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Monday, November 15, 2010

An Entire Generation Brainwashed

It may have been earlier, and it may have been someone else, but I say Carl Sagan did it, on the BBC in the 80s, with Cosmos. I refer, of course, to the pernicious mispronunciation of 'Uranus'.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mr Gorsky Was Obviously Behind it All

Earlier today, I went to a talk in the Science Gallery which asked a simple question: were the moon landings real? Given the location of the talk it was obvious that the answer to this was going to be "yes". I confess, though, that I was holding out a small glimmer of hope that our esteemed speaker was going to try and convince us that it was all a hoax. Alas, 'twas not to be, so I'll have to continue waiting for an opportunity to verbally abuse a guy at a lectern.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Perils of Pedantry

For the second time this week, I found myself talking about a couple of things that had me struggling to answer. Not because I didn't know what I wanted to say, but because the questioner wanted a one word answer, and I couldn't bring myself to give one.

The questions were, in essence, "do you believe in UFOs" and "do you believe in aliens?" The answer to both questions is, of course, "yes". But an answer that better represented my thoughts would be "no".

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hooray for Baen!

The guiding philosophy of this blog since its inception has been "if you can't say something mean, don't say anything at all." However, the odd nice comment does slip through, and this is one of those occasions.

Baen have long been a publisher who've recognised the power of the internet and, indeed, of letting people read their books for free. When they first started letting people download their stuff, they made the first volume of a bunch of series available on the assumption that if the reader was suitably impressed, the likelihood of purchasing subsequent volumes (and, indeed, those that were downloaded) would increase. They've since expanded their range of freebies, so we can infer that they were right in their assumptions (have a look at their rationale on their Free Library page).