HotAIR - MAY WE RECOMMEND-- Marvels and Pipes


Marvels and Pipes

Items worth a trip to the library

compiled by Rachael Moeller and A.S. Kaswell, AIR staff

Here are two penetrating looks into possible alternate mental universes, present and past.

"Marvel Universe Looks Almost Like a Real Social Network," R. Alberich, J. Miro-Julia, and F. Rossello, Condensed Matter, abstract cond-mat/0202174, (Thanks to Luc Allemand, Francesc Rossello, Andrew J Harey, and other readers for bringing this to our attention.)
The authors report that:

We investigate the structure of the Marvel Universe collaboration network, where two Marvel characters are considered linked if they jointly appear in the same Marvel comic book. We show that this network is clearly not a random network, and that it has most, but not all, characteristics of "real-life" collaboration networks, such as movie actors or scientific collaboration networks. The study of this artificial universe that tries to look like a real one, helps to understand that there are underlying principles that make real-life networks have definite characteristics.

"Chemical Analysis of Residues from Seventeenth-Century Clay Pipes From Stratford-upon-Avon and Environs," J.F. Thackeray, N.J. van der Merwe and T.A. van der Merwe, South African Journal of Science, vol. 97, no. 1/2, January/February 2001, p. 19. (Thanks to Marcus Sprenkel for bringing this to our attention.) The authors report that:

Organic residues associated with 17th century clay pipe bowls and pipe stems from England, including samples from the site of William Shakespeare’s residence in Stratford-upon-Avon, have been chemically analysed. Compounds firmly identified from this pilot study include nicotine, myristic acid (known to be hallucinogenic), borneol and other forms of camphor. Also identified were vanillin, quinoline and cocaine introduced to Europe from South America. Residues of Cannabis are suggested but not proven. It is not assumed that any of the pipes were necessarily used by Shakespeare, but the results support the view that at least one hallucinogen was accessible to him and other writers in the 17th century.

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