Friday, September 30, 2011

Worst remake of a Joan Crawford movie EVAH

I have often wondered the same thing.
One heard rumours about family tensions and dysfunction and feuds, but of course one hates to pry.
Wouldn't you know it, there's a prequel now.

Weave been living in the flames, Weave been eating up our brains

Last night at the Old Entomologist was the first trial of the new host-responsibility spider-web-blood-test policy. Another Kiwi was rushed off his feet all evening, injecting blood samples to flies and feeding them to the spiders. Head barmaid Evangeline Van Holsteren reckons we are loonies, but I reckon that if web analysis proves to be a viable way of testing which patrons are already too pissy-eyed to serve, then we can sell the idea to American states who want to tell whether people have been taking the certain substances before disbursing unemployment insurance for which they have already paid the premiums.

Results so far have been equivocal.
Perhaps it was a mistake to pre-treat the spiders with the Evolvamat:
The globe had grown enormous. It was flushed with unclean ruby, like a vampire moon. From it, there issued palpable ropes and filaments, pearly, shuddering into strange colors, that appeared to fasten themselves to the ruined floor and walls and roof, like the weaving of a spider. Thickly and more thickly they multiplied, forming a curtain between Grotara and the chasm, and falling upon Thirlain Ludoch and himself, till he saw the sanguine burning of the globe as through arabesques of baleful opal.
Then there was the fractal web that combined the features of a Julia set and the Sierpiński gasket, and displayed certain signs of quantum computation along the strands. I think that one was from a spider exposed to Greenish Hue's delicately-poised blood chemistry. But as Keats remarked to Chapman at the end of his first, catastrophic attempt to master the principles of golf, these are merely tee-thing troubles.

Here is Charles Harness in 1968, riffing on spider-web / drugs-test research:
A spider dosed with a little alcohol weaves a drunken web. If stimulated with caffeine, she will build one which is a model of engineering precision. With mushroom drugs, she builds one circular strand with a couple of spokes, then hangs in the centre, a spider god in a spider universe.
This was between Witt's original experiments in 1948 and the 1980s revival, and before the research entered popular consciousness (for values of "popular consciousness" that include "featuring in a Time/Life book").* Have any other science fiction novels used "abnormal webs from spiders affected by drugged human blood" as a plot device? AFAF.

We have not spoken of the aberrant webs such as are woven by spiders after you blast them with fly-spray. As noted in recent scientifical developments, "Insecticides don't work particularly well on spiders". Afterwards they wake up in the morning with a heinous hangover, but they have developed a taste for the stuff, and the next thing you know they are knocking at the door pleading for just another spray, just one, and then they promise to give it up.

There are several reasons why spiders are resistant to insecticide, not only that they are not insects, but also they have kindle-lungs [obliged to call them that due to a sponsorship deal] that oxygenate their creepy green spider blood hemolymph and then the muscles indirectly (rather than supplying oxygen directly to muscles through tracheae), so dilution and EXPLAINING VOICE

From the same informative article:
Another piece of advice is to cut down the bushes and trees near your house.
This advice is especially sage in the case of ash-trees.:

LinkOh look, the scary bit is now available on the Youtuba! Whoo-hoo, Jennifer will be so helped!
* UPDATE. I forgot to mention the circumstance that first inspired Dr Witt to get spiders wired on amphetamines:
In 1948 a German zoologist H.M. Peters was studying spiders and faced a problem. The Spiders weaved their nests between 2AM and 5AM in the morning. He questioned a friend Dr. Peter Witt, a German born Swiss pharmacologist, what they could do to get the spiders to weave webs during feasible day times.
All that heavy-construction web-weaving was making TOO MUCH FECKIN' NOISE and keeping Peters awake.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Transporting mynahs across a staid lion

Penelope is so old that it doesn't even appear in the lists of "talking dolphin science fiction novels" that kids these days compile when they are not otherwise occupied with getting on my lawn.* Note, though, how the mycophagia dialog provides a natural segue from an earlier post. A natural segue is required as a substitute for the "fluke accident" joke that was intended to structure this post before tigris stole it.

Here is a cute heart-warming story about a dolphin with a prosthetic tail. There is a movie. She lost her original tail in a SHUT UP SMUT

Naturally our immediate response at Riddled Enterprises was to wonder "How many complete loons out there in Otherkin circles are reading this story with prurient fascination and pondering how they too can acquire prosthetic tails of their own, to fit their self-image as dolphin souls trapped in human bodies? And how can we extract money from them?"

It is a fortunate coincidence that our colleagues at Weta Workshop -- purveyors of digitigrade leg extensions to well-heeled furries** -- are also creating prosthetic mermaid tails as a replacement for truncated legs.

But oddly enough, a cursory inspection of Encyclopedia Dramatica and WikiFur reveals a serious dearth of weird people actually seeking surgical intervention to turn them into dolphins. Or mermades. Though for rubber-dolphin suit fetish artwork for a discerning clientele, see here, OH MY GOD MY EYES I CAN STILL SEE

This is probably just as well. I would hate to be in the position of a surgeon having to explain to a patient with major body-image issues that professional ethics preclude the amputation of a perfectly good pair of legs merely to make room for a cetacean tail prosthesis. Option 1: Team up with a like-minded individual (preferably an Icelandic pixie) for a session of mutual consensual leg removal with flensing knives, aboard a Japanese whaling vessel in the midst of a raging storm.

Option 2: Arrange for the loss of one's lower extremities in a carefully-choreographed SHUT UP SMUT

* Contemporaneous with Flipper, and even preceding Day of the Dolphin, Penelope was published back when Lilly was still progressing from his cetacean-speech research to his "ripped off his tits on Sandoz's finest" research. Szilard's Voice of the Dolphins is still the fore-runner in the genre.

Oh look, there is a 1974 sequel! I did not know that.

** DIY digitigrade leg extensions from a performance in the National Gallery in Prague:

The tongue seems to have separated from the brain, Sir.

Well, it has been a fascinating time in New Zild politics lately. The Don Brash/ John Banks formerly ACT party have continued on their road to self immolation  as the rodents end their cruise on the ship of Fules.
Firstly, most of their MP's had decided that they don't wanna do that parliament thing no more, what with the rules and THE MAN always puttin' them down. However Mr John Boscawen was going to fight on and stand in the general election later this year but NOW HE DOESN'T!!
This is due to the non-MP leader of ACT Don Brash whom the regular leader will be familiar with due to his hi-jacking a political party, kicking out the leader and snubbing the sitting MP's he doesn't like (some of them were pesky women, sheer conincidence) and then looking up with the blood dripping off his hands to say "Whaaaat!"
One of Don's best friends in politics was the person he deposed as ACT leader, Rodney Hyde, and since he has been shoe horned out, Donny got his old mate, his old pal, John Banks to try to win Rodney's seat of Epsom, in Auckland. 
But then Devilish Don came up with the master stroke: He is in favour of decriminalising Marijuana which is Banksy's sore point
The stance puts him directly against the views of Dr Brash, who at the weekend said his personal view was decriminalisation.
"So what?" said Mr Banks, a former police minister.
"So many of our vulnerable young people are at sea with alcohol and drugs and often both. They need life-rafts, not concrete boots."
Now, of course your ordinary person can see what Brasho is on about, but notice his emphasis
"The police and the courts spend some $100 million of taxpayer money a year enforcing this prohibition of a drug, believed by many people to be less dangerous than tobacco or alcohol. Is there really any point to this?"
It's the money innit.
I have to say that, given the current state of New Zild politics, this is about as good as it gets. It may keep the ACT party out of the wheelhouse after the election. Dunno, Banks will still probably take Epsom, his natural constituency. But it may keep the ACT vote so low that he is the only boxhead in there for them.

Our lawyers, Sir, will be in touch

If it is not Library pixies getting into it and mucking about with the settings, it is Pepsico ripping off the concept.
 And look at the fecking mess it has made:

Before the kiss, a redcap

Old Jem and his bony apprentice: Late again
Here in balmy New Zealand it is all buds a-blossoming and Lhude sing cuccu and sumer iCumen in (we have to spell it that way on account of a sponsorship deal with Apple). Temperatures rise, Bulluc sterteþ and bucke uerteþ (though personally I suspect that it was really Another Kiwi who uerteþ and as usual he's trying to pass the bucke), for it is the season known in our quaint local dialect as "sitting-under-the-olive-trees-in-the-garden-bar-and-stringing-beads-and-drinking". But did Old Jem from Green Acres Lawn Services turn up at 10 to deal to the grass, as arranged? NO HE DID NOT.

We are aware, however, that the other side of the world is making the opposite journey into dreadful night and Fimbulwinter.

Truly we are moved by the plight of our Northern Hemisphere colleagues, as photosynthesis falters and the processes of saprophytic decay become the primary mode of biological activity. Fortunately we are able to advise you that the fly-agaric toadstool Amanita muscaria is wholesome and nourishing if properly prepared to remove the nasties (thx Henning Pfeifer and Mandos!).

Why Smut is not encouraged to
cook dinner at Maison d'Etre

Also and too, it is only in Dorothy Sayers detection novels that people are murdered with a meal of harmless mushrooms that have been poisoned with synthetic toadstool toxin by someone they trusted. This hardly ever occurs in real life,* and anyway Lathom is caught and convicted.

In other helpful advice to cold shivery people, we call your attention to the new range of Riddled hot-water bottles, now in stock in the gift shop. Riddled hot-water bottles can be printed with the faces of your favourite bloggers! (offer may not include tigris).
For alternative tastes, Riddled hot-water bottles are safe to use with sheep (we do not judge) and have undergone stringent laboratory tests to be sure they can stand up to the associated stress and wear.

A great way of warming giant shoes!

Riddled hot-water bottle is not designed as a flotation device. Do not fill with helium.

All warranties void if hot-water bottle is used to hold Christmas Ale.

* Sayers' novel may have inspired the murder of Buddha using a similar M.O. Not many people know that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It had never occured to me that there might be a "Museum of Objects Inspired by Jim Woodring Drawings"

The label said something about Incense Burner for the Ginseng Spirit, but I'm still not clear why a ginseng root should need a foreskin.

I can only speculate that these are props for a retelling of "The Pit and the Pendulum" involving Frank. Bad idea, or worst idea EVAH?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Where in the world is Smut Clyde drinking now?

The panel of subjects has been convened, and awaits expressions of interest from compatible researchers.
Sadly, it turns out that many of the most pressing experiments on the use of the Beard as an air filter or air-quality sampler have already been conducted.

Also in the modern era of animal-welfare legislation, many of the most interesting potential experiments are now considered traumatic or unethical. Damn those bleeding-heart liberals!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Olim pulcher extiteram, dum cignus ego fueram

Teh Paparazzi, grandchildren of
100-Eyed Argus, only 20 eyes each
From the Memoirs of Tiresias, Couples Counsellor to the Gods

As far as the public were concerned, Zeus and Leda were the happiest couple on Olympus. In private, however, away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi, it was all separate bedrooms and "mature adult arrangements" and the turning of blind eyes, at which I was an expert.

Things only went terminally tits-up when Leda witnessed the full extent of Zeus' inappropriate behaviour with the twins. There was no end to the number of favours I had to call in to keep that out of the tabloid press, I can tell you!

Zeus had been told that it would improve his public image to be seen more often in the company of mortal females. OK, that makes a modicum of sense. But embodied as a swan? Really? Which demographic was that supposed to appeal to? I blame the furries.

Zeus and evil double (Christen Købke, 1836)
It did not help that Zeus' ambrosia habit was spiralling out of control and he had constructed an entire delusional world where anything discreditable had actually been committed by his evil double from a parallel dimension -- an argument that might have been more convincing if the parallel universe of goateed Spocks and black swans had been known at the time rather than remaining undiscovered until 1790.

Home life of the Gods: Actually less exciting than you might think.

Not a twin study

Via Respectful Insolence:
Really that is nothing to be proud of. You know WHO ELSE used doubles?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rugby Cup mascots

It was thoughtful of a clothing company to install an exhibit at Wellington Airport to help all the visitors familiarise themselves with local customs.
See also.

Photo caption contest

Suggestions pertaining to onions, and the like, will not be accepted

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dystopiary: Unravelling Trees edition

O hai orificer. Yes, always delighted to assist the forces of Lora Norder. I can spare a few minutes, even though tonight is Shuffleboard and Eutelic Cell-lineages in common Tardigrade Species Trivia Night down at the Old Entomologist.

Another Kiwi? What's he done now? I mean, I will vouch for his blemishless character, though not pay --

No, his neighbour must be mistaken. Why would AK be trying to influence his dreams? And how? Frankly this talk of dream-influencing equipment sounds a bit hatstand calenture.

Ah well, that's the neighbour's mistake right there. He might be engaged in competitive vegetable husbandry with the oversized onions and the hum'rously-shaped parsnips, but that doesn't mean that AK is competing with him. I am quietly confident that my colleague has never engaged in unethical recombinant-DNA experiments with salsify and can account for every drop of the Taq polymerase, and therefore has no motive to be tormenting his neighbour every night with Nightmare 41-C/e.5(ii), "Revenge of the Plant World: Anthropophagy" in order to unsettle him. Next on the dial beside 41-C/e.4, "Revenge of the Plant World: Bonsai".

No, just a lucky guess.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Got that "Bachmann headache'?

New from Riddled Industries.
Better living through chemistry!

Smutdate: You kids with your newfangled chemicals. What is wrong with the good old-fashioned electroradiodyne suction style memory extractor (cortex starched & ironed while you wait)? It was good enough for our forebears and it's good enough for me. Also it doubles up in the cowshed as a spare milking machine for those times when Strawberry kicks out and puts her goddamn hoof through the goddamn Kaipara machine that we've been meaning to replace since 1974.


Seen at Talking Pants Memo:
It must be one of those prototype iPhones that people keep losing.

Just LOOK at all these apps!
Going on past Murdoch form, I'd advise the recipients to have it independently checked for covert software.

UPDATED with gratuitous Keats-&-Chapman story:

"It's an ancient pre-Myceanean treasure!" Keats protested. "Cheap at the price! That corrupt archaeologist told me he had looted it from the excavations at Knossos!"

"Three million dollars is a lot to pay for a single cellphone, no matter how old it may be, and how anachronistic for the technology of the time," Chapman maintained.

"It is a small thing but Minoan," said Keats stubbornly.