By Douglas Coupland
By means of turns humorous and illuminating, insightful and provocative, Polaroids from the lifeless weaves jointly brief tales and essays to supply a poignant evaluation of contemporary American society and human nature often, exploring our proclivity to accommodate the uncertainties of the longer term via searching out protection in an elusive prior. Illustrations.
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Extra resources for Polaroids from the Dead
Some of the best known protozoans are those which cause diseases such as amoebic dysentery, leishmaniasis and malaria. But the great majority are harmless, and some play vital roles in global ecosystem functioning. Others exhibit particular wonders. Physarum polycephalum, a slime mold without a neuron, is able to memorize patterns of events. Noctiluca scintillans, a tiny marine dinoflagellate, glows in the dark thanks to thousands of bioluminescent spherical organelles in its cytoplasm; gathered in millions, it can illuminate a whole sea at night.
These great 18 T H E B O O K O F B A R E LY I M A G I N E D B E I N G S towns . . and buildings rising from the water, all made of stone, seemed like an enchanted vision . . Indeed some of our soldiers asked whether it was not all a dream . . It was all so wonderful that I do not know how to describe this first glimpse of things never heard of, seen, or dreamed of before. It must have looked a little like Venice, only with the twin cities, or altepetls, of Tenochtitlán and Tlatelolco dominating Lake Texcoco, the largest of five shallow bodies of water in a broad valley surrounded by volcanic mountains rather than a marsh and lagoon on the edge of the sea.
On the abyssal plains, the so-called desert of the deep sea floor, large herds of sea cucumbers are constantly grazing on the detritus that has fallen from above. ) Unlike these animals, however, the Crown of Thorns is no longer a scavenger, having acquired a taste for living flesh. Dressed in brilliant shades of purple, blue, orange red, white and grey and with anything from seven to twenty-three (but usually about fifteen) rays around a central dome, it bristles with poisonous spikes – a submarine version T H E B O O K O F B A R E LY I M A G I N E D B E I N G S of Pinhead, the extradimensional being in the horror film Hellraiser.