Saturday, June 27, 2015

News You Can't Use: The Age of Inactivity

As there a better feeling than mortgaging your future for a fleeting bit of pleasure? Clearly, the answer is no, which is why we have things like high tech recliners and crack cocaine. When you live in a nation that has a debt total that resembles a worldwide beach sand census more than an economic statement it's a little difficult to take goofy ideas like "future consequences" seriously. So we laze about, stuff the fat face and generally seek paradise in corn sugar and joystick addiction. It's all fine, but here's some kill-joy to explain why it isn't, quoting two thousand year old sources like an out-of-touch hate devil. It's 2015. Wow. Just wow.

Two thousand years ago, Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine hit the nail on the head. He said, that if we all had “the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”. Bingo.

It's almost as if most human wisdom is already out there while we arrogantly pretend to know better while clinging to our empires of dirt, but on the other hand this dead guy didn't even own a cellular phone so let's not listen.

Obviously then, being a species of great intellect, over the next two millennia we took on his sensible advice, integrating exercise into our daily life and cashing in on the rewards for our bodies and minds.

Well, that would explain all the stunning human beauty one sees at convenience stores and huddled in front of the "Red Box."

Hmm, maybe we didn’t quite all get that memo. Instead something else happened and physical inactivity grew into the fourth largest global killer in the world.

Oh. It was sarcasm. I hate when the written word instills a small amount of hope only for it to be dashed by irony's retarded little sister.

Yes, physical inactivity has its price tags. It is linked to the development of chronic health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia and cancer.

The opposing argument can be boiled down to "I like to drink booze and gorge." Class, decide who is making the better point. Please show your work.

It can make us feel bad about ourselves, guilty and frustrated, appeased only with the ever alluring reward of inactivity – comfort, rest and stress-free.

The intense allure of doing nothing. Expect hot, hot "lying on a couch" erotica from the usual talentless suspects any day now. 60 Hazes of Laze, etc.

There is growing over the degree of inactivity in children with precipitants embedded within our shift to a more sedentary lifestyle, fear and risk associated with outdoor play, and the advent of more advanced and ‘real-life replacement’ for one in four children who see online social networking and gaming as their activity.

You can't have an article like this without "Generation nothing is the worst ever." It's required by law, I think.

Even more sobering is the evidence that suggests many children still have a negative approach to physical activity in schools, with teachers believing that nearly half of primary school pupils leaving school without “basic movement skills”, and that more than one in three children dislike exercise by the time they leave primary school.

Sorry, only time will sober you up. Looking at a "Brits don't even know how to move anymore" study is not going to make that fifth of whiskey process itself any faster.

Make no mistake, these are massive, insidious, chronic alarm bells.

Make no mistake, firing out randomly chosen five dollar words to make an awkward metaphor is harder than it looks.

 Then again that’s not what worries me as a doctor. What worries me is why so many of us are still not getting its importance to our lives? Or then again, is it simply a change in our psychology to life, to our society, and to our drive to fix this crevassing “knowing-doing” gap?

Damn it, I'm a doctor, not someone who can write coherent journalistic prose!

Formerly known as the United States of America.

Right then, here’s a question - how big do you think this gap is?

Make your own joke, it's way too easy.

Like a dodgy set of scales, this gap has grown so big because of a huge imbalance; imbalance between factors promoting physical activity and barriers to it.

Right, like a bleeding outrage innit. 

With all these bloody barriers to hurdle there’d better be a good reason to do some physical activity.

Seriously, at some point this article became way too full of British for me to comprehend or even properly make fun of. 

Hippocrates, saw exercise as an elixir of life, even without knowing what we do now. But he was spot on.

This old blighter and rotter was just brilliant.

Komment Korner  

This article is a total lie. Trust Me !

He says about 30% of the US population has type 2 hypothyroid, which is INHERITED. I have it from my grandmother.

Day One - hang upside down for 10 minutes (doing nothing).

Day Two - bench press a weight 100 times

Really, why work? Start making any headway and the state begins to penalize and tax you to death

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

News You Can't Use: Mystery as 600 Dogs Jump from 'Haunted Suicide Bridge'

Today's adventure in journalism with no practical application involves what might happen if the films "All Dogs Go to Heaven" and "101 Dalmatians" were mated together by the forces of demonic evil. Only in this case there's 600 dogs, they represent breeds other than firehouse mascot and they're going to the Bad Place as suicides to join Hitler's dog and the evil Lassie that mauled Timmy. Yes, our furry friends are jumping off the suicide bridge...but why? Fortunately online reportage is on the case.

Animal psychologists are baffled by the bizarre phenomenon that has seen up to 600 dogs jump off the bridge for no apparent reason.

The Freudian animal psychologists are blaming mother issues and the death drive, while Rogerian ones see the problem as a lack of "That's a good boy" unconditional positive regard.

Explanations range from the curious canines being over-excited, to ghosts haunting the century-old bridge next to Gothic castle Overtoun House.

I can't control my diving from a height level. I want to blank my body up with gravity, I can't help it. Also, this is Europe, so a century-old bridge is new construction with no history.

Some locals in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, even claim it could be the spirit of the 'White Lady of Overtoun' who has been sighted there for over 100 years.

It's certainly as plausible as "Rover got all aroused by a bridge and is now playing catch the frisbee in Hell."

Religious and philosophy teacher Paul Owens told the Sun: "I was standing there two years ago when I felt a firm, hard prod that felt like a finger.

Yeah, that's not my finger bumping into you.

"Something or someone was trying to push me over the bridge too, just like the dogs."

My overly active imagination has turned against me!

A sign now warns dog owners of the "dangerous bridge" reading: "Please keep your dogs on a lead."

As long as your dog is all full of lead, it should have trouble jumping and be resistant to radiation.

Another, more scientific, theory suggests minks below are responsible for attracting dogs with their powerful musk scent.

Minks. Nature's psychotic pranksters. We can now stop feeling bad about turning these evil monsters into winter fashions.

Leading animal behaviourist Dr David Sands investigated the cases for Animal Planet and offered an alternative explanation.

Before you go blaming future coats or the spirits of the dead, let's hear from an expert on height-related canine mortality.

"I've looked at pictures but coming to the place for the first time, it has a kind of strange feeling. It's perfectly natural for people to want to look down and I'm wondering if it's the same for dogs."

I had these feelings. I bet dogs are like that, too. Clearly this is not the scientist you'd ask to explain how magnets work.

No! Bad!

"I think it's highly likely at all of the cases that it was curiosity that killed the dog."
Animal psychology, folks. When the regular kind is not enough of a con game.

Full Story.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Video Game Slush Pile: Super Play Action Football

Believe it or not there was a time when the yearly football release wasn't a numbered roster update with maybe one new and totally unwanted feature plus a slew of terrible new music. The year is 1992 and "You gots dat Madden?" has absolutely no meaning unless the person in question is referring to old Super Eight tapes of Oakland Raider games or something. Instead, the fun and accessible arcade gameplay of the Tecmo Bowl series was giving way to dull attempts to accurately simulate American Egg Ball, eventually paving the way for a dreary illegal monopoly to dominate the computerized gridiron. When Super Play Action Football came out, of course, that was still a distant nightmarish vision, as we all assumed that this Nintendo release, complete with Mario cameos and everything, was clearly the future of playing Joe Montana make-believe. How wrong we were became clear when we actually played this thing.

You are the Center!!!

Let's just come right out with this: the gameplay is worse than getting syphilis from a married woman. Everything moves like you're watching a slow motion replay or perhaps a slightly smoother new generation version of electronic football. The players chug along at a snail's pace, like they're up to their waist in wet mud. A simple running play can stretch on forever. Tackling is bizarre in that there's no sense at all of fighting to bring down the ball carrier. He either immediately goes down as if shot, or casually swats aside three hundred pound defenders with a "stiff arm" that looks like a slow (naturally) version of the windshield wiper dance.

So. Very. Slow.

