I seriously question whether anyone taller than 4'6" can assume the brace position in a non-exit-row economy seat these days. I believe airlines make some concession to this fact by suggesting that taller passengers (i.e. anyone who isn't a midget) can rest their heads on the seat in front of them. I've tried this,… » 10/01/14 12:44pm Yesterday 12:44pm

Rats. Specifically, New York rats. They're smart and mean and nearly indestructible. Although without humans to fill the streets with tasty, tasty garbage, they might be forced to earn an honest living like other rodents, which might interrupt their otherwise inevitable rise to world domination. » 10/01/14 11:26am Yesterday 11:26am

Tolkien's Middle-Earth is very much a mishmash of time periods. By and large, it seems to be medieval — say 14th-century equivalent at the latest — but as many people have observed, there's a very Victorian feel to the Shire, with the hobbits living comfortable middle-class lives (at least the better-off ones, like… » 9/30/14 7:01pm Tuesday 7:01pm

In "The Forge of God", Greg Bear has hostile aliens arrange for a sphere of neutronium and a sphere of antineutronium to meet up in the Earth's core. I believe his masses are a mere 100 million tons each (and, being neutronium, are handily compact, if not precisely pocket-sized).

The trouble is that your average crazed… » 9/18/14 3:28pm 9/18/14 3:28pm

I started off by imagining the audience naked. Then I pictured my nervousness as sexual arousal. And then one thing just led to another and the next thing I knew I was face down in the parking lot with my hands cuffed behind my back and three big police officers kneeling on my head. » 9/13/14 5:24pm 9/13/14 5:24pm