Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Sensory Deprivation II

Most of the senses and their corresponding administrative functions reside in the head, so head-covering has always been an effective first step deprivation of the subject's senses, i.e. cover the head with some sort of sense blocking device. Blindfolding is a time-honored way to stop sight, and enlarging the fold to cover the nose greatly inhibits sniffing (scent-acquisition). I have, on occasion, combined these techniques with a pair of cleverly placed cod-liver oil soaked cotton puffs in order interrupt the hearing function as well.

However, as a scientist/designer/man-about-the-Hague I wish to minimize equipment spending while simultaneously maximizing subject disorientation and overall project unity. To this end, I combine all pertinent sensory deprivation criteria (save touch) in a single, formerly modular, design. My designs have been called revolutionary, inhuman and, on occasion, darkly inspired. Despite global disagreement on the relative Genevate' of my creations, all agree on one aspect. My sensory deprivation helms are delicious.

'Two phone calls and it's done.' This is my motto (among others). It sums up my ariadnic network of spies, cut-throats, doers, movers, thinkers, shakers, and in the present case, wholesale confectionary distributors. The first of my two calls was to a contact in Belgium who was able to lay hands on 30 tonnes of weapon's grade chocolate. The first shipment, 15 tonnes of a bitter chocolate called Serge's Delight, was used to construct the circuitry of the helms. One of our greatest advances in the relevant technologies was the realization that chocolate liqueur (of which Serge's delight was 38%) is an excellent conductor and provides the cocoa infrastructure a higher tensile strength than milk or dark chocolates. The remainder of the shipments were a series of tiny arrivals via local messenger and merchant post--15 tonnes of couverture, referred to on the martial confection black market as Angel's Blood. The beefier cocoa content in this softer and more elegant strain of chocolate allowed us an unprecented interface capability--people can't wait to put the helmets on.

Unfortunately, I got all the chocolate with a single phone call, so in order to maintain my two call rule, I re-contacted the Belgian and thanked him for his role in a previous shipping project involving a marscipone stag being pursued by an olde-worlde hunter. As the hunter approached the prey, the stag turned and gored the hunter, whose wounds would cover the entire piece in a layer of raspberry reduction blood. The confectioner claimed no memory of the sculpture but added that if such a sculpture were to exist, he would not be the man to trace it. He said I should call Heinz-Karl, whoever that is.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Sensory Deprivation I

I have begun the design of a sensory deprivation apparatus that will rival any in prior or concurrent development. Rather than focusing on the benefits afforded during meditation or the detrimental effects afforded the unruly child or surly barfly who finds himself, inexplicably, in the care of a criminal mastermind or cartel lord, my team is concerned with the underlying nature of sense...and deprivation. You may have noticed that we have already deprived the term sensory of its -ory. Believe me, this is only the beginning.

First, the subject is placed in an accoustically isolated chamber. Do not fear, however, for the sanity of this poor bastard's ears. He will not be deprived of all sound. A significant portion of our funding has been devoted to the construction of a massive FM transmitting tower which will occupy all broadcast frequencies below 90.5 MHz. In the manner of many such stations, our research broadcasts, under the station ID KMAD (K-Mad radio, where we offer ...what's that? Mad you say? I'm not's you! All of you who are mad! Behold the glory of my creations and tremble!) 24-7 tremble--that's our unofficial motto.

This station (KMAD) will provide all the best easy-listening adult-contemporary fundamentalist glossalalia from the 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond. The subject will have all his thoughts involuntarily translated into the heavenly languages of various christian, vodun and usu zombe' sects until all will to resist our implanted (i.e. repressed) memories are allowed to flourish.

Next time...Material advances in helmet construction. Why is chocolate such a good conductor of human fear?