Saturday, July 26, 2014

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask what happens if we subject a sequence of morphed facial expressions to Chronotopic Anamorphosis?

Have you ever noticed how weird and distorted people look when they are underwater, with their faces pressed hard up against the inside of the aquarium glass, pulling expressions and trying to hold their breath at the same time as say something (like "Please let me out of this piranha tank")?
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Um, me neither.
Original inspiration for the Riddled Chronotopic Anamorpher was Rybczynski's short movie which I saw with the Frau Doktorin back in 1988.

You have to imagine a series of two-dimensional images (from here) as if they are stacked up in a three-dimensional block, so each instant is a horizontal slice through the block; and then slice down through that block at a diagonal angle to make a new set of images, in which there are time delays between one horizontal level and another. Video Artist Daniel Crooks has incorporated the concept into his Artistic Practice:

This should not happen normally unless you are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom have the Clyde familial brain chemistry.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dances with Wolves

Can anyone advise me as to the name of the dance style? I am trying to keep up with the language of kids these days.

"Das Xxxij Capitel" is totally not the name of a nightclub.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New from the Riddled Gifte Shoppe

Novelty Toyen-inspired hotwater-bottle covers!

Because it's feckin' cold here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

We could go and look and stare

Thinking about a Plate of Shrimp

"Take a look at this identity line-up of Cambrian lobopods, sir. Do you recognise..."
"Him! That one on the right! That's the one I saw evolving into an Anomalocarid!"
There is much to love about Cambrian lobopods, not least the term 'Xenusiids', which is straight from an old BBC script (sent back to the writer because "The name of Dr Who's alien adversaries sounds too silly").
Also their resemblance to ambulatory pear pimples for hairy fish-nuts prickly-pear bushes, or to a homemade Father's Day gift assembled from toadskin wrapped around a pipe-cleaner sculpture, NOT THAT I'M BITTER and IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS.

Over to the right of the line-up, note the speculative evolutionary trails from the Xenusiid lobopods to tardigrades, and to Pentastomid parasites like Bockelericambria -- which really deserve a Riddled post to themselves for being so ghastly as to belong in Charlie Stross' next 'Laundry' novel.
As well as Kerygmachela kierkegaardi and Pambdelurion whittingtoni, other lobopods elsewhere in the Cambrian oceans had finished evolving into Anomalocarids a wide variety of seafood-pizza toppings as shown above [art stolen from John Meszaros]. While other Anomalocarids had already evolved into primitive anthropods... ancestors of crustaceans, and in the case of the Megacheira, ancestors of spiders. So if Megacheira evolved from lobopods, how come there are still lobopods?

One Anomalocarid survived another 100 million years into the Devonian era by growing flippers and pretending to be a penguin. The official line, otherwise, is that they are long-extinct so we will never what they taste like with caper butter; and any resemblance between their circular mouthparts and those of Fane Flaws cartoon characters c. 1987 is purely coincidental.

The official line is also that lobopods are entirely of terrestrial origin, and that velvet worms such as Peripatus are the only surviving relatives.

Siberion lenaicus is especially scary. No further speciments are likely to turn up because after Dzik's initial report, that particular limestone outcrop in Siberia was destroyed. This was by private fossil collectors and was totally not a cover-up to forestall the piecing together of dissociated knowledge that would open up terrifying vistas of reality.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mooncalf Maunder Minimum

So there we were, laying a trail of hay to lead a pair of bovine alien-bait or "cows" from the Cattle Mutilation Field Station into the Evolvamat.

It started with Another Kiwi vouchsafing his skepticism about the very existence of 'mooncalves'... he pointed out that Ted Hughes (the leading authority on selenological flora and fauna) makes no mention of them in his magisterial tome. I was not convinced, for the Lunar Republicans are depicted as big-boned well-fed, to a degree that is hard to achieve without a dietary dependence on large quantities of cheese. After applying quality control to several pints of Old Blandings Shoat Tonic and Scythe Sharpener, we decided that an empirical test was in order, for which purpose the Evolvamat is ideal.

The resulting transformations were rather disturbing, unnecessarily licky, and unlikely to produce any milk.
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At this point we decided to abandon the experiment and cover up the evidence in the usual chrononautical manner, i.e. by taking the mutated calves back to 1522 in the Riddled time machine and leaving them on a star-blighted Freiberg farm. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROPHECY. How were we to know that a whole unfortunate sequence of events would ensue, with a confusion between the words 'mooncalf' and 'monk-calf', and charges of heresy against the unfortunate calves? No-one could have foreseen that the consequent hearings and appeals would go all the way up to the top, culminating in a synodical hearing before Pope Adrian VI in person:

What initially triggered our conversation was a recent headline about vat-grown dairy products -- something which not bode well for New Zild's cow-related economy.

The entrepreneurs in question, Californian-funded but working in Ireland, aim for a 2016 delivery date. They are at least aware that there are 8 different casein proteins to be synthesised for Soylent Cream.

But isn't it always the same? -- you wait and wait for researchers to promise artificial milk, with GMO yeast synthesising proteins to mix with watered-down margarine, then two groups come along on the same day! The rival team are based in the SF Bay Area, and we know the people are serious and have stabilised their technology because the team "is well on its way to getting its Indiegogo campaign funded" in time to market the product by the end of 2014. Also their previous project was to eliminate gonorrhea using mutant bacteriophages so they have a proven track record.

Here at Riddled we incline to blame Robert Silverberg for causing this situation of Dueling Dairies, by writing a 1959 story in which cheese-deprived technicians on a moon base cobble together a Milk Machine from scavenged laboratory piping and tissue culture. That story -- reinforced by Wim Delvoye's similarly-intended Cloaca Machine -- created a perturbation in the morphogenic field, and made the advent of mockmilk inevitable.

"Going back to the treason hearing of the calves," I said, "this whole late-medieval tradition of legal prosecution of animals is fascinating. Also, Evans' book on the subject has the best deadpan-humour index EVAH... it is the material of stand-up comedy."
"Try the veal," AK suggested.