Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer

(1) HARRY POTTER ON STAGE. The lead roles in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child have been cast: Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger, and Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley.

(2) BABY FACE. Mark Zuckerberg seems just as excited about the launch of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” this week as everybody else — judging by the two new pictures he posted on his personal Facebook page.

First of all, he dressed up his daughter Max as a jedi, surrounded by Star Wars related plushy toys, on December 17 with just a one line caption — “The force is strong with this one”

On December 18, Zuckerberg then posted a picture of his Puli, a type of Hungarian sheepdog, Beast dressed as a Sith (basically a baddie). The picture was accompanied by just one line too — “Meanwhile, Beast turned to the dark side”

(3) NO ANIME CONJI 2016. The “Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation” has canceled Anime Conji 2016, which had been scheduled for March 25-27 in Anaheim, CA.

We have collectively decided to focus on expanding and improving each of our events, bringing a level of quality seen in our larger shows to our smaller events. Unfortunately to meet this goal, Anime Conji will have to take a small break.

Refund information at the web page.

(4) EXPANDED COVERAGE. Frequent File 770 contributor James H. Burns set up the Sunday New York Times article “Incredible Bulk at a Comic Book Warehouse in Brooklyn” about Joe Koch’s comics and science fiction book warehouse — a big injection of publicity for the once-“Secret” Bookstore he wrote about here last month.

“There’s two neat things to know,” says Jim. “One is that Corey Kilgannon is a terrific writer; we first met when he did a story about WFAN, New York’s sports -talk radio station — the only time I made a cover-story in a New York paper, either as a writer, or in this case, a participant/interviewee!  The second is that after File 770 ran the story about Joe’s place, just after Thanksgiving, several of the File 770 faithful made their way to Brooklyn!” The Times story begins:

It’s beginning to look a little like Christmas in Joseph Koch’s Comic Book Warehouse.

In classic Koch style, a Christmas tree was suspended from the ceiling, with a bloody, severed ghoul’s head hanging (by the eyelids, of course) from the side.

This passes as mistletoe for customers entering Mr. Koch’s world: a cavernous second-floor space that he has run for the past 30 years, in an industrial section of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

It houses one of the largest collections of comic books in the country. Also on offer are memorabilia, action figures, books, records, posters and the like.

It is a back issue browsing paradise, with comics filling long white cardboard boxes, placed on shelves extending high overhead.

Mr. Koch, 66, refers to the place as his “Warehouse of Wonders,” with a vast inventory that he calls “The Avalanche.” It consists of “the largest assemblage of sci-fi, comics and fantasy genre-related ephemera on the planet,” according to Mr. Koch, whose trove nevertheless remains relatively obscure outside the world of hard-core comics lovers.

(5) MAGIC NUMBER. “Paul Weimer’s Top 5 Reads Of 2015” at Helen Lowe…on anything really.

2015 has been a bumper crop of books for me to devour. I’ve enjoyed the end of series of old favorites, the start of new series by beloved authors, and eagerly tried some debut authors too. Limiting myself to five was difficult, but here are my favorite five books of the year….

(6) MANATEE SEASON. Larry Correia renews a Christmas tradition with “Christmas Noun 8: Too Noun Much Adjective” at Monster Hunter Nation.

“’Sup, nerds,” John Ringo said as he came back into the room. He adjusted his kilt and sat down. “Sorry my fine Cuban cigar lit by hundred dollar bills break took so long, but I got spun up and wrote another bestselling novel during it. What did I miss? Hey, who ate all the Cheetos?”

“Meehwhoooooooo.”

“Cthulhu showed up because Correia pissed off the DM again.”

“I have an eighteen in charisma. I try to seduce Cthulhu!” Brad exclaimed, because every game night has that guy.

And that’s just the scene about him trying to think up an idea for the post. The actual story has 12 parts and an epilog.

