Sunday, October 22, 2006

Unexpected News from Space

I still don't know what to think... I got up this morning and found the message below waiting on the ship-to-shore communicator device thingy.

Is it possible? Is Inky REALLY on board? Or is this some kind of nefarious plot by the insurgents in Republic of Tinselman to destabilise our attempts to sew the seeds of democracy in that benighted realm?

Of course, I immediately attempted to contact the spacefleet flagship Our Bite is Worse, but they seem to have once again left communications range. I curse the day that we followed Minister Ivo's instructions about saving money and signed up with Australia's BigPond... it simply has no coverage -- leave a capital city and it simply isn't there. No wonder the Oz tyranny is attempting to offload it onto unsuspecting foriegn investors...

Anyway, if the following IS true, then all our troubles will soon be over. And Inky is safe after all!

Part of Museum of Dust's spacefleet. (Image credit: Capt. Demarius Pike)

Communication #One.
Captain's log [terra chronis 23/10/06]
Source: The interplanetary vessel 'Our Bite is Worse than this Barque' [Ian M Banks class] command ship to the Museum of Dust Interplanetary Research and Development Department.
Recipient: The Museum of Dust/Terra Incognita via Burnham Wood.

We have just left the 'information shadow' cast by Saturn and Jupiter and are now free to beam directly to Earth. Back-up files will follow.

As you all know (we did leave a note attached to the whiteboard in the anatomy lab – you DID read it didn’t you?) we were requested by NASA to confirm Pluto's planetary status. I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to test the interplanetary abilities of our starfleet. The results were good all round. Pluto was sadly lacking in the bulk required for planetary status. Unfortunately, it was also somewhat too big for admission to the Museum of Dust. After an evening of large amounts of rum and indiscriminate disciplinary measures I decided to destroy the uppity rock. [see attached foto] It is definitely no longer a member of the pantheon.

But it IS now eligible for admittance to MoD’s collection.

On our return trip I was tempted to colonize Jupiter as part of our philosophy of 'Pre-action' but we found the inhabitants peaceful, friendly, and receptive to our cause having suffered severe brutality at the hands of someone called 'Your Illustrious Khan'. Beneficence being the better part of valor we left them such helpful items as we could - catalogues, compasses, looking glasses and the like. Saturn we left a smoking ruin.

Now, frankly, I have to ask 'What the hell has been going on?' I spend a couple of weeks in space and come back to find we are on the brink of war with the Republic of Tinselman. I've never heard of them - which is good, in a way, as it make it so much easier to wipe them off the map. That is assuming they ever made it on to one. War-making is my imperative and Cog's prerogative.

It is not an option for someone such as Leslie Fenton Scam-scam.

Leslie is to be commended for his actions during this time of crises. However, for exceeding his authority he will be shot at dawn, with a matinee at two o'clock, an evening show at eight, and a late supper shooting on Fridays.

The people of the Republic of Tinselman and the employees of the Museum of Dust must be reminded that war is not to be entered into lightly. The consequences always outweigh the benefits. No one is ever ennobled by the subjugation of others. You have all been swayed by false messiahs. As the wicked Leslie Fenton Scam-scam tried to lure us to destruction the malevolent spirit of William Shatner stalks the Republic of Tinselman. This evil, malign, despicable creature must be driven back to its home in a Boston law firm. The benighted savages of the Republic must be made free. As of this moment I direct the starfleet to cross the galaxy in a quest to rescue the Khan and save him from false Samaritans. We will not rest until he sits upon his throne and once again can enlighten and protect his folk.

May comets waver in their paths and suns die at your glance:
we salute you mighty Cog

Studley Wilcox-Lusher III
Minister of Defence

PS: [DELETE THIS NOTE]-commandline-1-note/deletion>stack-failure
Will send out scouts. I will probably just swing around behind Uranus (I know… but the astro-navigation crew insisted) colonize a few moonlets and be home in time for supper.

I suppose the only thing to do now is wait. And hope.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cry Havoc

And loose the dog-boys of war!

It’s all going our way… RoT’s Khan has been unmasked (literally) as that intergalactic space-slut William Shatner. Rupert Morlock – media-mogul, time-traveller and noted trouser-man – is being kept busy and RoT’s Ultraman army has failed dismally against our forces of goodness and rightness (aka isopods and giant jellies).

