Monday, July 30, 2007

Libertarian Longhorns

One of the very few student groups I have chosen to associate with is the Libertarian Longhorns. Very, very recently we have started a blog which I will assist in contributing to. This probably means that there will be fewer posts of a libertarian nature in my personal blog. We'll just have to see, perhaps I'll cross-post everything I write...

In the meantime, add the RSS feed for the Libertarian Longhorns blog to your feed reader and keep up with what's going on!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

How the Death Star Works...

The Galactic Empire tells all in a HowStuffWorks Exclusive!!!

But Timothy McSweeney is still skeptical about the trash compactor.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ron Paul loves homeschoolers...

"Dr. Ron Paul has been a consistent supporter of home schooling and
educational freedom while serving in Congress. He has introduced
several pieces of legislation which would return to parents the freedom
to teach their children at home and in the manner they think best.
Additionally, he has introduced bills that would provide tax credits
for American families to help pay for education expenses. As President,
Ron Paul will continue to fight for the rights of parents to provide
their children with the knowledge and values they believe are most

Congressman Ron Paul on Home Schooling

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is HUGE

This is a major breakthrough, although I doubt we will see any commercial items using this technology for a number of years. Wireless power would have a MAJOR effect upon electronics as we know it.

The Power of Induction: Science News Online, July 21, 2007
When Soljacic first presented the principle, it was unproved. All he could show were his calculations. "I expected that some people would think I was a crackpot," says Soljacic, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "This was pretty far out."

Perhaps it also didn't help that the participants at the symposium—a celebration of the 90th birthday of Charles Townes, who pioneered the laser in the 1950s—included 18 Nobel prize winners and dozens of other luminaries. Much to Soljacic's relief, he sold the scientists on his presentation.

A year and a half later, a bulb lit up in an MIT lab—unplugged. Soljacic and his collaborators had demonstrated a new way of coaxing magnetic fields into transferring power over a distance of several meters without dispersing as electromagnetic waves. The demonstration ushered in a technology that might eventually become as pervasive as the gadgets it could power. Laptops, cell phones, iPods, and digital cameras might someday recharge without power cords. With the proliferation of wireless electronics, perhaps it was just a matter of time before power transmission would go wireless, too.

The device that Soljacic and his collaborators put together had a disarming simplicity. On one side of the room, hanging from the ceiling, was a ring-shaped electrical circuit, about half a meter across, plugged into the wall. Hanging adjacent to the circuit, but with no physical connection to it, was a slightly larger copper coil looking like an oversize mattress spring. A few meters away hung a similar system with an ordinary lightbulb attached to the circuit. When the physicists sent power through the first circuit, the bulb lit up.

As expected, some energy was lost on its way to the lightbulb. However, a surprising amount reached its destination, the team reports in the July 6 Science. "The efficiency was 40 percent at the biggest distance we probed [more than 2 meters]," Soljacic says. At shorter distances, the efficiency was much higher.

The coils of this demonstration device would be too big to fit inside a laptop, let alone a cell phone. But this was only the first and simplest of several prototypes that the physicists have in mind. More tests are to come. The MIT team and other physicists say that in principle they see no obstacle to making such devices more compact and more efficient.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Farscape is back?

Is Farscape on another ticket to comeback? Maybe there is hope...

JUL. 23, 2007 | News | SCI FI Weekly
Farscape Revived On SCIFI.COM

SCI FI Channel will revive its popular original show Farscape as a Web-based series of short films on SCIFI.COM's SCI FI Pulse broadband network, part of a slate of new original online programming.

SCI FI has ordered 10 webisodes of Farscape, to be produced by Brian Henson and Robert Halmi Jr. and produced by The Jim Henson Co., in association with RHI Entertainment.

The series will expand the Farscape universe, but the network had no announcements on casting or premiere dates.

Other new online series include SCI FI Tech, a companion to SCIFI.COM's SCI FI Tech blog, and Invent This!, which sets out to find the world's quirkiest inventions and get into the minds of the inventors behind each creation.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Recent news on Battlestar Galactica


JUL. 16, 2007 | News | SCI FI Weekly
Battlestar Cylons May Surprise

Cast members of SCI FI Channel's original series Battlestar Galactica told reporters that they weren't happy at first to discover that their characters were Cylons, but they have come to terms with the revelation in their own ways—and hinted the Cylons may not be what they appear.

