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Friday, December 14, 2007

Upcoming Things and Links

Well there are some important things coming up soon here, and I'll have some fun links for everyone too.
First, I have an interview from Dana Copithorne in the works. I sent her my questions not too long ago. Sorry for the delay, but I not only was stuck right in the middle of the fall quarter, but I also didn't want to send a bunch of typical questions. I came up with some good ones I think.
Second, I'll have a review for The Longevity Thesis by Jennifer Rahn soon. I'm catching up on all my reading over the holiday.
Third, I'm thinking of releasing the first chapter of The Lies of Venicia, in its relatively unedited form, for everyone to read. Is anyone interested? It won't read like complete garbage, but there might be little tidbits in it that will get changed at some later date, depending where the story goes, but for the most part it will stay the same.

Now to links:
  • Grasping for the Wind has this awesome link to a Youtube video where a guy shoots books he, I assume, doesn't like with various police guns (he's a police officer). I'm not sure if he really hates these books, but it's somewhat entertaining to see what happens to these various books when they are shot with police-grade weaponry.
  • Futurismic brings you cats that glow in the dark (yes, seriously). I've seen this article elsewhere. They apparently genetically altered these cats so they glow under ultra-violet radiation. The full official article is here.
  • Apparently sex has already taken place in space. Yes, that's a serious statement. US and Russian astronauts basically got to go up to space and have sex for science. I'm sure the lines for that job were rather long. The results? The Missionary Position...doesn't work. Yeah. Who knew?
  • Dinosaurs have mummies too! Paleontologists discovered 'mummified' skin in Montana. This discovery adds a whole lot to the whole dinosaur discussion! Read the article and look at the two pictures!
  • Magnaverse has a really cool info-article-post-thingy, whatever you want to call it, that talks about parallel worlds in science fiction and fantasy. Check it out!
  • Elizabeth Bear has a list of 15 things you should know or be aware of when you've finally made it (whether that be published or whatever). You can read it at Subterranean Press here.
  • Apparently we missed Voyage 1 when it crossed the little zone called the 'termination shock':
    There, the solar wind – made of charged particles from the Sun – suddenly falters as it feels pressure from gas in the interstellar medium lying outside the solar system.
    Well, scientists didn't miss Voyager 2's trip through this zone. Nope. We were paying attention this time (I'm going to rant on this later, trust me). And apparently since the barrier fluctuates--wobbling if you will--so we got a glimpse of Voyager 2 passing through this zone a bunch of times. To add, apparently what was expected to happen during this event was a little off, and scientists are a bit puzzled. Read the full article here.
  • The Thinking Blog has a video of what could be the next, more efficient energy source produced by wind! Wind could be used to cause the vibration of a band that could then produce cheap, efficient energy, or at least somewhat efficient. The little model the man in the video made could run a radio, a clock, and even some small LED lights. Pretty cool huh?
  • Solaris Books have announced that they are going to produce a steampunk anthology called Extraordinary Engines:
    Airships, automatons and aether! Extraordinary Engines is a brand new anthology of all-original stories from some of the genre’s foremost writers. Featuring an eclectic range of Steampunk-inspired stories by such luminaries as Daniel Abraham, Kage Baker, Stephen Baxter, Beth Bernobich, Eric Brown, Keith Brooke, Paul Di Filippo, Hal Duncan, Jeffrey Ford, Jay Lake, Margo Lanagan, James Lovegrove, Ian R. MacLeod, Michael Moorcock, James Morrow, Kim Newman, Robert Reed, Chris Roberson, Adam Roberts, Lucius Shepard. Brian Stableford, Jeff VanderMeer and Marly Youmans (Subject to change). All stories are original to this collection.
    Sounds cool doesn't it? I'm excited about it!
  • Artificial stem cells cure sickle cell in mice. That's the title of the article at DailyTech. Scientists created healthy bone marrow cells by taking bad cells and snipping out all the sickle cell material and putting in healthy material. Then they take the bone marrow cells, throw it into the marrow of a mouse with sickle cell and let it go to work creating healthy red blood cells. That's the short, rather uneducated version. Read the full article!
  • How hard is it to find planets with plant-life? Well, in the near future it might not be so hard, assuming they exist. Futurismic has this article about new research in space research that postulates that spectral-analysis could help find planets with plant-life! So far the technology isn't quite there yet, but some scientists have found out atmospheric contests of some gas giants around other stars. Here's a clue: the atmospheric content is semi-related to something you put on foot to make it taste good. You can also read this article at UniverseToday and this related article.
  • Pat's Fantasy Hotlist has beautiful pictures of art prints for George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Check them out here.
  • New Scientist has this article about a five story tall structure that focuses moonlight into a single beam over a small area. It might have medical applications, but really this is a fascinating waste of money and time. I mean that in a good way. It's cool, but really sort of crazy.
  • Prologues are evil and this article at The Toasted Scimitar explains why. Well, the article really just talks about prologues in fantasy and how fantasy redefined the meaning of prologue.
  • Did you know that sitting down helps make you gain weight? The enzymes that control fat burning apparently just shut off when you sit down. Read the article here at ABC News. It's really interesting. I know Tobias Buckell, where I got this article from, is considering converting one of his desks into a stand-up desk. I'd like to do the same actually, but I don't have a desk I can raise up.
  • Futurismic, once again (they are a great resource by the way), has an article that discusses a new bill by the US Congress that would "repeal $21 Billion in oil subsidies to spend on alternative energies, increase minimum mpg for cars, include incentives for efficiency and new technology as well as pledging renewable electricity production to be 15% by 2020."
    This bill will inevitably be vetoed by President Bush, or filibustered by the Republican minority.
    Sadly, that last statement is too true. Maybe they should wait on this until Mr. Shrub is out of office. It sounds like an awesome bill and I would sign up only because it's probably the most sensible bill I've seen thus far. It's the only one that I've seen that propose a slow change to alternate fuels, which is the only way it will work in this country and most any other country.
  • I found this image at American Scientist. Nothing like a little humor and a little logical thinking to brighten up your day. (Click it for a larger image)
  • SF Signal quotes Tom Doherty, President of Tor Books, on mass-market books.
    If no science fiction is displayed a significant number of potential customers may not be tempted, the same is true of many other categories and in each case new readers will be lost.
    Read the full quote and follow the link to the full article.
  • Times Online talks about why British folks are a big 'sniffy' about SF.
  • More energy sources, this one out of science fiction. This one is "using cyanobacteria to produce ethanol from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water." Check it out. It's so, well, SF looking.
  • And of course, something funny and entertaining. Singing Tesla Coils with a lovely surprise for you Nintendo fans!
There you go. Enjoy!

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3 comments:

  1. Imelllllllllda12:00 PM

    First off: I just started typing, and my computer !sdrawkcab ti dettupni Just like that! It was weird and panic-making.

    AHAHA! I'm so glad they invented glow-in-the-dark cats. Now the glow-in-the-dark mice will be able to see them sneaking up!

    The mice are cuter, though. And they're green.

    *Passes over the space-sex thing*

    My computer won't let me see the dinosaur mummy. :(

    *Bookmarks parallel universe thing* They need to use a different text colour ...

    That sickle cell thing must have been a real pain to do. I know what pluripotent means. Hehehehe. I was so right about embronic stem cells ... And it's so not fair, I wanna read the Science article. :( I wonder if I still have access to the uni account ...

    "put on food" not foot!

    Haha to the prologue thing. Though there are exceptions ...

    How on earth can they tell that those enzymes shut down? Sitting down seems such an arbitrary thing ...

    I'm not sniffy about SF. :(

    Cyanobacteria are AWESOME. They're really interesting creatures. One of the few lectures I stayed awake for. :p

    ReplyDelete
  2. You welcome John :).

    Glad you liked the links Imelda :P.

    ReplyDelete