My first thought after reading this excellent list was, "What? No Caligula?" And then I realized that for all his all-star status as world-beating crazy, the Emperor Gaius ruled for such a short time that he probably had little serious effect, good or bad, upon the Roman Empire. » 11/26/14 11:06am Yesterday 11:06am

My first unanswerable question is whether there was a ritual involved in the tying of the knot. My guess, for what little it's worth, is yes. I picture some kind of prayer being said while the knot is being ceremonially tied. Of course, given the apparent rush that seems to be indicated in several places in Tut's… » 11/25/14 12:55pm Tuesday 12:55pm

Amazing. Fox cut into the show with news breaks about four times, and I cut into the show about six times, switching over to CNN, and the maybe 35 percent of the show I saw almost felt like it made sense. Maybe if they cut it down to five, six minutes, they'd have pulled off a coherent story? :) » 11/25/14 12:48pm Tuesday 12:48pm

When computers you can talk with — really talk with, not Suri — come into common use, the world will become a far louder place. Imagine the din in coffee shops, with all the patrons eager to show off how loudly they can talk with their computer. Off my lawn, kids! » 11/25/14 7:20am Tuesday 7:20am

Last Starfighter was never one of my favorite films, but my respect for Mr Betuel just went sky-high. Not only was he smart enough to hang onto the rights for his own work, he's got the integrity to keep them. If more writers could do this, we wouldn't be dealing with the plague of incompetent remakes we see today. (I… » 11/24/14 1:58pm Monday 1:58pm

I did not know any of these; fascinating stuff. I had a copy of Mission to Horatius (may still have it) and remember thinking at the time that my Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea book (which involved survival of the Cretan civilization and quite a lot of explosions) was rather more interesting. » 11/24/14 12:45pm Monday 12:45pm

I'm an old school (Hal Jordan) GL fan, but I'd love it if they brought any of the Lanterns onto either show. Uh...not Ryan Reynolds. Their main objection would probably be memories of the movie and special effects expense. But a story where one of the Lanterns has had her/his lantern stolen, needs Arrow or Flash's… » 11/24/14 11:58am Monday 11:58am

And it would have the added advantage of likely bringing Mr Darth Vader onscreen again. If Vader screwed up bigtime by letting the Death Star plans be stolen from under his nose, it would give added emphasis to his rage when trying to recover the plans — and also explain why he's apparently been demoted and put under… » 11/24/14 9:39am Monday 9:39am

Interesting. One of the tropes in computer-paranoia fiction is that the computers commit a pre-preemptive strike on us when humans have perceived them to be a threat and are preparing to turn the computers off. But without any level of self-awareness — if I'm understanding this correctly — someone would have had to… » 11/24/14 7:28am Monday 7:28am