Posts from 1st October 2005

Oct 05


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 462 views

The Incubator Of Intelligence is the title of Chapter Seven, and it kind of pulls together the previous chapters to show how plate tectonics, a decent climate and tides all happily combined together to create man. Indeed it spends a little bit too much time describing various theories of mankind’s evolution, as if describing it makes it in some causally connected to the moon, or even a necessary upshot of the moon.

There is no shocking new science in this chapter, but it does seem to be preparing us for the next Chapter where it may seem that we might get the first candidate for who built the moon. As such it is full of not proven hubristic statements such as the one that finishes the chapter:

How little those cave dwellers, who scratched their knowledge of the lunar cycle onto animal bones and antler, were aware that without the presence of the lunar disc that so captivated them, the Earth would probably be a lifeless rock, silently spinning around the Sun, like the inferno of Venus and the frozen wastes of Mars.

Showcase Presents Superman

The Brown Wedge1 comment • 570 views

DC have at last started their own equivalent of Marvel’s wonderful Essentials – fat and cheap B&W reprints of classic material. The first two (the other is Green Lantern) are at an extra-bargain price (£6.50 where I get my comics), and for over 500 pages of great material, it’s as great value as comics have ever offered.

These are Superman stories from the end of the ’50s. There was none of the character-based agonising that Marvel were about to popularise, and none of the pulse-pounding action thrills of a Kirby fight scene either – there are hardly any fight scenes in this, and those few tend to be a bit cursory, sometimes with a suggestion of embarassment at the vulgarity of violence. What you get instead are stories – not decompressed six-issue story arcs where bugger all happens, but short stories (often 8 pages) with a setup, some complications and an ending. They aren’t all good, but they are almost all entertaining (the ones by Jerry Coleman tend to be the exception), and the art by Plastino (who’s only okay) and the superb Swan, Schaffenberger and Boring is an absolute delight – clear and likeable and just about faultless.

There are various kinds of stories, but you don’t have to read very far to spot some patterns, and Lois is at the heart of my favourites – the attempts to expose Clark as Superman, and the attempts to trick him into marriage. These do tend to be ludicrous, and when, about halfway through, I hit the panel shown (that’s Lois in a blonde wig), I had to include it, as it illustrates how ridiculous things had become that this counts as a predictable old trick. I suspect it’s a panel that will divide readers – either ‘this is why I have no interest in reading such gibberish’ or ‘haha fantastic, gimme’. I’m in the second camp.


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 386 views

“But having such a big penis does have one drawback: it seems that co-ordinating eight legs, two feeding tentacles and a huge penis, whilst fending off an irate female, is a bit too much to ask, and one of the two males stranded on the Spanish coast had accidentally injected himself with sperm packages in the legs and body. And this does not seem to have been an isolated incident since two of the eight males that had stranded in the north-east Atlantic before had also accidentally inseminated themselves.

“It is also possible that the sperm packages had come from other males that they had ‘bumped’ into, in the dark depths of the ocean. However, the sperm packages ended up in the squid – it is just another part of the mysterious lives of these creatures of the deep sea.”

(nat geo pix of solo cruising squid this way)

(evil queer-gnashing whale pic by John Dawson, copyright National Geographic Society)