Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Category » The Universe

NaNoWriMo* 2014

Anyone WriMo’ing this year?

*National Novel Writing Month


Happy National Chocolate Day!

Who decides these things, anyway? Congress? Maybe this is one of those rare cases in which ignorance really is bliss.

(By the way, National Oatmeal Day is tomorrow, October 29.)


Photo on 2014-10-13 at 16.28



Fiddler: In celebration of Fireh and Fiddler kokonvening, here is a picture to prove that it happened and (as evidenced by our big smiles) is great fun! ((Also proof that the both of us are Real Human Beings as opposed to robotic music nerds spamming the lot of you from somewhere in the cybernets-fireh))

And for those dying to know the itinerary of this kokon, it was a meet up at the Chocolate Lounge last night, and then attending one of Fiddler’s classes (Appalachian Music and Dance, appropriately). Next up: anything goes. Probably involving food and giggling.


Fireh: Last night meeting Fiddler for the first time was awesome; she was easy to spot as she was wearing bright orange shorts in the Muserly tradition of being unique and mildly eccentric. She got a Pumpkin Spice Creme Brule (SP? I don’t really care) ((Fiddler: “IT HAS TWO Es”)) and I of course made the obligatory comment about blowtorches and the appropriate white-girl-stereotype jokes. I got a cold chocolate drink with coconut milk, which was awesome. Like hot chocolate, but NOT! My chalumeau/pocket clarinet got here right before I left TN, so I had the entire car ride to mess with it and play with it so of course I figured out how to play “What Do You Do With An Errant Muser” as sung by the massive Kokon of a few years ago in preparation for this. I played it for Fiddler. It was glorious.


Fiddler: Also, it’s SUPER DUPER FUN explaining “hello this is my friend from the internet” to your roommates and professors. I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m fairly used to it by now though. (I think it means that MB is the best and I’m very lucky. We’ll go with that one.)

Plays/Acting/Theater/Theatre, v. 2014-2015

Continued from v. 2009.


Style, Fashion, and Costume, v. 2014

Continued from v. 2012.


Geeky TV Shows, v. 2014

Continued from v. 2013.


Books and Reading, v. 2014

Continued from v. 2013.

Lizzie Wade Sighting!

Lizzie Wade and Robert

Robert writes:

Last week, my co-worker (and successor as Muse‘s Q&A columnist) Lizzie Wade came to Science headquarters in Washington, D.C., for a big staff meeting. Lizzie is our Latin America correspondent, based in Mexico City, and doesn’t visit us nearly enough. Here we are in the hall outside a conference room. Yes, she really is as much fun as she looks.


Happy 450th Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Don Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you, for out o’ question you were born in a merry hour.

Beatrice. No, sure, my lord, my mother cried, but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born. — Cousins, God give you joy!

Much Ado About Nothing

Also (and actually) born today: Optimatum and Rós þyrnir. Joy to all!

Pollyhymnia Sighting!

Robert writes:

Polly Shulman came down from New York yesterday for the retirement party of our friend and frequent editee, the renowned geoscience writer Richard Kerr. Here’s a picture of Polly, Dick, and me in Dick’s strangely bare and reverberant office.

Polly, Dick, and Robert

Polly was her usual ebullient self. Her latest book in the Grimm Legacy series has just gone off to her editor, and she’s pondering new projects — maybe something a little different. More news as it becomes available…


Happy 205th Birthday, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin!

We owe both of you so much.

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Computer and Video Games, v. 5.0

Continued from v. 4.0.


Mathematics, v. 2013

A new thread for discussion of mathematics, continued from the previous one.


Say Hello! Kiki the Great’s ride with the TARDIS

You may recall that a couple of years ago, a catchy Trock song by veteran MBer Kiki the Great attracted the notice of Neil Gaiman. Fast forward to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, and here again is KtG’s song, performed by Amanda Palmer with some assistance from Neil Gaiman and Arthur Darvill.


NaNoWriMo* 2013

Is anyone taking part this year? If so, keep us posted, please.

*National Novel Writing Month

Happy Equinox!

September 22 marks the astronomical start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, spring in the Southern.

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International “Talk Like a Pirate” Day, 2013

Be ye ready fer th’ big day, me hearties? If not, this video might bring ye up t’ speed:

Read more »


Geeky TV Shows, v. 2013

We’ve been piggybacking on the 2012 thread far too long. With so many MBers watching geeky TV shows, it’s time for 2013 to have a thread of its own. Herewith:


Back to School, 2013

Really? Back to school already?

So it seems. And so we have things to talk about.


Harry Potter’s Chess Game

As mentioned on the August 2013 random thread (and in Robert’s article “Harry Potter’s Chess Teacher” in the September 2002 issue of Muse), here is the game finale that international master Jeremy Silman composed for the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Harry is the bishop on a3, Ron is the knight on g5, and Hermione is the rook on f8. Ron sacrifices himself on h3 so that Harry can win the game and keep pursuing the villain.

[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5r1k/1pN1R1pp/1Pb5/n1r1P1n1/7N/b2p4/7P/1R1Q2K1 w - - 0 1"]
[CBBWhiteId "*"]
[CBBBlackId "*"]
[Result "0-1"]
1.Qxd3  Rc3 2.Qxc3  Nh3 3.Qxh3  Bc5+ 4.Qe3  Bxe3++  

And here’s the alternative scenario that Ron rejected: one in which he could sacrifice Harry and win the game himself:

[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5r1k/1pN1R1pp/1Pb5/n1r1P1n1/7N/b2p4/7P/1R1Q2K1 w - - 0 1"]
[CBBWhiteId "*"]
[CBBBlackId "*"]
[Result "0-1"]
1.Qxd3  Rc3 2.Qxc3  Bc5+ 3.Qxc5  Nh3++  


Doctor Seaweed Stink requested this thread. Please post carefully. Try not to get too grim or morbid, okay? As the good Doctor pointed out, everybody dies, so you might as well be able to talk about it.

We’ll kick it off (by the way, “kick off” is one of many euphemisms for “die”) with a comment Dr. S. S. posted on the random thread:

Here’s a HypQuest about death that the Chatterbox did not admit.

1. What would you do if your best friend floated up to you in the form of a ghost and said, “Hi, it’s me, (friend’s name), and I died in a car crash. Only you and a few other people can see me as a ghost. Can I stay with you until I figure out how to manage my new afterlife?”?

I’d say, “Sure! It’s too bad you’re dead, but it’s cool that you became a ghost. Come on in!”


Movies, v. 2013

Remember to post spoiler warnings, please!

Continued from Movies, v. 20012.


Books and Reading, v. 2013

Continued from v. 2012.

Happy Towel Day!

Dedicated to the memory and works of Douglas Adams.

1 comment

What I Learned Today, 2013-2016

Piggy’s description:

We could share factoids we’ve read, advice from personal experience, observations about the world, what-have-you. Everyone learns something new every day, and I’d like a place to share.

Continued from v. 2012.