Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I'm Gonna Blow Your Mind

Over the course of the last couple weeks, there have been several times in which I’ve had to stop and regroup because my mind has been blown.

Now, I blow my students’ minds all the time in American Literature class by droppin’ knowledge on these foo’s like bombs on Nagasaki. I break it down how Chris Columbus cut off people’s ears and hands for not providing enough gold—how he and his crew made things so miserable for the native tribes living on the Caribbean Islands at the time that pregnant women would either crudely abort or abandon newborns in attempts to flee slave catchers.

Or I’ll fill them in about how some irresponsible Jamestown colonists wasted the planting season searching for gold, and as a result had to either sell themselves to Indian families as servants, or in some extreme cases were forced to dig up and cannibalize recent corpses to fill their hungered bellies.

But that’s the knowledge I impart upon them. The following was information bestowed upon me.

1. If ingested by a small child, Purell hand sanitizer can be absolutely lethal. This anti-bacterial gel is great for dissolving germs and their other evil contaminated cronies, but it’s 63% alcohol. That’s well over 120 proof, people. To put that into perspective, a beer is usually somewhere between 4.5% and 6%.

I learned about this reading a story about a two-year old child who was discovered by his mother in the bathroom with the sterile scent of Purell upon thine breath. The kid's eyes were all glassed over and he kept falling down, so mom took him to the emergency room. His blood-alcohol level was 1.0 (Adults can’t legally drive with anything higher than 0.8). Poor kid was hammered.

He didn’t die (though I bet the hand sanitizer hangover made him wish he had), but the doctor said he could have if more had been ingested. How much did the kid actually get into his system? About an ounce. Looks like the idiots that throw the occasional Nyquil party to get wasted have found a new Jungle Juice: 1 part orange juice, 1 part purple Kool-Aid, 1 part Purell hand sanitizer.

2. We all know about Komodo Dragons—those giant lizards inching closer and closer to extinction as the years roll on and they become less and less common in the wild. Well, somewhere in England a Komodo Dragon recently gave birth to five little goombas without ever having come into contact with a male of her species!

I have this vision of a giant lizard angel wearing a white robe with dragon wings and a halo giving a vision of God to the virgin Komodo. “Be not afraid,” the reptilian angel would say. “You will bear the five children of our lizard lord.” And then she’s all, “Awesome. I can’t wait to freak out the zookeeper.’

Apparently there are a number of lizard species that can reproduce asexually, but before this year there had never been a recorded incident of a Komodo Dragon doing it. This blessed virgin lizard birth was the second time it happened in the last twelve months. Personally, I blame global warming, but I’m sure there are spirits of Dodos somewhere trembling with jealousy.

Upon being asked if he would reproduce asexually if given the opportunity, bloggist Joel Brigham responded, “Hellz no… haven’t you ever seen ‘Junior’?”

3. Turns out two snowflakes CAN be exactly alike. A snowflake is just a collection of crystals, formed together in a unique pattern, hence the urban legend that each one is entirely original. It’d be highly unlikely to get a complex grouping of crystals to show up in the exact same pattern twice. Allegedly.

What if the pattern we’re looking at isn’t particularly complex? What these scientists are claiming is that simple patterns of crystals are mathematically more likely to occur more than once. So in their simplest forms, snowflakes can be extremely similar to one another—over and over and over again.

If this holds true, doesn’t everything our parents told us about being unique go directly down the flusher? I know that I’ve been compared to a snowflake on many occasions (I’m also often compared to diamonds, chocolate cake, and Brad Pitt, for the record), and to think this comparison actually means “You’re exactly like somebody else—perhaps even many people,” instead of “You’re so unique and special” bothers me greatly.

So don’t you dare call me a damned snowflake. I’ll punch you right about the face, neck, legs, arms, and nape. “Brad Pitt,” however, I will still accept.

It’s crazy what you can learn about the world if you just read a little bit and keep your head up. How’s this for a mind-blow: Amy’s and my two-year anniversary was this last weekend. We’ve been dating for two years already, which is a new personal best for Most Consecutive Days Dated without Being Unjustly Dumped, though I think Amy’s the one who deserves the award. It takes a special girl to deal with the likes of a moron like me.

And anyway, if things don’t work out between her and me, she can just ask a female Komodo Dragon for dating advice.