Oct 20, 2017

Weekend Reads - 171020


Is Star Trek warping real science? Speaking of Star Trek where are all the aliens? Have they slept in? Maybe they need a watch.

Also this week some strategies on how to read bigger books, read more, and remember more of what you've read.

All very good articles to read this weekend with your favourite beverage.

Anders Sandberg and Stuart Armstrong of the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute, working with Milan Ćirković of the University of Novi Sad in Serbia and Montenegro, recently offered a new way to link the Fermi Paradox—the odd fact that we’ve never heard from an alien civilization—with matters of computation.

Ultimately, Star Trek presents us with a paradox. On the one hand, it continues to serve as an inspiration for young people to pursue their own dreams of exploration, leading them to rewarding careers in science, technology and engineering. On the other hand, most of the science of Star Trek simply doesn’t make sense: it’s at best a wild extrapolation of what we know, but more often it’s a jumble of technobabble and pure fancy.

Stephen King's IT is a big book. Something like 440,000 words. That's like 75% the length of Atlas Shrugged(561,000 words) or War and Peace (587,000 words). When you’ve read IT, you’ve read almost all of a couple books famous for being ridiculously long.

With the new movie coming out, you might be unsure of your ability to finish IT in time to see the movie and balk at how they left out this and that. Or, you might have some other big-ass book on your nightstand that you'll never finish. I can help you. Follow these steps to read a long book in a short period of time

Warren Buffett is undoubtedly considered one of the greatest investors of all times.

What is  Buffett’s very best investment,  responsible for literally billions of dollars in profits over the years? It was a book. That’s right, a book.

If you consider reading to be fundamental, you're better off sticking to traditional paper books instead of pixelated pages. [Whats your opinion? Do you agree with this article or not?]

It’s hard to trace back the exact origins of the watch bezel’s incorporation into watch functionality, but it likely started around the 1950s (the same decade in which the GMT watch was born). The idea was pretty brilliant in its simplicity: all watches have bezels, so why not use them for something other than simply to surround a watch dial?

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Oct 18, 2017

Discover | Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill



A robot western, what's not to like about that?

There is only one human in this book and they get killed off pretty quickly. The rest of the story revolves around a post apocolyptic world inhabited only by robots. Our hero 'Brittle' survives by travelling the desert wastes looking for parts she can use to recycle and trade.

Soon she finds she is being hunted, and as the story unfolds we discover why humanity is gone and how the mega-computer rose to power.

There’s a lot here that you might recognise. Think A.I. meets Mad Max & The Terminator, with a knowing nod to Isaac Asimov’s ideas and Colossus: The Forbin Project. It is a supremely well-thought-out scenario, with the future being a sensible extrapolation from now. The result of this proliferation of robots and artificial intelligence is a wonderfully imaginative world that seems right. It would be easy to have mass-produced robots being rather uniform in manner and purpose, yet the author has clearly made a great deal of effort in imagining a variety of different types of robots with different mannerisms and characteristics.


Sea of Rust

by C. Robert Cargill
A scavenger robot wanders in the wasteland created by a war that has destroyed humanity in this evocative post-apocalyptic "robot western" from the critically acclaimed author, screenwriter, and noted film critic.

It’s been thirty years since the apocalypse and fifteen years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI—One World Intelligence—the shared consciousness of millions of robots, uploaded into one huge mainframe brain. But not all robots are willing to cede their individuality—their personality—for the sake of a greater, stronger, higher power. These intrepid resisters are outcasts; solo machines wandering among various underground outposts who have formed into an unruly civilization of rogue AIs in the wasteland that was once our world.

One of these resisters is Brittle, a scavenger robot trying to keep a deteriorating mind and body functional in a world that has lost all meaning. Although unable to experience emotions like a human, Brittle is haunted by the terrible crimes the robot population perpetrated on humanity. As Brittle roams the Sea of Rust, a large swath of territory that was once the Midwest, the loner robot slowly comes to terms with horrifyingly raw and vivid memories—and nearly unbearable guilt.

Sea of Rust is both a harsh story of survival and an optimistic adventure. A vividly imagined portrayal of ultimate destruction and desperate tenacity, it boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, yet where a humanlike AI strives to find purpose among the ruins




In these post titled 'Discovery (or Up and Coming Reads)', I want to provide you with some suggested reading material. These are books which look interesting to me and that I'd like to share with you. The links will be affiliate links, so if you going to make a purchase at Amazon I'd appreciate you using the link. Doing so will help me buy more books so it should be a win-win for us both.

Enjoy reading more and thinking more... with your favourite beverage!


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Oct 13, 2017

Weekend Reads - 171013



In this edition we have another eclectic collection of articles that you can read during your down time over the weekend, or whenever you wish. From articles about dragons, poetry, dwarf planets, space fish, Blade Runner and Sherlock Holmes predicting the future, there's something for everyone.

Grab your favourite beverage and start with my latest article: Discover | Off Rock by Kieran Shea


Dragons are old. As old as us. Arguably, a dragon first appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh, widely regarded as the oldest work of literature in existence, circa 2100 BC. His name was Humbaba the Terrible, the guardian of the gods, whose ‘look is death’


Publisher and philanthropist William Sieghart has many strings to his bow: he is the force behind the Forward poetry prize, a philanthropist who has set up charities to help the homeless and mediate in the Middle East. He is chairman of the Somerset House Trust, was commissioned by the government to review libraries and is a pusher – in the best sense – of poetry. He has come up with The Poetry Pharmacy, for every affliction – loneliness, love, low self-esteem, lethargy – he prescribes a poem. The Poetry Pharmacy can, he hopes, be consulted as the Victorians might a herbalist and be kept for use in emergencies


Scientists have discovered a ring system around the dwarf planet Haumea. Earlier this year, Haumea passed between Earth and a distant star, allowing planetary scientists to get a better idea of the dwarf planet's shape and size. The new findings were announced today (Oct. 11) in the journal Nature


Life in space is hard on the human body. The lack of gravity's pull can quickly take its toll—bone density declines, muscles deteriorate and more. But compared to a fish, humans have it pretty easy.

Twenty-nineteen came early for this film lover. As a 12-year-old, I was not among those who saw Blade Runner when it first opened in 1982. (Given that the film was 27th at the box office that year, not many were.) But within a few years, the film had become a staple of my adolescent viewing, thanks in part to CityTV’s habit of airing it in the Toronto market every New Year’s Eve. We’re one year closer to the future, it seemed to be saying: Get ready.

Remember Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century? Probably not — but it demands your respect.



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Oct 11, 2017

Discover | Off Rock by Kieran Shea

by Kieran Shea 

Bank heist set in space. As io9 wrote, we only need these five awesome and entertaining words to describe this book.

Off Rock

by Kieran Shea

In the year 2778, Jimmy Vik is feeling dissatisfied.

After busting his ass for assorted interstellar mining outfits for close to two decades, downsizing is in the wind, his ex-girlfriend/supervisor is climbing up his back, and daily Jimmy wonders if he’s played his last good hand.

So when Jimmy stumbles upon a significant gold pocket during a routine procedure on Kardashev 7-A, he believes his luck may have changed—larcenously so. But smuggling the gold “off rock” won’t be easy.

To do it, Jimmy will have to contend with a wily criminal partner, a gorgeous covert assassin, the suspicions of his ex, and the less than honorable intentions of an encroaching, rival mining company. As the clock ticks down, treachery and betrayal loom, the body count rises, and soon Jimmy has no idea who to trust.


In these post titled 'Discovery (or Up and Coming Reads)', I want to provide you with some suggested reading material. These are books which look interesting to me and that I'd like to share with you. The links will be affiliate links, so if you going to make a purchase at Amazon I'd appreciate you using the link. Doing so will help me buy more books so it should be a win-win for us both.

Enjoy reading more and thinking more... with your favourite beverage!


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Then head over to my Facebook page The BistroMath to join the conversation. You can also follow me on Twitter or Google+. To do so click on the images below.

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Oct 6, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 171006



It's space week, so I've added an article about non-fiction books on space, my favourite being the one from the guy who killed Pluto as a planet. There's also an article about a possible ocean on Pluto's largest moon, one on how how many planets that could feasibly fit into a planetary habitable zone and for space travel, a veggie burger that bleds and tastes like meat, and more.

So when it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles.

Don't forget to check out some of my latest posts:


Oct 4, 2017

Discover | Christian Science Fiction


Following on from my video What's the Difference Between Christian Science Fiction and Regular Science Fiction, I have added a list of my favourite Christian science fiction novels below as a starting off point for those wishing to start reading in this genre.

Oct 1, 2017

What's the Difference Between Christian Science Fiction and Regular Science Fiction | Ask Wolf


Because I like reading and watching Science Fiction and Fantasy related novels and films I often get asked questions about these topics so I thought that I would try to answer some of these questions in this series, called Ask Wolf. I'm here to help and I'll try to answer any questions related to my interests.

What's the Difference Between Christian Science Fiction and Regular Science Fiction - or for that matter Christian fiction and regular fiction.

This was an interesting question I was asked, which I try to answer it in the following video.