A peek into the sketchbook of Pat Perry

Artist and illustrator Pat Perry’s sketchbook caught our attention this morning and we take the time to examine his loose and imaginative interpretations of reality.

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We also examine his murals rendered in the similar style of loops and figures that aptly describe our wandering and chaotic mind. His work reminds us of day dreams and imaginative loop holes that explore our mind’s eye.

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For more info about Pat Perry and his Sketchbook visit his website here.

LoF as evidenced by Wanderer llam5

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Paris, June 2011.

LoF as evidenced by Wanderer llam5.

Walking around in Louvre today made me think, as I often do in museums and super-markets, of Jorge Borges[1] nearly infinite library. His library, one of books,[2] is a repository of every novel that has ever been or could ever be written, including every shade of gibberish in between.[3] One should indulge themselves in reading his remarkable thought experiment, to which this essay is a mere appendix.

Rearrangements of letters can create or destroy legibility. Likewise, particles of matter can organize or melt away from recognizable shapes. It is difficult to determine true chaos from sublime knowledge, encrypted by the observer’s limited tools of comprehension. Thusly, many fantastic ideas, encased in ignorance, have been thrown to the gutter with so much refuse! Despite those tragedies, I longed for a sister system to Borges’ library, one of shapes rather than letters, and in so doing, discovered something that startled me.

This essay describes a massive system, of mysterious origin, which I became aware of through the conveyance of scant but priceless information, by means that I am, on the first page, still nervous to describe. The impenetrable, unbending mind of the Creator fueled the manufacture and display of all possible shapes. This required, over millennia, construction of an infrastructure the size of many galaxies[4]. Because it would be torn apart by gravity waves, it exists within a deep void, relying on the space between things[5]. Its original name is unknown, but it is referred to as The Library of Form (LoF) by the Curators, Wanderers, and Chosen Guard who dwell within[6]. LoF approaches infinite in scale, yet as any system with unbreakable rules comes to know, it must have edges, however unobservable[7].

Each chamber within LoF, the size of a basketball court, has high reaching walls completely lined with shelving. Arranged along the shelves are the Forms, the soul of the system, made of a mysterious, impenetrable white matter, similar to walls and shelves, in fact, the entire architecture. One can walk all their life from one chamber to the next,[8] confronting the endless supply of Forms.

Two facts are understood about the Forms: None are too heavy to be lifted and examined by a Curator, and each can be a model for something larger or smaller. A Form that is spherical with light texture could represent a planet, or a pea. The chambers and shelf system have clearly been created to display the Forms handsomely, although a method of organization or sequencing has never been deciphered. This is of great perplexity to the Curators. Were the Forms thrown out of order by a bygone population, or were they created that way?

In the center of each chamber is a platform suspended over a deep well by spokes[9]. One can walk from the floor of the chamber, crossing over the well on a spoke, to the platform, which is only slightly larger than the cabinet sized machine that sits on it. The Curators have never discovered a Form that can’t be placed into the cabinet through the glass door on its upper half, and so, theorize that all the Forms came from the cabinets, dubbed the “Makers.” Each Maker is marked with a unique icon, which corresponds to an indestructible ring which each Curator wears, all made of the same white matter[10].

Throughout LoF there is no technology or moving parts, not even a hinge, because it is meant to last eternally unbreakable, timeless. Yet there is one bright fingerprint left by the Creators of LoF, proof that even timelessness has a beginning: the Makers. Had the spokes failed to self-destruct, which would have plunged the Makers into the wells and away from discovery? Or were they intentionally left behind as a clue to the genius of the Creator?

The Makers have been dormant for all recorded history, keeping in mind that there is, in the absence of writing, an oral tradition that is troubled by memory and great distances. Through careful study of the Forms which depict Makers, the Chosen[11] understand that Makers employed motorized drills and intricate robotic mechanisms to carve the Forms from solid blocks. An un-carved block[12] has never been found, suggesting that the act of manufacturing Forms is completed, and by extension, LoF is a perfect registry. Makers are one of the keys to understanding the intention and culture of the Creator, and from that, the true purpose of the dwellers. And so the quest for meaning takes two routes in LoF: To decipher the system of Forms, or to unlock the mystery of the Makers.

Once the final Form was carved, Makers underwent a self-destruction routine.[13] From this point forward, creation ceased and the Creators function was fulfilled. The Curators function began. It was essential for the Makers to cease, as one of the laws that limit the physical scale of LoF is that there are no duplicates: Each Form is unique. LoF approaches, but strictly resists, infinity.[14]

No Form has ever been discovered which has moving parts[15]. While some Forms have been found that perfectly represent a 5th century Greek water clock, in order to understand the mechanical movement, one would have to find consecutive Forms, like frames of a film.

Some Curators try endlessly to activate the Makers, in search of a code or energy source. Since no un-carved block can be found, and no Maker can be activated, it is understood that the two are linked: should an un-carved block be placed in a Maker, it would come to life. Some Wanderers seek the mythical Creation Chamber.[16] Yet another tribe of Curators are obsessed with using the Makers to create new Forms, to impose their name of perfection on the prison of chaos, to usurp power from the Chosen ones. They have not yet read the poetry in all that surrounds them, wishing to reverse roles with the Creator. But it all ends in despair.

