Here are 11 developments of interest to fans.
(1) A friend of mine is a pediatrician, bilingual in Spanish. I was in his office one time when an emergency call came in from a Spanish-speaking father worried about a child’s fever. I knew enough vocabulary to comprehend that my friend was asking the parent to take the child’s temperature again – the figure of 110 degrees he was quoting couldn’t possibly be right because the child wouldn’t be alive – “Ciento diez es muerte” declared my friend.
(2) Lady Tsuz makes medieval chain mail with colorful anodyzed aluminum and a dollop of fannish humor:
I’m up for new challenges and ideas!! My current project is a red Star Trek shirt for a teddy bear. When I explained to my son what I was making, he picked up the bear, hugged it and said, “I’m sorry bear, it was nice knowing you!”
(3) Ron Charles of the Washington Post thinks America’s current teens deserve a Rocky Horror-style ritual they can call their own and nominates The Great Gatsby to be the film they build it around. Here are some of his ideas —
Whenever that servant from “The Munsters” tells Gatsby, “Chicago is on the line,” yell, “I told you never to call me here!”
Every time Daisy speaks, yell, “Her voice is full of money!” and throw Monopoly bills at the screen.
When Gatsby tells Nick, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can,” sing, “Let’s do the time warp again!”
(4) The New York Post reports some locals are beating the lines at Disney World with this dodge:
Instead, the moms pay $130 an hour to hire a disabled, “black-market” guide, who uses her position—sitting in a motorized scooter—to help entitled families gain special access to rides.
“On one hand, you can say she’s a great entrepreneur,” disability activist Kleo King, of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, told Yahoo! Shine. “On the other hand, she’s kind of pimping herself out. And it’s outrageous she would help people commit fraud.”
The 1% are belatedly discovering a strategy that the 99% have already been using for years. A local fan with a mobility disability collects a group of friends to visit Disneyland every Super Bowl Sunday – piggybacking on his access to the front of the line on a day that’s already the most lightly-attended of the year, enjoying the best of all possible (Disney)worlds.
(5) These three authors are probably at the bottom of Paul Krugman’s suggested reading for students of economics, but William Touponce considers them to have a lot to say about capitalism:
In Lord Dunsany, H. P. Lovecraft, and Ray Bradbury: Spectral Journeys, William Touponce examines what these three modern masters of weird fiction reveal about modernity and the condition of being modern in their tales. In this study, Touponce confirms that these three authors conceived of storytelling as a kind of journey into the spectral. Furthermore, he explains how each of these writers identifies modernity with capitalism in various ways and shows a concern with surpassing the limits of realism, which they see as tied to the representation of bourgeois society.
(6) At the Slacktory they’ve intercut the 1949 instructional film You’re Driving 90 Horses with the four most frightening minutes of Steven Spielberg’s 1971 killer-truck TV movie Duel to create a faux educational video called Drive Deplorably with Steven Spielberg.
(7) This story may come from the early days of the National Basketball Association but I can imagine one of us using the same gag-line:
We had a couple of guys who hated to fly. One of them was named Connie Dierking, who had played at the University of Cincinnati. He hated to fly. Hated it. The pilot said, “Well, we’re going to fly, but we’re kind of flying in the teeth of this blizzard coming in, so for navigation, we’re going to follow the Mass Turnpike. We won’t be flying too high.” So Connie’s groaning, saying, “Oh my God.” It was very bumpy and Johnny Kerr, who was a jokester, he kept things light. He said, “Connie, what are you worried about? More people die in automobile accidents and crossing the street. Planes are very, very safe, the safest of all transportation. In fact, the other day, there was a train crash in France where 90 people died.” Connie said, “Really, what happened?” Johnny said, “Oh, a plane fell on the train.”
(8) This demo of DARPA’s Pet-Proto robot left me with a strong feeling I’d seen it all before. Seems to me it moves like a slow-mo version of the Remote Control Television that scampers through scenes in Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.
(9) Between all the posts here about the new Star Trek movie and the Starship Century Symposium doesn’t somebody want to know how much would it cost to build the Starship Enterprise? Gizmodo can tell you.
So you want to build the Enterprise. Don’t we all! Well good news: according to some quick, messy, napkin math, it’s possible. Kind of. The bad news? It’s going to be stupid expensive. But not unfathomably so! Start scrounging up your space-pennies.
On the fact that Joyland, his new book, isn’t a horror novel:
“I’ve been typed as a horror writer … but I never saw myself that way. I just saw myself as a novelist. With Joyland, I wanted to try my hand at the whodunit format.”
On his daily writing regimen:
“I wrote 1,500 words this morning. Five pages a day, that’s usually what I get through.”
On why he and his two novelist sons show their work to his wife, Tabitha:
“She’ll say, ‘Here, you’ve done this before. This sucks. This is dumb.’ There’s no soft landing with Tabby, and that’s fine. [My sons] both dedicated their first novels to her, so it means a lot.”
(11) Save this link, because you never know when you’re going to need an English-to-Pig Latin translator.
[Thanks for these links goes out to David Klaus and John King Tarpinian.]