Pixel Scroll 11/27/19 Mr. Turtle, How Many Ticks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Pixel Scroll?

(1) FACEBOOK FLIES OFF THE HANDLE. Canadian sff author Daniel Arenson somehow ran afoul of Facebook’s moderators by sharing images commemorating the Holocaust on his author page. The problem was unresolved for several days, and even now Arenson is concerned that he will be banned, as he explained in a post on his personal FB page. (As of this writing, the commemorative posts can be seen on Daniel Arenson’s author page.)

An update on my Facebook trouble… I might be banned entirely from the site. If I disappear, I want you to know why.

A few days ago, on my Author Page (separate from this account, which is my personal account) I shared a post that commemorated the Holocaust. It was a project created by a Jewish artist, and included some images of Holocaust victims. Facebook removed the photos, claiming they feature “nudity or sexual activity.”

This seemed to be the work of a bot. I figured it was just a bug in the algorithm. So I applied for a human to review this case, and to potentially restore the photos. A human took a look, told me the memorial photos (created by a Jewish artist) are “hate speech,” and that I’m banned from using Facebook for 24 hours.

Three days went by, and my Author Page was still in “Facebook jail.” Meanwhile, Facebook charged my credit card $1,100 for running ads using that page. The same page I’m locked out of.

I contacted Facebook support, and I finally got a hold of a human. I asked why I was banned, and how long the ban would last. They simply threatened to extend the ban. From their tone, it sounded like they might hit me with even more bans, maybe affecting my personal account (this one) too.

They did not provide reasons why this is happening. I explained that the photos were created by a Jewish artist, who wanted to commemorate the Holocaust. Facebook support staff simply threatened further bans against my account(s).

Today, even on my personal account, I’ve had some trouble accessing the website. Maybe it’s just a Facebook-wide issue, though, and unrelated to my troubles.

If I disappear entirely, this is why. I shared photos by a Jewish artist who wanted to commemorate the Holocaust. Since then, Facebook has been smacking my accounts around, and every time I contact them, it gets worse.

(2) VETERAN OF TM BATTLE SPEAKS OUT. Tara Crescent, after seeing news about Christine Feehan’s effort to trademark “Dark” for a series of fiction works, wrote how burdensome it was for her last year to fight someone else’s attempt to trademark “Cocky.” Thread starts here.

(3) THE AXE. Now who will make jokes about these turkeys? “Netflix Cancels ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ Before Your Yearly Thanksgiving Marathon”  reports ScienceFiction.com.

‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ has once again been cancelled. This time by Netflix and right before the show’s anniversary. The series debuted on Thanksgiving in 1988 and would later grow into a yearly marathon. This year, you can still binge on this fan-favorite event but with the sad news that new episodes will not be on the horizon on Netflix.

(4) MIGNOGNA JUDGMENT. Nerd & Tie Trae Dorn reports “Vic Mignogna Ordered to Pay Almost a Quarter of a Million to Defendants in Final Judgement”.

You can read the entire order here, but it boils down to Mignogna being required to pay almost $250k to the defendants. While this is significantly less than the amounts asked for by the defendants (which was a sum roughly around $800k), it’s still a significant chunk of change. Mignogna’s representatives already attempted to file an appeal prematurely, and it is highly likely that they will attempt to do so again. If Mignogna’s potential appeal fails, he will be required to pay significantly more to the defendants as well.

(5) ACCESSIBILITY SUIT AGAINST NY LIBRARY. “Hunters Point Library hit with lawsuit over accessibility issues”Curbed New York has the story.

Disability rights advocates have filed a class-action lawsuit arguing that the brand new Hunters Point Library in Queens prevents people with mobility issues from “full and equal access” to the branch.

The lawsuit, filed in Brooklyn federal court by the Center for Independence of the Disabled New York (CIDNY), argues that the Steven Holl Architects-designed library violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After two decades of planning, the $41 million branch opened in Long Island City this September to glowing architectural reviews, but soon came under fire because sections of the library are inaccessible to wheelchair users and others with limited mobility.

Disability Rights Advocates is handling the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiffs and claims that “inaccessible features pervade” the new branch, and calls out three levels with bookshelves, a reading and small-group space in a children’s section, and a rooftop terrace for featuring accessibility barriers that prevent “full and equal enjoyment” of the library.

