Sunday, August 26, 2012

Of Hurricanes, gods, and planet Jupiter

It's hurricane season in the Atlantic right now, so that means lots of news channels will be reporting on the latest storms to develop. Given that I grew up in Puerto Rico and lived a few years in Florida, I have had my share of storms and can attest to their intensity.

Above is an awesome graph created by John Nelson, a data visualization expert. The graph depicts every tropical storm and hurricane that has been recorded since 1851, color coded by intensity. The projection is polar, so we see Antarctica in the center and the US off in the edge near the right. The Southern Hemisphere hasn't been tracked until more recently, hence the fewer storms there.

This post, as you may be able to tell from the title, ties together hurricanes, storm gods, and the planet Jupiter. More information after the jump.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Poetry: The Fellowship

Back in high school I dabbled in some poetry some time before the first of the Lord of the Rings movies came out. I wrote four epic poems set in that world (with some liberties at time). I'll be posting them here when I find I haven't posted in a while. I am not a poet, so I don't think these are great, but perhaps you'll disagree?

Here is the first of them.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Book Review: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

I consider myself a fan of fantasy and science fiction and there are certain names that always get mentioned by people in the genre. Robin Hobb is one of these names and yet I had never read her books. Given that Sword & Laser, one of the shows on the amazing Geek & Sundry lineup, is reading the book this month, I figured: it's time. And I have to say I'm glad I finally read Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice.

Click through to find out why.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Line of Fire Across The Andes

Today was a cold, overcast day with some light rain in Santiago. It wasn't the rainest or the coldest day I've seen, but when I looked out in the late afternoon I was impressed.

This is what I saw:

I think my camera has failed to capture the amazing scene I was seeing, but I tried my best.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

I've only read a little of Gaiman's work (American Gods and Neverwhere) and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't blown away like everyone else seems to be. When I found Anansi Boys on special, I figured: why not? Let's find out how good this is.

By the way, as you may have noticed I'm now breaking up my posts with a 'jump break'. You'll have to click through to see the full article. That should make the main page far less cluttered and you can scroll through to find what you want to read. It also facilitates the RSS feed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Replacing our Moon with a Planet

Do you know how big the Moon is compared to the other planets?

io9 recently had an article showing how the different planets would look like if they were placed at the distance the Moon is from the Earth. This is not the first time I've seen it done (I embed a video I found a few years ago), but I wanted to comment on it as well for those who may not have considered this.
Click through to find out more.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Book Review: Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson

When looking at my blog stats I realized that my Malazan reviews are some of the most popular and that I've been writing them every 2 months. I figure that's a good timescale: that means only 20 months to read the 10-book series and I think I'll try to stick to that. With all the recent travel and work  I've had, I am falling behind on this tentative schedule. That is now rectified with this review of Book 5 of the Malazan Book of the Fallen: Midnight Tides.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Astronomy: Mars Curiosity

On August 6th 2012 (1:31 am EDT), the Mars Curiosity Rover, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, lands on planet Mars. You've probably heard tons about this in the last few days. Everyone's talking about it!
I'm gathering here some links and multimedia for those who aren't yet informed of what's going on. There are several places you can see live or semi-live coverage of the landing (see the links below).

Concept art of the Mars Curiosity rover. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech