Saturday, February 25, 2017


Bitcoin have been replaced by gnomes in the Flaxmere criminal economy.

That vanished garden gnome, all those photographs you received showing it in front of famous European landmarks, you thought it was a globetrotting Gnomad when all along it was stashed in a power-bill-delinquent Flaxmere meth lab.

When I write my novel about suburban desperation, in the style of early Philip K. Dick, it will totally be set in Flaxmere.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Agrocybe parasitica, also known as "Poplar mushroom"

Also known as "breakfast".

Parasitises living or dead hardwood trees, with a special fondness for the native Tawa and the introduced poplar and elm, until it GETS IN MAH BELLY.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around

Join the Science! Travel the world, meet exotic people, ask them to rate schematic drawings of lady-lumps according to attractiveness and apparent age!
There cannot be many cultures left in the world where evo-psych researchers have not descended with their schematic drawings of breast ptosis, in their search for fertility-driven cross-cultural universals, asking questions of the local males like "How attractive do you rate this schematic outline?" and "What is the age of this schematic outline?" Part of their motivation is the chance to use the word "perky" in scholastic writing -- an opportunity which otherwise too seldom arises.*

It is very confusing for those of us who laboured under the impression that Ptosis was a minor pharaoh of the 28th Dynasty. Anyway, it transpires that there are not one but two schematic-outline scales of breast non-perk -- both modified from Regnault's 1976 classification -- because "Bristol Scale" was already taken.
FIGURE 1 The six stages of breast ptosis
based on Kirwan’s classification (2002)

But here at Riddled Research Institute and Sheep-drench Emporium we do not condemn or criticise this evo-psych line of study, for it increases demand for the Riddled Antigravity Ptosis-Reversing Rotary Rejuvenator.
We must warn readers away from the McGravitas Gravity-reversing Magnet -- in a purely disinterested fashion -- for it is untested speculative technology, with side-effects that are known to range from Coxcombitude to Pert Foolishness.
Oddly enough, if you travel the world and meet exotic people and ask them to rate schematic drawings of increasingly pendulous scrotums according to attractiveness and age, they look at you like you're a perverted freak, is this justice? IS IT BOG-ROLL.
* 'Perky' peaked in about 2006. Before that was a prevous Perky peak in 1948, with 'perky' drooping and sagging through the 1960s and 1970s, no-one knows why.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Mallory Ortberg homage blogging

You'll only feel a little prick.
Yeah, well, you'd shrink too if it was your upper inner thigh under the needle.* You sure you've tattooed before?
Lots of times. I practice on myself.
You're not tattooed.
Invisible ink. It'll show up in the crematorium.
You didn't just learn from a 'Tattooing-for-Dummies" book?
No no no, I'm a professional, it was a Youtube video.

Remember my design. With the salted pineapple. Not one of those fake tribal patterns.
Gonna draw a moon first, so there's enough light to keep working. And a boat. And pies, coz I'm hungry.
That only works with magic purple crayons. Not tattoo irons.
Whatever. I have purple ink. Tastes good too.
Why am I so calm and sleepy?
That's the anaesthetic kicking in.

* Joke © Tom Sharpe 1971.

Friday, February 17, 2017

"Why did this manuscript come back all soaked in cat urine"?
"We thought you asked for pee-er review"

Hey monkey-boy! Why aren't we scientific authors yet? Other cats get physics-paper co-authorship! Even eedjit dogs!
OK, you two write the text. Then I'll de-LOLcat the spelling and submit it to the journal.

We provided lots of experimental data on 'The Properties of a Body at Rest'. You write the paper, then we'll tell you what sections in it are wrong and what you need to do again
I get this all the time from some of my human collaborators too.

Monday, February 13, 2017

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy? We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

Crivens! What in the name of all that's incomprehensibabble is this?!

It's as if the Deepak Chopra Random Platitude Generator fell in love with the SCIgen Parody Paper Algorithm and they decided to make beautiful though content-free babies together.

We warned you not to go down the Gatti / Montanari rabbit-hole, Uncle Smut.

Image hoicked from Oglaf. Dwarves not included
Indeed you did. But I was compelled to venture into its bottomless intricacy, as if in the thrall of a gaes -- or possibly vice versa -- in my role as quondam Editor of Bernouli's Encyclopedia of Imaginary Diseases. For before we perturb the pristine pages of the Encyclopedia with a new entry for Gatti & Montanari's newly-invented "Burning semen disease", it befits us (in the cause of due diligence) to read the relevant publications... and to ask ourselves, "Who in the name of Piffelheim edited the many volumes of Conference Proceedings in which this garbage was printed"?

The answer turns out to be one Ashok Vaseashta, Director of the International Clean Water Institute (Dott.ssa Gatti sometimes claims an affiliation there) and the Institute of Advanced Sciences Convergence.

Is that a thing? The name conjures images of drum-circles and dream-catchers and sweatlodge spirit-animal bafflegab.

I am not making this up, athough I would have said "post-structuralist deconstructionist bafflegab" myself, but tomayto, tomahto. Both cod Institutes fall under the rubric of NUARI --

Norwich University Applied Research Institutes (NUARI) was federally chartered under legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy in 2002 and is funded in part through the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. NUARI has a national center to address cyber incident management challenges through research, training programs and technology development and has been a global leader for more than a decade in developing cyber war gaming, distributed learning technology, distributed simulation technology, critical infrastructure exercises, and cyber security curriculum.

