- Skipping over the unrelated Bloom County strips, these are the ones about Opus’ latest bout of timely confusion: July 5, July 6, July 8, July 10, July 11, July 13, July 14, July 15.
I tend to avoid politics on this blog, only making exceptions for things which ought to be non-partisan like taking a stand against gerrymandering no matter who’s doing it. Well, here’s another thing that ought to be completely non-partisan for any American. This is a Republican representative from Texas, Will Hurd, on the US, NATO, and the Russian government. It’s been months or years since I’ve heard a politician of any party speak for six minutes and been able to agree with it all.
- The History Blog » [Synchrotron] recovers daguerreotype lost to tarnish. This is maybe not all that significant but it’s surely neat.
- Mystery of the Basel papyrus solved. Just what the doctor ordered! And speaking of doctoring, you’d need nerves of steel to take a scalpel to a glued-together two-thousand-year-old document. I got this from The History Blog » Basel papyrus deciphered at long last, but actually enjoyed the source article more in this case.
- High-Energy ‘Ghost Particle’ Traced to Distant Galaxy in Astronomy Breakthrough. The coverage of this event has been high in quantity but lower in quality. In this first of three articles on the subject, it almost sounds like this was “independently” confirmed in the sense that because I said something today and yesterday the latter is independent confirmation of the former.
- Neutrinos on Ice: Astronomers’ Long Hunt for Source of Extragalactic “Ghost Particles” Pays Off – Scientific American. As I’ve mentioned in a comment elsewhere on this blog, this talks about convincing evidence as though it were conclusive when it’s not by orders of magnitude. It does have an interesting observation on modeling (which is generally applicable but specifically only if you’re “convinced” this is now “real data”) and mentions the scientist who actually identified the possible source. It’s the better write-up generally.
- NASA’s Fermi Traces Source of Cosmic Neutrino to Monster Black Hole | NASA. This not only identifies the scientist but associates him with the Fermi telescope (though it possibly overemphasizes the credit due Fermi in a group effort) and is a pretty good write-up. Regardless of the quibbles, this is potentially very exciting and, either way, they all underscore the significance of “multimessenger astronomy.”
- An orange a day keeps macular degeneration away: 15-year study — ScienceDaily. While quibbling with aspects of the above, I was particularly annoyed by this blurb. What are at least two questions almost anyone would have on reading this? “Does orange juice have the same effect?” “If you have the disease and it’s too late for prevention, does it retard its progress or have no further beneficial effect?” But, nope, no such questions or answers. Science writing and journalism in general is often only headline-deep.
- Ross 128b: Analyzing a Planet by the Light of its Star. Sometimes I think it’d be easier (and certainly more definitive) to just build a damn starship and go look. Still, some very cool multi-angled “if..then” detective work going on here.
- Here’s What Ötzi the Iceman Ate Before He Was Murdered – Scientific American. “Morbid much?” Still, kind of fascinating in a weird way. Those were the days…
- Backreaction: SciMeter.org: A new tool for arXiv users. Maybe not of interest to any non-physicists but here ya go.
- Potential DNA Damage from CRISPR “Seriously Underestimated,” Study Finds – Scientific American. CRISPR – Corporate Revenue Is Superior to Public Risk?
- One ‘Oddball’ Among 12 Newfound Moons Discovered Orbiting Jupiter. That’s a lot of moons.
- New Acquisition: THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow – Orbit Books. I’m not usually a corporate shill but I’ve been impressed by several of Harrow’s stories so this was interesting to me and I wanted to pass it on.
- 5 Must-Read George R.R. Martin Books (That Aren’t A Game of Thrones) – The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog. And it’s not like Martin needs help but, as someone who hasn’t read AGOT but is a big fan of Tuf Voyaging, Dying of the Light, and miscellaneous collections, I wanted to pass this on.
- 1921-07-18 John Glenn
- 1943-07-18 Charles G. Waugh
- 1948-07-21 G. B. Trudeau
- 1936-07-22 Tom Robbins
- 1923-07-23 C. M. Kornbluth
- 1947-07-23 Gardner Dozois
- 1895-07-24 Robert Graves
I’ve recently mentioned Dozois in the other context. Still, it’s another opportunity to express appreciation. And, of course, C. M. Kornbluth wrote many superb stories, co-wrote an all-time classic in The Space Merchants and much more. Waugh helped Asimov and Greenberg and others produce many anthologies.
Otherwise, this is another “outside the envelope” week. Glenn is in the ISFDB for a single essay but, hey, it’s Glenn! On a very different note, Trudeau is in for a single cartoon in someone else’s book but memory says he’s another top cartoonist. (Incidentally, the top cartoonist is in the ISFDB with a couple of random items but without his birthdate of July 5, 1958, so a belated happy birthday to Calvin and Hobbes‘ Bill Watterson.) Graves could certainly interest writers of any kind as well as fantasists and history buffs with The Reader Over Your Shoulder writing guide (recently purchased and started, but currently distracted from by several other books and this blog), The White Goddess myth/poetry book, “Claudius” semi-historical novels, and much more. Finally, Robbins isn’t a “genre” guy except that he writes stuff that’s very much science fictional/fantastic. Either way, I’ve read Still Life with Woodpecker more than once and most of his other books including Jitterbug Perfume and Another Roadside Attraction.
Happy birthday and thanks for all the fics!
Ty Segall’s second self-titled album was in the running for an appearance in Tunesday: Favorite Albums of 2017 (Mohs Scale 2-3). Here’s the last full track. Continue reading