Got a digital camera last weekend. The SLR is great, but I wanted something small to carry around places where I wouldn’t be bothered to drag an SLR. I also wanted to be able to take one or two pictures a week and send them to the family by e-mail. Resolution wasn’t a big concern, as long as I could get 4×6 prints for any shots the family really liked.

I settled on the Canon PowerShot S100. It’s the smallest 2.1 megapixel digital camera. Nice metal case, with an iris that protects the lens when the camera’s off, so you don’t need to screw around with lens caps. It shuts down into a flat rectangular slab about the size of a packet of cigarettes. Picture quality is excellent—there are a couple of Olympus and Sony cameras that do better, but largely because they have bigger and better lenses.

We’re off to Minnesota on vacation soon, and I’ll take the SLR for that trip.

Many thousands of years ago, the civilization of Mars was at its peak. Mighty cargo ships travelled the network of canals, trading goods between the big Martian cities.

However, all was not well, morally speaking. The rich Martian merchants were immoral, exploiting the poor as minimum wage slaves and letting people starve to death rather than let them buy food at less than its market price. Social deprivation led to violent crime, drug smuggling, and prostitution.

God was not pleased. He spoke unto a Martian man named Mp’sj, and said: “There is much evil on Mars. I will not put up with it any longer. I shall bring down a great rain, and the canals will overflow and the land will be flooded. You, Mp’sj, must build a giant ship and fill it with every Martian creature, from the lowly Niyaw to the mighty Wk’wogsbr, so that they will survive to re-populate Mars and start anew once the flood subsides.”

So Mp’sj set to work and built a mighty Martian ark. His neighbours ridiculed him, pointing out that his house was miles from the nearest canal, but he kept on working.

Finally, as Mp’sj’s ark was nearing completion, it began to rain. The rain grew stronger and stronger, and the waters of the canals began to rise. Mp’sj hurriedly collected samples of all the Martian wildlife and loaded them into the Ark as the rain continued relentlessly.

After some weeks of the deluge, nothing was left of the Martian civilization. Mp’sj steered his ark warily. His food supplies were running low. Finally, he saw the tip of mighty Olympus Mons in the distance, and set a course. On the verge of starvation, he beached the ark on the top of the mountain.

The sun began to shine, and there was a beautiful rainbow across the sky as Mp’sj lowered the gangplank and started unloading the ark. And so Mp’sj led the Martian animals from the ark, animals of every Martian species.

One of each.