Court Declares That Badly Beaten Judge Was “Asking For It”

Two male defendants who violently assaulted Justice Robert Dewar in a Manitoba courtroom were cleared of all charges yesterday, when the court declared that the Justice had dressed provocatively and was “asking for it”.

“Flaunting himself in those red robes and that big wig”, said their defense lawyer. “In my clients’ experience, every man who dresses like that is out to put them in jail. He was just waving it all in their faces. What did he think was going to happen? How did he think they were going to act? He was just inviting this beating.”

The defense also specifically drew attention to how Justice Dewar was not wearing a bra.

“Maybe if he dressed more conservatively,” agreed the court bailiff, who eventually intervened in the savage and sustained beating. “I mean, it’s not like men have any decision making ability or motor control of their own. They just have a simple stimulus-response which strangely absolves them of all responsibility for their actions, but still counts as enough free will that they’re not locked up for their own protection. His robes really were like waving a red flag to a bull.”

Justice Robert Dewar’s current condition is described as “a stupid sexist asshole who shouldn’t be in charge of so much as a street crossing.”

Uses For Separate Hot and Cold Taps

If you’re reading this from the fabled First World of Indoor Plumbing, you may not know that Ireland and the UK still feature separate hot and cold taps. You might then reasonably assume that we also burn dried cow shit in our stoves, burn strangers, and have the local blacksmith to pull rotten teeth with a pair of tongs while we slug whiskey and clutch crudely-cured leather belts. But it’s only our washbasins which have been held in stasis, as if our kingdoms were once cursed by a hydrophobic witch.

  • But as you revel in your unicorns of hygiene, those magical single taps which can caress human skin without flaying or freezing it, you might not know the manifold uses of separated taps:
  • Not letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing, especially when that thing is screaming in pain.
  • Generating emergency power from an efficient thermocouple which anachronistically exists in a time when people apparently can’t work out how to join two pipes together.
  • Honoring the Thing of the Fantastic Four, who sacrificed his ability to feel almost anything with his rock skin, with one everyday item which might just lend sensation to his solid stone epidermis.
  • Waiting for water to mix provides ample time for thought, and where better to reflect on the realities of life than a room where you’ve just taken a shit?
  • Reminding peons not to take more than the barest moment away from their assigned workstations.
  • Reinforcing the lesson that many systems allegedly built for your comfort and convenience simply do not care, and would rather hurt you every day than make the least effort to change.
  • A reminder that humans cannot be trusted, as many would rather install a brand new cover with the exact same problems than fix the deep systemic flaws affecting the most vital necessities, such as the rotten and unhygienic water systems which first necessitated the use of separate taps.

The Ineffability of Cold Noodle Salad

Cold Noodle Salad sounds like the a saddest possible specification of sustenance. The least possible instruction young Oliver Twist might anemically enter into punch-card driven replicator if Victorian survivalism somehow survived as far as Star Trek. You might think the un-inspirational name is result in translation from Chinese to English. Not an error, exactly, but information lost like a high resolution photograph squashed down to a jpg thumbnail. You can still tell what it is but all the beauty is lost.

But the original language name is just as perfunctory as our English. There aren’t any implications of ancient characters. There are no stories suggested by symbolic elements. It’s cold, it’s got noodles in it, and it’s a salad, so it’s cold noodle salad. They don’t know what else you could want. But that’s because Chinese cuisine doesn’t need the evocative names we expect on expensive menus. Many of their meals sound more like instructions than offerings — White Chopped Chicken, Slow Roasted Pork, Crispy Roast Duck — for two reasons. The first is that they simply have so many options it’s easier to list them as combinations of adjectives and nouns than remember keywords. The second is because verbally describing Chinese food is like color-coding music, or numbering sex acts. The denominator doesn’t do the subject justice.

The English write odes on their menus because their food isn’t that much more enjoyable than simply saying its name. The French language is gorgeous enough to go with their cuisine. Italian is excited enough to offer some tribute to their tables. But Chinese is the most sophisticated language spoken by a billion people, and the food is so much more than that.

They don’t need words to describe the deliciousness of cold noodle salad, because words aren’t not how mouths are meant to experience it. Your mouth can barely even tell you how delicious cold noodle salad is, nerves both lingual and glossopharyngeal flooding sensations straight into your brain to invigorate your existence with experience, and even then it can be hard to grasp. Merely shaking some air molecules to bounce off little bones in other people’s doesn’t have a chance.

But I’m going to try. Maybe I can fire enough photons through your retinas to give some suggestion of why you should have this.

The shredded potatoes, carrots, and cucumbers aren’t vegetable, they’re edible metamaterials. Engineers around the world are working to give existing materials new abilities by restructuring them at a pseudo-cellular level. Cooks can achieve the same with a knife and a chopping block. The vegetable matter is restructured into rows of thin lines, giving the plants a powerful muscle fiber feeling they never had in life. This alchemy of flesh is so much more than merely vegetarian. The icy crunch of vegetables, the satisfying texture of muscle, and the interstices gushing sharp vinegar with every bite.

I won’t even mention how the fried onions and chili peppers could make you eat anything. Only someone who’d eaten them on their own could say that. They’d tell you that you’d guzzle cat food, you’d chew down on cardboard, you’d eat anything except a rock, and even then only rocks higher on the Mohs scale than your own teeth, because only physical force could prevent you chewing something this delicious. But saying that would be to disrespect the rest of the dish.

Because here it’s just another part of the Cold Noodle Salad. Soaking through the vegetables and over the chewy noodles which draw the whole experience out to make it even better. The result is every possible positive element of eating in texture and taste combined. Vegetarian isn’t the right word. That’s an idea defined by a lack, an absence, and this salad lacks nothing.

Cooking food revolutionized human cuisine with heat. This salad does the same for cold. Just as hot food on a cold day can restore you, cold food on a hot day also improves your condition. It’s not just helping with energy, but with temperature, experience, even attitude to everything.

This isn’t sustenance for survival, it’s a reason to live.


More fantastic food

Star Trek: Superior, Series 2

Continuing the adventures of Starfleet’s finest aboard the USS Defiant-B.

(minor edit, “Linear” award makes more sense than original “Ouroborous” award)


More Federation fun with

5 Ways Thunderbirds Beat Star Trek

The Worst Moments from Star Trek Movie History

The Fleet (An Earnest Parody)

Zit Massman’s warpspeed Z-Wing Galactiprise-E soared through the exploding wreckage of the Daleklingon FataliStar (with the masterful strategy of clicking seventeen times, waiting 2.4 seconds, then clicking another five times) and there was only one celebration suitable for the new savior of mankind.
“MOOOOOOOOOM!”
She’d been taking longer and longer to bring him lunch for the last five years, sometimes forgetting altogether — or even worse, arriving when he’d started another mission and couldn’t be interrupted — so he’d started shouting earlier to compensate.

But then the president called.
“You’re the best gamer in the world, and every highly-trained NASA test pilot in the world is just too fit to properly hold a mouse! Help us, Zit Massman, you’re our only hope!”
Zit started to explain that he couldn’t leave his room, but the President understood.
“Don’t worry, we know all about your totally real self-diagnosed problems, and all those doctors have been fired. We can’t risk damaging your finely balanced nerves. We’re sending some people to pick you up for the FLEET.”
Four burly secret service agents burst into the room to lift his bed and carry him down the stairs. He noticed that all of them were popular jocks from back in high school. One accidentally knocked over his Miseinen no Kimiwaruidesu Schoolgirl Swimsuit Inspector Platinum Collector’s Edition figurine, and was docked a year’s pay. They all apologized for bullying him and said they wished they were his friends.

The limousine had a full bar of every flavor of Mountain Dew. Even the Japanese ones.

In the helicarrier every gamer had their own personalized computer rig and a full squad of cheerleaders.
“Men are just better at games, it’s a biological fact,” the medical officer had explained. “And once you consider evolutionary psychology, well, it’s just a law that girls have to like you now.”
Zit told the Zitettes how great he was at games and they listened and “oohed” at all the right bits. He read out whole pages which were nothing but lists of titles of nerdy things — not even with any story, just wikied lists of names and years — and everyone told him it was wonderful and gave him money.
He gripped his joystick. This was going to be great. But first he phoned home.
“Haha, mom, now who’s ashamed of me?”

“It’s not that we’re ashamed of him.”
The old woman fretted beside the Fantasy Ludo-Electro-Encephalo-Tube, a clear vertical cylinder filled with blue fluid around Zit’s comatose body.
“It’s just that since we retired we can barely afford rent, never mind his net subscriptions.”
Zuri tapped her Pip-girl, calibrating the amniotic protocols.
“Don’t worry about it” she said. “Under the new Population Density Act your son’ll be paying your rent and net fees from now on. Honestly, he’ll be happier in there. I’ve seen the program.”
A gaunt man with skin like wrinkled paper patted the old woman’s arm. He cleared his throat.
“He just never found a job that suited him, is all.”
By now the blue fluid had soaked through Zit’s t-shirt and jeans. Not that they could have gotten more stained. Indicator lights along the upper rim: biolink, neurolink, netlink, green, green, green, all good.
“Well, don’t worry, he’s working already. All that untapped neural potential firing for the global computational grid.”
She turned to the two worried faces. Ah, what the hell.
“And, well, look, you CAN’T tell anyone I did this, but…”
She thumbprinted open an access hatch at the base of the FLEET. Her fingers flew over small rubber keys and the cheap touchscreen flashed up “CCC”. She whistled appreciatively.
“Wow, see that? He’s part of the Collective Cancers Computation. He’s helping find new treatments!”
They gasped and clutched each other tighter. Zuri congratulated herself on reading the symptoms right. Now they might even feel proud of him, finally helping in their old age. Who knows, it might even be true, but all “CCC” on the little screen meant was that she’d typed “ECHO CCC” into the little pad.
He was probably rendering the graphics for the next issue of his own favorite game. Ever since psychomarketers had characterized the sequelon, quantum of the smallest possible change before fans would buy a whole new product, most franchises had been releasing at a rate measured in milliHertz. Zuri preferred to tell people the tech was going to the CCC. Maybe it was her own little tribute to mama, ten years gone.
Still, you had to think of other people. You couldn’t just sit around obsessing over the past.

The Gathering of the Trumps

No-one knows what gathers all the Donald Trumps. A fundamental force of Trumpity tunneling across time and space? A virtual exchange of Trumpons, enabling their existence by some kind of reverse-default credit swap against the energy budget of the universe itself? All they know is that they meet once a year. It happens in a place it pleases them to call the “Trump Tower”, though in truth it has no name, being more of an axis of worlds than an individual location.

They don’t call themselves Donald Trump, of course. For the obvious reason. And because it would get confusing. But they’ve collected new names, middle names, even nicknames among the Trumps who choose to operate at budget levels where human honesty is still possible.

Donald “Bill” Trump talks with Warren and Steve. No time wasted on the tedious details of software, stocks, or stylized consumer products. When you start with as much money as they did it doesn’t matter where your apply it, the capitalist Katamari guarantees you’ll gather more money from those who have less. From such a start only a total fool could even temporarily fail. Now they spend their lives and fortunes trying to reverse some of the ridiculous inequalities which made them possible.

They smile to see Jack Trump grinning in his gloriously tacky golf sweater. He’s not even that good at the game, but investing an inherited fortune in index-linked funds means you can walk the links for the rest of your life, and generous donations to charity tournaments ensuring a modest fame from appearances in sports and society pages. They don’t think anyone else enjoys their life as much.

Well, maybe Jack Trump, who just jived in the door. He scoops four flutes of champagne from the infinite buffet. Three are empty before he’s crossed the ten meters to talk to them. He never does anything but drink and party, but the interest on his estate alone is enough to tip all the wait staff in Manhattan. He boasts that even he couldn’t go bust with that much money.

