The land of no smiles

It only took them 5 minutes. They placed the black candles, they draw the pentacle with chalk, they said the words from the Big Black Book and that was it. The demon offered the best solution to their problems. And the best part was that he didn’t ask for their souls in return. He only wanted their smiles. Just that.
- We will not burn in Hell?
- No.
- No eternal damnation or pools with fire?
- No.
- No barrels with boiling water, no tridents, no torturing at all?
- No.
- AND we go to Heavens?
- Yes.
- It sounds too good to be true.
- We only have to stop smiling?
- Yes.
- Laughs too, I guess…
- Yes.
- Not even the faintest smile?
- No.
- And what about jokes? I mean I can’t help it if I hear a good joke.
- I’ll make sure you won’t.
- Sounds fair to me.
- Me too. If we get to live in paradise on Earth, I’m in.
- Count me in too. I mean, if we won’t have to search for jobs and everything we need is for free like food, houses or clothes, then our troubles are over.
- Everything for free, imagine that!
- I’m so hungry right now that I would give my soul too.
- So, we all agree. Equality and everything for free in a carefree place! I only wonder how we can prevent smiles…
- You can leave that to me…
- Perfect! It’s a deal then, where do we sign?

Inspired by: North Korea -The land of no smiles and The Colour of Silence in the Axis of Evil

More info: Country profile – North Korea


The Origins of Astrology

- Welcome! This year's “Future Affairs Circle” is going to be unforgettable for all us futurologists. The beginning of the 1st century...hmmm... well I guess we can speak freely here... let me rephrase: the beginning of the 1st century BCE, is going to be revolutionary! We may all be successful professionals but one must never stop researching and exchanging The Knowledge. My dear colleagues as we all know telling the future is a very demanding science. Too many omens, various foretelling techniques, prophesies that don't make sense, gods that change their minds all the time and what is it for us? Danger, exhaustion and sometimes, suspiciousness and dispute. So learn from the best and listen what scientific news we bring you this year! Our first speaker is Razda Habti from Egypt! Razda has discovered a new amazing foretelling science and wants to share with you!

- Thank you Mador! Hello ladies and gentlemen. As you are all aware of, I am a very famous futurologist in Egypt. Until last year no one knew me and now I am the only futurologist to be granted a pyramid after death. During the previous twenty years I was researching every single foretelling science and conducting various social experiments to see their acceptance from patients. But let's take it from the start by asking you some questions. Let's begin with this lady first. What is your name? Oh oh, don't tell me... it''s Pythonia, right?
- It's Pythia...
- I'm sorry. The signal reception is not that good in this forest. Anyway Pythia tell us the details of your technique. What happens in a session? What are the stages?
- I follow the traditional stages actually. The patient knocks my door, puts 20 gold coins on the table, I say the words and he leaves.
- No, no I meant the scientific stages and how exactly you predict the future.
- Oh! There is a rock inside my oracle and I inhale the vapours from it's chasm. Although sometimes there are no vapours so I have special leaves that do the job. After that, I'm in ecstasy and that's it, really. They say I predict the future but I never remember what I said and why. Of course everyone is happy and so I must be a great scientist.
- And your health? How is your health? For how long do you think you can keep inhaling those vapours or the leaves? Let's continue. You, sir?
- Hello... well I have a more complex technique. You see I ask the patient to bring along with his 20 gold coins, a sheep or a goat. The patient gives me the animal and I sacrifice it to their favourite god by cutting it's neck with a special knife. After that, I open the animal's belly and examine it's inner organs. That's how I tell the future. It's more complex than it sounds and there is a lot of science in it. For example, swollen intestines means that this poor man's future will definitely stink.
- How unhygienic! How unscientific! And all that blood!
- Unhygienic? When the procedure is done, I tell you I cook the animal very well before eating it.
- All that fat will harm you! I'll come back to you too. You sir?
- Who me? Oh, nothing fancy like leaves and blood. I just have a set of cards that the patient has to touch with his hands and ask the questions. I then set the cards on a table upside down, turn and read them. Look, here they are. Read some if you like. You'll get an idea.
- Okay, so this card says “The Lunatic” and “going to be mad soon, lose life or wife”, this says “Sun” and “about to be blinded, burned or have serious fever”, this says “Door” and “you should knock first”? Excuse me, there is nothing good happening with these cards?
- Ehh... no, not these. It's the Dark set of Cards. But I have the Light Cards too. You see, my patients choose whether they want to hear the good or the bad news first. But I prefer to start from the Dark; to make sure I will get paid, that is.
- And you manage to make a living?
- Well actually I am a blacksmith. Science is my hobby, you see.
- Enough. Let's move on with my technique. You will all understand in a few minutes. My experiments showed that people don't like vague prophesies. I found out that when one seeks for answers you must provide specific information like “yes” or “no”, you have to give a name, a place and time, and furthermore, it better be something your client wants to hear. If your foretelling is for horrible things to come then you are about to be left out of work; and that's the optimistic theory. My new science is called PlanetVision©. This new science has to do with planets and stars and how they influence us. You see each one of us is born under the influence of certain stars and a certain position of the planets.
- What do you mean planets and stars? Like the Moon?
- Yes, exactly. People born under the influence of the Moon are having certain characteristics that define their personality and future.
- Rubbish. My wife's influence on me can beat the whole galaxy! That's not science either!
- Yes it is. I'll show you. Tell me, what year were you born?
- Forty eight years ago.
- What month? The date?
- Not sure. Spring.
- You don't know? Any other details maybe?
- Well, Saturday for sure.
- Hmm... What time exactly?
- My mum said it was just after sunset.
- Perfect! Well, ladies and gentlemen this brilliant scientist here belongs to the sign of Leo.
- Which means?
- Which my friend means that you are kind, hard working and trustworthy. It also means that you are a magnificent man with love in your heart for all mankind. And you adore your wife. In fact you adore all women. A lot.
- Oh! That's me! Amazing!
- And you my dear? Details of birth?
- Winter. A Monday evening. Full moon.
- Full moon? Really? I thought so! Definitely a Virgo. My beautiful girl, you love knowledge and you are so clever that many future generations will talk about you. You also have a slight inclination to certain substances but all Virgos handle such things wisely. And you happen to like boys that are taller than you. With black, brown or blond hair. Oh! And you love your mother!
- How did you do it? It's so accurate! I think I am convinced. But the name...
- What about the name?
- You should use something more scientific. Something with “ology” in the end.
- Yes. And something easier for the uneducated masses.
- What about skyology?
- Too easy.
- Birthology?
- Complicated.
- Planetology?
- I like Planetology! It even sounds better Razda! Listen to this: Razda Habti, Planetologist.
- Excuse me but what about the existing Planetologists? We certainly don't want to be mistaken for those crazy fools! We are real scientists!
- True. And now that you mention it, my science is not only about planets. It's about all stars.
- Then call it Allstarology. It sounds scientific all right. Razda Habti, Allstarologist. What do you say?
- Great name! Razda Habti, Allstarologist. Allstarology it is! I wish you all a happy predictable year people!

Inspired by: James Randy's Horoscope, Skepchicks, Astrology Explored and a place where Astrology is scientific?! :D

Globalization Evil

- That’s horrible! Mary’s cat was on the tree all afternoon! It took five firemen to rescue that poor thing!
- Oh my god! Mary must have been soooo frightened! How is she now?
- Not very well, she fainted 3 times and then the doctor said she should stay in bed for at least a week.
- Horrible indeed!

- Have you heard the news?
- No. What?
- Didn’t you listen to the radio or read the papers? It’s Mike, the baker!
- What about Mike?
- He was interviewed about the fire in his shop!
- What fire?
- The one he almost got! His brother prevented it the last minute!
- Oh, that would be dreadful! Poor Mike, how scared he must have been!

The troll’s village was completely isolated from the rest of the world, hidden inside a huge stone wall. These trolls made up their minds a lot time ago. They were totally against globalism. They didn’t want anything to do with all the other creatures of this planet even their neighbours and especially foreign visitors. Their gates were almost always closed. Their race would not mix with other cultures and certainly would not be forgotten.

They followed strictly all ancient troll beliefs, religion, tradition and rituals and managed to be autonomous by producing everything that a troll needs to survive; food, medicine, clothes, shoes, books, art and cosmetics.

They had come to this decision to build this stone wall around the village because things had turned very dangerous in the past. Their young children had started to use words from other languages like dwarfish, elfish and once, they heard a little troll singing the blues. Furthermore, there was another problem; it seemed to be extremely difficult to remember and follow their culture or religion.

All those foreigners made it difficult to remember of their ancestors, their gods and their religion. They even forgot all troll authentic art, traditional drinks, food and music! Troll history was about to be forgotten too.
The worst part was their role in the world. Being a troll didn’t seem that important any more. Troll news and their problems didn’t care anyone any more; it was as if they never happened at all.
Why would the world be interested to your unknown village flooded by your little stupid river? Who cares if a troll archaeologist translated all ancient troll symbols… in trollish? You should at least speak ten different languages before you accomplish great things; if you wanted to attract the interest of the world. And if you faced a catastrophe it’d better be bigger than the others or no one would be impressed.

The elder trolls took charge. If the world didn’t care for their important beings so would they. They kicked all foreigners out of their village and asked everyone to help build a tall stonewall around it. Now that was big news for the rest of the world but unfortunately trolls never found out. They also missed all the other great news of the world. Like the discovery of the cure of the only deadly troll virus. And the results of the biggest world research about the huge benefits for the brain after mixing races and cultures.
And all those new books about troll inheritance written...

Inside the walls they all just enjoyed the calm after things in the village went back to normal and so they started trolling happily again. Once more trolls were important; their history, their language, religion, food, ethics. The space inside those walls was the only world they wanted to know about and the only place that mattered to them.
And that would be very clever unless they didn’t live in a planet with others…

The rest of the world was now facing serious trouble. If they had kept in touch with it, they would know the trouble caused by that stupid troll machine they once sold to an elf. It was a weather machine that produced artificial rain clouds with rain. When gods found out, they were so furious that they killed all elf races with toxic rain.

They would also know that a spaceship with very ugly aliens had invaded their planet killing everyone on sight. Aliens tried at first to communicate with this beautiful planet’s inhabitants but no one seemed to understand their ancient troll symbol language. So, after everyone thought aliens were hostile, they tried to destroy their ship with missiles and that made them really mad.

They would know that dwarfs were all dead after been poisoned from the little unimportant river that carried all troll waste outside their village.

They would know why their lakes turned black, why their hair started to fall. They would know why the atmosphere was so thick, why the sun had turned green, why there was no rain in years and what was that smell…

Globalization is evil” said the elders while a mosquito was flying over the stone walls carrying the SJW453; the only deadly troll virus...

Inspired by: Curtis Schweitzer, Got Questions and Nathan White

Holistic Moms

(on the phone)

She has all the symptoms I am sure she caught it from school. Yes, demons again. She is possessed I tell you!
What? But it is obvious. The room is cold, her face is white, her teeth are brown and she exhales smelly smoke while speaking those unknown words.
You know, those ancient languages the possessed mumble all the time?
Yes, it seems those demons inside want to convince us they are old, educated and well respected, something like the chief demons of the first hierarchy.
Exactly how stupid they think we all are?Tell me dear, have you ever met a demon of a lower rank? Have you? I thought so!
I mean come on you can’t all be the Devil himself. What happened to the second or the third demonic hierarchies? But you can’t fool me misters. I went to school, remember?
And all that ancient language crap?
Give me a break anyone can do that. Especially if you are possessing children whose parent’s only idea of ancient times is Indiana Jones.
Tell me dear, have you ever heard of a linguistics professor ever been possessed by demons? Exactly.
I wonder when my baby is going to recover fully. I informed her school and they said she could miss class for a week but I am not sure if she will recover by then.
What worries me most is that she says the F word all the time! I’m telling you the minute those demons leave her body she is grounded.
What? Call the exorcists? Oh no dear. I’m no that kind of a mother. Those priests are no good for our children. Did you know that during an exorcism just after the priest dies, you could lose your child too?
I know! It seems sometimes some of those careless ignorants misdiagnose the exact size of the demonic infection and fail to count correctly all the demons inhabiting your children’s body.
But of course they won’t tell such things to parents. Oh no! They just send you those “Demon Control” leaflets all the time with the updated numbers and addresses of your region’s exorcists, their charges and then they expect you to stay to that. No misters. This mother is cleverer than that.
Have you seen the statistics? Yes, on the internet. There is a site called “Woo Science Exposed”. Well dear, allow me to inform you that 2% of our children die every year during those exorcisms! Yeah.
Absolutely true.
Heard about the Spring allergies burst? Ha! Let me tell you about those allergies!
No one knows what they put in that “holly water” stuff they soak your child. Judging from the blue smoke after the skin is burned this “holly water” must be full of chemicals or acids. “Prayers and Love make Holly Water”, my ass!
No. I’m not going to put my child in such a danger. I am an educated person and I have an open mind.
Just because they were the only ones to treat demonic possessions till now, this doesn’t mean they can keep underestimating our intelligence!
They can sabotage all new treatment they want by telling lies to parents but nowadays some of us can easily find out when they do.
Oh please stop it. Just do the math 2% is serious risk. It means that my child has a big chance to die. Come on a 2% of the infected children dead?
Die from a demonic possession? I’m sorry but that’s too ridiculous to accept. It’s like telling me that I can die from a cold. Last time I checked we were still in the 21st century!
I only say why don’t we give a chance to those modern and well educated holistic priests? They use a lot healthier and natural medicine to cure demonic possessions and they have no risk at all. It is 100% pure religion, no chemistry involved.
What do you mean side effects and deaths? Zero. None. 0%.
Really. And even the priests survive the exorcism. All of them.
Give me a break, that’s lies! Of course they are effective!
Okay maybe sometimes a demon or two escapes them but we’re talking Legions here! Maybe one of them cowards scared enough to come out of the body hides deeper inside the organs.
Between me and you I prefer that than the classic aggressive treatment that makes demons jump out of the body without caring to find the proper exit first.
But with holistic priests you have no such risks and you can always do a corrective exorcism! And another. And another.
After all they cost so little and they also offer you a two-month Mind Purification totally free of charge after the final exorcism.
What? But it is important! How can I let my child without purification after all those filthy thoughts the demons put in her brain?
Give me a break. Of course children remember everything! No, those memories hide and work underneath doing strange stuff to their brains. Have you heard of hypnosis? Oh well, it’s the only way to heal your subconscious demonic thoughts responsible for future failure in life.
Yes, they are coming today to evaluate the condition.
What? Your father?
No. No messages. What about your mother? Oh, I don’t know about her. I forgot to ask. But believe me if your mother has a message for you, they would tell me without asking. Nobody messes with your mother.
Yes, I’m sure she’s in heaven, dear! No it’s fine, okay I will ask, I guess it’ won’t hurt them to answer one more tiny question, it is such a small favor and after all they are free to shout whatever they want all day along with the F word, so they better give me two minutes for my messages or I will call the priests with the acids and the chemicals! Haha!
Oh, I have to go dear! It’s my only chance to clean that messy bed.
Yes it started. By now she must have reached the ceiling. Yes, yes, it’s been two minutes since the bed started shaking.
I say twenty more minutes and she’s down again. Oh yes, I can make it. It is enough for me. There is plenty of time to make it presentable again.
Oh no, no, she is asleep. She is too afraid of heights; you would hear her screams if she was awake! Well, demons or not, I have to clean that bed before they come for the holistic exorcism.
Yes dear, I will call you later.
God bless us all.

