Pixel Scroll 6/20/17 Hugos And Dragons And Campbells Oh My!

(1) HAN SOLO DIRECTORS AXED. The untitled Star Wars Han Solo spinoff started principal photography on February 20 at London’s Pinewood Studios, but progress has come to an ass-grinding stop with the departure of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who cited “creative differences” for the split.

Variety’s article puts it a bit differently — “’Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff: Lord & Miller Fired After Clashing With Kathleen Kennedy”.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s reputation for writing irreverent, poppy films such as “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie” helped the white-hot writing and directing duo land one of the most coveted gigs in Hollywood — a chance to call the shots on a “Star Wars” film.

But their chance to put their stamp on a galaxy far, far away collapsed on Tuesday with the stunning announcement that the pair would be departing the still untitled Han Solo spin-off movie in the midst of production. Their exit comes after months of conflict with producer Kathleen Kennedy, others from her LucasFilm team, and co-writer and executive producer Lawrence Kasdan, and the two directors hired to infuse the “Star Wars” universe with a tongue-in-cheek sensibility.

Miller and Lord were stunned to find that they were not being granted freedom to run the production in the manner that they were accustomed to. They balked at Kennedy’s tight control on the set.

(2) SAY IT OUT LOUD. Madeleine E. Robins has some advice about dialect in “’Ow’s that, Guv’nor?: The Art of Reading to an Audience”.

So maybe, even if you hear the words you’ve written with a perfect what-ever-it-is accent, you’ll want to think carefully before giving voice to their accents. This is a time when enlisting the assistance of a friend can be useful. Read aloud to them and ask them to tell tell you if it works. If your listener says you’re more [Dick Van Dyke’s Bert the chimney sweep] than Sir Ben Kingsley, rethink.

But my dialogue is written in dialect! Okay, but you don’t have to read inflections that are not in the page. If you’ve got a character saying “I don’t know ‘ow!” you can soften the presumed “Oi” in I; if you aren’t good at the vowels, don’t hit ’em hard. And remember, it’s more important that your listeners follow the sense and meaning of the words than that they get a full theatrical performance.

(3) RED PLANET INTERIOR DECORATORS. Jeremy White in WIRED (“IKEA designers are living in a Mars simulator to get inspiration for future collections. Really”) says that IKEA sent an in-house design team to spend seven days at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, who then decided how to make a Mars mission “more homey” and then use that knowledge to aid in IKEA’s product development.

At its annual Democratic Design Day event in Älmhult, Sweden, IKEA has revealed its latest collaborations and products, with a focus on millennials and space travel. Yes, space travel.

To this end, IKEA has done something rather drastic. It’s banished a delegation of its in-house design team to live in a simulated Mars habitat at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, America, to learn what it’s like to live in the inhospitable and cramped environs of off-world settlements.

When the company learned that Nasa and students from Sweden’s Lund University School of Industrial Design were working on what would be needed for a three-year space mission to Mars, IKEA requested to join the project.

The home furnishings giant wants to tap in to what scientists and engineers learn from spaceflight to Mars, and apply these discoveries to products and methods for everyday life at home. Marcus Engman, head of design at IKEA, said the company wants to find out what could make space travel “homey” and to identify the boundaries and restraints needed to work in that environment, and then port that knowledge into IKEA’s own product development and “use space knowledge for a better everyday life on Earth”.

(4) TENTACLE TIME. Camestros Felapton reviews a science fictional-themed brew, complete with photos of its exotic label, in “Tuesday Beer: Galactopus @LittleBangBrew”.

…I know my readers would WANT me to drink a beer called “Galactopus”, which features a planet devouring octopus on the label.

The sacrifices I make for you all.

The label has some very clever copy. I wonder how many beer labels a person has to author to qualify for SFWA?

(5) RHETORICAL QUESTION. Having seen the Wonder Woman movie Daniel Dern wants to know, “Why no kangas on Paradise Island?”

(6) HOWARD. The duck’s cameos in Guardians of the Galaxy give his leading lady a new excuse to brag: “Lea Thompson Talks ‘Howard the Duck,’ Claims Her Crown as First Queen of Marvel”.

Lea Thompson couldn’t give a quack about what you think of Howard the Duck, the puntastic 1986 Marvel Comics-based action-comedy that ran afowl of movie critics and has lived in film infamy ever since. The George Lucas-produced movie has a fan base out there, and that’s good enough for her.

“People love that movie!” Thompson said of “HTD,” as she likes to call it, during a Facebook Live interview with Yahoo Movies (watch the full interview below). “They’re releasing it again in Blu-ray or something… They don’t just do that because they’re nice.” (The film was made available on Blu-ray for the first time last May.) “It’s a hilariously bizarre movie,” Thompson continued. “The only thing that I can say that I don’t like about it is that I thought it was a little long.”

The film, which featured the Back to the Future breakout as a Cleveland singer who helps the anthropomorphic duck acclimate to life on Earth, runs 110 minutes, which is still well short of the average runtime of today’s Marvel movies, including the two Guardians of the Galaxy films that have briefly resuscitated Mr. HTD

(7) FIVE STARS. Marion Deeds and Kat Hooper each take a cut at Daryl Gregory’s Spoonbenders at Fantastic Literature. Here’s Marion’s first paragraph:

Spoonbenders (2017) by Daryl Gregory, is multi-generational family saga. It’s a coming-of-age story. It’s a psychic adventure story and a weird conspiracy tale for lovers of shadowy CIA projects like MKULTRA. It’s a gangster story. There’s a heist. There is a long con, and a madcap comedy along the lines of classic Marx Brothers routines. There are a couple of romances, a direct-distribution scheme, a medallion, a cow and a puppy. If we’re talking genre, I don’t know what Spoonbenders is. I know I loved it. I know it was fun and made me laugh, I know it was scary at times and I know I closed the book feeling happy and sad. And I know it’s a five-star book.

(8) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian notes an amusing sf reference today in Bliss.

(9) SAD PUPPIES PROGRESS REPORT. Sarah A. Hoyt returned to tell Mad Genius Club readers what happened to Sad Puppies 5 in “About Those Lost Puppies”. After a lengthy recap of her version of history, she reaches the tentative present:

…Our intention was always to just create a page, in which those who register can post reading recommendations, not just of recent years, but of anything that struck their fancy.  There will be a place where you can say when the book was published and if it’s eligible for an award — and not just a science fiction award — and a link to the award page for people to follow, if so minded.  Yeah, we’ll include the Hugo, but probably with a note saying the award is in the process of self-destructing.

Thing is, I meant to have this up before nominations for the Dragon Award opened.  But on top of the comedy of errors above, our website provider either crashed or was hacked, so while trying to survive auto-immune and meeting more deliveries than UPS, I’ve been trying to get it up and running again.  (My author site is down also.)

So, that’s where we are.  We’ll put it up sometime in the next couple of months, and then Amanda and I will run it, and then Amanda will take over  Or Amanda, Kate and I will continue shepherding it.

When we said this before and pointed out that PARTICULARLY indie books need some place to mention them, we were linked to/lectured by someone one the rabid side, because apparently they already have a site, so we don’t need one of our own.

Tips hat to the right.  Thank you kindly.  But you guys are aware your aesthetics and goals aren’t ours, right?

You just turned Marxist aesthetics on their head, and are judging books by being anti-Marxist and how much they don’t support the neo Marxist idea of justice.  That’s cool and all.  To each his own.  And since, so far, your crazy isn’t being taught in schools, it’s slightly less annoying than the Marxist crazy.

It is still annoying, though, because you’re still judging literary value by whether it fits your (at least as crazy-cakes’ as the Marxists) narrative and your precepts….

(10) I ATE THE WHOLE THING. It’s been reliably reported that Whole Foods was not long for existence if Bezos or the like hadn’t bought them. “Amazon Eats Up Whole Foods as the New Masters of the Universe Plunder America” japes The Daily Beast’s Joel Kotkin.

Unlike our old moguls, the new Masters don’t promise greater prosperity but a world where most people are to be satiated by a state-provided basic income and occasional ‘gig’ work.


(11) PLAY BALL The Washington Post’s Scott Allen, in a piece called “Nationals will hide ‘dragon eggs’ ahead of ‘Game of Thrones’ Night”,  says the Washington Nationals have hidden 10 “dragon eggs” in the D.C. area, and if you find one fabulous prizes can be yours at the Nationals’ Game of Thrones night.

Nationals Park will look and feel a bit more like Westeros, the fictional continent from the popular HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s novels, when the Nationals host the Reds on “Game of Thrones” Night on Friday.

Ahead of the event, the Nationals will hide 10 prize-filled “dragon eggs” in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. A Westeros-themed map posted on the team’s social channels and in The Washington Post Express on Tuesday morning will guide fans to the eggs, which contain a Nationals and “Game of Thrones” co-branded T-shirt, two tickets to Friday’s game and a fast-pass to pose for a photo on the 800-pound Iron Throne that will be located in the Right Field Plaza.

…The Racing Presidents will wear different-colored cloaks with faux fur designed by Ingrid Crepeau, the same woman behind the elaborate costumes that the Racing Presidents have worn on “Star Wars Day” since 2015. Teddy and George showed off their costumes at AwesomeCon in D.C. over the weekend. Screech will be dressed as his favorite “Game of Thrones” character, the three-eyed Raven.


(12) SEUSS MUSEUM. The Washington Post’s Andrea Sachs asks, “Will the Dr. Seuss museum be one of the places you’ll go?” Her article reports on the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, where museumgoers can make small books or “a Lorax mustache on a wooden stick, look at his art, and see the rooms where he wrote and drew his books, including hats given him from fans of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

The ground floor brings to life several of his 40-plus children’s books. The front door opens up to “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” the first children’s book Seuss published. A statue of a police officer patrols a zany parade painted on the wall. Around the bend, step into McGrew’s Zoo, a riot of animals, most not found in the wild. A diagram shows some of the pretend creatures from “If I Ran the Zoo.” There is a preep, a proo, a nerkle and a nerd. Yes, a nerd — a word Seuss made up. Continue onward to make the acquaintance of Thing One and Thing Two, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax and the tower of turtles from — burp — “Yertle the Turtle.”

Here’s the direct link to “The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum”.

The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is a permanent, bilingual museum designed to introduce children and their families to the stories of Ted Geisel, promote joy in reading, and nurture specific literacy skills. The 3,200-square-foot first floor exhibition will provide opportunities to explore new sounds and vocabulary, play rhyming games, invent stories, and engage in activities that encourage teamwork and creative thinking.

The second floor will be filled with personal memorabilia belonging to Ted Geisel, including original oil paintings, a collection of zany hats and bowties, the original Geisel Grove sign which used to hang in Forest Park, and furniture from Ted’s sitting room and studio, including his drawing board, breakfast table, sofa, and armchair.

(13) NAZI RELICS. Matt Novak of Gizmodo covers the “Huge Collection of Nazi Artifacts Discovered Inside Secret Room in Argentina”.

Federal police in Argentina recently discovered a time capsule of evil, hidden inside a house near Buenos Aires. Roughly 75 Nazi artifacts, including everything from a large knife to Nazi medical devices to a photo negative of Adolph Hitler, were uncovered in a secret room. Police are investigating when and how the items entered the South American country….

One reason that authorities in Buenos Aires has some degree of certainty that they are originals is that some items from the collection are pictured in photographs with Nazi leaders. For example, one item in the collection is a magnifying glass. The same magnifying glass is seen in a photo negative from the collection showing Hitler himself. Investigators showed the photo to the Associated Press on the condition that the photo not be published.

