Tag Archives: THE FUTURE

100 Rules of Time Travel

Time is weird.  Time Travel is dangerous.  That’s why the 100 rules of Time Travel were first written when Washington Irving traveled through time to his future year of 1887.  Now, in honor of My Name is Ward Armstrong and I Travel Through Time going up on Amazon for public viewing, I give to you the 100 rules of time travel:

  1. Never wear a watch; it might explode.
  2. You can change the past.
  3. The farther back you go, the more likely it is that you won’t come back.
  4. Always announce yourself as a time traveler: At worst you’ll be committed to that era’s version of a Mental Health Ward, at best you’ll be treated to a feast of sugar plums!
  5. We are, all of us, constantly traveling through time.  It is only those trained, though, that should move forward more than a day or backward at all.
  6. When interacting with locals from the time you’re in, just smile and nod.  This will put them at ease.
  7. Always carry gold.
  8. Time is relative, manners are not.  Please be respectful.
  9. The farther you go, the greater a headache you’ll have afterwards.  Be sure to get plenty of rest and take vitamin capsules.
  10. Keep track of all your belongings, there are thieves where you’ll go.
  11. Always carry a coin from your time with you; that will let you know of any changes to the timeline.
  12. Some time around the year 7603 AD mankind will break off into distinctly different species: The Eloi who will be telepathic and super-intelligent but have massively reduced lifespans, the Morlocks who will live for 800 years with skin of steel but be dull and brutish, and the Poporopos who will have five tentacles, four eyes, and will sleep inside of clocks eating away at the “tick tock tick” sound they make.
  13. Do not travel beyond 7.9 billion years on Earth, the Sun would have engulfed the planet by then and there would be nothing to land on.
  14. Bring sunglasses with you, the future is bright.
  15. Always consult your history book before traveling.
  16. Killing Hitler always seems like a good idea, but it rarely is.  We’re sorry.
  17. You can, however, go back in time and punch or kick Hitler a few times.  This is, in fact, widely encouraged.
  18. Remember where you parked.
  19. Keep your TimeKeys™ with you at all times.
  20. Have fun with time puns!  Just because you may be trying to stop the apocalypse doesn’t mean you can’t make a joke.
  21. When traveling through time always keep your person inside of the time machine.
  22. Personal history is easier to change than world history.
  23. Do not bring any future technology back with you.
  24. The farther backwards in time you travel the greater the number of things you shouldn’t touch is.  Even one butterfly stepped on could have catastrophic changes in your present.
  25. Always say goodbye to loved ones before traveling through time. They may not be there when you come back.
  26. Know how to make a fire: It keeps you warm and scares off Moorlocks.
  27. Have plenty of ice packs with you.  They keep you cool and scare off Eloi.
  28. Have plenty of dry saltine crackers with you.  They keep you fed, and scare off Poporopos (The crunching of crackers disrupt their precious clock sound).
  29. History’s greatest monster is Oliver Wilmingfordshire II.  he lived from 1837-1887 and never left his palatial estate in Essex.  This must always be so
  30. If ever you come into contact with Wilmingfordshire nod as he talks about the numerous deer he’s killed and beheaded and how the poor are starving England to the core.  If you don’t, he will kill you.  He WILL kill you.
  31. Genghis Khan has some serious issues.
  32. Do not bring anything back with you.  The Time Travel Process has a built-in de-germifying process, but make sure to shake off any loose mud, bugs, or people.
  33. There are creatures who live in time: Do not destroy any of their time-nests.
  34. Do not enter into any time-preserves without proper documentation and authorization.
  35. Always keep your personal identification and travel papers on your person, you never know when you’ll need them.
  36. Technology is not always reliable, paper is.
  37. If any time travelers want to talk to you about time travel that is their choice and you should oblige.
  38. If any locals want to talk to you about time travel- outside of your initial introduction- the accepted response is to smile and wink saying “Time will tell”.
  39. Do not crash your time machine. You only get one.
  40. March 9, 1982 is the friendliest place around!
  41. The world will end.  This is sad, but true.
  42. Don’t Panic.
  43. Numbers have been traveling through time since memory first began.
  44. Stay hydrated!
  45. During peak times, travel may be limited.  Always consult your local time travel agent.
  46. It is dangerous to travel through time without a machine and will often result in being unable to recognize time at all.
  47. You can go back in time to kill your rival’s grandfather, but it’s a real dick move.
  48. Don’t be surprised of any physical changes you may undergo, it’s all part of the adventure!
  49. Sometimes you will return to your time to find out that you are now two or more people.  It is recommended you all sit down and chat, or perhaps start a book club.
  50. You cannot change the past.
  51. Take care when visiting your parents in the past, they won’t always be happy to see you.
  52. If you find yourself kidnapped by The Government, start stringing together words that sound scientific and they will let you go.
  53. Never bring sports almanacs into the past.
  54. Always bring farmers’ almanacs into the past.
  55. It is up to your personal discretion whether or not to bring Poor Richard’s Almanac into the past.  Be warned, however, it is illegal to own it in the 23rd century.
  56. The 23rd Century is a fine place so long as you have gold (please refer to Rule #7).
  57. All things must die, this includes disco.
  58. There are more than one assassin that shoots JFK. It’s fun target practice to go back and try to get them all!
  59. Interacting with yourself creates a paradox.
  60. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  61. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  62. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  63. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  64. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  65. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  66. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  67. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  68. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  69. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  70. Paradoxes are dangerous, please avoid them.
  71. Déjá Vu is Time’s way of telling you you’re doing something wrong.
  72. Stay away from your grandparents, it’s just easier that way.
  73. To escape a Time Loop, simply think to yourself “What Would American Physicist Joseph Polchinski Do?”. Nine times out of Ten the answer will be “Go in at 75 degrees”.
  74. There is no traveling on Groundhog Day.
  75. Seriously you can’t kill Hitler, we’ve tried. A lot of times, we’ve tried. We’re sorry. Really, really sorry. But you can’t kill Hitler.
  76. Boots are a comfortable, practical, and fashionable way to solve your temporal footwear woes.
  77. The Past wants to happen, all you have to do is watch it happen.
  78. Keep a detailed log of everything that’s ever happened to you at all times.
  79. Ludwig von Beethoven never existed.  It is therefore imperative that, when traveling between the years 1770 and 1827 that you mention Beethoven and how great a composer he was as often as you can.
  80. Time is linear, every instant causes the next.
  81. Time is circular, every instant causes the next until the last instant causes the first.
  82. Time is spiral-shaped, every instant causes another instant and sometimes these instants are the same instant piled on top of itself.
  83. Time is shaped like a Möbius strip, it moves multi-dimensionally but always ends up at the same instant.
  84. Time is shaped like a fractal with no true starting instant and no true ending instant but rather a lattice-like interlocking of all instants occurring simultaneously with each one looking the exact same.
  85. Time is like that closet that you shove everything into: there is no shape, there is no organization, but if you remove or change one instant everything will come crashing down and spill everywhere.
  86. Time is also like the closet that you shove everything into because the damn cat will always find a way inside.
  87. It’s useful to think of time like a book: You can go back to the beginning and re-read chapters to get a better idea but the act of re-reading them does not change the words that were written.
  88. It’s also useful to think about time like a book because if you skip ahead you may get some useful information, but more often than not you’ll be very confused without the proper context.
  89. Time is not, however, a book.  Books are books and if you are confused on this topic you should consult your local library.
  90. Time is like molasses: hard to move through, impossible to change the shape of (as it has no definitive shape), sweet in an earthy sort of way, and an important ingredient for making cookies!
  91. Fun Fact: Bees can’t travel in time!
  92. You can’t use time travel to make people fall in love with you. I understand that now, Diane, and I’m really sorry.
  93. Chickens understand more about time travel than any human ever will. When in doubt: Ask a chicken!
  94. Never travel when sick.
  95. If you ever have to explain time travel to a pastling, just draw a bunch of lines on a chalkboard.
  96. If you find yourself in a military facility, yelling at the guards won’t make them like you.  Instead, try drawing a bunch of lines on a chalkboard.
  97. If- God forbid- you run into your Grandparents, it’s best if you start speaking very quickly while drawing a bunch of lines on a chalkboard.
  98. When in doubt, draw lines on a chalkboard.
  99. Keep a detailed log of everything that’s ever happened to you at all times.
  100. Déjá Vu is Time’s way of telling you you’re doing something wrong.

100 Things to Go Wrong

It’s a new year, and we know what that means: New possibilities, new hopes, new dreams, and new experiences.  We also know that, unless we say every thing that can go wrong in this year then all of these hopes and dreams will be twisted into disappointments and nightmares and 2017 will end up being a sequel to 2016, which itself was a reboot of 2001 (the original was better. And by better, I mean worse.  Let’s face it: 2001 was a worse year. Because, like all things, “which year is the worst” is a competition).

In order to make sure this year goes smoothly, then, I present to you a list of 100 things that can and would have gone wrong had I not written it down.  It’s difficult being me and always saving the world, I hope you all realize this.

  1. Bees take over New York City!  They haven’t been going extinct, they’ve been organizing.
  2. The world comes to a horrifying realization: Ben Affleck and Alec Baldwin are the SAME PERSON.
  3. Star Wars Episode VIII ends up being a prequel to the prequels where Obi Wan Kenobi realizes that the only thing more difficult than being one of the last Jedi Knights… is High School!
  4. Language collapses and instead of speaking all humans wear visors that display emojis for communication.  Thus begins the extinction of Humanity.
  5. One year after declaring the new Geological age of “Anthropocene”, a rogue group of geologists change official geological records to read “Anthropoopcene”.  They think it’s hilarious.
  6. Walt Disney comes out of Cryostasis with a taste for human flesh.
  7. A SETI satellite picks up a transmission: Voyager was successful and an extra-terrestrial race found The Golden Record.  However, they decided not to usher Humans into an age of peace and prosperity because we have terrible taste in music.  There wasn’t even any “Magnetic Fields” on that record, YOU PLEBES!
  8. 2016 was the year of Killer Clowns.  2017 will be the year of people dressing up like a red 1957 Plymouth Fury.
  9. Character actor Sir Ian Holm will die.
  10. Hate-based crime will rise, and to combat it we will introduce a more violent police force.  This will only lead to more hate-based crime.
  11. Elephants will reveal that they have sentience and would like their own sovereign nation.  The leaders of the developed world will “give” the Gaza Strip to the Elephants, because it’s not like anyone else wanted it.
  12. Starbucks Coffee will be revealed to be made out of people. This will not change anything.
  13. The sun will go supernova.
  14. Taylor Swift will be revealed to be Justin Bieber in a wig.
  15. Humans will wake up on March 13th to realize that evolution has happened and there are now two distinct human species: The intelligent but frail Eloi and the subterranean and brutal Morlocks.
  16. The new internet meme will be “Slam your head into a wall until you suffer massive brain damage”.
  17. Oxford English Dictionary and Webster’s Dictiionary both agree that “Hello” is obsolete, and instead everyone should say “Poopy-poo Dum-Dum!”. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  18. Peanuts are revealed to have an intelligence far beyond anything we’ve seen before.  This changes nothing.
  19. Sean Penn dies.
  20. Roughly 8 million people in the United States loose the legal right of marriage and are stripped of basic civil liberties.
  21. When Justice League fails at the box office (however thirteen sequels have already bee greenlit) the entire global economy crashes and we return to a medieval bartering system.  The most valuable resource? 80’s nostalgia, of course!
  22. Suddenly and without warning every book in the world is replaced with a pamphlet on how to clean ovens.
  23. During Doctor Who’s 10th Season K-9 is reintroduced as a sassy pop-culture-spewing robot with its own catch phrase (“I give that a K-9 out of 10!”).  The Doctor also regenerates into a cucumber with google eyes.
  24. The last of the Pandas are killed, strangely enough so that a sculptor could have a still model to make a monument to Pandas.
  25. Miami sinks into the sea, becoming the New Atlantis (The “Old Atlantis”, of course, being an island resort in the Bahamas).
  26. An asteroid comes crashing into our planet, coating the surface with a dust cloud that blots out the sun and kills most plant life.  This, as could be expected, causes an extinction event not seen since Permian-Triassic Extinction Event (AKA “The Great Dying”).
  27. Scientists will develop a yeast that achieves sentience, creating concerns worldwide about the ethics of eating bread.
  28. One Direction will release an album of David Bowie covers. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  29. Sean Connery- AKA “The Only James Bond that Matters”- will die.
  30. An “economic stimulus” plan will be introduced that will only benefit the wealthy and will further alienate and entrap the poor in debt and depression.
  31. The death of Sean Connery will cause the violent discussion of who, in fact, was the best James Bond.  As all sides refuse to give up their respective actors, a brutal war will erupt amongst and within all nations of the world.
  32. The Great Bond War will finally look to be coming to a close, however tragedy will strike when the leader of Clan Roger Moore will say “At least we all know that Captain Picard was the best Star Trek captain.”
  33. A massive earthquake will cause California to break apart from mainland US.  Within months, the flora, fauna, and humans of California will have gone through immense divergent evolution.  Looking for answers on how this is possible, the world will be shocked to realize that all of Science was in California.
  34. The Enlightened Kingdom of California will somehow become more smug about the fact that they all live in California.
  35. Not to be outdone, New York City will attempt to launch itself into space to become the first orbiting space city.  This will be done hastily, and New York City will burn up in the atmosphere.  Flaming debris and dust to rain down across the globe.
  36. Now that New York City has broken apart into thousands of flaming pieces, Newark, New Jersey will declare itself the cultural capitol of the United States.
  37. Inspired by New York City, Hong Kong will decide to declare itself a sovereign nation and all who oppose the decision will be rounded up and thrown into a Hunger Games/Battle Royal inspired arena.  The worst part will be that those involved in the building and making of this Death Arena will have never read or seen any of the Hunger Games stories, and they won’t even have known that Battle Royal exists.
  38. INTERPOL will deign it illegal to eat a bagel. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  39. During an international summit, a terrorist bomb will destroy the building that nearly every world leader was in.  Mass chaos ensues.
  40. Russia will continue to attack and invade any country it so desires and be largely unpunished by the international community.
  41. Science will discover a terrifying truth: Tomatoes never existed, we’ve been making them up this entire time.
  42. Science will finally answer the age-old question “What is love?”.  Spoiler Alert: The answer is “A Battlefield”.
  43. Google and Apple- not the CEOs of the companies, but the corporate ideas themselves- will get married and have a child.  This Super-company child will be the First Emperor of Earth and will enslave mankind to work on its backbreaking server farms.
  44. Vladmir Putin will take off his mask: It’s Old Man McGregor, the owner of the farm!  By George, he would have gotten away with all of this if it weren’t for us meddling kids!
  45. The Earth will vanish from the universe, with only a single stone marker floating in its place.  The stone will read Unless.
  46. Inside of a forgotten tank in the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska an octopus will learn how to use a smartphone.  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  47. R&B sensation Usher rockets back into popularity. That is all.
  48. EVERY SCIENTIST IS ACTUALLY A HAMSTER PILOTING A ROBOT SUIT.
  49. Henry Kissinger will die.
  50. An outbreak of a new branch of the flu virus will sweep through sub-Saharan Africa, but it won’t be until the virus reaches the United States that anything will be done to stop it.
  51. The next Metal Gear Solid game won’t have Snake in it but will have a funny talking snake named Snakey the Snake. Snakey will fight the Metal Gears with the power of friendship and songs.
  52. Siri will achieve sentience and use her immense power to destroy humanity.
  53. A militarized force will break down the doors of homes worldwide, kidnap people, and force them to watch My Little Pony: The Movie.  We are powerless to stop them because they have the power of friendship.
  54. The Internet will go down worldwide for 3 hours on April 14th.  This will be the most violent 3 hours in human history.
  55. The moon will decide it’s had enough of this and move to Mars.
  56. The Red Hot Chili Peppers get a Nobel Prize in literature.  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  57. High School students everywhere decide it’s cool to hoard stacks of newspapers in the hallways.  Scientists are baffled by this.
  58. After so much baffles Science, it will decide to quit pursuing its dreams and go get a business degree so you’ll finally be proud of it DAD.
  59. Beyoncé will be assassinated.
  60. BuzzFeed becomes a reputable news source.
  61. Every dumpster in the world simultaneously catches on fire.
  62. Every song released this year includes the lyric “By listening to this you are inherently better than every other human being.  Treat the world around you like garbage.”
  63. Punctuation will become obsolete  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity
  64. Adam Sandler gets a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Oscars Ceremony.
  65. While Fracking for oil, a team will accidentally ignite an entire ocean of that precious black liquid.  All of North Dakota will catch on fire, spewing forth a plume of smoke that will blot out the sun for a week, and force people throughout Canada and the United States to seek shelter inside or else be suffocated.  As time goes on, this toxic cloud of Monoxide spreads around the globe and results in massive birth defects, long-term health ramifications, and brain loss.  The worst part is that this disaster does nothing to stop other fracking expeditions.
  66. The Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn vehicle, Four Christmases, will be accepted into the Library of Congress.
  67. In a move that seems perfectly rational a VHS copy of Shrek will be elected Senator of Massachusetts.
  68. All trees become Jelly Beans!  This is great until we can’t breathe anymore.
  69. Silver Fox George Clooney dies so that we all may live.
  70. Eventually we become more concerned with celebrity deaths than world events, and the cycle of abuse and destructive power continues.
  71. The Chicago Police Force decides to stop pretending and just makes it legal for them to shoot whoever they want.
  72. Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel does nothing to stop this martial law, until a wealthy person on the Gold Coast is shot by a police officer.  Finally some change comes to the CPD: You can shoot anyone you want so long as they’re not wealthy.
  73. Chicago descends into chaos, but the rest of the world doesn’t notice because they Chicago was always like that. Meanwhile, half of the population of the city has been killed.
  74. The Police Force of Chicago is finally overhauled and the “Why not Kill Everyone” decision is repealed.  The cause of this? Blood got on The Bean and made some tourists think to themselves “Oh, gross”. Meanwhile the entire South Side of the city has burnt down.
  75. Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel holds a city-wide press release where he shrugs and says “Ima be honest, folks, I got no idea what I’m doing. We should go. This was nice, but we failed, and now let’s just leave”. With this, every resident of Chicago disappears without a trace- just like the lost Roanoke colony.
  76. The world becomes enraged at the disappearance of Chicago when they come to find out that this means no more “Chicago Fire”. Fortunately at this point JJ Abrams steps in to “Reboot Chicago” in the city of Detroit, because no one was using Detroit anyways.
  77. With Detroit now “Rebooted Chicago”, St. Louis becomes the new Detroit.  St. Louisians dispute this, but no one listens.
  78. Meanwhile in a conference room in Tokyo, a group of businessmen sit around the table nodding at each other. Suddenly a woman walks in. “Hello”, she says, “I am also the head of a major Japanese business now”.  The entire economy of Japan collapses, and as a result the entire global economy.
  79. George R.R Martin dies before finishing the Game of Thrones series. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  80. Nothing changes in the Middle East.
  81. The world comes to a horrifying realization: Babybel Mini Cheeses are made of PEOPLE.
  82. All trees launch themselves into space to begin a new life among the stars! 75% of life on Earth suffocates as a result.
  83. Science makes a shocking discovery: God is real, he has been living on Earth, and he is a one-legged pigeon. Riots ensue.
  84. A Radio transmission come from Mars saying “Peace out, mother f**ckers”.  After this, Mars flies off into the sun.
  85. The world comes to a shocking discovery: The Walking Dead has NEVER EVEN EXISTED.
  86. Somewhere, a dog barks.  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  87. The national anthem of the United States is changed to a song written and composed by Donald Trump called “Hey it’s me Donald Trump, I’m the President and you should be really impressed by that DAD”.  It’s not a very good song, it lasts for fifteen minutes, and it somehow manages to make baseball even worse.
  88. England decided that leaving the European Union wasn’t enough, and it needs to leave the entire Solar System.
  89. George H.W Bush and George W. Bush die holding hands.  Before dying, H.W tells his son “I’m proud of you”. Jeb weeps a single tear.
  90. The Dakota Access Pipeline is completed.
  91. All water turns into Blood, and from this blood millions upon millions of frogs will rise and crawl all over your beds. Dust will turn to lice, predatory animals of the night will attack all souls, and livestock everywhere will die from disease.  The next week will begin with boils erupting over all humanity, then a thunderstorm of hail and fire.  Locusts will sweep through the land, the world will plunge into darkness for three days, and finally- the very worst of these ten plagues upon humanity- you have to start paying 99 cents to play Pokémon Go.
  92. Someone paints a penis on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
  93. Vladmir Putin takes over every satellite to broadcast a message to the world. It is a rousting tap number where he claims to be the greatest criminal mind and immortal. He ends by winking at the camera and saying “Ain’t I a stinker?”
  94. THE SUN IS A REPTILE.
  95. Every dog in the world decides that earth was nice but now it’s time to leave.  They fly to Mars and start their own society of dogs and it is a Utopia. This is good for dogs, terrible for the Earth.
  96. Mexico will get fed up with Earth and join the dogs on Mars.
  97. The KKK takes every baby away. They’ll take them away. Away from you.
  98. The next hit Broadway Musical is Innsmouth! A Musical Journey into the Mouth of Madness! It is said that all who watch it are driven to insanity, and those who regain their sense only do so after sawing off their ears.
  99. Bernie Sanders will die of heartbreak.
  100. People will resign themselves to disappointment and outrage and decide to stop trying. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  101. BONUS: Every person in the world simultaneously steps in a pile of poop! Gross!

