Pixel Scroll 6/18/18 Nancy Pixel And The Scroll Of The Trademarked Cocky

(1) JEMISIN ON CNN. N.K. Jemisin is on episode 6 of W. Kamau Bell’s CNN program United Shades of America. In this episode he goes back to Mobile, Alabama, and brings her along for one of the segments.

(2) WRONG TURN. The bear and the maiden fair.

(3) DINO CHOW. Adweek supplies a new reason to burn a hole in your credit card: “These $25 Collector’s Edition Cereal Boxes Include Digital Screens Showing Jurassic World Video”.

Dinosaur-loving fans eagerly anticipate the arrival of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom this Friday, but now they can get in on the action a bit closer to home. Like … right at the breakfast table.

Kellogg’s has partnered with Universal Studios to develop limited-edition boxes of Keebler Fudge Stripes and Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes that come with a digital screen embedded into the box. Each screen airs an exclusive five-minute video of behind-the-scenes footage from the flick, showing fans how the dinosaurs are brought to life as well as additional special effects from the movie.

(4) THUNDER LIZARDS. The movie is already killing overseas: “China Box Office: ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Rampages to $112M Debut”.

Universal and Amblin have claimed Hollywood’s fourth-biggest opening ever in China.

Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opened with a roar at the Chinese box office over the weekend, earning $111.9 million.

It was Universal’s second-biggest debut ever in the market, behind only The Fate Of The Furious. The opening was also considerably better than the $99.2 million that the first Jurassic World film earned in its first full week in Chinese cinemas in 2015 (openings were tallied by the week rather than weekend back then).

The dino tentpole also pulled in $10 million from 520 Imax screens. Altogether it claimed over 75 percent of the weekend’s total ticket revenue in China.

(5) NEW CATEGORY PROPOSED. Nope, not the Hugos: “Some Survivors Of Category 5 Hurricane Irma Want A Category 6”.

Tom Krall lives on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the west end of the island, high on a ridge. That’s where he was in September when Hurricane Irma roared through.

“We had the full blast,” Krall says. “Twenty of the 30 houses in my neighborhood lost their roofs or worse.”

The National Hurricane Center says Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph when it hit the Virgin Islands with gusts of 200 mph or higher. They were the most powerful winds ever recorded in that part of the Caribbean.

In his more than 30 years on St. John, Krall has hunkered down for many hurricanes, including other Category 5 storms. He says Irma’s winds were dramatically worse than other hurricanes. He knows what winds are like at 150 mph.

(6) NEED MORE PITCHFORKS. NPR concludes “It’ll Take More Than A Few Angry Villagers To Kill Off ‘Frankenstein'”. And also discusses changes between original (1818) and the version most of us know (1831).

Frankenstein has been popular for two centuries because every era since has felt like the end times to those in it, so every era needs a story unafraid to discuss annihilation.

(7) DO YOU WANT TO BE CURED? WHO classification: “Gaming becomes the latest addiction”.

The World Health Organisation’s classification of gaming disorder as a condition which is capable of debilitating addiction is an important moment in the shifting relationship between technology and society.

Concern among parents about the impact of smartphones in particular, and the response of technology firms to those concerns, has become a staple of the news agenda.

Apple’s much covered Digital Health initiative was derided in some quarters, with analysts and punters alike sceptical about the desire of that company to in any way reduce smartphone usage, given its still heavy reliance on smartphones for revenue.

(8) CAT OBITS. Condolences to three Filers who recently suffered the loss of a beloved cat. Two of these venerable SJW credentials featured in Cats Sleep on SFF.

  • Doctor Science

I had to say good-bye to Sneakers, my SJW credential, on Friday. You may recall him sleeping on Lady Trent.

  • nickpheas

Sadly I also have a loss to report.

Steerpike, by then having celebrated his 18th birthday, developed lymphoma and was wasting away before being put to sleep. He had a good innings and is missed.

  • Anne Sheller

Pepper, my oldest, died about 2 hours ago. I found her unconscious and unresponsive earlier in the evening. I opted not to make an emergency visit to the vet since she didn’t seem to be suffering but seemed too far gone to revive. It took her a few hours to stop breathing.

