“Eraserhead”. “Twin Peaks”. “Mulholland Drive”. None make much sense do they? That David Lynch, he’s pretty good at giving people headaches.
And now, the University of British Columbia says, the angsty feeling caused by watching our Dave’s weirdo movies can actually be reduced by taking a pill, Tylenol.
Researchers gave their subjects either a sugar pill or one of the drug and then set the people to watching Donald Duck. Following that, the scientists showed some subjects a clip from the 2002 movie, “Rabbits”, which is about humanoid rabbits going about their daily, depressing lives. Others watched the “Simpsons”. Both groups then cooled it with a couple of minutes of “Snoopy”.
Researchers then asked volunteers to judge participants in a Stanley Cup riot.
Those who watched “Rabbits” and had a placebo wanted to mete out more punishment than both the “Simpsons” gang and the Tylenol “Rabbits”-watchers. Researcher Daniel Randles said that this was because after moments of anxiety, people tend to affirm things they believe in more strongly. Still doesn’t explain what the baby in “Eraserhead” is really representing, but it’s a start.
More esoteric-scientific crossovers this week with a study in April’s Journal of Religion and Health conducted by professor Nava Stilton, assistant psychology professor at Marymount Manhattan College. The cheesy-named one drew on Evolutionary Threat Assessment Theory, which postulates that there are “threat detecting” parts of our brains which, when fooled into misperceiving threats, can lead to anxiety disorders. The blue-veined scientist studied three different groups: those who believed in a loving God; those who believed in a neutral God; and those who believed in an angry God.
The Stilton-head noted that there were correlational but not causal findings which indicated that those who believed in a loving God experienced positive psychological effects and the angry God-botherers experienced more stress.
“[W]e’re not saying belief caused psychiatric symptoms,” said the big wheel. “But we see relationships between beliefs and these psychiatric symptoms.”
Finally this week, Swiss scientists working on a six-year ant project, worked out that ants change their jobs as they get older. The University of Lausanne’s Laurent Keller said that it was a challenging task to tag all the ants.
“We pasted code bars on to each of them and a picture was taken every half a second. The life expectancy of an ant is about one year and we knew the age of every single ant.
“We found that around a third of the workers were nurses, which almost always stayed with the queen and eggs. Another third were cleaners and the rest were foragers, collecting food outside the colony. “We also found that they tend to graduate from one group to another as they age, although the career changes were not clear cut. We did find very old nurses and young foragers.
“We also found that the ants interacted mostly with workers from the same group. They don’t try to interact with workers from another group. Like bees, we have now shown that ants’ behaviour changes with age,” the professor told the Daily Mail.
So there’s hope for Weekender yet. Perhaps our days as a drone are over after all.