Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Post

I haven't posted anything here since the first half of May. Seduced by facebook, I guess.

But facebook is set up for short entries, designed for chitchat. I think I want to discuss some topics that will take more room. So here I am back at the blog again.

Pause to get coffee from the fresh pot.

I went to CONvergence yesterday. It's a large (in the area of 5,000 people) local con, more media than literary, but with enough literary programming to keep me happy. When I got to the hotel, it looked like Minicon, which is the legacy local con. A thin scattering of middle aged and elderly fans were in the hotel's lobbies. There were few costumes. No one looked especially neat or cool.

"What is this about?" I thought. Then I remembered it was 11 am.

I stayed six hours. As time went on, more and more people appeared, younger and a lot cooler looking than the morning fans. Many wore costumes, especially steampunk, which is this year's theme. Even people in fannish civvies made fashion statements, such as good punk hair cuts.

By the time I left the place looked ready to rock. I would have stayed, except I had an offer of a ride, and I live on the other side of the metro area from the con hotel.


Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years, courtesy of the European Southern Observatory's new VLT Survey Telescope and OmegaCAM. The sharp, false color image includes both optical and infrared data, following faint details of the region's gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17's stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the remaining interstellar material producing the cavernous appearance and undulating shapes. M17 is also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula.