In case you wondered where

In case you wondered where I got the term “Blogosphere”, here is the link.
Silver stars to those who guessed it IS a variation on ecosphere.
The alternative I have seen “out there” among the blogs is Blogistan, using a political metaphor.
-istan is a arab suffix meaning “land of”. Afghanistan is the land of the Afghans. Pakistan is the land of the Paks (no, really!). Proponents of a Kurdish state have called the theoretical plan “Kurdistan”. Oftentimes, India was referred to, by the Mughals, as “Hindustan”.
Thus Blogistan is the Land of the Blogs.
See? If it wasn’t for me, where else would you get this relatively useless information?

88 Degrees That’s the current

88 Degrees
That’s the current temperature here in Orange, Ca.
The normal temperature for this time of the year is just below 70…so it’s hot, even for warm and sunny Orange County. Even in a mild El Nino year, this is only the fourth January on record (in 125 years of measurement) without rainfall. Dry and warm. Paradise to some, Californians south of the mountains love this weather. The ski resorts, however (and there are ones close to the LA Basin) are hurting badly in this weather. Their cold and snow and such are dictated by height, not by latitude. The Tehachapis are pretty darned tall, it took some getting used to when the forecasters would talk about snow “at the 5000 foot level”. There ARE no mountains that tall, back in New York.
So when it is dry and warm like this, the ski resorts can’t even make snow effectively, like their counterparts elsewhere. The news shows the lifts, empty and stalled, the mountainsides bare.
Anyway, Californians seem to believe as a general rule that snow and cold are things to visit rather than experience. Its kind of sad, really, and they really do complain at temperatures that would make a New Yorker laugh, to say nothing of my friends in Michigan and Minnesota. 50 degrees is NOT cold and yet my co-workers complained the other day as we toured the finally finished physical plant because the plant is open to the outside air and a raw wind came through. From their expressions, you’d think it was below freezing. I found it bracing.
Thankfully, this weekend will be cooler, dropping back down toward the low 70’s. Still, I MISS snow. After the last rainstorm in December I could see some snow on the tops of the Tehachapis (I can see them from work, there is a good view). But there is, as I said, none there now.

There is, apparently, a new

There is, apparently, a new documentary out on the failure of Terry Gilliam’s attempts to film his Don Quixote movie, Man of La Mancha. Salon has an article on the documentary.
It’s sad. Having just watched and loved The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, to say nothing of Time Bandits, Brazil and Twelve Monkeys, I would have loved to see what he’d have done with Cervantes’ work.

Friday Five 1. As a

Friday Five

1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why?
Urk. I gravitated more toward the Marvel superheroes than the D.C. ones. It’s hard to choose a favorite from the short list of Spiderman, Iron Man, and Reed Richards (of the Fantastic Four).
2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got?
Hmm, well its still something I want but I don’t think it exists anymore. I had a small set and always wanted a larger one. There used to be a company that put out blocks that were a lot like dominos in the sense that you could line them up and have them fall in rows and patterns. These blocks had notches and the like to make them even better at setting up complex sequences. I had a small set, always wanted one of the larger ones, but never got it.
3. What’s the furthest from home you’ve been?
London, England, to see my older brother who was on leave from his army base in Germany at the time.
4. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t yet?
I’m not good at languages but I would love to learn Latin. I only know a few phrases and the like.
5. What are your plans for the weekend?
See a movie (undecided as to which one), visit the non-Wizards of the Coast gaming store in Orange County, slow cook some chili and watch a few of the new DVDs that came from Netflix, write some turns for Strange Bedfellows and maybe work on some webpages for my Ambercon games.

Quantum Teleportation Years ago, when

Quantum Teleportation
Years ago, when I was much younger, my older brother tried to bribe and coerce me into cleaning the house before our parents got home by the offer of letting me read an article on “the teleport”. While I knew it really referred to a place, an industrial park, he tried to say otherwise, that it was about real teleportation.
16 years later, this article from the NY Times on a successful “teleportation” of light particles over the distance of a mile.
And yes, in case you were curious, we did wind up cleaning the house, and I did read the article about the industrial park.

An unexpected B-5 fan

An unexpected B-5 fan

I don’t think that anyone who reads this blog is unaware of B-5, aka Babylon 5. Like it or not (and a lot of people like it), it does have a niche, a place in the pantheon of science fiction, television or otherwise. I had every episode taped, back in New York. I liked it quite a bit.
Now, thanks to Interesting Times, I’ve discovered that two people you all know very well like it as well, and I would never have guessed or pegged them as SF fans at all, or B-5 fans in particular:


From: Jms at B5 (jmsatb5@aol.com)
Subject: Things You Don’t Expect to Hear
View: Complete Thread (116 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated
Date: 2002-11-27 05:02:17 PST
So I was talking to Doug Netter this afternoon, who had in turn spoken with
Bruce Boxleitner earlier in the day about the year 2 DVD. In the course of
that conversation, Bruce mentioned something that Doug in turn mentioned to me.
To wit:
Bruce had been at the White House about a month ago, in the company of wife
Melissa Gilbert, president of the Screen Actors Guild, for a discussion with
some of the functionaries there concerning acting roles moving north of the
Canadian border.
As they’re talking, in a long conference room, in the middle of the meeting the
door oens and Karl Rove — main strategist for the Republican Party and power
behind the White House throne — comes in. He says (paraphrased from memory)
to Melissa, “I hope you’ll forgive me, but I actually here to see Bruce.”
He then tells Bruce, “I just wanted to tell you that I’m a big science fiction
fan, and that Babylon 5 is the best science fiction television series *ever*.”
Then there’s a pause, and he adds….
“And the President thinks so too.”
Upon hearing this, I went to lie down for a spell, but I fully expect to be
back on my feet by Spring, latest.
jms
(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don’t send me story ideas)


interesting article on the Monkey

interesting article on the Monkey King and how to use him as a PC patron over on Roll the Bones
I do agree that, with “party of adventurers” games, a metagame device to hold the party together is more elegant and
refined than simply having a suspension of disbelief on the party of the players as to why they are hanging together. For an eastern flavored game, Monkey King works very well for the reasons given, but I wonder what other mythological patrons might work in other contexts and milieus.