Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Light the blue touchpaper and stand well clear.

Life continues to be a trial for Evangaline van Holsterin's owl, Destroyer of Worlds Raining of Carnage or, as he is known in the hootery, Gimpy. Firstly Evangelines idiot boyfriend tried to get Gimpy interested in point-to-point races for dogs. Despite protests and detailed explanations as to the actual non caninicity of Gimpy, the idiot boyfriend entered him in the 2kms Widdlepuke Street to Cockchafers Avenue (Wire Haired Terrier section). Here they are at Tubesock Road and as you can see Gimpy is hard out to win. Riddled is a family blog so we cannot show you the horrible wounds suffered by the idiot boyfriend but as Evangeline said "It has put some shine into Gimpy's feathers."
Then the Vietnamese chickens turned up.
They are lovely peaceful birds and do not wish to cause any trouble for anyone but, sadly for them, they taste nice to owls. This has caused trouble not the least for Mr Ho who lent the chickens to Evangeline's vile nephew Throgmorton for a Farmyard Pageant  he was involved in up at the hospital. Apparently the presence of hens and chickens calms the old folks there. Or would have if the fowlicidal hootery led by blood crazed Gimpy had not turned up
An artists inpression of the scene follows:
Gimpy was confined to the hootery and had his Ovaltine privileges removed after that.
However the Vietnamese chickens may have had the last laugh as Gimpy contracted an infestation of Binh Thnan ticks.
Fumigating the hootery did not go well as Greenish Hugh does not have good discrimination between "smoking nicely" and "We're all going to die!!!"
However by cunning application of mice marinated in ex-hospital brandy we managed to get Gimpy into a receptive mood for fumigating. Even though he appeared to be in the owl equivalent of  a "Hey pal, giz us a song, will ye!" mood, no one really felt like putting the fumigation bomb which had been activated and  was fast counting down, next to Gimpy. 
We were in a timing tick bomb situation.





Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breams of the Sea-rabbit Fiend

Alternative title: Do androids bream of electric eels?
Another Kiwi took a long weekend off to go up north and see his Auntie Grizelda. It is a fraught journey through the wilderness where the pampas grass is rife, where the paths are often blocked at both ends by scrolls of stylised acanthus, which is why he is wearing the fancy hover-shoes. Also available in pony size.

But did AK say "Don't cook and eat the fish fillets in the reagent freezer for lunch, the ones labelled 'Biological Specimens K. bigibbus -- Toxic -- Protocol IV Containment"? DID HE BOGROLL.



Symptoms of Ichthyoallyeinotoxism include levitation, Zorbing, the opening of portals into alternative realities, and the dissociative manifestation of multiple personalities, all called Lucy.* Let us just say that not a great deal of work was accomplished in the course of Friday afternoon.

Here in the Antipodean Ocean, the brown chub Kyphosus bigibbus from Norfolk Island is the most popular dreamfish, but in Podean parts the sea bream Sarpa salpa and various species of the Sea-rabbit genus Siganidae are probably more often encountered.

The psychedelic properties evolved as a form of camouflage, like the texture-matching capability of flatfish, allowing dreamfish to conceal themselves in the waters that are under the world, among the shifting evanescent flux of archetypes in the human unconsciousness. Much in the manner of Klee goldfish.

There is a novel waiting to be written about the rigours and drama and loneliness of life as a dreamfisherman, following the shoals across the trackness ocean, far from land for months on end. No, Involution Ocean does not count. As for American reality-TV shows, DO NOT WANT.

Accurate depiction of Dream Machine
But dreamfish are not immune to their own hallucinatory toxins. With the help of the Riddled dream machine we can view their own dreams.

These turn out to be wish fulfillment in nature -- a role-reversed scenario in which dreamfish sink and consume entire fishing flotillas and celebrate these victories with ships tattooed on their sides. Meanwhile modelling their grimace on that of Dick Cheney.

