:: I really wish I could remember who linked this for me first, but I've already forgotten, so if you're out there, feel free to identify yourself. But this is really eye-popping stuff: the view from the seven highest waterfalls in the world. The highest is so high that almost all of its water either evaporates or blows away as mist before it reaches the pool at the bottom. Amazing stuff.
:: Warren Ellis is unhappy with the state of space exploration:
Robot missions do not thrill us because the empathetic engagement is on a level with watching a Roomba do a decent job of hoovering some carpet fluff. It is nowhere near the same as seeing and hearing one of us walking somewhere brand new and telling us about it in the knowledge (however misguided that might eventually prove) that more of us, the rest of us, will follow.
We're almost resentful of human space flight now, because politicians and greedy technocrats screwed us out of the translunar Martian colony future we all thought was coming. We're just a little too resigned to another few years of puttering around in low Earth orbit, of quickie space tourism and trying not to fart in the International Space Station for 30 days at a time. Even the Chinese, the current eager lions of crewed missions, admit that their Moon missions may prove to be robotic.
In my life I've seen a species go from believing it will live in space to accepting, all too easily, that it will die on the same old dirt its ancestors rot in. Having a nice robot phone is not an acceptable substitute for a future.
Part of me agrees 100 percent. The other part of me only agrees 85 percent.
:: I've seen lots of links to a recent announcement that Lucasfilm is actually developing a sit-com based in the Star Wars universe. Let me just say that this notion is greatly taxing my ability to reserve judgement.
:: But I do not need to reserve judgement in any way on bar soap in the shape of Han Solo frozen in carbonite. That is just awesomely cool!
More next week!