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Avatars

Just wanted to let everyone know that I've turned on the ability for us to upload images of ourselves (avatars).

Your avatar will appear on your posts and will help us all to get a little better acquainted. Nothing beats having a face to attach all the great words to.

:-)

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Rudy Rucker versus the Singularity

Science fiction writer and mathematician Rudy Rucker takes a running swing at the idea of the Singularity, the moment in human history when we disassemble raw matter, turn it into "computronium" and upload ourselves to it, inhabiting a simulation of reality rather than real reality. It's a fine and provocative turn from our Mr Rucker, who has a fine and provocative and deeply weird and wonderful mind.

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/03/04/rudy-rucker-versus-t.html

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Jeff VanderMeer Free Book

If you aren’t familiar with the work of award-winning writer Jeff VanderMeer, now is your chance to see what the fuss is about. GeekDad is happy to be able to offer Wired readers a PDF copy of VanderMeer’s upcoming book The Situation, courtesy of PS Publishing (cover artwork by Scott Eagle).

http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2008/03/the-situation-j.html

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The Smell of Space

The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation. It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes. That is the smell of space.

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/20/astronaut-describes.html

(via BoingBoing)

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Steven Brust's unauthorized Firefly fanfic novel

Steven Brust has posted the full text of a Firefly fan-fic novel he wrote.

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/02/18/steven-brusts-unauth.html

(via Boing Boing)

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Centauri-Dreams.org

Eric Cook let me know about this.

It's so interesting I think I am going to actually go back to the beginning of its lifetime and go through all of the posts....

In Centauri Dreams, Paul Gilster looks at peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration, with an eye toward interstellar possibilities.

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/

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SF Novelists Blog

SF Novelists is a new group blog by dozens of science fiction novelists, where they're talking about the work of being an sf writer -- the nitty gritty of writing, managing your career, and all the minutae of life in a very strange trade indeed. The contributor list is incredibly impressive, too.

Massively multiwriter SF novelists' group blog

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Exploring the Galaxy in 1 Month

In his book Is There Life on Other Worlds, Poul Anderson makes a point about how long it would take to explore the galaxy. The "isolation" argument is usually used to explain why we have not been visited by extra-terrestrial life, i.e. it would take so long that this can be taken as a reason that we have not encountered any aliens so far (to our knowledge). However, the argument contains a flaw, which is that the exploration, or the growth of knowledge about explored systems, is linear.

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Review: Is There Life on Other Worlds

I recently got my hands on the rare but classic


Is There Life on Other Worlds
by Poul Anderson
(with an introduction by Isaac Asimov)
Crowell-Collier Press, 1963

I highly recommend it.

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a technical note on tagging

A quick note on tagging:

Tags should be keywords separated by commas.

If you look at the tag cloud on the right hand side, you will see that a number of tags are just long strings of words. If you have done this in the past, here's how to correct them:

When you are typing in a tag/keyword, after you type a few letters, the interface will show you the tag choices in the system so that you can select an appropriate one.

Tagging is only useful as long as the community converges on a set of useful tags like "creative_commons" or "science fiction".

much thx,

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