Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coming soon one day: Fidel & Che!

If one wakes up quite late on a given day and has his/her first meal of the day in the early hours of the afternoon, does one consider this lunch or a late breakfast? Furthermore, if one eats dinner that same night, having not offset his/her missing breakfast by adding, say, a linner/dunch session to his/her day, is this considered a late lunch? And thus, if one was to have a breakfast at a more socially conventional time the next day, is this said breakfast actually breakfast or merely a very late dinner? Does that then mean..

Mahaaan, cocaine's a hell of drug, am I right Rick?

... Rick?

A non-pharmaceutical-induced thought I had the other day: where the frig are all the sit-coms based around Fidel Castro and Che Guevara?

(pauses to allow for ambient murmurs of "he's right, you know?" and "why can't I be a dynamic, lateral thinker like this man?")

I figured I'd give it a whirl, and of course the starting point of any good sit-com is?...

Study the characters? Consider how the characters might interact? Brain-storm various potential plot lines? Contact casting agents?


The answer: Come up with a super awesome poster for the show!

Clicking on it helps. Reading it too.

This prototype, summoned via a collaborative effort between XTD's Science-ish division and our Humouroncologeomathematics branch, is definitely a starting point, or maybe even earlier than that; equivalent to that pre-9am scotch you have before work.

... Just me, huh?

More studious readers will note its old Fidel and Del-Toro-portrayed Guevara in this shot. And Fidel is in old lady gear. Though the heat the F-Dawg is packing is pretty sweet. There is a vibe in this shot that Fidel is the mischievous one of the two, a Quincy MD to Che's Tony Randall. Maybe Fidel has got into Che's stuff (again!) and nicked off with a serious negotiating tool.

Well, at least that's what Che suspects. Maybe Fidel got it on loan from his buddy Hugo Chavez, who is a strong candidate for the Kramer of the group.

But with the physique of a Newman.

Like your typical revolutionaries, they live in an apartment. Most likely this is located in North Fitroy. When not plotting their next coup, Fidel & Che spend their time getting into bands for the sole purpose of being able to go to their gigs, stand at the back and say "I liked their older stuff".

There of course needs to be a nemesis; a Lesley Winkle to their Sheldon Cooper, a Frank to their Hawkeye, a life in general to their Larry David.

a tape recorder to their this guy

This is likely to be played by an old-fashioned elderly couple, in the mold of Elizabeth and Emmett from Keeping Up Appearances. This would not, I sincerely hope, be a literal adaptation given that Elizabeth and Emmett were in fact siblings.

The woman would be curious, charmingly quizzical, but generally endeared by "the boys" and their playful, devil-may-care, "we're going to take down the government... lol... jkn" attitude. The dude on the other hand will be continuously skeptical of "F & C's" motives. He'll be something like, but not entirely as incapacitated as...

The final issue with the prototype, a glitch which resulted in the electro-correction-ing of several sciencey division doctorbs, is that "Che" appears before "Fidel" when outlining the cast, whereas the show, as is no doubt seared into your synapses, is called "Fidel & Che". I guess I could just switch the names around, meaning "Fidel" is above Che, and vice versa.

However, I find that this can lead to confusing times.

I suppose I could just change the title to Che & Fid... NO! Damit! Stick with your instincts!

A tender has been sent out to the interweb's best and brightest drawer guys to get on board with this project. The leading contender at this early stage is this dude who, I have on good authority, wears pants of all things

This blog will return... as per The Prophecy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The H-R curve revisited: The DFF implementation

The most frequent thing I do at work is check if my fly is done up.

Ah, you see? We are not so different you and I.

Now then, thanks to some fresh funding and some brainstorming by fellow true believers on le book de face, further breakthroughs have been made regarding the H-R curve...

The this blog-renowned Hilariousity-Ridiculousity curve!


Previously on XTD we discovered the H-R curve is not, as some fools thought, linear with hilariousity increasing proportionately with ridiculousity.

(Fools! Foolish, foolish fools!)

Further research uncovered the quadratic nature of the H-R curve. Funnily enough, this breakthrough coincided with my finally mastering the curved line tool in Microsoft Paint.

The newer H-R curve is pictured above and, somewhat redundantly, below as well.


At our last shareholders' meeting, the issue was raised that the HR curve in its current form does not account for the many nuances, subtleties and idiosyncrasies that are present during a story-telling session.

It was also pointed out that it did not have a time axis. With 2 variables already, adding a third for time allows for three, count it, three dimensions. Wow, there's that university degree kicking in.

The necessary steps have been taken, the transmogifier has immobilized, the gimp has been chained up, and today I give you... the results!

(Pause for gasp)

The Drunken Fool Factor (DFF)

Studies by our staff scienticians have shown the Drunken Fool Factor (or DFF as the kids are calling it) to have a profound effect on the curvature and path of the HR curve. It should be noted from the outset that the said drunken fool in our studies was the person listening to the story, not the story teller.

"Wait a tick, blog-man! Define "drunken fool"", is something you might say at this point. Ahh, dear cyber-amigos. You are wise. Indeed, this was raised- there are different variations of drunken fools, too many to list here. For simplicity, our chief warlock advised that during our partially animal cruelty free studies it was assumed there were three types of drunken fools:

1. The angry drunken fool
2. The happy drunken fool
3. The sleepy drunken fool

Doc and Dopey refused to participate.

Firstly, to the angry drunken fool factor (or ADFF). The typical path of the HR curve is as follows:

As can be seen, as time (denoted by "t" for some reason) progresses the hilariousity level plummets into negativeland, whilst ridiculousity increases at a rapidly decreasing rate. Even the initial spike in hilariousity is only generated by the people around you pissing themselves about you essentially trying to get a black eye.

That wasn't enough however. Our sceinceologists went deeper (hehe).

What has occurred here is to be expected, although more theoretical than practical as the angry drunk has likely taken his/her anger out on you or someone nearby very early in your story and has left you without an audience, which of course is the fuel of the fire that is the HR curve.

After the initial plummet, the curve dramatically rebounds thus exhibiting what can only be described as Downey Jr-like characteristics. The reason for this? The levels of hilariousity and ridiculousity have spiked, not because of the story, but because of the people around you, assuming there are, thinking "holy shit, he/she is still talking to this drunken maniac. Why is he/she still talking to this drunken maniac?" (ridiculousity) and deriving humor from the situation (hilariousity).

As an aside, the people around you may then want to address the problem of why they are struggling to decipher your gender from such close range... or maybe that's your problem.

Moving right along. Similarly to the ADFF, the Happy Drunken Fool Factor (or HDFF as the prophecy foretold) also had a noteworthy effect on the HR curve.


The happy drunk, as hypothesized, is a more enduring sounding board than the angry drunk, who is more likely to locate a sounding board and incapacitate you with it. As with the General Theory of the HR curve, the curve reaches what initially appears to be the classic Fracture Point of ridiculousity (the FPR... we've been over this, damit). However, the happy drunk is then inclined to ignore the critical mass of ridiculousity and, not only continue listening to the story, but also find it more hilarious (i.e. the level of hilariousity increases).

Hence, the "Whatevs" Point of Inflection, or simply the "Whatevs" Inflection, is born. Think of it as the Megatron to the FPR's Optimus Prime.

Our staff scientists, who also happened to be scientologists (they've since been retrenched), alerted the board to the following anomaly:

Honestly, I just don't understand this. Maybe there really was a rip in the space time continuum localized entirely within our lab as a former employee of our sciencey division yelped as he was taken away to be voltage-calmed. Maybe the drunk or the story teller lost track of time; the drunk due to obvious reasons and the teller because he/she was so caught up in the story.

Or maybe the lab clock broke. Or maybe I just forgot that I added a time axis and was just too damn proud of my mastering of the curved line tool in Paint that I had to put this image on the blog in spite of its blatant non-sensicalness.

We just don't know!

Finally, the sleepy drunk:

As I said, an audience is the fuel that fires the HR curve.

We ended up having some time up our sleeves, so the hot chick factor (HCF) was briefly analyzed. In other words, the effect on the HR curve if the storyteller was, well, a hot chick:

As expected.

We're through the looking glass here people... or whatever. Further government funding is welcomed, needed, and enjoyed. After all, this is being done for the greater good.

(The greaterrrr goooooooood)

Friday, January 7, 2011

The H-R Curve

Now, for my next trick...

What would happen if Nine Inch Nails and Tool had a baby?

Well, you would have a Nine Inch Tool with Nails of course.

I am a thinker and observer. Often you'll find me staring out into the distance with furrowed brows pondering the key issues of the day, not unlike the one above.

Last night I stumbled upon something noteworthy.

Remember: Not fascinating. Noteworthy.

I was recapping a hectic week I just had. As the story progressed, the more ridiculous it got. As the ridiculousness, or level of ridiculousity (as denoted by 'R') increased, the laughs, hahas, or... grrh... lols received increased. That is, I found the level of hilariousity (as denoted by 'H') increased proportionately with R.

Of course, I drew a graph.

The H-R Curve was born. However, as I furrowed my brow and stroked my chin to the point of near-self combustion, I realized that there must, must be a critical mass of ridiculousness; a Fracture Point of Ridiculousity (FPR), if you will.

Hence, more research was done (click for making larger and such)...

The H-R curve is a living breathing thing, to the extent that a graph hastily cobbled together on Microsoft Paint can be considered a living, breathing thing. Suffice to say, each zone will vary from human/humanoid to human/humanoid.

Further research (and hence government funding) is necessary and should be welcomed in this field. I believe the next step is to add the DFF or Drunken Fool Factor into the model and see how that shapes the H-R Curve.

As She said, there are indeed holes to be filled. The green zone of story telling safety is large; the optimal ratio of hilariousity to ridiculousity lies somewhere in there. If it can be pinpointed, the wonders it could do for the world are, dare I say, infinite.

Among them:

- No more awkward silences at parties
- No need to end stories embarrassingly with "... and it was so funny"
- No more awkward backtracking when the teller realizes he/she has gone or is going too far

I understand that the first point may render the ability that I have observed in some to make cricket/cicada noises redundant. This is sad, but I believe a necessary casualty in our noble quest to find the point at which to know when to say "... mmmwell, that's about it".

Speaking of which, that's about it...

Or is it?....

Yes... yes it is.