The Birch Harbor Asylum Homepage

Super Awesome Webpage of Author Kristen Selleck

The Evil Scientist's Blog

A scientist/writer/mom's thoughts on family, getting published, space monkeys, and everything in between.  You know it's epic...so subscribe minions!

Subscribe to The Evil Scientist also Writes


view:  full / summary

Asylum--Book One of the Birch Harbor Series--Coming Soon!!!

Posted on October 10, 2011 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Well all...BIG FREAKING NEWS! Here it comes...wait for it...waaaaaait for it....


ASYLUM WILL BE GOING TO PRINT!


That's right.  Asylum is about to join the growing list at Brother Maynard Publishing.  How soon, you ask?  How's October 31st?  Do you want to see the cover?  You know you do!  Here it is:



I know, I know, freaking awesome isn't it? (thaaaaaanks, Ivy)

Anyhow, look for some promotions that will be coming up.  The facebook page will be going up soon, and we'll be running a contest, something along the lines of: "like us on facebook and you could win a free autographed copy" or maybe, "like us on facebook and the authors husband will drive to your house and change the oil in your car for you." (sorry, Shad.  You're the only marketable asset we've got-- what else could we offer?--"like us on facebook and Drake Selleck will come over to your house, make irrational demands and then insult you?" Gotta take one for the team here, babe.)


Don't forget! October 31st Asylum will be available on Amazon and hopefully barnes and nobles's websites.  I'll keep everyone updated.


October 31st, write it down.

Little Bear is an evil [email protected]

Posted on July 31, 2011 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (2)

As a young child, Drake was a master at crafting excuses.


He wouldn't learn his alphabet because... he had a fear of letters. Apparently, they gave him nightmares, especially their horrifying leader- A.


He wouldn't pick up his room because... he had a bad back.  He wasn't sure how he had hurt it, but it was pretty bad, and the only thing that made it feel better was laying on the couch drinking juice and watching cartoons.


He drew his self-portrait on the wall because... he had run out of paper.  And wasn't it really our fault for not picking more up?


And he, most assuredly would not toilet train because... he was afraid of toilet sharks. (and, really, who wouldn't be?)

But something occured after he reached the prodigous age of four-- he got lazy.  At this age he decided that every bad thing that happened could be attributed to one source.  His imaginary friend... LITTLE BEAR!


Who ate all the watermelon in the fridge?

Little Bear.


Who knocked baby brother over and made him cry?

Little Bear.


Who spilled koolaid all over the carpet in the living room?

Little Bear.


Who's responsible for the delay in the aid response after hurricane Katrina?

Little Bear.


He seems to quickly disappear after any major incident, so I'm just assuming on that last one.  Drake assures me that his father and I are probably the only people who can't see him, so if you could do us a favor and be on the look-out for this bear:

It would be greatly appreciated.  The little furry evil doer makes me miss the toilet sharks.

Drake offers his first written apology.

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 11:12 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, if you have a 4 year old, you probably already know that one minute spent idly looking in the opposite direction of them can result in thousands of dollars worth of property damage.


We got lucky this time.  Drake was at a friends house and I guess, somehow managed to throw thirty rocks over a fence and into a neighbor's pool. Which on the bright side does, at last, display a solid work ethic. Finding that many rocks and getting them over a fence in that short of an amount of time IS an accomplishment...of sorts.


Unhappily, the neighbor did not see it this way. As the ever thoughtful parents that we are, we decided an apology note would be the best punishment.  He hates having to sit down and write anything, even his name.


He decided on a card.  Since Hallmark was out of "sorry I threw thirty rocks into your pool" cards, he had to make his own.  I've recreated his first draft for your viewing pleasure, adding only labels, in case you are confused:



Not that it isn't lovely, but I doubt very much that the neighbor would be pleased to receive an artwork commemorating the day rocks were thrown into his pool. (By a rather messy-headed angry giant stickman, no less.)


So we tried again, this time starting with the dreaded task of writing.  Here is the reproduction of his best efforts:

Yes, that says 'pooh'.  He refused to change it, playing dumb at first and then claiming that he was very hurt that we did not like his L, because he tried to write it the best he could.

