January 20th, 2009


Schott's Miscellany 18 January 2009

Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson (1996)

WEB 2.0

"Web 2.0" refers to the perception that the Internet has shifted from being an information source to a "participatory web" in which users contribute and collaborate via blogs, wikis, social networking, and other user-focused environments. (The term was apparently coined in 2004 by Dale Dougherty, during a brainstorming session for O'Reilly Media.) Although in some cases enabled by technological progress, Web 2.0 is not a hardware or software development so much as a "set of principles and practices" that prioritize collective intelligence. As noted by Susannah Fox and Mary Madden in a report for the Pew Internet Project, Web 2.0 replaces "the authoritative heft of traditional institutions with the surging wisdom of crowds."

No nation was ever ruined by trade.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-90)
  • Current Music
    "Serenade to a Cuckoo" by Jethro Tull

Schott's Miscellany 19 January 2009

Martin Luther King Day


The Fermi Paradox has been summed up thus: "If the age and size of the universe suggest the existence of extraterrestrials, hwo come we haven't had any contact with the little green men?" Or, more pithily, "Where is eveyrbody?" The paradox is named after teh NObel Prize-winning atomic physicist Enrico Fermi (1901-54), who first posed the question (as well as giving us the fermi: a measure equal to 10-13 cm). In January 2007, Rasmus Bjork, of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute, suggested that hte size of space might h old the answer. Bjork calculate dthat if 64 probes were sent into the alien-friendly "galactic habitable zone," traveling at 1,000 times the speed of NASA's current Cassini mission, it would be still take c.10 billion years to search just 0.4% of the stars. Bjork held out some hope that radio telescopes might shorten the search, but he explained that until aliens "can develop an exotic form of transport that gets them across the galaxy in two weeks, it's still going to take millions of years to find us."

HODDYPEAK -- noodlehead, simpleton, or fool
"Tim's exam proved him a complete and utter hoddypeak."
  • Current Music
    "We Can Talk" by The Band
politics, Kerry Edwards


Watching the inauguration. The crowds are amazing. Keith Olbermann called it a cross between Woodstock and a religious pilgrimage.

  • Current Music
    MSNBC's coverage of the inauguration


Watching the inauguration on the big-screen TV that terri_osborne and I gave each other, in our apartment, Aoki curled up next to me.

I'm so glad I'm alive right now. I saw the Berlin Wall come down, I saw apartheid fall, I saw human beings land on the moon, I saw the WTC fall (not a good thing, but still history unfolding before me), and now I'm seeing this.

I'm tearing up.

Something to keep in mind: President Obama, Vice President Biden, and their administration will screw up, will let us down, will disappoint. Do not let the joy of what is happenng today blind us to the reality that these are human beings.

But don't let cynicism blind us to the amazing thing that's happening right now.

The U.S.A. has always been a work in progress. The most amazing thing about our Constitution is that it allows for change, and was written to be able to account for a world that couldn't be imagined in 1787. Today that work in progress is taking a massive leap forward.

He may not be our best president. He may not even be a good president. But he will always be a pioneering president, and this will forevermore be his day.

Again I say: Wow.
  • Current Music
    the swearing-in
politics, Kerry Edwards


"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works."
---President Barack Obama, 20 January 2009
  • Current Music
    the speech I just quoted
strange detractors


Last night, I did some revisions on Strange Detractors #1 (which, like any good revisions, made the story much stronger) and then today I finished off the script to #2, which has gone off to Rockne for his okee dokee.

Now it's off to karate, then home to do some research before diving into #2 of The Comic That Shall Not Be Named. Tomorrow, I have lunch with friends, interview infinitydog for The Chronic Rift, karate again, then try to do as much of the script for TCTSNBN #2 as humanly possible before collapse.

Thursday is lunch with an editor, then home to finish #2. For the weekend, I dive back into Spectres.
  • Current Music
    "Somebody's Diggin' My Potato" by Leadbelly

on the radio, whoa whoa whoa whoa....

I'll be appearing on Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction radio show on Friday 23 January at 11.30pm on WUSB 90.1FM, available on analog radio if you're in Suffolk County, New York, and available streaming on the web if you're elsewhere. The show will also be archived -- I'll post links once they exist.

This will be my 21st appearance on Destinies, vaulting me ahead of Peter David for most appearances on the show. *grin* I'll be talking with host Dr. Howard Margolin about Star Trek: A Singular Destiny and the Farscape comics, mostly.
  • Current Music
    "Will It Go Round in Circles" by Billy Preston