Monday, January 28, 2008

Power to the Tiny: Nanogenerators Scavenge Energy


"So nat'ralists observe, a flea
Hath smaller fleas that on him prey,
And these have smaller fleas that bite 'em,
And so proceed ad infinitum
."
—Johnathan Swift
The miniscule devices that fall under the title of nanotechnology have huge potential, so long as they can utilize a power source better than a battery. The successful nanotech product will rely on its ability to scavenge “waste energy” ad infinitum (as Jonathan Swift would have said). In a recent article in the Scientific American (January, 2008), Zhong Lin Wang (Director of the Centre for Nanostructure Characterization, Georgia Institute of Technology) gives the example of the 1920’s watchmaker who invented the self-winding watch. Mechanically harvesting energy from the wearer’s moving arm and putting it to work rewinding the watch was a brilliant concept.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Year’s Meme


I know this is Friday and I usually have a Friday Feature... But, consider MEMEs my Friday Feature, which gives me a chance to catch up on them; I've been tagged by quite a few of late. Starting with that Heretic over at … well … at the Heretic’s Place (Kathleen is her street name but we know her as the “heretic”), who tagged me a while ago with this New Year’s meme. Way back in early December, 2007, Terry at Coffee Writer tagged me with the five-random-facts meme and shortly after Mel at Monday Morning Power wanted to know some weird facts about me (seven weird facts meme). With January already nearly over, I thought I had better deal with all these. Hmmm… if this is the way my whole year is going to be, well, I’m in for quite a ride. That’s okay. I like rides. The crazier the better…

So, in the interest of expediency and efficiency (for me, anyway! One of my resolutions, Mel!…) I’ve decided to combine the three memes into one. I’ll still post separate links to selected candidates to carry on the meme, though. Otherwise, it might get very confusing for you. And, as much as that might amuse me, I wouldn’t wish it on you. Really. I’ll post my response first, then the rules and candidates for each meme after. So, please read to the end, folks!

These twenty questions provided for me by Kathleen serve as more than seven and more than five weird and random facts about me:

1. What color do you like most?
I am partial to blue-green, the shade I’d call ocean teal. I find the interplay of this mix soothing and inspiring, intellectually pleasing, and bracing for my soul and muse.

2. What in life do you fear the most?
Not living to the fullest. Losing my passion, my dreams or my ability to live my dreams and share them with my beloved.

3. Where is the place that you most want to go?
Today?...Paris, France. I long to stroll along the Seine on the Rive Gauche, smell the river and acacia trees and browse the bouquinists and artwork… stop in at a Patisserie and eat the most fattening pastry there… lunch for three hours at a café in the Mouffe of the Latin Quarter…argue world politics with a Parisian…be transported by the exquisite stain glass rose windows of Sainte Chapelle …feel the fragrant Paris breeze, carrying with it the hypnotic notes of Charles Tatou’s “La Mer”…

4. Which part of you do you hate the most?
What’s there to hate? Okay… the part that I dislike the most is what I unintentionally and invariably do to others because I am at times too impatient and ultimately inconsiderate.

5. When you encounter a sad moment, what do you do?
Is this a trick question? I get sad. Then I get mad. Then I get even…Okay, okay…depending on how sad the situation is, I probably have a good cry, then I get determined and do something for the person or circumstance. I am an action-oriented person. If I can do something I will. I am most pathetic when I feel helpless to do anything.

6. What are you most afraid to lose?
My sense of humor, optimism, and faith. Without these, I would not have the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

7. Name the five traits you most admire in a person.
Honour. Integrity. Compassion. Wisdom. Gentleness.

8. If you meet someone you love, do you confess it or do you observe from afar?
Neither. I’m a scientist; I study, up close. Up close and personal. Oh, and good scientists always get a sample…

9. List three good points of the person who tagged you.
Kathleen is a very creative person and imaginative writer. I admire her courage and forthrightness in sharing her honesty and opinions about a diversity of issues.

10. What do you require from your other half?
I don’t require these but find them rather indispensible in any close and long-lasting relationship: honesty, compassion, forgiveness, honor, and tenderness.

11. What is the moment you most regret?
When I hurt the feelings of a close friend by being an inconsiderate bully and self-important tyrant. I’m sorry, so sorry…

12. Which type of person do you hate the most?
Is this another trick question? Obviously someone who is normally like what I behaved like in number 11.

13. What is your ambition?
It has changed over the years. When I was five I wanted to be an actress. Then a few years later, I realized that the director has so much more fun and creative control. After several iterations of wanting to be a fireman, professional tennis player, racecar driver, lawyer, and drummer in a rock and roll band… I settled down to “save the environment” and became an environmental consultant. My current ambition is to share stories that I feel can make a difference to our evolving culture and peoples.

14. What is the thing that will make you think someone is bad?
Okay, I’ve decided that these are ALL trick questions…coercing us to make a black & white choice when shades of gray are so much more interesting. No one is totally bad. But, what makes me recoil from a person is when I sense attempted deception (particularly the syrupy façade of niceties) to hide greed and the lust for power at the obvious expense of others. Those who purposely hurt others (whether person, animal, or plant, etc.) are themselves hurting and need our compassion.
15. If you had one wish what would you wish for?
See? I told you! (Now, if I was smart I’d say I’d wish for ten thousand more wishes!) But, seriously, I can do this one. I’d wish that each living thing on this planet Earth realizes his/hers/its full potential, has at least one glimpse of glory, unadulterated happiness and fulfillment, and shares at least a moment of true ecstatic love.

16. How could you celebrate the New Year?
The way I did, with close friends and family and kissing my loved one full on the mouth as the midnight hour struck.

17. Name one part of your body your lover tells you he or she adores.
Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Do I need to tell everyone? Gosh!

18. Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
Yes, actually. Two: 1) to manage my time better and become more proficient; and 2) to use my time better and get more efficient. I tend to repeat myself…I tend to repeat myself…
19. If your better half is cheating on you, will you forgive him or her?
Well, okay…eventually. Yes. Of course. Because I know him and the nature of our relationship, I’d be bound to forgive him. Forgiveness comes with understanding. And I know in my heart of hearts that he is a beautiful soul.

20. What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I am a very sound sleeper and don’t remember my dreams. In fact, it ticks me off that my husband can relate all these neat science-fiction dreams he’s had when I’m the writer!

So, here are the rules and candidates for the three memes:

1) Kathleen’s New Year’s Meme:
Here are the rules: remove one question from the list and add your own. Answer the twenty questions then tag 8 people and list them at the end of the post. It’s always nice to notify them too (though most of you have some kind of notification scheme going on already, don’t you? (e.g., technorati). I choose: Bob; Josh; Melly; Terry; Deborah; Sarah.

2) Terry’s Five Random Facts Meme:
The rules are simple. Cite and link to your source (me), then enjoy writing about five random facts about yourself then tag five other people and let them know. I choose: Manchild; Theresa; Marlive; Catherine; and Tristran.

3) Mel’s Seven Weird Things About Me Meme:
Same goes for this one, except it’s seven facts (and they have to be weird, though your definition of weird and anyone else’s may vary considerably), cite and link to your source (me, again) then tag some victim—er candidates to spread more weirdness. My choice: Joanne; Dan; Pete; Laurie; DrowseyMonkey; Franscud; Kathleen.




Okay, I'm done. Now go and play!... Wait!...


That Monday Morning Mel over there gave me the most wonderful award: Bloggers of the World! Thanks, Mel! I am honored.




Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Physics, Biology and Chemistry of Angels


A while back, I posted a Friday Feature that included an interview with British botanist and author, Rupert Sheldrake, who wrote several books, one of which he co-wrote with Matthew Fox called The Physics of Angels. In my interview with him, Sheldrake suggested that, “Einstein’s photons of light have remarkable parallels to [St. Thomas] Aquinas’s discussions of the movements of angels [being without mass or body].

So, what ARE angels? And do you believe in them?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Designer Organisms Promise New Life…At What Cost?


Researchers in the emerging field of synthetic biology (called synbio) envision microbes customized with artificial genes to let them turn sunlight into fuel, clean up industrial waste or monitor patients for the first signs of disease, reports Rob Drummond of the Vancouver Sun (January 19, 2008).

Craig Venter, controversial DNA researcher involved in the race to decipher the human genetic code, has built a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals and is poised to announce the creation of the first new artificial life form on Earth.” writes Ed Pilkington of the Guardian (October 6, 2007). “The announcement, which is expected [soon] will herald a giant leap forward in the development of designer genomes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Illustrations of Tomislav Tikulin

He’s one of the brightest stars in the fantasy and science fiction world. His digital art evokes vivid yet fantastical landscapes that transport your mind and elevate your soul. Croatian illustrator, Tomislav Tikulin, is my Friday Feature.

Tikulin, who was born and lives in Zagreb, Croatia, recently confided in me that he had never been to North America. I find this ironic, considering that his art is showcased internationally, having appeared in every country imaginable. Tomislav Tikulin’s art work has graced the covers of many SF and Fantasy books including Chris Robertson’s Voyage of Night Shining White, Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama, and recently Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine (50th anniversary edition).

Tikulin creates convincing images grounded in reality then throws them into fantastical alien landscapes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Review of “Solaris”—Book & Motion Picture


Steven Soderbergh’s stylish psychological thriller, released November 2002 in the United States by 20th Century Fox , eloquently captures the theme of Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 book. Written almost fifty years ago, “Solaris” is an intelligent, introspective drama of great depth and imagination that meditates on man’s place in the universe and the mystery of God.

Soderbergh’s “Solaris” is a poem to Lem’s prose. Both explore the universe around us and the universe within. Not particularly palatable to North America’s multiplex crowd, eager for easily accessed answers, “Solaris” will appeal more to those with a more esoteric appreciation for art.
When I saw the 2002 20th Century Fox remake of “Solaris” (released on DVD soon after), I was blissfully unaware of its legendary history. I say blissfully because I harbored no pre-conceived notions or expectations and therefore I was struck like a child viewing the Northern Lights for the first time. The stylish, evocative and dream-like imagery flowed to a surrealistic soundtrack by Cliff Martinez like the colors of a Salvadore Dali painting.

Friday, January 11, 2008

BookCrossing—Friday Feature


They’re black and white, often scintillating and compelling, they’ve travelled from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, there’s more than four million registered, they may keep you awake at night and have even been blamed at times for providing fodder for evil doings... If you guessed books, well you’re very close! But it’s not just books, in general. These are travelling books and BookCrossing.com is my Friday Feature!

…It’s drizzling and cold outside, as you saunter warm and dry in London’s South Kensington Tube Station, awaiting a train that will take you to Earl’s Court Station. You find, lying there on the bench, an inviting bag that says: “FREE BOOK!” with a book inside. You’ve just stumbled upon a book “in the wild”. It’s a phenomenon that over 600,000 people have been doing all over the world with BookCrossing, an international network of bibliophiles who leave books in public, to be found, read, reviewed online and then left for another reader. “I think it’s the serendipity of finding something that someone has left,” explains Heather Mehra-Pedersen, co-founder of BookCrossing. “It’s sort of reverse shoplifting.”

Jennifer Moreau, a reporter for The Record who stumbled upon this phenomenon in New Westminster, British Columbia, explains the simple concept: “find a book, read it and pass it on.” Every book that travels with BookCrossing is marked with an ID number and the address for the BookCrossing website, where you can track your book, once you’ve set it free in the wild—after you’ve read it, of course! When you find a book “in the wild”, you can use the ID number to check out reviews by previous readers, offer your own comments and see where the book has already been. After reading it, you are expected to pass it on by leaving it in another public place. The most travelled book currently is Der seltsame Bűcherfreund/Hoffnung’s Constant Readers (Bookring) by Gerard Hoffnung, which changed hands 293 times.

BookCrossing was conceived by Ron Hornbaker, an American web developer, who was inspired by phototag.org, a website that tracks disposable cameras circulating in public. Hornbaker launched bookcrossing.com in 2001 and has since watched it soar into the 600,000 membership and international status is currently has. The term “bookcrossing” has even made into the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Mehra-Pederson says that “the site was created on the premise that the two things that change people’s lives are the people they meet ant the books that we read.”


I’ve joined and look forward to shortly setting some books free in the wild. I don’t have to wait to find one either; BookCrossing.com lists books currently “in the wild”, and hunting data is refreshed every 20 minutes. Membership is free and, according to the website, participation promotes literacy and good karma. I must agree. I look forward to finding some of these feral works of literature, but also to setting some of my dearest titles loose myself. It’s all about “spreading good literature around the world,” ends Moreau. I couldn’t agree more. Who knows?... Where I’m going…well, my copy of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice might end up in a café in the Rive Gauche of Paris, a bench in the Marienkirche of Berlin or a sushi bar in the west side of Vancouver...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Roping" the Aurora Borealis

Scientists have new evidence suggesting that the colorful and eerie streams of light known as the Aurora Borealis may result from “magnetic ropes”. It seems that these “magnetic ropes” link the Earth’s upper atmosphere to the sun.

In spring of 2007 a fleet of satellites and ground-based stations (including northern Canadian stations located in Prince George and Whitehorse) caught a powerful space substorm over the northern hemisphere, which revealed something neat about our northern lights. A space substorm is literally a stream of energy from the sun that interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. University of California researcher, Vassilis Angelopoulos commented that “the auroras surged westward…crossing 15 degrees of longitude in less than one minute. The storm traversed an entire polar time zone, or 400 miles, in 60 seconds flat.” According to CanWest reporter, Randy Boswell (Vancouver Sun, Dec. 12, 2007), researchers had theorized that colossal magnetic columns ran between Earth and the sun, offering a “conduit for energy” that manifests as bursts of northern lights.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Year 2007--Friday Feature

Today's Friday Feature showcases the year 2007. I thought it might be both fun and somewhat entertaining (if not revealing) to reminisce about 2007 through pictures… You know what they say, after all…A picture is worth a thousand words… so, I’ll try to keep it brief… but I am a writer, after all…

January: My family kicked off 2007 with a trip to Thailand. Thailand is a strikingly beautiful country, matched in its verdant beauty by a gentle, kind-hearted and humble people. The Thai people are without a doubt one of the most beautiful people I have met in my many travels throughout the world. They possess a healthy sense of humor and patient nature that allows them to accept disaster (like the recent tsunami and the earthquakes and floods that so commonly befall them) in stride. We experienced their wonderful culture, rode elephants (actually, one blew in my ear!), ate spicy food of unknown origin, swam the Andaman Sea, got tickled by a shrieking monkey, spoke Thai (badly, I’m afraid), risked our lives to cross the road (the Thai are NOT known for their driving skills), bought silk-made clothes, indulged in Thai massages, and drank lots of Singha Beer.

April: Not only is this month a bit of a phenomenon for me (I was born this month!) but this was the month I created my blog, The Alien Next Door, with my first post called “Alien Musings” on April 11. I was such a newbie (embarrassed grin) and so jazzed about my blog and the Blogosphere in general.

May: I joined MyBlogLog and soon after BlogCatalog, my two favorite blogging communities, and found them both so welcoming. That’s when I met most of you, particularly those of you highlighted in this previous post. What a COOL place I’d discovered in the Cyber Universe!

