Pixel Scroll 6/16/17 There’s A Scroll In The Bottom Of The Sea

(1) JACK KIRBY NAMED DISNEY LEGEND. The late Jack Kirby will be honored with the Disney Legend Award at this year’s D23 Expo in Anaheim.

JACK KIRBY first grabbed our attention in the spring of 1941 with Captain America, a character he created with Joe Simon. Kirby then followed this debut with a prolific output of comic books in the Western, Romance, and Monster genres–all a prelude to his defining work helping to create the foundations of the Marvel Universe. For the next decade, Kirby and co-creator Stan Lee would introduce a mind-boggling array of new characters and teams — including the Avengers, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Silver Surfer, Ant-Man, Wasp, Black Panther, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Inhumans. Kirby was inducted into the Eisner Hall of Fame’s 1987 inaugural class and continued creating comics throughout the ‘90s before passing away in 1994.

Other honorees of this year’s Legends Award are Carrie Fisher, Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi, Manuel Gonzales, Mark Hamill, Stan Lee, Garry Marshall, Julie Taymor, and Oprah Winfrey.

(2) BILL FINGER AWARD WINNERS. Jack Kirby, along with Bill Messner-Loebs, is also a winner of the 2017 Bill Finger Award presented by Comic-Con International.

Bill Messner-Loebs and Jack Kirby have been selected to receive the 2017 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The selection, made by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer-historian Mark Evanier, was unanimous.

“As always, I asked on my blog for suggestions of worthy recipients,” Evanier explains. “Many were nominated and the committee chose Bill as the worthiest of those still alive and working, and Jack because although his artwork has always been justly hailed, his contribution as a writer has been too often minimized or overlooked. In fact, in the years we’ve been doing this award, Jack Kirby has received many more nominations than anyone else, but we held off honoring him until this year because it seemed appropriate to finally do it in the centennial of his birth, and because members of his family will be at Comic-Con to accept on his behalf.”

The Bill Finger Award was created in 2005 at the instigation of comic book legend Jerry Robinson. “The premise of this award is to recognize writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition,” Evanier explains. “Even though the late Bill Finger now finally receives credit for his role in the creation of Batman, he’s still the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or recognition.”

Kirby’s history was covered in the first item. Here’s the citation for the second winner.

Bill Messner-Loebs has been a cartoonist and writer since the 1970s. He has worked for DC, Marvel, Comico, Power Comics, Texas Comics, Vertigo, Boom!, Image, IDW, and the U.S. State Department (for which he produced a comic about the perils of land mines). He has written Superman, Flash, Aquaman, Mr. Monster, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate, Jonny Quest, Spider-Man, Thor, and the Batman newspaper strip. He wrote and drew Journey: The Adventures of Wolverine MacAlistaire and Bliss Alley, and he co-created The Maxx and Epicurus the Sage. He has also delivered pizzas, done custom framing, been a library clerk, sold art supplies, and taught cartooning.

(3) TROLLS. Recent Facebook experiences led David Gerrold to post a thorough discussion of trolling.

There is no freedom of speech on Facebook — Facebook is a corporation, like a newspaper or a television station. They are not obligated to protect your rights. You waived specific rights when you agreed to the terms of service —

But those terms of service have to be a two-way street. They represent a contract between service provider and consumer. And there must be a responsibility on the part of the service provider to protect the consumers from the abusive behavior of those who violate the social contract of our nation.

The social contract, you say? I’ve heard people argue, “I never agreed to a social contract.”

Actually, you agreed to it when you accepted the responsibility of being a citizen — you agreed to abide not only by the laws of the nation, but by the underlying promise of this land, the promise of liberty and justice for all.

So, I do not regard trolls as simply an internet annoyance — I regard them as human failures — as individuals who have forgotten the promise on which this nation was founded. They are not much better than caged chimpanzees who are good at screeching at the bars and throwing feces at anyone who gets to close.

Because in the great grand scheme of things, every moment of our lives is a moment of choice. We can choose to dream of the stars, or we can choose to wallow in the mud. We can choose to create something of value for ourselves and our families and our friends — or we can choose to destroy the well-being of others.

(4) TOLKIEN BIOGRAPHER AIDS CROWDFUNDING EFFORT. John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War, has donated signed copies of his book to the fundraising campaign for Oxford University’s project to document the First World War.

