So I was perusing the internet today in search of some edifying and thought-provoking material when, appropriately enough, I came across an article in Yahoo Entertainment news titled “Celebrity Phobias and Obsessions”. Oh, do tell. The anxiety-producers listed range from the perfectly understandable (ie. Daniel Radcliffe’s fear of clowns) to the somewhat bizarre (ie. Nicole Kidman’s fear of butterflies or Christina Ricci’s fear of indoor plants). It got me to thinking about my own phobias and lack thereof. Nope, no weird, illogical fears for me. I do, however, have some altogether rational aversions and “subjects of general uncomfortableness” that, to the uninformed, may seem a little…er…eccentric. But not really…

Clowns: While I wouldn’t hesitate to punch one in the face if one ever approached me in the street, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m afraid of clowns. I simply don’t like ‘em. Why? Because a significant portion of them are either sadistic serial killers or prone to demonic possession. The rest are just depressing. That’s it. Sad or dead. Take your pick. Don’t believe me? A search for “killer clown” turns up an astounding 111 000 results! Compare this to the paltry 3 310 results for “killer acrobat” or the meager 882 results for “killer circus elephant”.

Heights: This is as close to a phobia as it gets. Not only will I NOT step onto a balcony, but it makes me extremely uncomfortable to watch someone I know step onto a balcony. Irrational fear? Are you kidding me? Just run a google search for “balcony collapse” and you’ll be surprised to see they’re not that uncommon (7 420 items found) – though, admittedly, not quite as common as “roller coaster collapse” (12 200 items found).

Roller Coasters: See above.

Komodo Dragons: Okay, granted, the likelihood of my running afoul of one of these venomous lizards is remote, but I’m sure that’s what Mr. Sharon Stone thought a couple of years back when one of them mistook his white tennis shoes for a pair of tasty-looking mice. A simple google search confirms my concerns. “Komodo Dragon kills man” = 96 400 results. “Komodo Dragon saves man” = 0 results.

Snakes: They bite, poison, strangle, and, occasionally, swallow whole. And you’re telling me I have nothing to fear? A simple google search says different: 80 300 results! As opposed to the comparatively meager returns for “baboon attacks”: 9 210 results.

Baboons: See above.

Gas Barbeques: Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t own a barbeque because I don’t want to get blown up. You may laugh but, just this past weekend, someone Fondy knows had their barbeque blow up on them. A google search for “barbeque explodes” yields 1 150 results. Oh, and I won’t be investing in an espresso machine anytime soon. “Espresso machine explodes” brings up 7 180 results.


Off the top of my head, that’s it. Nothing weird or illogical so far as I can see. Of course, just because I don’t have any phobias doesn’t mean you don’t. But you shouldn’t feel ashamed. Some experts believe that phobias are the echoes of our ancestral past; genetic self-defense mechanisms. Your fear of public speaking, for instance, probably stems from your ancient forefather’s inability to deliver an accomplished keynote speech to the local chapter of his Cave Dweller’s Association, a failure that no doubt resulted in his premature demise and your ongoing anxiety at company meetings. It’s all perfectly normal and the first step to coming terms with your phobia is admitting you have a phobia. The second step is knowing the unpronounceable name that goes with your phobia. If nothing else, “I’m nephophobic.” sounds far graver and more worthy of an acquaintance’s sympathy than “I’m scared clouds.” And so, to help you out, listed below are a bunch of phobias and their fancy names. Find yours then confirm and share with the rest of us in the comments section. Hey, we’re all friends here.

Aibohphobia: Fear of palindromes

Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth

Aulophobia: Fear of flutes

Barophobia: Fear of gravity

Celtophobia: Fear of Celts

Deipnophobia: Fear of dining and dinner conversations.

Macrophobia: Fear of long waits.

Metrophobia: Fear of poetry.

Papaphobia: Fear of the Pope.

Pogonophobia: Fear of beards.

Syngenesophobia: Fear of relatives.

Xanthophobia: Fear of the color yellow or the word yellow.


More pics from Stage 4, again the Destiny set in various stages of construction.  Let’s call this one “Entrances and Exits”.  Oh, and mailbag down below…










Onu writes: “Confession time – long time lurker, first time poster! Been in and about this site for almost two years now, and figured was ’bout time to join in the fun.

Question for you Joe. Not sure if you’ve answered or addressed this before, but do you ever read or buy ebooks?”

Answer: I don’t buy ebooks. Call me set in my ways, but I look the feel of a real book and the look of a real bookshelf. Also, welcome aboard. Please don’t forget to pay your membership dues.

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Hey joe did you at all miss me?

2. You said downloads don’t count for the drop off.. Huh!!! What drop off.. I thought season 5 was selling very well.. Was I wrong?

3. A pole was taken and 88% of people said they wouldn’t watch universe.. doesn’t all the negative buzz scare you… Just a tiny bit?

4. When I visited the Bridge I got to talk to security guard Bill, I wanted to send him a letter but I don’t know where, could I write an email in the form of a comment, and then have you forward the email to him.”

Answer: 1. Uh, sure. After the second day, put out an amber alert.

2. The drop-off obviously refers to a significant downturn in dvd sales since late 2008.

3. Not especially. a. I’d question the statistical value of said poll. b. At the end of the day, I know we’ve produced an excellent product. And, come October, it’ll be up to the viewers to decide. Not just SF viewers, or Stargate viewers, or online fans of the franchise, or angry online fans of the franchise, but ALL viewers

4. Sure.

Chevron7 writes: “Hey there everyone. Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA lately, miss me?”

Answer: Calling off that second amber alert…

Amz writes: “Our lovely little puppy Lily has taken to, ahem, venting more than atmosphere inside (if you get my meaning). Any chance you could go all Dog Whisperer and give me some advice on how to deal with that?”

Answer: Check his diet. Changes in what he eats could account for this. Have you been feeding him refried beans?

Anaise33 a ecrit: “1) Le 1er épisode de sgu commence dans la base d’sg1?
2) Joel Goldsmith va t’il composer des musiques pour SGU?

Reponses: 1) Non. 2) Oui.

Translation: 1) Cheyenne Mountain will not be a location in SGU’s first episode.

2) Joel Goldsmith will be composing music for the new series.

Nadine writes: “I think I’ve asked this already (in which case, sorry), but have you read Mary Doria Russell’s “The Sparrow”, and the sequel “Children of God”? If so, which do you prefer?”

Answer: I read The Sparrow and liked it.

Rachael writes: “ What is Colonel Telford’s first name?

Answer: Colonel Zak Telford. I’m not sure about the spelling of his first name however. Could be Zak, Zach, Zac, Zack, or ZzaaakK!

DP writes: “How many beats are in an episode?”

Answer: The number of beats in an episode vary wildly.

JYS writes: “I’m doing a stage at Fuel Sun – Thurs.”

Answer: Have fun! Don’t overcook the salmon!

AndyBrind writes: “what nationality accent will robert carlyle be using in the new series?”

Answer: Latvian. Surprised?

Otros Ojos writes:  “I think an entirely new lode of sea-creature speculation is just begging to be explored by sci-fi & fantasy writers. . . .”

Answer: You should have joined us when Jeff Vandermeer’s City of Saints and Madmen was our book of the month pick.  Pick it up.  Cephalopods abound!

68 thoughts on “July 17, 2009: Face Your Phobias! Entrances and Exits! The Mailbag!

  1. I have a few odd-ish fears. The “fear of deep water” one is pretty normal, as is “fear of large insects”. However to me, large is anything bigger than 1/8th of an inch. I’m afraid of heights, but only when indoors. It’s not how far away the ground is that scares me, it’s how close the ceiling is. I also have an aversion to men I don’t know (I wouldn’t call it an outright fear). I’m OK when there are other people I know around, but in a room alone with an unknown guy, I stay very close to the door.

    Also, no one likes clowns. I suspect clowns don’t even like clowns.

  2. Answer: Colonel Zak Telford. I’m not sure about the spelling of his first name however. Could be Zak, Zach, Zac, Zack, or ZzaaakK!

    It should be Za’ch. (Seriously, my cousin went to school with a guy who spells his name Za’chary. It amuses me.)

    I don’t think I have any actual phobias, but I do have a strong dislike for spiders and a general uneasiness when it comes to roller coasters. And flying is half scary and half exciting. Also, clowns are freaky. And mimes. And those costumed characters at Disneyland (the ones with masks so you can’t even tell if it’s a man, woman, or humanoid alien inside).

  3. Joe – I’m right there with you on heights, and gas barbeques. In fact, I won’t have gas heat or stoves in my house. My husband thinks I’m nuts, but 1. they blow up, and 2. I had a very dear friend die because of a faulty gas heater.

    And you ever see those houses that just blow up into a pile of toothpicks?? Yeah. Gas scares me.

    And putting air in car tires, too. KaBOOM!! It’s been known to happen.

    Heh. I didn’t know about your snake phobia…hehehehehe… *rubs hands together* 😈

    Have a good evening, sir.


  4. Hey Joe, if you ever want to start grilling. You can get a small and very powerful grill that works by infrared light, no gas to exploded.

    I HATE snakes! Especially things that look like snakes like strings on the ground and stuff. Freaked out at the Toronto zoo once. As my dad, brother and mom were watching the snakes I was watching the cuddly beavers via underwater window. As the beavers put me in a state of “calming” I failed to notice the metal door four feet behind me opening. As I look over my shoulder I see the snake guy holding a 6 foot long jet black snake. So I take off down the hall, I look behind me and he’s walking behind me. So I shout “stop following me man!” and bolt for the gorillas.

    Now he was a nice enough guy. Offer my mom to help me with my fears. No thanks, me and my demons are just fine with each other.

  5. Joe,

    I’m with you on the snake phobia. I mean, are they actually good for anything besides freaking people out? One day, I’ll tell you the story of the 24 hour period during which a snake (the same snake) gained entry to my house — TWICE.



  6. Hello JM!!!

    I have more questions (sorry for my english but I am french)

    1)The pictures of differents corridors represents the designs suggested for the Destiny (one design has been chosen) or there will be corridors with different design (a corridor with design 1, an other with design 2, etc).

    2)Why the symbols of the destiny gate don’t represents constellations (same SGA or SG1).

    3)there is a big debate on our forum about the oldness of destiny and this gate.
    When the destiny has been launched by the Ancients?
    Before or after building of the Milky Way gates?

    4)I have noticed, it is a lamp external to the gate (and connected to the ship) that encoding each symbols, and the destiny DHD are lot of functions (telemetry,diagnostics,…)
    What will be that for the gates and DHD located on the planetes? Can we see pictures or design?

    thanks and bon appetit.

  7. I’m afraid of bureaucracy. I freeze for a minute when I get a letter from the DMV. Various scenarios of waiting in line until it’s my turn to figure out what paperwork I was supposed to bring flash through my mind.

    I was in denial about claustrophobia for a long time. I just preferred to sleep on the outside of my sleeping bags. I had to reassess when I came back from running cable under the house pale and shaking.

    My fears aren’t as disturbing as the stuff I’m not afraid of. I’ve had good reason to think “whoa, this is a stupid way to die” on at least a couple of occasions.

    I need to be more afraid of pain, heights, jumping from heights, broken bones, implementing my own medical care, trying unorthodox prat falls, hard surfaces, interfering in domestic conflicts in public, sparring while sleep deprived, speaking truth to power, internet start-ups, refusing to tell power lies it wants to hear, etc.

  8. Mr M. It just strike me that the sets of the SGU Destiny looks similiar to some of the interiors of the Andromeda and Starhunter TV series.

  9. actually, i just googled “komodo dragon saves man”; there is one result…though admittedly, it wouldn’t have been there when you were doing your research.

  10. Oh Joe, you’re so silly. You have so many fears. I’m not afraid of anything…well maybe just one thing…or two…okay, I have 3 big fears that follow me everyday.

    1. The fear of people walking behind me. I hate that! What are they doing back there? I walk slow, but they won’t pass me. Why? Are they making fun of my butt? Sometimes when it really gets bad (a really long hallway), I will stop and let them go by. I just want to turn around and give them a dirty look for staying behind me – how rude!

    2. Bathroom germs. I go into the bathroom using my elbows to push open the door. Before leaving, I will wash my hands for about a full minute, rinse, then let the water run while I use 2 paper towels to dry my hands. Then I use those paper towels to turn the water off. I throw them away and get a fresh paper towel. I fold it into a 4 inch square and use it to get me out of the bathroom. I don’t touch nothing going out. I look like a doctor ready for surgery.

    3. Household appliances. I’m afraid of everything! The gas powered furnace is going to explode. I swear the air conditioner is making a funny noise and is going to catch fire. The washing machine is going to hop away. The dryer is going to catch fire. The oven door is going to slam shut on my arms burning them off. The water heater is going to break and flood the house. The TV smells like it is burning. Don’t even get me started on the toilets! OMG!!!

    Other than that, I’m pretty normal. Except lightning is always trying to hit me……

  11. Talk about not liking Clown’s I dont know why but I hate that Purple Dragon…what’s his name….If I ever see him dancing to that stupid music in the street his ass is mine….

  12. What is the difference between a fear and a phobia? A fear is an awareness of the potential negative consequence of something. Example: gas barbeques can blow up so I won’t own one. It goes into a phobia when that awareness (fear) prevents me from normal life activities, such as going to a store where they are sold or to a friend’s house who is cooking on one. the balcony thing is just a fear as long as you don’t go out on it, but are willing to stay in a room that has a balcony. I am always cautious about balconies: holding the handrails, making sure it is only me on the balcony or one other person. I think that caution is a good thing!

    My biggest fear to the point of phobia is falling for the consequence of broken bones. I am extremely cautious going down stairs, walking slowly to not trip, holding onto handrails and not carrying a lot of things in my hands to cause me to fall.

    I have other fears that cause me to give attention to make sure bad things don’t happen: accidental medical overdose, car accidents, snakes, dog bites, being pickpocketed (happened to me), being robbed, spiders, not enough air. to just name a few.

    As far as clowns go: I don’t fear them, I just don’t find them funny or entertaining. just weird looking.

  13. Just for the record, I had nothing to do with Major D’s absence. 🙂

    A couple of weird phobias of mine, they probably don’t have names – I don’t like parking under railway bridges if I’m stopped at traffic lights. I make sure I sit back a little just in case. I also don’t like making right hand turns onto busy divided highways (we drive on the left in Aus). I frequently turn left and do a u-turn. I don’t know where these have come from.

    I don’t have any phobias about particular animals, quite like snakes, big spiders are a little creepy but I don’t like swarms of insects. Probably from those killer bees, killer ants movies.

    Thanks for the Amber Alert Joe. I’m sure they’ll send the bill in the mail.

    Cheers, Chev

  14. I am wary of bad engineers (or, more accurately, unknowingly trusting my life with their work product), and am unsettled by anything described purely with discrete-time equations. Philosophically, I believe time is continuous, and any equation that only works when you chop time up into some infinitesimally small pieces seems like total whiskey tango foxtrot physics.

    The combination of best and brightest aerospace engineers typically going into research, the sketchiness of turbo jet aerodynamics, and the ridiculous penny-pinching of modern airlines leaves me wondering how anyone can be sanguine about commercial flight. Yeah, it’s convenient and is statistically less insane than driving, but just because it works doesn’t mean I can’t glare untrustingly at the whole industry while purchasing my tickets.

  15. I think people oughta keep things in perspective with fears. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t want to spend much time around a Portugese-man-of-war, but I was fine with driving for over two years without car insurance. It kept me honest.

  16. I’m with you on phobias. I have a few of the common ones but my biggest phobia is arachnophobia and I got the wonderful experience of having to deal with it in the theatre tonight while watching Harry Potter. I handled myself very well by NOT looking at the screen too much when Aragog came on. I forgot he was in this one. I also have a fear of drowning. There are quite a few things I don’t like but not very many actual phobias. My dad and I don’t like being in a crowded room full of people we don’t know. He calls it social claustrophobia but I don’t know if that’s an actual term. I also hate clowns and I’m also more than willing to punch one in the face if they come near me. I had a bad childhood experince with a clown.

  17. I really, really love that first pic. The light-and-dark effect is striking; very nice composition; and the subtle, sparely used colors are perfect. I wonder if it’s possible to get an enlarged photo, or is the image on computer only? If so, I guess I could just print it out on photographic paper.

    You should have joined us when Jeff Vandermeer’s City of Saints and Madmen was our book of the month pick. Pick it up. Cephalopods abound!

    Thanks much for the heads-up. I’ll definitely get the book. And skimming over Jeff’s gonzo answers really makes me wish I could’ve been here for the book discussion — I might have come away from it feeling like I’m relatively normal. But now I have your non-phobias to accomplish the same end. 😉

    – I was out on our balcony for a while, enjoying a cool July evening, when I saw my long-missing clown doll — Cheney, the almost-lifesized one — up in the branches of an overhanging locust tree. Cheney could only have flown up there (it has a remote; lots of fun to play with).

    Anyway, I could only reach Cheney by standing on our helpfully coiled boa constrictor, Devo, and leaning waaaay out over the balcony railing. Cheney gave me an evil look, but that’s very typical, and I ignored it since the boa was showing signs of extreme hunger by then. I jumped back onto the balcony, noting a loose bolt in a crucial location, fondly stroked Devo (“You’re such a gooood snake, yes you are”), and let it slither on down into our backyard to play its own version of whack-a-mole. Come November, I’ll give you a link to a pic of Devo curled up in serpentine nirvana when we fire up the woodstove (real wood, not to worry about those gas thingies). When he’s full and placid, he’s especially cute when we wrap him with Christmas lights. I remember how very fond you are of Christmas decorations, and of course a large snake adds a whole new twist. Quite a few, in fact.

    Have a great day!

    PS: My phobias are alligators and vice-presidents.

  18. @DP: My obsession with sea creatures in the past 2 1/2 months is not by accident. 😉

    *enlightenment strikes* Ahhhhh. Understood. – Have you read “The Drowned Life” by Jeffrey Ford? If somebody didn’t already have an obsession, the mind-reading octopus scene would give them one, I think.

    @Mika: Alright, y’all have tapped me on cephalopods swinger scene fun facts . . . but with the large number of Aussies playing in Joe’s blog, I give you an alternative: [url]…stoned wallabies.

    LOL, thanks for all the fun. – Stoned wallabies?? Oh, I’ve got to check that out.

  19. I may have an unusual fear for you: feet. I hate them, my cousins, when they don’t have anything better to chase me around the house with their shoes off. My sister once got mad at me for thinking the same thing about my one year old neice’s feet but I just don’t like them. They are the most dirty thing I could think of and don’t even touch mine when I shower. Another fear I have is a fly going into my ear. Has happened before, true story. While trying to protect myself from a low-flying fly and it’s buzz, I accidentally trapped it in my ear and can’t stand the soud of a buzz since.

    PS- Just saw Season 4 SG1 episode of Window of Opportunity, which you and Paul wrote, and saw your name as the author of the book “Latin for the Novice” along with the title Ph.D. Laughed my head off.

  20. Barophobia: Fear of gravity

    Those people must be having a really bad life unless they are astronauts on the ISS…

  21. Google gives 1,470 results for “died in a blogging accident” and another 1,350 for “died while blogging”.

  22. My only phobia kicks in when I have to pay with a debit card in a store. That freaks me out, seriously. Oh, and clowns, yes.

    Latvian. Surprised?
    I’d be surprised if you had told ‘Estonian’. 😛

  23. Hi Joe!

    Loving the set drawings/pics! 🙂 Thanks a lot!

    To join in this celebration of cephalopds, I taped Nature’s Encountering Sea Monsters, which is all about squid and octopi. They scare me a bit, but they are cool to watch on TV.

    Heard a story about an octopus living in an aquarium that would shoot/spit water at a light every night, causing the bulb to break. Guess he needs darkness to sleep?

    Did I tell you we named our new kitten? Her name is Surprise. The name was suggested as a joke from a friend, but it’s (surprisingly) appropriate. 🙂

    Phobias – probably spiders (over 1/4″ long). I get a tightening in my stomach even at pictures of spiders – Nat’l Geographic can be a bitch to read when I turn the page and *YIPES!* a large pic of a spider. I don’t even want to touch the page to turn it. *shudder* Spiders under 1/4″ are allowed to live in my house, but larger spiders have done their duty, eating bugs, and deserve to meet the Creator, though I do apologize to them as I kill them.

    I don’t like clowns – creepy, sad, etc., but it isn’t a phobia.

    I’m good with snakes. Rose, snakes are an excellent natural rodent control. That’s their benefit to the world. Plus, they’re cool.

    Haven’t found a snake, but have found a few dead scorpions and one live one in our vacation place. I set the live one free, but instructed him to tell his friends to stay out of the house. Guess not all got the msg.

    I’d give komodo dragons and baboons a wide berth. Big sharp pointy teeth, eh?

    Have a great weekend, Joe!


  24. Fear of flying, that’s mine. I’d never had a problem with flying before, and then one day before a flight home from Florida, this bizarre feeling of doom closed in. I somehow made it through that awful flight, but haven’t flown since.

    Weirdly enough, it isn’t a fear of catastrophe or a crash. I think it’s more akin to claustrophobia — the thought that once that door closes I’m trapped in that little space and can’t get out until the plane lands.

    Anyway. I’ve finally made up my mind I’ve had enough of it. The only way to get over a phobia is to expose yourself to it. Retrain your brain! Except now I have a little toddler at home, so my main challenge has become finding the time to go off and fly on my own.

    Well that and figuring out where to go to. Looking for short flights out of Detroit. 🙂

  25. I can understand most of your dislikes/not-quite phobias, but only share a couple of them. That would be clowns and baboons. I actually like snakes, though I have a healthy respect for the poisonous ones. As a child I came across a clutch of freshly hatched snakes, and carefully used a stick to put them into a paper bag. imagine my disappointment when I got home and not only would my dad not let me keep them, but he killed them outright. Turns out they were copperheads.
    As for heights, I get an adreneline rush akin to fear on heights, but overall enjoy them. enough that I’ll go off a building, or a mountainside, relying on a 1/2 inch rope and my own skills to keep from moving at terminal velocity to the ground.
    Glad they’re letting you release more picks. And I just noted David Weber’s latest book is out. Not one in the Honorverse, alas, but the third in its series. I really need to get moving for the BotM club selection, but one has to have priorities….

  26. I don’t fear snakes but living in Australia, I have respect for them…and am very conscious when bushwalking!! (That is why I like to hike in NZ…they don’t have snakes!!!)

    I also don’t like swimming in deep water…Swam with dolphins in NZ once in very very deep water where it was black all around me…more fear I guess of what else was out there…ie Sharks so I guess technically the fear was more sharks 😉

    In Yosemite I gained a fear of mountain lions though I never saw one…I just *know* they were watching me shove those rocks in my pockets and laughing!!

    I have a fear of my webcam activating on my laptop whilst I am not ‘dressed’ for company…so i have taped over it!!

    Heights agreed!!

    Horror movies…I will not watch any Chucky, Friday the 13th, Pet Cemetary etc etc etc at all thanks to my mum torturing me as a kid….see reply at bottom of (

    So Joe how old are all your puppy dawgs??

  27. My Huge phobias are
    Bees, wasps, and hornets (pretty much anything big that can sting) I have been stung before but still scared shitless.
    and Heights exact same statement for mine as yours. I can’t step on to high belconies and I get butterflies in my stomache watching anyone.

  28. Answer: Colonel Zak Telford. I’m not sure about the spelling of his first name however. Could be Zak, Zach, Zac, Zack, or ZzaaakK!

    Je suis sur que son prénom sera le sujet de nombreuses blagues par rapport aux Zat’n’ktels (Zak/Zat), non?

  29. Well, I can’t think of any “weird” fears. Except for the one of being stabbed by a knife which lies in front of the microwave when I open the door – and when I think of it, it’s more the logical interconnaction of possibilities than an actual fear. That’s why I never have an knife lying in front of my microwave.
    And I don’t feel very comfortable of heights. I’m working on this one.

    It’s also great to read that you love the books standing in the bookshelf instead of rotting as a pile of data in the computer. You may not use ebooks “as an ashtray, a paperweight, a doorstop or even as a missile to throw at silly young men who make fatuous remarks” (last part taken out of Stephen Fry’s The Liar which summarises it perfectly)

  30. Wow cool pics, got some catching up to do, been too busy celebrating my birthday weekend. Was actually starting to fear birthdays, but last night we stopped at the grocery store b/4 proceeding to Shakespeare by Sea… anyway the cashier thought my husband was my father… when I told her how old was gonna be she nearly fell over, she thought I was 18.
    So feeling pretty good, my poor husband, tho…

    Thanks for the pic,Joe, really looking forward to SGU.

  31. I take it you would never do what Amanda Tapping did and try to overcome that fear of heights. :S Even if it brought her to tears at one point.

    Even with safety gear on?

    I double-dog (quad/quint in your case) dare you to do a tandem sky dive. Or bungee off a bridge.

  32. @Mika

    I’m okay with the state of turbo jet aerodynamics. The engineers are aware of the limitations of what they are doing and trace those limitations all the way back to the basic equations. In the end, it all has to be proven out in practical testing so it’s as all right as it can be.

    Having worked on the front lines of jet engine design and research and also at parts vendors and processors, I am very confident in the design and quality of the parts on the engines.

    I am by no means a shill for the industry. I’ll be the first to tell you “integrity” is just a buzzword for meticulous documentation. The main thing that’s under my grill when I get on a plane is knowing how much the price is inflated due to the tomfoolery going on in the industry.

    It’s all about who gets rich. Large companies push for more and more “regulation” which is just carte blanche to push smaller competitors out of business over nonsense.

    Research costs are inflated due to other tomfoolery. Again, it’s just tomfoolery that causes things to cost more than they should and sometimes the potential for a step forward gets squashed. The final product still has to be proven out.

    You wanna’ know fear? Look into the limitations of modeling contact stresses – talk about discontinuities – and contact stresses apply to just about anything engineered. Those limitations will not be alleviated by greater processing power. What’s really scary is that extremely competent engineers won’t believe the problem is as serious as it is – no, a smaller mesh size is NOT the answer to everything.

    Research can make good use of the best and brightest. It’s when the best and brightest go into writing that you know something’s upside down in the industry. 😉

  33. Part of my germ phobia leads to one of my many pet peeves – licking fingers. I hate it when people lick their fingers to help grab ahold of a piece of paper. Same as licking your fingers to turn the pages while reading a book. That is why I will not buy used books. I figure all the pages have been licked to death. I have asked co-workers, who are licking their fingers trying to give me a piece of paper, to stop slobbering all over my paper. They think I’m kidding until I lecture them on licking your nasty fingers and all the germs that are on your hands. Then I have to worry about not touching that part of the paper that they just “spit” on.

    No, seriously, if you are going to lick your fingers, why don’t you lick your feet while you are at it? Stop it!

  34. i fear alot of things, mainly microbes because i cant see them. yeah im that guy.

  35. Hey Joe.
    My fears are snakes and anything with a stinger. This past church camp was torture for me because there was a rattlesnake that decided to take a shortcut across the front of the outdoor auditorium in the middle of one of the services and a wasp stung me (more than once). I looked like the Michelin man after that but thankfully recovered.

    One of my best friends has a fear of Stargate Atlantis. I was watching the disc that has Whispers on it when he arrived at my house and he said that he had heard great things about the series and wanted to check it out. So, since I felt like being an ass we watched Whispers and now he won’t watch any of the series because he thinks they are all like that. I’m working on it though.

    Have a good one sir!

  36. I meant that the episode was scary btw. If you could add that I would appreciate it.

  37. @DP: Considering I regularly need to give the “write down your scale!” smackdown to students in advanced courses, I can easily believe those same competent students later go on to be competent engineers with “use a smaller mesh” pasted over any holes in the theories. What worries me more are the ones I’m still giving the “area vs volume” lecture to in their final year…

  38. SGA Entire Season 5 Boxed set for $168.99…..GIMME A FRAKING BREAK… you can buy either season 1,2,or3 for $15.99 each…..$14.99.if you go Walmart. MGM is getting ready to do the same thing Star Trek did Overprice their Season Box Collection’s and loose out…..

  39. Hello Mr. Joe!!!
    Hope you are well. 😀

    Only two questions and no ranting this time you will be glad to hear!

    1. Do you have any idea when Stargate Universe will air in the UK?

    2. Have you completed filming for Episode 10, and will do 11 after the hiatus, or are the two mashed together for convenience for actors and crew?

    Thanks always!

  40. My main fears are snakes (absolute phobia) and certain situations with heights. I am afraid to drive over high, long extension bridges or along narrow, windy, coastline roads with or without guard rails. On a trip to Scotland, we decided to visit a western coastal village. Little did I know that we would have to take a very narrow, switch-back-like road along the coast up into mountains and then down to the coast. This was one of those country roads with one lane shared by cars going in both directions. So, we were never sure if there would be an oncoming car around each 90 degree corner or some sinister sheep lurking in the middle of the road. By the time we finished this trip, I was huddled on the floor of the passenger side of the car. This is something that happened a few years ago and I still shudder when I think about it.

  41. I’m a little afraid of heights, but not phobic about it. And crowds make me nervous.

    Clowns, meh. They’re just annoying.

  42. Stepping on to balconies???

    This is not necessarily a fear of heights, it could be determined that without a thorough knowledge of design specifications, tolerances, the people who built it etc. That it would indeed be unwise to step on to one. You see, for the most part, if the floor which you stand collapses, you’ll simply end up on the floor below. If the balcony on which you stand (may be a glass balcony on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower) were to collapse, then you could be faced with a long if not eye catching decent the floor below that – a journey of around 1353 feet.
    So, it may not be a question of fear so much, but simply being uninformed of the technical information you require at that given moment.

    Personally, I really do not have any fears that come to mind – oh, maybe deep (and I mean seriously deep) water while swimming.

  43. Hi Mr M!

    Wow, back from hols in Spain! Great time (and tan) had by all. Only mistake I made – I left “The Speed of Dark” behind in Ireland and only realised when I got to the hol…so have to speed read it now to make the discussion deadline. Did read “The Sorceress” (book 3) by Michael Scott…worth a look from a legend meets magic type deal…really enjoying the series. Book 4 due out next year.

    So, what did I miss?

    Best to all!


    PS I dropped over to Lou Anders re: the list. Some great suggestions there!

    PPS: Any recipes from Mama Mallozzi?

  44. Wow. As I read previous posts, it is most amusing to note that some of us have fears or phobias in common.
    @ nearly everyone Snakes. OH YES-S-S-S-S-S-S.
    @ DP “I’m afraid of bureaucracy. I freeze for a minute when I get a letter from the DMV.” Agreed. Add to that letters from any local, county, state or federal agency.
    @ chevron7 “I don’t like parking under railway bridges if I’m stopped at traffic lights, I make sure I sit back a little just in case.” Agreed. I also annoy everyone behind me by stopping well in front of any overpass if I think I can’t clear it before having to stop. I can no longer drive through tunnels without getting white knuckles, heart-thumping scared either.
    Lisa “Horror movies” Agreed. I won’t watch them either. Only exception was Joe’s “Whispers” eppy and that gave me nightmares.
    @ Ponytail“Bathroom germs.” Well, yes… anyone else’s bathroom that isn’t my own.

    More phobias for me:
    1) Stepping on a sleeping cat lying on the top step of a dark staircase. I’ve done it and so has my Mom. I landed safely. My Mom broke her left leg in 3 places, ripped her earlobe in half and had a concussion. Never underestimate the power of gravity. Or a sleeping cat.
    2) Eating ANY unidentifiable food items. I just won’t.
    3) Flying in any airplane/jet. I could easily fly until I nearly lost hearing in both ears when pressurization failed in flight. Will not get on another plane.
    4) Heights, as in anything I have to climb up onto via a ladder. Fell off a 5ft ladder 4 years ago, landed in my rock garden. Hurt my neck, back and was impaled on a 1 in. diameter bush branch in my upper rear thigh. OUCH.

    Well, I think I’ve depressed myself enough for the moment.

    Rest in peace Walter Cronkite.

    2cats in NJ

  45. Komodo Dragons

    I read somewhere that their way of hunting is to bite their prey and then follow them around until they are paralyzed from the sepsis of being bitten by an animal whose mouth is like a petri dish. Then, they just swallow the prey whole.

    I had a childhood friend scare the wits out of me with a story about a creature that couldn’t chase you faster than a stagger, but would never, never stop following you as long as you lived and you would have to stop sometime – the stuff of nightmares.

  46. I used to have sever fear of wasps and bees, and of dentist drills. I knew relaxation techniques for desensitization, tried it. It worked. I’m still afraid of wasps, but now I calmly kill them instead of running away screaming. I’m bigger and armed with poison. I don’t kill dentists, I pretend I’m on the beach, relaxing. Works like a charm.

    I have a fear of driving. Runs in the family, mom and several nieces, even cousins I’ve not met as adults who don’t drive. Usually female. My grandmother too, but to be fair, she was older than cars. Several of them use anti-anxiety drugs so they can drive. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Even as a passenger, I cringe away from cars and trucks next to us, it looks like they’re coming at me, or falling over onto us. May be a physical brain perception thing. I can ride a motorcycle with a full enclose helmet, no problem. Perhaps I need blinders. I do have extremely developed peripheral vision.

    I love snakes, I’ve had them as pets. Germs only make you stronger, buck up your immune system. I am fearless in truckstop restrooms. Heights? Not as I’ve noticed. Explosions? Enjoy them. I do have odd situational claustrophobia. I can have panic attacks during asthma attacks, but that’s normal. I do fear cancer,a lot, but that’s because I’ve lost two brothers to it, and survived twice myself.

    Even Evil Clowns need love. Candy?

  47. Haha, well I have to say Komodo dragons used to scare me too, but I did a couple of week’s work at the zoo and got to hang out with one. It was pretty docile (although bigger than me). I guess now I just see them as bigger versions of goannas…how do you feel about them?

    As for my phobia…well I very strongly dislike long beards, so I’m going to have to go with Pogonophobia. I just find it unnerving when the beard gets to a stage where it covers someone’s entire mouth and possibly their chin. Think of all the food they could be hiding in there!

    Thanks for your advice on Lily. She’s been eating dog mince and dog biscuits and I can’t see any ‘refried beans’ on either of the ingredients lists. I’m hoping it’s just a phase. And hey, at least now I know to make her something special when it’s Mexican night.



  48. Insects. Oh, not just spiders and bees and ones that can actually hurt you, mind, but ANY insects. As far as I’m concerned, anthing with more than four legs doesn’t belong on the face of the earth.

    True story: visiting Marineland USA, hubs and I saw a trailer that had obviously been set up for a temporary exhibit. We couldn’t see a sign saying what it was. Entry was via a ramp, which a uniformed employee was standing on (her back to us). When we were halfway up the ramp (I was in front – ladies first and all that) she turned toward us. In her hand was one of those ginormous hissing cockroaches. I said something along the lines of *GAHHHHHHHHH* and stumbled backwards down the ramp, very nearly taking out my hubs and a couple that was (unwisely) directly behind us, who were only saved by quick reflexes and a very sturdy handrail. The horrified employee was mortified that she had scared me so badly, and was all apologies as she hurried forward to help me regain my balance. With the bug still in her hand. Not helpful. I said something along the lines of *AAAAHHHH* and turned and fled. Hubs didn’t catch up for 5 minutes. Why, you ask? He was too busy laughing his fool head off.

  49. Seriously Joe, how can one fear clowns? The most absurd characters in the world, made to make you laugh… I’d understand fearing insects (any kind), dogs, heights, serial killers and gang pawns, whackos…….. but clowns??

  50. Spiders. The really fat brown fast ones that act like they’re dead and then jump in your hair. OMG.

    Be well everybody, and enjoy the rest of the weekend 🙂

  51. Another disturbing Komodo dragon fact – there are only around 5,000 of them in the world. Just imagine how many men they have to kill each to get such a reputation.

    I am afraid of the Cincinnati Zoo, but with good reason. I don’t know how thick a wall you’d have to build to keep in a black rhino the size of a Winnebago, but they don’t even try. That rope is not fooling him. The same goes for the elephant exercise yard.

    I have news for their cat experts. Lions and tigers can jump and climb. Get better enclosures.

    And since when were polar bears green?

    Some zoos have brass statues of sea creatures you can pose with/on. Now, that’s class.

  52. Joe is right about clowns, as a kid i saw a clown leap onto my mom and forcefully kissed her. he was being funny but i wasnt laughing.

  53. I have a thing about teeth. I can’t stand loose wiggly teeth, which the kids in my daycare found endlessly entertaining. I can’t stand the sound of my husband flossing his teeth and have to leave the room.

    I’m not afraid of clowns, though, which is good, because my dad is a clown. Has the rainbow afro, makes balloon animals, the whole thing.

  54. My fear is birds. I think it comes from watching The Birds one too many times as a kid. My older sister used to work as a wildlife rehabilitator and I went to see her at work. Standing outside talking to her a bird flew over and landed on my back. I started screeching like an alligator had me, turns out it was a baby goldfinch about the size of my pinky. My son thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen. Birds from a distance are just fine and actually hawks and owls and other birds of prey don’t bother me but those little ones freak me out.

    Now snakes are kind of cute. We got one caught in a net we were using to keep those damn birds from stealing our strawberries and I offered to help my husband cut him free. He couldn’t understand why I’d run screaming from a sparrow but would offer to hold a snake.

  55. hi joe, thanks for answering my question regarding robert carlyle’s accent – i am surprised actually (or are you pulling my leg?) when i was browsing the internet when i was bored earlier, i mean, when i was working, I noticed a large amount of people have made Lego models of various aspects of Stargate. I have had a nosey around and can’t find any official Lego Stargate products. Is this something that could come about, or will be coming about, during broadcast of Universe? I think that there is a market for it! Thanks again, AndyBrind

  56. Awww…come on, people! Snakes are nice! They don’t have LEGS!!!

    Tonight, while playig ‘tourist’ on Wildwood boardwalk, I gotsta pet a big old boa…beautiful thing it was. Back in high school I used to help take care of two boas that belonged to the school…they were the neatest things! Nice huggers. 😉

    I would have a snake even now if I didn’t have to feed it live things. That’s the only thing holding me back.


  57. @ Deni – Keep your fat brown jumping ‘dead’ spiders to yourself!!! 😮

    Yeah..that’s my biggest fear – spiders, then heights, then public restrooms.

    @ aboleyn24 – Was just thinking about The Birds this evening while on the boardwalk – seagulls were EVERYwhere. I said to Mr. Das, “this looks just like a scene out of The Birds, only they haven’t started pecking our eyes out yet (though they did steal someone’s slice of pizza)”. You, I fear, would never have made it.


  58. Ah, phobias. Much fun they are to exploit. *evil grin* No, just kidding.

    I’m freaked out by centipedes. Millipedes I love, but centipedes make my skin crawl. I can’t explain it…

    I love snakes! Really, I do. Always wanted one as a pet, but Mom said absolutely no way.

    I was camping last weekend and saw a timber rattler on the side of some back road. I stopped the car and got out to take pictures. Of course, I kept a respectable distance because the thing could kill me if it wanted to, but it was so cool! He (I’m guessing here – I wasn’t -that- close) was just sunning himself on the road, completely carefree. I got some neat pictures until Dad walked up behind him and he started coiling. Then we left…

    Sometimes I think I lack the good, natural fears that most people have. Take snakes, for instance. I’m out with friends and we see a snake and I go up to it to get a closer look while everyone else runs away and screams “SNAKE!” I don’t get why people are so afraid…They won’t hurt you if you don’t provoke them. Granted, garter snakes can be aggressive and downright ill-tempered, but most snakes are calm and relaxed unless you poke them or try to touch them.