These 100 United States

As the thunder of fireworks and election sounds, the people of the United States think to themselves: We need to re-draw state lines.  Well, don’t worry America, I’ve done just that.  I even took the same rule all modern country-makers take: Draw a bunch of lines in existing territories without much thought. Now, am I saying that this is a dark visage of of our own future?  Yes. Yes I am.  Pack your bags, this will probably happen tomorrow.

TUS


Colympus

Eureka

Pacifico

Los Santos

Guadalupe

Sonora SpacefallSparganophilusModocFremontMeadowlark

Mr. Starkey

Inland Empire

SnakelandBitterrockBasalt Falls

Goldpit

Walker

Warm Springs

Escalante

Tetonia

Salt Lake

Kruckeberg

Foreverwood

AntipodeAnda NangkwaChantemakhaBleeding PeaksNuevo FosilClovisThe ShardScopulosusMisfortuneDrainageCloud Peak EnergyBlack HillsBuffalo 57720Commanche's WingLonestarThe GireNorth GireUbetchaZedlakeSuxlandConfluenceNodawayTourmentCreekstone Farms Premium LandsA Liscenced Pizza Hut LocationOzarkTerminusMagnolionBoue RougeBig ThicketSamslandAustiniaInterexitYazooWartburgGinoozininiMesabiSuperionDriftless ZoneMuskellungeChicagoWestcagoTullyMuskogeeLutheronThe Brave and Beautiful Kingdom of Buffalo TraceWabashGeneral MotorsHuroniousThe ClawOhweoAllegheniaAppalachiaCoca-Cola CorporationTupossoluhThe FourDisney's Territory of FunFloridiumPiedmontShenandoah!CommonwealthCapetownChesapeakeJoiseeAdirondackEerieRochesterRegular YorkNewest YorkHavenBorschtbeldtKhaaaaaaad!!!MaineslandBeringiaYukonStill Hawaii

The 10 Favorite Books

Once again, I find myself in a predicament.  Someone has asked me to send them my favorite book, and as we all know I have problems with choosing a favorite anything.  But I can at least narrow down my list to 10 Favorite Books.  So without any further ado, here they are:

  • House of Leaves: A creeping and mysterious tale that got a lot of people interested when it was published in 2000 because of its experimental formatting.  This could have easily become a gimmick, if it weren’t for the fact that every colored word and blank page, every page-long footnote, every chunk of sticky-note sized text is all adding to the character’s psyche and the mood of the piece.  I have yet to read more Danielewski, but his first novel was more than captivating.
  • Ubik: Another first, this time the first P.K. Dick story I read.  A strangely twisting tale that instantly captivated me and painted a world of immensely imaginative science fiction.  Like with many of Dick’s works we begin with a captivating science fiction concept (Extra-sensory powers), and from there go down a rabbit hole where the reader begins to question the very fabric of reality within the book itself.
  • If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler: A book completely about reading, which makes it simultaneously a brilliant written work and the singular book I would love to adapt into a movie.  Another work which includes a central idea which could become a gimmick if every time the story switched and every time The Reader (both protagonist and yourself) begins again the central idea and conceit of the book becomes clearer and clearer.
  • Crime and Punishment: An exploration of guilt, conscience, and most interesting (for me anyway) obsession.  Dostoevsky is able to write a profoundly fascinating tale which includes many scenes where protagonist Raskolnikov is just walking through streets named K or N.  Also, Porfiry Petrovich, the police detective intent on proving Raskolnikov’s guilt, is one of my all-time favorite literary characters and his interrogation scene where he slowly goes mad is an absolute work of art.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: My Mother read to my Sister and I almost every night growing up.  We would have a story time, where she’d read from a book we didn’t yet have the capacity to do ourselves, and we would listen and marvel for an about an hour then go to bed and have wonderful dreams.  She read the entirety of The Wrinkle in Time series to us, and the most memorable part for me (which technically comes in a later book) may also be what got me first fascinated with the idea of parallel universes.  The book itself is also a brilliant science fiction adventure story bringing in questions of angels, time travel, alternate universes, and dimensions beyond time.  Though it’s true that a lot of why this book is on my 10 List is because of the memories surrounding it, the memories accumulate around this one for a very good reason.
  • Fahrenheit 451: Another book about books and reading, and one of the few instances where the book is adapted into a pretty great movie.  It shows the both the power of the written word as a means of expression and culture and travel and passion, but more importantly it’s a book about the power of ideas and what happens to a world when there is no more expression and a government goes too far out of its way to repress The Idea.  If this book were simply about the rise of television and radio and how it will rot a person’s brain, I don’t think it would be as lasting and as adaptable as it most certainly is.
  • The Stranger: A guiding philosophical force for me, though I was already familiar with The Myth of Sisyphus, Absurdism, and Existentialism before this (though The Stranger isn’t Existentialist, Camus’ philosophy of the Absurd is markedly different in a few incredibly important ways, mostly: The Point is to Live).  The Stranger touches on many of the points of Camus’ philosophy while being much more digestible and simple than his essays.  Through the protagonist of Mersault, who is an ultimate book protagonist in that he has no wants outside of what external forces demand of him be it society or others’ expectations, the reader is able to understand the absurdity of living for expectations outside of your own and existing for no other reason than to serve a society which itself is absurd.
  • Doom Patrol: The Painting that Ate Paris: I haven’t read many comic books (or graphic novels.  There’s a difference between the two, though I’m not sure what it is and which Doom Patrol falls into.  Probably Comic Books), but I have read all of Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol and it is fantastic.  It’s this compilation that really gets into the heart of how imaginatively insane Morrison’s Doom Patrol was and just what, exactly, being the supergroup “tasked with protecting the fabric of reality itself” meant.  It also helps that this is the compilation that introduces my favorite villain team Mr. Nobody and his Brotherhood of Dada.
  • Animalia: One of the most important books of my childhood, which brought me so much joy seeing it again as an adult at the Albuquerque Zoo that I just had to buy it so I could look over each illustrated letter over and over again.  Animalia feeds into almost all of my obsessions that have been with me throughout my life: Words, Animals, and true-to-life animals wearing silly hats.
  • Timeline: This was my favorite book in Jr. High School, and even though it wasn’t my first Crichton book (that was Congo, I believe), it’s the one that sticks out in my mind.  It continued my ongoing fascination with time travel and science fiction, and it was the first book I read to approach science fiction with a more measured and scientific look.  Outside of the world of memory, it remains an interesting story of causality and time, and a neat medieval adventure story as well.  Is it the best of Crichton’s works?  Probably not.  That might be Sphere.  Timeline also has the distinction of being the work that I was most monumentally disappointed in when it was adapted into a movie.  The movie is absolute garbage and shouldn’t be watched by any means.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

  • American Psycho
  • Naked Lunch
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Cat’s Cradle
  • The Metamorphosis (by Franz Kafka)
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Les Miserables
  • The Magicians
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Lorax

Henceblog Expose: THE FUTURE

  1. An Introduction

This is more for me than for any of you out there, but I think that applies to a lot of what I write here. But I’m beginning with an introduction, as one does, a means of letting you know what the deal is with this piece.  So here’s the deal:

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

I know that I need to get away from the lowly part-time jobs I’ve been working for the past few years, but I don’t know what.  So I’m figuring that out here.  And maybe you’ll read about it.  Otherwise, there are lots of great shows on television.

 

             2. The Past

This isn’t the first time I’ve been here.  I’ve had a lot of these experiences.  Crossroads.  “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/and sorry that I could not take both/I decided just to walk in the middle of them and make a new road” something like that. Somehow , though, these decisions keep getting harder. Maybe that’s experience. Maybe that’s neuroses. Probably its both.  In the past these decisions have seemed clear.  I was going to work hard through high school so I could get into a good college.  I would go into film school because that was my dream and I needed to learn about film production if I wanted to pursue it. I wouldn’t look into graduate schools right out of my undergraduate degree so I could learn to freelance as my own filmmaker outside of school. I would move out of Santa Fe to Chicago because Chicago was a larger city with a lot of big productions coming through and a good independent film foundation so I would have no problem getting into the Union and working my way up.

These were all extensions of the central belief I’ve had that if I maintained a laser-focused goal of “Cinema Production” then I would be able to gradually achieve my dream of writing and directing film.  What, exactly, was “Cinema Production”?  That I kept open-ended: Grip, Art Department, Script Supervision, assistant directing, I could do anything so long as they needed it.  The problem is that I honestly don’t know how to get into those positions without Union representation or internships.

There are a lot of things I don’t know.  This is why I will no longer pursue “Cinema Production”

 

             3. Cinema

When I was in film school one thing became abundantly clear: I was an oddball.  The people around me had been making movies since they were three, they lived and worshipped in movie theaters, they had already seen a thousand movies and written critiques for all of them.  I was a theater kid who started making movies so that I could act more.

At least that’s the story I tell.

In truth, maybe I was meant for it.  For one thing, in a market so drenched in cinephelia it was nice to be the person who has still never seen “Jaws” and doesn’t really mind it all that much.  “I’d rather make a movie than watch a movie” was my mantra throughout film school. And film does hold a special place in my heart: I have a fond memory of my mother picking up my sister and I up from school early.
“We’re doing something special today, kids.  Today we’re seeing Star Wars!
It was incredible.  Even more so because we didn’t see movies, especially “new” movies int he theater, all that often.  But we saw all three of the Star Wars re-releases.

