Tag archives for MySci-Daily-Round-Up

MySci Daily Roundup, Holiday Hiatus Edition: I will show you fear, in a handful of dust

While some of us slept through our modern literature class in college, we couldn’t help but stay awake on the day that our professor gave a stirring reading of T.S. Eliot’s cryptic poem, “The Waste Land.” Scholars have written volumes about Eliot’s torrent of disturbing imagery, which is laden with about as many literary allusions…

MySci Roundup, Dec. 9: Postmortem Hollywood comebacks?

We’ve been humming the Foo Fighters’ song “Stacked Actors” all morning, ever since we saw this story from the Daily Mail, via the Huffington Post, in which a past associate of George Lucas claims that the movie impresario behind the Star Wars series is planning to make a movie featuring computer-generated likenesses of various dead Hollywood stars of yesteryear.  The Daily…

MySci Roundup, Dec. 8: Will a time-traveler someday save John Lennon?

It’s been three decades since John Lennon’s murder by Mark David Chapman in front of his home in New York City on Dec. 8 1980. And those of us who were devotees of the funniest, most soulful, most protean, and most iconoclastic of the Fab Four have been left to wonder what else he might…

MySci Roundup Dec. 7: He really has eyes in back of his head

Wafaa Bilal, an Iraqi-born artist and assistant professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, has developed a name for himself with his provocative experiments in body modification as a means of expression. In March, for example, to remind people of the death of his brother Haji and others, both Iraqi and American, in…

MySci Roundup, Dec. 6: The mysterious X-37B

An article from Information Week’s web site reports that the Air Force is keeping a tight lid on its new unmanned space plane, the X-37B. The robotic plane landed in darkness in the predawn hours of Dec. 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles, after eight months in space.  The five-and-a-half ton vehicle…

MySci Roundup, Dec. 2: Ball lightning mystery solved?

For a long time, we’ve been perplexed by the weird, other-worldly phenomenon of ball lightning–luminous, usually spherical objects that vary from corn-kernel sized to several meters in diameter, and which usually  explode after a few moments, leaving a sulphur-like aroma. Since the first documented ball lightning sighting during a huge thunderstorm in England in 1638, countless…

MySci Roundup, Dec 1: We’re just burning, doing the neutron dance

Newspapers are reporting the passing of Sam Cohen, 89, the nuclear physicist credited with dreaming up the neutron bomb, a low-yield weapon which would kill people with radiation but spare buildings and infrastructure. According to his Washington Post obituary, Cohen was born in Brooklyn but moved as a child to Los Angeles, where he earned a…

MySci Roundup, Nov. 30: Zooming from orbital space to your doorstep

We remember reading in Robert Hughes‘  history of Modernism, “The Shock of the New,” that the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889 helped trigger the mass mind expansion that led to Picasso and de Kooning.  That’s because the then-tallest structure on the planet allowed people to view reality from a never-before-seen expanse, and to take in…

MySci Roundup Nov. 29: How to Survive a Mass Extinction

Just in case you’re not feeling sufficiently on edge, just consider this: There have been five major extinction events in Earth’s history that nearly wiped out life on the planet, and we could be inducing a slow-motion version of one right now. But could you be one of the lucky life forms that emerge relatively…

MySci Roundup, Nov. 23: An election result we neglected to report…

And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with Bristol Palin’s dancing. Somehow, in the election hoopla a few weeks ago, we neglected to report that Denver voters rejected–by a 5-1 margin, no less–a ballot proposal that would have set up a government commission to track extraterrestrial visitors to the Mile High City. The Washington Post reported the…