Abysmal Depths Populated by Monsters

I like to think that this is what our first encounter with alien life will look like (although in reality it will probably end up being some single-celled boring-ass thing), the first video beamed back from a Europan ocean probe (as previously reported
here). It's actually an "elbowed" Magnapinna squid that presumably snags prey as they brush past its arms at pitch-black ocean depths (full story here).

Thanks Paddy for pointing this video out to me and for letting me rip-off
your blog.

10,000 Days Old

Two days ago (while internet-less) I turned 10,000 days old. So many memories, so many lost:
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life — for we possess nothing certainly except the past — were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, they were everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning.

These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again.

The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves — the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, outdistance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.

— from Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisitied

"All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret."


Here's an idea, why not make a movie that's a cross of Freaks and Geeks (actually Undeclared but whatever) and the Apocalypse? Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel made their own trailer a year ago but apparently the rights to making it a feature length movie have been bought!

In a similar vein, here's a short New Zealand film from 1986 about 3 metal heads stuck in a car during the apocalypse (and strangely preminiscent of Shawn of the Dead):

My New Favorite Things of the Past 2 Weeks

Joe Cocker - Space Captain

Grant Phabao & Djouls - Are Molesting Laura Vol.9 mixtape of all brass band covers (especially the Hot 8 Brass Band's version of Sexual Healing)

Scientists discover the fossil remains of what could be the largest snake to ever exist. A relative of today’s boa constrictor, it was at least 12.8 meters long and weighed more than a ton. Another scientist has found what he believes to be the world's smallest snake.

Crazy pictures of the sun and the Smithsonian's top NASA photos of all time.

The awesomely unauthorized video of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.

My new pop-up book that I discovered through BoingBoing (and is only $14 on Amazon!):

The Wunderkammer exhibit that is up at MoMA right now (and is closing on November 10th).

John Hodgman describing his encounters with aliens:

The Chris Ware cartoon that the New Yorker wouldn't publish because it broke with their formatting:

And this, my new favorite song that I can't believe I've never heard before:

Ray Charles - Let's Go Get Stoned
[right-click to download]