Welcome to the Bloom County edition of the “Links” post. 😉 Blog note: I’ve updated “Expanded Collated Contents of the Year’s Bests (2017 Stories, Links),” adding The Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume Five. Now on with the usual sorts of links.
- Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for May 9, 2018. Wednesday.
- Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for May 10, 2018. Part Two.
- Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for Aug 2, 2017. Thbbft!
- Earth-Moon Fire Pole. Science humor from xkcd‘s “What If?”
- Finding A Neighborly Middle Ground in Unbiased News – Auxiliary Memory. James Wallace Harris suggests we might get along better if we left our echo chambers and got our information from the middle. Since essentially all media is produced by giant corporations, or small divisions thereof, and has that bias apart from any other, I sometimes think we might be better off if we just “blew up our TVs and threw away our papers” but democracy requires an informed citizenry, so independent critical thinking regarding all input and abandoning to bankruptcy all media which is most obviously kicking or kissing our butts is probably the best solution and you don’t need a biased “bias” site for that. Still, I like the thought and I hope we do eventually stop letting the media (including “social”) drive us crazy.
- Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for Apr 27, 2016. Yay, team!
- Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for Apr 28, 2016. Yay, team!
- Improving school climate, not just security, is key to violence prevention. On a serious note, some of this echoes some of what I said in the last “Links” post.
- Help with Ancient Texts: Perseus 5.0 Viewer Overview – The Library of Antiquity. This site is not exactly aimed at the layman but has some generally interesting things such as this particular post which points to
- Scaife Viewer | Home which is also not aimed at the layman but, hey, writings of the ancients! Yes, they can generally be read from Project Gutenberg or Archive.org (not to mention physically) but not in quite this way.
- Livius – Articles on ancient history. Serendipitously came across a Chrons thread on historical resources which included this link and the next.
- Ancient History Encyclopedia.
- The History Blog » Earliest evidence of Roman military found in Poland. This is a more usual one-shot “history news” article. I get that there’s a lot of stuff but (a) the provenance of the find doesn’t seem secure, (b) objects sometimes drift separately from particular people, especially on trade routes, and (c) the Roman Empire was in no shape to be garrisoning Poland at that point. But it’s still an intrinsically neat find and it would be pretty amazing if they really were there then.
- The House That Spied on Me. While reviewing a Slate story, I read the companion article, Stacey Higginbotham responds to Nnedi Okorafor’s “Mother of Invention,” which led me to this. The link on “Appalachian-style” resistance in the last “Links” post is especially relevant here. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
- Editing brain activity with holography: Using optogenetics and holographic projection, scientists aim to implant perceptions in brain — ScienceDaily. Again, what could go wrong?
- Scientists stumbled upon a plastic-eating bacterium—then accidentally made it stronger | Popular Science. Don’t get many links from Front Row (a local politics show which I’m guessing Media Bias/Fact Check, from the Auxiliary Memory link above, would call “center-right”), but Donna King talked about this in her part of the “under-reported stories” segment of the April 27 show, so I looked further and found this link. I can see a use or two for this. I can also see how something might go wrong (cf. Clifford D. Simak’s “Beachhead” or Allen Steele’s “Sanctuary”).
- World’s fastest water heater — 100,000 degrees in 0.000 000 000 000 075 seconds: Scientists explore exotic state of liquid with X-ray laser — ScienceDaily. This would be handy for your winter showers.
- ‘Spooky action at a distance’: Researchers develop module for quantum repeater — ScienceDaily. It’s no ansible but it’s something.
- Mercury Rising: New evidence that volcanism triggered the late Devonian extinction — ScienceDaily. This bit on the late Devonian is intrinsically interesting, especially for getting closer to consistency, but it’s also another reminder to those who think we could live here forever if we’d just stop throwing trash around our quarters: Spaceship Earth has frequent “boiler room” explosions which regularly kill most of the crew.
- Widespread ocean anoxia was cause for past mass extinction: New research sheds light on first of five major mass extinctions — ScienceDaily. There must be fifty ways to leave your planet. Here’s another angle on another of the Big Five (Six?) extinction events, the late Ordovician.
- New research shows how Indo-European languages spread across Asia — ScienceDaily. Another centaur article – always interesting. I like the stress on co-operative integrated studies.
