Not-Hurricane Bill Failed to Raise Any Monsters From the Depths

krakenI’m pretty sure we were promised by the media that the dread lord Cthulhu would be coming in last night riding atop not-a-hurricane Bill’s back, wearing a cowboy hat and making good use of a lasso to communicate his terrible Will to the state legislature.

cat_typesSeeing that I instead find myself at the office with meetings going as scheduled, I feel that perhaps the news stations over-hyped the likelihood of Apocalypse.

Do you fear what I fear? A meditation on the holiday season

An unseasonal frozen hell approaches North America. Do you fear what I fear?

To some people, the colder months mean a time of family and celebration, feasting and joy. Some of us, however, know the horrible truth. Winter is a time of demons, of death, of confronting natural forces that can lay waste to entire civilizations, through starvation, disease, and madness.  We take comfort in the gatherings, and we are deeply grateful for the feasting, but at the bottom of our shadowed hearts is the understanding that we gather because there is strength in numbers.

If the day finally comes that the screaming winds of winter shatter out of a darker dimension into some shambling monstrosity looking for a hearty, well fattened meal, pray that you are not alone in the cold. Pray that in your lifetime the stars will never be right.

I have great respect for the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and I encourage everyone to invest in their wondrously terrifying holiday albums.

What I read on Friday

Friday is here.  To celebrate I am including two anecdotes about my day.

sparkling cupcake

A coworker showed up with amazing chocolate cupcakes. This makes me self-conscious because I’m planning to get up early tomorrow to make chocolate cupcakes for my boyfriend’s birthday party (but they’re not traditional cake cupcakes, they’re going to be my ridiculous dark chocolate pumpkin bread in cupcake form).  Coworker’s cupcakes have beautiful, perfect, home made frosting in a delightful pink shade balanced with chocolate chips.  My frosting execution tends to look like something about to creep, and leap, that one should generally beware of. Anyways, here’s some marketing stuff, an article on how cool volcanoes are, a great podcast on the search for exoplanets and extraterrestrial life, and a return to the dream of the space elevator, which it seems is really going happen, eventually, in the future.

Business Insider: Your Facebook News Feed Is Changing Starting Today
Not particularly interesting.

Pando.com: Jonah Peretti: “Both Time and BuzzFeed grew by creating irresistible lists”
Apparently Buzzfeed’s founder hopes that Buzzfeed will be the Time Magazine of the digital era.  It isn’t a totally crazy idea.

Scientific American: Found in Space, Part 1
Scientific American: Found in Space, Part 2
“Journalist Lee Billings Talks about his book 
Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search For Life Among the Stars. ”
I love this podcast. I may have to pick up Lee Billings’ book.

Video: Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales off Dana Point and Maui
Beautiful video of a huge school of dolphins, and a baby whale cuddling with its mom.

The Bloggess: Dogs love (to eat) me
I recently started following this blog (thank you, WordPress suggestions box).  She’s hilarious, and I need to buy her books.

Kickstarter: Ifukube and Godzilla: A Musical Celebration
As will eventually be evident in this blog, I have something of an obsession with Godzilla, and kaiju movies in general.  Akira Ifukube was the genius composer behind all the most iconic monster themes to come out of Japan in the second half of the 20th century. G-Fest is an annual convention for Godzilla fans that, sadly, I haven’t yet made it to. This kickstarter is funding for a live symphonic concert of Ifukube’s work at G-fest this year.

The Daily Dot: Laverne Cox should win an Emmy for ‘Orange Is the New Black’

Mashable: What Glaciovolcanoes Can Tell Us About Past Ice Ages
“In western Canada, where scores of volcanoes erupted in the past millennia, geoscientists are quilting together the past thickness of the North American ice sheet with lava, and linking it to ocean cores. For example, ocean cores are often correlated by changes in oxygen isotopes (atoms with different numbers of neutrons) in ocean sediments. Edwards can now point to a volcano in British Columbia and say the ice on land was at least 985 feet thick during a certain marine isotope stage that corresponds to a cold Earth.”

Extreme Tech: 60,000 miles up: Space elevator could be built by 2035, says new study
“Arthur C. Clarke once famously said that we will build a space elevator 10 years after they stop laughing — and they’ve stopped laughing. He said that in 2003, and while his timeline may have been off, his sentiment surely wasn’t. The concept of a space elevator is taken seriously at NASA these days, as it eyes both shrinking budgets and growing public expectations. Space is quickly becoming a bottleneck in the timeline of human technological advancement.”

Final anecdote:

lovecraft seussWhile eating my pizza at the Greek place around the corner that is far too complicated to get too, an older gentleman in an EMT jacket who sported a fantastic white mustache waved and muttered at me in an effort to get my attention. He wanted to look at my t-shirt. Realizing this, I straightened up, moved way from the table, and adjusted my hoodie so that he would have a clear view.

“Lovecraft and Dr. Seuss? Right on!” he cried out in the middle of the restaurant.

I laughed, excited that someone outside of the convention world got the joke. Especially a random old EMT guy whose visage would have fit into a cowboy movie.

 

What I read on Tuesday

Continuing the experiment of noting how I waste my time. Today’s reading includes edible unspeakable horrors, the secret eldritch ceremonies of those who control the internet, Apple CEO Tim Cook telling climate deniers to suck it, and a real magic ring you can buy on Kickstarter that works with your smartphone.

global temperatures

The Guardian: Tim Cook tells climate change sceptics to ditch Apple shares
“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI,” Cook said, adding that the same sentiment applied to environmental and health and safety issues.
He told Danhof that if he did not believe in climate change, he should sell his Apple shares. “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock,” he said.

LiveScience: Giant Virus Resurrected from Permafrost After 30,000 Years
Pathogens are so cool!

Tech Crunch: Researchers Find That Twitter Can Locate HIV Outbreaks
The team mapped over 9,800 tweets with sexual and drug-related themes and found that their locations were a good predictor for established statistics on HIV-prevalence.

Mashable: Samsung Upgrades the Chromebook
I continue to lust for a new laptop.  If these new Chromebooks are as nice as this article indicates, I might be making a purchase later this year (though what I really want is an Apple Air).

Kitchen Overlord: LOVECRAFT WEEK: CHIBI CTHULHU ROLLS WILL CUDDLE YOUR SOUL INTO GOOEY SUBMISSION

Skeptic.com: Believe the Survivors or the Science? What the science of memory can teach us about the Dylan Farrow/Woody Allen case
Difficult subject matter, but makes some very valid points about both memory science and the importance maintaining reason to prevent irrational witch hunts.

The Guardian: Meet the seven people who hold the keys to worldwide internet security
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: seven keys, held by individuals from all over the world, that together control security at the core of the web. The reality is rather closer to The Office than The Matrix

GeekFeminism.org: In defense of Women in Tech (WiT) groups
This blog makes some great points. I don’t really have any experience with WiT groups, but I have helped to create women’s groups before. I’m not surprised that the seeping pus of the internet has sprayed the idea of Women in Tech groups with some of that weird, confused goo that seems to appear whenever females try to claim a little bit of space for themselves.

Mashable: This Bluetooth Ring Is Like a Magic Wand on Your Finger
Living in the future is crazy stuff.