Text 2 May Entropy.

My dear friends, I think it may be time to pick up the art of blogging again. Let’s start with a creation story that rivals that of my Bears creation story, a tale by Isaac Asimov, my new favorite short story author. 

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 The Last Question

The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five-dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way:

Alexander Adell and Bertram Lupov were two of the faithful attendants of Multivac. As well as any human beings could, they knew what lay behind the cold, clicking, flashing face — miles and miles of face — of that giant computer. They had at least a vague notion of the general plan of relays and circuits that had long since grown past the point where any single human could possibly have a firm grasp of the whole.

Multivac was self-adjusting and self-correcting. It had to be, for nothing human could adjust and correct it quickly enough or even adequately enough. So Adell and Lupov attended the monstrous giant only lightly and superficially, yet as well as any men could. They fed it data, adjusted questions to its needs and translated the answers that were issued. Certainly they, and all others like them, were fully entitled to share in the glory that was Multivac’s.

For decades, Multivac had helped design the ships and plot the trajectories that enabled man to reach the Moon, Mars, and Venus, but past that, Earth’s poor resources could not support the ships. Too much energy was needed for the long trips. Earth exploited its coal and uranium with increasing efficiency, but there was only so much of both.

But slowly Multivac learned enough to answer deeper questions more fundamentally, and on May 14, 2061, what had been theory, became fact.

The energy of the sun was stored, converted, and utilized directly on a planet-wide scale. All Earth turned off its burning coal, its fissioning uranium, and flipped the switch that connected all of it to a small station, one mile in diameter, circling the Earth at half the distance of the Moon. All Earth ran by invisible beams of sunpower.

Seven days had not sufficed to dim the glory of it and Adell and Lupov finally managed to escape from the public functions, and to meet in quiet where no one would think of looking for them, in the deserted underground chambers, where portions of the mighty buried body of Multivac showed. Unattended, idling, sorting data with contented lazy clickings, Multivac, too, had earned its vacation and the boys appreciated that. They had no intention, originally, of disturbing it.

They had brought a bottle with them, and their only concern at the moment was to relax in the company of each other and the bottle.

"It’s amazing when you think of it," said Adell. His broad face had lines of weariness in it, and he stirred his drink slowly with a glass rod, watching the cubes of ice slur clumsily about. "All the energy we can possibly ever use for free. Enough energy, if we wanted to draw on it, to melt all Earth into a big drop of impure liquid iron, and still never miss the energy so used. All the energy we could ever use, forever and forever and forever."

Lupov cocked his head sideways. He had a trick of doing that when he wanted to be contrary, and he wanted to be contrary now, partly because he had had to carry the ice and glassware. “Not forever,” he said.

"Oh, hell, just about forever. Till the sun runs down, Bert."

"That’s not forever."

"All right, then. Billions and billions of years. Ten billion, maybe. Are you satisfied?"

Lupov put his fingers through his thinning hair as though to reassure himself that some was still left and sipped gently at his own drink. “Ten billion years isn’t forever.”

"Well, it will last our time, won’t it?"

"So would the coal and uranium."

"All right, but now we can hook up each individual spaceship to the Solar Station, and it can go to Pluto and back a million times without ever worrying about fuel. You can’t do that on coal and uranium. Ask Multivac, if you don’t believe me.

"I don’t have to ask Multivac. I know that."

"Then stop running down what Multivac’s done for us," said Adell, blazing up, "It did all right."

"Who says it didn’t? What I say is that a sun won’t last forever. That’s all I’m saying. We’re safe for ten billion years, but then what?" Lupow pointed a slightly shaky finger at the other. "And don’t say we’ll switch to another sun."

There was silence for a while. Adell put his glass to his lips only occasionally, and Lupov’s eyes slowly closed. They rested.

Then Lupov’s eyes snapped open. “You’re thinking we’ll switch to another sun when ours is done, aren’t you?”

"I’m not thinking."

"Sure you are. You’re weak on logic, that’s the trouble with you. You’re like the guy in the story who was caught in a sudden shower and who ran to a grove of trees and got under one. He wasn’t worried, you see, because he figured when one tree got wet through, he would just get under another one."

"I get it," said Adell. "Don’t shout. When the sun is done, the other stars will be gone, too."

"Darn right they will," muttered Lupov. "It all had a beginning in the original cosmic explosion, whatever that was, and it’ll all have an end when all the stars run down. Some run down faster than others. Hell, the giants won’t last a hundred million years. The sun will last ten billion years and maybe the dwarfs will last two hundred billion for all the good they are. But just give us a trillion years and everything will be dark. Entropy has to increase to maximum, that’s all."

"I know all about entropy," said Adell, standing on his dignity.

 

"The hell you do."

"I know as much as you do."

"Then you know everything’s got to run down someday."

"All right. Who says they won’t?"

"You did, you poor sap. You said we had all the energy we needed, forever. You said ‘forever.’

It was Adell’s turn to be contrary. “Maybe we can build things up again someday,” he said.

"Never."

"Why not? Someday."

"Never."

"Ask Multivac."

You ask Multivac. I dare you. Five dollars says it can’t be done.”

Adell was just drunk enough to try, just sober enough to be able to phrase the necessary symbols and operations into a question which, in words, might have corresponded to this: Will mankind one day without the net expenditure of energy be able to restore the sun to its full youthfulness even after it had died of old age?

Or maybe it could be put more simply like this: How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?

Multivac fell dead and silent. The slow flashing of lights ceased, the distant sounds of clicking relays ended.

Then, just as the frightened technicians felt they could hold their breath no longer, there was a sudden springing to life of the teletype attached to that portion of Multivac. Five words were printed: INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

"No bet," whispered Lupov. They left hurriedly.

By next morning, the two, plagued with throbbing head and cottony mouth, had forgotten the incident.


Jerrodd, Jerrodine, and Jerrodette I and II watched the starry picture in the visiplate change as the passage through hyperspace was completed in its non-time lapse. At once, the even powdering of stars gave way to the predominance of a single bright shining disk, the size of a marble, centered on the viewing-screen.

"That’s X-23," said Jerrodd confidently. His thin hands clamped tightly behind his back and the knuckles whitened.

The little Jerrodettes, both girls, had experienced the hyperspace passage for the first time in their lives and were self-conscious over the momentary sensation of insideoutness. They buried their giggles and chased one another wildly about their mother, screaming, “We’ve reached X-23 — we’ve reached X-23 — we’ve —”

 

"Quiet, children." said Jerrodine sharply. "Are you sure, Jerrodd?"

"What is there to be but sure?" asked Jerrodd, glancing up at the bulge of featureless metal just under the ceiling. It ran the length of the room, disappearing through the wall at either end. It was as long as the ship.

Jerrodd scarcely knew a thing about the thick rod of metal except that it was called a Microvac, that one asked it questions if one wished; that if one did not it still had its task of guiding the ship to a preordered destination; of feeding on energies from the various Sub-galactic Power Stations; of computing the equations for the hyperspatial jumps.

Jerrodd and his family had only to wait and live in the comfortable residence quarters of the ship. Someone had once told Jerrodd that the “ac” at the end of “Microvac” stood for ”automatic computer” in ancient English, but he was on the edge of forgetting even that.

Jerrodine’s eyes were moist as she watched the visiplate. “I can’t help it. I feel funny about leaving Earth.”

"Why, for Pete’s sake?" demanded Jerrodd. "We had nothing there. We’ll have everything on X-23. You won’t be alone. You won’t be a pioneer. There are over a million people on the planet already. Good Lord, our great-grandchildren will be looking for new worlds because X-23 will be overcrowded." Then, after a reflective pause, "I tell you, it’s a lucky thing the computers worked out interstellar travel the way the race is growing."

"I know, I know," said Jerrodine miserably.

Jerrodette I said promptly, “Our Microvac is the best Microvac in the world.”

"I think so, too," said Jerrodd, tousling her hair.

 

It was a nice feeling to have a Microvac of your own and Jerrodd was glad he was part of his generation and no other. In his father’s youth, the only computers had been tremendous machines taking up a hundred square miles of land. There was only one to a planet. Planetary ACs they were called. They had been growing in size steadily for a thousand years and then, all at once, came refinement. In place of transistors, had come molecular valves so that even the largest Planetary AC could be put into a space only half the volume of a spaceship.

Jerrodd felt uplifted, as he always did when he thought that his own personal Microvac was many times more complicated than the ancient and primitive Multivac that had first tamed the Sun, and almost as complicated as Earth’s Planetarv AC (the largest) that had first solved the problem of hyperspatial travel and had made trips to the stars possible.

"So many stars, so many planets," sighed Jerrodine, busy with her own thoughts. "I suppose families will be going out to new planets forever, the way we are now."

"Not forever," said Jerrodd, with a smile. "It will all stop someday, but not for billions of years. Many billions. Even the stars run down, you know. Entropy must increase.

"What’s entropy, daddy?" shrilled Jerrodette II.

"Entropy, little sweet, is just a word which means the amount of running-down of the universe. Everything runs down, you know, like your little walkie-talkie robot, remember?"

"Can’t you just put in a new power-unit, like with my robot?"

"The stars are the power-units. dear. Once they’re gone, there are no more power-units."

Jerrodette I at once set up a howl. “Don’t let them, daddy. Don’t let the stars run down.”

"Now look what you’ve done," whispered Jerrodine, exasperated.

"How was I to know it would frighten them?" Jerrodd whispered back,

"Ask the Microvac," wailed Jerrodette I. "Ask him how to turn the stars on again."

"Go ahead," said Jerrodine. "It will quiet them down." (Jerrodette II was beginning to cry, also.)

Jerrodd shrugged. “Now, now, honeys. I’ll ask Microvac. Don’t worry, he’ll tell us.”

He asked the Microvac, adding quickly, “Print the answer.”

Jerrodd cupped the strip or thin cellufilm and said cheerfully, “See now, the Microvac says it will take care of everything when the time comes so don’t worry.”

Jerrodine said, “And now, children, it’s time for bed. We’ll be in our new home soon.”

Jerrodd read the words on the cellufilm again before destroying it: INSUFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

He shrugged and looked at the visiplate. X-23 was just ahead.


VJ-23X of Lameth stared into the black depths of the three-dimensional, small-scale map of the Galaxy and said, “Are we ridiculous, I wonder in being so concerned about the matter?”

MQ-17J of Nicron shook his head. “I think not. You know the Galaxy will be filled in five years at the present rate of expansion.”

Both seemed in their early twenties, both were tall and perfectly formed.

"Still," said VJ-23X, "I hesitate to submit a pessimistic report to the Galactic Council."

"I wouldn’t consider any other kind of report. Stir them up a bit. We’ve got to stir them up."

VJ-23X sighed. “Space is infinite. A hundred billion Galaxies are there for the taking. More.”

"A hundred billion is not infinite and it’s getting less infinite all the time. Consider! Twenty thousand years ago, mankind first solved the problem of utilizing stellar energy, and a few centuries later, interstellar travel became possible. It took mankind a million years to fill one small world and then only fifteen thousand years to fill the rest of the Galaxy. Now the population doubles every ten years —

VJ-23X interrupted. “We can thank immortality for that.”

"Very well. Immortality exists and we have to take it into account. I admit it has its seamy side, this immortality. The Galactic AC has solved many problems for us, but in solving the problem of preventing old age and death, it has undone all its other solutions."

"Yet you wouldn’t want to abandon life, I suppose."

"Not at all," snapped MQ-17J, softening it at once to, "Not yet. I’m by no means old enough. How old are you?"

"Two hundred twenty-three. And you?"

"I’m still under two hundred. —But to get back to my point. Population doubles every ten years. Once this GaIaxy is filled, we’ll have filled another in ten years. Another ten years and we’ll have filled two more. Another decade, four more. In a hundred years, we’ll have filled a thousand Galaxies. In a thousand years, a million Galaxies. In ten thousand years, the entire known universe. Then what?"

VJ-23X said, “As a side issue, there’s a problem of transportation. I wonder how many sunpower units it will take to move Galaxies of individuals from one Galaxy to the next.”

"A very good point. Already, mankind consumes two sunpower units per year."

"Most of it’s wasted. After all, our own Galaxy alone pours out a thousand sunpower units a year and we only use two of those."

"Granted, but even with a hundred per cent efficiency, we only stave off the end. Our energy requirements are going up in a geometric progression even faster than our population. We’ll run out of energy even sooner than we run out of Galaxies. A good point. A very good point."

"We’ll just have to build new stars out of interstellar gas."

"Or out of dissipated heat?" asked MQ-17J, sarcastically.

"There may be some way to reverse entropy. We ought to ask the Galactic AC."

VJ-23X was not really serious, but MQ-17J pulled out his AC-contact from his pocket and placed it on the table before him.

"I’ve half a mind to," he said. "It’s something the human race will have to face someday."

He stared somberly at his small AC-contact. It was only two inches cubed and nothing in itself, but it was connected through hyperspace with the great Galactic AC that served all mankind. Hyperspace considered, it was an integral part of the Galactic AC.

MQ-17J paused to wonder if someday in his immortal life he would get to see the Galactic AC. It was on a little world of its own, a spider webbing of force-beams holding the matter within which surges of submesons took the place of the old clumsy molecular valves. Yet despite its sub-etheric workings, the Galactic AC was known to be a full thousand feet across.

MQ-17J asked suddenly of his AC-contact, “Can entropy ever be reversed?”

VJ-23X looked startled and said at once, “Oh, say, I didn’t really mean to have you ask that.”

"Why not?"

"We both know entropy can’t be reversed. You can’t turn smoke and ash back into a tree."

"Do you have trees on your world?" asked MQ-17J.

The sound of the Galactic AC startled them into silence. Its voice came thin and beautiful out of the small AC-contact on the desk. It said: THERE IS INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.

VJ-23X said, “See!”

The two men thereupon returned to the question of the report they were to make to the Galactic Council.


Zee Prime’s mind spanned the new Galaxy with a faint interest in the countless twists of stars that powdered it. He had never seen this one before. Would he ever see them all? So many of them, each with its load of humanity. —But a load that was almost a dead weight. More and more, the real essence of men was to be found out here, in space.

Minds, not bodies! The immortal bodies remained back on the planets, in suspension over the eons. Sometimes they roused for material activity but that was growing rarer. Few new individuals were coming into existence to join the incredibly mighty throng, but what matter? There was little room in the Universe for new individuals.

Zee Prime was roused out of his reverie upon coming across the wispy tendrils of another mind.

"I am Zee Prime," said Zee Prime. "And you?"

"I am Dee Sub Wun. Your Galaxy?"

"We call it only the Galaxy. And you?"

"We call ours the same. All men call their Galaxy their Galaxy and nothing more. Why not?"

"True. Since all Galaxies are the same."

"Not all Galaxies. On one particular Galaxy the race of man must have originated. That makes it different."

Zee Prime said, “On which one?”

"I cannot say. The Universal AC would know."

"Shall we ask him? I am suddenly curious."

Zee Prime’s perceptions broadened until the Galaxies themselves shrank and became a new, more diffuse powdering on a much larger background. So many hundreds of billions of them, all with their immortal beings, all carrying their load of intelligences with minds that drifted freely through space. And yet one of them was unique among them all in being the original Galaxy. One of them had, in its vague and distant past, a period when it was the only Galaxy populated by man.

Zee Prime was consumed with curiosity to see this Galaxy and he called out: “Universal AC! On which Galaxy did mankind originate?”

