Pixel Scroll 11/3/18 If You Tick The Box I’m On You Will Know When Posts Are Done

(1) MARTIAN SAVINGS TIME. If you’re tempted to complain about having to reset your clock, think about these folks at JPL: “When flying to Mars is your day job”.

When the spacecraft is sleeping at night, we work. So we get all the data down, look at it and tell the spacecraft: “Hey InSight, tomorrow these are the tasks I want you to do!”

And then we uplink it, right before it wakes up in the morning. Then we go to bed and the spacecraft does its work.

But because the Mars day shifts every day, we also have to shift our schedule by an hour every day. So the first day we’ll start at 6am, and then [the next] will be 7am… 8am… 9am… and then we take a day off.

(2) THE BIG BUCKS. The Bank of England is taking nominations — “Think science for the new £50 note”.

You can nominate as many people as you like. But anyone who appears on the new £50 note must:

  • have contributed to the field of science
  • be real – so no fictional characters please
  • not be alive – Her Majesty the Queen is the only exception
  • have shaped thought, innovation, leadership or values in the UK
  • inspire people, not divide them

Or write to: Think Science, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

You’ve got until Friday 14 December 2018. We’ll announce the chosen character in 2019.


(3) FANTASY CHOW. Atlas Obscura readers filled out their menus with “The Fictional Foods We Wish Were Real”.

What fictional foods make you as excited as a hobbit in a pantry?

Sure, you can buy a Wonka Bar at any candy store. You can drink a sugary Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction in Orlando. And you can find a recipe for Lembas Bread on about a million Lord of the Rings fan sites. But none of these initially fictional foods could ever live up to how we imagined they would taste when we first saw or read about them….

Recently, we asked Atlas Obscura readers to tell us which fictional food had sparked their imaginations more than any other….

We’ve collected our favorite responses below. Next time you encounter a mouth-watering food that doesn’t exist, try and decide for yourself what incredible, impossible flavors it might actually have….

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

What might it taste like?
“A cataclysm of citrus with an effervescent apocalypse. Anything that would make you simultaneously evolve and devolve seems like an interesting way to not die.” — Ian Maxwell, Denver, Colorado USA

A Shmoo from the Lil’ Abner Comics

What might it taste like?
“It says it can taste like steak, chicken or oysters… They are genial playmates for children and then will jump into your frying pan and become dinner. I’ve always remembered the shmoo.” — Roseann Milano, Tucson, Arizona…

Roast Porg from The Last Jedi

What might it taste like?
“Teriyaki chicken. Chewbacca wanted to cook one in The Last Jedi. Might be succulent and savory.” — Leon Easter, Stockton, California

(4) CORDWAINER SMITH’S ALTER EGO. Paul DiFilippo has reproduced Paul M.A. Linebarger’s 1951 article for Nation’s Business, “Hotfoot for Stalin” at theinferior4.

(5) A HORSE, OF COURSE. William Shatner told a LA Times interviewer his fitness secrets: “How horses and e-bikes help William Shatner stay fit and creative at 87”

Horseback riding? How does that keep you fit?

My business manager once said: “Don’t buy anything that eats while you sleep.” Thankfully, I ignored that advice. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have horses in Kentucky and in Moorpark. I’ll ride two, three hours every morning that I’m not working — two or three days a week. People don’t realize it, but you’re not just passively sitting there on a horse. Riding is a stretching and strengthening exercise. It requires balance, expertise, finesse and strength.

(6) SWOFFORD OBIT. Actor Ken Swofford died November 1. He mostly played authority figures —

… On the big screen, Swofford had roles in Robert Wise’s The Andromeda Strain (1971), Stanley Kramer’s The Domino Killings (1977), Blake Edwards’ S.O.B. (1981), John Huston’s Annie (1982) and Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise (1991).

…Swofford provided the voice of the title character in the 2018 short film Happy the Angry Polar Bear, written and directed by his grandson.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and JJ.]

