Soylent Green is… Healthy?

In the iconic 1973 sci-fi movie Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston, the poor (the 99%) live off of this cheap food stuff called “Soylent.” Made from plankton, soylent comes in several varieties: red, yellow, and the titular green. And if you ever want to taste it in real life, here’s your chance:


No, seriously, Soylent is a real product.

If you haven’t seen Soylent Green by now starring Charlton Heston, you should at least know the most brain-bashingly famous line/spoiler that this film gifted to pop culture. If you don’t, that’s too bad and I think we’ve passed the spoiler safety deadline.

Soylent Green is people.

So I reiterate: Soylent is a real product. If this doesn’t give you pause and make you screw your face up a little, you’re a sick bastard. Either that or you’ve been on the Internet too long and nothing fazes you anymore. I’ll just remember not to invite you to dinner parties, Dr. Lecter.

When I first saw the video above, I had no suspicions that the “ad” was referring to a real product until I looked down in their description, which provided the link to the Soylent website. And even then, I was skeptical. It’s so easy to set up a legitimate-looking website these days and even this site gives up jokey vibes – but maybe that’s because I have been jaded by the interwebs. But after doing a little research, I can assure you that it is an actual product, something that will be made available for human consumption in 2014.

According to the “Soylent” Wikipedia article, the creator named it after the soylent food from the novel Make Room! Make Room!… which is what the movie Soylent Green was loosely based on. To be fair, Make Room! Make Room! did not have the twist of soylent being made of people. That was purely the movie. However, the novel and movie areinterlocked in history now and the movie is far more famous.

You cannot tell me the people behind this product did not think of the connection between the name of their product and the cannibal’s delight “soylent green.” That would be stupid to think that those people are so stupid. The world is capable of some pretty stupid stuff, but these people made a very conscious decision to name their nutritional paste “Soylent.” So why knowingly name your supposedly nutritional pasty stuff “Soylent?” Well, for one, it certainly has piqued my interest and was impetus enough for me to scribble away a little blog post about it. I won’t buy it or eat it. Well, if an acquaintance of mine ever got some, I wouldn’t be opposed to giving it a taste.

I mean, it wouldn’t actually be made of people… would it?

[And actually, it seems the creator himself tried it in the initial stages and experienced some noticeable side effects. Huh.]

Soylent, the food of the future for those of us too lazy to cook or eat off a plate. Who needs flavor when you’ve got more time to do all the other things you need to do like watching cat videos and reading up on the Kardashians? Actually there’s a whole demographic they should hand this out to: college students.

What do you think of the idea of Soylent? Would you eat it? What fictional futuristic product would you like to see made into reality? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

For more on Soylent, read on:

Catapulting Plates At A Wall (Relax, It’s Doctor’s Orders)

Fantasies make the world go ’round. And they keep me from murdering everyone.

I have a recurring fantasy where I’m in a pristine room with walls and floor of a blindingly white lack of color. (No, that’s not the whole fantasy. I don’t have a cleaning fetish. Just stay with me for a bit.) However, while untouched, the room is not empty. I look around, sedate. There are plates, vases, bowls, pots, large panes of intricate stained glass, flower mosaic lampshades, even a low-hanging chandelier. The light doesn’t glint and dance. Nothing moves. On the far side is a pyramid of crystal wine glasses surrounded by a village of painted porcelain figurines -all on top of a Windex-scented table top. Again, it’s made of glass. This ain’t the Antique Road Show.

It’s therapy time. Get out the Louisville Slugger.

Angry Stress Man

“Stress? What stress? I’m just constipated.”

This is what the intellectuals with aspirations of super villainy call “Destructotherapy,”  or by those who dream up names for their Indie rock band, it is know as “Smash Therapy.”  Clearly, it’s therapy that involves smashing things. The rationale behind it is that the exercise of breaking stuff provides an outlet for pent up energy, primarily anger. You’re allowed to vent all the malaise that you’ve been civilly keeping locked up. Pop that lid and let it all out. But you can’t do this just anywhere. We don’t live in a delicate, dainty world. You can even argue that our world is already broken in itself, but that’s another topic entirely. However, have you noticed how anal we are as a society about breaking our belongings? All this… stuff? Comedic genius George Carlin quips about our material obsession:

“That’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it? Trying to find a place for your stuff… If you didn’t have so much Goddamned stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. That’s all a house is – it’s a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

You want to break stuff, but you don’t want to break your stuff. And you don’t want to break your friend’s or neighbor’s stuff (unless, of course, you actually do want to.) This is America, folks, the land of the almighty dollar. You can look up a place like the Anger Room, where you can reserve smashing rooms for 5 minutes (“I need a Break!”), 15 minutes (“Lash Out”), or 25 minutes (“Total Demolition”).

