Pixel Scroll 12/16/16 Pixel Bell Rock

(1) DUCKTALES. As a kid I loved my father’s Donald Duck imitation. He was so funny. That memory immediately came to mind when I read David Tennant will voice Scrooge McDuck in the reboot of Disney DuckTales. I can’t stop imagining Tennant doing my father’s duck accent. Admittedly, Tennant’s character doesn’t sound like Donald, even so, will the voice of the deadly serious Tenth Doctor really be transformed into the dialect of a Scottish billionaire duck?  ScienceFiction.com has the story.

To announce the cast for the highly-anticipated reboot, Disney XD released a video of the all-new stars singing the original series’ theme song. Headlining the quack pack for the upcoming globe-trotting adventures is ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Jessica Jones’ star David Tennant, who will no doubt bring his particular Scottish burr to Uncle Scrooge. He’ll be joined by ‘Powerless’ and ‘Community’ star Danny Pudi, ‘Parks and Recreation’ favorite Ben Schwartz, and ‘Saturday Night Live’ staple Bobby Moynihan as the voices of mischief-making Huey, Dewey and Louie, respectively. The cast will be rounded out by Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack, Toks Olagundoye as Mrs. Beakley, and Kate Micucci as Webby Vanderquack. But to get in on the fun that is that unforgettable theme song, check out the video below of the cast participating in a ‘DuckTales’ sing-along:

 

(2)LICENSED TROUT. My good friend, who chooses to be identified as “Kilgore Trout” for purposes of this news item, is organizing a convention, and like good conrunners should he is licensing the music they’ll be using. But Kilgore was bemused by the aggressive terms of the ASCAP agreement —

I note their list of potentially infringing uses:

Please note that your organization is responsible for any music used at the event, including music used by exhibitors, speakers or music provided overhead by the facility in your meeting/event rooms.  

Examples of reportable music uses:

Live music (bands, soloist,pianist, harpist, etc), Disc Jockeys, karaoke, Guitar Hero or mechanical music (Internet streaming or downloaded music, CD’s, Records, Radio, iPod music,DVD’s, Videos, background music provided by the hotel or facility)

Music during the receptions & closing ceremonies

Lead in & exit music

Music used during meetings, PowerPoint presentations

Pro-speakers using music at part of their speeches, whether live or

mechanical

CD players,iPod, Music via computers in booths or exhibits

Music utilized during awards banquets, event dinners and parties

Comedians and magicians using music or parodies of songs

Multiple or large screen TV’s used at events

Flash Mobs

Zumba, Yoga and group relaxation sessions using music

Event video/DVD streamed or archived on your event website

In particular, I want to highlight “flash mobs”, “large screen TVs”, and event video as reportable. I have asked for clarification, as surely they can’t mean the presence of TVs requires a license.

Also, note the requirement for a license if the hotel provides background music in the facility. (Isn’t that an issue between ASCAP and the hotel?)

(3) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE. WIRED rounded up all the grumpy, sneezy and dopey designers in town to “shove a lightsaber through the Death Star’s design”. Go ahead, click on it and reward their bad behavior….

Despite its reputation as a symbol of fear and oppression and its confounding vulnerability to proton torpedoes, the Death Star continues to be a subject of endless fascination—especially in the design world. In advance of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, a new book—Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual—lays bare the plans for the station that, presumably, get stolen by rebels, transmitted to Princess Leia, secreted in an R2 unit on board the Rand Ecliptic, and eventually made possible the Death Star’s destruction. Oh, sorry: spoilers.

Point is, the drawings of the planet-killing not-a-moon may look like gobbledygook to you, but to a trained designer, they’re fare game for criticism. And when WIRED asked a bunch of designers, architects, and other professionals for their assessments, most were not kind. That’s not just because of the Death Star’s evil connotations, but due to obvious design flaws. These include, among many other things, limited amenities for stormtroopers and other employees, defense vulnerabilities, severe aesthetic disappointments, and a real lack of creativity when it comes to disposal of waste heat.

