Category Archives: Science

The Future of Human Sexuality

The most important concept we need to embrace going forward is very simple; innate does not equate with immutable.

Many things about sexuality, human and otherwise, are innate to the individual. A person doesn’t choose their orientation; it is an aspect of their sexuality that is beyond choice and beyond conditioning.  Most people think of this as being genetic, but that is a gross simplification and in my opinion erroneous. Continue reading The Future of Human Sexuality

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Thoughts on the Russian Meteor Strike

The past week we saw an example of nature’s dangers, a meteor, they are still zeroing in on just how large, struck the earth’s atmosphere exploding high above the ground, from what I can determine about 25 miles, and exploded with a half a megaton of blast.

More than one thousand people were injured. The principle cause of the injuries were flying glass. It seems quite a few people, after seeing the brilliant flash, rushed to their windows and were standing at those windows when the shockwave arrived.

The much maligned safety video above is giving good advice. If there is a sudden and brilliant flash, you should seek cover at once. You are not safe until at the very least the sound and blast has passed you by. A soundless brilliant flash is a warning sign of a massive event, you do not want the to out in the open or near glass when the blast arrives.

A nuclear warhead would have burst closer to the ground, and yes if you are in the direct blast zone of such an event Ducking and Covering is of little help, but most people are not going to be in the direct blast zone. (From what I understand the Meteor came in at a very shallow angle, and had it been a more direct approach it would have detonated much lower.)

Such an astronomical event is unlikely to occur for decades, by the odds, but you know sometimes those odds rise up and bite you. Pay attention, if there is a flash, seek cover at once.

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Mini-Review 2: Forks Over Knives

Those who know me know that I am a meat eater. I love a good steak, well cooked chicken, or moist tasty chops, so to find myself watching a film about the advantages of a vegetarian diet was quite surprising.220px-Forks_Over_Knives_movie_poster

The premise of the film is that the Western diet, heavy in animal material, is bad in terms of health outcomes for people, leading to diabetes, heart disease, and cancers, and that a diet based on plants yields better outcomes. To support the premise the filmmakers utilized a number of lines of evidence.Primarily two medical doctors who have been researching this line of thought for years, the doctor’s patient’s as case studies, and large population studies, particularly in the east as diet there has changed from  one based on traditional meals heavy in plants to one more like the west and heavy in meats, and dairy.

Continue reading Mini-Review 2: Forks Over Knives

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This is different

I watched Apollo 17 lift off in the night, taking our brave men on the final American trip to the moon. I know that we went, but lots of people like to believe that it was all faked. Here’s an excellent take down of that stupid stupid idea, from a perspective I had not seen before. It’s about 15 minutes, but worth it.

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This is the Convention that Was.

So the past weekend was Conjecture, the autumn SF convention here is sunnySan Diego. As my earlier post had indicated, this time I was participating on a number of panels, 1 on Friday, 3 on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday making this the heaviest lifting I had ever done as a panelist. What was my feeling on this after such a busy time?

I loved it.

No doubt in great part because I shared my panels with a dazzlingly bright array of fans and pro, who had smart, intelligent, and polite points of views to share. My gods, even the panel on ideology in fiction did not break down into squabbling over political events. We had a good spirited, but always courteous discussion on ideology in fiction. I did not spend the evening hours at the convention, being that we live just a couple of miles from the hotel, my wife and I retired back to our home for board and card games each night. I can honestly say though this was the most fun I have ever had at a small convention.

The only down side was that there were presentations I was forced to miss and I really wanted to see those, including new presentations from my friend Bridget at JPL about the Mars and asteroid missions.

However, I did get to see some things and what I saw I enjoyed, including a 15 minute fan film from 1940s that was a travelogue through the dead cities of Mars. It looked surprisingly good, both in terms what they two brothers achieved and the state of the film after so many years.

I look forward to doing more of this at local conventions.

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Chicon 7 – Day 1

The next morning we discovered what would become the worst recurring aspect to this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, the beds at the Hyatt Regency. The hotel supplied the rooms with beds of extreme softness. Now there may be those who think that means a night’s rest is like sleeping on a cloud when on such a bed, but those are not the sentiments of my sweetie-wife and myself. Both of us suffered from back pains through the convention due to the bedding, my sweetie suffering more than myself. Continue reading Chicon 7 – Day 1

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Another General Posting

The frequent eye strain headaches have made the desire to sit and compose blog posts rather rare of late. After spending 8 hours at the computer for my day job I am disinclined to spend much more at home. Even bumping up the font only helps so much. However on Wednesday I had my annual eye exam, discovered that the axis of my astigmatism had shifted quite a bit. So while my visual acuity is about the same, I still require new lens. They have been ordered, 7-10 days which is like something from the last century, and when I get them I should be back to my old happy self.

Having just finished the Book of Job, I’m about halfway through my reading of the Old Testament. God has finished making he transition to a spirit above and encompassing the world, quite a change from the wrestling guy in Genesis or the dude who appeared, wrapped in smoke and flame like a Balrog, above magic boxes. I’m not sure if I will finish this read, it has been sucking up a lot of my time and I really shouldn’t waste too much.

Today, 5/25/12, the Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space station, opening a new era for spaceflight. Space X is going where only governments have gone before, and while I cheer this achievement should we consider where other corporations might go if given the chance? Is this is herald of a bright off-world future or the sign that the cyberpunks might have been right?

Paging Dr. McCoy, your hypo is ready.  Speaking as someone who despises the needle, I can’t even watch one on the movie screen, I truly cheer this invention.

The three day weekend is nearly upon us. I have plans, but hardly anything extravagant. Sadly I will not be going to BayCon this year. It was a choice between BayCon and WorldCon and in that contest WorldCon always wins. So tonight will be D&D, where I am a player. We’re in the middle of a fight, outnumber and fighting under hampered conditions. So far the gamemaster has been holding back, but we’ll see if this is the last game for my Arabic Paladin, Alladin. Tomorrow and Sunday will be board and card gaming with friends and my sweetie-wife, must resist buying the Game of Thrones board game, and on Monday I will be going toDisneyland. Sadly by myself, my dear friend who was going to go is under the weather health wise and that has caused quite a bit of financial stress. I already had paid for my ticket, so alone I go. I shall have fun in his honor.

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