Pixel Scroll 2/26/18 Go To File. Go Directly To File. Do Not Pass Scroll, Do Not Collect 200 Pixels

EDITOR’S NOTE: This will be a very short scroll, as I am on a slow motel wi-fi and have already spent a chunk of the evening waiting for screen reloads. Filers, please add some good things in the comments to compensate!

(1) INDIGENOUS SFF. The Herald of Harare, Zimbabwe reports on a rare sff book in the local language: “Science fiction Shona novel print version”

Science fiction is a sub-genre of speculative fiction which in Zimbabwean literature is an uncommon type of writing because of the assumed limitations of the indigenous languages. With the rapid technological exploits happening in the world today, local language experts have met the vexing challenge of adopting new technological terms into the local languages.We are yet to have a wide range of complete dictionaries of technological or scientific terms translated into local languages to help writers explore their different worlds of the imagination.

Motivating indeed it is to note that a first step towards such an ‘expansion’ of our local language has been taken by UK-based Zimbabwean writer Masimba Musodza in his trailblazing feat in the science fiction genre.

His novel “Munahacha Maive Nei?” (Belontos Books) is the first science fiction or speculative fiction novel in Shona language. The novel first appeared five years ago as an e-book before its print edition and now it is available in the new paperback, hardback and e-book editions. Hopefully, the reading public in Zimbabwe will soon have a chance to buy personal copies in local bookstores.

(2) SOUTHERN VIEW. The Southern Fandom Confederation selected officers at its DeepSouthCon business meeting last weekend. Gary Robe is the new President, and Jennifer Liang is the new Vice-President. As Tom Feller notes, they swapped positions, each having held the other office last year.

(3) LUCKEY OBIT. From the BBC: Bud Luckey, Toy Story Woody’s designer dies”. Born in 1934, he designed several other characters for Pixar, and did some voices. He also worked on number and counting features for Sesame Street.

(4) LONG ARM OF THE LAW. “Supreme Court considers Microsoft overseas data row” — seems subtle, but far-reaching consequences:

A five-year legal battle between Microsoft and the US Justice Department reaches the Supreme Court this week.

The row is over whether US laws give the government the power to make tech companies surrender data they have on users that is stored overseas.

The case dates from 2013, when prosecutors sought emails on a Microsoft server in Ireland sent by a drug-trafficking suspect.

The US government said as Microsoft was a US company it could request the data.

Microsoft disputed this interpretation, saying a warrant issued in the US could not be used to recover information outside the country.

(5) GOT TO GET BACK TO THE GARDEN. “Against a bleak future: Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds reaches one million mark”: that’s a million types, not just a million seeds. Who knew there were that many discrete varieties?

The vault storing the world’s most precious seeds is taking delivery on Monday of consignments that will take it to the one million mark.

More than 70,000 crops will be added to frozen storage chambers buried deep within a mountain in the Arctic Circle.

Cereal staples, unusual crops like the Estonian onion potato, and barley used to brew Irish beer are among them.

Monday marks the tenth anniversary of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard.

One of three chambers is now almost full of packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop.

The number of deposits amounts to 1,059,646. This number excludes emergency withdrawals of about 90,000 seeds needed to make up for precious samples stranded in Syria due to the conflict there.

(6) ZAP THE APP. BBC reports — “Sarahah: Anonymous app dropped from Apple and Google stores after bullying accusations”.

A wildly popular anonymous messaging app has been removed from the Apple and Google stores after accusations that it has been facilitating bullying. But the company’s chief executive denies the claims and says the app isn’t meant to be used by younger teens.

Katrina Collins was appalled by the anonymous messages her 13-year-old daughter was receiving. One person said she hoped her daughter would kill herself. Others used extremely foul and offensive language.

The messages appeared on the Sarahah app, which was designed to allow people to leave “honest feedback” about colleagues and friends. Although Collins’ daughter wasn’t actually using the app, she saw the messages after a friend downloaded it and showed them to her.

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

117 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/26/18 Go To File. Go Directly To File. Do Not Pass Scroll, Do Not Collect 200 Pixels

  1. @Lis Carey

    I’ll further note that, since the response to saying that one is allergic to something is often to be told, in essence, that one is a liar, that one “just doesn’t like” the thing, sometimes one gets lazy and just embraces the position of just being difficult about one’s dislikes, rather than wasting time and effort telling people things they’ll refuse to believe anyway.

    I have heard of people who believe that they merely dislike a food but later learn that they have an allergy – here’s an account by one such person https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=17642835&postcount=9

  2. @Andrew–
    That’s interesting. Not really a surprise to me, because, yes, lots of adults did tell me as a kid that I just didn’t like the taste or smell of things that, in fact, made me feel ill.

    And in that person’s case, it’s legumes. Hmm.

  3. @Lis Carey: I’ve seen the opposite, where X says they don’t like something, then Y asks if they have an allergy to it. That always baffled me, since I’ve yet to meet someone who said they disliked what they were allergic to (though yes, I understand they can go together or may even relate, in some cases). The people whose allergies I know about all like their nemeses, sometimes a lot, sadly.

  4. The only reason it should matter if you’re serving someone is that allergies would require more complete cleaning of utensils and surfaces, etc., whereas for taste preferences food separation can be slightly less rigorous. Otherwise my theory is if you don’t want something, it’s not up to me to argue. I’ll do my best to find something you can eat.

  5. @Andrew @Lis Carey
    Humans tend to learn pretty quickly to avoid foods they are allergic to or have problems digesting, which is why forcing kids repeatedly to eat something they refuse to eat is so problematic. Because in many cases, their bodies know that the thing they don’t want to eat is not good for them. For example, the kid that doesn’t want to drink the oh so healthy milk provided at school might actually be lactose intolerant.

    I’m allergic to a very common food additive/binding agent, which means checking every ingredient list on every package. I also have to be very careful with desserts, certain types of cake, certain types of candy, etc…, because you can never know if it contains the problematic ingredient and when you ask people (waiters, bakery personnel, the nice neighbour lady who invited you for coffee and wants you to try her cake), they don’t always tell the truth. It’s an uncommon allergy, so people sometimes don’t believe me or think I won’t notice. But I do, when I get stomach upset or – worst case scenario – start to throw up.

    Even worse, the binding agent I’m allergic to is also used in many pills and capsules, so finding medication I can keep down can be a real problem. Luckily, pharmacy staff is always helpful to find a brand that doesn’t contain the problematic ingredient, because they know allergies, even uncommon ones, are real.

  6. So, Cora, where were you when child me needed someone to explain this to my parents? 😉

    (Yes, I know, a kid yourself, and not necessarily even in the US at the right time.)

  7. It wasn’t until we moved to New Zealand that I understood why some people hated broccoli. Before then I’d never encountered grey broccoli.

  8. One of my piano teachers in Georgia said that he was allergic to ice cream, and therefore craved it. I’m not sure I ever ran into this anywhere else, but he seemed to see it as a basic law of nature, that you crave what you’re allergic to.

  9. Soon Lee: Before then I’d never encountered grey broccoli.

    You knew my grandmother?!?
    Worth it for the apple crumble, however!

  10. So, Cora, where were you when child me needed someone to explain this to my parents? ?

    (Yes, I know, a kid yourself, and not necessarily even in the US at the right time.)

    I needed someone to explain this to my own parents and – even more importantly – to school and kindergarten teachers, since my parents eventually figured out that I wouldn’t starve or die of malnutrition, if left to eat what I wanted to eat.

  11. @Kip W: A friend of mine in college did have cravings for something she was allergic to. She got hives whenever she had tomatoes, but still occasionally would have them in spite of the hives she knew she’d get.

  12. Allergies to garlic/onion/leek aren’t unknown, but they’re not as well-known as they maybe should be. I know of people who get quite ill if they get any, and they’re in nearly every main dish.

    I know of someone with allium sensitivity/allergy, and I remember two cooking tips from them, which I will pass on for the interested:

    1) White truffle oil apparantly gives foods a garlic-y flavor
    2) Asafoetida apparantly gives foods an onion-y flavor (WikiP¹, I see, says the flavor is “reminiscent of leeks”)

    I have not personally tried any cooking with these ingredients, though. And I thought that the bag of white truffle potato chips from Trader Joe’s tasted just wrong. So, be aware. Tastes differ.

    1: I cannot claim to have known how to spell “asafoetida” correctly off the top of my head

  13. Regarding asafoetida – a cookbook I have (excellent basic Indian cookbook, BTW – Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, by Julie Sahni) claims that it is used in cooking vegetarian food for some people who won’t eat onions or garlic, because it is a decent substitute, flavor-wise. I believe she also compared it to MSG in its affect. I’ve used it before, and I can see that making sense.

  14. a cookbook I have [. . .] claims that [asafoetida] is used in cooking vegetarian food for some people who won’t eat onions or garlic

    That reminds me of something else I recall for allium sensitives: Some Asian cuisines follow a particularly restrictive form of vegetarianism that includes the elimination of onion and garlic, so vegetarian restaurants that follow this rule are safe. Although according to WikiP “Buddhist cuisine” (which also mentions similar rules in Jainism and some types of Hinduism), asafoetida is (sometimes?) also considered to be a “strong-smelling plant” to be avoided.

    I’ve had Chinese vegetarian food that was very very bland, which I suspect was prepared using the most restrictive form of the above rule. But I’ve also had Chinese vegetarian food that was pretty tasty, and sometimes well-spiced — I think they left out the onion and garlic, but used other spices/flavorful vegetables, and possibly asafoetida as a substitute for onion.

    As usual, YMMV. Check with actual restaurant policies.

  15. @Owlmirror:

    I have also had Chinese vegetarian food that did include onion and/or garlic, so definitely check with the cook or server if you’re sensitive to alliums.

    That said, if I was aiming for strong flavors without allium or asafoetida, I’d start with ginger and black pepper (since I can’t eat red pepper; if you can that’s another obvious choice), then likely mustard or horseradish.

  16. @Errolwi,
    Don’t get me started on fruit in curries.

    @Vicki Rosenzweig & @Owlmirror,
    Yes, it pays to check. I remember eating Buddhist vegetarian curries which didn’t have any of the alliums but did contain chilli (or chiles). Being a New World plant, chillies weren’t explicitly proscribed in the Buddhist scriptures AFAIK.

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