All tagged july 2016

“Rose soda, huh?”

“Yeah. They have the original kind here, where the bubbles have thorns.”

“Doesn’t that hurt your tongue?”

“A little bit, yeah. And it always tastes a bit like blood as a result. But I love the texture.” 

The professor’s laboratory was centered by a walk-in freezer, where he stored his collection of cube-shaped pseudobrains. Each was formed from a mixture of carbon and silicon nerves, equally sized, and wrinkled with pearlescent grooves. The chamber’s subzero temperatures prevented them from storing thoughts and memories, allowing each experiment to begin tabula rasa.

There are more than two-thousand species of bird present throughout the Great Agarthan Jungle, from the minuscule anteater hummingbird to the greater spherical penguin. Despite the extraordinary diversity present, however, all of their eggs, no matter the parent, are outwardly identical. Each egg is recognizably Agarthan by its signature gömböc curvature, gumdrop size, and transparent shell that reveals nothing but green jelly inside. If appearances are to be believed, there is no embryo within at all- just the same undifferentiated ooze.

The seventeenth chapter of Abstruse Geometry concerns the mathematical problem of snakes swallowing their own tails. Following in the footsteps of a lost treatise by Athanasius Kircher, the tome describes a mysterious knot known as an “ourobohedron,” which is composed entirely of snakes engaged in varying degrees of autophagy. What it lacks in mathematical rigor, it makes up for in curiosity. The figure is described as follows:

The captain’s wrist bore a living tattoo of a compass rose; as the icy waves tossed her vessel about, its ink contorted so that its longest petal would always point north. Its pigment conspired with the iron in her blood to reveal the world’s magnetic winds. It hadn’t yet proven useful on this journey, as the tramontana had been making itself obvious for weeks, yet she knew that it would soon become a necessity.

The human mind takes up fifteen terabytes of space on average, and accommodating the soul requires for an additional twelve to be available. When compressed into a single unit, however, the complete, disembodied self can be expressed as a mere eighteen terabytes: smaller than the sum of its parts, yet no longer separable into individual segments. This conversion of being, popularly known as the Styx Process, can be performed in under twenty-four hours, as long as the deceased’s tombstone features a sufficiently efficient central processor.

Despite the length of a saguaro’s lifespan, there is only one instant during the course of its life in which it is allowed to dream. This happens at a moment of extraordinary synchronicity, when each of its needles is aligned with a particular star in the skies above and below.

“Now, let’s get started.” The professor drew two large ovals on the blackboard. “What’s the first thing that any mathematician learns about division by zero?”

“That it can’t be done,” one student replied.

“That’s right,” she smiled. “And why is that only half true?”