Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Hide a Stolen Steamship

People may look away, but that is because they are thinking "That steamship deserves some privacy while it humps the Great Pyramid "... they have still noticed.

Also they are thinking "It is a foul Cunard".

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When the World Screamed

Professor Michael Persinger (whom FSM preserve) of Ontario has moved on from his magneto-cortico-stimulant 'God Helmet' [omniscience and omnipotence not included] and his celebrated "brains-emit-more-photons-when-thinking-of-light" experiments, to pursue a parallel between nerve-cell axons and lightning bolts:
As I was saying to Another Kiwi just the other day over a pint of Gleamhound's Sobriety Draught, the beta and theta rhythms beloved of EEG analysis are exactly the same as the Schumann resonant period of the ionosphere and its higher harmonics. AK replied with something about HAARP, unless he meant the harp player from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra who is objectively PHWOAR.
Projecting brain-state onto a
balloon: not fooling anyone.
Unaccountably, Persinger has neglected the single vital test of any analogy between the human cerebrum and the terrestrial electrosphere, i.e. can one project one's consciousness into the latter, in a blasphemous transgression of all boundaries of human knowledge laid down by divine providence; ideally involving a thunderstorm over a castle in Weisseria at midnight, and / or a Tesla Tower? Sometime I wonder whether Persinger is fully committed as a mad scientist.

He has no end of laboratory rats, true, but no isolation tanks such as cause physical regression to earlier evolutionary stages and hallucinations of three Turbellaria flatworms in the sky.
Also I would like to point out that the other night when I was attempting to climb up the bookshelves under the impression that they were a staircase in order to stick my tongue in the light socket, that was not me but the terrestrial electrosphere projecting its consciousness into me.

UPDATED with Bonus projection-into-Bridge-of-Gods-ionosphere diagram. See how easy it is?

Last night was the annual "Come as Your Favourite Nuclear Mushroom Cloud" Costume Contest at the Old Entomologist

A tenement gleaner, New York C... Digital ID: 416509. New York Public LibraryEvangeline van Holsteren always wins.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Inter-disciplinary Research: Madame Whiplash was offering a special deal, Present this voucher for Two-dominatrices-for-the-price-of-one

Dear Marsden Grants Committee,
It has come to our attention LOOK A SQUIRREL our attention here at Riddled Research Laboratory that all the cool kids these days are publishing in inter-disciplinary journals with sweeping coverage like Entropy (from MDPI publishers)...

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,
The simplest and most informative linguistic messages are the kind found in ordinary true narratives. Such valid messages ― laden with pragmatic information ― provide the limiting antithesis of biosemiotic entropy. Generalizing from linguistic to biological systems, and taking account of some of the countless ways any complex arrangement of symbols can be rendered senseless, the thesis to be explored in this special issue is that the corruption of biological messages from genetics upward to epigenetics, proteins, cells, tissues, and the organs of viable organisms ― which can be described as biosemiotic entropy ― is, unsurprisingly, the proximate cause of disorders, diseases, and mortality. We invite contributions ― pro, con, or offering any plausible alternative ― to the idea that corrupted biological messages account for (but, of course, are not limited to) anaphylaxis, preeclampsia, sudden death syndrome, immune disorders, autism, and so forth. Empirical and theoretical articles are invited exploring pathways by which toxins, disease agents, and their interactions, and/or injuries from microwave, electromagnetic, radiological, or other energy sources can be shown to increase biosemiotic entropy. Empirically grounded arguments showing how cascading series of effects lead to certain injuries, diseases, and/or known disorders are preferred.

Judging from the absence of a simplest and most informative linguistic message, that was not an ordinary true narrative. How about the journal Life (also from MDPI)? It added to the gaiety of nations with this famous sample of underpants-on-the-head creativity:

And then there is Water, which offers bafflegab with extra quantum physics:
Where else is one to learn of the special properties of the second phase of liquid water, resulting from its quantum-coherent behaviour at room temperatures plus an alternative value of the phase of the quantum vacuum?*

Now at Riddled we have recently succeeded in reconstructing de Selby's celebrated water-box -- "probably the most delicate and fragile instrument ever made by human hands" -- by following hints jotted in the margins of a copy of the de Selby / Schrödinger Colloquys at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. It may be that Water is the ideal target journal for reporting our subsequent attempts to create this elusive second phase, by diluting water to a degree hitherto undreamed-of.

This is a question of some debate, however, for the niche for "extended hand-wavy aqueous metaphors" is hotly contested at the moment, and Another Kiwi favours Water Journal.** The unresolved dispute has led to unseemly scrimmages in the tea-room. Mrs Miggins' Beetroot Butties are not for throwing, AK.

* Del Giudice is a crank with a passing acquaintance with Quantum Field Theory which he uses primarily to promote homeœpathy and cold fusion.

** Editorial board features Del Giudice. The editor, G.H. Pollack, is a crank with tenure at U.Wash. Despite having his own journal he still publishes mainly through Youtuber.
A pair of watery reciprocating cranks. Illustration
courtesy of helpful brownie ITTDGYA in comments.
UPDATED due to insufficient post-lengthyness with YET ANOTHER inter-disciplinary pay-to-print journal devoted to vague hydraulic maundering!!

The International Journal of Design & Nature AND Ecodynamics comes to us from the Wessex Institute of Technology Press, an Intelligent Design-themed publisher noted for organising bogus academic conferences. The special issue on water was co-edited by del Giudice AND Pollack together, to provide all one's reciprocal-citation cargo-cult alternative science in one convenient package.

Green Dream*

Phew, that politics is tough, innit? I mean, you go through your life with some ideas about the sort of politics that you think are a good way for your country or province or town or dog catcher service to run so you vote for them.
Ah hah! That's your first mistake! Note this admission from Our Glorious Leader Mr. John Key 
Prime Minister John Key has likened New Zealand's "100% Pure" brand to a marketing campaign by hamburger giant McDonald's - and says no-one expects it to be 100 per cent true.
"It's like saying ‘McDonald's, I'm loving it' - I'm not sure every moment that someone's eating McDonald's they're loving it . . . it's the same thing with 100% Pure. It's got to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt."
This is the "100% Pure" slogan that the Government slips into every environment statement it ever makes and in general statements whenever it can.
Now, of course you all know that teh New Zild slogan is "100% Pure" and this relates not to the contents of our spotless minds but rather to the content of our streams and air and land and such, i.e. Blooming Nature.
The Jo Key pronouncement  is in answer to a naughty academic, not unknown to this reporter, who has said that our 'Clean Green' image may be getting a bit on the nose. 
Now, this being the best Democracy that Warner Brothers could buy, some persons do not agree with Doctor Joy. But I think we should perhaps make a point of difference between reasoned opposition and late night-mails with no factual basis .
Mr Unsworth's email - which was sent at 12:15am under the subject line 'Ego trip' - was posted by Green Party co-leader Russel Norman on his Facebook page today.
In the emails, Mr Unsworth said although he was an academic, Dr Joy had "let his ego run riot worldwide" while risking jobs and incomes from decreased tourism.
"You guys are the Foot and Mouth Disease of the tourism industry. Most ordinary people in NZ would happily have you lot locked up," he wrote.
"You may not care given your tenure in a nice comfy University lounge, but to others this affects income and jobs.
"Comfy University lounges" fascinates and appeals to me and I have tried to subscribe to Unsworth's newsletter but there appears to be no recognisable address.
Of course, FARAMZ BE OUTRAGED!! and show it with humour that an elephant would be embarrassed to call elephantine :

 Mark Unsworth gets our nomination for quotes of the week. Something to make Manawatu farmers smile
If any of it were anything more than arguments about a marketing campaign it might be of some importance but it's just the environment.
* A veterinary science reference.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Golden Silver Hoarding

Some things should not be saved up in Mason jars. Ultimately it always escapes. It must be a tradition, or an old charter or something.
We have warned Mr McGravitas repeatedly but he pays no heed.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Ale is a'coming on.

