Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Want to Go There: Keppler22b

When I read about and saw this picture of Keppler22b, the possibly terraqueous planet recently spotted in "the habitable zone" of a solar system 600 light years away, the first thought that leapt to mind was, "I want to go there." It's a perverse and dangerous thought I often have. It's the same thought I had when I saw, on The Atlantic's In Focus blog, this photo taken in an abandoned Chinese amusement park.

I don't really want to go to Keppler22b. I mean the flight alone would be miserable, never mind what the planet is actually like. Here on our own terraqueous globe, scientists recently announced the discovery of a species of "deep-sea carnivorous sponge" with "the jaws of a great white shark." Talk about strange shapes of the unwarped primal world! Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the benthic zone. Lord knows what sharkish critters are lurking in the depths of Keppler22b.

Wait. This just in. The first images of Kepplerians, after the jump.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

D'Agata: "Those With Faith in Withheld Meanings"

And while I wasn't born there, and have since then moved away, during the summer I lived in Vegas I began to feel those claims, appealing in their hopefulness the way parades appeal, the way a list appeals to those with faith in withheld meanings: the dream that if we linger long enough with anything, the truth of its significance is bound to be revealed. 
 —John D'Agata, About a Mountain