“This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects,” said Bullrich.

 [Thanks to JJ, Daniel Dern, Cat Eldridge, Martin Morse Wooster, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer Sylvester.]

179 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/20/17 Hugos And Dragons And Campbells Oh My!

  1. @Camestros

    I blame calendrical heresy

    (ETA: this comment is going to look very odd as the start to a new page!)

  2. The calendrical rot has been ongoing for a while – why, just look at that banner! Can’t decide if 17 or 15 comes after 14!

  3. @Camestros:

    I think everybody here knows you well enough to agree that when/if you’re being weird, it’s definitely for a reason. 😉

  4. I must confess a slight sympathy for the beleaguered smokers, but my earlier self reminds me of how self-righteous they used to be about people who smoked things that weren’t tobacco. Or the guy at the New American Theater (theater cafe) who plunked himself in the non-smoking area and lit up. When a waitress said something quietly to him, he bellowed, “I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA!” Then he looked over at us—no doubt jumping to the false conclusion that we’d ratted him out—and allowed as how maybe he’d just sit at the back of the smoking section (the best three quarters of the seats) and blow his smoke back at us.

    I do have some inkling of how important their habit is to the fabric of their day, or how much one needs some comfort thing at times, even if it’s not an unalloyed good. I know there’s a difference between polite and considerate smokers and the army of those for whom a glowing butt ceases to exist the moment it leaves their fingers and long before it lands on the ground six feet from a receptacle.

    Still, the fantasy persists of having a powerful vacuuminator in my car with a long hose that collects flocks of butts as they migrate along the edge of the road for the mythical cigarettes’ graveyard, and which would be able to reverse and pour about a pound of them back into, say, some truck window that just accidental-like disgorged a fresh one onto the highway moments ago. (Some may say that it’s science fiction, or simply fiction, but the fantasy part is me actually doing it even if I could. Revenge fantasy can be a comfort thing.)

    Rev Bob:
    “…an’ creatin’ an asterisk!”
    Just so. Wait’ll it comes around again.

  5. As someone who lived through the years of there being smoking and non-smoking consuites at many SF conventions, I got pretty familiar with all the various ways of airlocking and filtering smoky rooms, but they never really worked very well. I’m glad the default now is no smoking throughout the public spaces of hotels. Every time I wander into a casino now I’m reminded of what I don’t miss.

  6. In 1990 (give or take a year), they asked some guy to stop smoking in the cafeteria where I worked. Apparently he got a bit belligerent and somebody called security and he wound up getting escorted off of the property.

    Turned out he was an exec for one of the tobacco companies, and by the time he got back to his office he had cancelled a million-dollar contract with my company. Oops.

    In the same time period we had a contractor who insisted on smoking in one of the lab areas. We had to explain about the hydrogen cylinders ten feet away, tell him about the Hindenburg, and the large amounts of flammable solvents stored in the cabinets behind him.

    He finally stopped, although he made sure to finish the cigarette he was smoking first.

  7. I get rather angry when people make snotty remarks about non-smokers being self-righteous and persecuting those poor smokers, who are just minding their own business and not hurting anyone. Yeah, right.

    For some of us, being around smokers isn’t just unpleasant: it has the ability to cause us harm. Even today, when I’m waiting for the bus, some effing smoker will come up and stand by, or sit, next to me, and I will have to get up and move as far away as I can before my lungs close up and I can’t breathe. Often there will be smokers spread out over the bus stop area — because, of course, they can’t possibly be the slightest bit courteous and hang out in one area together so that the rest of us can have a little clear air — and I literally can not get away from the smoke.

    But it’s a lot better these days than it used to be. Back when smoking was still allowed indoors everywhere, I missed out on shows and a lot of other things because I had to get up and leave, because smokers were everywhere and would often disregard No Smoking sections, so people like me were just shit out of luck.

