Friday, October 22, 2010

Yesterday, life was normal for carny worker Bob Bobbinson.
-show tall black dude whistling happily and entertaining kids-
But then, when he became the conductor of a roller coaster being used by the President of the United States...
-dramatic flash to the wheels of a roller coaster grinding on the track-
...things went HORRIBLY WRONG.
-show Bob fighting, yelling-
-orchestral music starts pounding-
Coming February 31st to that one crumbling theater that only shows old movies that no one really goes to NEAR YOU: Staring Samamuaemellely Ell. Jockson, Kyneria Nitely, and that one adorable cute kid from the 80's who's now some old creep: Sharks on a Roller Coaster!

SHARKS ON A ROLLER COASTER: You must be this tall...TO DIE.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So! I wasn't online yesterday 'cos I forgot. Didja miss me?

No word yet from UPS, but at the moment they're just running background checks on applicants. Just one of those things, you know? Clerical bureaucracy and the like. I'm sure they'll be getting back to me soon enough.

I mentioned a story. That story is After School Nightmare, a psychological psuedoromantic horror manga. (
Yes, I said manga. Don't worry, it's not a bunch of trash. It features a transgender teen basically having to fight off monsters in a sort of parallel universe game in a bid to understand him/herself. Outside of the game, they begin to get to know and date other players, leading to us discovering the cast's various neuroses and really driving characterization.
The kicker of the game, however, is that winners are forgotten. Literally. All winners of the game vanish forever, with their possessions and even the memories of them disappearing entirely. It was actually kind of heartbreaking.
The story ends with a terrific mindscrew about the nature of the game and why people are playing it at all; this is where I get angry, because I really, really hated the end. But it was an excellent story, and so I am recommending it to you all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I had an interview!

At UPS! It's for their evening shift. I'm pretty damn excited! I haven't had a steady gig since Uni, and truth be told I've been getting anxious about it. But this looks very positive!

Gonna go get some rest, though. The interview was scheduled at 11:45pm and ran until nearly 2am, and the adrenaline about possibly being hired kept me up too late. Also, I read a story- an AMAZING story, which I'll write a full post about tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A quote from Cryptonomicon

Let's set the existence-of-God issue aside for a later volume, and just stipulate that in some way, self-replicating organisms came into existence on this planet and immediately began trying to get rid of each other, either by spamming the environment with rough copies of themselves, or through more direct means which hardly need to be belabored. Most of them failed, and their genetic legacy was erased from the universe forever, but a few found some way to survive and to propagate. After about three billion years of this sometimes zany, frequently tedious fugue of carnality and carnage, Godfrey Waterhouse IV was born to Blanche, the wife of a congregational preacher named Bunyan Waterhouse. Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo — which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn't a stupendous badass was dead.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

So you remember the evil overlord list, right?

Now there's a benevolent overlord list!
Note that there's still just as much death and killing. This is for expedience and the good of the nation :3

When I Am the Benevolent Ruler...

As a general rule, I will remember that I am not the Evil Overlord, and should not indulge in behavior that will confuse my subjects on this point.

I will ensure that all my potential heirs have interesting and important jobs to do, according to their abilities, so they will have less time to plot against one another.

If I do have a particular favorite among my heirs, I will go out of my way to show the others that I love them too. Even if this is not true.

Being aware of the possibility of evil twins, mind control, or just having a really bad day, if the Hero suddenly starts acting out of character, I will call for a careful investigation rather than his head.

I will not callously dump my old, reliable Hero for the latest flashy device, or a new "kewl" Hero. This invariably backfires, and it's so embarrassing to have to apologize to the Hero afterwards.

I will remember that the word "vizier" is always preceded by the word "evil" for a reason, and plan accordingly.

I will treat any flashy gift from a previously unknown wizard or inventor with the same caution I would a venomous snake.

I will not be tempted by immortality. It is more important that my land be ruled well than that it be ruled by me.

I will not base the distribution of my lands and property among my heirs on a flattery contest. Even if I think I'm smart enough to spot a good metaphor when I hear one.

I will listen to the people, even though I will be horribly bored with one more farmer or peasant complaining about their minor problems. For I know, peasant revolts have been started over less.

If the Hero is more popular than I am, I will not allow my jealousy to drive me to throw him into the dungeons, even if urged to do so by my evil advisors. Instead, I will appoint him to a well paid position for which he is not suited, such as Head of the Fisheries Department, and allow him to fade from the public eye. If this does not solve the problem, I will assign him as an ambassador to a friendly and unimportant country as far from the capital as possible.

