Pixel Scroll 5/13/18 I Kicked The Cord And Broke The Board And Set My Pixels Free

(1) PARTING GIFT. CinemaBlend makes sure we didn’t miss it: “The Big Bang Theory Finale Deleted Scene Reveals Stephen Hawking’s Wedding Present”.

One wedding-related scene fans did not get to see was the wedding gift that was bestowed upon the happy couple by Stephen Hawking. Fortunately, The Big Bang Theory‘s Twitter account posted the scene for fans, which also included a tribute to one of their most revered guest stars. Watch it for yourself below:

(2) GETTING BACK IN THE USA. Sheesh, is there any reason not to want this? “Mobile Passport Will Get You Through Customs and Immigration in Under 60 Seconds”.

Around the Condé Nast Traveler offices, not having Global Entry is a badge of shame. What kind of travel editor wouldn’t want to make re-entering the U.S. as easy and seamless as possible? Well, this kind. Six years after the official launch of Global Entry, which includes the security-line-skirting PreCheck membership, I still haven’t ponied up the $100 enrollment fee or gone through the application process. It’s not because I love standing in line—obviously that sucks—and it’s not because I don’t have one of the many credit cards that would pay the fee for me. I don’t have Global Entry because I can get through customs and immigration in less than 60 seconds without it.

My secret is the Mobile Passport app, which was first released in 2014 but has yet to catch on the same way Global Entry has. The app, which is completely free, has been downloaded about 3.5 million times since launch, according to its developers. While that number may sound big, it’s less than the number of people using Global Entry, which has at least 4.7 million members and “thousands of additional travelers applying for membership each day,” according to a November statement from Customs and Border Protection.

(3) RELIQUARY. The New York Times visited “The Sistine Chapel of Comic-Strip Art”.

On a beer-splotched wall of a Midtown sports bar, a forgotten relic from the heyday of cartooning, featuring Beetle Bailey, Fred Flintsone and some jokers from Mad magazine. With cameos by James Thurber, Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Monroe.

This crumbling, beer-splotched wall in the back of a sports bar on East 44th Street is one of New York’s more neglected cultural treasures. Created in the 1970s, it is a veritable Sistine Chapel of American comic-strip art: the 30-some drawings across its face were left by a who’s who of cartooning legends, including a Spider-Man by Gil Kane, a Beetle Bailey by Mort Walker, a Dondi by Irwin Hasen, a Steve Canyon by Milton Caniff, a Hagar the Horrible by Dik Browne, and a Dagwood Bumstead by Paul Fung Jr. There’s also a self-portrait by Al Jaffee, a doodle by Bil Keane, and a Mad magazine-style gag by Sergio Aragonés. Old regulars are familiar with the wall’s past, and comic book scholars make occasional pilgrimages to the bar, but the Overlook’s cartoon mural remains largely unknown and untended.

Al Jaffee, who is now 97, was surprised to learn the wall still existed when reached by phone at his apartment. “I’m amazed to hear it is around in this crumbling state,” said Mr. Jaffee, who created Mad magazine’s signature back-page Fold-In feature. “We did that stuff a long time ago. I’m curious myself how many of us who worked on that are still around. I was honored to draw it alongside so many of my heroes.”

Mark Evangelista, an owner of the Overlook, said his attempts to bring attention to the artifact have been futile. “No one cares,” he said. “I’ve tried telling national cartoon organizations and societies about it, but no one is interested. This bar could be like McSorley’s if only more people knew about it. This is a piece of New York history.”

(4) COMICS AUCTION. Probably shouldn’t be speculating on Mother’s Day what you might have made if Mom hadn’t tossed some of those old comics in the trash — “Vintage Superman, Batman comic lot auction grabs $6.5 million on day 1”.

Heritage Auctions in Chicago started selling the books and the art on Thursday, which include rare gems like “Action Comics” #1 from 1938, which is the first time Superman appeared, “Batman” #1 from 1940 and·”Justice League of America” #1 from 1960.

