E.T. found!

I was at Imagic Corp. making Intellivision games, including “Microsurgeon” (1982), when it was announced around 1983 that Atari was rumored to have literally dumped E.T. cartridges in the desert.  Everyone always wondered if the rumor was true, and, if so, exactly where the cartridges were dumped.  Now CNet reports that at least some of the E.T. cartridges have been found in a landfill in Alamogordo, NM.  Below is an Xbox Entertainment video of this historic find.

Game of Thrones math

Having watched the latest episode last night, I was having a conversation today with my wife about Game of Thrones.  I said I would not want to live in King’s Landing, mostly because it’s so dangerous.  But if I were to live there, considering my background in math, I would want to be the King’s statistician. I would crunch Westeros’ crime rate big data, which might involve challenging math without a calculator and VERY LARGE NUMBERS.

It’s easy enough to find many local crime rate statistics online, such as at CityRating.com or NeighborhoodScout, but good luck finding the data for Westeros.


More on art and science

This is a follow-on blog entry to my recent one about the relationships between art and science.

Several websites claim that artist M.C. Escher said, “For me it remains an open question whether [this work] pertains to the realm of mathematics or to that of art.”  The website “The Mathematics Behind the Art of M. C. Escher” at the National University of Singapore makes this point by examining some of the mathematics behind Escher’s art.

Mathematical relationships have been the topic of science fiction too.  Isaac Asimov used psychohistory — mathematical sociology — as the basis for his famous Foundation series novels.

In my own writing, “Oddly Perfect” (published in The Fifth Di…) is about a mathematics professor with an obsession who has a multidimensional epiphany.  Look for this story to appear sometime in the next year in my e-book “Science Fiction: Time Travel 2”.  In the meantime, you might enjoy “Science Fiction: Time Travel”, my top selling e-book.

Time Travel E-book Cover



Art, Science, Music, Math, Dance

What do these fields have in common?  I enjoyed writing in college about the relationships between Science, Math, and the creative arts, and I was excited to see a report in an MIT Technology Review blog from Brian Bergstein entitled “The Underappreciated Ties Between Art and Innovation”.  In today’s world where innovation seems to be accelerating daily, understanding these ties and how they might apply in the technology workplace could be crucial for successful companies.  Below is a related talk on the subject of art and science by Adam Savage of Mythbusters.  You might also be interested in my e-book, “Science Fiction: The Arts”.

Are the waters of Enceladus and Europa refreshing?

NASA has been interested in sending robotic missions to Europa for years.  Now, the Cassini spacecraft has found new evidence of an underground ocean on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.

Having written published stories about both moons, I’m excited about the possibilities.  In my story “”Remorse above Enceladus” — published in Raygun Revival 2010 — I wrote a space western involving a robot ridden with emotion.  Look for this story to be included in my “Science Fiction: Robots & Cyborgs 2” e-book.  “Assisted Living” is about a pair of young people on different worlds who have more in common than they know.  Look for it in my e-book, “Science Fiction: Future Youth”.



AntiPlag is some interesting writing-related research coming out of the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.  I follow achievements in writing and mathematics, so this paper caught my eye.  If their speed claims are correct, I wonder how long it will be before we see a marked increase in plagiarisms found in student papers, the press, in novels, and in other research.  If I were making anti-plagiarism software I might name it Msiraigalp.  Get it?




Science fiction meets medicine and genealogy

Mocavo recently blogged about “s Genealogy a Thing of the Past?”  This is the stuff of science fiction.

I don’t remember the name of the story, but I read a good science fiction short a few years ago regarding the 72 year rule and the census.  Long life and longevity producing medical discoveries may make the 72 year rules obsolete.  No one living to be 500 years old is going to want their census records published after just 72 years.

Now, Mocavo is talking about the ability to have a child with three parents.  It certainly does make a family tree more difficult to keep track of.  I suspect there will be many more complexities coming to genealogy in the future.

I have a science fiction short story I’m working on related to genealogy.  More on that later.

Juggling inspires the mind

I enjoy juggling.  The first time I was inspired to try and juggle was probably when I saw the movie “The Juggler” (starring Kirk Douglas) on television.  Since then, I’ve learned to juggle 4 balls or 3 clubs or 3 rings.  It can help you to focus, and it seems to be enjoyed by a number of the engineers and mathematicians I know who can think in many dimensions.  So I thought I would point out today that 2014 World Juggling Day is June 14.