Pixel Scroll 12/12/18 I Can’t Compile ‘Cause I Owe My Scroll To The Company File!

(1) FREQUENT FLYER. For me, it’s either Field of Dreams or Patton.

(2) FIXING A HOLE WHERE THE SPACE GETS IN. “Cosmonauts Slice Spacecraft For Clues To Cause Of Mysterious Hole” — a Giphy clip of them at work accompanies the NPR post.

It was all part of an attempt Tuesday to solve the mystery of the leaking International Space Station.

“The cosmonauts spent hours using knives and what looked like garden shears to cut away at the insulation around the spacecraft’s orbital module, to peek at the damaged area,” NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel reported. “All along, mission control in Moscow pleaded with them to take it slow so they wouldn’t make the situation worse.”

(3) ABOUT THAT SPACE SUIT. What if the ISS damage is sabotage? Matthew Reardon explains “The Space Law of Sabotage on the ISS” to readers of the SFWA Blog. (Why would the law in space be any clearer than the law on earth?) 

…The first thing we can hope is that there haven’t been criminal acts, sabotage or other, committed on the ISS. Because the relevant space law is a bit of a mess currently, and without any precedent, it could turn into a muddle that would hinder our expansion into space for a long time.

The first thing to point out is that the ISS isn’t a single legal entity. Under the Intergovernmental Agreement signed by the fourteen countries participating in the ISS, each State’s laws remain applicable in the elements it registers. Therefore, in criminal matters, even though the Agreement clearly states that each State’s laws regulate the activities of its nationals on the ISS, each individual piece of the ISS is ruled by different penal law depending on the country that provided that piece.

Theoretically, U.S. criminal law is applicable inside the Destiny lab module (which still raises the question of which U.S. States’ criminal law, but at least that’s a question that can be resolved internally to the U.S.), Russian criminal law in the Zvezda module, Japanese law in the Kibomodule, and so on.

(4) THE KITE FLYERS. David Rooney finds plenty to praise — “‘Mary Poppins Returns’: Film Review” at The Hollywood Reporter.

Belated Hollywood sequels have sunk more often than soared in recent years, but Disney shrugs off those odds with Mary Poppins Returns, an enchanting movie musical that picks up the threads of the studio’s cherished original more than half a century after its 1964 release. Sticking close to the enduring classic’s template while injecting plenty of freshness to give the follow-up its own distinct repro vitality, this lovingly crafted production delivers both nostalgia and novelty. Ideally cast from top to toe, and graced by tuneful songs from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman that genuflect to the invaluable contributions of the Sherman Brothers on Mary Poppins, this is a charmer only cynics could resist.

(5) ACROSS THE CON SPECTRUM. Michael Lee answers the question at TwinCities Geek: “Just What Is This Convention, Anyway? A Guide to Different Types of Cons”.

What follows is an explanation of some of the terms used among convention attendees and convention runners to describe the most common types of conventions. One of the goals I have in this article is to focus on terms that don’t also have value judgments. In my experience, there are good and bad examples of almost every type of convention, and everyone’s taste in conventions is slightly different. Hopefully, this will help you narrow down what types of conventions you might like to attend!

Here are the first couple entries in his catalog —

Anime Con

Anime conventions are centered around Japanese animation and related subjects. One of the big things to keep in mind with anime conventionsis that they come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and some are organized by nonprofits while others are for profit. In the Twin Cities, we have fan-run anime conventions like Anime Detour and Anime Fusion. There are a number of large ones around the country, like A Cen (Anime Central) and Anime Expo.

Bidded Convention

Less often seen in the Twin Cities, bidded conventions move around a region, country, or all over the world. Either a previous convention’s membership or a board of directors chooses the location and committee leadership of an upcoming con. The premier example of a bidded convention is the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), but other examples include the World Fantasy Convention, the NASFIC (the North American Science Fiction Convention), Gaylaxicon, and Costume-Con.

(6) MILES MORALES SWINGSBA CK INTO FRAME. Marvel reintroduces the character:

Just as he is making his big-screen debut in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Miles Morales is swinging back into the pages of Marvel Comics in an all-new debut with MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #1! Written by Eisner Award winner Saladin Ahmed (Exiles) with art by celebrated Marvel Young Gun Javier Garrón (Ant-Man & The Wasp) and a cover by Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), Miles’ latest adventure brings Miles back to Brooklyn basics… but things definitely aren’t simple when a simple robbery is complicated with a big Spidey-Villain and an even bigger mystery!