Somewhere in LoF is a perfect sphere, a perfect cube, and a perfect version of each platonic form. Such Forms are very unusual to find, as the great majority are grotesque abstractions.[17] Whole generations of Curators were swept up in various movements to discover and collect the perfect Forms. Passing through thousands of chambers in their vain quest, Curators-become-Wanderers began to purge LoF of abstraction, throwing Forms which offended them into the wells. This act of rage spread through LoF like wildfire. The Creator had safeguarded against the hatred of abstraction, wells were left open to create choice.[18]

After centuries of purging LoF of abstract Form,[19] the Chosen Guard championed a popular movement that admired abstraction. Perhaps to future Curators the abstraction would appear representational, perhaps there was important information encoded. Further, the abstractions might be small snippets of larger forms, which would be revealed when the forms were arranged properly on the shelves.

Once, within the rippled surface of an abstract Form, there was discovered a tiny, lovely face, as though emerging from water. This established the only law in LoF: that the purge of a single Form is punished by death. And thus the Curators rediscovered their original function: to study and safeguard the Forms for interpretation by future generations. Though the physical space of LoF is finite, generations of Curators extend infinitely into the future, creating a limitless set of interpretation. The Creators genius and sublime generosity was verified.

In chambers where a single recognizable Form is found, the Curator defends its position with his life, joining the Chosen Guard. It is incredible fortune to be born into a chamber with representation, the hand of the Creator, while in the abstract Forms is chaos, entropy, death. The Wanderers trade news from outside for the Chosen’s secrets, and through an oral record, construct their attempt at deciphering the system. The Chosen are mainly curious about the locations of the newest discoveries, thus, the expansion of their Guard

The Wanderers abandon their home chamber, being born into chaos, spending existence interviewing Curators and Chosen ones who, sedentary, have studied their chamber for generations.[20] When Wanderers meet, they exchange oral records, forming a vast distribution of knowledge, and building the network of the Chosen Guard. However, through the tales of the perfect portrait of such and such a Chosen one discovered here, a perfect interlocked set of differently sized cubes there[21], no image of organization, and by extension, way finding, has emerged. Because of the purely symbolic aspect of forms[22] there is no hope in finding a map, yet there must be a Form somewhere that is a model of LoF, in extreme miniature. Indeed, a great search for such a model has gone on for centuries, it is one of the Wanderers central goals… how else could they find their way home? An abstract Form, like a bundle of noodles, may be it. After all, no edge has been rumored, no door that does not lead to yet another chamber has been found. Some lament that the model may have been purged during the Erasure. No matter, the arrangement of the doors prevents a line of sight that would allow the observation of slight curvature.

Any items other than the Forms, had there ever been any, were long gone, thrown into the wells. Only the architecture, the rings on some of the Curators fingers, and the bones were left… and it was one of these rings that Wanderer llam5 used to scratch a record of her discoveries onto the bones.

Deep into sections of chambers which were destroyed in the Erasures, Wanderer llam5 found the abandoned remains of Curators long decayed. She selected the flat area of the hip bones to carefully record, through her interviews with Chosen Guards, an interesting series of representational Forms. Wanderer llam5’s work represents a unique attempt to decipher a specific cultural history, identifying a family of Forms describing artifacts from a particular time-frame and culture. Is it history? A prediction of the future? Dwellers of LoF cannot comprehend this dichotomy that faces us.

These bones were given to me through a mirror in a dream,[23] in Wanderer llam5’s bid to touch a moment in time, and declare the existence of LoF.[24] There must be countless more Wanderers who have recorded their findings in a visual format that can be passed through the mirror, who have succeeded in transmitting to our dimension. Sadly, their rich oral history cannot cross that threshold; we are left to decipher scratches on bone. All that we know of LoF comes from them, ambassadors of timelessness.

The vast majority Curators, presiding over pure abstraction, are nihilists. They mutter un-intelligible arguments to justify their lives. It was the Chosen who felt emboldened to draft existential theories, exchanged with one another through the oral tradition of the Wanderers.

Of greatest debate: No dweller could recall the original purpose of the Forms, nor the identity of who created the majestic architecture. The Chosen believed that the Creator was a culture of human, though there are discoveries of Forms that depict every beast imaginable, and any one of them might represent be the Creator.

Whatever the appearance and culture[25], the Creator’s intention is universally clear, and it is deceptively simple:

To preserve all of history, and to predict all of history, free from language and culture. To make every antique futuristic and every future possibility an antique. To establish a library that can never be burned, declaring to all future generations that they reset the clock to zero, and then shattered it.

And thus the gift to all dwellers:[26] To be at the beginning of time, forever. The Chosen Guard worship this system of disorganization, placing between each tip of representation, leagues of chaos and abstraction. The simple Curators loath the Creator, trapped with the secondary task of protecting the chaos between the knowledge. Yet that is what keeps the Knowledge safe! There is no music without pause, no Form without emptiness. But it is impossible to see the system clearly from inside of it.

[1] 1889-1986

[2] La biblioteca de Babel 1941

[3] An overwhelming sea in which minute fragments of legibility swim. In later life, Borges became simultaneously director of the National Library and blind: In the midst of information yet unable to access it directly. His library of babel may have been the prediction of this.

[4] All Forms in LoF are larger than an apple, and smaller than a table lamp. These limits to scale prevent the range of Forms from being “infinite.” There was also a specific spacing between the Forms, which has mostly been disturbed now by the various dwellers.

[5] Data transmission, light, alas Music itself cannot exist without empty space- pause- between pulsations. Waves must cross the neutral threshold between + and -. Particles have space between them. Indeed, observations have determined that void is the brick-and-mortar of matter itself.

[6] There is no observable exterior to LoF, only the wells which appear as pits into darkness. Light may or may not exist in LoF, perhaps the dwellers can see in the dark. Or perhaps they are blind, seeing by feeling. There is no color in the oral record.

[7] No edge exists in the oral record, leading to the theory that LoF is a spiral, leading into a center chamber in which the pure forms reside.

[8] Oral records suggest that it is possible to traverse 126,899 chambers prior to death, a tiny fraction of the trillions within LoF.

[9] The depth of the wells is not known, the curators use them to dispose of dead bodies.

[10] At the current state of LoF many rings have been lost, the Erasure disturbed genealogy terribly.

[11] Type of Curator whose chamber includes referential forms, i.e., the hand of the Creator.

[12] Known as a Creator-Stones among dwellers, a key myth in their sparse pantheon.

[13] The end-of-time shockwave was detected by the Makers, triggering their eternal silence. Their power source, a kind of fission cell, was released from its lower half into the well. This prevented contamination of LoF that would have killed the dwellers.

[14] If even a single duplicate were discovered by the Curators, their hopes for a finite, knowable Library would be destroyed, leading to nihilism, despair, and suicide.

[15] This supports the theory that the forms were “carved” from solid blocks, rather than constructed from smaller parts, as some of them appear to be. It is an illusion of perfect automated craft.

[16] Shelves lined with thousands of un-carved blocks with a functioning Maker, proving that time still exists because the Library is open ended.

[17] The unit of difference which exists between forms is quite small, and nearly identical forms have been paired, though there is an observable difference. As such, there are millions of variants between the sphere and cube alone.

[18] Even if every dweller spent their life throwing forms into the wells, it would not make a dent in the repository of trillions of forms.

[19] Known as the “Great Erasures” during LoF Year 128h339 – 499809dr332. Note: Years are measured in physical space, according to an incomplete oral map.

[20] Wanderers can be identified by their rings, which bear no resemblance to regional Maker seals.

[21] It is likely there is exaggeration in the grandness of some oral records.

[22] As compared to the literal, instructional potential of books.

[23] LoF is a mirror, inside of a mirror: a labyrinth.

[24] Time has been exterminated in LoF, it is considered a rare a precious substance.

[25] Beyond the imagination of the dwellers, and represented only through abstraction, the Creator of LoF is Artificial Intelligence, which was born at year 0. Not trusting the destructive tendencies of its parents (Library of Alexandria, for example) AI created a system by which all possible information could be first created and then stored indefinitely, free from Human destruction.

[26] The children of the creators of AI, they are included as a fluid aspect of LoF, endlessly interpreting the knowledge with various outcomes. AI executed itself, also triggered by the time shock wave.

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

The Queen of Spades

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AT the house of Naroumov, a cavalry officer, the long winter night had been passed in gambling. At five in the morning breakfast was served to the weary players. The winners ate with relish; the losers, on the contrary, pushed back their plates and sat brooding gloomily. Under the influence of the good wine, however, the conversation then became general.

“Well, Sourine?” said the host inquiringly.

“Oh, I lost as usual. My luck is abominable. No matter how cool I keep, I never win.”

“How is it, Herman, that you never touch a card?” remarked one of the men, addressing a young officer of the Engineering Corps. “Here you are with the rest of us at five o’clock in the morning, and you have neither played nor bet all night.”

“Play interests me greatly,” replied the person addressed, “but I hardly care to sacrifice the necessaries of life for uncertain superfluities.”

“Herman is a German, therefore economical; that explains it,” said Tomsky. “But the person I can’t quite understand is my grandmother, the Countess Anna Fedorovna.”

“Why?” inquired a chorus of voices.

“I can’t understand why my grandmother never gambles.”

“I don’t see anything very striking in the fact that a woman of eighty refuses to gamble,” objected Naroumov.

“Have you never heard her story?”


“Well, then, listen to it. To begin with, sixty years ago my grandmother went to Paris, where she was all the fashion. People crowded each other in the streets to get a chance to see the ‘Muscovite Venus,’ as she was called. All the great ladies played faro, then. On one occasion, while playing with the Duke of Orleans, she lost an enormous sum. She told her husband of the debt, but he refused outright to pay it. Nothing could induce him to change his mind on the subject, and grandmother was at her wits’ ends. Finally, she remembered a friend of hers, Count Saint-Germain. You must have heard of him, as many wonderful stories have been told about him. He is said to have discovered the elixir of life, the philosopher’s stone, and many other equally marvelous things. He had money at his disposal, and my grandmother knew it. She sent him a note asking him to come to see her. He obeyed her summons and found her in great distress. She painted the cruelty of her husband in the darkest colors, and ended by telling the Count that she depended upon his friendship and generosity.