The comic with Superman’s first appearance nabbed $573,600, while “Batman” #1 was purchased for $227,050.

(5) SALUTE TO YA MOMS. And for our next morbid thought of the day….


  • Mike Kennedy recommends Pearls Before Swine, “Wherein Pig defines a mother as the one who is proud of you even when your second book bombs.”

(7) MORE TO COME. C.J. Cherryh announced “Jane and I have been given the unofficial goahead for another novel…. …to follow Alliance Rising. We know where we take up.”

(8) BALLOT ANALYZED. Camestros Felapton speaks frankly in “Hugo Ballot 2018: BDP – Short”.

…And overall, it’s a bit lacklustre. The clear favourite is Black Mirror’s Star Trek riff USS Callister but I had issues with it. Doctor Who traditionally gets a slot here but I found that episode overly sentimental. One of my least favourite episodes of Star Trek: Discovery got nominated. There’s just not enough of Clipping’s The Deep and two episodes of The Good Place just seems odd…

(9) WAKANDA COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS. WUSA has video: “‘Howard Forever’: Chadwick Boseman, ‘Black Panther’ star, gives Howard University grad speech”.

“This is a magical place where the positives and negatives seem to exist in the extremes,” he said reminiscing on his time at Howard. He told a story about coming across Muhammad Ali on campus. “I walked away floating like a butterfly,” he said to laughter, talking about how that experience made him feel like he could do anything. “That is the magic of this place. Almost anything could happen here.”

He went on to call out the names Howard has been referred to as: Wakanda University, The Mecca, The Hilltop. “Every day is leg day here,” he laughed, referring to the literal meaning of The Hilltop.

“The Hilltop represents the culmination of the intellectual and spiritual journey you went on while you were here,” he went on, describing overcoming the academic, financials and social struggles of college.

“But you’re here…you made it to the top of the hill.”

(10) WEIRD SEEKER. Hungarian blogger Balázs Farkas argues that Donald Glover’s Atlanta is the best weird fiction on TV nowadays: “Best Weird Fiction on Television? Atlanta!”

But it turns out, this show is much more than that. And this might sound odd, but I must point it out: Atlanta is weird fiction. And Atlanta is weird fiction at it’s best.

Now, I’ve always struggled to find something on TV that does the eerie and uncanny extremely well, but with the exception of Twin Peaks: The Return, there wasn’t really anything out there that would satisfy my craving for a show that can establish a seemingly ordinary premise, make it extremely convincing and engaging, and then turning it into something truly… truly weird.

And I’m not talking about weirdness in a comedic sense, I’m talking about the slipstream school of writing (or, the weird and the new weird as defined by a succession of writers since H. P. Lovecraft), where you’ll be confronted with a reality that in some ways matches with your perception of reality, but with a heavy dose of cognitive dissonance and a sense that there’s something deeply wrong with the world, something unnerving. And you can’t really grasp why.

(11) HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Steven H Silver keeps up his Black Gate series with “Birthday Reviews: Gregory Frost’s ‘Farewell, My Rocketeer’”.

…Gregory Frost’s novelette “Madonna of the Maquiladora” was nominated for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the James Tiptree, Jr. Memorial Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Frost has also been nominated for the International Horror Guild Award and World Fantasy Award for his novel Fitcher’s Brides. His Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet jointly were nominated for the Tiptree, and “How Meersh the Bedeviler Lost His Toes” was nominated for the Sturgeon. He also received a Bram Stoker nomination for the story “No Others Are Genuine.” Several of his stories have been collected in Attack of the Jazz Giants and Other Stories, published by Golden Gryphon in 2011….


  • Born May 13, 1922 — Bea Arthur. Her genre association was she appeared in the Star Wars Holiday Special as Ackmena.

(13) WHERE A CAT RESTS. Fantasy author James Enge knows the value of cats sleeping on SFF.

(14) THE LATEST. Galactic Journey’s John Boston gives his approval to the current (in 1963) Amazing: “[May 12, 1963] SO FAR, SO GOOD (the June 1963 Amazing)”.

On the June 1963 Amazing, the cover by Ed Emshwiller seems to portray humanity crucified, with photogenic fella and gal affixed to the front panels of computers, anguished expressions on their faces and slots cut in them like the holes in a computer punch-card.  I guess they are mutilated, if not bent, folded, or stapled.  This is done in the hyper-literal and slightly crude mode of Emsh’s Ace Double covers, which compares badly to the less literal but much more imaginative and better-executed work he is contributing to F&SF.  Suffice it to say that Emsh has not displaced William Jennings Bryan as our nation’s leading purveyor of Crucifixion imagery.  The cover illustrates Jack Sharkey’s two-part serial The Programmed People, on which I will defer until it’s finished next month.

(15) INCREDIBLES SPOT. GeekTyrant breaks down the revelations in a new commercial: “Incredibles 2 Introduces Us to Some New Superheroes”.

Disney has released a new TV spot for Pixar’s Incredibles 2 and features some new footage that fans will be interesting in seeing. Not only do we get to see another Jack-Jack power, with him multiplying, but we also get a first look at a few new Supers jumping into action. Those Supers include He-Lectrix, Voyd, with Brick in the background. You can find out more about these characters here. When talking about Voyd, Brad Bird said that she’s a huge fan of Elastigirl, and that her “infatuation with Helen Parr has become quite passionate over the years, leading to a sort of manic obsession.” He goes on to explain:

“There’s a character named Voyd who’s a new superhero, and she admires Helen and is kind of a Helen groupie. I described her to the animators as like, we had this dog that was this very big, powerful dog and it only had two settings. One was in your face, ‘Love me! Love me! Love me! Love me! Love me! Love me!’ And when you said finally, ‘Get off!’ it [becomes] ‘I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!’ Then he goes, ‘Oh it’s okay! Now Love me, love me, love me!’ She’s a little bit like that and she’s always leaning in a little too much and always a little too ready to ask ten million questions and it’s a fun character. I’ve never seen that before in superhero movies and we’re always trying to juice it up.”


(16) 2001 RESTORED, NOT REINCARNATED. More important than Nixon’s missing 18 minutes, says John King Tarpinian. “Why you’ll never see the missing 17 minutes from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey'”.

On Saturday, the Cannes Film Festival will travel back to the future when Christopher Nolan presents a 50th anniversary screening of Stanley Kubrick‘s sci-fi classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Like Kubrick, who passed away in 1999, Nolan is a vocal proponent for the supremacy of the analog cinematic experience, and intends for 2018 audiences to watch 2001 in the same way their 1968 predecessors did. Hence, the 70 mm print that will play at Cannes — followed by a theatrical rollout on May 18 — is largely free of any digital restoration, instead produced by printing elements from the original camera negative.

Still, there’s one part of the 1968 viewing experience that Nolan can’t duplicate for modern audiences. When 2001 first played for premiere audiences that April, the film was roughly 20 minutes longer than the one that subsequently went into wide release. The baffled reaction of those first moviegoers, as well as the studio, sent Kubrick back to the editing room to excise 17 minutes of footage. And unlike some filmmakers, he wasn’t concerned when it came to the film that ended up on the cutting-room floor. “Once he released a movie, that was it,” longtime Kubrick colleague — and subject of Tony Zierra’s new documentary Filmworker — Leon Vitali reveals to Yahoo Entertainment. “There’s a place in London where all the city’s refuse is taken, and I remember taking van loads of outtakes and stuff that was never used and burning them, because he did not want any of his old material.”

(17) HOLD YOUR CANON FIRE. Inverse says “New Millennium Falcon Design in ‘Solo’ Has Been Explained”.

While history is being made about the real-life SpaceX Falcon Heavy, a different spaceship — the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars — has been totally redesigned. But, angry fans who think the new design might violate canon can hold their Canto Bight space horses. The design for the new/old Falcon in Solo: A Star Wars Story is a deep dive since before the dawn of canon.

On Wednesday, the official Star Wars Show on YouTube revealed that the fresher, newer design for the Millennium Falcon in Solo was specifically taken from Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art done before the original Star Wars. The new Star Wars Show confirmed that the design was “heavily inspired by Ralph McQuarrie … including having the radar dish pointing up.”

(18) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Getting some air, Atlas?” on YouTube is Boston Dynamics’s latest robot video in which a robot goes jogging and then leaps over a log!

[Thanks to JJ, Hampus Eckerman, John King Tarpinian, Joe H., Andrew, Bence Pintér, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, Will R., David K.M. Klaus, Carl Slaughter, and Chip Hitchcock for some of these stories. Title credit goes to contributing editor of the day Kip W.]

40 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/13/18 I Kicked The Cord And Broke The Board And Set My Pixels Free

  1. My immediate thought was “oh, poor Bea Arthur, she’s gotta have a better SFnal cite than that.” So I found this on Wikipedia:

    “She made a guest appearance on the American cartoon Futurama, in the Emmy-nominated 2001 episode “Amazon Women in the Mood”, as the voice of the Femputer who ruled the giant Amazonian women.”

  2. (3) I was just chatting with my friend Harry, and he told me about the article. He has told me about the mural itself a number of times over the years, but I’ve never managed to be where it is. I did visit the Cartoon Pub in Barnard Castle once, though. Just a normal old pub, but with a wall mural of various cartoon characters. The whole place is probably gone now (like the Tom & Jerry Market in Smithfield, VA, with its questionable drawing of the cat & mouse, or Wimpy’s Burgers in Virginia Beach, where I ate once before they were bought out and closed).

    (4) Mom threw out my comics a couple of times, but by the time I was really into them, she was helping me fill in collections by driving me places—A-1 Comics and Book Barter Bob’s in Denver, for instance, and any number of thrift shops and book shops in northern Colorado. Bob’s was a godsend for filling in my Ditko Spider-Man…Mans…Men… issues. They went for a base price of about 35 cents, plus a nickel a year going back, so what I could find tended to cost about 65 cents a whack. Then, around 1972, I learned that Mom had subscribed to the Chicago Tribune in the 40s, when she was working for the Map Service in DC, just so she could get the Spirit Sections, which she eventually gave to me. Thanks again, Mom!

    You scroll the pixels, and then the pixels scroll your head.

  3. @2: as described, this does not compute. Global Entry costs $15 (and one’s time for a personal photo-and-thumbprint session) on top of a program that for $85 gets fast processing going through security toward an airplane (i.e., TSA) — and that applies to domestic travel, not just foreign. Also, unless the mobile passport app lets you get in a speed line (which I wonder about — why would C&I take the word of a private firm?), it’s not going to save much time over conventional processing — which took about a minute after I reached the desk the last time I returned to the US.


  4. 3) I recall reading about another pub/bar in New York City with cartoon murals drawn by the original cartoonists that went back to the 1930s. That one was apparently destroyed and the mural painted over by idiotic developers, when the pub/bar closed and the building was sold. So I’m happy to hear that at leats one cartoon pub/bar survives. It seems decorating the walls of pubs with cartoon murals was a thing in New York City.

    @Kip W.
    4) My Dad famously owned a stack of Golden Age superhero comics (he clearly remembers Wonder Woman and Superman, but no Captain America or Batman), which he’d inherited from a cousin who’d gotten them from American GIs just after WWII. He apparently had them for several years, until my grandma threw them all out. We’re still mourning that particular treasure.

  5. If All Files Were Pixels, Would You Let One Marry Your Scroll?

    {possible repeat}

  6. (2) but this s basically the age old question of how to be in the shortest passport queue and that can be quite fickle. For example, it can be quicker to enter the UK at Heathrow as an Australian rather than a Brit because while the process is technically slower, the planes that have just arrived were mainly full of other Brits. That’s happened so often that I’ve been tempted to enter the UK as a random Australian rather than as prodigal Pom. The advantage of this App would dissipate quickly once it became popular and the queue becomes full.

