Links for 31st December 2008

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Night owls are more creative

    "Do your best work at night? Take solace as new research suggests that night owls are more likely to be creative thinkers. Scientists can't yet fully explain why evening types appear to be more creative, but they suggest it could be an adaptation to living outside the norm." Dubious?

    Tagged with: creativitynocturnallifestyleresearch

  2. Scientists plan to ignite tiny man-made star

    "Inside a structure covering an area the size of three football pitches, a single infrared laser will be sent through almost a mile of lenses, mirrors and amplifiers to create a beam more than 10 billion times more powerful than a household light bulb." Big science FTW.

    Tagged with: sciencephysicsresearchfusionpowerexperiment

  3. Why are SF and fantasy novels the length they are?

    "Until the early 1990s, mass market SF/F paperbacks in the US were primarily sold via grocery store racks, supplied by local distributors (400+ of them). The standard wire rack held books face-out, either against a wall or on a rotating stand. And that's where the short form factor novel became established. Thinner books meant you could shove more of them into a rack that was, say, three inches deep. Go over half an inch thick, and you could no longer fit six paperbacks in a 3" rack. And there was only so much rack space to go around." Charlie Stross gets his history on.

    Tagged with: sfbookpublishingeconomicslengthsize

  4. How to control when your posts are available via RSS

    "… here’s a recipe to create a delay between post publication and availability through rss feeds."

    Tagged with: wordpressRSSpostdelayhack

  5. Where did Venus’s water go?

    "Unlike Earth, Venus does not generate a magnetic field. This is significant because Earth’s magnetic field protects its atmosphere from the solar wind. At Venus, however, the solar wind strikes the upper atmosphere and carries off particles into space. Planetary scientists think that the planet has lost part of its water in this way over the four-and-a-half-thousand million years since the planet’s birth."

    Tagged with: Venusspaceastronomywateratmospheresolar-wind

  6. Gene Wolfe

    "“Things could be different,” says fantasy. “They could be very, very different just over that hill.” Have hope. SF assures (quite truthfully) that they will be. “They may be better,” says SF, “or they may be worse. But they will not be like this.”"

    Tagged with: gene-wolfeinterviewwritingsffantasy

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