Then you pass the ball and it rockets down the field to your plodding receiver, who you must awkwardly position on an "X" that marks the spot. The under-inflated pigskin is generally thrown right where the wide-out currently is, without any lead. Suffice it to say, interceptions are common for the computer. When your on defense defending a pass takes excellent timing and jumping at the wrong moment (pretty much the only way to deflect the ball) leads to huge gains.

Football's best rivalry comes to your Mario Box!

It's too bad the play control is so atrocious, since this an ambitious title for it's time. There's three modes, High School, College and Professional, which represent level of complexity rather than difficulty (there's two setting for that). Ironically, High School is probably the hardest, since you can't jump to defend passes and as such are almost completely helpless against them. On the other hand you get to choose your school's name and colors and do the same for your rival, an almost unheard of amount of customization. You don't even have to go online to do it!

College let's you choose from what I'm guessing is nearly ever Division 1A team, although there is no NCAA license. This isn't a problem when you're talking about "Wisconsin," "State of Michigan," or even Texas Lubbock," but becomes more of a problem when you want to play as "Windy Belts," "Moldy Moss," or "Pale." Sadly, Pale's Vine Division rival Starboard is not selectable. After choosing your school and accepting the goofy lawsuit preventing name (if necessary) you can pick an eleven game schedule. If the goal is realism you'll probably want to schedule eight of those games in your unmarked conference, but there's nothing stopping you from loading up on cupcakes (the manual even provides such a sample schedule for your convenience!). 

Speaking of the manual, there's actually two that come with the game. One is your standard "how to play" fare that also includes some nice background on the NCAA and NFL which is a nice feature that should have stuck around. The other is a complete playbook, breaking down all the plays. This rules. Contrast this to today's "online manuals" that are three electronic pages long and basically worthless. But hey, we saved a few trees!  

Better than the creation mode in Madden. Seriously.

Each week in Season Mode comes with a wacky headline and a Top 20 or NFL Standings. It's minimalist, but I kind of like it. Speaking of NFL, it plays a lot like the college game but with more plays, audibles and the ability to substitute players. Sorry, no names, but who isn't excited about the chance to control #9 or #23? The NFL season ends with the Super Bowl, while College lets you choose which Bowl invitation to accept, sure to please anyone who ever dreamed of Violet Bowl glory.

There's a few cut-scenes during the game, most notably replays on a big screen surrounded by human units of varying levels of ridiculousness. There's a ten second half time show, a stats screen and a talking referee  that pushes the non-blast processing to its absolute limits. Overall, it's a slick well-produced package on top of a bad game. Today we've evolved to an ad-ridden, unimpressive production on top of a serviceable game once you mess with sliders for several hours. This is progress.

These football guys are cah-ray-zee!!!

Graphics: We get one nice "mode seven" (it's SNES and therefore mandatory) effect where the ball is thrown right at you and caught at the last moment by disembodied hands. Other than that, not a lot of amazing 16 Bit goodness here. All the players look exactly identical, distinguished only by their uniforms. The ball is a polygonal mess.

Controls: The isometric angle takes a lot of getting use to and it's always a struggle. Your running backs run a twenty second forty. Passing is an exercise in frustration, with no passing icons for your players. A lot of the plays are basically worthless. I ended up relying on the same two or three plays, over and over. I could win like that, but it was a joyless experience.

Depth: The only thing this game got right, but man did it get it right. The full college experience, create your own High School, NFL season, massive playbooks, audibles, a spin move that always's all here. You've got to wonder what could have been if all this good stuff was attached to a worthy game. Instead this one is the answer to trivia questions.   

 Big opening!!!

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

News You Can't Use: Time Traveling Robots Could Punish ‘Future Crimes’

Need some extra things to worry about? Watched Terminator and/or Minority Report with the sound off in some bar before passing out in your own vomit and are convinced it's some sort of message? Well, you've come to the right place. Today we're going to address the issue of robot time travel and how it will be used to enforce political correctness or keep you from de-tagging mattresses and so forth. A leading expert in Spaceology and Reptilian-American studies has a lot to say about this topic and you would be very wise to heed these insane ramblings.

Privacy expert Brad Templeton warns that artificially intelligent robots could one day comb through digital data left by Internet users and retroactively punish them for “future crimes” that were not detected or considered to be a crime at the time.