So Smut and I (that is a classy hat) are out demonstrating the new Olympic sport of Sickle throwing to the Riddled Horse Riding (and falling off we always say) Academy, when three separate messengers arrive simultaneously.
I'm not sure if you've ever had to try and decipher Snuggles The Dog of Doom, Milton the Griffin and Quacky the Crow when they have something to tell you, but it was only with the application of pumpkin seeds soaked in Vodka that we were able to ascertain what they were vouchsafing.
Basically it was this: Snuggles is a lick arse, Milton is a toffee nosed git and Quacky is a self-righteous blowhard. Oh and the Fruit of Mogick is ready to pick for the Christmas Ale. 
The origins of the Fruit of Mogick are lost in the mists of the "Eco R1 gene conservation in Porifera lysate vesicles and salted cracker balancing" night down at the Old Entomologist. Got no time for explanation got no time to lose,tomorrow night you'll find me, sleeping underneath the moon at yellow river. We seem to be getting some interference from Radio Riddled here. Damn that Friday Ole Favourites day, it sucks me in every time.
  Quickly we assembled the team and sallied forth, fifth and sixth (Milligan 1970's) to the orchard where the Fruit of Mogick tress grow. Of course Mogick, himself is gone, long time passing, what with the Tax Department and their jackbooted thugs wanting to see "records" but the fruit is freely available to all who can remember the alarm combination for the electrified fence and know what sort of tranquillizers knock out Hermann the attack hedgehog. Laugh if you want but a ringworm from Hermann is not cool. The initial itchiness is bad enough but the bursting out of your chest and looking for food at dinner time is most unpleasant.
Anyway it was a successful day of  fruit picking and the Christmas Ale this year should be a wholesome and nourishing brew and only mildly psychotropic. See above, as tigris gets the wrong mushrooms. A full body purge is not substitute for a floaty  middle palate, I say, but times must where the devilled eggs.
Note also Smut's careful and safe handling of the crossbow which only winged Old Jem this year. Jem was understandably a little let down by not being in Hospital for this Christmas. He feels that the nurses won't have anybody to fend off. 
Also note Evangeline van Holsterin's idiot boyfriend's dog Custis. See that he has not changed into a Flemish Giant Rabbit at this point so how can it be our fault?
Now as soon as our shipment of Brooklyn Red Honey arrives we can get into secondary fermentation.

On the mane, the mane, remember your name*

A lion's worst nightmare (as revealed by the Riddled dream machine): not being allowed to chase Ann Althouse. The birds are mynahs, crossing stayed lions.

There is the consolation of knowing that they cannot fall and so cannot lose their pride.

* Title lynx.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eyes glaze over

Opals. The scientists -- what do they know? -- will tell you that these are formed by silica-rich water pooling in underground cavities and evaporating very slowly, forcing the SiO2 out of solution into the form of same-sized colloidal nanoparticles, which settle out into a crystalloid 3D diffraction grating.
Sensible people will not be having with this theory which smacks of hand-waving and vice-versa, and opt instead for the "magical transformation of watery eyeballs into solid silica by the vibrations of certain syllables known only to Tantric adepts" explanation. It turns out, by the way, that 'tantra' is not the plural of 'tantrum'. I looked it up, Otto.

A similar transformation is attested in this recent paper from the rich and loamy literature of homeopathy. It is a marvellous paper; just look at it. Magic water contains silica nanoparticles, structured like molecular-scale keys for their therapeutic effect. When magic water is mixed with the natural kind and shaken in the right way, the nanoparticles are self-reproducing because more silica dissolves or spalls off the inside of the test-tube containing the agitation, and crystallises around the existing particles into more copies of identical shape. Thus dilution increases potency. Self-organisation... hormesis...epitaxy... everything is there, lacking only evidence that a therapeutic effect exists and requires an explanation.
This is all causing some perturbation here at Riddled Research Laboratory... for as any fule kno, water contaminated by silica dissolving from capillary tubes was mistaken in the 1960s for 'polywater'. In other words, what we are dealing with here is homeopathic polywater, such as has been warned against elsewhere as a stream-crossingly bad combination. Even in undiluted form, polywater is a disinhibiting drug known for its shirtless-George-Takei side-effects. Just imagine the potential for havoc if it is potentiated by dilution (as might happen, for instance, in an aquatic environment where small fragments of silica undergo further agitation, abrasion and triturition by rhythmic movements of the water). We might be dealing with a veritable epidemic of disinhibition and shirtlessness.

BONUS silicaeous personality type:

...the substance that holds tissue together called collagen is high in silica.

People who benefit from Silicea are those who may, like a computer chip, store information (they are usually quite bright), but do not have the self-confidence, the "psychological collagen," to stand up for themselves to impart it. The Silicea person may be strong but they can also be brittle and crack easily under pressure, just like glass. And like the wilting blade of grass or the stalk of grain that is deficient in silica, people who need Silicea lack grit or a backbone. The non-reactive nature of the mineral silica is exhibited by the Silicea person's tendency to complacently vegetate as the world moves around them.

Like graphite and diamond, the mineral silica has a high melting point (1700 degree C). Similarly, people who need Silicea have great difficulty getting and keeping warm. They have a loss of vital heat.

The Silicea person's obsession with pins and little things may be like the substance itself which becomes more dangerous when it is broken down into smaller and finer pieces or particles, leading to silicosis.

Just as the mineral silica cannot be assimiliated well by the human digestive tract, people who need Silicea have a poor assimiliation of food. Ironically (or predictably) enough, these people crave objects which are high in silica: dirt, sand, and hair.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First public $mas decorations go up: local council once again "unclear on the concept"

Q.: Does this brief exchange provide any useful information?
A.: Yes, it is reading between the lions. 

In a press conference today Sir Peter Jackson emphatically denied any animal-welfare issues on the Mauretania set of his C. S. Lewis adaptation, where "The Lion", "The Witch" and the "Wardrobe" are being filmed in parallel. He assured reporters that film crews were making every effort to keep the animal death-toll down to the bare minimum. Increasingly agitated, the director then accused reporters in the front row of seats of showing disloyalty to the Ice Queen, and attempted to force Turkish Delight down their throats before his handlers succeeded in subduing him and leading him away.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Martial Arts

The Christmas Pan-ptomaine from the Riddled Amateur Dramatic Society is a reimagined version of 'Death and the Compass'. We decided to focus on the role of the harlequins. It was tigris' idea to call it 'Another Columbine' so blame her.
The plot (the outcome of Scriptwriting Workshop and Martial Arts Movies Night at the Old Entomologist) is possibly derivative of certain influences but we present it in the style of the Commedia dell'Arte in the hope of fooling our discriminating audience. Harlequinja uses his throwing stars and Football Bat of Fucked-uppedness to overcome a series of antagonists.There can be only one!
Old Jem and Greenish Hugh were not well-pleased with their costumes. I wrote most of the script so I get to play Harlequinja. My Razzle-Dazzle camouflage hides me from sight and allows me to sneak up on assailants.

Another Kiwi insisted on playing Pulcinello, who evidently fights in 'Losing-the-Trousers Style'.

Scarymooch's 'Drunken Looter style' is no match for my ninja skills and I escape with ease, not really needing the instruction to 'BOLT'. In frustration he assaults a policeman. This was not actually part of the original script but the audience was predictably amused.
Harlequinja must wear a lampshade to conceal his true identity from Columbine who believes him to be a bedside light. Scarymooch is now holding the Football Bat and becomes the new target for Pantalon's All-Claws style. Red Scarlach and Lönnrot become the best of friends in a totally non-slashfic way.
The brief interpretative dance at the end is to explain to the audience how the four points of the compass come into the plot.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A maze lit entirely by candlelight would be a candelabyrinth

"Asterion in his Memory Palace, waiting for Borges to write a parallel story with him as the protagonist" (G. F. Watts. 1885).

He will have to wait until 1947 but fortunately he is patient.

Stolen Martin Gardner joke

The prophet Habbakuk was promptly arrested by the TSA and held under suspicion of possessing a pressure-detonated explosive device.

UPDATED with Bonus foot-fixing.

