Archive for July, 2006

July 16, 2006: 7:07 pm: Boiling Point

The second MP3 in the series of the novel Boiling Point read aloud.

July 15, 2006: 7:08 pm: Boiling Point

I’ve finally got around to publishing my novel “Boiling Point” at You can get it here. Some folks over at the Buzz Out Loud lounge were not able to read it, so I’ve decided to start podcasting an audio version. Here’s part one.

July 12, 2006: 3:28 pm: dualities

This duality gives rise to several others, like English vs. Math for instance. Are you a word-person or a number person? Do you prefer the precision of numbers or the expressive brilliance of language?

: 3:26 pm: dualities

I’m defining a duality as a pair of things that seem to often be used as opposites. Dog-people and cat-people for instance.  We all know that the world cannot be easily broken down this way but we like to try. This fundamental urge to break things down into dualities expresses itself in phrases like “two sides to every story” and “there are two kinds of people in this world”.

The dualities thread in this blog is an attempt to explore the many ways we break things up into dualities.  Why do we do it?  What qualifies things to become a duality?

July 9, 2006: 6:41 pm: A's, Baseball

Today’s game started bad and ended bad. No Huston Street jerseys were to be had at the D gate.  In fact no boxes or attendants were in sight so we figured they were long long gone. As we made our way to the Westside club we found that there were plenty of jerseys at the C gate. Live and learn.  We decided to go the Field Irish Pub and watch the World Cup while we ate burgers. That worked well until one of the bartenders inexplicabloy changed one of the TVs to the A’s scoreboadr channel.  What gives?  We paid to come watch the A’s and we would.  This was 30 minutes before first pitch, why force us to watch the stupid scoreboadr ads?  They reasonably left one TV on the Cup and we watched until they went to the first OT.  By that time it was time to get in our seats for the lineups and anthem.

It looked like the A’s could hang in there.  They fell behind but tied it up.  A few fielding miscues proved their undoing. Swisher attempted a dive on a possible double to left and made sure it was a triple for example.  Danny gave up the 4 runs.  Duke and Street pitched well but the A’s could only muster five hits.  You can’t win if you don’t score.

The A’s go into the All-star break tied for first with Texas.  Tied.  Yech.  Every time they’ve gone into the all-star game in first (alone) they’ve won the division.  Don’t know if that holds true for tied.  I guess we’ll find out.

July 6, 2006: 4:22 pm: Work

I’m in the midst of shooting a video about blogging for the website. I’ve been making jokes about how I’m blogging right now, so I figured, why not? It’s going to be a very super simple explanation of blogging. Go to blogger/wordpress log in, follow the wizard, write your stuff. Not for the geeky by far but hey. Sometimes you need to do the super simple stuff.

July 2, 2006: 5:56 pm: UMC, writing

The United Moon Colonies are a federation of 12 of the 13 moon colonies plus the two lunar research stations at Tranquility and Houston de la luna. It was founded in M90. Cana is not a member of the UMC but is listed here for completeness. Moon years are expressed as M and then the number of years since the founding of Tranquility. This system is used on the Moon to prevent confusion between Earth and Moon time. The years correspond approximately to a terrestrial year but may have different start and end dates. Also lunar days are 25 hours long.


The first Moon colony founded by an International effort led by NASA. The base was a proof that the concept of a Moon colony could work. It consisted of minimal research facilities and living quarters. It continues today as a museum and tourist attraction. It is considered a settlement rather than a full colony. It used to be goverened by Serenity but transfered to Avalon’s governance in M100. Only museum staff live in the settlement and many staff live in other colonies and commute. The foundation of Tranquility provides the start of Lunar calendar year M1. It is the only colony without a spaceport although if necessary, ships can land in a clearing near the site of the first moon landing in CE1969.

Houston de la luna (M6)

The second Moon colony was founded as a command center and space port. Several space agencies decided further exploration and colonization could only succeed if the Moon had its own version of Earth’s Houston. Houston de la luna was designed to provide that command presence. It still serves as the main space port for ships from Earth. Houston de la luna is also considered a settlement, not a full colony and is goverened by the colony of Armstrong.

Serenity (M13)
The first full-fledged colony on the Moon was built as a university. The University of Luna still operates there and is the major employer in Serenity. It is also the capital of the UMC. Representatives of the 12 colonies signed the Contract of Union here.

Clavius (M15)

The cultural center of the UMC was founded by the European Space Agency as the second full colony on the Moon. While it had been planned alongside Serenity, the success of the University drove many research scientists to Clavius to escape the restrictions of academia. It also provided a path for graduating students. Clavius is now the home of the Union theatre, balllet, opera, and symphony.

New Canaveral (M21)
Canaveral was meant to be a launching off point for Martian missions, and did fly several in its early years. It was the first colony to be planned and built using majority Moon resources. Some raw materials were shipped in from Earth but as much as possible was mined locally. The UMC Air Force is headquartered here rather than in the capital with other armed forces. New Canaveral is also home to the major military academies on the mooon.

Selene (M21)

The Japanese space agency officially founded Selene for additional research capacity.In reality a fight over the colony that became Septendecim led to a colonial race with the ESA that the Japanese won by one year. Selene has grown into the technological heart of the UMC. It is also home to the most-used space port outside of Houston de la luna.

Septendecim (M22)
When Japan left the Imbrium project, The ESA renamed it the latin word for 17. The number was steeped in Celtic mythology and was used for luck as well as to represent the number of countries still participating. Some say Septendecim needs all the luck it can get. The colony has often faced economic difficulties and has recently tried to promote itself as a vacation spot in competition with the very popular Avalon colony. Casinos and entertaining night spots have helped some. Septendecim is the only colony with any significant crime problem. It also has an incredibly vibrant independent music and literature scene.

Trudolubie (M25)
The manufacturing center of the UMC has grown well beyond its Russian roots but still retains a distinctively Russian flavour in architecture. It is often called by its nickname ‘Little Moscow’ which some resident find easier to pronounce than Trudolubie. The colony space port handles almost all direct freight and cargo flights to Earth.

Chang-Ngo (M25)
When China announced plans for Chang-Ngo in M3 they aimed to build the best and most self-sufficient colony on the Moon. They absolutely succeeded in building the most beautiful of the colonies. The colony dome is the only one on the moon that is entirely translucent. The city looks as if it was carved from ivory. Stunning views are around every corner. However, it does not promote itself as a tourist option. The colonial government has instead encouraged business and finance. Chang-Ngo is therfore called the second city as it’s number 2 in business and tourism.

Armstrong (M29)

The final NASA colony seems older than it is as it was originally planned along with
Serenity and New Canaveral. Moon colonization had succeeded far beyond expectations and Armstrong had to play catchup. However it has grown into the economic capital of the UMC. A far-sighted enterpeneur named Sally Floyd volunteered for colonization in the then relatively cheap Armstrong expedition and immediately started a stock exchange. The Floyd Center is now the heart of the UMC financial system and houses the UMC bank.

Ahsaas (M29)

Known as Hollywood on the Moon, Earth tourists make it a point to spend a few days in Ahsaas to see the stars under the stars. Few know that the colony was never expected to succeed. India planned and built it in four years. In addition to hit movies, Ahsaas also provides a remarkable 25 percent of the UMC’s natural foods.

Avalon (M30)

The top UMC vacation hotspot is often decried as shallow and crass, but the numbers say people love it there. Canada founded it with the intention of providing a great place for recreation. They haven’t failed. 9 lakes, 150 hotels, hundreds of restaurants and shops, and more, populate the seemingly endless Avalon complex. The colony’s slogan “You’ll get what you want” isn’t far off the mark.

Tollan (M35)

Mexico originally meant Tollan to be an additional vacation spot but it has since grown into the agriclutural center for the UMC, producing 40 percent of the Moon’s food. It is also acknowledged, logically enough, to be the home of the finest restaurants in the UMC.

Rafiki (M36)

The colonial government calls it the “Animal Colony”. Residents just call it home. The UMC National Zoo is here and it’s also home the highest concentration of pets and vets. But the most striking thing about Rafiki is how comfortable people look and act. Residents of Rafiki take the fewest trips out of town than any other UMC colony.

Cana (M40)

This is the only colony not a member of the UMC. It is however still a member of the MCA (Moon Colony Association) the predecessor of the UMC. Through that membership it maintains integration and coordination and trade with UMC colonies, while retaining its independence. Cana was founded as a religious utopia but has broadened out into a less singularly-focused colony. It still boasts the highest conecntration of churches on the Moon.

Minor settlements

From one day to the next, minor settlements start up and close down on the moon. There are an estimated average of 550 minor settlements in operation at any given time. These settlements engage in water and mineral mining, exploration, research, astronomy, and even some archaeology. Over 90 percent of these settlements are operated by the UMC, though some are operated by Terran nations and a handful are under Cana’s control.

New colonies
No new permanent colonies have been attempted since Ambrosius in both M45 by the ESA and the same site and name again in M100 by the UMC. Both times the colony never got past the temporary stage because of lack of interest. While Armstrong and other colonies complain of overcrowding, some colonies have plenty of space and handle overflow from these crowded colonies quite well. Within 200 years the UMC estimates two more colonies will become an imperative, but as yet demand remains low. Permanency of settlement at the Ambrosius site is considered a prerequiste for attempting new colonies again. While the settlement has experienced longer term settlements over the past few decades, the last run of six years just ended when the site was vacated by the Chicago Water Mining Company. No new tenants have yet been found.

Transit System

Colonies are connected by spaceport or train. Most colonies have a spaceport capable of handling lunar ships and in some cases ships from Earth, though most Terrestrial-originated ships land at Houston de la luna.

Moon Transit Map

The two main transit links are the Moon Metro (MM) and Lunar Link (LL). Most UMC residents refer to them as M and L. The UMC is unusual in allowing two competing public transit systems to operate two independent rail systems.

The L system runs in a cross-hatch between all the colonies with only spur links to Cana and Tranquility. The M system uses a hub and spoke system with long haul direct lines between far points of the system including Tranquility but Cana is only on a spur.

If you ask two different UMC residents how to make sense of the transit system you’ll likely get two different answers. Only UMC natives seem to be able to make any sense out which system to take when and which ride is cheapest, however either one can get you reliably from one place to another.

The Moon Colony Association (MCA)

The MCA was founded to coordinate logistical needs between the different colonies to expedite cooperation between the parent government of the various settlements. Colonies were left to govern themselves accordingly, and the MCA resolved disputes between colonies and organised cooperation for transit, trade, and eventually currency.

MCA members developed a sense of unity in the forum that eventually led to a separation movement after the Armstrong incident.

When the colonies met in M90 to found the UMC they met as the MCA. Cana, Armstrong and Chang-Ngo voted against founding the union, fearing it would be bad for the lunar economy among other things. However Armstrong and Chang-Ngo agreed to honor the decision of the group, while Cana objected on moral grounds and refused to join the UMC. Armstrong, Chang-Ngo, and Cana continued to meet as the MCA, and the two UMC colonies acted as liasion to Cana during those tumultuous times. Eventually the UMC government agreed to send a representative to meet with Cana as the MCA and continue coordination between the lone colony and the united ones. Cana is now an independent colony with its own government, currency, and customs.