Archive: October 21 - November 10 2003
Gravity Lens Main Page

Monday, November 10 has an interview with author Charles Stross, and links to the site Sequential Ellison which records all of Harlan Ellison's comic book work.
Film Threat sends us to the weblog for the movie Robot Stories.

Recommended Readin': George Dvorsky of Better Humans shows us the path to better living through Transhumanism.
Cathy Young of the Boston Globe chimes in on the Reagan miniseries.
Frederick Long of SOLO HQ gives two cheers for modernity.
Edwin A. Locke of ARI explains the importance of Veterans' Day.
James Randi looks at orbital UFO sightings and other issues in his weekly column.
Dave Barry thinks the idea of a space elevator is hilarious.

Sunday, November 9
The website A Perfect World has scanned and annottated an entire 1971 Sears catalog for your enjoyment. Quite scary.

Friday, November 7
The Raving Atheist informs us that Denmark has officially recognised the worship of the Norse Pantheon as a religion. This is similar to events in recent issues of the Thor comic where those who follow the Thundergod grow in number, demand Thursdays (Thor's day) off, and instigate to a holy war.
There are nice Thor fansites herehere, and here.
I would found a church of based on Jack Kirby's comics, but someone already has.

Action figures in my future: BlackbeardDennis Miller. Social Theorist Anthony Giddens.
(The Great Team found the Miller fig.)

Thursday, November 6
Assorted Items: Bow your heads before this graven Lego image of Cthulhu.
The space probe Voyager has left the solar system, and just in the nick of time.
You thought cell phones were annoying? Now idiots can shore up thier unimaginative personalities with a portable electronic sense of humor. Somewhere the inventor of the PDA is crying "I never intended it for evil purposes!"
My copy of the Spectrum 10 art compilation came in yesterday. Many places have it on sale

Wednesday, November 5
Remember, remember, the fifth of November... Yes, it's Guy Fawkes Day. I'll celebrate by rereading Alan Moore's V for Vendetta (which may finally be made into a film).

Drink up. The world's about to end: I take some small irony-soaked comfort in the fact that as our own sun is trying to incinerate us, and a rogue galaxy is colliding with our own, the BBC plans to produce Douglas AdamsLife, the Universe, and Everything as a radio show.

Wordplay: Tom McMahon linked to a site about antagonyms, words with two contradictory meanings, while The Great Team linked to a site about inversions, words that look the same (or like other words) when turned upside down.

Recommended Readin': Nicholas Carroll of Mindjack deconstructs knowledge.
Chet Raymo of the Boston Globe visits the scientists buried at Westminster Abbey.
Rick Lewis of Philosophy Now wants everyone to be pragmatic.
From last week: Christopher Hitchens reports from the last Concorde flight.

Tuesday, November 4
Assorted Items:
Check out this neat rendition of a space elevator by the artists at Mondolithic.
This past Saturday Florida's WFLA debuted its science fiction radio talk show Sci Fi Zone. It joins the esteemed ranks of such programs as Hour 25Interstellar TransmissionsRadio SciFi, and Shockwave. Most of these have webcasts, or can be heard on the web-channel Cosmic Landscapes.
May 4th of next year will bring us the second annual National Day of Reason.

Monday, November 3
Recommended Readin': Verity Murphy of the BBC tells of the search for Atlantis.
Dennis Overbye of the NY Times asks "did our universe get lucky?"
Michael Woods of the Post Gazette shows us the timetable for discovering alien life.
Rita Fennelly of Sequential Tart asks Neil Gaiman thirteen questions.
Cathy Young of the Boston Globe looks through the glass ceiling.
Simon Smith of Better Humans ponders the distinction between therapy and enhancement.
Oh, last Friday I forgot to link to James Randi's new column.

This very creepy image of the Cat's Eye Nebula made the rounds this weekend.

Sunday, November 2
It is November.
The God of the Month is Sarasvati.
The Molecule of the Month is S-Adenosyl Methionine.
The Fungus if the Month is Penicillium Notatum.
The Quantum Muse Artist of the Month is Roberto Campus.
The Pagan Chant of the Month is Roots and Wings.
The Needlepoint Stitch of the Month is leaf pattern.
The Washington Post Bartender of the Month is Lamont Proffitt.
Carry on.

Saturday, November 1
Comic Stuff: I went trolling for information on the Marvel character Starlord and found this page from the neat Unofficial Appendix of the Marvel Universe. I also found this cool Dr. Strange fan site, the Encyclopaedia Olympianna (of all the Marvel pantheons), and this comprehensive list of all Marvel countries. Now if I could only find a site for Skull the Slayer

Recommended Readin':  Jacob Sullum of Reason isn't worried about kids' TV habits.
Author Phillip Pullman at the NY Times doesn't believe in ghosts.
Grant Stoddard of Nerve recently took part in a threesome. He did it for science.

Friday, October 31. Happy Halloween.
No, it's not The Joker, but here's a news story about the arrest of a "comedy terrorist." And they say postmodernism is dead...

Recommended Readin': At the NY Times Frank Decaro goes to artist Alex Ross' house.
James Sime of Comic Book Resources looks at the twisted world of comic retailing.
Michio Kaku ponders the possibilities of alien physics (via George Dvorsky).
Victor Davis Hanson of City Journal explains why history has no end.
David Cross of Mr. Show has written a funny send-up of video games at Wired
On a related note, I learned from a cable ad that a collection of the HBO Tenacious D film shorts that aired on Mr. Show comes out next week. Hooray for advertising!

Thursday, October 30
Locus reports that Hal Clement died Wednesday. The esteemed Harry Stubbs was not only one of first SF authors I read regularly, but he was the first writer I ever met in person.

Maybe I'm getting sentimental, but as the weather gets colder and the nights get longer I have repeatedly found myself wanting to break out and dust off my holiday music. The solstice rotation this year will include some surfpunkreggaepolkagothprogressive, and even some klezmer
Of course, no holiday is complete without those Cthulhu Carols.

Recommended Readin': Ronald Bailey of Reason updates us on adult stem cell research.
Kathleen Parker of the Orlando Sentinel shows us the nessesity of pursuing happiness.
Steven Grant at Comic Book Resources lets assorted creators promote their stuff.
Kerry Lauerman of Salon interviews Camille Paglia.
Richard Anderson of the Modesto Bee explains why creationism shouldn't be taught.
Ivan Amato of Technology Review tells us about new labor saving tools.
Russell Madden at SOLO HQ has written a great piece called You Might be a Fascist...
Michelle Delio of Wired gives us the first installment of her trip down Route 1.
I missed this a couple days ago, but FuturePundit proposes using a recently discovered gene to delay the onset of  puberty in children. Hell, I'd settle for tax breaks for parents who can get their kids to shut the hell up in restaurants, malls, etc...

Wednesday, October 29
Stuart Clark of New Scientist tells us about the biggest map of the universe.

A search for pulp science fiction art led me, quite serendipitously, to the Delta 7 Studios site where I found the mp3 downloadable radio show The Adventures of Rosie Retrorocket.

Tuesday, October 28
I have to admit that my favorite of the A-list superheroes is Green Lantern. My younger self ate up the romantic pulp concept of a corps of cosmic police patrolling space. I've related to the different personalites of Hal JordanJohn Stewart and Kyle Rayner. I think the Power Battery is really cool. I can talk about Green Lantern history for hours. In the past week I've been rewarded with a GL story on Justice League as well an episode of Duck Dodgers
I guess, at some point in my life, I should visit this place.

Recommended Readin: 
George Dvorsky of Better Humans tells us of China's state-sponsored eugenics program.
Hal Niedzviecki of the Globe & Mail wants libraries to be libraries.
In the Spectator Theodore Dalrymple puts forth the theory that bad pronunciation is being encouraged by the middle classes to keep the poor in their place. 
David Kelley of The Objectivist Center tallys the irrationality on both sides of the culture war.
Joseph Rowlands of SOLO HQ explains the difference between philosophy and science.
Robert Roy Britt of tells us about the Great Solar Storm of 1859.
Matthew Sakey of MSN tells you ladies how to love your geek.

Monday, October 27
Coolest site I saw this weekend: Vintage Technology.

Recommended Readin': Jack Thomas of the Boston Globe offers us a peek inside The Complete Idiot's Guide for Dummies.
If you haven't seen it, here's Charles Murray's cultural scorecard from the NY Times.
At Slush Factory John Byrne wants fanboys to stop claiming they're telepathic.
Tom Curtis of the Scotsman checks in on a scottish bionic man.
Michelle Delio of Wired will drive from Maine to Florida via Route 1 looking for "geek history."
James Palmer of Strange Horizons looks back at Orson Welles' War of the Worlds

Sunday, October 26
Recommended Readin': Mary Wakefield of the Spectator tells us that it is becoming "fashionable" to question Darwinism.
Dr. David Whitehouse of the BBC gives us an overview of the recent solar storm.
Roger Caldwell of Philosophy Now looks at the reported death of postmodernism.
Charles Rosen of NY Books recalls the recent history of art traditions.
Henry I. Miller and Gregory Conko of Tech Central Station hold the UN accountable for hindering science on a global scale.

Friday, October 24
This Sunday marks one-year that Gravity Lens has been a near-daily blog. Wow. For those who care the total word count for the page is just over 50,000, while the hit count is just shy of 10,000. I will spend the weekend trying to clean up the archives, fix dead links, etc. Don't forget to turn your clocks back.

Uh-oh. It looks all life might have been made from clay after all. Creationists will cream in their slacks when they read this.

Neat Site: The Laura Hayes and John Howard Wileman Exhibit of Optical Toys.

Recommended Readin': Jacob Sullum of Reason tells us what partial-birth abortions and assault weapons have in common
Physics Web explores the physics of society.
Jerry Fodor of the Guardian investigates how thoughts are constructed.
Chet Raymo of the Boston Globe is thankful that modern rodents are small.
James Sime of Comic Book Resources continues his campaign to get comics in libraries.
Loyd Case of Extreme Tech gives us the ten most misused words in technology.
James Randi tells us about the Paranormal Pyramid.

Thursday, October 23
Science Stuff: Wired looks at the plans for Tholos, a giant video-conferencing system allowing people in two different cities to meet and chat in a public space.
BBC has a story about plans for building a really big telescope in Hawaii.
New Scientist touches on recent developments in robot skin. updates us on the future of laser weaponry.
The latest Popular Science celebrates one hundred years of aviation with a roundtable about the future of flight and this very sweet gallery of future aircraft.
I know I've been posting a lot of apocalyptic Lovecraftian stuff lately, but, c'monthis image from Astronomy Picture of the Day is just plain evil!

Comic Stuff: At Comic Book Resources Steven Grant interviews writer Ed Brubaker.  
Alexander Ness of Slush Factory talks to Fused creator Steve Niles.   
At Cinescape Tony Whitt looks at female characters that deserve their own series.
On a related note, lately I've been hearing a lot of scandalous talk about the overtly sexual subtext of old Wonder Woman comics. I'm here to tell you it's simply not true.

Wednesday, October 22
Recommended Readin': Chris Mooney of CSICOP chimes in on the Brights.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds of Tech Central Station remembers CB radio.
Phillip Ball of Nature celebrates the confirmation of causality.
Jackie Loohauis of of the JS Online looks at the lasting popularity of horror fiction.
At Slate Christopher Hitchens reminds us of Mother Teresa's track record.
At SciFi Weekly Wil McCarthy talks about the impact of the Chinese space program.

Assorted Items: I forgot that this is guest artist week on the Dilbert comic strip. So far Lynn Johnson and Darby Conley have taken a crack at it.
It's official: there will be a second annual Miss Gothic Massachusetts pageant in March.
ToonZone has posted an episode guide for the upcoming Clone Wars micro-series.
Here's a gallery from of toys from the Hellboy movie due next year, including HellboyHellbaby, and Abe Sapien

Tuesday, October 21
I love gryphons. As freaky mythological creatures go you can't beat the combo of a beak, talons, wings and a tail for coolness.
I'm also a fan of the Canterbury band Gryphon.
It can also be spelled "Griffin," as in the neat-looking Marvel Comics villain, or Merv.

Here's an interesting story from Discovery about how the brain "maps" music.

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