back to article Indianapolis man paints his ball every day – for FORTY YEARS

Some men are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them and others achieve greatness by painting a baseball every day for four decades until it weighs 5,000 pounds. Mike Carmichael from Indianapolis embarked on the journey that would become his life's work when he first slapped a coat of blue paint on the ball in 1977. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't have another 40 years, if each coat applied each time was the same thickness, each new coat would be slightly heavier than the last as the amount needed per coat increases. So the rate the ball is increasing in weight is increasing.

    1. Ben Bonsall

      116000lb/5000lb = 2.32

      C= 14 feet, so volume = 1.3055 m3, radius = 0.678 m

      Assuming same density- 11600lb sphere will be 3.03m3, so radius = 0.89755 m

      If a baseball is around 8cm, and it's taken 40 years for 64 cm of paint, another 26cm of paint will take 40/(64/26) approx. 16 years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now everyone is going to think I, anonymous coward, is weird like he is. As the author has removed the additional 40 years comment :(

      1. x 7

        we all know you're weird anyway, otherwise you wouldn't be anonymous

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          touché :)

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Well, a hobby is a hobby

    Let's see.

    1) Paint baseball every day for fourty years

    2) Get universally known as the wierdo with a painting fetish

    3) Start charging for humongous ball of paint viewing

    4) Profit !

    1. itzman

      Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

      Indeed If diameter increases at a linear rate volume increase as the cube law of that.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

        Ahhh! But were the earlier paints lead based and possibly therefore heavier?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

          "Ahhh! But were the earlier paints lead based and possibly therefore heavier?"

          and more to the point, does his insurance company know he's risking giving visitors lead poisoning?

          1. Annihilator

            Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

            "and more to the point, does his insurance company know he's risking giving visitors lead poisoning?"

            Presumably only if they were stupid enough to lick it. Though some people like that.

            1. Martin Budden Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

              Presumably only if they were stupid enough to lick it. Though some people like that.

              Personally I'm not keen on licking a middle-aged man's balls, but you're right, some people might be.

          2. Crazy Operations Guy

            Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

            Given that paint goes bad after 10 years, the last time he;d be able to use lead-based paint would be around 1987 (lead paint was banned in 1977), so that gives use 28 years worth of paint, or 10,227 layers. I think its safe to say that you'd be safe even if you took a bite or two out of it... Well, safe from lead poisoning, at least.

          3. JP 6
            Happy

            Re: Lead Based paint

            Lead based paint has been banned in the USA since 1978. If there is any, it must be several layers deep by now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

      well, it is probably a bit less boring that the actual 'Ball Game'.

      Yes I went to one once. It was really boring. Test Match Cricket is a hive of enterainment when compared to Baseball.

      1. Youngone Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

        Now listen here AC, Test Match Cricket is what made this country etc etc...

        Carry on.

      2. Quortney Fortensplibe
        Facepalm

        Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

        <i>"...a bit less boring that.."</i>

        Jeebus! –can't you yanks get it right. It's "Less ... THAN".

        Not THEN or, God forbid, THAT!

    3. zb

      Re: Well, a hobby is a hobby

      Profit? hmm. Maybe the boffins posting in this thread can work out the cost of the paint. While they are at it calculate how long before it explodes/collapses/bursts into flames.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Pint

    I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

    Brilliant case of doing something "just because". More of this kind of harmless weirdness can make the world a better place (in a small way), simply by putting a smile on peoples' faces.

    I wonder if he has photographs of the increase as a function of time. Could be publishable in Annals of Improbable Research. Might even be a candidate for an Ig Nobel Prize.

    1. skeptical i
      Thumb Up

      Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

      Ditto -- less Disneyworld, more quirky roadside attractions.

      It'd be cool if he had a camera mounted to take a piccie of the newly-painted ball every day, so he could string the pix together for a time-lapse film of the growing baseball. Next time .... ;^)

      1. skeptical i
        Paris Hilton

        Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

        re: camera, photos

        Sorry, that's more or less what Michael said in the original post, duh.

    2. Chemist

      Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

      @Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      I seem to remember there was a publication "Journal of Irreproducible Results" where the title font tailed off into a wastebin. You seem to be the sort of chap that might remember it.

      This ball wouldn't qualify, of course, as no-one is likely to try to reproduce it ! It also gives a whole new meaning to paint-balling of course.

      1. Ralph B

        Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

        > I seem to remember there was a publication "Journal of Irreproducible Results"

        Ah, yes, the Journal of Irreproducible Results ... not to be confused with the Annals of Improbable Research.

      2. AbelSoul
        Thumb Up

        Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

        @Chemist:

        +1 for a whole new meaning to paint-balling.

        1. king of foo

          Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

          I, too, was picturing a different kind of ball... and planning a new weekend activity that both self and the missus could enjoy...

    3. Nolveys
      Happy

      Re: I'll raise a glass to eccentricity

      Indeed the oddballs make the world go round. How else would something like this be possible?

      http://gopherholemuseum.ca/

  4. D@v3

    Ball rings

    Would be interesting to see it cut in half, see what the layers look like

    1. Ben Bonsall

      Re: Ball rings

      like this: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=fordite&tbm=isch

    2. Fungus Bob

      Re: Ball rings

      "Would be interesting to see it cut in half..."

      Sure enough, every time some oddball thing shows up somebody wants to kill it.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Darwin Awards Equivalant

    Are there any "Darwin Awards" equivalants for the most pointless/useless/plain stupid hobbies.. This would easilly be classed way up high, along with growing long finger nails, collecting snail saliva and

    measuring the ovality of chicken eggs..

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

      It's not fatal, so not Darwin related

      1. Sarah Balfour

        Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

        To qualify for a Darwin, your stupidity DOES NOT have to lead to your demise, the main criterion is that your genes are removed from the gene pool, which can quite easily happen (more so for men) without death, e.g. if you happened to get your sack caught in such a way that all blood supply to your veg was cut off for long enough that Jaffaring was the result. Or, in the case of one fucktard I saw writhing in agony on a trolley in the A&E at Manchester Royal, you decided to nail gun your jewels to a 2x4. Pretty certain he wasn't going to be furthering humanity after it was removed.

        All the rules state is that you have to be rendered unable to breed and, whilst death is the only way that can be achieved with surety, Awards have been given to men (because, obviously, it's pretty impossible for a lass to remove her seed from the gene pool without fatality) who've survived, but been left Jaffared. There's nothing to say all awards have to be posthumous, just that your junk needs to be junk.

        So, as we're talking Oz, if you're baiting a croc and it rips your sack off and eats it, but you survive, you'd qualify. Talking of dangerous reptiles and nuts, there was the man awarded because he decided it'd be an excellent idea to shove a rattler into his undies. There's a whole RWNJ sect - cult - in the Deep South which believes that God only wants those who are willing to sleep with venomous snakes. If you're bitten - which obviously is likely - and you survive, then God rejected you, summat like that. Whole shit-tonne of potential Awards there.

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

      Call it the "Watching Paint Dry" award and this guy's a shoo-in for first winner.

    3. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

      Should I judge from the 3 downvotes that there are 3 El Reg readers that actually think that kind of hobby is interesting ? If so, I shudder at the speed at which humanity is descending into complete moronity..

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

        Is he hurting anyone?

        Is he harming himself?

        Is it pointless?

        Are most hobbies pretty pointless?

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

          "Is he hurting anyone? Is he harming himself? Is it pointless?"

          You read the Daily Mail don't you ?

          "Are most hobbies pretty pointless?"

          No.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

            Wasting time on a tech site complaining that someone painting a baseball is pointless seems pretty pointless to me.

            1. Khaptain Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

              I honestly couldn't care less for what anyone does in the privacy of their own home, that's their problem.

              What I do not care for is the fact that the media, in this case El Reg, pump this crap onto the screens/newspapers/medium of their readers.

              Society is being dumbed down to a level the leaves me in complete despair.. and what do I see, people on a tech site that defend this kind of thing.

              1. Yugguy

                Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                It's one article amongst hundreds and it provides a little light relief.

                I fail to see the harm.

                1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

                  Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                  Who would have imagined that an article about a guy painting a baseball would cause the comments section to erupt like this. Climate change wasn't even mentioned once!

              2. smartypants

                Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                Your problem is that you have a fantasy view of the past. I got The Guinness Book of Records from santa in the seventies and it was packed with this sort of thing.

              3. Just Enough

                @ Khaptain

                Aren't you a bundle of joy?

                The media has being doing stories like this since Ugg said to Oog "You'll never guess what that crazy guy in the next cave has painted on the wall". So I guess we must have been dumbing down ever since then.

                1. Khaptain Silver badge

                  Re: @ Khaptain

                  "The media has being doing stories like this since Ugg said to Oog "You'll never guess what that crazy guy in the next cave has painted on the wall". So I guess we must have been dumbing down ever since then."

                  @Just Enough

                  And you think that that is acceptable ? It is one of the reasons for which I gave up television about 15 years ago.

                  1. Just Enough

                    Re: @ Khaptain

                    Good to see you're spending your time more profitably raging at the world on internet forums. I'm sure everyone will sit up and take notice one day. Then we'll carry you shoulder-high through the streets of every capital city and songs will be written about how you were right all along, and we should all have wised up ages ago.

                    And then someone will write an awe-struck article about your 15 year collection of green pens (you keep them in a cardboard box where your TV used to be).. ... and the cycle of life will be complete.

                    1. Khaptain Silver badge

                      Re: @ Khaptain

                      @Just Enough

                      That's very poetic and I thank you for your kind sentiments.

                      I understand that some people find great joy in looking at painted baseballs. That's fine, continue as usual.

                      I understand also that these kind of icons are very important to a large part of the population. Whether it be white crosses or white baseballs the difference to me is irrelevant. That's fine, continue as usual.

                      Surprising how upset some people can get over such trivialities.

                      All hail the baseball....

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @ Khaptain

                        > "Surprising how upset some people can get over such trivialities."

                        I doubt anyone on this thread is very upset. We save that for the Global Warming articles, oy.

                        1. Captain DaFt

                          Re: @ Khaptain

                          "I doubt anyone on this thread is very upset. We save that for the Global Warming articles, oy."

                          Speak for yourself.

                          I find some of the comments in the global warming threads are comedy gold!

                      2. x 7

                        Re: @ Khaptain

                        "I understand that some people find great joy in looking at painted baseballs"

                        wheras some find enjoyment in excessive mastication.

                  2. x 7

                    Re: @ Khaptain

                    "I gave up television about 15 years ago."

                    I take it you gave up humour around the same time? When did you give up on life to become a recluse?

              4. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
                WTF?

                @Khaptain Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                I honestly couldn't care less for what anyone does in the privacy of their own home, that's their problem.

                What I do not care for is the fact that the media, in this case El Reg, pump this crap onto the screens/newspapers/medium of their readers.

                Society is being dumbed down to a level the leaves me in complete despair.. and what do I see, people on a tech site that defend this kind of thing.

                Ummm... yeah... so you know this is Bootnotes, right?

                In other words - expect inane bollocks just like this, which is a welcome relief to the overwhelming seriousness in the world. Seriousness that seems to have sucked you into it's clammy, graping maw...

                1. Khaptain Silver badge

                  Re: @Khaptain Darwin Awards Equivalant

                  "Ummm... yeah... so you know this is Bootnotes, right?"

                  Don't worry I have got more downvotes than the majority have got upvotes, yes, I klnow that we are in the bootnotes and it also seems that I have touched a nerve on our more "sensitive" readership..

                  Obviously painting baseballs is higher up in the ranks of other people's "list of things I dream to do" than it is on my mine..

                  Carry on James....take the exit where it reads "welcome back to sanity"... because it seems we may have strayed from the route..

                  1. Yugguy

                    Re: @Khaptain Darwin Awards Equivalant

                    Trouble is old son if we take your viewpoint to its ultimate end, ALL human activity is pointless as we are all going to die.

                    In the words of Solomon...

                    Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

                    What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

                    One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

                    I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

                    I kind of like the book of Ecclesiastes. You don't have to be religious to agree with his central viewpoint that it's all pointless bollocks.

              5. Geoffrey W

                Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                @Khaptain

                You accused someone of being a daily mail reader, but to be honest, you're the one who sounds more like a daily mail reader. As for the pointlessness of painting a ball, how about the pointlessness of getting outraged in internet forums about something pointless.

                Foolish boy!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                  He's a Guardian reader, I'm guessing.

                  They are exactly the same as Daily Mail readers except for a couple of minor points: they complain about the Daily Mail rather than the Guardia and they believe themselves to be the most righteous, generous, loving people in the world ( yet believe that anybody who doesn't agree with them should be brutally murdered ).

              6. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

                I would argue that society is in fact being dumbed up.

                This painted ball is presented as an odd-jobs hobby, yet competition large vegetable growing is considered a normal thing, because it's traditional.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

            "Are most hobbies pretty pointless?"

            only to those who do not participate in that particular one

            To me, gardening is pointless yet Mrs AC spends hours there.....I prefer spending hours sampling water filtered through barley and hops

        2. Ralph B

          Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

          > Is he hurting anyone?

