Pixel Scroll 7/22/19 Scroll On, You Crazy Pixel

(1) FOR PARENTS OF TEENS AT WORLDON. A Facebook group has been created for parents who will have minors at Dublin 2019, to set up reciprocal chaperoning arrangements: Dublin2019parents.

This COMPLETELY UNOFFICIAL group is for parents of young people who will be attending Dublin2019, an Irish Worldcon, to discuss the logistics of Kids In The Space. We all want to have a great time, make sure our offspring are safe, and work within the rules set forth by the convention regarding unaccompanied children and responsible adults. Let’s collaborate!

(2) KGB. Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series presents Paul Witcover & Lara Elena Donnelly on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 7 p.m. at the KGB Bar. Chandler Klang Smith & Mercurio D. Rivera will be subbing for hosts Ellen Datlow and Matt Kressel, who will be traveling.

Paul Witcover

Paul Witcover is the author of five novels, most recently The Watchman of Eternity. He has been a finalist for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Shirley Jackson awards. He hopes one day to win something!

Lara Elena Donnelly

Lara Elena Donnelly is the author of the Nebula- Lambda, and Locus-nominated trilogy The Amberlough Dossier, as well as short fiction and poetry appearing in venues including Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Nightmare, and Uncanny. Lara teaches at the Catapult Classes in New York City and is a thesis adviser in the MFA program at Sarah Lawrence College.

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

(3) WATCHMEN COMIC-CON TRAILER. Watchmen debuts on HBO this October.

There is a vast and insidious conspiracy at play…. From Damon Lindelof and set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, this drama series embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name while attempting to break new ground of its own. The cast includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, and James Wolk.

(4) BID MAD FAREWELL. The New York Times letters section is filled with expressions of sentiment offered “In Fond Remembrance of Mad Magazine”.

I wholly endorse Tim Kreider’s views and mourn Mad’s effective demise to the extent it ceases the publication of new material.

As the beneficiary of slightly distracted conservative parents, I subscribed to and have collected Mad since I was a preteenager. Bill Gaines’s “usual gang of idiots” offered intellectual freedom from the confining dictates of the 1950s, and that freedom continues to inform my thinking.

The art was as meticulous as the writing. Each artist’s style was perfectly attuned to the text of the particular piece. What can compare to George Woodbridge’s illustrations of hippies and beatniks?

In contrast to so many publications, those many issues of Mad reflect no typographical errors, misspellings, grammatical mistakes or instances of poor usage, unless intentional. At least I have never spotted any.

Literate, entertaining, enlightening and inspirational.

R.I.P., Mad!

Barbara Jaffe
New York
The writer is a New York State Supreme Court justice.

Tim Kreider’s opinion piece “The World According to Mad Magazine” appeared July 12.

(5) ALL YOUR COMIC-CON BELONG TO US. Writers and editors at The Hollywood Reporter have picked “Comic-Con Winners and Losers From Film, TV and Comics Panels.” Each entry includes a paragraph on why it was selected, but the roundup is:

  • Winner: Marvel Studios 
  • Loser: Veronica Mars (Hulu) 
  • Winner: Paramount
  • Winner: The Witcher (Netflix)
  • Winner: The Walking Dead (AMC)
  • Loser: The Eisner Awards 
  • Winner: It Chapter Two (New Line/Warner Bros.)
  • Loser: Game of Thrones (HBO) 
  • Winner: Westworld (HBO)
  • Winner: Watchmen (HBO) 
  • Loser: Ruby Rose 
  • Winner: Tom Hooper
  • Winner: Tom King 
  • Winner: The X-Men (Marvel)
  • Winner: Undiscovered Country (Image Comics)
  • Winner: Riverdale (The CW)
  • Loser: Agents of SHIELD (ABC)
  • Winner: Star Trek (CBS All Access)

Here’s one example:

Loser: Veronica Mars (Hulu) 
Surprise! All episodes of the highly anticipated revival are available to stream a week early! In what was designed as a reward for diehard fans of the Kristen Bell-led series from creator Rob Thomas, those packed into Ballroom 20 were delighted at the early arrival before likely realizing they’d be unable to stream it given that they already had weekend plans — at Comic-Con — and would likely be spoiled by that heartbreaking finale. The early drop was a regular topic on Friday but by Saturday, it had already been drowned out amid a glut of hundreds of other film, TV, video game and comic book panels and trailers.   

(6) MORE COMIC-CON COVERAGE. San Diego’s Fox 5 has a 45-photo gallery of “Best costumes of Comic-Con weekend”.

The Comic-Con Blood Drive was the most successful ever:

(7) FULL LID REFILLED. Blade Runners, alien invasions of several kinds and the retirement of an all-time great are all part of this week’s “The Full Lid 19th July 2019”. Alasadair Stuart outlines what’s inside —  

We open with a look at the first issue of Titan Comics’ Blade Runner 2019 featuring a new member of the division with some very new problems. Then we’re off to curdled suburban horror with Jeremy C. Shipp’s superbly unsettling Bedfellow. A house guest turns a family’s lives on their heads, but he’s always been there, hasn’t he? An uncle, a brother, a god, a monstrous cuckoo nesting in their lives. Marv is here to stay and a superbly unsettling villain.

Then we salute the comics career of Alan Moore, godfather of the UK scene, film-maker, actor, magic user and architect of an age. But for all his legendary skill and gravitas, Moore is a hell of a comedian and my favorite work of his falls in that field. Finally, with the recent and much deserved Clarke Award win, we re-run the review of Tade Thompson’s excellent Rosewater from last year. Rounded out with the latest work from Anne Fortune, Claire Rousseau and You Suck At Cooking, that’s the Full Lid for the week.

(8) LEGO’S APOLLO PROGRAM. The Verge: “A Lego designer talks about designing spaceships and collaborating with NASA”. Tagline: “More than 40 years of LEGO Space”

The Verge spoke with Lego designer Simon Kent recently, who explained that he and his colleagues recently visited with NASA engineers and personnel to compare their toys against the real spaceships, rovers, and space stations currently in operation today. “Across the company, space is such a big theme, that we can tap into it in many different ways, whether its a plaything like Lego City, or a display model that goes into the fine details of the spacecraft’s design,” like the recently-released Apollo 11 Lunar Lander [list price $99.99].

(9) THAT’S NOTABLE, NOT NOTORIOUS. Camestros Felapton fills everyone in about “Today’s right wing author meltdown…” which commenced when Michael Z. Williamson learned his Wikipedia entry was slated for deletion on grounds that he is not sufficiently notable. In fact, the page has been deleted and restored pending debate while this has been going on.

Last night Michael Z. Williamson’s blog was brought to my attention, who if you are unfamiliar with him, was (is) one of the pioneering fiction writers in the wild west of the early-mid 2010s who bucked the system of social justice-focused “woke” writing in order to focus on craft and excellent storytelling.

Now, years later, big tech is taking its revenge on Michael as they’ve deleted his wikipedia page.

(10) KRAFT OBIT. NASA pioneer Chris Kraft died July 22. The Houston Chronicle headline: “Legendary NASA flight director Chris Kraft has died at 95”.

Christopher C. Kraft Jr. — NASA’s first flight director and a legendary scientist who helped build the nation’s space program — died Monday, just two days after the world celebrated the historic Apollo 11 walk on the moon. He was 95.

“#RIP Dr. Christopher Kraft,” former astronaut Clayton Anderson posted on Twitter soon after. “You were a true leader for this nation and our world. So glad you were able to witness #Apollo50th…we felt your presence everywhere.

“Godspeed and thank you.”

Kraft’s name is emblazoned in bold letters on the side of the mission control building at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, home to the base of operations where Kraft guided astronauts from launch to landing as the organization grew to a full-blown agency that required multiple flight directors to oversee a mission.

…During an era with no calculators and only rudimentary computers, Kraft essentially built NASA’s mission control to manage human operations in space. As the agency’s sole flight director, with a simple black-and-white monitor and listening to eight different communications loops, he had the final say for NASA’s first five manned missions, including the Mercury flights of Alan Shepard and John Glenn.

(11) HEDISON OBIT. Actor David Hedison, best known for his role in Sixties sci-fi series Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea, hdied July 18 at the age of 92 reports Deadline.com. He also was in the original version of horror sci-fi classic The Fly.

