Yes, There was an Egyptian Pyramid in Rural Australia with a Basement Full of Human Teeth

image 1749 from bradism.com

Caspers World in Miniature was a theme park in Victoria, Australia, a bit over half way between Adelaide and Melbourne. I don’t have a definitive source, but I believe it opened in 1976. My one and only visit to Caspers was in 2008, to break up that same, long drive. It’s taken me that much time to come to terms with what we found there.

Despite looking like it, The World in Miniature wasn’t abandoned. The owners still lived out front and we paid to enter. However, it was empty. Outdated exhibitions on unloved grounds. Our detour seemed destined to be a disappointment.

Then we got to the basement of the pyramid, and that’s where we found all the human teeth.

And that’s just the start.

And that’s just the start.

If you'd like to read the full story, head over to Medium!

(Yes, readers, I am trying a new publishing platform for stories I think might be of wider interest).


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Wormholes and the Woman with the Fake Tan

This week my short time-travel noir Wormholes and the Woman with the Fake Tan was published in Aurealis Magazine, Australia's longest running small-press science-fiction and fantasy magazine! This was super exciting! I have been wondering for a long time if anyone other than me (and Vanessa) liked the idea of a detective who could smell the future after a time machine fell on them.

image 1740 from bradism.com

If you'd like to read the story, you can buy a copy of Aurealis #113 here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/888305

Yes, I know what you're going to say. Brad, $3 for an ebook!? I could buy a can of Fanta at the airport for that much! But think about it, how many of those bingeworthy TV shows that you love were inspired by books? Game of Thrones, OITNB, Dexter, the whole Marvel universe (and DC too I guess). How will we have TV shows in ten years if no one supports writing? Don't you want to see what a Bradism.com Mini-series has in store in 2031?

If $3 is too much, you can also buy my Novellete Chase on Amazon for less than a buck. (Or, if you sign up below to the bradism.com mailing list, you can get it for free. Or you could do both.)

Four Days Later

In 2018, the Australian Rockmelon Industry missed their golden opportunity to join the rest of the world and re-brand as Cantaloupe.

Anyway,

image 1714 from bradism.com

She'llbeRight

I'm concerned that She'llbeRight has become a verb. In Australia, all across the planet, things seem to be getting worse. Whether it's geopolitical tensions, economics, climate, corruption of political systems, the ugly side of capitalism. At a micro level, we're too bogged down in personal lives, family finances, and social status to really challenge the systems that seem to be working, by virtue of "they're complicated", and not apparently one-hundred percent on fire. So we She'llbeRight at home, we She'llbeRight at work, in the car, at the doctors. She'llbeRighting through the days, weeks, election terms.

How much longer can it last? I'm all for taking a quick glance at a weather radar, and pretending I'm a shaman for not getting rained on, but at some point I have to take some responsibility. Life owes us nothing. If we don't take action now... Nah, She'llbeRight.


Like my words? Want to buy one of my books? I think you'll like this one:

If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

Chase: A Tomorrow Technologies Novella. Available Now for Less than a dollar!


Dance Nation 2002, in retrospect

I was recently feeling some nostalgia for old EDM classics, and I spotted on my shelf these things I once used all the time, CDs.
Among the lot was Ministry of Sound (Australia's) Dance Nation 2002. I ripped it, and have been listening to it over the past week.
It's brought out some feelings.

image 1708 from bradism.com

2002 was a simpler time. Dance music had shed the cheese of the nineties, bringing house influences into the mainstream. People still had the attention span to enjoy a solid 4/4 song for five minutes without a dubstep drop halfway, or needing to check their phone. Social media didn't even exist, and all the perceived injustices of the world were just that. Perceived.
The world definitely wasn't a better place, but it was more palatable.

Over two discs, continually mixed, Ministry of Sound's Dance Nation 2002 perfectly captured that time. Every track, okay, about half these tracks, take me on their high-fidelity nostalgia roller coaster right back to 2002.
I wish I had the words to more eloquently describe just how bold those bass hits sounded for the time, the free-feeling in those reaching synths, the swagger in those funk and old soul samples mixed with progressive house rhythms. All at non-stop 140bpm.

Then I opened up the CD booklet and found the picture that summarised everything about 2002 EDM I wanted to try and say.

image 1709 from bradism.com

How to Tamper With Your Legacy

What do Steve Smith, Barnaby Joyce, Harvey Weinstein and Martha Stewart all have in common?

Like so many other celebrities, politicians, business-people and app developers, they don't think the rules should apply to them.

image 1685 from bradism.com

The farcical level of disrepute the Australian cricket team brought to their sport today was yet another example of arrogant humans in a position of power or superiority choosing to believe they are above the law.
In this absurd case, only the laws of cricket, but it simply highlights the recurring theme that human beings will always try to find ways to cheat to benefit themselves.
Whether it be trying to win a game, trying to make money, trying to get sex, trying to take power, nothing changes. We establish rules for ourselves, then we break them.
It's not only those in power. You probably break rules too. Pirating software, using a phone while driving, printing personal documents on the office printer, self-scanning expensive produce for lower prices, overestimating work-related expenses on your tax return.
Not everyone, of course, but enough for a pattern to emerge.
Human beings are cheaters, it's biological. We wouldn't be where we are without pushing the boundaries. The first fish to walk on land was breaking the rules. How did mammoths feel when we cheated and used stone tools? How many steps forward has our species taken by trying to gain an unfair advantage?
It doesn't excuse the modern day cheats, they should know better. We all should, but the justifications they made would be like the ones in everyone else's head when we break the rules. Psychological camouflage for what's really happening under the hood. The only thing between you and what you want is an abstract concept and a perceptible risk.

So should we just cheat? Everyone drop the act, step back to survival of the fittest?
It depends how much longer we want to survive on this planet. The evolutions of our technology has outpaced our own. We wield power beyond what our meaty brains can holistically understand.
Funnily enough, we're actually heading in the right direction. Every time corruption or deception generates public attention, it indicates we're coming closer to self-governance. It might seem slow, or overwhelming, but it's happening.
Of course, the better we govern ourselves, the more innovative cheaters will become. We've seen that this week too, regarding revelations about Cambridge Analytica, and the evidence of flaws in our social media platforms.
My preference would be for a global AI to take charge, but I don't think we've progressed to that stage yet. It would probably turn on us, or never get out of beta while project costs spiral higher. More likely, it will be hit with security flaws, or someone will find loopholes.
Sadly, that's what we do.

Clean Up Australianism

We're all screwed. Maybe it's the smell of oil and petrol that's always in the air. Maybe it's the plastic and Styrofoam that blows around my neighborhood on a windy day. I live in a middle class suburb in a low-density city in a modern, comfortable society. If this is what Adelaide - population 1 million - is like, how am I supposed to have confidence in the future of humanity?

image 1679 from bradism.com

The shiny sheen of the world wears thin sometimes, and I catch glimpses of reality. Like, there's 8 Billion people on the planet now, that's over 6 Billion more than there were this time last century. There are enormous plastic deposits floating out in the oceans. Pacific Islands are shrinking. Supermarkets don't buy odd-shaped fruit and vegetables, and emissions are warming the planet. Trash is piling up everywhere.

Yawn! I get it, everyone knows this stuff. We hear it all the time. I'm as poignant as a 14 year old. A hypocrite, typing this on coal-fired internet.

Except, this dismissive response is the exact reason we are all screwed. Human brains don't think long term, definitely not in the timescale it takes for most plastics to break down. The instinctive response to fear is not limited to fight or flight. For a lot of people it's actually freeze (do nothing) or friend (avoid conflict). We are programmed for inaction. It helps in a lot of basic use cases, but we've developed beyond a lot of those. We're mentally capable of sitting and watching TV for hours while this happens around us.

image 1680 from bradism.com

It’s not all tragic. We can use that same psychology to help our planet. Social cues have been shown to motivate changes in behavior better than abstract fear forecasting. Warnings about rising average temperatures make us feel bad, but an LCD sign on every street that indicates what percentage of residents managed to provide uncontaminated recycling would have a real effect. On a simpler level we can lead by example, and hope if enough people show their actions it might influence others. Bradism.com separates its recyclables, has meat free days, uses public transport. I sometimes pick up rubbish that I see on the ground; hand sanitizer exists. It's a small inconvenience, in terms of trying to save the world.

And then, when we're all living in harmony with nature, we'll die from an undetectable outbreak of listeria covered Rockmelons.

Second Level Support

Over the Australia Day weekend I put some effort into a few home maintenance tasks. I cleaned my air-conditioner filter, patched and painted some wall-holes, and re-sealed a leaky shower screen.

Finally, already picturing the beer I'd drink, I went through the motions of replacing the washer and valves in my shower taps. It had been dripping for a while, and the easy fix would be the pineapple on top of my handyman shenanigans. But, when I put the water back on, it still dripped. I tightened, rechecked, went up and down the stairs a bunch of times. No difference. I couldn't solve it.

So I did the mature thing and closed the door and walked away.

After a week of showering in the spare bathroom, I decided to tackle the problem again. I bought new valves and washers, essentially I would repeat the whole change process. A reboot. The first step in IT troubleshooting, turn it off an on again! And it worked! Finally, with the taps turned, the water stopped. At last, I could beer.

The next day, with water flowing, a high pitch whine started in the walls. I Googled it, saw the list of possible root causes... Plumbing is not like IT.

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