Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Medical Mysteries

As some of you know, I find medical conditions to be very intriguing. Maybe it's the doctor side of me passed down from my dad. Anyways, I've been seeing some really odd medical conditions in the news lately, and thought I start sharing them with you as they come up.

Girl who sneezes 12,000 times per day:

Washington Redskins cheerleader permanently disabled after flu shot causes rare neurological disorder:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Miracle Baby Survives Getting Hit by Train

Man, that most be some story to tell to your kid when he grows up. But what kind of pressure does that put on the poor fella to succeed in life? I mean, what if 20 years later the mom is like, "You survived getting hit by a train but now you're a freakin mailman!?"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stay Alive: 5 Inspiring Stories of Survival

I've got a little fascination with survival. The human instincts deep within us that keep us going in the darkest times of hopelessness. Modern society has numbed our senses to the very point that we barely have a trace of this survivalist instinct in us. Some days, the most work we do is lift our arms to put a hamburger in our mouths. That is why I find it so amazing and inspirational when I read stories of everyday people getting stuck in the most hopeless of situations, and still finding a way to survive.

1. The Andes flight disaster - In October of 1972, a flight carrying 45 members of a rugby team crashed in the Andes mountains, killing 17 of the members. Another 8 were killed by an avalanche a few days later. Rescue missions were called off after 8 days of no success, leaving the survivors on their own. Having no food and facing freezing temperatures, they resorted to eating the dead bodies of their friends and comrades. Eventually 3 brave souls, including 23 year old Nando Parrado and 19 year old Roberto Cannessa, decided to trek for 12 days through the harsh mountains, surviving by sleeping together in a single makeshift sleeping bag. Apparently only these 3 were deemed fit enough to survive the trek. Eventually, they found help which led to the rescue of the remaining survivors.

2. The Sole Survivor of LANSA Flight 508 - December, 1971, the flight carrying 93 passengers was struck by lightening and exploded in midair, disintegrating 2 miles up. Miraculously, Juliane Köpcke, 17 years old at the time, survived the 2 mile fall into the Peruvian rainforest to find everyone else dead, including her mother. Following survival tips given to her by her father, she was able to find a stream and follow it for 9 days through the rainforest before finding help. She is now a zoologist living in Germany who studies bats. Wild stuff.

3. The Miracle Girl - June 30, 2009, Yemenia flight 626 crashed into the sea 9 miles off the coast of the Comoros islands. All 152 passengers died except 14 year old Bahia Bakari, a shy and fragile girl who could barely swim. Bahia managed to cling to a piece of floating debris for 13 hours in pitch black darkness, listening to the voices of others around her as they drowned. Bahia is the survivor of the deadliest sole-survivor ocean crash ever.

4. Cougar vs. Ball point pen - Forget your rifle, your hunting knife and your pepper spray. The ultimate fighting tool of the great outdoors is ... a ball-point. A 65-year-old Californian woman managed to save her husband's life after fighting off a cougar with nothing more than a pen. Jim and Nell Hamm were hiking in northern California when the mountain lion pounced on them. "Jim was talking to me all through this," Mrs Hamm said. "He said, 'I've got a pen in my pocket and get the pen and jab him in the eye. So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn't want to go in as easy as I thought it would." Mr Hamm was taken to hospital suffering multiple lacerations and two cougars were later shot by rangers.

5. The Lone Tsunami Survivor - December 2005, a Tsunami in the Andaman and Nicobar islands off the coast of Thailand killed at least 1,894 with another 5,500 missing. Michael Mangal was the only survivor found after a wave picked him up off his island, threw him into the sea, and tossed him back onto another island (Pillow Panja) where he survived for 25 days off coconuts alone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top 10 Most Memorable Strangers of My Life

(Keep in mind these are only the ones I can remember)

Part 1: #1-5

1. Leilani the cruise ship blackjack dealer/3 day girlfriend - A 3 night cruise to the bahamas, and where did I end up spending most of my nights? That's right, at the blackjack table making back the $600 i spent on the cruise. Little did I know I would meet the love of my life. We locked eyes at first sight, and from there it was an unspoken date every night at the casino. It got to the point where on the last night I passed out and didn't make it to the tables, and she ended up asking my friends where I was. I mean, sure she was probably 32 years old, married, lived in the Philippines, and needed some dental work, but how can you turn down a girl who deals you A-10 likes it her job? Sigh...

2. Matt the Australian Sailboat deckhand - Let's just say, if I were gay, it'd be game over. I'd be crushin like Big Pun. This was one of the coolest dudes I've ever met. At one point during our 3 day sailing excursion through the Whitsunday islands of Australia, he dived into the icy waters to pull up an achor that was stuck in the mud with his bare hands. And he does it all the freakin time like it's nothing. He looks like a 28 yr old seasoned captain of the seas, but the girls were a bit dissapointed when they found out he was only 22.

3. Viktor the Vegas Taxi driver - 6 words from this wise Russian taxi driver will remain in our memory forever: "You mussst go to zee Rhino". A little googling should get you the answers you seek, but be warned. The Rhino is not for the weak of mind. Be wary, or you will go broke.

4. Zach - It was a cold dark morning on some beach in Australia, and I had been convinced to wake up at 5am to see the sunrise. It was cloudy and dark, no sun to be seen. In the distance I heard a flute playing. I followed the hypnotic tune of the pied piper, and that's how I met Zach. Walking along the beach in hippie clothes playing the flute. Zach was an odd fella to say the least. Here you can see a video of him playing that very same flute as our ship sinks.

5. LeAnn - It was a week long church missions trip in Kensington, PA. We were running a vacation bible school, and I was the head of the "cooking class". I taught the kids how to make pizza bagels, milk shakes, playdough, etc. She wrote me a note with a scribbled drawing of me with spiky asian hair. I never heard from her again. Hopefully she isn't living off pizza bagels and milk shakes, or I might not recognize her if I ever saw her again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

This is sick

I'm gonna do this one day...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rabies is no joke

I just saw that movie Quarantine last week, and even though it was pretty much nonsense, I definitely learned something valuable: Rabies is no joke. 55,000 people die every year worldwide from rabies. The weird thing is, symptoms in humans could take several weeks to even a year before showing. You could have rabies for a long time before even knowing it. The thing is, once rabies symptoms start showing, death is pretty much 100%. Death almost invariably results 2-10 days after the first symptoms. There have only been 6 recorded survivors once rabies reaches that stage, not to mention having used experimental treatments. But in animals, symptoms show in about 3 days. So if you get bit by an animal, I would definitely get checked out or you could be finito if you wait too long. The further away from the brain that you get bit, the longer it takes for the virus to reach the brain and take effect, and the longer you have. Most human deaths are caused by bat bites. If it's any consolation at all, the number one carrier of rabies in the U.S. are skunks.

If there truly were to be some sort of apocalyptic zombie-like virus, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a mutated form of rabies that had highly accelerated symptoms. Just something to think about.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just added to the Apoca-Trip Lineup - Space

Earth's first ever space port begins construction this Friday in New Mexico, and I am CISED. The spaceport will allow commercial spacecraft to send the public into various destinations in space. For those of you who don't know about Apocatrip, it's going to be a worldwide tour / epic vacation that my pals and I plan to take before the world ends in 2012. Just added to the list of places we will stop at; SPACE. More details on our entire plan will come soon. In the meantime, Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So I spent a few hours watching all these crazy 2012 "end of the world" videos, which led to a variety of other conspiracy theories which I will not bore you with here. But, feel free to google 2012 Enigma by David Wilcock, or other stuff like fluoride and aspartame conspiracy. All I want to say to those people who reject "end of the world" theories is, believing in these things is a Win-Win situation. Living like you will die in 3 years will no doubt force you into living a more fruitful, productive, and exciting life. And you know what? If 2012 comes around and we are all still alive, we'll have an awesome reason to have an epic celebration. There it is. A Win-Win situation. So fellas, it's time to tell ourselves that it's all gonna be over in 2012. I'll either see you in heaven, or at the Armageddon party.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Urban Dictionary - part1

It has come to my attention that common slang among guys has evolved to the point where girls can't understand what the heck we're saying. SO, I'm gonna take this time on a very busy Friday morning (*cough*) to shed some light for you ladies on some common Man-speak that's being thrown around these days:

Hurting (hAr-tING) - used to describe something that is ridiculously below standard. Was first used by the Sports Junkies radio talk show on DC 101. The worse that something is, the longer the first half of the word is drawn out (ex. "Huuur-ting")

"Man that chick is HURRR-TING"
"Get some new shoes man, those joints are Hur-ting"

Nub - Describes someone who just flat out sucks at something. One who lacks knowledge, experience, skill, or just fails at life in general.
(synonyms: nubcake, newb, n00b, noob, newbie, nubmuffin)

"Wow what a nub-cake"

A lil' bit money - something that is extremely awesome. The more "money" that something is, the more drawn out the word "money" is, and the more emphasis placed on the "m" (ex. " lil bit MMooooooney"). Not to be confused with "a little bit of money". That is used to describe being broke.

"Yo this steak is a lil' bit moooooooooh-ney!"

G.G. (gee-gee)- literally stands for "good game", which is typically said after a round of gaming. However, it is used in common language to mean "game over", or "you're finished buddy", or "you have no chance".

guy1 - "Yo man i don't think I can hang out tonight, my g/f is callin' me"
guy 2 - "oh man... gg"

PWNed (PO-wned) - Used to describe getting utterly dominated or made a fool of. Originates from the word "owned". Typically said after laying a monster insult or embarrassing someone.

"Yea, that's what your sister said last night. PWNed."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brain Fart - Random Thoughts of the Week

1. Underrated Hotties - To me, listening to a women's voice is kind of like tasting a fine wine. When drinking wine, there's all sorts of subtleties and different flavors you can take from just a small taste. When you listen carefully to the tone of a woman's voice, you get all kinds of tidbits like hints to their personality, intelligence, their sense of humor; tons of things. That's why this week's underrated hottie is Iranian actress Golshifte Farahani, the actress from Body of Lies. She's just got that voice that's so calm, smart, and caring. Not the typical singer's voice, but that's why she's underrated.

2. Songs in my head - Ever get those same songs that pop into your head whenever you feel a certain emotion? Here are some weird songs that I always start whistling or humming when these specific feelings happen:

When I feel happy - "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands"
While rushing to get somewhere - "Chariots of Fire theme song"
When I hear some really good news - "Indian Jones theme song"

I have no explanation for this other than these songs must have been burned into my memory at a young wierd.

3. Why I Cliff Dive - Most people think thrill seekers are just stupid psychos that do crazy things. I like to consider myself an intelligent thrill seeker. When I cliff dive, I feel emotions and sensations that very few people ever feel. It's like doing the impossible. It's like hovering in that instant before death, and living to tell the tale. Standing on the edge of that cliff, nothing else matters. All those petty concerns and problems that take up brain-space just disappear. Being on the brink of death actually forces you to put your entire life and all your priorities in perspective within a matter of seconds. In that moment, you are in another dimension altogether. You become Man in its most raw form; un-polluted by modern society; the form that Man was originally created to be. There are no societal concerns. There is no money. There is no drama. There is only good, bad, life, death, and survival. It's like rebooting your brain to the days of Adam and Eve. There are not many greater feelings on this planet. It is a shame the majority of people do not get to experience this feeling.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This is freakin crazy

And this is even more awesome:

I shall not be bored at work for the next 3 days.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chocolate Skittles the Worst Candy Ever Made?

So about 4 months ago I tried Chocolate Skittles. After eating like 3 of them I felt like puking and had to throw out the bag. It was basically the equivalent of putting different shades of little brown poop bits in your mouth. Today I just saw that released a lengthy and bitter tirade against the new skittles...I share their pain. 4 months later I'm still shuddering just thinking about having them in my mouth.

And for the record, DON'T try them, they are THAT BAD.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spotlight - "From Birdmen to Autistic Savants"

("Spotlight" posts are my attempt to introduce you to intriguing people, events, or things around the world that you'd probably otherwise never have heard of. Enjoy!)

Dan Osman - wikipedia

I stumbled across the late great Dan Osman while watching this video of beautiful female rock climber Natalija Gros posted on Digg. Dan was an Asian American climber who played a large role in popularizing free-solo rockclimbing (climbing without any gear). He was known for living a bohemian lifestyle , rarely working, and living in a tree house for months at a time. He died in 1998 at age 35 while performing a controlled free-fall jump at Yosemite National Park when his rope failed. You can watch the story of his last jump here, but the video that motivated me to post his story on my blog is this amazing footage of him speed-climbing Lover's Leap in California. Simply mind-blowing:

Wingsuit Flying - wikipedia

Wingsuit flying was started in the 1930's by "birdmen" like Leo Valentin, who created wings from canvas, steel and wood, and were able to glide in the air for miles. Apparently 72 of the 75 original birdmen died while testing suits. While at the Circuit City in Chinatown DC I saw a special on tv about modern birdmen who now use a safe and reliable wingsuit designed in Europe in 1998 that have made Wingsuit Flying a popular new extreme sport. Dare devil Swiss Wingsuit flyer Ueli Geoenaghatz raced a passenger plane from mainland Ireland to the Aran Islands. The 17.6 km journey which normally takes the Aer Arran passenger plane 7 mins travelling at an average sped of 130mph was beaten by Ueli in a wingsuit as he reached speeds of over 200mph. Here's part of the special I saw:

Autistic Savants - wikipedia

Those suffering from some sort of autism who also possess very rare forms of brilliance or mental abilities. I came across this term when I saw the movie Rain Man on tv tonight, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. Daniel Tammet is one of these modern autistic savants. In his mind, he says, each integer up to 10,000 has its own unique shape, colour, texture and feel. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi as beautiful. 6 apparently has no distinct image. Tammet described 25 as energetic and the "kind of number you would invite to a party"... He holds the Eurpean record for reciting pi down to 22,514 and possess a unique ability to learn new languages, which he proved by learning Icelandic in one week. He's also creating a new language called Manti, based on Estonian and Finnish.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

11 Random Things I Learned on a Non-productive workday

Ever had one of those weeks days when you just don't feel like working? I find these days best for acquiring mounds of useless but interesting knowledge.

1. The global map of the planet Mars is 250x more accurate than the global map of our own ocean floor. Nonetheless, I find Google Earth, as well as the deep blue sea, extremely fascinating. Yet more proof that Google is unstoppable.

2. "Pimping" my office with an ergonomic chair that I can sit comfortably sideways in will cost me upwards of $300 dollars. Although, the wall of wood is definitely something I would consider for my house.

3. Why people die so quickly in icy waters: "Usually when nerves on the surface of the skin sense a sudden and massive drop in temperature, they trigger uncontrollable and involuntary hyperventilation. Swallow water during this stage and you can quickly drown. The blood vessels to extremities also narrow to reduce the flow of blood - and heat - away from vital organs. The sudden rise in blood pressure can trigger a heart attack." Your body temperature will quickly drop below 35 degrees Celsuis - hypothermia, the point beyond which the body cannot warm up again without help. Somehow, real-life icemen are invulnerable to such weaknesses.

4. Mole rats can live up to 30 years longer than any other rodent, and are thought to hold the secret to long life.

5. There are points between the earth and the sun where gravity is canceled out, known as Lagrangian points, or gravity holes. Any matter that wanders into these spots is stuck there forever, resulting in a buildup of material that could eventually reach planetary size, get pushed out by gravitational nudges, and collide with earth.

6. Bears know how to mimic human actions to beg for food. I wish my dog was this cool.

7. When it comes to choosing a new monitor, there are 3 types of LCD monitors. Ordered from most expensive to least expensive: IPS (In-plane-switching), VA (Vertical alignment), TN (Twisted Nematic). In short, TN is crap, VA takes the gold, IPS is for hardcores.

8. There are ALOT of FAIL pictures out there, and for some reason they don't get old.

9. Shia LaBeouf totally looks like a young Albert Einstein.

10. I'm about to get married. Megan Fox is single.

11. One sugar cube of Neutron Star material would weigh 100 million tons, making Neutron Stars the densest thing known in the universe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spotlight - "Life without limbs"

So, last night was not the typical evening encounter with my dad. "Hey Jon come watch this guy with no arms or no legs on tv talking about God". So, I figured hmm that's a little out of the ordinary small-talk, so I went and checked it out...

Meet Nick Vujicic, born in Melbourne, Australia, with the extremely rare Tetra-Amelia Syndrome (the failure of any arms or legs developing before birth) having only 2 functional toes which protrude from his left thigh. Only a few incidents have been reported worldwide, and most are born dead or die shortly after birth. Nick, however, survived, and as you can guess endured an incredibly harsh childhood. On the tv special being shown on the chinese network I get at my house, he was talking about how he even tried to drown himself in a tub when he was 8 years old, because he felt like his life did not serve a purpose. Amazingly, during his teenage years he began realizing that people drew hope from watching his ability to overcome his struggles, and eventually started his non-profit organization Life Without Limbs. He later began his travels as a motivational speaker after graduating from college at 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning.

Now, how incredible is it to see a man, born with arguably the greatest of disabilities, speaking about purpose and hope? As I look around me, I see so much complaining and ungratefulness that it honestly makes me ill. It is as if people in today's society cannot be satisfied with the gift of life. If one area of our lives does not meet our high expectations (job, health, school, money, vacations, relationships, etc) we feel like we have the right to be upset or unsatisfied.

A man with NO arms and NO legs was able to discover his purpose in life and has made a bigger impact on the world in 8 years than you and I have done in our entire lives!

This man has to struggle to turn on a friggin' light switch!
We, in our incredibly gifted and healthy state, choose to dismiss our gifts and live selfish and mundane lives seeking educational and career success as society defines it. We all need to stop living in a box and realize that the gift of life in itself is good enough. We have to start deciding how we will choose to use that incredible gift, regardless of our petty obstacles.