Pixel Scroll 10/15/19 Scroll What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Pixel

(1) ANCIENT VIDEO GAMES PLAYABLE AGAIN. Cnet makes a nostalgic discovery as “Internet Archive releases 2,500 MS-DOS games so you can relive the ’90s”.

If you loved playing retro MS-DOS games from the ’90s like 3D Bomber, Zool and Alien Rampage, you can now replay those, and many more, with the latest update from Internet Archive

On Sunday, Internet Archive released 2,500 MS-DOS games that includes action, strategy and adventure titles. Some of the games are Vor Terra, Spooky Kooky Monster Maker, Princess Maker 2 and I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.

Internet Archive software curator Jason Scott wrote on the site’s blog:

The update of these MS-DOS games comes from a project called eXoDOS, which has expanded over the years in the realm of collecting DOS games for easy playability on modern systems to tracking down and capturing, as best as can be done, the full context of DOS games – from the earliest simple games in the first couple years of the IBM PC to recently created independent productions that still work in the MS-DOS environment.

What makes the collection more than just a pile of old, now-playable games, is how it has to take head-on the problems of software preservation and history. Having an old executable and a scanned copy of the manual represents only the first few steps. DOS has remained consistent in some ways over the last (nearly) 40 years, but a lot has changed under the hood and programs were sometimes only written to work on very specific hardware and a very specific setup. They were released, sold some amount of copies, and then disappeared off the shelves, if not everyone’s memories.

It is all these extra steps, under the hood, of acquisition and configuration, that represents the hardest work by the eXoDOS project, and I recognize that long-time and Herculean effort. As a result, the eXoDOS project has over 7,000 titles they’ve made work dependably and consistently.

(2) THE WORD. Courtesy of ScienceFiction.com we learn that the Oxford English Dictionary’s “New Words List for October 2019” has loaded up on Star Wars terms. There are also a lot of additions you’d think would have gone into the OED years ago. Here are some of the October selections:

  • Jedi, n.: In the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: a member of an order of heroic, skilled warrior monks who are able to harness the mystical power of…
  • kapow, int.: Representing the sound of an explosion, a gunshot, a hard punch or blow, etc. Also in extended use, conveying the suddenness or powerful effect of an…
  • lightsabre, n.: In the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: a weapon resembling a sword, but having a destructive beam of light in place of a blade. Also: a…
  • Padawan, n.: In the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: an apprentice Jedi (see Jedi n.). Also (often humorously) in extended and allusive use: a youthful…
  • force, n.1 sense Additions: With the and chiefly with capital initial. In the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: a mystical universal energy field which certain…
  • They, pron. sense 2c: Used with reference to a person whose sense of personal identity does not correspond to conventional sex and gender distinctions, and who has typically asked to be referred to as they (rather than as he or she).

(3) ANTHOLOGY CROWDFUNDING. A Kickstarter appeal to raise $8,300 to fund publication of Vital: The Future of Healthcare launched October 15. The anthology, a collection of short stories featuring the future of health and medicine, will include works from notable authors such as David Brin, James Patrick Kelly, Paolo Bacigalupi, Seanan McGuire, Annalee Newitz, Caroline Yoachim, Alex Shvartsman, Eric Schwitzgebel, Congyun Gu, and others. Backers will receive exclusive rewards such as advanced copies and other perks for early support of the project. The campaign will last until November 14, 2019.

The idea for “Vital: The Future of Healthcare” was first conceived by RM Ambrose who will serve as editor of the book. He saw a need and opportunity to use fictional stories to address real life challenges. “Medical science continues to advance, but for many, healthcare has never been more broken,” says Ambrose.  “This book will use the power of storytelling to explore and inspire solutions to the problems that government and even the tech industry have struggled to fix.” 

Other writers are in discussion to be part of the project, with the goal of securing support from about 10 additional authors.

Once published, all proceeds from the sale of Vital will be donated to Loma Linda University Health, a global leader in education, research and clinical care.

