It all starts tomorrow. Here’s a look at standard issue equipment that Lt. Senia Felix, Corporal Hardy Maynard and Corporal Clarfax Billings will take with them in this adventure, the prequel to Swift Fox and the Pirates of the Jackai.
Tomorrow’s the big day.
That’s when the series kicks off with full earnest.
So today, here’s another teaser before Rocket Fox and the Great Critainian Library fully kicks off into high gear.
The Royal Vulpine Authority Space Port was more than just a military installation. There was a civilian section of the port that hung in orbit around Vulpinia. Cargo cruisers from the three other planets that held life in the system frequented it quite a bit, bringing with them merchant goods, supplies, and even dignitaries. There were the grand Vulpine Shipyards, seeing service for over three hundred years. Many a grand vessel was constructed there. The seven ships that held the name Tritan, flagship of the Vulpine Fleet, were all built in the shipyards. Even ships that weren’t nearly as intimidating, but held a sort of admiration, like the Barrow’s Revenge. A Vulpine cargo cruiser, refit with armour plating and extra weapon ports and a landing deck for a small squadron of Maverick Class fighter ships.
Each and every one of us dreams of what something, anything unknown, might have come to be or to be like. If any of us has any curiosity to the way things came to being or exploring the unknown, then many of us might have thought of such a thing.
This universe we live in is vast, never ending. Millions of light years across, maybe even more. We can’t tell for 100% how big the universe is. The possibilities of what’s out there are entirely endless. Take a look at our own planet. Hundreds of life forms, with human beings said to be the dominant species. Was it a chance that we, out of all the life on this planet, ended up becoming the primary species? I know there will be scoffing and rebuttal from certain corners of the debate of “how we came to be”, but one could even argue that we, as humans, are extremely vain if we think that some immortal being that looks down on us and gave us all life looks exactly like us. What if God is a big monkey, or maybe a beetle (the bug, not John, Paul, George or Ringo), or possibly a single cell organism. We don’t know what God looks like. We don’t even know what God’s gender is. We truly don’t even know if God actually exists.
But I will leave the aspect of religion out of this, thereby cutting short any debate. This is all merely speculation, which ties into what I’ve been writing, working on and preparing for February.
We all agree, the universe is vast, hundreds of lifeforms across this planet, scientists are discovering other Earth like planets light years away from ours. Do they have a complete ecosystem? A dominant species? If so, what does that species look like? By some freak chance, what if that species happened to be similar to one on Earth, but instead of humans to evolve, what if it was velociraptors? Or wolves? Or tigers?
Science has proven that many creatures on Earth that we’ve believed are not intelligent are actually highly intelligent. Wolves have a very structured social circle and intricate communication system. Cats have been known to problem solve. Certain breeds of parrot (in the wild) are known to name their young and call out with those names. Foxes are extremely cunning and can problem solve. Many different species have the ability to remember activities and can learn quite easily.
This does sound like the stuff of science fiction. But some ideas from science fiction have become science fact. Kepler finds a planet that is similar to Earth 600 light years away? Douglas Adams predicted it first in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We don’t know what’s out there. But we shouldn’t allow that to intimidate us. It may take some time, but the things we’ve read in different science fiction books, watched on television and seen in movies might one day happen. When it does, we should embrace it, and explore. Fulfill our curious nature and see what’s out there, and discover what is similar to us along with what may be different.
- An obsession with space (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Science Fiction and the Search for New Earths (expandingconsciousness.wordpress.com)
- 10 Weirdest Scientific Theories Proposed in Science Fiction (io9.com)
- Postcolonialism and Science Fiction: An Excerpt (3quarksdaily.com)
- Before Science Fiction: Romances of Science and Scientific Romances (io9.com)
- ONE IN 100 BILLION? for the star gazers! (peavyblack.com)
This is immensely exciting!
From a synopsis of the article.
