no.

Continue reading destroy all (mythical) monsters!

science thongs! another nail in the coffin of religious dogmatism

science thong
Behold the knickers of knowledge!

So here we have an article from the Telegraph detailing how a scientific expedition team is using the above black thong for navigational purposes in the Arctic. Quoth the Telegraph:

[D]ue to the proximity to magnetic north the compasses are “going haywire”. The freezing conditions also mean the latest global positioning satellite or GPS equipment will not work. […] Therefore the team have to rely on navigating using the position of the sun. When it is cloudy they rely on following the direction of the wind helpfully indicated by a pair of lacy knickers shredded and stuck to the end of a ski pole.

Said knickers were “kindly donated by a supporter of the expedition” whom the Evil would very much like to meet. Another sexy supporter of science? Hubba hubba.

What strikes the Evil most about this situation is its beautiful marriage of science and sex, the two topics most viciously assaulted throughout history by the kind of nutjobs who want creationism taught in biology class. Consider this picture from a fo-real Arkansas church:

churchsign1

Taking this logic at face value, one could say FAITH IS THE GREATEST ENEMY THAT THE POLIO VACCINE, THE MOON LANDING, THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE, WOMEN’S RIGHTS, AND CLEAN WATER HAVE. Though it might not fit on the sign.

Continue reading science thongs! another nail in the coffin of religious dogmatism