Original Radioactive Jam

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Summit's Wrong with this Picture

letting the words go out to play
I've been enjoying Scroobious' accounts of her adventures in the Land of the Swiss Army Knife. She mentioned having climbed a mountain called The Jakobshorn. Curious about the peak I ran a quick search, but stopped when I saw this truly disturbing picture of The Jakobshorn Summit. If you click on the picture below a larger view should open in a new window; you might want to do this to see what I mean as you continue reading below.
At first I thought Ha, those hosers. What kind of fool do they think I am? This scene is not even from Planet Earth: I'm pretty sure our sun hasn't yet imploded and gone supernova. Then I remembered this was a Swiss mountain-top scene. And what are the Swiss famous for producing besides those awesome Army Knives, bristling with impractical yet irresistibly alluring tools? You guessed it: instant hot chocolate mix. With mini-marshmallows! Yum!

But that's not why the sun looks like an ornament from the galactic Christmas tree. There's yet another special something made by the inimitable Swiss. Here's a hint: it sounds like "microscopic black holes." Can you guess? ...Wow, you're a really good at this.

I suspect a few of those frisky little singularities busted out of their containment fields, and took a vacation in the Alps before heading to the Earth's core to suck the planet into oblivion. You know the old saying, "All work and no play make Jack* a dull antimatter generator/annihilator."

Where was I? Right. The sun couldn't help but get noticed by the bureaucracy** of frolicking singularities; they have a knack for finding and absorbing pretty much anything that exists near them, the bigger the better. Though the sun is tiny - it's smaller than say, the moon - it's relatively heavy, so the singularities decided to "soak up some rays," i.e. eat. The sun. Yes, when this picture was taken, the sun (our only sun! waah!) was getting drawn into the bureaucracy.

"But RaJ," you ask, "why is the sun all pointy, like your head?" Ignoring your veiled insult to the sun I gently explain, "Remember? Singularity? Microscopic point?! Hel-lo!"

Let's acknowledge the Way Of The Cow and ruminate on the sun for a moment. Basically the sun is a big, bagless gasbag full of helium and hydrogen. Helium is... well, light. Plus it makes your voice sound really funny when you breathe it. Hydrogen is of course not helium. Because of the famous Led Zeppelin song "Stairway To Hindenburg" we know hydrogen is flammable. This is why the sun is both hot and bright. (Aside: ever wonder how the sun got "started?" I know how: some idiot wandering around in space, checking out the sun (our only sun!) probably started goofing with the helium, somehow caused a spark and started a solar hydrogen fire which pretty much instantly got out of control and went thermonuclear on his colorful metaphor. The idiot got fricasseed but we got sunlight; like they say, all's well that ends well.***)

Back to our not-so-idyllic mountain scene. So far I’ve explained the sun looks whacked since it’s getting pulled into a bureaucracy of microscopic black holes, all of which are named Jack because a troop of monkeys can be taught to pound one another senseless for trying to get bananas. As to the photo, there’s some disturbing elements here and I don’t mean snow. First – see the girl standing in the right-center? She’s about to be attacked by some kind of fur-covered creature perched on her shoulder. I can’t tell if it’s the carnivorous high-altitude member of the woodchuck family or a Tribble, but she’s doomed either way. If she’s lucky the thing will crap on her shoulder and steal food from her tray; if she’s not lucky she’ll end up dead like her boyfriend.

“But RaJ," you ask. “What boyfriend? There’s two other couples. Do you mean she’s in some kind of meringue-of-toes?” Ignoring the veiled insult to the Swiss delivered in your near-flawless French I gently explain, “What part of ‘dead’ did you not understand?”

One moment he’s standing by the railing, sipping his drink and enjoying the view; next moment he’s riding the open-air express elevator, heading for the ground floor. Poor guy didn’t even finish his drink. He may have jumped but most likely he “slipped,” with a little help from his two so-called friends smirking in the foreground. True, they don’t look like Bad People (though I do not want to know what the guy is doing with his right hand). I suspect they were driven to commit murder by the demon in fur now poised to assault Dead Guy’s girl. And she has no clue! She thinks he’s at the snack bar getting her some hot chocolate. Honey he went for ice instead, but not from the snack bar. Now he is the snack bar,**** a few meters over and a couple thousand down.

Mark my words: monkeys orchestrated this mayhem, from runaway black holes to surreal mountain-top scenes.***** I’ve been hearing rumors of horrific experiments and mutant monstrosities; I can’t say more, not yet. When I know… you’ll know.

I’m just glad Scroobious and her beloved survived their visit to the deadly summit of Jakobshorn.

* ISO Standards specify all manufactured singularities must be named "Jack." No one understands why this is so, but everyone complies with the specification. For a monkey-centric example of this phenomenon see [Link].
** Collective noun used to describe multiple singularities, e.g. herd of elephants, pride of lions etc.
*** Not exactly; seems the idiot left a pet monkey at home. When the food ran out the monkey went bananas and left the house in search of-- well, bananas, mostly. Ended up at a gas station where it was found by a kind though naive stranger. The monkey messed with the stranger and then started a war using thermonuclear weapons. Kind of ironic, really.
**** A veritable feast for carnivorous high-altitude woodchucks (and Tribbles).
***** Lounge chairs?! Let me guess: beach trip, Swiss style?

6 Emissions:

Blogger Cate emitted...

Okay, everybody sing along...

...The sun is a mass of incandescent gas,
a gigantic nuclear furnace!
where hydrogen is built into he-li-um at a temperature of millions of degrees
The sun is hot
(So hot in fact that everything on it is a gas)
The sun is miles away
93 billion gajillion miles away...

Okay, that's where my memory fails me.

10/06/2005 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger anaglyph emitted...

Ah, and it all looks so tempting. But I know you are right Jam. I know it. As sure as eggs is scrambled.

10/06/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger ScroobiousScrivener emitted...

Wow. Now I'm so relieved myself to have survived. I never even realised the danger we were in. Black holes and monkeys, oh my. (The lounge chairs are actually a great idea though. When you've been exerting yourself all over the mountainside, lounging in the sun seems like the only sensible way to spend your time. Sadly for me, Beloved thinks even more exertion is more sensible.)

Oh, and I'm not sure about the hot chocolate mix; I think that might be pseudo-Swiss. Have never yet encountered marshmallows in Swiss hot chocolate. (Sometimes they just don't know what's good.)

10/07/2005 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger jedith emitted...

Hey! Long time no see! You know, I should really make a new post. See ya...

10/08/2005 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Demosthenes emitted...

The Swiss are also notorious for their banking security. I still have the bullet scars from my botched robbery in Geneva...

...er, I mean, I still have the frostbite scars left over from mountaineering. Right.

10/08/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam emitted...

Cate - I ought to be ashamed for not knowing that song, but - I don't.
*hangs head*
Maybe it's not too late. What's the tune - something familiar?

Anaglyph - my mind resembles that remark.

Scroobious - yes, the lounge chairs do look Right. Sorry to hear about those unfortunate sensibilities.

Jedith - yes, you should do so. And thanks for not mentioning... you know what.

Demosthenes - frostbite. Check. Speaking of new posts... checking... yes! It's readin' time! Glad to see you've surfaced again.

10/08/2005 08:15:00 PM  

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