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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Facial expression rotation

"Ha, yeah...but it sure cheered me up to watch you try and slowly realize that it wouldn't work."

Friday, April 22, 2016

A bird in the hand


Mental Health
The lesson, in this case, is to be like the bird: if someone is intruding on your personal bubble, bodily fluids are an excellent deterrent. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fire out of the sky


Mental Health
"And who shall we send to carry out this holy task?" asked the angelic coordinator.
 "How about the normal two? Or are they busy?"
"No...but do you recall the, ahem, episode with Sodom and Gomorrah? I don't believe we anticipated their...overwhelming attractiveness. The mortals were not well equipped to deal with it."
"The angel of death, then?"
"If you think it's that drastic..."
"Fine. Send the arson angel. But don't come complaining to me when you have to send even more angels to put out fires. Literally."
"And figuratively," said the angelic coordinator, with a shake of the head. "Arson angel does what arson angel wants, I'm afraid."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The medium and the message

Mental Health
"The medium is the message," someone at the last meeting had said. It struck Ron at the time that maybe their problem was in thinking too small. Why settle for one medium instead of multiple, cooperating media? The audiences in theaters and the DVD/BluRay/whatever purchasers were in steady decline, able to stream a ceaseless rush of whatever messages struck their fancy in the moment. Ron thought he had a solution, and was prepared to present it at today's meeting.
At its simplest, it was this: a hypersensory, pan-media experience that could reasonably be interpreted as any message the viewer wished. The entertainment version of a Rorschach inkblot, but stimulating every sense. And not something that would last an hour or two and then end; already Ron was envisioning pay-by-the-hour seats where consumers would be desperate for just a little more.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Ability and desire


Mental Health
While the arb is the ISO standard unit, many researchers continue to use the ject (Subjective Unit). To the massive befuddlement of everyone involved in contemporary arbitrariness/subjectivity studies, it has thus far proven impossible to determine the ratio of arbs to jects.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Inquiring minds


Do you want to maintain a geocentric view of the universe? Or fail to cure polio? Because this is how to do that.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Get your fill


Mental Health
The dentist wanted to know how I got such comprehensive cavities. I hesitated: should I tell him about my daily trips to Talk About Your Fillings, the combination pie bar/therapy office? I didn't look forward to the prospect of paying to be judged and have my mouth mangled.

Monday, April 11, 2016

For what


And now for some Mental Health having nothing whatsoever to do with the above:
Here is a bacterium, a member of a sentient species currently unknown to humanity, whose entire life lasts only a few hours but contains roughly the same complexity and beauty as most human lives, compressed into that brief frame. The name of this bacterium, expressed in the wiggles of cilia, cannot be reproduced in any human writing system but is the exact historical and etymological analogue of the English name 'Melissa' in the world of these bacteria.
Melissa hates its job, lacks meaningful hobbies, and has a rocky relationship with its parent, from whom it divided seventy-two minutes ago but who continues to meddle in its affairs. Melissa faces social pressure to reproduce a copy of itself, but hasn't seemed able to amass the nutrients required or find a secure location favorable to the survival of the hypothetical copy of itself, and isn't even sure that it wants to contribute to the overcrowding of the environment, anyway. Melissa feels trapped.

Friday, April 8, 2016

How to soar


Mental Health
"You will soon partake in the wonders of flight," the horoscope had read. When she got selected to represent the company at a conference in Florida, Barbara thought how funny it was that such a sham like astrology could still be right every once in a while. Before the conference, however, in the moments immediately after the incredibly improbable catapult accident, Barbara was considerably less amused.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The fatal flaw


Mental Health
The present scene is a staircase of many stories in an office building. The hapless hero of this story is not aware of the fact that he is the protagonist of a high-stakes battle between good and evil. He has walked absentmindedly onto the scene of his triumph, wandered into the path of the contrastingly self-aware (and in fact, meta-aware) villain. The villain knows he faces opposition from a good guy of some kind, but isn't yet clear on the particulars. He actually owns high-tech literary goggles that allow him to see through the fourth wall, but hasn't bothered to bring them along today.
The villain is less than 24 hours away from accomplishing a seriously nefarious deed, but he's never going to see those plots come to fruition. The hero, in addition to being totally in the dark about the story he's a part of, is terrifically clumsy. His glasses have been slipping off of his face, but he's been unable to adjust them because of the heavy briefcase in one hand and open mug of hot coffee in the other. But the glasses have reached a critical point, and as they fall, reflex takes over and causes him to toss the briefcase and mug aside and flail at his face.
The villain sees the mug and tries to get well away from the liquid's soaring path, which he does, but is simultaneously struck across both shins with the heavy briefcase, which puts him in an involuntary squatting-and-shin-clutching-type posture. When the hero trips over himself, still trying to prevent the glasses from hitting the ground, he also bumps the off-balance villain. Gravity plus ten flights of stairs below team up with the hero to prevent the imminent violent overthrow of most of the northern hemisphere's governments. The glasses, sadly, do not survive this encounter either, but as the narrator pulling the strings, I feel it's a more than fair trade.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Would you rather

Mental Health
"I don't know what you're insinuating, sir, and it's really none of your business at all, but I'll have you know that my dichotomies have never had a bit of work done on them. They are one hundred percent all natural."

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Economy of motion

Mental Health
After a lifetime of minimal physical and mental activity, Milton often felt that he had saved up massive reserves of strength, power he could almost feel surging through him, begging to be let out. He refused it as he had always done, knowing without evidence that there was some secret, crucial task the universe would call upon him to perform. 
And that day came: two cars crashed at the intersection outside Milton's dwelling. One passenger was stuck in the twisted wreckage of one of the cars and the fuel was leaking. He heard all of this information, rather than seeing it, because he had remained seated even after hearing the impact and the screams. 
Milton prepared himself, now. He would become a perfect vehicle of fate, surging up and out and freeing the trapped passenger before the fuel ignited. Now. Well, that didn't quite work. Try...NOW! he thought. But to his horror, Milton found himself unable to even get to his feet. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Help that keeps on helping

Mental Health
"Your Honor, I know what the Good Samaritan law says, and I know the intent of that law. What I am trying to tell you and the jury is that I felt that the best way I could help in this situation was to coach the late Mr. Feldman on how to activate his own great potential, which potential I strongly sensed in him, to remove the obstruction from his own airway. Had I removed it for him, he would have breathed for a while longer, but I ask you: what would stop him from going and getting himself into the same scrape the next day? And what if there was no one around to bail him out that time? So my actions that day were truly in his best interest, and I stand by them still."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

I can soar free


Mental Health
Booking a ticket to Antarctica was much more difficult without the powers of human speech, and people kept calling zoos to report me escaped. But none of the zoos would take me, no one could decipher my beak-scratchings into dirt or sand, and I eventually found myself here, at the town pond, trying to find some small measure of acceptance among the ducks.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Life makes fools of us all


Mental Health
"So the punchline of the joke is that you weren't joking?" 
___"...or is it?"