Video Break!

I was writing a scene that takes place near the supermassive black hole at the core of the Milky Way, and typed a search term into Google to find any true but fascinating astronomical tidbits I might be able to use.

Not long ago, I was so flabbergasted by some of the real astronomical wonders raging throughout our vast and violent universe, that I swore a mighty oath by Urania, the muse of Astronomy, and Jules Verne, the patron of Hard SF, never to invent or use any make believe astronomical wonders.

Occasionally reality underperforms expectations: I discovered that the Schwarzschild radius of Milky Way’s supermassive black hole core is roughly the orbit of Mercury. Considering a stellar-mass black hole is a mile or two in radius, this is rather impressive, but I had been hoping it larger.

On the other hand, I stumbled across this video:


The clips are from the first episode of Young Justice, the smartest, sharpest, most exciting and deepest animated cartoon ever to be made from perhaps the dumbest, dullest, dreariest and shallowest cartoon magazine ever.

Example of stupid and shallow from the comic: Secret creates an image of Kenneth Starr subpoenaing records in order to terrify a crowd. Arrowette is on her way to kill the murderer who killed her mother, but stops and browbeats a GOP senator about the evils of gun ownership.

Example of sharp and deep from the animated series: Artemis (Arrowette by another name) is the daughter of Sportsmaster, who, in this version, is a super badass ninja toughguy working for R’as-al-Ghul and the Society of Shadows. She has to keep her criminal family connections hidden from the Justice League while trying to earn her place on a team where she has no superpowers. Miss Martian and Superboy have similar hidden pasts that send them lurching toward a tragic betrayal. But then all is not as it seems…

Meanwhile Robin, instead of being team leader, is a computer hacker, prankster, and general wiseacre, whereas the dignified and stoical Aqualad (given water bending powers in this version, and electric eel powers) assumes the lead. Robin in the first episode tries to assume leadership and fails, because he is too used to working with Batman, who neither needs explanations nor tolerates backtalk.

The show was cancelled after two seasons, leaving us with a cliffhanger that Darkseid was about to be introduced as the big bad wolf for the third season.

Man, I miss that show.