I'm no privacy expert, or even especially competent or trustworthy, but I'm pretty sure this would be a "past crime" with no grandfather clause rather than something out of an Austrian bodybuilder plays a android production. Oh well, I guess it's still rather outrageous and shocking. When you're promised time travel and artificial intelligences going back into the past to use the L.A. phone book as a kill list and you get this instead there's going to be a certain amount of foot-stamping and complaining.

During a recent presentation at a Singularity University event

Another Singularity University snob. We all couldn't go to P.O. Box college, Mr. Egg Head.

Templeton, who was the Chairman of the Board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation for ten years, said that the mass recording of our movements, activities and opinions could one day be a treasure trove for technologically sophisticated dictatorships to punish sinners.

Hopefully there will be some attractive and racially diverse teens, possibly with various super powers or archery skills, to battle against this evil.

Noting that AI is still in its very early stages, with facial and speech recognition still relatively primitive, Templeton said that this wouldn’t always be the case and that, “We have to worry about the threat of time traveling robots from the future.”

You pretty much have to. From now on my entire life will be built around the idea of surviving an attack from the robotic weapons of a future dictator sent back in time to prevent me from completing that "Surf Monkeys" review.

Artificial intelligence will eventually surpass the human ability to recognize things, which when combined with today’s obsession of recording everything via social media and the movements of cellphones being tracked, will create a dystopian scenario, according to Templeton.

Do robots dream of electric selfies?

“That’s all being recorded and in the future they’ll be able to analyze that and they’ll be able to ask ‘are you now or have you ever been a member of some strange organization?'” said Templeton.

Have you ever photographed your own buttocks using a bathroom mirror? Don't lie to me, human, I can see everything.

“You are committing sins of the future that you don’t know are sins yet,” said Templeton, illustrating the idea with the example of how Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, a practice that was commonplace at the time yet is condemned today.

Time to send some of that liquid metal back to 1776 to take out one of the founding sinners.

It’s not inconceivable that online speech considered acceptable under today’s free speech laws could also be denounced as “politically incorrect” in future, with the sinner subjected to retroactive fines or re-education.

Yeah, because that's only something that will happen in the far future and isn't already occurring with clockwork regularity.

I saw this great little independent film at the Festival D'Avoriaz...

Most people are smart enough not to post incriminating activities, but our understanding of “right” and “wrong” is through the lens of today’s morality. Will the people of the future agree?”

I like to think the people of the future will spend most of their time silently cursing our names in the hell they've inherited, not scanning decades old "vines" for thought crime.

Komment Korner  

He was forced out of Mozilla in 2014 for the crime of opposing gay marriage in 2008.

Also Jean Claude Van Dame 'Timecop' is a closer premise, but definitely got to get this guy out in public more and learn some social skills.

Something tells me stone and papyrus may outlast digital in the long run.

Our lives are a farce.

I was just about to post a snarky comment to this story when a robot from the year 2138 suddenly appeared and said "Don't even THINK about it!"

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Which Way Books #15: Star Trek Voyage to Adventure

Dying a soccer-related death was such a bring-down that a long time has passed since this most noble of projects has seen a new entry, but here we are. The good news is two things I love, original Star Trek and interactive fiction from the Reagan administration have made sweet love and produced a 118 page bundle of love. Unfortunately, in fine monkey's paw fashion this long-held wish has been twisted and corrupted. It's a Which Way book, noted for its "Report due Monday, started at eleven Sunday night" quality and a prose style that could most charitably be called unadorned. Nevertheless, this series was an undeniable powerhouse within the genre, as witnessed by scoring this amazing crossover. Let's put on our space girdle, split some infinitives and set the phasers on "fun."

Sorry McCoy, you didn't make the cut. Green monster guy, you're in.

The limitations of writing a story within an existing setting and established mythology immediately become clear, as we get a highly disappointing introduction. Usually the set-up is one of the few bright spots this series provides, such as bad television reception provoking get-even against a castle or intelligent slime taking over a small town in fly-over country. Suffice it to say, we get none of that delightful madness here. Instead I'm a recent graduate of Starfleet Academy, packing my "space bag." Yes, space bag. They really went all out on establishing this setting. 

