Jun 052011

Yes, it’s time for another edition of THAT’S METAL!, in which we creep timidly outside our metallic island, risking our peace of mind through exposure to the “real world” in order to find news items, videos, or photos of things that aren’t music but still make us think, “shit, that’s metal.” Like that photo up above. That’s a creepy little fucker, don’t you think? Those paws look uncomfortably like hands, and those claws look ready to rend and tear. Do you know what that creature is? I’ll tell you after the jump, but I’ll say now that these animals don’t look nearly so metal when they grow up.

But before we get to that, take a look at this:

Looks like a cool new album cover, doesn’t it? Maybe for some prog or stoner metal band? We’ve devoted lots of space to album art this past week, but this isn’t an album cover. I’ll tell you what this is, too . . . after the jump.


The creepy looking creature with the claws at the top of the post is an infant kangaroo. They call them “joey’s” in Australia. This one was found by a wildlife rescuer named Lisa Milligan, abandoned and apparently lifeless by the side of a road in Melbourne, Australia. She named him Bernie.


The photo that could be an album cover is a picture made on the International Space Station. It’s a three-millimeter droplet of heptane fuel burning in microgravity and producing soot as it burns. If you want all the details, read this.

When a bright, uniform backlight is placed behind the droplet and flame and recorded by a video camera, the soot appears as a dark cloud. Image processing techniques can then quantify the soot concentration at each point in the image. On the International Space Station, the Flame Extinguishing Experiment examines the combustion of such liquid fuel droplets.This colourised grey-scale image is a composite of the individual video frames of the backlit fuel droplet. The bright yellow structure in the middle is the path of the droplet, which becomes smaller as it burns. Initial soot structures (in green) tend to form near the liquid fuel. These come together into larger and larger particles which ultimately spiral out of the flame zone in long, twisting streamers.


Sticking with photos of things that are metal, take a gander at this. Any guesses what this is?

It’s a pygmy seahorse. They’re less than an inch long and they can camouflage themselves, as you can see. Pretty fucking weird when you realize this is a fish. Pretty fucking metal, too.


Okay, one more photo of something from the sea.

This is a creature called a cownose ray. They’re venomous, they can measure up to more than 6 feet across, and when migrating they congregate in extremely large numbers — up to 10,000 of them at a time. The correct term for a large group of cownose rays is a “fever”. A fever of rays. Here’s a photo of migrating cownose rays, moving from Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to western Florida.


Okay, enough with the photos. Time for a video. This one shows an elaborate card trick, but it doesn’t involve any sleight of hand or skill. It’s what’s called a mathematical trick. If you follow the instructions, it will work every single time. If you want to fuck up your friends using this trick, though, you’ll need to write down the instructions as you watch it — but it’s got a hell of a payoff at the end. The only downside is that you probably won’t be able to do this if you’re wasted, unless your memory is better than mine when I’m wasted.

The Final 3 – Amazing Math Card Trick by mismag822

If you really want to understand the math that makes this trick work, go here — though when I tried to follow the explanation, my eyes glazed over.


This next item is a piece of news that comes our way from Scotland. According to this report, contracts have recently been awarded for the construction of a biomass combined heat and power plant at Rothes in Speyside that will be up and running by 2013. Guess what the plant will use for fuel?

Answer: the spent grains used in distilling scotch whiskey. Tons of that stuff is generated every year by the whiskey distilleries in Speyside, and now it will be burned along with wood chips to generate enough electricity for 9,000 homes.

Waste products from 16 of the area’s 50 distilleries will be used at this power plant, including well-known brands such as Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Macallan, and Famous Grouse. If you’re not a scotch drinker, this report may not mean shit to you. But I do like a drop of the amber bead every now and then, and so this news is pretty fucking metal to me. (Thanks to my friend Ian for this tip, and for the next item, too.)


Another photo of a thing that is most definitely metal: It’s called a Mephisto worm. Its scientific name could easily be the moniker for a rancid black-metal band, or at least the name of an album by Mayhem: Halicephalobus mephisto

These things are tiny — barely a half millimeter long. They were discovered deep in the massive Beatrix gold mine a few hours outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. And by deep, I mean these things were found in a mine shaft approximately 1.3 kilometres deep, which makes it one of the most complex forms of life yet discovered at that kind of depth within the earth. And given the conditions in which they live, these are tough muthas, too. More details can be found here.


Alright, enough with natural wonders, math, and science. Let’s close out this edition of THAT’s METAL! with some hard news about masturbation. Yeah, if you saw this headline, like I did, you’d read the story, too (it can be found here, with additional details here):

Brazilian Woman Wins Right To Masturbate At Work

Ana Catarian Bezerra is a 36-year-old Brazilian woman who suffers from a chemical imbalance that triggers severe anxiety and hypersexuality. Ana, an accountant by day, began to have problems at work because the only way to relieve said anxiety is by masturbating. A lot. Now, after winning a court battle and seeking professional medical help, Ana is allowed to masturbate and watch porn — using her work’s computer, no less — legally.

