aberrantangels: (mad science)
Well, the next update would be the election, and that's tomorrow, so I guess I'd better get off these things I've been sitting on.

October 8
[Aberrant] Mark Anthony Green writes in his journal: "It seems cruel that the Lord told us of Heaven. [Earth] is a satisfying world in many ways...but God dangles Heaven above us like a man teasing his dog." He opines that to attain great power — to erupt as a nova, for instance, or to be elected President — is to become like God, and vows that "If I become like God, I will not tease the people with stories of Heaven. I will teach them to love the world they have."


That's a vague relief, even if it's not clear he'd expected them to act on that love, and even though he considers power the defining attribute of a Godness.

October 9
[Aberrant] Soguk Birlesme, a baseline post-doctoral assisting Dr. Dmitri Kasheyev in his fusion research, writes home to his parents in Thailand about a recent accident at work in whose resolution he got to see Dr. Kasheyev's powers in action.


The previous week, Dr. Kasheyev had returned to the DAIKOKU facility from the inertial containment lab, after "some sort of quarrel" whose nature was a mystery to Soguk. Without Kasheyev's ability to sense subatomic structures, and his ability to solve the relevant equations even more precisely than DAIKOKU's computers, the research had stalled.

On the 8th, Dr. Nakazawa decided to show Kasheyev a test-run of a "plasma configuration we'd had some luck with." Kasheyev didn't think this was wise necessarily, and it turned out he was right: "the plasma tied itself in knots and burned a hole in the containment tube!" The plasma jet wouldn't have hurt Soguk (200,000,000° sounds like a lot, "but the plasma is so thin and dissipates so quickly that it doesn't have time to burn"), but Kasheyev threw himself in its path anyway, and "his whole body glowed" when it struck him.

Neither of them was hurt, but they went to see the doctor anyway. The doctor recommended Soguk take the day off, and he was so light-headed he agreed. The next day, the DAIKOKU staff discussed the accident only in terms of preventing a repeat. Only time will tell what effects the whole thing had.
aberrantangels: (continued next week)
There's a second part to this, but I arbitrarily decided it needs to come after tomorrow's post.

September
[Aberrant] In a Baltimore police station, Captain Goss gives a presentation to his men (and women) on nonlethal weapons purchased in the wake of a wrongful-death lawsuit the previous year.


Three different varieties of soft projectiles (all identical in terms of game mechanics), netguns, foamthrowers, a shotgun that fires a spray of tranquilizer darts, and an elephant gun that fires enough sedative to (hopefully) incapacitate a nova. The whole thing ate up the squad-car replacement budget through 2010.
aberrantangels: (mad science)
How I got the impression this happened today, I couldn't explain under {fast-penta,Veritaserum}.

August 17
[Aberrant] On PBS' "Speak Out", media and culture critic Paul Nielman of Columbia University criticizes the isolation caused by popular VR systems like Vir-Gogs.


His point is underlined by the ad on the opposite page for Vir-Gogs Junior, with Cyber-Trance Junior. It takes the "electronic babysitter" to a whole new horrendous level.

He also points out that "Most of what's available so for for Vir-Gogs are adaptations of existing movies and TV shows", done by computer. "It's colorization all over again." And it meddles with the original creators' visions. "If George Lucas decides that he wants to digitize and dimensionalize the Star Wars series for another special edition, that's fine with me. No one else, though, has any right to touch those films or change them in any way."
aberrantangels: (Default)
There's a possibility that [livejournal.com profile] thessalian might accidentally give a flying shit about this one, since it takes place in her hometown or somewhere with the same name.

July 16
[Aberrant] Montreal city councilman Marcus Smith, a known proponent of Quebec's faltering Anglophone movement and of the United Canada agenda, is found dead in his penthouse apartment; the RCMP have no doubts that he was murdered and that a nova was responsible. A note left at the scene on behalf of Citoyens pour le supremacy [sic] des français declares that Quebec will be free from English tyranny, whatever the cost.


It's the 17th such death of an Anglophone in the last four years. Apparently, the TU's Montréal really is a place where militant Francophones will ignore even the most desperate pleas for help if they happen to be phrased en Anglais. Unless the sweet bird specifically confirms this, I'm going to chalk it up to White Wolf editors (who, you may notice in the sidebar, are now a tag) aiming for satire and achieving only snottiness.
aberrantangels: (conspiracy theory)
Sorry for the delay.

July
[Aberrant] This month's issue of Science Explorer announces that next month, 10 patients at the Triton Foundation's Atlanta Mediplex will be test subjects for an artificial kidney.


This is probably in Aberrant: Project Utopia, but I'm disinclined to dig for where. Turns out it's in the Technology section of Aberrant: Year One.

One of the first installments of Nathan Black's new N! show Eye on... includes an interview with Dr. Tasmin Harver, newly inducted Utopian and the head examiner at Slider's autopsy, for whom Black and his audience have some questions about Utopia.


Some rather pointed questions, which she tries to dodge or deflect; the excerpt ends just as she's about to have take the first of them, from galfrey07@stuntmail.com.

Devon "Slider Fetish" Works makes a scathing post to the "Rant Back" OpList, addressed to "Dear Losers and Future Losers Alike", in which he pours out a long string of sneers at anyone with any doubts about Utopia's fundamental and immutable benevolence, lumping those who merely have worries about Proteus using the Utopia agenda as cover with those who wear tinfoil hats to protect their thoughts against "the great stamping juggernaut that is Project Utopia."


This is the one that's actually been holding this post up, as I can't look directly at it for too long. This, in turn, is down to a level of blistering contempt for humans in general and one's audience in particular, combined with a smug and clearly over-inflated sense of the writer's own superiority, that leaves me continually amazed when I turn to the credits page of Aberrant: Project Utopia and don't see even a "special thanks" credit for Justin Achilli.

"It's entirely possible that Utopia funds this site privately and I'm being paid under the table for saying all this. Happy spook-hunting, losers." There are only two automatic reasons not to treat this as a sarcastic confession:
1) they don't need to pay him to sing the praises of Utopia, any more than the American Eagle Party needs to pay Bruce Tinsley to push their official flannel in "Mallard Fillmore";
2) if they were paying him, they'd spring for some etiquette lessons once they actually read his output.
aberrantangels: (rock out)
Produced with instruments? By people?

May
[Aberrant] Dave Petch's Zine article "Fie on Digital!" laments the replacement of CDs by data chips.


Aberrant: Year One (which reprints the article) notes that these chips are "actually domino-sized blocks of computer chips in a sealed plastic box, with a plug at one end", which sounds a lot like a flashdrive except that these are usually ROM rather than RAM. "Only a small label distinguishes a music chip from a video game chip, a program chip or any other sort of data storage chip." (This is a potential story hook, of course.) They can easily hold 100 tracks, which means that (to pick an example close to my shriveled heart) Absolute Garbage could've been the equivalent of a boxed set (with all their albums, all the bonus tracks and B-sides from various album and single releases, and maybe even a video album equivalent to the AG DVD).

Back at the ranch, Petch remembers the last time we went through this, when CDs replaced vinyl and banished

all the hisses and pops of random noise, any unwanted echoes, the breathing of the musicians...

any hint that a live person had any role in making the "perfect digital sound."

[...]

Now the sinister Illuminati that control the recording industry have conspired with the electronics industry to do it again. [...] Yet I don't recall anyone asking me if I wanted to change technologies, again. I never heard anyone say "Golly gosh, I sure wish I had to buy my favorite music all over again."


He has a chip player, sure... but he's also kept his CD player, and even his turntable.
aberrantangels: (mad science)
Okay, okay...

April
[Aberrant] This month's Car and Driver contains an article on hypercombustion and fuel-cell engines, "Gas-Guzzlers: Goodbye for Good in Japan" by Jean Ingalls.


Two years ago, the Japanese government announced that a ban on the sale of vehicles with old-school internal-combustion engines would go into effect this year. That effect is now in.

April?
[Aberrant] Belizean investor Ricardo Mendez's dismembered body is found packed into a crate in a warehouse he owns in Belmopan. Also found in the warehouse are the bodies of numerous tropical birds, apparently packed for illegal shipment out of the country to pet shops.


The bodies provide the motive for the murder. My tags show who had the means and the opportunity.
aberrantangels: (mad science)
And I've got... nothing much.

March 17
[Aberrant] Pei Ling Thomas sends a message to the "Asian Operations Command" about the rumor that Lung Tien Biotics of Hong Kong have a "superbright" nova "working on incorporating animal DNA into humans."


Except that I've been on something of a Scion kick lately, so that bit of my brain says "Epic Intelligence has nothing to do with it. He'd need to have Hybrid Chimera and Human Hybrid", then it starts checking which gods have both the Animal and Health Purviews (Athena, Damballa, Hera, Marinette and Quetzalcoatl, in case you care — and the Feathered and Rainbow Serpents go best with a company name that means "Dragon Heaven").
aberrantangels: (mad science)
In OTL, they've been trying to achieve this goal for over 20 years.

February 29
[Aberrant] The Boeing Aerospace Company unveils the first civilian hypersonic jet.


According to the Seattle Times' Jeff Skagen, the 797's top speed is Mach 20, putting any point on Earth just 45 minutes away from any other point.
aberrantangels: (oops)
I was asleep by the time this happened.

February 26
[Aberrant] At 10:45 PM PST, the Second Tacoma Narrows Bridge, built in 2004 by Ardis "Artifex" Longley of her vitrium superglass, is shattered by the hypersonic scream of Seattle franchise Sarah "Tenor" Meeks during her attempted capture of Terat Damian Storm, who escapes in the chaos. Tenor regrets not having considered the risks before using her scream, and Artifex regrets not having stress-tested vitrium against sonics at the volume and pitch Meeks uses.


As I recall, Tenor is eventually sentenced to work pro bono as licensed urban defender, with the wages she would have earned instead going to pay for rebuilding the bridge.
aberrantangels: (I come from the Net)
Okay, no connection today except maybe the OpNet, and the OpNet connects everything.

January 22
[Aberrant] Spike in the incoming and outgoing OpMails and voice communications of Utopia desk-jockey Jose Diaz.


Nothing to see here.

The Home Shopping Network pitches the medium-high end Gavilan laptop.


Some of the features of this US$1,949 machine are ahead of what we have in the Primary World's 2008 (flexible screen, input jack for VR goggles); others, not so much (1.6 gigs of RAM is actually not far above OTL standard, and a 400-megabyte chip drive compares unfavorably with the 1-gig flash drive on which I stored the draft of this entry).
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
An even more tenuous common thread.

January 20
[Aberrant] The German Ministry of Transport, Construction and Housing announces plans to link the nation's major cities with high-speed maglev trains.


In OTL, they're talking about one maglev service, from Munich to Franz Josef Strauss International. (Maybe in the TU, they'll reactivate the Hamburg and Berlin maglines.)

[Aberrant] Anna DeVries sends a letter to Linda "Lotus Infinite" Raphael attempting to persuade her in favor of accepting a full-time DeVries contract, offering as an inducement the care of DeVries' paraphysician if Raphael's current aberrations worsen.


Lotus' most obvious current aberration is that her hair constantly swirls as if in a gentle imaginary wind; she's taken to shaving her head to hide that.
aberrantangels: (Trinity Universe)
Again, a somewhat oblique theme links today's items. (Well, that and the fact that they're both from Aberrant: Year One.)

January 17
[Aberrant] Nigerian dictator Alafin Sango does an exclusive interview for NewsNet's Harold Matthers Presents.


Actually, that's the airdate, so the taping may have been days or weeks ago. The interview took place in Lagos, which Sango restored to capital status when he took power eight years ago. It took three more years for the UN to recognize his government as legitimate, at which point Utopia gave him financial and technological aid.

They're regretting it now, as Nigeria's prosperity has brought an expanded military and a lockdown on information coming into the country. (Apparently, the OpNet doesn't treat censorship as damage to be routed around, or maybe it just doesn't help if removing the filtering software will get you deported if you're lucky, imprisoned if you aren't.) Sango insists that

I have done nothing to my neighbors expect prove that I am a competent leader. )

Sango insists that "Utopia would have to make the first overtures toward peace. I have already made several that they have ignored." The text of the entry on the city of Lagos says that he has "continuously disregarded attempts to compromise".

In a Topeka car dealership, a salesman named Jock sells a middle-aged customer on the fuel-celled Sunstorm.


Some time ago, Joaquin Rivas perfected the hydrogen fuel-cell technology that's still being discussed in OTL, or at least made it economical to implement for the consumer market. Thus, it counts as an advancement, not an innovation.

Jock's sales pitch, on the other hand, is just new twists on some old standards:

Hydrogen stations might not be common yet, but remember this: You can drive the Sunstorm for more than 1,000 miles before you need to fill up again! [...] Buy two fuel blocks, and by the time you exhaust the second you've had plenty of time to recharge the first. You'll never have to buy a third block. [...]

Fuel cells are safer, too. Say 'hydrogen' and everybody thinks 'Hindenburg,' but once the gas is absorbed into the fuel block, it's perfectly safe. You'd need a blowtorch just to set it on fire and even then it'd burn slowly. With [a hypercombustion] car, you still have gallons of gasoline or alcohol under your hood. Gallons of explosive rocket fuel. You get in a wreck, God forbid, that fuel leaks out and your car is in a pool of fire. You want your kids in a situation like that?


Yeah, that's the clincher.
aberrantangels: (dreaming of Zion awake)
Apologies for the pun, but it was too "good" to pass up.

December 20
[Aberrant] The Melbourne Times carries the article "Mumbai Life" by Roland Dundee.


"On the top of this heap you have the film clique", living in a world of "[c]olor-changing designer clothing [probably eufiber], imported caviar, and tiny bits of gilding on the curries". (The link is something of which I found myself ineluctably reminded.)

Everyone's heard the joke about how everybody here wants to be an actor or an actress. Well, I can tell you that this is not true. However, pretty much everyone who doesn't has a screenplay they want to show you.


Even the tiffin boys, "the wretchedly poor people that deliver boxed lunches by bicycle", will often as not "try to fob off a manuscript or some publicity photos along with the order of tandoori chicken".

Everyone who can even theoretically afford it scrimps and saves for movie viewings, but not everyone can afford it even theoretically. Despite the transformations wrought by the Nova Age,

this is still the same India that had bucketloads of starving people less than 10 years ago. [...] The 21st-century miracle still hasn't blessed everyone. [...] In Mumbai, you can actually watch the transformation that swept places like Addis Ababa before most of us had a chance to blink twice.


And novas are highly popular here; this is, after all, the land not only of India Syndrome, but the land that reinforces a local nova's delusions of godhood. In six months, Dundee only saw one anti-nova demonstration, which was broken up by the bottling and Sahudese applause inflicted on the protestors.
aberrantangels: (welcome to hell)
Timestamped 12:19 PM, timezone unknown. (Which is why I didn't post it until now: if the poster's on LA time, it'd be at 3:19 PM Eastern, and I knew I was going to be on my way to work at that point. I meant to post it when I got home from work last night; that'll teach me to walk into a Borders to do some after-work Christmas shopping and still expect to be home at sane o'clock.)

December 14
[Aberrant] Nyteshade writes to the Novalife mailing list about Los Angeles.


Excerpts:

This place has more of us than I've ever seen. Then again, it's also got more people than I've ever seen.... I've seen folks wearing only roller skates, a cape, and latex body paint order coffee in a diner in Burbank, and no one batted an eye. On the down side, you can kiss your car stereo goodbye.


One thing that does take some adjustment was the "time zone" system instituted in 2003 by then-Mayor Daniel Montoya to relieve traffic congestion — 12 (or more) numbered sectors with different default working hours (0600-1400 in East LA, 0900-1700 in Glendale/Burbank, 1800-0200 in Compton/Watts — and yes, it tends to be separated by income and race, or if you prefer, group A and group B).

Also in Aberrant: Year One's write-up on the City of Angels is "How to Survive LA" (contributed by Lorenzo King to the Winter 2007 edition of Anarchy Webzine). King discourses on the need to avoid the LALE (Los Angeles Law Enforcement Bureau, established 1999, billed all-too-accurately in its recruiting ads as "LA's Largest Gang"), the advisability of staying out of the Valley's "metroplexes" (mini-arcologies), the continued gangsta suckitude of life in the basin, and a reminder for the true rubes that Hollywood is, anymore, just a place for people to see and be seen. (If you want to get into the movies, go to Mumbai; in Hollywood, you can expect to "end up hustling, doing porn or 'starring' in a Camparelli-Zukhov snuff film.")
aberrantangels: (mad science)
A slice of parallel life, and the answer to one of the burning questions of the 21st century: where's my flying car?

October 1
[Aberrant] In a Dunkin Donuts parking lot in Brooklyn, NYPD officers Gordoni and Cheung talk to some kids who are gawking at their Peregrine aircar.


There are four of them, close enough that Gordoni chides them about leaving handprints. The kids have never seen a Peregrine up close before; federal law, as policewoman Cheung reminds the kids, restricts them to law enforcement and emergency-vehicle use.

Gordoni assures one of the ones who gritches the loudest about this law, "You could be trusted with a flying car. You wouldn't crash into buildings or stall out at 300 feet or cross another car's flight path. But what about other people? You've seen what sort of maniacs manage to get driver's licenses.... Would you want those people up in the air?"

A boy with spiky blue hair brings up computer-assisted driving; the blond girl who was first to ask why private citizens don't get aircars allows as how "if a computer's doing all the work you can hardly call it driving". Cheung concurs with blondie's dislike of the prospect, and points out moreover that even in this Nova Age, computers do crash.
aberrantangels: (Nova Age)
Sorry about the delay; it'll be explained below.

May 17
[Aberrant] Rev. Estaban Torano of the Church of Michael Archangel appears on OpNews show The American Lens.


Novas: Threat or Menace? )

May 19
[Aberrant] Jennifer Castanaveras' article "Novawood USA" is posted to Entertainment Bytes.


It's about Los Angeles, and as such is reprinted as part of Aberrant: Year One's section on that fair city. "If you're a nova or simply into novas, LA is where it's all happening." And they're not all what [livejournal.com profile] katana_hacker and [livejournal.com profile] feminine_menace would call "Industry types", either. "Having a nova SO seems to be The Thing ever since the head of Arista Music got a nova BF.... Be quick, though; in a year or so they'll likely be as out as Senegalese food."
aberrantangels: (Homestar Runner)
Situations.

April 27
[Aberrant] Project Utopia sends an operational memo to all new members assigned to Mexico City, reminding them that Mexico is an independent nation still worried that Utopia's presence may curtail that independence.


Maybe they cracked down a little too hard after that Teragen rally six months ago?
aberrantangels: (Nova Age)
I've been slacking hellaciously, I know.

November 5
[Aberrant] A Québecois separatist group using the name of the Front de Liberation de Québec claims responsibility for recent terrorist strikes in Ottawa and Toronto. Given the nature of the strikes, Canadian authorities fear the group may be employing an elite.


I have little or nothing to add to this.

Mike Dawson sends a letter home talking about his recent Calliopist retreat, in which he participated in a "Sacred Circle".


He wants to tell his parents about what happened between himself, the other five Calliopists who make up his Circle, and Calliope, "but there's no way that you could possibly understand how it feels to share complete and utter trust with others in the way we do now." He didn't come home for Thanksgiving break as he'd once planned to; instead, he's gone to the "Grand Circle", a gathering of Sacred Circles to come "closer to Perfect Understanding and the Immaculate Soul."
aberrantangels: (Nova Age)
Fashion statements. Wasn't tomorrow wonderful?

2006
[Aberrant] In Paris, designer Yamaguchi rolls out a eufiber dress with programmable patterns.


Yamaguchi was a protege of Anibál Buendia, and one of the first to put eufiber and LEDs in his designs when his mentor first exuded the miracle material in 2001. Now that eufiber chic is everywhere, he's taking it to the next level, with a computer chip that tells the LEDs what color to light the eufiber.

Today, model Kishi hits the catwalk in "Under the Sea", with its rolling waves of blue and green. Then, she presses the control stud and goes to the second pattern: "Windows". As in ViaSoft Windows. He admits to reporter Joyce that it's going from the sublime to the ridiculous, but they paid him well enough to offset the damage to his dignity inherent in making a dress with a screensaver.

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the true meaning of Klordny

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