“It’s very much intended for folks who might not know the character or might not even have read a Spider-Man comic, and for them to be able to access what’s universal and what’s immediately appealing about this character and about the Marvel Universe,” said Ahmed.

(7) GERNSBACK VIDEO. A Twitter video clip of Sam Moskowitz and Hugo Gernsback from a 1965 BBC Horizon documentary about the relationship between SF and science. First time I’ve seen any video of Gernsback.

(8) CURIOSITY TO EXPLORE STRANGE NEW WORLDS. rcade calls this “Some of the best File 770 reader microtargeting I’ve ever seen.” — “2019 StarTrek TNG Cats Wall Calendar” — “…the Enterprise-D’s adventures (only with cats) …”

When there’s a Red Alert on this bridge, everybody lands on their feet. If you’re a fan of the Star Trek Cats series by Jenny Parks, you need this 2019 calendar. If you’re not, allow us to explain. Parks has created a hilarious new take on ST:TNG characters and scenes by illustrating the characters as cats. Star Trek plus cats. What could be better?

(9) FOR SOMEONE ON YOUR GIFT LIST. Just what message you’ll be sending is up to you! Here’s an alarming concept — “Fiji Mermaid Tiny Skeleton Deluxe Miniature Model Kit With Glass Display Dome and Assembly Tools Box Set – Paper Sculpture”.

The Fiji Mermaid Deluxe Kit includes everything you need to successfully assemble the tiny skeleton model for display. Each kit comes with the pre-cut Fiji Mermaid bones, 59mm borosilicate glass display dome, exhibit base, glue, tweezers, and a magnifier.

Tinysaur Kits assemble into tiny skeletons from a postage stamp sized laser cut pattern. Assembly generally takes 20-30 minutes and the completed Fiji Mermaid models stand roughly 1 inch tall.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born December 12, 1946Josepha Sherman. Writer and folklorist who was a Compton Crook Award winner for The Shining Falcon which was based on the Russian fairy tale The Feather of Finist the Falcon. She was a prolific writer both on her own and with other writers such as Mercedes Lackey with whom she wrote A Cast of Corbies, and two Buffyverse novels with Laura Anne Gilman. 
  • I knew her personally as a folklorist first and that is she was without peer writing such works as Rachel the Clever: And Other Jewish Folktales and Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts: The Subversive Folklore of Childhood  that she wrote with T K F Weisskopf.  Neat lady who died far too soon. Let me leave you with an essay she wrote on Winter for Green Man twenty years ago, “Josepha Sherman’s Winter Queen Speech” (Died 2012.)
  • Born December 12, 1949 Bill Nighy, 69. He’s got a very, very long genre association staring with being an unnamed ENT physician in Curse of the Pink Panther. He was Martin Barton in The Phantom of the Opera, Edward Gardner in Fairy Tale: A True Story, Viktor In Underworld and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Philip in Shaun of the Dead, an hilarious Slartibartfast in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a quite unrecognisable as him Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Rufus Scrimgeour In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1… I’m stopping right before this get really long. Fortunately his television genre credits may be limited to an uncredited appearance in the “Vincent and the Doctor” episode of Dr. Who as Dr. Black.
  • Born December 12, 1965 Toni Weisskopf, 53. Editor and the publisher of Baen Books In 2015, Weisskopf was nominated for a Hugo Award.
  • Born December 12, 1970Mädchen Amick, 48. TwinPeaks: Fire Walk with Me was not actually her first genre role as she played a Young Anya on Star Trek:The Next Generation a year or a so earlier. She’s shapeshifter on the rebooted Fantasy Island and yet another shapeshifter, a black cat this time, on Witches of East End. Typecasting I think. 
  • Born December 12, 1970Jennifer Connelly, 48. First genre was as Sarah Williams in Labyrinth. Later appearances in our community include as Jenny Blake in The Rocketeer a film I love, Emma Murdoch / Annan in  Dark City, Betsy Ross in the 2003 Hulk, Helen Benson in the 2008 remake of the 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still and no, it’s not anywhere as good as the original, Roxane in Inkheart, Virginia Gamely in Winter’s Tales based on the novel of the same name that I never finished, and a voice-only appearance only as Karen in Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Born December 12, 1975 Mayim Bialik, 43. Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, PhD on the Big Bang Theory series which I’m not sure is genre but is certainly genre friendly. Appearance in other genre undertakings as the Pumpkinhead horror film, The Real Adventures of Jonny QuestStan Lee’s Mighty 7 and The Adventures of Hyperman
  • Born December 12, 1976 Tim Pratt, 42. I think his best work was his very first novel which was The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl but there’s no doubt that later work such as The Constantine AfflictionBone Shop and The Stormglass Protocol are equally superb. That’s not to overlook his short fiction which you’ve not tried it you should and I’d recommend Little Gods as a good place to start. 

