Jan 31, 2014

The Destruction of the World Will Go Viral

Note: The humans can’t read my rainbows, either.

I have to warn them, tell them that the planet is about to wake up and realize what they’ve been doing. How do you get their attention? Pay for ads on social media?

Most importantly, how do I not alert the Titans?

Suddenly the Beast Arose from the Waters
by Aaron Rossell

Now I must leave you with a neat little soundtrack for the end of civilization, for the hour runs late and I want my lunch.

Jan 24, 2014

The Woman Who Fell in Love with a Postmodern Building and Set Her Lovers' Boat on Fire

When in Prague...

Chiara Lys nearly suffered a heart attack, and the strongest orgasm of her life, on her first trip to Prague. Her prince charming was all curves and sharp angles in the sun, deliberate – steel and glass, concrete and rebar. Chiara’s two boyfriends didn’t exactly cotton to the European stranger.

The Vitra Musem, also by Frank Gehry.
Photo by Sandstein.

Photo above: The Dancing House, in Prague, Czech Republic

As backstory, Chiara would have established a secret conversation with the building, in a language only she could hear and understand. Certain buildings would be extradimensional entities drawn into the world by unsuspecting architects working as mediums, and they would have a holy text of their own. Their multifaceted, trans-categorical language would alternately give Chiara orgasms and frighten her half to death.

I even came up with a paragraph of that holy text, the Plurichant of Gol:

Cha lii maa, unga meneh ak drebouil. Hepteh? Zaziim. Agla f’nuk f’nuk’h. Yim aglaia bizod meru. Akka baniim, hiehv detuu, iaza iaza, holol. Ink a bir-bir manigau draa. Ab ba f’nuk, diero mazolaios avva nemu, tortor vaia, agla ishoprel. Azuz mairi. Jierolam azaur venai, f’nuk, hervi atta-matuu, hacha, glel puu, indorisko menovalos. Ab ba chenom. Ol gaiur, menekh avurah, irbdi f’nuk midal, havara tushav, bielggi omalos perom zetavva niborska, vavala moneh. Hepteh? Zaz midal.

Chapter Ten Thousand and Six, paragraph two.

Gibberish or conlang? You tell me.

The EMP museum by Frank Gehry
Photo by Cacophony

As for Mr Gehry, he's a Canadian-American architect who designs buildings known for their visual impact and inventiveness. He's got detractors like art historian Hal Foster, who point out that Gehry's architecture wastes a lot of building material, puts form before function, and mostly caters to corporate branding. Be that as it may, Gehry's art and personality can and should be studied -- which includes criticism and acceptance/rejection of Gehry's principles.

Ta for now.

Jan 22, 2014

And How Many Ounces of Willpower Would You Like Today, Good Sir

On Tuesdays Edgar would freak out because Tuesday was freakout day. He would hide all the knives in the house under a floorboard in his dead grandma’s room, or he’d paint the dogs’ claws a shimmering green. Edgar’s uncle Clayborne, a sword-swallowing circus midget, had plans for Edgar.

Blubber Brothers
by Burnt Toast Creative

Sword swallowing. Have you ever tried it? Would you like to? This handy FAQ explains that "[m]any people think that sword swallowers use a fake sword (known as a "gaff" in the business) that curls or folds up into the handle, but this is simply not the case for real sword swallowers."

So, no gimmick swords for the hardcore performer. What, you say you don't buy that? Here, have some X-Rays.

"Sword swallowing," claims the author of the FAQ, "originated about 4000 years ago in India around 2000 BC by fakirs and shaman priests who developed the art along with fire-walking on hot coals, snake handling, and other ascetic religious practices, as demonstration of their invulnerability, power, and connection with their gods."

Writing for Cracked.com, Colin Murdock files sword swallowing under "secretly easy to do." He does admit that multiple sword swallowing is trickier, though.

...And I sign off for today with an extra serving of pictorial inspiration. Enjoy.

Forest Giant
by Makitoy

by Tanya_tk

The Deepness
by Marc Sheff

Jan 17, 2014

Of Comets and Gods in the Making

Asferit had not grown up; she didn’t know where she came from; could not conceive of childhood. No memories of parents, no recollection of family. On the vast empty world that served her as a lab, she built the probes and put a little bit of herself in each one.

by John Magnet Bell

Both this prompt and the picture above were inspired by the concept of panspermia: the idea that life might be distributed throughout the universe by traveling on meteors and other wandering bodies. You might find it curious that one of the co-discoverers of DNA, Francis Crick, championed directed panspermia -- a proposed method for seeding life on planets across the cosmos.

Who knows how many resilient species can withstand the hardships of space? Cyanobacteria survived a whopping 553 days on the International Space Station, after all. Could a super-intelligent being or colony organism not design some version of itself to survive long years traveling the void?

Jan 15, 2014

A Brief Archaeology of Your Blood Relatives

What would you do if you had a twin brother, born to a different mother, thousands of years after you had exhaled for the last time?

