The Urban Legend of the Government’s Mind-Controlling Arcade Game

 

 

What was Polybius, and did it ever exist? (Photo: albund/shutterstock.com)

IN A SUBURBAN ARCADE NEAR Portland, Oregon, in 1981, a dull, digital glow bounced off the faces of teenagers who clutched joysticks, immersed in the game. Tiny lines and dots danced or exploded with high-pitched beeps across them all, but one game cabinet, Polybius, drew the longest lines.

Gamers who tried it couldn’t stop playing, and began acting oddly: they were nauseous, stressed, had horrific nightmares. Others had seizures or attempted suicide, many felt unable to control their own thoughts. It was only later that they recalled how Polybius was serviced more often than other games. Men in black suits opened the machine every week, recorded its data, and left, with no interest in its coins. Soon after it appeared, the mysterious arcade game vanished without warning—taken by the men in black suits, leaving no record of its existence.

That’s the story, at least. This legend is one of the big unsolved mysteries of the gaming world, though most concede that the game never existed. It’s since become an urban legend on gaming and conspiracy websites and the internet horror wiki Creepypasta, and like all good stories, it is kept alive by its fans.

It’s uncertain just how far back the Polybius tale goes, but the earliest known discussion of it is thought to be from 1998, when a mysterious description appeared on the vintage gaming website coinop.org. The current entry for Polybius states that the game “had a very limited release, one or two backwater arcades in a suburb of Portland,” and according to rumors it was “developed by some kind of weird military tech offshoot group” and “used some kind of proprietary behavior modification algorithms developed for the CIA.”

The 1998 post was shared with others in 2000 on a precursor to internet forums called Usenet, and seemingly sparked further lore about the game; by 2003 it appeared in a list of urban legends in GamePro magazine. In coinop.org’s comment section in 2006, someone by the name of Steven Roach added to the story: it was created by a company he and a few other naive programmers began, called Sinneslöschen, he explained. They were hired by a separate “South American company” to do the work, he claimed; they were merely in over their heads with their advanced, accidentally dangerous graphics.

The possible title shot from Polybius, as featured on the website coinop.org. (Photo: Courtesy coinop.org)

In response, coinop.org amended its entry in 2009 with a rebuttal, saying “Steven Roach is full of himself, and knows nothing about this game.” The response claimed staff was planning to sort it all out by flying to the Ukraine; “Stay tuned.”

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As with most legends, the details are evasive. No one even has a copy of the original Polybius game file (which are often found and shared by vintage game lovers), so no one can agree on what the game was actually like: was it a puzzle game, or a shooter game? What kind of graphics did it use?

Atari’s Tempest, the arcade game that Polybius is compared to. (Photo: frankieleon/CC BY 2.0)

Polybius, or at least the simulations fans have made of the legendary game, was disorienting and confusing. In it colorful geometric shapes bend and fold from a center portal like some sort of digital acid trip. If you’re prone to seizures, the simulation may actually trigger them. According to legend, the intense combination of vector and raster graphics in Polybius—which was supposed to be impossible, at least back in 1981—made the mind susceptible to subliminal messages from the U.S. government.

While details about the game are ambiguous, its story has roots in truth. Just a few decades before Polybius supposedly terrorized Oregon gamers, the government really was secretly testing unwitting subjects. MKUltra, an unethical government-led experimental program of the 1950s involving LSD, was uncoveredin 1975 by the Church Committee of U.S. Congress and an investigation of the CIA, whose predecessor controlled the program.

The Senate Report into Project MKULTRA. (Photo: US Government/Public Domain

Many of MKUltra’s subjects did not know they were part of the tests—all designed to explore brainwashing and confession techniques. Despite an attempted cover up, a cache of 20,000 documents were revealed in 1977, and more information was declassified in 2001—showing over 185 researchers and 80 institutions participating in experiments with mind control, resulting in terrible effects on the research subjects.

Reports of injuries from video games actually happened too, though from entirely different (and real) arcade games. A newspaper from the Portland area at the time reports that a 12-year-old boy named Brian Mauro got sick after drinking coca-cola and playing Asteroids for 28 hours (an arcade representative said they were “massaging his hands” to keep the kid going.) Another boy at the same arcade on the same day experienced a seizure from Atari’s game Tempest—a puzzle game with fast-paced, disorienting graphics that Polybius is frequently compared to.

