Now that the Grammys are over, it’s sweeps week for bloggers (isn’t it always?) (Alas, the gowns and apres parties are nowhere near as chic.) Anyway, for the sake of ratings, let’s keep it light and entertaining, this time. No politics!
First a humorous... but practical(!) essay about how to escape killer robots... by a guy who should know: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/mech-tech/dn8490
Fascinating! Scientists Follow the Money to Predict Epidemics -- (Reuters -- January 25, 2006)
A popular U.S. Web site that tracks the geographical circulation of money could offer new insights into predicting the spread of infectious diseases like bird flu. Money, like diseases, is carried by people around the world, so what better way to plot the spread of a potential influenza pandemic than to track the circulation of dollar bills, researchers reasoned.
Last Year Was Warmest in a Century -- (Discovery -- January 26, 2006)
2005 was Earth's warmest year in a century, say NASA climatologists, with the years 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004 following close behind. Just about every part of the Earth's surface was warmer than average last year, with the most severe temperature rises in the Arctic, according to the data and analysis of NASA climatologists at the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. The study is further evidence, added to a mountain of scientific evidence, supporting that global warming is real.
Movement of Earth's North Magnetic Pole Accelerating Rapidly -- (PhysLink -- January 25, 2006)
After some 400 years of relative stability, Earth's North Magnetic Pole has moved nearly 1,100 kilometers out into the Arctic Ocean during the last century and at its present rate could move from northern Canada to Siberia within the next half-century. If that happens, Alaska may be in danger of losing one of its most stunning natural phenomena, the Northern Lights. This has scarier aspects... eg the possibility that it foreshadows a magnetic field “flip”.
ORPHEUS AS CYBERPUNK OUTLAW People interested in applying SF to study of the Orpheus myth may find this essay interesting.
Interesting juxtaposition with what I’ve said about myth, in my various articles and the coming STAR WARS ON TRIAL book.
Missing a few brain cells? Print new ones Jan. 30, 2006 ** A printer that spits out ultra-fine droplets of cells instead of ink has been used to print live brain cells without causing them any apparent harm. The technique could open up the possibility of building replacement tissue cell by cell, giving doctors complete control over the tissue they graft. The device is a variant of a conventional...
Finally -- a self-serving piece of flum-bloggery. Just to remind you folks that you have opportunities -- if you happen to have liked my books over the years -- to drop in at places like Amazon.com and leave comments about various titles. The odd, statistical quirk is that, when you get persistently high rankings like I do, one or two snarling snipers can come in, trash a bunch of books, and do real damage to the average score! Always nice to have friendly folks drop in there and leave a good word. Ahem, hint.
Oh, while I'm at it. If people post anything that says "David Brin is..." something interesting happens. That "___ is" statement will be found and sifted for ... well... I forget what it's called. (Anybody?) But it is this quirky quasi-google that has gained momentum and has started defining people. (One total jerk posted an "is" slur about me and it's been kept alive for TEN years, despite the fact that I am the only guy at my level who still personally answers ALL fan mail!)
Hey, folks. Happy pre-Valentines Day weekend. Find somebody to be nice to.