The Art of Darkness continues to amuse with things “Seen Online.” Particularly love the kicker of the New Year’s resolutions.
The History Blog tells us about an unusual used book. First edition, but with some slight dampstaining and, uh, cannon crumpling. “First book remains found in Blackbeard’s ship.”
CBS tells us that “Judges order redo of North Carolina’s partisan congressional districts.” Happy day! (Now if the General Assembly will actually obey and if similar measures will be applied to Maryland and all other radically unrepresentative states controlled by any party.)
Analog‘s previous editor returns for a remarkable guest editorial, “Educational Challenge.” Much like gerrymandering, reaction to this shouldn’t depend on what party you play for or any political opinions most people have. This is about assaults on the reason and reality almost all of us share. Stanley Schmidt and Ben Bova (who is name-dropped) aren’t exactly left-wing any more than Moynihan and Sagan (who are also mentioned) are right-wing.
Motherboard has an article and two follow-ups on a Constitutional assault most people don’t seem concerned about: “Congress Is About to Vote On Expanding the Warrantless Surveillance of Americans,” “The House Just Voted to Expand Warrantless Surveillance of US Citizens,” and (this is Rand Paul’s purpose in the universe) “5 Senators Are Filibustering an Attempt to Expand Warrantless Surveillance of Americans.”
Motherboard strikes again with a good “ha ha, only serious” article: “Jeff Bezos Should Give Me Some Money.”
Paris Review gives us a book review of/foreword to/advertisement for “The Reader Over Your Shoulder,” which prompted me to get the book though, so far, it doesn’t seem to be living up to its promotion. Still an interesting article which delivers a couple of key precepts which I obviously need to learn.
Black Gate continues its birthday review series, this time celebrating Algis Budrys, an author with, IMO, one of the highest actual-greatness-to-acknowledged-greatness ratios.
Martian Ice Crystals and Quantum Time Crystals
Space.com has another story the like of which I’ve heard many times before and tend to disbelieve but it’d be nice if it turned out to be accurate. “Big Sheets of Water Ice Lie Just Beneath the Surface of Mars.”
Motherboard had an interesting (but ultimately redundant) article which led me to an older but even more interesting article: “OK, WTF Is a Time Crystal?” Maybe a component of a quantum computer among other things.
I’ve been catching up on my Centauri Dreams reading. (There are so many articles that are so long that I frequently fall behind.) Here are five, of the last twenty-eight or so I’ve read, that most impressed me. The first and last are both guest articles and deal with METI and SETI, respectively. (METI/SETI aren’t areas of special interest for me—except negatively for METI—but these are exceptions.) The other three feature some odd objects.
- “Whispering At The Stars” (By James Benford. I’m more concerned with any possible efficacy rather than its inefficacy but, either way, the essence is that this is an anti-METI, um, message.)
- “MU69: New Horizons and its Target” (some serious mission extension and long-range exploration)
- “GJ 436b: Polar Orbit May Flag Unseen Companion” (Neptune as a comet)
- “A Pulsar Habitable Zone?” (Life on and around neutron stars and other exotica? Science fiction authors, read this.)
- “Interstellar Communication Using Microbes: Implications for SETI” (By Robert Zubrin. Looking for alien communications? Maybe we are the alien communications. Science fiction authors read this.)
Thanatos doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo that 2017 is over. Someday I’d like to be able to post a tune “just because” rather than as a memorial. Here are three more tunes for two more memorials: