The Pencil Today:


“As for the assertion that nuclear weapons prevent wars, how many more wars are needed to refute this argument? Tens of millions have died in the many wars that have taken place since 1945.” — Joseph Rotblat


Think about Hiroshima today.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Think of how some 80,000 people were incinerated, virtually in the snap of a finger.

Think about how 80,000 more people died in ensuing days, weeks, and months from the effects of the nuclear blast that took place 1200 feet above their city on this date 67 years ago.

Don’t forget that World War II claimed more than 60 million lives. Some historians even estimate the death toll to have reached a hundred million.

But let’s stick with 60 million. A country with 60 million residents would be the 24th most populated in the entire world today.

Imagine if, within six years, all the people of Italy, population 60,813,326, were wiped off the face of the Earth.



Dreams and hopes became reality last night when Curiosity landed some 60 million miles away from Earth on the planet Mars.

The Shadow Of Curiosity

Yes, we can invent weapons that can kill hundreds of thousands and even millions of people in a single act. But we can also travel to another world.

Our desire to learn why and how our physical existence came into being very likely never will be slaked.

That’s why we go to Mars.


Many among us, though, believe they already possess that knowledge. They are so certain of it that they’ll take the lives of people who don’t share their belief — or even those whose belief varies in the slightest.

We are an odd species.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

I Fucking Love Science

Present and CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

Caps Off Please

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Brown County Career Resource Center, Nashville — Introduction to Renewable Energy, half-day course; 9am-1pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Rich Groner; 6-8:30pm

Cafe DjangoBloomington Short list, variety show hosted by Marta Jasicki; 7pm

The BishopZoo Animal, The Broderick, Triptides, St. Ranger; 9pm

The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; opens Friday, August 3rd, through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

One thought on “The Pencil Today:

  1. John Bergman says:

    Think about the American Civil War. 600,000+ died in combat. Some round it off to 700,000 to account for civilian deaths due to “collateral damage” or starvation down South. This in a nation of 31.5 million. In today’s terms, that’s the equivalent of 6-7 million dying. People were aware of the enormity of the loss, but immigration quickly swelled the population, at least up North, and productivity surged. Not so down South, which lagged for the next century. Looking at it from an economic/demographic perspective may seem a bit cold, but that loss of approximately 235,000 white males (the North lost more) was an important factor in the furious attempts to reestablish racial control. Yes, we are an odd species.

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