(12) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born July 22, 1881 Margery Williams. The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) is the work that is by far her best known work. Is it genre? Sure. And it has been adapted as video, audio and theatre myriad times. One audio version was narrated by Meryl Streep with music by George Winston. (Died 1944.)
  • Born July 22, 1912 Stephen Gilbert. His final novel, Ratman’s Notebooks was adapted as the Willard film. Thirty’s years later, it was made into a film yet again. Kindle has most of his books available, iBooks just Ratman’s Notebooks. (Died 2010.)
  • Born July 22, 1932 Tom Robbins, 87. Author of such novels as Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Another Roadside Attraction. ISFDB lists everything he’s done as genre and who am I to argue with them? Now Jitterbug Perfume, that’s genre!
  • Born July 22, 1941 Vaughn Bodé. Perhaps best known for the Cheech Wizard character and his art depicting erotic women. For our purposes, he’s a contemporary of Ralph Bakshi and has been credited as a major influence on Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings and Wizards. He’s been inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame. (Died 1975.)
  • Born July 22, 1944 Nick Brimble, 75. His first genre role was in Lust for a Vampire as the First Villager. He next shows up in Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound as The Monster.  He’s Sir Ectot in A Knight’s Tale which I really be it genre or not. His lastest film genre role is as Dr. Zellaby in Soulmate, and he’s the voice of Owsla in the Watership series. 
  • Born July 22, 1959 Nigel  Findley. He was a game designer, editor, and an author of science fiction and fantasy novels and RPGs. He was also part of the original core group of Shadowrun RPG core group and has sole writing credit on both sourcebooks and Shadowrun world novels. Yes, I played Shadowrun, a most enjoyable experience. (Died 1995.)
  • Born July 22, 1972 Colin Ferguson, 47. Best known for being Sheriff Jack Carter on  Eureka. I miss that series. Did it win any Hugos? He’s also been in Are You Afraid of the Dark, The Hunger, The X-Files, The Outer Limits, the Eureka “Hide and Seek” webisodes (anyone seen these?) and The Vampire Diaries
  • Born July 22, 1976 Karen Cliche, 43. She’s known for her roles on Flash Gordon, Mutant XVampire High and Young Blades. She’s does two horror films, Pact with the Devil and Saw VI

(13) COMICS SECTION.

  • Cul de Sac shows how hard it can be to be a space flight dreamer.

(14) GRRM AND FORBIDDEN PLANET. The Irish Film Institute will start selling tickets to this event on Thursday:

(15) KEEPING THE R IN HARLEY. You’ve been warned. “Kaley Cuoco’s Harley Quinn Show Is A ‘Tad R-Rated,’ She Warns With New Trailer”CinemaBlend explains the rating:

There’s gratuitous swearing, Joker shooting someone at point-blank range, and he’s taking a shot to the groin courtesy of Harley? Yeah, I can see why Kaley Cuoco wanted to get the warning out on her Instagram, especially when the animation for Harley Quinn looks like something DC would run on Cartoon Network in primetime.

(16) THE UK’S OWN STORM. They made a big splash on social media – will they really try to do the same in the Loch? “RNLI warning over ‘Storm Loch Ness’ monster hunt”.

A suggestion for a mass search for the Loch Ness Monster later this year has gone viral on social media, and caused concern for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

On Facebook, about 18,000 people say they are going to a Storm Loch Ness event with 38,000 “interested”.

It has been inspired by Storm Area 51, an idea tens of thousands of people could storm a US Air Force base to uncover the truth to a UFO conspiracy.

But Loch Ness RNLI is warning of the dangers of the loch’s deep water.

Concerned that hundreds, or even thousands, of people head out on to the loch for Storm Loch Ness on 21 September, the volunteer crew said it could not match the resources being used by the US military to deal with Storm Area 51.

(17) BOILED IN LEAD. Lest you think James Davis Nicoll is being too negative about this idea, he explains how it could have been even worse: “Bad SF Ideas in Real Life: NASA’s Never-Realized Plans for Venus”.

Many readers may find the plots of some SF novels deeply implausible. “Who,” they ask, “would send astronauts off on an interstellar mission before verifying the Go Very Fast Now drive was faster than light and not merely as fast as light? Who would be silly enough to send colonists on a one-way mission to distant worlds on the basis of very limited data gathered by poorly programmed robots? Who would think threatening an alien race about whom little is known, save that they’ve been around for a million years, is a good idea?”

Some real people have bad ideas; we’re lucky that comparatively few of them become reality. Take, for example, a proposal to send humans to Venus. Not to land, but as a flyby.

(18) YA AWARD. Garik16’s Lodestar Award finalist reviews: “Reviewing the 2019 Hugo Nominees: The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book”.

So yeah, there’s a lot of great works to be nominated for this award, and this year’s shortlist contains some pretty good works, including one book again that was one of my favorites from all of last year, one book that I really really liked, one I enjoyed a good bit which will probably win it all, and two other books that are at least solid – really only one nominee of the bunch do I think is unworthy, although I can understand why it’s nominated.  All in all, this award will give recognition to a work that definitely deserves it, which is the point of the matter.

(19) DOUBLE YOUR FUN. “Chandrayaan-2: India launches second Moon mission” – BBC has the story.

India has successfully launched its second lunar mission a week after it halted the scheduled blast-off due to a technical snag.

Chandrayaan-2 was launched at 14:43 local time (09:13 GMT) from the Sriharikota space station.

India’s space chief said his agency had “bounced back with flying colours” after the aborted first attempt.

India hopes the $145m (£116m) mission will be the first to land on the Moon’s south pole.

