when you die it’s not a major career problem
Well, we’ve had the post-about-something post, which just leaves the odds-and-sods posts that are starting to become far too much of a fixture. They’ve even started to colonize Moose’s site. Evil I tell you… Seeing as how I am just too lazy/tired/grumpy/in pain/insert appropriate adjective here to write another proper post that links all the disparate threads into one, you’re just going to have to lump it.
I’m in the middle of a Ben Bova binge at the moment (the Michael Connelly binge is on hold till I can get the rest of his books from the library). In a few days there might be a review of ‘Moonrise’ at least. But before I forget, here are a few thoughts. As ever, Bova writes what I consider to be the best form of science-fiction: a great story that also tells us much about the situation we find ourselves in today. It was written in 1996 (remember my rant on the need to understand the climate a book was written in?) and focuses a lot of thought on the problem of nano-tech. For nano-tech, read any scientific advance, most especially genome technology/stem-cell research/cloning etc that is currently causing Bush a few sleepless nights. More importantly, that is causing the scientists who need Federal funding to keep going, more than a few sleepless nights. I won’t go into it at length – this isn’t the review after all – but Bova sure knows what he is talking about. Wonderfully descriptive, the way he has the American government taken over behind the scenes by strictly Conservative Christian interest groups… Scratch “wonderfully descriptive” and put “scarily too believable. I want to emigrate to the Moon, now!
Ok, so in the interests of keeping the peace, and because I agree that the current way I footnote is just NOT working, I am looking into this solution, or a tweak thereof. Not sure how happy blogger is going to be about the idea, and all of you without good browsers are going to suffer, nor am I sure when (if ever) I will get it working. I am thinking about it though, and now I have time to breathe again, something might come of it. Or not. Wait and see.
Karl Kennedy came to Southampton – this little piece of news is courtesy of Bimbo Star, though how she, in deepest darkest Fen-land, knows more about what is going on at my Union than I do is another matter. He has a band, called “Waiting Room” (oh, so funny, seeing as how he plays a doctor in Neighbours…) and they are doing a UK tour at the moment. Woot. Had a quick look-see at his site, and it turns out that Southampton isn’t quite important enough to get a gig from the full band – we just get Alan Fletcher (that’s Dr Karl to you, me, and the cat). Also, they’re doing a gig ‘NEAR LONDON!!!’ (their exclamations, not mine). This turns out to be in Reading. Ok, so when you’re from a country the size of Australia, Reading must seem within throwing distance of London, but it is still 44 miles (Multimap says you can drive it in an hour. I think that that is wishful thinking). If you want a laugh, then go to his site and download the song “Perfectly Comfortable”. It was written in response to the Iraq war, you know. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to scrub my hard-drive clean of any evidence that I ever downloaded “Perfectly Comfortable”. -shudder-
I’m starting to have to think about what sort of jobs I want to apply for in the autumn when I can no longer afford to be a student. How, I wonder, do you get a job as head of futurology? The article. Best bit, “It is possible to make a conscious computer with superhuman levels of intelligence before 2020. It would definitely have emotions – that’s one of the primary reasons for doing it. If I’m on an aeroplane I want the computer to be more terrified of crashing than I am so it does everything to stay in the air until it’s supposed to be on the ground.”
Dinosaurs and Man in the same museum. -said in a tired sigh- no, no, no, no, no. Please. Some commonsense! My archaeological spidy senses are tingling! Lol though. The site does explain that Noah would have chosen juvenile dinosaurs to save space. Well, at least commonsense hasn’t completely deserted the American psyche. Yet. Apparently they are looking for a site to open a version of the museum in the UK. I wish them luck, if only because I need a good laugh! Let me just put on my archaeologists/biologist hat here. Yes, we have no ‘proof’ for evolution a la Darwin, but there is an even smaller body of evidence supporting the theory as proposed by these people. If you read nothing else, read the bit on “dinosaurs in the bible” – apparently the British are to blame for the centuries old belief that there were no dinosaurs in Eden. We translated the Bible wrong. Our bad, sorry.
2000 more wind turbines. Good. I like wind turbines. I have a few doubts about their efficacy, but at the same time, anything is better than most of the current forms of generating energy (coal and nuclear to name but two). I even think they are rather snazzy to look at, and find people’s objections that they will ‘spoil our green and pleasant land’ just a little silly – do they think that the huge pylons marching all over the countryside look good?
It really does amaze me the things that people can put up with, whilst at the same time make a totally insane fuss about something else that will have a similar visual impact on them (less, considering the tiny portion of the population that lives in the areas that are windy enough for wind-farms). Grrr. There are times when I want to knock sense into the minds of the great British public. There are times we’re like Americans – individually, we’re wonderful. Put us together, and boy do we suck! Quote for you (from Melvyn Bragg) “the freedom to roam around in an unspoilt landscape is vital”. I repeat. Grrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I lived in the frelling countryside for the first twenty-odd years of my life, and I love it still, but it is already ‘spoilt’ by pylons and tv transmitter masts. Try telling people that they will have to do without television because the transmitter on the Mendips has been deemed an eyesore and is coming down. (The thing is butt-ugly. Tall enough to need warning lights on it so planes don’t fly into it, and right on the ridge-line where it can be seen for more miles than you can shake a stick at). I can pretty much guarantee that fairly quickly we’ll have (a) an alternative way of transmitting television successfully to everybody, (b) a lobby of local residents saying that it would be infringing on their rights to remove it, (c) oh, I am too tired to think of a full list, but you get the idea of what I am trying to impart: The ‘not in our backyard’ approach. Everyone agrees we need alternative energy sources, but no one wants to stare it in the face. You can be pretty certain that the people living near Hinkley Point (me, for one) would be a lot happier if they didn’t have an environmental hazard waiting to happen (Chernobyl anyone?) on their doorstep. And don’t get me started on the hassle Peter and Janny have had trying to get solar power to the Farm (though that rant is more to do with the idiocy of certain listing restrictions and shortsightedness of local planning officers).
Update: Moose just informed me that it took her three months or more before she noticed the wind turbine that got put up on the outskirts of Toronto. It is amazing what we can choose to blot from our view if we want to.
Just introduced Jeff to Sweet (glam rock at its silliest and best, have to love a band who can sing a song about the invention of the telephone and make it fun). Mwhahahahaaa. He walked home quietly singing “Alexander Graham Bell” to himself. I repeat, mwhahhahahaaa…