Pixel Scroll 9/8 Perfidious Etceteras

(1) This day in history:

…in 1966, “Star Trek” premiered on NBC-TV.

Which makes it the perfect day to release Captain Kirk’s autobiography:

“The Autobiography of James T. Kirk – The Story of Starfleet’s Greatest Captain,” is to be published by Titan Books on Tuesday – 49 years to the day after “Star Trek” premiered on television in 1966.

It comes with illustrations, including Kirk’s Starfleet Academy class graduation photo and an unsent letter he penned to his son.

Fan fiction plays a popular role in the “Star Trek” universe and interest has been building since actor William Shatner, the best-known embodiment of Kirk, appeared at July’s Comic-Con International with Goodman and read excerpts from the book. A Shatner-signed copy of the book can be found on the Internet selling for $150.00.

According to the autobiography, Kirk passed over the Vulcan Mr. Spock to be his first officer of the starship Enterprise; 20th century social worker Edith Keeler, not the mother of his son, was the great love of his life; and Kirk may have another son on a distant planet – who makes what suspiciously looks like “Star Trek” movies.

(2) Now there’s an official touchscreen that can turn your Raspberry Pi into a tablet.

 Two years in the making, an official touchscreen for the tiny board has gone on sale.

The diminutive Raspberry Pi – a computer on a board the size of a credit card – has been wildly successful. It was created with the aim of encouraging children to experiment with building their own devices and while the makers thought they might sell 1,000 they have now sold well over five million.

(3)  The roads must roll! Chris Mills on Gizmodo says “Replacing Subway Lines With High-Speed Moving Sidewalks Sounds Terrifying”.

London has the oldest subway system in the world: great for tourism, but sometimes not-so-great for commuters. There’s all sorts of sensible plans to upgrade the city’s public transport, but here’s one particularly outside-the-box solution: a 15mph moving sidewalk, looping 17 miles under London. What could go wrong!

(4) Erin Underwood has a fine interview with Rosarium Publisher Bill Campbell at Amazing Stories.

Bill Campbell

Bill Campbell

(ASM): What upcoming book or project are you are especially excited about? Why that book/project? (Bill, this can be a Rosarium book or something else.)

(BC): All of our projects are really near and dear to my heart, and so are our authors and artists. At this level, you really get to know the people you work with, and you really find yourself rooting for their success and work yourself to the bone to try to help them reach it.

I think the one project, though, that’s nearest and dearest to my heart is Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany that I co-edited with Nisi Shawl. I don’t know if I’d have ever written science fiction if it weren’t for Chip, and I can’t help thinking how hard it must’ve been for him to be alone in the field for as long as he was. He had to carry a mighty large load for a lot of people and did it with such grace and intelligence. I told Daniel Jose Older that there are, perhaps, five people on this planet who intimidate me. Delany’s one of them. I just wanted to thank him. It took over two years to do it properly, and, thanks to Nisi and the authors involved, it turned out a lot better than I could’ve possibly hoped.

(5) Tom Knighton’s blog has a new header with a photo of the author, which really brightens the place up.

(6) Mark Pampanin of SCPR has dug a little deeper into how gay rights got its start in science fiction.

But it’s true – gay and lesbian writers and activists who wanted to connect with others in the LGBT community in the 1940s could only do so with pseudonyms and double entendre. And they were able to do it with the help of another burgeoning movement with roots in Los Angeles – science fiction….

Kepner and Ben, as Jyke and Tigrina, were both devoted members of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, which met weekly in the basement of the Prince Rupert Arms near downtown Los Angeles to imagine a future of technological marvels and social equality.

The society still exists. Now in Van Nuys, it’s the oldest running science fiction society in the world, and holds members just as devoted as Kepner and Ben once were, like June Moffatt, who joined the society in August 1947 when she was a teenager. She says she “only met Tigrina once” but she knew Kepner quite well.

“He was good fun,” says Moffatt. Moffatt knew Kepner was gay and an activist, but he was still just “one of the gang. I remember once sitting down next to [Kepner] and telling him he was in danger,” Moffatt says, laughing. “I was flirting with him.”

(7) Black Nerd Problems’ L. E. H. Light declares “No More Diversity Panels, It’s Time To Move On”.

What’s a convention program director to do? They want to present and represent “diversity” in their audience. They’re hearts are in the right place, or not. As others have pointed out, sometimes The Diversity Panel is an excuse for the convention to avoid actually integrating their other panels. Well intentioned or not, the recent fuss at the Hugos really proves this point: we’re here, we’re not going any where. We and our allies vote for awards and read books and *gasp* write and publish them too! The “why is diversity important” is an answered question. So what’s next?

(8) Yesterday I had a clip about a spider clock, but there is a lot more to know about mechanical spiders if you’re interested. (The two of you who raised your hands can keep reading.) One example is this video, Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: Awesome Robot Spider!

We’re back in Adam’s cave to check out his latest obsession, a robot spider with incredibly realistic movement. Adam shows off the special box and platform he built to tinker and calibrate the spider, and then sends it crawling around the pool table in his shop. It’s not for the arachnophobic!


Other recommended one-day build videos are this one building Cylon raiders and troopers from plastic model kits with Aaron Douglas:

And this one building his Kirk chair:

(9) BBC Two has optioned China Miéville’s The City & the City and will develop the novel into a four-part series based on the Inspector Tyador Borlú character. British screenwriter Tony Grisoni is writing the adaptation.

“We are thrilled to be bringing China’s dazzlingly inventive novel to BBC Two,” said Damien Timmer, managing director at Mammoth Screen, which will produce the project. “It’s a 21st Century classic — a truly thrilling and imaginative work which asks big questions about how we perceive the world and how we interact with each other.”

(10) As you already know, Soon Lee is hosting a collection of the punny variations on the title of Rachel Swirsky’s “If you were a dinosaur, my love” produced on File 770 today.

(11) John Scalzi has entered Hugo hibernation. (See last comment on this post at Whatever).

I have officially come to the end of thinking about the Hugos for 2015. If other people decide they want to, that’s their business, but as for here, my plan is let it be through the end of the year. Because, fuck me, I’m tired of them.

May I also suggest that you let it go as well? Surely the rest of your 2015 is better spent doing something else with your time. I’m not saying you have to. I’m just saying you should. That goes for everyone.

(12) John C. Wright, on the other hand, is still roaming the tundra hunting for fresh prey.

If you voted, please write Sasquan, and demand, not ask, that they release the nomination data. The idea that the data must be kept private to avoid someone from deducing the voter’s identities is an absurd lie, not worth wasting ink to refute. They are trying to hide a bloc voting pattern, or a large number of votes that were entered after voting closed or something of the sort.

(13) Charles Rector in Fornax #5 [PDF file] begins his editorial on the 2015 Hugos with this tantalizing hook —

Have you ever taken a firm position on a subject only to realize later that you were on the wrong side and as time went on, you got to wonder how you ever took that previous position? That was my experience with this year’s Hugo Awards. When the year started, I was on the side of the slates. It seemed that the slates were a good idea given the state of the Hugo Awards.

I bet you’ll never see a turnaround like that anywhere else.

(14) 100 Years of Robots in the Movies. (Despite the title I’m pretty sure I saw a split second of Doctor Who in there – and other TV shows…)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Jerry Pournelle, Ita, and John King Tarpinian for some of these links. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cubist.]

301 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/8 Perfidious Etceteras

  1. I was sitting on my front steps a few years back, minding my own business, and the pants were old and gapped a bit at the back as I sat and a 13-year cicada of the Great Southern Brood, a bumbling beast, committed a kamikaze dive into my trousers.

    I have never taken a pair of pants off so fast in my life. I tore the zipper apart in the process. I do not know which of us was more horrified by the experience, but I suspect neither of us walked away unscarred.

  2. Salman Rushdie is pretty brilliant.

    Migraine eating me right now, so won’t say more, but have been enjoying the puns.

  3. I read Paladin of Souls fairly recently because of comments here. Loved it, still thinking about it, pick it up off the shelf to revisit pages here and there. Fantastic book.

  4. Re: Salman Rushdie. One of my favorite stories from my Google days was how I’d just run, on successive Fridays, talks at the Googleplex by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (in four point font at the top of the posters for Terry’s talk was “First in the Good Omens Author Tech Talk Series”, which some folk actually caught. Neil’s posters had “Second….” in much larger font). I came into my office the next Monday, and had a voicemail that went something like;

    “Hi. I’m an author escort who’s been at the Googleplex before, but I’ve lost the contact info for my liaison back then. Publisher X gave me your name and contact info from your doing the Neil and Terry talks. I’ve got an author who’s doing a signing in Mountain View this evening, and would like to visit the Googleplex first. Would it be possible for you or someone to give Salman Rushdie a tour?”

