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Friday, April 29, 2016

F3 Design Problems

            Charlie Nichols was getting tired of the current argument.
“We need power,” Peterson said.
            “Too much mass,” Walker shook his head, pointing at the fusion reactor.
            “The fuel to mass ratio is the best we’re going to get for the size,” Nina said.
            “But we’re talking about one of the largest vehicles we’ve ever sent out. To encompass a fusion reactor, we’re talking bigger than an Apollo module, and you want to send it out of the solar system,” Walker said.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Blur

            It happens ever semester. After the midterm, the semester starts screaming by. This one has been worse than most because of my conference and travel. There are two weeks to go, and I’m behind and just trying to get by. I can’t wait for the semester to end, though. I feel in desperate need of a vacation.
            Yes, I know I just got back, but I’m talking more about down time than travel, though if I had the money I would gladly do it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

M3 Fairy Tales: Beauty and The Beast

Beauty and the Beast
We come now to Beauty and the Beast. I must confess I have a fondness for the more direct, reconstructed version of the story by Jacobs, but we’ll go with the classical story. Also, I want to point out that none of these stories has Gaston, which is a true tragedy (No one fights like Gaston. No one. . . .)

Friday, April 22, 2016

F3 Selling the Idea

            Edward Carr sat two rows behind Macomber as Walker, Nina, and Jennifer went through their presentation. Unlike Peterson, Carr had never been vocal one way or the other about the theories thrown about. Macomber watched all in silence, and Ed was content to wait until the end, despite Peterson’s frequent interruptions.
            Ed lazily sketched on his slate, occasionally looking at the simulation of Hermes crossing the threshold of the heliopause and into interstellar space.
            “We believe this is the point of acceleration,” Jennifer was saying. “Hermes was caught up by dark energy winds—” Ed sat forward at that. “—at a velocity of 1.4 light years per hour. It kind of tumbled through space, buffeted by these winds, and then the mesh was torn loose after 14 minutes, when it lost its superluminal speed.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pax Bound

            It's barely two weeks after my conference, and I’m headed out to Boston for Pax East. It’s time to enjoy some awesome panels, see new games, and play some with some of my best friends. It’s going to be epic, and hopefully the weather will cooperate this time. But it’s Boston, so who knows.

Monday, April 18, 2016

M3 Fairy Tales: Rapunzel

Theft for Theft
            The story outlines a moral code of eye for an eye very quickly. Though many would question the equality of the rapunzel from the garden for the baby, the story makes the inference by naming the child Rapunzel. The sorceress, at least, believes that these are an exchange of equal worth, possibly because the garden is enchanted in some way. The sorceress further operates under this ideal with casting out both Rapunzel and the prince. It is only through the force plot of the story that the prince and Rapunzel reunite for their happily ever after.

Friday, April 15, 2016

F3 Wild Hypothesis

            Jennifer Nichols pinched the bridge of her nose as she looked over the latest figures from Walker and Nina.
            “I’ve gone over the numbers again and again,” Nina said via webcam conference call. “I can’t find any kind of relativistic or Newtonian effect in what we have. Hermes didn’t accelerate or decelerate. It . . . transitioned to superluminal speed, then when the mesh was torn loose, it fell back to sublight.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

My Great Uncle Marvin

            When my parents moved out west, I was cut off from my extended family. I sort of knew my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and my only first cousin, but that was it. Whenever there were family gatherings, it was with people I didn’t know at all, and they had no children my age, so it was always a bunch of adults jabbering away about what adults talk about. I still don’t know what they talk about, since I still choose to talk about movies, comic books, and video games.

Monday, April 11, 2016

M3 Fairy Tales: The Brave Little Tailor

            This week we tackle the Brave little tailor.

Ascend station
            The fairy tale demonstrates an unusual phenomenon in that it is possible to ascend to a higher station in life. The tailor, a simple commoner, is able to change from a simple commoner to marrying into royalty. The story clearly shows that such change is not natural, as the royalty who finds out about it wants the Tailor removed from their presence for his low station in life. The stratified society is a medieval staple, and one that should not be able to be transcended. Despite the tailor’s ability to make the change, he will never gain true acceptance.

Friday, April 8, 2016

F3 Revised Timeframe

            Dr. Nina Elsbeth swallowed hard as she followed Edward Carr to the conference room. She wondered if she had spoken out of turn at the open announcement regarding Hermes. It had been a struggle to fit in with the “good old boys” of ISA, despite all claims that any kind of sexism had long been eliminated. Sure, she hadn’t had to endure any kind of hazing beyond math proofs, which any graduate student could handle. But in general she kept to herself and tried to do her job to the best of her ability, calculating orbital paths for the Helios flybys of Venus and Mercury on the way to the Sun. Helios would test a radical type of magnetic particle shield to deflect radiation and heat away from the satellite.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Conference Presentation Part Deux

            This weekend I’ll be at the Desert Dreams Romance Writing conference presenting on Fairy tales as I did in September at Fiction Fest. I hope this conference goes as well as the last, but it’s local, so I don’t have the rigors of travel, this time.
            Wish me luck.

Monday, April 4, 2016

M3 Fairy Tales: Rumplestiltskin

            Since I’m presenting on Fairy tales again, I thought I would take the time to look at some more fairy tales during April, and given the April Fool’s holiday, I thought I might focus on mischief and trickster figures in fairy tales, so we start with Rumpelstiltskin.

Friday, April 1, 2016

F3 The Joke's on Them

            Jim Macomber sat in the conference room, waiting for his team to straggle in. Just prior to the general announcement, Jim had sent out emails with copies of the findings to all departments, including the director. His email alerts started to chime in, all with variations of, “Nice one,” “try harder next year,” “Ha ha,” and “Not falling for it this time.” Next came the message from Tom Paulson, the Secretary of Space Affairs.
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