Brukk had rather set things on fire than ask himself questions like that.

Weldon, his brother from the future, badly needed Brukk’s assistance.

And Brukk wouldn't have any of that.
This, by the way, is Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden cosplaying as generic caveman.

Brukk would have been a Cro-Magnon, which is to say, an European Early Modern Human (EEMH), as the term "Cro-Magnon" relates to Abri de Cro-Magnon, the site where the first specimen of EEMH was found. 

On average, Cro-Magnon people had larger skulls and therefore higher brain capacity than modern humans. Brain shrinkage is an ongoing trend, however. But, take heart: bigger doesn't always mean better.

In Occitan, Cro-Magnon means "big cave." Occitan, one of many Romance languages -- and also known as Proven├žal -- is closely related to Catalan. Now composed of six dialects, Occitan is an endangered language. It may not live on into the 22nd century.

The Ice Age Sucked
by Terry Fan

Further Reading:

Jan 10, 2014

That Old Liquid Blessing from Heaven

Rudiver could not believe the flavors in his mouth.
“What do you call this foul concoction, Baurdain?” He asked his half-brother and co-pilot. “It tastes like engine coolant.”
“The bipeds call it what-the-fuck-is-this-and-can-I-have-some-more,” said Baurdain.
Rudiver untwined his yellow feelers. “Hmm, maybe you should pour me another vial,” he said.

by Giacomo D'Ancona

Jan 8, 2014

Everything You Do Is a Snowball

I must shield my true purpose – the cops must not capture the data stored in my elbow. Oh! Not the data in my elbow. Wait… Those women in the orange truck! They are cops. I can smell it. I take shoes off and pad over the snow. Surprise!

by Willow Dawson

Have a look at the news item that inspired the prompt:
Half-dressed woman attacks vehicle on I-5

Certain drugs can trigger psychosis. Yet others can trigger schizophrenia in susceptible people.

What are the symptoms of a psychotic break?

From Wikipedia:

Symptoms of psychotic breaks vary greatly, usually depending on the circumstances of diagnosis or any contributory substance ingested. Symptoms can range from harmless, sometimes unnoticed delusions, to violent outbursts and major depression.
Where a bipolar disorder is involved, crying, grandiosity, insomnia, irritability, and persecutory delusions may all or severally manifest themselves as symptoms. (Emphases mine.)

What are the most common schizophrenic delusions?

From Helpguide.org:

◊ Delusions of persecution – Belief that others, often a vague “they,” are out to get him or her. These persecutory delusions often involve bizarre ideas and plots (e.g. “Martians are trying to poison me with radioactive particles delivered through my tap water”).

◊ Delusions of reference – A neutral environmental event is believed to have a special and personal meaning. For example, a person with schizophrenia might believe a billboard or a person on TV is sending a message meant specifically for them.

◊ Delusions of grandeur – Belief that one is a famous or important figure, such as Jesus Christ or Napoleon. Alternately, delusions of grandeur may involve the belief that one has unusual powers that no one else has (e.g. the ability to fly).

◊ Delusions of control – Belief that one’s thoughts or actions are being controlled by outside, alien forces. Common delusions of control include thought broadcasting (“My private thoughts are being transmitted to others”), thought insertion (“Someone is planting thoughts in my head”), and thought withdrawal (“The CIA is robbing me of my thoughts”).

I also imagined the half-dressed woman character as a film director with a predilection for obscure Japanese films and comics. What follows is an interpretive list of the films/comics/TV shows she would enjoy in her spare time, because I truly have no idea what any of these things are --

In which a silver-clad weirdo ruins a wonderful birthday party by setting the birthday ogre on fire and chopping her friends to pieces.

In which a woman returns home from work and finds her grandfather hosting gladiatorial tournaments on his tongue, instead of making dinner as he promised.

In which the heroic Graublar Shoggis III drives off grotesque little invaders from his home planet -- for they only have two nostrils and wear red pants, both of which are anathema to the Mighty Goddess Barzulax. 

Jan 3, 2014

Captain Chunkypants, Protector of the Common Bowl, Savior of the Galaxy

Captain Chunkypants, first and best hope of Dogkind, pointed the nose of his woofship toward the ion currents and declared: “Lobster pirate vessel approaching. All dogs to their pack stations.”

Already the sinister crustacean craft banked against the cosmic tides, tensing her proton whips.

Picorgi! Or, you know, Captain Chunkypants.

Corgis originate in Wales; they were bred as herding dogs, and also employed to guard households and children. They may have some Swedish Vallhund (a.k.a. 'The Little Cattle Dog of the Vikings') in their blood. Norse invaders brought vallhundar to Wales hundreds of years ago.

There are two breeds of Corgi: the larger, sturdier Cardigans, and the Pembroke Corgis. Trainable as they are, corgis get taken out to hunt -- even big game, like bears! Imagine that. But hey, some bears are complete wusses.  

And corgis mean business.