Feb
28
2017
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Happy Fat Tuesday!

Go have yourself a little drink. Maybe a bite to eat.  Enjoy, because Lent starts tomorrow.  …What’s that?  What am I giving up, this year?  I have two kids, both of whom appear to be coming down with colds, and my wife is right behind them on the symptoms train. I think that I’m good to go, really.

Feb
28
2017
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Adventure Seed: Operation XYLOPHONE PETUNIA.

Operation XYLOPHONE PETUNIA – Google Docs

Operation XYLOPHONE PETUNIA

Your two-minute background briefing: in 1965 a satellite designated LES1 (Lincoln Experimental Satellite) was launched, ostensibly to place it in an elliptical orbit around the Earth.  It instead went into circular orbit, reportedly provided good data anyway, then ‘died’ after a couple of years.  Fast forward to 2013, when a British amateur radio astronomer detected renewed transmissions coming from LES1, apparently due to a complicated set of conditions on the derelict satellite.

(more…)

Feb
28
2017
5

So, hey, Torment: Tides of Numenera is out.

If you backed the Torments: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter, you should have gotten an email. If you didn’t, you can get it on Amazon here. I’m personally downloading it now and will probably give it a whirl tomorrow or something. I got a bunch of stuff to finish up tonight first.

Feb
28
2017
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YouTube enters the Cable TV Wars.

And it’s a doozy: $35 bucks a month (six accounts, three concurrent), and “[c]hannels include all broadcast channels and cable channels like USA, FX, Freeform, ESPN, Fox Sports and NBC Sports.”  It’s very basic cable (no CNN or AMC or Comedy Central) without the actual cable, but that price should scare the heck out of a lot of cable TV executives. There are a lot of people out there who would cheerfully spend thirty five bucks a month to get cable television on their devices AND poke the cable companies in the eye.  Shoot, I figure that I’m one of them. YouTube may have a stone cold money-maker, here.

Feb
28
2017
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In Nomine Revisited (and Revised): Rebels of the Sacred Heart.

I added some bits to this one because it needed them. Original was here.

Rebels of the Sacred Heart – Google Docs

 

Rebels of the Sacred Heart

(With apologies to Flogging Molly)

 

What are they rebelling against? Well, what have you got?

You’ve got a bunch of fascist, obsessive-compulsive humorless toads so hopped up on their own opinion of themselves that they think they have a chance against the Thing that created the ENTIRE UNIVERSE?

Them, then.

(more…)

Feb
28
2017
7

I did not know (I think*) that Bill Paxton directed ‘Fish Heads.’

Via Facebook: If you are my age and you had MTV, you have seen this video. Often over the strenuous disapproval of your parents, who found ‘Fish Heads’ utterly bizarre.  And to be fair, it was.  I had no idea Bill Paxton, may he rest in peace, directed and starred in it:

Learn something new every day, huh?

Moe Lane

*Maybe somebody has told me, and I’ve forgotten it.

Feb
28
2017
1

I’d put this NASA TRAPPIST-1e poster up on my wall…

…except that I’m running out of walls:

You may get another version of this here.  Also: NASA gives this stuff out freely – as it should, of course – so if you just wait a bit somebody will be selling prints of this pretty shortly. And usually pretty reasonably, because of all the other people selling prints of this.

Feb
27
2017
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Feb
27
2017
3

Book of the Week: Firestar.

Firestar by Michael Flynn was written in 1996, and I’m increasingly reminded of it every time I read something on private space projects. I suspect that my readers who are unfamiliar with the book (basically, space opera of the near-future) will find it of no little interest: in particular, the way that ‘corporate’ is not used as a dirty word. I am mildly startled that it’s not available for the Kindle, but sometimes there are logistical issues involved.

And so, adieu to Bookburners. Wow, that one went fast.

Feb
27
2017
2

SpaceX reportedly planning lunar orbit tourism in 2018.

Really big news, if (BIG ‘if’) true: “Two thrill seekers are paying SpaceX to make a trip around the moon next year [2018].” Why? Because the single hardest part of going anywhere in space is generally getting out of the gravity well.  They used to call orbit ‘Halfway to anywhere,’ because you used up so much energy just getting to that point. If you get to a place where you can routinely get manned craft orbiting the moon and coming back, well.  Landing on the moon and returning to lunar orbit are both problems that have been successfully solved before, is all that I’m saying.  And it’s easier to reach lunar orbit from the surface of the moon than it is to reach Earth orbit from the surface of Earth.

Mind you, 2018 is mad optimism.

Moe Lane

PS: It is no secret that I have a thoroughly justified low opinion of the previous administration when it comes to… pretty much everything; and I remain unhappy that the United States does not have a functional manned space program.  But I  will admit that I am pleasantly surprised at the way that private space initiatives were not squelched – or even particularly hindered – over the last decade or so. It could have been so much, much worse.

Feb
27
2017
9

This Middle Earth: Shadow of War… wait. No. Please stop.

That’s not how this works, Middle Earth: Shadow of War.

That’s not how any of this works.

I mean, did they read the books? …They didn’t read the books, did they.  Also: now we know that people really can’t come back from the grave, because if they could JRR Tolkien would have over this.  With CS Lewis.  And a Sherman tank.

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