“Heralded as a ‘stunning architectural marvel’ and a ‘beacon of learning, literacy and culture,’ the newly-built Hunters Point Library was designed and built with a total disregard for adults and children with mobility disabilities and in flagrant contempt of the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the 21-page complaint states.

(6) THE DEAR DEPARTED. There will be a special party at this weekend’s Loscon in Los Angeles –


  • November 27, 1981 Frankenstein Island preimired. Starring John Carradine and Cameron Mitchell, it’s more or less a remake of Teenage Zombies. It was co-produced, written, directed and edited by Jerry Warren who did the latter film as well. The fifteen hundred who have collectively rated it at Rotten Tomatoes give a vote of just seven. 
  • November 27, 2002 — The animated Treasure Planet premiered. It is at least the second telling of Stevenson’s Treasure Island in an SF film setting as there’s an 1987 Italian L’isola del tesoro  (Treasure Island in Outer Space)  series. It went on to be one of the costly box office failures ever as production costs alone were nearly one hundred and fifty million dollars. While it bombed at the theater, it has an impressive 71% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born November 27, 1907 L. Sprague de Camp. The Tales from Gavagan’s Bar he wrote with Fletcher Pratt are my favorite works by him. Best novel by him? I’d say that’s Lest Darkness Fall. (Died 2000.)
  • Born November 27, 1935 Verity Lambert. Founding Producer of Doctor Who. (When she was appointed to Who in 1963, she was BBC Television’s only female drama producer, as well as the youngest.) After leaving BBC, she’d oversee the Quatermass series at Thames. She’d return to BBC to Executive Produce three seasons of So Haunt Me, a supernatural series.  Wiki weirdly has her producing an episode of Doctor Who called “A Happy Ending” in 2006 which doesn’t exist. (Died 2007.)
  • Born November 27, 1942 Jimi Hendrix. I wouldn’t be including him but the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction has a long and persuasive essay on him actually being influenced by SF. It has comments such as “for example the title of his second single, ‘Purple Haze’ (1967), though taken by many to encode a reference to drugs, is actually from Philip José Farmer’s novel Night of Light…” That essay is here. (Died 1970.)
  • Born November 27, 1940 Bruce Lee. His only genre role was as Kato in The Green Hornet which to my utter surprise lasted for just twenty-six episodes between 1966 and 1967. He also appeared on Batman in three episodes, “The Spell of Tut”, “Batman’s Satisfaction”, and “A Piece of The Action”. (Died 1973.)
  • Born November 27, 1951 Melinda M. Snodgrass, 68. She wrote several episodes of Next Gen while serving as the story editor during its second and third seasons. She also wrote scripts for Sliders, Strange Luck, Beyond RealityOdyssey 5, Outer Limits and SeaQuest DSV. She’s a co-editor of and frequent story contributor to George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series.
  • Born November 27, 1964 Rebecca Ferratti, 55. Did you know some of the Gor novels were made into films? Well they were. This actress played Takena, the co-lead, in the ones that were made, Gor and The Outlaw of Gor. They may or may not have been the worst films she was in during her film career…
  • Born November 27, 1974 Jennifer O’Dell, 45. Her only meaningful  role to date, genre or otherwise, has been that of Veronica on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. She’s had some minor roles such on Charmed and Bones, and appearances on films such as Alien Battlefield but nothing major to date.
  • Born November 27, 1974 Alec Newman, 45. He played Paul Atreides on the Dune and Children of Dune series. He was Barnabas Collins in the Dark Shadows film, and he had the recurring role of Malik on Enterprise. He was Drogyn, Keeper of the Deeper Well, and an eternally young warrior of good on Angel


  • Bizarro realized which profession would know how to get the most passengers in a small spacecraft.

(10) PRESENTING BILL. Gallifrey One, the annual Doctor Who convention in LA, announced a coup today — “Pearl Mackie Confirmed for 2020, and More!” 

Ms. Mackie received rave reviews from fans – and critics across the globe – playing the down-to-earth Bill, the series’ first openly gay companion character, including her tour-de-force performances later in the season during the two-part finale and the subsequent Christmas special, both hers and Capaldi’s final adventure “Twice Upon a Time.”

(11) RAPPIN’ REY. On the Tonight Show, Daisy Ridley performed a rap recapping the first eight episodes that make up Star Wars’ trilogy of trilogies. Full lyrics on YouTube here.

(12) RED-HANDED. “Great auk extinction: Humans wiped out giant seabird”.

“The great auk will always hold a place in my heart,” Dr Jessica Thomas says.

The Swansea-based scientist spent years piecing together an ancient DNA puzzle that suggests hunting by humans caused this giant seabird’s demise.

Dr Thomas studied bone and tissue samples from 41 museum specimens during a PhD at both Bangor and Copenhagen University.

The findings paint a picture of how vulnerable even the most common species are to human exploitation.

…About 80cm (2ft 7in) tall, the stubby-winged and bulbous-billed great auks used to be found all across the north Atlantic – from North America through Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia and the UK.

“Being flightless, they were always targeted by local people for food and for their feathers,” says Dr Thomas.

“But around 1500, when European seamen discovered the rich fishing grounds off Newfoundland, hunting intensified.”

…”We looked for signatures of population decline [before 1500],” Dr Thomas said.

One of these signatures might be a lack of genetic diversity, suggesting individuals were inbreeding and the species, as a whole, was becoming vulnerable to disease or environmental change.

“But their genetic diversity was very high – all but two sequences we found were very different,” Dr Thomas said.

(13) DOOOON’T PANIC. “Russian cows get VR headsets ‘to reduce anxiety'”. Now that you mention it, I remember Carnation used to think it was important for milk to come from contented cows…

A Russian farm has given its dairy cows virtual reality headsets in a bid to reduce their anxiety.

The herd donned VR systems adapted for the “structural features of cow heads” and were shown a “unique summer field simulation program”.

Moscow’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food cited research which they say has shown a link between a cow’s emotional experience and its milk yield.

Initial tests reportedly boosted “the overall emotional mood of the herd”.

(14) GENRE BREW. [Item by Bill.] Inner Space Brewing Company, a Huntsville, AL craft brewery, has some SF themes going on.

The tap handle that looks like a Hugo rocket was fabricated by a local Huntsville woodworking shop

Woodtech on Triana Boulevard makes tap handles for local breweries in addition to specialty items for defense companies, wine crates, puzzles, wooden boxes, business signs, trays with old maps of Huntsville, cornhole-game boards and more.

Another beer-space Huntsville-local connection is the Straight to Ale craft brewery, makers of Monkeynaut Pale Ale, which was inspired by Miss Baker, who lived out her life at the local U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Miss Baker (1957-1984) was a squirrel monkey who in 1959 became, along with rhesus macaque Miss Able, one of the first two animals launched into space by the United States and safely returned.

(15) OUR ROBOT UNDERLORDS? BBC appears to have scooped the local paper on this story — “Call to probe Boston police tests of ‘dog’ robots”.

Massachusetts State Police has been asked to explain how it is using robot dogs, by a civil liberties group.

The police force has spent the past three months testing “Spot” robot dogs alongside some of its officers.

The robots, made by Boston Dynamics, are believed to have helped with several live incidents as well as training scenarios.

The American Civil Liberties Union wants details about how and where the robots were being used.

…A video captioned with the words “MA State Police” and showing the robots opening doors and entering buildings was shared online by Boston Dynamics earlier this year.

“All too often, the deployment of these technologies happens faster than our social, political, or legal systems react,” said the ACLU in a statement given to Techcrunch.

In its letter, the campaign group said it wanted more “transparency” about the use of the robots, the ways in which they would be used and which officers would be deployed with them.

The ACLU said there was a need for regulations governing the use of the robots to ensure they did not trample on established civil rights and liberties or lead to racial injustice.

(16) KNUCKLING UNDER. According to the BBC, “Apple changes Crimea map to meet Russian demands”.

Apple has complied with Russian demands to show Crimea as part of Russian territory on its apps.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, in a move that was condemned by most of the global community.

The region is now displayed as Russian territory on Apple Maps and Weather, when viewed from inside Russia.

However, Apple Maps and Weather do not show Crimea as part of any country, when viewed outside Russia.

(17) CTHULHU’S KITCHEN. It’s time to remind everyone “How to Brine a Turkey by H.P. Lovecraft”. In his 2016 article, McSweeneys’ Robert Rooney explains the many advantages of this recipe, beginning with –

A turkey may be so prepared and preserved that, according to Artephius’s Key of Wisdom, “an ingenious Man may raise the fine Shape of a Homunculus out of its Ashes at his Pleasure, so he may, without any criminal Necromancy raise the Shape of any dead Ancestor for study and labor.”

