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Gene Demaitre
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From last month....
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Thomas & Kai-Yin's wedding reception
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Keeping an eye on security with spherical robots....
A robot ball offers an amphibious watchdog, and a lesson in tech with potential security and civilian uses.

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My first new byline!

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Gene Demaitre commented on a post on Blogger.
I agree, but if certain fiction takes liberties with other aspects of history, might not some values more closely resemble that of the audience?

To play devil's advocate, if historically inspired mystery, fantasy, romance, etc. has things such as forensics, magic, and marriage for true love, isn't it OK that those fictional societies are not completely accurate?

In a world with magic, for instance, the years required for study, the reduction of manual labor and disease, and the resulting improvement in the quality of life might result in later and more equitable marriages.

The life of the typical medieval peasant was full of hard work, with nature and death always close at hand, and regular seasonal and religious celebrations. Women definitely had it worse, but setting infant mortality aside, not everyone died in wars or intrigues as in some fiction. 

In many steampunk settings, where social and technological changes happen faster or sooner than they did in the real world, the roles of women are often less restricted.

That's not to say that authors should shy away from difficult situations, but not every premodern society was plagued by rape and arranged marriage, nor are modern ones (and likely near-future ones) yet free of those, racism, and other ills.

R.I.P., Roger Ebert.

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Another step by a great man, who will be missed...
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the death of former test pilot and NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong. He was 82.
 
"On behalf of the entire NASA family, I would like to express my deepest condolences to Carol and the rest of Armstrong family on the passing of Neil Armstrong. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own.
 
"Besides being one of America's greatest explorers, Neil carried himself with a grace and humility that was an example to us all. When President Kennedy challenged the nation to send a human to the moon, Neil Armstrong accepted without reservation.
 
"As we enter this next era of space exploration, we do so standing on the shoulders of Neil Armstrong. We mourn the passing of a friend, fellow astronaut and true American hero."
 
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A little more conversation....

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