“They’re Made of Meat!” A Short Sci-fi Story

Posted in Art & Literature with tags , , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

A clever story involving a conversation between two aliens talking about humanity. One of my personal favorites.

By Terry Bisson

“They’re made out of meat.”

“Meat?”

“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”

“Meat?”

“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?”

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

“They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they’re made out of meat.”

“Maybe they’re like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage.”

“Nope. They’re born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn’t take long. Do you have any idea what’s the life span of meat?”

“Spare me. Okay, maybe they’re only part meat. You know, like the weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside.”

“Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads, like the weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They’re meat all the way through.”

“No brain?”

“Oh, there’s a brain all right. It’s just that the brain is made out of meat! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.”

“So … what does the thinking?”

“You’re not understanding, are you? You’re refusing to deal with what I’m telling you. The brain does the thinking. The meat.”

“Thinking meat! You’re asking me to believe in thinking meat!”

“Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you beginning to get the picture or do I have to start all over?”

“Omigod. You’re serious then. They’re made out of meat.”

“Thank you. Finally. Yes. They are indeed made out of meat. And they’ve been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years.”

“Omigod. So what does this meat have in mind?”

“First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the Universe, contact other sentiences, swap ideas and information. The usual.”

“We’re supposed to talk to meat.”

“That’s the idea. That’s the message they’re sending out by radio. ‘Hello. Anyone out there. Anybody home.’ That sort of thing.”

“They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?”

“Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat.”

“I thought you just told me they used radio.”

“They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat.”

“Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?”

“Officially or unofficially?”

“Both.”

“Officially, we are required to contact, welcome and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in this quadrant of the Universe, without prejudice, fear or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing.”

“I was hoping you would say that.”

“It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?”

“I agree one hundred percent. What’s there to say? ‘Hello, meat. How’s it going?’ But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?”

“Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can’t live on them. And being meat, they can only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact.”

“So we just pretend there’s no one home in the Universe.”

“That’s it.”

“Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you probed? You’re sure they won’t remember?”

“They’ll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we’re just a dream to them.”

“A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat’s dream.”

“And we marked the entire sector unoccupied.”

“Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?”

“Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again.”

“They always come around.”

“And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the Universe would be if one were all alone …”

the end

Treating Poison Ivy & Oak

Posted in Emergency Medical Procedures, Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos with tags , , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

Poison ivy, oak, & sumac are a great way to ruin a day in the outdoors. Coming in contact with their toxic leaves, stems, & roots can give you an itchy rash that lasts for 1-3 weeks. Although the only way to completely remove the rash is time, there are several means of reducing the pain & itching involved with exposure to these plants.

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After Contact -

Remove & wash your clothes. Strip off your clothes & place them in a plastic garbage bag, if possible. Wash your clothes separately from anything else as soon as possible.

Apply rubbing alcohol. You can apply rubbing alcohol to your skin to dissolve the poison ivy or poison oak oils. Because the toxic oil from the plant seeps into your skin gradually, adding rubbing alcohol to the area will prevent the further spread. It won’t provide immediate relief however. You can also use an over-the-counter cleanser like Tecnu or Zanfel.

Rinse the area with cool water. Never use warm or hot water, as this will open your pores & allow more of the toxins to sink in. If you’re able, keep the affected area under cold running water for 10-15 minutes. If you’re outdoors in the woods when you’re exposed to poison ivy or poison oak, then you can rinse your body off in a running stream.

Completely clean the area. Regardless of the location on your body, make sure that it was thoroughly rinsed with water. If you touched the area on your body at all or the poison affected your hands, scrub under your fingernails with a toothbrush in case any oil from the plants was deposited beneath them. Throw the toothbrush away after you’re done.
Use a dish soap that is used for oil removal to rinse the area of your rash. Because the toxins have been transferred to your skin in the form of an oil, using an oil-obliterating dish soap may help to reduce the spread of the rash.
If you use a towel to dry yourself after washing the affected area, be sure to wash the towel with the rest of your exposed clothes immediately after use.

Don’t scratch the rash. Even though the rash is not contagious, you could break the skin & allow bacteria to enter the wound. Don’t touch or pop any blisters that may form, even if they are weeping. If necessary, cut your nails short & cover the area to keep yourself from scratching it.

Cool off the exposed area. Apply cold compresses or apply an icepack for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure that you don’t apply ice directly to your skin; always wrap your ice pack or compress in a towel before application. Also, allow the area to air dry instead of rubbing it with a towel if you get your rash wet.

Coping With The Itch -

Apply topical creams or lotions. Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can provide some relief from itching. Don’t do this immediately after contact with the plant (as rubbing the lotion could spread the oils), but after a few hours or days when the itching feeling begins.

Apply aloe vera. Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant that excretes a cooling gel from its leaves. You can use a real aloe vera plant by snapping off leaves & applying the gel directly to your rash, or use a processed bottled form. If you buy a bottle from the store, make sure that it is at least 90% real aloe vera.

Take antihistamines. Antihistamines are medications that treat allergies, & since poison oak & ivy cause allergic reactions on contact, taking these drugs may offer minor relief. Antihistamines generally offer only mild relief from the symptoms of poison ivy, but if you take oral medications before bedtime, their combination of anti-itch & drowsiness-inducing effects can help you get some rest.

Take an oatmeal bath. Use an oatmeal bath product or an aluminum acetate soak. If you need a quick fix without running to the store, blend a cup of oatmeal in a food processer or blender & add it to your warm bath water. Avoid using water that is very hot, especially right after being exposed to the poison as this will open your pores.

Try an acorn broth. Crack acorns & boil them in water. Strain out the nuts, cool the liquid & apply it to your rash with a cotton pad. Although this method hasn’t been studied, it has shown to reduce the itchy feelings of poison ivy rash.

Use baking soda. Make a paste consisting of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply the paste to your rash to pull the fluid out of the blisters. Leave the baking soda paste to dry, & allow it to crack or flake off. Reapply this paste every few hours for the best results.

Try using dairy. Use buttermilk or yogurt to apply to your skin, unless you have a dairy allergy. When you apply buttermilk or yogurt to your rash, the proteins will draw out fluid from your blisters.

Treat your rash with tea. Fill a bathtub with water & add 12 tea bags; use chamomile tea for its anti-inflammatory properties. Soak in your tea bath for 20 minutes to help reduce the itchiness & uncomfortable feeling. You can also brew very strong tea & dab it onto your rash with a cotton ball every few hours.

Dab on cold coffee. If you have a bit of leftover dark-brewed coffee, use a cotton pad to dab it onto your rash. You can also brew a fresh cup, but allow the coffee to cool in the fridge before applying it. Coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Use chilled fruit rinds. Press a cold watermelon rind or banana peel against your rash. The watermelon rind acts as a cold compress, & the juice helps to dry out blisters. On the other hand, using a banana peel helps to cool & soothe the area.

Rinse with apple cider vinegar. Among the many medical treatments apple cider vinegar can be used for, expediting the healing process of poison ivy exposure is one of them. Use a cotton pad to gently apply the vinegar to the area, or rinse it with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water.

Treating Shock & Anaphylaxis

Posted in Emergency Medical Procedures, Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos with tags , , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

Shock occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow & oxygen, which can lead to permanent organ damage or death. It can occur as a result of trauma, heatstroke, blood loss, & other causes. This is how to spot & treat both shock & anaphylaxis, which results from an allergic reaction.

Shock Symptoms -

Pale, cold, or clammy skin. It may appear grayish, & the lips & fingernails may look blue.
The pulse & breathing are rapid.
The person is exhibiting disorientation or giddiness.
Nausea or vomiting may occur.
The person seems weak, with vacant eyes.

Treating Shock -

Have the person lie down. If the person is not in pain, place his or her legs on a pillow to elevate them about 12 inches above the head. Do not move the person’s head. Do not move the person from the site unless the surrounding area is dangerous (you’re located on a highway at the scene of a car accident.) Keep the person flat & still after he or she is lying down.

Check for signs of breathing. Observe the person’s chest to see if it rises & falls, & place your cheek next to his or her mouth to check for breath. If the person is not breathing, perform CPR. Check the breathing every 5 minutes until the emergency services arrive (you did remember to call them, right?).

Make the person comfortable. Loosen collars & unbutton or cut away tight clothing. Unbuckle the person’s belt, loosen the shoes, & remove constrictive jewelry on the person’s wrists or neck. Cover the person with a blanket. Do not give the person food or water. Reassure & comfort the person; try to keep him or her calm.

Check for vomiting and bleeding from the mouth. If you observe vomit or blood coming from the mouth & nose, turn the person on their side to prevent him or her from choking. Help to prop the person up with pillows.

Administer treatment for injuries or blood loss. If the person sustained a trauma, you may need to stop the flow of blood from a wound or provide first aid for a broken bone. Treat the injury as needed.

Anaphylaxis Symptoms -
Anaphylaxis usually occurs within just a few seconds or minutes of a person’s exposure to an allergen such as tree nuts, soy, wheat, other food items, bee stings, & other causes.

The person’s skin is flushed or mottled & itchy.
The person feels very warm.
The person feels as though they have a lump in their throat & has trouble breathing.
The throat, tongue, & face swell.
The person experiences nausea, diarrhea, or faintness.
The pulse is faint & rapid.

Treating Anaphylaxis -

Call emergency services. Anaphylaxis can lead to death if it is not treated immediately. Stay on the line with emergency services for further instructions as you administer treatment.

Inject epinephrine. Ask the person if they has an EpiPen or another epinephrine injector. This is a shot that administers a dose of life-saving epinephrine to slow down the reaction, & is frequently carried by people with known food & bee sting allergies. The shot is usually administered in the thigh.

Have the person lie down. Loosen their clothes & keep them flat on the ground & comfortable. Cover the person with a blanket, & reassure him or her about what you’re doing.

Check for vomiting or bleeding from the mouth. If vomit or blood is present, turn the person on their side so they won’t choke.

Check for breathing & administer CPR if necessary. If the person doesn’t have a breath, do chest presses until the emergency services arrive.

Treating Hypothermia

Posted in Emergency Medical Procedures, Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos with tags , , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

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Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can be produced. It can be a killer if not treated properly. This condition is most common at cold temperatures, but can occur even in relatively warm temperatures if the conditions are right, such as exposure to winds, rain, or immersion in water. Hypothermia can be particularly dangerous because it affects the mental & physical abilities of victims –they may not recognize that they are suffering from it or be able to help themselves if they do.

Know the Symptoms of Hypothermia -
If you see someone who may have been exposed to the cold showing these symptoms, take action immediately:

Shivering (Note that in severe hypothermia, shivering will cease)
Exhaustion
Slurred speech
Memory loss
Confusion
Drowsiness
Infants: Bright red & cold skin, very low energy

Treatment -

Get the victim into a warm room,shelter, or vehicle. Preventing further heat loss is critical. Keep the victim protected from cold ground (put a dry, thick barrier between them & any cold surface) & shield them from cold & wind (use your own body as a shield if necessary). Make sure that anything you use that touches the victim is dry.

Remove any wet clothing the victim is wearing. Wet clothing (& any wet blankets) will continue lowering the victim’s body temperature as the water evaporates. If the person is unconscious or it’s taking too long to remove the clothing, cut it off.

Take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°F (35°C), the situation is an emergency —get medical attention immediately.

Warm the victim. Hypothermia victims will need help to regain body temperature. However, don’t rub or massage the victim; doing so can increase risks of cardiovascular problems. Use the following techniques:

Warm the center of the body. Focus on the chest, neck, head, & groin. If one is available, use an electric blanket. Otherwise, use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets. Whatever you apply should be warm rather than hot–no hot water, heating pad or heating lamp. Do not attempt to warm the arms and legs, as this will push cold blood back toward the heart, lungs & brain, making things worse.

With alert hypothermia victims, have them drink warm non-alcoholic drinks such as hot chocolate. (Alcohol will make it more difficult for their body to retain heat.) Avoid caffeinated beverages, which are diuretics & can cause heat loss. Beverages of any kind should not be given to an unconscious person. You can also provide snacks to provide energy for warmth. Sweet/high carbohydrate snacks can work well; trail mix or other foods that combine sugars & fats are ideal.

After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry & wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.

Monitor the victim. Be alert for potential breathing or cardiovascular problems. Contact professional medical care.

Treating Frost Bite

Posted in Emergency Medical Procedures, Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos with tags , , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

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Frostbite occurs when the flesh freezes due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Frostbite is most common in fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks & chin but in severe cases, it can lead to amputation of affected areas. In most cases of frostbite only the skin is frozen (known as frostnip) but in extreme cases dead tissue goes deeper & must be handled delicately. Frostbite requires careful medical attention to minimize damage and reduce the likelihood of further harm.

Types of Frost Bite -

Frostnip – Painful sensation, darker areas of skin, red skin, skin responds normally to pressure.

Superficial frostbite – Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, skin still feels soft.

Deep frostbite – Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin. Skin feels waxy & unusually firm.

Treatment -

Move to a warm indoor location to treat the frostbite. Remove any wet items of clothing or tight jewelry & replace with fresh clothing.

Warm the entire body by wrapping the patient in warm blankets. If professional medical help is available, wrap affected areas, keep warm & wait.

Treating Frostnip & Superficial Frostbite -

Rewarm affected areas slowly. Place hands under armpits, between thighs, or place against a partner’s stomach. You can also submerge feet or hands in warm water (105-110° F -no hotter), wrap the area in heated clothes, or blow warm air (blow dryer) on the affected area.

Avoid rubbing the area. This can cause additional harm.

Treating Severe Frost Bite -
Follow these steps for rewarming severe frostbite. However, if the area may become frozen again, do not try to defrost it. Freezing, thawing & then re-freezing body parts will almost certainly result in permanent damage.

Warm the affected areas gently. Submerge the affected areas in warm water. The water needs to be between 100 -105° F (37.7-43.4° C). Never use water hotter than these temperatures or it will damage tissue! The water should be a comfortable temperature to unaffected areas of the body. Alternatively, if water is not available, you can use the other warming techniques mentioned previously.
Do not keep warm, you must remember to keep it at a steady cold temperature so that the skin does not cause irritation. Keep the water temperature constant by gradually making the water colder. Avoid adding warm water directly over the affected area.

Do not use dry heat such as heaters, fireplaces or heating pads. These heat sources are too difficult to control, & will not supply the sort of gradual heat needed to treat frostbite.

Take something to reduce the pain such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, not aspirin. As the affected areas warm there will be some severe burning sensations, change of skin colour & possibly blistering/ swelling. Do not try to treat or burst the blisters.

Apply dry sterile dressing to areas & keep them as still as possible. Remember to dress fingers & toes individually, use cotton balls or other spacers to keep digits from touching.

Seek medical help as soon as possible for severe frostbite. Failure to promptly treat frostbitten extremities may lead to the need to amputate. These instructions are not a substitute for proper medical attention.

Basics of Lockpicking

Posted in Infiltration, Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos with tags , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

If you want to learn how to be like James Bond & pick a lock in seconds, then forget about it. Its not going to happen. Hollywood lied to you, don’t act so shocked. Picking a lock takes time, as each lock is unique unto itself. If your serious about learning the art of Lockpicking, then first you need a set of picks.

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You can buy your own set of Lockpicks online & have all the different sizes you need, but that can get spendy. If your a cheapo like me, it’s probably best if you make your own.

