I just wanted someplace to store all my extra stuff; maybe clean out the Inventory finally. The only real place to go was up, so I tried out the Exosphere modules; and I began easy….
Whew! It was a long night, but a good one. I think I’ll just crash right here in front of the fireplace, if you don’t mind….
The Ice Bucket Challenge is the latest insanity to hit the Internet, but it’s in a good cause as well. In the pure form of this, if you get challenged, you have 24 hours to have a video of you shot getting sluiced down with a bucket of ice water, and contribute $10 to the ALS Foundation for research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease), or decline the challenge — and fork over $100. If you accept the challenge, you then get to challenge two or three other people to pony up. Dozens of celebrities have gotten on the bandwagon, and shot videos to prove their cojones — which become suddenly smaller when a gallon or so of ice hits your body, it should be noted. (The above video is of Yannick Bisson, the star of Murdoch Mysteries [The Artful Detective in the USA] having some fun with it.) I suspect they’ve contributed more than just ten bucks as well; in fact, Charlie Sheen poured a bucket of money over his head instead of ice water. (Wimp!)
Of course, the whole idea isn’t just to get drowned and frozen to death at the same time, and to embarrass a bunch of celebrities — it’s to raise money for a very important cause. ALS, as I noted in a sideways form above, is the disease that killed Yankees player Lou Gehrig in the 1930s, that afflicts Prof. Stephen Hawking today, and has struck down or killed thousands less famous over the years. Research is gradually revealing answers to how the disease acts in nerve degeneration, but research is also expensive. This year’s project has been especially creative in raising awareness and funds, perhaps quadrupling the foundation’s income over last year. So, if you can, whether you do the Challenge or not, please consider giving as much as you can to the Foundation to help them out.
Of course, if you want to play the game, you’re welcome to. Just keep in mind, the main thing is to contribute, and to keep the ball rolling! So remember a few things:
- Don’t endanger yourself or anyone around you. Some people have taken the Challenge, but the person dumping the water on them dropped the bucket — occasionally from a fair height. Remember, water weighs something, and that weight goes up fast. The old saying, “A pint is a pound the world around,” is true — which means that a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. Some people are doing it out there, and they’re using really big buckets from a ways up to get a good splash, but their assistants lose the grip on the bucket and Isaac Murphy, uh, Newton takes over, with a little assistance from gravity. The idea if you do the Challenge is to have fun, not to get injured.
- If you follow through on the challenge, you need to call out at least one person. (The tradition seems to be three, but it’s not writ in stone — or in ice.)
- Being creative is okay, as long as, again, you remember to be safe about it. For instance, behold Bill Gates’ reply to Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge:
And Hugh Jackman got the entire cast of Pan, including Rooney Mara and Garrett Hedlund, in on the act:
Lots of videos are, of course, available; the hashtag, not surprisingly, is #IceBucketChallenge . Get ready to get wet.
I figured it was time to get the layout of my starbase somewhat formalized, so I spent some time learning a few tricks with GIMP, and I came up with this “subway map”-style illustration of the layout:
If some of the terms are weird to you, such as “Grand Council” or “Ard Taòisha,” fear not; you need to be reading my stories (which I still hope to publish one day) to know everything going on here. If I ever get those stories up, you’ll have a chance to learn them for yourself.
I felt it was logical to divide the station into its proper functions, and assigned a color code to each area. (Gee, I wonder where I got some of the colors from…?)1 Not everything I want is in the station yet, and so this map will certainly change as time goes on, and as I discover and fix mistakes. (I’ve already added in something since I made this, and discovered one spelling error [sigh], so I already need to go back and fix things.)
1 And yes, I know you’re probably used to the colors being assigned differently. Remember, in the Star Trek I grew up with, “Command wore gold, Engineering wore red–” “And the women wore less.” (Deep Space Nine, “Trials and Tribbleations.”)
“Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
INSILICO Central, the core of the space-platform habitat built by that massive trans-stellar cartel, was a place that hummed with business any time of the station day. And that was the way Laurel America Auttenberg liked it. After all, what was the use of spending several trillion credits in building a tin can like this out in the middle of the big black — but strategically at the contact point between five of the strongest stellar economies in the sector — unless you were going to be doing a lot of business.
And making sure all of that business got done, with as few hiccups governmental or otherwise as possible, as possible had become her personal job some eleven years ago.