Welcome, traveller ...

Here the curious reader can follow the progress of the forthcoming new two-volume novel "Brent" by Norwegian
author Morten Jorgensen a.k.a. me. Here you will find
links that will give you some background for the books,
problems that I solve or questions that I ponder may be introduced, reports from my travels on research missions
for "Brent" may appear, news may break on this blog,
excerpts may be published.

Here all shall be revealed. In due time ...


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Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Florida? Bali? The French Riviera? Why not Space? We are talking vacations, of course. Just a few decades ago, you would have to be a sci-fri writer or a dreamer to even think of space tourism as something else than a mere fantasy.

Not so now. Thanks to the pionereering gamble of Sir Richard Branson and his VirginGalactic, space tourism is just a decade away.

"In 2003, luxury travel had 20 million customers globally and generated 91 billion in revenue, which represents 20% of tourism revenues worldwide. This large untapped market represents a unique chance for space tourism." (Véronique Ziliotto, Holland's European Space Research and Technology Centre)

In an informative comment i USA Today, Dan Vergano cites one poll, which found that "estimated demand for the year 2021 would be over 13,000 passengers, generating revenues in excess of US$600 million."

The Genesis II space station is an embryonic hotel, "testing and validating the technologies necessary to construct and deploy a full-scale, crewed, commercial orbital space complex".

You can order your ticket now, if you like. For the extremely rich, a price tag of $200,000 is not really a deterrent, and as the ticket price will drop to a mere $50,000 after three years, everything is set for space vacations, weddings and anniversaries. 1,4 million also sounds like a fair prize for a reality show, doesn't it? Become the winner of "Robinson" or "Fear Factor" or "Paradise Hotel", and you'll be on your way. Hey, why not make a completely new show: "Who wants to be a mill... space cadet"? Who will be the first artist to perform live "up there"? Lily Allen? Lady Gaga? And which network will transmit the concert?

2021 ... Well, what about 2041? Or 2081? Of course there will be hotels up there. Like maybe the Hilton Near Earth Excelsior. Or some other figment of my imagination.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


I have changed the name of Annika, the Swedish 3D porn star today. She is now called Marie-Louise. As I wrote the chapter, which belongs in part two of Book 1, I suddenly realized that her father would never have named her Annika. Her father would want her to have an aristocratic name.

Her father is the first of the insane persons who populate BRENT that I finish. His part in BRENT is already played out, it's curtains for Marie-Louise's father. Or rather, he is the first of the evil madmen- and women the reader will meet whom I have finished constructing. Because Marie-Louise's father will most certainly not be the last crazed psychopath depicted in BRENT. Not even the worst. Not by far, one might add.

Monday, 22 March 2010


The Eta Carinae galaxy, resembling a weird piece of human anatomy.


Obama's health care reform stole the headlines, and no network or station gave this sensational breakthrough a BREAKING NEWS priority. But that may be just what the historians will note 100 years from now: Few understood the historic significance of the maiden voyage of the world's first commercial spacecraft with the rather tongue-in-cheek name: VSS Enterprise.

However, I can assure you that in BRENT the date March 22, 2010, will be a commemoration day, a day of celebration. So let us just enjoy the sight of this magnificent pioneering bird, which will carry space tourists out into Near Earth at the rather stiff price of $ 200 000 a pop.

Today is a day that will go down in history. And you, dear reader, you were there to see it, and I'm sure you will remember it too.

(Ground control to major Richard)


I discovered several months ago that just watching pictures from Space each and every day as BRENT progresses, does something to me, something lasting. But I have actually found that it is more beneficial for me to watch ONE picture a day, rather than a myriad of photos; consuming it, making it my daily visual mantra, letting it sink into my consciousness like a psychedelic wallpaper, accompagnying me like a close friend, as I skip and wobble through the day.

Here is the Milky Way - again. Unsurpassed beauty, but today, more like an abstract painting than a photography. Stunned I sip my latte.

(For details on the picture: See Astronomy Picture of the Day.)

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Have written four pages. Happy with that. Volume 1, part 3. The Ronald Reagan cometh. Slug needs a shower. Two BBLs go stealth.


"The only thing more beautiful than women, is Space." (The Beast)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

CYBORG ANIMALS (Cybergenics)

When we hear the word cyborg (cybernetic organism), we usually think of electronically enhanced humans. But there is no reason - knowing what we know about human tech endeavours - to think that animals will be exempt from electronic reinforcements and "improvement".

It is not unlikely that e.g. professional military personel, police officers, private security guards will go for artificial joints and bones. An infantry wo/man who can jump three or four meters with ease or outrun any "normal" soldier, would of course have a tremendous advantage on the battle field. But what about dogs? Guard dogs? Bomb dogs, even a battle Rottweiler?

Would you like your cat to be able to talk? Sometime in the future it can be done. And if you were a beekeeper in the killer bee zone, wouldn't you gladly buy a pack of electronically reinforced honey bees that would send any attacking killer bee swarm into oblivion?

The possibilities are endless. And I'll skip the ethical issues at this point. I'll just recommend the results of the rather mind-boggling cybergenics Photoshop competition on worth1000.com. Food for thought, and beautiful pictures, so take a look. Or "beautiful" ...? Hm ...? Maybe not.

Thursday, 4 March 2010


Some seem to believe that the age of space exploration is over, now that US president Barack Obama has sent NASA back to the 50ies, like some even predicted. But that notion would be a serious mistanke on behalf of any brain. AIDS made condoms popular, and in much the same fashion, the financial crisis of the Western World has made anti-space exploration sentiments legit once more. However, Western sentiments are completely irrelevant for space exploration. A gnat's bite, at most.

Once upon a time in the West, resistance to, even scepticism towards space exploration used to be a sign of backwardness, of sun-dried farmland roots, of manure and chaff-studded sweat. Not so these days. Today, being a critic of space exploration is a simple way of flagging yourself as a supporter of fiscal restraint, in the US an Obama-rejecting Republican. The consensus is suddenly wide-reaching. The political left has abandoned its John F. Kennedy-humanist view of space exploration uniting mankind, demanding instead that priority be given to the poor (first).

American and West-European space exploration may be on the vane. But just 3 years ago, we read this CNN article, on Helium-3. And on China, of course. Yes, of course - China! C-H-I-N-A. It is a totally different tune we shall hear in this replay from 2006 - yes, it's an imperial march, it is quite distinct:

What makes helium-3 so attractive as an alternative future fuel source is its environmentally friendly credentials, as it does not produce radioactive waste.


Scientists have been working to prove nuclear fusion works but much of it still remains theoretical. It is thought to be at least 50 years from being proven to work on a large scale.

The potential, though, is enormous. It has been estimated that about 25 tons of helium-3, equal to just one payload of a space shuttle, would provide enough energy for the U.S. for a year at current consumption levels.


"We are planning to build a permanent base on the moon by 2015 and by 2020 we can begin the industrial-scale delivery... of the rare isotope helium-3," said Nikolai Sevastianov, head of Russian space vehicle manufacturer Energia, at a seminar in Moscow in January (2006 - MJ).

His bold statement might have been more of a publicity drive for Energia rather than a clear commitment to a program, but China, which has committed itself to a space program to land men on the moon by 2017 has also stated its interest in helium-3.

"China's lunar project can incorporate the mining of helium-3 (HE-3) as a new, clean, efficient, safe and cheap nuclear fusion fuel. The foreign sales and internal uses of HE-3 will help offset the high price of maintaining a lunar base," wrote Stacey Solomone from the University of Hawaii in an article in Futures Research Quarterly.

China is undeterred, Russia is undeterred, India is undeterred. Financial crisis or no financial crisis, Brazil will join them, so willl Canada, and so will other nations, many other nations. Nations without a budget deficit numbering billions, even trillions. Man is headed for space. Richard Branson is undeterred.

And we have been talking just helium-3 her. Space mining as such has a bright future. There is quite literally gold and platinum out there. The mineral deposits by Mother Earth's bosom are depletable. Mankind will need more.

The space quest will continue. But it looks like space exploration is fast becoming a non-Anglo thang, maybe even predominantly Asian.

So much for Kennedy's visions. But then again, I was never that much of a Cortez, Rhodes or Columbus fan, anyway.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Forget Robocop, here's RoboTeacher

Enter: The robotic teacher. That never tires, that has an inbuilt projector, that can access any data and search for any answer. She ... eh ... it even has a scolding option.

At the moment, our new teacher is being perfectioned in Japan and Korea. But soon they will be coming to your school as well. Maybe not as class teachers, but to lecture, to narrate, to tell stories of Napoleon and Saladin, of rhinos and polar bears, to do math quizes and calculate grades.


(Originally published on Morten Jorgensen's baseblog INTERMASHONAL TIMES, February 26, 2010)

I must admit that I was somewhat ambivalent, as I am no fan of Apple,
when the AppleTablet hype came to its crescendo. On the one hand, I am extremely impatient to see a permanent eBook solution, but I was fearing that the somewhat snobbish Apple image and the general overpricing of Apple products would make the second phase of the eBook revolution an exclusive epoch for the fashionable and somewhat wealthy. I'd hate to see my books being read by only Apple-heads. But I was ready to do a Canossa, IF the product itself was the groundbreaking gadget, like some of the most optimistic predictions seem to imply.

But with no phone, no camera, no Flash and only one application runningat a time, I find that this iPad review covers fairly my own thoughts:

However, what I do embrace, is the fact that the race is on. Microsoft is working on a tablet, HP as well, and soon there will appear competing gadgets based on Windows 7, as the iPad surely will inspire the competition, just like Nokia's Express series, of which I am a happy user, can be considered an answer to the iPhone.

There can also be argued that while Apple is mainly producing gadgets for the consumer market, the PC is undisputably the computer that is most suitable for businesses.

If we define 'computer' in a traditional and strict sense, i.e. as we so far have known them, one might say that the infamous IBM dismissal of the personal home computer was slightly prophetic after all. The iPad and similar gadgets will appeal to people who use their PC just for browsing and networking. With an eBook reader included, their needs will have been met. "Nobody will want a personal computer at home."

The stationary PC is already being outsold by laptops, but laptops and stationary PCs and iMacs alike are also being undermined by the next generation of television sets. Samsung and other companies are developing TV sets that function more or less like a computer screen. In the future, you will get sets that display a mail icon down in the lower right corner when somebody has sent you a mail, and if somebody makes a comment on one of your Facebook posts, you will get a small red icon in the upper right corner, and Twitter will be running in the left TV margin as you watch "Dexter" Season 10. If Facebook and Twitter hasn't become obsolete as well, that is.

Thus, most people will have a television set at home, maybe a game console as well. Only professionals and die-hard gamers will need more at home.

When leaving home, we will want to carry an All Purpose Device (APD) that covers all our needs. This is why I was never a fan of the single purpose Kindle. When the mobile phone and the camera fused, everybody was delighted. The iPhone infused music to the phone, reducing the iPod to a jogging utility.

But this APD will have to include music, a camera, a phone, chat, an eBook reader and everything else that we are accustomed to on our laptops. As the news-PAPER is mortally wounded, an APD must include the possibility of subscription to newspapers and magazines as well. You may not be willing to pay for your newspaper, but your current subscriptions to web-based magazines like All About Beer, Deer & deer Hunting and Popular Science, will most certainly in the future be downloaded to your APD, pre-paid. However, if the interface is improved, making the web-based newpaper of today seem obsolete, unaestetic and slow, you might even be willing to subscribe to The Guardian or The New York Times, especially if a Breaking News service or some kind of exclusivity is included, even though you may not be willing to pay more than a nominal fee, perhaps spiced with a contribution to a given selection of NGOs.

And the eBook? In a panel debate at the Oslo Science Fiction Festival last autumn, my distinguished colleague Charles Stross argued against my eBook optimism, refering to the sordid fact that only a minority of the Western World's population actually do read books. But that is also a question of price and accessibility. With books and book clubs available on your APD at a far lower cost than the paper book of today, we have no reason to believe that the number of book enthusiasts will drop. However, when it comes to single purpose devices like the Kindle, Mr. Stross may be right.

Today the Norwegian politicians are handing out laptops to all our school children. That might prove to be a costly investment, if HP or MS in a year or two or three come up with an APD that also can read upgradable school books with videos and interactive functions.

Now, all we need is a holographic 42 inch screen that can be projected onto any white wall ...

(Originally published on Morten Jorgensen's baseblog INTERMASHONAL TIMES, February 26, 2010)


When heat control of bugs and pests replaces chemical solutions, we'll all be better off. Except the insects and other small or miniscule organisms, of course. Your bus will be devoid of flies, your house will boil all larvae as you sleep, and your bed will become tic-free while you're at work.

"Rentokil says it successfully disinfested three floors of a hotel, containing 40 rooms, within just 24 hours, a process that would have taken weeks through fumigation. The company has also demonstrated that it kills all insects in buses within 3 hours, and would work in most forms of transport."

Those annoying little trips that enevitably used to accompany your bouquet of white lilies or your pot of organic herbs home, will finally be abolished. No ants will invade your basement. No more will you suddenly be startled, as midnight swiftly draws near, by the huge eight-legged shadow of the wolf spider on your living room wall. And as you sign your future mortgage, you will notice the words "Guaranteed Cockroach-Free" in a friendly 12 p font on page 3 of the lease.


Microsoft's Project Natal gives us a peek at a part of our future and takes us far beyond Wii.

In a not so very remote future, you will be a virtual handball keeper, gaming online with six team-mates and seven opposing players, and maybe your grandpa will join in as the referee? Your opposing team might be from and situated in China. You may well be playing in a league. You may even be mentioned on the sport pages. By all means, if you develop skills and become extremely good, carried forward by technologies that not just copy reality, but mimics it? You may even get an audience, who knows? - Hey, wait a minute ... Will people even be willing to pay to watch you? Perhaps Pizza Hut would like to join in with a special play-offs offer for all subscribers - worldwide?

And why go to the gym for aerobics? Why train baseball in the snow? What will the Natal, Mark X v.27.0.87 technology be used for at your local schcool? Your hospital? And what do you need that old-school flight simulator for, let's go flying!

Did I mention gaming? "Call of Duty XVIII - Real Bullets"? "Top Gun for home users"? "World of Birdcraft"? No? Well, just imagine ...


The holographic keyboard and the virtual holo-mouse are most likely the future. Your hand may become your hardware. However, as a Norwegian, I will want an interface that functions in winter and outdoors as well, in minus 10 C degrees. So I think I'm inclined to reject any interface or gadget that would be (just) skin-based. But if I could project the holographic keyboard onto anything I please ... Hm ...? Sounds more like it. Or ...?


This is the Dassault Vehra, a compact small spacecraft of great versalitity and flexibility. An impressive machine, indeed.