Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Let this tide you over

I Shall Return

Oh yes, I am still here. I've been through a long, black tunnel, but the end is very nigh. I will, yes, I shall be back to taint the dreams of men.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

About time

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Scientists are boldly going where only fiction has gone before -- to develop a Cloak of Invisibility. It isn't quite ready to hide a Romulan space ship from Capt. Kirk or to disguise Harry Potter, but it is a significant start and could show the way to more sophisticated designs.

In this first successful experiment, researchers from the United States and England were able to cloak a copper cylinder.

It's like a mirage, where heat causes the bending of light rays and cloaks the road ahead behind an image of the sky.

''We have built an artificial mirage that can hide something from would-be observers in any direction,'' said cloak designer David Schurig, a research associate in Duke University's electrical and computer engineering department.

In this case, researchers used microwaves to try to detect the cylinder. Like light and radar waves, microwaves bounce off objects, making them visible to instruments and creating a shadow that can be detected.

Cloaking differs from stealth technology, which does not make an aircraft invisible but reduces the cross-section available to radar, making it hard to track.

Cloaking simply passes the radar or other waves around the object as if it weren't there, like water flowing around a smooth rock in a stream.

The new work points the way for an improved version that could hide people and objects from visible light.

Conceptually, the chance of adapting the concept to visible light is good, Schurig said in a telephone interview. But, he added, ''From an engineering point of view it is very challenging.''

The cloaking of a cylinder from microwaves comes just five months after Schurig and colleagues published their theory that it should be possible. Their work is reported in a paper in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

''We did this work very quickly ... and that led to a cloak that is not optimal,'' said co-author David R. Smith, also of Duke. ''We know how to make a much better one.''

The first working cloak was in only two dimensions and did cast a small shadow, Smith said. The next step is to go for three dimensions and to eliminate any shadow.

Viewers can see things because objects scatter the light that strikes them, reflecting some of it back to the eye.

''The cloak reduces both an object's reflection and its shadow, either of which would enable its detection,'' Smith said.

The device is made of metamaterials, mixtures of metal and circuit board materials such as ceramic, Teflon or fiber composite.

Looking at a cloaked item, Smith said, ''One would see whatever is behind the cloak. That is, the cloak is, ideally, transparent. Since we do not have a perfect cloak at this point, there is some reflection and some shadow, meaning that the background would still be visible just darkened somewhat. ... We now just need to improve the performance of cloaking structures.''

Redirecting electromagnetic waves also could prove useful in protecting sensitive electronics from harmful radiation, Smith said.

In a very speculative application, he added, ''one could imagine 'cloaking' acoustic waves, so as to shield a region from vibration or seismic activity.''

Natalia M. Litchinitser, a researcher at the University of Michigan department of electrical engineering and computer science who was not part of the research team, said the ideas raised by the work ''represent a first step toward the development of functional materials for a wide spectrum of civil and military applications.''

Joining Schurig and Smith in the project were researchers at Imperial College in London and SensorMetrix, a materials and technology company in San Diego.

The research was supported by the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program and the United Kingdom Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Martin McFriend is no more

Yes, you heard that right. Inspired by the corporate gurus at every warlock's favorite restaurant, Chili's, your ol pal will hence forth be known only as this:


Another dream courtesy of the Biscuit

Outside the window I see trees and flowers - a neatly landscaped forest.
Trim borders, paths lined in uniformly sized rocks and ranks and files
of homogenous trees. No neighbors. I can tell by the dappled sun it is
late afternoon and it smells like recent rain. The dog, black and white
and brown with enormous paws and thick fur, is outside yelling.
Something about help, a skunk, help.
A friend, an ex-boyfriend, tells me to go check on him. Turning from the
window I see the inside of the house. Spacious rooms filled with
beautiful furniture, stacks of leather-bound books and green flowered
wall paper. His voice floats in from another room but he remains unseen.
Footsteps, running water, dishes clink. The kitchen.
Walking out onto a broad porch I hear the talking dog. A skunk, help, a
skunk. Then I see him. The size of a bear, laying on a path with his
head bowed between his paws. A rabbit is latched onto his ears,
furiously humping his forehead. Frothy white foam covers the dog's head
and mats down his fur and he continues to yell.
"That not a skunk, that's a rabbit," I say and push the rabbit off the
dog with my foot. He scampers off into a bed of ivy and I see hundreds
of baby rabbits peeking from behind the leafy cover.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

In Her name, Amen

The key was the mille-wrench with disappearing propeller. It jigged and turned under my thumb and tore through reinforced steel thrice before moving the four gripped quarter slats in the proper direction. There I stood, proud as a little woman should be in a big tri-corn hat and habit, pushing a juicy wad of tobacco around in my toothless jaw and smiling heavy. The finished product, gleaming metallic rainbows into my sweat-misted eyes, bellowed its fiery motor rumble, and the machine came alive. I heard heaven's gate tremble.

Wiping crystalline boron sludge into my jeans, I knelt before the engine and examined my proudest handiwork. The genius came in the form of an allotropic synthetic. I had discovered it by mistake, loosing a streaking cobalt inferno upon the fueling corner of my shop. Extinguishing the hungry flames resulted in third degree burns along my left arm and permanent chemical damage to my once flowing hair, but nonetheless I isolated the igniting properties. My waxen, desiccated body gave way to human mechanical innovation on a holier scale. Physical senility and gruesome ugliness were a small price to pay for a pardoner’s tool. Alas, worries about my appearance left long ago, pulled into the same void that claimed my sons and the sodomy of my wicked husband.

There she stood, the world’s first worthy invention. Where the smelters of the industrial revolution and the superconductors of the information age failed, I persevered, and in the clanky iron corridors of a makeshift hutch, no less. History says that prophecy often arrives in fire.

These last hundred years tested everything mankind held close and secure. First the robot disease and then the contagious global waves of stealth assassination. My family fell victim to anarchist factions, and I was sold into slavery. Watching tall buildings collapse in the fires of atomic madness, while brave humans were interned and destroyed inch by inch, my mind turned to books. White pages and black ink, the bastions of philosophy and religion in times forgotten, stole and kept secrets from man’s psychological suppression of itself, of spirituality. Escaping my captors, I wandered, seeking solace in roadside kitchens and exploring the convergence of science and divinity.

My first foray into invention came, not surprisingly, through chance. Or perhaps, it was Her plan all along. While walking through a barren plain, I fell into an abandoned mine shaft, its trapdoor obscured by years of earth. Inside lay a scrap heap of discarded hardware. Using flexible microcontrollers from the unending piles of electronic refuse there, I set about constructing an improvised broadcast system. Once finished, I began to deliver sermons of salvation to scores of willing listeners in the streets. I started with the word of Saul, of course, and fused his liturgy with those of Saint Augustine and the 21st Century’s most renowned martyr, Eliza Maria de Brazil. Through resurrected technologies, my message was received across many miles, and my revolution was quickened. But the path through heresy is treacherous and paved with the nameless graves of courageous believers.

They arrived in the night, ripping through my tent and burning my possessions. I was raped, battered and drugged. After my teeth were successively removed, they dragged me through the village and raped me again. I heard children laughing as my skin opened, and soaked me in warm red. When the sun rose, I lay crying and broken. But then it happened: She sang to me. I was overwhelmed with sudden happiness. They had allowed me to live, which amounted to miracle.

Thereafter, I unearthed the mysteries of every scientific vocation, spending days in the dark of my shop, guided by Her greater voice. I felt the thrum of deliverance in my heartbeat and heard trumpets of glory within the idle sounds of tinkering metals. Creating the rapture engine became my soul’s calling, my reason for being. Forty years passed, fraught with more death and sadness in the lives of this domain. I never let failure overcome me.

Then one day it was complete, and I wasted no time setting off on Her mission.

Cackling and waving my New Bible in the air, I reigned truth and justice and Her way upon the scattering masses far below. She howled, my trusty engine, and together we were the archangel’s smiting fist. The brimstone exploded in puddles of blood and bones. Evil burned into white clouds of wrath and forgiveness. A new day of woman followed.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Date night

Giant fingers gripped hard around a sweaty bottle. His chest puffed out and exposed the upper part of the body he despised so much. He looked down at the girl. Mariela. She stood several inches below him.

“You are so disturbingly punctual,” said William. His friends called him Billy.

“No entiendo,” she replied, cheeks drawing up, redness blooming on her roundish face. She straightened her dress and nodded, her long pointed nose a sexual dagger.

“Then dance with me.” William took her hand and led her into the middle of a crowd. They swayed. He smiled. She giggled. Both were happy.

Fifteen minutes before, William had been in the bathroom snorting Bolivian cocaine. Mariela had been finishing dinner with her parents. Chilean sea bass.

When the dance was done, William kissed Mariela. And for a moment, she felt completely normal. He had a loveable look about him, large though he was. He hulked over her, the two white ovals in his massive head beaming at her little chest, at her subtle cleavage. He whispered something to her in Spanish, terrible Spanish. Mariela winced and took a step back.

“Que perverso!” she shouted, and ran for the door. William tried to follow but met concrete. The floor looked at him. He looked at the floor.

“What the fuck was that all about?” he asked himself, rhetorically.

William stood up and ruffled his spiky hair. He sidestepped back to the crowd and boogied the night away, while Mariela cried on the vinyl seat of a white taxi with green trim.
eXTReMe Tracker
Adult Dating Site
Adult Dating Site