Friday, August 1, 2008

How Bizarre....

That I might post to this blog one year to the day since I last visited it. At that time, my mom was still living. At that time, many things that have since beguiled my waking hours had not yet beguiled me.

Just a test post--to get back into the swing of things.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Goodbye, Banner!

The British Army's Operation Banner is finally over in North Ireland. They came for a few weeks and stayed for 38 years.

Games Even the Buddha Wouldn't Play

Intelligent Artifice recently linked to a wiki article here about the earliest extant list of games, a list of games Gautama Buddha said he would not play.

Some of them are interesting:

Playing with toy pipes made of leaves

Playing with toy windmills
Plowing with a toy plow
Guessing at letters traced with the finger in the air or on a friend's back
Guessing a friends thoughts

From this, I try to extrapolate forward and decide whether the the Buddha would balk at Grand Theft Auto or Resident Evil. It's up in the air for me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Finally, An Answer.

My best friend is from Kansas. She's had a magnet on her refrigerator of this image for as long as I've known her. Finally Neatorama gives me the lowdown on this book:

THE GODS HATE KANSAS by Joseph Millard

It began with the landing of nine meteors in Kansas. Then, suddenly, it exploded into a massive catastrophe. First, the meteorite investigating team were turned into automatons, ruled by an unknown, alien intelligence.

They barricaded themselves from the world and began building a rocket project, aimed at traversing the stars.

Then the Crimson Plague struck, sweeping over Earth’s population, destroying human capacities and defying scientific probing. Only a few escaped the invasion from outer space, among them astrophysicist Curt Temple, whose girlfriend, Lee Mason, was enslaved, her personality changed.

Curt knew he had to pit his slim knowledge against the most perfect intelligence in the cosmos to save the world - and the woman he loved.

I know exactly how Curt feels. I'm constantly having to pit my slim knowledge against the cosmos in order to save the world.

In fact, I'm doing that right this minute.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

National Periodicals Table of Story Elements

I'm writing a novel and, for the last few days, I've hated the damned thing and have sunken into a slough of despond. Perhaps sensing, with his god-like powers, that someone, somewhere needs him--Scipio at The Absorbascon has flown in to save the day!

We Love our Bots

Great Post article about relationship between our soldiers and the robots they're using in combat here. Here's a snippet:

The most effective way to find and destroy a land mine is to step on it.

This has bad results, of course, if you're a human. But not so much if you're a robot and have as many legs as a centipede sticking out from your body. That's why Mark Tilden, a robotics physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, built something like that. At the Yuma Test Grounds in Arizona, the autonomous robot, 5 feet long and modeled on a stick-insect, strutted out for a live-fire test and worked beautifully, he says. Every time it found a mine, blew it up and lost a limb, it picked itself up and readjusted to move forward on its remaining legs, continuing to clear a path through the minefield.

Finally it was down to one leg. Still, it pulled itself forward. Tilden was ecstatic. The machine was working splendidly.

The human in command of the exercise, however -- an Army colonel -- blew a fuse.

The colonel ordered the test stopped.

Why? asked Tilden. What's wrong?

The colonel just could not stand the pathos of watching the burned, scarred and crippled machine drag itself forward on its last leg.

This test, he charged, was inhumane.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Christopher Hitchens cements my respect for him with his new article about the Paris Hilton debacle. The snarky comments from, particularly, Fox News female anchors (as they relentlessly cover the case) are ludicrous, middle-to-high school bitchiness about the prettier girl in the class. And Sarah Silverman's joke was inexcusable, even within the realm of comedy. How hard is it to kick someone when she's down?


I cannot imagine what it might be like, while awaiting a prison sentence for a tiny infraction, to see dumb-ass TV-addicted crowds howling with easy, complicit laughter as Sarah Silverman (a culpably unfunny person) describes your cell bars being painted to look like penises and jokes heavily about your teeth being at risk because you might gnaw on them. And this on prime time, and unrebuked. Lynching parties used to be fiestas, as we have no right to forget, and the ugly coincidence of sexual nastiness—obscenity is the right name for it—and vengefulness is what seems to lend the savor to the Saturnalia.