Patrick Stewart knighted at Palace

The BBC reports on Patrick Stewart’s knighthood ceremony and how he paid tribute to the teacher that first encouraged him to perform.

The Yorkshire-born star said he would be celebrating his knighthood with Cecil Dormand, the teacher who first encouraged him to consider acting as a profession.

“He was the one that put a copy of Shakespeare in my hand [and] said, ‘Now get up on your feet and perform’.”

Although a republican I think that this is a very well deserved honour to bestowed upon him.

Gigantarachnophobia – fear of giant spiders

This amazing simulation of a spider is both cool and pretty creepy (you can place flies for it to scuttle over and eat).

Also it reminds me of what I think is my only phobia – the fear of giant spiders. I couldn’t find a term for it anywhere so I’ve coined Gigantarachnophobia.

I have no problem with spiders generally but once they get to be the size of a cat or larger then we enter phobia territory. Thankfully as long as I keep away from the jungle of The Congo I don’t think I’ll ever encounter a spider big enough to be scared of. And even then I don’t think the J’ba fofi as the Baka people call them really exist.

Imagine what would happen to Pulp Fiction if when Jules looked into the briefcase, he "woke up" in mid-scene

From Barbelith

– imagine what would happen to Pulp Fiction if, when the character of Jules looked into the briefcase, he “woke up” in mid-scene and not only realized that he was a character in a movie, but also realized that he “was” also Mace Windu and Shaft and a bunch of other characters in realities he can scarcely comprehend, while also glimpsing an uber-reality where all of those realities are just movies and he’s an actor called Samuel L. Jackson.- dizfactor

I think this is a brilliant concept and is as good as any description for what Grant Morrison is trying to portray in The Invisibles and The Filth.

Launch loops

Hitting the random article button at Wikipedia can often yield very interesting results.

A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a design for a belt based maglev orbital launch system that would be around 2,000 km (1,240 mi) long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by momentum of the belt as it circulates around the structure, in effect it transfers the weight of the structure onto magnetic bearings at each end which support it.