Kepler, NASA’s planet-hunting space telescope, has found 11 new planetary systems, including one with five planets all orbiting closer to their parent star than Mercury circles the Sun, scientists said on Thursday.
The discoveries boost the list of confirmed planets outside the Earth’s solar system to 729, including 60 found by the Kepler team. The telescope, launched in space in March 2009, can detect slight but regular dips in the amount of light coming from stars. Scientists can then determine if the changes are caused by orbiting planets passing by, relative to Kepler’s view.
- Kepler telescope finds 11 new planetary systems, one has five planets (slashgear.com)
- NASA’s Kepler mission finds 26 new planets (cbc.ca)
- NASA mission piles on the planets (cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Kepler hits jackpot, discovers 26 new planets and 11 new star systems (inquisitr.com)
- Kepler Just Nearly Doubled Science’s Stock of Known Exoplanets [Space] (gizmodo.com)
- NASA’s Kepler Announces 11 Planetary Systems Hosting 26 Planets (physicsforme.wordpress.com)
- NASA’s Kepler Announces 11 New Planetary Systems (spacefellowship.com)
- Nasa finds 60 planets and 11 new solar systems – all from a fist-sized patch of sky (dailymail.co.uk)
Go to the above link to view the conversation. It starts off with really uniformed, racist garbage.
It got me thinking about a conversation I had last night. All the news we (meaning, here in this part of Canada) hear about are the drug cartels and the killings and things like that. There is another side to the story. Mexico isn’t a haven of blood thirsty cutthroats, anymore than the United States is. I know people who live in Canada who think that way about the United States, and for a time, thanks to stereotyping, so did I.
The people I talked to about this last night, however, pointed to the fact that sometimes people who get into trouble in Mexico do so because they did something dumb. They flipped somebody off, got drunk and started a fight, walked into the wrong section of town. Which, when you think about it, is no different than anything in the area we (meaning those who live in West Central Saskatchewan) happen to live in. Would you go down a dark alleyway at midnight on 20th Street in Saskatoon? Probably not, because certain sections of 20th are pretty rough. And while they aren’t necessarily tourist areas, if someone out of country happened to do such a thing, get attacked, and then return home, would have a negative story to tell. Have this happen enough, and the negativity grows.
Same thing with Mexico. While I have never been to Mexico, I’m sure there are very nice areas of the country, just as there are more than likely very bad areas of the country. Probably no different than down in the States or up here in Canada. Or any country, for that matter.
Part of that is a problem with the media, where we are only given one kind of view of a country. For instance, a massive stereotype about the Middle East is it’s filled with camels, nomads, sand and oil. The latter being often cited as the only good thing in the Middle East. Obvious, Dubai must be this mythical place that really doesn’t exist in the Middle East (/sarcasm). Most likely, a lot of those countries look at us in the same manner.
As far as ESL, I’ve known several people who have come to Canada who have taken English as a Second Language. It is not, as the original rant in the link states, English “is” a Second Language. It’s teach people English as “their” second language so they can communicate with people much easier. Because, a lot of times those individuals who emigrate from other countries to Canada (or the States) will end up running a business, which means they will be creating jobs.
Now, I know there’s a lot more information that needs to be explored, but it’s something we have to actively do. Bottom line, don’t spout off on a rant without knowing some important facts first.
I always find images like this extremely drool worthy (I know, maybe the poorest choice of words, but the photos are still amazing). Hi definition photos of the planet Earth. Click the picture for more.
So beautiful and such a great article for photo buffs to take great pictures of the Northern Lights.
These bring back quite a few memories from when I was a kid. We lived on a dairy farm, and had a good number of cattle. During the winter it was always pitch black out with only the stars winking down at us. And some of those mornings there was the most impressive display of lights.
I really miss seeing that sometimes.
A little bit more from the workings of the first series of the Lupine star system. The scene takes place at one of Vulpine’s oldest airfields, sort of like a World War II airfield in Britain. The location in the story is near a village called Chattingham, and not far from the town of Warrenshire, home of the Royal Military College. I picture it to look similar to the photo below, which is Seletar Camp.
The barracks themselves weren’t anything extravagant, but they did have a somewhat homey feel to them. There were the neatly laid out bunks where each cadet slept, along with enough room for a locker so a modest amount of personal items could be stored. A small area near the bunks had been cleared away to make room for a seating area, complete with a small wood burning stove so that the cadets could make tea should they wish it. As the four cadets walked into their barracks, luck should have it, tea was being served.
Natalie Bascombe, an older, heavy set Vulpine, with a charming smile and twinkling eyes, was pouring a few cups already for some of the newer cadets who would be attending full classes in the fall. She looked up as the four entered, cooing softly as she saw Senia.
“Now there’s a smart lass in uniform,” she said with a smile as she placed the tea pot back onto its trivet on the tea service. “A sharp look, Left-tenant. Remind me o’ me own uniform b’fore I joined the 103rd.” Natalie wasn’t just a caretaker around the barracks, she was a veteran of the Great Lupine Land War of 3572, New Calendar, and she was an alumni of the Chattingham Airfield Academy. “Ah, but I do see a long face that go with it. C’mon now, all o’ ye sit down for a cup o’ tea. You’re just in time. Malcolm, get a couple more chairs, will ye?” she called out to one of the junior cadets who nodded and quickly retrieved a few extra chairs.
- Rocket Fox: sneak peak (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Red Fox sneak peaks (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Science fiction adventure! (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ~Martin Luther King Jr.
There is a great deal of truth in that statement. There is a similar quote, by Desmond Tutu, that goes like this. ”If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
We can’t be silent about things that are put in place to hurt, harm, or destroy people that are part of our society. Some say that getting rid of that section of society is morally just. But isn’t that a slap in the face of morality? By attempting to oppress the lives of people of colour, people with a different sexual orientation, people who do not identify as the gender they were born with, when doing that is that not in itself morally objectionable?
This talk of being “colour blind” or claiming “we all bleed red” is very nice to think of when we discuss matters of race or even alternative sexuality. But starting a sentence with “I’m not racist but” can usually be continued with a summary of paragraphs of information by the original speaker as “I’m now going to say something completely racist”. The same with those that say things like “I have gay friends” as though that’s supposed to give you a pass for saying something very homophobic.
We need to stop saying things like that and start listening. Then, when we have enough information, enough facts that don’t use a broad brush against an entire population of people, whatever their skin colour, sexual orientation or even religion or lack thereof, then we can start to narrowing the gap that makes those people feel like second or third class citizens. But it takes effort, and it’s not something that will just change over night. When one unjust law is changed, it doesn’t mean we’ve completely won. Because there is still a large group of oppressors out there who are working just as hard to ensure that any group that is not described as the “norm” will not have the same rights and freedoms as every single person on the planet.
I’ve been a little obsessed lately. Not in a bad way, but in a very good way. The planning of the Rocket Fox series has helped, in a large way, stir my interest in something I hadn’t thought of in a long, long time.
I’m obsessed with space.
Some might think it’s that vast emptiness of nothing, but I see it more as the opportunity to explore. That exploration either comes in the form of books or television series or movies. Even video games and art. Some of the greatest pieces of art come in the form of starscapes.
Some of those images are either composites of the Hubble telescope or images from the mind of an artist who has an idea of what some distant galaxy might look like.
Of course, there’s also been a renewed interest in watching television again. I’d grown really tired of television lately. Nothing had really piqued my interest. There was Battlestar Galactica, if only because I remember watching it as a kid, and I’ve been watching that a little bit. But I’ve also been watching a lot of the different Star Trek series. Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise. Even a few of the movies, including the most recent one.
There has also been video games, two of which include Star Trek Online (it is amazing to pilot a starship through the far reaches of the galaxy and explore) and Bioware’s Mass Effect Series. The soundtrack for the latter I find incredibly amazing, and it’s actually helped me with my own writing. Especially with Rocket Fox.
Champions Online has been helpful as well, if only to add a piece to that science fiction aspect. There is a hideout in the game that places your characters on a moon base which is well crafted and looks as though they’ll be adding to it in the near future.
This has also been giving me a little bit of hope. Hope for the future. Space exploration can be seen that way, because it’s the last great frontier of exploration. What’s out there, exactly? Well, we know what some of it looks like, but we don’t know everything about it. It is interesting to note that some recent discoveries, whether technology or announcements by NASA, were sort of predicted by science fiction.
Data pads in Star Trek look at lot like Kindles, Nooks and iPads now. A planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler Telescope looks similar to Earth like conditions, and is described in a way similar to a description of a planet in Douglas Adams‘ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
So there’s hope. Maybe one day, some one will set foot on a distant planet similar to Earth. Until then, there’s always science fiction.
- Here are 10,000 reasons to be excited about deep-space exploration [Rant] (io9.com)
- AAS Dispatch: Future NASA Telescope Could ‘Sniff’ Air of Alien Planets (space.com)
- Europe’s Orbiting Observatories Capture Stunning New Images of the “Pillars of Creation” (2012indyinfo.com)
- Hubble Telescope Reveals ‘Snow Angel’ in Space [VIDEO] (mashable.com)
- Astronomers share their galactic glories (photoblog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Oh, My Stars! (ginisnaturenews.com)
- NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record (chimalaya.org)
- The Hubble Space Telescope Discovers the Farthest-Away Galaxies Ever Seen (pcworld.com)
- Mystery of 400-year-old supernova explosion solved – msnbc.com (msnbc.msn.com)
- Hubble Solves Mystery on Source of Supernova in Nearby Galaxy (spacefellowship.com)
- NASA’s Hubble telescope detects supernova – CBC.ca (cbc.ca)
- Rare Ultra-blue Stars Found in Neighboring Galaxy’s Hub (spacefellowship.com)
- Future NASA Telescope Could ‘Sniff’ Air of Alien Planets (livescience.com)
- Hubble telescope finds hints of ‘building blocks of life’ on Pluto (telegraph.co.uk)
- Strange new ‘species’ of ultra-red galaxy discovered (eurekalert.org)
- Gallery: The Splendor of the Orion Nebula (revolutionizingawareness.com)
- Celestial ‘Snow Angel’ Dazzles in Hubble Telescope Photo (livescience.com)
Needless to say, I’m not the greatest drawing talent in the world. But, I can make decent layout designs using existing photos and images. Which is what I did for a Rocket Fox wallpaper idea I came up with.
Using stills from Star Trek Online and the screenshots of my character in Champions Online, along with the models of the Nighthawk ships I made in RayDream Studio 5.5 I have come up with this lovely wallpaper for a desktop.
February is only a month away, and I’m still doing minor prep work for the new story arc in the Lupine Star System. Book one of the three books (which ends with Swift Fox) will begin in a little over a week (a week and a day, to be absolutely accurate).
The tentative title is called Rocket Fox and the Flight of the Nighthawks. I know, sort of pulled from the abandoned project Black Mask & Pale Rider Flight of the Skyhawks (not entirely abandoned, mind you). This story arc will see Senia along with her comrades Clarfax Billings and Hardy Maynard (who’s gender has changed and will be changed in the second draft of Swift Fox) first graduating from the Royal Vulpine Academy and being assigned to the Main Authority, where they will serve as bounty hunters. They will have the distinction of being the only bounty hunters in the Main Authority to be given a squadron designation, however. This thanks to some pull Billings will have.
As mentioned, Maynard is getting a gender change. “He” is becoming a “she”, and the reason why is a simple one. Vulpinia is a matriarchal society, where the female is deemed just as important as the male. I felt it would be a bit more in keeping with the society’s philosophy that there would be two females in a squadron of three, instead of the other way around, having two males in a squadron of three. This story will also help flesh out Senia, Clarfax and Hardy a bit more, as I felt that they were rather bland in Swift Fox and the Pirates of the Jackai.
