September 19th, 2020


Poem: "The Duty of the Living"

This poem is spillover from the August 4, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by an anonymous prompt. It also fills the "post-traumatic stress disorder" square in my 6-18-19 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes anxiety, a court case, graphic references to past mad science torture, memory issues, survivor guilt, depression, crying, centaur modesty issues, PDSD, reflexive teleportation with minor injury, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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Ysabet's net is down

This is Janet, posting for Ysabet.  Their net has been down for several hours.  It may be down until Monday (their ISP doesn't staff the office on weekends).

The half-price sale is still ongoing, and Ysabet can receive payments for poetry. However, until the net comes back up, she can't acknowledge or post poems.

She asks for your patience, and will acknowledge and post as soon as possible.

Orbiting a White Dwarf

A planet has been discovered orbiting a white dwarf

It is the size of Jupiter.  All the planets we know that are that big are gas giants, which seems a less-likely thing to have survived than a small solid lump that somehow didn't melt.

* If it is a native planet, then it survived the expansion and contraction of the star.  Perhaps it "stole" an atmosphere from the star as the collapsing gas cloud contracted away from the planetary core.

* It could be a captured rogue.  In this event, an atmosphere could be generated from outgassing.

* It could also be artificial.  If the signature is metallic, this would seem more likely.

Sometimes a campfire leaves behind little chunks of wood that didn't burn completely.  Could a star do the same thing, on a larger scale?  A cosmic cinder, left at the edge of the firepit.

I miss when every scientific discovery sent writers chasing after it.

Community Building Tip: Walkshed

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City.

41. Map a 40-minute walking circle around your house. Measure and draw a two-mile radius circle around your house to determine your "walkshed," the places you can easily walk. You’ll realize how many local amenities are closer than you think—most people can walk two miles in about 40 minutes—and you’ll be more likely to hoof it and support local businesses.

This would be a lot more useful if it focused on individual travel time, which we debated in last week's installment. How far can you comfortably travel from home in your typical human-powered manner? It doesn't matter whether that is on foot, wheelchair, bicycle, skateboard, etc. -- only that it is the distance you're willing to go for stuff in your own neighborhood. Is it 5 minutes, 10, 20, 40? The average walking speed of a human is 3 to 4 miles per hour, or 1 mile every 15 to 20 minutes, but some people travel much faster or slower, and it also varies by human-powered vehicle.  In any case, if you are comfortable traveling outside of a car, it is useful to map your locale and determine points of interest.