Before being assigned to the Enterprise I get to listen to a speech by an Admiral outlining the best practices for boldly going. We're supposed to promote peace, obey the prime directive and in general follow all those rules the series ignored in favor of big right hands, judo throws and destroying entire cultures via speeches delivered with stilted bombast. None of that for me, though, I'm going to obey all the rules. After all this thrilling packing and listening I get to choose my assignment by picking it off a board. Apparently going where no man has gone before is a lot like being a Freshman at a state school.

Set riot shotguns to "ruin."

I select science, because I fudging love science. By that I mean neat pictures and pretending to be superior to others, not yucky equations or trying to figure out the mystery of magnets or something. Spock is busy with a computer that is totally different from any I've ever seen. Maybe an extra disk drive or something, who knows. It turns out the Vulcan is messing with the space time continuum, because that generally goes well. Naturally, things start going wrong almost immediately, with crystals shattering and my new boss getting caught in a "time field." Technically speaking, I think we're all caught in one of those. I obey his instructions not to do anything. Man, easiest job ever.

Yeah, don't even ask.

Spock promptly vanishes and I'm stuck holding the bag so to speak. I don't think "it was like that when I got here" will be enough of an explanation for this. Instead I try to make sense of some notes, but they're in "Vulcan shorthand" and as such indecipherable. All that remains is to pull a lever, because if there's one thing I know for sure it's all the complexities of Wheelchair Man psychics can be distilled down to random lever pulling. 

I yank it back, earning a strong wind and a rush of colors. The clock on the wall is running backward. Huh, seems like I've figured out this incredibly complex mystery device. Spock returns, turns the machine off and is all "Thanks, Bro" and promises to be more careful in the future. The End.  

 See, I'm being very careful.

I can't really call it a disappointment, since I knew pretty much what I was going to get. All the Which Way tropes are here: Three stories to select from, just enough description to get the job done, binary choices that amount to coin tosses and abrupt and unsatisfying endings. On the other hand, Star Trek. Beam me outta here.

Alternate cover looks like a bad photoshop.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

News You Can't Use: Airlines Struggle to Please the Modern Passenger

I'm all about providing those client-based solutions and by that I mean solving their problems, not somehow grinding them down to use in alchemical processes. The problem is today's modern world is so full of complexity that it's become a bitter struggle to fulfill the ever-changing whims of human units that were primarily raised and educated by various glowing screens. Is there an answer to this problem of societal alienation and atomized selfishness? The answer is no, but let's talk about overhead compartments and pretend it's helping.

What does the modern air traveler want?

It's a question we're all trying to answer, but sometimes a 747 flying into the Grand Canyon is just a 747 flying into the Grand Canyon.

Is it the perfect sized carry-on?

Now perfectly suited to all your "Do you even lift?" frailties.

A wearable device that tells you how to avoid jet lag?

Beep boop Get lots of sleep bop boop bleep.

Free Wi-Fi? Cheap flights? Better service?

Groping and radiation baths for the elderly? A can of soda you can bring on board? Leg room? Who knows.

Airlines are struggling to keep pace with the finicky desires of today's passengers, many of whom are constantly connected to a mobile device and want something special on each trip.

If you're expecting your flight to Wheeling to have a "happy ending" you're in for a disappointment.

During a panel discussion Tuesday at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the largest trade group for airline executives, hundreds of industry representatives were asked in a quick informal poll how many think airlines are doing a good job meeting passenger demands.

This quick informal poll consisted of yelling "Ey, how you doin'?" at their suit-clad backs.

Fifty-five percent pressed "no" on their handheld devices.

The other 45 percent were dead drunk from the complimentary Mixx Tails.

"Don't give me a vanilla experience," said panelist Lee McCabe, a former executive with Expedia who is now Facebook's head of travel.

Cater to my travel-based kinks. Handcuff me to the seat. Call me a terrorist and hit me. Put a black sack on my head and drop me off in a Cuban military base. So, so hot.

