Saturday, October 31, 2009

Clintonian Economic Hall of Fame

Behold, Bill Clinton's economic team from the late 1990s, Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers, looking smug because they prevented an economic crisis.

MSNBC: ‘Clone Wars’ makes the Force matter again

Clone Wars’ makes the Force matter again
Cartoon Network’s top show an olive branch to ‘Star Wars’ loyalists
By Mike Avila
updated 8:44 a.m. ET, Fri., Oct . 30, 200

Time to Jedi Up.

“Star Trek” may have hogged the spotlight during its recent return from pop culture purgatory, but “Star Wars” is cooking up its own comeback. And a plucky Padawan and a couple of Clone Troopers are leading the way.

The revival of George Lucas’ space opera has been positively Sith-like in its stealth and cunning. It hasn’t even become a trending topic on Twitter yet.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our species has produced too many good books

I was thinking about my long-term reading list, and whether or not I'm ever going to get through most of the books I want to read.

Just from my Amazon shopping list:

Politics of Experience
Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)
Sex and the Slayer: A Gender Studies Primer for the Buffy Fan
Five Seasons of Angel: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Vampire (Smart Pop series)
Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series)
A Mathematician's Apology (Canto)
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
Outliers: The Story of Success
Civilization and Its Discontents
Capital : A Critique of Political Economy (Penguin Classics) (Volume 2)
Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-7)
Starman Jones

Felicia Day talks Astronomy

Felicia Day talks Astronomy and Galaxy mergers in this video prepared by the Spitzer Science Center.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thomas Dekker Interview on TSCC Season 3

The youtube interview I link to below has an interview with Dekker where he reveals what some of the plans for season 3 were.

Mars Missions: A Pictorial History

This chart shows the history of Mars missions in a pictorial manner easy to understand, and which facilitates appreciation of the historical progress and treds.

Space Navy Hall of Fame

I found this picture on io9 some time back, it shows th relative sizes of various ships known to science fiction. Reality-based 20th century human vessels are at the top. They're depressingly small.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Explore our Planet-Bearing Stellar Neighbors

This awesome resource allows one to "travel" to nearby extrasolar planetary systems, and to view the planets as populations. It's a really cool visual aid, and a triumph of web design in my opinion, befitting the triumph in astrophysics it seeks to portray :-)

Extrasolar Planets

BSG, Firefly and Trojans: One Way Science Could Feed Science Fiction

Two of my favourite shows of the past ten years are Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. For the most part good, however among the more annoying mistakes are the packing of a great number of planets in a single star system. BSG claims to have 12 planets in a single solar system - the 12 colonies of Cobol. Firefly seemed to have even more.

From a forum post on SyFy, I learned of Kethinov's commentary on the issue.

And I decided to write a response of how it could be solved.

Review: Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in post 9/11 America, by Susan Faludi

I recently read "Terror Dream" by Susan Faludi. She's an American journalist and author of the well-known books "Backlash" , and "Stiffed". In this book she explores the myth and misogyny in the cultural/media response to 9/11. It's interesting in my opinion, some of the more famous case-studies she talks about are the firefighters, the 9/11 widows, Jessica Lynch, the media's feigned concern for illiterate afghan girls. Faludi's thesis is that there was a dichotomizing between male heroes and female victims; regardless of whether or not this was the reality of the players involved in any situation. The male heroes had to be gritty, masculine, characters of action; whereas the female victims had to be innocent, helpless, preferably virgins. She said this originates in America's historical cultural continuum, going back to John Wayne, and beyond that, to captivity stories from the frontier days.

Review: Dreams from my Father, by Barack Obama

I highly recommend it, one of the top pieces of English literature I´ve read in years.

He wrote this autobiography after graduating from Harvard Law school and being the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, early 1990s I think, which got him a lot of attention and thus a book deal. I picked it up because I wanted to learn more about the man, and I thought it was nice a political biography was written before he became a serious politician, as such I assumed it would be more genuine then the usual sloganism and propaganda of political manifestos.