Friday, September 26, 2014

Twistaplot #5 The Sinister Studios of KESP-TV

It's been nearly a year since the last time I looked at a Twist-a-Plot book and to be totally honest that's not some huge coincidence but instead is the result of the amazing semi-volition I'm able to muster. The series was a let-down, simply stated. Time heals the sarcasm and limp plot wounds, though, so might as well get at it. Besides, today's subject looks promising. The premise is intriguing (Sinister...studios???) and it's a nice break from all the space-themed fare we've been getting recently. Back to earth, back behind the camera for the sexy and deadly world of local affiliate stations.

"That's it kid, just repeat what the government told you to say and you won't get blasted."

I'm getting my boredom on in a "careers" class, listening to some teacher drone on about the "real world" and "jobs." Like any healthy person I've got very little interest in this obvious trick bag. That is until the common core dispenser announces unpaid internships. Man, how sweet that would be. Missing school, acting as a go-for, not getting any of that long green but maybe a positive reference and a page or two for the "brag book," yeah this is the stuff. 

Does it get better? Hell yes, it gets better. One of the positions is at KSEP, presumably the fictional analogue of KRON-4. Clearly, this is the time to get hype. As you probably already guessed, I get this assignment. It turns out I'll be there over spring break, so that whole "miss school" plan has withered on the vine, but the prospect of being a tiny part of a soon to be completely irrelevant form of mass communication is more than enough to act as a counter balance. I'm gonna be on the moron box!

"Five hundred hours of work for a possible reference...golly!"

I head down to the studio, not even suspecting it might be of the left handed variety. All is not well, however, because inside the place is as empty as a Coffee Party meeting. Also, there's a letter sitting out suggesting that my glorious non-compensated position was supposed to be cancelled. There's a door, but it's for authorized personnel only, so I decide to sit in a chair and wait. Doing nothing is always the best choice when faced with an ambiguous situation, right?

Despite my best efforts, I can't keep from doing wrong. I answer a phone call. The caller wants to speak with "Betsy" and then I open the door to find her standing there. A bizarre conversation about tornadoes is the result and I get a non-choice where both options go to the same page. Twist-a-Plot, why do you always have to provoke me?

Will ignoring warning signs ruin my are day?

We head into a hall full of colored footprints and I immediately start hurting my chances of getting that slightly positive reference by acting incredulous. It's for tour groups, Betsy explains. We then enter a room full of monitors and at this point it's pretty clear I've stumbled on one of those weather control stations a former pro rassler tried to warn us about. I call her out on this, but get sent out for my troubles. As I leave I see a man in an astronaut suit in front of a control panel on one of the monitors. Space weather manipulation? What is going on here?

From the author of "Unidentified Flying Outrage"

 I decide to come back in, possibly for a final confrontation/last stand against the shadow government and its agents but instead am met with apologies and "It must have been your imagination!" Well, I'm mollified. I'm given a list of weather terms to study and tuck right into that. Suffice it to say the letter is actually a rambling note that explains we're under attack from a weather-controlling "foreign power" and Betsy is actually a secret agent infiltrating the station. I see. 

I'm not sure what she wants from me, but seriously, it ain't happening. I sit and wait, something that is becoming my primary coping mechanism. She doesn't return, so I call the Pentagon and a Deus ex Machina is deployed. Why Betsy just didn't make this call herself is left unexplored. I'm declared a hero and given my own weather station for some reason. Now I want to be a meteorologist. I'm really not sure if this is a happy ending or not.

Living the dream.

This was the usual Twist-a-Plot mess, suffering from a bizarre plot, poorly thought-out decision points and a disappointing ending. I guess the premise had some potential and maybe some of the other paths are better realized but I'd have to say skip this one.

"I would know, I was in an underwater demolition team."

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

News You Can't Use: Workers With Smart Phones at Health Risk

Every problem can be solved with the magical phone. Need to call someone? We can probably do that. Calming female voice to create the illusion of human contact while you huddle in your "Omega Man" bunker praying for the daylight that will drive off the mutants? No problem. Bird flight simulators? Aw, yeah. And hey, it gets even better! Now you can completely destroy the lines between work and your so-called own time by being constantly bothered by the next higher pay grade! Yes, comrade phone is our friend. Even if it does kill you.

German researchers studying the effects of people taking their work home with them at night or on weekends found that the workers were plagued by a host of issues, including cardiovascular problems, insomnia, headaches, muscular issues, fatigue, anxiety, and stomach problems, according to the Daily Mail.

Now for some of that efficient German research that has historically been a mighty force for good. As the dream of the 168 hour work week comes to fruition leave it to soft and lazy human assets to have tummy problems and general overall biological collapse.

The study, published in the journal Chronobiology International, examined 57,000 people, more than half of whom worked past normal hours, largely driven by access to smartphones and computer tablets.

Chronobiology International is probably best know for its above average fantasy international rugby coverage (All the hot picks on Team Fiji!) and that one issue every year where they're somehow allowed to show "artistic" nudity.

The researchers claim that the new advances in technology have prompted employers to expect their employees to be available at all hours, and asserted people’s bodies need purely recreational time to recover from work.

You crazy people and your soft and pathetic "needs." Once we fix that bug in our androids that causes them to turn violent and/or explode most of you whiners are out the door.

Remember when they were called "time saving devices?" I guess the new buzz phrase should be "life ruining devices."

Information and communication technologies, such as computers and smartphones... have the potential benefit and the potential inherent danger of making it possible for employees to be available any time and anywhere.

Much like a Panzer VI King Tiger it has both potential benefits and inherent danger.

Free time should be free time, otherwise it must be expected that it cannot fulfill functions of recovery and recuperation.

When the Germans are forced to champion our right to free time and recreation you know something is deeply wrong with the world.

The German study found that 90% of office workers have phones with email access, and one-third of those workers access their email over 20 times a day.

The "compulsive e-mail checking" disorder from the late 1990s is back and better than ever! We need to get this sucker into the DSM XXIX while it's still enjoying this comeback.

Last month, the German car maker Daimler installed software on its employees’ computers that deletes emails if the workers are on vacation; the company has 100,000 employees.

Now to have that software work all the time and you're set.

Daimler spokesman Oliver Wihofszki said: "The idea behind it is to give people break and let them rest. Then they can come back to work with a fresh spirit."

Where a giant wall and secret police failed, a day without a phone succeeded.

"Save me, German researchers!"

"It often needs to start at the top, with bosses taking the lead and attempting to change the culture at work. Not every country will implement regulations like France, so companies should look to make improvements of their own accord."

You could alert everyone to this New Culture initiative with repeated e-mails at 4 am on Christmas morning.

Full Story.

Komment Korner

I stare at two large lighted rectangles filled with information all day in my cube.

I always have to ask myself, "Is it worth it?"

It doesn't help that one boss is in EST and another in China time, so I have opposite time zones working against me.

Democrat propaganda can also make you sick.

They can be turned off! Find those buttons and use them, FCOL!

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Which Way Books #8: Cosmic Encounters

Looks like more space exploration is headed our way, even after a disappointing LSD metaphor that featured far less "UFO" and far more "The walls are melting, again." Hopefully the "Which Way" Series will offer a more straightforward take on the vast cold empty, rather than taking the author's sixties college years and changing the dorm into a spaceship and all the drugs into mind rays or the like. Either way, there's every reason for optimism, as this series didn't disappoint in the horror genre. Can it do science fiction? Let's dig in.

It's like they couldn't decide if it would be an android or a robot and the end result pleased no one.

The prose is right to the point, wasting no time blandly spitting out the crazy. I'm a astronaut. I don't age at a normal rate thanks to an ability to directly control the heartbeat (if you think breathing manually sucks, imagine that). Doctors, presumably, hate me. I can communicate via "electrotelephonic waves." The book does not in any way dwell on the massive societal and personal implications of all this. After all, we've got a Universe to explore!

I blast off in a rocket, destination the "Olympus Galaxy." Of course it's a solo mission, because crushing solitude will help fend off the good old space madness. This must be a government sponsored rocket, because things go wrong almost immediately. I've got to repair a fuel cell on the outside of the ship. While messing around, my "lifeline" breaks. I haven't even reached the first choice and it already looks like I'm going to be a beautiful corpse endlessly drifting through the vacuum. 

"Help me, Sandra Bullshit!"

Somehow I manage to cling to the rocket and make my way back inside. Well, glad that's over. Of course I promptly fall asleep because there's no better sleep aid than nearly dying a horrible death. When I wake up I discover that the ship has drifted off course. Next thing I know a "bright object" is on a collision course. Yeah, looks like that madness is having a pretty rapid onset this time. Maybe I should have taken a class on retaining my sanity while out there instead of that electronic wave thing.

To make a short story about the same length it turns out it's a "craft" and I get swallowed up. Yeah, it's probably time for the probing/space zoo/dinner table. I meet three identical looking people, because space is all wild and crazy and man, I don't even remember which pills I took. 

The truth is arguably even more amazing than what I'd been anticipating. It turns out this is a "mother ship" peopled entirely with clones created from a single human cell. They need another person to create more Humans by Xerox and it looks like I'm it. 

Imagine, if you can, a whole field of identical looking sheep.

I decide to convince them that I'd be a poor candidate for this operation. After all, I nearly got myself killed screwing around with a fuel cell. Actually, instead of pointing to my dangerous ineptitude I argue that I'm a unique and special miracle and it would be bad to have copies running around. They have little sympathy for this concern, declaring that their motto is "Uniformity is Strength." I try to appeal to their good nature but am told to get into a chair. Naw, no way. 

This leads to my horrible death, but at least I don't have to live to see my genetic material passed on, which is every man's worst nightmare.

I'd say this one was decent. Instead of hallucinogenic nonsense we got heavy-handed political commentary so call that one a push. Descriptive writing is not this author's strength and there was a certain bland matter-of-factness that clashed with the subject matter. Still, I'd say it's worth a look. 

I was trained in rhetoric by the internet.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

News You Can't Use: Pizza Hut Testing 'Skinny Slice'

Americans, on the average, have awesome real bodies with incredible curves that any decent, secure man would go wild over in the most respectful way possible. And by that, I mean we're overweight. Which is great! I celebrate absolutely everything, as long as it isn't those evil traditional values that served civilization so poorly over the last six thousand years. Still, there are a few cranks who think the expanding national waistlines are a mixed blessing. Some of these individuals are apparently decision makers for pizza chains, because we're now getting an attempt to make a meal that represents a week's worth of calories into something sensible that would only fill that quota for two or three days, max.

Pizza Hut is testing out a lighter pizza in two U.S. markets as it seeks to freshen up its menu and regain its footing against competitors.

"I think you'll all agree that the new Pizza Hut Nothin' is the magic bullet that will save our mediocre franchise from the far superior alternatives that have been devastating our market share. If you have any questions, I'll be in the restroom, sobbing."

The tests of the "Skinny Slice" pies began this week at several dozen restaurants in Toledo, Ohio, and West Palm Beach, Florida.

As usual the non-Spanish Toledo is right at the cutting edge of exciting new trends that absolutely reek of desperation and "Me too!" bandwagonism long after the point where it would have actually made a difference. And there's Florida, too, I guess.

The pies simply use less of the same dough used for regular pies and are lighter on the toppings, said Doug Terfehr, a Pizza Hut spokesman.

By the time you figure out this is a "pay more, get less" shuck that really won't help with fitness or weight loss goals I'll be safely in a country that doesn't extradite.

Several fast-food and restaurant chains have turned to lighter offerings over the years as a way to update their images, with varying degrees of success. 

Still better than "Extreme Marketing," you can at least say that.