  • November 3, 1925 – Monica Hughes, Writer from England who emigrated to Canada, and became known as known as one of Canada’s best writers for children and young adults, especially science fiction. She is best known for the Isis Trilogy, about the descendants of Earth colonists on a far-flung planet, which won the Phoenix Award from the Children’s Literature Association. Invitation to the Game, a hard science fiction dystopian novel which features robots and has been translated into numerous languages, won the Hal Clement Young Adult Award.
  • November 3, 1928 – Tezuka Osamu, Artist, Animator, and Producer who is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, a major inspiration during his formative years. His manga series, all of which have had English language translations,  include Astro Boy, Black Jack,  Kimba the White Lion, and Phoenix, all of which won several awards including four Eisner Awards.
  • November 3, 1933  – John Barry Prendergast, Oscar-winning Composer who wrote the scores for more than 120 films, including the genre works Moonraker (and 10 other Bond films), Starcrash, Mercury Rising, Howard the Duck, The Black Hole (for which he received a Saturn nomination), the 1976 King Kong, and the 1972 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, he is best known for his pièce de résistance: the haunting, emotive soundtrack for Somewhere in Time – the Saturn-winning film adaptation of SFF author Richard Matheson’s novel Bid Time Return – for which he also won a Saturn Award. Rather than taking a set fee upfront, he had presciently agreed to a percentage of sales. The soundtrack became one of the most popular movie soundtracks of all time, eventually selling more than a million copies, and continues to sell well to this day.
  • November 3, 1950 – Massimo Mongai, Writer from Italy who produced Memorie di un Cuoco d’Astronave (Memories Of A Spaceship Cook), an apparent merging of space opera and cooking manual which won Italy’s Urania Award. I’m really, really hoping someone has read this in the original language as I’d love to know what it’s about!
  • November 3, 1952 – Jim Cummings, 66, Voice Actor and Singer who has hundreds of voice credits in animated features and TV shows, including Aladdin, The Lion King, Shrek, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (as a bullet), The Addams Family, Batman: The Animated Series, Duck Dodgers, The Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Gargoyles (one of my favorite shows), at least three of the animated Star Wars series, and dozens of videogames. He has won two Annie Awards, which are given to recognize outstanding work in the animation industry.
  • November 3, 1952 – Eileen Wilks, 66, Writer whose principal genre series is the World of Lupi, a FBI procedural intertwined with shapeshifters, dragons and a multiverse. Highly entertaining, sometimes considered romance novels, though I don’t consider them so. The audiobooks are amazing!
  • November 3, 1963 – Brian Henson, 55, Actor, Puppeteer, Director, and Producer who, as the son of Jim and Jane Henson, now runs the Jim Henson Company along with his sister Lisa. He voiced the character of Hoggle in the original Hugo and Saturn Award-nominated Labyrinth, and is in the process of producing a remake of that movie. He has provided other voice and puppet characters in many films, including Little Shop of Horrors, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Muppets from Space, and The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz.. He was a producer for the awesome Farscape series, but the less said about his venture The Happytime Murders, the better.
  • November 3, 1964 – Marjean Holden, 54, Actor who has had recurring roles in the genre TV series Crusade, the short-lived spinoff from Babylon 5, and in the Beastmaster series. She’s also appeared in Philadelphia Experiment II, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Babylon 5: A Call to Arms, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Dr. Caligari, and Nemesis, and had guest parts on episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Tales from the Crypt.
  • November 3, 1964 – Brendan Fraser, 50, Actor and Producer whose genre work includes The Mummy films, which I dearly love, but also Monkeybone, based on Kaja Blackley’s graphic novel Dark Town, the Bedazzled remake, Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Encino Man, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and voicing Robotman on the Titans series that airs on DC Universe.

(8) GET ON BOARD. Advertising for The Grinch movie, which opens November 9, has popped up all over LA — “Essay: The LA Grinch Billboards Are Savage And Spot-On”.

The Grinch is also lobbing localized insults at other cities, like New York and Chicago.

As much as we resent viral marketing schemes, we have to tip our hats when they’re this good.

I mean, are they even a joke? Or are they just extra L.A.?

This one’s my favorite –

(9) FRENCH DELICACIES. Snapped at Utopiales 2018 in Nantes, France (where reported attendance is 90,000.)

  • Jim C. Hines, Robert J. Bennett and Kij Johnson.

  • John Scalzi

(10) STROSS. Camestros Felapton found something to praise — “Review: The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross”.

Good grief, nine books into the Laundry Files and Stross is still creating these weird, tense thrillers without really ever repeating himself. The novels have gradually shifted from clever pastiche to exploring their own premise….

(11) OUTLAWED CANDY. Let Atlas Obscura tell you about “Marabou M Peanut”.

M&M’s are known and enjoyed worldwide as movie snacks or general goodies. However, since 2016, this has not been true for Sweden, where the sweets have been banned due to a trademark dispute with a local candy company’s M Peanut.

Marabou’s M Peanut is very similar in taste and appearance to Peanut M&M’s: Both are chocolate-covered peanuts with lowercase m’s on their packaging. They’re so similar that one might think Marabou is an imitation brand. However, in Sweden, M&M’s are seen as the imitator, as Marabou’s candy had been sold in its native country for 50 years before M&M’s arrived.

(12) XENA PREBOOT SCRIPT. The 2016 attempt to reboot Xena never made it off the ground, but now a draft of the pilot script is available online for anyone to read (io9/Gizmodo: “Check Out the Script For the Pilot of the Canned Xena Reboot”). Now I’m wondering when the first dramatic reading will take place at a con.

Xena, brilliant warrior, princess, hero, and one more cancelled reboot.

But now, thanks to Xena Movie Campaign, a Facebook fan group, with the blessing of Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who wrote it, the unused script for the pilot episode of an attempted 2016 reboot of Xena is now available to read online.

(13) GOT WORMS? BBC discusses “Why some computer viruses refuse to die”.

One of the most active zombie viruses is Conficker, which first struck in November 2008. At its height, the worm is believed to have infected up to 15 million Windows PCs.

The French navy, UK warships, Greater Manchester Police and many others were all caught out by Conficker, which targeted the Windows XP operating system.

The malware caused so much trouble that Microsoft put up a bounty of $250,000 (£193,000) for any information that would lead to the capture of Conficker’s creators.

That bounty was still live and, Microsoft told the BBC, remained unclaimed to this day.

(14) WATCHING THE RADIO. They’re tuning in to the music of the spheres in 1963, and Galactic Journey is there — “[November 3, 1963] Listening To The Stars (the new Arecibo Observatory)”

But what is a radio telescope? How can we observe space through radio? Does Jupiter sing? Are the bodies of the solar system harmonising in a heavenly chorus?

Well, that’s not far off the mark. If you have the right equipment, you can even listen to Jupiter’s emissions yourself! You’ll need a shortwave radio (Jupiter radiates strongest at 22Mhz), and you’ll have to build yourself a large dipole antenna. What you’ll hear is an eerie, aggressive static, a lot like waves crashing on the beach. These are the radio emissions produced by charged particles racing through Jupiter’s magnetic field.

(15) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Mr. Death” from Norwegian director Andreas J. Riiser is a short film on Vimeo that imagines what Death would be like if he was a chain-smoking Norwegian who has a buzz cut and loves Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

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

50 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 11/3/18 If You Tick The Box I’m On You Will Know When Posts Are Done

  1. @3: the things some people come up with…. I’m only slightly surprised that they included metheglin, which is mead made with herbs; if the Chronicles were by Wolfe people would think to look it up, but apparently not for Rothfuss. And there are lots of PGGB recipes out there already, including one a mixologist friend came up with, and a very strange one that was served outside stage performances of Hitchhiker over 20 years ago, and the one that starts with soaking Szechuan peppers in vodka until the vodka picks up color…. Unfortunately the file I kept of Usenet suggestions from the 1980’s evaporated in one of my moves.

  2. 1) Yeah, that half hour day difference has to be a pain, Just enough to make a slow and continual difference.

    10) Yep, definitely got to move to the top of MT TBR soon.

  3. 5) Shatner on a horse.

    Ok, I had to check on this. Sure enough, there are a bunch of pics out there of the old guy riding these beautiful, spirited horses. My big question is, how does he get up there?

  4. (3) At the end of The Face in the Frost there is a mention of carnation brandy, and for years I have been tempted to grow carnations purely to try concocting some. I’m not sure what it would taste like, but it would smell amazing.

  5. This was a great scroll for me, Mike. I don’t usually click through to so many articles, but this one was full of things that tickled my particular fancies.

    I liked the film at the end, too. I liked the old lady who was so ready to go, and the ending.

  6. Lela E. Buis: 5) Shatner on a horse. Ok, I had to check on this.

    Shatner is well-known in fandom for being a huge hippophile and equestrian. In Star Trek: Generations, the characters are riding Shatner’s horses, and he rode his own horse as Grand Marshal of the 1994 Rose Bowl Parade, the theme of which was “Fantastic Adventure”.

  7. 5) And of course there’s Comedy Central’s Roast of William Shatner with his grand entrance on horseback, thus allowing/provoking George Takei to loudly, forcefully, and accurately proclaim “F*** you, and the horse you rode in on!”

  8. Monica Hughes – I read her Devil on my Back as a child. I recall some sort of post-apocalyptic setting with people living in domes, and you had to plug heavy computer chips into the back of your neck to get educated (hence the devil on the back). I guess Moore’s Law has rendered that detail obsolete but it still stuck with me for some reason


    By Shatner’s Horse, you will be avenged!

  9. @5 Shatner has also hosted/helped with underprivileged and retarded children by hosting them at his horse farms. Think “special Olympics with horses.” That sort of program is common in rural areas across the USA. He has been doing this quietly for decades.

  10. I’ve no interest in a “new” Grinch film. I’m a little leery of stories that took me ten minutes to read when I was seven taking up 86 minutes to two hours of screen time. Still, for me the best Dr. Suess adaptations most people can access is HORTON HATCHES AN EGG a 7 minutes Warner Brothers cartoon.

  11. 3) The fantasy foods I wish I could eat are the meals described in Steve Brust’s Jhereg books. I presume they are mostly standard Hungarian cooking with some ingredients swapped, but they always sound so delicious.

  12. 4) Carnations don’t taste bad. Still, tying to find an extract you can add to alcohol would be a slightly easier route.

  13. (3) One of my social groups in college, the Epping Blithburys of Milliways, had a local version of the Gargle Blaster. It started with two shots of 151 rum, so it packed quite a wallop, even served over ice in a stadium cup with a generous helping of ginger ale to round it out at the end.

    Nobody ever believed us when we said it tasted blue, until they tried it and then they were like, “Yep, it tastes blue.”

  14. Once, at a party, a friend and I mixed blue Cointreau with Mountain Dew. I dubbed the result “The Melted Sno-Cone” and have never repeated the experiment or been tempted to.

  15. re: Shatner and the horse he rode in on.

    He’s a regular sight in Kentucky, competing in horse shows.

    Not only did he provide the horses for “ST: Generations”, anyone with an eye for horses could tell both he and Patrick Stewart knew what they were doing. They were clearly controlling the horses’ movements with the subtle knee commands of an expert.

  16. @Mark

    By Shatner’s Horse, you will be avenged!

    LOLOL. Mike, how about adding that to the sidebar? We could have a rotating-tag sort of thing.


    Once, at a party, a friend and I mixed blue Cointreau with Mountain Dew.

    No wonder you didn’t want to repeat the experiment, if you used Mountain Dew. Yuck. (Says a firm Dr Pepper imbiber.)

  17. Bonnie,

    Regardless of one’s preferred tipple, I’m here to say that the two ingredients together made one long for the flavor of either one alone.

  18. I have to admit I’m awfully curious about Vomitbug Butterbug Maple Ambrosia. Or, for that matter, pretty much anything concocted by Ma Kosti.

  19. Blue Cointreau or Blue Curacao also looks a lot better than it tastes. Ditto for Creme de Violette or Parfait d’Amour. Though some of the bright green liqueurs like Pisang Ambon or Creme de Menthe actually do taste good. I’m quite partial to woodruff cream myself, which is light green. I was going to bring some to WorldCon 75, except that the convention centre didn’t allow alcohol on the premises.

  20. 7) Keeper of the Isis Light by Monica Hughes has the distinction of being the first science fiction novel I ever read, unless you count Mecki on the Moon, a picture book about the adventures of a hedgehog and his friends on the moon. I’m also quite fond of the World of the Lupi series by Eileen Wilks, whom I misspelled in a comment on another scroll.

    I’d also be very interested in hearing more about the space opera cookbook by Massimo Mongai, if anybody has read it. In fact, I sometines refer to my own space opera series as “cozy space opera” (an analogue to cozy mystery), because I tend to include recipes in the books.

