When I was your age, Pluto was a planet

notebooks on the revolution

an argument for the Oxford comma
stolen from freewaydiva , as seen in The Stranger:

I haven't posted much in quite awhile -- been preoccupied with other stuff.  I'll be back soon.  In the meantime, one of the guys as work sent this to me -- a nice short video on the reaction of alkali metals with water.  Fun to watch...


Norwescon schedule

I just got my schedule for Norwescon a couple of days ago, and the panels I'm on look to be a lot of fun.  Really looking forward to it.  Unfortunately, they scheduled me for a Sunday panel -- "Science as a weapon" with Brenda Cooper.  Would have been interesting, except that I'd marked all of Sunday as unavailable.  We don't celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, but we do celebrate it as a family holiday, so I don't go to Norwescon on that day.  Ah well...

I'm not going to bother to wait until just before the con to post my schedule because nobody's going to come to a panel just for me, but here it is regardless:

Friday, 9:00 a.m., Cascade 6
Fictional Linguistics
A linguist discusses how to use existing languages as a model for fantasy or
alien languages. A fascinating look at how what we say (or don't) shapes our
world and how that principle affects alien tongues.
Jake Ballin (M), Brent Kellmer, John M. Lawler, Kris Millering

Friday, 3:00 p.m., Cascade 7
Terraforming 101
Can a lifeless planet really be made to support life? How might it be done?
Is it practical? How do we know that said planet is indeed "lifeless?" What
are the questions that would need to be asked to make that kind of decision?
Bob Crichton, Brent Kellmer, Pat MacEwen, Mickey Phoenix

Friday, 4:00 p.m., Evergreen 1
Energy Weapons: A Reality Check
Flash Gordon aside, what are the weapons most likely to be used in the future?
Brent Kellmer, Greg Paddock, David J. Williams

Friday, 6:00 p.m., Cascade 5
Alien Religions and Religious Practices
Avatar gave us a serious look at aboriginal religious practices.  We review
other noted religious systems in SF/F and compare how they are similar and different.
Spencer Ellsworth, Brent Kellmer, Darragh Metzger

Saturday, 10:00 a.m., Cascade 9
Alien Biology
How would alien bodies operate? How would they move? Breathe? Eat?
Reproduce? Would their biochemical mechanisms be similar to ours, or would
they evolve entirely different paths? Would they need all of the same functions that we have?
Brent Kellmer (M), Pat MacEwen, Annie Morton

Friday looks to be busy, but all these look way cool.

doing the happy dance...
panda hat
Been doing it a lot this weekend -- yesterday it was curling, today hockey.  3-2 in overtime!

Okay, so I've been away for a bit and come back for the sports, which is not at all normal for me.  But I've been watching a lot over the past two weeks.  But now I'm getting back to business...

panda hat
Just watched Kevin Martin and Team Canada  beat Norway for the gold 6-3 in curling.  Really nicely done.

Yeah, I know, most of you've seen this already.  But I don't often go to movies.  Went to this one, though, largely because the boys wanted to see it so bad.  Of course, the commentary I'd heard made it so I wasn't kicking and screaming on the way.

The boys -- not as thrilled with it -- it had too much destruction visited on the good guys for them.

Me?  I thought it was phenomenal.  The 3D, I'm not sure I really needed, but my opinion is colored by the fact that the characters do a lot of running along tree limbs and looking down.  3D makes that not so comfortable if you've got vertigo.  There were a number of times that I had to look over to the side of the screen.

Sure the plot wasn't original.  It was essentially Dancing with Aliens.  But it was still phenomenal.  I'm glad I saw it in the theater.

"Breaking Contact" -- Fund raising for Haiti
Per the initiative hosted at Crossed Genres, as first reported by Cheryl Morgan here, I am participating in the "Post a Story for Haiti" project. Crossed Genres will host links to stories posted on individual writer blogs or Web sites, with links and click throughs for Haiti donations.

I don't have enough unpublished shorts in the inventory to post one of those, so I'm putting up "Breaking Contact," originally published in Aoife's Kiss in September 2008.  If you like it, please link to both the story and to the Crossed Genres page, and give whatever you think the story is worth to Haitian earthquake relief.

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SF author Laura Anne Gilman  is offering free books in return for donations to MSF (Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières)  get there while the getting's good.

Regardless, though, think about donating.  It's really needed and MSF does some of the best, most important work out there, with no regard to politics, and very little to personal safety.

With taxes for this year.  A new record for me.  I'm glad to have them out of the way, though.  And only 1 evening wasted on it...

doing the taxes tonight, which is a record, even for me.  Every year I try to get them done as soon as possible -- this year I got my  W-2 from the day job last week, and the W-2 from the evil short-term part time job tonight.  Since I also got the mortgage tax records tonight, I can do the taxes now.  A pain in the ass, but it's got to be done...


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