Blacker than Energy

 

A story of caution by Javier R. Romero

 

It wasn’t long ago that physicists ramped up efficiency numbers for solar panels. It seemed to be a material engineer’s dream. Exotic materials were being created based on nano-technology that had just been prototyped. Bleeding edge technology for a bleeding edge world. Like software, video games, and cellphones, now the energy sector was releasing “Developer level” technology to the public. What’s cooler than being in on beta testing? Well… alpha testing obviously. The newer the better! Who cares if you get cancer? There’s a new experimental drug for that out now anyway.

 

But I digress… solar power!

 

Triple-junction cells were just the beginning! While studying what the energy transfer looked like in those cells they found something strange happening. In areas of the cell that were darker than others things seemed to be bi-locating. That is to say in layman terms one particle was in two places at the same time. Even more fascinating the waveforms were harmonizing in these areas but as soon as they left the darker regions the waveform collapsed. What did it mean? It didn’t take too long for the fringes of society to start worrying that scientists shouldn’t study the phenomena. If we listened to them we’d still be sitting in caves because fire is dangerous.

 

Needless to say, everyone got to work on making a perfectly even distribution of those darker areas until they managed to produce a perfect 350mm x 350mm panel. The scientific world rejoiced just because they were able to create the panel, it would be 7 months until they were able to test it but that was the hard part. In order to pull energy from the panel we had to rethink the way we interface with solar panels. Unfortunately the only person who had come close to explaining the process was a disgraced electrical engineer. He was the guy who blew up a power-plant because the “gnomes” said it was bored. Don’t ask me how a power-plant can be bored. Normally no one would’ve paid attention to him but he locked himself in on one of the meetings and forced everyone to listen to him… at gun point.

 

After a 2 day hostage scenario the scientists came to see that Englebart knew exactly what he was talking about… this time.

 

After coaxing 5 million dollars out of the federal government for “Renewable Energy Technology Development” Englebart got to work. He locked himself away in the warehouse and any attempt to get inside by the scientists was met with frantic yelling about disturbing the “Quantilis”. Even when the power went out he calmly walked outside, started up the generator trucks and went back to work. The phrase, “A man possessed” was too perfect. At the end of it all he wheeled out a 10 foot tall behemoth of wires, glass tubes and a board with at least 14 different knobs on the front.

“Don’t touch the knobs they’re for the song. You have to sing in tune or else it will get dark. Not colour, dark in, in, in, feel. Everything will change… feel different. Change isn’t good, not this kind. Don’t touch the knobs. Gotta sing in tune. A…A sharp should be good. Sing once, first song, final song. No change.”

 

He only agreed to and was able to get one interview despite the constant push for him to become the face of this new technology. The other scientists said he would be a sympathetic personality for people to connect to. Englebart knew they were making fun of him.

 

“So, finally Mr. Englebart…”

“Please, Timothy. Call me Timothy, I like Timothy.”

“Well then, Timothy. Why is it that you’re so intent on having your… tuner set to A sharp?

“Energy is important. Runs through the wires like a, like a hum. 60or 50hz. Boring sound but ok for cavemen. A sharp is alive and happy.”

“I see. Well Timothy, is there…”

“Music makes people happy. When you hear a good song you smile. When you hear a bad one you feel bad. Electricity is waves. Waves have sound. Make good sound, make good energy. Make bad sound… Bad sound bad. A Sharp happy.”

“Tell me this Timothy, what would happen if your tuner fell out of tune?”

 

It was at that point that Englebart started crying uncontrollably. Newspapers would go on to call him a freak and a weirdo. The other scientists were quickly branded as “The minds behind the future.” No one ever understood what he meant. All they needed to know was that he made the tuners and once the first one was set the others were automatic because of his “Quantilis”, whatever that was. No one knows because they’re locked inside the tuners.

 

Needless to say, with the oil reserves nearly dry, the world was holding its breath when the first test occurred. In actuality the theoretical numbers were so good they were already in talks for retrofitting existing solar farms and manufacturing single home units. It was impossible to stop the machine of commerce now.

 

On the big day Englebart was nervous. He kept saying the weather was bad, but that’s because he was struck by lightning in the past, hence his mannerisms. Clouds always made him uneasy. He made sure everyone was standing far enough back as not to disrupt his tuning. After 4 minutes of him humming to himself on national television he yelled in triumph, startling some of the people around him. He said before they started that “When I say you can make toast it’s a success.”

 

Everyone held their breath as the numbers on the power meter rose, 30 volts, 60, 120, 240. The camera pans over to the other side of the tuner and the screen said 30 amps. When the numbers stopped rising a reporter walked up to Englebart curious about what the readouts on the myriad screens meant.

 

“So Englebart, what do these readings mean? Is it a success?”

“Well these numbers are for each line and when the lines are used there are 14 in total. Cut one of them in half and you have the others singing fine through the wires to, to, to, to your toaster. We just have to let the tu, tu, tu, tuner… You can make toast.”

 

It was at that point the reporter slapped Englebart on the shoulder in congratulations. The reporter walked in front of him and motioned the camera to zoom in on the screens.

“Please be careful. It has a few more seconds to set.”

The reporter waved at Englebart and walked back down the stairs talking into the camera as everyone else was rejoicing. Finally, we have an alternative to oil that was cheap and easy to access. The wire on the reporter’s backup mic was now coiled around Englebart’s feet. With each step the wire was pulled taught, eventually making Englebart lose his balance. His hand landed on one of the knobs and a look of horror fell over his face. However the cameras were now focused on the more photogenic faces of the scientists Englebart had held hostage. His tuner made the sound to let him know the frequency had been set and Englebart fell to his knees.

 

It wasn’t until 4 years later that Englebart had his last interview.

“… Don’t you love how everyone is smiling now because of the green, cheap and affordable energy you helped provide them?!”

“Smiles hide mean thoughts. I don’t like the smiles. Everyone mean outside now not just inside… I said A sharp… this isn’t A sharp.”

 

It was slight, only visible for a flash of an instant but it was noticeable. The interviewer glared at Englebart with a murderous intent.

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Slavigrant?

To Dr. Ben Carson,

To my understanding, you said slaves were immigrants who had a dream for their descendants to have a life that was better than theirs. I think you are mistaken. An immigrant leaves their country because they chose to. Whether or not that choice was made because of fear or a specific want, it was still a choice they made. My family is Puerto Rican. We come from an island that was pillaged by the immigrant-explorer known as Columbus. My people were murdered to make way for “immigrants”. The island of Puerto Rico was given it’s name by immigrant/explorers which is different from the name it’s people gave it. That original name was Borinquen. I doubt you know that name as I doubt most American people would know that name.

Some of the Borinquen who survived the initial cleansing were turned into slaves. Their land was taken from them and they were taken from their land to other continents they probably only knew about through stories heard from sailors who happened to find their little island. I’d be hard pressed to believe that they were thinking about the children they’d have and their bright futures while chained in the bottom of those boats, like so many sacks of fruit, vegetables, and seeds. I’d wager they thought about how much longer they had to live.

I can’t believe I have to tell you this, as it’s common knowledge but a slave is an unwilling traveler. In fact, a slave is a possession brought from one place to another as you would a vacuum or a hand towel. A slave is not treated as a person, so by definition a slave is not an immigrant. An Immigrant moves of their own accord. Outside forces are a factor yes, but an immigrant makes the choice to leave their home in search of something different, something better than they had, in a land far removed from their own. An immigrant chooses to experience other cultures while a slave is either made to accept a new culture or at the very least violently admonished for hanging on to their own.

Dr. Ben Carson, it confuses me how a neurosurgeon could be so blind as to equate a slave and an immigrant as you have done. Far be it from me to say the only people who experienced slavery were the Borinquen. However, I do not wish to speak for people whom I known nothing about.

Sincerely,

A Puerto Rican

Authors: How to Sign a Top Literary Agent

The Book Publicist

By Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications

 

Landing an agent for many authors is the most sought after goal. Why? It’s been long considered the fastest and most profitable path to publishing success. If that is your goal then you’ll want to check out these tips, techniques and resources to help you land the quality literary agent you are seeking.

Where to begin?

Get up to speed with the latest information with books and resources on the topic. According to Jeff Herman, book agent and author of Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, authors should assess potential agents on the following points before sealing a deal:

  1. The list of books the agent has sold to publishers, including the publishers’ and authors’ names.
  2. The agent’s reputation online.
  3. Why s/he likes your book and how s/he plans to market your book, with reference to a timeline and…

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Breakdown of Religion

Let’s get one thing straight, the US is a Secular nation arguably founded with the best ideals from Catholicism/Christianity, Love thy neighbour, don’t kill other people, etc. that is not to be construed as “America is a Christian Nation”. America does not have an official religion. Speak about the founding father’s personal religious beliefs all you wish, but Freedom of Religion is associated with the US for a reason. The United States essentially became a country of other’s Refuge for a reason. However, you should never forget America was also founded on the blood of the Native people whom were here FIRST. The myriad of Tribes which lived on this part of the continent and the neighbouring islands were slaughtered so others could live FREE of religious persecution, funny how that worked out. What also should not be forgotten are the colonies whom lived in peace with the native population, the ones who truly shared and learned from and with the Native people.

Where am I going with this? Well the separation of church and state for one thing. It seems the wall between these has eroded to nothingness over the centuries. For others, the wall never existed. Religious peoples have allowed themselves to become pawns in the political game which is currently causing a massive rift in American society. Even worse, religious peoples have allowed their beliefs to be turned into marketing and nothing less than a club with a membership who doesn’t seem to realize the reason why the youth “strayed from God”. The irony here is that many people do not realize it is they who have done it to themselves. Speaking from experience, I’ve always noticed the faces people make when they think others aren’t looking. I didn’t have to be an adult to realize that the stares and glares I received as a child in church were of the “You don’t belong here” variety. These stares weren’t plentiful but there were enough to make me curious. Imagine how it feels to have a priest make a sermon about love, respect, and the like, only to receive a stare of hatred from someone just for breathing the same air in the building as they. Then to have those same people speak with your parents and others in the congregation with forced smiles and faux laughter. I couldn’t have been the only one to notice these people but everyone else seemed too polite to talk to them about it. Stir not the demon you care not with to contend, I guess.

Fakeness is what drove many in my generation from religion, or in the least from the physical buildings of a religion. Religion to many has become a whithered badge to wear, to prove to others how you’re better than they are. Many people speak the words but how many strive to become better? To learn from those teachings? The response from many has been to “Religion Harder” which is akin to singing louder in church so God can hear you over the others, or prostrating yourself more gracefully during which ever religious movement/action applies.

Now I spoke of separation of Church and state before, but why? Well here’s the connection. I believe (heh) that it’s the people who “Sing louder” or “prostrate more grandly” than others, whom are responsible for the reason why Evangelicals are so highly regarded by the political system. Faith is a strong thing, so in the halls of religious institutions people are unaware that their beliefs are being used against them and turned into a political tool. Some are even tricked into believing that one party is more religious than the other and thus better. See where I’m going?

People want to believe that they are better than the person next to them because we’ve been hardwired or programmed to believe that it has to be that way and for some, the easiest way is to take up religion. Narcissists and other Sociopaths are spoken about in the political sense but I’m not aware of religions response to them in the current day and age. The Holy books and writings can say what they will but thinking on the leaders of “Mega Churches” alone it’s curious that they are not called out for being what they really are. When a religious officiator can speak to their congregation and point them at a political enemy that is a major breakdown of religion. That is actually no longer religion but politicking by another name.

Freedom of religion was written into the constitution in an attempt to prevent this kind of thing from happening. For the most part, day to day, it does. But the current times are causing me to think about “action-over-time”. The talking heads in the political realm try to sell one religion over another. They are attempting with varying degrees of success to paint an entire religion as filled with degenerates and murderers as if we were back in the times of the Crusades. What’s even worse is that people are buying into this madness, what’s more is that it’s even working in the religion vs secularism arena. One example of the latter being Planned Parenthood. Calls for the complete de-funding of a program which does far more than people are willing to realize. In a Secular Nation your religious book is not and should not be admissible in court. “Holier than thou” is not a reason to attack something you do not agree with. In America there are laws which should be followed and there are procedures for the way things are done or changed.

I believe that religion should stick to matters of the soul and the congregations thereunder should take care that their beliefs are not turned into a weapon to be pointed by a sociopath who managed to gain their trust.

This is not an attack on religion. It is an attack on those who pervert religion and those whom are willfully ignorant to their influence.

Oglala Sioux Tribe Suit against Army Corps

Turtle Talk

Here is the complaint in Oglala Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers (D.D.C.):

Complaint

An excerpt:

This is a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the construction and operation of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) until the Defendant United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) completes an environmental impact statement (EIS) that fully analyzes the impacts of the DAPL to the Tribe’s Treaty rights and rights in the Mni Wiconi Project as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA).

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You Are Your Actions

Action for actions sake is just as naive and ignorant as inaction. An act should have an end goal in mind. To act merely for the sake of a visual show is wasted energy. This is applicable to all facets of life; participating in and professing a faith just to look religious, arguing, contrarian ideologies, etc.

There must be a solid ground for an action to have any significance. It’s spoken about in movies as “Dying for nothing.” when the naive yet selfless hero attempts to throw themselves into harms way, knowing they will die and change nothing. While self-righteous indignation may seem great, it does nothing.

Why do you REALLY go to church? Why do you REALLY protest? Why are you REALLY willing to risk your life? Do you truly believe the things you tell people just so they stop talking to you about it or perhaps do you say and do these things just to keep up appearances? For all the things I’ve been told to cherish and keep on a pedestal, as I’ve grown up and become an “adult” I find it wondrous that we constantly make excuses for why things are the way they are and why those things we were told to cherish are impossible now. “Do away with childish things” and what-not, this is the REAL world.

We shift blame for the reason why things became the way they are instead of actively trying to change course. “We’re heading off the cliff but we’re already heading this way, and I don’t want to be in the driver seat when we go over. I didn’t put us on this path.” Apathy and a reluctance to do wrong in order to keep up appearances lays the blame at everyone’s feet when we should be looking at ourselves. We are all in the wrong but no 1 can truly point to another to cast blame.

We left kindergarten years ago yet ALL people across this planet resort to name calling, and cast their vast nets of blame all while ignoring our own faults because clearly, our faults aren’t as bad as that persons, so we can obviously work on ours after they get their shit together.

We have our strengths but we allow them to go to waste because of whatever nonsense way of life we and generations before us have come to believe to be beneficial for us.

What is an action without the proper foundation? A death sentence to our quality of life.

Winter’s Reach

Even with the heat on, as I was sweating, winter stretched into my room and lapped at my arm. I glared at the window before I got up to check it, just to make sure the top window hadn’t crawled it’s way down a few millimetres. I pulled the curtain away and saw nothing but the pure whiteness that was the blizzard’s aftermath. The window was solidly closed, the latches were locked as well. I grabbed the curtain to pull it shut again but I froze in place. There was a figure standing in the street outside my new house. The tall dead trees of winter looked like they were quivering with anticipation behind them. I tried to pull the curtain but I wasn’t sure if moving was the best thing to do at that moment. My mind however, was free to race.

“I can’t tell if it’s a dude or a chick.

Aren’t they cold?

Why are they standing there?

Why are they looking at me?”

8920426131_160d913bd3_b

Photo by Adrian Smalley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/smalleyphotography/8920426131 used under Creative Commons 2.0 No changes were made to this image.

 

Then I noticed the snow around them was melting and as I looked away from their face to focus on the pool of water under their naked feet, a voice pierced my mind.

“Ektrazeh nuk, talemnasool. Ikst bjall talemnashadh.”

I stood there, the voice echoing in my head as they started walking toward my front door. I couldn’t move. Thinking back on it I don’t know if it was fear or something else that petrified me. All those years of learning to defend myself vanished from my mind. Street fighting, shooting, gone. They say your life flashes before your eyes before death, well I’d always been early and getting a head start on things. As I heard my front door torn off it’s hinges I took stock of my life. Rocky childhood, abuse, drugs but then when I was finally on my own I’d gotten good jobs, paid my way through college and I’d just bought this house…

And now I was going to die in it.

The front door sailed across the street and hit a tree, knocking down the snow. A bright flash appeared amoung the trees but then I heard steps on my staircase. I whipped around and each step seemed to fall with the weight of my life, shaking every fibre of my being. I was sure I’d stopped breathing but my heart was trying to get away by bursting through my chest… It’d never beaten so hard. The person reached the top of the landing and their steps paused as if they were trying to figure out where I was from where they saw me outside. Then it seemed like someone whispered in my ear.

“Take two steps to the right or I can’t help you.”

First I heard a random voice in my head and now, “no one” is whispering in my ear. I raised my right arm as if trying to distinguish between my right and left and fought with myself about whether or not moving was a good idea. Maybe the thing in the hall would think I bolted and they’d leave. As I had that thought the footsteps started again, as if my thinking tipped it off.

I realized I’d started breathing again. Fast, chaotic breaths were dispelling cold clouds from my mouth into the air. It’s fingers wrapped around my door frame followed by it’s head, peaking from behind it’s hand like the most terrifying game of peekaboo. Their eyes were empty yet full of hunger. Golden iris’s with pinpoint pupils were looking at me as if I was dinner. It’s mouth opened and it was breathing heavy and fast. They looked filled with as much anticipation as I was filled with fear.

It walked in the room disturbingly fast and as it was about 5 feet away from me I didn’t take two steps, I lunged to the right. My eyes were fixed on their golden ones and as they turned toward me my window imploded into the room. I saw blood splatter from the person in front of me onto my bed. They grabbed at their shoulder and roared while turning towards the window, sounding like some kind of lion mixed with a crocodile. There was a flash just like I saw earlier amoung the trees and then someone else just appeared in my room. In the blink of an eye there was a long sword sticking through Gold Eye’s head and it’s body went limp.

The new person in my room walked to the window and looked around for a few seconds before walking over to his sword, which was lodged in the dead persons head. He put his foot on it’s mouth and grabbed the handle of his sword.

“The problem is, there’s no fuller on this blade so it gets wedged inside em every time if I stab rather than slice. Thing is, with my blink, it’s easier to stab.”

He grunts loudly as the blade pulls free and he wipes it on the dead persons clothes before stowing it on his back.

“Well, it was only one tonight. But there’s no way to tell if that one was connected to the hive mind or if it was paying roaming charges. Either way you got two choices. You come with me now and I’ll get you somewhere safe or you can stay here and tell the police about these two crazy assholes who broke into your house. That the crazy asshole with a sword killed the other crazy asshole who was going to kill you; by the way, this guy tore your front door off. Then, when the police are gone, either another lone wolf will come by since you’re marked now or maybe this one’s hunting party finds out their sibling died in your house. Me explainin this to you only happens if we leave tonight, right now.”

I stood up and looked at the pool of blood pouring out of the dead things head into my green rug and shakily walked to my closet, threw my coat on the bed and pulled out a lock box before answering.

“My shoes are downstairs. Can I bring my shotgun?”

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