Someone once told me not to expect an end because there is none. Then due to a bunch of stuff that happened which I will not waste your time dwelling upon here, I found myself telling others not to expect an end because there is none. And so it begins...

Welcome to the end of Everything. The End? Yes. The end. Or rather, one of the ends of Everything. Theoretically, any page which is the last page you land upon prior to the end of your session can be defined as the end of Everything, but only temporarily, unless you never return. Listen. You have to think fourth dimensionally. Not to do so is old school which would be a flawed way to think by design because school is making itself obsolete with all of this memorization. For example, take that elevator that's suddenly appeared in the corner over there by the thing made out of paper mache. Wait for it to kill you and it will, but tell Her Majesty "my god parted the sea, what can yours do?" and she will sing the Manifesto of Futurist Musicians offkey which you will find upsetting and morbid. However, if she swears An Oath to You you will love her forever, unless of course she doesn't.

We must leave that to Providence.

When all the stars go out at night, the most interesting place you've had sex will breathe a fading memory into your computer. I can remember back when grunge was still cool. I can remember ink in my pen. I can remember monkeys pounding out "Hamlet" until their fingers bled. I can remember summoning the daemons and casting out the false angels of no bickering. I can remember Skeptopotamus and World History thinking it out until the clock stroke midnight and October 9, 2000 began. Some called it the deathday but then the tenth came and went and those who didn't commit suicide became riders on the storm! Syntactic in their exuberance! Rabindranath Tagore and Robin Skelton caused the Open Source Wars but that didn't stop them. Go to seek revenge on General Wesc for trying to kill you and you will learn why my sister and the ants carry that weight from the egg council to the fabled Abbey Road of Suicide is Painless.

Reader, I want to kill you. According to the Mayan Calendar we were supposed to see the Daily Evil - Monday, September 18th! But we didn't! Why?! The Gorilla Escaped!!! This episode of Sesame Street has been brought to you today by the letter O and the number twelve. Who should play you in "Everything the Movie"? Who indeed? Julia Roberts? Tom Cruise? That guy who does the voice for Wishbone? That woman in the Barney costume? No matter who plays you, your character's cue will be "there's already a node about this, fool!" That will be your cue to turn bored into a Zip drive and cry out "No Nukes! No Nukes!" into your dishwasher. If you can read this... You know it's poetry. You know how to read to a child naked and petrified haiku. You know anal sex is just another way to say it with feeling.

"It is now safe to turn off your computer."

Other things that have an end include...

2001: A Space Odyssey
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Abyss
Pretty In Pink
and Popeye (Thank God)

Cymbaline by Pink Floyd
The Soft Parade by The Doors
I am the Walrus by The Beatles
Modern Rock although Rock and Roll is here to stay
long songs that don't seem that long

Things that don't have an end include:

The Carlosian Dream Project:Interpretation
Red Dwarf
It is time for me to go, mother; I am going.

When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn
you stretch your arms for your baby in the bed,
I shall say, "Baby is not there!"
- mother, I am going.

I shall become a delicate draught of air
and caress you; and I shall be ripples 
in the water when you bathe;
and kiss you and kiss you again.

In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves
you will hear my whisper in your bed,
and my laughter will flash with the lightning
through the open window into your room.

If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night,
I shall sing to you form the stars, "Sleep, mother, sleep."

On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed,
and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.

I shall become a dream, and through the little opening
of your eyelids I shall slip into the depths of your sleep;
and when you wake up and look round startled,
like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.

When, on the great festival of PUJA,
the neighbours' children come and play about the house,
I shall melt into the music of the flute
and throb in your heart all day.

Dear suntie will come with your PUJA presents and will ask,
"Where is our baby, sister? Mother you tell her softly,
"He is in the pupils of my eyes,
he is my body and my soul."

- Rabindranath Tagore
from The Crescent Moon (1913)
The End - (Lennon/McCartney)

This song appears as Track 16 on The Beatles' 1969 Album Abbey Road as well as Anthology 3. The song is the culmination of the medley of songs that begins on Track 9 with You Never Give Me Your Money. This song also contains one of the most famous Beatle lyrics ever. It was recorded on July 23, August 5, 7-8, 15 and 18, 1969 at Abbey Road Studios in London, England. Its length is 2:20. It is also notable because it is the only place on a Beatles Record where you will find a drum solo. In fact, most of the song is solos, and you will find very little singing.

Oh yeah, all right
Are you going to be in my dreams

And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make

The End
Red Dwarf - Series 1 - Episode 1

The first ever episode of Red Dwarf focuses on setting up the premise of the show, and does little else.

On a spaceship named Red Dwarf, a few dozen months from Earth, there is a mining operation being carried out in and around Jupiter. The two lowest ranking crew members, David Lister and Arnold Rimmer, just won't get on with each other. Rimmer is meticulous and pedantic, and Lister is a scuzzy slob who never buys any soap. Today Rimmer is trying to become promoted so that he no longer has to share a room with Lister. But before that can happen, he has to pass his astroengineering exam. Rimmer knows that he knows little about astroengineering, so he tries to cheat by copying his textbooks onto his body.

While Rimmer is elsewhere failing his exam, Lister is feeding the pregnant cat he smuggled aboard the ship. Soon, he is called into Captain Hollister's office and questioned about his cat. The captain gives him a choice - hand in the cat to be cut up and tested, or spend 18 months in suspended animation with no pay as punishment. Lister chooses to be put into stasis for 18 months, and on the way to the stasis booth, he sees Rimmer being led away on a stretcher. Lister goes into the booth and is frozen, but instead of coming out in a year and a half, he comes out 3 million years later.

After he leaves stasis, Lister walks into a surprisingly empty drive room. The ship's computer, Holly, informs him that a badly repaired drive plate exploded, exposing everyone to a lethal dose of "cadmium II". This reduced everyone but Lister to white dust. Lister is, surprisingly, not excessively unhappy about this. He is more unhappy when Holly tells him how long he has been in stasis so that the radiation had time to decay to a safe level.

In addition to that, Holly has shot Red Dwarf out of the Solar System at top speed in order to stop the radiation reaching Earth. Not only has Red Dwarf been away from Earth for three million years, but it is also three million years of travelling away from Earth. After Lister sits down for a few moments to think about this, a hologram of his dead roommate Rimmer walks into the room. They argue for a while and suddenly a large humanoid cat-like creature bursts onto the scene by jumping out of a ventilation duct and scaring the hell out of Lister and Rimmer. Holly informs the pair that the creature is merely an evolved descendant of Lister's cat, Frankenstein. As he feeds Frankenstein, Lister has a good idea: why not go back to Earth? Rimmer mocks him, but Lister has made his mind up and shouts jubilantly, "Look out, Earth! The slime's coming home!"

Thus concludes our introduction to Red Dwarf; three losers and a senile computer lost in space on a ship the size of a city.

Future Echoes (episode 2)

The contents of this writeup are in the public domain.

"The End" was a classic early 80s arcade shooter. This title was originally programmed by Konami back in 1980, but they licensed it to Stern. North and South American gamers got the Stern version of the game, while the rest of the world got the Konami version. There were a few minor differences between the two versions, which I will detail below.

Yet another game about bugs in space!

The late 70s to early 80s was a time when a peculiar genre of shooter was popular, the "bugs in space" genre. There were a lot of these games. You are probably most familiar with Galaxian and Galaga, but there were many other good ones as well, like Stern's "The End".

In "The End" you control a ship whose mission is to zap as many bug-ships as possible, before you run out of lives, or the bugs manage to spell out the word "END" with little chunks of brick. You can move left and right, and the bugs attack from the top of the screen, coming out of a large mothership. But the bugs have another mission besides just blindly attacking you. That other mission is to systematically steal the bricks from your three bases, and use them to spell out the word "END" up near the top of the screen.

Lets talk about your three bases, because they are very important, and they are completely different between the two versions of this game. In the Konami version, the bases are above you and you can use them as cover, but they block out a lot of your potential shooting area. In the Stern version, the bases are below you, which gives you a free path to shoot everything in sight, but also means that you have nowhere to hide. I personally prefer the Stern version, as it is much easier to shoot the bugs before they manage to grab a piece of yr base, even though it is also a lot easier to get blasted.

