Christmas Eve Links

Republibot 3.0
Republibot 3.0's picture

Ok, we haven’t done any links in a while, and as it’s Christmas Eve, this seems a fine place to use them to kill time until the Turkey’s done. We start out with Season’s Greetings from the Once And Former Dr. Who, who seems to have a weird obsession with spending his yuletide in the UK:

And after the jump, more stuff and things

First up, we’ve got the sort of thing that makes R2’s heart thump dangerously out of time: a quantum mechanical drive system that gives propulsion with no loss of mass. It’s got phrases/concepts like "magnetoelectric quantum wheel", how can you not love it?

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/24499/

Second, here’s the correct spelling of the word “Vaccume” or “Vacuume” or however the hell it’s spelled. I’m putting it up here because it always trips me up, and I imagine it probably happens to some of you, too. My inability to consistently spell the word had serious personal repercussions in my life some years ago when I attempted to open a Vakume Cleaner shop - a very good investment, it seemed - but I got so self-conscious about my inability to spell the word, and the cost of spelling it incorrectly on the sign that I ended up calling the store “Things That Suck,” and, well, as you can imagine, business wasn’t exactly booming.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vacuum

Thirdly, wow, this is weird, isn’t it? It seems that Frank Frazetta’s son actually robbed him (Frank) of some of his paintings.

http://booksonmars.blogspot.com/2009/12/son-of-artist-frank-frazetta-arr...

We don’t entirely believe in human-caused climate change here at the ‘Bot. We don’t think it’s impossible, mind you, we just aren’t convinced that it’s happening, or that we’re the cause of it at this time. (Though if someone painted Antarctica black, obviously that’d be a plausible cause) We’re open to being proven wrong, however, and we hope to interview a pale climatologist on the site about this fairly soon. In the meantime, here’s a vaguely disturbing article linking the hysteria about climate change with that mainstay of 70s liberalism: mandatory population controls. (Need I point out that the population of Russia, Japan, and most Western European countries are actually *Shrinking* already?

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-12/10/content_9151129.htm

And

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

Some of you might remember the “Visions of Sound” story we serialized some months back. (And if you didn’t, we’re going to republish it in one block for easier readability early next year). Well, here’s an interesting story about how *some* people can use their skin as a sort of external tympanium - basically they can kinda’ sorta’ hear with it - which is sort of neat

http://www.livescience.com/health/091125-skin-hears-sounds.html

And finally, here's a vaguely pseudo-scientific-sounding attempt by the Liberal Left to hold on to "The Afterlife" while getting rid of all that pesky "God" and "Religion" business:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-lanza/does-death-exist-new-theo_b_3...

And that’s about it for now.

Merry Christmas to all of you who are inexplicably reading this now rather than doing something more productive and family oriented!

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Comments

Dunno

Republibot 3.0's picture

Maybe he had a good time there at Christmas once, and just keeps trying to relive the experience? Maybe he just thinks London does the holiday better than others. Maybe it's because the UK was the first place on Earth he ever went to, and he's psychologically patterned on it like a baby duck.

Maybe he's half-human, as they were hinting in the 7th Doctor TV movie, and he's got a connection to the place. I don't place much stock in that, however.

Maybe it's just a low-budget British TV show that couldn't afford to go somewhere more interesting.

The Artist Formerly Known As Republibot 3.0

night before Christmas

neorandomizer's picture

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not an alien creature was stirring, not even a mechanical mouse.
The stockings were hung by the air lock with care,
in hopes that Captain Nicholas would beam down there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of virtual reality danced in their heads.

When out on the surface there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the viewer I flew like a flash, and opened a channel to see the surface at last.

Jupiter shown on the breast of the nitrogen snow
Gave the lustre of earth-day to objects below.
When, what to my wonder on the screen should appear,
But a miniature saucer, and eight robotic reindeer.

With a little old sky driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Captain Nick.
More rapid than Strike Eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the dome! to the top of the wall!
Now warp away! Warp away! Warp away all!"

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the dome
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Turning around I saw the air lock open and out came
Captain Nicholas with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with micro meteorite soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, out the air lock he strode!

He sprang to his saucer, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all flew with a thunderous blast.
But I heard him exclaim,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"