September 27th, 2005

breaking bad

No good deed goes unpunished

"Twenty years ago humanity had one of its closest calls with death, but most people are blissfully ignorant about that."

I meant to post this yesterday. On 26th September 1983, Stanislav Petrov saved the world. If it hadn't been for him, you wouldn't be alive reading this. For real.

"Petrov was given a reprimand, officially for the improper filing of paperwork, and his once-promising military career came to an end."

Metafilter dicussion here.
breaking bad

I knew that was going to happen

SF didn't used to come true. Massive overpopulation, nuclear war, interplanetary or interstellar journeys. Didn't happen. I know that's not the point - only mundanes think the point of SF is simplistic prediction. Or that only near-future SF is of interest.

But, in any case, the predictive power of SF seems to have improved markedly since about 1980. People were aware of the world we are in now, ten to twenty years before it happened. Hurricanes devastating the Gulf Coast - check. The Internet - check. War for oil in the Middle East - man, how often was that predicted in blunt terms, not even in SF, in ordinary thrillers. Rightward lurch of the US government - were there any SF stories that didn't predict that?
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breaking bad

Ladies of a certain age

I should be working today and I just can't start my head. Last night I was thinking about a top 5 of middle aged women in TV series (not one-off dramas).

Here we are - not in any order. Note that these are kick-ass characters with good jobs and complex, flawed, personalities. I just wish there were more of them.

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