Inspired by: On open – mindedness :D

Earthquake predicted

The skinny old woman was wearing a worn black cloth faintly reminding of a robe. She had left the village ages ago to live in a cave by the sea. Some said she used to be a fisherman’s wife but after he died in a big storm she decided that gods owed her big time and so, she called herself a Sea God Expert, the Best Prophetess Ever Lived and started foretelling the future by interpreting sea signs. If for example you caught an octopus with nine legs and had nothing better to do, you’d run straight to her cave to find out if this meant extra money, good luck or even a bride. Everything was an omen or a godly sign according to her.

Once in a while this prophetess turned up in the street market and like Cassandra, she warned people of biblical disasters, storms and huge waves. And just like with Cassandra, people were very annoyed by her words because whether you were a prophetess or not, no matter if the gods were angry or happy, you knew that sometime soon they were going to throw another big storm, an earthquake or hailstones on you. Why give her credit for shouting in your ears bad news all the time?
How would she like it if you shouted to her ears that she would die someday soon? And then expect everyone to be very impressed by your prophetic powers; and all that during her funeral?

Of course sometimes she really impressed people. Not for her prophetic powers, though; it was mainly about the imagination of he prophecies. “Beware” she had cried one day. “The God Of Oysters is furious at you. You are murdering his children every day. I’m telling you this: throw all the pearls back to the sea now! Don't you know what an oyster has to suffer to become a pearl? Don't you? It takes years of prayers and faith and true regret to become a big shinny pearl. It’s the way the God Of Oysters shows he has forgiven all their oyster sins; by letting them transform into a beautiful pearl. Who are you to ruin that? Hailstones, the pearls of the sky, are on the way! The God Of Oysters is seeking revenge! You can’t just steal his pearls and make necklaces! It’s like… it’s like killing the virgin before the sacrifice! It is… it is… hybris!

However, all her predictions were of bad things to come. There wasn’t one good thing ever predicted by this woman’s lips and that’s why most didn’t really like her. She, on the other hand, when she saw sour faces she got mad and told them they would all thank her one day because “true scientists like prophetesses, witches, philosophers and priestesses don’t have to be popular too; their primal goal is to save their lives”. Their own lives she meant but she could use some popularity.

The market was full of people but her voice was very loud that day. Some laughed, some gathered to enjoy the show. She used to have a small bag around her neck with several seashells in it, which she used to throw in the air and then tell the future by the forms they took after falling on the sand. If for example, the seashells formed something like a circle this meant that someday from now in a year that contains a zero (that could be in 10, 20, 100 or 1000 years) the God Of Cetaceans* would sink the whole village unless they sacrificed a child. Then the crowd would laugh and scatter around the street shops leaving her alone to shout of calamities until she was exhausted.

She said the magic words, raised her hands and threw all the seashells as high as she could. People stepped back. When the seashells fell on the sand, it was obvious they formed the image of something like a snake.
Some couldn’t wait and started to guess:
- God Of Witch Eels! Oh wait, wait! It seems to glow a bit in the sun. Ok, I got it. It’s the God Of Electric Eels. That’s him sending the Sign.
- No, it glows too much. It’s The God Of Fire Eels. Definitely him.
- Oh, stop it! Don’t you see the space between those seashells? They are meant to be stripes. It is for sure The God Of Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait.
- No, can't you see? This is bigger. It must be The God Of Hydrophis Spyralis. Take a good look at my wooden foot; believe me I know how it looks from that close.

The old prophetess stepped forward and started to push people away from her seashells.
- Excuse me! Will you let me do my job? Please, don’t touch anything; you will ruin the evidence. Step back!
She went nearer, gave the shells a closer look, raised her hands and said:
- Well, it could be any of the gods you’ve already mentioned of course and you are right that it had to be a God of the Sea Snake Family but I’m afraid you are not yet aware of all the… unpleasant facts.
- What happened?
- Facts? What facts?
You see yesterday night while I was lying on the beach trying to relax from all those stupid Sirens singing all day, a young merman approached me. He was so handsome that if I wasn’t a scientist with such serious stuffs to handle, I would say yes to his proposal and become his immortal young wife. But the duty goes first! Anyway, he told me that Poseidon’s trident is about to struck our land. I asked him again and again but he swore he told me the truth. Poseidon himself, the God Of Sea Gods, Of All Fishes, Big Waves, Corals, Rocks, Seaweed And Sand, but mainly the God Of Earthquakes, is coming for us!
- Ok. I’ve had it. Someone call the police NOW!
- Yeah! We can’t let her keep scaring women and children like that!
- Good idea! It was about time. Take her to prison!

A big light drove their attention. It was like a cloud or a crystal ball just over the sea. A few seconds later, Poseidon rose from the dark waters and struck fiercely their land with his trident. A very few survived such an earthquake to tell this tale and among them the now younger and immortal prophetess.
And I’ll tell you one thing for sure: I was well respected after that. Oh, and another thing: Mermans are misunderstood. Take it from me, they rock.

*When the seashells formed a circle, everybody knew it would definitely be the God Of Cetaceans. You could easily tell which god would cause trouble this time. When the fish shells formed a line it was the God Of Eels, a bigger line was the God Of Witch Eels, a triangle was the God Of Angel Fish, a big triangle was the God Of Angel Sharks and when they formed nothing (or none could make a decision anyway) it had to be the God Of Plankton; pretty harmless fellow.

Inspired by: Guardian, HowStuffWorks and Huffington Post

Gold matters

Ermos, the young alchemist, abandoned all hope the last 2 years. Nothing would save his profession. If you wanted to turn things into gold you’d better be a wizard or a fairy. From the beginning, alchemists were trying in vain. You could spend your whole life in chemistry, atoms, molecules and really explosive experiments but the outcome was never gold; or anything you could use anyway.

It all started hundreds of years ago when someone said he did it. Midas was the first alchemist in history. Then he became rich by making mountains of gold, destroyed the recipe and died without telling anyone how the hell he did it. They accused him of wizardry or fairyness or even of having secret agreements with aliens that helped him with advanced technology but he denied every accusation. And no one had proof to condemn him. If they could prove he was a wizard, the wizard's palace would turn him into a training broom with five seats or if they could find a fairy ancestor in his family he would be sent to Fairylands for unfree labour in their feather care salons. And if anyone saw him talking to aliens, that was the worst one, he would be sold to the Cyclops for a slave*.

Wizards, fairies and aliens could make gold out of anything but were not allowed to, after signing of the Fair Competition Agreement. If anyone left free to do his magical, genetic or technological stuff that easily, then there were going to be serious problems. Dwarfs would possess all diamonds and precious stones hidden underground, Pythia would foretell everything about the future causing complete chaos, boredom or depression, wizards would have absolute power over every living creature (without adding the problems arising from the increase of the frog population). Cyclops would definitely eat all humankind and what would that leave to fairies? Nothing at all. They would surely be left behind. And so would gods. What would a god do in a place where his godly powers were not only his? You can't punish someone with a thunder if he and his friends will answer with phasers…

Midas died in his 120 year birthday calling himself an alchemist and accusing everyone of not having an open mind. His last words were: “just because I don't want to share my secret scientific recipe to make gold, that doesn't mean I am a wizard, fairy or a friend of the aliens. I studied chemistry and science. If you want to accuse me of something you'd better find yourselves a good lawyer; a huge part of my fortune comes from winning all your demonic law suits”.

Nowadays all that was a joke. Choosing to be an alchemist was the most ridiculous thing you could do. During the first years he thought he would make it. Now he was just a poor beggar who studied chemistry, an unusual and totally unneeded science. Furthermore, once his house was blown up by the last explosion during his last experiment 2 years ago, he was homeless too.

A fairy went close by and threw a coin in his hat. She seemed compassionate and conversational. All fairies were like that when they saw humans. To them, all humans were ugly, poor and helpless creatures, let alone a beggar. That was why they never missed a chance to show compassion and mainly look compassionate to the other fairies flying by.
- What is your name, my poor boy?
- Ermos. Thank you.
- Oh, it’s nothing. Just a coin. What happened? Why have you ended up like this? At your age… you have all your life ahead of you, you know.
- No one will hire me. I studied chemistry.
- Oh.
- And it gets worse... to be an alchemist.
- Oh, dear!
The fairy could barely hide her laughs. An old wizard came closer. One's misfortune is everyone's entertainment. The old man didn't even search his pockets for a coin. He started his questions right away.
- No one ever told you that you can't legally make all the gold you like? And what about other alchemists? Have you met another alchemist succeed or have you met another alchemist at all? There is no one in history who accomplished it except that deceiving old fox who certainly wasn't a true alchemist! Didn't you know all that?
- I did.
Now, around him there were more twenty fairies, wizards and humans. They were laughing, criticizing and kept asking questions. And no coins in his hat.
- Then why have you chosen to waste your life like that?
- Yeah, why?
- Well, I wanted to keep an open mind...
- What does that mean?
- Open-mindedness is when you hear about stuff and you don't believe them but you choose to see the facts first and test them yourself just in case they are true. Well, to do that with alchemy, I found that you have to study chemistry first and then experiment. A lot. I've found out lots of things but all of them totally useless.
- What could one possibly find out from... chemistry?
- Lots of stupid and useless stuff...of course. Like, like I can make lips turn red forever and I accidentally found of a substance that can paint hair whatever colour one likes without having to fear of the rain or worry about dirty pillows. But who would be interested in changing the colour of his hair or skin, after all? And I've discovered a fabric that glistens in the dark just like fairies feathers. Or those nano glasses that could make one's eye colour black or green or violet. Totally nonsense. The most bizarre thing was a dust that if one inhales it, his body becomes 20 years younger. Hundreds of boring new things and none of them gold. I'm sorry, I shouldn't bother you with my chemistry stuff.
Their eyes started glistening like fairies feathers. Some touching their grey hair, others looking at their old skin and humans so happy and fearful the same time, just like if they saw Zeus himself.
- Oh god! Black hair? You can actually paint my grey hair, black?
- And my eyes? I can have violet eyes?
The wizard stepped forward and grabbed his hand.
- Well... I've always encouraged open-mindedness... come along, I have a huge house, let's start those experiments again... Leave the poor boy alone everyone. See, you try to make gold and I will clean all the mess. You know, those dusts and nano glasses and fabrics and substances that are absolutely worthless? I will help you.
- But...but...
Before he finished his sentence a spaceship above them, grabbed the boy and disappeared in seconds. In a few months the colour of your hair was according to what those alien fashion magazines thrown monthly by spaceships, dictated. Your eye colour and clothes too. Oh and your age.

His last words in his 120 year birthday were: “when you look for gold, you must always be open minded. For what you seek is almost never a stone, or yellow or glows. It could very well be a dozen won law suits, black eyes turned into blue or even an Anti Wrinkle Ermos Cream. Take an alchemist's word for that, believe me, I know matter”.

  • * Not a slave really. Cyclops ate all the humans they bought but called them slaves after taking legal advice from their demon attorneys. The law for Human rights was very strict. If you called a human being “food” you were sentenced to prison for life. But if you called him “slave” you couldn't be touched. And then afterwards, being your property, you could do anything you liked with him; breakfast, supper or lunch.

    Inspired by: cnet

Ethics In Dystopia

Pythia run out from the oracle screaming, cursing and casting spells to innocent people. Every time she opened her mouth something really bad would happen. Zeus would come up with a thunder, Poseidon with a Cracken or Aphrodite with a new lover. All three very painful.

It was obvious that Pythia’s religious feelings were too strong to handle any more. You only had to draw her attention away from her Gods for seconds, or just ask her a very simple question, one that even a child could easily answer, something like “what is the Aquarius zodiac sign compatibility?” or "what does Zeus think of abortions?" and she became furious. And people kept coming from all over Dystopia for her prophecies. It was her job after all. But even a mosquito could make her mad those days. Her speaking to gods was like an addiction.

The only thing she wanted to do day and night, was to talk to her Gods which would be exactly what she was expected to do, unless she didn’t leave out the part of telling people what gods wished them to do. She had to be a medium and not in the middle of god's will. Talking to gods was a common addiction* for priests.

People called the Priest Of All Gods to help her. He went near her, rose his hands and spoke:
Don't do to others what you don't want others do to you”.

In any other universe this would be a great piece of advice. Pure wisdom. It would spread like pollen and be fertile enough for generations to come. However in Dystopia, such confident speaking was not something wise on it's own. You never took it for granted. No matter who said it, no matter how well he said it, it had to be really wise. Or at least, make sense.

People protested: “That’s not fair!” They began shouting until someone said:
- Let me ask you this, you stupid old man. Let’s suppose I like spaghetti and my mother likes pizza. That means that she must always eat spaghetti, right? And… I must always eat pizza?
- No, no… I meant…
- Yeah! And I hate wearing pink but my girlfriend loves it. What kind of cruel religion would suggest I don’t buy her pink shoes for her birthdays just because I don’t like pink bought for me?
- My pig loves mud. My little son loves mud too. Oh, I don’t even want to think about it, you monster!

Pythia moved near the Priest Of All Gods. She whispered to his ear: “I can get you out of this” she said.
- Really?
- Piece of cake.
- Then do that right this instant young lady, what are you waiting for?
- If I do that, you will leave me alone afterwards, let’s say… for 3 weeks?
- Deal.
- No visits, no prophecies, no daily horoscopes or any other questions asked?
- Do it now!
- Just me and my oracle, my absolutely essential ehm… spiritual substances and my Gods? Oh… and some chocolate, maybe?
- Done.

Pythia stood up. “Calm down mortals”, she said. The crowd went silent. She used to speak so seldom and they payed her so much for her godly words, that even if she made no sense, everyone would pay attention. The connection of Pythia’s prophesies with logic would be made afterwards. Or not, but you never admitted that of course.
- This old man is no ordinary old man. He is in fact very wise and so are his words. It’s the Hydra in his brain that is responsible for all this nonsense. Spirits told me just yesterday that the Gods felt jealous of his wisdom and so they put a tiny Hydra in his head.
- Really?
- Cross my heart. So, every time Logic cuts a head, Insanity grows back three. For every word he tries to say, his brain Hydra grows three more that make no sense at all and kicks them out of his mouth.
- Ewwww!
- If you see to it, It’s not him you should blame but you. You are the ones who should find the wise words in everything he says. You are the ones to discover the golden rule hidden in what he told you today and not his poor sick old brain! People started to rethink his words. Some of them, loud.
- I found it! It must be “Don’t’ do others. Do you”
- What does that mean?
- No, no it’s the exact opposite: “Do others, not you”
- Rubbish! I got it. It’s “Do you do others?”
- I will leave you now. You can continue your group therapy to wisdom. You are doing fine. You almost got it. Take my word for it. Keep it up!

Pythia left the Priest Of All Gods enjoy some enthusiastic cheering everytime someone from the crowd made a new combination of his words. He eventually felt free to say whatever religious nonsense he wanted, with absolutely no consequences to the Church’s image, for a change. A true Zen experience. Pythia closed the oracle’s door behind her, re-opened it in a hurry, hung the “Spirits Gone Fishing” sign and closed it again.

  • It’s that kind of addiction all religious people have, after talking once to their gods. Since you do that, it seems that you can’t get enough (most times, there is serious spiritual substances involved but that’s a sacrifice you have to make for your faith and has absolutely nothing to do with how religious you realy are).

Inspired by: myLot