Image stolen from here.
Today marks the 1930th anniversary of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius and the destruction of the Roman town of Pompeii, a holocaust that lasted 48 hours. Today Pompeii is celebrated as a still-life museum. It’s a weird and disturbing thought to consider how close– biologically, culturally and even technologically– those doomed people were to ourselves. Consider modern holocausts and how they may (or may not) be remembered in 2000 years.
In other news, NASA’s Stardust spacecraft has provided proof of amino acids in the tail of a comet, giving credence to the panspermia, or exogenesis, theory of life, in that it arose extraterrestrially and was seeded on Earth.
What’s also interesting is the existence of the Stardust mission itself. I remember in the 1970s reading about futurists’ conception of such a mission, that it was decades away in the distant future, if possible at all. And here we are today, collecting comet dust from such a craft, and it barely makes the news.
In even other other news, D-Mack sends us this list of forgotten or underrated science fiction films. I don’t like the list. Equiilibrium and Existenz sucked. City of Lost Children and Brazil were not strictly SF. Pitch Black was okay, but was essentially an action film. Same goes for Dark City, which was a great concept and spooky film, but without an inspiring SF ending. I’m sure you will disagree.