Archive | March, 2010

Some Poems About Things

25 Mar

This Poem Is Not Factually Accurate

If I were e.coli,
I hope you’d be my friend,
If I were e.coli,
Would you stay until the end?
I would use up all the glucose
I could possibly collect
If I were e.coli,
I hope we would’ve met.

If you were e.coli,
I’d stand by you for sure,
If you were e.coli,
Life would never be a bore,
I’d incubate you, keep you warm,
You’d flourish and you’d grow,
If you were e.coli,
I’d never let you go.

If we were e.coli,
There would be no war,
If we were e.coli,
Peace would reign once more,
We’d seek out glucose, share it ’round,
And have a gay old time,
If we were e.coli,
Living would be fine.

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I Love You, NMR

Here is a poem about NMR,
Thanks to its use, we have come very far.
By interpreting spin, and what shifts peaks are in,
It’s easy to work out what molecules are.

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Filled with Rage

21 Mar

I found this and I wanted to cry. What is wrong with the world today?

I know what you’re all thinking…

What? I thought that song was composed by the marketing guys from Target…they got some old dudes who were mostly involved with janitorial work to record it before they managed to convince the JoBros to do a PROPER version. And now some loon is claiming THE BEATLES wrote it….?

Mind. Blown.

Please excuse me, I want to hit something.

Back to Reality

17 Mar

I guess I should apologise. My posts of late have been….interesting…. but not in the traditional sense of the word.

So here’s something more my style of odd. I re-discovered this picture today after an English workshop, and I thought I might post it. I’m thinking of actually writing the story that this picture represents, but I’d like to know what people make of it before I start posting snippets.

And so it begins…?

Since for a while and to Mr Adams

14 Mar

I have 42 emails.

I love you, Douglas.

Since for a while and make them fly

14 Mar

No drugs.

DON’T DO DRUGS. DRUGS ARE BAD.

I dapple in short form.

I am ferociously bored.

Since for a while a moment to when

14 Mar

Orbitals are spiraling
Into the mauve of my breakfast
And the white noise is killing
Any chance of sharpening the yellow

Who looks at me?
A quadruped with eyes like rewind
And thumping Swedish families
Sing, grateful for their lives

An empty cup
Sprinkles on an album
Sugar and colour
My silken pants are crinkled, alas

To nowhere
To everything
To missing
To tetrising

A lonely droplet of orange pearlescense and a flowing paper meadow.

Pretense. Death. Poem.

Since for a while later tomorrow

12 Mar

Que?

But I haven’t posted in a while.

No, you can drive it.

Sorry?

Sorry.

You’re here for what?

Get your own boat.

Who?

No, YOU’RE random.

Kaythxbai.

…Aaand it’s finished.

10 Mar

Of Mail and Heroism

There was a crunching noise, and he swore loudly. As he pulled the steering wheel violently to the left, he felt his world tip upside-down. He tumbled once, only vaguely aware of the huge sound around him. Everything was grey like the upholstery, then black like the dashboard, then red like whatever it was that was running from his forehead, then blue as a window flashed into view. It was a gorgeous day, he thought, before realising how utterly ridiculous it was to contemplate the weather whilst inside a rolling vehicle. What should he be thinking about? Shouldn’t his life be flashing before his eyes by now? He was particularly looking forward to seeing himself as a twenty year-old again, back when he had hair.

His mind hadn’t wandered this much since his last staff meeting.

Shouldn’t he be at least mildly aware of the pain in his head and the sound of glass tinkling to the ground? He became aware of the gentle chirping of birds, then he noticed the absence of the sound of metal being wrenched and pulled. The car had stopped.

“Any crash you can walk away from…” he whispered to himself as he pulled his rather rotund body from the car. This involved exiting through the back window, which was pointing uncomfortably towards the sky. The rest of the car was buried completely in a mound of earth, so his car resembled the top of a vegetable protruding from a garden bed. He held his hand to his forehead, identifying the stickiness as a drying cut. He turned from the car and looked at his surroundings. Because he was expecting to see the familiar country road between his house and the township where he worked, he was understandably confused to see a small forest of tall, slim trunks topped with broad, flat leaves. That forest had never been there before, or perhaps he’d just never noticed it. Yes, that was it. It had always been there, of course. He was always so tired when he drove along that road, whether he had just woken up and was heading into town for work, or he had finished work and was heading home for a nap, that he had just never taken it in.

Regaining his senses, the man reached into his pocket for his mobile phone for the purpose of calling his wife or a taxi, and found instead a small, flat stone. He was confused, but only for a second. His phone must have slipped out of his jacket while the car was rolling, and the stone must have slipped in as he pulled himself out of the hole his car was currently resting in.

He turned back to his car with the idea of climbing back into the wreck and locating his phone in the forefront of his mind. His car was gone, which was more than a little bit unusual. In its place was a carrot the size of an SUV. At least, Mr Pennant-Cord assumed it was a carrot, because the root of the vegetable was buried in the hillock that had once housed his car. Convinced that he was suffering from concussion, he asked a nearby post-box to quiz him, to check for signs of amnesia

“Your name?”

“Melville Pennant-Cord.”

“What year is it?”

“1998, I believe. March, isn’t it?”

“Yes, the frosts are early this year, aren’t they?”

“Golly, yes. Just the other day, my wife and I went for a stroll after breakfast and she tripped on a heel and fell into a snowdrift! Imagine, snowdrifts in March!”

“It really is unusual. Global warming, I suppose.”

“That’s what they’re saying.”

Mr Pennant-Cord finished his conversation with the post-box none the wiser as to whether he was concussed.

* * *

It was later on that day that Mr Pennant-Cord came to the realisation that he was no longer in ‘Kansas’, so to speak. He had, in fact, never been to Kansas, so he could actually be there now and not know it. As that thought entered his mind, he tried to recall various titbits of information he had been told about Kansas. No one ever mentioned that Kansas consisted of condominiums shaped like oversized mushrooms, or that the Kansas Postal Service employed talking post-boxes, at least four of whom he had met as he wandered down a lane paved with curiously sponge-like stones. From this, he deduced that he was neither in Kansas nor his own township, the post-boxes in which never said a word.

“Do you have a clue where you’re goin’, guv?” A vaguely cockney, vibrantly red mail-postage-facilitator asked Mr Pennant-Cord as he passed by. It was nearing the evening by this stage, and the sun was setting and throwing an orange glow across the plush road and seemingly empty mushroom-houses.

“I’m quite ashamed to say that I haven’t a clue where I am, where I’m going, or where I’ve been, for that matter.” Mr Pennant-Cord said, panting only slightly as a result of his lengthy trek.

“Well, where are you usually at?” The post-box enquired politely.

“I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by ‘at’.” The round, bald, sweating man collapsed onto his broad bottom, surprised by how comfortable the spongy paving-stones were.

“When you’re not here,” The post-box gestured widely with a long, arm-like appendage unusual for a post-box to possess. “Where are you?”

Mr Pennant-Cord pulled a small box of mints from his jacket pocket and popped three into his mouth.

“You mean to ask me where my home is.”

“Yeah, your normal place of residence.”

Mr Pennant-Cord sighed a long, world-weary, lonely sigh.

“The pleasant and respectable shire of Brookdown. Have you heard of it?”

The post-box shrugged and scratched an eyebrow. Mr Pennant-Cord bristled.

“Please keep your armlike appendage away from my eyebrows.”

“You just seem very tense, is all, guv.”

Mr Pennant-Cord sighed once more, and began to explain that he was, in fact, quite tense. This was due to the fact that he usually spent Thursday evenings at home with his wife in front of the local news with a snifter of brandy and a pair of delightfully cozy slippers, and so found it unusual to be thrown into a strange and befuddling world in which inanimate objects caressed his eyebrows and cars turned into vegetables.

“I don’t believe my insurance covers that.” He said, shaking his head sadly.

“But you know what they say…any crash you can walk away from…”

And Melville Pennant-Cord knew that the post-box was right. He was very lucky to have escaped the crash with his life, and if the cost of his survival was to make a new life for himself in this spongy mushroom land, so be it.

* * *

Mr Pennant-Cord was shown to a charming little mushroom house at the end of a cobbled lane, nestled in the crook of a creek and overlooking miles of moss. Inside, he found it startlingly reminiscent of his own cottage. There were floral patterns on the sofas, slightly faded lace curtains, and a strong smell of his wife’s hairdye (shade #45; Glowing Sunset Honeycomb). It seemed a perfectly respectable place to spend the rest of his days, despite the fact that the carpet seemed to be breathing. The floor would swell slightly in the centre of the living room, then gently flatten out again with a soft sighing sound.

Mr Pennant-Cord thanked his new post-box companion for the house.

“It’s not a worry. The market’s been cavin’ in since they arrived. Can’t even give these places away.”

The post-box looked nervous. Mr Pennant-Cord didn’t think post-boxes were capable of expressing unease, but the post-box before him looked far from at ease.

