science:The Atlantic discusses a deadly culture-bound syndrome. When you’re dreaming, your body becomes paralyzed, so that you don’t act out your dreams in sleep. There are two ways this mechanism could fail: either you could not be paralyzed in sleep, in which case you might sleepwalk or worse. Alternatively, you could wake up while paralyzed, and this feeling, known as sleep paralysis, is usually accompanied by feelings of intense dread and the belief that a malevolent entity is in the room, if not actually on top of you. Sleep paralysis is known in all cultures, and different non-scientific beliefs attach to it in. The Hmong call it tsog tsuam, and have a system of beliefs surrounding it.
The article discusses an epidemic among ethnically Hmong who had immigrated to the US: in the early 1980s, 117 men, most of them healthy and relatively young, died in their sleep of unknown causes. The Hmong believe that, if you don’t worship the right spirits, evil spirits can cause tsog tsuam. The article argues that intense belief in this phenomenon could have triggered an “obscure genetic cardiac arrhythmia that is prevalent in southeast Asia.” Their belief in the spirit world, in a sense, scared them to death.
science:Planets are not cube-shaped. There’s no physical mechanism that would allow a cubic planet to form naturally, certainly not one the size of Earth, and even if you somehow built one, gravity would eventually turn it into a sphere. This is nothing more than a light-hearted thought experiment. But assuming you had a cube-shaped Earth, what would it be like?
If you were dropped in the middle of one of the six faces, you’d be standing in an ocean, because that’s where all the water would go, in the middle. If you move out of the ocean, you’d face a very, very steep climb up one of the mountains that form the corners, jutting out of the planet’s atmosphere. If there was life on this planet, it would most likely evolve independently on each face, separated by impossibly high mountains. On top of one of the corner-mountains, you’d have a spectacular view:
On the plus side, the view is like none on earth, or on any planet anywhere. You can sight down one edge of the cube to a far corner, a distance of some 6,400 miles. Even more strikingly, you see all the atmosphere and water has been concentrated by gravity into a blob in the middle of each face, with the corners and edges poking out into space. You realize your cubical planet isn’t one world but six, each face’s segment of the biosphere isolated from the others by the hopeless climb.
“But there’s also a little part of me—maybe a big part—that secretly wants to get pregnant. That would make the decision for me, and I’d deal with it. Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom sounds easier than having to compete out there in a tough job market.”—
To Alison and all others who play the odds: I look forward to the follow-up article 10 years from now about how you’re a divorced mother struggling to make rent / can’t even think about getting laid / can’t find a job because she has zero work experience.
I know people don’t want to go into life expecting their relationship to fail, but if you “oops! baby!” a guy and manipulate your way into a marriage then should you really not expect it to blow up in your face one day?
Take your pill. Work your job. Realize that you will be a much happier 35 year old and beyond if you just curb the crazy now. You can be a normal mature adult and make decisions and not hate yourself. I PROMISE.
Oh my god. Clearly stupid 21 year old twits have NO FUCKING CLUE what being a single mother actually entails. Girls, take your pill. Guys, wear a fucking condom if you don’t know what kind of crazy bitch you’re sticking your dick in. Your actions have consequences that 21 year old idiots clearly can’t comprehend. -matc