You can lead a horse to water...


We finally convinced him to not draw a picture on the cover of the card of himself vandalizing anything and it ended up like this:


Which we--given the scale of the rock versus the pool-- can only hope the neighbor doesn't take as a threat to come back to the pool with fucking boulders.




The Coolest Trick to Impress Druken Friends at the Bar that the World Has Ever Known!

Posted on July 9, 2011 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (1)

Alright, damnit.



Every once in awhile, the pressure to use my amazing amount of awesomeness to do something good for mankind gets to me... and I crack.  This does not happen often, so pay attention.



I'm about to tell you how to make drunk people think you're the coolest person that they've ever met.

Step one-- you have to smoke.  Not just because it makes you look cool (face it, even if you're a badass to begin with you look twice as cool smoking a cigarette.)

(Case in point)


But also because it's necessary to make this trick look completely unplanned.



Second, find a way to turn the conversation to scientific principles.  It isn't hard when everyone's been drinking-- "Yeah, I know, Denise looked really hot in that miniskirt the other night.  Hey-- you know what's super cool? Gravity!"



Third-- and here's where it gets technical-- smoke your cigarette to the butt.  Now, pull out your cigarette pack and you know the cellophane that covers the bottom portion of the pack?  Pull this out so that there's about an inch of space between the bottom of the pack and the bottom of the cellophane wrapper, this is now a vacuum.  Lay the pack on it's side.  Now, using the cigarette, touch the ember lightly to the top of the cellophane wrapper, burning a tiny hole.  Put the cigarette butt out in the ash tray, and remove the paper from the filter.  Roll the paper tightly and use it to plug the hole you just made in the cellophane.  Next, use a lighter to light the rolled paper on fire where it sticks out of the hole.  Blow the flame out quickly.  Finally, watch the amazement on your friends faces as the smoke cascades down in a waterfall and pools at the bottom of the cellophane, because all things, even smoke, falls due to gravity when there's no air to hold it up.




Now, bask in the adoration of drunks, and don't say I never did anything for you.

Return of the Evil Scientist!

Posted on June 20, 2011 at 12:37 AM Comments comments (1)

What? You all know very well how busy the life of the world's most evil scientist is! 



My latest bid for WD (world domination, come on, keep up.) has hit a lull, so in the interm, here's something that's been bugging me:



OLD PEOPLE.



Yup, pretty much all of them.



Now I have a soft side (yeah, I'm probably exagerating a little, maybe a soft toe.)- so I'm not for euthanizing all of them, just the ones that climb into their massive land boats and troll down the highway at forty miles an hour with the top of their head just peeking over the steering wheel, floating slowly from lane to lane like they're the ball in the atari game pong.



Let's start by making old people take road tests every three years once they hit like, I dunno, what's old now? 65? And if we can't push that through- because we can't, let's face it, old people have to much time to vote-- then can we, at least, do what I've been suggesting for years and mount cattle pushers to the front of our cars?



"Ohhh, Hi there Grandpa.  So you think you're getting on the highway at a top speed of 25?  Not today. VRRRROOOOOOOM, SMASH.  See ya!"



My mini-van already has a death ray, I'm sure I could mount a nice after-market grandpa mover 4000 to it. Make that shit trendy too, chrome with some flames or skulls painted on it or something. Yeah.



and also... old people should stop smelling like sour dust, and wear jeans...and not chew with their mouths open. Some day this will be law.


I'm just kidding Gam-Gam.  You know I love you.



Sensory Deprivation Tank 'ed'...

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Yes alright, I know, I know.  It's been awhile since I blogged.  I have a decent enough excuse - I just started a new job in a new lab, and there's a steep learning curve (aka, I now have duties in addition to pressing the start button on an analyzer.) Anyhow, I promised a few readers who knew what I've been up to as of late that I'd blog about it, so here goes:



So anyhow, you may not know that evil scientists have a certifying agency.  That's right, we all like to keep a long collection of random numbers and letters after our names and in order to do that, we have to hold certain certifications which involve us having to take online courses and go to conferences to earn these stupid little vouchers known as CE credits(I think it stands for Continuing Evil).  We even have to take these stupid little quizzes to show that we're retaining information.  Here's a sample question:


1. World Domination is _________

(a). Very important

(b). Not that important, there are still episodes of Family Guy I haven't seen on Hulu.

(c). All of the above.


You see what I mean?  Tricky, aren't they?  So there I am, completing a course on the history of evil science when I came across a chapter on John C. Lilly.  In a nutshell - dolphin communication, psychedelic drugs, aaaaaaaand... the study of the nature of consciousness using something called a sensory depravation or isolation tank.  Now sure, the idea of using dolphins as minions was intriguing, but what really threw me was the isolation tank.  Basically it's a big metal coffin that contains water super-saturated with epsom salt. (so anything would float in it.) You shut yourself in and float.  No light, no noise, and since you're floating, you really can't feel anything either,  If you've never seen Altered States, here's a visual for you:



okay, never freaking mind. This stupid blog program won't let me add a pic. (seriously i should just give up and go to wordpress... but i digress.) Just google it.  So John C. Lilly took a bunch of drugs and tripped out a bunch of times. (and another random tangent -  wouldnt it suck to be his research assistant?  You'd be standing there with a towel like "oh, you saw the cosmos. uh-huh. purple monkey spit dripping from the ceiling.  Sure I'm writing this down, just like I'm sure you'll remember this all tommorrow.")



I don't know what was so intriguing about this, but I had to try it (WITHOUT the massive amounts of LSD, or whatever the heck they were on.  I mean seriously, how is that science?  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the drugs had more to do with your altered mental state then the isolation tank, Dr. Lilly.)  and it turns out there's a sensory dep. place not far from the house.  So I went. (but I took my best friend, because let's face it- It's a little creepy, right?)  Let me just tell you, the hardest part is working yourself up to close the door, because once you do, you're on your own.  Just naked in this pitch black little space filled with warm water.  For the first thirty or so minutes I'm floating, and I can't really relax because all I can think about is that this is all very comfortable.  So comfortable, and the water's warm and salty and what if... what if the person before me just took a leak or something?  What if the timer was broken, and I know the guy said that music was supposed to come on when your time's up... but what if mine doesn't work?  How freaking long have I been in here?  Is that a light?  It looks like a tiny dim light but it moves whenever I try to freaking look at it.  Like a damn firefly or something.  I'm freaking out.  Am I freaking out?  Oh God, I just stopped breathing.  There it goes again.  What if I'm asleep right now?  The guy said people fall asleep all the time, and it's okay, you won't drown or anything.  How do I know I'm not asleep right now?  I could be.  How long have I been in here?  I can't feel my body at all.  It's gone numb.  If I fart it'll be like a hot tub. A stinky hot tub. I should be, like, meditating or something.  Ohhhh gaaaa, my eye itches, but if I touch it it'll sting because of all the salt water.  I am not getting out.  I don't want to wuss out.  Meghan's probably over there in her tank all "ahhhhhhh... how relaxing." and if I get out I'll be a damn wuss. (By the way, Meghan's 8 months preggo and had to get out to pee like ten times and was sitting in her tank thinking pretty much the same thing.)  And then the music came on.  And it didn't seem like two hours.



So I dunno.  I guess everything is worth trying once, but I dont think I'll be making a repeat trip anytime soon.  Now, dolphin communication on the other hand...

WATCH OUT FOR THAT-- oh man, sorry about that particle beam, Anatoli.

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 1:49 AM Comments comments (1)

Anatoli Bugorski-- proving that Russians are so effing hardcore that they will facebutt a particle beam.

 


This is just one of those wierd true things that you want to know about... trust me!

 


In 1978, soviet scientist Anatoli Bugorski was eating a taco bell beefy five-layer burrito, when a dollop of seasoned ground beef-like material and sour cream, dripped into the particle accelerator.  Thinking quickly, Anatoli stuck his head into the accelerator, (no, not really, he was checking some kind of failed mechanism).  What followed was later described by Anatoli as a 'flash brighter than a thousand suns' as the proton beam, traveling close to the speed of light, pierced through his face and out the back of his head.

 


Amazingly, he reported that he felt no pain.  He was taken to a clinic in Moscow so that doctors could observe his expected demise.  After absorbing (reportedly) several hundred times the amount of radiation it would take to kill a person, they expected the end to come quickly.  However, no one remembered to tell Anatoli to die, so instead of keeling over he got up and had a sandwich. He's still living.  And except for some seizures and a partial paralysis of his face, he still enjoys physics and taco bell.

 


This is all true, you can wiki it.  It may be hard to visualize how someone could stick their head in a particle accelerator, but it was Soviet Russia.  It was probably made out of refridgerator magnets and duct tape and powered by a monkey on a bicycle, so safety restrictors?  Forget about it, Vladimir.  

 


On an interesting sidenote, another effect of the accident was a bizarre change to his appearance.  When one looks directly at Mr. Bugorski, the right side of his face has the normal, wrinkled appearance of an elderly man, while the left side of his face is apparently 'frozen in time' and hasn't aged a day since the accident. 

 


Now I'm an evil scientist, so your line of thought might not travel the same direction as mine, but to me this poses several interesting scenarios.  First, we might finally be able to rid the world of Zombie Joan Rivers (we might be able to convince her to stick her face in a particle accelerator.  I mean so far, the survival rate is 100%, (we're one for one)) Second, what if we did convince Zombie Joan Rivers to stick her head in there, and instead of her head exploding, dying of radiation poisoning, or just gaining the ability to keep a youthful appearance without surgery-- what if she gained super powers?  What if she became a flying Joan Rivers with eyes that shot lazers?  Third, do you think the other scientists ever refered to him as Two-face?  "Holy Sputnik, someone call Batman, Two-face has escaped Arkham Asylum again and-- ohhhhh, snap, sorry Anatoli."

 


At any rate, it's another interesting tidbit that you can bring out at random times to impress less informed people.

Evil is Genetic

Posted on February 13, 2011 at 1:58 PM Comments comments (1)


"Why are you looking at me??  You know, I am really getting sick of the fact that every time a cat gets sacrificed around here, everyone automatically assumes its my fault."



Like many mothers, evil or otherwise, I have this unexplainable desire to make sure that my son's teacher recognizes him for the unmitigated genius that he is.  And, perhaps, like many children, my son's top priority in life seems to be to thawt me in acheiving my aims.


At first I decided that this would require little to no effort on my part.  Since Drake is a genius and she is a teacher, the recognition would be natural and easy.  Not so.  But I did not realize this until the first parent-teacher conference.  I should have known something was wrong.  Drake asked me why he was not going to school that day, and I explained that the children got to stay home so that the parents could attend conferences with the teachers.  he then demanded that I explain what a 'conference' was, and when I did, he became visibly nervous.


"i don't like this," he decided.  "I don't want you go to parent-teacher nonsense."


I assured him that there was nothing to worry about, and even told him that he was welcome to come along, which he opted to do.  What followed was like waking up in a bed full of cold dead fish-- shocking and uncomfortable.  The teacher told me that my son had a problem with listening and ran his mouth almost constantly.  She told me that he didn't have the ability to use sissors, and that out of 26 letters he could only identify four.  I was shocked up until this point, then a lightbulb clicked on.


One of my son's favorite things to do when bored is to get on my computer, bring up microsoft word and type dirty things on whatever story I'm working on.  So on a normal day, I'll be in the kitchen, and from downstairs I'll hear:


"MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!  MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!"

"what now, offspring?"

"HOW DO YOU SPELL POOP?"

"p-o-o-p"

"TWO O's, MOM???"

"yes"

"MOOOOOOOOOOOOM!! MOOOOOOOM!"

"what?"

"HOW DO YOU SPELL BUTT?"


So I know that he knows his letters, I have physical proof that he can find and identify the letters P, O, B, U, T, F, A, R, and many others on a keyboard.  It turns out, that my son had discovered that if he says the magical words "I dunno", he would be left to his own devices.


"What letter is this?"

"I dunno."

"What about this one?"

"I dunno."

"You need to cut this out with sissors."

"I dunno how."

"What comes after the number four?"

"I dunno."


I tried to correct the misunderstanding, by explaining to her that our family has a long and proud history of evil and that even a boy of four, in our family, had the ability to use cunning or trickery to get what they want.  In this case- to not have to do stuff like answer questiojns or learn.


I don't think this was well-received.


So now Valentine's Day has come around, and my four-year-old has been busy making out his cards to his fellow classmates.  His writing skills are well enough.  He can write his name nicely if you sit next to him and prod him constantly to do it correctly.  But he just doesnt have the ability yet to write his name perfectly on all twenty-some valentines, and I wasnt going to make him.  On some he just wrote a "D', on others he got kind of Salvador Dali and made a large melting D on one side, and maybe a tiny R backwards floating up in the sky, and somewhere completely else an upside down K, and then he might throw a number in there, like say, '4' because he's four, so why not.  But I wan't stressing.  I just wanted him to write it nicely on his teacher's valentine.  Because, you see, I've given up trying to convince her that he is a genius, I just want her to believe that he isn't mentally impaired.


So finally there we are, the last one, his teacher's valentine.  I lay it out and explain that I would really like it if he would write his name nicely, because this one is for his teacher.  So let's do this, let's write Drake!  We start right here, on the far left side, so we'll have enough room.


Drake grips his pen, moves it to the center of the valentine, and slowly and deliberately makes a large round circle.


"What's this?" I ask patiently.

"An O," he says nonchalantly.

"There's no 'O' in Drake."

"I know, but O's are easy," he explains.


I sigh, and rub my forehead, but I'm not going to get upset.  It's okay, there's still enough room, we can still get Drake written on there correctly.


"Can you write your name now?" I ask nicely.

"Sure."

"Can you make your D, right here?"

"I can."


He then proceeds to make a giant capital letter T.


"What's that?"

"It's a T."

"There's no T in Drake."

"I know that.  I just really like T's."

"Okay, fine.  Can you make a D now?!?"

"Nope," He holds the pen up and then drops it dramatically on the table, "I'm done."


To underscore his point, he gets up from the table and walks away.  So his teacher recieved a lovely valentine's card from a student identified only as "OT".  Touche, Drake.  You may have taken this round-- but I'm older and I've had more time to perfect my craft.  I will win the war.

Bed, Bath, and Be QUIET AND LET ME SHOP!

Posted on February 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (1)


Being both a female and an evil scientist places me in a very, very minority category of an already minority group.  Let's just be honest here, men have really had the market cornered on evil genius for about as long as... well... ever.  Every bit of headway I've made in the 'gaining street cred' department with my male counterparts has been hard-earned.


So you can understand why I might be hesitant to do anything that might destroy the little bit of respect I've managed to gain.  For instance, I wouldn't suggest evil secret santas or send anyone forwards of cute kittens that have captions under them refering to the kitten wanting 'cheezburgers'.  And I most certainly wouldn't admit to a penchant for knick-knack shopping.


Which is why I've got to blow off a little steam here instead of to my peers.  Having been off work for a few days, due to heavy snow (Thanks, top secret weather machine!), I was awake in the daytime.  As this doesn't often occur, I thought it might be a good time to find a few knick-knacks and a nice set of wall sconces for the lair.  I took the Deathvan to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.


I walked in the door, and was immediately assulted by a cheerful retail-minion... I think Bed, Bath, and Beyond calls them 'sales associate' or some such nonsense.  I had literally just stepped through the doors and the retail-minion was already asking if I needed help finding 'anything'.  No. 


I kept walking.  Another retail-minion, who looked essentially the same as the first one, stepped out from behind a display of ultra-modern-looking toilet brushes.  "Can I help you find..." NO! 


