Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Defining Laughter Down

I have noticed a phenomena when it comes to texting and internet.

If something makes me smile, perhaps chuckle a bit, I'll say "lol." But "lol" means "laughing out loud." But I'm not laughing out loud, I simply want to say "that was funny."

So when something really does make me laugh out loud, I have to up the acronym. I'll put "rofl" which means "rolling on the floor laughing." But I'm not, I'm just laughing. That should be "lol."

And of course, I never really "roflmao" (roll on the floor laughing my ass off) no matter how funny something is. But if something is very funny, I'll say "roflmao."

A while back a friend of mine recommended replacing "lol" meaning "that's funny" with "salts" (smiled a little, then stopped).

It didn't catch on.

But if we keep defining laughed down, pretty soon we'll be lol'ing mildly amusing bad puns. Actually, they usually make me roflmao.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Phil Locascio and Alonna Williams

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome Phil Locascio and Alonna Williams

Phil Locascio
Phil Locascio

I am 61 years old, born and raised in Chicago with a degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University.  Married for 25 years to Jane and have a daughter Lucy who attends Iowa State University.

Retired from the State of Illinois where I worked as a policy writer for what you know as the welfare department.  Since I have retired I have turned much of my energy to painting.  Have been selling many of my works to my utter amazement.

Besides writing and painting, I have been in my church choir for over 25 years.

Phil's Books

The Fragility of Contrition

The Harbor of Ill Will 

The Reincarnation of Josef Mundt

Phil's Link

Alonna Williams
Alonna Williams

Alonna Williams has been writing since she was a little girl. It started with a short story and soon progressed to novels. Alonna has worked on, and grew up with a Pirate series entitled, Pirates of the Lost Cove, which is her favorite series of all; she's worked on a mystery series, a children series and a Sci-Fi drama. 

When she's not writing you'll most likely find her dancing, whether it be, Tap, Ballet, Jazz or Lyrical, or watching a good classic movie.
Alonna's Books

The Journal of the Red Skull (Pirates: The Lost Cove) (Volume 1)

Alonna's Links

From Today's Program: Tunneling cyrobot.

Monday, June 29, 2015

It's Hot

The high yesterday where I live was (according to my smart phone) 111°F (that's 43.9°C).

That was hot.

I stayed inside where my air conditioner kept the house at a nice 75°F (23.8°C). I was sipping ice water and watching Aliens on my flat-screen television. And I got thinking about how much of what I was doing would be, to someone 50 or 100 years ago, be absolute science fiction.

Fifty years ago, air conditioning in houses was very rare. One hundred years ago it hadn't been invented, yet.

Fifty years ago you could make ice in your freezer, but had to use ice cube trays which limited production. Because of my ice maker, I have a near limitless supply of ice. One hundred years ago, you had to get ice out of lakes and rivers in winter and store it through the summer. The ice man brought it around to put in your ice box.

Fifty years ago the cell phone was a pipe dream and smart phones were in Dick Tracy comics. One hundred years ago the phone was rare and expensive and didn't work very well.

Fifty years ago, television was black and white and the largest screens were less than 20 inches. One hundred years ago radio for commercial purposes has just under development.

Fifty years ago you never watched a movie at home except maybe one interrupted by commercials on your small black and white television. One hundred years ago, movies were silent and black and white.

Can you imagine going back fifty years with your smartphone and laptop computer. You'd probably double the computer power of the world at the time. If not more than that. But people would be amazed at what you could do (of course, there's be no cell towers so you couldn't do much with your phone other than play Angry Birds).

Now think about fifty or 100 years from now. How will things be different. We probably can't even imagine.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Robin Tidwell and Jeff Crawford

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are please to welcome Robin Tidwell and Jeff Crawford

Robin Tidwell
Robin Tidwell

Robin's writing career began at the age of eight, when her grandmother insisted she read Gone with the Wind before taking her to see the movie. Inspired by Margaret Mitchell, she began scribbling little booklets of stories, and was the editor of her elementary school newspaper and a columnist in high school. She submitted a short story to Seventeen magazine and was promptly rejected, but still keeps a copy of the manuscript in her desk.

Robin has worked as a snack bar cook, a salad prepper, a camp counselor, a waitress, a receptionist, a housekeeper, a freelancer, an editor, and an employment consultant and manager. She's also been in car sales, skin care sales, cookware sales, advertising sales, and MLM. She's owned and operated an entrepreneurial conglomerate, a cleaning service, an old-time photography studio, a bookstore, and a publishing house.

Six years ago, Robin and her husband Dennis moved back to St. Louis, after many years in Columbia, Sedalia, Colorado Springs, Durango, and Granbury and Tolar, Texas. They live with their youngest son, a dog, a cat, and a new puppy. www.robintidwell.com

Robin's Books

Robin's Links

Jeff Crawford
Jeff Crawford

I was born and raised in a small community in western North Carolina. I lived ten years in central Florida where I cowboyed for a living during and after graduating high school. I thn moved into the breeding and foaling part of the thoroughbred race horse industry. After moving back to North Carolina, I attended college where I majored in Industrial Management. I worked in a ball bearing factory for ten years than as an engineer where I helped develop cutting-edge critical care beds for hostpitals. I have been helping to run the day-to-day operations in a family owned cut and sew factory since 1994 in the sam county where I was born.

Besides writing I enjoy hunting, fishing, running my own apple cider mill, playing several different musical instruments, and following University of Florida athletics. American history is a bit of a passion for me and it usually comes out in one for or another in all of my books.

Jeff's Boosk

Jeff's Link

From Today's show: Is the Universe Bubbly?

Listen to this show live or in archive here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Assassins Anthology on Sale for 99 Cents

The Central Washington Writers' Guild anthology Tales of Assassins is on sale for 99 cents this week (until Tuesday) for the Kindle version.
They are a symbol of awe and wonder, a breed that defies the line between what is safe and what is dangerous, the characters genre fiction readers have fallen in love with generation after generation, whether they were kind and noble creatures or terrifying enemies.
Enjoy eleven spine-tingling tales of murder, mayhem, and mystery by talented authors. The genres range from fantasy, science fiction, mainstream, and humor. It's a great opportunity to read a variety of authors and learn their styles.

Oh, and I have a story in there, too.

So while it's on sale (until Tuesday), get your Kindle copy of Tales of Assassins.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice

Today as I write this, it is the day of the Summer Solstice. The word solstice basically means "sun stopping" or "sun standing." It is like the word armistice has the same Latin root and means "arms standing."

A solstice is not a day. It is the time that the Sun reaches it's most northern (summer) or southern (winter) point. The Sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere during the Summer Solstice.

The Summer Solstice was at 6:39 AM Eastern Daylight Time, or 9:39 AM Pacific Daylight Time where I live.

Summer Solstice means that if you live north of the Arctic Circle (66°33′45.8″ degrees latitude) you will have at least one day of permanent sunshine. The city of Fairbanks, Alaska is at 64°50′37  degrees latitude (less than 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle) and will have about 23 hours of daylight today.

For some reason, pagans like to dance at Stonehenge today. Not quite sure why. As if an astrological event can affect people's lives on Earth.

People mistakenly called the day of the Summer Solstice "the longest day of the year" when what they mean is it's the longest daylight of the year. Where I live, sunrise was at 5:01 this morning and sunset will be at 8:56 this evening. That's 15 hours and 55 minutes of the sun being up (if my math is correct).

When someone says "It's the longest day of the year" I usually add sardonically "Yep, 25 hours."

So enjoy the "longest day of the year." Pretty soon (well, six months) we'll have the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice.