A Little Light Entertainment

Pic of the day:  Fruit by Alfons Mucha



The charm dissolves apace,
And as the morning steals upon the night,
Melting the darkness, so their rising senses
Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle
Their clearer reason.

William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, scene i


Nothing but a little light entertainment tonight.   I had an interview today. During that interview I mentioned that I really enjoyed working with art nouveau works.  Hence the Mucha piece above. I did a fair bit of running around besides, so I was busy most of the day.  That felt good, much like reading Shakespeare. So you get Shakespeare.  So I am relaxing a bit, watching Citizen Kane at the end of my day, hence the video clip from Citizen Kane.

More weighty matters tomorrow, perhaps.


Viddy of the day:   Citizen Kane: Rosebud


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.


Pic of the day:  The Fairy of Eagle Nebula



Don’t ever become a pessimist … a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.

Robert A. Heinlein


Sometimes when I read the news I find nothing but things that get me angry, stir me up, get my dander up.  Like the AIG story earlier in the week, which turned out better than I had expected.

And sometimes I don’t.  This is one of those times, time to look at a lighter news story, because it does a body good to take a break from the mess that is the world every once in a while.

Today’s story is a giggle worthy nerdtastic story straight from the White House.  Not normally the place you get stories like that from, but here it is.

The White House has decided against building a death star.

You read that right. Apparently a Star Wars nerd in search of…something, what exactly I don’t know, decided to put o the White house petitions site a petition whose main purpose was job creation;  i.e. building a Death Star. And it got a lot of attention, enough to warrant an actual response from the people who officially respond to this kind of thing.

If you thought that would be the end of it, and that they would simply poo-poo the whole idea, you’d be wrong.  Well, right in that in the end they obviously turned it down, but it was the creative nerdtastic way that they did it that played heavily to the Star Wars fans who clearly were the ones who voted for this thing.

It starts off by spoofing a line from the first movie by Obi-Wan Kenobi.  “This is not the petition you’re looking for.”

Just a little fun from the fine people at Robot Chicken

When I read that first line I knew I was in for a treat.  Early in the response to the petition there was a statement saying that the cost of the death star would be prohibitive, and used numbers gotten from some very creative students at Lehigh University that estimated the actual cost of building the death star.

And by the way, a death star would cost approximately Eight hundred and fifty six quadrillion dollars.  That’s eight hundred fifty six thousand billion for those who don’t know what a quadrillion is.

BTW, it’s nice to know that the administration of President Barack Obama does not condone blowing up planets. Felt good about that.  I live on one of those things. They’re kinda nice, if you can handle the local yokels that is.

But I thought the crowning touch, the piece de resistance was saying that they wouldn’t waste money on a death star with a fundamental flaw in it that could be exploited by a one-man starship.  Pictures of Luke Skywalker destroying the Death Star danced in my head when I read that.

Now the rest of the piece, while less Star Warsy, to coin a term, was nevertheless very much pro-science and had fun linking certain projects to star wars.  For example, do you know the acronym that the commercial venture between NASA and private investors?

No?  It’s the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office… or… wait for it…


Maybe this WAS the petition I was looking for. This star wars nerd who fell in love with all things space based as a kid watching the tail end of the Apollo program, and gazed in wide eyed wonder at the spectacle of the first Star Wars movie when I was but 9 years old, found a great deal that was both great and good in this happy little light piece of news that floated in from the White House today.

The main point of the piece though, beyond the obvious silliness was to promote science and science education, a worthy endeavor, truly.

Mind you I heard on twitter that Darth Vader was not pleased about this, but I could not get further comment from him on the subject.  This may not be the last you’ll hear about this.

I hope.  🙂


Thats it from here, America.  G’night.

Nothing Much

Portrait of Charles and Georges Durand-Ruel, by Pierre Auguste Renoir



While our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

Ray Bradbury (1990)


The first five minutes of the movie Le Regle du jeu (The Rules of the game) a 1939 movie by Jean Renoir.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

But I Digress (Idle Talk)

Pic of the day:  The Ravens of Wotan, by Arthur Rackham


I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.

Mark Twain, the American Claimant


If you want to understand the problems of this nation you need to look inward and ask why the outward world affects you as it does.

The standard American political discourse is something of a sham, truth be told.  Many words and ideas that we bring to our most serious discussions are brightly adorned, shouted, preached and in other ways projected as to hide the truth of them.  The fact that we have to mask them with stratagems of this nature in order to make them sound bolder and smarter than they actually are says something about them, and us.

In most discourse in this formerly great nation (and this is one of the main reasons we can use the word formerly there and mean it) is that we much of the time mistake vivacity for wit.  That is a serious mistake.  Just because you speak with energy and animation does not mean that the ideas behind that energy and animation are in any way intelligent.

Most commentators on television are filled with zest, they have a spring in their step, and yet… something seems missing.

When speaking on politics and the like we should not make the mistake that these commentators make. We should not try to use flowery language, or their language at all, if we are not at all used to it.  Plain talk, which is rare enough in a people who all think they know the final truth when they scarcely know the first, should be the aim, the goal.

I am just as guilty of it as anyone else.  The difference between me and most is that I am conscious of it, and try my best to keep from it.  Now in the opposite direction, plain language does not necessarily mean simply calling what you see as you see it. We should all try to speak with some level of simplicity and honesty about the world we see. But a 9 year old with a broken heart over a baseball game, for example can do that job admirably well.  Unless you are nine and heartbroken over baseball, you can do better than that.

Mind you it is not easy being 9 and heartbroken over baseball… but I digress…

The energy we bring to our debating, and the zeal of our convictions mean not a damn.  What matters most is the truth.  But truth of a sort that does not need to be shouted from the mountaintops.  Let’s face it, if you have to yell to make your point, you’ve already lost the fight.  Let the facts tell the story for you.

Embellish with personal stories that accentuate your point to taste, but beyond that there should be no real need to adorn the truth.  The truth is clothing enough for any thought or argument.  If you need to make a petty snide remark, or some cutesy little one liner in it to make it work, it doesn’t.

This from a man who has used many a one liner and petty snide remark. With a smile on my lips and joy in my heart I have done it.  And I have no problem with it either.  I don’t know how much energy and zeal I bring though, to be honest.  I’m usually too damn tired from working, looking for work, working  and running around doing things in the house, running, exercising, cooking, cleaning, writing, thinking, and on rare occasion doing things that involve leisure.

Which is usually eating, sleeping, and generally annoying my wife and cats with my mere presence.

I would toss out a but I digress here, but digression seems to be what this entire article is about.

And maybe that is the big problem this nation has.  We as a nation have ADD, and with so many things distracting us we miss the more important things in life.

For example, the entire point of this article was summed up in the third paragraph.

Or did you miss that in the vivacious flurry of other statements?

Just checking.  🙂

Watch a viddy


Viddy of the day:  James Hetfield: Don’t you think this outlaw bit has done got out of hand?

How can you not love Waylon Jennings meets Metallica?  🙂


Not bad.  Took a half an hour to write that whole thing.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.


Mid-October Late Night Idle Talk

Pic of the day:  The Night Cafe, by Vincent Van Gogh


Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.

Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


Viddy of the day:  “Paul Ryan’s Video Diary” – A Bad Lip Reading of Paul Ryan


I write every day. I enjoy it, there’s nothing more fun you can do with a computer that doesn’t involve … well … let us not get into that sticky mess.  But I am about to get into some writing that is much larger than anything that I’ve tried before.  Tomorrow I begin working on the outline for the Nanowrimo story ideas that I have been working on for the last 2 weeks.  How I am going to do this is pretty simple.

In the telling anyway.

Part one:  Story statement.  I am simply going to write the most basic concept out.  Single sentence to at once state what will be written and the point of the story, the aim of the story arc.

Part two:  Chapterization.  Begin to break down the story into sections, being sure to put enough action in to each one.  See how many peaks and valleys the story has and see if it looks and sounds right.

Part three:  Minutiae.  After getting the big picture of what the story is supposed to look like, taking those chapters and breaking them down to their smallest possible pieces.

Part three will take the longest.  I pretty much have section one done on several of the story ideas, but concept tweaking is always  a good thing.  Part two will take some inspiration, but I have no doubt that I can do it pretty quickly.  We’ll see though.

The “otherworld”  story is something that I have been going over in my head for the last few weeks, writing down ideas, asking questions of myself about the story and where I want it to go.  I have been doing much the same thing with the Dystopian American future story and the boy meets girl and fall madly in hate story, though not to the same degree as the “otherworld” story.

Now whether I can, through the month of November write an average of 1666 words a day on a story, is something that will prove difficult.  But I plan on doing it, and hope to not just do it but to exceed that number.  Nanowrimo wants 50,000 words in the month, I am going to try for more than that.  I’ll see how it goes.


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.