Gravity Lens Archive
March 28 - April 16 2004                    Gravity Lens Main Page

Friday, April 16
News of the Chunnel drill up for sale got me thinking about big drill machines, the kind you see in science fiction stories. I'm hunting for nice pix of big diggers. I know there's more than the paltry ones I've posted here. I can't even find good shots of the drill from The Matrix films.

Thursday, April 15, Tax Day
Here's a bust of Wolverine, apparently while passing a large turd.

New Scientist reports on the possibility that "our Universe is curved like a Pringle, shaped like a horn, and named after a Star Trek character."

Recommended Readin': Brian Doherty of Reason lists 5 reasons you don't owe taxes.
Daniel Terdiman of Wired looks at the phenomenon of Onion stories passing as news.
Tim Appelo of Seattle Weekly visits the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.
And if you find Sedna's strange activity and the general darkening of the cosmos a bit frightening, Stephen Strauss of the Globe & Mail reports on physicist Brian Greene's attempt to explain it all in an essay called Bart Simpson, The Universe, and You.

Wednesday, April 14
Trek Today reports: "A Klingon look at humanity, Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water, will make its debut at the Cannes Film Market (pdf file) held from May 12th-23rd."
Well, guess what, ridgeheads? I can look back. Here's a choice of Klingon advice columns,  a joke piece about Klingon lawyers, some sites about Klingon cooking, a Klingon drinking song, Klingon radio, Klingon opera, Klingon heavy metal, "Klingon Kleavage," the Top 12 Things likely to be overheard from a Klingon Programmer, the 2004 Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant, and, of course, Klingon porn.

Comics in the Real World: Kim De Vries of Sequential Tart talks about her adventures teaching Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan in college.
Ben McGrath of The New Yorker profiles Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder.
Newsarama breaks the sad news that Wildcats 3.0 has been cancelled.

Real World Stuff That Sounds Like Something Out of a Comic: researchers are looking into the ability to regrow human limbs, and interfacing human brains directly to computers. They have also made Super Water.  Meanwhile the countdown has begun on the launch of a space probe that will measure how the rotating Earth drags on the fabric of space-time.
I also smile at the fact that the Air Force and NOAA release daily space weather forecasts that include things like "The geomagnetic field was quiet to unsettled." I thought my bunions were acting up.

Tuesday, April 13
Current Science News stuff includes updates on military robotics, smart houses, and aqua cars, but I want senses that can be turned on and off as needed.

Assorted Items: Friday, May 7 will be No Pants Day. (and this is special because...?)
Retrocrush gives us a splendid gallery of Jessica Rabbit.
The Mondolithic Image of the Week is a cool space probe called the Wayfarer. If that's too high tech for your blood, try your hand at some Matchstick Rockets.
Newsarama talks to writer Kurt Busiek about his current Conan comic. has a neat online feature about the history of pigment in painting, how colors were created, etc. I love stuff like this.

Monday, April 12
In the future, the elderly will be cared for by robots.

Recommended Readin':
Dave Santucci of CNN reports on the extension of the Mars Rover mission.
Will Hutton of The Guardian comments on the importance of rebutting fundamentalism.
James Bernard Frost of Wired tells us how the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's space flight is becoming a global holiday. I think we should celebrate Laika the dog's flight.
Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe asks why Everybody Loves Raymond is still on the air.

Sunday, April 11
And I quote: "Twenty virgin maidens, led by a senior tribal council elder, marched on Zola Mafu's modest family home outside Swaziland's sugar-growing town of Siteki last Saturday and refused to leave until they were given a cow." If you get a subscription page (which seems to pop up about half the time), try the link on Fark.

Dave Barry informs us that there is an actual organization with the courage to call itself the American Cornhole Association.

Warren Ellis points us to Closer to Truth, where a roundtable of intellectuals discusses what the year 3000 might be like. This kind of stuff has been batted around the web for a while. Personally I hope it's closer to Futurama than a shitty L. Ron Hubbard story.

Saturday, April 10
The nominees for this year's Hugo Awards have been announced. Biggest surprise: Under Best Dramatic Presentation -  Short Form is "Gollum's Acceptance Speech at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards."

Two words: Whale penis.

Science Stuff: Technology Review interviews life-extension scientist Aubrey De Grey.
James Randi sings high praise of renowned skeptic Martin Gardner in his weekly column.
Red Nova tells us about the growing threat of health illiteracy, as well as Russia's plans to put humans on Mars within the decade.

In a strange confluence of comics, cars, and advertising, Dark Horse will be releasing a series of books based on the BMW "Hire" films. As the films were done by acclaimed directors, each book will be done by well known comic creators. No word if the Dell Dude or the Sprint PCS guy are slated for comic treatment.

Friday, April 9
It's been a while since I visited Nerve's Position of the Day. Current favorites: The Bobsled and the Snyders of Hanover.

Recommended Readin': Dissent's David Bromwich mourns the disappearing underground.
Anna Smyth of The Scotsman tell us why philosophy is good for us.
Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute slams the Council on Bioethics on moral grounds.

Assorted Items: BBC Technology tells about some small futurecars.
Space Daily reports of the changes in the Earth's magnetic field.
The Space Entrepreneurship Network covers commercial space news. They are also taking submissions for science fiction stories.
George Dvorsky informs us of the existence of the International Space University.
SciFi's Webguide points us to the Space Technology Hall of Fame.

Comic Stuff: The Eisner Award nominations for comics have been announced.
Here's a neat gallery of Jules Verne comic adaptation covers.
And meet Jenny Everywhere, the first (to my knowledge) open source webcomic.

Link Rant: I've been looking at some of Tom Kidd's "Gnemo" artwork. I just love the assorted strange dirigible designs that lazily drift across his paintings. This got me thinking about airships in general and how underused they are. There is certainly interest in them out there, and science fiction (especially gaming) is laden with all manner of fanciful and wildly exotic (if a bit impractical) aerial leviathans gracefully plying the stratosphere, so why aren't our skies brimming with existing modern lighter-than-air vehicles like this, this, this, this, this, this, and this?

Thursday, April 8
Jesse Walker of Reason explores what the return of Doctor Who means to fandom.

Author Bruce Sterling lists five reasons the planet is going to hell over at Wired.

Keep your eyes on the skies, boys: Mars Wants Men!

Revisiting Old Favorites: compiles photos and audio files of strange and experimental musical instruments, such as this 20 foot long leather horn, the futuristic Lightharp, a cool stringed sculpture called the Stamenphone, and the aptly-named Pikasso. There's also an organ that uses a cave full of tuned stalactites instead of pipes.

Explore assorted world mythologies at Obsidian's Dictionary of Pantheons.

Eye Candy Artgasm ('cuz Phil likes'em): Here's some sweet retro SF action from Don Marquez (and check out this portfolio). Bradley W. Schenck also dabbles in the heroic pulp look. I've been browsing the galleries of Scott Grimando and Patrick Turner, and studying the digital work of Tom Hamlyn and John Coulthart, but I keep going back to gaze at the very intense comic art of Giorgio Comolo.

Wednesday, April 7
The Mondolithic Image of the Week brings us some yummy Robota Sushi.

Comic Stuff: Here's a great tribute site to the sorely missed Atlas Comics.
Dan Brown of CBC News claims comics have become too respectable.
At UGO Comics Ivan Brandon previews his upcoming SF comic NYC Mech.
And here's a list of things you will find in comics: French cars, Strong Women, Librarians, Babes, Gays and Bisexuals, Private Eyes, Eroticism, Deafness, Computers, Robots, Vampires, Atomic Energy, H.P. Lovecraft, Elery Queen, Hippos, and lots and lots of Apes.

Tuesday, April 6
I found a story by Geoffrey Langland at PulpLit claiming that Cthulhu was dropping out of the 2004 presidential race because Bush had co-opted his "Destruction of Mankind" platform.
Fortunately you can still buy campaign swag.

Recommended Readin': The Economist reports on advances in "Chaotic Computing."
Camille Paglia discusses how college students cannot comprehend still images.
Charles Rousseaux at Tech Central Station chimes in on the U.S. losing the tech wars.

Sign of the Apocalypse: Troll dolls are returning.

Genre Stuff: By now you've heard that the Farscape miniseries will air on SciFi. Other projects include Larry Niven's Ringworld and Mike Mignola's The Amazing Screw-On Head.
SciFi's Webguide links to the very cool Page of Fu Manchu.
Comics Continuum informs us that the next season of Justice League will feature an adaptation of Alan Moore's classic Superman story The Man Who Has Everything.
Pop Matters has posted a series of essays celebrating the 50th anniversary of Godzilla. My favorites are Michael Nenonen's political analysis of the last film and Will Harris' exploration of The Curse of Godzooky.
Gays may not be able to get married in Massachusetts, but goddamnit their right to throw a SF convention will be exercised when Gaylaxicon comes to Cambridge in 2005.

Monday, April 5
It's Official: The British are idiots.

The April Fungus of the Month is Auricularia Auricula-Judae.

Weekend Blogospherics: Exclamation Mark found this gallery of Startling Stories covers.
Coudal Partners links to Eyewitness to History, full of first-hand written accounts.
Grow A Brain introduces us to the long-overdue Sound of Music Drinking Game.
Boing Boing links to this page of 2004 postage stamps, including such auspicious entries as composer Henry Mancini, sculptor Isamu Noguchi, and Buckminster Fuller.

Assorted Items:
James Randi tells us about The Church of Critical Thinking in his weekly column.
Mark Vadnais sends us to this page about this past weekend's Flash Mob Computing test.
Silver Bullet Comics announces the first six trade paperbacks to be released from the publishing deal between DC Comics and Humanoids.

Sunday, April 4
Every Lovecraftian morning should begin with Myth-Os, They're Blasphemously Delicious!
There's a game on the back of the box. Watch the commercial and wear the T-Shirt.

Will Knight of New Scientist informs us that last month Sony's QRIO robot conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in a rousing rendition of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Yes, there's creepy RealPlayer video.

Saturday, April 3
"I shall an action figure!"

Friday, April 2
Assorted Items: If you didn't see the season premiere of Penn & Teller's Bullshit! you missed a lengthy interview with child actress-turned-activist Pamelyn Ferdin.
Onkar Ghate of Ayn Rand Institute comes down on the 9/11 hearings.
Locus tells us that a documentary about SF and its fans called Finding the Future: A Science Fiction Conversation will be shown at the upcoming NY Film & Video Festival.

New At Free Inquiry: Paul Kurtz calls for a New Enlightenment, John L. Perkins looks at development in the Arab world, William E. Phipps chimes in on the pledge, and Tom Flynn stands by the term "secular humanist."

Science Stuff: The search for Earth-like planets is about to begin. Many could have life.
We may also have a good look at the massive black hole at the Galaxy's center.
David Stevenson of Physics Today looks at planetary diversity.
According to Wired aerial war robots will soon be a reality.

Thursday, April 1
A few good April Fools' gags at Star, but the best is clearly the press release for the new show Klingon Eye for the Human Guy. I'd actually watch that.

The SciFi.Com Webguide points us to the Ornithopter Zone, a neat site full of wing-flappin' flying machines. I found more at Project Ornithopter. The concept dates back to Da Vinci and has occasionally popped up in science fiction, most notably Dune. However I think I spotted some in the trailer for Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow.

It is April.
The God of the Month is Morpheus, God of Dreams.
The Molecule of the Month is Cantharidin.
The Quantum Muse Artist of the Month is Allen Grippin Jr.
The Tree of the Month is the Adams Crabapple.
The Campus Speech Code of the Month is from Oklahoma State University.
The Needlepoint Stitch of the Month is the One-Way Couching Pattern.
Carry on.

On The Web: It's April Fools' Day. As usual Locus delivers the goods with articles about plans to rename the Hugo Awards, Amazon setting up a system so authors can self-review, and a look at the novel The Einstein Code.
Retrocrush pays homage to our favorite Jeannie with a Barbara Eden gallery.
Idle Type points us to Introvertster, "an online community that prevents stupid people and friends from harrassing you online." Read the testimonials.

Recommened Readin':
George Dvorsky of Better Humans calls for the seperation of church and bioethics.
Tim Cavanaugh and Nick Gillespie of Reason try to build the perfect presidential candidate.
Steve Jones of the BBC explains why men are biologically hard to get rid of.

Wednesday, March 31
Coming in June: The first season of SCTV on DVD. You can pre-order from Amazon.

Recommended Readin':
Declan McCullagh of looks at the UN's plans for the internet.
Carey Roberts of iFeminists examines the negative real-world effects of male-bashing.
Gabe Romain of Better Humans tells us that cloned cats are now for sale.
Rand Simberg of Tech Central Station explores the applications of scramjet technology.
Dr. David Whitehouse of the BBC discusses what the loss of the Hubble will mean.
Jamie S. Rich of Oni Press isn't happy with comics trying to return to the 80s
And apparently the plan for Canadian World Domination has begun...

Tuesday, March 30
And now a moment of silence for Alistair Cooke.

Science Stuff: Gotta love a science news story that begins "Mysterious sub-atomic particles from another galaxy could be raining down on planet Earth."
This Saturday over 1000 "flashmob" laptop users will converge in San Fransisco in an attempt to spontaneously generate a supercomputer.
David Kushner of Technology Review looks at the future of interactive virtual avatars.
Cool science fiction hardware: Futurismic links to the world's first underwater jet ski.

For your viewing pleasure:
SciFi has made the first episode of Tripping The Rift available online. I love this show.
Yahoo Movies has the trailer for the Thunderbirds movie. Be afraid...
On the other hand, you should check out the funny new four minute American Express "webisode" ad of Jerry Seinfeld spending an afternoon with an animated Superman. It's directed by Barry Levinson. Comics Continuum posted this Monday.

Monday, March 29
Tech TV wants you to vote: Which International Rescue member is the hottest? The correct answer, of course, is Brains.

This has been posted on many sites: The Hokey Pokey as written by Shakespeare.

The real world imitates SF: Here's a Wired story about how peace in the middle east can be achieved through the use of a giant multiplayer game.
Canada's Prime Minister claims to have had a close encounter with a UFO.
The fourth largest religion in Scotland is Jedi. The wave of Photoshopped images of Yoda in a kilt begins now.

And now a moment of silence for Sir Peter Ustinov.

I do not read Maxim, primarily because I don't play or follow extreme sports, have no interest in rap metal, and can afford actual porn. However a trip to the book store yesterday tipped me to the fact that latest issue has two covers: one of Paris Hilton and one of Marge Simpson. Marge has a cheesecake shot inside as well (viewable on the website). There was an unsold stack of Ms. Hilton's issue, but only one of Marge's. Perhaps there's hope...

Sunday, March 28
James Randi discusses how astrologers are coping with the discovery of Sedna among other subjects in his weekly column.

Extending yesterday's theme, author Larry Niven's website has a neat gallery of assorted artists' renditions of The Ringworld.
More Eye Candy: Here are galleries for SF and fantasy artists Jim Burns, Vincent DiFate, Craig Elliot, George W. Todd, Eric Jennings, Jacen Burrows, and more Stephen Fabian.

Bad Day Studio            Comment
Link Page


EMail Me

Bad Day Studio