Pixel Scroll 10/26/20 Strange Scrolls Lying In Ponds Distributing Pixels Is No Basis For A System Of Filing

(1) TITLE BOUT. Shelf Awareness publicized the release of the six-book shortlist for the 2020 Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. “Founded by Trevor Bounford and the late Bruce Robertson in 1978 ‘as a way to stave off boredom at the Frankfurt Book Fair,’ the Diagram Prize has had a home at the Bookseller and with legendary diarist Horace Bent since 1982.” The finalists are —

  • A Dog Pissing at the Edge of a Path by Gregory Forth
  • Introducing the Medieval Ass by Kathryn L Smithies
  • Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music by K.F.B. Fletcher and Osman Umurhan
  • How to Make Love to a Despot by Stephen D. Krasner
  • Lawnmowers: An Illus­trated History by Brian Radam
  • The Slaughter of Farmed Animals: Practical Ways to Enhance Animal Welfare by Temple Grandin and Michael Cockram

More details from the award hosts here: “The Bookseller announces the Diagram Prize 2020 shortlist”

The winning title will now be chosen by members of the public via an online vote. The public vote closes on Friday 20th November, with the winning entry to be announced on Friday 27th November. There is no prize for the winning author or publisher, but traditionally a passable bottle of claret is given to the nominator of the winning entry. If a title wins that was nominated by The Bookseller staff, the claret will be given at random to a member of the public who participated in the online voting. 

(2) FIYAH FOUNDER Q&A. The latest episode of The Imagination Desk, a podcast from the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, is live now, featuring an interview with speculative fiction author Troy L. Wiggins, who is also one of the founders of FIYAH Literary Magazine. Listen in here.

The next episode will be with science fiction author and researcher Regina Kanyu Wang.

Here is the CSI newsletter on Black Speculative Fiction Month activities, which features this podcast, among other things. And here are direct links to the podcast, on the CSI website (which links out to the other services), Apple PodcastsSpotifyRadioPublic, and Libsyn

(3) ROCKY HORROR LIVE FUNDRAISER. This invitation was sent in Tim Curry’s name for a Rocky Horror Live virtual event to aid the Wisconsin Democratic party.

Right now, we can almost see blue skies through the tears… of the Trump presidency, of course. But we absolutely must keep the pressure on!

That’s why we’re doing the Rocky Horror Show — LIVE — this Halloween night — to help get out the vote in Wisconsin. RSVP and reserve your spot today!

This is a live, once-in-a-lifetime musical livestream event, featuring cast members both old and new. There will be singing, dancing, laughs and plenty of fun.

Chip in any amount to join us for the Rocky Horror Show Livestream on Halloween with Tim Curry, Wilmer Valderrama, Lance Bass, Rosario Dawson, Jason George, Nell Campbell, Seth Green, Jason Alexander, David Arquette, and more!

Featuring musical performances by The Dresden Dolls, Miss Peppermint, Eiza Gonzalez, Josh Gad, Ben Barnes, Jenna Ushkowitz, Rachel Bloom, Karen Olivo, Marissa Jaret Winkour, Madison Uphoff, Kalen Chase, and Rumer Willis.

This event is only going to be livestreamed once at 9pm CT on Saturday, October 31st.

(4) SANS CLUE. LitHub confirms, “We Have Edgar Allan Poe to Thank for the Detective Story”.

…These are the similarities between the Dupin stories and Sherlock Holmes, and there are many. One writer said that “The only difference between Dupin and Holmes is the English Channel.” Similarity number one: in both stories we have at the heart a highly intelligent but somewhat eccentric and enigmatic detective. The word detective did not actually exist when Poe was writing, which gives you a sense of how novel he was. He might have taken the idea from a series of magazine articles about a French policeman. Otherwise, he was on his own. This was all his….

(5) MAD, YOU KNOW. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] In “Our Culture’s Ongoing, Ever-Evolving Fascination With ‘The Mad Scientist’” on CrimeReads, sf novelist Jane Gilmartin explains why “mad scientists” remain popular characters in sf.

… Examples of the mad scientist/evil genius in everything from comic books to classics spring to mind without even breaking a sweat: Dr. No of James Bond fame, whose experiments with atomic energy cost him his hands as well as his conscience; Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, whose unquenchable thirst for knowledge drove him to a deal with the devil; Dr. Henry Wu, who fooled around with genetics and opened a questionable theme park in Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, and, my personal favorite, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll, whose work brought to the surface his baser self as Mr. Hyde.

It is the last example, I think, that speaks most clearly to our fears. Scientists are people like the rest of us—multi-faceted, unpredictable and (for the most part) human. Like all of us humans, there’s always that slim chance that they’re going to turn to the proverbial dark side, especially when they get a taste of power….

(6) MEDIA ANNIVERSARY.

  • 2000 — Twenty years ago at Chicon 2000, the Hugo for Best Novella went to Connie Willis for “The Winds of Marble Arch”, a precursor to her Blackout/All Clear novel which would win the Best Hugo Novel eleven years later at Renovation. Runner-ups were Harry Turtledove‘s “Forty, Counting Down”, Adam-Troy Castro and Jerry Oltion‘s “The Astronaut from Wyoming”, Mike Resnick‘s “Hunting the Snark” and Kage Baker‘s “Son, Observe the Time”. It can be found in The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, the Subterranean Press collection, which is available from the usual digital suspects. 

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born October 26, 1942 —  Bob Hoskins. I’ll insist his role as Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is his finest genre role though I suppose Mario Mario in Super Mario Bros. could be said… Just kidding! He’s the Director of The Raggedy Rawney which he also had a role, a strange might-be genre film, and he’s Smee in Hook as well. (Died 2014.) (CE)
  • Born October 26, 1945 – Jane Chance, Ph.D., D.Litt., 75.  Mellon Distinguished Professor emerita at Rice; first woman appointed to tenure track in English; founder president of the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages; doctorate of letters, Purdue.  For us, six books on Tolkien; a score of others, a hundred articles.  [JH]
  • Born October 26, 1951 – Melanie Herz, 69.  Hardworking Florida fan.  Many regionals and Worldcons; chaired Traveling Fête 1996, Tropicon 21, OASIS 6. When we’ve been on the same con committee, and particularly when we were on the same DUFF (Down Under Fan Fund) ballot, we tried to make sure our mail didn’t get crossed.  Still wasn’t as bad as when I had an office down the hall from a man named Heitz.  [JH]
  • Born October 26, 1954 Jennifer Roberson, 66. Writer of of fantasy and historical romances. The Chronicles of the Cheysuli is her fantasy series about shapeshifters and their society, and the Sword-Dancer Saga is the desert based adventure series of sort, but the series I’ve enjoyed is her Sherwood duo-logy that consists of Lady of the Forest and Lady of Sherwood which tells the Robin Hood tale from the perspective of Marian. Her hobby, which consumes much of her time, is breeding and showing Cardigan Welsh Corgis. (CE)
  • Born October 26, 1960 Patrick Breen, 60. He’s Redgick, a Squid,  a minor character that appeared in Men in Black. In beloved Galaxy Quest, he’s Quellek, a Thermian who forms a bond with Alexander Dane. it’s a wonderful role. And he has a recurring role as Larry Your-Waiter, a member of V.F.D. on A Series of Unfortunate Events series. (CE) 
  • Born October 26, 1960 – David LaRochelle, 60.  A score of children’s books, many with fantasy elements.  Also an amazing astounding stellar thrilling pumpkin carver; see here.  [JH]
  • Born October 26, 1962 Cary Elwes, 58. He’s in the ever-so-excellent Princess Bride as Westley / Dread Pirate Roberts / The Man in Black. He also shows up in Dr. Lawrence Gordon in the Saw franchise, and was cast as Larry Kline, Mayor of Hawkins, for the third season of Stranger Things. (CE) 
  • Born October 26, 1969 – Mary Ting, 51.  A score of novels; taught a score of years, toured with the Magic Johnson Foundation.  Makes Twilight-themed jewelry.  Besides husband, children, has two dogs Mochi and Mocha.  [JH]
  • Born October 26, 1971 Anthony Rapp, 49. Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets on the most Discovery series . His first role ever was Wes Hansen in Sky High, and he showed up early in his career as Jeff Glaser in the “Detour” episode of X-Files. He was Seymour Krelbourn in a national tour of Little Shop of Horrors. (CE) 
  • Born October 26, 1972 – Zetta Elliott, Ph.D., 48.  Five novels, seven shorter stories for us; poetry; essays; plays; children’s illustrated books under her Rosetta Press.  “I write as much for parents as I do for their children because sometimes adults need the simple instruction a picture book can provide.” [JH]
  • Born October 26, 1973 Seth MacFarlane, 47. Ok, I confess that I tried watching the Orville which he created and is in and it just didn’t appeal to me. For those of you who are fans, why do you like it? I’ll must admit that having it described as trying to be a better Trek ain’t helping. (CE)
  • Born October 26, 1975 – David Walton, 45.  Author and engineer.  Seven novels, a dozen shorter stories.  Baen Memorial Award, Campbell Memorial Award, Philip K. Dick Award.  Plays chess and go.  “Science fiction can show us the viewpoints of people whose lives and experiences are so far away from ours that … our minds are stretched and our vision is expanded.”  [JH]

