It takes three days to travel to the moon and six months to get to Mars. But the real challenge is not getting there, it’s what to eat.
“Space agriculture is what’s required for long-term space exploration,” Mike Dixon, director of the controlled environment systems research facility at the University of Guelph, said Tuesday during a space conference in Montreal. “We can’t afford to keep shipping water, oxygen and Kraft dinner to the moon indefinitely.”
“Imitation of nature is bad engineering,” he answered patiently. “For centuries inventors tried to fly by emulating birds, and they killed themselves uselessly. If you want to make something that flies, flapping your wings is not the way to do it. You bolt a 400-horsepower engine to a barn door, that’s how you fly. You can look at birds forever and never discover this secret. You see, Mother Nature has never developed the Boeing 707. Why not? Because Nature didn’t need anything that would fly that fast and that high. How would such an animal feed itself?”
“What does that have to do with artificial intelligence?”
“Simply that it tries to approximate man. If you take man’s brain as a model and test of intelligence, you’re making the same mistake as the old inventors flapping their wings. You don’t realize that Mother Nature has never needed an intelligent animal and accordingly, she has never bothered to develop one!”
“This week’s Watchmen festival is finally wrapping up for me. I’m done. How much Watchmen can one guy take? Upon arriving, I thought this was a Comic Book Festival, but I was sadly mistaken. This was an awesome Watchmen commercial that I actually got to walk around in. How exciting is that? As soon as I got off the train, I saw every person on the street was carrying a big Watchmen bag. They had Watchmen posters, and Watchmen toys and photos with their favorite Watchmen characters. Not everyone who wanted to see the Watchmen panel were able to get it, but the creators of the movie and the entire cast were there. And they talked about the movie!!!!
I found all the money the studio spent promoting Watchmen at Comic Con to be ridiculous. These are nerds. It is like trying to sell guns to the NRA. You know how the studio could market The Watchmen to nerds? Go to a remote town in Alaska and find a nerd. Then just walk up to him and whisper, ‘There’s going to be a Watchmen movie.’ At that point, every nerd in the world will know. They have some sort of communication device.”- Fear The Reaper’s feedback on Comic Con via Suicide Girls
Now we know one of the reasons why Moore wanted nothing to do with the movie. Here’s an excellent interview with him from Entertainment Weekly:
“About two years ago, Warner Bros. announced that 300 director Zack Snyder would be adapting that gold standard of comics, Watchmen, into a feature film. The response was nothing short of orgiastic – from just about everyone except Watchmen‘s own scribe, Alan Moore, who remains ambivalent about all the hoopla. The 54-year-old writer and co-creator of such seminal and erudite works as From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (both of which were adapted into eagerly anticipated movies that failed to match the quality of Moore’s source material) has a tangled history with the entertainment business. Even in a time when comics creators are more influential than ever (heck, The Spirit producers even gave comics great Frank Miller the helm), Moore simply wants to be left alone.”
“Millions of passengers flying from British airports will be fingerprinted from next year under the latest controversial Government anti-terror plans. The measures, which will apply to both domestic and international passengers, are being introduced despite opposition from the Information Commissioner, Britain’s privacy watchdog.
The Commissioner forced Heathrow to abandon a similar plan earlier this year after warning that it was potentially illegal under data protection laws. As a result, ?common departure lounges’, where both domestic and international passengers can mix freely, are being introduced at all major UK airports. This poses an obvious security risk in that an incoming international passenger – possibly a terrorist or a criminal – could switch tickets with an accomplice booked on a domestic flight. The international passenger would then be able to fly elsewhere in Britain and enter the country without being checked by immigration authorities.
Now, the Home Office is putting the finishing touches to new rules requiring compulsory fingerprinting for all passengers. The amendments to national aviation security rules will require fingerprints to be scanned when passengers pass through security into the airside terminal. Passengers will be fingerprint-scanned again at their flight departure gate. It is likely that the scheme will later be expanded to cover passengers at major seaports and the Channel Tunnel rail links.
The measures will enable police and the Security Services to check fingerprints against international watch lists and Interpol databases, searching for suspects travelling on false identities. Critics say the main reason for the scheme is that airport operators want to maximise profits by ensuring all passengers are able to spend money in ?duty-free’ shops.”
“In 2009 Fantasy Magazine will add audio dramas to our suite of podcasts. To that end, from September 1 – November 15, we will accept audio script submissions for the first season.
Scripts should run 30 – 60 minutes and follow traditional radio play format. We prefer plays that will require five or fewer actors.
Though we will lean more heavily toward dramas in the fantasy genre, we will look at science fiction and dark/horror tales. Any good script with elements of the fantastic is game. Keep in mind that we’re looking for many of the same qualities in audio drama that we look for in our fiction. Scripts should emphasize character, dialogue, and a good story over relying heavily on sound effects and cool tricks.”
“Two weeks ago an 8,000-Mile Walk for Native American Rights, Environmental Protection, and to Stop Global Warming reached its destination in Washington, DC. Started on the opposite coast, in the San Francisco Bay Area, on February 11, 2008, the Longest Walk 2 delivered a 30-page manifesto and list of demands to Congress, which included climate change mitigation, environmental sustainability, the protection of sacred sites, and items regarding Native American sovereignty and health.
Hundreds of walkers representing more than 100 Native American Nations, plus an active International group, embarked on a journey that lasted 175 days (4,200 hrs.) criss-crossing 26 states along two separate routes – through rain, snow, and even a tornado. They also picked up more than 8,000 bags of trash on the roads they traveled. ‘As we walked through this land we were horrified to see the extent in which Mother Earth has been raped, ravaged and exploited,’ noted the Manifesto for Change.
The trek also commemorated the 1978 Longest Walk, a similar campaign that led to the defeat of 11 anti-Native American bills pending in Congress and the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.”
I haven’t had a chance to read all of it yet, but blogger Al Billings has made his thesis on “The nature, structure, and role of the soul in the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn” available for free as a PDF download.
“The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a 19 th century English society engaged in the creation of a systematic form of western esotericism. Its founders created a synthesis of previous strands of esotericism and spiritual thought that had existed in Europe. One aspect of this synthesis was the creation of a new vision of the soul. This soul went beyond a simple mixing of elements from earlier traditions and provided an integral portion of the spiritual vision that gave an overall purpose to the spiritual practices of the Golden Dawn. A discussion of the nature and structure of this soul, its key influences, and unique aspects gives clarity to some of the spiritual goals and vision of the Golden Dawn as a system of spiritual practice. This demonstrates a system of thought unique to the end of the nineteenth century that places it with other spiritual traditions of the world.”