July 25th, 2007

weird science, Eye: RCA Magic Eye, tech

Follow-Up on Vortex Engines.

I pointed the Vortex Engine out to Technovelgy.com, a blog that looks at ideas and inventions from science fiction that come true in today's world. They very kindly looked up the reference from The Space Merchants, along with additional material on the Vortex Engine specs that weren't in the original article.

Link here: http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=1134

(I wonder if you could use a Vortex Engine to create the wind pressure you'd need to run a terraforming-level Hirsch Tube?)

I should also give credit to where I originally found the article: The usually-comics-related blog of Ami Angelwings.
hoard potato, tv, movies

How They Should Have Done It: Enterprise (Part 1)

Yesterday, I was castigated as a weak-minded tool of the advertising industry for actually enjoying Harry Potter.

So, what the hell -- let's dive right into the deep end of mediocre, over-merchandised pop culture, and talk about Star Trek.

One of my earliest LiveJournal entries was a critique of the excreable television maladaptation of Birds of Prey, cast in the form of dissecting what had gone wrong with the pilot and suggesting how it could have been done more effectively. I ended by promising that my next entry in the How They Should Have Done It category would, in fact, be the Star Trek prequel series then entering its second season.

I've kept that promise...in that I haven't done any other installments of that particular heading in the intervening half-decade. Enterprise -- pardon me, Star Trek: Enterprise -- has been off the air for two years, now. Yesterday, however, the discovery of an interesting Trek proposal that never came to pass and the conversation it prompted brought those long-simmering thoughts up to the front burner once more.

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Eye of the Dragon

Second Life Herald: Trolls Write The Best Trollbait

"Are Furries Doomed?"

The premise of this article is that wearing a furry avatar on Second Life is inherently offensive, Because a) nobody goes to SL for anything but sex, and b) sex with a furry is bestiality.

Please do not respond to this article. Yes, it's total crap. It's obviously total crap. The comments are even more inane than the article itself. But, for the love of Coyote and all his little puppies, don't feed the goddamned trolls!!

I am pissed and annoyed that BoingBoing gave these idiots even the brief line-and-link they did.

Warning: This Article Is Not Safe For Work!

cross-posted to furrymedia
weird science, Eye: RCA Magic Eye, tech

How They Should Have Done It: Enterprise (Part 1.5)

hafoc reminded me of a point I didn't mention in Part 1: Subspace Radio.

In Kirk's era, subspace messages would take days or weeks to get to Starfleet Command, and were often text or voice only (we were never sure which, because Uhura handled everything). They were occasionally out of touch, and "subspace relay stations" were plot points once or twice.

I never really noticed that feeling of being Out Of Touch in Enterprise. Maybe they were just closer in than Kirk's ship, and the basically-similar technology didn't have a significant lag time. On the other claw, it might be simply that I haven't seen that much of the show (which is something of a danger in this whole exercise).

Remember in Forbidden Planet, where they had to dismantle their hyperdrive to send a message back to Earth? If the subspace radio in Enterprise were only a little more convenient than that, it would have been a terrific dramatic hook. Apply the Wave Motion Gun effect to the communications system: if you divert all the warp drive's power for several minutes, you can just barely create enough of a warp to squirt a brief text message back to Starfleet Command United Earth Space Probe Agency HQ.
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