Bare-Assed & Half-Baked Ideas: Sex One in Every Seven Seconds





Random anecdotal statistics have always amused me and they seem to thrive on the internet, but my favorite has always been that the average man thinks of sex one in every seven seconds. It’s clearly false. I mean, come on – what are all those other men thinking about in the other six seconds?


Another favorite is that the average person eats a bucket of dirt a year. Of course, that probably means the accumulated debris or dirt in food over a year, but I like to beat the odds and eat my bucket at the start of the year.

Bare-Assed & Half-Baked Ideas: How to Win the Lottery – Guaranteed!






I have a lot of bare-assed and half-baked ideas, but of all of them, my source of my fondest daydreams is my bare-assed and half-baked idea for winning the lottery. G-U-A-R-A-N-T-E-E-D!


Rest assured – Stark After Dark does not resort to cheap scams or schemes, offering illusory promises like some internet pop-up, Nigerian email or Ponzi scheme. This is the real deal – if you act on it, you WILL win the lottery. It’s simple mathematics.


And now, as a special event, I am sharing this secret with you.


Now at this point, you might reasonably ask why is this appearing in some random blog, rather than, say, mile-high letters projected by lasers on to the moon bought by my lottery-won billions. (And yes, that is deliberately phrased ambiguously, as to whether it is the lasers OR the moon that is bought by my billions). Well, we’ll get to that.


As I said, it’s simple mathematics – combined with some of my most bare-assed and half-baked ideas yet.


According to Wikipedia, as of 4 October 2015, you have a 1 in 291,201,388 chance of winning the jackpot in Powerball in the United States. Now, I conservatively estimate those to be equivalent to my odds of being struck between the eyes by a meteorite – although I would also point out to all those mathematical cynics who denounce the folly of buying lottery tickets, that this is appreciably more than my odds of obtaining such an amount by, you know, working for it like a chump, which I conservatively estimate to be zero.


However – and this is the beauty of having bare-assed and half-baked ideas like mine – whereas others see only daunting odds, I see a dazzling opportunity.


You see, a 1 in 291,201,388 chance means there are a total of 291,201,388 possible combinations of numbers that can be drawn, of which one is the winner. So…all you have to do to win the lottery – and by now I suspect you can see where I’m going with this – is enter all 291,201,388 possible combinations, and one of them WILL win!


Indeed, you’ll do even better than that, because you’ll also scoop every other lesser prize below the jackpot as well.


So far, so good? Now, also according to Wikipedia, each Powerball play costs $2. So…accordingly, the cost of those 291,201,388 entries will be only $582,402,766. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, the largest jackpot so far was $1.586 BILLION on 13 January 2016! So…that’s a net $1 BILLION profit! And if you don’t have a spare $582,402,766 just lying around the house like Scrooge McDuck, it’s too easy – all you have to do is wait for the jackpot to accumulate to a billion or so and just pop in to your friendly bank manager, borrow that $582,402,766 and pay it back with your jackpot winnings. As I said, too easy!


Of course, while you’re waiting for that billion dollar jackpot to roll around (or your loan to be approved), you can use the time to actually fill in all those 291,201,388 entries. For ease of calculation, let’s say that you can pump out an entry a second, that will only take you…9 or so years, working around the clock. Hmm, after you’ve finished scraping your bank manager off the floor after his or her heart attack, better ask for a bigger loan so you can hire people to fill out entries for you – or better yet, have machines or robots do it for you. (And while you’re at it, you should probably get a computer to generate all those possible combinations for you to use in your entries). I mean, there are automated assembly lines that pump out cars and things – how hard can it be to reconfigure one of them to fill in lottery tickets? One might think that if you have those sorts of talents or resources, you might actually make that kind of money by producing something, but where’s the fun in that? Hopefully also your employees or lottery factory won’t miss the winning number through human or machine error, but what are the odds of that? Anyway, you’re beating the odds by the sheer mathematical attrition of plowing through all of them!


That also assumes the jackpot isn’t split with other people who win it through sheer dumb luck (bastards!). After all, that historic $1.586 billion jackpot was split between THREE Powerball tickets or $528.8 million each. So…net loss? Not to mention – better avoid doing it in a state that TAXES lottery winnings (bastards!!), although there are still federal withholdings. And what’s this – that jackpot is an ANNUITY?! You mean, you don’t get the cash up front? So each winner of that historic jackpot got a cash option of only $187.2 million after federal withholdings?


Sigh – looks my favorite bare-assed and half-baked idea is still my dream of living in a house lit by lava lamps

Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas: Bee Dancing (or How I was Cheated by Evolution Yet Again)





Goddamn evolution!


And like the Lord it replaced, it giveth and it taketh away.


Actually, it doesn’t really do anything but slap things together on the assembly line and throw them out there to sink or swim.




I mean, philosophers and theologians used to argue that nature showed design – but if life were cars, then evolution wouldn’t be a designer in the sense of carefully planned engineering like a German or Japanese car company, but more like competing warlords throwing together the bizarro jury-rigged vehicles in Mad Max and seeing which cars ate each other best in the desert. You know – cars with spikes, cars merged with other cars, cars with excavators on them, cars with those swinging pole-things to attack other cars…




Which is why we have appendices, wisdom teeth, bad backs and so on. And damn it, I miss my tail! My sexy, prehensile tail – for that extra hand when you need it, and for the ladies…


You know you want it!

You know you want it!


Evolution. What are we but fish that couldn’t swim and had to crawl – or monkeys that couldn’t climb and had to think? Or worse, talk? And that’s where the trouble began. O evolution – why do we have to communicate through speech, fumbling and groping each other with words? When people talk about the birds and the bees, I don’t think about sex. Well I do, but that’s only because I think about sex for everything. It’s been said that the average male thinks of sex one in every seven seconds. Personally, I think that’s crap, because I have no idea what all those other males are thinking about in those other six seconds.


So when people talk about the birds and the bees, yes, I think about sex – although not so much that boring bird sex, but kinky BDSM bee sex between a drone and his queen. But I also think about how birds and bees communicate through dance. Birds are the divas of nature, albeit typically the male birds – with their beautiful plumage, songs, and above all, their elaborate preening and strutting courtship dances. Even more so, bees communicate through dance. After a bee finds flowers with pollen, it flies back to the hive and performs the so-called waggle dance, hypnotically wiggling its bottom while moving in circles before all the other watching bees to show the location and distance of the flowers from the hive.


bee dance


Ever since I read that, I have always communicated through dance in my nightlife, flitting into pubs or nightclubs like a bee into a hive and heading wordlessly to the dancefloor to gyrate or wiggle my hips at all onlookers – “The honey is this way!”


It’s…not terribly effective.


Not even when you dress up like this

Not even when you dress up like this


Goddamn evolution.


Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas: Nature is Full of Crap

Conan enjoying the taste of nature and vice versa

Conan enjoying the taste of nature and vice versa




Nature is full of crap.


Literally, when you come to think of it (which is, as I like to joke, what puts the organic into organic food).


But metaphorically as well. Nature is the predator picking out your brains and the parasite chewing out your guts.


I have a pet peeve against people who use ‘natural’ or ‘nature’ in general as synonymous for good or as some sort of ideal – to quote Eric Cartman from South Park, hippies!


For one thing, the whole ‘unnatural’ thing strikes me as a misnomer. If it was truly ‘unnatural’ (or in contravention of the laws of nature), it wouldn’t exist. In that sense, ‘natural’ is a tautology. If it exists, it’s natural – and that includes things built by humanity, as part of nature and subject to the laws of nature. Of course, people who use ‘natural’ as synonymous for good tend to do so to distinguish it from the ‘artificial’, or those things that admittedly only exist as a result of the actions of humanity – and tend to swoon over the things that are ‘natural’ or ‘nature’ in general.


Which brings me to my main point. Nature doesn’t give a dinosaur’s ass about anything in it – which is why you’ll only find dinosaur asses in museums (or the ground or the fossil fuels you pump into all those cool ‘artificial’ things). Nature simply is – and isn’t too concerned about what it isn’t. Like every extinct animal ever – and every animal eaten by another animal.




As I said, nature is the predator picking out your brains and the parasite chewing out your guts – an endless arms race of reproduction against predation and parasitism, with extinction as the bottom line.


And sure, humanity may be the world’s apex predator, generally eating rather than being eaten, although there are exceptions to the rule – but without all humanity’s ‘artificialities’, I’d bet that wouldn’t be the rule with our soft plush defenseless bodies as the walking snacks of the savannah. Parasites on the other hand still loom large despite all humanity’s artificialities. I haven’t tallied it up, but again I’d bet nature’s diseases have killed more people than all of humanity’s wars – the Black Death killed an estimated 75-200 million people worldwide including 30-70% of the European population, the majority of the indigenous American population were killed by disease and influenza in the wake of the First World War killed more people than that war (and possibly both world wars combined).


Don’t get me wrong – nature may be potentially admired, certainly respected and ideally preserved by humanity, but our comfortable civilization exists by keeping nature tamed or at bay.

Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas: Post-Apocalyptic Job Criteria

Um, does anyone need a lawyer?

Um, does anyone need a lawyer?




It’s been a while since I’ve shared one of my bare-assed and half-baked ideas, so here’s my post-apocalyptic job criteria.


So what are my post-apocalyptic job criteria? Well, thanks to a steady diet, literary and cinematic, of post-apocalyptic science fiction – perhaps best exemplified by Mad Max, I just can’t think about any job, including my own, without thinking how useful it would be in a post-apocalyptic world.


Which is to say, not very – or not at all. Most jobs, probably the majority of them, would be useless. What can I say? I’m just a glass half full kind of guy!


Although there might be a position open for flame-throwing guitarists

Although there might be a position open for flame-throwing guitarists


It’s nothing personal. My job would be useless. Even my extracurricular activity would also be useless. Unless perhaps I could leverage blogging into some post-apocalyptic equivalent of wandering bard or minstrel? (Sometimes I wonder how useful any of it is by PRE-apocalyptic job criteria). So my best post-apocalyptic job prospects might be going out in the apocalypse itself.


Of course, there are professions with better prospects.


Doctors, for example. Dentists, perhaps, if the local warlord has a toothache. Hell, veterinarians would do for medicine or surgery – they’re probably more generally useful than doctors because they can also treat animals. Although I’m not sure how useful any of them would be without the complex medical infrastructure, technology and drugs of modern society. Some medical specializations would be functionally useless. Without drugs, anesthesiologists better learn knocking patients out with a hammer (or passing them out with alcohol). Still more useful than most jobs, I’d imagine.


Engineers? Again potentially useful, but without the technological infrastructure of modern society? I suspect they may generally be too sophisticated for the technology of the post-apocalyptic world (but still more useful than most jobs).


The basic trades probably have better post-apocalyptic job criteria – to build or maintain the functional or scavenged technology. The best post-apocalyptic job criteria are probably for something even more basic – the agricultural or primary industry sector. You know, people who produce food – farmers and so on. (I have enough trouble hunting and gathering food from the supermarket). It’s a sobering thought that is usually under 5% of the population of developed economies. (Ironically, the more agricultural developing nations might actually fare better in a post-apocalyptic world, at least in terms of basic survival).


70% or more of the population of developed nations work in the service sector – legal, financial, education, entertainment, sales, hospitality, government and so on, all with varying degrees of functional uselessness by post-apocalyptic criteria.


Immortan Joe with your post-apocalyptic job performance review

Immortan Joe with your post-apocalyptic job performance review


So, on the Mad Max Fury Road sliding scale of post-apocalyptic job criteria:

  • The most useful would involve building and maintaining what passes for infrastructure – the horde of bizarro vehicles, weapons and mechanical devices, all that leather fetish gear, pumping the fuel and water everyone fights over, growing the food we never see and that one “doctor” we see with equipment and services barely above a blacksmith
  • Then if you’re lucky, there’s the cannon fodder of shaved-head white-painted chrome-inhaling war boys (and the rare female Imperator Furiosa)
  • Then if you’re not, there’s the slaves and lumpenproletriat begging for water or foraging for scraps (or worse if you’re healthy, a “blood-bag” or universal organ donor – or milk donor or “breeder” in the vault if you’re female. Ewww!)


I've got my new position mapped out. At least I'm not in a cubicle!

I’ve got my new position mapped out. At least I’m not in a cubicle!


Now I’m just working on my job criteria to be a warlord, like Immortan Joe or the Lord Humongous. You know, other than being a mutated weirdo…


Master of Business Administration perhaps?

Master of Business Administration perhaps?




Comics That Rocked My World





It’s time to look at the comics that rocked my world.


Firstly, fantasy and science fiction extend beyond the medium of print literature into the medium of comics – indeed, I would estimate that the majority of comics are fantasy or science fiction, Superhero comics by definition involve some fantasy or science fiction in their superheroics.


Secondly, the casual reader of Stark After Dark might get the impression that I follow more comics than I actually do (perhaps because of my top ten girls of comics?), so it’s time for Stark After Dark to once again pin its colors to the mast and show just which comics rocked my world. Now it is true that I am aware of a wide range of comics – and that I read about (or read up on) comics, particularly with their cinematic or screen incarnations. (As for the latter, it’s my quip that I’ll see any film that’s adapted from a comic – or could be made into one – although I’m less diligent when it comes to television). I have a love of the medium and will have a look at anything in it. On the other hand, I actually read only a few of those comics and I actively follow even fewer of them, almost entirely outside mainstream DC Comics or Marvel.




It’s probably not necessary to state what comics are – although it is difficult to provide a definition that encompasses or captures the essence of all the medium – but perhaps it is necessary to state what comics can be. Comics are typically identified as being childish or adolescent, and indeed they often are – but then, what form of entertainment isn’t? To quote Sturgeon’s Law, 90% of everything is crap.


However, even at their lowest common denominator, comics have always been mythic – particularly superhero comics, which have virtually created a modern pantheon. I’d venture that the basic details of the character of Superman or Batman are better known than most founding religious figures (as well as embodying many of their characteristics) – and certainly better known than figures from classical literature or mythology, which until recently used to be the distinctive hallmark of Western education. Indeed, it would be a simple matter to swap the Justice League for the Olympian pantheon.


Or just use actual gods

Or just use actual gods


And at their highest, comics have matured, particularly in the quality of writing – notably from about the 1980’s (although that is not to discount quality writing before then), such that the term graphic novels tends to be substituted for comic books.



Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas: Animal Nightclub 2 (I Forgot the Flamingos!)

James's Flamingo




In my last post on my animal nightclub, I forgot the flamingos!

How could I forget the flamingos? Also the penguins, hummingbirds, swans, owls and eagles. Also a big shout out to the brightly colored parrots of the world. Let’s face it – birds probably have a higher ratio of animal nightclub flamboyance and fabulousness than any other species. It’s all bright plumage, song and dances for them. Not unlike an actual nightclub, I suppose, except more graceful and with more elaborate mating displays or dances – typically by the males, strutting straight to the dance floor to vie for the most impressive visual displays. I wonder how the average human male would fare if he had to rely on the visual display of his dancing skill to be an alpha male?  Of course, there are your drab and plain birds – sparrows, pigeons and so on – but they obviously wouldn’t be getting into my animal nightclub, let alone your carrion-feeding vultures. (After all, as I delight in telling my young nieces, vultures have no feathers on their neck and head to make it easier to shove their head up some dead animal’s ass to eat its guts – “and they still eat more tidily than you!” I conclude).

You can see how addictive a mental game this can become. After all, your average cow or chicken isn’t getting into the nightclub unless it’s bringing something to the party – this club is only for animals that are cool, exotic or funky. (Funky – as in possessed of funk, baby). Wolves and coyotes (because they’re cool). Giraffes (because they have spots and are funky). Most antelope or deer – love those impala and springboks. Hyena (because I love any animal that laughs – and because I resent The Lion King for its anti-hyena agenda). Bats (because they’re Batman!). Polar bears, pandas, lemurs, any monkey with a prehensile tail – indeed, most monkeys (except those big-assed baboons). Chameleons. Frogs and salamanders (but not toads. Because they’re toads). Sufficiently sexy rabbits.


This was going to be a Playboy bunny, but this pic is funnier

This was going to be a Playboy bunny, but this pic is funnier


And most importantly of all – I FORGOT A WHOLE ANIMAL NIGHTCLUB! You see – we actually need FOUR animal nightclubs for the sheer variety of animals on this big, beautiful and bouncy planet of ours. I’ve already mentioned the standard animal nightclub for land vertebrate animals (mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians). I’ve also mentioned the aquatic animal nightclub (although arguably two aquatic clubs, fresh and salt) – for fish, aquatic mammals (such as dolphin and orca!), molluscs (octopi and squid – because tentacles are sexy), crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates. And there’s the third nightclub, the mini-animal nightclub for land invertebrate animals – insects (I forgot dragonflies! How could I forget dragonflies?) and other invertebrates that are the overwhelming majority of life on our planet. However, I forgot the largest animal club of all – THE EXTINCT ANIMAL NIGHTCLUB. Jurassic Club, as it were – for trilobites, saber-tooth tigers and woolly mammoths (and all those other funky animals sucked into tar pits). And of course, the star of every Jurassic Park movie ever (no matter how much they try to push those pussy raptors on us) – the coolest animal ever, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, or to his fans, T-Rex.







Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas: Animal Nightclub




It’s time for another random stream of consciousness post from my bare-assed and half-baked ideas – the animal nightclub.


No – I’m not talking about an actual nightclub for animals (although that could work for pets and their owners, especially cats – it just writes itself, with all those laser lights and catnip), or a nightclub with animals (although that’s not a bad idea, albeit more as an occasional zoo or aquarium party) or a nightclub with an animal theme (also not a bad idea, but maybe that’s just me and my fetish for animal print)…


Rowr! Pictured - the blogger's bed. Or not really - I do have my leopard lounge, with lava-lamp lighting of course.

Rowr! Pictured – the blogger’s bed. Or not really – I do have my leopard lounge, with lava-lamp lighting of course.


I’m talking about a way of thinking about animals as if you were admitting them into your hypothetical nightclub. You know the ones, at least from movies or television – the ones with bouncers as fashion or style police, screening entry to the club on their assessment of whether the potential entrant looks cool (or hot) enough (or are on the proverbial list). Like the rest of my bare-assed and half-baked ideas, I don’t know how or where that idea bubbled into my head (possibly from a combination of my love of animal documentaries and my experience with nightclubs). But I’ll bet that once it’s there in your head, you can’t pop that bubble and from then on, you can’t look at animals without at least some small part of you thinking – is that animal funky enough to get into my nightclub? It’s not about the character or utility of the animal. It is purely and superficially about their aesthetic appeal or visual style, or whether they have the necessary funk for your nightclub – or to put it in different terms, to sashay down your fashion catwalk.


Everybody in the club! All eyes on us!

Everybody in the club! All eyes on us!


Speaking of cats, big cats are the apex funksters of the animal nightclub – sleek, svelte and immaculately styled by nature. Although as much as I like golden lions, I give first place to tigers and leopards (also cheetahs, jaguars and ocelots). As you can tell, I have a soft spot for spots and stripes. I wish we had spots or stripes. (I also wish we still had tails – albeit admittedly only prehensile tails. O why did we give up our tails, while keeping such useless things as the appendix? Evolution, you suck!).


"I can't let you in - in that shirt!"

“I can’t let you in – in that shirt!”


You get the idea – although individual tastes will vary. I prefer my sleek and svelte – also ideally spots and stripes, but any brightly colored fur, hide, plumage or scales (although I also like jet black or other uniform shades). Which mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians are funky enough for your nightclub? Zebras, foxes, cobras (snakes in general – apologies to my ophidiophobic mother), peacocks (it’s called peacocking for a reason!), birds of paradise, tree frogs…




Although when you think about it, you’ll realize that you’ll also need an aquatic nightclub for funky fish and other aquatic animals (essentially any coral reef will do) – not many of those deep-sea weirdoes though. You’ll also need as well as a mini-animal nightclub for insects (social butterflies, mantises, and so on) and all other invertebrate animals. But again, when you think about the latter, there already is a mini-animal nightclub for insects and other invertebrates, which we’ve just happened to gatecrash – our planet. It’s their planet – we just live on it. They were here before us and even now greatly outnumber us (and outweigh us in biomass) – and as one of my heroes, David Attenborough, pointed out in his Life in the Undergrowth, they would barely be affected if we (and every other vertebrate animal) suddenly vanished, while we could not survive without them.








Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas: Freezer Pillows




Yesterday, I introduced my bare-assed and half-baked ideas – which is fortunate as today I only have limited time for a post. I commenced my half-baked ideas with my long-standing dream to live in a house lit by lava lamps – perhaps not very practical although you’d have to admit it would be funky (and it is also symbolic of the quixotic nature of my bare-assed and half-baked ideas, which is my quest to live in a lava-lamped world).

However, tonight’s post is a practical home idea, particularly if you live, like I do, somewhere it gets hot and humid in summer. The heat I can tolerate – it’s the humidity that gets to me, walking around with a perpetual meniscus of sweat and waking up from the bed’s sweaty caress. And it especially gets to me when sleeping at night.


"Oh - the humidity!"

“Oh – the humidity!”


The idea is this – freezer pillows! It’s not my original idea – I’m not sure from where I obtained it, other than the usual internet osmosis. (Ah, osmosis! Where would we be without it? Buying a gym membership is fitness by osmosis, even if you don’t go to the gym. The mere act of sitting in a library, or having textbooks on your desk – even if you only use them as a pillow for a nap – is study by osmosis). However, I have adopted it as my own, with the fervor of a religion. Before I lay my head down to sleep, I place my pillow in the freezer. Obviously this needs a suitably sized freezer and space within it, but come on! What else are you going to use it for – freezing food?! Where are your priorities? Mine is a cool head at night. Believe me, the experience of a frozen pillow is orgasmic (arguably better, as it makes you less hot and sweaty).

Which begs the question – in this age of global warming, where are the freezer pillows and sheets? The refrigerated equivalent of electric blankets, which we plug in at night for a cool flow? Surely, it would be more energy efficient than air-conditioning, as it would just need to cool the surface – as opposed to the entire airspace of the room?


O yes, baby!

O yes, baby!



Introducing My Bare-Assed and Half-Baked Ideas (or My Dream to Live in a Lava-Lamped World)





This is where I get stark naked for everything else – my bare-assed and half-baked ideas too random for the rest of the blog. My mind moves in mysterious ways – and believe me, it can get a little weird in here (unless I let it out to play from time to time).


Yeah, that's pretty much how my mind works. You should see my subconscious!

Yeah, that’s pretty much how my mind works. You should see my subconscious!


So this is where the flotsam and jetsam of my mind washes ashore – sacred kings of celebrity, post-apocalyptic job criteria, animal nightclubs, dancing bees, freezer pillows and my dream to live in a house lit by lava lamps. And they’re just the things that were floating by on my immediate stream of consciousness…







So for starters, it is my dream to live in a house lit by lava lamps. Of course, I’m joking and I’m serious (which, incidentally, is the default setting of my mind). After all, it would get a little…trippy, transcendental even. Although, that’s kind of the point – I half believe it would transcend time and space. (My theory is that the Tardis in Doctor Who was powered by lava lamps – or at least the writers were). And you’d have to admit – you’d want to see it too.


Or if not a house, at least a lava-lamp wall. Like a whole glass wall of your lounge room, bubbling away…


However, why think small? Let’s get larger. A lava-lamp lit nightclub – a club lit entirely by lava lamps, or lava-lamp poles, or lava-lamp walls? Or a lava-lamp lit hotel for funky tourists? Perhaps my dream is to live in a lava-lamped world? Although when you think about it, we do. The sun is just one big thermonuclear lava lamp, with its million-degree bubbles of plasma driven by nuclear fusion – bubbling up from the core to the surface.


And the Goddess said – let there be funk!


This is also pretty much how my mind works (from Heart and Brain by Awkward Yeti). Go heart, go!

This is also pretty much how my mind works (from Heart and Brain by Awkward Yeti). Go heart, go!