Nuclear Aardvark

Cover for a protest comic that appeared in Saskatchewan ca 1978

Cover for a protest comic that appeared in Saskatchewan ca 1978

The logo for the DRAGON detector, taken from TRIUMF's home page online

The logo for the DRAGON detector, taken from TRIUMF’s home page online

Being an exchange of emails between Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, and his brother, Rob McPherson, a particle physicist who maintains an office at TRIUMF (Tri-University Meson Facility, if you have to know), which is situated in the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands.

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Dragon TRIUMF

10/29/13

Greetings

B&W cover intended for "Centauri Island", an unpublished issue of the Phantacea Phase One project; artwork by Ian Bateson, mid-Eighties

B&W cover intended for “Centauri Island”, an unpublished issue of the Phantacea Phase One project; artwork by Ian Bateson, mid-Eighties

Was seeing if ‘Nuclear Dragons‘ googled up yet and look what I came across?

The second is the cover for an underground comic protesting uranium mining that came out of Saskatchewan (http://comixjoint.com/nucleardragonsattack.html) 2 years before the back cover of pH-6 came out (1980, though the attached Phantacea image is from later on).

You both might be familiar with the first one (http://dragon.triumf.ca/home.html).

And of course I had no idea either existed until I did the search.

Could be a future Serendipity and Phantacea entry here (http://www.phantacea.info/seren.htm#TheList).

Jim McPherson

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Bonus Points for starting acronyms with an ‘A’

10/30/13

Physicists spend years coming up with cute acronyms for projects.

At TRIUMF alone there are particle detectors “DRAGON”, “TITAN”,
“TIGRESS” and “GRIFFIN” to name just a few.  The CERN collaboration
that Isabel [Trigger, Rob’s wife] and I work on, “ATLAS”, was named following an internal contest.

ATLAS originally stood for “A Toroidal Lhc ApparatuS”.  Now our official
policy is that we’re just “ATLAS” as a proper name with no associated acronym (since our acronym expansion is a bit silly).

Oh, you get bonus points if your collaboration/experiment/collaboration name starts with the letter “A” because things usually get listed alphabetically and it always helps with things like media coverage if you’re first in the list.

I’m not actually aware of anyone coming up with a name/acronym for “AARDVARK” in physics yet, but I’m sure it’s not for lack of effort.

Has a nice ring, doesn’t it, “the Nuclear Aardvark” ?

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Which came first – the ‘… Brus’ or the ‘… Bus’

Front Cover Ad for "Nuclear Dragons", art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

Front Cover Ad for “Nuclear Dragons”, art by Ian Bateson, 2013, text and ad preparation by Jim McPherson, 2013

10/30/13

Interesting. And entertaining.

There is of course a comic book aardvark. Dave Sim, the fellow who drew the entirety of pH-1, named him Cerebus. Sim also drew the No Name/Defiance section in pH-2, which comes into play in the first quarter of the new novel.

That issue debuted my character [Cyborg] Cerebrus. Since I’d met Sim the summer of 1978 and asked him to consider drawing the Damnation Isle story that rounded up pH-2, I always reckoned he appropriated my character for his aardvark. Since I rarely saw him afterwards, I never did ask him which came first: the ‘…brus’ or the ‘…bus’.

I could put this exchange on pHantaBlog as it is interesting but not sure how that would sit with either of you or the Feds. What do you think? (Got plenty of registrants for pHantaBlogwww.phantacea.com/blog/ – but not actually sure anyone reads it as rarely get more than spam in comments section.)

Still have a link to your CERN website (between-space, sort of) on the bibliography page: http://www.phantacea.info/biblio~1.htm#t-lynx.

Jim McPherson
Creator/Writer/Publisher
The PHANTACEA Mythos

BTW, last I looked pH-1 and pH-2 are both still online, respectively here and here. Massive things, though, so you’ll pardon me if I don’t put them online myself. Might do a reprint one day, though.

As for the Ink Stains article they came from, that’s here. I offered the writer, Ken Meyer Jr, an opportunity to read and review "Phantacea Revisited #1: The Damnation Brigade" but never heard back from him. His loss, as far as I’m concerned.
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