I’ve donated five signed copies of Tolkien and the Great War to help raise money for this appeal. It’s only thanks to the personal letters and photographs preserved by various Great War veterans, by families and by museums that I was able to bring to life the experiences of Tolkien and his friends in the training camps and trenches of the war. If you can donate, please do. Whether you can or can’t, please share this announcement:–

Win over £1,000/$1,000 worth of Tolkien Books… and Help Oxford University Save Items from World War One

Oxford University is currently crowd-funding a project to run a mass-digitization initiative of publicly-held material from the First World War and as is well known the experiences J. R. R. Tolkien underwent in 1916 in the Battle of the Somme had a profound effect on him and his writing. To assist with our major crowd-funding appeal we have been generously supported by Tolkien scholars and publishers, allowing us to present a prize draw opportunity to win three major publications amounting to over £1,000. Our sincerest thanks go to John Garth, Wiley/Blackwells, and Routledge for their help.

To enter the prize draw go to: https://oxreach.hubbub.net/p/lestweforget/

If you sponsor us by pledging £1 or more (or equivalent) you will be entered into a draw to win one of five copies signed by John Garth of his ‘Tolkien and the Great War’ (pbk, HarperCollins, 2011 – RRP: £9.99; $12.00; ‚¬11.99).

If you sponsor us by pledging £5 or more (or equivalent) you will also be entered into a draw to win one of three copies of ‘A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien’ (hbk, Wiley/Blackwells, 2014) signed by the editor (RRP: £125; $140; ‚¬150).

Finally, if you sponsor us by pledging £10 or more (or equivalent) you will also be entered into a draw to a full set set of ‘J. R. R. Tolkien: Critical Assessments of Major Writers’ (4 volumes, hbk, Routledge, 2017) signed by the editor (RRP: £900; $1,180; ‚¬930)

In addition to these chances of winning, you will also be helping to save and preserve important objects from the First World War which are in danger of being lost on a daily basis.

Here’s the home site of the preservation project: ‘Lest we forget’ – a national initiative to save the memories of 1914-1918

We are raising £80,000 to train local communities across the UK to run digital collection days to record and save objects and stories of the generation who lived through World War One. Every item collected will then be published on November 11th 2018 through a free-to-use online database for schools, scholars, and the wider public.

But we cannot achieve this alone so please help by donating to support the training days, outreach activities, and the equipment we need.

saving the past for the future – world war one
2018 will mark the centennial anniversary of the end of World War One. Few families in Britain were unaffected by the conflict, and in thousands of attics across the country there are photographs, diaries, letters, and mementos that tell the story of a generation at war, of the loved ones who fought in the conflict, served on the home front, or lost fathers and mothers. Help us launch this national effort to digitally capture, safeguard, and share these important personal items and reminiscences from the men and women of 1914-1918. Help us support local digitisation events across village halls, community centres, schools, and libraries.

(5) THE FOUNDATION OF MIDDLE-EARTH. Josephine Livingstone reviews The Tale of Beren and Lúthien for New Republic in “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Love Story”.

And The Tale of Beren and Lúthien is more like a scholarly volume than a storybook. There are versions of the tale in verse, and versions in prose. There are versions where the villain is an enormous, evil cat, and versions where the villain is a wolf. Names change frequently. But instead of taking the “best text” route, where the editor chooses a single manuscript to bear witness to the lost story, Christopher Tolkien has offered up what remains and allowed the reader to choose. It’s a generous editorial act, and a fitting tribute in memoriam to his parents’ romance.

(6) MEDICAL UPDATE. Fanartist Steve Stiles sent this news about his diagnosis and treatment plans.

I just found out, via the lung specialist I saw the week before last, that I’m *NOT* having lung surgery at Sinai on the 20th, but rather a consultation re my “options” (would that be chemo vs. surgery? ), followed by *another* appointment to have a tube inserted down into my lung, which sounds like a whole bunch of fun. *THEN* I go in for surgery or whatever.

Looks like July is pretty well shot as far as having the two weekend cookouts with friends who we traditionally have over. It’s a drag, but considering the alternative….

(7) DALMAS OBIT. Author John Dalmas (1926-2017) has died reports Steve Fahnestalk:

With great sadness I learn that John Dalmas has died, either last night or early this morning; I understand he was in the hospital with pneumonia. Author of “The Yngling” and many other books, he was a good friend to MosCon and PESFA. You will be missed, Onkel !