    OK. I checked, and the founders and CEO already had plans for the evening, so it ended up being me. Gave him a tour, the crew at the main cafe was willing to let us in a bit early due to his needing to get to the bookstore, etc. Got a fair number of emails on the order of “Tom, was that Salman Rushdie you walked through the gym with last night?” “Was that who I think it was that you were having dinner with?” Etc.

    My impression was that he was a very smart and interesting person, with a wicked sense of humor. As it happens, the author escort was the, now alas late, Kathi Goldmark, the founder of the Rock Bottom Remainders authors rock band, and later sister-in-law to Dave Barry. Also a very smart and interesting person.

  5. So today at work I was trying to load my truck when I looked around and said out loud “If you had a forklift, my love.” I have got to stop reading these comments during lunch

  6. But last year in London, it would never have passed if we just had ‘pass-then-ratify’ because people really want the ability of the second year’s meeting to change their mind. Therefore, the only want to get it passed was to agree to let two consecutive Business Meetings work on it before allowing the membership as a whole to be heard from.

    And what I proposed, off the top of my head, was exactly that. The second Business Meeting could amend (the “lesser change” thing) or not ratify something that passed the popular vote. But if the popular vote failed, then the second business meeting would not consider the proposal.

    Yes, it means the popular vote might be on the final form of the proposal, but they’d be allowed to express their opinion on something that was pretty close to what the final form would be

    The thought I had after Sasquan was why not combine both processes?
    1) Year one–Business Meeting approves a change
    2) Conduct a vote of the members during the year leading up to the next Worldcon…

    Which members? The moment Worldcon N ends, the membership of WSFS becomes the membership of Worldcon N+1. Did you intend for the people eligible to vote on ratification to be the members of Worldcon N (the one that originally passed it) or N+1 (the one where, under the current system, the BM ratifies the proposal)?

    Rick anticipated what I meant. The popular vote would be by members of the N+1 Worldcon.

    I’m not saying this is a bad thing; after all, we don’t conduct Hugo voting at con. But we need to be very clear on who exactly is allowed to vote in the ratification election and what the time frame is. How close to the ratifying Worldcon do you want to cut off voting? Don’t forget that the BM agenda currently has to close 14 days before the Worldcon. (I’m starting to think that we should lengthen that to 21 or 28 days, given how much stuff keeps flowing in.)

    All I have right now is that the result of the vote must be announced in time for the follow-up Business Meeting to make plans around it. If 28 days is needed, then the vote could close 28 days before the convention. (I was planning on leaving the exact dates up to the convention management, while specifying a minimum voting period. 90 days?)

  7. Re popular ratification, it seems to me that some people wanted it to take three years because they wanted discussion in two business meetings first and hence the popular ratification would have to be in a third year. In this thread, some have suggested having the popular vote in the year between the two Worldcons because they feel three years is too long. Would it be impossible to have the popular vote starting in the month after the second Worldcon with the voters eligible to vote for the Hugos at that con rather than voters for a third Worldcon and to apply the amendment to the third year if ratified?
    How about a proposal that if an amendment is passed at the business meeting one year and again at the business meeting the next year, there is a 30-90 day voting period for popular ratification starting on the day the video of the business meetings are all made available online. That would allow for extra discussion before the wider vote that could be viewed by anyone seeking more information about the arguments for and against the motion. If that vote were to be made online only so there was no cleanup necessary, counting would not place any burden on administrators. Passage would then apply to the third year, not the fourth under the motion that didn’t pass this year.
    I realize that having the vote after the second Worldcon ends, even if only slightly after, puts it officially into the third year. And for voting other than at the business meeting, rules generally require paper ballots to be available. Is there no way to propose a motion that would address those or similar issues?
    I am not familiar with the rules and possibly this would first require some other amendment to pass. But if this were possible it would satisfy those who want two business meetings first and also those who want the process to continue to take two years for amendments to take effect.

  8. Tasha Turner: I probably can’t speak for everyone, but the pun-makers of my experience count on getting BOTH the laugh from those who like the pun and the groan from those who can’t stand puns generally.

  9. If that vote were to be made online only so there was no cleanup necessary, counting would not place any burden on administrators.

    Counting might not place extra burden. But rewriting what the motion was that actually came out of the BM would. As would explaining what yes & no votes would mean. Most people aren’t going to watch hours of video before voting. And complaints about misunderstanding what they were voting on will be loud and angry.

  10. @Mike, it’s taken years to explain to my husband that a groaning wife is a bad thing. In exchange for his making me groan less I try to make puns. On someone’s blog/fanzine/forum I can grin & bear it or leave. So much other good stuff happens here I don’t mind the puns. And I really hope when Rachael doesn’t have a migraine she gets many laughs from the fun many had playing with her title. It was done with affection.

  11. Mike Glyer: the pun-makers of my experience count on getting BOTH the laugh from those who like the pun and the groan from those who can’t stand puns generally.

    I have always referred to puns as “groaners” — and I have usually been the one groaning.

    Ordinarily, I’d feel a secret shame at participating in a pun game — but the Filers are so consistently clever and witty, and my esteem for Swirsky’s writing so high, that it seems a bit of an honor to be able to participate.

  12. a 13-year cicada of the Great Southern Brood, a bumbling beast

    Just out of curiosity, how big are they? I’ve seen a couple of kinds of annual-type cicadas (west Texas), but not the periodic kind. One of the west Texas kinds is big enough to leave a mark if it hits you when flying (about an inch across the eyes).

  13. Derek B. on September 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm said:

    How about a proposal that if an amendment is passed at the business meeting one year and again at the business meeting the next year, there is a 30-90 day voting period for popular ratification starting on the day the video of the business meetings are all made available online.

    Multiple issues:

    1. You’re assuming that there is a Business Meeting video. It’s not required; it’s permitted, but not required. And the BM can actually order the video stopped by majority vote. My wife, who is the person who has recorded most of the BMs that have been recorded, just keeled over in laughter at the concept that something that just a few years ago was loudly protested as an invasion of privacy by some members is now sufficiently taken for granted that some folks think it’s a requirement.

    2. Which Worldcon’s members? When Worldcon N+1 (the one whose BM ratified the choice) ended, the memembers of WSFS become the members of Worldcon N+2. If you somehow want to make it all of the members of N+1, then you’re leaving open the someone anomalous situation of people wanting to buy supporting memberships to a Worldcon that’s over so that they can vote on the ratification election.

    3. Not every member is online. This may be difficult to believe, but it’s true. Do you think that members who don’t have computers and internet connections simply should be ignored?

  14. Kevin Standlee on September 9, 2015 at 9:51 pm said:
    Multiple issues:

    Re 1), modify my suggestion to allow voting to start after meeting videos are posted, if the decision is made to make and post them, or one week after the end of Worldcon N+1 if they will not be posted.

    Re 2), allow voting by people who were members of Worldcon N+1 in eligible membership categories before the motion was discussed at the N+1 business meeting or, if you prefer, on day one of Worldcon N+1 in order to exclude late joiners.

    Re 3), I agree that is an issue. Given how few paper ballots were reported, I am not sure how big an issue it would be. And many people without personal access might be able to get temporary access through a public library or other source. Including paper ballots would increase workload and slow results but you could choose to do so to guarantee nobody is kept from voting.

    Perhaps there is no satisfactory way of implementing my idea. I was just trying to figure whether there was something that could meet both the two meetings first and the two years criteria.

  15. @Derek B:

    Would it be impossible to have the popular vote starting in the month after the second Worldcon with the voters eligible to vote for the Hugos at that con rather than voters for a third Worldcon and to apply the amendment to the third year if ratified?

    Maybe. It’s an interesting thought. I’m thinking no, unfortunately — but please bear with me as I try to work this out. I have to start with the theoretical basis of how WSFS governs itself.

    (Now, just as a disclaimer, I’m thinking out and writing the following with no time for contemplation whatsoever. So, neither of us should be surprised if my impromptu response is half-baked. I’ll be lucky if it isn’t.)

    Seems to me, there’s an awkward bit after one Worldcon’s Business Meeting adjourns sine die (for the current year), and the next one convenes a year later — a period in which WSFS is figuratively dormant. It wakes up again with the next year’s gavel rap, and all its powers as a deliberative assembly are again available.

    Between those times, because there need to be active functions in operation anyway, WSFS delegates some persistent powers to the Mark Protection Committee, some to seated Worldcon Committees (‘concoms’) to administer Hugos, to do site selection for upcoming Worldcons and NASFiCs, and to arrange for the Business Meeting to reconvene. Upcoming Worldcon concoms, in turn, delegate Hugo matters to its Hugo Admins (such as Sasquan did with the illustrious John Lorentz and Ruth Sachter), and site selection to a separate group of admins for that purpose.

    But none of this touches the Constitution during a time when WSFS as a parliamentary body is dormant, and that’s where we run into trouble: Anything being reported or proposed at a WSFS Business Meeting can be probed, questioned, challenged, etc. by WSFS acting as a deliberative assembly. Just as with committee reports, when Jodi Dashoff reported site selection voting results to the Sasquan Business Meeting, anyone there could have made a motion to look into any aspect of the Helsinki win that seemed doubtful. That win wasn’t official until the Business Meeting voted to accept the results and request that the ballots be destroyed.

    But, when you hang the member vetting of a proposed (and twice-BM-approved) Constitutional amendment, or not vetting of it, off past Closing Ceremonies with the intention of altering the Constitution with immediate effect based on what some small group of volunteers say happened in voting, you are delegating whether the fundamental nature of WSFS will be immediately altered or not to that small group of volunteers with no WSFS oversight — because the relevant parliamentary body won’t exist again for another 11 months.

    Going back to John Lorentz’s idea of popular ratification after one Business Meeting pass and before another, the way I expect that would work in fine detail is: In any year a Constitutional amendment passes the first time, Business Meeting n empowers a popular ratification committee to poll the members for y/n on the proposal, and report back results to Business Meeting n+1. The latter is what makes entrusting the volunteers with a key Constitutional function OK: There is all usual opportunity for their results to be probed, questioned, challenged, etc. by WSFS acting as a deliberative assembly, and not official until accepted by that assembly.

    At this point, though, I should shut up and listen to better assessments by actual experts.

  16. “Every great pun consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Wordplay”. The punster leads you somewhere ordinary: a mundane scenario, some disparate elements, or a straight line. But of course… it probably isn’t. The punster uses unexpected wordplay, a juxtaposition, to elicit the second act, called “The Laugh”. The punster takes the ordinary something and makes it do something unexpected. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. Because making someone laugh isn’t enough; you have to do more. That’s why every pun has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Groan”.”

    — with apologies to Christopher Priest

  17. @WSFS Biz Mtg sub-thread: Instead of popular ratification, I’d rather have a popular straw poll. A non-binding poll of WSFS members for the BM to get an idea of whoever-botheres-to-vote-in-the-poll feels (yay/nay) about the items up for ratification. At con, between cons, whatever makes the most sense — but a non-binding poll to inform the BM.

  18. JJ: “The Enemy Within” came out in early 2014. Either it or the shorter work that makes up the first part might’ve won a Sidewise.

  19. I am currently wishing both that I’d registered for the 2015 Hugos in time to nominate, and that I’d seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in time to nominate it. I needed distraction from current work and finally got around to firing up Rise of the Planet of the Apes and then the sequel, Dawn. They are both really, really good. The setup is very good, involving an experimental Alzheimer’s treatment that pushes the brain’s ability to regenerate damaged cells and merrily triggers the growth of altogether new brain tissue when there’s no damage to fix…but isn’t flawless. Both humans and apes have well-drawn, engaging motives and personalities. (In the first movie, John Lithgow gives a quietly shattering performance as the father of the guy in charge of developing the drug; Dad has Alzheimer’s himself.) Even the characters doing outright villainous things tend to have very sensible motives.

    Andy Serkis provides the motion capture for Caesar, the first chimp given the drug, and is his usual astounding self. The scenes of apes swarming through the streets of San Francisco (thriving and alive in the first movie, ten years after plague in the second) and the coast redwoods are like Chayan Khoi art brought to life. They were genuinely moving to me, engaging fully in the human (and ape) consequences of a straightforward, well-handled flight of scientific fancy.

    If, like me, you hadn’t gotten around to them, check them out. I see that a third one is scheduled for 2017, and if it’s up to the quality of these, I’ll be nominating it for a 2018 Hugo.

