ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Chimpanzees are in the Stone Age.  Of course, Homo ergaster  did that for about a million years and it never went anywhere but the one rather awesome hand-axe.  You need a cluster of inventors, not just one ... which is hard because most inventors don't want to incarnate at that level of technology.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

This is a good start.  For secular folks it really works and is beautiful as it stands. 

I've even done one on star stuff -- as stars live, they are very far apart and everything is quite ephemeral. When they die, their bones are blasted out through space to coalesce into and around new stars.  This process begets planets, which are the heaven of stars; and the life upon them, that's us, we are the angels.  We are what stars become after they die.  Why wouldn't we look up and think of them as home?

For me, life after death isn't faith, and it's not just memory either.  It's observation.  It's looking around the universe and seeing that everything exists within systems, within cycles.  Nothing is lost; everything is retained; it simply changes form.  Some of those changes are really exciting.  Just because we can't see the whole of a given cycle from the point we're standing in doesn't prevent us from mapping the part of it we can see, and that part tells us by its shape that it is incomplete and so there must be more which will only come into view after we have moved ahead some distance.  You can't see out of a womb when you're in it, either.

Faith is believing what you've been told.  Extrapolation is using what you already know to predict the parts you can't get at yet.

And funerals, well, they're for the community to patch up the hole that's left behind, and to make sure that the departed energy has in fact departed and isn't going to stick around loose to cause problems.  Do whatever works for you in that regard.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug found this article about astronomers finding planets in development for the first time.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a case where the science is really blatant, about how football causes brain damage, but people with money don't want to admit it.  So instead of fixing the problem, they rip into the people studying it.  This is what leads to avoidable injuries, brain drain in the sciences, and the public opinion of science being so shitty.  Because when you mix money and politics with science, you don't really have science anymore.  Of course people distrust that.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba has posted the poem "Metamorphosis" about another victim of the berettaflies, the second one to develop superpowers.  A character sheet appears after the verses.  So it looks like about 1:12 manifestations in victims stung.  That's a lot.  The overall pattern, however, is pretty consistent with zetetic exposure: most people get sick, a handful die, a very few develop superpowers.  Anything life-threatening can do that, but the high rate of manifestation coupled with the fact that both new soups have related powers suggests that the venom contains a metagen which can bestow  powers, not just activate latent ones.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] librarygeek has written "Letter to the Editor" announcing a discussion of the scientific nomenclature for berettaflies at Loyola University Library, and it's a terrific look at how Terramagne-America tends to handle damage control and public relations.  Especially, check out who gets invited and who gets snubbed


Oct. 19th, 2015 06:04 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug found this thermoelectric gizmo which sits on top of a woodstove and generates its own power to turn the fan blades that circulate warm air.  That means it'll work even if the power goes off and we can't run the electric blower.

We waaaaaaant  one.  This model seems like the best fit for the stove we have.

And yes, I mean gizmo.  Like the Tesla fluid valve, this seems to be a very simple device that capitalizes on physics to work efficiently -- something which is brilliant in design, rather than being extraordinarily complex.  Sometimes the great ideas are subtle ones.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 [personal profile] redsixwing has written "Letter to the Editor" proposing study of the berettaflies to see if any good can be gotten out of them.  Oh, that's  going to go over well with the people who want them exterminated on sight.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
The next demifiction from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer  is "Students Killed in Environmental Study."  A report about Loyola University students shows how they're dealing with the aftermath of the incident.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] siliconshaman has written "Letter to the Editor" thoughtfully suggesting ways citizens can watch for fallout from the berettafly escape.  He also nailed something that Stylet forget to do and will regret deeply, which I am definitely going to take advantage of.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some of these predate the internet even in their slang usage, although social networks have greatly spread the usage. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
After about a 20-year gap, the Navy is teaching celestial navigation again.  Someone there fin-al-ly realized that it was a terrible weakness to rely altogether on technology.  With that, my SF story "Clean Sweep" becomes obsolete.  \o/

Alien Sun?

Oct. 14th, 2015 02:15 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This star's light is interrupted by something.  A suggestion in the article is that this could be a cloud of solar collectors or other manufactured gear made by aliens.  I can come up with other ideas.  

One is that the star may naturally not be putting out the usual smooth amount of light, which seems unlikely.  It could be a very rare phenomenon, but stars have behaved in pretty predictable clusters of light emission.

Perhaps slightly more plausible than aliens is that a large rogue planet collided with a local one and created a debris cloud. Enormously rare, but there are lots of stars and junk out there.

More depressingly, this also matches the kind of "gunsmoke" cloud you get when someone uses planetbuster bombs to reduce a solar system to rubble.  (A sunkiller bomb is also a possibility but unlikely because most of those work fairly fast.)  This is particularly a concern because one reason for the Drake Equation yielding a sum of zero detections is if L is a very short timespan -- to wit, aliens share the human tendency to blow themselves up.

Other ideas?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Strong evidence points to the presence of liquid water on Mars.  Yes, now!  :D  We totally need a new mission to Mars so we can explore this.  Preferably in person!


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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