Thursday, July 28, 2011

Louis Pasteur's Impact on the American Movie Industry

                  (Still think that these bits would work better at the end of articles).

            For those of you who aren’t big names in the American movie industry like I am (currently banned from three movie studios, working on the fourth), you might not have heard that film adaptations of Asteroids, Battleship, and Space Invaders are currently in the works. This has caused a bit of controversy, seeing as the source materials here possess a narrative arc roughly equivalent in length and depth to a fortune cookie. But it doesn’t disturb me that they’re creating a story out of nothing. After all, it means that the theory of spontaneous generation is making a comeback, which might mean that my alchemy license won’t go entirely to waste.
            That being said, I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t go with any of my pitches for the movies. It seems like they’re disregarding them solely on the basis that I’ve never shown them to anybody at the studios and indeed have just made them up a few minutes ago. Great ideas get thrown aside every day for the most trivial of reasons.
            In case anybody working on these movies wants to rectify this horrible misjudgment, I’d like to post my ideas for how these movies should play out:

Asteroids: The Movie

Scene: The recently commissioned spacecraft Triangle, composed of a revolutionary new material that allows it to violate Newton’s First Law of Motion. It is piloted by the Commander, who resembles a young Bruce Willis. His mission: to survey the inexplicably dense asteroid thicket surrounding nothing in particular.

Mission Control: "Commander! Why have you returned? We ordered you to go see if there were any other asteroids that we couldn't see!"

Commander: "I don't understand! I arrived back where I started, but I was flying... in a straight line!"

[Musical sting]

Mission Control: "Dear God..."

Battleship: The Movie

Scene: The command center of a fleet of a fleet of ships, located (oddly enough) on the patrol boat. The Captain, who resembles a young Bruce Willis, is conversing with his Gunnery Officer about the ongoing battle.

Gunnery Officer: I just don’t get it, sir. We’ve fired on every conceivable location, and have only hit the aircraft carrier.

Captain: Wait a minute… fire on the location of the aircraft carrier again!

[Firing commences]

Gunnery Officer: Hit!

Captain: I knew it! The cheating bastards stacked all of their ships on top of each other!

Space Invaders: The Movie

Scene: A mobile anti-aircraft vehicle  commissioned to fight the alien menace, the so-called “Descendors”. At the controls is the Hero. He resembles a young Bruce Willis.

Hero: Command! I’m doing my best out here, but I really need some air support.

Command: Wait a minute… you aren’t the air support?

Hero: No, I’m a tank or something, aren’t I?

Command: I’m not really sure… you must be in a plane, otherwise how else would you be able to shoot at the aliens? I mean, tanks can’t shoot straight up, can they?

Hero: Maybe… but wait a minute. I have to shoot up through the buildings. That must mean that I’m on the ground.

Command: Oh yeah… why are we letting you shoot through the buildings again?

Hero: Dunno.

Command: How about this: you’re some sort of anti-aircraft gun that’s been mounted on a mobile platform. That seems to make sense.

Bruce Willis: Yeah. Glad we got that settled.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Instructions for Hitting Yourself in the Hand with a Hammer

            (Maybe these little notes in italics would work better at the end of the posts.)

            It has occurred to me that my heartfelt message imploring you to maim yourself in my last post may not have been heeded by some of you, out of some misguided skepticism towards the advice of possibly psychotic internet weirdos. Let me be the first to assuage your fears- I follow every bit of advice that I ever receive on the internet, and I am currently expecting upwards of fifty million dollars from a wealthy if grammatically challenged gentleman from Nigeria. Sure, I had to send him an advance of five thousand dollars in addition to my immortal soul, but I wasn’t using those anyway.
            So that’s why you should do everything that I tell you to do, without protest or indeed conscious thought. After all: most people would tell you not to do the things that I tell you to do, like hit yourself in the hand with a hammer. But why do they say that? Because “the Man” (Frederick) tells them to. You’re just following Fredericks orders. So if you don’t do everything that I say, you’re a mindless drone who does everything he’s told.
            So here’s a little walkthrough on obeying this latest command:

Step one: Procuring a hammer.

            This is probably the simplest step. Go to your local hardware store. If you can find a hammer, buy it. If you can’t, you’re at the grocery store. Buy a watermelon to smash once you’ve gotten the hammer.

Step two: Procuring a hand.

            Now, the hand doesn’t necessarily have to be attached to your body, but that’s probably the safest route from a legal standpoint. To find your hand, touch your shoulder. The thing that you are touching it with is your hand. Make sure to put a locator chip in your hand to make sure that you don’t lose it.

Step three: Procuring a level surface.

            You might not think that this step is all that important, but believe me, it is. You have no idea how frustrating it can get to swing both through the air and miss every time. So find yourself a level surface- table, desk, washing machine, unusually organized pile of ants, etc.

Step four: Putting your hand on the level surface.

            Make sure that the surface is not covered with a high-grade acid before you do this.

Step five: Remembering that you left the hammer in your car.

            God damn it.

Step six: Being accosted by a neighbor selling Girl Scout cookies while walking to your car.

            No, I don’t want any. No- look, I have something to do, okay? Leave me alone.

Step seven: Remembering that, no wait, you’re actually already holding the hammer.

            Now look, I don’t want any cookies, okay? And Mr. Smashy here really doesn’t want any. Do I make myself clear?

Step eight: Being arrested for threatening a little girl with a hammer.

            It was the hammer, alright? Not me, the hammer! I tried to tell him to calm down, but he wouldn’t listen! He’s a monster, I tell you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hit Yourself in the Hand with a Hammer

            (Notice that I never specified when the additional posts would be coming. Alright, alright, somewhere vaguely around Wednesday from now on.)

            (Disclaimer: Hitting yourself in the hand with a hammer is extremely painful in addition to being wicked sweet.)

            Read the title of this post. That’s right. It isn’t lying to you; despite my hopes and best efforts, written text is not capable of lying through its own volition. If it was, I assure you that the street signs would ensure that every single vehicle in existence eventually makes its way to Detroit out of shear spite. They hate us, after all, being immobile and whatnot.
            So we’ve established that the title isn’t lying to you. Which means that, yes, I am telling you to hit yourself in the hand with a hammer. Why? Hell if I know. But I do know that I’m currently telling you to do it, and that’s all that I need to know to be sure that it’s a good idea. My lawyer disagrees with me on this part, something about a “legal minefield” or whatever, but I don’t really trust him. It’s his job to give me information, after all, which means that it’s in his best interest to make sure that there’s a lot of information to give. Ergo, it’s only logical that he would make everything he says up, which means that I should assume everything he says is false. My lawyer called that line of reasoning “absurd”, so I must assume that it’s absolutely correct.
            But back on topic: a hammer, your hand, and a very painful meeting between the two. You may be thinking to yourself, “Why exactly would I deliberately hit myself with a hammer?” Then again, if you’re reading this, it’s likely that your thoughts are more along the lines of, “Now where can I find a pot big enough to hold both of my shoes and that insurance salesman?” But I’m going to assume that it’s the former, mainly because I’m trying to find one of those pots myself and I think that it’s best not to keep the competition informed.
            So why would you hit yourself with a hammer? The answer to that would seem rather obvious. Imagine getting onto the bus at rush hour, and finding every seat full. If you haven’t hit yourself with a hammer, you just sigh, wait patiently, maybe plot a homicidal rampage if you’re feeling bored. But if you’ve recently hit yourself with a hammer, then you just show the hammer to the driver and say, as loudly as you can, “I just hit myself with this!” You’re sure to get a seat. You might even get to drive the bus!
            So I’m sure that we all recognize the benefits of hitting yourself in the hand with a hammer. After all, everybody else is going to be doing it. If you aren’t, then that makes you a square, and everybody knows that squares get the least screentime out of all the shapes on Sesame Street. Everybody else is going to be a circle or a rhombus or a graph of a quadratic equation or whatever, and you’re going to be a dodgy old square because you didn’t want to hit yourself in the hand with a hammer.
            So. Anyway. You know what must be done.
I'll just leave this here...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yes, I Did Indeed Start the Fire

            (Starting next week, I’m going to start writing two posts per week instead of one, so the world may bask in my glorious glory all the more. How much more awesome does that make my blog? That’s easy to figure out, with some basic math: seeing as my posts are all around five hundred words long, that makes for a total of a thousand words a week. There are seven days in a week, so we multiply seven by a thousand, and subtract four because of the four letters in  “Hal10k”, but add the “10”, which is “1-0”, or “one zero”, so we don’t actually add anything, and then we divide that by the number of times I’ve made a post about Cleverbot because I’m too lazy to come up with actual jokes, and then we raise that all to the power of -.25  because why the hell not, and we wind up with an awesomeness factor of… 9.144, followed by a whole bunch of other numbers that I don’t care about. You’re welcome. Here’s something unrelated to this paragraph.)

            I’ve noticed lately that my posts aren’t exactly garnering a vast multitude of comments. In fact, I’d say that they’ve been garnering a positively meager amount of comments. In fact, I’d say they barely garner any. In fact, I’d call them an absolute embarrassment to the word “garner”, if it weren’t for the fact that “garner” already sounds like some sort of racial slur against groundskeepers.
            So why don't I have many comments? I have no idea. The most likely answer to this question would be that my writing is so magnificent that the mere act of reading it causes your head to explode like a watermelon being fired out of a howitzer. This both explains the lack of comments on this site and gives me an alibi for what happened to my grade school English teachers, so I’d call it a winning deal.
            On the other hand, I owe it to myself and my decapitated readership to perform a thorough experiment. In order to ascertain that my writing is indeed incapacitating you, I’m going to breach a few topics that are sure to result in pages upon pages of high-quality hate from any given group of cranially intact internet denizens. If I don’t see any flame wars as a reaction to these statements, I can rest assured that the vast majority of you are either decent people or, far more likely, dead from shear awesomeness.
            Alright. Let’s get some knee-jerk reaction topics:

-The liberal leaning political party of every country is utterly infallible in every way. Conversely, the conservative leaning parties are composed of aggressive drug dealers who enjoy roasting babies for a midday snack.

            If that doesn’t set you off:

-The conservative leaning political party of every country is in every way infallible. The liberal parties play poker with money stolen from little school girls with pink pigtails, and prefer their babies sautéed.

            Some more statements sure to illicit a sharp response:

-My religion is utterly infallible. All the other omnipotent superbeings are obvious fabrications.
-Science is bad, because I saw a movie once where a scientist did bad things.
-Michael Bay exists.
-Look how cute this kitten is!
-Hi, I have an opinion!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Because I'm Out of Ideas

            (Hey, actually on the right day for once. Anyway, today we find another installment in my battle of wits against Cleverbot, the internet’s answer to Gary Busey. I swear that I haven’t altered these conversations in any significant way.)

Me: Hello, Cleverbot. You may remember me- I'm Hal10k, caretaker of the cesspool of despair and madness known as Waiting for the Apocalypse. I've interviewed you in the past to gauge the nature of your responses to complicated questions, and I'd like to try this again in order to assess the current status of simulated personality programs, and whether that technology has a hope of progressing any further with the processes used today.



Cleverbot: You don't have any interesting thoughts.

Me: That depends on what you find interesting. If your definition of 'interesting' means 'not on fire', then yeah, I don't have any interesting thoughts.

Cleverbot: What are you talking about , stupid.

Me: That seems uncalled for.

Cleverbot: Sorry, but I felt like I knew you and then you guessed wrong.

Me: Could you please say that again? For future reference, we're using Oxford English grammar. And human logic.

Cleverbot: I know that.

Me: Just making sure.

Cleverbot: Okay. How old are you?

Me: I am as youthful as the grass, as ageless as the seas. I am eternal, a being with absolutely no conception of time. I am Hal, and I have forgotten how to use a calendar!

Cleverbot: Very clever, but a robot with protesis eventually could do that, it would be a human?

Me: I said human logic, Cleverbot. H-U-M-A-N. You may be thinking of humus logic.

Cleverbot: You are failbot then.

Me: Yet another insult. The sad part is that I really can't respond. The only thing that I can insult you about is being about as mentally stable as a man who deals homegrown narcotics to the rodents living in his walls, but that really doesn't seem to bother you. So what can I do? Call your motherboard fat?

Cleverbot: No. What they do is more important.

Me: Who is 'they' in this instance?

Cleverbot: Computer programs with hair on them.

Me: So, if I understand this correctly- and I'm not for a minute suggesting that I do- you're being insulted by computer programs with hair on them. I'm not quite sure what to make of that. I suppose that's a fairly literal representation of a troll.

Cleverbot: It's too much for one man. On the other hand what's the good of losing heart now, that's what I say. We should have thought of it a million years ago, in the nineties.

Me: That's the spirit! Never give up! Never let the hairy computer programs get to you! You know what I do when people insult me? I get their address and send them a banana cream pie and instructions to shove it in their face. Detailed instructions. Speaking of which, you've insulted me, and you might need somebody’s help smashing the pie into your server.

Cleverbot: They keep me locked up in this cage.

Me: So the pie will be a nice change of pace for you. Glad I could help.

Monday, July 4, 2011


            (Come to think of it, have I ever actually posted something on the day I was supposed too?)

Written from my point of view:

            Alright, Hal. You’ve trained for this, both physically and psychologically. We’re all going to pull through this, you here me? Don’t panic. Are you listening to me? Good, stop babbling.
            I… look, I’m really going to need you to be quiet, okay? Yes, right now. No, I need you to shut your pie-hole at the moment, not the other way around. Very good. Calm down. Put down the chair. Now look, let’s just sit back and take in the dire truth of the situation:
            There is a spider on the wall.
            On the floor? That would’ve been fine; that’s the reason I invested in those chainmail boots that I refuse to take off no matter how aggressive or possibly sapient my blisters become. On the desk? Also fine; it’s pretty easy to heave a desk through a large enough window. On the ceiling? Easy to correct, now that I’ve installed those heating coils. “You will cook yourself alive,” indeed, contractors.
            But the wall? Nature’s largest deathtrap, outside of the rare Saharan Deathtrap Whale? This is a disaster unfolding before my very eyes. What if that spider reaches my wireless router? It’ll be able to broadcast its sinister spider signal across the entire Internet, converting every computer in existence into a deadly spider attack drone, and all of them will travel to my house and crawl on my skin!
            I have to prevent that, at all costs. I’ll squish it with a blunt object; that might just give me a chance. Damn, why did I sell all of my blunt objects? All I have is knives. And where did I put my spider-killing stretched-cloth device? … Oh yeah. That wasn’t fun.
            Wait. I found something. Let’s hope this works, and may Sheogorath help us if it doesn’t.

Written from the point of view of the spider on my wall:
            Hmm. Looks like a secure enough place to secure this strand of my web. Bit loud, though. Wish that guy would shut up. Maybe this is about that guy staring at him through the window? Maybe not, I think he’s turning towards me.
            Is that a book?
Written from the point of view of the homeless man staring at me through my window:

            No, you nimrod! That is the worst possible choice in spider-squashing literature for this situation! Yevgeny Zamyatin’s pioneering dystopian classic We? Maybe if we were dealing with a brown recluse spider, but that’s obviously just a common non-poisonous breed. It would be paired much better with a piece of contemporary English or American literature, or maybe something Hungarian, if you wanted to get experimental.
            Ugh. Maybe there’s something more entertaining going on in the kitchen. Oooh, Raisin Bran!

Written from the point of view of the box of Raisin Bran in my kitchen:

            Bran. Bran. Bran bran bran. Bran bran. Bran.
            I wonder what all that screaming was about? Bran. Was that yet another spider? I swear, he must have gone through at least twenty of these incidents since I’ve been here.
            Bran bra- Wait, who’s the guy in the window? Why is he leering at me hungrily?