Valentines from the Oort

For me, Valentine’s Day doesn’t suck nearly as much as it used to.

Sweetpea’s. If I had a sponsor, I’d want it to be them.

It greatly improved the moment I ditched the braindead corporate florists who would (for example) print onto the card not the poem I’d slaved over for days, but the fucking instructions to the florist on where to insert line breaks. It got even better when I discovered Sweatpea’s, local artisanal geniuses who were not only willing to hand-transcribe my ditties about oral sex, but who also sought out context-specific cards to put them on. (Their custom arrangement this year involved, I kid you not, a bouquet of juvenile triffids with a pineapple at the center. I have been warned against eating any of it.) And of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a partner that you still want to send valentines to, after more than a decade of breathing each other’s sweat and pheromones.

None of which changes the fact that Valentine’s Day remains, at heart, a sleazy corporate scam designed to shame people into spending more money than they should on chocolates and overpriced collections of severed plant genitalia. Those wondrous and intimate elements in which I revel exist in opposition to—in defiance of—the crass manipulative substrate beneath. For the past ten years or so, those elements have been more than sufficient.

This year, though, is even better. Not just because of Sweetpea’s SFnal pineapple; not just because this year’s poem involved sex mods in Skyrim; but because of something I never thought I would see while ever I drew breath:

Blindsight Valentines.

I may never meet SingingWhalebone, or ein_j. Both hail from Russia; SingingWhalebone is at least familiar (she’s all over my gallery). I do not know ein_j—at least, not by that name—beyond their online self-description as a “consulting exorcist”, and an apparent fondness for cats and manga. [Ed. Update: turns out I do know ein_j after all, but as simply “ein”. A couple of his pencil sketches adorn the Gallery.] But the two of them got together and conjured forth the glorious, whimsical, and satiric bounty you see here. They sent it via an intermediary, because they are shy. (At least, that’s what the intermediary tells me; for all I know said intermediary has them tied up in the basement and is forcing them to draw for food. Maybe the intermediary works for Disney.)

I have nothing more to say. These works speak for themselves.



This entry was posted on Sunday, February 14th, 2021 at 1:02 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

24 Responses to “Valentines from the Oort”

  1. G M

    ‘We’re taking you first.’ is amazing.

  2. Nestor

    Nice.

    You get the best fanart.

    I repeat myself, but it’s true.

  3. H. Mann

    I must admit, it is a brilliant idea to lock my artist friends up in the basement and make them draw Blindsight fanarts every day… but, I’m afraid, in this case the content would be 100% vampiric 🙂

    And if I worked for Disney, I would create a Blindsight animation movie with Siri as a Disney princess. So, I guess, this is good that no one of us works for Disney 🙂

  4. Mark Major

    NBC News: Scientists find unexpected animal life far beneath Antarctica’s floating ice shelves.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/scientists-find-unexpected-animal-life-far-antarcticas-floating-ice-sh-rcna285

    Ia Cthulhu.

  5. Jack

    Mark Major,

    Much mystery still to be had – so surprising to find a filter feeder living under the ice in an extreme environment. SponGIS is a data portal for deep sea sponge data in N. Atlantic. Not sure what is available for S. Atlantic.

    In other Antarctic news – Relieved that Iceberg A68a which had been headed for S. Georgia Island was diverted by currents and broke up into a bunch of “daughter” bergs, 16 in all and counting.

    Anybody get a load of that huge pumice raft in the S Atlantic last year?

  6. Chris Pierik

    Mechanism for forming memories without a nervous system – Physarum polycephalum:
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33619174/
    https://phys.org/news/2021-02-single-celled-slime-mold-nervous-food.html

  7. G M

    You are a right prick, Chris. Was coming here to post this very thing.

  8. Jack
  9. Anonymous

    G M:
    ‘We’re taking you first.’ is amazing.

    Best one.

  10. Peter Watts

    Mark Major: NBC News: Scientists find unexpected animal life far beneath Antarctica’s floating ice shelves.

    Cool. Along the same lines, a friend just pointed me to a paper from 2005, reporting that abyssal sulfur bacteria photsynthesise— using infrared radiation from hydrothermal vents. Which, among other things, seems to widen the potential habitable zone for extraterrestrial life in a big way.

    From 2005. How can I only be finding out about this now?

  11. Peter Watts

    Chris Pierik: Mechanism for forming memories without a nervous system – Physarum polycephalum:

    Jack: Not only do they have memories, they can make altruistic sacrifices.

    What’s next—encoding memories using ping-pong balls falling through branching habitrail tubes?

    Which is not actually that much different from what these guys are reporting, I guess…

  12. Jack

    Re: “Starfish” and Bathynauts

    You named Beebe station after the ornithologist William Beebe? Of course you did. I was flipping through “Explorers’ Sketchbooks” by Huw Lewis-Jones and noticed a chapter dedicated to W.Beebe. It had a photo of the cover of the logbook “The Log of the Bathysphere 1934 Hollister.” Beebe dictated notes to Gloria Hollister via telephone linked to the surface from his bathysphere (Barton tank). How cool is that! James Cameron is a johnny-come-lately compared to this guy. Beebe set a record setting dive to 923 m(3028 ft)in 1934. Amazing. The illustrations by Else Bostelmanm of the strange undersea creatures are wonderful.

    The DTR Expeditions were covered by the popular press and his descents were broadcast over live radio making him a household name.
    https://library.wcs.org/Archives/Digital-Collections/DTR-Illustrations/About-DTR.aspx

    Kinda made me think of Jack Parsons – there was crazy cool experimental science and art going on in the 1930s and 40s.

  13. Mark Major

    Peter Watts,

    Abyssal sulfur bacteria have a wicked public relations machine.

  14. Jack

    Peter Watts,

    I can see why it got you thinking. A giant isopod survived at the Toba aquarium in captivity without eating for 5 years.

  15. Mark Major

    Do cephalopods do sexual reproduction? if so I predict a wave of lawsuits from cephalopod parents because the marshmallow experiment has been debunked on humans.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/cuttlefish-can-pass-a-cognitive-test-designed-for-children

  16. Peter Watts

    Jack: You named Beebe station after the ornithologist William Beebe? Of course you did.

    Oh yes. It wasn’t just gratuitous name-dropping, either. Beebe reported seeing a six-foot-long seadragons more than 2,000 feet down. Not only is that way deeper than those guys are supposed to live, but seadragons in shallower water only make it to 18″, tops.

    That’s what started me thinking…

  17. Peter Watts

    Mark Major:
    Do cephalopods do sexual reproduction? if so I predict a wave of lawsuits from cephalopod parents because the marshmallow experiment has been debunked on humans.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/cuttlefish-can-pass-a-cognitive-test-designed-for-children

    What I find weird about this is that apparently a paper came out in Current Biology back in 2013 reporting on an experiment that was virtually identical to this one— only in that case the cuttlefish could remember to wait for something around three hours for the marshmallow/shrimp, not this penny-ante thirty-minute horseshit.

    Sometimes I think cephalopodologists have shorter memories than cuttlefish do.

  18. Krum

    Hi, I know you don’t check your facebook account but I don’t know your email either? I could not find your email on your facebook profile.

  19. Peter Watts

    Krum:
    Hi, I know you don’t check your facebook account but I don’t know your email either? I could not find your email on your facebook profile.

    Hi Krum,

    Check the menu at the top of the sidebar of this very page. Click on the [contact] link.

    I am standing by.

  20. G M
  21. Jack

    Re: Ebola outbreak in Guinea

    Ebola virus surviving in the testes for 5 yrs. Guy walking around with a round in the chamber – I’d call that cocked and loaded.

  22. Jack

    Re: Ebola and Sperm-agedden

    Following up on my previous observation – it is worth pointing out that endocrine disrupting chemicals would make it a rather small gun.

  23. Jack

    One more item to add to the Earth’s Bill of Mortality.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210315160722.htm

    Study predicts the oceans will start emitting ozone-depleting CFCs.

  24. Jack

    G M,

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/up-all-night/568291/

    Yeah. They are not just dumb beasts. Animals are going nocturnal to avoid humans.

    The study of what scientists call “human-induced evolution” took off almost 20 years ago, when the marine ecologist Stephen R. Palumbi, writing in the journal Science, said that humans “may be the world’s dominant evolutionary force.”