Welcome, it's that time of the week again. So I present to you a random mix of interesting articles about books, space, science and tech. Just a quick plug for my Treasures from the Bookshelf Video series, you can find the list in my Dusty Screen section on this blog or my YouTube Channel. Enjoy with your favourite beverage!
|We look to 1984 as a clear cautionary tale, even a prophecy, of systematic abuse of power taken to the end of the line. However, the notion that the novel concludes with a brainwashed, broken protagonist, Winston Smith, weeping into his Victory Gin and the bitter sentence: “He loved Big Brother,” are not exactly right. Big Brother does not actually get the last word.|
|What with Barnes & Noble CEO Len Riggio apparently determined to run the retailer into the ground, now is as good of a time as any to start brainstorming ideas for what can be done with the soon to be closed B&N stores.|
|Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri, well within generation ship range of Earth. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us|
|PRACTICALLY EVERY WORD we use to describe a computer is a metaphor. “File,” “window,” even “memory” all stand in for collections of ones and zeros that are themselves representations of an impossibly complex maze of wires, transistors and the electrons moving through them. But when hackers go beyond those abstractions of computer systems and attack their actual underlying physics, the metaphors break.|
|Charisma can look like a random characteristic, a part of personality that's as inherited as eye color and as arbitrary as male pattern baldness. It's not something you can see, but you know it when you feel it. Some people just have a knack of working a room, winning attention and making everyone they speak to feel like they're the most important person they've ever met.|