Pixel Scroll 1/2/19 A Noble Pixel Embiggens The Smallest Scroll.

(1) A STRANGER FOURTH. A creepy New Year’s countdown heralds the third season of Stranger Things.

1985 will never be the same. Stranger Things returns for a third season July 4, 2019 on Netflix.

(2) WHO SPECIAL CHALKS UP FEWER UK VIEWERS. “Ratings Low for Time-Shifted ‘Doctor Who’ Festive Special” says The Hollywood Reporter.

But its overnight viewings in the U.K. were anything but stellar, with 5.15 million tuning in on the BBC, a 22.4 percent share, according to reports, half a million less than Idris Elba’s return as Luther the same evening. The figure — which is before consolidated views have been included — marks the lowest for any Doctor Who festive special since the series returned in its modern form in 2005, and also Whittaker’s second-worst episode this season. By contrast, David Tennant’s first special landed 9.4 million overnight views, Matt Smith’s 10.3 million and Peter Capaldi’s 6.3 million. However, these were all broadcast Christmas Day.

(3) AQUAMAN. He’s doing the backstroke to the bank: “Aquaman swims past Wonder Woman at global box office, could pass Batman v Superman next “.

James Wan’s Aquaman became one of the highest-grossing DCEU films this week when it surpassed $822 million at the global box office, reports Variety.

This figure placed the feature above Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, which lassoed a little over $821 million during its theatrical run in 2017. Domestically, Aquaman also broke the $200 million mark in North America, but it still needs $197 or so million to beat Wonder Woman‘s total American gross of $412 million.

(4) WU AND ARISIA. During Brianna Wu’s 2018 congressional race she focused on issues with wide appeal, and on attracting attention from major media. But the other day on Facebook she returned a fannish subject, the forthcoming Arisia convention:

If you attend Arisia, Inc. this year, I’m not going to say anything to you – but I will absolutely think less of you.

A convention that had multiple sexual predators at senior leadership levels and ignored the rape of a teenager is not a convention you should support. You cannot attend Arisia and also also support women.

I will not be buying your books. I will not support your art. I will never do you a favor.

You are the choices the [sic] make.

(5) BLACK MIRROR IN FINANCIAL TIMES. Martin Morse Wooster peeked behind the Financial Times paywall to report on their coverage of Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch” episode.

In the December 29 Financial TImes, Shannon Bond interviews “Black Mirror” showrunners Charlie Brooker and Anabel Jones about the forthcoming episode of Black Mirror called “Bandersnatch” which will be interactive.  It’s about a choose your own adventure writer who gets trapped in “a branching set of storylines that descend down rabbit holes exploring free will and mind control.”

“‘We didn’t know what the story would be and we were like, ‘Wouldn’t that just be a gimmick?’ said Mr Brooker.

But once the pair hit upon a plot with the right themes, they were quick to embrace the opportunity, said Ms Jones,

‘It’s absolutely baked into the story this idea of freedom of choice and control and the illusion of control and the illusion of choice.  Once you’ve got that as the basic conceit and you have the protagonist and you can give them multiple endings but these endings only build to reinforce the whole, then that’s delicious,’ she said.”

They could call it “Choose Your Own Adventure–To Despair!” says Wooster. “Good times!”

(6) BEWARE THE BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. Ethan Alter, in “Netflix to Fans:  Don’t Be Like Bullock And Avoid BIRD BOX Challenge,” says that Netflix is telling fans to avoid a viral challene to do things while blindfolded just like Sandra Bullock does in BIRD BOX, saying they could hurt themselves and Bullock announced she bumped into the Steadicam several times while doing her blindfolded scenes.

(7) ROBERTS OBIT. BBC reports “Net’s founding father Dr Larry Roberts dies aged 81”

American scientist Larry Roberts who helped design and build the forerunner of the internet has died aged 81.

In the late 1960s, he ran the part of the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (Arpa) given the job of creating a computer network called Arpanet.

He also recruited engineers to build and test the hardware and software required to get the system running.

Arpanet pioneered technologies underpinning the internet that are still used today.

Dr Roberts is recognised as one of the four founding fathers of the internet along with Bob Kahn, Vint Cerf and Len Kleinrock.

The son of two chemists, Dr Roberts reportedly chose electronics as a field of study because it was more forward-looking.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born January 2, 1920 Isaac Asimov. I can’t possibly summarise him here so I won’t. My favourite novels by him are the original Foundation novels followed very closely by his Galactic Empire series and I, Robot. I also still like the Robot series a lot and I know I’ve read a lot of his short fiction. (Died 1992.)
  • Born January 2, 1929Charles Beaumont. He is best remembered as a writer of such Twilight Zone episodes such as “The Howling Man”, “Printer’s Devil”, and the “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You”, but he also penned the exemplary 7 Faces of Dr. Lao screenplay, and The Masque of the Red Death, a horror film with Vincent Price which is rather good. (Died 1967.)
  • Born January 2, 1978 Renée Elise Goldsberry, 41. Currently Quellcrist Falconer in the Altered Carbon series with her first SF role having been Crewman Kelly on the “Vox Sola” episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. I think her only other genre appearance is as Denise Watkins in the long titled “Things to Do in New York When You Think You’re Dead” episode of Life on Mars series. I’ve read the entire Altered Carbon series but not seen the series, so how is it? 
  • Born January 2, 1979 Tobias Buckell, 40. I read and enjoyed a lot his Xenowealth series which was both both original and managed to wrap nicely. Do note that “The Alchemist and The Executioness “ novella  he wrote with the latter and is which is part of the latter’s Tangled Lands Universe is definitely worth chasing down out for reading
  • Born January 2, 1983 Kate Bosworth, 36. Not a long resume in the genre I grant you but her Lois Lane in Superman Returns certainly was impressive and she’s was recently in a series that I’m looking forward to seeing no matter how depressing it probably is, an adaptation of Len Deighton’s SS-GB, and she’s got The I-Land, a web series which sounds more horror than SF forthcoming. 

(9) FINALLY THEY TRIED SCIENCE. The popular theory about learning-by-guess was always wrong: “Why Millions Of Kids Can’t Read, And What Better Teaching Can Do About It”.

Harper attended a professional-development day at one of the district’s lowest-performing elementary schools. The teachers were talking about how students should attack words in a story. When a child came to a word she didn’t know, the teacher would tell her to look at the picture and guess.

The most important thing was for the child to understand the meaning of the story, not the exact words on the page. So, if a kid came to the word “horse” and said “house,” the teacher would say, that’s wrong. But, Harper recalls, “if the kid said ‘pony,’ it’d be right because pony and horse mean the same thing.”

Harper was shocked. First of all, pony and horse don’t mean the same thing. And what does a kid do when there aren’t any pictures?

This advice to a beginning reader is based on an influential theory about reading that basically says people use things like context and visual clues to read words. The theory assumes learning to read is a natural process and that with enough exposure to text, kids will figure out how words work.

Yet scientists from around the world have done thousands of studies on how people learn to read and have concluded that theory is wrong….

(10) OLD TECH MADE NEW. NPR “Climate Change Is Bad For Peru’s Pastures … But There’s A 1,200-Year-Old Fix”

Climate change, vanishing ice and erratic rain patterns are causing the wetlands in two Andean communities to shrink — and that’s a big problem for the communities of Miraflores and Canchayllo. The villagers depend on the puna, a set of alpine ecosystems above 13,000 feet that include grasslands and wetlands to graze sheep, cows, alpacas, llamas and vicunas — animals that provide them with their livelihoods.

Instead of looking for modern solutions to improve access to water, the villagers turned to an old one: centuries-old hydraulic systems that dot the Nor Yauyos Cocha Landscape Reserve, a state-protected natural area seven hours east of Lima. These ancient systems have been used to help irrigate the reserve’s pastures and provide nutrient-rich soil for hundreds of years.

