So I just got this book someone recommended to me … 51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius.
The thing sold itself on the title alone … Not that I’m either a big practical joker, or saying that I’m an evil genius (I try and only use my powers for good, not for evil), but it just had a certain appeal.
I’ve always been a big fan of the concept of the Technomage … An adept who uses technology to create the illusion of magicks. I first heard, and assume the concept was created, by Joe Straczynski on Babylon 5 … One of the best TV shows of the ’90s (Only surpassed, in my opinion, by The West Wing and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.)
Anyway, I’ve often used the term techomage to describe what I am … Not what I do, what I am. I have, for the most part of my life, used technology to create the illusion of magicks, in one form or another. Most decidedly so since I became a film editor and vfx dude. (and doesn’t “Hi, I’m your friendly neighborhood technomage sound” much better than “Hi, I’m your friendly neighborhood film editor and vfx dude”?
Galen, the technomage on B5, used to look like a strange and mysterious wizard who could wield arcane powers for practically any occasion. It wasn’t until you got him into a medical exam room that you found out he was a mess of implanted gadgets and transistor-driven whatchamacallits that made it look like he was conversant in the dark arts. And that sort of illusion of mystical firepower is what I love about this book.
51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius is basically an electronic primer and how-to guide for creating little electronic devices that can be used to drive your friends and loved-ones (or enemies in lieu thereof) to distraction.
After giving you the low-down on transistors, circuit boards, and which end of a solder-sucker is up, the book gives you recipes for creating little gems like a thingy that sounds like a dripping faucet which can be concealed in a kitchen to drive people crazy, Glowing Blinking Eyes, a Ghost Door Knocker and, my personal favorite, a thing that makes sounds like rats in the wall.
Twisted! I love it! (Okay, maybe the friend who recommended this book knew me a little better than most and just maybe I’d be happy to use my geek powers for evil for the sake of having some good laughs … and driving people to distraction in the name of hilarious hijinks.)
There are projects ranging from electronic devices to computer software shennanigans that will have your friends calling in plumbing and electrical professionals, or make them believe their PC is being taken over by an alien intelligence.
Best of all, this is only one in a series of books designed to help you loose friends and influence people into therapy!
Authors Brad Graham and Kathy McGowan should be given high praise (or shunned by civilized society) for their efforts.
I have a soldering iron. I have a solder-sucker. One trip to an electronics supply store and hilarity will ensue … Muwhahahaha!
Yes. 2009 is shaping up to be a brighter year already.