"Make the information you give me very personal," he said. "Make my life easy."

"Remember when you got caught paint huffing in junior high? Or your childhood nickname, "Binky?" Here's your peanuts."

Alex Cruz, CEO of the low-cost Spanish airline Vueling, said his company strives to keep it simple. "They want a nice, reliable experience at a normal price," he said.

This is clearly crazy talk. We want special "apps" and the full boyfriend experience.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said "every customer wants something different."

Every happy flier is happy in the same way, while every miserable one is unique in their misery.

According to Jen Durkin, CEO of Project Travel, millennials don't want healthy snacks or free Wi-Fi.

I heard "healthy" and immediately became hostile.

"Millennials are curious, and because there are so many things that distract our attention we need help understanding what we should put our attention to," she said.

They're like crows fascinated by shiny objects, but far, far less likable.

"I want to know what my bag is doing from the time it goes in the conveyor belt little door to the time it comes out of the conveyor belt," Durkin said.

If my bag is secretly coming to life and bad-mouthing me, I want to know.

"We will be able to learn more about our passengers and be able to offer them more tailored information to their needs," he added.

Well, it's working great here on the internet where my tailored profile gets me endless commercials for finishing schools and med-alert jewelry.

During the conference, Windmuller announced a new industry-wide standard for carry-on bags, an idea that aims to resolve bickering and delays over whether any given suitcase is too big to fit in the overhead bin.

Finally, an honorable peace to the Suitcase Wars.

Many airlines have different size requirements for carry-ons, which can lead to confusion.

Me no like use brain.

You been working out?

But whether this standard will please consumers remains to be seen. It requires travelers to buy a new carry-on bag, which may be smaller than what they already own.

You can spend more money on an inferior product. Who would have a problem with that?

The new bags will made by different manufacturers and will be marked with a special label, "IATA Cabin OK." The label is not available to be placed on an existing bag.

Yeah, I know you were thinking it. Don't even try it, we're on to you.

Komment Korner  

I want lower fares.

I don't want to take my belt or shoes or hoodie off, or take out my laptop, or my personal effects, or get irradiated

I finally got the coffee and it was literally the WORST coffee I have EVER had.

the most objectionable thing about flying today is the inane, useless, arrogant TSA goons, drunk with their own power and importance

This guy came down the aisle who looked like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python's Meaning of Life

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Underground and Beneath

I’m sick as all fuck. Liver blown to hell from inhaling stuff that looks like water but isn’t, knees all busted from being on them so damn much, back wrecked from the weight of the world, all that and more. I’m old. I’m not even sure of the exact age, but it’s been several decades since the flood, the tribulation, the day, the time when everything changed forever and it’s a really big deal and we’re all the witnesses to it. Truth is, nothing really changed that day, but that’s the voice of experience and ruined internal organs speaking. Back then, I thought it was important, too.

The death of civilization, that is.

I went for a lot of walks after everything went into the cocked hat of destiny or whatever they’ll call it. Earth abides, green everywhere, really kind of nice. Shame that time in The Garden couldn’t last forever. When the skeletal-muscular system says enough, you have to listen. Force of will might make history, but it never won a long campaign with bad joints. When you’re fucked, you’re fucked.

I’ll be taking another walk soon, but it will probably be the last one. For awhile, I mean. Didn’t mean to get all dramatic and maudlin there. I’ve got many more years of chronic pain and memories of dead friends to look forward too, probably. Yeah, I guess my memories and everything else that makes up the big “I am” could go into the dark nothing that we all flee in vain from before I even make that last walk for awhile. I doubt it, though. The universe has a sense of humor, I think, even if it runs pretty dark. It wouldn’t let me cheat it out of one last punch line.

Some would call it karma. Fuck ‘em.

I’m taking another drink. Real bitter stuff, right from a still. Lucky to see straight after years of one hundred proof window cleaner and endless solitary vice. But, again, it wouldn’t be funny if I couldn’t see what’s to come and nature observes the laws of humor as certainly as gravity and the strong force and Noah’s flood making Grand Canyon in about twenty minutes.

