Previously on Friday Night Videos... Bing Crosby and David Bowie.
At their conference today, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe Simon will announce that they have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today. Instead of using phosphorus, the bacteria uses arsenic. All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same.
But not this one. This one is completely different. Discovered in the poisonous Mono Lake, California, this bacteria is made of arsenic, something that was thought to be completely impossible. While she and other scientists theorized that this could be possible, this is the first discovery. The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding beings in other planets that don’t have to be like planet Earth.
Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who've influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag at least fifteen friends, including me, because I'm interested in seeing what authors my friends choose.
J.R.R. Tolkien: Whenever I talk about research, talk about worldbuilding, it all comes back to this man
Arthur C. Clarke: Hard SF? Oh, coooool
Herman Melville: When I read Moby Dick everyone warned me about the "long boring part about whales." Then the Pequod sank and I realized that there were no boring parts
Greg Bear: Blew my mind with what hard SF was capable of.
Charles de Lint: Character, place, place as character, magic as character, lyricism...
Ian Fleming: This is what the original Bond was like? But... it's different from the movies...
Patrick O'Brian: My Cibola airship stories were going nowhere until I read Master and Commander. Yeah, I steal from him endlessly
Bart Ehrman: His books on early Christianity are endlessly fascinating, illuminating and informative, clearly showing how Fundamentalism is wholly unworkable in a literal sense
Howard Waldrop: Meticulously brilliant short story constructions
Joe Lansdale: I'm not a horror fan, but I'll read anything Joe writes. I've never met a more instinctive storyteller
Eric van Lihn (Lester Del Rey): Author of the first SF YA novel I ever read. I'd been devoted to non-fiction up until then
Ursula LeGuin: Introduced me to the concept of sociological SF
Homer: The birth of my love of mythology. 'Nuff said.
Mike Grell: Blew me away with his Green Arrow and showed me comics could work and entertainment for adults without flying lasers and alien invaders
Lois McMaster Bujold: Introduced me to modern space opera, and showed me fun adventure didn't have to be dumb
Irritated Republicans spent much of the hearing trying to disarm Colbert with a combination of jokes and pointed questions.
"Does one day working in the field make you an expert witness, do you think?" Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) asked scornfully.
"I believe one day of me studying anything makes me an expert on something," Colbert replied confidently.
"Is that to say it's more work than you've ever done before, right?" Smith followed.
"It's certainly harder work than this," the comedian deadpanned.
I went back to the Chicken Ranch not long ago, and found it looking oddly older than when I was a boarder there 15 years before. It seemed more decrepit than I remembered it, more diagonal and decayed, with broken windows and rotting woodwork, as though part of the building had been chopped off and moved to Dallas. But, of course, fifteen years before there had been sex going on. Perhaps the brothel wasn’t as well-regarded in these days; perhaps the upkeep, along with everything else, had gone with the sex.
While the previous century was in its teens, and on one sunshiny morning in June, there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Jessie’s Fashionable Boarding House for young ladies, past the Bad Curve sign, a large farm wagon, with two fat horses in blazing harness, driven by a fat farmer in sweat-stained coveralls, at the rate of four miles an hour. A black sharecropper, who reposed on the wagon behind the fat farmer, uncurled his bandy legs as soon as the equipage drew up opposite Miss Jessie’s new screen door, and as he pulled the bell at least a score of young heads were seen peering out of the narrow windows of the white clapboard house. Nay, the acute observer might have recognized the little red nose of stern-natured Miss Jessie Williams herself, stubbing out a cigarette in the window of that madam's own parlour.