If you read this blog, then you probably already know about xkcd, the web comic by the geektastic Randall Munroe. What you may not know is that Randall really is just that smart, with a keen interest in physics and math. He likes thinking about big-picture stuff, including taking what might seem like silly ideas and running with them to see where they lead.
So I’m really excited to see he’s started a blog called "what if?" He takes crazy questions from readers and answers them, following the logic wherever it may lead.
The inaugural post asked, what if you threw a baseball at very nearly the speed of light? I have seriously thought about this as well, and while I found myself smiling at Randall’s explanation – his thinking followed mine very closely – he took a turn I hadn’t thought about: atoms in the air undergoing nuclear fusion with the baseball. Huh.
The second post, which just went up, is about how well you’d score if you answered SAT questions randomly, and somehow due to Randall’s machinations all the US Presidents and 75% of the the cast of Firefly get electrocuted by lightning.
As usual, this is clever, funny, odd, and just plain cool. You’ll feel smarter – you’ll be smarter – after reading it.
I love stuff like this: what would the credits of "Firefly" have been like had the show been made in the 1980s? Pretty much like this:
This was done by Garrison Dean and my bud Charlie Jane Anders from io9.
I’ve written about Marian Call before: the fiery-haired songstress who croons her cleverly-written songs about Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, and being a geek.
Marian is currently on a tour of all 50 states, and on July 3rd and 4th she’ll be right here in Boulder! On the 3rd she’s performing at the Trident coffeeshop (940 Pearl Street) from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. If you live in the area, and you’re a geek — face it, you are — then you should come. She’s set up a Facebook page to get an idea of how many people will attend. The next day — July 4 — she’ll be at the Folsom St. Coffee Shop (1795 Folsom St) at 5:00pm. Both concerts are free, but you should chip in a few bucks if you go to support her!
After Boulder, she’s heading down Colorado Springs (check her schedule at the link above), so if you’re in Boulder you should see her while you can.
You can get samples of her music on her page; her music is quirky and fun and personal (here’s a review from a newcomer to her music, a woman who heard Marian for the first time recently on this tour). To give you a better sense of what she’s about, check out this fan-made video featuring her music and scenes from Firefly. It’s really good:
I’ve already made my reservation at Trident. The venue is intimate, so better hurry up and get counted! I hope to see lots of other BABloggees there.