Katherine Hepburn dead at age 96. We have a softspot for crabby, independent people who don't have kids and tell people what they can do with themselves.
The NBA Draft was yesterday - a lot of foreign players & high school kids. Given the opportunity I'd draft college seniors (like the beloved Dallas Mavericks & the hated LA Lakers (1, 2) did). They've already been coached and can help right away, unlike these projects who can ditch you in three years anyway.
Anthony Daniels reviews A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson in The Telegraph.
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has proposed a new positive term for identifying people who are atheists, agnostics, humanists, free thinkers - those who have a world view that is free of supernaturalism and mysticism - Brights. A couple of websites that would be of interest to Brights - The Secular Web and the Celebrity Atheists List.
Edge.org is the website of a group of scientists previously known as The Reality Club. Several scientists whose work we like are involved in this, including Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Daniel C. Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. They are the kind of scientists who move the human race forward with few people ever knowing about it.
New Russian Space tourism for only $20 million - Tourist-Class Soyuz Seats Open for International Space Station Trip
Orrin Hatch pt.2 - If you'll recall, the other day Senator Hatch suggested that the computers of people who download copyrighted material illegally should be remotely destroyed. It appears that Sen. Hatch's website site may have been made with unlicensed software. Oh my...
Ann Coulter pulls no punches and her latest comes out next week - TREASON: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.
I usually go to the Lycos50 for pop culture info & instead I found a new science history story - The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth by Alan Cutler. Nicolaus Steno (1638-1686) was the founder of geology and a scientific groundbreaker who was not supressed by the Church. We'll have to get this one.
Orrin Hatch, with whom I occasionally agree, seems to have completely lost it - "The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet." Oh my...
Missed yesterday - I had managed twelve straight. Better at least. I did "work" from 6:45am til almost 10pm yesterday, so I have a decent excuse.
Hypocrites everywhere - Massachusetts liberals, who pay lip-service (& checks) to environmental causes, are up in arms against a wind farm - in Nantucket Sound, which separates Cape Cod from Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. NIMBY. (Of course, this is from the NYT, so caveat emptor). (/.)
My dad came to visit today. I got to use a chainsaw on our fallen trees, probably the next best thing to an M-16. I cooked these 3" thick steaks he brought from Bannister's in Oxford, AL and we ate Pecan Pie. Plus, we got to hear my dad tell several great stories (so I come by it naturally).
Virginia Postrel in Wired - The Aesthetic Imperative: Why the creative shall inherit the economy.
160,000-year-old Fossilized Skulls From Ethiopia Are Oldest Modern Humans
A comforting article - British Scientist Puts Odds for Apocalypse at 50-50. The stuff of scary sci-fi ...
Three more weeks of summer school & then a little vacation. Woohoo!
Today was the first day of summer football workouts. It went well.
I'm ambivalent about Martha Stewart's plight. I like her mainly because so many people hate her (my usual contrariness). If she's guilty of insider trading then she should be tried like anybody else, but I suspect she's being singled out. I think at first a lot of the news media vilified her, but now there seems to be a movement to rise to her defense (SaveMartha.com). Maybe they found out she was a big contributor to Democratic candidates. She appreciates the support, gracefully of course.
I've watched most of a couple of relatively recent 'sword & sorcery' movies - Kull the Conqueror with Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and The Scorpion King with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock). They were both just awful. I guess it's a little much to expect all sci-fi to be Lord of the Rings or The Matrix, but the plots to these things are so simplistic that it's almost insulting. Oh well...
I'm teaching summer school. 7:45am-3:10pm with 8 kids who could not care less about US History since Reconstruction. We're just rocking along definitions, notes and a flurry of worksheets. An extra paycheck.
I found out about this fantasy/sci-fi writer Gene Wolfe by searching Amazon & other places & I'm reading Shadow & Claw: The First Half of the Book of the New Sun: The Shadow of the Torturer/the Claw of the Conciliator. I'm really enjoying this thing. It is so different from Martin & Jordan, in that it's one point-of-view and is in distant future Urth that is more like our past. It has a dense language and philosophical speculations that have been a nice change of pace. (turns out there's a GURPS worldbook).
I also have begun reading & taking notes on books on writing - starting with: The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile.
One major reason for inactivity was spring football practice at Austin High School. I've become the running back coach and will actually be paid to coach this year (my 9th year coaching, 4th getting paid for it). In the spring game my side won the game 27-19. My backs on both teams did quite well.
Ok, I haven't posted in over a month. I will make my apologies to my reader(s) by posting what we have been up to for the last several weeks and links to the cool stuff I've seen.