Welcome to Mormon Tea…er, Mackerel Economics!

There I was, sitting in my mom’s basement at the computer, jobless, surfin’ the ‘net, when I decided to hop on to the Livejournal party-wagon. It’s my earnest hope that the Livejournal thing will quickly become passe (if it hasn’t already!) lest this saga of Will’s Livejournal party-wagon ride should turn out, in retrospect, to be little more than the flagrant grandstanding and trendsurfing that it is.

A couple of things I’d like to get out of the way first.

Number one. Mormon tea is a type of plant that grows in Southern Utah. Here’s a picture I took:

It probably grows in other places as well, but I don’t know what those other places are just yet. It doesn’t even matter, really. The cool thing about Mormon Tea is that it contains ephedrine, just like in Sudafed, except the ephedrine in Sudafed is actually pseudoephedrine, or some kind of ephedrine knock-off. When they were busy settling the West, the Mormons didn’t drink tea or coffee, but they did grind up the dried twigs of this plant and brew some pungent, medicinal tea out of the stuff, just like the Native Americans had been doing for thousands of years. Apparently this tea is considered a choice remedy for syphilis, gonorrhea, colds, and kidney disorders. But the cool thing about Mormon Tea is that it doesn’t actually contain any ephedrine. Like hundreds of other cool plants that people get off on, this plant’s medicinal properties are imaginary, and science has once again sent everyone’s imagination down the toilet.

Number two. While researching Mormon Tea for item number one, I came across a list of plants that can be found in Canyonlands National Park. Get a load of some of these:

Common pussytoes
Scale glandweed
Hairy daisy
Spreading daisy
Nakedstem
Noddinghead
Erect gumweed
Mealy rosettes
Hairy crinklemat
Fendler’s spurge
Spreading four-o’ clock
Veiny dock
Beakpod nippletwist

wtf?! Who comes up with these? I also wonder at what age kids typically acquire the ability to see double entendre in places that it doesn’t exist.

Number three. I was watching the Olympics earlier today, and I got to thinking about drugs and sponsorships. There must be a lot of money for chemists who research new, indetectable ways of loading athletes up with drugs before big international competitions, and the only logical place for that money to come from is sponsors. These chemists appear to be doing some pretty advanced shit, like injecting genes into specific muscles to get them producing crazy strength-enhancing proteins and stuff. So either this research is grant-sponsored, NSERCC-type regular research that has some unusual clientele, or it’s funded in part by big corporate sponsors who want to see their athletes on the podium. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but I’d like to see someone analyse the donors who support the types of research that are directly related to performance enhancement technology, to see if they are clandestinely linked to the sponsors who have a fiscal interest in athletic performance. Would it turn out like this? (Also, how crazy would it be if Michael Johnson was paid off by Donovan Bailey’s sponsors to take a fall in that “World’s Fastest Man” race?)

Number four. Here’s a picture of the sunset from the Devil’s Garden Campground at Arches, and one of a giant cement hole:

No, it’s not ‘shopped, that’s how it really looked.

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