Anatomy of The Hulk

I recognize those teeth!

Biological artist Glendon Mellow’s work is featured in this lesson on The Hulk’s internal anatomy.

Visit the lesson for a transcription of the informative captions.

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On magic and science

Fritz Leiber, 1951 (redacted from “Poor Superman”):

Consider the age in which we live. It wants magicians…. A scientist tells people the truth. When times are good—that is, when the truth offers no threat—people don’t mind.… A magician, on the other hand, tells people what they wish were true—that perpetual motion works, that cancer can be cured by colored lights, that a psychosis is no worse than a head cold, that they’ll live forever. In good times magicians are laughed at. They’re a luxury of the spoiled wealthy few. But in bad times people sell their souls for magic cures and buy perpetual-motion machines to power their war rockets.

Source: Heinlein, Robert A. (ed.), Tomorrow, the Stars, p. 207. SBN 425-01426-6, Doubleday & Company, Inc.

The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction

cover-Csicsery-RonayIstvan-SevenBeautiesSF-w-thThis looks like an interesting book: The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction by Stephan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr..

From the publisher:

However much science fiction texts vary in artistic quality and intellectual sophistication, they share in a mass social energy and a desire to imagine a collective future for the human species and the world. At this moment, a strikingly high proportion of films, commercial art, popular music, video and computer games, and non-genre fiction have become what Csicsery-Ronay calls science fictional, stimulating science-fictional habits of mind. We no longer treat science fiction as merely a genre-engine producing formulaic effects, but as a mode of awareness, which frames experiences as if they were aspects of science fiction. The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction describes science fiction as a constellation of seven diverse cognitive attractions that are particularly formative of science-fictionality. These are the “seven beauties” of the title: fictive neology, fictive novums, future history, imaginary science, the science-fictional sublime, the science-fictional grotesque, and the Technologiade, or the epic of technsocience’s development into a global regime.

From Wesleyan University Press, 2008

Dr. Who is on

doctorwho2

The new Dr. Who is on CBC tonight at 21:30. Much mugging and eye-rolling by the Doctor. I’m not sure if this is last year’s or a completely new one.

It’s David Tennant. The CBC Web site says David Tennant is leaving the show at the end of 2009. He’s the 10th doctor.

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The CBC has the Dr. Who archives.

Old science fiction

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume IIB

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume IIB

Never doubt that Science Fiction writers, at least, are science nerds. Who else would title a book Volume IIB? I guess that it’s the second half of a hardcover Volume II.

Issued in 1973, this book contains some medium-length fiction published before 1966. It was edited by Ben Bova.

  • “The Martian Way” by Isaac Asimov. In this tale, Terran colonists on Mars address covert political opposition from Earth in the form of reluctance to let Mars have any water for its rockets.
  • “Earthman, Come Home” by James Blish. In this story of the end of the Okie cities as space-roving laborers powered by the never-explained spindizzies, Mayor Amalfi must find a permanent home for his city as the spindizzies wear out. He discovers a distant colony with a feudal society centred on another stranded city.
  • “Rogue Moon” by Algis Budrys. Budrys uses an early concept of matter transmission to make possible the exploration of a mysterious and deadly alien artifact on a distant moon.
  • “The Specter General” by Theodore R. Cogswell. Perhaps clothes do make the man. An outpost is finally visited by the “Specter General.”
  • “The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster. This famous tale pictures a world-wide, automated society where no one must leave their room to have a social life and no one EVER leaves the city. I wonder what Forster would think of the Web.
  • “The Midas Plague” by Frederik Pohl. If prosperity depends on consumers, then consumption becomes a duty.
  • “The Witches of Karres” by James H. Schmitz. This novelette contains the first few chapters of the eponymous novel, in more or less their final form. A few words or paragraphs are different. It’s not the preliminary story, of a spaceman and his childlike bride, which was quite different.
  • “E for Effort” by T. L. Sherred. A man discovers a way to view the past and tries to use it to save the world.
  • “In Hiding” by Wilmar H. Shiras. I remembered this story but not the author’s name. A young boy does everything he can to appear normal when he is anything but.
  • “The Big Front Yard” by Clifford D. Simak. This is a typical Simak story. A straightforward and resourceful loner finds something creepy going on around him, gets some hints from his dog, takes aliens and interstellar doorways in his stride, deals with unusual developments, and fights off bureaucracy.
  • “The Moon Moth by Jack Vance. I believe that this is a work of unusual complexity for Vance. He places his outworlder in a society of nuances and complex mores, with musical performance accompanying the simplest of communications. His outworlder fails again and again to grasp the subtleties, with dramatic results.

The Frame Problem: Scientology is a cult

The Frame Problem has a video: “Attention Walmart shoppers: Scientology is a cult.”

Books read in the last year

Books read in 2007:

I read some children’s literature with and for the children in my life. The rest is usually science fiction, mysteries, or nonfiction. I read for interest, not edification. I also read about one book-length collection of science fiction per month, as well as online science news and researching technical subjects for my profession.

Books read in 2007 (memorable books in bold):

  1. The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (re-read)
  3. Excession by Iain M. Banks
  4. The Better Part of Valor by Tanya Huff (re-read)
  5. The Dogfather by Susan Conant
  6. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
  7. To the Hilt by Dick Francis
  8. Whip Hand by Dick Francis
  9. Tales from the Arabian Nights edited by Andrew Lang
  10. Banker by Dick Francis
  11. The Past Through Tomorrow by Robert Heinlein (re-read)
  12. A Bird in the House by Margaret Laurence
  13. The Draco Tavern by Larry Niven
  14. Driving Force by Dick Francis
  15. The Curse of the Viking Grave by Farley Mowat
  16. Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff (re-read)
  17. Bones of the Moon by Jonathan Carroll (re-read)
  18. Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff
  19. The Woman With a Worm in Her Head & Other Stories of Infectious Disease by Pamela Nagami
  20. Girls’ Night In by Marion Keyes et al.
  21. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
  22. Gil’s All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez
  23. The Isle of Gramarye: An Anthology of the Poetry of Magic edited by Jennifer Westwood
  24. Grannie Gray: Childre’s Plays and Games by Eleanor Farjeon
  25. The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (re-read)
  26. My Beloved Son by Catherine Cookson
  27. Life, the Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams
  28. Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  29. The Blacksmith by Jennifer Maxwell
  30. The Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
  31. Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion and the Battle for America’s Soul by Edward Humes
  32. Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David
  33. Raphael and the Noble Task by Catherine Salton, David Weitzman (children’s book)
  34. Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer
  35. Toronto Rocks: The Geological Legacy of the Toronto Area by Nick Eyles
  36. 10-lb. Penalty by Dick Francis
  37. I am Puppy, Hear Me Yap
  38. Field of 13 by Dick Francis
  39. Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff (re-read)
  40. Second Wind by Dick Francis
  41. Catundra (children’s book) by Stephen Cosgrove
  42. Break In by Dick Francis
  43. Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman (my brief review)
  44. The Edge by Dick Francis
  45. Ten Stories by Rudyard Kipling
  46. The Innkeeper’s Song by Peter S. Beagle
  47. Omega edited by Roger Elwood
  48. Blood Sport by Dick Francis
  49. High Stakes by Dick Francis
  50. Future Tense edited by Richard Curtis
  51. How Not to Become a Crochety Old Man by Mary McHugh, illustrated by Adrienne Hartman
  52. Dead Cert by Dick Francis
  53. Memory Book by Howard Engel
  54. Pooh and the Millenium by John Tyerman Williams
  55. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  56. Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
  57. Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard
  58. The Track of the Wind by Jamila Gavi n
  59. The Witchfinder by Loren D. Estleman
  60. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes by Loren D. Estleman
  61. Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings by Mark Twain (link to a series of my blog posts about Letters from the Earth )
  62. Girls’ Night Out by Kathy Lette
  63. Scuttlebutt by Jana Williams
  64. The Telling by Ursula K. Le Guin
  65. Stalking the Nightmare by Harlan Ellison
  66. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (re-read)
  67. We Farm for a Hobby and Make it Pay by Henry Tetlow
  68. Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock
  69. Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley
  70. Hunter of Worlds by C. J. Cherryh (re-read)
  71. Banker by Dick Francis (re-read)
  72. Life, Laughter, and the Pursuit of Snow Leopards by Helen Freeman
  73. A Knot in the Grain by Robin McKinley (re-read)
  74. One Fearful Yellow Eye by John D. MacDonald
  75. Trial Run by Dick Francis
  76. The Miner’s Canary: Unravelling the Mysteries of Extinction by Niles Eldredge
  77. In the Frame by Dick Francis
  78. Organize Your Corpses: Death is So Untidy by Mary Jane Maffini
  79. My Left Foot by Christy Brown
  80. Daughter of the Bear King by Eleanor Arnason
  81. 1990 Annual World’s Best SF edited by Donald A. Wollheim
  82. Talk Talk Talk by Jay Ingram (re-read)
  83. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
  84. The Secret of Life: Redesigning the Living World by Joseph Levine and David Suzuki
  85. The New Hugo Winners Volume II, edited by Isaac Asimov
  86. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  87. Traditions of the Navy by Cedric W. Windas
  88. The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
  89. Monkey Girl by Edward Humes (re-read)
  90. Anne of Green Gables by L. Maud Montgomery
  91. Come to Grief by Dick Francis
  92. God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
  93. The Man Who Counts by Poul Anderson (re-read)
  94. Killshot by Elmore Leonard
  95. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
  96. Amazing Science Fiction Anthology: The Wild Years 1946 – 1955 edited by Martin H. Greenberg
  97. Young Witches and Warlocks edited by Isaac Asimov et al. (re-read)
  98. At the Water’s Edge: Fish with Fingers, Whales with Legs by Carl Zimmer
  99. Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
  100. Perpetual Life edited by Alan Ryan
  101. The Empty Copper Sea by John D. MacDonald
  102. Man – Kzin Wars VI by Donald Kingsbury, Mark O. Martin, & Gregory Benford, based on Larry Niven’s concept (re-read)
  103. Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
  104. Report from No. 24 by Gunnar Sönsteby
  105. Shattered by Dick Francis
  106. Flying Finish by Dick Francis
  107. Risk by Dick Francis
  108. Forfeit by Dick Francis (on LibraryThing)
  109. Break In by Dick Francis (re-read)
  110. Waiting for the Weekend by Witold Rybczynski (more books by Witold Rybczynski)
  111. Microcosmos by Brandon Broll
  112. New Writings in SF 3 edited by John Carnell
  113. Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
  114. A Window Over the Sink by Peg Bracken
  115. The Fallen Man by Tony Hillerman
  116. Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman
  117. 5 Galaxy Short Novels edited by H. L. Gold
  118. End of an Era by Robert J. Sawyer (re-read)
  119. A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton
  120. Year’s Best SF 10 edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer
  121. For Kicks by Dick Francis (on LibraryThing)
  122. Proof by Dick Francis (re-read)
  123. Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar
  124. The Discretion of Dominick Ayres by Matthew Vaughan
  125. Reflex by Dick Francis
  126. N-Space by Larry Niven
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