Extraterrestrial spaghetti found?

Years ago I made a parody page of SETI@Home called SpaghETI@Home that gave details of a search for extraterrestrial spaghetti.

This morning I read an article that astrophysicists have discovered what could be the strongest material in the universe, a material known as nuclear pasta.

And from which familiar edible substance do we earthlings often concoct from pasta? Spaghetti, of course.

Extraterrestrial spaghetti, to be exact.

Let the screaming begin.

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A freewriting experiment.

I’m going to try something different with this post. Instead of agonizing over what to write about, I’m just going to type away and stop only when I’ve reached the 500-word limit. Well, WordPress doesn’t have a limit on the number of words in a post, but 500 words should be enough for a few minutes’ worth of reading anyway.

I still don’t know what to write about but already I’m on the second paragraph, so things seem to be going according to plan. I could write about my job but I really don’t want to turn this blog into a diary. Rather, I want my blog to serve as a digest of my literary creations, be it a poem or a short story. Not do I want to express any political opinions, although I certainly have strong feelings about the state of things in Washington right now, but I won’t go there either. Again, the strong emphasis is on my poetry, stories and miscellaneous thoughts.

Wow, this is going better than I thought. Already on the third paragraph and the words just keep flowing. I could write about the weather or my plans for the day but for now I want to cast all those boring thoughts aside and just write as fast as my fingers can type. The funny thing is, that when I started this post, I had no idea what I was going to write about but a few minutes later the post is filling up nicely.

When I was in high school, I took creative writing as an elective course as I thought I’d have some fun with it. I’ve always enjoyed writing as a way of expressing my thoughts and to let out some steam at the same time. One of the things I learned in class was freewriting in which I just pick up my pen and write whatever comes to mind, and along the way, ideas start popping up and my case of writer’s block is instantly solved.

Lately I’ve been short on ideas for what to write about in this blog so it was time for me to do a freewriting experiment to keep things going. I just renewed my domain for another year and if I am to get my money’s worth I need to keep it updated with fresh stories and thoughts. There will certainly be more of that along the way.

Or perhaps I could go through the 17 saved drafts I have and see what I can do to finish those and get those posted for the world to see. Too often I feel I’m too busy to just sit down and write for a few minutes, let alone work on those drafts to completion. There;s been too much on my mind lately with work and money matters, but I cling to the hope that I could possibly utilize my writing talents to ease my financial woes a bit.

And I still have those unfinished novels I’d like to get published someday and get my name up there with the literary greats. I need only the time to work on them and get them submitted.

Well, I’ve exceeded the 500 word limit and looking back, I think I have another fine post for the world to read. There were times when I paused to ponder my next sentence but other than that the words came out virtually nonstop.

This concludes my freewriting experiment. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Sort your music folders.

I noticed with some interest, if not a slight annoyance, that the MP3 player in my car lists the music folders not in alphabetical order, but in the order which they were copied. To make matters worse, this list is further scrambled by my frequently removing and copying new folders as my music tastes change. This led me to wonder if there’s a quick way to sort them without copying them to a temporary folder and then back again. It turns out there is. The free DriveSort utility got everything sorted in seconds, allowing me to find my favorite music with relative ease. So there.

My favorite albums on Jamendo.

Jamendo is a music site where you can find free music from independent artists all over the world.  I’m still new there but I’ve visited it enough times to find some music I truly enjoy. Here are some of my favorite albums I’ve discovered, in no particular order.

  • Bang The Crowd! – This is the first album I downloaded. It’s a short and sweet album of instrumental music combining exotic folk instruments such as the didgeridoo,  flute and saxophone, all of them deliciously blended into a unique listening experience.
  • Spaceman’s Dream – Some of the most soothing and relaxing electronic music I have ever heard.
  • Soothing Moonbeams – Another delightful album with some very calming yet melodic music.
  • Music For Mars Missions – An ambitious synthesized undertaking with epic results.
  • Electro Space Kraut – This 9-minute track feels like flying through space and encountering shifting electronic soundscapes, all set to a catchy beat.
  • Where Its @ – My search for guitar music led me to this artist, who plays all the instruments on this album of some very fine instrumental rock with a touch of blues.
  • Diving – The depth (no pun intended) of this music is amazing. It’s only two tracks but deeply mesmerizing.

Good stuff. I can’t wait to see what I’ll find next.

 

Apps for exploring Mars.

The recent news of the massive dust storm on Mars had me so interested in the Red Planet that I decided to explore Google Play to see what related apps I could find. It turns out there are more of them than I thought. Here’s a partial listing.

  • Space Weather – This cool app gives you the current weather conditions on Mars, the phase of the moon and conditions on the Sun. It also has helpful information that explains exactly what’s being reported. On the downside I noticed there’s been no new data from Mars since July 12.
  • Mars Time – I find it interesting that the time on Mars depends on who you ask. Each of the rovers and probes on Mars has their own time of day and this app lists them all.
  • Mars Sky – This app shows a simple view of the Martian sky from a list of various reference points. It also lists the times for the rise and set times for the planets in both standard and Darian calendar formats, so it’s an interesting way to learn the Martian calendar. The Skywheel app from the same developer is worth checking out if you desire an equally simple view of the sky here on Earth.

The Exorcism of ‘Arking Lot, Part 666.

The lightning roared, the thunder flashed and the zombie choir screeched as I screamed at the unexpected sight of a hideous looking creature who was, in turn, screaming at me. Then I got a better look at the creature upon the next flash of lightning and judging from its religious attire, concluded it was nothing more than a decrepit priest.

“I know what you’re after and I won’t let you have it!” the priest shrieked as he pressed down on the book I was trying to remove from the pulpit. “Begone!” He raised his arm and some unseen assistants appeared from nowhere to lift me off my feet, carried me a few feet away from the pulpit and then dropped me on the floor.

I was not going to let this lame spectacle deter me from my mission, so I stood up before approaching the pulpit to make another attempt to apprehend the book.

“Stop!” the priest screamed. “Leave now or I shall summon the mighty Gummy Worm to devour you alive!”

“Excuse me,” I replied after a stunned silence, “did you say gummy worm?”

“That I did! The very Gummy Worm that lives beneath this floor while ruling the realm of evil that was once ‘Arking Lot!”

“This I gotta see,” I said while taking a seat.

“You’ll be sorrrrrrry!” the priest sang. After seeing me still seated and making no attempt to leave the church, he began thumbing through the pages of the big book before arriving at the desired incantation. Then he cleared his throat and began:

Gamma!
Gimme!
Go Moe!
Goo Moo!

I couldn’t help chuckling to myself.

What kind of incantation was that?

I looked at the priest and saw his eyes closed as if concentrating on something. The entire church fell silent, including the thunder outside. The quiet was nerve-wracking beyond belief as if to indicate a premonition of something dreadful about to happen.

Suddenly there was a rumbling noise that shook the church as the floor began to rise in front of the pulpit. My eyes widened with horror at the sight of a growing mound that caused the floor to break open and expose the concrete foundation and dirt underneath. The dirt quickly disappeared into a large hole that was now exposed, and my pulse quickened. Perhaps my decision to undertake this mission wasn’t such a good idea after all. Meanwhile the priest was laughing maniacally as he hung on the pulpit. Gradually the rumbling subsided, and all there was to do now was wait for the worm to emerge.

Ptu.

Out of the hole flew a small red-green gummy worm that landed at my feet. I could feel my fear and tension melt away as I surveyed this supposed ruler of ‘Arking Lot. I leaned forward to pick it up.

Don’t touch that!” the priest screamed. “It’s going to eat you alive!

“What, this little thing?” I countered before popping it in my mouth. I chewed it slowly to savor its sweet, fruity flavor before swallowing.

The priest was aghast. “You ate it!

“And it was delicious,” I smiled.

“Just for that, I will have you face the wrath of the Four Gummy Spiders!”

Four small gummy spiders swiftly dropped down from the ceiling and landed on the floor. “Oh, please,” I sighed as I walked around the room to each spider, picked it up and ate it. Turning back to the priest, I asked, “So what else do you have?”

