| Introducing the first Nova Genesis World novel Dispensing Justice by Fritz Freiheit and illustrated by Matt Howarth.
Link dump for 20100426
- 'Goldilocks Zone' may go colder than previously thought (XenoBiology, Biology)
The survival of life on Earth is possible only within a relatively narrow temperature range known as the "Goldilocks Zone," which ranges from around 0 to 100°C. In many ecosystems life is limited by cold temperatures rather than hot because of the reliance on liquid water for survival. Now new research has shown that in the presence of a certain type of solution, large populations of microbes can survive at the incredibly low temperature of -80°C, which is far below the accepted Goldilocks Zone. Since similar solutions exist on cold planets and moons such as Mars and Europa, this increases the likelihood that life may be found there.
- 10 Questions to Ask an Agent Before You Sign -- Guide to Literary Agents (Writing, Agent, Question, List)
- 11 Science Fiction Novels For Fantasy Fans - Books - io9 (Fantasy, SF, SciFi, Reading, Recommendation, List, io9)
- 3D printer could build moon bases (Watch, Tech, 3D, Building, Fabbing, Fabrication, Moon)
An Italian inventor, Enrico Dini, chairman of the company Monolite UK Ltd, has developed a huge three-dimensional printer called D-Shape that can print entire buildings out of sand and an inorganic binder. The printer works by spraying a thin layer of sand followed by a layer of magnesium-based binder from hundreds of nozzles on its underside. The glue turns the sand to solid stone, which is built up layer by layer from the bottom up to form a sculpture, or a sandstone building.
- 4 Danger Signs To Search For, Before Sending Off Your Novel - Writing - io9 (Writing, Novel, Advice, io9)
- 6 Ways To Reduce Irrelevant Results On Google Search (Google, Search, HowTo, SearchEngine, Advice)
The internet is not your library and if you thought a ton of books was an overwhelming amount of information, think again. / The internet doesn’t contain just a few dozen or hundred relevant sources, no, it contains millions or billions or even more. To make things worse, there is no friendly and intelligent librarian to help you sort through all this information. It’s only you and a stupid search engine. You better act smart. / The challenge when searching online is to find only relevant information or – in other words – avoid irrelevant results on Google search. In this article I will show you 6 ways to reduce these false hits, so that you get better overall search results.
- A Delicious Peek at Venture Bros Season 4.5 - venture bros - io9 (VentureBrothers, io9)
- A Desk That Allows You to Stand or Sit - NYTimes.com (Health, Creativity, Furniture)
Medical researchers have found that people who stand at work tend to be much healthier than those who sit, and there’s a large online subculture of stand-up fanatics who swear that getting rid of your chair will change your life. / But I wasn’t just looking for better health; standing, I hoped, would also improve how I work. / Several years ago, I read that the novelist Philip Roth writes at a computer propped up on a lectern. I’ve used this technique as an occasional therapy for writer’s block. I’ll set my laptop on the kitchen counter and hover over it as if I were a conductor before an orchestra. This seems to help. Standing up saps some of my extra restless energy, allowing me to focus better on the task at hand.
- Black-hole like effect in nanotube and the possibility of new matter states (Watch, Tech, Physics, NanoTech)
“For the first time, fields of study relating both to cold atoms and to the nanoscale have intersected,” Lene Vestergaard Hau tells PhysOrg.com. “Even though both have been active areas of research, cold atoms have not been brought together with nanoscale structures at the single nanometer level. This is a totally new system.”
- Cocktail Party Physics (Physics, Blog, Academic, Conversation)
- Comic Book Cartography - A Collection of Maps and Diagrams (Comics, Cartography, Blog, Map, Diagrams)
- Copyright information is busting out all over « Everybody's Libraries (Copyright, Internet, Info)
Like the crocuses and daffodils now coming up all over our front garden, new copyright registration information has been popping up all over the net lately. As I’ve described in various previous posts, this information can be extremely useful for folks who want to revive, disseminate, or reuse works from the past.
- Crows demonstrate their cleverness with tools (w/ Video) (Cognition, Tool.Use, NonHumanIntelligence, Intelligence, Video, Learning)
New Zealand scientists studying New Caledonian crows have found they can use three different tools in succession to gain a food treat. The crows are known to solve problems and fashion and use tools in the wild, but their clevernes and innovation in the experiments astounded the researchers.
- CSS Tips I Wish I Knew When I First Started | MyInkBlog (CSS, Tip, Tutorial, List)
- DARPA announces plans for self-piloted flying car (Watch, Tech, DARPA, Flying, Car, Military)
Last week, DARPA announced that it is inviting proposals to tackle its latest project: "a vertical takeoff and landing roadable air vehicle." The ground-to-sky vehicle, called Transformer X (TX), should have a maximum payload capacity of 1,000 pounds so that it can carry four passengers and their gear. It should also be capable of flying itself automatically, achieving an altitude of 1,000 feet, and traveling 250 miles on a single tank of fuel. And it should be built and ready for testing by 2015.
- Descriptive Descriptions From Sci-Fi Literature (SF, SciFi, Description, Example, Good)
- Diagnosis murder: Study shows supermassive black holes may strip galaxies of life (BlackHole, Galaxy, Astronomy)
Black holes have long been beloved of science fiction writers for their destructive capabilities and peculiar ability to warp space time. Now a study led by researchers from The University of Nottingham reveals the awesome power of supermassive black holes — the ability to strip massive galaxies of the cool gases required to form new stars, leaving ageing red giants to splutter out of existence with no stars to replace them.
- Endings « Torque Control (Writing, Reading, Ending)
- Extrasolar planets: A trick of the light | The Economist (Tech, Astronomy, Exoplanet, ExtraSolarPlanet)
A novel approach plays with the peaks and troughs of the light waves to do the job more effectively. This week, in Nature, Eugene Serabyn of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and his colleagues describe a stunning implementation of what is known as an optical vortex coronagraph. In place of a dark spot, this uses a disk of glassy material, etched with a carefully designed pattern which changes the phase of the incoming light, in effect twisting it back onto itself and creating a dark hole in the centre of the image. This blots out the starlight more effectively, making it easier to see any nearby planets.
- Face from the past come back to haunt you! | MetaFilter (Movie, Pick, BigTroubleInLittleChina, MetaFilter)
Big Trouble in Little China: the history, the cult, the complete soundtrack, the RPG, the video game, the comic book, the geopolitical metaphor.
- Facebook | Coyote Con (Writing, Writer, Con, Online)
Attend Coyote Con, the 31 Day Digital Author Conference in May--at your own computer! Order special session tickets via Eventbrite: http://coyotecon-efbevent.eventbrite.com. Regular sessions are occurring on every weekend day of the month: May 1 and 2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, and 28-30. Registration is required, but attendance is free. / Coyote Con is a 31 day digital author conference. Events are entirely online at http://coyotecon.com. / Each session is held in a text/chat room, and after the panel or speaker is finished, con-goers will have time to answer questions.
- Fewer vs. Less -- Writer's Digest Questions and Quandaries (Writing, English, Semantics, Grammar)
Once you understand the definitions [of fewer and less], you’ll waste less time and have fewer problems with the issue.
- Gallery - Hit parade: The biggest bangs in history - Image 1 - New Scientist (Volcano, Image, Gallery)
- Guide to Literary Agents - Successful Queries: Agent Ginger Clark and 'A Match Made in High School' (Writing, Query, Letter, Letter.Query, Example, YoungAdult)
This new series is called "Successful Queries" and I'm posting actual query letters that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. In addition to posting the actual query letter, we will also get to hear thoughts from the agent as to why the letter worked. / The 33rd installment in this series is with agent Ginger Clark (Curtis Brown) and her author, Kristin Walker, for the YA novel, A Match Made in High School (Feb. 2010, Razorbill).