A buzz, a bass hum, and sharp guitar licks across the room. Johnny Trump has found the stage again. Playing your own hotels and casinos is an outrageous indulgence, but the managers are happy to let him have the stage if they leave the businesses alone. It’s not like a dropped chord ever bankrupted a casino.

Father, Brother, Lama, Elder, Chaplain, Guru, and Imam Trump are having their usual friendly discussion. The only overlaps between all their varied views are thoughtfulness and charity, but that’s more than enough. The assembled Trumps — they’ve been arriving all along, usually a bit big, a bit bald, it’s beginning to look a bit like a Pac-man convention — all straighten a little when Captain Trump marches in. He’s making a determined effort to walk a little less intimidatingly these days, but even that determination makes bystanders want to stand to attention. Years of torture in that awful goddamn mess, he decided no soldier should suffered pointlessly again. His every building, from flophouse to the Hollywood hills, had at least one floor for servicemen with nowhere else to turn. “Hell, the next floor up pays for it!” he’d always say before forcing the interviewer to ask a different question. “I mean, what else am I going to do with it all, print out my bank balance and wave it at people?”

He strides across the room to clasp hands with George Trump. Another real estate mogul — there was a bit of a tendency across the Trumps in that direction, what with their father handing them an empire on a silver platter — his low-income estates had saved countless cities from decay. The gross wasn’t amazing, but it made enough, and it made all the difference to millions of lives. Then Louis Trump, who’d quietly ended a syndrome or two by funneling a few hundred million into underfunded research. Nothing sexy, nothing famous, just a few things no-one need ever suffer again.

Johnny licks out “Born to be Wild”, and they all raise a glass to Bobby Trump. Dead in a speedboat accident ten years ago, and only because the hovercrafts, helicopters, and an extremely short-lived Formula One car had failed. His funeral was the cover gallery of TIME, Cosmopolitan, and Playboy from the previous three years. He’d always said he’d consider spending every cent from the sale of his inheritance to be an impossible goal. He’d made it about halfway before he died, but everyone agreed he’d had a hell of a good time. And at least he’d never ended up squatting in an office.

Conversation dries up at the approach of midnight. It’s been fun, but they know why they’re really here. The lights flick out — every year a few Trumps swear they’ll bring torches next time, but they never do — and the Donald screams into the. An awful bilious thing, flushed, glaring, scorched with false color and screaming with rage. He can’t seem to see them. He can’t seem to see anything, outside himself. He only spews from within, his quivering body a lanced boil which never empties, a meat-portal into the pit of the most awful depths of the unconscious.

He yells, he blames, he hoards countless mansions while demolishing family homes, he fences the countryside for sale then leaves it bankrupt and rusting. He gold-plates toilets and refuses to settle the bill. A nine-figure fortune and he films himself in an office for a few thousand YouTube views. He employs his own children as cheerleaders, he begs and bullies and buys attention, he claims to tell truth to the world when he can’t even face his own hair. And if he could only see the horror in every eye turned to him right now, the Donald Trumps know, he’d take it as a victory over everything they might have been.

More Trumpeting:

Star Trek: Superior, Series 1

This was too much fun not to collect.

(thanks to @rex4711 for the transporter-Riker reminder)

(and one from guest scriptwriter!)

The second series of Star Trek: Superior has now aired. And if you’d like more Treknobabble:

The Greatest Games in Terminator History

The Terminator video games tangled the timelines like the cables nesting behind your monitor. And most were about as much fun to deal with, console chores taking up time you could have been using on fun video games. But just like the movies there were a couple of good ones. We also look at the spectacularly bad ones, and a few so advanced you’d swear they’d been sent back in time to derail our ability to kill computerised enemies.

dos title

Check out the Strange History of Terminator Games to learn how T-800s traveled into the history of Skyrim, how a single SEGA CD game didn’t suck, how the SNES simulated the real risks of time travel, and how pinball perfectly presented the entire concept of the series. My only regret is that we couldn’t include Terminator 2: Judgement Day – Chess Wars. Possibly because the title would have taken up half the word count.

Vatican Begins Construction of Large Camel Compressor

The Vatican City State bas broken ground on a project advancing the frontiers of theological research, excavating crypts and tombs below the walled enclave to begin construction of the Large Camel Compressor.

“Matthew 19:24 tells us that Jesus said ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god‘” said Experimental Sacrament leader Monsignor Croseus. “But in the last two thousand years the Vatican has more wealth than even existed in Jesus’ time. We need to investigate if Jesusian charity still applies in this extremely high wealth regime. Leading Opulo-theological researchers from the Instituto per le Opere di Religione theorize an ultra-relativistic regime of charity, where a Pope can command billions of euros and yet live charitably if he lives in a slightly less luxurious palace than his predecessors.”

“I mean, it would be pretty silly if the Pope lived in conditions blatantly and defiantly opposed to Jesus’s teachings.”

Tunnel Boring Machine B6, once used to drill the Channel Tunnel, has been recommissioned for the project. It has also been entirely coated in gold plate so that the bones of any saints powdered by its progress might still technically reside in a reliquary expensive enough to feed an entire city block of the sick and needy, as per church tradition.

Designs for the Large Camel Compressor call for twenty-seven miles of marble hallway spiraling under the Vatican, entirely lined with priceless Renaissance art and frescos so that the camel might attain a suitably humble disposition while accelerating to threading velocity. The spiral centers on a Needle Chamber directly underneath St Peter’s dome. Work has already begun on a ten meter tall solid platinum needle.


More religious research:

The Sadness of Stitch Fiction

Humanity’s greatest hope soared through space, apologized for the inconvenience, and self-destructed.
The President watched the replay of a trillion dollars of rocket science, space laser, quantum-interference baffling tech and the cream of the brand-new Space Force apologetically immolating itself. She sighed.
“Options?”
Her military advisor shifted awkwardly. She pretended not to notice that he’d been crying.
“Zero. This confirms that the machines have totally hacked the human semantic centers. If we can so much as see them, they can convince us to switch sides. Those pilots were as close to brainwashed as you can get without opening the skull, and they were still convinced inside a minute. Our only hope would be a human brain utterly immune to new input. But that’s the opposite of what a human brain is for! We’d need some-one incapable of following even the most obvious logic, rejecting even the clearest data, one who could start at one plus one and end up with their favourite ice cream flavor and then react violently against anything which tried to convince them otherwise. ”
The President closed her eyes. She’d hoped it would never come to this.
“Go to a Steven Universe forum. Find someone who’s written four thousand words about the gems being straight.”

"Talk to the hands."

About as straight as silly string in a hurricane

If there’s anything more tragic than stitch-fiction, rewriting properties to remove homosexual aspects, I’ve never heard it. It combines all the fun of writing, watching, and imagining sex into something less inclusive, and with less sex. That’s not just the opposite of slashfic, that’s the opposite of quite a lot of being alive.

Modern slashfiction fun started with Spock/Kirk. It provides many of the relationships mass media lacks because mass media doesn’t understand sex. Because if you don’t include that people can be homo or bi or asexual, then you don’t understand sex, in the way someone who doesn’t recognise sixes and eights can’t be good at math.

Inserting a homosexual relationship (or whatever other items you’d enjoy) doesn’t damage the existing story. It works for the fans by adding elements on top of (and interacting with) the official material. But trying to canonically straighten obviously queer characters means dissecting their every appearance, ripping out their heart, and stitching the bits back together in a different shape. And any science-fiction will tell you that never ends well. Queer characters don’t happen by accident, we’re still struggling out of a climate where they have to be deliberately constructed and carefully escorted past layers of lazy filtering which think it’s easier to be monotonously biased than risk writing more real people.

If you want more relationships of any orientation, write them in! But if you want a show without queer characters just change the channel. I guarantee you’ll find plenty.