In the beat of a heart…

April 13th, 2016

A hummingbird shaped spacecraft skimming across a ring system, somewhere in deep space ...

Steven Hawking has just called for humanity to mount a series of missions with tiny craft to Alpha Centauri. In looking around, I have realised that I wrote but never posted this article, last December. Silly me.

A hummingbird’s heart beats 1,260 times every minute. To a human ear, this would register as a high hum; no individual beats perceptible. However, in that infinitesimally short period of time, a particle of light, or a radio wave, would travel 238,000 km.

Perception, distance, and light speed are of fundamental concern of Dr Ronald Hanson, Professor at Delft University of Technology. He works in quantum physics, that branch of science which Einstein famously described as “spooky”. Quantum physicists like perplexing us with weird facts of nature, like particles that don’t appear in one place or another until you actually look at them.

Hansen leads a team that has just demonstrated, for the first time, the principle of quantum entanglement. Read the rest of this entry »

Privilege just became hereditary.

September 11th, 2015

An Alpha Human, looking superiorly at a normal.

Of course, to some extent it always has been. Lachlan Murdoch is only 5′ 11″ – fully two and a half inches shorter than I am – but for some unknown reason he is Executive Chairman of NewsCorp and Twentieth Century Fox, while I am neither executed nor chairful at all. We’re both white, male, Australian, with good educations and a Bachelor degree apiece.

We both also have young kids. My daughter started kindergarten this year, at the same time as his little girl, although at vastly different schools. And while my child is bright, pretty and engaging, it’s a simple fact that his daughter will have a lower student to teacher ratio, more iPads in the classroom, and vastly superior quality of glitter and plastic scissors than my child will in her brown-brick public school across the road from our house.

But there’s another difference between our daughters. When they grow up, and have little bundles of joy of their own, Lachlan’s grandkids will be some of the genetically rich. My grandchildren? Maybe not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Playtest update.

December 2nd, 2011

Golly it has been a while since I have posted here. Must remedy that.

I ran a play-test of Genuis!, and it went spectacularly well. That is to say that my version of the game itself was flawed, and needs a major rules overhaul, but the PLAY TEST therefore did its job very well.

Well, the gaming session last week went very well: a few familiar old faces, and some new ones. Everyone was very nice, and we played a couple of “deck building” games. Interesting concept, which I assume is a sort of reaction to the expense and limitation of traditional CCGs.

Some interesting lessons in there for me for “Genius!” my Steampunk Card Game.

Speaking of which, the guys seemed interested in it, and offered to play test it this week for me, if I wanted them to. So I have been finalising the rules in print form, and will take them and the mega card-deck along to the cafe tonight, and see if we can get some playing in.