Pixel Scroll 5/12/24 With A Sprinkle Of Pixel Dust, You Can File Like A Bird

(1) COMPLAINTS AS FANIMECON DROPS MASKING REQUIREMENT AT LAST MINUTE. [Item by Janice Gelb.] FanimeCon in San Jose made the following announcement on May 12, 12 days before the con starts, and is refusing to provide refunds to people who now don’t feel they can attend safely (not to mention travel arrangement costs and the hotel’s cancellation policy now requires them to pay for one night). “FanimeCon | Masking Policy Change”.

FanimeCon is changing our masking policy from ‘required’ to ‘strongly recommended’ due to feedback from our attendees, staff, and local health partners. Some events may require mandatory masking due space issues and bigger crowds.

The complete policy is here: “FanimeCon COVID-19 Vaccination Policy”.

(2) LIADEN UNIVERSE® IS MARCHING ON. Sharon Lee was happy with Joshua Tyler’s article “The Best Sci-Fi Read You’ve Missed Is Filled With Spies, Romance, And Massive Space Battles Stretched Over 27 Books” at GiantFreakinRobot except for one thing, which she blogged about today: “From the mail bag” at Sharon Lee, Writer.

Despite being largely positive, Mr. Tyler’s piece contains a sentence which has . . . horrified, concerned, and angered some Liaden readers and fans, and thus I find letters in my mailbox.  This blog post is a blanket reply to those letters, and statements of concern.

Mr. Tyler states:  “Sadly, Liaden co-author Steve Miller died suddenly on February 20, 2024. He was 73. It’s unclear if Sharon will continue writing the series without him. As a fan of the series, I hope not.” (bolding is mine)

Now, whether this is opinion or corrigendum, I can’t tell you.  I am not the author of the piece.  In general, it’s wise to assume that what the author wrote is what the author meant, and Mr. Tyler is, as we all are, entitled to his opinion.

What I can say is this:  There are three Liaden Universe® novels now under contract with Baen Books.  I am currently lead on one of those, the sequel to Ribbon Dance.  In addition, before Steve’s death and the attendant dis- and re-organizations engendered by that cataclysm, I was making notes for the sequel to the sequel.  Steve was lead on Trade Lanes, which had become increasingly difficult for him as his heart slowly failed him.  I may or may not be able, eventually, to finish Trade Lanes.  If not, another Liaden book will fill the third slot.

So, for the moment, Mr. Tyler must reside in disappointment.  Sharon will be continuing the series, but, not, as he supposes, “without” Steve….

 (3) TREK’S OWN STORAGE WAR. “Court is the final frontier for this lost ‘Star Trek’ model” reports the LA Times. Junot Diaz posted the text of the Times’ paywalled story on Facebook. It says in part:

In April, Heritage Auctions heralded the discovery of the original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the iconic starship that whooshed through the stars in the opening credits of the 1960s TV series “Star Trek” but had mysteriously disappeared around 45 years ago.

The auction house, known for its dazzling sales of movie and television props and memorabilia, announced that it was returning the 33-inch model to Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry Jr., son of series creator Gene Roddenberry. The model was kept at Heritage’s Beverly Hills office for “safekeeping,” the house proclaimed in a statement, shortly after an individual discovered it and brought it to Heritage for authentication.

“After a long journey, she’s home,” Roddenberry’s son posted on X, (formerly Twitter).

But the journey has been far from smooth. The starship model and its celebrated return is now the subject of a lawsuit alleging fraud, negligence and deceptive trade practice, highlighting the enduring value of memorabilia from the iconic sci-fi TV series.

The case was brought by Dustin Riach and Jason Rivas, longtime friends and self-described storage unit entrepreneurs who discovered the model among a stash of items they bought “sight unseen” from a lien sale at a storage locker in Van Nuys last October.

“It’s an unfortunate misunderstanding. We have a seller on one side and a buyer on the other side and Heritage is in the middle, and we are aligning the parties on both sides to get the transaction complete,” said Armen Vartian, an attorney representing the Dallas-based auction house, adding that the allegations against his client were “unfounded.”

The pair claimed that once the model was authenticated and given a value of $800,000, they agreed to consign it to an auction sale with Heritage planned for July 2024, according to the lawsuit. However, following their agreement, they allege the auction house falsely questioned their title to the model and then convinced them, instead of taking it to auction, to sell it for a low-ball $500,000 to Roddenberry Entertainment Inc. According to the suit, Eugene Roddenberry, the company’s CEO, had shown great interest in the model and could potentially provide a pipeline of memorabilia to the auction house in the future.

