Watching Iran

So all weekend long I’ve been watching the boiling kettle that is Iran. After the official results of the election there have been mass protests and a crackdown by the official forces. I’m please to see that what has got the people of Persia enraged is the idea of a stolen election. (I have never felt the people of Iran were our enemies only it’s rulers.) At this moment we can’t know where this is heading. It could fizzle out, the population could be brought to heel with more violent repression or this could a be a revolution. I hope the later and would love the irony of the religious rulers being over thrown by the Iranian College students.


And they wonder why they get called racists?

A common insult hurled at Republicans is one of racism and it is one that is generally undeserved. Sometimes though the writers and thinker on the right say such stupid things and make such unsubstantiated  charges you have to wonder if they really read before they write.
Heather MacDonald at National Review’s Corner

Fifty-three percent of all Latinas under the age of 20 have been pregnant at least once, virtually always outside of wedlock. An official with the Pew Hispanic Center recently recounted to me the gang violence and ubiquitous teen pregnancy in his former high school on the east side of Los Angeles. Such social facts do not help California’s budget situation.

No attribution or source for the statistics. Statistics which feed into the stereotype of of massive number of hispanics just breeding away . For heaven’s sake woman you don’t even tell us which population of latinas this supposed statistic applies to. Just US? Just Souther west? All of them through the tip of South America? This is the kind of drivel that is driving the population away from the Republican party.

The demographic wave is threatening to drown the Republicans and this sort of writing will just drive more and more young people awa.


The Eternal Quest to Make the Asssassins The Other.

With James von Brunn’s attack at the National Holocaust Museum and Scott Roeder’s assisination of Dr Tiller in Kansas, there has been a real push to identify the killers as right or left wing.
With Scott Roeder there was not not much pushback on describing his views as being on the right. Anti-abortion is pretty much found only on the right these days and in fact a primary definition of what it means to be on the right. With James von Brunn the situation is much more murky.

Continue reading The Eternal Quest to Make the Asssassins The Other.


Responding to a critique

At the Baycon 2009 writer’s Workshop one of the points of feedback I received was on the orbital skydiving sequence that makes up the heart of Chapter one of Love and Loyalty. The person felt that orbital skydiving could never be a sport for anyone other than millionaires because of the costs of getting to orbit. That is true today, but I do not thin it will always be true. So as a thought experiment lets look at just the energy costs to lift a kilogram to orbit.

Getting to orbit, and for this post I am just talking about Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is primarily  composed of two factors, speed and altitude. Each of these has an energy cost that can be expressed in the lowest possible terms. For speed it is Ke=½MV², and for height it is Pe=mgh. Continue reading Responding to a critique


A Taste of Tears and Blood

The werewolf story now has a title, A Taste of Tears and Blood. I will start writing it on Monday after a bit more period research. This is going to be possible my darkest story yet.

When I think about the ending I am shooting for it unnerves me. It’s an ending that if I read it I think would give me shivers, but I do not know if I can pull it off with my current skill set as a writer. So much about this story is going to go beyond my comfort zone as far as writing goes. It’s going to have a ruthlessly cynical viewpoint about humanity and our relationship with power. This is not something I personally believe but it is something that is required for the narrative.

This I think is a good thing. A writer should write outside of their comfort zone. It’s painless to write where you are happy and safe, it is also death to creativity. This is the trap so many fan fiction writers fall into. We love our shows and we get comfortable in that environment, but only by going beyond your boundaries can you find out what level you are really capable of operating at.

I don’t know if anyone wants a story this dark. I don’t know if anyone wants a story about werewolves that aren’t based on full moons, silver, and transmission via bites, but I am going to write it anyway.

This is part of being bold and a writer should also be bold.


Another Busy Day

I did more overtime hours at my day job today but I am not going to do this tomorrow. I’m earning bonus money and brownie points with the management, but I need to spend time with my sweetie-wife and let my fingers rest.
I will not be writing this week, but next week I will start my untitled werewolf story.


A busy day

Work was fast and furious today and to add to that because we were backlogged in out processing I stayed for two hours of overtime. While the money will be nice, my arthritic fingers were less than pleased with me.

No post on Sunday Night Movies because I only watched half the film before becoming so tired I had to sleep, but I will post when I finish the movie.


A sad commentary

Today after seeing the movies UP! at my local gigaplex I walked over to the trolley stop to wait my trolley home. While waiting I decided to have a small milkshake and went into the creamery next-door to get it.
The young woman at the counter was about seventeen and competent in mixing the milkshake and ringing it up for me. While we waited for the machine to approve my spending she noticed and commented on the shirt I was wearing. (A tee-shirt with an American Astronaut on the moon with the legend underneath Finders Keepers.) I thanked her for her kind words and then she asked—
Do you really think we went to the moon?
She did not say this in jest or in a sarcastic tone. She truly thought it was possible that the moon landing was faked. gods save me.
I told her I knew we had gone to the moon because I had been there when Apollo 17 lifted off. One does not fire a forty story missile off as a hoax.

I left with my shake and shaken.


A quick review of UP!

pixar-up-frame1 Today after spending a little time in the world Famous San Diego Zoo, I went and saw Up! that latest film from Pixar, producers of fine computer animated films.
Up! is about an elderly man along in the world who attempts to fulfill his deceased wife’s wish of having an adventure in South America by affixing thousands of balloons to his house and floating to his destination. A young scout is trapped when the house lifts and the odd-couple comedy is under way. (Nothing I said here isn’t clearly evident from the trailer.)
Pixar produces fantasies in computer animation form and this film is a solid example of the work they perform. If you accept a house flying by balloon — and you had better if you saw the trailer — then nothing else in the film to too fantastic. The film hits all the right notes on adventure, action, and heart.
There are moments where the audience is shamefully and proudly manipulated for an emotional response, but hey that’s why we go to the movies. To have an emotional response.
I saw the film in the Disney 3-D effect and the 3-D worked rather well. The film was shot in a manner that makes it entirely viewable in 2-D and that may be a consideration if you go. My eyes were strained by the 3-D effect, not to the point of headache but my eyes did ache.
In the end it was a movie worth making and a movie worth watching.


D-Day 6 June 1944

d-day05For those of us who have never been in combat or in a war it is unimaginable the terror, confusion, and hell that is combat. Today in 1944 nearly 200,000 allied troops participated in the invasion and liberation of Europe.
It is easy today to look back and assume that the downfall of the Nazi reich was an assured thing, but that was something impossible to know on that morning when brave men went ashore under heavy fire.
Today will be a day or cook-outs and family fun, I plan to spend a number of hours with friends playing videos games, but we should also set aside a bit of time to remember the sacrifice of the men who died for freedom. It was truly a heroic thing that set out to and did achieve.