  21. In college I knew someone who had a bottle of Creme de Violette. She used it to make “Blue Russians” (mixed w/ vodka). It was the vilest liquor I have ever actually tasted.

    The only comparison I can make is to something I read years ago in Bon Appetit, where they asked some famous chef the worst thing he’d ever tasted. He talked about having gone to a super-fancy creative chef-type dinner in Paris, where one “palate cleanser” was sorbet flavored with Chanel No.5.

  22. Meanwhile, I recently joined NetGalley, and just finished a 4-chapter preview of A Memory Called Empire (by Arkady Martine, coming in March 19). Let me add my voice to the chorus of WOWs!

    Martine’s world-building is wonderfully complex, playing with all the different implications of “Empire”. The Teixcalaan homeworld will make you think of Trantor (and how this empire is/is not like Asimov’s). The Empire’s name and the names of the Teixcalaanli characters echo those of the Aztecs and Maya (sometimes to humorous effect: the mood isn’t all Galaxy Gone Mad), and make the hints of contact with a novel outside force more ominous: as the Aztec subject states found out, the enemy of my enemy might be my friend, or it might be apocalyptic destruction.

  23. Shatner’s horses even got a mention in the famous SNL “Get a life!” sketch.

    He runs charity horse shows all the time, and of course the lovely scene in “Generations”.

    He’s been well-known as a horse guy for ages.

    (@avery: the adjective you were looking for to describe the children is “developmentally disabled”. The one you used is basically the mental equivalent of the N-word and hasn’t been used in polite company in decades.)

    @Chip: Yes, I too was thinking “but isn’t metheglin just fancy mead?”

    And aren’t PGGB required to have citrus? I don’t recall the exact wording from the book, but all the ones I’ve had at cons do.

    @Cora: Curacao is only blue because of a boatload of artificial color, for marketing purposes. Compare to Triple Sec, which is basically the same, but colorless and therefore doesn’t make your margarita look weird.

    @RWSirignano: As long as the half-hour Boris Karloff cartoon of the Grinch still exists, I need no other audiovisual adaptation. I do have the book in English and Latin. This new one at least looks… less bad than the live action one of some years ago.

    @Paul: I urge anyone who’s got the new Stross to move it very high atop Mount TBR. I really liked it.

    Here in 9884, there’s still no way to get the credentials’ appetites to Spring Forward and Fall Back. We’re going to have the pre-dinner begging and MEOWS started early for quite some time. We’re compromising with splitting the difference.

  24. Some say metheglin bears the name
    With perry and sweet cider
    It’ll bring the body out of frame
    And make the belly wider

    I had metheglin at a Renaissance festival a while back; the version I had was basically minted wine. It was … OK. Drinkable, certainly, but mostly interesting as a novelty.

  25. @Lurkertype
    Yes, plain Cointreau, Grand Manier, regular Curacao or Triple Sec don’t have this glaring blue colour, but taste similar and fall under the umbrella of “useful for cocktails and fruit punch, just don’t drink it straight.”

    Once, I wanted to make fruit punch. The recipe called for Cointreau or Grand Manier, but I didn’t have either. But I did have some Blue Curacao, which must have been in the cellar for years, so I used that. It didn’t affect the taste too badly, but it did mess up the colour, because the punch is normally orange.

    @Doctor Science
    Sorbet flavoured with Chanel No. 5 isn’t actually a bad way to describe Creme de Violette a.k.a. Parfait d’Amour. The stuff I’ve had (Parfait d’Amour, the Dutch version) was basically alcohol, sugar, violet scent and food colour.

  26. @Cora

    What is wrong with drinking Cointreau or Grand Marnier neat – especially as a digestif?

  27. The Jim Carry GRINCH was too long for kids in a theater since a lot of them would drink some kind of soda.

    The Boris Karloff narration with the Thurl Ravenscroft singing is what I would give a child to past some 25 minutes away. Ravenscroft was the voice of Tony the Tiger.

    And there were a couple of George Pal Puppet toon adaptations of Dr. Suess. It’s been a long while since I saw those.

