Archive for August, 2009

Sometimes, I wish I had a more unique name

Posted in Humor on August 30, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

Ever Google yourself?  Look what I found.

Greetings Pentans!

Posted in Humor, Odds, Science, Spaceflight, Website, Writing on August 11, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

In early July, I started revising a story set in my Human Republic Universe. When I first wrote the story some years ago, I had written that the Pentans (one of the alien species in my universe) had arrived at Earth in 2009. They observed us – learning our language and customs – before making contact with us in 2056.

I had forgotten that they arrived this year, and I thought I should write a blog welcoming them and letting my fellow Humans know that we’re now being watched. But when should they get here? I didn’t want to make them arrive on some important anniversary or important day. So July 4th and 20th were out. As well as August 6th (Hiroshima), 9th (Nagasaki), 14th (the release of District 9), 29th (Judgment Day, see Terminator 2: Judgment Day), and September 11th. At first I was going to use August 3rd – one month after I had the idea – but I didn’t have this written up at the time. So today will do. 😛

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The Pentans are amphibious pentopi (octopi minus three) who evolved in the oceans of a world some 300 light-years from Earth. Tens of thousands of years ago, the Cetans – intelligent whales from the same oceans – began educating the Pentan ancestors, helping them become an intelligent species. The Pentans then explored the land of their world – and in time space – and shared what they discovered with their teachers.

Right now they are a few centuries into their several millennia project of constructing a new homeworld. Their star is expanding into a Red Giant, but neither the Pentans nor the Cetans want to disturb the evolutionary potential on other worlds. Therefore, they are building a small planet out of asteroids and comets that will act like a giant space station which will float through interstellar space.

They are pacifists who are methodically exploring space. In the 3000 years since they developed tunneling technology – allowing them to cross interstellar distances with transient wormholes – they have only explored about 250 light-years from their homeworld. Earth was still some 50 light-years beyond that, but then they detected our radio signals, so they came to learn about us.

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What does it mean to us now that the Pentans are “here?” Well, not much. As I said, the Pentans don’t reveal themselves until 2056. Until then we Humans are oblivious of their scrutiny. (They only watch us from a distance, tapping into our communication systems and using stealth satellites. They don’t do anal probes.) So, the next time you’re surfing porn on the net, just remember, a Pentan might be watching.

A step in the wrong direction

Posted in Odds on August 8, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

A few times a week I go for a walk to burn off some energy, let my mind wander, etc. Especially now in the summer, I prefer doing this at night when it’s cooler. Well, I just came back from a walk where I realized something rather depressing, and a tad disturbing.

For my walks I usually just go around the apartment complex where I live. There is a narrow driveway into the main parking lot and while I was walking down it a car pulled in, so I stepped over onto the grass. I immediately noticed that the grass was softer and cooler than the pavement. But after two or three steps I had to ask myself, When was the last time I walked in grass? For several minutes I was really worried thinking it had been back in June when some friends had a cookout and I walked around their backyard. But then I remembered that there are a few parking spots where you can cut over to the sidewalk by taking three or four steps in the grass.

Now, the reason this was depressing, is that I always say, “I is a country boy,” and just the thought that I’ve been “urbanized” to walking on pavement makes me feel a little ill. But I’ve gotten to the point that 99.99% of the steps I take are now on pavement, which is probably the exact opposite of what I did as a kid. I don’t think of that as a step in the right direction.