Pixel Scroll 5/4/17 Her Pixels Scrolled Up Forever

(1) SUN GOES POSTAL. Daniel Dern, who has an eye for science fictional and related kinds of cool postage stamps, points to plans for this year’s “Total Eclipse of the Sun to be commemorated on a Forever Stamp”.  On June 20, the US Postal Service will issue a pair of stamps capable of a unique special effect:

In the first U.S. stamp application of thermochromic ink, the Total Solar Eclipse stamps will reveal a second image. Using the body heat of your thumb or fingers and rubbing the eclipse image will reveal an underlying image of the Moon (Espenak also took the photograph of the Full Moon). The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.

Thermochromic inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

The back of the stamp pane [ a sheet, looks like of 8 stamps] provides a map of the August 21 eclipse path and times it may appear in some locations.

Tens of millions of people in the United States hope to view this rare event, which has not been seen on the U.S. mainland since 1979. The eclipse will travel a narrow path across the entire country for the first time since 1918. The path will run west to east from Oregon to South Carolina and will include portions of 14 states.

The June 20, 1:30 p.m. MT First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming (UW) in Laramie. The University is celebrating the summer solstice on June 20. Prior to the event, visitors are encouraged to arrive at 11:30 a.m. to witness a unique architectural feature where a single beam of sunlight shines on a silver dollar embedded in the floor, which occurs at noon on the summer solstice in the UW Art Museum’s Rotunda Gallery.

(2) BEAM UP MY MAIL. Dern says the eclipse stamp promises to be as cool as Canada’s “Star Trek – Transporter” stamp series, which he was able to get while there last summer.

A tribute to the high-tech world of Star Trek, this stamp uses lenticular printing, a method that makes images appear in motion when viewed from different angles. A homage to the show’s most famous technology – the transporter – and one of its most popular episodes, “The City on the Edge of Forever,” they bring the beloved series to the “miniature screen.”

Stamp designer Kosta Tsetsekas, of Vancouver-based Signals Design Group, saw lenticular as an opportunity to recognize the show’s futuristic vision and the special effects that brought it to life.

“I felt that lenticular, developed in the 1940s, had a bit of a low-tech feel that really mirrored the TV special effects used in the original Star Trek series. Thanks to newer technology, it is now possible to show a lot more motion.”

The set also includes one of Spock and Kirk passing through the Guardian of Forever in the “City on the Edge of Forever” episode.

(3) TAKE NOTE. SCORE: A Film Music Documentary features interviews with nearly 60 composers, directors, orchestrators, studio musicians, producers, recording artists, studio executives, In theaters June 26.

This documentary brings Hollywood’s premier composers together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the world’s most widely known music genre: the film score.

CAST: Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, John Williams, Trent Reznor, James Cameron, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones, Junkie XL, Howard Shore, Alexandre Desplat, Steve Jablonsky, Brian Tyler


(4) HOW RUDE. At McSweeney’s, Kaya York gives examples of what it would look like “If People Talked About Other Things the Way They Talked About Gender Identity”. Here are two:

Subatomic particles: “Now they’re saying they discovered ‘tetraquarks’ and ‘pentaquarks’. How many combinations of quarks are there? I can’t even keep up these days. What ever happened to just talking about good old atoms?”

Cats: “A Manx is not a cat. Cats are defined as having tails. Maybe it’s a koala.”

(5) SFFH JOURNAL. Download Fantastika Journal issue 1 free. Dozens of articles and reviews, including an editorial by John Clute.

From their website:

“Fantastika” – a term appropriated from a range of Slavonic languages by John Clute – embraces the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but can also include alternative histories, gothic, steampunk, young adult dystopian fiction, or any other radically imaginative narrative space. The goal of Fantastika Journal and its annual conference is to bring together academics and independent researchers who share an interest in this diverse range of fields with the aim of opening up new dialogues, productive controversies and collaborations. We invite articles examining all mediums and disciplines which concern the Fantastika genres.

(6) GAME OF VAULTS. When you’ve got a license to print money, you buy more printing presses. Entertainment Weekly reports: “Game of Thrones forever: HBO developing 4 different spinoffs”.

HBO is doubling down — no, quadrupling down — on its epic quest to replace Game of Thrones.

The pay TV network is determined to find a way to continue the most popular series in the company’s history and has taken the highly unusual step of developing four different ideas from different writers. The move represents a potentially massive expansion of the popular fantasy universe created by author George R.R. Martin. If greenlit, the eventual show or shows would also mark the first time HBO has ever made a follow-up series to one of its hits….

The prequel or spinoff development battle royale is a bit like how Disney handles their Marvel and Star Wars brands rather than how a TV network tends to deal with a retiring series (Thrones is expected to conclude with its eighth-and-final season next year.) But GoT is no ordinary show — it’s an international blockbuster that delivers major revenue for HBO via subscriptions (last season averaged 23.3 million viewers in the U.S. alone), home video and merchandise licensing. Plus, there’s all those Emmys to consider (GoT set records for the most Emmys ever won in the prime-time ceremony).

(7) ANOTHER NIMOY HEARD FROM. Julie Nimoy has made a movie about her dad, too, Remembering Leonard Nimoy.

Leonard Nimoy grew up in Boston’s old West End, before urban renewal razed much of the once-ethnic neighborhood. As a kid, the future actor was mesmerized by “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” the 1939 film based on Victor Hugo’s novel.

“I remember being touched by the humanity trapped inside the Hunchback,” Nimoy says in a voice-over in “Remembering Leonard Nimoy,” a new hourlong documentary that premieres at 9?p.m. Thursday on WGBH 2. For Nimoy, Charles Laughton’s portrayal of Quasimodo was entirely relatable: “That alienation was something I learned in Boston.”

Nimoy was many things — a fine art photographer, a philanthropist, a great-grandfather, the director of “Three Men and a Baby.” But he was known universally — and we do mean universally — as Spock from “Star Trek,” the half-human, all-logic officer in the long-running science fiction franchise. After Nimoy died in early 2015, an asteroid between Jupiter and Mars was named after him.

“Remembering Leonard Nimoy” shares the same orbit as “For the Love of Spock,” the recent feature-length documentary directed by Nimoy’s son, Adam. The newer film is produced and directed by Adam’s sister Julie and her husband, David Knight. Adam Nimoy appears on-camera (as he does in his own film) and gets an adviser’s credit, so there was evidently no familial dispute about telling the famous father’s story.

(8) GORDON OBIT. Actor Don Gordon (1926-2017) died April 24. He worked a lot – seems there was hardly a series in the Fifties or Sixties he wasn’t cast in at some point. His genre roles include appearances on Space Patrol, The Twilight Zone (two episodes – “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross”: (1964) and “The Four of US Are Dying” (1960)), The Outer Limits, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Wild, Wild West, The Invaders, The Bionic Woman, The Powers of Matthew Star, Knight Rider and movies including The Final Conflict, The Beast Within, and The Exorcist III.

(9) DALBY OBIT. Editor, scholar and bookseller Richard Dalby (1949-2017) passed away May 4 at the age of 68.

He edited a succession of well-chosen and pioneering anthologies, including the Virago volumes of women’s ghost stories, the Mammoth Books of ghost stories, the Jamesian collection Ghosts & Scholars (with Rosemary Pardoe) and several popular books of Christmas ghost stories and thrillers. Other noted volumes include The Sorceress in Stained-Glass (1971), Dracula’s Brood (1989) and Tales of Witchcraft (1991), all highly respected and now much sought-after.


Star Wars Day

“May the Fourth be with you” was first used by Margaret Thatcher’s political party to congratulate her on her election on May 4th, 1979, and the saying quickly caught on. However, the first celebration of May 4th took place much later, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2001. This first official Star Wars Day’s festivities included a costume contest and a movie marathon. Fans’ favorite parodies of the franchise were also enjoyed, as were some of the most popular mash-ups and remixes. Since then, Star Wars Day has gained popularity and is celebrated by Star Wars Fans worldwide.

(11) EXCEPT IN WISCONSIN. The school district has announced a “no costume” policy going forward: “Wisconsin High School Evacuated After Student Arrives in Stormtrooper Costume for Star Wars Day”

A student celebrating Star Wars Day prompted the brief evacuation of a Wisconsin high school on Thursday morning because they were wearing a Stormtrooper costume, officials said, describing it as a mix-up.

Capt. Jody Crocker, of Wisconsin’s Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety, tells PEOPLE it happened this way:

Someone driving adjacent to Ashwaubenon High School saw a masked person entering with a large duffel bag and what appeared to to be a bullet-proof vest — but what was actually a costume of a Stormtrooper, a fictional soldier in the Star Wars franchise….

The school was evacuated for about an hour and the students were safely returned, Crocker says.

(12) DARTH WELCOME HERE. Ironically, a Tennessee hospital is perfectly fine having Darth Vader on the premises. But then, he’s not in costume. That’s just his name.

Meanwhile, ABC News chose May the Fourth to reveal Darth Vader is a 39-year-old man living in Tennessee, United States. Darthvader Williamson, that is….

Ms Knowles explained that she compromised with Darthvader’s dad, who wanted to use the full title Lord Darth Vader. She agreed to the shorter version because she “hadn’t seen the movie” and “didn’t know the character”.

Chip Hitchcock sent the link with a comment, “I’d say someone who names their boy after a major villain is more than a ‘serious geek’, even if it’s not naming him Sue.”

(13) PIXEL POWER. Satellites go where no man has gone before: counting albatrosses on inaccessible island steeps. The BBC tells how in “Albatrosses counted from space”.

The US government has only recently permitted such keen resolution to be distributed outside of the military and intelligence sectors.

WorldView-3 can see the nesting birds as they sit on eggs to incubate them or as they guard newly hatched chicks.

With a body length of over a metre, the adult albatrosses only show up as two or three pixels, but their white plumage makes them stand out against the surrounding vegetation. The BAS team literally counts the dots.

(14) INTERNET ABOVE THE SKY. Deployment will begin in two years — “Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to send the first of its 4,425 super-fast internet satellites into space in 2019”.

“SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle,” the executive said.

The 4,425 satellites will operate in 83 orbital planes at altitudes ranging from 1,110 KM to 1,325 KM.

SpaceX argues that the U.S. lags behind other developed nations in broadband speed and price competitiveness, while many rural areas are not serviced by traditional internet providers. The company’s satellites will provide a “mesh network” in space that will be able to deliver high broadband speeds without the need for cables.

(15) FIFTIES SF NOVEL TO STAGE. London’s Br\dge Theatre lists among its future projects a production of The Black Cloud, a new play by Sam Holcroft, from the 1957 novel by Fred Hoyle. “One of the greatest works of science fiction ever written,” according to Richard Dawkins.

The New York Times reports

The London Theater Company is a new commercial venture by Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, who previously ran the National Theater in London together; Mr. Hytner was director, overseeing artistic programming, while Mr. Starr served as executive director.

The company’s first season will take place in the new Bridge Theater, the name of which was also announced on Wednesday. The 900-seat venue, on the south side of the Thames, near Tower Bridge, is the first commercial theater of its scale to be built in London in 80 years, according to the company.

(16) SUPERNATURAL AFTERLIFE. Teresa Wickersham covered an on-stage interview with Jim Beaver for SciFi4Me.com “Planet Comicon 2017: Idjits, Death and No Bobby in Season 12 of SUPERNATURAL”.

Jim said that he just looks at the script and guesses how to play it. Usually someone will tell him if he gets it wrong. Writers create and the actor visually and orally interprets what they have created. Ninety-nine percent of what you love is the writer. “I’m happy to be here and take his (Kripke’s) money.”

Jim Beaver’s favorite episode is “Weekend at Bobby’s”, which was Jensen Ackles’ first directing experience. He said Jensen did a fine job. It was exhausting, being on screen ninety percent of the time. He said that you wouldn’t be an actor if you didn’t want to have people pay attention to you. “Look at me.” It’s not about the art at first. Probably only “Daniel Day Lewis is playing Rousseau in his kindergarten.”

One of the audience members said his sister cried when he died. “You should have seen my accountant.”

(17) HELP WANTED. Now’s your chance to get paid for something you’re already doing for free – reading horrible content on Facebook. The Guardian has the story — “Facebook is hiring moderators. But is the job too gruesome to handle?”

Ever wanted to work for Facebook? Mark Zuckerberg has just announced 3,000 new jobs. The catch? You’ll have to review objectionable content on the platform, which has recently hosted live-streamed footage of murder, suicide and rape.

In his announcement, Zuckerberg revealed that the company already has 4,500 people around the world working in its “community operations team” and that the new hires help improve the review process, which has come under fire for both inappropriately censoring content and failing to remove extreme content quickly enough. Just last week the company left footage of a Thai man killing his 11-month-old daughter on Facebook Live on the platform for a whole day.

Instead of scrutinizing content before it’s uploaded, Facebook relies on users of the social network to report inappropriate content. Moderators then review reported posts – hundreds every shift – and remove them if they fall foul of Facebook’s community standards. Facebook does not allow nudity (including female, but not male, nipples), hate speech or glorified violence.

I looked around and didn’t find these jobs being offered yet.

(18) EXTRA SENSE. Blindsight in the real world:

It ranks among the most curious phenomena in cognitive neuroscience. A handful of people in the world have “blindsight”: they are blind, but their non-conscious brain can still sense their surroundings.

Milina Cunning, from Wishaw in Scotland, lost her sight in her 20s, and later realised she had this blindsight ability. She has been studied extensively by researchers.

“If I was to throw a ping pong ball at Milina’s head, she would probably raise her arm and duck out of the way, even before she had any awareness of it,” says Jody Culham, a scientist who has scanned Cunning’s brain.

(19) SAY MR. SANDMAN. Neil Gaiman converses in his sleep: “Neil Gaiman On Returning To ‘Sandman,’ Talking In His Sleep And The Power Of Comics”

On creating a dysfunctional family for Sandman and his siblings (also known as “The Endless”)

A lot of it went back to when I started writing Sandman. Back in 1987 I began to write it. I was thinking that there really just weren’t any comics out there with families in [them] — and I love family dynamics. I love the way that families work or don’t work, I love the ways families behave, I love the way that families interact, and it seemed like that would be a really fun kind of thing to put in.

When I came over to America to do signings, people would say to me, “We love the Endless; we love Sandman and his family, they’re a wonderful dysfunctional family.” It wasn’t a phrase I had ever heard before, and I said, “Hang, on. Explain to me, what is a dysfunctional family?” And people would explain, and after a while, I realized that what Americans called a “dysfunctional family” is what we in England call “a family,” having never encountered any of these functional ones.

(20) FIRST PAST THE POLE. Racing molecules: “Microscopic Cars Square Off In Big Race”

This car race involved years of training, feats of engineering, high-profile sponsorships, competitors from around the world and a racetrack made of gold.

But the high-octane competition, described as a cross between physics and motor-sports, is invisible to the naked eye. In fact, the track itself is only a fraction of the width of a human hair, and the cars themselves are each comprised of a single molecule.

The Nanocar Race, which happened over the weekend at Le centre national de la recherché scientific in Toulouse, France, was billed as the “first-ever race of molecule-cars.”

(21) ALL FROCKED UP. The next Marvel TV series is off to a rough start: “‘Marvel’s Inhumans’ Costumes Draw Jeers: ‘Discount Halloween Store,’ ‘Walmart’”.

Entertainment Weekly released a first look at “Marvel’s Inhumans,” the studio’s latest foray into television, and it’s not going over so well.

The interview with showrunner Scott Buck doesn’t reveal much more than what we already knew about the show, but it does provide the first official picture of the group known as the Inhuman Royal Family, which will star in ABC’s eight-episode show.

The show follows the family, which features — from left to right — Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), Karnak (Ken Leung), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Medusa (Serinda Swan), Crystal (Isabelle Cornish), and Maximus (Iwan Rheon). Each are Inhumans, or superpowered humans descended from aliens and possess sometimes catastrophic abilities.

The main criticism of the photo on the internet, which you can check out above, seems to focus on the costumes, which look cheap. Some people compared them to things you’d find in a Halloween store or a Hot Topic.

(22) JUST PUCKER UP. Atlas Obscura celebrates a working relic of history — the “Pneumatic System of the New York Public Library”

Put into operation in New York in 1897 by the American Pneumatic Service Company, the 27-mile system connected 22 post offices in Manhattan and the General Post office in Brooklyn. The pipes ran between 4 to 12 feet underground, and in some places the tubes ran along the subway tunnels of the 4, 5 and 6 lines. At the height of its operation it carried around 95,000 letters a day, or 1/3 of all the mail being routed throughout New York city….

But there is one wonderful New York location where the pneumatic tubes have proven quicker and more nimble then their modern-day electronic substitutes; the stacks of the NY Humanities and Social Sciences library. When one hands their paper slip to the librarian, they slip it into a small pneumatic tube and send it flying down past seven floors of books deep underground. The request is received, the book located, and it is sent up on an ever-turning oval ferris wheel of books.

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, rcade, JJ, Cat Eldridge, David K.M.Klaus, Martin Morse Wooster, Andrew Porter, Daniel Dern, stuckinhistory, John King Tarpinian, and Chris Rose for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob.]

128 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/4/17 Her Pixels Scrolled Up Forever

  1. 1) & 2)-My inner “stamp geek” is running around doing back-flips. I may even start collecting them again! (Long ago, I had to decide between collecting books and stamps. Books won, but I still have the stamp collection-which fits in one box and can be housed on one shelf. The books take up a whole lot more room and are harder to pack. Occasionally, I question my choice, asking if I should have picked stamps instead. Then I hear Steve Martin saying, “Naah!” and the moment passes.

  2. Four Scroll and Seven Pixels Ago
    (Or have we done that one already?)

  3. funny pixel, fuzzy pixel, pixel pixel, scroll!

    (although if anything, the rhythm works even better for “ticky, ticky, box!”)

  4. 12) With respect to Darthvader, at least he had no initial choice in bearing that name. A certain member of the Wright State CS department is on record as saying part of his incentive for getting the Ph.D. was so he could be Dr. Doom (I know a fan who is Dr. Hurt, but he became that prior to the Batman villain. No, not a medical doctor but a physicist).

    22) No longer a functioning pneumatic tube system, but a few years ago I had the pleasure of getting to go into the preserved as a historic site Gemini/Apollo Mission Control room at JSC (damn right I have photos of me sitting at the Flight Director station, which were taken by Filer David Goldfarb. I was visiting Houston, and we had a mutual friend who at the time was a Shuttle astronaut trainer). Turned out the stations have pneumatic tube slots down at just above floor level, as back then you’d send a print request to the mainframe and the operators would send back the printout via pneumatic tube.

  5. The Facebook announcement immediately reminded me of this article, which goes into more depth about what it’s like being a digital content moderator on a major platform. I’m glad that Facebook is taking this step but I hope they really do have appropriate care in place for their existing and new workers. (I’m sure this will also depend on how these 3000 jobs are distributed around the world).

  6. The film Hollywoodland about the death of George Reeves credits Jim Beaver as “biographical consultant: George Reeves.” I did some digging on Google about this and was surprised to learn that Beaver has for years been a Reeves scholar working on a book about him.

    Beaver’s remembrance of the 100th anniversary of Reeves’ birth shows the depth of his feeling about the actor, a childhood idol.

    There are some pages still around from Beaver’s pre-fame where he talks about Reeves. If you look up Reeves’ bio on IMDb, it is credited to “Jim Beaver jumbblejim@prodigy.net.”

  7. (8) Don Gordon was in two Outer Limits episodes, too: “Second Chance” and “The Invisibles”, both from 1964. The latter was one of the series’ best (and creepiest) episodes.
    (14) So that would be Skynet?

  8. Robert Reynolds on May 4, 2017 at 5:15 pm said:

    My inner “stamp geek” is running around doing back-flips. I may even start collecting them again! (Long ago, I had to decide between collecting books and stamps.

    Nothing stops you from doing some of each. My philatelic indulgences are minor, I may buy some commemoratives when in other countries (or at used book/n/stuff stores), and topical stuff, like Gilbert & Sullivan, dinosaurs, Marx Bros, USPS’s Superman and Batman stamps, the Harry Potters, etc. Now if only I got around to organizing ’em…

  9. @Daniel Dern: You’re correct and I’ve added to the stamp collection over the years. But limited time and funds requires that I focus on one or the other as opposed to trying to focus on both. 😉

  10. @Kip W
    And the scroll goes on
    Yeah the scroll goes on

    Files keep pounding pixels to the brain.
    La de da de de.
    La de da de da.

  11. (1) Probably as close as I’ll get, unless there’s a Filer in Portland who can put up me and Mr. Lurkertype for a couple nights (We don’t smoke, no illegal drugs, and like furry critters). Definitely going to buy some, maybe split a set with others. Although protecting them from UV would seem to preclude actually using them as stamps to post a letter to share them with your friends.

    (3) Probably won’t see this till it comes on a free HBO/Showtime weekend, but I will for sure see it then.

    (4) Quite good. #1 made me snicker.

    (5) Downloaded! Looks good. I think we should adopt this term in English — we steal words all the time.

    (6) sheesh… although I’d probably watch a Dunk and Egg show.

    (12) That’s a heck of a name to live up to while growing up.

    (21) That is… unimpressive.

  12. @15: I would have said The Black Cloud was unstageably cerebral — possibly the most actionless of Hoyle’s books, which (with the sometime exception of Ossian’s Ride) are not noted for action. OTOH, if you’d told me the premise of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen before it came out I wouldn’t have believed it would work — but I found it riveting when I saw it, worth going back to see again. It will be interesting to hear about this after it opens.

    @OGH: no credit today? Were all 5 of the items I sent you scooped? WAH! (Yes, it’s tired and I’m late.)

  13. @rcade: I had no idea either. Hollywoodland is a very underrated movie.

  14. 20) I think I might have been the first person to write in the…um…popular technology? I’m looking for some way to be first–media about nanocars. I know I had it quite some time before Boing Boing, and that’s good enough for me.

    And on looking back, I should say that while I was not a huge fan of Senator Mark Pryor (as opposed to his dad David, also a senator in his day), when we were at the University and in Student Senate at the same time, I saw him do something principled, which is one more than you can say for most politicians.

  15. 1) & 2) WANT!!!

    3) OMG, I am SO there. I was that weirdo who, when the meme was going around about “If you could have dinner with any of the LOTR stars you wanted, who would you pick?”, chose Howard Shore. An entire documentary about that stuff, featuring all my favorite composers? Heaven on earth!

    4) That sounds like a fun party game…

    17) Facebook doesn’t allow hate speech? News to me.

    James Davis Nicoll has posted a list of 20 Core MilSF books that no serious fan of the genre should be without.

  16. @Greg: Seems to make perfect sense to me; in fact, the end makes WAY more sense than the beginning!

    Gur aneengbe’f orra qrnq gur jubyr gvzr. Gur qnhtugre onfvpnyyl erpbafgehpgrq ure sebz ure pbecfr, gur qnhtugre’f zrzbevrf naq jvfurf naq gur jungrire vg vf gur cynagf qb. Ohg gur cynag cneg unf gnxra bire (jul gur aneengbe unf qvssrerag zrzbevrf guna gur qnhtugre; gur zrzbevrf bs gur aneengbe ner cnegyl jung gur qnhtugre jvfurq unq orra gurve yvsr), naq gurer’f abg rabhtu yrsg bs “bevtvany ure” gb fgvpx nebhaq — gbb zhpu cynag fghss. Fb vg’f onpx gb gur tneqra. Qnhtugre jnagrq bgure zbz gb or ohevrq ng ubzr.

    Maybe you just read it too fast? The details are all there, but very subtle.

    Edit: PhilRM said it shorter.

  17. 13
    Sounds like some of the stuff we did at work – it was necessary to count houses along pipelines, and that meant looking at aerial photos and putting a dot on everything that looked like a house. (Larger buildings, and ones where there were visible parking lots, got outlines instead.) It is just as exciting as it sounds.
    (Long story short: NTSB regulations, see 49 CFR 192.)

  18. Sherry was a blogger at the local fannish site
    She had a reputation as a girl could really write
    Down Main Street after midnight with a brand new file of zines
    A fresh one before her nose and a bheer appertained
    She’d ride down to the clubhouse and meet with all her friends
    The scroll goes on forever and the pixels never end

  19. (1) & (2) Some very cool stamp news today! 😀

    (19) SAY MR. SANDMAN. “I realized that what Americans called a “dysfunctional family” is what we in England call “a family,” having never encountered any of these functional ones.”


    (21) ALL FROCKED UP. Inhumans show? I’m a little intrigued, though yeah, some of those costumes are a liiiiittle iffy.

    @PhilRM re. #14: “So that would be Skynet?” – That’s just what I was thinking!

  20. “The BBC tells how in “Albatrosses counted from space”.”

    But what flavour do they have?

  21. (1) Trump is elected and the sun goes dark in the US. Go figure 😉

    (18) Ive read about it…somewhere. Apparently there are light sensors in the eye that are no longer used, because the rest of the eye is much more efficient when it comes to spotting things. And see things. But if you are blind you may learn to use them (or use them unconsciously) to distinguish between light and dark spots. That doesnt work for people who lost their eyes completly (or where the eyes are severly damaged). If I only can remember where Ive read about it… Its fascinating (and its something that shows that they eye has evolved from less efficient organs)

  22. 12) Williamson? Not Lukefather?

    21) Medusa’s a big visual challenge on a TV budget, and Black Bolt’s a big acting challenge. And Lockjaw seems to be off playing fetch again.

  23. 21) Medusa’s hair…that’s what jumps out at me. It’s just flat and straight and wrong, baby wrong. I know its a challenge but that doesn’t even look like a real try. Medusa’s hair is dangerous enough to grab Iron Man in his armor and throw him around. The hair in that picture…not so much

  24. It struck me that many of the items in (4) also work as “If People Talked About Other Things the Way They Talked About Planets in Our Solar System”.

  25. Ive read about it…somewhere. Apparently there are light sensors in the eye that are no longer used, because the rest of the eye is much more efficient when it comes to spotting things.

    Nope, that’s not it, it is in the brain, not the eye. The brain is made up of a large number of “co-processors” (and I mean that analogy loosely–I know that the brain isn’t exactly like a modern digital computer) that process different stages of different processes (such as interpreting vision) and pass that processed information back and forth. If one of those “co-processors” or the “bus” connecting them is damaged, then some stages of processing either don’t get done or don’t get passed along to the next stage. In the case of blindsight, the eyes are perfectly fine, some stages of visual processing are perfectly fine, but something is wrong that keeps it from passing that information along to the thin sheen of conscious mind that we like to pretend has “free will.”

