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Comment Re: Now and then.. (Score 1) 270

Well, I still have The World of Talus up and running, but I let other people do area updates and stuff for a while and now I lack the haks to join my own world :) still, as a programmer and contributor of several script and DB driven systems, I think NWN 1 was a great creation that really let me create a huge persistent world. Now, with family and kids, I don't think I would have the time to do it all over in a new system, but I'm still hoping to show my 5 year old the world I built before he was born.

Comment No, No, Not Rogov! and Adam and No Eve (Score 1) 1365

Adam and No Eve: [] Guy invents a rocket powered by a catalyst that causing fission in elemental iron. During takeoff, as warned, a bit must have leaked and it causes a chain reaction that wipes out all life on earth. Post-crash landing he is dying, but drags himself to the ocean, continually fending off his dog which went with him in the rocket, and is now trying to eat him because there is no food. He dies there so the bacteria within him can be reestablished in the ocean and maybe start life over again. Also No, No, Not Rogov! is a story I always enjoy re-reading, despite the sad ending. It's not world ending, or anything like that, but it's just a mournful short story.

Comment Re:Stephen Baxter - Titan (Score 1) 1365

Fall back to 1941, Alfred Bester: Adam and No Eve: Guy invents a rocket powered by a catalyst that causing fission in elemental iron. During takeoff, as warned, a bit must have leaked and it causes a chain reaction that wipes out all life on earth. Post-crash landing he is dying, but drags himself to the ocean, continually fending off his dog which went with him in the rocket, and is now trying to eat him because there is no food. He dies there so the bacteria within him can be reestablished in the ocean and maybe start life over again.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Gamer Plays Doom For the First Time 362

sfraggle writes "Kotaku has an interesting review of Doom (the original!) by Stephen Totilo, a gamer and FPS player who, until a few days ago, had gone through the game's 17-year history without playing it. He describes some of his first impressions, the surprises that he encountered, and how the game compares to modern FPSes. Quoting: 'Virtual shotgun armed, I was finally going to play Doom for real. A second later, I understood the allure the video game weapon has had. In Doom the shotgun feels mighty, at least partially I believe because they make first-timers like me wait for it. The creators make us sweat until we have it in hand. But once we have the shotgun, its big shots and its slow, fetishized reload are the floored-accelerator-pedal stuff of macho fantasy. The shotgun is, in all senses, instant puberty, which is to say, delicately, that to obtain it is to have the assumed added potency that a boy believes a man possesses vis a vis a world on which he'd like to have some impact. The shotgun is the punch in the face the once-scrawny boy on the beach gives the bully when he returns a muscled linebacker.'"

North Korea Develops Anti-Aging "Super Drink" 296

__roo writes "According to North Korea's official news agency, a drink produced by North Korea's Moranbong Carbonated Fruit Juice Joint Venture Company can cure aging and all disease. 'It, with effects of both preventive and curative treatment, helps improve mental and retentive faculties by multiplying brain cells. It also protects skin from wrinkles and black spots and prevents such geriatric diseases as cerebral hemorrhage, myocardium and brain infarction by removing acid effete matters in time.' It also has no side-effects." Last month North Korea announced its fusion breakthrough, and now it has a super drink. One can only imagine what wonders may come in July — perhaps self-buttering toast.

Submission + - How Deep Is the Ocean? (

Velcroman1 writes: Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor.