(8) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro finds law enforcement pondering why no pumpkin is safe!
  • Yesterday’s Bizarro recalls that time Sesame Street fought for its independence. (Just when was that, anyway?)
  • Jonathan Muroya’s Greek Quarantology shows how all your favorite mythical figures are dealing with life during COVID-19.
  • After you take a look at this Wulffmorgenthaler cartoon for Denmark’s Politiken you’ll want a translation for the dialog (courtesy of Lise Andreasen):

“The death star is flat.”

“Actually, some of us believe, the death star is flat. That being round business is a conspiracy.”

(9) PIRANESI. Camestros Felapton promises substantial spoilers: “Review: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (substantial spoilers)”. See, what did I tell you?

This was a charming, thoughtful, often whimsical story full of a deep horror that at times wholly unnerved me. I’ll be discussing many key plot points and revelations….

(10) THE DOOM FROM THE SUN. [Item by Olav Rokne.] In a quirky bit of science news, astronomers recorded a large solar flare that happened to look like a prop from an old science fiction TV show… “NASA satellites capture massive ‘Doomsday machine’ solar flare”.

From the article: “The image of the explosion was described by some as the stuff of science fiction, specifically the Doomsday machine from Star Trek. Fortunately, the CME did not hit Earth.”

(11) SILENT GOLD. Leonard Maltin has a roundup of silent film releases — “Rare Silent Films On Blu-Ray And DVD”. One of them is the rediscovered 1916 version of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.  The poster for this movie is very cool.

It’s not a typo: Universal produced a feature-length version of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in 1916, and the new DVD/Blu-ray release is a 4K transfer of the surviving material. Luckily for us, silent film historian Anthony Slide delivers a highly informative commentary track that tracks the careers of underwater-photography specialists Ernest and George Williamson. Indeed, it is their work that makes this release so intriguing, not the hackneyed mishmash of Verne’s famous story and The Mysterious Island. Alan Holubar, then a prominent actor about to turn director, and Jane Gail star. The music score is credited to Orlando Perez Rosso.

(12) SOL SEARCHING. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] A new way has been found to determine which stars are likely to host weird planetary systems and those stars likely to have planetary systems more like our own Solar system.

The following will appear in next season’s SF² Concatenation but they’ve shared it with File 770 now…

How many Solar system type planetary systems are there in our spiral arm? We may soon be finding out from new research.  Some planetary systems around stars are very unlike our Solar system. For example, they will have what are called hot Jupiters with a gas giant close to their star in an orbit similar to that of Mercury about our sun, rather than beyond the asteroid belt where Jupiter is in our system.

It had been thought that the type of planetary system that forms is determined by the star’s protoplanetary disk of gas and dust.  While this may be so, there is also another factor at play – whether the star formed in comparative isolation or along with loads of others in a stellar nursery.

Up to now it has been impossible to address this question as stars disperse (as the Galaxy rotates, spiral arms oscillate, local stellar conditions etc) from when they were born within a billion years of their formation.  However, ESA’s Gaia star mapping has helped British and German astronomers to determine that whether or not a star is born in a stellar nursery or more isolated by itself, is key to the type of planetary system it will host.

You see the Gaia probe not only maps stars positions, it does it so accurately that after a few years and the star is re-mapped, it is possible to discern its movement, velocity and direction.  What the researchers have found is that they can correlate those stars that seem to be moving more or less parallel to, and with a similar velocity, to other stars. These stars can be assumed to have a common birthplace in a stellar nursery. Other stars that have no movement correlation with others, can be assumed to have been born in comparative isolation. With this in mind, the astronomers looked at 600 stars Gaia had mapped.

What the astronomers found was that systems with hot Jupiters tend to be formed in crowded stellar nurseries, while those with gas giants further from their star almost invariably saw the star’s birth in comparative isolation: there were few such systems with hot Jupiters – a hot Jupiter system was roughly ten times more likely in a star born in a stellar nursery.

As the researchers themselves point out, their discovery has “possible implications for planetary habitability and the likelihood of life in the Universe” questions.  (See Winter, A. J., Kruijssen, J. M. D., Longmore S. N & Chevance, M. (2020) Stellar clustering shapes the architecture of planetary systemsNaturevol. 586, p528-532.)

Planetary systems around stars born in stellar nurseries less likely to have Solar System type planetary arrangement, but will be more likely to have hot Jupiters.

(13) MANDO MERCH. “This RC Baby Yoda Waddles Around Your House Like a 50-Year-Old Toddler” io9 writes that like it’s a bad thing!

…Available this fall for $60, the Star Wars: The Mandalorian the Child “Real Moves Plush” stands 11 inches tall, so it’s slightly smaller than the animatronic figure used in the series. Mattel still managed to stuff it full of electronics, including authentic sound effects and motors to bring it to life.

The Child’s head can turn from side to side, and look up and down while it’s giant ears wiggle, and all the mechanisms are hidden under a flexible outer skin, which makes sense when you say it, but out of context feels like a horrifying thing to say about a baby. His tiny, snuggly robes can also be further adorned with an included Mythosaur skull pendant, like the one gifted to him by Din Djarin at the end of the first season.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, JJ, Olav Rokne, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, John Hertz, Michael Toman, Joey Eschrich, Lise Andreasen, Jeff Smith, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day JJ.]

44 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/26/20 Strange Scrolls Lying In Ponds Distributing Pixels Is No Basis For A System Of Filing

  1. (1) I vaguely recall that The Stainless Steel Rat for President was nominated for this prize (though apparently it did not win).

  2. Re (1): The title “Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music” actually makes a certain amount of sense to me. Deep Purple was one of the early heavy-metal bands, and conservatory-trained keyboardist Jon Lord frequently inserted passages from Beethoven and other composers into the songs he wrote or arranged.

  3. (9) I had a back-up plan to that review which was to recount the whole of the plot of the book using the theme tune to Spongebob Squarepants:
    “Whoooo lives in a big house over the sea?
    Pi-ra-nay-see”
    but I couldn’t come up with the next line and it felt a bit too direspectful even though the central character does have a Spongebobyness about them (in a good way).

    I also forgot to say that I listened to the audiobook version which was read by Chiwetel Ejiofor who was also quite brilliant.

  4. (10) I have to say that a huge solar flare headed straight for Earth would have been a pretty unsurprising addition to the way things have been going in 2020! The fact that it’s going to miss us almost makes me question my faith in Murphy!

  5. 4) [Sherlock Holmes] observed, “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. That trick of his of breaking in on his friends’ thoughts with an apropos remark after a quarter of an hour’s silence is really very showy and superficial. He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was by no means such a phenomenon as Poe appeared to imagine.”
    — “A Study in Scarlet”

  6. Andrew (not Werdna)

    (7) Anthony Rapp was in a different Sky High….random 1990 “Sky High” movie..link removed by me.. than I was thinking of ..link removed by me.. Disney 2005 “Sky High”

    I was thinking the same actually and missed the birth year of 1970, which would have made him 35 years old oif he debuted in the Disney ” Sky High” movie , which i have watched multiple times because of my then teenage nephews always watching it. (A young Danielle Panabaker of tv’s CW Flash series appears in it, which i think was mentioned in her birthday scroll.)

  7. (7) Bob Hoskins starred in the original BBC version of Dennis Potter’s Pennies From Heaven, which contains many fantasy sequences but — like Potter’s later serial The Singing Detective — is at most borderline genre.

  8. @ Jeanne – and Spinal Tap hilariously skewers rock guitarists who use classical melodies in their solos. And then there’s Yngwie Malmsteen who practically invented the neo -classical sub genre. But I assume the phrase ‘classical antiquity’ refers to Ancient Greece and Rome.

  9. Thinking about it, Deep Purple’s Richie Blackmore also like to use a lot more classical-style melodies than his more blues-based contemporaries.

  10. 11) Not that rediscovered. I have a videotape of this that was commercially released in 1991.

    2) Whenever I see what appears to be an acronym starting with FI…, I can’t help but try to interpret it as “Fandom is…”. So FIYAH must be “Fandom is yet another hobby”.

  11. 1: There’s a description at the link which should be definite: “US-based academics Fletcher and Umurhan edit a collection that looks at the close connection between the ancient Greek and Roman world and heavy metal. It is the “first attempt to break new ground by marrying Classics with metal music studies,” noted the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, to the astonishment of no one. ”

    The ancients don’t have as many mentions in the genre as some of the more obvious topics (“Tolkien”), but that doesn’t mean they’re not there. Just off the top of my head, Virgin Steele had an entire three album release based on the Oresteia, Blind Guardian has ‘And Then Where Was Silence’, Iron Maiden’s ‘Alexander the Great’ (some dude that was rightly jealous of Diogenes).

  12. David Shallcrossm says Whenever I see what appears to be an acronym starting with FI…, I can’t help but try to interpret it as “Fandom is…”. So FIYAH must be “Fandom is yet another hobby”.

    It’s slang for fire. You can see that by looking at their logo which depicts a flame. Oddly enough that’s the way fire is pronounced in Downeast Maine by the older residents who were born there.

    Now playing: Jay Ungar & Molly Mason’s “The Farmer’s Set”

  13. It isn’t just slang for fire. It’s also how people from the Deep South say “fire” normally–it’s how Jim Morrison sang “fire.” He grew up in Florida, and retained his accent all his life. He certainly displayed it well when I saw him live in Phoenix in 1968.

  14. The discussion of classical melodies in heavy metal reminded me of the quasi-reversal of this idea in Langdon Jones’ “Biographical Note on Ludwig Van Beethoven II” (in Best SF Stories from New Worlds 5; thanks, isfdb), wherein musical examples are given that I can’t reproduce here; one theme in a Beethoven II piece turns out to be the french-horn interlude in the Beatles’ “For No One” (among other sly quotations).

  15. Jeanne (Sourdough) Jackson says It isn’t just slang for fire. It’s also how people from the Deep South say “fire” normally–it’s how Jim Morrison sang “fire.” He grew up in Florida, and retained his accent all his life. He certainly displayed it well when I saw him live in Phoenix in 1968.

    You’re right. I should’ve said said that it’s one way of pronouncing that word. My bad.

    Cat who’s freshly showered as the home health aide was just here. Getting in and and out of a bathtub with that knee without someone to help just doesn’t occur.

    Now listening to: Elizabeth Bear’s In The House of Aryaman: A Lonely Signal Burns

  16. @Jeanne (Sourdough)

    It’s also how people from the Deep South say “fire” normally–

    Well, it’s how some people from the Deep South say it. There are multiple southern accents. My family from SE Tennessee says it “far”. As in my uncle, who played with matches as a child, and was forever known as “farbug”. (“Firebug”).

