- A few years back, while I was reading Eifelheim, I read up on the Black Death. There was a theory floating around at the time that, based on symptoms and virulence, the black death might have been caused by a viral hemorrhagic fever like Marburg, not by the bubonic plague that’s still endemic in some parts of the world. Since then, researchers have managed to extract bacterial DNA from the bones of Londoners who died when the plague reached the city in 1348, confirming that they were infected with a relative of the modern plague…and have reconstructed its genome. Wow. (via Slashdot)
- “Transformers” Hostess Cupcakes And Sno Balls Roll Out – OK, I have to admit that "Chocwave" cupcakes are inspired.
- Writer’s block: Seth Godin considers the issue by comparison to “talker’s block”, while IO9 has a more detailed look at 10 types of writer’s block and how to overcome them, illustrated with classic pulp sci-fi covers.
- Emergency Preparedness: Cell & Home Phone Guidelines. In particular: wireless home phones require power. Keep one landline phone with a cord on hand. And for non-emergency communications (“I’m OK, hope everyone else is”), stick to texting, email, or social networks so that emergency workers and people in immediate danger (“Help, I’m trapped under a fallen wall”) can use the voice channels.
- Whenever I hear someone complain about “hipsters,” I always think of this comic.
Spotted this at the grocery store on the clearance table:
It’s not quite as good a title as Transmorphers, but seriously: look at that logo! It’s a dead ringer for Transformers: Armada, down to the extra capital letter…though in this case the placement makes absolutely no sense!
I’m still trying to figure out what to make of the slogan, “Super Transform Ultimate End General Mobilization.”
If you went out to the movies in the US during 2009, there’s a good chance you saw this turn-off-your-phone PSA in which a movie about “robots from space” tries to negotiate blowing up Mount Rushmore.
In a case of life imitating art, the National Park Service is currently battling Transformers 3 — a movie about robots from space — over just what they can and can’t do with a national monument!
Okay, you can’t blow up a national monument, but…
Bill Line, Park Service spokesman, said the producers “have asked to do some things that simply are not done on the National Mall,” among them staging a “car race” along the Mall’s gravel paths and flooding it with artificial light in order to shoot at night.
Apparently it’s not unique to Transformers 3, but a fairly frequent battle between the park service and film producers, which means Sprint’s video isn’t just a funny story, but a bit of an in-joke to those familiar with the industry.
Hmm, any chance the new movie will have a chorus singing “Robots from space!” in the background?