Saturday, August 31, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure #52: Ghost Hunter

A long time ago I solved the mysterious murder of Harlowe Thrombey, overcoming pistol-whipping, crushing existential dread and a broken system that seemed more concerned with covering its own rear than actually solving the case. I had no idea then that there was a sequel. You can imagine my excitement. Throw in the fact that ghosts are going to be involved and this one sounds like it can't possibly fail.

Spooky stuff is going down.

Like a Rocky film, we start by quickly recapping the previous installment. After my heartless refusal to act as a pint-sized body guard for a one-percenter named Harlowe Thrombey he got murdered. I was able to redeem my appalling apathy toward my fellow human unit somewhat by solving the crime. Since then my detective skills have been in demand, but the crushing boredom and lack of purpose that comes from b.s. like "helping others" proved inescapable.

Like I predicted, the mystery game lost its luster. My other prediction, about becoming a drug-abusing human derelict, was less accurate. I'm not even mad, because something even more righteous than the "peaked as a child death spiral" occurred. I read an article in some magazine that was all "there might be ghosts, bro!" and this was enough to convince me that this would be a good use of my time and resources. 

Besides, the "Institute of Occult Studies" a.k.a. the "We don't know what happened to your dog, cat, or virgin daughter so stop asking building" is just down the street. I decide to roll up and get equipped for some serious paranormal investigating. Suffice it to say the lame "skeptics" are ignored. Harlowe's ghost is out there and since I helped put him into that state with my cowardly and selfish refusal to help I'm just the one to find him.

Blaming bad football seasons on supernatural evil since 1922.

I go to see a Professor Zieback and he conforms to pretty much every academic stereotype there is. Books everywhere, tweed jacket, pipe smoking...all that's missing is sexual misconduct. Surprisingly, he's less than enthusiastic to mentor me, but on the other hand is quick to point out "ghosts exist!" but quickly qualifies that with some "are we really here" philosophical self-abuse. When called out he says it's "complicated." Something tells me this guy gets lots of "very poors" on those student evaluations.

He then explains that ghosts can't physically hurt you, but you might get injured running away like a little sissy bitch or the like. I don't know, that strategy served me pretty well at Chimney Rock. Before I can get any more evasive half-answers and useless theoretical navel-gazing he's out the door, leaving me to consider the merits of the kind of idiocy that only someone with an advanced degree can produce.

    "I'd love to talk more, but I've got to give another award-winning lecture."

It turns out the entire choice to go to the Satan School was just a blind alley that takes you to the same page you'd go to if you just skip it. Worthless tutorial sections in a Choose Your Own Adventure Book? Yeah, almost. It didn't quite reach the level of "The pages have numbers, which you will use to navigate the story! Try turning to page 7 now! No, try again! Almost. Go back to the top of the page to reread these instructions" ridiculousness, but still seemed like a waste of time.

The girl that caused me to waste a ton of time exploring the absurdity of mortality last time wants to come with me. How about "no."

I'm so stoked to start holding out an electronic device of some sort and saying things like "If you're a ghost, now is the time to say stuff," but instead get drawn into some lame human drama where some niece who was related to the decedent just shows up at my door. See, this is why I got out of the Mystery Industry for the greener pastures of pseudo-science. I get some dreadful "woe is me" tale about wills and diamond investments and oh, by the way there's a huge diamond in the mansion that I have a quasi-legal right to even though some other guy owns the house and the rule of law doesn't really work like that so go find it using your ghost hunting as a cover to commit grand theft and give it to me instead of, say, following the law.   

To make it even more ridiculous, she implies that the new owner of the property is a drug-dealer, arms smuggler and/or bomb maker for terrorists (!!!!). Yeah, really. Give up your promising career in corpse-bothering to steal blood diamonds from the American Taliban. There needs to be a stronger word than "no" for this nonsense.

Can't wait to see where the Bush family ranks!

The book has the balls to over-rule both decisions I've made. Yeah, no kidding. I'm told that I change my mind and decide that stealing something that some stranger that randomly materialized at my house and has the most tenuous of claims on is actually a really good idea. I mean, I'm sure she didn't vilify the rightful owner just to make her position more sympathetic or anything.

Then I decide I need Little Miss "Maybe he committed suicide to prove God doesn't exist" on my side. Here I'm given a choice between "asking Jenny for help" and "offering to help her" and I decide to rage quit.

"They got a real nice gym, cable teevee, a toilet right next to your bed..."

Yup, didn't even finish this one. This may be the worst Choose Your Own Adventure book ever, certainly the worst one I've reviewed so far. First the meaningless bit with the professor, then two choices that are promptly nullified by a "but thou must!" The whole point of these books, again, is to allow you some limited agency to direct what happens. As bad as coin tosses and "if the name of the current day ends in 'day'" are, this was the bottom. Getting railroaded by a book written in 1985. No thanks.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

News You Can't Use: Sutter County DA Investigated For Arson After Mistress’ Home Burns

This story has it all. It centers around a venal public servant who looks like he should be telling you about diabetes testing supplies but apparently has a secret life worthy of a lower-tier version of Caligula. It's got sex. It's got arson. It's got some pretty solid irony. There might even be some cringe-inducing references to the amazing world of technology. Let's do this thang.

Sutter County’s district attorney is being investigated for arson after the home of his alleged mistress burned down.

Hold some sort of respected position in society? Like to get that dip on the side but aren't very discrete about it? Don't worry, I've got the solution.


Investigators say racy text messages he sent could point to a possible motive.

Never has "you're getting me hot" and "you're lighting my fire" and "let's burn down the bedroom" been more literal.

Ladies, meet Wilford Danger.

