Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Friday Fun Links for the Domestics

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

So, today, my Friday Fun Links have a theme.

I’m not sure if it was the cleaning this week or what, but I’ve been feeling very, well, um, “domestic”. So, my fun links this week pretty much all have to do with things around the house, or housing itself.
Okay, so let’s start from the outside and work our way in. First, I have a link to some interesting plans for an 11 foot by 7 foot flat in London. Apparently inspired by a janitor’s closet with a bathroom that sold for £170,000 in London’s upmarket Chelsea, the plan is really quite ingeneous.
Now, let’s talk furnishings… If you’ve just spent $335,000 on a large broom closet, you probably don’t have much left over for furnature, so it’ll be IKEA for you. No worries, though, thanks to the IKEA Hacker blog. Yes, the stuff on that blog all started life as humble IKEA flatpack that got modified into something wonderful. I especially like the breakfast nook for two.
But, you’ll need light for this tiny hovel, right? Well, thanks to Gizmodo, you can light your flat with the coolest, freakiest science-fiction lamps ever. Also, you can use the coolest, hippest, most radically arty light switches ever to turn the lights on. I thought the pool ball switch was cool for the mini-flat, since it was described as being about the size of a billards table.
But, wait! There’s more! Since this flat would be so totally strapped for space, there’d be no room for a rack of cookbooks in the kitchen, er, make that, by the tiny hotplate and microwave. So, instead, use the Digital Cookbook that’s the size and shape of a spatula!
And, finally, in a barely related story, if you can squeeze into the fridge, get out some Ben and Jerry’s Steven Colbert’s Americone Dream ice cream. No, I’m not making that up, but, also no, it’s not quite available yet. Yet.

So, there you have it, a geek getting domestic and working on too little sleep. Enjoy your links and your Friday!
And, yes, this did appear on my other blog, Diary of a Network Geek.


Red Herring Collection, Vol. 3

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Okay, there is no theme to this at all.

Well, I guess, links I saw this week that made me scratch my head could be a theme, but, whatever…
First, as many of us are thinking about our taxes and how to pay less of them to the government, this story from MSN about the 9 wierdest tax write-offs made me laugh. I especially liked the one about the pimped out Amish buggy.
Then, there was this story about RFID tattoos. My first thought was that it would be an interesting way to track your kids, but, apparently, they’re using it to track livestock. Which makes sense, since meat is the most shoplifted item in the stores. I mean, meat isn’t cheap, so it wouldn’t surprise me to find out how much gets stolen on the hoof, too. And, I’m sure it’d be easier for other kinds of record keeping, too.
The last wacky link is to a story about the iPod index. Well, to be more specific, an index to track currency values based on the cost of an iPod. Apparently, an Australian bank is using the iPod as a commodity on which to place relative values of world currency. I wonder if it’s occurred to them that shipping and manufacturing costs in various parts of the world might skew that index? Well, anyway, iPod fanataics already know ours are like gold.

So, now, I’ve hopefully given you something to read that ends your week with a chuckle.
Enjoy your Friday Fun links!
(And, yes, this also appeared on my other blog, Diary of a Network Geek.)


Happy Birthday Issac!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

It’s the birthday of one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, Isaac Asimov, who was born in Petrovichi, Russia in 1920. He came with his family to the United States when he was three years old and his parents opened a candy shop in Brooklyn. Issac grew up to become a professor of biochemistry at the Boston University School of medicine and in 1950 he published his first novel Pebble in the Sky.

About the same time Asimov took part in writing a textbook for medical students and he found that he loved explaining complicated things in ordinary language, and so he set out to write about science for the general public, in language they would understand. He said, “Little by little my science writing swallowed up the rest of me.”
Asimov developed a regimen of working ten hours a day, seven days a week, producing between two and five thousand words a day. Asimov’s method was to write a book about any subject that interested him but which he didn’t fully understand. He used writing as a way of teaching himself about everything.
By 1970 Asimov had written more than a hundred books and he began branching out into areas other than science. He wrote about nuclear physics and organic chemistry, history, Greek mythology, astronomy, religion, in addition to his collections of limericks, mystery novels, autobiography and science fiction. By the time of his death in 1992 he had published more than 400 books.


Two Famous Birthdays!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Today is the birthday of two very important science-fiction writers.
The first is science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick, who was born in Chicago in 1928. He wrote many novels that pushed the edge of science-fiction a little further out, making room for the cyberpunk movement to follow him. Some of his work includes Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Minority Report (which is a collection of short stories), We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (another short story collection), and A Scanner Darkly. Since his death in 1982, many of his novels and short stories have been made into movies, including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990) and Minority Report (2002).

It’s also the birthday of the science fiction novelist Arthur C. Clarke, who was born in Somerset, England in 1917. He’s the author of many science fiction novels, including Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey(which was written in the year of my birth!), and Rendevous with Rama. He is also famous for inventing the concept of the communications satellite.


Red Herring Collection, Vol 2

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rat which is in the wee hours.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

O, wow, it’s been another long week.

My job is eating me alive, so I have another collection of semi-random links for you this week, again. Though, most of them seem to have an underlying theme…
First, on Gizmodo, I have a link to a jetpack convention. The interesting thing about this to me, is that there are enough people who own jetpacks to justify an actual convention about it.
Next is a link to a stroy on Street Tech about personal, flying, transportation devices, which reinforces the whole idea that a convention is really a good idea after all. (Trust me on this one and follow the link then check out the WASP. It looks so Logan’s Run to me that I just love it to death!)
But, if that’s not enough, you can try either the palmsize microcopter, for fun, or a story on about levitating small animals via sound waves. Yes, it’s actually a ral thing and not a hoax or clever picture. Freaky.

But, now it’s late, or early depending on your point of view, so since I don’t have either the breakfast art toaster to welcome me in the morning or the antidepressant pillows to welcome me to bed when I snap, I’d best get off to bed for a couple hours, before I do it all again!
Happy Friday! (grumble)


Dig It!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

My regular readers may not even know this…

But, I’ve had a long-time obsession with things like steam tunnels, bomb shelters and other abandoned, underground structures. Not to the point of risking my life to explore them, but they’ve always fascinated me.
Well, today’s Friday Fun Links are all brought to you via Boing Boing, and have an underground theme. First, there’s a giant, underground marijuana growing operation. Hey, if these guys can raise weed underground, maybe we can raise food crops and survive a nuclear war!
Next, we have the urban legend that the infamous Seymour Cray, of Cray supercomputer fame, was a secret, compulsive tunneler. Sadly, this turns out to not be anywhere close to the truth, but it sure made a great story!
The next link is to an actual, albiet less genius-like, tunneler in the UK. I mean, look at that guy in the picture. Doesn’t he look like the kind of guy who tunnel under the neighbors?
And, finally, there’s the infinitely more upbeat and fun, Tunnel-Digging as a Hobby. The peppy 1932 copy and clean illustrations sure make it seem appealing, don’t they?

Sadly, in Houston, if I were to tunnel, I’d probably be underwater before I got more than three or four feet. Besides, I have a lot of writing to catch up on if I’m going to even come close on this NaNoWriMo thing! Enjoy the Friday Fun links! (And, yes, this is recycled from my other blog, Diary of a Network Geek. So sue me, it’s been a busy week!)


Search Terms

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning.
The moon is a Full Moon

So far this year, May has been my biggest web traffic month.

I had an average of over 6500 hits per day in May and these were the search terms that brought people to my site:

# Hits Search String
1 69 5.79% scroll comments
2 59 4.95% fantasy names
3 42 3.52% oceanside
4 36 3.02% scroll
5 16 1.34% funny name generator
6 15 1.26% free timeline generator
7 14 1.17% free graph paper
8 13 1.09% invetions
9 12 1.01% military phrases
10 11 0.92% fantasy map making
11 10 0.84% demon voices
12 8 0.67% alien landscape
13 8 0.67% fantasist
14 7 0.59% chrome girl
15 6 0.50% funny fantasy names
16 6 0.50% how fast can a swallow fly
17 6 0.50% how to write in elvish
18 6 0.50% military robots
19 6 0.50% novel title generator
20 6 0.50% word generators

Now, you might be asking yourself why I’m mentioning this… Well, that’s a good question.  It’s a test, of sorts.  A little experiment to see if it’s the content or the search terms that make the biggest difference.  I’m betting that my hits go up for at least the day or so after I post this and then drop off.

Well, only one way to know for sure!


Hoffman’s Quartet Possible

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Or, putting a little more science into science-fiction.

Way back in the Old Days, before I was so weighed down with bills and obligations to creditors, I dreamed that I’d pay my way writing science-fiction.  As a result of that dream, I commissioned one Sheridan Simon to build a solar system for me.  Specifically, a system with four habitable worlds that might have developed independantly.  The result was far more than I could have hoped for and I made that available via this website some time ago, as Hoffman’s Quartet.

Now, however, it seems that Dr. Simon was  more spot on than I could have imagined, lo, those many years ago.  Just recently, National Geographic ran a news story talking about habitable planets circling so-called “hot Jupiters”, which are more properly “brown dwarfs”.  Back in 1992, when Sheridan Simon crafted this hypothetical world system for me, that’s precisely how he got me my requested four habitable worlds.
It’s been interesting over the years to see the several pseudo predictions he made in creating that extra-solar system for me come true.  Or, more accurately, becore more popular.  I wish he were still around to see it, but, sadly, Sheridan Simon passed away a number of years ago.
Maybe I’ll take up that system again and write a story or two, dedicated to Dr. Simon.  Just because that world system has become timely again, and, somehow, evokes an interesting flavor of nostalgia in me.  Ah, the good old days.  Everything old is new again.

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