We just got through the third week of January. Most of our colleagues are back from their vacations facing a world of backlogged work, new unrealistic year-long agendas and still uncertain economic times. It’s enough to make anyone batty and perhaps a little socially awkward. This week’s wacky events column has a special emphasis on weird social interactions and environments.
Drunken Fast Food Rants: Mayor Ford seems to have been on a bit of a media hiatus. We hadn’t heard too much about him or from him lately. But this past week he came roaring back in a Jamaican accent no less. Mayor Ford went out for some late night fast-food grub after perhaps having one too many beers. Who doesn’t afterall? While waiting for his order, he put on a show where he was clearly drunk while going off on a rant for all to hear. His rant included some spiel about his own police chief while he spoke in a Caribbean accent. He calls his drunken rant a minor setback. Well, considering it could him back in the public spotlight that he likes, I am not too sure he truly considers it a setback. Thankfully for him, someone was there to record the whole rant and send it on a viral tour.
Goggle Sex: Google rules the world we all understand that right? Now, with Google Glass you can record yourself having sex as well as seeing what your partner sees. I would make sure to put a big warning and disclaimer for politicians and naïve celebrities that this could come back to bite them if they decide to try this technology out. But then again, look how far Kim Kardashian as come with her career as a result of her sex tape. Do we really need this technology?
Lonely cocaine users: In case you are shy and were wondering about social lubricants, but didn’t want to take the drunken public route like Mayor Ford, here is some news from the science world. Cocaine is not a good social lubricant. As a matter of fact, regular cocaine users have smaller social networks in part because they feel lees empathy. As a result of feeling less empathy, they don’t do many nice helping behaviors. Thus what good are they to others, really? I wonder if the same applies to political figures?
Grumpy babies: There are some babies that appear to just be grumpy from the outset. They are born with a sneer and it never goes away. Well, parents take note. It’s not your fault. Well, let me rephrase. It is not a result of your parenting skills. It is your fault in that your genes are in part responsible for producing grumpy babies. Now how do we screen for that?
Soul thief: A nurse in Switzerland, who is a self-described soul thief, posted numerous photos on Facebook of her posing next to dying or already dead patients. She turned this into a sick game asking her 2,000 followers to guess whether the photographed individuals were dead or on their way to being dead. I am at a lost as to what to say next other than that is a sad commentary on how selfies have taken on a sick turn.
Space Ants: About 800 ants were taken aboard the International Space Station where they were divided into eight apartment complexes (my wording. This space station experiment is being done in part to see how the behaviors of ants change in an environment of low gravity. More specifically, the experiment is meant to look at “collective” behavior in space. Somehow, I foresee an ants gone wild meets Alien movie in the works.
Wacky neighbors: Who does not have an odd neighbor or two? Perhaps you are the odd neighbor? There is not much one can do about add neighbors. For instance, I have a set of neighbors that refuse to take down their Christmas lights and show our front. Considering that the block is so dark at night, I kind of welcome the flashing neon lights to help guide me home. Of course, I still have my racing neighbor who literally runs against me all the way home from the train station. Despite the black ice, he felt the need to run even though I warned him beforehand that today he would beat me as I can’t walk very steadily on black ice when it is three degrees out, let along speedwalk. What did he do? He ran and ran. What did I do? I ran. I ran hard. I could barely breathe by the time I got home. The New York competitor in me couldn’t let the race go. Over in China, an apartment tenant decided to decorate the balcony in bacon in order to air-cure it. Can we say potluck?
Waterless neighborhoods: In West Virginia, there was a spill. The water got polluted and the whole state had to stop taking showers. I have overly simplified the story. What’s odd is that this story isn’t causing a larger national uproar. When you cannot even wash your clothes in the water provided to you in your neighborhood there is a problem. Where’s the outrage?
Good neighbors: This post may have been a smorgasbord of snark. Let me end it with a feel good story that gives you some hope. In Ontario, Canada, a neighbor took to heart the idea of treating one’s neighbors well. Erica Tomlinson heard about her neighbor’s rare disease that only left her with one-year to live. Without telling anyone, Ms. Tomlinson went to the doctor to get screened. She was a match and the rest is history. Salvation need not come from far away.
There you have it. Some weird conversations, odd social interactions and unclear future possibilities for how we rear kids. At least there are some good neighbors and ants out there.