As well, the new story will have some quotes tossed in for flavour, some will feature the main characters, some will feature important to the main characters, others will feature characters to be met in future arcs. Here is one that describes why ships are called ‘she’.
“There is a reason why, my daughter, we call ships ‘she’. From the grand old sailing vessels that charted the waters of Vulpinia to the space faring cargo cruisers that travel from Critainia to Canin and back again. We Vulpine have always held females in high regard. It’s why we call out to the Great Mother.
But ships are called ‘she’ because they are sturdy, protective and true.
They are sturdy because they have to withstand the rigors that are set before them. Whether that be the waters of the Red Fox Sea, or the treacherous lanes of the Wayfarer’s Run through the asteroid belt.
They are protective because they give us a home. A shield against the elements. They hold us close and they will always try to keep us from harm.
They are true because they will always give you the answer you need, even if it isn’t the answer you necessarily want.
I want you to remember that, my darling Crena. For one day, you will be captain of this ship. You will have to take care of her, just as she protects you. As she protects you, she protects the crew, just as you must protect the crew.
And that is why we call them ‘she’. They come in all shapes, all sizes, and serve all sorts of functions. And whether they are called the Barrow’s Revenge, the Lionid’s Pride or the Jackai Sifter, they are all beautiful.” ~Cedric Clarendale speaking to his daughter, Crena Clarendale, future captain of the Barrow’s Revenge, proposed intro for Rocket Fox and the Flight of the Nighthawks.
I may have other snippets of quotes from characters in the series in the coming days, I’ll have to see how things go and what characters speaks out the loudest.
For now, some space mood music.
- Rocket Fox: sneak peak (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Science fiction adventure! (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- What was your favorite book as a child? (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Character Building in the Lupine Star System: Lieutenant Senia Felix (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
Or at least the new computer work area. Here is the pictorial of my work this morning. No pictures of the demolished cable modem.
For a while now, I have wanted to move things around in my living room. Just for a change of pace. So, today, I did most of that. Mainly moving my computer desk and cleaning up my book shelf (which, I realize I need a new one).
It gave me the opportunity to move things around, change things up, clean things up and pitch out some things that I don’t use anymore.
It also made me scramble, because there’s nothing like having a computer but no internet.
The rearranging of my apartment living room is partially to blame for this massive outage in super highway communication. I had moved my computer desk, taken and arranged my books, had cleaned off my components on my desk, and had set to work moving some furniture.
Namely, my couch.
My couch isn’t heavy, it’s just really cumbersome. Not that I’m going to go all Heman and move it five miles by myself, that is. But this is a lesson in watching what you’re doing.
My DSL cable modem is… old. Almost eight years old, to be correct. So, it needed changing anyway.
With the mention of my couch and the mention of my cable modem, I believe that you readers are intelligent enough to put two and two together and get the definite crunch sound that happened when my grip slipped and the couch landed, heavily, on the cable modem.
Thus, I had to scramble, thinking that the local computer shop was closed. I made a call of desperation, first to Home Hardware, then to Sasktel, and finally to Thorstad Computers. Luck would have it, there was someone there. And I got a new cable modem.
Let this be a lesson, however, always watch and remember where you put things.
Unless it’s an eight year old electronic device and needs to be replaced anyway.
A few days ago I offered up a sneak peak to the upcoming story for the month of February’s writer’s challenge (Science fiction adventure). I have more today, as the next installment of… actually more of a sneak peak, yes. This will be the first long form story in a series of three stories that ends with Swift Fox and the Pirates of the Jackai.
