Archive for June, 2015

I haven't posted about the Puppies lately…

I haven’t posted about the Sad/Rabid Puppies lately, mostly because I just haven’t had anything to say that I haven’t already said. I’m just not good at re-chewing old material – it’s not like all the previous posts I wrote aren’t still around. (Do remember to vote NO AWARD above any slate candidates, tho’.)

But if you miss that whole mess and want something new, here’s a post from Jim Hines called Puppies in their Own Words. It’s mostly extensive quotes from Sad leadership, and leaves white supremacist Rabid leader Vox Day out. I’m not sure that’s fair, given how much of the the Sad success depended upon Vox’s pack of Rabids – while simultaneously trying to distance themselves from him after he became to embarrassing – but there y’go.

The best thing Jim’s post is for is again detailing how this was in fact a purely political exercise, despite Puppy denials. It’s hard to deny when you’re extensively talking about how you need to show it to those liberals.

eta: Oh, Agrumer has a very good post on Livejournal about notorious homophobic Korrasami-hater and Rabid Puppy John C. Wright and his tired claim that He’s Not Homophobic, He Loves the Queers, He Just Hates “Perversion” – something he attributes to his Catholic faith. But as Agrumer shows, his anti-queer hate predates his Catholicism by some time. Also with original references and links! Apparently, John’s faith-sourced moral beliefs don’t include objections to straight-up lies.

eta2: George R. R. Martin pointed at Eric Flint’s takedown, point by point, of the Puppy arguments, such as they are. It’s quite thorough.

eta3: There’s a follow-up post, here, which is actually quite a bit longer and about Tor Books and Irene Gallo.

anybody got experience with little electric coolers?

Anybody got experience with those little 12V electrical in-vehicle 12V coolers? I can get this one with credit union rewards points. The maker has a smaller model (really tiny) which has a small number of reviews that are highly mixed, and a larger model (substantially larger)which has a large number of reviews and is thought well of overall.

This model, though, lacks reviews. It’s 14L (a little over 3.5 gallons?) and… um… well, it looks like this:

Cooler than … what, exactly?

I don’t expect miracles, but it’d be nice to keep things cool in the Raptor without hauling around ice and/or burning uselessly through cold-packs. Mostly because let’s face it, after day one, all of those things are dead, while this thing would in theory keep going.


Working on a couple of new songs – one that I’ve been sitting on unfinished for a long time, another that’s brand new, a third that’s an adaptation of another song but which I have to take apart and re-engineer because the original is guitar and I don’t play that. Also, it’s written in DADGAD and then partially-capoed two stops (so.. EBEABE?) and yeah, no.

So I’m playing with a drop-E powerchord open tuning that looks something like this:

E2 E3 / E3 E4 / B3 B3 / E5 E5

I don’t want to take it all the way down to D-like and then capo up because it gets kind of flabby down at that D.

This isn’t a tuning I would use for lots of things, but I’ve played with it (well, a variant of it – E2 E3 / D3 D4/ B3 B3 / E5 E5, Edrop3sus2) some before and it’s got a nice heavy sound. Which is not really where the original song I’m modifying goes, but kind of is where my version goes, so I think that’s okay.

I’m hoping I can get it playable for this weekend at Anglicon. That’d be cool.

A second one that’s completely new has a chorus that’s pretty much together and which is made pretty much completely of pop hook and I regret nothing. SO MANY POWER CHORDS. So many.

But the the verses are not happy yet. I seem to have written the ending of the song and getting back to the beginning is problematic.

The third one is complicated as hell and was supposed to be on Dick Tracy Must Die but there ware big swaths of it I never could actually make work. Turns out the solution was hidden in a rhythm change, so that’s kind of a huge surprise.

I wanted to write today about how Jupiter Ascending is basically the Cronenberg Dune with the “Chosen One” arc swapped out in favour of “Hidden Princess” – an arc that fell out of favour in Hollywood live-action several decades ago – but I don’t quite have my head wrapped around it yet. It’s still percolating, I guess.

But that gets back to the songwriting, funnily enough. I don’t seem to swap back and forth between “songwriting” and “blog writing” writing very well. So if blog posts lately seem a little hinky? That’s what’s up.

but I know that
when I see you
that it’s true even so
that the future has a place for me
that the future has a place for all of us now

it's the little things

Subtle, as intended. I was worried it would be too subtle, but I think this works well. I don’t want it to jump in your face, but I want it to be there.

There’s a duplicate on the other side, in the opposite window. Now if the callsign frame (RAPTOR 312 LIGHT) would just get here…

what with thrilling adventure hour going away…

What with The Thrilling Adventure Hour going away to my great sadness – the Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars theme makes me happy every time I hear it – I want suggestions for anything like it as a replacement podcast. No, not Welcome to Night Vale, I’ve been on that since about six months after it started. Something else.

I mean, I’ve got Big Finish Audio Doctor Who, and I suppose I really could fill in with that, but… it’s just not the same.

Wow, I will miss Thrilling Adventure Hour. Goddamn I am so sad they’re wrapping things up. Ah, well, I can’t blame them, it has been ten years. But still.

Recommendations, anyone?

Oh yeah, and as a reminder, as part of the big NIWA sales event, Bone Walker’s digital download is on 40% Bandcamp discount – enter “NIWA” as your discount code at checkout. It won’t be this cheap again unless somebody pays me, so now’s the time. 😀

woah hold on a second there: pluto would have tides?

From an article in Scientific American on Pluto’s moons:

Pluto’s biggest moon, Charon, weighs in at a hefty 11% of the mass of Pluto itself. It may have formed during a cosmic collision early in the Solar System’s history, billions of years ago. Debris from that smash may have coalesced into the much smaller moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.

Pluto’s no longer officially a planet. Fine. Don’t care.

One of the questions about extra-terran biospheres (and regenerating atmospheres) is the importance of meaningful tidal stresses. Those pretty much require moons which are an appreciable percentage of the primary in mass. And as far as I know, we don’t know how likely that is.

But let’s look at the small planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars), and the previously-a-planet Pluto, and the would’ve-been-a-planet Eris, which is roughly the same size as Pluto. There are more probable dwarf planets, but they’re all substantially smaller than either – Makemake and Haumea have less than two-thirds the diameters of Eris and Pluto, which is a lot less mass, both all things equal and as measured so far. (About 70% less.)

Two of these six planet- and near-planets have moons big enough for meaningful tides: Earth and Pluto. And both of them have moons thought to have been formed by early collision in solar system formation.

A third is a pretty healthy percentage. Now, I don’t know how critical this is thought to be at this point, because I’m not real current in my solar-system-formation and xenobiology theory. But it used to be thought that tides helped prevent carbon dioxide buildup (see: Venus) and a quick check online seems to imply that’s still the case.

If all these ideas about atmospheric regeneration and the like haven’t been discredited, this is a pretty interesting result. From the data we have, large moons around small planets (and, yes, dwarf planets) are not unlikely things.

And that’s pretty neat.

making a thing

I’m making something. Effects test here. Everything has to fit inside a 9mm tube. Here’s a closeup of this component’s mounting hardware:

When it’s done it’s going to look like a little metal penlight and that’s all. That’s not bragging, that’s kind of wondering at myself why all the effort. But I’ll finish it anyway. Thank you, sunk cost fallacy – today, you’re working for me.

what is it with supervillains and cats

George has been legit hugging me today. I am trapped by the computer. I will be here forever, send food and cider. Also, he is making little kitty noises and occasionally snoring.

send help

nwcmusic needs new personnel

It’s a good time to spread the word around again: nwcMUSIC needs new personnel!

nwcMUSIC is the geekmusic festival I built at Norwescon; I ran it for five years (six, really, but the first year wasn’t the real thing yet) and it’s become a thing, which is awesome. But after six years at it it’s time for someone else to till that helm (that’s a phrase, right? I think so) and there are several jobs available.

So please, I know most of you have heard this before, but I want this thing I built to keep going, so if you haven’t passed it along already, please do so now, and ask your friends to as well. Or, hell, even if you have, do it again. Particularly on Facebook, you have no way of knowing what your friends will and will not see.

And for the record, I will help. With data, with knowledge, with everything but actually running it. I have a lot of institutional knowledge to pass along and I want to hand it over.

More details and breakdowns are at the original post, here:

Spread the word!

also after mad max

Also, after the movie, walking out, I was making “it’s FuriOsa, not FurioSAR” jokes and wondering why I hadn’t seen that yet on Tumblr. Minion Paul was like OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO DO IT. But:

It was already on Tumblr. I just hadn’t seen it yet. I had to search it out! Weird. Normally that kind of dumb joke flashes across my dash the very first day. XD

Return top

The Music