Monday, January 29, 2007

Sentential Links #86

Eighty-six of these posts (assuming I've numbered them correctly)! How cool is that!

Well, not all that cool, I suppose. But here are some links anyway:

:: Well, you know what they say about the size of a man's foot, don't you? (I staunchly refuse to post my shoe size here.)

:: I like Cheetos, dammit! And I am not a right wingnut! (That's the entirety of his post, but I like his point. When did Cheetos become the default stereotypical snack of lunatics and weirdos?)

:: Beltway Insiders prefer to see politics as high school, which is to say as a constant struggle for status and popularity among the cool kids.

:: This show came along at just the right time to give sci-fi a jolt it desperately needed. (Drew is reviewing the entirety of Firefly; this is the first in his series of posts doing so. I haven't watched the entire series yet myself, so is it true that there is no FTL drive on the ships in that show? If so, I just don't get how the whole cosmology can work, unless they're in a single solar system with an oddly large number of planets; but then, how can all the outer worlds still exist under Earthlike conditions? Sure, they say they're terraforming, but you can't turn Pluto into an Earthlike world; it's too far from the Sun. Is there something I'm missing?)

:: After the jump, therefore, I present to you: the many middle names of the Son of Man. (Some material here may offend.)

:: I haven't found much time to write here in recent months, but I'd like to start a new recurring feature: The Scary Fundie Series. (Hoo-boy, this looks like a fun series in the making.)

:: It amazes me how many people who lack even a good layman’s understanding of climate, are willing to dismiss modern climate science as foolishness motivated by greed for research grants. People who have never written a single line of computer code will ridicule computer models as "not worth the electricity to run them." Folks who spend hours perusing websites, often digesting denialist propaganda, will proclaim that they have somehow seen further than the thousands of climate scientists who have spent a lifetime studying it in detail. (I like that word: "denialist". That could be useful.)

:: Not only that, Jobs is playing with fire: the iPhone is surprisingly limited and uninspired in its feature set. Competitors will look to exploit its limitations.

:: That's the big debate, isn't it: whether or not we are in control of our own actions. will...biological machines...these are the terms which have shaped this debate. (Wow, am I ever out of practice when it comes to thinking about such things!)

All for this week. Tune in again....


LC Scotty said...

There is no FTL in Firefly, that they mention. I also do believe that is is a single solar system (as stated in the intro monologue of Serenity) with a whole crap load of planets, and each planet with a crap load of moons.

The physics isn't that great, as the gravitational field on every moon and planet is approximately the same, and I don't think you could ram all that many planets into the orbital radius from a single star that is close enough (but not too close) to support life. So, a little willful suspension is required here.

Another thing that they don't discuss is artificial gravity. Presumably, since gravity, relativity and FTL are all closely linked, one would suspect that artificial gravity technology would imply FTL. Especially since that artificial gravity works on ships with no power.

Anonymous said...

This Wikipedia article on Firefly planets is somewhat helpful.