    For more information (about vision in general, not blindsight) take a read at the two Google Books (haha, Carl Slaughter) links I posted here.

  26. I’m late on this but was inspired by a Sgt. Pepper/ Princess Leia earworm earlier (apologies to both):

    It was forty years or so ago,
    That Mike Glyer, who was in the know,
    Said the fans are gonna need a zine,
    To regale them of haps in the scene

    So may I introduce to you,
    Now in blog form ’cause the future’s here:
    Fan Mike Glyer’s filing pixel land!

    It’s Fan Mike Glyer’s filing pixel land,
    We hope you do enjoy the scroll
    It’s Fan Mike Glyer’s filing pixel land,
    Sit back and let the comments roll
    Fan Mike Glyer’s filing,
    Fan Mike Glyer’s filing,
    Fan Mike Glyer’s filing pixel land!

  27. Hey, that’s my title! I’m famous!

    Well, internet-famous.

    Well, for a very small corner of the internet.


  28. A bit of recent reading:

    The latest issue of Uncanny is good, and if you want some nice, pleasant stories to cheer you up then the Naomi Kritzer and Ursula Vernon ones will do a particularly good job.

    All Systems Red by Martha Wells – a tor.com novella that is probably the start of a series (it subtitles itself The Murderbot Diaries) but is nicely self-contained. Its narrator calls themselves “Murderbot” because as a cyborg security unit they don’t have a real name and that’s how the real humans seem to see them, even though behind their armour there’s a more complex intelligence that binge-watches soap operas but can’t stand real life melodrama. So there are two story strands –an action-adventure plot as they are assigned to protect a survey group exploring an alien planet while Shenanigans occur, and exploring the narrator’s character as they react to the group of humans they’ve fallen in with. (If you read Questionable Content then you might see some parallels with the recent storyline there as well.) The adventure plot is good, but the personal storyline is great.

  29. @Mark My review of ALL SYSTEMS RED agrees: The personality and personal story of Murderbot is what makes the novella work.

  30. @lurkertype and PhilRM
    Thanks, guys. After sleeping on it, I agree that that’s the most sensible interpretation. I’m still not convinced that the author properly prepared us for it, but that’s a completely different issue from “what the heck did this mean?”

    Maybe you just read it too fast?

    Maybe so. There are eight key words right at the end that the whole thing hinges on. Even when I reread the ending the first time, their significance didn’t register with me, though. Was there any foreshadowing to prepare us for that?

    The bigger problem is probably that I was trying to make a completely different interpretation work. Sometimes when you think you see a pattern, it’s hard to unsee it. Thanks again for the feedback!

  31. @rcade: I had no idea either. Hollywoodland is a very underrated movie.

    I loved the film after watching it in the wrong order. I awoke in the middle as it was playing on HBO, became utterly engrossed in Ben Affleck’s performance as Reeves and used on demand to go back to the beginning and keep watching.

    Beaver was born in 1950 and Adventures of Superman was timed perfectly to be a formative experience for him, airing from 1952 to 1958. Then Reeves died in 1959 and kids like Beaver would have been strongly affected.

    I was born in 1967, likely near the end of the period when that Superman series held big appeal to kids.

    My George Reeves is Freddie Prinze, who took his life when he was 22 in 1977. I was an avid watcher of Chico and the Man and couldn’t understand how he could do that. I was too young to understand depression or drug abuse. All I saw was a young comedian on top of the world.

  32. Holy Crap, we just had a fire drill at work! And I’m supposed to have the bullhorn, but I haven’t been trained on it yet. EEK!

  33. Time keeps on scrolling scrolling scrolling into the future.


    I want to scroll like a Pixel, code in C
    Scroll like a Pixel
    Let the Vile post for me


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