She was a tiny dark tabby, 15 years and about 7 1/2 months old. She’d been diagnosed with diabetes just over a year ago, and been to the vet for a checkup just this past week. I wasn’t expecting her to live a whole lot longer, but her death tonight was unexpected. I’ve had her since she was about 5 months old, and loved her very much.

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY

  • June 18, 1983 — Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

  • Born June 18 – Carol Kane, 66. Valerie in The Princess Bride, Myth in The Muppet Movie which looks to be her first genre role, Ghost of Christmas Present in Scrooged, and more recently as Gertrude Kapelput in Gotham. 
  • Born June 18 – Isabella Rossellini, 66. Thar in the ‘05 Earthsea series, Nimue in the ‘98 Merlin series, Athena in the ‘98 The Odyssey series and a number of other genre roles.
  • Born June 18 – Paul McCartney. Writer: “Come Together” episode of the Justice League animated series, actor in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. 
  • Born June 18 – Barbara Broccoli, 58. Producer or Director credit in at least fourteen Bond films which or may not be genre depending on how you view them. Her only acting role is as an uncredited Opera patron in The Living Daylights. 
  • Born June 18 – Kim Dickens, 53. Currently Madison Clark in Fear the Walking Dead, Jake’s Mom in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and roles in Flashforward and Lost.
  • Born June 18 — Richard Madden, 32. Rob Stark in Game Of Thrones and Agent Ross in Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

This is a true story, based on an actual sign in my local public library and the chaos my children wreak when we visit.

(11) LONELY PLANET. In “There’s at Least a 39 Percent Chance We’re Alone in the Observable Universe”, Motherboard has taken a look at a new paper (now in preprint or arXiv.org) by the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford that itself takes a look at the Fermi Paradox. By taking a probabilistic approach to the Drake Equation, that paper concludes:

…[W]e find a substantial probability that we are alone in our galaxy, and perhaps even in our observable universe (53%–99.6% and 39%–85% respectively). ’Where are they?’ — probably extremely far away, and quite possibly beyond the cosmological horizon and forever unreachable.

Note that since this is a preprint article it has not been peer-reviewed yet. Motherboard summarized their own take on the paper as:

These are sobering results, but the researchers caution against any kneejerk cosmic pessimism. “This conclusion does not mean that we are alone, just that this is very scientifically plausible and should not surprise us,” the researchers wrote. “It is a statement about our state of knowledge, rather than a new measurement.”

In other words, there’s no reason to despair—yet. The more we learn about the universe and our own planet, the more we will decrease the uncertainty latent in the Drake equation. For example, our inability to detect extraterrestrial civilizations over the decade can increase our certainty that we’re alone, but then again, the universe may be awash in extraterrestrial signals and we simply haven’t learned how to recognize them yet. For now, however, the researchers suggest that if there are aliens, they are “probably extremely far away and quite possibly beyond the cosmological horizon and forever unreachable.”

(12) WITHDRAWAL PAINS. JDA advertised on Twitter he was “Off Social Media Til 6/21” but he must have noticed we were enjoying it more than he was. Today he broke his fast early by posting “The White Male Initiative For Worldcon 76” [Internet Archive link] on his blog.

I, Jon Del Arroz, the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction, will review submissions and select recipients.  Please keep your statements under 500 words. I may ask follow-up questions, however.  If you’re a professional, links to examples of your work would be helpful.

We realize that marginalized majority groups have felt reticent about joining us, and understandably so. But we need more representation from the white male community in science fiction fandom! Bring it!

(13) WHO BROKE THE BANK? That wasn’t the only post JDA published today. Another tells how his plan to abandon Patreon has come a cropper – “The Biggest News Story You’ll Never Hear: Big Tech Strikes At Finances Of Political Opponents” [Internet Archive link].

As you know, I urged my fans and friends who are supporting this blog and my fiction work on a subscription basis to switch their pledges from Patreon to Freestartr because Patreon was removing right wing political commentators over their content.

