Pixel Scroll 7/1/18 Hand Me 5000 Pixels By Midnight Or I Reveal The Rest Of The Scroll!

(1) NEW MARKET, NEW MONEY. SF magazine Hard Universe is taking submissions. The attention-grabbing part is how writers will get paid:

Payment for authors will be SFWA profession rates of 6 cents a word.  Payment will be made at the time of publication and be made in cryptocurrency equivalent to 6 cents a word at the time of publication.

The cryptocurrency involved is described by their sponsor at the Thought Network.

Rob Furey, speaking for Hard Universe, told Facebook readers:

Cat Rambo informed me that cryptocurrency will be viewed as any other foreign currency and valued at the exchange rate on the day of payment.

Authors will be given a link to open a secure personal wallet The cryptocurrency will be deposited in there. After that you can do with it as you like.

This is the kind of fiction they’re looking for:

Welcome to Hard Universe, where the math is strong, the science both lifts and limits, and the theories are robust.  In the coming pages we will provide science fiction based on plausibility and humanity, on the stand-up potentials of the human spirit faced with the finite yet unbounded qualities of the Universe’s inbuilt rules.
At the onset, Hard Universe will be quarterly.  Each issue will launch from a classic science fiction tale to inspire modern stories in the same vein.

(2) INSPIRED BY LE GUIN. Larry Clough spotted this sign at Saturday’s protests in Washington, DC and posted it on Facebook.

(3) BEWARE BATMAN SPOILER. This is the first time I’ve had to ROT-13 a headline – and don’t read the permalink of io9’s article either if you want the surprise to be preserved: “Jryc, Ybbxf Yvxr QP Pbzvpf Fcbvyrq Ongzna naq Pngjbzna’f Jrqqvat va gur Arj Lbex Gvzrf”.

SPOILER WARNING

(Did I make that sufficiently clear??)

The New York Times has published an article whose very headline is a major spoiler for fans of the DC universe (and followers of Batman in particular). Quoting the article:

If you’re invested in Batman’s romantic life, you might want to steer cleer of the paper of record today.

Gbqnl, gur Arj Lbex Gvzrf ena n fgbel pnyyrq “Vg Whfg Jnfa’g Zrnag gb Or, Ongzna” juvpu vf nobhg gur hcpbzvat Ongzna #50, qhr bhg Jrqarfqnl jvgu jevgvat ol Gbz Xvat naq neg ol Zvxry Wnava, jvgu pbybef ol Whar Puhat naq yrggrevat ol Pynlgba Pbjyrf, nybat jvgu n oril bs thrfg negvfgf. Va vg, gur negvpyr erirnyf jung gur urnqyvar znxrf cerggl pyrne: Ongzna vfa’g trggvat zneevrq guvf Jrqarfqnl. Ongzna naq Pngjbzna, gur yrtraqnel ureb/nagv-ivyynva cnvevat, vf abg zrnag gb or. Ng yrnfg abg va gur pnaba QP Havirefr, gung vf.

(4) STAN LEE. The Los Angeles Times tries to sort out what’s happening: “As Marvel movies soar, Stan Lee sees his private life crumble, with allegations of elder abuse”.

If the life of Stan Lee were turned into a superhero movie, it would be difficult to tell the good guys from the bad.

A battle over the Marvel Comics legend’s legacy is underway, featuring a cast of characters whose competing agendas make the plot of “Avengers: Infinity War” look simple by comparison. A man who says he is Lee’s manager and caretaker was arrested this month in Los Angeles on suspicion of filing a false police report and is being investigated over alleged elder abuse, according to court filings. A court has placed Lee, 95, under the temporary guardianship of an attorney, who has received a restraining order against the manager.

Since his wife, Joan, died last year at age 93, Lee has found himself surrounded by people with unclear motives and intentions, friends and colleagues say. The decline of his private life stands in stark contrast to the soaring success of Marvel, the brand he helped to create five decades ago. The blockbuster movie adaptations released by Disney’s Marvel Studios are perennial box-office winners that have helped to keep Lee’s influence thriving among new generations.

At the center of the current dispute is Lee himself — no longer able to see or hear well, but still active enough to attend red-carpet premieres and make cameo appearances in Marvel movies. On one side is Keya Morgan, a 42-year-old memorabilia collector and dealer who became close to Lee and served as his manager and de-facto gatekeeper. On the other side is Lee’s 68-year-old daughter, J.C. Lee, and her attorney, Kirk Schenck, who have battled Morgan over access to her father and his money.

(5) AVOIDING ELDER ABUSE. At Comicbook.com, “Casey Kasem’s Daughter Addresses Elder Abuse Claims Surrounding Stan Lee”

Anti-elder abuse advocate Kerri Kasem, daughter of legendary Scooby-Doo voice actor and American Top 40 host Casey Kasem, has detailed the warning signs of elder abuse that could be affecting famed Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee.

“In the last year of my father’s life, his wife [Jean Kasem] isolated him, keeping him away from us kids, all family members, his own brother, co-workers, friends — nobody could get a hold of him,” Kasem told USA Today.

“We called the police and they couldn’t help us, and we called Adult Protective Services, and they couldn’t help us, why? There are no laws allowing adult children to see their ailing parents in this country. Soon as you turn 18, you have no rights to see your parents — unless of course you have the Kasem Cares Visitation Bill in your state — and I’ve been working for the last five years on changing the laws in this country so that adult children have rights to see their parents.”

The Kasem Cares Visitation Bill, signed into law in 2017, allows a child to petition a court for visitation of their parent without going through a lengthy trial. Per the official website, the bill has been passed in 12 states, including California, where Lee resides.

(6) TREK GRADUATES. In “Star Trek Trek Directors’ School: Rick Berman”, an interview on StarTrek.com, ST:TNG/DS9/V/E executive producer Rick Berman discusses how so many actors from these series ended up directing.  The interview opens with:

Q: How, when, and why did the so-called directors’ school come about?

A: Jonathan Frakes, who I was very close to, personally and professionally, was very interested in directing. This was around season two. My theory on that was it was a slippery slope. There were a lot of potential pitfalls. What do you do if their episode is mediocre? On the other hand, actors were extremely good candidates for episodic directing simply because they lived their lives on the sets. They saw everything that went on, technically. Being actors, they knew everything that was going on dramatically, they spoke actor-ese and they’d see the technical elements of production and camera work going on. They seemed, in a sense, better candidates for potential directors than technical people. If a cameraman or an assistant director wanted to direct – and there are exceptions to this rule — they know the technical elements, but they don’t speak the actor-ese. They don’t understand how, necessarily, to deal with actors and to deal with character work. It’s much easier for an actor who’s directing to talk to the director of photography or sound man or production designer, and get information of a technical nature than it is for an assistant director to have somebody to discuss, “How do I talk to an actor about his performance?” So, actors always seemed to me to be decent candidates for directing.

However, what I said to Jonathan was, “You need to spend some time shadowing other directors. You need to spend time going through the whole process, going through the script, going through pre-production and all the prep a director does, spending time with directors on the stage, spending time with the director as he’s prepping each day’s work and spending time with the director in editing.” This was not always easy, because these actors were busy. They didn’t have time to necessarily do that because they were working. So, they had to find time. And my feeling was if they really had a passion to do this, they’d make it their business to find time. At some point, whether it was Jonathan or me or somebody else, it became known as “going to school” prior to getting a directing assignment. Jonathan spent numerous episodes, when he was light in an episode, going to school. Even when he was busy and had a full load of pages on a specific episode, he’d find time, whether it was lunch hours, before work, after work, scenes he wasn’t doing, to do all the things I mentioned before.

StarTrek.com also promises follow ups with some of the “graduates” of this “directors’ school,” beginning with Jonathan Frakes.

(7) FIRST CONTACT. Buzz Dixon sent the link to his reminiscence: “Harlan”.

…I met him in person at Filmation Studios back in 1978, but before then we had encountered each other on the pages of Dick Geis’ Science Fiction Review.

Let me backtrack and explain.

Harlan would approve….

