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. @Lee
    I enjoyed Howard Shore’s score for LoTR but was not a fan of his opera version of The Fly. Though his use of the opera chorus as the voice of the computer was inspired.

    @Paul Weimer
    I am also most distressed at Medusa’s hair. I know straight hair is trendy but I don’t understand why they didn’t hire an actress with naturally curly hair. Think red headed Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio or Keri Russell. They could have dyed it as badly as they did on this poor actress. Her hair in the photo looks like a cheap plastic wig. I hope it is and that they didn’t fry her hair with the dye.
    My biggest problem with the costumes is that they look cheap. This is a royal family with super advanced alien tech. The clothes should look expensive. The dresses should be silk not cheap polyester. The super tech part is where the beautiful silk dress is actually armored in some invisible way. Black Bolt looks like he is wearing pleather.

  2. Useta blog down south on a pixel farm
    Near Corflu, Tennessee.
    ‘Tweren’t nobody there in that cube but air,
    Seventeen billion pixels and me.
    One day round three, I said “OMG,
    I’ll read File Sev’n Seven-teee!
    It blew my screen,
    Turned my red lights green
    And I scrolled my pixels freee!

    And there was
    Pixels on the Hugos,
    Pixels on the zines,
    Pixels scrolled on costuming
    And television screens
    Pixels writing con reports from Washington, DC,
    When I scrolled my pixels freeeee!

  3. @John A Arkansawyer

    @Nancy Sauer: That’s so much better than any other BOC reference I can make up that I can barely stand it.

    It is, but we gotta try:

    40,000 files of pixels every day
    I’m scrollin, I’m scrollin, I’m scrollin’ for you

  4. @Mark and Paul Weimer
    I just reviewed All Systems Red and gave it five stars.

    I agree wholeheartedly that the development of the character of the “MurderBot” is the strong point of the story, but I loved how the author did such great character development and worldbuilding without a single infodump. All the dialogue was natural. All the narration was transparent. And all the key plot points were adequately foreshadowed. All of that on top of nonstop action.


    The Guardian article on this is titled “Splinter is Coming” 🙂

  6. @Greg Hullender:

    Here’s my take on it:

    Nool “fcebhgrq”, gheavat vagb jungrire gur terrayvtug znqr ure vagb. Zry nyfb vf n TerraYvtug perngher, gubhtu fur ergnvaf ure fragvrapr naq crefbanyvgl. Zry erperngrq Xngr sebz ure erznvaf naq Zry’f zrzbevrf.

    Sberfunqbjvat vf gur srne bs cbrgf, naq gur snpg gung Xngr’f zrzbevrf ner ihyarenoyr gb gur TerraYvtug. Nyfb, ure nez fvzcyl zrygrq njnl jura rkcbfrq gb gur TerraYvtug. Uvqvat sebz gur yvtug jnf gb cebgrpg Xngr, abg Zry.

    Gurer’f n ovg bs sberfunqbjvat nf jryy va Xngr’f zrzbevrf bs ure zbgure- ergnvavat vaqvivqhnyvgl va fcvgr bs birejuryzvat cerffher.

    Nf sbe Zry fnlvat fbeel? Fur oebhtug ure zbgure onpx sebz gur qrnq, naq vg qvqa’g jbex bhg. Rira sbe n cbfg-uhzna vagryyvtrapr fur jrag gbb sne.

  7. @ Tom B: “Bheer” — that takes me back!

    @ Mark: The Guardian article on this is titled “Splinter is Coming”

  8. @Rose Embolism

    V’z jvgu lbh ba Zry orvat cbfg-uhzna. V’z fgvyy abg pbaivaprq gung jr unq rabhtu uvagf bs gung gubhtu.

    Jung ebyr qvq lbh guvax gur cbrgf unq? Gurl frrzrq yvxr n cvrpr bs onpxtebhaq gung arire nzbhagrq gb nalguvat. V qba’g guvax jr rire svtherq bhg jul gurl jrer pnyyrq cbrgf.

  9. @Nancy Sauer, @Bill: The best I could do at the time was this:

    Scrollery and Pixelation
    (Don’t Scroll) the Pixel

    But then I gave it a little more thought:

    Then Came The Last Scrolls Of May
    Hot Scrolls to Pixél
    Bacon on Fire with Pixel Scrolls
    On Your Scrolls Or On Your Pixels

    A couple of those aren’t bad, but if I had to pick just one, it’d still be Nancy’s.

  10. Meredith Moment: C.E. Murphy’s Urban Shaman, first in her “Walker Papers” series, is currently $1.99 at Amazon US. Short form: cop awakens to her supernatural heritage, setting up a now-complete series of adventures.

  11. @Darren Garrison: Found my source – its Spektrum der Wissenschaft, a science magazine and the article (from December 2011) is based on work from Ignacio Provencio (Here is the german webedition;: http://www.spektrum.de/magazin/das-zweite-auge/1125585 – unfortunetly only the first few paragraphs are availible for non-subscribers )

    It was the eye, not the brain 😉 They discovered light sensitive cells in the retina, that are in a different layer than the usual rods and cones and help – among other things – blind people develop their day-and-night-cycle.
    So, we probably talk about other things, but its good to see, that my memory is not that far off 😉

  12. 2) Canada will be issuing a new set of Star Trek stamps this year, featuring the five captains with their ships. Available from Canada post’s website here

  13. @Greg Hullender

    V’z abg fher jung gur Cbrgf ner. Znlor fbzrguvat yvxr Xnera- npphzhyngrq ovgf bs zrzbevrf naq ynathntr? Vasbiberf? Va nal pnfr, n guerng zber gb Xnera guna Zry.

    Nyfb, ba erernqvat, vg’f zhpu zber pyrne gung Xnera vf qrnq- fur cebonoyl qvrq jryy orsbr Nool. Gur ubfcvgny fprar, gur sbhe unaqcevagf, vaqvpngr gung.

  14. @Greg @Rose: V guvax gung gur cbrgf hfrq gb or uhznaf, genafsbezrq ol gur terrayvtug. Gurl’er pnyyrq cbrgf orpnhfr gurl ner qenja gb ynathntr, naq gurl’er irel qnatrebhf orpnhfr gurl sbphf gur nggragvba bs gur terrayvtug – gur fgbel pregnvayl uvagf gung gur terrayvtug cbffrffrf fbzr fbeg bs pbafpvbhfarff (creuncf whfg gur trfgnyg bs nyy gur perngherf gung vg unf genafsbezrq). Guvf vf jul gurl cbfr fhpu n unmneq gb Xngr (ohg abg Zry): fur’f va qnatre bs orvat fjrcg njnl naq ybfg va vg. Gur fgbel vf fbzrjung nzovthbhf nf gb jurgure Zry vf cbfguhzna be fvzcyl vzzhar – gung fur jnf noyr gb znavchyngr gur terrayvtug va oevatvat Xngr onpx fhttrfgf gur sbezre, ohg ba gur bgure unaq vg’f Xngr jub npgf gb fnir urefrys (nygubhtu fur guvaxf fur’f fnivat obgu bs gurz) jura gurl njnxr naq svaq gur terrayvtug unf crargengrq gur onfrzrag.

    @Rose: Gur bar guvat V jbhyq qvfnterr jvgu va lbhe vagrecergngvba vf gung V guvax gur fgbel pbapyhqrf gung jung Zry qvq jnf abg n zvfgnxr: Zry unygf ure ncbybtl orpnhfr gur ybbx Xngr tvirf ure ng gur raq fnlf gung jungrire cneg bs gur bevtvany Xngr fur znantrq gb oevat onpx vf unccl. (Frr zl nqqvgvbany pbzzrag ng EFE.)

  15. When a pixel comes along, you must scroll it.
    Before the puppies call us wrong, you must scroll it.
    To read Alyssa Wong, you must scroll it.

  16. Kip W:
    It blew my screen,
    Turned my red lights green
    And I scrolled my pixels freee!

    Bravo! Bravissimo!

  17. @Rose Embolism and PhilRM
    Fbzr bs guvf vf jul V jbaqrerq vs creuncf gur erny jbeyq jnf svar. Gung gur terrayvtug jnf whfg cneg bs Xngr’f rkcrevrapr bs gur nsgreyvsr. Vg bayl nssrpgf Xngr orpnhfr Xngr vf gur bayl bar jub rkcrevraprf vg.

    Vs lbh ybbx ng vg gung jnl, gura zhpu bs gur qrfpevcgvba bs jung gur terrayvtug qbrf fbhaqf yvxr gur jnl cynagf gnxr bire n qrnq obql (vs vg vfa’g rzonyzrq naq ragbzorq). Xngr vf n tubfg, juvpu vf jul fur pna’g or pnhtug va qnlyvtug, naq gur terrayvtug vf gelvat gb erghea ure gb ure tenir. Ng gur raq, gung’f cerggl zhpu jung unccraf, naq Xngr npprcgf vg. Zry vf fbeel orpnhfr fur frrf abj gung vg pbhyqa’g jbex, ohg Xngr vf cebhq gung fur tbg gb zrrg ure qnhtugre naq frr ure tebja hc.

    Naq, lrf, jura Zry rkcynvaf gung fur arire tbg gb xabj Xngr, vg’f cerggl pyrne gung Xngr qvrq n ybat gvzr ntb. (Cyhf gur bgure fghss Ebfr zragvbaf.) Vg’f whfg gung gur rneyvre grkg znqr vg fbhaq nf gubhtu Xngr unq bhgyvirq Nool.

    Fcrnxvat bs Nool, jul qba’g jr frr ure ng nyy? Vs Zry pbhyq envfr Xngr, jul abg envfr Nool naq erhavgr gur gjb? Naq vf gurer fcrpvny flzobyvfz gb gung “tneqra” bs jrrqf gung Nool xrcg?

  18. @Greg: Interesting interpretation! Although in that version the poets seem even more mysterious.

    Zry pna’g oevat Nool onpx orpnhfr Nool vfa’g npghnyyl qrnq: fur jnf genafsbezrq ol gur terrayvtug vagb gur tneqra. Guhf ng gur raq, Xngr vf yvgrenyyl fyvccvat vagb Nool’f rzoenpr.

  19. Acoustic Rob: Are you now unplugged?

    Unplugged, unwound, unleashed, and undeniable!

    (Actually just being consistent–I’ve used this user name for almost 20 years in various places around the ‘net and didn’t realize I wasn’t using it here until I saw my title credit.)

  20. @PhilRM
    Nu, abj GUNG’f ornhgvshy! V pna rira jbex gung vagb zl “terra tubfg” vagrecergngvba. “Xngr pna’g yvr rnfl hagvy fur fyrrcf va Nool’f nezf.” V fgvyy arrq Nool qrnq bs angheny pnhfrf, ohg gung’f ab ceboyrz. Zbfg crbcyr qb trg gurer fbbare be yngre.

    Naq, lrnu, gur cbrgf whfg qba’g frrz gb svg ab znggre jung jr qb. Znlor gurl arrq gurve bja fgbel. “Qrnq Cbrgf’ Fbpvrgl.” 🙂

  21. Yes I know the secrets of the island File
    Multiple fifths and nyms that troll
    Yes I know the secrets of the sutra File
    It’s a flaming wonder, pixel scroll!

    And the light from the pixel that never scrolls
    Never scrolls! Never scrolls!

    This ain’t the scrolling of pixels
    There ain’t no comments above
    And things ain’t like yesterday’s scroll
    And this ain’t the summer of love!

    Love me some BOC

  22. I am also most distressed at Medusa’s hair. I know straight hair is trendy but I don’t understand why they didn’t hire an actress with naturally curly hair. Think red headed Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio or Keri Russell.

    Medusa, traditionally, has pretty straight hair. It’s prehensile, but it’s straight. At best it’s got big loopy waves in it — kind of an exaggeration of the way Serinda Swan’s hair is usually presented — but not curly.

    [Actually, Keri Russell hasn’t had overly-curly hair since FELICITY, I think.]

    If they’d hired someone with curly hair, they’d just have to hide it under a wig, because whoever they hired, the hair wouldn’t be long enough. And if they gave Medusa a giant curly wig, that would probably be harder to animate.

    They can’t duplicate the Marvel look of insanely long wavy hair, because hair is heavy, and if it’s that long it hangs straight due to its weight. So she’d either have to have rigid, unmoving waves to it, which would look awful, or they’d have to animate it all the time, which would be expensive.

    They could have dyed it as badly as they did on this poor actress. Her hair in the photo looks like a cheap plastic wig. I hope it is and that they didn’t fry her hair with the dye.

    That’s not her hair. Serinda Swan’s hair looks like this:


    I expect they gave her the hairstyle they did because they want to present her as having long, relatively straight hair, but they can’t afford to animate every frame of every scene she’s in, so they want its “resting” state to be something they can photograph without digital FX added.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to object to the fact that the wigs and costumes look cheap. But they were never going to have her hair waving around like snakes in every scene.

  23. @Darren Garrison: Thanks for that link about Tate Publishing! I was really surprised to see it in this context–I knew someone once who worked for Tate as an editor (she even gave me one of their books as a gift once–some kind of weird Christian dystopian lightsaber story). I think she left Tate several years ago–at least, I hope she did.

  24. @Greg: Lrnu, juvpurire jnl lbh vagrecerg gur fgbel, gur raq vf dhvgr zbivat.

  25. Yesterday’s Audible Daily Deal was Starman Jones, by some guy named Robert Heinlein. Might have heard of him?

    More seriously: It’s interesting to see all the ways in which this is very dated. Not just the now glaringly strange idea the star travel would depend on carrying around lots of hardcopy reference books with math tables. That we would have star travel, offworld colonies, and intelligent aliens a routine presence at least in our major cities, while rural America was essentially unchanged from the 1930s.

  26. V qba’g unir nalguvat gb fnl, ohg V sryg yrsg bhg ba jevgvat guvatf va ebg13, fb urer ner gur ylevpf sbe gur Serfu Cevapr bs Ory Nve gurzr fbat.

    Abj guvf vf n fgbel nyy nobhg ubj Zl yvsr tbg syvccrq-ghearq hcfvqr qbja Naq V’q yvxr gb gnxr n zvahgr Whfg fvg evtug gurer V’yy gryy lbh ubj V orpnzr gur cevapr bs n gbja pnyyrq Ory-Nve

    Va jrfg Cuvynqrycuvn obea naq envfrq Ba gur cynltebhaq jnf jurer V fcrag zbfg bs zl qnlf Puvyyva’ bhg znkva’ erynkva’ nyy pbby Naq nyy fubbgvat fbzr o-onyy bhgfvqr bs gur fpubby Jura n pbhcyr bs thlf jub jrer hc gb ab tbbq Fgnegrq znxvat gebhoyr va zl arvtuobeubbq V tbg va bar yvggyr svtug naq zl zbz tbg fpnerq Fur fnvq, “Lbh’er zbiva’ jvgu lbhe nhagvr naq hapyr va Ory-Nve.”

    V juvfgyrq sbe n pno naq jura vg pnzr arne Gur yvprafr cyngr fnvq “Serfu” naq vg unq qvpr va gur zveebe Vs nalguvat V pbhyq fnl gung guvf pno jnf ener Ohg V gubhtug, “Anu, sbetrg vg.” – “Lb, ubzr gb Ory-Nve.”

    V chyyrq hc gb gur ubhfr nobhg 7 be 8 Naq V lryyrq gb gur pnoovr, “Lb ubzr fzryy ln yngre.” V ybbxrq ng zl xvatqbz V jnf svanyyl gurer Gb fvg ba zl guebar nf gur Cevapr bs Ory-Nve

  27. Applause all around for the filk! (I’m especially liking Charon D’s, but good offerings all around),

    Off topic – Just finished Move Under Ground by Nick Mamatas.

    The premise of Kerouac meets Chthulu sounds like an excuse for camp satire. This book, however, tackles the subject straight.

    Mamatas does a good job capturing Kerouac’s style and voice. He starts bittersweet slow with an isolated Kerouac recovering from a breakdown in Big Sur. This quickly turns though into the surreal when Kerouac encounters R’lyeh. The surreal starts with a fever dream or drug trip intensity leaving you wondering if it will all end up just being in Kerouac’s head. It ramps up from there into increasingly outre’ cosmic horror at an urgent pace.

    Towards the end the story and tone falter a bit as if Mamatas had painted himself into a corner. He manages to break out though proposing an ending that explains a counter-culture icon that, at end of life, hated the counter-culture and a writer that ended writer blocked.

    It was a trip worth taking. I may now need to look up his Hunter S. Thompson pastiche. I’m struggling where to rank it. Somewhere above average but also with flaws that keep it from being the perfect read. On first reflection let’s call it – 3.75 out of 5 overall (which maybe I should just round up to a 4).

    Worth a read.

  28. @ greg. I love that interpretation. And it says something about the strength of the story that we like to discuss it. And it world really well on a second reading.

  29. @Stoic Cynic: Hm. I’ll have to read that. I don’t really think Kerouac’s hostility toward the counterculture needs further explanation, but I’m still curious. It’s interesting that he picked the moment after Big Sur to set it. That book is so painful to read that I quit it near the end. The only other book I’ve had that reaction to–visceral pain on the part of the narrator so intense that I couldn’t bear any more–was The Dying Animal by Philip Roth. I came close with John Barnes’ Earth Made of Glass, but since gur vagrafvgl bs gur cnva bayl enzcrq hc evtug ng gur raq, it was bearable.

  30. @PhilRM and Rose Embolism

    I love that interpretation. And it says something about the strength of the story that we like to discuss it. And it world really well on a second reading.

    It makes a case for raising the rating to 4. I’ll have to think about that, though. On the one hand, a story that’s fun to discuss is generally the very sort I want to recommend. On the other hand, a story that’s hard to understand without someone explaining it really isn’t what I want to recommend. Nice thing about being a “stack rank” is that changing the ratings sometimes is part of the design.

    I wish this great discussion had happened on RSR in plain text where others could see it in the future! I’ve included a couple of links back to it though.

  31. I just read Move Under Ground a few months ago myself and I agree that it’s an interesting book, worth reading.

  32. @Mike Glyer: I wish the Hugo Administrator’s tweet about What File 770 readers nominated for the Hugo Awards in the short fiction categories had linked to my comments and not Rocket Stack Rank.
    Everybody’s a critic.

  33. @Mike Glyer
    Wow. That’s a first.

    Looking at Google Analytics, it looks like exactly three people entered the site via that link, and I’ll bet one of them was you. So I don’t feel like we stole too much traffic from you. 🙂


  34. So, I really enjoyed the “All Systems Red” excerpt at Tor.com. The problem is. ..now I just can’t help but visualize Murderbot as Bubbles from Questionable Content..

    Thanks s lot, Mark. ?

  35. There is a blog on the Internet
    That by Mike Glyer’s run
    And its been the ruin of many a poor boy
    And God, I know I’m one

    My mother was a Filer
    She scrolled these old blue screens
    My father was a critic man
    down on Glyer’s ‘zine

    The only thing a critic needs
    Is a viewpoint and a stump
    And the only time he’s satisfied
    Is appertained and drunk.

    Go tell my fellow posters
    Not to do what I have done
    Spend your lives on posting books and reads
    On the ‘zine by Mike Glyer’s run

    Well, I got one hand on PC mouse
    The other hand keys to type
    I’m going back to Glyer’s ‘zine
    To hear those drums and pipe

    There is a blog on the Internet
    That by Mike Glyer’s run
    And its been the ruin of many a poor boy
    Oh God, I know I’m one.

  36. @Arifel: Standing ovation!

    @Xtifr: This is good too! Like the rhymes.

    @Stoic Cynic: You too! My inner voice went all raspy.

    I’m sure I’d appreciate Kip and Charon’s if I knew the songs.

  37. @Mike Glyer

    I’ve heard tale that everybody is!

    As I scrolled down thru the posts of la pixel
    As I scrolled down thru la pixel one day,
    I spied a poor critic, all wrapped in white linen
    All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay…

  38. @Stoic:

    So where’s the part with the Professor and Mary Ann come in? 😀

  39. @Darren Garrison: Because nothing says “deeply Christian” like lying, embezzlement, fraud, and mugshots.

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