This is Catherine Mintz's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Catherine Mintz's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Catherine Mintz
... writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, and poetry.
Recent Activity
"I'm not convinced how much good the simulations will accomplish. " JH "I have strong doubts about the behavior aspects of these simulations—" WB I think they are part of imagining our way into space. More people imagined going around the worls than ever did, and even fewer made it. Today, about six percent of the people who go up Everest don't make it back. Even though the deaths are disporportionately sherpas (https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/04/mortality-on-mount-everest/360927/) many people don't understand how extreme the conditions are. Things have generaly gone their way; sometimes, on the mountain, they don't. Space is much more dangerous; help much further away.
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Fake Space Travel at SF and F Roundtable
Fake is when the moon landings take place in a airplane hanger floored with cement dust. Simulated is when they're doing the (almost) real stuff but know someone can throw a switch and stop the show. Let's preserve a useful distinction.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2017 on Fake Space Travel at SF and F Roundtable
"And—it exploded!" https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/8/16624022/spacex-merlin-rocket-engine-failure-mcgregor-texas-falcon-9 Not supposed to affect the launch schedule.
Toggle Commented Nov 8, 2017 on Next Up: November 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
Film: https://www.space.com/38609-spacex-launches-koreasat-5a-satellite-lands-rocket.html
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2017 on Next Up: November 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
First peek at a Musk tunnel: https://futurism.com/elon-musk-boring-company-tunnel-la/
It's a big project with problems that have known solutions. All it needs is willpower and money.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, they are tunneling and building train tracks on pylons. They are also exploring things that can go wrong: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/senators-want-update-new-intercity-train/
The Baltimore Sun has an article with more details: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hyperloop-in-baltimore-20171019-story.html
It is a neat solution to the right of way problem that has prevented a TGV-type train on the East Coast, which could certainly use one. Train stations are more centrally located than airports, and trains can haul more weight per unit of fuel than planes do.
"So for a few million dollars, you could build a Mars or Moonbase on Earth, then ship it to wherever you wanted it to go, coutesy of SpaceX. " WB Build your own Mars base sounds like a fun thing to do. You could operate it as an amusement park/scientific experiment. "Thinking of migrating to Mars? Spend a few months in our custom-built Mars base.... And all the potatoes you can eat! (Butter not inlcuded in the base rate. Other starches not available at this time.)
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2017 on Next Up: October 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
I often handwrite because I spend enough time sitting in chair, staring at a screen, as it is.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2017 on Writing at SF and F Roundtable
"In the olden days, rewriting was mechanically hard. Computer word processors have made it much easier." WB Much, much easier, and easier to do a good job, too, freeing up energy for thinking about the story rather than the mechanics of delivering the story.
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2017 on Writing at SF and F Roundtable
And another report from the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41441877
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2017 on Next Up: October 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
Here's a commentary on why we have been getting, not so much surprised, as dismayed by how this seasons hurricanes develop: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-hurricane-maria-surprised-forecasters-by-getting-so-strong-so-fast/
Mars simulation team emerges; no members lost: https://amp.space.com/38180-hi-seas-8-month-mars-simulation-ends.html
Toggle Commented Sep 19, 2017 on Next Up: September 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
The NYT concludes with the following: “As far as I’m concerned,” he said, “we are not any different from the old storytellers, the old bards back in Bronze Age time who would go from campfire to campfire, and they’d see a warrior sitting there and say, ‘You fill my cup up with that wine you’ve got there and chop me a piece of that boar you’re roasting and I’ll tell you a story about a virgin and a bull that you just wouldn’t believe!’ ”
Toggle Commented Sep 16, 2017 on Jerry Pournelle, 1933—2017 at SF and F Roundtable
The second to last paragraph says: "Our uncertainty surrounding hurricanes and climate change is built on a data gap that can’t be filled. Barring Vecchi’s magical time-traveling satellite and an abundance of localized information gleaned from paleotempestology, there’s no real way to get what we don’t already have." The final paragraph states that we do have data on sea rise and that rising sea levels mean that what storms we do get will have a bigger effect. As for Maggie Koerth-Baker herself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Koerth-Baker Author of =Be Amazing: Glow in the Dark, Control the Weather, Perform Your Own Surgery, Get Out of Jury Duty, Identify a Witch, Colonize a ... Girl, Make a Zombie, Start Your Own Religion= May have a sense of humor.
Locus has its longer obituary up: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2017/09/jerry-pournellle-1933-2017/
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2017 on Jerry Pournelle, 1933—2017 at SF and F Roundtable
Here's an article weighing the pros and cons that what we are seeing is climate change: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-100-year-old-hurricanes-could-teach-us-about-irma/ Naturally, it is full of qualifiers, but it does take a look at how good, or bad, the data is.
Forbes has an article about how Elon Musk succeeded: https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/09/09/i-worked-with-elon-musk-and-learned-that-intelligence-is-not-the-key-to-success/
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2017 on Next Up: September 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
"Currently, Irma is expected to visit my house on Tuesday night, albeit reduced to a tropical storm (one hopes)." WB Maybe a Cat 1, although if you don't like the forecast, wait a while, they'll come up with another at least as bad.
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2017 on Next Up: September 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
Katia, too, in the Gulf. A very bad season.
Part of the problem is that we don't have a good data set yet. It's relatively recent that we can look down from space and see these storms form, grow, and head for landfall or dissipate. "And there arose a tremendous wind that ripped the roofs off of houses and was reported to have flung a man into the next town's marketplace" leave us wondering what kind of roof, how heavy a man, and who saw it.
Wired has a bit on the economics of it all: https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-will-lose-millions-on-its-taiwanese-satellite-launch/
Commented Aug 24, 2017 on NextUp: August 2017 at SF and F Roundtable
I have seen it, or at least eighty percent of it. I found a pinhole camera worked better than eclipse glasses for me. On to 2024.
Toggle Commented Aug 21, 2017 on LIve Streaming the Eclipse at SF and F Roundtable