“They think we have a disagreement with Roddenberry,” said Dale Washington, Riach and Rivas’ attorney. “We don’t. We think they violated property law in the discharge of their fiduciary duties.”

The two men allege they have yet to receive the $500,000 payment.

For years, Riach and Rivas have made a living buying repossessed storage lockers and selling the contents online, at auction and at flea markets. In fact, Riach has appeared on the reality TV series “Storage Wars.”

“It’s a roll of dice in the dark,” Riach said of his profession bidding on storage lockers. “Sometimes you are buying a picture of a unit. When a unit goes to lien, what you see is what you get and the rest is a surprise. At a live auction you can shine a flashlight, smell and look inside to get a gauge. But online is a gamble, it’s only as good as the photo.”

Last fall, Riach said he saw a picture of a large locker in an online sale. It was 10 feet by 30 feet, and “I saw boxes hiding in the back, it was dirty, dusty, there were cobwebs and what looked like a bunch of broken furniture,” he said.

Something about it, he said, “looked interesting,” and he called Rivas and told him they should bid on it. Riach declined to say how much they paid.

There were tins of old photographs and negatives of nitrate film reels from the 1800s and 1900s. When Rivas unwrapped a trash bag that was sitting on top of furniture, he pulled out a model of a spaceship. The business card of its maker, Richard C. Datin, was affixed to the bottom of the base.

A Google search turned up that Datin had made “Star Trek” models, although the two men didn’t make the connection to the TV series.

“We buy lots of units and see models all of the time,” Riach said. He thought they would find a buyer and decided to list it on eBay with a starting price of $1,000….

(4) BALLARD’S MACHINED POETRY. The Conversation says “Novelist J.G. Ballard was experimenting with computer-generated poetry 50 years before ChatGPT was invented”.

…Listening recently to the audiobook version of Ballard’s autobiography Miracles of Life, one very short passage seemed to speak directly to these contemporary debates about generative artificial intelligence and the perceived power of so-called large language models that create content in response to prompts. Ballard, who was born in 1930 and died in 2009, reflected on how, during the very early 1970s, when he was prose editor at Ambit (a literary quarterly magazine that published from 1959 until April 2023) he became interested in computers that could write:

“I wanted more science in Ambit, since science was reshaping the world, and less poetry. After meeting Dr Christopher Evans, a psychologist who worked at the National Physical Laboratories, I asked him to contribute to Ambit. We published a remarkable series of computer generated poems which Martin said were as good as the real thing. I went further, they were the real thing.”

Ballard said nothing else about these poems in the book, nor does he reflect on how they were received at the time. Searching through Ambit back-issues issues from the 1970s I managed to locate four items that appeared to be in the series to which Ballard referred. They were all seemingly produced by computers and published between 1972 and 1977….

(5) BLEEPS WITHOUT END. Scott Lynch has a pretty clear idea about how Harlan would respond to Lincoln Michel’s question.

(6) IN A GALAXY OF SFF, ONE CONSTELLATION IS BLINKING OUT. The Verge argues that “Apple TV Plus is turning into the best place for streaming sci-fi”. The article discusses a large number of series. But one of them isn’t going to be around for long.

…More recently, the service has edged toward a darker tone. First there was the debut of Constellation earlier this year, which starred Noomi Rapace as an astronaut who returned to an Earth that’s very different than the one she left. And now we have Dark Matter based on the novel by Blake Crouch, which premieres on May 8th. It’s a multiversal story about a physicist played by Joel Edgerton who gets kidnapped by a parallel version of himself. So far, I’ve watched the first two episodes, and it manages to merge the tone of a tense thriller with the mind-bending nature of time travel, creating the kind of story that intentionally makes you feel unmoored. Also, there are some very large and impressive cubes…

Two days ago Deadline reported “’Constellation’ Canceled By Apple After One Season”.

 Apple TV+ has opted not to continue with a second season of Constellation, its sci-fi psychological thriller series starring Noomi Rapace and Jonathan Banks. The news comes a month and a half after Constellation‘s eight-episode first season wrapped its quiet run on the streamer March 27.

Created and written by Peter Harness, Constellation stars Rapace as Jo – an astronaut who returns to Earth after a disaster in space – only to discover that key pieces of her life seem to be missing. The action-packed space adventure is an exploration of the dark edges of human psychology, and one woman’s desperate quest to expose the truth about the hidden history of space travel and recover all that she has lost.

… Sci-fi is a core genre for Apple TV+ whose roster of series also includes For All Mankind, recently renewed for a fifth season alongside a pickup for a spinoff series, Star City, as well as Foundation, Severance, Invasion and Silo — all slated to return with new seasons.

Apple’s latest entry in the genre, Dark Matter, premiered this week, with Neuromancer, starring Callum Turner, and Murderbot, headlined by Alexander Skarsgard, coming up. The streamer also had an surprise entrant into the space with the mystery drama Sugar, which took an unexpected sci-fi turn last week.

(7) LEIGH EDMONDS’ AUSTRALIAN FANHISTORY. From Bruce Richard Gillespie on Facebook I learned that Norstrilia Press has published Leigh Edmonds’ fanhistory Proud and Lonely: A History of Science Fiction Fandom in Australia. Part One: 1930 – 1961

Proud and Lonely is a new history of science fiction and its fans in Australia, telling the story of its arrival in Australia in the 1920s, and the start here of a sub-culture of fans of the genre.

Historian Dr Leigh Edmonds shows how science fiction was seen as a low form of literature and didn’t get public acceptance until at least the 1970s.

Because of the frequent ridicule, fans of the genre kept quiet about their interest in public. But in private they sought out other fans, locally and overseas. They corresponded, started clubs and published amateur magazines about the genre.

They created a fascinating sub-culture that was a microcosmos of Australian life from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Norstrilia Press in its first incarnation had its major focus on science fiction, and Leigh’s history makes a significant contribution to the study of the field. It will also be of value to people interested in cultural and literary studies.

Proud and Lonely is the first of a two-part history exploring how science fiction fandom developed in Australia, from its beginnings in the 1930s to the first World Science Fiction Convention held in Australia, in 1975.

Part one deals with the early period up to 1961, when government regulations prevented most science fiction from being imported into Australia, and the seeds were sown of a gathering energy that would raise Australia’s profile in the global science fiction community.

Available from bookshops and online.

(8) FROM BROOKLYN TO ROHAN. [Item by Dann.] Mike Burke found himself in the theater department auditioning for a part in Newsies: the Musical.  One of the songs from that production – “Brooklyn’s Here” — seemed to match the narrative of the riders of Rohan arriving at the Pelennor Fields.  And a little filking ensued. “Rohan’s Here!” at Storytelling Skunkworks.

…We are Riders (of Rohan!)

The beacons are lit and Gondor is hurtin’

Facing total disaster for certain

That’s our cue lads, it’s time to come runnin’

Hey Minas Tirith, the calvalry’s comin’!…

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY.

[Written by Cat Eldridge.]

Born May 12, 1950 Bruce Boxleitner, 74. Let’s look at our Birthday celebrant, Bruce Boxleitner, first for the interesting work he did before that series. 

One of my very favorite characters that he played was the top-level unnamed Agency operative Lee Stetson on the Scarecrow and Mrs. King which starred him and Kate Jackson as divorced housewife Amanda King and top-level Agency operative Lee Stetson as they began their unusual partnership and eventual romance after encountering one another in a train station. It ran for four seasons.

Remember Kenny Rogers’ song “The Gambler”? Well, it would afterwards become a series of Gambler movies. Boxleitner played Billy Montanain in three of five films being the sidekick to Roger’s Brady Hawkes character. He was the comic relief in those films apparently. I’ve not seen them. 

Bruce Boxleitner at Phoenix Comicon in 2011. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

He’s been on Outer Limits in “Decompression” as Senator Wyndom Brody in a twisty time travel episode that’d make Heinlein proud. Enough said of that story. He had a recurring role as another politician on the first Supergirl series as President Phillip Baker, a vain, egotistical man. He even played the President of the Planetary Union President on The Orville.

Then there’s Tron where he has the dual roles of Alan Bradley, a programmer at ENCOM Boxleitner and Tron, a security program developed by Bradley to self-monitor communications between the MCP and the real world. It’s an amazing dual for him. He’d reprise, in voice, so I supposed in spirit as well, that role in the animated TronUprising series, and then in I think finally in the animated Tron: Legacy film. 

So that brings us to Babylon 5 commander, Captain John Sheridan. What an amazing role it was for. Lis Carey says of him, “John Sheridan was raised in a diplomat’s family, and enlisted in the military–leading to him becoming a war hero, the only officer to win a battle against the Minbari. When he became the second commander of Babylon 5, he was not well received by the Minbari. Relations obviously improved, while the Earth Alliance was being transformed into a military dictatorship, which Sheridan opposed. In the last season, after confronting the Earth Alliance decisively, he became President of the new Interstellar Alliance, and subsequently married the Minbari ambassador, Delenn.”

