“The machine possesses supreme intelligence, a faultless memory, and a beautiful soul,” H14 says of himself, before vaporizing a cute little bird who just happens to fly by — and promptly correcting the bit about the beautiful soul. You see, H14 can nuke even the cutest of birds without batting an electrical eyelash, and that’s nothing but a good thing. As “mere mortals wallow in a sea of emotionalism,” it can concentrate on the task at hand: “digesting oceans of information in a single all-encompassing gulp.”
Plenty of potential apocalyptic horrors came out of the Cold War, but the atomic cannon is especially unsettling. The giant gun was able to fire a nuclear weapon with a range of 20 miles, detonating at once an entire enemy platoon.
…the many books that make up the Bible were, in fact, written by a number of different authors, some of whom are unknown. And these men were influenced in a variety of ways. This is in accordance with historical patterns, and connections to older references can be found in almost any other religious and or historical text. Although this topic has been much debated, it’s commonly accepted by scholars today that the following parts of the Bible may have been influenced by other cultures…” VIA: -UNIQUE DAILY-
In Julia Solis’s newest book, Stages of Decay, the renowned photographer of ruined buildings and underground spaces collects gorgeous, unsettling photographs of over 100 stages in the US and Europe. Taken over several years and including everything from the stages of community centers to once-grand movie palaces, these photographs are haunting and lovely — an ode to what once was, but also an ode to what is.
Sabine Pearlman‘s intriguing photo series “Ammo” features images of a variety of ammunitions that have been neatly cut in half to reveal the surprisingly varied and intricate contents inside. Pearlman shot a total of 900 cross-sections of ammo, in a World War II bunker in Switzerland last October, documenting the meticulous and dangerous beauty that lies beneath the bullets’ casings.
VIA: -AMUSING PLANET-
Recent research shows how pesky parasites may be affecting the behaviour of up to a reported 40% of the population.
Maybe you’re familiar with the Doomsday Clock. It’s an analogy started by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to track how we close we are to the apocalypse by way of nuclear war or other global disaster. Midnight means the end of the world.
Artist Tom Schofield went ahead and turned that analogy into reality with a clock, which automatically checks the Bulletin’s site for updates on the human race’s demise. VIA: -THE PRESURFER-
After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945, with landscapes demolished, soils charred and radiation rampant, Dr. Harold Jacobsen, a scientist from the Manhattan Project, told the Washington Post that Hiroshima will be barren of life and nothing will grow for 75 years. But nature had other plans. The following spring, to everyone’s surprise and delight, new shoots were seen springing up amongst the debris of the city. Those new saplings provided a powerful message to the survivors of the atomic bomb and gave them hope that they could rebuild their city.
Lucien Shapiro‘s sculptures are a bit frightening. These baseball bats-turned-weapons seem to be pulled out of a post-apocalyptic neo-dark ages. In fact, these sculptures are part of the larger Urban Obsessions series. Like the title implies, the weapons suggest a sort of violent desperation, an urban restlessness taken to its hyperbolic end. Also, the sculptures of Urban Obsessions are nearly ritualistic like implements of a a post-modern tribal religion. -BEAUTIFUL DECAY-
Deep inside its vaults sealed within titanium caskets, are the original texts of founder L Ron Hubbard on gold discs – the religion’s most sacred scriptures.
A report in the Sun newspaper tells how Sweeney visited the site, known as Trementina Base, and interviewed former members of the church of Scientology for the new book Church of Fear.
Human beings have never been very good at predicting the end of the world. Though one would never know given our current surge of enthusiasm for apocalyptic scenarios. Even firearms manufacturers today are marketing real-life (and deadly) weapons as “zombie apocalypse” guns. (We all know that zombies aren’t real. Right? Right?). And just consider the last dozen years: Public interest has lurched from Y2K to 2012 to solar flares. It’s easy to make light of these attachments. But recent events reveal a contradictory and troubling attitude at the back of our fascination with The End.
Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 is an insanely ambitious novel of life three hundreds years hence, set in a solar system where the Earth continues to limp along, half-drowned, terrified, precarious — and only one of many inhabited places. Read the rest.
VIA: -BOING BOING-
American photographer Chris Jordan using large-scale works depict the magnitude of our consumerism and its impact on our environment.
The skyline of the seaside town of Ilfracombe in north Devon, England, is about to change, and not many residents are happy about it. A 20 meter high statue of a naked pregnant women wielding a sword is being erected on the coast. One side the woman’s skin is peeled back, revealing her skull, muscles and developing foetus in her stomach. The woman also carries a sword in her up stretched arm, and has scales hidden behind her back.
In Japan, there’s a scary sight on a port in Isumi City of Chiba Prefecture. The ground has been covered by 200 tonnes of dead, rotting sardines and the ocean has been stained red with their blood. It looks like a beach from hell.
A scientist at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt has discovered a harvestman with a leg span of more than 33 centimetres. The creature found during a research trip to Laos is one of the largest representatives of the entire order worldwide. Experts have so far failed to properly identify it to species level.
[...] I collected spiders from the caves in the southern province of Khammouan,” the Frankfurt arachnologist explains. In doing so, he made a sensational discovery. “In one of the caves I discovered a harvestman that was absolutely huge.” The leg span of the gigantic male harvestman was more than 33 centimetres and therefore one of the world’s largest.
We non-metric folks in the U.S. just pulled out our units converters and discovered that 33 cm is about… 13 INCHES!!!