Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

September 12th, 2008:

Odd Lots

  • Greg Singleton sent me a pointer to an English translation of a Russian short story done in comics format. I’m not a huge fan of comics, but the wizardry in this piece is mostly in the drawings: When I saw the large pane in which the man stands behind the boy he once was, reading the same Jules Verne book against the backdrop of Captain Nemo’s ocean—the very same exact copy of the same book—I shivered.
  • Another sunspot, albeit a very small one, has appeared, so we’re not likely to break the 1913 record of the longest time without an observed sunspot any time soon. Also note the article on Martian dust devils, which have been dancing around the Phoenix lander and have been caught on video.
  • This article on Intel’s current research into programmable matter (but not the quantum dot kind, fortunately) qualifies as the worst-edited Web article I’ve seen in a month. Don’t these people proof their work before they post it?
  • The Large Hadron Collider went live the other day, and people died. Strange physics has nothing on strange psychology.
  • Particle Accelerators of Unusual Size (PAUSes) loom large in a number of apocalyptic SF novels, and here’s a summary collection, courtesy Frank Glover.
  • Here’s another reason I rather like Good Pope Benny: He’s cracking down on nutcase apparitions of the Blessed Mother, which have gotten weirder and weirder and fuller of God-stomps-the-shit-out-of-everybody apocalypticism in the last sixty or seventy years, and are making the whole idea of Catholicism look bad.
  • And to round out this this discussion of Apocalypses of Unusual Stupidity, I give you a list of thirty ends-of-the-world that never happened. Here’s hoping that the New Agers will become so dispirited when nothing happens on December 26, 2012 that they will take up a more productive hobby, like woodburning, or breeding planaria worms.