Friday, June 29, 2007

13 Tammuz 5767: Camera Day/iPhone Launch Day/Jewish Haircut Day

Greetings.

Worthy cause of the day: The Live Earth pledge.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something silly from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy, share the weirdness, and Shabbath shalom.

Aaron



MY NEW EXERCISE PROGRAM



Here's the exercise program I am using to stay in shape next year. You might want to take it easy at first, then do it faster as you become more proficient.

It may be too strenuous for some.


ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM.








NOW SCROLL DOWN...






































NOW SCROLL UP...


That's enough for the first day. We don't want to overdo it on the first day....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

12 Tammuz 5767: Paul Bunyan Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is an oldie but a goodie, “Ten ways to kill your laptop”, and having the computer stepped on by Babe the Blue Ox is not among them. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

11 Tammuz 5767: National Columnists Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is GIANTmicrobes. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

10 Tammuz 5767: National Chocolate Pudding Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:The robot cat has returned and brought today’s weird thing of the day. After it did that, it proceeded to cough up several items which look like steel-wool pads and then looked at me as if I was supposed to do something. I have decided to move.

Transformers: Identity Crisis

Week 6: Ironhide/Eisenhaut

Greetings, people of Earth.

New revelations have been made for the Optimus Prime spying incident by an anonymous former employee from the Groom Lake facility. Allegedly there was some kind of romantic relationship between Optimus and Marissa Faireborn, a former Air Force officer who worked at the facility and, “incidentally,” he may have been spying on. According to the published account, it was commonly known that the two were involved, with her often staying late and spending time alone with him in odd corners of the facility. She has been seen riding on his shoulder, even when on duty, and occasionally kissing him on the cheek. Faireborn told human friends that Optimus was “a sad, lonely robot” and that he desperately needed a friend. Indeed, she once confided that he told her that she made his “life worth living.” Something other than friendship is suggested by one event where the informant reported seeing Optimus standing by himself at night, making odd gestures as he looked at the sky. The Autobot’s body then opened up and Faireborn fell out, covered in nothing but a viscous liquid. Optimus was unaware this happened until Faireborn, recovering, screamed and took shelter behind his leg. Quickly putting up his battle mask, he threatened to run over the witness if the event was ever reported. The informant is now living under an assumed name, while Optimus and Faireborn have both refused to comment on the incident.

As has been noted before, the “Decepticon symbol” associated with “evil” Transformers actually indicates government service. While on Cybertron, the Autobots encountered many with such symbols when their activies passed from the offensive to the illegal. A large number of Autobots have been arrested and faced justice as intolerance has grown. The small group that came to your planet stole the spaceship they used, injuring several innocent bystanders to get to it. Bluestreak has revealed in interrogations that Earth was specifically targeted for colonization due to the presence of resources and intelligent life to dominate. The time it took to locate the thieves was considerable, but once found, the presence of an illegal colony on an inhabited planet was intolerable, and with the full approval of the Parliament, Prime Minister Shockwave quickly authorized the dispatch of the embassy-at-large spaceship to retrieve the Autobots. This is how there came to be a large alien spacecraft in international waters on Earth, commanded by Ambassador Megatron and with a police force headed by Constable Starscream. Being a specialist in alien languages, I, Soundwave, was recruited to take a sabbatical from my university position to be communicator with the humans and educate the ambassador and law-enforcement officers in the primary human languages. (My own alternate mode as a microcassette recorder is symbolic of my function, just as the ambassador’s as a Walther P38 pistol was meant to symbolize his authority; the latter choice has proven to be an awkward mistake.)

This would not be the first time that Ironhide and Starscream encountered each other. During the Maximal fundamentalist uprising on the first moon, Ironhide took several military deferments instead of fighting to defend freedom. Involving himself in government, he was given a “highly unsatisfactory” rating by the Center for Evidence-Based Policy and was eventually voted out of office. Shockwave, then the Minister of Education, openly criticized his “profound lack of compassion for others.” Ironhide then moved into the corporate world, where he helped supply a number of products to the Cybertonian military, albeit for an excessive price. During an investigation into government corruption (a far more serious crime on Cybertron than on Earth), Starscream was part of an investigative team that focused on Ironhide’s actions. They determined that Ironhide regularly engaged in highly profitable business deals with the Maximals which subverted the embargo against dictatorships, and Starscream set out to arrest him. According to Bluestreak, this was when an “inspiration” that Cybertron was irredeemably corrupt came to Ironhide, and he convinced a group of prominent Autobots they had to leave. The spaceship they stole, in fact, was a private yacht owned by the company he worked for. During the theft, Ironhide attempted to kill Starscream, who had stumbled into the crime while attempting to make an arrest; fortunately Starscream survived with only minor injuries, but those injuries prevented him from transforming and pursuing.

“High-tech circuitry is no replacement for guts.”

In the United States of America, Ironhide has kept a low profile. His first appearance there had him formatted as a plain red van, a form he has kept with only periodic updates to more current models of plain red vans; the Autobot symbol he wears (the informal requirement against Autobots spying on humans) is small and relatively difficult to distinguish from the rest of his shell. Although he has been sighted using parking spots for ordinary cars in Washington, DC, he is invariably accompanied by Secret Service agents. (The agents do not ride within him, of course; the arrangement of his anatomy would require the passenger to sit on his face.) He is also often at outdoor political events, sometimes even in his humanoid form, during which he rides on the “battle platform” that forms the back part of the van in vehicular mode. (This is actually a medical robot, much like the one Ratchet uses, there to maintain his poor functioning.)

Secret service agent accompanying Ironhide

Less publicized are his meetings with the current president, which go back to at least the administration of Gerald Ford and generally take place at Camp David. These meetings increased substantially during the administration of Jimmy Carter, in which it appears was the greatest support and buildup of Autobot infrastructure at the Groom Lake facility. Bluestreak suggested that Ironhide, in negotiating with Carter, obtained sympathy by claiming to be political refugees marooned on an alien planet. It was with this cooperation by the humans that the Autobot population began to increase so quickly.

During the administration of Ronald Reagan, the Autobots’ activities became more oriented towards the military as their use in the Cold War increased. By the time the embassy-at-large landed in international waters on Earth, the Cybertonian ambassador and deputies were already reformatted to function on Earth with both humanoid and vehicular modes. The first team sent out included Starscream with Deputies Thundercracker and Skywarp in the forms of F-15 fighter jets, accompanied by Deputy Carryon in the form of a DC-10 to contain the Autobots once arrested. The administration used the exposure of the Autobots as an excuse to increase military spending further. Given the apparent danger the “Decepticons” presented on size alone (the F-15-formatted “seeker” officers stand nearly 13 m [42 ft] tall in humanoid mode, much larger than most Autobots; even Optimus Prime is only about 10 m [33 ft] tall), Ironhide convinced Reagan that direct confrontations between humans and “Decepticons” should be avoided. When we are detected (which rarely occurs), we may be targeted by missiles or, less commonly, Autobot counterattacks; the latter generally requires presence of very large Autobots such as the Aerialbots, Broadside, or Powerglide, or skilled Generation Two warriors such as Arcee.  Thus humans are kept out of direct contact with us and fail to experience “Decepticon cruelty.” (He is also probably responsible for using humans as shields during attacks, which has lead to some unfortunate incidents.) Additionally, Ironside also falsely claimed that the “Decepticons” were working with the Soviets and that the “star wars” missile defense system was necessary to protect Earth from Unicron, a mythical planet-sized Transformer who eats planets. Many defense contractors were thus made very happy.

Among these defense contractors happened to be MARS, then run by “Jimmy” McCullen, still one of the largest suppliers for the United States. While participating in the Cold War arms race helped end the Soviet Union, the large boost in spending amounted to billions of dollars spent as the Pentagon purchased irrelevant weapons at inflated prices. MARS, being the official provider of the Autobots’ services, received additional payments, making McCullen’s personal fortune larger than that of many countries. Ironhide, having argued for these weapon purchases with your presidents, may be considered responsible.

Ironhide with James McMullen, XXIII and son at the latters’ estate

The United States is not the only customer for such advanced weapons systems. MARS sells to numerous organizations, both in and outside of governments. Among these is a private organization with aims similar to those of the Autobots, ultimately to control the planet. Although there is ample documentation that its members have committed numerous atrocities planetwide, including intimidation, suppression of personal rights, and murder, the United States has failed to disengage itself from MARS or even call this customer a terrorist organization as it properly should be. (This is despite the rumor that there is a “black ops” unit specifically to deal with these terrorists.) We believe that the need for weapons (or to transfer tax dollars to those who benefit from buying weapons) has outweighed the consideration that the United States is indirectly funding terrorists. It has been documented that Jimmy’s wife, Anastasia, is in fact a prominent member of this “Cobra” organization, and that funds from MARS have been “contributed” to its terrorist operations, including the murder of innocent Americans. On Cybertron it is considered illegal and immoral to fund organizations that are responsible, even indirectly, for murder. The United States, however, has refused to take any more than token efforts against Cobra for the sake of not upsetting their relationship with McCullen, a failure we cannot understand.

Ironhide is also responsible for shaping the popular image of the Autobots as both good and just. Although the cartoon series and comics were primarily ghost-written by Bumblebee, it was Ironhide who suggested the use of marketing to children and subsequently approved the toy releases during the 1980s. This image is far from the actual practices. Particularly divergent is the topic of “justice” between Autobots. Although it is normal for practices to be adopted from host cultures to Transformers (as we were designed to be ambassadors), the Autobots have limits to what they will tolerate. Aside from those who have surrendered to the Cybertonian Police, Autobots who get too “contaminated” often face swift and fatal results. A list of some known Autobots who have gone “too far”:
  • Beachcomber, who reported chemical and radioactive contamination of the Groom Lake facility to the Environmental Protection Agency and claimed that all Autobots had an equal place with other beings in the “great chain of life.”

  • Eject, who suggested their dispute with the “Decepticons” should be settled peacefully through competitive sports.

  • Hubcap, who suggested the Autobots had no special fate.

  • Pipes, who preferred the company of humans and attempted to abandon the Autobots.

  • Seaspray, who claimed to “feel at one with the planet” and wanted to protect it for everyone.

  • Skids, who openly said, “Deep down, we are more like than unlike humans.”

The executions of these Autobots have been swift, as was the destruction of the bodies, much to the chagrin of the United States government. Quite a few more have also been murdered for crossing the line and thinking themselves equals, including a few who were modified to look like humans so they might permanently escape. Brattiness and vanity are apparently more forgivable faults than advocating peace and equality. Each time it has been a grave decision, one which requiring the inner circle of the Generation Ones to meet. Although there are sometimes disagreements, they are ultimately settled by the decree of one: Ironhide.

An additional example of Ironhide’s “justice” is the exposure of Punch, an Autobot spy with the unusual feature of having two humanoid modes. In the second mode he wore the “Decepticon symbol” and posed as a deputy named “Counterpunch.” Using forged credentials, he attempted to infiltrate the Cybertonian embassy-at-large; we found him very useful for feeding misinformation to the Autobots for a period of several months. Punch had a romantic partner, Windcharger, who was critical of Ironhide’s leadership and assembled a committee to seek an alternative solution to “the Decepticon problem.” As you probably already know, a human reporter was informed of Punch’s status as a double agent, which not only ended his career, but also put him in mortal danger. The United States military interpreted his status as meaning he was a “Decepticon” and attempted to destroy him, and it was only the heroic action of the Stunticons (especially Deputy Wildrider) that saved him. According to Bluestreak, the leak was retaliation specifically ordered by Ironhide with the full knowledge and approval of the rest of the Autobot inner circle.

This, of course, is perfectly natural to the Autobots. He is the one who allegedly has the Matrix of Leadership, making him the most elite of the elite, he who knows the will of the god Primus. He is their leader, the one called the Autobot Commander.

In our next communication we will discuss Optimus Prime. Until then, we wish you well.

Soundwave, Cybertonian Communicator.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

6 Tammuz 5767: National Chocolate Eclair Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing, suggested by Barry, is LaceyMichelesCastle. Enjoy, share the weirdness, and Shabbath shalom.

Aaron

Thursday, June 21, 2007

5 Tammuz 5767: Summer Solstice/Cuckoo Warning Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Error 404”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

4 Tammuz 5767: Ice Cream Soda Day

Greetings.

Note: The robot who delivered yesterday’s weird thing showed up again, pointing out that part of the end had been somehow omitted. This error has been fixed, so feel free to read the whole essay.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something silly from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron



Virus


You have just received the "HONOR VIRUS"!!!

As we don't have any programming experience, this Virus works on the honor system.