Ok, it was a great role and if you haven’t seen it, go see it that’s all I have to say so. I’m ending this now. Have a good night.

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) COUNT HIM IN. [Item by Steven French.] Guardian television reviewer Joel Golby becomes one of us: “Doctor Who: even the haters will find it impossible to resist Ncuti Gatwa”.

The injection of Disney cash has definitely helped – the new series looks utterly, hugely epic, but without sliding into the “CGI on top of another layer of CGI” thing that could ruin a still pleasingly British-feeling series like this – and the casting of the two new leads is inspired. If it first came out now, a show like Doctor Who – an infinite number of universes and possible monsters and possible problems and possible ancient villains – would be easy to mess up, push it so it’s too sci-fi, forget to ever come back down to Earth, have Gatwa trapped in a studio for a few months acting opposite a tennis ball. But you’ve got 60 years of lore and an army of fans guarding it and ready to email you if you mess with it too much, and I honestly think that probably helps keep Doctor Who honest. I’ll see you for the Christmas special this year. I think I’ve been converted.

(12) THE PRICE IS A HORROR, TOO. The dramatically-staged Montegrappa Universal Monsters Fountain Pen – Frankenstein edition can be yours for a mere $9,175.

Vintage Hollywood staging and mechanical mayhem are the base ingredients for an homage to a horror icon. Montegrappa’s own strain of mad science brings Frankenstein’s creation back to life, with props and special effects that revisit the magic of a 1931 cinema classic. Energy pulses through its XXL, all-brass body, with ingenious complications to re-animate the senses – bringing fun to high function.

(13) AGED IN THE CROCK, ER, CASK. Nothing to do with sff, except for all the fans who like to drink this sort of thing. And for you, we present Tasting Table’s interview, “Pappy Van Winkle’s Grandson Tells Us 10 Things You May Not Know About Old Rip Van Winkle”.

… Additionally, Van Winkle III noted the 15-year bourbon makes a great cocktail. Now, we know that for some of you, mixing any Old Rip Van Winkle whiskey into a cocktail may sound like blasphemy. But Van Winkle III believes you shouldn’t be worried about mixing high-quality alcohol into a drink. Either way, because the 15-year hits that sweet spot of flavor between younger and older whiskey expressions, Van Winkle III thinks it’s “a fun one to have.”…

I laughed because it reminds me that when LASFS’ Len Moffatt hosted a party he warned the guys that violence would ensue if he found any of us making mixed drinks with his Cutty Sark.

(14) VIDEO OF THE DAY. Ryan George invites us to step inside the Pitch Meeting that led to Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver.

[Thanks to Steven French, Teddy Harvia, Kathy Sullivan, John J. Arkansawyer, Daniel Dern, Gary Farber, Janice Gelb, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, and SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kevin Harkness.]


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34 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/12/24 With A Sprinkle Of Pixel Dust, You Can File Like A Bird

  1. (12). Of course it’s a Montegrappa, the brand for which good taste is no barrier.

  2. (3) They knew it was a spaceship, but they didn’t know it was the Enterprise? Really? This gives me doubts about their story.
    (5) A. Video. Game. Adaptation. of a story by Harlan. His estate hasn’t sued?
    (6) Australian laws preventing importation of sf? Tell us more, please. And btw, they still consider us lowbrow entertainment, except for people now declared Special.
    Birthday: IIRC, he also played a docudrama(?), as George Washington.
    (13) Blended whiskey I don’t mind mixing. Now, single malt’s another story.

  3. mark: There was an authorized computer game of “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” produced a long time ago. I’m assuming that’s what they’re talking about, though I haven’t run it down.

    At the time fandom was awash in free mousepads with the game cover design on it.

  4. (3) Yeah, that part is just – how the f did they not recognize it, with the name and all?
    I think they’re retconning their story to make themselves bigger, not realizing that that one thing kills it.

  5. Thanks for the title credit!

    @Nancy Sauer: I am loving that pen, in spite of (or maybe because of) its lack of taste. The switches and dials! The wee straps on the table!

    Not loving the price though.

  6. 1) A con still requiring masks in 2024 is weird to me, because here in Germany cons dropped mask mandates sometime in late spring/early summer 2022, i.e. two years ago.I was at a con this weekend and I didn’t see a single person wearing a mask.

