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.


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


  • 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.


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. I had a similar experience RE bears, specifically a juvenile female black bear came ambling down the middle of the road I live on, casually ambled across a connecting road, and vanished into the brush. We initially took her for a large dog until she got close enough to see that, nope, that’s a bear. The actual dogs I live with, hilariously enough, took one look and said, “Nah, not even barking at that.”

    There’s been a Tumblr post floating around recently dissecting the origins of various bear scientific names and related minutiae that points out the Arctic Circle is the Circle With Bears and the Antarctic Circle is the Circle Without Bears, which may in fact say everything we need to know about humanity’s relationship with bears.

  2. Dog whistle? Whistle whistle?

    I think JDA basically blows a regular whistle, and then acts like he’s blowing a dog whistle. And thinks he’s being clever. (See his habit of posting the receipts of terrible behavior– like the video of his friend harassing Scalzi– and treating it like it’s a vindication.)

  3. 13: go and read the “freestrtr CEO’s” “thoughts” on the matter.
    When you hit the paragraph where he identifies the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “terrorist organization”, you’ll know everything you need to know about why they were dropped by Stripe.

    I’m “feeling” increasing signs of desperation from those corners, which past experience tells me we’re about to see a ratcheting up of misbehavior, rather than a sensible examination of their methods. Batten the hatches and gird your loins folks.

  4. @Kathodus: that is a “republic of kakistan” flag, modeled on a wwii german battle flag; fascists identify it as a joke, but it is in fact a dog whistle.

    @August: crawled up on a black bear (playing paintball) and we were both surprised. After a few seconds of “what next”, the bear decided to go elsewhere.

    @shooting paintball guns at bears: don’t. don’t shoot the wild life with your paintball gun. They are, in fact, the only guns developed specifically for shooting people and should only be used for that purpose. Fire it with no ammunition to make noise, but (and I have video evidence of this), bears are pretty quick to put two and two together and figure out that the noisemaker (paintball gun shooter) is the souce of those annoying stings.

    @bears in general. I once saw news reportage of a boy scout who was mauled by a bear. They asked him, didn’t you receive instruction on playing dead and the kid replied “playing dead doesn’t work if the bear is already eating you”.

  5. Apparently in May 2018 the FAQ at FreeStartr said:

    The site, Freestartr, says its mission comes with “an absolute free speech guarantee.” As the site writes, “Do not hate on individuals or groups, including on account of their sex, height, race, religion, lack of religion, sexual preferences or — wait, of course we’re kidding.”

    (That text is missing now.)

  6. Not exactly genre, but Modern Family showrunner Steve Levitan wants to cut ties with Fox, because of Fox news. link

  7. “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?”

    It is also a meme based on a computer strategy game, can’t remember which one. So it is one of those “let me hide this dog whistle behind a gamer symbol” thing.

    EDIT: Here’s a link to the background.


  8. steve Davidson: Batten the hatches and gird your loins folks.

    I definitely don’t want my loins attacked through open hatches.

  9. Contrary to my usual routine, I didn’t check File770 when I woke up this morning, in fact I haven’t been on this site for over 24 hours. Because I’m busy rereading 9Fox and 10Fox after tearing through Revenant Gun. There are so many little clues and foreshadowings in these books that I didn’t notice the first time around. Even the title, Raven Stratagem, I missed the explanation of where that came from.
    Revenant Gun is a simpler and more straightforward book compared to the first two. I would say I liked it rather than loved it.

  10. Waterfowl are completely vicious. The Romans had guard geese. There were some ridiculously huge White Chinese geese that had set up outside my college’s cafeteria. I ate outdoors ONCE and one of the bastids nipped me so hard I had a mark through my heavy jeans.

    I was able later on to use this experience to commiserate with an 11 year old girl who was getting some guff about not approaching large waterfowl after a terrifying hissy-chasing experience in her youth. She was quite chuffed that a college graduate married lady over 30 agreed with her, and the sidelong glance she gave her maternal unit was “See THERE, Mum! Even your visiting friend agrees with me!”

    Our town sometimes uses herding dogs to keep the !@#$ Canada geese away from the lake, since people swim and sail in it, not to mention picnic alongside where the child terrifying can happen.

    (12,13) If we ignore him, will he go away? The other RW are ignoring him, even.

    @Peer: That’s a good possible Scroll title, if it hasn’t been used already. Also, the news about Levitan is pretty serious and good.

    Meredith Moment: the new book by Hugo and Campbell finalist Sam J. Miller “Blackfish City” is on sale for only $2.99 at Amz, B&N, and Google in the US; don’t know about others. I’ve only read the sample but it looks good.

    Here in 4016, the bears have discovered fire and invite us to tea. It’s very civilized. The geese and swans, though, are still fierce.

  11. I worked at a place, once, which had a lake nearby with swans, Canada geese, and (briefly) Egyptian geese. I say “briefly”, because the Egyptians were a lot smaller than the Canadas, and the Canadas soon saw them off.

    Then the swans started nesting, and the Canadas found out what it was like to be on the receiving end.

  12. (2) BEARS!

    And other dangerous wildlife….

    My mother used to live in a fairly well-populated rural area on the Pacific Ocean, and regularly had a bear wander by and clean out her bird feeders……they always stayed indoors when that happened (which was usually quite early in the AM or later in the evening).

    Seconding advice to back away from any bear confrontation (and even more to be *very* careful about coming between bear cub(s) and mum.

    In Texas, we learned v. soon to be careful of the “wild boar” (aka born from generations of feral pigs) who are huge, mostly black, and dangerous as hell. We walk our dogs on leashes, and when they indicate they don’t want to go down one of the dirt roads, we do not force them because we have seen the pigs in the distance (and see the tracks near the stream).

    My brother who lived in Alaska for years said he’s rather face grizzlies than moose.

    (12) The Poor White Menz!

    Some of my friends on FB are encouraging or volunteering as white trans men, white gay men, white atheist men, etc. etc. (or any combo) to apply!

    One poor innocent sf writer was sure that it must be satire…but has now had his horizons expanded!

  13. robinareid: Some of my friends on FB are encouraging or volunteering as white trans men, white gay men, white atheist men, etc. etc. (or any combo) to apply!

    Why do they think it’s clever to give him exactly what he’s hoping for?

  14. Iphinome says Geese are jerks.

    Even domestic geese are jerks and pick a vicious bitty. And they’re a pain in the arse to defeat her if you’re planning to eat. Though cooked properly which is slow roasted and not allowed to dried out while allowing their oil to drain off, they’re quite tasty.

    Oh and a bear story. A friend was out deer hunting up on the Maine coast in an area rich in blueberry rich fields when he got between a mother bear and her cub. He tried getting out of the way but she charged him and he was forced to call him. He called the Warden Service to deal with cub and the cub was taking to the state wildlife sanctuary.

  15. @OGH: Didn’t you ask yourself that very question in the intro to #14?

    (Here it’s 64 and we’re usually very careful about questioning authority, thanks to Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.)

  16. @ RedWombat:

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

    And I was so looking forward to missing him that his repeatedly turning up again and again and again is always a bitter disappointment to me.

  17. @Rev. Bob: Indeed; while I’ve never been a fan of McFarlane’s, it seems a worthy cause for him to support. Better than spending it on hookers and blow, launching a perfectly good car into space, or the like.

    With the alien in “American Dad!” and the entire of “The Orville”, I think Seth is firmly genre, not adjacent. If only “Family Guy” didn’t both suck and blow, and he could develop his sense of humor past adolescence.

    @IanP: Not falling for that.

  18. (12)(13) I have to wonder if this “fund” is a sneaky way to pay his lawyer, as the actual fundraising for that lags behind the average take of a decent busker.

    Concerning geese, the City of Santa Clara is setting up decoy predators and playing their calls to hopefully evict a gang of Canadian geese who have taken over the pond. They are chasing off the ducks, scaring the hell out of people trying to use the paths around the pond, and, well, doing what geese do all over the park, creating a health hazard.

  19. @Rev. Bob: There’s definitely worse things to do with the money. However… to delve a little too much into current politics, I consider NPR, like most of the mass media, to have engaged in poorly done, uncritical, reporting. And since then, well…there’s a reason around here they’re known as “Nice Polite Republicans”.

    Also. NPR has had a serious sexual harassment problem. Until I’m convinced it’s been addressed, I’m not donating.

    None of which actually has anything to do with fandom. My apologies for the digression.

  20. @Rev. Bob: My feeling about NPR is that it’s a nice distraction liberals built for themselves while the right wing built a massive practical machine to speak to others and achieve change. It’s like taking an educational toy to a gunfight, or ten thousand spoons when what you need is a knife.*

    I also thought it was a very good thing for McFarlane to do anyway. He could do a lot worse with it. And a fifth of it went straight to a local station. That’s very well-spent.

    *Sorry–I’ve been listening to Alanis Morrissette way too much lately.

  21. @Douglas Berry: I would not be at all surprised.
    And there’s a reason for the old adage combining goose excreta and slipperiness.

    Regarding (13), doesn’t it rather give away his game? Insofar as it indicates grievance towards Worldcon, harassing intent on a personal level, and that he’s really in it to ride the snowflake publicity train to wingnut welfare?

    Because if it was actually about his career as a writer, he’d be asking for money for himself to go to

    – DragonCon — giant attendance, thus more sales opportunities, home of the Puppy Dragon Awards.

