Geek Appeal

Northwestern University is using nanodiamonds to deliver insulin to fight infection and heal wounds. Perhaps they’re not just a girl’s best friend anymore? Just kidding, nanodiamonds would never be visible or good for resale. Read about it here.

It’s actually very interesting to have new ways to beat infection. Nanodiamonds are something I haven’t heard of. I might have to do some research to figure out what else they could be used for!


Another one? Yes, there must be about fifteen million different software adds to write novels. Check out Super Note Card.

While this might help me learn to use actual note cards, I find it’s difficult to replace the feel of paper note cards. I don’t use them often, or very well, but I want to. Does that count?

I use my computer to do most of my notes, but I’m still learning to organize my thoughts better for my projects. I think I’ll write a book about how not to write a novel – but only because I seem to know more about that than how to do it the ‘proper’ way. Still, if it works for me…

Technology and Art

We watched Dilbert the series – the episode with the Blue Duck.

I love the stereotypes when shown in a humorous way. Engineers are not supposed to know about art. The appreciation of art is supposed to be beyond them.

Dogbert has the idea better than anyone. Tell people what they want and then sell it to them.

Do you ever wonder if it’s that easy with art? My character, Janie, from The Art of Science might be disappointed if it’s true.

Geek Appeal

More about the Sun? Think we’ll find another Earth?

Through a Swedish Solar Telescope, they’re learning more about the sun. Hannes Alfven won the Nobel prize in 1942 for theorizing about waves that he couldn’t prove existed. Recently, scientists have figured out how to explain the waves that make the surface of the sun near 5,000 degrees, yet the photosphere is near 1,000,000 degrees.

It’s hoped to learn more about the Sun to figure out how other stars work and how they affect planets like Earth.

Even with this new information, they’re not thinking it’ll be easy to find another Earth-like planet out there with an Earth-like orbit. In 2013, they’re launching a new telescope that might help.

“The study also considered planets orbiting red dwarf stars. Such stars, called type M, are the most abundant in the Milky Way – far more common than yellow, type G stars like the Sun. They are also cooler and dimmer than the Sun, as well as smaller, which makes finding an Earth-like planet transiting an M star easier.”

This part reminds me of Star Trek – M class planets anyone? Sometimes science fiction has a basis in science. I think it’ll be interesting to find planets by the signatures of their atmospheres by colors with the new telescope. Guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see what they find.

Gadgets to Read

Read about it here.

Because scanners didn’t catch on well, they upped the ante by creating one that will read to you. They call the voice Jill. You still have to turn the pages, but the rest is her job.

I’m amused by the fact that “Jill” can make it through medical jargon but has difficulty with numbers, charts, and occasionally just mashes two words together without any way to separate them.

Seems like it might be prematurely on the market, if some of the buttons don’t work and there isn’t any way to customize it. I’m imagining the poor reader trying to puzzle its way through my science fiction stories. Sure, most of the words would be fine, but character’s names, species, and any other made-up words I find I need. I can’t think any names would come out better for fiction series.

Maybe the next one will be able to have a few dictionary features to learn new words.

Novel Writing Software…

Wow, if I had a novel for every one of these that came along… Well, suppose I have that many ideas, just don’t -yet- have time to write them all down.

This one is Microsoft’s version of the software, updated to Office 2007. Read here.

I will admit it has a couple fancy features. Novel templates might be interesting, but they also may encourage more beginning novelists to follow a formula more closely than they otherwise would. Who am I to say, though?

This one, unlike most of the others I’ve highlighted, isn’t free. It says you don’t need another word-processing software to use it. Better not, if you have to pay for it. Among the cooler features is one to assess readability and reader age, as well as an ability to record submissions to agents.

Do you ever notice?

So many previews, so little time.

The new Star Trek looks cool. It makes me remember so many times I’ve watched them since I was young. So often the aliens looked just – like – us. Not always, but most of the time in the original series. There are small cosmetic changes between us and them, but not enough.

The newer series did better, though most of them seemd based on the same lines. I find it interesting, but we are somewhat limited in film for what we can realistically show. “Realistically” is probably not the right word, since so many things that happen on the silver screen are no more realistic than balancing a Chevy on my little finger. Even those that are not mean to be science fiction get a little hazy, as you’ll notice once you sit next to a literal-minded engineer in a theater during an action feature. (If you haven’t done it, you haven’t lived! Or, lived to be annoyed…)

I still wonder sometimes about the books that do make it to be movies in the science fiction genre. Many of them don’t translate well; others lose too much in translation to the visual art. Do you wonder if you want your creations mangled by a creative mind when it took so much of your time to build the written world? I think and imagine and still don’t have a good answer. Perhaps if I’m ever lucky enough to get an offer like that I’ll figure it out.

Geek Appeal

Even though it’s no longer considered a planet, Pluto still captures my imagination.

You wouldn’t think so, perhaps, because I hate the cold. It’s estimated Pluto’s surface is -220 degrees Celsius. (Only 53 degrees colder and all movement stops – the literal ‘frozen solid.’)Yet scientists wonder why it’s so warm. Warm? Really? I don’t think it’s a joke. The methane in the atmosphere apparently makes it ‘warm.’

I’m fascinated that the atmosphere freezes when it’s farther out and becomes gaseous again when it returns to the sun. Now that’s harsh conditions and makes my mind wander in so many directions. I wouldn’t live long enough to see a full cycle if I lived there, though. Pluto’s orbit takes 248 years.

Read more about it here.

Another cool thing about Pluto is sometimes it’s closer to us than Neptune. I’ll just have to keep tabs on it when the news comes in. It must be able to turn enough corners in my mind to make a story out of there somewhere. Though, what creature in my mind breathes methane, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen… Oh, wait, I have one!

My critters are awesome! One day I’ll share them with the rest of the world, hopefully in novel form.

Geek Appeal

Good news for doodlers everywhere! Ever been stuck somewhere, like a lecture or on the phone with an especially long-winded person, and began to doodle on a sheet of paper? A new study suggests those doodlers may actually remember more than those of us who drift off to daydream.

Read more here.

No hope for me, I’m afraid. I’m a serial story-dreamer. It takes effort to concentrate, and sometimes I lose the battle – as evidenced by a few of my lecture notebooks in college.

And a word for Twitter, which I recently joined: Secret Confessions?

They say they don’t even track your IP address, so you can let out your secrets to the world with complete anonymity. What is it about secrets that we feel we need to tell them to the world, just so long as our names aren’t attached?

So many people have much more bravery when they’re unknown, but when the time comes to take responsibility, everyone disappears. It’s interesting that we need such outlets – or maybe just that we think we need them.

Geek Appeal

But – I might want this to be Geek Unappeal…

Read more here.

Oh, now I’m really wondering what those politicians are thinking about. I have a wi-fi network in my home. Keeping records for who used it for two years? Not so bad since it’s encrypted, but still not looking forward to that.

And how about all the networks you know get hopped on? You find an unsecured network, you connect – how does the owner know? And just because you stopped in and used even a hotspot at Starbucks doesn’t mean I know who actually used it.

It’s supposed to be aimed to stop child pornography. I’m all for stopping that, but it doesn’t seem like this was really thought through before they put a bill in place.

Doesn’t that remind you of a few other bills we’ve had pass through Congress?