Aug 272008

Neal Stephenson has a new book to be released Sept 3 2008 (pre-order on Amazon). writes about Stephenson’s motivations and where the ideas came from for this 960 page novel.

Set on a planet called Arbe (pronounced “arb”), Anathem documents a civilization split between two cultures: an indulgent Saecular general population (hooked on casinos, shopping in megastores, trashing the environment—sound familiar?) and the super-educated cohort known as the avaunt, or “auts,” who live a monastic existence defined by intellectual activity and circumscribed rituals. Freed from the pressures of pedestrian life, the avaunt view time differently. Their society—the “mathic” world—is clustered in walled-off areas known as concents built around giant clocks designed to last for centuries. The avaunt are separated into four groups, distinguished by the amount of time they are isolated from the outside world and each other. Unarians stay inside the wall for a year. Decenarians can venture outside only once a decade. Centenarians are locked in for a hundred years, and Millennarians—long-lifespanners who are endowed with Yoda-esque wisdom—emerge only in years ending in triple zeros. Stephenson centers his narrative around a crisis that jars this system—a crisis that allows him to introduce action scenes worthy of Buck Rogers and even a bit of martial arts. It’s a rather complicated setup; fortunately, there’s a detailed timeline and 20-page glossary to help the reader decode things.

 Posted by at 10:02 pm
Aug 272008

831361 (Random pic…nerd up)


NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Climbing Out of Victoria Crater [NASA]

No bull! Cows have a built-in compass [MSNBC]

Caesarean babies more likely to develop diabetes [Science Blog]

DNA Barcodes: Are They Always Accurate? [Physorg]


Like An Egyptian [Savage Chicken]

Pink Beer from Asahi Japan [3yen]

25 Hairstyles of the Last 100 Years [The List Universe]

The 10 Most Shameless Product Placements in Movie History – [Cracked]

Dragonball Trailer Coming in October [Superhero Hype]


Use your treadmill to play WOW [SlashGear]

Reverse Engineering Can Resolve Conflict Between Standardization And Competition [Techdirt]

Introducing Ubiquity – An experiment into connecting the Web with language. [Mozilla Labs]

Red Hat, Fedora Servers Infiltrated By Attackers [OSNews]

Kindle fails to set light to unsold e-book pile [Register]

 Posted by at 12:15 am
Aug 272008

Here’s a sampling of folks Patrick and I came across at the Star Trek Convention in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I’ll get everything posted to Flickr ‘real soon now’.

Among my favorites were Michelle and Francine as the Starfleet Cheerleaders (now that is original!), the blue bunny science office (bottom right), and Holly from (bottom left). Standing next to Holly is Dataest (warning, links to Myspace).

More photos coming…

HPIM0120  HPIM0133

HPIM0140 HPIM0160

HPIM0181 HPIM0182

 HPIM0201 HPIM0221

 Posted by at 12:02 am
Aug 262008

obama ufo

Come on, give it up for more ghetto paint skills! :-)

Seriously though, this is the best news item to come across my RSS feed all day. Remember the due in Denver that claimed he had footage of an alien peeking through a window getting ready to abduct folks from their house?

His name is Jeff Peckman and now that the Democratic convention is occurring in his home town of Denver this week, he wants a sit down with prospective president Barrack Obama to give him an Extraterrestrial briefing.

Here’s the press release (pdf). For more info, go to the Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission web site run by Mr. Peckman.

From the press release:

In a televised primary debate last October, Sen. Obama was asked if he agreed that “there is life beyond Earth”. Obama replied, “…I don’t know and I don’t presume to know”. Peckman said, “Obama needs to know because in a recent AOL News poll, out of more than 135,000 online voters, 93% believed life exists elsewhere in the universe and 81% believed Extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth. Scientific polls on the same questions have shown similar results, and also that the vast majority of Americans believe the government is not telling the truth about the UFO/ET issue”.

 Posted by at 12:30 am