The flood. I called that earlier, didn’t I? The end of the age of miracles, the age of glowing screens in every palm, high definition pictures of food and dear diary verbiage splattered all over invisible wires. I was as much a part of it as anyone, maybe more so. On top of that I received the special dispensation of living through the fall from grace and deep into this new era, this age of dirt and fucking and big nothing and life goes on, bro. Setting up that punch line, the perfect delivery and build-up. Called and chosen.

Tomorrow I walk. Maybe make a cane out of a tree branch, or a full walker out of a stump or the like. It’s too important, everything has been building up to this moment. Non-participation in destiny is not possible.
They think it’s still there, underground, just sleeping. We’re going to try to wake it up. I have to be there, I’m the old guard, the wisdom of the ages, the one who has done everything except make a black baby. I’ll know what to do when we find it. I’m like the shaman, the worker of wonders, the man who is so old and so completely wrecked behind the eyes that ordinary physical and mental entropy is mistaken for mystical truth by the young and dumb. If they only knew, but they will, in time.

Wake it up, bring back the old world. There’s no way, no chance, but I still have my part to play for the old cosmic laugh track. Think of it as a penance and maybe it won’t be so bad. I deserve bad, there’s no doubt about that. Who fucking doesn’t? Worst prayer in the world: give me what I deserve.

Old world coming back, that’s the hope of youth. It still lives in parts of my mind, parts that just refuse to die despite my best efforts. Maybe take one more anti-freeze cocktail. No, I still recall it well. Right before the end, feeding into the fortune of information we were blessed with. We were like Gods back then, speaking wonders into existence. Yeah, it was glorious. I could tell you.

Fuck, this drink is harsh.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

News You Can't Use: Company Launches Mood-Changing Wearable that Zaps Brains

Interested in brain hacks? Well, put down that ice pick and claw hammer because modern technology and, of course, phones have found a way to trick your mind into, well, doing what the mind wants. Sorry if that didn't make any sense, it's pretty metaphysical for something involving "apps" and attaching plastic to your dome. The main takeaway is we can now mimic the effects of actual achieving something or getting a good night's sleep via neurological "zapping." Yes, it's pretty technical.

A newly-released headset hopes to wake people up or calm them down by manipulating the electricity in their brain.

No more being a slave to head lightning. Now getting that valuable calm time is as simple as affixing a potentially dangerous device to the skull and riding those sweet currents to happy town.

Thync costs $299 and has just been released to the public. It provides “calm or energy on demand”, the company says, by using “neurosignalling” to activate nerves and change people’s state of mind.

Nice and economical, too. This is the greatest invention ever. A better life awaits through neurosignalling. And, much like a thermos, it can be hot or cold.

The Thync looks like a small, white plastic triangle that is placed on the forehead. Its then fed with “Vibes” — specially-formulated zaps that either wake people up or calm them down.

Sorry about all the technical jargon. It is pretty complicated. Chinese plastics are positioned over the third eye. Then the good vibrations keep on coming. Soon you're mimicking the effects of either goof balls or pep pills.

The whole thing is controlled by phones. The zapping lasts an hour but the effects can go on for long after that, the company claims.

Get ready to see generation nothing staring down at the glowing friend, administering jolts to the gray wrinkles, even more detached from reality and abhorrent than they currently are, if possible.

A number of different reviewers have tried the zapping, claiming that it really does wake up or put to sleep its users.

Nameless reviewer says "It really works!" Those Amazon reviews look downright legitimate compared to this nonsense.

The launch comes in the context of the government’s new laws on “legal highs”, which some claimed had such excessive scope that they essentially banned everything.

Get that smile off your face. It's against the law.

Let me set this thing to "happy."

But the text from the Queen’s Speech that announced it said that it banned “any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect” — and since the Thync works by manipulating electrical energy rather than a material substance, it should be allowed.

Expect exciting "matter energy equivalence" debates from wig-clad solicitors. 

Komment Korner  

A science-fiction novel describing a similar device

And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

A hammer has a 'calming' effect, too, and costs far less than USD$299.

What could go wrong?

I am so 'Zzappedd' that I cannot thynk of a thyng to say

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.