That time I cried over a robot …

At least I know I’m not the only one who found themselves teary-eyed when NASA announced that Opportunity had died. People created art, memes and even a Song for Opportunity

Youtubers, astrophysicists, ordinary people who barely even knew Opportunity existed, and students from all sorts of places grieved. Especially with that last message – My battery is low and it’s getting dark. But what really did me in was the last message from NASA to Opportunity. Billie Holiday’s I’ll be seeing you:

I’ll find you in the morning sun
and when the night is new
I’ll be looking at the moon
but I’ll be seeing you.

information …

I have a fairly accurate weather station gadget (official temp gauge is 50 kms away in one direction, and 70 kms the other) Yesterday was hot enough that I didn’t look at my station display until evening, and it was still 45.6 C (114.08 F) but I have no idea how hot it was at the hottest part of the day. This story is proof that you can have access to the latest, most up to date information – but it’s only of value if you choose to actually look at it.

Today is supposed to be hotter. I’m probably not going to want to know today’s temperature either.

Falcon Heavy

I watched the test flight of the Falcon Heavy today. Over and beyond the excitement of the launch was the excitement of watching the boosters land back safely. It occurred to me that there would be children watching today’s launch for whom boosters will always be able to be returned, and re-used. The notion that we used to discard such things will seem highly illogical to them. But for those of us who grew up accepting we blithely littered outer space in order to explore, today was simply amazing.


Elite Dangerous is making me rethink the propulsion method I’d chosen when I first researched the worldbuilding for the Underground series … currently reading up on Dr Van Den Broek’s changes to Alcubierre’s warp bubble theory.

Research is fun 🙂

Favourite Typos

I’ve just finished going over the edits for Hapoths of Garraloi ~ Episode 3, Season 2 of The Underground. Writing ‘form’ instead of ‘from’ is common, but my favourite typo from today’s lot had my character brining people.  Given my aliens are between 2-3 metres tall, you’d need a fairly large pot to brine them …

Do the job properly the first time … or not.

When I worldbuild, it’s usually from a molecular level up. So I know the mineral content and geological makeup of each of my planets. Then I work out the gravity, and how long each one takes to make a trip around its sun. I work out the effects of tides on the land.

Sometimes I use a bit of shorthand. Usually for the towns and how they are laid out. Especially if, when I created the world, I didn’t think this part of it would be on show, so I haven’t got a streetscape, nor is it peopled.

Sometimes this comes back to bite me on the butt, and I get to spend a couple of days trying to decipher the shorthand I used several years ago, to fully create the town I now want to write about. A job that would have taken me maybe half an hour had I done it properly at the time …

*sighs* Past me sucks.