Now, in a strange twist of events, the Yuba City Police Department confirms Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams has been questioned about the crime.

The truth truly is stranger than fiction. Someone from the legal profession with questionable morals? Hard to believe. 

“If he tampers with the investigation, that’s a different issue itself,” said one neighbor.

"College Football doesn't start until tomorrow, so for now I'll pretend I care about this."

The detective said in his report, “Garibay said she has been having an affair with Adams… Adams has told her how he is jealous. She showed us text messages where he stated he was jealous.”

This will be very useful in establishing the so-called "mo-teev." 

New motto: Adultery, Arson, Abasement.

The report also states Adams showed up at the crime scene just hours after the fire.

And as we all know the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime. This whole case reads like "Baby's First Crime of Passion Investigation." 

“When confronted with Garibay’s statement and phone records, Adams admitted he was having an affair with Garibay,” the report also read.

Great. Now I'm stuck with the mental image of this walrus-looking old bastard doing the Wild Thing.

“I had nothing to do with the arson. I am now allowing the Yuba City Police Department’s investigation to run its course.”

Thank you for "allowing" law enforcement to investigate your crapulence. That's very magnanimous.

Adams and the other two men have not been charged with any crime.

Can you at least pretend you find my crimes interesting?

Komment Korner   

It's just sex. Let's "move on". Character doesn't matter. Yeah, right. --Now help me build this guillotine.

I wonder if I could get him to burn down my rental home.

There is a reason why our Creator set parameters for our behavior.

Ronald Reagan would not have peed on EXPAT if he was on fire.

Doesn't surprise me man. I've known forever that the persecutors in America were one immense pool of evil.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

DotTeeVee: DUI checkpoint refusal at illegal Tahoe roadblock

Our freedom to be a jerk might be the most precious one we have. All right, after our freedom to buy products and pay taxes. It's a strong runner up, anyway. The best part about exercising your civil right to social retardation and inability to grasp how things work is that you can make a post hoc claim that you were actually fighting the good fight and are some sort of bizarre hero. Even better if this process can be recorded and then shared with the world via the invisible wires.

Like most totally righteous stories this one begins with the Man With No Face riding his steel horse right into the teeth of low-level totalitarianism. We get lots of annotations during this process so that we "get" that this is no mere "watch me break local speed limits on my bad bike!" or "here's my vacation" video, but rather the courageous stand of the last honest man against forces of pure evil. Forces that can't be bothered to put up "burning beam lights" to mark the exact location of their tyranny.

  Epic fascism fail!

This is just a theory and there's no way I can prove it, but I think the fact that we're in broad daylight might, just might, explain the lack of flares and lanterns. For whatever reason, this seems to be a major issue for this guy, to the point that viewers are totally missing the point. He even says exactly that in the "video description." What the point is, exactly, remains impenetrable. 

Like a scene from an ill-conceived "Maximum Overdrive" re-imagining we join a line of cars waiting to have their freedom infringed upon by the jack boot squad. Literally nothing is happening, so I take the uploader's advice and skip ahead to the beginning of the "seizure" at the 4:30 mark. No, there's not going to be any epilepsy. Sorry to get your hopes up. 

By the author of "Lil Billy and the Star Chamber."

With the promise of Fourth Amendment usurpation, I jump ahead to the middle of the video. I deeply apologize for any sanctimonious wise-assery that might have been missed. An officer in one of those fluorescent vests usually worn by midnight joggers (remember, no lanterns!) gives the international gesture for "open your helmet's visor, Sir Knight, I wish to parley rather than engage in a manful clash of arms." This pretty unambiguous signal leads to more annotation smart mouth. It's almost as if this patriot and guardian of our rights is going out of his way to find things to be offended by.

  Another highway patrol pretty boy.

After using his words, the visor is raised. You know, maybe if we just comply with the instructions this will end easily and painlessly. The officer wants to know if any drinking has been going on and, channeling the spirit of Ghandi our hero is all "No questions!" This stand against the machinery of the wicked goes back and forth a few times before the motorsickle man is instructed to "pull over." Because this is an "order" compliance occurs. If only he'd been ordered to answer the question all of this could have been avoided, perhaps. 

This is a bit of a mixed message.

With that the "illegal seizure" portion of the video ends and we enter into the "unlawful imprisonment" phase. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't really see any property rights violated. I saw some goof that wanted to be difficult and a very long-suffering and good-humored officer, but that was about it. Hopefully the coming outrages will be of a higher class. 

So we "potato-potato-potato-potato" the chopper toward what I'm sure the creator of this video would call "The Free Speech Zone" but is actually used for drunks and cranks. This break in the scintillating drama that is unfolding provides another chance to quote chapter and verse from local statutes, like an alternate universe Joe Friday who was kicked off the force and became a human derelict fighting imaginary battles against enemies that exist only in his mind. He also bitches about taxes. I mean, taxes? What's up with those? Am I right?

Yeah, get busy guys. Smuggle arms to Mexican drug runners or something!

Next the possibility of actual martyrdom is broached, as an officer "reaches for his weapon!" Sadly the "mad cop disease" doesn't actually kick in, but that won't stop the Sole Defender of the Constitution from making repeated and paranoid references to this for the rest of the video. Instead, the same question about drinking is repeated, without result. He even gets uppity about raising the visor again, until "ordered." 

If you're having trouble following the logic of what the Minority of One does, here's a handy cheat sheet: Orders = Yes, Questions = No, Favors = No, Common Decency that Could Immediately End This Situation = No. Hand signs to raise visor = No, After the Fact Snark and Tough Talk = Yes.

After deflecting some more polite requests he really puts it down: "Let me know when I'm free to go." Ok, it's not exactly going to be the first choice of quotes to go on the statue that will one day be built for the brave, brave man who defeated the DUI checkpoint, but it will have to do.

 This is a prison planet, man.

The inevitable "ihnen paperien, bitte" occurs and incredibly this is also complied with after minimal fuss. This guy isn't so much anti-tyranny as he's anti-questions about drinking. Everything else he just goes along with. Der Kommissar checks the papers and apparently everything is in order because no one goes for their weapons or anything. Upon request the officers provide their own information, which will make it nice and easy for the modern answer to Samuel Adams to file a report on how polite and professional they were in the face of his crazy behavior.

The officer even apologizes for any inconvenience he may have caused. Tyranny! Hand on weapon! 1984!

Free to go it's time to drive off into the sunset. We're told that because of this video the roadblocks were either cancelled or provided with adequate illumination (even thought that isn't the point!). Another glorious victory for people that hate answering questions. We wrap up with an offer to see our hero deal with a "phony" roadblock and get arrested for DUI. Yeah, maybe later.

 The Catcher in the Road.

Komment Korner  

your a redicules kid grow up

Thanks for sharing your opinions with me.
i hope ur meaing to burn your clutch out 

Well score one for the cops. They acted professionally against a guy looking to create a problem. This tried to draw attention to himself and make the cops look bad..... FAIL. The cops look real good and this guy just made bikers look bad.

you need to grow up or get laid

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

News You Can't Use: 10 Cent Charge on Plastic and Paper Bags

There is nothing wrong with our great nation that can't be solved by placing ridiculous and punitive taxes on ordinary people. This is especially true when in pursuit of some misguided social engineering. Consider bag use. This is a problem. Our rulers see people carrying things in bags and think to themselves "How can we put a stop to this." We're not yet at the point where martial law is on the table, so it's just gonna have to be another charge. Let the government run your pockets, America.

New legislation that is aimed to dramatically reduce bag use in New York City would put a $.10 surcharge on plastic or paper carry out bags at grocery and retail stores.

A sure fire solution to this imaginary crisis. It's hard to believe big government has critics.

They say the proposed charge would not be a tax and the stores would actually keep the money to cover the cost of providing bags.

"Here's some weasel language to make this whole thing even more insulting." Yeah, thanks. If the stores were really so burdened by the massive cost of plastic 'n' paper wouldn't they just pass that cost on to the consumer on their own, without government intervention? It's this thing called the "Free Market" that I remember existing. Or at least I'm pretty sure it did, everything in the past is kinda fuzzy. Oh well, back to the television.

"Save us, invasive government legislation!"

"It can be easy to forget the impact we each have on the environment - an impact that really adds up when you have a city of eight million people," said Council Member Brad Lander. "The truth is, there are a lot of times that we don't really need a plastic bag."

We must save the concrete and steel ecosystem! Think of the pigeons and rodents of unusual size! Besides, you don't really need that bag. Trust us, we know better than you do, we're your elected officials.

New York City pays an estimated $10 million to transport 100,000 tons of plastic bags to landfills in other states each year, according to the city.

We're not going to name those other states, but their initials are "New Jersey." Since this non-tax, no seriously it really isn't, goes directly to the business I don't really see how this will help. Unless there's really that much frivolous usage going on, which seems a bit of a stretcher. 

Restaurants would not be covered due to limited alternatives for delivery and take-out food orders.

But, but...the environment! That's what this is about, right? Certainly not putting extra burdens on ordinary people.

Under the legislation, stores would be required to waive the charge for providing paper or plastic bags for transactions where the customer is using food stamps.

Because if you're on food stamps you are pure light and goodness and can't possibly injure Mother Earth.

Here's the bag I think this proposal needs:

Komment Korner   

New York - you people have a looney mayor and even loonier council members.

Want to take the risk of infecting your family, keep using the reuseables.

A 10% tax on dirt bags would balance the budget...and then some

BOYCOTT New York City! Starve the beast! Stop shopping there, and only buy what you need.

Shocking... Another tax in NYC.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Twistaplot #6 Crash Landing

After leaving my wimpy personal submarine for no good reason and promptly being turned into a beautiful corpse by a sea snake I've decided to go back to Twistaplot, where I won't have to worry about issues like "high expectations" or "I remember this being better." Although in fairness both of those would have applied at one point, but after revisiting several books in this series I've come to the conclusion that my younger self might have actually been less than discerning in regards to free time activity. Well, expect for those thousands of hours of Ms. Pac Man. That still goes on the top of every resume, right next my Super Mario high scores. Anyways, let's just accept that this probably isn't going to be very good and dive right in.

"Hi kids, we're home early!"

Having unquestionably the worst cover ever certainly doesn't help matters. I mean, look at this shit. There's a lot not to like, but what puts this over the top is the positioning and facial expression of the couple at the bottom, both of which suggest the parents walking in just as they were starting to "get busy" more than the aftermath of plane crash. I could also mention the lame fire, the poorly drawn plane that is conveniently labelled as a "747" the fact that the "crash landing" apparently caused no damage whatsoever to the forest and so on, but I want to keep this review under the 100k word limit.

I'm flying home from Argentina. In keeping with the Twistaplot theme of amateur athletics gone horribly wrong I'm told I won the trip to South America in a balance beam competition. My thoughts are focused on my family and school and getting back to them and we actually get a fair amount of throwaway details about my alleged connections to other human units that I won't bore you with. Still, I'm philosophical about the whole experience, noting that my "Spanish is improved, at least." See kids, Spanish is the official language of Argentina. These books are educational and not at all overly snarky, mind-rotting garbage.

Everything else I know about Argentina. Not pictured: Evita, soccer.

