Archive for June 2015

Epic Adventure!   1 comment

Newfie Iceberg



It’s that time of year, in these parts of the world, at least, that one rises off of one’s bottom and seeks adventure, or a break from the routine, at least.  This New York State person is headed out, way out, to the above pictured place.  Can you guess where that might be?

Gas is relatively cheap now.  Put that together with the American love of cars.  The result?  Pack it to the gills and set off somewhere that you’ve never been before.  See, the advantage of a road trip is that you don’t have to juggle weights in suitcases to shove them in a 747’s cargo hold.  You have the absolute freedom to take every single pair of pants you own, twenty pairs of shoes, all your T-shirts, most of your sweaters and about eighty percent of your socks and underwear.  So what if the trunk won’t close – there’s no weight restriction!

Andrew and I decided we’d head off to Atlantic Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.  I’ve been to Canada a bunch of times, just not there.  Andrew’s never set foot in the country.  I happen to think it’s a fine place worth visiting over and over again.  It is, after all, right next door.

As a kid, I dreamed of going to Nova Scotia after seeing such dramatic photos of the Bay of Fundy in a National Geographic magazine.  Having grown up on the New Jersey shore, the Atlantic there seemed pretty tame, only eating up a relatively small chunk of the beach at high tide.  Here, the beach either vanished entirely or the ocean disappeared.  Wow!  Years later, after Andrew and I married, he showed me the dramatic tides in Cornwall, England, where he’s from.  That was pretty cool, but my curiosity about the Bay of Fundy never abated.

I trolled the Internet looking for cool places to visit and pretty soon, the itinerary filled up with New Brunswick – we’re crossing in Maine and I want to see Campobello Island (where President Roosevelt contracted polio and left him crippled).  Then up to Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland added spots in our must-see list.  Tell you what, though, this website for Newfoundland won me over.  It’s not like I didn’t want to see it, this quirky website made it impossible not to.

No trip is complete without a reading list.  It’s going to be time for me to catch up on my classic sci-fi and I’m bringing along a selection of Asimov, Bradbury and one or two others to read, mostly on that 8-hour ferry ride between New Sydney, NS and Newfoundland.  Andrew’s reading “Existence” by David Brin and “The Martian” by Andy Weir.  I fully intend to abscond with both at some point.

But for now, as we set out on our epic adventure, I might just stare out the window and enjoy the sites on our own fair planet.  Or look up and see my favorite constellations in different places.  Cross fingers, there could be an aurora – sunspot activity’s been kicking up.  I’m hoping to find enough wi-fi sites to do a few postings.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll see one of those icebergs drifting by.


Aliens of the Animal World   Leave a comment

Writing is hard, let’s face it.  Inspiration is short, patience nonexistent.  And there you are, sitting in front of your computer, in absolute agony, trying to conjure up an image of a beast that’s the favorite companion of the King of Darcoia, that planet just to the left of Asysamia, right out there in the Booidad Triad.  He’s been looking for a pet since his wife left him and his kids pretty much blew him off.  What more can a person need than unconditional love from a favored snuggleupicus?  Or your favorite little mumuchka?


Matilda.  Credit:

On Huffington Post this week, an article regarding an adorable little creature appeared.  She seemed fresh from another planet, ready and willing to charm anyone with her cute face and eyes like those of the Greys/Grays.  Was she the product of an experiment, perhaps some intergalactic cross-breeding?  Sure seems it, eh?  This is exactly the sort of creature you’d see in a parody of space films OR a serious new race of aliens bearing the dual purpose of charming the natives to deceive them cruelly.


Oh yes, another creature that defies explanation – the tardigrade.  It’s actually microscopic, but from the looks of it, a tardigrade most certainly bears the features of an alien.  It’s so puffy and wrinkly, yet it’s got that cog-like snout – does it adjust the puff/wrinkle setting somehow?


The Blobfish almost reminds me of the cartoon character Ziggy, drawn by Tom Wilson.  Got to admit, there’s a VERY strong resemblance.  However, before you draw conclusions, what you see is the result of bringing a deep water fish up to the surface, where the pressure is much different.  Here’s an artist’s drawing of what a blobfish really looks like deep below the ocean’s surface:

Underwater Blobfish

Blobfish hold the distinction of being internet celebrities and rate many YouTube shorts.  Here’s a good one that offers not only a little informational tidbit but music inspired by it:

dumbo octopus


Science calls this Grimpoteuthis, but it’s more popularly known as the Dumbo Octopus. I say it’s one of those creatures where you give it a squeeze and its little snout pops out.  Or, one plops it on top of one’s cubicle wall and invites people to ask silly questions about it.  They’re actually very graceful swimmers and resemble a sort-of elephant when full grown; the above is a baby.