Architect Cameron Sinclair, founder of Small Works, a firm that specializes in building solutions in post disaster zones and underserved communities, calls it “yet another techno-driven ego play by the Empire,” primarily blaming a lack of community engagement during the building’s conceptual phase. “If you look at the accommodation wings, there is little room for troopers and their families. No educational spaces, no decent public places and extremely limited access to fresh produce. (Seriously, vertical food farms have been around for generations.) All the communal spaces have been downsized due to an over emphasis on unproven technology.”

(4) LONG LIST EBOOK. David Steffen wants you to know that the Long List Volume 2 ebook was released this week. Hie thee hence!

(5) HINES BENEFIT AUCTION #18. The eighteenth of Jim C. Hines’ 24 Transgender Michigan Fundraiser auctions is for a TGM Fundraiser: Manuscript Critique from Jessica Reisman.

Attention authors: today’s auction is for the critique of a manuscript, up to novella length (39,999 words), from author Jessica Reisman. Reisman is the author of more than 25 published stories, several of which have been honorable mentions in various Year’s Best anthologies. She won the Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Award (SESFA) for her story “Threads.”

(6) A BUNDLE OF BRONZE. Captainco is offering a Forrest J Ackerman statue & Tales From The Acker-Mansion Bundle.

Celebrate Uncle Forry’s Centennial with a very limited faux bronze statue of Forrest J Ackerman by Dark Horse, accompanied by the Tales From The Acker-Mansion anthology. A perfect gift for any Monster Kid you know or the Monster Kid in yourself. A $300+ value for only $200!

statue-ackermansion-bundle_large

(7) MORE FAVES. Smash Dragons has picked its “Best of 2016”.

Well it’s that time of the year again. The festive season is in full swing here at the lair (no, I’m not drunk… yet), and I figured it was time I reflected on what has been an amazing year for genre fiction.

Looking back over the books I read in 2016 made me realise just how lucky I am to be a reader. I’ve witnessed the emergence of some stunning new talent this year, and I’ve rediscovered some old favourites along the way. To paraphrase George R R Martin, I’ve lived a thousand different lives over the past twelve months, and I’ve loved every single one of them! Choosing a top ten proved extremely difficult. I struggled to make my selections for a long time. However, after much deliberation and thought I managed to nut it out, and I’m pretty happy with the list I came up with. Most of the top ten have full reviews (those that don’t never fear, I will get to them soon), which I have provided links to if you’d like to check them out. I’ve also linked purchase information. It is the season of giving after all, and as a friend of mine pointed out when you buy a book you are buying two gifts essentially (one for the reader, and another for the author of the book you purchased). So be generous to those around you!

So without further ado, I give you my top ten best reads of 2016!

1 – The Fisherman by John Langan/Crow Shine by Alan Baxter

I cheated a little here, but I really couldn’t seperate the two. The Fisherman is a magnificent character- driven cosmic horror that crawled under my skin and refused to budge. Langan is a masterful storyteller, and The Fisherman is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read, period. You can buy The Fisherman here.

Crow Shine is also an incredible book that is filled to the brim with rich and powerful dark fiction. It is one of the best collections I’ve ever read, and Baxter is one of the best short fiction writers working in the world today. I loved this book so much I even forked out a lot of money to buy a signed limited edition copy of it! Highly recommended. Check out my full review here, and buy yourself a copy here.

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • December 16, 1901: Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published.
  • December 16, 1983 – Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison in The Keep, seen of the first time on this day.

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOYS

  • Born December 16, 1917 – Arthur C. Clarke
  • Born December 16, 1928 — Philip K. Dick

(10) THESE AREN’T THE CRITICS I’M LOOKING FOR. This NPR review makes Rogue One sound “meh”.

You won’t get more plot than that from me, because plot is the chief attraction in Rogue One. With Stormtroopers lurking ’round every intergalactic corner, director Gareth Edwards hasn’t much time for such other Star Warsian charms as character, grace, whimsy and, most of all, fun. He does like to linger over battles, although I can’t say their outcomes are ever much in doubt, the fears of a pessimistic droid (voiced indispensably by Alan Tudyk) notwithstanding.

We’ve been here before, and will doubtless go here again, probably with more imagination, and hopefully with more seeming to ride on the outcome. Rogue One is allegedly a standalone story, but it’s also a prequel, tied so tightly to the stories we’ve already heard that most 9-year-olds will be able to tell those nervous Nellies in the rebel alliance how it’s all going to come out, even before Jyn delivers the script’s flatfooted version of a St. Crispin’s Day speech.

(11) CURTAIN OF HISTORY DRAWN BACK. Another NPR review — “’Hidden Figures’ No More: Meet The Black Women Who Helped Send America To Space”.

Shetterly grew up in the 1960s in Hampton, Va., not far from NASA’s Langley Research Center. She’s African-American, and her father, extended family and neighbors were all scientists, physicists and engineers at NASA. But it wasn’t until about six years ago that she understood the magnitude of the work black women were doing there. She recently told NPR’s Michel Martin, “I knew that many of them worked at NASA. I didn’t know exactly what they did.”

Shetterly spent the next six years searching for more information. She researched archives and interviewed former and current NASA employees and family members. In her book, she details the journeys and personal lives of Langley’s star mathematicians, and recounts how women computers — both black and white — broke barriers in both science and society.

(12) PREDICTING THE PRESENT. The BBC tells “Why Children of Men has never been as shocking as it is now”.

Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian thriller is one of the 21st Century’s most acclaimed films – and its version of the future is now disturbingly familiar. Nicholas Barber looks back….

If the plot harks back to two classic fictions of the 1940s, Casablanca and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the setting is breathtakingly contemporary. Cuarón doesn’t use captions or speeches to explain what has happened to civilisation, but, judging by the old newspapers we glimpse, society has been rocked by climate change, pollution, nuclear accidents, social division, and terrorist bombings. Nevertheless, all of Britain’s troubles have been blamed on asylum seekers, who are locked in cages, and then bussed to hellish shanty towns. “Poor fugees,” says Theo’s hippy friend Jasper (Michael Caine). “After escaping the worst atrocities, and making it all the way to England, our government hunts them down like cockroaches.”

The blame game

Ring any bells? Mass migration was a major issue in 2006, so it’s not surprising that it should be so central to Children of Men. But, a decade ago, no one had predicted the Syrian refugee crisis, or that the US’s President-elect would propose registering Muslims, or that the UK would vote to leave the European Union after a campaign that focused on immigrant numbers. Today, it’s hard to watch the television news headlines in Children of Men without gasping at their prescience: “The Muslim community demands an end to the army’s occupation of mosques.” “The homeland security bill is ratified. After eight years, British borders will remain closed. The deportation of illegal immigrants will continue.” In 2006, all of this seemed plausible enough, but perhaps a little strident, a little over-the-top.

(13) CHECK YOUR PHONE. Here are “20 Extremely Real Texts From Superheroes” selected by Cracked.

Sometimes we like to take a break from writing words about superheroes to look at images of words written by superheroes. To show you what we mean here’s another installment from our friends over at Texts From Superheroes. Check out their website here.

(14) COVER LAUNCH. Orbit has unveiled the cover and title for N. K. Jemisin’s final Broken Earth book.

The highly lauded and award winning Broken Earth series by N. K. Jemisin comes to its remarkable conclusion in THE STONE SKY. The first book in the series won the Hugo award and was shortlisted for the Nebula, Audie, and Locus award, was the inaugural Wired.com book club pick, and was a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. The sequel, The Obelisk Gate, was chosen as one of NPR’s Best of the Year and one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2016.

THE STONE SKY, publishing in August 2017, closes out a trilogy that is haunting, beautiful, and surprisingly prescient. Our earth-shattering cover for the third book was designed by Wendy Chan.

jemisin_stonesky-tp

(15) FREE FANZINES. Bruce Gillespie has made three of his fanzines available for download as PDF files from eFanzines:

SF Commentary 92, July 2016. 70,000 words. Ray Sinclair-Wood’s ‘Poems of the Space Race’, Michael Bishop’s ‘Scalehunter: Lucius Shepard and the Dragon Griaule Sequence’ and ‘I Must Be Talking to My Friends’: a cat story, plus 80 correspondents. Cover art by Carol Kewley and Ditmar.

SF Commentary 93, December 2016. 60,000 words. First part of John Litchen’s ‘Fascinating Mars: 120 Years of Fiction About Mars’; Colin Steele’s ‘The Field’: the year’s SF and fantasy books; and two accounts of ‘My Life, Science Fiction, and Fanzines’ — Bruce Gillespie and James ‘Jocko’ Allen. Cover art by Ditmar and Elaine Cochrane.

Treasure 4, October 2016. 50,000 words. Mervyn Barrett’s tales of the Melbourne SF Club during the 1960s; Robert Lichtman’s pocket history of FAPA; four tributes to John Collins (from Robyn Whiteley, Bruce Gillespie, Don Collins, and Gail Reynolds); Jennifer Bryce’s ‘Travels in the UK, 2014 and 2015’; and Robert Day’s tales of another fandom — trainspotting around Britain and Europe. Plus many correspondents.

(16) RAGE. The New Inquiry has a transcript of a panel with Deji Bryce Olukotun, Maria Dahvana Headley, and Haris Durrani — “The Changing Faces of Sci-Fi and Fantasy”.

The trio discussed the limits of heroism, the politics of reality-building, and the whitewashing of publishing. The following is a transcript, edited for length, of their conversation.

DEJI BRYCE OLUKOTUN  When PEN approached me to help organize the event, I was in the middle of reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Black Panther comic books, which are super popular: they sell out every week. I felt real enthusiasm that a writer of color who was a National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow was tackling comic books, but at the same time, I wasn’t thrilled with some of his depictions of African themes and cultures.

Let me explain a little more what I mean. I was excited that Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has been a comic book fan his whole life, is tackling the genre, but I had critiques about his technique–some of the dialogue, some of the writing. I felt the dilemma that a lot of people feel if you are from a marginalized group. A lot of voices, especially black voices aren’t making it on the page with major publishers. Was I going to actually destroy opportunities if I spoke out against his work and said, “Well, I love this part of the story but I don’t like this part”?

(17) READING THE NIGHT AWAY. Not a new article, but seasonally appropriate! From NPR, “Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual ‘Christmas Book Flood’”.

In the United States, popular holiday gifts come and go from year to year. But in Iceland, the best Christmas gift is a book — and it has been that way for decades.

Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world, with five titles published for every 1,000 Icelanders. But what’s really unusual is the timing: Historically, a majority of books in Iceland are sold from late September to early November. It’s a national tradition, and it has a name: Jolabokaflod, or the “Christmas Book Flood.”…

What kind of books, exactly?

“Generally fiction and biographies would be the mainstays, although it varies a lot,” Bjarnason says. “Two years ago one of the surprise best-sellers was a pictorial overview of the history of tractors in Iceland.”

That book, And Then Came Ferguson, wasn’t the only unusual breakout success. Another, Summerland: The Deceased Describe Their Death And Reunions In The Afterlife, came out last year. The book, by Gudmundur Kristinsson, an author in his 80s who believes he can talk to the dead, sold out completely before Christmas 2010 — and sold out yet again after being reprinted in February 2011.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Andrew Porter, and David Steffen for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Redheadedfemme.]

68 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/16/16 Pixel Bell Rock

  1. 2)

    In particular, I want to highlight “flash mobs”, “large screen TVs”, and event video as reportable. I have asked for clarification, as surely they can’t mean the presence of TVs requires a license.

    ASCAP and BMI aren’t known for being subtle in their approach to collecting their danegeld.

    Also, note the requirement for a license if the hotel provides background music in the facility. (Isn’t that an issue between ASCAP and the hotel?)

    Nope, it’s the responsibility of the organisation renting a space or spaces to comply with ASCAP and BMI. When I lease a space for a musical event, I assume all responsibility for compiling with such matters.

    Think of it this way: When a person rents space for a cafe that will have music, it’s their responsibility for paying business license fees, needed insurances and so forth. ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN (yes there’s three music licensing organisation now) are just another cost of doing business.

  2. Not fifth.

    And as for 14, I really really really hope the Broken Earth isn’t “surprisingly prescient” in any way, shape, or form.

  3. [3] A thing can be fare for criticism, and it can be game for criticism, but I’m pretty sure it can’t be fare game for criticism.

    Pixel pages, pixel pages; lots of fun with Pixel pages…

  4. (14) That cover is gorgeous.

    And…available for preorder on Amazon! (Immediately does so)

  5. @Cat: but what if the hotel is running ~Muzak that you can’t turn off? The list sounds like ASCAP would hold the convention responsible, rather than the hotel.

  6. (13) I laughed a lot at the texts between Luke and Leia (I guess Jedi count as superheroes?) (oh hey my phone recognizes Jedi as a valid word. Good for you, phone), and #1 was quite relevant given the weather here the past few days. I’m with Diana.

  7. @Cat: but what if the hotel is running ~Muzak that you can’t turn off? The list sounds like ASCAP would hold the convention responsible, rather than the hotel.

    It’s been my understanding that they (ASCAP) basically don’t care–they just have to justify their existence (and payroll) so they’ll go after the weakest link. And probably try to collect from both.
    Notice the mention of ‘parodies of songs’ among other things–this has lawyer-speak all over it.
    I once worked at a small cafe where some ASCAP troll, er person, came in to try to hold the owner up for the radio we–the employees ourselves–played to pass the time. We had to remove it and made a point of telling every customer who asked why no music just why we had to remove it.

  8. Still here.

    I expect to survive the displacement, tomorrow, of a substantial portion of my posessions. I don’t promise not to be a wrung-out, limp rag tomorrow.

  9. (15) Thanks for the tip. I got copies of all three zines and am enjoying them. I would encourage others to do likewise — you never know when the prices are going to go back up.

  10. I think STAR WARS fans ought not to expect another film to impact with them in the same way that the Original film did.

    The Trolley Problem is an old thinking exercise. As in, would you sacrifice a pixel to save a scroll?

  11. Rotten Tomatoes has Rogue One at 84% fresh with critics and 90% with viewers. I’d say that’s not bad.

    Looks like we’re going to wait until after Christmas to go, between work and people away to see family we wouldn’t get a big turnout otherwise. So not reading reviews except those that are spoiler free.

  12. Off topic: Oh Great overlord Mike, Spammers seem to have discovered some of the older threads and have decided to add their unique contributions to our discussions. I got a bunch of notifications of updates to threads a few months all, with lovely ads for Cialis and more in the comments.

  13. Paul Weimer
    I saw those too, but on checking the Files, the ones I looked at were already gone, so I’m presuming the doggy in the window is scaring them away with one bark. Or something.

    YOU’LL BE SHOCKED AT HOW NEW LAW IN YOUR AREA MAKES DELICIOUS FAT-BURNING SCROLLS FROM THIS ONE WEIRD PIXEL

    (Apologies to Peer Sylvester for a vaguely similar pixel troll.)

  14. “…should a pixel persist for more than four hours, consult with your scroll…”

    …side effects include pixels, pixellation, scrolls, curled edges and, in extreme cases, death. Ask your medical provider…

  15. @ Cat Eldridge: Unless they’ve made some kind of cross-enforcement deal with US PROs, one should only have to worry about SOCAN at Canadian events. In the US, the third PRO is SESAC, and they can be pretty aggressive, since their big-dog client is a certain recent Nobel Laureate. (Also Neil Diamond, so watch out for those calls for “Sweet Caroline” at a song circle.)

    Harold Osler: That radio-in-a-cafe case might have been an example of ASCAP overreach, since that situation is covered by a set of rules that include size of venue and number of speakers. A single radio or TV back in the kitchen of a small restaurant ought to be license-free. But PRO reps are notorious for lying and bullying. On the other hand, when they’re proved right, they can really put your butt in a sling via the courts.

  16. Paul Weimer: I screen and delete a thousand spam comments a day. My display shows them in batches of 20 and, unfortunately, every few months I accidentally hit “approve” instead of “move to spam” and things get exciting for a few moments when they show up in comment threads. I usually notice that immediately and delete the comments. As you note, people who are subscribed to the target posts will receive notifications. Should anyone discover such comments are still live, please let me know.

    As soon as I post this I will run a search for “cialis” — though as we learned last year, that will also return every comment which contains the word “socialist”….

  17. @Mike: (soCIALISt)

    If your search function handles regular expressions, try telling it to search for this instead:

    [^o]cialis

    …which translates to “anything that’s not the letter “o”, followed by the name of a specific drug”. That should weed out the “socialist” and “socialism” hits.

  18. Russell Letson notes Unless they’ve made some kind of cross-enforcement deal with US PROs, one should only have to worry about SOCAN at Canadian events. In the US, the third PRO is SESAC, and they can be pretty aggressive, since their big-dog client is a certain recent Nobel Laureate. (Also Neil Diamond, so watch out for those calls for “Sweet Caroline” at a song circle.)

    SOCAN now represents a bunch of older, mostly passed on Americana artists whose music is widely covered by younger Bluegrass, Celtic and Old Timey musicians who you’ll find performing in smaller venues. SOCAN sends letters to said venues demanding payment for what their local representative heard being played there.

    Mind you they are bottom feeders but so are the other two in that they all go too far. And the venues tend to make it worse by ignoring the perfectly legal licensing letter they send out explaining what they do. Two venues here have been been hit with very large dunning letters for playing covered music. And closed down as a result.

  19. @Cat Eldridge: So SOCAN is operating in the US? I was under the impression that PROs were territorial–that is, European PROs don’t demand licenses from US venues for their European clients, who would register with one of the US PROs for coverage here. Are you sure you don’t mean SESAC?

    I’m not idly curious–a venue where I’ve played for many years (and which pays both ASCAP and BMI) was hassled by SESAC, whose rep refused to accept the owner’s position that he didn’t present any Dylan material. (He finally fought them to a standstill by having every artist at the concert series sign a form affirming that they did not perform SESAC-covered material–and a notification is in every artist’s contract.) I dread his having to deal with yet another PRO–particulalrly since he hosts a number of Canadian artists every year.

  20. @Cat Eldridge – I’ve no dog in this fight, but I suspect that the reasons for “going to far” is their fair and certain knowledge that they’re being “ripped off” a thousands times for every one they catch.

    And I’m sure its institutional…it sure would be nice if everyone using music for commercial purposes dropped a nickel in the jar.

    I don’t condone their overreach, but I’m pretty sure this is what it stems from.

  21. Russell Letson said: So SOCAN is operating in the US? I was under the impression that PROs were territorial–that is, European PROs don’t demand licenses from US venues for their European clients, who would register with one of the US PROs for coverage here. Are you sure you don’t mean SESAC?

    Yeah they are active in the US as they collect fees for Canadian artists regardless of where the music for a given artist is used. And lots of songwriting writing credits in the Americana and Folk fields are by Canadian artists, say Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. Doesn’t matter if it’s on YouTube or in your local coffee house, they’ll try to contact it.

    And I forgot SEASAC, so that makes four of the buggers.

  22. In historical news: today is the 113th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk.

    Can we get refunds on our tickets?

  23. @Jeff Jones–

    It is sort of dire. I’ve lost my house and need to be out by the end of the month. Currently everything is being packed. I will shortly have most of my possessions in storage, with only what I need for the next few weeks still here. I do have a place to go, that will take my dogs, too. So I’ll be safe. But, anyone want to buy an exercise machine?

  24. This was the apparently unavoidable result of a comment in the vast TCE thread the other day; since that one (finally) seems to have come to an end, I’m putting it here.

    Pacific Rim, Or A Vision on A Screen

    For robinareid, because it’s all her fault.**
    **Not actually her fault. I took laudanum a few liberties with meter, but then, so did Coleridge.

    In Pacific Rim did del Toro
    A desp’rate Shatterdome decree;
    The last defense ‘gainst humans’ foe,
    By airlift mighty Jaegers go
    Down to a Kaiju sea.

    So twice ten miles of city ground
    With walls and towers were girdled round:
    A bulwark to end the toll of Kaiju-kills.
    But here is where I must beg to disagree
    With those enthralled by Kaiju-punching thrills:
    This movie really didn’t work for me.

    Because oh! To me it doesn’t make any sense:
    Why must they rely on giant robot fists?
    We have missiles and nukes – mighty armaments!
    Why don’t you zip it? replies the audience.
    Can’t you see we’re all really enjoying this?

    So: from the portal, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
    As if this earth in CGI were breathing,
    Two mighty Kaiju sinuously emerge.
    Humanity’s end now looms on the verge:
    While critical Kaiju-lore has been acquired,
    A scientist’s bold risk that must be admired
    Has tragically caused a new scale of trouble:
    The Kaiju assault has literally doubled.
    The Kaiju-pair’s most cruel and murderous attack
    On crews Russian, Chinese and Australian –
    Impossibly fierce – through no human failing
    Leaves the noble Jaegers scattered like sea-wrack.
    To face the next peril from Kaiju-hell:
    Two half-teams, and two battered Jaeger shells.

    To seal the breach is the only throw:
    Chance so slight it’s all but lost.
    A hopeless trip to depths below?
    “No!” cries Stacker Pentecost:
    “I don’t care if it’s Kaiju five or six;
    “We are cancelling the apocalypse!”

    Once child-wounded Mako Mori
    As warrior does arise;
    And enter into brave company,
    To share the Drift with staunch Raleigh
    New-found friend and best ally.
    Chuck and Stacker clear the way
    By noble sacrifice;
    Gypsy Danger will the Kaiju slay,
    With thermonuclear device.
    Passage secured by Kaiju-skin,
    They face the peril of the breach;
    The Kaiju-masters wait within.
    Will dauntless heroes really win?
    Wait! They have a safety margin:
    Rescue by escape pod (one each).
    Compelled I’ll credit them with this:
    The story ends without a kiss.
    Mako Mori Test for the win.

  25. That exchange between Captain America and Ironman has to be one of the all time greatest political cartoons ever. Now let’s see one between Lando and Leia.

  26. @ Lis:

    That’s horrible, and I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    Small comfort, but it’s good that the place you’ve found will also take your dogs. At least you’ll still have their love and companionship in this rough time.

  27. @Philly & Dawn, thanks. Today has been a rough day, but Dora is on my lap, and Abigail is on the chair nearby. I’m exhausted, but a lot of stuff is out of the house and on its way to storage.

  28. Lis, moving under any conditions is stressful. I can only imagine how tough this has to be. Sympathy and hope are offered.

  29. Ah, the Wright Brothers! The very subject of my favorite newspaper retraction of all time! Thirteen years ago, I found this in the Virginian-Pilot and saved it somewhere. When I couldn’t find it, I located it again online and saved it. I also sent it to the Smithsonian’s web page, because they had a teaching article that used the original newspaper account from the Pilot (or whatever the name was then). They thanked me and said it might be used in a revised version of the lesson. Haven’t heard back on it, though!

    Anyway, it’s a great retraction. Very thorough.

  30. Rev. Bob on December 17, 2016 at 11:06 am said:
    If your search function handles regular expressions, try telling it to search for this instead:
    [^o]cialis

    …which translates to “anything that’s not the letter “o”, followed by the name of a specific drug”. That should weed out the “socialist” and “socialism” hits.

    The search function might requite more speCIALISt modification…

Comments are closed.