Wow! I had the honor of being interviewed by S. Evan Townshead on his radio blog about my science fiction trilogy, The Brin Archives. This is a weekly blog broadcast Mr. Townshead conducts and is fairly well known in the scifi world. For anyone who is interested, here is the interview.
When I stared this journey of becoming an author, I was excited by the thought of actually writing a book that others would want to pay for. After the success of my first book, Hegira, I saw the opportunity of turning it into a series, and thus was born The Brin Archives, a scifi trilogy.
Then something unexpected happened. When I realized I was done writing the series, I began to miss the characters I had created. It was the same feeling I had when I retired from teaching and began to miss the kids and classroom, or my colleagues. These were, at least in my mind, were real individuals. I had spent over three years developing them, and learning about them, and came to care about them. I felt sadness when I had to have some of them die to advance the plot, but now I was never going to see any of them again.
I guess this is why many authors, at least many of the ones I know, are mostly loners. Our characters fill our heads and don't leave much room for a lot of other people. Or is that just me? Authors frequently say the characters of their books tell them what to write, so I suspect it's not just me at all. These folks are apparently real as far as my emotional state is concerned, and I will miss them.
I hope I can develop a similar relationship with the characters of my future books.
I'm not sure if anyone out there is interested in what is going on inside my head, but, just in case, here are some random thoughts that I think about from time-to-time:
Museums are incredible! They archive, preserve and share our collective knowledge and history as humans. Where else can you go to one place and see art, outer space, gems, and dinosaurs all in one place?
Halloween is the best holiday ever! No religious controversy, just fun! You can dress up as horrible murderous beasts, rampage the neighborhood extorting people for candy, and everyone thinks it is great fun!
The colors of autumn are incredible, until they litter up my yard and I have to rake them up. Maybe someday somebody will invent a device to capture or collect the falling leaves, and package them up, before they hit the ground.
Grandkids are incredible. Watching your kids struggle through the same struggles you went through with them is somehow very satisfying. We get to sit back, nod sympathetically, and say something like "Yes, we know exactly what you mean. But we already went through this with you. Now it is your turn."
What exactly is gravity? How can space-time warp?
Why is the old Looney Tunes character Marvin the Martian only a minor character? He is the best ever!
How can people like Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Albert Einstein, Joseph Stalin, Hitler, and Timothy McVeigh all come from the same DNA?
Telephones are creepy. There is just something odd about a disembodied vice coming out of a tiny object I carry in my pocket.
It is too bad we cannot sit in a park and just talk with kids anymore. Too much fear, justifiable for sure, but still a shame. Kids think in such incredible ways and say the best stuff. Working with kids as an educator, formal and informal, has been an amazing experience.
If everyone was just nice to others, get to know those who are different from us in whatever way they may be, cared for the benefit of all of us, not just our self, then just maybe this world would be a better place. Why is that so hard for so many?
The only reason to eat dinner is to have desert. Preferably ice cream and cookies.
That's it for now. No judgments please. I already know I am odd. Thanks for reading.
Speculative fiction, stories that range from fights for freedom to battles to survive. We revel in tales of the past meeting the future, of humanity overcoming adversity. Join these six talented authors on a journey through the time/space continuum, where imaginations run wild and events don’t turn out as you might think they should.
Can society exist without libraries?
Time travel is not for the timid.
On her way to invade another world, Clara makes incredible discoveries.
Pay monthly to live or die.
Josey finds an AA meeting.
Knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Six science fiction tales that cover the spectrum from speculation to far off worlds. Join with these talented authors for an experience you won’t soon forget: Debbie De Louise, Jim Cronin, E.B. Sullivan, K.A. Meng, Nicole Luttrell, and Ken Newman.
I had the opportunity to see the total eclipse in person. The experience is almost beyond my ability to describe. For my entire life I have read about and seen photos about eclipses, so how could the experience possibly live up to the hype? Right? Well, it did, and then some, many times over. Staring up into the sky at 11:44, nearly noon, and watching the sun vanish, leaving an incredibly black hole in the sky, showed me just how real the fear of the ancients who witnessed these events was. The sun just does not disappear in the middle of the day! Something hugely significant must be happening!
