Sale of For All Mankind!

Contract in hand, I can now announce that I’ve sold my most ambitious short work yet to Analog Science Fiction & Fact! For All Mankind is the tale of two very different women, each hiding secrets from a hostile world.  When their respective nations must reach across the Iron Curtain to avert disaster, they find…

The OA: A Near Story Experience

Spoiler alert. If you haven’t yet watched Netflix’s series, The OA, to the end yet, go away and come back after you have. It’s okay. We’ll wait. Okay. The OA is the story of Prairie Johnson, adopted daughter of two small town Samaritans who has just turned up in the hospital and on YouTube after…

Goodbye Microsoft Sculpt

The Microsoft Sculpt is the worst keyboard I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a Magnavox Odyssey 2. I mean, the Odysey was useless, but at least it worked consistently badly at super low speed and was amenable to being hacked apart and reused for the science fair.   But the Sculpt….UUUUUGH. This POS is sold…

How Fossils Happen

An archeological site in Denmark illustrates beautifully both how fossils form and why they are so rare. Field archeologists from the Museum Lolland-Falster in Denmark have been investigating a stone-age coastal site exposed during excavation for a new tunnel. When this site was occupied over 5,000 years ago, sea levels were rising due to glacial…

How NASA saved money while saving your life.

Whoa! I DID NOT know this. Back in the day, NASA operated a number of Apollo Program related simulators at Langley. One of them was this bad boy, the “Lunar Excursion Module Simulator (LEMS).” LEMS was rigged up to bear 4/5ths of the weight of a test Lunar Lander to support lunar landing simulation. They…

The Power of Determination

Back in the day, I used to be quite an accomplished amateur photographer. I sold crafts to save up enough money to buy a good, cheap, Korean made 35mm SLR camera. I carried my gear in my daddy’s old military helmet bag and built a studio in what had been his  wood shop. For a…

Houston, We Have Several Problems: Black Holes, Part 1

There aren’t many movies that I loved as a kid and can still stand to watch as a grownup. I remember loving Beauty and the Beast, but I don’t know if I could watch it now, because IR… Source: Houston, We Have Several Problems: Black Holes, Part 1

The Post Human Delusion

Our intelligence is an emergent properly of an electromechanical system—our brain. If nature can produce an intelligent brain, we can produce an intelligent brain. There is no magic involved, and we already have a handle on much of what it invovled. The only question is, what will that brain look like, what will it value,…

A Radioative Wonderland

A recent social media interaction led me to a page of anti-nuclear alarmism making such wild claims as “Background radiation has increased 600 fold since 1950,”  and “Radioactive Carbon 14 From Nuclear Power Plants Causing Deforestation…Global Warming.” Yeah….No. For a start, the global average background radiation today is 2.3mSv, and no one really knows what…

Why NASA Matters*

*Even to the most jaded, practical minded. Asked recently on the Internet: Why is the U.S spending so much money on NASA given that it is impractical and does not generate cash flow to sustain itself? Because much of what NASA does isn’t immediately practical or capable of generating a self sustaining cash flow. Government…

My WorldCon Family Reunion

One of the best parts of winning the Writers of the Future contest was the resultant entrée into the family of fellow winners, judges and other participants in the contest. That word “family” is chosen with care. On the whole, we are not the most social lot, but our common experiences and interests draw us…