Mark Allen's Top Ten "Nannys"
for October 27th, 2003:
A very, very, very brief and unexplained glimpse into a book I have been working on (and off) for the last five years. Right now it stands at roughly 100,000 words and counting. Here's a microscopic peek-a-boo... enjoy:

Note: Nannys are indicated with an "N" before the running time. The height, length and width requirements are listed after the running time (i.e.; L&W15sq, H9). Nannys that can adapt themselves to your space are listed as "Adaptable". Those with restricted playing spaces are listed as "Solid". All corresponding Cinema Enhancers are listed in the Key to Cinema Enhancers below.

1. Euclidean 2-Torus Mall
    N, 360m, L&W5280, H5280, Solid.
    D: Gillian SonderGaard. Also released as MALL TUBE.
    Interesting combination of Robert DiVito and a science lecture on theories of infinite space, this enormous nanny gives participants gliding bicycles to move around the huge mall, complete with lush park areas. Mall repeats itself endlessly in the shape of a Euclidean 2-Torus, so in reality there are only about fifty stores and areas to explore which repeat themselves in endless tessellations on the inside and outside of the torus. Passageways allow you to transfer between surfaces. "Stores" give away all kinds of interesting props; laser guns, instant bridges, giant clear spheres you can travel in, "invisi-pills", motorized gliders, etc. (pack a lunch though, because there's no food court.). Recommended.
    Enhancer: MOREs, SMTELP

2. Breast Walls
    N, 120m, L&W50, H9, Adaptable.
    D: Katherine Butts.
    Environmental nanny in Butts' on-going "genital" series can be looked at humorously or lasciviously, depending on your mood. Great for breaking the ice at your next get-together, keeping infants occupied or anything else you could dream up, people have found a million uses for this relatively simple but immensely popular nanny. Piece creates "living paper" with row after row of living female breasts, that cover the walls and ceilings of your playing space, with infinite variations of size and skin tone. You can even pick one particular mammary you like and have it repeated all over walls, or create a "pattern" out of a few favorites. Life-like organs respond to human touch and have even been known to squirt milk. Funny and embarrassing as it is interesting and hysterical to fiddle with, this piece is perfect for parties. It's amazing how fascinated people, male and female alike, will become with a wall full of human breasts. "Wallpaper" can even be programmed to cover your floor, but we don't recommend it. We found the sight of lots of people's hard shoes stomping and squishing a floor full of female breasts to be disturbing. See also BREAST BALLS, INVERTED BREAST BALLS, SEA OF BREASTS, PENIS WALLS, PENIS BALLS and INVERTED PENIS BALLS.
    Enhancer: CEAA, SMTELP

3. Reverse Maze, The
    N, 240m, L&W100sq, H20, Adaptable.
    D: Robert DiVito.
    Although adaptable, we recommend using in as large an open playing space as possible. DiVito's brilliant interactive horror nanny piece is destined to be a classic. Devoid of any characters or time lines whatsoever, the entire four hour adventure pits the participants (we don't recommend witnessing this one alone) against an ever-changing, walk-through, wooden construction that challenges you to find it's center, then your way back out again. It's a testament to DiVito's vision that such a static piece can produce such strong emotions in people. Built of lovely smelling pine, the walls, floors and ceilings are constantly changing, but never when you're looking. Sometimes passages become small enough to defy entry, claustrophobically trapping you until, at the last minute, a previously unseen exit emerges. Light is provided by bare light bulb fixtures along the way (which sometimes don't work, or flicker on and off) and occasionally footsteps can be heard walking or running in far-off sections of the "maze". The psychological warfare lasts for four hours, or until you hit the stop button. Recommended.
    Enhancer: LATD, MAC

4. Furniture Showroom
    N, 480m, L&W2000, H100, Solid.
    D: Robert DiVito.
    We always wondered what wild animals considered "camping out" since they spent their entire lives outdoors. This is probably as close an answer as we're likely to get. The indoors is inescapable and the word outside means nothing at all in this endless nanny landscape which is indeed an endless "furniture showroom" with no salespeople, no entrance and no check-out desk. Bask amongst the latest Italian living room designs or take a snooze in a wild variety of children's themed bedroom sets, and everything imaginable in-between. Although the choice of subject matter in this piece seems odd, we must admit that the experience of roaming from faux-kitchen to faux-entry hall to faux-bathroom into infinity was rather enjoyable. This was the first in DiVito's ever-popular store/museum nanny series. See also BOOK STORE, MUSIC STORE, ART MUSEUM and THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY.
    Enhancer: MOREs, SMTELP, TMGPA

5. Inverted Space
    N, 90m, L&W50, H9, Adaptable.
    D: Wilheim Rudolph.
    Rudolph side-stepped the inevitable back-lash with his follow-up to BLACK HOLE by creating a serene nanny that doesn't pull any punches, or make any grand promises. Not really suited for party environments, the piece inverts the physical properties of the objects in your playing space. Empty space becomes solid, and solids become empty bubbles that you can roam around in. Different color (mirror was our favorite), and texture settings (opaque to transparent and everything in-between) keep things interesting. Put on some mood music, play this nanny, and cuddle up inside your couch for a while. See also OBJECT DUPLICATOR, ROOM DUPLICATOR (S/A), INFINITE ROOM DUPLICATOR (S/A), LAWN DUPLICATOR (S/A), PEOPLE DUPLICATOR, WAIT UNTIL YOUR PARENTS GET HOME! (S/A) and TESSELLATIONS.
    Enhancer: LATD, MAC

6. Music Store
    N, 480m, L&W10,000, H1000, Solid.
    D: Robert DiVito.
    Come worship at the alter of DiVito's mammoth nanny. Psychoanalysts could probably create an entire symposium around trying to figure out why DiVito's environmental nanny series of endless shopping areas and museums are so damn appealing to humans. The key to this nanny's universal following is the fact that it demands many repeat visits once you've been bitten by the bug and pulled into it's immense alternate universe. The fact that so many bootlegged books and indexes have been created trying to document it's contents is a testament to it's significance, or DiVito's marketing genius (no cameras or recording equipment allowed in the hallowed isles!). The fact that so many artists have based their entire careers on work merely hinted at in DiVito's "store" is an amusing side-effect of a work that has such broad scope. Come peruse, sample, or obsess like a damned maniac over the endless displays of products documenting a music and sound history that never was but could have been. Hit up one of the knowledgeable salespeople (or customers!), even search the in-store database for non-facts and fake trivia. Updated annually. See also BOOK STORE, ART MUSEUM, THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY and FURNITURE SHOWROOM.
    Enhancer: CEAA

7. Nerve Massage
    N, 240m, L&W10sq, H10, Adaptable.
    D: Wilheim Rudolph.
    Rudolph's reliable and popular as ever nanny gets in all the nooks and crannies of your sympathetic and parasympathetic zones to buff away your worries. Adaptation controls let up to four participants experience. Sit back while Rudolph's molecular symphonies wiggle your synapses, preganglionic fibers and outlying ganglia into ineffable heights of unknown. Non-sound soundtrack adds immeasurably to the experience.
    Enhancer: LATD, SMTELP

8. Pseudologia  Fantastica
    N, 440m, L&W10sq, H10, Adaptable.
    D: Johnson Van-Thone.
    With the success of his "medical nanny" SYNESTHESIA, Johnson Van-Thone decided to create a series of similar pieces that allowed the viewer to experience other post-nano maladies. But since few "conditions" existed that were translatable into Van-Thone's peculiar brand of ham-fisted, exploitative nanny format, he had to either search the annuls of medical history for forgotten curiosa, or else make up some conditions of his own. This is the first of the batch released in 1999. Based on an early 20th century psychological term which describes a mental condition in which a person experiences delight in outwitting authority figures, the experience this nanny offers is comical at first, then ultimately chilling when you realize how serious Van-Thone was when creating it. Minimal but detailed nanny showcases stereotypically inept police and detective figures running around your space spouting loud, dim-witted decisions and pulling slapstick moves like bumping into each other, slipping on mis-placed parking tickets and accidentally handcuffing their wrists to their ankles. Background voices telling you to kill echo through the room, transparent images of police brutality and corruption waft through the air, trying to make a delusional serial killer out of you - it's a gem! The last two hours allow you to sadistically torture a police lieutenant while his few officers bow down at your feet and beg you to stop. A fun and entertaining ride into a twisted and dangerous mind. Approved by the AMB. See also DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR, OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER, ATTENTION DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME BY PROXY,  MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, BIPOLAR DISORDER, and WELTSCHMERZ.
    Enhancer: CEAA, SMTELP

9. Solid Cinema
    N, 180m, L&W5000, H5000, Solid.
    D: Gillian SonderGaard.
    Interesting, infinite "coming-out" nanny by new director SonderGaard gives the obsessive film fan a Lewis Carroll ticket to their greatest dream realized. Experience replicates a modern cinema where viewers can freeze the large screen at any time and then use hovering chairs to fly into the contents of the screen (which become a separate 3-dimensional world) and explore. Want to feel the water splashing around you as you soar down the waterfall scene in AIR RACERS? Want to examine all the pores on your favorite actress' nose as you hover around her giant head like a fly during a scene where the camera is in close-up? Have a favorite house from a film that you've always wanted to stroll through? Stimulating nanny will make you think about the cinematography of your favorite films like never before, as the perspective and proportions created by the camera's proximity to it's subject creates a whole new school of thought in dimensional science. Some see this as a flaw but we found it even more fascinating that replicas with correct dimensions. The real flaw was that pictures can only be explored in freeze-frame, a problem worked out to confusing effect in SonderGaard's MOVING PICTURES. Any film, even home pictures, can be brought to the playing space. Watch what films you choose however, as we found the dust, nicks and scratches on prints of old pictures acted like giant barriers preventing us from entering the picture when rendered 3-dimensionally. Recommended. See also MOVING PICTURES.
    Enhancer: MAC, SMTELP

10. Tunnels
    N, 240m, L&W500sq, H500, Solid.
    D: Paul Kelly.
    If ever a nanny maker documented a trip into the fourth dimension, or a drug-induced hallucination, this is probably what it would be like. With no visible objects or characters whatsoever, the nanotechnology instead alters small pockets of the air in the space within the piece, altering your visual and audile perception of the other participants, depending on where you are standing, and when. A bit hard to describe in words, this piece is best experienced first-hand. The space pockets are constantly changing location and multiplying, making your surroundings sometimes multiply into infinity, sometimes flatten-out into two dimensions, sometimes seeming to bunch-up into a ball and shoot right through your eye sockets, dragging your perception with it. And sometimes the audio "hallucinations" can be relentlessly ear-splitting. Also, if the action becomes too intense for you, the very nature of the work defies you to be able to find an exit. Not for the faint-hearted, even the bravest thrill-seekers have been tamed by Kelly's intricate, mind-bending nano-piece. Bring lots of aspirin and motion sickness patches. See also TRACERS, TRANSPARENT TRACERS and A ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS INSIDE A UNIVERSE FULL OF ROOMS (S/A).
    Enhancer: IUSET

Key to Cinema Enhancers:

    Character Evolution Advancement Accelerators, also known as "Darwins" or "Darwinnies"
    A fun enhancer that gauges the time of a film (or other format) and then greatly accelerates all of it's living character's (plant or animal) evolution throughout the duration of the film. All evolutionary characteristics take place in the enhancer user's mind only. 5,000,000,000 years worth of evolution may occur to a character during the duration of an average length film. Characters may grow huge nostrils, giant eyes or heads, loose all hair, or just grow an extra thumb. All in accordance with general theories of species evolution (Darwinism, etc.) and "survival of the fittest". However, these theories use the facts gathered in the images, sounds and events in the film only and use this information to create the "world" where the characters evolve, using the film's length as it's time-line. These effects can also occur to plant and animal characters or props. The only requirement is that the character or prop appears in more than one scene, it has to appear at least twice in order for there to be a "time gap" for the effects to occur. These changes can occur even between quick edits or cut-aways. Sometimes the enhancer treats moving inanimate objects (i.e.; an object that appears to "eat" a character: say a house, door or car) as living things and can produce evolutionary changes in them. Will completely alter the content of the film or nanny it is experienced on with chaotic, but always entertaining, results.
    Enhancer erases perception or memory of any prior enhancers while under the influence.
    Infra/Ultrasound Sensitivity Enhancement Therapy, also known as "Dog Ears"
    Enhancer enhances your perception by allowing you to hear frequencies below 20Hz's (low) and above 20,000Hz's (high) or, hear like dogs or other animals. Special films, habits or nannys, etc. are made specifically for this enhancer.
    Linear Alternate Time Dividers, also known as "Banana Splits" or "Bananas"
    Enhancer slows your perception down to slow motion, yet you are able to comprehend in real time. Even though your speaking seems faster to you in relation to what you are experiencing as a result of the enhancer, and your knowledge of it, your speech and movement would appear normal to those around you that are not on it. It's a hard experience to put into words and, like most enhancers, it is an experience that's logic is best understood while under it's influence.
    Also known as: "Man Created Measurements" or "Slide Rules"
    Clever amnesia-based enhancer erases the portion of learned memory that recalls and calculates formal (inches, miles, hours, time, space) and informal measurement systems you have learned but keeps other senses completely intact.
    The Most Realistic Dream Sequence Ever Filmed, also known as "Double Reels" or "Double E's"
    Enhancer supposedly alters your perception to fall within the cinematic rules of dream sequences circa 1950's-60's. Wavy filters, fog, non-sensical "editing", long hallways, flashbacks within flashbacks with lots of floating eyes and midgets thrown in for good measure. Silly.
    Subconscious Memory Trigger Enhancement Longevity Projection, also known as "Mommies"
    Enhancer is a fascinating new enhancer that digs deep into your subconscious and pulls out any person, object or setting that a film may remind you of and alters your perception of the film to correspond with the memory trigger. In other words, say a certain character subconsciously reminds you of your mother. The enhancers would change the film for you so you saw and heard that character as your mother throughout the entire film, or at least the best facsimile that your mind can produce using all it's stored memory. This can work for props and settings, or anything at all in the film (even whole scenes). Say a setting reminds you of a building you were once in, the setting would change to that building for you in the film thanks to the effects of the enhancer. Of course when you change things so drastically in a film or nanny, not all the seems will be perfectly worked out, making the SMTELP experience coherent, yet non-linear in a language that only makes sense to you. Recommended.
    Traditional Metronomic Graph Perception Alternator
    Enhancer Puts everything you experience on a "beat" like music. Everything you see and hear stops and starts like a rhythm. Similar to the way a drum machine or studio mixer will take a music piece played in real time that might be a little off the beat, and move all the sounds to correspond with an exact rhythm. This works well when listening to music, as you can change the beat settings, with other non-rhythm settings as well (swell, crescendo, etc.) but can be a very disorienting (of fun) when used in non-musical experiences. Like shutter or strobe vision, yet you miss nothing because everything you are supposed to see and hear is crammed into the little "flashes". Might work well with "strobe" films.

(PES: Perception Enhancement Series, Stern, Inc.)


Mark Allen's Top Five Things
for October 15th, 2003
Five things that would make my life a helluva lot easier... and maybe yours too!

1. Defibrillator Alarm Clock
    Why crawl out of bed like a slug!? A morning consciousness that begins at warp speed is what makes today's WINNER!!! A defibrillator attached to a timer (set to when you want to wake up) and easy-to-attach hand-held electrode conductors (attached the night before via velcro), 2000-5000 voltage setting, monitor, conductor gel, AM-FM radio, nero probe system and pulse oximeter! Good morning... CLEAR!!!

2. The ability to "sky write" with your farts
    Why say it with just words?

3. Insta-Alternate Dimension Checker
    Ever wonder what each and every outcome of each and every decision you've ever had to make would have been if you decided differently? Boy I know I do! Do you believe there are an infinite number of alternate dimensions where alternate "you's" are living out those alternate lives of other paths taken and are probably pondering about you and your path? Want the ability to check ahead and consult 35 separate outcomes and see what your alternate "you's" are going to be up to (or be forced to deal with) before making any decision in the present time? Use the Insta-Alternate Dimension Checker which allows you to look into your futures (35 maximum)... TODAY! Why wouldn'tyou want to know? Don't make a single decision without consulting 35 of your possible tomorrows... from the mundane to the monumental... and everything in-between... leave nothing to chance. Maximum alternate dimension viewability: 35, easy push-button access, time-span/speed rotation knob, kharma conversion wheel, text messaging, wheels for around-town portability, rechargeable battery, optional chin strap.

4. Machine that instantly delivers whatever dirt or gossip you are saying about someone behind their back - right to their ears in a matter of seconds
   Let me level with you. Living in a gossip/fag-centric metropolis like New York City has taught me a few valuable lessons... and here is one important one: If you are going to say something bad about someone behind their back... it will get back to them. The trouble is, that when it eventually does reach them... it will have gone through so many people and exaggerations and embellishments that it will sound 100 times worse than your original statement. So you might as well save yourself needless drama and go right to the source of your opinion... the person you are dissing... and say it straight to their face. You'll be a jerk... but at least you'll be a jerk who's opinion is PURE! But, of course, this removes all fun from gossip... which is secrecy and naughtiness and drama and the NEED to exaggerate to make those you don't like look bad. Why not invent a machine that transports what you say right to the target of your gossip (as a back-up to prove semi-innocence) in real time AND allows you the momentary evil delight of telling others!

5. The ability to live forever and never age

Copyright 2003 Mark Allen
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