Archive for April, 2010


April 30, 2010

Larry designed the climate models for a popular virtual world. He made money by making deals with virtual real estate developers to give them the kind of weather they want: onshore wind for sailing spots, rainstorms for gothtown. there was some debate about whether that was ethical, but the company that built the world subcontracted out the programming of pieces of it – the contract covers basic functionality paid for by the hosting company, allows any extra detail to be marketed to other members of the world. Where not bound by contract, he creates weather to reflect his mood, and thinks of it as poetry. Some user start building strutcures which interfers with how his weather operates, and he enters a kind of arms race with them.



April 29, 2010

When Mary Ellen arrived at the boarding school she was assigned to work in the bakery, getting up early every morning to help make bread for the day. She makes friends by giving out extra bread. When the bread is found to be contaminated she is put under suspicion. One of her new friends sticks by her, and even continues to ask for the extra bread, which they share together in the empty gym during study hall.


April 28, 2010

A researcher comes up with a treatment for certain types of metastasized cancers. An injection of nanomachines builds a lattice of carbon tubes and then gathers the cancer cells around this scaffolding, producing an operable tumor. He has developed it for use on his wife, whose cancer has metastasized. However the tumor happens to form within her brain and it kills her. Later he visits with patients who were saved by his procedure.


April 27, 2010

A couple on a several-day long camping hike get lost. Once they realize it they start conserving food and water. After two more days they haven’t yet run out of enough energy to start arguing. Suddenly they come across a bus, that looks abandoned. But inside, taking a nap under a newspaper, is a balding gray-haired man. He gives them water from a cooler in the back of the bus and then gives them a ride to a park ranger station.


April 26, 2010

“I consider your tears noble,” he said. “As in, the noble gases. Inert. Completely unreactive. That is to say, I find it impossible to react to them. I don’t believe your tears. As far as i’m concerned you may be regulating your temperature or the concentraion of salt in your eyes.”
She didn’t respond, just sat there weeping.
He continued. “Based on your what I know of your past I can’t believe that your feelings for me are genuine. And I have to much respect for the both of us to pretend they aren’t. And for some reason you don’t want to play it off as casual – you want drama, pre-packaged drama, it seems to me.”
He left her there at the bar. She wound up going home with someone else, then walked home in the middle of the night, weeping again. He couldn’t get to sleep for thinking of her.


April 25, 2010

The colony had grown in power, eventually eclipsing its mother city. It revolted and destroyed the mother city, scattering the inhabits in a diaspora. Now a woman spreads word that she has engineered a biological weapon based on the colonial diet that will kill a majority of the colonial population. She is trying to gather an army out of the diaspora that she can lead to wipe out whoever will be left.


April 24, 2010

The astronaut found that the comm relay was out again. microring was taken again. He began to think it was being eaten by an animal, or taken to be a part of its nest. He sets up a camera and recorded what looked like a flying octopus wrapping itself around the comm relay apparatus. Life! Further study revealed it to be a swarm of smaller units. He believed he had found a colony-based life form, similar to Earth’s social insects. But analysis finally reveals that it is a non-living reaction: the combination of minerals in the sand of that area had unique properties. Once the sunlight was removed each night the particles were freed to react more strongly to the electromgnetic fields generated by the comm apparatus, floating up and converging on it. They then reacted with the particular alloy of the microring to dissolve it. Back on earth the phenomenon was recreated and used in art installations, amusement parks and haunted houses.


April 23, 2010

During a humanitarian disaster, the relief workers on the ground prepare with the victims for the logistics of how food will be distributed. The food arrives mouldy and has to be thrown out.

B-E soccer

April 22, 2010

Being an avid soccer fan, for her sophomore science display Melissa illustrated the concept of Bose-Einstein statistics with soccer balls as boson particles. To ad some personality, In one corner of the display she put the famous 1999 photo of Brandi Chastain in her sports bra. Her display was confiscated by school officials as obscene.

truth in advertising

April 21, 2010

When an old man’s aphrodisiac mushroon powder does not prove efficacious, he suspects that it has not been ground by virgins as advertised. He pursues the matter with the manufacturer, who defends his workers virtue. The old man persists but is stonewalled by the proprieter, so he takes his vindication to the young women workers themselves. He follows them home and watches their comings and goings. He picks out one he suspects and hounds her until she confesses and throws herself in the river.