Archive for the 'Cool!' Category

Batman versus the mad scientist Hugo Strange

This is incredibly awesome, from the fog to the monster to the way Batman’s cape flutters in the wind.

World not ending 2012?

Stupid archaeologists ruin my lack of retirement planning plan.

“The paintings we have here—we’ve never found them anyplace else,” excavation leader William Saturno told National Geographic News.

And in today’s Xultún—to the untrained eye, just 12 square miles (31 square kilometers) of jungle floor—it’s a wonder Saturno’s team found the artwork at all.

At the Guatemalan site in 2010 the Boston University archaeologist and Ph.D. student Franco Rossi were inspecting a looters’ tunnel, where an undergraduate student had noticed the faintest traces of paint on a thin stucco wall.

The pair began cleaning off 1,200-year-old mud and suddenly a little more red paint appeared.

“Suddenly Bill was like, ‘Oh my God, we have a glyph!'” Rossi said.

In all seriousness, I love stories where the exclamation comes from a glyph’s discovery.

Sherlock the Otter?

I liked the British TV series Sherlock! with its updating of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in modern London. I thought it was faithful to the characters and excellent in showing how eccentric Holmes could be and why Watson put up with him.

Also I like otters.

So this is brilliant.

Scientists to unleash something lurking 20 million years in Antarctica

Perhaps someone should send them a copy of At The Mountains of Madness. Washington Post:

After drilling for two decades through more than two miles of antarctic ice, Russian scientists are on the verge of entering a vast, dark lake that hasn’t been touched by light for more than 20 million years.

Scientists are enormously excited about what life-forms might be found there but are equally worried about contaminating the lake with drilling fluids and bacteria, and the potentially explosive “de-gassing” of a body of water that has especially high concentrations of oxygen and nitrogen.

snip

“If it goes well, a breakthrough opens up a whole new chapter in our understanding of our planet and possibly moons in our solar system and planets far beyond,” he said. “If it doesn’t go well, it casts a pall over the whole effort to explore this wet underside of Antarctica.”

If all goes as I suspect and we awaken a slumbering Cthulhu, I just want to take this opportunity now to thank you all. We had a good run. If we survive, I’ll be back with my regular schedule of irregular posting.

Monkey madness

Copernicus is made of awesome. And nightmares.

A box of money hands. Also.

me: Do I want a box of monkey hands? Is this a trick question? Of course I want a box of monkey hands. But I’m not going to take all your monkey hands. I’ll just take two.

Laura: OMG, take the box of monkey hands. What am I going to do with monkey hands?

me: What couldn’t you do with monkey hands?

Not surprisingly, she is the maker of a lovely haunted dollhouse.

‘Worms from hell’ discovered

Washington Post:

“This is telling us something brand new,” said Onstott, whose pioneering work in South Africa over the past decade has revolutionized the understanding of microbial life known generally as extremophiles, which live in places long believed to be uninhabitable.

“For a relatively complex creature like a nematode to penetrate that deep is simply remarkable,” he said.

An article introducing the subterranean nematodes, one of which was formally named Halicephalobus mephisto after the “Lord of the Underworld,” appears in Wednesday’s edition of the journal Nature. H. mephisto was found in water flowing from a borehole about one mile below the surface in the Beatrix gold mine.

What other monstrosities will we unearth that were meant to remain locked underground?

75 abandoned, long vacant theaters

Via Roger Ebert, I love places like this.

Sure, it’d be nice for these glorious venues to be open for live performances and shows, but the empty, decayed spaces appeal to me too.

Steamcon III

Registration is open for Steamcon III and I envy those who get to attend.

You will be jealous of Del Toro

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The New Yorker:

In 1926, Forrest Ackerman, a nine-year-old misfit in Los Angeles, visited a newsstand and bought a copy of Amazing Stories—a new magazine about aliens, monsters, and other oddities. By the time he reached the final page, he had become America’s first fanboy. He started a group called the Boys’ Scientifiction Club; in 1939, he wore an outer-space outfit to a convention for fantasy aficionados, establishing a costuming ritual still followed by the hordes at Comic-Con. Ackerman founded a cult magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and, more lucratively, became an agent for horror and science-fiction writers. He crammed an eighteen-room house in Los Feliz with genre memorabilia, including a vampire cape worn by Bela Lugosi and a model of the pteranodon that tried to abscond with Fay Wray in “King Kong.” Ackerman eventually sold off his collection to pay medical bills, and in 2008 he died. He had no children.

But he had an heir. In 1971, Guillermo del Toro, the film director, was a seven-year-old misfit in Guadalajara, Mexico. He liked to troll the city sewers and dissolve slugs with salt. One day, in the magazine aisle of a supermarket, he came upon a copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland. He bought it, and was so determined to decode Ackerman’s pun-strewed prose—the letters section was called Fang Mail—that he quickly became bilingual.

Read it and weep tears of envy.

Update Link fixed.

If you’re still looking…

…for a belated holiday present for your favorite steampunk/airship pirate wannabe/pulp aficionado/Edwardian engineering fan/over-the-top Burner who’s gonna out-do that damn motorized dragon, might I suggest that you could do worse than get them a copy of D’Orcy’s Airship Manual: An international register of airships with a compendium of the airship’s elementary mechanics?

How could you go wrong? It has the word ‘compendium’ in the subtitle!

Hey… does this belong under DIY, too?

[via The Stranger, from an article that's also worth your while about a Seattle-area bookstore that has installed a print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine.]

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