Links (2017-12-30)

It hasn’t been too long since I posted one of these (and very popular they are, too ;)) but the links, partly aided by year-end-ness have really piled up, so here’s another installment.


Here’s a trio from Scientific American. (There are actually multiple images in each post but they’re variations on three themes.)

Here’s a trio from The first is just neat and reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

There will certainly be no lack of human pioneers when we have mastered the art of flight… Let us create vessels and sails adjusted to the heavenly ether, and there will be plenty of people unafraid of the empty wastes. In the meantime, we shall prepare for the brave sky-travelers maps of the celestial bodies. I shall do it for the moon, you Galileo, for Jupiter.

— Letter from Kepler to Galileo, 1610

On the second, it’s not good news for the US that its Russia doing it (and not good news for Angola either). Still, to reference another quote, William Gibson may have said, “The future has arrived – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” This shows that the distribution continues, at least. (They actually lost communication with it soon after launch, but it’s been restored.) The third link is a pretty good summary of the year.

And to end the science part on the right note:

Now for some nature photography. (I think I got this from the Chrons.) I wonder what it says that animals sometimes seem at their most human when they’re at their goofiest.

Science Fiction gives us not just a year, but a decade, in review. (The list is actually an all-time list.) His list is not what my list would be, but it’s got some excellent stuff and I respect the reading and effort that went into it. Speaking of respect, James Cambias soulfully argues that Disney lacks respect for Star Wars and its fans. I recently posted some comments on The Last Jedi which skipped over all the plotholes entirely because I felt like I had bigger fish to fry, but Cambias takes an interesting bird’s-eye approach to them which gives them their proper due without getting bogged down in details.


I don’t talk sports here much (don’t know that there’d be even as much interest as there is in the other stuff) but I have to note the bowl victory that ends the Wolfpack’s football season.

At one point, State led their division and looked ready to challenge Clemson and perhaps become a national team (and we did play them tough) but it didn’t work out. Still, finishing as a ranked team with a 9-4 record and a big bowl victory is a nice season.

While I’m at it, I also wanted to comment on Navy’s bowl victory (which I wasn’t able to see at all, alas). That, ladies and gentlemen, is football. I watched the Army-Navy game in early December and that was hands-down my favorite game of the season and really of the last many, many years. I loved both Army and Navy this year. Passes? We don’t need no stinkin’ passes!


CBS News tells how the GOP tax bill makes Powerball winner even richer. (I can feel the warm trickle coming down already.)

John Shirley says, “I’m a Supporter of Transgender Rights–Who Can’t Stand the Term Cisgender.”

Morey Amsterdam died years ago, Mary Tyler Moore died at the start of this year and 2017 has also seen fit to take Rose Marie at the end, leaving only the eponymous actor of the core four still with us. There aren’t many sitcoms of the black & white era that entertain me but this was a great show with a stellar cast and Buddy and Sally were a major part of it.

Rose Marie, Sally Rogers on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” dead at 94


While Rose Marie could be seen as yet another musician who died in 2017, I think of her as a multi-talented comic actress. However, there are some dedicated musicians who left us in 2017 that I may have memorialized elsewhere on the web but don’t seem to have paid my respects to here on Featured Futures. I’ll do that now.

Chuck Berry – “No Particular Place to Go” (One of the most important people in rock and a favorite since I was a teen.)

The Allman Brothers Band – “Trouble No More” (Another one of my long-time favorites. We lost both Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks.)

Tom Petty – “Refugee” (He wasn’t too bad, either.)


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