Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Thursday October 9, 2003. When I woke up, I felt very good. That ought to have helped me get done what I needed to do. Unfortunately, I also felt too relaxed to get going.

However, I realized something about writing. With "The Caterpillar on the Leaf," I need to keep the narrator from becoming too strange. And I need to keep the background and other characters from being too strange _in his perception_.

This freed me to do some rewriting.

Also today, I figured out one reason why I have problems with visual description. I tend to see patterns, rather than details.

From the Kirkus Review on Jo Walton's new novel _Tooth and Claw_, in which the characters apparently are dragons:

"A more skilled writer could have taken this setup and made a Watership Down-style exercise out of it, pulling readers inexorably into the lives of creatures they normally wouldn't much care about."

_Watership Down_ with dragons instead of rabbits might be difficult to pull off.


Wormtongue and Wendy.
He's wanted for treason. She loves someone who won't grow up. Can they work as a team?

It just struck me that if all your information about America came from political blogs, you’d think the country was composed mainly of libertarians together with a bloc of right-wing populist-imperialists and a few liberals here and there. But if all your information about California came from political blogs, you’d think the state’s politics must be a model of thoughtful right- and left-leaning commentary, marked by a care for civility, a tendency to moderation and a close attention to detail.
Kieran Healy, http://www.crookedtimber.org

Public Release: 9-Oct-2003
NASA research team successfully flies first laser-powered aircraft
Since the dawn of powered flight, all aircraft have had to carry onboard fuel to stay aloft. But a team of researchers from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., and the University of Alabama in Huntsville is trying to change that. The team has developed and demonstrated the first-ever small-scale aircraft that flies solely from power delivered by an invisible, ground-based laser.

Punishing acronym alert:

The vision of this new research project is to develop Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer Human Interactions (TAI-CHI). It will explore how physical objects such as walls, windows and table tops, can in effect become giant 3D touch screens, acting as an interface between any computer and its user.

The whole project is based on the principle that interacting with any physical object produces acoustic waves both within the object and on its surface. By visualising and characterising such acoustic patterns and how they react when touched or moved, a new medium for communication with computers and the cyber-world can be developed.

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