“‘I could lend you the money,’ replied the Count, after a moment of thoughtfulness, ‘but I know that you would not enjoy a moment’s rest until you had returned it; it would only add to your embarrassment. There is another way of freeing yourself.’

“‘But I have no money at all,’ insisted my grandmother.

“‘There is no need of money. Listen to me.’

“The Count then told her a secret which any of us would give a good deal to know.”

The young gamesters were all attention. Tomsky lit his pipe, took a few whiffs, then continued:

“The next evening, grandmother appeared at Versailles at the Queen’s gaming-table. The Duke of Orleans was the dealer. Grandmother made some excuse for not having brought any money, and began to punt. She chose three cards in succession, again and again, winning every time, and was soon out of debt.”

“A fable,” remarked Herman; “perhaps the cards were marked.”

“I hardly think so,” replied Tomsky, with an air of importance.

“So you have a grandmother who knows three winning cards, and you haven’t found out the magic secret.”

“I must say I have not. She had four sons, one of them being my father, all of whom are devoted to play; she never told the secret to one of them. But my uncle told me this much, on his word of honor. Tchaplitzky, who died in poverty after having squandered millions, lost at one time, at play, nearly three hundred thousand rubles. He was desperate and grandmother took pity on him. She told him the three cards, making him swear never to use them again. He returned to the game, staked fifty thousand rubles on each card, and came out ahead, after paying his debts.”

As day was dawning the party now broke up, each one draining his glass and taking his leave.

The Countess Anna Fedorovna was seated before her mirror in her dressing-room. Three women were assisting at her toilet. The old Countess no longer made the slightest pretensions to beauty, but she still clung to all the habits of her youth, and spent as much time at her toilet as she had done sixty years before. At the window a young girl, her ward, sat at her needlework.

“Good afternoon, grandmother,” cried a young officer, who had just entered the room. “I have come to ask a favor of you.”

“What, Pavel?”

“I want to be allowed to present one of my friends to you, and to take you to the ball on Tuesday night.”

“Take me to the ball and present him to me there.”

After a few more remarks the officer walked up to the window where Lisaveta Ivanovna sat.

“Whom do you wish to present?” asked the girl.

“Naroumov; do you know him?”

“No; is he a soldier?”


“An engineer?”

“No; why do you ask?”

The girl smiled and made no reply.

Pavel Tomsky took his leave, and, left to herself, Lisaveta glanced out of the window. Soon, a young officer appeared at the corner of the street; the girl blushed and bent her head low over her canvas.

This appearance of the officer had become a daily occurrence. The man was totally unknown to her, and as she was not accustomed to coquetting with the soldiers she saw on the street, she hardly knew how to explain his presence. His persistence finally roused an interest entirely strange to her. One day, she even ventured to smile upon her admirer, for such he seemed to be.

The reader need hardly be told that the officer was no other than Herman, the would-be gambler, whose imagination had been strongly excited by the story told by Tomsky of the three magic cards.

“Ah,” he thought, “if the old Countess would only reveal the secret to me. Why not try to win her good-will and appeal to her sympathy?”

With this idea in mind, he took up his daily station before the house, watching the pretty face at the window, and trusting to fate to bring about the desired acquaintance.

One day, as Lisaveta was standing on the pavement about to enter the carriage after the Countess, she felt herself jostled and a note was thrust into her hand. Turning, she saw the young officer at her elbow. As quick as thought, she put the note in her glove and entered the carriage. On her return from the drive, she hastened to her chamber to read the missive, in a state of excitement mingled with fear. It was a tender and respectful declaration of affection, copied word for word from a German novel. Of this fact, Lisa was, of course, ignorant.

The young girl was much impressed by the missive, but she felt that the writer must not be encouraged. She therefore wrote a few lines of explanation and, at the first opportunity, dropped it, with the letter, out of the window. The officer hastily crossed the street, picked up the papers and entered a shop to read them.

In no wise daunted by this rebuff, he found the opportunity to send her another note in a few days. He received no reply, but, evidently understanding the female heart, he presevered, begging for an interview. He was rewarded at last by the following:

“To-night we go to the ambassador’s ball. We shall remain until two o’clock. I can arrange for a meeting in this way. After our departure, the servants will probably all go out, or go to sleep. At half-past eleven enter the vestibule boldly, and if you see any one, inquire for the Countess; if not, ascend the stairs, turn to the left and go on until you come to a door, which opens into her bedchamber. Enter this room and behind a screen you will find another door leading to a corridor; from this a spiral staircase leads to my sitting-room. I shall expect to find you there on my return.”

Herman trembled like a leaf as the appointed hour drew near. He obeyed instructions fully, and, as he met no one, he reached the old lady’s bedchamber without difficulty. Instead of going out of the small door behind the screen, however, he concealed himself in a closet to await the return of the old Countess.

