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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Oh crap sorry! Extra Credits! Along with Heathcliff, I dedicate this story to the following people, in no particular order:

Ada Lovelace

Kurt Vonnegut

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Grace Hopper

Ray Kurzweil

Gabe Newell

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

The Fam

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Issue : Games : Mr. Wizard

A long time ago I was a little kid in the jungle. We lived in a cul-de-sac on the north-side of town. Our house was the last to the left, framed with big palm trees on each side, and surrounded by a thick green plant wall. It doesn't get much more California than that.

Cul-de-sac means, "Bottom of the bag" in French. But it really wasn't that bad, as far as places to live go. Everyone knew everyone, for the most part. The kids rode bikes in the street and threw rocks at beehives, that kind of stuff. But the adults kept a respectful distance from each other, waves while driving by, and short conversations while walking the dog. But it was never a "Come over and play cards every Wednesday" or, "May I borrow a cup of sugar," situation. I don't know why.

An old guy lived at the end of the cul-de-sac on the far right by the stop sign. He lived alone in a blue house. His garage was always open. Inside his garage were all these machines. Things that clanged and spun and shot sparks. I knew why the adults didn't like him, they thought his garage shit was too loud. He was the common conversation denominator of every adult homeowner for two blocks.

Some people heard he was an engineer, some people heard he was a mechanic, my buddy that lived across the street told me he was a child molester, or a serial killer, or something. I heard that and thought, whatever. He was that one kid that regurgitated rumors and just made up shit all the time. Every thing and everybody he didn't understand was by default the worst thing he can imagine, or whatever the T.V. or an adult said something might be. That kid was an important figure in my life because he taught me early how to tune out people who spout shit like that.

But the seed was planted and the question of who this dude really was began eating at me. By not taking this case I felt like I was letting down my heroes. Pete and Pete would have figured it out, Harriet would have gotten to the bottom of it. How would I ever be able to Salute My Shorts with pride if I didn't address this?

So I went to the drawing board, building a list of things I knew for sure based off empirical evidence. I knew his shit was loud, I knew he liked to work at night, and I knew he was an asshole. I knew he was an asshole because he had signs up saying don't play on his grass, and his grass is right on the corner. That is a dick move out of the box.

The list and stakeouts began taking too long, so I decided to just ride my bike over there and get in his face. I was a busy little kid, didn't have time for all that bullshit. If this dude touching my wiener is what it took to get some answers, then fuck it. At least I was gonna get molested for a reason. It was the nineties, kids were out there getting diddled for nothing.

So I ride into his driveway and post up like, "What's up, bruh? Game over." He waves me in and shows me what he does. Turns out he was some kind of engineer. shaped stuff with chemicals and metal. A loud, long process. So that was that.  He had retired a long time ago though and did it now on the strength. He showed me things here and there. Wasn't that major.

He was also a teacher for a little while, and he had a wife, but she died. That bastard cancer took her in 85, according to him. She was an astronomy teacher. Taught kids about the stars and stuff.  He said she was up there, like a star, or something. He said every night he would look through her telescope, and talk to her. That solved the night work mystery. And he was also kind of a jerk, but like the teacher kind of jerk, the type that got too old to lie to children a long time ago. If he wanted me to pay attention, he told me to pay attention, if he wanted me to shut up, he told me to shut up, if he wanted me to leave, he said leave. that kind of jerk.

All in all a good guy though, if he molested me I wouldn't have been too mad. I popped my head in here and there, but a year or so later I started running with kids with names like "G-Rocka" and "Mr. Graff." I just didn't have space in my super cool life for an old man and his science anymore. Kids are dumb.

Anyway I'm only bringing this up because of Cosmos. I had long forgotten this guy until NdT reminded me just how small our problems are in the big scheme of things, but how cool it is that we have them, and that asking questions are the only way to be sure, and you will never be totally sure. I hope information is happy and healthy, despite it all. I get why he talked to that star now. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.183 Issue : People : Gazing

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