Archive for the ‘Bad Ideas’ Category

From an Up to a Down

August 9, 2010

The other day, Fate decided that, having reached what it presumably saw as the pinnacle of my life’s achievements, the only path left to me was falling backwards fifteen feet off a ladder onto concrete paving.

Needless to say I rather disagree with Fate’s assessment, and we’ve since reached a consensus that such things should, in fact, be kept to a minimum wherever possible.

Convincing? No? Alright. By ‘Fate’, I of course mean ‘the laws of physics’. What happened, was that after starting some cleanup work on the outside walls of one of my aunt’s properties, I discovered that ivy had snaked its way around the walls and roof, in the way that ivy always does (presumably given the absence of more interesting things to do, like go to parties, or, say, take up parkour).

This, I was told, would not do, so it had to be pulled down. Being a person who is not a giant, I needed a ladder for this. Luckily there was one to hand, which was fine for the lower strands, however the ivy that was entangled around the roof remained out of reach despite my increasingly frenzied efforts, one of which involved a pair of shears, which were too short, and then a broom, which was, well, a broom and so not really all that much use.

After five minutes or so of waving garden implements around, a spark of “I’m going to sort this out if it’s the last thing I do” determination* hit me, and I decided to recruit the garden table into my mercenary band of ivykilling brothers. I placed the ladder on top of the table to gain the extra height I would need, and began to climb. It wasn’t the most stable of setups, I knew, but I had someone holding it steady for me. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

I’m not sure what it was that did cause the ladder to topple under me, be it overzealous grasping, poor positioning, or badly timed breeze, but topple it did!

They say that time slows down in that sort of situation. As it was, I only had time to wonder which bit of me was going to hit the ground first, before immediately finding out. Fortunately it was my side and hip so the impact was fairly spread out, resulting only in some bruising and a slight House M.D.-ish limp for yesterday and today.

I got most of the ivy down, too.



The Infamous (Time-Travelling) Capnscar

July 9, 2009


One afternoon last year, my mate Ben and I decided to play a spaceship game called Freelancer and go online, where there are other players zipping about in their ships doing the kinds of things spaceship owners do. It was the first time either of us had played it, but for our part we’d decided we were going to be space highwaymen. It was one of those kinds of afternoons.

Ben chose the moniker ‘capnscar’ (because ‘Captain Scarlet’ wouldn’t fit) and with myself as the somewhat less enigmatic  ‘Talyn’, we picked a server at random and headed into the universe to make our fortune.

So, we start the game and float up into space, and before we know it another player flies over and hails us.

“Woah…” he types.

“Your money or your life,” I say.

He ignores this, and turns his ship towards Ben. “OMG, it’s the infamous capnscar :O”

In real life, we poke our heads round our doorframes to exchange looks.

Back in the game, the player is continuing: “The infamous capnscar that led the assault on Sector X317!”

Of course, there’s only one possible way for Ben to respond to this.

“Yeah I am.”

And that just sets the little guy in his spaceship off. “That was so cool! Wow! You’re a legend!” etc. while we laugh our arses off. ‘The infamous capnscar‘, indeed… Needless to say, Ben had never flown his spaceship out of orbit before, never mind organised raids on Sector wozzname.

The reign of terror that followed this encounter need not be discussed – suffice it to say that even though we never played the game again, the infamous capnscar disappearing once more into the shadows of the universe,  the incident became an oft-repeated source of hilarity.

The reason I bring this story up, is that yesterday, we were talking about it, and he said something about having never played the game before, and I said, “well, what if you actually have? What if, at some point in the future, you end up travelling back in time and it transpires that your time-travelling self is, in fact, the capnscar of such infamy?”

And then it dawned on me.

“Or…  what if you were in the future, but playing the game in the past?”

And this led on to all sorts of thoughts… surely it would be, although ‘easier’ might not be the right term, more likely that it be possible to send computer data back in time than, say, people? The internet, and data transferral in general hasn’t been around long, so it might be that the window for such an event hasn’t been open long enough yet – we could wake up tomorrow to find we’ve been contacted by people from the future by data packages sent back through time! Or perhaps it’s just a matter of unwittingly developing a network / computer setup that future humans can use to send computer data back?


As usual, complete conjectural bollocks from me, but hey… why break the habit of a lifetime? 😉

Communication Breakdance

July 7, 2009

Carvings on rock –> ink on paper –> inked mass printing —> speech down telephone lines –> digital words down telephone lines (the internet) –> digital words via satellite –> …  ?

What comes next, or further down the line?

At the moment we have Twitter, blogs and Facebook, and are all, whether we like it or not, tied into the lives of people across the globe in a way that would have been inconceivable to the public even twenty years ago, and it makes me wonder what this suggests about our evolution as a species. How will technology develop to cover this relentless search for better, and more personal, ways to express ourselves?

It would not surprise me at all if in the year 3000, rather than the pop band Busted’s (frankly ridiculous) claims that ‘they live underwater’, humanity has actually become a kind of  mass consciousness. It’s not too big a leap from today’s technology to say that a few centuries down the line, we might be literally sharing our thoughts, rather than expressing them. As that becomes more complex, I can see technology enhancing our minds to be able to deal with a constant influx of thoughts. Our mind will become our inbox, our homepage, our twitter account, our global conference call.

That or, by the year 3000, we’ve all got so fed up hearing each other waffle on that we’ve retreated into secluded caves, gradually reverting back into lone hunter/gatherers, stalking the empty landscapes as ancient newspapers flutter past on the wind, their headlines staring unblinkingly into a mournful sky. ‘Twitter – destroyer of mankind’.


What do you think communication will be like in the future?


This post is sponsored by HIVEtwitter, humanity’s #1 HSP (Hivemind Service Provider)


Celebrity Powered…

June 26, 2009

Oof, Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett in one day. Sad stuff indeed. Is it me or do celebrities seem to be dropping like flies at the moment?

Hmm, flies…

*strokes chin in exaggerated fashion*

That makes me think back to my previous post…

(Okay, you can see I’ve been lining this up)

So, I wonder how much energy one of those microbial fuel cell thingumies would produce if you stuck a celebrity in one. Especially legends like MJ and Charlie’s Angel… hell, chuck those two in and you could probably power Africa for centuries.

We are the world’, after all.

But seriously; what about it? Celebrity batteries… we live in a pop culture; think of the sense of local pride it would instill to be able to say “Our town’s powered by Jimi Hendrix’s little finger, yessir!” (Or you know, Chis ‘Drearybones’ Martin or whoever passes as a contemporary maestro these days)

The technology and the fuel is there, they’re both just waiting to be used for the good of humanity…

Ahhh it’s been a long day.

[As an aside regarding MJ –  I only hope his primary thoughts towards the end were of the staggering amount of happiness his music has inspired in people, on a scale rarely matched, if ever. A true legend, whatever the personal slide may have been. As for Ms Fawcett… well, I honestly don’t know much about her. Insert your own angel joke here.]

Edit: Michael Jackson’s ‘Primary thoughts’ perhaps a poor choice of words, though.

Goodnight 😉

Jurassic Earth

June 23, 2009

Hop into your DeLorean, Phone Box, or time machine of choice, and travel back 65 million years.

The Dinosaurs, who have been the dominant animals on the planet for roughly 165 million years (compared to our current measly few thousand), are about to become extint. The exact nature of the event that wipes them all out is still unknown, but that doesn’t matter.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if this event never had occurred at all – our mammalian ancestors only had the chance to grow and diversify because the food chain had been reset, resulting eventually in our first ancestors – so if the dinosaurs had had another 65 million years to evolve, would there have emerged a saurian intelligence? We know that all dinosaur species had the kinds of social patterns that were present in our own furry four-legged ancestors, so what would the world look like now if mankind had failed to take the stage? Dinosaur society? Or was the special spark of intelligence only something that could have emerged from a mammal-origined brain?

Presumably, the technology this hypothetical intelligent dinosaur race would have come up with would be very different to our own, and it poses the question of whether, under the dominion of the dinosaurs, our planet might not have fared better. If, however, they had fallen to the same failings as us, with their tens of millions of years ‘head start’, the planet would presumably have been overfarmed/overmined/over populated long before the time we find ourselves approaching now. Maybe Earth is actually better off for having us, and has managed to buy itself a bit of time…

Another thing I wonder about is the slightly disturbing idea that in a few tens of million years time, we will all be gone too, and some all-together different sentience will find, in humans, the same source of fascination and intrigue of ages gone that the dinosaurs hold for us today.

