Archive for category Entertainment

Science fiction, Fantasy, Spec Fic…

I propose the following distinctions:

Science Fiction: Fiction with science and/or technology elements that, at the time of their writing, either match what we know about science, or aren’t ruled out by what we know about science. Ex: “Lucifer’s Hammer”; “The Two Faces Of Tomorrow”; “Neuromancer.”

Speculative Fiction: Fiction with science and/or technology elements that don’t match what we know about science, or are ruled out by what we know about science. Ex: “Star Trek”; “Firefly/Serenity”; “Star Wars.”

Fantasy: Fiction entirely unrelated to our reality, no matter how far you’re willing to stretch science. Ex: “Lord of the Rings”; “A Voyage to Arcturus;” “A Wizard of Earthsea.”

SyFy: Pitifully incompetent examples of any of the above three. Example: What Hollywood turned Harry Harrison’s excellent SF novel, “Make Room, Make Room”, into: “Soylent Green”; “Dr Who” in any of its manifestations; “Lost in Space.” When you say SyFy, you’re required to sneer.

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So… FedEx tracking. It's… Interesting.


I set the above form to display in Mountain time, my time zone. Because the times just seemed… odd, as displayed in the local zones for each notation. It didn’t help. Now I’m just bemused.

I like how FedEx got my package the 1,744 miles from Rancho Cordova, CA, to Memphis, TN, in one hour, 19 minutes. This, ignoring pickup and dropoff time consumed, means that they moved it at an average speed of 1,324 MPH. Which is about mach 1.7. Good to know they’re using military jets to move my stuff around. I really do feel important.

Even more interesting is how they picked up the package at 5:05 PM, two hours and six minutes before they were even notified there was a package at 7:11 pm. Psychics! Of course, there’s the hint, I mean it did happen at 7:11, right?

It did take them almost three hours to move it from Memphis, TN, to Great Falls, MT; a distance of 1,392 miles and so a slightly more conservative average transit speed of 491 MPH. Still, it’s quick.

I have to give FedEx recognition for their delivery capabilities. Perhaps not quite so much for their tracking, though.

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Looking for some good TV?

Broadcast television is, in my opinion, kind of like the badlands of North Dakota. Occasionally pretty to look at, absolutely treacherous to wander around in, and the source of nothing of concrete value whatsoever.

Having said that, I have found the following efforts, uniformly produced by non-broadcast concerns, to be well worth the watching. In no particular order:

  • The Sopranos
  • Firefly (sadly, an incomplete series)
  • Weeds
  • Dexter
  • The Daily Show
  • Six Feet Under
  • Enterprise

That’s pretty much it. Just thought I’d drop this as heads-up for anyone who wasn’t aware of one or more of those shows; I’ve really enjoyed them, and so has Deb.

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