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“Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.” - Girl Genius, by Kaja & Phil Foglio

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Perspective, it's all about perspective ...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Weather - we'd better do something about it

Here’s a link to a very complete overview of the weather during 2010:

Dr. Jeff Masters' blog of June 24, 2011

He says, “It is quite possible that 2010 was the most extreme weather year globally since 1816.”  That year, following the massive eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, was called the Year Without Summer. 

2010 has the distinction of  (1) being the hottest year on record since the late 1800s, (2) having the lowest volume of Arctic sea ice on record (3) being the third year in a row in which the fabled Northwest Passage was actually open (the other two years were 2009 and 2008), (4) record ice melting in Greenland, (5) second worse coral bleaching year, (6) wettest over land since 1900, (7)  the Amazon basin experienced it’s second 100 year drought in 5 years, (8) Tennessee had a 1 in 1000 year flood.  There’s more, too, that Dr. Masters discusses in this blog post.

He concludes, “The pace of extreme weather events has remained remarkably high during 2011, giving rise to the question--is the "Global Weirding" of 2010 and 2011 the new normal? Has human-caused climate change destabilized the climate, bringing these extreme, unprecedented weather events? Any one of the extreme weather events of 2010 or 2011 could have occurred naturally sometime during the past 1,000 years. But it is highly improbable that the remarkable extreme weather events of 2010 and 2011 could have all happened in such a short period of time without some powerful climate-altering force at work. The best science we have right now maintains that human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like CO2 are the most likely cause of such a climate-altering force.” (emphasis his)

It’s real.  It’s not going away.  It’s very scary because too many people won’t accept this reality and they put convenience and profit ahead of saving the only world we have to live in. 

Feeling kinda down today.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Character Wrangling

Stumbling around the internets I came across this marvelous illustrated piece on the struggles authors sometimes have getting characters to behave:

Author, Author with A Tiger and Free Beer

I have a character or two like this - opinionated and determined to run the story.  Now, when they take it interesting places, it's wonderful to just follow along.  When they decide they're on holiday or that it's time to take a nap (yes, dragon o' mine, I'm looking at you), well ... not so good. 

Do you have any characters like that?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Books? Not in May

Old habits are hard to break.  A cliché, but true.  I didn't read any books in May, even though I have more than half a dozen sitting here tempting me.

I did read.  I made significant progress on the pile of magazines.  There were a few New Yorkers in there, which was a surprise.  I thought I'd gotten all of them.  Maybe that never happens?  Once you've subscribed there will always be an unread New Yorker in the house?  Even two years after you stopped getting them...  Many issues of Science News were read and moved on to the recycle bin. 

I used to cut out the articles that really grabbed me and keep them in a file drawer.  After years of doing that I finally realized I no longer go to that drawer for information.  I google.  Keeping the hard copy is so last century.

That said, I still keep the hard copies of things that could or will be used for writing!  Perhaps because the information is something I may not remember to tie in, especially for the novels.  Sometimes it's because that little scientific article feels like a seed for a story.  And, yeah, it could be that old habits are hard to break.