There was only one option left for Eden

Haloren reluctantly took the call. An image of a reptilian figure appeared on the other side of his desk.

“Prefect Daigio! How are you, sir?”

“Miserable. We are going home.”

“But you have only just arrived. What is the problem?”

“You rented us a dump — that is the problem!” hissed the Vestan.

“Planet Eden a dump? How can that be?” said Holoren, feigning amazement.

“The planet’s heating does not work. Eden’s sun is more like a red dwarf than a red giant. My rear waste ejector puts out more heat. We are freezing.”

“I’m sure we can rustle up…

Vaccine vacation hot spot

After traveling a long road of fruitless searches and false hopes I had finally arrived. I looked at the town sign with a mixture of hope and trepidation.

Knuttersville, PA.

Settled 1824. Population: 1,259.

COVID-19 Vaccination Capital of the World

“A Shot in the Arm!”

A large gray ball with red spikes — with various items including a coffee cup and a soda bottle impaled on them—sat atop the sign.

I’d driven more than three hours to this remote town in Pennsylvania because it was the only place that offered me an appointment to get the…


… and eco-friendly

George the dragon couldn’t stay silent any longer. “So, what do you think, sir?”

The Elder threw him a dirty look. Elders hated to be interrupted when they are thinking about a diagnosis.

“Have you been more active than usual?” asked the old dragon.

George was dreading the question, and couldn’t bring himself to answer immediately.

The Elder gave an impatient sigh; he sensed the other’s reticence.

“When I say more active I mean over and above the usual incinerations, such as setting human villages ablaze and terrorizing heroes?”

George would have turned red had crimson not…

No resting in peace for bill-shocked kids

For many parents, it’s one of the great enduring mysteries of death: when we’re gone, who will pick up the tab for the family cell phone plan we’ve been bankrolling since our kids were in middle school?

It’s hard to imagine the kids’ bewildered expressions in middle age when they read the first phone bill to arrive, look at their mobiles, and make the connection between the two.

They might also get hit with car insurance payments when they become parentless. …

Pool noodles could replace lifejackets

Airlines want to introduce new service features ahead of an expected upsurge in the number of people traveling by air.

“We need to put these important changes in place before passengers who have not flown for a long time start to remember how awful the experience used to be,” said a spokesman for the consortium of airlines leading the push to introduce the changes.

The measures, designed to reduce costs and make it more attractive to fly business or first class, affect three key areas.

A different class of lifejacket

The airlines involved want to give the humble lifejacket a makeover.

Business and first-class passengers…

The disappearing act went wrong

How the hell can you lose an eight-billion-dollar droid?” railed General Sullivan. “This invisibility shield you eggheads invented is supposed to hide the Phantom X-12 from the enemy — not us!”

Doctor Marcus Pfeiffer felt his insides contort. Yet again he would have to explain the X12’s untimely disappearance, in the knowledge that his team didn’t have a clue how to retrieve the world’s most expensive prototype war machine.

“General, it’s not an invisibility shield that makes the X12 impossible to detect. We literally make the droid disappear,” began Pfeifer.

Since the discovery that there is an infinite number of…

Recluses enjoy multiple benefits and never get laid off.

After spending almost a year in COVID-induced isolation, are you discovering that you actually like the life of a recluse? Has the prospect of talking to people in the flesh become as appealing as a cockroach sandwich? Maybe you can no longer function without social distancing.

If this sounds like you, it’s time for you to take the leap and become a fully-fledged, card-carrying hermit.

It’s not as tough as you imagine; after all, you’re already halfway there. Here are some insights that will help you on your journey to long-term solitude.

Find the right abode

Hermits have a penchant for caves. These tend…

You don’t have to strike career gold to find fulfillment

You’re on a mission to find a new career and excited by the prospect of re-energizing your life with fresh challenges. There are many directions you can take, which is why you’ve sought lots of advice. One piece of advice keeps coming up.

Follow your passion.

The thought of finding your passion and dedicating years — maybe even the rest of your life — to it, is thrilling.

You embark on a journey to find the pursuit that will galvanize you.

That’s when things go awry.

Passions are ill-defined

There is no shortage of advice on where your personal passions might lie. Childhood…

Clean energy is poisoning the planet

Claims by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott that green energy is largely responsible for his state’s electricity blackout crisis are only “the tip of the iceberg” says a new study on the damage wrought by renewables.

The Green Energy: Red Alert study from the Friends of Fossil Concerned Citizens’ Doublethink Tank catalogs multiple threats from renewables that together “could destroy the planet.”

Solar’s sunlight steal

The rapid growth in solar cell deployments could lead to a global shortage of sunlight, says the study. The amount of energy from the sun absorbed by solar arrays is expected to…

Your horizons are wider than you imagine

Nobody likes missing boats, especially when there are enough of them to start a modest-sized navy.

That sense of lost opportunities is debilitating. It bubbles up as regret and bitterness and can blunt your appetite for life. If the mindset becomes pervasive, it creates a negative feedback loop. Cynicism sets in, which makes you think twice about the next opportunity and hence more likely to miss it.

A way to prevent this from happening is to think about this negative state of mind you’ve fallen into in terms of the missed boat analogy.

The boats you missed are over the horizon

Maybe you were left standing on the…

K. B. Cottrill

Award-winning writer and editor of fiction, non-fiction, and things in-between.

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