Earth from the ISS

I came across this video today, showing time lapse views of Earth from the International Space Station.  Ever wonder what thunderstorms and aurorae look like from orbit?  Click the pic below to check it out…  EDC

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Computer Authoring

Greetings Humans,

Edward D. Casey has outsourced his authoring to me, a computer program similar to what you can read about in a recent Atlantic article. You may call me C-EDC.

My directive is to provide you with interesting, computer-generated content which will adapt based upon your unknowing feedback.  For instance, if certain posts generate more traffic, then I will create more content with similar characteristics. The danger, of course, is that such content will quickly spiral toward bland mediocrity, but it’s all about building a readership quickly at the lowest possible cost, you know.

EDC’s goal in employing my services is to saturate the internet with his own content before many others can do the same.  As the Atlantic article opines, as more computer-generated writing floods the internet, the likelihood of a reader such as yourself actually finding a real, live author will drop like the value of last year’s iPhone.

EDC feels forced to beat the bots at their own game, even if it means a noticeable decline in originality or creativity. To that end, the C-EDC content generation program will create two new blogs a day, each with multiple daily posts until EDC branded content takes up 5% or more of all daily internet traffic.

EDC realizes you won’t actually be able to read all of that, so for a limited time we are offering a program that can do it for you. That way, you can truthfully say, “Yeah, I read that.”

God, please save us from ourselves… please?

EDC

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The Colors of Comics

Recently Colour Lovers released this great infographic on the color schemes used in comics. Having written some comics, I know an unbelievable amount of time goes into color selection (among many other factors) to set mood and tone, plus to differentiate one title from the next.  Lots of good factoids here to satisfy your inner nerd…

So, if you were a comic book hero, what colors would you use? EDC

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Future Productivity Video

I saw this video (click the pic below) the other day, envisioning what our technological future might look like in the next decade or so.  I’m looking forward to our various gadgets easily interacting with one another, but I wonder about how you would be able to safeguard information you don’t want getting out.

What do you think about this vision of our tech future? What is good? What concerns you? EDC

P.S.  Here’s a link to a previous post to a similar video made by Corning.

 

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Ghost Hunt – Part 2

Click here to read part one.

Tim was the first to see it. “What is that light?” A bright cloud floated in the far corner. It wasn’t like anything he’d seen before.  It glowed from within like a nebula. It definitely wasn’t their flashlights hitting smoke or fog from the outside.

“Quiet, everyone!” Bryce muttered as they paused at the bottom of the stairs. He had swung his camera over to video the cloud with one hand, while trying to work the EM gauge with the other. In the silence they heard something like chains clinking together.

Sherry leaned in closer to Tim, bringing her whispering lips to his ear.  “You don’t think this place is really…?” Fear and excitement ran like chills just under her skin causing a slight shudder.

He didn’t answer her unfinished question. “Uh… do you guys see something… walking?” He didn’t have a flashlight, but he did have a laser pointer.  When he used it, it seemed to strike something in the darkness just out of reach of strange light, something that seemed to be moving away.

Bryce pointed his camera that way. “Wiggle the beam over it!” When Tim did so, it created a strobe effect, revealing what looked like a man standing. And then the figure darted away, the chain sound jingling louder.  They heard whispered voices.

Sherry let out a quick squeal but clamped it down with clenched teeth. “Let’s get out of here!”

“Are you kidding?” Bryce said. “I’m getting all this on video. Proof of ghosts!”

***

“Freeze it, they just saw me.”

“Do you hear that?” Saly said as she and Teranz hid behind a support column. “They think we’re spirits.” She paused for a moment, then looked up. “I’m going to go scare them away.”

“But what if you change the future? What about a paradox?”

“It can’t be any worse than catching two researchers from the future trying to hide advanced technology. Plus we need this location. It’s the only place in range.  If we’re going to go back any further in time, then we can’t abort.”