(7) SUPPORTING (DIE) CAST. Brad R. Torgersen was so pleased to have lines he wrote his own “A Christmas Noun: The Unauthorized Spinoff – teaser trailer”, though it’s his comment at Monster Hunter Nation that deserves a blue ribbon.

I . . . I have been given a significant speaking role in this year’s CHRISTMAS NOUN episode. And it’s an accurate speaking role! They say only Audie Murphy could play Audie Murphy, but all I have to say is, Audie Murphy, eat your heart out, son. Meanwhile, do I roll ten-sided dice for skill performance? Or is that a 20-sider, minus half a dozen penalties for cursed afflictions assigned via the six-sider cursed afflictions table? What? Wait, I don’t get it. That was the previous universe?? Yeah, shut up, I know I missed two Writer Nerd Games Nights in a row! For hell’s sake, what game are we playing now? Dude, I didn’t even bring the right character sheets. Screw it, I will just act like I know what’s going on, and go with whatever Steve Diamond says. Steve always has pity for me…

(8) RED NOSED DRONE. In “The Christmas Edit” video by Ascending Technologies, a modified AscTec Falcon UAS drone creates Christmas-themed light paintings in the sky.

(9) WHERE REAL WRITERS WORK. An Allen Steele profile published in October, “When the books take over; Walls of shelves dominate sci-fi writer Allen Steele’s Whately workspace”.

Hanging from the railing of the upstairs loft is an enormous yellow banner with black and red lettering spelling out “Robert A. Heinlein Centennial” and bearing the date 2007 beside a black-and-white photo of Heinlein. It’s from a science fiction convention, but it’s a declaration of sorts. There are lots of branches of science fiction these days, with subgenres that include things like steampunk, urban fantasy, soft science fiction, space opera and many more. But Heinlein represents old-school science fiction, often called “hard SF,” the kind that filled Astounding and Galaxy and other seminal magazines and was focused on future events that were mostly plausible and based on real science.

Steele’s work manages a deft trick: It reads, in many ways, like that brand of old-school SF, but it feels quite current, too. The interstellar voyage he portrays in one of his best-known works, “Coyote,” seems as if, given sufficient financial backing, it could well happen in a few decades.

(10) CHEAP SHOT. Writer Beware blogger Victoria Strauss reports she received a nasty bit of payback in “Almond Press Redux: Revenge-Rating A Critic”.

Case in point: Almond Press, whose short story competition I featured here last July. Essentially, the competition was a way for Almond to gather free material for an anthology–the competition winner received a cash prize but none of the other entrants received any payment other than “exposure.”…

Well, Almond Press was not happy with that assessment, which is understandable. But did they change the competition rules? Did they decide to compensate all their authors? Did they contact me to discuss my post or even to threaten me with legal action? No. Nothing that mature. Last week I was checking my books on Goodreads, which I do sometimes to see if there’ve been any new reviews (yes, yes. I know). I noticed a brand-new one-star rating on one of them, from…could it be? Almond Press! …

(11) DEAR MAC. Kate Paulk sent an “Email to MidAmericon II Programming” with a modest suggestion:

In view of the extraordinary levels of hostility and controversy surrounding the Sad Puppies campaigns and the 2015 Hugo Awards, I would like to offer to host one or more panels on the history and goals of the Sad Puppies campaigns.

As one of the organizers of Sad Puppies 4 and an attendee at MidAmericon II, I can offer a factual perspective that has been lacking in a number of circles, leading to a number of people making statements so ill-informed they bordered on actionable libel and slander….

(12) TRAILER PARK. Sychronicity, which its makers compare to Blade Runner, Gattaca and Memento, is coming to theaters January 22

Daring physicist Jim Beale has invented a machine that can fold space-time and ruthless corporate tycoon Klaus Meisner will stop at nothing to get it. When Jim uses the machine to tear open the fabric of the universe, a rare Dahlia appears from the future. But in order to keep the rights to his invention he must prove that it works by finding the flower’s identical match in the present. Jim soon discovers that the Dahlia lies in the hands of the mysterious Abby, who seduces him into revealing his secrets. Convinced that she is in league with Klaus to take ownership of his life’s work, Jim travels back in time to stop the conspiracy before it can happen. But once in the past, Jim uncovers a surprising truth about Abby, the machine, and his own uncertain future.

 

(13) CRIMINAL HAS HIS PRINTS TAKEN BY FBI.“When ‘Return of the Jedi’ Was Stolen at Gunpoint”  at Mental_Floss.

Larry Dewayne Riddick, Jr. had no way of knowing there would someday be an easier way of doing this. In just a few years, pirating feature films for profit—or just for the sake of undermining huge corporations—would be as effortless as clicking a mouse.

But this was 1983. And if Riddick wanted his own personal print of Return of the Jedi to peddle on the black market, he’d have to resort to more crude methods. He’d have to take it by force.

Riddick, 18, stood in the parking lot of the Glenwood Theaters in Overland Park, Kans. and watched as John J. Smith exited the building. Smith was the projectionist; Jedi was finishing its sixth week as the most popular film attraction in the country. It was after midnight. As Smith walked to his car, Riddick came up beside him and flashed a gun. He had come for the movie….

(14) ANNUAL REVIEW. 2015 was a great year for Ann Leckie.

Other things that happened this year: Ancillary Sword won the BSFA! That was super exciting, actually. I figured most voters, no matter how much they liked Sword, would figure I got more than enough recognition last year. And to be entirely honest, that’s a completely valid position to hold. I was super chuffed at the nomination. And that wasn’t all–Sword was nominated for the Nebula and the Hugo as well! And the Hugo nom–well, that was in circumstances that made it clear that a flattering number of readers had a very high opinion of it. So I got to enjoy the Nebs and the Hugos in a very low-stress way–I was pretty sure my book wasn’t going to win–and to happily applaud the results of both.

(15) CAR WARS. On the other hand, it’s been a tough year for law enforcement. The Fulshear, Texas police pulled over this odd crew and got their police car stolen.

[Thanks to Will R., John King Tarpinian, Michael J. Walsh, Eylat Poliner, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day redheadedfemme.]

247 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 12/20 Grandma Got Run Over By a Filer

  1. Don’t forget to vote in the second heat of the second round of the Science Fiction Movie Bracket! Aliens, aliens everywhere! Also a sideline in robots and/or cyborgs. Basically: This heat is heavy on the not-entirely (or at all)-human.

    Temeraire re-read is going moderately well, although not being able to concentrate worth a damn is making it rather slow. Only on the third book and by now I ought to be finishing the fifth at least, sigh. I might have to start throwing in a chapter or short story or so of Hugo reading here and there to avoid getting too far behind.

    @Mike Glyer

    Is there an entertaining story to go with that 1988 panel? 🙂

  2. Cassy B. asks:

    When is the site selection vote for the [2018 Worldcon]?

    Currently we’re still in the period where bids can file their official papers. That ends 180 days before the start of the administering Worldcon (so, mid-February next year in this case). After that, MAC2 will draw up the official ballot and make it available online. You can either print it out and mail it in by early August, or present it in person at MAC2. There’s no electronic voting because it’s a much more complicated proposition than electronic Hugo voting due to high financial stakes and multi-way trust issues. But there is sometimes an option to pay your voting fee, which buys you a supporting membership in whichever bid wins the voting, online.

  3. @JJ

    I note [Rolf Nelson’s] immensely sad Eating Authors post, in which he says the only reason to eat food is to provide a human being with fuel, and that all the fancy-schmancy gourmet stuff of carefully selecting ingredients (perhaps even unusual and expensive ones) and spending a great deal of time preparing an amazing dish with a gorgeous presentation is a waste

    My mental image when reading his post was the dad from Ratatouille

  4. Cassy B. on December 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm said:

    When is the site selection vote for the next Worldcon? I have my MAC membership but I don’t want to miss the site selection train….

