Pixel Scroll 9/13/17 Is That A Pixel On Your Screen, Or Are You Just Scrolled To See Me?

(1) YOU CAN ORBIT BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE. Alex Parker likes to think Cassini’s dive into Saturn is payback for the dinosaur extinction event. A thread explaining his complicated theory starts here:

(2) SFWA GALAKTIKA SETTLEMENT NAMES AFFECTED AUTHORS. There are further developments in a story reported here in July. Full information at the SFWA Blog: “Agreement Reached with Galaktika on Past Infringements”.

The Authors Guild and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced today that they collaboratively reached an agreement with a Hungarian science fiction magazine, Galaktika, which for years had been reprinting stories of American and British science fiction writers without their permission….

Part of the settlement between the magazine Galaktika and SFWA and the Authors Guild was that Galaktika would provide a complete list of authors whose work had been published without authorization by Galaktika. The list below was created from the spreadsheet that they provided, and, as far as SFWA can discover, it is accurate. This list includes authors or their representatives who have already come to agreements with Galaktika or are still in the process of negotiation. It is being made public to aid authors who may not know their work was published without authorization. Note that some of the works affected may be out of copyright in Hungary.

(3) BOOK SMUGGLERS KICKSTARTER. Thea James and Ana Grilo have launched The Book Smugglers: Level Up Kickstarter.

Ana and Thea

We celebrate our tenth anniversary next year and we would like to level up, so we finally decided to take the leap and create a Kickstarter of our own. We are trying to raise $16,500 which will go towards a new season of short stories (under the theme “Awakenings”) at a higher pay rate and ensuring we can hire freelancers to do production work for the ebooks. We would also love to get paid contributors to the blog on a weekly basis. If we raise more than the initial amount? The sky is the limit. All with a view to continue to publish and highlight diverse voices.

We donate our time to the Book Smugglers because we love the work that we do, which we hope to continue doing for another ten years.

To date their Kickstarter has raised 5,842 of its $16,500 goal.

(4) KEEP ON TICKING. Jim C. Hines reviews “The Tick, Season One”. BEWARE SPOILERS. In case that sort of thing worries you….

I didn’t need this to be a repeat of the animated show I loved. But it felt like it tried way too hard to be dark and gritty and edgy, at the cost of the heart and joy I was hoping for.

With all that said, I might still watch the next batch of six episodes when they come out. (I’m told that technically, this won’t be season two, but the second half of season one.) If they continue to improve the way they did in those last couple of episodes…

But for now, I’m rating this a solid disappointment.

(5) GUILTY CONSCIENCE. Anybody who’s watched the right episodes of the TV series Suits on the USA Network knows that lawyer Louis Litt is a Game of Thrones fan … at one point, he said, referring to himself, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” This clip from the most recent episode shows that watching aGoT may not always be good for your mental health:

(6) ACROSS THE ATLANTIC BY HOT AIR. Black Gate’s Sean McLachlan blows the whistle on a pre-internet author of bogosity: “Edgar Allan Poe Wrote Fake News”.

In 1844 he was working for the New York Sun, and penned a front-page story for the April 13 issue trumpeting a new scientific wonder — the crossing of the Atlantic in three days by balloon. The story breathlessly related how a crew of eight men, including William Henson and Monck Mason, both well-known aeronauts, and famous British novelist Harrison Ainsworth, traveled in a powered balloon from England to Charleston, South Carolina, in 75 hours. The article went on to give various technical details.

(7) GETTING PAID, BUT NOT MUCH. Catherine Baab-Migura, in “Edgar Allan Poe Was A Broke-Ass Freelancer” on The Millions looks at how little money Poe made for his great works and how much time he had to hassle publishers to pay him. But now that you know his history with fake news, how broken up can you really feel?

A lot of fans know Edgar Allan Poe earned just $9 for “The Raven,” now one of the most popular poems of all time, read out loud by schoolteachers the world over. What most people don’t know is that, for his entire oeuvre—all his fiction, poetry, criticism, lectures—Poe earned only about $6,200 in his lifetime, or approximately $191,087 adjusted for inflation.

Maybe $191,087 seems like a lot of money. And sure, as book advances go, that’d be a generous one, the kind that fellow writers would whisper about. But what if $191,087 was all you got for 20 years of work and the stuff you wrote happened to be among the most enduring literature ever produced by anyone anywhere?

(8) AFTER THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION. Jennifer Brozek’s new project returns her to the BattleTech universe: “Award-winning author Jennifer Brozek slated to pen the first Young Adult BattleTech trilogy”.

Catalyst, licensors of the BattleTech tabletop game and Shadowrun roleplaying game, is taking the next step in creating a diverse BattleTech universe with a new young adult trilogy. Jennifer Brozek, award-winning author of BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident and Shadowrun: DocWagon 19, is developing a character-driven, action-filled story set after the Jihad, and exploring the tumultuous aftermath of the Age of Destruction. Currently scheduled for a Fall 2018 release date, it can’t come soon enough for BattleTech fans looking for brand new fiction set in the military science fictional universe.

(9) SADCOMS. The Guardian should warn readers they might need a tissue here: “In the golden age of TV, the existential-animation is king”

Why is a talking cartoon horse making me cry? It’s a question many of us might have asked ourselves as the new season of BoJack Horseman – an improbably moving Netflix cartoon about a version of Hollywood populated by talking animals – surfaced over the weekend.

The characters, led by BoJack (voiced by Will Arnett), make terrible decisions about sex and dating, sell themselves short, and generally end up miserable in the funniest possible ways. It’s a show at the forefront of a recent crop of animated TV series for adults that surpass most live-action shows this side of Twin Peaks in terms of sheer emotional ambition.

There’s BoJack, Adult Swim’s critically lauded sci-fi series Rick and Morty, the Duplass brothers’ Animals on HBO, and Archer, a workplace comedy about a spy agency that has gone crazily off the rails. In broad terms, TV is still embracing what critic Jenny Jaffe dubbed the “sadcom” – a show with an ostensibly comic outlook that trades in for pathos – but something special is happening in animation. With animated shows TV is able to flex different muscles.

(10) FROZEBUD. Citizen Lucas might go for this — “Star Wars Wampa Cave Snow Globe” from ThinkGeek.

We’re going to be honest here: we squeed when we first unboxed this product. Our excitement might have drawn other employees over to look. There are SO many little details. “Oh look! Luke’s lightsaber is in the snow!” “I love how the ice of the cave starts on the inside of the globe and continues outside it.” “OMG. THERE’S A DEAD TAUNTAUN ON THE SIDE.” A Hoth snow globe just makes sense. And this Star Wars Wampa Cave Snow Globe created by our GeekLabs team is magnificent. It perfectly captures the tense atmosphere of the cave scene while still being a flippin’ snow globe. Watch the snow gently settle around Luke in what looks like a hopeless situation. And the Tauntaun isn’t gory so it’s appropriate for all ages. Stick it behind your little holiday village diorama as a reminder to the elves and reindeer not to wander out alone.

(11) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • September 13, 1965 Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster battled their way into theaters
  • September 13, 1974 Planet of the Apes TV version premiered.
  • September 13, 1977 — Jay Anson’s The Amityville Horror is published.

(12) TODAY’S CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANGER

  • Born September 13, 1916 – Roald Dahl

(13) YOUR FAVORITE ICONOCLASTS. Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy declare “Chapters are cultural convention that we need not adhere to” at Camestros Felapton’s blog as they unleash (get it?) a new installment of their classic work.

“Well, well, well,” said McEdifice, “if it isn’t Commander Clench, my old nemesis. I thought I told you never to set foot again on the Grassland Planet of Steppe.”

“Well yes, you did but as I explained at the time, I’m free to go anywhere I like and also I outrank you and also I have an orbiting space-dreadnought directly above us that could wipe you off the face of the planet before you could even grimace at me in a way I didn’t like.” explained Commander Clench.

