Horrifying alternate universe what-ifs
November 20, 2014 9:24 AM   Subscribe

In a world which, thankfully, is not the one we live in a goateed version of Randall Munroe also maintains a what-if blog.
posted by zeptoweasel (38 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Player Deaths Per Game chart is also a dispatch from the novel/fanfic I will probably never get around to doing enough research to write, damn it.
posted by capricorn at 9:29 AM on November 20, 2014


Presumably this is a world where CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is in full swing, and Randall's working for the Laundry's public outreach department.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 9:44 AM on November 20, 2014 [11 favorites]


These are all from SCP reports, aren't they?
posted by dhens at 9:45 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is ridiclous my department has worked hard to reduce the number of inter-office curses and hexes to an acceptable minimum.
posted by The Whelk at 9:50 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


Now I want someone to photoshop "WAYNE GRETZKY CAPTURED" onto the classic DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN pic.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:50 AM on November 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


This is ridiclous my department has worked hard to reduce the number of inter-office curses and hexes to an acceptable minimum.

Maybe so but you don't have any better handle on Unknown than any of the rest of us do and you know it!
posted by Navelgazer at 9:53 AM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


These games are fun to play, but when you think of how awesome our world is, you could easily make the same what-if statements that are true:

What-if intelligent life emerged on a planet whose surface is 71% water, but the intelligent life will drown when submerged?

What-if humans are capable of sending people to the moon, do so...and then don't do it again?

What-if you could produce laughter in someone merely by touching their skin with the right pressure in the right area?

What-if cyanobacteria produced so much of one type of gas they changed the entire atmosphere of a planet and killed off the majority of the planet's lifeforms in the most significant extinction event in the planet's history...merely by creating their own food?

What-if a species developed an internal heating and cooling system so efficient that, given enough calories, they could take over an entire planet?

What if humans developed a method of air expulsion through their nose and mouth that produced fluids capable of traveling 100 mph, a spray radius of five feet, and can spread disease?

What-if people could transport vast amounts of information all over the world using sequences of 0s and 1s yet used it to state how much they dislike a fictional town in Minnesota they only know about through the radio?

etc etc
posted by barchan at 9:58 AM on November 20, 2014 [37 favorites]


Coffee disappearing, is it a House Kobold, OtherSelf, or something worse?

The coffee in my nest-creche is disappearing faster than I can drink it. My first thought was our House Kobold, but our blood offerings haven't been salted or sullied, and all of our pets are still alive. So then I thought, of course, parasitic OtherSelf, but I haven't had any problems with it since the milk-suffocation at puberty. Should I just buy more coffee?

posted by leotrotsky to Demonology at 1:51 PM - 1 answer (1 new) +
posted by leotrotsky at 10:01 AM on November 20, 2014 [23 favorites]


If everyone in the world jumped up and down at once, would that generate enough force to rouse the Ancient and Unspeakable Ones from their slumber?
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:01 AM on November 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


What-if humans are capable of sending people to the moon, do so...and then don't do it again?

Sweet, must mean the Cold War's over.

Also, we did do it again. Five times, by my (quick, Wikipedia-enabled) count.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:10 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


The point is that we've been in pretty much just low-earth orbit since and spending trillions on other wars and a piddling on exploration - losing some of that learned experience in the process - when there's a whole awesome universe to discover.
posted by barchan at 10:21 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


Steely-eyed Missile Man: "Now I want someone to photoshop "WAYNE GRETZKY CAPTURED" onto the classic DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN pic."

You have to put Lemieux's face on Truman's body.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:25 AM on November 20, 2014


these really are pretty much great.
posted by rebent at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2014


there's a whole awesome universe to discover

Astronomers are busy discovering it and were long before the space program. I mean, the moon shot was cool, but it was a political stunt. Manned space travel never was about science or discovering the "awesome universe".

You have to put Lemieux's face on Truman's body.