(11) THE WHAT-DID-THEY-DO-TO-THAT-FOOD CHANNEL. I’d watch this. (Maybe I shouldn’t admit it.)

(12) 2001. On December 20, Chicago’s Adler Planetarium will be showing 2001: A Space Odyssey followed by a discussion of the film by astronomer Mark Hammergren and SF critic Gary Wolfe: “Adler After Dark: Space Odyssey”.

  • Join astronomer Mark Hammergren and sci-fi editor, critic, and biographer Gary Wolfe in a spirited discussion on the impact 2001 had on film-making and its role in “blowing our minds” during the Apollo era
  • Try your hand at stopping the devious HAL 9000 from taking over the event in a museum-wide scavenger hunt
  • Learn more about film-making techniques, ranging from sound design to stop-motion animation
  • Checkout rarely-seen items from the museum’s collection—like paintings from renowned space artist Chesley Bonestell—whose work directly influenced Kubrick’s vision of the Moon in 1968
  • And don’t miss a special improv show where we’ll explore the future as imagined inyour fav sci-fi films!

(13) EDUCATIONAL POP-UPS. “Before they were relegated to the domain of children, books with movable mechanisms explained anatomy, astronomy, and more to adults.” — “When Pop-Up Books Taught Popular Science” in The Atlantic.

One of the most successful popular astronomy books of the 16th century was Peter Apian’s Cosmographia, a work that went through almost 40 editions in Latin, Dutch, French, and Spanish. Apian included five different volvelles in the book. One of these volvelles demonstrates the relationship between the moon and the sun and the phases of the moon.

The volvelle consists of two paper wheels connected with a small piece of string to a printed circle. The topmost wheel has a circular hole, revealing the lower wheel beneath. Both wheels can be rotated freely in either direction. The top wheel of the volvelle has an indicator with the moon on it. Spinning this wheel represents the moon’s west-to-east monthly circuit around the Earth. The lower wheel has an indicator with the sun on it. Spinning this wheel represents the sun’s yearly west-to-east motion. When the reader moves the two wheels, the phases of the moon appear in the hole cut out of the top wheel.

(14) VISIT FROM THE CREATOR. William F. Nolan posed beside the poster for the Logan’s Run movie while visiting the Pasadena Museum’s sff exhibit earlier this year.

(15) CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD.Print’s Don Vaughan interviews storyboard artist Mark Bristol in “Storyboarding: Drawing from Script to Screen”.

“Every production is different,” Bristol says. “The process is usually the same, but how the storyboards are utilized depends on the director and their own process.” Chris McQuarrie, the director of Mission: Impossible–Fallout, tends to rely heavily on storyboards, Bristol notes, whereas Terrence Malick, with whom Bristol worked on The Thin Red Line and Tree of Life, is more of an “in the moment” director for whom storyboards are merely a suggestion.

(16) BEREZIN OBIT. “Word processor pioneer Evelyn Berezin dies aged 93” – BBC has the story.

The woman who created and sold what many recognise as the world’s first word processor has died aged 93.

Evelyn Berezin called the device the Data Secretary when, in 1971, her company Redactron launched the product.

She grew Redactron from nine employees to close to 500 and was named one of theUS’s top leaders by BusinessWeek magazine in the year she sold it, 1976.

(17) NAMING CONVENTIONS. Poul Anderson loved alien names with apostrophes stuck in the middle – and he may have used up the genre’s quota in the process. At least, I think that’s what Sarah A. Hoyt is warning against in “Words and the Lonely Writer, part 5 – Made Up Languages” at Mad Genius Club.

