Concerning my failed invention, the Elf Detector

    Someone once told me that the Russian language has no single word for blue. Instead they have thousands of words for the various shades and variations of what an English-speaker calls blue. They’re crazy, right? Wrong. Science has proven that Russian-speaking people actually see more shades of blue than people who speak other languages, seemingly confirming the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that language determines your thinking. Russians have an actual cultural adaptation that allows them to see more colors than the rest of us.

    A belief in playful nature sprites has been common in Europe in the past, but hasn’t been taken seriously in a few hundred years. Except in Iceland. In Iceland, the general chaotic nature of the Universe is attributed to the mischief of “Elves,” or “Hidden folk.” They build little houses for the elves, and delay road construction, and one prominent judge said that when he’s having trouble making a decision, he consults a pair of elves that live under his bench. There are even government officials whose job it is to make sure the NATO base in Keflavík is safe for elves.

    If you learn to speak Russian, you become aware of brand new colors, hiding within Blue. If you learn to speak Icelandic, do you start to see elves? Obviously, I can’t learn to speak Icelandic. I don’t have time for that.
 

    But I did have time to write an artificially intelligent computer program that “understands” the Icelandic language.
I also fed several encyclopedias on Icelandic culture into its programming, just to be sure. 

The Elf Detector's Main Display Face. I don't remember telling it to look like this.

The Elf Detector's Main Display Face. I don't remember telling it to look like this.

Then all I had to do was connect the program to a motion detecting webcam, and I’d be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether or not elves exist. Sounds easy enough.

    I left the program on all night, and it only took one picture, of an empty room.

This is ridiculous. There's nothing here except for a bike and some green and pink squares.

This is ridiculous. There's nothing here except for a bike and some green and pink squares.

    The experiment was a complete failure. I built a robotic body for this program, capable of feeling pain, just so I could throw it in a lake.

Concerning the Art of Disguise

    Recently, I found that I had gone several months without taking out the recycling, and had thus amassed over one hundred (100) assorted cans, bottles, and various other liquor receptacles, including one glass boot and one Aykroyd-Approved crystal skull. 
    Turns out, you can trade those liquor bottles for cold hard cash at my local liquor store, though they have an incredibly oppressive rule: each person is only allowed to return 24 bottles, each day.
    This was a problem for me, as I wanted that money now. (Actually, then.) 
    So I got to thinking: suppose a man could become several men, perhaps through the thrilling art of disguise?
    This chameleon, I supposed, would hypothetically become a person such as Dave Ostergard, a local accountant with a pair of moccasins, daytime pyjamas, and a box full of cider cans.

   Dave walks a bit like a chimpanzee and is afraid of spiders.

   Dave walks a bit like a chimpanzee and is afraid of spiders.

    This master of disguise would also have to be able to become a person like Taylor Belvin, a vinyl record enthusiast with a plastic bag full of beer cans.

 Taylor has a sock that he calls Cynthia and wants to marry Meg White.

 Taylor has a sock that he calls Cynthia and wants to marry Meg White.

    A schemer such as this, would have to become a man like Ethan Tromblo, a wannabe DJ who thinks that being a DJ involves making iTunes playlists.

Ethan has two canvas bags full of hard liquor bottles and his breath smells like cough syrup.

Ethan has two canvas bags full of hard liquor bottles and his breath smells like cough syrup.

    Ideally, this hypothetical scheme could even benefit from an accomplice, and could go under the guise of Mr and Mrs Thompson, two insurance adjusters from Long Island.

Mr and Mrs Thompson were very courteous, and didn't fart once during their whole visit. It was someone else who farted. Honest.

Mr and Mrs Thompson were very courteous, and didn't fart once during their whole visit. It was someone else who farted. Honest.

    Using nothing but their wits, wiles, and women's intuition, anyone brave, lucky, or just plain handsome enough to pull off this scheme would amass nearly ten whole dollars by the end of the day! Totally worth it.