WTF? I get anxious at work, too. I think being able to watch porn and masturbate in the workplace — a lot — would probably help me, too. But I wonder what “a lot” is?

Ana wasn’t always like this, she was worse:

“I got so bad I would to masturbate up to forty seven-times a day. That’s when I asked for help, I knew it wasn’t normal.”

Carlos Howert, Ana’s doctor, prescribes Ana with a “cocktail” of tranquillizers. . . . Thanks to Dr. Howert’s concoction, Ana only has to masturbate around eighteen-times a day.

I guess medical professionals would call that progress. But the real progress came from that court victory. In April, Ana sued her employer in order to be allowed to masturbate during work hours, and she won. Her condition is bound to be a touchy subject around the office cubicles now. But what exactly is her condition?

Her imbalance happens to be a condition called ‘compulsion orgasmic’, characterized by the near-constant desire to achieve orgasm. It causes her to suffer extreme levels of stress, if she is unable to masturbate.

Huh. And I thought this condition only existed in teenage males. Apparently, it can be found in 36-year-old Brazilian accountants, too. I’m not sure I’d trust her number-crunching, with a condition like that. Y’know, when your work day is basically one long orgasm.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this edition of THAT’s METAL! I figured I’d better stop now, because it would be all downhill from here. But before going, here’s a big thank-you to TYWKIWDBI, where I found the first five items for today’s post.

  28 Responses to ““THAT’S METAL!” – BUT IT’S NOT MUSIC (NO. 37)”

  1. In Sussex, they’ve started using a different biomass to produce electricity: corpses. I’ve heard talk of the same thing in Japan as well, but I’m not sure about it.

    I think the math for the card trick isn’t really so difficult once you get to this part: “No matter where you split that pile, there will always be the same number of cards separating each chosen card.” There’s no shuffling and you pick the cards up in the order that you cut the deck, if that makes sense. Put the first card on top of the first pile THEN cut the deck and put those removed cards on top of the first pile. THEN put the second card on the second pile and put that on top of the first. There are STILL 15 cards between the two chosen cards, just in a different order. So there will always be 10 cards then a chosen card, 15 cards, then a chose card, another 15 plus another chosen card and then the last nine. After that it seems like a pretty simple formula of getting rid of every other card.
    I had a similar trick that used subtraction to get a single card. I used it as listening and number practice for lower level junior high school Japanese students. It was pretty cool to see it work every single time!

    I loathe the ocean. I mean, I appreciate it an everything, but goddamn is it creepy!

    Also: the joey is cute, but creepy. It should be a mascot for a death metal band that has lots of songs about acid. I assume such a band exists??

    • Also, can you imagine feeling physically compelled to masturbate 47 times a day?????

      I think they should have given her a remote controlled vibrator. Or a pet octopus.

      • Of course, I couldn’t resist having some fun with this story, but really, it’s got to be an awful way to go through life. I’m thinking the most appropriate adjective is “raw”.

    • “Mascot for a death metal band”: It could work, like Iron Maiden and Eddie, having an enormous inflatable figure of Bernie looming over the stage and bobbing to the beat. Egad.

    • Card trick: When you put the first chosen card on top of the first pile of 10, you have 10 cards beneath it (obviously). Then you cut the first pile of 15 and put X number of cards from that cut on top of the first chosen card. You put the second chosen card on top of what’s left in the first pile of 15 and then add that to the stack, which means you’ll necessarily have 15 cards beneath the second chosen card before coming to the first chosen card buried beneath it. Then you do the same exercise with the next pile of 15, which means there will be 15 cards beneath the last chosen card and the second chosen card buried beneath it.

      At that point you have 9 cards left and you add those to the top of the stack, which makes the last chosen card the 10th card from the top. But then you take the first 4 cards on top of the stack and put them on the bottom of the stack — which means there are now 5 cards on top before you come to the last chosen card and there are now 14 cards on the bottom of the stack beneath the first chosen card.

      So, from the top of the top of the deck to the bottom, you now have 5 cards, then a chosen card, then 15 cards, then the next chosen card, then 15 cards, then the third chosen card, then 14 cards. Then you start that process of turning over every other card. But why this eventually leaves you with the 3 chosen cards still seems like magic to me. And what really seems like magic is that someone figured out that this process would work, and would always work.

      I think I need to get a life.

    • “In Sussex, they’ve started using a different biomass to produce electricity: corpses.” I should have remembered that. Look at Item Two in this post:


    • YES! I’ve been wondering where Phro is. Also, I want a pet joey.

  2. The pygmy seahorse reminds me of Moltar from the Crystar comics http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix4/Moltar1.jpg

  3. Now i know where Fever Ray (side project from the lead singer of amazing electropop duo The Knife) got their name from.

  4. naw look at that little joey.. cute!!!!

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