- The Estes catalogs were an endless source of fascination for me as a kid, and my dad still flies model rockets for the grandkids at every family get together. Founder Vern Estes turned 90 this week.
- I am not an urban fantasy guy. I kind of hate it. So the fact that Jim Butcher’s urban fantasy series The Dresden Files is one of my favorite book series should speak volumes for it. Excitingly, the long awaited 16th book in the series, Peace Talks, is now available for pre-order.
- I’ve never heard of Noah Hawley, but apparently he’s directed some decent stuff, and he’s now he’s writing a Star Trek movie. While I didn’t hate the Abrams-verse (and frankly, I thought the alternate timeline was, in concept, a clever way of doing a reboot without destroying the old canon), his promise to return to something closer to Roddenberry’s vision is appealing. Call me tentatively excited.
- As it turns out, echidnas have a great way of surviving fires– they bury themselves and hibernate. Hilariously, when they don’t quite bury themselves far enough, their spines will melt. Given that they’re a kind of modified hair, it doesn’t hurt, but it does leave them looking like they had a run in with a belt sander.
- While we’re all waiting for Betelgeuse to explode, it turns out binary star V Sagittae is spiraling its way towards its own supernova and apparently rather predictably. Astronomers expect the system to finish its death spiral (heehee) and become a single red giant around 2083, becoming one of the brightest stars in the sky for a while. (Unless Betelgeuse stops teasing us.)
- Evidence is mounting that the universe isn’t just clumps of materials randomly sticking together, but that there is a structure on even the largest scales. Magnetic bridges between galaxies have been suspected, but astronomers recently made their first real observations of the bridge linking the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.