I don’t know, I thought this was quite readable…. Send help….

(14) EMPTY THE MAGAZINE. Bullets with the Monster Hunters International logo on sale for charity. Ten percent goes to the Houston Food Bank. They’ve already sold 60,000. Living in interesting times.

These are just bullets for handloading. This is not loaded ammunition. Also, be aware that this design is on the front of a 9mm bullet. It is VERY small and serves no purpose other than being really cool. Please do not expect anything magical or supernatural from them. They are just bullets with an awesome stamped logo. Though the lead we sourced does contain trace amounts of silver, it isn’t enough for serious hunting. They are to be used on nothing larger than a gnome.

(15) NZ CONREPORT. At Concatenation, Lee Murray, Dan Rabarts and Darian Smith discuss LexiCon 2017, New Zealand’s 38th National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention – with a shout out to DUFF delegate Paul Weimer.

LM:  First up for me panel-wise was moderating a session on the language of science fiction and fantasy, with Swedish writer Emma Lindhagen, Cloud Ink Press’ Mark Johnson and local personality Jack Newhouse sharing the front table. One of the first panels of the con, it was too soon for convention goers to have succumbed to con crud, so the room was packed and it was a lively discussion covering topics such as conlanging, conlinging, inclusiveness, and Klingon. I also moderated a panel on Introducing new readers to SFF, but because the session was scheduled against Paul Mannering in conversation with Guest of Honour Seanan McGuire, there were only seventeen of the con’s attendees present. So we decided to pull the chairs into a circle and invite everyone to join in, which turned out to be a great idea as the input from the audience was terrific. I think that’s one of the advantages of our New Zealand conventions: because we are small and most of us know each other, we can be flexible and no one throws a hissy fit. The DUFF delegate, Paul Weimer from Minneapolis, made a comment to that effect in the ‘Australia and Us’ panel, saying he hadn’t realised before he came, just how close-knit our SF/F/H community is here, an aspect he felt might be unique to New Zealand.

DR:  In the way of all good cons, a good portion of the Con should have seen the bar buzzing with people rubbing shoulders and chinking glasses, and from time to time it was. Surprisingly, there was less of this than expected, mainly because so many of the attendees were going to panels, which in some cases came as a surprise even to them. So while there was less action in the bar than we are used to, the panels were humming and people were networking and fan fund delegates were hanging out and talking community-building while peddling raffle tickets and auction lots. I am not quite sure the Suncourt knew what they were letting themselves in for when they agreed to our booking the place out for a convention, but they were amazing hosts as well, and everything went off about as smoothly as we could have hoped.

(16) SCHRODINGER’S 7-11. Fast Company says “Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete”.

While it sometimes feels like we do all of our shopping on the internet, government data shows that actually less than 10% of all retail transactions happen online. In a world where we get our groceries delivered in just two hours through Instacart or Amazon Fresh, the humble corner store–or bodega, as they are known in New York and Los Angeles–still performs a valuable function. No matter how organized you are, you’re bound to run out of milk or diapers in the middle of the night and need to make a quick visit to your neighborhood retailer.

Paul McDonald, who spent 13 years as a product manager at Google, wants to make this corner store a thing of the past. Today, he is launching a new concept called Bodega with his cofounder Ashwath Rajan, another Google veteran. Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”

Cat Eldridge sent the link with a comment, “Interesting idea but expecting it to be viable in ethic communities where a bodega or the cultural equivalent is as much community centre as store is incredible culturally naive.”

Where Cat lives, “We have, other than gas stations that carry a range of stuff this plans on carrying, exactly one English language as first tongue convenience shop for the twenty thousand inhabitants of the peninsula. But there’s dozens of ethically based shops including Central American, Middle Eastern, African, Russian and at least one Armenian one.”

And to see the Bodega Cats, er, SJW Credentials mentioned in the above article, click here, Instagram has photos.

@whiskeygems

A post shared by Bodega Cats (@bodegacatsofinstagram) on

(17) BRIGHT. Will Smith in Bright available on Netflix starting December 22.

