Friday on the web

Every so often, the web produces something literate and intelligent; these gems are often found buried under unused MySpace pages and hypnotically useless web sites. (Seriously, let that one run for a few minutes.)

  • A tale of two planets: What’s “Earth-like” mean?, by Lee Billings

    Titan may now resemble our planet in its earliest history, when Earth was a rather alien world shrouded in an anoxic haze of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and hydrocarbons. [….] What the Huygens and Cassini observations clarify, however, is how in the future all this will change.

    In roughly 7 billion years, our star will deplete its supply of hydrogen and begin fusing its more energy-dense helium, reddening and ballooning to more than 250 times its current size in the process. Titan and its water-laden mother lode of frigid organic feedstock will thaw. For a scant few hundred million years, it will in all probability be the most Earth-like spot in the solar system…

  • Novels I will not write: Jesus wants his kidney back, by Charles Stross
    The latest in a series of Novels Mr. Stross refuses to write. I’d actually like to see the author write this, if only so I can find out how it ends. As always, the comments are an entertaining reaction and expansion to the proposed premise.
    In recent news the Pope gets to tear up his donor card because his body belongs to the Church and, hey, if he was beatified all his organs would turn into holy relics. (Never mind that he’s 87 and not exactly a desirable source of young, healthy donor organs.)

    This got me thinking …

    What about the status of donor organs from other beatified/canonized persons? Especially in light of the Catholic Church’s recent trend towards creating new saints much faster than the historic norm.

Enjoy, and have an outstanding weekend!


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