Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bergerin Fries

The weight of authority often lays heavy on the Governor, but never so heavy as tonight. Anthony Bergerin is due to be executed in just an hour. The Governor is far from convinced of his guilt but, it being an election year, he is far from sure he can afford to appear soft on crime. A man’s life lies in the balance: Should he stay the execution of Anthony Bergerin?

“I’m so hungry I can’t think,” the Governor says to no one. “Damn this diet, I can’t concentrate with my stomach growling.” So he picks up his phone and calls one of the two speed-dial numbers. “Burger 'n fries; make it quick,” he orders. “Yes Governor, right away,” says the voice on the other end of the line.

“I'll eat first,” the Governor thinks, “and then I’ll decide about the execution.”

Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. The food has not arrived and the execution time is fast approaching. With not a moment to lose, he calls the other number on his speed dial, shouts “Stay the execution!” and collapses in his chair to contemplate the political suicide he’s just committed. His stomach growls.

At the local QuickBurger (motto: “We Deliver”), the late-shift counter-boy puts down the phone, looks at the food order he’s just scribbled, and crumples it. “Another kook call,” he yells to the fry clerk. “’Stay the execution?’ What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How the Multiple Internets Killed the Skaplavian Maldivian Lampreys

About two weeks ago I tried desperately to publicize a new charity via the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) with posts like this one:

Trying to figure out how to publicize a new charity, "The Skaplavian Maldivian Lamprey Regurgitation Rehabilitation and Restorative Trust Fund" (aka. SMLRRRTF) via [insert-social-network-here].

My hope was to attract like-minded individuals, and together we could work on the Skaplavian Maldivian Lamprey Regurgitation (SMLR) problem.

Alas, I have failed. Nobody contacted me—nobody--and now Skaplavian Maldivian Lampreys (SMLs) have all died, choking on their own vomit. I’m talking extinction, folks! Bye-bye slimy, toothy, circular-mouthy, oh-so-adorable and noble creatures of the deep.

I was angry and hurt. How could we let this happen? Why did no one contact me? Then I thought, “Maybe they couldn’t find me?”

So using various internet tools I searched for “Skaplavian Maldivian Lamprey Regurgitation” and this is what I found:
  • google.com: A link to my Tweet. At least that’s something.
  • google.com if I’m in your circles: The Tweet plus the Google+ post.
  • plus.google.com: Only my Google+ post.
  • search.twitter.com: Nothing. I think it showed up in the first few days, but not now (maybe it depends on how old the tweet is or how busy are the servers?)
  • bing.com: Nothing. Boo!
  • new bing.com (with ties to facebook): Nothing.
  • yahoo.com: Nothing.
  • duckduckgo.com: Nothing (but at least it spent some time looking :-)
  • facebook.com: Nothing, since by default FB only searches on names. But then from this link I learned about advanced search and so… Nothing.  Apparently the advanced search only goes back a week (or so it appears to me).
Sad Conclusion: Social Networks are very Anti-Social toward each other. The Internet is becoming a bunch of little internet silos, and they don’t talk to each other, and that sucks, especially if you are a sucker, like the lampreys… were.

Why should we care about this one Skaplavian Maldivian Lamprey extinction? What does one little species matter? We are all just a little bit SML, aren't we?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I dream of skydivers and hillbillies

I had this very cinematic dream. It felt like watching the opening of a movie.

A man and woman are falling in the sky. They’re holding china dinner plates in their hands and even between their feet. I see them from a lot of angles, falling, falling, falling—all the while holding onto their plates. The woman might be pregnant.

Cut to a few hillbilly hicks on the ground, amongst some trees, sitting around not doing much.  Chewing straw. Waiting.  Eventually one says “it’s about time, dontcha think” and another gets up and turns on a water faucet. The faucet causes water to blow up through a spout.  The spout shoots water into the air in a stream pointing straight up.  One of the hicks says, “water pressure seems a little low, dontcha think”.

The hicks are looking up. They’re chewing straw. They’re waiting.

After about half a minute there suddenly comes a crashing of a few plates around the water fountain, the quick thud of a couple of bodies hitting the ground, and a couple of more plates.

And falling through the water spout lands a newborn baby. The water spout was just strong enough to break its fall.

Then I wake.