Pixel Scroll 5/4/20 Sufficiently Advanced Scrolls Are Indistinguishable From Pixels

(1) MURDERBOT READING TOMORROW. The New York Review of Books will host online a “Martha Wells Book Launch Party” on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. EDT

On the eagerly awaited occasion of the publication of “Network Effect,” Martha Wells’ fifth “Murderbot” story and the first full-length novel in the series, Ms. Wells will read from her work and then be interviewed by guest host/curator Amy Goldschlager.

(2) SHUFFLE AND REDEAL. At the Wild Cards blog, Bradley Denton thinks it’s time for Howard Waldrop to tell the current generation all about how “Thirty Minutes Over Broadway” (which I think of as “Jetboy’s Last Adventure”) became the series’ origin story — “Fifty Minutes Over Manchaca (now Menchaca) Road!”

…HW:  Of course!  And another is – You’ll recall in “The Annotated Jetboy,” where I talk about Danny Deck writing the biography of Jetboy?  Danny Deck is the hero of Larry McMurtry’s novel All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers.  And of course he writes Godot Is My Co-Pilot: A Life of Jetboy.

…Anyway, I was gonna do the Jetboy story about the A-bomb for Jessica Amanda Salmonson, and either Lew or Bud (sf authors Lewis Shiner and Walton “Bud” Simons, both Austin-based at the time, like Howard), I can’t remember which, said, “You should talk to George.  George and that bunch in New Mexico have been playing a superhero role-playing game, and they’ve spent so much time and money on it that they’re trying to find a way to turn it into a book.  You oughta tell him about this Jetboy thing, because it sounds like something that would fit in there.”  If it was Lew I was talkin’ to, he told me to call Bud, and if it was Bud I was talkin’ to, he told me to call Lew.  One or the other of ‘em knew more about it than the other one did, right?

See, I didn’t even know about this.  George hadn’t mentioned it to me in a letter or anything.  So I wrote to George, and I said, “I’ve got a story that might fit with whatever goddamn thing you’re doing.  You should tell me about it.”

So he sent me the prototype Cut and Shuffle, which was all about what was going on in the Wild Cards world before anyone else even knew what it was.  And I said, “Yeah, that sounds about right, I can work with that.  But your timeline is all wrong.”  See, they were gonna start it in the 1980s, with the world having gone on for thirty years.

BD:  Oh, so they weren’t initially going to do an origin story?  They were going to jump into the world of Wild Cards three decades on?

HW:  Right, exactly.  I said, “That’s all wrong!  You gotta tell how all this came about!”  So I got them to tell me all the stuff about Dr. Tachyon, and the virus, and the whole thing, y’know.  And I stuck it sideways into the Jetboy/A-bomb story, and sent it to George.

And of course George says, “When we send you stuff, you should read it!  You got all this stuff wrong!”  I said, “Ah, that’s your job!  You can fix that!”

(3) ANIMAL CROSSING BANK FRAUD. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] This is from a front-page article by Leo Lewis and Robin Wigglesworth in the April 29 Financial Times.

“Savers at Nintendo’s the Bank of Nook are being driven to speculate on turnips and tarantulas, as the most popular video game of the coronavirus era mimics central bankers by making steep cuts in interest rates…

The estimate 12m players of the Japanese gaming group’s cartoon fantasy ANIMAL CROSSING were informed last week about the move, in which the Bank of Nook slashed the interest on savings from 0.5 percent to just 0.05 percent: 1,9m bells, the in-game currency, can be bought online for about $1…

…It did not take long, however, for players to spot that they could defraud the game’s bank by depositing large sums in savings accounts and then ‘time travelling’ by tweaking the console’s internal clock.  The bank duly paid decades of interest, making rapid bell millionaires.  People familiar with the practice said the Bank of Nook rate cut was an effort to curb the practice.  Nintendo has made no official comment on the matter.”

(4) LATER THAN TWILIGHT. It’s official. When the countdown ended, this was the news, says the New York Times — “Stephenie Meyer to Publish a New ‘Twilight’ Book, ‘Midnight Sun’”.

Fans of Edward Cullen, the brooding vampire hero from Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling “Twilight” series, will have something fresh to bite into this summer.

Ms. Meyer announced on Monday that “Midnight Sun,” the new novel in her vampire romance series, will be published on Aug. 4, more than a decade after the original story concluded.

“I thought seriously about delaying this announcement until things were back to normal,” Ms. Meyer said in a statement. “However, that felt wrong, considering how long those who are eager for this book have already waited.”…

(5) WRITERS OF THE FUTURE. There is a new free online workshop with instructors Orson Scott Card, Tim Powers, and David Farland: “The Writers Of The Future Online Workshop”

This free intermediate level writing course includes essays, practicals, and 13 video presentations featuring Writers of the Future judges: David Farland, Tim Powers, and Orson Scott Card.

By the end of the workshop, you should have a short story completed. If you are qualified (see the rules here), you can enter your story in the Writers of the Future Contest. The twelve annual winners will be flown out to Hollywood for the week-long live workshop with a full roster of Contest judges and publishing professionals teaching as well as giving you their advice on how to make it as professional writers.

Enter your email address to start the course. You will also receive Writers of the Future newsletters with writing tips and special offers. You can unsubscribe at any time.

(6) 2020 PULITZER PRIZES. Columbia University today announced the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

There was no genre work among the winners, although 2020 Fiction winner Colson Whitehead has won before for the sff novel Underground Railraod (2017). Indeed, Whitehead now is just the fourth author to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction twice. The others are Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner and John Updike. (The winners in journalism are at the link.)


“The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

“A Strange Loop” by Michael R. Jackson

“Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America” by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)

“Sontag: Her Life and Work” by Benjamin Moser (Ecco/HarperCollins)

“The Tradition” by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

General Nonfiction
“The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care” by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


“The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America” by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)

“The Central Park Five” by Anthony Davis, premiered by Long Beach Opera on June 15, 2019

Special Citation
Ida B. Wells


“Star Trek Fan Says ‘Happy Holidays’ Instead of ‘May the Fourth Be With You’”. Grumpy Vulcan tells Hard Drive why.

While many people are observing May 4 as Star Wars Day by saying “may the fourth be with you,” local Star Trek fan Lisa Donnelly has opted to instead just say “happy holidays.”

“Star Wars doesn’t have a monopoly on holidays that take place on May 4, you know,” said Donnelly. “There’s National Bird Day, Latvian Independence Day, and one of the non-canonical dates for Star Trek’s Federation Day is right around the corner on May 8. Those days deserve just as much recognition as some manufactured holiday celebrating a science fantasy movie series for kids.”….

And how did it all begin? According to TimeAndDate.com

The origin of the phrase is thought to date back to May 4, 1979. On this day, Conservatives in the United Kingdom published a newspaper advertisement to congratulate their candidate, Margaret Thatcher, for taking the Prime Minister’s office. The advertisement said “May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations”.

(8) NEW STAR WARS MOVIE. Naturally, this is also the logical day for announcing the franchise’s new project. Lisa Richwine, in the Yahoo! News story “Taika Waititi to direct and co-write a new ‘Star Wars’ movie with ‘1917’ screenwriter” says that Disney announced a bunch of Star Wars-related projects on StarWars Day, most notably that Taika Waititi will direct a new Star Wars and co-write it with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, nominated for an Oscar for her work on 1917.


  • May 4, 1962 — The Twilight Zone aired “The Dummy”. It was written by: Rod Serling from an unpublished story by Lee Polk. It was directed by Abner Biberman and produced by Buck Houghton. It starred Cliff Robertson, Frank Sutton and George Murdock.  An average ventriloquist finds he has a not-so-average and quite horrifying dummy. The plot here would later influence many other series including Batman: The Animated Series with their own terrifying animated apparent dummy. 

You’re watching a ventriloquist named Jerry Etherson, a voice-thrower par excellence. His alter ego, sitting atop his lap, is a brash stick of kindling with the sobriquet ‘Willie.’ In a moment, Mr. Etherson and his knotty-pine partner will be booked in one of the out-of-the-way bistros, that small, dark, intimate place known as the Twilight Zone.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born May 4, 1909 Ray Quigley. Here solely for the three covers that he did for Weird Tales in the Forties. He didn’t do a lot of pulp work that I can find but these three are amazing. He did the December 1938 cover with the Dracula-like figure, the September 1940 cover with the nightmarish skull faced Bombers and fInally the May 1942 cover with the really scary living ship. The latter issue had Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch and Dorothy Quick listed on the cover! (Died 1998.)
  • Born May 4, 1913 John Broome. DC writer during the Golden Age. He’s responsible for the creation of an amazing number of characters including The Phantom Stranger, Per Degaton (with artist Irwin Hansen), Captain Comet and Elongated Man (with Carmine Infantino), Atomic Knight and one of my favorite characters, Detective Chimp. DCUniverse streaming app has his work on The Flash starting on issue #133 and the entire early Fifities run of Mystery in Space that he wrote as well. (Died 1999.)
  • Born May 4, 1920 Phyllis Miller. She co-wrote several children’s books with Andre Norton, House of Shadows and Seven Spells to SundayRide the Green Dragon, a mystery, is at best genre adjacent but it too was done with Norton. (Died 2001.)
  • Born May 4, 1942 CN Manlove, 78. His major work is Modern Fantasy: Five Studies which compares the work of Kingsley, MacDonald, Lewis, Tolkien and Peake. Other works include Science Fiction: Ten Explorations, The Impulse of Fantasy Literature and From Alice to Harry Potter: Children’s Fantasy in England.
  • Born May 4, 1943 Erwin Strauss, 77. I’m not sure I can do him justice. Uberfan, noted member of the MITSFS, and filk musician. He frequently is known by the nickname “Filthy Pierre” which I’m sure is a story in itself. Created the Voodoo message board system used at a number of early cons and published an APA, the Connection, that ran for at least thirty years. Tell me about him. 
  • Born May 4, 1956 Murray McArthur, 63. He first shows on Doctor Who in “The Girl Who Died”, a Twelfth Doctor story before being The Broken Man on The Game of Thrones. He also shows up as a stagehand in the historical drama Finding Neverland before playing Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Born May 4, 1914 James Bacon. He was in all five films in the Planet of the Apes franchise, the only actor to do so. He portrayed an ape in each of the films with the exception of Escape from the Planet of the Apes, in which he played a human, General Faulkner. This was the only film of the ‘Ape’ series in which he was credited. He also showed in Roddenberry’s Planet Earth as Partha. (Died 2010.)
  • Born May 4, 1977 Gail Carriger, 43. Ahhhh such lovely mannerpunk she writes! I think I first noticed her with the start of the Finishing School series which she started off with Etiquette & Espionage some six years ago. Moirai Cook does a delightful job of the audiobooks so I recommend that you check them out. I also love the two novellas in her Supernatural Society series as well. 


  • The Argyle Sweater has a terrific gag for May the Fourth.
  • Heathcliff isn’t really that funny, however, it does use a gagline drawn from the same source as one of our File 770 mottos.
  • Pearls Before Swine considers the possibility that the lockdown results in people reading more, and better, books.

(12) RIVERS COMING TO A CHANNEL NEAR YOU. For the many Filers who are fans of the series — “Stolen Picture Options Television Rights To Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers Of London”.

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg’s UK-based production company, Stolen Picture, has optioned the rights to Ben Aaronovitch’s best-selling novel series Rivers of London.

Aaronovitch is currently working on the adaption of the first novel, also named Rivers of London. He will also serve as an Executive Producer on the series alongside Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Stolen Picture CEO, Miles Ketley. 

A Sunday Times best-seller, Rivers of London was first published in 2011, earning Aaronovitch a nomination in the New Writer of The Year category at the National Book Awards in 2011 and has spawned a popular graphic novel series. Each subsequent novel has also charted in the Sunday Times Top Ten Best-Seller list.

The crime/supernatural crossover follows the adventures of Peter Grant, a young mixed race police officer who, following an encounter with a ghost finds himself working for The Folly, a secret Scotland Yard department that deals with supernatural crime. The Times described Rivers of London as “an incredibly fast-moving magical joyride for grown-ups”.The Rivers of London franchise has been published in more than 15 languages and, to date, has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

“Nick Frost and Simon Pegg asked me if I wanted to make Rivers of London with them – you think I was going to say no? Stolen Picture have a reputation for making creator led TV with the minimum of corporate bollocks and the maximum of fun. It’s an opportunity I would be bonkers to say no to” says Ben Aaronovitch.

(13) BITING THE SCENERY. Entertainment Weekly invites fans to “See first look at Mark Hamill embracing the dark side as vampire in What We Do in the Shadows”. Photo at the link.

[Mark] Hamill will portray an ancient vampire in Jemaine Clement‘s FX series What We Do in the Shadows and EW has your first look at the character — fangs and all. The episode titled “On the Run,” set to air May 13, will introduce a vengeful enemy from Laszlo’s (Matt Berry) past who appears without warning to settle a personal debt. This causes Laszlo to flee his home and go into hiding.

(14) A HEEP OF TROUBLE. Did Paul Weimer have great expectations for this novel? “Microreview [Book]: The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry” at Nerds of a Feather.

…I should be clear and up front about something: I may be a somewhat biased reviewer in a regard, but not in the way that you might think. You see, good reader, I am a relation but not a direct descendant of Charles Dickens, so that a novel where his literary creation escapes into the real world was and is always one I would be extremely interested in. I’ve read and been interested in Dickens’ work from a young age. His work has always been part of my life.

I can happily report that this novel is extremely literate and considerate with the work of Dickens, what it means and where it comes from. The novel feels like the author’s own coming to terms with Dickens’ work in a real and palpable way, as well as Victoriana and Edwardiana in a real and palpable way.

(15) GEEKS IN ACADEME. “Top 10 Fictional Schools– Geek Culture Countdown Podcast!” – a list from 2019. These are all drawn from sff works, even though “Pop Culture” covers more territory than that.

Susan and Kitty are schooling you on the Top 10 Fictional Schools in pop culture. From prestigious prep academies to borderline lethal boarding schools, which esteemed educational institutions will make the grade?

For example —

2. Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters

Located at 1407 Graymalkin Lane in Westchester County, New York, this school for mutants has gone by many names- Xavier’s Academy for Gifted Youngsters, the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, X-Haven, and most currently the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach.

This school provides a safe place for young mutants to receive education both in traditional schooling and also the control and understanding of their powers. Kitty Pryde is currently the headmistress. The school motto is “Mutatis Mutandis” meaning “once the necessary changes have been made”.

(16) WHY PROTECTING MOSQUITOS IS A GOOD IDEA. BBC has the answer — “Malaria ‘completely stopped’ by microbe”.

Scientists have discovered a microbe that completely protects mosquitoes from being infected with malaria.

The team in Kenya and the UK say the finding has “enormous potential” to control the disease.

Malaria is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes, so protecting them could in turn protect people.

The researchers are now investigating whether they can release infected mosquitoes into the wild, or use spores to suppress the disease.

…”The data we have so far suggest it is 100% blockage, it’s a very severe blockage of malaria,” Dr Jeremy Herren, from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Kenya told the BBC.

He added: “It will come as a quite a surprise. I think people will find that a real big breakthrough.”

(17) USE THE FORK, LUKE. Or the blowtorch. Do something to save us.  “General Mills Is Releasing A ‘Star Wars’ Cereal With Baby Yoda-Shaped Marshmallows” – the Best Products blog has the story.

…General Mills took to Instagram to reveal its newest creation. As described on the packaging, the cereal consists of sweetened corn puffs with marshmallows. All of the green marshmallows are in the shape of The Child’s head, which is reason enough to give this bite a shot, if you ask us.

[Thanks to JJ, Darrah Chavey, Michael Toman, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Olav Rokne.]

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31 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/4/20 Sufficiently Advanced Scrolls Are Indistinguishable From Pixels

  1. (10) Voodoo message boards made it to 1998 at least – I got a message at Buconneer via VMB.

  2. @10 (Strauss): the standard story when I was hanging around the MITSFS (about a decade later) was that the nickname appeared because he had neither washed himself nor done laundry for the first many-days after arriving at MIT; like many MIT stories, this could have been exaggerated. (cf the claim that some hackers thermite-welded a streetcar to its tracks.) I was also told that he was rusticated for arranging the cheap Asian printing of copies of expensive textbooks — and that if he’d just paid royalties to the few MIT professors (among the many whose work was stolen) the Institute would not have troubled him. (OTOH, the source I recall for this is dubious.) He became known for a lung-powered portable keyboard (and for playing it places many other people thought inappropriate) when I was first around fandom in the mid-1970’s.
    He also created the flyer racks used at many conventions, and was still building them at the latest Boskone (and IIUC a number of other cons as well — I don’t get around the way I used to), and until recently helped with setup and teardown at the Boskone art show (at least). Regardless of any truth of his early history, he has earned the recognitions fandom has given him.
    The VMB’s last gasp at Worldcon was either 2013 or 2014 — I wasn’t in London, but I made space and ordered materials for it in San Antonio, while it was dropped from plans for Spokane on the grounds that there were too many other ways to connect. IIRC it still existed (under a more PC name) at the 2014 Wiscon (I haven’t been since, for reasons having nothing to do with the con), but my recollection is that maybe a quarter of the membership was on it due to Wiscon’s IIRC opt-in policy.


    God I hope so. I had malaria after coming back from Sri Lanka in the Eighties. (I was warned I’d get when the preventive meds ran their course.) Not the most miserable thing I’ve ever had as that’d be cat scratch fever but it’s pretty damn awful under the best of times, and fatal under the wrong conditions,

  4. [10: Strauss]
    Re: his “lung-powered portable keyboard”: at least one filk song with which I am familiar refers to said instrument as the “Pierreno”.

  5. 1) Just got a notice email from the library, I get to go first and there’s three people in line behind me so I’ll try to be quick out of politeness and then borrow it again in a couple of months for a more leisurely read.

    sings Murder-bot Murder-bot oh murder murder Murder-bot Murder-bot ba-dum-dum-dum.

    Edit: Fifth.

  6. Nicholas Whyte corrects me noting James Bacon: truly a Worldcon chair with many talents, including appearing in films made before he was born!

    Actually 1914 to 2010. No idea how that happened. I’ve sent an email to our OGH with the correct dates. Thanks kindly.

    The concept of uncredited is in and of itself interesting as the actor isn’t not known to us, just not credited by name in the production itself from what I can tell. As an actor, they must be listed somewhere or else we couldn’t generate these notes.


    Sony Pictures took a minority interest in them. Interesting as the Company report on file them suggest that it in the form of a loan that comes due this year to the sum of six hundred thousand pounds! As they’ve no assets in any meaningful sense, it’ll be interesting to see how they finance Rivers of London unless they sell yet more of the Company to Sony or someone else.

  8. 7) As a colleague pointed out, 5/4 should really be called Dave Brubeck day.

  9. @7
    Lisa Donnelly is a hero.

    If this works, what incredible news for great swaths of humanity.

  10. @Cat Eldridge (wrt “uncredited”): from the scraps I’ve read about filmmaking, there are a lot of reasons for people in small roles to not get screen credit (which can be a matter of contract rather than fact); given the tangle of gossip surrounding filmmaking (and a few obsessives watching for less-known faces (AFAICT every undertaking has its obsessives)), ISTM unsurprising that information about who was actually in a film should become known — even before IMDB made such information (however they do or don’t verify it) available.

  11. Since it’s May the Fifth now, and my one “social interaction” yesterday was a Zoom party with non-skiffy friends, I didn’t need to decide whether to observe or defy custom.

    Downloading Network Effect.

  12. (addendum): some uncredited bits are easier to spot than others. My Monday chorus has been Zooming since rehearsals were canceled and spent a few minutes yesterday evening observing the day; somebody noted that in SW9 John Williams appears briefly as a bartender — with bottles behind him that represent each of the movies he’s scored. I haven’t seen verification, but ISTM plausible….

  13. oh, and wrt @15: I don’t watch The Simpsons, so I have only an unsupported guess that the show (#8) isn’t genre — but putting Hogwarts #1 seems beyond geekery and well into mindless fanning. Oh well, everyone has the gout.

    wrt the complaint in #8 that we don’t know which Springfield the school is in — I suspect that’s the point. Back when before Homer et al. first appeared, my employer referred to confidential contacts as coming from Springfield because they’d found that it was the most common municipality name in the U.S.; does anyone know whether Groening mentioned this?

  14. genre rules Boston: the library’s latest staff-recommendations list starts heavy on genre, including contemporary (All Systems Red), classic (The Forgotten Beasts of Eld) and nonfiction (The Lady from the Black Lagoon). They also observed the date with an all-SW list, and got specific with a steampunk list (leading off with Carriger, which should please @Cat) and a genre list for teens and a mostly-genre list for tweens that includes Diana Wynne Jones.

  15. John Hertz replies by carrier pigeon:

    Filthy Pierre conducts the Conventional Calendar at Asimov’s.

    At a con, when a long line develops, waiting to get into something – say, the Masquerade – Filthy is often there, at the piano if any, or with the filth-o-phone (keyboard + sound provided by lung-power – it has a blow-tube), playing, or leading a sing-along, or both, to pass the time. I’ve seen him find a way to project song-words onto a wall.

    The Voodoo Message Board is so called because you stick pins into it. For years it was standard at cons he attended, like the Worldcon. Cheap, easy, low tech. Recently he hasn’t been setting it up; he says people weren’t using it anymore. Too simple, maybe, or not enough flashing lights.

    He was given the Big Heart, our highest service award, in 2004.

  16. The Simpsons and Springfield Elementary often end up in genre. Most recently they built a new school with an emphasis on STEM education. The whole thing was being run by an AI and it turned out that most of the students were being taught, indirectly, to care for the elderly which was the only job that couldn’t be automated in the future.

    Groening is from Portland and may have originally named it after Springfield, Oregon. The wikipedia entry on Springfield also quotes Groening about it being one of the most common city names and that everyone would think it’s based on their Springfield.

    I don’t want to scroll the world. I’m not looking for new pixels.

  17. @Matthew Johnson: Not only in the US. The international standard is YYYY-MM-DD. That is the only correct way to write dates. And, while the US does something truly bizarre with the year, they do at least get the MM-DD part in the correct order, unlike Europe. (And despite what the Europeans seem to believe, dd/mm/yyyy is mainly European, not world-wide. The Chinese, for example, were using yyyy-mm-dd long before it was standardized.)

    So, basically, anyplace that isn’t a rogue nation–plus the US–recognizes May 4 as Brubeck day! 🙂

  18. @Jack Lint: So, are you a Kirsty MacColl fan or a Billy Bragg fan? (So far as I know, I’ve never heard the Bragg original.)

    @Xtifr: I don’t think mm/dd/yyyy makes any sense. I never much used dd/mm/yyyy, but I switched to yyyy.mm.dd a long time ago — probably since I first wanted to get events listed in date order in a word process document.

  19. @Jeff Smith Both but from different directions. The vector to Kirsty MacColl was Fairy Tale of New York with the Pogues which led to her Kite CD. I think the vector to Billy Bragg was an episode of IRS’s The Cutting Edge on MTV where he was at the New Music Seminar wearing a complete sound system on his back. That led to Brewing Up with Billy Bragg. So I have versions of A New England by each, one where they sing it together, and one where he sings it at her memorial concert.

  20. @Xtifr

    The international standard is YYYY-MM-DD. That is the only correct way to write dates.

    Kinda arrogant to say that there is only one correct way. There are multiple correct ways, depending on the audience you are writing to. I work for the Army, and in that environment, if I am preparing or writing correspondence, regulations say:

    1–23. Expressing a date
    a. Dates on memorandums. Express dates on memorandums in the following formats: 1 January 2013 or 1 Jan 13.
    The four digits for the year will be used only when the month is spelled out or when date stamps use abbreviated months and four-digit year.
    b. Dates on letters. Express dates on letters and refer to dates within letters only in the following format: January 1, 2013.
    c. Separating date elements. Avoid separating any of the three date elements (day, month, and year) from each other. If absolutely necessary, the four-digit year may be carried over to the next line.

    And while the above only writes months as Initial Cap, Lower Case Body, if a date stamp is used (as mentioned in 1-23.a.) then the month can be All Caps 3 letter abbreviation (as in 1 JAN 2013).

    If there is “a” correct way, then it would be the way that best communicates for your intended audience.

  21. (And I note without comment that the ISO page promulgating YYYY-MM-DD as an international standard has, near the bottom, a date written as “29 March 2019”.)

  22. bill on May 6, 2020 at 1:46 pm said:

    (And I note without comment that the ISO page promulgating YYYY-MM-DD as an international standard has, near the bottom, a date written as “29 March 2019”.)


  23. bill: I was just quoting Randall Munroe. And really, what more authoritative authority could you ask for than some guy whose claim to fame is drawing stick figures and posting them on the Internet. 🙂

    (But still, there is one, and only one, international standard: ISO 8601.)

    As for the US and their army, well, they probably still use feet and inches as well. Like I said, rogue nation. 😉

  24. Xtifr, I was just quoting Randall Munroe. And really, what more authoritative authority could you ask for than some guy whose claim to fame is drawing stick figures and posting them on the Internet. ?

    That would be Hugo Award winning internet stick figures…

  25. @xtifr

    As for the US and their army, well, they probably still use feet and inches as well.

    Officially, the army is pretty metric. I hear “klicks” (for km) far more often at work than I hear metric distance measurements in my non-work life. Guns and ammo are metric (9mm pistol, 5.56 mm rifle, 105 mm howitzer).
    The Army does use “mils” for angular measurements in aiming guns. You’d think, “Oh, milliradians. How standardized.” And you’d be almost right. A milliradian, if you get the definition from a mathematician (or engineer, or physicist), is 1/1000th of a radian, or 1/6283 of a circle. But for the US Army, a mil is 1/6400 of a circle. Why? Because.

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