In an alternate present-day where magical creatures live among us, two L.A. cops become embroiled in a prophesied turf battle. Stars Will Smith.

Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace

 

(18) LEAGUE OF GODS. Out on DVD.

Based on the 16th-century Chinese novel Feng Shen Yan Yi (The Investiture of the Gods), the story tells of how King Zhou of Shang becomes a tyrant due to the wiles of Daji, a vixen spirit who is disguised as one of his concubines.

 

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mark-kitteh, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Daniel Dern, and Carl Slaughter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ingvar.]

76 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/13/17 Is That A Pixel On Your Screen, Or Are You Just Scrolled To See Me?

  1. 16) @Cat Eldridge: I hope you’re right. But I’ve seen so many valuable beloved community institutions destroyed by someone with a bright idea and a lean and hungry stance toward the world. It’s kind of a theme of my entire adult life. But I hope you’re right.

  2. (16) is horrible. Seriously bad. These “innovative” disruptors want to turn the world into a dorm.

  3. (16) Oh great, let’s eliminate another paying job and shovel all the money to a couple of guys who invented an app.

  4. (16) Face it,these will end up only being rolled out in ‘nice’ neighborhoods where all the Uber-hailing; IPod app-using technos will be living. A five foot wide box just isn’t going to hold much.

  5. 16) This is a classic case of a solution to a non-existing problem. Honestly, why would anybody want to buy from a box that holds a couple of articles that your neighbours buy (and what’s this crap about people all buying the same stuff in the same neighbourhood. I have nothing in common with my neighbours except that I happen to live on the same street), when there’s a lovely corner store with a much better selection available? Not to mention a 24 hour grocery store with an even bigger selection only a bit further away?

  6. 16) Seems like a bad copy of a vending machine. And I’m thinking of the japanese kind of vending machines.

  7. Thanks, Mike, for the title “Frozebud.” I liked the snow globe, too, but it’s the title that keeps a smile on my face.

  8. (16) They’ve invented the vending machine! The Japanese have been having a lot of fun with vending machines for tonnes of stuff, and yet the humble konbini is still around.

  9. 1) YOU CAN ORBIT BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE – That all…makes total sense.

    13) YOUR FAVORITE ICONOCLASTS – So does this, and it worries me a bit.

    18) LEAGUE OF GODS – This does not make much sense, but that’s some glorious footage.

    6 & 7 – When I was 10 or 11, I somehow became the very proud owner of a book club edition of the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe. It wasn’t very good bedtime reading, since it often gave me nightmares, but I have retained my fondness for Poe. When I got older and learned more about his life, it seemed so very sad that he had produced this great work that spoke to so many people and yet had found it so difficult to support himself with his writing.

  10. 2: What’s with spilling the real names? Why not stick to the names they write as?

    This strikes me as so not cool on SWFA’s part.

  11. I think I found Poe sometime when I was 13 years old and it was instant love. By then I was already into reading horror, having started with some Alfred Hitchcock collections 3-4 years before. But Poe was so much more, there was a special feeling to the tales. I’m still buying collections of his stories and giving away.

    Oh, and this is one of my favourites: The Raven Pop-up book.

  12. (1) YOU CAN ORBIT BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE

    This is very funny, but I worry what happens when the birds say “and what will you be doing about the Dodo?”

  13. Ingvar, it was discussed here last year what a poor choice the name is.

    In addition to the Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film awarded at the Gothenburg Film Festival, there are:

    The Golden Dragon Book Awards, for which students of all ages in Hong Kong vote on their favourite books.

    The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards for excellence in Corporate Community Involvement benefiting Greater London.

    The Blue Dragon Film Awards, awarded to films by the South Korean newspaper Sports Chosun.

    The Silicon Dragon Awards, Hong Kong’s annual awards for top entrepreneur and venture investors in Asia’s leading hubs.

    The Dragons of Asia and Dragons of Malaysia, given by the Promotion Marketing Awards of Asia for excellence in marketing.