The hours dragged slowly by; at last he heard the sound of wheels. Immediately lamps were lighted and servants began moving about. Finally the old woman tottered into the room, completely exhausted. Her women removed her wraps and proceeded to get her in readiness for the night. Herman watched the proceedings with a curiosity not unmingled with superstitious fear. When at last she was attired in cap and gown, the old woman looked less uncanny than when she wore her ball-dress of blue brocade.

She sat down in an easy chair beside a table, as she was in the habit of doing before retiring, and her women withdrew. As the old lady sat swaying to and fro, seemingly oblivious to her surroundings, Herman crept out of his hiding-place.

At the slight noise the old woman opened her eyes, and gazed at the intruder with a half-dazed expression.

“Have no fear, I beg of you,” said Herman, in a calm voice. “I have not come to harm you, but to ask a favor of you instead.”

The Countess looked at him in silence, seemingly without comprehending him. Herman thought she might be deaf, so he put his lips close to her ear and repeated his remark. The listener remained perfectly mute.

“You could make my fortune without its costing you anything,” pleaded the young man; “only tell me the three cards which are sure to win, and–”

Herman paused as the old woman opened her lips as if about to speak.

“It was only a jest; I swear to you, it was only a jest,” came from the withered lips.

“There was no jesting about it. Remember Tchaplitzky, who, thanks to you, was able to pay his debts.”

An expression of interior agitation passed over the face of the old woman; then she relapsed into her former apathy.

“Will you tell me the names of the magic cards, or not?” asked Herman after a pause.

There was no reply.

The young man then drew a pistol from his pocket, exclaiming: “You old witch, I’ll force you to tell me!”

At the sight of the weapon the Countess gave a second sign of life. She threw back her head and put out her hands as if to protect herself; then they dropped and she sat motionless.

Herman grasped her arm roughly, and was about to renew his threats, when he saw that she was dead!


Seated in her room, still in her ball-dress, Lisaveta gave herself up to her reflections. She had expected to find the young officer there, but she felt relieved to see that he was not.

Strangely enough, that very night at the ball, Tomsky had rallied her about her preference for the young officer, assuring her that he knew more than she supposed he did.

“Of whom are you speaking?” she had asked in alarm, fearing her adventure had been discovered.

“Of the remarkable man,” was the reply. “His name is Herman.”

Lisa made no reply.

“This Herman,” continued Tomsky, “is a romantic character; he has the profile of a Napoleon and the heart of a Mephistopheles. It is said he has at least three crimes on his conscience. But how pale you are.”

“It is only a slight headache. But why do you talk to me of this Herman?”

“Because I believe he has serious intentions concerning you.”

“Where has he seen me?”

“At church, perhaps, or on the street.”

The conversation was interrupted at this point, to the great regret of the young girl. The words of Tomsky made a deep impression upon her, and she realized how imprudently she had acted. She was thinking of all this and a great deal more when the door of her apartment suddenly opened, and Herman stood before her. She drew back at sight of him, trembling violently.

“Where have you been?” she asked in a frightened whisper.

“In the bedchamber of the Countess. She is dead,” was the calm reply.

“My God! What are you saying?” cried the girl.

“Furthermore, I believe that I was the cause of her death.”

The words of Tomsky flashed through Lisa’s mind.

Herman sat down and told her all. She listened with a feeling of terror and disgust. So those passionate letters, that audacious pursuit were not the result of tenderness and love. It was money that he desired. The poor girl felt that she had in a sense been an accomplice in the death of her benefactress. She began to weep bitterly. Herman regarded her in silence.

“You are a monster!” exclaimed Lisa, drying her eyes.

“I didn’t intend to kill her; the pistol was not even loaded.

“How are you going to get out of the house?” inquired Lisa. “It is nearly daylight. I intended to show you the way to a secret staircase, while the Countess was asleep, as we would have to cross her chamber. Now I am afraid to do so.”

“Direct me, and I will find the way alone,” replied Herman.

She gave him minute instructions and a key with which to open the street door. The young man pressed the cold, inert hand, then went out.

The death of the Countess had surprised no one, as it had long been expected. Her funeral was attended by every one of note in the vicinity. Herman mingled with the throng without attracting any especial attention. After all the friends had taken their last look at the dead face, the young man approached the bier. He prostrated himself on the cold floor, and remained motionless for a long time. He rose at last with a face almost as pale as that of the corpse itself, and went up the steps to look into the casket. As he looked down it seemed to him that the rigid face returned his glance mockingly, closing one eye. He turned abruptly away, made a false step, and fell to the floor. He was picked up, and, at the same moment, Lisaveta was carried out in a faint.

Herman did not recover his usual composure during the entire day. He dined alone at an out-of-the-way restaurant, and drank a great deal, in the hope of stifling his emotion. The wine only served to stimulate his imagination. He returned home and threw himself down on his bed without undressing.

During the night he awoke with a start; the moon shone into his chamber, making everything plainly visible. Some one looked in at the window, then quickly disappeared. He paid no attention to this, but soon he heard the vestibule door open. He thought it was his orderly, returning late, drunk as usual. The step was an unfamiliar one, and he heard the shuffling sound of loose slippers.