Dalmas’ The Yngling, his first published sf, was serialized in Analog in 1969 and made especially memorable by Kelly Freas’ cover art.


Ray Bradbury and Ralph Waldo Emerson are descendents of Mary Perkins Bradbury, who was sentenced to be hanged in 1692 in the Salem Witch trials, but managed to escape before her execution could take place.


  • June 16, 1954 Them! premiere in New York City.
  • June 16, 1978Jaws 2 swims into theaters.

(10) THAT THING YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED. The Golden Snitch Harry Potter Fidget Spinners are selling like hotcakes. Who knows if there will be any left by the time you read this? (I’m kidding — they’re all over the internet.)

(11) AWESOMECON. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna, in “Over Awesome Con weekend, D.C. will prove its geek-to-wonk ratio”, previews Awesomecon, the Washington, D.C. comicon taking place this weekend. He talks about the celebrities who are coming, including Chris Hadfield, Edgar Wright, David Tennant, and Stan Lee, still hustling at 94. A sidebar has short items of some of the panels, including “CosLove Presents: #I Can Be A Hero, where cosplayers talk about the good deeds they do, like volunteering at hospitals. Finally, Manor Hill Brewing (which is at manorhillbrewing.com) has the official Awesomecon beer, Atomic Smash, which has a robot and an A-bomb!

So could King, who worked overseas with the agency’s counterterrorism unit after 9/11, ever see the Caped Crusader making it as a CIA agent?

“I can see Batman doing the job,” King says, but it is “harder to see him filling out the paperwork. And without good paperwork skills, you’ll never even make ­GS-12 in this town.”

This town, where sometimes the political wonk and comics geek are the same person.

(12) GIFT CULTURE VS. WAGE CULTURE. At Anime Feminist, Amelia Cook triggers a collision between fandom’s gift culture and those running megacons who expect on skilled people to work for free — “The Big Problem Behind Unpaid Interpreters: Why anime fans should value their skills”. [Hat tip to Petréa Mitchell.]

This week Anime Expo, the biggest anime convention in the English speaking world, put a call out for volunteer interpreters. Anime Expo is far from a new event, and had over 100,000 attendees last year. How did they fail to account for the cost of professional interpreters when budgeting? If they can’t afford to pay interpreters, what hope do any of the smaller cons have?

Let’s be real: they didn’t fail to account for it, and they can afford it. AX is a big enough event in the fandom calendar that they could have bumped ticket prices up by under a dollar each to bring in the necessary funds. If for some reason that wasn’t an option, they’re a big enough name that they could even have crowdfunded it. There’s no good reason not to pay every single interpreter for their work. There are, however, a couple of bad ones.

The most generous reading of their actions is that not a single person on the entire AX staff understands what interpreting involves. More likely is that they considered it an unnecessary cost, knowing they could get enthusiastic amateurs to work for free without putting a value on their time. Ours is a culture of scanlators and fansubbers working for the love of it, right? Why not give these lucky worker bees a chance to meet some cool people and see behind the scenes of a big event?

….When I first saw the tweet from AX, it made me viscerally angry. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, to the point that I’ve written this post. What possible justification is there for this decision? What on earth made them think it would be acceptable? Were interpreters even discussed at the budgeting stage (and if not, why not)? Will they get their stable of unpaid amateur interpreters anyway, or will the outcry their tweet sparked make capable people steer clear? If they don’t get enough sufficiently capable volunteers, will they fork out for professionals or settle for people with a lower level of Japanese? What are their priorities in this situation? What were their priorities when they drew up this year’s budget?

(13) BATLIGHT. Here’s what it looked like when they flashed the Bat Signal on LA City Hall.

(14) SHARKES ON DUTY. The Shadow Clarke Jury’s latest reviews include coverage of two Hugo novel finalists (if you count that the Fifth Season one also covers the Obelisk Gate a bit.)

I wanted to begin this piece by noting that I put The Fifth Season at the top of my ballot for the Hugo last year — although this is somewhat undermined by the fact that I can no longer remember for sure if I actually voted. One time when I did actually vote was at the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon, where all that was required was posting a paper form into a ballot box in the dealers’ room. That year there was an all British shortlist suggesting perhaps that the domestic audience dominated the nomination process but also the then high international standing of British SFF. I voted for Iain M Banks’s The Algebraist, which was only on the ballot paper because Terry Pratchett had withdrawn Going Postal. The Hugo was won by Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which I had read, loved, and placed last on my ballot because it was fantasy. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised at the result because J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman had won recently and, in any case, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was probably the most substantial novel on that ballot. The only virtue I can now see in the decision I made at the time is that it served to reduce the difficulty of making a choice.

