Magnetism

You might imagine that a story that included the phrase…

"My partner took me to the hospital that she works in because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me."

… would be mean or cruel, but as you follow Dr Daniel Reardon's story it just gets funnier and funnier. Our hero takes what seem to be very reasonable decisions. It's just …unfortunate… that each of those decisions leads him a step closer to that hospital bed.

I'm voting for Rowan Atkinson to play Dr Reardon in the inevitable film adaptation.

[Via James Nicoll]

Nevada nuclear test sites

I'm not going to try to reproduce the images here - fitting them into this layout would require losing much of the detail that makes them so striking - but you should definitely go and see some photographs of Nevada's nuclear test sites in a New York Review of Books review of a collection of Emmet Gowin's images:

In 1996 and 1997, the Department of Energy and the US Air Force allowed the photographer Emmet Gowin to take photographs of Nevada’s nuclear landscape from a helicopter. These have now been gathered in a new book, The Nevada Test Site, published by Princeton University Press. Gowin’s original prints aren’t large, about 10” x 10”. But even slightly reduced in size, they give a sense of extraordinary scale, thanks to the raking light and the stark immensity of the Nevada basin. The intimate clarity of Gowin’s lens makes it look as though every detail within its range is aspiring to be noticed. On the desert floor, cause and effect seem to have been reversed. The craters look as though they’re ancient geological formations, the roads added later by curious investigators exploring these strange formations.

Unfortunately the book is too costly for me to indulge myself by buying a copy, but it costs nothing to look at the review.

Don’t Panic

To mark the 42nd anniversary of the radio broadcast of the first instalment of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, BBC Radio 4 Extra are devoting a sizeable chunk of their evening schedule to programmes about the series, interspersed with the first six episodes of the story itself.

I can't help but notice that there's nary a mention of this on the front page on the BBC Sounds application or the web site. I was alerted to it by #hitchhikersguidetothegalaxy trending in Twitter.1 Still definitely worth a listen.


  1. In fairness, that might well just be the modern way of achieving the desired end and I'm just too stuck in my ways to have picked up on that. 

Tales from the Loop

The teaser trailer for Amazon's forthcoming TV adaptation of artist Simon Stålenhag's vision of a future where the presence of a large underground particle accelerator coincided with the arrival on the scene of an array of strange machines, Tales From the Loop, already had me hooked even before I recognised the presence of Jonathan Pryce and Rebecca Hall in the cast. Throw in Mark Romanek directing and it's fair to say that I'm interested.

Assuming that early reviews don't reveal that the striking imagery has been lavished on a supremely dumb story, this looks like one more strand in Amazon's ongoing campaign to get me to sign up to Prime Video membership so I can give them a chance to claim a chunk of my streaming service budget.

[Via The Verge, via Sentiers #115]