"I've always thought to myself—I don't know if I said it out loud, I must have—that I sure am glad I'm not playing a Cylon," said Michael Hogan, who plays Col. Tigh, in a news conference in Vancouver, Canada. "I'm not happy about being a Cylon at all. But I don't imagine any of us who are being picked to be Cylons are happy about it. But the scripts and what we've been doing so far are great, and the only way that I can deal with it is as a human being. So far, that's all I've had to do. And I'm not sure what's going on."

Hogan added that the new information about his character has added a level of complexity to his performance and challenged him as an actor. "For Tigh so far, it is like a mental illness," he said. "It's like the ringing in the years and visions and constantly wondering what's going on. So [in] almost ... every scene we do now, it's that thing where you're thinking, ... if you've had a personal tragedy happen to you, then you've got to carry on with life: You kind of realize, 'Isn't this amazing that I'm actually talking to people?' But this is all going on inside."

Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol, said at the same press conference that he came across the information by chance early on and has had a little more time to process the notion. "I found out months in advance, accidentally," he said. "I found a piece of paper lying around that I wasn't supposed to read, but I read it anyways. And I said, 'What the ... is this?' And [director Michael] Rymer went, 'Oh, you're not supposed to read that.' ... So I kept my mouth shut until it officially came out, and then I phoned [executive producer Ron Moore]. 'What the hell is this?'"

Douglas said he didn't like the news at first. "Because I thought you're taking a fan favorite, a character that's very identifiable, very human, that the fans really, really like, and you're really marginalizing him," he said. "So Ron spoke to me for, like, an hour and a half on the phone, and he explained the whys and the wherefores, and I was convinced at the end. Now I've embraced it, more than Michael has, I believe. And I don't mind going down in history as one of the Cylon gods and one of the 12 Cylon human forms."

Douglas also revealed a detail about the final five Cylons that had previously been kept under wraps. "The differentiation between the seven and the final five will become more clear," he said. "We're not like them. In all seriousness. We're Cylon, but we're not connected to these guys at all." —Cindy White
SCI FI Execs Talk Battlestar's End

Bonnie Hammer, president of USA Network and SCI FI Channel, said that it was the decision of executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, not the network's, to end the original series Battlestar Galactica in the fourth season and that the producers made the decision for creative reasons.

"There's been some stuff online where they're saying that it was really the network decision to go in this direction and that it's been coded by a certain level of appropriate politics by Ron and David, and that's not really the case," Hammer said in a press conference during SCI FI Channel's digital press tour in Vancouver, Canada. "These are people who are passionate about what they do, and they didn't want to be in a position where they were writing beyond where they believed they had true stories and true character arcs where they could take it without diminishing the quality of the writing and the quality of the show, and that really is rare. And this is definitely a decision that they believe in wholeheartedly, as opposed to something that was fed to them for any other reasons, from ratings or finance or anything else."

Battlestar Galactica is currently filming its fourth and final season, which kicks off in November with a special two-hour event entitled "Razor." The show's additional 20 episodes will return in early 2008.

A special sneak preview of "Razor" will air on July 10 during the second-season premiere of SCI FI's original series Eureka at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

At the same press conference, SCI FI Channel's executive vice president Mark Stern echoed the assertion that Moore and Eick were not influenced by any outside sources. "Anyone who knows Ron and David knows they are anything but network lapdogs," he said. "We only wish that they would do what we ask them to do, but that's never going to happen."

As for the future of the franchise once the fourth and final season comes to a close, Stern said that it remains unclear and that everyone involved in the production is more concerned about the present and giving the show a proper sendoff. "We are as sad as everybody else is to see season four coming," he said. "As for what follows, Caprica, the prequel, is out there. We haven't really decided what we're going to do with that yet. And there's always the theme-park ride." —Cindy White

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ron Paul: For Good or for Awesome?

YouTube interviews Ron Paul. Great answer to the abortion issue question and of course, he is both good and AWESOME.

Conical hat tip to Nick.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Razor

Here's a fresh preview of the Battlestar Galactica TV-movie-to-be, Razor. Not much is in it, but it may tide you over for a little while until more substantive previews are available. What you do get a flavor for, however, are some of the new characters, although you only get one name...

Razor | Videos | SCI FI Pulse