Spot the Dustpocalypse: Life on Mars/Earth

Spot the difference:

{ Sunrise on Mars, via NASA }

{ View from my ferry (7.20am, Saturday 24.09.09), Circular Quay, Sydney, Earth }

Sydney saw the Dustpocalypse twice this week: two epic dust storms sweeping eastward from the inland deserts. The first on Wednesday morning, came with full-force opaque orange skies, visibility nil, and undertones of other-worldly terror.

Tom Coates’ Red Dust photo gallery says it best:

{ I adore the deathly reflection }

The second — this fine Saturday morning — resulted in a greyer shade of haze, and that uncannily Martian ice-blue sunrise.

Both eventually cleared to reveal clearer-than-clear bright Springtime afternoons.

Now how on Earth (or Mars) can anyone who lives on this planet honestly say that the weather is just  a topic for idle small talk?

Playing in my Head

Movies: Total Recall

{ via HuffPo }

Music: Life on Mars, David Bowie.


Plastique Fantastique: Typographically accessorised

THIS. This is what awesome looks like through the eyes of a typophile.

Laser-cut acrylic necklaces…

…and rings

for the ultimate in beautiful, witty, typographical (okay, nerd) accessories.

Okay, uber nerd:

All from Plastique’s etsy store.

Now hurry along with credit cards a-flashing, dear fontgeeks. Stocks are limited, and I need someone to buy them out before I surrender to temptation.

Venn Redux

Okay, remember when the internet started leaking a steady supply of hilariously reworked periodic tables and I developed a tiny obsession (then revisited it) despite a distinct lack of real scientific knowledge?

Well, it’s happened again, this time with Venn diagrams. Usually, I try to avoid anything remotely mathematical (unless of course it’s Craig Damrauer’s New Math).

But there are Venn diagrams, and then there are Venn diagrams. These are the latter:


{ Douglas Adams loved giant, spotty, placid whale sharks, and so do I. via Behance }

{ I love both unicorns and narwhals, and this is genius. My original favourite, by ArgyleWhale via horkulated }

{ I’m also a fan of colour standards, so CMYcake is my new favourite, via FFFFOUND! }

There’s also something rather nice about memes that are gradually exuded throughout the ether like this. As opposed to those high GI memes that burn twice as bright but half as long, before hitting maximum saturation and maximum irritation at almost precisely the same moment (see also: Rickrolling, Squirrel Crashes, and — as much as I hate to say it — Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat).

PS. For a permanent source of often puerile, seldom unfunny, and not at all mathematical diagrams and graphs, you might like to bookmark GraphJambut only if you can afford to fritter away vast swathes of time on a regular basis.

PPS. This one is conclusively prescient:

{ Enough said! via BuzzFeed }

The multifarious meanings of ‘Momental’

Today’s email inbox Oxford English Dictionary Word Of The Day is…



As far as ‘knowing thyself’ goes, momental is a fickle creature, caught seven ways between obscurity, rarity, statistics, maths, and philosophy. Behold:

1. Lasting only a moment; momentary.

2. Of or relating to momentum.

3. Of or relating to moments of time.

4. Of or relating to a moment or element, especially of a conceptual entity.

5. Of or relating to a moment of inertia. [see #2, smirk at the complete contradiction]

6. Of or relating to the moments of a random variable.

7. Momentous; of value or importance.

Now I know it’s been a while between OED Word Of The Day musings, but momental is so unexpectedly interesting that I couldn’t help but share. For though it is an unassuming word, its multifarious (and muddled) definitions give it that je ne sais quois that some like to call randominity.

Randominity is a specialised neologism, not entirely unlike The Dirk Gently Navigation Method:

“My own strategy is to find a car, or the nearest equivalent, which looks as if it knows where it is going and follow it. I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere that I needed to be. So what do you say to that?”


“A robust response. I salute you.”

{ Yes cheers, [Saint] Douglas Adams ( The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul) }

Now, momental clearly doesn’t know what it wants to mean. But all its various definitions are so nice in their own way that it hardly matters which one you intended to express in the first place (Ephemeral? Moving? Inert? Random?). Odds are you’ll be saying something of value or importance. Momental even.