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NOTE (30 August 2010):

As friends and family know, my beloved wife Ketty died suddenly on Friday,
November 2nd, 2007. Although I do what I can when I can, this site
can no longer be updated quite so regularly as in the past.

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[Beginnings] The Telson Spur [Endings]

A Way Station for Snark Hunters

[What is this site?] [Webrings] [Local]

The Epic:

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DESCRIPTION: A swift caravel rigged for exploring the lee shores of the imagination, The Telson Spur is a jump page or "hub": it carries a cargo of links, mainly to academic resources, organized on the theme of necessity vs. contingency in the study of time and evolution (a theme adumbrated in the old debate on the "Plurality of Worlds", now the SETI Debate, perhaps first clearly articulated in 1788 in Kant's Critique of Practical Reason, and always implicit in the more recent discussions on the "Epic of Evolution".) This page, The Snark Hunter's Page, is the top page of The Telson Spur, and provides a brief Overview of the vessel. Two of four subordinate pages together comprise the Guide for Snark Hunters, the itinerary and manifest of The Telson Spur (the Site Map, or Table of Contents, and the Site Index, which will open in a new window when accessed from this page or from the Changes Page); the Changes Page ("What's New") lists site changes, including recently added or modified hyperlinks; and the fourth page, the Feedback Page, provides a form for delivering feedback to the helm, along with a few personal departure notes and some seals of seaworthiness and passenger safety. But safe passage is not guaranteed; indeed, it is precluded, for "There be monsters here". (Hic sunt dracones. And what is a sea without a monster, or a siren?). Yet the quest for profit and plunder will bring treasure beyond measure to those whose eyes can see, whose spirits still are stirred by wonder, and whose dreams are of a once and future argosy. (Caveat! This site is only a map, a mappa mundi whose glyphs are but signposts that point to the shallows before the deep. All that lies herein is shade and shimmer of what waits without.)

[Up] [Down] KEYWORDS: snark; epic of evolution; palaetiology; time; evolution; universe; cosmology; cosmogony; earth; life; man; culture; humanities; history; ideas; world-views; myth; religion; philosophy; science; information; research; exploration; discovery; space; bioastronomy; SETI; contact; future; gateway; jumplist; links; meta resource; subject index

BROWSER: This site has been designed with disabled access in mind; although it does use tables, linked graphics, and a few forms, it does not use frames or other media enhancements, and browser-specific devices have in general been avoided. However, these pages were composed for viewing with Mozilla -- at a screen resolution of 800x600 (or higher) -- on a PC platform, and have been formatted using some of the HTML extensions used by Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer. This site abides by the Web Interoperability Pledge, now largely abandoned. (Suggestions for best viewing: enlarge window to 1 or 2 cm beyond ends of blue bar below, or at least until menu bar is evenly spaced between icons at top of page; use colours and background provided by document; and use Arial or Helvetica 12 for proportional font. The font used for the quotations is Flareserif 821 BT.)


Unlike most of science, this topic extends beyond the test of a well-framed hypothesis; here we try to test an entire view of the world, incomplete and vulnerable in a thousand ways. That has a proud name in the history of thought as well; it is called exploration. We are joined in the early ingenuous stages of a daring exploration, become real only during recent years.

[Up] [Down] It is a voyage whose end we do not know, like that of science itself.

Philip Morrison


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snark n. Chimerical animal of ill-defined characteristics and potentialities.
[from The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll (1876)]

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English

[Up] [Down] [Caravel] [Star]
"The rest of my speech" (he explained to his men)
"You shall hear when I've leisure to speak it.
But the Snark is at hand, let me tell you again!
'Tis your glorious duty to seek it!

"To seek it with thimbles, to seek it with care;
To pursue it with forks and hope;
To threaten its life with a railway-share;
To charm it with smiles and soap!

"For the Snark's a peculiar creature, that won't
Be caught in a commonplace way.
Do all that you know, and try all that you don't:
Not a chance must be wasted to-day!"

The Bellman
(Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark, Fit the Fourth)

The quest will perhaps require more courage than you or I can bear, and there is a possibility that we will be drawn, like Ahab, into the starry deep, lashed to the object of our search with the lines of the chase.

Chet Raymo

[Up] [Down]
This SETI Webring site is owned by Philip J. Hughes.

This logo is a registered service mark of SETI League, Inc., used by permission. Go to the Home of the SETI Webring Join the SETI Webring List all sites in the SETI Webring Go to the Home of the SETI Webring Previous five sites Previous site Next site Skip a site Random site Next five sites SETI webring

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This privateer was first commissioned on 10 August 1995.
It was last refitted on .
Current access:
Last access:

Total patrols


Lycosid: Phil Hughes (Philip Jaffray Hughes, admin@snark.org)
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
48° 51' 12.2" N, 123° 29' 50.3" W

URL http://www.snark.org/ or http://www.snark.ca/
[Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0] [RSAC]
Conjugi Carissimae