I had some trouble sleeping last night as happens occasionally these days. Usually there’s some pressing concern that wakes up my brain and I go from one neurotic worry to another until I manage to convince myself it’s all nonsense and I’d rather be asleep than putting myself through this. Sometimes I get up and do some random web surfing or read a little- though this can feed the mind and wake me up all the way if I’m not careful. Last night I found the perfect antidote: a website devoted to a discussion of how best to destroy the Earth.
I just discovered a site called Space Review which I suspect I’ll be checking back with again. An article caught my eye entitled Human orbital spaceflight: the ultralight approach written by Richard Speck, president of an outfit called Micro-Space, Inc. In the article, Speck demonstrates some serious out-of-the-box thinking about how we might eventually take fairly routine trips into low earth orbit and back at a miniscule fraction of the cost of what multi-billionaires like Dennis Tito have been paying for trips to Mir and the ISS (think $2000 a ticket or so!).
Sometimes work sucks. I suppose this won't come as a shock to too many out there who've ever had a job. It's part of the whole democratic capitalistic free market system right? Somebody has the guts to put together a business plan and start a company that makes good money. They risk abject failure, throw everything they have into it, and if it works they're in a position of hard-earned power. With this power comes the right to run the business the way they see fit. For the typical employee- this often reults in a situation in which work sucks some or all of the time, depending on the psychology at work between bosses and employees, i.e., the overall work culture. I guess this is just the price of freedom- or is it? read more…
I’ve been in a bit of a blogging funk the past couple of weeks. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about- I’ve got plenty. It’s more that the things I do want to write about deserve a good, well thought out treatment, and I just don’t feel up to it. In order to jump start my writing again I’ll use this post to sketch out a few things that may make it into a real post later.
My wife is brilliant, something I’ve long known, but was confirmed by the wise folks at the Media Arts Awards, who just presented her with three statewide graphic design awards. This is the post I’m most blocked on because she really deserves to be praised highly for this. Two years ago she hated computers and grudgingly accepted them as necessary tools for email and websurfing. Now she is expert in Photoshop, Illustrator and other tools and is a multiple award winning-artist! Bravo!
This second book in the series by Kim Stanley Robinson is a beautiful work of art. I’m halfway through, and thought I’d share a quick opinion of this work.
I was wrong about The Years of Rice and Salt, which I loved, being his best. This is better. 50 Degrees Below has the coolest damned cast of characters. The subplots are magnificent, gripping, startling. Sometimes when I’m reading KSR, I get the feeling that he’s sort of like the blogger guy that goes and finds all sorts of cool new stuff to do and to know, and lists it all in digestible form on his blog as a service. Somehow, KSR just seems to know EXACTLY what will interest me, this day, this moment. How? Just because we live in the same city? Is he wiretapping my brain? Jeez.
No one else has ever made the scientific funding proposal process so intense and dramatic. I don’t have time to detail all the facets of this work, but the moments of epiphany are RAMPANT. I mean, I either learn something or am pushed into emotional growth every other damned page. The destroyed park. The tree platform. Miss Piggy the automatic climbing ladder. The homeless guys playing frisbee. The descriptions of women’s faces. The fire. The Auroch. You know what it is?
KSR is HIP. KSR is COOL. KSR is RIGHT. He’s like, more than a writer. He’s —
Something new. No other writer does what he does. Damn. I love this book. I’m going to burst into tears when I finish it. YAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! IT’S TOO GOOD!
Read this series.