Please delete all the files on your hard drive manually and forward this Virus to everyone on your mailing list.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

3 Tammuz 5767: Juneteenth

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Another man wearing a trench coat, fedora, and robot mask brought the Weird thing of the day today. I am beginning to think he might not actually be human. He has spent most of his time here at my window shooting pigeons with some kind of plasma weapon, so I am just going to post this and sneak out.

Transformers: Identity Crisis

Week 5: Generation Two

Greetings, people of Earth.

As you undoubtedly have heard, an anonymous source has informed the media that Optimus Prime in his recent spying incident could not have acted under authorization. As supported by several memoranda, Optimus had been absent from his assigned facility without authorization for several weeks before the incident. One memorandum states that “Prime needs to blow off steam” and instructs soldiers to not interfere with his activities. Optimus is now claiming he was trying to “defend innocent humans from the Decepticons,” and particularly claims Thundercracker and Skywarp were in the area. This is impossible, as on the same day this occurred there were no “Decepticons” nearby; had we known where he would be, we would have attempted an arrest. Rather, our operations that day were concentrated near the Nevada-California border, where we arrested Bluestreak. In witness to this fact are the published photographs showing Deputies Skywarp and Astrotrain after they intervened in a hostage situation, exposing themselves to gunfire to save innocent humans. Whatever Optimus did, his motivations had nothing to do with us.

Anyone who has watched the Transformers cartoons has been shown that the Autobots fight the “Decepticons,” but the fight is empty. Aside that from that the Autobots are shown treating the humans better than the “Decepticons” do, there is little mention of what their respective beliefs are, nor what they are fighting for. Except when the writers are trying to make the “Decepticons” look bad by giving them poor manners, the groups are interchangeable. However, there is much to raise serious questions about the Autobots’ behavior. Unlike the United States of America, there is no pretense of democracy. The Autobots are depicted as ruled by a dictator, Optimus Prime, and all the other Autobots follow his word with little question. (Contrary to the belief that the word refers to automobiles, the term “Autobot” is actually a rendition of one meaning “autocratic robot.”) In making the Autobot cause palatable, the cartoons present dictatorship as benevolent, never allowing the viewer to question its wisdom.

The more recent generation of Autobots, derisively called “minibots” or “Generation Two” by their elders, has had plenty of opportunities to do this questioning. After their bad experience with Nazi Germany, those who settled on James McMullen, XXIII’s estate—especially Bumblebee, Jazz, Ironhide, Elita One, and Optimus Prime—were not eager to put themselves in such a precarious position so soon. They still had much to learn about the humans and their power base was shattered. Working for McMullen’s MARS corporation, primarily in industrial and military espionage, seemed a wiser choice.

Maintaining the current situation was never the plan, and the Autobots reproduced. As new Autobots matured on McMullen’s estate, they did not fully match their parents. Although their bodies were robot, they absorbed a great deal of human culture; while this made their interactions with humans less awkward, they also adopted many human problems. Whereas the older Autobots followed traditions of working cooperatively for the benefit of the group, the newer ones were more individualistic, creating identities that were very much in human terms. These newer Autobots were also frequently restless and lacked the discipline of their parents, and by the 1960s there were many occasions when they left the estate in search of adventure, only to narrowly avoid (or sometimes to fail to avoid) disasters. The elder McMullen apparently verged on expelling many of the worst offenders when his son “Jimmy” McMullen, now an adult, related a suggestion from Elita One. Noting the “cold war” between the two great superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, there was a market for services they could offer.

By that time, the United States was already an important customer of weapons from MARS. Through this connection, Jimmy offered them an additional service, use of the Autobots as warriors. Improved experience with reformatting and upgrades provided many Autobots, especially the Generation Twos, with flexible, athletic bodies that were very effective in close combat; combined with the potential for deception and ambushes, many Autobots had considerable value as soldiers. The United States already had evidence (classified top-secret) of Autobots in Nazi Germany and an agreement was soon reached. The first military action the Autobots participated in on behalf of the United States was during the United States-Vietnam War, where Jazz lead a team in counteracting the Tet Offensive. (During this time Jimmy became involved with a volunteer nurse who would later be known as Mrs. Anastasia McMullen.) The army commanders were impressed with the Autobots and the arrangement was extended indefinitely.

With the arrangement came changes. Approximately thirty Autobots originally settled on McMullen’s estate, but with reproduction the number swelled until the large underground garage on the estate could no longer hold them all. Most Autobots relocated to the Groom Lake military facility in Nevada, where they continued to reproduce without restriction. Current estimates of the Autobot population range between two and three hundred, the problems of managing them only increasing over time.

Housing, of course, was no longer a problem, but activities were. A common initial problem was Autobots leaving the base without authorization. Often this just involved them exploring while in vehicular mode or racing. With the public exposure of the Autobots, the pretenses of disguise largely dropped and the Autobots began leaving and returning to Groom Lake without restrictions. Following the lead of a few prominent “publicity” Autobots who wore the “Autobot symbol” (actually a religious faction symbol, similar to humans wearing Latin crosses) as part of publicity, many Autobots not otherwise engaged in espionage began openly wearing it also. (In contrast, the “Decepticon symbol” actually identifies public servants; on Cybertron, some public servants of Autobot ancestry wear both symbols simultaneously.) Transformations began to occur publicly, especially in Las Vegas, Nevada, the nearest large city to the Groom Lake facility. Within a year, as the Autobots became less of a novelty, many of less disciplined Generation Twos became more extreme in appearance, as did their behavior, a trend which has continued up to the present. The body modifications were usually not done by “legitimate” Autobot medics, but our sources indicate there are several talented amateurs who take pride in their work; four in particular are named Hack, Kitbash, McVroomy, and Slog. The deviant, humanized Generation Twos cannot all be fully accounted for here (we have not managed to identify them all ourselves), but a few examples may be mentioned:

The “Bashobots”: This is the name given to a number of Autobots cliques of automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts who show their interests by being reformatted into their favorite vehicles. While the espionage corps does include many sports cars which may plausibly occur in wealthy neighborhoods (and thus not be conspicuous), the Bashobots often take forms sufficiently expensive , rare, or redecoed to be so obvious that these “disguises” are worthless as they specifically attract attention. They suffer from that uniquely human vice, vanity, and the Bashobots are among the mildest in this regard. Unlike the depictions in the propaganda cartoon series, Generation One Autobots generally have avoided close contacts with humans except as a means of spying on or manipulating them. (I am sorry to report that “Spike Witwicky” and related characters are complete fiction.) Generation Twos like the Bashobots, however, often seek out attention and approval from humans. A few important Bashobots:
  • Tracks, who is formatted as a Chevrolet Corvette. (The rumors that he can turn into a flying car are false.) Tracks is exceedingly vain and insists on car-washes at least once a day, often at the hands of admirers. Driven to getting attention, he has become something of a “B” celebrity, exhibiting himself through game shows, talk shows, fashion magazines, and almost any other outlet, regardless of how degrading it may be. Although he is generally regarded as “male,” he is indecisive about gender and much of the time is “female,” and on occasion he claims to be both simultaneously. It should be noted that Autobots have often not fully understood gender as being a relatively permanent attribute in humans; one early gaffe involved Jazz telling a woman to change her clothes so she could become a man and join the German army.

