At the finish of every race, she staggers and crumples. Kayla Montgomery is a a high school track star in North Carolina. Kayla Montgomery has early-onset multiple sclerosis. The two are apparently related. Because M.S. blocks nerve signals from Montgomery’s legs to her brain, particularly as her body temperature increases, she can move at steady speeds that cause other runners pain she cannot sense, creating the peculiar circumstance in which the symptoms of a disease might confer an athletic advantage.
The Great War’s Ominous Echoes — "It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and America to that between Germany and England a century ago. Lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety, we say that countries that have McDonald’s will never fight one another. Yet the extraordinary growth in trade and investment between China and the United States since the 1980s has not served to allay mutual suspicions. At a time when the two countries are competing for markets, resources and influence from the Caribbean to Central Asia, China has become increasingly ready to translate its economic strength into military power." By Margaret MacMillan, New York Times, December 13, 2013.
Weak as I am is a webcomic by Nigel Auchterlounie, about a guy who accidentally steals a superhero's powers. The story ended today. [Some of Auchterlounie's work is mildly NSFW]
"Even beyond the philosophical wonder of passively sampling our outside environment in a shared, meaningful fashion is the ridiculous sensitivity of our senses." [more inside]
Fine Structure: Ching raises one hand ahead of him and delivers a series of complex commands to the fabric of reality. [more inside]
Super Useless Super Powers. A cute website with dinky cartoons and fun descriptions of those super powers which, if you were to be blessed with one, would be pretty much damn-near useless.
No capes, no monoguing, and no ex machina. Brad Bird's 'The Incredibles' notched the clichés of the superhero genre - if not all action/adventure movies - with a thick red marker. These lists have apparently been circulating since 1994. Why do (bad) writers persist in using these plot devices?
Today's weird correction from the NY Times (reg required, of course). More fuel for the old "who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman?" debate.