Horsing Around

Yesterday’s dramatic image showcased an Icelandic waterfall and tomorrow is Monday. Iceland plus “Oh great, Monday, I could use some humor” equals Horse Mail.

Iceland Invites You to Relax While a Horse Replies To Your Emails

Iceland has run a number of clever, funny, and downright weird marketing campaigns in the last several years.

Their latest continues the humorous approach, with a campaign called OutHorse Your Email.

In involves real horses who were trained to type on a giant keyboard.

Next time I go on vacation, horsies, you’re hired.

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Photo by Fabian Burghardt on Unsplash

Apropos of Nothing

This is a place I would like to visit. The colors! The drama! The stratigraphy!

Look at all that history, waiting to be turned into future fiction. Photo by Miha Rekar on Unsplash

Agree to (Mostly) Agree

Growing up, we were taught to give books the first sentence test. If that first sentence drew us in we’d move on to the first paragraph. I consider that mindset excellent training for authors running the editorial gauntlet.

Here are a few examples of good openers. While I may not love every one, it’s a good collection, made even more useful by the side-by-side comparison with other great literature.

Literature’s greatest opening paragraphs – the best opening lines in novels

As with pubs and shoes, you know you’re reading a great book from the second you’re inside it.

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Photo by Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash

My afternoon disappeared with a giant sucking sound, so please enjoy this story about hope, the power of community, and doing what you can where you are.

Her branches reach for the stars (Jo Miles in Nature: Futures)

Lieutenant Auri Murr knew the exact moment when her grandmother died.

She was on duty in engineering when Grandma Shanna’s dappu-wood bead on her kin-necklace cracked: a sharp, dry, quiet sound, unmistakable to anyone from Darmindu Colony. It could have woken Auri from a sound sleep.

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Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash

I’d planned to finish a new drabble for today but instead alternated between day job work and reloading news on Hurricane Ian. We have family friends there and neighbors with homes in that area, but even if we didn’t I’d be worried for the people who live there.

For those in the path of the storm, keep your family (pets too!) safe until the sun shines again.

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Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

Earth Smash!

Way to go, NASA, you did good!

NASA’s DART mission successfully crashes spacecraft into asteroid

It was a cosmic smash-up watched around the world.

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Sorry not sorry! (Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL)

The Best Defense

Today is the first test of humanity’s nascent planetary defense system. Like Armageddon, except scientists are the heroes.

NASA will hit an asteroid with a spacecraft to change its course : NPR

“It’s just a spacecraft that is going to go and smack an asteroid.” Oh, is that all?

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NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid to test our ability to nudge potentially dangerous near-Earth objects into safer trajectories. That is excellent, and we can watch it.

How to Livestream NASA Smashing an Asteroid to Test Planetary Defense Plan

The impact day broadcast of the actual test will start on Monday, September 26 at 6 p.m. EDT, which you can watch on NASA TV, a livestream on NASA’s YouTube channel.

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What will happen and how will we know? 

Ground-based telescopes are key to DART asteroid mission success | Space

On Monday (Sept. 26), the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will slam into a small space rock called Dimorphos — on purpose, at a staggering 4 miles (6.6 kilometers) per second. The exercise comes in the name of planetary defense, which aims to protect human civilization from any large asteroid that may be on a collision course. For the mission to succeed, scientists need to measure exactly how much the orbit of Dimorphos around its larger companion, Didymos, speeds up. And the DART spacecraft won’t be in any shape to make that measurement itself, so mission personnel are relying on ground-based telescopes to track the aftermath of impact.

If this trial run works, terrific, but even failure would better prepare us to defend Earth. 

Si vis pacem, para [asteroides].

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus (with minor paraphrasing)

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Photo by Senad Palic on Unsplash

Time for a Nap

Today: mushrooms. That is all. (Literally. Eighteen pounds of mushrooms and 8 quarts of mushroom soup is a Lot.)

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Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Don’t Be Afraid

“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…”

― Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

What Words Can Do

Hilary Mantel, celebrated author of Wolf Hall, dies aged 70

The Booker prize-winning author of the Wolf Hall trilogy, Dame Hilary Mantel, has died aged 70, her publisher HarperCollins has confirmed.

Mantel was regarded as one of the greatest English-language novelists of this century, winning the Booker Prize twice, for Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, which also won the 2012 Costa book of the year.

Writer and broadcaster Damian Barr said her death is “such a loss”.

“With every book she redefined what words can do,” he tweeted, adding: “She’s the only person I ever interviewed that speaks in whole, flawless paragraphs. I can’t believe we won’t have another book from her.”

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“The pen is in our hands. A happy ending is ours to write.”

— Hilary Mantel