Fun at the Signing Table – The 2015 Leap Second !

This Minute Has 61 Seconds - the 2015 leap second To learn more about the 2015 Leap Second:

The International Earth Rotation Service and Reference Systems and the Paris observatory! Yes, it does have a nice SF-ish ring to its name!

The Leap Second home page.

More about Universal and  coordinated universal  time. International second

And for the “bug”, the network time protocol for clock synchronization between computer systems.

And to look up the time anywhere, (one of the atomic time websites!) and to look up in Eastern Time.

Happy July! 

Fun at the Signing Table – Hyperboles, again!

Hyperboles and physics! Art and writing by Michèle Laframboise

Meddling with physics is still big fun for a SF writer!

Thanks to my hyperboles suppliers Pascal Colpron (eternity), Robin Dumont (hair) and André Lavoie (minus a thousand). The ET visitor comes from a Le Bob original creation.

Matter falling in a black hole get heated up, so much that it emits a stream of X rays. In the panel with the car in space, a Cygnus X1 like binary system is illustrated, a star with a companion black hole.

The mean universe temperature is about 3 Kelvin.  The fossil microwave picture is a courtesy of NASA.

The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking was an inspiration for the universe 4-dimensional models. The Hawking radiation is the name given to a black body radiation when a black hole evaporates.

As for the Big Crunch, well, there’s still some time before, if it happens!

A Half-Glass of Water


A coda to the yesterday entry... and a new solution to an old riddle?.


Fun at the Signing Table – A Glass of Water


A Glass of Water - how to explain the glooal climate change with a glass of water.


The relation between our recent cold weather spells and global warming involves complex phenomena, the Gulf Stream current among them. For the more eager :

To better understand our irrealists expectations regarding science, conditioned by our “I-want-it-now!” culture: The Problem with Science: from Action Movies to the Real World!

For a innovative use of our fossil resources to mitigate the climate change, see une solution au casse-tête arctique.

To read about the projected effects of a Shutdown of thermohaline circulation, and here is a map of the thermohaline circulation.

For a more higher level paper, about the Gulf Stream, see this abstract of a paper published in 2015 by Jaime B. Palter, from the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences of McGill University: The Role of the Gulf Stream in European Climate (Annual Review of Marine Science Vol. 7: 113-137) 

The real demonstration will be given by the planet, as soon as the last ice and land glaciers will have melted.

Fun at the Signing Table – Hyperboles!

If our exaggerations became litteral...  Art and text by Michèle Laframboise In mathematics, an hyperbole is a curve obtained by cutting a plan trhough a double cone. In day-to-day life, an hyperbole is a wildly exaggerated statement.

And yes, this majestic wave stems from an ancient (around 1830)  japanese woodblock print !

An Empty Table

SF writer and editor Joël Champetier, 57, died May 30, 2015 after a long struggle with leukemia. Champetier was a renowned and award-winning SF author, and longtime editor of Solaris, one of the most prestigious French-language SF magazines in the world.

We lost a good friend this last week-end. The light rain waking me up the same night was Joel’s goodbye or at least, a poetic coincidence.

Joel Champetier did a lot for many of us, and has kept his simplicity and warmth. His SF stories created new trails for us to walk at our rythm.

Fun at the Signing Table – But You’ll get Exposure!

But you'll get so much exposure! Why should we pay you for the favor?

But you’ll get so much exposure! Why should we pay you for the favor?
Should you work for free? This chart by Jessica Hische might help you!

Fun at the Signing Table – Spring Gardening

The joys of gardening, when spring is late!

The joy of gardening, when spring comes so late!

This comic was “drawn in the dark“.

Imagined, scenarised, pencilled and inked on my Intuos wacom tablet between 8 am and 14h30 today. English translation thirty minutes later.

(No) Fun at the Signing Table – Erasure


You’re competent, cool and brave, but if you’re a female Avenger, you get erased by Disney.

I saw  Age of Ultron, the last Avenger movie, and applauded at the cool action scenes avec amusement, with Black Widow (played by Scarlet Johansson). It was a treat to see her jump from the Quinjet and retrieve the shield «forgotten » by Captain America, with cool effects.

Then, I learned about the lack of merchandising (the big revenue for movie) Hasbro not only erased Black Widow from her own scene, it put Captain America in it. (My favorite Comic Shop does exist and sells action figures and cards, plus holds various artist’s meetings, but the scene is fictional. )

The erasure of Black Widow from her own scene in a toy merch had made the news. You may say it’s just toys, but… think of the message it sends, to girls. The action figures and toys are decided upon by commercials following a target group optimization practice.

A tweet (in fact, three that I put together) resumes the problem (hashtag=#wheresNatasha )

“What really burns me re: erasing female superheroes, whether Gamora or Widow or Scarlet Witch, etc:
1) it tells girls they’re not worthy  and
2) it tells boys that girls are to be ignored & erased. Because seriously, like there aren’t little boys out there who love Black Widow?”

One Marvel exec actually said: “That’s not why Disney bought us. They already have the girls’ market on lockdown.” With Brave and Frozen princesses, there’s no incentive to make more Marvel merch for women. I’m happy that the Diney  princesses have come a long way from the simpering-whimpering-sort, but give girls a choice, too!

To quote Amadi (@amaditalks): This is @Marvel and @Hasbro telling every woman and little girl — 52% of Marvel’s audience — that they aren’t significant or good enough.”

Cheers to hardy princesses and fun superheroines – and heroes!

Fun at the Signing Table – Our Media Diet

Our Media Diet: what do you eat?

We watch closely our food… but what about our average media intake?