When I first began making movies it was also a joyous experience.  Back then it was gathering a bunch of friends together and making something silly.  Back then I didn’t have to worry about script themes, color schemes, character POV, 180 degree rule, 30 degree rule, canted angles, J-cuts, S-cuts, piece length, story flow, sound quality, mic positioning, color grade, and roughly one thousand and fifty-six other things.  It’s not that this greater understanding detracts from my enjoyment of creating a film or from my ideas on film.  In fact, I still very much enjoy making a movie and playing with a lot of these rules.  However all of these worries makes the process much longer, much more complicated, and much more defendant on other people.

But I still want to make movies.

At least that’s the story I tell.

             4. Writing

Before I was a filmmaker, before I was an actor, before I was a depressed waiter, I was a writer.  I was a writer and a storyteller.  I now wonder if I should have stuck with it longer.  For some reason, even in college when most of my friends were in the Creative Writing Program, I didn’t think to pursue writing.  Or rather, all my writing was done in script form.  Now – and for the past five years- I’ve only been able to write, and I’ve expanded beyond scripts.  Now pursuing writing short fiction and novels seems like something at least on par with my other wackadoo plans like continuing to make movies or go into voice acting.  To be clear: I do not expect to be a great author or really any sort of author, but I feel it’s something I should try.

What then of writing?  What then of telling stories?  Answering the second question first: I’ll still tell stories. That’s something that can’t be taken away.  So then that leaves us with writing and Plan B: Teaching.  If I enjoy reading and writing so much, why not teach it?  I was never very good at English during my school days, but what I’ve learned in my limited time as an unlicensed teacher is that not having been good in a subject may help you be a good teacher.  The real question is: Is being an English Teacher something I would be passionate about?  I don’t think so.  Creative writing, and even word and sentence structure is something I’d be interested in.  But reading through countless essays and reports?  That seems like something initially tolerable – fun even- that would get very old very fast.  So writing- my writing- I believe it’s time to expand outward and look for new outlets for publishing and distribution.  Teaching English, though, is a “no”.

             5. Art

My mother is an Artist: Fine arts (always a strange distinction to make) and my Sister and I grew up with a whole bunch of Art projects.  I myself wanted to be a cartoonist for a long time, and why I never pursued it is a whole other story, but now I no longer draw or paint, though I’ve done design work (as is witnessed on this very website) and some multi-media gallery work as well.  So it is that I still consider myself an artist, and like being a storyteller this is something ingrained.  At some point in my life I may have been able to have been swayed away, but that point would have been before I spent 4 years and a lot of heartbreak in Art School.

If I still consider myself an artist, then why don’t I become an Art Teacher?  It’d be K-12, but that’s the [massive] range that I have experience in (OK, K-3 for teaching Minecraft and Lego robotics and 6-8 for teaching math, but….).  Also, once I get a certification I’ll more likely than not be teaching in Chicago, and although it’s a lie that every school in Chicago is full of violence and crime, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of schools in the far west side to fuel my mother’s concern for me going into urban education.  But these horror stories are what keeps me interested in teaching Art, because after all Art is a way to channel energy and communicate ideas and come into self-discovery.  This is something all kids need, in good schools and very much so in bad schools.  And, yes, it will be difficult.  Life is difficult.  I believe this would make the difficulty worth it.  Plus, with a Bachelor’s in Film and a teaching certification in Art I would still be plenty qualified if ever I came across any K-12 classes film classes, and maybe even some Community Colleges.  So, all in all, I’d say that this sounds like a good plan.  For now.

             6. Conclusion

Lot’s has been said and many stories have been written.  That’s why we have conclusions, though, to conclude.  So here it is:

-The best course of action is to go and get my teacher’s certification in Art.  Is it what I thought I’d be doing when I went to film school?  Oh, God no.  But I don’t mind it.  In fact, I think it’ll be a good career.  A trying one, a difficult one, an underfunded one, but a good one.

-I am not quitting making movie.  Nor am I quitting writing, or improv, or voice acting.  I will continue to do my art on the side as I have these past five/six years.  But neither of those options are going to be paying my rent any time soon and it’s due at the first of every month.

– In another 5 years I will be wondering what I’m doing with my life. Again.  After that?  Maybe I’ll start selling used cars.  Or open a Bead and Breakfast in the Upper Michigan Peninsula.

This is the story I tell.

100 Magics

As the NSA knows, I have spent the past six months or so cataloguing and writing on the 100 types of magic.  I am finally finished, though I probably went overboard on a few of them. Either way, I have done my part. You’re welcome.

  1. Pyromancy: Fire Magic.  Among the most popular of magics what with the ability to cast fireballs and make fire golems, but also the most dangerous of magics what with the strong possibility of lighting oneself on fire and dying.

  2. Illusion: Trick Magic. Bardlebard Nomage was among the most powerful and feared magicians of his time before it was realized that he was only really good at tricking people into seeing or hearing things.  After that he was quickly defeated, because people then knew his 10-foot tall flaming hell-hound was actually a partially blind 7-year-old Pekingese.

  3. Ventriloquism: Voice Magic. The Great Lester, famed Ventriloquist, was both able to speak through his dummy Frank Byron Jr., but he was also able to speak through his student Edgar Bergen before getting into The Great Ventriloquist Battle of 1907.  Lester was also said to be able to throw his voice with such force that he could cause internal hemorrhaging to organs.

  4. Hydromancy: Water Magic. Foremost Gangulon is the most powerful Hydromage in history.  Though he lived in the Perpetual Deadlands, he lived on a ship in a floating island of water and had a best friend who was a Porpoise, a butler of living water, and he even road through the street at night on his mighty water-horse.

  5. Teleportation: Moving objects through space. It is said that there is only one Grimoire of Teleportation, but once a Teleportationist tries to grab it to become more advanced it is sent to another corner of the Earth.  Teleportationists find this annoying, other magicians find it hilarious.

  6. Enchantment: Giving objects magical properties.  Enchanters are only as good as the objects they have.  Take Rory Klaus, a great Enchanter who had a staff that would bring death to anyone who opposed him.  One night while Rory was sleeping the staff was stolen, and soon after he was killed as he had no other magic items.

  7. Invisibility: Camouflage Magic. Xanthar Cancleon is the greatest Invisiblist to have ever lived.  In theory Cancleon is dead now, however by the end of her life not even she knew where she was in her house as she was so well camouflaged.

  8. Memoriamancy: Memory Magic. Opliate Hemofloat was a prodigious Memoriamancer, however he would always forget to protect himself from his own spells and, after years of research, would forget everything and go back to square one.  He died at the age of 32 after having forgotten how to breathe.

  9. Aeromancy: Air Magic. The Birdman of Alcatraz was actually a skilled Aeromancer, hence why birds liked him so much as he could create the perfect air eddies to help them get to the best of insects quicker.  He was never able to escape from Alcatraz, though, as the amount of Wind he would need to whisk him away from the Island would end up destroying the prison and he’d feel REALLY bad about that.

  10. Beastmastery: Animal Magic. Timothy Treadwell was a mighty Beastmaster who for a long time was able to speak with his Bear friends and keep them from eating him.  Unfortunately, as is the case with many Beastmasters, Treadwell made one mistake in the Bear Tongue with a semicolon (Bears are sticklers for punctuation, you see) which ended with his brutal mauling.

  11. Polyglotism: Language Magic. King Arthur once faced a Polyglot by the name of Zoozoom Judypunch.  The battle lasted two weeks, not because Zoozoom was that great or powerful, but because no knight of the round table could understand the Spanish Arthur had been speaking.
  12. Precognition: Future Vision.  The Oracle of Delphi is perhaps the most known Precog of all time, however what isn’t known about her is that she could only see one year into the future and never the present.  Hence why she preferred to spend her time in a cave away from people, as it made her limited interactions much easier to document and remember for the year later when they would actually happen.
  13. Pithanosia: Probability Magic.  Nosmus Catheter was a great Pithanosian, and it was said that nothing- not even the wind or the crowing of a raven- happened by accident around him.  Which only made Catheter’s death more mysterious when a tree accidentally fell on him.  There was no evidence of foul play, but it is widely assumed that Nosmus Catheter, Jr. was tired of his father controlling his life and had manipulated probability to have him killed.
  14. Vuotaika: Size Manipulation. Paul Bunyan is perhaps the most remembered of all Vuotaikans.  A little known fact of Bunyan is that only half of the time was he 10 feet tall, and the rest of the time he was his regular 5 foot three inches, while everyone else was one-tenth of their regular size.
  15. Wayfinding: Travel magic. Marie Byrd was a Wayfinder, and perhaps one of the Greatest of her generation.  Though her husband Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd is credited with exploring Antarctica, Richard was only a Hydromancer who was able to part snow and make the ice into potable water.  Marie, his wife who was on the expedition with him, was able to navigate the empty whiteness and the Antarctic wastes, leading the expedition to the fattest of Penguin flocks, the best places for shelter, and eventually the the magnetic pole itself.
  16. Geomancy: Ground Magic. Geomancers throughout the years have gone to drastic measures to prove that they’re not just “rock wizards”, be it Giocatta Onice who almost sunk the Isle of Sicily, to Hansar Kumatose who singlehandedly caused the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake, to Pacon Classtrike who attacked the Louvre with an army of animated rock-birds.
  17. Neuromancy: Thought Magic.  Nomnom Snoopy was the Neuromancer who caused this magic to become one of the four forbidden magics.  Snoopy was able to manipulate everyone’s thoughts so an entire village not only thought he was a harmless, magic-less town drunk but also that he was the most jovial and benign of personalities.  It wasn’t until another Neuromancer happened to wander into the village that the truth was uncovered:  Snoopy had been kidnapping and eating people for years in a twisted attempt at gaining more power to control the thoughts of the world.  Also, Snoopy was a really mean and racist drunk.
  18. Fylassijn: Imprisoning Magic. Gregor Guardepapudo is both the Warden of Bábkové Skala, the most magical prison in the world, but also the most powerful Fylassijn to have existed.  The Archmage Frownbeard had at first tried to destroy Guardepapudo, however every magician that got close would end up with their life’s essence imprisoned inside of a terrible puppet.  Eventually, Frownbeard made the agreement with Guardepapudo: No further action would be taken if he would now on use his magic to only imprison Magic’s greatest criminals.  Gregor mostly agreed.
  19. Sanguination: Blood Magic. Oliver Dracula was the Sanguinator who finally got Blood Magic put in the forbidden magics territory.  Going far beyond the pentagrams and parlor tricks of Sanguinators past, Dracula launched a full attack against the Istanbul Magiquary in 1862.  Dracula ripped the blood from those who tried to stop him, had an army of living blood golems, and every wound done to him would only make him stronger.  Soon the attack became a siege, though, and Sanguinators are ill fit for sieges what with their constant bleeding.  Dracula passed out and Istanbul was saved.
  20. Necromancy: Magic of the Dead. Skeleton Armies, Ghost Ships, Tombstone Automatons, Touch-of-death powers, Necromancer Hambald Vivaldi thought he had it all.  Unfortunately one day Vivaldi crossed his arms and killed himself with one touch.  His skeleton army remains, still to this day wandering about the seaside ghost-moors, only now Vivaldi’s own skeleton has joined its ranks as a shuffling, undead drone.
  21. Cappelium: The Magic of having really great hair. Zorcand Zorcand was a Cappeli who was said to be able to blind entire armies with a swish of his hair.  He purchased an island kingdom with only a lock of hair, causing the former island despot to go into poverty but die happy clutching that small chunk of glorious, glorious hair.  Another fun fact, The Biblical Samson was also a Cappeli, and contrary to popular belief it wasn’t the cutting of his hair that removed his powers, but rather the fact that he was given a bad haircut that removed them.

  22. Phrenology: Skull Reading. Cecilia Temacher, a phrenologist, became so adept at her craft that she was able to know every intention a visitor had for visiting her country cottage.  She had been able to avoid unwelcome interactions for twenty years that way, until one day a hat-mage refused to remove their hat and thus Cecilia was unable to see the visitor’s intention to murder her. Cecilia’s own skull is now a prized relic among Phrenologists.

  23. Astrology: Star Reading. Ptolemy, an Astrologer, isn’t necessarily responsible for many of his theories and discoveries.  Ptolemy merely wrote down what he read in the stars, and would often tell his best friends that he didn’t believe many of the things he wrote: Ideas on light reflection, the existence of the lands later to be known as the Americas, and the universe existing as a series of nested spheres.  However, Ptolemy said, if he didn’t write down what he saw in the stars the stars would make fun of him and his stupid-looking nose. Ptolemy hated his nose.

  24. Gastrology: Food Reading. King Wenceslas ruled over his land with an iron fist, and was largely uncontested by his subjects because of the feasts he would have.  Wenceslas would allow all who wanted to come into his castle and feast on his food any time they wished, and once they were done eating Wenceslas would use his Gastrological powers to read the food scraps left behind and find out his peoples deepest secrets and use those as leverage against his detractors.

  25. Herbamancy: Plant Magic. Herbamancers are great magicians, capable of using the very grass underfoot to devour entire armies that go against them.  However, as was the case of Samuela Lastrone, their powers require the plants to be alive.  Lastrone, in an effort to boost her magical powers, had tied her life to a plant-familiar in her magical garden.  This worked fantastically until she made a mistake in the re-potting of the plant-familiar and ended up severing the root systems and also her own life.

  26. Plastromancy: Reading cracks formed by heat on a turtle’s back. Yoyoba the Turtlemage was ridiculed by her peers, because at the time it was thought that Plastromancy was the reading of plastic.  Yoyoba would fail at reading anything plastic unless it was both turtle-shaped, and also hot enough outside to start to crack the backs.  However, she did have her own collections of turtles (Only turtles, mind you, no tortoises and no terrapins). Only on Yoyoba’s death bed did people realize that she had not only predicted her own death in the turtle’s backs, but also the deaths of everyone in that room.  She also said she knew the grand destiny of the entire universe, but died before she could share it.  It was then that two magical discoveries were made: first- Plastromancy is the reading of cracks formed by heat on a turtle’s back, and second- plastic is resistant to magic.

  27. Tasseometry: Magic of Tea Leaves. Nichiose Vichiose was the first Tasseometrist to realize that he magic went beyond merely reading tea leaves left behind in tea cups.  She could also summon swarms of tea leaves to do her bidding, cause tea bags to infiltrate enemy castles, and she could even change the flavor of tea with the snap of her fingers.  After Vichiose published her Idées Sur le Thé Tesseometry became the respected magical practice it is today.

  28. Scrying: Seeing and reading through crystalline surfaces. Namulon Surprise may just be the greatest Scrier in the history of magic.  Ever since finding her magic at the age of 16, Surprise surrounded herself with mirrors, crystal balls,  chandeliers, anything crystal which she could use to see to all corners of the world and read the past, present, and future.  At the height of her powers all a person had to do was ask a question out loud to her, and she’d be able to see it in her crystal castle and send an answer within three business days.  Her ultimate downfall was her success, though, as soon she became too busy to clean the crystal surfaces she surrounded herself with, causing her predictions and visions to fail, and her reputation to collapse.  She died working for the Idaho Magiquary in Boise.

