Pixel Scroll 6/7/18 We All Live In A Yellow Pixel Scroll

(1) 2020 WORLDCON & 2019 NASFiC SITE SELECTION VOTING. Paper ballots started going out a couple of weeks ago with Worldcon 76’s Progress Report 3, and PDF ballot forms were posted to the Worldcon 76 web site yesterday.

The 2020 Worldcon and 2019 NASFiC Site Selection Ballots are now available here. Members of Worldcon 76 can vote to select the site of the 2020 Worldcon and the 2019 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). You can vote in advance by mail or e-mail, or in person at Worldcon 76.

In addition to being member of Worldcon 76, to vote on site selection, you must pay an additional Advance Supporting Membership (Voting) fee of $30 for NASFiC and $50 for Worldcon….

Kevin Standlee sent the link with an explanation:

Note that we’re going to try and do a form of electronic voting: members can buy a “voting token” from the Worldcon 76 web site through the membership maintenance section, as instructed on the ballot. You can then either print-complete-sign-scan your ballot or complete the PDF and electronically sign it, including the token (number) from Worldcon 76, then e-mail that back to site selection. All of the bidders agreed to this process.

Chair Kevin Roche responded in a comment here with more information after someone raised an issue:

Tokens may be purchased by logging back into RegOnline with the email address you used to register in the first place. The page after the personal information form now offers the tokens for sale. Tick the box for each you want, then click through to the checkout page (you can use the tabs at the top to jump ahead to it) and pay the balance due. You should get your tokens from my regbot software within 10 minutes, if everything is behaving.

(2) SEE LE GUIN TRIBUTE JUNE 13. There will be a “Simulcast of the sold-out Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin event”

Literary Arts and the Portland Art Museum will host a simulcast of the SOLD OUT Tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin event on June 13. Seating is free and open to all.

Tickets to the live event are no longer available, but we invite the public to attend the live simulcast at the Portland Art Museum. The simulcast is free and open to all, offering a space for us to gather together as we celebrate the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin.

This event will be livestreamed on Youtube Live. Click here to visit the livestream page.

The sold-out event features tributes from writers and friends who represent the wide-ranging influence Le Guin has had on international literature for more than 50 years, including Margaret Atwood (by video), Molly Gloss, Walidah Imarisha, Jonathan Lethem, Kelly Link, China Miéville, and Daniel José Older. Andrea Schulz, Le Guin’s editor at Viking Books, and Julie Phillips, Le Guin’s biographer, will also speak at the tribute. The event will include rare documentary footage of Le Guin, along with photos and images from her life and work.

(3) SFF POETRY CLASS. Rachel Swirsky announces details about her class “Verses of Sky & Stars: How to Write the Poetry of Science Fiction & Fantasy” and reprints one of her poems in “How Long Does It Take To Write a Poem? Also, “Inside Her Heart,” and a class!”

I’m teaching an online class on writing science fiction and fantasy poetry on June 30 at 9:30-11:30 PDT. It’s a fun class because it draws people from many different backgrounds with many different goals. Some are dedicated poets, looking to sharpen their edge or find inspiration. Others are prose writers who’ve barely touched poetry before, trying something new, or hoping to pick up a trick or two to bring back to their novels and short stories.

As I prepare for the class, I’ve been going over some of my own poetry, thinking about how I wrote it, and what inspired it, and that kind of thing.

Full information is posted here: “Writing Speculative Poetry”.

Poetry requires intense linguistic control. Every word matters. Whether you’re a poet who wants to create fantastical verses, or a prose writer who wants to learn the finely tuned narrative power that poetry can teach, you’ll find something in this class.

Over the course of a few brief lectures, peppered with plenty of writing exercises, we’ll discuss some common forms of speculative poetry, and the challenges they represent. I’ll also send you home with market listings, and lists great authors, poems, and books to pick up to continue your journey.

(4) MEOW. And for those of you who have gone too long without a cat photo, Rachel Swirsky says help is on the way: “That’s a mixing bowl”.

(5) MATHEMATICAL CATS. Adweek covers a public service ad campaign: “Cats Are Great at Multiplying but Terrible at Math, Says This PSA That Urges Neutering”.

Here are some staggering feline facts: A female cat at 4 months old can start having kittens, producing as many as four litters a year for as long as a decade. The result in even a few years is hundreds of furry (often homeless or feral) offspring.

