Author Archive for hickensam

  1. Avatar

    Can you decode the following acronym-laden sentence?  WoW is a MMORPG.  If you can, then by the psychic power vested in me by the state of overconfidence, I now pronounce you young.  I say that because the sentence translates to World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.  In WoW, each player controls […]

  2. Animal Magnetism

    During the 1770s, German physician Anton Mesmer used magnets to treat, among other conditions, mental illness.  Mesmer believed that a magnetic fluid permeated the entire universe, including our bodies, so he would have patients drink a solution containing iron, after which he’d  use magnets to manipulate their internal fluid.  Symptoms sometimes improved, but Mesmer at […]

  3. Laws of Attraction

    In 2009, CNN aired a story called “The Laws of Sexual Attraction,” in which sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman stated that, “We are innately all puppies in heat.  There’s a whole realm of unconscious scents that we’re not even aware we’re smelling.”  She tells us that women can smell a man’s testosterone level, that men […]

  4. A Career Path for Jellyfish

    If you seek immortality, your second option is to masquerade as a Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish (not making this up).  Turritopsis dohrnii can, after reaching maturity, slowly revert back to its youth and begin the entire cycle again, a process that in theory can go on forever, though most of the jellyfish succumb to […]

  5. The Virus

    In 1959, German scientist Wolfhard Weidel wrote a book called (get ready for an ingenious title) Virus, in which he avowed that a virus is, “midway between brute matter and living organism.”  The book’s cover proclaims, “Nothing brings us so close to the riddle of life—and to its solution—as viruses.”  Scientifically speaking that may be […]

  6. The Infinite Monkey Theorem

    I was taught in middle school that given an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of typewriters, the monkeys would eventually produce all the great works of literature.  I’m still not certain if that’s true, but I now know that the Infinite Monkey Theorem has been around for a long time, even as […]

  7. Bad Things Happen

    Bad things can happen to good people, like when a drunk woman kept wrecking Lindsay Lohan’s car, but the title of “Divinity’s Most Abused Mortal” has to go to Job, whose ill fortune has been chronicled in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Quran, the Doctrine and Covenants of the Mormon Church, and the […]

  8. Goldilocks & the 3 Shrinks

    You remember Goldilocks.  Not the pubescent blonde who hopped from bed to bed because she wanted it “just right.”  That would be too hot.  And not the tiresome towhead who tediously touted tepidness.  Sorry, that was cold.  I’m talking about a small-town girl whose story psychologist Bruno Bettelheim described as, “a struggle to move past […]

  9. Neutron Stars

    Neutron stars are the densest objects known (because politicians aren’t technically “objects”).  Every star’s lifespan is mediated by an astral tug-of-war between its outwardly propulsive fusion furnace and the compressive force of gravity, and how each star dies depends on its size.  If a star is massive enough, when it runs out of nuclear fuel gravity […]

  10. Kittens in the Ceiling

    Dotsie is helping me type this story.  Dotsie is a cat, and as anyone with a cat knows, they love to help out by walking around on the keyboard.  Dotsie got her name because she has two distinctive dots on her pretty face, while her sister Foosball, who looks almost exactly like Dotsie, is dot-less.  […]