Even the government-video game connection is real; the army and the marines have and still use video games to train soldiers. What’s more, shady arcade owners sometimes dabbled in illegal gambling, so the FBI may have actually been walking around arcades and checking machines for evidence.

1980s arcarde games on display in New Jersey. (Photo: Rob DiCaterino/CC BY 2.0)

Combine all of that with the existence of the short-lived 1985 game Polly Play, an eight-game arcade cabinet that was recalled (possibly, according to Skeptoid, for copyright concerns), and you have a pretty solid foundation for a massive urban legend. The name Polybius could have been a misconstrued version of Polly Play, or an intentional reference to the cyphering system of a Greek historian named Polybius, born around 200 BCE.

Polybius itself may not exist, but that hasn’t stopped its story from capturing the imaginations of gamers, writers and artists. The Last Starfighter, a 1984 movie in which a man in black recruits a teen for his epic video game skills, might have been influenced by (or influenced) the legend. A 2006 Simpsons episode called “Please Homer, Don’t Hammer ‘Em” shows Bart next to a Polybius cabinet, with “Property of the U.S. Government” stamped on the front.

A series called Doomsday Arcade by Escapist Magazine is based on it. Blister Declassified, a three-part series that was supposedly focused on Polybius was canceled before the third installment could be released. There’s even a T-shirt, and in 2015 a Kickstarter campaign for a Polybius documentary was in the works, but it unfortunately didn’t get the necessary funding.

Polybius never seems to completely go away. Some online members of the Vintage Arcade Preservation Society claim to own it; one lists the serial number as “666”. Photos of unknown origin of its screen and cabinet bounce around the internet as “proof” that it exists, and every now and then a supposed sighting of the cabinet shows up.

A bar in Brooklyn called Barcade created a Polybius cabinet for Halloween in 2012, and it was so convincing that an Instagram post of it attracted believers and instigators; user broyomofowrote a comment saying: “…please tell me that you didn’t activate that machine and it was simply a gag decoration for some sort of party,” and added that they’d played the original game, suffered a seizure, and “became addicted to the point that I kept playing and, for reasons I can’t remember, I attempted to commit suicide.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/RgSF1zRyzZ/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=6&wp=508#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A2157.1800000000003%7D

A few days ago, a Craigslist ad in Los Angeles advertised a Polybius cabinet for sale—this time, though, the culprit was a prop house for Sony Pictures, which made the cabinets for a movie that was never made. The cabinet has an engraved plaque labeling it “Property of the U.S. Government.” In an email, Andreas Kratky, who is listing the prop, told me that the “Polybiusmachine was dressed up to resemble all aspects of the myth….They clearly took care to satisfy the nerdism of the gamer community regarding the myth of the game.”

Since posting, the listing has gotten multiple emails commenting on its worth and rarity. “The post has become something like a crystallization point for the imaginations about the game,” Kratky adds.

While many believe it to be an urban legend or hoax, the story of Polybus still has people searching for the one thing that keeps it just out of arm’s reach from fact: hard evidence. It is likely they’ll keep looking for years to come.

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¿Restos de Buda encontrados? Huesos cremados de 2.500 años de antigüedad con inscripción reveladora desenterrada en China

Remains-of-Buddha-Found

En lo que podría ser un hallazgo enormemente significativo para los budistas de todo el mundo, los arqueólogos en China han desenterrado una antigua caja de cerámica que contiene restos humanos cremados, que lleva una inscripción que dice que pertenecen a Buda, también conocido como Siddhārtha Gautama.

Siddhartha Gautama, también conocido como el Buda o “Iluminado”, es probablemente uno de los individuos más influyentes en salir de la India a través de la fundación del budismo. Se cree que vivió y enseñó principalmente en la parte oriental de la antigua India en algún momento entre los siglos VI y IV a. De acuerdo con el Mahaparinibbana Sutta del canon Pali, a la edad de 80 años, Buda anunció que pronto alcanzaría Parinirvana, o el estado final sin muerte, y abandonaría su cuerpo terrenal.

Después de su muerte, se dice que las reliquias de cremación de Buda fueron divididas entre 8 familias reales y sus discípulos. Las leyendas dicen que, siglos después, el rey Ashoka los consagró en 84,000 estupas. Muchos de los restos fueron supuestamente llevados a otros países

Death-of-the-Buddha_0

La muerte del Buda, una pintura de pergamino colgante en el Museo Británico. Crédito: Fideicomisarios del Museo Británico

Encuentro del Buda

Hace alrededor de 1,000 años, dos monjes llamados Yunjiang y Zhiming, pasaron dos décadas reuniendo los restos del Buda, que se había distribuido por la India y otros países. Live Science informa que la caja recién descubierta, que fue desenterrada en el condado de Jingchuan, China, vino con una inscripción fechada el 22 de junio de 1013. En ella se indica

Los monjes Yunjiang y Zhiming de la Escuela Lotus, que pertenecieron al Templo Mañjuśrī del Monasterio Longxing en la prefectura de Jingzhou, reunieron más de 2.000 piezas de śarīra [restos cremados del Buda], así como los dientes y huesos del Buda, y enterraron ellos en la Sala Mañjuśrī de este templo.

Para promover el budismo, quisieron recolectar śarīra [reliquias budistas]. Para alcanzar este objetivo, ambos practicaron la instrucción del budismo durante cada momento de sus vidas durante más de 20 años. A veces recibieron el śarīra de las donaciones de los demás; a veces los encontraron por casualidad; a veces los compraban en otros lugares; y a veces otros les dieron el śarīra para demostrar su incondicionalidad “.

The-ceramic-box-containing (1)

El descubrimiento se realizó por primera vez en diciembre de 2012, mientras que un grupo de aldeanos estaba reparando caminos. Después de años de excavaciones arqueológicas en el sitio, el hallazgo históricamente significativo fue reportado en chino en 2016. Ahora, el descubrimiento ha llegado al mundo de habla inglesa por primera vez en la revista Chinese Cultural Relics. Imagen superior: Una estatua de Buda (CC por SA 4.0)

 

 

Some Historic Events That Didn’t Play Out Like Our Teachers Led Us To Believe

 

Popular culture has a habit of rewriting history.

Throughout my early years of schooling, I just assumed that everything I read in textbooks was true. As I grew older and began to question what I’d been spoon fed for so many years, I grew to be inquisitive. It was at that point when I realized that I couldn’t just take everything at face value.

Historians are people, too. They make mistakes. And it’s no secret that any story passed between human beings runs the risk of alteration. Like a never-ending game of telephone, the relaying of so-called facts often becomes a jumbled mess of misinformation. To help set the record straight, here are SOME widely accepted historical myths that simply aren’t true.

Betsy Ross created the first American flag.

Betsy Ross has long been associated with having crafted the first version of the American flag after being asked by the Continental Congress to do so. Unfortunately, there is no historical evidence that Congress ever formed a committee to create a flag in 1776, and she herself never claimed to sew it. Her grandson was the first to comment on his grandmother’s involvement in the situation.

 Edison created the lightbulb.

While Edison may have created the first lightbulb that achieved commercial success, the very first lightbulb was not Edison’s brainchild. English scientist Sir Humphry Davy created the first arc lighting almost 40 years before Edison’s bulb came to be.

 Marie Antoinette said,”Let them eat cake.”

Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote about a royal who uttered the famous phrase, “Then let them eat cake.” It has been widely assumed that the woman mentioned was Marie Antoinette. Unfortunately, the dates just don’t add up. Antoinette was only 11 years old when Rousseau wrote about the incident. The French Revolution also came almost 23 years after the story was published.

 King Arthur was real.

King Arthur was first mentioned in a historical context in a collection of stories published by Welsh historian Nennius. These stories are based on poetry and are set in a variety of locations, making it impossible for one man to have been present at every event and battle. There is also no mention of him in the only contemporary document recounting the Saxon Invasion.

 Paul Revere’s midnight ride.

The only mention of Paul Revere taking his infamous midnight ride is taken from the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem was written over 80 years after the event supposedly took place and it is expected that since Longfellow was a poet and not a historian, some liberties were taken for the sake of art.

Napoleon was short.

Napoleon Bonaparte actually towered over most Frenchmen of his time with a reported height of 5 feet and 7 inches. The misconception about his height stems from a nickname given to the former ruler of France during his early military days when he was a low-ranking official. He was often called the Little Corporal.

 

 Gladiators fought to the death.

Gladiators were considered deadly warriors in ancient Rome, but not every fight resulted in a trip to the grave. A recent discovery of a gravestone led to the recovery of many gladiator corpses. These remains did show signs of battle, but they also showed serious signs of healing, leaving us to infer that their deaths weren’t related to their fights in the Colosseum. According to the History Channel, “Gladiatorial bouts simply had to have a decisive outcome, meaning that one of the contestants was wounded or his endurance gave out.”

