Well, there’s a question. If the great eye of The Man is monitoring our most “interesting” internet moves, what exactly constitutes a red flag these days?
I’m a very curious person by nature. In general I enjoy the informational rabbit hole the internet provides. But now that my work requires constant research on a variety of odd science-y topics, I fear my browser history might betray me through false representation.
It probably doesn’t help that I live in a cabin in the woods in rural Montana. If I were a man I would no doubt have some sort of outlandish recluse’s beard for the fall. (Instead I have crazy Witch Hair.) I think traditionally that combination of factors probably already earns a person a spot on a list somewhere. And yeah, we’ve got some bones in the yard. Okay, and several skulls in the house, too. And a variety of axes, knives, machetes, and whathaveyou. I mean, Montana, guys.
But contrary to what my computer history would indicate, I do not have a barrel of severed heads in my basement. Hell, I don’t even have a basement! I am not, in fact, in the market for powdered tiger penis or anthrax, nor am I looking for lifestyle tips from Nazi doctors. My curiosity about blood drives, weird body hair, cannibals, and dead bodies is purely professional. I’m not into killing rabbits or procuring plutonium or buckets of lye.
So if that stealthy, clandestine black van ever pulls up, someone, please, have my back, eh?
A couple of weeks ago I spent a day reading about blood. For work. Maybe back in elementary school someone told you that our blood is blue until it gets oxygenated in the open air, like when you cut yourself on that horrible can opener. Not so. Human blood varies in shades of red depending on where it is in our bodies at any given time, but it is always red.
We can thank our hemoglobin for that. But not all animals possess so much hemoglobin. Did you know this genus of skink in New Guinea have green blood? And octopi have blue blood? And some worms have violet-colored blood? Yeah. Pretty cool.
Of course all that blood-talk got me thinking about our current collective obsession with vampires, and all the shite vampire teen heart-throb material out there. I mean, where have all the antique goblets gone? And the minion-guarded coffins? If you’re a vampire, why the hell would you want to go to high school? And when the sun hits them they’re supposed to explode, right? Or at least sizzle in agony before turning to ash, then vamp goo. Not, ahem, sparkle like a perfume advertisement as if their skin were made of diamonds.
Anyway, then I found this clip for what looks to be the dopest Vamp movie ever, Only Lovers Left Alive, because: 1) Awesome title, 2) Jim Jarmusch, 3) a pining Tom Hiddleston channeling Keith Richard, only classier, 4) Tilda Swinton with an albino mane, 5) Jim Jarmusch.
It’s inevitable. We humans have whole philosophies and religions dedicated to the contemplation of what happens to our souls once our bodies give up the ghost. But unless you’re a mortician, how much thought do you give to what can happen to your actual flesh-and-blood body after you die?
Me, I like the idea of a badass Viking funeral. Lay my body in a hand-carved boat laden with my life’s bounty, launch it at sunset, then set that B on fire with a rain of flaming arrows. [Side Note: From nearly ill-fated personal experience I have learned getting a flaming arrow to stay lit when released is very difficult. Even with gasoline soaked rags…]
Although I love walking through old cemeteries, I’m not so into the idea of my body moving into one. A Tibetan sky burial sounds pretty good, though logistically tough. Maybe a Jazz Funeral parade rolling right into a raucous Irish wake. Then just find a tree, name it Katie, and call it good.
Other people might picture their remains being buried underground, launched into space, strung in trees, sunk in seas, probed by queasy medical students, or displayed in museums. These days, dead bodies have a lot of options, with more on the way. No wonder the U.S. funeral services business is a $21 billion industry. Once the ceremonies are over, there are some choices to make.
Check out my latest SciShow script to hear about new and greener alternatives to traditional burial. And Happy Halloween!