In a discussion a while back I mentioned in passing that humans sense wetness and time. That was challenged on the basis that we don’t sense time at all and — when it comes to wetness — sense only pressure and temperature. There is some truth to that. We don’t have an actual time sensor, nor do we have specific “wetness” sensors.
I’ve been thinking about this ever since (not constantly; you know, on and off). A key question is whether wetness can be reduced to pressure and temperature and remain wetness. And time is a topic all on its own!
For the record: Here is my final answer…
You may know about the Drake Equation, which is an attempt to quantify the number of intelligence species that evolve in a galaxy. Depending on how you set the parameters, the answer varies from “lots!” to “almost none.” The first answer leads to Fermi’s Paradox: Okay, if there are lots of aliens… where are they? So far we’ve seen no signs (pardon the reference).
If you read science fiction you may also be familiar with the idea of Ancient Alien Ancestors (AAA) who are now long gone leaving only a legend. Sometimes there are The Ancients (now long absent), the current Elder Races (powerful, not always wise, not always kind), and the Younger Races (which Earthlings invariably belong to).
But what if we are those Ancient Ancestors?
I don’t often crack up over internet gags, but when I do I crack up over ones like this:
As an added bonus, back in June (during their slump) I wrote a little blues tune for my Minnesota Twins…
It’s been a week since Jon Stewart hosted his final The Daily Show…
Jon Stewart: A man who was on TV.
I still haven’t recovered. I may never recover. [salty goggles]
Jon, you will be missed. Sorely.
It’s all gone wrnog!
I have an email friend who is a baseball fan, and when her daughter was very young, she (the daughter, not the friend) conflated “serious” and “series” (as in “World Serious”). It’s one of those great things kids sometimes say that sticks with you because it’s so perfect. Baseball series are serious, and none more so than the World Serious.
When I manage to come up with one, I delight in having puns in my post titles, and now you’ll understand the one used here. The Minnesota Twins just finished a three-game serious against division rival the Cleveland Indians, and it was an extraordinarily painful one. Seriously painful.
How bad was it? So bad. So very, very bad.
Torii Hunter wonders “WTF?”
Yesterday my Minnesota Twins played their 108th game, which means the season is now exactly 2/3 over. And I say “my” Twins, but given their performance since the All-Star break, many of us fans are about to disown them. When I last wrote about them, I said, “Now everything depends on what happens after the All-Star break.”
They’d surprised us with a Mighty May, had a rough June Swoon, but seemed to wake up again in July and ended the first half strong. Unfortunately, their second half has been pretty awful all around. Their batting struggles continue, but now the pitching is going downhill, too.
After a giddy rush of “post-season is possible” we’re back to our original ask: “Please just don’t suck again this year.”
As a memorial to the loss of my favorite voice in fiction, I’ve been doing a Sir Terry Pratchett Discworld memorial read. I’d been planning to read the Witches novels again anyway, so I did that and then went on to read the Rincewind novels. Now I’m working my way through the rest in chronological order. I just finished Hogfather.
This time, as I go, I’m leaving tape flags behind to mark bits I especially liked and plan to share (and record) here. Part of what is so engaging about the Discworld novels is how intelligent and perceptive the writing is. Pratchett was a brilliant writer. After reading these books many times I’m still learning to appreciate his genius.
Today I thought I’d share some of those flagged bits with you.
If you live in the USA and watch TV, you’ve probably seen the “Messin’ with Sasquatch” commercials advertising Jack Links Beef Jerky.
But have you ever really thought about the message behind these commercials?
There comes a time when words fail, and all you can do is stare in amazement. The Friday press conference from the New Horizons team had that effect on many of us. (I’m not the only one who wept with sheer joy.)
From behind the planet, the Sun illuminates Pluto’s 100 mi layer of haze.
They say pictures are worth thousands of words, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking (click on any image to go to the source)…
As I’ve said many times, when it comes to storytelling: Take me someplace new! Last night I watched a rather unregarded movie, Bunraku (2010), and it delighted me by doing exactly that.
Now when I say “rather unregarded” what I mean is that both critics and audiences haven’t reacted at all well to it. It has a dismal 19% (critics) / 48% (audiences) rating on Rotten Tomatoes and only a 28 (out of 100) on Metacritic. That’s pretty unregarded. But I’m not sure they judged the movie on its own merits so much as against their own expectations.
It’s possible I’ve mellowed in my old age, but as far as I can tell, I’m still the same old highly critical SOB I’ve always been!