Monday, March 29, 2010

Interesting Links, 29 Mar 2010

Outlaw hedgehogs and only outlaws will have hedgehogs.

Hedgehog weapons being manufactured en masse.

Echidna: n. An Australian's weapon of choice.

Now for Another Cosmic Moment

Back in 1997, the Skeptical Spouse and I drove out to Palm Desert to get a good look at comet Hale Bopp. We drove up into the hills on some dirt roads to get a bit further away from the lights. We stopped for a moment and, from out of the dark, our car was suddenty and maliciously attacked by a big Cujo like dog, who was wagging his tail. "Don't open the door!" she said. "Don't worry about that," he replied.

We moved to another spot, well away from the first. We stared at the comet from inside the car, given that there must have been dozens of Cujo like dogs just waiting for comet watchers who might put their guard down for just that one fatal second.

What was most impressive about the comet was not its brightness, because it certainly wasn't bright enough to illuminate cunning predators. Nope, it wasn't the brightness that was so impressive. It was the extent. If you didn't look directly at the comet, if you used your peripheral vision (as you are supposed to do at night), the comet and its tail together seemed to span the windshield.

There may be a legal moment of cosmic magnitude unfolding before us. Allow me to get you up to speed quickly, as if it's the beginning of another episode of "24".