Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Biblical Dragons, Metamorpho theme, library filtering, crap rap.

Hello Neil,I was wondering if you knew that unicorns really exsisted at one time? ( I only recently discovered this). I always thought they were a product of mythology,like the phoenix or pegasus... But it turns out that there are several bible references to unicorns:
Nu.23:22,& 24:8-Job 39:9&10-Deut.33:17-Ps.22:21-Is.34:7-Ps.92:10 & Ps.29:6
I was amazed by this & wondered "What happened?! Why didn't they get on the ark!?!" to which someone replied that they most likely did but have since become extinct.

I think it depends how you want to translate the word "Reem". Bibles without unicorns in will translate it as things like "wild oxes", just as they'll translate "behemoth" as "hippopotamus", which is singularly unimaginative of them if you ask me.

Give me the imaginative translations any day. Here's a link to someone who has rounded up all the biblical references to Dragons, and a lot of historical dragon stuff, mostly, I think, in order to prove that dragons were dinosaurs, thus finally and terminally disproving evolution. (Although I personally feel that a dragon-proving statement like In the last days" they would be "punished" and God would "slay the dragon that is in the sea!" ALthough that is also symbolic of the coming One World Government and the last Antichrist Worldruler! is a classic case of trying to have your cake and eat it.) Anyway, lots of fun with dragons -- and proof that Protoceratops and Psittacosaurus were gryphons -- at

You just mentioned the work Todd Klein will be doing for Endless Nights, and, as a lettering geek, I must wonder aloud: who will be lettering 1602? I know Marvel has been moving toward in-house computer lettering, but I wonder if Todd's a stipulation for you (I seem to remember some consternation about the lettering on the Alice Cooper book for Marvel, lo those many years ago).

John R.
Downers Grove, IL

Don't remember much consternation -- I'm pretty sure that I got Todd to letter The Last Temptation, and that he did it very well.

Todd's going to be doing 1602. (Hurrah!) It's in the new Marvel upper-and-lower-case lettering style, but we're trying to do some interesting things with it.

In this morning's e-mail, Kim Newman sent me the Metamorpho theme song. Did you know there was a Metamorpho The Element Man theme song? I bet you didn't. Can you guess how pulse-poundingly bad it is? Go on, guess. No, it was worse than that. He included a link to which was where he found it. You'll need to go poking around there.

Which reminds me: Hi, Neil. In case you start getting bombarded with "When's the History Channel special going to repeat?" messages, it's currently scheduled to air again on:
Saturday 6/28 @10pm/2am
Sunday 6/29 @6pm
Monday 7/7 @10pm/2am
Thursday 7/10 @10pm/2am

the A&E mole

Thank you mole... and on a different, troubling topic:

Knowing you are a proponent of free speech, how do you feel about the US Supreme Court Ruling yesterday that libraries must install filtering on computers?
The filters are intended to block pornographic sites. The court decided these filters don't impose on free speech because the filters can be lifted if requested. However, from the library standpoint (and other opponents of free speech) the problem is multiple. The filters are by no means perfect and block information that is not remotely sexual. Also, this allows companies who make this software to decide for us where to draw the line. Libraries must install these filters or they will fail to receive federal money. Looking at pornography is not what I'd consider an appropriate library activity, especially not for children, but this seems like censorship. It sounds silly, but if we're not careful it could be that someday searches on the Sistine Chapel might come up without any pictures (naked people afterall!). Granted, people can ask to have the filter lifted, but I'm not sure people should have to ask to not be censored. Perhaps as things stand now there isn't much harm done, but Supreme Court decisions have a huge impact and are used by other courts to make further decisions. I certainly wouldn't want this line of thinking to extend to other parts of the library. Do you think this ruling is cause for worry?
Thanks, Blythe (devoted reader of all things Neil)

Yes, I think it's a cause to worry, possibly a big one. (I might feel differently if there was effective software which simply blocked commercial pornsites without ever intentionally or unintentionally blocking anything else, medical, educational, recreational or political.) Here's a link to the Shifted Librarian, who has many wise links and some sensible things to say:


I'm glad I'll never be Poet Laureate, otherwise I too would wind up writing things as embarrassing as Andrew Motion's peculiarly dire Rap for Prince William's birthday... strangely reminiscent of the Patrick Marber lawyer rap from the original Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge Radio 4 programme. Why didn't they pick Wendy Cope when they had a chance? Read it and smile wanly: