When even a scientific magazine like Wetenschap in Beeld (Science in the Picture) makes huge errors like this, errors in their thinking as much as in their facts, it’s no wonder that less and less people really understand science, and more and more people lose faith in it. In their April issue, WiB printed an…

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A very extensive review appeared in The Levant yesterday of Robert N. Stephenson‘s anthology Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Vol.IV. The reviewer had some surprising things to say about my story The Life and Death of George Hayes: This is a very good story. It’s beautifully written and deals with the Faustian choice…

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Last week, while waiting for my train, I heard a song that I just had to identify. I held up my phone, tapped Shazam, and in seconds, I knew it was Music Box Dancer by Frank Mills. In an seemingly unrelated thread of my life, I decided that I wanted to learn to play the little…

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Who would have thought that Apple, of all companies, wants to keep their customers firmly rooted in the fifties? Yes, you can buy early rock’n’roll music in iTunes, but those are not the fifties I mean. Rather, I’m referring to the fifties of traditional family roles: a breadwinner and a homemaker, preferably with daddy as…

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It’s that time of year again, when the remainder of the year shrinks at an ever-inreasing pace*, and the awards nomination season is almost upon us. If you happen to be in a position to nominate or vote for the Hugos an/or the Nebulas**, I’ve had three stories published in 2018 that you might be…

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Stubborn persistence pays off, as Heinlein teaches us. Can I have a Hallelujah to that? All the way back in 2009, when my marriage was only four years old, and I wasn’t even a father yet, we took a trip to the mid-Atlantic island of Sao Miguel. The volcanic beauty and verdant exuberance of the…

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Full disclosure: I’m off Dropbox, and as a sad result, also off Boxifier. They still make a great tag team; that part of the below blog post stands. But recently, Dropbox announced that they would increase my annual fee by 20% for doubling my storage to 2TB (while I used only about 10% of the…

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Tonight before bed, both our sons (eight and six) suddenly* decided they wanted to pray**. Since we choose to allow our kids the freedom to believe what they want, I didn’t object in the least. I exercized self-restraint, and refrained from forcing my own secular world-view on them. I merely explained what kind of things…

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Blast from the past: my not-quite-eight-year-old son suddenly wanted to own a Rubik’s Cube. A couple of his classmates had one, and he was fascinated with the colorful 3D puzzle. I used to own a bunch myself, and had a method of solving the thing memorized from a convenient little booklet. Unfortunately, we had recently…

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Underwear? Check! Toothbrush? Check! Dutch cheeses and beers? Check! Microsoft Surface for the required writing and critiquing? Check! This morning at nine, my checklist was already complete for the tenth anniversary edition of the Villa Diodati Expat Writers Workshop. My suitcase waited by the door; I’d even put my coat within reach. I’d even checked my…

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