Friday, June 22, 2007

Brain Hat

I REALLY CAN'T DECIDE what my favorite news story of this last week is, because there's a lot of weird shit going on right now. I do have five candidates vying for the title of Most Awesome Story of the Week. Here is but one of them.

Japanese Researchers Control Toy Train With Their Brains!
Reasearchers at Hitachi have developed an attractive new helmet they call a "brain-machine interface" that allows the wearer not only to look awesomely nerdy but also to control a toy train just by thinking. Finally! Toy trains will do our bidding! Whatever we think, they will do! It's just like that awesome H.G. Wells story. What was that called again? Oh yeah, "The Man Who Controlled Trains With His Brain (The Toy Ones Not the Big Steam Locomotives...I Mean, Seriously, Control a Steam Locomotive With Your Mind? Even I Think That's a Bit Ridiculous, And I'm H.G. Wells, I Write About All Kinds of Crazy Crap)." I used to love that story.

You're probably wondering, "So how do you make the train go? Do you think forward or go to make the train move and halt or whoa! to make it stop?" Of course not! It's so much easier than that. You either do simple calculations in your head -- 4x2=8, 8x8=64 and like that -- and the train moves forward. When you stop doing them, the train stops! You can also sing a song to make the train go. You could even combine the two and sing a song about calculations to make it go. Might I recommend "Hey Little Twelve Toes" or "Three Is a Magic Number" from Schoolhouse Rock?

My second most favorite part about this story is how the author of the article first mentions that this technology could be used to control TVs, turning them on and off or changing the channels and whatnot. You know, instead of burning all of those additional calories using that heavy and cumbersome TV remote. Only after mentioning that use does the author add how this technology could assist disabled people. Because we should keep our priorities straight people. Let's help the laziest TV watchers first, and then worry about helping those who are actually disabled (or "permanently lazy," as I like to say).

But my most favorite part of this story is how much the "brainhat," as I like to call it, looks like the crazy hi-tech colander Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) puts on Louis Tully's (Rick Moranis) head in the original Ghostbusters. Oh yeah, many Zuuls knew what it was like to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's Raining Men!

JUST THIS WEEK,Pentagon officials confirmed that, yes, they did propose researching a "gay bomb" to drop on enemy armies. A bomb that would contain, as Berkeley's Edward Hammond said, "a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down" because of the soldiers becoming so "irresistably attractive to one another."

I only wish I was making this up. But it's true. In 1994 -- one year after President Bill Clinton announced the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military -- the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, requested $7.5 million to develop a "gay bomb." Of course, the Department of Defense claims that the idea was "quickly dismissed." But Hammond doesn't really believe that.

"The truth of the matter is it would have never come to my attention if it was dismissed at the time it was proposed," Hammond said. "In fact, the Pentagon has used it repeatedly and subsequently in an effort to promote non-lethal weapons, and in fact they submitted it to the highest scientific review body in the country for them to consider."

My question, then, is about the tipping point. What happened in 1994 to finally push the military to believe in the possibility and (even better) the efficacy of a "gay bomb"? Certainly there was some combination of events, a perfect storm of gayness that made this possible. As it turns out, this is absolutely the case.

The pump was primed, as it were, by 1993, a year in which the World Wide Web (where gay images are readily available) was born, in which Janet Reno became the first female US Attorney General (a job everyone knows belongs to a man, not a mannish woman), and in which President Clinton signed the Brady Bill (if gun ownership = manliness, then it follows that gun control = gay).

Then, in January of '94, Lorena Bobbitt was found not guilty (by reason of insanity) of cutting her husband's penis off and throwing it into an empty lot. This led, as these cases invariably do, to John Bobbitt and his re-attached member starring in a porn movie titled Frankenpenis. While the movie was straight porn, it was definitely marketed to entice hetero men to ogle another man's Johnson. And intentional schlong-ogling = gay.

1994 was also the year that future celebrity boxer Tonya Harding ordered the brutal clubbing of Nancy Kerrigan's knee. This event would, in retrospect, seem a whole lot less gay if the "sport" involved wasn't figure skating, the third most gay sport in the world (behind ballroom dancing and NASCAR). It is also the year that Shannon Faulkner became the first female cadet to attend the all-male school The Citadel. Faulkner would soon drop out, leaving the men of The Citadel lady-less once again. (And what happens at The Citadel stays at The Citadel!)

At the box office, Disney's The Lion King was tops. It should be noted that The Lion King was not only a musical, but a musical co-written by Elton John, a performer known for being both gay and flamboyant! Other big box office movies of 1994 that featured gay (or sexually ambiguous) undertones or themes include Ed Wood, It's Pat!, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Interview With a Vampire and, of course, The Flintstones.

The Channel Tunnel finally opened in 1994, connecting France (totally gay) and England (72% bi-curious). And President Clinton signed the Assault Weapons Ban, a law only a total pussy could get behind.

Other possible contributing factors include the deaths of former president Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon, Charles Bukowski (a poet) and comedian John Candy (not gay but Canadian); the multiple Grammy wins for "I Will Always Love You", the theme from The Bodyguard; and the multiple Emmy wins for Frasier, the hilarious TV show about two gay brothers who are in love with each other and fight with their gay dad. Also, the Tonys were handed out yet again in 1994.

So maybe it was inevitable that a homophobic entity such as the Pentagon would try to build a "gay bomb," but I feel it's obvious from looking at the year in question that events beyond anyone's control forced the gay bomb into existence.

Oh, did I say it existed already? My mistake. Of course it doesn't exist. And likewise, the government probably stopped trying to develop it. Shhh. Go back to sleep. But don't come crying to me when you wake up gay.