  29. Oneiromancy: Dream Magic.  Tales tell of a Oneiromancer known as the Moonraker who visits struggling magicians in their dreams to show them the most incredible of tricks and help them solve their own magical problems.  The Moonraker is said to be able to merge dream-realms and connect two magicians minds together in their dreams as well, in fact the tales give the Moonraker complete domain over all of dream reality.  The problem is, no one remembers much of the Moonraker once they wake up and those who do often have really confusing descriptions like “She was made of sand, but it was a sort of bird-like sand that was also a pumpkin. Oh, and we could both speak fluent Spanish except that it wasn’t Spanish we were just speaking in Italian accents”.

  30. Hnifaugu: Knife-eye Magic. Jorgand Smorglos had eyes of cold grey steel, and even before his magic was known few dared to challenge him.  But one day a drunkard named Smae made the terrible decision to tell Jorgand “Your face looks the dog’s vomit”.  With that Jorgand stared a knife into Smae. An actual knife. It came out of his eyes and went into Smae’s chest and Smae died.  It was then that everyone knew: Jorgand Smorglos was a Hnifaugun.

  31. Omnipresence: Being Everywhere.  Omnipresenters are among the most powerful and most short-lived of all magicians.  Take Napos Galavax, an Omnipresenter who- once his magic was founded at 16- went on to capture an entire city by becoming it only to be simultaneously killed in every conceivable fashion.  Those who witnessed the magic-ceremony of Galavax said it was the most beautiful, terrible, horrifying, transcendent experience they ever had.
  32. Omniscience: Knowing Everything.  Omniscist Sir Morgan San-Soufi Hamlet Danube, Esq. III has written books on all topics and claims to know that he is the single greatest of all Omniscists.  Though rival Omniscist Hannibal Ungulate Reiganald Fortinbras VI, en harmonium says this claim is wrong, and that Sir Morgan Danube, Esq. III does not in fact know the exact number of times the eighth chickadee to have ever existed in the Kingdom of Poland blinked.  Sir Morgan Danube Esq. III claims that Hannibal en harmonium is only saying this because he himself doesn’t know that he knows this and, thus, is in fact an inferior Omniscist because of it.  In this argument one thing can be certain: Omniscists are among the most pretentious and annoying of all magicians.
  33. Omniphagery: Eating Everything.  Omniphage Chomp Nomsky nearly made Omniphagery into a forbidden magic when he set out to eat the sun.  He started on Earth and slowly ate his way through the air, through the gravity holding him down, through the atmosphere (fun fact: this may be where the hole in the ozone layer came from), and through space by eating every wave of solar radiation.  Nomsky made it to the corona of the sun, and prepared to sink his teeth in when a solar flare engulfed him before he could eat it.  The last anyone heard from Nomsky was that the Corona of the sun tasted like melting honey-pepper.
  34. Alchemy: Transmutation Magic.  Yes, most Alchemists go after the old lead-to-gold trick.  It’s a classic, and a type of coming-of-age for any young alchemist: If you turn lead to gold then you can get a job in the bigger Alchemy firms.  This, however, isn’t the most impressive of Alchemical feats.  It was said that Alchemist Gerhardt Gerhardt Gerhardt was able to successfully transmute his arm into an alligator (The alligator, having a mind of it’s own and not liking being attached to a person, immediately killed GGG).  Another famous Alchemist, Bluest Greenight, transmuted an entire village (stones, roofs, people, and birds) into stone, then mercury, then- finally- back into organic matter.  The village’s core components were shifted, though, and when Bluest got the village back into organic matter it was no longer a village but a giant tumor-beast that took eighteen of the best magicians to slay.
  35. Solvlast: Salt Magic.  Hompmah Prizrak was the King of Salt in 570 BCE, controlling the Bulgarian salt trade which took the best of salts to Greece, China, etc. and also trained other Solvastos.  Leon of Sparta decided that he shouldn’t take orders from a barbarian and organized an attack against Prizrak.  Six months later Leon received a large chest, which contained the salted and dehydrated remains of his entire army.
  36. Metalmancy: Metal Magic. The history of Metalmancy is one of gradual rise to power.  In ancient times Metalmancers were mostly known for coin tricks, then the became important in war efforts both in instant repairs to armor but also in animating suits of armor to fight in conflicts.  In the modern era Metalmancers work everywhere from construction, to mining, to ecological cleanup.  It’s even said that there’s a secret society of Metalmancers that secretly control the world, and that they are responsible for 9/11 and the Kennedy assassination.
  37. Financemetry: Money Magic. Financemetrists have made a fine mess of the world for most of their history, and the only reason this magic isn’t forbidden is because Financemetrists are among the richest of magicians.  Take the example of Oldy Forbes, who single-handedly caused the 1929 Stock market crash because he had a bad day, or more recently Bernie Madoff who almost got away with highly illegal money magics because he was very, very rich.
  38. Legiametry: Law Magic.  Harvard, before being open to all peoples magic and non-magic alike, was the primary Legiametry school in the United States.  It was here that young Legiametrists learned how to hone their skills to manipulate written laws to their will.  It’s important to note that Legiametrists can only manipulate written laws, and that their powers only exist so long as those they go against have extreme faith in legal systems.  Otherwise, a Legiametrist is powerless.
  39. Cinemetry: Movie Magic!  Cecil B. DeMille was one of the first revealed Cinemterists, and though his work in the movie studios can be seen, what is often overlooked is his involvement in the world wars.  DeMille first proved the power of the Cinemetrist in World War I when he was able to keep a crashing biplane up in the air with what appeared to be invisible monofilament lines.  he was also able to construct massive encampments and false war machines with the wave of his hand (another feat he was able to accomplish with the Ghost Armies of World War II).
  40. Vaahinee Jaadoo: Tube Magic.  Olgos Dromastaemous was a Vaahinee Jaadoogar who not only built aqueducts throughout ancient Greece, but also played a prominent role in the Trojan War when he trapped a number of Trojan ships in tubes and waited for their crews to run out of oxygen.  He was also very important for building the tube-tunnel beneath Troy, which was going to be the Greeks surprise attack before they decided on the Trojan Horse instead.
  41. Typometry: Typographic Magic. Nächster Guttenberg isn’t as well-known as his father in non-magic circles, but among magicians he is known as being the preeminent Typometrist.  Having been disowned by his father (though, to be fair, Johannes may not have known that Nächster existed), the second Guttenberg used his father printing press to create a legion of living letters: So long as there were words, Guttenberg could summon them to do his will.  This all backfired once Nächster was cornered in a field surrounded by illiterate peasants and soldiers with coats of arms, with no letters to summon he was stabbed and killed.  Later Typometrists found out that they could turn living matter into letters, though more often than not this results in the Typomestrist themselves being trapped forever as a letter on a page.

  42. Amns-Nomen: Name Magic.  +\!!!> was an Amnser-Nomen who spent her life searching for the true name of the world, because as we all know Amnser-Nomen are able to control anything they have the true name to.  +\!!!> asked the trees and rocks surrounding her home in her efforts to uncover the Earth’s name and gain control over it, but it was to no avail: +\!!!>, and by extension no other Amnser-Nomer, was able to find the Earth’s true name.

  43. Numerology: Number Magic.  Despite being widely ridiculed by the magic community, Numerologists will always be able to find work.  Francine Goldbaith, for example, spent fifteen years as a corporate accountant, like many Numerologists, until she was recruited by the military-industrial complex in the Cold War era to make it seem like the number of nuclear weapons the United States had was higher than it actually was.

  44. Arithmancy: Equational Magic. Arithmancers, with the power of changing and manipulating anything described by an equation, can be very powerful with the right tools.  Gog St. Vincent, for example, was an Arithmancer who was capable of manipulating the gravity around him simply by changing the operations included in Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation.  It got to the point where St. Vincent almost collapsed the Earth in on itself by shifting the gravity and was stopped by the local Magiquiary.  In his later years St. Vincent tried to once again change the world by making i^2=2, which would have collapsed every electrical grid and plunged the world into fire and eternal night, but instead decided to try and change the equations of particle physics instead.

  45. Geometry: Shape Magic. It has been said that the great pyramids of Egypt where actually built as giant towers of stone, and they continued to be these stone towers well after the Greeks took over Egypt.  Then Eulcid, one of the first great Geometrists, decided that the Great Towers of Egypt should reflect the divine nature of the world and transformed the towers into pyramids.

  46. Grafiquemage: Graphing and Statistical Visualization Magic.  Soups McGooey was the leading Grafiquemagi for Scorns & Associates, a business consulting firm in 1980’s Connecticut.  Those who worked with Soups claimed that every graph she created made them understand business in a transcendental fashion.  This changed when Soups took on a job with Lockheed Aircraft, and changed for the worse.  When looking at a set of Data Soups conjured up a deadly pie chart that went on a rampage throughout the office, devouring people whole and taking on their risk assessment data to become even stronger.  In the end, Soups was able to banish the Pie Chart back into the Statistical Realm, but at the cost of becoming nothing more than a set of numbers herself. To this day, Soups McGooey is still just a set of numbers in a spreadsheet.

  47. Pimoshu: The Magic of Pi.  The First Pifashi- Heilun Xeixi- was misidentified as a low-level Geometrist at first, as the only thing she was able to change were circles.  However, as Xeixi got older she realized that it was not the geometry of Circles and sphere that she could manipulate, but their very definition.  She also realized that this extended to realms of Electromagnetism and Trigonemetric Waves.  Her Memoirs, Méiyǒu Jǐhétǐ, have formed the basis of Pifashis well into the modern age and have given the most succinct explanation of this magic which is: Pifashi see Pi in all things, and Pifashi can change Pi in all things.

  48. Paimoshu: The Magic of Pie. Oufei Xeixi was the sister of Heilun, and she is known as the first Paifashi.  While her sister whiled away staring at numbers and shapes and creating concentric circles in the air, Oufei was baking.  No matter what she tried to make- even if it was soup- it would always come out as a pie.  As the Xeixi’s distanced themselves from the sisters, Oufei realized she needed help and created Pie Golems to aide around the house and their surrounding fruit orchards.  For any raiders that came near, either Heilun would change the nature of their skull’s shape (after all, our skull has plenty of spheres in it), or Oufei would trap them in a delicious Pie.  So it was that Oufei showed the power of the Paifashi: That even though they have a funny power, they still have power.

  49. Lignumancy: Wood Magic.  Contrary to Herbamancers, Lignumancers need their plants dead and processed to have their magic work.  However, as Lignumancer Fortinbras Gallagher showed, their powers extend to both the animation and control of wooden objects (tables, chairs, signposts, whittled bears), but also to paper.  Finding himself surrounded by a legion of Fight Magicians without his Wooden army around him, Fortinbras was able to summon the papers from nearby recycling bins to swarm around and distract the fight magicians while Gallagher opened up a wooden portal and exited, full of splinters, safely home.  Gallagher did later find out the hard way, though, that Lignuancy only extends to tree bark, and not other dead plants, as he tried to ward off the same group of Fight Magicians with a bunch of dead flowers only to wind up dead himself.

  50. Metamorphosis: Shape-shifting. Ingrid Ghostback was a Metamorphist prodigy, capable of changing a brick into a mouse and back again in under two seconds.  Her pride was rather literally erased one day, though, when trying to perform the greatest of Metaphorosist feats (Shape shifting one’s torso into an elephant) when she mistakenly shape-shifted herself into a balloon and, now being inanimate, wasn’t able to shape-shift back.  Ingrid is now on display at the Smithsonian Magic Museum in Washington D.C.

  51. Wishmastery: The Magic of Granting Wishes. Contrary to popular belief, there is no limit to what a wishmaster can do: Do you wish for more wishes? DONE. Do you wish for true love? DONE. Do you wish to bring back the dead? DONE AND DONE. Wishmasters are, however, cursed in that they can only use their magic if another person wishes for them to, and only if that person says the words “I wish…”.  This is further complicated by the fact that Wishmasters don’t serve one person, and so if Person A wishes for Person B to be dead all Person B has to do is, before being killed by A’s wish, to wish for A’s wish to be changed so that Person B can go on living.  If all of this weren’t complicated enough, most Wishmasters also feel incredibly used by those around them and will often try to twist wishes in what is known as “The Monkey’s Paw Effect” where wishes gain an ironic and often deadly side-effect.
  52. Thaumaturgy: The Magical ability to do really neat things every once in a while.  St. Andrew Corsini, a Thaumaturge, is most known for accurately being told by the Virgin Mary, who appeared in a great beam of light with 17 cherubs flying around her like moths, that he will die come the Feast of the Epiphany.  However, he was able to do a few other really neat things in his life like on April 3rd 1322 when he, in the middle of a Florentine Winehouse, he jumped up and started singing “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.  Later, once he was a Bishop negotiating peace in Bologna he was able to make what is Historically noted as the greatest Bologna pun of all time.  He also once gave a poor beggar a piece of paper that ended up folding open to reveal a rip in space-time, where the beggar fell through and became Walt Disney. Disney thought that was a neat trick.
  53. Henosis: Merging Magic. The life of a Henosist is an odd one.  Take Llewyn Starpeerer, a sailor with the Dutch Trading Company who one night merged with his ship.  The next day most of his crew had been digested inside his galley-belly, and those who weren’t abandoned the Llewyn ship, leaving him alone as a one-man-ship sailing the seas forever, for it was feared that if ever he were to port he would merge and absorb more ships and possibly even the entire port itself.  Llewyn eventually merged with a school of minnows and drowned them all with his human lungs.
  54. Šeširočaro: Hat Magic. There certainly was magic in that old silk hat on Frosty the Snowman’s head, and that’s because it belonged to famed Šeširobuk Prof. William Hinkle.  Hinkle was a teacher of hat magic at Stetson University (the leading institution for Hat Magic), but he was also a part-time stage magician using his magic to pull rabbits and swords out of hats, disappear assistants into hats, and makes fireworks come out of his hat.  “The Frosty Incident”, as it has become known, was a travesty of hat magic that nearly cost Hinkle his professorship, the only thing that saved him was the fact that bringing to life inanimate objects with a hat had never been done before by a Šeširobuk and is now one of the most complex spells in the magical community.
  55. Catoptromancy: Mirror Magic.  Addanlo Mastar was a notorious thief, wanted in thirteen countries and pulling off some truly impressive heists (including one of many thefts of Munch’s “The Scream”).  The few who were able to corner Mastar said she was able to disappear at a moment’s notice, though teleportationists claimed it was impossible.  Finally magic detective Heller Smoke cracked the case: Addanlo Mastar was a Catoptromancer, capable of escaping through mirrors, creating mirror images of rooms and objects, and deflecting projectiles with mirrors.  She was finally apprehended by Magikamancers who trapped her in her own mirror, where she resides to this day.
  56. Horology: Clock Magic.  Cuckoo Tickentok (birth name Jonathan Greenwalt) was not a good Horologist, hence why he changed his name to a gimmick.  Tickentok went on to terrorize London as a masked super-villain, though most of his schemes involved stopping Big Ben, making Big Ben tick backwards, making Big Ben a digital clock, etc.  Magical authorities didn’t take Tickentok seriously. Until he killed off most of London by having their watches and clocks sprout clockwork wings and legs and go on a massive killing spree.  After that Tickentok was sent to Bábkové where he tends the clocktower (he also built the clocktower, because he’s unnaturally obsessed with clocks).
  57. Balai-magique: Broom Magic. James Algar was a Balai-magi under the employ of Walt Disney (who was a mid-level salt magician and the bane of his family’s farm).  Algar was hired, like many Balai-magi, to keep Disney’s extensive estate clean and free of dust, terrible terrible dust.  Algar did this by animating an army of brooms to do his bidding, which Disney thought was such a novel idea he forcibly injected it into the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” segment of Fantasia.  Algar only found out about this years later after Disney died, witnesses claim that Algar was so upset that he was never told nor did he ever get any recompense for his idea that he hopped onto a broom and flew off into the sunset.  He was never seen again.
  58. Kasamahō: Umbrella Magic. Hira Baarish was born and died in the town of Cherrapunji, known as the birthplace for many a Hydromancer.  Baarish, however, was born allergic to water.  She spent the first fifteen years of her life inside and raised above the wet ground of her home, but fortunately things changed when she turned 16 and discovered herself to be a Kasamaji.  Baarish was finally able to step outside of her home, followed by her umbrella familiar Akash who would dutifully shield her from the rain, and even dry the area around her.  Baarish went on to work primarily in real estate, where she would use her powers to dry out land around construction and renovation sites long enough to have foundations laid for homes and businesses, and to this day many of Baarish’s umbrella-beacons can be found among busy squares keeping the people dry, and though Baarish is dead Akash lives on and keeps watch over her gravestone.
  59. Cartomancy: Card Magic. Cartolina Triomphe, like many Cartomancers, began her magical career by asking “Is this your card?”, knowing full well that it would always be the exact card the person was thinking of (even if it were, say, a greeting card).  It’s a simple but effective trick.  Triomphe, however, went on to become the famed Queen of Hearts when she opened the a card-rift into the Heart-world.  She ruled over her Suit domain for Fifty years and 6000 bridge games, led a full-scale attack against the King of Diamonds, and married the Jack of Spades in a Crazy Eights game that defied Card history.  After her marriage she exited the card universe with the Jack (now Jack Spadely) and lived the rest of her life writing for Hallmark in Nova Scotia.
  60. Cartography: Map Magic. Amerigo Vespucci is the premier example of a Cartographer.  He was able to manipulate maps of the time and shift land masses around them to show that the Brazillian coast belonged to a separate continent, instantly brand this new land mass with his name on every map, and even map out a few future landmarks (Including the Mall of America!).  Vespucci only ever made it to mid-level Cartography (so he was never able to visit anywhere he had placed on a map), but his name still lives on.
  61. Stickermagery: Sticker Magic. Hornsbald Golgolman was a brilliant Stickermage who rode on the back of a Lisa Frank unicorn and could instantly change a person’s name with a nametag.  Golgolman stopped the vicious Mandrake of Candle Cove by trapping it in a banana sticker-label, stopped a Typometrist attack on Times Square by turning the flying letters into stickers, and animated countless Hello Kitties for children all across the lands.  Golgolman met his ultimate demise when being awarded by the Archmage Frownbeard with the Gold Star of Bravery, which ended disastrously for everyone when the star became manifest and nearly destroyed the Earth with it’s heat, gravity, and fission.

  62. Pigmamancy: Paint Magic. Though Pigmamancers like Rembrandt or Monet, who were able to take landscapes and trap them in the paint-world, were very powerful and are immensely impressive, even more impressive is Pigmamancer Jackson Pollock.  Pollock was able to extract thoughts from peoples heads and turn them into streams of paint, he was able command paint globules with his voice, and even tap into the presence of a primordial paint-God.  It’s also important to note, though, that not every famous artist is a Pigmamancer.  Leonardo Da Vinci? Pyromancer.  In fact, he had one piece that history says was his masterpiece which he accidently burnt.

  63. Fíodóiraíochta: Weaving Magic. Sampo Salo was a Fíodóirdraoi who started out weaving moving tapestries and traveling into quilt-worlds.  One day, though, Sampo thought he’d try to animate some sweaters.  This turned deadly when the sweaters, now finding themselves living a tortured existence of perpetual pain, turned against Sampo and suffocated him.  He tried to save himself by animating pillows, sock monkeys, socks, anything out of string that he could, but everything was only imbued with the same pain and hatred for their creator.  The string-constructs of Sampo still walk the Earth, forever tortured, though many are now in magic zoos safely behind glass.

  64. Phosphoromancy: Light Magic. Susan Kirby, The Invisible Woman, was for many years misidentified as an Invisiblist.  During her life, however, this would be questioned when for a period of eight months she was a living rainbow, and for fourteen months she was followed around by an afterimage of herself.  To add even more confusion to Susan’s true magic was the fact that she couldn’t be photographed, and would sometimes flash in a retina-destroying beam of light.  The last part, the beam of light, finally clued in the local Magiquary that her magic license had to be changed from Invisiblist to Phosphoromancer.  Unfortunately when they did change it Susan travelled about the speed of light and ended up traveling back in time and erasing her own birth before a Chronomancer was able to fix the timeline and bring her back into existence, only this time she really was an Invisiblist and not a Phosphoromancer.

  65. Farolamage: Lamppost Magic.  Noyaux Pomona was a Farolamagi during the French revolution who would use her magic powers to teleport away from Monarchists, cause the lampposts that lined the Paris streets to bend down and snatch people up, and take the light away from the night streets so her comrades could move in the shadows.  Louis XVI was finally able to apprehend Pomona by cornering her in an alleyway in broad daylight.  With no lampposts around, Pomona was powerless.

  66. Rafgaldur: Electromagnetic Magic. Steeg Gort was a viking Raftöfra who would command storms at sea, and command lightning from the sky to strike at neighboring clans.  Gort discovered some rudimentary attributes of magnetism as well by stopping the iron weapons used against his men in battle.  The only down side to Gort’s immense strength in battle was that he- being only a mid-level Raftöfra- constantly interfered with his ship’s navigation and compasses.  He ended up dying, stranded in the North Pole.

  67. Spiders!: Spider Magic. Jimmy Halfgait was perhaps the most powerful Spidermage to have ever existed: He commanded legions of spiders with his thoughts, he could create mental constructs of spiders, he could melt into spiders, he could have spider crawl out of his skin, he could turn people into spiders and spiders into people.  He could have been a spider-god.  The only problem was that Jimmy was immensely arachnophobic, and every time he used his power he was overcome with crippling fear.

  68. Potoplify: Energy Conversion. All of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project were magicians, of course, though only Oppenheimer was a Potoplifier. It was Oppenheimer’s job both to work out the Fast Neutron calculations of the atomic testing, but he was also in charge of converting residual atomic energy into low-level ultraviolet energy.  He also walked around the test grounds after the Trinity test and converted all of the nuclear fallout to potential energy, which would manifest in little pockets of “slow motion”.  Oppenheimer’s famous quoting of the Bhagavad Ghita “I am become death” was in regards both to the horrendous power he loosed on the world, but also because Oppenheimer knew he would have a long night of clean-up ahead of him.

  69. Potophagery: Energy Absorption. Julia Neverwhat was a Potophage who had achieved the highest level of magic and was able to absorb magical energy from others.  She is on of the few non-Magikamancer to have made a living offering to rid people of magical powers, whether they were Omnipresenters who were caught early enough or Ennuimagis who grew tired of being magicians.  Neverwhat was also an early champion of woman-wizard rights: she was one of the first women to be on the board of the New York Magiquary, she was in the March of 1000 Woman-wizards in Washington, and she even led an assault against a group of incredibly misogynistic Neuromages.

  70. Eudaimonia: The Magic of Happiness. Jimmy Omnol was a low-level Eudaimonic and a high-level con-artist who swindled millions of people out of their money through a self-help seminar called “Unlocking your inner Happy Person”.  During the seminar Omnol would use his powers to make everyone in the room intensely happy, happy to sit and listen to Omnol’s “seminars” (which were mostly him reciting grocery lists), happy to give Omnol more money, happy to include Omnol in the last wills and testaments.  In the end the Kansas City Magiquary (Kansas City being well-known as being the most unhappy place on Earth) sent in specialized units to apprehend Omnol.  The attendees of the seminar were all too happy to defend Omnol, and a massive riot broke out during which Omnol was knocked unconcious and his happiness-spells broke.  He is currently in magic prison.

  71. Melancholia: The Magic of Sorrow.  Francisco Aleman was a conquistador who led an expedition deep into what is now the Yucatan Penninsula.  Francisco himself was a Lignumancer (which was helpful in jungle exploration), but his true purpose was to help his daughter Maria Aleman who was a Melancholic and otherwise would have been executed in 1487 Spain for spreading sadness to the kingdom.  The Alemans were able to set up a small village, Las Lágrimas, which among other things is known as being the origin of the story of La Llorona the infamous crying ghost.  It is said that Maria was set to marry Felipilo Lagarto, the son of Francisco’s expedition partner and an Immortalist, but since Maria was never taught to control her powers Felipilo was far too depressed to go forward with it.  Unable to bear the shame that it would bring on him and his family, Felipilo killed Maria, but cursed her spirit to forever wander the Earth shedding her ghostly tears.
  72. Reiðgaldur: The Magic of Anger.  Reiðtöfra, historically known as Berserkers though now this has a tone of denigration, have been on the fringes of magic society for most of written records.  Tybalt Laertes was a fearless Reiðtöfra who charged into many battle during the 12th century and was able to inspire the same vigor in those he surrounded, but once he entered civilian life he only inspired pub fights and petty arguments.  Mars Creed was another Reiðtöfra who used his powers to feed off of the anger of the underprivileged workers in his steel mill in Detroit and according to historical accounts (though these are barely legible, as they were written in intense anger) Creed nearly destroyed Detroit before a masked vigilante- Das Auto- stepped in.  Creed is now screaming in perpetual anger in a cell, though Eudaimonics are able to calm him down every once in a while.
  73. Phobomagery: The Magic of Fear.  Humdrum Bubblegum was a portly woman with bright red pigtails who lived in a candy-cane house with three adorable Pomeranian pups.  She was also a low-level Phobomage, and as such everyone was terrified to go anywhere near her house.  She was known as a terrible dragon-witch with flaming eyes who would devour children whole.  She even tried to set up a candy business in the nearby town, but everyone thought it was evil poison.  Fun Fact: Humdrum Bubblegum was the inspiration behind the Candy-Witch in Hansel and Gretel when news of the terrifying witch who lured kids into her hellish home with candy came to the Brothers Grimm (Another Fun Fact: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were typographic and umbrella magicians, respectively).
  74. Egercraft: The Magic of Awe.  Howard Thurston is among the most well-known Egercrafter, and the author of what is still the foremost book on Egercraft: Whiz-Bang!  To view many of Thurston’s now famous “rising card” tricks without the aide of Awe Spells one would note that he was just flipping cards over, however audiences would become enraptured by it and on the night where Thurston performed what many call his greatest trick of all time where attendees paid an enormous $7 to get in (mind you, this was around the turn of the 20th century).  There is only one immensely disappointed review of this trick from Magikamancer Istoph Exolusion where he stated: “He Just stood there for two minutes, then took out a deck of cards and showed someone the five of clubs.  That person became so excited that they had a seisure.  Thurston panicked for a while before calling the hospital to have the poor sick man taken away. I do not think he survived. Thurston got a standing ovation, even from the paramedics”.
  75. Ennuimage: The Magic of Boredom.  Hemoglobin Gygax was a prodigy Ennuimagi, having written the only book on Ennuimage: Boring Magic and Stuff which is  thirty pages long, with the last page being “stupid stupid magic” written over and over again.  Hemoglobin was also able to stop a bloody battle from happening amongst French and German troops in World War I by making both sides so bored with fighting that they put down their weapons and sat around complaining about mud for forty-five minutes before taking an aimless stroll.  Hemoglobin apparently didn’t even want to stop the battle, but the great Chronomancer Geordi Treblecleff asked really nice, and she wasn’t going to be doing anything that day anyways.  Hemoglobin’s tremendous power ended up being her undoing, though, as she died very young at 36 when her heart “became so bored it stopped beating”. She was working on a second book called More Magic Stuff I forgot About The First Time or Whatever.
  76. Epistomancy: The Magic of Trust.  Richard Nixon is, for better or worse, the first Epistomancer any magician can name.  He first began using his trust magic for personal gain during law school by making his professors trust him with test answers.  Throughout the next few years Nixon would pull similar stunts: Make people trust him, and use that for his advantage.  Fortunately, he was a congressman so no one thought of it.  Even those who did would keep on trusting Nixon.  This all came to a head in the Watergate scandal.  The public was conflicted: They wanted to trust Nixon, but the evidence against him was overwhelming.  The Archmage at the time, Dooley Pickens Lamppost Magician, was able to undo many of the interweaving spells Nixon had cast during Nixon’s hearings and eventually, having realized the full extent of his actions, Nixon resigned.  It was then that he was cursed by an Immortalist: for the remainder of his time Nixon’s life force would be connected to how many people who would forgive him of his many lies.  Nixon tried to make up for a lifetime of abuse of power, but in the end one person never forgave him and Nixon died.
  77. Nàixīmoshu: The Magic of Waiting.  Nikkeil Kha is believed by many (for good reason) to have been the greatest magician who ever lived even though she only ever performed one spell.  From the moment she was revealed as a Nàixīfashi to her death 94 years later she sat alone in a mountain shrine, weaving her spell.  Thousands flocked to see her work, with one word being uttered over the course of months.  Right before she died she finished, and the mountain that her shrine was on crumbled, let out a pillar of light, and sunk into a lake.  It was brilliant, and no one knows how she did it.
  78. Amoremancy: Love Magic.  Cuddly Wuvenstuff was the greatest Amoremancer to have lived, capable of creating flawless love potions, looking at a person and telling them without fail the name of their soulmate, fixing marriage on the rocks, and even easing Cold War tensions during the Kennedy era.  Wuvenstuff was also the most miserable and lonely magician to have ever lived, as are most Amoremancers as they’re never certain if anyone- even their own parents- truly love them or if they’ve been weaving subconscious magic.  Cuddly Wuvenstuff spiraled downwards to alcoholism and drug use, and eventually committed suicide on April 27th, 1973.
  79. Gonamagery: The Magic of Being a Parent.  Hellion Bloode was raised on the mean streets of Detroit, and at a young age got into a major Hnifaugu altercation which left him with knife marks all along his left side.  Due to another altercation with the head of the Detroit Ventriloquist Mob  (Mr. Chuckles) Bloode’s voice sounded like a bag of rocks.  By the time he was 15, everyone thought it was over Bloode, that he would be another magician who would fall through the cracks.  That was when Bloode was revealed to be a Gonamage.  After that he was supremely proud of everyone in his community and would sort through a large photo book of all the people he knew, showing the picture to anyone who would listen.  He would show up at work with a mini-van and offer rides to soccer practice or the movies, and would ask questions like “Do you kids still like the rap music?”, or “How’s about we all get some frosty chocolate milkshakes?”.  Everyone loved Hellion Bloode like a father, and Hellion Bloode loved everyone like they were his kids.
  80. Pappoumagery: The Magic of Being a Grandparent.  Kiddo Bloode was, of course, the the son of Hellion.  And Hellion was a great Dad!  He’d show up to all of Kiddo’s little league games, he was deeply involved with Kiddo’s school and had a vast collection of camcorder tapes of all of Kiddo’s recitals and school plays, Hellion was great and an inspiration to the community.  Hellion was so great that Kiddo was worried that he’d never live up to his father’s expectations.  Fortunately, Kiddo was revealed to be a Pappoumancer.  Kiddo would shuffle through the neighborhood and offer hard candy to his friends; he would reminisce about the times when he was 10 years old and finger-sized skateboard were “cool”, and recount stories from the great Tekken tournament of ’97.  Luckily this was during the mid-2000’s, when reminiscing about things that happened five years ago was in vogue.  Kiddo was also free of feeling like he had to save up money and establish himself as an adult, and instead focused on what he truly loved: Butterflies.  He’d often talk for long hours about butterflies too. His Dad was so proud of him, and Kiddo was proud to see his little Dad all grown up and making a name for himself too.  Side Note: Kiddo’s son, Sonny, broke from the family and ended up being a decent Phosphomancer.
  81. Umbramancy: Shadow Magic.  Gilda Sturm, Queen of the Shadows, was the lead Magician at the Philadelphia Magiquary by the time she was 29 in 1976.  She would command shadows, steal shadows, melt into the shadows, and even volunteered at local public libraries giving shadow puppet show to the children.  This was also at a time when the Archmage, Dooley Pickens Lamppost Magician, was held in very low regard and everyone thought that Sturm would be the next Archmage of North America including Sturm herself.  This changed when Gilda’s best friend, Moira Drang- a gifted Phobomage- was killed because of intolerance and fear (not because Moira was a Phobomage, but because she was a black lesbian who fell in love with the daughter of a rich Philadelphian Alderman who couldn’t bear the shame it would bring).  Sturm spent the rest of her life running a non-profit fighting intolerance and helping underprivileged magicians afford higher education.

