Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A delightful dream: Pyramids of amethysts + biped beavers

Tuesday, August 25, 1835 (an episode involving a writer, an established publisher, and a gulled public)...

On the front page of the New York Sun was the start of a series describing a revolutionary new telescope developed by British astronomer Sir John Herschel...the Sun announced Herschel's sensational discoveries of highly developed life on the moon.

The astronomer described seeing dozens of lilac-hued pyramids made of amethysts, temples with golden roofs, biped beavers that lived in huts, seas, forests, mountains, all described in plentiful detail. Friday's installment revealed the existence of winged human beings, four feet tall, covered in copper-colored hair, chatting with each other.

And so it went until the following Monday when, the Sun reported, Sir John had neglected to store his telescope correctly one night and, after sunrise, the lens concentrated the rays of the sun back into the observatory, causing a fire. End of series.

- Summing up of The Great Moon Hoax by the email daily, Manhattan User's Guide (MUG)

C - sucker for all that jiggles the imagination, involves gemstones and sounds vaguely Lewis Carrol-ish.

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