After a couple of weeks

After a couple of weeks off, I couldn’t resist doing this Friday Five
1. What is your favorite type of literature to read (magazine, newspaper, novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)?
Science fiction, of course. Having grown up early on Bradbury, Asimov, Vance and friends, there was little chance I wouldn’t love it. I currently read (books that is) 45% SF, 45% Fantasy, 10% Non fiction or other.
2. What is your favorite novel?
Arrrgh. A very tough question. It might be Silverlock by John Myers Myers. But other choices come to mind as well. Dune. Foundation. The Dying Earth, and of course, Nine Princes in Amber
3. Do you have a favorite poem? (Share it!)
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’
–Percy Bysshe Shelley
4. What is one thing you’ve always wanted to read, or wish you had more time to read?
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Gibbon
5. What are you currently reading?
(I’ve got to update my list at right, this reminds me!)
The Incompleat Nifft, by Michael Shea

What makes a planet

What makes a planet a planet?

Its not as easy a question as you might think.
Here’s a UC Berkeley online article which helps illustrate the variance in opinion. Heck, not everyone thinks poor little Pluto is a planet. At the American Museum of Natural History in NY…Pluto’s been demoted, and does NOT have a model in the new Planetarium as the other planets do. Instead, it is lumped with the Kuiper Belt objects. Those are, for the uninitiated, a sort of “asteroid belt” beyond Neptune, mainly made of ice-dominated bodies. Some of them are quite large, Astronomers recently found one, named Quaoar, which is about 800 miles in diameter. That’s larger than any of the traditional asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and about 4/7th the size of Pluto. So if Pluto is a planet, is Quaoar? And if not, why not? If you consider planets to have a “rocky” core, Pluto gets demoted. But Pluto has a moon, shouldn’t that count for something? And maybe we should consider a “Grandfather” clause for Pluto, and exclude bodies like it from planet-hood?
So does the solar system have 9 planets? Or 8 (if you exclude Pluto)? Or more if you count objects like Quaoar?
Perhaps we can have “major planets” and “minor planets”…but where do you draw that line (one possibility I think are between Major Gas Giants and Minor “Ice/rock planets”. Of course, that means Earth is a “minor” planet under that definition.
Yes, this is the sort of thing which does float my boat. I’ve liked thinking about this stuff ever since good old Carl Sagan put together a little series called Cosmos.

Jenn has posted what she

Jenn has posted what she has entered for games. I finally did it this past weekend, thanks to that nasty depression. And yes, Jenn, I have to get back to you on your AAPA character. I promise.
So, for the interested:
Slot 1: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Chaos, co-gming with Felicia Olson
Slot 2: Ad Amber per Astra
Slot 3: Rites of Passage (campaign). Will Cadmus figure out his parentage? Or at least what Fi and Brand have to do with it?
Slot 4: My primary choices are Deb and Bridgette’s To ‘Scape the Serpent’s Tongue and Felicia’s Revelations in Amber
Slot 5: Ghosts of the Past
Slot 6: Wizard in the Attic, the 2003 Edition
Slot 7: I signed up for Chris Kindred’s A Night Amidst Wolves. With his popularity, its a crapshoot if I will get in
Slot 8 I signed up for (again) Chris Kindred’s To Live and Die in Texorami. See Slot 7
I’m hoping, and dreading for the diversity to be in the people who come to my games. I think its going to primarily be in WITA, because most of my friends who could, DID play in the original edition. (Bridgette is an exception, and she will not be able to make it this time, either). So I could wind up for the first time with a room full of strangers without a single person I know.

Here is the question that

Here is the question that is bothering me right now.
“If I had not re-engaged my relationship with Bonnie in 2001, and moved out here to be with her in 2002, would I, in the course of my attempts to branch away from my domestic situation at home in New York, have considered Southern California as an attractive destination?”
The answer to this question is the answer to whether I stay here, and how soon do I leave if the answer is no.