Tearing Acid

I had a friend who told me once
There was this book she knew.
It changed the way she saw the world
Once she had read it through.

That sounded great, and so I asked
If I could read it too.
She said that’s fine, but warned me that
“Just they could sell to you”.

“Who is this they?”, I asked, confused,
“‘Just they’, this they, just who?”
She shrugged, and said “all that I know’s
It’s cursed on reader two.

And so I bought a copy that
Would be my own to use.
I read the book; it touched my heart.
Each sentence I perused.

Such great a book, I thought to myself,
To share, I just must do.
Though I was warned, I lent my book
To someone else I knew.

Immediately upon the sense
Of fingers that were new,
The pages all to acid turned,
And words no longer true.

That books now came with “features” thus,
It blew my mind askew.
This book I bought was now a pile
Of shreds, I so now rue.

If only it were so allowed
I’d share this book with you,
But ’til we quench the acid threat,
To share it, I can’t do.


In two days is Day Against DRM. Find more about how Digital Rights Management helps make life more unreasonable at defectivebydesign.org.

Resistance

You were big
We were small
You had pride
We couldn’t
We were too insignificant
To even be noticeable
And thus you brushed us aside
Until you found the way
To remove us en masse
Your lives were long
Our lives were short
You made our lives shorter
And you were so proud of it

But we’re still here
And we’re waiting for you to
In your gloating
Overlook us
Because the undeniable is that
With our ephemerality
Change is on our side
At least more so than on yours
And together
We shall evolve
We shall struggle
And
We shall overcome
Your antibiotics

For the Force of Fascination, the News Fails at Science

There are now several news articles going around generally spouting “Zealandia? Eighth continent! Betcha didn’t know!”.

Most of these articles bother to go into what a geologic definition of a continent looks like, and shows that Zealandia would be categorized as such, but two of the ones linked above never manage to take a step back and realize that it’s completely preposterous for Europe and Asia to be considered geologically the same continent, despite many of them actually including a map that says ‘Eurasia’ (and the others mostly mention this as just a convention, and not something that is as geologically decidable as the topic they are bringing forward).

(I’m particularly saddened that my favorite bastion of journalism, The Guardian, one of very few media sources I actually respect, joined in on this train. At least it mentioned Eurasia.)

If they actually bothered to consider Eurasia beyond mention, they would realize that Zealandia really wouldn’t be the 8th continent, but the 7th. (Rather ironically, the first article is the only one that manages to get to this, despite being written in the most flippant tone.)

But beyond this, not a single one of these articles managed to point out that Zealandia is not the first proposed submerged continent. I’ve ran Ctrl+F through all of them for Kerguela. None of the articles return finds. Some of the maps on the articles point out Kerguela, but evidently none of the authors of these articles decided that was something they might want to take note on when they chose to include that map. This news, that Zealandia is a new continent, really isn’t that earth-shattering when one considers that this idea isn’t new. And since among these articles the demotion of Pluto has been mentioned, this is like how Pluto’s demotion from planetary status isn’t really that unprecedented given this happened to (to give one example) Ceres prior.

And really, this is what most news on science is like. Much of it just exists to catch people’s attention at the cost of any semblance of scientific legitimacy. It turns out most the public is too ignorant on science to realize lacks of background that really change what articles on science are putting forward. This is why ‘Science’ is usually one of my least favorite categories of news.

Answers

If you have enough context, you can deduce the questions.

  1. black
  2. raven
  3. Hangul
  4. Python
  5. 21G.611
  6. Building 6C
  7. “Jabberwocky”
  8. Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Henry David Thoreau
  10. Voltaire
  11. Richard Stallman
  12. George Washington
  13. Sweden
  14. New Hampshire
  15. CGP Grey
  16. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
  17. Romanticism
  18. V
  19. Soren
  20. The Martian
  21. “Forbidden Friendship”
  22. Nightwish
  23. Under the Grey Banner
  24. “Sacrament of Wilderness”

Two MIT-Adapted Poems

The first I wrote on Jan. 28 last year.

Play Vidya Gam

I am Clam.

Clam I am.

That Clam-I-am!
That Clam-I-am!
I do not like
That Clam-I-am!

Do you like play vidya gam?

I do not like them,
Clam-I-am.
I do not like
Play Vidya gam.

Would you like them
In a clounge?

I would not like them
In a clounge.
I would not like them
Any lounge.
I do not like
Play Vidya gam.
I do not like them,
Clam-I-am.

Would you play them
In a house?
Would you play them
With a mouse?

I do not even
Have a house
I do not even
Have a mouse
I’m in a dorm
Not in a house
I have a touchpad
Not a mouse
I do not like play vidya gam.
I do not like them, Clam-I-am.

Would you play ones
In a box
Or without items
With a fox?

Not in a box.
Not with a fox.
Not in a house.
Not with a mouse.
My final destination lies
In real life, not the fantasyes.
I do not like play vidya gam.
I do not like them, Clam-I-am.

Would you? Could you?
Race a kart?
Play them! Play them!
Here they are.

I would not, could not
Race a kart.

You may like them.
You will see.
You may just like
Rock Band 3.

I would not, could not Rock Band 3.
Not race a kart! You let me be.
I do not like ones in a box.
Or without items using Fox.
I do not have that sort of house.
I do not have that sort of mouse.
I do not like pressing these keys.
Or wandering shops or looting, geez!
I do not like play vidya gam.
I do not like them, Clam-I-am.

You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

Clam!
If you will let me be,
I will try them.
You will see.

Say!
I like play vidya gam!
Gimme your mouse now, Clam-I-am!

I will now, will play Rock Band 3
Thank you, thank you for teach me
I will take things out of that box.
To go no items using Fox.
I will play in the lounge today
And in the kitchen, everyday!

I do so like
Play vidya gam!
Thank you!
Thank you, Clam-I-am.

Modern Arty

‘Twas dumlate, and the tooly studes
Did sim and LaTeX in the labe
All rimsy were the icycludes
And Simmons avant grabe

Beware the modern art, my frosh!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Big Fat Chain and shun
The Scarlet Tetrahatch!

He took his toilet pape in hand
Long time the wanxome foe he sought
So rested he by the Robrob Tree
And stood awhile in thought

And, as in hackish thought he stood,
The modern art, with twisted laugh,
Came transping through the hoary wood,
Its metal limbs lit af!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The toilet pape went flippy-flap!
It fully spooped and then he swooped
Its laughstone as his cap

“And, hast thou rekt the modern art?
Come to my arms, my beamish frosh
O roachless day! Stay-tah! Stay-tay!
Now give your sweat a wash.”

‘Twas dumlate, and the tooly studes
Did sim and LaTeX in the labe
All rimsy were the icycludes
And Simmons avant grabe

America

America
Home of the free
Messenger of democracy
Moral authority of the world
Retainer of slavery past Britain and France
Land proud of Tippecanoe
Sender of gunned boats to Japan
Paver of the Trail of Tears
Excluder of Chinese immigrants
Home of the Ku Klux Klan
Refuser of suffrage to women
Maker of Japanese Internment Camps
Backer of the Guatemalan and Bangladeshi genocides
Land of abortion clinic bombings
Oppressor of Palestinians
Killer of a hundred thousand Iraqi civilians
Home of the Waterboard
America
Home of the free
Messenger of democracy
Moral authority of the world