- Heinlein's Rules for Writing - scottmarlowe.com (Writing, Rules, Heinlein)
- Hit Stop -> Stop -> Play and Other Tricks to Skip DVD Trailers and Warnings - Timesavers - Lifehacker (DVD, Control, Trailer, Tip, LifeHacker)
If you've watched one DVD in your life, you know how annoying the endless title screens, trailers, and warnings are—primarily because you're often prevented from skipping them. Unless you know the right remote control shortcut, that is.
- How Syfy's Riverworld is a new retelling of a great story | SCI FI Wire (Riverworld, TV, Series, Preview)
Philip José Farmer's classic Riverworld series of novels is about to get the Syfy "event" treatment this Sunday in a new four-hour movie, but you're going to get some re-imagining along the way—especially when it comes to the characters.
- How to Back Up and Play Your Wii Games from an External Hard Drive - Wii - Lifehacker (Wii, DIY, HardDrive, HomeBrew, LifeHacker, HowTo, Backup, USB, Hack)
Connecting an external hard drive to your Wii to backup and play your games is a simple way to keep expensive discs out of harms way, decrease game load times, and organize your collection with swanky cover art.
- How to identify chiral superconductivity in new materials (Superconductivity)
"Chiral superconductivity is the dream of mankind," Carlo Beenakker tells PhysOrg.com. "All sorts of scientists are working on it, and there are many labs trying to create materials that are predicted to provide chiral p-wave superconductivity."
- Is Piracy Really Killing The Music Industry? No! | TorrentFreak (Music, Business, Analysis, Internet, Industry, Piracy, Stats)
For more than a decade the music industry has claimed that digital piracy is the main cause for the gradual decline in revenues. However, looking at the sales data of the music industry itself shows that the disappointing income might be better explained by a third factor that is systematically ignored. / With this shift from physical to digital, another important change hit the industry, one that may in part explain why the labels’ revenues in the U.S. continued to decline. With the introduction of paid downloads, consumers no longer had to buy a full album if they were only interested in two or three songs. This new freedom for consumers has dramatically changed the music sales landscape.
- Lateral Science by Roger Curry (Victorian, 19thCentury, Science)
- Library Book Sales (Library, Book, Used, Fundraising)
- Life Recorder -- Schneier on Security (Audio, Video, GPS, Hardware, Recorder, LifeRecorder, Security, Personal, Watch, Tech)
- Lionel Shriver Exposes "Something Unwholesome" About Creative Writing MFA Programs - mediabistro.com: GalleyCat (Writing, Teaching, MFA)
- Living world: Why the tropics are hotbeds of evolution - life - 21 April 2010 - New Scientist (Evolution)
- Made to order diamonds hold key to stunning laser discoveries (Watch, Tech, MaterialScience, Diamond, Laser)
Diamond is best known for being a prized gem and the hardest cutting element available, but now thanks to research being carried out at Macquarie University it is also proving to be a super efficient laser material.
- Mathematicians offer elegant solution to evolutionary conundrum (Evolution, Math)
UBC researchers have proffered a new mathematical model that seeks to unravel a key evolutionary riddle--namely what factors underlie the generation of biological diversity both within and between species.
- McAfee antivirus program goes berserk, freezes PCs (Ms.Windows, Virus, AntiVirus, Fail)
Computers in companies, hospitals and schools around the world got stuck repeatedly rebooting themselves Wednesday after an antivirus program identified a normal Windows file as a virus.
- Mentat Wiki: Home Page (Mind, Hack, Creativity, Wiki, CriticalThinking, BrainStorming, Brain, Thinking, Memory, Math)
This wiki is a collaborative environment for exploring ways to become a better thinker. Topics that can be explored here include MemoryTechniques, MentalMath, CriticalThinking, BrainStorming, ShorthandSystems, NotebookSystems, and SmartDrugs. Other relevant topics are also welcome.
- Microbes found in natural asphalt lake (Biology, XenoBiology)
A lake of natural hot liquid asphalt in Trinidad and Tobago has been found to be teeming with microbes despite the toxic environment. The lake, aptly named Pitch Lake (since pitch is the old name for tar), is the nearest analog so far discovered to the seas of hydrocarbon on Saturn's moon, Titan, and raises the question of whether or not water should be considered as necessary for life.
- Neanderthals may have interbred with humans twice (Human, Evolution, Neanderthal)
Extinct human species such as Neanderthals may still be with us, at least in our DNA, and this may help explain why they disappeared from the fossil record around 30,000 years ago.
- patently obvious | MetaFilter (Patent, MetaFilter)
What If The Very Theory That Underlies Why We Need Patents Is Wrong?- This article discusses Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation , a working paper by Carliss Y. Baldwin and Eric von Hippel, suggesting that some of the most basic theories on which the patent system is based are wrong, and because of that, the patent system might hinder innovation.
- Prime numbers are just the beginning. | MetaFilter (Number, List, Info, MetaFilter)
Every number from 1 to 9,999 has a special meaning. (much mathematical terminology, scrolling)
- Protecting creativity: Copyright and wrong | The Economist (Copyright, Creativity, FairUse, Economics, IntellectualProperty, Opinion)
- Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent: It's Not Like Other Businesses (Publishing)
I get weary of hearing people complain about publishing, comparing it to other industries and saying, "In no other business..." followed by whatever their complaint is. People even go so far as to claim the entire publishing industry is "incompetent" because it doesn't work like other industries with which they're familiar. / To me, those complaints are irrelevant and unhelpful. In some cases, you're trying to compare apples and oranges. In other cases, the complaint is simply untrue because other businesses have the same pitfalls publishing does. In most cases the complaint comes from simply not understanding how publishing works. It's not like other businesses many people are familiar with, and that frustrates them.
- Researchers show how to use mobiles to spy on people (Privacy, Security, CellPhone)
Researchers have demonstrated how it is possible to use GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) data along with a few tools to track down a person’s mobile phone number and their location, and even listen in on calls and voicemail messages.
- Scott D Parker: Forgotten Books: Doc Savage #2: The Land of Terror (DocSavage, Book, Review)
- Searching for dark energy with the whole world's supernova dataset (SuperNova, DarkEnergy, Cosmology, Astronomy)
The international Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP), based at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced the Union2 compilation of hundreds of Type Ia supernovae, the largest collection ever of high-quality data from numerous surveys. Analysis of the new compilation significantly narrows the possible values that dark energy might take, but not enough to decide among fundamentally different theories of its nature.
- Self-starter: Life got going all on its own - life - 21 April 2010 - New Scientist (Evolution)
- SF Signal: MIND MELD: What Are The Coolest Robots in Science Fiction? (SF, SciFi, Robot, MindMeld)
- Supervillaiins Anonymous - Subnormality (WebComic, Supervillain)
- Tea Party "Contract from America" a Fiscal Suicide Pact | Crooks and Liars (Watch, Politics, Economics, USA)
- Technology Review: Projected MultiTouch Screen (Watch, Tech, Interface, Projector, UI)
This interactive projector transforms any flat surface into a multitouch screen. When a person's fingers touch the display, infrared sensors detect the motion and allow the same kinds of interactions that are possible on, say, an iPhone. The product is initially being made available to industrial partners for commercial applications such as interactive displays in retail or educational settings.
- The 50 best author vs. author put-downs of all time (Writing, Author, Quote, List, Criticism, Humor)
- The ebb and flow of sci-fi and fantasy on television (SF, SciFi, Fantasy, TV, History, Data, Visualization, InfoGraphic)
I’ve compiled a database of 1,000 sci-fi, fantasy and genre shows that have aired in the past 70 years. My first swing at parsing through some of the data yielded this. It tracks every show by year to see when sci-fi shows were huge, and then watches them topple as networks realized the allure of reality television.
- The Importance of Specific Details -- MFA Confidential - Writer's Digest blog (Writing, Character, Advice)
Every character who appears in your story must been seen. Where did I read this? It was a quote by a famous writer, I believe. This writer expressed the importance of the reader being able to visualize even the most fleeting character. If they are going to make an appearance in your story, then you must make them specific. The reader must be able to see the postman that drops off the mail, the man selling hot dogs on the side of the road, the bank teller. We must insert a remarkable, specific detail-- not much, just a morsel-- that allows the reader to imagine the character.
- The McAfee update mess explained - Computerworld (Ms.Windows, AntiVirus, Virus, Fail)
Yesterday was a tough day for corporate IT administrators tied to McAfee. In some cases, they faced a full-blown meltdown of their organization's PCs, as hundreds, in some cases thousands, of Windows XP computers went down after receiving a faulty antivirus update from the security firm. / The whole story's not clear at this point, but there are some things that we know -- and a lot that we don't -- about the latest debacle from a vendor that is supposed to protect, not prang, PCs. / This is our first take on what happened, who was hit and why. If you have time to read this, we're assuming you're not one of those scrambling to bring crippled machines back to life.
- The Other Side of the Story: Re-Write Wednesday: Hey, Who Said That? (Writing, Dialogue)
Dialog reads quickly, which is why it speeds up the pace in most scenes and why readers who often skim big blocks of exposition stop skimming when the book gets back to dialog. It's usually where the "action" is. / Which is also why it's easy to skim over it when we're revising it. Dialog is often the easy part of our writing, since it's just people talking. So we don't focus a lot of time on it. When we're done editing, things can still feel off and we don't know why, because we've put all that revision work into it. If that happens to you, ask yourself if you took a hard look at your dialog and dialog tags.
- The Writer « Angela Slatter (Writing, Publishing)
What to expect when you've become a published author.
- Three things every writer should know (to maintain what’s left of their sanity) | Magical Words (Writing, Advice)
- venturebros - io9 (VentureBrothers, Tag, io9)
- What's Special About This Number? (Number, List, Info, Link, Reference, Math)
 Tagged Author
 Tagged Book+Review
 Tagged Criticism
 Tagged Fantasy
- 11 Science Fiction Novels For Fantasy Fans - Books - io9
- The ebb and flow of sci-fi and fantasy on television
 Tagged Movie
 Tagged Pick
 Tagged Publishing
 Tagged Reading
 Tagged Recommendation
 Tagged Review
 Tagged SF
- 11 Science Fiction Novels For Fantasy Fans - Books - io9
- Descriptive Descriptions From Sci-Fi Literature
- SF Signal: MIND MELD: What Are The Coolest Robots in Science Fiction?
- The ebb and flow of sci-fi and fantasy on television
 Tagged Tech+Watch
- 3D printer could build moon bases
- Black-hole like effect in nanotube and the possibility of new matter states
- DARPA announces plans for self-piloted flying car
- Life Recorder -- Schneier on Security
- Made to order diamonds hold key to stunning laser discoveries
- Technology Review: Projected MultiTouch Screen
 Tagged TV
- How Syfy's Riverworld is a new retelling of a great story | SCI FI Wire
- The ebb and flow of sci-fi and fantasy on television
 Tagged Video
 Tagged Visualization
 Tagged WebComic
 Tagged Writing
- 10 Questions to Ask an Agent Before You Sign -- Guide to Literary Agents
- 4 Danger Signs To Search For, Before Sending Off Your Novel - Writing - io9
- Endings « Torque Control
- Facebook | Coyote Con
- Fewer vs. Less -- Writer's Digest Questions and Quandaries
- Guide to Literary Agents - Successful Queries: Agent Ginger Clark and 'A Match Made in High School'
- Heinlein's Rules for Writing - scottmarlowe.com
- Lionel Shriver Exposes "Something Unwholesome" About Creative Writing MFA Programs - mediabistro.com: GalleyCat
- The 50 best author vs. author put-downs of all time
- The Importance of Specific Details -- MFA Confidential - Writer's Digest blog
- The Other Side of the Story: Re-Write Wednesday: Hey, Who Said That?
- The Writer « Angela Slatter
- Three things every writer should know (to maintain what’s left of their sanity) | Magical Words
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