Posts Tagged: ‘fear’
I love space horror, so of course I’m playing through “Dead Space 3.” As expected, it delivers quite an elaborate gaming experience. You wander the monster-haunted halls of derelict space ships. You shamble through blinding arctic wastes. You swim serenely through a sea of orbital debris. And while it’s easy to focus on the visual aspect of those experiences, the sounds of “Dead Space 3″ are equally amazing.
We’ve all experienced frightening or horrifying dreams, but can our nightmares really scare us to death? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss the CDC’s investigation of 18 sleep deaths in the 1980s — deaths that inspired horror director Wes Craven to create his “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. We’ll discuss the condition known as Brugada syndrome and discover how it can cause an otherwise healthy adult to die in their sleep.
I’m bound for PAX East this weekend. Last week, I woke up one day feeling unreasonably anxious about this week’s trip. So I decided to confront it to the extent that I could by enrolling in the frequent flyer programs of the two airlines I’d either flown or booked tickets with at that point. Then I thought, “See, that was about airplanes, and it wasn’t so bad.”
by Tracy V. Wilson | October 8, 2009
Last Friday, a friend asked me if I wanted to go to a sold-out midnight advance screening of the reportedly terrifying movie “Paranormal Activity.” Since it was the very end of a long week, and I was sure I’d wind up asleep in my seat, and I said no. My friend said not to worry: If enough of the screenings sold out, the movie would be back in theaters later.
I didn’t have to wait long. “Paranormal Activity” is showing in Atlanta tonight at midnight, and there are show times throughout the day starting tomorrow. But it’s still not in wide release. For that to happen, a million people have to ask for the movie at its official site. So far, more than 666,000 have done so. It’s not really clear, though, whether the million-click goal is really a requirement or a guarantee — or whether it’s all just a stunt to get attention.
It must suck to be old right now. Even during generations with the most modest of cultural change — say, the 1950s — the elderly tend to be wary of the younger, at the very least because they can run fast and punch much harder and pay little attention to signs that say things like “Stay off the Grass.” Tough-talking youths and robots: They make the aged uneasy. There’s a word for it; ephebiphobia — the irrational fear of young people.
Compared to what little the aged had to deal with in the 50s, it must be intensely terrifying to be old today. The 21st century has panned out, so far, to most decidedly be a young person’s world. Case in point: The AP rolled out its annual fluff piece about new words that have made it through the editorial gauntlet and into the pages of Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. Older people following traditional media had a chance to learn that locavore and frenemy await them when they receive the newest edition of M-W this upcoming holiday season. So now they’re in the know.
Author’s note: In my opinion, there are a number of ways something can be funny. There’s traditional funny (e.g., “What’s the deal with airplane food?”). There’s absurd funny (e.g. using coconuts to simulate the sound of a horse for a knight who doesn’t have one). And then there’s the HolycowIcan’tbelieveyoudidthat funny. The kind of funny that surrounds a situation that’s so abominable and horrible that somehow humor emerges from it like teeth and fingernails in a teratoma. I leave it to you, dear reader, to determine if anything in this week’s list has any humor to it. I hope, in turn, you’ll forgive me if I see it pretty clearly.
Back in 1920, which constituted the early days of psychology (Freud had only stopped prescribing cocaine to his patients a couple decades earlier), a guy named John B. Watson wanted to prove that fear was a learned behavior.
Happy Friday the 13th everybody! Shalala! You know we’re right smack dab in the middle of our second Friday the 13th in as many months. We’re going to have three Friday the 13ths in total this year, the next coming in November, although I’m not sure what day. The last time we had three Friday the 13ths in one year was 1998. The next will be 2012, which is appropriate since that’s the year the world will end.
This, of course, has little to do with this post; I just thought it untoward to allow a Friday the 13th to pass unmarked. Seemed wrong.
I suppose there’s a slight correlation – - the two share the common thread of fear. Our friends at Live Science feature a report on a study out of Rice University that suggests we communicate fear through our sweat. The study used gauze pads to capture…
by Charles W. Bryant | February 27, 2009
This week on the Stuff You Should Know podcast we discussed a couple of interesting topics. Yesterday’s show was about how to stop junk mail, which is something everyone definitely should know. Tuesday’s show was a gem called “Can people really die of fright?” It was based on a stellar article by staff writer Molly Edmonds. Josh and I delved a bit into the science of fear and the potential medical issues that could arise if you were really scared — aka the “Baskerville Effect.”
We also looked at some interesting studies. One took a look at the death rate of people in China and Japan on the fourth day of the month, four being an unlucky number in much of Asia. They found that there was a 13 percent increase in heart failure on the fourth of each month compared to a Caucasian control group. So there’s something to be said for chilling out on the fourth if you’re Chinese or Japanese.
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