Category: Stuff

  • NaNoWriMo Update

    urrrrggghhhh nearly there…must finish but everything seems trite… Stuck with how to solve a murder – so literally the butler did it. Sure it was a robot butler but still. Now main character has a maguffin and a chase scene and needs to switch on the deus-ex-machina machine to end the story. Make it stop….

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  • Eruditorum on Three Body Problem

    El Sandifer has an interesting discussion on The Three Body problem and its sequel The Dark Forest here http://www.eruditorumpress.com/blog/the-three-body-trilogy-or-at-least-two-thirds-of-it/ I made a couple of comments that I’m repeating here πŸ™‚

  • Children are both monsters and inspiring

    After a bad few days of feeling down about humanity, here is a bit of an inspirational story. A New Zealand girl with a chronic medical condition who was repeatedly bullied at school makes an impassioned speech at her new school: http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/74246616/aiesha-ross-story-spreads-worldwide.html  

  • Review: Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2

    Movie 2015 A movie title with too many qualifiers is not good news. However that is about it for obvious problems with this film. All of the Hunger Games movies had a dilemma: how to make a major Hollywood film about the evils of decadent society watching the children of poor people fight, without the […]

  • Rewatching Star Wars: A New Hope

    We start with text. Firstly a simple fairytale opening line adapt for science fiction purposes that briskly defines the genre of the movie that will follow. It promises the trappings of a Disney story (princesses, evil wizards) and the trappings of science fiction. For a moment a viewer might find that an odd juxtaposition but […]

  • Rewatching Star Wars: The Phantom Racist

    Oh dear. Have we really moved on so far that the lazy national stereotyping in The Phantom Menace is now so obvious and yet didn’t spark mass protests and boycotts way back when it was released? I knew it was there of course and I’d re-watched the movie not that many years ago but whatever […]

  • Weird Internet Ideas: The NRA and Terrorism Follow Up

    A follow up to this post. There is an article here at the New Republic website on an act in the US Congress called H.R.1076 – Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015.   Amends the federal criminal code to grant the Attorney General the authority to deny the transfer of firearms […]

  • Quantum Pi

    A short and almost readable paper in the Journal of Mathematical Physics (here http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jmp/56/11/10.1063/1.4930800 – no paywall on the paper) is one of those just-fancy-that things that occur when a mathematical results pops out from apparently nowhere. In this case a 17th century formula for approximating pi can be derived from physical estimations of energy […]

  • Slate Interview with Philip Pullman

    An interesting interview with Philip Pullman at Slate here http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2015/11/philip_pullman_interview_the_golden_compass_author_on_young_adult_literature.html I liked this bit about the daemons in His Dark Materials. Why is the daemon idea so seductive? I think we all really like animals! We would all like to have spirit companions. It may be as simple as that. I can’t remember how the […]

  • A Further Comment From James May

    James May replied to my post about his comment and then I replied in the comments to his comment, but part of the purpose of this blog was to repost longer comments from other blogs. On a side not the Yangs and Khoms thing is from this (odd IMHO) episode of Star Trek rather than […]