Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Updates

A quiet week. I don't actually have any news (sadly, I suspect everyone wants a trace of good news right now. I certainly do!)

A lot of people right now are stressed, bored, and scared. I am too. I'm continuing to work on the next book, hoping to get it through another round of edits this week and then off to my editor (who is hopefully healthy) shortly. This was supposed to be launched at Balticon, so there's a part of me that wants to hold off. But we all need entertainment right now.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Next Thing...

...to be banned on the Olympics.

It's this ankle exoskeleton that can increase running speed by 10% and also boost endurance.

While elite athletes will certainly be told nope, for the rest of us, these kinds of "power boots" might be used for recreation and even commuting to work instead of a bicycle.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How about editing your own genetic code?

If you're a squid, that's just part of life. We don't know why they keep editing their RNA so it varies in different parts of the body. But we know they can do it, and if we can learn the trick it might be used to treat various neurological conditions and other genetic diseases, without the risk of germline genetic engineering.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How Many Planets Anyway?

How about, over 300? That's the number of trans-Neptunian objects we're up to, and if Pluto's a planet, then so are they.

Yeah.

Every single one.

I'm thinking of poking around and doing some research into how we ended up there, how there are so many relatively large objects in the outer system.

I'm sure we know, but I need to do the research to understand it.

Monday, March 23, 2020

NASCAR goes VR

So, given the plague, it's not safe for NASCAR to run races.

But the show must go on. With a huge fan base and frustrated drivers, the series resorted to an unusual measure. Until social distancing measures are relaxed enough for races to run, they will be running races...

...in virtual reality.

(Running spectator-free was presumably considered and dismissed because of travel distances).

The eNASCAR iRacing Professional Invitational series will run until things return to normal, with the normal tracks. And the majority of the drivers did just fine. iRacing is not a video game, it's a full simulator of NASCAR that many drivers use to train when the weather isn't cooperative, or to get around practice limits.

Personally, I would love to see this become an annual tradition; except that instead of slavishly copying the real tracks, they should do weird shit like historic tracks, showing everyone what woul happen if a restrictor plate course was run without a restrictor plate. Maybe they could run some of the F1 courses. The possibilities are endless.

In the mean time, some of us can get some of our sports fix, and there were moments it was possible to forget it wasn't real.

Biggest difference?

Much more aggressive driving.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday Update

Not a very cheery Friday update, unfortunately.

Due to the plague, both RavenCon and Balticon have been canceled. Balticon may be doing a virtual convention. Neither con is able to reschedule.

AwesomeCon has yet to be canceled, but it's almost certain they won't be allowed to go ahead. I am hoping they will be able to reschedule for later in the year.

I am planning on recording some readings at some point.

Also if you are quarantined and/or furloughed and thus desperate for reading material and broke, hit me up. I'll gladly send out free books, although I do ask for a review if you are up to giving one (not a requirement!).

We will get through this.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Wow - Mammoths!

Or rather, their bones. Check this out.

Circles of mammoth bones are apparently a thing in Siberia, but this one is particularly big and spectacular.

Nobody seems to know exactly what they were built for, but a reasonable guess is that they may, in fact, have been for food storage.

Or, of course, ritual purposes, because everything we don't understand is for ritual purposes.