Comment A short list of some I would choose (Score 1) 1021

Short stories:
Unfortunately, you'll find it is hard to get many short stories together that you want to use without picking a random anthology. Otherwise you'll be hunting all over for books. Instead I would really suggest that you get "The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One" a short story collection used by many SF classes. It actually includes several of the stories and authors I've already listed. See it here:,_1929-1964

Classic Novels:
- Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination : IMHO the best book ever. I reread it every year or so. Read the wikipedia page about it.
- Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz : an excellent example nuclear apocalypse leading into cyclical history. (also refer to The Mote in God's Eye for the same theme and it's impact on an alien race after hundreds of repeats of nuclear war)
- A.E. Van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher : a large conglomeration of gun rights supporters vs an empire. One quote was "The right to own weapons is the right to be free". Interestingly Van Vogt's writings later led to what became scientology. [note, I've just looked at the sf hall of fame book I mentioned and the short story version of this is included]
- Pohl / Kornbluth, The Space Merchants : an excellent treatment of the possibilities of capitalism + advertising taken to their extreme in an overpopulated world.
- Asimov, The Caves of Steel : A detective story featuring an overpopulated Earth, fear of robots replacing human jobs, and agoraphobia on the new planets that are minimally settled.
- The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two : this includes several other still applicable novellas such as "The Marching Morons" (surely used as the basis for the movie "Idiocracy" where advertising is used to direct the now moronic populace).
I'd pick more, but you only have one semester. I'm trying to think of some good environmental destruction stories, but nothing excellent is coming to mind that isn't a multi-book set. Anyone want to cover that topic?

Comment Packrats, and digital inheritances (Score 1) 450

So, when I had to be executor of my mom's estate, I already knew there would be a lot of work in organizing everything, and deciding who got what, but I also encountered realized I was going to have to go through her gigs of digital pictures and figure out who was in them, who would want copies, and then somehow distribute them. She didn't use online software or any of that for her taxes, and we had some time before she passed (from cancer) to discuss online bill accounts and such things. Without having that time, it would have been even worse trying to sort through all of her digital life to figure out what needed keeping and what was important for financial purposes, etc. She only had about 10 gigs of pictures, even though she had a digital camera since the 90s, so eventually, I made it through the images... but it gave my wife and myself a realization. All of those digital pictures of our family were going to be "digital pictures no one looks at." So, she started making shutterfly books of our pictures. It's a little comforting to know that there are now printed copies of our favorite pictures, and if we need the originals we do still have them... the downside is that we're still leaving a huge collection of digital data for our children to someday have to slog through. Far more so than my 68 year old mother. In three years we've generated over 20 gigs because we photograph so much. Plus, we just bought a hi-def video camera... So, think of the children... keep those photos and songs organized, and if you keep tax and financial info on your computer, make sure your kids or estate lawyer have passwords for anything you lock down. I'm kind of wondering how inheritances will address the issue of drm media...

Comment Re:High-Handed Concept (Score 1) 592

I would agree to the significance of Fate as a concept here used in the new movie... or possibly something like shall we say, historical inertia? A common feature of time travel paradox fiction has been that some events (or people) carry too much inertia to change without going way back before they occur. The amount of established impact of the Enterprise crew upon the galaxy by Nero's time would make them somewhat of historical juggernauts.
Let's assume such historical inertia can be placed upon someone, and assuming we're in a single reality universe without alternate universes for all possible scenarios of everything. Now try to change the timeline of your own past. Certain eventual corrections will occur to lead back to a similar enough timeline to what was present before Nero's interruptions. Okay, he nailed Vulcan itself, so that's a pretty big deal... but the eventual establishment of a colony may provide for the important individuals with galaxy affecting descendants up to Nero's time, to have survived as part of the 10,000.

On a side note, what happened to time dilation near black holes?
Also, is it just me, or was the sound a little out of whack? I mean, when kirk slapped spock on the shoulder, it sounded like he'd hit the microphone with a baseball bat...

Comment Re:Alfred Bester (Score 1) 117

Actually, The Stars My Destination (Tiger Tiger) has had the movie rights recently purchased. I'm frightened that it will almost certainly fail to live up to the book... but one can always hope for some goodness from it.'s the imdb link but it's locked to Pro only... It used to say 2010... now it says 2012. Guess Jumper sort of messed up the jaunting storyline.

According to the Variety article, it's being produced by di Bonaventura (Variety) who brought us Doom, Transformers (1 and soon 2), and GI Joe... so it might have enough special effects to look cool at least.

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I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere.