Here are eight developments of interest to fans.
(1) Downfall, a 2004 movie about Adolf Hitler’s last 12 days, has spawned a whole genre of YouTube parody videos that change the English subtitles under Hitler’s German-language tirade after his generals inform him he has lost the war. One that every fanzine editor will relate to is Hitler Subtitler Gets a Cheap Font CD.
(2) I enjoyed Russell Seitz’ letter in Foreign Affairs about failed predictive models, facetiously captioned “The Next Top Model?”
(3) Gauntlet Press has posted these photos of the Horror Writers Association Stokers Award Weekend 2009.
(4) A comic strip character, amazed to see Kirk given command of the Enterprise at the end of the new Star Trek movie, scoffs, “I wonder what the first mission with Captain ‘No-Starfleet-Experience-Whatsoever’ would be like?”
(5) “Where in London can one purchase plutonium? At the Helios Homeopathy shop“:
I went to Covent Garden and went into the shop and said, ‘Please, may I have some plutonium.’ And the lady behind the counter said, ‘I shall fetch the chemist.’
(6) One Hemingway-esque fisherman knew what to do when he caught a test missle off the Florida coast:
Fisherman Rodney Salomon hooked the missile about 50 miles off the Panhandle town of Panama City and then kept it on his boat, the Broad Venture, for ten days. Salomon hoped to keep it as a souvenir, but took precautions because he didn’t know if it was live. “I had it secure. I keep it cool,” he said, adding that he packed it with ice.
Sounds like he’d already consumed the large number of beers such a big ice chest might hold.
David Klaus also comments, “You have to wonder about the intelligence of someone who caught something like this and didn’t immediately radio the Coast Guard for assistance. The damned thing could have blown up while on his boat.”
(7) Does Europa have tranquil seas of H2O trapped under deep ice, as some scientists believe, or violent oceans thrown about by the immense gravity of Jupiter?
[Robert] Tyler’s model, however, has those massive gravitational forces acting on the oceans directly. The result is truly titanic tides, waves so gigantic they make the Titanic itself look like a speck of sand. His models put the minimum kinetic energy of the flow at seven point three exaJoules. In the standard unit for ridiculous amounts of energy, that’s one hundred thousand times the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, or 100 kilo LittleBoys.
(8) Gary Farber had an amusing exchange with Roger Ebert about early sf magazines.
[Thanks to David Klaus, John King Tarpinian, Andrew Porter and Gary Farber for contributing the links in this post.]