 

Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear.

This artist is famous for his supposed dismemberment. While he may have only sold one painting during his lifetime, recent reports argue that Vincent van Gogh did not cut off his entire ear, but rather a portion of the lower lobe.

 Those accused of being witches in Salem were burned at the stake.

Of the 20 men and women accused of witchcraft in Salem, most of them were sentenced to death by hanging. The concept of being burned alive stems from European witch-hunting trends.

 Vikings wore horned helmets in battle.

Forget everything you thought you knew about vikings. While these barbaric men and women likely wore helmets in battle, there’s absolutely no evidence that they were of the horned variety. This idea took hold in the 1800s when Scandinavian artists portrayed vikings in such a way.

I’m never trusting another history textbook again.

 

Did Einstein’s First Wife Secretly Coauthor His 1905 Relativity Paper?

 

Various historians have concluded that Einstein’s first wife, Mileva, may have secretly contributed to his work. Now a new analysis seeks to settle the matter.

 

In the the late 1980s, the American physicist Evan Walker Harris published an article in Physics Today suggesting that Einstein first wife, Mileva Maric, was an unacknowledged coauthor of his 1905 paper on special relativity.

The idea generated considerable controversy at the time, although most physicists and historians of science have rejected it.

Today, Galina Weinstein, a visiting scholar at The Centre for Einstein Studies at Boston University, hopes to settle the matter with a new analysis.

The story begins after Einstein’s death in 1955, when the Soviet physicist Abram Fedorovich Joffe described some correspondence he had with Einstein early in their careers in a article published in Russian.

Joffe had asked Einstein for a preprints of some of his papers and wrote: “The author of these articles—an unknown person at that time, was a bureaucrat at the Patent Office in Bern, Einstein-Marity (Marity the maiden name of his wife, which by Swiss custom is added to the husband’s family name).” (Marity is a Hungarian variant of Maric.)

The conspiracy theories date from this reference to Einstein as Einstein-Marity, says Weinstein. The result was an increasingly complex tangle of deliberate or accidental misunderstandings.

The problem seems to have begun with a popular Russian science writer called Daniil Semenvich Danin, who interpreted Joffe’s account to mean that Einstein and Maric collaborated on the work. This later transformed into the notion that Maric had originally been a coauthor on the 1905 paper but her name was removed from the the final published version.

This is a clear misinterpretation, suggests Weinstein.

Walker reignited this controversy in his Physics Todayarticle. He suggests that Einstein may have stolen his wife’s ideas.

There’s another interesting line for the conspiracy theorists. Historians have translated the letters between Einstein and Maric into English, allowing a detailed analysis of their relationship. However, one of these letters includes the phrase: “bringing our work on relative motion to a successful conclusion!” This seems to back up the idea that the pair must have collaborated.

However, Weinstein has analysed the letters in detail and says that two lines of evidence suggest that this was unlikely. First, Einstein’s letters are full of his ideas about physics while Maric’s contain none, suggesting that he was using her as a sounding board rather than a collaborator.

Second, Maric was not a talented physicist or mathematician. She failed her final examinations and was never granted a diploma.

Weinstein argues that Maric could therefore not have made a significant contribution and quotes another historian on the topic saying that while there is no evidence that Maric was gifted mathematically, there is some evidence that she was not.

There is one fly in the ointment. Maric and Einstein divorced in 1919, but as part of the divorce settlement, Einstein agreed to pay his ex-wife every krona of any future Nobel Prize he might be awarded.

Weinstein suggests that everybody knew Einstein was in line to win the prize and that in the postwar environment in Germany, this was a natural request from a wife who did not want a divorce and was suffering from depression.

Walker, on the other hand, says: “I find it difficult to resist the conclusion that Mileva, justly or unjustly, saw this as her reward for the part she had played in developing the theory of relativity.”

Without more evidence, it’s hard to know one way or the other. But there’s surely enough uncertainty about what actually happened to keep the flames of conspiracy burning for a little while longer.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1204.3551: Did Mileva Marić Assist Einstein In Writing His 1905 Path Breaking Papers?

The Passetto: Escape Route of Popes in Times Past

inside-the-Passetto

The Passetto di Borgo (also known simply as the Passetto, which may be translated as a small passage) is a corridor that connects the Vatican City, more specifically St. Peter’s Basilica, with the Castel Sant’ Angelo. This passageway is found on top of the old Vatican wall, and was used by the popes as a secret escape route in times of trouble. One of the most well-known incidents when the Passetto was used happened in 1527, when Rome was sacked, and the pope, Clement VII, was forced to flee from his residence to the safety of the Castel Sant’ Angelo via this secret passageway.

Old Wall

The walls on which the Passetto was built on is said to date back to the second half of the 6th century AD. In 576, the king of the Ostrogoths, Totila, had taken Rome, and decided to build a low wall by the tomb of Hadrian, linking it to the city walls built by Aurelian three centuries before. Additionally, the tomb was transformed into a fortress. This ancient wall, however, crumbled shortly after, and only a few stone blocks of this structure has survived till this day.

Totila razes the walls of Florence: illumination from the Chigi ms of Villani's Cronica.

Totila razes the walls of Florence: illumination from the Chigi ms of Villani’s Cronica. (Public Domain)

New Wall

Construction of a new wall began following the coronation of Charlemagne as Emperor by Pope Leo III in 800 AD. As Rome was considered the religious capital of his empire, Charlemagne ordered that a wall be built to defend the tomb of St. Peter. It seems that this wall too did not last long, as the people of Rome tore it down shortly after the death of Leo III in 816. The people of the city were fearful that should the Castel Sant’ Angelo be turned into a new center of power under the rule of the pope and the emperor, Rome’s autonomy would be eroded.

The Passetto.

The Passetto. Photo source: (Public Domain)

As St. Peter’s Basilica lacked a defensive wall, it was easily attacked by Saracen pirates on two occasions, the first being in 830, whilst the second took place 16 years later. By comparison, the rest of Rome was effectively protected from the pirates by the walls built by Aurelian. As a result of these attacks, Pope Leo IV, who is claimed to have been urged by the emperor, Lothair I, had a defensive wall built around the basilica and its grounds around 850. This wall measured about 3 km (1.8 mi) in length, and had 44 towers.

The view from Castel Sant'Angelo towards Vatican City where the wall can be seen.

The view from Castel Sant’Angelo towards Vatican City where the wall can be seen. (CC BY 3.0)

Permanent Wall Connections

The Passetto was not part of Leo IV’s design, and was a later addition. It was in 1377, after the popes’ return to Rome following their self-exile in Avignon, France, that the idea of the Passetto was conceived. The popes realized that a connection between their residence and the Castel Sant’ Angelo was important, should they need to flee to safety.

Castel Sant’Angelo from the bridge. The top statue depicts the angel from whom the building derives its name. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Thus, it was Pope Nicholas III, who reigned between 1277 and 1280, who had the first walkway built on top of the portion of the wall that connected St. Peter’s Basilica and the Castel Sant’ Angelo. Some further alterations were carried out by Pope Alexander VI towards the end of the 15th century.

Pope Nicholas III Cameo

Pope Nicholas III Cameo (Public Domain)

Sack of Rome

The Passetto was most famously used by Pope Clement VII when Rome was sacked in 1527. On May 6 of that year, the landsknecht, who were German mercenaries, entered and sacked Rome. These mercenaries were based in the north of Italy, and were threatening mutiny due to a lack of provisions and pay.

Sebastiano del Piombo (Italian) - Pope Clement VII.

Sebastiano del Piombo (Italian) – Pope Clement VII. (Public Domain)

Although a sum of 100,000 ducats was paid, the landsknecht nevertheless marched against Rome. They arrived before the city walls on the 5th of May, which were left almost undefended, as an attack from this army was not expected. For eight days, Rome was sacked. The pope, however, survived, as he was led by the Swiss Guard across the Passetto to the safety of the Castel Sant’ Angelo. Of the 189 Swiss Guards on duty that day, only 42 survived.

Sack of Rome of 1527.

Sack of Rome of 1527. (Public Domain)

The Passetto Today

In the following centuries, the Passetto was neither used by the popes, nor opened to visitors. Nevertheless, the Swiss Guards always kept a key ready for the pope, in the event of an emergency. In 2000, the Passetto was renovated and temporarily reopened, in honor of the Jubilee Year. Today, the Passetto is open to visitors for a limited time each summer.

The southern side of the "Passetto" seen from the Borgo S. Angelo.

The southern side of the “Passetto” seen from the Borgo S. Angelo. (Public Domain)

As most of the passageway is said to have become unsteady and insecure over the centuries, only small groups are allowed to visit, and such visits have to be booked in advance.

Featured image: View of inside the Passetto, the secret passage between Vatican City and Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, Italy. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

References

Atlas Obscura, 2016. Passetto di Borgo. [Online]
Available at: http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/passetto-di-borgo

roma.andreapollett.com, 2016. The Passetto. [Online]
Available at: http://roma.andreapollett.com/S1/roma-c7.htm

Thurston, H., 1908. Pope Clement VII. [Online]
Available at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04024a.htm

www.romereports.com, 2009. The Passetto di Borgo, secret passageway of the popes. [Online]
Available at: http://www.romereports.com/2009/07/27/the-passetto-di-borgo-secret-passageway-of-the-popes

Puerto Rico, Now What? part 2

Screenshot_20170918-11460

 

For far too long, the people of Puerto Rico have chosen to accept the comfort of a familiar yet broken status quo over the uncertainty of real, revolutionary change. Indeed, many on the island and in the diaspora adhere to a colonized mentality, one that believes an independent Puerto Rico is economically unsustainable. But liberated nations across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America have demonstrated otherwise.

Singapore is a prime example. With a size 14 times smaller than Puerto Rico, less natural resources, and a significantly higher population density, Singapore has thrived socially and economically since gaining independence — even exceeding the per capita income of the United States.

Wake Up!

7 horribles orígenes históricos de los famosos logos corporativos

Usted no tiene que saber una maldita cosa acerca de la mitología griega y romana de haber oído hablar de Pandora o los troyanos – los personajes han sido utilizados en los logotipos de la empresa y por los equipos deportivos durante tanto tiempo como cualquiera de los dos ha existido. Después de todo, nadie tiene el copyright de los mitos antiguos. Entonces, ¿por qué crear un nuevo nombre para su empresa cuando se puede llamar a Cerberus? Una palabra de consejo, sin embargo. Antes de ir pegando una figura mitológica en su logotipo, tome unos minutos para buscar su historia. De lo contrario, obtendrá algunos resultados absolutamente desagradables hilarante. Me gusta …

 

La Sirena Starbucks

El símbolo se utiliza para: Una figura de apariencia elegante para poner en el signo de la cadena del café y tazas.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Obsesión, adicción y muerte.

Si está familiarizado con el logotipo de Starbucks, es probablemente porque, estadísticamente, usted está dentro de un Starbucks ahora mismo. Si usted no está familiarizado con Starbucks, eso es porque usted es una persona hipotética creada para poder dar a este párrafo una estructura satisfactoria.

De cualquier manera, es posible que no se hayan dado cuenta de que la mujer en su etiqueta verde con los senos alegres y trato de pez espada gemelo es una sirena de la mitología griega.

Según el blog de Starbucks, fue elegida como el logotipo porque Starbucks estaba buscando un tema náutico para capturar el espíritu de Seattle. Recuerde que esto estaba detrás en 1971, cuando Seattle fue sabido para la navegación y los puertos de mar en vez de la roca del grunge, de la lluvia y de los hipsters.

En la mitología, las sirenas se ven constantemente como una personificación del océano – y eso no es una buena cosa. Son sociópatas brutales que te asesinen siendo atractivos. Según los eruditos, cantan una canción “irresistiblemente dulce” que “golpea cuerpo y alma en letargo fatal”. Los marineros que se cruzaban con una sirena llegaban a estar tan obsesionados que se estrellaban contra las rocas y morían.

Mucho de la misma manera que un sinnúmero de personas han sido seducidas por el atractivo del café caro, la compra de taza tras taza hasta que finalmente sucumbir, la compra de un ordenador portátil de Apple y pasar el resto de sus vidas en una de esas diminutas mesas, .

Medusa de Versace

El símbolo se utiliza para:

El logotipo en una etiqueta de moda italiana de gama alta.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

La vanidad y la promiscuidad te arruinarán. Lo más probable es que esté familiarizado con el nombre de Versace, aunque sea sólo como “esa palabra impresa en cosas que no puedo pagar”.

Igual de icónico es el logotipo, basado en Medusa:

Y por Medusa, nos referimos a una mujer tan horrible que mirándola convirtió a los hombres en piedra.