  • Topper, who is formatted as a Rolls Royce limousine. His humanoid form is carefully designed to be well proportioned and elegant, with a glossy paint job in black and white, his head crowned by what looks like a top hat. He has an ample passenger compartment which includes stereo speakers, climate control, access to all major electronic media, and a miniature refrigerator that typically holds several bottles of Dom Perignon. He also has very acute senses and has done extensive espionage in the Autobot espionage corps, posing as a private or rental limousine. He carries a collapsible “walking stick” which is actually a disguised dart gun he has used for assassinations.

  • Steelskin, who is formatted as a De Lorean DMC-12. Like a number of Autobots formatted as rare or unusual cars such as Torpedo (Tucker Sedan), Lux (Chrysler 300C, later a defector to the “Decepticons”), Retro (Ford Model A hot rod), Suicycle (Dodge Tomahawk), Gothtron (Phantom Corsair), Mack Daddy (“pimpmobile”), and Sideswipe and Sunstreaker (Lamborghini Countach), he actively courts attention by his vehicular form, commonly attending automotive shows and events and appearing in car magazines. Among Generation Twos, having an action figure based on oneself is considered a mark of status; after Hot Shot (Audi TT), who is generally considered to be an annoying fool, got his own figure, Steelskin was so incensed that he hired a private model-maker to build one instead (“Project Steelskin”).


Bashobots Gothtron, Mack Daddy and Steelskin

The “Dinobots”: Instead of vehicles, the alternate modes for Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl, and Swoop are robotic versions of certain extinct organisms. They generally remain on the Groom Lake facility, where they often accompany government agents in camouflage in patrolling the area and scaring off interlopers. Despite appearances, they can actually move quickly, and travelers up to several kilometers outside of the facility have been surprised by the sudden appearance of Dinobots running towards them. The Dinobots are very serious about guarding the facility and have been known to detain humans for several hours. Rumors that Grimlock has a grudge against Optimus Prime appear to be true. An attempt to arrest Sludge at the edge of the facility was aborted when human soldiers fired missiles at Deputy Thundercracker.

The Dinobots patrolling the Groom Lake facility

The “Autobrats”: These famous (or infamous) Generation Two Autobots not only have vehicular forms which are not even remotely credible disguises, but are often regarded as among the most obnoxious persons ever known:
  • Hot Rod, who has the vehicular form of a customized car with a large Autobot symbol surrounded by flames, is the descendant of Optimus Prime, a fact of which he reminds others frequently. Identifying himself as “male,” he takes the stereotypes to extremes, often boasting of his abilities, being cruel and disdainful of “weakness” or showing emotion, using violence as his first means of solving any conflict, and claiming to have triggered the incentive tap of every “female” Autobot including (improbably) Elita One and the gender-confused Tracks. (The incentive system of Transformers can be manually activated, much as many drugs affect the incentive system of humans in pleasurable or addictive ways. Interpersonal use of incentive taps in Autobots often occurs in relationships between Generation Twos.) He often refers to himself as “Rodimus Prime,” which most other Autobots consider ludicrous. (Ironhide, once hearing this, reportedly claimed he must be “Hideous Prime” and then continued to use the name for a week.)

  • Arcee, a “female” Autobot, transforms into a concept car but is more infamous for her humanoid form, which is among the most advanced and humanlike created, considered very attractive by many male humans. Called by her detractors “the drag queen,” she is extremely vain, often posing to emphasize where female humans have secondary (and sometimes primary) sex organs to arouse male humans; this has often caused trouble among the soldiers at Groom Lake, who may neglect their duty to look at her. She claims multiple relationships with Autobots and (improbably) humans and frequently speaks of pleasure. She even became the first Autobot to pose in a “men’s magazine” to be admired solely for her appearance. (Shots from her appearance in Maxim can be seen on the Cyberfembot site dedicated to selling action figures of her.) Her advanced body design makes her very flexible and one of the most dangerous Autobots in hand-to-hand combat.

    Arcee entices male humans in Maxim
  • Springer, another “male” Autobot, transforms into a “car” and a “helicopter” unlike any humans actually use. Equipped with powerful legs, he often leaps from long distances into groups of humans, being very amused by how this scares them. He is also prone to other pranks, such as rearranging parked cars, dancing in the middle of bridges, putting graffiti in places inaccessible to humans, and other acts generally considered infantile. Casino owners hate that he drives away customers with his pranks.

The threesome claims that Hot Rod and Springer are Arcee’s “boyfriends,” though given their frequent mutual incentive-tappings with numerous Autobots, the concept of fidelity seems to have eluded them. A fourth Generation Two, Wheelie, who transforms into a concept car, is sometimes considered an Autobrat, though he is frequently a target of the others’ verbal and physical abuse for his excessively annoying mode of speech. The Autobrats are frequently seen on the Las Vegas Strip and have become tourist attractions. A Generation One Autobot, Ultra Magnus, who transforms into a car carrier, effectively has permanent duty containing the Autobrats and other disruptive Generation Twos found in Las Vegas and returning them to Groom Lake; to his displeasure, this has earned him the unofficial title of “Autobot City Commander.”

The “Scramblebots”, “Cubobots”, or “Yuckatrons”: Although Transformers are complex machines, a number have found that ordinary bodies and transformations are too “simple” or “retro.” They have adopted what is known as “cinematic styling,” which means by the standards of any other culture or age, they are unnecessarily complex, grotesque, and ugly. All of the Autobots signed by Michael Bay to portray ordinary Transformers in the Transformers live-action movie belong to this clique. While they are aesthetically correct, the unnecessary complexity makes them costly to maintain and repair; relatively trivial damage can jam parts and make it impossible for them to transform. A few of these Autobot actors are particularly noteworthy (pictures courtesy of Yahoo! Movies):
  • Omni Imperator, who portrays Ambassador Megatron. Not only is he so shocking to look at that he has caused car crashes, but his vehicular form is nonfunctional, forcing him to travel by walking or hitching rides on Ultra Magnus. He is known to get stuck between buildings and trip on the curbs of sidewalks.

  • Omni Imperator in an official movie poster

  • Buttmonkey, who portrays Constable Starscream. Being relatively new to his latest reformatting (Bluestreak claims he was previously a dump truck), as of this writing he is still learning to control his body. He is prone to being “puzzled,” in which he has difficulty remembering how to move his parts in the proper sequence, resulting in him being unable to transform. Filming at one point was held up for nearly two hours as he attempted to put his head, limbs, and body in all the right places and orientations. One shot where he transforms as he ascends, flips, and lands was filmed thirty-two times and resulted in twenty-four crashes before he succeeded.
    A publicity picture of Buttmonkey in a rare moment of self-organization

  • Camaro Karen, who portrays Bumblebee. One reason Bumblebee does not talk in the movie is Karen’s voice, which is generally considered unpleasant once she says more than three or four words. (An attempt to have her promote the movie by appearing on American Idol was aborted as her singing was considered unsuitable for broadcast.) She was picked for her looks, particularly the big “doe-eyes” to make the audience feel sympathetic. She once caused havoc on the set when she became entangled in the branches of a tree and pulled the whole plant down onto the trailer of human actor Megan Fox, allegedly “accidentally.”

    Camaro Karen has pretty, big eyes to manipulate the emotions of the audience

  • Heebeejeebee, who portrays Ironhide. Considered nearly as ugly as Omni Imperator, he has made children cry and has been implicated in causing large animals at a zoo to stampede. Being just as ungainly, his body was built up at the expense of his sensory abilities. He has been banned from going to Las Vegas as he has a tendency to step on cars, with the frequent result of them being stuck to his feet.

  • Publicity picture of Heebeejeebee, allegedly made up to look good

  • Skaterboy, who portrays Deputy Bonecrusher. While he believes in the superiority of Autobots over everyone else, he tries to see everything as beautiful and meaningful no matter how awful or pointless it may be. On the set he caused several brawls when he became patronizing, telling humans they must be proud of being such wonderfully inferior creatures and that there was great dignity in their menial labor that helped other people get rich. Buttmonkey was forced to step in several times to “explain” that Skaterboy was just staying in-character. This did not stop several humans from rigging large items on the set to fall on him.

Skaterboy (center) fights with Roadkill (right) while Sandbagger (left) makes a vanity cameo

Even among “normal” Generation Twos, there is often a serious adoption of human beliefs, particularly regarding gender and relationships. For example, Glyph and Tap-Out (descendants of Bumblebee and Cliffjumper respectively) both remain very much Autobot in action and loyal to the group, but they identify themselves as “female” and “male” respectively and maintain a romantic relationship.

In a few cases there have serious incursions of human ethics into their Autobot beliefs. Although the older Autobots are very careful in instilling a belief in their superiority to all others, inevitably some have contracted ideas of equality, respect, and nonviolence. In these cases the relevant Autobots have sometimes tried to live independently, though the prospect of being effectively alone on an alien planet is enough to force them back into remaining with the group. A few have surrendered themselves to us and in turn have been granted immunity from prosecution. Instead of remaining idle, this last group has often chosen to be deputized to arrest and remove the Autobots illegally settled on your planet. Among these include the “Constructicon” group, Treads, Bad Boy, Bug Bite, the “Stunticons,” and Lux. Others have been dealt with by the Autobots in far more serious ways.

Our next communication will concern Ironhide, one of the most important Autobots in their hierarchy. Until then, we wish you well.

Soundwave, Cybertonian Communicator

Sunday, June 17, 2007

א׳ תמוז תשס״ז׃ ראש חודש/Father’s Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Stuff On My Cat”. Enjoy, share the weirdness, happy new month, and happy Father’s Day.

Aaron

Friday, June 15, 2007

‪כ״ט סיון תשס״ז * 15 June 2007׃ Smile Power Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy, share the weirdness, and Shabbath shalom.

Aaron



The Real Story

There was a Pope who was greatly loved by all his followers, a man who led with gentleness, faith and wisdom. His passing was grieved by the entire world, Catholic or not.

As the Pope approached the gates of heaven, it was St. Peter who greeted him in a firm embrace.

-- Welcome, your holiness, your dedication and unselfishness in serving your fellow man during life has earned you great stature in heaven. You may pass through the gates without delay and are granted free access to all parts of heaven. You are also granted an open door policy and may, at your own discretion, meet with any heavenly leader, including the Father without prior appointment. Is there anything else which you may desire?

-- Well, yes, - the Pope replied - I have often pondered some of the mysteries which have puzzled and confounded theologians through the ages. Are there perhaps any transcripts which record the actual prophecies of old? I would love to see what was actually said, without the dimming memories over time.

St. Peter immediately ushered the Pope to the heavenly library and explained how to retrieve the various documents. The Pope was thrilled and settled down to review the history of man’s relationship with God. Two years later, a scream of anguish pierced the stacks of the library. Immediately, several of the Saints and Angels came running. There they found the Pope pointing to a single word on a parchment, repeating over and over:

-- There’s an ‘R’, there’s an ‘R’ -- it’s celebrate, not celibate!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

כ״ח סיון תשס״ז: Family History Day/Flag Day/International Weblogger’s Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “How NERDY are You?”. I took the test, and it said:
Overall, you scored as follows:

14% scored higher (more nerdy),
1% scored the same, and
85% scored lower (less nerdy).

What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!.
Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

‪כ״ו סיון תשס״ז * 12 June 2007: Magic Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary, some of which Barry is responsible for:Today’s weird thing was delivered by some sort of mechanical thing. I am not sure what it is, but right now it is flying around near the ceiling, and it is pretty scary, so I am going to post this thing and then get a broom.

Transformers: Identity Crisis

Week 4: Elita One/Freya

Greetings, people of Earth.

The controversy over Optimus Prime’s spying continues. According to the latest news reports, Marissa Faireborn, the former Air Force officer connected with the Autobot, has finally admitted knowing him. She claims to have worked with him in the past but not to have had any contact with him since she left the Air Force several months ago. Faireborn was stationed in Nevada, the details of her work having yet to be made public. Moving on from her previous job, she currently is working as an engineer for the aerospace industry and is spending more time with her family and her boyfriend. As of yet, there is no evidence that Optimus Prime was authorized to be monitoring humans. Several public figures, including activist Ralph Nader, have called for an investigation, but so far nothing has been done. Formal charges have yet to be filed, allegedly in part because the legal status of Autobots under these circumstances has yet to be determined, and because it is unclear whether this behavior constitutes an unlawful invasion of privacy.

In today’s communication we will discuss Elita One, a “female” Autobot, and this we expect to lead to a number of inevitable questions. (That discussing “male” Autobots does not lead to these questions in humans we find disturbing, but that is a digression.) There has been much speculation about certain issues about the Autobots, much of which they have allowed unanswered or even encouraged, none of which is true. We apologize for shocking or disappointing you if you are so affected.

An entirely fictitious artist’s depiction of Elita One

Contrary to her appearance, Elita One is not a female Autobot. There are no female Autobots. There are also no male Autobots. There are also no male and female “Decepticons” either. This is because we are not chemical organisms, but robots.

Many reading this now will be thoroughly confused, so we shall explain further. We call ourselves “Transformers” not because we can turn ourselves into vehicles or other devices, but because we can adapt ourselves quickly to working with other species. This is because our original function was to act as ambassadors, for which the Quintessons created us with adaptable bodies to facilitate our interactions. When the Autobots first arrived in Germany, one of their first tasks was to adapt themselves. Following the usual pattern for our kind, they made themselves into versions of the local vehicles which turned into versions of the local inhabitants; this would allow them to better explore as well as relate to the locals. Thus it was with the first five who met with the Nazis.

The initial contact apparently happened some time in 1937 at the Berghof, Adolf Hitler’s home in the Bavarian Alps. Those present are believed to be Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Jazz, and Elita One, all of whom had undergone reformatting to transform into local vehicles. The first reformattings were crude, based on whichever vehicles they had stolen up to that point. Many of these were blocky and poorly proportioned in humanoid mode. The results of this can still be seen in some Autobots using the same or similar transformations, such as in Bumblebee’s oversized feet. Like Bumblebee, Elita had been modified to resemble a Tatra T87, but using a very different transformation scheme. The result for Elita was relatively well proportioned by human standards and more curvy than the others, which suggested something different to the Nazis than the other forms.

Elita One as a Tatra T87 during the Third Reich

According to our sources, these Autobots raised their right fists 45 degrees above the horizontal, said “Hail Victory!” and waited for a response. The usual protocol historically used involves being very open to the reactions of the locals and shaping what one does accordingly. The humans must have been drawn to Optimus Prime (who had taken the vehicle form of an Opel Blitz truck), reading his height as indicating he was the leader, the other, shorter Autobots as his subordinates. However, they apparently had interesting responses to Elita, who stayed close to Optimus and said little. Although the Nazis present did not address her directly the way they spoke to the others, they reportedly made sneaking glances and spoke to each other in hushed tones while looking at her, making stupid grins.

Based on their initial studies, the Autobots must have understood something of human sex differences but probably did not fully understand all the implications; the important visual aspects or the cultural implications were not well known at the time. Rather than challenge the classification, they embraced the roles they stumbled into and exploited them. Over several months as Elita understood more, she had her appearance refined to reflect this role, even more like the local ideal of a human woman, just as Optimus was modified to appear larger and bulkier, his initially humanlike face partly covered with a “battle mask” and “helmet” to suggest a male human warrior.

While the “male” Autobots would discuss practical matters with the Nazi high command, Elita would often be present, either clinging to Optimus or staying in the background. At social functions she would often converse with important men in the Nazi hierarchy, pretending to be simple and often obtaining far more information than they intended to reveal. Reichsmarschall Herman Göring was known to be particularly taken with her, giving her the nickname “Freya” after a traditional goddess. These activities were not arbitrary or social, but a part of her function within the Autobot leadership as the head of intelligence. Through the information she collected, both personally and from those under her direction, the Autobots were preparing for the Axis powers’ defeat long before the Axis powers were. The “femininity manipulation” worked so well that the only ones known to realize what she was doing were human women. Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler’s mistress, hated Elita passionately and was convinced she was spying for the Soviet Union; her pleas for Hitler to restrict her were regularly dismissed.

During their stay on James McMullen, XXIII’s estate, Elita continued to serve the Autobot cause. The elder McMullen was less prejudiced than the Nazis and happily married, and for him Elita was properly regarded as much of a robot as the other Autobots. The adolescent “Jimmy” McMullen was for a time infatuated with her, but that ended quickly when he discovered women of his own species. She was insistent that they update their appearances regularly so they could do espionage, not only for themselves but also on behalf of the Military Armament Research Syndicate (MARS), a weapons manufacturing and distribution company owned by the McMullen family. True to its name, MARS was in the business of developing and selling weapons, and over the years it would become increasingly important in supplying arms in a number of conflicts. By sending out Autobot spies, they could collect accurate firsthand information to assess not only the demand for MARS’s products, but also on the state of the planet they were now compelled to live on. Additionally, as they ultimately regarded humans as vermin they would dominate within a few centuries, they had no compunctions about manipulating or even sometimes assassinating them for their own benefit. Several human conflicts may have been purposely exacerbated by the Autobots to increase MARS’s sales. It would be through this work that MARS would make its largest contract.

Among the Autobots, Elita has been one of the most secretive. In attempting to function best as a spymaster, she has deliberately avoided as much publicity as possible to the point that she has not used the “femininity manipulation” on humans in decades because so few are even aware of her existence. Never transforming in public, her vehicular form has reportedly been very plain and common cars without any faction symbol. This photograph depicts a recent incident in Denver, Colorado where two of our agents, Deputies Laserbeak and Ravage, approached an apparent vehicle emitting radio signals suggesting it was an Autobot. (Deputy Reflector, out of frame, took the picture and the readings.) Moments after it was recorded, what appeared to be a Chevrolet PT Cruiser transformed into an unlabeled Transformer, who then fought off the deputies before reinforcements arrived. Based on comparisons with existing recordings, it appears this unassuming vehicle was actually Elita One.