I have thought long and hard about what to do next – and have concluded that it is our responsibility to liberate the suffering citizens of RoT from their oppressive regime. I will install La Cacaracha Libre as interim ruler – just until democracy breaks out, of course. And then we’ll combine the search for Inky with finding the grievously deposed REAL Khan…

But first things first. I have been speaking with our (honorary) minister in charge of procuring mercenaries, The Maggot Prince, and he has gone to unspeakable lengths to provide us with the necessaries.

Museum of Dust is now the proud …employers… of a genuine Fernando hoard. Nothing can stand in their way!

Bring on the Clones!

See the rest of The Maggot Prince's wares >>

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Making (Warlike) Whoopee

No one with half a brain cell would trust Rupert Murlock – particularly when he is offering the world in return for… nothing definite. Obviously there’s something he’s not telling us. So when he offered to distract the Khan and his minions whilst we invade Republic of Tinselman, I had to think fast.

First off, I’m going to secure his promise to print the stunning picture above (snapped and leaked by a retired FOXTOT counter-agent), depicting the extraordinary efficacy of our supermarines. Sure, they were meant to just be undertaking a practice run to demonstrate their ability to fly large-scale coordinated actions… but obviously someone got a little carried away. Ordinarily I would never condone cruelty to elephants, but as this is Lucy Mark V aka RoT’s Parliament House, their actions may bring the current incessant conflict with RoT to a more rapid – and acceptable – sense of closure.

So, what the hey! It’s all good!

Jenny HaniverAfter that, and PLEASE don’t spread this around*, I’m going to distract Murlock with these paragons of pulchritude (pictured) that honorary ZM curator, Mr S, added to our
Zymoglyphic Museum
Collection. Both Jenny Haniver and the Zymoglyphic Mermaid came with certificates of sirenhoodity, so I’ve got high expectations of their power of seduction and subsequent subversion.

Rupert has NEVER been able to resist a well-turned figure or a couple of fishy lips, so I reckon they will keep him busy for a day or two at least. Actually, I’ve been told that he’s a pushover for any woman younger than himself – given that his mother is possibly the only woman alive older than him, it does rather leave the field wide open…

The Zymoglyphic Mermaid

* Remember: Loose lips ink slits

More on mermaids at wikipedia >>
More than you could possibly want to know about Rupert >>

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Preparations continue

A glimpse of our new lighter-than-air submarines being prepped. Our enormous fleet is poised and pumped for what lies ahead.

Shiver little RoTten Khan.

More by Matz on Flickr >>

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jelly counter-Invasion

I have realised that I am being WAY too defensive in responding to RoT’s incursions, attacks, invasions and hurtful personal slurs. I think it might have something to do with Inky not being around. He usually deals with this sort of thing. Not only does he have the skills, experience and munitions to scare the bejeesuz out of any would-be offenders, he positively relishes the challenge!

But like he always says; “An appropriate response is a massive response.”

So I’ve taken his lead (only slightly influenced by the urgings of Scam-Scam and despite the protestations of our tightwad Minister of Finance Ivo), and started a massive recruitment drive. Those Ultramen won’t know what hit them…

As my first step, I have enlisted millions of smacks* of giant jellyfish to provide frontline forces in the sea between Republic of Tinselman and Terra Incognita. Japan, where these behemoth blobs have congregated, will be only too glad to see the back of them.

Surprisingly, there’s a limit to how much jellyfish any one country can consume…

These pictures show the sumo jellyfish in action. Impressive! And slimey.

RoT’s forces won’t even make it to the coast! (Although, I do have a couple more surprises lined up for them if they do…)

A few facts for those of you who’re keeping scorecards of the struggle between the forces of reason and enlightenment (us) and the foul RoTters and their vile coterie of celebs and media moguls.

  • They are called echizen kurage and grow to 6ft wide and weigh 450lb (200kg), with countless poisonous tentacles.
  • Echizen kurage are devastating the livelihoods of fishermen in the Sea of Japan. Nomura’s jellyfish, as they are known in English, is the biggest creature of its kind off Japan. For reasons that remain mysterious, although I personally wouldn't be surprised if Chinese experiments in sending things into outer space to gigantify them have something t0 do with it all, its numbers have surged in the past few months.

  • They are destroying the livelihood of many of Japan’s fishermen – fouling and crushing nets, poisoning caught fish and sliming everything they come into contact with. Fishermen on the northern tip of Honshu, Japan’s main island, were forced to suspend work at the height of the lucrative salmon season. In Akita prefecture some communities saw their incomes fall by 80 per cent. The gizzard shad fishers of South Korea have also been plagued by the Nomura’s.
More information?

