Boo! The Top 5 Most Terrifying, Sinister and Downright Creepy Ideas
Boo! Scared you, didn't I?
I'm guessing not really. If you're a grown-up, Halloween has probably lost its edge. Or at least its scary edge. The old tricks simply no longer work on adults. Instead of scaring us, this tradition mostly involves handing out candy to children, visiting cheesy haunted houses and watching bad sequels like Halloween II.
That's why here at Big Think we've compiled a list of the scariest ideas that might truly make you tremble with fear this Halloween. A number of these ideas have to deal with how the world may end--a popular subject on Big Think--but some of these ideas are all the more terrifying because they have to deal with the way we may be forced to go on living in the 21st century.
Whether it is climate change, overpopulation, or an asteroid collision, Hawking says the party is coming to an end (or at least within roughly the next 7.6 billion years, when our aging sun will expand and swallow the Earth). That is why the famous theoretical physicist Hawking says it's time to free ourselves from Mother Earth and colonize space.
The NASA climatologist James Hansen tells Big Think how and when the accumulation of greenhouse gases will make Earth uninhabitable for our species—and (sorry Stephen Hawking) why human life cannot be transferred to a different planet.
The Villanova University astronomer and astrophysicist Edward Sion describes in great detail how a nearby star system might “go supernova” in 10 million years—far sooner than scientists once predicted. What would happen to the Earth? Such an event could destroy the ozone layer, and eventually the whole biosphere.
Forget half-human, half-wolf. When humans merge with machines, it will make for a much more interesting (and potentially scary) Halloween party. According to theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, if we were to meet our grandparents of 1900, they would view us "as sorcerers and wizards with our rockets and GPS systems and iPads." Kaku asks how we would view someone from 2100. "We would view them as the gods of mythology."
If we've scared you too much with this post, don't worry. Soon you will be able to take a pill that will erase your memory. This idea comes from Joseph LeDoux of the Center for Neural Science. According to LeDoux, if and when scientists perfect this technology, it will have tremendous potential for blunting painful memories in those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and it may also help to combat addictive urges.
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The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
Air pollution is up to five times over the EU limit in these Central London hotspots.
- Dirty air is an invisible killer, but an effective one.
- More than 9,000 people die prematurely in London each year due to air pollution, a recent study estimates.
- This map visualizes the worst places to breathe in Central London.
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