The spacecraft has entered the Earth’s orbit, where it will stay for 23 days before it begins a series of manoeuvres that will take it into lunar orbit.

If successful, India will become the fourth country to make a soft landing on the Moon’s surface. Only the former Soviet Union, the US and China have been able to do so.

(20) FASTER THAN TUNNELING? Most SF posits living under the surface of the moon, but there’s an alternative: “Why 3D printing could be key to a Moon base”.

The European Space Agency (Esa) is researching technologies based on 3D printing to see how materials found on the lunar surface could be made into products to help with habitation on the Moon.

Dusty powdered rock found on the Moon’s surface could be made into construction materials, explains the Esa’s James Carpenter.

(21) I SPY, WITH MY LITTLE APP. Pixels, please! “Kazakhstan’s new online safety tool raises eyebrows”.

Kazakhstan’s drive to obtain government access to everyone’s internet activity has raised concerns among privacy advocates.

Last week, telecoms operators in the former Soviet republic started informing users of the “need” to install a new security certificate.

Doing so opens up the risk that supposedly secure web traffic could be decrypted and analysed.

Some users say the move has significant privacy and security problems.

Much of the concern focuses on Kazakhstan’s human rights record, which is considered poor by international standards.

…A statement from the Ministry of Digital Development said telecoms operators in the capital, Nur-Sultan, were carrying out technical work to “enhance protection” from hackers, online fraud and other cyber-attacks.

It advised anyone who had trouble connecting to some websites to install the new security certificate, from an organisation called Quaznet Trust Network.

…One user filed a bug report with Mozilla, maker of the internet browser Firefox, characterising the move as a “man in the middle” cyber-attack and calling for the browser to completely ban the government certificate.

(22) REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE. Frequent contributor Martin Morse Wooster says:

“I have a question I want to ask Filers but it’s guaranteed not to provoke a flame war. My question:

“I would like to eat more tomatoes.  What are the best recipes Filers have for using tomatoes from the farmers’ market?

“I am very serious about this.”

Your culinary advice is welcome in comments.

[Thanks to Mike Kennedy, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, Darrah Chavey, James Davis Nicoll, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jon Meltzer.]

78 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/22/19 Scroll On, You Crazy Pixel

  1. @Jack Lint: Admittedly tomatoes are more useful than zucchini, but by late summer everyone has too many tomatoes. ISTM that depends on both discretion and species. I haven’t grown full-size tomatoes in half a century so I don’t know how current types produce, but I’ve been quite happy with the sequential production of a couple of stems of miniatures in a raised bed.

    @Hampus Eckerman: following that link to the actual summary-of-deletion-debates page is interesting; all three of the authors (as opposed to characters) currently under argument are right-wing / Puppoid, with … exiguous … support. One can conclude from this either that Wiki editors slant against the far right, or that the far right tends to have an exaggerated sense of when it’s being abused; given the unjustified complaints I hear from the right in the US (far-right anywhere else?), I know where my read falls.

  2. ATTACK OF THE KILLER PIXEL TOMATOES!

    THEY SCROLL FOR YOUR LIVES!

  3. re: tomatoes — You people are evil! Now I need to go get some tomatoes to eat!

    @Nick —

    what I don’t really understand is why authors need such strict notability guidelines

    It’s my impression that they are concerned about pages that are solely up there for self-promotion.

  4. @steve davidson
    Tomatoes also get grilled for breakfast in England. Much better than stewed: cut in half, run under broiler until they’re just dry on the cut side.

    One year in Texas, I planted three kinds of tomatoes. The currant tomatoes did pretty well: they need to be caged, as they flop, and the fruit needs to be picked before it’s all the way ripe, because it splits and all the flavor escapes. “Santiam” did very well: it’s a short-season tomato from Oregon, and fairly small (2 to 3 ounces). I ate them like apples, and it produced right up until frost, which that year was around Veterans’ Day: 5 pounds of tomatoes for Halloween! “Oregon Spring” didn’t do much, for some reason.

  5. Clip Hitchcock:

    “One can conclude from this either that Wiki editors slant against the far right, or that the far right tends to have an exaggerated sense of when it’s being abused;”

    I took a look at Michael Z Williamson’s previous joke of a Wikipedia page before with no relevant sources, weird talk about nicknames and a career summary that included the plot points of his books. It is no wonder that it was marked for deletion, the quality was incredibly low. After it was marked for deletion, lot of editors have worked at making it better and now it is kind of okay.

    I don’t know who made the pages for Marmot and Hoyt, but they were absolutely as bad and Marmot did his usual best to insult the editors.

    The end result might be that some editors work on their pages and they will be much better in both content and sourcing after that.

  6. Thanks, everyone. I am going to try some of these recipes!
    Mister Dallard: I don’t have the skill set that says, “Here are fresh tomatoes/eggplant/squash” at the farmer’s market. I will use them in my favorite recipe for XXXX.” All I know about tomatoes is you can make tabouleh with them. Farmers of course sell a lot of them because fresh tomatoes are MUCH better than store-bought ones. I also thought since Filers live all over the world they could tell me things I don’t know!

    Harold Osler: Thanks for posting Guy Clark’s song, which I enjoyed.

  7. Chip Hitchcock on July 23, 2019 at 9:19 am said:

    @Hampus Eckerman: following that link to the actual summary-of-deletion-debates page is interesting; all three of the authors (as opposed to characters) currently under argument are right-wing / Puppoid, with … exiguous … support.

    I think some editor is following a chain of accounts/edits — i.e. MZW led to Marmot led to Hoyt.

  8. Should I gloat that even though I do not have a personal Wikipedia entry, I am referenced in several and I’m also linked to for various citations? Of course, anyone who has chaired a convention that has its own Wikipedia entry should be referenced. I was surprised to find my name as part of the reference citations including some 25 year old posts on rec.arts.sf.tv

  9. (9) What I am surprised nobody has addressed is the common thread (cough Baen cough) which links together so many of these right0wing SF writers who have a history of harassment: TK, MZW, Ringo, Correia. Or how it relates to the way that these authors are marketed.

  10. My Mad Magazine story, which I may have told before: When I was a teenager, a friend and I had an argument about Mad Magazine. He was certain that being an object of parody in Mad was useful publicity, and that movie & TV producers were paying the otherwise ad-free Mad for the privilege of being lampooned. I disagreed, but to settle things, we wrote a tortuously-worded letter to Mad’s publisher & co-founder, William Gaines, asking him if my friend’s claim was true. It came back, our original letter, with several “No!”‘s rubber-stamped on it, and a scribbled reply from Gaines, “Good God, No!”.

  11. Tomato recipes more notable than MZW according to Filers, 22 comments to 7.
    A pity that I do not care for tomatoes!

    In this case, the man and his supporters have a point. He seems a sufficiently prolific author to warrant a WP page.I read all I needed about output quality from that source though in ‘Wisdom from the Internet’, and have no need to know any more.

  12. Ooh, I forgot the tuna tomato salad method. This is old. Make tuna salad (tuna mayo I think is the British term). Take a ripe tomato, wash, and cut (not quite all the way through) into wedges, to make a star or flower-shape. Stuff tuna salad in the middle and serve. If you screw up and cut all the way through, you can chop the tomato and mix it with the tuna salad instead. It’s actually easier to eat that way, though less pretty.

    Also, I forgot to go to the farmers market today, but a friend went and kindly brought me back some tomatoes. Score!

  13. @James W. Meadows: when I was in a mediocre and often-unpleasant boarding school (long story), some of the students persuaded Mad to run an indignant letter, over the name of the generally-disliked headmaster, complaining about a Mad cartoon. (I have a vague memory of ~”That wasn’t funny! That filthy hippy deserved to get pounded!”) Not-very-covert mirth ensured.

  14. Tomatoes! I got, um. A little carried away.

    Slow-roasted tomatoes: Pre-heat your oven to 100C (maybe 200F?). Halve and de-stem your tomatoes (you want medium or large ones, no cherries or babies, but they can be round or plum, either works) and arrange on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and liberally dust over whatever herbs or spices you feel like (I often go for garlic powder and mixed herbs, but ground coriander works great, you could also do cumin — honestly, so long as it tastes good with tomatoes it will taste good with this). Cook slowly until shrunk to about half their size but still juicy in the middle. It’ll take at least a couple of hours, and up to four. They’ll store in the fridge for up to a week and will go with most things (and make an excellent jump-start flavour-boost for pasta sauce), but my favourite thing to do is reheat them and then squish them into a “ketchup” to use with bacon sandwiches. Also good smeared onto toast before covering with lots of strong grated (shredded?) cheese and grilling (broiling?) it until golden brown. If you want to get fancier, first mix your grated cheese (mature cheddar’s a classic, but any hard cheese with lots of flavour works) with English mustard, a splash of beer, and a beaten egg per person. Stick the slices of toast with their tomato smoosh and cheesy topping under the grill until puffed up and golden brown.

    Bruschetta al pomodoro, just multiply by the number of slices you want: 1 slice sourdough & rye pave (or other good bread with some flavour and an open crumb), 50g baby plum tomatoes, 3g garlic, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (use your favourite), 1/2 garlic clove, 2 basil leaves, Salt, to taste (you only need a tiny pinch to brighten the flavours). Chop your tomatoes, discarding most of the seeds and watery middle, put them in a bowl and add a pinch of sea salt, to taste. Give it a quick stir. Finely chop the 3g of garlic and add that and the olive oil to the tomatoes, another quick stir, before tearing up the basil and stirring that in. Leave to sit for about five minutes while you prepare the toast. Lightly toast your bread (you want it to have crispy surfaces but not to be darkly browned all over, little to no colour for the most part is best, although the odd scorched bit is tasty), then rub the cut side of your extra garlic clove into one side of the bread. Spoon tomato mixture on top, enjoy. (Optionally, drizzle some extra olive oil over your prepared bruschetta).

    You can do most tomato-based pasta sauces by substituting your tinned tomatoes or passata with an equal weight and then some of fresh tomatoes. My favourite way is puttanesca-ish, with anchovies, capers, garlic and olives, but adding diced bacon, onion and peppers also works.

    Shakshouka and other similar dishes also work more or less the same way — just add enough tomatoes to create the sauce. (I like to make my very inauthentic version with chorizo, lots of garlic, some onion and peppers, and if I’m really hungry I’ll chuck some beans — cannellini, baked, chickpeas, whatever — in there, too. Smoked paprika and an egg cooked in the sauce to finish.)

    Rice mess — stick a bunch of stuff you like (mine’s often more-or-less similar to my not-shakshouka, only with sweetcorn and more herbs and spices, but you can use basically anything that will taste good after being cooked in water for the time it takes your rice) in a saucepan with dry rice and add just enough water to cook the rice with and end up with only a little saucy liquid left at the end. Adding a bunch of chopped tomatoes means you get to cut down the water because the tomatoes will provide a lot of much tastier liquid as they cook down. You can stick an egg in the top a couple of minutes before the end, too, and poach/steam it in the remaining liquid.

    A basic chickpea (garbanzo) salad, just toss a can of chickpeas with the chopped tomatoes, some parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil.

    Or as a snack cut into quarters and sprinkled with salt, maybe drizzled with balsamic, with a nice bit of cheese on the side. Current fave cheese to eat with this is cornish yarg.

    Grilled (broiled in American I think) or fried with other fried food, like a full English breakfast or a steak with mushroom and chips.

    A thick scotch bonnet, tomato and bell pepper sauce (also: onions and garlic) which used fresh tomatoes and was quite flexible for usage — I ate it on pasta, I made a quasi-patatas bravas dish with it by adding some roasted new potatoes, garlic mayo, fried chorizo crumble and fresh sliced mild red chilli, I cooked eggs in it, I stirred it into couscous, I used it as ketchup and dip… No real recipe, just lots of tomatoes and peppers, an onion, a few cloves of garlic and a scotch bonnet (cooked whole for the most part, then removed near the end, carefully deseeded and sliced, and added back in), all cooked slowly on the hob until it formed a thick sauce. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m pretty sure you could thin it down a little with some flavourful stock and turn it into soup, too.

    Panzanella style salads — lightly toasted or stale bread, chopped tomatoes and red onion with an oil and vinegar dressing (you can also add whatever other salad fixings you like, but the only things you really need are the bread, tomato, and dressing).

    I made a rather good thing based on a Nigel Slater recipe recently which was chorizo and new potatoes, sliced and fried over medium-high until golden, add a bunch of halved cherry tomatoes a little before the potatoes and chorizo are done and cook for another few minutes, then add cucumber cut into short, thick sticks for another minute, then add a bunch of spinach and/or watercress and/or rocket (American translation: arugula) and cover for thirty seconds, and stir and serve. I think I shoved some smoked paprika in there too, because I like it.

    I like adding them to shepherd’s and cottage pie. Fry onion until translucent and add to a baking dish with browned minced lamb (shepherd’s) or beef (cottage), add chopped tomatoes, sliced mushrooms cooked until soft, peas, some stock, a splash of worcestershire sauce and some mint (only for shepherd’s) or thyme and/or rosemary (shepherd’s or cottage), cover with a thick layer of mashed potato (run a fork over it to create ridges after smoothing it into a even layer — crispy bits!), some more sliced tomatoes scattered on top of that, and some grated cheese. Bake at 180c for about forty minutes until fully cooked through and golden and crispy on top. If you don’t mind taking the extra time, getting stewing meat in thick steaks and browning them over high heat before chopping them up into small pieces and adding them to the baking dish is a pretty awesome upgrade over mince. You could also shake up the spicing — I know of people who go for Indian spices for an Anglo-Indian fusion feel.

    I don’t have any recipes because experimenting with Indian food is still on my to-do list, but tomatoes feature in a lot of dishes and it’s all delicious, so maybe worth having a look.

    Sliced and laid out on top of oven-baked mac & cheese and cooked until browned and the exposed pasta is golden. (I also like to do a crunchy topping for the pasta with breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter and some parmesan. And I think I might add some chopped tomatoes to the mac & cheese itself next time, too.)

    Greek salad — chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber and de-stoned and halved kalamata olives and thinly sliced red onion, toss with rinsed capers, oregano (fresh if you can find it, dried if you can’t), and a red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing, top with a slab of feta (or chop the feta and add with the rest, depends on how you prefer to eat it). Strictly speaking, you’re supposed to leave the olives stone-in and whole, but I find it a bit annoying. YMMV.

    PS. All mentions of chorizo are the Spanish-style cured sausage, not the loose Mexican variety.
    PPS. All seasoned with salt and sometimes pepper, obviously, just do it to taste.
    PPPS. English cucumber might be a bit different from USA cucumber.

    @Ken Richards

    One of the best ways to derail Filers from a fight has always been to wave a food question in front of them. No Puppy can compete with that!

  15. @ Merideth

    Demonstrated in Spades!

    In current reading completed ‘The Municipalists’ by Seth Fried, an odd couple buddy caper, as dedicated public servants try to save a city from the clutches of those who are very certain they are right.

    A quick fun read, with a clever twist in the tail

  16. The thing is that when Wikipedia talks about “notability”, what they really mean is “likelyhood that reliable sources will cover this topic.” Which is why 19th c. politicians have lower notability requirements than 21st c. pop culture creators.

    In fact, the fundamental notability guideline is: “If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list.”

    Note that that doesn’t say anything about “number of people who claimed to own it on Goodreads”. 🙂

  17. @ Xtifr

    The thing is that when Wikipedia talks about “notability”, what they really mean is “likelyhood that reliable sources will cover this topic.” Which is why 19th c. politicians have lower notability requirements than 21st c. pop culture creators.

    Of course, this also means that Wikipedia will repeat and reinforce the biases of those “reliable sources”, as well as reinforcing the biases of the people who feel most energized about creating and policing Wikipedia pages. This is how you end up with Wikipedia articles for individual episodes of tv sitcoms while at the same time having people argue that a Nobel Prize winning scientist “isn’t notable enough”.

    Mind you, I love Wikipedia, both in concept and in overall execution. But it was founded on idealistic premises that don’t always hold water. In theory having objective requirements for notability provide a sound basis for providing good coverage while not being hijacked by individual contributors for self-centered purposes. But in reality it also means that topics and individuals who have historically been systematically excluded and overlooked from those reliable sources are less likely to be covered (especially if people are populating articles by mining existing reliable sources, like all the articles taken from historic encyclopedias) and more likely to be challenged, either in good faith by people who are less aware of that historic exclusion or in bad faith by people who aspire to be part of that historic exclusion.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to dump this on your comment. It was mostly just a jumping off place.

    I was tickled to death when a WIkipedia entry was created for me (having won a SFF book award that has its own WIkipedia page probably gives me sufficient “objective notability” for the minimum requirements). I have an inkling that it was part of a deliberate “create pages for marginalized people/topics” project. But what was even more amusing is that for years a search on my name in Wikipedia would only turn me up as the author of “reliable sources” used to document other entries. But that, in itself, probably wouldn’t make me sufficiently notable. (Maybe some day, someone who isn’t me will link my name in the footnote to the “Bodmin Manumissions” page to my personal entry.)

  18. Greg Hullender on July 24, 2019 at 7:55 am said:

    I think the real problem is that Wikipedia’s definition for a reliable sources excludes most of the sources that really do make things notable in the SF/F world.

    That applies for pop culture in general, not just SF/F. I wrote an article about a rock band that had a few appearances on the Billboard charts–a band that had been together for 25 years–and even so, it was extremely difficult for me to find sources reliable enough for Wikipedia’s standards. I did end up with three members of the band as Facebook friends as a direct result, though, so that was cool. 🙂

    And it’s not so much a problem from Wikipedia’s perspective (though it does have some inherent problems, as Heather Rose Jones points out). In fact, it’s more or less the goal of those policies.

    @Heather Rose Jones: I’m am pretty much certain that winning a Nobel Prize means you meet Wikipedia’s notability standards without question. But aside from that, you raise some good points. However, reinforcing the status quo has advantages as well as disadvantages. It means they don’t have to give equal time to, for example, the nutjobs who think the moon landing was faked. They can cover the conspiracy theory, because it exists and is documented, but the article on Apollo 11 doesn’t have to equivocate on the reality of the landing in order to play nice with those non-status-quo opinions. And the same applies to other, far less pleasant, discredited theories about race, sex, gender, etc. The “mainstream consensus” may have some unpleasant elements of its own, but on the whole, it could be a whole lot worse!

  19. @Nickpheas, Contrarius (in re “what I don’t really understand is why authors need such strict notability guidelines”).

    Authors don’t have specially strict notability guidelines. Any subject, author or otherwise, can meet WP:GNG (the general notability guideline, which asks for significant coverage in at least two reliable sources). In addition, authors can meet WP:ANYBIO or WP:AUTHOR, both of which are taken to show that such reliable sources almost certainly do exist.

    As to why there are notability guidelines at all, it’s a logical consequence of the verifiability and neutral point of view policies: wikipedia holds that if there are no independent sources, one cannot write a neutral article; if there are no reliable sources, one cannot write a verifiable article.

    As Heather Rose Jones points out, the problem with the notability guidelines is that things which don’t get coverage in reliable sources cannot therefore make it into wikipedia, which tends towards excluding, other things being equal, women, non-white people, African/Latin American/Asian topics, and queer topics. Many wikipedians would tell you that following the systemic biases of reliable sources is a feature, not a bug, however…

  20. Note that an article can be subject to deletion even if the subject is notable, if the article doesn’t assert that notability. (For example, an article about a Nobel Prize winner which neglects to mention the Nobel Prize…) Of course, such things are usually spotted early in the deletion discussion.

    Also (and I think this is particularly relevant in this case), an article which is sufficiently spammy may be subject to deletion no matter what!

    In any case, when bringing an article in for a deletion, it’s always an acceptable option to fix the problems. If possible. Deletion debates are frequently closed with a resolution of “problem fixed.” But, especially in the case of spamminess, if no one can be found who is willing to do the work, then the article may end up deleted even if the subject is totally notable.

    In any case, if an article is deleted for whatever reason, someone can always come along later and make a draft which addresses the issues which led to deletion, and request a review. After all, few people are born notable… 🙂

  21. @ Xtifr

    The examples of a Nobel prize winner not being notable enough for Wikipedia standards was not a thought experiment. Mind you, the rejection of the article on her occurred before she won the prize. But someone capable of winning a Nobel prize in science doesn’t spring full-formed from the ground overnight.

  22. @Heather —

    I think it’s worth reiterating that there’s a difference between whether the person is sufficiently notable and whether the article sufficiently documents that notability. Articles on the most notable person in the world might be taken down if the article doesn’t contain sufficient documentation.

    Wikipedia is edited by volunteers. It’s up to those volunteers to include adequate documentation. If they aren’t interested enough in the article to write and document it well, then the article really doesn’t belong there.

  23. @Hampus Eckerman: I guess that’s the way Tank Marmot rolls (if you’ll pardon the metaphor). FWIW, when I’ve found myself navigating the Wikipedia bureaucracy and dealing with its volunteer editors, I remembered (1) to treat the Wikipedians with courtesy and specifically thank them for their ongoing work on the encyclopaedia, and, equally important, (2) what the late Rep. Barbara Jordan said: ‘If you’re going to play the game properly, you’d better know every rule.’ E.g., when the Wikipedians tag an article for concerns about WP:GNG, WP:BASIC, WP:REF, or WP:SYNTH, if you care about the article, you look those terms up, make sure you understand them, and work on the perceived shortcoming.

    This almost always works. Who knew?

  24. Enchiladas Verdes (A great excuse to use green tomatoes or tomatillos)

    Sauce
    1 four oz can mild green chiles
    16 oz green tomatoes
    1 onion
    1 zuccini or yellow squash if desired
    1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
    1/2 cup milk
    1 egg
    1 t ground coriander
    1 clove garlic
    salt and pepper to taste

    Blend all above ingredients together in blender until liquid.

    Filling
    3 chicken breasts cooked and shredded Or about three cups of leftover shredded chicken
    1 onion, diced
    1 yellow squash or zuccini, diced, if desired
    (you can add green peppers, mushrooms, other veggies if desired)
    4 oz Neufchatel cream cheese
    1/4 Cup parmesan or Romano cheese
    salt and pepper to taste

    Mix all above ingredients together.

    1 package Corn tortillas

    Spray a 9 x 11 pan with cooking spray.

    Line pan with 1 layer of corn tortillas (you can tear a tortilla in half to help fit). Spread 1/4 of the sauce on the tortillas. Spread 1/3 of the chicken mixture on top of tortillas. Repeat. Pour remaining sauce on top. Cover pan with foil. Bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes or so. It’s done when a knife comes out more or less clean.

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