- Dozois Memorial – Locus Online. Shutterbug Ellen Datlow has some pics. Nice to see the turnout.
- 1932-08-15 Robert L. Forward
- 1884-08-16 Hugo Gernsback
- 1954-08-16 James Cameron
- 1966-08-17 Neil Clarke
- 1894-08-19 H. W. Wesso
- 1921-08-19 Gene Roddenberry
- 1890-08-20 H. P. Lovecraft
- 1920-08-20 H. R. Van Dongen
- 1951-08-20 Greg Bear
- 1961-08-20 Greg Egan
- 1911-08-21 Anthony Boucher
Linked names above go to bios. Linked names below go to free works online.
What a difference a week makes. From almost no birthdays, to almost a dozen. And still of high quality, as Forward wrote a masterpiece with Dragon’s Egg and a near-one with Flight of the Dragonfly. If you’re a Clement fan, you have to read them. Amazing to think that those two Gregs share the same birthday. Bear could do almost nothing wrong from about 1983-93 and, in the late 80s, Egan really came on the scene as the best SF writer of his era. Diaspora should have been as big as Neuromancer and his other novels and, especially, the collections can’t be missed, either. On a different note, I’ve said before I need to read more Lovecraft but it seems necessary to mention him even if I haven’t yet.
Gernsback basically made SF a thing, with April 1926 being perhaps the most important nominal date in SF. Boucher (like Gernsback, only more so) wrote fiction but is also more famous as an editor and helped bring F&SF into existence and also edited the excellent two volume set of A Treasury of Science Fiction. And Clarke brings us Clarkesworld these days.
Speaking of Gernsback, Wesso did a lot of the famous artwork for Amazing and others, while van Dongen did a lot for Astounding and more (such as a cover for the aforementioned Clement’s The Best of Hal Clement).
Finally, Roddenberry is, of course, synonymous with Star Trek. While Cameron is involved with many things I don’t care about or for, he’s connected with three of my favorite movies (Terminator, T2, Aliens) so that’s pretty good.
Happy birthday, all!
- Chemists discover how blue light from digital devices speeds blindness — ScienceDaily. Very weird. Very bad.
- Short-Term Thinking May Pose the Biggest Hurdle to Interstellar Exploration. We built cathedrals over centuries, though, and science, itself, is a modern cathedral whose final shape may never be known but to which the generations contribute.
- Theoretical Physics Is Pointless without Experimental Tests – Scientific American Blog Network. Great essay. Without experimental tests, it’s not really science at all. This is related to “Links (2018-06-27)” (Science #9) but is less polemical and even more impressive.
- Laziness helped lead to extinction of Homo erectus — ScienceDaily. Maybe they were just trying to live sustainably? But seriously, this is oddly sad. Even sadder if we’re currently doing our own version of living by a drying river, unable to do things better than before. (This resonates with “Links (2018-08-01)” (Science #5).)
- Dealing with digital distraction: Being ever-connected comes at a cost, studies find — ScienceDaily. Another angle on “Links (2018-08-08)” (Tech #1) about getting off social media. We’re basically giving ourselves brain damage as a species. And, no, the irony of this being in a “Links” post (which is about as networked as I ever get) is not lost on me but—moderation in all things.
- SF and Nonsense: What’s up, Doc?. This is Edward M. Lerner’s own post of science links which has three items. The first and third (blazar neutrino and adding moons to Jupiter’s roster) were covered in my “Links (2018-07-18)” (the first three and last items in the “Science” section) but these are better write-ups, especially the one from LiveScience by . I’d read about the second item (magnetic rogue), but didn’t link to it.
Parker Solar Probe
This sub-section is a follow-up to “Links (2018-08-01)” (Science #7). If all goes reasonably well, I expect there will be at least one big popular science book about this. History! Speed! Danger! Discovery! It’s got it all.
- Pioneering Solar Scientist Eugene Parker Gets His Day in the Sun. Space.com tells us about the spacecraft’s living namesake.
- NASA Is About to Launch Its Fastest Spacecraft Ever. Space.com then tells us about the spacecraft. The “about to launch” is out of date but the article still contains a good write-up of some aspects of the mission.
- How NASA protects its solar probe from the Sun | Astronomy.com. This is a really good write-up of some of the physical challenges and solutions for the spacecraft’s survival in such close proximity to the Sun.
- NASA, ULA Launch Parker Solar Probe on Historic Journey to Touch Sun | NASA. This NASA article gets into some of the science of the mission and covers the launch, itself, which finally happened after a few hiccups.
- Musings on the Parker Solar Probe. Finally, Centauri Dreams reflects on the launch and looks ahead.
- The History Blog » Archaic remains, artifacts found at Apollo temple site. Very nice (very big) pictures.
- The History Blog » Pebble mosaic found in 4th c. BC Greek bathhouse. More big pictures of some cool art.
- Dave Doeren’s NC State program hallmarked by stability, but player, draft development shows upside – CBSSports.com. Go Pack!
- xkcd: Voting Software. Laugh or cry.
SouthEastern USA Special done right.