WE ARE THE "ICE-NINE" OF THE UNIVERSE

Cats Cradle

In his 1963 novel Cat’s Cradle, science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut introduces a fictional polymorph he calls “ice-nine.”  According to Vonnegut, ice-nine is an alternative structure of water that is solid at room temperature.  It acts as a seed crystal which, when it comes into contact with liquid water below 45.8° C, causes the rapid freezing of the entire body of water.In Cat’s Cradle “Papa” Monzano, the badly ailing dictator of the mythical island of San Lorenzo, while dying of inoperabl … [Read more...]

Two Doors, Seven Locks: Preserving the Crown of Saintly King Wenceslaus

You may not know this—who thinks of St. Wenceslaus except at Christmastime?—but Friday, September 28, is his feastday.Wenceslaus was born in 903 to a Christian father and a pagan mother.  It was his devout grandmother, St. Ludmilla, who educated Wenceslaus in the Christian faith.After Wenceslaus’ father, Duke Wratislaw, died, his pagan mother Dragomir opposed Christianity in the country.  Wenceslaus—named Duke by the Emperor Otto I—took the reins of government and placed his duchy under t … [Read more...]

“I Forgive Him” Says 6-Year-Old Girl, Bitten By Shark

It’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel! Once again, the Tigers and Hammerheads and Bullheads and Great Whites will thrill, moving ominously through peaceful waters—dorsal fins gleaming, jaws taut, teeth menacing as they glide toward their unsuspecting prey.We’ll watch “Jaws” again, both the first one and the sequel; and we’ll worry again whether everyone will emerge safely from the water off Amity Island.But the shark story that really caught my attention recently was a report comi … [Read more...]


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