Pixel Scroll 4/23/17 Scroll White And The Seven Pixels

(1) BORN ON THE SEVENTH OF JULY. In “Spinning a high-tech web”, the LA Times provides an elaborate, photo-illustrated preview of Tony Stark’s upgrade to the new Spider-Man suit that will be seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming, due in theaters July 7.

(2) FILK HALL OF FAME. The 2017 inductees to the Filk Halll of Fame were announced at FilkOntario this weekend:

(3) FAHRENHEIT 451 TO SMALL SCREEN? The Bradbury novel is on the road to development once more. “HBO to Adapt Fahrenheit 451, starring Michael B. Jordan”  — BookRiot has the story.

Now, HBO is “moving toward a production commitment” (via Variety) on a feature-length adaptation of Bradbury’s 1953 novel starring Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Chronicle, Fantastic Four) as the protagonist Guy Montag and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel, Boardwalk Empire) as Montag’s boss, Captain Beatty.

The film will be directed by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes, At Any Price), who is co-writing with Amir Naderi (99 Homes, The Runner). David Coatsworth (production manager on Underworld: Evolution, Ender’s Game, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) will serve as producer.

(4) THEY’RE HUUGE! “Black Holes Are Bigger Than You Thought” accuses Yahoo! News. (Just how big did you think they were? How did Yahoo! News find out?)

Now meet S5 0014+81.

It’s the largest black hole ever discovered and is heavier than our Sun by 40 billion times (40, 000, 000, 000) in the last observation.

If you plug in the equation above, you’ll find that this black hole has a Schwarzschild radius of about… 119 billion kilometers, along with a said diameter of about 236,39 billion km.

(5) THE TOUGHEST AROUND. Let Den of Geek point you at “17 really difficult LEGO sets”.

The Tower Of Orthanc

It may look simple enough on the box, but The Lord Of The Rings’ Tower Of Orthanc is actually a real tough cookie. Because most of its 2,359 pieces are jet black and slim, working out which bit goes where is the stuff of nightmares (in, um, a good way). The Treebeard that comes with it will make the struggle worth it… honest.

Buy The Tower Of Orthanc now for £348.07.

(6) TODAY’S DAY

  • April 23 — World Book and Copyright Day

Pays tribute to authors and books and their social and cultural contribution to the world

(7) DID YOU KNOW? Last year the International Costumers’ Guild participated in a “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, joining Public Knowledge, the American Library Association, and others, asking the Court to protect the rights of clothing designers and costumers to freely practice their craft.

(8) AT HOME. The Verge’s Andrew Liptak reports “Netflix will invest billions to shoot its original content in California”:

Netflix is betting that filming closer to home will produce better content. In 2015, the streaming giant has announced that it would be doubling its output of original content, and it is aiming to have original productions make up half of its of its streaming catalog in the coming years. The goal is to entice users to come to the service by providing content that can’t be found elsewhere, but that goal is proving to be a strain on the existing film studio infrastructure. To cope, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos announced that the company would be investing $6 billion to expand infrastructure in California, rather than chase tax incentives offered by states.

Sarandos explained to The Wrap that the company determined that going after the incentives leads to diminishing returns when it comes to their final products. Filming out of state is hard on the actors and crew of a project, and the move will help bring projects back home to California. That could prove to be costly for the company, even as California has increased its own tax incentive program in recent years. While remaining in the state will likely cost Netflix more, Sarandos seems to think that the extra cost will be worth spending.

(9) SQUEAK UP. YouTube’s TheBackyardScientist set up 10 megaphones end-to-end to see how loud a noise he could make.

The video, posted to YouTube by TheBackyardScientist, features Kevin Kohler explaining he was inspired by Bart Simpson‘s prank in the season 8 Simpsons episode The Secret War of Lisa Simpson to place 10 megaphones end-to-end and test the results.

Bart’s experiment led to a shock wave that shattered all of the windows in town — as well as Homer’s fridge full of beer — but Kohler quickly ran into a problem Bart didn’t face: a feedback loop.

 

(10) BITE ON. The number of people who give their smartphones to dogs as chew toys is probably smaller than the number of men who have walked on the moon, but for them — “There’s an anti-dog label inside the Galaxy S8 — here’s what it means”. Let The Verge explain it to you.

Basically, you don’t want Fido in a situation where a battery could hiss and explode in its mouth. It’s obviously possible that a child could bite through the battery as well, but the likelihood of him / her piercing through the battery is lower.

(11) ARTIFICIAL DOG INTELLIGENCE. Amazing. How is it mine doesn’t do that?

(12) FIX THE SLATING PROBLEM FOREVER. That’s what Greg Hullender would like to do. At Rocket Stack Rank he summarizes his views about the effectiveness of 3SV, EPH(+) and their combination. He says, “I  think it makes it really clear that we need both 3SV and either EPH or EPH+. Otherwise, even small slates (100 to 200 people) will be able to control a significant amount of the final ballot, including adding embarrassing nominees.”

For each year, we produced two theoretical maximum graphs. A “finalist graph,” which shows what percentage of finalists a slate could have captured for a given number of slate voters, and a “sweeps” graph, which shows what percentage of entire categories a slate could have captured.

Looking at those four pairs of graphs (2.1-2.4 below), we will draw the following conclusions;

  • Std (5/6) by itself is far too weak.
  • EPH doesn’t protect enough finalists, but it is excellent at preventing sweeps.
  • EPH+ is an improvement on EPH, but it’s still not enough by itself.
  • 3SV is much stronger for protecting finalists, especially for modest numbers of slate voters, but it’s vulnerable to sweeps, and it breaks down for slates above about 300 people.
  • The 3SV/EPH and 3SV/EPH+ combinations are far, far stronger than either component alone. Either combination is probably sufficient, but the second one is stronger.

Accordingly, we conclude that the Business Meeting should ratify both EPH+ and 3SV. That should protect the Hugos from slating interference for the nonce.

(13) DREAM CASTING. Enjoy “Miles To Go” hosted at Archive of Our Own. Note – Password = Vorkosigan (as it says at the post).

There once was a man who dreamt of the stars…

A fanvid based on the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.

…Obviously, it’s not so easy to make a feast for a fandom with no existing visual source. But where there’s a will, or in my case an enormous and driving folly, there’s a way. It was always going to be an ensemble vid, with Miles as the star, but the question was how to cast it. I did eventually solve that problem, and I won’t discuss my solution in detail here because… spoilers.

[Thanks to Carl Slaughter, Cat Eldridge, Robin Reid, JJ, Doctor Science, Greg Hullender, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

2016 Filk Hall of Fame Inductees

Eli Goldberg and Mark Bernstein are the 2016 inductees to the Filk Hall of Fame. The announcement was made during FilKONtario in April.

The Filk Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to filk over the years as performers, organizers, and facilitators.

Here is an excerpt from Mark Bernstein’s acceptance speech Gifts from Filk.

Filk has given me a home

When I arrive at a filk con, I’m surrounded by people who speak with the same vocabulary, who share the values of the community, who are there for many of the same reasons. Like, I suspect, just about everyone here, I’ve had my days, even whole weekends, of feeling excluded, of thinking of myself as an outsider looking in. It can be hard to get past that. But I’ve come to know, on a deep level, that this is a place I belong. It’s a place where I might end up missing that concert I wanted to hear because I fell into a fascinating conversation with people I may have known for decades, or may have only spoken to a few times. It’s a place where I know I can get up and dance when the music moves me, and not be judged on the quality of my movement. It’s a place where I can be certain that at some point during the weekend, my voice will become one piece of a much greater whole, as harmonies and instrumentals ring through the circle. Whether I’m in Mississauga, or Columbus, or Atlanta, or Seattle, or Jersey City, or Basingstoke, I know I’m home. Which brings me to . . .