  28. Come to think of it, the year after Clampett made HORTON HATCHES THE EGG, the Warners animation crew was actually working with Ted “Dr. Seuss” Geisel on the Private SNAFU cartoons. I had to go look to be sure they didn’t actually overlap.

  29. Avery Abernathy: I know you’re more right wing and anti-PC than the mainstream here, but even so, could you just NOT use a word that has been accepted as a slur for decades?

    If for no other reason, this is NOT effective communication.

    You were saying something good about Shatner and charity, and hitting that word made me flinch. It also meant I anticipated the rest of the comment to be equally negative about such people, because who would insult a person then say something good? When it wasn’t, I had to pause and reread the rest of your point to register the actual gist. You don’t want to derail your own point like that.

    (ETA: Ninja’d by Lurkertype, or at least I missed that comment on my first read, when I skimmed to see if I was the only one who had the flinch reaction enough to comment. Much happier to see I’m not alone, though.)

  30. Kip: The SNAFU cartoons were considered very explicit for the times. I did see a couple while a lad, overseas in my stint as an air force brat. A lot of the kids were put into a barracks for babysitting and movie time would start, and once, twice, it was a Snafu. (The parents were in the NCO club gambling and drinking). Dr. Suess wrote a good handful of them.

  31. Lenora Rose, you and Lurkertype are not alone. I flinched, too. I was happy to see someone else beat me to commenting about it. Thank you both.

  32. When I was an undergrad, a friend of mine dredged up from somewhere a recipe for Romulan ale: Everclear, Nehi Blue Creme soda, and peppermint schnapps. The first two or three you had in a night tasted just as vile as you would expect.

    Creme de violette is an indispensible ingredient in the Aviation, a cocktail of which I’m quite fond.

  33. Robert Whitaker Sirignano:
    You can see his visual stamp on some of them, too, but the rhyming dialogue is what sticks in my mind. I’m trying to remember if he used his “two guys with one beard” bit, which he managed to employ for his comic strip Hejji, his political cartoons in PM, and even THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR. T, which (after the initial disappointment) turned out to have some good bits in it.

  34. I probably have a higher tolerance for flower-flavored alcohol than some, in part due to acclimatizing to medieval cuisine using rosewater and such. I’ve had cocktails featuring creme de violette and quite enjoyed them.

  35. I remember once being at a party in college that ended rather early for my druthers, so I created my own drink with the leftovers involving equal amounts of blue liqueur, Coca-Cola, rum, and vodka. I named it the Grand Abomination, because it was.

  36. Kip: THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR T is not an easy film in some ways. At the time, it asked that “you should take your children seriously”.

    I like the film a lot, and I like the 3 disc CD of the sound that was released.

  37. There is much to like about THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR T, but I was an am disappointed. The main issue is the grotesque varnish of cozy archness that suffuses all the performances. It puts me off—same thing happened with THE BAD SEED. I’d read it over and over and when I finally got a chance to see it, I couldn’t believe a second of it because the performances all felt so pat and sitcom-y.

    I love the elevator scene, which feels like pure Seuss. It would be perfect, were it not for the outrageously unconvincing instrument faking. I don’t care if the thing you’re supposed to be playing is a pole lamp: It’s the player that makes it convincing, and if all you’re going to do is randomly twiddle your fingers while swinging your head, I will not be able to buy it—even if I wanted to. This problem carries over into other areas.

    I am aware that convincingly faking a performance is something that nobody else seems to care about. Nobody bothers with it. Alone, they sit behind a piano and try to keep their shoulders moving. Instrument players in groups seem to think they are using their instrument to conduct with and nothing else.

    Offhand, I think THE SPINACH OVERTURE (black and white Popeye) is about the only animated cartoon that feels convincing. Somebody at the Fleischer studio actually gets that high sounds come from here, that low notes come from here, and that hands should move with the music. In live action, it’s no better.

    The scene where the kid’s running away and keeps bumping up against Seussian obstacles (two men with one beard, the sign that shrugs) worked for me, maybe because it wasn’t ruined with dialogue.

    I’m sure there are other things in the movie that I would appreciate next time I see them, partly because I am over my initial letdown (like with MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR) and able to appreciate them better. I really did want to like the movie. So many of my friends love it, and I’m a big fan of Hans Conried.

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