Science Confirms Cats Manipulative A-holes

Being repeatedly woken in the mornings by her cat's incessant purring to "haz bwekfest", the sleep deprived Karen McComb, Behavioral Ecologist of the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K., complained to fellow feline fanciers about it and found they too were being pulled from dog like sleep by their purring cats. McComb realized a potential cat conspiracy, wondering why it was she and others got up to feed the fuzzfaces instead of backhanding them into the wall, rolling over, and going back to sleep. A study was born; got to love science.

The results show cats, "modify their signature sound when seeking food, adding a higher-frequency element that exploits our sensitivity to infant wails--and thus making it harder to ignore." The louder the element, the bigger sucker the listener. 75% of the volunteers in the study picked the solicitous purr as more urgent and upsetting than the regular purr of the same cat. Thus proving cats are indeed manipulative assholes and train unsuspecting owners to do their bidding. The study is due to be released tomorrow in Current Biology.


Howl-O-Scream Chronicles: Noob Like Me

Herein lies the tale of one noob's foray into the world of seasonal theme park employement. This chronicle will be added to as the event draws near.

11:00am - It was a fear of the unknown, the sort of fear roused by ignorance and a deep psychological need to not look like yuppie larva with a stick up his ass. What to wear?! This was a job where creepiness and a deep seeded love of scaring others were in demand qualities. People did no't wear khakis and polo shirts to those type of auditions, but I did. I was born with a stick and corporate America had jammed it further in place. Part of me knew better, which is why I brought a pair of jeans along, as well as a t shirt, a pair of shorts, and an alternate pair of socks and sneakers, just to stick it to The Man (in My Head).

11:30am - Leave for Busch Gardens. I begin practicing my "scary" face in the rear view mirror traveling up I-75. I reassured myself that this is how David Boreanez got started.

I forgot my ipod so I turned to the radio for some rock music to help work up scary emotions. I got Seether - Careless Whisper (because George Michael covers totally "ROCK!"). Whatever I might have gained from my loathing of Seether, was canceled by the craptastic cover. The alternative was Evanescence - Bring Me to Life. Thanks a lot Tampa "rock" stations.

11:45am - Arrived on scene. Everybody is wearing what I am not. Hi, my name is Square.

11:45am - 4:30pm -Check-in: 10 minutes. Picture taking/number assigning: 5 minutes. (I was 902 out of 934ish). Waiting for audition outside: 3.5 hours. Waiting for auditions inside: 1 hour.

This was the third day of auditions for re-ups and the first for noobs like me. The waiting was good though. I talked to many potential Howl-O-Screamers. Some were part of the 10% unemployed like myself. A few were fifth year veterans of the event. I learned 13 House is tits and I should be so lucky to be assigned to that scarefest of chainsaw wielding madness. They spoke of the big game they had spooked: Buccaneers, the Hulkster, anonymous lady who peed herself - legends all.

4:30pm - After many hours of discussion the upcoming audition requirements had been revealed: They take you in groups of ten and it's divided in two parts: Part 1: Pantomime/role playing Part 2: Scare Wall.

Part 1: Basic action was to dig a grave at one end of the room and walk the dirt back to the other end. During this process, different character roles were called out, and you took on this role as you tried to complete your task. We got: seductive vampire, victim being chased down by killer, and transforming werewolf.

Part 2: Stand behind Scare Wall at assigned hole, guy walks by 2x. Just open your slot and be scary when he walks past. I got the high up position, seemingly climbing over the wall to attack. Good times. Kudos to guy who screamed, "Get Out!"

5:00pm - general job assignments. I am happy to report I was assigned wall duty in Zone 2. What that means exactly I'll find out at orientation.

Miscellaneous Notes:
  • Twilight sparkling vampire bullshit will not be tolerated. Disco-ball vampire head on pike was discussed.
  • Bring a lunch or go get one, you got plenty of time.
"[Sunday] was the final day of auditions for "Scareactors" wanting to frighten guests at the theme park's annual Howl-O-Scream event."
  • I commented on the article (username GelatinousMonkey) to point out that the audition schedule link in the article contradicted this info. It shows 4 more audition dates. My comments get deleted. So I'll call Busch Gardens tomorrow to confirm if it's over or not.


Free Up Your Weekend: Free Food & Events

7/10 = Dress Like A Cow, Get Free Chick-Fil-A

You never know where you’re next meal will come from in this economy. Do yourself a favor, pull the stick out of your ass, quit bellyaching about your precious “dignity”, download the cow costume kit, and get you a free entrĂ©e tomorrow for Cow Appreciation Day.

7/11/09 = free Slurpee @ 7-11

The convenience store chain is celebrating its 82nd birthday with the annual giveaway. Customers will receive a 7.11-oz. Slurpee of their choice at participating stores on July 11 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. I recommend mapping out the 7-11's in your area & make your rounds to them all day.

Howl-O-Scream Tryouts

Busch Gardens is holding auditions for Howl-O-Scream starting this Sunday (11-2pm) - want to go!? Sign up here. There are multiple tryout dates in the coming two months, so if Sunday is not available, you'll have more chances. I have no idea what to expect, but I'm unemployed and got nothing to lose. My natural creepiness should help my chances too.

Tampa Bay Lightning Scrimmage & Skills Competition
(w/ autograph session)

Come watch the future of the Tampa Bay Lightning and help gauge if we have any chance of a winning season for years to come. 7-9 p.m. – Scrimmage and Super Skills (Group A vs. Group B) Autograph session following.
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