In Which We Exchange Communication With Our Electronic Visitors.




Subject: FAIT CUBE™ Online Programming #5239
Date sent: 1 Oct 2012

Dear Jerry,

Doctor Flaxon here. The return email address on your web form set off flashing red lights in Sector 7 on the main lab control panel here at FAIT. While technically I wasn't "at home" when your code executed, I was walking by the console when the lights began flashing.

We've had our eye on you for some time. Your groundbreaking work in virtual reality technology in the mid-90s had you high on our "Potential Volunteers" list for most of the decade, but you were spared, in part due to your friendship with my cousin and lazy Webmaster Doug Faxon. While mere friendship with Doug doesn't guarantee your safety (see Vinnie Grier), your status as a family man gave us pause. Besides, once we installed keytrackers on your home and work computers, we had access to everything you worked on, as well as your most personal communications. Some of those were quite spicy, indeed...

As I said, the flashing red lights caught my eye, so I was able to watch your code execute on the Cube's remote console. One of our techs had a debug window open for a routine that was supposed to install a worm virus in the Federal Reserve Bank's network when Andy Williams died, but the worm was mistakenly inserted into the Trojan Prophylactic Corporation's network instead. Steps are being taken to make sure that this never happens again, and that the next celebrity death will trigger the proper execution of the code.

Suffice it to say that one of your OR conditions was met, so the mosquito swarm function WAS triggered, not in Amanda Denny's simulation*, but for another young female volunteer named Tawnee Phelbert, who was immersed in a Girl Scout Canoe Championship simulation on our gym's rowing machine. When I saw what was happening, I switched to the gym's closed-circuit video camera view to watch the result (I never tire of this, for some reason).

Tawnee's wild gesticulations resulted in her dropping the oar handles, losing the race for her team, and eventually capsizing her canoe, whereupon the application's penalization routine switched her immediately to Water Board World. I turned off the monitor after watching her little arms flail for a few minutes..

I hope you've enjoyed the result of your code snippet half as much as I did. We will send a representative for you soon, Mr. Isdale.


The Evil Dr. Flaxon

* From what I've heard, Amanda passed on several years ago from nervous exhaustion during an ill-planned Everglades vacation getaway with her husband Peter. 


Subject: FAIT CUBE™ Online Programming #723
Date sent: 13 Aug 2002

Dear ckwasnik,

Did you realize that the letters in your email address can be rearranged into "c ska wink" and "kicksawn" and "c a skwink"? It really makes you wonder...

Thank you for your submission of the following subroutine for the FAIT Cube:

> {if activated?(elevator (1,1))
> then
> set syrupsto(pancakeworld) = 1
> else
> set pumpBBHT(Tipper) = 2.00}

Not much of a Tipper Gore fan, are you? The poor woman needs a long rest and a substantial regeneration of mucous membranes after what you did to her.

The fact is, even though we CALL it Elevator #1, it really isn't our primary elevator these days. You see, a year or so ago, some of my assistants and I were conducting tests to arrive at a standard of measurement for that queasy feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when the jet you're riding in suddenly drops 50 feet very quickly. In low doses the sensation is pleasureable, like cresting the top of a small hill in a fast car, that momentary feeling of weightlessness a giddy thrill. But we discovered that certain neural pathways are activated when this sensation is experienced, and so naturally we began to wonder what would happen if we could increase stimulation of these pathways artificially.

The results weren't pretty. We had a strapping young volunteer from up Carson City way who claimed to be a big fan of roller coasters, Tilt-O-Whirls, Zippers, Hammerheads and other gut-wrenching amusement park rides. We figured he would serve as a good calibration model of intestinal fortitude, so we set up an experiment in haptic feedback that consisted of using a hyraulic elevator (that's right, Elevator #1) as a motion platform, with the subject immersed in various stomach-churning virtual worlds as his whole room moved up and down.

At first, there was a bit of "float", but after we strapped down the hospital bed to the floor of the elevator there were no more mechanical problems. And our volunteer was great - he supplied the benchmark data we were looking for within the first few hours of the test. Once I saw that the experiment was a success, I left the room and pursued other projects.

We were able to piece together what happened from the recalled accounts of witnesses and the evidence found at the scene. Evidently the last two lab workers on the scene that evening each thought it was the other's responsibility to top up the metabolant jug and put the system into Sleep Mode for the night. They walked out of the area for a beer and a bite and left the volunteer in a continued state of immersion. The really sad part of the story is that they both also assumed it was the other's responsibility to go back and release the subject from the rig after dinner was over, and left the Lad From Carson City (as he came to be immortalized around the lab) to die a slow, agonizing and stomach-emptying death in one of our less-pleasant virtual environments.

Our FAIT forensics department estimated that he lived for two to three weeks before the metabolants and H2O supply was exhausted. Severe enlargment of the diaphragm muscles indicated that he experienced "dry heaves" for a significant portion of that time.

The lab workers responsible for his death were reprimanded and made to clean up the elevator. They were greeted by the stench of old stomach juices and death when they finally reentered the elevator. Even so, they managed a fairly successful cleanup with very few lingering odors But few people around the lab use that elevator anymore, citing stories about the it being "haunted" by the Lad From Carson City. In an atmosphere as concentrated and tight-knit as the FAIT organization, superstition tends to breed.

Because nobody used Elevator #1 for a 24-hour period during the time your code snippet was activated (and thus satisfying the "ELSE" conditional statement of your code, Tipper Gore is now the rawest woman ever to approach (and then have snatched away from her) the status of First Lady.

Thanks again for submitting to FAIT.


The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Subject: FAIT Bulletin Board
Date sent: 11 June 2002

> If you are in possession of blue or red time warping moon crystals,
> I need some! Please make me an offer.

We only appear to have the green ones at the moment. Sorry.

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Subject: FAIT Bulletin Board
Date sent: 10 June 2002

Dear Dr. Flaxon,

I lately find myself besieged by an overwhelming desire to be dominated by Eric Estrada. But NOT the Eric Estrada of the 70's TV show "CHiPs" -- he's far too butch, with his Highway Patrol uniform, his macho attitude and his beguiling, gleaming smile. I want my Eric Estrada dressed in a large, pink poodle outfit, with a puffy tail and little pom-poms on his hands and feet. It would help a lot if the pom-poms slowly pulsated. I want my Eric Estrada to sing Broadway show tunes and skip around, kicking me every once in a while. I want my Eric Estrada to threaten me with exotic kitchen implements while quoting from "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus".

It seems unlikely that I'll ever be able to arrange such a meeting with the real Eric Estrada, so Virtual Reality seems my only hope. Is your Cube system up for this task? That Leviatron suit looks awfully inviting, as well as some of your haptic interfaces. How can we meet to discuss this?


<name omitted by request>

Reply From FAIT:

Dear <name omitted by request>,

Your request isn't so much a technological challenge as it is a challenge to the self-control of our lab workers here at FAIT. You'd be surprised at the number of requests we receive daily for simulations such as the one you describe.

Although the FAIT Cube is more than adequate to simulate the Eric Estrada of your choice, the real challenge would be to keep our laboratory staff from "tinkering" with YOU during your immersive experience. There is a rather strong temptation to push such simulations to the limit, particularly with a volunteer as outgoing as you appear to be. In several similar simulation scenarios in the past, I have discovered that lab workers have developed entirely new "home-grown" interfaces for the subject and installed them in my absence. While such initiative is appreciated and often rewarded here at FAIT, volunteers like you make it difficult to know when to stop. Your type NEVER cries "uncle", often because by the time you get there, your psychic shock threshold has been exceeded for so long that you're incapable of making any noises whatsoever.

Moreover, although we can develop "exciting" new interfaces until the cows come home, that is only part of the job. We also have to collect data, and with someone as twisted as you, such data is always skewed beyond recognition, without value for those who dwell in the middle of the bell curve.

There are venues for appetites such as yours in every major city these days. I suggest you seek them out. All of them.

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Subject: Difficult to Say
Date sent: 9 Jun 2002

Dr Flaxon,

I'm encountering problems with my polymorphic matter psychokenitoscopic mind and penis enhancer. Lacking the full power resources to satisfy its power requirements, I glommed power from four Western-state power grids and three secret nuclear test facilities.

Upon the return of power and lights to my own facility, I found that my companion Shi Shi (a poodle/rat-crap mix with pink hair, an attitude and an IQ of 140) was humping the cat. After extricating the cat from its involuntary participation in the mating sequence (I hope the poor thing grows its hair back), I donned an inversatronic transdimentional video viewer (ITVV) head display to review (I'm under-funded and haven't gotten a "VR" headset to date), only to discover that Shi-Shi had intended to cross-clone Me with a buxom human centerfold, a wolverine and a weasel clone, to fulfill her hidden sexual fantisies of the ultimate mate.

F*CKING cross-species-cross-gender LAB EXPERMENT!!

Reply From FAIT:

And we thought WE had technical difficulties...

Mr. Rgwillim, I have some observations. First, may I say I think it extremely ambitious to attempt to enhance both the mind AND the penis at the same time - it's no wonder you had to borrow power. Perhaps you should break down your experiments into more manageable bits?

Second, maybe you should avoid letting your household pets wander freely around your lab. With a creature like Shi Shi present, I would think you'd keep the cat quarantined in your private quarters out of sheer concern for the animal's welfare.

I bred a Shi Shi once, back in my "Alternative Animal" days. After it installed toaster heating coils in my Betamax VCR and filled my wine cellar with roofing tar, I realized it had too much intelligence to be allowed to live, and promptly microwaved it, which it seemed to mostly enjoy.

Lastly, it appears you have too much cloning equipment around your lab. Casual cloning is dangerous and unethical, and can be painful as well. We discovered this a long time ago, and at FAIT we have instead chosen to accept the natural order of things...

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Subject: FAIT CUBE™ Online Programming #650
Date sent: 9 Mar 2001

Dear Mr. Suicide:,

> {while activated?(elevator (1,1)) && activated?(nscanner(1))
> do
> set syrupsto(pancakeworld) = 1
> else
> all.midi(notenum) = (notenum + 1)}

Thank you for the suggestion for a code snippet for our FAIT Cuber massive parallel-processing computer.

Your suggested code has been implemented and I'm happy to say that it has resulted in the deafening of a pack of desert coyotes that roam freely on the surface near one of the secret entrances to the FAIT facility.

You see, our team of lab assistants was so enamored of your code that they removed the high-frequency driver array from our Space Shuttle Adventure motion control platform system and temporarily reloacted it to the surface, in an experiment designed to test the effects of high-frequency sound on local flora and fauna.

While a Federal Express delivery person was on the way down with a package of nitrous oxide whippets for Dr. Flaxon's enjoyment of the evening opera, a lab worker (who was recently vacationing in Kosovo) was in the process of gaining security clearance to enter the lab proper. Simultaneously, a rising wail began to emit from the speakers located on the surface. The code failed to set an upper limit, so the pitch continued to rise well beyond the range of human hearing.

Coyotes, which are very similar to dogs (and thus have the remarkable hearing capabilities of same in the upper range), were feeding on a dead jack-rabbit at the time this code was executed, causing an incremental pitch change in a Kurzweil K2500 synthesizer sawtooth patch, routed to the transducers on the surface which were located adjacent to the feeding animals.

The efficiency of this speaker array is astounding. Coyotes can run fast, but this unhappy lot was unable to get away from the speaker array quickly enough to avoid the loss of their hearing. Several joshua trees within the on-axis path of the array were found to have lost all their spines as well. Subsequent research is indicated for this phenomenon.

Needless to say, a raquetball player from the lab is also listed in critical condition, following the incrementing of the MIDI note numbers in the DEMONr Biocontroller rig, which was set up in a feedback loop with a BodySynth system at the time of the code's execution.

Thank you for your submission to the FAIT team! Operatives will contact you shortly.

The Evil Doctor Flaxon


Subject: FAIT Bulletin Board email#: 632
Date: 20 Aug 2000


> With that phobia thing, I agree. I loathe moths.
> I get all those symptoms and I would love to know how to get over it.

Our immersion therapy might help. We can simulate *anything*... Lately though, we've been trying to counteract phobic reactions with empathic therapy.

A typical moth treatment begins with the volunteer's POV as a moth in the pupal stage and wrapped in a cocoon for 4 months -- at the end of this period, he or she is possessed by a strange compulsion to eat away the shell. Soon after that the subject attempts to learn to fly. During this same period, an unnatural attraction to lights usually grips the subject, so strong that we've seen several attempt to mate with the virtual floodlamps. (It's actually quite amusing).

The theraputic reaction occurs when the volunteer's moth avatar ends splattered on the windshield of a '56 Caddilac full of frugal Mormon tourists during a freak Nevada thunderstorm. The subject can actually feel the scrape of the windshiled wipers as they push the guts back and forth -- it's very convincing.

Please let us know when you'd like to schedule your treatment. We'll be happy to come pick you up.

The Evil Dr. Flaxon

P.S. I've always wanted to meet a New Age music star! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to write!


Subject: FAIT CUBE™ Online Programming
Date: 2 Sep 1997

Dear Mr. Isdale,

We apologize for the delay in responding to your submission on FAIT's web site. The delay was an indirect result of the following programming, submitted by you and implemented in the FAIT CUBE™ on 8/25/97:

> {if (otherApps) == 1 && activated?(urinal(2,57))
> then
> set mosquito(swarm) = pov523
> else
> ypos(747) = ypos(747) 100}

At the time your routine was run, the CUBE™ had several apps running, but due to an unrelated plumbing problem, urinal #2 in the mid-lab men's bathroom was out of order, preventing the first conditional statement from returning a "TRUE" value. As a result, Amanda Denny was saved from another horrifying encounter with the virtual mosquitos on her river walk.

The multiple occupants of our newly-expanded FPT "Fear of Flying" simulator weren't so lucky, however. After a rather turbulent ascent sequence, several "passengers" were already experiencing primary panic symptoms associated with the 400 MilliSade level of discomfort -- sweaty palms and foreheads, dilated pupils, drop in body temperature, and tightening of the anal sphincter. Some were on the verge of projectile vomiting, as indicated by instruments wired in a feedback loop with peptic feedback probes inserted into a control group before the simulation began.

Upon the execution of your "ELSE" condition above, the mean simulator discomfort level skyrocketed to an unprecedented 950 MilliSades. Projectile vomiting was not limited to the control group; the post-simulation cleanup crew had quite a mess on their hands, since the "motion discomfort" bags had been removed prior to the simulation to study vomit trauma factors in the control group. Audio monitoring of the cabin had to be shut down manually by the simulation controller when the subjects' screams exceeded the maximum decibel level and began distorting the condenser microphones placed above their seats.

Virtually every Panic Index indicator was registering off the scale, resulting in a new scale revision after the fact. The simulation operator was forced to choose between shutting down the simulation or risking Cognitive Breakdown and the possible death of every subject involved.

FAIT's Emergency Medical Team was rushed to the scene to administer treatment to the traumatized occupants of the simulator, many of whom are still in serious condition. Of the ten subjects discharged from medical supervision so far, eight refuse to walk, preferring instead to crawl from place to place within the FAIT facility. When asked why they choose this peculiar mode of travel, they unanimously claim "closer to the ground is better".

Thank you for participating in our online CUBE™ Programming project. Your code has provided valuable new data and contributed to a greater understanding of physiological interface issues here at FAIT.


The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Date: 3 May 1997

Mr. Stephens,

> I am looking for the infamous Dr. Flaxon. My search for the secret underground laboratory in the Nevada desert was thwarted by the raucous "Burning Man" spectacle last Labor Day.

Yes, as were many of our experiments here at FAIT, I'm afraid. The vibrations created on the surface by the obnoxious rock bands and rowdy revelers were transmitted through the hardpan to the bedrock below, which conducts sound waves surprisingly well. We were treated to 3 days of agonizing, grinding pulsations which interrupted our routine and our important work. However, the situation did provide an inspiration for a new source of "raw materials"...We are in the process of finding a way to kidna-- er, I mean, "volunteer" all 10,000 Burning Man attendees this coming Labor Day and use them in our ongoing acoustic wave pain threshold research here at the Lab.


The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Date: 5 Jul 1996
Reply To: Dimensional Graphics (

C. Scott,

> The new laser-to-gray-matter linked headmount unit is developing nicely.

Well, you're really getting the jump on FAIT, aren't you? We haven't had much luck with our direct-neural linkages yet - the subjects don't survive long enough to provide any useful data, other than "DON'T try high voltage here"...

> The unit makes perfect connection directly into the gray matter of the human brain through a
> practically invisible hole burned directly into the skull of the subject. These
> voluntary subjects have claimed seeing brilliant colors once the laser interface beam reaches
> the gray matter.

I'll bet. And I'll bet your lab workers get brilliant colors, too - particularly the deep reds. I think perhaps you'll get better long-term results if you use a different laser for the neural stimulation than for the skull boring.

> I personally have tried it several times myself.

I gleaned that from the general tone of your missive.

> However we now have great hopes to bring recovery rate up to an acceptable scale
> within the next several months. Until then please send more volunteer subjects.

Listen, we're running a little low ourselves this month. You'd be surprised how few hitchikers there are on Highway 95 during the summer season - we have to take the Flaxmobile all the way into Vegas and mine the casinos late at night for our supplies, which is an expensive and risky operation.

Where are you located? Perhaps I can help suggest a likely reservoir of "volunteers" once I determine your geographical locale.

Until we meet again, my esteemed colleague...

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Date: 25 May 1996

Flaxon, I'm warning you, stay away from CyberEdge Electric! I've found your hack tracks, and I won't put up with it any more! Your evil schemes will never succeed!

It wasn't so bad when you added those bogus FAIT jobs to the Job Mart - if people couldn't tell they were fake, I guess they deserved to be your victims... Er, I mean "volunteers".

But inserting that insidious JAVA applet was TOO MUCH! I don't know how many thousands of innocent visitors to CyberEdge Electric! had their fingers bound to their keyboards, endlessly simulating Tetris...

Stay away from our site, you evil quack! If I catch you there again, there will be hell to pay!

Ben Delaney

Reply From FAIT:

My dear Mr. Delaney,

Honestly, you sound just like a hysterical Marcia Brady after discovering her diary is missing! Is this any way for the esteemed publisher of the world's leading newsletter of virtual reality to act?

First off, the only reason you found my "hack tracks" (as you so eloquently put it) is that I mistakenly left that little bit of coding to one of my underlings, who took so much pride in his work he left his FAIT return email address in a comment line at the head of the file. He's since been reassigned to the task of testing our new "Botched Vasectomy World" virtual environment.

The Tetris Weld Applet was only the beginning - we're currently devloping a Microsoft Windows 3.1 Solitaire Weld Applet that almost guarantees a healthy case of carpal tunnel, unless one of the user's family members happens by and manages to pry him or her loose from the mouse.

To address the Job Mart issue, let me just say that there are NO bogus jobs here at FAIT - every member of our personnel roster is essential in some way to the pursuit of our goals. I can't help it if an advertised position occasionally gets filled by one of our existing staffers, just before an applicant shows up for the interview. In such cases, we feel obligated to offer an alternate position to the applicant. After all, we don't want anybody to make the long trip out here for nothing...

Finally, Sir, threats in print don't faze me - I've been getting them for years, often from frustrated men anatomically inadequate in certain areas. I'm not saying you're one of these, of course, but you really should try using fewer exclamation points - they're a dead giveaway...

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Editorial Note: Every once in a while, FAIT receives mail from Distinguished Individuals, highly-visible cultural icons and celebrities known the world over. We are honored to know that such people value the contributions we're making to the future. The following exchange is with one such individual.

Date: Thu, 2 May 1996

[The Power Condom] is exactly the kind of thing that my wife and I have been looking for. Your teledildonic equipment should make our time "Surfing" the web much more enjoyable. Tipper is looking forward to the "The Pump" almost as much as she looks forward to having Ethernet cable wrapped around her and terminators clipped onto her [censored by the Communications Decency Act].

One request ... PLEASE send the goods in an unmarked brown paper bag. It's an election year, and if those idiot Repubicans caught wind of why we REALLY like the Information Super Highway, we'd be roasted.

Your Pal,

Reply From FAIT:

Dear Al,

It's a real honor to know that someone with a busy schedule like yours will still take the time to write such a sincere and heartwarming note! It's nice that you and your wife share an interest in the bleeding-edge technology being developed here at FAIT. Who says Family Values are dead?

Sounds like Tipper's gone through a lot of changes since her PMRC days. Still, what the Second Lady does in the privacy of her own home (or the White House, for that matter) is her own business - we support her right to that privacy. Our work on "The Pump" is continuing - we're doing calibration and performance evaluations on the Baseball Bat Haptic Thruster System now.

Perhaps we can send an evaluation unit to Tipper in exchange for her participation in our Beta Testing program - we can provide her with a password for our Protected Access area here at FAIT's Web site, so she can participate without having to leave Washington to visit the lab. That would speed up our testing process, and make those lonely evenings when you're out pounding the campaign trail more bearable for her. Of course, we'll gladly send you a working Power Condom package immediately, which includes the software we've provided many of your collegues in Washington, including [names witheld by request].

Finally, we understand the complexities of bipartisan politics, and will use our most discreet packaging when shipping your interfaces. If you'd like, we can send the package via a local Las Vegas trucking firm, White Water Freight, who we've found to be very reliable and can bring it right to your front door.

We're honored and excited by the prospect of working with you both. Thanks for the note - and the best of luck to you in November!

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Date: 3 Aug 1996

With the recent developments coming from FAIT , I thought it would be prudent to inform the good doctor of some breakthroughs in the science of VR that have come bubbling up out of the liquid center of our islands. As you know, one of the main thrusts of our tourist industry is to get bloated, out-of-shape visitors to take the plunge into the crystal-clear waters off our coasts to commune with the aquatic organisms that thrive here. As a result, many visitors to the islands wind up as lunch for lobsters and eels. This is usually through their own ineptitude and not from faulty equipment rented to them by some poor underpaid teenager with a drug habit.

Concerned developers have come up with a solution that, while though cumbersome in its current prototype, may greatly reduce the caloric intake of our endangered eel population; the VIRTUAL SNORKEL.

Weighing no more than your average 10-gallon aquarium full of rocks, water, and live fish, this device fits over the head and has a breathing tube similar to the traditional snorkel. Each device is custom-designed to simulate the underwater world off the islands in such a way that you really feel that you are floating in aqua-space, even though you are resting comfortably, face-down in the confines of our fully-equiped research kitchen. The visitor has the option of selecting which conditions best suit his or her desires. "Shark Prowl" is quite popular, allowing the visitor an up-close encounter with a small Tiger shark in a feeding frenzy. With your head and shoulders fully submerged in the tank, you can actually smell the blood at the same time the shark does,; and with the with the interplay feedback connectors linked directly to the shark's brain, you can feel the teeth rip and tear through the live bait that is put into the tank with you. Of course, we are still trying to work a few of the bugs out of the system, but all in all, it's still safer than actually sending these poor buggers out to meet the denizens of the deep on their own turf.

We hope that FAIT might be interested in funding future research as our original backer was one of the first to strap on the tank was acidentally beheaded when his chronic nose-bleed condition flared up.

Reply From FAIT:

To address what seems to be the primary thrust of your letter first, we here at FAIT are not involved in funding; we are a research facility just like you, with all the same budgetary restrictions. However, we do hope that the posting of your missive here on the FAIT Bulletin Board, which is read avidly by investment capitalists on a continual basis, will provide exposure to the kind of funding you require.