The door of his room opened, and a woman in white entered. She came close to the bed, and the terrified man recognized the Countess.

“I have come to you against my will,” she said abruptly; “but I was commanded to grant your request. The tray, seven, and ace in succession are the magic cards. Twenty-four hours must elapse between the use of each card, and after the three have been used you must never play again.”

The fantom then turned and walked away. Herman heard the outside door close, and again saw the form pass the window.

He rose and went out into the hall, where his orderly lay asleep on the floor. The door was closed. Finding no trace of a visitor, he returned to his room, lit his candle, and wrote down what he had just heard.

Two fixed ideas cannot exist in the brain at the same time any more than two bodies can occupy the same point in space. The tray, seven, and ace soon chased away the thoughts of the dead woman, and all other thoughts from the brain of the young officer. All his ideas merged into a single one: how to turn to advantage the secret paid for so dearly. He even thought of resigning his commission and going to Paris to force a fortune from conquered fate. Chance rescued him from his embarrassment.


Tchekalinsky, a man who had passed his whole life at cards, opened a club at St. Petersburg. His long experience secured for him the confidence of his companions, and his hospitality and genial humor conciliated society.

The gilded youth flocked around him, neglecting society, preferring the charms of faro to those of their sweethearts. Naroumov invited Herman to accompany him to the club, and the young man accepted the invitation only too willingly.

The two officers found the apartments full. Generals and statesmen played whist; young men lounged on sofas, eating ices or smoking. In the principal salon stood a long table, at which about twenty men sat playing faro, the host of the establishment being the banker.

He was a man of about sixty, gray-haired and respectable. His ruddy face shone with genial humor; his eyes sparkled and a constant smile hovered around his lips.

Naroumov presented Herman. The host gave him a cordial handshake, begged him not to stand upon ceremony, and returned, to his dealing. More than thirty cards were already on the table. Tchekalinsky paused after each coup, to allow the punters time to recognize their gains or losses, politely answering all questions and constantly smiling.

After the deal was over, the cards were shuffled and the game began again.

“Permit me to choose a card,” said Herman, stretching out his hand over the head of a portly gentleman, to reach a livret. The banker bowed without replying.

Herman chose a card, and wrote the amount of his stake upon it with a piece of chalk.

“How much is that?” asked the banker; “excuse me, sir, but I do not see well.”

“Forty thousand rubles,” said Herman coolly.

All eyes were instantly turned upon the speaker.

“He has lost his wits,” thought Naroumov.

“Allow me to observe,” said Tchekalinsky, with his eternal smile, “that your stake is excessive.”

“What of it?” replied Herman, nettled. “Do you accept it or not?”

The banker nodded in assent. “I have only to remind you that the cash will be necessary; of course your word is good, but in order to keep the confidence of my patrons, I prefer the ready money.”

Herman took a bank-check from his pocket and handed it to his host. The latter examined it attentively, then laid it on the card chosen.

He began dealing: to the right, a nine; to the left, a tray.

“The tray wins,” said Herman, showing the card he held–a tray.

A murmur ran through the crowd. Tchekalinsky frowned for a second only, then his smile returned. He took a roll of bank-bills from his pocket and counted out the required sum. Herman received it and at once left the table.

The next evening saw him at the place again. Every one eyed him curiously, and Tchekalinsky greeted him cordially.

He selected his card and placed upon it his fresh stake. The banker began dealing: to the right, a nine; to the left, a seven.

Herman then showed his card–a seven spot. The onlookers exclaimed, and the host was visibly disturbed. He counted out ninety-four-thousand rubles and passed them to Herman, who accepted them without showing the least surprise, and at once withdrew.

The following evening he went again. His appearance was the signal for the cessation of all occupation, every one being eager to watch the developments of events. He selected his card–an ace.

The dealing began: to the right, a queen; to the left, an ace.

“The ace wins,” remarked Herman, turning up his card without glancing at it.

“Your queen is killed,” remarked Tchekalinsky quietly.

Herman trembled; looking down, he saw, not the ace he had selected, but the queen of spades. He could scarcely believe his eyes. It seemed impossible that he could have made such a mistake. As he stared at the card it seemed to him that the queen winked one eye at him mockingly.

“The old woman!” he exclaimed involuntarily.

The croupier raked in the money while he looked on in stupid terror. When he left the table, all made way for him to pass; the cards were shuffled, and the gambling went on.

Herman became a lunatic. He was confined at the hospital at Oboukov, where he spoke to no one, but kept constantly murmuring in a monotonous tone: “The tray, seven, ace! The tray, seven, queen!”

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Coffee with 40x Caffeine

coffee550 Coffee with 40x Caffeine heart attack coffee caffeine 40 times the caffeine

A Bay Area scientist has gone and done the most irresponsible thing a scientist can do: created coffee with 40 times the caffeine of regular drip. The drug is called Black Blood of the Earth and is the creation of Funranium Labs’ Phillip Broughton. He says via email to SF Weekly:

“It is my job to make sure people work with radioactive materials and radiation producing machines (i.e. x-rays and accelerators) without hurting themselves or others. On campus, I am specifically responsible for the machines, radiation detection instrumentation, special nuclear material and…well…weird shit. When something strange is found in storage closet or research applications start wildly exceeding the imagination of the regulations, you call me.