Even with our current knowledge of exactly what is going on, the awe was palpable. The sudden nightfall, the corona, planets and stars appearing, the diamond ring and Bailey's beads... all of it was there! I see now why people spend every opportunity chasing eclipses around the world. I don't know if I will ever see another, I hope too, but I'm getting kind of old now, but I will definitely cling to the hope of seeing just one more.
If you ever get even the remote chance to see a total eclipse, don't settle for less. Even 96% is not close to the experience of the real thing. In the immortal words of my favorite sci-fi captain... "Make it so!"
On Monday, August 21, we all have the chance to be a part of history. While somewhere on the Earth has a total eclipse every one or two years, this is one for the record books. Pretty much everyone in the continental U.S. will be in range of viewing at least a partial eclipse. Several major cities, home to millions of people, will be in the path of totality. Approximately 1/3 of the population of the country will be within a 24 hour drive of this path of totality. More people will have a chance to see the total eclipse this time than any other in history.
First of all, lets do it safely. If you want to watch the eclipse PLEASE make sure you are using official ISO / CE certified solar glasses. The approval seal is found printed right on the glasses. This is the ONLY way to safely view the sun directly. See the photo below for what the glasses and their seal look like.
If you cannot find any solar viewing glasses, there are ways to safely view the eclipse indirectly.
1. Visit your local science museum for a viewing party / event. Most will have experts and set-ups to see the eclipse.
2. Watch the NASA live stream of the eclipse:
3. Make your own pinhole camera:
Remember: Never us binoculars, telescopes, or other magnifiers unless you have professional, expert assistance to make sure you are using these devices safely. Also, welder's goggles, smoked glass, sunglasses, even layers of sunglasses, are NOT safe. Do Not Use Them.
Stay safe out there everyone, and Happy Eclipse viewing!
My son is one of thousands of firefighters working for the U.S. Forest Service. These incredible men and women risk their lives daily to protect our forests, as well as our property and lives. Please be careful with all fire, and pay close attention to any fire bans listed in your area. They are there for your protection.
In part 2 of my series on evidence against science conspiracy theorists, I want to tackle a video I found about some so-called "proofs" for a flat earth.
There are some absolutely outrageous things being said out there in the ongoing attempts of Creationists to prove their case. In this video, however, some blatantly false and easily countered claims are made. Please watch as I react to some of the claims. To learn more about the actual science on evolution, follow the links shown at the end of the video to some reliable websites from highly reputable sources. Thank you for watching. More to come in the near future. If you have any websites you want me to watch and react to, or if you want to suggest a particular topic, send me a comment.
There are so many people today who dismiss the importance of science. Unfortunately, many of them are our elected officials who are responsible for deciding how many programs, embedded in science and technology, receive their funding. Many continue to support the well de-bunked, misinformed notion of vaccines causing all manner of health issues, deny climate change, support creationism as a valid alternative science to evolution, and many other science issues. Scientists are vilified as elitist puppets of a liberal agenda.
Have we forgotten that the world we live in today is here, to a great extent, because of science? Take a look around you. I be you will be hard pressed to not find a dozen or more items you depend on every day, even take for granted, within one minute of your observation. Let me help remind you of some of the critical things we use every day which might not be quite so obvious:
And let's not forget the more obvious: cell phones, laptops, solar panels, wind turbines, gasoline, LED lighting, electricity, cars, airplanes, televisions, movies, and pretty much all the other modern conveniences we appreciate so much.
Now maybe this lack of awareness is simply due to the fact that so many of us do not understand how science works, or that only incredibly brilliant people can possibly understand science. NONSENSE! Most of us actually do science every day. We form hypothesis, informed guesses about how something we want to accomplish might turn out. We experiment, try various methods of accomplishing the task, and then come to a conclusion about which strategy worked best. That, in a nut shell, is science. Nothing mysterious or mystical about it. Science is simply a prescribed strategy for learning how the physical world around us works. If more of us took the time to learn more about the process of science, maybe we wouldn't be so afraid of it.
To get you started, here is a link to a very simple, easy to understand website designed to teach us how science works: