<= 2000.12.10

2000.12.12 =>

in xanadu did kubla kraus

Ye gods! More snow! We're supposed to get half a foot by tonight, and those crystalline frost tendrils are on the windowpane. My only real prior experience with these is the movie Jack Frost - the horror flick with the inimitable snowman-in-the-shower scene, not the unfortunate reincarnation of Michael Keaton as a snowman or the '70s cartoon with a knight named Kubla Kraus.

Supermarkets confuse me. Last night I wandered around the HyVee for an hour and ended up with an ice scraper, some cherries, and a bottle of creme de cacao. Not that any of these are bad things to have; I just wanted more payoff somehow.

Thomas Edison conquers the Martians. A few days ago one of the UI English faculty dropped by James McPherson's seminar to talk about science fiction. We listened to Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, after which he passed out some copies of a sequel to the H.G. Wells novel, written by the astronomer Garrett P. Serviss and serialized in The New York Evening Journal in 1898. The opening chapter is summarized as follows:

The Martians who had invaded and laid waste a large part of the earth were nearly all killed by pestilence, and the survivors escaped by projecting their travelling car toward Mars by means of a terrible explosion, which destroyed many thousands of human lives. All the nations were sunk in despair when the astronomers announced that there were indications on Mars of preparations for a new attack. Suddenly new hope was born, based on the fact that Thomas A. Edison had invented an electrical ship which could navigate space and wonderful engines capable of overmatching the destructive machines employed by the Martians. An experimental trip to the moon demonstrated the practicability of Edison's flying ship. When this news was flashed all over the world the cry arose: "Let us not wait to be destroyed a second time; let us beard the lion in his den and destroy the Martians before they can come again and finish us."

Which is exactly what happens; Edison's "disintegrator" ends up completely exterminating the Martians - who incidentally look nothing like Wells' creepy tentacled flesh-blobs, but rather have become short men with big heads who fly around the surface of Mars in giant airships. Once again, manifest destiny.

Which leads us to naked pictures of Walt Whitman, maybe.

 

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