Make it so!
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:30 AM on November 20, 2014


Weird Dream

I'm due to form my chrysalis in a few weeks, and I've been pretty distracted by making arrangements for petsitting, sending out notices, pregaming wardrobe changes, etc., and last night I had this horrible dream where, instead of Changing, people kept the same gender and just got weaker and wrinkly until they died. DAE have this dream and it's just one of those things, or should I be praying to the Goddess for guidance before I cocoon?

posted by Halloween Jill to Metamorphosis at 10:46 PM - 2 answers (1 new) +
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:46 AM on November 20, 2014 [8 favorites]


Oops, we were supposed to do one from a bad universe. My, er, bad.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:49 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


it was a political stunt

We're arguing the same thing from different angles. The political stunt aspect is what sucks. That's the horrifying part of just stopping - even though the motivation wasn't great, the science part of it apparently wasn't enough to keep it going even though we were learning a lot, including about our abilities as humans. To me, that's kind of horrifying. But maybe not to you. *shrug*
posted by barchan at 10:49 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lemieux holding a "WAYNE GRETZKY CAPTURED" newspaper

I didn't know who Lemieux was so I had to google it, hopefully I got the right one
posted by metaphorever at 11:00 AM on November 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


Also: the REAL reason why we yawn.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:02 AM on November 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


Paprika left in Moonlight

I've been out of town for a while, and I left some paprika in a clear glass jar on my windowsill. It's been in full moonlight for at least two full moons, maybe more (I lost track a bit during the convergence), but the lid's still on it. Can I eat it?

If it's relevant, my house is government listed, so has all the usual protections, and we haven't had any problems with the unseen ones for a quite a few cycles now.

posted by LiTtle_SuRvIvOr to Food, Drink & Scavenging at 17:51 - 9 answers (5 new) +
posted by Ned G at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2014 [12 favorites]


Using Tinder to Meet Women

Like the title says, I need some tips. From what I've read pine needles start the best scrying flames, but supposedly the best summoning pyres are lit with cedar bark. Last time I saw somebody who "sparked" my interest (pun intended!) I tried switching tinder in between scrying her and lighting the pyre, but when she emerged from the flames she had extra vestigial limbs and was speaking only in shrieks and croaks, so obviously something went wrong and I had to "swipe" her to the left, right into the dumping pit, and I barely had enough time to recite the incantations from Miko's Breakup Script before she could crawl out! I'm about ready to give up and go back to Plenty of Fish, but, well, that's where I met my ex, and she found the adjustment from water to air-breathing and the loss of her gills to be extremely traumatic and it kind of put a wedge between us. Any advice?

posted by prize bull octorok to Humanoid Relations at 3:26 PM - 10 answers (3 new) +
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2014 [22 favorites]


Unreliable connection?

My provider normally has a good ligature to the overmind but it’s started to get spotty – blood red spots that suppurate pale creamy-blue puss, to be precise. Normally that's great, in a curry! But it’s seeping over my hexagram from the portal where I keep the router and my nice new OX-2 soul-of-dead-stars-devouring (sorry for my English, Google Translate not helping!). I’ve tried flesh-scraying and reuttering the binding oath from scratch but the spots haven’t necrotized. Does anyone else in bel-Nhragath have this problem and if so, can they recommend a different provider?
Posted by ianso to Hive and Home at 25:87gk - 10 utterances (1 knew) +
posted by ianso at 11:32 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


Lemieux holding a "WAYNE GRETZKY CAPTURED" newspaper

So beautiful...should've sent a poet.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:43 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thought I saw an animal today

Not in any Xindex I have access to. Tried all of the Greetz, no response. It might have been a survivor, but I thought Sys took care of them all. Couldn't get my Fwatch out in time to upfile a photoPression. What should I do?

posted by wanderingmind at 00:04 KST - 2 answers (1 new)
posted by wanderingmind at 11:50 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


I accidentally left my newborn baby on the steps of the local firehouse. Can I still eat it?
posted by Mchelly at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2014 [8 favorites]


And remember, if any one of the 108 nickel crosses is removed from the walls of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Gretzky will be loosed upon the world again
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:55 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


The OSHA threat list made a glaring omission by not listing velociraptors.
posted by graymouser at 12:11 PM on November 20, 2014


Steely-eyed Missile Man: "Manned space travel never was about science or discovering the "awesome universe"."

I think a lot of people who were involved with the space program for exactly these reasons would take major umbrage at being told this, whatever the motivations of the higher-ups in signing the thing into existence.
posted by invitapriore at 12:12 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of people who were involved with the space program for exactly these reasons would take major umbrage at being told this, whatever the motivations of the higher-ups in signing the thing into existence.