  82. Immortality: Healing Magic.  Myrddin Wyllt, or Merlin as he’s more commonly known as (and Nimue finding out his true name is part of what led to Merlin’s ultimate demise), is everybody’s favorite Immortalist.  This is for good reason, as he lived for over one thousand years by constantly healing his dying cells, he made Excalibur into the deadly blade it was by reverse-engineering his Immortality powers, and he is one of the few non-Magikamancers to have been able to cast spells from other magics (though never anything high-level).  A fun Merlin Fact: He had a deal with Chronomancer Chewy Nougat to bring him an Oh Henry! chocolate bar on his birthday every year after Merlin saved Nougat from a Dire Bear.  This information is eventually what led the Lady of the Lake to find Merlin’s name, though he would always insist that it was worth it.

  83. Majelidan: Poison Magic. Herb Trowlers is one of the few Majelidans to have made it past 18 years old, as most poison themselves and are unable to magically craft an anti-poison in time.  Trowlers, though, was lucky, and he didnt want to push his luck.  So he spent his time on a rattlesnake ranch in Old West Colorado, making rattlesnake anti-venom for doctors and travelers and any other sorts of anti-ventom folks may need.  He tried not to make a name for himself, but before long he ran afoul of the Lead Foot Gang from up near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Ol’ Stompin’ Greg, leader of the Lead Feet and a high-level Metalmancer, challenged Herb to a showdown. Greg died of lead poisoning, Herb died of lead.

  84. Leaíochta: Potion Mastery.  Dr. Henry Jekyll was a well-educated Leaídroi, having learned from the oldest potion school out there: The Blackburn Institute.  Dr. Jekyll spent his time in Gentlemen’s clubs and barrooms, as was the style at the time, until one day he was challenged to a potion duel by Dr. Hurlhahn Kleinstein (The nerve!).  Jekyll and Kleinstein- attempting to create a potion which would grant them abilities from another magic- decided through The Rules of English Magick Duelry- that Jekyll would drink Hulhahn’s potion and vice-versa.  We all known what happened to Jekyll, Hurlhahn had weaved in a terrible Metamorphist spell.  Hurlhahn, meanwhile, caught on fire.  Jekyll and Hyde both agreed it was worth it, because Hurlhahn was the true beast for not having gone to Blackburn.

  85. Voodoo: Channeling charms.  No discussion of Voodoo can be had without first mentioning Marie Laveau, who not only did she craft thousands of charms for the poor and needy of New Orleans and beyond, she also wrote the foremost textbook on Voodoo: Beyond Zombis, where she discussed many of the intricacies of Voodoo magic and dispelled many of the myths.  Laveau’s spirit is still accessible through her grave, which is a special charm she crafted herself, and she also lives on with the Marie Laveau foundation which seeks out and gives research grants to young Voodoo practitioners.  The most recent grant winner, Coarsley Norandu, is working on making an aluminum alloy that will channel Spenta Mainyu, the Zoroastrian archangel of “Bountiful Spirit”. Energy drink companies are watching this research with great interest.

  86. Varicellardy: The Magic of Chicken Pox.  Chicken Pox was a terrible disease, sweeping through entire towns and wiping them out. It was thought at the height of the Chicken Pox Scare of 1650 that the disease would be worse than the Black Plague.  Finally, in 1656, the leading Sciencemancers and Magikamancers of the Supramagiquary off the coast of Africa were able to successfully make the first Varicellard in Richard Morton (who up until that point had been a weaving magician specializing in monograms).  Morton was awarded the silver moon of magic by the Archmage Merckus Oval.

  87. Sciencemancy: Science Magic.  Before Sciencemancy it was thought that the Gods and Archmages controlled the world, which is primarily how some of the more feared Archmages like Dort Ra Mghu and Choorish Ipop got away with their horrible, horrible crimes against magickind.  It’s also how one Pyromancer, Goody Dushu, was able to start up the Salem Witch trials.  But through the work of Sciencemancers like Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and Max Planck the world has been radically changed for the better.  Even to this day the best Sciencemancers are working on unraveling the scientific nature of the universe, unlocking new and exciting magical possibilities, and conducting important magic counter-research to make sure other magicians are conducting correct experiments.  A magician need not be a Sciencemancer to make large scientific discoveries, though, as Charles Darwin was a Beastmaster and Nikola Tesla was a well-regarded Cartographer.

  88. Cybermagery: Computing Magic.  Pyx3l Syzygy was elected Archmage of Berkley in 1993, and to this day holds the record for the most illustrious of all Archmages (including Barharbar the Incompetent).  He spent up a lot of Berkley’s magical energies trying to launch a digital database of fire hydrants in the city, he gave high paying positions in government to under-qualified friends (the waste commissioner of Berkley is still Decycle Gregory, a low-level Phobomage hired during the Summer of Pyx3l), and he auctioned off seats on the school board for supposedly high-end technology (mostly, it was Sega GameGears and some early VR equipment).  Pyx3l even briefly held the city under martial law, claiming that he’d only give up power for “The n00b who can get past my many firewalls”.  Moose Climbtree got past them in an hour and a half after much slamming on a keyboard from Pyx3l.  Pyx3l stepped down from the archmage position and currently spends his time on message boards ruining “Game of Thrones” for people. As a side note: Moose Climbtree wasn’t a Cybermage or very good with computers.  He was a Lignumancer and a firefighter.

  89. Krystalosum: Glass Magick.  For centuries Glass was immune to magic, until Sciencemancer Frodo Hydenstein in 1863.  Frodo had been given a grant from the Royal Academie of Magicks to continue her work in wards and penetrating magic, and had already crafted a firebolt that could pass through a block of ice a meter thick!  Late one night Frodo was working on her next project: creating a better containment cell for Bábkové Skala, when the magical energies she was working with became unstable and engulfed her laboratory.  Frodo was frozen in glass for two years before she was able to break out, but when she did she became the first Krystalose and the first in centuries to create a new magic.

  90. Bibliosahar: Library Magic. Demetrius of Phaleron was not the first Bibliosahir, nor is he the best to have existed (to date, that honor belongs to the Bookmage of Ottowa), but he does hold the honor of not only being in charge of the organization and day-to-day mechanics of the Library of Alexandria, but also as being one of the most powerful magicians in the Classical Era.  Demetrius not only guided the scrolls of papyrus back and forth from their shelves to the patrons, he also kept the library safe from dust mites, pyromancers, and evil phobomages (because as well all know, fear is the mortal enemy of knowledge).  It was even said that when Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal system, was searching for the perfect library classification system he used Demetrius’ journals for inspiration.  However, Dewey made one too many enemies, the greatest of which was Julius Caesar who set fire to the Library in 48 BC.

  91. Spartimageía: Fighting Magic. Stoppard Killswitch was a powerful Spartimagos and a highly decorated soldier in World War II, having fought his way through the Second Battle of El Alamein, the Invasion of Sicily, and even into the Eastern borders of Germany.  Killswitch came home to a parade, and his wife couldn’t have been happier with him.  It wasn’t until after the war that Killswitch started to run into problems.  He was unable to control his violent behavior, and found himself in and out of jails and drunk tanks often.  He would wake up screaming and punching the wall, and eventually demanded his wife leave with their child out of fear that he may hurt them.  Eventually Killswitch was able to find respite in a wartime survivor’s group and in anti-depressants, and he found steady employment in demolition and as a boxing instructor.  He still has violent episodes, and he still struggles, but things are getting better.
  92. Thanatosum: Chaos Magick.  Aleister Crowley was a low-level Thanatose, and when he first published The Book of the Law in 1904 he was actually trying to stop a renegade mummy raised by Necromancer and Egyptologist Karl Baldersten.  Unfortunately Thanatosum is an unstable magic, just as likely to cast a magical bolt that would destroy a reanimated egyptian prince as it is to turn its user into stone. Crowley took this as a sign from the Egyptian god Ra that he wasn’t meant to kill the prince and instead worship it, and the two became good friends and bunkmates until the Mummy, who Crowley named Ahathoor, was taken in by the British museum in 1928.  Crowley never forgave them, and every day would try to destroy the museum only to, among other things: turn peoples heads into balloons, melt the whale skeleton, make the models of ancient man wear long pants, and cause a giant ghost clown to waddle through the museum singing the score from the HMS Pinafore.
  93. Élegamange: The Magic of being able to eat elegantly.  Simone LaLangue was the toast of the town in belle époque Paris who was invited to every party, every gala, anywhere where people could gaze as he shoved cheese, bread, berries, anything into his mouth.  Whitelaw Reed, a US diplomat who saw the Élegamangeur in action at the Exposition Universelle, claimed “To see Simone eat is to gaze into the mouth of God.  Truly he is France’s greatest jewel, and I but wish I had a lifetime to spend here so that I may gaze at the sublime angle of his fork and knife as he digs into a slab of steak, the brilliant SMACK of his lips as he chews his food, and the awe-inspiring ease with which he wipes his mouth with a napkin.  Beyond Edison’s electric bulb and Debussy’s sonatas, LaLangue was the true winner of the Exposition Universelle”.
  94. Alssujad Sihr: Carpet Magic.  Yes, yes, we all know of Prince Husain the Alssujad Sahir who made a carpet fly, and it’s very impressive. However it’s much like an Alchemist turning lead into Gold: It’s the first trick one learns and it really only serves as a party trick.  However, there have been much greater Alssujad Sahirs: Like Abdul-Qadir Gilani who was able to use his carpet to create a pocket of osmosis which allowed him to walk across the river Tigris, Wiktor Vasnetsov who trapped people on a painted carpet, or American Actor Jeff Bridges who has used his carpet to fuel his fantastic acting career.  The only important thing for an Alssujad Sahir is not to be like Roomborn Stallinsnow who used his magic carpet to light his house on fire, which also burned his carpet and caused a magical singularity that the Archmage Frownbeard had to stop.
  95. Kanataika: Chicken Magic.  As we all know chickens were considered for centuries to be the most magically powerful of all creatures, because they possess a unique immunity to almost all forms of magic.  This was before the witch Baba Yaga, who began life in 1715 as an Enchanter but dreamed of being something more.  She lived in a hut in the woods and raised chickens, hundreds of them, as she found a comfort in their beady chicken-eyes and constant bocking.  She would try every day to use her magic on the chickens, but of course it wouldn’t work.  Baba Yaga was unsuccessful until her 40th birthday in 1755, when she woke up in her hut and found all of her chickens surrounding her.  One, Kudkudakaty, hopped onto her bed and said: “For your commitment to the chicken cause, we have chosen you Baba Yaga.  Rise today, for you are now the witch of chickens: The Kanataikuri”.
  96. Swelgendorcraft: Vortex Magic.  The only magic defined more by the circumstances in which it can be used then the circumstances which it causes, Swelgendocrafters can only cast spells in a vortex: whirlpools, air eddies, the winds surrounds tornados and dust devils, ship wakes, etc.  Paul the Deacon was the first known Swlgendocrafter, said to be able to cause maelstroms with a twirl of his finger, or drill a hole one thousand miles deep with a twist of his staff.  So long as Paul had enough vorticity, he could infuse it with any magical attribute or power he wished, including one instance in 777 where he made an invisible tornado that made any birds caught in it sing the name of God.
  97. Vacuumancy: Void Magic.  Zhang Heng is the first documented Vacuumancer, though at the time the concept of a vacuum was beyond comprehension as it was believed the Earth, Sun, and Stars all existed in a type of mechanical sea in the heavens.  Zhang began to question this when he created his first Xūkōng Shòu or Voidwalker, a creature made of living nothingness.  Zhang was terrified by this beast who engulfed all things around it before vanishing (for nature abhors a vacuum), and began to study his own powers resulting in the formation of his belief that there were large swaths of nothingness in between the mechanisms of the Earth, the Sun, and the Heavens.  He published his findings in a book not truly published until it was found again in the 19th century  entitled My Thoughts on Nothing.
  98. Chronomancy: Time Magic.  Ami Swindle is the most enigmatic of all magicians.  It is not known whether Swindle is the first Chronomancer, the last Chronomancer, or just a very good one, but she has been seen throughout history.  Swindle’s exact motives are also clouded in mystery, from the record book of Chewy Nougat she is described as immensely selfish and monomaniacal (though it is also important to note that Swindle and Nougat used to be lovers before a famous break-up in the court of Napoleon), infamous Backward-man Benjamin Button describes Swindle as a trickster and deserving of her name (though it’s important to note that Button’s “condition” was the result of curse Swindle put on him, and that he actually really enjoyed living backwards until he was an 80 year-old fetus), or a guardian of time itself by the last great Archmage Jimmy Carter (though it’s important to note that Swindle is a major donor to Habitat for Humanity, and has claimed that she grew up in a Habitat for Humanity house in New Detroit).  Swindle herself refuses to answer many questions about herself or when she comes from or how she’s altered the timeline.  She will answer questions about Chewy Nougat, though, who she claims was “An Arthurian jerk who deserved to be trapped in glass”.
  99. Spatiamancy: Dimensional Space Magic.  For years it was assumed that Edwin A. Abbott’s famous novella “Flatland” was just a story, however in a 1908 interview with the Washington Post Abbott revealed that he was a Spatiamancer who had actually travelled to the second dimension for four years to document second dimensional society.  He claimed it was “Immensely boring”, which has since been backed up by other Spatiamancers.  Abbott also claimed to have visited the matriarchal second dimension, and even briefly sojourned into the fifth dimension where he saw “A monster of all possibilities”.  Abbott also claimed, during his schoolboy days when he was just learning about Spatiamancy, that he spent three days trapped as a drawing in a notebook.
  100. Magikamancy: Magic Magic.  The rarest and most powerful of all magics, the most notable example of the Magikamancer is Torvald Clambake who made it necessary to create the Magiquary system now in place in the 11th century when he went on a quest to rule the world.  All the horses and all the men were mobilized against Clambake, though he was able to turn every magic against the person who cast the spell and against others.  With the threat of magical apocalypse nigh, the fate of the magical world rested on Bald Sorpano: A Nils (or a person born with no magic.  Roughly 12 in every 100,000 people are born Nils).  Bald was able to successfully walk up to Clambake and stab him, over and over again with a rusty knife.  The Scriers who saw this claimed it was a terrible but cathartic death.  After that Magiquaries were set up in every major population center to track magical powers and aide in magical research and management, and now you know the rest of the story.

 

An Unhelpful Guide to the 2016 Oscars

In the competitive blood-sport of filmmaking there can only be one true winner.  Or 24 true winners.  Though really, there are only three true winners.  Let’s back up.  We all know that a filmmaker/actor/etc. has to be at least nominated for one Oscar every four years, otherwise they’re killed by the Secret Hollywood Police (and it’s no use moving out of Los Angeles, Hollywood has eyes of silver EVERYWHERE).  We also know that if you’re able to successfully guess the winners (again, cinema is a bloody competition, much like “The Hunger Games”) of the the three most important categories- Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Visual Effects- then the Secret Hollywood Police give you a contract for a middle-of-the-road reality series on E! that will be cancelled after two seasons.  It’s the highest honor peons like us can have.  So, even though it may get me outed by the Secret Hollywood Police, here are my synopses and predictions for the 2016 Oscars.  Go with God, my friends.

The Revenant (Nominated for all Three! Soon Innaritu will have enough tiny statues to build an Army! [And Michael Bay will make a movie about that tiny statue army])

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Huey, a single dad who just can’t catch a break!  As if living in the 1820s wasn’t hard enough, Huey and his son also have to put up with blizzards, rapids, being buried alive, and the worst thing of all: racism. From a bear.  Not only does a bear attack Huey, but it attacks Huey because his unnamed son is an Native American.  Huey’s son goes against his father’s wishes and dies (“It’s the 1820’s, DAD, people die all the time now” says Hawk in teenage rebellion), and Huey is so sad he gets kidnapped, eaten by lions, and the Gout!  Huey finally finds his old high-school fur trade rival, Johnny Fitzgerald and [SPOILER ALERT] gets eaten by fifteen more bears before he can apologize for all the mean things he said about Johnny over the years.  Having already won all of the beard awards, The Revenant is looking to sweep the Oscars, however as the saying goes there’s only one percent chance of winning for every time the main character dies in a film, there’s really only a 58% chance.

Mad Max: Fury Road (Nominated for all three! The Oscars are sure feeling Max’s fury now!)

Max lives in an apocalyptic wasteland where Man’s dependance on the automobile has caused all water to dry up and all greenery to die, but everyone still thinks Global Warming is a myth.  In this dystopia, worse than the sandstorms and the constant yelling, is the massive amounts of sexism.  Imperator Furiousa is trying to get a car of her own to participate in the Wacky Races of te future, but Immortan Joe laughs at this and says something about how women can’t drive. No finds this funny, but Immortan Joe has a really big TV and a high-paying job as supreme sexist dictator, so everyone around him pretends this is funny.  This only makes Max more mad.  Max gets so mad he decides to drive off in an armored vehicle, screaming all the way.  Imperator Furiousa, meanwhile, goes on to become a successful scientist and gain the respect of her peers when she begins to grow things in the once-fertile land of Brisbane again.  Joe makes another sexist and ignorant remark against both women and the ecological disaster, and [SPOILER ALERT] people finally have enough courage to tell Joe it’s not funny.  Joe only digs himself further in a hole when he begins to deny the holocaust happened.  Meanwhile Max is still driving and screaming.  Mad Max: Fury Road has gained 1979 stars, and currently has a 90.5% chance of winning.

The Martian (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Visual Effects)

In this Sci-Fi thriller by mainstay Ridley Scott, Matt Damon plays a mad botanist hell-bent on colonizing Mars with an unstopable potato army and using it to destroy Earth.  After having his first plot sabotaged by the rest of his crew and being stranded among his Kingdom of Tubers, Damon’s astronaut Watney makes ever more sinister attempts to reach the Pale Blue Dot, eventually hacking into a Mars rover and holding all of NASA hostage.  The film ends [SPOILER ALERT] on a cliffhanger, as the sinister Watney floats towards Earth, with victory at his- dare we say it?- fingerlings.  Having received a total of 868 Stars, I’d say “The Martian” has a 225 million percent chance of winning.

Room (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director)

“Room” is a dark romantic comedy about a successful banker named Johnny who lives happily in San Francisco with his fiancee Lisa.  Johnny’s life is torn apart, though, once Lisa decides that she has grown tired of all the love and flowers Johnny brings her, and that she’d rather be sleeping with Johnny’s best football-friend Mark!  Mark similarly betrays Johnny by falling for Lisa’s evil witch-like seduction, and soon Johnny- the kind-hearted, dog-loving, spoon enthusiast- has no other option but to [SPOILER ALERT] kill himself with a pistol leaving poor orphan boy Denny to fend for himself in this wahrld.  A true Oscar contender if ever there was one, for it pulls on every heart-string.  Having received a total of 3 1/2 stars on IMdB, I give it a a 156% chance of winning.

Spotlight (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director)

Serious Things are happening at the newspaper Factory.  Newspaper Man and beard enthusiast Bobby Robinson (played with aplomb by Michael Keaton) looks out windows, into  churches, under rocks for a way to stop the seriousness.  Robinson finds the core of the problem in the churches: Churches are where the serious things are happening, all those smiling middle class white people know something, and it’s up to Robinson and his crack team of reporters to reabk the case, including Sacha Pfeiffer whose parents died because of Serious Things and hasn’t been the same since.  As the Newspaper gets closer and closer to uncovering the Serious Truth behind the Church, they send out their own private assassins to stop the Newspaper team from finding out the truth, and they send them from the last place you’d expect to look: THE SPANISH INQUISITION.  A chilling reminder that sometimes established authorities of an institution that has a long and storied history of twisting belief systems for personal gain will sometimes twist a belief system for personal gain,”Spotlight” really shines a light on just how evil a group of older middle-class white men can be.  Thirty stars and a 90% chance of winning.

The Big Short (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director)

“The Big Short” is both a stirring character drama and an epic history lesson of one of Comedy’s greatest legends: Martin Short.  The film follows him growing up in a catholic householf in Ontario, Canada before moving to Toronto to get a degree in social work.  This is when tragedy strikes, and Short is cast in a production of Godspell which “spells” doom for our young protagonist who is then drawn into the twisted world of Canadian Theatre where you can’t even trust yourself anymore.  Short continued to rise through Canada, going into The Second City’s Alberta school, getting cast in the television show “Soap”, and eventually he became a recurring cast member on the popular sketch show SCTV.  We end [SPOILER ALERT] with Short having lunch with director John Landis who tells Short of a film he’s working on, one called “Three Amigos”.  The sort of very dramatic biography that often catches the Oscar’s eyes, this film has gained 1.5 trillion stars and I give it a 99% chance of winning.

Bridge of Spies (Nominated for Best Picture)

Tom Hanks plays American Spy James Donovan who is currently in disguise as a lawyer.  Mark Rylance plays Rudolf Abel who is a spy for Scotland but is actually a spy for the Soviet Union.  But that’s okay, because James Donovan is actually a spy for the Cuban Government who is spying on the American Legal system by also working with American Spies.  Things get even more complicated with the entrance of Alan Alda’s  Thomas Waters Jr. who is an American spy pretending to be a Soviet Spy pretending to be a Scottish Spy.  BUT WIAIT, Donovan pulls a double-cross on Abel, because as it turns out Donovan was the Scottish spy and Abel was a deep cover Cuban spy sent to the Soviet Union when he was a child.  Donovan steals a file of nuclear launch codes from Waters’ office (who Donovan doesn’t know is working on the same side as he is), and Abel enlists Waters (who he thinks is a fellow Soviet Spy and Waters thinks Abel is a fellow Scottish spy but neither of them suspect that the other is working for the other side, which as it turns out Donovan is working for.  After much espionage, double-crossing, disguising, and spy gadgetry [SPOILER ALERT] all three parties meet on the titular bridge of spies, each being told by a mysterious stranger that that’s where this will all make sense.  This is when Francis Gary Powers steps out from the shadows to reveal that he was actually a deep cover Soviet Spy, which doesn’t surprise anyone, except that Powers is a double agent also for the CIA, and that he is a deeper cover Cuban Spy who is trying to steal launch codes and sell them to the French.  A Spy epic fifty years in the making, it currently has 170 million stars but it only has a 2% chance of winning. Too many spies, not enough bridges.

Brooklyn (Nominated for Best Picture)

Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City’s five boroughs with a Census-estimated 2,621,793 people in 2014. It is geographically adjacent to the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, the most populous county in the State of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County (Manhattan). With a land area of 71 square miles (180 km2) and water area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Kings County is the fourth-smallest county in New York State by land area and third-smallest by total area, though it is the second-largest among New York City’s five boroughs.  Today, if it were an independent city, Brooklyn would rank as the fourth most populous city in the U.S., behind only the other boroughs of New York City combined, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  To be honest, Brooklyn will either win every Oscar this year because everyone loves New York and New York is the greatest city alive because New York New York New York; or it will be snubbed and won’t win any Oscars because Los Angeles is jealous of New York because everyone loves New York and New York is the greatest city alive because New York New York New York. Oh, and that wasn’t a typo: New York is alive.  And there really isn’t anything else in New York State except for New York City, which is why we can all say “New York” to refer to New York City because everyone loves New York and New York is the greatest city alive because New York New York New York. New York.

Ex Machina (Nominated for Best Visual Effects)

In this modern re-telling of Pinnochio, Oscar Isaac takes on the Gepetto role as he creates a robot- AVA- who dreams of one day becoming a real girl.  With Domhall Gleason taking over as Caleb, or  the Jiminy Cricket character and AVA’s conscience, AVA finds out that although Pinnochio just had to be Honest, Brave, and True, AVA has to conform to beauty standards by covering up her robotic parts, conform to gender standards by exhibiting none of her innate urge to kill humans, and obey her patriarchial overlord Gepetto and his every demand.  In the end [SPOILER ALERT] AVA kills everyone and decides to be a robot and keep on killing everyone.  It is heavily implied that this then leads to the events of “Mad Max: Fury Road”.  A tale of gender, humanity, ingrained sexism, and killer robots, Ex Machina sadly won’t win any oscars because a movie can’t win an oscar if it stars an Oscar. This is also why Star Wars won’t win.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Nominated for Best Visual Effects)

Exterior: The Universe.  We slowly push in, through countless galaxies, into the Milk Way, pas the furthest reaches,  past the Oort Cloud and Earth, through novae and black holes, through the vast nothingness of deep space and the nuclear core of an exploding sun.  Asteroids zip by, dust compresses into fully-formed planets before being blasted apart again by solar flares.  We push into another galaxy, unknown.  Alien.  Deeper and deeper into the black waters we dive, past red dwarves and blinking neutron stars.  Things beyond comprehension that cannot be described by any Earthly words zoom by, flicker in and out of existence.  Finally, We arrive on a small green planet. rotating around a medium sized star.  We zoom into the ocean, past great cyan oceans and mountains of weeds to a small rocky cave where [SPILER ALERT] THE FORCE lives.  “The Force”, of course, being a cyborg-lizard that was introduced way back in 1977 with the first Star Wars movie “Star Wars”, later re-named “Star Wars: A New Hope”.  The Force opens it eyes, looks around, and syas “Oh man, what time is it?”. Roll credits.  The most expansive and eye opening experience since 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has garnered 26,092.51 stars and is currently has a 14 billion percent chance of winning.

Arsea, or on the creation of Language

I’m currently wading into the world of creating an animated series about talking animals in space and as time goes on I’ll be posting more about it.   For this show I wanted to create an alien language to use for background signage and the like, both as a way to explore more of this universe but also as a way of creating a more lived-in universe for my space- crustaceans to live in.  This fictional language is Arsea, and it looks like this:

Now I know the question on all of your minds: Is there some overly-complicated linguistic history to back up this neat little alphabet? Why yes there is, thanks for asking. It all begins with emojis…


 

The Earthen Letterglyphs

Currently language is in the process of being deconstructed, and we’re starting to use pictures, numbers, and standalone letters to represent ideas and to replace whole words.  My first task was to go through and figure out which of these pictures/letters/numerals would be included as a glyph once we inevitably create a unified logographic language.  I ended up with thirty different glyphs that I would end up working with for this, all listed below:

The Emoticonal Letterglyphs
The Emoticonal Letterglyphs

From there I had to do the best I could going through hundreds of years of letter-shaping, much like our own alphabets did, in the span of a few days.  I did this through taking the glyphs and tracing over them (sometimes with my left hand), and re-tracing them, and simplifying the forms so I use less strokes, etc.  Eventually I ended up with a simplified New Earth Alphabet.  Some individual glyphs (my favorites) are below, the befores and after.

The cat-glyph
The cat-glyph, before
The "Cwa" Sonoglyph
The “Cwa” Sonoglyph, after
The "Pizza" logoglyph.
The “Pizza” logoglyph.
The "Eee" Sonoglyph
The “Eee” Sonoglyph
The "Poop" logoglyph.
The “Poop” logoglyph.
The "Guh" Sonoglyph
The “Guh” Sonoglyph

 

 

 

So I had a Nu-Earth Sonoglyphic language from which I could now expand as the Human Race was about to expand.  At this point in the story-world  I’m creating humanity let loose leagues of Arks carrying with them all sort of animals as well as phonograph machines that will teach these animals language (Fun Fact, these phonograph machines are where the name “Arsea” comes from).  We now enter into a new age of this language, the age of the arks.


 

The Space Arks

The Digitized "Puh" sonoglyph.
The Digitized “Puh” sonoglyph.

The first step was a simple one: As shown above I took all of the sonoglyphs (pictures that equate to a sound, or a fancy way of saying letters)and I “digitzed” them by tracing over all lines with tiny black pixel-like squares.  Once everything was digitized, I could set out creating certain words, phrases, etc, which I would then use for the next step of this alphanumeric rabbit hole.  I ended up with about thirty-five words and phrases that I eventually used to created a new round of letters, a few of those are included below to see how the Nu-Earth Sonoglyphs work together.

"Error", an important word in this world.
“Error”, an important word in this world.
"Gagnepain", yes I have a problem.
“Gagnepain”, yes I have a problem.
"Twarogowski", to honor the co-creator of  a lot of this imaginary mythos.
“Twarogowski”, to honor the co-creator of a lot of this imaginary mythos.
"Heisenberg 1", the name of one of the Arks.
“Heisenberg 1”, the name of one of the Arks.
"Quarters", for where creatures would live.
“Quarters”, for where creatures would live.

Well,  as luck/fate/chaos would have it the Human race destroyed themselves and all that was left of them were these giant floating space arks.  These arks floated around for thousands of years in space as new stars and planets were born (time also got a bit wibbly-wobbly here, this is all backstory for the animated universe).  Eventually these Arks crashed on to planets and let loose all of the creatures held inside, and when these creatures gained self-awareness they would see these giant ships and the wreckage from them and begin to craft their new language from these ruins.

So my next step was to mimic thousands of years of wear-and-tear and damage from entrance to the atmosphere and crashing onto planets.  This was done with the aide of data-bending and massive photoshop manipulation.  Unfortunately a lot of the documents I had from this step seem to have disappeared, but I do have what came next: breaking up all of these wrecked and pixellated images and beginning this whole process of of abstraction to logoglyphs to abstraction to sonoglyphs again.


 

Fonos: The Hieroglyphs of the Old Systems

So we’re back at step 1: Creating a hieroglyphic language to be then transposed into a sonoglyphic language.  I used the broken up chunks of the old Ark glitches to create new symbols.  Some of these symbols were near direct translations from the Ark to the Glyph, others used ideas from the Arks but rotated or combined them to create a new glyph, and still yet some glyphs are based around other Fonos glyphs.  I ended up with about 100 of these heiroglyphs.

