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Why ‘Stranger Things’ Is So Wonderful

The third season of Netflix’s 80s nostalgia fest delivers again with an emotionally-gripping entertainment that harkens back to a less cynical age.

Sci-Fi Book Review: ‘Friday’ by Robert Heinlein

“Friday” is one of Heinlein’s last science fiction novels. It isn’t as well known as “Starship Troopers” or “Stranger in a Strange Land” though it shares more with the latter than the former. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this Robert Heinlein novel? And where did Heinlein hit the bulls-eye predicting the future in this novel?

The Undergraduate is Not a Political Novel

The Undergraduate, a novel by Virginia attorney E. Scott Lloyd, published by Liberty Island Press and available for electronic download on Amazon, is something of a mixed bag. This coming-of-age story, told in the first person, is about a young man who is a college student at the turn of the century. He is from a small tourist town on the Jersey Shore, but attends a fictitious private school, Montpelier University, located in the mountains, probably the Adirondacks, and apparently affiliated in some way with the Roman Catholic Church. The school attracts a number of students from the narrator’s home town, including his closest friends and a young woman in whom he has an intense interest, but for most of the book, only a platonic relationship.

LI Author Reading and Interview: Howard Butcher on 1400 KRLN AM Radio in Canon City, CO

Check out Jonah: A Novel of Men and the Sea

The author reads from his novel Jonah.

Could You Make a Disease Kill All of the X?

Could you make a disease kill all members of one group or another? In theory, yes.

Could you create a disease that kills all members of one sex? That premise has already been presented in several horror novels. In Frank Herbert’s novel “The White Plague”, it is a virus engineered to kill women and works only in those with two X chromosomes. In the book “Epitaph Road”, it is a genetically engineered virus that kills only men. The virus can only infect cells with Y chromosomes.

Happy 4th of July!

Liberty Island wishes everyone a fun, safe 4th of July!

That Time I Almost Met Hugh Jackman

The first time I was in Australia, I walked past Hugh Jackman on a path winding through the Royal Botanical Garden in Sydney right next to the Opera House.

At least, I think I did.

After fifty or so meters, I turned to my partner and said, “That was Hugh Jackman back there.”

They flung themselves around to look. “I don’t think so. That’s just a tall guy in a hat and sunglasses.”

“Whatever. I’m telling you that’s him.”

“Self-Image” Issues? Your Parents Were “Narcissists” and “Toxic!” – Convenient Excuses and Cultural Dry Rot

“Certified Life Coaches” are springing up across the country like dandelions (and you, too, can become a “Certified Life Coach” in as little as 90 days!).    Lisa Romano is one “who specializes in codependency and narcissistic abuse.”  She was challenged by a viewer for encouraging the alienation of adult children from their parents, and to her credit Romano gave a detailed response.  In it, there is a glimmer of self-awareness when she considers that her views on “abuse” might in turn be abused by self-centered offspring, but it quickly fades.  After all, she’s not talking about parents “who ask their kids to clean up the dishes after their friends were over to teach responsibility,”and she goes on to cite far more serious cases.  As for all that may lie in between?  Well, if it wasn’t “validation of your feelings,” if it didn’t “fan the flames of the light inside you,” then it was abuse, “dear ones.”

Why Brain Uploading and Telepathy Are Impossible

One of the tenets of the Singularity is that we’ll be able to upload our brains to a digital afterlife, escaping the confines of our current bodies. This is also one of the key drivers of the desire to create human-level awareness in AI; it has to be as intelligent, aware, and soulful as us if we’re going to digitize our souls. You even see lesser versions of this, such as the “Black Mirror” episode where a woman underwent surgery to create a digital copy of herself to act as her assistant.

Name That Australian Celebrity

The first time Kevin called after I moved to Australia, I had to explain how to use the World Clock feature on his phone. “I understand it’s the middle of the day there,” I said before throwing my phone on the floor, “But, it’s the next morning here. I’m still in bed.”

Uncharacteristically, Kevin learned from that mistake and has called at more appropriate times ever since. Until this week.

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