#Scrumble round 2 update + fun drinks in SF

[begin administrivia]

 Lion Kimbro and Limbic both scrumbled splendidly last round and it
would be great to see something from them again.

 Dave Howell commented to Marty a couple of days ago that he needs to
get his hack in. Scrumble first, pls.

 Marty Hale-Evans refuses to scrumble. How can we make it more fun for
her? I know she likes gin and tonics (also spelled jinnentaanix,
etc.).

 OK, so far John Braley and Paul Snyder have “pre-pledged” to scrumble
this round Real Soon Now, but have yet to say anything: Come on,
dudes, drink up!

 John thinks the rules are confusing. These are the short rules for
your part in a round:

 1. Toast a principle you believe in.
2. Toast a person who embodies those principles.
3. Boast about one or more of your accomplishments.
4. Swear an oath that you’ll accomplish one or more deeds.

 For every deed you accomplish by the next scrumble round, you gain 1
honor. For every deed you don’t, you lose 1 honor.

 That’s it. The current full rules are here:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddsh3td8_178qnmtk2f6&invite=897863999

 [end administrivia]

 Now for the fun stuff. In my boast for the second scrumble round, I
said, ‘And I lift a tumbler filled with “a bracing mixture of
Confidence and Optimism” to myself”. I included a link to clarify my
allusion, but Posterous deleted it because it was between angle
brackets. So instead, here’s the actual quotation, from chapter 8 of
Permutation City by Greg Egan. The character in this scene is a
billionaire who has been uploaded into a virtual reality after his
death.

 *****

 His dizziness had passed, but he strode into the library and poured
himself a drink from two cut-glass decanters, a bracing mixture of
Confidence and Optimism. With a word, he could have summoned up a
full mood-control panel — an apparition which always reminded him of
a recording studio’s mixing desk — and adjusted the parameters of his
state of mind until he reached a point where he no longer wished to
change the settings . . . but he’d become disenchanted with that
nakedly technological metaphor. Mood-altering “drugs,” here, could
function with a precision, and a lack of side effects, which no real
chemical could ever have achieved — pharmacological accuracy was
possible, but hardly mandatory — and it felt more natural to gulp
down a mouthful of “spirits” for fortification than it did to make
adjustments via a hovering bank of sliding potentiometers.

 Even if the end result was exactly the same.

 Thomas sank into a chair as the drink started to take effect — as a
matter of choice, it worked gradually, a pleasant warmth diffusing out
from his stomach before his brain itself was gently manipulated…

 *****

 I thought you might also enjoy the following conceptually similar
scene from Charles Stross’s sf novel Accelerando that was one of the
inspirations for Scrumble.

 *****

  “Say hello to the jellyfish, Boris.”

 Boris, in human drag, for once, glares at Pierre, and grips the
pitcher with both hands. The contents of the jug swirl their tentacles
lazily: One of them flips almost out of solution, dislodging an
impaled cocktail cherry. “Will get you for this,” Boris threatens. The
smoky air around his head is a-swirl with daemonic visions of
vengeance.

 Su Ang stares intently at Pierre who is watching Boris as he raises
the jug to his lips and begins to drink. The baby jellyfish – small,
pale blue, with cuboid bells and four clusters of tentacles trailing
from each corner – slips down easily. Boris winces momentarily as the
nematocysts let rip inside his mouth, but in a moment or so, the
cubozoan slips down, and in the meantime, his biophysics model clips
the extent of the damage to his stinger-ruptured oropharynx.

 “Wow,” he says, taking another slurp of sea wasp margaritas. “Don’t
try this at home, fleshboy.”

 “Here.” Pierre reaches out. “Can I?”

 “Invent your own damn poison,” Boris sneers – but he releases the jug
and passes it to Pierre, who raises it and drinks. The cubozoan
cocktail reminds him of fruit jelly drinks in a hot Hong Kong summer.
The stinging in his palate is sharp but fades rapidly, producing an
intimate burn when the alcohol hits the mild welts that are all this
universe will permit the lethal medusa to inflict on him.

 “Not bad,” says Pierre, wiping a stray loop of tentacle off his chin…

 *****

 Don’t Drink and Drive, but Do Drink and Do!

 Ron

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