It turned out that Barack was a fan of tumblr. He greeted me, surrounded by Secret Service agents, in the Oval Office, and his first words were:-
"Hi. I like your shoelaces."
My response, of course, could only be:-
"Thanks. I stole them from you."
Cue a dozen standard issue Secret Service pistols aimed at my head.
"Clearly, Mister President, you will need to hire people who have tumblr accounts,' I respond, calm as a Bond villain.
So the Pres asks me to demonstrate my abilities. I ask if any of the Secret Service agents have been to Hypnotic Erotic of late. The President indicates an Agent Shaw, a diminutive female MiB. Should that be WiB or FiB?
Anyway, I go up to this Agent Scully and ask her "Have you been to Hypnotic Erotic?"
"Yes," she replies, "but I can't actually remember much."
I ask her permission to come close to her. I whisper a trigger word in her ear. She trances right out. I catch her as she collapses into my arms. Again with the guns. So the Pres waves off the hardware, and I instruct Agent Coelenterate to stand up and walk with me to the President's desk. She does so, holding my hand; then she lies face up on the Oval Office carpet in front of him, sprawled over the Seal of the USA.
Last thing I did was bring her consciousness back and hold out my hand to help her up, asking her not to do any weird judo moves or anything because I'm only helping.
In this level, I could see nine circular platforms separated by vast gulfs, stretching off to the right. Each contained dozens of monsters, active but trapped behind invisible panels on big pillars like pedestals. There was a platform behind me, and a glowy skull switch that I had to shoot to activate to raise the first land bridge to grant me access to the first circle.
And then the Cyberdemons appeared.
There were two of them, the big hulking bastards that fire rockets at you. But they weren't alone. This version of the game had two new kinds of Cyberdemon - a smaller cousin, just the head, arms and upper torso, fused to the front of one of those small spidery Arachnotrons like some weird centaur with the Arachnotron's brain exposed behind the Minidemon like some bizarre camel's hump, able to fire one rocket for every three their regular size cousins could fire; and then a truly colossal King Megademon with a rocket pod, dwarfing the Cyberdemons with footsteps like the fall of asteroids on cities, able to shoot six rockets simultaneously, three from each side. King Megademon could also apparently fire one rocket at a time, three from the right and three from the left, or fire the top two, middle two and bottom two; the firing pattern was never completely predictable, except that if you did manage to injure it - and at 10,501 hit points a fresh one could even survive a telefragging attempt - it would always respond immediately with a full six-rocket broadside against the aggressor, as I saw when it turned an Archvile into bloody stumps.
And they were all behind me, advancing along the land bridge. I could either fight them or fight the creature in front of me and raise the next land bridge and outrun them.
Or maybe hide behind a pillar and let the monster try and pick a fight with King Cyber and then run across the next land bridge. H'mm. I never thought of that.
There is now - at least a plan to restart the forum and bring the population back.
It starts with publicising the site wherever we all have accounts: Facebook, G+, tumblr, my blogs. Anywhere and everywhere.
And this is what the forumites of SnE will be doing this weekend.
Are you a fan of the Old World of Darkness (oWoD), the reboot World of Darkness from 2004 and any of the games old and new? In times gone by, SnE was THE place to go to air your views and share your delight at these shared worlds of Storytelling horror.
Now, after a prolonged absence, Shadownessence has returned - and the forum is eager for fresh blood.
So if you want to know what is going on with the WoD 20th Anniversary Edition games, or the 10th Anniversary release of the new WoD in the form of WoD Second Edition, why not join us at Shadownessence - or renew your old, dusty accounts and come back to restoke the old Balefire again?
Our long Winter now is over. Spring is coming for Shadownessence. Join us and watch our long-awaited reawakening.
I belong to the generation born in the Sixties that grew up in the Seventies and Eighties. Our dreams were of a future like Carl Sagan’s Cosmos; like Star Trek. Our nightmares were Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four and Mad Max.
Our ambition was to immanentize Star Trek or maybe Babylon 5. We did so much to bring about that future.
We’re old enough now to be parents - even grandparents. And look what we’re giving the kids. Fucking Ferguson, cops beating down on the Occupy movements, slut-shaming our daughters, pasty-faced old white men telling women what to do with their bodies like they were those girls’ Dads or something, Boko Haram, and CCTVs bloody everywhere.
This is not the future I wanted to give you. This is fucking Mad Max. This is my nightmare world. This is not The Future.
Kids, guess what? We’ve ballsed up The Future. The Future should be yours. It is not our Future; it is your Present, and your children’s and grandchildren’s History. Voter apathy and cynicism crept in, and people stopped believing in themselves and in making a better society, and all the cynical and petty little men crept in and stole power and turned the world into their idea of The Future - a schoolyard, with them as the bully boys throwing their weight around, and you kids as their punchbags.
You can now officially tell us - we’ve lost the right to describe The Future. You know who now has the keys?
Please learn from us. Make it a world like Star Trek or Babylon 5. A greater Future to live in than what we could manage. Live dreams that are better than ours, and look after this place better than we could. Please.
Civilisations stand and fall, not by might of arms, but by its cosmopolites – the ordinary Citizens and Scholars who make up most of the population.
Book 10: Cosmopolite provides new options and possibilities for characters who have followed the Citizen or Scholar careers. Citizens and Scholars together are keepers of the flame of civilisation.
With this book, your Citizen character will be able to build Networks, a web of Allies, Contacts and Patrons that can be called upon at any time, while Scholar characters can approach their own societies and fellowships for funding and resources accessible only to scientists.
Your characters can now attend University or Medical School, and try a brand new career choice, the Teacher. You will learn how to continue your research, even while you travel the galaxy, publishing papers that push the boundaries of known science.
The referee is provided with all the support material he will need for Citizens and Scholars, from organisations that can act as adventure hooks or Patrons, to scientific questions that have stumped Scholars across Known Space and are now available for players to tackle!
Far from being simple white or blue collar workers, or unassuming librarian types, Book 10: Cosmopolite contains everything you need to make Citizens and Scholars among the most exciting careers to play in Traveller.
- Works at Amateur Epistemologist and Gentleman Adventurer of Leisure
- 26457625769247 followers
Daily Mash editor forced to initiate security measures to keep poachers from regular news outlets out of their offices
"This has never happened before," complains Senior Editor Awami Akizile. "Just today we had to bring in extra bouncers to eject three Sun journalists who tried to raid our files."
Awami has a point. Since the start of August, the traditional Silly Season of slow news days when all the interesting people whose failures and cockups fill their pages have all buggered off on holiday, journalists are traditionally strapped for interesting things to put in their column inches. But this year's news drought has proven particularly hard on Sun and Daily Star journalists due to their stunted imaginations. This drought has forced them to come in from the wild and rummage in the Daily Mash rubbish bins for sustenance to keep them going until the rich harvest of human failures starts up again in September.
"It isn't just us," Awami told this reporter in a frank interview. "They've had to draught in extra security in the Newsthump offices, and instituted special measures to try and isolate what they suspect could be a leak selling their newest spoof articles to the Daily Express to pass off as their own."
With circulation falling and the appetite for celebrity pics steadily waning, journalists are finding it increasingly difficult to piece together enough active firing neurons to make up stories - a condition unheard-of in the nearly three centuries since the invention of journalism.
"It's got so bad," Awami confided in us, "that I have even spotted what could be a Daily Mail journalist out there, lurking behind a lamp post, staring forlornly at our offices. I mean, the Daily Mail are supposed to be the world's foremost experts at making shit up. If even they can't be relied upon to publish original lies and nonsense, what is the world coming to?"
Awami is single.
The theme is Hypnotic Fantasies.
Hypnotic Fantasies 3rd Webinar (opens onto the Facebook Events page)
3rd August, 12:00 PDT, 20:00 British Summer Time
Co-presented by Melania Love and Fiat Knox, Hypnotic Fantasies presents its 3rd Sensuality and Sexuality Webinar.
Covering adult and erotic themes of hypnosis, sensuality, sexuality and trance work, the Webinar is free to the first one hundred people to register before August 3rd 12:00 P.M. PST.
And now a link to the webinar site:- https://www.anymeeting.com/785-238-075
This was a misjudgment. On both sides.
Since that time, of course, the BBC's record for supporting and even championing evil in its midst has been well and truly exposed. Stuart Hall. Rolf Harris.
You really have to ask - who's laughing now?
I don't even recall laughing back then, either.
Invitation to be my guest
Baroness Doreen Lawrence
It's my honour to invite you to join my table at a Labour dinner and party hosted by Ed Miliband on 9 July in London.
Please make a suggested donation of £3 to help us win the next election, and you (and a friend) will be automatically entered into a draw to be my guests at Labour's annual gala dinner next month.
You'll have a chance to chat with Ed Miliband, and then you'll join me at my table for dinner.
We want to give this opportunity to supporters from anywhere in the country, so Labour will cover travel to London and a night's accommodation for you and your guest.
There will be many great and inspiring Labour supporters, campaigners and politicians there to celebrate — and I hope you'll be there too.
Good luck, and I hope to see you on the night.
Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE
P.S. You can fill out this form to enter without donating, but we really do need more funds to beat the Tories next year, and even as little as £3 will help!
Wau. My star is rising.
Edit: My reply below.
Dear Lady Lawrence,
Thank you for the courteous offer. It does sound like a marvellous opportunity; however, I am afraid that due to personal commitments on that day I must decline.
All my hopes that you have a most splendid event; and should similar future events present themselves, I would hope that they will fall on days when I am free to accept any future invitations.
Alexander Greene BSc.
Because nobility does not automatically come with a title.
However, no matter how much the parties succeeded or failed, only one thing was on the BBC's mind during election day itself and in the post-electoral afterglow: the rise and rise of the United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP.
Led by Toad of Toad Hall, Ukip gained a few votes, but failed to actually secure so much as a single council. However, the BBC's intense, passionate love affair with this politician with the Innsmouth Look would brook no rivals - it was, to the BBC< UKIP all the way. Almost as if the BBC were desperate to report UKIP's victory followed by the swift ousting of Prime Minister David Cameron from Number 10. In Transmetropolitan terms, this would be like The Smiler being replaced by The Beast. UKIP are the UK version of the American Tea Party. Had the Green Party received even so much as a third of the coverage the BBC gave to Farage, I'm sure there would be far more Green Party councillors elected, and even perhaps a few council and European gains by the Greens, whose policies are actually sensible. In the wake of the catastrophically biased reportage by the BBC, this video emerged to commemorate this shift in their policies towards British Tea Party lunacy.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the invention of the Rubik Cube. Google commemorated it with one of their famous Google Doodles - a cube you can solve on the screen.
Here's the thing. For almost forty years, the cube's various algorithms have been available pretty much online. Anybody could learn these algorithms. Anybody could, with practice, solve the Cube.
A good site to begin learning how can be found here. This specific page describes Singmaster Notation, the shorthand notation which allows cube aficionados to translate the various moves such that they can reproduce them on their own Cubes.
Some examples of typical Cube algorithms. These concentrate on the elusive top layer.
Swap Two Adjacent Top Layer Corners
L' U' L - F U F' - L' U L U2
This swaps the FUL and BUL corners around, flips the UL and UF edges and swaps the FL and FR edges around.
Permute UFR -> UBR - UBL Corners
R U' L' U R' U' L U
This plays merry merry hob with your corners' orientations, but it keeps edges where they were.
L' U R U' L U' R' U'
This permutes LUF -> LUB -> RUB corners, and screws around with orientation and edges.
Rotate Three Corners
L' U' L U' L' U2 L U2
Rotates orientation of LUF -> LUB -> RUB corners anticlockwise.
R U R' U' R U2 R' U2
This rotates the corners RUF -> RUB - RUL clockwise.
Permute Three Top Layer Edges
R2 U F B' R2 F' B U R2
This permutes the three edges UB -> UR -> UF without flipping them.
R2 U' F B' R2 F' B U' R2
This permutes the three edges UB -> UF -> UR without flipping them.
More will be revealed tomorrow.
This weekend, however, I decided to attend the Wrexham Food Festival. This festival, an annual event, takes place in May each year, taking over Llwyn Isaf, the small public park behind the Guild Hall, for the two days of the weekend. Tickets cost £5, with concessions.
So this was Day 1.
The exhibitors lucked out with the weather. They could not have been more fortuitous with the day - the sun was cracking the flagstones all day. The well-attended festival was a feast, not just for the mouth and nose, but for the eyes and ears, with so much to see and try out. This family festival brought people in from all over Wales and the North West to enjoy the cookery demonstrations, the exhibits by such organisations as Coleg Cambria, to sample the alcoholic beverages and to listen to the band playing in the bandstand doing covers of well-known songs. Much fun, as they say, was had by all.
I honestly wished I had a sense of smell when I entered the main tent; I could imagine all the different aromas from the stalls lingering and blending together in that cool, shaded enclosure. The stalls which had the most people hovering around them were, naturally, those offering tasters and freebies - and not all of the stalls offered food. One was offering everything for the kitchen, another (listed below) wood and slate items for food preparation, and one very friendly stall offered aloe vera products, extolling the medicinal benefits of that particular plant for adults, children and furkids alike.
Ever-present throughout the exhibit were volunteers from the Nightingale House Hospice, the charity to which the proceeds from this event will go. The weather certainly was with them, and here's hoping that the event helps raise thousands for them.
Here's a list of the featured exhibitors, presented initially without links - I will edit this blog to furnish links later on. There are a lot of them, and they really deserve all the publicity and customers they can get. In these harsh times, we all need all the help we can get, and these guys are assets in the food market.
Adesso (H20 Ltd.)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Dressings, Dips, & Marinades & Kitchen Ware - from Sustainable Olive Wood
Brownies, Flapjacks, Rocky Roads, Lemon Drizzle, Bara Brith and so much more.
Amanda Jayne's and Adamson's of Anglesey
Exquisitely piquant produce. I really wished I had a sense of smell for this.
American Street Food Company
Professional Street Food Caterers - sizzling southern street food, hot dogs
Handmade Chocolates and Truffles made in the highest village in Wales. I pointed out that, while my chocolate allergy tragically meant that I could not sample their wares, nonethelesss it would be remiss of me to deny the pleasure to everybody else.
Coffee, Tea & Chocolate Drinks. Award winning coffee for the past 10 years. Good tea here, plus pleasant conversation.
Cherry Tree Foods Ltd.
A Family run company based in the West Country. Since 1997 they have been dedicated to producing the highest quality pickles chutneys and preserves.
Chuck Wagon BBQ
American Smoked BBQ - 16 hour smoked pulled pork, ribs, brisket, flamed salmon
Clear Black Wine Company
I don't have much to do with wines - I'm tee-total - but you, my beloved readership, should not be denied the delights of wine and chocolate alike.
Traditional South African Biscuits, chilli pesto, cheeses, cranberry & herb sauce
Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls
A gourmet selection of Sausage Rolls made with local free range pork. No freebies, but some of what they offered looked so tempting.
Croeshowell Restaurant, Bar & Grill
I liked the samples. Very tasty.
Family Chocolatiers based in Staffordshire. Largest range of chocolate bars in the UK. Rows upon rows of chocolate bars, and I could not eat a damned thing. Doesn't mean you should be denied the pleasure.
Derby House Catering Services
Outside Catering Trailer serving 'a little taste of Mexico' in the form of Fajita Wraps
Eboni ac Eifori
Award winning fudge, toffee & confectionery. Ye Gods, their products packed flavour. email
The Falafel Wagon
Vegetarian Mobile Catering. This was one of the outside wagons.
Distributor of High Quality 'free-from' sauces. Try their South Western sauce. Better than what Subway serve.
High quality Mediterranean delicacies. Have any of you tried mint flavoured Turkish delight? These guys have mint Turkish Delight.
Food Technology Centre
providing NPD, technical advice & training to the food industry. Nice people. If you've got a catering business and you're reading this blog, go and chat up these fellows.
Sweet & Savoury Crepes, Baguettes, Hot & Cold drinks. I just wanted so much for a sense of smell when passing by this one.
The Gift Of Oil
Delicious single estate virgin olive oils. Stunning, genuinely matured balsamic vinegars.
Hafod Brewing Company Ltd.
Welsh real ale with a twist. Since 2011, Hafod Brewery has created innovative beers that draw on local produce and influences from further afield. Popular with the blokes, but you should have seen the crowds around the Wrexham Lager stall outside.
Authentic Indian Cuisine, freshly prepared on site using fresh local ingredients. Tasty.
Home Farm Produce
Free range rare breed local meat produce & Hogroast Stall
Welsh Beef, lamb, & pork products. Mutton, award winning sausage & burgers. From Farm to Fork with full traceability.
Full Bar/wine, ciders, beers, spirits
Lewis' Farm Shop
Home Made and Home produced food
Little Furnace Artisan Wood Fired Pizza
Wood Fired pizzas to go, fresh from Liverpool's finest pop up pizzeria.
Informal fine dining restaurant and bar in the lovely village of Rossett. Nice food. email
Producer of traditional handmade welsh-cakes & Bara Brith.
MKS Food Distribution
A wide selection of olives, nuts, Turkish Delights & Baklavas
Mukaase Foods Ltd.
Afro-Caribbean Curried Goat, Dumplings, Chicken Curry, Rice & Peas, Jerk Chicken, Curry Sauces
Cold, dressed seasonal game, hot gourmet game and street food. I got my Sunday lunch from here. email
Handmade Bakery goods: Pies, Pasties, Artisan breads & cakes.
Exotic Burgers:- Beef, Kangaroo, Ostrich, Bison, Venison, Wild Boar, Zebra, Crocodile.
Small mid-wales company producing yummy preserves, chutneys, dressings & flavoured vinegars.
Pickles & Spice
A diverse range of pickles, chutneys, jams, marmalades and spices.
Riverford Organic Farms
Award Winning Organic Fruit & Veg Boxes delivered direct to the door
Rosie's Triple 'D' Cider
Craft Cider maker of multiaward winning cider & perry
Sabor de Amor
Speciality Spanish Products
Snowdonia Cheese Co.
Premium Welsh cheeses for every occasion
Twist & Kick (Effin Fine Foods)
Create fantastic salt and spice blends for fantastic tasting food at home - come & taste
Ultimate Fudge Outlet
Family Business making a full range of traditional & speciality homemade fudges
Bake fresh cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, celebration cakes, corporate events and confectionery.
Wood & Slate
Wood & Welsh slate home and table wares. Made in North Wales
Wrexham Lager on Draught, bottles & Presentation packs
There is no other word to describe how I lived.
I lived in fear of getting punched and pushed about by the ugly brute children I had to put up with in lower school and, frankly, throughout many of my school days. The school system, it seemed to me, rewarded ugliness, mediocrity and stupidity, and seemingly ignored what amounted to a systemic regime of bullying of anyone with the slightest trace of eccentricity, individuality or compassion.
That fear continued to my adulthood. Could you believe it? It coloured every interaction I ever had with people. Until I shook off that fear.
I'm going to identify that fear for you now.
It wasn't a fear of being bullied, as such, that led me to live inside my shell for so long.
It was a fear of showing you what I am capable of.
I have more than a hint of what could be considered Asperger Syndrome, which manifests in an ability to soak up a tremendous amount of information, store it, process it and come back with some intricate thought structures, laced here and there with structural elements of pure, solid data. I have composed poems, written short stories, blog articles, short fiction, unpublished novels and I maintain a bunch of websites, blogs and fora. I study languages till foreign speech is leaking from my eyeballs. I read, voraciously.
And yet I have a fine-tuned kinaesthetic sense, which means that it is very, very rare that I bump into someone, trip over my own shoelaces or fall over in public. I have learned some ability to read people's body language and microexpressions to tell me whether or not I am reaching the limits of their ability to process the vast, intricate webs of interconnected that I seem to practically exude with every breath and movement.
I'm very, very sensitive to people's responses. And I watch for the intricate signs that indicate boredom, a sense of being overwhelmed or, of course, the signs that you have just been weirded out or creeped out by something I have said.