Burger King, for instance, recently said the majority of its U.S. restaurants would stop offering lower-calorie french fries less than a year after the so-called "Satisfries" were introduced.

They were replaced with the standard high calorie freedom fries, the so-called "Pacifries."

The test by Pizza Hut comes as the chain fights to win back market share. Last year, Pizza Hut sales fell 2 percent at U.S. locations open at least a year. Domino's, by contrast, saw the figure rise 5.4 percent while Papa John's saw sales rise 4 percent in North America.

Two percent might not seem like a lot, but that is private industry we're talking about, not our government.

Darren Tristano, a restaurant analyst with industry tracker Technomic, noted that Pizza Hut may be suffering in part because it's the biggest player and has the most to lose at a time when the pizza business overall is seeing moderate growth of about 2 percent to 3 percent a year.

The dismal science, it's amazing! Obviously in a time of moderate growth the "biggest player" would stand to lose. It just makes logical sense. Hey, let's print more money to cover budget shortfalls!

But he also noted that the chain has failed to "evolve its product," while Papa John's has played up its quality and Domino's improved its pizza.

The New Domino's: Tastes Less Like an Old Tire Than Ever!

"Gimme ten of them Skinny Pizzas."

Pizza Hut is owned by Yum Brands Inc., which also owns Taco Bell and KFC.

Good old "Yum Brands," formerly Hitlertech Chemicals and Germ Warfare. 

Pizza Hut also rolled out "Fit n' Delicious" pies more than a decade ago that had even fewer calories than the new Skinny Slice pies by going lighter on toppings.

After several locations were burned to the ground that particular "pie" was discontinued. 

Also, we need another word for pizza that isn't "pie," because I'm sure the editor that decided to take a five day weekend rather than check this article would have had issues with this. Maybe "Eye-talian Circle Food" or "Man, My Left Arm is Tingling."

If the test proves successful, the Skinny Slice pies would replace the Fit N' Delicious pies, which are still available on request, Terfehr said in an email.

This request must be made in writing, submitted six months in advance and be approved by one of your State Senators. 

During the Atkins craze, Domino's also tested a whole wheat crust but ultimately abandoned the idea.

Maybe there's some sort of lesson there. Naw, probably not. Still, food for thought. 

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

News You Can't Use: NASA Inspector Blasts Asteroid Protection Program

Having solid asteroid protection plans in place is very important, just like in all those horrible movies. We must have a handsome and diverse crew ready to blast off to the tune of Aerosmith songs at a moment's notice. You wouldn't think this would even be controversial. Leave it to some crank "inspector" to call into question this money well spent.

 NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit.

If you want to talk about taking hits and crazy dangerous space rocks, man...I ended up on the roof of the garage battling invisible snakes before deciding I could fly...

On Monday, the space agency's inspector general released a report blasting NASA's Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 28 million miles of Earth. The purpose is to protect the planet against their potential dangers.

Certainly making a nice catalog of the assorted space run-off will also protect the planet.

Most near-Earth objects harmlessly disintegrate before reaching Earth's surface. But there are exceptions, like the nearly 60-foot meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013, causing considerable damage.

Some windows broke in Volkonograd! Authorize billions in wasteful spending!

In a 44-page report, Inspector General Paul Martin said the Near Earth Objects program needs to be better organized and managed, with a bigger staff.

Job bloat and having many new managers who aren't sure who they're accountable to is clearly the answer. Only in a government agency can the solution to the expected waste and inefficiency actually make things much, much worse.

NASA's science mission chief, former astronaut John Grunsfeld, agreed and promised the problems will be fixed.

If you'd like one of these magical new government jobs please send in your "Asteroids" high scores.

 I bet I'd play better if three other people were helping me hit the buttons.

For nearly a decade, the report noted, NASA has been tracking near-Earth objects bigger than 460 feet across. The goal was to catalog 90 percent by 2020.

A 10% failure rate would make it the most efficient government agency ever, but we've got a long way to go before that happens.

The space agency has discovered and plotted the orbits of more than 11,000 near-Earth objects since 1998, an estimated 10 percent. It does not expect to meet the 2020 deadline.

Working for the Fedgov, a one act play.

"Are you going to meet the deadline?"


"Okay. It doesn't matter anyway. Here's your pay."

The program has insufficient oversight, Martin's office concluded, and no established milestones to track progress.

Right now the "milestone" they're tracking is "was the Earth destroyed by falling objects." So far no, so all is well.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

DotTeeVee: Google Glass User Gets Unwanted Attention

I can't get enough of impractical and invasive technology, which is why I've been down with the Google Glass sickness from day one. Yes, back before it was cool. Assuming, at some date far after writing this it actually becomes popular in the mainstream, otherwise my with-it-ness will not be vindicated. Either way, at least some people (broken pathetic people) are trying it out and the result is incredible encounters with bar patrons that for some reason aren't thrilled with being the subject of amateur hour surveillance and/or Baby's First Police State Kit.

We hit the ground running with a promise that this story will be featured "Only on KRON 4." Well, at least now I have a name for this bizarre alternate Earth that I'm forced to live on. Actually that's a "station" on something called "television," a pill that's arguably harder to swallow than my exile on a similar but fundamentally broken planet theory. I guess this thing is sort of like the internet except it's an almost entirely passive experience and you're totally defenseless against the advertisements. Yeah, this "television" fad ain't going anywhere, man.

    Welcome to KRON-4, earthling. Your bitcoins are safe here.

Our cheery anchorwoman, who is sadly caught in that awkward life stage when you're no longer a "cougar" but not yet a "granny" informs us that we better start getting used to seeing people with electronics strapped to their faces. Stop resisting, it's the irresistible arc of the universe toward horrible new alienating inventions. You're on the wrong side of history, sorry.

Oddly enough, not everyone is comfortable with this fundamental shift in the paradigm. The reasons for this are so inscrutable that we're forced to leave ex-cougar town and confer with a specialist in technology named "Gabe." Not surprisingly, he's awkward as all hell. Huh, it's almost like being hunched over a computer or staring at a fist-sized screen you carry everywhere might have behavioral consequences.

    I don't know what to do with my arms. Let 'em hang, I guess.

In all honesty, I like Gabe. His first words are "Let me tell you" and anyone who uses that as an opener is going to be a solid human unit. Please Gabe. Tell us. He quickly introduces us to a "Social Media Consultant" who wears her Google Glass almost everywhere. He then explains that this garnered her "A lot of attention at a bar in San Francisco" and I know it sounds like the build up to the sort of joke that will hopefully be illegal very soon, but that's not where this is going. 

While this exposition dump is happening we also get Gabe's Twitter name, which I guess could be used to "Live Tweet" this story if it hadn't happened back in February. Please use hash tag #AwkwardArmPositions.

#SemiFingerTent is trending right now!

Anyway, let me tell you. We are promised "captured" footage of a rare time when resembling a Dinner Theater version of the Borg didn't go well and even resulted in "Unwelcome Attention." Yes, there is apparently such a thing, although you'd never know it if you even have a passing familiarity with "face-booking" and allied narcissist time sinks.

First impressions mean a lot. Just like Gabe won me over with his wussy version of Pro Wrestler talk, our Social Media Wizard immediately earns my disapproval, something not at all given lightly, by using the word "literally" incorrectly, as is the way with this courageous new world. She "literally" kept saying "I don't believe this" and goes on to further explain it was "the only thing that could come out of my mouth" and just how "weird" this entire situation was.

Clearly it's the rest of the world that needs to change, she's literally the minority of one, the last sane human being. Wearing a camera on her face. To a bar. 

 It's literal, while not being literally true.

After this "You need to come down from the space station and land, young lady!" drivel it's back to Gabe's tight narration. She was out at the bar with "friends," which I'm assuming is code word for various electronic devices when things went south. Patrons hold up open hands and beer bottles, but the "ass kicking for violators" once promised by a dive bar is not in evidence. 

