Pixel Scroll 6/3/20 Listen To The Pixel Sing Sweet Songs To Rock My Scroll

(1) STILL OVERCOMING. Tananarive Due expresses decades of experience in “Can We Live?” in Vanity Fair. Tagline: “The daughter of civil rights activists on the question that’s haunted her for decades.”

… . I was only a little older than Bryant, and sitting in my junior high school cafeteria, when I wrote a poem inspired by police brutality called “I Want to Live.”

I was 14, and neighborhoods in my home city of Miami were burning.

The memory returns, raw and visceral, as I watch footage from the uprisings in Minneapolis and nationwide protesting Floyd’s killing….

… When I was finished, I had tears in my eyes, but the despair in my chest felt soothed. I showed the poem to my mother, and she told me how lucky I was to have writing as an outlet for my emotions. “The people setting those fires feel hopeless,” she said. I’d wanted to be a writer since I was four, but that was the first time I understood that writing might save my life.

Now a new generation is discovering just how devalued their lives are in U.S. society, risking a pandemic and possible police violence to protest in the name of a better society. In their cities they are facing their own baptisms by fire.

But it comes with a cost. After my mother was teargassed at a peaceful march in Tallahassee in 1960, she wore dark glasses even indoors for the rest of her life, complaining about lingering sensitivity to light. “I went to jail so you won’t have to,” she once told me.

If only it were that simple. If only one generation’s sacrifices could have fixed it all….

(2) THAT’S CAT. Camestros Felapton’s latest “Missing moments from movie history” illustrates “George Lucas’s original plans for the Death Star 2…”

(3) PUBLISHERS SUE INTERNET ARCHIVE. Member companies of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Internet Archive (“IA”) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.“Publishers File Suit Against Internet Archive for Systematic Mass Scanning and Distribution of Literary Works”.

…The suit asks the Court to enjoin IA’s mass scanning, public display, and distribution of entire literary works, which it offers to the public at large through global-facing businesses coined “Open Library” and “National Emergency Library,” accessible at both openlibrary.org and archive.org. IA has brazenly reproduced some 1.3 million bootleg scans of print books, including recent works, commercial fiction and non-fiction, thrillers, and children’s books. 

The plaintiffs—Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons and Penguin Random House—publish many of the world’s preeminent authors, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, Newbery Medal, Man Booker Prize, Caldecott Medal and Nobel Prize.

Despite the self-serving library branding of its operations, IA’s conduct bears little resemblance to the trusted role that thousands of American libraries play within their communities and as participants in the lawful copyright marketplace. IA scans books from cover to cover, posts complete digital files to its website, and solicits users to access them for free by signing up for Internet Archive Accounts. The sheer scale of IA’s infringement described in the complaint—and its stated objective to enlarge its illegal trove with abandon—appear to make it one of the largest known book pirate sites in the world. IA publicly reports millions of dollars in revenue each year, including financial schemes that support its infringement design….

The press release follows with more details about the AAP’s side of the argument.

(4) HOP TO IT. “Watership Down Enterprises Wins Case Against Film Producer”: Shelf Awareness has the story.

A court in England has ruled in favor of Watership Down Enterprises, the estate and family of author Richard Adams, in an action brought against producer Martin Rosen, who wrote and directed a 1978 animated film based on the classic novel, Variety reported.

The judgment ordered Rosen and companies controlled by him to pay the estate court costs and an initial payment for damages totaling approximately $95,000 within 28 days for infringing copyright, agreeing to “unauthorized license deals and denying royalty payments,” Variety wrote, adding that additional damages will be assessed at a future hearing.

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court also terminated the original contract in which motion picture rights for Watership Down were originally granted to Rosen in 1976. In addition, IPEC granted an injunction preventing Rosen and his companies from continuing to license rights to Watership Down, and directed them to give further disclosures of their activities and to destroy infringing materials.

(5) JEAN-LUC OUT FRONT. At TechRepublic, Matthew Heusser extracts “4 leadership lessons from Star Trek: Picard”.

It’s an open secret among Star Trek fans that the Picard character changes. Between the television show, the movies, and now the show that bears his name, Picard changes from  peacemaking collaborative leader to warrior to now something more like a Sherlock Holmes of the 24th century. Instead of a noble hero leading a team, the Picard of the new series, along with the audience at home, is trying to answer some questions, including “What the heck is happening here and what is the next move?”

He doesn’t always make the right one.

Seeing those mistakes, in seeing Picard as a human, allows us to grapple with our own humanity. It’s a different side of Picard from what we saw in the series; instead of perfection, we see a man trying to stay in the game at an age that many would go off to the retirement home. Let’s learn from it, with minimal minor spoilers….

(6) TRACING EARLIEST USE OF SFF IDEAS. The “Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions”, sorted by publication date, reaches back to 1634. Here’s the beginning of the list:

DateDevice Name (Novel Author)
1634Weightlessness (Kepler) (from Somnium (The Dream) by Johannes Kepler)
1638Weightlessness in Space (from The Man in the Moone by Francis Godwin)
1638Gansas (from The Man in the Moone by Francis Godwin)
1657Moon Machine – very early description (from A Voyage to the Moon by Cyrano de Bergerac)
1705Cogitator (The Chair of Reflection) (from The Consolidator by Daniel Defoe)
1726Knowledge Engine – machine-made expertise (from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726Geometric Modeling – eighteenth century NURBS (from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726Bio-Energy – produce electricity from organic material (from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift)

(7) IN CRIMES TO COME. CrimeReads’ Drew Murray, in “Scifi Tech Is Here—And Criminals Can (And Will) Use It”, looks at autonomous vehicles and augmented reality and how they will be used in near-future sf novels.

…It [augmented reality] could also be the ultimate tool for a con man. How many times have you run into someone familiar, but you can’t quite place where you know them from? They seem to know you and, not wanting to offend them, you keep talking, hoping it will come to you. What if you’ve never actually seen this person before in your life? What if they’re a hustler, reading everything about you from text floating in the air next to your head, projected in their vision by glasses, or even contact lenses? All that real-time information to establish trust, the primary currency of any con.

(8) ROBERT J. SAWYER. He’s has a successful day drawing attention to his new novel The Oppenheimer Alternative.

… And I didn’t want to tell an alternate history. That is, I didn’t want to say, well, sure, you can gainsay me until this page—the point of divergence—but after that, anything goes. Rather, I decided to tell a secret history: a series of plausible events that were, in themselves, authentic big-ideas hard SF, and have them occur in the lacunae in the public record. I wanted no one to be able to say, “Okay, that was fun, but of course it never happened.”

  • He appeared on Michael Shinabery’s show on KRSY-AM in Alamogordo, New Mexico, yesterday for han hour-long chat [MP3].

The show starts at the 1-minute mark with Benny Goodman’s “The Glory of Love,” which figures in my novel; the outro is the great Tom Lehrer singing his atomic-bomb song, “We’ll All Go Together When We Go.”

  • And he was on CTV Calgary:

(9) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • June 3, 1950 Dimension X’s “The Embassy” was broadcast. Written by Donald A. Wollheim, this story was first published in Astounding Science Fiction in the March 1942 issue. (Aussiecon One would later give him a Special Hugo for The Fan Who Has Done Everything.)  It was adapted by George Lefferts. The cast was Daniel Ocko, Bryna Raeburn and Norman Rose.  You can listen to it here.