So in 2013, the communities teamed up with scientists from U.S. nonprofit The Mountain Institute (TMI) and reserve authorities to devise plans to revive their historic waterways, including canals, lakes and reservoirs. In addition to providing water, the project would also help mitigate the effects of climate change on the landscape, which has been degraded by grazing, melting glaciers and erratic rainfall.

(11) THE SPEED OF DARK. The real world moves past Moon’s novel: “The firm whose staff are all autistic”.

Peter, Evan and Brian work at a small technology firm based by the beach in Santa Monica, testing software and fixing bugs.

On first inspection it seems like any other Los Angeles-based company, with tasteful art on the white walls and calm-inducing diffusers dotted about.

Peter describes the working atmosphere as “quiet, but fun”, and especially likes the fact that there is no pressure to socialise, while Evan says of his employers that they are “very accommodating and understanding”. Brian describes his office as “unique”.

Auticon is one of only a handful of companies that cater exclusively for employees who are on the autistic spectrum.

Formerly known as MindSpark before being acquired by German-based Auticon, the firm was founded by Gray Benoist who, as the father of two autistic sons, saw few options in the workplace that could cater for their needs.

(12) BETTER FUZZY PIXELS. “New Horizons: Nasa probe survives flyby of Ultima Thule” – BBC has the story.

The US space agency’s New Horizons probe has made contact with Earth to confirm its successful flyby of the icy world known as Ultima Thule.

The encounter occurred some 6.5bn km (4bn miles) away, making it the most distant ever exploration of an object in our Solar System.

New Horizons acquired gigabytes of photos and other observations during the pass.

It will now send these home over the coming months.

The radio message from the robotic craft was picked up by one of Nasa’s big antennas, in Madrid, Spain.

(13) THE FAR SIDE. Follow-up to a previous Scroll item: “China mission primed for landing on Moon’s far side”

China is preparing to make the first attempt at landing robotic spacecraft on the Moon’s far side.

A static lander and rover are expected to be deployed to the surface in the next day, state media reports.

The vehicles are carrying a suite of instruments designed to characterise the region’s geology, as well as a biological experiment.

In recent days, the Chang’e-4 spacecraft had lowered its orbit in preparation for landing.

At the weekend, Chinese state media said the probe had entered an elliptical path around the Moon, bringing the vehicles to within 15km (9 miles) of the lunar surface at its closest point.

Authorities have not specified the exact time of the attempt to touch down in the Von Kármán crater. But a report in the state-run China Daily newspaper suggests Chang’e-4 could begin descending on its thrusters sometime from 2-3 January.

(14) ORBITAL OBSTETRICS. The Atlantic reports a proposed experiment: “Imagine Giving Birth in Space”.

“SpaceLife Origin, based in the Netherlands, wants to send a pregnant woman, accompanied by a “trained, world-class medical team,” in a capsule to the space above Earth. The mission would last 24 to 36 hours. Once the woman delivered the child, the capsule would return to the ground. “A carefully prepared and monitored process will reduce all possible risks, similar to Western standards as they exist on Earth for both mother and child,” SpaceLife Origin’s website states. The company has set the year 2024 as the target date for the trip.

“The concept raises a host of questions—we’ll get to those later—but perhaps the most immediate may be this: Why?

(15) JEOPARDY! Direct from Andrew Porter’s living room, tonight’s sff reference on Jeopardy!

In Final Jeopardy, in “British Memoirs,” the answer was, “Before his death in 1996, this famous son wrote the memoirs “The Enchanted Places” & “The Hollow on the Hill”.

Wrong questions: “Who is Churchill?”, “Who is Christopher Tolkien?”

Correct question: “Who is Milne?” — Christopher Robin Milne

(16) HERTZ PENS COOLEST VERSE. John Hertz cheered me up after reading my complaint about a cold house —

We all of us knew you were cool,

But now it seems too you are cold.

We’ll hope that you had a good Yule

And were safe while Old/New Year change rolled.

But we still don’t see a new header,

And your scrolling voice has been scant.

Are you merely under the weather?

Or does some worse thing mean you can’t?

I join my small voice to the others

Who wish you both good and the best.

You know that if we had our druthers

You’d not go through any such test.