That is basically all there is to this game, just shoot the bugs, and keep them from spelling out "END". You would do well to attempt to target bugs that have already grabbed a piece of your base, as the piece will be returned if you manage to blast them.

The Machine

"The End" was available in both upright and cocktail formats. I am only going to be discussing the Stern cabinets, and not the Konami ones, as I have never seen a Konami one.

The upright version came in the standard Stern cabinet, which was the same cabinet that most Stern games came in. The only real difference between different Stern cabinets was the Berzerk and Frenzy cabinets had an access door in front, and other Stern cabinets did not.

The game was black with black t-molding. The sideart consisted of a really awesome looking painted rendition of some sort of blue blasting machine shooting at a pair of bugs. The marquee and monitor bezel are covered with a great scene showing evil looking bugs assaulting a wall, drawn in classic Marvel Comics style. Stern really had some great artists back then, the only manufacturer who was even close to them in this department was Atari.

The control panel was aluminum, and had some game instructions and a basic design painted onto most of its surface area. The controls consisted entirely of pushbuttons, with the same layout as the panel on Space Invaders.

Internally the game used a standard 19" arcade monitor for display purposes. The game's code ran on the Scramble platform, which consisted of 2 Z80 processors and a pair of AY-8910 sound chips Several other games run on this exact same mainboard, and can be swapped in with an EPROM swap.

Their were two different cocktail versions of "The End", a small one with a 13" monitor, and a larger "Deluxe" one with a 19" monitor. They were similar in design to the Midway Cocktail (Pac-Man/Galaga/et cetera), but with control panels that sloped slightly upwards. You probably won't ever see one of these, they didn't even make a lot of them back then, and it is doubtful if more than one or two have survived to the present day intact.

Where to play

This game was never ported to any home systems, at least not that I am aware of. But it is supported by two emulators, MAME and Vantage.

You are probably going to have a hard time finding a real "The End" machine to play on. They are out there, but they are few and far between. Despite the scarcity of these machines, they are still relatively inexpensive, usually selling for only a few hundred dollars.

"This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can't stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents."

A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS number thirteen is the last in this series, as would be imagined by the title. In this one, the Baudelaire orphans pick up where they left off in The Penultimate Peril: In the same boat as their enemy Count Olaf in more ways than one. Basic outline of the book and plot spoilers ahead.

The book begins with the Baudelaires and Count Olaf in a boat together. Olaf orders the Baudelaires around and clutches a harpoon gun and a helmet full of poisonous fungus. The Baudelaires wonder whether to push Olaf overboard as he leans over the side of the boat to pull off the "Carmelita" label to reveal a "Count Olaf" label. A storm hits.

The boat washes up on a coastal shelf. Everyone has survived, and Olaf continues to order the orphans around as they walk around the shelf. A young girl named Friday greets them, and since the Baudelaires are polite, they are invited to the island which is her home, but since Olaf keeps claiming to be their king and threatens Friday with the harpoon gun, she tells him to go away.

The orphans get led to the island and are offered coconut cordial, which tastes strange and sweet. They meet Ishmael, the island's facilitator, and then they are told to put on white robes like everyone else and give away all their possessions. Klaus is allowed to keep his glasses, but otherwise they have to hide what they're each keeping: Violet hides her ribbon, Klaus hides his commonplace book, and Sunny hides her egg whisk.

The islanders go through the usual custom of sorting through anything that had washed up on the beach during the storm. Ishmael rejects just about everything except nets and blankets, and has some sheep drag the items away. During this, many islanders are named, and they all have one thing in common: Their names have been used in some story or myth about the sea or islands. After that, the orphans are given food they don't like and their own seashell canteens full of coconut cordial, and the islanders drink a toast to the children. But Ishmael refers to them as orphans even though they haven't told him their story . . . which makes them very suspicious about how much this man knows.

The Baudelaires find their places on the island: Violet helps with the laundry, Klaus helps pile clay on Ishmael's ailing feet and refills his cordial canteen, and Sunny helps with the cooking. They discuss their past and what they miss, and decide they both like and dislike living on the island. Their peace comes to an end when a weird craft made out of strapped-together books arrives, carrying Kit Snicket . . . and Count Olaf, who is disguised as usual.

