Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Month: November 2006

Nanotechnology vs. Bigfoot

This is more of a grab bag. I heard two very interesting podcasts, one on Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch) and one on nano-soldering iron. So the title of this post is very misleading because they have little to do with each other. I listen to lots of podcasts. In fact I even produce one called the Conestoga Podcast for our local science fiction convention in Tulsa, OK. I’m proud of the fact we are the 2nd convention podcast after Balticon. I need to survey to see what other con podcasts are out there now. Anyway back to interesting podcasts.

Podcast 1) nano soldering iron. The word nano is much abused these days because it’s sexy, trendy. Anyway but this is real nano-tech. The implications are macro. Richard Feynman is the grandfather of nanotechnology. Anway, this nano soldering iron can repair microchips. I used to do some soldering when I repaired two-way radios and I was just getting into surface mount repair for very tiny on the millimeter size for resistors etc. I never had the proper setup but I managed to do a few repairs if I was very careful. So I was much impressed with this device.

The major implication of this device is on a macroscopic, nay, a global scale. It costs billions of dollars to build a microchip factory and they take up acres and acres, not to mention the use of toxic chemicals and the destruction of the environment to get things like coltan mining for tantalum. With a device like this a microchip factory could be placed in a shoebox, literally reducing the footprint of semiconductor manufacturing to the size of a footprint. Well a pair of them anyway.

Podcast 2) bigfoot. Yes, Bigfoot, Sasquatch, that elusive chick in the hairy ape suit as seen in the movie. I heard a science friday about Sasquatch and I was impressed. The scientist interviewed presented some convincing evidence that Bigfoot may indeed exist. I know I was just a shocked as you are now. Does that mean the Loch Ness monster, UFOs (as aliens from outer space or another dimension), and Yeti exist too? No. I forgot to mention crop circles. Not them either. Crop circles are proven hoaxes. There is no evidence for Nessie and one famous photo has been revealed to be a hoax. As for UFOs as extraterrestrials/extradimensionals, I have only this to say. With the vast improvements in optical technology why do we have we only gone from fuzzy film to fuzzy digital video? So that leaves Sasquatch. I thought it was a proven hoax.

Apparrently not.

There are plenty of bigfoot hoaxes. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Jane Goodall said she wanted to believe they exist and that they do. So here you have a primate expert putting her two cents in. She could be wrong but that’s how science works. Meldrum who was interviewed on Science Friday talked about the famous Patterson-Gimlin film and that he’s convinced it’s not a hoax. There are articles on how difficult it would have been to fake in 1967 when it was taken. That is not proof. It’s like the evidence for water on Mars (past and present). We have enough evidence to warrant further investigation. Something is there. It needs to be explored further. So as with the film something is there and needs to be investigated further.

Today the film could be produced with CGI. I’d like to see a reproduction using a costume using today’s technology and camera tricks. Obviously we need proof that Sasquatch exists not to establish the film is not a hoax. If it could be proved it wasn’t a hoax something hard to that’s not enough. The creature shown has pendulous breasts and a saggital crest. This does seem to smack of Piltdown hoaxing. And it was filmed at Bluff Creek. Ironic location? And now I find this article about Patterson. It’s a review of a book that claims Patterson was a con man.

I’m reading all this information on the Internet. So it’s hard to distinguish the claims because both make convincing arguments based on their evidence. I don’t know if Bigfoot exists but I hope it does though as I read more the convincing evidence seems less convincing. I am willing to continue to explore the issue.

My other speculation is this and probably the least likely: Human and Chimpanzee DNA is very close. They could produce offspring but no one has tried. Nor should they. Horse and Donkey DNA is further apart than Humans and Chimps and they can produce mules. How far apart is Gorilla and Human DNA? Could they produce live offspring? What would a Human-Gorilla hybrid look like? Sasquatch? It might make an interesting science fiction story.

In the end I hope Bigfoot/Sasquatch exists that there is some large elusive primate roaming the Pacific Northwest, but if proven that’ll be a sad day. There are implications for environmental and habitat protection. Someone will probably go and kill one or more. And the hordes will descend on their range and habitat disrupting their way of life.

Update – I am somewhat dissapointed but upon further research I appear to be wrong. Just because I heard it on Science Friday doesn’t make it true. I decided to check what a reputable skeptic source had to say about Bigfoot (Bigfoot at 50) and it doesn’t look very promising. Just because I’d like something to exist doesn’t mean it does, sigh. At least I can use it as a possible story idea. Oh, well Arthur Conan Doyle the creator of the worlds greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, believed in fairies.

Your Drafts

I currently have six post drafts. I think some of them are just notes. Some are to be fleshed out at a later undetermined date. The urge to blog is probably the same urge to grafitti “Kilroy was here” except we say a lot more and think that someone might actually care. I am writing for myself but pretending as if I had an audience.

When you write for someone else you have to figure out how best to communicate whatever it is that you are trying to say. And it helps to clarify in your own mind whatever it is that you are trying to think about. John Gardner described writing fiction as a kind of thought process. I’m not writing fiction but I am writing and it is a kind of thought process. I think. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m a little confused.

Where was I? Oh, yeah the drafts. The drafts are pretty sketchy and not quite ready for prime time. I feel compelled to at least complete a few of them. I think they are worthy topics to write about even though there is no audience. I’ll also write new ones for this public journal.

It’s weird writing a public journal. One that theoretically that could be read by anyone but isn’t. I’ve read other journals and they say things that well just aren’t appropriate for a public journal. They mostly involve bodily functions. They whine incessently about stupid stuff. Or they say bad things about people they know or have known. I may do that but I won’t mention them by name. I probably won’t at all because, you know what, they may read it and get mad.

I’m sure the number of drafts I have will go up and down. I just need to clear out the backlog on the ones I find most interesting. Stay tuned. Or not.

I’m becoming a blogaddict

I’m beginning to like the sound of my own blogging voice. Something is terribly wrong. I am actually starting to like blogging. I suppose it’s better than blearghing—drinking to excess then puking. Someone stop me before I blog again.

Some of my posts actually seem coherent. I do see a few grammatical misteaks and punctuation errors. I might go back and fix ’em. I don’t know. I suppose if I’m really bored. Anyway it’s good practice. I’ll pretend to write for others even though no one will actually read it—which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

I know what attracts me to this is the typography of this particular WordPress skin. It makes my writing look good even if it isn’t. It looks professional. Scary?

It was

Yesterday’s elections made me think of this passage below. Some saw it as a victory. Some saw it as a disaster. I remain hopeful that it will restore balance and accountability.

IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

–A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Dickens should never be forced off on children in school except for a Christmas Carol. I was forced to read Great Expectations in the 7th grade. I read about the first 8 chapters skipped the next sixty and read the last few then read the Cliff Notes. In the 11th grade I was forced to read A Tale of Two Cities. I managed to read past the opening passage, but thankfully they showed us the movie in class.

It was only last year that I read Oliver Twist and enjoyed it. I saw an adaptation of Great Expectations and it was pretty good. I think South Park’s version of GE was brilliant. So what if it had robot monkeys.

Enough of this digression. What will happen now that Democrats have regained the House remains to be seen.

Ronny, Mickey, and Me

This picture was taken in 1987. When I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS, I went to the BX and there in the lobby was full sized cutout photo of Ronald Reagan. And they were taking pictures of you with it for 5 bucks. It was taken after Labor Day because I was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt I’d bought at Disney World in Sept.. I was 23 when this pic was taken.

Ronny, Mickey, and Me

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