Para el crédito de Versace, la leyenda dice que Medusa era originalmente increíblemente hermosa, tanto que sedujo al dios del mar Poseidón. El único problema es que hicieron lo desagradable dentro del templo de Atenea, otro dios que no estaba muy contento. Así que Athena castigó a Medusa con los colmillos y las serpientes de pelo y todo eso.

El punto es, esta casa de moda internacional de alto precio basado su logotipo en un cuento cauteloso sobre los peligros de la lujuria y ser demasiado atractivo.

La historia de Medusa termina con ella finalmente ser decapitada. Su cabeza era utilizada como un arma, ya que incluso cuando fue cortada de su cuerpo todavía era fea y peligrosa.

Además, la sangre que se derramó de la cabeza se convirtió en serpientes venenosas que infestaban el mundo. Ahora ve a comprar ropa sexy, ¡maldita sea!

Preservativos troyanos

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Preservativos, presumiblemente para proyectar fuerza y ​​masculinidad.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un contenedor que se abrió y liberó un enjambre asesino de guerreros.

Podrían ser el ejemplo más famoso, pero la compañía más grande del condón en los E. es apenas el único caso de alguien que utiliza “Trojan” como su mascota. La Universidad del Sur de California lo utiliza como la mascota para sus equipos deportivos, y Googling alrededor revelará un montón de empresas que lo adoptan por su nombre y logotipo. ¿Y por qué no? Los troyanos eran guerreros malvados. Troy es, después de todo, la ciudad que resistió un asalto de la totalidad de Grecia durante 10 años consecutivos. Fuerte, resistente, todo lo que pueda desear en un equipo de fútbol y algo que abraza a su boner durante el sexo.

 

 

Pero pregunte a cualquiera lo que piensan cuando escuchan la palabra “troyano”, y le van a contar sobre el caballo de Troya. La parte más famosa de la historia de guerra de Troya. Sabes, al final, cuando Troy perdió. Conoces la historia, ¿no? Los invasores construyeron un enorme caballo de madera, sus soldados se escondieron dentro de él y los troyanos la trasladaron estúpidamente dentro de sus paredes? Entonces los soldados se escabulleron y asesinaron a todos? Después de todo, así es como conseguimos otro uso popular de la palabra “troyano”, el tipo de virus informático. No se llama eso por su capacidad de atrapar el semen. En su lugar, es una descarga de aspecto benigno que se abre y libera siete millones de gifs animados de pollas en su disco duro.

Así que lo que estamos diciendo es que “Trojan” probablemente no era la mejor elección de palabras para algo que está tratando de convencer a una mujer para poner en su cuerpo. A menos que el objetivo fuera convencerla … Ah no importa.

El Volkswagen Phaeton

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una línea de sedanes de lujo. Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un adolescente imprudente que casi destruyó el mundo con su conducción de mierda.

Las compañías de motor tienden a nombrar sus coches basándose en lo que se desprende bien de la lengua. O bien es una palabra sin sentido, simple (Ford Escort, Honda Civic) o es una que invoca pensamientos de velocidad y peligro, como “víbora” o “mustang.” Así que Volkswagen probablemente pensó que “Phaeton” era una palabra genial. Después de todo, suena como un arma de Star Trek o algo así.

Presumiblemente no sabían que la historia de Faetón de la mitología griega es la historia de un joven testarudo que, cuando llegó a la mayoría de edad, pidió prestado el carro de su padre. Cuando su padre dijo: “Claro, lo que sea”, Phaeton salió, se divirtió y casi se estrelló antes de que Zeus lo matara con un rayo. Todos tenemos una historia similar de nuestra juventud.

 

Phaeton era el hijo de Apolo, el dios que llevaba el sol a través del cielo, por lo que su “carro” que estaba pidiendo prestado también fue remolcando el sol alrededor. Así que tal vez fue la idea, que este coche es tan badass que te sientes como si estuvieras conduciendo un carro tirando el sol masivo y ardiente detrás de ti?

Pero eso sólo hace que la historia sea peor, ya que estrellar su carro significó estrellar el sol en la Tierra. Así que Volkswagen nombró a su sedán de lujo después de un incidente de conducir borracho casi apocalíptico. Uno que sólo se evitó porque alguien asesinó al conductor antes de que pudiera hacer más daño.

HTC Droid Eris

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una línea de teléfonos inteligentes.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

La diosa de la frustración. Los celulares parecen ser nombrados por las mismas personas que llaman coches.

