This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but a bronchial spasm. That is, at least, according to William Delisle Hay’s 1880 novella The Doom of the Great City. It imagines the entire population of London choked to death under a soot-filled fog. The story is told by the event’s lone survivor sixty years later as he recalls “the greatest calamity that perhaps this earth has ever witnessed” at what was, for Hay’s first readers, the distant future date of 1942. -- Brett Beasley in the Public Domain review on one of the first modern urban apocalypse stories.
UBC research shows that chemotherapy can lead to excessive mind wandering and an inability to concentrate. Dubbed ‘chemo-brain,’ the negative cognitive effects of the cancer treatment have long been suspected, but the UBC study is the first to explain why patients have difficulty paying attention. Previously on AskMe [more inside]
Sea smoke or steam fog, fog caused by cold air flowing over a body of comparatively warm water, the vapor condensing in small convective columns near the water surface and giving the appearance of smoke or steam. It is common in the Arctic and Antarctic, but if it is cold enough, it sometimes it happens in Maine; youtube links follow (some with music of varying quality): one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass offers a hypothesis about an inversion fog event that brought Seattle various unpleasant smells yesterday
In a rare occurrence that only affects the area about once a decade, the Grand Canyon was recently filled with a dense, white fog due to heat inversion (Flickr gallery with a few short video clips; Flickr search for "grand canyon fog").
According to an article in the South China Morning Post, "fog" in Northern China is so bad that the government is finding it interferes with surveillance cameras. (via Quartz.com and mefi's own @ftrain)
"Adrift is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge."
For your listening pleasure: Unearthing, an audio project by Alan Moore, with musical accompaniment from a "rock supergroup," to tell a vivid story of Shooter's Hill and one of its residents, Steve Moore (not related to Alan, but a long-time friend). [more inside]
As a solo performer, Martin Dosh isn't your typical one man band. Watch him construct densely, beautifully layered songs via live looping. [more inside]
I watched man burn to death, heard others screaming in the fog. A massive, 50-car pileup, the result of three or more crashes on I-4, has led to at least 3 fatalities and 82 injuries in central Florida near Orlando. The smoke and fog were so bad that rescue efforts were hindered. Drivers with no visibility did not know whether to stay in their burning cars or risk running out onto the highway for help.
Emerging from the Mist: The Museum of the Haar. (being Friday, requires Flash)
Everybody's workin' for the weekend. A little non-Flash Friday fun. (Link goes to a page with an embedded QuickTime movie.)
Ned Kahn does really great things with fire, fog, sand, water and wind. Sadly, some don't last. Heard on WNYC's Studio 360
"... Giordano Bruno might have been a pantheist. A pantheist believes that God is everywhere, even in that speck of a fly you see there. You can imagine how satisfying that is—being everywhere is like being nowhere. Well, for Hegel it wasn’t God but the State that had to be everywhere; therefore, he was a Fascist.” “But didn’t he live more than a hundred years ago?” “So? Joan of Arc, also a Fascist of the highest order. Fascists have always existed. Since the age of . . . since the age of God. Take God—a Fascist.” Umberto Eco in the New Yorker
Diaphanous Fog Screen Projection Demonstrated at Siggraph, a thin sheet of dry fog is silently generated and used as a projection screen floating in the air, so you can literally step through it. Levels of opacity can be dialed up and down. Beautiful, but the possibilities seem to be appealing immediately to marketers (imagine a walkthough ad in your local shopping mall), and possibly some military folks. There are a couple videos here, you can see it looks like a video waterfall.
Ground Laid for Historic Presidential Powers Push But as recently as March 4, Attorney General John Ashcroft was being coy about it, refusing to discuss any of the 86-page draft at a Senate hearing. Among the more extreme powers Patriot Act II would grant the executive branch: The ability to strip citizenship from an American who supports a group the feds label as terrorist. Secret arrests—the government could avoid revealing the location of, charges against, and evidence on someone it was holding. Far looser checks on search-and-seizure activities of law enforcement. And a DNA database for people deemed to be terrorist suspects. But with this "really cool war to watch on TV", who will even notice before it's too late?
Got Water? Fresh water is a necessity for human survival, but many areas of the world are starting to feel the crunch. One solution to this problem that has been applied in a few areas is collecting fresh water from fog (here's how!). This technology has been a boon to places like Chungungo, Chile. Now a small beetle from the Namib Desert may hold the key to making fog collection even more successful. Water attracting and repelling bumps and valleys on the beetle's wings collect and transport water from fog. Currently, QinetiQ is developing synthetic materials with these same properties, which may make the similar technique of dew collection even more feasible.