I kept walking.  Another one of these clones threw back the covers of the display bed where she'd been hiding, and aggressively demanded to know if I needed any help.   For the love of God, NO! 


At this point I stopped to pick up an attractive handtowel for the guest bath.  I was carrying this when another minion came from... to be honest, I didn't notice where this one came from.  I suspect she might have rapelled down from the ceiling.  She wanted to know if I needed a cart.  For what... the handtowel?  Did I appear to be struggling to lift the weight of it?  Or maybe I looked as though I were so dumb that I didn't know that stores had things like carts, which is why I didn't think to stop and get one.  I shook my head and she then wanted to know if I need help finding anything. >sigh< no.


I was likewise assulted four more times before leaving the store.  After the fifth time, I didn't even bother answering, just began laughing maniacally.  Now, I realize that I didn't brush my hair this morning,  (okay, I never do ANY morning, did I mention the whole I'm-an-evil-scientist thing?), and I may have been wearing a lab coat and rubber gloves, but I don't think I should be treated any different from any other customer.  And that's what I think was really going on there.  I think they kept asking because I didn't look like I 'belonged' in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond... so I must have been lost or something.


I feel discriminated against.  And discrimination is definately evil.  Nice Job, Bed, Bath, and Beyond!  Not as evil as Walmart, but keep it up and you'll get there.  (Also, please stock a better selection of wall sconces, as the ones you currently have are all crap.)

The Evil Scientist's Guide to a Relatively Good Marriage

Posted on February 2, 2011 at 8:51 PM Comments comments (0)


"Look, when I said I wanted to spend more time together, I didn't mean that you should move the bed into the lab!"




Let's face it--If there's a marriage with a more difficult adjustment period than a muggle-wizard union, it's the joining together of an evil scientist and a non-evil civilian.


Sure, at first your significant other was probably enamored of your quirks.  He or she found you 'unique' or perhaps 'quaint'.  It's easy to think this.  They had probably never been picked up for a date in a van with a deathray on it before.


And then you tied the knot, and the next thing you know, your 'cute' little habits have become majorly annoying personality flaws.  (Or, like that one time you ran out of cold storage and had to use the fridge to store a fresh batch of sheep's blood agar, which your spouse thought was cherry jello and proceeded to eat half a tray of before they realized that it didn't taste of artificial flavoring, and then had to be rushed to ER for an intensive stomach pumping, because you used a bunch of toxic chemicals to make it a more selective medium-- they can even unfairly be deemed 'deadly'.)


An interesting statistic for you: A staggering 85% of all evil scientist's marriages end in divorce.  This includes marriages in which the evil scientist CREATES their spouse.  What does this mean?  It means that collectively we really need to take a look at how we interact with our mates.


To begin, we need to identify some of the biggest stresses on a new marriage.  A good example of this are the holidays.  For example, during the Christmas season your relatives may drop by for a visit.  You can't expect that your spouse will understand that great, great uncle Yosef ripped the front door off the hinges because he still isn't used to his new cyborg body.  Or that your minions probably won't appreciate a gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. 


A good way to keep the holiday stress down, is to focus on and celebrate the nonconventional holidays.  Celebrations in which neither one of your established traditions will cause conflict.  One example of a nonconventional Holiday is Superbowl Sunday.  What evil scientist can't get behind a holiday in which two opposing groups use brute  force to determine who will dominate?  You may even be able to fuse your interests with your celebrations in a way which your spouse will agree is appropriate.  A recent breakthrough in evil science has allowed us to produce meat in the laboratory.  It's all about tissue culturing and getting your genetic coding for percent fat to muscle down, but we may be closer than you think to a 'grow-your-own-buffalo-wings' kit.  Just don't get carried away and try and modify your genetic code to produce fanged hamburgers that attack in yet another bid for world domination.  Your spouse will not appreciate this.



Finally, it's been said time and again, but the same old tired addage still applies.  Some days you simply DO have to say 'No more evil plotting', and spend more time with your family.



Rss_feed