    The Golden Dragon Awards, given by the Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

    The Water Dragon Awards, given by the Future Water Association for innovative development ideas within the water industry.

  14. 18) I don’t understand half of it, but it is eye-catching.

    16) aS pointed out in a thread on twitter that someone in my feed retweeted–the logistics and human intelligence needed to stock thousands of vending machines, and not have them be all the same, is enormous. You might be saving on the overhead of staff at a convenience store, but you more than need to make up it on the logistical side of things, and those costs and designing that is not easy.

    Fun fact I learned on my DUFF trip: Bodegas in New Zealand are called “Dairys”

  15. @Paul: except, they’ll stock those things at a central warehouse (probably an Amazon fulfillment center), where the “associates” will work 18 hour days at minimum wage with no benefits….

  16. /godstalk

    P.S. (13) slashes with (16) to create “The Bodega at the End of the Universal Soldier”

  17. @steve davidson: And the stuff will be containerized in a way that lets you just load in the new package, pick up any leftover, and go. And by “you”, I probably mean “an autonomous vehicle”. If not now, then very soon.

    In other news, I’m not sure if this is still a question, but if it was, I think it isn’t now:

    “sci-fi writers, including me”–Margaret Atwood

    Wherein she also demonstrates that she’s a little smarter than Lawrence Krauss.

  18. (16) Such limited horizons. True visionaries should be looking at entirely stocking their totally-not-vending-machines with a range of flavours of delicious, wholesome Soylent. Would simplify inventory management no end, and the standardised packaging makes things easier for the delivery bots. Behold the future…

  19. @Paul
    And in Germany, a bodega is a wine and tapas bar, based on the Spanish meaning of the term. Somehow it shifted meanings during the trip across the Atlantic. Coincidentally, when I first read about these bodega boxes, I thought they were vending machines for wine.

    Meanwhile, there are a number of different names for small convenience stores, most of them regional. Tante Emma Laden (Aunt Emma shop) is probably the best known, though Tante Emma Laeden are not open at all hours.

  20. Pixogeny recapitulates scrollogeny.

    I started watching The Tick, and it just didn’t do a thing for me. I’m not sure if I even finished the episode. (Major classic Tick fan here.)

  21. @Cora Buhlert

    Wine associations in the UK too. And not good ones. Bodega was a very unpleasant blended Spanish wine I remember from the 70s – along with Corrida (nasty Spanish), Hirondelle (nasty French) superseded by the only slightly less nasty 80s Piat D’Or (which we were assured les Francaises adore). I expect they’ll all be back after Brexit…

    Anyway, can’t think of a distinctive generic (southern) UK word/phrase for the local shop. Nearest would be the Corner Shop (even when it isn’t on a corner) or just The Shop. There was The Newsagent (mostly ciggies, sweets and a few groceries, apart from newspapers), but I rarely hear that used now.

  22. [points the Meredith Signal at the night sky]

    Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories and The Found and the Lost: The Collected Novellas are both currently on sale for $2.99.

  23. (12) I was going to comment that Ian Fleming wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and not Roald Dahl, but a quick Google search tells me that Dahl co-wrote the movie so I guess I’m going to have to appertain my own damn beverage.

  24. re @Paul Weimer

    the logistics and human intelligence needed to stock thousands of vending machines, and not have them be all the same, is enormous.

    Additions to the more-downstream solutions (Amazon-style droid-workers (@davidson), modular restocking (@Arkansawyer): ISTM that making them different is a one-time problem; a restocking van can carry enough to stock several of each of several completely different machines, replenishing each according to what it was first stocked with. (Yes, the exact differences will certainly not be ideal in the first pass. Automated reports of sales to a central station provides the data needed for tweaking.) The wider issue is the bean-counting meme that the way to cut costs is to remove human interaction, so that employees can be kept working steadily instead of acting as demand servers; consider self-serve gas stations, ticket machines at movie theaters, grocery(etc.)-store checkouts(*), newspaper service (when mine doesn’t show up, the answering machine says “30 minutes wait for a human — but the automated system can help you now!”), (more recently IME) pay stations at parking garages, etc., etc. I don’t know whether business schools have explicit courses on the advantages of replacing service people, but it seems that way.