Making a Lockpick Set -

Buy a small Allen wrench set – small enough that you can easily fit it into a key hole.
Bend the long end at a slight angle, this is what your going to use to maneuver the pins. Smooth the end down with a file or grinder so that it doesn’t hang up once inside the lock. You have a whole set to make, so do each in different sizes & angles to increase your odds of having the size you need.
You will also need a super tiny screwdriver that can also easily fit inside the lock along with your pick.

Picking the Lock -

The goal of picking a lock is, in itself, very simple. Make the space between the lower & upper pins within the lock level with the cylinder wall & the lock will open. Getting the pins where you need them is a tedious matter however.

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Insert the screwdriver & turn, keeping constant tension on the lock. This keeps the “solved” pins from falling back down.
Remember your goal, & don’t get discouraged. It’s not the easiest thing to do.
Start at the back, & work towards the front, repositioning the pins so that the space between them is equal to the cylinder wall.
When done correctly you will hear a click allowing for the screwdriver to turn freely, & the door will open.

Types of Lockpicking -

The above technique is known as Normal Picking – where you use a pick set to align the pins one by one until the line is set & the lock opens.
There is also Racking, where you use picks that have special bumps & notches that allow it to run over all the pins at once.
Then there is the Vibrator which is closest to Hollywood speeds. The pick is mounted to an electric power toothbrush unit (if making one yourself) & vibrates the pins into place. On basic pin tumbler locks, this type of pick has been known to “crack” the lock almost instantly.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Certain documents contained on this blog deal with activities & devices which would be in violation of various Federal, State, & local laws if actually carried out or constructed. The blogger of this site (sc0rn3d) does not advocate the breaking of any law. The documents found here are for informational purposes only. I recommend that you research your jurisdictions laws before undertaking any project based upon any information obtained from this or any other web site. I am not responsible for, nor do I assume any liability for, damages resulting from the use of any information on this site. It’s you own fault if you are stupid enough to use the information provided for illegal purposes &/or get caught doing so. Responsible adults only please.

Bypassing Combo Locks

Posted in Infiltration, Tips, Tricks, & How-Tos with tags , on October 4, 2013 by sc0rn3d

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Most combination locks can be opened the following way:

File a metal hairpin down on one side, making it thinner.

Stick hairpin into the side that locks & push it down into the crack while pulling & pushing the lock up & down. This will separate the wedge & notch inside, allowing it to pop open.

Master lock casings are too tight to get the hairpin into, but your more than welcome to try. Older models of Master Locks have another trick to open them however, & they are still used frequently.

Master Locks

Unfortunately, this does not work on all Master Locks (they don’t call them Master Locks for nothing). It is a production defect that the company corrected after a customer told them of their oversight. Newer Master Locks do not have this defect, however older ones are still widely used & are susceptible to being opened the following way.

While pulling on the clasp, turn knob LEFT until it won’t turn anymore. Look at the number your on, add 5 & you’ve already got the first number to the combination.

Spin the dial around a couple times, then go to the first number. Turn RIGHT & bypass the first number. Pull on clasp & continue turning. The knob will eventually fall into a groove & lock. Continuing to pull on the clasp, try turning the knob again. If its still stiff, congratulations. You have discovered the second number to the combination.

The third number is the easiest to find. Simply spin the dial to reset & enter the first 2 numbers of the combination. Now slowly spin the dial to the right, stopping on each number to pull on the clasp. If you did the process right, then the lock will open once you reach the third number.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Certain documents contained on this blog deal with activities & devices which would be in violation of various Federal, State, & local laws if actually carried out or constructed. The blogger of this site (sc0rn3d) does not advocate the breaking of any law. The documents found here are for informational purposes only. I recommend that you research your jurisdictions laws before undertaking any project based upon any information obtained from this or any other web site. I am not responsible for, nor do I assume any liability for, damages resulting from the use of any information on this site. It’s you own fault if you are stupid enough to use the information provided for illegal purposes &/or get caught doing so. Responsible adults only please.

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