A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 1

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A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 1

…They gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…

To say that the Space Family McKinney is spread out as far as the eye can see is a monumental understatement. King Ranch is Texas big, but even there, you cannot see from one end to another… as compared to wherever in God’s Universe the other Mckinneys are.

Braden King, the Crippens: Roy & Francine and of course the McKinneys: Gus & Mindy are all together, which is rare considering their considerable reach among the planets of the Terran System.

The reason: the commitment to preserve one of the most overlooked holidays that ever was… having been trampled by a herd of goblins & ghouls and that jolly red man in the red & white suit… Thanksgiving.Related image

That very day, a fresh tom turkey had been secured by one Gus M., not with a laser rifle, but an old fashioned double barrel 12 gauge shotgun. The East woodlot is teaming with the large wild birds, though getting close enough to actually bag one is not an easy feat.

“There is nothing like a fresh turkey, Gussy! Thank you for taking time out from shooting disruptor beams at aliens ships to provide us with this wonderful treat.” Francine Bouchette-Crippen has commandeered the kitchen from the ranch chef for the day, who gets to cross the border to celebrate a Mexican version of Thanksgiving, likely involving a pig w/an apple stuffed in its mouth.

“He still smells like gunpowder Francine. He refuses to take a shower because he might miss the kickoff of the Houston Texan’s game!” Mindy McDonald-McKinney bemoans the New World Football League, though she secretly roots for the London Royals because she thinks Prince Harry’s oldest son is cute.

Prez Roy bemoans something entirely unrelated to the holiday, “Harper Lea Bassett has taken down the NASA exhibit in the West Wing. What will that **%@!g woman do next, convert the Oval Office into a hair salon?”

“Roy Crippen! You forgot to re-calibrated the convection oven! It’s still 25 degrees shy of reality, so it looks like we’ll be eating at 5:00 instead of 3:00.”

That was intentional on purpose. The football game would not be over at 3 o’clock.

He and Braden King do a fist bump.

Gus McKinney just sits back and laughs. He gets a kick from the “old” guys.

The fact of the matter is that the Earth will keep on spinning regardless of the exact time of their dinner. Another fact is that they are truly missing a huge chunk of the family in the persons of Sampson, Celeste and Deke {they have yet to meet Deimostra}.

Some facts must be kept in perspective, like the annual celebratory dinner aptly named Thanksgiving. They have each other and a God who deserves the recognition.

The Texans lose in overtime.

Gus McKinney gives the blessing, “Dear Lord, thank you for this wonderful meal, my loving family… and is Lorgan really YOU in disguise?”

Together they sing:


A Space Family Thanksgiving =

Earth/Eridanus Part 1


The NULL Solution = Episode 53

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The NULL Solution = Episode 53

… the Universe looks more like a snow globe, as opposed to a cosmic blur…

Image result for snow globe gif

A peeping tom generally is not well thought of; a feckless loser peering through a bedroom widow comes to mind. In the same way, binoculars can be a beneficial visual aid or an instrument of intrusion.

For the keepers of the Hubble2 Space Telescope on 2052 Earth, no such sinister purpose can be assigned. Since before the advent of stardates, back in 1990, somebody’s job has been to point and look, staring down an orbiting barrel to when time began. In the last decade, a new generation scope has been improved the view exponentially. Now the Universe looks more like a snow globe, as opposed to a cosmic blur.

Hubble’s gaze has seen what is thought of as the moment of creation.

It has also seen the Ÿ€Ð fiasco.–

–Reservations are taken for the use of the greatest of all telescopes. Prez Roy Crippen takes a week’s worth of markers for the search of the mysterious Lorgan or at least looking farther into space for objects other than planets and such, even though what they see is older than real-time.

Stargasm by Sean Connolly

‘I can’t keep from thinking that Lorgan transcends time and defies the physics of space’ he thinks. “What was that?” he asks Fletcher Fitch, who happens to be in his company and ready to take over the next shift of star-snooping.

“If that’s a supernova, it’s the smallest one ever. If it’s not a stargasm, it must be some manner of detonation… it is becoming ever apparent that we aren’t alone in the galaxy, Roy.”

“I did not mean that, I meant that,” he points at a distant silvery object that is reflecting an image of a distant Earth on its sheen.

“Do you think that caused THAT?” Fitch is fixated on the explosions out towards the edge of the solar system.

“All I know is that I never want to be on Lorgan’s bad side. Of all the bad things… and likewise we cannot rule out the good… that go happen, say in the last 4000 years, may be attributable to Lorgan.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 53


page 56

The NULL Solution = Episode 52

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The NULL Solution = Episode 52

…Parsec after parsec blows by and not an Antaran inch is gained…

Reticence and restraint are not a qualities that the Ÿ€Ð possess. Distrust and distress however are present in spades.

Instead of lying back among the comets and asteroids, they panic at the next sighting of ⃝   . The unmanned recon spacecraft are replaced by a warrior filled squadron, not seen in these parts for eons.

During this sighting-turned-encounter, ⃝    does not just vanish into thin air. Nor does it dash off at blinding speeds. What it does do is toddle off to a certain distance then maintains that distance. As hard as the Ÿ€Ð paddle, all available paddles in the water, they cannot catch up.

The commander of the 13 unit Ÿ€Ð fleet feels like he is being taunted. Parsec after parsec blows by and not an Antaran inch is gained. The only way to bridge the gap is with the weapons that are normally used to terrorize opponents, generally to a bad end for the hunted.

But even when armed and lethal, the orders to fire are on ice. Perhaps there are questions about their weapons at great distance. Or perhaps such a prolonged sighting has them mesmerized.

Either way, the chase goes on.

And then the fleeting object slows below the speed at which light goes from here to there. Herein lies that all-important time, the critical time when crucial decisions are made and cannot be taken back. There is an itch that induces a twitch… that leads to irrevocable series of events.

The flagship of the Ÿ€Ð contingent causes the dominoes to fall, one by one all manner of ordinance are hurled at ⃝   , which has driven them to wits end. Had they knowledge of what happened to the Koreans, surely they would have chosen to give up the chase and chalk the experience up to a lack of understanding…

…But it is too late for regrets.

The entirety of the Ÿ€Ð pursuers are vacated from the space they had occupied, just inside Terran territory; vamoosed like they were never there at all. History will know it as “The Planet 9 Affair”.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 52


page 55

The NULL Solution = Episode 51

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The NULL Solution = Episode 51

…The Gifted wish to project themselves as mythical; today the jig is up…

Related image

As far as ⃝    is concerned, Ekcello learns that Cerella and the McKinneys had spotted it in another galaxy. To fully comprehend every side of the subject, he subjects himself to that menagerie of beings over in the Spaceflight Expository, the escaped Null included. That a Null is the only Eridanian to have seen ⃝    , he is deeply disturbed.

Out of learned respect, Skaldic bows. He is a crowd of one, of those Null having stood in the presence of the Supreme Elder to the High Council. A representative image of Ekcello, looking nothing like this, would appear on their screens whenever any planetary information was to be shared with the isolated tower. #Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain#

The Gifted wish to project themselves as mythical; today the jig is up….

Skaldic is the Null most feared in the eyes of the Gifted. His story {history} is well known. That he dare choose to let his gifts to languish is stuff of legend.

“Can I assume that the rest of the Null are under your control?” That Ekcello concedes Skaldic’s authority is reciprocal respect.

Skaldic relates the story, “With their own eyes they have seen the world of the Gifted. But the hookahs did pose a threat to our stability and I was forced to restrict the rest to the Null Tower. But they have tasted and they have seen. The status of the Null Tower is an issue that will need to be discussed in the future.”

“You are to be commended Skaldic. Self-restraint is a necessary quality in any leader. I recognize you as the Supreme Null,” Ekcello proclaims.

“Is that like being the tallest midget?” Sampson whispers to his daughter-in-law.

