Depictions of the universe, variously defined. List of figures: Cosmological Mandala with Mount Meru. China. Yuan Dynasty (circa 1300) l’Image du Monde by Gautier du Metz (1245) Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer (1785) Sphaera Coelestis Mystica (1739) plate 7 by Johann Georg Hagelgans Lokapurusha (Cosmic Man), Rajasthan (circa 19th cent.) Sheppard’s Geographical and Astronomical Clock (circa… Read More Ten Depictions of the Cosmos
Take a deep breath. Now, repeat. It gets harder and harder to do that the higher you go, but there’s never a point where the atmosphere just stops. Like an aging celebrity, it just kind of faaaaaaades away….. which raises the question, where does the world end and space begin? By convention, we’ve decided it’s… Read More 62 miles from the end of the world
“The Stars My Destination,” second in my five-book formal tour of the history of science fiction, is a work of extremes, which makes it hard to say anything balanced about it. What it does well, it does very well. The rest is flat pulp, the equivalent of an off-brand cola. But since Bester doesn’t dawdle,… Read More Science Fiction: The Stars My Destination
People will sometimes get REALLY upset with an author for non-literary reasons — i.e. their politics or their point of view on some issue of fandom. Those folks will sometimes leave negative reviews to try to “hurt” the author. Of course, reading a book and simply not liking it, even having a strong negative reaction… Read More Why you shouldn’t sweat “hurtful” reviews
The art of Mike Campau (used without permission) helped me make peace with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I still don’t particularly enjoy being active on those places, but I can finally let go of my disgust for what they’ve largely become. This might seem paradoxical since we’re now in a time of high anti-social media sentiment. It… Read More How I stopped being disgusted by social media
It has regular contests in which score is kept. It has seasons ending in scheduled championship contests. It has teams, complete with managers (and even owners). It has plays and strategies, many of which fail. It has scandals and career-ending injuries. It has a daily highlight reel. It has major and minor leagues and recruitment… Read More Politics is a sport
The eminent neuroscientist, Jaak Panskepp, pioneered the study of emotion in mammals. He is famous for, among other things, tickling rats in the lab to make them laugh, but his work wasn’t a joke. He discovered that all mammals, including humans, share the same seven emotional pathways, commonly identified as: fear, care, lust, rage, panic/grief,… Read More Do Popular Genres Map to the Seven Emotional Pathways of the Mammalian Brain?