Back to our bubble-headed glass user, who claims there was a lot of "animosity." Please, stop killing words that used to be good and full of legitimate meaning. What to do in the face of this Technophobia? Well, you turn on the video and start recording them, of course! I'll show you who can display the worst possible public behavior! I haven't even begun to fight!

There were also "negative comments" and our tech-head looks like she's on the verge of breaking into tears. "They said bad things about my camera-face!" Children starving, war atrocities, massive government corruption and this is what I get emotional about. Sometimes I think there might actually be some negative aspects of our current societal direction.

"Everyone's racist against FaceCam Americans!"

She then mentions how the evil normals were trying to shield themselves from being recorded and insists "It wasn't on!" even as we see the footage that was collected when she, you know, had it turned on. It doesn't take Encyclopedia Brown to see the problem with this. 

I recorded this while it was turned off.

We get an appeal to "They didn't understand it!" which I guess would carry more weight if she actually knew the difference between "off" and "on." Then, the Luddites turn hostile. Well, sort of. One obscurantist tells our technology booster that she's "killing the scene." Hey, I didn't put in all this "make the scene" work just so my moment of triumph could be snatched away by a Google victim.

Then we get the big payoff, as a "towel was thrown" and Gabe offers Zapruder film-style analysis of this critical moment, complete with a giant orange immobile arrow that is actually correctly lined up with the offending cloth for about a tenth of a second.

   Clearly the towel came from the grassy knoll.

Some other barfly also makes a halfhearted attempt to grab at the glasses, complete with slo-mo Sports Center replay, but it's so lame there really isn't much to say about it. How about more rambling? We're told that this technology could prevent these kinds of incidents. 

It will prevent the incidents we just saw it cause. There might be a small logical problem here. 

Most people love the Google Glass, in spite of the massive visual evidence to the contrary we just witnessed. What happened in that bar was a actually horrific anomaly, one last pathetic gasp from a past that needs to die. She keeps ranting about the benefits of this product with all the numb sincerity of a victim of cultic brainwashing. We're told we'll be won over if we "actually try them on." Yes, let's. Come down to the center. Take a personality test and learn about The Savior. Join us, it's blisssss...

Gabe, clearly as fed up with this b.s. as I am gives a quick "peace out."

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

News You Can't Use: Student's Chapped Lips Lead to Policy Change Request

When the lips aren't happy the brain that theoretically lurks somewhat behind them isn't happy either. But what happens when an elementary school decides that lip balm is a dangerous drug that falls under their policy of never, ever, using discretion to make a common sense decision? Well, you get petitions, meetings, heroic children, actual bloodshed and a lot more! Yeah!

All right, there isn't any more. That was everything.  

An 11-year-old Stuarts Draft Elementary School student has collected petition signatures and officially asked the county school board to allow elementary students to use Chapstick.

The petition was actually titled "Sign here for free ice cream." When you get to junior high you can start learning about soft money, foreign donors and how to vote multiple times in elections.

Stuarts Draft fifth-grader Grace Karaffa appeared before the school board Thursday night, saying she had requested the substance while on the playground after suffering chapped lips.

Typical drug freak. So dependent on the goof stick that there's actual physical symptoms of withdrawal. "Stop the hide 'n' seek, I need a fix."

"I was told I couldn't use it. Then later that day they (lips) started to bleed so I asked for Chapstick again and I was told that it was against the school policy for elementary kids to have Chapstick,'' Grace said.

The upper-middle class version of the Bataan Death March. "Then later at my McMansion I had to wait a few minutes longer than expected for dinner. I was whining about the unfairness of it the entire time, naturally."

Grace asked the school board to change its policy. "Chapstick allows the human body to heal the lips themselves and protects them in any weather from drying out,'' she said.

The always tiresome "legitimate medical uses" argument from the Tube Heads. We know you just want to get wasted off lips that sort of taste like fruit. Stop with the lies.

She concluded her speech by saying, "Please school board, allow us to have Chapstick."

