A bit of a slow stretch, the 4th of July holiday and driving into work a couple of days really slowed down my reading speed. So all I have managed is a moderately fat fantasy, A Fortress of Grey Ice, by JV Jones
Today is a fine, fine day in history.
In 1955, Disneyland, in Anaheim California opened, to disastrous results. Rides broke down, concession stands ran out of food, and Walt Disney must have briefly regretted the gamble to open a theme park.
In 1938, Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, took off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, ostensibly to fly back to Long Beach, California. However, claiming fog and navigational troubles, he managed to land in Dublin, Ireland. Although he never admitted it, it is widely believed that Corrigan flew to Ireland on purpose, since he was unable to get official permission to do so.
Google Earth – Home
In line with their photo organization program, and desktop, now Google apparently has a “explore the Earth” software called Google Earth. While the heavy duty versions cost $, the basic version is, apparently free.
My PC doesn’t have the horsepower to run it. Maybe my next one…or maybe one of my readers will try it and give me news on how well it actually works.
NPR : Songs of Guernsey, Ancient and Authentic
A fascinating story on NPR about the Island of Guernsey, and the music derived from this unique English Channel island.
Via Digby, and other places too, a survey of conservative thinkers by the New Republic about their belief in Evolution.
As Carl Sagan said 25 years ago, “Evolution is a fact. It really happened.” Disbelieving in gravity doesn’t mean that falling from a ten story building is going to be anything other than fatal.
Some of these thinkers I applaud for common sense. Charles Krauthammer, however benighted his columns might be, gets its right.
The entire structure of modern biology, and every branch of it [is] built around evolution and to teach anything but evolution would be a tremendous disservice to scientific education.
By comparison, some of the other responses quoted are mealy-mouthed prevarications or outright worship of the Fundamentalists. (Paging Pat Buchanan to the white courtesy phone…)
Grover’s admonition that he’d rather spend his time crushing government run schools, though, is just chilling.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
The Washington Monthly
Via many sources this dark morning.
NPR : The Life of the Land, Flowing Underground
Heard this story on NPR, about the study of underground water flow in the Pacific Northwestand the importance of water management.
The website for the story has more information than just the audio story, including the amazing picture of torrents of water just coming up out of the ground.
Science Fiction Movie and TV Reviews
The Scifi.com review of War of the Worlds makes a mistake in its first paragraph, nay its first line.
Ray Ferrier (Cruise), a divorced New Jersey dockworker, is not much of a father to his two children, 11-year-old Rachel (Fanning) and teenage Robbie (Chatwin). When Ray’s ex-wife, the very pregnant Mary Ann (Miranda Otto), drops them off for the weekend, Ray’s late, and the kids can barely bring themselves to say hello.
Actually, Ray lives in the shadow of the Bayonne Bridge,
in my hometown, of Staten Island, NY. Its not much of a spoiler, but the Bridge, which is promimently seen in the early part of the movie, does wind up becoming a casualty of the alien attack.
UPDATE: I am perhaps wrong, after all. My brother, in comments, corrects the mistake, but in so doing, shows the filmmakers have an even worse sense of geography than I thought, since Farrier, to make sense of the scenes we see, would have had to drive across the destroyed Bayonne and headed south from there.
Pharyngula::Clone war of the sexes
Via Pharyngula, an immensely fascinating post about the genetics of the reproduction of Wasmannia auropunctata.
Throw this at entry level bio students, and they’ll tear their hair out in frustration in deciphering it.
Once again, with the boundless diversity and creativity shown by evolution, who in their right mind would want to reduce their curiosity to “Goddidit” and ID?
And wouldn’t these genetic patterns of reproduction make a wonderful basis for aliens in an SF story?
Kathryn Cramer: The Locus Awards
Via Kathryn Cramer, we finally learn the winners of the reader-voted 2005 Locus Awards.
Stephenson and Mieville won for best SF and best fantasy novel, respectively. Both have strong followings in the community, its not that much of a surprise, if any.