Saturday, July 22, 2006

Slush: DaVinci Part II, 17 1/2 teeth, Misc.

Re:DaVinci - My expectations of ever actually fulfilling that are quite low. Which doesn't mean I won't put forth effort and move along with it so far as it will go, even prodding it energetically if it slows down (just to make sure it's sill breathing, or to know when to abandon). I figure there's nothing in the experience which won't be beneficial to personal and professional growth.

The way the math works out, it would be basically equivalent (to the investors) of hiring an executive over on R&D division on a roughly $300K salary plus discretionary project budget; not that far out of sight of current trends (or my own experience and qualifications, I hope), and with far fewer hang-ups than would normally be involved at that level of employment (not looking for stock options or extra perks, or even to maintain an inordinate amount of control over... well, anything really).

I also plan to do most everything on that list anyway - some of the business ideas are a little more time sensitive, based largely on the current climate and evolution of related fields, and will naturally fall by the side into that bin of vindication labeled, "I Thought Of It First" (or the companion, "Boy I'm Glad I Never Tried That"). I, like I'm sure many if not most of the populace, have enjoyed seeing a number of my ideas come to fruition over the last several years through the hands of others (Surface-conduction Emission Display [SEDs] being one of the best - came up with that on a walk home from school once, though I'm sure long after the folks at Canon & Toshiba had started trying to prototype it). My goal then, in asking for the cash is to get a head start on things - but not anything I'm not shooting for regardless.

Re: 17 1/2 Teeth - I've long had some small measure of bragging rights about my arduous dental (mis)adventures. Enormous infant and baby teeth which left little room when the adult versions began to make their appearance, an extra tooth (perfectly conical fang, almost dead-center of the top row: turned one of the others sideways and sent a chain reaction all the way back), and malformed wisdom teeth so deeply impacted that their scraggly roots started to merge and almost pincered together. I had 8 baby teeth pulled to help make room for the adult teeth, the fang, 4 more adult teeth to make room for the crowding wisdom teeth, and then said wisdom teeth. Grand total of 17 teeth removed from my mouth over the years (and 9 years of orthodontic work to boot, with headgear!) in an attempt to soften the influence of my ancestry from across the pond.

This last Monday the crown was finally installed over the root canal I've undergone; a temporary had been molded and placed with milder cement while the nice porcelain cap graduated from a contracted lab. In order to provide the correct surface to bond to, however, the tooth (now pretty much hollow) had to be tapered and plateaued. A large amount of the material is now completely missing beneath the shiny new exterior.

I can still only cite 17 teeth pulled - but can up the count to 17 1/2 that have been removed.

Misc. - Acute anterograde amnesia. I've recently learned of a family of pharmaceutical chemicals with the ability to inhibit the formation of (most) new memory during its administration without impairing the existing or short-term memory, or cognizance of the subject. This plays very beautifully into a variety of thought experiments, but mostly as fodder for a story concept I've had on a back shelf for a while: The Washhand Murders. It's a working title, be nice.

The premise is simple enough - a contract agency coordinates to take out a hit on an individual of your choosing, for a price and a favor. They help to establish a firm alibi and reduce the potential indicators of motive, and commit the acts so anonymously that a long string have never been effectively connected to one another (admittedly, a fair number of them do look like horrible accidents). In working out the contract, enough incriminating evidence is gathered against the client to be able to wield influence and leverage of an uncomfortable and desperate sort: enough to have them, on the agency's behalf, carry out one of their staged murders (presumably for another far-removed [for now] client).

Pushing a person effectively to that limit without exposing the organization has always been a point of implausibility I've been trying to work around. Looking over this pharmacology though, how far do you suppose a person would be willing to go if they could be absolutely sure to never remember any of it? The possibility is also now open to more securely anonymize the identity and nature of the organization, were they to discriminatingly administer the agent prior to key conversations and events. I'll leave off here for now, my own thoughts are still simmering and not particularly well organized yet - but they smell good on the stove.

That's it for now - it's late and I'm tired. G'night!

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