Ellos obtienen palabras totalmente compuestas (Razr) o vagamente sci-fi sonando (Galaxy) o, en este caso, los nombres que suenan como personajes de videojuegos (Eris).

El Droid Eris fue el primer smartphone que llevaba Verizon Wireless y, al igual que muchos smartphones modernos, se jactaba de un montón de sonidos como “sense” y “multi-touch”, ninguno de los cuales importa más que el importante ” tener algún maldito servicio “característica que, por desgracia, no tenía.

Y es por eso que el nombre es tan involuntariamente apropiado – Eris era en realidad la diosa griega de la discordia, la frustración, la rivalidad y la contienda. Ella es conocida por follar las bodas y comenzar la guerra de Troya lanzando una manzana con las palabras “A la más justa” sobre una mesa llena de dioses griegos y diciendo “Ustedes probablemente pueden arreglar eso”.

Así que ella es básicamente el símbolo griego de los inconvenientes masivos, lo que tiene sentido cuando estás fumbling con sus dedos demasiado grasa sobre una pantalla táctil smudgy que grietas si tanto como proyectar una sombra en él. Aunque originalmente el teléfono fue llamado HTC Hero, Verizon cambió el nombre cuando accedieron a darle soporte. Parece como si alguien estuviera tratando de advertirnos.

 El símbolo de la medicina, el caduceo

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Instituciones médicas de todo el mundo.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Engaño y ganancia.

Es probable que por lo menos conscientes del símbolo universal de los médicos y la medicina, pero cuando lo vio en la parte trasera de una ambulancia, es probable que no sabía lo que el infierno dos serpientes y un par de alas tenía que ver con cualquiera :

La respuesta no es mucho. Sin embargo, el símbolo, que se llama un caduceo, tiene fuertes connotaciones que implican el engaño, el engaño y la codicia corporativa. En realidad es el personal de Mercurio, dios romano de mentirosos y ladrones. Para ser justos, parecería ser más apropiadamente el símbolo de las compañías de seguro médicos más bien que de doctores.

El uso del caduceo como un símbolo de la medicina entró en boga en la década de 1850, muy probablemente debido a un malentendido hilarante – otra imagen, la vara de Asclepius, es en realidad el antiguo símbolo para el dios de la medicina y la curación, pero sólo tiene una serpiente y sin alas. Así que, sí, se alegra de que todavía no están viviendo en una época en la que el tratamiento médico involucrado obtener golpeado con una vara de serpiente.

Cuando estaban buscando un logotipo apropiado para los médicos y médicos, que simplemente tiene los dos símbolos confundidos. Resulta que palos con serpientes envueltos alrededor de ellos son más comunes en la mitología de lo que nadie se dio cuenta.

Cerberus Capital Management

El símbolo se utiliza para:

Una de las mayores firmas de capital privado de Estados Unidos.

Pero el Símbolo Realmente Significa:

Un perro vicioso que te esquiva y te devora vivo.

Una empresa de gestión de capital trabaja encontrando empresas que deberían estar haciendo muy bien pero no lo son y luego inyectándoles dinero en efectivo para que realmente puedan disparar por las estrellas. En el mejor de los casos, son como la gigantesca versión corporativa del Sr. Miyagi, enseñándole algunas técnicas de “cera de automóviles” y “movimientos de pelea” (estabilidad financiera e inteligencia de inversión, respectivamente) bully local “(clima económico tumultuoso). En el peor de los casos, son como un gigantesco perro de tres cabezas que te atrapa a un lado de un río y amenaza con comerte vivo si alguna vez intentas escapar.

Cerberus Capital eligió su nombre porque el fundador quería invocar la imagen de custodiar los fondos de sus clientes. Pero el perro mitológico es definitivamente mejor conocido por comer a la gente viva y atraparlos en un lugar que no quieren ser (Hades) – exactamente lo contrario de lo que una empresa floreciente quiere que su nuevo socio a hacer, a menos que de alguna manera su modelo de negocio .

Hicimos una broma acerca de Cerberus ser una malvado cabal de sombra, pero el fundador Steve Feinberg ya nos golpeó al golpe con este comentario:

“Tratamos de ocultar … Si alguien en Cerberus tiene su foto en el papel y una foto de su apartamento, haremos más que disparar a esa persona. Lo mataremos. La sentencia en la cárcel valdrá la pena.

Sí. Vamos a dejar eso por ahí solo.