Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 26

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 26

Chapter Three

 CASTLES

 …Yet another detailed Dombroski anecdote finds them right to the front entrance of the main Tolentine building, looking every bit the castle…

The inimitable Eddie Dombroski has once again been summoned to the greater University of Chicago area. The path between his home and the prestigious bastion of higher education is a well-worn path. In the intervening three days after Constance and her compatriots did their sweep of Willard Libby’s campus office, he has ferried any and all of them, here and there and back again.

The girls share a guestroom at Kamen’s Kimbark address for convenience sake, just down the hall from the elusive piano teacher William, who seems to be more of an urban legend than real person. In the notable time they have spent in Hyde Park, they have yet to see him in person.

Here and there, there and here; today’s here is the Tolentine Seminary (in Olympia Fields Illinois) where they are to meet with a M. Joseph Franks, who has been talking to Libby quite regularly, Illinois Bell records have shown.

“I haven’t been this far south since my folks took us kids on a camping trip down by the Kankakee River. I saved my youngest brother’s crazy buttski after he fell into the water trying to catch a big fish, not with a pole but with his bare hands, dumb Pollack! It was a monster thing, about the size of our canoe. Jimmy couldn’t swim, but that didn’t stop him from jumping in after it.

Yet another detailed Dombroski anecdote finds them right to the front entrance of the main Tolentine building, looking every bit the castle, minus the mote and towering walls. Named for Saint Nicholas of Torentino, an Augustinian Friar, it is a sprawling property with that eerie look of inactivity, though well kept and stately. There is woman waiting for them as they enter the narthex.

“We are looking for a Joseph Franks,” Constance states with assurance. The staff is aware she is fishing for information about Willard Libby.

“That is I, Mary Joseph Franks, of the Holy Mothers of Augustinians… Willard Libby is my sister’s boy.”

“Knock me over with a feather.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 25

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 24

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 24

…“This place is a mess, Martin, how does this guy know where anything is…

Scott Brown Art

Constance – Martin – Fanny

“This whole case is leaving an international aftertaste in my mouth.” Constance is concerned.

“Okay already, I get your point. It’s not like I’m going to plagiarize his work. I will break into his office, without a key or permission and we’ll see what we can find. It’s at the end of the hall.”

One, two, three they hustle down the polished granite floors of the Humanities Building, prepared to find a way to the other side of the door labeled:

“Stand back!” Tailing behind, the slightly built Martin Kamen prepares to bust down the door in a rush.

“Martin, you don’t need to…”

But he does anyway, putting every ounce of his 160 pounds, but the black oaken door swings in to the left without resistance. Kamen finds himself face down on the floor.

“… do that!” giggles Fanny. “Constance picked the lock,”

“Apparently.” He dusts himself off, having bruised his ego, not his body.

“This place is a mess, Martin. How does this guy know where anything is?”

“Willard is a neat freak. I would say that someone has been looking for something. I was here on the 18th and it was as neat as a pin.” Martin had been in here many times, but he had never used a discerning eye when looking about.

“Let me guess, there won’t be any record of who had the opportunity to do this?” Constance surmises that universities are trusting by nature, “That would be too easy.”

“We have an excellent campus police force, I’ll have them come and check this out.”

“What am I, Swiss cheese? I’ll take it from here and I’ll let you know when you can call in those cardboard cutouts for cops.” She is not impressed with any of the security she has seen, whether here or at that supposedly “top secret” national lab out in nowheresville. “Fanny, I see that you are dusting for prints, keep your eyes peeled for any mistakes made by the creeps who did this.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 23

 

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 19

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 19

…One of the few AT&T employees with the expertise to research telephone records happens to be of the Jewish faith…

Once the big yellow Checker cab is nestled in for a long winter’s nap, next to his wife’s 4 year old Studebaker in their alley-facing garage, a gunmetal gray 1950 Packard rolls down Garfield Boulevard toward Chicago’s famed Loop with two men in the front seat and two women in the back.

Their scheme hits pothole #1 once they reach the Illinois Bell Building. It is deserted… a communications wasteland void of operators, technicians or even a single janitor. Holidays assuredly interfere with the course of normal business, as normal people would expect, but this intrepid group of snoops is the exception to that tradition.

Fortunately for the CCPI clan, the providence-factor plays the wild-card role here today; among the 1% not observing Christmas Day is American Telephone & Telegraph technician Herman Weinstein.

One of the few AT&T employees with the expertise to research telephone records happens to be of the Jewish faith. While his family is over in Chinatown enjoying dim sum, he is busy updating the coaxial system at the central office.