Also they fantasise of chasing Ann Althouse.
* An ambulance was dispatched to the consequent scene, where the crew compared the situation to "a Lucy nation".

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Grist mass

Here is the spacious new Riddled brewery premises and mastitis clinic, finished just in time for the maturation of the Christmas Ale. We asked the architect whether it really needed all the upward-pointing cloud-busting orgone cannons on the roof but he just muttered darkly and started lining up his felt-pens on his graph-paper in such an unwelcoming way that we decided against persevering with the questions. Also the design is totally not a rip-off of Homeward.
Despite Thundra's wild speculations, this year's formulation is 99.9% holothurian free. In this country, sir, sea cucumbers are not on the menu. Now sea-urchin gonads a.k.a. Kina, that is another matter.

To protect the recipe, not to mention our Intellectual Property in the field of Disruptive Milking-shed design, security in Riddled Towers is up to Code Fuligin, an all-time high. We run a tight ship here at Riddled which is the best kind for keeping the water out.

Another Kiwi is concerned about 'hacking attacks' which turns out to be a term of art and does not refer to the unfortunate occasion when Mrs Cat hoicked up a furball into the hop filter. We have hired Mother Hitton and her Littul Kittons to handle our Information Security, which is not a reflection on the rival bid from Evangeline van Holsterin's vile nephew Throgmorton and someone he knows from the mortuary.

Apparently the main hacking threat comes from North Korea. AK overheard a conversation to this effect down at the Old Entomologist after Poriferan Paraphyly Trivia Night, and if that level of sourcing is good enough for the news media then it's good enough for Riddled. It seems that the rogue state's leadership have misconstrued the name of this year's Christmas Ale as an insult and might use their advanced software-espionage capability to exact revenge. I can only say that 'Kim Ill Sung' is part of a time-honoured tradition of naming brews after dead collectivist totalitarians -- who can forget the Stalin Stout (a Purge in Every Pint) or the Trotsky Headsplitter Bitter? -- as well as being a good summary of the beverage's side effects.

Despite the heightened Intermesh security we are not ignoring more mundane Humint channels through which information might leak Which is to say that monitoring of the brewery staff is in full force. A cunning labyrinth has been constructed at the brewery entrance to prevent staff wandering around unsupervised; tigris gave Another Kiwi a model of the maze so he can lead them in and out at the changing of shifts, which he has glued to the end of the Rod of Lamentation.


UPDATE: Given the existence of labyrinths on the end of sticks, eventually holes in the wall will develop their own matching labyrinths as a form of self-defense. This is the result of evolution (and Narrativium) and should not be misread as any kind of evidence for "intelligent design".

Oh noes, Greenish Hugh has succumbed to temptation and accepted bribes from our commercial rivals, and is trying to smuggle out a sample of wort concealed in his stylish helmet! But AK has apprehended him, adroitly wielding the Rod of Lamentation and assisted by Mrs Cat.

Firm but loving disciplinary measures will be applied and I am sure that Greenish Hugh will see the error of his actions.

Below is an artist's impression of what Snuggles the Dog of Doom would look like after some sensory fine-tuning with the Evolvamat has bestowed upon him the olfactory capacity to recognise disloyal or insecure thoughts just from the subtle modulations of odour. Sadly, tigris looked at the sketch and managed to restrain her enthusiasm so Snuggles' dormant DNA remains unactivated.

Christmas Ale is best enjoyed from a small green sock. Apparently this is traditional.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Quatermass

A blogger at LGM updates us on the saga of Bertha, the 7000-tonne tunnelling machine currently stalled in the Seattle substrata after it encountered the wrong kind of soil and overheated and blew a seal NO WAIT WRONG JOKE. It does not auger well for the future.
One option is for Seattle to just leave Bertha there, entombed and mothballed.* That way a future feudal society will discover it, reactivate its systems** and use it in wars against neighbouring city-states. Having first dealt with the descendents of the original crew who were trapped within the machine when it was sealed off. Why is there yet no dystopian SF novel with this plot?