(17) THE VOLCANIC KIMCHI CURE. But if I need it, LAist touts “Kimchi Jjigae, The Volcanic Korean Stew That Can Kill Colds”.

When the winter sun sets before 5 p.m. and you’re nursing a nasty case of the sniffles, there’s a piping-hot Korean stew that provides the perfect antidote to illness and hunger. Huge, hearty and volcanic red, kimchi jjigae can blaze the mucus out of your body better than a Neti pot.

The Korean dish is believed by some to have originated in the mid-Joseon era, during or shortly after the Imjin Wars of 1592 to 1598, when Japan invaded Korea and brought Portuguese traders’ chili peppers with them. Others argue that the chili has been farmed in Korea for 1,500 years, after it was brought to the region millions of years ago by birds. Still others believe the chili came from China, thanks to Indian and Arab traders peddling the seeds along the Silk Road.

Whatever kimchi jjigae’s origins, it lets thrifty Korean cooks use super-ripe kimchi that’s not ideal to eat on its own. With the kimchi’s intensity mellowed by pork, tofu, gochugaru (chile pepper flakes), garlic, ginger, scallions and broth, the spicy stew has become a year-round favorite. During long, harsh winters, like the kind we have here in Los Angeles, jjigae with pork has a reputation as an almost magical antidote to winter colds….

[Thanks to John Hertz, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

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47 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/2/19 A Noble Pixel Embiggens The Smallest Scroll.

  1. (14) Why seems obvious to me, though that may be a twisted worldview and sfnal influence. The question is, who would want to be the first.

    In 4229, of course, it’s all routine, and we’ve lost the details of these early experiments.

  2. 2)

    Overall there were huge drops in the overnight figures for lots of popular shows over the festive period. Strictly, Call the Midwife, Eastenders, and Mrs Browns Boys all lost large amounts of their audience. Doctor Who got off fairly light. Luther was more of an event as it has been 4 years since it has been on the box but even there the ratings weren’t spectacular.

    It seems that the UK doesn’t watch Christmas TV as avidly as it once did.

  3. 14) Wouldn’t accelerating a mother and unborn baby into orbit be somewhat risky, regardless of the birth itself?

  4. 14) Are they planning to skip the try it out with animals stage? I don’t know how vulnerable babies are to high g forces, just that Disney doesn’t allow women on later stages of pregnancy on the rocket simulator ride.

    8) I really enjoyed the Azazel short stories also. More humorous SFF!

  5. bookworm1398 notes that I really enjoyed the Azazel short stories also. More humorous SFF!

    I forgot about that those stories. Yes, they were really fun, showing his lighter side very nicely. I don’t think been collected into a single volume have they?

  6. 8) — I just finished watching the Altered Carbon series a few days ago, and enjoyed it quite a bit; I’ll be curious to see S2.

    Also, birthday-related Meredith Moment: Asimov’s Galactic Empire books are all currently $2.99. Well, sort of — Stars, Like Dust is currently showing the following message:

    Item Under Review

    This book is currently unavailable because there are significant quality issues with the source file supplied by the publisher.
    The publisher has been notified and we will make the book available as soon as we receive a corrected file. As always, we value customer feedback.

    The other two are available for purchase, however.

  7. Here in 3128, we still remember the good Doctor Asimov.

    12-13) When the story of spaceflight is written from a far perspective, it seems clear that the early age of space is going to be written up as a prelude to setting up an age of robots and remote control. I do wonder if the entirety of manned spaceflight post Apollo will be elided in such histories, focusing on Viking as the true herald of what space exploration would become.

  8. 14) Years ago I read a book where the boy protagonist had absolute direction, to the point where he’d spend time at the end of the day unwinding every turn he’d made during the day–with a trampoline in there for the earth’s rotation. It turned out he was the first baby born in space and was tuned into an alien broadcast signal. In the book scientists put him in a zero g airplane where he could align with that signal and they used that direction in their SETI work. I can’t for the life of me remember either the title or the author. Is this ringing bells with anyone else?

    Anyway, if they do the space birth, let’s hope the poor kid doesn’t end up twirling in place every time they go around a corner.

