phinnia: it's a brain. in a skull. (brain)
Australopithecene: (for [livejournal.com profile] shadesong)


"Australopithecus habilis was discovered in 1968 in Olduvai Gorge." Stephen lectured, pacing back and forth and staring at the children before him. Gum fumes, he was dying from the gum fumes and glazed expressions. Damn Ross for making him do the freshmen this week.

Student teaching was really only one step above white slavery, that was the big secret. A gust of wind breathed new life into the room, causing the stack of tests to flutter to the floor.

"Commonly considered to be the subspecies which eventually evolved into homo habilis ..." Turning to pick up the paper, he felt something whizz past his ear and hit the blackboard with a wet splat.

Spitball.

Stephen froze the giggling in place with a stony glare.

"Of course," he continued, setting the papers back on the desk, "there are always going to be evolutionary hiccups. Australopithecus had a very small brain. Apparently some things never change."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] daily15 word: back here. )

"Ah, Stephen." Ross replied expansively, leaning back against a tree. "I see you brought coffee. What a wonderful lackey you are. Isn't he a wonderful lackey, Allanna?"
"Thank you very much." Allanna smiled, ignoring Ross and taking the frozen berry drink she'd asked for out of Stephen's hand. "I appreciate that."
"Yes, Ross." Ross answered himself, since no one else had bothered to, "he is a wonderful lackey, you've trained him very well."
It's a little longish, not much. )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (made in Canada)
Stephen sighed, took another drink of his coffee, and tried again to make out the number.

(604) 686-378 … something.

That last digit was unreadable. Somehow, he'd managed to totally obliterate the last digit in her phone number. It was an Simon Fraser University number. He'd figured that out from the exchange - plus she'd said she'd lived in the res halls at SFU. But the last digit was totally unreadable … and he'd never gotten her last name. And there were undoubtably hundreds of Jennifers on Simon Fraser campus.

Tossing the matchbook down on the table, he pondered just throwing in the towel. Two ships, passing in the night. They had nothing in common, after all. Could he even think of one thing? He was American, she was Canadian; he was a student physics teacher, she was a fine arts student minoring in Japanese. She was a vegan; he couldn't resist a thick, juicy steak.

So why didn't he feel good about it?
Because ... )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (tesseract)
I think everyone Allanna comes in contact with outside of her home planet tries, at some point, to teach her to use a computer. And Stephen is no exception. Problem is that she just doesn't like them, and she can't seem to make them understand that fact.
This totally did not end like I expected, but ... ah well. :-D
One lovely Boston Sunday morning ... )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (string theory)
(A silly little piece: this is what happens if you watch too much Law and Order and spend too much time writing. It's not quite fanfic - it's more the kinds of games kids (and their extremely tolerant uncles) play. I thought I'd post it now: I mean, what with Briscoe leaving the show and all.)



"Uncle Stephen?"

Anthony poked Stephen with his toy fish experimentally. Uncle Stephen didn't move.

"Maybe he's dead." Audra stared at Stephen's prone body sprawled on the couch.

"Uncle Stephen can't die." Anthony replied confidently.

"Din't he say that uncle Wally would be the dead of him one day?"

Uncle Stephen had said that, Anthony reflected.
Doink doink. )
phinnia: it's a brain. in a skull. (brain)
This week's [livejournal.com profile] non_plot challenge is 'The Lie'. And surprisingly enough this piece (which is reasonably short and brought to you by Allanna, Stephen and Ross) contains only one lie. If you're bored enough, try to find it. :-D


One sunny afternoon in a small Thai place in Chinatown... )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (string theory)
(This week's topic: 'waking up')
It was late. )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (string theory)
Because I'm bored: old [livejournal.com profile] drabblemania topic of meat ...

"What is this?" Jack made a face, poking at the greyish object in the middle of his plate, which was covered with a sloppy brown gravy.
"It's supposed to be liver and onions." Stephen opened his soda and took a long drink, picking at the lifeless french fries on the side of the plate. "Supposed to be."
"Ye know what it really is?" Evan replied laconically from the other side of the table.
"What?" they chorused, staring at him intently.
Evan leaned back on the bench, satisfied that he now had their full attention. "It's liver. No foolin' there. Me granny Oona used te make liver that exact same way. But it's not liver from cows. Ye know where it comes from? Failed third year temporal mechanics students. Professor McIntyre rounds 'em up at th' end of th' term, an' takes 'em away down a giant staircase, an' they're never seen again. Now th' onions, what they do there, that's fiendish, that is."
"What's with the onions?" Jack pushed his plate away, shuddering.
"Eyeballs." Evan replied with relish. "Shredded, fried eyeballs."
"That's it." Stephen looked a little green. "I'm done."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (Default)
This might put some of the second generation bits into context. It's the story - or at least a version of the story - of the most famous event in Timeshifter history, which is the destruction and rebuilding of the multiverse. The kids are nearly fourteen here; this is not long after Audra, Fabian and Jakob get married. Thies, the little miscreant, is three going on four - he's Falda and Piet's younger brother. Alex and Frances have a younger sister the same age, Emma, who is asleep. (Thies should have been, but he's just like his father that way.)

The story begins. )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (Default)
Inspired by [livejournal.com profile] hai_kah_uhk's observation that Reg would hate Daylight Savings Time, I got thinking that some people in the Timeshifterverse would absolutely hate time travel movies. And because I'm working on the back challenges for [livejournal.com profile] non_plot, this is what I came up with for 'first person'.


You want to know what drives me crazy? )
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (Default)
(Again, brought to you by the letter C and the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] thenowhere ... )

The number of dimensions in standard string theory is ... ten ... eleven ... or twenty-six. Correct.
In M-theory, a string is ... a 1-brane. Correct.
Type I superstring theory ... is based on open and closed strings. Other superstring theories are ... unborn chicken voices in my head, What's that? I may be paranoid, but not an android ... what's that? I may be paranoid, but ...
Stephen looked up from his desk, gritting his teeth, feeling the acidic churning of his ulcer kicking in. "Oh great Lucifer?" he remarked, a hell of a lot more calmly than he actually felt.
"Yeah, what?" Ross was scattered, distracted, his attention ten different places at once, divided unequally between the paper he was skimming, the Ramune he was drinking, the video game he was playing, the instant messenger, the window into the garden, the phone, the language tapes that were murmuring quietly about purchasing things in Mandarin, and the sandwich he was eating. Peanut butter and mango, again; Stephen's nose caught a whiff of soapyfruit and grade school cafeteria.
"Can we listen to something else?"
"Yeah, sure."
Taking a deep and meant-to-be-cleansing breath, Stephen turned back to his papers.
Other superstring theories are ... based on oriented closed strings. Correct.
Type IIA superstring theory is distinct because ... you don't remember ... you don't remember ...
With a sudden sound that was something between a feral, exasperated scream and a banzai death yell, Stephen leapt out of his chair and across the desk, sending his coffee flying parts unknown, and shut off the damn CD player.
"Hold on a minute, Jacky, Stephen's having an episode, I'll have to call you back." Ross replied clinically to the other party he was talking to, hanging up the phone and giving Stephen his full attention for the first time in several hours, staring at him incredulously. "What was that all about? Your time of the month?"
"We have been listening to the same Radiohead album for the past six hours." Stephen replied exasperatedly, blind to the coffee that was spreading ever-wider across the confines of his desk, headed for the floor. "And every single time I ask you to change it, you say 'yeah sure' and go back to ... slacking, or whatever it is you're doing over there, playing Myst, or whatever it is. I almost wrote 'we hope that you choke' on one of these damn tests that we're supposed to be marking."
"All right, all right, I'll put something else on." Ross rolled his eyes, as if Stephen were the one being unreasonable, and started flipping through disks. "Do you have a preference, my premenstrual little proselyte?"
"No Radiohead."
"Fine, fine. The Cranberries." He spun another disk into the player and sat back down at his desk again. "I don't know what you've got your panties in a bunch about, my little lackey. It wasn't bothering me."
"It never bothers you. Nothing ever bothers you." Stephen replied grumpily. "I could set that pigsty of a desk of yours on fire and it wouldn't bother you. Until it interrupted your game of Myst."
"Pigsty nothing. I'm not the one with coffee everywhere." Ross commented reasonably.
Stephen looked down and began to swear sulphurously, throwing a spare t-shirt over the puddle to sop it up and ducking under the desk to get the stuff off the floor.
"I'd watch myself if I were you. If Jennifer catches you saying such things she'll cut you off for the next month, and you'll be even more cranky then." Ross smirked, tossing him a roll of paper towels.
"Oh, shut up." Stephen grumbled, wincing as cold coffee spattered a drumbeat on his head.
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (Default)
Another [livejournal.com profile] non_plot challenge: this one on powerlessness.
Ross is a little R.E.M. obsessed. )

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