June 29, 2011

Summer wildfires are drawing near Lthe birthplace of the atomic bomb. The Los Alamos National Laboratory, built as Site Y of the Manhattan Project, is today used for research, including weapons engineering. The town of Los Alamos has been evacuated and the lab temporarily closed. Some pictures of the lividly lit skies on the lab's Flickr page. more inside

February 23, 2011

Animal Beatbox [YouTube, weapons-grade earworm] is the most recent winner of Australian short film festival TropFest. Finalists are listed here, and all are available to watch on the TropFest YouTube channel. more inside

December 25, 2010

The Gifts of the Magi : Artist P. Craig Russell has put his 1990 graphic novel of the O. Henry story up for all to read on his new website. more inside

October 07, 2010

This is a news website article about a scientific paper.

June 29, 2010

Long-exposure pictures of fireflies in a forest in Germany. In Japan. In Taiwan. In Elkmont Smokey Mountain National Park. Over a river somewhere. Fireflies on video in New York. Synchronous fireflies in a tree. more inside

June 03, 2010

Diana Wynne Jones "not at all well." If you grew up speaking English, odds are that before you were twenty you read at least one book by brilliant and prolific authoress Diana Wynne Jones. Now she has, according to this month's Ansible, decided to "abandon chemotherapy [...] and resign herself to whatever may follow." more inside

January 10, 2010

Spiderman dances! Nor is this the first time the costumed crusader has busted a move. News flash: there's just something about that screaming red costume that makes people flip out. [MLYT]

November 10, 2009

Making Peace With A Pumpkin : On one of the stops where he and his brother hid in the French countryside, the frightened boys survived a season and the "awful, unforgettable pangs of hunger -- real, awful hunger," he told me, by eating nothing but pumpkins. "I couldn't eat them since," he said. "Didn't even want to touch them."

September 25, 2009

Unplanned Freefall: Survival Tips. Etiquette for those awkward moments when there's 30,000 feet between you and civilization. Brought to you by the Freefall Research Page. Fallen from a great height? They want to hear about it.

August 18, 2009

BBC: The zombies would win. Using infectious disease modelling techniques, the University of Ottawa has conducted a study [pdf] detailing the spread of a zombie attack. Conclusion: "It's imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly or else... we are all in a great deal of trouble."

May 27, 2009

The Ten Doctors , a webcomic romp through time and space featuring all 10 incarnations of Doctor Who and all your favourite companions and villains, ended today after 247 pages, a near-superhuman achievement by Rich of Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic fame.

May 13, 2009

Burial at sea [BBC video]: it's not just a roll of sailcloth and two roundshot any more. The latest thing is to have your ashes mixed with concrete to create part of an artificial reef. A few companies will make your remains into a fish-friendly little holey ball or there's this underwater sculpture garden you can become part of off the Florida Keys.

April 09, 2009

In the 1500s, vampires were easy to recognise. What did you do when you found a bloated corpse with a bloody mouth and a hole in its shroud? You didn't waste time with crosses or stakes; instead you stuck a brick in its mouth so it would starve to death.

March 28, 2009

Aberdeen, 1869: A doctor buying a corpse for dissection gets more than he bargained for. This "frolicsome" story was widely reported; much was made of the fact that the central figure was a "daring man of colour." The incident became the subject of a popular broadside ballad (click the magnifying glass in the corner to enlarge.) more inside

March 15, 2009

World War II: the simple version. The Second World War in a cartographic comic. [Large image; there's a smaller version here at strangemaps.com]

February 07, 2009

Look at this cat!

January 29, 2009

Yakushima is a beautiful island off the southern tip of Japan. Its ancient forest, including many cedars over 1000 years old, inspired Hayao Miyazaki's film Princess Mononoke. For one photoblogger, a short visit led to a three-day trek over the island's peaks. more inside

January 20, 2009

Glass models of tiny aquatic creatures made in the late 19th century, discovered gathering dust in a drawer in a Wisconsin museum. More here and here.
Today is Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. The day has already been marked in traditional manner by the appearance of three red roses and half a bottle of cognac on the great man's grave, courtesy of the mysterious Poe Toaster. To celebrate, you could check out this excellent slideshow of his works and letters done by the New York Times; or check out his complete works on this site, complete with handy list of unusual words. more inside

January 08, 2009

The Odyssey retold as part choose-your-own-adventure, part amusing multiple choice quiz. Test your classical knowledge or just ask yourself "What would Odysseus do?" more inside
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