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Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Time Event
10:10a
A message from John Scalzi's daughter to Pluto-Haytah Scott Westerfeld
A reader recently commented on my blog that Pluto is not a planet, but a trans-Neptunian Object. I would reply to this asseveration using calm logic and astronomical fact, but I find it requires less effort and achieves greater results merely to call my opponents 'Pluto Deniers' and assert their conclusions are prompted by 'Pluto Hate' or, better yet, 'Plutophobia'.

Coming to my aid is a little girl. This is the lovely daughter of John Scalzi (OLD MAN'S WAR, GHOST BRIGADES, etc.) responding to Scott Westerfeld (RISEN EMPIRE, PRETTIES, etc.) who are both REAL science fiction writers. I think her presentation sums up the pros and cons of the arguments for both sides nicely, and renders a cool and deliberate judgment.




There you have it! So if you think Pluto is not a planet, you will make a little girl cry, and the Great Old Ones will eat your brain. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!!

I trust that this settles the matter.

(P.S.: I also have a plush green stuffed Cthulhu doll in my house. I once saw my toddler son playing with it, and pantomiming an aerial dogfight between Cthulhu and Butterfree, the butterfly Pokemon. The butterfly won the duel. Reducing the Lovecraftian monstrosity to a floppy child's ragdoll may have diminished his dignity and power somewhat.)
11:28a
More review love for 'One Bright Star to Guide Them'
Joshua Reynolds over at The Fix website reviews the April ish of F&SF, and has this to say:

“One Bright Star to Guide Them” by John C. Wright,... is an ode to past authors. The influences are obvious, with nods to C. S Lewis, Susan Cooper, Charles de Lint, and Lloyd Alexander being the most evident. Luckily, Wright manages to avoid the worst pitfalls of such a thing and instead builds up a unique spin on an old fantasy chestnut. Wright displays an easy confidence with the tropes and archetypes, never overdoing it or underplaying those aspects which continue to attract readers to these types of stories. Indeed, rather than a pastiche, this comes across as simply the next in line, with Wright taking up the banner for other authors and putting his own stamp on the page. There are several truly disturbing scenes, told in retrospect, which in particular give this story a unique slant, and I, for one, hope Wright revisits them in his later work. The climax is foregone, but no less enjoyable for all that, and if you enjoyed the works of Susan Cooper or C.S. Lewis, you’ll enjoy this as well.
2:49p
Those of you who Object to Caesar Overruling Doctors' Consciences
The American Center for Law and Justice is collecting signatures on a petition. They explain it this way

The Conscience Clause was implemented by former President George W. Bush to give physicians and nurses the choice to act according to their conscience — to not participate in abortion procedures if it conflicts with their personal convictions. If President Obama makes this damaging move, if he reverses the Conscience Clause, pro-life doctors and nurses will be forced into performing abortion procedures, despite their individual beliefs.

The announcement was made Friday, March 6, 2009. Since the official announcement was made, the public now has 30 days to file comments with the White House ... so we’ve got 30 days to make our voices heard at the White House.

Make a difference in this nation and stand for the freedom to act according to your conscience. Sign the online “Petition to Protect Pro-Life Doctors” below now. It will be delivered and filed at the White House no later than April 8, 2009.

Here is the link:
http://www.beheardproject.com

https://www.aclj.org/Petition/Default.aspx?&ac=1&Zip=*Zip&sc=3419


There is also an article on their website explaining the embryonic stemcell controversy. Apparently such research taken from adult stemcells (research which does have positive results and promises more) is being curtailed, whereas research experimenting on human embryos (research which destroys human life, and has no record whatsoever of any results) is being expanded. This is like the auto bailout: throwing good money after bad. Not to mention destroying human life. And the secularists call US anti-science.

I can understand the cold Nazi bloodlust of wanting to experiment on Jews & Gypsies, not only for science, but also to see them suffer, because I understand the psychopathology of sadism. I do not understand removing a promising line of research to persue an unpromising line of research. That is beyond pathological, and well into the satanic.

I am not anti-science, merely anti-satan.

Science says that a fetus as young as 14 days after conception shows brainwave activity. People who long to euthaize patients in comas point to the lack of brainwaves as a sign of a lack of human life. But then the presence of brainwaves in an unborn child should by that token indicate the presence of human life? Of course, that would involve talking about science, and, for some odd reason, only the Christians seem to know the basic facts available in any highschool textbook on biology. (For example, the secularists do not seem to know what a 'species' is, or how it differs from a 'fetus'. When I ask then to what 'species' the 'fetus' in question belongs, they cannot answer, or they utter a paradox.) The pro-science group knows not that much about science.

3:26p
Saint Patrick's Breastplate
I and others tend to overlook the denomination of various popular figures from history, myth and story. In case you forgot, St. Patrick was Catholic. For that matter, so were St. Nicholas, and Friar Tuck and Sir Galahad and the Flying Nun and Sister Maria from Sound of Music, and Father O'Malley from Bells of Saint Mary's, Nightcrawler from the X-Men, and, come to think of it, so must have been Jake and Elwood the Blues Brothers, who were on a mission from God.

In honor of St. Patrick, and his victory over the snakes and druids he drove out of Ireland (wait -- how come you can play a Druid in D&D but not an Irish Catholic monk?) let me here give the Ce­cil Alex­an­der trans­la­tion of a Gael­ic po­em called “St. Pat­rick’s Lor­i­ca,” or breast­plate. (A “lorica” was a mys­tic­al gar­ment that was sup­posed to pro­tect the wear­er from dan­ger and ill­ness, and guar­an­tee ent­ry in­to Hea­ven.)

I particularly like the lines about protection from wizard's evil craft. Reminds me of Tolkien. (Frodo Baggins, come to think on it, was not Catholic. Nor was Solomon Kane, Puritan Adventurer.)
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