Archives de Catégorie: Miscellanotopia

Dear Guardian: That was a very silly article you did on Bugarach (and no, there’s no Mayan prophecy)

From time to time, even a respected press outlet gets in on the 2012-en-of-the-world bandwagon. This time, it’s Britain’s The Guardian, with the breathless title: « Bugarach: the French village destined to survive the Mayan apocalypse ».

Article by Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian’s Paris correspondant

The content of the article is quite disingenuous, with statements like:

« According to a prophecy/internet rumour, which no one has ever quite got to the bottom of, an ancient Mayan calendar has predicted the end of the world will happen on the night of 21 December 2012, and only one place on earth will be saved: the sleepy village of Bugarach. »

Actually, we know quite well what’s going on. There’s even a whole Wikipedia webpage devoted to « The 2012 phenomenon », with discussion of the ancient Mayan calendar (no, NOT a prophecy) which was wrongly interpreted as showing an « end » to their time counting… just like our yearly calendars end on the 31st December, only to start again on January 1st of the year after that!

There’s also a Wikipedia page for Bugarach, with a mention of the cult settlements who gave rise to some serious concern here in France… but Ms Chrisafis’s article doesn’t tell us much more than what is already on the free encyclopedia, or in the various articles it links to.

As for the people of Bugarach, they have good reasons to be a bit wary of their celebrity among occultists, New Agers… and the world’s media. The Guardian‘s article acknowledges this, with what looks like unintentional humour (or perhaps is it faint sneer?):

« The oddity is that tourist bookings this year seem to be down slightly, not up. The usual walkers, eco-tourists and people coming for spiritual retreats seemed put off by news crews doing lives-to-camera on armageddon. »

Odd, indeed, to avoid a media circus when you just are looking for a place to enjoy nature in peace, far from the madding crowd…

Must be something special with the French, whom our dear British neighbours love to look down on, and scrutinize as if they were from another species.

Webcomics interlude: the entertainment industry

Unspeakable Vault (of Doom): « The Hollywood Malediction ». (I’m thinking of Prometheus and Benicio Del Toro’s projected adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness…)

Scandinavia and the World: « Eurovision 2012 » – and Sweden triumphs, at last! 😉

En passant

From a BBC News headline: “Mouse grounds SAS plane in Stockholm”. A “security risk” (of chewing on electric cables I guess?), the rodent couldn’t be captured in time, and 250 passengers for Chicago were left stranded in Sweden this Tuesday. … Lire la suite

En passant

What a weird orwellian world we live in: for no known reason, the Photoshop artists at Apple deleted the image of a galaxy in the astronomical photo they used as the default desktop wallpaper in Macintosh OS X Lion… Now … Lire la suite

Proof you can apply Tolkien geekery to almost anything

Even word processing, apparently. Behold the “Text editors in the LOTR”! (Via Making Light.) MS Word, TextMate, emacs…

The Dark Tower, Barad-dûr, in the land of Mordor (art by Alan Lee)

For instance, emacs is Fangorn:

Vast, ancient, gnarled and mostly impenetrable, tended by a small band of ancient shepherds old as the world itself, under the command of their leader, Neckbeard. They possess unbelievable strength, are infuriatingly slow, and their land is entirely devoid of women. It takes forever to say anything in their strange, rumbling language.

Oh, and before vi fans start smirking, be aware that in this universe, vi is the Moria!

^C^C^X^X^X^Xquit
qQ!qdammit[esc]qwertyuiopasdfghjkl;
: xwhat

The Wizard translates: “We cannot get out! We cannot get out! They are coming!”

(But where’s OpenOffice/Libre Office, MS Word’s competitor, eh? Is that Saruman’s Orthanc, the Barad-dûr wanabee? Hmm. Not going to say anything about this one…)

Feline fruits

Beware of acacia trees in Africa: they may contain lions… (Gorgeous pic from National Geographic, gleefully blogged by – of course – P. Z. Myers.)

Lions, Kenya (photo: Mrs Wai Chun Turnbull)

Lions, Kenya (photo: Mrs Wai Chun Turnbull)

Of course, being the geek I am, I can’t help thinking of this photo too…

in canada cats grow on trees
(more Lolcats and funny pictures)

You know what this also reminds me of? Science-fiction. Remember the bio-engineered « kitten tree » in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Cetaganda? Some find it creepy, others just… Perfect. Horribly and adorably perfect.

Go figure.

OMG, it’s a… Plot Device!!!

OK, everybody and their computer must already have posted this twice, but I just can’t resist. Here goes: the amazing Plot Device.

Plot Device from Red Giant on Vimeo.

In other words, a short film that is deservedly going viral right now.

(Hat tip: MLBB and lots of websites.)