In short, kitties can sure multiply. But they’re actually terrible at math, if their time in a classroom for a new PSA campaign for the Ten Movement is any indication. They’d rather fly paper airplanes, pretend to study (with an upside-down book) and generally confound their arithmetic teacher with nonsensical answers on a pop quiz.

The setup of “Cat Math,” which spans outdoor, digital, social and TV, puts a group of Siamese, calico and other adorable kitties in the fictional Purrington Middle School (“Home of the Fighting Tabbies!”) for a lesson they can’t possibly learn on their own. Or they just refuse to because it wasn’t their idea and they’d rather be napping. In their defense, the figures are pretty crazy: 1+1 = 14? (That’s two adult cats capable of spawning 14 kittens in less than a year).

The campaign comes from Northlich, Cincinnati, the folks who in 2014 birthed “Scooter the Neutered Cat” starring a badass ginger with “hip spectacles, no testicles.” As with the previous PSA, the indie agency continues its spay-and-neuter message on behalf of the Ohio-based nonprofit, with the goal of creating a “100 percent no-kill nation.”


(6) TRAN RETREATS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. The Guardian’s Luke Holland poses the challenging question, “Why are (some) Star Wars fans so toxic?”.

With at least one new film every year, you’d think it would be easy being a Star Wars fan in 2018, but it isn’t.

That’s not because JJ Abrams killed off Han Solo in Episode VII, or The Last Jedi snuffed out Luke Skywalker. It isn’t because we never got to see Luke, Han and Leia fighting side-by-side, which would have been cool. It isn’t porgs, or that superfluous giraffe-horse bit in Episode VIII. And it most certainly isn’t due to the introduction of a character called Rose. None of these things make being a Star Wars fan remotely difficult. They’re just some things some film-makers put into a family film. No, there’s only one thing that makes Star Wars fandom a drag in 2018, and that is other Star Wars fans. Or, more specifically, that small yet splenetic subsection of so-called “fans” who take to the internet like the Wicked Witch from the West’s flying monkeys to troll the actors, directors and producers with bizarre, pathetic, racist, sexist and homophobic whingebaggery about the “injustices” that have been inflicted upon them. Truly, it’s embarrassing to share a passion with these people.

It’s a poisonous tributary of fanboyism that appears again and again. Earlier this week, Kelly Marie Tran, the Vietnamese-American actor who plays Rose (and the first WoC in a lead role in the saga) deleted all her Instagram posts. While Tran hasn’t specifically stated that online trolling is the reason she left social media, since the release of The Last Jedi in December she’s been on the receiving end of a torrent of online abuse.

(7) FROM DABNEY OBIT. Chris Garcia was quoted in the Washington Post’s obituary for Ted Dabney, who co-founded Atari and was one of the developers of Pong — “Ted Dabney, Atari co-founder whose engineering paved the way for Pong, dies at 81”.

“He devised the form that the arcade game would take when he did Computer Space,” said Chris Garcia, curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.

Mr. Dabney, he said in a phone interview, built a standing cabinet to house the game’s circuit board, power supply and television monitor, and “his engineering methodology became a major influence on [Allan] Alcorn,” the engineer hired by Bushnell and Mr. Dabney to create Pong.


Unlike a palindrome, which reads the same backward and forward, a semordnilap reads one way forward and a different way backward. Examples of “stressed” and “desserts,” “dog” and “god,” and “diaper” and “repaid.”


  • Born June 7 – Liam Neeson, 66: Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (TV Series), voice of Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Ra’s Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises
  • Born June 7 – Karl Urban, 46: Bones in the new Star Trek movies


  • Mike Kennedy encountered Han Solo controversy even in this Bloom County strip.

(11) TO THE MOON. ScienceFiction.com says “First Photos Reveal Ryan Gosling-Starring ‘First Man’ Is More Than A Neil Armstrong Biopic”.

…So don’t expect a dry, clinical look at the early days of the space program, but something more akin to ‘Apollo 13’, but perhaps even more exciting.

“This is 100 percent a mission movie. It’s about going to the moon as seen through the eyes of the guy who got there. We have at least five major set pieces that are action, and if your heart rate doesn’t go through the roof, if you’re not gripping the edge of your seat the entire times, I’ll be shocked.”

The trailer has been out for awhile –

(12) CONCAROLINAS. At iPetitions signers are supporting the “Removal of Jada and Luis Diaz from ConCarolinas Committee”. However, most of the signers are anonymous, and some of the comments left by signers are critical of the effort.

Please sign below if you have been a part of ConCarolinas but have decided not to return if Jada and Luis do not step down. Feel free to remain anonymous. This is NOT a forum to discuss issues, this is a platform to show the current impact to the continued survival of the Convention.

(13) PACKING CHEAT. Apartment Therapy recommends this four-point evaluation process in “Moving? This Book Purging Method Is Bibliophile-Approved”.

Below is my checklist for conducting a book purge that won’t leave you huddled in the floor, clutching books close to your chest and mourning their disappearance. Use it and you, too, will have room for new ones!

  1. Do I remember at least 50% of what this book was about?

There were many books that I certainly enjoyed, but couldn’t quite recount the plot past what you’d find on the back cover. If a book means something to you, then you will remember not only what happened, but you’ll have a special, emotional connection with how it made you feel….

(14) DON’T LOOK. Everybody’s busy staring at their phones anyway, right? “Emirates looks to windowless planes” — screens on walls give as good a view (they say), and not having windows would require less weight for the same strength.

Emirates Airline has unveiled a new first class suite on board its latest aircraft that features virtual windows.

Instead of being able to see directly outside, passengers view images projected in from outside the aircraft using fibre-optic cameras.

The airline says it paves the way for removing all windows from future planes, making them lighter and faster.

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said the images were “so good, it’s better than with the natural eye”.

(15) SUNK COST. Expendable? “Microsoft sinks data centre off Orkney” — lots of wind power on hand, sealed no-oxygen environment may reduce failures and water provides free cooling, but no repairs for failed CPUs.

The theory is that the cost of cooling the computers will be cut by placing them underwater.

“We think we actually get much better cooling underwater than on land,” says Ben Cutler, who is in charge of what Microsoft has dubbed Project Natick.

“Additionally because there are no people, we can take all the oxygen and most of the water vapour out of the atmosphere which reduces corrosion, which is a significant problem in data centres.”

(16) LISTEN IN. PRI has released Eric Molinsky’s radio documentary “American Icons: ‘Fahrenheit 451’”.

As part of our continuing series on American Icons, a close look at how the novel came to be, and how it had held up, with the novelists Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman and more.

(17) A MARTIAN CHRONICLE John King Tarpinian declares “Bradbury was right all along!” The Christian Science Monitor has this take on the news — “Organic matter found on Mars, opening new chapter in search for life”.

…Today, four decades later, NASA scientists announced that Curiosity has found what Viking didn’t: organic molecules. This is not a certain detection of life. Organic molecules make up all known life, but they can also form in abiotic chemical reactions. Still, the discovery of any organics on Mars is an astrobiological breakthrough. Together with the other habitability clues scientists have amassed over the years, this opens up a new phase in astrobiology on Mars. “The next step,” says Jennifer Eigenbrode, a NASA astrobiologist on the Curiosity mission, “is to search for signs of life” again.

(18) LOOK UP. See the schedule for Pasadena’s AstroFest at the link on City of Astronomy “About AstroFest 2018”.

Join lovers of astronomy from across the city for a week of FREE and family friendly space-themed events. On July 14 from 2-8pm, AstroFest kicks off the week with a festival of hands-on activities, robotics demos, creative art displays, planetarium shows, star gazing, and more near the Pasadena Convention Center.

Together with scientists from all over the world who will be gathering during the same week for the 42nd COSPAR Assembly, we invite you to take part and explore our place in the Universe.

The blog also points to this ongoing exhibit at the Huntington Library:

Radiant Beauty: Rare 19th Century Astronomical Prints (April 28 – July 30)
10:00am-5:00pm (Wednesday through Monday) | Huntington Library, West Hall


(19) LOOK OUT. Steam has changed its policy: “Steam games store to ‘allow everything'”.

The Steam video game store has changed its content policy to “allow everything”, unless it is illegal or “straight up trolling”.

The shift comes after controversy surrounding games which many people considered were offensive.

A school shooting simulation game was removed from the store last month.

But now games publisher Valve, which owns Steam, said it was not up to the company to decide what should or should not be on sale.

The new policy paves the way for pornographic games to be made available on the platform, including in virtual reality. It would make the Steam store the first major VR platform to offer adult content.

(20) CALORIE HUNTERS. NPR relates a theory about “Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution”.

Kristen Hawkes is an anthropologist at the University of Utah. She tries to figure out our past by studying modern hunter-gatherers like the Hadza, who likely have lived in the area that is now northern Tanzania for thousands of years. Groups like this are about as close as we can get to seeing how our early human ancestors might have lived.

Over many extended field visits, Hawkes and her colleagues kept track of how much food a wide sample of Hadza community members were bringing home. She says that when they tracked the success rates of individual men, “they almost always failed to get a big animal.” They found that the average hunter went out pretty much every day and was successful on exactly 3.4 percent of those excursions. That meant that, in this society at least, the hunting hypothesis seemed way off the mark. If people here were depending on wild meat to survive, they would starve.

So if dad wasn’t bringing home the bacon, who was? After spending a lot of time with the women on their daily foraging trips, the researchers were surprised to discover that the women, both young and old, were providing the majority of calories to their families and group-mates.

Mostly, they were digging tubers, which are deeply buried and hard to extract. The success of a mother at gathering these tubers correlated with the growth of her child. But something else surprising happened once mom had a second baby: That original relationship went away and a new correlation emerged with the amount of food their grandmother was gathering.

(21) TOO CONVENIENT. Welcome to the future: “Ship hack ‘risks chaos in English Channel'”.

A commonly used ship-tracking technology can be hacked to spoof the size and location of boats in order to trigger other vessels’ collision alarms, a researcher has discovered.

Ken Munro has suggested that the vulnerability could be exploited to block the English Channel.

Other experts suggest the consequences would be less serious.

But they have backed a call for ship owners to protect their vessels against the threat.

(22) DRAGON TRAIN. Here’s the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 3. “Coming Soon.”

(23) ANIME PILGRIMAGE SITE. This British B&B is replicated in amazing detail in a Japanese anime, to the amusement of the B&B’s owner who is also replicated (somewhat less faithfully, with the addition of a daughter). A popular place to stay for fans of the show.

Hotel owner Caron Cooper has become a celebrity in Japan after manga-style series Kinmoza was created about her B&B. Japanese tourists are now flocking to stay at her hotel in the Cotswolds following its new found fame.

[Thanks to Laura Haywood-Cory, John King Tarpinian, Francis Hamit, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Rachel Swirsky, Martin Morse Wooster, Harold Osler, Kendall, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day ULTRAGOTHA.]

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133 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/7/18 We All Live In A Yellow Pixel Scroll

  1. I need to point out that Treebeard was the clear winner in the “treated shabbily by the script” race, with Denethor taking second. I can put up with all of the other changes made, but not the handling of these characters.

  2. @Chip: Yes, I know NYC traffic is fearsome, but with enough pals to unload the boxes from the PODS/truck, it can be done. I once helped a friend move and we parallel parked a U-Haul on Sunset Boulevard at 5 PM on a Friday, by ghu. Let that difficulty sink in. And unloaded everything, including all the furniture and the books with two, occasionally 3, people and threw a party the next night.

    Put the books in small boxes, strap them down, and hand truck them the 6 blocks FFS. Kids today.

    (14) and @Johan, Xtifr: supposing the plane has an emergency and needs to land and the fancy-schmancy fiber optic window views are part of the problem and then you can’t see out?

    @John Lorentz: Your pal wouldn’t happen to be yclept Barry?

    RIP Bourdain. You never really know what’s going on in someone’s head.

  3. @Lee: Delightful story! Like (22) it shows that dragons are SJW credentials with wings.

  4. @Cassy B: just so; I saw one on today’s walk to the gym. (Possibly “Pods” rather than “pods”; I’ll bet the term has been trademarked.)

    @BravoLimaPoppa3: we have a rule – it must fit on the Billy Bookcase, or it must go. Mine is stuffed full. When I was renting a room and had space for only one bookcase (jury-rigged from salvage, at that), but was buying books in quantity from Glen Cook, I’d box anything that had been on the shelf (sometimes under-bed boxes I could still pull, sometimes normal boxes in the landlord’s basement). I’d have gone mad trying to pare things down to one bookcase. Did the Billy shelves have to not arc, or was it so full they wouldn’t?

    @Rail: Disclave famously lost their venue and couldn’t find another even though the disaster wasn’t their fault. Deep responsibility isn’t clear. I remember that after I woke up for the second time, there were rumors about a concom member having encouraged the leather crowd to come en masse; from this distance I doubt anyone’s memories, including mine.

    @Kendall: the window problem was a bit of a freak: an engine exfoliated. I don’t know whether the biggest piece hit the window, or the hull was enough stronger that it didn’t shear under the same stress. IIRC there were historic cases in the early days of high-altitude flight; solving this caused the weight penalty they’re now trying to get rid of.

  5. I didn’t read the books until after I’d seen the first film, which inoculated me against my typical reaction to Films Doing It Wrong, but the one that annoyed my mother was Denethor. I don’t remember her grumbling about much else – aside from losing the Tom Bombadil section entirely – but she was very annoyed about the change to how Denethor dies.

  6. @Kathryn Sullivan, thanks for the link to that post – my roommate and I enjoyed it very much. It was really funny, and she made good points.

    I can’t find who was recommending the bookshelves from Ikea so I can’t respond to your comment directly, but I have a question. We didn’t buy Ikea bookshelves because on every bookshelf they carried when last we looked, the shelves were made of particle board and had a maximum weight allowance of 20 pounds. A shelf of hardback books weighs considerably more than that, and we’ve had issues in the past with cheap shelves bending under the weight of the books (and, in one case, actually giving way before we dealt with the problem). Have you not had this issue with your Ikea shelves?

  7. The IVAR shelves, at least, are real wood, not particle board; I’ve been overloading mine for 11 years and I’ve seen very, very minimal warping (if any).

  8. I’ve got Billy bookshelves and they bow a bit but don’t break. I’ve overloaded them with paperbacks. I just flip them over once in a great while.

    What I REALLY want are bookshelves that are narrower. The Billys have IIRC12 inch shelves but I want ones that are narrow for mass market paperbacks.

  9. @ Meredith: I hated Denethor’s death too, for two reasons: (1) Having been way too close to a neighbor’s house fire, my first thought was “he wouldn’t get a dozen steps, let alone all the way to the edge”, and (2) I wanted that iconic image of “two aged hands withering in flame”. I can rationalize that the latter would have been too intense for the film’s rating, but the former is just WRONG.

    That house-fire experience also means that I can no longer buy “hero runs into the burning building to save a child” scenes, unless it’s Superman or another superhero with invulnerability. Bounces me right out of the story.

    The other thing I disliked about movie!Denethor is that all we got of him was him being abusive to Faramir and him losing his mind. The wise and competent man who was the Steward of Gondor for so many years is lost to the exigencies of time compression. Pippin’s offer of service was made out of genuine respect; we don’t get that either.

  10. @Xtifr (extending @Lurkertype): you’re assuming the display would still work after a crash; I’d expect most power to be down and a lot of lines to be severed.

    @Stoic Cynic: the designers think it will save weight; if they don’t have all those extra struts and do a really simple display (e.g., no touchscreen) I don’t see reason to doubt them.

    @Lurkertype: I’m guessing from “Sunset Blvd” that you’re in LA; apologies if misunderstanding, but parking in much of NYC is much scarcer than what I’ve seen in LA and NYC sidewalks are in terrible shape (making rolling hard).

  11. Worldcon 76 today sent out Hugo Voter Packet e-mails with members credentials (which are the same as what you use to vote on the Hugo Ballot), including a reminder that Site Selection voting is also now open. If you think you are a member of Worldcon 76 and haven’t gotten such an e-mail, check your spam trap. If the e-mail isn’t there, it’s possible that the e-mail you gave Worldcon 76 is not the e-mail you think you gave them. You can go to the Registration section of the WC76 web site and try to log in there, and if the e-mail doesn’t match what the convention thinks you used, you’ll need to contact the convention Registration team to sort it out.

    Note that posting the problem here is not the same thing as contacting WC76, and may not work.

  12. @Chip: Nope that’s where my friend moved to. And Sunset, for all its fame, isn’t that wide and the sidewalks and all suck. I was frankly amazed that parking even existed, b/c before that, I’d have sworn it didn’t. I think we had an hour, maybe two. Getting the stuff up the lovely but narrow old stairwell was another experience, particularly the couch. The large dog was enthusiastic but not a whole lot of help with any of the process; I spent a lot of time directing the flow of stuff and restraining the helpy helper dog.

  13. Lee,
    I’ll drop you a line shortly.
    I never noticed it was over there! The Poke Inn is a favorite of mine.
    No worries on the vehicle front – we’re a one car family and I ride Metro daily.

  14. Chip / Stoic
    They wouldn’t be suggesting it if they didn’t think it was going to make the aircraft cheaper to operate. Which, given the cost of aluminium/structural carbon fibre, window plastic, and (future) screens , comes down to weight.

    I like the cameras on A380s, available on seatback screens.

  15. Barnes & Noble has a blog post about 12 fantasy heist novels and who’s on the list but Filer favorite T. Kingfisher (@RedWombat) with her Clockwork Boys!

    Also “The Legend of Eli Monpress,” which I love (just finished the third audiobook).

    Back to Hugo reading. ::cracks whip on self::

  16. Kip W.

    There was a game magazine (I think it was called GAMES) that once had a short feature on Plaindromes, which were a sort of sentence which had all the fun of the tortured syntax found in palindromes, but without the onerous requirement of being the same backwards as forwards.

    Also called “falindromes,” as mentioned in a great blog I heartily recommend to everyone.

    Oh, and Games was a great magazine, at least back in the day. I read it religiously around ages 10-13. I was inordinately pleased with myself the one time I actually completed their crossword puzzle from heck.

  17. Much as I’m looking forward to more adventures with Toothless and Hiccup, my reaction to the new dragon is more “aww, come on!” The other dragons have the males and females looking alike. And anyone who watches raptors like bald eagles know that the only visible difference between the sexes is that the females are larger than the males.

    On the one hand, if it bugs people, it bugs people.

    On the other hand, most of those dragons don’t have the wingspan or musculature to stay aloft (or even get aloft), because it’s a cartoon, not a scientifically-accurate alternate reality creation. And then there’s the bizarre Viking villages that look more like amusement park designs…

    So yeah, they’re using cultural expectations rather than ornithological distinctions, because they want viewers to go “D’aww,” not “Wow, that’s very scientifically sound.”

    But, well, sure, there was probably a way they could have threaded the needle, if they’d cared to.

  18. Ferret Bueller:
    Those are great examples of the genre! I hold with the name “plaindromes,” as I imprinted on it in the 80s, and change comes hard. (As a child, I took whatever version of anything I heard first as canon, and rejected anything else as ‘wrong.’ My sisters beat me over the head with it when I accused the Beatles of copying Brasil 66.)

  19. Chip Hitchcock on June 8, 2018 at 7:36 pm said:

    @Xtifr (extending @Lurkertype): you’re assuming the display would still work after a crash; I’d expect most power to be down and a lot of lines to be severed.

    After a crash? Isn’t that a bit late to be looking out the window?

    Anyway, catastrophic failure modes are a separate issue. The comment I was responding to was about routine landings. Where there really should be no difference between window-assisted and camera-assisted. Heck, cameras might do better if they have the sense to add IR and such.

    I’m not saying that cameras only (for the passenger compartment) is a 100% win. I just don’t think it’s as bad as some have suggested. But yes, camera failure is a potential problem. I do hope they’re not getting rid of windows in the cockpit. 🙂
    As for “plaindromes”–I always called them “failed palindromes”, but I have to admit that I really like the shorter coinage. I’ve been a big fan of the concept for years, and now I have a better name for it.

  20. @Xtifr:

    I think the safety briefings for commercial passenger flights include the instruction, in case of a crash or emergency landing, to look outside before opening the emergency exit. Most (if not all) of those planes have more than one emergency exit, and if there’s a fire right outside the exit you’re nearest, moving to a different exit is likely to be a better idea than jumping into flames.

    Even from the “follow the instructions of the crew” viewpoint, the crew need to know whether it’s safe to open the exits/deploy the slides.

  21. Out of curiosity I counted how many books I have in my house. Just under 1000. I noticed a few things: I have a lot of Cherryh books (from used paperbacks to signed first editions), I have tonnes(!) of Hornblowerish books from sail to space (and even sails in space), and I smiled when I counted some of my oldest books…Hardy Boys and Rick Brant’s Science-Adventure Stories

    Ultragotha said. “What I REALLY want are bookshelves that are narrower. The Billys have IIRC12 inch shelves but I want ones that are narrow for mass market paperbacks.”

    Several years ago when the only bookstore in town closed I bought 3 floor to ceiling paperback sized bookshelves and then remodeled my house to make room for them.

  22. I have actually been going to ebook as much as possible for a few years now. My collection of art books that CAN’T go digital is such a bulky pain in the ass by itself that books for reading, it’s ebook all the way. I like being able to resize for my eyesight) and I have moved so many damned times that I’m just done with boxes of books.

  23. BGrandrath on June 9, 2018 at 4:42 pm said:

    Several years ago when the only bookstore in town closed I bought 3 floor to ceiling paperback sized bookshelves and then remodeled my house to make room for them.

    >Sighs with the greenest of envy.<

  24. Vicki Rosenzweig: The cabin crew can (and have – Asiana at San Francisco) initiate evacuations based on what they see/know. The cockpit crew don’t always have the best information (although they prevented an evacuation in the Qantas A380 at Singapore because they knew there was an engine still running and assumed fuel on the tarmac).
    However including a window in the doors is a comparatively cheap step – the fuselage is already designed around a hole, of course.

  25. @Errolwi: that’s all very well for the cabin crew, but the instructions are for everyone to look out their own windows, so that the cabin crew doesn’t have to push so hard to get people not to try to use an unusable exit.

    @Xtifr: AFAICT, the article was only about the passenger windows, not the cockpit windows.

  26. With everyone talking about book storage, I finally got around to looking into getting decent lighting in my library room. (I have library-style stacks sticking out into the middle of the room, which makes most lighting sub-optimal.) I periodically do culls of both my fiction and non-fiction to keep things manageable. But in terms of physical storage, I can’t really go by my inventory spreadsheet since it includes electronic books. I’d been planning to do another cull of the physical fiction and have a give-away table at my recent birthday party, but I never got my act together to do it. But at this point, my principle is not to increase the number of shelves in the house, so something has to give.

  27. I have actually been going to ebook as much as possible for a few years now. My collection of art books that CAN’T go digital is such a bulky pain in the ass by itself that books for reading, it’s ebook all the way. I like being able to resize for my eyesight) and I have moved so many damned times that I’m just done with boxes of books.

    Moi aussi.

    Comics, graphic novels and art books are still largely print for me (for reasons of size and color/e-ink), so the book collection continues to grow steadily — but prose is e-book whenever possible.

    And even the many, many, many print books I have already, if I want to reread them I’ll get an e-book if possible rather than figure out where in the house they are.

    I look forward to someday ruthlessly culling the book collection down to art books, books not available in e-books form, and the like. Hopefully there’ll be good color e-ink options by then and I’ll be digital for comics, too. They do keep saying it’s not that far in the future.

    But the house is too full as is, and when Ann and I become empty-nesters, we want to downsize. I wouldn’t dream of giving up books, but having them be more portable and more convenient is all to the good for me…

  28. @Kurt: “Hopefully there’ll be good color e-ink options by then and I’ll be digital for comics, too. They do keep saying it’s not that far in the future.”

    I use comiXology on my iPad mini for my comics these days. Gets a little small on the two-page spreads, and text boxes that are lettered in a cursive or “handwriting” typeface can be problematic, but I’m generally happy with the shift. I try to keep a graphic novel loaded for times when I’m out and about, haven’t brought my Kobo e-ink device to read a traditional novel, and don’t have wifi available. In fact, I’ve just loaded Elseworlds: Justice League volumes one and two and Totally Awesome Hulk volumes three and four on there.

  29. I use comiXology on my iPad mini for my comics these days

    I like the look of comics on an iPad, but after working at a glowing screen all day, it’s just not relaxing for me, alas.

  30. @Kurt:

    I feel that. I do keep hearing about color e-ink development and prototypes – my Pebble watch even uses limited-color “e-paper” for its display – but nothing on the order of a 6″ screen ever seems to make it to market. Maybe someday…

  31. @Chip Hitchcock: there were rumors about a concom member having encouraged the leather crowd to come en masse

    The person I originally heard the story from was a part of the leather crowd, much later, and was pretty clear that at least some of them were there because of the con. Regardless, the hotel agreed that it wasn’t the con’s fault that someone who wasn’t a member did something stupid, and then the weather compounded the disaster. At least there wasn’t anyone using their mattress as a surfboard.

    Blame for the ConCarolinas mess is a lot less murky.

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