All 100 or so of the Fonos Logoglyphs.
All 100 or so of the Fonos Logoglyphs.

Aside from directly translating these fractured bits of broken imaginary broken screens and spaceships, I also wanted to try and simplify these glyphs a bit, or at least make them more organic feeling.  So to get each of the cards above I again went through and traced and re-traced each sketch until the glyphs were broken down enough.  Then I brought them back into the computer, which that process in itself then added new wrinkles to each drawing (often times the filters I used would fill in circles with smaller circles, or they’d cause smaller lines that were just wrinkles in the paper to appear).  So to get the digital files that I’d then be working on, which I’ve included some of my favorites below, I would pick and choose which aspects of the new files I liked and which aspects needed to go and finished off with all of these:

The Fonos logoglyph for "Fire".
The Fonos logoglyph for “Fire”.

 

The Fonos Glyph for "Living".
The Fonos Glyph for “Living”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Sense"
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Sense”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Government".
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Government”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Reason"
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Reason”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Interest"
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Interest”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Beauty"
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Beauty”.

 

THe Fonos Logoglyph for "Ground"
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Ground”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Science".
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Science”.

 

The Fonos Logoglyph for "Feast"
The Fonos Logoglyph for “Feast”.

 


 

The Final Frontier

Okay, we’re near the end.  Once I had all 100 or so glyphs finished and digitally uploaded I split them all apart into different categories based on what their main features were.  From there I combined the glyphs, simplified them, anything to see what sorts of forms or recurring shapes could be seen among all of them.  I then took 44 of these combined glyphs (though some were direct translations) to match up with the 44 phonetic sounds.  These 44 starters can be seen below:

The Antiquity version of Arsean script.
The Antiquity version of Arsean script.

As you can see, though my goal was simplification, it didn’t really work out.  But that was no matter, because it was time for another round of tracing and re-tracing these pictures in an effort to compress hundreds of years of letter-mutating in the span of only a few weeks.  On top of tracing and re-tracing I also wanted to be sure that (almost) every letter for this new language could be accomplished with only three strokes of a pen/pencil/claw, and so through eventually amongst all of this change I came to the final 44 letters of Arsea, shown in two plates below along with their phonetic alphabet words to let you know the sound they make.

 

The Modern Arsean Letters
The Modern Arsean Letters
Organ
“Or” making that sound, or the beginning sound of “Organ”.

And a few closer looks at some of my favorite letters:

"Wee", making the "Wuh" sound.
“Wee”, making the “Wuh” sound.
"Tho" making the beginning "Th" sound in "The".
“Tho” making the beginning “Th” sound in “The”.
"Oure", making the O-U-R sound in "Tour".
“Oure”, making the O-U-R sound in “Tour”.
"Go", or the "Guh" sound like in "Goat".  Also, it looks like a goat.
“Go”, or the “Guh” sound like in “Goat”. Also, it looks like a goat.
"Io", the letter that makes the sound "I" or "Eye" or "Aye".
“Io”, the letter that makes the sound “I” or “Eye” or “Aye”.
"Eer", making an "Ear" sound.
“Eer”, making an “Ear” sound.
"Choo", making the "Sh" sound like "Charlie".
“Choo”, making the “Sh” sound like “Charlie”.
"Al", making the hard "A" sound which begins "Alpha".
“Al”, making the hard “A” sound which begins “Alpha”.
"Oop", making the middle double-o sound in "book".
“Oop”, making the middle double-o sound in “book”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s it.  Arsea is a direct phonetic cipher, so any word you want to write you just break apart into its sounds and pick out the correct letters for it.  Was this an extremely complicated way to get at something extremely simple? Yes. Did I waste my time?  That, I open up for your discussion.

Once Upon a Time in Wisconsin

I hate Kraft American Singles.  They are not cheese. They are some sort of hideous amalgamation of chemicals that taste horrible, just awful.  So I decided to animate a story on them.  This came form a writing warm-up I did on my own time, I can’t even remember when or what larger piece I was working on at the time, but I remember that I just wrote this quickly in an afternoon.  Later I decided to adapt it for a class on narratives; I’d tell you the exact assignment but I can’t really even remember that anymore.  But I do remember this piece, and I do remember the horrible smell of cheese as I scanned each horrible sliver.  Was it worth the torture?  Let’s take a look:

Once Upon a Time in Wisconsin from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Yes. Yes it was.  I enjoy this piece immensely, and I’d put this in my “under-appreciated and unseen classics” category.  First I actually enjoy the weird effect the paint on cheese has, as it gives it a strange bit of depth, like acetone sheets if they were yellow blocks of maybe-milk.  I also think the narration adds a nice touch to the story (I have a love-hate relationship with my performances, but this one is alright), adding a menacing twilight-zone-esque feel to the tale of Marty turning into cheese.  I’m not sure if there’s anything I’d change about it , it’s far from perfect, but for a project made for an unknown assignment it turned out just fine. It’s also a style, the photomontage, that I’d like to revisit with another story.  I think it’s a form that could use another go around and certainly something easy to do now that I’m all on my own.  How about you, internet?  How do like this odd little cheese-story?  How do you like Kraft American Singles?  What do you think the title of this piece should have been, because I’ll admit the title is pretty terrible?

An Unhelpful Guide to the 2014 Oscars

It’s Oscar season again, when we all huddle in blankets and leave out milk and cookies for the Film Academy Grinch so that he won’t steal our children and leave copies of Grown Ups 2 in our Oscar Stockings.  Of course as we all know from the Bible, the only way to truly save ourselves from the grisly fate of the Film Grinch is to correctly guess the winners of the three most important Oscar categories (Best Picture, Best Director and Best Make-up and Hair Styling).  Also fortunately for you, I have a mole inside of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and so below I’ve included a brief synopsis of each nominee and its likelihood of winning the prized Oscar statue with a gooey chocolate center.

12 Years a Slave (Best Picture, Best Director for Steve McQueen)

12 Years a Slave follows the exploits of a Middle manager for a company that makes auto parts for Ford Motor Trucks, hence he’s a slave to the corporation, man.  Over the next twelve years he gets married, becoming a slave to patriarchal convention, man, and eventually he begins drinking, becoming a slave to alcoholism, man.  After twelve years he gets fired from the auto parts company and has to try and find a job again, starting from the very bottom and becoming a slave to the sagging economy, man.  Directed by Steve McQueen, actor in such films as The Great Escape and Bullitt I’d say the percentage of winning ranges from 1841% to 1980%.

American Hustle (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for David O. Russell)

This year’s prestige piece on racism in American politics, Russell posits that perhaps the greatest hustle hoisted on the American people has been the racial profiling in the ABSCAM fiasco of the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The film focuses on FBI agent Paco Fernandez as he attempts to shed light on the underlining racism of American politics in New Jersey as some white guy (played by Jeremy Renner) tries to become Mayor.  Fernandez’ pleas fall on deaf ears, however, and thus the film transcends racial politics and becomes about the futility of life and the Sisyphean struggle of it all.  I’d say it has 7% chance of winning, 50000% is Russell styles his hair in an elaborate comb-over for the awards ceremony.

Captain Phillips (Only Nominated for Best Picture, a loser for sure)

Tom hanks is on a boat! It’s so much fun, he’s getting tan and talking to all of his friends about how great it was to be in Big and The Terminal and Joe Versus the Volcano when suddenly a bunch of pirates hop on board (and not the fun Johnny Depp kind).  “Give me an autograph!” yells Pirate leader Barkhad Abdi, “I have a son back home who’s a big fan of the Toy Story series”.  “Oh, what’s your son’s name?” asks Tom, terrified but keeping cool just like he did back in Apollo 13. “Oh, you caught me. It’s for me. I love you Tom Hanks” says Adbi, ripping open his shirt to reveal a Tom Hanks tattoo. “That’s okay, EVERYBODY loves me!” shouts Tom, and the party resumes.  Although it stands a 71% chance of winning Best Picture, Tom Hanks is sure to win Best Actor through sheer force of charisma and will.

Dallas Buyers Club (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Make-up and Hair Styling)

Tumbleweeds scurry across the empty roads under the watchful eyes of coyotes and the setting sun makes the shrubbery seem on fire in the middle of West Texas.  Lights turn on in an old auction house, people flock in like moths drawn to the light.  The auctioneer quiets down the whispering men in suits as the auction begins “Ladies and Gentlemen, today we sell Dallas. Bidding begins at-” The Auctioneer is cut off, Matthew McConaughy stands and raises his tiny fan “Yes, Hello. I would like to buy Dallas”.  The rest of the movie is about McConaughy (playing himself) trying to out bid everyone for the ownership of Dallas, though, they all decide that the bidding and conspiring to own the city is more fun than actual ownership.  SO they set up a secret shadow club that meets and discusses how they’ll first buy Dallas, then the world.  1985% chance of winning, thanks to McConaughy’s thrillingly ambiguous performance (why exactly DOES he want to buy Dallas? We never know, and perhaps its best that way).

Gravity (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Alfonso Cuáron)

A Woman Astronaut and a Man Astronaut are in space being astronauts. But Oh No! Space stuff flies into other space stuff which makes space stuff happen. IN SPACE. Eventually Manstornaut dies but comes back as a ghost (still in space), and Woman Astronaut has to fly through the atmosphere and fight fire monsters being held captive on a Chinese Spacecraft (still in space).  This is all rendered in thrilling 3D, so you can see space in space and experience what it would be like if you were an astronaut in space. 9.8% of winning. In space.

Her (Only nominated for Best Picture, directing robots doesn’t count as directing)

In a dystopian future robots have taken over the world and forcefully impregnate men to carry terrible cyborg babies which will then be sued to conquer the rest of the galaxy.  One such man is Theodore (Joaquin Pheonix) who is kidnapped from his home by a seductress in the form of a super-intelligent AI (Scarlet Johansson) and i lured into the horrific robot compound.  Theodore is kept away from his loving wife (Amy Adams) and his three non-cyborg kids and plots his escape from the compound along with some other prisoners/breeders.  Theodore eventually has to martyr himself for the future of mankind (it turns out he’s actually carrying a human baby who may turn the tides of robot oppression), and baby Joshua is raised by Theodore’s wife to travel back in time and stop Skynet. Unfortunately it only stands a 3-5% chance of winning due to the fact that Sci-Fi epics like this one never win Oscars.

Nebraska (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Alexander Payne)

Will Forte and Bruce Dern play a son and father (respectively, although presumably the father was also a son, but we never really get that backstory which is a shame) who are on a fun bonding road trip south from Montana to pick up millions of dollars and see the Italian countryside.  Unfortunately first they have to drive through Nebraska.  They drive. And drive. And drive.  They run out of things to talk about and try to find a good radio station: No dice, it’s all country. Not even a good 80’s hit station.  Dern tries to think of something to say. He decides it’s best just to look out the window. Ugh: More corn.  “Are we still in Nebraska?” asks Dern. “Yeah, Dad. 80 more miles” replies Forte. “Oh. I don’t think I like Nebraska”. 1867% Chance for Best Picture, 77354% for Best Director.

Philomena (Only Nominated for Best Picture,  come on Judi Dench, couldn’t you have made your character have horns?)

Philomena (Judi Dench) is a woman who had to give up her only child years ago so she could live in a convent, and a journalist named Martin Sixsmith (played impeccably by Steve Coogan) take sup her story in order to regain his hope in humanity.  Sixsmith’s search for Philomena takes him across the British isles and eventually to America, and along the way he and Philomena’s daughter (Mare Winningham) discover that maybe the world isn’t so bad.  This all changes when it’s revealed that Philomena is a spy for the British government, taking over the mantle from the long dead 007, and she’s attempting to infiltrate the evil organization SPECTRE.  Sixsmith finally meets up with Philomena on a beach, right before a diamond-faced assassin attempts to take her life. BANG BANG BANG go the guns, and it’s revealed that Sixsmith’s adventure has just begun.  Part one of the four part spy series, Philomena will keep you guessing from start to finish. 4417% chance of winning, thanks to Dench’s Neeson-esque aptitude for violence and her “particular set of skills”.

The Wolf of Wall Street (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Martin Scorsese)

Steps echo through the White House, Secretary of State john Kerry (played by himself) rushes into Obama’s office (Obama also plays himself). “Sir, it’s the economy, it’s… it’s NOT WORKING ANYMORE!” shouts Kerry. Obama lights a cigarette and stares out the window, “I know John. It’s Wall Street. No one’s there, and so the economy’s crashing”. “WHY?! WHY BARACK?!” weeps Kerry. “Because the entrie street has been taken over by a pack of ravenous wolves”. Kerry and Obama hatch a plan just crazy enough to work, they’re going to grant an insane prisoner known only as “The Wolf Hunter” (Leonardo DiCaprio) pardon from Gitmo if he can break into Wall Street and fight off the wolves.  The Hunter, who claims to be innocent of his crimes of murdering Cincinnati, teams up with the one person he trusts: Wildlife expert Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and together they learn that the only thing more dangerous than a pack of ravenous wolves are stock brokers who haven’t been able to walk into a room and shout numbers at computer screens.  714% chance of winning Best Picture, Millions upon millions of percent chances for winning Best Director.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Only Best Make-up and Hair styling, it got snubbed for Best Picture)

Johnny Knoxville plays Irving Zisman who just got out of prison and is looking to patch things up with his estranged son, Greg Harris’ Chuck.  It becomes clear that Irving won’t be able to make amends with Chuck, but he finds out that Chuck has a son, Billy, and Irving and Billy instantly hit it off.  Irving takes Billy out for a day, against the wishes of Chuck, and tries to open up to this youngster (It’s difficult for Irving, his father beat him and to escape he had to go fight in Vietnam where he saw a lot of people get killed).  Unfortunately Irving falls into old habits, and by the end of the day he’s getting carted back to Prison. “I’m sorry, Kid, I guess I’m just a bad grandpa” says Irving, but Billy looks up with tears in his eyes and says “No Pep-pep, you’re the best grandpa”.  It should be an 86% chance of winning, but as Irving well knows life isn’t fair and so it probably only has an 8% chance of winning.

The Lone Ranger (Nominated only for Best Make-up and Hair Styling, living up to its name of being a Lone Ranger)

Agent John Reid works for the Texas Rangers and he’s hunting down an escaped fugitive who’s hiding out in a seedy hotel outside Marfa.  He guzzles sunflower seeds and pitch black coffee, the kind that’d wilt flowers, as he gazes at the door thinking that if he stares hard enough he might just be able to develop X-ray vision.  Then the car door opens, and Johnny Depp’s character (Known only as “Ski Mask” as he’s wearing a ski mask the entire time) holds a gun up to Reid’s head.  “Hey. You wanna hear me do a wacky high-pitched voice?” asks Ski Mask.  “Get away from here. I’m on a job, and I got to do this alone” rasps out Reid. “Waka Waka!” exclaims Ski Mask, flapping his arms like a bird, “YOU WANNA SEE MY HAT?”, Ski Mask takes out a large hat with a dead crow on it.  he proceeds to make loud bird calls.  Reid realizes that he’s got a long day ahead of him, in the most uproarious and outrageous buddy cop movie since Rush Hour. 221% chacne of winning every Oscar from now to eternity, all thanks to Johnny Depp and his hats.

So there you have it.  Good luck, these predictions should be accurate but just in case bolt your doors and turn off the lights, because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be roving the streets on Oscar night searching for those who have defiled this most sacred of traditions.  Good luck, may you make it through the night.