Nimbus Machina beautifully confers a powerful message about the danger of our own ingenuity

This beautiful short is loaded with powerful imagery and conveys a stark warning about the perils of our industriousness. Well worth a viewing or two.

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Rummaging through old memories – how The Genius Crucible’s cover was born

Nissigoboro and Nala

Nissigoboro and Nala

Many years ago, my parents lived in Papua New Guinea (PNG). I will not go into detail the reasons for which they were there, but suffice to say that my head was filled at a young age with stories of exotic jungles, villages of rugged tribesmen, and exhausting scientific expeditions through some of the world’s most rugged terrain.

My parents took a few memorable pictures. Back in the 70’s, film was expensive and hard to store adequately in the humid jungle. Since they could only carry so much, only a few pictures remain of their treks. My father had turned some into slides that he used during classroom presentations to his students. Thankfully, a few years ago he made the effort to scan those slides. I now have a selection of the images stored for posterity. They are beautiful and open a window of insight on a world that had remained largely untouched by the progress of history. I will share some of these images here from time to time.

The first to make its appearance is a photo of Nissigoboro and his son, Nala. Nala served as my father’s interpreter in the Karimui, a remote district in PNG. They worked together for several years over many expeditions, developing a close friendship. My brother and I were fortunate enough to meet Nala back in the ’80s when we accompanied our father on his last expedition to the island’s jungles.

It was therefore fitting for the pair to figure prominently on the cover of The Genius Crucible, since they are inspirations for some of the book’s major characters. Thanks to the magic of digitization and a little help from photoshop, a forty year old picture became a central component for a science fiction book dealing with many cutting edge artificial intelligence and environmental issues. Does it work? I’ll let you be the judge.

The Genius Crucible (available at Amazon.com)

Follow @GeniusCrucible if you are interested in science, the environment, artificial intelligence, and the disappearance of genius.

More Quebec gas price strangeness

On April 1st, 2013, Revenu Quebec (link) posted a gas tax increase. Strangely enough the price today (April 3rd) has dropped two cents.

As I’ve written earlier (link), this price drop comes after having jumped ten cents in a single day in February, and then flat lining at $138,4 for several weeks. The price dropped for the first time since February today, two days after the tax increase, and now sits at $136,4.

Fascinating.

The circles I work in for my alternate-desk-jockey-reality like to say that credibility is everything.

I can’t help but think that this pokes all kinds of holes in Big Oil’s credibility and certainly makes me wonder about many things besides their dubious pricing schemes.