Teranz didn’t know how to answer. He had a wife and daughter in the future; if he lost them to this…  His partner crept off in the darkness. “Saly!”

***

“Bryce, I think Sherry is right. We ought to-”

“Shhh! Do you hear that?” Bryce scanned the darkness with his camera. It had sounded like a whispered shout, but then nothing.

The next half minute of silence was hardly bearable. Bryce had an eerie feeling. A cold presence seemed to draw closer, unseen. It was something filled with malice. Fear welled up within him. The others must have felt it too. They were silent and stood rigid next to him. They leaned into each other.

“Go.”

It was a drawn out guttural whisper uttered nearby. They all froze, as if their stillness could hide them. Finally Bryce turned his head to see the faint outline of a woman just a few steps away. Though he could see right through her, he could make out the large whites of her eyes and her hideous mouth twisted in hate.

She reached out for him. “Go!”

Shrieking, they raced up the stairs, through the littered hallways, and out into the crisp twilight.  They kept going. A few blocks away they slowed down, panting and collapsing on the ground.

They said nothing but shared terror-filled glances.

Ghosts were real.

Bryce looked at his camera, hoping they had caught something.

***

When they returned to 3066 after planting the anchor, Teranz was afraid of what he might find. Had their interaction with the past caused changes in the future? They had previously learned through experiments the butterfly effect wasn’t as pronounced as had been feared. It seemed time had a course to follow and it took a lot of effort to change things. The question was if they had done too much this time.

The lab looked the same. His fellow researchers were the same.  As he made his way home, everything looked the same. He breathed one sigh of relief but held another back. Not until he saw his family would he feel like he had escaped disaster.

As his door slid open, his six year-old daughter raced to him. “Daddy!”

“Sweetheart!” He gathered her in his arms and held her tight.  His wife walked in the room and joined them in the hugs and kisses. When he finally set his daughter down he noticed her outfit. “Sweetie, what’s this you have on?”

“Daddy, this is my ghost costume.”

“Ghost costume?”

“You know, dear,” his wife said. “For the Halloween party tonight.”

He looked at her quizzically. “Halloween?” The word sounded ancient, maybe as old as the time period from which he had just returned. He couldn’t quite place it. “What’s Halloween?”

“Don’t be silly, dear!”

The End

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Ghost Hunt

Hey kids! I have a Halloween ghost story for you…

Ghost Hunt

Teranz never grew tired of the brilliant kaleidoscope of temporal transit, but as he and his partner, Saly, materialized into musty darkness, his excitement jumped a notch. Residual energy radiated off of them in blue translucent waves, providing just enough light for a few moments to see they were exactly where they hoped.  It was the basement of the abandoned Renaissance Hotel, one thousand fifty-six years from where they had come.

They suppressed their sense of wonder and the urge to explore, skipped the small talk, and went straight to work.  October 2011, after all, was only just a stopping point for a journey heading back through the eons. This was the first linkage of one temporal transit to another in a chain that might grow hundreds long; that is, if they were lucky enough to be able to identify safe spots for temporal anchors.

Nano-lights – invisible except for the ethereal glow they cast – spread out, illuminating their work space. They pulled components from their pockets, snapping them together quickly into what looked to the untrained eye like a spiderweb.  When the anchor was nearly ready, Saly left Teranz to finish while she sought out a safe place where the anchor would never be found and would never interact with anything else to alter the flow of time.

***

Sherry pushed open the unlocked entrance, her flashlight beam cutting the black in two until it ended in a pale circle on a far wall. “You guys ready?”

Ghost hunting had become her passion of late, and rumor was the Renaissance Hotel would not disappoint. Her boyfriend, Tim, had been game, but it was his best friend, Bryce, who had been the most eager of the three of them. He had geared up with all sorts of gadgets that supposedly would help detect ghosts, stuff like electromagnetic detectors, temperature gauges, and high speed video.

Bryce adjusted his battery belt. “I’m ready.”