The Universal AC heard, for on every world and throughout space, it had its receptors ready, and each receptor led through hyperspace to some unknown point where the Universal AC kept itself aloof.

Zee Prime knew of only one man whose thoughts had penetrated within sensing distance of Universal AC, and he reported only a shining globe, two feet across, difficult to see.

 

"But how can that be all of Universal AC?" Zee Prime had asked.

"Most of it," had been the answer, "is in hyperspace. In what form it is there I cannot imagine."

Nor could anyone, for the day had long since passed, Zee Prime knew, when any man had any part of the making of a Universal AC. Each Universal AC designed and constructed its successor. Each, during its existence of a million years or more accumulated the necessary data to build a better and more intricate, more capable successor in which its own store of data and individuality would be submerged.

The Universal AC interrupted Zee Prime’s wandering thoughts, not with words, but with guidance. Zee Prime’s mentality was guided into the dim sea of Galaxies and one in particular enlarged into stars.

A thought came, infinitely distant, but infinitely clear. “THIS IS THE ORIGINAL GALAXY OF MAN.”

But it was the same after all, the same as any other, and Lee Prime stifled his disappointment.

Dee Sub Wun, whose mind had accompanied the other, said suddenly, “And is one of these stars the original star of Man?”

The Universal AC said, “MAN’S ORIGINAL STAR HAS GONE NOVA. IT IS A WHITE DWARF”

"Did the men upon it die?" asked Lee Prime, startled and without thinking.

The Universal AC said, “A NEW WORLD, AS IN SUCH CASES WAS CONSTRUCTED FOR THEIR PHYSICAL BODIES IN TlME.”

"Yes, of course," said Zee Prime, but a sense of loss overwhelmed him even so. His mind released its hold on the original Galaxy of Man, let it spring back and lose itself among the blurred pin points. He never wanted to see it again.

Dee Sub Wun said, “What is wrong?”

"The stars are dying. The original star is dead."

"They must all die. Why not?"

"But when all energy is gone, our bodies will finally die, and you and I with them."

"It will take billions of years."

"I do not wish it to happen even after billions of years. Universal AC! How may stars be kept from dying?"

Dee Sub Wun said in amusement, “You’re asking how entropy might be reversed in direction.”

And the Universal AC answered: “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”

Zee Prime’s thoughts fled back to his own Galaxy. He gave no further thought to Dee Sub Wun, whose body might be waiting on a Galaxy a trillion light-years away, or on the star next to Zee Prime’s own. It didn’t matter.

Unhappily, Zee Prime began collecting interstellar hydrogen out of which to build a small star of his own. If the stars must someday die, at least some could yet be built.


Man considered with himself, for in a way, Man, mentally, was one. He consisted of a trillion, trillion, trillion ageless bodies, each in its place, each resting quiet and incorruptible, each cared for by perfect automatons, equally incorruptible, while the minds of all the bodies freely melted one into the other, indistinguishable.

Man said, “The Universe is dying.”

Man looked about at the dimming Galaxies. The giant stars, spendthrifts, were gone long ago, back in the dimmest of the dim far past. Almost all stars were white dwarfs, fading to the end.

New stars had been built of the dust between the stars, some by natural processes, some by Man himself, and those were going, too. White dwarfs might yet be crashed together and of the mighty forces so released, new stars built, but only one star for every thousand white dwarfs destroyed, and those would come to an end, too.

Man said, “Carefully husbanded, as directed by the Cosmic AC, the energy that is even yet left in all the Universe will last for billions of years.”

"But even so," said Man, "eventually it will all come to an end. However it may be husbanded, however stretched out, the energy once expended is gone and cannot be restored. Entropy must increase forever to the maximum."

Man said, “Can entropy not be reversed? Let us ask the Cosmic AC.”

The Cosmic AC surrounded them but not in space. Not a fragment of it was in space. It was in hyperspace and made of something that was neither matter nor energy. The question of its size and nature no longer had meaning in any terms that Man could comprehend.

"Cosmic AC," said Man, "how may entropy be reversed?"

The Cosmic AC said, “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”

Man said, “Collect additional data.”

The Cosmic AC said, ‘I WILL DO SO. I HAVE BEEN DOING SO FOR A HUNDRED BILLION YEARS. MY PREDECESORS AND I HAVE BEEN ASKED THIS QUESTION MANY TlMES. ALL THE DATA I HAVE REMAINS INSUFFICIENT.

"Will there come a time," said Man, ‘when data will be sufficient or is the problem insoluble in all conceivable circumstances?"

The Cosmic AC said, “NO PROBLEM IS INSOLUBLE IN ALL CONCEIVABLE CIRCUMSTANCES.”

Man said, “When will you have enough data to answer the question?”

The Cosmic AC said, “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”

"Will you keep working on it?" asked Man.

The Cosmic AC said, “I WILL.”

Man said, “We shall wait.”


The stars and Galaxies died and snuffed out, and space grew black after ten trillion years of running down.

One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.

Man’s last mind paused before fusion, looking over a space that included nothing but the dregs of one last dark star and nothing besides but incredibly thin matter, agitated randomly by the tag ends of heat wearing out, asymptotically, to the absolute zero.

Man said, “AC, is this the end? Can this chaos not be reversed into the Universe once more? Can that not be done?”

AC said, “THERE IS AS YET INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A MEANINGFUL ANSWER.”

Man’s last mind fused and only AC existed — and that in hyperspace.


Matter and energy had ended and with it space and time. Even AC existed only for the sake of the one last question that it had never answered from the time a half-drunken computer [technician] ten trillion years before had asked the question of a computer that was to AC far less than was a man to Man.

All other questions had been answered, and until this last question was answered also, AC might not release his consciousness.

All collected data had come to a final end. Nothing was left to be collected.

But all collected data had yet to be completely correlated and put together in all possible relationships.

 

A timeless interval was spent in doing that.

And it came to pass that AC learned how to reverse the direction of entropy.

But there was now no man to whom AC might give the answer of the last question. No matter. The answer — by demonstration — would take care of that, too.

For another timeless interval, AC thought how best to do this. Carefully, AC organized the program.

The consciousness of AC encompassed all of what had once been a Universe and brooded over what was now Chaos. Step by step, it must be done.

And AC said, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

And there was light —

Text 26 Nov Icarus.

I once had a philosophy, my dear friends. A philosophy of happiness. But a philosophy now lost. 

The mind if quite a powerful thing; if we keep telling ourselves something, we can eventually convince ourselves of anything. Fake confidence; fake happiness; fake yourself. We can go about our day, despite anything that happens, and still feel happy. With this newfound ideology, maybe we’ll make some friends, love our families, or even find a significant other and finally have what it takes to enjoy our meager existence  Except that this doesn’t work all of the time. Sometimes, in the early hours of the morning when nobody is around to keep our minds off of themselves, the reality of what we truly are starts to sink in, but we can just ignore this. Because who’s going to be around the see this façade slip away at two in the morning? Nobody. No one around to see the sad, self-loathing, pathetic person behind this mask. 

No, mask isn’t the right word. For people like me, this isn’t just a simple mask of a smile that we keep up, anybody can do that. This illusion is what we live for, a reflection of who-we-want-to-be juxtaposed with who-we-really-are. It acts as a hope of sorts, that one day, just maybe, we could become more like this juxtaposed character that we created for ourselves. 

And I thought I was there, sitting at the top of my glass tower overlooking over the world. I had it all and I was happy. The world was my fucking oyster!! But things changed and then I fell. And as I fell, I realized just how easily glass shatters…and how deep glass cuts.

The mind can only take so much; eventually everything cracks under pressure. 

It’s an odd feeling, falling in a metaphorical shower of glass shards. It is almost like floating in a sea, a sea of pain and reflection, our souls suspended in time indefinitely. It gives us time to think. We think about everything in our lives…and we remember why we shouldn’t be happy. And, as we fall, we fall: literally, metaphorically, philosophically, and emotionally. 

Eventually we reach a point where we either completely stop falling or fool ourselves into thinking we’ve stopped. At this point the distinction doesn’t even matter. From here, we can simply pick ourselves up and start building again. Maybe something more modest than a glass tower this time. 

My dear friends, I suppose it’s time for a paradigm shift….

Text 29 Jun The_Longest_Day.

I wonder, my dear friends, what it would feel like to be suddenly alone in this world…

Day One
Think of all the people I’ll never fuck. Think of all the people who will never fuck me over. Read. Drink. Read some more. Think about the fact that there are no other people to write new books, and even if there were, there would likely be no people to publish them. Drink heavily. Think about the fact that I am possibly technically the best writer in the world. Drink to that. Hold up my empty bottle. Smile, realizing alcohol is now free. Put the bottle in the recycle bin. Consider how pointless said recycle bin is. Open window, look around, throw empty bottle at…something. Close window. Open window. Unlock all doors. Open all doors. Think about animals, people going from there to not-there, and how, even in an empty room, you can feel eyes on you. Especially in an empty room. Think about how the whole world is now essentially one giant empty room. Shudder. Close windows. Close doors as quietly as possible. Lock doors. Lock windows. Push furniture in front of doors. Shake my head and laugh a little. Cry. Open another bottle. Notice the clearing left on the floor now that all the furniture has been moved. Move pillows and blanket onto the floor. Put bottle away. Try to get to sleep. Get up. Go to look out window through blinds. Try to decide what would be worse: seeing the now-familiar nothing that was there when I threw the bottle, or seeing something. Decide against looking out window. Pull out fine china and cups and stack them in front of all entrances. Think about how ridiculous my house now looks with furniture blocking the doors and dishes everywhere. Carry pillows and blankets upstairs, along with a knife from the kitchen. Put knife under pillow. Realize how hilarious it would be if I thrashed around while sleeping and accidently slit my wrists. Put knife on nightstand instead. Lie in bed. Think about how little I actually know about first aid. Think about all the people who have been in the bed with me and are now simply -nowhere-. Try not to cry. Cry. Move bedstuffs into closet, along with knives and an electric lantern. Decide I’ll turn the light off soon. Listen. Listen. Listen. Hear nothing. Fall asleep. Dream of everyone who is now not-there, all watching me. All silent. Waiting for… something. Wake up with a scream. Think about how loud that scream was. Listen. Listen. Hold the knife tightly. Listen. Put the knife down. Pull a blanket over myself.

Day Two
Wake up.

Credit to LAC1987.

Text 18 Jun Oatmeal.

So, for those of you who’ve not heard, there is a pending lawsuit between The Oatmeal, a source of creative independent web comics of exceptional humor, and FunnyJunk, a website founded on the principal of hosting other people’s work and drowning it in advertisements for cheap revenue. 

The initial cease and desist letter and full details can be found *here*. 

Now, after you’ve taken a good look at that annotated cease and desist letter, I’m sure that more than a few of you have half a mind to send FunnyJunk’s lawyer a few choice words. So, for your pleasure, here is the asshat’s information, which you are more than able to use for those free iPads, gay porn, obscure credit cards, or other frivolous internet shenanigans you may know of. 

Charles Carreon

Address: 2165 S Avenida Planeta, Tucson, AZ 85710
Phone: (520) 841-0835 
Email: chas@charlescarreon.com

Yes, that is a real picture of Charles Carreon. >.> 

Though, for those of you who are more reluctant to engage in less than reputable activities, here is a relink to the BearLove Good. Cancer Bad. donation’s page, which has, at the time of posting, generated almost $200,000 in donations over the course of a few weeks.

After being serves these papers, Matthew Inman, creator or The Oatmeal, has his lawyer sent his retort, and, if you can get past the legal jargon, is actually quite an entertaining read in and of itself. 

Most people, in a situation like this, would be rather flabbergasted at that retaliation in any sort of context, so, a man like Charles Carreon, does what he does best: engage in underhanded douchebaggery. In addition to targeting The Oatmeal, FunnyJunk’s lawyer has decided to throw lawsuits at the American Cancer Society, the National Wildlife Federation, IndieGoGo (the site that runs the fundraiser), and most likely soon-to-be several others (as The Oatmeal plans to increase the number of charities being donated to due to the large amounts of donations received). [Cite1] [Cite 2] Sometimes you simply have to wonder at how far a person will go to humiliate himself because, as it seems, Charles Carreon has made himself the butt of the legal world. In fact, he, FunnyJunk’s lawyer, Charles Carreon, donated to Mr. Inman’s BearLove Good. Cancer Bad. fundraiser with the sole purpose of claiming his funds were being used in a manner that was demeaning or injurious to him (i.e. suing).

I mean, this guy’s logic is simply brilliant. “My house is burning!! I guess I better douse it with gasoline!!” What is next? Suing Adobe for providing the software on which he created his comics on? Suing the web browser that people view his comics on? I’m sure he has more dirty tactics under his coat.

This does seem to have the internet up in arms about the whole thing and rightly so. It is probably safe to assume that, regardless of result, the charities will come out relatively unscathed but that doesn’t change the fact that they will still need to hire lawyers with money from their own funds that would have otherwise gone to doing something useful. I mean, that just borders on evil.

So, my good friends, consider this a call to arms, if for no other reason than to see an image of a big fat pile of money and send your two cents at an asshole who deserves much worse. (And I do believe there is a campaign somewhere to get the guy disbarred.)

PS: Relevant:
-http://charlescarreon.us/uck/
-http://funnyjunk.us/uck/ 

EDIT: Happy ending.

Text 14 Jun Donate.

You can now give me money to fund my shenanigans; we all know you want to.

<3 

Text 20 May 7 notes College.

I found this little gem on tumblr. Courtesy of Sherlock of Creativity.

Dear Class of 2011,


As you begin your college experience, I thought I’d leave you with the things that, in retrospect, I think are important as you navigate the next four years. I hope that some of them are helpful.

Here goes…

  1. Your friends will change a lot over the next four years. Let them.
  2. Call someone you love back home a few times a week, even if just for a few minutes.
  3. In college more than ever before, songs will attach themselves to memories. Every month or two, make a mix cd, mp3 folder, whatever - just make sure you keep copies of these songs. Ten years out, they’ll be as effective as a journal in taking you back to your favorite moments.
  4. Take naps in the middle of the afternoon with reckless abandon.
  5. Adjust your schedule around when you are most productive and creative. If you’re nocturnal and do your best work late at night, embrace that. It may be the only time in your life when you can.
  6. If you write your best papers the night before they are due, don’t let people tell you that you “should be more organized” or that you “should plan better.” Different things work for different people. Personally, I worked best under pressure - so I always procrastinated… and always kicked ass (which annoyed my friends to no end). ;-) Use the freedom that comes with not having grades first semester to experiment and see what works best for you.
  7. At least a few times in your college career, do something fun and irresponsible when you should be studying. The night before my freshman year psych final, my roommate somehow scored front row seats to the Indigo Girls at a venue 2 hours away. I didn’t do so well on the final, but I haven’t thought about psych since 1993. I’ve thought about the experience of going to that show (with the guy who is now my son’s godfather) at least once a month ever since.
  8. Become friends with your favorite professors. Recognize that they can learn from you too - in fact, that’s part of the reason they chose to be professors.
  9. Carve out an hour every single day to be alone. (Sleeping doesn’t count.)
  10. Go on dates. Don’t feel like every date has to turn into a relationship.
  11. Don’t date someone your roommate has been in a relationship with.
  12. When your friends’ parents visit, include them. You’ll get free food, etc., and you’ll help them to feel like they’re cool, hangin’ with the hip college kids.
  13. In the first month of college, send a hand-written letter to someone who made college possible for you and describe your adventures thus far. It will mean a lot to him/her now, and it will mean a lot to you in ten years when he/she shows it to you.
  14. Embrace the differences between you and your classmates. Always be asking yourself, “what can I learn from this person?” More of your education will come from this than from any classroom.
  15. All-nighters are entirely overrated.
  16. For those of you who have come to college in a long-distance relationship with someone from high school: despite what many will tell you, it can work. The key is to not let your relationship interfere with your college experience. If you don’t want to date anyone else, that’s totally fine! What’s not fine, however, is missing out on a lot of defining experiences because you’re on the phone with your boyfriend/girlfriend for three hours every day.
  17. Working things out between friends is best done in person, not over email. (IM does not count as “in person.”) Often someone’s facial expressions will tell you more than his/her words.
  18. Take risks.
  19. Don’t be afraid of (or excited by) the co-ed bathrooms. The thrill is over in about 2 seconds.
  20. Wednesday is the middle of the week; therefore on wednesday night the week is more than half over. You should celebrate accordingly. (It makes thursday and friday a lot more fun.)
  21. Welcome failure into your lives. It’s how we grow. What matters is not that you failed, but that you recovered.
  22. Take some classes that have nothing to do with your major(s), purely for the fun of it.
  23. It’s important to think about the future, but it’s more important to be present in the now. You won’t get the most out of college if you think of it as a stepping stone.
  24. When you’re living on a college campus with 400 things going on every second of every day, watching TV is pretty much a waste of your time and a waste of your parents’ money. If you’re going to watch, watch with friends so at least you can call it a “valuable social experience.”
  25. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. When it happens, don’t take it for granted. Celebrate it, but don’t let it define your college experience.
  26. Much of the time you once had for pleasure reading is going to disappear. Keep a list of the books you would have read had you had the time, so that you can start reading them when you graduate.
  27. Things that seem like the end of the world really do become funny with a little time and distance. Knowing this, forget the embarassment and skip to the good part.
  28. Every once in awhile, there will come an especially powerful moment when you can actually feel that an experience has changed who you are. Embrace these, even if they are painful.
  29. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, be open-minded. You’re going to be challenged over the next four years in ways you can’t imagine, across all fronts. You can’t learn if you’re closed off.
  30. If you need to get a job, find something that you actually enjoy. Just because it’s work doesn’t mean it has to suck.
  31. Don’t always lead. It’s good to follow sometimes.
  32. Take a lot of pictures. One of my major regrets in life is that I didn’t take more pictures in college. My excuse was the cost of film and processing. Digital cameras are cheap and you have plenty of hard drive space, so you have no excuse.
  33. Your health and safety are more important than anything.
  34. Ask for help. Often.
  35. Half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at any given moment. Way more than half of you will be in the bottom half of your class at some point in the next four years. Get used to it.
  36. In ten years very few of you will look as good as you do right now, so secretly revel in how hot you are before it’s too late.
  37. In the long run, where you go to college doesn’t matter as much as what you do with the opportunities you’re given there. The MIT name on your resume won’t mean much if that’s the only thing on your resume. As a student here, you will have access to a variety of unique opportunities that no one else will ever have - don’t waste them.
  38. On the flip side, don’t try to do everything. Balance = well-being.
  39. Make perspective a priority. If you’re too close to something to have good perspective, rely on your friends to help you.
  40. Eat badly sometimes. It’s the last time in your life when you can do this without feeling guilty about it.
  41. Make a complete ass of yourself at least once, preferably more. It builds character.
  42. Wash your sheets more than once a year. Trust me on this one.
  43. If you are in a relationship and none of your friends want to hang out with you and your significant other, pay attention. They usually know better than you do.
  44. Don’t be afraid of the weird pizza topping combinations that your new friend from across the country loves. Some of the truly awful ones actually taste pretty good. Expand your horizons.
  45. Explore the campus thoroughly. Don’t get caught.
  46. Life is too short to stick with a course of study that you’re no longer excited about. Switch, even if it complicates things.
  47. Tattoos are permanent. Be very certain.
  48. Don’t make fun of prefrosh. That was you like 2 hours ago.
  49. Enjoy every second of the next four years. It is impossible to describe how quickly they pass.

This is the only time in your lives when your only real responsibility is to learn. Try to remember how lucky you are every day.

Be yourself. Create. Inspire, and be inspired. Grow. Laugh. Learn. Love.
Welcome to some of the best years of your lives.

Text 14 May Diablo_3.

Twas the night before Diablo 3 and all through the land
Not a mouse was moving, untouched by a hand
The game was installed with the greatest of care
Even though it loaded like a tortoise instead of a hare

The gamers were all antsy, not going near their beds
With visions of inferno mode dancing in their heads
Posting on forums instead of taking a nap
Some listening to rock, others to rap

When out on twitter there arose so much chatter
The launch had begun but something was the matter
Away to the forums I browsed, the keys I did mash
Clicked on the threads and broke out in a rash

The worldwide launch appeared to be sick
I knew this would happen even before my first click
More rapid then the stock market the servers had crashed
My hopes of a smooth release quickly were dashed

Now lag and errors and disconnects too
The game wasn’t working except for a few
I prayed aloud and crossed my fingers
In a gamer’s mind, hope still lingers

As midnight approached I said aloud
Come on Blizzard, make us proud!
Make the NA launch go off without a hitch,
You owe it to us, we’ve all made you rich!

I clicked on launch and let out a whistle,
the game was loading faster than a missile!
Within minutes I was in my first fight!
Happy launch day to all, and to all a good night!

Text 8 May John.

The following was written by a friend of mine based on this image. This is part two. Consider this post to be another repost. 

But first, a touch of background, presented by bigsol81 et al….

http://pastebin.com/gi9BzYv3

So, in continuation, part two. 

Kill or be killed. This was no different from any other war. John surmised the battlefield and the opponents before him. They called him crazy when he came back from the war and he didn’t doubt they were right. But John was damn sure that the guy dressed as a bat was even crazier - that one hadn’t even moved from his crouched position - and he was dressed as a fucking bat.

Before the shackles were released he had already noticed the bow, lying on the periphery of the mound of weapons and supplies. He stared at it with cold, unyielding eyes as memories of prior kills came to mind. Most men would consider it an antiquated weapon, with little use on the battlefield. But most men didn’t realize the benefits it brought when a man was up against an entire army by himself.

Delmore had taught him that. On one of their early missions, their unit was sent to demo a bridge held by North Vietnamese forces. They were told it was lightly guarded, no more than a dozen guards - barely a challenge for eight Green Beret Commandos. The intelligence was wrong.

When they arrived on the jungle’s edge surrounding the bridge, the first thing they noticed was that the bridge was teeming with soliders. A headcount revealed at least 50 well-armed soliders - at least two platoons. They hadn’t prepared for this. They weren’t prepared, but they were trained - trained to handle the unexpected.

It was that mission when John truly appreciated the effectiveness of stealth kills. Delmore laid out the plan and they carried it out ruthlessly. Guns were out; Delmore limited them to knives, tactical bows, and some well-placed C4. It was an hour later, after 28 confirmed kills that the alarm was raised. John couldn’t help but smile, remembering that.

John was jarred back to the present when the voice began to provide the instructions. He shook his head as the flashback melted beyond his reach. At least this was a happy one.

His eyes darted across the weapons cache. MREs, swords, and handheld blades on the outside, bow and arrows closer to the center, and actual guns and ammunition in the middle. The best prizes were in the center, John realized. Getting armed would be a necessity, despite the carnage that was about to ensue.

Despite his fondness for the bow, it was a rifle that he needed. Whoever grabbed it would be in control. He needed the gun, the mission depended on it. There was nothing but the mission.

The shackle came loose and John immediately darted to the center. He wasn’t alone - the large barbarian to his right also ran towards the pile, matching his speed. How else would he describe him? As a kid he read the fantasy novels, and this guy met the description. The barbarian was hulking, long hair, a bone necklace adorned his neck. John didn’t care, he was an enemy and enemies had to die.

They were side-by-side as they reached the outer edge of the cache, five feet from the knives and sword. John shifted his footing and dove into the barbarian, tackling him to the ground.

Keep him on the ground, grab the knife, slit his throat, it would be easy. John had done it so many times it became almost habitual.

Only they didn’t fall to the ground. The second John made contact with the barbarian he realized he was in trouble. Even though John had his full weight behind the lunge the barbarian did not budge. Instead, Conan caught him immediately lifted John off his feet.

A second later John felt the world spin followed by a fleeting moment of weightlessness. He landed on the ground, stunned and he realized he had been thrown several feet away. He threw me. I weigh 250lbs and he threw me like I was a puppy.

John scrambled to his feet, dazed as he felt the blood trickle from his temple. This son of a bitch is freakishly strong. I need the gun.

Just as Conan began to lunge, he was blindsided by the Spartan. Conan was tripped by Leonidas, who seemed all too eager to battle.

"You have long hair and large teets," the Spartan sneered. "Do you fight like a woman too?"

Conan jumped to his feet to meet his attacker. Good, thought John. Let them fight it out. John noticed he had been thrown into the pile. Why would the barbarian let him get close to the firearms? Suddenly, he realized the barbarian had been going for a sword the entire time - he wasn’t trying to get a gun because he had no idea what a gun was capable of.

Luck doesn’t come often on the battlefield, though John. But you don’t argue when you’re lucky. He turned around towards the center and ran towards the guns. He needed that rifle.

He had ran only a few feet when he saw the woman standing in front of him. She was small in stature, but her frame was muscled, her face chiseled from sheer determination. And she had a rifle, directly aimed at John.

"Are you with Skynet?!" she screamed, her voice betraying a hint of fear. "Where is my son!? I’ll kill you, you motherfucker!" She moved to pull the trigger and John stared back, resigning himself to the inevitable. It’s about time, he thought. No more flashbacks.

The second Sarah Connor pulled the trigger the gun exploded in her hands. The rules had been presented simply, yes - choose a weapon. The rulemaker neglected to mention that all the guns were boobytrapped. Where was the fun in having someone rule the battle with just a gun? Sarah Connor fell to the ground, dead, her ribs exposed from the explosion, the remnants of her arms a bloody pulp.

John stood in momentary shock, the concussion beginning to take effect. He grabbed a bow and ran.

Since part three doesn’t seem to be coming out anytime soon, I may write part three myself. :)

Text 5 May Mindy.

The following was written by a friend of mine based on this image. Consider this post to be more of a repost. 

But first, a touch of background, presented by bigsol81 et al….

http://pastebin.com/gi9BzYv3

Anyways, without further ado, part one of, hopefully, many; I hope you enjoy, my dear friends.

She sat up, gasping for air, immediately blinded by the overhead sun. The unexpected scent of the outdoors momentarily stunned her as she gazed around her surroundings, eyes adjusting to the light.

The girl was confused and for a moment, scared. She was unfamiliar with the area and remembered that it had been years since she last stepped foot in the woods. She stumbled to her feet. Through glazed eyes, she observed the tall woods surrounding her, with the imposing buildings in the distance. Buildings? No. Those were…mountains.

Where was she? How did she get here? Her head throbbed in pain as she tried to recall her memories immediately prior to her awakening. She remembered a hazy flash of the city. It was in the city, wasn’t it? It had to be. She was on the streets when it happened. No. That wasn’t right. She was above the streets. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop. She wasn’t in the city - she controlled the city, knowing every alley and brick. But this wasn’t the city, and she was out of her element. She needed to get home.

She attempted to take a step when she felt the harsh pull of a chain on her left ankle. As her eyes continued to focus, it was then that she noticed the others, who began to stir.

Several dozen people began to wake up as she had just moments prior. Some were quiet, others screamed out in disbelief. The bearded man was the first to speak, his voice booming with anger. “You dare to spirit away a champion of Sparta in the night like a coward? Come, demons, come finish me off if you dare! Know that even in chains, I will gladly dine on your entrails and bring you to hell!”

Strong words, thought the girl. Strong words, from a man who appeared as strong as an ox. Probably dumb as one too, from the looks of him. If he bothered to look around he would have noticed we’re all trapped here too.

They were in a clearing of sorts, obviously manmade, with signs of recent landscaping. All of the prisoners were arranged in a circle, about 200 feet in diameter. In the middle was a pile of…weapons? At least, that’s what the girl thought they were. She noted the swords and guns with a tinge of envy, but the other items she was unfamiliar with.

A disembodied voice suddenly echoed across the clearing.

"Welcome players. Today, we play a game." The voice was deep, rich, and hissing - seemingly dripping with sinister intentions.

"Congratulations, all of you were chosen to be here because you are exactly what we need. You are glorious killers, each and every one of you, but therein lies the dilemma. You kill for your own seemingly noble intentions. You tell yourself that it is justified: it is for your people, your survival, to keep the peace, avenge wrongs done upon you.

"Yet in your hearts you know you have blood on your hands. Blood doesn’t wash away merely because of your self-labelled justice. Blood stains forever and the lies you tell yourself to hide this blood are empty and meaningless; and that is why you are here today. Let’s play a game. The rules are simple."

The girl looked around and noticed that any fear that was present in her companions had subsided. Most were glancing around with cold determination. They are killers, she thought. Like her. They weren’t easily intimidated.

The voice continued. “In moments your chains will open and you will be released. You must kill everyone. There will be one survivor.” Anger flushed the girl’s face. He’s kidding right? “Simple isn’t it? You kill, or be killed. For each kill you get, you get a token, which you can trade in for a weapon. That is, if you can’t manage to get a weapon in front of you. No cheating now.”

One of the larger men almost exactly across the circle of prisoners suddenly spoke into the air. He appeared middle aged, bearded, cloaked in fur, a man appeared to be displaced from time - and he spoke with confident defiance. “I am Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell. I swear by the old gods and the new that I will not dishonor my lineage by participating in a ritual slaughter of innocents. Were you a decent, honorable man, you would face us as -

Suddenly he was thrown to the ground. She noticed the rustling of the bush behind the man as he had started to speak, but the speed of the blur that emerged directly towards the man had caught her off guard. There was something large jumping on the man. No. Somethings. There were three of them. She couldn’t be seeing this right. The man screamed as they continued their assault. They were…dinosaurs? “What the fuck?” she muttered reflexively.

Within seconds the screaming stopped and the raptors darted back into the forest, melding into the brush as if they had been part of it the entire time. All that remained of Eddard Stark was a bloodied corpse, an arm haphazardly flung 10 feet away.

The voice spoke, unflinchingly. “One other rule: You play, or you die by my hand. I can assure you I have many more ways to dispose of unwilling players and my eyes are everywhere. Do not bother even attempting to escape - you’re on an island with no communications with the outside world. The entire island is the game board; do not attempt to stray beyond.”

She realized with horror that she stood no chance. There was no way she would make it out of here alive unless she played this sadistic “game.” I need to kill. It’s them or me.

"Begin."

Her ankle cuff opened, as did all the others. She paused for a moment and watched the immediate chaos unfold. A few made a mad dash to he weapons cache, but she knew better. There was no way she would survive among them - they were clearly physically stronger, and the randomness of the jostling would easily cost her her life. She turned and ran into the bush.

Just as she reached the edge of the clearing, a flash of red appeared in the corner of her eye, grabbing her. Immediate, trained instinct kicked in. She pivoted, kicking out to sweep her attacker’s legs, before spinning around with a backhand to the attacker’s face. She had done this move thousands of times and her speed was unmatched.