I will reconsider the need for Evil advisors, and will employ a bright seven year old child to inform me of which of my advisors are in fact Evil.

When my Queen and my Champion are getting excessively friendly, I will send my Champion off on that crusade against Evil I've been meaning to get around to. My queen and I will seek marital counseling.

I will reconsider marrying for love or money, and will instead marry a woman based on her demonstrated head for management and commitment to good government.

If a bastard son should show up, I will welcome him, shower him with gifts, and find a nice crusade for him to head off on. My Queen will just have to deal with it.

When a quest needs to be accomplished, I will send my youngest son first, and thus avoid ending up getting his brothers killed.

My identical cousin or twin brother will either be given a nice job within my administration or killed outright, or possibly both and in that order. Imprisoning him in some form of mask will not be an option.

I will scour the books for any pesky "Must be married by..." laws that might come up and bite me, or even worse my heirs, in the ass at a highly inappropriate time. Such laws are only there to allow the Evil Vizier another shot at stealing my throne

My wife will be advised in no uncertain terms against inviting Faerie Godmothers, Witches, or supernatural creatures of any sort to our child's christening.

Old women, gypsies, and indeed people in general will be treated courteously at all times by my courtiers, champions and guards, even if I intend to have these people killed. Especially if I intend to have them killed.

Plans to build an invincible super-weapon will be filed and ignored, unless we are actually at war.

A good network of roads and accompanying communications system are vital to good government, and I shall maintain both.

Wizards and withes will not be harassed by my loutish knights, but will instead be offered well-paid jobs in my Royal University, and provided with enough wine and food to keep them drunk, fat and happy.

I will reconsider the need for loutish knights.

And so on :3

Lost civilizations.

Let me summarize for you: there was an entire civilization living in Bronze-Age Russia that we had almost no evidence of. Holy fucking shit, it's like finding a whole new continent.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Spatial Reasoning.

So, people have trouble envisioning spaces.
The average person has trouble viewing things in three dimensions; sure, you can tell distance- but can you envision objects as existing from all angles? Can you, whilst paying attention to everything else, be aware of the fact that they exist as more than just the flat image you see?

People see stereoscopically; that is to say, that while things appear to be three dimensional, it's actually a trick caused by the combination of two side-by-side 2D images, one from each eye. This is most easily noticed by looking past an object at a further object- you can't have them both in focus at the same time. This is because vision is two dimensional. Depth exists, but perception of it is technically illusory.

This results in an instinctive preference for 2D media, which is what makes three-dimensional art difficult. The average brain simply isn't trained for three-dimensional imaging.

So imagine the difficulty of throwing a fourth dimension into the mix. It's difficult to even perceive.

But wait! There's a way! You see, if you hold a three dimensional object in front of a light, it casts a shadow. That shadow is purely two-dimensional, disregarding variations in the quality of the surface cast upon; the shadow has no depth, it cannot pool. In the z-axis, it exists at a pure zero mark.
This is how we are able to represent three dimensions in two- we observe depth as a shadow of sorts. The still images sensed by the brain are nothing more than the reflections of light from things- from instant to instant, depth does not exist. It's something like the argument about the arrow, wherein every instant the arrow is not moving but in real time it is moving swiftly.

It can be theorized, then, that a four dimensional object would cast a three-dimensional shadow. You wouldn't be able to manipulate it, per se, just as you cannot manipulate a 2D shadow except by moving the surface it is cast upon. It is possible that a 4D object could only cast a shadow upon the surface of another 4D object; I am unable to perceive whether I have any, and therefore cannot test my theory. However, the shadow can be made in three dimensional media.

My prevailing theory regarding 4D spaces follows this general line of thought.
Let's start with a 2D coordinate plane. We can add a third dimension by bending the plane; Let's say it's a window screen. Placing a rock in the center warps the screen, curving it downward. Now, looking at the way that the wires bend around the warping, you can see what the addition of depth does. Some of the holes between wires are stretched outwards; while we know obviously they have changed in area because we're working with a 3D media, were it 2D the surface area would have vastly increased while the circumference stayed the same.

Try and envision it now in three dimensions. The surface area is untouched, while the volume ramps up drastically. You could compare it to a bag of holding from D&D.

I can wrap my mind around it, sorta, but as soon as I try to figure out where in the 3D space your coordinates would be, I get a headache.