kibo

Seven reasons tablets are better than paper

1 - Tablets can be read in the windiest of conditions. Try that with paper!
2 - Even in still conditions, I prefer the heft of a solid object to a flimsy sheet of paper.
3 - Tablets are much more readable in low light, as you can bring your torch or candle close to the surface to better illuminate it. Try doing that with a sheet of paper - you won't try it a second time!
4 - Tablets are much more secure. You can just scrape the ink off of a piece of paper and write anything in its place - a securely baked tablet can be destroyed, but it can't be rewritten.
5 - As a corollary, writing on tablets concentrates the mind. Once you've put your tablet in the oven, it's done; no regrets, no scraping off the ink.
6 - Tablets are much more durable. In proper storage conditions, they could last thousands of years.
7 - I already have the materials I need to make as many tablets as I want - whittled sticks, a good oven, and honest Euphrates mud. Why should I invest in a new set of tools, spend hours in the messy and unreliable business of making ink, and make myself dependent on Egyptian imports for my writing surface?

People are talking up the new medium's portability and flexibility, but I think it's doomed to failure unless it can address these shortcomings.
kibo

Water found on the Moon

No, really..

Sept. 23, 2009 -- Shattering a long-held belief that Earth's moon is a dead and dry world, a trio of spacecraft uncovered clear evidence of water and hydrogen-oxygen molecules throughout the lunar surface.

"There's no question that there is OH [hydroxyl, which is made up of one hydrogen atom and one oxygen atom] and H2O on the moon," University of Maryland senior research scientist Jessica Sunshine told Discovery News.


Also, "Jessica Sunshine" is the awesomest research scientist name ever.
kibo

So who did the kid in Where the Wild Things Are grow up to be?

Via nancylebov:

Jonathan Carroll's Blog:
One of the most famous children's books in America is Maurice Sendak's WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. The story, in short, is about a very bad little boy named Max who is sent to bed without dinner one night because he's been so naughty. But as soon as he gets to his room, The Wild Things-- wonderful monsters of all shapes and sizes-- appear and they all play happily together till morning. Max is delighted and has no fear of them. He's a brave little guy. Sendak has said readers often ask what he thinks happened to Max when he grew up. One night years ago the author was at a dinner party in New York. Seated next to him was the actress Sigourney Weaver. It turned out the glamorous Weaver was a big fan of his work and they chatted throughout the meal. Later she pointed to a man sitting across the table. She said he was her husband and one of the reasons why she fell in love with him was he reminded her so much of Max in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. Delighted, Sendak said he finally knew what happened to his famous character: Max grew up and married Sigourney Weaver.

And that’s what he tells anyone now when they ask what happened to the boy.

kibo

This explains a lot, actually

John Crowley, here:
In general I think novelists should not speak about politics, and if they speak about them we should resist listening. These are people accustomed to creating imaginary worlds and making them go as they like, which can make their opinions tend to the fascistic, even their gentle-hippie or wise-crone opinions. Autocratic maybe rather than fascistic. The relation of cause to effect in fiction, remember, is the reverse of the same relation in life, at least from the novelist’s point of view: endings and conclusions cause the situations that will bring them about, and characters take paths or do deeds because the endings say they must; all writers know they can always change a character’s early life if they find that they need a cause for something in his later life. Doing this every day does not make for a good political sense, which requires a mature and wise sense of actual possibilities.