Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • We had rockfish for dinner the other night, and since I didn't know exactly what I was eating, I researched it (it's nothing remarkable; a sort of domesticated sea bass) but in the process I happened upon a brilliant little animated hard SF short about an unflappable interstellar sportsman of the future who goes out with his faithful pet monkeydog and trolls for The Big Catch: “Rockfish.”
  • While we're doing animated videos, don't miss the charmingly inane steampunk short “A Gentleman's Duel” from the same studio.
  • From Frank Glover comes a pointer to an interesting article about whether there are “habitable zones” in our galaxy. We're caught between our schedule, our metals concentration, and our supernovas, and ferdang, somehow we got placed “just right.” I'm always a little suspicious of charts that somehow get us dead-center. Supernovas may trigger lots of interesting things, from radiation-proofed cellular reproduction systems to “novel” stars and planets. I'm far from sure that zones closer to the Core are so deadly as to preclude the evolution of any kind of lifeā€”just Life As We Know It.
  • Are you nervous about European-style national health care? You should be.
  • Also from the NYT: The housing crash will likely cut the US birth rate, which roughly tracks housing availability and may be the reason that the birth rate is so low in Europe, with its staggeringly high housing costs.
  • A compendium of really weird products, including wedgie-proof underwear and a Hilary Clinton toilet bowl brush. What boggles the mind is that this is not a collection of hoaxes: All of these items are real.
  • Here's an eye-crossing but interesting paper that explains a lot of why I dislike competitive sports.
  • From David Stafford comes news of one of the most bizarre motorcycles ever imagined. It's electric. It works a little like the Segway. It gets points for design, fersure, but…you ride. I'll watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *