New Nickel

As you might have heard on NPR (or somewhere else, I heard about it at work in the last month or so, displays up, too), a brand new nickel is debuting this week from the US Treasury.

Its a hybrid of the Jefferson and the Buffalo Nickel, with both sides redesigned. You will note from the picture (and when you handle one, the Treasury is making a billion of these babies) that the rim is smaller than most coins, and the portrait of Jefferson faces opposite the current nickel’s configuration.
Oh, and the “Liberty” is not only in cursive, but its taken from Jefferson’s own handwriting style, too.

SF Site’s Top Ten Novels of the Year

The SF Site: Readers’ Choice Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2004
SF Site has published their list of the top ten novels of the year as chosen by their readers, with the ballyhooed Susanna Clarke Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell taking the top spot.
Aside from the Donaldson on the list, though, I would want to read any of these books–and actually do have a couple in my pile of books. A good mix of genres, too from phantasmogoric fantasy to space opera.

Ad Blast from the Past

Whatever: Asimov and the Cleti
John Scalzi has a blog entry with a picture of an old ad from the early 1980’s where Issac Asimov shills for a TRS-80.
It reminds me of a television commercial I recall from the same era, where Arthur C. Clarke was shilling for a new and exciting science/science fiction magazine called Omni.
As I recall, the production values for the commercial were pretty low, just like the ad that John has put up. And of course, Omni is long gone and I don’t foresee Greg Bear doing a TV commercial anytime soon.