  17. @Bill

    I know there are lots of variations in those places. My Aunt Betty Lou, a Texan, once told me her husband was “retard.” She meant “retired,” Uncle Buddy was not feeble-minded.

  18. When my aunt moved to Texas from the East Coast, she asked a neighbor for a recipe, and was quite befuddled by the instruction to start by “balling” some water.

  19. I was rereading “Ten Thousand Doors of January” recently and was wondering if we are intended to think that Wnahnel Fpnyyre’f erbcravat bs inevbhf Qbbef yrq gb gur qrfgehpgvba bs Rzcverf ol pnhfvat JJV naq JJVV?

  20. @Andrew
    I remember being befuddled, shortly after moving to west Texas, when I was asked for my “nyme”.

  21. @Cat
    Collected the mail this morning and found the expected paperwork for my next quarterly appt with the chemo people, and also a lab request for the port removal, which will be sometime in the next week, because PTT test. So that labwork is done, even if it was a special trip to the lab. (Dropped my ballot off two weeks ago, so it’s in and verified, and I don’t have to deal with it.)

  22. @bill —

    Well, it’s how some people from the Deep South say it. There are multiple southern accents. My family from SE Tennessee says it “far”.

    Just to pick a nit — TN is not “Deep South”. It’s mid-South.

    Also — That makes at least four 770ers from TN. Sounds like your family was close to Chip (Chattanooga). I grew up in Nashville, though I wasn’t born there. I bet I’ve spent more time in TN than either of you, though — about 45 years total.

    But as for Southern accents varying — absolutely true, and sometimes they can vary significantly within a very small area. We used to make fun of Belle Meade accents (the old money part of Nashville), which were noticeably different from the the poor side of town. A Belle Meade resident would have said “fiyah”, because one of their distinguishing features was to cram as many syllables as possible into any word. We used to joke about how they’d say “Stahwuh Wahwuhs”. 😉

    (And just to throw in another anecdote — when I was in third grade in Nashville, we were learning syllables. My teacher, in front of the class, told me I was wrong when I said the word “lion” had two syllables. The correct way to pronounce it, of course, was “laahn”. And that’s how I learned to question authority. ;-D )

  23. P J Evans says to me Collected the mail this morning and found the expected paperwork for my next quarterly appt with the chemo people, and also a lab request for the port removal, which will be sometime in the next week, because PTT test. So that labwork is done, even if it was a special trip to the lab. (Dropped my ballot off two weeks ago, so it’s in and verified, and I don’t have to deal with it.)

    Good luck on that. I had a neurological follow-up for the black-outs that was scheduled tentatively scheduled as an in-office visit in early November that I just requested be done via Zoom.

    My ballot was posted two weeks ago and the state website confirmed it was accepted. It looks like eighty percent of Mainers are likely to cast an absentee ballot this time.

  24. @Contrarius — Geographically, you are correct. But I’d say that attitude-wise, Tennessee is closer to the Deep South than Texas. Texas is at least as much West as it is South.

    Sounds like your family was close to Chip (Chattanooga).

    Mom was from Whitwell, as were her parents and grandparents. Her dad was a coal miner, killed when she was a child when a cart got loose underground and crashed into him. Whitwell is less than 20 miles from Chattanooga as the crow flies, but Walden’s Ridge/Signal Mountain is between them, and for someone of Mom’s socioeconomic status in the 1940s/1950s, Chattanooga was another world.
    Dad was from Bedford County (grew up in Murfreesboro), as were his people (farmers). His earliest memory was riding with his dad with a wagon load of corn to the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg.
    I grew up in Nashville, went to college in Knoxville, and moved to Huntsville AL in 1985 when I graduated. But I’ve been back to Nashville at least 10 times a year since then. And practically speaking, there is not much difference between North Alabama and Middle Tennessee.

    But as for Southern accents varying — absolutely true, and sometimes they can vary significantly within a very small area. We used to make fun of Belle Meade accents

    From high school to late twenties, Dad worked for Kroger in various stores around the area. He had a pretty good ear, and in the early sixties (back before Nashville decided it wanted to be Atlanta or Austin and so many people moved in), he could talk to a customer for a few minutes and usually could tell what neighborhood in Nashville they were from. (To tickle memories of years and people gone by, Dick Fulton once bounced a check on him).

    (Is it too personal to ask where you went to high school? Myself, McGavock, class of 1980.)

  25. (1) The Slaughter of Farmed Animals: Practical Ways to Enhance Animal Welfare by Temple Grandin and Michael Cockram doesn’t strike me as a particularly strange title, either. Temple Grandin is well known for her writings on animal welfare. (There was even an HBO movie about her starring Claire Danes a few years back.)

  26. @bill —

    Damn, Bill, we even graduated the same year. We probably crossed paths at the Green Hills Mall or somewhere without realizing it!

    You will know exactly how to pigeonhole me when I tell you what school I went to — University School of Nashville/Peabody Demonstration School, from second grade through high school graduation. Then Vanderbilt. Then UTK. Then work for a few years. Then UTK again. ;-D

    And Texas isn’t South, no matter what anyone says. It’s West!

  27. Texas is so big that it is both South and West (and may have a New England section too for all I know).

  28. Texas is South and Southwest. (West is coastal.) Also Texas is weird. (Dang, I miss real DQs. In CA, you can’t get “Dudes” (chicken-fried steak in a bun), just cold stuff.)

  29. @PJ —

    Texas is South and Southwest. (West is coastal.)

    I’ll give you Southwest. But West isn’t just coastal — Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico are all West too!

  30. @Jeanne (Sourdough) Jackson

    @Bill–Your dad sounds like he was a regular ‘Enry ‘Iggins.

    Nothing so grand. And he would have had sense enough not to keep Audrey Hepburn at arm’s length for so long.

    @Contrarius
    University School? You wouldn’t have happend to have been on their Quiz Bowl team, would you? If so, we would have met 40 years ago. I remember playing against y’all in the city tournament and in scrimmage.
    And I was at UTK from 1980-1985. Lived in Hess, N. Carrick and Reese.

    And FWIW, I worked at the Great Escape (comic book/record store) a couple blocks (20th Ave and Broadway) away from University School during high school years. Maybe I sold you something. In fact, I found out two years ago that SF writer Allen Steele and I knew each other in passing from there, way back when. He was a regular customer.

  31. @Contrarius – I’m actually a Tennessean by birth, born in Oak Ridge, so I come by my glowing personality naturally. My parents were from Indiana and Ohio; they tried to keep us from picking up the local accent too heavily. We moved away shortly before I turned 9.

  32. @ Contrarius – I had a similar learning experience when my teacher corrected my spelling of ‘laser’ to ‘laser’.

  33. Cliff: I had a similar learning experience when my teacher corrected my spelling of ‘laser’ to ‘laser’.

    Is… this a trick question? Invisible font? Invisible characters? 🤨

  34. @Bill —

    And FWIW, I worked at the Great Escape (comic book/record store) a couple blocks (20th Ave and Broadway)

    Ha! You may well have sold me something, but you almost definitely sold my brother something. If you happen to remember a 6’9″ giant in your store at any point, that was him. It was one of his frequent haunts.

    No quiz bowl, though, sorry. I don’t remember who was on that team when I was there!

    But I didn’t get to UTK til ’85, so I missed you there. And I never lived on campus — I was in a house at the very western edge of Fort Sanders. I stayed in that house from ’85 through 2008, with a five year break in the middle when I was living in Utah. I still miss the hills and greenness of East TN!

    @Anne — Another Tennessean! You probably already know that Katherine Addison/Sarah Monette is from Oak Ridge. I drove to OR every week for several years, for Oak Ridge Kennel Club training sessions. 🙂

  35. @Cat
    They’ve scheduled it for Monday after next (I have to be there by 7am), and next week there will be a virus test – they’ll be calling me about that.

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