Suddenly the plane starts bouncing around and flying erratically. Either it just fell in love or we've got some mechanical issues.We then get a long exposition dump delivered by a guy name "Wayne" that goes on for much longer than necessary and boils down to "plane crashing, jump y/n." For a normal person this might be a tough call, but with my extensive sugar glider background it's a snap. Make the jump, float harmlessly into inhospitable territory, maybe survive longer by eating Wayne's corpse, no problem.

Suicide is preferable to participating in a Democracy.

Things go well and I float my way down, eventually deciding to land in a nice hospitable jungle. Before it can bring me down (huh) I find some of the other jumpers, including Wayne and two other people that are described as "young people" on a rocky shelf overlooking the jungle. I get a choice between trying some mountain climbing with the punk kids or following Wayne into almost certain death on an "ice field." Better stick with Wayne, since he got more than two words of description and actually seems semi-competent. Yeah, we'll be fine.

Only a few hundred more miles of this and we'll be safe.

Wayne more than vindicates my trust by promptly plunging to what I assume to be his horrible death. Jeff, the male half of the young couple, displays his heartless pragmatism by declaring "he's had it!" but I've got to go check out what happened. And get the knife back. Altruism and basic decency were left back on the crashing plane. So sorry.

I come up with this convoluted mountain-climbing rig that I hope can rescue Wayne's ruined mortal shell while keeping that very useful blade. Incredibly, it works. Even more amazingly, Wayne is remarkably uninjured and is mostly concerned about how I unbuttoned his shirt while he was out, becoming pretty accusatory for a guy that just cheated death. "It was for medical reasons, Wayne! I didn't do anything to your unconscious body, honest!" 

With the whole "serious injury groper" issue settled, it's revealed that Wayne can't walk, so he actually is hurt pretty bad. Well, at least when I get back to school, somehow, I can reflect on how my paramedic skills improved...just a little. We decide to stay the night together, no weird stuff honest, and hope we're spotted by a rescue plane.

I then have to make a choice based only on if I "saw or heard an airplane today." Yeah, never thought I'd be happy about that airport expansion, but there it is. Midway through a night of camping where nothing out of propriety happened, I swear, we hear a plane. Next morning we lay down cloth strips in a giant "H" to symbolize "help." This touches off some of the most painful wackiness imaginable as we get a plane communicating with us via skywriting who then thinks we've fallen in love with him and honestly I can feel the interior of my head being damaged recapping this.

Everything just totally falls apart. We meet the other survivors, get this story about a "diamond smuggler," realize that this explains Wayne's bizarre reaction to my totally clinical exploration of his body and turn him in when we get rescued. All this nonsense happens in rapid fire, with no choices to break it up. I'm a hero, Spanish marginally better, guilty punished, blah blah.

It's too bad because I was liking this one right until I had to make a choice that was a glorified coin toss and then everything just went into a cocked hat. I actually got pretty lucky with my run, other paths give you b.s. like "if today's date is an even number" and "if you play a musical instrument" to make choices. This gets no love from me. The whole point is the highly limited agency to guide the story and once that's gone there's nothing left but cringe-inducing attempts at humor and blood diamond-fueled touch freaks. 

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

News You Can't Use: Device Nags You to Sit Up Straight

The dream of eliminating slouching by the year 3000 continues its slouch forward, now with the aid of amazing new technology! Yes, despite attempts to make chair low-riders into a protected class by promoting jelly spine acceptance the Powers That Be have not given up their moralistic crusade against that low 'n' lazy. We've now reached a point where there's an "app" for that.

"Sit up straight. Put your shoulders back. Don't slouch." Chances are good that you've heard nags like these from your mother more than a few times in your life.

Whoa, let's avoid this hetero-normative language. What if it was Father #2 doing the nagging or one of those cloth attachment dummies they use on experimental animals? I sincerely hope someone got fired over this.

It's a $150 sensor called LumoBack, from a company called Lumo BodyTech, that straps around your lower waist to track your posture and vibrates whenever you slouch.

Ladies, don't go getting any crazy ideas.

LumoBack uses Bluetooth to correspond with a free app that runs on Apple's iOS devices. (An Android version of the app is planned before the end of this year.) The company released a new version of its app on Tuesday, as well as a smaller version of its sensor band, both of which I've been testing.

The extremely technologically sophisticated society is indeed indistinguishable from magic.

After a week, I viewed LumoBack like eating broccoli: I know it's good for me, but I don't necessarily enjoy it. One upside is LumoBack is worn under clothing so you aren't announcing to the world you're tracking your movements by wearing something visible, like a sporty wristband.

If people found out you slouched your life would be basically ruined. "Sloucher: do not promote, give extreme audit" would be entered in your government paperien. This way no one need know about your secret solitary vice. Except the "LumoBack" people, but they're your friends, honest.

LumoBack's app with its armless stick figure that reflects your moves on an iOS device's screen is charming. The figure turns yellow and frowns when your posture is poor, and turns green and smiles when your posture is good.

When you have a wrong thought, like how our freedoms and privacy are vanishing, you get a angry red frowning face and a mild electric shock.

Let the LumoBack do its work, class.
But it's unrealistic to constantly look at a screen to check your posture so most of the times I felt these vibrating nags, I had to guess how to improve my posture.

This might be the first time a technology article has ever suggested that constantly looking at a tiny screen is "unrealistic." If this is the case, I seem to run into people out of touch with reality surprisingly often.

The first nagging buzz comes after you've been exhibiting bad posture for four seconds, then it buzzes again at 11 seconds. If you don't correct your posture after that, LumoBack assumes you don't want to be corrected again and stops buzzing.

Even Lumoback will eventually learn to give up on you, you loser.

In the next few months, Lumo BodyTech plans to release a coaching component for its app that aims to make the sensor more of a motivational gadget.

"All right, let's get exciting about posture! Hey now, you're starting to slouch, champ! Let's fix that spine! Yes! You're doing great! Now let's have no independent thought or imagination!"

For example, notifications will appear on your iPhone that say things like, "You've been sitting in that chair for 30 minutes. Stand up for yourself!"

Lumoback is not responsible for how badly your life will be ruined if you decide to take that order metaphorically instead of literally. 

I was concerned about wearing a Bluetooth device close to my body for so long. Lumo BodyTech's co-founder, Andrew Chang, said LumoBack transmits activity around 1% to 2% of the time during typical usage, and its radiation levels are about 25 times less than a Bluetooth headset.

And small amounts of radiation are probably good for you, toughen you up, that sort of thing.

The sensor's battery lasts five to seven days, depending on usage, and recharges via an included USB cord that plugs into a computer.

You can never have too much crazy stuff jammed into the USB ports. It's the automobile cigarette lighter for this amazing new world.

He had won the battle against himself. He loved sitting upright.

Komment Korner   

whoop WHOOP, gimmick alert!

Especially in our sitting society Posture Awareness is important

Big deal; the LumoMom nags you to make your bed, change your underwear, and wash behind your ears.

Often, the difference between a "kinda pretty" girl and a "knockout" is posture. Good posture implies self-confidence. Stand tall!

Aaron Zehner's posture is the stuff of legends. His first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. You will not need to strap it to your body or regularly recharge it, but I guess you could pretend.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

DotTeeVee: Stuff They Don't Want You To Know - Denver International Airport

When it comes to highly concentrated supernatural evil airports are probably not the first thing you think of, but today's video might just change that if you can face up to the awful truth. Granted, there's plenty of mundane evil at your average plane hole: little old ladies being strip-searched, goons with guns laughing at your privates as you're bathed in radiation, ridiculously high priced booze, the list goes on and on. However, according to some internet crank, this is just the tip of the iceberg and at least one airport might actually be housing extraterrestrials, political dissidents and/or the real birth certificate in secret underground tunnels. Turn off the part of your brain that controls the ability to doubt outrageous claims, put down the fluoridated tap-water poison and make sure your thoughts aren't being scanned because it's time to discover the secrets THEY don't want you to know!

That awkward feeling when the Third Party crank candidate is totally vindicated.

Surplus X-Files props are displayed while our narrator explains that history is full of unexplained events and then quickly clarifies that he means saucer people and spoon-bending and not real legitimate historical mysteries like who won the Korean War or why it took people so long to figure out the benefits of regular washing. We are then given the chance to chicken out if we're too sissy to learn about the unseen wire-pullers. Are you a bad enough dude to hear these highly implausible speculations? I will give a small amount of credit to this video for keeping the "Do you have the guts to take the red pill and find out how deep the Denver Airport really goes?" portion mercifully brief and not using the words "lemmings" or "sheeple."

  I think for myself, which is why I listen mostly to Jenny McCarthy and anti-Semites.

We discuss Denver's growth as a city, one of maybe three or four statements in this entire video that is based in what some people call "reality." This economic boom led to the opening of a beautiful new airport and everyone was happy. The End. 

Yeah, just kidding. You see, here's where is gets crazy. And that's not my opinion, either. The video has a special graphic and everything to inform us that we're now entering Crazyland. Please observe local laws. Or don't, who would even notice, right?

"You unlock this door with the key of extreme credulity..."

Yup, let's get nuts. A conspiracy theorist named Phil Schneider, who's credentials consist of...well, nothing, believes there's an underground base beneath the airport. I know if I was going to build a secret underground base that's where I would put it, assuming my first idea of putting it on the fifty yard line of the Mile High Stadium was rejected for some reason. But what in the world is down there? We get three possibilities: aliens (yeah, you knew that was coming), a concentration camp or one of those apocalypse survival shelters. 

You're probably wondering what the evidence is for the existence of this multi-purpose basement of evil. The short answer is "none." The long answer is there's some ugly mural depicting "multi-culturalism" in the airport, complete with coffins, half-human soldiers and scenes of violence. All of this just screams "underground malevolence facility." See a picture of a white hand shaking a black hand? You're probably very close to a prison for space invaders.

  New From Dan Brown: "The Communist Mural Code."

Why would the shape-shifting energy vampires that rule over us leave all this evidence? We are told it either suggests massive arrogance on the part of the Beast System or some rebel is trying to secretly warn us about the wild shit going down under the runway. When asked about these possibilities the artist's response was basically "please leave me alone." This proves he's been paid off by the One World Government. Because the alternative explanation that most modern art is awful just isn't plausible. 

There's the obligatory "free mason" references (sorry Knights Templar, you didn't rate a mention). Then we really grasp for straws by discussing a time capsule and Navajo phrases cut into the floor. How any of this silliness proves the existence of extensive underground structures remains somewhat obscure, but I guess this is why you were given an imagination. 

If that's not enough, what about this creepy blue horse statue. Honestly, it looks unusual! Explain that, Mr. Skeptic!

Secret underground Boise State fans, working to destroy the BCS...

Remember Phil Schneider, the guy who claims to know the New World Order's darkest secrets? We get some more tall tales out of him, including building numerous underground bases, participating in "alien human" battles and being monitored by invisible government agents. In other words he's so sane it's almost ridiculous. Then he turned up dead, with his "lecture materials" missing. I can imagine the mourning: "Hell yeah, NWO class is cancelled indefinitely, let's go drink Cherry Pucker and make lots of bad decisions! Woooo!!!!"