Filk has given me joy

Joy, and the ways in which it differs from simple happiness, is a personal thing. I can’t define it. But I know it comes in different flavors. When that greater whole I just referred to coalesces, and fills my awareness, that’s a joyful moment. When someone who’s been working up their nerve, sometimes for months or years, sings in front of other people for the first time since childhood, that’s a joyful moment. When someone who’s found their voice here keeps going, keeps on singing or playing or reciting, and manages, whether through applied hard work or simple repetition, to get better and build confidence, that’s a whole series of joyful moments. Those moments accumulate, and build, and keep me connected to this community in a way that will never be broken.

The Filk Hall of Fame jury, representing all the filk cons in US, Canada, UK and Germany, selects the inductees, based on fan nominations. The 2016 jury was: Gary McGath (ConCertino, Boston area); Nick Smith (ConChord, San Diego area); Katy Droge-Macdonald, FilkCONtinental, Germany); Mark Peters (OVFF, Columbus area); Rick Weiss (Conflikt, Seattle area); Rob Wynne (GAFilk, Atlanta area); Annie Walker (Con27ilkin, British); Victor Stevko (Consonance, San Francisco area); Steve Macdonald (DFDF, Germany); Judith Hayman (FilKONtario, Toronto area).

2015 Filk Hall of Fame Inductees

The Filk Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to filk over the years as performers, organizers, and facilitators. Here are the citations for three fans in the Hall of Fame class of 2015:

Kay Shapero

found filk at her first convention, Equicon, in 1973. She walked into the lobby where a group of fans were gathered around a piano, singing the “Orcs’ Marching Song”. She promptly joined them.

In the late 1980s, this California filker created and moderated the first filk discussion group, shared over the Fidonet. This later became the newsgroup alt.music.filk and, later still, with assistance, rec.music.filk. All of this brought filk to a wider, global audience. It is impossible to overstate the impact this had. For the first time, filkers had frequent and immediate contact with other filkers all over the world. Thanks to Kay, we became an international on-line filk community. She is one of those who, very early, built the base, on which other people could establish their own creativity, and participate in the exchange of the world-wide filk culture.

While moderating the newsgroup, Kay also created the first compilation of filksongs, collected from the Filk Echo and provided for download in May of 1990. She was an original contributor to SMOF.com’s Filk Primary Source List, which gave access to source information on filk parodies to general fandom and to runners of conventions. Her long-lived, and frequently updated “Filk FAQ” remains a valuable resource for anyone trying to understand the filk community. If you do an on-line search for “What is Filk?”, one of the first links to come up is Kay’s “Filk Frequently Asked Questions”.

Kay is creative and organized, qualities valued by conventions she worked on. For several years, she has been the driving force behind ConChord’s “Kazoo Awards”. Under her administration, these awards have become a fun way to recognize song writers, in competition against their peers, as determined by unique categories each year. She has also been nominated for one herself.

Kay rarely seeks the limelight herself. She will often perform a one-shot at cons, but otherwise only sings in circles. She has also written a huge number of filksongs, some of which have been published in Xenofilkia. She really was and continues to be an outstanding ambassador for filk.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Kay Shapero is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this eighteenth day of April, two thousand fifteen.

Nick Smith

first encountered filk in 1973 at a Mythcon, first wrote a filk in 1978 and first performed in 1980 at a Westercon masquerade. He has been the long-serving Chair of ConChord and has also run programming for the con. He has run filk at Loscon and arts at Worldcon (LACon III, 1996 and IV, 2006).

Nick has been a regional Director for Interfilk since 1998 and a valued auctioneer. Nick is a calming voice in a sea of chaos at many an Interfilk Board meeting. He has a wonderful knowledge of charity law, and is a great resource for Interfilk, filk conventions and other organizations. Nick is more than willing to help with getting the legal answers a committee or board needs to keep going.

In the 1990’s, Nick wrote a concise and comprehensive article on filk “What the Heck Is Filk Music?” Originally produced for distribution at Los Angeles folk music events, Nick’s widely quoted work focuses on both music and song-writing. He has been involved with curating the library of the now defunct Thor Records and assisting DAG with their recordings. He has also been found emceeing one-shots and concerts, and moderating panels.

