Saturday, September 27, 2014

Everybody Eats Everybody on Sunday's Planet, by Jeff Swycaffer

I was remembering this story, which I'd enjoyed in Dragon Magazine years ago, so I did a search, and the whole issue is archived as a PDF here:

The story involves an ousted dictator who flees assassination to land his damaged starship on an apparently deserted planet, where his attempts to repeat his dominion are met with an unusual rebuff.

Also, aliens try to eat him. Repeatedly. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Kommissar, the boardgame of hilariously misunderstanding the Soviet Union

This game sounds hilarious for what it reveals about America, basically. Also, kind of sounds fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Text mechanic: online tools to manipulate text

For people who [can't be bothered to learn EMACS/have never heard of EMACS/are sick of hearing about EMACS], this must be really, really sweet.

I bet I'll find uses for it too.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"What the Elfmaid Brought" by Stephen Reid Case

I was particularly impressed with the story "What the Elfmaid Brought" which was the feature story last Friday on Daily Science Fiction.

I liked the hints of a world with modern sensibilities mixed with fairly Tolkienesque elves and powerful magic. I loved the image of a wizard perplexed by the protagonist's mysterious library, when the wizard himself manifests only as a ball of light.

Most of all I liked the deeply romantic -- in both senses -- ending.

Daily Science Fiction features slightly longer stories on Fridays, and I often find I enjoy them more. I like to read and write supershort flash fiction, but also feel that it is more hit or miss: it's that much harder to please a wide audience with a very short piece.

Or maybe that's an exccuse. Nevermind. Go read this one and enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Transitioning to renewable energy; Boulder's success

Very interesting video about Boulder, CO taking its energy policy into its own hands, with big companies fighting hard against it:

...and a detailed article about the same:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

There is no skills gap with American workers

Here's an interesting New York Times article that says the idea that American workers have a skills gap is nonsense:

This is interesting because it calls the concern about a skills gap a 'zombie idea', one that isn't true but that nonetheless refuses to die. I'm interested in that sort of thing, that "how we know what isn't so" thing.  Also, it mentions how the idea benefits corporations and their executives.

In fact, this is a good time to mention the book How We Know What Isn't So by Thomas Gilovich, which I very much enjoyed. It explains misinformation and wrong beliefs by examining biases and heuristics in our psychology. I read it in 2009, and I recommend it.