This weekend, Freestartr was shut down by Stripe, the collections company used to process credit card transactions– a company set up as a paypal alternative because the latter was already known for trying to deplatform right wing personalities through demonetizing. From their website:

FreeStartr currently has lost the ability to collect funds for our creators. CEO Charles C. Johnson’s comments can be found here.

(14) REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY. Wouldn’t The Verge have done more to discourage people from buying this by ignoring it altogether, instead of cleverly badmouthing it? Survey says – Yes! “This unlicensed Harry Potter battery pack makes a bad pun out of an even worse product”. (Wait, was this frame actually written by the same guy who introduced the last two Scroll items?)

If you’ve read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — which I generally assume is most of the global population — you’re probably familiar with the Elder Wand, a powerful wand wielded by both Dumbledore and the dark wizard Voldemort over the course of the series.

The CELLder Wand is not the Elder Wand. Where one is a fictional, legendary magical artifact of ultimate power, the CELLder wand is a Kickstarter campaign for a possibly fictional hunk of plastic that surrounds a fairly ordinary 3,200 mAh USB battery pack.

(15) ABOVE AND BEYOND. Gizmodo enthuses: “This Video Made From Real Mars Data Will Make You Feel Like You’re Flying Over the Red Planet”.

There are lots of incredible things you can do with data. Like make this incredible animation of the Martian surface, for example.

This animation is the latest from visual artist Seán Doran, using real data taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (MRO) Of course, it’s not actual video footage, and required a lot of processing to achieve the realistic effect. But it does give the exciting impression that one is flying just above the Martian surface.

 

(16) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “DIY–Behind the Scenes” on Vimeo explains how an animated film is made.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Doug Bissell, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Iphinome, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, Jon Del Arroz, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

141 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/18/18 Nancy Pixel And The Scroll Of The Trademarked Cocky

  1. Thanks for the title credit.

    (2) Bears used to visit my parents’ backyard fairly often. Be careful out there.

  2. Bears visit my sister’s front yard and back yard in the foothills near Ft. Collins.

    But a couple of weeks ago, we got a notice here in western NY that a bear had gone past my daughter’s high school on its way to parts unknown, by way of the nearby middle school, so they were on bear lockdown. Quick, call Betsy DeVos!

    The Bear in the Grey Flannel Suit

  3. There was a bear in Brookline MA (near suburb of Boston — ~5 miles from downtown) a few years ago; authorities ended up darting it so it could be removed safely. It’s possible the population is increasing, or just that they’re getting more used to humans.

  4. 2) Bears have been known to come out of the mountains around here in AZ. One actually made the news a number of years ago by taking a dip in a pool a few blocks from where I lived. Coyotes and javalinas come around so often I don’t even bat an eye any more.

    12) “marginalized majorities”, Gracie? Um, yeah, whatever.

    Here in 4483, even the bears listen to our feline overlords and give gentle scritches.

  5. 12) I hope that whatever donations he receives actually do send some poor marginalised straight white men to WorldCon.

    13) My heart bleeds for him, it truly does.

  6. I got a call from a coworker once that she was going to be late to work because there was a bear out by her car.

    She gets to work about 90 minutes late and tells us that the bear just wouldn’t leave. So she went and got her kid’s paintball gun and shot it several times.

    Somewhere, out in the woods, was a pink polka-dot black bear.

  7. (12) “marginalized majority groups” – seriously? Dude may not identify as white, but he sure does talk like Whitey McWhiterson. “Help, help, I’m being oppressed! My side only controls all three branches of the federal government, most major companies, and practically all major media outlets!” 🙄 Whadda snowflake.

    (13) And yet, Alex Jones – premiere right-wing conspiracy theorist and huckster extraordinaire – still manages to sell his merch unimpeded.

  8. 12) Marginalized majority? My head hurts.

    13) It’s almost as though no one wants to work with them!

  9. 13) Damn that free market system! Payment companies should be forced to work with all comers, regardless of ideology or practices!

    Oh, wait… 🙄

  10. (12) & (13) I’ve really missed his bizarre, nonsensical bullshit. Wait, no, the opposite of that.

  11. (12) I must admit that there’s something ironic in the guy claiming to be the leading Hispanic voice in science fiction responding to a leading Mexican-American SF artist’s fundraising campaign to bring more people of Mexican heritage to Worldcon, by starting a fundraising campaign to bring more white males to Worldcon. It’s as if he’s never been to any SF conventions, if he thinks that white males are not being represented adequately there already.

  12. @Kurt Busiek:

    Chuck C. Johnson started up something that failed?

    There’s a surprise.

    You precisely preiterated my comments on this matter, minus a floor-pooping joke I was going to try to work in.

    Also: Was Stripe really started because PayPal was deplatforming right-wingers? Call me skeptical, if for no other reason than the fact that the founders of PayPal are hardly a bunch of liberals. Also, Stripe’s primary funding came from the VC firm of… PayPal’s Peter Thiel.

    ETA: Could JDA really be such a bad writer that he meant to say that FreeStartr was begun as a PayPal alternative and simply phrased his sentence incoherently?

  13. Oh, that guy, yet again. How can we miss him if he won’t go away?

    Bears are more interesting. We have a local black bear, her whereabouts fairly well known, with biologists hovering in the wings, but so far she hasn’t done anything or had anything done to her that requires intervention. I worry that with the explosion of scheduled development, she’ll get forced into more contact with humans.

  14. @Adam Rakunas: Cheap-ass boring Nazi has a sad.

    @Rev. Bob: I am reliably informed that before he realized the grievance train to wingnut welfare was loading, he insisted he was white, never claimed to be anything else.

    @Ray: Kurt beat me to it as well. Also in answer to your ETA: duh.

    (2) Godless killing visiting machines!

  15. Serious question about bears: which ones are you supposed to confront, and which ones are you supposed to play dead in front of? Is it black bears confront, brown bears play dead? Or is there no rule of thumb for how to deal with these remorseless killing machines?

  16. @Adam:

    Confront: Stuffed, deceased, rugs.
    Invite to tea: Winnie, Paddington, Yogi, Boo-Boo… pretty much any that can talk and/or wear clothes.
    Avoid: All others.

  17. If my recollections are correct, FreeStartr started as a right-wing“Freeze peach” alternative to Patreon, since the latter has a habit of, once in a while, actually police their Ts & Cs and shut down alt-right hate speech. If I recall correctly, the roots of Stripe lie in a pair of Irish brothers, basically going “credit card payments on web sites is way too complicated, it must be possible to make it easier” (and, from recollection, they essentially succeeded).

    Looking at Stripe’s Ts&Cs, I am genuinely surprised F wasn’t dropped earlier:

  18. I never expected to show up in a pixel scroll item. Would rather have still had Pepper.

    Bears in my part of southern Ohio are, so far, young males wandering up from Kentucky. They get hauled back by the DNR if they get into trouble, or wander back on their own when they can’t find a female. One that got into trouble a few years back found a dumpster behind a church out in Otway or Rarden. The church had held a fried chicken dinner the previous evening, and the bear was quite pleased with the leftovers. At least until he couldn’t get back out of the dumpster. The church custodian heard the unhappy bear in the morning. My vet at the time got called out to tranquilize the fuzzy guy so he could be extracted from the dumpster and hauled back across the river.

  19. I’m not going to get involved in policing anyone’s self-identificaction, but in general it’s not at all inconsistent to identify as white (race) and Hispanic (Spanish speaking) and/or Latinx (ethnicity).

    Bears sound exciting, and terrifying. There’s no wildlife around here bigger than a swan, though I have no doubt that if one of them decided to keep me from my car they could easily succeed. Angry swans are serious business! Not to mention the potential treason charges for accidentally killing one…

  20. @Arifel: Yeah, swans are angry and much stronger than people might suspect. On a bit of a tangent, has everybody here seen the video of a crane fighting two tigers? Birds are not to be messed with.

  21. JDA writes (elsewhere): E-mail us at … for information on how to donate to this great cause.

    When did JDA start referring to himself using the majestic plural?

    Absent Thee From File770 Awhile

  22. @Oneiros I hope to someday have the confidence of a crane hanging out in an enclosure with two hungry tigers!

    @Niall McAuley He’s been pretending to represent a movement for a while now (see also: Happy Frogs). I suspect that his extensive coverage here – which honestly feels very disproportionate to his impact on fandom, at this point – does nothing to deflate those delusions of grandeur…

  23. Birds are not to be messed with

    We might have forgotten they’re dinosaurs, they haven’t.

  24. 5) I seem to recall Sterling’s Heavy Weather and its climate change fueled super storms added a new intensity category for tornadoes.

    I also seem to recall that story was actually hopeful, in that controls on CO2 had been enacted and the stormchasers were afraid that the increasing strength of storms was coming to an end and that’s why they were so excited and interested in a super tornado. (But then it’s been 2 decades since I read the book, I could be way wrong)

  25. @Adam Rakunas: Confront no bears, if you can help it. Black bears and brown bears are the same species of bear, just with a different coloured coat (at least, what we call a “brown bear” where I’m from is), and they are carrion eaters, so you definitely do not want to play dead. Your best bet is to retreat slowly, keeping the bear in sight at all times and doing nothing aggressive. Black bears are pretty timid, so they’re most likely to also want to get away from you. Do not make the bear feel like they are trapped. Only confront if you have no other choice. DO NOT RUN. They can run as fast as a horse for brief stretches, and if you’ve ever seen what the forest floor looks like in their natural habitat, you know you ain’t runnin’ from shit out there anyway; you won’t make it ten feet without snapping your ankle like a twig. Bear bangers and bear spray are your friends in this instance, but: remember that bear spray needs to be used at range and with the wind, and only as a last resort, as you may just end up with an angry bear. Bear bangers must also be used at range, and DO NOT AIM THEM AT THE BEAR. Aim them above the bear, or to the side of the bear. You may accidentally strike the bear with some flame or debris from the banger and again, then you have an angry bear on your hands.

    Grizzly bears, which are not brown bears (they are brown in colour, but a different species), are super aggressive, but do not eat carrion. If you play dead they will likely not eat you, but they will probably jump up and down on you an maul you a little just for the hell of it, because grizzlies are like that. They will hang around for quite a while after mauling you just to make sure you’re dead. Continue to play dead. You will probably survive, but expect lasting injuries. Again, assuming you see the bear at a reasonable distance, your best bet if encountering a grizzly is to move slowly away, keeping the bear in sight at all times.

    This advice is brought to you by my three and a half years of working in the bush in the far north.

    Also know that, generally, a fed bear is a dead bear. If a bear finds a food source near people, it’s probably not going to go away, and it’s going to get aggressive eventually. You need to call the Ministry of Environment or department of wildlife or whatever to come deal with the bear. In a best case scenario they can trap and relocate the bear, but often as not that ends up with the bear either invading some other human living space looking for food, or starving in unfamiliar territory. Most often the bear is destroyed. Lock up your trash, folks, it’s a bad thing to have to kill bears because people are lazy about picking up after themselves.

  26. Bear Addendum: Apparently I’m wrong about my bear taxonomy. Scientists refer to the griz as the “brown bear”. I live (and worked) well outside the grizzly’s range, so we always just called cinnamon-coloured black bears “brown” bears, and called grizzly bears grizzlies but I guess that’s just a regional usage.

  27. @ August:

    Heh, what I understand as a “brown bear” is Ursus Arctos (specifically Ursus Arctos Arctos., the European Brown Bear), of which the grizzly is a subspecies. My recollection of the instructions for “if you meet a bear in the woods” is “first, try not to; second, if you do, remove yourself, carefully”, but grizzlies are a lot more bastardly than their slightly more easy-going European cousins and I would definitely take local advice, if you think you’ll be in grizzly country.

  28. I was bitten by a swan as a kid and can confirm that they are vicious.

    No first hand experience with bears yet and not eager to have one either. Though I once came across a group of wild boars with babies in the forest and backed away very carefully.

  29. My old neighborhood in New York had nesting swans for several years, and the local children and youth had to be told not to molest them. I no longer remember whether the male swan had actually hit a local child with its wing hard enough to break the kid’s arm, or whether that was the “watch out, they can do that” warning being passed around.

    I had very mixed feelings about those swans, because they were also doing their best to keep Canada geese out of most of that bit of marsh. On the one hand, mute swans in North America are an invasive species, and the geese are (no-longer-endangered) natives; on the other, the geese were systematically pulling up all the young reeds that had been planted as part of a marsh restoration effort.

    (There are good reasons we wound up in Massachusetts, but I miss New York, and specifically Inwood Hill Park.)

  30. @Ingvar: Yeah, the region I grew up in (and worked in) only has Ursus americanus, which can have brown coats as well as black, so our “brown” bear was still just Ursus americanus. I have now realized that Ursus arctos is what most people will think of when they hear “brown bear”, with Ursus arctos horribilis being the most common variety in Canada, iirc.

    Edit: I have no experience w/ swans, but can confim (potentially NSFW) that Canada geese (gooses!) are the actual worst. Mean as hell in all weather.

  31. Canada geese (gooses!) are the actual worst. Mean as hell in all weather.

    But hell on snakes. Have known a few folks in timber rattler infested areas that kept geese to protect against the rattlers.

  32. I’m not going to get involved in policing anyone’s self-identificaction, but in general it’s not at all inconsistent to identify as white (race) and Hispanic (Spanish speaking)

    Not to mention, “Hispanic” can refer to being from Spain or descended from the Spanish, i.e., just as much of a whitey colonizer as the rest of us gringos.

  33. I have no experience w/ swans, but can confim (potentially NSFW) that Canada geese (gooses!) are the actual worst. Mean as hell in all weather.

    Some times are worse than others. One late Spring (i.e., gosling season) I saw a local on the Boston Common warn an out-of-towner that she was going to have nothing but bloody shreds on the other end of her leash if she didn’t hold back her yappy dog from picking a fight with a goose. Protecting offspring is hardly unique to geese — we were told in Alaska that the most dangerous bear is an unaccompanied cub, because that means you’re between the cub and its momma — but geese will take on something heavier and toothier than they are.

  34. 2) Here in Grand Rapids, Michigan we have regular black bear sightings well within the city limits. The most recent was in a neighborhood near our zoo, so the zoo people came out and tranquilized the bear and released it into the wild.

    12,13) Who?

  35. (12) (13) I think we can all agree that JDA is one of the leading, if not the leading, voice of jerky-mcjerkfaces in SFF. Everything else is just idle speculation.

    Oh hey, I saw someone somewhere say that JDA’s flag on his white people go to Worldcon post has an Iron Cross on it. In actuality, it appears to be a flag of the Knights Templar, which is often used nowadays by anti-Muslim groups and white supremacists. Dog whistle? Whistle whistle?

    https://www.history.com/news/how-hate-groups-are-hijacking-medieval-symbols-while-ignoring-the-facts-behind-them

  36. @Adam Rakunas: That is from Letterkenney. It’s a CraveTV original series, and that’s the only place to watch it (legally) here in Canada. Americans can watch it on Hulu starting next month. Internationally, I dunno.

    There are a ton of YouTube clips, and you can still watch the original 6 or 8 digital shorts on YouTube that were the foundation of the series.

    It’s filmed in Sudbury, and one of their regular sets is right next door to the apartment I lived in when I was a grad student there.

  37. On the subject of swans, one of my favorite (horrifying) Yeats poems: Leda and the Swan.

    “A shudder in the loins engenders there
    The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
    And Agamemnon dead.”

  38. My reaction to any JDA post:
    „I, the leading hispanic voice…“

    LOL! LOL! LOL!
    *Stops reading, onto the next post.*

    It really is tremendous unimportant to me, what he has to say. The leading unimportantness of SF if you will.

    …and its scroll, scroll, scroll, till her daddy takes her pixel away!

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