Friday, June 22, 2007

I just watched the fourth and fifth eps of Infest Wisely. It's lo-fi low-key no-budget scifi, with ideas and smarts behind. Little things that barely got a mention (like the self-heating paper bags from the Chinese restaurant) fascinated my ass.

Funny though: just how well can you seal yourself off from nanotech infestation? Duct-tape for the mouth, plugs for the nose and ears, goggles; yes, of course, but what about your rectum? Hell, what about your pores? Fascinating nonetheless, it’s symbolic as opposed to literal, a sartorial act of rebellion.

And if this isn't a model for post-TV TV shows, I don't know what is.

Watch it. Is good.


Watched an episode of I Spy on Youtube on Monday ("A Cup of Kindness" if you must know). Fascinating stuff; I mean, Bill Cosby as a leanly muscled Rhodes-Scholar-spy with a penchant for languages and the more scientific aspects of tradecraft!? Absolutely no hint of racism or condescension of any sort? Who knew?

A thing of beauty, it is.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

You have *got* to be kidding me.

Sci-fi writers join war on terror.

Looking to prevent the next terrorist attack, the Homeland Security Department is tapping into the wild imaginations of a group of self-described "deviant" thinkers: science-fiction writers.

"We spend our entire careers living in the future," says author Arlan Andrews, one of a handful of writers the government brought to Washington this month to attend a Homeland Security conference on science and technology.

Those responsible for keeping the nation safe from devastating attacks realize that in addition to border agents, police and airport screeners, they "need people to think of crazy ideas," Andrews says.

The writers make up a group called Sigma, which Andrews put together 15 years ago to advise government officials. The last time the group gathered was in the late 1990s, when members met with government scientists to discuss what a post-nuclear age might look like, says group member Greg Bear. He has written 30 sci-fi books, including the best seller
Darwin's Radio.

Sigma consists of Jerry Pournelle, Arlan Andrews, Greg Bear, Larry Niven and Sage Walker.

Okay, on the one hand, I'm immenselfy turned-on by this on general principles. On the other hand, this team isn't exactly the cutting-edge of speculative fiction; I mean, Larry Niven? Sure, once upon a time. Greg Bear? Hmm, rather have Egan but okay. Sage Walker? Best known for her work on Wild Cards. Arlan Andrews? Never heard of him.

Not. Impressed.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Peter Watts has been pimping these online scifi-movie shorts for a while now. Ingestible computing, nanotech, an internet-averse computer hacker ... you know, effectively porn for me.

Thus, Infest Wisely has been medusaheaded. Watching "Obsolete" as we speak.
When in doubt, punch.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Session-long tensions in the Alabama Senate boiled over Thursday as Republican Sen. Charles Bishop of Jasper punched Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe in the head before the two were pulled apart.

The 69-year-old Bishop said he punched Barron, 65, in the head after the senator called him a "son of a bitch."

"I responded to his comment with my right hand," Bishop said.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ray Bradbury says you morons all got his book wrong. Fahrenheit-451 is not about what all you college professors, graduate students and reviewers thought it was. IN YOUR FACE, college professors, graduate students and reviewers!


Now that's what I call Green.


Best of all, Iain (M.) Banks undergoes some Gentle Questioning on his two upcoming books: one is set in the modern day (written in Banks' M-less persona, starring the heir to a games company) *and* recently released in the UK. The other is set in The Culture universe and, as such, of somewhat greater interest to the likes of me.

Huh. I've mentioned this before, haven't I. To save you the trouble, the only new information is that it's his largest book yet and the title is officially Matter.

Thank you for your time. G'day.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Of swords and plowshares ...

Religions start out embodying the best of human aspirations: peace, generosity, kindness, love -- that stuff. Then humans with ambitions notice how much power those ideas have, and they slowly move the religions around until they're all about Being Right. And the people who are not Right are Wrong, and what do we do with wrong people? We smite them! Smiting is good for them. Also, once they're smited, we get to keep their land. - Jon Carroll