Dog puppy ear yanny or laurel listen audio meme

All right, yanny or laurel?

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the audio file that’s tearing up the internet. Take a listen, and tell us what you hear:

 

So, is it “yanny” or “laurel?”

Yes, there is a technical explanation for this, which has to do with frequency (read that here, on Vox). However, what’s so interesting about this whole shebang—and what was also interesting about the infamous “dress”—is how it tests the limits of perception: we experience reality in a certain way which we often think of as being somewhat objective, which is why it’s so alarming when others perceive the same things in totally different ways. This then calls into question the very method (I.E., our senses) which we use to define the universe around us. Sure, reality exists. But do our eyes, ears, nose, or hands actually understand it? Not so much. It’s probably no surprise to anyone that this interests me, considering it’s one of the big themes in Intraterrestrial

Anyway, when you folks play the clip, what do you hear?

(For what it’s worth, I’m definitely hearing yanny.)

 

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REBLOG: Something in the Nothing: A Radio Play

NicholasConley.com

Something in the Nothing Nicholas Conley Alzheimers radio play dementia nursing home new hampshire

From the author of Pale Highway comes a radio play that aired live on WSCA 106.1 FM in New Hampshire, on August 23rd, 2016. Set in a nursing home, Nicholas Conley’s Something in the Nothing tells the simple story of a conversation between an Alzheimer’s patient and his caregiver — a conversation that will have a dramatic impact upon both of their lives, forever.

Something in the Nothing stars the voices of John Pearson, Erika Wilson, Jessica Rainville, Jessie Duthrie, David Phreaner, and Suzy Manzi. The play was directed by John Lovering from an original script by Nicholas Conley.

Listen to Something in the Nothing below:

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Benjaman Kyle Bill Powell

Benjaman Kyle: The Crazy True Story of the Guy Who Lost His Memory

It’s hard to forget the story of Benjaman Kyle, the man found unconscious by a dumpster with no identity, no past, and no way to recover it. Benjaman Kyle’s bizarre tale blew up across the internet for years (I wrote about him here, for instance), as countless people tried to help figure out his identity, or at least get him some form of identification.

Well, in 2015, Benjaman Kyle’s true identity was discovered: William “Bill” Powell. And his past is an interesting tale unto itself.

For those who are interested in reading more about Benjaman’s story, I recently wrote a piece on him for Grunge. Check it out below:

The crazy true story of the guy who lost his memory

Benjaman Kyle Bill Powell

NASA black hole space

Have You Experienced the Mandela Effect?

Remember the Berenstein Bears? Even for those who never read the books, the characters are such a huge part of pop culture that everyone has heard of them. There’s just one problem: they are actually the BerenstAin Bears, and we’ve been spelling it wrong this whole time.

Berenstein Berenstain Bears computers mandela

As Vice explains, this bizarre realization is due to something called the Mandela Effect, wherein a huge amount of people collectively “remember” something that doesn’t mesh with reality. While the common sense explanation is that “BerenstAin” is simply a less familiar name to Western audiences than BerenstEin would be, there are those who believe that this is actually a glitch in the Matrix, the ultimate sign that parallel universes exist, and that those who who think it was BerenstEin at some point slipped into this reality without realizing it.

Oops. Maybe that explains John Titor?

I can’t say I’m a believer in the idea that my Berenstein memories are the result of some reality-hopping shenanigans, but we live in a weird universe, so who knows. Either way, as someone who got weirded out by the BerenstAin thing when I first read it, it’s fun to spot other examples of the so-called Mandela Effect. Here are a few you might have noticed:

fruit loops froot loops mandela

Froot Loops spells its name with two Os, formed by pieces of the cereal. It is not, and has never been, “Fruit” Loops. Hey, nobody ever said that toucans knew how to spell.

Sinbad Shazam Genie movie

No, Sinbad never played a genie in a nineties movie called Shazaam, though lots of people seem to think they saw such a film when they were younger. Most likely, this is due to people misremembering a real 1996 genie movie, Kazaam, where the ancient magical being was played by Shaquille O’Neal. Sinbad has spoken at length about the fact that people always seem to think he starred in a movie that never really happened, and the theory grew popular enough that College Humor made its own version for an April Fools prank in 2017.

Street Sharks Roxie

You probably never watched Street Sharks, a lesser-known Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles imitator which followed a crew of mutant shark vigilantes who all had a notable disdain for pizza, but liked eating everything else. However, a lot of people seem to recall a female shark character named Roxie… who never existed.

As it happens, this false collective memory is the result of a middle school prank by writer Jordan Minor, who finally spilled the beans in a 2016 editorial on Geek.com. Basically, back in the early 2000s, he was the editor for the TVTome.com page for Street Sharks,  and he filled the page with fake information. Ironically, some people “remember” the made-up character of Roxie as their favorite (or least favorite) part of the show.

What about you folks? Any reality slips happening? Do you have any examples of when you were impacted by the Mandela Effect?

coffee beans

Entering the Age of the Aeropress

Okay, sorry guys, but I have to indulge in these total coffee nerd moments every once in a while. Thanks for understanding.

