Archive for October, 2011


October 31, 2011

The manuscript of tightly woven and flattened wool was found in a petrified nest of antiquity’s great roc. Some pair of metal-based dyes had been poured all along its length. This virtuous flow informed through its stains. First was a preface, in which the fabric of the scroll remained empty, like the virgin, full of potential unrealized. Then followed many sections full of contrapuntal streams, broken by codettas of solo dots and splashes. These contrasting sections matched designs found at sites previously considered unconnected.




October 30, 2011

Flask had received a commendation from the war office for his efforts. His cataloging of diseases helped diagnose soldiers in the field and quickly return them to duty, or quarantine them away from where they might infect other soldiers and reduce the army’s fighting strength. Flask didn’t care so much abut the army’s recognition or gratitude, but the commendation came with a grant, and his funding was drying up. The grant came with a bunch of stipulations, but since he had no other options he was willing to play ball. He had to use army facilities as his headquarters. After dropping off his luggage at the dorms he was escorted to the fourplex that hosted his office and lab. The other researchers who shared the building seemed very familiar with his work, but he had never heard of them. They were all members of the military. It turned out they had been plumbing his catalogs and evaluating the diseases as candidates for weaponization.



October 29, 2011

Melville mentions an Ohio man fell into tree full of honey and was embalmed there. The man who discovered him then exhibited him as a curiousity, but it was denounced in the local paper as a hoax (thus beginning a long-standing feud with the editor.) He fell into the temptation of making changes to make it more believable, which only cost him more money. When P.T. Barnum came to town he paid his two bits to see a bad copy of what was his once his genuine discovery.

prayer wheel

October 28, 2011

The tv show asked him to pray to avert the storm. After the last one he was more than ready to try it. Then they said go to the website. He went to the website and there was a button, “Click here to pray.” That got him thinking. In a few minutes he had a script that would pray for him repeatedly. He let it run overnight, and the next day it occurred to him that he could hire a botnet. The trick would be to manage it so that the prayers didn’t spiral into a denial of service attack.


October 27, 2011

The making of chintz, a printed cotton, was a closely guarded secret of Indian craftsmen. It was so popular, yet expensive due to this secret, that in 1686 its import into France and in 1720 its use in England was outlawed. Finally starting in 1734 two Frenchmen sent the secret home. In 1734 a naval officer obtained samples of fabric reflecting the different stages of the dyeing process and sent them to a chemist friend. Eight years later a missionary priest elicited the secret from his converts.


October 26, 2011

she had considered giving up dating to avoid entrapment, but was glad she didn’t since it allowed her to identify the traps more easily. the hostile pursuit made her contemplate abandoning the handcart. her schematization of the earth had already been cut to pieces. for a few minutes more she could remember where the nerve center was.


October 25, 2011

He had abandoned his hobby of topiary for about a year and a half, so he was surprised when he was arrested for pornography.


October 24, 2011

The surgery elongated her neck to accommodate the extra hyoid bones necessary to support the second tongue. They demanded it before they would attempt to teach her their language.


October 23, 2011

He used all kinds of mnemonic devices, an entire mansion in his mind populated with a miscellany of objects that represented other things. He remembered more things than anyone else he knew, and remembered them better. But with the ever increasing mass of information he found himself running up against limits. And his friends with smart phones connected to search engines began to beat him in small challenges and dares. So he began to study computer science to see if he could apply its sorting algorithms and hashing techniques to his collection of mental tokens.



October 22, 2011

When the Ming fleet arrived in Africa and were offered a giraffe, the calvary’s stable master was told to take it on board. But since he knew nothing about the creature, he protested, “Surely the care of such a holy animal as this can only be entrusted to the priests.” The commanders agreed and left the manner in charge of the priesthood, who accepted without comment. After conferring among themselves they selected one of the youngest and stupidest acolytes and informed him that he would survive the return voyage only as well as did the giraffe.