Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fred's Reading Report (January 2008)

So, 31 days have January, so at this point (day isn't over):

Four books.

Thirty short works.

Currently being read...relatively actively...

Poul Anderson: The Earth Book of Stormgate. Trader to the Stars. The Trouble Twisters.

Isaac Asimov (editor): The Hugo Winners, Volumes 1 and 2.

James Baen (editor): Destinies, Volume 1, Number 1.

Lois McMaster Bujold: Cetaganda in Miles, Mystery and Mayhem (which also contains Ethan of Athos and the short work Labyrinth) (omnibus review here).

A. Bertram Chandler: To Prime the Pump.

David Drake: Other Times Than Peace.

David Drake: Lord of the Isles.

David Drake: Lt. Leary, Commanding.

David Drake and Eric Flint: An Oblique Approach.

David Drake (editor): The Warmasters.

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: Crystal Soldier.

Ian MacDonald: River of Gods.

Ken MacLeod: Learning the World and The Execution Channel.

"Jack McKinney": First RoboTech omnibus.

Jerry Pournelle (editor): The Endless Frontier, Volume I.

Terry Pratchett: Pyramids.

John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor: Von Neumann's War.

James Schmitz: Telzey Amberdon.

Charles Stross: Halting State.

Michael Swanwick: The Dog Said Bow-Wow. The Dragons of Babel.

Mark Van Name and T.K.F. Weisskopf (editors): Transhuman.

Vernor Vinge: Rainbows End.

David Weber and John Ringo: March Upcountry.

Jack Williamson: The Metal Man and Others: The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume One.

Yes, I am reading way too many books, as usual. No, I have no plans to change the way I do things!
The Cruiser Van Helsing

More fun things to do with Legos! (Posted at Star Ranger, sent to me by a friend.)

And better yet...Brickstar Pegasus!
Run Shallow...

...and don't think. My, I think any SF fan could come up with a much better list of twenty things you might not know about SF than this piece of dreck from Discover magazine.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some Things...

...should not be put into a can.

Addendum: A friend sent me three links to something else that should not be in a can. The brain reels...and does the jig.

Honestly, I can't even take beer in a can any more. Let alone coffee! Soda, still tolerated...for now!
And Another...

...15 picoseconds of fame! I share the stage with the likes of John Wright and (gasp!) James Gunn.

First, what is the Golden Age of SF? I've never liked to pin it to a specific period, preferring the answer that Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and others have used (e.g., "The golden age of SF is twelve" or "The golden age of SF is fourteen", etc.). I know I get that golden age feeling every time I find a new author that excites me.

Second, who says that SF is the Great Predictor? Names! I need names! I never agreed with that. About the most specific prediction that I saw was that a Major Armstrong would be the first man to step on the Moon in 1964. The author ("Philip St. John", one of the many pseudonyms used by Lester del Rey, in the book Rocket Jockey) got the last name right, the date wrong, the rank wrong...

I'd rather talk about what science fiction, golden or otherwise, is good for. I think SF is good for education, enthusiasm, and inoculation. To explain...

Science fiction educates and enthuses. Spider Robinson claims to know of ten astronauts that got started because they read a book called Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein (maybe you've heard of him?). Some would argue that he had an impact on the space program well beyond those ten folks. Me, personally, I got interested in a lot of science due to stories such as Sir Arthur C. Clarke's Saturn Rising (which led me into amateur astronomy). Collections such as the one edited by Isaac Asimov, Where Do We Go From Here? led to reading non-fiction on chemistry, biology and more.

As for inoculation, harken back to the 1970's. Perpetually on the best seller lists and perpetually found in yard sales and garage sales was Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. The future was coming! The future was scary! Things were changing faster and faster! I read the book and shrugged my shoulders. I had read much stranger stuff in SF. My mother asked me once about cloning. I gave her an answer and she was surprised by how nonchalant I was. SF has inoculated me against the surprises of the future.

2001 wasn't a bit like 2001: A Space Odyssey. No manned voyages to Jupiter, cities on the Moon, etc. Am I disappointed that we don't have manned spaceships to Jupiter? Instead we've had multiple probes to Jupiter returning data and wonderful shots like this one. Maybe, but I appreciate how SF has given me a sense of wonder that allows me to love shots that the one in the link.

(Fred Kiesche has been reading science fiction since the early 1960's. He has a collection of over 8,000 books at home, at least half of which is science fiction and fantasy and the rest are made up of books on science, history and other non-fiction subjects. He is an avid amateur astronomer, devoted husband and father, and is seemingly perpetually underemployed since 9/11/01. He blathers on this and other subjects at The Lensman's Children.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another 15 Picoseconds of Fame

Mechanical animals and more!

I wonder if future models will allow us to look for giant squid...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Missing Years

As you may have noticed from the dates in this post, there's a gap between 1996 and 2001. What was I reading then? I did not keep chronological track mostly because I was working like a nut at my former job. That all came to a halt on 9/11 and things changed to be a period of recovery and attempt to save the job.

In looking over my book database, some scattered notes and the like, I've put together what is the most accurate list of books that I can come up with for the period. I have not included about another thirty or so that I read while studying for my CFA. That's a period of time I'd rather not revisit! You'll see a good mix of science fiction and fantasy, historical fiction, and a good chunk of non-fiction. The non-fiction was partly related to the SF, partly related to my awakening interest in my religious belief system from childhood and partly (mostly!) related to business reading. See below the fold for authors and titles...

About 560 books. About 140 books a year. I was commuting. A lot. That gave me a lot of "down time". Plus, part of this period was BC, before child, so there was more free time. And just as little, overall, television watching. And less online time (no blog, fewer discussion groups, and the like).

Looking at the titles. Sigh, did I really waste all that time on these business books? Some were good, but overall they were as fluffy as the internet bubble itself. Some very good non-fiction titles here, even the old "outdated" ones by Serviss, Olcott and Peltier. Some great SF here, a lot of which I will have to visit again.

Books Read: 1997-2000 (A SWAG)

Fiction Entries:

Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes: Encounter with Tiber

Roger MacBride Allen: The Ring of charon
The Shattered Sphere
Allies and Aliens (omnbius of Torch of Honor and Rogue Powers)

Poul Anderson: Harvest of Stars
The Stars Are Also Fire
Harvest the Fire
Maurai and Kith
Orion Shall Rise
The Enemy Stars

Isaac Asimov: The Complete Robot

Stephen Baxter: Vacuum Diagrams

Greg Bear: Darwin's Radio
Queen of Angels
Moving Mars
Slant ("/")

Gregory Benford: In the Ocean of Night
Across the Sea of Stars
Great Sky River
Tides of Light
Furious Gulf
A Darker Geometry (with Mark O. Martin)
The Martian Race

Eluki bes Shahar: Hellflower
Dark Traders
Archangel Blues

James Blish: Cities in Flight (omnibus, They Shall Have Stars, A Life for the Stars, Earthmen Come Home, The Triumph of Time)

Larry Bond and Patrick Larkin: The Enemy Within
Day of Wrath

Anthony Boucher and James A. Mann (editor): The Compleat Boucher

Ray Bradbury: The Illustrated Man
Dandelion Wine
The Martian Chronicles
The October COuntry
Something Wicked This Way Comes

David Brin: Brightness Reef
Infinity's Shore
Heaven's Reach

Frederic Brown: From These Ashes: The Complete Short SF of Frederic Brown

Lois McMaster Bujold: Cetaganda
A Civil Campaign

Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars
The Gods of Mars
The Warlord of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
The Chessmen of Mars
The Master Mind of Mars
A Fighting Man of Mars
Swords of Mars
Synthetic Men of Mars
Llana of Gathol
John Carter of Mars

Martin Caidin: Marooned

P.H. Cannon: Pulptime
Scream for Jeeves

Orson Scott Card: Ender's Game
Speaker for the Dead
Children of the Mind

Tom Clancy: Debt of Honor
Executive Orders
Rainbow Six
The Bear and the Dragon

Arthur C. Clarke: 3001: The Final Odyssey
The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke

Harold Coyle: Look Away
Until the End
Savage Wilderness

Michael Flynn: Firestar
Rogue Star
Falling Stars

John M. Ford: Growing Up Weightless

Alan Dean Foster: Phylogenesis
The Howling Stones

George MacDonald Fraser: Flashman
Royal Flash
Flashman's Lady

Peter F. Hamilton: The Confederation Handbook
A Second Chance at Eden
The Emergence
Mindstar Rising
A Quantum Murder
The Nano Flower

William K. Hartman: Mars Underground

Dean Ing: Cathouse

T. Jackson King: Retread Shop

Donald Kingsbury: Psychohistorical Crisis

C.M. Kornbluth: His Share of Glory: The Complete Short Science Fiction of C.M. Kornbluth

Geoffrey A. Landis: Mars Crossing

Murray Leinster and Joe Rico (editor): First Contacts: The Essential Murray Leinster

R.A. MacAvoy: Tea with the Black Dragon

Sir Thomas Malory: Le Morte D'Arthur (two volumes)

George R. R. Martin: Sandkings
Tuf Voyaging
Dying of the Light
Fevre Dream

Michael McCollum: Thunderstrike!
Life Probe
Procyon's Promise
Antares Dawn
Antares Passage
The Sails of Tau Ceti
The Clouds of Saturn

Elizabeth Moon: Hunting Party
Sporting Chance
Winning Colors

Larry Niven (as editor): The Man-Kzin Wars I
The Man-Kzin Wars II
The Man-Kzin Wars III
The Man-Kzin Wars IV
The Man-Kzin Wars V
The Man-Kzin Wars VI
The Man-Kzin Wars VII
The Man-Kzin Wars VIII: Choosing Names

Andre Norton: Sargasso of Space
Plague Ship
Voodoo Planet
Postmarked the Stars
Redline the Stars (with P.M. Griffin)
Derelict for Trade (with Sherwood Smith)
A Mind for Trade (with Sherwood Smith)

Ellis Peters: A Rare Benedictine
A Morbid Taste for Bones
One Corpse Too Many
Monk's Hood
St. Peter's Fair
The Leper of Saint Giles
The Virgin in the Ice
The Sanctuary Sparrow
The Devil's Novice
Dead Man's Ransom
The Pilgrim of Hate
An Excellent Mystery
The Raven in the Foregate
The Rose Rent
The Hermit of Eyton Forest
Confession of Brother Haluin
The Heretic's Apprentice
The Potter's Field
The Summer of the Danes
The Holy Thief
Brother Cadfael's Penance

Frederik Pohl and Thomas T. Thomas: Mars Plus

Frederik Pohl (editor): The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 1
The SFWA Grand Masters, Volume 2

Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling: The Children's Hour

Tim Powers: Expiration Date
Earthquake Weather
The Annubis Gates
On Stranger Tides
Last Call

Paul Preuss: Breaking Strain
Hide and Seek
The Medusa Encounter
The Diamond Moon
The Shining Ones

Philip Pullman: The Golden Compass
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass

Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space

Kim Stanley Robinson: Red Mars
Green Mars
Blue Mars
The Martians

J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Eric Frank Russell: Major Ingredients
Entities: The Selected Novels of Eric Frank Russell

A.L. Sadler: The Ten FOot Square Hut and Tales of the Heike

Saki (Hector Hugh Munro): The Penguin Complete Saki

Garrett P. Serviss: The Second Deluge
A Columbus of Space

Michael Shaara: The Killer Angels

Jeff Shaara: Gone for Soldiers
Gods and Generals
The Last Full Measure

William Shakespeare: Henry IV, Part One
Henry IV, Part Two
Henry V

Bob Shaw: The Ragged Astronauts
The Wooden Spaceships
The Fugitive Worlds

Charles Sheffield: Higher Education (with Jerry Pournelle)
Putting Up Roots
The Billion Dollar Boy
The Cyborg from Earth
The Compleat McAndrew
Convergent Series (Summertide and Divergence)
Transvergence (Transcendence and Convergence)
Proteus Combined (Sight of Proteus and Proteus Unbound)
Proteus in the Underworld
Trader's World
The Web Between the Worlds
The Mind Pool
The Spheres of Heaven
Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Clifford D. Simak: Over the River and Through the Woods

Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge: The Phoenix in Flight
The Ruler of Naught
A Prison Unsought
The Rifter's Covenant
The Thrones of Kronos

Dana Stabenow: Second Star
A Handful of Stars
Red Planet Run

Brian Stableford: Inherit the Earth
Architects of Emortality
The Cassandra Complex

Neal Stephenson: Cryptnomicon

S.C. Sykes: Red Genesis

Jack Vance: Planet of Adventure (City of the Chasch, Servants of the Wankh, The Dirdir, The Pnume)
Maske: Thaery
Dust of Far Suns
Alastor (Wyst: Alastor 1716, Wyst: Alastor 933, Wyst: Alastor: 2262)
Demon Princes, Volume 1 (The Star King, The Killing Machine, The Palace of Love)
Demon Princes, Volume 2 (The Face, The Book of Dreams)

Vernor Vinge: A Deepness in the Sky
A Fire Upon the Deep

David Weber: On Basilisk Station

Robin Whiteman: The Cadfael Companion: The World of Brother Cadfael

Non-Fiction Entries:

Avraham (Bren) Adan: On the Banks of the Suez

Major Mark Adkin: Urgent Fury: The Battle for Grenada
Goose Green

Mitch Albom: Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson

Brian W. Aldiss: Trillion Year Spree

Stephen E. Ambrose: D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climatic Battle of World War II
Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: From Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
Citizen Soldier: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945

Alan Bean and Andrew Chaikin: Apollo

J.D. Bernal: The World, The Flesh and The Devil

Tim Berners-Lee and Mark Fischetti: Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web

John D. Billings: Hard Tack and Coffee

Martin Blumrosen: Patton: The Man Behind the Legend
Battle of the Generals: The Untold Story of the Falaise Pocket--The Campaign that Should Have Won World War II

Therese Johnson Borchard: Our Catholic Prayer

Mark Bowden: Blackhawk Down

David E. Bowker and J. Kenrick Hughes: Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon

Lt. Clarence E. Briggs III: Operation Just Cause: Panama, December 1989

Po Bronson: The Nudist on the Night Shift

John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid: The Social Life of Information

Lowell Bryan, Jane Fraser and Jeremy Oppenheim and Wilhelm Rall: Race for the World--Strategies to Build a Great Global Firm

Mary Buffett and David Clark: Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques That Have Made Warren Buffett the World's Most Famous Investor

David Bunnell: Making the Cisco Connection: The Story Behind the Real Internet Superpower

James Burke: The Knowledge Web: From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back--And Other Journeys Through Knowledge

Aubrey Burl: Great Stone Circles

Robert Burnham, Jr.: Burnham's Celestial Handbook (three volumes): Andromeda Through Cetus; Chamaeleon Through Orion; Pavo Through Vulpecula

Marian Burros: Elegant But Easy Cookbook
Keep It Simple: 30-Minute Meals from Scratch
The Best of De Gustibus
Eating Well is the Best Revenge
20 Minute Menus

Bryan Burrough: Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir

William E. Burrows: This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age

Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars

Jim Carlton: Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders

Michael Casey: Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina

Philip Cave: Creating Japanese Gardens

Andrew Chaikin: A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts

Clayton M. Christenson: The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail

Tom Clancy and Gen. Fred Franks, Jr.: Into the Storm: A Study in Command

Jim Clark and Owen Edwards: Netscape Time: The Making of the Billion-Dolalr Start-Up That Took On Microsoft

Guy Consolmagno: Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist

Casey O. Corr: Money from Thin Air

Robert X. Cringley: Accidental Empires

Michael A. Cusumano and Richard W. Selby: Microsoft Secrets: How the World's Most Powerful Software Company Creates Technology, Shapes Markets, and Manages People

Kevin Davies: Cracking the Genome: Inside the Race to Unlock Human DNA

Erik Davis: Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information

Richard Dawkings: The Selfish Gene

Vincent de Cordoba: "Is Peckerhead Hyphenated?" Building the International Space Station

Esther de Waal: A Life-Giving Way: A Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict
Living With Contradiction: An Introduction to Benedictine Spirtuality
Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict
The Celtic Way of Prayer: The Recovery of the Religious Imagination

Eric Dean: Saint Benedict for the Laity

Annabel Z. Dodd: Essential Guide to Telecommunications

Thomas Donnelly and Margaret Roth and Caleb Baker: Operation Just Cause

Larry Downes and Chunka Mui: Unleshing the Killer App

Alan Dressler: Voyage to the Great Attractor: Exploring Extragalactic Space

Esther Dyson: Release 2.1: A Design for Living in the Digital Age

Jaclyn Easton: Striking It

Timothy Ferris: The Red Limit: The Search for the Edge of the Universe

Richard P. Feynman: "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" Adventures of a Curious Character
No Ordinary Genius: The Illustrated Richard Feynman (edited by Christopher Sykes)
QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter
"What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character
The Meaning of It All
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (edited by Jeffrey Robbins)
The Character of Physical Law
"Most of the Good Stuff": Memories of Richard Feynman (edited by Laurie M. Brown and John S. Rigden)

Mitch Finley: The Seeker's Guide to Being Catholic
The Seeker's Guide to the Christian Story

Philip A. Fisher: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

David Fletcher (editor): Tanks and Trenches: First Hand Accounts of Tank Warefare in the First World War

Ronald Florence: The Pefect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope

Colin Foale: Waystation to the Stars: The Story of Mir, Michael and Me

Leonard Foley, OFM: Believing in Jesus: A Popular Overview of the Catholic Faith

Richard Fortey: Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution

Marsha Freeman: Challenges of Human Space Exploration

Paul Freiberger: Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer

Thomas L. Friedman: From Beirut to Jerusalem
The Lexus and the Olive Tree

Ken Fulton: The Light-Hearted Astronomer

Tom and David Gardner: The Motley Fool's Rule Breakers, Rule Makers: The Foolish Guide to Picking Stocks

Bill Gates: The Road Ahead (with Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson)
Business at the Speed of Thought (with Collins Hemingway)

George Gilder Telecosm: How Infinite Bandwidth Will Revolutionize Our World
Life After Television

Gianfranco Giorgi: Guide to Bonsai

Judy Glattstein: Enhance Your Garden with Japanese Plants: A Practical Sourcebook

James Gleick: Chaos: Making a New Science
Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman
Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything

Solomon W. Golomb: Polyominoes: Puzzles, Problems and Packings

Benjamin Graham: The Interpretation of Financial Statements (with Spencer B. Meredith)
Security Analysis (with David Dodd)

Zachary Grant, OFM: Paths to Renewal: The Spirtuality of Six Religious Founders

John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin: Richard Feynman: A Life in Science
In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality
Schrodinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality: Solving the Quantum Mysteries

Andrew S. Grove, Ph.D.: High Output Management
Only the Paranoid Survive
One-On-One with Andy Grove: How to Manage Your Boss, Yourself and Your Co-Workers

David P. Gump: Space Enterprise: Beyond NASA

Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon: Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet

John Hagel III: Net Worth: Shaping Markets When Customers Make the Rules (with Marc Singer)
Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities (with Arthur G. Armstrong)

Thelma Hall, R.C.: Too Deep for Words: Rediscovering Lectio Divina

Mark Hall and John Barry: Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems

Steve Harmon: Zero Gravity: Riding Venture Capital from High-Tech Start-Up to Breakout IPO

Philip S. Harrington: Star Ware: The Amateur Astronomer's Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Buying, and Using Telescopes and Accessories
The Deep Sky: An Introduction
Touring the Universe Through Binoculars: A Complete Astronomer's Guide

Harry Mikel, Ph.D. and Richard Schroeder: Six Sigma: The Breakthrough Management Strategy Revolutionizing the World's Top Corporations

Amir Hartman and John Sifonis and John Kador: Net Ready: Strategies for Success in the E-Conomy

Christina Ford Haylock and Len Muscarella: Net Success: 24 Leaders in Web Commerce Show You How to Put the Internet to Work for Your Business

Bill Henderson (editor): Minutes of the Lead Pencil Club

Daniel Hillis: The Pattern on the Stone: The Simple Ideas That Make Computers Work

Michael Hiltzik: Dealers in Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age

Alvin Horton: Creating Japanese Gardens

Donald E. HOuston: Hell on Wheels: The Second Armored Division

Teiji Itoh: Space and Illusion in the Japanese Garden

Lisa Jardine: Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution

Kate Jerome: Oriental Gardening

William Johnston (editor): The Cloud of Unknowing

David A. Kaplan: The Silicon Boys and Their Valley of Dreams

Jerry Kaplan: Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure

Guy Kawasaki: The Macintosh Way
Selling the Dream

Father Thomas Keating: The Kingdom of God Is Like...
The Mystery of Christ: The Liturgy as Spirtual Experience
Active Meditations for Contemplative Prayer
Journey to the Center: A Lenten Passage

Thomas J. Kelly: Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module

George Robert Kepple and Glen W. Sanner: The Night Sky Observer's Guide, Volume 1
The Night Sky Observer's Guide, Volume 2

Tracy Kidder: The Soul of a New Machine

Dom David Nowles: The Benedictines: A Digest for Moderns

Donald E. Knuth: Things a Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

Randy Komisar and Kent Lineback: The Monk and the Riddle: The Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur

Deborah R. Koreshoff: Bonsai: Its Art, Science, History and Philosophy

L.J. Kosofsky and Farouk El-Baz: The Moon as Viewed by Lunar Orbiter

Markos Kounalakis and Doug Menuez: Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton

David Kriege and Richard Berry: The Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large Aperture Telescopes

Loraine Kuck: The World of Japanese Gardens

Ray Kurzweil: The Age of Spirtual Machines

Fred "Chico" Lager: Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop

Bob LeVitus and Michael Fraase: Guide to the Macintosh Underground: Mac Culture from the Inside

Steven Levy: Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
Insanley Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the COmputer that Changed Everything
Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government--Saving Privacy in the Digital Age

Lewis Colin and Neil Sutherland: The Step-by-Step Art of Growing and Displaying Bonsai

Ted Libbey: The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection

Michael Light: Full Moon

Jerry M. Lineger: Off the Planet: Surviving Five Perilous Months Aboard the Space Station Mir

Owen W. Linzmayer: The Mac Bathroom Reader

Tom Lorenzin and Tim Sechler: 1000+: The Amateur Astronomer's Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing

J.D. Love and John C. Reed, Jr.: Creation of the Teton Landscape: The Geologic Story of Grand Teton National Park

Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger: Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13

Roger Lowenstein: Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Daniel L. Lowery: Following Christ

Christian B. Luginbuhl and Brian A. Skiff: Observing Handbook and Catalogue of Deep Sky Objects

Peter Lynch: One Up on Wall Street
Beating the Street
Learn to Earn

Don Machholz: Messier Marathon Observer's Guide Handbook and Atlas: A Complete Guide to Running Your Own Messier Marathon

Charles Mackay: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Alan M. MacRoberts: Star-Hopping for Backyard Astronomers

Burton G. Malkiel: A Random Walk Down Wall Street

John H. Mallas: The Messier Album

Michael S. Malone: Infinite Loop
The Big Score: The Billion Dollar Story of Silicon Valley
Going Public: MIPS COmputer and the Entrepreneurial Dream

Peter L. Manley: The 20-cm Schmidt Telescope

Carole Manchester: Tea in the East

Manuela Dunn Mascetti (editor): A Box of Zen

Kenneth Masursky and G.W. Colton and Farouk El-Baz (editors): Apollo Over the Moon: A View from Orbit

David McCullough: Truman

John McPhee: La Place de la Concorde Suisse
A Sense of Where You Are: Bill Bradley at Princeton
Levels of the Game
Annals of the Former World (four separate books, omnibus edition)
The Survival of the Bark Canoe
The Control of Nature
Coming into the Country
The Founding Fish
The Pine Barrens

Thomas Merton: A Thomas Merton Reader
The Silent Life
Contemplative Prayer
The Seven Story Mountain
Praying the Psalms
Spirtual Direction and Meditation
Opening the Bible

Robert M. Metcalfe: Internet Collapses and Other InfoWorld Punditry
Packet Communication

Geoffrey A. Moore: Crossing the Chasm
Inside the Tornado

Ward Moore: Lot and Lot's Daughter

Julie Morgenstern: Organizing from the Inside Out

David S. Moschella: Waves of Power: The Dynamics of Global Technology Leadership 1964-2010

Michael MOtt: The Seven Mountains of Thomas Merton

Nicholas Negroponte: Being Digital

Jack Newton and Philip Teece: The Cambridge Deep-Sky Album

Donald A. Norman: The Design of Everyday Things
The Invisible Computer

Kathleen Norris: The Cloister Walk
The Psalms

Gerald North: Advanced Amateur Astronomy
Observing the Moon: The Modern Astronomer's Guide

Arthur P. Norton: Norton's Star Atlas and Telescopic Handbook

William Tyler Olcott: Field Book of the Skies
In Starland with a Three-Inch Telescope

Mitch Pacwa, SJ: Father Forgive Me, for I am Frustrated: Growing in Faith When You Don't Find It Easy Being Catholic

Charles R. Pellegrino and Joshua Stoff: Chariots for Apollo: The Untold Story Beind the Race for the Moon

Leslie C. Peltier: Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-Gazer
The Binocular Stargazer

Harvard Pennington: The Year-Round Messier Marathon Field Guide

Christian Pessey and Remy Samson: Bonsai Basics

Richard Preston: First Light: The Search for the Edge of the Universe
The Hot Zone

Fred W. Price: The Planet Observer's Handbook
The Moon Observer's Handbook

Fr. Francis Randolph: Know Him in the Breaking of the Bread: A Guide to the Mass

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: Catechism of the Catholic Church

Eric S. Raymond: The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary

Donald Ritchie: The Films of Akira Kurosawa

Antonin Rukl: Atlas of the Moon

A.L. Sadler: Cha-No-Yu: The Japanese Tea Ceremony

Fred Schaaf: Seeing the SOlar System: Telescopic Projects, Activities and Explorations in Astronomy
The Starry Room: Naked Eye Astronomy in the Intimate Universe
Seeing the Sky: 100 Projects, Activities and Explorations in Astronomy
Seeing the Deep Sky: Telescopic Astronomy Projects Beyond the Solar System
40 Nights to Knowing the Sky: A Night-by-Night Skywatching Primer
Comet of the Century: From Halley to Hale-Bopp

Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang: Pour Your Heart Into It

Stephan Segaller: Nerds 2.01: A Brief History of the Internet

Kiyoshi Seike and Masanoubu KUdo and David H. Engel: A Japanese Touch for Your Garden

Garrett P. Serviss: Astronomy with an Opera Glass
Curiosities of the Sky
Astronomy with the Naked Eye
Pleasures of the Telescope
Astronomy in a Nutshell

Matt Seto and Steven Levingston: The Whiz Kid of Wall Street's Investment Guide

William H. Shannon: The Silent Lamp: The Thomas Merton Story
Exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Carl Shapiro and Hal R. Varian: Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy

Robert Sheard: The Unemotional Investor

Charles Sheffield: Borderlands of Science

Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton: Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon

Joe Sherman: In the Rings of Saturn

Simon Singh: The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Fermat's Enigma

Michelle Slatalla and Joshua Quittner: Masters of Deception: The Gang that Ruled Cyberspace

David A. Slawson: Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens: Design Principles and Aesthetic Values

Martin L. Smith: The Word is Very Near You: A Guide to Praying with Scripture

Karen Southwick: High Noon: The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the Rise of Sun Microsystems

Victor Sperandeo: Trader Vic II: Principles of Professional Speculation

St. Benedict: The Rule of Saint Benedict

Tom Standage: The Neptune File: A Story on Astronomical Rivalry and the Pioneers of Planet Hunting
The Victorian Internet

Julian Stead, O.S.B.: Saint Benedict: A Rule for Beginners

Neal Stephenson: In the Beginning...Was the Command Line

Cliff Stoll: The Cuckoo's Egg
High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian
Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Superhighway

Peter M.J. Stravinskas: Understanding the Sacrements

Randall E. Stross: e-Boys

Judith Sutera, O.S.B. (editor): Work of God: Benedictine Prayer

Peter Svenson: Battlefield: Farming a Civil War Battleground

Kara Swisher:

Brian C. Taylor: Sprituality for Everyday Living: An Adoption of the Rule of St. Benedict

Nicholas Teebagy: The Math Behind Wall Street

Rich Teerlink and Lee Ozley: More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson

Richard Thibodeau and Edward J. O'Donnell (editors): The Essential Catholic Handbook: A Summary of Beliefs, Practices, and Prayers

Alvin Toffler: Future Shock
The Third Wave

Linus Torvalds and David Diamond: Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary

John Train: The Money Masters

Unknown: A Shorter Morning and Evening Prayer

Norvene Vest: No Moment Too Small
Friend of the Soul: A Benedictine SPirtuality of Work

Don E. Wilhelms: To a Rocky Moon: A Geologist's History of Lunar Exploration

Mike Wilson: The Difference Between God and Larry Ellison

Richard Saul Wurman and Alan Siegel and Kenneth M. Morris: The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money & Markets

David B. Yoffie (editor): Competing in the Age of Digital Convergence

Jeffrey S. Young: Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward

Mel Ziegler and Bill Rosenzweig and Patricia Ziegler: The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business.
Laden or Unladen?

What's the air velocity of a Balrog? (Via BoingBoing.) Comments at both sites are almost as good as the posting. Geeks. They're grrrreeaaattt!

Friday, January 25, 2008


Pirate your own books? Are you some kind of pixel-stained techno-peasant? What? Your sales go from 1,000 to 1 million a year? Must be some sort of fluke.
Bible on Bricks

Yes, you can build anything with Legos! Even a Bible!
The "In a Nutshell" Version

I apologize for the rather scattered information herein. I may be going "off the grid" soon.

Spoke to my sister. Mom and Dad went to the GP regarding one of his conditions. The doctor suggested hospice. It seems that Dad has statistically reached the point where people in his condition (Parkinson's) die, and there are signs that he is declining.

He did not hear this (she was with the doctor, he was in the waiting room), but yesterday he was sitting there with his head in his hands saying over and over again "I'm dying, I'm dying". This freaked her out. She called the hospice people today. For now, it is for in-home help.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nine Bookstores (Plus One)

CNN talks about nine bookstores that are worth visiting for books and as a tourist destination. A friend adds a tenth. I've been to the Strand and City Lights and have shopped (online) at Powells and Tattered Cover.

The wallet cringes...

Addendum: How about the best bookstores world-wide? ( overlap!)

Addendum: Another suggestion...the Book Mill of Monatague, Massachusetts.
Save XP!

I'm researching buying a computer for my parents. This would partially be to replace their aging computer that is developing more problems than it is worth to fix. And partly to try and give my father something to do if I can find enough "disabled person friendly" features.

One thing I don't want to do is to buy them a computer equipped with Vista. I'd rather stick with Windows XP, which is what I use at home and work, so at least I'm reasonably familar with any 'quirks" that arise. Microsoft, on the other hand, seems determined to force me to buy the 21st century equivalent of Windows ME.

Time to sign a petition to save XP?
Invisible Hand

General Grievous's ship Invisible Legos!

Here's a site run by a collector of genre toys. I missed most of these (I came from an earlier generation of genre toys!); some are neat, some very strange, some very...ummm...campy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Earth Book of Stormgate: The Story of the Technic Civilization

This year starts a re-reading of the Technic Civilization tales of Poul Anderson (additional notes here and here). (I had planned to read these last year and got a small start; fate intervened, so I'm starting from scratch again.)

(My reading of this will hit at least three of the "S" plans for the year...lots of shorts, a serial, and many of these were purchased in paperback in the seventies!)

I got my start in reading science fiction with folks like Alan Nourse and Andre Norton. As I searched the children's section of the library for books with that little spaceship and atom symbol on the spine. That brought me to the John C. Winston series, introduced me to Arthur C. Clarke and others such as Robert A. Heinlein.

As I branched out, I started to receive books for my birthday, Christmas and other holidays. Many of these were from the Science Fiction Book Club, volumes that my parent's bought at yard sales and garage sales. Tossed in were bunches of paperbacks. Between these two, I encountered Poul Anderson.

I may have come across a short story or two, but the first clear encounter was an Ace Books edition of Trader to the Stars. I'll confess that it took me a couple of tries to get into the book, the main character was so...odd...But once in, I was hooked. Hooked for good. I must have read the three stories that made up that book several times that summer. Alas...that seemed to be it.

One move, a new town, and a new school later, I came across The Trouble Twisters. As I read it, I realized that this was the same series as the other collection—just another set of characters and settings. By luck, I then came across a number of back issues of the venerable Galaxy magazine with a few tales such as The Sharing of Flesh in them. Then came a series of reprints by Berkley, including The Earth Book of Stormgate, and I had a timeline to work on as well as a list of stories. Between various established (Berkley, Ace) and new (Tor) publishers, I soon put together the entire series, save one tale, a short story called Sargasso of Lost Starships. It only appeared to have ever been published in Planet Stories, the source of much rich pulpness. Not another appearance, for some odd reason. Eventually, I found a copy of that issue, so I'll be reading that story (for the first time) on this run through the cycle.

What is it that I enjoy about Anderson? The odd characters. The rich settings. The aliens and planets that are worthy of the likes of Hal Clement's creations. The stars, in all their glory from Sol-like stars to red supergiants to white dwarfs and others. The sense of time. Yes, I know that according to the timeline that appears in several places the cycle runs from the 21st century to around 7100, a mere blip on the span of the universe. But as Anderson's characters felt the weight of their years, the weariness of fighting to keep things sane and straight, as civilizations rose and fell, it felt as if stars were dying.

So, come with me as I journey down these dark spaceways once again. Finding it difficult to get the books? Baen Books, as I mentioned previously, will be publishing them again starting this year. Count yourself blessed if this is your first time, count yourself blessed as you encounter them again.

The Story Arc (taken from A Chronology of Technic Civilization, as it appears in The Earth Book of Stormgate and other sources):

The Saturn Game: Added into the chronology late in Anderson's career; I don't recall any mention that it was part of the Technic Civilization from its first appearance in Analog. A group of explorers exploring the moons of Saturn get caught up in their roleplaying personae. This version seems to have a "happier" ending than I recall, I'm going to have to dig out the original publication to see if my memory is correct. (1x)

Wings of Victory: Details the first encounter between humans one of Anderson's alien races that plays a major role throughout the Technic Civilization cycle, the winged Ythri. (2x)

The Problem of Pain: Follows up on the first contact and shows the start of the joined society between humans and the Ythri. Before that society can grow, understanding must come between two vastly different cultures. (2x)

Margin of Profit: A tale involving Nicholas van Rijn. van Rijn must solve a problem affecting his profits while expanding into a new area of space. This story shows the pattern for a lot of his tales: some action, but much more talking and thinking. (2x

How to Be Ethnic in One Easy Lesson: Introduces another one of Anderson's major alien races in the form of the Wodenite named Adzel. Humanity is reeling from multiple contacts with alien races and is afraid for its cultural identity. A year-long celebration of all that is human is planned. However, the cultural bigots are foiled when Adzel is recruited not only to participate in a Chinese-based celebration, but a German-language opera! (2x)

Three-Cornered Wheel: (1x)

A Sun Invisible: (1x)

The Man Who Counts (a.k.a., The War of the Wing-Men) (novel):


Hiding Place:


The Trouble Twisters (a.k.a., Trader Team):

Day of Burning (a.k.a. Supernova):

The Master Key:

Satan's World (novel):

A Little Knowledge:

The Season of Forgiveness: (1x)


Mirkheim (novel):

Wingless on Avalon:

Rescue on Avalon:

Earth Book of Stormgate: The linking tale set between the various stories in the collection.

The Star Plunderer:

Sargasso of Lost Starships:

The People of the Wind (novel):

Ensign Flandry (novel):

A Circus of Hells (made up of The White King's War and additional material) (novel):

The Rebel Worlds (novel):

Outpost of Empire:

The Day of Their Return (novel):

Tiger by the Tail:

Honorable Enemies:

The Game of Glory:

A Message in Secret:

A Plague of Masters:

A Handful of Stars:

Warriors from Nowhere:

A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows (novel):

A Stone in Heaven (novel):

The Game of Empire (novel):

A Tragedy of Errors:

The Night Face (novel):

The Sharing of Flesh:


Poul Anderson; The Earth Book of Stormgate (Berkley, 1978, ISBN not indicated, cover by Tony Roberts).

Made up of: The Earth Book of Stormgate (material between each story, making up something of a story in itself); Wings of Victory; The Problem of Pain; How to Be Ethnic in One Easy Lesson; Margin of Profit; Esau; The Season of Forgiveness; The Man Who Counts (novel, will be listed as a separate book as well); A Little Knowledge; Day of Burning; Lodestar; Wingless; Rescue on Avalon.

