keithmasterson@yahoo.com

keithmasterson@yahoo.com

  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    "Let never a man a-wooding wend Without thinges three A store of gold, an open heart, And full of charity." Never heard that one, so I looked up the lyrics. (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/steeleye+span/king+henry_20229015.html) The story it told reminds me of Beowulf meets...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    For a critter that might have inspired Hans Giger/Ridley Scott's original Alien, it was somewhat creepy to learn that: "1135 – King Henry I (1068-1135) of England was known for his lust of eating the lamprey and is reported to...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    "recommend me a new author to read?" Try 'The death and life of the Great Lakes' by Dan Egan. He's a Milwaukee journalist who spent years writing about Great Lakes ecology. This book summarizes and ties together several different stories...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    "doesn't fit the spread models (i.e. 55 years even assuming immediate contact from the Americas" Immediate contact doesn't seem like a stretch considering the conventional sailor's lifestyle. 55 years seems slow when you consider how quick epidemics can move,...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Question for historically minded bloggers-- why were the Reformation and Europeans' discovery of the Americas nearly simultaneous, just sheer happenstance or more than a coincidence? The reason I started wondering is because my wife was watching the Six Wives series...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    "alternative" technologies for power are getting cheaper by the year/month/day ... To the point that burning Oil or Coal is ... "Not Economic" except for specialist purposes. Still waiting, same as ever. Not until storage for all that great...
  • Commented on Radio silence
    Principles like those of the abolitionists did matter over the long haul, but it's rare that ideals totally outweigh economic considerations. For capitalism to develop fully in the U.S., slavery had to go, because it acted as a deterrent against...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    voidampersand writes "When you need to develop a lot of infrastructure, sometimes what you need is a gigantic scam. For example, the Crédit Mobilier of America that built the transcontinental railroad." Daniel Boorstin wrote a history of the U.S. whose...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Chinese trials with Chlorella algae in the 50s and 60s were not encouraging, product they got smelled and tasted so much like whiz that few could keep it down, negating any nutritive value it may have had....
  • Commented on Book day!
    Ioan at #321 asks, "When they began, most welfare systems in the West resembled Universal Basic Income. Over time, they evolved to what we see today. What's to stop any new Universal Basic Income from following a similar path?" There...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    I'm guessing the revelatory clue here is his phrase "there's no technological reason why not", implying by unspoken counter emphasis that of course there's economic, political and consumer preference reasons why not. There's been wireless thermostat attachments for over a...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    " Marxism does not work, any more than christianity" Sometimes a little extra cash on the side makes all the difference. Take Marx himself for example, he never would have finished Das Kapital if he hadn't been moonlighting as accordion...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    " inept socialization is one of the critical failure modes for societies where power and wealth are concentrated in the hands of the few, and these are inherited rather than being distributed by any sort of meritocracy. If you don't...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    I'd certainly think so, combined cycle generation boosted coal and gas fired power efficiency by about 50% wherever it was tried, if I remember right. The hard part is getting the whole plant located close enough to a high concentration...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    "nuclear power would be a prerequisite to vertical farming as a major source of carbon neutral calories. " Benign as I think nuke sourced electricity really is, at the extreme high output level required to sustain food production, buildup of...
  • Commented on Laundry summer madness sale!
    "A physicist friend of family had a party trick" That was Richard Feynman, he also claimed to be able to smell ant trails and distinguish the signals they left each other. Any family anecdotes about him?...
  • Commented on Laundry summer madness sale!
    Did you change the spelling on your name, or is that nothing more than an a graphics glitch? Might even be a good move, most readers would pronounce it like 'Strohs', positive brand associations and all that....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "We must not have a gemeinschaft gap." Superb pun on the Dr Strangelove meme. Plus you suggest a possible lubricant to slide infrastructure spending through Congress, just reclassify civilian construction projects as military or quasi-military items and put them on...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    With the above discussions about how thresher combines displaced farm workers, motorized artillery transport eliminated war horses' fodder logistics, and the need for or disutility of human workers in asteroid mines, this thread seems not so much to be circling...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    "That aim being the prosperity & well being of London, including "The City" but all of London, actually. Having the place prosperous & healthy is important & the Corp. will always back that against other forces" Despite all its flaws,...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    " look at them as a ritualisation / regulation of the reproductive practices of social mammals, especially the few that are more than purely herbivorous, and they all start to make sense." My sediments exactly, add E.O.Wilson to the Darwin/Dawkins...
  • Commented on The light at the end of the tunnel (is not necessarily an oncoming train)
    This may have appeared in one of the books, but I forget if it really did or not so I'm claiming it as an original inspiration: the GSV Frank & Forthright Exchange of Views...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    " What would happen if someone introduced a biological or mechanical vector to start degrading undersea FO cables?" Back in World War One, I forget if Germany did it to Britain or vice versa but one of them cut the...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    "what haven't I anticipated?" Dial-up modems and service providers make a big comeback once a marketing campaign is begun to boycott wireless broadband subscriptions: "YOU pay for wireless, it's YOUR information, even if it has no value to you, any...
  • Commented on I can't keep up
    Not long before he died, Daniel Dennet made this joke about his sometime colleague Douglas Hofstadter: "Doug says anything you can do, I can do, meta!" Hofstadter didn't think it was funny. But it was....
  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    " only type of packaging that was really impermeable to molecular diffusion of drug molecules (which are frequently of the same size as explosive compounds): glass ampoules. And the sensitivity and specificity of modern GC-MS kit is really high." Maybe...
  • Commented on Upcoming travel
    A CERTAIN MATTER HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION, specifically somebody told me my translation sounded like a story they'd read before. Scoffing with disbelief, I scrounged through Amazon looking for proof or disproof, sure enough there it was, part...
  • Commented on Upcoming travel
    "do not post transcriptions/extracts of works written after 1947 here, please." an eminently reasonable request with which I will comply. Hats off to another poster who has kindly provided space for it, story is now available at http://filehost.serveftp.net/kmast/...
  • Commented on Upcoming travel
    "It's not a good idea to violate a writer's copyright on another writer's blog" that...does sound sensible to me. Kind of a shame to waste, though. Any ideas about alternate sites that might not care, please forward to keithmasterson@yahoo.com I've...
  • Commented on Upcoming travel
    Completed bootleg homebrew translation of short story that was half posted earlier, now at comment number 26 of previous thread "Free E-books! Get em while they're hot!" Changed title of chapter one because the light bulb finally clicked in my...
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