July: the family embarked on our annual vacation trip to the islands off the coast of British Columbia…a veritable holiday paradise. It helped that we have use of a family-shared 28-foot cruiser that my husband captains…Yeah… we’re a bit spoiled… I know… The sparkling clear waters of Desolation Sound harbor a rich cornucopia of sea life that my marine biologist husband can actually name. And, yes, those fried oysters in garlic butter are to die for… The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things

August: I flew via the friendly carrier WestJet to Calgary, Alberta, and participated in Conversion-23, Calgary’s science fiction and fantasy convention. I got there early to do a writer’s retreat with my drinking buddy, Virginia, and we had a grand time between writing in our suite, research in the office, and drinking at the bar (for inspiration, of course!). This excellent combination proved incredibly productive and set me on fire for the con. Good thing too, because Kirstin Morrell, the con chair, kept me out of mischief by putting me on so many panels, I was literally running from one to the other without a washroom break...That's okay; I needed the exercise and it kept me out of the bar! And I still managed to find the Slave Auction (one winner pictured here with her prizes).

October: I participated in Vcon, Vancouver’s science fiction and fantasy convention, and got re-acquainted with my publisher, Gwen Gades (an amazing energetic and creative lady) and the publisher of Edge Publishing, Brian Hades, and his vivacious wife, Anita, who taught me how to swear in French (something that might come in handy when I go back to Montreal). We knew we were in “the zone” when we did the cha-cha down the hall and I re-told my “Henri the manure salesman” joke to a group of appreciative-because-they-were-inebriated attendees.

November: my anticipated book, Darwin's Paradox, was released in bookstores throughout North America and Europe and I launched in my own home town at the independent bookstore, Black Bond Books. Then I travelled to Toronto to visit my father, brother and his family and sneaked in a book tour of virtually all the Chapters stores there (between tile shops, that is), as well as the well known science fiction specialty store, Bakka Books. It was also an opportunity for me to finally meet my then press agent—now my manager—the dynamic Karen Mason, a most remarkable woman who I credit with being largely responsible for making my book known to important individuals (including YOU). I’d only corresponded with her via internet or phone etc. up to then. It was special to finally meet you face-to-face, Karen! I was so jazzed! And she was so cool (she rides a motorcycle, you know! Hey, you think that if I'm really nice to her she'll let me have a ride?...).

December: the family saw several members and close friends fall ill but also recover in time to spend a wonderful Christmas that we could all be thankful for. I even managed to do some Christmas baking, which my boys appreciated. What a way to end the year: healthy, happy and sated on Christmas baking…

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Garbage Just Isn’t What it Used to Be…


When I was fourteen years old, I wrote a letter to a local orange juice company in Montreal, Quebec, where I lived at the time. In the most erudite language I could muster, I informed them of the benefits to the environment of recycling; then I rather imperiously let them know that I would not buy their product again unless they embarked on a recycling program similar to one that other progressive Montreal companies had adopted—recycling was pretty scarce then and handled only by a few intrepid visionary companies. I surprisingly got an answer, requesting a face-to-face meeting to discuss possibilities. I went to the meeting, but when the manager saw me, he was obviously taken aback; I was just a teenager with a big mouth and a fast pen! Nothing happened. I was devastated. But ten years later, I saw the birth of a city-wide recycling program that mandated curb-side recycling with full support by the city. It just took time…like everything…

So, let’s fast track to the present…

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year--2008


As 2007 drew to a close I found myself reviewing all the amazing things that have happened. 2007 was a spectacular year…a year of many incredible, wonderful and exciting firsts…I also found myself thankful for so many things I still have. Among them are:

  • A body that still wants to run and jump (sometimes!) — well, it did last time I checked ...though I can’t remember when that was…

  • The warmth of my purring male cat, Sammy, on my lap… when he was a kitten he hid things and drove us wild; he STILL hides things but these days I can’t remember what they are so it doesn’t matter…

  • A husband who likes to snuggle with me by the fire and talk…

  • A son who is wise, happy and funny…

  • A safe and supportive community where I live and an environment that is relatively clean and well looked after…

  • Family and friends like you who remind me that peace and love and hope exist everywhere on this beloved planet of ours…

I was blessed this year with a childhood dream-come-true: my book, “Darwin’s Paradox” by Dragon Moon Press (a science fiction eco-thriller set in Canada) is now on the shelves of every Chapters-Indigo-Coles bookstore in Canada (as well as at Amazon.com/ Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powell's Books, Target.com, Buy.com, Indigocafe, in the United States and bookstores throughout the world including the UK (Blackwell Online; Amazon.co.uk), New Zealand (Fishpond), Denmark (Saxo), Germany, Japan and France. I was pleased to see several independent Canadian bookstores pick up my book as well, including Bakka Books (Toronto), Blackbond Books, Albany Books & White Dwarf Books (Vancouver), The Sentry Box and McNally Robinson (Calgary). And—guess what?.. People are actually buying my book!!!

This past May I started a little blog called “The Alien Next Door” and soon after joined two excellent blogging communities, MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog. This little act eight months ago has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Firstly, I was warmly welcomed by the blogging community. I met so many wonderful people from all around the world; some of whom I can count as being my very best friends... It is both amazing and wonderful to be able to say this. What I’m saying is that the community with whom I best connect is YOU: my international blogging community, made up of intelligent, sensitive, thoughtful and considerate people. You provide me with such a wonderful sense of connection to this planet Earth. I am so very grateful to you for making my experience here, on the blogosphere of Earth, such a fulfilling and rich journey. You made my year. I shall remember 2007 as my first blogging year, the year I found my international community and another “home”.

I want to repeat a quote from my good friend, Mel, at Monday Morning Power (see this previous post of mine), who said this about blogging friendships:

"There is something very special and unique about blogging friendships. In “real” life we all have to first get by the physical and superficial aspects of each other before we can get into who we are, really. In “real” life there is so much bull shit that we have to put up with, that sometimes developing true friends becomes very difficult. I feel that with blogging friendships there are no superficial aspects to it; the barriers do not exist. We open up in our writings as to who we really are. We bare ourselves and say “this is me.” For many of us this is the only way that we can truly express ourselves, our opinions, our strengths and our fears. I have also discovered a level of INTEGRITY amongst bloggers that I have not found in “real” life." Like Mel, I began my blog with the intention of showcasing my work; what I found was a community and friends with whom I could interact at a level I have not easily found among my physical community.

Here are some of the most incredible people (all passionate bloggers of excellence) that I have the pleasure and honor to call my very good friends (this list repeats and adds to my previous list posted here). These bloggers have given me their precious time by commenting on my posts with insightful and—at times—challenging remarks; they have invited me into their lives; shared their stories with me; provided me with kind advice; bestowed upon me awards and other acts of kindness; laughed at my bad jokes; loyally attended my blog and followed my journey; and even showed their concern when I faltered. These bloggers all embrace impeccable traits that I myself strive to achieve, including: honor; generosity; honesty; kindness; courage; compassion; intelligence; humility; and grace. You honor me with your friendship and I so cherish it:

Karen (Nameless Grace)...for your generous spirit, wisdom and impeccable grace (and for always correcting my spelling! But mostly for your love and faith in me) …you grace the Blogosphere with your beautiful soul, lighting it with your blazing passion and faith…

Jean-Luc (The Federation)...for your steadfast loyalty, humor and gentle spirit... (and being so SEXY)…you warm the Blogosphere with your kindness and make it a friendly place…

Tricia (Modern Matriarch)...for your justice, diligence and wise spirit (and clever mind...you make me think)… you inspire the Blogosphere… and me!

WalksFarWoman (Kissing the Dogwood)...for your compassion and kind wisdom (and wonderful sense of humor...you make me—and the Blogosphere—smile and feel good)…Please come back….we need you…

Bob (Somerset Bob's Place)...for your honor and integrity (and all those drinks and quirky vids you send me on Facebook. Keep ‘em coming!)…you make the Blogosphere a better place…

Deborah (Climate of our Future)...for your compassion and indomitable spirit (and ALL those MEMEs...geez! You know I love 'em! ... :) Your enduring efforts on behalf of our beloved planet Earth are commendable…you make the Blogosphere a just place…

Adria (In Cing)...for your joy and clarity and generous spirit (and endless enthusiasm)…you light up the Blogosphere…

Erik (AuthorsDen)...for your incredible sincerity and thoughtful mind (and stubbornness! I love our discussions! You keep me honest and I hope you keep doing so...) I so admire your honesty and genuine spirit…You make the Blogosphere an honest place…

Theresa Lucas (Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog)...for your impeccable mind and generous spirit (and warped sense of humor!)

Mel (Monday Morning Power)...for your positive attitude and wise compassion (and rather twisted sense of humor!)

Josh (Cubicle Denizon) ... for your compassionate and wonderful sense of humor (and even more twisted sense of humor...check out his animated blog! :)... and for being there from the beginning... Thanks!

Jennifer (Random Synaptic Transfers)...for your kind and loyal friendship (and warped sense of humor...wait...there's a weird trend happening here...WARP NINE, MR. SPOCK!)

Virginia (Sumptuosity)...for your selfless kindness and generosity (and all those beers we slugged back...and will slug back in the future! You slugger, you! Can’t wait until World Con in 2008! You, me and Boba Fett, Virginia!)

Lynda (Reality Skimming)...for your sincere and down-to-earth goodness (and your crazy wonderful laugh; be seeing you at the World Con bar too!)

Princess Haiku (Princess Haiku)...for your poetic wisdom, beautiful spirit (and astute calmness)

Melanie (A Quiet Symphony)...for your beautiful words and gentle thoughts (and REALLY twisted sense of humor!)

Jon (Chimeric Day Dreams)...for your gentle wisdom and beautiful mind (and beautiful everything.)

Heather (Footsteps)...for your kind spirit (and your incredible voice!...Hey, maybe we should do an audio book...oh, we ARE? GREAT!)

Manchild (When Least Expected) your compassion and wise spirit (and very cool quotes!)

Drowsey Monkey (Drowsey Monkey)…for your beautiful spirit, humor and humility (and your awesome pics!)

Then there are the bloggers who welcomed me so long ago, when I first began blogging. Bloggers who offered me kind advice as my blog clunked along on its new wobbly legs eight months ago. Bloggers who have provided—and still do—comments and words of encouragement, challenges and amazing humor on my posts. People like:
Josh
Dave
Kathleen Mather
Spacer guy
TekSavvy
delmer
Alan
Marjie
Nick
dcr
Rino
Kitem
Francis S
David Hodges
David Bradley
Theresa Hall
Jimbono
W for Wonder
Orbitgal
Steven Tennant
Peggy Kolm
Adam
Markk
Zia
Mark Dykeman
sjsuarez
Aaron
Lozster
Bob Johnson
Your Translator
Speed Cat
Ric Vil Hori
Mimi
Charlotte
TheX
Truthdancer
Ilker
Camille
Christopher
Joanne
Jos
Greg
Shawn

Milton

If you aren’t on this list and think you should be here, then know that in my heart you are…and it’s just my mind failing me (as it is wont to do from time to time—just to remind me that I’m human—er—a human-like alien, that is…). I'm so looking forward to meeting more bloggers out there in 2008, making friends with you and having my life enriched by my interactions with you.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May it be a great one. I wish you health, incredible moments of happiness, genuine contentedness and a passionate 2008.