    – Or, even moreso, ConCarolinas, which is clearly very welcoming to writers of his political persuasion and subgenre. That’s his perfect audience right there!

    I am sure Worldcon 76’s lawyers have also taken careful note of this latest and are marking it as Exhibit # something.

  22. @Mike Glyer:

    Why do they think it’s clever to give him exactly what he’s hoping for?

    Not speaking for them (and I don’t know if all the posts are public which is why I didn’t provide links), but that question was raised–I think the issue is that they don’t think JDA would consider a white trans man to be a “real” white man, aka “marginalized majority,” etc. etc. etc.

  23. Hey, if you’re in the middle of one of the reddest od the red states, NPR is a freaking lifeline.

  24. Geese. Yes, geese are assholes. Also, if one peruses the “geese are cobra chickens” thread one finds that geese have teeth on their toungues! Knowing that moray eels have jaws in their throats, I find this to be horrific.
    But talking about geese, I do have a story. See, where I live we have a pond, known as The Duck Pond, between the one big bit of grass where one plays Brännboll and the other bit where one also plays Brännboll.
    So, biking by on my way to work, passing the duck pond, I was suddenly shocked when the fowl disapproving of me biking by was not anas platyrhynchos, a friendly sort of wild duck (or mallard), but actually an aggressive branta canadensis, a (hateful, of course) canada goose. I swerved, swore, and got to work. Later I complained to my parents about the presence of geese in the duck pond, and they told me who introduced the geese (“he felt that there should be geese there”), but I’ve yet to have words with him about it. But I’ve seen, in passing, quite a few parents going “no, no, that’s not a friendly bird”, which wasn’t a thing with the mallards.

  25. bookworm1398 on June 19, 2018 at 2:51 pm said:
    Contrary to my usual routine, I didn’t check File770 when I woke up this morning, in fact I haven’t been on this site for over 24 hours. Because I’m busy rereading 9Fox and 10Fox after tearing through Revenant Gun. There are so many little clues and foreshadowings in these books that I didn’t notice the first time around. Even the title, Raven Stratagem, I missed the explanation of where that came from.
    Revenant Gun is a simpler and more straightforward book compared to the first two. I would say I liked it rather than loved it.

    Oh I’m not the only one totally obsessed with this trilogy, am I? I wonder if the books are becoming simpler or we are just used to the calendrical terrain.

    I am so calling my next credential Jedao.

  26. 13) I just read the Freestartr blog post titled “Stripe has De-Platformed FreeStartr”. Wow. It’s like a primer on how to announce to the world that you are an entitled, mediocre, emasculated, whinging alt-right man-baby. Explains a lot.

  27. @Anna Feruglio
    How about one named Cheris? (There are lots of names in there that could be used, really.)

  28. There were geese in my local park (the nice one, not the one with the needles, I had two within a block’s walk) and they were never any trouble at all, pooping on the grass aside. Are geese just on their best behaviour in SE London? They even got along quite well with the pigeons, ducks and herons.

  29. I would rather tangle with a black bear than a feral boar, any day of the week. The bear is thinking “Hmm, does it have food?” and the boar is thinking “VENGEANCE FOR A THOUSAND BACON STRIPS SHALL BE MINE I AM BECOME HOG DESTROYER OF WORLDS.”

    Grizzlies are another matter and I truly would not want to choose, except grizzlies can climb trees and pigs can’t, so there’s that.

  30. On feral boars: Greek legend sent single heroes against the Nemean lion and Medusa. Two heroes were enough for the Hydra. But the Calydonian boar? Avemgers Assemble! Something like fifty heroes were called in for that one, and they didn’t all survive.

  31. John A Arkansawyer on June 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm said:

    In genre-adjacent news: Doesn’t Seth McFarlane have something better to do with two and a half million dollars?

    I thought all good capitalists cheer when private money is used to support NPR instead of sucking at the public trough?

    We can whinge about whether NPR is really ‘objective’ or not, but I listen to them on satellite radio. They are certainly more middle of the road than Faux Noise, in one extreme. And while I am a fan of MSNBC, that network certainly has a liberal voice. I listen to the BBC a lot, because knowing how we look to the rest of the world is enlightening. Depressing, but enlightening.

    So, yay for Seth McFarlane.

    Tonight, I am horrified at the latest news coming out of the internment camps on the southern border. I watched Rachel Maddow break down in tears on live TV, unable to read the breaking news dispatch she was handed, because the AP has found that our ‘government’ has three jails for babies, and is opening a 4th. Although the Goebbels wannabes in the regime are calling them “Tender Age Care Facilities”.

    So, maybe Seth can send some cash toward the ACLU and some organizations trying to help these people.