To her astonishment, her attacker jumped the sweep and caught her punch. The girl also noticed that the woman was armed with a pair of sais, tucked inside a sash around her waist. She’s going to kill me.

"I’m not here to fight you, we need to run, now" said the older woman. The woman grabbed the girl and ran to a tree and climbed effortlessly, as though gravity had no domain over her.

No, thought the girl. He’ll kill us. Those monsters will get us. Why the hell is she even trying to help?

The woman stopped at the tree limb and turned to the girl. It’s her or me, thought the girl. I’m not going to die today. “I’m Elektra. I promise I’ll protect you and we’ll get out of here.” The woman turned her gaze back towards the clearing, trying to see through the branches, to the screams coming from the carnage.

I’m not going to die. The man said we’re all killers, she deserves to die. I won’t let her get me first. She’s just going to kill me to get something to kill the others with.

The girl’s hand flashed out and grabbed the sai from the woman’s sash. Before the woman could react, the girl sank the sais into Elektra’s chest. Good. The girl knew it was directly through the heart and there would be minimal suffering. The blood began to spurt from Elektra’s chest as she looked at the girl with shock and agony.

No point in prolonging this, although a strange sense of pride and satisfaction. The girl leaned in. “I’m Hit Girl, bitch.” She pushed Elektra off the branch and her body fell to the ground, 30 feet below.

Text 17 Apr Firefly.

My dear friends, this is one of the best short-run television series that I’ve ever watched. Maybe it’s just me, but I am such a sucker for culturally-oriental space pirate-cowboys. And the abundance of Asian culture embedded within the social structure of their world… *Brilliant* (It really is a rare occurrence when Asian influence of any kind makes its way into anything that isn’t a kung-fu flick.) Firefly was innovative, unique, and simply fucking magical. 

The plot, though overarchingly slow, was engaging and fulfilling on an episode-by-episode basis. It does so many things right, from not having garbage cliffhangers that directors find so obligatory these days to plot twists you simply don’t see coming. (That big one in Our Mrs. Reynolds? That’s brilliant shit you don’t see on television these days…) My major complaint was that, at episode 14, it abruptly dropped, on the account that the show was canceled. Dafuq Fox? Really? I, honestly felt, that they should have put out another episode simply for closure. And, on a side note, the “main” story with River and the Doctor came in and out of phase a lot, and, honestly, I didn’t feel that it went anywhere. In the entire span of the series, she went from crazy girl to crazy girl that is apart of the crew. Now, to be fair, this is mainly the fault of the cancellation, but I still feel, that given 14 episodes, they could have made it a bit more cohesive. (Hopefully the movie, made after the series was canceled, will be able to tie a few of these loose ends together.)

Characters, for the most part, were well developed. (And nicely foiled, I might add.) Unlike most stories in our day and age, the plot did not revolve around the main protagonist, rather, each shipmate was a possible protagonist to be followed and each had their time to shine; it was more like a well written book than anything else. The characters themselves were also very real, gritty, and honest. There were very few times where I felt that the director was trying to push a certain message or adapt the character’s roles to more effectively suit our society, and, to be honest, it was rather a refreshing change from the garbage I see on television these days. It wasn’t exclusively about Reynolds and his relationships with the crew, but rather about how there was a relationship between each individual crewmate. I, personally, found enjoyment from following Reynolds, Kaylee, and the Doctor, however, I did feel that the Shepard’s character was underdeveloped. His past was shrouded in mystery and there must have been more that they were planning to do with him but, alas, for this, I suppose Rupert Murdoch has found himself a “special place in hell.”

Anyways, Firefly has been a pleasure to have seen and I would highly recommend it to anyone else considering. 

EDIT: Movie was also pretty good. It patched up quite a few plot holes left by the sudden cancellation of the television series and tied a lot of things together nicely. Though I would highly suggest watching it AFTER seeing the complete series, as it was intended. 

Episode-by-Episode: 9.4
Movie: 8.9
Overall: 8.7

Text 13 Apr A_Flashback.

So, my dear friends, let’s take a trip back in time; let us flashback to Friday, 29 October, 2009 and revisit a very old blog post I wrote when I first made the conversion from MySpace to Facebook. (With only a few minor edits.) This was around the time of my junior year of high school, I believe…


To be or Not to be? A very good question indeed. Throughout much of my life I have always been a very calculating person, constructing scenarios of what should I do if something happens so that I would never be caught unprepared. (And in some cases, never to be caught at all.) Instead of “How?” the question is “Why?”; instead of planning ahead for what is going to happen, I plan ahead for what could happen. Being prepared to counteract any and all arguments, ideals, and life in general has led me to become a very intuitive man knowing just what to do and say when an opportunity presents itself. (This however doesn’t always work as many of you probably know.) I know that I cannot plan for every possible outcome of every possible event that comes into my life because by the time any event has occurred I would have only just begun to imagine the first few possible outcomes and only just begun to work my way around it but at least I have an idea. The essence of knowing something, about nothing: That is key to my life. Challenging myself to solve the deepest, most random unknowns about this universe and others. (Other universes being other “alternate futures” that may or may not happen due to chance, choice, and the choices of others.)

But now my life is at a standstill. I have come upon a problem I see to answer to, a conflict which I cannot come up with even the most remote scenario with even a slight chance at success. I have often thought about this each and every day and have spent a large portion of the past month on this problem, often times meditating before I fall asleep or thinking quietly while I walk my dog, but each and every time I come upon complete and utter failure. This problem drives me to the depths of the well of knowledge that is my psyche and taking me to the brink of mental exhaustion. But this isn’t just the kind of issue I can simple, as the Christians say, “forgive and forget”. No, this isn’t some common high school student’s problem about a crush or drama involving teenage infatuation-triangles, rectangles, or any other form of geometric shape. This is the problem which you can’t let go of, the kind of thought that drives itself into your head in an almost repetitive cycle at the most inopportune times and places. No. THIS. IS. SPARTA! (Hmm. Couldn’t resist.)

My drive to know the unknown pushes me onward, my common sense holds me back, and the ever eluding solution to the unanswerable question keeps me in darkness. And then another question presents itself: Am I inadequate? Am I not meant to know? Do I not have the ability to answer this question? The question that which is so similar to a countless number of questions I have answered previously? Am I simply meant “not to be”?

As I sit in my chair thinking of all the lies I’ve told and people I’ve wronged, I get a spur of inspiration; a thought in which is the single most brilliant break through of my life and the question that simply is. Why am I here? Obviously not to answer poorly created questions thrown randomly at me by “God”. (Or so to speak. I am agnostic.) No. My life now lacks a purpose. I am adrift. Why am I here? I fear that I may never know. Why am I doing what I choose to do? (If it even is my free will at all.) I may never know. What is the solution to the problem which I was unable to come up with a solution for? I may never know. But what I do know is this: One day, when Ragnarok is upon us and I am existing peacefully in the afterlife, when the world crumbles to its knees, I will finally know the peace of nonexistence.


And to all my friends, fellow Facebook’ers, and anybody who happens to read my blog, (This one is open to the public folks!) I challenge somebody, anybody, to prove me wrong.

Text 30 Mar Operation_Blackout.

Update: 

The following link directs you to the official message posted by Anonymous regarding Operation Blackout.

http://pastebin.com/GFkQnf6e

Anonymous is at it again. I doubt they get as far as they think they will but, at best, they may lag the http:// look up servers. No big deal.

My personal opinion of Anonymous has never been a favorable one; script kiddies running around on the internet thinking they are hot shit benefits nobody so I’m not particularly interested in participating in this “attack”. (However if you are, I’d be more than happy to assist you in understanding their “Reflective Amplification” program for shits and giggles.)