Book editor RM Ambrose is Assistant Fiction Editor at the Hugo Award winning “StarShipSofa” podcast. He attended Taos Toolbox in 2017 and is an Affiliate Member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

(4) THUMB OUT. Behind a paywall, Financial Times book columnist Nilanjana Roy’s piece in the October 5 Financial Times is about the 40th anniversary of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

He (Adams) was as much a futurologist, a wizard of predictions, as he was a writer.  In the late 1970s, he dreamed up an ‘Electronic Thumb”–a device that looked like a large electronic calculator on which you could summon up a million ‘pages’–and perhaps my favourite robot of all time, Marvin the depressive Paranoid Android.

The first online translation service, Altavista’a 1995 Babelfish, was named after the fictional fish that translates languages in Hitchhiker when Arthur Dent sticks it in his ear.  Deep Thought, the computer developed in the 1990s to play chess, was named in homage to Adams’s computer, which takes seven and a half million years to answer the question, ‘What is the meaning of life?’  (Forty-two, as every Hitchhiker fan knows.)

(5) INSIDE STORY. Tim Goodman says people who have never read the graphic novel before may get lost: “‘Watchmen’: TV Review” at The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s difficult to fully describe the visual and storytelling audacity behind HBO’s Watchmen, a series that warps perception in keenly original ways. It’s based on the late-1980s cult comic books of the same name (co-created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons), then given a wholly different spin by Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers), a superfan of the source material but a wildly creative force of his own. This latest version (there was also a Zack Snyder movie in 2009) is simultaneously unique — it will certainly bring in fans of Lindelof’s work and HBO’s pedigree — and true to the spirit of the comics.

The challenge that Lindelof and HBO face is a pretty simple one: Watchmen will be utterly confusing without at least some passing knowledge of the origin story. This is a tale that begs for context, no matter how compelling and wonderfully baroque Lindelof’s telling is. So, yes, if you know nothing about Watchmen other than HBO’s tantalizing trailers (and a standout cast that includes Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Jeremy Irons and others), you’d be well-served, at the very least, by reading the Wikipedia backstory. (Lindelof himself has said that if the series has new fans scrambling to discover the original work, that will be reward enough.)

(6) A THRONE OF METAL, AT LEAST. Actress Maisie Williams graces the latest cover of Metal

(7) PEOPLE ARE THE WORST. The Hollywood Reporter’s Chris Gardner was on hand for the soiree: “Jordan Peele Explains His Attraction to Horror: ‘There Is an Evil Embedded Into Our DNA’”.

The director shared the Hammer Museum stage with honoree Judy Chicago, presenters Gloria Steinem and Roxane Gay and performers Beck and Chris Martin at the record-setting Gala in the Garden fundraiser….

[Jordan Peele] He also dished out some of his early inspirations from the silver screen — with a nod to Martin Scorsese’s recent controversial statements about what qualifies as “cinema.”

“I can buy the premise for a second that this is a deserved thing, after all I spent so many hours growing up watching great cinema and absorbing art house classics of the 20th century like Ghostbusters 2, Gremlins 2, and Chud 2, all the twos,” he joked. “That’s my pathway of this great thing that Martin Scorsese calls cinema.”

He then got serious by expanding on his creative motivations.

“My passion is to entertain. I dream less about making a commentary about society than I do about getting a laugh or getting a scream or scaring anybody. Any audible noise that an audience can make, that’s my passion,” he explained. “Apparently to either get at something important or to just simply make people laugh, it involves a search of the same thing and that’s truth.”

Peele said that as he grew up, his perspective on life became “a little cynical,” and he found new truth in the exploration of what he refers to as “the human demon.”

“This is the idea that no matter what there is, whatever you do, there is an evil embedded into our DNA. It crystallizes when we get together. It’s in our tribalism, our nationalism, and our capitalism, our mob mentality, our obsession with categorization. We’re so good at masking our own evil from ourselves and so my obsession evolved to pulling down this mask,” he continued. “I figured why not try to reveal the truth in my language. Do it as entertaining as I could. I found early on that this would require a certain amount of vulnerability. if I was going to tap into fears that would resonate with others, I would need to explore and understand my own fears and my own faults.”

(8) DON’T TOY WITH FANS. Vanity Fair demands to know “Where’s Rose? Star Wars Fans Want Kelly Marie Tran’s Hero on More Merch”. Tagline: The first major female Asian character in the galactic saga was missing from many products for The Rise of Skywalker. Here’s what happened.

Laura Sirikul was on a mission. To the rest of the world, it was just October 4, but to movie fans like her, it was a galactic holiday—Triple Force Friday, when toys and merchandise from three upcoming Star Wars projects finally went on sale.

Sirikul ventured to big-box retailers around Pasadena, California, in search of items featuring her favorite character: Rose Tico, the quick-witted engineer played by Kelly Marie Tran. After hitting Target, Walmart, Hot Topic, and the Disney Store, Sirikul found herself asking a question that has since become a hashtag on social media: #WheresRose?

At the end of September, preview videos hyping the new merchandise showed a white T-shirt using the word “Rebel” as a backdrop for the character as she struck a heroic pose. “That ‘Rebel’ shirt was at the Disney Store, but she wasn’t on it,” Sirikul told Vanity Fair. “There was no Rose Tico at the mall.”

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • October 15, 1951 I Love Lucy made its television debut on CBS. Not genre in any sense at all but still worth noting. Desi appeared in a short called “The Fountain of Youth” which is genre. Although Lucy didn’t do any genre, their series was the foundation for Desilu Productions which eventually brought Star Trek to TV.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born October 15, 1911 James H. Schmitz. Writer of short fiction of a space opera setting, sold primarily to Galaxy Science Fiction and Astounding Science-Fiction. Sources laud him for his intelligent female characters. His collections are available on iBooks or Kindle. (Died 1981.)
  • Born October 15, 1919 E.C. Tubb. A writer of at least 140 novels and 230 short stories and novellas, he’s best known for the Dumarest Saga. His other long running series was the Cap Kennedy stories. And his short story “Little Girl Lost” which was originally published in New Worlds magazine became a story on Night Gallery. (Died 2010.)
  • Born October 15, 1924 Mark Lenard. Sarek, father of Spock, in Trek franchise. Surprisingly he also played a Klingon in Star Trek The Motion Picture, and a Romulan in an episode of Star Trek. He also had one-offs on Mission Impossible, Wild Wild West,  Otherworld and Planet of The Apes. (Died 1996.)
  • Born October 15, 1926 Ed McBain. Huh, I never knew he ventured beyond his mystery novels but he published approximately 24 genre stories and 6 SF novels between 1951 and 1971 under the names S. A. Lombino, Evan Hunter, Richard Marsten, D. A. Addams, and Ted Taine. ISFDB has a list and I can’t say I know any of them. Any of y’all read them? (Died 2005.)
  • Born October 15, 1932 Virginia Leith, 87. The head in The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. Really. Truly. 

  • Born October 15, 1947 Lynn Lowry, 72. She is perhaps best known for her work in such horror films as George A. Romero’s The Crazies,  David Cronenberg’s Shivers, Paul Schrader’s Cat People and David E. Durston I Drink Your Blood. Some of these are truly in bad taste. 
  • Born October 15, 1955 Tanya Roberts, 64. Stacey Sutton in A View to Kill. Quite the opposite of her role as Kiri in The Beastmaster. And let’s forget in the title role of Sheena: Queen of the Jungle.
  • Born October 15, 1969 Dominic West,  50. Jigsaw in the dreadful Punisher film, Punisher: War Zone. His first SFF role was as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is the same year he shows up as Jerus Jannick in The Phantom Menace, and he was Sab Than on John Carter. His latest SFF role was as Lord Richard Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot.

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Off the Mark shows that this Halloween, if you won’t go to Mount TBR, your Mount TBR might come to you.

(12) NOT TANK MARMOT. In “Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners showcase stunning scenes from nature”, CNN describes the winning photo:

It could almost be a scene from a slapstick comedy: a marmot stands frozen in fear, slack-jawed and balanced on one foot, as it suddenly notices a charging fox.

The dramatic image, captured with perfect timing by Chinese photographer Yongqing Bao, has won the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, given out annually by London’s Natural History Museum.

(13) CHOCOLATE WITH YOUR PEANUT BUTTER. John Connolly speaks up “In Defense of the Supernatural in Detective Fiction” at CrimeReads.

Some months ago, I had dinner in New York with an old friend, one of the most senior figures in the American mystery community. We tend to differ on almost every subject under the sun, food and wine apart, but it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable, and I like to think that we have both mastered that art, for the most part.

Toward the end of the evening, my friend suggested that I had made two errors in my career. One was the decision not to write exclusively in the mystery genre, but to explore other areas of writing. This, he felt, had damaged me commercially—although, as I pointed out to him, it had benefited me creatively. My second error, he believed, was to have mixed the mystery genre with the supernatural. Whatever its benefits or disadvantages to me, either commercially or creatively, he believed that this simply should not have been done. For him, the supernatural had no place in the mystery novel, and there are many in mystery community who share his opinion.

(14) LAST LAUGH. BBC shares “The graveside joke that had everyone laughing at a funeral”. (Also video.)

A dad’s message from beyond the grave has touched the hearts of thousands online.

Shay Bradley, 62, had a dying wish that had his family and friends laughing at his funeral in Dublin.

In a video that has received more than 136,000 upvotes on Reddit, the former Irish defence forces veteran pretends to be trapped inside his coffin and is heard knocking frantically, trying to get out

Coming from a speaker on the ground his voice boomed from his grave: “Hello, hello, hello… let me out!” There is then some swearing which sends the mourners into fits of laughter.

He goes on to sing: “Hello again, hello. I called to say goodbye.”

(15) STAY FROSTY. “His Dark Materials: Behind the scenes of the TV adaptation”.

Ahead of the eight-part dramatisation of the first of Philip Pullman’s best-selling His Dark Materials novels, the BBC’s Sian Lloyd describes her sneak-preview behind-the-scenes set visit earlier this year.

Huddled around braziers filled with warm coals or sitting with blankets wrapped over shoulders, close to a hundred shivering extras are trying to keep the cold at bay.

They are the Gyptians, the nomadic closely-knit boat-dwelling tribe at the centre of Pullman’s trilogy, who are about to get some disturbing news.

In the real world, we’re on the site of a former ironworks in Blaenavon in the south Wales valleys. There’s snow on the ground, and temperatures are still plummeting.

Cast members and crew have gathered for the opening scenes from the series, which covers the events of the novel Northern Lights, and which receives its premiere in London on Tuesday.

(16) GIVE YOU JOY. From BBC: “His Dark Materials: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Welsh ‘joy'”

Relocating to south Wales to film His Dark Materials was a “joy”, Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has said.

The TV adaptation of Sir Philip Pullman’s trilogy is being screened in London before being broadcast on BBC One in November.

The actor plays Lee Scoresby in the series, which was made by production company Bad Wolf in Cardiff.

Miranda shared his love of Wales on social media during filming.

(17) COVER ARTIST. Would you like to hear Andy Partridge’s “Music inspired by the art of Richard Powers”, the famed sff artist and 1991 Worldcon guest of honor?

A Long time ago, in a library far away, (well, Swindon, actually), a shy schoolboy who loved books but was a slow reader, borrowed three science fiction books per week. He didn’t read them. Instead, mesmerised by the covers, he imagined his own stories to match the cover paintings which he stared at intently for hours. 

Invited to tell his classmates about the books he’d read, neither they nor the teachers spotted the invention. Few, if any, teachers read sci-fi and even though the early 1960s may have been a peak point for the excitement surrounding mankind’s initial steps beyond the Earth, teachers would sooner bore any potential interest in books out of children with Charles Dickens rather than risk capturing their imagination with Philip K Dick.

Decades passed. The moon was reached and then, it seemed, forgotten. The faraway galaxies became the stuff of mainstream cinema and TV. Books celebrating the work and art of an earlier generation of sci-fi writers and illustrators appeared. The boy in the library of the early 1960s, now a man in a comic book/graphic novel shop at the end of the first decade of a new millennium, discovered a book about Richard M. Powers and became a time traveller, transported back to the smell of the paper, the plastic protective library book coverings and the universe laid out, jigsaw like, on his bed. Richard M. Powers had been the principal artist, illustrator among illustrators and guide to unleashing Andy Partridge’s imagination among the stars and galaxies.

Andy’s response was to record a sort of soundtrack to the paintings which had been so inspirational to him. The resulting album conjures, via 12 enigmatic pieces – akin to a virtual Musique concrete (with the computer/editing process replacing the more cumbersome scissors/tape method) – a musical accompaniment to the variety of alien landscapes which Powers illustrated so profusely…. 

(18) LITTLE KNOWN STUFF. “William Shatner beams in with hit TV show at 88” on AFP says that Shatner’s paranormal mysteries show The UnXplained has been picked up for a second season on the History Channel and that Shatner’s secret for being productive at 88 is to “keep taking on projects.”

Shatner beamed into Cannes in southern France on Tuesday to beat the drum for the series — which tries to explain some of the mysteries of the world around us — at MIPCOM, the world’s biggest entertainment market.

“A friend of mine once received a call from someone who had passed away,” he said. Finding answers to such strange phenomena “was what this show is all about”, he told reporters.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Michael Toman, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Xtifr.]

34 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/15/19 Scroll What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Pixel

  1. @4: wasn’t the thumb separate from the Guide? Or was that one of the many things that varied depending on which version (UK originals, audio recording, first book, …) one consulted?

    @10: Schmitz is weirdly variable; he did do strong female characters at a time when they were very uncommon in SF, but there’s also a lot of male-gazy creepiness (especially in some of the later works that were in Analog rather than Astounding).

    @11: yep, that’s seriously scary….

    Edit: first!

  2. (1) Digital preservation is important work and I appreciate the people who do it.

    (9) Lucy and Desi appeared together in a fantasy movie “Forever Darling” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forever,_Darling) featuring a guardian angel trying to preserve the characters’ marriage (as Giles said “What was subtext is rapidly becoming text”). Sadly it’s not a very good movie (I watched it a few months ago). It does have John Hoyt, Natalie Schaefer and Nancy Kulp in it, so people of my age group will watch it and say “Isn’t that ____?”

  3. @10 — I’ve read a few of Ed McBain’s SF stories (mostly as by S. A. Lombino), and, well, my main takeaway is that he made a really good decision in deciding to focus on crime fiction.

  4. I don’t know if I’ve read any of “Evan Hunter’s” SF stories, but I was aware that that was one of McBain’s pen names.

  5. (10) Tsk. Someone reading this who hadn’t heard of Schmitz would never have guessed that he wrote The Witches of Karres (novella 1949, novel 1966).

  6. 10) I did not know that Dominic West was in Phantom Menace! I have learned something today …

  7. In both the H2G2 radio series and the novels, the Electronic Thumb was a different device from the Guide e-book, yes. The article is also wildly wrong about the nature of the Ultimate Question. (There’s little reason to suppose that it is in fact “What is the meaning of life?”)

  8. IIRC, Ford Prefect says “The thumb’s an electronic sub-ether device” in episode one, but it”s not named as an Electronic Thumb until the book version – and there’s no suggestion that it’s part of the Guide itself. (Yes, I’m old. I listened to the original radio bradcast. And taped it. And listened to it again and again until the tapes broke.)

  9. David Goldfarb on October 15, 2019 at 9:19 pm said:

    In both the H2G2 radio series and the novels, the Electronic Thumb was a different device from the Guide e-book, yes. The article is also wildly wrong about the nature of the Ultimate Question. (There’s little reason to suppose that it is in fact “What is the meaning of life?”)

