Archive for March, 2012

Three of Spades: mp<3

Three of spades saying 'fill their handbag or briefcase with cut out hearts'Note: The whole time I was writing this, I was rapping it in my head in the voice of Devo Spice, or maybe Luke Ski. I guess I can’t really blame them for it, though. A few months later I recorded myself rapping it out loud and also changed one word below and added a stanza and colouring to better represent what happens in the recording.

Are you the kind of person with a song in your heart?
Well, how about a thousand? This is state of the art!
Only Auricle will do, that’s A-U-R-I-C-L-E,
bringing hearts and ears together with the m-p-less-than-three.
With Langendorff technology to keep alive each atrium
and keep the heart cells pumping that potassium and natrium,
Introducing Beat Box, it’s a heart drive full of fun,
a briefcase full of rabbit hearts, a song in every one.

Well, I’m that kind of person, and so when I saw that ad,
I wanted that new Beat Box really really really bad!
but I didn’t have the money and I didn’t have the doe,
so I waited for the copycats to give it a go.
The Tucson Diagnostics artificial heart looked nice,
but how could processed tofu go for such a meaty price?
The chicken hearts were cheap, and beats per minute were comparable,
but animal rights groups said the battery life was terrible.

Well how about this earthworm with its five aortic arches?
It fits straight into the ear and plays imperial death marches.
My hacker friend said he could make a second one for free,
so we pooled our cash to get him one and he made one for me.
At the twenty-somethingth segment he proceeded to hack,
and we waited three long weeks for both the halves to grow back.
I loaded mine with compost and I put it in my ear
heard the music starting up as it climbed into my cochlea.

After that it wouldn’t budge and the controls were disconnected,
and every couple o’ seconds it screamed ‘Copy protected!’
Well I really should have paid to get an Auricle instead,
’cause now my earworm’s in a loop and I’ve a song stuck in my head.
Well I really should have paid to get an Auricle instead,
’cause now my earworm’s in a loop and I’ve a Copy protected! head.
Well I really should have paid to get an Auricle instead,
’cause now my earworm’s Copy protected! I’ve a song stuck in my head.

Well I really should have paid to get an Auricle instead,
Copy protected! earworm’s in a loop and I’ve a song stuck in my head.
Well I really should have paid to get Copy protected! instead,
’cause now my earworm’s in a loop and I’ve a song stuck in my head.
Well I Copy protected! have paid to get an Auricle instead,
’cause now my earworm’s in a loop and I’ve a song Copy protected!
Well I really should have paid to get an Auricle instead,
’cause now my earworm’s Copy protected! I’ve a song stuck in my head.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,


Two of Spades: Trichosis Psychosis

Victor Gomez, Gabriel Ramos Gomez, Luisa Lilia de Lira Aceves and Jesus Manuel Fajardo Aceves (Mexico) are four of a family of 19 that span five generations all suffering from the same rare condition called Congenital Generalized Hypertrichosis, characterized by excessive facial and torso hair.There’s a fashion I’ve seen, or a ‘hair-brained’ psychosis,
To treat hair that is not on the head as trichosis.
The women think men have bizarre expectations
that they shave all their hair and pretend they’re cetaceans.
Then men too naïve to be sure it’s not true,
don’t know women have hair like all land mammals do,
so that both parties hip to the trend may belab’r us
if we dare to reveal that our skin is not glabrous.

Yet even though terminal hair’s ‘androgenic’
that isn’t because it’s exclusive to men; it
occurs in all grownups from here to Kerblayvit,
and by the way, women out there wouldn’t shave it.
The fashion is merely a localised norm
that’s invented and strengthened by those who conform
while the women who leave all their natural hair
have the pleasure of knowing that men do not care.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,


Ace of spades: It’s not a (real) heart

I told you I wouldn’t just be writing this time. Here’s a music video for Jonathan Coulton’s Dissolve, using footage from my unboxing of the level 4 bundle for the album Artificial Heart, which this song is on, and some from JoCo Cruise Crazy and the things I did in Florida before that. I really hope you like it.

Long before I received the package in the mail, I heard that simply opening the box was quite an experience. I carefully avoided reading about what exactly was in the mysterious box, and decided to turn my unboxing into a music video for this song about a mysterious box. As it turned out, a lyric from the song was on the lid of the box. Clearly somebody had to create this video. Maybe somebody else has already done it; I still haven’t watched anyone else’s unboxing videos. If you want to understand what I’m doing, search for level 4 unboxing videos online. Some of them probably include the instructions we’re following.

I eventually received the box just four days before I flew to Florida to visit Universal, Kennedy Space Center, my very first standalone Paul and Storm show, and of course, JoCo Cruise Crazy 2, so I used some footage of those things in the last part of the video. Victory in the warm sun!

If I’d thought about it, I’d have started on the ace of hearts this week instead of the ace of spades. But a spade looks a lot like a heart when upside down, and there were a few other references to hearts on my aces of spades. It’s not a real heart, but it is a real artificial heart.

I filmed this using my new camera, a Canon PowerShot S100, which shoots in full HD and autofocusses while filming. My favourite moment is when I open the box and the camera automatically focusses on the lid of the box, then focusses back on me just as I start smiling. That was quite a lovely fluke. There’s also some nice changes of focus wile the nostalgia device moves around. Everything in this video was shot only once with no rehearsal, while I was opening my level 4 box, or in Florida, or on JoCo Cruise Crazy.  This is new for me; usually I spend far too long getting the footage exactly right. There is a small mistake on the calendar part; I did not do the KSC Close-Up tour two days in a row. I also left in another clip which I think I intended to replace by something else, but if I don’t tell you which it is it’s not bad enough that you’ll notice it.

In case you’re wondering, this video contains 11 ‘dissolve’ transitions, but the transitions that occur when Jonathan sings ‘dissolve’ are actually ‘fade to white’ transitions. Also, the yellow country you can see when he sings ‘here’ of ‘If you need me, I’ll be anywhere but here’ is Jamaica. That’s on a big globe at Geneva airport which I filmed as I was on my way to fly to Orlando.

, , , , , , , , ,


Third Joker: Back in Time

This work is dedicated to a general report of ideas relating to books and documents, and to the considered use of the elements which make up documentation. One should always read the documentation, especially when operating a time machine…


Between March 21 and 27, 1984, theorists, experimentalists, accelerator physicists, and experts in superconducting magnets gathered for a workshop in Lausanne and Geneva. This isn’t TRIUMF, the polite Canadian physics lab where all the best pictures have canoes in them. This is CERN, planning the most powerful particle collider ever built: The Juratron. Leptons and sleptons and quarks and gluinos, positrons, Higgs bosons, muon neutrinos. You might think that we’re just doing science with a hadron collider so large, but it’s more than that. If you pine for the mystery before Noah’s ark, we’ve remade prehistory at Juratron Park. 

Did you miss the CERN Open Day? She who did miss day complains she never knows why her boyfriend… 

At the CERN Open Day

A lad at a fair who was lacking directions, found a booth which was offering temporal projections. 

“I need to relax,” said Bob to the boy behind the counter.

“Come right in.”

And there was Alice, the girl he had had a crush on back in school. The girl who had mocked him and broken his heart.

I gave a note to Isaac meant for you, but Marvin changed my message to a curse.


“I didn’t mean to be mean to you. Here’s what I actually said.” She pulled out an ancient cellphone and read aloud:

I’m really glad to meet ya, you seem just right to me. You’re not like all those other tools, fond only of their wieners. A mental syntonicity one day, a gentle hint of what we two could be lit just enough my life so I could see that trust in love just might bring rhapsody. Come have a char with me, my dear, let’s turn the night to day. Join the few, couple, two.

“Well, it’s too late now. You broke me. I moved away. I finally built up my life again. I have a new girlfriend…” he stopped talking so he wouldn’t cry.

“Did you read the sign in front of this booth? It’s practically a time machine. We can go back. Go back to before Marvin messed up the message, and start again.”

And so they did.


Once upon a time a queen was blessed with twin sons, which she named Nosch and Amiaivel. She skipped from stone to stone across the stream, each stepping stone subsiding with her stride. A few things went wrong in the beginning, when Nosch fell through a time vortex opened up by the time projection chamber of the a detector named ATLAS nearly a century into the future, when the particle collider known as the Juratron suffered a cooling leak (as usual, when Titans weren’t successful in a coup, ‘Twas ATLAS who was made to hold up Heaven.) Not much happened in the middle. This is the story of the happy ending. 

As autumn comes I breathe your sanguine red, and tremble at the falling of each leaf. I lean against the wall of the corridor and close my eyes for a few moments; trying to take it all in, trying not to let the tears out. Just over twelve hours to write something. I am the master of my environment. I find the words…

It was not until my twelfth birthday that I realised the face I saw in the mirror was not mine. Not until my ninety-eighth birthday, when I was given one of those newfangled cellphones and recognised it from my youth, that I realised It was yours. Nosch, my brother, a pseudo-time-travel incarnation of Bob, my lover, trapped in the mirror world. When it’s hard to cope, don’t leave me. I am old. I’m ninety eight years old, and I am dying. You feel my quickening heart. It’s getting far too close to the end. 

Don’t stop breathing; it’s necessary to go on living.

I hear your voice from the mirror, like mine, but not.

Y’a nickel, bismuth, tantale, gallium, osmium, carbone, aluminium, azote, terbium, platine et hafnium, et les états d’américium.


The mirror cracks a little as you strain to tame your mirror speech.

Nitrogen, we breathe and we ignore.

In English? I can breathe, like, air.

“Je respire l’anglais, l’air de rien, mais quand je respire le français, c’est l’eau qui semble m’étouffer.”

The mirror breaks and the air and water on either side of it switch places. Don’t stop breathing…

A cellphone vibrates ineffectually against unfeeling skin.


A flutter of butterflies flies, aflutter in sumptuous skies, dancing between rise and fall forming a quivering rainbow. I look up to the sky in search of you, to sunlight that you hide your soul above.

Here we are. Let’s sing together in our own harmonic; let’s cry out all the words we need to say. When you’re filled with song but you just can’t sing, sing up, you’ve gotta be happy!


Gareth lies still for a minute listening to the music before reluctantly opening his eyes. A fair-haired man enters and plays a flashlight over the room.

“Urrghh,” says Gareth.

“Urrghh? You wake to a choir of angels and all you have to say is ‘Urrghh’?” says the fair-haired man.

“Look, I’m not in the mood for this. One ev’ning I went to the pub for a beer. Two vodka oranges ’cause now I’ve got the blues,’ I said. The first, I landed right-side up. The nextEyeballs are red, water is blue. Why are there poodles? Why can’t I just once, upon a perchloric acid trip of a hangover, wake up in the same Higgsdamn universe I went to bed in? Why is my lazy mucker of a roommate colliding soulmates for a morning concert when there’s a metabetaphysics exam to study for?”

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: