Category Archives: Friday

Alterpedia Historia: The Great Wars

(I hate that I have to say this, but this is a fictional account of the history of a fictional world. I do not believe these things, nor should you, as I am making them up. If I receive any comments that I did not do my research into these events, you will be mocked.)

In the Agent of Argyre series of books, there is an organization called the Alter Control Task Force. Though ostensibly an organization for policing activities of the Alter race, an attempt to prevent an eventual race war, they are actually representatives of a city-state on the ocean: The Republic of Argyre.

The Republic of Argyre, an artificial island anchored to an oceanic ridge in the pacific, is a city-state established by Alters for the sake of harboring their kind and establishing a relationship with the mainstream human population. Despite being an artificial island and attached to no primary landmass, the city’s structure is capable of potentially supporting all 12 to 15 million active Alters on the planet.

How did a race of people who’ve lived in hiding for centuries manage to construct such a city? Why would they build their city in the middle of the ocean? Where did they get the resources for such a task? In the Alterpedia Historia, we will answer these questions and discover the history of the Alters. Today we address… Continue reading Alterpedia Historia: The Great Wars

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Lifestyles of the Rich and Centaur

The Centaur, once a vital part of society, now relegated to the fringes of civilization due to circumstances beyond their control. Though one would suspect it were the fact they literally walk around as a half-horse who could be recognized from a distance, the truth is that the world has long ago abandoned a need for raw, natural horsepower. Though still appreciated by your lady friends, few tasks in this world truly require the work of a stallion anymore. Yes, while the horse is still sometimes used for a variety of tasks as a matter of tradition or for the simple joy of owning one of these magnificent beasts, few Centaur can appreciate the same status in today’s world. Why, it’s been generations since anyone would ride a Centaur in public without an exchange of money – particularly in seedy bars south of the border.

And because of this, the life of a privileged Centaur has become a dull and isolated existence. Generations of doing heavy lifting no other race could accomplish has managed to make your family quite wealthy, even comfortable. Certainly some Centaur still work, deep in some Gnome’s mine or on a Kappa’s cucumber farm. But such menial labor is no longer a part of your family’s life, things are good for you. Still, you yearn for something else, something is missing in your life. Being waited on hand and hoof has made your life terribly uneventful as you lounge your days away on the private Mediterranean property passed down through your family for generations. Your parents insists that this is merely a phase, but you know what lies in your hearts.

Fortunately, you are not the first bored person with too much money… Continue reading Lifestyles of the Rich and Centaur

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Alterpedia: Centaurs

In the Alters’ World (and the series of books found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they’ve seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Every entry of the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. This week we cover: Continue reading Alterpedia: Centaurs

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Alterpedia Historia: The Frontier

(I hate that I have to say this, but this is a fictional account of the history of a fictional world. I do not believe these things, nor should you, as I am making them up. If I receive any comments that I did not do my research into these events, you will be mocked.)

In the Agent of Argyre series of books, there is an organization called the Alter Control Task Force. Though ostensibly an organization for policing activities of the Alter race, an attempt to prevent an eventual race war, they are actually representatives of a city-state on the ocean: The Republic of Argyre.

The Republic of Argyre, an artificial island anchored to an oceanic ridge in the pacific, is a city-state established by Alters for the sake of harboring their kind and establishing a relationship with the mainstream human population. Despite being an artificial island and attached to no primary landmass, the city’s structure is capable of potentially supporting all 12 to 15 million active Alters on the planet.

How did a race of people who’ve lived in hiding for centuries manage to construct such a city? Why would they build their city in the middle of the ocean? Where did they get the resources for such a task? In the Alterpedia Historia, we will answer these questions and discover the history of the Alters. Today we address… Continue reading Alterpedia Historia: The Frontier

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Gardening With Pixies

Gardening, it’s a surprisingly complex field of work for something that most people just take on as a hobby. In today’s high stress world a lot of people take on gardening as a method to unwind. The slow, gradual process of tending to a garden and watching it grow can give you hours of productive work to do that doesn’t actually require a great deal of thinking, worrying, or bickering with coworkers. As such, many people, including the psyche major working in human resources, have recommended that you should take up gardening as a method of staving off the strain of your soul-crushing job. However, after only a short time, you’ve realized something’s gone terribly wrong.

The act of growing a living thing that only requires sunlight, water, and soil should be a simple task. But anyone who has ever tried it knows that it’s filled with hidden pitfalls and challenges. You may have planted in the wrong location, over-watered, under-watered, failed to properly fertilize, or trimmed it in the wrong way. Any number of these can lead to having a dead plant in your garden. And, for some of us, it’s fortunate that plants aren’t sentient or we’d be serial killers.

But one of the greatest challenges of gardening is pest control. Pests, whether they be bugs, small animals, or simply children, are the sworn enemy of a thriving garden and will generally require you to bring out the poison. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work, with some bugs being resistant and children being illegal to poison. And for those exceptions it can take a trickier approach that may involve organic solutions or even grabbing some sort of psychological device like a tiny scarecrow or a dog that hates small kids. However, should it turn out that you can’t manage to make anything grow, it may not just be that you’re terrible with plants, you may have a pest you didn’t account for.

You… may have Pixies. Continue reading Gardening With Pixies

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

What’s Left For Us

A few days ago I made mention that there was a good chance that an AI takeover of our lives would be quiet and uninteresting. There wouldn’t bea  great deal of violence or bloodshed, it’d just gently happen over time. An artificial intelligence, lacking the same sorts of pressures that made us who we are, wouldn’t have reason to annihilate us as we so often fear. But the idea that they could take over and leave us without purpose seems like a credible possibility to me. After all, why do we need to do the work if the machines can do it for us?