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this prohibition against putting Flava Craze on my gob."

Guaranteed to jack you up.

The petition contained 236 signatures. Those signatures included Stuarts Draft students and members of Grace's Girl Scout troop who are Augusta County students, said her father, Beverley Manor District Supervisor David Karaffa.

It's a lot easier to be heroic when your father is the ruler of this pathetic empire of dirt.

George Earhart, the assistant superintendent for administration with the Augusta County Schools, said Chapstick is considered an over-the-counter medication by the school board.

'This stuff is dynamite! It causes psychotic breaks and demon possession!"

Earhart said one of the reasons for the policy is concerns about elementary students sharing medications.

Apparently loading up children with "medications" is not a concern.

He said the student's request was taken under advisement by the school board.

Translation: "You're crying in the rain, pal! Tell your story walking!"

The school administration will communicate with the Karaffa family and could also report back to the school board.

Or not, it's still a semi-free country.

Komment Korner  

Glad I don't live in Stuart's Draft!

Would they count a small bottle of vaseline as a medication?

How many semesters of stupid are required before you are qualified to be a school admistrator?

As Hillary Clinton says, dissent is patriotic.

That Vitamin E is a gateway drug; didn't you know that?

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

News You Can't Use: Fake Links to Nude Celebrities Breaks New Zealand Internet

The New Zealand Internet is a beautiful but delicate wonder, capable of opening up in ways you could never imagine when presented with a gentle non-perverted touch but also easily dashed to pieces in the pursuit of images depicting secondary and primary sexual characteristics of the dime pieces that populate the top quality entertainment of this interesting time we live in. In the mad rush to see some actress covered in seminal fluids we lost our way and destroyed the New Zealand Internet. I'm sure you've heard stories exactly like this many, many times.

Users keen to see naked pictures of celebrities like Jenifer Lawrence, Avril Lavigne and Rihanna, who recently had illicit images hacked from cloud storage, instead download malware that causes havoc in New Zealand's telecommunications network.

A day of infamy, a cowardly attack on our defenseless horny levels by the evil-doers. The innocent desire to see Skater Grrrl's "Charlies" leads to national disaster. Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?

New Zealanders keen to view hacked photos of naked celebrities are being blamed for a nationwide Internet meltdown involving the country's main provider.

You self-abusing maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you!!!

It is believed a handful of computer users clicked links on Friday evening believing they would take them to the illicit images, but instead they inadvertently installed malware triggering a crippling Internet attack.

A handful of something that's for sure, haw haw. While the vast majority of Perth residents were going on line to read FAQs on basement repair or do their report on the Solar System a tiny, wildly unrepresentative minority that wanted to see bare breasts ruined things worse than the Road Map for Peace.

It took telecommunications giant Spark, the rebranded Telecom Corp., until Sunday to fully repair what it termed a "dynamic" cyber-attack that overloaded its system covering more than 600,000 customers.

Send in the special "One-handed Typists Wrecked It, Again" squad to clean up the mess. The metaphorical mess, I mean. Not the literal one.

Spark tweeted it was aware that when people clicked on some links they inadvertently installed malware "generating a high amount of traffic to overseas sites."

It's New Zealand. What wouldn't be overseas?

Computer security specialists Trend Micro issued an alert shortly before the attack began warning not to open the links related to the nude celebrities.

"Please rely on the Sears Catalog for your onanism needs until this horrible crisis is over."

"For obvious reasons, clicking on links to 'naked celebrity' photos, or opening email attachments would be a very bad idea right now, expect criminals to ride this bandwagon immediately," it said.

Now that we've been warned, everything should be fine. If you'll excuse me, I just found out I'm a Sudanese Prince and I have to send a $2500 release fee through Western Union so I can get the 93 million I'm entitled to.

"Our scanning brought to our attention some freshly-concocted schemes targeting those looking for the photos borne from the aforementioned leak."

"While doing a routine read-through of all of your e-mails we noticed some schemes." 

You clicked on nakedcelebrity.exe. Game Over.

"The first threat we found hails from Twitter, in the form of a tweet being posted with hashtags that contain the name of one of the leak's victims – Jennifer Lawrence."

"Hailing from Twitter...weighing in at 138 characters...The Hobart Voyeur!!!"

Trend Micro said users who clicked the link offering to show a video of the actress were directed to download a "video converter" that was actually malicious software.

Video converter? How can I lose? *clicks link* *computer explodes*

New Zealand authorities said they did not know who was behind the attack, which was launched from outside the country, and the malware was generating denial-of-service attacks towards Europe.

It remains to be seen if we'll finally see New Zealand declare war on all of Europe, but it seems pretty likely.

Full Story.

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

News You Can't Use: This Robot Bird of Prey is Designed to Scare Real Birds

Like most people I've been anxiously awaiting the next big leap forward in bird-frightening technology. I mean, we've got scarecrows and running at them with an open umbrella and that's adequate, I guess, but living in the age of technology it seems we should take this endless struggle to place fear in our feathered foes to the next level. Well, it happened. Eggheads have designed a robot bird that will completely shift the balance of power. Yeah, we took it on the chin in that first "Birds" movie, but when we get the inevitable limp remake we'll be ready.

Unless you look really close, this robot peregrine falcon would almost look like the real thing from a distance, especially while flapping its wings high above the sky.

This sentence is a total and complete mess. I guess we'll just have to keep waiting for Robot Fluff Piece Writers. It looks real from a distance, unless that distance is really close. And the flapping when it's above the sky and presumably in a low Earth orbit or something. Aw yeah. You're darn tootin'.

That resemblance to a real avian predator, however faint, might just be enough to scare away other birds that would other wise ruin crops or even endanger human lives.

Now it barely resembles a bird, after being a convincing counterfeit just one sentence previous. Is a little consistency in how much Robobird can "pass" too much to ask for?

These robotic birds, or robirds, as they are fondly called, aren't toys, even though they may look like one.

"It's not a TOY Dad! It's going to save crops and maybe even human lives! I'm not wasting my life on this, shut up!"

Developed by Clear Flight Solutions, they are design for a very serious purpose, to keep birds away from critical areas.

Stay out of our strategic Uranium stockpiles you dang birds!

Though obviously fake to humans, especially up close

It just keeps getting less realistic as the article continues. It's like the writer started, had a terrible life event interrupt this important work and then returned full of bitterness and cynicism. Let's displace our psychological pain onto mechanical birds, it's totally healthy.

Yet another use for this amazing invention!

The peregrine falcon robot has a wing span of 120 cm or 47 inches and can reach speeds of 80 km/h. There is, however, an even more frightening eagle model that reaches 220 cm or 86 in in wing span.

"Naw buddy, you don't want this model. I'll be honest for you, it's for old ladies. A Big Tough Man like yourself wants something more frightening...yeah, it is more expensive...don't worry about that..."

That would surely scare off birds away, not to mention some unsuspecting humans, too.

My secret existential crisis must have resolved itself, because it's back to pretending these decoys are convincing.

I, falcon.

The goal for the robirds is not just to chase away those pesky avians when the circumstances call for it but also to let those birds develop an aversion for certain areas.

We can get some of that righteous "Silent Spring" shiz-it going without the need for dangerous chemicals.

At the moment, the robird is remotely controlled, which makes it easier to single out and chase away stubborn birds. Eventually, however, autonomous flight is being eyed for these robots, though that should probably be undertaken with great caution lest this robirds become as big a danger as the birds they are seeking to shoo away.

This has "nothing could possibly go wrong" written all over it.

Komment Korner   

why would we drill into birds?

For their precious bird oil! It is the secret to living FOREVER!!! Muahahaha!!!

i have had numerous arguments with my liberal pals

Technology is rarely used for the betterment of mankind or the earth.

I'd like to see this thing mess with the hawk that we have in our woods behind where we live!!

Check Out My Books!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.

His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.