Sunday, July 4, 2010

Crystal Head Cult

When I left my job at the Business School this past January, one of my Coworkers gave me a Crystal Head Skull full of vodka. Easily the best going-away gift ever. However, while I can't yet attest to the quality of the vodka (I'm waiting for the right occasion! It's too beautiful!) I do have a few things to say about the company. Like WOW DAN AKROYD HAS GONE BATSHIT INSANE.

"Connect to the message of the crystal heads here on earth- the enlightenment of human kind and the spiritual awakening which can occur in all of us and the acceptance that there is more to life than mere material reality."

Uh... what?
Go ahead, go to the website (if you dare). He's completely serious. I watched the entire introductory video waiting desperately for some sort of punchline.

"We chose Newfoundland for the purity of their land and water...We [quadruple distill the vodka] through carbon... and then triple filter it through 500 million year old crystals known as Herkamer diamonds."

Oh. my. god.

Do these people not realize that the novelty of buying liquor in a skull is enough to make this a marketable product? Are there actually customers out there that only prefer this brand because of its "purity of spirit" and ethereal connection to other planes of existence? Either this website is one huge flawless joke on pretentiousness in general or they're a just few steps away from moving to Guyana and mixing up some Koolaid, Cyanide & Vodka cocktails. Yeah, I went there. (OHHHHHH YEAAA.)

Speaking of cults, the whole POINT of this post was to bring up an awesome thought I had the other day: why does Crystal Head co. limit themselves to skulls? Animator David O'Reilly allows people to download a free version of his 3D model Walt Disney Head from his internet website. You might remember it from his remarkably adorable (/absurd) animation ?????:

????? from David OReilly on Vimeo.
I don't think I'm alone when I say I'd LOVE to do shots out of a Disney head I keep in the freezer. I mean come on, that's like a million cryogenic preservation jokes just waiting to happen. Am I right, guys? Guys?

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Get money, get paid, you know what I'm sayin'?

I have officially survived one week of being a Research Technician in the Computational Psychiatry Unit of the Human Neuroimaging Lab of Baylor College of Medicine (because I'm pretty sure the more prepositional phrases I tag on, the cooler I sound.) I'll be running subjects through giant supermagnets to get both structural images and time-sensitive maps of blood-flow during specific tasks. I could explain it in slightly less layman's terms, but that's really as far as my comprehension of the matter goes: these machines are ridiculously awesome and complicated and I've only scratched the surface of the iceberg that is 'working knowledge of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.' I know I've had lots of fun drunk conversations with my Electrical Engineering buds about how fMRI works on a more fundamental level, but for some reason, I never seem to retain much of the information from these discussions.

I can't even describe how excited I am about this position. Call it the 'honeymoon phase' if you will (but let's just say, I'd be getting A LOT more out of it if this were a honeymoon...) but so far the lab perfectly balances my need for empirical methods and interaction with people. Smash together qualitative Sociology, CogSci, and Neurobiology to find Social Neuroscience nested right in the middle. There is so much I can learn from working here, and the best part is, they're willing to teach! My goals for the end of the year (/semester) will be to operate the scanner solo, pick up some MatLab and get a better grasp on what neuro-niche I'll pursue for grad school. Last but not least... OMGBRAINZ!!! Um and also, I have hand-print access to get into certain rooms. So I'm basically a secret agent now.

Post script: Just so it's out there: If you don't know what the quote from my image macro is from, you really should catch up on your Juggalo-culture references. By watching this Insane Clown Posse vid (circa 1:50). Oh yeah, I went there.

Post-post script: I just realized I never posted my Psych animation presentation here, but it's on my folio-blog. I taught myself Flash for this digital short, so be kind.