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<   No. 2676   2010-05-25   >

Comic #2676

1 {scene: Tibet}
1 Yeti 1: I dare say, the situation in the 1940s looks highly unstable.
2 Yeti 1: There's a high flux of tachyonic snarks, causing waves of quantum boojum instability of the fourth power.
3 Yeti 2: This is terrible, what! It could be the worst scientific disaster since Galileo was burnt at the stake for heresy.
4 Yeti 1: Indeed, the technobabble level is approaching the LaForgean limit.

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The words "snark" and "boojum" of course come from Lewis Carroll's masterpiece of nonsense poetry, The Hunting of the Snark. If you've never read the poem, I won't spoil it for you by explaining what snarks and boojums actually are.

The words were co-opted to describe some sort of subatomic particles (as I've done here) by the novelisation of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. The way they are used in the book is very clever, and a good example of using scientific-sounding terminology to good effect in a story - as opposed to the usual technobabble style usage often seen in Star Trek. The shame is that this cleverness had to be cut from the movie.

If you enjoy the movie but have never read the book, and you also like Lewis Carroll, then you might find the book even more enjoyable.

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 25 May 2010; 03:11:02 PST.
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