That pedo-joint might still be working if the robot had worn unusually large boots stuffed with layers of insoles.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dreams of the Rabbit Fiend

Q: What do you call a homicidal lunatic lagomorph wearing a Scramble Suit to conceal its identity while it chases Ann Althouse?
A: Legion Warren

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's a flaming wonder homeopath

Previous biographers of Keats and Chapman have drawn a discreet veil over the period in the poets' chequered careers when poverty -- the product of poetic aspirations and a complete lack of employable skills -- brought them down to the nadir of degradation. Yes, they considered switching to the trade of homeopathy.

Intent on acquiring a solid foundation for their self-taught homeopathic education, the unwashed partners-in-grime agreed to begin with the personality typology. For the founding fathers of homeopathy discovered that people fell into a small number of classes, each requiring a different medication to address their most pressing flaws of character and physique. Some people, for instance, will benefit from extract of cuttlefish:
The cuttlefish does not have sedentary habits; it remains in constant motion, except as a defense, it can and will remain completely motionless. It swims forward slowly, but has the ability for very rapid backward motion. Likewise, the Sepia person is not sedentary. He/she likes to move and is better from exercising. As for the cuttlefish's ability to move backward rapidly, Sepia people are known to be unsocial and averse to company. These people will rapidly retreat from people or circumstances that want or demand something of them. They seek to escape from close emotional ties and the various obligations that accompany them.
The cuttlefish's body is slightly flat with a supple fin. Similarly, the Sepia woman has a tendency to have masculine features, including flat-chestedness, and with their supple legs, they love to exercise, especially dancing and aerobics.
For many decades the field of photography was dominated by Sepia people. When feeling threatened, Sepia individuals have the ability to conceal themselves behind a cloud of ink while they make their escape. Thus they are over-represented in the legal profession.

The account of the Lachesis or Bushmaster personality is best read out aloud in a sepulchral Vincent Price voice:
As always happens to medical students, Keats and Chapman soon noticed how many of the various syndromes also fitted themselves. Keats was inclined to classify his colleague as a Nux Vomica person ("coarse, closeminded, and hard-headed"), best treated with strychnine in more-or-less diluted form. Chapman demurred. He pointed to the features of a Cactus person:
Cactus is derived from night-blooming cereus, thus people who need homeopathic Cactus have symptoms that are aggravated in the night. [...]
People who need Cactus are known to have a thirst (1), during the heat (1), after the heat (1), for small quantities (1), and for small quantities often (1).
Keats was having none of this. "'Thirst for small quantities'?" he exclaimed. "You can't be Cereus!"
Must credit commenter Narad for research.

UPDATED with bonus Homeopathic Elemental Personalities:

Mercury is quite an extraordinary substance. It is a liquid at room temperature and evaporates easily. It is very sensitive to temperature, hence its great value in thermometers. It is thus fitting that those sick people who will benefit from Mercurius are those who are similarly sensitive to extremes of temperature. Their symptoms are aggravated from both heat and cold. And like its easy volatility, people who need Mercurius are usually quite volatile.

Equally reactive are Phosphorus people: hypersensitive to sensory impressions including noise, light, music, odors, and touch. They are also emotionally hypersensitive: they are sympathetic and want and need sympathy from others; they want others around and are fearful of being alone [...]

Like the mineral phosphorus which is so diffused throughout the human body, it is no accident that one of the primary characteristics of people who need Phosphorus is diffusion -- an inability to set limits and to separate self from non-self.

Phosphorus is known for giving off light without heat when exposed to air. Similar to a phosphorescent light, people who benefit from Phosphorus radiate with an extroverted, even effervecent personality. Like a match with a phosphorus tip, they emit light but tend to burn out quickly and become exhausted.

A plant deficient in phosphorus develops a thin, long stem and weak roots. Similarly, people who need Phosphorus tend to be thin and tall, and not psychologically "grounded." They tend to be "spacey," have difficulty finishing projects, and become easily fatigued.

Although phosphorus cannot be detected in the atmosphere, a tropical plant called Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides ) contains high concentrations of it which are absorped in a mysterious way. This moss flourishes even when it grows above the ground on telephone wires. Phosphorus people have similiarly mysterious powers: they typically have hyperacute senses and not only are they able to see, hear, and feel more than most other people, but they also sometimes are intuitive and can even be clairvoyant.

Don't mess with the Elements of Doom!