His skill as a writer is really astounding, that's what I love about his work. No slouch in the pure imagination department, either, but the wordsmithery and depth of his craft really set him above so many SF writers. And let's not forget that he played a crucial role in creating Pringles, too.
And good luck with that: "Derivatives from cochineal are increasing in use due to the influence of the "natural" trend. Cochineal extract and carmine are ideally suited and utilized for a variety of food products, including meat, sausages, and red marinades. Cochineal and its derivatives find further important application in fruit preparations, jams, gelatin desserts, juice beverages, non-carbonated soft-drinks, baked goods, confections, icings, toppings and dairy products." Cochineal/Carmine Provide Hues of Red and Purple
There's a whole host of substances people utilize or ingest that have rather unsavory sources. Best to just not think about it.
There were lots of grungy spacecraft in Bruce Stirling's Schismatrix stories, which were published before Mir got off the ground. It's one of those rather obvious details that writers rarely bother to address, or assume will have been taken care of in some manner. For another example, I was just reading a story in an anthology which deals with the aftermath of an alien takeover of Earth; the hostiles take care of humanity simply by removing our ability to read. No jet fighter dogfights or cylinders/tripods needed; over we keel, in short order. I'm thinking your typical aggressive alien species won't want to duke it out with us if at all possible; why not a genetic weapon of that sort, or Heinlein's Rods of God or Disch's 500 foot high weeds?
I'd go for a GF who destroys people but leaves buildings standing. Think of all the free office supplies! And the sex.
Gas has been flared in parts of Nigeria for over 40 years, 24/7/365. I've wondered how that stacks up against the more intensive drilling going on in NA. The energy industry does some remarkably odious things outside of the jurisdiction of the developed world.
I also see that plans are underway for Nigeria to reduce gas flaring to two per cent by 2014, and supposedly they've already gone from 30% in 2010 to only 11% now, so they're on their way to making this a moot point/non-issue - supposedly. I wonder how the rest of Nigeria's notoriously awful fossil fuel extraction is coming along, assuming this isn't all propaganda/lies.
I kept waiting for the human catching the boxes to explode. Maybe someone could whip up a quick and dirty edit.
Deploy the Rainbow Bridge!
People don't shy away from redundancy. Case in point: List of the most common U.S. place names - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 50 Greenvilles, 28 Springfields. And 250 places named Washington Township. Geographic landmarks are even worse in this respect. Lord knows how many Rock Creeks are out there.
Back in the 50s Fred Pohl wrote The Midas Plague, depicting the dark side of post-scarcity - that the lower classes would be forced to consume products at a higher rate to match the greater output available. A bit on the shallow side but still effective satire.
Clever, Jerry, Clever. Clever.
It's an astronaut who has ingested performance-enhancing drugs derived from seawater.
This is why I take the noble stand and refuse to buy cheap shoddy crap made in US households.
How about a bitcoin for anyone who can fix the formatting in subject lines on this site?
Oh, and I believe it's $10,003.
Boney M? Beats being stuck in a wrecked car for 6 hours listening to Wham!
Oh, and btw: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.