          Well, given time, he exponentially threatens to exhaust the resources of the Universe!

          1. Phil Endecott

            Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

            > Well, given time, he exponentially threatens to exhaust the resources of the Universe!

            No. It increases quadraticly, not exponentially.

            1. Khaptain Silver badge

              Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

              @Yugguy

              Is it even possible to be realistic without being nihilistic ?

            2. John H Woods Silver badge

              Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

              "No. It increases quadratic[al]ly, not exponentially." -- Phil Endecott

              Apart from the spelling, this has got to be pedantic correction of the week.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

            Well, given time, he exponentially threatens to exhaust the resources of the Universe!

            That makes me wonder how long it would take him to lay enough paint on it to cause a gravitational collapse and end up with a black hole, taking into account that the sheer size will slow him down a bit unless he hires Santa to help.

            Sorry. Must be something I ate :)

          3. zen1

            @ Ralph B

            > Is he hurting anyone?

            "Well, given time, he exponentially threatens to exhaust the resources of the Universe!"

            Given your question, I'm wondering at what point the baseball's gravity become so strong that the entire sphere would collapse on itself, forming a black hole in Indianapolis?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

        > "Should I judge from the 3 downvotes that there are 3 El Reg readers that actually think that kind of hobby is interesting ?"

        No you should not. I didn't downvote you, yet I find the hobby in question interesting, so that makes at least 4.

        I would guess that your distate for this hobby is coloured by a too-serious view of the subject. After all, the Universe as a whole is pretty absurd, so this guy's paintball project fits right in, IMHO.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

      "This would easilly be classed way up high, along with growing long finger nails, collecting snail saliva and

      measuring the ovality of chicken eggs.."

      Climbing a mounting only to come back down again; kicking a ball into a net, only to have it put back into the middle; turning cards over to go snap; making a cake that costs 10x the price of one from a shop; writing a program to run on a bit of hardware you built, that performs worse than an off the shelf one for half the price.

      If he enjoys it and does no harm to others, why not?

      1. x 7

        Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

        "Climbing a mounting"

        is that to enable horse riding? Or a sexual position?

        1. Peshman

          Re: Darwin Awards Equivalant

          Well, "Climbing a mounting" would suggest horse riding. The latter part of your hypothesis would relate to a phrase such as "Mounting a gelding".

          Er, also a horse riding phrase. Hang on, what was my point?

  6. TheDataRecoverer

    Surprised to not find him up on http://www.roadsideamerica.com - great site for weird things in the US!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Craigness

        Re: wha?

        experts exchange

        mole station nursery

        1. dogged

          Re: wha?

          whorepresents

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: wha?

          Physio the rapist

          That did actually appear on the ID badge of the mother of a friend of mine, back in the days when the NHS made staff ID badges from a safety pin, a piece of card and two strips of sticky plastic imprinted by a letter punch.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: wha?

            "Physio the rapist" -- Rich 11

            Positively benign compared to "Psycho the rapist"

            1. MrT

              Re: wha?

              So many unintentional URLs out there...

              abaresearch.co.uk

              oldmanshaven.com

              dicksonweb.com

              powergenitalia.com

              swissbit.ch

              choosespain.com

              La Drape, Les Bocages, Speed of Art and America's Pan King also made that mistake. I'm not sure whether the Turbomachinery Institute of Technology & Sciences (an academic institute in Hyderabad, India) isn't just a clever ruse to use tits.ac.in... maybe the Swissbit and Choose Spain people know the truth...?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For life.

    Him or his estate will have to pay to dispose of it, layers 278-4060 are reputed to contain lead.

    Could you imagine some future race digging this up? Cue geologists WTF!

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: For life.

      If it gets dug up by archaeologists, they'll happily conclude that it was used for ritual purposes.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: For life.

        It was.

  8. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Disappointed

    So far into comments, and no comparison to the pitch drop experiment ?

  9. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Playmobil

    Or it didn't happen

    1. Mark 85
      Devil

      Re: Playmobil

      We got an actual picture of it and the painter which is better than Playmobil. Sacrilege to even say that around here. I await the mob the pitchforks and torches.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did he gloss over the crack?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Honey!

    Come inside, dinner is one the table.

    Stop playing with your balls!

  12. Emmeran

    All that paint

    And not a drop for his walls.

    Most of us would have, at the very least, splashed a fresh coat on those nasty a$$ walls before we invited over the international press.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a question . . .

    Presumably when this started life as a baseball it didn't weigh *any* thousands of pounds but may have been supported by a bit of string. Or did he REALLY plan ahead?

    How/when did he drill into it to affix a line capable of supporting this weight and is a baseball capable of supporting this?

    If he has a mirror underneath to ensure he doesn't miss a bit then he probably hasn't gone all the way through and attached a washer at the bottom, so how?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a question . . .

      It's almost like he planned it...

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: I have a question . . .

      I would think he probably used a drill and some expanding fasteners once it got big enough. Probably drilled a 7/8" hole most of the way through and threaded a 1" bolt into it.

  14. Tromos
    Joke

    Remind me...

    ...not to get into a paintball shooting competition with this guy!

  15. Zot

    I just want to...

    ...cut the thing in half! Just to we the many coloured layers.

    Hmm, I guess he had to keep attaching stronger cables to it, just to keep it hanging.

  16. Jim 59

    Never go paint balling with this man.

  17. Interceptor

    Carmichael continued to paint. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Soon his hands became to palsied and his back became too weak to continue the work. His grandchildren enthusiastically carried on their eccentric grandsire's life work.

    By 2077, the paint sphere was large enough to provide their ancestral home with a considerable amount of shade. Several companies offered to buy the mighty pigment planetoid for various tidy sums. DuPont wanted to cross-section it and place it in front of their factory that produced it's popular Valspar paint line, Rawlings wanted to hire a group of miners to extract the baseball within and webcast the entire event. But the family demurred, continuing to add layer upon layer.

    In August of 2239 (Holy Year 8 as now reckoned by the Post-Fall calendar), the Sphere could be seen on the horizon as far away as Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The provisional government of the Midwest AmeriCanada begged the family to stop; records show there were plans to bombard the Sphere from the air using the Commemorative Air Force's restored B-2 bomber, but the resources couldn't be allocated due to the deteriorating conditions on the western front fighting the New Oregonian Caliphate.

    By 3055, the Sphere was interfering with orbital traffic. The Chinese Co-Prosperity Collective of Canada and the People's Republic of Alaska attempted multiple paint embargoes and direct antimatter weapon attacks on the Sphere to slow the rate of growth; the various allied factions of Brotherhood of Kar-Myk'al ignored these pinprick assaults and continued to paint. While it is popularly believed that the work was still being done by hand, as we now know, some time in the 2800s a chromospecific nanogel had been spread over the surface which simply leached the elements required to create paint from the air itself, converted them, and then in a von Neumann fashion assembled the paint and new nanomachines from those.

    Late in the 75th century, paintEarth's inhabited surface (the former Earth had been considered lost and officially engulfed in paint in the year 6801) was a uniform yellow-grey; the Painters (as "Humanity" now called itself) living in anti-gravity cities hovering over the surface of the planet, applied layer after layer of pigment consisting of the mass of Jupiter and Saturn. Neptune's exposed core of rapidly solidifying diamond liquid seas merited little more than a disinterested shrug before the bulk of its makeup was stripped and applied as primer for the coming Oort Cloud enamel coating.

    In what was estimated to be 23016 (the Sun, while unsuitable for use as paint, was in the way of the Sphere and consequently extinguished by The Painters), a coalition of silicon-metal beings from Vega, a purely thought-based race from somewhere just outside our own galaxy and a plant race whose appearance was disturbingly similar to that of a primitive type of Terran gibbon formed and pleaded with Paintmanity to cease the Great Work. Estimations put that as PaintEarth consumed more and more galactic resources, the next few layers would reach the tipping point and simply collapse the entirety of the Milky Way upon itself and shatter the supermassive black hole at the center. This had troubling implications for the stability of the universe itself.

    [Year unknown] In the cold void of space, little matter exists any longer that is not adhered as paint to the surface of The Sphere any longer. Whether or not It was even a sphere in shape was the matter of some debate a mere billion or two years prior; no-one had the resources to adequately measure its surface or estimate its mass. Since, however, efforts to cover it uniformly with more layers continued onward and unabated the general consensus was that yes, it was still a sphere. But all matter was gone, now. There was nothing further to add. The machine intelligence that balefully crawled over the surface of the titanic Sphere, sputtering out the last few 10^6 tons of previously free matter in the universe in a thin layer of coloration considered its work as the final atoms adhered and dried. There was nothing else to be done. Space itself had no meaning, all had turned inward to the painting of the Sphere. The Last Painter considered this, and spent an unknown amount of time contemplating the fate of worlds that had been long converted into brush-on semigloss, and, ultimately, considered the storied Base-Ball, some (10^6 ^10^6 ^10^6)^10^100 kilometers beneath the surface of The Sphere.