    I have sympathy in that I realize that tobacco addiction is indeed an addiction. But I have zero tolerance for people who feel that their addiction gives them license to cause other people harm, and I have no tolerance for people who complain about non-smokers “persecuting” smokers.

  8. As a (mostly) former tobacco smoker, I still will buy a single pack for the weekend or cadge cigarettes at cons, primarily because it gives me a chance to hang out briefly with people I might not otherwise get a chance to talk to, such as Terry Bisson. (One of my happiest memories of one WFC is sitting outside spending a sunny morning getting a chance to talk stories with him.) But smoking inside, around non-smokers, is just plain rude and inconsiderate, as well as having the potential to seriously harm somebody.

    Even in the non-smoking hotels though, I’ve -always- found someplace outside, sometimes towards the back of the hotel, where you can find the smokers. Staying in a non-smoking hotel doesn’t mean you’re deprived of tobacco chances throughout the duration of the con unless you’re unable/unwilling to get outside the hotel.

    Nowadays I see the young uns using vape pens. Certainly here in WA where weed is legal, it’s a much less unobtrusive way of smoking that.

  9. @Kip W

    but my earlier self reminds me of how self-righteous they used to be about people who smoked things that weren’t tobacco

    That probably says more about hypocrisy being hard to spot inside someone’s own bubble.

    I lived in a city for instance that, in a one month period, passed ordinances: (1) directing the city police to not enforce on the city green personal possession or use laws against marijuana; (2) banning the use of tobacco on the city green. As far as I can tell there wasn’t the slightest sense of irony on the part of the city council.

  10. @ Cat: A lot of places that ban smoking indoors have simply extended that ban to vaping. You can tell who picked up the pastime with the intention of doing an end-run around smoking bans by their reactions to this. Personally, I find vaping outside to be much less obnoxious than smoking outside, but indoors there’s not much difference. And I really don’t want to be breathing secondhand vape fluid any more than I want to be breathing secondhand smoke.

    Chattacon was really horrible about this up thru the mid-90s. Their “non-smoking consuite” was 3 tables in the corner of the consuite with signs on them, the area everyone had to walk thru to get from one part of the con floor to another was full of people sitting around smoking, etc. A lot of this was because everyone on the concom smoked, so they didn’t perceive any problem. It took the city enacting an ordinance against smoking in public accommodations to put an end to it.

  11. @JJ–

    I have sympathy in that I realize that tobacco addiction is indeed an addiction. But I have zero tolerance for people who feel that their addiction gives them license to cause other people harm, and I have no tolerance for people who complain about non-smokers “persecuting” smokers.

    So true. My entire childhood and young adulthood was spent being told that you couldn’t invite people to your house and not let them smoke, and that anyway, I wasn’t feeling my chest tighten up and losing the ability to breathe; I just didn’t like the smell. My leaving abruptly was rude! Even when I had an asthma attack in front of a doctor and was finally diagnosed, my mom still felt that it was no excuse for being rude.

    My dad, who had a three-pack-a-day habit (and died of a massive heart attack at 47), was also a recovering alcoholic. He understood that the smoking, like the drinking, was an addiction–but in terms of being a functional human being, it was a lot more important to kick the alcohol, and there were no non-smoking AA meetings at the time. He worked hard at being a polite smoker by the low standards of the day. He was one of the adults that told me that I just didn’t like the smell, but he also, as soon as I was able to state my dislike of tobacco smoke, at about three or four, he never again brought a lit cigarette into my bedroom or any other space seems to be mine (varied with which house we were living in.) Once I screamed because I was awakened by a bat flying around in my room. He came running because I was screaming, and after the problem was deakt with, he realized he still had his lit cigarette and apologized.

    But growing up with a dad in AA, I learned that you don’t help an addict by indulging or enabling their habit. You help them by being as unaccommodating as possible. If they have to leave the building to smoke, that’s good for them. There’s no reason they should expect other people at the bus stop will be okay with sharing in their favorite drug. Etc. Nicotine is a drug, like alcohol and marijuana. Like those drugs, there’s no good reason for it to illegal, but other people have an absolute right not to participate. If smoking (or vaping) is your means of ingesting your drug, doing it around non-consenting persons should not be tolerated.

