Archive for December, 2009

At what temperature does urine freeze?

Posted in Odds, Stories, Writing on December 12, 2009 by oneoveralpha

It’s often said that reading books takes us to new worlds. That’s also true when you write them.

Recently, I was revising a section of a novel I’m working on. It’s set a few centuries after a nuclear war. All the ash and smoke has blocked the sun, leaving the Earth frozen in a nuclear winter. I was working on a bit of dialogue, and I wanted one person to say something along the line of “Does a bear crap in the woods?” but set in their world. I came up with “Does piss freeze?” I wrote that down, but then I wondered at what temperature does urine freeze? This wasn’t just pointless wondering, because I had narrowed this world’s temperature down. I knew it was below 0°C because water is frozen, but it was above -40°C because they had vodka that is still liquid.

To find out at what temperature urine freezes, I went to the internet. There I found a couple different answers: -5°C (It’s about 2/3 of the way down that page) and -120°C. I’m pretty sure the -120°C is wrong.

I did found actual science dealing with freezing urine, but most of the sites I found dealt with freezing “clean” urine so people could use it to pass drug tests. There were discussions on how long it will stay “good,” ways to make it seem “fresh,” as well as warnings about dubious businesses that sell it through the mail. There were even sites for synthetic and even powdered urine.

It was at that point I stopped searching. Given that I’ve had vodka in my freezer without it freezing and some people have frozen urine in theirs, it’s not a problem for my characters to ask “Does piss freeze?” before taking a swig of vodka. Speaking of vodka, I wish I had some in my freezer because I think I need a swig.

Advertisements

Why I’m not excited for Avatar

Posted in Movies, Writing on December 6, 2009 by oneoveralpha

Avatar is the single most complex piece of filmmaking ever made. We have 1,600 shots for a 2.5 hour movie. It’s not with a single CGI character, like King Kong or Gollum. We have hundreds of photo-realistic CG characters. We were Microsoft’s sandbox for filmmaking beyond the cutting edge.”

Quote source.

It’s stuff like that that makes me nervous. I haven’t gone out of my way to learn about Avatar, but 99% of what I’ve heard is about the special effects. I’ve heard nothing about it having an engaging plot or even being an interesting story. It’s all “The special effects will blow you away!” But special effects shouldn’t be the focus of a movie. Imagine a play where millions are spent on a backdrop and props. Would that make up for bad acting or bad playwriting? NO! If film makers learned anything from the George Lucas Prequel debacle, it should be that special effects are nice, but perhaps you should spend more time working on plot.

November Newsletter

Posted in Newsletter on December 1, 2009 by oneoveralpha

See what I did during November:
http://www.oneoveralpha.com/Newsletter.htm#Nov09

Enjoy,
Steve

Flash Fiction Magazine

Daily Flash Fiction Stories

Defusing Chaos

Because chaos doesn't sort itself out.

SFoxWriting.com

Something For Everyone's Needs

Mr, Mr.

Travel wildly. Dream deeply. live daringly.

Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

Best Differential Diagnosis Book

Stop. Focus. Over.

Silence is violence.

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

Eye-Dancers

A site devoted to the Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel The Eye-Dancers

ssteinwriting

Author of New Adult and Contemporary Writing

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Twenty Somethings

Stories, poems, and things about things.

Read it to absorb my awesomeness

And you will become...awesome

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

- tony.espino -

a human. for now.

On the Homefront

Reflections on life: the funny, poignant, serious and quirky