    As Petréa said, the election hasn’t started because bids have until 180 days before the administering Worldcon (MAC II) to file papers, although it is likely that there will only be two bids: New Orleans and San José. (Links are to the bids’ presentations at SMOFCon 33 a few weeks ago.)

    [Disclosure: I’m a director of the SJ bid’s parent non-profit corporation. I co-chaired the previous San José Worldcon back in 2002, run by the same non-profit corporation. I want the SJ in 2018 bid to win; I’m not objective or at all neutral in this matter.]

    Sometime this spring, MACII will issue the site selection ballot. You will be able to vote by mail or in person at the convention. If you can’t attend and can’t mail your ballot, you can send it with someone else to deliver on your behalf. You’ll have to pay the Advance Supporting Membership (“Voting Fee”) when you vote, but that makes you automatically a supporting member of the 2018 Worldcon no matter who wins or who you vote for.

    In any case, you haven’t missed anything yet. Voting won’t start for a few months yet.

  5. Kevin Standlee: Discussion of “stiff security” makes me think of the people who were quite seriously telling me that Sasquan should have armed guards and police protection of the Business Meeting and the Hugo Awards because Mad Puppies With Guns were surely going to try and kill us all.

    When I said “stiff security”, I meant the doors being monitored as soon as they opened, with proctors checking for valid badges as each person enters, and an inability to walk into the room without first having the badge checked. I am, of course, happy to help with that task, as I feel it is an important one.

  6. Tasha Turner: Zombie costumes for Badge checkers this year?

    Oh, come on, who needs a zombie costume for the business meeting after the parties (or the snoring roommate) the night before?

  7. Vicki:

    If you can find recordings, I’d really love to hear the carillon versions of “Imagine” and “Always Look on the Bright Side.” (Also, my partner is dubious about Grieg’s “Morning Suite” on the carillon; have you been up early enough to hear that?)

    No, I don’t live near there and haven’t heard any of the songs they’re playing now. There are several songs there I’m a bit dubious about played on a carillon. But hey, when they can play Metallica

    JJ:

    When I said “stiff security”, I meant the doors being monitored as soon as they opened, with proctors checking for valid badges as each person enters, and an inability to walk into the room without first having the badge checked.

    If the primary concern is voting – and non-voters have a right to listen – the way I’m used to doing this kind of thing is that voting happens by showing a voting token and not simply by standing / raising an arm.

  8. @Johan P: ROFL at that video of the American Embassy folks trying Norwegian Christmas food. I was thinking I couldn’t believe they posted it (amusing as it is), but then I figured, a few of those foods might be polarizing in Norway anyway. The woman running away from the sheep’s head was priceless.

    @Various: Sorry, who or what is “CUL”? My acronym-to-English dictionary is on the fritz.

    @tintinaus: I like your Mystery Science 3000 idea for a Paulk/Puppy Panel! 🙂 I’m generally not in favor of a panel, but if it has to happen, that’s a great way to experience it later, instead of live.

  9. I misplaced this:

    @Matt Y: Good to hear re. A Crown for Cold Silver; that’s in my “books to look into” list and I keep meaning to, er, look into it! I haven’t heard much about it yet either, but I plan to check out the sample.

    I’m curious what you mean by “the dark humor style of fantasy.” I’m not into SFF that’s really just humor/comedy, farce, etc. . . . but this sounds like a pretty serious book, so I’m hoping you mean it has dashes of humor, but it’s not just over the top or absurd. I like a dash of humor, used sparingly. I’ve even been known to enjoy the occasional urban-fantasy-with-snark (though that gets old quickly, except for books from a couple of authors I read). /ramble Anyway care to elaborate? 🙂

  10. Johan P: If the primary concern is voting – and non-voters have a right to listen – the way I’m used to doing this kind of thing is that voting happens by showing a voting token and not simply by standing / raising an arm.

