The Time Machine – NaBloPoMo 2010

the first time machine

the first time traveller

if he had written nothing else, H. G. Wells still gets credit as a progenitor of science-fiction for The Time Machine


The Time Machine by H. G. Wells


a gentleman scientist/inventor devises a time machine that allows him to travel to specified points in Earth’s timeline.   our time traveller makes a journey to the year 802,701 C.E. where he finds the human race has evolved/devolved into two separate races:  the elite and useless Eloi and the servient underground dwellers Morlocks. the leisure life of the Eloi is maintained by the continued hard labor of the Morlocks.



Congress has officially ran out of excuses


the Pentagon released the results of the long-awaited study on the possible impact of gay men and lesbians openly serving in the US military.  their conclusion:  there would be little impact and “Our military can do this, even during this time of war.”

The study noted the military had faced far stronger resistance to racial integration in the 1940s and 1950s, when the armed forces were emerging from World War Two and in the midst of Cold War tensions and the Korean War.

“But by 1953, 95 percent of all African-American soldiers were serving in racially integrated units, while public buses in Montgomery, Alabama, and other cities were still racially segregated,” the study said.

The survey of just over 115,000 troops on ending the ban on gays showed a solid majority did not believe repeal would affect their ability to do their jobs. Some 69 percent believed they had already worked with a homosexual.

via Military study gives green light to end gay ban | Reuters.

When Worlds Collide – NaBloPoMo 2010

oh noes!

a rogue planet is heading towards Earth!

whatever shall we do?


When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer


luckily (f0r some) the rogue planet Alpha is traveling with a smaller rogue planet, Beta; and there is a chance that when Alpha collides with and pulverizes Earth, Beta may stabilize into a solar orbit near the former Earth.

the game is on:  spaceships must be built, and passenger lists determined – very few Earthlings will get passage, what about the rest? and will the would-be-colonists be able to leave Earth before the Collision?

When Worlds Collide was written in 1933 and it has been a major influence in sci-fi writing, in comic books, in movies, to this day.

Shilpa Ray opens for Grinderman

at Cannery Ballroom Nashville 20101119

Shilpa Ray

at Cannery Ballroom Nashville 20101119

Shilpa Ray and her harmonium

at Cannery Ballroom Nashville 20101119

Shilpa Ray










Grinderman’s opening act in the North American tour, Armin Ra, broke his theremin at the New York show.  while the theremin was repaired, Shilpa Ray was personally requested by Grinderman to be the opener in the DC, Atlanta, Nashville, and Memphis shows.

she was fantastic, a girl singing and screaming with only her harmonium for accompaniment. Shilpa’s voice goes from wounded to growling in the same verse; mesmerizing.
later in the set she got the crowd to clapping and OOOooooOOoooo along – and closed by informing us in the audience that “Grinderman was fucking awesome and she was going to get wasted and watch them with us”.
a girl after my own heart




check out a couple of songs from her upcoming album with her band, The Happy Hookers, Teenage and Torture

Heaven In Stereo
Venus Shaver

more pics of Shilpa Ray and of Grinderman at flickr

The Wind Whales of Ishmael – NaBloPoMo 2010

it took me several attempts but eventually I read the entirety of Moby Dick. it is one of my favorite books and I’ve reread it several times since.



The Wind Whales of Ishmael by Philip Jose Farmer



how could I not like a *sequel* to Moby Dick, set ~one billion years in the future?  where there were no oceans but whales (flying whales, natch) abounded and a good whaleman was always in demand?

Philip Jose Farmer invented the mashup before there was a term for it.

The Dispossessed – NaBloPoMo 2010

There was a wall.

The Dispossessed by Ursula K LeGuin


so begins The Dispossessed, Ursula K. LeGuin‘s utopian/dystopian novel.  the wall is not much as far as walls go – no Berlin Wall here.  it is simply the wall enclosing the (mostly unused) spaceport in Anarres, the moon of Urras;  Anarres was settled almost two hundred years ago by revolutionaries from Urras.

the revolutionaries have made Anarres into an anarchists’ paradise: there is no private property, no government per se; but an anarchist society can become as rigid as other societies, which drives the physicist Shevek to leave Anarres for Urras.