Archive for November, 2004

Quotable Heinlein

November 30, 2004

Looking for the Heinlein Quote of the Month for December, I ran across this great site. Hit refresh to cycle through the 375 quotations assembled there.
I love the Internet.

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War Crimes in Fallujah

November 30, 2004

Check out this slideshow detailing the numerous violations of the laws of war by the terrorists in Fallujah: (HTML Version) (PowerPoint Version).
(Via Gene Expression).

SF Babes Poll (Vulcan Edition)

November 30, 2004

Between guest-blogging and Thanksgiving last week, I completely failed to tally the votes from our last poll, update the Gallery, and set a new poll up Thursday. I was getting tired of that time-slot anyway, so we’ll start running this little feature every Tuesday, beginning tonight.
This week we have a trio of Vulcan lovelies from the Star Trek universe:
TPring.jpg
T’Pring, portrayed by Arlene Martel in the original series episode Amok Time.
Saavik.jpg
Lieutenant Saavik, portrayed by a young Kirstie Alley in the best Star Trek movie of all time, The Wrath of Khan.
TPol.jpg
T’Pol, portrayed by Jolene Blalock in the current series Enterprise.
Results (Posted 7 December 2004):
Poll Results 12-7-2004.jpg

Dredging Drudge

November 30, 2004

Today’s Drudge Report has a wonderful, wacky variety of news.
First up, Dan Rather talks to ghosts.
Next, life imitates art, or at least a Van Halen song. (I don’t remember any of my teachers looking like that!)
Interesting: Pat Sajak speaks truth to Hollywood about the Van Gogh murder.
And finally, it appears that ABC’s housewives might pull the network into second place for this “sweeps” period, likely bumping NBC into third.
(I have to share a guilty confession, like J.T. at Wizbang: I enjoy watching that trashy show with the missus). Why? Two good reasons under the fold:

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Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (X-3)

November 28, 2004

This week’s featured aircraft is the aptly-named Douglas X-3 Stiletto:
X3Stiletto.jpg
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Da Vinci Code Reviews

November 28, 2004

Michele at A Small Victory has posted a review of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
I posted my take on the book and some thoughts on religion over at Freespace.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2004

I hope all of you have had a happy, peaceful, and relaxing Thanksgiving Holiday. Last year, I posted a list of things for which I am thankful. I don’t think I would change much of anything on it this year.
I have posted George Washington’s original Thanksgiving proclamation from October 14, 1789 in the extended entry:

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Textbook Evolution Disclaimers

November 24, 2004

Via Rand Simberg (who got it from Jay Manifold), an entertaining set of satirical textbook disclaimers parodying the efforts of school boards to undermine evolutionary theory. The first “sticker,” in the upper-left-hand corner, is the only real one on the page:

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

My favorite parody:

This textbook contains material on gravity. Gravity is a theory, not a fact, regarding a force that cannot be directly seen. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

(Cross-posted at Freespace).

Gene Expression SF

November 23, 2004

Gene Expression, a facinating site covering topics related to human biodiversity and genetics (one of my daily reads), has created a spin-off site covering science fiction. Check it out.

Grokking Heinlein’s Magic

November 23, 2004

Robert Heinlein is, obviously, one of the unifying themes of my blog. I first became acquainted with what I would eventually come to understand as "libertarianism" through his juvenile fiction such as Between Planets, Space Cadet, and Tunnel in the Sky. Later works such as Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Friday, and Job: A Comedy of Justice all greatly informed my views on government, religion, and society.
I recently finished reading The Fantasies of Robert A. Heinlein. Until I ran across a review of a short story from this collection at New Troy a few months ago, I never even knew Heinlein wrote fantasies. But then these really aren’t “fantasies” in the traditional elf, swords, and sorcery sense.
I ran across a real gem in this collection, entitled “Magic, Inc.” I would love to see this story included in high school government class curricula since it shows the monopolization of a profession (magicians) by a large magic corporation’s pushing through legislation to license the professionals. (I won’t tell how the story ends).
It’s well worth your time just to read the twelve-page sequence covering the protagonists’ journey to the capitol to try to kill or water down the enabling legislation that would lead to licensing and professional standards for magicians. Every detail, from the underhanded inclusion of magical regulations in the agenda of the legislature’s special session, to the bloviating legislators referring to Mosaic, Roman, and common law, to the defeat snatched from the jaws of victory when the original legislation is passed, unaltered, as a rider to a public works appropriations bill.
Magic, Inc. was originally copyrighted in 1940, but still remains relevant, and, most importantly for any fiction, a good read. Check the whole collection out.
(Cross-posted at Freespace).