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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, July 29, 2012

News from the Climate Change Front

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Group, generally considered to be climate change skeptics, funded a project to investigate global temperatures over the last fifty years.  Guess what?  Their results confirm what so many scientists have been saying!  Well, duh.  Facts is facts.  Temperatures have increased by 1.5 °F over the past fifty years and "essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases." 

It’s wonderful to see they went at this with an open mind, ready to accept whatever the data showed them.

 ~ ~ ~ :: ~ ~ ~

Way south, a huge, mile-deep rift valley was found under the ice in West Antarctica. It's about the size of the Grand Canyon:

That's a trace generated by ice-penetrating radar towed by a team of scientists on snowmobiles.  It’s thought this deep canyon may be channeling warmer ocean water to the bottom of the near-by Pine Island Glacier.  This can lubricate the underside, speeding its flow and hastening its melting.  This glacier is poised to calf a large chunk soon: 

The picture is from November, 2011.  The crack was about 19 miles (30 kilometers) long, 260 feet (80 meters) wide and 195 feet (60 meters) deep back then.  The giant iceberg that will result will cover about 350 square miles (900 square kilometers).  Yikes!

The current rate of ice loss from West Antarctica is thought to contribute about 10% to global sea level rise, currently at about 3.3 millimeters per year and increasing.  If the ice sheet there (West Antarctica, not the entire continent's ice) were to completely melt, sea level would go up by several meters.  Greenland losing its ice would add another couple meters. 

 ~ ~ ~ :: ~ ~ ~

That's it for now.  Don't go buying any beach-front property!


I said I was looking forward to what came next after finishing v2 of Rising Tide.  Well, it appears that what’s next is mental fatigue.  It crept up on me over the course of the week.  By Thursday I couldn’t work on the short story any more.  Yesterday I was lucky to have some tasks at work that weren’t mentally demanding.  I copied and stamped numbers on the bottom of forms for about an hour.  :-)  Helped our IT guru with an issue off and on for most of the morning - which consisted of him saying “try this” and me trying that and disappointing him with the results.  It worked for him, just not for me.  I told him the system liked him best.  Probably not all that helpful, really, but I’m sure it’s true.  Did normal stuff where I had to think, too.  I’m scheduled for some training most of the upcoming week.  The ol’ brain cells better be back from coffee break by then. 

Today I have a list of things to accomplish:
Grocery shop
Cook some of what I buy at the grocer
Take a nap
Finish edit of Orchid (short story)
Read or watch a movie

So far I took a shower...  Guess I’ll head to the grocery store before the rain arrives.

Edit:  Crossed shopping, cooking, napping and editing off the list.  Did some on-line reading, although when I made the list I had reading a book in mind.  Well, there's still a bit of evening left.  It's time for Mr. Pratchett's latest, The Long Earth.   ;-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WRoE Wrap-up

Okay, here’s my WRoE wrap-up. 

In July (1st to 17th) I spent 46 hours working on the WIP, wrote a net of 10,700 words.  Finished version 2. 

The novel isn’t finished, just this version.  I fully expect to create a v3 after I get feedback on the manuscript.  Meanwhile, I will be working on other projects - a short story, then the 2010 NaNoNovel.  Time spent on those don’t count toward WRoE, since Rising Tide was my designated project. 

It’s been fun for me.  A bit mind-boggling as well, to see how much time this really took.  The number is scary!   If you don’t want to see it, skip to the next paragraph NOW  ..... ..... January through July  215 hours

From the beginning, this novel came slowly.  It was really hard to write more than 2000 words a day, even back in November.  A wrong turn led to a creative wall.  Perhaps I should say I ran aground.  Once I backed off, tried another tack, the story took off again.  Much of it wasn’t written in a linear fashion, either, which is not my usual approach. 

It feels amazing to have this in hand.  I am very much looking forward to what comes next.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


*wipes sweat from brow*

Last night I filled the last gap in v2 of the novel.  There are a few little things I still need to do, but essentially this version is DONE.  I had no idea how good this would feel, since I've never taken a novel to this point before.

It feels mighty good.

Already had a BBQ with friends on the calendar for tonight - oh, honey, I am CELEBRATING.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Books I Read in June

I realized today that I didn’t mention the books I read in June.  I took an excursion out of Speculative Fiction into the genre of ----- Memoir!  That’s a big leap for me.  I enjoyed it. 

Carol King, A Natural Woman.  This brought back memories of events we all lived through and how important her music was in defining and solidifying those times.  I’ve always loved her music, and now I admire her even more. 

Jenny Lawson, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir).  Hilarious and sad and fascinating.  At times like watching a train wreck.  But in a good way.  Was a huge shift of gears from Carol King.  I sporadically read Jenny’s blog [LINKY THING to The Bloggess] so that did prepare me, sort of. 

When I have wrestled this version of my novel into completion, I am going on a reading binge.  And probably a movie binge.  Should probably accompany that with a walking binge.  Just saying.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

It's been so hot that ...

My new air conditioner is handling our record-breaking heat with aplomb. 

(No, I didn't resort to the Synonym Finder for that last word.  It just popped in my head.  But I used the SF to be sure it meant what I thought it meant ... Can't trust the ol' brain in this heat.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Higgs Boson Day (tentative)

Wow.  CERN may have found a Higgs Boson .  Coolness.  Lots more work to be done, naturally.  That's how science works.  But, still, lots of wow.  Adds another reason to celebrate the day. 

Happy Birthday to the country of my birth.  So many candles.  Need to make them virtual this year as there are many areas of the country in drought or near-drought conditions. 

Novel is doing well and says hi.  Just passed 67K.  I am on an expotition to find The End.  I think someone is moving it.  I blame Rori and Serge.  They are trying to have some private fun, but keep getting interrupted.  Serge has threatened to keel haul someone - fortunately not me.  Yet.  He will hopefully pause and remember that I have the pen in my hand before doing anything so foolish.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cool! And Coffee!

I have A/C!!!

Something I haven't had for five years or more.  Given the heat wave we are currently in, I left this to the very last minute, although didn't actually plan it that way.  It was planned for several years ago, but events (sudden 20% pay cut, family member needing money) conspired to delay things.  The last few months were just me dawdling, reluctance to see my savings account depleted dominating my knowledge that this would be the summer Climate Change really raised its head and roared.

The money is spent.  There is a cool breeze blowing my way as I type this, an iced coffee on the desk. 

Now to get this novel finished...  Coffee and chocolate are writing fuel.  You knew that, right?  That's why I drink mochas.