Daily Thoughts 58: The Shallows, Planetary Society, Defining Games

Author's selfie Sporting my new Planetary Society t-shirt while hanging out in the hammock chair. It’s been a long day! After my walk this morning I spent time cleaning out our shed of things to go to the transfer station. Followed by errands, before coming back to work on my assignments for class, and wrapped up with a movie.

The Planetary Society

It is surprising to me (in retrospect) that I hadn’t already joined the Planetary Society. After listening to books by Bill Nye and Jim Bell, I finally took the leap and joined. I should have done it a long time ago.

The Shallows

We watched The Shallows tonight after having rented it nearly a month ago. This was a good surprise. A survival horror movie, a short of Halloween meets Jaws. Lively did an excellent job carrying the movie (since for much of the movie she’s the only person on the screen). I also loved that her character was named Nancy. I don’t know if that’s a nod to A Nightmare on Elm Street or not, but I’ll appreciate it as such anyway.

Defining “Game”

For class, I had to define a “game” and discuss the definition. I’ve worked on it the past couple days.

Games are structured social activities found across human cultures that involve rules and challenges which may be mental, physical, or a combination of both. Games elicit emotions in players, observers, or both.

This is the definition I wrote. I’m not going to post the entire discussion. I mostly focused on the social and cultural implications of games, and why it is that humans spend so much time and energy on games. Is there an evolutionary advantage to this sort of behavior? Potentially, yes, I think that an argument can be made. I also addressed why I think that even single-player games are inherently social in nature.

Daily Thoughts 30 | New Year

Author's selfie I didn’t get up until 7 AM today! I rarely get up so late. I know, you may not consider that late, but I’m usually up at 4:30 AM or later. I didn’t get to sleep until late last night, falling asleep right about the stroke of midnight. I was a bit more restless last night with my sleep pattern disturbed. I ended up with less than 7 hours of sleep, so I may end up taking a nap later!

Cover art for The Interstellar Age by Jim BellWith the late start, I actually got to walk as the sun was coming up. We got about 1cm to 1.5cm of snow accumulation last night. It was wet, partially frozen, and crunchy. Along the trail, I followed the tracks of four coyotes, while listening to The Interstellar Age by Jim Bell. This morning he talked about the various messages included with spacecraft leaving the solar system.

Planetary Society

Planetary Society Member BadgeLately, I’ve been thinking about the work of the Planetary Society. In part due to listening first to Unstoppable by Bill Nye, and now Bell’s book. I’ve followed news from the Planetary Society for a long time but just never joined. I changed that with the new year and signed up.

I’ve always enjoyed space exploration. I’m a science fiction writer, after all! And my favorite sorts of science fiction usually revolve around spaceships and exploration. As much as I enjoy seeing the results of the various missions under way, I want us to be braver. To take risks. To explore and push our boundaries. I think there is much to look forward to as our explorations continue.

Call the Midwife

Back down on Earth, one of the shows I’ve very much enjoyed is Call the Midwife. This evening it was great to spend some time with the holiday special episode.

I enjoy dramas. This one, set in a different time and place from my experience, taps into some of the things that I think makes science fiction so compelling. I doubt many people would consider it science fiction, however, they have done a number of story arcs about the advance of science and knowledge and the impacts on people in a very personal way.

New Year Plans

I’m going to write another post looking at my plans for 2017. Today has been a busy day, with errands, napping, and normal daily routines.