    If you’d been at Sasquan this year, you’d understand that this isn’t really practical. There were hundreds of people for many of the votes — over a period of several days — and if the votes had been slowed down enough to verify everyone’s badge, the meetings (which ran from 2-3 hours each, as it was) would never have finished.

  11. @snowcrash, Kendall:

    Fun linguistic coincidence: look up the Spanish culo or the French cul (as in cul-de-sac).

  12. Kendall:

    “ROFL at that video of the American Embassy folks trying Norwegian Christmas food. I was thinking I couldn’t believe they posted it (amusing as it is), but then I figured, a few of those foods might be polarizing in Norway anyway. The woman running away from the sheep’s head was priceless.”

    Problem is that they didn’t serve Norwegian Christmas food. They served parts of the food, but without the side dishes. The side dishes that makes the food taste ok. I have no idea why they thought that was ok. Like serving a hamburger without the bread, cheese and the rest.

  13. The conversation may have moved on — I’m a bit behind, but I would like to say:

    The reason we carefully select food ingredients and try to make appetizing food is that we are [i]not[/i] simply fueling our bodies* but sharing a living experience with other human beings.

    Likewise, the reason we take care in our repective crafts and arts is that we are making something to share with other human beings and it needs to be well suited to that purpose.

    Art is only ever made for other people. We don’t need to make art for our own selves; we already know, inside, perfectly, whatever it is we might wish to convey.

    It is only because of the need to communicate things to other people that we make art.

    Thus it behooves us to make that art as well as we can, for the sake of the people we are making it for. And we always are painfully aware of that work’s flaws and inperfections, bcause it never can convey to others all that we see clearly in our own thoughts. It always falls short.

    .

    .

    *And even then, no one fuels their car with any old hydrocarbon they find lying around.

  14. @Peace: “Art is only ever made for other people. We don’t need to make art for our own selves; we already know, inside, perfectly, whatever it is we might wish to convey.”

    I don’t know about that. I’ve written stories that didn’t go where I expected them to, and discovered interesting things in them that I didn’t deliberately insert. If I’d stopped at the idea stage, I never would have had that enjoyment. Even if nobody else reads it, I did.

  15. @Rev. Bob:

    Of course serendipity happens in the making of art. There is also practice art made for one’s own benefit, and therapeutic art also. I have whole bookshelves of old sketchbooks full of practice, tests, and unexpected flights of fancy.

    But if one is making anything for an audience, one needs to make it *for* that audience.

  16. Kendall: The embassy is not stepping on any sore toes in the video. Or at least they spread the insults around regionally so everyone can have a laugh. In some cases it’s also a selling point that the food is a little revolting – an American running away from a smalahove (sheep’s head) just make the people who like it more proud of themselves for eating it. (It’s mostly good meat, btw, but some parts have a rather odd texture.)

    JJ: I’m not talking about fancy and time-consuming verification, just having people display their badge or some other token prominently when voting. If badges have a reasonably easy-to-spot color coding it’s easy to see who’s an attending member and who isn’t. I’ve been at meetings with hundreds of representatives, with additional non-voters in the room. Voting was done by holding up a piece of colored paper which the voters had and non-voters didn’t have. This doesn’t take extra time. (If anything it’s easier to count large tokens than just raised hands.) (And yes, someone who wanted to cheat could have gotten a paper in the right color – but the method reduces the chance of misunderstandings and accidentally counting non-voters.)

  17. Johan P: I’m not talking about fancy and time-consuming verification, just having people display their badge or some other token prominently when voting. If badges have a reasonably easy-to-spot color coding it’s easy to see who’s an attending member and who isn’t.

    I get what you’re saying — but because of the way eyesight and the brain work, visual verification of each person’s badge or token would take much longer than just audible recognition of their countoff or visual count of their hand/body. How many were in attendance at the meetings where you’ve seen this done? When you’re dealing with 200-300 people and numerous vote tallies at each meeting, this is not a trivial amount of time. It would mean having several people dedicated to the task of eyeballing every person who is standing up or holding up their hand — or a lot of people scattered throughout the crowd who have taken it upon themselves to constantly engage in that sort of scrutiny.