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born June 3, 1905 Norman A. Daniels. Creator of  the Black Bat, a pulp character who debuted the same time as Batman which led to lawsuits over similarities to the latter, and wrote for such series as The Phantom Detective, Doc Savage and The Shadow. He also created the Crimson Mask. (Died 1995.) (CE)
  • Born June 3, 1905 Malcolm Reiss. It’s uncertain if he ever published any genre fiction but he’s an important figure in the history of our community as he edited in the Thirties through the Fifties, Jungle StoriesPlanet StoriesTops in Science Fiction and Two Complete Science-Adventure Books. Fletcher Pratt, Ross Rocklynne, Leigh Brackett and Fredric Brown are but a few of the writers published in those magazines. (Died 1975.) (CE)
  • Born June 3, 1929 – Brian Lewis.  Ninety covers for New Worlds (here’s one), Science Fantasy (here’s one), Science Fiction Adventures (here’s one), for a few books; sometimes realistic, sometimes surrealistic; fifty interiors; also comics. (Died 1978) [JH]
  • Born June 3, 1946 Penelope Wilton, 74. She played the recurring role of Harriet Jones in Doctor Who wherethey actually developed a story for the character. She was also played Homily in The Borrowers, Barbara in Shaun of the Dead, The Queen in Roald Dahl’s The BFG, Beatrix Potter in The Tale of Beatrix Potter, The White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass and Gertrude in in Hamlet at the Menier Chocolate Factory. (CE)
  • Born June 3, 1949 Michael McQuay. He wrote two novels in Asimov’s Robot City series, Suspicion and Isaac Asimov’s Robot City (with Michael P. Kube-McDowell) and Richter 10 with Arthur C. Clarke. The Mathew Swain sequence neatly blends SF and noir detective tropes – very good popcorn reading. His novelization of Escape from New York is superb. (Died 1995.) (CE) 
  • Born June 3, 1950 – Owen Laurion.  Long active in the Nat’l Fantasy Fan Federation (“N3F”).  Edited The Nat’l Fantasy Fan and later Tightbeam.  Kaymar Award. “The Way It Was” in M. Bastraw ed., Fifty Extremely SF* Stories (none over 50 words).  [JH]
  • Born June 3, 1950 Melissa Mathison. Screenwriter for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg credits the line “E.T. phone home” line to her. (She’s Eliot’s school nurse in the film.) She also wrote the screenplays for The Indian in the Cupboard and BFG with the latter being dedicated in her memory. And she wrote the “Kick the Can” segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie. (Died 2015.) (CE) 
  • Born June 3, 1958 Suzie Plakson, 62. She played four characters on Trek series: a Vulcan, Doctor Selar, in “The Schizoid Man” (Next Gen); the half-Klingon/half-human Ambassador K’Ehleyr in “The Emissary” and “Reunion” (Next Gen); the Lady Q in “The Q and the Grey” (Voyager); and an Andorian, Tarah, in “Cease Fire” (Enterprise).  She also voiced Amazonia in the “Amazon Women in the Mood” episode of Futurama. Really. Truly. (CE)
  • Born June 3, 1964 James Purefoy, 56. His most recent genre performance was in the recurring role of Laurens Bancroft in Altered Carbon. His most impressive role was I think as Solomon Kane in the film of that name. He was also in A Knight’s Tale as Edward, the Black Prince of Wales/Sir Thomas Colville. He dropped out of being V in V for Vendetta some six weeks into shooting but some early scenes of the masked V are of him. (CE)
  • Born June 3, 1966 – Kate Forsyth.  Thirty fantasy novels, a dozen shorter stories; collections of fairy tales, of her own poetry; sold a million books.  Bitter Greens interweaves Rapunzel with the 17th- century Frenchwoman who first told the tale, won American Library Association award for historical fiction; doctoral exegesis The Rebirth of Rapunzel won the Atheling Award for criticism.  Five Aurealis Awards.  Her Website is here.  [JH]
  • Born June 3, 1973 – Patrick Rothfuss.  The Wise Man’s Fear N.Y. Times Best-Seller.  Half a dozen shorter stories.  Games, e.g. Acquisitions, Inc. (Penny Arcade).  Charity, Worldbuilders.  Translated into Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish.  [JH]

(11) COMICS SECTION.

