"Thunderstruck" by Erik Larson is full of good stories. It tells two parallel accounts - that of Marconi and the development of long-distance radio, and the crime and flight of Dr. Crippen. Crippen the wife-murderer actually comes off better! His spouse was impossible. Marconi, though, was a Silicon-Valley-ish prick… » 1/24/15 8:20am Saturday 8:20am

"The Lottery in Babylon" by Jorge Luis Borges. They start with an ordinary lottery, where people have some chance of winning something based on what they put in. But that has no moral implications. The game becomes interesting when there's a possibility of losing! Once people refuse to pay the fine on losing tickets,… » 1/22/15 7:37am Thursday 7:37am

Isn't all of Jules Verne now in the public domain? You could do a lot with Robur the Conquerer and The Master of the World . They're pretty much what Captain Nemo did for air travel after he escaped the explosion of The Mysterious Island. For that matter, all 54 Voyages Extraordinairesnovels could be assembled into… » 1/21/15 12:32pm Wednesday 12:32pm

You know, the solar system as presently known is woefully short on places where human beings could actually live, places that have decent gravity and not too high radiation levels. Mars at 0.3G probably doesn't have enough. Venus is a hellhole and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are both too light and have vicious… » 1/16/15 11:39am 1/16/15 11:39am

Film "Newton and the Counterfeiter" by Tom Levenson, where the world's greatest scientist goes up against a supervillain amongst counterfeiters, one who nearly destroyed the Bank of England. William Chaloner didn't think much of this Cambridge don who had somehow become Master of the Mint. He had made huge amounts of… » 1/15/15 8:13am 1/15/15 8:13am

This critical program is actually in dire financials straits. They ran out of their gov't funding and made a public appeal for support. I chipped in, but found that they were woefully short on Kickstarter-style swag. So I went ahead and made my own coffee mug on Zazzle as a bennie: » 1/14/15 1:52pm 1/14/15 1:52pm

So one of the red photons interacted with the other three without any obvious communication between them. What if the red photon was redirected to observe something on, say, the far side of the Moon? Would there be an instantaneous faster-than-light interaction with the other ones? » 1/12/15 10:26am 1/12/15 10:26am

I see no patterns here at all. Sleep times and amounts are all over the place, as are leisure vs work vs day job vs exercise. Hurray! It means I can live anyway I want to and not feel lack a slacker. Except that I haven't accomplished a thousandth of what any of these people have... » 1/07/15 1:46pm 1/07/15 1:46pm

My town of Arlington Massachusetts was the scene for some of the fiercest fighting in the first battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, on April 19th, 1775. It was then known as Menotomy and was part of Cambridge. The Jason Russell House: » 1/06/15 10:33am 1/06/15 10:33am

Can all this attention please, please let Chiang quit his day job and write more? I'm sure he's an entirely excellent tech writer at Microsoft, and that he gets personal satisfaction from increasing people's understanding of things they use all the time. But there are a lot of good tech writers in the world, and… » 1/05/15 10:36am 1/05/15 10:36am

Hurricanes used to carry only female, not only male names, and used to not be named at all. Now even winter storms are getting names. I approve! Everything should be treated as if it had a guardian spirit, instead of being some piece of natural machinery. » 12/31/14 2:46pm 12/31/14 2:46pm

Ah, this video explains much! I've always noticed a certain flickering motion that happens when I move. If I stop to look at it, it's gone. It's only there in the corner of my eye. I wonder what kind of story I'm in? It's a very long one, whatever it is, and the plot is obscure. » 12/30/14 2:26pm 12/30/14 2:26pm