Why Do Humans Wear Clothes?

This story is based on Tumblr post I saw a while back. It’s a rough draft and will probably change greatly when I finally decide to do something with it, but I wanted to put it out there. Here is the post that inspired it.

eJgem4j

Why Do Humans Wear Clothes

by Mike Fontaine

“Why do Humans wear clothes? Its so weird.”

 

“Well, Humans never evolved the ability to completely regulate their body temperature, like you or me. They also lack robust fur or feathers to protect their skin from UV radiation.”

 

“But the Urlurl don’t have any fur or feathers?”

 

“Yes, but they also have a thick hide, the Human’s skin is fragile, easily cut or scratched, and prone to infection if it is kept too moist or too dry. Also the gonads of the males of their species are external at all times.”

 

“All times?”

 

“Yes, so they have specialized clothing that keep them from swinging too much arn being injured. And the females mammary glands are also swollen at all times, even when not nursing, even if they have never nursed.”

 

“That doesn’t make sense.”

 

“It is what was selected for, probably because they wore clothing that could adapt to it. Humans have become adept at creating specialized clothes. They are one of the few species to have traveled the depths of their ocean outside of a vehicle, and they may be the only non aquatic one. They can live in almost any environment because of their clothes. The only part of their planet that is not densely populated is the Poles, and even there they have small settlements!”

“Nobody could survive in that type of environment.”

 

“Humans can! But that is not even the most interesting aspect of their use of clothing! It has widespread cultural ramifications as well. Would you believe that humans do not mat at sexual maturity? They are actually taught to hide it under clothing! And they are shamed for giving into biological urges! This has lead to their sexual maturation taking years from onset to full maturity. Similar species on their planet become sexually mature just months after puberty, humans take at least a few years.”

 

“Then they must be a lazy people, without sexual release why would they work hard, how are they even able to think strait?”

 

“And that is another weird aspect of humans, by denying sexual release the have found a way to channel that energy into their science and culture. Using it to create great works of art and leaps in science.”

 

“They can’t be too great, they haven’t figured out faster than light travel yet, almost every species figures that out before they figure out fusion. I mean, it’s so easy!”

 

“Let me ask you a question? How long from your species creation of powered flight until you went to your moon?”

 

“I’d say 400 or so Standard Years”

 

“Humans did it in under a hundred”

 

“Impossible”

 

“Yet True.”

 

“How did they even get to that level? You said that they were a predator species, but I see no claws, or fangs, or poison sacks, or spikes, or any of the adaptations that predators usually have.”

 

“True.”

 

“I thought you said that Humans were the dominate species on this planet, the Apex Predator?”

“They are! They are! And this is what makes them unique. Do you know how they hunted, before they invented projectile weapons? They are the first example pursuit predators. They would just harass their quarry until exhaustion. A human can walk for hours and hours chasing an animal, using its intelligence to track it, basically hunting into exhaustion. And while their top speed is nothing great, they can put on a burst of speed at the end of all that walking, making it impossible for the creature to escape.”

 

“How do they do that?”

 

“Stamina. Their body is incredibly efficient at removing toxins that build up in muscles. It is also has incredible healing abilities.  A human can survive just about any injury that does not directly destroy the brain or central circulatory muscle if given proper medical attention. There are stories of warriors losing all four limbs and surviving! They can even continue fighting after taking severe wounds. I have witnessed one Human take 4 shots from a Gauss Rifel, one almost disintegrating his arm, and continue to take out two Baganal warriors.”

 

“How did he not die of shock? I thought you said that their skin was fragile?”

 

“It is, but their nervous systems are robust. When in danger the excrete chemicals into their system called Adrenalin and Endorphins. These chemicals speed up their metabolism, making them stronger and faster, they also dilute their feeling of pain. With enough of this flowing in their system a human may continue to fight long after another species would have been dead. Never mind that they sometimes survive after this. The ones who have done so are incredibly dangerous, because they learn.”

 

“Everyone learns. “

 

“Yes, but humans learn at a level almost 3 times faster than any other sentient race, not only that, but they are organized when they want to be. Did I mention to you that they are pack hunters?”

 

“You’re kidding, right?”

 

“Not at all. Humans have a natural ability to form a hierarchy, and worse it usually works well. Take 30 random humans and throw them into a room, by the end of they day they will have a leader, a second, and have determined the specialties of everyone else. I’m not saying that there is never descent, but for a short time, during a crisis, it works. And they are flexible enough that if a new situation arises they may change leaders to someone more capable to handle that situation, often without violence or the current leader losing face.”

 

“So you are telling me that they work like heard species, but without the rigid hierarchy and inflexibility, they are pack hunters but they don’t kill their leaders to change leadership. That they are near impossible to kill, and the survivors will teach the rest… and they will listen. They are adaptable, organized, and tireless? Thank Grood that they don’t have faster than light travel!”

 

The older creature turns and looks out the viewport, as another sunrise dawns on the bluegreen planet. “Why do you think we are here watching them?”

 

In the Afterlife…

So my friend Josh just got me started playing in a Pathfinder game, and so far it has been awesome. Even better it has gotten my creative juices flowing again and has gotten me writing. The following is a short story I wrote because my character, Raphe D’Uvamore, Cleric of Cayden, met an unfortunate turn of events and became a human arrow holder. Not wanting the story to die there my GM, Josh, gave me two chances. One was a mysterious figure that offered Raphe his life if he would take care of a little problem, kill a child before it could grow up an cause this being trouble.

I could not do that, especially not as a Priest of Cayden.

The second chance was to write out a plea to Cayden as to why he should be sent back. I decided to go one better and wrote the following short story.

Enjoy.

Mike Fontaine

In The Afterlife

So this is what it’s like to be dead?

How long has it been? It feels like days.

The empty bar of the First Temple, affectionately known as Cayden’s Place, stretched out in front of Raphe. It was quiet, not even the ghostly bartender could be seen. A diffused dim light filled the bar making it impossible to tell if it was day or night. To Raphe it was quieter than he had ever experienced.

After the Visitor left Raphe waited patiently for Cayden to show up to congratulate him for passing the test. Ale after ale Raphe savored as he waited. He placed his empty stein on the counter and as soon as he looked away it was filled again. After his fourth ale he noticed that he really could not feel the effects of the intoxicant, after his eighth he accepted he never would again. After his tenth he accepted that Cayden wasn’t coming. After his twentieth he started to panic.

It is an odd thing to consume twenty ales and not feel inebriated, nor full, nor have any urge to relieve yourself. In fact, Raphe felt no biological urges at all. It was all very disconcerting. The ale was refreshing and tasty, the pretzels were salty and had a satisfying crunch, the temperature was perfect, but it was quiet. There were no sounds of revelry, no friends chatting in a corner, no songs being sung, no glasses clinking, no wenches running from table to table. It may look like the First Temple, but this is not a place to worship Cayden. It was way too solemn.

Am I in Hel? Raphe said to himself. He then looked around. Shrugged his shoulders and shouted.

“Am I in Hel!”

The sound of his voice shattered the silence but only for a moment. He would have welcomed even the chirp crickets as a response at that moment.

“Hellooooooooooooooooooo!”

Silence.

Well, Cayden does help those who help themselves. Maybe I’m just supposed to walk out of here.

With purpose Raphe got up from his stool, turned, and walked to the door. Not even taking a moment to look before he leapt. He opened the door and walked into the darkness… Only to arrive back in the bar on the other side.

“There goes that Idea.” He announced to the silence.

After a few more attempts he resigned himself to the fact that he is trapped.

“Well, what now?”

Raphe already knew the bar in detail, as every priest of Cayden serves at least one year in “Seminary” as a bartender. (Many people would be surprised at how much one learns of people doing so. Most people confide in either a Priest or Bartender when they need guidance or release, and they are ultimately more willing to confide in a Priest that is also a Bartender.) Even though he knew the bar, he took his time to examine every part of it. Finding that every exit he used just dumped him out another one. All the taps were exactly where they should be, every mug exactly where Brewmaster Bosin would require it of the Acolytes[Candidates?], every counter clean, every chair perfectly aligned. Nothing was missing. Nothing was added.

“What now? What do you want me to do?”

Silence.

Silence is one of the worst torchers.

Silence lets you hear all of the small monsters of your brain. Unable to drown them out with activity or alcohol, they started taking over. Everything from his early childhood, and the feelings of disappointment from his parents that he showed no spark of magic within him. To all the doubts he had ever about himself. Memories of failures.

Memories of his death and how stupid he was to make himself a target.

These monsters picked at his brain for what seemed like days before he could shake them off.

I need to stop this. I need to focus on now. The past is the past. Where am I now? What should I do? Think Raphe. What Would Cayden Do?

He was in Limbo, he thought, or at least a limbo. Maybe Cayden was still testing him? Unsure of what else to do, Raphe took the time to go through his Meditations. He drew his rapier and went through the forms of Cayden, clearing his mind as he did so, focusing only on the problem at hand.

If Cayden is testing me what does he want?

