Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Coming for You Next!

Did you ever think you'd see an octopus walk on dry land? This is a terrifying development for all of us who live near water.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! (And thanks for the link, Olivia!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pride, Prejudice, and a Pinch of Arsenic

Jane Austen died of a mysterious illness at the age of 41. Some experts claim she died of cancer. Others insist it was Addison's Disease. Now the author of a new book is offering a rather novel theory. She believes Jane Austen may have been POISONED!

Jane is known for having had a pretty sharp tongue. Was it sharp enough to offend one of her neighbors? Sharp enough to drive that neighbor to . . . MURDER? (Okay, enough caps for now.)

The theory stems from a letter Jane penned a few months before she died. In it, she writes, "I am considerably better now and am recovering my looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white and every wrong colour."

One of the symptoms of arsenic poisoning is discoloration of the skin, which develops unusual black and white patches. However, while the murder theory is very intriguing, accidental poisonings were quite common in Austen's day. (In the nineteenth century, even children's medicines contained powerful opiates or deadly poisons.)

But don't let my skepticism stop any sleuths out there. Prove Austen was murdered--and identify the culprit--and you'll have solved one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time!

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sewage-Eating Microbes Have Excellent Taste (in Music)

(Above: Sewage-eaters aren't quite as cute as these guys.)

According to this article, a sewage treatment plant in Germany has found a way to make its microbes work harder. It lets them listen to music. Mozart's Magic Flute, to be specific.

While the microbes dine, music is played over a loud-speaker at the plant. Mozart-loving microbes eat more sewage, which means the plant produces more clean water and less sludge. Thanks to Mozart, the plant saved over 10,000 euros last year.

So microbes like classical music. If I think about that too much, my head might explode.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. "Scientists have developed fluorescent bacteria that encode secret messages, creating a living invisible ink." I need to lie down now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'm Not Sure How I Feel About This

Tokidoki Barbie. I am not a Barbie fan. Never have been. Do I like this? I DON'T KNOW! Shall we discuss?

Actually, the Byron Lars Barbie Collection does much more to address my Barbie-related issues. Some of those dolls are pretty fabulous.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mexico, Here I Come!

I've been putting the finishing touches on my top-secret project, so I haven't had much time to blog lately! (And for all the skeptics out there, YES my top-secret project DOES exist. Ha.)

But in a few weeks, I'll be setting all of my work aside and heading down to MEXICO to promote Eternos (The Eternal Ones) and All You Desire! I can't wait! I'll post an itinerary soon, but I do know that Guadalajara will be the main stop on the tour.

So now for the subject of today's post. Like most cities, Mexico City is densely populated--and growing more crowded each year. But historic buildings can't be demolished to build new structures (thank goodness). And the law prohibits new buildings from rising any higher than eight stories above ground.

Now a team of architects believes it has found the solution. The group would like to build the world's first "earth-scraper." The sixty-five story building would be constructed beneath a major plaza in the city's historic center. A glass roof would allow natural light to reach the shops, homes, and offices on all levels of the structure.

It looks pretty amazing. (For more pictures, click here.) Of course, there are a few questions I'd want answered before I agreed to move in. (What happens if there's a fire? What if the entrances are blocked and everyone gets trapped inside? What if it's taken over by bandits and turned into a dark, dangerous Shadow City?)

If the Mexico City earth-scraper ever gets built, I'll just have to write another book so I can go down to see it. I think that book will be about the world's first earth-scraper--and how a good idea can go terribly, horribly wrong.

(Thanks for the link, Macy!)