Post a note under our blog aggregation requests if you want your blog added to our aggregator. Please provide the RSS feed URL and the title of your blog.
I came across an annoying, and puzzling, inconsistency in the way that Word 2013 handles picture sizing.
Generally, in earlier versions of Word, when I wanted to resize a picture (usually a screen capture), I would right-click on it and select Format Picture from the context menu. That opened a dialog box where I could resize the picture, either by absolute value or by scaling by percentage, and maintain the aspect ratio. In other words, I could change the width and the height would change to match.
In Word 2013, if you right-click on a picture, it opens side-bar with v (more)
The 2015 Prix Aurura Awards for the best Canadian science fiction and fantasy of 2014 were awarded at SFContario 6 this weekend. Congratulations to all the winners. Here are the fiction awards:
Ansel Adams, the great American landscape photographer, shot a series of photographs of Japanese internment camps during World War II. None of these were in the major exhibition of his work shown at the McMichael Gallery a couple of years ago.(more)
Microsoft has commissioned a new anthology of science fiction stories inspired by its technology. Future Visions contains stories by nine SF writers, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, David Brin, , Nancy Kress, Ann Leckie, Jack McDevitt, Seanan McGuire, and Robert J. Sawyer, along with a short graphic novel by Blue Delliquanti and Michele Rosenthal, plus original illustrations by Joey Camach.
The Amazon blurb (more)
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a science fiction fan and Robert Heinlein is one of my favourite writers, at least the Robert Heinlein up to and including The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. And his novel Starship Troopers is right up there at the top of list.
The movie version, however, is another story. I hated it when it came out and it took a couple more viewings before I could appreciate how Verhoeven twisted it into a pointed anti-fascist satire. On Overthinking It, John Perich (more)
I’ve posted here before on the horrible treatment of science and scientists by our former and very unlamented Harper-led federal government. That war is now ending. Only a few days into its term, the Trudeau government has already taken significant steps to redressing the wrongs committed by Harper and his henchmen.
Under Stephen Harper, journalists who requested information or interviews from federal scientists or health policy officials could expect long delays, refusals, or replies — often after (more)
Members of MidAmeriCon II. the next World Science Fiction convention, will be able to select stories for the 1941 Retro Hugos as well as the regualar Hugo awards. An enterprising fan has assembled an anthology of stories that are eligible the award – most stories from that year are now in the public domain. You can download an EPUB version of the anthology from Google Drive. (If, like me, you have a Kindle, you can use Calibre to convert it to Kindle format).
File 770 has a (more)
For you math geeks out here, this is truly fascinating. It’s an elegant bit of higher math that shows that there’s a relationship between the value of pi and the quantum energy states of an electron.
As an aside, the high point of my university physics studies was when our physic prof showed us that you could derive Einstein’s famous e=mc^2 from Schrodinger’s wave function. It was a beautiful piece of reasoning, as elegant as a Bach étude.
Take a lo (more)
British Word macro wizard Paul Beverley has updated some of his tools to improve performance and reduce the likelihood of Word having a snit and throwing up a “Word is not repsonding” message. I’ve been using his wonderful FRedit tool and can testify both to its usefulness and enhanced speed. I currently have a list of about 275 terms that FRedit will scan for and either replace or highlight for my attention. It takes about a minute to scan a 30-page file.
It’s often said that the Golden Age of science fiction was the immediate post-war pulp-magazine era, where Heinlein, Clarke, and Asimov ruled the roost. Other people have said that the Golden Age of SF is 12 – which I pretty much agree with, if that’s the age when you discover SF. But I think you can make a good case that the Golden Age of SF television is now. Take a look at the shows debuting in the next few months:
The World Fantasy Awards were announced last weekend at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, NY. Best Novel went to The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.Sandra Kasturi and Brett Alexander Savory, won a Special Award: Professional for ChiZine Publications. Locus has the full list of awards.
In relate news, File 770 reports that this is the last year the award statue will be the controversial bust of H. P. Lovecraft.(more)
Forty years ago today, the gales of November came calling for the Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew. The 726 foot freighter sank during a terrible November storm just a few miles from the probable safety of Whitefish Bay. The Duluth News Tribune has published a long article about the Fitzgerald, including interviews with several of the men who went out on the lake searching after she went missing.(more)
I wrote this and posted it on our wiki at work after a couple of people asked me how to put an automatically updating title into the header of a document.
Use Word’s fields to insert a document’s file name or title into the document.
Note: To make using fields easier, set the Advanced option for field shading to When selected or Always.About field updating
Fields do not update automatically. In the case of the FileName field, it will not update when you change the file name by saving with the Save As option or if you change it manually outside of Word and open t (more)
I would be willing to bet that the University of California at Santa Barbara library’s archive collection of wax cylinder recordings has some of the oldest recordings to be made available on the web. They have now digitized some 10,000 wax cylinders and made them available to stream or download.
The first episode of The Expanse will be online November 23, three weeks before it airs on TV on the SyFy network. I assume it will be on Space in Canada, but the article has no information about whether the online version will be geo-blocked outside of the U.S. (though that won’t stop it from being torrented within moments of the end of the episode).
For those of you not keeping up with new SF TV series, The Expanse is based on the successful, and very good, series of books by James. S. A. Correy. I’ve read the first three (I think they’re up to five now), and enjo (more)
John Scalzi has a particularly interesting post about why kids aren’t reading classic SF authors like Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke. I grew up reading them, and many others of their generation, but the younger generation is reading newer authors. Part of it is due to the publishing industry; the older books just aren’t in print or being stocked by any but the largest bookstores. But there’s always a tendency to read the newest, most relevant stuff, and that’s (more)
New York’s Guggenheim museum now has an extensive online collection of more than 1600 works of modern art from 575 artists. It’s another time sink. If you have any appreciation for modern art, you’ll love it, and even if you don’t there’s a lot to like.
OpenCulture has more about the collection.
But if you can’t make it to New York, the (more)
In the 1960s, the U.S. planned a manned spy station called the Manned Orbiting Laboratory or MOL. Despite it’s name, it wasn’t a scientific project – it was designed to allow astronauts to photograph the Soviet Union from above. It was cancelled before it could be launched – advances in unmanned satellites made it unnecessary.