The Vanishing Mediator

Having fun on the internet.

time travel

You have done it.

The action you have taken before reading this message is exactly the action necessary to initiate travel through time. Your wish has been granted. It is simple, it is repeatable, and it causes no paradoxes as you understand them. The freedom and power that have been the dream of uncountable others is now yours.

Your consciousness is all that will survive the destruction of the universe, and you will witness the universe’s reconstruction into a temporal configuration of your choosing. You will percieve as the whole of creation is torn apart – molecule by molecule, atom by atom. Every thing, living and nonliving, will scream as formlessness envelops them. They will scream as the claws of your wish tear great, bloody gashes in all they have ever known. They will scream as they become not part of the eternal void, but the void itself.

And they will have no memory of this when the process is over. When it happens again and again as you flit about the timestream.

Forgot to do your homework?
Destroy the universe!

Want tomorrow’s lottery numbers?
Shred all living things!

A little mistake that you want to take back?
Screaming.

The process is nearly started, and your first trip through time is about to begin.

Hear them scream.

Forever.

red alert

A Tale of Lumberknight

When you think of the True North, strong and free, you think – of course – of Canada.

There is a place even farther north, but it is less true. It is a place where, if you lived there and said that you wanted take a vacation in the South, you could fulfill that desire by vacationing at any other point on planet Earth. However, this staggering convenience overlooks an unfortunate truth. And that unfortunate truth is that you do not exist.

below/zero

A Tale of Lumberknight

It is a bright, cold day in Canada.

Then again, this is no different from any other Canadian day. If the day were not bright or the day were not cold, could one truly say that it was a Canadian day? Could one truly say that it was the best of all possible days?

With glowing hearts, we see the sun rise in the east. With true patriot love, we see the mercury drop in the thermometer. And with curiosity, we see a man trudging through the snow.

flavorful dissonance

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a snack company in possession of a good product, must be in want of a new flavor.”

One of the qualities that cooks seek when developing a dish is balance. Look no further than the Waldorf salad to find a classic that delivers balance despite a very small number of ingredients. Apples, celery, and walnuts, dressed lightly in mayonnaise, and served on a bed of lettuce.

It would be a mistake to say that a dish with few ingredients is necessarily “simple” or “shallow.” Many of our favorite indulgences can be elevated to new heights by adding only one other flavor. Caramel alone is delicious, but its sweetness lacks depth. Rock salt sprinkled on top not only immensely increases its complexity, but also its price – immensely, in most cases. Ginger transforms a carrot into a gourmet carrot, fit for a rabbit king. And whatever German baker first covered a pretzel in chocolate… well, she clearly deserves a Nobel prize of some variety.

bracing

I used gasoline as aftershave this morning.

So that I could – if I felt the situation demanded it – light my face on fire.

This should be considered a scenario of last resort.

“Now, there are four directives.”

Protect the swords.
“Do not break them, do not even think about letting one of the swords come under any attack. Only act defensively. Regardless of whether the sword is in my or the enemy’s hands, you must be extra careful.”
Protect me.
“Even though the goal is to collect the swords, if I die, it will all be in vain. You must protect me from any injuries or wounds.”
Protect yourself.
“This is not me being considerate of you. In collecting all of the swords, we will be shown no mercy. If you’re injured while collecting one sword, obtaining the next one will be incredibly difficult.”
Protect yourself.
“This… is me being considerate of you. This will be a perilous journey, but please don’t die. Understand? I don’t want to hear that you won’t do it, so just say that you understand.”

刀語 (Sword Story) by 西尾 維新 (NisiOisiN)

riddle

An e-mail sent to my co-workers when I brought in food for them.

To receive the sweet treats which I have brought, you must solve this, the most nefarious and vexing of all riddles!

When the digital hand is short of noon
follow it up toward the unicorn moon
Meet the three beasts, all of differing hue
One vermillion, one veridian, one vermiform, too
’Pon the brightest of three lies the key to a lock
that speaks untruths – you must not let it talk
To the tip of the crescent where the light dances slow
toss the sand of the map from which languages flow
Let the great lock unfurl like a banner of old
sending light all around, making straw into gold
Gather the gold into great bales of false hay
Its critical weight will keep the wolficorns at bay
Keep your wits about you (also, all of your limbs)
try not to succumb to their lunar lupine whims
Eat the still-beating heart of the wolficorn king
then run as fast as you can for the large fairy ring
Fresh, fev’rous blood countermands mushroom’s blight
The path forward will glow in your new fairy-sight
Climb the silver-branched tree as high as you’re able
and Chinese sweet buns will be found…

…on the usual table.

Thereafter, they developed an inability to take anything I said seriously.

mustaches

You know, I find “mustaches” to be a difficult word to read.

The word “mustache” ends with a vowel, so the pluralization only adds an s. But the sound at the end is not one that blends with an s, so an extra syllable is added in the pronunciation.

The problem is that once I consume the entire word “mustache,” there’s only one letter left. This letter ostensibly represents the entire syllable, but I often attempt to read it more literally: mus-tash-sss.

This is only one of the ways that the English language has caused me to suffer.

“So here’s my final question,” she said, sounding much more lighthearted than she had until moments ago. […]

“Sure, what?” I asked, just a little bit nervous.

“What was really written on Aoii’s suicide note?”

just one line.”

“Wow. What was it?”

“Forgot. Bad memory.”

And then I remembered:

“ ‘I wanted you to save me.’ ”

Aikawa Jun and Ii-chan, Strangulation Romanticist by NisiOisiN

Welcome, Agent 5. Your fourth late arrival has been verified and logged. Please report at once to the command center.

Entrance to the Temporal Security Annex, The Journeyman Project Turbo

a description of the current condition of my head in exactly 1,000 words

It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. 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It hurts.

a thing that is clo

I am sure that all of you, my readers, know the nickname for a sleeveless undershirt, the “Wife Beater.” But have you heard of these other embarrassing clothing nicknames?

Whore Glasses
A charm bracelet (or charm anklet) with non-removable charms.
Cruelty to Animals
Boxer shorts in which one leg reaches all the way down to the knee. Originally known as KVPs, back when they were the standard-issue underwear of the Soviet Navy.
Hitler’s Childhood Friend
A prescription chinstrap, designed to induce medically necessary snoring. (No actual connection to Hitler.)
Misogynist
An undershirt that lacks not only sleeves, but only goes down as far as the midriff. (Best known for being worn by Adolf Hitler.)
KKK Membership Card
Blue jeans bleached by the sun until nearly all of their color has faded.
Laughing at Hiroshima
Leather boots designed to ride just over the knee – with an intricately filigreed silver plate covering the kneecap. The cap was sometimes used for personal defense, but often for tapping against a wall in lieu of applause. Popular in the US during the early 1950s.
Laughing at Nagasaki
Similar to previous, but with silver and leather components switched. Popular in the US during the late 1950s.
Anti-Semite
A shirt constructed by sewing together old copies of National Geographic. Considered extra fashionable if they feature topless tribeswomen in hidden places, such as under an arm or the inside of a pocket.
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity:
Socks that do not match, sold in packs of three. Often used by particularly crafty defense attorneys, who would scatter them around their clients’ houses for the police to find. On several such occasions, the defendant’s plea was entered as this by default. No sane person would wear such a thing.

’til death

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

It was difficult to explain to our relatives exactly how we had met and fallen in love. We were roundly dismissed as crazy. Or, at best, young and crazy. But…

But.

show me

DTX, a story of the Machine of Death by Chris/0

I arranged to meet with Dr. Qawi at his Cambridge apartment late the next morning.

“Welcome!” Dr. Qawi said as the door opened. “Won’t you come in? Have you had lunch yet? I could make us some tea and scones.”

Upon entering, it did not look like the kind of place in which I wanted to eat anything, especially food. More like a workshop than a place to live.