Fortunately the future Seattle will have the Oregon Realm of Wicca to its south as a buffer zone shielding it from Emperor Norton VII's attempts to annex it into the San Franciscan Empire. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROPHECY the Silverberg short story. The greater military threat will come from the Vancouveran Protectorate to the north.

However, I am skeptical about the entire story, if only because Bertha is depicted as resembling the circular scraping mouth of a lamprey fitted onto a giant fleshlight. This MAKES NO SENSE. Any fule kno that the canonical design for a tunnelling machine employs a helicoidal cone.


More likely the official story is a cover-up. History proves again and again that Bertha has probably run into a long-buried alien spaceship -- a relic of the Martian campaign to pass on their traits to our hominid ancestors -- and the authorities are stalling, worried that one wrong move will activate the ship's long-dormant psionic energies, with the resultant mass hysteria and genocidal rioting and cities on flame. This ALWAYS HAPPENS. It must be a tradition, or an old charter or something.



* The mothballs are necessary to avoid moth problems.

** I assume that Bertha is nuclear powered. If not, WHY NOT.


Monday, December 8, 2014

In the Peasemolds with AK

Here is poor old Another Kiwi contemplating his gardens which he left to the tender mercies of Greenish Hugh and Space Time Eddie whilst AK visited his aunt Griselda up North. Look at AK, he has his jig saw puzzle pyjamas on and everything but there is nothing to be seen as the the so-called gardeners had Eurovision Song Quest Rave-Up Weekend that they "had" to go to and so the Peasemold apples have not been Stumpletwirled and thus will taste like dishrags.
Look! Not even a troupe performingVietnamese  mice can cheer up AK
 Heh heh, one is on a horse! I dunno why the one behind it has a shoe on a stick, but mice, eh. Play by their own rules, baby.
Lawks! What do we see here but a glimpse of the future as foretold by Josiah the Gender Neutral Fowl!
Josiah has said that never mind about the Peasemold's not having the spicy, sweaty saddle smell they usually have. The vile Throgmorton knows a bloke who will buy them all.
Here the happy Riddled team dance around the Peasemold tree in anticipation of a bumper harvest. Snuffles the Dog of Doom is always lurking, however.


Along the world axis
The Empress lay sleeping

According to the Riddled Dream Machine, she is dreaming of the Empress' Second-Hand Clothes. These are not quite so fine of weave or subtle of thread as her new clothes so they can still be seen by fools, but only half the time.
 
The artist here is Paris Bordone, previously featured at Riddled for his fondness for painting his ladies with post-orgasmic flushes on their breastal region. Bordone was a student of Titian, who evidently only taught him how to paint a single face. Or perhaps this is a Twin Study, painting identical twins with and without the flush to see if it makes them look sexier.
Come to think of it, what happened to the boy in the story who pointed out the Emperor's nakeddity? He subsequently disappears from the record and it is my suspicion that extraordinary rendition and dirty deeds at the crossroad were involved, for there are powerful vested interests in the fictive realm who like the power structure just the way it is and do not look kindly upon whistle-blowers. Look what happened to the Boy Who Cried Wolf.

Friday, December 5, 2014

O brave new world,
That has such people in't

"The Interlattice," said Another Kiwi over a pint of Mango-nel Weaponised Fruchtbier, "is like fire, or a bicycle, or an alligator pit... perilous in the wrong hands, but a great boon when used wisely."
Weaponised
Fruchtbier

Wise use
Without the Interwebs, for instance, we would never have been apprised of the existence of Dr Ariel Fernandez -- strolling player, hydrogen-bond theorist and freelance drug researcher, himself the subject of recent inquiry from the commentariat of ResearchWatch.