Poul Anderson; Trader to the Stars (Doubleday, 1964, no ISBN, cover artist not indicated).

Made up of: Introduction; Hiding Place; Margin of Profit (not the same as the entry from The Earth Book of Stormgate); Territory; The Master Key.

Poul Anderson; The Trouble Twisters (Doubleday, 1966, no ISBN, cover art by Emanuel Schongut).

Made up of: A Note of Leitmotif; The Three-Cornered Wheel; Notes Towards a Definition of Relatedness; A Sun Invisible; Pus Ca Change, Plus C'Est La Meme Chose; The Trouble Twisters.

Poul Anderson: The Van Rijn Method (Baen Books; September 2008; ISBN 978-1-4165-5569-8; cover by Dave Seeley). Made up of: Introduction (Hank Davis); The Saturn Game; Introduction: Wings of Victory; Wings of Victory; Introduction: The Problem of Pain; The Problem of Pain; Introduction: The Margin of Profit; The Margin of Profit; Introduction: How to be Ethnic in One Easy Lesson; How to be Ethnic in One Easy Lesson; Introduction: The Three Cornered-Wheel: Note of Leitmotif; The Three-Cornered Wheel; Introduction: A Sun Invisible: Notes Toward a Definition of Relatedness; A Sun Invisible; Introduction: The Season of Forgiveness; The Season of Forgiveness; Introduction: The Man Who Counts; The Man Who Counts; Introduction: Esau; Esau; Introduction: Hiding Place; Hiding Place; Chronology of the Technic Civilization (Sandra Miesel); Appendix I: The Original Version of "Margin of Profit"; Appendix II: "The Man Who Counts" and the Technic Civilization Series (Sandra Miesel).

Counts as twenty-one (21) entries in the 2008 Year in Shorts.
Bargain of the Century

I've been doing some Lewis Carroll reading and related reading. Not only have I picked up the annotated Alice and Looking Glass again, but have found an annotated version of The Hunting of the Snark, several collections of Carroll's puzzles and a book on Carroll by Martin Gardner.

That last made me haul down a CD-ROM I bought a few years ago: Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games—The Entire Collection of His Scientific American Columns.

What a buy this was! On one compact bit of storage you have not one, not two, but fifteen collections previously available in separately published books.

If you like puzzles...this has got to be the bargain of the century!
Golden Years

I don't know how my mother does it.

I've been at my parent's house this weekend. I've been "dad sitting" several times, most of yesterday, a couple of hours today, so that my mother can get out.

You've heard of the train of thought getting derailed? That's how it has been. For example, he tried talking to me about issues...yesterday. So I tried to find out how much water he is drinking.

"Well, let's say you have two churches. In one church, they wear red hats. The other church, they wear green hats. Then there's a war over which hat is the better color."

"Dad, how much water do you drink after supper?"

"I fall asleep eating supper. Then I wake up an my plate is full. I eat it, and then fall asleep, and wake up and it is full again! Who is filling my plate?"

"Well, let's just talk about how much water you are drinking."

"Gerald Ford couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time."

(Gerald Ford has been coming up a lot this weekend.)

I think he talked for six hours yesterday, seemingly without drawing a breath. You think mathematicians get lost in mazes of logic...I kept getting lost in mazes of illogic.

I wish I lived closer than a four to five hour one way trip. I don't know how my mother can do it, between cleaning up, cooking, hauling him on or off the toilet and into the shower (I did it yesterday, and it was a multi-hour, non-stop talking process), etc. The strain has got to be getting to her, getting to him, but of course neither will talk about it to me, let alone to each other. Dang older generation!

I had to make a journey out to the parental domain and back this weekend. Instead of listening to an audiobook or a podcast on the iPod, I tried setting it to shuffle, seeing what it would come up with.

As you'll see, it seemed to like classical (or Spanish classical) guitar pieces quite a bit. And Tomita. It played two Talking Heads pieces back-to-back and did segue from Peter Gabriel singing in Genesis to Peter Gabriel soloing at one point. Otherwise, a fairly mixed bag. Despite having about six days worth of music on the iPod, it played "Web" from Brian Eno's Nerve Net twice.

I figured, as I was driving with others in the car, that the shuffle method was the most "democratic" approach. (Of course, my musical tastes intervened in picking out the tracks on the iPod to begin with, but I had loaded a fair amount of stuff that I thought others would like.)

I did skip past a Radio Lab podcast and a chapter from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin. I skipped past the podcast as I was driving a rather busy section of Route 80 and could not concentrate on something like that at the time. I skipped past The Children of Hurin as it doesn't make sense to listen to a audiobook on shuffle! The only piece that was too "low" to be workable in the car was a section from Ralph Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony (No. 1).

Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets: "Baby's on Fire" and Nerve Net: "Web" (twice, for some reason)

Brian Eno and Roger Eno: Apollo--Atmospheres and Soundtracks: "Under Stars II".

Brian Eno and David Byrne: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts: "The Carrier".

Enya: Watermark: "Miss Clare Remembers".

Richard Feynman: The Feynman Tapes, Volume One: "Textbooks, 3" and "Drumming Finale" and Safecracker Suite: "Interactions by the Three Quarks: Bongo Bash" and "Cycles of Superstition: Tic-a-Tac".

Peter Gabriel: Us: "Steam" and "Secret World".

Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway: "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" (followed by "Steam", above).

Philip Glass: Philip on Film (Filmworks by Philip Glass; CD02): "Powaqqatsi--Train to Sao Paulo" and Philip on Film (Filmworks by Philip Glass; CD03): "Dracula: Horrible Tragedy".

Elliot Goldenthal and Others: Heat: "Gloradin" (Lisa Gerrard).

Joe Hisaishi: Spirited Away: "The Bottomless Pit", "Kaonashi (No Face)" and "The Sixth Station".

Michael Hoenig: Departure from the Northern Wasteland: "Voices of Where".

James Horner: A Beautiful Mind: "Playing a Game of 'Go'" and "The Prize of One's Life...The Prize of One's Mind" and Sneakers: "The Escape/Whistler's Rescue".

Jade Warrior: Elements (CD02): "Way of the Sun--Sun Child".

Jean Michel Jarre: Chronologie: "Chronologie (Part 4)".

King Crimson: THRAK: "Radio II" and VROOM: "VROOM".

Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris: All the Roadrunning: "This Is Us".

The Patti Smith Group: Horses: "Kimberly".

Paul McCartney & Wings: Band on the Run: "Band on the Run".

A Produce: Land of a Thousand Trances: "Heart of the Dunes" and "The Wall of Bali".

R.E.M.: Green: "Stand".

Steve Roach: Light Fantastic: "The Reflecting Chamber".

Todd Rundgren: Faithful: "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" and "Good Vibrations" and "Strawberry Fields Forever". Something/Anything?: "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Cold Morning Light".

Andres Segovia: The Segovia Collection: "Concierto del Sur (Ponce)--Allegro moderato e festivo", "Piezas caracteristicas (Torroba)--Preambulo (Lento)", "Suite Compostelana (Mompoul)--Cancion (Festival)", "Sonata "Omaggion a Boccherini" (Castelnuovo-Tedesco)--Andantino, quasi canzone", "Antano (Espla)", "Suite esparnola (Sanz)--No. 2 Galarda y Villano", "Eight Lessons for the Guitar (Aguado)--No. 4 in A major", "Eight Lessons for the Guitar (Aguado)--No. 8 in E minor", "Etude No. 20 (No. 9) in A minor (Sor)", "Allemande from Suite for Lute in E minor (J.S. Bach)".

Paul Simon: Surprise: "I Don't Believe" and "Another Galaxy" You're the One: "Quiet".

Mark Snow: The Truth and the Light (Music from the X-Files): "Introitus: Praeceps Transito Spatium" and "Otium".

Software: Past Present Future, Part 1: "Frontiers of Chaos" and "Taste of Future".

Fernando Sor: Guitar Duets (Complete, Volume 1): "Six Valses, Op. 39, #6" and Guitar Duets (Complete, Volume 2): "Le premier pas vers moi, Op. 53--Valse". Guitar Music of Sor: "Fantaisie pour Guitare Seule, Op. 58--Andante" and "Fantaisie Elegiaque, Op. 59--Marche Funebre: Andante moderato" and "25 Progressive Studies, Op. 60, No. 2" and "25 Progressive Studies, Op. 60, No. 5" and "25 Progressive Studies, Op. 60, No. 22" and "25 Progressive Studies, Op. 60, No. 24".

Sting: The Dream of the Blue Turtles: "The Dream of the Blue Turtles".

David Sylvian: Everything and Nothing: "Blackwater" and "Bamboo Houses". Gone to Earth: "Home".

Talking Heads: Little Creatures: "And She Was" and "The Lady Don't Mind" (back-to-back). Remain In Light: "Houses in Motion". True Stories: "Dream Operator".

Tangerine Dream: Hyperborea: "Cinnamon Road". Legend: "Blue Room". Lily on the Beach: "Desert Drive" and "Crystal Curfew". Livemiles: "The Albuquerque Concert, Part 2". Risky Business: "Guido the Killer Pimp". Rockoon: "Body Corporate". Tangram: "Tangram, Set 1". Tyger: "London". Underwater Sunlight: "Underwater Twilight".