“You are witnessing history in the making, father to Deke,” her assessment of this newfangled collaboration is accurate.

This is big – Eridanus big.

Ekcello reaches out for Skaldic’s firsthand observation of ⃝    .

“I did see ⃝    next to our former home world, but only for the shortest of time. I do not know how long it had been there. It did not show itself on our sensors,” Skaldic relates.

“Three cycles, it appeared three cycles past. It is the cause of our neutralization. We know not what it is.” Ekcello cannot relate.

What the Gifted do not know is impossible to quantify. It’s like, ‘You’ll know it when you see it.’ They didn’t see ⃝    ,   but it did drive them into silence.

The term: ⃝    is now common in their 4 separate lingoes; not a word, more of a foggy notion.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 51


page 54

The NULL Solution = Episode 50

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The NULL Solution = Episode 50

…When your life expectancy is immaterial, keeping track of time’s passing is left to the astronomers…

Image: REUTERS/Mike Blake

Sand of Time created by Gadion

Ekcello, the Supreme Elder of the High Council on Eridanus, has certainly seen it all. From the unfortunate vulcanization of the original home world and subsequent relocation of his people, to the puzzling loss of an exploratory expedition to a neighboring star, to the unexpected arrival of the McKinneys and now, the mass neutralization of the Gifted.

The passage of time is subjective. One Eridanian cycle is an extrapolation of several factors at work in the Epsilon Eridani binary star cluster. On the planet of the McKinneys, they keep time by its revolutions, whereas here, a cycle is numbered when the dominant of the two stars appears on the Gifted side of the planet. When your life expectancy is immaterial, keeping track of time’s passing is left to the astronomers. It is not a matter of concern.

It has been several cycles since the collective cessation in Eridanian function. Ekcello is aware of the reason for it. He alone is able to overcome the self-defense mechanism that causes their society to shutdown, whenever something unknown appears on the scene.

⃝    is such an occurrence. The shining orb that Skaldic had spied in wonder turns out to be the switch that extinguished the brightness of Eridanian society. Unable to grasp the scope of its being, the whole of them retreat to within, from the mystery without.

Notwithstanding, it is Ekcello’s responsibility to rise above the indefinite and map a course to go forward. ⃝    has come and gone. Whether he or anyone else fathoms its intentions is secondary to the resumption of normal activities, so he comes down out of his tower.

**Immediately a psychic connection between father and daughter is reestablished.**

“Ekcello is back among us,” Alerts Cerella to the Earthlings and Nulls, as matter-of-fact-ly as only an Eridanian can. From one mind to another, he has apprised himself of the current situation, at least as far as the Gifted go. By Cerella’s uninterrupted reality, he is taken aback. Has her human husband diluted her Giftedness? She seems to be otherwise unaffected.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 50


page 53

Amazing Jobs! – Volunteered, Donated and FREE

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Amazing Jobs

People Do

For Free

The very nature of our capitalist society is that, for our labors, we receive monetary compensation. However, some work is unpaid. A breakdown of this unpaid labor might show that most are in the form of internships, where a person provides their services for free with the understanding that they will get paid later. The other big portion of “volunteer” labor would be forced community service, where doing work for free is a punishment for misbehavior.

There are some altruistic people who do unpaid charity work, like working with the less fortunate, but outside of charity people who do work for free are seen as odd, or being exploited somehow. With that in mind, here are 10 surprising jobs people in the world have done completely for free…

10. The Pirate of Massapequa

Two months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Hyman Strachman was drafted into the Army, serving in an intelligence unit in the Pacific. Being so far from home, he remembered the relief that movie night brought. Fast forward 70 years later and Strachman thought he could provide the same service to the men and women fighting overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. So then at that time, in his early 90s, for free and at his own expense, he started pumping out popular titles of bootleg DVDs. To improve his output he purchased a professional DVD copier and soon he was sending hundreds of DVDs to an Army chaplain, who would gift the pirate DVDs to the troops. His work made him a hero in the military, and until the war wound down in 2013 he pirated over 300,000 discs and sent them overseas.

Since he bought illegal bootleg DVDs off the street and then made hundreds of equally illegal bootleg copies, he was known as the “The Pirate of Massapequa.”His work made him famous and reporters lined up to interview him. While the RIAA went after single mothers and teenagers for bit or renting single songs, they dared not touch Strachman – a 90-something widower and WWII veteran supporting the troops. Even though he was committing a crime, he received many awards for his work and in 2015 Strachman was even honored by a Veterans Appreciation Breakfast hosted by Senator Michael Venditto.

Possibly due to the massive karma he received for his volunteer work, Strachman lived to the ripe old age of 97, dying on February 1, 2017, in his Massapequa, New York nursing home.

9. Maintain Guzzlers

Since the early part of the 20th century, in parched regions through Western America, the government set up water stations. Called guzzlers, these water centers support threatened animal and bird populations. Starting in the desolate parts of Oregon, they spread throughout the west, with 1,600 in Nevada alone.

They are often like larger, concrete versions of a water bottle in a hamster cage, and while some are filled with rainwater many regions are too dry and require top offs by someone who has to haul water deep into remote forests and scrubland. To keep away partying teens and unethical hunters that would camp out and shoot thirsty animals, the locations are kept top secret. Decades ago government funding for the guzzlers dried up, so now local volunteers keep them and the water they provide flowing. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) even has an “Adopt A Guzzler” program.

8. Professional Photographers Hate Him

In the age of smartphones, everyone has a camera. Already in war zones around the world, we can see citizen reports almost as soon as the incident takes place. The job of a paid photographer is changing and on the front lines is Gage Skidmore, a 20-something student who lives with his parents. Priceonomics’ Zachary Crockett calls him the “most prolific photographer you’ve never heard of.” On his Flickr account, he has over 50,000 photos that he has released under Creative Commons. Under Creative Commons, you can do whatever you want with the image, including reproduce it and sell it yourself, as long as you say that Skidmore took the photo (by the way, this feels like a good time to note that the picture used for this entry was taken by Skidmore). His most famous picture, a shot of Trump, is used on Trump’s MAGA web page.

Much like Deadheads who follow the Grateful Dead around America, Skidmore got his start following Ron and Rand Paul around the country. At first, he roped his parents into driving him around snapping shots of the Paul political dynasty. Then his friends and people with the same political beliefs chipped in, but what never changed was that he gave away his professional-grade photos. Along the way, he also took a number of shots of other candidates, further amassing his collection of public domain political photos.

Why does he give away his photos? Skidmore says, “as the Internet has become an integral part of our lives, photographers have had to adapt. Creative Commons is a vehicle that allows my photos to be received by a wide audience … I don’t need to sell my photos in order to have a meal the next day. In the long run, I’ll probably take a more traditional career path in the business world.”

7. Donating Pictures for Wikipedia and the World

Wikipedia thrives because its media, and even the text of every article, is in the public domain – meaning you can use everything on the website for free, with no copyright charges. This is fine for the text, but is telling for the visual images. Each picture has to be either donated to Wikipedia or already in the public domain. This restriction causes the quality to suffer as only very old or amateur, low quality images are copyright-free.

 Evan Amos vowed to change this by, for at least gaming articles, taking professional grade photos of gaming systems. Each of his photos is carefully staged, back-lit, beautifully captured, and then donated to Wikipedia at a high resolution (as you no doubt guessed, the above picture of a Sega Saturn – remember the Sega Saturn? – is one of his). He scours collectors across the country to track down rare, little know gaming consoles like the 1977 Bally Astrocade gaming system, and always donates the resulting pictures to Wikipedia and the world.

6. Man with the Golden Arm

When James Harrison was a young child he had a medical condition and had to get one of his lungs removed. Something happened during that operation, like Peter Parker getting superpowers when he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Harrison also received superpowers; not Spidey-sense, but life-saving blood. Harrison’s blood prevents rhesus disease – a disease that kills thousands of babies a year. Known as “The Man with the Golden Arm,” according to the Australian Red Cross blood service, Harrison and his special blood have saved over 2 million babies.

A wise man said that with great power comes great responsibility, and James Harrison believes this, too. He doesn’t charge for his blood or donate it for any sort of profit, instead donating it and his time free. Because, let’s face it… you’re not much of a superhero if you’re basically holding the health of babies for ransom.

5. Amateur Detective Hunts Down Marathon Cheats

To participate in famous running events like the Boston Marathon you need to be consistently fast, famous, or running for thousands of dollars for charity. The status achieved by just running in these races is huge, so there is an entire underground industry of cheaters that get people into these races even though they don’t have the necessary qualifying times.

One way to get into the big marathons is to cheat on qualifying races. By cutting the course or even taking public transportation for part of the race (which, believe it or not, has happened), a runner can cross the finish line with a fast enough time. Another way is bib swapping (the bib being the racing number). You can do this by either buying a faster runner’s number or just paying someone to pretend to be you and run the marathon in your place. The final way would be to just find some way to hack the results and enter a faster time for you. Seen as a victim-less crime, these practices went on for years until people started to take action.

Cincinnati Business analyst Derek Murphy was one of those people. He spends hours tracking cheaters for free, and for the integrity of the sport. He developed an algorithm to investigate people who finished the race much slower than their qualifying time. He then used photos from the race to see if the same people ran both the qualifying race and the marathon. This was how he found that a high school educator had gotten someone to run the qualifying race for her. Eventually, from the 27,167 runners who started the 2015 Boston marathon, Murphy found 47 who cheated on qualifying runs. Of those, 29 were bib swappers, 10 were course cutters, 4 hacked their results, and another 4 got someone to run the race for them.

4. Sverker Johansson: Mr. Ten Percent

Swedish physicist Sverker Johansson is an impressive individual. Not happy with being an expert in one area, he holds multiple degrees including economics, particle physics, linguistics, and civil engineering. He also has a passion for spreading this knowledge and does so through the biggest online respiratory in history: Wikipedia.

Sometimes writing up to 10,000 articles a day, he alone is responsible for about 10% of all the articles on Wikipedia. Now, he isn’t doing this himself; he has developed a team of knowledge spreading bots that create and write the articles for him, but he still spends massive amounts of time supervising his bot army and making sure they stay on task. Which sounds like the origin story of the world’s nerdiest supervillain.

3. Dutch High School Student Creates Maps of the Syrian Conflict

For years the fabric of Syria has been ripped apart by civil war. At first, the media covering the stories pushed the narrative of a large group of rebels fighting the government. The reality on the ground is that there are dozens of groups fighting the government… and each other. Frustrated by this ignorance, Thomas van Linge, at the time a Dutch high school student, started making colorful maps that showed the shifting zones of control between the major Syrian groups. He then published his work on media sharing sites like Twitter for free.

Hours of his time goes into research and creating each map before van Linge posts his images. In an interview with Newsweek, he said he puts in so much time because, “I want to inform people mostly and show people the rebel dynamics in the country … I also want to inform journalists who want to go to the region which regions are definitely no-go zones, which regions are the most dangerous, and also to show strategic developments through time.” The public and the media see the value in his work, and his maps have been used and “cited on news stories in the Huffington Post, Lebanon’s Daily Star and Vox, as well as on the University of Texas at Austin’s website.”

2. Wikipedia Superstars

Wikipedia is probably one of the greatest resources of the modern age. A world of information at your fingertips. How big? Well according to the site itself, “as of 23 October 2017, there are 5,497,372 articles in the English Wikipedia.” With just a handful of paid staff, most of the work goes to editors who volunteer their time and expand the website, check the validity of its content, or more of the hundreds of daily tasks needed to keep the website going. However, the King of Editors is one man: Justin Anthony Knapp (username “koavf”), who was the first to do 1.5 million edits. In an article titled Seven Years, One Million Edits, Zero Dollars: Wikipedia’s Flat Broke Superstar, Knapp was asked why he works for free and he responded, “I’ve never accepted any restitution for my work on Wikipedia—it’s purely voluntary … Editing these projects is relaxing and rewarding—those are both premiums in any prospective job.”

Another Wikipedia editor with a mission is Giraffedata, aka Bryan Henderson. He’s in the top 1,000 editors of Wikipedia for the sole reason of changing what he views as the incorrect usage of  “Comprised of.” Henderson thinks that instead of using “comprised of” people should use “composed of” and so he goes through millions of Wiki pages and changes each instance… one at a time. He doesn’t even use a bot or script. Which is admirable, but man… that seems like taking nitpicking grammar to an entirely new level.

1. Cajun Navy

The United States of America has a mythos surrounding its citizens’ independence and their can-do attitude. Pundits always talk about a golden age when Americans only had themselves and their community to depend on. They went out into the West and built whole towns themselves with little to no government help. Alone in the wilderness, when disaster hit they only had themselves and the community to get the job done. This attitude of coming together in times of disaster has no finer example in the modern age than the Cajun Navy.

When Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and the surrounding region it also destroyed the local and regional government’s ability to help its citizens. Not waiting for the feds to reach them, people with small boats and local knowledge came to the rescue. Dubbed the Cajun Navy, this grassroots volunteer group used small boats and risked life and limb to pull victims out of the rising water. Now they and their boats are always on hand when disaster hits, deploying as recently as 2017 when Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston.


Amazing Jobs!

– Volunteered, Donated and FREE

The NULL Solution = Episode 49

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The NULL Solution = Episode 49

…Obviously there are others who wonder about the meaning of life…

“By what cosmic law is that possible?” Skaldic cannot explain the strange machinations of the silvery sphere.

⃝    is indeed a uniquely personal experience, whether in this galaxy or the next. Funny thing is, nobody but Skaldic and Sammy Mac makes a big deal about it.

“If it is alive, how does it travel 64 parsecs in the time we walk through a door? Maybe it’s not an individual. There might be a bunch of them, a fleet of shiny bowling balls whizzing around, muting Seljuk outposts and turning your Gifted into pillars of salt.”  Sam references the Holy Bible and tenpin sport in the same paragraph. How foreign these notions must be here on Eridanus, without an overt “god”. “If ⃝    had malicious intent, it/they could have destroyed those planets and turned Eridanian minds into mush. You told me that the Gifted are whole and I can attest to an alliance that was allowed to form between 4 scattered civilizations. I’m telling you Skaldy, we are not alone in the Universe.”

“Where did all the stars in the sky come from? Was there only emptiness before they came to be? And why are there so few planets with intelligent life, like you have been telling me?”

The back and forth has taken a philosophical turn. How can an Earthling convey his belief in the existential? Obviously there are others who wonder about the meaning of life.

“I can only speak for me and my family. Those on our planet, who are of the same opinion, believe that there is one true God, a creator of all things; every star and planet, comet and asteroid, bird and animal, male and female.”

“We call that middle star  {middle star}, the star that caused all the rest to appear.”

“Okay, I get that,” Sam drinks that in. “We have an instruction manual for that, written about and by the greatest man who ever walked upon our world. It begins by telling the story about how our God created the Universe.”

“You have told me, that your planet thought it was alone in what you call the Universe, that Eridanus is the first contact you had with any others.”

“True enough, man. For 66.67 % of my life and probably to this day on Earth, we thought we were the one and only beings.”

“Did not your book tell you about the rest?”

“Not in so many words, but I’m sure the answer is somewhere in there. Not until Celeste and I stumbled upon the NEWFOUNDLANDER did we have proof. Otherwise we had no way of knowing.”

“Just like we know not what ⃝    is or what purpose it serves.”

“That is a real barn-burner my friend!” Sam uses another idiomatic phrase.

“What is a barn?”

They will get to that new word and other subjects in time. The many mysteries of life will remain.


The NULL Solution =

“Mystery” Artwork by Anton Kononov

Episode 49


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