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Well, it’s a commercial. But it’s a cute commercial.

This holiday, follow the magical story of Lucy, a curious 6-year-old with a few questions for her reindeer friends. With the help of her mom’s Surface and Microsoft Translator, she finally gets her chance to ask the most important questions of the season. Microsoft technology empowers and connects everyone on the planet…well, almost everyone.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Bill, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]

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44 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/27/19 Mr. Turtle, How Many Ticks Does It Take To Get To The Center Of A Pixel Scroll?

  1. (8) Born November 27, 1951 — Melinda M. Snodgrass, 68. She’s a co-creator and editor with George R. R. Martin of the Wild Cards series.

    Despite repeatedly saying “sorry, we’ll get it right next time”, Tor keeps leaving her names off the books. I’d like to see her get full credit here. It’s not GRRM’s series, it’s their series.

  2. (5) Wheelchair accessibility is a pretty basic, obvious form of disability accessibility, which frankly should be pretty easy to plan and check for. If they’ve managed to screw that up, what else have they overlooked?

  3. @7 typo: “preimired”

    @8: I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite de Camp. LDF has lots of good points, but the girls-are-just-a-drag ending costs it, even compared to the offhanded sexism of much of his work. The Reluctant King trilogy has many good points, including comedy (as an occasional leavening rather than a focus) and a pastiche of SF conventions (near the end of the first book). The Harold Shea stories (with Fletcher Pratt) also have a nice balance.

    also @8: I’d like to see their source for the titling of “Purple Haze”, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true; like a number of great rockers, Hendrix had eclectic tastes. (Per a BBC article from some years ago, his London digs were next door to where Handel lived over two centuries previously; they claim he was fascinated by this and spent time studying a score of Messiah.) OTOH, the other genre references (some of which I knew before seeing that article) are substantial.

    also also @8: I’m not sure why the surprise at Green Hornet having a short run; the kindest thing I can say about it was that it was an undistinguished attempt to cash in on the camped-up TV version of Batman, with even-cheaper effects.

    @13: I’d forgotten that Carnation slogan….

    @15: these are one of the robot models that have been seen in previous Scrolls; given their skills, I’m not surprised they’re being used — but I’ll be watching how questions about their use work out.

    @Lis Carey: mobility access — the new Brown M&M Test! It does bring one to wonder how many other not-so-sexy necessities they blew.

    edit: Fifth!

  4. 1) This isn’t the first time that Facebook overreacted to supposed “nudity” in historical photos. I also recall a case where Facebook banned the famous news photo of the napalm burned Vietnamese girl for “nudity”. There also was a case where Facebook banned the Rubens museum in Antwerp from posting photos of its collection, because some of the paintings contained – gasp – nude women.

    Normally, these bans are swiftly revoked, once a human supervisor has looked at the image in question, especially when there is media attention. No idea why Daniel Arenson received threats of further bans, unless he had previous issues with Facebook.

    5) You’d think that a newly built building would at least be fully wheelchair accessible, but sadly even something so basic is not always the case. Two local examples I can think of are an extremely expensive public toilet (nicknamed Palazzo Pissi) where the door of the accessible toilet was so heavy and didn’t have an automatic opener so that wheelchair users couldn’t open it without help. Another example is a newly built restaurant/café, which put the supposedly accessible toilet in the basement and only after opening realised that wheelchair users had no way of getting down there, because there was no lift.

  5. Re De Camp. Have read a ton, I particularly favorite the Planet Krishna novels and stories..

  6. @Cora
    I worked in a building that was completed in 1992. The entrances had (each) a revolving door and two swinging doors, which were were either not hung properly or very heavy, so that they were hard to open. Since the revolving doors were locked closed when the weather was bad, they had to have someone standing there to open the swinging doors for people. (It was otherwise nice – lifts to all floors, and doors wide enough for wheelchairs.)

  7. 1) This is exactly the sort of reason why I do not consider it worth being invested in fb as a professional platform. Build platforms in contexts you have more personal control over. Not ones that will extort you for visibility and then allow trolls to erase your existence.

  8. (8) “Frost Giant’s Daughter” is not a novel and was not written by L. Sprague de Camp. It is short fiction by Robert E. Howard, sometimes published in a text reworked by de Camp.

  9. 8) de Camp also wrote some first-rate non-fiction — personal favorites include Lost Continents (as expected, a study of Atlantis, Lemuria, etc.), Great Cities of the Ancient World (which did include some fictional vignettes as well as some fine Roy G. Krenkel illustrations) and Literary Swordsmen & Sorcerers (an early study of some seminal sword & sorcery/fantasy authors).

  10. Aside from a couple of random short stories here and there, the only thing I’ve read by de Camp recently enough to have a mature opinion about is the Harold Shea stories, which hold up fairly well, consideratin’. Yngvi is still a louse! 🙂

    I did also love Lest Darkness Fall in my youth, but I’m not-at-all surprised to hear that it hasn’t aged well. I remember enjoying the Planet Krishna novels, but I couldn’t tell you a thing about them now.

  11. (8) I think Bruce Lee must have been born before 1950; surely he was older than 16 when he played Kato on the Green Hornet series. (Which I checked out at the time once or twice, mostly because of the car, a customized 1966 Chrysler Imperial.)

  12. Xtifr: I read De Camp’s historical novel An Elephant for Aristotle a year or two ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.

    While in high school I read his nonfiction book The Ancient Engineers and was impressed by some of his iconoclastic remarks, like criticizing classical historians’ unreasonable focus on the Romans and Greeks, as if the rest of the world was standing around like waxen dummies (his image).

  13. Facebook recently deleted a comment I wrote – on one of my own posts – in which I used the word “genocide”. (In the context of Rwanda.) I was not directly informed about the deletion, still less whether Facebook made the decision themselves or someone had complained. So it seems they have changed the rules as to what topics are allowed, without telling users.

  14. Mike Glyer on November 27, 2019 at 10:10 pm said:

    Xtifr: I read De Camp’s historical novel An Elephant for Aristotle a year or two ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.

    While in high school I read his nonfiction book The Ancient Engineers and was impressed by some of his iconoclastic remarks, like criticizing classical historians’ unreasonable focus on the Romans and Greeks, as if the rest of the world was standing around like waxen dummies (his image).

    The first thing I read of his was a Dover edition of his book on Atlantis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Continents which is excellent.

  15. 18)
    Just from the still, those reindeer are way more gigantic than they are in real life. Reindeer are tiny!

    Holy cats, that’s a huge disappointment. What were the architects and planners thinking?

  16. 8) Of course Jimi Hendrix was influenced by SF. Side two of “Electric Ladyland”, for purplehaze’s sake.

    Obligatory title:

    “Pixel Scroll, all in my brain / Lately things they don’t seem the same / Acting funny, but I don’t know why / Scuse me while I kiss this guy”

  17. A lot of what I know about H. P. Lovecraft came from De Camp’s 1970s biography. Long since superseded I’m sure, but as I recall it was well received at the time.

  18. @StephenfromOttawa: If I recall correctly that is the book that Spider Robinson panned (and later apologized to de Camp for panning).

  19. Folks, thanks for catching the goofs in Birthdays. As you can tell, yesterday was a bad day. Meds did get adjusted at our Wednesday visit as I wasn’t as careful which is to say accurate with one rather risky med as I should’ve been.

  20. @Xtifr: I wouldn’t say all of Lest Darkness Fall hasn’t aged well; at worst I’d call it competence erotica (to distinguish from competence porn such as Frankowski half a century later), but even that may be too harsh as I’m not certain of details. I was particularly remembering a … disappointing? … ending.

    @Jon Meltzer: complete with mondegreen.

    @Cat Eldridge: good to hear you got a crosscheck. I’m a bit surprised there wasn’t a better mechanism to avoid slips since they know you sometimes lose details, but I’m guessing there’s only so much they can do and give you any independence at all. (Thoughts of timed-release drugs come to mind, since I worked on those for some years — but since I worked on them I also know how hard getting them to work is.)

    @OGH: interesting that de Camp was calling out the linear focus on history so long ago; now looking at other (e.g., less-white) civilizations is at least less uncommon.

    also on de Camp: I assume everyone’s heard the story of de Camp and the Scientologist? Circumstances vary with the telling, but the story is so him.

  21. @Peace: It’s hard to judge the size of those reindeer without knowing the age and size of the child they’re facing. But it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Wikipedia says they usually range from 85 cm to 150 cm at the shoulder, if you ignore some dwarf subspecies. That’s about 30cm taller than the common North American White Tail Deer I regularly find on my front lawn. And I wouldn’t describe those as tiny, though they’re also not huge. 🙂

    @Mike Glyer: I haven’t read de Camp’s An Elephant for Aristotle, but I have read his short “Aristotle and the Gun”. He definitely liked to give Aristotle presents, no? 🙂

  22. Re: Lest Darkness Fall and competence porn, I recall that Martin absolutely fails at making gunpowder.

  23. (13) I hope this isn’t the first step in restricting the cows to a single stall for their entire milk-producing lives.

  24. Chip Hitchcock: I assume everyone’s heard the story of de Camp and the Scientologist?

    I wouldn’t assume that.

  25. Re: de Camp and the Scientologists. My recollection (which I’m too lazy to refresh by digging the book out of the basement library-midden) is that in his autobiography, Time and Chance, he outlines his interactions with them (including serious and potentially dangerous harrassment) without actually specifying the organization, because the terms of the truce he came to with them was that he not name names.

  26. Chip say to me: good to hear you got a crosscheck. I’m a bit surprised there wasn’t a better mechanism to avoid slips since they know you sometimes lose details, but I’m guessing there’s only so much they can do and give you any independence at all. (Thoughts of timed-release drugs come to mind, since I worked on those for some years — but since I worked on them I also know how hard getting them to work is.)

    The regularly scheduled meds are fine, I just set them up in the evening. Any changes in dosage get a new container at the Martins Points pharmacy so when I went from twice a day of 10 MG Dronabinol to three times a day of it, I transferred the remaining meds to the new container stating that. Yeah THC. We’re seeing if it’ll increase my barely there appetite.

    It’s the on demand meds I carry with me that I have trouble. I thought my anti-neusea could taken as often as my Sumatriptan. No it wasn’t.

  27. @Mr. Dalliard: there are circumstantial details, and arguments about where it happened, but the essence is that de Camp was approached by a debatable person waving a personality test. His reply: “I knew L. Ron Hubbard when he was just a small-time crook.”

  28. @Xtifr —

    And I wouldn’t describe those as tiny, though they’re also not huge.

    Hey, if Clement Clarke Moore says they’re tiny, then they ought to be tiny!

    “When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
    But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer”

    No oversized reindeer allowed!


  29. Bah, Moore can’t be trusted! He claimed that Santa Claus was a “jolly old elf”, but everyone knows that elves aren’t real!

    Also, he lists reindeer, but never once mentions Rudolph. Talk about an unreliable narrator! 😀

  30. @Xtifr: In Julian May’s Galactic Milieu novels, at one point, a member of one highly advanced alien society explains the Rudolph figures in a Christmas display on a human space station to another (less informed) alien. It’s quite amusing.

  31. @Xtifr —

    everyone knows that elves aren’t real!

    Are you calling Tolkien a liar???

    Also, he lists reindeer, but never once mentions Rudolph. Talk about an unreliable narrator!

    Rudolph wasn’t born yet!

    @Andrew —

    In Julian May’s Galactic Milieu novels, at one point, a member of one highly advanced alien society explains the Rudolph figures in a Christmas display on a human space station to another (less informed) alien.

    I might have to read the book for that!

  32. No, No, a thousand times No! Fake News, fake news!

    Those elves have a whole language and history and everything! YOU CAN’T FOOL ME!

  33. 150 kg of reindeer is not tiny. Especially not when the pointy end is at the same level as your head.

  34. I read in some of the histories of bird extinction about the Great Auk. Seems someone knew there weren’t very many of them left, and so killed the last pair, solely to sell to a museum.

    Thinking ahead.

  35. from one of the most packaged parts of an Alaska tour some years ago: “What’s the difference between caribou and reindeer? [saccharine tone]Reindeer can fly![/saccharine tone]”

  36. Re: Hendrix SF connection – according to ‘Hendrix: Setting The Record Straight’, which I’m currently reading, when Hendrix arrived in London, he and Kathy Etchingham shared a flat (yes, the Handel one) with manager Chas Chandler (former bass player with The Animals) and his wife, and Chandler had a huge collection of SF books, which Hendrix devoured enthusiastically.

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