dean.smith's blog

The Autobiography of James T Kirk

It pains me to recommend we ban a book, but I’ve found a dangerous one. To secure our future, we had better vacuum up all copies of Jim Kirk’s autobiography What if he gets his hands on it after he's born and changes his mind about commanding the Enterprise (it's a tough job)? That could alter the future/past! What if he reads his own book and decides he doesn't want the promotion? What if he stays in engineering and becomes a redshirt? A redshirt! You know what that means!

The Autumnal Equinox

Contrary to what our public school schedule has conditioned us to think, autumn doesn’t start until late September. Tomorrow at 4:21 AM EDT (3:21 AM in Austin) the sun will cross the celestial equator (the earth’s equator projected into space) and start tracking through the southern skies until spring, 2016, when we get it back.  

Manga Fun Pack

UPDATE: MANGA FUN PACK has been claimed! Thanks for playing!

My Love Story!! is a sweet romance in which the misunderstandings are slight, problems are solved by the ends of the episodes, and everyone is moving toward happily pairing off. (Can you think of a hugely popular English author from the early 1800s who wrote similar stories?) You can see it animated on crunchyroll, for free if you’ll suffer the ads, and there’s talk of a live-action movie.


To get the latest on the farthest dwarf planet humans have visited, you’ll need our databases, because any book about Pluto we have on our shelves was outdated as of July 14, 2015, 7:49 EDT, when the New Horizons space probe flew within 7800 miles of the surface of Pluto. If you’re watching NASA’s web site, you know that we’re downloading new pictures from the probe daily, and will be downloading for 15 months more. That’s how long it will take New Horizons to transmit all the data it's collected on Pluto.

Those Old Card Catalogs

Are your socks so special that each pair deserves its own tiny drawer? You might be in the market for a refurbished library card catalog, or even one unrefurbished with character and patina, depending on your tastes. Either way, you’ll pay a pretty penny for it on ebay or craigslist. You can get faux card-catalog furniture, but it won’t be built like the real thing. The real stuff is heavy blond oak with dovetailed joints, the drawers built to be opened and closed for a century. 

Star Talk

On the first episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new Star Talk TV show, George Takei asked what Dr. Tyson thinks will be the big discovery in his lifetime. Tyson said in the next decade or so, we’ll be certain of extra-terrestrial life. 


In Austin, April is not the month to blog about Formula 1, but Saturday evening we watched Senna, the movie by Asif Kapadia about Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian racer, and I can’t wait until October when the racers return to our circuit to talk about it. 

Going Clear

In January 2013, Austin author Lawrence Wright published Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief. This Friday, March 13, on what would have been L. Ron Hubbard's 104th birthday, director Alex Gibney's documentary based on Wright's book opens on the coasts. (And I mean the east and the west, not the third. Rats.) HBO will air the movie on March 29. 


Subscribe to RSS - dean.smith's blog