2.02.2006,8:39 PM
Full Face Helmets and Gills
I'm going riding this weekend. Dragged out the gear (where's my gloves?!?), shoved Left Big Foot into a boot (horse riding boot; won't fit into anything else) to test fit, made sure I can still fit into my HFD overpants (they're looser on me now than when I bought them), brushed off the leather jacket, and...... ohmygod: my helmet. I have a full face modular helmet. I'll be hypoxiated!!

So I have decided to dip into my primordial DNA, pull out some methylated gc regions and tweak some expression. I'm going to grow gills. Well, fresh air gills.

If a full face helmet asphyxiates me* with my own CO2, I can either choose to not wear a helmet or grow plants inside my helmet, which would use the CO2 for photosynthesis and export O2 for my use. I could try and grow stomata on my skin, the little openings on the surface cells of plants that allow gases and water to pass. But then I have openings for that already. And I think I'm a bit too removed on the evolutionary tree.

Thus I will attempt to reverse recapitulation that occurs in early embryonic development (within the first couple days/week) and grow gills to their full development. I'll have to ask a frog.

"Excuse me, Mr. Frog. When you were young, you had gills. Then as you left the larval stage and turned into a frog, you switched to using your lungs. Would you mind telling me how you did that so I can reverse the process? And don't tell me someone kissed you....."

Mr. Frog: "No one kisses me; they think I'll give them warts. Now, to answer your question, human; I suggest you catch a few of them there toddelerpoles and ask them. I just wake up breathing with these danged mucus sacks."

Hmmm......somewhere there is a molecular switch that causes metamorphosis, when toddlerpole gills are replaced with lungs, and when the gill slits of a human embryo disappear. Now if I can reverse that switch, I can regrow those gill slits, hopefully below the bottom of my helmet, and breathe from those. Thus avoiding hypoxia or asphyxiation in my helmet which covers both my nose and mouth.

On the other hand, hypoxia makes for great hallucinations.

So, y'all have a great weekend, enjoy the road and the sun, and wear your helmets.

* "From the Land of the Obviously Stupid" Canyon Chasers website.

posted by Macrobe
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