I have lived my entire life reading people for signs that something I have said might be coming close to switching you off. The number of conversations I have terminated, sometimes in mid-sentence ...
That is the fear I held in my heart, at least until recent years. The fear that I might be too strong for you; that my thoughts, my feelings, the imagery I conjure in day to day life, might cause the people I know and love to flee, screaming, from this strange little savant.
The fear that something insignificant I say might inadvertently crush you.
Rest easy, man. Rest easy.
Bonus: Here's one of my favourite tracks of all time, Swing Shift 69.
Side Note 1: Ye Gods, I'd almost forgotten that convention completely. The one I went to in Leicester, just two weeks afterwards, blew the Geordie convention away - because while Galileo Con '86 in Toonland had been where we fans commemorated the 20th anniversary of Star Trek, Midcon '86 was where the announcement was made that Star Trek was making a return to TV screens, in the form of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Side Note 2: Now how could I have forgotten Galileo '86? That was the place where I picked up the very first issue of The Klingon Dictionary, in its original Little Blue Book version released by Simon & Schuster not the year before.
Regardless ... I present to you, "Vienna" by Ultravox.
The hardest letter to pronounce, however, is "Ll," the initial consonant of "Llangollen," "Llanllyfni" and many other place names, along with the surname Llewellyn, among others.
There is an easy way, and the natural Welsh way.
Natural Welsh: Put the tip of your tongue just behind your teeth. Force air out through the sides of your tongue.
Easy Way: Pronounce "ll" as if it were "tlh" from the word triathlon or the Irish place name Athlone.
This post brought to you by Completely At Random.
Here's the original, sung by Andy Williams:-
Every time I've parted from one of my enamorata passim, there was always some earworm that stuck in my head for days afterwards, a theme to remind me of the nights of romance and joy which were over. The aubades which were the compliment of all those nocturnes.
These earworms included David Bowie's "Ashes To Ashes," Ultravox's "Vienna," Erik Satie's "Gymnopedie No. 1" and the theme tune to the TV show "Twin Peaks" by Angelo Badalamenti.
And now, there's this song, which stuck in my head as I awoke, that last terrible Thursday morning.
Guess there's no use in hangin' 'round
Guess I'll get dressed and do the town
I'll find some crowded avenue
Though it will be empty without you
Can't get used to losin' you
No matter what I try to do
Gonna live my whole life through
Called up some girl I used to know
After I heard her say "Hello"
Couldn't think of anything to say
Since you're gone it happens every day
Can't get used to losin' you
No matter what I try to do
Gonna live my whole life through
I'll find somebody, wait and see
Who am I kiddin', only me
'Cause no one else could take your place
Guess that I am just a hopeless case
Can't get used to losin' you
No matter what I try to do
Gonna live my whole life through
I can't get used to losin' you
No matter what I try to do
Gonna live my whole life through
Over the next few posts to this blog, I will post video links to each of these sad little aubades in turn. Each marking a parting of sorts.
And by the way ... this current parting is not the end of the relationship. Thus far, to my joy, this relationship feels as if it is just starting, and could build up to something I have never had in any previous relationship - meaning that I will be venturing deeper and into unknown territory.
Tonight's video should, therefore, be considered a celebration. I certainly do.
Still ... beats Wednesday night / yesterday morning, and the final night, final morning blues. That night, I really couldn't sleep at all. I wanted to be conscious and savour as much of our precious time together.
Aubade: A morning song; a song of lovers parting at dawn.
I can't sleep tonight.
It's almost 6am, and I've been sleeping next to this woman who's been with me since April 21st, but whom I've known since March 2011. She's got this sleep pattern; she starts facing away from me, then halfway through the night she turns to face me, and we sleep together, our faces gently touching, breathing one another's breath. Finally, to finish the night, she turns to face away from me again.
A pattern. A nocturne of warmth and gentle movement and breath.
I am going to miss this. So, so much. You wouldn't believe.
This delightful woman just wandered into my life, in the same way as so many of the visitors who just entered my little sphere of isolation, and totally transformed it in the space of just ten days. But now she has to go home to her beloved pets.
And I cannot sleep. I am dying inside in anticipation of the pain of parting. In anticipation of the aubade.
Edit: She went back early this morning. I saw her off at the railway station this morning at 09:44; watched her get onto the shuttle bus to Liverpool John Lennon Station. Then I had to make my way all the way back home, alone, holding it in.
I could have just let her go at my home town's railway station; watched her go. Instead, I spent money on a ticket for myself and travelled to Liverpool South Parkway train station with her. Well worth it. Totally, totally worth it just to be with her as long as I possibly could. And I would do that again in a heartbeat.
Just so we could play that soft nocturne together.
At about 09:00 this morning, the ISP went down and, after some fits and starts, stayed down. I'm currently negotiating with a friendly neighbour to borrow his ISP until Wednesday night, but if his jealous and possessive wife has anything to do with it, she's probably going to turn the damned router off on Wednesday evening out of spite.
This current arrangement is stable for tonight and tomorrow, possibly Wednesday morning - but Wednesday evening, I might not be available at all.
Consider it another Hiatus, though a lesser version of the Great Hiatus I had last November - and for a different reason, the last one being due to upper abdominal surgery.
I'll try and stay online as much as possible tonight, get as much done as I can for Wednesday's scheduled blog posts. But if I disappear at random, you will now understand why.
As for the ISP problem, I bet it's the router. No worries with the digital TV or the phone - even with broaband internet access down, TV and phone have never been affected. Only the internet. So I have been in touch with the ISP, and they have ordered a service engineer to come along and try and sort out the problem. If it is the router, as I suspect, it shouldn't cost us anything because it's their equipment that's at fault.
So that, as they say, is how it is.
I found this YouTube soundtrack today (2014 03 22), and thought I'd share it with you as a musical interlude:-
As I pointed out in The Project on my website Hypnotic Erotic, as a competent hypnotist I can toy with my clients' sensory modalities and perceptions. They see, hear, touch, taste and smell what I wish them to sense; and you would be astonished what they perceive.
So, you may ask, where does that end? If they cannot trust their own senses, where do they go from there?
Well you may wonder. However, there is an answer.
My Code of Practice.
Specifically, the bit about Your Space Is Sacred.
During the session, whatever happens, happens, and you just have to go along for the ride. But when the session's over ... your senses, your headspace, are yours. The world looks the way it did before the session; you think your own thoughts; your actions are your own.
And the choices you make are entirely yours; as are all the consequences.
Now pay attention to the words in the track above.
Asato Ma Sad Gamaya
That's Sanskrit. In fact, they are the opening words of the Navras prayer, and the English translation is
From The Unreal, Lead Me To The Real
The second line reads
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
which translates to
From Darkness, Lead Me To Light
Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamaya
which translates to
From Death, Lead Me To Immortality
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Let There Be Peace, Peace, Peace
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.
The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?"
The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."
There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard.
The guy then says "OK, now what?"
A joke, according to Heinlein, is an anecdote containing imagery of people suffering in some way or other.
I tried water polo, but my horse drowned.
There are also jokes based on personal misperceptions of the world.
I went down to my local supermarket and I said: "I want to make a complaint. This vinegar's got lumps in it". He said: "Those are pickled onions."
Sometimes, humour can come from unexpected places. My aging eyes, for one thing. I am always misreading signs. A while back, I saw a sign outside a recruitment agency which read "GODDAMN SKILLS." Took me a double take to realise they were asking for "GOOD ADMIN SKILLS." And another time, when I was handing Mum a box of hair dye from L'Oreal. Recital Preference. I could swear there was no "I" in that word "RECITAL."
And there are misunderstandings about the way the world works. Such as why I can't find any entries for ninja schools in the Yellow Pages.
Then there are the other observations, sometimes really bad puns:-
The other day, I visited a zoo. It had one exhibit. A dog.
It was a Shih Tzu.
Larry Niven once called laughter "an interrupted defence mechanism," and observed on the folly of someone deliberately setting out to activate someone's defence mechanism.
Jane was watching vigilantly at her dying husband's side.