“Who are they…?”

They come at night. When the darkness hides their faces. When the children sleep. They come in armies, in swarms. They come with one thing in mind, and only leave once they are satisfied. They come for blood. They come with blades and arrows and teeth and claws and venom and malice. They have no mercy. Not for the sick. Not for the old. Not for the young. They do not discriminate. They take babies from mothers’ breasts, and grandmothers from deathbeds. They come, they tear, they shred and rip, they spill, they ignore the screams and the pain, they feast on flesh and marrow, and then, as the sun rises, they melt away like the cries of the dead.

“Ah. That would lower estate value, yes.”

* * *

The last of the light slipped behind the sweeping mountains that framed the horizon. The emerald green fields looked blue in the darkness, and the wind rushing across them gave them the texture of an ocean. Cheerful buds of light began to appear all along the streets of the mushroom village. They fluttered about, all colours of the rainbow. They clustered on flowering shrubs, and were chased by wide-eyed and slightly phosphorescent possums. Mr Pennant-Cord had been strolling in the cool evening air, and had not seen a single person.

“I find it remarkable,” he said to himself, “that not a soul is wandering these delightful streets and taking in these marvellous sights.”

Not a soul? No, no souls. Souls are something we lack. Delicious souls. Intangible, beautiful souls. Oh, how we hunger. Oh, how we yearn for souls.

And the lights went out.

Mr Pennant-Cord was suddenly hot and sweating. Moisture dripped down his pale forehead.

The smell of a soul! A dripping, sugary soul! Gather, brethren! Smell this soul! It is rich and crumbly and matured to perfection! This is the soul we need, brothers. Breathe it in. We must devour.

We must devour!

Mr Pennant-Cord felt as though he was on fire. The heat closed in around him, the burning started to eat through his tweed jacket. The round man did not notice his vision fading. Everything was already black and empty. It made no difference that the new darkness was inside his head. As invisible fire licked his skin, he let out a cry and fell.

* * *

Rather strangely, he fell into a comfortably furnished and gently lit room. The walls were made of soil, and tiny glittering lights were suspended from wiry tree roots that peeked through the ceiling. His vision was restored, and the burning was extinguished.

“You will soon learn, young man, that fools who stray above ground after dark don’t live to watch the sunrise.”

Mr Pennant-Cord looked for the source of the reprimand, and was astounded to find the speaker was not a post-box. Sitting in a pristine, marigold-coloured armchair was a man who looked no younger than a hundred and two. His face matched the ceiling; brown and gnarled, and dotted with white, hairy protrusions that resembled mushrooms. In this old man’s left hand was a knobbly stick, and in his right, a long string that hung from the ceiling. The string was tied to a metal latch that appeared to hold a trapdoor shut. It was through this trapdoor that Mr Pennant-Cord suspected he had made his less than graceful entry into the quaint room.

“I am sorry,” he said, meeting the old man’s little, watery eyes. “I meant no harm. I was simply taking an evening stroll…”

The old man laughed. It sounded like trees creaking and leaves rustling.
“You meant us no harm? A marshmallow like you means us no harm. I am so very relieved!”

And the wheezing laugh continued.

“I beg your pardon, sir. While I am grateful that you saved me from the heat above ground, I find your manner entirely uncivil.” Mr Pennant-Cord sniffed, and drew a handkerchief from his jacket pocket. He dabbed lightly at his sweaty forehead until the old man saw fit to stop his laughter.

“Very well. What would you do in order to convey a civil manner?” The old man smiled wryly and tapped his knobbly stick on his knee.

“If I were you, I would introduce myself and explain why I lived underground.” Mr Pennant-Cord noticed a pitcher of water on a small table near one of the earthy walls, and added, “I might also offer my guest refreshments.”

With a slight roll of his eyes, the old man tapped his knobbly stick against the pitcher. “Help yourself. My name is Heru Wyrm. I am living underground because I feel it is preferable to dying above ground. Civil enough for you, you pasty idiot?”

“Quite, thank you.” Mr Pennant-Cord said over his glass of water. “I am Melville Pennant-Cord, and could I ask you to elaborate on your reasons for living underground?”

Heru Wyrm stood up with surprisingly little difficulty for a man of his age. His knobbly stick seemed to be for hitting things, rather than for leaning on.

“Follow.”

Heru Wyrm shuffled from the cozy room into a dim and narrow corridor. Mr Pennant-Cord had to bend quite low to follow, and the tree roots tickled the top of his head. After several minutes of shuffling, the pair emerged into a cavern much larger than Heru Wyrm’s little room. Mr Pennant-Cord gasped as his eyes adjusted to the light. The cavern was filled with people. Unlike Heru Wyrm with his skin the colour of soil, the inhabitants of this room were almost translucent. They were like glass. Empty glass bottles. Fragile and sickly. They sat in little groups, no more than four or five together. They did not speak, or even look up as Heru Wyrm and Mr Pennant-Cord entered.
“These were my villagers.” Heru Wyrm said in his creaky tree voice. “They were prosperous and happy. Then the raiders arrived and forced the survivors to move down here. That was eight hundred years ago now.”

Mr Pennant-Cord’s eyes widened as he spotted a group of glass children crouching in a corner. He suspected that the only reason they weren’t crying was that they’d forgotten how.

“What do the raiders want? Why do they come?” He asked Heru Wyrm.

“They whisper their desires. Flesh, blood, bone, dripping gore. But it is said that they want a soul most of all.”

“I thought they ate people quite regularly. How is it that they have not yet found a soul?”

Heru Wyrm shook his head and gave Mr Pennant-Cord a sad smile.
“Do these folk look like they have souls? They’re as empty as your pudgy brain. None of us have ever had souls. It’s a regional thing, I suspect. Like having an accent.”

Mr Pennant-Cord nodded, and continued to watch the glass people sit and stare at the floor. Something stirred in his heart. He imagined Mrs Pennant-Cord sitting at home with her knitting, every now and then checking the clock. She was probably wondering where he was. But she was warm and not made of glass. She lived in a pleasant township where people rarely worried about having limbs torn off and souls slurped up like slightly overdone spaghetti. She would be fine.

“Might I ask how one would go about getting back out of this system of caves?”

Heru Wyrm pointed back into the tunnel they had come through.

“The trapdoor opens both ways.” he said. Mr Pennant-Cord nodded once more and turned to head back to Heru Wyrm’s room.

“Hold up!” Heru Wyrm called after him. “It’s still dark out! The raiders’ll be waiting for you.”

Mr Pennant-Cord brushed some tunnel fungus from the sleeve of his jacket.

“My car is a carrot and my wife is not made of glass. I am informed every Sunday that the people in my region have souls. Thank you for the glass of water, Heru Wyrm.”

With that, Mr Pennant-Cord shuffled back along the tunnel and into the pleasant room. He dragged a little table across to the spot underneath the trapdoor, then pulled the string tied to the lock. The door swung open. Mr Pennant-Cord stepped onto the table, hoisted his rotund body back onto the spongy street, and gently shut the trapdoor behind him.

He was promptly devoured by searing invisible flames. Bones, flesh, and soul.

* * *

The raiders left and never returned. Heru Wyrm led his glass villagers back into the sunlight and they sparkled and began to fill up.

The post-boxes were thrilled, and started to sort through eight hundred years of undelivered mail.

The carrot that had once been a car continued to grow, and soon its roots filled the caverns below the city.

Everything was fine.

Kill the Zombies

7 Mar

…by shooting them in the head.

The Escapium Escapes!

7 Mar

Oh I get it! It’s a joke, because the Escapium gets away from the shop guy…

The Humans vs Zombies Summer 2010 Game has just wrapped up. It was a million times better than last game, mostly for the introduction of Escapium. It’s amazing what people would do for Escapium.

I ran, I jumped, and I killed a grand total of NO humans. Sigh.

Here are some things I have learned:

  • The new Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, is interesting. It doesn’t take itself as seriously as Demon Days, I think, and it has some awesome tracks. I don’t think it’s an example of an album that’s better as a whole; it has good tracks, it has less good tracks, it doesn’t feel complete. But hey, it’s freaking Damon Albarn. It’s fantastic.
  • I have stubborn friends. I refer you to the human who was sieged in a computer lab for 10 hours. I think it’s brilliant.
  • SSSM is actually the best course ever. Who knew symmetry could be so hilarious?
  • The RSC library is actually located in the 50s. To get there, you have to pass through a rift in space-time. When you arrive, everything is silent and smells like physics crying. To check books out, you handwrite little loans cards. The photocopiers seem so out of place. Even the Macs are ancient white bubbles. Pretty sure they had Macs in the 50s. And if the librarian dressed in gypsy attire, she’d be Professor Trelawny.
  • I’d really rather not be doing school work right now.

Shiny green wonders,
Hidden from sight by fairies,
Escapium Love.