    That said, changing your mask policy that shortly before the con is not a great idea, because people don’t have time to plan.

  7. 3) therpf-com/forums/threads/red-alert-lost-3-ft-tos-enterprise-found.354596/

    I found the above thread through redd*t; it was put up on ebay and quickly de-listed as no longer available only hours later on the same day.

    I think the sellers/whoever found the model were unaware that it was GENUINE shooting/prop model and not a commercial replica(I’m guessing here).

    They probably started by wanting a quick sale for as much as they realistically thought they could get, as per Heritage Auctions’ statement.

    What transpired after that, either the courts will decide; or the three parties might come to a settlement.

    Star Wars models/props from a decade or more later have sold for US$3M(according to the link above).

    US$1/2M might not be unreasonable to expect if auctioned by Heritage Auctions(the conflict of interest is that Roddenberry either hinted or explicitly promised authentic items to be put up for auction in future through Heritage).

    It seems a mess to me as due to this that future storage treasure hunters might not be open to returning items to the legal owners.

    And now the forum linked seems inaccessible. Sorry. I edited the link above so it’s not a dead link (if it comes back online, you can replace start with Actual site which works starts with https://therpf.com/)

  8. From the website, the Glasgow Worldcon”s disease mitigation policy is currently to “strongly recommend” masks, washing, daily COVID tests. Hmm, I have a bunch of time expired test kits.
    Also, this ..
    “We will enforce the Code of Conduct in all applicable situations, including when another member’s choices about disease mitigation do not match yours. This includes, but is not limited to, mitigations by masking, social distancing, or physical contact. For example, you may neither encroach on someone’s space who has asked you to stay 2 metres away nor may you yell at someone who is not wearing an N95 mask.”

  9. (5) Scott has captured Harlan’s voice – or at least it sounds like him to me.

  10. 5) I recall Ellison once saying, on a radio interview on Hour 25, that he didn’t give a —- about the fans, as it was the publishing company that paid him.

    He did accurately predict the kerfuffle about taxing inventory for businesses, which would make publishers less profitable and want to run smaller editions of SF books.

  11. @Cora Buhlert–But you probably had people complying with masking, social distancing, and vaccination requirements and recommendations, rather than having armies of covid deniers like we did. So now, you have less to worry about.

  12. I hate masks and would have been glad that the requirement was dropped. Though, I see some people’s having problems with it changing so close to the con. The mask is for the person wearing it protection. It does little for others. So just wear a good quality mask.
    I always complied with whatever was requested but if the masks are optional, I rarely wear them. (I always have masks with me) I never understood why the NASFIC in Winnipeg required them. I checked the city’s website, it essentially said they were doing whatever Manatoba said so I checked that website. Masks were optional. I am face blind and sometimes some people mumble into their masks. I prefer to take the stairs if it is just a few flights. I found myself huffing and puffing. Not enough air. I agree with the German, California is not requiring masks.

  13. 1) At a minimum, they should provide refunds to the probably small number of people who now find themselves unable to attend. Perhaps the reasoning is along the lines of “these people are never going to come back anyway, so we might as well keep their money”, to which I can only say ugh.

  14. @Linda Robinett–

    The mask is for the person wearing it protection. It does little for others.

    You have that backwards. Your mask reduces the risk of you passing on the virus. Your mask protects those around you; their masks protect you. It’s a cooperative effort, to keep each other safe.

  15. @Linda Robinett on May 13, 2024 at 7:50 am said:
    “The mask is for the person wearing it protection. It does little for others.”

    To the contrary, masks are very effective at protecting others. This has been proven in studies, many times. Masks are not very effective for protecting the wearer, but better than nothing.

    When everyone in a room is wearing a mask, everyone is double protected, because any virus particle that wants to infect you has to pass through two masks. That is why mask mandates work well and make sense.

    I’m sorry that masks are uncomfortable and cause difficulties for you. But COVID is much, much worse. It has killed a lot of people. It has disabled a lot more. It is a threat to everyone.

  16. 1) I would be very interested to know the financial backstory that resulted in the con feeling the need to defraud attendees.

    I’m sadly unsurprised that there are still people who don’t understand how airborne transmission works.

  17. 1) I’m more surprised that somewhere was still requiring people to wear masks than I am that they stopped. I dunno why anybody would change their plans behind this, though, they didn’t say you couldn’t wear masks, just that you didn’t have to. Wear one if you want, hell, go nuts and wear two if it makes you feel better.