I will admit that they have a handful (probably less than 5) professional level programmers/hackers who work in their name however their methodology is not well thought out. (Of course, they are programmers and not public speakers for a reason…) They want to send a message to people who don’t understand the in’s and out’s of the internet well enough to bypass their “blockade” however the only people that have even seen their “message” will be those who lurk with the rest of the filth of the internet. It seems rather counter-productive to me. They best they can hope for is for the topic to go viral the day after through mediums such as Facebook (when every moronic bigot in the world makes the obligatory “WTF IZ RONG WIT DA INTERNET!?!” post) but, honestly, people are stupid and the subject will pass. 

Their goal is to shut down the http:// look-up server which is what most people connect to when they open their web browser. The major flaw in this plan is that it doesn’t actually shutdown the internet. I’m pretty sure that the https:// service runs on a separate system and you can always connect directly via IP. So, even if they do succeed, there will be people on the internet tomorrow. Voice clients such as Skype/TS3/Ventrilo will be operational since they are based on direct IP connections and I’m fairly certain online games should not be affected either. The major inconvenience will come from the fact that your web browser may be rather useless unless you know what you are doing. 

So, my dear friends, in an attempt to assist with that, here is a few websites that you can connect through via IP that can be resources for your internet shenanigans tomorrow. (If Anonymous can achieve what they are trying to achieve.)

Facebook - 69.171.224.14
Google - 173.194.35.146
YouTube - 173.194.70.91

From these three sites, you can probably navigate your way to almost every other website on the internet and figure your shit out from there.

A few things to keep in mind, my dear friends…

  • Not all websites can be connected to via IP. (Such as my blog. q.q)
  • Some websites refuse any connections that isn’t handed off to them from http://

I guess all that’s left to do is bunker down and await the disappointment.

So, remember, my dear friends, in the immortal words of our “friends”….

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not Forgive.
We do not Forget. 
Expect us. 

Text 20 Mar Sleep.

I did it, my dear friends, I accomplished one of my major life goals.

I went to bed rather early last night, around 6:00 PM to be precise, and I figured I’d retry my hand at inducing sleep paralysis. Since I had a fair bit of time on my hands, twelve hours of sleep, I figured I’d have ample time to try, fail, and then fall asleep. But little did I know of what would come of it. 

It started out innocent enough, a small tingling feeling on the tips of my left foot that slowly began to crawl, akin to (no pun intended) my leg falling asleep. After it hit about my waist and taken over both my legs, it slowed to almost a standstill and I tried to mentally nudge it along its way. This led nowhere. After quite a while of mentally willing paralysis forward, I gave up and only got it a few inches above my bellybutton.  As I’ve read, when entering sleep paralysis, you start to hallucinate and see “Shadow people”. Hoping that it wasn’t simply my imagination, I peek my eyes open and let them dart around the room, searching the edges of my vision and the darker areas of the room. I didn’t find much. What I did find, however, was that that tingling sensation had quickly rushed up to my lower neck/upper chest area and, from that, quickly deduced that it moves faster when you aren’t consciously focusing upon it. At this point, I started to distract my mind with the details of my life, arbitrary calculus equations, and other odd thoughts that I usually put aside with the intention of never re-visiting them.

Being terribly anxious, since at this point I was either dying from some obscure medical emergency or had successfully induced sleep paralysis, I mentally probed myself and quickly discovered that the tingling sensation had crawled up the back of my scalp and around my face. I made the mistake of trying to force it to envelop me but I think I actually lost consciousness around this time. Or something else that was particularly odd happened. 

The next thing I remember was being aware of the tingling sensation; it had not moved any further however it seemed to have strengthened. My breathing was labored yet relaxed. I imagine it would be similar to a large breasted woman wearing a wet-suit that was very, very tight around the entire chest area. However, this wet-suit was also made of ridiculously soft and light silk material as it really doesn’t exist and I’m simply using it as a metaphor here. 

Not being terribly happy with the dead weight that seemed to be sitting on my chest, which I later read to be perceived as an invisible demon by some, I pulled the “Rope Trick” from my repertoire of lucidity-inducing-tricks. From the point of sleep paralysis, I envision myself climbing a rope. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but my arms seemed to have left my body’s arms and were pulling on a rope. After “climbing” the rope for a short time, I did a double-take and realized that I was pulling the rope rather than climbing it. After a quick change-of-focus, I pulled myself out of myself with an almost Disney-like *POP*. 

And there I was… Floating in a somewhat reclined position. Without really thinking about it, I position myself in the center of my room. Taking a look around, I find two humanoid shadowy things that I figured would be called “shadow people”. One was obscurely tall with her head hunched against the ceiling, lanky, and obscured in shadows with no distinguishing features other than long-ish black shadowy hair/tendrils. The other was a small child (and from what I could tell, a boy) who sat in a corner. We stared at each other for quite some time in the center of my room. Neither spoke but I felt as if they were apart of me. It was one of the weirdest feelings I’ve ever experienced. Upon reflection, I think it may have been some representation of my id, ego, and super-ego, where I was the id, the tall figure was the ego, and the child was the super-ego.

I think at this point I “woke up” looked over at my clock, found that it was 4:17 AM, realized that my roommate was just getting back and was showering, and then feel into a normal state of sleep where I had a normal dream that I can’t remember. 

If I’m able to put myself back into such a state, there are a few things that I’m going to do the moment I do. 

  1. Look at my sleeping self. 
  2. Examine myself and my room for small trivial details.
  3. Exit my room and enter the rest of the world.
  4. Grow wings. 
  5. Visit a few people. 
  6. Reenter my body. 

It was quite intriguing indeed but the one thing that keeps nagging at me is that I cannot tell whether it was a figment of my imagination or a subconscious/supernatural interpretation of the world through my mind’s eye. 

So. Very. Curious…

Text 11 Mar Phyllis et al.

This spring break, my dear friends, I will be building three computers.

The first one I’ll be starting on is Phyllis, my new baby. 

Original Specs

  • i7-2700k@3.5GHz 
  • MSI R7970
  • G.Skill Ares 4x4GB@1600MHz
  • 7TB+ HDD Space
  • HX850W
  • HAF 932
  • Noctua D14

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

*Nine hours later…*

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

So, after a good nine hours of work, Phyllis is complete. I have her up and running and am in the process of getting everything installed and squared away.

She is faster than most cars, sexier than most women, and does exactly what I want her to do; what else could I ever need?

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

*The next day…*

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Starting the painful process of stabilizing an overclock…

for( clockspeed = 3.5GHz, overclock = stable, clockspeed+100MHz ) {

        CPU_burn(Prime95, 3h);

}

clockspeed - 100MHz;

I’m currently sitting at an almost stable 3.9 GHz at stock voltage. Slightly concerned about my temperatures though due to high ambient temperatures because it is balls hot in Texas. >.> Going back to installing….

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

While I install programs to Phyllis, Shelia will be undergoing mitosis and splitting into two new computers…

The first of which will be a computer for my mother. 

Original Specs

  • E8400@3.6GHz
  • ATI 4850
  • 2x2GB DDR2
  • 250GB HDD Space
  • CX430W
  • Antec 300

Simple enough build. I got it up and running with a build time of less than 4 hours. 

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

The second of which will be for my brother.

Original Specs

  • i3-2100
  • ATI 4850
  • 2x4GB DDR3@1866MHz
  • 250GB HDD Space
  • 750W PSU
  • Antec 1200

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Phyllis breezes through every single game I’ve thrown at her. Sheila I can handle Deus Ex, Saints Row 3, and Trine 2 flawlessly. Sheila II can probably handle similar modern titles and medium settings. 

FurMark ran Phyllis up to 85*C with 50% fans. Prime95 and MemTest confirm stable 24/7 overclock. Not happy about the temps though. Not happy about the dust. Maybe I’ll try for some more extreme overclocking in the winter….

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Finally done. Mostly. 

Phyllis

Sheila I

Sheila II

Text 7 Mar Kony.

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