To me, coffee is far more than just a pleasurable drink. It’s an experience. It’s a mood. It’s a feeling that can take you to the greatest depths of creative passion, a force that can pull you through the hardest, most painful times, or a source of stimulation that makes an interesting conversation even better. That’s why Coffee Moments™ are so great.

If you’re not a fan, then I’ve seen that tea is the same way for many people. Either way, I’m all about the hot beverages.

While any coffee lovers knows the importance of poking your head into a third wave coffee shop with some degree of regularity, it’s also important to have some sort of home setup, even if that setup pales in comparison to what the coffee shops offer. For me, I’ve spent the last couple of years preparing most of my morning cups with a V-60 pour over. Pour overs are one of the most convenient coffee preparation methods, and something I’d definitely recommend for most people, both coffee aficionados and newcomers alike.

However, as of last month, a new era in my life has begun: meet the AeroPress.

Aeropress coffee Nicholas Conley

I’m amazed that I went this long without investigating the AeroPress, and now, I’m madly in love with it. It’s fast, thorough, and prepares an absolutely fantastic cup of coffee. What more could a person ask for? There are a couple of different preparation methods, but my preference is for the “inverted” method.

For more information, check out the official AeroPress site. If you’re a coffee fan, you won’t regret it. Trust me. And if you’ve already been using the AeroPress for some time, cheers.

Roswell alien nicholas conley

Let’s Talk About Aliens, UFOS, and All That

Extraterrestrial aliens have always fascinated me, and that interest is one of the big factors that inspired me to write my upcoming science fiction novel, Intraterrestrial.

When I say “aliens,” I don’t mean just the bumpy-headed ones in Star Trek, either, but also the standard grey guys, the glowing surreal ones, and even the weird lights in the sky. I spent most of my earliest years in Sedona, Arizona, which calls itself an international “dark-sky community” because of low light pollution: basically, that means that when you stare up into those desert skies, you see an absolutely mind-blowing array of stars.

I looked up into those stars a lot, when I was young. And I wondered, just like everyone wonders.

Ufo flying saucer nicholas conley aliens

While I’ve never actually seen any evidence in my own lifetime that convinced me of an extraterrestrial presence here on Earth, I’ve always kept my mind open to whatever new twist might come around the corner. After all, to rule out the possibility would be arrogance. Hey, you never know.

One thing is for sure: whether they’ve ever been here to Earth or not, there definitely has to be something out there. There are a lot of planets throughout the universe, so to think that we’re all alone would be the height of solipsism. The question is what, exactly, another living species that evolved under completely different conditions would really be like —  and that’s a question that I set out to explore in Intraterrestrial.

Intraterrestrial Nicholas Conley sci-fi book aliens tbi brain injury

There’s still some time before Intraterrestrial starts ramping up for its release date, and as that time approaches, we’ll keep talking some more about aliens, what sort of form they might take, and so on.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading more of my thoughts on a certain major UFO conspiracy, I have an article out on Grunge that dissects the infamous “Roswell Incident,” studying how it started, how it grew after the release of the supposedly classified “Majestic 12” incident, and what the official word on it is. If you’re interested, give it a read here: The Untold Truth of Roswell

Let’s back up a bit, though, because aliens weren’t always such a cultural zeitgeist. Once upon a time, some strange events set off the UFO craze as we know it. In order to track America’s alien obsession all the way down to its glowing green roots, we’re going back to the 1940s, on the day when a bizarre crash landing forever redefined Roswell, then just an everyday city in New Mexico. Here’s the full story.

Read More: http://www.grunge.com/93986/untold-truth-roswell/?utm_campaign=clip

Roswell alien nicholas conley

Also, readers! I’m interested to hear from you.

What do you guys think about the possibility of extraterrestrial life? Have you ever seen a UFO, yourself? If so, share your stories!

Are you tired of daylight saving time?

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely tired of losing an hour of sleep every spring. Daylight saving time (DST) is the worst. Or maybe you’re a fan, in which case, my apologies.

Since I spent most of my childhood in Arizona, I can honestly state that I had never even heard of daylight saving time until adolescence, when we moved to the East Coast. Imagine, for a second, just how weird it sounded: “We’re setting the clocks back an hour? Why? Wait, is this some sort of prank?” All these years later, I’ve still never come to terms with it.

However, it just so happens that all this clock-switching is actually a lot more detrimental than we realize. It makes us sicker, sleepier, less focused, and does really bizarre things with Amtrak schedules. As regular readers here know, I’ve been writing for Grunge, and I decided to take a dive through time and research the long, sordid history of this biannual tradition. You can read it here: Bizarre Facts You Never Knew About Daylight Saving Time

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As for me, now that I’m a New Englander, I’m pretty jazzed about the idea that the New England states might gang up and kick clock switching to the curb, in favor of year-long daylight saving. One thing’s for sure, now that we’ve “fallen back,” these 4pm sunsets are getting real old, real fast.

On the other hand, I’m really fascinated by the argument given by Matthew Yglesias of Vox, who suggests that we should eschew time zones altogether, in favor of a single “Earth Time” for the human race. Vox suggests that we all adopt a single 24-hour clock across the world, and stop the madness of trying to match each other all the time. It’s an interesting notion.

What do you all think?