Another Book Review Carnival

March 30, 2009

I’m not actually in this one, but it has some pretty good reviews.  And I figured that if I’m going to be a complete slacker about blogging, I should at least point you guys and gals toward people who are posting.

BTW, hubby is headed back to work after a 2-week hiatus, so hopefully I’ll get more blogging time in. :)

Teaching Twitter in Schools?

March 26, 2009

And other modern comminication technologies, including blogging and podcasting, according to this article in TechCrunch.  Actually, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea – as long as core subjects like reading, writing, and math don’t get shortchanged in the process.  It won’t matter how tech savvy the next generation is if they don’t know how to think and express themselves logically and coherently.

No, I didn’t fall off the edge of the Earth…

March 23, 2009

I’ve just had a lot going on.  I have been under the weather for a little while, plus we had last minute guests over the weekend, plus there has been much drama on the job front.  In short, my apologies for being AWOL so long, and I’ll try to get back to it.

On a positive note, I had my first request for a review from a publisher.  I have been reading Resonance by A.J Scudiere.  I haven’t finished it yet, but when I do I will write a full review.

Also, I haven’t posted about the series finale of BSG yet.  I haven’t decided if I am going to do a full post about it or not, but if I do it will probably be tonight.  I’m still processing, but I will say I was satisfied with the ending.  And whther I post about it or not I will be heading over to TV Tyrant for the So Say We All blog carnival to see what everyone else thought.

Oh, My Head Hurts….

March 16, 2009

I had every intention of posting up a review of Frank Herbert & Bill Ransom’s novel, The Jesus Incident, since my lovely wife says that I have the honor of any Herbert reviews forthcoming.  Herbert is always worth the re-read (or four), and The Jesus Incident is one I haven’t read that many times.  So there I was all ready to go when not one, but TWO, mind-fraks burst upon me.

First of all, we have the SyFylis channel fiasco.  I doubt that I could even begin to match the trenchant wit found (amongst other places) in the comments at Slashdot or at Topless Robot so I won’t even try.  I do think that the syfylis connection will be the one that sticks, though.  My wife latched onto that even before reading any of the posts already extant, and it does seem to be a fairly common thread.  So many similarities between SFOMs (SciFi Original Movies – and NOT to be confused with SMOFs – lol) and venereal diseases (or wait…..).  Anywhoo, I digress.

While not fully recovered from that utter catastrophe, I latched onto this article published on WSJ outlining the new program advocated by the man that brainstormed the “Star Wars” laser defense program touted by Reagan.  Rather than shooting ICBMs down with high-powered space-based lasers, he now wants to wipe out mosquitos (and by extension malaria).  That’s right, “… if these researchers have their way, the Cold War missile-defense strategy will be reborn as a WMD: Weapon of Mosquito Destruction.”

Weapon of Mosquito Destruction – sounds like something right off the SyFylis Channel.

But that wasn’t enough for these Mansquito killers.  Oh no, “”We’d be delighted if we destabilize the human-mosquito balance of power,” says Jordin Kare.”

The Human-Mosquito Balance of Power?!?!?!?!?!?

Oh my aching head!  We’ll shoot for the Herbert review tomorrow.

BSG – 9 down, 1 this-frakkin-better-be-good series finale to go

March 14, 2009

At least Adama didn’t cry this time.

I think that is the best I can come up with for this episode.  I didn’t get the flashback thing – I mean, the background was nice, it was well-chosen to tell us more about some major characters, blah, blah, blah…but WHY are we looking back right now?  Second to last episode EVER and we’re seeing FLASHBACKS?!  Flashbacks that make NO SENSE?!?!  Lee is chasing a PIGEON!  And something Adama didn’t want to do was so important they had to show it to us, but then NOT TELL WHAT IT WAS?!!!!!!

Ok, I’m calm again.  What I meant to say is that while I appreciated this episode and how it contributed to character development and moved the story along, I am still waiting for it to all come together.  (And to find out what the frak is up with Starbuck.  And the opera house.)  It was nice to see Adama get his act together and take some action though.  We also know why Tyrol wasn’t around in the last episode – he was sitting in the brig.  We know that Hera is still in one piece, for now at least, but her future is looking pretty iffy.  We know Boomer feels bad for her, but of course feelings haven’t really made much difference to Boomer so far.  We know that Anders can still interact with people to some extent since he told Adama where to find Hera.  We (or at least I) always knew Baltar was still scheming for power, but now we know what his latest scheme is.  And we know he is still a coward, since he was staring at Caprica 6 like he wanted to jump over and volunteer for the rescue mission with her, but of course he didn’t.  We know how the showdown with Cavil’s Cylons is going to come about, and I think we know how Galactica herself will meet her end…actually, the more I think about, the more I like this episode.

I’m going back to what I said last week.  The writers have for the most part done a bang-up job to this point, so I’m just going to have to trust them to provide a satisfactory conclusion to one of the best science fiction dramas in the history of television.  I just wish they would get on with it already.

A British Spaceplane?

March 12, 2009

Ok, so the British are not who I think of when I picture the leaders in space technology – but they seem to be on the top of the heap right now in the race to develop a functional, practical spaceplane that would reduce the cost (in both time and money) of launches.  Check out this article from LiveScience that explains what they have and what they’re hoping to develop.

I don’t really care who does it (although I must admit it would be nice if it was the US), as long as someone finds a better way to get us into space.  There are so many projects and experiments that get put on hold or altogether vetoed every year because they are just too expensive.  It’s time for a change.

It’s Official – Stem Cell Research is OK

March 10, 2009

Yep, President Obama went through with it as expected.  Yesterday he reversed the ban on stem cell research put in place by former president George W. Bush.  Of course, it will still be a few years before any of the stem cell therapies we’ve been hearing about are ready for use due to the testing and safety requirements, but this is still a big step.  I have a friend with a spinal injury who may benefit from the therapy in testing right now, and I have numerous relatives with diabetes (and a high likelihood of developing Type II later in life myself), so I am all for government regulated stem cell research.  I specify that it should be government regulated because I too have heard the cautionary tales of mad scientists stealing embryos for evil plots – but really, is government regulation or even a ban going to stop a mad scientist?  I doubt it.

Anyway, now that I have returned from that rabbit trail, I’ll just conclude by saying ‘Yea!  A step forward for science in America!  It’s about time!’

Something Worth Reading on IO9

March 9, 2009

True, it doesn’t happen that often, but there is actually a very good post on IO9 right now.  It addresses whether or not Battlestar Galactica is a feminist show, and presents a well researched, cogent argument.  (In their defense, the folks over at IO9 may have other good articles about shows I don’t care about.)

BSG – 8 down, 2 to go

March 9, 2009

You know, I don’t really know what to say about this week’s episode.  I enjoyed it, and I felt it did advance the plot, but I don’t know where the writers are going with this.  Cavil has Hera, and even though Boomer got attached to the kid she has still not taken any independent action to protect her, stop Cavil, or follow her own desires.  Is this evidence that Boomer is still just an automaton, programmed for specific tasks the way she was when she shot Adama?  Or is it just evidence that she is spineless and won’t stand up to Cavil?

Caprica 6 and Roslyn are dreaming about the opera house again.  I expected that since Caprica lost the baby, but we still don’t know why Roslyn is able to share visions with Cylons or what the visions are about.  We haven’t even had any new visions to dissect.  I did read an interesting opinion posted in the comments at Show Me Scifi, that Roslyn is able to share the visions because of Baltar injecting her with Hera’s blood a few seasons back when she was dying the first time.  If that is the case, would anyone injected with Cylon blood be able to see Cylon projections and share visions?  And why would just having a bit of their blood change a human’s perception?  Of course, Show Me Scifi thinks everyone is a Cylon, and if he is right then they all have the innate ability to see projections, they just need to uncover it.

And I’m still confused about Starbuck.  Baltar confirmed that she did die, by DNA matching necrotic tissue off her tags to Starbuck, and he said she is not a Cylon, so we can presume he dusted off the old Cylon detector (which I believe did work) and Starbuck came up negative.  But that still leaves us wondering what the frak she is.  She could still be a hybrid – that is my best bet – but could she be something else altogether?  I have heard theories about her being an incarnation of one of the gods of Kobol.  And there is still this master planner out there manipulating things, which may be the One True God.  Could Starbuck be that entity, or an incarnation of it?  Or a creation of it, sent to frak with everybody else’s heads?  Who knows.

At this point, I’m getting mildly irritated with the way the wrap up is dragging on.  On the other hand, they are clearly setting things up for the final episode, and if it is done properly, I am sure I will feel foolish for ever having doubted the brilliance of the writers or their plan.  So here’s hoping they do it right.

Rubber Duckies

March 7, 2009

What is going on?  For the past week, people have been hitting my site from search engines after searching for ‘rubber ducky’ or some variation thereon.  Yes, I do happen to have a cool pic of a huge rubber ducky floating down the river, and I am in fact a fan of rubber duckies (they make bathtime lots of fun ;) ) – but really, why the sudden interest?  No one looked at my rubber ducky for months, and now multiple hits a day for over a week?  Am I missing something?


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