March 9th, 2009


[links] Link salad has another manic Monday

At what age were you first published? [ | LiveJournal ] — Already some good responses there.

Guy Gavriel Kay on writers, readers and blogging

Nine Lives: 1910Shorpy with a bit of airship history. Read the comments.

Charlie Stross Wrong About Space Colonization and Singularity

Why do killer asteroids fascinate us? — Because we are a culture of twelve-year-old boys?

World Subways — To quote thirdworld, from whom I snurched this via Twitter: The subway systems of the world, presented on the same scale. Kind of vascular systems for civilization.

Tropical Turtle Fossil Found in the Arctic

Alien World Conditions Explored — on Earth

The Russian government rewrites history. Again. — (Thanks to danjite.)

?otD: Do rainy days and automatic weapons get you down?

Body movement: 45 minute stationary bike ride
This morning's weigh-in: 221.8
Currently reading: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade by Herman Melville; Watchmen by Alan Moore etc.

Originally published at


[polls|writing] A bit more on the age of first publication poll

Age of First Publication (103 respondents)

With 103 respondents, the curve stays fairly similar to its earlier version [ | LiveJournal ]. There is certainly a polling artefact in place due my imprecision in crafting the question — judging from comments, some people cited their first appearance in a school paper etc., others cited their first professional publication.

At the same time, I suspect even with a much better crafted survey instrument we'd see a similar, if perhaps less dramatic curve. I'll generalize thusly: some people come to writing with enough raw talent to begin publishing early, and then grow into their craft. Those are the writers who started young. Some people (myself included) have to serve their decade+ of apprenticeship and write their million+ bad words, which explains the 31-35 bump.

There's no defensible methodology here, it's an amateur Internet survey with a self-selected response pool, but I still find this most interesting. Per a suggestion from ruthannereid, I'll mount a poll in a few days on time-to-first-publication, measuring from the first serious effort. (In my case, 11 years; see above.)

Your thoughts? Other ways to look at this?

Originally published at


[personal] Ain't no change in the weather

I have finally knuckled under and joined a health club. I am interested in a wider variety in my exercise routine, and in developing some strength training, especially in my abdominal core which is still weaker than it was before the cancer surgery. Happily, the gym I've joined has a trainer willing to work at 4:30 am, so tomorrow instead of walking or hitting the exercise bike, I'll be driving 5 minutes to the gym for my first session with a personal trainer.

This will be interesting.

Originally published at