Monday, August 2, 2010

News from the Fish Bowl

Hi! It's me, Lucky! I'm starting up my Monday news column again! Yay me! I'm using lots of exclamation points! Woo hoo!

NOAH'S ARK DISCOVERED...AGAIN

I could have sworn this has been news several times already just in my lifetime...and I'm a goldfish! A man with the name, believe it or not, of Arch Bonnema, claims he has sixteen pieces of a ship he found in Iran. And, apparently, he leapt to the conclusion that he has Noah's Ark. The Deej, who's supposed to be an archaeologist, says he's extremely skeptical. Quote: "They find that thing every few years, don't they?" Read the story here.

BIG THINK DECLARES AUGUST "MONTH OF THINKING DANGEROUSLY"

You've heard of Big Think...or you haven't.  I haven't.  But this organization informs us that it has, at great personal risk, declared August the "Month of Thinking Dangerously," celebrating bold ideas that somebody, somewhere, thinks are good.  August 2 celebrates the idea of adding lithium to drinking water to prevent suicides, which would dilute our pure bodily essence.  August 3 and the days following celebrate other dumb ideas, like selling your kidneys for profit, erasing traumatic memories artificially, intentionally dumping sulfur into the atmosphere.  Read about it here.

ANNE RICE LEAVES CATHOLIC CHURCH

 Anne Rice, who earlier surprised the world by converting to the Catholic faith of her childhood, more recently surprised the world by once again leaving it.  According to her Facebook page, she is fed up with the Church's stance on issues such as homosexuality and artificial birth control.  Read about it, if you haven't already, at SFGate.  For some Catholic commentary on the subject, of the more restrained variety, check out the Jackson Catholic Examiner.

SEQUEL TO AVATAR:  THE LAST AIRBENDER ANNOUNCED

Legend of Korra, a "more mature" spinoff of the hugely popular Nickelodeon animated series, Avatar:  The Last Airbender is slated to begin next year according to The Wall Street Journal.  The series will feature a female avatar named Korra, successor to Aang from the first series.  According to series co-creator Bryan Konietzko, "We just don’t subscribe to the conventional wisdom that you can’t have an action series led by a female character. It’s kinda nonsense to us." I was unaware that was the conventional wisdom. Where has he been for the last several years?

Hat tip:  John C. Wright

SUCKER PUNCH TRAILER RELEASED

Director Zack Snyder, who made a name for himself directing 300 and filming the unfilmable with Watchmen has a new project, Sucker Punch, slated to release next year.  My opinion is that it looks like a trailer for a video game--a particularly dumb video game for twelve-year-old boys...

BRITISH UNKNOWINGLY DRINK MILK FROM CLONED COWS

...And that kind of says it all.  Read about it in the Guardian.

AN OOPS IN SPACE

Astrophysicist Dimitar Sasselov last month stated that he had discovered 140 Earth-like planets in Cygnus.  He later admitted that he meant to say Earth-sized.  And they aren't planets.  Not exactly.  Also, that discovery of dark matter in the mine shaft thing might not have been quite right.  Read about it in the New York Times.

ROBERT L. FORWARD'S THEORY OF DISPLACED ORBITS PROVEN CORRECT

Dr. Forward in 1984 suggested that solar sails could be used to move satellites out of the natural Keplerian orbit and into "elevated orbits."  Previously thought impossible, Forward's theory has been proven correct by Colin McInnes:
"However, we have devised families of closed, non-Keplerian orbits, which do not obey the usual laws of orbital motion. Families of these orbits circle the Earth every 24 hours, but are displaced north or south of the Earth's equator. The pressure from sunlight reflecting off a solar sail can push the satellite above or below geostationary orbit, while also displacing the centre of the orbit behind the Earth slightly, away from the Sun."  [more...]
IN 1814, NOBODY SAID HELLO

Historical fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal gives a short list of interesting historical trivia she picked up while writing her novel Shades of Milk and Honey.   Read her list at Tor/Forge.

MARC SEBANC ON THE RADIO

And finally, Marc Sebanc, Catholic, writer, and co-author (with James G. Anderson) of the Legacy of the Stone Harp fantasy series, will be on Sirius Satellite 159, the Catholic Channel, at 8.00 AM Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, August 4th, to discuss the latest novel in the series, Darkling Fields of Arvon, sequel to The Stoneholding.
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