The Awesomeness of ASCII

I dislike the adjective awesome, and I generally refrain from using it.

When I hear it, the word brings to mind a vivid image – namely, dreadlocked Australians standing around on an extraordinarily hot beach, drinking tasteless lager out of diminutive bottles whilst cradling surfboards and attesting to their particular levels of stoked-ness at some singularly uninteresting event or achievement.

There is not a single element within that vision that does not give me the creeps, and I therefore have tried to avoid experiencing it by dropping the word awesome from my vocabulary.

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What spaceships should look like

In a recent article entitled What should spaceships look like?, the BBC asks the following question:

As the next generation of spaceships is being conceived, should shuttle designers take their inspiration from sci-fi illustrators?

In posing such a question the BBC have clearly displayed their ignorance of this very blog. Had they been paying attention, they would know I have already definitively answered this question.

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What would Gagarin think?

The BBC has today reported that a statue of Yuri Gagarin is to be erected in London. Exactly why that smoggy, overpopulated tinderbox of crime and debauchery has chosen to honour a man so intrinsically Russian is beyond me, but reading the story provoked my mind into reflection on the man and his achievements, and the state of contemporary space exploration in general.

As a lover of space and sci-fi, I of course greatly respect the achievements of Gagarin, the first man to actually go to space.  He went first where few have been, and where most will never go. His eyes beheld a view that the rest of us can only dream of, or find quite easily on Google Images.

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Humanity one step closer to living in the Culture

I will admit, shipmates, that I have often struggled to embrace the concept of the Culture, as presented in several of Iain M. Banks’ novels.

As you may already know, I am heavily influenced by my socio-political belief system, which brings together mysticism and libertarianism (at last), and in which self-reliance and  strong clan-ties play a central role. Without digressing further, I am basically a survivalist magickian.

Therefore, the concept of a galactic civilisation in which the welfare state has become total fills me with horror.

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