I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed? It’s simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.
How long does it take for a Monarch to fly from Cape May, NJ to St. Marks NWR, FL? Monarch THW658 was caught on October 7th at Cape May. And then it flew 807 miles in 16 days and was caught at St. Marks on Friday October 24th. AMAZING!
The British express train raced through the night, its powerful headlamp spearing the black darkness ahead. The train was carrying Queen Victoria.
Suddenly the engineer saw a startling sight. Revealed in the beam of the engine's headlights was a weird figure in a black cloak standing in the middle of the tracks and waving its arms.
The engineer grabbed for the brakes and brought the train to a grinding halt.
He and his fellow trainsmen climbed out to see what had stopped them. But they could find no trace of the strange figure. On a hunch, he walked a few yards further up the tracks. Suddenly he stopped and stared into the fog in horror. The bridge had been washed out in the middle and had toppled into a swollen stream. If he had not heeded the ghostly figure, the train would have plunged into the stream.
While the bridge and the tracks were being repaired, the crew made a more intensive search for the strange flagman. But not until they got to London, did they solve the mystery. At the base of the engine's head lamp the engineer discovered a huge dead moth. He looked at it a moment, then on impulse wet its wings and pasted it to the glass of the lamp. Climbing back into his cab, he switched on the lamp and saw the "flagman" in the beam. He knew the answer now: the moth had flown into the beam, seconds before the train was due to reach the washed-out bridge. In the fog, it appeared to be a phantom figure, waving its arms.
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sunflower by the brook, in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland glade and glen.