And lastly…here’s a real cutie for ya:

Bunny Wally 2

As seen on Gawker

This is a bunny named Wally.  No, I don’t know how it got this way but geez, it sure is cute, ain’t it?

Pets are great muses.  Mine sure is.  No writer is complete without one.

Tina and Books


Posted June 18, 2015 by seleneymoon in Aliens, Sci-Fi, science fiction

Tagged with , , ,

The Versatility of Black Holes   Leave a comment

Black Hole Toy

There’s been a lot of talk about black holes lately and it seems our fascination with them never quits.  Even the term ‘black hole’ joined our lexicon long ago (“Can’t figure out what I did with my keys; it’s like they fell into a black hole or something” – c’mon, admit it, you’ve generated versions of this phrase, haven’t you?).

So, strolling around the web, I’d thought I’d make an informal list of things Black Hole:

1.  Wired Magazine’s blog entry by Geek Dad, Black Hole Fun – Wired’s Guide to What Sucks – “10 Sci-Fi Movies we’d like to throw in a Black Hole.”  The list starts with Disney’s “The Black Hole” movie and goes down from there.  I don’t necessarily agree with his choice of the Matrix sequels (true, they were’t as strong as the original, but they had moments) or “Star Trek V” (although it isn’t the best entry in the field, it’s not that bad.), but I completely agree with his assessment of the others.  I happened to watch “Lost in Space” movie the other night, mainly because there wasn’t anything else on and I didn’t feel like doing anything else, and MAN, I gotta tell ya, it sucked.  I mean, who can honestly grasp the concept/irony of Matt Le Blanc playing a space jockey?

2.  Here’s a University in Colorado’s list, current to 2006, of a lot of Black Hole fiction in paper and film.  It’s really good.  Students get 2% extra credit for finding more sources to add to the list.

3.  Just in case you were curious, here’s Disney’s “The Black Hole” film.

4. Noisey – Music by VICE – blogged about Weezer’s lost science fiction rock opera, “Songs from the Black Hole.”  I used to be a huge fan of Weezer, until they stopped putting out good music a while ago.  Shame.

5.  You can get a 2006 forgettable version of “The Black Hole” on Amazon for $1.31.  US currency, that is.  Apparently, it seems there’s one available for a penny, but it’s a used version.

2006 The Black Hole

6.  Here’s Wendy Merrill’s advice on the black hole of bad follow up.

7.  Apple music contract will punch a black hole in the music industry.

8.  A 9.28.14 article from The Daily Beast declares black holes exist, and so does bad science.  The article discusses a paper that two physicists wrote that claim black holes can’t exist.

9.  I want this in my backyard…NOW!

10.  And, of course, no list would be complete without UFOs and black holes.  Here’s an article from the website Open Minds that discusses an Oregon witness says a UFO emitted a black hole sort of energy.

The Huggable Project   Leave a comment


In the New York Times, I read and watched a near tear-jerker of a video from their Robotica series.  In this episode, the video tells the story of Beatrice Lipp, a young child who’s suffering from a chronic disease.  She’s had one too many visits to the pediatric hospital and is both frightened and stressed.  She hates going and misses her life at school and with her friends. To ease this situation, a special friend is brought in to rescue her from the tedium she faces.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology teamed up with Boston Children’s hospital to develop Huggable, a robotic bear that’s absolutely adorable.  She interacts with Beatrice and the effect she has is nothing short of amazing.  This poor kid transformed from sad to so cheerful interacting with Huggable.  Beatrice reaches out to touch the bear, smiles and laughs as Huggable seems to respond to her questions and conversation.  Nearby, a programmer keeps watch on the action of both the bear and child and acts as a cyber puppeteer, moving the arms, legs and head of Huggable, even controlling eye blinks.

It’s really a positive step forward in the world of robotics and a lovely video to watch.

The top video is a description of the project from MIT, and although academic, is nonetheless interesting to watch.  Please enjoy both.

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