For some this would seem like a rather ominous and damning thought for our future. If we’re stripped of purpose then what would be our reason to live as the machines take care of us like fleshy children? Yet, despite this possibility, I sit here looking forward to the day when our machines can start to pick up that slack for us. Because when that time comes, humanity will be free to do something we’ve never been able to do before.

Instead of fearing the future’s “lack of purpose”, imagine the one where we find… Continue reading What’s Left For Us

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Immortality and the Mind

As human beings the one thing that is universal among all of us is that we will eventually die. Try as we might, you can’t avoid it. Modern medicine, technology, and society have allowed us to extend our lifetimes to twice as long as our ancestors, sometimes even longer, but we still have to face that one outcome in the hopefully distant future. Not that the fact we all owe a death doesn’t stop people from trying to get out of it. Hell, in ways we’ve built entire cultures around the desire to find a loophole.

When you really think about it, religions are based on this idea that we can somehow be eternal. Sure, there may be explanations for the world that create mythologies with a pantheon of gods or a single almighty deity, but the actual crux of a religion is that there is some part of us that is eternal and everlasting. If you do the right thing in the right religion you’ll go on as an eternal soul, or be reincarnated into a new life, or break free of the bounds of human mortality. It’s undeniable that we’ve gone a long way to follow stories of immortality – even inventing gunpowder.

So it should be no surprise to anyone that speculative fiction is full of possible ways out of it. Immortal beings have been a staple of fantasy for as long as “fantasy” has even existed. Methods of achieving a higher state of existence have been fairly common in fantasy and sci-fi for almost as long. And with modern medicine slowly creeping its way to resolving the biological aspect of aging, sci-fi still has new avenues to explore on the subject. Aliens, demons, gods and other entities walk through these stories timeless and unaging, a pinnacle of the dream that so many of us have and presenting to some a hope that maybe we could do the same someday – possibly before it’s our turn.

But then the question becomes: would we want it if we had it? Continue reading Immortality and the Mind

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Redirecting Your Energy

As is well known to anyone who’s followed the blog for a long time, the guy who writes it is a broken man who becomes crippled at the mere sight of flower petals. Allergens are my greatest enemy, and they’ve often made getting up in the morning difficult. Hell, today they made getting up in the afternoon difficult as I temporarily fell asleep face first on my desk. Generally that means that I’ve got a touch of derailed productivity, the need to step away from certain tasks to chase down others instead. And, despite my own advice, sometimes I still fall into the trap I described back when I first mentioned the phenomenon.  It’s easy to think that you’re not doing your best if you give into some physical ailments, even if everyone around you tells you that it’s okay.

But, having finally come to realize that I was just being silly in trying to chase down my original task for the day, I’ve accepted that I should have listened to that guy hopped up on benadryl many months ago. I shouldn’t push myself to do a task that I know isn’t going to be getting my best effort. I shouldn’t damage the work just to appease my guilt over my physical failings. There are other things to be done, other tasks worth my time, which I can still do even if my head feels like it’s been stuffed with cotton and can only be relieved by the blessings of the MyPurMist given to me for my birthday.

Slowly becoming more man than machine, just don’t let me buy a Navage.

But then, a question presents itself: What the hell do I do then? Continue reading Redirecting Your Energy

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

The Promise Of Exoplanets

Long ago, at a time when people didn’t necessarily understand what stars were, a few points of light were seen against the night sky moving independently of the rest of the heavens. Called planets, for “wanderer”, these points of light in the night sky soon took on greater meaning as we realized what they said about the shape of our world and our very universe. We’ve looked at them for ages now, studying their features and making rough guesses as to what they would hold, and for the greatest time we had expectations that couldn’t really have been met by the rocks in our solar system.

But over time we came to realize something far more profound. For every point of light in that sky that wasn’t a planet, there was another sun or a galaxy that we couldn’t have realized was there with the naked eye. And for each star there was a promise of more, of a near limitless supply of other worlds that could hold not just possibilities for ourselves but for others we’ve never met. The more worlds exist in this universe, the more chances we have at not being alone.

And, lately, that’s been looking a hell of a lot more possible… Continue reading The Promise Of Exoplanets

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook

Alterpedia: Oracles

In the Alters’ World (and the series of books found here), creatures of legend reveal themselves to the world. Born through genetic abnormalities, defects and mutations, the Alters have lived for centuries as outcasts of human society, hiding their true nature from the world while colorful stories have been written by many to describe what they’ve seen. How are these creatures different from what was described in the stories? What relationship do they have with humanity? Every entry of the Alterpedia will delve into a new creature from around the world. This week we cover:

Oracles

Priestesses of the gods, the Oracles were seen as direct connections between the world of mortals and the beyond. As a result, they were one of the great authorities in the otherwise patriarchal Greek society and several others who would have otherwise ignored the advice of women. Considered practically infallible, their words carried weight with people from all walks of life. They were consulted by everyone from common citizens to even kings as they dispensed wisdom and advice thought to have been supernatural in origin. And, while being genuinely documented in the historical Greek civilization of antiquity and several others, their powers have often been up for question.

Did they truly speak to the gods? Were they simply skilled at reading people and telling them what they wanted to hear? Or was there something else happening that no one could understand at the time?

Let’s look deeper… Continue reading Alterpedia: Oracles

Share on RedditDigg thisShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someoneShare on StumbleUponShare on Facebook