ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug tipped me to a story about finding a very old message in a bottle from a science experiment.  That reminded me about the rubber duckies, which you can see on maps like this, or here with some time stamps.

So much of science comes down to "Let's see what happens."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I was intrigued to see this article point out something that I have said for ages: Power doesn't corrupt, it reveals.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
In a rare triumph of justice over corporate fraud, StarKist Tuna has been convicted of underfilling cans. If you bought their tuna since 2009, you can file a claim for $25 cash or $50 in tuna.

What can you do with $50 of canned tuna?

Curried Tuna Sandwiches
Fisherman's Pie
Tuna Quesadillas (if some people don't like salsa, serve it on the side)
Tuna Stuffed Mushrooms

Canned Tuna Recipes (Allrecipes)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Allyou)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Epicurious)
StarKist Recipes

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Here's an interview about the excellent animated short "Get a Horse."  The bit I want to highlight is where they couldn't find a clip of Walt Disney saying the word "red" so they spliced it together out of phonemes spoken in other words.  This is a crucial step necessary to the evolution of technology which reduces and eventually removes the need for actors: the ability to create a 'library' of appearance, motion, and sound which users can employ to compose performances.  It's a very popular way to make entertainment in the future.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a detailed analysis of some proposed changes to the Hugo Award rules as regards nomination and voting.  The intent is to discourage a repetition of slate voting which the sad/rabid puppies used to tamper with this year's voting.  Looks like there's some potential for improvement.

What annoys me is that a small number of people have caused problems for a large number of people, and disrupted an established award, just to promote their own limited agenda.  Seriously, if you want to bark up some group of writers or works, you should really just launch a new award for that.  This is why we have thematic awards like the Tiptree, Lambda, Chesley, Pegasus, etc.  It's why I looked at early crowdfunding and put up the Rose & Bay Awards because at the time most others banned or were hostile to crowdfunded works and I didn't want to wait around for someone else to start one.  Trying to hijack an existing, general award to promote a narrow theme is not just rude, it's lazy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... are in, with commentary on implications. The sad and rabid puppies have been whacked on the nose with a newspaper, and hopefully will not piddle on the carpet again.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Include red-green and blue-yellow.

I can actually see these.  I'm not the only one.  Celtic languages have a term for yellow-blue although it's usually translated as yellow-grey.  It's an eye color in that gene pool, a very rare one, but I've known people with it; and the color of stormlight or late afternoon clouds sometimes.  Red-green I've seen in certain species of trees whose leaves have a bronzed tone -- red, green, blue, brown, all at the same time.

I was looking at an article about how the strawberry squid has eyes optimized in two totally different ways.  Mine are slightly offset in color perception, and I wonder if that creates a kind of binocular vision for colors.  I'm pretty sure it's why most 3D methods don't work for me -- the difference between my eyes means that my brain tears apart the illusion.  Breaks most kinds of camouflage, in fact.  Very useful when I'm looking for things.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is meant for disaster relief

But powdered food makes awesome secret ingredients in baked goods, soups, smoothies, etc.  I would so love to play with some of this stuff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... drives the shape of pupils.  Don't put the wrong kind on your aliens or fantasy species.  How do you know the right kind?

1) If they're similar to a Terran species, just keep the same basic features.  So a catlike alien would tend to have vertical slits.  This is helpful if you want to use some of the really weird shapes.

2) If they're not similar to a single species, look for parallel evolution.  Were their ancestors predators (vertical slits), prey (horizontal slits) or active foragers (round)?

3) If they have a totally different shape, make sure you provide an explanation that makes sense.  Frex, hourglass pupils might have a separate rod/cone mix, so that each half would dominate under different lighting conditions.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... but this time, against a German guy.

This is why we can't have nice things.  Not just because they reject someone for being foreign or coming from somewhere they don't like.  But because he's trying to do cultural outreach to give people a glimpse of another lifestyle, and he gets attacked for it.  Racism persists because the people who try to overcome it get beaten down, run out of town, or occasionally murdered.  It's very disturbing.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... from the Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger

As the article suggests, some of these were probably jokes, while others may have been power names from a sacred clown.  But there's another possibility not mentioned.  In a culture without jails, people need a way to discipline those who misbehave; and when their language uses descriptive names, it's an obvious way.  In many tribes, one horribly foolish, hilariously memorable moment can saddle you with a name that may take decades to get rid of.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article succinctly explains why Israel is a danger to itself and others.

Based on this analysis, Avigail Abarbanel believes “Israel cannot be reasoned with”, that it “is a traumatised society and it is therefore very dangerous.” Applying family therapy models, she compares Israel to the abusive husband, the Palestinians to the abused wife and the United States to the enabling neighbor.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an excellent way to reduce the damage done by addiction

Terramagne does things like this.  They put more effort into crime prevention, partly because the crimes can be a lot worse than here if they involve superpowers.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... to Boston.

Meanwhile in Terramagne, there are probably kits for making these things, like we have tinker toys, and kids race them on beaches like toy boats.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a truly brilliant method of invisibility: shifting your reflected light to a wavelength that the viewer can't see. 

Over in Terramagne, there are multiple versions of invisibility.  Some of them bend light or create complete transparency, which means that without compensatory powers, the person can't see.  (I have one blind character whose invisibility power actually prevented his retinas from developing properly.)  Some are based on perfect camouflage, mimicking the pattern around them.  Having seen this UV version in action now, I'm sure that's how some of the Chameleon Skin folks are doing it.  But they would still be visible to someone with Keen Senses who can see UV light. 

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