….Why do apostrophes make the baby Jesus cry? Because while perfectly acceptable as a marking they were a) overused by early sf/f writers so those of us who’ve read deeply into the field roll our eyes to the back of our heads when we see them.  b)because they’re not THAT common in English, particularly not mid-word.  So when I see R’neker’vir I pause for a couple of seconds.  This can be enough to break the spell.  Sure, your writing can overcome it, but why make it more difficult?  Do you have so many readers you need to cut down some?

Okay, so you aren’t a linguist, and you’re not as weird as the rest of us, and you’ve never made up a language.  BUT your new world absolutely needs it.

Start small. First, if you’re doing weird names, decide what the parts of the name mean and whether they bear on the society or the hierarchy or just on your species.

For instance, a species born from eggs (external, laid eggs, smarty pants) might have a lot of names with egg or shell or whatever.  One that’s incredibly hierarchical might build in things that mean “second son of the lowest sweeper.”

After that consider your society.  Is there some feature so weird, so outlandish you feel the need to emphasize it with a made up word?

(18) WHAT ABOUT THE REST OFTHE STORY? ScreenRant did not end the season a fully satisfied customer: “Elseworlds:7 Unanswered Questions After This Year’s Arrowverse Crossover”.

While Elseworlds ended in a suitably epic fashion, this final chapter did raise a number of issues. Along with some continuity problems and questions about the science involved in the final battle, there are a few Easter Eggs to consider along with some major questions of events to come in the Arrowverse. Here are six questions to consider in the wake of Elseworlds‘ conclusion….

(19) BENNU NEWS. This asteroid was rode hard and put away wet: “NASAmakes amazing discovery on asteroid Bennu”. It sometimes seems like every astronomical body we study closely ends up having more water than expected. Bennu is the latest to join that crowd: (“OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Asteroid Bennu”).

Scientists have made a fascinating discovery on asteroid Bennu thanks to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Recently analyzed data from the probe has identified water locked inside the asteroid’s clay, the space agency has announced. The spacecraft’s two spectrometers revealed the presence of “hydroxyls,” which are molecules containing oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together.

(20) CRISIS FOR SANTA’S SLEIGH? It’s looking bad: “Climate change: Arctic reindeer numbers crash by half”.

The population of wild reindeer, or caribou, in the Arctic has crashed by more than half in the last two decades.

A new report on the impact of climate change in the Arctic revealed that numbers fell from almost 5 million to around 2.1 million animals.

The report was released at the American Geophysical Research Union meeting.

It revealed how weather patterns and vegetation changes are making the Arctic tundra a much less hospitable place for reindeer.

(21) SOME LIKE IT HOT. On the other hand, chickens find the climate quite salubrious: “‘Planet of the chickens’: How the bird took over the world”.

A study of chicken bones dug up at London archaeological sites shows how the bird we know today has altered beyond recognition from its ancestors.

With around 23 billion chickens on the planet at any one time, the bird is a symbol of the way we are shaping the environment, say scientists.

Evolution usually takes place over a timescale of millions of years, but the chicken has changed much more rapidly.

The rise of the supermarket chicken mirrors the decline in wild birds.

“The sheer number of chickens is an order of magnitude higher than any other bird species that’s alive today,” said Dr Carys Bennett, a geologist at the University of Leicester, who led the study

“You could say we are living in the planet of the chickens.”

(22) FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE. You would have predicted this — “Why emojis mean different things in different cultures” — but some of the variations are surprising.

…Equally, in China, the angel emoji, which int he West can denote innocence or having performed a good deed, is used a sign for death, and may be perceived as threatening.

Similarly, the applause emojis are used in the West to show praise or offer congratulations. In China, however, this is a symbol for making love, perhaps due to its resemblance to the sounds “pah pah pah”…

(23) SIR-PRISE. Meanwhie, back at the patriarchy — “Films with female stars earn more at the box office”.

If you liked Wonder Woman and Moana in part because they were films led by strong female characters, then it looks like you weren’t alone.

Conventional wisdom in Hollywood is that male stars are a bigger box office draw, often the reason given for their higher salaries.

But that may have been a miscalculation according to new analysis, showing films with female leads earn more.

Researchers looked at the top 350 grossing films between 2014 and 2017.

The correlation was true irrespective of how big the production budget was: films where female stars had top billing, made more money than those with male stars.

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Michael O’Donnell, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, John A Arkansawyer, Steven H Silver, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]

68 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/12/18 I Can’t Compile ‘Cause I Owe My Scroll To The Company File!

  1. @1: for me it would be something ancient; I haunted a rep house that ran 3 old double bills a week back when I had no social life (and a theater could make money doing that, because there were no VCRs or cable and a VTR cost about 1/4 the price of a not-too-small car). Philadelphia Story? Duck Soup? If you’re limiting it to vaguely current films, SW 4: A New Hope is the only thing I saw more than twice, and one of the very few I saw more than once.

    @3: Interesting, but IIRC irrelevant as the damage is to a Soyuz transport capsule rather than a part of the ISS (not even the Soyuz emergency-evac capsule). Or does it matter which module the portal at which this Soyuz is docked is part of? AFAIK ships and planes are subject to local law when docked, but I don’t see an explanation of whether that was included in the agreement. NB: there’s a link in the story to a YouTube of the work, near the end of almost 4 hours of video of the spacewalk.

    @5: I don’t think “bidded” is word, and whatever-word-it-should-be is orthogonal to most of his other definitions. I suppose this would be useful to a tyro IFF it had an explanation that the cons themselves don’t apply these terms reliably.

  2. 1) The original Star Wars — I saw it 10 or 11 times in first release. I even got my grandfather to sneak into a sold-out show with me. That’s grandparently devotion for you!

    21)”A study of chicken bones dug up at London archaeological sites shows how the bird we know today has altered beyond recognition from its ancestors.”

    What a ludicrous thing for them to say. The domesticated chicken’s wild ancestors, jungle fowl, are still quite recognizable as ancestors. No “beyond recognition” about it.

    I have a flock of chickens myself. At one point I probably had 200, but right now I “only” have about 30, plus a dozen ducks. They are both pretty addictive.

    22) Interesting article. Not something I would have considered!

  3. 1). Repetition in theaters:

    ~30 times: 2001. Starting with a Cinerama screening in 1969, then continuing every year or two for the rest of the 20th century. I lost exact count around #25, and theater screenings are less common in the home video era. Alas, the 50th anniversary screening, with the Detroit Symphony performing the classical tunes live, sold out before I knew about it.

    Bonus points for screenings which preserve the intermission. The pacing relies on it.

    9 times: Ghostbusters. I was having a crummy summer that year and the movie became a weekly tonic.

    If campus film groups in auditoriums count: about 7 for Rules of the Game (1939) by Jean Renoir, the son of the impressionist painter. Not genre but it still leaves my jaw hanging open.

  4. 1) I believe I saw Phantom Menace 13 times in the theater (combination of being relatively young but gainfully employed with disposable income & free time, and making very poor life decisions).

    10) Toni Weisskopf is 53, not 63 (as someone born just a few years later than her, seeing that higher age did shock & disturb me).

    17) I’ll accept the occasional apostrophe if I’m reasonably confident that there’s some kind of linguistic underpinning beneath it. So, for example, in M.A.R. Barker’s Tekumel, I’ll accept Mu’ugalavyá as the name of a nation because I know that there’s an actual reason for the apostrophe; whereas when I see something on the shelf called Wit’ch Fire, all of my alarms start going off.

  5. (1) The film I saw the most times (four) during its original run was Back to the Future in 1985, whereas the highest total over many years would have to be 2001, first in Cinerama in 1968 when I was 11, and then wherever it was showing for years thereafter. The most recent was at AFI Silver Theatre (Silver Spring, MD) a few years ago. Still have never seen it other than in a theater; I have a disc but it’s unopened.

    (14) I hope Nolan is smiling because he was well-paid for the Logan’s Run movie rights and not because he liked the adaptation. Saw that one in a theater, too (1976) and, having read the book, was vastly disappointed. Someone should make a film of his Space for Hire.

  6. @ Andrew – winter song SF? Let’s not forget Herbert’s Yule Messiah.

    1) I hardly ever see the same movie twice in a theater. The only two I can think of were both recent: Coco and Blade Runner 2049.

  7. The movie I saw most in the theater was probably Aliens; I saw it three times on the big screen. Not much of a repeat offender, me.

  8. 1) A swedish film called “Att angöra en brygga” (Docking the Boat). I’ve seen it around 12 times in the cinema and perhaps 8 times more on video. It is one of the most swedish films ever made, so swedish that I doubt you can find it anywhere else. It is all about a swedish crayfish party out in the archipelago where the booze is on the boat, but the crayfish ashore and no one knows how to dock the boat.

  9. Joe H. says Toni Weisskopf is 53, not 63 (as someone born just a few years later than her, seeing that higher age did shock & disturb me).

    Did OGH fix this overnight? I’m seeing 53 this morning. And my notes say that’s what I sent in.

  10. (1)

    I’ve never seen a movie more than once at the cinema, due to a combination of not really liking going to the cinema and being generally against watching things repeatedly.

    I did make an exception for Spirited Away on DVD because it’s so good, so I’ve seen that twice.

  11. Re: Scroll Title. I do like the Joe Vs the Volcano version of the song. I really need to rewatch the film…

    1) Hmmm. As I have said elsewhere, I didn’t see a movie in a theater until 1983, when I was twelve. I wasn’t big for a long time on rewatching films in a theater, there’s always too much ELSE to see.

    Thinking back, though, it may be a strange choice–THE OTHERS. I saw it alone, and then a friend wanted to see it, so I saw it with them. And then my mother and father oddly wanted to see it, so I saw it with them. So that’s three, which isn’t that crazy but it was the first time I had seen a movie more than once in a theater.

    Since then, I have also seen Inception and Return of the King three times in theaters.

    Thanks to a looping, repeating glitch the first time through, the scene I’ve seen most in a theater is the flythrough of the Star Destroyer in The Force Awakens. The movie kept crashing not long after it, and going back to just before it. I also saw the movie, unspoiled, later, so I saw the scene in a theater 6 or 7 times.

  12. 1) I’m not much of a movie-goer. I’m pretty sure the only movie I’ve seen in theaters (as opposed to junior high gymnasiums) three times is Nashville.

    10) I met Josepha Sherman once, for about five minutes. That changed my life dramatically for the better without directly affecting me. Quite a trick! I owe her a lot.

  13. @Cat — I think it must’ve been corrected? Because I’m also seeing 53 now. Either that or I’m suffering the ravages of age and was misreading the number last night.

  14. (1) Raiders of the Lost Ark, uncounted times, for a prosaic reason. One hot summer in the central Sacramento Valley, with temperatures starting around 90°F and sometimes peaking above 110°F, I had no air conditioning at my house, and was working as assistant manager at a comic/games store at a local mall in the late afternoon/evening. The multiplex in that mall had Raiders on a $1 admission and never bothered to kick people out, so I’d go in early, pay my $1, and spend much of the day in air-conditioned comfort. The “uncounted times” was because I often would just fall asleep in the back of the theater. I don’t think I was the only one paying $1 to keep from broiling. As long as I woke up in time to go do my shift in the store, I was good to go.

  15. The university in the town I grew up in allowed student groups to raise money by showing older films in lecture halls in the evening. Between watching the films in High School and showing the films in college I think Harold and Maude may be the one I’ve seen the most. (Though absolute top honor goes to Zarabanda, a soap opera made for beginning Spanish language classes. I showed that darned thing three times a week for years and also took the class.)

    That or The Rocky Horror Picture Showin an actual cinema.

  16. Joe H. Says @Cat — I think it must’ve been corrected? Because I’m also seeing 53 now. Either that or I’m suffering the ravages of age and was misreading the number last night.

    Usually he notes when he corrects it and since JJ is no longer checking these for me I’m trying to be extra careful about such things as my post-head injury brain has quite some trouble with numbers, ie paying my UNITIL natural gas over the phone can take a long time as I keep transposing the numbers and bus schedules are quite beyond my ken now which is how I got to spend two extra hours enjoying LL Bean and Freeport in general one afternoon.

  17. (16): From the New York Times obituary for her, these sentences:

    “Evelyn and her brothers, Sidney and Nelson, grew up in an apartment under elevated tracks in the East Bronx. In her bedroom, she read science fiction in Astounding Stories magazine as subway trains roared past endlessly.”

    (5) Bidded. A word which I do not think exists…

  18. 3) I thought the sabotage was done on the ground before launch? So Earth law should apply.

    11) The burrito maker should be the burrito eater, its only fair.

  19. This may be tongue-in-cheek (or maybe even a lizard-like tongue-licking-eyeball):

    5: So how come us greaybeards aren’t allowed to cry “cultural appropriation” when we see stuff like this but are instead accused of “gatekeeping” when we try to point out that this is wrong, or at least confused and that if you want to explain stuff, you should at least get some of the history/facts/whatevers right?

    SF Fandom is a culture: in times past it was too tiny for most to recognize that, now it’s so big it’s suffering from the blind men encounter an elephant problem.

  20. I’ll accept apostrophes that are believable as elisions (dragonrider names do not count). I welcome apostrophes that transcribe glottal stops. I stand up and cheer for apostrophes that indicate ejective consonants.

  21. I don’t think that I’ve seen a movie more than 3 times in the theater, and that many probably a couple of times–I’m thinking ET and ROTJ.

    BTW, is Swingsba CK related to Louis CK?

  22. I do like to re-watch movies but I rarely do it during their original run, just because I’m disorganized and there are other things to see. The most reliable exceptions in the last few years have been Star Wars movies. That’s not because I’m super crazy about them (I like them) but because for all of the new ones except Solo, my wife and I saw them in San Francisco shortly before visiting my in-laws near Bloomington, Illinois. Bloomington, for some reason, happens to contain one of the few U.S. venues for the “4DX” movie theater gimmick: seats that move around, blow air on you, etc. 4DX is totally ridiculous but it happens to be pretty good for movies that have a lot of spaceships flying around— and it helps if you’ve already seen the movie so you don’t have to worry about missing something due to being flung around by your chair. So this has become a family thing.

  23. 1) I saw Star Wars: A New Hope probably a dozen times or more in the theater, when it first came out. Some of those times was sitting through the movie three times in a row because the ushers didn’t kick us out…

    I was a young teenager, the theater was second-run and therefore cheap, and I loved that movie. (And this was before VCRs, so there was no expectation of being able to buy the movie and watch it at home…)

  24. steve davidson: when we try to point out that this is wrong, or at least confused and that if you want to explain stuff, you should at least get some of the history/facts/whatevers right?

    So which parts are wrong, and why?

  25. Cat Eldridge: Did OGH fix this overnight? I’m seeing 53 this morning. And my notes say that’s what I sent in.

    What you sent me didn’t have a numerical age. It had the birth year. Since I need to include the age for non-dead people, I managed to cleverly inject the mistake on my own.

  26. Camestros Felapton: Nominations for the third annual Dragon Awards are open.

    Hard to say. The site accepted my entry. But all the related pages haven’t been updated from last year’s info.

    ETA: The system sent me an email acknowledgement. So that part looks like it’s working.

  27. (17) Every time you have an alien word with an extraneous apostrophe, cut-and-replace it with a heavy metal umlaut. Problem solved!

  28. (1) Seven Samurai probably. Oddly, I don’t own a DVD (or VHS tape) of that movie. That might contribute to why I’ve seen it in the theater so often. I’d hate to think of how much time I’ve spent watching it and movies based on its storyline.

    I do remember when seeing Star Wars in the theater four times seemed like a lot.

  29. 1) Either Star Wars (it wasn’t “A New Hope” yet back then) or Rocky Horror. This helped by:
    a) Star Wars played continuously as a first-run film at a theater in the Portland area for 76 weeks, setting a record for the longest first-run of a film. So, until the end of 1978, an appropriate answer to “What do you want to do?” was “Let’s go see Star Wars again.”
    b) Rocky Horror has been playing at the Clinton Theater here in Portland for more than 40 years (also setting all-time records). I’ve seen in other cities, also, but mostly at the Clinton.

    In this century, it’s The Incredibles, which I watched three times in the theater before the DVD came out. (I still watch every year or so, just not in the theater.)

  30. I’m pretty sure I saw An American Werewolf in London about six times during its theatrical run over here… I’m just a sucker for a good werewolf movie, I guess. Or was, at the time.

  31. @Camestros Felapton

    Nominations for the third annual Dragon Awards are open.

    Second third is the new second fifth!

  32. @Hampus Eckerman: is that the Swedish version of Three Men in a Boat?

    @bookworm1398: Russia is talking about the damage being sabotage, and certainly there are more ways it could happen on the ground, but AFAIK there is no conclusive evidence.

    @steve davidson: I’m sure you can find someone somewhere dim enough to say “gatekeeping!” in response to a fact check; fandom is always both better and worse than we can imagine. But I doubt they’d get any traction — especially since this collection of assertions could also be called gatekeeping….

    @Patrick Morris Miller: I’ll accept apostrophes that are believable as elisions (dragonrider names do not count). Why not? It’s made quite clear as far back as The White Dragon that male names are changed to mark someone’s impressing a dragon.

  33. I don’t see what is the problem with the worded “bidded.” It seems an admirably clear reference to the thing it is used to identify, and I’m quite sure I’ve encountered it before.

    I feel happily free of any need to worry about what the Dragon Awards are doing.

    My car is officially totaled. They’ll give me $1,000.00 for it, which, to be clear, seems to me quite a good payout for a car that, viewed through any lens than how much I value its long endurance, good service, and reliability for nearly 17 years, is a 17-year-old car with nearly 300,000 miles on it, of a make that ceased to exist almost ten years ago and for which replacement parts are not available, and consequently has a fair market value of $100.00 or less.

  34. @Chip: Because elision is supposed to be euphonious, and in my (admittedly waning[1]) memory, dragonrider names often aren’t.

    [1] Once upon a time I was a walking dictionary of Pern. Then I read All the Weyrs of Pern, promptly decided the setting had run its course and didn’t need thinking about any more, and apparently shoved it all into a mental archive. It’s cold and drafty in that subbasement and I think there may be grues.

  35. JJ: (still licking my eyeball….)

    well, for one thing, nowhere does it say “if you want an authentic convention experience, you need to attend a non-profit, bidding, fan-run convention”, nor does it say anywhere that “conventions” of all types (related to fan involvement of any kind) are descended from non-profit, “bidding”, fan-run conventions and the reason why there is a divide is because conventions are supposed to be non-commercial activities (parties for friends, rather than sucking dollars out of teen wallets) and, finally, nowhere does it state that the categories created do not align with the current understanding among folks who actually put these things on, or, horrors, might have actually read a history and, finally, finally, nowhere does it say that another divide among convention “types” is one set are intended to be participatory and the other set are intended to be receptive in nature, and if you ever want to have a hope of being a real fan, you need to attend conventions that are participatory so you’ll actually have an opportunity to work on the convention – and not as the unpaid slave of some corporation that’s ripping you and everyone else off.

    Now give me $25.00, I see some D-List actor sitting at a table and I want to get their autograph…..

  36. Clip Hitchcock:

    “is that the Swedish version of Three Men in a Boat?”

    More like a mix between National Lampoon’s Vacation and one of those tit-for-tat things with Stan and Laurey. Starting from a simple premiss from which everything escalates.

    We did a Three Men in A Boat for TV in 1972, but it was too low budget to work.

  37. @Steve Davidson:

    Most cons are neither for-profit nor bidded, by the definition quoted here. Many are run by the same organization every year (though not the same specific individuals), and you can get an “authentic” fan-run experience at those cons.

    Also, you don’t have to work on cons to be a “real” fan; print and online fandom are just as real (and fans were writing to each other even before they started having cons). I agree that participatory conventions are better–but I’m not going to tell someone they can’t be a real fan because they don’t have the resources (time, money, physical energy) to work on conventions, whether that’s for disability reasons or because they can’t afford the unpaid time off from work to volunteer.

    I’ve done a bunch of that volunteering, though not in the last few years; I think I’m still a real fan.

  38. (17) Many years ago I wrote a short jokey Babylon 5 “encyclopedia” which is still on a minor webpage of mine (that for many years was mostly found by people searching for information about the impossible Freecell game…) One entry read:

    Apostrophe Syndrome
    Infectious disease that all SF writers suffer from at some stage in their career. The most notable casualties on B5 are the Narn, although far too many of the lesser alien races have succumbed to the problem to a greater or lesser extent (I still feel slightly sorry for the Pak’ma’ra who obviously did something heinous in an earlier life, and, if they carry on the way they are, will soon become the P’ak’m’a’ra.)

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