Every time that I've started to write again recently, I seem to hear Derek Jacobi in the back of my head, after he's just found out in Utopia [SPOILER ALERT] that he's not the meek and mild Professor Yana, but the Doctor's arch-nemesis (I'm thinking of the thoroughly-evil, not just a little campy, Deadly Assassin-era):
"The Master... REBORN!!!"
(cue maniacal laughter)
So the blog shall return, and I'm going to try to force myself to have the time and energy to carry on with it for a while. We shall see how that goes.
Here are a few random thoughts in the meantime:
- It's not as though I haven't been busy, despite everything. Sure, I've fallen behind on listening the "IDiocy: the Future" podcast, in favour of catching up on AstronomyCast. Honestly, I just couldn't bear listening to Luskin for a while. Life is too short, and contrary to what the Disco would have you think, you don't get a second go.
- I haven't had the heart yet to look and see what the traffic spike on this blog a couple of weeks ago was. There weren't any comments, just a sudden high number one day... Thursday, I think. Bloody Thursdays.
- Republicans? Really? This is the best that you can do? Mitt, Eric, and Jeb's Pizza Party? The "Rove and Cheney Won't Shut Up Tour, 2009"? The bastard spawn of Cape Girardeau, MO? Either you've genuinely worked at making a pathetic effort at opposition, or you have a monumentally evil plan. The trouble with that second hypothesis is this: I don't really see any of you as the "evil genius" type. "Incompetent buffoon sidekicks", yes. "Demented lackwits", absolutely (looking at you, Michelle Bachmann). "Evil genius", not so much. And what exactly is it that you're opposing so flacidly? Do you think that you can just run out the clock on climate change, social justice and equality, real science education, not torturing people, abiding by the traditions and laws of the nation you claim to love... ? I don't think that all of you are inherently evil, but some of you simply must learn the difference between that which is politically expeditious in the short term and the exigencies of reality.
- Every now and then, being on the largely pointless time-suck that is Facebook does yield a few old friends who I have actually been pleased to hear from. They should just know, as does the rest of my - admittedly minute - personal social circle, that I am a minor legend when it comes to not responding to emails in a timely fashion. It's rather my "thing".
- In another bit of news, I'm also posting snippets of this and that via Twitter. Yep, I caved; you'll see the feed on the right. My feed is guaranteed to be at least part science, as that's what I do every day, but with some twists, and probably the odd occasional and unwarranted personal remark. Share and enjoy.
- My Twitter cohort @leifb put me on to a good site for amateur astronomers in the US, Clear Dark Sky. It's a great reference if you want to know just how good your seeing conditions will be for the coming evening. I'll be posting some more about my newly re-kindled love for astronomy as time and events warrant, including something brief and pithy on the frustrations of attempting astrophotography when you don't have the right gear... =)
- It's gardening season again, so there will probably be pictures of our successes... or failures. As I neglected to snap photos of either daffodils or custard apple flowers, it's the least that I can do.
Meanwhile, in the world of science, things are positively buzzing in all quarters:
- The Hubble Space Telescope repair mission is completed. The dangerous Servicing Mission Four, vital upgrades, a second shuttle on standby in the event that something goes wrong... fantastic stuff. Apart from a few minor problems, everything seems to have gone swimmingly.
- Two European space telescopes, Herschel and Planck, have also been launched, and are headed for their orbits around L2.
- A new primate fossil, some 47 million years old, has been reported (original paper at PLoS One). Of course, media reports have immediately gotten the whole damn story wrong - as you would expect from the largely scientifically-illiterate media. For the last time, people, there's no such thing as a "missing link", at least, not in the way that you're saying it.
That's about the strength of things for now. More entries as events - and available time - warrant.