Which is to say, it all dates back to the Great 9/11-Aftermath Lollyscramble, when the piñata was whacked and the fundgates gaped open and anyone with any kind of connectedness was latching onto a moneyteat like drunken sailors battening onto the beer-nipples in the bar scene in Chapter 1 of "V". Norwich 'University' being a private military academy with a long tradition of service to the culture of boot-licking, it did not miss out on its share of the spoils. Which is why it is now bolstering National Security with such fine products as Cyber Exercise Preparedness Games, a Comic-book Guide to Understanding the FEMA-Incident command system... and (of course) the IASC.

Ashok Vaseashta was in the right place with the right nebulous vapourware, all inter-disciplinary nanotech counter-terrorism e-tongues... guaranteeing him a stream of research contracts in exchange for random strings of Cyber Terrorism Worship Words, for as long as he is willing to keep concatenating them. So 15 years later he is a tenured grifter on the Homeland Security gravy-wagon, or band-train as the case may be. The question of why so many metaphors for indolent opportunism are drawn from the sphere of rail transport is an interesting one but we shall not let ourselves be distracted. There he collaborates with Gatti and Montanari in promoting the concept of Nanoparticle Environmental Bio-Terrorism Life-Cycle Risk Analysis. Culminating in Gatti et al. (2015):

The question of why so many English words like "charlatan", "imbroglio", "mountebank", "fiasco" are drawn from Italian is an interesting one but we shall not let ourselves be distracted...
Oh look, my due Diligence has finally arrived.
Not to be confused with a High Dudgeon, which fits fewer people.
Naturally we are envious at Riddled Research Laboratory, and keen to get in on the deal. So here is our Brief Taxonomy of Nanoparticles:
Please give us money.

Now Vasuashta is not one to turn down a gig. The skeezy lowlife grifters at OMICS [celebrated organisers of academic-tourism scamferences and part-time parasitical publishers] have him on speed-dial for any time they need a Plenary Speaker to set the tone at one of their Nanotech grifts (e.g. 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2016, 2017). He is also available for weddings and children's parties.

Scientific establishment, knitted
We should not forget the subspecies of scientific symposia and workshops that occur under the auspices of NATO, as a moveable feast around the fringes of Europe from Kiev to Sozopol -- not with any immediate expectation of productive intellectual exchange, more to knit the scientific establishments of those countries more closely into Western Europe. All with themes like Promotion of Peace and Science for Security.

Chisinau, Moldava hosted “Technological Innovations in Detection and Sensing of CBRN Agents and Ecological Terrorism” (2010), which begat an unimaginatively-titled volume of Proceedings (ed. Vaseashta) -- notable for the discovery of Nano-Eco-Terrorism.
[Insert scary Theremin music here]

Yerevan, Armenia was treated to “Technological Innovations in CBRNE Sensing and Detection for Safety, Security, and Sustainability” (2012), which begat the volume "Advanced Sensors for Safety and Security" (ed. Vaseashta) -- notable for the discovery of another new disease.

ANYWAY... just as Hell contains circles within circles, so there are levels of "Scoundrelly illiterate low-life spammers operating from Hyderabad", and many are even scuzzier than OMICS. Such as the pathetic wannabee cockwombles who call themselves 'Scientific Federation'. Who send us mail:

Dear Dr. XXXXX,
Good day.
On behalf of Organizing Committee, we would like to solicit your gracious presence as a speaker at the upcoming 3rd Global Nanotechnology Congress and Expo which is going to be held during August 21-23, 2017 in Dallas, USA.

To have glance at conference, PS:

Scientific Sessions Includes
Nanomaterials Emerging areas of materials science
Carbon Nanomaterials Nanostructures
Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering Graphene Technologies
Advancements in Material Science Carbon based devices and Nanocomposites
Nanoelectronics Nanomedical approaches for diagnostics and treatments Nanodevices & Nanosensors Cancer nanotechnology & tissue engineering Nanotechnology for Energy and the Environment Drug delivery systems Synthesis of Nanomaterials and Nanoparticles Biomedical Engineering Recent trends in nanotechnology Polymer based Nanocomposites Multifunctional Nanobiomaterials Nanosensoring in diagnostics and industry Functional materials Nanorobots Nanotoxicology Nanophotonics materials Quantum dots Materials science and engineering Electronic, optical and magnetic materials Green nanotechnology

Submit your abstract at

We await a positive acknowledgement from you. I would be glad to answer your queries in this regard.
Best regards,
Reddy Sekhar
Event Manager
T +91-779-979-0002

"Who," we ask, in a totally non-rhetorical-questioning way, "who could be so desperate or shameless as to lend their names in exchange for an Organisational role in this mendacious money-grubbing burlesque?"
Who indeed?

Bonus junket: NATO Advanced Research Workshop on “Nanomaterials: Environmental Risks and Benefits and Emerging Consumer Products”, Faro, Portugal (2008).
Volume includes but was not edited by Vaseastra.

ABSOLUTELY THE LAST UPDATE until the next one:
 It belatedly occurs to me to wonder whether the whole narrative was inspired by John Sladek's "Mechasm" / "The Reproductive System", which featured a US corporation reaching out for Pentagon research-contract corporate welfare (to the extent that Sladek's 1968 documentary had a plot). Alas, despite the harmlessly grifting intentions, the research worked too well, creating self-reproducing entities. Hilarity The end of civilisation ensues.

Silly Sladek, always letting his satires be outstepped by reality.