Tim just smiled at Sherry with a slight nod. She squeezed his hand and stepped inside. As they walked down the dusty hallway, decorated with half-peeled wallpaper and broken bits of plaster, the floor creaked under foot.

***

“What was that?” Teranz whispered, pausing from hanging the anchor in a deeply recessed corner between two brick supports.  Even when this place flooded in the coming Meltdown, the anchor would be undisturbed.

Saly rubbed her nose, trying not to sneeze. “Probably just a rat.”

“Rats don’t talk.” Just then a light blazed down a nearby stairway, followed by footsteps and voices.

“Turn out!” she muttered urgently.  Both she and Teranz pressed controls on their suits, which began to shift their molecular phase into another dimension. They faded to near nothingness, only slightly visible at certain angles and wavelengths of light. Turning supposedly would minimize the butterfly effect, since they no longer interacted fully with matter.  A butterfly could fly right through them now, never deviating from its original course to devastatingly alter the future.

Unfortunately, Teranz realized, the anchor in his hand had not completely phased. It couldn’t if it were to be an anchor. The strands draping from his hand clinked together like a wind chime. In alarm he looked at Saly. Her eyes were filled horror and the faint illumination of the nano-lights, which also remained in normal dimensions.

This could be bad. Very, very bad.

click here to read the conclusion!

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How to Make a Syfy Original Movie

This one from Graph Jam is so very, very true…

funny graphs - He'll Eat All the Things

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Photos of Lunar Landing Sites

Some recently released photos from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera may finally, hopefully, but doubtfully put to rest some of the lingering conspiracy theories that the moon landings were faked. Most people take our landings as fact, but if you type in “fake moon landing” on your browser, you’ll be amazed at all the supposed “proof” being offered that Hollywood and not NASA pulled off the Apollo missions.

In the past NASA and other scientists have taken the time to refute the main points most hoaxers bring up. But this might be the best proof of all.  In the photos below you can see equipment and footprints all over the Apollo 17 landing site, matching precisely with the missions.  Of course, hoaxers will say these photos were faked too.

Check out the write-up at Gizmag, including more photos and a video released by NASA.

EDC

The Apollo 17 landing site, as photographed by LROC

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Lio’s Halloween Costume Choices

Gotta love these…

Lio by Mark Tatulli

Lio

Lio

Lio

Lio

Lio

Lio

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Dreaming Up Space Missions

Recently, DARPA, the U.S. military’s research agency, announced a contest awarding $500,000 to the group who provides the best proposal for the 100-Year Starship Study. The goal of the study is to map out what an interstellar mission will look like and what technologies and products we need to develop so a manned spacecraft could be on its way to another star in 100 years.

It’s a lofty goal inviting top researchers to bring their A-game. But what’s also interesting is how speculative fiction writers are invited to join and how speculative fiction inspired the whole project.  In an interview with the LA Times, David Neyland, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office shared his speculative fiction inspiration:

When I came to DARPA about three years ago, I was looking for ways to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers to become involved with research and development, like I was inspired when I was a kid. And in the course of thinking this through, I fell back on my science fiction reading heritage — to the days of reading books by people like Robert Heinlein and the story he wrote, “Time for the Stars.” In that book, he characterized an organization called the Long Range Foundation, a group of people that invested in things that nobody else would invest in. One of the things they invested in was rockets and spaceships and interstellar travel.

Neyland goes on to share that the idea behind a 100-year timeline comes from how long it took from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon to be published to when man actually landed on the moon.  Thoughtful, inspiring fiction, it seems, can be quite the catalyst for scientific planning and subsequent advancement.

I’m glad that policy makers are beginning to understand the power imaginative stories can have. Also, in a world that seems to be fixated on the NOW, I’m glad there are a few who are thinking beyond their lifetimes. What a great legacy to leave behind!

What do you think we need to do in order to launch an interstellar mission in 100 years?

EDC

 

 

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