Monday, April 20, 2009


No, not that appalling film adaptation of the superb book by Frank Herbert.

Over here that phenomenon of writing, Paul Campbell, has mentioned something that's nothing to do with screenwriting, namely the interesting phenomenon the barchan sand dunes on Mars. And they are cool.

The barchan dunes also exist on Earth but it lead me to doing something I've been meaning to do for ages: Look up "Star" dunes. The Wikipedia entry specifically mentions the Badain Jaran Desert in Northern China as having the largest examples on the planet: 500 metres high.

I know. I've seen them.

I rode a bike in China once, to raise money for MENCAP. On the plane over, near the end of the trip we were crossing the Gobi Desert at dawn. I looked out to see these huge cross formations on the ground below. I supposed they were sand dunes, but I never imagined you could have cross-shaped dunes. And they had to be big to be visible from 7 miles up.

That was many years ago and I've never enquired though occassionally wondered.

Oh, and they can sing too.

What's on the turntable? "Take the Long Way Home" by Supertramp.


Rachael Howard said...

Do Dunes sing Tunes then?

Adaddinsane said...

Yes, the sands are good at keeping time.

Rachael Howard said...

Ohh. That's much worse and much cleverer than mine. Is cleverer a real word I wonder?