January 24th, 2008


[help] A friend is looking for a residential hotel in Portland

This is pretty much for the Portland (or Pacific Northwest) element, but a friend-of-a-friend is looking for residential hotel in Portland. Not the Hampton Inn, but one of those old style places with a cheap room and a hot plate at reasonable weekly rates -- what they used to call a transient hotel. That's a view of the city and its economy I've never had to dive into, so I don't really know much about this.

Any suggestions?

[links] Link salad for a Thursday

The lab route to out of body experiences — I've had two full blown OBEs in my life, under different circumstances. One was an obvious case of self-hypnosis, the other was in connection with a traumatic closed head injury. I've had one "touched by God" moment, which is pretty weird since that happened long after I'd abandoned any pretense of faith. I wrote it off at the time as a sort of emotional fit. Them temporal lobes are pretty interesting things. (Thanks to chriswjohnson.)

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin's Remarks to the Space Transportation Association (with audio) — As chriswjohnson said when he sent me the link, "[This] strikes me as a remarkably detailed and substantive public presentation for the head of a government agency. (Ordinarily, I'd expect sound-bite-oriented material and maximum vagueness from the public statements of someone in such a position.)"

Dilbert on assigning blame — I've actually had almost this exact conversation, at a job years ago. I had argued strongly against a course of action, was finally told point blank to shut up or I'd be fired. The problems I predicted came through in spades. I was called in to management and grilled about why I hadn't tried harder to show them why the project was going to fail so badly.

The meaning of 0 and 100 on the Fahrenheit scale

[links] Link side salad

The remains of the Kursk — Russian nuclear sub wreck brought up from the sea bed. Some awesome photos.

Texan lets cat out of the bag — Kitten takes an airplane trip. Snurched from madrobins.

joysilence really disliked my short story, "The American Dead" — Just a short passage in the middle of a larger review, but phasers were definitely set on "snark."

scott_w_carter on writing, politics, and obsessive tendencies

[writing] Escapement passes another milestone

Just wrapped the Escapement Amazon ] page proofs. I'll have those out to Tor tomorrow. Going to be working on "The Baby Killers" shortly, after conducting some writing related program activities.

In unrelated news, I find myself wondering about predator-prey relationships. Clearly this is a specialization which has occurred over and over again on an evolutionary time scale. Otherwise all predators would be of one line of descent, and all prey of another. Yet aviforms, mammals, fish -- every phylum, every class has this split. What would a biosphere be like where the predator-prey split happens much earlier, and is an unbridgeable gap? Or is this what plants are, to animals?

ETA: This predator-prey thing came from me looking at the wallpaper in the bathroom here at the coffeehouse, which shows a trout striking at an insect. Never a moment wasted in my world!