Saturday, March 24, 2007

Joe Murphy

I am not keyed into the details, but it sounds like Joe Murphy, podcaster, friend, and cool human being, is not doing well. Which, is of course an understatement.

Cancer is horrible. I have been listening to Joe for over a year as part of the Slice Of SciFi and Wingin'It Podcasts. I met Joe last year at Dragon*Con. He was a great guy to talk to and to play games with. (Even if it was only Killer Bunnies) At that time, none of us knew Joe was sick.

Not much later, Joe found out he had cancer, a very bad inoperable cancer. On a positive note, Joe is surrounded by a world of support, literally. Listeners and friends from around the world have been sending Joe whatever support they can: thoughts, prayers, money, food, visits, a home, a family and more.

This touches on something that I have been thinking about with regards to podcasting. These thoughts are still forming, and I can't do them justice just yet. But, here are is a hint. I feel that, despite its infancy, podcasting has a chance to change the world beyond the internet alone. There is something about the human voice that makes us feel closer than reading words on a computer screen. With the freedom of creation and the intimacy of experience, worldwide communities are building up around podcasts. The thing is that the relationship is not one-sided. There are many ways to make the experience interactive.

What does this mean? It means that the world is a smaller place. It means that close friendships will be made around the world. It means that the mental health of an individual will be improved by someone they have never met. It means that the world is rooting for Joe Murphy.

Please consider him in your thoughts and prayers. If you can, donate some money. You can find the link in the upper right of the page you will find a PayPal link for the Joe Fund.

We love you Joe.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day. There are many things I would love to write about (and do), but instead, I will be writing about Organizational Management, Change Management and Managing Innovation all weekend. My hope is to be all caught up after this weekend. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day

March 14... 3/14 Get it? I'm a geek and numbers can be fun. I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Pluto Planet Day

Despite the rulings of the International Astronomical Union, the New Mexico State Legislature has declared today, March 13, as Pluto Planet Day!

Support your marginalized planets today!

New Mexico has a lot of ties to astronomy and aerospace, so there is a history as to why they have taken this move. You can read more details here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

RIP Sweet Bumpy

We lost our original goldfish, Bumpy, today. We had him for three years now, and he was at least 4 years old. This picture (taken with my cell-phone) is a couple of years old, taken before he developed a tumor on his dorsal fin. He was also a bit dim-witted, even for a goldfish. He once got himself stuck in his castle such that we had to replace it with something else. Rest in Peace Bumpy

Saturday, March 10, 2007


We saw the movie 300 Friday night, and WOW, that was an amazing movie. This is a really odd thing for me to say since this movie is full of blood, violence, war... things I am usually not fans of in movies. (Although the blood was more like comic book blood than movie blood.) Just so you are aware, there is also sex and nudity.

Yet, this movie is a beautiful piece of art. I haven't read the original comic book, but it seems to me that they kept the comic book in mind as they crafted the movie. Not only the comic, but ancient art as well. Many times during the movie I felt as if I was looking at a piece of Spartan pottery brought to life. The actors were excellent, and well formed for their parts. For both the ladies and the gentlemen, but especially the ladies, there is a lot of eye-candy in this movie.

The Spartans view of war was like an art... almost a religion. This is how it was portrayed in the movie. This was not a movie about brutal, chaotic fighting. The battle scenes were like dances. The hand to hand military tactics were intelligent and fantastic to watch. Beyond the battles, there are a lot of deeper themes in this movie, themes of freedom. Freedom from oppression and freedom from mysticism. If you won't be put off by the violence, go and see this movie. I plan on seeing it again in the theaters.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Man vs. Child

A Big Goodbye from Serena
Originally uploaded by TeeMonster.

My good friend Tee Morris, science fiction / fantasy author, podcaster and hitchhiker to Dragon*Con, got together with fellow podcaster Paul Fisher to create this FANTASTIC video, Man vs. Child. This mockumentary shows us the plight of fathers left at home with small children. Following the style of the Discovery Channel's Man vs. Wild we see what happens to Tee when Natalie leaves him at home, alone, with Serena. Please follow this link to see what happens.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

RavenCon Schedule

Once again this year John and I will be a science panelists at RavenCon. From April 20-22, 2007 we will be in Richmond Virginia having a blast.

I am doing two panels and a Koffe Klatch. I'll be on my own for the two panels, but John and I will be doing the Koffe Klatch together.... kind of a sit around and chat with the science panelists thing. John has one panel.

Here is our schedules:

Laura Burns
Striking A Balance 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Saturday
- Government versus Private Exploration of Space

Space News 12:01 PM - 12:50 PM Sunday
- Some cool things going on with NASA and beyond

John Cmar
The Once and Flu-ture 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM Saturday
- Something about whether or not we will have a Flu Pandemic

Koffee Klatch 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM Sunday


Poppet and Pins 2
Originally uploaded by Sci-Fi Laura.

BaltiCon is going to be crazy. So many people I know and love are going to be there, some coming from as far away as Arizona and California. Most recently, I just found out from Lisa Snellings-Clark's blog that she will be coming back again this year. I love Lisa's work and am very very excited. Of course, a small part of that is the sleep deprivation.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


If you know me, you know that I often have a procrastination and perfectionist problem. Those two factors are frequently related. Acknowledging that, I have never felt this way before. I enjoy all of the classes I am currently taking, but I am seriously considering dropping one of them.

I have a mid-term tomorrow. I have a pile of back assignments. The classes are great. The work is not hard. I just have no motivation to complete the work. Throughout all of the highs and lows of my life, I have never felt so much like quitting. This is odd timing as I am excited about many other things. This is probably coursework burnout.

I think one factor is the number of assignments they give us in this class. It is almost 2 assignments a week. For every reading assignment, there is an associated essay. While it is important to make sure that we understand the readings, this is a graduate class. They shouldn't have to force us to prove it.

Sorry this posting is a bit mundane. I do have much more exciting things going on, but this is what is weighing on me at the moment.