Deputies Laserbeak and Ravage encounter Elita One

While on the topic of Autobot espionage, we should mention the disguise technology currently in use by the them. Although the original reformattings were relatively crude, the art improved rapidly. Today joints between surfaces where there should be no joints have been reduced to hairline cracks which can only be seen upon close examination. This has made visual detection of unlabeled Autobots difficult, and getting close enough to look for improper joints on a car or other device may be dangerous. As such, we offer the following guidelines for detecting Autobots who may be spying on you:

  • Do not assume that Autobots are only formatted as wheeled vehicles. Aside from a number of Autobots formatted as other kinds of vehicles (including airplanes, hovercraft, ships, and even spacecraft), they may be disguised as a number of objects. Those we have confirmed include a leather-covered couch, an electric pencil-sharpener, a boom box, a television set, a microscope, an antique oak desk, a tree house, a soda machine, and a coffee-maker. There are also unsubstantiated claims of a paper-shredder, a filing cabinet, an abstract sculpture, and even a tiny Autobot hidden within an eggshell who worked as an assassin. Objects prone to move frequently without being handled should be considered suspect.

  • Many vehicle-formatted Autobots do not have actual cabs, the space being filled with vital machinery; those who do have cabs, of course, do not require drivers and usually resent carrying actual humans. Although experiments have been made using holograms on the windows, the results so far have been unimpressive. Cars or trucks with heavily tinted windows or containing dummies (especially in the driver’s seat) may be Autobots.

  • Autobots in vehicular mode may be missing important details. The most common missing feature is a radio antenna, though others such as rear-view mirrors, windshield wipers, logos, and chrome lettering have also been lacking. The undersides of cars are generally not disguised at all, and observant individuals may note the lack of undercarriage or parts usually more visible in humanoid mode. Autobots in the espionage corps have generally been better detailed in this regard than “publicity” Autobots.

  • Whereas Autobots who make public appearances often take forms of expensive or unusual vehicles, those within the espionage corps are usually formatted as common or plain vehicles. The particular formatting depends, of course, on where the espionage takes place. In the United States, the most common vehicular form among those we have captured is the Honda Accord, while “Blue,” believed to be one of the most successful Autobot spies we have managed to catch, was formatted as a Geo Prizm. The use of eye-catching colors is also generally avoided. There have been occasions where less-common cars have been used, particularly when the targets themselves have been unusually wealthy and upper-class neighborhoods are entered. Also on a few occasions Arcee (who is formatted as a pink concept car) has been used as a distraction to allow lengthy operations to proceed uninterrupted. For the most part, the more ordinary the car and the duller the paint job, the more likely it is to be an Autobot.

  • Like any electronic device, Autobots emit electromagnetic radiation. Generally they are well shielded, but occasionally the shielding is imperfect, and the Autobot’s presence may be detected using an electromagnetic scanner or even an ordinary radio or television. Optimus Prime’s recent embarrassing incident was uncovered due to imperfect shielding, probably damaged in an arrest attempt.

  • Unlike cars, the Autobots are powered by electricity. (The “energon” substance often mentioned in the media is pure fiction.) As such, they are naturally much quieter than internal-combustion vehicles, necessitating that they simulate the relevant engine sounds. These sounds can be turned off when the Autobot has need to be quiet; sometimes they forget to turn them back on. Similarly, Autobots do not regularly emit exhaust fumes.

  • The stresses the bodies of Autobots withstand would crumple the usual materials cars are made of. Their bodies proper involve materials not in wide use or even produced by humans, most of which human scientists have yet to recreate artificially. Originally the external plates used for disguises were made of steel and glass (in fact, Ratchet stole several vehicles from an automobile sales lot and dissected them for the first reformattings), but since being in the United States other, more durable materials have been commonly used. Titanium especially is currently very popular for being strong and lightweight, while various plastics (usually polycarbonate) now often substitute for glass. A properly formatted Autobot should be visually almost indistinguishable from a normal vehicle; however, in a car crash the Autobot should prove unusually sturdy. Vehicles that suffer little damage in serious crashes, especially if the vehicle immediately departs, should be considered to be Autobots. Similarly, vehicles that do not wear appropriately may be suspect. The Autobot spy Sneak Freak was detected when, disguised as a Dodge Neon, he went several weeks without even the paint flaking off his bumper.

Up to this point we have mainly considered those Autobots initially present when they contacted the Third Reich, those who called themselves “Generation One.” In the next communication we will consider those Autobots who were created later. Until then, we wish you well.

Soundwave, Cybertonian Communicator.

Monday, June 11, 2007

‪כ״ה סיון תשס״ז * 11 June 2007: Swimming Pool Day/Queen’s Birthday

Greetings.

And now for the fake news: Due to warming of the Arctic, Santa Claus has decided relocate to Jamaica.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Did the Earth Move for You?”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Sunday, June 10, 2007

‪‪כ״ד סיון תשס״ז * 10 June 2007: National Yo-Yo Day

Greetings.

Strange personal news: At our minyan for Shabbath (held in the local day school’s auditorium), periodically children’s toys show up without any warning whatsoever and no explanation as to whether or not they were left behind by a child accidentally or donated intentionally. This past Shabbath, a rather large (about a cubit tall) purple dragon showed up. By minhah, it was wearing a kippah. I have suggested it become our mascot, and I would like to note that a purple dragon figures prominently as a villain in L. Frank Baum’s The Surprising Adventures of the Magical Monarch of Mo and His People. (You want the illustrated version; trust me.)

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés”. This is extremely entertaining, and if you do not play RPGs, you will be glad that you do not. Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Thursday, June 7, 2007

‪כ״א סיון תשס״ז * 7 June 2007: Daniel Boone Day/Corpus Christi/National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “World Before Optimus, Part II” and “Image:Memorial to keyboard.jpg”. These are pictures of a gigantic stone keyboard, and I have no clue why anyone would make such a thing Enjoy and share the weirdness.

Aaron

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

‪י״ט סיון תשס״ז * 5 June 2007: Festival of Popular Delusions Day

Greetings.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing was submitted by a very large cat made of metal that showed up at my door. After dropping off the submission, it proceeded to scratch up the furniture and then curled up on the sofa and went to sleep. The cat is still here, having slept most of the time but occasionally waking up to climb on top of me before going back to sleep. It has big metal claws, and I do not feel up to arguing with it.

Transformers: Identity Crisis

Week 3: Ratchet/Schaltklinke

Greetings, people of Earth.

As is now being commonly reported, among the people in the area where Optimus Prime was scanning was a former United States Air Force officer named Marissa Jaye Faireborn. According to one anonymous source, Faireborn, who was recently discharged and has moved to Washington, DC, was previously assigned to work with Optimus and that their relationship was friendly. Optimus continues to maintain he was working with authorization, trying to protect people from an unspecified “terrorist threat,” and that Faireborn being there was a coincidence. Several important members of Congress have begun openly complaining of their country’s relationship with the Autobots and are calling for an investigation. We welcome this questioning, which is long overdue. Some protests suggesting that the United States get rid of “illegal aliens,” however, can be done without.

As previously mentioned in earlier communications, the movie, like other previous media, doubtlessly portrays a conflict between the “heroic” Autobots and the “evil Decepticons.” As before, little is said about what the groups believe or why they are fighting, the only obvious difference being that the Autobots are nicer to the humans than the “Decepticons.” The actual conflict, despite the consistent propaganda, is much different.

Words such as “Decepticon” or “Destron” are not what we call ourselves; they are terms the Autobots call outsiders, much like many terms of abuse the humans may use for each other. We are all Cybertonians, and the differences between the Autobots and the rest of our kind, physically at least, are minimal or nonexistent. It is more a matter of how they relate with others.

The government of Cybertron is a democracy, with the goal of giving every Cybertonian equal access and representation in the rule of law. Such a government requires that all have mutual respect for each other and allow each other to live in peace. When there are disputes or desires for change, these must be handled peacefully, civilly, and legally. This is the spirit of the statement made by one of your own kind “that all men [humans?] are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This is not the way of the Autobots, who descend from families which were aristocratic before the founding of the current government. Although they were forced to work within the system, many never accepted the notion of equality. They believed themselves “superior” to everyone else, created by their god Primus to rule the Universe. Their methods for controlling others frequently included threats, intimidation, and more serious coercive means. Many Autobots faced serious legal consequences for their actions: the prominent religious leader Emirate Xaaron was convicted and sentenced for treason, while Alpha Trion, president of an important corporation, was found guilty of the murders of several “Decepticons.” With increased scrutiny, a conspiracy to overthrow the legitimate democratic government of one province was detected, and the most elite Autobots were forced to flee the planet.

“You break it, I’ll remake it.”

This does not mean that all Autobots are identical. One, Ratchet, has often been at odds with his kind. Ratchet, known as “Schaltklinke” to the Nazis, has often been slow to change. Although he has often been depicted as the equivalent of a medical doctor, he is more of a paramedic and technician with a particular skill at reformatting, the adapting of bodies to create new vehicular or humanoid forms. Once formatted to transform into an Opel Blitz ambulance, he kept the form long after it looked antique to humans, refusing to become what he described as “a dirty lorry”; he kept the form until he became a Nissan C60 Vanette simultaneously with Ironhide, a form he has kept up to this writing even as Ironhide updated.

Ratchet in Nazi Germany

His other behavior has often been similarly inertial. From his earliest recorded moments on Earth he was reported to be among the most hard-line proponents of the Autobot cause. His disdain for humans was extreme, often calling them “dirty wet char blobs” and refusing to work with them. Somewhat lacking in tact, he had to be instructed to be silent during interactions with humans to prevent him from embarrassing or offending them. As World War II turned against the Axis powers, the Autobot leadership became concerned about their safety and began searching for a new protector nation. Although it was suggested that Ratchet be sent to the Soviet Union, possibly because he was thought expendable, he ended up traveling though Vichy France where, following the Battle of Normandy, he somehow contacted James McCullen, XXIII, an officer in the British Royal Air Force. McCullen was no ordinary pilot; he was independently wealthy, the owner a large estate in the Scottish highlands which had been in his family for generations. The arrangement was simple: The Autobots would be moved to his estate, where in turn they would work for him. Returning, the Autobots took the offer and made it out of Berlin by the end of 1944. It is theorized they were repainted and passed off as staff cars before being smuggled to Great Britain, but there is no firm information. Before Germany was defeated, most of the Autobots were secluded in his private estate, tended by McCullen’s staff and his young son, James “Jimmy” McCullen, XXIV. It was there that the Autobots began to understand their true potential on Earth, but also that Jimmy learned the true potential of the Autobots.

Our informants indicate that Jimmy spent a considerable amount of time among the Autobots, particularly Ratchet. Part of this was to further his education; Ratchet persisted in speaking German long after the other Autobots were fluently speaking English. (He frequently griped that humans should settle on one language.) More importantly, from Ratchet’s rambling complaints and recollections as he helped rebuild his comrades, Jimmy absorbed many Autobot beliefs: a mystical view of a universe full of unseen essences fashioned by an all-powerful god, a select few fated to rule over the masses of worthless inferiors, and a certainty that one is part of this destined few. Marking himself as one of the elite, these Autobot ideas influenced Jimmy in ways that would change the planet.

While the Autobots have been working in the United States, Ratchet’s primary function has been reformatting, both by full-body upgrades and the production of removable exterior plates. With the employment of Autobots in military operations for the United States, this has been a full-time job, even with the assistance of other medic Autobots such as First Aid and Hoist. An additional constraint on his time has been his assisting human scientists, which he is ill prepared-for. Despite ample evidence that our kind was invented by the Quintessons, the Autobots staunchly believe that, as arranged by the god Primus, they evolved from naturally occurring gears and thus constitute an expression of the substance of the universe itself. Additionally, despite excellent documentation of our physiology and the basis of our intelligent behavior, the Autobots insist that they live and think because they contain an animating “spark” with magical properties. The habit of believing only what they want to be true and ignoring evidence has seriously impeded them in developing their medical care, as well as misleading human scientists trying to understand their functioning; considerable effort has been wasted in such projects as trying to transfer part of a “spark” to a nonfunctioning vehicle. It is worth mentioning that no Autobots were involved in designing or building the spaceship they stole and flew to Earth; while benefitting from the learning of others, they nevertheless reject the fundamental basics of how to obtain that learning.

Our next communication will concern Elita One, the only one of the Autobot inner circle to not be represented in the film. Until then, we wish you well.

Soundwave, Cybertonian Communicator.


Aaron