Letting loose, embracing your power, unleashing your inner animal. The surge of adrenaline can make you feel alive.

However, while I agree that uncorking that bursting bottle of frustration bubbly can be relieving and emotionally healthy – destruction therapy should be done with caution. I’m not just talking about wearing safety goggles and being careful about not bashing your own head in. The main point is this: everything in moderation. The mental dangers of this kind of “therapy” is that the exercise, the sudden popping of all that anger, might trigger a waterfall. The little Dutch boy’s finger is no longer enough. Now, instead of the hate eating you from the inside, you are being flooded by it, crushed by it. And in your sudden chaotic “freedom,” you thrash and splash and fight for air.

You don’t have to resign to your anger, but learn to accept it and realize that the stress isn’t all that bad. Life is rife with emotional outlets. And while the white room filled with fragile oh-so-breakable items is still a fantasy of mine, I know not to go too crazy. Or else I’ll end up in another white room with nothing but meds to keep me company.

Read on about smash therapy and anger with these links:

Bonus: And since we mentioned Carlin earlier, let’s blow off a little steam with a bit of laugh therapy with the comedic legend. (Warning: Some Foul Carlin Language)

Insomnia Files: Snooze Button Dreams

I know I only just recently wrote about dreams, but that post was pretty unfocused and rather onanistic. (Damn you, Hugh Laurie). Now, we’re going to get a tad more scientific with what I call “Snooze Button Dreams.” (Oh, all right, Hugh, you can stay).

Hugh Laurie Dream

Sexy lips shall be sealed, Zzz…

From time to time,  I suffer from  insomnia. I have gone through evenings in bed, tossing, turning, searching desperately for that perfect position – then failing and ending up not getting a wink of sleep, wishing for more hours of darkness, dreading the buzz of the alarm clock. I’ve found that this is usually during emotional and stressful periods, where I am unable to settle my mind when my head hits the pillow. These are common causes of insomnia, in addition to consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, as well as eating too much before going to bed, according to Mayo Clinic. Eating a lot right before bed gets your guts a-workin’ to digest that food, which can keep you up. Also, staying up late watching a full season of Parks and Recreation on Netflix isn’t too helpful, either.  Oh, the habits you accrue in high school – that just get worse in college.

Sleep is good! That’s a no-brainer. It’s been often touted that sleep deprivation results in fatigue, inability to focus, being prone to making more mistakes, and turning into Godzilla.

It's Godzilla!

What you look like without enough sleep

Another thing you miss out on when you don’t sleep is dreaming. That’s pretty obvious since you need to be asleep to dream. Although if you go long enough without sleep, your body goes “All right, enough of this crap” and shuts down, slipping you into a microsleep. It’s like a court-ordered nap by your over tired body. So while a crispy, pedophilic demon with claws and a fedora isn’t very plausible, the microsleep phenomenon is.

In the beginning, I mentioned Snooze Button Dreams. We’ve all experienced these, especially those at war with the snooze button on your alarm. This type of dream occurs during a short sleeping period, like the period between hitting the snooze button for the fourth and fifth time. These dreams are amazing because you will likely be able to remember them with vivid, outrageous detail.

Why?

Elton John is in your dream

He’s definitely the hotter of the two.

How could you have fought off dragons in Middle Earth, won an Olympic medal in video gaming, and had a three-way with Mila Kunis and Elton John in the span of 10 minutes?  Two words: R.E.M. sleep. (Okay, technically four words: Rapid Eye Movement sleep). During this period, your eyes, as the name implies, shift around rapidly. The rest of your body becomes more or less paralyzed to prevent you from sleepwalking onto your neighbor’s lawn and the centers of your brain responsible for learning are stimulated. Your brain becomes blasted with neural activity and one theory posits that dreaming is your brain’s mechanism of trying to make sense of all that information coming in.

In the link above, the article mentions how your brain incorporates your environment, primarily sounds, into your dream as well as recent experiences. This morning, for example, I woke up to my alarm’s radio. I reset the alarm for a half an hour so that I wouldn’t have to press “SNOOZE” four more times. When I fell back to sleep, I began to dream that I was waking up and getting things done around the house. The visuals, the sounds, the layouts were all identical to my house. It was as if I had already gotten out of bed and was in real, conscious life. (I understand Inception now. If I had spun my top, it never would have fallen then). I remember hearing the voices of the other people in my house. I brushed my teeth, got dressed for the day, had a pleasant conversation over breakfast. And then I woke up and realized I actually had to get my butt out of bed (again).

Dreams are fantastic. They’re so amazing and we’ve yet to definitively know about them.

To read more about dreams and sleep, read these articles:

How Dreams Work

How Sleep Works

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep

Insomnia

Thoughts? Dreams? Share them in the comments below.