    Anyhoo, I’ve also got this aversion to trash. I can’t go near the bag once it’s out of the can at home, and I can hardly bring myself to touch the lid of the big trash can outside to toss something in. And I definitely can’t get myself to take the trash out. Mom thinks I just say this, but really, even the thought of touching the bag makes me gag and get light headed.

    As for other fears, I don’t think I have any. I love heights, though I’m pretty respectful of the edges of things (rocks, cliffs, balconies). I hate crowds, and I have this nagging fear I’m going to get sick with something and end up in a hospital (another fear…the thought of hospitals or hospital related activities gives me anxiety attacks). Appendicitis is high on the list, as is some form of cancer or some other not-easily-treated disease or illness. I guess this makes me a hypochondriac? *shrug*

  59. Phobophobia. Devlish trap. Once upon a time, I had not a care in the world, and I pitied all those poor people with phobias. I don’t recall how or when it crept in, but at some point I developed first a vague concern, then a slight dread, and eventually a morbid fear of developing a phobia. Damn those self-fulling types of things!

    Actually, I think it started out as phobophobophobia. Maybe there’s a recursive algorithm in play here.

    Speaking of rithm rythm: I just recently developed a new phobia after seeing Joel Goldsmith’s — IMO Emmy-worthy — acting performance as “Mister Pokerface” in that Las Vegas episode of SGA.

    Now I’m mortified by the thought that Le Master may have caught the acting bug and will stop composing all that awesome music to pursue an acting career. I can certainly imagine him as a “village elder” in an upcoming SGU episode. (Hint, hint.)

    But here’s a thought: maybe you can make it part of his composer’s contract that he will get to be on screen in x number of episodes per season as long as he keeps composing his mighty fine music for that same season of the show.

    That would kill two winged, bipedal, endothermic, vertebrate animals with one piece of hard earthen substance, and I would not have to come up with the proper scientific name for that “Joel Goldsmith abandons composing to pursue acting” phobia…

  60. I have many similar fears as listed above (heights, enclosed spaces, speaking in front of people, crazy drivers, clowns, spiders/bugs, snakes, bears, gorillas, etc), but I think I only have a couple that would be considered real phobias.

    I have a phobia of water. I love swimming, though. I can usually talk myself through it, but sometimes the fear gets me, and I can’t get in it (this sometimes applies to baths!).

    My other phobia is my fear of toilets. It’s not the germs either. Those mostly just gross me out. Toilets themselves scare me. I’m fine with modern, normal household toilets for the most part. But if the tank on the back is very big, I’m a little uneasy around the toilet. If the toilet has a black lid, my fear level increases quite a bit. If the toilet has a black lid and a long pipe on the back, it starts almost freaking me out. I hate the big handicap toilets. It’s like it wants to eat me. I don’t like feeling like something is looming behind me.

    The type of toilet that I will refuse to use until I’m to the point of exploding is the kind that has the toilet with a long pipe coming out the back and the water tank is up near the ceiling. Those REALLY freak me out.

    Oh, and once I met a completely black toilet. The whole thing was black from top to bottom…and the bathroom was dimly lit. It was AWFUL! I couldnt’ even step into the bathroom.

    We can’t forget the long drops either (outhouses over a big hole). I’ll use the forest before I use one of those.

    My family finds it very entertaining. I can usually talk myself through it now that I’m not a kid anymore, but they still scare me!

  61. So, when they said the new series would be “darker” they really meant it would have fewer lights? I like these sets. They look more like the style of the original gate, repository, and dhd.

    The Atlantis set was beautiful, but it seemed a very different style than had been glimpsed of other Ancient tech. I guess over millions of years, any civilization would go through many fashion changes in architecture.

  62. Joey, this entry will forever haunt you. 😀

    Just wanted to tell you a story that happened a couple weeks back. I look after my neighbor’s house when she’s away (which is most of the time since her job takes her away for weeks, even months). The house has always had a pecular smell which I thought was gas, but since she never said anything, and her nephew – who lived there for about 4 months – never said anything, I just figured it was that ‘gassy’ odor that sometimes comes from the sink drains, especially those with garbage disposals. Well, a couple weeks ago around 5 pm I go to take in her mail, and when I open the storm door I’m hit smack in the face with natural gas (even before opening the main door). I went in (I know, stoooopit!) and the whole place was just permeated with the smell.

    I tried to call her, but no answer. So I called the gas company, and they came out and confirmed it was a gas leak of some kind. (They also told me that women are excellent detectors of gas leaks, whereas men often can’t smell it – just so you know.) In the meantime my neighbor calls – she’s getting on a plane in Salt Lake to come home! Her plane would be arriving in Philly around midnight, and it’s about an a hour and a half, maybe two hour drive here. It was one of the cooler nights, and now she has no heat, no hot water. The gas company even removed the gas meter because they felt it wasn’t big enough.

    While this is all going on, I had to empty out a closet so the gas company could access the stove connections. The guy determined that the leak wasn’t at the appliances, but in the line somewhere. Enter the plumber. It took about two hours or so of leak and pressure testing before they finally found the leak – at a gastite connection under the house that was never properly connected. Basically the gas had been filling up all the spaces between the interior walls and crawl space for months, with some seeping into the house as well. They *said* it wasn’t enough to blow up, but I’m not buying it. The place just reeked! Fortunately, they got it fixed and had the heat back on before she came home, and all is well now.

    Anyway…seeing as how you have that fear of gas grills, I thought I’d just share with you a little story about gas heat, too… 😉


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