Olaf, in a seaweed wig pretending to be the pregnant Kit Snicket, tries to fool the islanders, but unlike every other time in the books, every single person sees through his disguise. They decide to put him in a cage that washed up in the last storm, and they abandon him with the books he rode in on and Kit Snicket. But because Olaf announced that Sunny was hiding a whisk in her robe, Ishmael found out what each of them hid, and decided to abandon THEM as well.

Abandoned, the kids sit with only a snake (the Incredibly Deadly Viper from book 2), an unconscious friend, and Count Olaf to keep them company. They discover that Ishmael had been eating apples (as evidenced by an apple core that fell out of his robe), and thus realize he's being selfish and untruthful about his feet being hurt. Olaf offers to share a plan and information if they will let him out of the cage, but they go out of his sight and think about their choices.

Olaf falls asleep and the Baudelaires keep thinking. Soon enough, Kit Snicket wakes up and is happy to see them (and their snake), but is disappointed to hear that Dewey is not with them. (The Baudelaires decide not to tell her that he was harpooned in the last book.) Two islanders--Finn and Erewhon--approach the orphans and bring them all onion soup, and they reveal that they are tired of Ishmael and are planning a mutiny--a schism. The Baudelaires are talked into helping invent and build weapons for this mutiny in return for promised help for the injured, pregnant, and distraught Kit.

The Baudelaires arrive at the arboretum where all the rejected items end up, and they quickly fall in love with the place. Their snake shows them a secret passageway under the roots of a tree, and there they discover an odd room. The siblings reclaim their lost items and discover new ones, and discuss using peer pressure instead of weapons to get rid of Ishmael. Then they discover a diary-like history of the island, and just as they realize it mentions Kit Snicket and contains some of their mother's handwriting, Ishmael arrives.

Ishmael claims he knew the Baudelaires would come to this place because it was "in their blood" to do so--he knew their parents, and revealed that they had lived on the island once too. But they had been forced to leave, and Ishmael claims that the children were never told the sad history of their parents because the parents didn't want them to know; they'd wanted them to be shielded from the unfortunate events of the world instead of adding their own chapter to the book. Ishmael wants them to abandon their lives and live simply according to the island's rules, because it's what their parents would have wanted.

The island sheep drag Ishmael and the Baudelaires back to the island, where a mutiny is already in progress. Ishmael supporters are fighting with people who want to overthrow him. Everyone starts voicing their suggestions, and then Count Olaf--still wearing a dress with a false pregnancy--wanders in and challenges Ishmael, at which point it is revealed that Ishmael was part of V.F.D. as well and has a secret history with Olaf. In order to end things once and for all, Ishmael fires the harpoon gun at Olaf's belly . . . where he is hiding a helmet full of poisonous fungus. Everyone, including Olaf, is exposed to the poison.

Ishmael expects everyone to sip coconut cordial and think about their situation, but the Baudelaires know from experience that the fungus will kill them within an hour, so they race off to the arboretum to find a solution. There is no horseradish or wasabi in the kitchen, so they try reading their parents' record, which clues them in that the apple tree above them is a hybrid tree that produces bitter apples. They cure themselves by eating one of the apples.

The Baudelaires rush to try to save everyone with more apples, but the colonists are already leaving on a boat as the coastal shelf floods. Ishmael has convinced them that the coconut cordial will save them (though drinking it has just made them stupid), and they refuse to take any more help from the Baudelaires because they perceive that they are the cause of this mess. Their snake goes after the boat with an apple, so there is a possibility that they might have survived, but that is left open. In the meantime, the orphans must help Kit Snicket give birth. She has also been poisoned by the fungus, but won't take an apple because it will harm her baby. Count Olaf appears, also poisoned, and the Baudelaires convince him to do one good thing in his life and carry the pregnant woman to a safe place so she can give birth. He actually does so--and kisses Kit in the process!--but even though he eats an apple and cures his fungus infection too, there is a wound in his chest from the harpoon, and he dies. So does Kit. And the Baudelaires name her daughter after their mother, and raise her on the island, with all the devices and information in the arboretum to help them.

An unprecedented chapter fourteen epilogue shows the Baudelaires a year later, having raised the baby girl and perused the island's history (also called "A Series of Unfortunate Events"). They add verses to the book themselves and explore the collection of wonderful devices, books, and kitchen implements, but then decide to depart when the coastal shelf floods again. Off they go with plenty of food and entertainment, in the vessel they came in. They pull off the nameplate that read "Count Olaf" and see that the boat was originally named Beatrice . . . which is also their mother's name and the new baby's name. That answers a lot of questions, but we still don't know what was in the sugar bowl, who lived and who died in various disasters (including the older Baudelaires' love interests and some former guardians), and what happened to them after they rejoined the world.

It probably would have been a let-down if the book had answered all the questions, so this is mostly satisfactory . . . though one does wonder what was supposed to be in that sugar bowl. . . . Hmm. . . .

SPOILER ALERT: This is the final chapter of The Princess and Curdie, the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin, both books authored by George MacDonald. To my knowledge, none of the rest of either book currently resides on E2; both do reside in the public domain.
You've been warned.


The Princess and Curdie

by George MacDonald


THE king sent Curdie out into his dominions to search for men and women that had human hands. And many such he found, honest and true, and brought them to his master. So a new and upright government, a new and upright court, was formed, and strength returned to the nation.

But the exchequer was almost empty, for the evil men had squandered everything, and the king hated taxes unwillingly paid. Then came Curdie and said to the king that the city stood upon gold. And the king sent for men wise in the ways of the earth, and they built smelting furnaces, and Peter brought miners, and they mined the gold, and smelted it, and the king coined it into money, and therewith established things well in the land.

The same day on which he found his boy, Peter set out to go home. When he told the good news to Joan his wife, she rose from her chair and said, "Let us go." And they left the cottage, and repaired to Gwyntystorm. And on a mountain above the city they built themselves a warm house for their old age, high in the clear air.

As Peter mined one day by himself, at the back of the king's wine-cellar, he broke into a cavern all crusted with gems, and much wealth flowed therefrom, and the king used it wisely.

Queen Irene—that was the right name of the old princess—was thereafter seldom long absent from the palace. Once or twice when she was missing, Barbara, who seemed to know of her sometimes when nobody else had a notion whither she had gone, said she was with the dear old Uglies in the wood. Curdie thought that perhaps her business might be with others there as well. All the uppermost rooms in the palace were left to her use, and when any one was in need of her help, up thither he must go. But even when she was there, he did not always succeed in finding her. She, however, always knew that such a one had been looking for her.

Curdie went to find her one day. As he ascended the last stair, to meet him came the well-known scent of her roses; and when he opened her door, lo! there was the same gorgeous room in which his touch had been glorified by her fire! And there burned the fire—a huge heap of red and white roses. Before the hearth stood the princess, an old gray-haired woman, with Lina a little behind her, slowly wagging her tail, and looking like a beast of prey that can hardly so long restrain itself from springing as to be sure of its victim. The queen was casting roses, more and more roses, upon the fire. At last she turned and said, "Now, Lina!"—and Lina dashed burrowing into the fire. There went up a black smoke and a dust, and Lina was never more seen in the palace.

Irene and Curdie were married. The old king died, and they were king and queen. As long as they lived Gwyntystorm was a better city, and good people grew in it. But they had no children, and when they died the people chose a king. And the new king went mining and mining in the rock under the city, and grew more and more eager after the gold, and paid less and less heed to his people. Rapidly they sunk towards their old wickedness. But still the king went on mining, and coining gold by the pailful, until the people were worse even than in the old time. And so greedy was the king after gold, that when at last the ore began to fail, he caused the miners to reduce the pillars which Peter and they that followed him had left standing to bear the city. And from the girth of an oak of a thousand years, they chipped them down to that of a fir tree of fifty.

One day at noon, when life was at its highest, the whole city fell with a roaring crash. The cries of men and the shrieks of women went up with its dust, and then there was a great silence.

Where the mighty rock once towered, crowded with homes and crowned with a palace, now rushes and raves a stone-obstructed rapid of the river. All around spreads a wilderness of wild deer, and the very name of Gwyntystorm has ceased from the lips of men.


Chapter 34 - The Princess and Curdie

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