Writing

Searches at the Spaceport

At the end of every space mission the astronauts are debriefed. If they are clear of any space fungus their pants are then returned to them.
Referring to the invasive space fungus as “space mushrooms” is completely inaccurate. A sentient fungus which loves pants is no mushroom.

I was promised a moon colony, a Mars colony, and a one world government.
And instead of this, every time I reenter Earth’s jurisdiction, even after only leaving for a day or two, I have to surrender my pants.

It is sad that this is the only thing the governments of Earth cooperate on. The continual harassment of those who explore space.
I tell you, it makes the space fungus seem reasonable. For what have they ever done to us? Other than seek warmth?

 

Podcast episode 2: Robot Pancakes with Gustav Hasford

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This second episode of the David Raffin podcast is both delightful and delicious. It’s about pancakes and war. And it has robots in it. And Stanley Kubrick. Yes, all that in a 10 minute package. For free. Almost like it was made by a robot. For robots.

And it was.

Hasford.jpg

“Hasford” by Unknown – en:Image:Hasford.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

This episode also offers a story about Gustav Hasford, author of the novel The Short-Timers, which became the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket.

If you want to know more about Gustav Hasford, you can track down some of his books. Perhaps visit
http://gustavhasford.blogspot.com

Which is maintained in his memory.

“The praise I seek from my readers is that they finish my books. After being alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content to trade fame for accuracy of interpretation. Fame, for a writer, is like being a dancing bear with a little hat on your head.”
– Gustav Hasford

Somewhere I have photocopies of his work as a young college student, copied from yellowing newsprint.

 

 

Circles

Richard F. Yates, engineer of the nightmare express.

The test says “Do not spend too much time on any one question. If you do not know the answer, guess. Guessing will not be held against you.”

How can they say guessing will not be held against you? It makes no sense.

The questions are multiple choice. If you guess you have a one-in-four chance of choosing the right answer and a three-in-four chance of choosing the wrong answer.

If you choose the wrong answer that will be held against you. Therefore, should you guess, there is a three-in-four chance guessing will be held against you.

The statement is misleading. They mean: should you guess right– only in this case will guessing not be held against you. They won’t say “You guessed right on question four. Zero credit.” They mean they can’t read your mind– should you guess right.

If you guess wrong it will be the same as if you marked the wrong answer through careful deliberation.

Those odds, one-in-four, three-in-four, may change depending on whether or not any of the answer choices are obvious.

I spend one-fourth of my time on the timed test filling in the circles on the answer sheet. The pencil lead– graphite, really– filling in the small circles. Completely. No lines outside the circle. No empty white space inside the circle. Care in a task which does not affect the outcome in any meaningful way. That is my foible.

The larger problem of the bizarre statement of fact that is not a fact, and is not even logical, is an example of the sort of thing I observe constantly and how I think about it. It’s the reason I think human society is absurd.

 

Podcast Episode 1: Tesla’s Wings

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This is episode 1 of the new podcast. It includes the story Tesla’s Wings and a discussion of US currency.

Tesla’s Wings is a story from my new book, Tragic Stories Disguised as Jokes.