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Archive for the ‘Heinlein’ Category

On December 21, 2010 we will see a total lunar eclipse on Winter Solstice, an event that has not occurred since 1638 CE.

Marvin Argyle Everett

Decembers always seem to bring transitions, and Saturday, December 11, 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of the passing of Marvin Argyle Everett (1909-1990), who could have been one of my favorite characters in any number of Robert Heinlein’s marvelous stories. There’s more about “Marv” in a post I did in 2008, called Papyrus 2.0. These two very different individuals provided much of the fabric from which I made my coat of many colors, through my childhood and into manhood.

Marvin Argyle Everett was not a scientist, writer or politician. He was a teacher and factory worker who knew more about the science of making soap for Procter and Gamble than all the junior execs who came through on their way somewhere else. He gently asked them not to step in his pile of floor sweepings in the Dallas P&G plant, while they queried him on the operations of the saponification process section he ran for over 20 years. He was also a Sunday School Teacher for the Men’s Class in the Baptist Church in our town for more than a decade or so. He taught me how to find the answers for all but the most technical or philosophical questions. He did not teach answers but taught how to find them, which is a distinctively different process.

From the juvenile sci-fi books of Heinlein, and more exactly the later adult stories, I learned to open my mind to explore galactic alternatives to the sodden life in South Dallas County in the 50’s and 60’s. From Podkayne of Mars,  The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,  The Glory Road and Stranger in a Strange Land, I imagined that my ‘boy hick’ would someday travel the stars, and meet the Empress of the Seven Universes. Little did I realize then that all these tales would come true, not in some distant world, but right here in Parker County. Together my heroine and I conquer worlds of villains, from the comfort of our stone cottage.

Robert and Virginia Heinlein on the set of Destination Moon, in 1949

Marv would not have agreed with very much of what Heinlein had to say in his stories, but in my cooling tower of a brain the two provided me with all the number crunching, text processing, emotional roller coastering that I have needed to build a pretty damn good picture of life.

The enigmatic nature of the literature of Heinlein is that his heroes were often misfits, orphans, accidents, or inconvenient additions to whatever world in which they found themselves. This underdog mythos speaks volumes to most of us nerds, geeks, and generally Animal House denizens, who wind up on the Supreme Court or running the Olympics. Wow! Dinkum good.

These tidbits of fact and fict I pass on to you, who are smart enough to find this needle in the haystack of a Web 2.0 bloggers’ universe. Ha! TANSTAAFL I say to you! Marv would say, “Big Joke!”

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Update to – Heinlein Lives

Robert and Ginny Heinlein in Tahiti 1980, taken by Hayford Peirce

Robert and Ginny Heinlein in Tahiti 1980, taken by Hayford Peirce

While the Heinlein Centennial was celebrated in 2007, this article in the Wall Street Journal bears another look. “Robert A. Heinlein’s Legacy” By TAYLOR DINERMAN ~ WSJ July 26, 2007; Page D7.

There are some fairly good FaceBook groups providing information, links and discussion of the works, quotes and point of view of Heinlein, real or imagined.

Time Enough For Heinlein ~ Robert Heinlein fan group ~ Heinlein is my hero

For myself, I never tended to goosestep into pushing the writings, or personal life of Heinlein into a cookie cutter corner of human thought or political persuasion.       (more…)

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26 Feb 2008 Update: Be sure to watch Download: The True History of the Internet on the Science Channel starting March 3…

Original posting 27 Dec 2007: The first computer program I typed in was on my VIC 20 (20K RAM) by Commodore, purchased from Sears, hooked up to a $10 B/W TV from a pawn shop. The language was Basic and the OS was CBM 1.0 (?) , with a copyright by Microsoft, one of Gates, Inc.’s first projects. The ubiquitous 10 PRINT ‘Hello, World.’ 20 END or something like it started many of us oldsters on the Road to Perdition. Actually, that was my first personal computer, my first FORTRAN IV stack went back a few years before that at UT Austin in 1967. (more…)

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OK, I’m an old guy. But way back before the beginning of time (you know, before competition reality TV), I was reading Heinlein and Asimov and Vonnegut. These old guys were writing about a future that we seem to be actually living today.

I love the web. Here’s something I stumbled on, looking up references to the Klaatu quote: Farewell to the Master by Harry Bates. Wow! This site hosts the full text of the original short story on which the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still is based. Far Out, Farnham!

Please feel free to submit any examples or comment on any of the posts here, to keep up with the pace of today’s “now a-GoGo post-Reagan world”. Thanks to my canine companion, Wayman Wynn, for helping me stay grounded, and reminding me to stop and eat. (That’s fascinating, Dad, let’s eat!)

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…and he built a crooked house. Not the Kirk Douglas movie, but the Robert A. Heinlein short story. Now in the Social Network rez Video Game, Second Life, comes word that someone has built a Tesseract House, in 4 dimensions.

Holy Escher, Batman! Here’s the story…And He Rezzed a Crooked House.

Heinlein is one of the main reasons I’m not dragging my knuckles (not much, at least) and stealing bananas from smaller primates. Here’s another website with Heinlein technology, Technovelgy.

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