    5) Nailed it. Only criticism is that it needs more swears.

    13) I got some Pappy Von Winkle once and it ruined any other bourbon for me so now I stick to rye. And scotch. and rum.

  18. mark re (6): I expect Australia had similarly severe currency control to the post-war UK, so one was not allowed to waste the country’s limited supply of USD on such frivolities as ordering SF, no matter how high exchange rate he would have been willing to pay.

  19. (4) I remember playing around with programs that did that back in the early eighties on a ZX Spectrum. The output was very like the examples in the article. “The car watched the furious tree” was the sort of thing that came out.

  20. CoraB: Windycon, last Nov, didn’t require, and most people weren’t masked. So we stupidly did not.

    Thank you. The one and only time we’ve gotten COVID was immediately after Windycon, and yes, we had all our shots. We absolutely will be wearing masks at Balticon (even though we’re getting married at the con Friday night), and we will be masking at Glasgow. Kindly stay two meters away from us.

  21. @Tom Becker
    “To the contrary, masks are very effective at protecting others. This has been proven in studies, many times.”

    Tom (and Lis) — I just spent a little while looking for studies that support this claim, and couldn’t find any. Can you link to one?

    Most studies I saw were heavily caveated because it is so difficult to design and implement an experiment with good controls, and good data (i.e., not self-reported). Meta-studies seemed to indicate that masks were somewhat effective on the margins. They don’t completely protect you, and if an infected person wears one, they don’t completely filter their exhalations. In a high-risk environment (like the USS Theodore Roosevelt, early in the pandemic) wearing a mask meant your risk of catching went from ~80% to ~56%. In a low risk environment, like our everyday interactions with people, you probably won’t get it whether or not you wear a mask, or whether or not the people you interact with wear masks. Masks make things a little better, but they didn’t stop the pandemic, or even measurably slow it down.
    If your own personal risk calculations suggest you should wear a mask, wear one. I stopped when the pulmonologist my son sees regularly stopped — I figured he knew more about it than anyone else I knew, and I followed his lead.

  22. Quartermain: Can you seriously not understand why people with auto-immune diseases or other risk factors who thought they’d be in an environment where everyone would be masked would now feel they need to change their plans despite having to suffer financial losses due to the con comm’s unprofessional refusal to issue refunds and lateness of the announcement?

    (12) Not only are the Montegrappa Frankenstein pen and packaging incredibly cool (as are their other limited edition pens) but the packaging is interactive too – I encourage everyone to watch the video at their site (https://www.montegrappa.com/en/collections/frankenstein-l-e-/frankenstein-stilografica–1334.html?id_product=71923&origin=search_results)

  23. @Mark: The game’s been out for a while – not only did he know about it, he’s in the game. He recorded the voice of AM for the game.

  24. Janice: If someone were already planning to wear a mask at WackyAnimeMadness what danger would they be in from people not wearing masks that they aren’t already in from say, going to the grocery store or stepping outside or anywhere else that other people aren’t wearing masks at?

  25. @Quatermain: people who go to cons usually plan to spend all of several days there, usually mixing with crowds of other people, many of whom have recently traveled and been exposed to even more people. It’s an entirely different risk calculation from going to the local grocery store.

    Conventions have always been vectors for disease. People talk about con crud for a reason.

  26. @Quartermain – In addition to what Jim Janney said, you’re potentially also attending program items in an enclosed room with probably inefficient air circulation for an hour or more.

    The point here is not whether wearing masks is effective. It’s that the con changed their policy at the last minute and refused to grant refunds to those who made plans to attend based on that policy, plus they did so after the con hotel deadline for a free cancellation.

  27. @bill: An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19

    You posted that “wearing a mask meant your risk of catching went from ~80% to ~56%”. That is a good example of how masks “measurably slow it down”.

    Of course, in a low risk environment, there is no need to wear a mask. The whole point of masking is to protect people in high risk areas.

  28. @Tom Becker — The data you quoted from me referred to masks as PPE — protection for the wearer. It did not discuss how an infected person wearing masks protects others, which is the concern here.
    And the study you linked does not help either.
    If I go to a con, and someone wants me to wear a mask to protect them, it is reasonable to want to know how much they benefit. Knowing that aerosols are reduced by X% does not answer that question.

    Still looking for links that support your original claim that “masks are very effective at protecting others.”

  29. Right wing conspiracy theorists really want to hurt people and be celebrated for being Very Smart. The combination of disgusting and comical is quite impressive.

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