The Image of Athens

Athens will always be a psychic shock for the traveller. The only place more defined by history is a museum, and to millions of minds Athens will always be an open-air academy of toga-wearers surrounded by marble columns. You know that information is just a little out of date, but the image won’t leav you. Unless you go there.

On first approach it’s the most organic city you’ve ever seen. Much more grown than built .From the air it’s an endless expanse of white houses, growing out along the coast and among the hills, white clusters more like a massive shrubs than small buildings. Between the sun and the sea it’s obviously where humanity was meant to live. So comfortable to live, so easy to grow, so convenient to travel around their own little pet sea, the city could just keep expanding. You get the feeling that people only populated the rest of Europe because Athens realized that they’d have to keep some room to grow grapes, so poor Billyonysus was brought aside and told “Listen, we like you and all, but it’s either you or wine and you’re really not that much fun.” And poor Billy grumbled north to settle somewhere colder.

Unfortunately those Billys would built things even bigger and more powerful than temples to the gods, with even more perceived power to bless and ruin its subjects. They were called banks and economies, and hey would all crash down on Athens harder than the worst of Poseidon’s wrath. Now parts of the city look like they’ve been bombed and then sold the rubble for spraypaint.

The city is stuffed with ruins. Only some of them are ancient. Once-beautiful houses fester like rotting teeth, and gaps in the streets are common where waste ground simply hasn’t been used. It makes you wonder what the wonderful ruins must have looked like shortly after they fell. Instead of awesome testaments to the ancient glory they would have been monuments to recent failure. The empty homes of gods, left in a land abandoned by the bigger forces which claimed to create everything good.

Luckily for Athens it was always the people who really made things work. And they’re still working now, and millions more travel to the tombs of the gods than ever attended upon their living glory.

Fractional Life-Crises

  • Mid-life crisis: the fear that you haven’t done all the things you wanted to in life.
  • Quarter-life crisis: the fear that you have no idea what you want to do in life.
  • Three-quarters life crisis: the certainty that you haven’t done all the things you wanted to in life, which can take the form of wisdom or bitterness.
  • Three-eighths crisis: the urgent inability of the first two above to meet and have a really good talk.
  • Five-eighths crisis: the less urgent but still pretty painful inability of the second two to meet so the third can tell the second it’s nowhere near too late, jesus, while still missing the same lesson themselves.
  • alphalife crisis: a glorious moment of connection with all things that make life possible, but you lack the verbal ability to explain it.
  • incrementlife crisis: the sudden realization of how much time has passed since you said you insisted you were going to get something done.
  • Zeno life crisis: realizing with every increasing frequency that you’re closer to death, even though there will never be a time where you realize you’ve died.
  • One forty-two-decillionth life crisis: the length of time over which we still can’t merge general relativity with quantum mechanics, which is really a huge deal but we have to confess it doesn’t affect your life personally.
  • 1.01 life crisis: The ritual works! Quickly, Igor, activate the defenses before the accursed Guardians of Light undo us all!
  • -1 life crisis: the knowledge that you’ll never achieve as much as your good parallel self because of how much time you must spend each day maintaining this perfect goatee/significantly nakeder version of your regular clothing/both.
  • Pi life crisis: the tendency to become spherical when your obscene dystopian wealth keeps you alive much longer than most people (e.g. Baron Harkonnen)
  • goldenlife crisis: No crisis, everything looks pretty good!
  • i life crisis: The way you still miss Captain Teddybear.

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How Social Justice Warriors Will Ruin Gaming

A “hardo” is a self-described “hardcore gamer”, someone who thinks you can play video games better than someone else in any way other than directly beating them at a game you both play. They think shooting people in Call of Duty makes them superior to someone  playing the Sims or Candy Crush. We need a new term for them because they’re trying to call themselves “gamers”. But everyone who plays games is a gamer. That is what the word gamer means.

Hardos often rail against SJWs. An “SJW” is a “Social Justice Warrior”, which is meant to be a derogatory term for people who care about equality and fighting discrimination, but honestly sounds like an anime knockoff of the A-Team and is therefore awesome.

The suggestion that SJWs are destroying gaming is ludicrous. Every Social Justice Warrior in the world put together to form Social Justice Devastator couldn’t dent the billions of dollars taken by Call of Duty alone. And they wouldn’t even want to – they just want to add a few options so that the series can make even more money. The main effect of SJWs on gaming is making more independent games, which, again, is something you’d think all gamers would like.

What are hardos so afraid of? Behold, as we glimpse their nightmare world of SJW-ruined gaming.

  • Call of Duty: Social Justice Warrior. You’re deployed in a raging warzone to fight against the enemies of equality, but the very first injury puts you out of action and into months of minigames based on healing and physical therapy.
  • The Sims: Assassin’s Creed. You spend months building the a beloved character only for some asshole to come out of nowhere and stab them through the neck because they were bored.
  • Titanfallout. After wrecking a billion-dollar piece of military hardware, you’re court-martialed and dishonourably discharged to scapegoat the commander of the failed mission. You find yourself under attack by endless lawsuits, and the game becomes an unwinnable finance simulator.
  • Mass Effect 3. An RPG gives you the ability to play as any color, gender, or sexuality, despite being heavy on cutscenes, and still makes millions of dollars. Thereby permanently embarrassing every other video game made before and since.
  • Call of Duty: Every Warrior. The ability to choose your skin color makes the game unwinnable, as choosing any non-US nationality causes your AI team-mates to assume you’re the enemy and must be shot in an absolutely guilt-free manner.
  • Call of Duty: Gender Wars. The ability to play as a man, woman, or other gender empties the multiplayer servers, as millions of players are paralyzed by the concept of picturing what it’s like to be someone else.
  • EVEn. A giant space MMORPG where the economy reflects the real cost of war and production. Attacking and taking over another territory tends to destroy most of its ability to generate wealth, leaving the occupier facing endemic structural problems. War is terrifically expensive, and must be supported by productive players, so that the majority of players have to generate the wealth and deal with the fallout of the fighters. Players can run businesses generating the energy and weapons for the militaries, but can be attacked in turn. Note: I would love to see this game.

Games are fun. Read more games and more fun at

Surrender of the Body Havers

The point of a drone is to send a machine somewhere you don’t want to go yourself. Forget spying and military strikes, we’ll soon have drones going to the shops for milk and fetching the TV remote from across the room. Drones watching children perform their school pantomime. Drone buzzing softly as spouse shares their annoyances of the day. Drones with very special attachments providing intimate attention. Eventually the drones take over. Our bodies weren’t snatched, they just stopped bothering to get up in the morning. Those matrix pods filled with pink goo weren’t built by the machines. They’re just what happens when you lie in the same bed with a laptop for ten generations.

Space Marines Do It Better: Xenos

The filthy xenos couldn’t even burn right. Thick smoke choked the chamber, not with the victorious feast-smells of roasting flesh, but a scratching foulness which cut the throat and pained even his implanted multi-lung. Vithar’s fangs bared at the sense-memory: they burned like the Illuminated Ones his pack had ended during the Purge of Scriatia. Blasphemous, many-angled things, worshipped into being through stained-glass windows set in cathedrals of heresy, and blasted back to oblivion by melta fire. His nostrils flared at the same stink of poisoned silica.

His flamer washed over ranks of eggs. He’d boarded the vessel searching for a lost scion of the Belisarius Navigator house. The wayward mutant’s craft had crashed on Levitian Quartus-26, and it seemed his family wanted their errant son recovered despite such blatant proof of his flaws. They had requested that the Vlka Fenryka “extend the courtesy of assistance as part of their honored alliance”. Vithar snorted. Navigators always used too many words. Due to sitting in sealed chambers with no tales of their own to tell, no doubt.

Vithar had been returning to his squad aboard the Fenrisian supply barge, Gnawed Femur. As the only ship in range, it had been diverted to recover the target. Even one Astartes was likely overkill for simple rescue. Low orbit auspex had located a crashed vessel, though interference from particulate storms confounded any further details. His first glance had told him the ship was not Imperial, but the Navigator might have sheltered within. One could never predict the insanity of those who gazed into the warp. He had unclasped his helmet, that his senses could best hunt his prey, and started searching the vessel.

The giant xenos corpse had not surprised him. As far as Vithar was concerned death was the xeno’s natural state, one he was blessed to help them attain. But the wounds were troubling. The thing had died poorly, burst from within. Tyranids. He growled and pressed on.

The only scents remaining in the long-dead vessel drew him deeper into the vessel. A large chamber, still moist, a low fog stirring as he strode into horror. The cavern was infested with ranks of what were quite clearly eggs. Vithar voxed the Femur.

“Large numbers of dormant xenos located. Commencing purge.”

And now they burned. His flamer washed over ranks of the foul incubators, baptizing the xenos with sacred promethium, burning them from the Emperor’s galaxy. Bursting motions turned his head to see things scuttling to escape the flames. He twisted to turn the judgement of fire on them, washing the walls, the roof, the skeletal claws falling, curling, blackening. A clatter directly above, he was pulling the flamer up even as everything went black. Knives of pain stabbed into the sides of his skull. Unutterable horror forced into his mouth, slithering past his tongue, questing to implant. He roared in inchoate fury, the last air driven from his lungs by this unforgivable desecration of the Emperor’s flesh. His teeth slammed shut, a portcullis, and his mouth flooded with pain. The thing on his face convulsed as he tore its weakened grip free, dropping to one knee to punch the horror into the ground. He spat a smoking chunk into the yellowed ruin.

He bent the flamer to the immolate the remains even has his gauntlet sizzled against the grip. His flamer continued to function. His armor was uncompromised, but would require repair and ritual cleaning to soothe its spirit at such insult. Finally he turned his attention to his burning flesh. His Betcher’s gland was gone, ruptured by the acid, and the melted stubs of many teeth would need to be replaced. He could feel his breath whispering through holes in his cheeks and under his jaw. Larraman cells were already hardening inside his mouth, and along the gouges in his vocal cords. Through it all, the flamer burned.

Pathetic. If their idea of defense was bleeding, he would be happy to oblige them.

The Femur’s preparations for departure were almost complete when the Navigator’s retinue arrived. Vithar stared through the armorglass viewing block of the airlock’s inner door. The Navigator was comatose, human eyes closed, third eye hidden under a securely knotted bandana. A bandana with bloodstained holes on either side, as if punctured by knives. An attendant hammered on the glass, screaming through the intercom channel.

“Open the Emperor damn hatch! We have to get him inside! Quarantine won’t help him!”

Vithar’s scarred gauntlet rose to the control panel, punching in the override. The heavy internal doors thunked and ground into the wall. The attendant recoiled from the end of Vithar’s bolt pistol. A voice ground like hate itself.

“Only the Emperor can help him.”

Suffer not the alien to live.

Warhammer the point home with:

Macroscale Quantum Effects Observed in FedEx Couriers


New research reveals that the fundamental length scale of quantum processes, normally billions of times smaller than an atomic nucleus, can be increased to a couple of meters in proximity to FedEx parcels. More if they hire a particularly tall courier. This allows a recipriversexclusive quantum process where the courier’s effects can only be observed when the courier themselves cannot.

Studies began when Professor Athagun, head of Quantum Information Studies at the Max Planck Institute, spent a day at home awaiting the delivery of a desperately-needed (and expensively couriered) experimental component. Despite waiting by the front door for an entire day, he ended with only a failed delivery notice to show for it.

“That courier would have had to exceed local lightspeed to appear and disappear without my seeing him.” said Athagun. “To say nothing of the relativistic dilation required for his claim to have waited fifteen minutes. It was then that I realized FedEx delivery is a non-observable phenomenon.”

Laboratory experiments reveal that in an inversion of both quantum mechanics and the idea of a courier company, the wavefunction of FedEx couriers is prevented from collapsing by observation. They can only take a definite state when there’s definitely no chance of completing their delivery. If you locked a FedEx courier in a sealed box with poison and a radioactive sample, they would still be more likely to deliver your package than they are at present.

Democracy Ends In Response To Players Who Don’t Choose Tick-Tock Clock


The political world was rocked yesterday by the revelation that, when given their own free choice, some Mario Kart 8 online players don’t choose Tick-Tock Clock.

“The great experiment has ended” said the last President of the United States, Barack Obama, speaking from an extraordinary and ultimate session of the G8. “The equal participation of all citizens in their own governance has been the cornerstone of the modern world. We always knew it would involve compromise. We accepted that some people would not feel ready to handle the sharp corners and exciting moving parts, preferring the clean lines of Delfino Airport, or even the sliding hairpins of Donut Plains 3. But when you have people inflicting rubbish like Moo Moo Meadows on each other, we need to face the painful truth that it isn’t working.”

The terminal Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, was overhead saying that he was surprised that they’d lasted this long, and that he felt sorry for whatever took over the hames he’d leave behind. Journalists report that President of Russia Vladimir Putin said not a word, and sat in silence, only smiling. After thinking about that for a moment, the journalists refused to give us their names, tore off their recording equipment and started running into the distance.

More Mario Kart with Total Psychopath Holding On To Red Shells In Eleventh Place

Atheists As Annoying As Religious, Thanks To Paramilitary Coup

The increasing whine that atheists are just as annoying as the religious finally became true last night, when a global network of armed atheists mounted coups on world governments to institute a sweeping series of deeply restrictive sexist reforms.

“Sure they’re just as bad as each other, now” said Dublin man Gerry Donovan, just after militant atheists pressured several parliaments into instituting laws radically restricting a woman’s right to medical treatment. Further atheist-motivated legislation will forbid the marriage of anyone who plays single-sex football.

“We’re not really annoying as many people as the religious here”, said atheist spokesperson Judy Shuss, “Far fewer than ten percent of all the people alive play football. But it is just a choice, and they can decide not to play around with other people of the same gender if they want to be treated like full human beings.”

Last night also saw the creation of a global atheist multinational which would exhibit shocking sexism towards all employees and refuse to pay tax. At first people didn’t see what made that so special, until it was explained that the new organization wouldn’t even pretend about either of those things. And their single advertising strategy is threatening random strangers with being burned alive.

The atheist establishment has already used its political capital to force a new educational curriculum in the west of the United States of America. Several states must now teach that the USA was first settled in 1807 as a prank by King George IV on Prime Minister of Britain Lord Liverpool, and that all recorded and physical evidence to the contrary was planted by royal decree as part of the joke, to test peoples’ faith in the English Crown.

The most striking result of the coup was the creation of a new independent state in Central London. “We’re calling it the VAT-free-ican” said Judy. “We’re planning to raise money by preaching about the sick and needy, then spend it all filling the place with treasure. Just absolutely stuffing our own little luxury land with ultrapalatial grandeur made entirely of masterpieces. Then we’ll just wait until people start thinking that’s normal.”

“We’re flattered to be described as equals of the old, extremely old, we’re talking tribal-days-hangover establishment, but we know we’ll never truly be their equals. I mean, we couldn’t bring ourselves to engage in covering up decades of child sexual abuse. Can you imagine a company doing that and not being destroyed?”

In an attempt to reach true annoyance parity by other means, atheist scientists are now working on a time machine. They expect to be able to go back in time to provide imaginary justification for countless pointless slaughters within a relative week.

More religious things we wish were more satirical

Dumber Than …

  • A sack of hammers
  • A choir of rocks
  • Harpo Marx trying to get through airport security
  • Groot forgetting his own name
  • A sack of hammers in space
  • Double-sided-sound-cancelling headphones
  • An Easter Island statue’s hat review
  • Australian government policy on solar power
  • A sack of six nonillion hammers which passes the Chandrasekhar limit, collapsing into a black hole from which not even light and especially not sound can escape.
  • Anyone who believes sexism or racism is over.

Freelance Temporal Control

A friend was visiting from Saturday to Monday, so I used the amazing power of freelancing to declare Monday an honorary member of the weekend. Truly freelancing makes all our dreams come true! There was another day of Race for the Galaxy, beer, pizza, a couple of hours of Horus Heresy, (which experts will recognize as “just enough time to unpack, set up, then carefully repack Horus Heresy”), and much rejoicing.

Then it was Tuesday. But it was the first day back at work after a weekend, so it was effectively Monday. And I still had to do all the work from the real Monday. Fool that I was! My blatant abuse of power, my reckless tampering with the timestream had created a Double-Monday. And lo, I have suffered the worst karmic petard-hoisting in history.