  12. I moved to Berkeley a couple years before smoking was banned throughout the Bay Area (California? I forget now). I was a smoker at the time. I discovered the Starry Plough (a bar/venue in Berkeley) and frequently went there to see live music. It would get so incredibly smokey there that I would often end up with a hangover the next day just from the smoke (I wasn’t really a drinker then – two beers or ciders and I was done). I wouldn’t smoke in the venue, but a lot of people did. Anyway, when the smoking ban happened, I knee-jerked against it because FREEDOM (and I was, what, 24?), but within a few years I’d realized what a boon it was for everyone who went out. Even an unenforced ban cuts down drastically on the amount of smoke in a room.

    In my experience smokers are approximately equivalent to meat eaters in their self-righteousness – most of them are fine (to me, someone without asthma, allergies, or other strong reactions to smoke), but a vocal few make the rest look like jerks.

    ETA: @JJ, @Lis Carey – My mom developed an allergy to tobacco smoke (and pet fur) in her early 30s. My dad’s side of the family included a lot of smokers, and it bothered them to no end that they had to provide a smoke-free place for her. I don’t think they ever quite believed she wasn’t just making an “hysterical” fuss out of concern for her children’s health.

  13. Lis Carey on June 22, 2017 at 9:46 am said:
    My grandfather (who died in 1961) smoked cigars, but he never smoked them inside the house – my grandmother wouldn’t allow it. I developed asthma as an adult (a couple of cases of bronchitis in a fairly short time), so it didn’t bother me then.
    I’ve found that cigarette smoke is far more irritating to me than cigar or pipe smoke; apparently part of the problem is that they’re treated to burn more quickly.

  14. @Rev Bob, @Dann, @Lee, @Lurkertype and @Cora: Thank you all so much!

    I’ve copied them off to my Google Keep for checking when I get home.

    And Dann? I’m of the opinion everyone deserves basic respect – even the pups. But, there are numerous people I won’t voluntarily interact with based on their interactions with others and the pups crossed into that threshold a while back.

  15. Yay for people old enough to get my joke! Thanks, all (@BGrandrath, stick around).

    @kathodus: I only went into the Starry Plough during the day, when the doors were open, and only briefly. Because if there’s one thing worse, smell-wise, than smoke, it’s stale smoke. So I missed a lot of neat concerts; at least I could breathe. Making places non-smoking has opened up a lot of experience for folks with asthma and other lung problems.

    The house across the street from us sat empty for about a year after the original chain-smoking owner died. The family had had it cleaned, recarpeted, repainted, etc. but it still took that long for the stale cig smell to go away.

    Oddly, while criminal penalties don’t seem to affect illegal drug use much, making desirable places smoke-free and raising the price of cigs has demonstrably reduced the incidence of smoking. People get tired of going outside and missing things, plus spending a higher percentage of their income. Even smokers like the clearer atmosphere. The polite ones anyway. And non-smoking sections on airplanes were always a stupid idea — am so glad they banned that, since air travel is so unpleasant anyway.

    I like Vegas, but gah! the cigarettes! Even there, non-smoking rooms are available, and many places restrict smoking only to the casino parts. I don’t gamble, so I just hold my breath and walk quickly. I see where the hotel and casino NASFiC are in this year has very limited smoking areas, even in the casino part.

    Considering what dodgy sources some of the vape fluid comes from, I don’t want that inside either. The propylene glycol alone is a major respiratory irritant for asthma and allergies, like in fog machines.

    @PJ: Interesting! I wondered why cigars and pipes didn’t bother me so much.

    @Bravo: happy to help.

  16. For years, I couldn’t spend more than about half an hour in bars without my eyes starting to water to the extent that it looked like my mother just died. (Perfect strangers would solicitously ask me what was wrong.) This was unfortunate, because although I don’t drink, several of my friends and my husband all threw darts on dart teams — which compete in bars.

    Now that bars are entirely non-smoking in my state, I am, without a doubt, the very worst player on a dart team. (My teammates don’t seem to mind; I play one doubles match a night teamed up with the BEST player on the dart team, and despite my “help” we win the match more often than not. I’ve offered to drop off the team and the offer has been rejected. I spend a lot of time chalking (scoring) to make up for my insufficiencies in actually hitting my targets on the board.)

    It’s a pleasant one-night-a-week out with friends that I simply couldn’t have enjoyed before they banned smoking in bars.

  17. In college, I had a roommate who was allergic, so I started smoking outdoors, and discovered that I really liked not having all my stuff smell like stale tobacco! So I’ve been an outdoors-only smoker ever since, and haven’t allowed anyone else to smoke in my house either.

    This isn’t so unusual today, but when I started doing it, it was virtually unheard of. People were flabbergasted when I told them they couldn’t smoke inside. (But I could often soften the blow by saying that I’d come out to smoke with them.)

    So, yeah, despite being a smoker, my sympathy for those who want to smoke indoors or around others who don’t smoke is near nil. 🙂

  18. @lurkertype: In the future, will astronauts need NASA-spec Allen wrenches? I suppose those silly little tools are less of a hazard in Mars gravity than they’d be in microgravity, but I still have this vision of a device with enough bends between the small end (so it will get into the inside corners) and the big handle (so the tool won’t get lost) — even if it would be more efficient just to pack dozens of the classic IKEA version (says the person who once bought 50 2mm hex key wrenches because the job had hundreds of computers that used them, causing that size to disappear from all the sets).

  19. Most of my relatives on my mother’s side were heavy and unrepentant smokers, which made family gatherings intolerable, since both my Dad and I have allergy issues with cigarette smoke. Getting them to stop or at least go outside was impossible, because forbidding people to smoke in your own home was considered rude in the 1970s and 1980s and allergies against smoke were often dismissed as hysteria. My grandma even smoked in my bedroom (and used hairspray, which I’m allergic to as well), when she stayed with us overnight sometime in the 1980s. Unsurprisingly, most of those heavily smoking relatives died early of smoking related illnesses.

    I was happy when smoking was banned inside restaurants, cafés and bars, except in designated and separate smoking areas (and some smokers’ bars, but you don’t have to go there), because it made going out that much more pleasant. Early in my time at university, the smoking ban was not yet in effect, which made going for a drink with fellow students difficult to impossible. I also was on the staff of the university magazine and the staff meetings often took place in bars and pubs. Readings were a problem as well, since it took longer for smoking to be banned in events venues. One venue, which my colleagues on the staff inexplicably loved, was particularly bad about smoke and generally scary (the place looked like a fire trap). Another staffer and I always tried to persuade the others not to use that venue, but it was to no avail.

  20. I lived in NYC, which was an early restrictor of smoking in buildings and restaurants, which was wonderful (I am allergic to cigarette smoke, its not a pretty sight). I moved to California, which by then also had strong restrictions, which again was great.

    …when I first moved to Minnesota, such restrictions were not in place, and after my first couple of times trying to go out to restaurants, I simply had to stop, until the laws caught up with my health needs.

  21. @Paul Weimer, that suprises me, since the original MN clean indoor act in 1975 required that restaurants had a no smoking section, although in the early years, it often was smaller than the smoking section, and the ventilation didn’t always send the clean air towards the smoky air instead of vice versa. Bars, on the other hand didn’t have to have a no-smoking section until 2007, when they pretty much banned all smoking in indoor public places. I think some restaurants had already gone smoke-free well before the law made them do so.

    My company had smoking and non-smoking sections of the cafeteria back in the 80s, and there was one woman whose non-smoking friends always sat in the non-smoking section and she would light up anyway. I asked her to not smoke there multiple times, and she always gave the excuse that there wasn’t any space in the smoking section. Finally I had had enough, and when I told her to put it out, and she tried to use her excuse, I told her that I had been watching her come in to the cafeteria daily, and she had never bothered to even go to the smoking section to check. I asked her for her name so I could ask HR to explain the policy to her, and she replied “Do you think I’m stupid enough to give it to you?” I emphatically answered “YES!”. From the next day on, she and her friends always sat in the smoking section.

  22. Sorry folks. Been putting this off until I could spend a respectful amount of time in responding. And that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.


    I’m not dismissing the experiences and perspectives of non-Puppies. Believe it or not, I have been listening to those folks and there are times when they have a point.

    By the same token, I’ve been listening to the Puppies and I don’t think their experiences and perspectives should be dismissed either. Sometimes they have a point. (A little less frequently, truth be told, but it does happen.)j

    As I said to Mike privately, I get discouraged when people who are ideologically closer to me act in ways that are lacking in civility. It undermines my perspective. That comment was inspired by Larry Correia’s latest explosion.

    My point in the original post was simply this.

    There has been some bad rhetorical water flowing under the bridge. It still isn’t drinkable. But who is going to be the adult first? Who is going to be bigger that the disagreement first?

    As a qualifier, many of you in response to my message demonstrated that you are already there. Thanks very much for that.

    FWIW, I make the same point in the other direction from time to time. It doesn’t do me any favors there either.


    (for some odd reason, my click for responses hasn’t worked on this post. I haven’t had time to try it on any other ones.)

  23. @Dann: “There has been some bad rhetorical water flowing under the bridge. It still isn’t drinkable. But who is going to be the adult first? Who is going to be bigger that the disagreement first?”

    To respond by extending the metaphor, the Puppies are gonna have to stop pissing in the river before I’ll be even remotely inclined to drink from it.

    You act like their offenses were all in the past, so we can just come together now and let bygones be bygones. That isn’t even close to true, and you should damn well know it. We’re not “dismissing” their experiences – we’re simply declining to forgive their vandalism when they have yet to show so much as an ounce of recognition that they did anything bad.

    To overextend the “puppy” metaphor, how do you successfully housetrain a puppy? Try praising it for shitting on your bed and see how well that works for you.

  24. Dann: But who is going to be the adult first? Who is going to be bigger that the disagreement first?

    I’m mystified as to why you think this is an issue.

    What is your definition of “being the adult first”? Letting Puppies cheat themselves into Hugos? What exactly is it that you think Worldcon voters need to do?

    If the Puppies wish to participate in good faith, they know what they need to do in order to accomplish that: stop trying to cheat at the Hugos; stop hurling ridiculous insults at people who have different tastes in SFF and different political views.

    I don’t see it ever happening — but hey, sometimes the unbelievable does happen.

    In the meantime, Worldcon voters are going about doing what they do: reading books, reviewing them and discussing them. As long as the Puppies stop trying to cheat themselves into Hugos or griefing the Awards, nobody cares what they do. They can continue behaving badly, forever, all they want. It will cost them readers, it will cost them sales. But that’s their choice.

    I don’t know why you think Worldcon voters should care.

  25. Feels a bit late. Puppydom has disintegrated into a plethora of Scrappy Doos, barking and barfing at each other. They have more problems with each other than with us.

  26. By the same token, I’ve been listening to the Puppies and I don’t think their experiences and perspectives should be dismissed either.

    I don’t care what their experiences and perspectives are. The Pups are vandals. I don’t care about the feelings or justifications of vandals.

    If they decide to behave like civilized people, I still won’t care about their experiences and perspectives, because I don’t care what they read and like. They can read and like anything they want – they can hate any kind of literature and scream ridiculous Alt-Right political slogan all they want as well, but there is absolutely no reason for anyone else to care about them as a result. I literally don’t care what the Pups do so long as they aren’t trying to launch ill-conceived attacks on others.

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