Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Middle Age

I think I've officially reached middle age: I got my first pair of bifocals today.  (Actually, I think they're trifocals, but whatev.)  Several people had shared horror stories and warned me that I'd hate them and should go with reading glasses instead, but my problem wasn't just when I was sitting down to read a book.  It's a little odd where there are blurry patches that used to be clear, but that's completely offset by the joy of being able to read a piece of paper in my hand without having to lift up my glasses and hold the paper up to my nose - that was getting r  e  a  l  l  y tiresome.  I'm able to go down stairs without problem (a warning from the doctor) and even drove from the doctor's office to work.  So far I have no complaints.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Martian

I LOVED this book, which is really more science than science fiction.  I listened to the audio version and thoroughly enjoyed both Andy Weir's story and R. C. Bray's narration.  I also think the movie did a good job of condensing the book into movie format.

I don't agree with everything in this review - which does have SPOILERS for both the book and movie - but it does a good job of describing what makes this story so compelling, as well as superior to some of the other recent space exploration movies.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Some quotes from news stories I've read...

"The real dividing line is not between Christianity and Islam, Sunni and Shia, East and West. It is between people who believe in coexistence and those who don't."

This one reminds me of The West Wing episode "Isaac and Ishmael" in which Aaron Sorkin wrote:  "You want to get these people {extremists}? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy."

"The internet is an information landfill. Somewhere in it—buried under piles of opinion, speculation, and misinformation—is virtually all of human knowledge. But sorting through the trash is difficult work. Even when you have something you think is valuable, it often turns out to be a cheap knock-off."

Although this story is about an online encyclopedia, this quote also illustrates why it is imperative to have librarians, especially in academic settings, to help educate people about finding the true treasures buried in the trash.

TMT Protest
"The one thing that makes you Hawaiian is one of your ancestors came here in a canoe led by an astronomer."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Passage of Time

Talk about making one feel old...
Star Wars - xkcd

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hooray Philae!

They've done it!  The Philae probe landed on the comet!

I LOVE space success stories :-)

Thursday, November 06, 2014


The people who explore space via unmanned vehicles are up to their shenanigans again.  Last time, it was NASA lowering a rover to the surface of Mars via sky crane.  This time it's the European Space Agency (ESA) rendezvousing with a comet, staying with it as it orbits the sun, and next week (fingers crossed, oh please, oh please, let it work) deploying a probe to land on the comet as it spins its way along.

Those of you who think of scientists as dry and boring might want to re-evaluate your perceptions - these people are nuts!

Both agencies created videos to promote their missions - I was impressed by the NASA one explaining the Curiosity mission - and it's still good - but the ESA video for Rosetta is mind-blowing on a whole other dimension...