We get a quick summary and with nothing settled and the video ends. I was about to dismiss all this as paranoid ramblings from people with less than perfect mental health, but then I discovered an additional piece of evidence that blows this whole thing wide open! I'm going to post it below. Here it is friends, the horrible truth they tried to hide. I'll probably get murdered or at least audited for this, but it's worth it to present the real story.

Komment Korner  

I live in colorado and travel a lot. I have been to DIA many many times. None of those murals or paintings are in that airport...

Cocaine is helluva drug.

invisible government agents O.o We're screwed...  

I like dia just have sex with some girl I met on the plane ride from salt lake. What a big airport:)
i ate burger king in that airport... then i had to potty.

Aaron Zehner wants to believe. His first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. Makes a great gift and excellent reading material for those long flights before you hit the Denver airport and join the mile beneath club.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

News You Can't Use: Fountain Of Youth May Be Sitting In Your Medicine Cabinet

Is there any problem that can't be solved by pills? Not that I know of. Need to get larger or smaller? Children behaving in a way that falls within normal parameters but is annoying or inconvenient? Looking to have old man sex? The answer is pills. What about the horrors of ordinary biological processes that remind us we're unique living beings and not characters from a commercial? Well, they're working on it. Soon we will all be able to realize the very wise and well thought-out dream of a Spanish explorer who suffered tropical madness in a Florida swamp. It's hard to imagine a better role model.

According to a new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the commonly prescribed diabetes drug metformin has been shown to extend the lifespan of laboratory mice when given at a certain dosage.

Of course, you're not a mouse. You don't do tasks for rewards, or get evaluated by unseen and probably malevolent keepers. You're not confined to certain designated areas or told what to do with your time.

You know what, let's just ignore the shocking similarities between the average human life and the fate of a lab animal and focus on the age defying wonders of chemistry!

The mice given the smaller dose had an average 5.8 percent increase in their lifespan compared to a control group. The mice that were given the higher dosage experienced a 14 percent decrease in lifespan, mostly due to kidney failure. The low-dosage mice did not experience renal problems.

Yeah, you might get renal problems. I guess the ridiculously optimistic headline should have mentioned that. Still, think of the extra life! The only alternative is regular exercise and a sensible diet, but forget that. Let's take diabetes drugs instead.

The researchers initially decided to investigate metformin because previous studies have shown that it can diminish a variety of age-related conditions.

I prefer to imagine one researcher that plays by his own rules but gets the job done busting into the office of the Stupid Chief, I mean research head or whatever, and being all "It's time we get on this metformin!"

“Given that metformin is clinically proven to alleviate symptoms of these conditions, and reduce risk of cancer, we thought perhaps it was a good candidate to study for its broader effects on health and lifespan.”

 "...then my kidneys literally exploded."

Researchers noted that the drug had effects similar to a low-calorie diet intervention seen to extend life in previous animal studies.

Let's have no more of this crazy "low calorie diet" talk.

Despite the study’s encouraging results, the scientists emphasized that healthy people should not start a metformin regimen since more research needs to be conducted.

If you're not healthy, do whatever you want, I guess. It's hard to think of a condition that couldn't be worsened by a total breakdown in one of your body's major systems.

“It’s clear that we are edging toward developing a pharmaceutical intervention that is going to be able to delay or postpone aging,” he said. “For how much and how long I have no idea.”

"It's very clear we're getting closer to causing some thing to happen or maybe not happen that will have some sort of effect."

“In terms of history, we’re still at the very early stages of understanding how to slow aging in a safe way,” said co-author David Sinclair, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School.

If you're content with a dangerous way, we've got that all set to go.

Full Article

Komment Korner 

Another try from pharmaceutical companies to make profit by marketing their poisonous drug by using vague research and media. Metforman is made of a herb, if it is so beneficial why not let human eat it as a salad or raw, instead of tablets. The same tablets failed to cure diabetes. Why most diseases are incurable these days....just life long treatment..means continuous profit for pharmaceutical. This is the system of Dijall (Free-mason) anti-Christ. I think at the present time bank(interest) , politicans, war (amunition maker) and pharama are the 4 major pillars of anti-christ (dijall)

A few curious things here are , metformin lowers iron levels , iron restriction mimics 'the effects of csaloric restriction,' and iron deprivation is being used in diabetes and nafld , the same diseases metformin is used? Could it be , as is hypothesised , increased iron leads to diabetes and metformin works by removing the elevated iron? "findings strongly suggest that the age-related accumulation in muscle iron contributes to increased oxidative stress and sarcopenia, and that caloric restriction effectively attenuates these negative effects.”

Aaron Zehner is not part of the system of Dijall (Free-mason). His first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. Makes a great gift and is guaranteed not to destroy your kidneys.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Foolchild Invention Now Available in Paperback

Today Paperback Hero finally almost lives up to its name with the release of my first novel in paperback. You can get yours right here. Below is an excerpt from the novel, you can read another one here. The Foolchild Invention paperback makes a great gift, can be used to correct that uneven couch leg, is perfectly safe to handle if you are pregnant or may become pregnant, performs admirably as a flyswatter and can be burned or flushed without offending anyone.

The new growth industry: kidnapping. The shovel ready job: murder. The secret history of the modern world: The Foolchild Invention.

It's an invention for fools and children. It's called the future.

I found the correct number. I took one last deep breath. The journey begins, again. A blast of white light greeted me as I opened the portal of potential. Come to the light of low pay and long hours, my son! I found myself blinking back tears as my peepers struggled to adjust to the artificial sunburst. First the cruel voyage across the sun’s anvil, now this fresh agony. It’s not easy being a vampire, let me tell you. It’s not even that sexy, contrary to what you might have repeatedly heard.

“Hi! Are you here to apply?” An edge of discontent and grinding boredom competed with the forced cheerfulness in the voice of the receptionist. She was several years my junior, but already showed the weight gain and world weariness that are an occupational hazard in the intense world of asking people why they are here and what they want. The stress from such demands could wear away the Rock of Gibraltar, so imagine what it does to a very average young girl who dared to fly where eagles only dare.

I was still recovering from having the delicate inner structures of my eyes taxed to the limit by my encounter with the searing light of truth, so my answer was slow in coming. I finally managed to get enough control to communicate my purpose. I was rewarded for this effort by a smile that while more pitying than warm at least seemed to be entirely genuine. “You’ll need to fill out these forms.” Papers seemed to materialize from nowhere as my vision still struggled to interpret my new surroundings. “Take a seat over there.”

Resting my fundament on one of those, “three for the price of four,” pieces of furniture was quite welcome. I was starting to feel a little faint and I think it was only the massive amounts of refined caffeine plant I’d ingested earlier that kept me from landing in a drooling heap on the floor of the overly bright office.

I went to work on the forms. Even in this futuristic computerized wonder-world we now live in I was still forced to scratch on a stack of dead tree remnants. Honestly, where is the progress? One would think that by this deep into the 21st century we’d have some sort of virtual reality process or something. And where the fuck is my hover car, for that matter? In any case I kept writing name and number on the appropriate lines, over and over. Yes, I am unemployed. No, I do not suffer from miner’s black lung disease. Yes, I graduated high school. No, the dog next door is not speaking to me through the wall, telling me to kill. Yeah, this was going to take a while. This is the long lonesome paper road to economic recovery and ex nihilo job creation.

As my eyes slowly recovered from the shock of the bright light fright I began to notice a few details of the cramped waiting room. A maze of cubicles worthy of a Dilbert strip sprawled out behind the front desk and every so often a pudgy woman or scrawny guy could be seen picking their way through the well-padded maze like one of those targets in Hogan’s Alley. ”You were right to fire, but that target clearly is protected by layers of flab built up through years hunched over a desk. Next time aim for the head.” Or, “You shouldn’t have fired. That target has three to five years of payroll experience and as such has tremendous human value, far more than you do.”

Again, I noticed how the business drones made it a point to hide from my gaze. I don’t even think it was because I was having homicidal violence fantasies about them. It was more embarrassment, as if there was a certain shame in everything they did and that shame was especially amplified by the presence of an outsider who had yet to be fully corrupted. Then again, I just might have a really crazy looking appearance or something. It couldn’t be ruled out.

I wasn’t alone in the waiting room. I was joined by a few lost souls that made me feel downright optimistic about my own miserable circumstances. First there was this old boy, looking every day of seventy, but obviously not ready for blissful retirement and gold watches and strutting around with his withered genitals exposed at my gym and all that other good stuff. Instead he was a few chairs down, cutting a deep frown into his wrinkled face and fretting over the same forms I had, spotted hands shaking away. He was probably not very happy about having to check the “yes” box for “have you gone over a decade without any type of joy whatsoever in your life.” I mean, even I could still honestly say “no” to that one, although who knows what the future holds.

We were joined by two other individuals facing a bank of computerized wonder on the far wall, like something out of the most depressing Star Trek episode ever. First there was your classic working class scum-bag, dressed in his finest denim and plaids for this important employment summit. You could tell it was high stakes as he left the beer-stained Harley Davidson shirt and the you-don’t-even-want-to-know stained trousers back at the Baby Momma’s house. Despite the heightened levels of self-awareness on the “looking like shit” front he still seemed to be struggling mightily with this so-called “com-pu-ter” if the seeming random pawing at the keyboard was any indication. No, my good man, you’re not going to need to hit the “PrtSc/SysRq” key too many times when you fill out a basic on-line application form.

Completing this triumvirate of unique and valuable special snowflakes caught up in the gears of progress was a dumpy looking woman of perhaps forty. She was operating the technology of the bold new world with the exhausted ease of someone who was very familiar with clacking keys and glowing letters. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of payroll background lurked behind her watery eyes. If it was substantial and she was applying for the same position, I was pretty much cooked. Yup, this bitter and world-weary sack would probably be viewed as the best possible choice. I guess it wasn’t the constant losing that bothered me as much as who I kept losing to. I could see falling short against other young hot-shots in a brutal shark tank type fight for highly desirable promotions or something. But here I was, getting bent over by the world’s least interesting woman in a battle for a job that’s the tie and suit equivalent of working in a salt mine.

No, no time for that sort of pessimism. I’m still likable, I still have a decent background full of books and taking tests, I deserve this. Chin up, fill the form.

After writing my name for probably the tenth time I finally reached the bottom of the stack and the dreaded I.Q. test that lurked there like a movie monster at the bottom of verbiage swamp. Too bad I hadn’t gone to law school like I used to dream about when I was a little snot-rag filler watching Perry Mason: I could probably sue this place into the Stone Age. Everyone knows that BS like “intelligence” or “a personality that doesn’t immediately grate” are the persona non grata of today’s stimulated economy. Can you clack the fucking keys? Can you use a highly specialized computer program used by us and one other office in Calcutta? These are the important issues. Smart people sometimes win arguments and likable people sometimes get the spotlight, and we certainly don’t want that when we can have cubicle rats who scurry around, avoiding the light and the gaze of others and occasionally emitting a squeak or two.

Ok, back to the examination. Serious, this time. “You have $500 dollars.” Well, hot dog. This was more than a simple racist and culturally biased exploration of mental prowess, it was honest-to-goodness economy porn. Somewhere John Maynard Keynes is leaning back in a comfy chair and softly moaning. “Required widgets cost $1.75.” Oh God, widgets. I’m going to lose it. “How many can you purchase?”

My mind was racing and my hands were struggling to catch up. The combination of a massive, imaginary windfall and the extreme challenge of fifth grade long division certainly form a heady cocktail. As I regained my center a bold stratagem began to form in the frontal lobes. Maybe I should just throw the test and do as poorly as possible. They’ll think I’ve got some secret, incredibly complicated plan going and hire me out of fear for what I might spring on them. Yeah, pull some wild end around and hit them where they least expect it. “You’ve got a Master’s Degree in some esoteric nonsense but you can’t do basic math? What is the story, man?”

It’s pretty telling that I was reduced to even considering this sort of Byzantine maneuvering, but a steady diet of failure will do that. The good news was I decided against taking the dive after a brief internal debate. I still had my arrogance as an academic and Big Brain to consider, after all. Pride will screw you over every time. I did the basic math to the best of my abilities and having put paid to the insensitive and divisive evaluation I returned the entire stack to the desk. Approval shown out from the receptionist’s round face for just a moment. It was almost like we were having a moment of genuine connection, recognizing our common humanity and decency, in spite of everything. Then she handed me a plastic cup.

*               *             *            *           *

The Foolchild Invention is also available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble. This version will not be as useful for killing pests or fixing your leaning furniture, but can be acquired instantly via the miracle of technology. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure #2: Journey Under the Sea

After killing a witch for the final time and lifting the death curse I decided I'd stay with more of that single-digit goodness, this time with a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea knockoff. Amazing adventure, just add water. I usually don't talk about the copy I'm using, but I'd like to mention that I got stuck with the lame 2005 reprint that looked like it had been used as the only ball in a week long rugby tournament. In other words, it's not the good, old version, it just looks like it. Wonderful, haven't even cracked the cover (not like it needs it!) and I'm already prejudiced against this book. Plus, it's R.A. Montgomery, so I'm sure we'll be getting all his weird little trademarks, like anti-nepotism and an obsession with gliders.

Living under the sea: the solution to all of life's problems.

I'm an expert "deep sea explorer" who one day just decides to go take my wussy one-man submarine and find Atlantis. I mean, how hard can it be to locate something that probably doesn't exist? Yup, gonna go find a metaphor Plato used to make a point. No problem. Sadly, we don't get page after page of wet-brain ancient astronauts theorizing, instead it's just "yeah, I'm looking for Atlantis, so what?" I'm a man of action, clearly. Certainly not a man of thinking or doing research. 

If we make history "cool" and fill it with lies people will care about it again!

My personal sub Seeker, the obvious glider analogue in this book, is deployed from a research vessel. This is probably not even in the top one hundred ridiculous uses of tax payer money, but it's still pretty bad. I'm lowered via a cable into the darkest depths of the ocean. Then I'm told I've got this special anti-pressure diving suit that will allow me to leave the relative safety of the goofy dive-boat. As dumb as this is it's still better than "The Abyss."

I'm reminded this is the cash-in reissue, now with significantly worse illustrations, by the unbelievably stilted attempts to modernize the story by references to a "PDA" and the "latest microprocessors." Ugh. I leave the Seeker, maintaining radio contact with the research ship.Thankfully this revision is from 2005 or there would probably be mentions of taking pictures for Facebook and tweeting under hashtag AtlantisIsRealYOLO.

Technology and genital humor: combining them is not as easy as you might think.

I decide to cut loose from the line and head toward the ocean floor. Incredibly this suicidal plan is approved by the paper-pushers up above, suggesting they either don't fully understand the risks or just don't like me. So I'm descending into what Montgomery describes as a "canyon" but is presumably an undersea trench. We get exciting encounters with "bubbles" and a possible "grotto." Man, I can see why this whole "under the sea" genre got to be so popular. All the excitement of being wet, combined with slow movement and bad lighting. Yeah that's the good stuff. 

I decide to investigate a "round entrance." Really. Long, hard, tube-shaped object entering a wet hole. Paging Doctor Freud.

Imagine this, but in book format.

Anyway, through the entrance. I see what looks to my eyes like a dock, but probably represents the early stages of that kind of madness you get from a combination of crushing pressure, isolation, oxygen depletion and innuendo overdose. The searchlight attached to my sub isn't doing a very good job, so I get the choice to turn on the "laser." 

I hit the laser light and immediately get hit back with refined nonsense. There's a submarine that I immediately, somehow, recognize as one that got lost in the Bermuda Triangle a year ago! Did I mention the Bermuda Triangle is 2000 miles away! Whoa! Honestly, this is what should have been rewritten, instead of adding dated 2005 references to clash with the 1978 Sea Hunt nonsense.

And the main hatch is free of algae! What is going on!

I'm practically begging for the next entry to have a "The End" at the bottom of it.

The logical explanation behind the Bermuda Triangle.

I decide not to mess with the submarine. Instead, I keep going, finding the surface littered with strangely undamaged shipping. I speculate that Atlantis is capturing ships in the Bermuda Triangle and then taking them here. It certainly passes the Occam's razor test. I decide to get a closer look and am promptly murdered by sea snakes. There's even a loving description of toxins hitting the old "cerebral cortex." I'm told my life was "short and sweet." Yup, at least I'm gonna leave a beautiful corpse.

This is what my special diving suit probably looked like.
Yeah, I didn't get into this one. Putting the nautical equivalent of the bigfoot legend front and center didn't do this one any favors and the writing was surprising flat, considering we're in this underwater wonder world. Maybe I'll try it again when I get the proper original version. 

I regret nothing.

Aaron Zehner's first novel The Foolchild Invention is available in e-book format at and Barnes & Noble.