Pothole #2: “We are a year away from direct-dial transcontinental communication, so we won’t find anything to or from Europe,” Weinstein explains. “However, we still hold the C band microwave air network used in conventional telegraphic traffic, so you aren’t completely out of luck.”

He works his infrastructure magic, extracting a list of messages sent to Willard Libby and hands them the results.

“You also need the records from the Long Lines Department for what number?”

“Argonne 7-2000 is the switchboard, 2427 is the extension,” one of the three visitors states.

“That is a government number. You need security clearance for that.”

“I believe this will do,” Martin flashes his Argonne N.L. identification card.

“I figured that you worked for the F.B.I, like the guys who were looking for almost the identical records two weeks ago.”

“F.B.I.?” Constance is startled by this revelation.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 18

Unusual Buildings Around the World – WIF 10 Cent Travel

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Strange/Great Buildings

From Around

the Globe

There is no doubt that art and architecture can depict the unusual. And when artistic licence meets the concrete world of construction, the results can be nothing short of mind-boggling. In this account, we take a tour in which we discover a horizontal skyscraper, a circular skyscraper, a robot building, a bizarre towering castle of wood, and the world’s largest bread basket, among other constructions that will expand your mind and even end up on your travel itineraries.

10. Horizontal Skyscraper – Vanke Center (Shenzen, China)

When is a skyscraper a skyscraper in name and shape, but not in behavior and function? When it is a fairly typical looking skyscraper that has been painstakingly constructed to lie on its side! The building logically would look totally typical if you were to turn your head 90 degrees to the side when you examine it, for the building’s position is what makes it weird. Why? Because the structure is an eerie sideways skyscraper, built horizontally along the ground but in the form of a skyscraper. Strange and thought provoking. The brainchild of Steven Holl Architects, the Horizontal Skyscraper – Vanke Center in Shenzhen, China may look normal in shape, in sharp contrast to the oddity of its physical position

Standing on supporting pillars, the building is actually the length of the height of the Empire State Building, while its physical location is stretched along an immaculately landscaped garden with grass, woody plants and pools of water. The construction of the building extended from 2006 to 2009. While bizarre, the building has both ample glass and ample class. It serves its purposes including office and conference centre functions plus apartments and hotel suites, creating both a distinctive place to work and live while providing a modern and iconic place to visit. Considered a winner, the project was recognized with a 2010 Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, showcased as an example of excellence.

9. The Wooden Skyscraper (Archangelsk, Russia)

A house of cards may not stand well, but a wooden skyscraper? If one is creative enough to think out of the box and crazy enough to construct a monster castle of boards, then one may well be on their way to scraping the heavens with a tower of mere timber. A work of a madman, a convict, and a potential mad genius, albeit one flouting building regulations in a concerning way, the Wooden Skyscraper of Archangelsk in Russia is a towering monstrosity that is best described as a monument to one man’s personal journey to Babel in the sometimes frozen North.

Known as Sutyagin House, the 144-foot building was begun in 1992 by underworld lord Nikolai Petrovich Sutyagin in defiance of both building regulations and architectural challenges. Impressive in stature, massive but clearly rickety upon close inspection, the giant building stood in the face of all imaginable building regulations before its reign of rebellion was brought to a close. Rising spire-like but resembling a skyscraper merged with a supervillain’s castle, the massive wood structure dominated the local region for years before deteriorating during his time in prison. After his release, city authorities finally succeeded in having the structure, which had been built based on inspiration from Japanese and Norwegian wooden structures and intended as a status symbol and as accommodation, to be demolished.

8. Robot Building (Bangkok, Thailand)

Technology and state of the art buildings often go hand in hand, but it is almost unheard of for a full size skyscraper to actually look like a robot. Technologically advanced buildings may boast their advancement with the right materials, shapes, and structural elements, but simply being constructed to look like artificially intelligent, non-living humanoids is a brave mechanical step in a radically novel direction. Built with an array of superficial features added on to a body, torso and head like structure, the high tech United Overseas Bank headquarters in the form of a robot building in Bangkok, Thailand forms a globally unprecedented and exceptionally striking project.

While looking just like a robot might seem laughable as a merging of architectural and technological oddity, the construction also constitutes a spectacular and unique example of creating a building with “robo-morphic” architecture. The idea was to reflect the high-tech nature of the bank through architecture and the work certainly did its job. The half window, half wall bump out eyes, antennae and ears combine nicely with the abdomen, torso and head to make a pretty cute, albeit huge and stationary robot headquarters. And where did Thai architect and genius Sumet Jumsai get his inspiration? He created the vision for the building based on the idea he developed by seeing his son’s toy robot after the Bank of Asia commissioned him to design them a new headquarters building.

7. Genex Tower (Belgrade, Serbia)

Eastern European architecture can gain the look of science fiction constructions, sometimes merging the modern and the castle-like in one building. Strange, awkward-looking in the eyes of some but also undeniably impressive in sheer size, the Genex Tower of Belgrade is an architectural monstrosity dating back to times of great conflict. Looking like a bizarre cross between the CN Tower and the Brandenburg Gate on steroids, the structure is extraordinary for its gate-like shape coupled with its narrowness and sheer height.

Built as the novel and daring planned creation of architect Mihajlo Mitrovic forms a massive arch built with two skyscrapers, the taller reaching a height of 377 feet, further distinguished with a huge yet remarkably incongruous revolving restaurant perched 459 feet above the ground. The restaurant’s circular shape is a prime example of the irregularity and incongruity of the different structural components of the tower’s form and strange spatial layout. The connecting section of the building that creates the arch shape consists of a two story bridge walkway extending between the unified towers. Walking between the two towers is a startling experience, with nothing below for hundreds of feet as you boldly walk the relatively short distance bridging the giant towers.

6. Burj Khalifa (Dubai)

Acclaimed as the tallest building on the planet, the Burj Khalifa is remarkable not only for its sheer size and height at 2,716.5 feet and more than 160 stories. The building holds a multitude of world records, including tallest building in the world, highest occupied floor, most stories of any building globally, highest outdoor observation deck, tallest service elevator, and tallest free-standing structure. (Oh, and there was also that time Tom Cruise climbed up the side.) Constructed of the gigantic building was started in 2004, while the exterior of the building reached completion in 2009 prior to the opening of the structure in 2010.

Built in part to increase tourism revenue, the construction was supported by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in a bid to create an extraordinarily striking creation that would garner a significantly greater global recognition of Dubai. Containing hundreds of apartment and hotel suites, the building also boasts swimming pools and elevators that include equipment that can reach speeds of 33-feet-per-second. Constructed primarily from reinforced concrete with significant quantities of steel structural elements, the tower has both a stepped appearance and narrow spires that reflect Islamic architectural styles characteristic of Dubai.

5. Goldin Finance Tower (Tianjin, China)

Remarkable for its incredibly ordinariness and simplicity in shape coupled with impossible height and slenderness, the Goldin Finance Tower of Tianjin, China reaches an astonishing height of 1,957 feet but is essentially cube shaped and remarkably spindly. Almost a third of a mile high, the building has been likened to a huge walking stick due to its spindly appearance and supertall design as it nears completion. With 117 stories contained within its vertical rise, the Tianjin central business district landmark is deceptively ordinary in its almost stereotypical skyscraper shape. However, the sheer height of the building combined with its relatively narrow and square base shape in fact accentuates the dramatic appearance of the building, giving it the incredibly striking appearance of a giant square stick.

Unlike more bulbous or spire adorned tall buildings, the Goldin Finance Tower is at its heart a functional building that devotes the bulk of its construction to practical usage thanks to its continuous square shape that rises to great heights without being reduced to narrow spires and vanity constructions. With four prominent corner reinforcements rising vertically, the building contains finely designed, rectangle-shaped window patterns that add to the meticulous and functional look of the building’s construction. Inside, the construction includes sky lobbies and the world’s highest swimming pool, adding more distinctive elements to the already dramatic looking tower.

4. AlDar Headquarters (Abu Dhabi)

Built in Abu Dhabi, the bizarre AlDar Headquarters might shock first time visitors or lead to a false UFO crash report. Why? Because the enormous but beautiful structure is in fact the world’s first circular skyscraper. Towering at 360 feet tall, the building represents unity, stability and rationality as well as infinity and was completed in 2010. The structure resembles a gigantic plate that has been stuck into the desert ground, widened slightly and then packed with office space. The two sides of the building are interspersed with a continuous edge of windows that resembles a band that has been used to join two halves, but further increases the sideways landed UFO appearance of the structure.

Reinforcing beams crisscross the outsides of the building, creating the appearance of a myriad of diamond shape structures on the sides. On a smaller scale, within each diamond like face section, multitudes of diamond like lines define the shapes of multiple window panels grouped together. The result is the convex outer shape the building, which resembles two plates put together in form. While many buildings have been constructed with rounded foundation, the creation of a towering circle that is actually placed to stand upon its side like a UFO or a giant wheel is in fact unprecedented in architectural achievements.

3. Dancing House (Prague, Czech Republic)

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is remarkable, but its lean was certainly not intended and apart from the lean, its architecture is normal. Conversely, the Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic was purposely built in such a manner that it may look at first glance to be in a state of collapse. Started in 1994 and finished in 1996, the structure consists of two leaning figures that represent dancers Fred Astair, depicted by the concrete tower, and Ginger Rogers, intended to be represented by the leaning glass tower that stands on concrete legs. The combination of the two indeed looks just like a man and a women in the moment of embrace while enjoying a graceful and intimate dance.

The result of architectural collaboration between American architect Frank Gehry and Croatian architect Vlado Milunic, who recruited Gehry to work with him in fulfilling the request of Dutch company Nationale Nederlanden to build an iconic headquarters building. The building where the Ginger Rogers structure stands had been destroyed during WWII by Allied bombing, while the structure that represents Astair, which survived largely intact, was the home since childhood of Václav Havel, who later served as Czech president and commissioned a study of the site by Milunic after Milunic shared his vision.

2. Longaberger Headquarters Basket Building (Newark, Ohio)

Is it bigger than a breadbasket? Well, this turn of phrase may be less useful as a generalization of measure when the breadbasket in question is not just over a foot long, but is an entire office building. Not a full skyscraper, but a building so remarkable in scale for what it represents and as a subject, we have to take our hats off to the Longaberger Company Headquarters building in Ohio. Why? Because the entire building is not only constructed as a gigantic bread basket but it actually looks like one, built to include even a textured exterior design that replicates the look of a woven basket.

The building is fully realistic, complete with metal handles weighing nearly 150 tons that are specially heated to keep them in good condition. The 7-story building was able to accommodate 500 employees, with a intricate and remarkable authentic macroscale weaving design. The spaces in between the replicated weaves formed the windows of the remarkably distinctive building. After facing financial challenges, the company, which specializes in baskets, pottery, and other home décor relocated to a “normal” building in 2016, to the disappointment of some and the satisfaction of others who expressed a preference for working in a more practical building.

1. Fake Hills (Beihai, China)

http://fave.api.cnn.io/v1/fav/?video=architecture/2017/09/11/ma-yansong-mad-architects.cnn&customer=cnn&edition=domestic&env=prod

The hills may be said to have eyes in horror films, but in Beihai, China, those hills that you see may definitely be filled with human eyes as people go about their business in a bizarre but awesome building complex that has been fashioned in the form of a hilly skyline. The Fake Hills represent a very bold expression of the urban planning concept of harmonizing building form and character with the surrounding environment. Extending lengthwise and paralleling the beach except for one unit at right angles, the fake hills form a silhouette of foothill like appearance that are accompanied by lush gardens interspersed with lower individual buildings in between the structures and the beach.

The main structure is unified and narrow, with a curving outline but having a straight across edge that is intended to contain numerous amenities and access points, allowing people to walk along the width of the laterally compressed hills as they undulate up and down. In December 2016, Beijing based MAD completed the first phase of the project as the fake hills get up and running toward being able to accommodate a rich diversity of uses. The towering hills are intended to reflect the hilly coastal scenery of the southern Chinese port city in which they stand, adding depth and character in a dramatic manifestation of economic development efforts compared to the more mundane form of standard apartments.


Unusual Buildings Around the World –

WIF 10 Cent Travel

The NULL Solution = Episode 190

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The NULL Solution = Episode 190

…Leave it to Župzïð to make the most of a bad situation….

Bad situation! by ptmutant on deviant art.com

Once the human heart is set on something, especially a McKinney beat-repeater, there is nothing you can do deter it. Returning to Earth has been irretrievably etched in the four 100% human souls, the 50% soul of a boy born to both worlds and the sole 100% Eridanian soul being used as a pawn in a selfish game.

Cartoon by Mickey Bach

The best of intentions oftentimes go astray. So it is with the alternate dimension that Lorgan created and Collapsar Axis was banished to. Merely being moved to a new space with likeminded miscreants was not such a good idea and had unintended consequences. The self-contained Ÿ€Ð outpost has gone on to dominate that chunk of space and time, dominating being a bad thing.

Leave it to Župzïð to make the most of a bad situation. You could call him the worst of the worse. What was meant to be a purgatorial realm for those not buying into the Harmonia formulae has turned into a romping free-for-all, one without proper supervision. Yes there is nowhere to go, but it is getting there fast.

Lorgan’s hand is being truly forced for the very first time. It is one thing to encourage cooperation among the reasonable, but quite a can of worms is now unleashed. Caged marauders are still marauders. Apparently hell cannot extend deep enough.

“There is a portal on the perimeter Supreme Leader,” alerts a Collapsar commander. “I can see the beacon from here.” A sight for sore eyes?

“Where does it lead?” wonders Župzïð. “Do not waste your time finding out. I tire of this place.”

“Did you answer the riddle Supreme Leader?”

I am the how & why that blocks your way

Prove your worthiness and the light will show the way back


The NULL Solution =

Episode 190


page 184 (end Ch. 20)

The NULL Solution = Episode 186

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The NULL Solution = Episode 186

…Oh for the days before the McKinneys arrived….

It is Stardate 2059 before you know it. However 2060 cannot come soon enough for those aboard NEWFOUNDLANDER or say, Earth. For some 2057 shaped up to be the worst arrangement of events known; particularly on Eridanus.

If losing two prominent citizens were not bad enough, this democracy thing is proving more difficult to administrate than advertised. It turns out that without the McKinney’s example, the rest of Eridanian society descended into disorganized individualism. Strong leaders are necessary if not required; both leading candidates for that position are otherwise occupied: Skaldic with Harmonia and Ekcello with postpartum depression.

Unfortunately elections are not about to squelch the thirst for one segment of the planet’s population. The Null voting bloc will require 100 cycles to rival Gifted numbers, thus rendering the system ineffective. There may be no turning back, while forward progress is going to be too slow.

Fortan is chosen as Supreme Elder of the New High Council, not the purest form of nepotism, but really close. The sheer unoriginality of her title is evidence of the weighted anchor any progress. Elders will always be, forever the guiders of all things.

Fortan is not Ekcello, Ekcello is not himself, thereby neither is Eridanus.

The Nulls are not so much bent on revolution as they are restless. The Gifted will always have that something-something {extra}. It will take a 1000 cycles and extensive interbreeding to tip the scales toward genomic equality.

The Gifted feel like they have given multiple appendages in an effort to relinquish their stranglehold. If that is not enough, only their slow-moving history will tell the story.

For Ekcello, he can hardly stand the changes that mount like the afternoon humidity of his water-laden world. If only the evaporative moisture could satisfy the longing he is feeling.

Oh for the days before the McKinneys arrived. In the big picture, it has not been all that long ago that begat their immediate impact. Sammy Mac, with his brash grip on Earthly ties, had beguiled a previously sedate planet, whose course had been so steady, as in gone.

As the days of the “departure” approached, Ekcello’s behavior was most curious. Never before had he displayed such interest in the spaceships of the Expository, specifically NEWFOUNDLANDER.

While the humans sleep, the Gifted meditate and Null dream, he spends time there under the auspices of checking every circuit for reliability. His supposed reasoning is that even a mothballed hunk of exotic alloy can degrade over time. That segment of hard physics is universal.

But he would always be there alone… exploring the dark corners of his existence…


The NULL Solution =

Descending into darkness by Des-Schatten-Schelm on deviant art

Episode 186


page 180

The NULL Solution = Episode 182

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The NULL Solution = Episode 182

…Deke McKinney can sympathize with Prince Hamlet, having his own Ophelia, the love of his life…

Ophelia by Arthur Hughes

In the end, Ekcello & Fortan decide to put the issue up for a vote… what? Yes, a vote is going to decide whether the Eridanian princess and her half-human son will be permitted to leave. This will be the first referendum to be ever voted on by the entire planet, and the Nulls are included! This is first and sole tally, for a consensus to be reached on the McKinney/Cerella issue.

From autocracy to democracy; no small step.

Well not everyone is happy with the process.

Deke McKinney is uncomfortable with the consequences, as it applies to him. Does he leave his new nuclear family behind for the green hills of Earth or does he stay, leaving him as the lone human, that is the question; ‘Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them.’ He can sympathize with Prince Hamlet. He has his own Ophelia, the love of his life, who just happens to be out-of-this-world.

As the day of reckoning draws nigh, at a Space Family meeting, he bemoans the cruel anticipation, “I was snatched away from Stellar Explorer and now I may have to choose between my families. Talk about unfair!”

“The Eridanians have seen how human Joyner is, with all his McKinney-ness.” Celeste is the calming voice. “They will not vote to force them to stay.”

Them… like I don’t matter.”

You are not central to the issue. Do you realize that when we leave Eridanus, we, all of us, will start aging at our normal rate?”

“Not until we drop out of SOL,” Sampson amends.

“That’s right Sam. Cerella, like the rest of us, will be giving up the virtual immortality we have enjoyed on this planet. That is a huge sacrifice.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 182


page 177