I’ve managed to get hold of John Wyndham’s Plan for Chaos, which is the book he never published. There’s a reason for that, but it’s a Wyndham and I am naturally smitten. This week’s links have a bit of a Sci Fi theme as as result!
Publishing: eBooks are looking more like the future than ever, with book apps overtaking games on the iPhone. The Kindle’s looking at introducing a web-browser, and in addendum to last week’s interest-piquer, academic publishing is simultaneously seeing strong growth in eBook sales while at the same time eReaders are declared ‘not for students’. Nice.
Interest Piquing: HG Wells and Orson Welles interviewed together:
InsPiring: My sister is writing her dissertation on Algae biofuels, and whether it’s commercially viable to produce them in the EU. She’s very kindly let me read some of it, and I’m kinda blown away. I can’t shake the feeling oilgae’s more magic than science: it’s the ultimate enrivonmental panacea. You can grow it in sewage, it doesn’t take up areas used for food production like other biofuels, it’s biodegradable, it produces oxygen and devours CO2, you can use it in a diesel engine without modification (there was an interesting Boeing 737 experiment last year), you can burn it for heat, GM modifications are out-competed by natural so it can’t easily pollute the wild stocks, you can persuade it to produce hydrogen, and you can even eat the byproducts. Soylent green isn’t people!*
There’s some great diagrams (including this one and this) from oilgae.com and HR BioPetroleum, which have quite a bit of interesting info too. Useful for near-future research and general “Huh. Why aren’t we doing this already?”-ness.
Procrastination: The Hubble telescope’s gallery of images. I’ve been using it for research lately for the space romance, but frequently I’ll just go and browse because the images are so beautiful.
*Soylent, of course, being a name smoosh of Soya and Lentil as explained in Make Room! Make Room! In the film this is skimmed over and they aredescribed as high energy vegetable concentrates, while soylent green is supposedly high energy algae concentrate. Which would have more protein and vitamins than people anyway…