Q. What’s Your Favorite Book That Deals With a Post Apocalyptic World

My favorite would be Larry Niven’s “Lucifer’s Hammer”.

Also, an honorable mention to Tom Godwin’s “The Survivors” which isn’t a post-apocalyptic story in the traditional sense but deals with many of the same issues you would find in any end of the world story. (ie surviving the initial hardships, forming a society, etc.) Just a terrific story that seems to have slipped through the cracks.

And yours?

Wikipedia has an exhaustive list of post-apoc fiction in literature and movies.

(Inspired by Gerry’s post on Earth Abides)

Facial Hair and Presidential Elections

Oddly fascinating:

Only five US presidents have sported full beards, and another four had moustaches of varying degrees of glory. These were all during the half century run of the dozen Presidents between Lincoln and Taft, of whom only Andrew Johnson and McKinley were clean-shaven.

The Republicans have historically been the hairier party. Every Republican candidate from 1856 to 1892 (with the arguable exception of 1860) had a beard, with a later run of moustaches on Roosevelt in 1904, Taft in 1908 and Roosevelt and Taft in 1912 followed by a final beard in 1916 (and a postscript for the moustache in 1944 and 1948). We should not forget also the vast mutton-chop whiskers of Chester A. Arthur, who was elected Vice-President on the Republican ticket in 1880 but served most of that term as President after the assassination of the bearded Garfield.

The Democrats have never had a properly bearded candidate; the only successful Democrat who even went as far as a moustache was Grover Cleveland, who won the popular vote three times running in 1884, 1888 and 1892. (Cleveland lost the electoral college in 1888 to Benjamin Harrison, so far the last American President with a proper beard.) The hairiest Democrat was Winfield Scott Hancock, whose huge moustache did not help him in the 1880 election, and Democrats with moustaches lost in 1864 and 1904.

Jerry Falwell Died

I for one blame the abortionists and gays for his death.

(Thanks Debbe)

Here’s a link to his Wikipedia page that has some of his more controversial moments:

Falwell was a controversial subject for his theological, political and social beliefs. After the September 11, 2001, attacks Falwell said on the 700 Club, “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'” (a sentiment with which Pat Robertson concurred). After heavy criticism, Falwell apologized. . As for homosexuality, Falwell remarked, “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals.” Falwell’s ghostwriter, Mel White, said Falwell remarked about gay protesters, “Thank God for these gay demonstrators. If I didn’t have them, I’d have to invent them. They give me all the publicity I need.”

During the Civil Rights Movement Falwell was a supporter of racial segregation. He said this about Martin Luther King, “I do question the sincerity of people like the Reverend Martin Luther King…”

Falwell has also said, “Labor unions should study and read the Bible instead of asking for more money. When people get right with God, they are better workers.” Regarding public schools, “I hope to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we don’t have public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them.” (America Can Be Saved!, Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfreesboro, Tenn. 1979, p. 52-53.)

Positive Atheism also has a page dedicated to Falwell quotes:

“AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”

“I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!”

“The idea that religion and politics don’t mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.”

Bots on the Ground

The Washington Post on the growing use of robots on the battlefield:

The most effective way to find and destroy a land mine is to step on it.

This has bad results, of course, if you’re a human. But not so much if you’re a robot and have as many legs as a centipede sticking out from your body. That’s why Mark Tilden, a robotics physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, built something like that. At the Yuma Test Grounds in Arizona, the autonomous robot, 5 feet long and modeled on a stick-insect, strutted out for a live-fire test and worked beautifully, he says. Every time it found a mine, blew it up and lost a limb, it picked itself up and readjusted to move forward on its remaining legs, continuing to clear a path through the minefield.

Finally it was down to one leg. Still, it pulled itself forward. Tilden was ecstatic. The machine was working splendidly.

The human in command of the exercise, however — an Army colonel — blew a fuse.

The colonel ordered the test stopped.

Why? asked Tilden. What’s wrong?

The colonel just could not stand the pathos of watching the burned, scarred and crippled machine drag itself forward on its last leg.

This test, he charged, was inhumane.

(via Kottke)