Author Archive: Eugene R.

In the company of wolves (domesticated)

In an unseasonably cool May, the Beamers traversed the Lake district of England in November, chasing across the fells and along the dales in the company of two escapees from the horrors of medical experimentation, Rowf and Snitter, the Plague Dogs.  Labeled as such by the sensationalist British press, the two canines try to survive …

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Spirited away by the beat

Lars Gotrich of NPR is reporting that Australian music producer Andrei Eremin (aka Ghosting) was inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s ghostly story of loss and redemption, Spirited Away, to sample and re-mix the soundtrack.  Looping in a piano track and adding a synthesized beat, Eremin “shades the original [soundtrack] with darker hues that manage to retain …

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The whole is other than the sum of the parts

On a pleasantly brisk Spring evening, the Beamers came together to examine the coming together of a science fiction classic, More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon.  Built around his story, “Baby is Three”, it tells of how the next step in human evolution is built around a melding of different, somewhat damaged, individuals into a …

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How can you keep them on the farm?

With weather not conducive to raising crops, the Beamers met to discuss Leah Bobet’s novel about life on the farm after the Big Bad has been beaten, An Inheritance of Ashes.  Caught up in the family drama of the Hoffmann sisters and their struggles with missing husband, mysterious stranger, and recurring incursions of little monsters, …

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Snow dwarf and the seven worlds

The biggest news in planetary exploration came out in February when astronomers announced that the TRAPPIST-1 system contained 7 terrestrial (Earth-sized) planets in orbit around their ultra-cool dwarf star, a little less than 40 light-years from Terra Firma. Named for the telescope that discovered the first 3 worlds in 2015 (the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetIsmals …

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Great god, Pan!

NASA’s Cassini probe, enjoying its last few orbits of Saturn, has been deployed to intercept many of the ringed planet’s orbital features at close range.  On March 7, it came close to the “shepherd” moon, Pan, and revealed its unusual shape. Pan has a large bulge (technically, an equatorial accretion disk) from the ring particles …

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Growing oceans in the shadow of the magnetic balloon

Matt Williams on the Universal Science website has reported that a NASA study of terraforming Mars presented at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop suggests that a major factor in restoring an atmosphere and, eventually, oceans, could be an inflatable, magnetic-field generating structure placed at the Lagrange L1 point, gravitationally balanced on the line between …

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Pass the dice and the channel changer!

Ty Franck and Dan Abraham’s popular space opera series, The Expanse, is about to come full circle, from game to book to TV show, and now back to game.  In a well-detailed interview with the authors, Andrew Liptak, writing on the Barnes & Noble blog site, tells of how Ty Franck, a successful entrepreneur, was …

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An elephant or a Beamer never forgets

Coming off a week of 60-degree days mingled with 8-10″ of snow, the Beamers traversed a strange and sometimes dangerous terrain to reach their Safe Place (Panera’s), where they would sing 175 verses of praise or criticism (OK, more of the latter than the former) to Barbara Gowdy’s character study of elephants in Central Africa, …

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To see the worlds in a pane of glass

Chinese artist/designer/architect Jian Guo, who works primarily with sf/fantasy subjects, has been working on a series of prints of the not-too-mundane bodies of the Solar System.  Using a flat, tessellated style that resembles the pieces of stained glass used in decorative and sacred architecture, the portraits of Sun, planets, and associated friends (the Moon, the …

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