Monthly Archives: October 2011

Daydreams After Work

“You’re a nerd,” 14 had said. “and you don’t have any money.”  He scuffled to the back corner of the Skinnerbox chamber and sniffed a piece of crumbled chow.

“Yeah? You’re exactly the same as all your beady-eyed comrades here.”

“I’m a Wistar. We’re better than the other rats.”

“Fine. But why can’t you stop yourself from pressing that lever? I mean, haven’t you ever wanted to take over the world or something? I bet you could if you just read the experiment’s abstract.”

“Because it feels right. Besides, I’ve heard it ends with a dash of pentobarbital. Even after Solomon mastered all the facts he kept singing that stupid song by Kansas. I like my cage. The bedding’s comfy.”

I twist the intracranial electrode tube and 14 vigorously squirms. His skull is exposed- crimson-brown scar tissue crusted around the edges. I push his head hard against the glass and try to be quick.

“Sqeee! (What the hell was that for!?)”

“Sorry, I’m not too sure.“ I muttered. “Nothing’s fair you know.” 14’s nipping at the canula protruding from his brain with little yellow incisors. Then we chat on lighthearted subjects: an upcoming comedy, the tantalizing hint of first snow, what we want for dinner. In an hour he’s left in the dark of a research room tinged with the heavy fragrance of metals and plastics, wood shavings dipped in ammonia. The sign on the door says: “Do Not Disturb! Rats at work.”

I finished early this Monday. I head outside into the real world to catch the train back, points-purchased diet soda in hand. My muscles ached slightly. With a few unruffled steps I felt like getting lost on purpose, but I knew this place too well now.

Something about the cold began to elicit a mentally taxing catalog of future obligations. I discontentedly compared them to the third grade responsibilities that I had once scrawled on a sheet of pink construction paper with a broken crayon:

1. Finish times-tables homework
2. Walk Jenna everyday!!!!
3. new N64 game on Kenneth’s birthday
4. Animal report
5. get Valentimes candy for class

Suddenly a flash of white swiftly scurries past my ankles on the pavement. “OMGOMGOMG Hurry the F*** up!” it screamed. So I follow 14 into a questionable crack in the subway wall. I know there’s a place called Wonderland in northern Boston.

We emerge onto a large field. Remember the end of Disney’s Dinosaur? Lush with life, an eternal spell of pure rapture and satisfaction; the feeling after the final final exam. It’s 75° and the sun’s beaming bright. Look at that golden radiance! She’s one lucky lady alright, never daunted by the guise of transience. “14, this quiet reverberating jolt down in my very core tells me that I’ll survive the scrutiny of time, in my platypus costume.”

“See, you forgot everything already!”

“But I’ll remember the moment I did.”

Why you did?” 14 looked impatient.

“You mean why I ate Reese’s Puffs -mixed- with Cookie Crisp for breakfast instead of just plain ol’ oatmeal?

“You’re an idiot.”

“Touché. Once I learned- spread your head, but thick on the tiniest piece of bread, your pick; they don’t all need to know the cogs are spinning anyway. Though I wish they would slow down more often. Maybe they never cease because I overestimate the strength of idle rust. Thoughts to action, to behavior, habit, personality, finally to something higher (though I doubt you have one). Well, I wouldn’t want to become corroded. It’s neuroplasticity. We program our cells. Ourselves?” I sprawl out on the grass, hands behind my head. I might’ve seen a pterodactyl.

“C’mon get up! I’m gonna be late!” And he’s off again.

Soon we’re back at the T station. A mother in heels is looking at her blackberry and holding the hand of her snot-nosed whining daughter. Red-cheecked clones in baseball caps guffaw in a circle and a little woman with a sharp face and purple-rimmed glasses sips a steaming Starbucks latte. Farther down there’s a sleeping man curled beneath his belongings- stuffed garbage bags and a broken bottle of whiskey.

“Look look! There! Isn’t it beautiful?”


14 dives straight into a stash of collected empty aluminum cans and old wrappers sitting on the tracks. “My shinies!” He’s rolling in ecstasy. And the T comes rushing along its course with burning yellow eyes, blowing a gust of air that makes the tips of my hair dance like flickering split-end fire on a vacant countenance. I’d like to see if 14 had made it, but that animal report was waiting for me.

I crawl up out of the subway into the city‘s shadows, squeezing through a similarly painted jam of sardined strangers clambering among a conveyer belt of manufactured success. Old lampposts conceive a vaguely ethereal kind of illumination that exhibits a cluster of rowdy kids incongruously shouting as they loiter in empty lots festooned with slapdash graffiti. Comfort in chaos. I can see my breath now and pull my jacket tighter; there’s only a few more blocks. I hope I sleep well tonight.


The REAL heaven

I posted this one day in response to, “Say heaven was in your backard. What does it look like?”

So this blog will host my silly little musings.


I don’t have a backyard.

But for the purpose of my task I will use my old one in our scenario, in an attempt to present my description as accurately as possible.

Now there’s the size. We’ll say my backyard this summer was about 10,000 sq. feet. Height.. Unfortunately living beneath controlled airspace means some likely Federal Aviation Administration regulations, hence the government wouldn’t allow property ownership up to the edge of the stratosphere. Say it’s to the top of the house, which was about 25ft. This makes the total volume of my backyard 250,000 cubic feet.

First let’s talk about heaven for a minute.

There isn’t much empirical evidence available to suggest that heaven actually exists as a separate “realm” from the known physical universe. Or even if it’s only accessible through a physical process unknown to mankind. For this conjecture, I contest that since heaven’s contemporary definition maintains that it exists as a solely ’spiritual’ place, we must first clarify the vocabulary.

To simplify my case, I’ll use the mind-body dilemma. The spirit is the soul. The soul is the mind‘s sense of self. Sense of self is consciousness. Consciousness is an emergent phenomenon, a higher-level property of brain activity. Now I don’t believe in any sense that this renders humanity, beings exclusively equipped with a personal identity, as ontologically insignificant. But we can infer that if the human spirit can be reduced to an extraordinarily complex and highly unknown progression of molecular interactions, we may be justified in asserting that other ‘spirits’ and alleged ‘spiritual’ things are governed by the same laws of physics as man, a so-called ’spiritual’ being.

So the same kind of material in heaven is also throughout the rest of our universe and will subsequently behave the same way.

ISA 66:1 This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth

is my footstool.”

Taking this analogy into account, we may deduce that the mass ratio of the kingdom of heaven to earth is roughly proportional to the mass of the average throne and the mass of an average footstool. (We’ll use 50kg and 5 kg, respectively.) Earth, as we know, is 5.9742 x 10^24 kg, this makes heaven ten times larger at 5.9742 x 10^25kg. And now it’s suddenly in my backyard.

At 8439076050000000000000 kilograms per cubic meter, the density of my monster condensed block of divine matter would be analogous to that of a neutron star, a celestial body supported against further collapse by degeneracy pressure due to the Pauli exclusion principle.. which holds that no two identical sub atomic particles may occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. If this fails.. we get a black hole. Hopefully this doesn’t happen.

Gravitational forces are additive of course, so everything will inevitably be pulled towards my super-heated hell (heaven?) of a backyard. The holy might of heaven is intense. Around the world, buildings will collapse, mountains will topple, and volcanoes will erupt. The oceans will flow in and drown all of New York in thousands of kilometers of water. We will see the Pacific literally drain.

Substantial shifting of tectonic plates will create quakes so massive that gobs of lava will burst from the mantle and destroy continents worth of what’s left of civilization. Even the moon isn’t safe. Backyard heaven will cause it to either have an extremely lengthy and elliptical orbit or completely zip off into outer space; but if we’re really lucky it’ll come down to greet us.

Assuming you and I survive the devastation, heaven will eventually sink down into the core and stabilize. Then, we can finally begin to rebuild society only to subsist on a desperately amorphic and molten planet with the normal gravitational pull likened to enduring a space shuttle launch.

(Right after we all lynch you for single-handedly triggering the apocalypse with his ridiculous hypothetical question.)

The Nerve Blog

Mind/Brain articles are now up on this site ^

Everything else here.