Archive for 'Arts and Science'

Wedgie-associated nerve damage in a 50-year old man [medical report]

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Wedgies have been the staple of school-yard bullies and pranksters for years. While reportedly possible to die of asphyxiation from application of an atomic wedgie, there has not been a medical report about the possible dangers of the act. Getting a firm grip on the problem, this case report pulls up the underpinnings of damage caused from one such wedge issue.

Wedgies are popularly defined as the upward yanking of another’s underpants—at any force—to wedge them between that person’s buttocks as a prank, an adventure, or a malicious act, with or without the recipient’s foreknowledge or consent. We report here the case of a quinquagenarian who experienced deleterious consequences after receiving an unanticipated wedgie.

In 2009, the patient and his wife had been ‘playfully’ exchanging wedgies as pranks. After one particular wedgie “of moderate force,” the patient felt a severe pain in his lower back, along with numbness in his left leg and foot. While the pain eased up eventually, the numbness would be recurrent for years.

In February 2016, the patient, now 56 years old, said that his wedgie-associated radicular symptoms had disappeared. He added that his wife had been so disturbed by the index event in 2009 that she had stopped giving him wedgies.

Source: Sutherland, C. E., Dvoretzky, T., & Solomos, N. J. (2016). Wedgie-associated radiculitis in a quinquagenarian. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 29(4), 389-390.

Bonus: The article outlines the difference between a standard wedgie and the notorious atomic wedgie: “Atomic wedgies differ from standard wedgies in that the underpants are pulled up at least to the recipient’s scapulae and optimally over the head, with strong or so-called “atomic” force.”

Commentary on Slob

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Wane Grennan’s “Commentary on Slob” is among the preeminent commentaries on Slob that have been presented at an academic setting. The paper is:

Commentary on Slob,” Wayne Grennan, OSSA Conference Archive, University of Windsor, paper 113, May 15, 1999. Grennan explains:

“I could say much more about this very ‘meaty’ paper, but I will end by raising a misgiving about how Professor Slob conceives the relationship between truth and acceptability.”

Slob is Wouter H. Slob, best known to some for his paper “How to distinguish good and bad arguments: dialogico-rhetorical normativity,” Wouter H. Slob,  Argumentation, vol. 16, no. 2, 2002, pp. 179-196.

Slob [pictured here] is now at the University of Groningen, where he is a professor in the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.

“Impossible attempts” in law (new study)

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Imagine this scenario :

A poacher arrives at an area where there are wild deer, intent on shooting one – but it’s out of season, so it’s illegal to do so. He takes a shot at a deer and hits it – unknown to him though, it’s actually a stuffed replica put there by the gamekeeper. The question now arises – ‘Has the would-be poacher committed a crime?’

Such an event really did happen*, and the implications are discussed by Professor Daniel B. Yeager (Californian Western School of Law) in a new paper for Faculty Scholarship, 206, entitled: Stuffed Deer and the Grammar of Mistakes. The professor discusses the concept of so-called ‘Impossible attempts’ which have had a formal, though somewhat esoteric definition in [US] law since 1864. Here are some examples of ‘impossible attempts’ from a previous paper on the subject  :

As described in: Constructing a theory of impossible attempts Criminal Justice Ethics, 5:1, 53-69.

Note * State v. Guffey, 1953 262 S.W.2d 152 (Mo. Ct. App. 1953). The case centered around the idea that the deer which the defendant shot could not have been “pursued, taken, killed, possessed or disposed of” since it was in fact already dead and had been stuffed.


What is Brain Tan?

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

These people use brains to tan leather.

“What is Braintan? Braintan is an ancient method of tanning hides that involves dressing a raw hide with brains, (or other natural emulsified oils) softening it with manual labor to produce soft buckskin and smoking it to preserve the softness.”

So says the web site of Circle S Leather, which also says: “We are a family run business. We work out of our home and a small shop. Because God has blessed our business, over the last 15 years our braintan has sold in 46 states and 13 countries.”

Keith Raniere’s inventive patents

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Keith Raniere, whose inventive uses of human beings are, some of them, profiled in the New York Times under the headline “Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded“, has filed unusual patent applications. Here are three of those patent applications that relate to things other than branding women.

Determination of whether a luciferian can be rehabilitated [Application US20130281879A1, the current status of which is “pending”] sets forth “a method for determining whether a Luciferian can be rehabilitated. The method includes stimulating the Luciferian with a first stimulus and recording a first physiological response by the Luciferian to said first stimulus. The method includes determining, from the first physiological response, a first polarity of the Luciferian’s response to the first stimulus. The method includes stimulating the Luciferian with a second stimulus and recording a second physiological response by the Luciferian to said second stimulus. Further, the method includes determining, from the second physiological response, a second polarity of the Luciferian’s response to the second stimulus.” And so on.

That patent application contains this drawing, which perhaps summarizes the idea as clearly as is possible:

Rational inquiry sash [US design grant USD469594S1, now expired] included this drawing, which explains the concept of a rational inquiry sash as well or better than does the text that accompanies it in the document on file with the patent office:

Apparatus and method for preventing a vehicle from running out of fuel [application US20140277920A1, status “granted”] attacks a simple problem by making it into a complicated problem. This is the problem, as the patent application describes it: “A vehicle may run out of fuel if the driver is preoccupied or forgetful to refuel. An operator may be left stranded far from any location where he can obtain more fuel. Currently, vehicles contain a fuel gauge which displays the level of fuel for an operator to attempt to prevent this unfortunate scenario. However, a fuel gauge on a vehicle may read empty when there is still fuel remaining in the vehicle. This may condition the operator to disregard the warning and continue to drive the vehicle, sometimes to the point where the fuel actually does run out.”

The patent application includes this summary, in the form of a drawing, of the proposed solution to that problem:

These are just three of the many patent applications filed by Keith Raniere, whose interests and ambitions may be unique.

Keith Raniere has a company called NXIVM. The company’s name is a summary, perhaps clear in some way, of its activities. Many of Keith Raniere’s patents are assigned (in the filings with the US patent office) to a company called First Principles, Inc., which in its paperwork appears to be geared towards selling things to the US government. Another of Keith Raniere’s organizations says “Keith Raniere holds many titles to his name—scientist, mathematician, philosopher, entrepreneur, educator, inventor and author—but perhaps the most poignant among them is that of humanitarian.”

Keith Raniere is the subject of many popular YouTube videos.