We start by positing the existence of a body of sf readers and writers (numerically perhaps fairly small, but nevertheless extremely vocal) who are deathly afraid of getting girl cooties. "Hard sf" is their science fiction of choice, because it has the fewest girl cooties of any of the sf subgenres.
The dozens of massive Siberian grizzly bears whose lives were catalogued for the groundbreaking eight-year study have been slaughtered in their nature sanctuary as a message to the Canadian researchers, Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns, to abandon the project. Their research has been the subject of a PBS television documentary, a bestselling book and hundreds of news stories across three continents.
The people who killed the bears nailed the gall bladder of a baby grizzly to the research station's kitchen wall as a gruesome taunt.
The next day, KKBJ's Chuck Sebastian got some feedback from listeners who had just heard their first bit of liberal programming on a station that otherwise carries mostly right-wingers. "One guy said that it was a breath of fresh air to finally get somebody who knows what he's talking about," Sebastian said. He added, "Another said it was 'nice to hear somebody with an opinion the opposite of Michael Savage's ranting and raving.'"
Thought: could we convince the BBC to alternate John Gaunt with a fluffy liberal who doesn't make me hurl objects at the radio?
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has compiled a database of drug slang, as used by the 'kids' on the 'street'. Naturally, the Salon reporter thought he had better try out the pharmacological patois on a real live "candyman" (That's "drug dealer" to you, grandad.)
"The youth seemed confused; perhaps he was under the influence of laughing weed or was shaking off a bummer trip on Christmas trees. "Are you a cop?" he asked warily. That had me stumped. I quickly paged through the list and found the entry: "Cop" means "obtain drugs." "You better believe I'm a cop," I replied. The youth quickly turned and walked away, no doubt to find his big man (drug supplier). I left before he could return, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of a sale."
(Found via Teresa Nielsen Hayden's excellent Making Light blog ) Christian? Unable to generalise? Then you'll love the Personal Promise Bible - a real bible, with your name search 'n' replaced for various thees and thous.
In a similar vein, Customized Classics offer personalised versions of classic literature. Worth a special mention is Romeo and Juliet - now with special 'happy ending' version.
Just finished reading this novel by Cory Doctorow - and enjoyed it very much. It is set in an (almost) post-scarcity & post-death future with money & conventional economics replaced by 'Whuffie' - (loosely) a measure of the respect and esteem accorded to you by your peers. One of the main problems with stories set in a utopia is lack of conflict, and Cory mostly handles this pretty well - only once did I think "Hmm, Idiot plot" (when the protagonist keeps putting off a crucial backup which you *know* is going to come back and bite him). The characters are interesting and the world well drawn. More amazingly, the author achieves the near-impossible by making this reader give a flying toss about Disneyland (if only for the duration of the novel).
The book is also notable for being released under the Creative Commons license, which (among other things) means that when you download a copy from here you won't be breaking the law.
Tactile feedback will also help pilots feel how their plane is performing via these body suits.
While these three examples rely on how realistic and believeable the VR environment is, this method of treating schizophrenic patients instead relies on using VR to simulate the hallucinations that often accompany the condition, in an attempt to prove to patients that what they are seeing is not real.
"On August 22, 2003, Ray (Martian Chronicles) Bradbury turns 83 years old. To honor the man who has contributed so much to the world of science fiction, The Planetary Society wants to present our friend and Advisory Council member, Mr. Bradbury, with a giant birthday card - a card with "Happy Birthday" wishes from fans around the world."
"[Blair] would echo every pronouncement from the Oval Office, and then would express his deep indignation at the way in which most of the world's people continued to see him as "Bush's poodle." One can only imagine how cross he'd be if the phrase "Bush's cock- puppet" achieved similar currency."
Bees and other social insects seem to have complex systems for ensuring the status quo of the hive is maintained - including torture and imprisonment.
A researcher at the Univeristy of Sydney has selectively bred bees for a gene that allows non-queen workers to breed. When this happens the hives seem to function in a way analogous to an anarchist collective.
ScummVM is a cross-platform emulator for point 'n' click adventure games that use the LucasArts S.C.U.M.M. engine. S.C.U.M.M. games include Sam & Max Hit the Road, Day of the Tentacle and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. It isn't 100% working yet, but it already supports a few games, with more on the way. You can download a copy of Beneath A Steel Sky to get you started.
Hairy, yak-loving programming god Jeff Minter is still in business. The Llamasoft website could do with a tidy up (the link to the blog on the main page appears to point to somewhere on Jeff's C: drive - a schoolboy error :-) but you can catch up with what he is currently working on and see pictures of his sheep. Which is nice.
Not content with 'improving' email and the web with their subtle brand of innovation, Microsoft has set it's sights on USENET. It's Netscan demo doesn't look too dissimilar to Google Groups, with a few extra statistical views thrown in, but their plans to integrate news feeds into Outlook sounds like they are trying to hop onto the RSS aggregator bandwagon - I wonder if this might be in any way related to Google's recent dalliances with capturing Blogs?