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April 16, 2005

What Is This?

Can you tell what this is a picture of? I'm not sure I could have guessed.

UPDATE: Okay, everyone except for me seemed able to guess immediately. But can you name the Isaac Asimov story about a photograph just like this, and what the characters in the story see?

Posted at April 16, 2005 06:20 PM | TrackBack

thot there's a nukular 'sploshun. purty.

Posted by: stephen Angus at April 16, 2005 07:11 PM

Is it so obvious? Perhaps I squandered all the time in my youth I should have been looking at pictures of nuclear explosions, because I thought it could potentially be all kinds of other things.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 16, 2005 07:41 PM

That's a glurge spore.

Posted by: Harry at April 16, 2005 07:58 PM

Joshua trees exploding.

Posted by: Pulaski at April 17, 2005 12:14 AM

my first thoughts:

1) pollen grain

2) piece of hail

3) H-Bomb explosion

the tiny sillouettes in the foreground then sold me on #3.

Posted by: steve at April 17, 2005 01:31 AM

It's da Bomb!

Since it's on (US) land it is a fission bomb. We popped all of our fusion bombs in the Pacific.

A certain surreal beauty about it.

Posted by: TwistTieCollector at April 17, 2005 06:32 AM

"Hell Fire." They see the face of the devil.

I think I ought to get a free copy of "HOSS" for answering this one.

Posted by: Matthew Sullivan at April 17, 2005 08:37 AM


Curse you for knowing that! I see the face of the devil IN YOUR COMMENT!

Seriously, though, you do deserve a free copy of HOSS. Send me some email so we can make sure that happens on that glorious day.

And... do you remember where you read "Hell Fire"? I think I saw it in an anthology of short short stories, all of them a page or two long -- ie, not an Asimov anthology.


Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 17, 2005 08:34 PM

E-mail it is.

And while I appreciate your generosity, I'd be happy to pay for the book... should it ever come out.

I'd even pay extra to have it signed (and extra-extra to have it signed in blood).

I read "Hell Fire" in an all-Asimov paperback called "Earth is Room Enough" that I was lucky to get cheaply at a curb sale.

If it makes you feel better, I didn't know that was an explosion. My first thought was actually "Maybe it's a Metroid." (I belong to a pretty weak generation for both politics and science fiction.)

Posted by: Matthew Sullivan at April 18, 2005 11:01 AM


Actually, all copies will come signed in blood, whether you want them to or not.

And, thank you for your meteoroid admission. I think we can agree that if everyone made it their mission to make me feel better about everything, the world would be a better place.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at April 19, 2005 07:34 AM

It looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy had a bit too many croissant rolls, while laying on his back and prairie doggin' it... Wait... no it's an explosion!!!

Posted by: Myron at April 19, 2005 01:22 PM

Oh, no-- it would've been understandable had I thought this was a "meteoroid." I was thinking of a "Metroid"-- the video-game monster that looks a little like a jellyfish.

It's things like this which keep me humble.

Posted by: Matthew Sullivan at April 19, 2005 04:38 PM

Where did you get the image file? It is remarkable.

Posted by: Justin at April 19, 2005 06:23 PM