April 2011

Not by Fire, Nor by Ice, but by Fungus

Ants zombified by mushrooms - and not in the fun way

It seems the zombies that end our world will evolve not from bacteria or viruses, but from fungi. Four newly discovered species of fungus in the Brazillian rainforest reproduce by infecting ants and taking over their brains. They force their victims to travel to an ideal location for spreading spores, then kill them and grow out of their dead bodies. 

This is it. This is how it ends.

Toxoplasmosis: The Disease That Makes You Like Cats

What can cause schizophrenia, depression, and skin lesions, and makes you like cats? Believe it or not, a parasite carried by cats can actually turn you into a cat person!

You may be familiar with toxoplasmosis as the reason why pregnant women and HIV-positive people ar exempted from litter box scooping duty.

Toxoplasmosis is also why most cities have banned flushable clumping cat litter, because it is a serious danger to marine mammals like seals and otters. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a protozoan named Toxoplasma gondii, a microscopic parasite which has wide-ranging effects on its host body.

The symptoms of a toxoplasmosis infection are, for most of us, extremely subtle. The acute phase typically presents like a low-grade cold or flu (including fatigue and swollen glands) which lasts about a month. After that, the infection goes into the latent phase, when no normal symptoms are observed.

FBI Document: Proof That UFOs Landed on Earth?

Not surprisingly, experts are denying that a 1950s memo confirming the landing of a UFO on earth is the real deal, claiming that it’s rubbish and a tactic used to push conspiracy theories. It’s definitely nothing new; the so-called “Hottel Memo” has been released to the public before, and has yet to be confirmed or proven by a reputable source.

Still, the fact that such a heated controversy surrounds the memo is enough fuel to fire the continued hope and faith that believers share—and even if it’s fake, it’s definitely not enough to disprove their theories.

Kurt Cobain: Murder or Suicide?

The dedication of a Kurt Cobain memorial in Aberdeen, WA this week has stirred up a lot of local conversations about the possible conspiracy surrounding Cobain's death. Speculating on whether or not Cobain was murdered practically counts as a hobby here in the Pacific Northwest, where a local public access talk show host was the first person to raise questions about the moments surrounding Cobain's death.