Bounty hunters are a lonely class of individuals. Many are loners, often seen as social outcasts, rarely regarded with any respect, and called upon only when situations were desperate. These were not the things Senia Felix felt she was like. She was very personable, having built a very good relationship with her superior officers during cadet training, and well liked by her comrades. Everyone who trained with her, and even those who were her commanding officers, from the Drill Sergeant that pushed them to grab the last inch right down to the base cook, knew Senia’s heart was set on the Royal Air Corps. They’d be able to tell she was disappointed, there was no way she could hide that from her mates.
She tried not to think about it as the transport shuttle docked at the Chattingham training base. Vulpine hopefuls from all over Vulpinia would come to this base for training, most with dreams of entering the famed Air Corps. It was a contrast to the peaceful surroundings, the rolling hills and soft meadows that surrounded the base and lead into the small village of Chattingham. The village itself was very rustic, holding onto age old tradition, while the base had the latest technology, from pristine air fields to the standard space dock for transport to one of three orbital platforms that surrounded Vulpinia.
I had a lot of favourite books as a child.
I had a full collection of Hardy Boy mysteries and Nancy Drew mysteries that I kept tucked away. Big Richard Scarry books. And then there was Wind in the Willows.
I remember Mole and Ratty and Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger quite well. I even watched the television series. Plus I read the sequels to the book. It’s probably this combined with a long held memory of watching the Star Trek reruns on CBC that helped bring out what I’m writing with the Swift Fox and Rocket Fox series. A friend of mine read the story I wrote and said “it’s like Wind in the Willows meets Star Trek”. That comment made me smile.
Wind in the Willows still holds a pretty high place for me.
- The Wind In The Willows (dihs2011reading.wordpress.com)
- Badger’s Den from The Wind in the Willows (imagimapco.wordpress.com)
- Badger’s Den from The Wind in the Willows (imagimapco.com)
- Wind in the Willows: when it comes to romantic heroes, my heart belongs to Ratty (telegraph.co.uk)
- Wind in the Willows (roxannachante.wordpress.com)
- ArtsBeat Blog: ‘Wind in the Willows’ Musical in the Works (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Downton Abbey writer to stage The Wind In The Willows (telegraph.co.uk)
- Children ‘must be capable of reading Harry Potter by 11′ (independent.co.uk)
Last November I wrote the complete story for Swift Fox and the Pirates of the Jackai. This coming February is another month for writing. Started with a post made by author James Melzer (author of the Zombie Chronicles) it was a challenge to write 1000 words a day throughout the month of February. Its something I’ve tried to do for the past three years, and the first year I did manage to write over 28,000 words. This year, being a leap year, the goal is 29,000 words.
My story is going to continue with the Swift Fox series. Or rather, the Rocket Fox series. The story will focus on Senia Felix and her partners as they travel to Critainia to investigate a crime. Tentatively titled (say that five times fast) Rocket Fox and the Great Library of Critainia, this will be the first book in the trilogy. Swift Fox being the third book.
For your reading pleasure, a synopsis of things to come.
The three colonels, meanwhile, continued to mull over the information before them. All of them were far more experienced Vulpine; two females and one male. But only one of them, a white furred female, was a member of the famed 76th Air Squadron. It was this colonel who finally spoke up.
“Left-nenant Felix,” she announced as she removed a pair of spectacles from her snout. Her dress uniform, while much more decorated than Felix’s was, was just as crisp and sharp as the left-tenant’s, right down to her name plate that hung above a small row of medals. Colonel Masters, it read. “We are most pleased that a cadet of your abilities and your reputation has put in for regular service with the Royal Vulpine Air Corps.”
There was a pause, and Senia knew what was about to come.
“However,” Masters continued as she held up a dossier holding Senia’s service record. “We are worried that your… handicap could pose a problem.”
“I assure you, Colonel,” Senia replied with a nod of respect to the three Colonels. “I am fully aware I have a thpeech impediment, but that hath not hampered my abilitieth, nor hath it hampered any of the cadetth who therved under me.”
