Friday, May 02, 2014

Picture of the Day

I've got some new posts up on Indie Writers Monthly in the past few days -- some thoughts on blogfests and on a book I'm reading.  You could click here for those.

And there are two new horror stories -- well, new to YOU, as you haven't read them -- on lit, a place for stories.

Monday, April 28, 2014

If you think about it, I predicted Godzilla, too.

If you want to know what's going to happen next, just look at what I was talking about a few years ago.

In my book Santa, Godzilla & Jesus Walk Into A Bar (a/k/a The Greatest Xmas Story Ever Told), ($3.99 Amazon) my villain used a "Santa Claus Machine" to try to take over the world.  A "Santa Claus Machine" is a machine that can take any material and turn it into anything else.  The phrase was coined by Theodore Taylor in 1978, according to Wikipedia. (This seems like the kind of thing Wikipedia is good for.)

I had been thinking about Santa Claus machines at the time because of a podcast on them, one in which two "scientists" talking about the possibility of such machines said they would be the "end of design," that having machines which could make anything out of anything would destroy creativity.  I was amazed at such a lack of awareness and creativity on the part of the "scientists" themselves, and in the author's note to my book I pointed out that freeing up the tools for creativity has never resulted in less creation or variety.  Computers in particular have freed up the tools for drawing, music, writing, and filmmaking, and the results have been an explosion of webcomics, indie novels, new bands, and other creativity.

Instead, what I said would happen was that as these machines (which are essentially 3D printers) became more common, you would see people having different-sized machines: most households would have one for everyday use, making things like socks or dinner, while specialized ones would be large enough to build cars or houses, with the creativity coming in people's apps -- programmers would create specialized programs to make the most awesome shoes or whatever.

What I posited has now started to come true.  This was on Gawker yesterday:

In this edition of The Future, a private firm in China called WinSun has used its technology to build huge 3D printers that in turn print even huger fully-functioning houses. Their printers can manufacturer 10 in a day. Let's assess.
The WinSun printers are 32 feet by 21 feet, and four of them are needed in constructing one house. The company uses the printers by spraying "a mixture of cement and construction waste to build the walls, layer by layer."
Each house costs under $5,000 to build because of its recycled materials and lack of labor. Chinese construction regulations don't allow 3D printing of multi-story houses yet, but let me repeat that, yet.
They seem kind of livable, if not pretty ugly.

Sometimes -- as when Neil DeGrasse Tyson talks about Felix's jump from space -- scientists forget just how awesome science is.  That's why we need people like us: we may not know how to build a Santa Claus machine, but we know having one would be great.

PS Did I mention that one of the characters in that book is called Sexy Cop, and that another character is Other Sexy Cop? That's literature! Take that, Tolstoy! If you don't want to read a Xmas story in April, check out my writing on lit, a place for stories.

OK I'm back.

For those of you who were wondering... what? NOBODY was wondering? A fine lot of
total strangers who clicked the wrong link by accident and now their computer has frozen sticking them here until they reboot

you have turned out to be! I could've been dead for all you know and nobody even WORRIED about me?

Anyway, I wasn't dead -- for all you know -- but I did have to undergo face surgery, because it had been several years since any doctors had cut into me, and the medical establishment cannot allow that to happen.  What happened was I was supposed to have about an hourlong procedure last week to fix my sinuses, but it turned into a four-hour deal that day because apparently I have complicated sinuses, and while ordinarily I rush right back into my normal life and start working (ha!), blogging, etc., right away, given that my face hurt a lot for a few days I decided I would take the entire weekend off and simply watch TV, read a few books, and try to determine if the doctor was just being mean when he told me to sleep sitting upright. (Answer: yes, that's impossible, don't try it.)

But I'm back now and while I'm going to just abandon the A To Z thing because April is almost over and I don't want to sully my new, pristine sinus passages by clinging desperately to what used to be, I'll be posting new stuff regularly, so make sure you promise yourself to check it out before getting distracted by that "sideboob" slideshow on TMZ and clicking off to that other link.