While an increasing number of writers have made strenuous and laudable efforts to confront the “boys’ own adventure’ stereotypes of core genre archetypes“ the most famous recent example being Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy — progressive experimentation and stylistic complexity in terms of the text itself is much, much rarer and receives scant notice. When Yoon Ha Lee’s Ninefox Gambit turned up on this year’s Clarke Award shortlist, of the three books I’d not read already it was definitely the one I was most excited about. My encounters with Lee’s short fiction had left me with an impression of complex ideas nestled within a prose that was dense and highly coloured and often abstruse — pluses for me on all three counts. Would Ninefox Gambit prove to be my space opera holy grail: a thrilling adventure in terms of prose as well as high-concept, widescreen FX? I was eager to find out.

It’s space opera, you know?

One of last year’s most famous, most advertised, most-clearly-recognized-as-science-fiction novels, on a shortlist almost entirely of famous, advertised novels–especially in relation to the rest of the 86-title submissions list–the inclusion of Ninefox Gambit on the Clarke shortlist was inevitable. Its reputation as a challenging narrative, its loyalty to standard genre form, and the requisite spaceship on the cover have established its place in the science fiction book award Goldilocks zone. If things go as they did last year and in 2014, it’s also a likely winner.

Although I’ve already made it clear this is not the kind of book I would normally value or enjoy, the placement of Ninefox Gambit on the Clarke shortlist is something I asked for last year, though not in such direct terms:

(15) NUMBER OF THE FOX. Elsewhere, Terence Blake responded to Jonathan McCalmont’s earlier review of Ninefox with some interesting points: “NINEFOX GAMBIT (2): power-fantasy or philo-fiction?”

I agree with everything that McCalmont says about the novel’s structural flaws, and in particular the problematic subordination of Yoon Ha Lee’s speculative inventivity and complexity to the fascistic, bellicose form of military science fiction. However, I don’t fully recognize the novel from McCalmont’s description.

1) The novel reads like both science fiction and fantasy, but there are many ways to blur or to undercut the distinction. In the case of NINEFOX GAMBIT I think that the “fantasy” aspect is only superficial. It is derived from the fact that the “hard” science underlying the story is not physics but mathematics. It has this structural feature in common with Neal Stephenson’s ANATHEM, which nonetheless is a very different sort of novel….

(16) FROM TOP TO, ER, BOTTOM. For your fund of general knowledge — “Every British swear word has been officially ranked in order of offensiveness”.

The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, interviewed more than 200 people across the UK on how offensive they find a vast array of rude and offensive words and insults.

People were asked their opinion on 150 words in total. These included general swear words, words linked to race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, body parts and health conditions, religious insults and sexual references, as well as certain hand gestures.

(17) MARVEL LEGACY 1. Sounds like Marvel is about to push the “reset” button.

An Asgardian titan. A Wakandan warrior bred to be a king. The very first Sorcerer Supreme.

Since its inception, Marvel has been delivering groundbreaking heroes and explosive stories. Now, prepare to return to the dawn of time, as Marvel introduces you to the first Avengers from 1,000,000 BC — when iconic torch-bearers such as Odin, Iron Fist, Star Brand, Ghost Rider, Phoenix, Agamotto, and Black Panther come together for the startling origin of the Marvel Universe, in MARVEL LEGACY #1!

The acclaimed team of writer Jason Aaron (Mighty Thor) and artist Esad Ribic (Secret Wars) reunite for an all-new 50-page blockbuster one-shot that will take you through time to the current Marvel Universe, showing you how it’s truly “all connected.” A true homage to Marvel’s groundbreaking stories, MARVEL LEGACY brings your favorite characters together for exciting and epic new stories that will culminate in returning to original series numbering for long-running titles.

MARVEL LEGACY #1 isn’t simply a history lesson,” says SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort. “Rather, it’s the starting gun to a bevy of mysteries and secrets and revelations that will reverberate across the Marvel Universe in the weeks and months to come! No character, no franchise will be untouched by the game-changing events that play out across its pages. Jason and Esad pulled out all the stops to fat-pack this colossal issue with as much intrigue, action, surprise, mystery, shock and adventure as possible!€

MARVEL LEGACY #1 will present all fans — new readers and current readers — the very best jumping on point in the history of comics,” says Marvel Editor in Chief Axel Alonso. “What Jason and Esad have crafted is more grand and more gargantuan than anything we have ever seen before and introduces concepts and characters the Marvel Universe has never encountered. Fans are going to witness an all-new look at the Marvel Universe starting at one of the earliest moments in time carried all the way into present day. Not only will this be the catalyst for Marvel evolving and moving forward, but expect it to be the spark that will ignite the industry as a whole.”

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Steve Stiles, and Mark-kitteh for some of these stories, and a hat tip to Petréa Mitchell. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jayne.]

119 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/16/17 There’s A Scroll In The Bottom Of The Sea

  1. @RevBob

    Hell no. He’ll still be arguing about Facebook after the meteor hits and the planet is going up in smoke.

  2. @Rev Bob: Heh. No fair. You could ask that question about everyone. But the answer of course, is no.

  3. (I feel a bit like this is turning into a pile-on, but given the last comment referencing my own contributions…)


    I think I’ve seen similar algorithms referred to in the gaming community – it would be useful if there was some sort of ‘reliable reporter’ score.


    I confess I’m somewhat puzzled to see someone repeatedly defend an automated ban on the basis of an internet mob, while simultaneously arguing that hate speech should be protected.

    Prefaced with the caveat that I do not consider the law in and of itself to be a useful arbiter of what is correct: I do not consider whether something is words or not-words to be a useful dividing line for whether something should be protected – but as it happens, I believe that art, including photography, does benefit from a certain degree of protection under the law.

    I would think the photo of that poor Syrian guy has less to do with intellectual property and more to do with libel, personally.

    Do you not believe that speech should be protected?

    I am not American, and I am from a country with hate speech laws. I do not consider hate speech to be speech worth protecting.

    Should speech only be protected when you agree with it?

    Is this a meme somewhere on the internet? I keep seeing this particular misrepresentation come up whenever the topic is what should or should not be protected speech and at this point it is just irritating. Has anyone ever gone along with the idea that the venn diagram of ‘speech they disagree with’ and ‘speech they consider to be hate speech’ is a single circle? I doubt it, and I will thank you not to repeat this silliness in future without some very solid evidence that it might apply.

    Perhaps FB reporting could be improved by including a specific category for reports of violence and direct threats?

    They have one, but so far as I can tell unless it literally says “I know where you live and will be turning up tonight to commit violence upon your person” it does not get a response. See: Keywords. (And you’re absolutely SOL if someone just advocates for violence. See: “[group] should be spayed” – not a direct threat, so apparently just fine.)

    This is a good idea in theory, but would it work?

    I am not Facebook, and therefore I do not have the resources or information necessary to supply you with a fully costed out plan which includes projected response times. I can only tell you that I, personally, would be happy to see longer response times in return for more accurate responses and no-one receiving an unjust ban. However, I did provide a sliding scale of possible systems so that if the most exacting was impossible there were two less strenuous options to choose from. Did you only acknowledge the most exacting one for a reason?

    I am afraid I prefer not to screenshot the incidents I have reported, since storing images of disgusting speech is not something I wish to do, but I can say that I usually (but not always) block people directly after reporting them. I currently have more than ninety people on my blocklist. Only two of them, so far as I can recall, were blocked for unrelated reasons. This is not a small problem.

    And I would do the very same to a racist who said, “Well, I’ve seen a black person commit a crime — so black people must be evil!”


  4. A note for courtesy: Contrarius has already noted that her pronoun is, well, her.

  5. @ Contrarius: You have indeed apparently never heard of the First Rule of Holes, which is, “When you find yourself in one, STOP DIGGING.” You, however, are heading for China with remarkable speed due to magic-word arguments, fallacious logic, and an interpretation of the First Amendment that I have never heard anyone who was not a die-hard troll produce before.

    Time, I think, to deploy that useful old Usenet protocol, the PLONK.

    For everyone else, a potentially more interesting item for discussion: Paleolithic Axe Rewrites Assumptions About Australia.

    Which is interesting enough in and of itself, but what caught my eye was this line in the first paragraph: “In May, Peter Hiscock, an archaeologist from the University of Sydney, and his colleagues reported their new conclusions about a fragment of a ground-edge ax from the Kimberley region of Western Australia.” Any relation to a certain Hugo-nominated author, do you suppose?

  6. Hello, denizens of the very recent past! I am just posting here to say that I’m working my way toward caught up. I keep getting close (enough even to feel comfortable commenting, at times), and then losing it entirely because this site’s running hot lately.

    It was extremely hot today here in Oakland (California, USA), for Oakland at least – 90+ degrees. I languished at home with the SJW credentials, hung over from my post-show libations after seeing King Crimson for the first time (mind-blowing, and the cover of “Heroes” was moving).

    Heading to 6/17 now. Hoping to get caught up, then finish Temeraire the second (I’m terrible at remembering the titles in a series, and far too lazy right now to open a tab and do a search, something I could have done before closing this parenthetical statement and hitting “Post Comment”).

    Oh… uh, to clarify – the SJW credentials were not hung over, and did not see King Crimson. They would have been startled and upset by all of that sound and the lights, and they prefer their crowded rooms to contain all or mostly other cats and maybe a person or two, if it’s the right person.

  7. @Lee: Think of the teasing he must have gotten as a child. I’m rather annoyed with his parents for giving him that first name knowing he’s stuck with the last name. What’s his middle name — Dick?

    I support the anti-racist ideas of the article, but I do wonder about carbon dating something that old. Can’t tell what their methodology was from the article.

  8. Temeraire the second

    Random connection but that reminds me: Lupin the Third Part IV just started playing on Toonami. Stepson is with relatives right now. He heard about it and called to make sure it got DVR’d for us to watch. Holding off viewing until he gets home but high hopes for it.

  9. I support the anti-racist ideas of the article, but I do wonder about carbon dating something that old.

    Meh. With a date like that for carbon dating, they are basically saying “this thing is so old that there is almost no Carbon 14 left at all.” Either way, it proves that the artifact is plenty old. (It isn’t a matter of trying to prove that it was buried on Tuesday, October 15th 45,267 BC–just that it is older than a few thousand years.)

  10. I believe the effective limit for radiocarbon dating is around 60 000 years, which puts the 44-49 000 for this axe well within the range where the method works.
    On the other hand, dating charcoal and assuming a stone item found in the same context is the same age introduces a significant risk of error.
    On the third hand, the process of dating the axe is the subject of a peer-reviewed article which I don’t have access to and which I don’t see a point in second-guessing.

  11. Another article on the topic says that they didn’t carbon date the axe itself, but the surrounding rock in which it was found. It still doesn’t exactly give much detail.

  12. @kathodus: Hello! Me and the SJW credentials lay around yesterday too. Miserable weather, due to get worse and not break till next week. Feh. Cats make crude thermometers (speaking of measuring methods); mine were very long indeed.

    @Stoic Cynic: we’re watching Lupin too. It’s delightfully retro. Really captures the spirit and even artwork of the original.

  13. @lurkertype – Ha! Yes, I hadn’t thought of the cats as thermometers, though we do say they are “long-catting” when they stretch out for maximum belly-contact on the coolest part of the floor.

  14. I believe the effective limit for radiocarbon dating is around 60 000 years, which puts the 44-49 000 for this axe well within the range where the method works.

    No, it is around 50,000 years.

    Another article on the topic says that they didn’t carbon date the axe itself, but the surrounding rock in which it was found.

    Of course–radiocarbon dating can be done only on formerly living things. But formerly living things (such as burned wood) from the same stratographic layer will do in a pinch.

  15. @kathodus: yesterday about 6 pm, I observed that “long cats are very long”. It’s only 2:30 and they’re long and flat right now, with the one who’s up high (silly thing) having appreciably lengthened in the time it took me to type this comment.

  16. Yesterday during the worst of the heat (which was slightly worse in Concord than Oakland) I was saved from madness by a friend with a swimming pool. The SJW credentials declined the invitation.

  17. @Heather Rose Jones – Slightly? I can’t help but hear Clint Eastwood’s voice as I read that.

  18. This is why, when we had the opportunity to buy a house on the other side of the hills, we didn’t. Yes, ours is smaller than the inland one would have been, but we’re not dying ALL summer.

    Still taking cool showers. Hot tub is broken; thinking of filling it up with water to serve as a small pool.

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