I'm sure you are right, but that doesn't matter.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:14 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


In an alternate universe where the Humans stopped going to their Moon after a brief series of politically motivated "spam in a can" landings, the decision seems to have been made on the basis that sending automated telepresence and analytical cybercitizens made more economic sense, and eliminated a perceived risk of widespread human outrage when a mission failed. While our own universe had a soft Singularity and was able to leverage the efforts before in exploring and exploiting the local system resources, theirs appears to be stuck in a series of post-nuclear inter-tribal warfare, both military and economic, resulting is massive waste of resources and stagnation of both their planetary economy and an ongoing risk of global thermonuclear exchange. We advise all licensed dimensional travelers avoid this universe, or to make a backup before visiting just in case.
posted by Blackanvil at 12:42 PM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


A Stroke of Luck (or is it?)

So, thanks to some hard work and the help of the local Life Reaver's Association, my chthonic void has been growing leaps and bounds (I've had to redraw the tertiary circle five times!!). My 'problem' is that it's now drawn the attention of the phlogistonic reflection of a fallen god (not sure which one, but it smells of cedar and it's draped in seaweed). They're now battling it out in my cellar.

Question is: which one do I keep? There's no way to separate them now, but I think I can really help out one or the other by poking their opponent with a VHS cassette of 'Das Boot' securely duct-taped to the end of a broom handle.

Any suggestions?
(I have easy access to three ley lines, but there are no void-whorls in my neighbourhood)
posted by YAMWAK at 12:55 PM on November 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


In an alternate universe where the Humans stopped going to their Moon ...

It's hard to imagine, but in that sad alternate world, they might never have learned the truth about the moon; they would be completely unaware that beneath its rocky surface, and below the wax layer under that, the moon is made of cheese. They would believe it to be just a useless lump of rock of practically no value to anyone. They are probably still burning oil lamps and using lithium-ion batteries, never to know the post-scarcity freedom that the Cheese Age has brought us.
posted by sfenders at 3:58 PM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Took me two reads to realise it was "goateed version" and not "goatse-d version", which a whole other kettle of fish...
posted by trialex at 4:05 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


it is here now and will never leave

it got past the wardstones by crawling through the vent not sure what it is but it is the color of the inside of your eyelids and never stops eating and screams and screams i cannot count the number of limbs they keep changing but they have too many joints and claws that drip viridian ichor which eats through the linoleum

anyway having trouble thinking of a name for the little darling suggestions?
Posted by kyrademon to Pets & Horrors at 0!:?/fm - 107 antiphons (3 neoteric) +
posted by kyrademon at 4:38 PM on November 20, 2014 [9 favorites]


terrible incantation!!!

i tried to do this spell the other night when i had company over but i didn't have any stolen dreams of the pitied so i substituted in extract of horse melancholy and now my pets are constantly weeping and my sister won't talk to me because her son's first words came out as a story of loss and longing from a previous life as an estranged father and nobody even touched their dessert

1/5 stars HORRIBLE SPELL!!!!!!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:12 PM on November 20, 2014 [8 favorites]


Having grave concerns

There have been more issues with the SO lately. You may recall from my previous posts that we were suffering from communication issues (the blood-stained walls thing, her issues with the axe, etc.). I know in some of my previous posts I came across as insensitive, and petty (you all rightly took me to task for the unholy burial ground). I wanted you to know I've really been trying to be more understanding, and things HAD been better for a while. Now, however, I feel like for every step foward, our relationship seems to take 2 steps back. We spend most of my sleep fighting. The current issue? I won't cough up for marble. Granite was good enough for everyone in my family, and I don't see why she needs marble. I know about the whole social marker thing, but honestly, it just seems gaudy to me. Plus, there's the whole money issue (if you recall my health issues keep me out of work frequently) Anyway, what do you think? Am I being cheap, or realistic? Should I pony up for the marble, or continue to press the issue? Please, no RTMF. We both come from families with strong opinions on raising.
posted by triage_lazarus at 10:16 PM on November 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


Listen OP, I get where you are coming from, but it is absolutely unacceptable to perform ritual sacrifice while the Overlord speaks. Some of us have difficulty focusing on his Almighty Words, especially with the damage caused by the Event. I appreciate that without the ritual sacrifice He will Rise Again, come and take those who we care about the most and drag them down to the pits, but frankly that's the price you have to pay in a civilised society. If you absolutely have to commit ritual sacrifice at that point in time, you will simply have to miss the Overlord's address, and take your chances during the mandatory testing.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:33 AM on November 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


i didn't have any stolen dreams of the pitied so i substituted in extract of horse melancholy

You can't do that. You'll end up with a long face.
posted by The Bellman at 1:27 PM on November 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


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