(8) GRIFFIN OBIT. Helen Griffin (? – 2018): British actress, playwright and anti-war activist, died 29 June, aged 59. Genre appearances; Doctor Who (two episodes, 2006), The Machine (2013).

(9) FIRMIN OBIT. Peter Firmin (1928-2018): British producer, writer and director, died 1 July, aged 89. Genre work includes the animated series Noggin the Nog (1959 and 1979) and The Clangers (1969 and 2015).

(10) YOUNG PEOPLE. James Davis Nicoll turns on the radio and has his panel listen to Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”. Unbelievably, we here at All Bradbury All The Time are linking to a post that starts with this sentence:

I am not particularly fond of Ray Bradbury’s fiction but I know lots of people are. Logically, he seems like a safe bet when introducing young people to old SF in its various forms. The Veldt in particular was adapted to radio on a number of occasions. Paranoia about children was a common theme in the early Baby Boom years and The Veldt seems to be a prime example of the subgenre. I don’t see the attraction myself but I know I am in the minority where Bradbury was concerned. But will my young people agree with the majority or agree with me?

The X Minus One adaptation of The Veldt is here.

(11) BEHIND A PAYWALL. In the June 23 Financial Times, Nilanjana Roy discusses the successes of Marlon James and Toni Adeyemi in selling fantasy novels and how more people of color ought to be writing sf and fantasy.

Growing up in India, I read fantasy and sf classics by the dozen, ‘translating’ as I devoured The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of thee Rings, 2001, and other books.  It was easy enough to Imagine Tolkien’s orcs as similar to Indian rakshasas, or to mentally shift Dorothy to an Indian jungle where lions and monkeys travelled the Yellow Brick Road.  But rural Kansas was exotic to me.  And it was impossible to imagine writing a novel that might be read in the US or the UK where the hobbits were Indian, the Shire a version of the Punjab countryside…

…Speculative fiction is, by definition, about casting wide the net of the imagination.The excitement that James, Adeyemi, Liu Cixin and others have generated is also an index of how much richer SF could be in the future; speaking up to ‘diversity’ simply means creating more, and richer, fictional worlds to explore.  Somewhere on this planet, I hope there’s a teenager who dreams of becoming an sf writer–the next Rowling or Tolkien, yes, but also the next Adeyemi, the next (N.K.) Jemisin.

(12) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Brooke Bolander and Angus McIntyre on Wednesday, July 18, 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar.

Brooke Bolander

Brooke Bolander writes weird things of indeterminate genre, most of them leaning rather heavily towards fantasy or general all-around weirdness. She attended the University of Leicester studying History and Archaeology and is an alum of the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop at UCSD. Her stories have been featured in LightspeedTor.comStrange HorizonsUncanny, and various other fine purveyors of the fantastic. She has been a repeat finalist for the Nebula, the Hugo, the Locus, and the Theodore Sturgeon, much to her unending bafflement. Follow her at brookebolander.com or on Twitter at @BBolander

Angus McIntyre

Angus McIntyre is the author of the novella The Warrior Within, published by Tor.com. His short fiction has appeared in Abyss & Apex Magazine, and in several anthologies including Humanity 2.0Swords & SteamMission: Tomorrow, and Black Candies: Surveillance, Visit him online at https://angus.pw/ or follow him on Twitter at @angusm.

The KGB Bar is at 85 East 4th Street (just off 2nd Ave, upstairs) in New York, NY.

(13) ASTRONAUT HONORED. On the day of the Summer Solstice, Ohio honored their late native John Glenn with the official opening of the John Glenn Astronomy Park. The facility is located in Hocking Hills (40 miles outside of OH capital, Columbus) and is surrounded by 10,000 acres of forest which shields it nicely from light pollution. A story on CNBC — “Ohio honors late space icon and native son John Glenn with an astronomy park—here’s a look inside” — includes photos of some of the features and events at the Park.

(14) THANKS, INTERNET. John Scalzi did a follow-up: “More Things I Don’t Miss”.  I love this one:

  1. Having to wait to listen/hear music. So, when I was 13, there was this song that came on the radio that I immediately fell in love with, but I missed the title of it, and it was electro-pop and all my friends listened to heavy metal so they were no help, and there was nothing I could do but wait to see if the radio station would play it again, and they did, but I missed the intro and they didn’t identify the song at the end, so I had to wait again for them to play it, and it wasn’t like a hugely popular hit in the US at the time, and I had to go to school and all, so it took a week before I learned the song was called “Only You” by this group called Yaz, and the album it was on wasn’t in stock at my local music store, not that I really had the money to buy it anyway, so it took another week of me skulking by the radio in my room waiting for it to come on again so I could lunge at the tape recorder I had set up when it started, which meant that for a couple of years the only version of the song I had was one missing the first ten seconds and an interlude where my mom came in and told me dinner was ready.

(15) TO SLEEP, PERHAPS. BBC reports a “Hi-tech dreamcatcher defeats sleep amnesia”. Chip Hitchcock sent the link with a comment: “A neat idea in theory, but the wake-people-up-just-in-time notion reminds me of Brunner’s ‘Such Stuff’; i.e., will people get enough dreaming done to stay sane?”

“The idea that you can take something concrete – a technology – that can help you access that poetic and metaphorical side of your own cognition is really exciting.”

To achieve this he has invented a hand-worn device he calls Dormio.

It collects biosignals that in turn track transitions in sleep stages – such as a loss of muscle tone, heart rate changes, and alterations in skin conductance.

The goal is to study a particular stage of sleep – the period between wakefulness and deep sleep, known as hypnagogia.

(16) BIRD WITH A BIG BILL. You couldn’t make this up: “Polish charity gets huge phone bill thanks to stork”. Someone stole the SIM card from a bird tracker and abused it.

According to official broadcaster Radio Poland, the environmental EcoLogic Group placed a tracker on the back of a white stork last year to track the bird’s migratory habits.

It travelled some 3,700 miles (6,000kms), and was traced to the Blue Nile Valley in eastern Sudan before the charity lost contact.

EcoLogic told the Super Express newspaper that somebody found the tracker in Sudan, removed the sim card and put it in their own phone, where they then racked up 20 hours’ worth of phone calls.

Radio Poland says that the organisation has received a phone bill of over 10,000 Polish zloty ($2,700; £2,064), which it will have to pay.

(17) GAME OVER.

http://his-name-is-alonso.tumblr.com/post/73915280633/towritelesbiansonherarms

[Thanks to Buzz Dixon, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, Carl Slaughter, JJ, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, and Steve Green for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

79 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/1/18 Hand Me 5000 Pixels By Midnight Or I Reveal The Rest Of The Scroll!

  1. Re (1) NEW MARKET, NEW MONEY. SF magazine Hard Universe is taking submissions. The attention-grabbing part is how writers will get paid:
    So (with apologies to an adjacent scroll), perhaps ‘twould better be named…
    .
    .
    .
    UnCoiny!

  2. (1) So, that’s… a thing. A thing to which I would not submit, were I a writer.

    @John Mark Ockerbloom and many others seem to have sussed it out well.

    (2) Not only do I love this sign, I love the person who lettered it complete with proper footnote/attribution of Friesner quoting LeGuin. One of us!

    (3) Well thanks NYT! Although, ten years ago, “The New York Times spoiled the next big issue of Batman!” would not have been a plausible sentence.

    (4,5) It’s a sad situation, and the kids should at least be able to see Stan. (Having gone through this in my extended family: I’m on the Lee kids’ side)

    (7) That first paragraph is a perfect epitaph.

    (13) What a lovely tribute. If I ever find myself in Columbus, I’ll go there. (Right after asking “WTF am I doing in Ohio?”) Bring my binoculars and a lawn chair some summer night after looking at ConcreteHenge.

    (A sidebar headline to that says “Over 800 cryptocurrencies are now dead as Bitcoin is 70 percent off its record high”, which doesn’t look good for item #1.)

    (14) I still keep paper maps in the car, for when the phone maps don’t work or send you off in ridiculous directions. Or that time the phone died and we had no charger in the car and the last news from online maps told us the freeway was a parking lot between us and where we needed to go. Turns out we got there just fine. Many places in my in-laws’ area do not have cell coverage, so they still have maps. Paper maps are good for more than one person to look at, and fun to spread out and see the whole thing.

    I also still like the limited-animation Saturday morning cartoons. The stories stick in my head. Scalzi was born too late for the good stuff and too soon for the new stuff. There weren’t any cartoons based on toys when I was of the Saturday morning with sugary cereal age.

    (17) And 50 points plus one chocolate to Dad.

  3. @Lurkertype
    I still keep my paper maps and my paper road atlas, too, because GPS and navigation systems aren’t always reliable. Mine once told me insistently to turn left, when turning left would have driven me straight into the river. After driving in a circle three times, I finally realised that it wanted me to take the ferry. Which wasn’t happening, because car ferries scare me.

    There was also the time the navigation system could not find a road that had been there for ten years.

  4. Paper maps go out-of-date just as frequently as electronic maps do–if not more so–so I’m not quite sure how they’re preferable. GPS and navigation systems can be unreliable, but I’ve never had a problem just looking at an electronic map to see for myself what route I might want to take. (At least, no worse than the problems I’ve had with paper maps in the past.) A map is a map.

    I think I still have paper maps in the car, but I haven’t used them in I-don’t-know how long. I mean, even though I don’t usually use the route-planning my phone will happily offer me, I do still like the fact that I can just type in “Furgle St.” and it will show me where Furgle St. is without the twenty minutes of searching indexes and grid marks that paper maps used to require. And jumping to street-view when the lines on the map are too confusing is a godsend!

  5. @ Cora:
    I’m ambivalent about car ferries, but there are definitely parts of Sweden you can’t drive to, without using one.

  6. @Xtifr: Yes, any kind of map can get out of date. The advantage of a paper map is that you don’t have to worry about it running out of power, or about getting lost (in the sense of not knowing where you are) and then losing your connection to the network.

    A few years ago I was reading about problems because some of the electronic maps and directions in GPS systems hadn’t been ground-truthed, and either ignored major elevation changes (no, you cannot connect directly to that road that’s at the top of the cliff when you’re at the bottom) or contained roads that had never been built. Any map can become out of date because a road is rerouted, a bridge collapses, or a new building built where a street was–but that’s different from the road or bridge never having existed, only proposed or sketched on a developer’s plan. I believe that’s been improved, but I don’t know whether that means the problem has solved, or is only happening a third as often”fixed” or “only happens a third as often.”

  7. 1) Hard no.

    14) I remember buying CDs because they had one interesting song on them and then just hoping it would work out. Or buying it because of the cover art–I lived in a small town and our one music shop had no listening stations to try stuff out, and we only had one radio station, which only played the bottom half of the top 40 from 30 years earlier. There was MuchMusic (like MTV, but Canadian), but there was a lot of stuff they didn’t play. Music discovery was much harder than it is today. But I was also much more willing to take risks with my listening, as a result, and I feel like I’ve lost something there. Pretty solid list, although I had way better cartoons than he did.

  8. Paper maps:

    I’m a big fan, user and maker of maps, as many of you know/

    They are useful for hiking where a signal for Google Maps may be spotty or simply non-existent. And require no power.

    Also, a map for me can show things I hadn’t planned on, hadn’t programmed, and I can see spatial relationships better. If you are sitting in a motel room, having a map or atlas spread out, I can make my journeys better.

  9. @August: I still buy CDs on the basis of a single song, on the grounds that if a singer/group has one song I like, they probably have more. It’s only failed me once, as far as I remember.

  10. My father bought one of the first road maps for computers in Sweden. It worked fine for shorter trips, but always failed when going to the south of Sweden.

    We entered Stockholm to Malmö and it always started with “take the ferry to Gotland”.

    Turns out that it didn’t count distance over water so if you coule only tale the ferry to Gotland and then from Gotland to somewhere more south, it was always the best idea.

  11. I think the last time I bought a CD on a purely take-a-chance basis with *no* knowledge of the contents was 2009 (Jon Boden, Songs from the Floodplain: I knew a bit about Bellowhead but was going mostly on someone recommending it on a list for another British folk artist. For me at least it was a win, and at least one song from it I’ve sung as recently as, um, Sunday night.), and my father in law brought us a kid’s CD around 2014 from a *tiny* local group that has been a hit with both boys since then.

    But I do take fewer chances like that, and a big part of this is that it’s also much easier to find out if you’re interested in a particular artist’s work via youtube or streaming or Bandcamp or samples on their own web site. If my friends start talking about enjoying Steam Powered Giraffe, I can go watch a video (Honeybee is a frequent hook, but I prefer either Malfunction or their cover of Rihanna’s Diamonds myself). If someone says, “Hey, this woman is awesome” they’ll often provide a sample song or two on a link. Radio shows for non-top-40 material now tend to have a playlist online you can check for names, and TV shows (A source one friend of mine uses for the majority of her “What was that amazing song?” discoveries) ditto.

    I even had a casual mailing list we were calling MP3 of the month (even though half of it was youtube video links) running for a while, but it’s easy to run out of new groups to recommend within a fairly short time.

  12. Hampus Eckerman on July 3, 2018 at 8:43 am said:

    Turns out that it didn’t count distance over water so if you coule only tale the ferry to Gotland and then from Gotland to somewhere more south, it was always the best idea.

    For a while one of the online map makers (might have been Google Maps, might have been MapQuest) had a feature where if you entered directions from the US to somewhere in Europe, it would give you directions to a particular pier in Boston, tell you to “swim across the Atlantic Ocean” to, I think, Calais in France, and then continue your journey from there.

  13. Vicki Rosenzweig on July 3, 2018 at 5:46 am said:

    @Xtifr: Yes, any kind of map can get out of date. The advantage of a paper map is that you don’t have to worry about it running out of power or about getting lost (in the sense of not knowing where you are) and then losing your connection to the network.

    If my vehicle (which is perfectly capable of powering my phone) is out of power, I’ve got bigger problems than not knowing where I am… 🙂

    Losing connection to the network can be a problem–and is the main reason I haven’t purged the paper maps from my car–but for me, it’s only been a theoretical problem for ages. As for being lost, well, paper maps are only a limited amount of help there (it’s not easy to locate yourself on a map of any sort if you don’t know where you are), and I’m honestly not sure whether it would be easier/quicker to try to puzzle through the obscure and often less-than-helpful indexes on a paper map, or simply to drive around till you’re able to reestablish a network connection–or find a service station or helpful human somewhere.

    I’m not saying people should throw out their paper maps. I’m just saying that I haven’t had to resort to one in a long time. And don’t miss the days when I had to.

  14. Car Satnav units tend to include downloaded map material; even Google Maps allows you to download a copy of the map for an area of your choice – so that you have that map available even if you have no data. GNSS (short for “Global Navigation Satellite System”, which includes GPS, GLONASS, Galileo etc) requires no data connection. So even with no data available, as long as you have a reasonably fresh electronic map and enough power in your device, that will probably be at least as useful as a printed map – in fact, the electronic map will help you find where you are on the map, which the paper one is … not so good at.

    Especially maps on a network-connected device such as a phone can be very easily kept up-to-date; whereas it’s not uncommon to purchase a printed road atlas once and keep it in the car and largely forget about it, and not buy new ones even if the roads change.

    Of course, in certain contexts you may end up with both. I fly gliders, and in order to legally fly cross-country (outside of gliding range of the airfield from which you took off), you must carry a recent map with you. However, for ease of navigation, most cross-country glider pilots these days use an electronic moving map of some kind – and the paper map is mostly an emergency backup, though a legally mandated one. The electronic moving map can also give you audio alerts if you approach airspace where you shouldn’t be, which means that you can focus on looking outside the plane rather than inside the cockpit, and thus be better at spotting other planes.

  15. I’ve picked up a number of CDs from Kickstarter based on friends backing them and tidbits of songs. I’ve found some amazing music to add to my eclectic collection. Not all ends up to my taste but that’s what friends and family are for – great gifts as we all have different taste in music so I can usually find someone who’ll enjoy it if the clips turned out better than the whole songs. I’ve certainly expanded what I listen to as much of it is music I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.

  16. The thing about paper maps is their size. If I’m planning a drive of more than point-to-a-point, I like to be able to see the whole thing, then start to focus in. I don’t have a monitor or screen big enough to show me a big map in full resolution. Once I start optimizing, mapping apps are my friend. But I need that big picture first.

  17. @JAA:

    I usually address that need by pulling the route map up online and studying it at various scales. Picking a route isn’t the hard part, as Google is pretty good at doing that at least in broad strokes, but I do like to zoom in and know what the different intersections are going to look like. Sometimes I’ll change the fine points of the route from experience with the territory or for other reasons – for instance, when going to a convention, I might scout out a couple of drive-thrus that aren’t much of a detour from the main route, so I can snag something as I approach the hotel (or on my way out) rather than paying room service prices. I’ve also found it useful to make contingency plans; what do I do if traffic is bad and I can’t make an exit?

    Once I get that pretty well figured out, though, I can usually get by with snapping a few screenshots of key areas, rewriting the directions in my own words (so I know what I mean, and to better embed it in my mind), and often never looking at the closeups again. The effort ensures that the props won’t be needed… but I still have them if something goes wrong.

    Granted, I don’t have a GPS device, or even a smartphone, so hacks like those are pretty vital. In a worst-case scenario, if I’m completely baffled, I can usually pull off at a reasonably populated exit and find a wifi hotspot with which to get my bearings. The iPad mini comes in very handy for such things.

  18. @ Tasha Turner

    These days, I tend to buy digital versions of albums off of Bandcamp but sometimes I end up buying used CDs off of Discogs or CDs from labels who aren’t digital. At the last Balticon I went to, I finally took the filk plunge with a CD from Sassafras (Ada Palmer’s group). I do love Bandcamp though. So much music!

    Currently listening: “ZZ Top Goes To Egypt” by Camper Van Beethoven on Apple Music

  19. @Rev Bob.: I do okay without a large physical map. I just like them. That I like them as objects probably biases me in their favor as tools. I still write a lot of Perl, too.

    @Rob Thornton: I don’t think there’s ever been a band that gave me more of the sort of delight I get from especially those first three Camper Van Beethoven records.

  20. (16) rather amusing, except that if the tracker was accessible, it seems likely the stork would have died (or is storkjacking a thing now?).
    NASA must now be reviewing nervously whether they put SIM cards in any of the Voyager probes…

  21. (16) again. Discussion on HN had this comment:

    Oh good, when the kids ask the difficult question — “where does the internet come from” — I can legitimately say “a stork brings it”

  22. I finally got rid of all my paper maps (the ones for ordinary travel, not the fun historic maps from National Geographic) during my last move. It makes me wonder what Thomas Brothers are doing these days.

  23. @Rob Thornton

    I have at least one CD from Sassafras. I’m big of CDs so I own my music. I don’t trust any of the online music services where most of the time I’m leasing music instead of buying it and it can be yanked from my music library. I’ll buy individual songs but rarely entire albums that way.

    I’ve had problems downloading music from Bandcamp on my iPad and iPhone. I’m sure there is a way I just haven’t found the motivation to figure it out. I’ve gotten old enough that mastering new technology is no longer fun and cool. I suspect some of my curmudgeonly attitude is due to fibro brain fog & car accident brain damage – they’ve taken the fun out of beating the software engineers who failed to design an easy user interface.

  24. @Tasha Turner,

    Unfortunately, you cannot download Bandcamp music directly onto iOS or Android devices. As you probably know, you can stream their music from an app. But to download, you need a PC.

    The process is somewhat cumbersome: I download Bandcamp albums onto my Mac (in AAC format), unzip them, and put them into iTunes. Then I use iTunes to upload the music onto my iOS device. This process should work on a PC with iTunes too.

    Hopefully, that might work for you.

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