    With the untranslatable mechanical equivalent of a sigh, the Last Painter activated the Turpentine Protocol and, in the moment before apotheosis, when the Sphere compressed itself into a potentiality, a new singular monobloc, cried out: LET THERE BE LIGHT BLUE!

    1. Mark 85

      Asimov re-incarnated? A very nice read.

      1. Interceptor

        Thank you, you flatter me.

        1. Richard Altmann

          @Interceptor

          <kneeling>

          You arrogant genius.

          </kneeling>

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh, an upvote for that! Marvellous! :-)

      1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

        This ... this is special.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Getting limbered up for nanowrimo?

      Good luck.

      1. Interceptor

        I had to google that - neat! I'm not that good a writer, though. I mean, I've written for IT pubs, but never anything of that magnitude.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Interceptor - hell, give it a go. There's no shame in trying and wandering off halfway through. The ultimate goal is to pretty much write something like you just did twice daily for a month, or if you're like me thrice daily for three weeks then go back to bed.

        2. Yugguy

          That was better than most of the crap on Waterstone's scifi shelves. Give it a go, you never know.

          1. Interceptor

            Yes but would anyone read a novel about the collapse of the universe due to a giant paint ball! I can see the critiques now "Reading this book was literally about as much fun as watching paint dry."

            Well, maybe I'll jot down a few ideas regardless. But then, how would you all know if I did? :)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Reading this book was literally about as much fun as watching paint dry.

              Don't be afraid of that - AIM for it. I found that the most fun way to deal with worries about adversity: turn it into a goal in itself. Not only does that make your life easier, it also seriously upsets the critics because their usual aim of lazy lofty elevation over the hard work of an author by dissing it where possible suddenly becomes a trap.

    4. AbelSoul
      Pint

      @Interceptor

      Outstanding!

      That had me smiling all the way through. Take a bow, dear chap.

    5. Dave559
      Happy

      @Interceptor

      Bravo!

      (Do Dulux do a "Grey Goo" shade?)

      I'm not sure if a short story can really qualify for Quote of the Week, but we need some sort of acknowledgement for efforts such as these!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better not let the wife see this

    She usually only asks* me to put three coats on, don't want to give her any ideas.

    *If I need to explain the asterisk, you're not married.

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: Better not let the wife see this

      You could always decline, and have a Discussion* about it.

      * Ditto

  19. graeme leggett Silver badge

    5000lb

    And no one has asked what that is in real money, or El Reg units?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5000lb

      You could look it up yourself.

      It's just a touch over 540 jubs.

    2. WillbeIT
      Boffin

      Re: 5000lb

      Just like to add also that its about 2257 posh spice Bulgarian airbags but only 740 Jordans. Interesting.

  20. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Almost fill the Albert Hall?

    I understand that Himmler had something sim'lar...

    1. JimC
      Happy

      Yeah, I thought it was pretty good to reference Bogey and the Beatles in one subheading...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC/DC

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W-fIn2QZgg

  22. iMap

    and..after 40 years, he still doesn't like the colour!

  23. Michael Habel

    What no AC/DC jokes?

    About big balls?

  24. Richard Altmann
    Coffee/keyboard

    He

    owes me a new keyboard. Wouln´t mind a layer of paint.

  25. x 7

    as its a ball.....does it bounce?

  26. raving angry loony

    No more or less weird than others...

    I find it no more or less weird than a lot of other hobbies. And at least his hobby will probably pay for itself from the viewing fees, if he charges them at some point.

  27. harmjschoonhoven

    The other ball

    Someone should take a large gobstopper and give it a daily sugar coating for 40 years. Smells better too.

  28. Chris Harrison

    Used to be a wrapper

    Reminds me of something we did when the company I worked for decided we needed a shrink wrapping machine to send out our 3.5inch disks a little more professionally.

    Discovering your credit cards have been wrapping in plastic individually, then all together, then in your wallet is no fun. As for answering the phone...

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