Blogs

Eifelheim: A deep blend of Historical and Science Fiction

Eifelheim by Michael Flynn Tom is a cliologist, a mathematical historian (Flynn's own term, analogous to Asimov's "psychohistory"), struggling to understand why the German town of Eifelheim, abandoned during the Black Plague, was never resettled. Sharon, Tom's girlfriend and a physicist, drives him out of the apartment to the library so she can complete her own contemplations, which will prove paramount in resolving Tom's questions.

Lunar Eclipse Webcasts!

"Live" eclipse webcasts

Too cold to stand outside? Clouds covering the Moon? Watch from the comfort of your keyboard! During the eclipse (see info at right margin) check out the following links recommended by SpaceWeather.com for "live" webcasts of the event. Of course, if the weather is clear be sure and take a look at the eclipse from your own back yard... there's nothing like seeing it with your own eyes! See my earlier post about the eclipse for more information and online resources. Note: there's an error in that post... the Moon will begin to brighten in the wee hours of Thursday morning, NOT Sunday!

Live webcasts: from the Canary Islands; from Norway; from Iran; from Columbus, Georgia; from the Netherlands; from Belgium; from Spain; and another from Spain.

Are you "inta" social networking sites? Check out "Iminta.com"

If you digg, flickr, youtube, etc., and want to have a single profile to share with friends, check out Iminta.com. Now, keeping up with all of your friends' accounts is much easier.

Whatever you do on your social network sites, your iminta profile is automatically updated. You can collect your profiles from other sites as a single feed, or break it up to determine who sees what. This variable approach to privacy is novel, and worth keeping an eye on

Lunar Eclipse Feb. 20

The weather isn't looking promising but weather or not {get it?} the sky cooperates, there will be a total lunar eclipse Wednesday night, Feb. 20. Given clear skies, it's a show not to be missed and it's a "prime time" event!

You can get a great view of it from their own back yard without need of a telescope. If the sky is clear just step outside and look at the Moon at about 9 PM when the eclipse (technically already underway) should begin to become noticeable. Check back occasionally over the next hour or so as the Moon moves deeper into Earth's shadow. Adding to the spectacle will be the bright ringed planet Saturn which will shine like a golden star near the then-darkened Moon. By 10:00 the Moon will be in full eclipse. It won't begin to brighten again until about 11:00 and will be back to its full brilliance in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from here will take place in the early morning hours of December 21, 2010.

An observing chart and more details are available via several online sources. Here are two very good resources:

Chess and intrigue in pre-WWI Russia


Zugzwang: In chess, the state when a player is forced to make moves, but each move one makes only worsens one's predicament.

In St. Petersburg, in 1914, pscyhoanalyst Dr. Otto Spethmann finds himself a suspect in the murder. A widower, Dr. Spethmann is consumed with anxiety for his daughter, whose involvement with a victim makes her a target, as well.

SuperCook.com, great recipe search engine

www.SuperCook.com is a great search engine for recipes. Enter ingredients that you have on hand, and the Website provides recipes. The system also tells you what other ingredients you might need for each recipe.

The site searches other recipe Websites, bringing you a large pool of recipes to draw on.

Valentine's Day Computer Virus

The Valentine's Day Storm Worm virus is out there. The Storm Worm virus has used other holidays, especially those associated with greeting cards.

The virus is delivered in a bogus email that directs users to click on a link in order to receive an electronic greeting card. What really happens is some really nasty software (a.k.a. malware) is installed on the user's computer, making it part of what is called a "botnet"--a network of computers that have been taken over by malware for illegal purposes.

A Haunting Civil War Novel!

REDEMPTION FALLS
BY JOSEPH O'CONNOR
From the author of Star of the Sea comes a new novel that is both brutal and poetic. It is set post Civil War and centers around the western town of Redemption Falls to where a traumatized set of characters journey for various reasons.

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Getting a tax refund? Watch our for phishing scams!

Lately, you may have received an email claiming to be from the IRS, telling you that you have a refund coming. You are instructed to perhaps click on a link and provide all sorts of personal information, including your social security number. Some emails might imply that you could be in some sort of trouble if you don't comply.

 

These emails represent what are called "phishing" scams, in which con artists send out emails that appear to be from legitimate companies or organizations in order to get your personal information, especially your SSN. With this information, they can rob your identity, opening new lines of credit and sticking you with the bill. For more information about