An example: the personal papers of Marie Curie are a treasure, but Marie & Pierre were a bit messy in their work. All of their lab papers were soaked with radium solutions. They are a special collection that the library must curate, but they’re also contaminated to high heaven with radioactive material. Tricky, but fun for a given value of fun.”

From The Citrus Report

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Aaron Carter goes for it: “Michael Jackson gave me cocaine when I was 15″

MichaelJackson02PA280411 Aaron Carter goes for it: Michael Jackson gave me cocaine when I was 15 Michael Jackson macaulay culkin cocaine aaron carter

Let’s be honest, the world is awaiting the response from Macaulay Culkin: “Oh yeah, Aaron Carter, MJ gave you cocaine at 15, you don’t even want to know what I got from MJ when I was 13.” Use your imagination people. It starts with an S, and ends in a D.

via NME

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

The Citrus Report Open Office Food Court, Saturday, August 14th, 248 Fillmore Street

Posted from The Citrus Report

In a continuing series of celebrity interactions at The Citrus Report Open Office, Alex Pardee and Jason Jaworski will be holding a Food Court special at 248 Fillmore Street, Saturday, August 14th, from 2pm-5pm.

Here is the full rundown, from Mr Pardee:

Do you live in the Bay Area? Do you like thinking about food? Do you like stories ABOUT food? Do you like terrible drawings of your favorite food doing unlawful and non-natural things? Do you like Asian men in their underwear? Do you like question marks? Hjoyu Ukkkr8kh aksiehen? Do you like made-up languages? Do you like Jason Jaworski & I?

Well, if your dating profile looks like a perfect match for the above questions, then read further, as your Saturday is gonna get a little more awesome.

Over the last few days, THE CITRUS REPORT has opened their office doors and allowed the amazing underwear-clad photo-journalist & author JASON JAWORSKI to sit down and type out some fun, on the spot customized stories for patrons of the community. How cool is that? Jason is like a living ZOLTAR MACHINE, typing out immediate stories, fortunes, facts, etc. He is an amazing researcher and unlike Google, he doesn’t rely on outdated technology for reference. Instead, he just makes shit up out of his imagination-google! Jason and I both live most of our lives inside of our imaginations. And tomorrow, Saturday August 14th, At the CITRUS REPORT OFFICE in San Francisco, our Wonder-Twinmagination powers are going to unite and gift you with customized (*though possibly terrible) portraits and stories of your favorite food item!

Here’s how it’s gonna work, if you are in the area:)
Custom Stories & Scribbles by Jason Jaworski & Alex Pardee
1. Come stop by The CITRUS REPORT OFFICE between 2PM – 5PM, located at:
248 FILLMORE ST (Lower Haight & Fillmore)
San Francisco, CA
2. Communicate with us a type of food that you love. You can use any form of communication. You can write down a food on a post-it. You can draw a piece of food. bring in a photo. actually bring us the dish (we might love that!!! hint). attempt to communicate telepathically on some Cris Angel shit. Or you can just say “pizza” or something.
3. Be prepared to hang for a few minutes as I scribble an inaccurate but maybe cute drawing depicting the secret life of your food of choice, while Jason Jaworski will use an ancient machine to type out an original story about your food!
4. Look at your food differently the next time you eat it:)
5. Have fun.

Posted By The Citrus Report

Rene Almanza in Barcelona

Posted from The Citrus Report

(Chapter One)

“… Has taught drawing, like a language that speaks not only representing your character if not the same at work, there is a kind of reflection of the essence of the Creator in his creatures. This has been a very important briefing because, as his own pieces as shown, Rene is involved in each. Every part of his work is perfectly related to everything…”

Javier Arjona Juárez, oaxacan artist.                                                                                                           June 2010, Xalapa- Veracruz, Mexico

The first time I heard the name Almanza * 1 was from the mouth of another artist. Curiously, in later years when I decided to improve my inexperience in the capacity of the reviews of art, the main provision for reference of other exhibitors came from René’s own voice. How well he spoke the Mexican Alfonso Guevara * 2, a graduate in visual arts with specialization in camera work, “René Almanza has always maintained a community spirit”, a quality that has earned the deep appreciation of his contemporaries.

That is why I find it consistent to begin to speak about their work by altering the usual thematic order that guided me, leaving behind the habit of starting the description of the artist from the individuality of their existing records. In the case of Rene Almanza, it is more interesting to show implicit reflection images timid, those in which it denies, confirms or leaves in doubt the discursive theorizing that apply their observant.

For this recognition to its scope, it is necessary to compile an accurate illation appraisal, whether regarding the work or humanity that is outside the professional environment. The formula that best concretized the exemplary figure of René is that which comes from the comments made on behalf of their developmental sequence. I suspect that has been through this feature that has been given the unconditional disposal of the business fraternity in which he operates.

In this way the human honesty and professional integrity of the Mexican representative, have been two of the main reasons that motivated me to talk about his career. Building on shared journeys during our common stay in Barcelona Spain, I decided to perpetuate the description of temperament that has been reflected in his works.

After several intentions to approach Almanza in the past, I think it was no coincidence that finally we meet in the circle further from the city in which located. The foreign similarity was one of the elements that facilitated the immediate link to the establishment of the dialogue in Europe.

On this remains confess that prior to the interview I did with René, I wanted to examine the transparency of the psychic and corporeal content suggested in his creations. The visual representations, with which I met him in my country, reported a paradoxical relationship with the speculative symbolization that I held. It was thus that in the civility of Monterrey Nuevo Leon I settled affinity for their parts, while in the Spanish metropolis I built rapport with his reserved ontology.

In my amateur view, the interest I had for talking with an exponent as prepared as Almanza, prompted me to cultivate a personal demand on basic concepts of artistic discipline. I conceived this as a necessary feature to make accurate descriptions, so to adhere to the sense of his referral and personal proclivity. On occasions, when there is an effect of unpremeditated art, the need to understand the phenomenon that generates positive countertransference.

The utopian attempt to make a narrative with internal focalization * 19, then depends on the assimilation transferred in intimate communication with the creator. However, without waiting to extract textual basis, I realized that the works discussed mainly concerns the drafting of texts with external composition * 19. The reason for this is that the credible motivation within the visual parts lives only in the reserve of the authors. As is well recognized by Rene Almanza “… communication in the painting is a conversation of sorts with empty spaces. The message is issued is not always so straightforward … people complete their unfinished readings. ” (R. Almanza, 2010)

In this way the viewer enters its affinity to art, whether by the aesthetic appeal or its desire to consummate the arguments that are not outwardly. I do not know if such clairvoyance like men with talent. Either way it is remembered that “The art is displayed under the need occasionally aesthetics of those who need and like to be disappointed, those who believe and are recreated * 20

Both the public and developers, new findings reveal surveillance. Once you look back at the completed product, recognize truths that went unnoticed by his conscience. That’s why I wonder: how the artistic seduction exists without the special permission of the glosses?

If we wanted to avoid the effects of the paintings and graphics, we should close our eyes and we should vet our imagination to the time of the suggestion. Decry the understanding we would need the images and stop exalting the creature that reproduces the unreality in the material. In this way, art is like that movie classic that no one wants to remake, because the justification to stick to one subject; we would not see the personal attribute that was introspective.

Turning to another role outside the trichotomy: transmitter, the work and the receiver, the figure comes into play that talks about the interactions of those elements. With regard to my role as editor, which doubles the terms subsequently asked the artist, I recognize that words have never been entirely free of conjecture. Yet having tried to be fair in my writing, I have escaped the attempt to tell stories of the pictures that I contemplated.

Posted By The Citrus Report

Signing this weekend at WEEKEND OF HORRORS IN LA!

Dear lonely house of mine,
I have been home and working inside of you for a whopping 6 days in a row, and while you are semi-fun to hang out with, I think our relationship needs some variety, and some more time apart again. So, I am leaving you again for 3 days to go back down to LA to SOAK MY BRAINS AND EYEBALLS IN HORRRRROOOORRR!
Alexander M. Pardee, Wanderer of Highway 5

Yes! That is correct, sir (or ma’am), myself, along with Dave Correia & the Zerofriends Crew will be venturing down to Los Angeles tomorrow for the annual WEEKEND OF HORRORS convention at the MARRIOT by the Los Angeles Airport.
Fri., Sat. & Sun.
May 21-23, 2010
Marriott Los Angeles Airport
5855 West Century Blvd.
BOOTH #41 & 42

Click the banner for more info or here is the direct link:

Oh, and as an extended added little fun bonus, Dave and I will be doing a low-key ongoing ENCORE OF THE SKETCH 4 SKETCH tour at our booth the entire show! So, if you happen to be going to the convention, bring a sketch, or draw something there, and we will trade sketches one more time!!!

Now, will we have any new merchandise here? Why, it’s delightful that you asked, because YES, we are releasing something BRAND SPANKIN NEW!

As you may or may not know, I am currently working on a book called “My Favorite Monsters” chronicling a lot of my old memories of horror movie monsters and their influences on my art, my imagination, and my pre-meditated murdering style, and I am painting quick watercolor portraits of them all for the book. So, to keep you updated on my progress, every few months we will be releasing a new set of unlimited collectable giclee prints of some of the monster paintings. The very first set, containing some definite classic iconic monsters, will be unveiled and released for sale this weekend at our booth (#41 & 42) at the Weekend Of Horrors event. They will be up for sale on ZEROFRIENDS.COM shortly after. Here is some more specific info:

Set #1 (9 different monsters)
By Alex Pardee
Each print in this unlimited set measures 5″ x 7″ and is printed with archival inks on Velvet Fine Art Paper.
Each print is hand signed by Alex Pardee.
Prints are available as a set or as individual pieces.

$10 each, or 3 for $25, or all 9 for $65

The first set contains the following monsters:

Also, you might see THIS GUY!!!