From a simple Swallow Greets the Morning he moves into the more complex Hounds Chase the Fox.

Cayden never asks for anything but for his followers to embrace life, do good, help others, and never let your sense of duty override doing what is right… is that all?

Not even breaking a sweat he moved directly into the more defensive The Wind and The Reed.

Cayden does not like stagnation. He can’t stand boredom. He prizes wit and intelligence as much, or more than brawn.

Excited by the fact that he was not even breathing heavy, Raphe moved into the final form, or at least the last one he learned, and the most aggressive The Falcon and the Snake.

He wouldn’t just abandon a follower, but he also wouldn’t reward someone that was befell by misfortune that he brought on himself. He can’t save everyone, but he wouldn’t leave them in a place such as this. Since I cannot see that I have done anything to anger him, or anything that was too stupid that he would abandon me, then maybe there is something else going on here.

His mind then turned to the Visitor.

No servant of Cayden would ever ask anyone to kill a child. I may have been tasked with mentoring the child, or saving the child, or even teaching the child, but never killing one. A true servant of Good would have at least waited until the child had become an adult and no longer innocent or savable. Ergo he must have been a servant of Evil, or worse Neutrality. Cayden would never let such a one into his domain.  

As he finishes the final form, Raphe is still amazed at not feeling tired at all. How long had it been since he last slept? How long had he been in this limbo? It feels like forever. Has it been days? Weeks? He stopped counting ales after the first hundred. With no day or night, no need to sleep or relieve himself, no ebb and flow of crowds, he had lost all sense of time.

He now knew what he needed to do. He needed to reach out directly to Cayden. To do so he would need to be completely focused, he would need to summon more power than he ever has before. He set to work on designing the ritual. Thinking back to his training here at the bar just a few years ago.

***

Raphe turned to his teacher after a daunting lesson on ritual, “Why do we bother with these rituals and Devotions? Cayden doesn’t seem like the type of god to go for such ostentations. I think he just laughs at us when we do this.”

His teacher, Brother Orisai, an older man with white hair and a world weary face, looked at him thoughtfully before he spoke.

“The power of a Cleric is not directly from the Power of their god, “ Brother Orisai told him, “but rather from the spark of divinity within the Cleric focused through your belief and closeness to your god. This is why a Cleric of Torag and a Cleric of Cayden both have the same abilities and same access to spells and divine favors, even though Torag is much older. Rituals, symbols, devotions, and all the trappings of a Cleric are not because the gods are vain, but they are there to sharpen your own will, your own resolve, and bring your own inner divinity closer with that of your god. So even though Cayden does not require much of us, and often laughs at the idea of ritualized worship of him, we must still use these tools if we are to bring our own Spark close enough to his to be of service.”

Brother Orisai was one of the few Priests of Cayden that was a Cleric before he converted. They say that he was once a High Priest of the High God Rummentens, a god of Wealth and Law from beyond the Sea, but he had lost his faith when the laws of his lands brought about misery and his god disapproved of his way of changing them. He found Cayden while in exile and pledged his life to Cayden’s cause of doing the right thing no matter what.

 

***

Remembering Brother Orisai’s words, Raphe cleared off the Area in front of the small alter at the back of the bar. He skillfully arranged pints of ale, beer nuts, candles, and even a small tankard of rum. Using what Symbols in Celestial and Draconic he inscribes a circle of power, mostly using salt and the chalk from the dart board.  The Circle was a mess, mostly because Priests are never really taught how to use them, he pulled the design from memories of his childhood when his father would communicate with other worldly beings. He inscribed Cayden’s Full name in a number of spots, as well as his titles, paying close attention to his Title of Protector of Children.

After a long time he felt that his preparations were complete. It looked official. It felt official. And even better it made him feel official. He wished he had some incense or a least some Mutton roasting to complete the engagement of all five senses.

Slowly he began the ritual, walking around the circle, chanting the five names of Cayden Cailean, before entering the circle and approaching the alter. Once there he poured the ale, wine, and rum, taking care not to spill. When he felt the power within him reach the correct level he let it out with his plea.

“Cayden Cailean, The Accidental God, The Lucky Drunk, The Drunken Hero, Protector of Children, Hear Me! I am Raphe D’Ovamore, a Priest of your following. There is a Child that needs your help and it is for this I beseech you. A Stranger greeted me on my arrival to this realm and tried to get me to agree to murder a child in exchange for my life. I would not agree and I believe he has trapped me here in this limbo because of my refusal. I believe that he does not want his intentions know to you. So I reach out to you, Cayden, Protector of Children. This child in danger and this Being has tried to profane one of your priests into performing the deed. This is an insult to you and everything you stand for. Please help this child. If you wish, I will be your instrument. If you do choose me, I promise to be smarter about it than last time.“

With that Raphe raised his own tankard of ale, and in one blast he released all the Divine Energy he had stored, and drank deeply.

“And if you don’t, could you please at least send me some company?”

I hope that is enough. I hope the child will be safe.

I hope I don’t run out of ale. 

 

Lost time…

 

Its been a while since I have updated my blog, so I figured I’d do something to make t worth while. I have downloaded the WordPress Android app,  and am currently posting from it. Oddly this seems more natural and easier than posting from my computer. I’m sure that it wont look as pretty,  or well composed,  but I find that I like using the predictive typing feature and the touch keyboard is easy to use. All in all,  this is an enjoyable experience. Now, let’s see if I can figure out how to add a picture to this…

iPad Panic…

When I think of the iPad I get the warm fuzzies. I love my iPod Touch, and my Droid, and I can see all possibilities, but I don’t think that Apple can.  I think they are missing out on some obvious functionalities, and being the purveyors of both the hardware and software they can easily implement. What they need to do is create a VNC client that allows you to connect over your home network from your iMac to your iPad. Imagine watching a TV show on your computer, deciding you want a snack, so you just pick up your iPad and continue watching as you walk to the fridge and sit at the table. Then when the show is over you sync your iTunes, and as you leave the network it automatically switched over to the normal iPad interface.  Hey, it could happen.

Day One With Droid

Day one of Droid

So this is my first day with my Droid, and I love it. The internet is fast and responsive. I have found pretty much all the apps I need, and a bunch I don’t need. I have no glaring issues, yet. There are a few things that I’m not 100% on, but nothing that is making me doubt the phone. So far here are my top 10 things I enjoy about the phone.

  • Multitasking: To answer all those iPhone people that can’t see a reason for multitasking, I say My Tracks, Pandora, iheartradio, Android Manager Free, etc, etc, etc.. There are many uses for background processes that the iPod/iPhone cant do, yet.

  • The Screen: Large, responsive, bright, and great resolution.

  • Physical Keyboard: OK this will also end up on part of my dislikes as well, but just the directional keys make a big difference over the iPod Touch for editing text. I wish that they made it a little smaller or a optical mouse or something, because it makes it awkward to use your right thumb to type.

  • AR(Augmented Reality): I’ve been playing with Layar, Wikitude, and SpecTrek Light, and they are nifty. I don’t know how useful these apps are here in Omaha, but if I was in NYC or Boston I’m sure they would be more awesome. I also love the bar code scanners and Google’s Goggles, a visual search, which I put in this category as well.

  • The Camera: 5MP and crystal video. Integrated Facebook and YouTube right in the camera app. Killer. Sadly YouTube will not upload unless you are WiFi.

  • WiFi: With me being a “heavy user” I’m sure if I did not have a WiFi option I would go way over my minutes.

  • Coverage: I have not had less than 3 bars of 3g anywhere yet, and I live on the edge of Omaha, N.E. Surrounded by cornfields. Say what you want to about Verizon, but they have the best 3G coverage. I have been averaging 1-2 Mbps according to the Speed Test App.

  • Tethering: there is a free tethering app, PdaNet, which is free for the lite version (no HTTPS) and a one time 29.99 charge for the full version. How long this will still work is up to Verizon, but for now it rocks.

  • Google Everything: All the Google apps rock, Goggles, Voice, Maps (with Navigation), Listen, etc. All seem to work seamlessly, for now.

  • Robo Defense Free: The most awesome freeware game I have played on any mobile device.

OK now lets talk about my five dislikes:

  • The Power/Wake Up button: This needs to be moved, made bigger, or something. It is awkward and hard to hit.

  • The App Store: I love how easy it is to use on the phone, but I hope Google takes a page from Apple and comes out with a version where you can access it from your PC, download, and synch. I would also love to see an all in one App that also has media store and management functions as well. Hell, I just want a gTunes.

  • A Better Media Player: The one that it comes with functions, but it could be better. The iPod wins hands down in this area.

  • A Better Keyboard: In the interest of keeping it thin, the Droid has a flat, awkward, keyboard. Its better than no keyboard, but not by far.

  • A Better UI: I really wish the Droid came with the Sense UI or the Moto Blur UI. It’s not bad, but I do like the iPhone/iPod Touch UI a bit better. It’s not bad, I like to compare it with Windows XP vs OS X, sure Apples got the better UI but Android(and XP) have a more open format.