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Nov. 29th, 2006 @ 02:49 am tapping colorless mana
Current Music: Final Fantasy VI - Forever Rachel (Orchestrated)
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A vicious cycle: Overwork, burnout, Wikipedia. Overwork, burnout, Wikipedia.

I have used my burnout time learning about the following mysterious and fascinating artifacts:

  • Antikythera Mechanism: An ancient and highly complex device found on a Greek shipwreck, believed to be the world's first analog computer
  • Voynich Manuscript: A tome of unknown origin, containing inexplicable truths and written in an undecipherable script
  • The Codex Seraphinianus: The most bizarre encyclopedia ever written, inspired by the Voynich
  • The Wycliffe Bible: The first complete English translation of the Bible, brought from the clergy to the masses by a Protestant Prometheus, and subsequently hunted down, destroyed, and replaced with the more politically correct King James Version by a fearful Church
  • The SR-47: The bastard lovechild of the M-16 and AK-47, invented for Operation Enduring Freedom (only seven are known to exist)
  • The Active Denial System: possibly the second most horrible anti-civilian weapon our military has ever invented (the first being the atom bomb)

  • Also, asphalt is a byproduct of petroleum refining, tar is a byproduct of coal refining, concrete is directly produced from crushed stone. It's interesting to see how changes in our transportation infrastructure have influenced our choice of roadbuilding materials. In Edison, New Jersey, where I was born, you can clearly see where the cul-de-sac where I used to live was grafted onto another road because there's a very sharp line where tar becomes asphalt. Roads leading to the old railroad tracks from my house are mostly tarmac (tar macadam) or tar-based concrete, and are rough and stony in texture; roads to the nearby shopping mall are slick asphalt blacktop. A future archaeologist with some knowledge of the history of American industrialization would be able to determine, from where one road begins and another ends, how, where, when, and how fast the town grew. Perhaps if Peak Oil hits, our roads will be paved with depleted uranium?
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