Strange Loops - Blog Archive: December 2006
Strange Loops Journal Archive: December 2006

Blog || Politics || Philosophy || Science || Fiction || Quotes

"Can you do this, little piggy?"
December 06, 2006
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Updated the Funny Signs page.

December 03, 2006
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I just read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five in one sitting, and I'm really glad I did. Visit Slaughterhouse-Five: or Life as a 4D Object for some of my thoughts on the book, expanding on one of the philosophical themes raised throughout (pondering a different sort of time travel).

Impromptu Humor Fiction: The WallNavi
December 02, 2006
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[Based directly on recent real life events]

Take a seat children, and listen up, to the tale of how your grandfather here lost his left thumb in the Great Accident of '06.

You see, back in those days, we didn't have nanotechnology, so rather than asking your WallNavi to construct you a nice meal out of the disassembled junk molecules of recycled matter, you actually went out and collected your food materials naturally.

Do you kids even know that word any more, "naturally"? It means it wasn't made, it was grown, like a plant. Except the plants didn't come from a WallNavi like you're used to either -- I know, I know, weird -- they grew from the ground. You know, naturally. Like that old chair of mine that I like so much, the one that squeaks when you sit in it and is missing a chunk in the back. I keep it rather than getting a new one from the WallNavi because it's the chair your grandmother used to sit in when she read the paper before work each morning. But then, I guess you kids don't remember work either, do you?

Now your old grandpa's getting off track again. As I was saying, back when I was a young man, we didn't have nanotech, so we had to collect our food naturally. And even when you had gotten the food, it didn't come ready to eat, either. You had to cook it. Oh dear, how do I explain this. You had to transform it into an edible substance, kind of like how your WallNavi transforms matter, except it didn't have limitless options. You just transformed it from food that wasn't ready to eat to food that was ready to eat. You "cooked" it.

So anyway, back about 60 years ago, on this very day -- we would've called it December 2nd by the old calendar system -- I was going about cooking some food I had gathered from the store (a building entire minutes away from my house-unit). I set up one of the many gadgets we used for cooking back then, a "grill", and started heating it up. You see, it had to get really hot to transform the food matter into something you could eat.

So the grill got really hot, and I was getting ready to insert the food matter into it, when I noticed the grill device itself was out of place on the counter. So I grabbed the handle and pulled it toward me. Little did I realize that back in those days Interface Engineers weren't around to design everything properly, so the grill was built so that the handle actually heated up along with the inner mechanisms.

Needless to say, the part of my hand making the strongest contact with that handle surface got its matter transformed, just like a piece of food. That's right -- my left thumb got cooked! In a matter of about one second (you see, unlike with your WallNavi, menial things took quite a bit of time back then), the pad of my thumb had been transformed from a bumpy, grabby, fingerprint-inducing digit to a smooth, flat, red surface. And it hurt! We didn't have nano-sized MediBots back then to instantly repair bodily damage. We had to wait hours - sometimes even days - for little things to heal.

Let me tell you, kids, your grandfather learned his lesson that day, the day. From that day on, I tirelessly devoted my life to designing a better grill, and that's where I got the idea for the greatest invention of my career, something found in every household today, something you kids will certainly recognize -- though you may not know it by the name I gave it. You see, fourteen years after this horrifying yet serendipitous accident, I invented a little something called the Super Fantastic All-in-One Internet-Ready George Foreman Matter Transmogrifier Wall Unit. Which you kids know today as the WallNavi.