Comics scholars, fancy going to Paris and talk about my work?

The Sixth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference / Ninth International Bande Dessinée Society Conference, which takes place in Paris in June next year has put out a last Cal For Papers – with a deadline of the end of this month.

Taking place Monday 22nd – Saturday 27th June 2015, the theme of the conference is “Voyages”…

—From the announcement on Down The Tubes

Given the subject, I figure my Kōan book would be obvious to give a talk on, but I’m not sure how well presentations of one’s own work sit with academia. Oh well, maybe they’ll want an exhibition instead.

Homogeneous cosmology with aggressively expanding civilizations


In the context of a homogeneous universe, we note that the appearance of aggressively expanding advanced life is geometrically similar to the process of nucleation and bubble growth in a first-order cosmological phase transition. We exploit this similarity to describe the dynamics of life saturating the universe on a cosmic scale, adapting the phase transition model to incorporate probability distributions of expansion and resource consumption strategies.

Filed under “cosmology and nongalactic astrophysics”, PDF download at arXiv.

Witching hour

The Daily Grail reviews Peter Bebergal’s Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, a book that goes directly on my reading list:

A key part of the fascinating nature of the book is that Bebergal isn’t dealing simply in goats and pentagrams; gods are invoked from multiple pantheons, from the African Eshu to the Greek and Roman deities Pan and Dionysius, and ‘the occult’ describes everything from voodoo to Eastern mysticism. And it’s not simply a book about tips of the hat to the occult in music, but about the shifts in culture and mindset that guided and influenced the musicians.

That description, and the fact that the review is illustrated with a Black Sabbath band shot, are instant incentives for me to get hold of this!