“L.A. still gets nearly 90 percent of its drinking water from out-of-town resources, just as it has for more than a century. But the Sierra Nevada snowpack could shrink by as much as 90 percent by 2100, experts say. Runoff already peaks 10 to 15 days earlier today than it did 50 years ago, according to a 2008 Purdue University study.
Meanwhile, aquifers along the coast of Los Angeles County are already experiencing “seawater intrusion,” according to the National Resources Defense Council, which last year called out L.A. officials for lagging behind other big cities in planning for such climate change-related effects. The group warns that a 55-inch sea level rise would double the number of toxic waste sites, power plants and other critical infrastructure situated inside L.A. County’s 100-year flood zones.”
From Mo Costandi, the strange pharmacology of Haitian voodoo “zombies”:
Haitian doctors, on the other hand, consider zombification to be a result of poisoning, and there are reports that sorcerers use a white powder called coupe poudre to zombify their victims. In the early 1980s, Wade Davis, an anthropologist and ethnobotanist who was then working at Harvard University, travelled to Haiti in order to determine the ingredients of the coupe poudre. He interviewed a number of sorcerers and collected 8 samples of the zombie powder from 4 different regions of the country.
… Davis hypothesized that the main ingredient of the coupe poudre was tetrodotoxin, ingestion of which usually causes death by paralysis. In sub-lethal doses, however, it causes a significant reduction in heart rate and metabolic activity, and puts one into a state in which they are completely paralysed but fully conscious.
… The sorcerer then administers another cocktail of drugs that leaves the victim in a permanent state of delirium and disorientation.
Have magicians been inadvertently studying neuroscience for ages? Teller, of Penn & Teller, weighs in:
“Magic is an art, as capable of beauty as music, painting or poetry. But the core of every trick is a cold, cognitive experiment in perception: Does the trick fool the audience? A magician’s data sample spans centuries, and his experiments have been replicated often enough to constitute near-certainty. Neuroscientists—well intentioned as they are—are gathering soil samples from the foot of a mountain that magicians have mapped and mined for centuries.”
Against my better judgment, I am listening to the most recent WTF podcast with guest Diablo Cody. Marc and Diablo are talking about how out-of-touch they are with “real people” because they live in Los Angeles and this entire conversation is making me want to stick my head in a…
She’s so right. Although (and I didn’t listen to this, I’m going by what Danielle’s saying) I did think Young Adult had some brilliance, but I did spend a good deal of it thinking that Diablo Cody had no idea what the popular girl in highschool would be like now. Like the Charlise character was a believable character in a way, but not at all believable as the character she was supposed to be. But this is not drawing on remembering the sweet taste of Taco Bell, if you were ever a normal person and you make your living by developing interesting characters you should still have a grasp on that.
I haven’t listened to this episode yet and I haven’t seen Young Adult, but I still agree with Danielle’s commentary. The WTF podcast has some great guests but Marc Maron can be hard to listen to. He’s a massively depressed guy and the first half of the show is generally filled with a lot of his neuroticisms that I have to skip. I don’t think he’s unique in the world of comedy, being neurotic or depressed, but that doesn’t make for a fun show or interview. A lot of stand up comedians who have a level of success can’t see the forest for the trees — they have success because people support them and they are able to act out their anxieties for all of us, but they kind of “forget” that this career affords them an alternative to the work-a-day job that the rest of us sludge through… and yet they’re still bitter. Being a comedian isn’t glamorous or necessarily fruitful (see Netflix instant for a movie called I Am Comic for excellent insight) but it does spare the comic from having to be an accounts payable clerk or whatever.
I have always liked Diablo Cody on a personal level. I “knew” her online for many years before she hit it big; we were even going to collaborate on her first book before the publisher went another direction on artwork. She’s a smart lady and has good insight into what people of “our generation” think/feel and has a great way of expressing it. HAVING SAID THAT I don’t worship her and don’t fawn over all of her commercial successes. And if she’s kind of “lost touch” with the common folks, I am not at all surprised. It’s inevitable — anyone who works regularly in Showbusiness is changed. It’s not their fault, necessarily, but it’s a bit of a challenge for some of us to relate to people in that position. Brad Pitt can’t walk into Taco Bell? Oh, how sad. So when some of the people who are technically “in Showbusiness” but on the lower rungs (like Marc Maron) complain about it, I understand their frustration but it’s hard to drum up a lot of sympathy about it. And listening to an hour of a podcast dedicated to “I’m working in my chosen field and there’s the potential to be filthy rich but I’m only marginally well set” is hard to get into.