Here is the Whackyweedia Chat page in which various pseudonymous entities, wishing to further improve the already-fulsome Ariel Fernandez entry, argue with the WW panjandra who had locked it before the advertorial style grew worse. Far be it for us -- given Dr Fernandez's fondness for lawyerly posturing and threats of defamation suits whenever he feels that his reputation has been traduced -- to suggest that many of the pseudonyms who present information to his credit are sockpuppets. Following a venerable literary tradition, we merely pretend that texts from different people are in fact the work of a single individual.
Dr Fernandez's understanding of defamation law is sufficiently novel to have inspired a blogpost from a lawyer.

Anyways, the Chat page is worth reading in its entirety, and would require little adaptation to work as a stage production such as the Riddled Amateur Dramatic Society $mas Pantomime. Ideally all the parts would be narrated by John Gielgud in the manner of Prospero's Books but you can't have everything. Alters spawn and support one another in the manner of split-personality schlock psychology fiction from the 1980s. The dramatic tension ratchets steadily up, with Wiki staffers cast in the roles of Stephano and Caliban. It culminates in a dramatic crescendo in which newly-created characters 'Liping Laura Meng' and 'Doug Larkin Tobias' -- still dripping fluids from the axolotl tanks -- vouch for the independent existence of 'Heidi B /  Haydee Belinky'; Heidi / Haydee claims in turn:

(a) to be a different person from A. Fernandez,
(b) indeed to hardly know him except by repute, which was inspiration enough to edit his Wiki entry;
(c) to be pseudonymous; and
(d) to be defamed and dishonoured by the Wiki staffers' base suspicions to the contrary. Lawyerly posturing
ensues, with threats of lawsuits to protect Heidi's good pseudonym.
All different people!

The spark for the original furore (and the only reason for caring about any of this) was that close examination of Dr Fernandez's data sets -- the foundation of his academic reputation -- revealed peculiar and unconvincing qualities to them. Almost as if the data points had been generated from a theoretical linear or parabolic line, with noise added in a half-assed way.

Further information is is available at Dr Fernandez's collection of press releases, where he wages a lonely rearguard action against the McCarthyist slander machine of Retraction Watch; and from the like-minded blog of Weishi Laura Meng who promotes Fernandez's work, interviews him, and is completely a nother person.

Bear in mind that this is the Intertubes where commentaters may not even be aware that they are dream-birthed emanations from someone else.
UPDATE: Apparently the Whackyweedia has policy against meatpuppetry as well as against sockpuppets. This would provide a perfect excuse to link to Survival Research Laboratory performances involving Piggly-Wiggly or the Rabot, but there seem to be no extant videos, only images.

Never mind, here's some Curved Air, because who doesn't love Sonja Kristina?

UPDATE2: We seem to have buried the lede here. But it was TOTALLY AN ACCIDENT, and anyway it was the lede's fault for loitering around near the back-hoe while we were engaged in body-disposal carbon sequestration activities.

Dr Fernandez is not just any Interweb or Twittertroll, deploying a sock-drawer of alters. He had carved out an illustrious high-flying academic career -- in the Icarian sense -- with an Endowed Chair and such as, before the journals went all Expressions-of-Concern and his co-authors sidled away from any confidence in the reality of his data, and he was amending the Acknowledgement sections of his papers to scrub the sources of funding in a way that removed them from the jurisdiction of the Office of research Integrity. Something is seriously wrong with an academic world that can spurn such talent, so now as AFInnovation he offers his expertise "as expert consultant in pharmaceutical patent litigation".

Reassuringly, Fernandez has not abandoned the scientific endeavour altogether. He continues to serve on the Editorial Boards of Metabolomics (a mockademic pukefunnels from the Omics vanity press) and the Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry (a mockademic journal spawned from the “Collegium Basilea” -- an odd organisation which bestows honorary titles in return for its membership fees). He continues to promote his research through Youtube, where it has impressed  non-sockpuppet cheerleaders like Xi Wang, Liping Xie and Howard Wu.