The Superposition Supposition Mission

niklin1 at DeviantArt.

Merton thought that delivering parcels again might be a nice little money spinner to help make ends meet in his retirement.  The first few deliveries for the university seemed straightforward enough.  Then came the Schrödinger delivery.  He was told that he had to collect a box containing a cat from the physics lab.  He was then to deliver the same box back to the same lab the next day.  When the delivery was made, he was told to repeat the process for the next two weeks.  Under no circumstances was he to open the box, or attempt to feed or water the cat.   

The professors all seemed really excited about this arrangement, and there was much discussion as to whether the cat was living or dead.  

Merton just didn’t get what those eggheads were carrying on about.   After all, with his thirty years working  for UPS he knew the answer.  Well, after he had kicked the box down the hallway, dropped it from the back of his van, forgotten it twice on the subway, and placed it under five heavier boxes to make space, the answer seemed obvious.




Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #88


The Finding

Laboratory, Figure, Molecular Biology
Image by Weipeng_Lin from Pixabay 


“Yes Senator, I think we have found a smoking gun,” the chief researcher said.

“Smoking gun?”

“Yes, at first we thought that it was just some fluck of nature, mere random happenings, but now it is clear that there is a design to it.”

“A design?  Surely it’s a matter of person choice – an act of free will?”

“No, sorry Senator.  It is irrefutable now.  What we thought was a life-style choice has been predetermined by forces far more malevolent than anyone could possibly have imagined.”

“Do you mean – ah – do you mean . . . ?”

“Yes Senator, nine out of ten dentists do prefer Brand X.  It’s all down to the Illumi . . . I mean advertisers you see,” the scientist said, casting an anxious look at an icy-eyed ‘lab assistant’ than was looming in a corner.




FOWC with Fandango — Design


Just Waiting For Inspiration

Franklin Kite Experiment – Public Domain

Humans are in our very nature creative beings.  While we are not the only creatures that use tools, we are one of only a few that make tools, and arguably the only species that makes tools in order to make more complex tools.  We create art, and think in abstracts.  While some species of birds and fish make elaborate nesting displays, these are done with a goal of attracting a mate.  We seem alone in making art just for the sake of it, or just for our own edification.

We have come a long way since the harvesting of fire (something else we are probably alone in doing) and making the wheel.   While early humans may have wondered at the ability of birds to fly, it led to the inspiration to do so ourselves.  It wasn’t necessity that was the mother of invention, it was fantasy and wonder that did in the case of flight.

It is doubtful that many in the 17th Century could have imagined mobile (cell) phones, much less the telegraph.  But with the harnessing of electricity, there came a means to create the telegraph, then the land line, then personal communication devices, which seemed only a sci-fi concept in the 1960s Star Trek.

Humans do build on past discoveries, but this not diminish appreciably the ability to finding something “new” to explore or develop.  In fact, we even find new applications and purposes for “old” technologies.  But we are yet to run out of possibilities.   I asked my wife (who was a professional musician) about this once.  I asked “with only a certain number of notes, wont we in time run out of new combinations?” Her response was, “not while there are new rhythms, instruments, and harmonic combinations.”

So as Fandango has asked, Are there limits to human creativity? Is it be possible for humans to create something completely novel and new that is based on nothing that previously existed? Or is human creativity just rearranging and building on previous ideas? The answer from my perspective is no – there is no limit to creativity.  And yes – it is possible to make something completely novel,  both with or without rearranging previous ideas.  It’s just a matter of waiting for the right inspiration.


Fandango’s Provocative Question #45

Dark Discovery

Lab, Research, Chemistry, Test, Experiment, Many

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Louise climbed down the stairs into her best friend’s basement.  As she did she was greeted by the sight of a full-scale laboratory.

“What is all this and what is that godawful smell?” she asked.

Startled, Anne spun on her heel to face her friend.  “Louise, you scared me to death.”

“What is this?” Louise repeated.

Anne paused as if embarrassed, then said,  “Do you know Mary Shelley’s story, The Modern Prometheus?  It’s where a scientist works with electricity to create life.  In Shelley’s day they thought electricity had healing and regenerative powers, so it seemed a great new science to unlock the mysteries of life.  It’s kind of like that,” she explained.

“So you are making a Frankenstein?” Louise asked astonished at the idea.

“No, Frankenstein was the name of the scientist, not the monster.  But, no, science has moved on from that anyway.  Now it’s thought that life began because some sort of primeval soup of chemicals was given sufficient energy to form amino acids, then proteins and then life.  I am trying to make a scientific breakthrough here.  But my work is really sensitive, Louise, so promise me you wont tell anybody about it until my results are published.”

Louise looked impressed, and just stood watching the bubbling beakers.  She then stepped forward and hugged her friend.  “Your secret is safe with me,” she assured her.  “And I am sorry I let myself in, but the kitchen door was unlocked and I wanted to see if you wanted to go to lunch.  But I see you are really busy with important stuff, so I will leave you to it.”  She hugged her friend again and departed.

Once she had left the basement, Anne’s boyfriend, Rob stepped out from behind a storage shelf.  “What’s all that crap about finding the secret of life about?” he asked.

“Well I couldn’t exactly tell her I was cooking meth now, could I?


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus


Gnome Genome



Image result for gnome doctorImage result for gnome doctor


We were greeted at the research facility by a rosy cheeked press officer named Gretel.  Her long plaited blonde locks beautifully framed her red cap.

She led me and the other members of the press to security, where our credentials were checked and we were issued with visitor badges.  She then led us past a series of what seemed garden sheds, and then through a series of poly tunnels, until we reached a enormous greenhouse-like structure.

Here we were seated, and we awaited the important scientific announcement.  At the stroke of noon, Professors Gluck and Gnoman came to the platform.

“Good afternoon, everyone,” Gluck began. “As many of you know, the DNA sequencing of Trolls was completed early last year, and proved definitively that that species had evolved from the native stones of Scandinavia, with the highest proportion of origin markers coming from Norway.”

Here Gnoman took over, “We are now prepared to present our own findings of our very own Gnome Genome Project.  There were a few surprising finds, but some well known theories have also been validated.”

Gluck then pressed a button and the screen lit up with a series of maps and graphs. “The surprising aspects are clear on Table A, where, as you can see, we Gnomes share 10% of our DNA with the Scandinavian Trolls.  Table B shows that, as suspected, the ceramic composition, which makes up our beings comes primarily from Germany, Austria, and a small section of eastern Poland.  We can, however, trace the 10% “Troll Factor” to this location on Map One.  The ‘TF’ seems to have crept into our DNA via Denmark.”

Here again, Gnoman interrupted.  “What we can now say with absolute certainty is that despite the seeming anatomical similarities, is that genetically we are closer akin to Swedish and Danish Trolls than we are to the plastic Gnomes of Japanese and Chinese origin.  In fact, we have no, I repeat no, DNA relationship with our Asiatic lookalikes.”  At this there was a flurry of camera flashes, and several reporters bolted from the room into the prepared computer suite to file their copy.

A few of us human reporters remained, and Gretel again appeared to take us to a prepared lunch.  We were taken through another long poly tunnel to a large summer house.  As we walked in, savoury smells met my nostrils.

“I don’t know what it is, but it sure smells good,” I said.

“Oh, let’s see today is Monday, so that should be geranium goulash, but you really must try the chamomile gateau,” Gretel said.  “In fact, I think I will join you,” she said looking up with a flirtatious smile.





Haunted Wordsmith

Prompt A (character challenge): gnome

Prompt B (sentence starter): “I don’t know what it is, but it sure smells good.”


A Visit to Newton’s Woolsthorpe

Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire is the birthplace, and home of Sir Issac Newton.  It is a 17th Century yeoman’s holding, and is now a property of the National Trust.

This is a relatively small Trust property, and it can be taken in fairly quickly.  That said, there is a small tea room and gift shop, and there are several interesting feature such as the coat of arms, and the famous apple tree to take in, and take one’s time with.

Plague temporarily closed Cambridge University in 1666, so Issac returned to Woolsthorpe and continued his experiments on light, optics, and refraction.  It was while here that he is said to have witnessed an apple falling from a tree in the orchard.  This chance encounter, led to him to develop his law of universal gravitation.

This as noted is a yeoman’s house, and while not grand, it gives wonderful insights into life in the late 17th and early 18th Centuries.   Exhibits include a short film about Isaac Newton, science displays and activities for children, and the historic house and preserved apple tree.   The staff are friendly and helpful, and the small size of the manor makes even a quick visit easy and informative.


National Trust Link