Enough rambling methinks. And yes, The Land Before Time is one of the best films ever ¬_¬

Prophets (Profits?) R Us

May 31, 2009


Sun! I wonder how many people are blogging about sun…


A lot. Anyway, was nice to be able to write while topping up my geektastic monitor tan with proper sunlight 😀 The backyard here is a wicked sun trap, and also perfect for kicking back with a guitar and jamming out into the open sky.

Today I read about how Wikipedia have banned the Scientologists from editing the site. Heh. Well, good move probably; those nutters are spreading enough shit onto the field as it is.

[Religion-related section removed, as frankly it wasn’t funny enough to be worth the offense it might cause.]

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to build a church of Nocturn in the back yard. Thanks to the likes of Twilight, and other godawful excuses for vampire fiction, it’s a safe call that alot of the upcoming generation all wish they were vampires. Well – I’m going to set up a vampire church. And it’s going to take over the world, because I will offer all the fan legions real, proper honest-to-Lestat immortality. It is my humble opinion that some parts of religion stem from people playing on humanity’s innate fear of the unknown, and death, and if that is the case, then immortality will provide the best peace of mind of all! Also, it’s a well known FACT that being a vampire means you instantly become sexay, so that’s everyone’s worries about their eternal appearance covered!

And I’ll only charge £10 for the honour. For starters.

I would be rich. And sadly, I think if I did actually go out and do it, I reckon it might just work. Although it has just occured to me that having a ‘vampire’ church in a suntrap might be bad for the… um.. *thinks* … vampireness count of attending members. Not to worry then; I’ll bump membership up to £40 and give them a glass of water with ‘sunlight dampening’ properties.

You heard it here first. NOCTURN. The new world order starts here!


(*Irony Disclaimer*)

It’s A Small World

May 18, 2009

So, Earth is rapidly running out of resources and us humans are filling up all of the living space in dangerous levels of overpopulation. Sounds ominous…

However! There is a simple solution, and I put it to you thusly:

We simply genetically modify everyone’s babies so that they’re born as midgets. Imagine if everyone in the world were one quarter the size they are now –  just think of all the reductions in space, waste, and food consumption. And if everyone was the same small size, there wouldn’t be a problem with height discrimination! Score!

Desperate times call for desperate measures right? I’ll be here when the time comes for last ditch efforts to save humanity! (On a serious note for a second, I’m sure that probably is what it’ll come to – radical last-ditch solutions. Nothing will be done until disaster is on our doorstep and the only options left are drastic ones. I’m just glad I probably won’t be around to see them.)

Just a short one this evening (seewhatIdidthere!) I’m afraid – I’m in the middle of writing a story about the Chocalypse. Bye for now!

Zombies – Vitamin the head

May 13, 2009

Here is an idea that could potentially save the human race. My housemate Ben and I were thinking a few days ago; if there was a zombie outbreak, for long-term survival the biggest problem is likely to be food – getting yourself enough nutrition if you’re holed up somewhere that you can’t leave. Now, in a previous discussion I had with my supercuz Indi, we concluded that ideally, you’d get to an island or an enclosed space like a football stadium that can be locked down, where you can grow your own crops on the field / pump fresh water.

Unfortunately, the likelihood (insofar that any of this is likely ;D ) of that is pretty low. So, the question is this: Is it possible to live off vitamin pills? Surely if you stock up on loads of bottles of all the various vitamins and minerals that make up the meat / veggies we eat then that would substitute all the necessary sustainance you’d need. Also, pills last indefinitely, so no worries about having to re-supply.

That got me thinking – if we can substitute our food with vitamins, so can the zombies, right? Mmm, vitamin brains! You find a zombie, point first to your head, then to your bottle of vitamins, while making encouraging tummy rubbing motions (“Mmm, gooood,”). It might take a bit of salesmanship to convince the zombie, but eventually, the word will spread as they tell their shuffling friends about these easy to munch brain-substitutes, and voila, after a few weeks you have zombies that are: no longer a threat, and also healthy! How’s about that for a turnaround?

(Re. title – Vitamin the head –  hit ’em in the head… as that’s how you take out zombies… yeah alright, back to the drawing board with that one ¬_¬)