‘How do you tackle an invasion of giant jellyfish? Try making sushi’ >>
'Jellyfish invasion in full swing' via Neatorama >>

* A group of jellyfish is known as a ‘smack’. Any really good suggestions about what the collective noun for a group of Khan-led celebrities is called will be awarded ... something...

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Daily Dust :: _DSC1870

More photographs by Jonathan Sawyer >>

Finance Minister Ivo* has drawn my attention to the inherent maintenance problems associated with large-scale use of platonic solids so I have been casting around for some fresh but thrifty defensive ideas. Eventually, whilst scouring the Flickr fields, I stumbled across this one.

Water dust!* (Aka _DSC1870 in the armaments industry.) What could be more appropriate? More elegant? Or cheaper?

We’ll lay it down over the platonic solids/buckyball substratum, thus protecting these layers and ensuring that they last longer, whilst also providing a deceptively smooth surface over the treacherous avalanche-just-waiting–to-happen underneath... an excellent new obstacle for the RoTten forces to contend with.

* Who? What? When? I wonder whether Administration was ever going to tell me about this appointment…
* I also like the addition of those sticky sticks and NOT just because they remind me of my second-favourite joke. It is a little-known but entirely incontestable fact that Ultramen are deeply deeply terrified of sticks in all their forms.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Freedom Army Rising!


Those Republic of Tinselman rotters are in for a BIG surprise. For a starter it has come to our notice that the arachnids will not take the cuisine-driven devastation visited upon them by ROTOX minions lying down. Well, I suppose if their thoraxes have been yanked off they probably would want a little rest… and perhaps a Bex… but I digress.

It has been immediately obvious to anyone of any intelligence, that RoT has been taking feathers from their secret allies’ caps. Disguising their real intentions with a cloud of official and media misinformation has only been the beginning of their vile tactics. Of greater concern, not just for the unfortunates involved, but indeed for everyone (and everything!) globally is their willingness to make ‘pre-emptive strikes’. This has, as they gleefully reported, included rounding up large numbers of spiders – and rendering them into their constituent parts. In the guise of ‘preventing terror’ Murdoch and his dupes, puppets and toadies have stripped their victims of all rights and romped over the rules that constrain civilized behaviour.

But from the ranks of the arachnids, a hero has arisen!

Spiders everywhere are rallying to a charismatic leader who has vowed resistance to all forms of RoTten imperialism. Little is known about the spider behind the revolutionary. We at MoD know nothing except that suddenly his traces, particularly in the form of graffiti, posters, and stickers, are everywhere!

Our hope is that, whilst La Cacaracha Libre keeps the enemy busy, we will be able to develop effective weapons against RoTs Ultraman squads. My first line of defence is already being drawn up close to RoT’s shores – 'Operation Isopodcast' is green for GO!

Multitudes of giant isopods (Bathynomus giganteus to be exact), are currently waiting in serried ranks for the battle to begin. They are unbeatable! They are superior in every way to anything the RoTten forces can throw at us. Their eyes are MUCH prettier than any Ultraman’s – and they have far more legs… and, our Finance Minister will be pleased to know, they are extremely affordable.*

Thanks to Neatorama for the suggestion >>
More about Isopods at our strongest ally, Wikipedia >>

* Isopods demand only to be fed and, as they feed on dead whales, fish, and squid – and Ultramen – I’m pretty sure we can afford to do that. My only real concern is that they are such guts's that they may gorge on the fallen until they can no longer move … thus compromising their fighting efficiency…

Whatever, I’ve got one or two other surprises for the RoTters if the Isopods fail us.

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Defensive Capabilities

A sparsely populated and extremely isolated place, Terra Incognita has never been at war. But that doesn't mean we don't know how to protect ourselves. And it doesn't mean we're afraid to try new ideas.

I like this one.

I think we may adapt it. I'm thinking mountains of platonic solids overlaid with drifts of out-sized bucky-balls. A chain of them completely surrounding Museum of Dust.

Let the Khan try and lead his RoTten army over that!

More photographs by dbthayer >>

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Dust Today :: Derawar Fort

I have started looking very hard at strong defensive structures. It seems likely we're going to need one if those evil RoTters follow through with their dastartedly threats of invasion.

I have found much inspiration in Derawar Fort in the Cholistan Desert in Bahawalpur, beautifully photographed here by Yousaf FAYYAZ >>

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