Monday, February 23, 2009


Sometimes it does the body good to not think about the state of the world. I'm not going to think about the state of the world again today. Not to worry. I'll be worrying about it again soon enough, and I'm sure it will give me reason enough to. If I were in south Louisiana, for example, I'd be thinking about Mardi Gras tomorrow, and Obama and the miserable Republicans would be far from my mind.

With these thoughts as backdrop, I have three diversionary topics.

  • Consider the astounding speculations about the images of the ocean floor off the west coast of Africa that have shown up with the use of the last version of Google Earth (5.0). The image is pictured here, and the questions concern the fabled city of Atlantis, which according to legend more ancient than the Mariner, was swallowed up beneath the waves. What's the meaning of the undeniably geometric pattern down there? I'll vote for Atlantis on the theory that all myth and legend, even of the ancient variety, is based on some reality. So take a look at this piece and this one--it's got a map showing where in the ocean this phenomenon is--and take a gander at the accompanying image. I want some divers or deep sea submersible to get down there and check this out.
Update 1: It ain't so. Google reports "what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process," Google said. "Bathymetric (or seafloor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the seafloor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data." Shucks!

  • And then there's this story about a concerted move by lawmakers in Oklahoma, of all places, to--get ready for this--pass legislation banning the tatooing of eyeballs in the state. I'm not making this up.
  • Some nut case of a teacher asked his class of ten-year-olds in England to write down a list of hurtful, unkind words as an exercise exploring bullying. The kids did not disappoint. "The litany of words ranged from variations on the F-word, crude slang for sex acts, female and male genitalia, and racist and derogatory name-calling." The parents of the kids, however, were disappointed, to say the least. Oh, and did I mention it was a Church of England school?
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