Daily Archives: June 28, 2012

Health Care SCOTUS Ruling Reaction Thread

By now you know that the US Supreme Court has largely upheld “ObamaCare,” on a 5-4 vote. Here is the complete ruling.

I am traveling today so I won’t have much to say on follow-up, but my immediate reaction is: Interesting ruling, surprising grounds for upholding the law, the long-term political ramifications are probably even more interesting than the short-term electoral ramifications, and also, on a personal note, I’m glad to see the law ruled constitutional because I think lack of reasonable health care for everyone in this country has been a horrible state of affairs, and this is the first step in dealing with that.

Go ahead and leave your comments below. As a general rule, may I remind people of two things: One, treat other respondents in the thread with dignity and respect, two, actually try to discuss the ruling and its ramifications, rather than address it from a sports team point of view (i.e., “My side won!” “My side lost!”). And three, even though I will be traveling today, I will still be wielding the Mallet. So, you know. Keep it smart, keep it civil.

Got it? Then the floor is now yours.

The Rough Guide to the Universe on Google Play

Proof once again that often the author is the very last person to know about these things: the second (and most recently updated) version of The Rough Guide to the Universe, my astronomy book, is out and available on Google Play, although apparently not on either Barnes & Noble or Amazon. I don’t know why it’s on the one service and not the others, although if I had to guess it would be because the book was scanned rather than formatted into eBook form, and Amazon/B&N would prefer to have it in its proprietary formats. That’s just a guess, however.

The book is pretty inexpensive at $6 for the electronic version, although I would offer the caveat that because it’s scanned (presumably to keep the fantastic astronomical pictures and star charts in the book in a useful format), you’ll have better luck viewing it on a tablet or computer rather than a phone. I downloaded it and was looking at it on my Galaxy Tab, and it was readable and looked good. If I tried to look at it on my phone, I suspect I would get a headache from all the small text very quickly. And of course there would be the irony of taking a bright electronic tablet out with you to look at a dark night sky; you’d kill your night vision every time you looked down at the book.

Nevertheless, for those of you who don’t have the book and want it, or didn’t know that I wrote anything other than fiction and might be interested in seeing what else I write, this is a good intro. I’m actually very proud of this book; I had always wanted to write an astronomy book when I was younger so being able to do one was a genuine life goal. And as an added bonus, this book itself was very well received as beginner’s guide on everything that’s going on in the universe (and how to see it in the night sky). Check it out if you like.