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Lyle Zapato

Pneumatic Tubes In Fiction

Lyle Zapato | 2005-08-25.9800 LMT | Pneumatics | Technology | Entertainment

Yesterday, I noticed that Wikipedia's entry for "pneumatic tubes" links to my Inteli-tube page. Since I reorganized the site, I went to update the link.

While there, I decided to clarify an ambiguous statement about pneumatic postage stamps (which were mentioned here previously). Of course, I had to also add a picture of one of the stamps.

Then I had to move a misplaced paragraph listing some occurrences of pneumatic tubes in fiction from the postal section. I put it in it's own section and expanded on it:

When pneumatic tubes first came into use in the 19th century, they symbolized technological progress and it was imagined that they would be common in the future. Jules Verne's Paris in the 20th Century (1863) includes suspended pneumatic tube trains that stretch across the oceans. Albert Robida's The Twentieth Century (1882) describes a 1950s Paris where tube trains have replaced railways and pneumatic mail is ubiquitous. Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward (1888) envisions the world of 2000 as interlinked with tubes for delivering goods. Michel Verne's An Express of the Future (1888) questions the sensibility of a transatlantic pneumatic subway. In Michel & Jules Verne's The Day of an American Journalist in 2889 (1889) the Society for Supplying Food to the Home allows subscribers to receive meals pneumatically.

Later, because of their use by governments and large businesses, tubes began to symbolize bureaucracy. In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, pneumatic tubes in the Ministry of Truth deliver newspapers to Winston's desk containing articles to be "rectified". The movie Brazil, which has similar themes, also used tubes (as well as other anachronistic technology) to evoke the stagnation of bureaucracy. At the start of each episode of the 1999 television series Fantasy Island, a darker version of the original, bookings for would-be visitors to the Island were sent to the devilish Mr. Roarke via a pneumatic tube from a dusty old travel agency, making the tube seem not so much bureaucratic as sinister.

The failure of pneumatic tubes to live up to their potential as envisioned in previous centuries has placed them in the company of flying cars and dirigibles as ripe for ironic retro-futurism. The 1960s cartoon series The Jetsons featured pneumatic tubes that people could step into and be sucked up and swiftly spit out at their destination. Futurama imagined similar devices for the citizens of 31st century New New York.

But, sometimes a tube is just a tube, and not all pneumatic tubes in fiction are symbolic or meaningful beyond simply being interesting technology. In the James Bond film The Living Daylights, a supposed Soviet defector was smuggled across the Iron Curtain in an oil pipe-line. While not technically a pneumatic tube, the design of the transportation system in Logan's Run, in which cars traveled in elevated clear tubes, seems influenced by pneumatic tube aesthetics.

So, if anyone knows any other notable pneumatic tubes in fiction that I missed, please add to the article.

Lyle Zapato

Everything Is A Lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lyle Zapato | 2005-08-17.7900 LMT | Complaints Department | Letters

Eddie writes:

EVERYTHING IS A LIE ON THIS WEB SITE YOU CAN GET TROUBLE YOU BETTER DELETE THE WEB SITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since Eddie saved up all his punctuation credits for the end of the message, it's a bit difficult to decipher his meaning. Let me clear it up for you:

Everything is a lie! On this web site, you can get trouble. You better delete the web site!

There. Much easier to read.

Now, while I don't agree with Eddie's randomly-blurted epistemological stance -- everything can't be a lie since everything would necessarily include the proposition "Everything is a lie", thus creating a paradox -- he is correct about my site: You can get trouble here.

Learning how to foil mind-control, how to support the Cascadian independence movement, and the TRUTH about both Black Helicopters and Belgium will all bring you trouble from those who want to keep you enslaved and ignorant.

Eddie seems to think that you should be protected from this trouble for your own good. He would rather have those troublemakers who put up websites like this delete them than risk anyone being troubled. This troubles him, judging by his tone.

Although his concern is understandable, I feel he is absolutely wrong. People need to be troubled when to be troubled means to avoid a greater, more troubling trouble, no matter how troublesome the initial trouble may seem. To remain untroubled in these troublous times is to live a lie.

Would he rather people dumpster-dive for aluminum foil or be turned into mind-controlled zombies of the NWO? Would he rather Cascadians be hassled by the Man at California "Fruit Inspection Stations" because of their pro-Cascadia bumper stickers or see all of Cascadia sold into a bondage of crisscrossing monorail lines? Would he rather people make themselves a target for pestering by Belgians or make themselves into Belgians. I think the choice of troubles is obvious.

So, Eddie, I will not delete the website. While it may bring trouble to those who heed it, ultimately it will trouble the forces of evil the most.

Lyle Zapato

Black Helicopter TRUTH Store

Lyle Zapato | 2005-08-08.1260 LMT | Black Helicopters | NWO | Art | Crass Commercialism
Lyle Zapato

Dactyl Fractal Mesmerizes Masses

Lyle Zapato | 2005-08-01.5850 LMT | Mysterious Doodads | Polydactylism

Apparently the Dactyl Fractal Zoomer Doodad has been making the rounds -- and accounting for the majority of recent traffic -- but I didn't notice since I forgot to put a webbug on the container page for the Flash.

Anyway, I bring this up only to note that some Swede came up with an all-too-clever alternative name for it:

Handelbrot.

...

Dammit.

Lyle Zapato

Detecting UFOs

Lyle Zapato | 2005-07-25.6100 LMT | Technology | Paraterrestrials

This is the sort of in-depth, technical information you just don't get in the NWO-controlled media. The Technology Team at India Daily (which operates out of New Jersey) explains how to know if an extraterrestrial [aka paraterrestrial] UFO is in the vicinity:

UFOs use electromagnetic flux for armor at the first level and for stealth at the second level. When the UFO comes out of the wormhole for a very little time it is stealth-less though armor part of the electromagnetic change in field intensity stays. The first signs of an extraterrestrial UFO are unusually high change in electromagnetic field intensity with respect to that of the earth. It is almost like a huge dynamo running and dissipating the energy all over. This is the first indication of an extraterrestrial UFO hovering in the vicinity.

...

If you really want to know if an extraterrestrial UFO is really near you, look at the animals and yourself. It is now scientifically proven that super high intensity of electromagnetic flux makes all living beings depressed. Our living soul is electromagnetic energy and it cannot tolerate an influence of an external very high intensity of electromagnetic flux that is uncontrolled by our soul. So all living beings become depressed and the thinking process gets difficult in the presence of extraterrestrial UFOs. When you find all animals are lethargic and you also feel the same, the possibilities are very high that one or more UFOs are near by.

So there you go. Like miners of yore, carry a canary with you when travelling in areas with known UFO activity. If it starts to show signs of depression -- withdrawal from social interaction, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. -- then there is most likely a UFO nearby.

Other helpful UFO tech articles from India Daily:

Lyle Zapato

The New Harvest Begins

Lyle Zapato | 2005-07-10.1530 LMT | Food | Technology

"Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale"

The above article is about a research paper discussing the possibility of "cultured meat" as a solution to various problems with the current meat production paradigm. One of the paper's authors has started an organization called New Harvest:

New Harvest is a nonprofit research organization working to develop new meat substitutes, including cultured meat -- meat produced in vitro, in a cell culture, rather than from an animal.

Wide-scale production and sale of cultured meat products through stores is an interesting proposition, if mildly disturbing to some, but the greater potential for creepiness lies in home meat makers, which the article says the paper suggests "may one day sit next to bread makers on the kitchen counter." Presumably these would work by placing a tissue sample and raw nutrients in the machine, turning a knob to "culture", and waiting while the ready-to-grill patties grow. Consumers would probably purchase tissue-nutrient cartridges at the grocery store, but, apart from the possibility of DRM (DNA Rights Management) technology, there would be nothing stopping users from simply saving some of the uneaten meat to be recultured or using alternate sources of tissue.

And what sort of alternate sources will people use? At first they'll try getting samples from unusual or endangered animals. After all, who wouldn't want to try delicacies like California condor nuggets or porpoiseburgers? But getting those samples might prove expensive or legally questionable and home meatgrowers will quickly try other more ready sources, most obviously family pets. (There will be economic incentives to try this: why buy expensive pet food when you can feed Fluffy on himself?)

Eventually though -- and probably sooner than later (and probably as soon as meat makers are available [and certainly since I am about to express the idea as soon as this nested digression ends]) -- someone will hit on the idea of harvesting a tissue sample from themself, just to see what human meat taste like. (The New Harvest site seems to be subliminally promoting this idea, as one of their header images features a woman gnawing on her own hand.)

The moral and ethical questions raised will be murky. Traditionally, those who oppose cannibalism could justify their position on the solid ground that human meat would always be the result of either murder or some sort of desecration of someone's remains. However, those arguments either don't apply to selfcultured meat or the application would be tortuous and unconvincing to many. Libertarian pro-cannibalists will argue for the individuals' right to eat themselves while various health gurus will tout the nutritious value of selfmeat, which contains all that your body needs since it's made of the same stuff. This sort of cannibalism will become, if not generally accepted, then at least tolerated, with prohibition seen as unenforceable.

It's not much of a leap from self-cannibalism to offering your meat to dinner guests, and once people acquire a taste for other people, this can only lead to one thing: celebrity cannibalism.

C-level celebrities, unable to make any money in the crowded reality TV market, will turn to peddling their own flesh to pop-culture-obsessed gourmands. I think it's safe to augur that Kenny Rogers Roasters will start serving actual roasted Kenny Rogers and that an all-in-one George Foreman Grill/Meat Maker will let you grill up some George Foreman.

This turn of events will darken as unauthorized celebrity tissue samples find their way into the meat market. Big-name celebrities will be targeted, with stalkers and opportunists trying to steal medical biopsies from doctors or even samples directly from the source. In this black market of celebflesh, counterfeiters will flourish, leaving many celebrities torn between feeling violated by meat pirates and offended by being falsely portrayed as too stringy.

In time, these celebrities may find it wise to give into fan demands by offering up their officially licensed flesh as a gourmet alternative -- think "Newman's Own Meat". Increased pressure to perform gastronomically will lead to scandal over the common usage of "meat-synching" by celebrities of subpar flavor. There may even emerge a new kind of celebrity who's known only for how good he or she tastes, resulting in a generation of kids whose highest ambition in life is to be considered delicious.

Finally, the ultimate form of celebrity cannibalism may come from the Catholic Church. Using DNA lifted from the Shroud of Turin combined with cells from a donor, the blood and flesh of Christ may once and for all be substantiated without the need for wine and cracker intermediaries.

Update 2009-03-14: And it begins with George Clooney flavored tofu...

Lyle Zapato

Protection Against Spray Attack

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-29.2480 LMT | Random Found Thing | Black Helicopters | Retro
Pin-up girl in gas mask and plastic bag attacking gas-spraying Japanese zero with a rifle - 'Protection Against Spray Attack'

Little Known Secret Weapons of WWII: An elite contingent of the USO made up of specially equipped pin-up girls was created in order to protect Iowa from miniature Imperial Japanese poison-gas fighters -- primitive forerunners of modern black helicopters.

UPDATE: More details about this image and what happened to the modeled spray-attack-bags after the war...

Lyle Zapato

Backyard Aluminum Foundry

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-28.3220 LMT | Aluminum

Darus' Coffee Can Foundry Mark II can produce ingots of aluminum on the cheap from miscellaneous scraps. Useful for serious paranoids looking to cast aluminum helmets or experimenting with homebrew psychotron cores.

(via hack a day)

Lyle Zapato

The Brussels Beast... It Grows

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-24.1200 LMT | Belgian Conspiracy | NWO | General Paranoia

As has been widely reported, the US DOD is creating a database of students, ostensibly as a means to aid in effective recruitment. While the Pentagon has collected the data itself, processing will be subcontracted to a private database marketing firm.

Their name? BeNOW.

Do I even need to explain this one? As you should be aware, "Be" is the official brandmeme of the Belgian Conspiracy -- designed to hijack the psycholinguistic receptors for the concept of existence in the minds of English speakers -- and "NOW" is clearly an anagram of "NWO". (Also, check out the logo for BeNOW's "MVP Technology," what they call the giant computer they use to calculate all there is to know about you. Look familiar?)

Obviously this shadowy company -- whose website is short on details and long on generic marketeering buzzbabble -- is just a poorly concealed front for the Belgian Conspiracy in their scheme to transform everyone into Belgian citizens through a process of identity subversion (see my post on Belgian Identity Theft for more on this process).

They will now have access to name, gender, address, birthday, Social Security number, email address, ethnicity, telephone number, graduation dates, grade-point average, education level, military test scores, and who knows what else for all students aged 16 and older in the US. Cross-referenced with data collected by their business partner DoubleClick, that's more than enough information with which to subvert identities and turn an entire generation into Belgians.

Lyle Zapato

GPM #14: Hug A Tree & Jerry The Moose

Lyle Zapato | 2005-06-14.6470 LMT | Government Propaganda Mascots

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (aka the Mounties) have a suggestion for kids lost in the forest:

Hug-a-Tree and Survive!

The tree GPM on their logo doesn't have a name that I can find, but he does have a strategically placed maple leaf... which the kids seem to be reaching for... which he seems a little too happy about...

OK. I think the Mounties are hinting at who, or rather what, they turn to to ease the loneliness of stoically riding around the vast Canadian wilderness all day. Moving quickly along...

If hugging a tree is too creepy, Jerry the Moose (from the North Cascadian prefecture of British Columbia's Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection,) has an alternate suggestion:


Make yourself BIG when lost!

Searchers will easily spot you if you're taller than the tree tops, so find a clearing and will yourself to grow. You can do it!

If however you're one of those few abnormal kids who are always picked on by their peers since they lack rapid-grow abilities, remember to bring along an orange garbage bag and a whistle. When lost, put the bag over your head and while away the time waiting to be rescued by pretending to be a whistling orange ghost (just be sure to put a hole in the bag to breathe or you'll end up an actual ghost).