- 500-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa mystery unveiled by engineers — ScienceDaily. Are you a tower half-tilted or tower half-straight kind of person?
- ‘Lunar Library’ Aims to Preserve Humanity’s History On the Moon (Wikipedia, Too). Good stuff. Let’s put PG and Archive.org up there as well.
- NASA’s New Exoplanet Hunter Just Buzzed the Moon and Snapped Its 1st Photo! A TESStament to our drive to know.
- Orbital variations can trigger ‘snowball’ states in habitable zones around sunlike stars — ScienceDaily. Tricky things, these planets.
- Astronomers Spot Potential “Interstellar” Asteroid Orbiting Backward around the Sun – Scientific American. I don’t mean to insult whoever the other author was but I read a write-up of this at Space.com and then I read this and… well, this is the superior article.
- Cosmic Conflict: Diverging Data on Universe’s Expansion Polarizes Scientists – Scientific American. If a then b then c… then z. Oops. A is a little off. Crap. Z is complete nonsense.
- Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for Feb 2, 2016. A is a little off. Z is… Bloom County 2018 by Berkeley Breathed for May 20, 2018.
Earth Tech, Part II: Robots, Mark II
These aren’t quite ready for prime time as I don’t often think of “robot” together with “manually reset each time”/”line of sight power supply”/”towed” by “fishing rod” but the tropism and “amphibian” (air/sea) approaches of the first and third are probably good ways to go and the second is as neat as it is potentially horribly dangerous. The fourth and fifth are just incredible and, while much of this may have applications beyond robotics, those two almost certainly would. This seems like it ought to be interesting to almost everybody but if any SF writers are reading this, these need to be turned into stories soon!
- New robot concept uses responsive materials to swim through water — ScienceDaily
- The first wireless flying robotic insect takes off — ScienceDaily
- Autonomous glider can fly like an albatross, cruise like a sailboat — ScienceDaily
- 3D-printed smart gel that walks underwater, moves objects: New technology has biomedical, soft robot and other applications — ScienceDaily
- Self-healing material a breakthrough for bio-inspired robotics — ScienceDaily
- Editorial | Asimov’s Science Fiction. This wonderful guest editorial is from a teacher who created a class on the life and works of Isaac Asimov with applications to current conditions.
- Black Gate » Birthday Reviews: Jack Williamson’s “The Cold Green Eye”. One of the most amazing and astounding careers in SF.
- Amazing Stories Returns to Print – Locus Online. Speaking of, Amazing is the zine that will not die (for long – it’s actually probably died more than any other zine.)
- The Reference Library | Analog Science Fiction. Dave Truesdale mentioned this because of the Mildred Clingerman review (which is interesting in its own right) but I’m linking to it here because the introductory portion of this book review column contains some historical info on small presses (which connects to contemporary conditions) which many people may not be aware of these days but might enjoy reading about. (Two clarifications: the reference to DAW and 1964 is, of course, a typo for 1984 and, in the review section, on the Lerner non-fiction book (which I reviewed favorably for Tangent), the review doesn’t make clear that some of the essays have been updated, so the book provides content the original articles don’t.)
- Black Gate » Here They Are — The Brand New 1957 Titles from Gnome Press. Speaking of small presses, check this out. The write-up is mostly about the Conan books and the price but, much like old SFBC ads, just look at the selection! Some guys named Anderson, Blish, Dickson, Leiber, Leinster, and Merril (and occasional Kuttner-collaborator Barnes). Not a title there I wouldn’t read (and I have read the Blish, Leiber, Leinster, and other Merrils including Best of the Best which selects from those two annuals and the rest of her first five.)
- Black Gate » Vintage Treasures: Four for Tomorrow by Roger Zelazny. This post has got the SF covered from A-Z. Two of this collection’s four stories were immediately recollected in Doors of His Face and I have no idea why the other two were never recollected but this is still worth getting just for those.
Samples from my library sale CDs:
Telemann – Trumpet Concerto in D. (My CD has Andre doing this with Marriner/ASMF but I couldn’t find that on youtube so this (coincidentally with Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic as the second piece is and is supposed to be) will have to do.)
Weber – Overture to Oberon