Nick was a member of the L.A. Filkharmonics from 1980; they were responsible for three filk zines, Massteria!, Massteria Strikes Back and Return of Massteria, all subtitled “Star Wars & Other Filksongs.”  Many of those songs were written by him. As a member of the L. A. Filkharmonics he has also been active in disseminating many humorous filks as well as being part of one of the few a cappella choirs in the filk community.

Nick is active in the folk music and professional story telling worlds. He has been instrumental in introducing filk music to professional musicians who fall in love with our community. He is a tireless advocate for filk music within the general fan community. He practices the almost lost art of Story Telling, for both children (and those of us who act like children), and even adults some times, at filk conventions.

He was also an occasional Co-Host of Hour 25, a radio program focusing on science fiction, fantasy, and science, which has an eclectic mixture of filk music, science fiction news, and other science fiction related material.

Nick is a diplomat and a gentleman.  He not only has many worthy filk accomplishments, but manages to be one of the most gracious and soft?spoken “get things done” people in all West Coast filk, and manages to avoid or work around squabbles and politics.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Nick Smith is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this eighteenth day of April, two thousand fifteen.

Steven Joel Zeve

found Science Fiction Fandom in 1980 when he attended Noreascon II, the 1980 WorldCon, in Boston. Soon afterwards, he attended his second convention, Boskone, where he discovered filk in February 1981.

It can be said that Steven Joel is the heart of the Baltimore-Washington area filk community. He started as assistant to filk activity at Balticon in 1991, and took it over in 1994; he has a talent for finding the perfect guests for each year. His filk track is held in high esteem by other programming heads.  He built a strong filk following within the convention and passed it with loving hands to his successor. He is widely connected in the overall fan community, and he is not afraid to recruit any of those he does know for filk’s benefit. He is also is an incurable filk SMOF, and will share his extensive experience with filk and/or convention running, giving the slightest hint. His advice has been highly valued by the organizing committees of Conterpoint.

After years of being one of its staunchest supporters, in 2012 Steven Joel was added to the Interfilk Board as “second/spouse” to the Midwest Director. He has been a long time Interfilk supporter and willingly participates as a “mensch”. Together with his lovely wife, France, he has played host to many traveling filkers, providing a place to stay, a tour guide, or just a shoulder to lean on. They have also opened their house for house filks.  He does a lot of un-credited work providing transport, hauling instruments, running errands for forgotten items, finding specialty diet foods, and entertaining and feeding children while parents are rehearsing. He spends at least one-third of every convention helping with the mundane things no one really notices need doing. They can even be accused of raising another generation of filkers.  Along with France, Steven Joel was a much appreciated Interfilk Guest at Conflikt in 2008.

He insists he is not a performer and, in fact, he insists that tunes have been known to produce power drills out of thin air to escape from the bucket he uses to carry them.  He is encouraging to newcomers as well as excellent at making sure we don’t forget the classics. He’s also a funny, intelligent and approachable filk ambassador who is always willing to talk to the curious, sometimes at length. His strengths are in lore, offering years of recollections of filk and cons. Often, if someone was asked something by a newbie, the strategy was to say, “Why don’t you talk to Steven Joel about that?”, and then to hand them over graciously to a longer memory, and wider knowledge.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Steven Joel Zeve is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this eighteenth day of April, two thousand fifteen.

 

2015 HALL OF FAME JURY

CON JURY MEMBER
Contata (NY/NJ area) Merav Hoffman
ConChord (San Diego area) Nick Smith
FilkCONtinental (Germany) Katy Droge-Macdonald (1)
OVFF (Columbus area) Mark Peters (2)
Conflikt (Seattle area) Rick Weiss
GAFilk (Atlanta area) Rob Wynne
Con27ilkin (British)) Annie Walker (2)
Consonance (San Francisco area) Dr. James Robinson
DFDF (Germany) Steve Macdonald (1)
FilKONtario (Toronto area) Judith Hayman (3)