Friday, October 27, 2006

If I bit two friends, and they bit two friends, and so on, and so on...

Hon. Son #2 received the sacrament of Confirmation last night, ergo things around here have been pretty hectic. I suspect that getting Hon. Son #1 into a suit for the occasion probably meets the qualifications for a miracle, even though I did get the question, "I don't have to wear a tie for this, do I?"

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We'll get back to the Neandertals next post. Meantime, I recommend the following debunk of things paranormal (courtesy of Associated Press,) in time for All Hallow's Eve.

In response to what he deems widespread gullibility on the part of the public about the supernatural, University of Central Florida physics prof Costas Efthimiou (with coauthor Sohang Gandhi) has published [Sorry, can't seem to get the link working today. It's here: www.arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0608/0608059.pdf. I'll get D to mess with it later.] his debunk of some paranormal phenomena.

He uses physics to argue against the standard claims for ghostly hauntings and disproves a Haitian "zombie" widely cited by zombie aficionadoes (I knew zombie movies had aficionadoes, but not that zombies themselves had any. You learn something new every day!) My favorite, however, is his debunking of the vampirism myth as a typical pyramid scheme. (The table in his paper, which AP did not publish, is a very good visual aid.) Efthimiou begins his theoretical calculations on Jan. 1, 1600 assuming one vampire and 537 million humans. If that vampire sucks one person's blood per month, consequently turning each of his victims into a vampire, the human population would be down to zero (thereby collapsing the pyramid with a resounding crash) by July 1602--after only twenty-nine months. I wonder if this is what prompted Anne Rice's return to the Faith?

It kinda reminds me of that "send a Little Golden Book to each of ten people" boondoggle that some primary school class concocted about fifteen years ago. Everyone I knew with young kids was getting the darn letters from all sides. Somebody made a recruiting attempt during a playgroup I was in once and the sudden chill in the room was palpable.

I imagine the poor clod of a vampire who, when the last of the blood supply has run out, jumps up with the proposal, "Hey, y'all! Let's go find some humans to bite!" Not a pretty thought.

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