the mysterious footnote

First identified during the transition from the Age of Uncertainty to the Era of Error, the Mysterious Footnote* has long been the subject of divellent disquisition among Philologists, Etymologists, Semanticians and other horse-thieves. While the exact date of the Footnote's primordial utilization has yet to be firmly established, experts agree that initial references to it first began to appear during the infamous work-to-rule of the Typesetter's Guild in the Century of Confusion.

Subsequent sightings -- mostly unverifiable due to the Publishers' Prohibition of the early decades of the Dates of Darkness -- are believed to have been registered in the Indices of Indeterminacy produced by licensed nitpickers during the reign of Decimus Dysphemist the Tenth. Although the indices did prompt a revival of interest in the Footnote among doctiloquents in the Academy of Addenda, paleographic speculation was palilalic and pachyglossal.

Established by Decimus as part of his campaign to limit the power of the dittographers, the Academy helped sharpen the focus on the search for the origins of the Footnote. Under the leadership of Oswaldus Ontosophistus, expert peotillomaniacs at the Academy helped relieve some of the rising pressure in the organs of state**.

cosmic schizophrenia

Introducing a new identity, Pandemonium for dummies: a misbegotten mix of epic essays on personhood, pantheism, consciousness, culture and cosmology. And for light relief a pile of dark and wicked fictions: short and sharp as shots of bad whiskey.

When it's fully populated, Pandemonium will have much of the same content as in this blog, but revamped, revised and drastically edited. Pandemonium's skin is the polar opposite to Cosmic's: light not dark, simple not complex and with far fewer Gif files jumping out of the woodwork scaring the bejesus out of anyone foolish enough to visit.

meeting of the mindless

The presenter's voice was low and slow, the soporific drone permeating what remained of Anne's caffeine-deprived consciousness. In the grip of full-blown doodlemania, her glassy eyes stared into her notebook as her pen moved randomly across the page.

Interminable, the presenter's so-called words surged languidly through her skull-case into her soggy brain, the toxic monotony eroding her fragile consciousness:

"...committed to sustainably focus on debottlenecking our key deliverables, empowering and incentivizing optimal customer-facing engagement," continued the presenter, relentless and unrelenting as a tidal bore.

God don't some people just love the sound of their own voice, thought Anne to herself. Death by a thousand powerpoints... but only ninety minutes to go, unless some jerkwad asks a question, which is pretty much guaranteed... The realization multiplied her despair exponentially.

broken on the Wheel (don't lose the keys to your karma)

Lord Yama, the god of death, holding the Wheel of Life (bhavachakra). Sorry but I do not have and could not find any source information for this image. Apologies to the creator. If there aren’t enough bodies for the souls of the dead, the problem is ghosts.

If there aren’t enough souls for the bodies of the living, the problem is zombies.

If there are more dead ancestors than living descendants, the problem is grave.

But there are solutions to these problems, at least in theory.

It’s not true that every body implies at least two others. Sex isn’t the only way to reproduce, though it’s more fun than gene-splicing. Progenitors can and do produce multiple offspring, and are frequently alive during the lifespan of their offspring, though mostly wish they weren’t. And what about weird stuff like in vitro fertilisation, cloning, parthenogenesis, toner-less photocopying, and virgin birth?

evolution, devilution

Devilution of Darwin--animation by MasterymisteryWhy is it that of all the scientific theories, Evolution is the one that unfailingly evokes the most hostility in some quarters?

Newton's laws of motion are taught without any demands for a countervailing 'religious' explanation to be taught alongside. Einstein's theory of relativity is taught and learned by believers and unbelievers alike, and acknowledged as probably the best current explanation for gravity and light, with 'best' meaning 'closest to the mark'. Even Cosmology has achieved a rapprochement of sorts with the mainstream monotheistic religions. (You know things are getting very weird when the Pope buys into the Big Bang.) So what is it about Evolution that is particularly devilish and ungodly?

the ogre of broken hill

detail from The Nightmare, (1781), painted by Henry FuseliIn the foothills of the badlands
northwest of Broken Hill
lived an ugly hairy Ogre
he probably lives there still.

And in the early evening
Or the middle of the morn
They’d find the bloody corpses
With their throats all ripped and torn.

Some said he was an ogre
Others disagreed
“he’s just a sicko bastard,”
Was all they would concede.

The police could never find him
Nor the soldiers, nor the spies ...

the names change but the murder remains

Prometheus bound, by Jacob Jordaens 1593–1678A common theme in comparative mythology is that of a generation of gods (the offspring) killing or displacing the previous generation (the progenitors). In ancient Greek mythology, for instance, Zeus leads the Olympians into battle against Cronus and the titans.

And then there are divine gender issues, including those related to birth and renewal.


Male gods tend to be "driven", paternalistic, egotistical, prideful, wrathful, jealous, lustful, in a word: patriarchal. Their psychology is that of black or white, either or, yes or no, right or wrong. They employ deductive logic, eg that of the excluded middle, in which something is either true and/or its exact opposite is true, but that there is no truth in the middle.

black holes and white bangs

Question for physicists: isn't a "white hole" really a "white bang"?

In the weird and wonderful world of physics, "white holes" are associated with black holes, which are said to have been observed in reality. The problem is that if white holes exist, they'd be bangs not holes.