  9. 14) @bookworm1398: “Are they planning to skip the try it out with animals stage?”

    I’m wondering why it’s important to go straight to zero-gee and skip the try it out in lunar or martian gravity stage. Because this is a closer goal? That’s an awfully tactical business model. And what exactly is the business model for this, anyway? It’s a very weird story. Be sure to read all the way to the end.

  10. I’m kinda wondering how they’re going to have a pregnant woman deliver exactly on schedule. As opposed to, say, during (or before) the launch, or a week after she’s back on Earth…

    (I haven’t read the article, so perhaps that’s covered there, but I’ve never known any pregnant woman who delivered exactly on schedule unless there was a C-section involved.)

  11. 11) VERY COOL!

    Here in 6214, our feline overlords do not allow us to waste human resources for any reason.

  12. 9) So educators are re-discovering a phonics-based approach to reading education. Sooner would have been better, but now beats later.

    14) From almost personal experience, I know there are drugs that can be given to goose things along a little bit. But I thought doctors generally preferred to avoid using them.

    Here in the year 8448, palindromic iambic pentameter is considered sublime.

    When I was 14, I thought, ‘How wonderful to be a science fiction writer. I’d like to do that.’ I have never lost touch with that ambitious 14-year-old, and I can’t help chuckling and thinking, ‘You did it, and you did it right.’ – Robert Silverberg

  13. @4: I’m not clear on how it’s useful to punish a convention for past bad behavior that it has repudiated.

    @8: IIRC, Beaumont is also known for one of the most … vigorous … similes concerning achievement in Hollywood — a small thing compared to his lengthy career, but notable.

    @14: the answer to “why?” is obvious to anyone who grew up with the promises of the early space age — but we’re getting older and perhaps more realistic, or at least more cautious and more aware of difficulties (cf the note about problems for rat pups born in orbit). I don’t think “The Chinese will try it if we don’t” (per a late paragraph) is much of a reason; nor is the fact that “preppers” are interested (doesn’t it seem like the opposite of what they’re prepping for?).

    There are so many ways this could go wrong. The fact that it’s being pushed by a “serial entrepreneur” doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence either….

    @John A Arkansawyer: I’m wondering why it’s important to go straight to zero-gee and skip the try it out in lunar or martian gravity stage. Because there’s no assurance we’ll ever have such stages? Yes, the Chinese are talking big about a permanent colony, but that depends on a lot of factors. Not that I consider the unavailability important in the long term; if we don’t reduce the cost of launches enough to make colonies possible, I doubt there will be enough people living in zero-g to care about whether delivery is safe.

    @Cassy B: Wikipedia confirms my recollection that oxytocin is still used to induce labor — not timed to the minute like a Caesarian, but possibly close enough; note the range of possible return times. Not that I’d consider that appropriate for a real science experiment rather than a stunt; they ought to be looking at whether an absolutely routine birth can be safe before testing what happens when one is forced. I also wonder how risky it will be to stay in orbit longer, e.g. if the landing site is weathered over.

  14. 9) This is apparently the way Tarzan taught himself to read, according to ERB. (I didn’t believe it then either!)

  15. 8) January 2 is Asimov’s official birthday; he himself said it was impossible to be sure.

    8bis) Netflix altered Altered Carbon in a few ways that irked me greatly, and I am looking forward to the next season.

    14) It’s still early, but I am confident that this is the worst idea I will hear about all day. ‘Routine delivery’ can change to ‘they both would have died if they hadn’t been in the hospital already’ at any moment.

    17) Kimchi jjigae is seriously good stuff. At Tuscon I found a Korean place in walking distance of the con, and did half my dining there for the duration.

  16. Patrick Morris Miller: 8) January 2 is Asimov’s official birthday; he himself said it was impossible to be sure

    So what’s the best way to handle that? Keep using January 2? Or drop him til he presents the appropriate verification of his real birthday?

  17. 17) In the DC/MD/VA area, there is a chain called Lighthouse Tofu that specializes in kimchi soondobu (soft tofu) jigae, which they just call soondobu. I ate there often until I took a vegan turn, and the word volcanic is about right. The combination of spicy-hot and heat-hot often made me wonder if I had any sinuses left!

  18. 9) Phonetic vs look-say approaches to teaching reading have been seesawing in the ed world for as long as I can remember. I’d hoped that look-say had cycled out of fashion in the ed schools, but apparently not. My wife (a college English teacher) has plenty of students (and not just first-year, and not just non-English majors) who can’t sound out words–who seem to guess when they hit an unfamiliar word. And since their reading skills are low (often not even middle-school level), their reading experience is limited, and that makes dealing with everything else in a course that much harder.

    I have no memory of learning to read–I was reading before kindergarten at age four. I suspect it had to do with sitting on my mother’s lap while she read to me, but I don’t know whether she sounded out the words, and I can’t ask her now. Nor do I have any memories of my reading instruction in elementary school, though in 1950 it was probably phonetic.

  19. @OGH: He observed it on January 2, so nobody will do wrong by following suit. I just thought it a good attachment site for marginalia (especially as I am currently reading Nevala-Lee’s Astounding).

  20. Patrick Morris Miller says He observed it on January 2, so nobody will do wrong by following suit. I just thought it a good attachment site for marginalia (especially as I am currently reading Nevala-Lee’s Astounding).

    Why did he dispute it as being the day he was born? I’ve not heard this story, so I’d like very much to hear it.

  21. @Cat: From In Memory Yet Green, one of his memoirs:

    The date of my birth, as I celebrate it, was January 2, 1920. It could not have been later than that. It might, however, have been earlier. Allowing for the uncertainties of the times, of the lack of records, of the Jewish and Julian calendars, it might have been as early as October 4, 1919. There is, however, no way of finding out. My parents were always uncertain and it really doesn’t matter.

  22. Patrick Morris Miller re Issac’s Birthday claim in his biography:

    Ok it’s either a true story or a really interesting piece of metabiographical writing. It was rural Russia in 1920s, he was a Jew and record keeping wasn’t great but that many months deviation? Is that even possible that the calendars would for that being possible?

  23. @Cat: I wondered at that myself. Maybe Asimov was looking for ways to make the date spread as wide as logically possible and thought ‘what if the local populace forgot several leap months[1]’ and similar leniences.

    Or I suppose it’s possible he exaggerated to cultivate an air of mystery.

    [1] The Hebrew calendar is mostly lunar – each month is a lunar month, which is why I will always be lighting my mother’s Yahrzeit candle a few days after the new moon – with a leap month added every few years to avoid the calendar as a whole sliding around with respect to the seasons and other forms of calendrical rot.

  24. @Cat
    Well, if it was recorded as being around New Year, without the year specified, it might actually have that kind of spread. (I get stuck with things like “the second Sunday of Advent in [year]” when doing genealogy.)

  25. And now I’m wishing I’d ever mentioned the matter to my mother, an adult convert and a genealogist. She’d have had insights, I’m sure.

  26. Picking January 1 or in Asimov’s case January 2 as a birthday in cases where it’s not certain due to bad or non-existent record keeping, is actually quite common. When I taught German as a foreign language to refugees, I had a lot of January 1 birthdays in my class. We had an intern at the school who wanted to make a birthday calendar for the class. I told her, “Sure, go ahead. But we’ll get a lot of January 1 entries, because many of them simply don’t know the exact date they were born.”

    In Asimov’s case, the chaos of the post-revolution Soviet Union, the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and Jewish calendar, which is completely different again, were added complications.

    Also, in some cultures birthdays simply aren’t as important as in modern western culture, so not knowing your exact brithday isn’t that big a deal.

  27. My grandfather, born in Russia/Ukraine in 1898, celebrated his birthday on the Hebrew calendar, either because that’s what was meaningful to him or because that’s what he was sure of, whereas the shift from Julian to Gregorian might have left him uncertain of when in August that mapped to. And he was born at a time of year where there’s no possible ambiguity in “right after New Year’s.”

    I also know someone, born in this century in Virginia, whose parents give her two birthday parties every year, one for the Hebrew calendar and one for the Gregorian. But they have good records, and know what day it is by both calendars.

  28. Regarding having two parties, I know people my age who celebrate baptism days and name days and pay more attention to those dates than to their actual birthday. A classmate of mine in school always had a baptism day party, but no birthday party. And since I know we were baptised on the same day (he was the son of our Lutheran pastor and apparently cried pitifully all through the ceremony, so everybody remembered that), it was my baptism day, too, though in my family we didn’t celebrate that at all.

  29. wrt Asimov’s birthday: I vaguely remembered that there was uncertainty about the year because his mother wanted him in school early — but Wikipedia reports that she only stretched the date by ~6 weeks as that was enough to get him into first grade a year early. W also notes that he wouldn’t have been draftable if he hadn’t insisted on getting the date corrected not-many years after he started school.

  30. (2) Have still not watched it, though it’s sitting on the PVR

    We would have watched it en famile had it been on in the traditional Christmas Day slot, but we were travelling back from a party on NYD and then there have been other things that needed doing. Tonight perhaps.

  31. (8) Charles Beaumont — He is best remembered as a writer of such Twilight Zone episodes [as] . . . “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You”,
    I have seen it authoritatively written that “Number Twelve” was in fact fully written by John Tomerlin, during the period when Beaumont’s health problems meant that (a) he was not able to complete all the work he had signed up for and (b) medical bills were daunting, and so his friends pitched in to help. But the teleplay was based on Beaumont’s short story “The Beautiful People”, so credit isn’t entirely undeserved.

    @Chip Hitchcock IIRC, Beaumont is also known for one of the most … vigorous … similes concerning achievement in Hollywood

    Well, geez, Chip, just leave us hanging:

    “Achieving success in Hollywood is like climbing an enormous a mountain of cow shit so that you can pluck that one perfect rose from the top. And you find after you’ve made that hideous ascent, you’ve lost the sense of smell.”

  32. Chip Hitchcock on January 3, 2019 at 8:28 am said: @4: I’m not clear on how it’s useful to punish a convention for past bad behavior that it has repudiated.

    BW is looking for attention. Gamer-gate is forgotten (along with the hijack attempt), Revolution 60 sank, and the campaign for Congress fizzled. A bit late to the party for Arisa, though.

  33. Josh: Gamer-gate is forgotten (along with the hijack attempt)

    You don’t spend much time on social media, do you?

  34. Russell Letson on January 3, 2019 at 10:08 am said:

    I have no memory of learning to read–I was reading before kindergarten at age four.

    Me too, except that I do remember it, vaguely. My parents were heavy readers, so I was a bit obsessed with books even before I could read. And the main thing I remember is a moment of revelation when I tried sounding out the letters on the cover of a book whose title I knew–and it worked! At which point, I was hooked.

    Yes, Altered Carbon is not as good as the books, but still highly recommended.

    Dann665 on January 3, 2019 at 7:39 am said:

    Here in the year 8448, palindromic iambic pentameter is considered sublime.

    Just one problem with iambic pentameter–the name. I wrote a small couplet to illustrate:

    Iambic pentameter cannot fit
    In Iambic pentameter, so…sh**.


  35. @Josh: A bit late to the party for Arisa, though. Not necessarily. A committee member told me a few days ago that they had 1800 members so far (don’t know how recently they’d checked); that’s way below both ~4200 last year and the 3200 (IIRC) cap for this year, but many conventions sell lots of memberships in the weeks leading up to the convention, and even at the door.

  36. Serious Eats is good, but for Korean recipes, I put my trust in Maangchi every time:

    Kimchi Jjigae

    I’ve made it according to her recipe several times (and at least once with kimchi I made according to one of her recipes, too), and I recently made it according to the principles of “this looks about right”/”this stuff in the fridge needs to go” and that worked out pretty well.

    See also Kimchiguk (Kimchi soup) – I haven’t made it yet to know how it differs. (Maangchi says it’s not as thick as -jjigae, and not as salty.)

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