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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

We are sitting in the lab, down the back in the corner. I am hooked up to a Douglas Bag, which is used to measure the quantity of air expelled in a given time, and also allows you to measure the amount of carbon dioxide produced and oxygen used. From this, you can calculate the approximate rate of metabolism. I’m sitting down. There’s a nose clip on my nose and my mouth is filled with the mouth piece that is far too big for me. My eyes are closed. I’m crying. My lab partner – who is also the experimenter in this case – is standing behind me, holding my head in her hands. She’s whispering in my ear.

It must have looked so strange to the rest of the class. Had anyone else been paying attention. Which they weren’t.

The night before it had seemed like such a harmless idea, measuring the effect of stress on your metabolic rate. I had declared myself game for anything and my lab partner had promised that she’d be able to induce a stressful feeling by regressing me to a time where I felt stressed out, so that I could feel that emotion first hand and we could take scientific measurements. I agreed to do it only because I didn’t believe she’d be able to do it.

I was wrong.


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