The shadow on the moon


From the book “Ship: 5,000 Years of Maritime Adventure” by Brian Lavery


Who wants the hurry of the city life?

Decorated doors in an old city

Decorated doors in the old city of Funchal – Madeira Island (2013)

A quote of the moment from a song I haven’t listened for a while because… who wants to hurry anyway?

Who wants the worry, the hurry of city life.
Money, nothing funny, wasting the best of our life.

Sweet wine, hay making, sunshine day breaking.
We can wait till tomorrow.
Car speed, road calling, bird freed, leaf falling.
We can bide time.

–Sweet Wine by Cream

Theoretical Assumptions

An artist’s illustration of PH1, a planet within a four-sun system.

If we lived in a world with plenty of suns, so that we did not have the event of night and total darkness, that´s what the scientists would say about a planet like, let´s say, Earth:

“Life would be impossible on such a planet. It wouldn’t get enough heat and light, and if it rotated there would be total darkness half of every day. There wouldn’t be any native inhabitants. You couldn’t expect life—which is fundamentally dependent on light—to develop under such extreme conditions of light deprivation. Half of every axial rotation spent in Darkness! No, nothing could exist under conditions like that.” ― Isaac Asimov, Nightfall

Nightfall: book review


by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg


First Publication Date: 1990

Kindle Edition: Spectra (November 9, 2011)

Print Length: 339 pages

Read from September 01 to 14, 2013

My Rating: 4 / 5 stars




Book Description:

These two renowned writers have invented a world not unlike our own–a world on the edge of chaos, torn between the madness of religious fanaticism and the stubborn denial of scientists. Only a handful of people on the planet Lagash are prepared to face the truth–that their six suns are setting all at once for the first time in 2,000 years, signaling the end of civilization!

Imagine a parallel universe, in which we lived in a planet that had six suns instead of one. A planet where at least one sun is always visible in the sky, a place where it never gets dark. A planet without night. What would happen if all of a sudden, an eclipse occurs and for the first time in thousands of years the whole planet is unexpectedly dark? Moreover, what if we didn’t know that the sky is filled with stars at night?

Would we be surprised at the day of the eclipse, enjoy the dark sky filled with stars and think how wonderful it is or would we become terrified and loose our sanity?

“Nightfall” is a wonderful “What if…?” kind of story, in which the worse scenario is told, leaving us wondering about the consequences of a total unpredicted change in our scientific beliefs regarding our solar system. In addition, discussing how a powerful religion organization could benefit from this situation, and how it could influence and control people’s beliefs.

The book starts telling us about an archeologist, a scientist, a psychologist and a newspaperman. Slowly, their stories and discoveries connect with each other, converging to the main plot. The imminent threat of total darkness in the planet!

It was a very delightful read, I loved the characters and the ideas explored in the story. The ending was okay, leaving me thinking that humanity always takes the same paths, and the history tends to repeat itself from time to time, no matter what we do. Yes, that was the message of the book for me. Deep inside, I was hoping for something more extraordinary, but I think I understood the point of the authors.

It’s a nice light science fiction discussing science, social breakdown/organization and religion in one package. I gave it 4 stars just because the ending didn’t reach to my expectations, but that just me.

Note: Nightfall is a 1941 short story by Isaac Asimov that was adapted into a novel with Robert Silverberg in 1990.

Reading plans for September 2013


So, September has arrived in a weird kinda of weather around here (south hemisphere). One morning I wake up and see a beautiful blue sky with mild temperatures that tells me: “spring is coming!” and then the next day it’s a cloudy, windy and cold winter day.

Oh, well, let it be!!

It’s going to be a busy month for me and I’m feeling I began with a optimistic mindset. I will be working on my masters degree more than ever, I am going to a Conference on Building’s Energy Performance at the capital, I will finish working on a scientific article AND I my reading plan is as follows:

For the science fiction hunger: Nightfall by Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg =>I have already started, and it is very interesting!

For overall knowledge/skills: Mind Maps: Improve Memory, Concentration, Communication, Organization, Creativity, and Time Management by Ken Arthur => I read almost one third of it, and the past month I totally forgot about it. Now it’s time to catch up!

From The Sword and Laser BookClub: The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester => Well, it’s a classic science fiction, winner of the Hugo Award in 1953, need I say more?

And a little guilty pleasure: Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1) by Zoe Archer => romance with adventure and Indiana Jones type of scenario (so they say!)

And that’s it!! I will do my best to keep it up 🙂