I thought this as soon as I heard of the Snowden leaks. NSA-implanted security holes are so obviously harmful to the US IT industry, and to the US reputation in general, that you really have to wonder if the alien lizard people were behind it. Or maybe some of those deep cover KGB agents are finally wreaking their… » 7/29/14 2:20pm Tuesday 2:20pm

I once measured the weight of a raindrop using just wire and paper. I first took a ream of paper and measured that on a bathroom scale. That told me the weight of a sheet per square centimeter. Then I put some paper out in the rain long enough to get a few drops on it. I made a scale out of wire and compared… » 7/23/14 10:01am 7/23/14 10:01am

It's a common trope in SF novels to have AIs incorporate themselves. It's actually a fairly natural slot for them in the existing legal system. Deep Blue Inc. could then engage in contracts for, say, Big Data analysis, and could have human subordinates for occasional face-to-face meetings. It would be CEO and… » 7/21/14 12:47pm 7/21/14 12:47pm

Apparently certain sharks and insects have been observed to reproduce asexually, creating clones of themselves. Darwin does not approve, because all the clones are susceptible to the same diseases and parasites. They lose the Red Queen race, where organisms have to change constantly to stay ahead of evolving… » 7/17/14 11:47am 7/17/14 11:47am

Man, I was hoping that "The Last Witchhunter" would be an adaptation of James Morrow's novel, wherein the books "Malleus Malificorum" and Newton's "Principia" do battle over the centuries, particularly in the person of one Jeanne Stearne, convicted witch, defender of rational skepticism, and secret lover of the young… » 7/14/14 9:04am 7/14/14 9:04am

Robert Redford almost got this right in Captain America 2. There he was, a sober, well-spoken member of the Establishment, talking about the dangers facing the nation and the world. Of course SHIELD needs bigger, badder weapons - they just saw aliens almost blow up New York. Who knows who else might be plotting… » 7/07/14 10:32am 7/07/14 10:32am

We're not colony organisms in the sense of bee hives - we're something vastly better. Homo sapiens has found a way to get the advantages of the division of labor without the limitations of having it be under genetic control. We don't have to enable certain genes to turn individuals into workers or soldiers or… » 7/04/14 4:40pm 7/04/14 4:40pm