A link to an interesting "social" experiment conducted in the 70's with mice:
John B Calhoun set about creating a series of experiments that would essentially cater to every need of rodents, and then track the effect on the population over time. The most infamous of the experiments was named, quite dramatically, Universe 25.
In this study, he took four breeding pairs of mice and placed them inside a "utopia". The environment was designed to eliminate problems that would lead to mortality in the wild. They could access limitless food via 16 food hoppers, accessed via tunnels, which would feed up to 25 mice at a time, as well as water bottles just above. Nesting material was provided. The weather was kept at 68°F (20°C), which for those of you who aren't mice is the perfect mouse temperature. The mice were chosen for their health, obtained from the National Institutes of Health breeding colony. Extreme precautions were taken to stop any disease from entering the universe.
As well as this, no predators were present in the utopia, which sort of stands to reason. It's not often something is described as a "utopia, but also there were lions there picking us all off one by one".
The experiment began, and as you'd expect, the mice used the time that would usually be wasted in foraging for food and shelter for having excessive amounts of sexual intercourse. About every 55 days, the population doubled as the mice filled the most desirable space within the pen, where access to the food tunnels was of ease.
When the population hit 620, that slowed to doubling around every 145 days, as the mouse society began to hit problems. The mice split off into groups, and those that could not find a role in these groups found themselves with nowhere to go.
Or watch the Video on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CXj0AGuh4c
And, yes, people have more complex wants and needs than mice, but - you can certainly some parallels in our society at the moment.
- Category: Ideas & Questions
And, homelessness impending I've been looking for a pair of shoes. And a sleeping bag. With no luck.
Shoes, expensive, even used, especially given their condition. I bought a new pair last week - but - still breaking them in, and 5 hours in to a shift and they are hurting like hell.
And sleeping bags, we donate those to "Stepping Stones", a charity that helps the homeless. SO, no, can't just buy or scoop one off the floor there.
Yesterday, a thrift shop staff meeting. About 8 people in attendance, the "full timers", I'm there as well, I've got nothing. Everyone says their bit, has their say, a full hours conversation on nothing. They ask me - I'm too new - and planning on making myself redundant ASAP - so - knowing my place - I've got nothing.
Today, donation, a brand-new never-used "Bounty Hunter" metal detector. A cheap one, maybe $200, $300, but I pick it up for Chris. He's been wanting one.
Going to give it to him after work he's broke. So I give him money for batteries, then buy his coffee.
Bloody hell. Never a good deed goes unpunished.
From there to the locker. Lock up all my mixed-media treasures, suffer the rain of rocks, mispacked possessions, rummaging through the top couple of layers to find some balloons (for work), a pair of beautiful brand new brown dress shoes (breaking in, again, will be heinous), some eyeglasses (I have ten back-up pairs with me at all times) and a sleeping bag.
This, extruded from a crack at the three foot mark up the back wall.
Try, for a minute or two, to repack - impossible, I've not time, or enough boxes, and so - press it all in, listen to the creaking - the groaning - of the pile of rubbish, drop the door - and then - and then - it all comes tumbling down, you can hear it rattling and clattering on the door.
This locker, it's the repository of broken dreams.
- Category: Blog
Now, homeless and vehicle-less. Now - I can do one but not both, and so I've decided to get a vehicle. Looking online, Facebook Marketplace, there aren't so many options. Older Tundras with 300,000+ KM selling for $18, 000 plus dollars. Bollocks.
And then I see it. 2004 White Ford Econoline Van. 200, 000 KM and only $2000.
This gets a little fantasy going in my head. First of all, I could sleep in it. I can sleep anywhere, but the back of a van - fix it up a bit - could be comfortable. And it would beat sleeping in parks and wherever else have you.
I'm mulling it over.
But what's really selling it for me is the possibility of doing art on the sides. Like, proper 70's and 80's Van Art.
The silhouette of a wolf's head howling against a full moon...
The "shadow" of Bigfoot filled in with trees and stars....
A wizard, holding a crystal ball, a long beard and a twinkle in his eye that people would look at the wizard and recognize as me...
Most definitely a mostly naked woman dressed in furs lying prone on the right side of the van, not sure of the pose just yet but she probably should be looking longingly at the wizard...
A Unicorn. Maybe the Wizard could be sitting astride the Unicorn?
A dragon. Definitely a dragon, probably an Asian styled one as Smaug is a bit overdone...
And maybe the wizard that looks like me can be pulling back his robe to reveal his radiant, red blazing heart...just like Jesus does in that popular photo of him...
Aliens, somewhere, a saucer and one of the greys, maybe succumbing to the telepathic influence of the Wizard?
Bumpers stickers that read "Shaggin Wagon" and "If this Van's a rockin', don't bother knockin'...".
If the wizard can't look like me maybe he could look like Donald Trump?
A mermaid. Definitely need one of those.
And on the other side of the van I would have a "Fortune-Teller" Motif. Fortunes told, all sorts of Masonic Imagery, Tarot Cards, I -Ching, the all-seeing eye, pyramids, advertise my prognostication, my healing abilities, my intuitive nature and skill at hypnosis, mesmerism and ventriloquism. Other trades I might advertise include "Womb Masseuse" and "Listener" and "Aromatherapist" and "Lifestyle Coach". Man, once I get started on my skills list it gets hard to quit...
Maybe paint the back with Chalkboard Paint so I can do a variable travelling art exhibit as well as provide contact details....maybe a "How's My Driving?" and then write random people's phone numbers there. Or give details as to the parties I can be found at.
And you see, I haven't even bought the van yet, and still my mind is racing with the possibilities.
Now to revisit the interior...
- Category: Blog
Yesterday, at the thrift shop, I suggested they play Nick Cave.
This didn't last so long with my partner, who listened to about 5 songs and then changed the music.
And then - in the evening - I heard of his second son's death.
This man, he's going through the trials of Job. And this, this, well... you wish this on no one. Certainly not someone you hold in such high regard.
And I know he has faith - of the Christian order, and I know he thinks - but this heartbreak, it's beyond reason. There's nothing I can say. No commiseration that doesn't sound trite - and - while I can well imagine his pain - and in some measure share it - I have no desire to live through it's equivalent. Imagining it is but a pale shadow of what he is living...
SO I am sorry and I hope he can survive this. And if he doesn't I understand. But - fucking hell - he's being put through it. The trials of Job. The test of all faith beyond all reasonable limits...
- Category: People
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