Archive for January, 2013


January 31, 2013

He cast his mind upon invention like a wave upon the shore, trying to devise a device that would do it for him, but in the end he had to hire someone, a personal valet, to constantly apply the prescription cream to his skin. For ten months he lived this way.


January 30, 2013

He was warned off of the libel suit but went forward anyway. The defendant used an unexpected loophole: those engaged in government-sponsored propaganda are immune from charges of slander.


January 29, 2013

When the two brothers visited the burned out husk of their house, barely a week later, they found mushrooms already growing on the charred timbers that leaned away from the corners of the where the walls used to be. Eldridge knelt and plucked on of the mushrooms from a cluster on the remains of the front door frame. He squeezed it between his fingers, and a white liquid oozed out from between the gills underneath the cap, then ran down his fingers. He thought, ‘this is the blood that could not flow that night because it was boiled away or scorched dry.


three body problem

January 28, 2013

When she was twelve she had an intense crush on one of her older brother’s friends. They all teased him quite a bit, perhaps his being marked out in this way was one of the things she was drawn to. One of the nicknames they had for him was ‘the personifcation of the finite-dimensional’. She never did figure out what they meant. She remembered it when she was old enough to study cardinality in math class, but by that time they had all gone away to college or moved away, and her brother was dead.

take on

January 27, 2013

As she grew more thirsty, she found it easier to calmly order her thoughts for the debate, but harder to talk. As the season progressed, and she argued for now one point of view, now the opposite, she became more apathetic, until she was impressed by the spark of passion in a young woman on an opposing team in the finals. Asking around, she found that the young woman had killed her brother a few years before in an accident.


January 26, 2013

As part of his efforts to eradicate the bees nesting under the eaves of his house, he programmed a swarm of nanobots to remove the nectar from all the flowers in a five-mile radius. He controlled them using the techniques of radio-assisted navigation. He found in trying to make sure his bots weren’t attacked by the bees he had to make the bots mimic the bee’s behavior somewhat, and in designing algorithms to do that he discovered a new area of set theory, which he called ‘Imitated Well-Ordering’.


January 25, 2013

As I took the ear from the stalk I heard a tinkling. The knife had little bells hanging from the hilt, which jingled with every motion – every stab and every withdrawal. After less than half a dozen quick thrusts the drone retreated a little and floated up. It sprayed me with a secretion which not only prevented my blood from coagulating in my wounds, but also served as a physical signature, since as it was unique to this drone it identified it as the first responder.

intent to reprimand

January 24, 2013

Behind the curtain, while you were giving your lecture, I made love to your wife. I imitated your hoary visage with a gray wig. She must have known it wasn’t you. Perhaps she prepared the excuse that she thought you had employed me to give the lecture in your place. Later she told me you never mentioned it, though it was clear you knew.

nuke and pave

January 23, 2013

The government decided to clearcut and pave with gravel a vast area surrounding the nuclear disaster site, in order to drive out squatter farmers who were smuggling out contaminated produce.

wait time

January 22, 2013

The bureaucracy applied data management strategies from computer science, including sorting algorithms and caching techniques, to the queues of clients waiting to see a clerk.

I swear I wrote this idea *before* I typed “kafka” and “queue” into Google and found “Kafka is intended to be a single queuing platform that can support both offline and online use cases.” Honest Injun!