    That poor writer is going to get a lot of mail explaining their profound error.

  10. @Chip Hitchcock Schmitz is weirdly variable; he did do strong female characters at a time when they were very uncommon in SF, but there’s also a lot of male-gazy creepiness

    I never saw an inconsistency there myself. Schmitz liked to write competent women but that didn’t make him any kind of feminist and he generally stuck to familiar pulp tropes. I do wonder about Campell’s influence – there’s an uncharacteristic bit of sexism in The Demon Breed that turns out to have been taken verbatim from Campbell’s feedback – but you’ll find the male-gazy stuff in his earliest stories too.

    I never really understood the appeal of The Witches of Karres – the novella’s fine but the novel’s an incoherent mess – and I rather wish Schmitz was remembered for some of his other work. I like The Demon Breed myself, but his best work was short stories. I’d recommend The Second Night of Summer or Balanced Ecology.

  11. @nickpheas: Me, too. I’ve seen things there that shouldn’t be. But it does so much good! There are things that wouldn’t exist without it. So I hope they go on breaking the law. YouTube is worse, because it cuts directly into artist’s revenue streams, at a scale that makes it profitable. It wasn’t legal until Google used brute market force to make it so.

  12. 4) The thumb was a separate device used by space faring hitch hikers to flag down any passing space ships. Also, 42 is not the meaning of life. It is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

    I guess the FT should stick to finance.

  13. (9) Going by WIkipedia, I see Lucy also appeared in a 1951 film “The Magic Carpet”, which must be an oriental fantasy, going by the eponymous rug. I haven’t seen it.

  14. (2) ‘lightsabre’ rather than ‘lightsaber’ bothers me, seems indefensible almost. Did Alan Dean Foster’s novelization get a British-English revision? Did Hasbro spell it that way on the toys sold in the UK during the original releases? If so there’s the bare shadow of a case. But I suspect the answer to both is ‘no’, and so there isn’t even that.

  15. @Sophie Jane: the issue (as I see it from the outside) is that the gaze is way of reducing anyone (especially a strong character?) from a person capable of action to someone who’s there to satisfy others, in a way that makes some readers (e.g. me) wonder how competent the character really is. There are also at least one moment where he directly contradicts a female character’s power (rather like (e.g.) the end of Friday (as discussed here recently) and other RAH characterizations) by having them go “Eek!” at some threat and jump into the nearest man’s arms. I would guess it was necessary for marketing, if I didn’t have counter-examples from that period (Leigh Brackett, C. L. Moore, the Brunner I cited recently) of characters that don’t make such concessions to male readers.
    It’s at least partly a matter of taste; e.g., I read the novel version of The Witches of Karres and liked it even if it did throw in a lot of entities — it was covering a lot of ground. OTOH, the alleged sequel was a disgrace.

  16. @Chip – that was in one of the Trigger Argee novels, and it was very much out of character for her. (It still jars me.) Most of his have aged pretty well, though, for stuff that old. (I like Agent of Vega and the Tuvela AKA Demon Breed.) Even the bad guys are competent, in his stories.

  17. Yeah I missed The Magic Carpet which certainly is genre. Good catch David!

    I’m adjusting this week to the latest med prescribed by Jenner which is CBD. Yeah that one. It’s given to cancer patients to counter their nausea and make them more hungry so the theory was it’d do the same for me but so far, no it didn’t. My head trauma is really, really stubborn. We’ve got our weekly meeting tomorrow so we’ll discuss this and other matters I’m sure.

    I’m ingesting some fifteen meds currently. Far too many for my comfort.

  18. @Cat
    My sis has 12 meds. (Not head trauma.) I have a lot of sympathy. (I only have seven.)

  19. P J Evans says to me My sis has 12 meds. (Not head trauma.) I have a lot of sympathy. (I only have seven.)

    I actually resisted taking one med, an anti-nausea drug, simply because it was an addition me. I ended up adding because there was no choice in the end. Jenner usually adjusts these pretty every week which in itself is scary. And now the two brain trauma therapists are deeply interested in knowing what I’m taking for meds. And one wanted to see my BP readings that I keep for Jenner…

    There’s not a lot of privacy associated with this…

  20. @P J Evans: The Trigger Argee novel. (She was in a number of shorts, but only one novel.) And yeah, that scene bugged me even when I was young and not quite so aware of such things. Totally out of character. But aside from that, it was one of my very favorite things by Schmitz. I actually re-read it fairly recently, and, while it had suffered a bit from age, I still mostly enjoyed it.

  21. @ Jeff R. amazon.co.uk carries both lightsabers and lightsabres so it seems like the term is being used. In any case insisting on a standard spelling for the things sounds like something the Evil Empire would do.

  22. @Xtifr
    Yes – as I said, his work seems to hold up better than that of some other (bigger name) writers. cough Heinlein Asimov Clarke cough

  23. P J Evans: cough Heinlein Asimov Clarke cough

    That’s a nasty hac you’ve got. Here’s a cough drop and an Ann Leckie novel. ● 📖

  24. @JeffR

    ‘lightsabre’ rather than ‘lightsaber’ bothers me

    Bear in mind that the OED is produced in Oxford, England; British spellings are appropriate there, particularly in a press-release list that summarizes recent activity.

    The actual entry in the OED is “lightsabre | lightsaber n. [freq band 3] Brit. lightsaber#_gb_1 /[pronunciation symbols]/, U.S. lightsaber#_us_2 /[pronunciation symbols]/
    Forms: 19– lightsaber, 19– lightsabre.”
    And the entry contains quotes (“citations”, as they call them) using the word including “lightsaber” (first quote, from Lucas’s 1975 script), “lightsabre”, “light sabre,” and “light saber”, so general usage (which is what guides the OED) is not consistent.

    So they did a pretty fair job with the entry.

  25. Cat: In your case clearly your doctors are tracking all your meds and making absolutely sure they are all needed, your situation being nearly unique in all the wrong ways (Still rooting for you!)

    For others, though, I do know that sometimes it really helps a person to lay out all the medication they are taking in front of their doctor(s), especially if some were prescribed by unrelated specialists, and examine the whole picture. This has caused some people I know to cut a third or a half or their total medications in one fell swoop (Or in a few cases, in one fell slow-weaning-off-a-drug-which-causes-issues-if-done-cold-turkey)

  26. Every appointment with my primary care physician includes a complete review of everything I’m on, whether or not he prescribes it. That and getting them all from the same pharmacy are major protections against over-prescribing and drug interactions.

    Though, yeah, Cat may be feeling a little over-watched right now!

  27. Lenora Rose says Cat: In your case clearly your doctors are tracking all your meds and making absolutely sure they are all needed, your situation being nearly unique in all the wrong ways (Still rooting for you!)

    Jenner, my Nurse Practitioner, who I’ve been seeing for a decade and who I now see weekly adjusts my meds weekly based on my BP and pulse readings that I take three times daily plus notes on my headache and such that I provide on an continual basis.

    Other than my osteopathic manipulation therapists, the only physicians I see are specialists of one sort or another, say neurologists. I strongly think that NPs are far better at primary care than they are.

  28. Lis Carey says
    Every appointment with my primary care physician includes a complete review of everything I’m on, whether or not he prescribes it. That and getting them all from the same pharmacy are major protections against over-prescribing and drug interactions.

    Though, yeah, Cat may be feeling a little over-watched right now!

    My pharmacy is several hundred feet from I see Jenner as it’s at Martins Point too. All their services are on one floor in one building. Very convenient. It took the Pharmacy several months to really get used to Jenner’s constant adjustment of meds as that meant they had to give a new dosage of a given med even if they’d just filled at a different dosage, or an empty container with different instruction on it,

    And I discovered I’m taking THC, not CBD as I thought. That’s my newest med. it’s done wonders for my headache, thought not for my appetite yet. So she doubled the dosage today. And thus I got an empty container with update instructions on it.

    And yes I do feel overwatched at times.

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