“I understand, Left-tenant,” Masters said with a nod, then held up a hand to halt any protest Felix might have. “But things are different in the Corps. The other pilots have a great deal more experience in the field than you will. They don’t take kindly to having to learn something knew, especially language.” Masters opened a docket and flipped through several papers before speaking again. “It is our recommendation, however, that your abilities would still serve extremely well with the Main Authority.”
- Character Building in the Lupine Star System: Lieutenant Senia Felix (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
First, just some random quotes I heard/read lately.
Age is a matter of mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~author unknown
Do not in the dark of night, what you shun in the broad daylight. ~author unknown
Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. ~author unknown
Now, for some quotes on the unknown. That black void called space. The last, great frontier.
We have no proof, but if we extrapolate, based on the best information we have available to us, we have to come to the conclusion that … other life probably exists out there and perhaps in many places… ~Neil Armstrong, October 21, 1999
At two-tenths the speed of light, dust and atoms might not do significant damage even in a voyage of 40 years, but the faster you go, the worse it is–space begins to become abrasive. When you begin to approach the speed of light, hydrogen atoms become cosmic-ray particles, and they will fry the crew. …So 60,000 kilometers per second may be the practical speed limit for space travel. ~Isaac Asimov
I love to revel in philosophical matters—especially astronomy. I study astronomy more than any other foolishness there is. I am a perfect slave to it. I am at it all the time. I have got more smoked glass than clothes. I am as familiar with the stars as the comets are. I know all the facts and figures and have all the knowledge there is concerning them. I yelp astronomy like a sun-dog, and paw the constellations like Ursa Major. ~Mark Twain, letter to the San Francisco Alta California newspaper, 1 August 1869.
Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. ~H. G. Wells, The Time Machine, 1895.
The wonder is, not that the field of stars of so vast, but that man has measured it. ~Anatole France, The Garden of Epicurus, 1894.
Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science. ~Edwin Hubble, The Nature of Science, 1954.
There is beauty in space, and it is orderly. There is no weather, and there is regularity. It is predictable. Just look at our little Explorer; you can set your clock by it—literally; it is more accurate than your clock. Everything in space obeys the laws of physics. If you know these laws, and obey them, space will treat you kindly. ~Wernher von Braun, quoted in ‘Space: Reach for the Stars’, Time magazine, 17 February 1958.
I come up with a lotta story ideas. Some, like Swift Fox and Black Mask & Pale Rider, see the light of day. Others are attempted, but often get swept under the rug. There is an idea I have that I’d like to try and bring out fully.
Mind you, it’ll most likely be relegated to fanfiction, but I don’t have an issue with that, as long as people read it. This story holds something dear for me, in that it represents an aspect of hope.
The story takes place in the Star Trek universe. Star Trek has to be the biggest ideal of hope. Hope for the future. We saw that hope grow as in the early to mid 90s, the series Deep Space Nine had the first commanding officer (and eventually captain) of not just a starship, but an entire space station was African American. Ben Sisko’s role in the Dominion War was an important one, and he was a voice that many listened to. He was seen as the Emissary by the Bajoran people. That hope continued when years later, Star Trek Voyager came to television, with the first Starship from an on going series had a woman as captain. Katheryn Janeway was a diplomat and a scientist, and had the arduous task of returning the crew of both Voyager and the Maqis back to the Alpha Quadrant.
This idea I have is going to go one step further. First, the ship that will be commanded is a Bellerophon Class starship. Basically a souped up Intrepid Class (Voyager starship as an example).
Second, the main character (or at least the captain of the starship, as with Star Trek, the crew is always featured around the captain) will be a woman, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Her name is Fadra Englen and she is a first generation Canadian, born to parents who emigrated to Canada from Palestine. Fadra was born with a genetic mutation that granted her heightened strength, sight, hearing, resistance to disease and slowed her aging process and granted her a regenerative ability. This genetic mutation gave her an interest in science and medicine, something she pursued with vigor. She eventually graduated with a masters in medicine from the University of Saskatchewan, but instead of being content with research grants and writing papers, she wished to do some good. Fadra eventually took a position at a medical facility in the town of Silver Spring, on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation, south of Saskatoon.
After a time, however, Fadra would realize her skills were needed elsewhere, and so she enrolled in Starfleet. Her first assignment would be aboard the USS Toronto, a medical ship that assisted during the Dominion War.
After the war, Fadra hoped to return to Silver Spring, but was instead called by Starfleet and asked for her services once more. She was promoted to the rank of captain, and commissioned a Bellerophon Class starship dubbed the Nightingale. The Nightingale was unlike any other starship in the fleet. Dedicated to scientific research and development, the ship had a larger medical bay to aid wounded. That was the ship’s purpose, to go into heavy war inflicted areas, and offer medical aid. Such a mission required that the Nightingale would be outfitted with defensive and offensive capabilities to defend herself against attack. Improved ablative armour plating, increased shield capabilities and even weapons arrays (four phaser banks, four photon torpedo bays).
I’ll jot down more as the days go by (and eventually, write this thing). I guess if there is any question why I’m wanting to write this, it boils down to two answers. First, because I can. Second, because I think that something like this would interest people.
Right now, the idea is in its infancy.
According to Environment Canada, the temperature is going to drop.
Like a stone.
Yesterday, as the past few days have been, we’ve had relatively warm days. But expect that to change now! Especially after yesterday’s sudden squall which dumped snow all over the place. What was once a sullen brown is now an off white, as the sidewalks, streets and front lawns are all covered in white stuff.
And here I thought we’d get away from all of that for a while. A look at the coming week tells a different story.
There’s a -31 in there. As a high! AS A HIGH! That’s lower than the normals for the period, which as can be seen is -21.
Just two months now, two months and the worry of the foreboding doom that is winter will finally be behind us. Though, the pessimist in me keeps saying “don’t hold your breath, we’ve had snow in June”. Thanks inner voice, thanks.
Speaking of Snow In June, here’s the Northern Pikes with the song that was the album title.
Women’s boxing will make its debut at this year’s Olympic Games in London — a huge victory for female boxers who have fought for years to be taken seriously. But now it seems their participation will come with an outrageous catch: female boxers might be required to wear miniskirts in the ring.
The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) is reportedly considering the new dress code because it thinks skirts will make the female athletes look “elegant” and help “distinguish” them from their male counterparts.
Elizabeth says, “The idea that female boxers should be made to wear skirts reduces these skilled athletes to sex objects. It undermines the the respect they have long fought for.” Worse, competing in unfamiliar clothing could even negatively impact the boxers’ performances.
And Elizabeth isn’t the only boxer speaking out against the proposed dress code. When asked about the policy, three-time world champion Katie Taylor says, “I don’t even wear miniskirts on a night out, so I definitely won’t be wearing miniskirts in the ring.”
Fortunately, the AIBA will be considering public opinion and feedback from the boxing world before making its final decision next week. That means if enough people sign Elizabeth’s petition, you can force the AIBA to abandon the proposed dress code for good.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
- Shelby and the Change.org team
- Skirting Around Differences In Olympic Boxing (tammybruce.com)
- Miniskirt debate looms for female olympic boxers (3news.co.nz)
- Olympic boxing in miniskirts? Amateur body considering dress code for female fighters (vancouversun.com)
- International Amateur Boxing Association may require female boxers to wear skirts in Olympics (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Skirts considered for women Olympic boxers (espn.go.com)
- You Hit Like A Girl…In A Miniskirt? (gameofroles.wordpress.com)
- Boxing to scrap computerized scoring after 2012 Olympics (reuters.com)
- Olympic boxing authority to discuss women wearing skirts at London Games (theglobeandmail.com)
- Olympic boxing body considering skirts for women (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Olympic boxing authority to discuss women wearing skirts (tsn.ca)
Originally found at the daily feed, I decided to mention this here because it deals with books and a terrible thing that happens to them, in this case one book in particular.