Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Science Fiction

Dappled Things has an interview with John C. Wright, a distinguished writer of science fiction, in which Wright discusses the origins of science fiction and the features of good drama (in all areas, not just science fiction). He also deplores writers ruining their stories to share their opinions about politics.

My objection is not to stories that have a point, even stories that have a political point, my objection is to sneaking little advertisements for your political or religious views into tales where they do not belong.

Along the way, he discusses Utopia, Animal Farm, Star Trek, and other famous stories.

(via First Thoughts)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Logistics of Mass Vaccinations

I gave an on-air interview about our research this morning on WTOP, the news radio station here. You can find it online here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How to avoid an untimely bad surprise

Doug McGuff wrote a post about 12 ways to avoid an untimely, unexpected injury or death.

On a list that includes cleaning gutters, flying planes, and cutting down trees with chainsaws, I was surprised that he didn't include skydiving.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The French and l'Internet

Also in the WSJ is an interesting article about how the French adopt new terms for modern technology. For example, the French word for "email" is "courriel."

To Be Prepared

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article about Capt. Sullenberger and his life, written by the co-author of his new book.

Sullenberger's approach to life has stressed being prepared, helping others, making good decisions, and doing the right thing:

We need to try to do the right thing every time, to perform at our best, because we never know what moment in our lives we'll be judged on.

He also discusses decision-making:

Sully values the concept of "goal sacrificing." When it's no longer possible to complete all your goals, you sacrifice lower-priority goals. He instinctively knew that goal-sacrificing was paramount on Flight 1549. "By attempting a water landing," he says, "I would sacrifice the 'airplane goal'—trying not to destroy an aircraft valued at $60 million—for the goal of saving lives."