The Hum

Has anyone heard of this very weird global health phenomenon called “The Hum“? Very weird. Apparently, hundreds of people around the world –typically around certain geographical loci (in Canada, cases are clustered in Vancouver, for example)– are being driven crazy by a very low frequency humming noise that no one else can hear.

You can listen to a simulation of the sound here.

And this fellow claims to have recorded The Hum here.

Pretty weird, huh? Several explanations have been proposed, running that gamut from medical to environmental to psychological.

Hmm, maybe it’s a precursor to spontaneous human combustion? Who knows? Well, the BBC reports that there is now some evidence that the culprit might be oversensitive hearing.

In Other News…

Today’s Daily Perv Link (TM) is brought to us by Russians in Florida. How can that combination spell anything other than WIN?

Real Life Superheroes

I’m sometimes asked to explain my semi-retirement from the world of fiction writing. The long answer has something to do with not believing that we should flood the world with books unless we actually have something of value to add… so many authors write because it’s their job, not because they have something to say. The short answer, though, is probably more pithy and digestible: truth is a billion times more interesting than fiction can ever be.

Case in point: the recent emergence of real-life “superheroes” on American city streets. Let’s be clear here. By “superhero” we mean dudes with issues who wear costumes and prowl the streets looking to exact vigilante justice. Cincinnati’s “ShadowHare” is the most famous:

You can see them all at, well, the World Superhero Registry.

Predictably, with the emergence of real life superheroes has come the emergence of real life super villains. That’s right. We have witnessed the birth of ROACH: Ruthless Organization Against Citizen/Chubby Heroes.

ROACH is so diabolical that they have posted an ad in Craigslist offering a staggering bounty of $10 for anyone who can provide the secret identity of ShadowHare.

I think there’s one thing we can all agree about this story: it will not end well.

In Other News…

Adam S. sends us this neat commercial showing what Bruce Lee would have looked like playing ping pong with his nunchaku:

Meanwhile, Cousin Ajay sends us today’s classic Daily Perv Link (TM):

Lastly, my review of the new Star Trek movie is available at

Definitely Not Battlestar Ga-craptica



Scene from the Battlestar Galactica finale "Daybreak", featuring my two favourite characters, Caprica Six and Gaius Baltar


Happy birthday to William Shatner, who turned 78 on Sunday. Wow. 78. Further wow: I know William Shatner’s birthday.

Apropos of nothing: Melissa G. sends us Hamlet’s Facebook page! And as usual, Dawn L. sends us someone’s top 5 weirdest fetishes. Does this count as a Daily Perv Link (TM)? Heck, why not. The piggy-back rides sound particularly odd to me.

As I currently await the most recent episode of Heroes to finish downloading, I’m reflecting on the series finale of the “re-imagined”Battlestar Galactica, a show considered by many to be the best American TV show ever witnessed on free television. I had previously listed what I consider to be the best sci-fi finales in TV history. I’m not quite sure Galactica lives up to that list, but it is an extraordinarily well produced and evocative ending. Unlike many who’ve written about it, I’m not the least disappointed.

Expect a full review of the finale on sometime very soon. I will say, though, that I’m unsure of how I feel about Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” playing such a prominent and unironic role in the finale. Music has long been BG‘s “other” character, pushing mood and content further than I think any previous TV score has managed.

The secret Cylon “summoning” music was one of this season’s open secrets. Composer Bear McCreary has been candid about borrowing heavily from the Dylan song to elicit the summoning tune. Without giving away too much of a spoiler, it was a bit of an anachronism to have the Hendrix version erupt later in the show, even having Starbuck utter the line, “There must be some kind of way out of here” before engaging the Galactica’s FTL drive.

The brilliance of the finale, as I hope to make clear in a future article, is in its reliance on character, rather than plot, to tie the elements together. No plot could have satisfied the legions of rabid fanboys eager for resolutions to all the show’s lingering mysteries. The right approach, then, was to relegate exposition to deus ex machina, and to focus both on the rightness of character reaction and on some underlying theme or messaging.

Here’s a fan-made compilation of scenes from the series, accompanied by McCreary’s version of “All Along The Watchtower”.

In Other News…

And further apropos of nothing, here are a few random photos from the past couple of weeks.

Giving my talk at the WHO simulation in Montreal.
At a “bhangra and Caribbean” party in Toronto this past weekend.


Image courtesy of Dawn L. Does it count as a Daily Perv Link(TM)? Sure, why not.

From E.K. Hornbeck comes this story of John McCain’s idiot daughter complaining about her love life. Cry me a river, baby. Sample of her idiocy: “I am not only turned off by people who voted for Barack Obama, but I am also turned off by people that voted for my dad.” Really? So you’re essentially turned off by pretty much anyone who voted… unless he spoiled his ballot or voted for a loser third party candidate.


Meanwhile, Nadya “Octomom” Suleman‘s story is so ridiculous that I found myself talking about her to my class of first year undergrads today. Here’s an interesting take on our own hypocrisy when dealing with her.

Speaking of Octomom, I think I found my Hallowe’en costume for next year:

And here’s the “Octomom” Denny’s special: “14 eggs, no sausage, and the guy next to you has to pay for it.”

Meanwhile, know of an interesting immigrant in Canada? Why not nominate him/her for the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards?

Meanwhile, Brad Parker sends us this great collection of art work done by prisoners in New Delhi. Here are two of my favourites:

By the way, everyone and his/her dog has been sending me this article about inter-racial dating. I’m not sure why. I have no comments.

I have no more meanwhiles for you today.

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