"Sleep now, it's all right," she told him. But he kept trying to sit up and said, "Honey, I really need to tell you something."
"Easy," says Jane. "You can tell me, if you want."
"Jane, honey, I need to tell you something before I die. During the last two months, I slept with your sister, your best friend and your mother."
"Don't worry about it," Jane said, "I already know. Why do you think I poisoned you?"
I hear there's a position open for an awards presenter at WorldCon.
He, like a lot of people who love numbers, is trying to remove the fear of numbers.
Watch, and enjoy.
Vedic Maths India website and store
That Initial Spark
Nerve Growth Factor
The first sign of love is triggered by a small protein hormone molecule called nerve growth factor. This neurotrophic hormone is released the moment one first falls in love. Nerve growth factor is known to cause euphoria and feelings of emotional dependency. Its release leads to the release of all that follows - the attraction and lust reactions, infatuation and, in the long term, feelings of bonding and attachment towards one's partner.
This hormone stimulates production of adrenalin, which causes the heart to race. Typically released alongside PEA. When someone in love says that their heart "skipped a beat," this would be the cause.
Lovesickness and Infatuation
These hormones are, in a complex manner, responsible for romance, physical and sexual attraction, lust and infatuation.
Phenylethylamine, also known as phenethylamine or PEA
Chocolate is rich in PEA. As a naturally-occurring brain hormone, PEA induces feelings of being head-over-heels in love; the symptoms include loss of concentration and sweaty palms.
The reward hormone, dopamine is also produced by the brain. Dopamine increases feelings of wellbeing and of anticipation - looking forward to something, usually the next encounter with the object of infatuation.
Serotonin is responsible for feelings of infatuation with something or someone. Like the other hormones, serotonin operates on the brain's limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotional responses and feelings.
Ghrelin and Peptide YY
Ghrelin is a natural hormone, known as the "hunger hormone." The stomach produces ghrelin, which tells the part of the brain called the hypothalamus that the stomach is full. Likewise, the intestine also produces a hormone called Peptide YY when it is full, telling the hypothalamus to turn off cravings for food.
A person who is deeply in love is often seen to have lost their appetite, for as long as they remain infatuated by the object of their desire. These hormones are the cause of this appetite loss.
Oestrogen and Testosterone
Practically everyone has heard of these two hormones. Apart from moderating the sexual functions of males and females, these hormones also induce feelings of lust, arousal and attraction; by triggering erections in a man, distending the nipples and clitoris and vaginal secretions in a woman and dilating blood vessels in the skin to cause hot flushes, the body shows its sexual interest in a potential mate.
The following two chemicals are strongly linked with bonding and long-term attachment between partners.
Oxytocin is released in a number of ways - being caressed; being kissed, particularly if the kissing involves nibbling of the lower lip; being in good company; just after an orgasm. A mother and baby release oxytocin throughout the duration of pregnancy and just after childbirth.
Oxytocin promotes emotional bonding and attachment between people, particularly between mothers and children. The so-called "trust hormone," oxytocin opens the mind to trusting the object of attachment. The effects of oxytocin can last for up to two years from exposure.
Mostly found in males, vasopressin has the same effect as oxytocin, in that it stimulates pair-bonding. Vasopressin could be involved in feelings of fidelity towards one's partner.
It's All Chemistry
Next time someone talks to you about "chemistry" in terms of an ongoing relationship, you can tell them that their words are not just a metaphorical expression.
Here, to begin with, is The Plainclothes Clown - the first dedicated blog I ever ran. Still active, but showing its age.
I also run a Dreamwidth blog, in case you're interested, though I update that even less frequently than The Plainclothes Clown above.
In addition to this blog, of course I run four other blogs here on this site, and yet another four on tumblr. Here they are; just click on the pics.
My Blogger Blogs
Perchance To Dream
The Stainless Steel Blog
tlhIngan paQDI'norgh - Klingon Teachings
My tumblr Blogs
Hypnotic Enticement (NSFW)
The Daily Klingon
What Dreams May Come
So far, then, that is my empire as of five hundred posts to this blog. These are all the blogs I'm going to have, unless I decide to cancel a blog or two in the distant future.