So sorry to hear about the fate of your initial backer. So many unfortunate things can happen out here on the wild frontier of scientific research! "Shark Prowl" sounds like an interesting experience indeed, but I must point out that your research is NOT what we here at FAIT term "VR", since VR is defined as the computer-generation of a 3-D interactive immersive environment. But the VIRTUAL SNORKEL is an Alternative Interface, and we are always interested in new innovations in this area.

We're also sympathetic to the environment, and we heartily support your efforts to keep the largely-unhealthy tourist meat out of the mouths of our ocean population. Studies have shown that substances like mascara, PABA sunblock, and white, caky antiperspirants stay lodged in the digestive tracts of sea creatures, causing problems in these animals and every subsequent animal that feeds upon them, with the possible exception of humans. While we regret the loss of revenue the VIRTUAL SNORKEL might cause the drug-addled teenage population of the Hawaiian islands, the concept is viable, and we at FAIT wish you all success in your further work!

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


You evil bastard!!!

Where the hell is my spleen? I went in for a simple ingrown toenail removal and woke up with an external bile collector duct taped to... aaarrgghh....

Reply From FAIT:

First off, my friend, I know my Father; he was an oaf laborer who had it in for my special talents from the start. You may be happy to know that your rather healthy spleen is safe and sound and is currently mounted in the abdomen of one of our test animals here at the lab, a chimpanzee named William. His own spleen was ruptured in an ultrasonic test of our Peptic Feedback Probe, and his grave condition required immediate attention. You see, he's one of our more valuable animals, and as you may know, chimpanzees are on the Endangered Species list. We simply didn't want him to become another grisly statistic.

Perhaps next time you need attention for your dainty toenails, you'll check into a beauty parlor...

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


(Flaxon's reply to Email from from an old high school teacher, Dr. Foster, from December 1995)

>To think, I taught you everything you know...
>But I never thought you would get away with... I mean, accomplish all this!

Ahh, I see you've joined Amerika Online, ostensibly to join into the chatting fray, am I correct?? Pardon me, but I learned my way around computers on Commodore and Timex computers, or don't you remember the horrible equipment at that dreary high school computer lab? But thanks for the push into the PC world.. You never realized what a monster you created...

>I am sickened and titillated that your twisted mind is now available to any
>poor neophyte seeking guidance. Dr. Flaxon, you should be ashamed!

Nay, nay, Professor, on the contrary; I'm PROUD to be able to provide this service for the unwary.. er, I mean, the unskilled.. One does what one can.

>By the way, whatever happened to that nice young man who sometimes came to visit
>you after school in the lab? I hope you haven't done anything heinous to him.

You mean my cousin, Mr. Faxon? He's still living in Santa Rosa, I'm afraid, indulging in his dreary little "family life" scenario... He owes me a visit. Perhaps when he does stop in next time, I'll immerse him in a new VR environment of my design - I'll call it "Family World", and populate it with ill-behaved, snotty-nosed, barely-potty-trained little brats, 2nd mortgages, a wife perennially afflicted with PMS... Yessss, that will do nicely.

>If I were associated with you, I would be through in any legitimate clinic in
>the world. You sleeze! Don't ever call on me!
>Dr. E. Foster, PhD., M.D., ASPCA, UNCF

Thank you - those so-called "legitimate clinics" give me the heebie-jeebies, anyway.

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Date: 15 Aug 1995

You have been ignoring one of the more interesting opportunities for an Alternative Interface: The New Power-Catheter. This device would allow a user to control a mouse, joystick, or other screen avatar by using the bio-feedback capabilities of a subject's urinary tract. The PCath, which would include a barbed interface for maximum control and a non-slip fit, would include an electrical haptic feedback feature to allow for more precise control and that all-important negative stimulus. And it would come in 4 colors and be available for purchase at truck stops along the more boring parts of Interstate 5 near Buttonwillow.

I think this product would articulate nicely into your existing line of Alternative devices.

Reply From FAIT:

Well, at FAIT we HAVE done some research with tubes into the body; one example is our intravenious nutrition supply, which provides our vict... er, guests with life-preserving metabolants while immersed in some of our long-term experimental environments. We at FAIT tend to avoid using heads-up displays (they can detract from the benefits of fully-immersive environmental programming), and therefore have had problems from time to time in getting our subjects to eat during their sometimes month-long sessions - depending on the virtual environment, they can be either downright voracious (which has caused many a bitten finger for our feeders) or totally uncooperative. In the latter case, I've personally witnessed subjects refusing food by closing their lips and clenching their jaws. In one particularly dramatic case, the subject simply vomited all over himself and his feeder in the middle of the meal; I think this may have been a case of bad timing on the feeder's part, as the subject had been immersed in "Forensic World", which was reaching a particularly disturbing peak at the time of the attempted feeding.

Our go-around for this problem was to simply hook them up to a traditional intravenious infusion system at the start of the session, removing the need for solid feeding - our system utilizes our special liquid feed, which is composed of vitamins, minerals, water, Fritos cheese puffs, and Almond Roca. As you might imagine, the resultant liquid wastes became an issue (no pun intended) early on, and the FAIT researchers opted for the catheter as the most convenient solution (again, no pun intended).Strangely enough, none of us ever considered using the lowly catheter as an alternative interface device until your letter arrived in the InterFAIT mailbox.

Now, the use of the catheter as a mouse or joystick controller is out of the question, if you think about it: it has only one degree of freedom (out). I can't visualize any kind of bio-feedback catheter interface that would give any further control, except for perhaps when used by a yogi. But a cathecontroller could be used as a sensing device to send control signals to a computer to affect changes in the virtual environment...

We could use it to cure bladder-control problems, by having rendered images of the subject's parents running in with rolled-up newspapers, shouting "BAD doggie! BAD, BAD doggie!" whenever moisture is detected.

Hmmm... I'll have to give this Renal Feedback device some further consideration. You might want to check the FAIT homepage from time to time to hear about our discoveries in this and other important research fields.

And thank you for taking the time to write, lad. You'll be a most welcome "guest" at FAIT , should you ever decide to visit...

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


Date: 11 July 1995
Sub: GPS Navigation
Fm: Harry Baya/SL15

My best guess is that the information needed for finding one's exact terrestrial location is fairly simple. A transmission from two known satellites should do it, and with three it should be possible to nail the location quickly. It would not matter what orbit the satellites were in so long as the local device knew their orbits.

So (he opined simplistically, from deep within his shell of blissful ignorance), all we would need to do is to get the current relay satellites used by TVs to add a beam with information identifying who they are and current exact orbit location, speed and direction. Then we pick up whatever is available, check the data base and, bingo, we are right where we started... only we know exactly where that is.


Reply From FAIT:


Here at FAIT we've already designed a system that has alternative 3d landscapes mapped onto existing city maps - our beta test site is Las Vegas, due to its relative proximity to the lab. Utilizing this system, we can drive the Flaxmobile around Las Vegas while completely immersed in an alternative virtual landscape. The GPS error has caused more than a few crushed fenders and bent bumpers in that town, and it really makes parking difficult at times, particularly during periods of active solar flares... The Flaxmobile has radar collision-prevention equipment, of course, but its interface with the GPS data stream is less than 100% perfect. That's when FAIT's "Collision Detection" equipment comes in handy, notifying the driver to beat a hasty retreat when a perimeter zone has been violated.

But your TV-station satellite idea is even now fueling a reevaluation of our system, and could enable our expansion into other towns, maybe even Los Angeles, where the insurance rates soar nearly as high as in Nevada. Plus, it has the added benefit of giving FAIT a technical foothold in the existing media conglomerate infrastructure.

The Evil Dr. Flaxon


We encourage our visitors to join into the dialogue at FAIT -- Perhaps you have an idea for an alternative interface but need the kind of expertise that runs rampant at FAIT . Or maybe you'd like to share an anecdote about your own Human Interface experiences. Perhaps you've been deeply affected by our efforts here at the lab and just want to vent your spleen - that's okay, too, but it may not get printed on this page... The essence of interaction is participation, so please take a moment to join into the ideological fray here at FAIT .

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