    One possible solution would be to have non-Attending members identified at the door and seated in a separate section at the back. However, at Sasquan it would have been almost impossible to enforce them staying there rather than moving up to sit with the rest of the crowd.

  18. Johan P on December 21, 2015 at 11:54 pm said:

    and non-voters have a right to listen

    Actually, they don’t. Only members with meeting attendance rights have the right to be in the room. Anyone else is there on sufferance. Had there been a room capacity issue and any non-members present, we would have asked them to leave. They can watch the recording later. (All of the video staff were attending members.)

    Folks, if there had been any significant issue with ineligible persons voting, other members in the room would have brought it up because it would have been obvious. You’re discussing a non-issue. There was a contingency plan in place had we needed to segregate non-voters (say press covering the meeting and us running out of seating), but I did not see any need to implement it.

    I would be very surprised if there were any ineligible participants in the meeting. (As distinct from eligible members not displaying their membership badges in highly-visible ways.) There surely were not a sufficient number to impose draconian measures that would have added I estimate another hour or two spread out over four days to a meeting that already lasted more than eleven hours. Programming was already unhappy enough with us for using up two prime function rooms for three hours daily on the middle three days of the convention, and we came within less than two hours of having the Business Meeting still in session when the Closing Ceremonies started.

    Besides, there were so few close votes that the chance that constant credentials checking would have affected a result seems negligible.

  19. A couple of notes on A Crown for Cold Silver…

    There was some discussion of it on various social media leading up to its release, in part due to the author (Alex Marshall) being a pseudonym and a lot of the discussion was about who it really was behind the name (which as far as I know has not been revealed). I think not having a face to the author (or an online presence) has hurt the interest overall for the book. Here’s a thread on SFFWorld about the author’s identity.

    In regards to the humor in it, it is somewhat dark, but several of the characters do have a less serious personality. The npr review of the book covers that with this quote

    A Crown for Cold Silver is hard-edged, but it’s nowhere near stark. For every string of profanity, bawdiness and violence, there’s a stretch of hearty banter mixed with sly philosophical musings. It’s a vibrant book, and a generously lush one.

  20. JJ Tasha Turner: Zombie costumes for Badge checkers this year?

    Oh, come on, who needs a zombie costume for the business meeting after the parties (or the snoring roommate) the night before?
    Redundant. What was I thinking?

  21. Art is only ever made for other people. We don’t need to make art for our own selves; we already know, inside, perfectly, whatever it is we might wish to convey.

    I don’t think that’s true, picking both the examples of the culinary arts being used in cooking for one, and, say, Emily Dickinson, who wrote poetry and put it in a drawer.

    Art can be made for the challenge/pleasure of saying what we want to say, even if articulating it is not strictly necessary. And it can be made to help figure out what we think of something.

    Art is made for an audience, but I would say that many times, it’s an audience of one.

  22. I know that when there’s something in my head, it’s an overlapping constellation of possibilities. Writing it down gives it a specific form, which is maybe better than I imagined, maybe worse, but certainly specific. So yes, I find value in writing down things I intend not to share.

    Even more so with my photography.

  23. Some excellent commentary on artmaking here which has me reassessing my attitudes.

    I will say, it does seem to me that all these perspectives have in common a deep concern and care for the craft, the enjoyment, and the meaning of the art we make, whether for ourselves or for others.

    It seems to me that it’s that care that is lacking in the purely mercantile approach cited above.

  24. Kevin Standlee: Folks, if there had been any significant issue with ineligible persons voting, other members in the room would have brought it up because it would have been obvious. You’re discussing a non-issue.

    I agree. My point is that, based on Puppy comments about swamping the Business Meeting at MAC II, I don’t think it will be a non-issue next year, and I don’t think that the measures taken at Sasquan will be the appropriate ones for MAC II.

  25. it’s an overlapping constellation of possibilities. Writing it down gives it a specific form

    How very quantum.

  26. @Peace: Yeah, I think that the purely mercantile approach doesn’t begin to account for a lot of what goes into good craft.

  27. @snowcrash: Oh! Thanks for ‘splaining.

    @Rev. Bob: Heh, I know enough Spanish to know that word, and yeah, he is one. 😉

    @Hampus Eckerman: Well, in fairness, it was just a “have you seen THIS” kinda thing. But food that requires sides to make it taste okay, hmm. You’re not selling me on some of these dishes. 😉

    @Lee Whiteside: Thanks – I’d forgotten Alex Marshall was a psueodnym! Orbit does like to play games; I never can guess these things (not being intimately familiar with the writings of enough authors). @Matt Y’s comments + the NPR review (thanks!) = sounds very good, although a couple of people in the SFFWorld thread didn’t seem to care for it.

    Side Note: It amuses me that K.J. Parker, whose work’s always interested me, turned out to be Tom Holt, whose work’s never interested me.

  28. @ Petrea Mitchell
    Thanks for the obit article link to The Economist. That was a very evocative way to contemplate the year, and well done.

    @ Greg Hullender
    Joining with others who’ve thanked you, and all others, who have tried to ease access and give publicity to short fiction this year. It’s a lot of work and it’s appreciated.

    @ Johan P
    That US Embassy in Norway video is hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

  29. junego on December 22, 2015 at 11:38 pm said:
    @ Petrea Mitchell
    Thanks for the obit article link to The Economist. That was a very evocative way to contemplate the year, and well done.

    It was, although I rather wish they could have found a way to mention a woman on it.

  30. @ Peace
    Huh! I didn’t even notice. It’s so ‘normal’ it just slips right by sometimes. I reread the article and they mentioned that the editor who compiled the list is a woman. It appears that the only non-Westerner was the mullah. (Not to beat up this one article too much, it wasn’t claiming comprehensive coverage, just a snapshot.)

    I then looked at other end-of-year death lists of ‘notable’ people…they’re predominantly men. Some of that is probably partly a product of past sexism, where women weren’t allowed into prominent positions or were never recognized for their contributions. So now, decades after the prime of life, most ‘notables’ who died this year are men.

    The only place there was near equity was in entertainment. Politics, sports, business, science/technology are heavily skewed toward men and, except in sports and music, almost completely white.

    I never thought to look at obituaries for evidence of some of the cultural isms that exist.

  31. @junego:

    I would have started with Doctor Frances Oldham Kelsey (of Canada), who as one of the doctors working for of President Kennedy’s fledgling Food and Drug Administration in 1960 pretty much single-handedly protected the US from one of history’s worst drug disasters.

    It was her caution and insistence on proper testing, over heavy pressure and frankly sexist slanders from the drug industry, which led to the pregnancy drug thalidomide never being approved in the US, sparing untold thousands of babies from the gruesome epidemic of thalidomide-caused birth defects in Europe, Australia, Canada and Japan, which so many people still live with.

    Dr. Kelsey was given the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service in 1962.

    She died this past August, aged 101.

  32. Peace – Thanks for the info on Dr. Kelsey. I vaguely knew that it was a woman who led that fight in the US, but didn’t remember her name or know that she had recently died. I didn’t see her name on the lists I checked out, although it was far from an exhaustive search.

  33. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

  34. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    May the sequels be with you.

  35. Wow, the last round still had five of my major favorites left, but three got eliminated, and the other two aren’t paired, so that makes this really easy.

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    Aliens, er, Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Galaxy Quest, er, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

    And a protest vote for Bladerunner! 🙂

  36. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

  37. 1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    Star Wars (1977)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
    2001 (1968)

    … eh. Brazil

  38. SCIENCE FICTION MOVIE BRACKET – THE SEMI FINALS

    1. THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE
    The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    2. THIS IS NOT LOGICAL
    2001 (1968)

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