A year after having it loaned to me, I have finally picked up and read “Eldest” by Christopher Paolini. This book is the sequel to “Eragon”, which I found to be enjoyable, if lacking in originality. “Eldest” is more of the same; I’d suggest it to any reader I know, with the caveat that they shouldn’t expect anything mind-blowing. The writing is good, and the characters are interesting, which is more than many fantasy books can claim.
Still, one day I want to read a high fantasy novel where the elves are short-lived and highly industrial, if not technological. Perhaps the ancient lost civilization that left behind all the ruins and dungeons could be one of humans, or lizard men, or Things We Barely Understand instead of the freakin’ elves again. And hey, how about hippie, type B dwarves that live simple lives of farming and woodcarving? You get my drift, here?
We lived through Ernesto – our house was never in danger, though I did lose power halfway through my morning webcomic troll. Driving to work was a dumb idea – two different blocks were flooded, and when the tires stop making the “zzziiiisssshhh” noise and begin making the “blubble-blurble-splep-blobble” noise, the water’s too deep – but dumb luck saved me, and the drive home was a little better. The yard looks a bit battered, though.
The International Astronomers Union voted last week that Pluto isn’t a full planet, but a “dwarf planet”. They did this in part because Pluto’s moon, Charon, is almost the same size as Pluto and might have deserved planet status; and a more distant body in our solar system, “2003 UB313”, is even larger and might have been awarded the same privileges. “2003 UB313” has been nicknamed “Xena” by its discoverer, and no stuffy astronomers’ group is going to sit still for “Planet Xena”. (The nickname is unofficial, but may well stick.) (And yes, Xena has a satellite… Gabrielle.)
Pluto, Charon, Xena, and the asteroid Ceres all qualify for “dwarf planet” status under the IAU’s new rules. I say Pluto still deserves the love, and we all know what’s a planet and what’s an asteroid, whatever they say. Manned mission to Planet Xena!
Podcast recommendations of the day: Taverncast, for WoW players; not only is the material useful and interesting, but it’s presented in a very light-hearted, entertaining manner by the hosts. Also, Geek Counterpoint, for those with a science bent; much drier in tone, but still well-presented and interesting – my interest was caught by the episode on inflatable spacecraft. Seriously.
The Hyundai is very mad at me right now. The dash clock and stereo are cutting out intermittently (and separately), the a/c has stopped working (and with it, my defogger, which has made driving in the rain interesting), and my temperature gauge is running high. Given how much of the car is factory-sealed, that may mean a trip to the dealership. 🙁
I may finally attend a NekoCon this year, given that it’s right on my doorstep and all. Thinking about it.