  20. lurkertype: “The Enemy Within” came out in early 2014. Either it or the shorter work that makes up the first part might’ve won a Sidewise.

    The novel won, in Long Form. Ken Liu won Short Form with “The Long Haul: From the Annals of Transportation, The Pacific Monthly, May 2009”.

  21. JJ, happy to share. I imprinted strongly on some of his early work and love to share when the opportunity arises.

  22. I don’t usually go for fanfic, but I recently got pointed to a story in the Harry Potter setting. It’s a romance between two students at Hogwarts doomed to be kept apart by the cruel caprices of the Sorting Hat: “If you were a Ravenclaw, my love”

  23. …but has anyone here read Salman Rushdie and can tell me he’s worth the price?

    Midnight’s Children, Shame, Satanic Verses were all very good.
    Either he fell into a rut or I’d had enough of his thing, because I didn’t like the Moor’s Last Sigh or The Ground Beneath her Feet nearly as much, and I haven’t read anything of his since.
    Maybe it’s time to give him another go…

  24. Maybe thinking you can be subtle over there is why you’re having trouble. Maybe subtlety just looks like cowardice to them. I’m just guessing.

  25. @Derek B:

    Just some afterthoughts on the upthread discussion, that I hope will be useful:

    The will of the members: Upthread, I voiced the view that WSFS ‘is dormant’ between Business Meetings. That was rhetoric, and thus naughty of me: It assumed WSFS is synonymous with the deliberative assembly that my wife and I lavished 11 hours on, playing Robert’s Rules games, at Sasquan. But hey, isn’t WSFS in a broader sense its members? Sure. Fair cop. This is the conceptual basis of Kevin Standlee’s Popular Ratification motion, and I totally agree with him — so, in that sense, my upthread post was wrong-headed: WSFS is the over 10,000 Sasquan members, in a more meaningful sense than it is the about 300 amateur parliamentarians who suffered through Sasquan’s Business Meeting.

    That having been settled for the sake of discussion, the problem is: How is the will of the members to be determined within real-world critical situations? And by whom?

    WSFS has a fairly standard way of delegating specific tasks: For Worldcon and NASFiC site selection, for example, WSFS delegates the necessary election administration to highly trusted, multiple volunteers (who keep an eye on each other), and who report back to the deliberative assembly, which then accepts what they say or not.

    Point is, it’s difficult to imagine any delegation model that doesn’t involve volunteers reporting back to the assembly, which then accepts what they say or not. I join Kevin in wanting to vet Constitutional amendments with the membership, but there’s a risk in assuming that the members’ will is synonymous with what some small group of sovereign and autonomous people claim was the members’ will — with no opportunity for oversight, questions, etc. Because isn’t that less democracy than it is handing off governance to an unsupervised committee?

    If all of WSFS were gathered in one room at the same time, direct democracy and bowing to the will of the members would be (relatively) easy. Since we’re not, and since the best idea yet proposed is ‘a committee polls all members’, handing off plenary powers to say whether the electorate vetted a change or not, without any examination of their affairs, strikes me as reckless and an accident waiting to happen.

    Your Mileage May Differ.{tm}

  26. @Rachel Swirsky – that’s good to know. I’d feel bad If You Were A Tiny Bit Sore At Stuff. Hope you feel better soon.

  27. Two people were debating over which was the worst cookie in the world. The loser turned to the packet and sighed, “If you made a viler s’more, my love…”

  28. Okay, someone made a comment implying paddling River Tam and nobody made the obvious “I’ll be in my bunk” remark? I don’t know whether to be proud of or disappointed in the class of File770 commenters…

  29. If you were Migraine-sore, my love. (And would you know it, I’m battling my own migraine today. Thankfully, these are much rarer now.)

  30. @P J Evans: “And the bat that was released at the church we went to, so we could have a bat in our (non-existent) belfry.”

    This reminds me of a story from my old DOS days.

    It was common back then to accumulate an assortment of small utilities that didn’t really merit having their own directories. Instead, it made more sense to collect them into one “junk drawer” for simplicity. These utilities frequently came with (or were) batch files that specified the necessary options, and those gave me the idea for my “junk drawer” folder’s name.

    I put all of my .BATs in C:\BELFRY.

  31. @P J Evans:

    While I do appreciate the shiny internet, I feel obliged to point out that the story is completely true.

    (Hey, why does the plaque say “Kyra”?)

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