Pixel Scroll 7/22/17 On The Fifth Day She Scrolled Five Tidbits About Ray Bradbury

(1) WHAT’S THAT SMELL? CNN’s Brian Lowry is not impressed: “‘Valerian’ turns French comic into epic mess”.

A feast for the eyes and positively numbing on the brain, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” makes an early bid for worst movie of the year — or at least, the most ostentatious waste of money, given the lavish trappings of this comic-book adaptation from French writer-director Luc Besson.

Visually sumptuous, Besson has approximated the scale of a “Star Wars” epic, albeit one wholly populated by versions of Jar-Jar Binks….

(2) GUARANTEED INCOME. Fast Company considers “Could Hawaii Be The First State To Offer A Basic Income?” Shades of Mack Reynolds!

With trials already underway in Kenya, Finland, and Oakland, and several others planned elsewhere, basic income is starting to get a thorough testing. The idea of direct cash transfers to meet basic human needs has been getting a lot of attention in the media, from Silicon Valley leaders, and among academics and think tanks. It can’t be long before a city or state in the United States experiments with basic income for itself (Oakland’s pilot is run by Y Combinator, a startup incubator)….

(3) SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM. And what will Hawaiians buy with their guaranteed money? Well… “‘It’s flavourful as hell’: Welcome to Hawaii’s annual Spam festival”

Not even the drizzle can deter the crowds unspooling along Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach. As late April showers fall upon Kalakaua Avenue, the roads are lined three-deep with sunburned tourists, surfer bros and silver-haired pensioners. Their colourful T-shirts, flower garlands and fancy dress costumes are soaked by rain, but eagerly they wait. Suddenly, a chorus of tiny ukuleles starts to play. The procession begins. Are they waiting to pay homage to a visiting dignitary or religious leader? No. They’re here to celebrate Hawaii’s favourite food: the immortal luncheon meat called Spam.

I join snaking queues for seemingly endless food stalls, each dish more absurd than the last: Spam pizza, Spam fried rice, Spam crackers, Spam pho, deep-fried mac and cheese bites (with Spam) and, of course, Spam fritters. I spot some Spam-infused macadamia nuts, and a slab of grilled Spam atop sticky rice, doused in soy and bound with seaweed: Spam sushi. There’s even Spam dipped in chocolate.

(4) CELEBRATING AFRICAN SF. The University of Manchester’s The Manchester Review has published a special issue on African SF: “Manchester showcases African sci-fi writers, including the author of an ‘African Game of Thrones’”.

This edition of the review is edited by the multi-award winning Geoff Ryman, a Senior Creative Writing Lecturer at The University of Manchester. His own work has won the Arthur C Clarke Award, the Philip K Dick Award and the British Science Fiction Award, and his passion for African science fiction has led him towrite a series interviewing 100 writers from the continent.

Ryman says:

The number of African science fiction stories being published is now too great to do anything other than list. Right now, this wave of creativity reminds me of Elizabethan England at the time of Shakespeare – the power is rising, and the literature with it.

(5) CHAOS DENIED. A spokesperson for former Doctor Who Peter Davison complains the actor’s comments on the new Doctor were quoted out of context:

Since there’s been a flurry of out of context and editorialized articles from various tabloids today (they do love to create chaos), here’s a transcript of Peter’s actual comments from a press interview at #SDCC2017 (the “breaks” were apparently pauses for questions which were edited out):

I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for her and I think that it will be hard for some fans to adjust to it. As I said before, it’s difficult to adjust to any new Doctor, but I think the important thing is that those are uncertain fellows, those who are uncertain should be encouraged to watch it with an open mind. I don’t know, I feel… I think the time for discussion about that is past. They’ve made the announcement. Jodie Whittaker is the next Doctor and that’s great!

[break]

I feel.. if I feel any doubts about it, it’s the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for. So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that you’ve got to open it up, so that’s absolutely fair enough. So she has my best wishes and full confidence. I’m sure she’ll do a wonderful job.

[break]

As a viewer, I kind of like the idea of the Doctor as a boy, but then maybe I’m an old fashioned dinosaur. Who knows? But I think that’s irrelevant now. The time for discussion is over. We have a new Doctor. And let’s give her our full support.

[break]

I would encourage them to watch. I think there’s too much… you know on the internet… there’s too much bile coming from both sides. And too many people are being horribly sexist about it, and too many people are saying, ‘Well, we don’t care about you. You’re old fashioned. Go away and watch something else.’ I think fans who are doubtful, who are uncertain should be encouraged and welcomed. And just approach it with an open mind.

