“We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.” ~ Albert Einstein
“We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.” ~ Albert Einstein
The white rock country road cut through the very heart of the surrounding cattle community, one characterized by its acres, upon acres of wide open spaces, like a scar upon the earth.
The road was sporadically shaded from the blue twilight of the nightly stars by heavy tree-cover, which framed the land around it, however one section of the road was shaded far more than others.
Here the overhanging trees were so thick they tunneled the road to a near sightless black, just where two hills merged at their base to form the valley below.
Few animals dare cross over this pitch point of shadowed nothingness. No crickets chirped their nightly song from the heart of those lightless shadows. No lightning bugs dare breach that absolute dark.
Something was in there however…
Something which waited.
It waited for the perfections of delicious opportunity which was often afforded to it by time.
It waited for those malevolent twists of fate which were gifted by the night.
And it waited for that perfect moment of happenstance, when prey fell helplessly into its trap.
It didn’t have to wait long.
“GPS sucks.” Jack carried the empty gas can with one hand and tucked the other deep inside the pocket of his denim jacket, as if to ward off the chill of the wind of night that seemed to grow more bitter the longer he walked, and stomped down the hill toward the motionless valley below. “Shortcut to my destination my ass. Leave it to me to not only pick the only GPS system with a crappy sense of direction, but one that leads me to the middle of Nowhere, USA with the promise of a ‘Gas station just ahead’. What bullsh*t!”
“Are you lost?”
“Good Christ!” Jack yelped, dropped the plastic red gas can and jumped nearly out of his boots. He stumbled back and fell painfully on his pride. His hand clutched at his chest and he gasped for air at the surprised start due to the voice from the darkness.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”
The voice was femininely melodic, smoothly angelic, and serenely calm.
“No, no, it’s OK.” Jack lay back onto the white rock of the dirt road and took a couple of deep breaths in an attempt to calm his racing heart. He just had the crap scared out of him by a freaking woman out in the middle of nowhere that was all. Nothing to be frightened of. “I’m OK.”
Jack tipped his head up to stare into the shadows ahead and through squinted eyes, thought he saw some movement in the shadows, by darker shadows still. The darkness before him was so all-encompassing however it was hard to be sure for the black gave little away…
It revealed nothing.
He knew why he was out in the middle of nowhere, but what the hell was a woman doing out, lurking in the dark?
“Oh,” The woman laughed lightly. “That’s good to hear, I was afraid I gave you a deathly scare.”
“Trust me, you did.” Jack cleared his throat and pushed himself up to his feet, and leaned over as he began to dust himself off. His eyes scanned the rock road for his gas can. Where had it gone? “But I think I’ll live.”
“Do you?” The woman whispered.
Jack jerked his head up, his heartbeat thumped heavy in his chest at that whispered, almost hissed, question. “Excuse me?”
The previous light, chilled wind seemed die down and in that one particular place, that point where Jack stood at the threshold of shadows, the air seemed impossibly heavy.
The feeling was unnerving.
It wasn’t only he, which felt it.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jack watched a jack rabbit dart out of the bushes to reveal himself in the blue starlight of the night.
It ran, head down, as if it’s life depended on it.
The rabbit however stop quickly before the shadows of the valley which held them both, as if it had slammed on its proverbial brakes or as if it had hit some invisible wall unseen to human eyes. After a quick twitch of its nose, it darted wild eyes up to his, and for a second Jack could have sworn he had seen terror there. A fact reaffirmed by the puddle of the remnants of its fear as it was left to gleam in a single sliver of stingy starlight that had broken through the tree-cover, a tale-tell sign of the rabbits bowels loosened in fright. Breath held, jack watched the rabbit as it backpedaled quickly, kicking up rocks in its frightened bid to escape whatever it sensed in the shadows.
The rabbit turned, ran afraid in the opposite direction of the shadows, only to dart back into the safety of bushes from whence it came.
Jack swallowed painfully and watched the bush uneasily as it trembled, only to stop now deathly still.
But for what?
Jack turned back to face the woman in the shadows before him, with great hesitation. Why did he suddenly feel like he should run, flee like the wild rabbit as well? “What are you doing out here?” He had to know.
“Funny, I was about to ask you that same question.” Jack didn’t have to see the smile in the woman’s voice, he could hear it.
Odd thing was?
The sound was not a comfort.
His ears were straining now, as he tried to make out the sound of movements that came from the shadows, for his eyes gave hints of nothing away, save for a faint shade of red there in the heart of the darkness.
His gas can? Jack couldn’t be sure.
Jack leaned slightly closer to the dark border, eyes squinted hard.
Goose-flesh rained over his body. Was that an almost inaudible growl which had come from the sightless depths. Surely not. “Um, my truck ran out of gas just off the main road and my stupid GPS informed me that there was a gas station down this way.”
“There was, many years past, just down this road, but it was closed long ago. Lack of business. You see few people came down this road, then or now. Seldom the need to.” The woman said, “But thanks to the wonders of GPS that has changed of late. Insane, isn’t it, how much trust we put in technology these days to keep us on the right path and to keep us out of the hands of danger?”
Wasn’t that a strange way to put it, “I guess it is.” Jack uncomfortably cleared his throat past the lump that was forming there, and squinted harder into the abyss of the shadows before him, while a sense of unease tickled the back of his neck like the tentative raking of nails across his skin. “But that’s my reason for being here, what’s yours?”
“Oh, I’m hunting for my food.”
Jack’s lips trembled with an attempted fake smile. Woman or no woman, he didn’t like the sound of that, or the feel of this place at all. Screw the gas can, it was time to get gone! He took one step back slowly…“The trails of small town living, huh? Hunting at night – Isn’t that dangerous, even for a country girl?” Then he took another.
It wasn’t far enough.
An unmistakable deep growl erupted from the blackness this time and shook the trees overhead. It sent the branches trembling as leaves rained down like brown, brittle snowflakes of death.
Jack whimpered, his body locked tight at the sound, his mouth dried instantly in fear, even as a rough voice growled out, no longer femininely melodic, smoothly angelic, or serenely calm…
In that instance he knew there would be no escape.
“I never said I was a girl.”
Agonizing screams of terror and pain rent the crisp night air, soon followed by the louder sound of enforced silence.
The jack rabbit shivered uneasily in the burrow he had made for himself underneath the bush by the fence-line, but dared not look back over his shoulder towards that place where the stench of death once again stained the Earth. The rabbit closed his eyes and trusted in his knowledge that as long as the beast’s hunger was satisfied, it would not hunt more prey this night.
No, tonight the rabbit had to believe that it was safe.
But oh, there was always tomorrow…
When the beast would grow hungry once more.
So as the rabbit slept, the beast lapped up the remained of its feast.
~ Anguished Repose
The word has such negative connotations, doesn’t it?
Maybe this refresher course below, full of instances where brainwashing revealed inner powers beyond one’s wildest imaginings, will help rectify that:
[via io9]We all act like being mind-wiped and reprogrammed is such a bad thing— but is it always? Sometimes having your personality or identity scrubbed away like so much grout scum is just a great way to make room for new stuff. Like killer ninja skills. Or superpowers.
Mind-control and mind-wiping are common themes in science fiction and fantasy — and sometimes, they actually give people superpowers as a side-effect, or as their main result. Here are some people who got awesome superpowers from being brainwashed.
As Captain America’s sidekick, he was already sort of a badass — but when he became the Winter Soldier, he was programmed to become a Soviet assassin for Department X. And his programming made him way more effective and deadly than he had previously been — and arguably gave him the wherewithal to be able to take over as Captain America himself, eventualy.
The Black Widow
Natalia Romanova was raised in the U.S.S.R.’s Black Widow Ops program, and biologically enhanced while also being programmed as the perfect spy and assassin. She was given false memories to go with her programming, to enable her to be the perfect spy. She even became the lover of the Winter Soldier, her fellow brainwashed Soviet agent.
Echo and her friends, on Dollhouse
Joss Whedon sure loves to show people getting mind-wiped and gaining powers as a result — even Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be seen as being programmed by her dreams and indoctrinated by her Watcher — and this theme reached its ultimate expression in Dollhouse. Echo, Sierra and the others have their whole minds erased and stored on discs, but then their empty brains are filled with new personalities — including awesome skills like safe-cracking and ninja-ness. (Ninja-hood? Ninja-bility? Ninjitsu?)
Did you realize that this children’s book superhero’s origin involves being hypnotized by two children? In his civilian identity, Captain Underpants is a mean principal, Mr. Krupp, who hates children. But after being mind-controlled by two of his students, Mr. Krupp becomes Captain Underpants whenever he hears fingers snapping. And eventually, he gains actual superpowers, even though he remains unaware of his other persona when he’s not triggered.
Captain Universe isn’t a single person — he’s an identity that tends to take over people, and he’s had several hosts throughout his history. The Uni-Power, an aspect of the Enigma Force, seeks out “people in great peril” and bonds with them, transforming them into Captain Universe. And along with the powers of the Captain, they also gain some of his heroic attitudes.
When the old-school criminal Simon Phoenix is awoken from cryo-freezing for a parole hearing, he mysteriously has up-to-date knowledge that lets him escape from prison. It turns out Phoenix knows an amazing amount about the future and has tons of useful skills to go with his already psychopathic personality — and he’s also got instructions buried in his brain telling him whom to kill.
And finally… there’s Joss Whedon’s other mind-frakked superwoman, who underwent incredibly nasty brain surgery at the hands of the Alliance. These experiments gave her tons of powers, including some kind of telepathy and super-fighter skills — but she also has some nasty junk in her head, including some programming whose exact nature is never entirely made clear. [Read More]
And if THAT didn’t, this video certainly will because if one can get superpowers via brainwashing?
These idiots (below) need all the help they can get!
Only thing is…
Right now the ONES REVEALED TO US are tiny and not a whole lot to get all freaked out about.
That, of course, will NOT stop me:
(PhysOrg.com) — For many years, researchers have been working on designing and fabricating micro-air-vehicles (MAVs), flying robots the size of small insects. But after realizing how difficult it is to create a tiny, lightweight flying vehicle capable of carrying a payload and being powered by a long-life onboard power source, some researchers have recently stopped trying to copy real-life insects and started using the insects themselves, with a few small tweaks. For instance, using tiny stimulators near their antennae, electrodes implanted in their central nervous systems, or neuromuscular interfaces, researchers have found that it’s easier to control insect’s brains – and therefore, flight – than to build robotic insects from scratch. [Read More]
Because just wait…
Given enough time?
Pretty good chance that that feeling of ease will be replaced by a drastic feeling of unease as science starts to slow tedious process of merging man with machine.
That’s kind of started already hasn’t it.
[via Breitbart]A hair-thin electronic patch that adheres to the skin like a temporary tattoo could transform medical sensing, computer gamingand even spy operations, according to a US study published Thursday.
The micro-electronics technology, called an epidermal electronic system (EES), was developed by an international team of researchers from the United States, China and Singapore, and is described in the journal Science.
“It’s a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology,” said co-author John Rogers, a professor in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is mechanically and physiologically invisible to the user.”
The patch could be used instead of bulky electrodes to monitor brain, heart and muscle tissue activity and when placed on the throat it allowed users to operate a voice-activated video game with better than 90 percent accuracy.
“This type of device might provide utility for those who suffer from certain diseases of the larynx,” said Rogers. “It could also form the basis of a sub-vocal communication capability, suitable for covert or other uses.”
The wireless device is nearly weightless and requires so little power it can fuel itself with miniature solar collectors or by picking up stray or transmitted electromagnetic radiation, the study said.
Less than 50-microns thick — slightly thinner than a human hair — the devices are able to adhere to the skin without glue or sticky material.
“Forces called van der Waals interactions dominate the adhesion at the molecular level, so the electronic tattoos adhere to the skin without any glues and stay in place for hours,” said the study.
Northwestern University engineer Yonggang Huang said the patch was “as soft as the human skin.”
Rogers and Huang have been working together on the technology for the past six years. They have already designed flexible electronics for hemispherical camera sensors and are now focused on adding battery power and other energy options.
You can TOTALLY freak out now.
I am, but I suppose due to THIS news that’s pretty much a given.
Anguished Repose appreciates the thought of ‘soul-mates’ as much as the next person…
But even with that said, I must admit, this lady reveals some very valid points, because taking the choice, the opportunity to choose out of someone’s hand and putting it into the hands of fate?
Takes some of the sexy out:
[via Blogs.PublishersWeekly.com] Down with Destiny ~Rose Fox — August 30th, 2011
While going over my page proofs today (yes, on paper, with a pencil, because we are seriously old school over here), I caught the term “bond-mate” in two consecutive reviews. I took one out and replaced it with an equivalent term, but this got me thinking about how many paranormal romances seem to revolve around the idea of destined partners, much as fantasy epics often revolve around the idea of destined jobs or tasks.
Does anyone else find this idea really disturbing? It’s like all the worst parts of arranged marriage with none of the upsides. It throws us back to a time when women were property and there was no divorce. You can’t even blame your parents; Fate or Destiny or God has made the choice for you, and you don’t get to argue. Initially dislike the other person? Too bad! Fate or Destiny or God has also slipped you a roofie, and you will be so compellingly attracted to your destined mate that your arousal overwhelms your very reasonable concerns. The super-hot compulsive sex will just have to make up for your partner not being someone you otherwise want to be in the same room with.
In anything resembling the real world, this would be a recipe for marital disaster and profound self-loathing. The compulsive arousal/attraction thing particularly makes me cringe. There’s a word for sex you don’t want but are forced to have, and I think that word is applicable even when it’s Fate or Destiny or God forcing two people to behave a certain way rather than one of those people forcing the other. How terrible would it be to be repeatedly compelled to have sex with someone you’re bound to forever, possibly for multiple centuries or lifetimes depending on the paranormal setting, and to have your body aroused by it every single time even when it’s really not what your mind wants, and to know that you can’t escape because Fate or Destiny or God will inexorably draw the two of you back together no matter how far you run? Even if you loved your partner truly and deeply, how could you bring yourself to touch them, knowing that their responses aren’t under their control and that in this setting there is no such thing as consent because neither of you can really say no? [Read More]
Much like the romance is taken out if one truly knows someone “inside and out”, because really…
Is there ever a time when revealing ALL of what is inside you, is such a good thing?
[via New Scientist] This mouse embryo gets an all clear for fluorescent imaging thanks to Scale, a new solution that turns tissue transparent without distorting its shape. Developed by Atsushi Miyawaki of the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan and colleagues, Scale could help researchers peer within tissues without destructive incisions.
After incubating the tissue in a concentrated urea solution for two weeks (right), the researchers could study the fine structure of the brain in 3D with the help of fluorescent markers. The images revealed neuronal connections and blood vessels deep within the embryo’s brain at new depths and sub-cellular resolution. The affordable experimental prep could help scientists probe a variety of other tissues and creatures clearly. [Read More]
Contextually that article is off my point, just a tad, but you get the picture.
People have layers for a reason, because there comes a point in a relationship where seeing literally everything about a person?
Kind of creepy.
You get the point, right?
There should be something said for people maintaining a bit of mystery in a relationship…
Where being decidedly LESS revealing can only be beneficial to both.
Not to mention a lot less nightmare inducing.
This is high voltage and, because the switch isn’t grounded and close to the other side creates a flame .. this stops when the switch is full open, the other side is grounded and an integrated airpower goes off
I move objects with my paws.
When attack I show my claws.
I fly from place to place.
Moon is my second base.
My actions are shown on the blog.
I am Super-duper dog.
Doing the tricks when wearing the white pants.
Oh, such a show off.