    (*) with varied results: 2 of the 4 I go to regularly had this but dropped it.

  25. 16) So much of what tech bro culture has been doing lately is finding ways for young, upper-middle class technocrats to either replace their moms (Soylent, the million and one laundry-based and food-delivery startups), or to keep them from having to interact with poor/poorer people unless absolutely necessary (Uber and other ride sharing stuff, Bodega, huge chunks of the online retail space).

    As Adam Greenfield has said, the prevailing conceptual premise behind so many new companies is: “Interpersonal exchanges are more appropriately mediated by algorithms than by one’s own competence.” Which is very 1950s, in the same way that eliminating stable jobs in favour of an economy of contractors and freelancers is essentially a Victorian employment model. I guess everything old is new again, especially if it was previously debunked as mostly untenable or undesirable.

  26. @August –

    So much of what tech bro culture has been doing lately is finding ways for young, upper-middle class technocrats to either replace their moms … or to keep them from having to interact with poor/poorer people unless absolutely necessary

    Yes, this is a huge problem here in the SF Bay Area. People are moving into neighborhoods, displacing significant percentages of existing communities, and then taking a Google bus to work in Silicon Valley, taking Uber/Lyft after work to a new, high-priced cocktail bar, getting their groceries delivered via app, laundry (and all the other stuff you said)… and not interacting with the people in their neighborhoods.

    Caveat for this next bit: I have worked in tech for 22 years. From what I’ve seen and overheard in public (anecdotal, yes), a lot of these “techies” don’t understand or enjoy living in SF/Oakland – they find the city unfamiliar and frightening, they worry about crime but also don’t have the street smarts to recognize dangerous areas/situations, they have little to no interest in the various creative subcultures that exist throughout the area. There was even a case in West Oakland where newly-arrived displacers repeatedly called the cops on a church for having loud live music during its services Sunday morning. We have several growing homeless encampments throughout Oakland, with a significant difference from previous homeless encampments – they frequently are built more like small tent cities, with households, shared pantries – I’ve even seen ad hoc bicycle repair shops. The people who live in homeless encampments are always people living on the margins of society, but that demographic has grown drastically with this (SFnal?) influx of disruptive tech.

    Which is all to say – we don’t need another app that allows people to crawl further into their living cubicles and avoid all human interaction. Separation and isolation are traditionally available in the suburbs, for less money per square foot – there’s no need to ruin cities for the people who prefer to live among other people, and (much worse) displace people from the communities in which they were born, raised, and spent most of their adult lives.

  27. Apparently there’s already a backlash forming about the “Bodega” guys. From the LA Times:

    Startup Bodega learns an important branding lesson; apologizes after Internet outrage.

    “We did some homework ?—? speaking to New Yorkers, branding people, and even running some survey work asking about the name and any potential offense it might cause. But it’s clear that we may not have been asking the right questions of the right people.

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Ya think? 🙂

  28. cathodes: “Caveat for this next bit: I have worked in tech for 22 years.”

    Me, too, as of a few days ago. Tech people are, by and large, some of the nicest people in person. And we are collectively ruining society. I suppose I could squint and say we just build the technology that the suits use to ruin society, but that seems to me to be a distinction without a difference.

  29. @kathodus: Well said. I lived off and on in Waterloo (“Canada’s silicon valley”) for a cumulative total of about ten years out of the last 18 (I even worked for RIM briefly, just before the iPhone hit them like a ton of bricks), and we are seeing the beginnings of similar changes, and they’ve started to take off like a rocket after the region wholeheartedly embraced Richard Florida’s inclusiveness-is-good-because-it-makes-me-rich urban planning/business theories. There’s even a local “joke” to the effect that the reason you don’t see many homeless in Waterloo is because the police pick them up and drive them to Kitchener (a mostly blue collar city right next door) so they won’t bother the wealthy. (The real reason you see so few in Waterloo and so many in Kitchener is because Kitchener actually tries to establish social services to help the disadvantaged, and Waterloo pretends they don’t have any.)

  30. Re: the derivation of the US use of “bodega”

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the US sense started out as “corner liquor store” and then shifted via “corner liquor story that sells other useful sundries” to “corner convenience store that sells useful sundries (and probably also liquor).”

    Thinking back, I think I first encountered bodega as a name for a small convenience store via tv shows. I never encountered it growing up (back in the 60s-70s) in San Diego. It still isn’t really part of my everyday dialect — I’d be more likely to say convenience store, or if it’s attached to a gas station, mini-mart. (As a kid, it would have been a 7-11 since that’s pretty much the only version we had in the suburbs.) I wonder if anyone’s done one of those regional usage maps for the concept?

  31. @John A Arkansawyer – I have at least managed not to work in the “modern” tech industry. I’ve been working for the same small ISP most of those 22 years, and I tend to ignore the fees we generally charge when I’m working with non-profits and mom and pop shops, so I feel like we aren’t overall too terrible. I’ve considered whether I would attempt to work for one of those high-paying modern startups if our housing situation went drastically downhill. I don’t think I’ll know the answer unless I find myself in that situation, and I’m hoping the area returns to semi-sanity before that happens.

  32. I wonder if anyone’s done one of those regional usage maps for the concept?

    I’ve seen one, but I don’t remember where. Growing up in (Canada’s) rural north it was “convenience store” or “corner store”.

    Here in Toronto we use both of those phrases, plus I hear (and have started using) “bodega” as well, although it’s not ubiquitous. It seems to be delimited by the swankiness of the store here; the busted up convenience store run by the dude who barely speaks English is a “bodega”, and 7-11 or some other corporate version is a “convenience store”. (Pretty much every gas station here has a shop attached, so those are just “gas stations”.)

    In Quebec you get “depanneur” or just “dep”.

  33. @August – Ugh, sad your region is going through similar changes. Seems to be happening anywhere urban.

  34. (4) KEEP ON TICKING.
    I didn’t watch the animated show, but did watch (and enjoy) the 2003-ish live-action TICK, starting Patrick Warburton (not sure I watched ’em all).

    I watched all six eps of this new TICK. I found them worth watching. There’s (also) some great bits in there, e.g. (NOT SPOILERS), a Pharoh-themed villain opens a gilt mummy case in his lair, to reveal it’s a vending machine. Along with the plot-appropriate comment from another villain, “Alexa, play ominous music” (Note, the show is on Amazon, FWIW).

    Yes, I’m sure this is a very different take on THE TICK. I comment it. YMMV.

  35. I wonder if anyone’s done one of those regional usage maps for the concept?

    Growing up in Pittsburgh they were corner stores. The first time I remember encountering the term was in Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of Their Shoes although I vaguely recognized it as meaning “immigrant-run urban stores” so I must have seen it somewhere before.

    (Caveat: my mom’s from New York and I spent a good chunk of each summer with my cousins on Long Island.)

  36. @Heather Rose Jones
    My impression (largely from TV and other media) is that the epicenter of “bodega” with the meaning in question is in New York City. It ‘feels’ East Coast Hispanic rather than West Coast.

    The question of whether they include liquor in their wares is going to depend on local and state laws: the rules regarding sales of alcohol vary from state to state and sometimes from county to county or town to town.

  37. And in one of those amusing bits of coincidence, a food reporter was talking about a local ‘bodega’ on the Metro Morning show here in Toronto this morning.

    ‘How a Scarborough Jamaican patty store morphed into a one-stop shop for the community’
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/suresh-doss-metro-morning-1-1.4288570

    Given the sheer number of little neighbourhoods in Toronto like that, I expect this form of convenience store to last for quite some time here.

    I attended the University of Waterloo, though I haven’t lived there since 1992. And considering that the University student body made up somewhere between a quarter and a third the population of the city of Waterloo at the time (pre-Research In Motion, but post-OpenText)… well, you never really had the same sort of neighbourhoods building up.

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