  32. The only good feral boar is a dead feral boar, seriously. They’re not native to North America and they destroy EVERYTHING. Don’t tangle with one while unarmed but if any gun nuts are reading. Kill those MOFOs.

  33. @ Douglas Berry

    the City of Santa Clara is setting up decoy predators and playing their calls to hopefully evict a gang of Canadian geese

    My workplace tried a similar approach when we had a flock of Canadian geese decide that the grassy lawn in the middle of a industrial campus was a nicer snacking ground than the city park on the other side of the railroad tracks where one had to deal with dogs and bicyclists and all manner of annoyances. When it became clear that the geese were long-term squatters, we got an increasing series of absurd non-violent discouragements: plastic wolves in stalking position, motion-activated goose distress calls. I’m guessing that we were forbidden by law from simply chasing after them, yelling. (The are, technically, native wild birds, and therefore federally protected.) But eventually that grassy lawn needed to be mowed, and–mirabile dictu!–the geese absented themselves from the path of an industrial riding mower.

    They still drop by regularly for rest and snacks, but haven’t moved in quite so solidly since them. I don’t know whether the mowing schedule is ever adjusted–purely coincidentally–in conjunction with those visits.

    Not that we aren’t protective of wildlife! When we had a pair of killdeer nesting in the middle of a gravel patch, the management put up a caution-tape perimeter with explanatory signs until the chicks had fledged. Well, “chick”, anyway. They started with three or four, but there was only one left at the end, mostly likely due to predators. I choose to believe that the last chick did indeed survive to fly over to the other side of the tracks to the bay. But the geese left a real mess on the walkways, and when you’re tracking goose turds on your shoes into the gowning rooms for clean manufacturing facilities…well, let’s just say that it increases environmental microbial risk.

    Another reactive bird control measure was to put anti-perching spikes on the roof corners of a building that had become a favorite hangout of a Coopers hawk. It decreased both the scattered tufts of feathers littering the walkway below, but also the streaks of birdshit on the building walls. I personally thought that having a resident Coopers was worth a little mess (but see also: disappearing killdeer chicks). Ah, the circle of life.

  34. @Heather Rose Jones
    Yeah, geese are a little too large for Cooper’s hawks to make dinner of. (They’re good up to pigeon-sized birds, though.)
    Downtown L.A. has a few redtails and some peregrines that keep the pigeons alert. The peregrines tend to go for high-altitude dining areas, though.

  35. @Techgrrl1972: (infant internment news)

    I accepted a while back that it will likely be necessary to impeach this president. I have now begun to wonder whether that will be sufficient.

    I wish I could say that splitting families apart is not what America does… but I live in the old Confederacy. I know better. One of these decades, I’d like to see us firmly and unequivocally denounce that part of our history, to turn away from it completely and put such practices behind us. Instead, the Dotard-in-Chief is embracing it. He’s making a name for himself in the history books, all right. It’s just not a name a sane person should want.

  36. @Iphinome – My Dad, who probably qualifies as a gun nut (sigh), to his credit turns most of his hunting energy outside of deer season to eradicating hogs. The way he does it is huge live traps and then killing them once they’re in the traps. It’s grim, deeply unglamorous work, and the meat is only marginally edible—I mean, we eat it, but we mix it with beef to cut the gaminess—but anything that cuts the numbers down…

    I actually admire boars enormously in the abstract, for their toughness and intelligence, but I do not wish to have them as neighbors.

  37. @RedWombat A 250 pound monster with razors on its face and the possibility of only pissing it off. Yeah I can see the appeal of traps.

  38. My work has put up black dog silhouettes around the campus, and that seems to have mostly deterred the Canadian geese from stopping at the soccer fields and other grassy spaces. We still have the sparrows or swallows or whatever nesting underneath a loggia that rarely used.

  39. (12) WITHDRAWAL PAINS. Tool is a tool is a tool.

    @RedWombat: “How can we miss him if he won’t go away?”

    ::snort:: Also ROFL at the bear versus boar choice!

    @kathodus: “Whistle whistle?” & @Marshall Ryan Maresca: “I think JDA basically blows a regular whistle, and then acts like he’s blowing a dog whistle.”

    Heh, I believe that’s right.

    @Rev. Bob in re. your bear tips: ROFL!

    @JJ: OMG thank you, that was hilarious, and BTW 2 days ago my Mom said something about some Canada Geese we saw. Later, my other half asked why she didn’t say Canadian geese, and I was like, “I dunno.” This hilarious Twitter thread answered the question for me (i.e., that it really is called Canada Goose) (or it’s called both, judging from @Various) (but the real thing being: she was not wrong).

    @Oneiros: LOL at that video. The crane’s all like, “Do NOT start something with me, my huge wings will mess you up!”

  40. Personally I think he tries to do that finger whistle thing but only makes a wet farting noise.

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