  7. The international airports that I use moderately commonly (Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney) have two sorts of queues for passport-checking on arrival – unfortunates that have to speak with people, and E-passports (only speak to a person if you raise a flag). I’ve had to wait a handful of minutes in e-passport queues twice in the last twenty or so times (and not in the last year). I’ve had one bad experience with Melbourne bio-security, where the queue for the cursory check of your what-are-you-carrying card was over 30 minutes. Auckland bio-security has a less-cursory check (backed by sniffer dogs) but multiple stations and decent multi-queuing (in categories of Kiwis/Aussies, crew/specials, other). One immigration person backs up the bio-security people, who decide who uses the green lane (80% chance a dog with check you for food) vs the x-ray (looking for food, dirt, contraband).
    Melbourne still uses a passport system where you scan your passport and answer a sub-set of the card questions at a kiosk that gives you a chit, which you use at the later gate that scans your face. Other locations have upgraded to slightly larger gates that just scan your passport directly.
    So I guess my question is why involve a chit, the app knows your passport#, so when it is scanned the C&I system can confirm that no flags have been raised by what you told the app?

    @Chip Hitchcock: They might have Pre-Check for the exit queues?

  8. Biosecurity in Australia and New Zealand surprised me. I thought I was going to lose my sneakers both times…

  9. People getting into the wrong queue at airports are also a problem. For example, I’ve seen Swiss people line up in the EU passports queue, even though Switzerland is not in fact in the EU.

    The hub that’s most convenient for me is Amsterdam Schiphol. And when I have to go through the passport control at Schiphol there are lines for EU passports and All passports. Depending on which flight to Amsterdam I get, the passport control is either full of Japanese people from a Tokyo flight that comes in at around the same time or full of Americans from a flight from Seattle. The Japanese people always queue up for “All passports” and the EU line is pretty short. Many Americans, however, either tend to miss the signs or harbour under the mistaken impression that they are EU citizens (and since they have their passports in their hands, you can see that they’re not). It got so bad (and not just due to that Seattle flight either) that they installed a sort of pre-check to direct people to the correct queues.

  10. Re. all on 2) I’ve had fast experiences on my last few trips through Heathrow immigration thanks to the electronic scanners, but it’s definitely dependent on who is in front of you – I’m usually travelling alone and tend to treat airport navigation like a cardio exercise, so I generally beat the queue. It’s also useless as an overall time saving exercise if you’re travelling with hold luggage.

    Also, once I left my boarding pass stub in the passport when I scanned it, and it fell out when I removed the passport and I had to stop to pick it up and in the time it took me to do so the gates closed, and it wouldn’t scan me through again, so I thought I was going to be trapped in a tiny electronic pen in immigration for the rest of my life (until the assistant came to manually let me out eight seconds later), which would be a fitting punishment for an upstart Citizen of Nowhere like me. So that’s a barely negative experience that’s going to cause me disproportionate anxiety whenever I travel back to the UK for the rest of my life, ha ha ha…

  11. @ Arifel:

    In re “useless as an overall time saving exercise”… It depends on flight, and where you land, and where you sit in the plane.

    My general experience with “flying to the US” is doing so from “not the US” and “in coach”, frequently randomly placed about as far back as you can be, while still being in the actual plane (I may be exaggerating, just a smidgen) and arriving to a lovely 45-80 minute queue-snake at Immigration.

    And, then, having to scour the luggage hall for my bags, as it’s been so long since they were dropped out that they’ve been taken off the conveyor belt, to make room for the bags for the next flight.

    But, if you’re off the plane early, it’s definitely the case that you have to wait for the conveyor to do its thing.

  12. Charon D:
    My immediate thought was “oh, poor Bea Arthur, she’s gotta have a better SFnal cite than that.”

    I would argue that Bea Arthur is the best part of The Star Wars Holiday Special. Also, she shares my birthday.

  13. I used the mobile passport app last year when coming home from Finland. I found out about it in SFO, and by the time I came back through three weeks later, I had it all set up and it worked very nicely. There was a special queue for mobile passport, with no one in it, so I got through without having to stand in line. The information also implied that not all US airports used the app, so it would be hit or miss. For example, I have no idea if LAX uses it.

  14. @Ingvar You’re absolutely right, and eugh my sympathies for an 80 minute queue – I’ve had what felt like some pretty epic waits (Bangkok can be a nightmare, particularly if there’s more than one large plane coming in from China at the same time as your flight, as they tend to be full of large groups going through a different visa process who still take up a ton of time in the wrong queues) but nothing to rival that! I haven’t been to the US in a very long time though, is waiting for more than an hour for immigration a normal trend there?

  15. @Kaboobie —

    I would argue that Bea Arthur is the best part of The Star Wars Holiday Special. Also, she shares my birthday.

    Happy birthday a day late!

  16. (2) From the article, it’s only available in 24 US airports at the moment, although maybe that’s enough, given that it only matters when returning to the US from abroad.

    Because Eric is Canadian and we live near(ish) the border, we have what’s called “Nexus,” which is for people who frequently cross the US/Canadian border. It lets us use a special express lane where we just scan a card–we don’t normally need to talk to a person at all–and, for no extra charge, it automatically enrolls us in Global Entry and PreCheck. The drawback is that applying for it is a real hassle, involving multiple in-person visits to an office near the border over a period of months. They want to be sure you really live nearby!

    Since they added the iris scans, Global Entry has been very, very fast. You just walk up to a kiosk (there’s never a line), let it scan your eye (and, I think, your passport), pick up a ticket, and pretty much just walk right out. There’s essentially zero waiting.

    And while it’s true that the PreCheck lines have gotten longer, they’re still much faster than the regular lines, partly because you don’t have to take your clothes off to go through the scanner. 🙂

  17. 3) The Overlook is a terrific little bar and the art work is exceptional. It’s mostly magazine and comic strip artists involved. You’ll need a solid knowledge of strips from the 60s-70s if you want to identify them all.

    Weirdly enough, it was also apparently Jack Lemmon’s favourite bar when he lived in New York. He’d come in amidst the collection of writers and artists furiously smoking away in the back of the bar (the wall is still heavily nicotine stained) and play the house piano for hours before going to get a late dinner.

  18. @Camestros: honestly it would probably be quicker to take a flight to Paris then take the Eurostar into London than deal with any line in Heathrow. (Absolutely my worst airport experience ever)

  19. Never had problems in Bangkok, but I waited 2 hours in immigration queues in Hongkong. With my (back then 3year old daughter). Not fun. Adding some racist comments from the hotel stuff towards my filipina wife on the same evening sort of spoiled Hongkong for us…

  20. @Joe H: Aw, that was the only Superman movie (I and II counts as one movie) for me. I never accepted any substitutes.

  21. Paul Weimer on May 14, 2018 at 5:08 am said:
    Biosecurity in Australia and New Zealand surprised me. I thought I was going to lose my sneakers both times…

    Yeah, it’s an experience! I generally find the quarantine people quite nice but you have to be ready for it. Having boots carefully inspected after hiking in the Andes* did make me feel like I was a notorious international dirt smuggler but the official was actually quite nice.

    The only time I found them rude was returning from the UK with three tins of Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls – which I had declared as food products (correctly). The bio security person first demanded to know why the tin didn’t rattle and when I explained the said mint balls were individually wrapped, they got quite snippy that I had declared them at all. But they probably had had a bad day and ‘I have three tins of Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls’ probably sounded like I was being flippant.

    *{I don’t want to give a misleading impression that I regularly hike around exotic mountains. That was out of character behaviour}

  22. Oneiros on May 14, 2018 at 8:16 am said:
    @Camestros: honestly it would probably be quicker to take a flight to Paris then take the Eurostar into London than deal with any line in Heathrow. (Absolutely my worst airport experience ever)

    It’s not a nice experience at the best of times – it can feel like walking from Paris would be quicker.

    I think my favourite big airport is Changi – Singapore. Never had a bad experience there.

  23. Bio-security: I should mention that there is an insect trap 30m from my front door, to detect what slips through the cracks at the airport (suburb between Auckland airport and CBD). Detected invaders (some sort of fly was the most recent one) get heavily trapped for, and parody Twitter accounts.

  24. (2) GETTING BACK IN THE USA. I’m tempted by this mobile passport thing. Free and it doesn’t sound invasive – wut. Can this truly be a U.S. thing?! 😛 Honestly, I feel like there must be a catch.

    I only travel internationally once every year or two, but when I do, smoothing even one tiny part (returning home) would be nice. I get anxious about missing connections due to customs/immigration delays, so every little bit helps.

  25. So this just happened:

    I check Twitter and I find out Larry C is going to be a Guest of Honor at Origins and some people have problems with him being there as a Guest of Honor given well…him being him.

    54 minutes ago, LC got bumped: https://twitter.com/the_strix/status/996162353438715904

    I expect a one-person mountain of outrage in the next 24-48 hours…

  26. Lanodantheon: So this just happened

    How did the Origins chairs look at their GoH list and not think, “Hmmm, with all of the talented women game developers, how did we manage to not ask at least one as GoH?” 🙄

  27. Being the suspicious type I am, I’m starting to think it’s a plan to make it look like the Puppies have been right all along.
    Some ‘right thinking’ person gets invited.
    Outrage occurs.
    Person dis-invited.
    Choruses of “See! Their vaunted diversity is a lie!”
    I’d be looking at just who thought it was a good idea and look for the link to the Puppies.
    Why should they get all the conspiracy fun?

  28. In terms of finding out what airports have Mobile Passport – they do have a website. I see there that both airports in Houston take it, and so does Newark (where I’m entering the country this summer after going to England and France) so downloading it seemed like a good plan to me.

  29. My experience getting NEXUS was much simpler than what Greg Hullender describes. In early 2012 I applied online, waited a couple of months for conditional approval, then scheduled an interview in Detroit (since I’d already planned a trip there) right before Penguicon. When we left the office (another out-of-town fan with the same plan arrived while I was waiting to be called) we had our approval emails before we got to the hotel (20 minutes away); my card arrived less than a week later.

    I did have to visit a NEXUS office in 2014 after renewing my passport (though these days you can apparently update that info online), and when I renewed in late 2016 I was approved without a re-interview at all.

    For $50 (cheaper than Precheck alone at $85 or Global Entry at $100, all for 5 years), it’s a great deal and gives you all the benefits of those plus easy entry into Canada. The NEXUS interview locations are all on/near the border or at major Canadian airports (except for two city locations in Seattle and Vancouver) so it’s more of a hassle than GE if you live in Texas or wherever, but if you travel to Canada with any significant frequency it’s worth it.

  30. Meredith Moment: S. A. Chakraborty’s The City of Brass is currently $1.99.

  31. I went through a short queue in Heathrow (I know! Whoda thunk they existed!) once — apparently most of the planes which had arrived the same time as ours were full of Brits. Although an acquaintance of mine with red hair and an Irish last name always got taken out of the line there and interrogated *every* time she went, so she had to schedule long layovers between. She never spent less than two hours.

    Coming back through San Francisco (in coach, of course), the line was enormous, not helped at all by the fact that *everyone from every country* got into the US only line. Many baffled Latin Americans and Asians were shunted over to the other line, and employees had to be brought out to shout instructions in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, and Tagalog.

    A couple Americans tried going through the other, much shorter line just to see if it would work. It didn’t, but no harm trying and the keepers of that line didn’t mind.

    I’ve hastily disposed of fruit at airports and borders a few times, but never had to do anything with my shoes save run them through the machine.

    @JJ: Don’t be silly. Everyone knows girls don’t play video games, much less create them. ? (/s)

  32. @Lurkertype

    And a good thing it is too. If you let the wimmen folks start playing video games it’s just asking for troubles. All that eye hand coordination from knitting things for the tykes, not to mention wrist strength from churning butter, gives them an unfair advantage…


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