This online essay at Salon.com (registration or DayPass required) describes the conventions of H.P. Lovecraft's prose that make readers either love his work or hate it.
Perhaps the most curious thing about Lovecraft is that much of what aficionados love about his work is exactly those things his detractors list as faults. Take, for example, the fact that while Lovecraft is usually described as a forefather of modern horror fiction, his stories are, to put it bluntly, not very scary. Wilson complained, with perfect justification, that Lovecraft ladled on the frightful adjectives and adverbs when describing -- or even just hinting at -- the nightmarish realizations that typically confront his protagonist at a tale's climax. In "The Lurking Fear," the narrator, recounting his sensations as he is about to discover something awful, explains, "I felt the strangling tendrils of a cancerous horror whose roots reached into illimitable pasts and fathomless abysms of the night that broods beyond time."
A test of the national missile defense system failed Monday when an interceptor missile did not launch from its island base in the Pacific Ocean, the military said. It was the second failure in months for the experimental program.
advertisement Click Here! A statement from the Missile Defense Agency said the cause of the failure was under investigation.
A spokesman for the agency, Rick Lehner, said the early indications was that there was a malfunction with the ground support equipment at the test range on Kwajalein Island, not with the interceptor missile itself.
If verified, that would be a relief for program officials because it would mean no new problems had been discovered with the missile. Previous failures of these high-profile, $85 million test launches have been regarded as significant setbacks by critics of the program.
Target missile fired, but not interceptor In Monday’s test, the interceptor missile was to target a mock ICBM fired from Kodiak Island, Alaska. The target missile launched at 1:22 a.m. ET Monday without any problems, but the interceptor did not launch.
The previous test, on Dec. 15, failed under almost identical circumstances. The target missile launched, but the interceptor did not. Military officials later blamed that failure on fault-tolerance software that was oversensitive to small errors in the flow of data between the missile and a flight computer. The software shut down the launch; officials said they would decrease the sensitivity in future launches.
Before the Dec. 15 launch, it had been two years since a test. The program had gone five-for-eight in previous attempts to intercept a target.
Whatever one thinks of the wisdom of missile defense in particular -- and I hold that the likely benefits do not outweigh the likely costs -- it's hard to fathom the wisdome of deploying the system before it's even close to operational, even after the Pentagon exempted the system from its normal oversight process. A system that doesn't work is hardly a deterrent. Make no mistake about it -- if the tests had instead been an actual attack, the results -- the enemy missile fires successfully, but the so-called interceptor does not -- speak for themselves.
Great googly moogly! Destroy All Monsters' Musashi points to this awesome archive of scans from the old Marvel Godzilla comix from the 1970s. In fact, I once owned the first issue, in which SHIELD battles the Big G. I wish I still had it, you better believe!