  • Something’s interfering with TV reception at The Far Side. (A reprint from back when they had antennae.)
  • Bizarro shows it’s hard to escape those family traits.
  • Mother Goose and Grimm warns you to know your car’s features.
  • Frazz shows an unsuccessful example of genre homework.
  • The Argyle Sweater sympathizes with folks who can’t tune out the neighbors.

(12) A DIFFERENT TORCON. Tor Books and Den of Geek have posted the schedule for “TorCon 2020: Stay Home, Geek Out”. Register for items at the link.  

In partnership with Den of Geek, we are proud to announce the launch of TorCon, an all-new virtual convention that brings all the fun of panels directly to the fans. From Thursday, June 11th through Sunday, June 14th, Tor and Tor.com Publishing are presenting eight panels featuring over twenty of your favorite authors across different platforms, in conversation with each other—and with you!

Join authors including Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Christopher Paolini, Brandon Sanderson, V. E. Schwab, and many more for four days of pure geekery, exclusive content, sneak peeks, and more…all from the comfort of your own home!

(13) SIGNPOSTS. James Davis Nicoll reaches into his reviews archive for choice titles by black authors. Thread starts here.

(14) INTERSECTION OF SFF AND RELIGION. Since Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light was discussed here recently, Filers may be interested in Victor Gijsbers’ comments on the book. Thread starts here.

(15) NOT THAT FUNNY. This is fromThe Week:

“A man dressed as a medieval knight and carrying a 3-foot-long sword created some concern at a aprk in the U.K., bringing police armed with guns. Lennon Thomas, 20, was confronted by police in Cardiff and ordered to put the weapon down, before he explained that he was simply trying out a costume he uses for his hobby of fantasy roleplaying.  Thomas apologized for a ‘lapse in judgment,’ conceding, ‘Perhaps it was a little stupid of me to bring the sword, as from a distance it does look realistic.’  He added, ‘Life is a lot more fun when you don’t care how weird you are.'”

(16) MOVIN’ OUT. The Harvard Gazette is “Filling gaps in our understanding of how cities began to rise”.

New genetic research from around one of the ancient world’s most important trading hubs offers fresh insights into the movement and interactions of inhabitants of different areas of Western Asia between two major events in human history: the origins of agriculture and the rise of some of the world’s first cities.

The evidence reveals that a high level of mobility led to the spread of ideas and material culture as well as intermingling of peoples in the period before the rise of cities, not the other way around, as previously thought. The findings add to our understanding of exactly how the shift to urbanism took place.

The researchers, made up of an international team of scientists including Harvard Professor Christina Warinner, looked at DNA data from 110 skeletal remains in West Asia from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age, 3,000 to 7,500 years ago. The remains came from archaeological sites in the Anatolia (present-day Turkey); the Northern Levant, which includes countries on the Mediterranean coast such as Israel and Jordan; and countries in the Southern Caucasus, which include present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Based on their analysis, the scientists describe two events, one around 8,500 years ago and the other 4,000 years ago, that point to long-term genetic mixing and gradual population movements in the region.

“Within this geographic scope, you have a number of distinct populations, distinct ideological groups that are interacting quite a lot, and it hasn’t really been clear to what degree people are actually moving or if this is simply just a high-contact area from trade,” said Warinner, assistant professor of anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Sally Starling Seaver Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. “Rather than this period being characterized by dramatic migrations or conquest, what we see is the slow mixing of different populations, the slow mixing of ideas, and it’s percolating out of this melting pot that we see the rise of urbanism — the rise of cities.”

(17) LOCKDOWN DEBATE. “Coronavirus: Sweden’s Tegnell admits too many died” – a BBC story.

Sweden’s controversial decision not to impose a strict lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic led to too many deaths, the man behind the policy, Anders Tegnell, has acknowledged.

Sweden has seen a far higher mortality rate than its nearest neighbours and its nationals are being barred from crossing their borders.

Dr Tegnell told Swedish radio more should have been done early on.

“There is quite obviously a potential for improvement in what we have done.”

Sweden has counted 4,542 deaths and 40,803 infections in a population of 10 million, while Denmark, Norway and Finland have imposed lockdowns and seen far lower rates.

Denmark has seen 580 deaths, Norway has had 237 deaths and Finland 321. Sweden reported a further 74 deaths on Wednesday.

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY.  You could have bought this Thunderbird replica last year.

[Thanks to JJ, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Scott Edelman, Michael Toman, Chip Hitchcock, John Hertz, Lise Andreasen, Daniel Dern, Cat Eldridge, Alan Baumler, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day StephenfromOttawa.]

37 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/3/20 Listen To The Pixel Sing Sweet Songs To Rock My Scroll

  1. 14) I think Victor misunderstands the book. It’s not technology that’s the force for democracy, it’s the sharing of knowledge. It’s about everyone having access to the science and not keeping secrets from the general population. A lot of sci-fi books unfortunately take the position that’s it’s better that some dangerous technology should be limited to the responsible people and kept secret from the public. Or some information should be suppressed for the greater good. I’ve always disliked this position and it’s probably one of the reasons I like Lord of Light so much.

  2. 17) It is worth noting that Sweden will, if their mortality rate holds where it is, have a death rate one tenth that of the USA. It’s high compared to the surrounding Nordic polities but quite low compared to us and the UK. Oddly enough they’re doing worse than Canada which did do a lock-down. Canada’s numbers are horrific because of Quebec province had it hit their senior care facilities in a nightmarish way.

  3. 17) No, Tegnell did not say that it was the decision to not do a strict lockdown that lead to the excess deaths. He even took some time in our daily press conference to address the misconceptions of the foreign press.

    What he said was the same thing that he had said since April, that we have failed to isolate our elderly, that more knowledge if the virus will tell us more of what measures are efficient and so on. He has even said that he doubt that a strict lockdown would have affected deaths that much. Instead, he pointed to the fact that deaths are going down in the elderly homes, showing that it is possible to isolate elders with hygiene routines, even without a strict lockdown.

  4. Cat Eldridge:

    “17) It is worth noting that Sweden will, if their mortality rate holds where it is, have a death rate one tenth that of the USA.”

    I have no idea how you reached that number and I don’t think it is true. But I think we can’t draw any real conclusions until we see what happens when countries are opening up and maybe then not even until winter when people start spending more time indoors with dryer air.

    For the curious, I did an antibody test with a negative result. This after having spent four weeks bed bound with Covid19 symptoms. So I don’t think those tests are enough to show how many have been infected in a population.

  5. 3) I cannot imagine how they expected anything else to happen.

  6. 6) Interesting… but a long way from being complete. Doesn’t distinguish between serious ideas and satire (the guy with the plan for extracting sunbeam from cucumbers in Gulliver’s Travels is not a genuine proponent of bioenergy), doesn’t dig into the descriptions enough (Cyrano’s moon machine is an honest to goodness multi-stage rocket), omits things (where’s Edgar Allan Poe?), doesn’t check background details (electric cars weren’t SF in 1894, they were on the roads). Still, a fun idea.

  7. well you all will have plenty of virtual conventioning to do next week as AmazingCon has been scheduled for June 12-14 and the just-announced Torcon is taking place June 11-14.

    If you want to see our line up for AmazingCon you can take a look here

  8. 10) James Purefoy also had other genre highs (High-Rise, based on the Ballard novel), middles (John Carter, where he played Kantos Kan) and lows (Resident Evil). And he played Mark Antony in HBO’s Rome, which is historical but still feels genre-adjacent to me, at least.

  9. @Hampus — Yes. Unless there’s a good reason to think you were sick with something else, I’d believe your symptoms and your doctor.

    The US CDC is noting that the current tests may not be very useful for the individual patient, because at least some of the the tests have false negative or false positive rates that are high enough to make them uninformative. Their advice right now is that the tests are useful only for epidemiology–that they can show whether a lot more people are infected in one area than in another.

    “In a population where the prevalence is 5%, a test with 90% sensitivity and 95% specificity will yield a positive predictive value of 49%. In other words, less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies,” the CDC said in its updated guidelines.

    (I found that quote at https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2020/06/02/heres-what-to-know-if-you-want-to-get-a-coronavirus-antibody-test)

  10. Ontario’s old age facilities are for-profit (thanks to a former Tory Premier, who coincidentally is a big investor in Ontario old age homes) and like Quebec’s, a lot of the for profits are death traps.

  11. I liked Counterpart a lot… and I was a few episodes behind when it was cancelled, reportedly on a cliffhanger. So I erased the last few episodes from my DVR without watching them.

  12. @16
    One of the tantalizing characteristics of the accumulation of knowledge is how much data is inaccessible. I think the coalescence of humans into polities is a great subject of study…but we can never be sure our theories are even close. This genetic study is compelling…but will it hold water? Will we ever be able to make the judgement? It’s enough to make a time-travel denier such as I into a believer…well, almost. No time travel, more’s the pity.

    @17
    I wish people wouldn’t get wrapped up in the numbers. Most of them aren’t even accurate.

  13. @bookworm1398: Victor definitely misread the book; I reread LoL a couple of years ago for a book group and do not remember any indication that the privileged users of high tech were doing so either morally or ethically. I do remember what feels in retrospect as a bit of Rite of Passage vibe, where a small number of knowledgeable people think they’re providing the lumpen as much as is “reasonable”, and Zelazny may not be coming down on that idea quite as hard as Panshin did, but I think Victor is claiming politics that aren’t actually there — the story supports technology for the common good/uplift rather than linking it specifically to democracy. I would also note that (like a lot of Zelazny) it is the story largely of one person who made one big step; the social story would be a lot longer.

    @Patrick Morris Miller: which “they”? If you mean the archive people, well, they’re not nearly as self-deluding as the Cheetoh, and they have a lot more prior art in the form of people honking “Information wants to be free!” without reference to costs. The press release doesn’t cite any of their justifications, but I’m sure they have a panoply.

    @James Davis Nicoll: AFAICT, most of the old-age facilities in the US are also corporatized for-profit operations — although one of the worst local outbreaks was at a state-run veterans’ home (now comes complete with fingerpointing in all directions, after the governor fired the manager).

  14. @Cat Eldridge: I really liked Counterpart – J.K. Simmons is brilliant among a uniformly excellent cast – up until the last two episodes, which I seriously disliked, for reasons that would be spoilery to go into.

    @Patrick Morris Miller: you could either regard the series finale as a cliff-hanger… or as a wrap-up. It works either way.

  15. @Cat Eldridge

    It is worth noting that Sweden will, if their mortality rate holds where it is, have a death rate one tenth that of the USA.

    Per JHU, as of Jun 3, Sweden has had 4542 deaths, population 10.2 mil, 4.4 deaths per 10,000.
    US has had 107,000 deaths, population 330 mil, 3.2 deaths per 10,000.
    That same JHU page currently has Sweden marked trending “UP” with respect to new cases (5 day moving average), and the United States marked trending “DOWN”
    Those are total, cumulative numbers, and you did say “rate”. From Worldometers, averaged over both the last 3 and 7 days, Sweden is losing about 50 people per day (4.9 deaths per day per million population). The US, from the same source, over the last 3 and 7 days, is losing about 1000 people per day (3.0 deaths per day per million population). Sweden is not doing better than the United States.

  16. Bill:

    “That same JHU page currently has Sweden marked trending “UP” with respect to new cases (5 day moving average), and the United States marked trending “DOWN””

    Problem with aggregate websites is that they have no idea what the numbers mean. In Sweden, we had a laboratory who had forgotten to report all their cases into the central register, so we suddenly got an enormous spike. In our registers, we can correct the date at a later stage, but aggregate websites tend to keep the date from when they were entered. We have also enlarged our capacity, so we are testing in much larger groups now.

    If we do look at the numbers for the kind of testing that have been constant since start of pandemic, we can see that it has been on a decline since mid April. The same goes for use of ICU and fatalities.

    Myself, I do not trust US statistics in any way with regards to fatalities, as we have seen much larger number of excess deaths than have been registered as Covid19 fatalities.

    But I very much doubt that Sweden only would have a tenth of the death rate.

  17. DreamHaven, the other science fiction bookstore in Minneapolis damaged by looters, has also started a gofundme. Greg and Lisa have been spending their nights in the store, along with friends, to protect it against further damage. More information at the site as well as at the Facebook page, though Greg needs to post a picture of the copy of Shelflife that was semiburned.

  18. 14) Hmm, while I agree with @bookworm1398 about the flaws in Victor’s analysis, I think Victor’s expectations may have been miscalibrated by whoever it was that told him it’s one of the five best SF novels of all time! I love Lord of Light, and would have no problem with it being described as one of the five best (maybe even three best) of its decade, but of all time? Nope.

    Aside: I definitely do not understand Victor’s complaint about Nirriti the Black and his army of zombies, but since he didn’t elaborate on what he thought was wrong about this, I’m not sure how to address it.

  19. I really liked Counterpart – J.K. Simmons is brilliant among a uniformly excellent cast – up until the last two episodes, which I seriously disliked, for reasons that would be spoilery to go into.

    That was my reaction, also.

    And it definitely felt like they came to a finish–I don’t remember anything cliffhangerish about it.

  20. Anthony Boucher and Gene Coon’s little-known collaboration : “Rocket to the Morg and Eymorg”

  21. Title credit! How gratifying.

    There has been quite a bit of public discussion in Canada about reforming the “long term care” industry, where so many of the COVID-19 deaths have taken place. I sure hope it actually happens. There’s a need for more modern facilities, better training and pay for the caregivers, and more stringent regulation and inspection, whoever actually owns and manages the homes.

  22. 10) Regarding James Purefroy, he was also in the shortlived British 1990 TV show Coasting, where a plays the younger. straightlaced brother of a never-do-well (Peter Howitt). When the older brother loses a lot of money and suddenly has a bunch of angry gangsters after him, both brothers are forced to leave London. Luckily for them, their uncle has just died and left them a stake in an amusement park in Blackpool, so suddenly both brothers find themselves in a very different line of business. I loved the series, but it’s very little known and has never had a DVD release. There are a few clips on YouTube, but the quality is bad.

    Still, enjoy this clip of the very strange funeral of the amusement park owner uncle. Purefroy is in the last row, trying very hard not to laugh. I think this was one of his first roles. He would have been 26 at the time.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTMwoaVcxNk&w=560&h=315%5D

  23. Cora Buhlert says Regarding James Purefroy, he was also in the shortlived British 1990 TV show Coasting, where a plays the younger. straightlaced brother of a never-do-well (Peter Howitt).

    It was done by Grenada which is alway flaky on releasing their productions on DVD. And given it was only seven EPS in length, they probably figured it was going not to be much of a revenue stream for them.

  24. I did end up downloading Counterpart as I got informed it’d be at least four months before I was allowed anything approaching unfettered walking rights, so I’ve got lots of viewing time.

    Oh and today the surgeon confirmed that I severely damaged my right rotator cuff which can’t be repaired surgically until the knee is reasonably healed up. And the knee wound has a Mercer bacteria infection in it as well.

  25. Cat Eldridge on June 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm said:

    Oh, $EDRF*G(H)!! You keep getting all the bad stuff!
    I hope they can stop this infection and fix your shoulder!

  26. Another contributing factor to Quebec’s COVID-19 problem was that their spring break was early. So lots of Quebecois were out traveling the first week in March, and some of them brought it home with them. Spring break in Ontario was the middle of the month at about the time that people began to cut down on traveling.
    One of my colleagues has a sister in Montreal who recently got taken off a respirator.

  27. J Evans says Oh, $EDRF*G(H)!! You keep getting all the bad stuff!
    I hope they can stop this infection and fix your shoulder!

    It’s fixable, just not now. And damn it, I’m really, really missing being able to go walkabout. I’m used to being out of the flat even now during the Pandemic three or four hours a day even if it’s just walking and listening to an audiobook while I do so. Now I’m here all the time save when I go out for medical appointments as I did today.

    My only visitors are nurses and therapists. Otherwise all social contact is quite virtual. I got lectured today on not overdoing with the knee just yet — as if that’s a possibility!

  28. Another contributing factor to Quebec’s COVID-19 problem was that their spring break was early. So lots of Quebecois were out traveling the first week in March, and some of them brought it home with them. Spring break in Ontario was the middle of the month at about the time that people began to cut down on traveling.
    One of my colleagues has a sister in Montreal who recently got taken off a respirator.

    This is similar to why some parts of Germany were hit so much worse than others. The worst affected regions either celebrated carnival in late February (the first big outbreak happened at a carnival session) or where schools had a break in late February/early March, which a lot of people used to go on ski holidays, many of them in the infamous Austrian party ski resort Ischgl, where a barkeeper infected half of Europe with Covid-19.

    North and East Germany had much fewer cases, because those regions are majority protestant or atheist and therefore don’t celebrate carnival and for geographical reasons (no to few mountains) skiing isn’t very popular there either. However, there is one exception, namely the North German city of Hamburg. Because Hamburg had school holidays in early March, which enough people used to travel to ski resorts to cause a spike of infections. The neighbouring states did not have school holidays at this time and therefore had fewer cases.

    As in Sweden, Quebec and elsewhere, the death rate only started going up, once the disease got into care and nursing homes. Because the initial carnival partiers and ski tourists were usually younger and healthier people who did not require hsopitalisation.

  29. @Cat: at least the rotator cuff was something that happened to you — I damaged mine doing something stupid lazy (reaching out with sideways force instead of moving a ladder repeatedly). I’ve known at least one person to overdo early rehab, but they were coming back from replacement surgery rather than trauma repair and so didn’t have quite as many warning signs. Here’s hoping both heal expeditiously; consider yourself sent virtual Powdermilk Biscuits.

  30. Chip Hitchcock says at least the rotator cuff was something that happened to you — I damaged mine doing something stupid lazy (reaching out with sideways force instead of moving a ladder repeatedly). I’ve known at least one person to overdo early rehab, but they were coming back from replacement surgery rather than trauma repair and so didn’t have quite as many warning signs. Here’s hoping both heal expeditiously; consider yourself sent virtual Powdermilk Biscuits.

    Ymmm powdermilk biscuits!

    The weird thing about the rotator cuff damage was it took some days to fully show itself. Once it did, it’s been quite unpleasant and it’s fortunate I’m basically confined to my flat as I’d likely risk making it worse if I was actually out and doing anything that require strenuous use of that arm.

  31. @Cat–

    Lectured is probably excessive, but it’s possible to overdo things with the knee without going anywhere.Right now I have to be careful not to overdo my PT exercises (nothing new here, this is maintenance which I expect to be doing for decades, barring major improvements in medicine).

    You may be more sensible, or more cautious, than I am. (This is not the therapist’s fault, I haven’t seen them, or needed to, in over a year.)

  32. Vicki Rosenzweig says Lectured is probably excessive, but it’s possible to overdo things with the knee without going anywhere.Right now I have to be careful not to overdo my PT exercises (nothing new here, this is maintenance which I expect to be doing for decades, barring major improvements in medicine).

    You may be more sensible, or more cautious, than I am. (This is not the therapist’s fault, I haven’t seen them, or needed to, in over a year.)

    My wound care nurse was just here. Her team’s going to try get to to surgeon to admit what he’s so worried about that he wants the knee checked as often as possible. It doesn’t look that bad but his notes to her team keep talking about the possibility of a serious infection just occurring.

    Complicating is the mystery of why he wants to see my again on Monday., another issue hr wound care team raised with him just now. It’s a hassle to get there and back obviously, so why am seeing again so soon?

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