You ate the spiders too!

“And I’m ready for more,” I countered.

“Fine,” the priest sneered. “No one can get past my fierce Gummy Bears!”

Suddenly a door hidden in the wall next to me slid open, revealing two small gummy bears on the floor, standing side by side. Seconds later they were gone after I too devoured them. Confidently I began walking towards the pulpit as I watched the priest frantically thumb through the pages of his book in search of another incantation.

“It’s over,” I said.

“No,” the priest replied, “it’s just beginning.”

Suddenly the floor began to rumble. Lightning and thunder raged outside, the zombie choir began screeching as the rumbling became louder and more violent. All the while the priest began sweating and his skin was tensed to the point where I could see his veins. He bared his teeth and widened his eyes as if undergoing some transformation. Then the rumbling died down and there was an eerie quiet in the church as the priest stood staring at me.

Poot.

The priest let out a small fart before he dropped dead, falling backwards to the floor. Then the interior of the church collapsed and disappeared to reveal a meadow surrounded by trees on a glorious morning. The sun was rising, birds flew by and deer appeared along with antelopes. Butterflies flew along with the bees as they caroused among the colorful flowers that bloomed all over the ground. I could sense that my mission was accomplished at long last.

And then I heard a voice.

“WHIPPED CREAM! YUCK!”

In the distance I could see the gladiator, still convulsing with disgust as he ran towards the horizon to collide with the rising sun.

The End

 

 

 

 

Rescuing ‘Arking Lot, Part 9.

WARNING: This segment of our story contains an extremely blasphemous reference some readers may find offensive. You will be warned when the paragraph containing this reference approaches.

I entered the dark church chuckling. “I’m so clever,” I said to myself. “Screaming like that when there’s nothing to scream at, yet I left the reader in suspense anyway. And no, this isn’t really Part 9, but Part 4 in disguise! LOL! ROFL!”

After my laughter faded, I decided to resume my mission to rid ‘Arking Lot of the evil emanating from this place, only I couldn’t see it. The interior of the church was so big that my flashlight did little to reveal the details in the darkness.

Suddenly a flash of lightning illuminated the interior and for the first time I could see the details of the sanctuary where I stood. Rows and rows of empty seats faced the pulpit, and I could see a horrifying sight on the wall just behind it.

WARNING: Blasphemous reference ahead. LOOK AWAY NOW

An upside-down smiley face.

Okay, we made it past the blasphemous reference. You may continue reading now.

Truly, I had never seen anything so blasphemous.

Told you so.

Suddenly I heard a horrific screeching sound and the next flash of lightning indicated its source: a choir of zombies standing along the wall, sounding as if trying to sing but instead succeeding in their voices clashing in the most dissonant notes that sounded harsh to my ears. Their singing sounded worse than a dozen forks scraping on a blackboard.

My focus returned to the front of the church where I had seen the pulpit.

Warning: Blasphemous reference approaching one last time. LOOK AWAY NOW

I tried not to look at the upside-down smiley face but my eyes caught a glimpse of it anyway.

Okay, we’re past the final blasphemous reference. Carry on, my wayward son.

On the pulpit rested a book that I sensed had plenty to do with this mess. I remembered my book telling me that this could be the very tome that contained the incantations summoning all the evil to ‘Arking Lot, but I needed to make sure. After all, this might be a different book altogether, like the latest issue of Vogue magazine.

I used the flashlight to walk down the aisle towards the pulpit where I got a good look at the book in question. The book was opened to a page that was filled with strange letters and illustrations. Upon closing it I got a glimpse of the title on the cover.

The Giant Book of Evil Incantations

Yep, this is it. In order to liberate ‘Arking Lot, I must somehow destroy this book. I began to pick it up when suddenly from nowhere came a bony hand to push it back down to its rightful place on the pulpit. I looked up and saw a deathly pale face with dark eyes and real bad teeth that shone in the darkness as it screamed.

Oh yeah, I screamed as well.

To be continued..