That’s no energy drink

31 08 2009

Please tell me this was made up for the Russian Tabloid.

A 14-year-old Chinese boy in Szechuan Province thought that the best way to be like his idolized transformer heroes was to start drinking petrol every day for five years.

A 14-year-old boy, from the town of Yibin in Sichuan, first saw the animated saga about robots from outer space – able to transform into vehicles, electronic items or weapons – when he was nine years old.

The youngster was so impressed that he began drinking fuel on a daily basis to “obtain energy” and become a mighty warrior like the Transformers.

He started out with lighter fuel, then upgraded to siphoning gas from his parent’s motorcycle. When his parents locked that up, he started stealing from neighbours.

Sadly (but not unsurprising), the young boy did not develop the superpowers he was looking for, and instead appears to have damaged his brain.

Honestly, does this make any sense? I don’t remember transformers actually requiring fuel? I thought they  ran on sunlight, or nuclear, or the energy released during the reduction of children into mindless consumers.


Carnivale ahoy

18 09 2008

Tomorrow is talk like a pirate day. YAARRR!

But in the meantime, two carnivals I need to post about (one features yours truly):

Tangled Bank #114 at Science Made Cool.

Carnival of Evolution #2 at Evolution Blog. Thanks very much to Jason who gave me a mention even though my submission was “unrelated to anything [Jason] actually know[s] anything about”. Don’t worry Jason, I have that effect on people.

And I had an excellent time at the Science Blogs 1,000,000th comment party. I think the comment of the hour was actually likely posted while we busy frittering away the tablescraps graciously past down by the SEED overlords on high. We almost got shuffled out by the staff for staying and chatting and boozing too long.

Both Tim and Dan were great hosts (all the best to Dan in his voyage to UK). Also met with some chaps from the Sydney Freethinkers who hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with at some later point again.

It’s just an awesome video

6 09 2008

Turns out my wireless key internet connection works brilliantly at home in Yeppoon, I hardly notice the speed difference (except maybe when watching youtube).

I’m back for a few weeks while I transition between jobs (yes, I have another new job, details forthcoming).

I’m about to kick back with my homies and follow this diagram for the next couple of days.

So I’m just going to leave you with this mind-blowing video (picked up months ago from Pharyngula) which succinctly explains a great abiogenetic explanation for life without referring to lightning or meteorites.

Dangerous drinking is infectious

29 06 2008

Not many people are impressed by the Aussie government’s 70% tax on alcopop beverages in an effort to curb underage and binge drinking (four drinks a day!). Support is waning as public outcry increases (and scare campaigns emerge), and some authorities are definitely doubting whetehr it is the most effective solution to a real problem.

At Nature some new data is suggesting that binge drinkers may be more influenced by other binge drinkers than anything else. The story is hidden now for non-subscribers, but the study found that bingers (self identified) were more likely to say they had friends who binged as well, than those who didn’t identify themselves as bingers.

Now, I do have a bit of an issue with self identifying the bingeing. People in denial about bingeing behaviour might extend that denial to their friends – and/or – people may wish to excuse their own behaviour by claiming everyone else is doing it too.

From my own experience, I think this study might have some weight. Your friends definitely influence the way you do things. People are social animals, and readily adapt to fit in. Peer influence is definitely an issue at hand at here. I think more awareness against peer pressure, such as the Becky’s Not Drinking Tonight campaign is definitely a goer in combating alcohol abuse by a young population.