Tomita: Snowflakes are Dancing: "Passepied", "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair", "Golliwog's Cakewalk", "Footprints in the Snow" and "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun".

U2: Joshua Tree: "Red Hill Mining Town".

Various: The Music of Carl Sagan's Cosmos: "Russian Easter Festival Overture" (Rimsky-Korsakov) and "Pulstar" (Vangelis) and "The Planets--Mars" (Holst) and "Prayer of St. Gregory" (Hovhaness)

Various: Guitar Concertos: "'Sones en la Giralda', Fantasia sevillana--Allegro vivace (Tempo di sevillana) (Joaquin Rodrigo)" and "Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra--Allegretto non troppo (Heitor Villa-Lobos)"

Various: Musical Evenings with the Captain, Volume 1: "Sonata in G Major, Op. 5, No. 1 for 2 Violins & Basso Continuo (P.A. Locatelli): Largo Andante". Musical Evenings with the Captain, Volume 2: "Oboe Quartet in F Major, K. 370 (368B) (Mozart): Rondeau: Allegro".

Various: O Brother, Where Art Thou: "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues (Chris Thomas King)".

Various: Universe Sampler '92: "And Evening Falls (Tim Story)".

Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Sea Symphony (No. 1): "IV. The Explorers: Grave e molto adagio: O my brave Soul!"

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Complete Music for Solo Guitar: "Etudes--No. 3 Allegro moderato" and "Preludes--No. 1 in E minor".

Mason Williams & Mannheim Steamroller: Classical Gas: "Samba Beach".

George Winston: Plains: "No Ke Ano Ahihi", "Graduation", "Teach Me Tonight", "Rainsong (Fortune's Lullaby)" and "The Swan".

Yes: Magnification: "In The Presence Of - I) Deeper, II) Death Of Ego, III) True Beginner, Iv) Turn Around And Remember". Tales from Topographic Oceans: "The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)" and "The Remembering High the Memory".

Hans Zimmer and Others: Blackhawk Down: "Bakara" and "Minstrel Boy" ((film version) (Performed by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros)".

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More for Less

Why charge more for less? Here's an audiobook of Spider Robinson's The Callahan Chronicals from Blackstone Audio. Its runs $24.95 for the MP3CD version. would think this would be cheaper. Here's the same book from Audible. For a download, since you are paying for the connection and you are paying for storage (either on your hard drive, your MP3 device or the cost of a blank CD), you would think the price would be lower. So why does Audible charge...$31.47? (O.K., you can get it if you join their "club" for $7.49. But there are terms and conditions that you might not want.)

I'm obviously "missing something obvious" (and yes, I'm being sarcastic).
I Can Haz Soulz?

Oh my. From LOL Cats to...the horror! the horror!

Addendum: Oh noes! Plush Cthulhu meets the stuffed animals! And a Plush Cthulhu FAQ!
Free Time

Now here's somebody with a lot of free time on their hands. From J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, a reconstruction of The Battle of Helms Deep and The Battle of Pelennor Fields...using licorice, gummy bears, chocolate pretzels...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal (An Ongoing Series)

So having a iPod (finally, I buy a gadet before it is obsolete!) and having had some "downtime" at the firehouse last night, I downloaded a bunch of these "podcast" things I've been hearing about. Still having a dial-up connection at home, large downloads are not really an option there.

The new revolution? A way of knocking old media off of the pedestal? Maybe, but probably not. There's an interesting contrast in the podcasts...and the better podcasts are those with money, talent and quality behind them.

Here's an example: William Gibson did a book tour to support his latest novel, Spook Country (still on my personal Mount Toberead). During the course of the book tour he gave probably a couple of thousand talks, interviews, readings and what not (or, it felt like that). I know I've read one of the key phrases he's been using this go round—how if you walked into a publisher in the 1970's and pitched a SF novel with a global pandemic (AIDS) and a climate problem (AGW), you'd be shown the door and they'd call security—several times now. Most of the interviews have hit that highlight a few others.

BoingBoing had Gibson on for one in their short-lived podcasting series (they then moved on to doing short video webcasts but I think that has died as well). It was short. Gibson seemed to be talking to them over a cellphone while outside, so you could hear wind. One of the people from the BoingBoing end of things was dialed in on something (internet telephone?) that had latency problems. Two of the others also had audio quality problems. They kept tripping over each other, and their guest, in asking questions and interjecting useless noise.

Contrast that with this interview done by Rick Kleffel at The Agony Column. The interview runs quite long so you get more than soundbites on how we're living in the future. The interviewer allows Gibson to speak, only interjecting himself when necessary to get things moving again. Gibson even contributes two readings from two novels.

Podcasting may be the radio of the future, but quality will show. I'll be returning to hear more from The Agony Column; on the other hand, I won't be sad about the demise of the BoingBoing effort for long.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Of Tree and Lamp

When Syme went out into the starlit street, he found it for the moment empty. Then he realized (in some odd way) that the silence was rather a living silence than a dead one. Directly outside the door stood a street lamp, whose gleam gilded the leaves of the tree that bent out over the fence behind him. About a foot from the lamp-post stood a figure almost as rigid and motionless as the lamp-post itself. The tall hat and long frock-coat were black; the face, in an abrupt shadow, was almost as dark. Only a fringe of fiery hair against the light, and also something aggressive in the attitude, proclaimed that it was the poet Gregory. He had something of the look of a masked bravo waiting sword in hand for his foe.

He made a sort of doubtful salute, which Syme somewhat more formally returned.

'I was waiting for you,' said Gregory. 'Might I have a moment's conversation?'

'Certainly. About what?' asked Syme in a sort of weak wonder.

Gregory struck out with his stick at the lamp-post, and then at the tree.

'About this and this,' he cried; 'about order and anarchy. There is your precious order, that lean, iron lamp, ugly and barren; and there is anarchy, rich, living, reproducing itself—there is anarchy, splendid in green and gold.'

'All the same,' replied Syme patiently, 'just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree...'

(G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday)
Swinging from the Ceiling

I don't have rafters from my house, otherwise I think this would be a great solution to my sprawling book collection!

(Via BoingBoing)
Amazon's Strange Pricing

I buy from Amazon, as it is easy to search for stuff, keep it in a wish list or shopping basket and buy when you are ready. I don't understand, however, the weird price cycles that some things in the shopping basket go through.

A few days ago I got this message:

Please note that the price of The Wild Geese (30th Anniversary Edition has decreased from $17.99 to $14.99 since you placed it in your Shopping Cart. Items in your cart will always reflect the most recent price displayed on their product detail pages.

Now I get this message:

Please note that the price of The Wild Geese (30th Anniversary Edition) has increased from $14.99 to $17.99 since you placed it in your Shopping Cart. Items in your cart will always reflect the most recent price displayed on their product detail pages.

Did I miss a run on the film? Has the supply gone down dramatically? Has the need for DVD discs gone up dramatically that they are grinding up recorded ones for fuel use or something?
Two Years Before the Mast

One night, while we were in these tropics, I went out to the end of the flying-jib-boom, upon some duty, and, having finished it, turned round, and lay over the boom for a long time, admiring the beauty of the sight before me. Being so far out from the deck, I could look at the ship, as at a separate vessel;-and there rose up from the water, supported only by the small black hull, a pyramid of canvas, spreading out far beyond the hull, and towering up almost, as it seemed in the indistinct night air, to the clouds. The sea was as still as an inland lake; the light trade-wind was gently and steadily breathing from astern; the dark blue sky was studded with the tropical stars; there was no sound but the rippling of the water under the stem; and the sails were spread out, wide and high;-the two lower studding-sails stretching, on each side, far beyond the deck; the topmast studding-sails, like wings to the topsails; the top-gallant studding-sails spreading fearlessly out above them; still higher, the two royal studding-sails, looking like two kites flying from the same string; and, highest of all, the little skysail, the apex of the pyramid, seeming actually to touch the stars, and to be out of reach of human hand. So quiet, too, was the sea, and so steady the breeze, that if these sails had been sculptured marble, they could not have been more motionless. Not a ripple upon the surface of the canvas; not even a quivering of the extreme edges of the sail-so perfectly were they distended by the breeze. I was so lost in the sight, that I forgot the presence of the man who came out with me, until he said, (for he, too, rough old man-of-war's-man as he was, had been gazing at the show,) half to himself, still looking at the marble sails—"How quietly they do their work!"

(Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana, Jr.)
Beyond the 200 Mile Limit

Following up on this posting, how about an atlas of the universe?
Jim Baen Memorial Contest

Via Baen Books...Get writing!

Announcing the 2nd annual Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest!

Since its early days, science fiction has played a unique role in human civilization. It removes the limits of what "is" and shows us a boundless vista of what "might be." Its fearless heroes, spectacular technologies and wondrous futures have inspired many people to make science, technology and space flight a real part of their lives and in doing so, have often transformed these fictions into reality. The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Jim Baen.


Please read carefully, because we have made a few changes from last year's contest requirements.

—Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned exploration.

—No entry fee. But please only submit one story...your best one!

—All entries must be original works in English. Plagiarism, poetry, song lyrics, or characters from another person's works will not be considered.

—E-mail submissions only. Send entries as .rtf attachments to:

—Please put the word SUBMISSION in the subject line when sending a contest entry and QUESTION in the subject line for questions to the contest administrator.

—Please include the following in the body of your email: The title of the work, the author's name, address and telephone number, and an approximate word-count. The manuscript should be an RTF attachment, in standard manuscript format and should be titled and numbered on every page, but the author's name MUST BE DELETED to facilitate fair judging.

—2007 First Place Winner are not eligible to win again. 2007 Second and Third place winners are eligible.

—Deadline - April 1, 2008.

WHAT WE DO WANT TO SEE: Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure.

WHAT WE DON'T WANT TO SEE: Stories that show technology or space travel as evil or bad, Star Wars type galactic empires, UFO abductions.

JUDGES: Judging will be by Baen Books senior editor Hank Davis and Jim Baen's Universe editors Eric Flint and Mike Resnick.


—The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published in a future issue of Jim Baen's Universe* and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals. The author will also receive a specially designed award, free entry into the 2008 International Space Development Conference, a year's membership in the National Space Society ($45 level) and a prize package containing various Baen Books, Jim Baen's Universe and National Space Society merchandise.

—SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive a year's membership in the National Space Society ($45 level), and a prize package containing various Baen Books, Jim Baen's Universe and National Space Society merchandise.

—Winners will be announced and notified no later than May 5, 2008. (only the winners will be notified) The winners will be honored at the 2008 International Space Development Conference, in Washington D.C ., May 29-June 1, 2008. (though we would prefer the winner attend the conference, it is not required.)

(*Note: Publication details will be worked out between winner and JBU. In the unlikely event that none of the stories qualify for professional publication, a cash prize, of an amount determined by contest organizers, may be substituted in lieu of publication.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Return of the Technic Civilization

Something to look forward to! Baen Books is bringing more of Poul Anderson's works back into print.

Volume I: The Van Rijn Method (September 2008)
“The Saturn Game” (novella)
“Wings of Victory” (short story)
“The Problem of Pain” (short story)
“Margin of Profit” (novella)
“How to be Ethnic in One Easy Lesson” (short story)
“The Three-Cornered Wheel” (novella)
“A Sun Invisible”(novella )
The Man Who Counts (novel, a.k.a. War of the Wing Men)
“Esau” (short story)
“Hiding Place ” (novella)
Total wordage: about 190,000 words.

Volume II: David Falkayn: Star Trader
“Territory” (novella)
“The Trouble Twisters” (novella)
“Day of Burning” (novella)
“The Master Key” (novella)
Satan’s World (novel)
“A Little Knowledge” (short story)
“The Season of Forgiveness” (short story)
“Lodestar” (novella)
Total wordage: about 188,000 words.

Now...if they also do the independents and the Flandry tales, we'll be sitting pretty. And I wonder if they'll include the one short story in The Canon that has, as far as I've been able to determine, been collected, a short work called "Sargasso of Lost Spaceships" (Whoops! See comments for correction information! I was thinking of a classic Andre Norton book, Sargasso of Space!). I finally bought it in the original magazine appearance (Planet Stories), but would like it in something a little less...pulpy.
Paging Halton Arp!

Astronomers have detected a galaxy with arms that "wind" in the direction opposite of most galaxies. How...inconvenient!

Paging Halton Arp! Paging Halton Arp! Paging Halton Arp! Halton Arp to the white courtesy phone, please. It appears the universe is getting strange again.

In other galactic news...gangs of rogue black holes roam the galaxy! The weight-control problems faced by galactic structures.
Roll Your Own

This is pretty amazing. Here's a guy who makes his own vacuum tubes.
First Images!

Launched 1,255 days ago, the MESSENGER probe to Mercury has beamed back its first images of the iron planet. This is MESSENGER's first encounter with Mercury, a flyby only, but it should yield significant information.
Kids, Don't Do This At Home!

Imagine the hue and cry if a kid tried to replicate these experiments today? Given the wimpy nature of chemistry sets, there probably would be a visit from the Department of Homeland Security...
U.S.S. Discovery

A pretty nifty short CGI film that shows 2001: A Space Odyssey's Discovery. As the film progresses, you see the EVA pods, the flight deck and other interior details.

In other news...will Russian and the ESA be the first to explore Europa's surface?
ISO 3103

Did you know that there is a standard for making tea? Making tea, for all love!

Even better...there are competing standards (Adobe Acrobat file).
No Splash Down

Following up on these postings, it appears that the odds of us seeing a "splash down" on Mars at the end of January have decreased to the point of no return. Oh well!


The briefest dawn, and it was day, full day. Captain Aubrey stepped from his cabin and Senhor Lopez from his house. They met on the quay, Lopez accompanied by an embarrassing, unnecessary spidermonkey that had to be menaced and hissed at to make it go home, and Jack by the master for the language and the bosun for any technical questions that might arise.

(Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The 200 Mile Limit

Here's a pretty nifty graphic. A visual catalog of all (known!) objects in our solar system that are 200 miles or larger in size.
What's Got Into That Cat?

"What did you do to the cat? It looks half-dead."

(Schrödinger's Wife)
Speaking the Truth

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed."

(G.K. Chesterton)
The Thin Red Line

Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

(Robert E. Howard)
A Classic Returns

This parody of the style of Dr. Seuss has been revived and is hitting various mailing lists (again). For your amusement...

IF a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

IF your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this? What a shame sir!
We'll find you, Another game sir.

IF the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall!

IF your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
So your icons in the window are as wavey as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

IF the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
Then you have to flash your memory, and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your MOM!
Red Sky

Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sky at morning, sailor's take warning.

Half clearing, half cloudy. And as the sun was coming up, it started pouring rain. So the light outside was very red and very wet.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sea Port

A sea port made out of...Legos!
Star Dance

Way back at the dawn of time (1977), Spider and Jeanne Robinson co-wrote (first) a award-winning novella and (then) a series of novels about life in space. The tales centered around a ballet dancer.

We've gotten a little bit closer to making that a reality!

Main site here. Samples of the books here.
An "Amateur" Effort

Amateur astronomer Sean Walker has produced an animated globe built up of images he has taken during the current close approach of the planet Mars. It is amazing what "amateur" astronomers are producing these days. This could rival shots from Hubble!
Beyond the Infinite

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a montage of pictures taken during the recent encounter between Jupiter and the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft. Are we seeing a 2001 moment or what?
Room for Living

Via the recently-launched io9 site, tips for organizing your living space!
Sea Port

A sea port made out of...Legos!
Star Dance

Way back at the dawn of time (1977), Spider and Jeanne Robinson co-wrote (first) a award-winning novella and (then) a series of novels about life in space. The tales centered around a ballet dancer.

We've gotten a little bit closer to making that a reality!

Main site here. Samples of the books here.
An "Amateur" Effort

Amateur astronomer Sean Walker has produced an animated globe built up of images he has taken during the current close approach of the planet Mars. It is amazing what "amateur" astronomers are producing these days. This could rival shots from Hubble!

Wil McCarthy has a "wiki" where you can contribute to one of three collaborative tales. Will this be a bold new writing frontier? Or a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth?

Boundary Condition


Release Notes
Beyond the Infinite

Today's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a montage of pictures taken during the recent encounter between Jupiter and the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft. Are we seeing a 2001 moment or what?
Room for Living

Via the recently-launched io9 site, tips for organizing your living space!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ansible! Ansible!

Issue 246 is up!

Highlights include:

As Others See Us. 'Connie Willis is known as a science-fiction writer, but Laura Miller of doesn't want to give people the idea that these stories are going to be about spaceships or robots or aliens. They're an unusual mixture of subject matters that might be dealt with in literary short stories [...] Connie Willis is not very well known because she's not a conventional science-fiction writer, and she's not really known in literary circles.' (, 21 December) [MW] paid £1,950,000 at auction for one of 7 handwritten copies of J.K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard -- proceeds to charity. Being unable actually to publish these 5 fairy tales, Amazon described their plots in a longish review at [PM] A handwritten advance copy of Ansible 246 was withdrawn from the Sotheby's auction when bidding, though initially spirited, failed to reach the reserve of 50p.
Star Dragon

Mike Brotherton has released his book, Star Dragon, online (multiple formats, free, no DRM).
Physics Inspired

Via Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, a 1,500 (!) free (!) textbook on physics.
The 3 Laws of Robotics, Revised

Warren Ellis has a humorous revision and restatement of the famous three laws of robotics.

Via Gravity Lens.
Ansible! Ansible!

Issue 246 is up!

Highlights include:

As Others See Us. 'Connie Willis is known as a science-fiction writer, but Laura Miller of doesn't want to give people the idea that these stories are going to be about spaceships or robots or aliens. They're an unusual mixture of subject matters that might be dealt with in literary short stories [...] Connie Willis is not very well known because she's not a conventional science-fiction writer, and she's not really known in literary circles.' (, 21 December) [MW] paid £1,950,000 at auction for one of 7 handwritten copies of J.K. Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard -- proceeds to charity. Being unable actually to publish these 5 fairy tales, Amazon described their plots in a longish review at [PM] A handwritten advance copy of Ansible 246 was withdrawn from the Sotheby's auction when bidding, though initially spirited, failed to reach the reserve of 50p.
Star Dragon

Mike Brotherton has released his book, Star Dragon, online (multiple formats, free, no DRM).
Physics Inspired

Via Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools, a 1,500 (!) free (!) textbook on physics.
The 3 Laws of Robotics, Revised

Warren Ellis has a humorous revision and restatement of the famous three laws of robotics.

Via Gravity Lens.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Catch That Zeppelin!

Via BoingBoing, I'm reminded of Fritz Leiber's classic story Catch That Zeppelin! when I see these images.
100+ Things I'm Not Allowed...

...To Do In Nelson's Navy. Originally posted at The Gunroom mailing list.

01. My official title is Midshipman, not Superman.
02. I will not tell anyone that I can have them keelhauled for disobeying my orders.
03. When addressing Lt. Hornblower, I will call him 'Sir'. I will not add 'Lancelot'.
04. The main mast is not 'the mightiest tree in the forest' and I will stop trying to cut it down with a herring.
05. The ship does not weigh the same as a duck. I will not try to burn it.
06. I will not confess to mutiny in ships I was not on.
07. When asking if someone was dropped on the head as a child, I will not use Wellard as a demonstration.
08. I will keep any jokes involving doing the breast-stroke to myself.
09. I will not say there are klingons on the starboard bow.
10. I will not taunt the French.
011. I will not refer to Dr. Maturin as 'Dr Strangewig'.
012. I will not use Dr. Maturin's wig to scrub the deck.
013. I am not one of the sailors who say Ni.
014. 'All your base are belong to us' is not an acceptable means of making people surrender.
015. I will not push the captain and then yell 'pwned!'.
016. I will not use the words 'I'm the king of the world', under any circumstances.
017. It is not necessary to stand on the table and shout "Oh captain, my captain", however loyal you may be.
018. I will not tell people that the powder monkeys are actual monkeys.
019. I will not teach the crew to play 'port and starboard'.
020. I will not yell 'two men on a desert island', and jump on the nearest crew member.
021. OMGWTF is not a nautical term.
022. "I've heard every possible joke about the name Hornblower" is not a challenge.
023. I will not ask Jack to show me the pointy hat trick.
024. I will not attempt to outrun explosions by diving out of the way at the last possible second.
025. I will not refer to Nagel as the mandatory surly crew member.
026. Nor Davis, Joe Plaice or anyone else who looks at me funny either.
027. I will not continuously emphasize the word 'death' in order to scare people.
028. I will not have an opinion with regard to anything, ever.
029. When someone says 'the dons', adding 'da-dun-dun' is only funny the first time.
030. I will not convince new sailors that we are fighting a large army of actual frogs.
031. When attacked by the Spanish, I will not yell 'nobody expects the Spanish inquisition'.
032. I will not ask Midshipman Hammond how he opened the Chamber of Secrets.
033. Standing on top of a plank and shouting 'man over board' is not funny.
034. When rendering passing honours, I will not conduct a Mexican wave.
035. The correct response to an order is not "Whatever floats your boat."
036. I will stop trying to play Matthews' whistle.
037. Wolfe is not 'after me Lucky Charms'.
038. I will not wear my hat at a different angle just to confuse people.
039. "He's not a mutineer, he's a very naughty boy," is not appropriate at a court martial.
040. Lt. Hornblower does not have 'fantastic stretch powers'. I will stop implying that he does.
041. I will stop calling people 'naval-retentive'.
042. 'Weathering the lizard' does not involve any reptiles or umbrellas.
043. I will not start any report with "So this one time at sea.."
044. If I sing 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor' once more, I will find out exactly what we do.
045. I will not continuously use the word 'prevaricating', just because I enjoy saying it.
046. I am not anyone's mate.
047. I will not tell people that bosuns mate for life.
048. I will not burst into a rousing rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore.
049. Yes, he is an Englishman. There is no call for me to sing about it.
050. Gunpowder is not 'nutritious and delicious' and I will stop telling that to the powder monkeys.
51. I will not sing 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' unless I wish to be challenged to a duel.
052. Captain Birdseye did not countermand my orders.
053. Taking bets on how long the midshipmen will last is inappropriate.
054. The poop deck is not where you "go".
055. When asked how many guns an enemy ship has, the answer is not 42.
056. I will not use flags to send the message 'the British Navy ownz u'.
057. A bigger hat and epaulettes means he outranks me. It does not mean he has less fashion sense.
058. The French revolution is not now.
059. I will not tell people that, when turned upside down, my hat is a perfect model of the ship.
060. The full naval uniform includes a jacket, dress shirt, and hat. That is not all it includes.
061. I will not sing ?How do you solve a problem like Maria? in front of Hornblower.
062. I am not the ship's doctor. I am not allowed to pronounce anyone too stupid to live.
063. I cannot set the cannons to stun.
064. The articles of war are not more actual guidelines than rules.
065. My Bonnie does not lie over the ocean. I will stop saying this is why I joined the navy.
066: To these guys, Marco Polo is not a watersport, and I will not attempt to teach it to Mr Bush.
067: The sinking of a ship is not a good time to teach any crew members to play Marco Polo.
068: I will not sing "Wuthering Heights" or "Babooshka" to Mr Bush.
069. Mr Hornblower is NOT fantastic.
070: When Captain Sawyer was pushed down the hold he did not say "Thanks for telling me about the new hole, guys."
071: Styles is not on National Trust land and he is not to be climbed over.
072: Powder monkeys are not carved with a chopping motion.
073: Midshipman Hammond's perfect looks do not make him a good guy.
074: I will not say "Look! It's the Goodyear Blimp!" to try and distract the enemy.
705: The answer to "how many enemy frigates" is not "69, dude!"
076: I have not seen a ship with black sails. Johnny Depp was not on board.
077: Singing "Stutter Rap" to Mr Buckland is not tactful.
078: I will not heckle Captain Pellew, or indeed any captain at all.
079: It is best to remember that volunteers for the press gang do not spend the day ironing.
080: "Hitting the head" has nothing to do with slapping Oldroyd.
081: Snickering and asking Captain Saywer "How was your trip?" doesn't go over well with the court martial.
082: "Go Fish" is not an acceptable alternative when the captain suggests whist.
083: Annoying American women fished from the ocean are our guests. It is bad manners to ask if we can throw them back.
084: Matthews doesn't appreciate being told that horizontal stripes make him look fat.
085: I will not forget about the coefficient of expansion.
086: The punishment for desertion is death on the beach with your bare butt exposed for others to ridicule.
087: I will not step in/kick/drop/slam any buckets, hatches or doors when hiding from a mad captain and squad of marines.
088: I will not demand to know "what's that noise?!" when my national anthem is being played.
089: I have never, nor has anyone I know, ever lived on a Yellow Submarine.
090: A commission is for life, not just for Christmas
091: 'FairStar - The Fun Ship' is not an appropriate name for one of HMS's vessels.
092: It is not neccessary to ensure that the ship is Y2K compliant.
093: The ensign is to be saluted not used as bedding. Or clothing.
094: "Look, I had too...I was drunk," is probably not the best excuse to give to admiralty.
095: When Dr Clive talks about the cure, you should not answer: 'No, Dr Clive, it's Madness this week.
096: Never salute the captain with two fingers.
097: Or one.
098: The sensible answer to "I understand you fired your sternchaser without any shot in it" would be "I fired the gun to make the French think we were ready," NOT "I've discharged my responsibilities, it's up to you to discharge yours."
099: I will not correct charts by adding Bass Straight.
100: I will not march into the galley and demand that the steward hurry up with the lentils for dinner. Nor will I threaten him by knocking over his piles of teetering crockery.
101: I will not play miniature golf on the quarterdeck...nor will I charge others to play miniature golf on the quarterdeck.
102: When having an argument over possesion of a hammock, I will not set the hammock on fire.
103: Nothing Homer Simpson has ever said will help me in His Majesty's navy.
104: No one will believe me if I say the dog ate my lieutenant's exam paper.
105: Singing "Emergency" by Motorhead will not help me in a crisis.
106: I will not attempt to force the captain to walk the plank.
107: I will not ask the captain how to survive Sonic Attack.
108: 'Use your wheels, it is what they are for', is not an instruction normally included in Admiralty Orders.
109: I will not turn people's hammocks upside down, especially if they are in them at the time.
110: 'Shout, shout and shout again' is not good advice to give to a young and impressionable midshipman.
111: 'Shout, shout and shout again' was never actually said by Lord Wellington. Neither was 'Baaaaah!'
112: I will not switch Lord Nelson's eyepatch to the other side while he sleeps.
113: When in trouble, uttering the words 'I have a cunning plan' is not a good idea. Ever.
114: Not even if the plan is as cunning as a fox who has just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford university
115: "No one said I couldn't" does not equate to permission
116: You can't 'Shotgun' a ship.
117: I will not offer to cook the ships rats for the crew, sauteed, fricasseed, o'van, or otherwise.
118: Shouting 'Iiiiiit's me, hurrah!' if I happen to return from the dead will not win me any friends
119: Neither will walking into my lieutenant's exam and wondering aloud why the place smells of fish
120: I will not spend most of my days in the hold trying to find out which rat is the traitor.
121: I may not adopt a pet rat and call it Scabbers.
122: I will not bring a crystal ball to captain Pellew and predict he will become a cranky dentist in his next life.
123: I will not bring a crystal ball to captain Aubrey and predict he will become a cowboy bandit in his next life.
124: You can not throw the Holy Grenade of Antioch to a French ship, much less stow in in the barky's magazine...unless you are up to par in simple mathematics.