City of the Future and Living Concrete

The future may seem grim right now, but there will be a future. And it may be brighter than you expect. As a science fiction writer, one of my favorite pastimes is following articles and predictions of future technology. Today we’ll look at reports of the city of the future and “living” concrete. City of the Future In Cnet’s report on the CES (consumer Electronics Show) one of the coolest new things was Toyota’s city of the future. Until now, they have done city planning around automobiles. The prototype city Toyota will build has no human drivers.  They plan to build the Woven City on 175 acres of a now-defunct factory near Mount Fuji. The plans feature self-driving vehicles run on hydrogen fuel cells, robots, smart homes, and new forms of personal mobility. Not only that, regular people will live in this city of tomorrow. “Living” Concrete Concrete is the second most-consumed material on Earth after water. Using sand, gel and bacteria, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a self-healing concrete. They believe that someday the concrete could “heal their own cracks, suck up dangerous toxins from the air or even glow on command”. They aren’t the only scientists […]

A Bump in the Road of Pandemic Life

Ugh. I hate it when a plan goes splat. I thought I had figured out this Pandemic Life. After all, self-quarantine wasn’t much different from my everyday life as an author. Oops. The road may look straight, but a bump in the road can make life difficult. Somehow Tuesday was my day to hit that bump. Everything turned upside down. No, nothing bad happened. I tripped over a lot of small frustrations. A Bump in the Road Tuesday was supposed to be productive. I have been writing and making progress on my novel. Not huge amounts, but 2-4 pages a day. I planned for 2 pages today.  I hadn’t researched my blog post yet, but I’ve gotten my method down pat. It wouldn’t be a problem. My monthly newsletter was scheduled for release on Tuesday. I wrote it a few days ago. It needed proofreading and images and it would be good to go. And to prepare for new book cover designs, I’m redesigning the logo for my imprint, Rocket Dog Publishing. The image only needed a final tweak, and I could send it to my designer. It All Went South I’m not sure when things went south. Was it when I […]

With Words, She Made a Difference

This week’s woman of peace is author Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880). One of the most influential American women writers from the 1820s through the 1860s she was a prolific author, a literary pioneer, and a tireless crusader and champion for America’s excluded groups. With words, she made a difference.  Early Life Born on February 11, 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts, she was the youngest of six children. Her father, Convers Francis, was stern and religiously orthodox. Susannah (Rand) Francis, her mother, was ill and distant. Her mother died when Lydia was twelve.  After her mother’s death, they sent Lydia to live with a married sister in Maine. Norridgewock, a frontier society, exposed Lydia to a small community of impoverished Abenaki and Penobscot Indians.  Lydia moved back to Massachusetts at nineteen. She lived with her brother Convers, a scholarly Unitarian minister. Her brother guided her education in literary masters such as Homer and Milton. She reportedly hated the name Lydia. So when she converted to Unitarism and was re-baptised, she gave herself the name of Maria. She chose to go by Maria  (Ma-RYE-a) from then on. Early Career Lydia read an article in the North American Review discussing the field offered to the novelist by early New England history. That […]