Calls from local residents to 911 began coming in at around 9:45 p.m. EDT, with some people reporting their doors and windows rattled when the boom went off, according to reports from WVEC-TV....
The National Weather Service released a statement at 11:17 p.m. Sunday:
"Numerous reports have been called in to this office and into local law enforcement concerning what appeared to be flashes of light in the sky over the Suffolk/Virginia Beach area.
It's crucial for the sense of mystery that no immediate explanation is forthcoming:
"...We are confident in saying that this was not lightning ... and have been in contact with military and other government agencies to determine the cause. So far ... we have not seen or heard of any damage from this and will continue to inquire as to the cause."
Local National Weather Service meteorologists have been in touch with the U.S. Navy, Air Force and NASA, but have not heard back these sources and don't know whether they are actively investigating the cause of the boom, said Wakefield NWS forecaster Jeff Lewitsky.
"The only thing we know for sure at this point is that it wasn't meteorologically related," Lewitsky told SPACE.com.
It is probably safe to say that, despite decades of ever more spectacular Hollywood visions of extra-terrestial domination, humanity in its worst nightmares never imagined it would have to contend with spawn-camping aliens.
The end of the world came, and humans fought hard. Especially as server lags grew, and GMs ran NPCs. The article describes the last days of Tabula Rasa, a massively multiplayer game which was closed down, due to low subscription numbers. The account starts with humor, then shades into melancholy.
back-and-forth exchanges followed, with the GMs even breaking out that most classic of old internet chestnuts. "ADMIN MESSAGE: ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US," declared the server, followed a few moments later by, "ADMIN MESSAGE: ALL YOUR BASE," presumably to make clear the quantity of base in question.
Soon after, the final countdown began, ticking down from ten to zero in 45 seconds and capped off with, "Good night, and good luck!" Then, a freeze frame, a dialogue box reading, "You have been disconnected from the server," and an unceremonious dump back to the title screen.
someone has to do all that writing, even if each entry is barely a sentence long. In many cases, celebrities and their handlers have turned to outside writers — ghost Twitterers, if you will — who keep fans updated on the latest twists and turns, often in the star’s own voice.
Because Twitter is seen as an intimate link between celebrities and their fans, many performers are not willing to divulge the help they use to put their thoughts into cyberspace.
"Where are the tumbrils?" asks Cringley. Week by week, item by item of economic bad news, we imagine violence to come.
...it is a type of horse cart used during the French Revolution to transport condemned prisoners to the guillotine for beheading. What Adam wonders is how we can get so deep into such a hellacious financial crisis without finding at least a few bad guys to behead?
It’s a good question.
This trope is now established, open wonderment at the lack of mob violence. We see no peasants with torches, and are surprised (perhaps because we have not yet become those peasants).
Cringley pulls back from condemning any one class:
I’m beginning to think there aren’t as many devils as one might suspect in this passion play. There are a few devils, sure, but also a lot of innocent dopes who may have made the situation much worse while not even making very much money from our pain.
In fact, his column ends up looking into technological causes - without a flavoring of cyberfear.
"The US treasury secretary talks about permanent action and we at our [EU summit] were quite alarmed by that. He talks about an extensive US stimulus campaign. All of these steps are the road to hell..."
"There were unconfirmed reports of incidents high above the planetary surface that no one talked about in any but the most careful euphemisms. The list of passengers who arrived was not always identical to the list of those who'd departed. Something was happening, in between, up there." (Vineland)
There's something different about these airborne fears, apart from general anxieties concerning air travel (fear of crashing). It's a mix of features: the loss of control in a large vehicle controlled by someone else, the associations with dreaming (since many sleep), being closer to the skies and space. And the general complex of technology anxieties are all in play, too.
Any other stories out there, concerning uncanny events on planes in flight?
Boston Latin School administrator Lynne Mooney Teta said in a notice Thursday that despite recent rumors of so-called vampires being present at her school, Boston Latin is free of any of the fictional blood-sucking undead, The Boston Globe said.
Oh, what rumors could they be! A librarian spending time with a lethal teen? Or some sparkly-skinned too-old teen boys who keep not graduating?
The 12-million-computer strong Conficker botnet will fall under human control on April 1, leading some to speculate feverishly about what horror awaits an unsuspecting internet on what may be our last April Fools' Day ever.
Will Conficker become an evil twin to Google that lets criminals easily search for the valuable secrets of people running unpatched, pirated copies of Windows in China and Brazil? Or is it a censorship-busting peer-to-peer network erected by lawless but well-meaning cypherpunks? Most disturbing, will it learn at an exponential rate until it becomes self-aware and decides humanity's fate in a microsecond?
This is tongue-in-cheek, but reflects a nice sense of fearsome internet discourse.
Another way to show anxieties about social networking tools is to consider them religiously problematic. A Canadian reporter reports on someone giving up Facebook for Lent, as if it were a sinful, desirable thing. The discussion manages to work in drugs and sex for comparison and association.
The article refers to some recent scary-internet stories, but then backs away from them, to its credit. There's even an ironic return against the opening Lent idea:
for Canadians suffering through a long, cold winter, social-networking sites may be the next best thing to eggnog with friends. Cutting that connection, Dr. Wellman suggests, “is not divinely inspired.”