[break]

Oh yeah, of course. I mean, she’s a terrific actress. And you can absolutely understand it. Look, someone rings you up… I know this feeling… someone rings you up one night. You’re sitting at home and they say ‘how would you feel about being the next Doctor Who?’ It’s a fantastic opportunity, so of course, she grabs it with both hands. I’m sure she’ll do a wonderful job!”

 

(6) THE MAGIC GOES AWAY. This is the last weekend LA’s Harry Potter-themed store Whimsic Alley will be open — “Miracle Mile’s Whimsic Alley Closing”. It says something about social media – don’t ask me what – that a store with over 18,000 Facebook “likes” has bit the dust.

Both a shop and a popular party and entertainment venue, with a castle-like Great Hall event space and a retail area resembling a Dickensian streetscape, the business has been catering to fans of the Harry Potter books and movies — as well as fans of other popular entertainments such as Game of Thrones, Dr. Who, Outlander and even Downton Abbey — in its current location since 2008 (and it was located in Santa Monica for five years before that).  It sells books, costumes, toys, magic wands and other character-related accessories, and has hosted hundreds of birthday parties, tea parties, costume balls, murder mystery dinners, fantasy-themed craft fairs, day camps and even weddings.  For many years before Potter-themed attractions opened at Universal Studios, fans from all over the world would trek to Whimsic Alley for its one-of-a-kind items and atmosphere.

“New multi-million dollar theme parks and exhibitions are awe-inspiring,” owner Stan Goldin said in the closing statement, “But for many years, Whimsic Alley filled a void that no one else seemed interested in filling. Our staff enjoyed serving our clientele as much as they hopefully enjoyed their experiences. As a result, we developed close friendships along the way which we hope will continue for many years to come.”

But Goldin told the Buzz that those new theme park attractions, along with other factors such as the rise of online shopping, and perhaps also traffic and parking disruptions from local subway construction, may be what finally sealed the fate of the beloved store. Business has fallen off dramatically in the last year or so, he said, and “we can only speculate why.”

(7) HALF OF SIXTEEN TONS AND WHAT DO YOU GET? Yahoo! Celebrity’s piece “Comic Book Superfan’s Collection Weighs More Than 8 Tons” tells about Bob Bretell, an LA guy who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having 103,000 comic books, including Amazing Fantasy 15.

Martin Morse Wooster sent the link with a comment: “I remember there was a discussion in File 770 back in the day about fans who were moving their collections and discussing how many tons of books they had.  I remember some fans had more than one ton, but I don’t think anybody had two.  Well, this guy has eight tons of comics!”

(8) CONVERSATIONS WITH CREATORS. Thieved from John Scalzi’s Twitter feed.

(9) WUT? Camestros Felapton has scored another technological breakthrough, the sound-free podcast. It’s guaranteed to be as pleasing to the deaf as it is to the dumb: “The Book Club Roundtable Discussion Club Non-Audio Podcast Club”. Features Camestros, Timothy the Talking Cat and a radiant guest star —

[Camestros] Well, I’m glad you asked. Coming all the way from the distant past and the far future is Susan the triceratops! A big round of applause for Susan!

[Susan the Triceratops enters from the wings] Hi.

[Camestros] Hi Susan. Now for the viewers at home can you tell us more about yourself?

[Susan] Viewers? Isn’t this a podcast?

[Timothy] The government is always watching us Susan. They fear my outspoken commitment to freedom and privatising healthcare.

[Susan] Thank you for the clarification small mammal predator. Well, as you know, I’m originally from the distant past but due to a time-travel accident I ended up in the far future where I now live in Fungus Town, home to the post-apocalyptic Fungus civilisation. In my spare time I defend the city in my superhero identity: Triceracopter.

(10) SHUFFLE UP. Bibliophilopolis tells how fans can “deal themselves in” to “An All-Bradbury #24in48 Readathon!”

From the readathon’s home page, here are some details: “If you’re new to 24in48, this is the basic gist: beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, participants read for 24 hours out of that 48-hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between, whatever you’d like.”

What am I Reading?

Now “the rest of the story” is that most participants don’t actually read 24 entire hours, but rather have that as a goal.  In the past, I’ve participated by reading 24 short stories, which is harder than you think.  This year, though, to up the ante, I’m going to try to read 52 stories, all by the master storyteller, Ray Bradbury.  Why? Many reasons, not the least of which being I really enjoy reading his stories. He also doesn’t write many “long-ish” stories, so they might average a short enough length for me to complete 52 in a weekend. The most important reason, though, is that I am hoping to “raise awareness” about a local (for me) literary treasure, The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. Pay them a visit at the link, and also check out their Facebook page. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Center on a couple occasions and it is chock-full of Bradbury artifacts and documents, and a re-creation of his office space. Including his seat of choice, a director’s chair (see photo below).

(11) YESTERDAY IN HISTORY. From John King Tarpinian’s 2009 Comic-Con photos:

Here is a picture I took, my friend Robert is in the middle.  The other two are Jerry Robinson & Ray Bradbury.  If you don’t know who Jerry was then you do not deserve to be in San Diego this weekend.

(12) FIVE YEARS AGO. And in 2012, John photographed George Clayton Johnson’s image on the screen at Comc-Con’s Bradbury eulogy session.

George Clayton Johnson

(13) COMIC SECTION. John  King Tarpinian got a laugh from today’s Off the Mark.

(14) I’VE SEEN THAT FACE BEFORE, SOMEWHERE. One good book cover deserves another. And another.

The Martian by Andy Weir (Feburary 2014)

John Glenn: America’s Astronaut (April 2014)

Sally Ride: America’s First Woman in Space (June 2014)

Scott Parazynski: The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed (August 2017)

(15) FAN MAIL FROM SOME FLOUNDER. The Daily Beast’s Erica Wagner remembers the family business: “Inside the Secret World of ‘The Muppet Show’”.

“Dear Kermit the Frog,” begins the letter from a young fan, framed on the wall of the new Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. “How is show business? When are you and Miss Piggy getting married? Tell Miss Piggy I saw a bride dress.”

I’d guess from the handwriting that the scribe was 6 or 7 years old. But at the top of the page is handwriting that I recognize—my mom’s, making a careful note of just how many letters like this there were the pile of mail requiring her attention. Because when I was growing up, my parents’ job was answering all the fan mail the Muppets received.

(16) VIEW FROM A PUPPY. In what Dr. Mauser says will probably be his last Sad Puppies blog post, he presents his version of recent history: “The Claw!”

….Now if the goal of the Sad Puppies were to probe how deep the fix was in in the Hugo electorate, the goal of the Rabid Puppies was to Win. The organizer has a bit of a beef with the SF community, to put it mildly, and taking one of their awards would be a coup. The first attempt was no real master stroke. Having seen how effective Larry’s fanbase had been in getting nominees on the ballot in SP2, the easiest, no effort way to get in was to hijack the list, add himself and a few of his house’s authors to the list at the top, knock off the bottom items to fill out a slate, and mobilize his fanbase as well. With so much commonality to the lists, it would be impossible to sort out whose supporters were whose. Which as a tactic to make his influence appear larger than it was, was successful. SP and RP got conflated and slammed in the social media, and the real media, by design. Some people still can’t tell them apart. But good Tactics sometimes make bad Strategy, and the backlash the organizer engendered resulted, as I said, in one of the most toxic Hugo ceremonies ever, as well as in rules changes designed to make the Hugo nomination process even more opaque than the final vote process.

It wasn’t much better the next year, when his spitefulness towards the fandom made him pollute the nominations with crude gay porn titles. If he couldn’t win, he was going to ruin the whole thing. It merely cemented the backlash, but it didn’t require the overkill numbers unleashed the year before to shut him out, thus those excess no-award voter accounts were released.

Skipping ahead to this year. It becomes really simple to see why he sent an acolyte to announce he was commandeering the helm of SP5. Clearly he believed that the Sad Puppies had an army of followers and if he could co-opt them to his cause, he could finally win, or at least do real damage.[1] The Kickers, on the other hand, had rigged the game even more, making it harder for any small group to dominate the nominations, but a sufficiently large one, like say, tor.com fans, with properly distributed votes, could capture a large number of nominations, and they did. And in the coming years, another fix is going in that will allow any sufficiently large cabal to de-nominate anything they don’t like[2] (They call it 3 Stage Voting, or 3SV, but it’s NOTHING like what I proposed).

I don’t think though that this is going to stop him from shoving more and more quarters into the damned machine, trying to grab that Trophy. The Sad Puppies have proven their point, and are off to chase more good fiction. The Hugos don’t interest them any more. The Rabids though, they’re out to win, no matter how much the game is rigged, and how destructive the results end up being. That’s a feature to them, not a bug.

(17) CONFEDERATE. Vulture’s Josef Adalian in “The Producers of HBO’s Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story” has an extended interview with showrunners Benioff and Weiss, including why they brought in two African-Americans, Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman to be co-showrunners.

So Malcolm and Nichelle, take me back to how David and D.B. first came to you with this. How did you decide to get involved?

MS: They first called me and said they wanted to take us to lunch and talk about a project they had. They took me and Nichelle out to a restaurant and told us the history of it: They had this script, the movie version, but they felt taking it to TV would be better. And they knew they needed black voices on it. There was already a comfort level between all of us. I feel like me and Nichelle, both separately, have a great pedigree — her particularly — and so it made sense.

For me and Nichelle, it’s deeply personal because we are the offspring of this history. We deal with it directly and have for our entire lives. We deal with it in Hollywood, we deal with it in the real world when we’re dealing with friends and family members. And I think Nichelle and I both felt a sense of urgency in trying to find a way to support a discussion that is percolating but isn’t happening enough. As people of color and minorities in general are starting to get a voice, I think there’s a duty to force this discussion.

Nichelle Tramble Spellman: When we initially sat down, we made the joke, “Oh, this is going to be a black Game of Thrones spin-off! This is gonna be awesome.” And then [Benioff and Weiss] got into what the story was about, and I just remember being so excited — and absolutely terrified at the same time. I can’t remember the last time I approached any story like that. So Malcolm and I left the lunch and couldn’t stop talking about it the entire way home. And immediately that night, this chain of emails just started. Like, “Have you read this? Have you read that? What about this piece of history? How can we bring this all into a present-day story line.”

And immediately what the conversation turned into is how we could draw parallels between what has been described as America’s original sin to a present-day conversation.

(18) NOT EVERYONE’S A BELIEVER. It’s easy to be cynical in Hollywood.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, mlex, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, and JJ for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer Sylvester.]

105 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/22/17 On The Fifth Day She Scrolled Five Tidbits About Ray Bradbury

  1. sufficiently large cabal = majority of voters
    The same spin could be made regarding Dr Mauser’s multi-stage proposal. Indeed any democratic process is open to being controlled by a sufficiently large number of people – that’s sort of the point. Yes, it is sort of a flaw in democracy but has advantages over the alternative which would be a system that can be controlled by a small number of people.

    Of course, way back in 2015, we were all supposed to believe that the Pups were a silent majority and the sinister cabals running things a tiny fraction of active fandom.

  2. (16) Ah, they’re back to their rewriting of history again. So boring. (Or “bored now,” I guess is the phrase, to quote Willow Rosenberg).

    Meanwhile, everyone in Helsinki will be having a good time without them.

  3. @3: strange as it may seem, there’s something even worse than Spam (or was when I had it 50 years ago): the Canadian version, Klik, could not be stomached when cold.

    @7: Martin may not have been talking to enough people; the last collection I moved was the Olsons’; IIRC we fully loaded more than one Pod (after Mark beat out of them the admission that there was a weight limit), so I expect they had over two tons — possibly a lot over. (I probably have right around a ton, but the collection was rather smaller when it was last moved, 23 years ago.) But I don’t know any private collections nearly as big as this one.

    [edit] @13: cruel, but cute.

    Also: fifth!

  4. (16) VIEW FROM A PUPPY.

    Dr. Mauser: “Sad Puppies was an exploration about how the game was rigged.” *

    Translation: “Sad Puppies was an attempt to rig the Hugos so that Puppy authors could get awards for themselves.”

    * Includes claims that Puppy works cheated onto the ballot were good, claims not borne out through an actual reading of those works.

     
    Also, I look forward to seeing yet more complaints on Twitter by Dr. Mauser and his Pupbro friends about how they hardly get any clicks from File 770, because they’re too stupid to realize that at least some Filers copy the links into Google and look at the webcache versions rather than clicking straight to their websites, and some Filers, after long experience, don’t even bother with that any more because they know it’s just going to be more of the same lame, faux, alternate Puppy history. 😀

  5. (3) When I lived in Tanzania in the 1970s, I ended up eating a lot of Spam. It was one of the few “lunchmeat” type substances available, so I got a lot of Spam sandwiches in my bag lunches.

    (16) One of the consistent personality traits displayed by Pups of either stripe is their willingness to lie, and Dr. Mauser is no exception. Almost nothing in his account of the history of the Pups is true.

  6. 1) Now I haven’t seen Valérian yet and it might still turn out to be bad. However, several of the US reviews I have seen (and there seem to be suprisingly few, compared to other summer blockbusters) seem to dismiss the movie, just because they’re unfamiliar with the source material. I’ve also come across this article from The Atlantic about Luc Besson’s previous SF spectacular The Fifth Element, which suggests that Besson’s movies don’t always match the expectations of American audiences, which might explain the negative US reactions to Valerian, especially since German reviews have been a lot more positive, even though our film critics normally aren’t SF friendly.

    16) It seems the Puppies still haven’t grasped that their taste in SFF clearly does not match the taste of the majority of the Hugo electorate (and likely not of the majority of fans either). Never mind that the only Sad Puppies 2 finalist who was no awarded in 2014 was Vox Day. The others came last in their respective categories (except for Toni Weisskopf, who was 4th), but still above “No Award”. But then, puppies have a very selective view of history.

  7. …another fix is going in…

    This assumes that 3SV is actually going to be ratified, which is debatable and certainly not guaranteed. (A reminder: because I’m one of the co-sponsors of the proposal, I will be recusing myself from presiding over the debate on it, and therefore I feel no need to be non-partisan about discussing it.) Personally, I think that if I could have proposed 3SV initially in Spokane, EPH would not have passed, because 3SV is IMO pretty easy to understand and can be done manually, rather than through complicated math. However, I decided it was more important for me to preside over the meeting and keep things in as much order as I could manage.

    …that will allow any sufficiently large cabal…

    Interesting that “a supermajority of the members casting ballots” is described as a “cabal.” A pesky and annoying thing, this democracy. No doubt he’s much happier with a small group of people deciding the results in secret, as long as it’s his small select group of people — preferably him personally, I suspect.

  8. 18) NOT EVERYONE’S A BELIEVER – Not just in Hollywood. It’s a pretty tired story.

    2) GUARANTEED INCOME – There are states with an even more challenged tax base than Hawaii, but not many. An income supplement would be great, given the low salaries that prevail, but paying for it would require printing money. I don’t think states can do that.

    3) SPAM – That sticky rice, seaweed and Spam concoction is Spam musubi. It’s both delicious and safe to keep at room temperature, so kind of a perfect lunchbox food.

    16) Insert obligatory eyeroll here.

  9. 3) Spam Musubi is a rice ball (musubi) with spam, not sushi.

    7) I shipped nearly 3 tons of pulp magazines, comics, and paperback books to Texas when I went to grad school there. I did leave the bulk of the pulps there when I left, donated to the university collection, for which I got a gigantic tax write-off. I freely admit that the comics were the least fraction… my stopping point for comics was when they passed $1/issue. I had a LOT of paperbacks, and a whole collection of SFF pulps and magazines from the 20s to the 80s.

    2) Interesting. Hadn’t heard much talk about this here in Hawaii, but I live in a small town on a not very populated island.

  10. Aaaaand… I see on Twitter that JdA is accusing me of being some rando commenter on his blog who made a snide remark about him trolling Jemisin with “the N word”.

    (This is a better example of idiocy than the ISFDB moderator who accused me of being John Joseph Adams, although admittedly it does not reach the depths of idiocy achieved by Mad Genius Club when they accused Spacefaring Kitten of being Brianna “Spacekat” Wu.)

    News flash for you, Mr. Leading Voice In Imbeciles, I never go to your blog to read your posts. On the rare occasions when I do deign to wade into your blog’s cesspit, I do it through Google’s webcache, and I certainly would never bother to post a comment of any sort on your blog.

    What a moron. 🙄

  11. (3) SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM.
    Maybe not enough to make a special trip to Hawaii, but I do like spam. And I’m not afraid to say so.

    (3) SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM.
    Meh. If it is indeed Dr. Mauser’s last Sad Puppies blog post, then one positive has come of it.

  12. Mark: Redonculous! We all know you’re really J. Jonah Jameson.

    Actually, I’m really J.J. Abrams, but after that last Star Trek movie I did didn’t go over so well, I’ve been trying to keep a low profile. 😉

  13. How many different motives for Sad Puppies are we up to now? I’ve lost track.

    @JJ

    Just as well, because I have opinions about that film and I’d hate to have to spend two hours yelling at you about everything in it. Possibly three hours.

  14. Sometimes it’s good to be a fan…. Just spent a good fifteen minutes watching a shimmering, glowing, ever-changing thing spread across my field of vision; an iridescent film like oil on water, but brighter, with lots of sharp angles and strong colour contrasts, almost art deco in style.

    If I hadn’t read Langford’s account of his own and the late great Bob Shaw’s experiences with hemicrania sine dolore, I’d have been really worried. As it is, I could just sit back and enjoy the light show until it faded away. All knowledge is, indeed, contained in fandom….

  15. Camestros Felapton: I had assumed…

    Dammit. Busted. 😀

    (Susan is going to be so envious when she finds out!)

  16. The Sad Puppies have proven their point, and are off to chase more good fiction. The Hugos don’t interest them any more.

    I often think the usage of ‘sour grapes’ has drifted down the ages, but this hews as close to the original fable as anything I’ve ever seen.

  17. 3) Given Spam is a Minnesota export and thus important to our local economy, I am not going to mock it. I seem to have lost the taste for it I once had though.

    @JJ I KNEW IT!

  18. Some months ago, Mike linked to a scroll item which referred to the curator of the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at UC Riverside, and I thought, “oh gods, now that poor woman is going to get the blame for everything I say”.

    Never mind turtles — the truth has finally come out:

    It’s J.J.s all the way down.

  19. Aaaaand… I see on Twitter that JdA is accusing me of being some rando commenter on his blog who made a snide remark about him trolling Jemisin with “the N word”.

    Demonstrating yet again that one of the common characteristics of Pups of all stripes is that they are liars.

  20. Aaron: Demonstrating yet again that one of the common characteristics of Pups of all stripes is that they are liars.

    Given that the rando’s username is the name of the largest slaveholder in American history — a nym that no “SJW” would adopt — I’m pretty certain that it’s a sockpuppet JdA has created for the purpose of pretending to be harassed by Filers. 🙄

  21. (3) Given that I grew up in Austin, MN, home of Hormel (and thus of Spam), I’ve eaten more than my share of it over the years. Sometimes Mom would just slice it, fry the slices and serve it as a breakfast side dish; a few times, I remember her actually baking it in kind of a honey-mustard glaze. These days it’s not something I’ll ever go and actually seek out, but if I’m visiting my parents and it’s on the table, I’ll be happy to have some.

    (For them as may ever be in the neighborhood and interested, there’s a full-on Spam museum in Austin, MN. They also, these days, make a wide assortment of versions, some of which are flavored and some of which substitute turkey for pork (and hence should be avoided assiduously).)

  22. @Joe I have not yet visited the museum, but I probably should, on principle.

  23. Iphinome: Wait. You’re not Jean-Jacques Leroy from Yuri!!! on Ice?

    Oh, dear, you’ve discovered my part-time hobby and alias.

    But my real name is actually John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. 😀

  24. @JJ–

    But my real name is actually John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. ?

    Piker. You shoul d choose to be John Jacob Astor. Then you’d be rich beyond thed dreams of Avarice, and wouldn’t have to bother with all these side jobs.

  25. I just saw a tweet from John (SF Signal) DeNardo that author Jeff Carlson has died. A little digging later and I learned that apparently his wife said he died of an aggressive form of lung cancer.

    Rest in Peace.

  26. @Lis Carey

    You shoul d choose to be John Jacob Astor.

    Since he was probably the richest SF writer of all time (in constant dollars), it would be nice to be JJ Astor…

    P.S. I’m Elmer J. Filer, Tickboxer, I own a Pixel and a Scroll.

  27. 2) There’s already at least one long-running baseline demonstrating the positive effects of something analogous to a UBI — a policy that distributes part of the profits from a Native American-run casino to the members of the tribe on a monthly basis. Contrary to Republican claims, crime and drug abuse went down, high-school graduation rates went way up, and the number of people needing social-worker intervention declined dramatically.

    As to how states could afford to do this, I suggest repurposing some of the money from state lotteries as one possible starting point.

    3) I’m sure I must have eaten Spam at some point during my childhood, but I have no memory of doing so. My parents’ mystery-meat product of choice was Vienna sausage, which I still eat occasionally. Comfort-food snack recipe: Empty and drain 1 can of Vienna sausage and slice each one in half lengthwise. Arrange 2 halves, cut sides down, on each of 7 soda crackers. Top each cracker with 1/4 of a slice of pre-sliced American cheese (eat the last 1/4-slice). Put crackers on metal tray of toaster oven and broil until cheese is melted. Eat as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.

    16) Given that the SPs invited VD and the RPs into the party, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the “but they aren’t the same thing!” argument. As the saying goes, when you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

    18) Pretty much how I expect it to play out. If I thought there was any chance of this being a realistic portrayal of a society based on black slavery and white supremacy, I would be less unhappy. But that would be box-office poison; nobody in their intended audience wants to see the seamy underbelly, and those who are already familiar with it won’t bother watching.

  28. JJ: You’re not Orioles infielder J.J. Hardy?

    Spam: I don’t know what this has to do with fandom, but it was an entertaining article I enjoyed reading.

  29. Never mind turtles — the truth has finally come out:
    It’s J.J.s all the way down
    .

    Don’t be so negative! It’s also J.J.s all the way up.

  30. @Paul Weimer–

    @Lis But then JJ would have to avoid transatlantic cruise ships…

    Not the hardship it used to be! Just substitute a luxurious private jet.

  31. The Spam recipe my partner taught me was Spam slices fried with a little bit of brown sugar sprinkled on top. Heavenly.

    Of course the first time I made it, I made the spam slices way too thin, and put way too much brown sugar on it. It ended up with Spam imbedded in a hardened sheet of sugar glass, like a Spam version of bugs in amber. It took me a good week to chip the meat out of the pan.

  32. Cora on July 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm said:

    I’ve also come across this article from The Atlantic about Luc Besson’s previous SF spectacular The Fifth Element, which suggests that Besson’s movies don’t always match the expectations of American audiences, which might explain the negative US reactions to Valerian, especially since German reviews have been a lot more positive, even though our film critics normally aren’t SF friendly.

    On the US side it’s getting reviews from a perfect score from Ebert’s website, to middle ground and below, which makes sense from the descriptions of the reviews. I don’t know that I’ve seen so many reviews use the word bonkers before, and makes sense because Besson isn’t exactly known for subtlety in his films either. Trailers in the teter also make it seem like a lot of perspective is used for 3D effects in the movie which can be cool or just tiresome.

    JJ on July 23, 2017 at 5:25 am said:

    I’m pretty certain that it’s a sockpuppet JdA has created for the purpose of pretending to be harassed by Filers

    I don’t know that he’s self aware enough to point out his own hypocrisy of encouraging people to troll others while claiming he never encouraged harassment. The response of ‘but that’s just for fun, your people want to physically hurt me’ is weird. An strange admission that he does encourage it (fake news!), but it’s fun to harass people for a reaction so it doesn’t matter, and a weird paranoia that some people wish him physical harm so he might be an asshole for the lolz but there are some people out there that are worse or something.

    I don’t even know.

  33. ” ….Now if the goal of the Sad Puppies were to probe how deep the fix was in in the Hugo electorate, the goal of the Rabid Puppies was to Win”.

    If he couldn’t win, he was going to ruin the whole thing. I

    Clearly he believed that the Sad Puppies had an army of followers and if he could co-opt them to his cause, he could finally win, or at least do real damage.[1]

    The Rabids though, they’re out to win, no matter how much the game is rigged, and how destructive the results end up being.

    I may be wrong, but I do see some contractory statemens there. Better to cover all bases, I presume.

    On the other hand, since the Sad Puppies speak for the silent majority, but are too small to speak up against the big cabal of Tor-fans that was to be expected.

    (To be fair – I dont know why, but lets assume we wanted that – I did read from Sad-Puppy-leading folk a while ago, that it was not necessary about being in the majority, but just about being heard as well and have some Hugos for work they like. But I dont think Mauser meant that and its not an official Pup-position)

    @Lurkertype: Brilliant!

  34. @Meredith: Just as well, because I have opinions about that film and I’d hate to have to spend two hours yelling at you about everything in it. Possibly three hours.

    You’re letting him off easy.

  35. These concoctions sound scary to me.

    /SpamStalk

    ETA: @lurkertype: “Any sufficiently large cabal is indistinguishable from democracy.” – LOL, yes.

  36. @msb:

    Whenever we file out, the pixels always shout
    “There scrolls John Jacob Jinglemeier Schmidt!”

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