Pixel Scroll 6/21/16 Everybody In The Whole Scrollblock, Dance To The Pixelhouse Rock

(1) HE’S BAAACK. ScienceFiction.com explains how Dr. Okun’s been down for the count almost as long as Captain America – “Okun’s Razor: New ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Featurette Explains The Return Of Dr. Okum”.

Of course, the alien attacked the doctor and took over his mind, using him to communicate with the other people outside the laboratory, and the encounter ended with men having to shoot the alien before it hurt the president, all of which left Dr. Okun comatose on the floor.

According to the new featurette released, Dr. Okun did not actually die that day. Apparently he was just left in a vegetative state, a coma, for the past twenty years, leaving him prime to be woken up by contact with new alien minds as the aliens return in the new film.


(2) FUTURE PUPPIES. Paul Weimer’s “Of Dogs and Men: Clifford Simak’s City” is the latest installment of Tor.com’s “Lost Classics” series.

…A suite of stories that merges Simak’s love of dogs, his interest in rural settings and landscapes, use of religion and faith, and his interest in robots all in one package: City.

City is a fixup novel originally consisting of seven stories written between 1944 and 1951, and collected together in 1952. City charts the fall of Humanity’s (or the creature called “Man” in the stories) civilization, starting with his urban environment, and finally, of the fall of Humanity itself. As Humanity falls, so rises the successor to Man, the Dogs. As David Brin would later do to chimps and dolphins in his Uplift stories and novels, the story of the engineered rise of Dogs, and their supplanting of Man, is due to the agency of one family, the Websters. The growth and development of the Dogs is thanks to their agency, and the Dog’s continued growth is due to the help of Jenkins, the robot created as a butler for the Webster family who becomes a mentor to the Dogs and a through line character in the narrative…..

(3) SIMAK AT 1971 WORLDCON. And with lovely timing, the FANAC YouTube channel has just posted Part 2 of a photo-illustrated audio recording of the Noreascon Banquet. It includes the Guest of Honor speeches from Clifford Simak and Harry Warner, Jr. Other speakers: Bob Shaw, Toastmaster Robert Silverberg, Forrest J Ackerman, Gordon Dickson, and TAFF winner Mario Bosnyak.

(4) PATIENCE REWARDED. Ricky L. Brown says go for it, in a review of Joe Zieja’s Mechanical Failure at Amazing Stories.

At first, the book comes off as a plead, as if asking the reader to accept the fact that it supposed to be funny. The dialog feels a little forced and the humor dangerously becomes the focal point over character development and plot. If a literary version of a laugh track was a real thing, letting the reader know that this part is funny and you are supposed to be laughing along with the fabricated audience, it would be running non-stop during the first chapter.

As a reviewer, this is usually the point when one must decide if the work has potential or if it is time to abandon hope before investing the time. The original premise was sound and I truly wanted the book to be good, so I pressed on.

And then it got better….

Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja is a funny story about a funny man in a funny universe. What makes this book work so well is the author’s innate ability to paint a sarcastic hero in a ridiculously irrational setting, and allow the reader to laugh along at the absurdity that could become our future.

(5) AUTOGRAPH SEEKERS. A weekend of signings at the Denver Comic Con inspired Sarah A. Hoyt to write “The Running Of The Fans”. Before you get cranked up – I thought it was pretty funny.

….This is interrupted by a voice from the ceiling, “The fans are coming, the fans are coming.”

The double doors open on a throng at the end of the hall.  Some of the fans are in costume.  There is a minotaur in an Acme costume, for instance, several ladies in corsets and men wearing uniforms of all epochs, some of them imaginary.

The announcers shriek and run behind the barriers which are formed by booths filled with books.  For a while the melee is too confused to focus on, and the announcers are both talking at the same time.

After a while the younger announcer says.  “John Ringo is down.  I repeat he’s down, and they’ve taken his kilt.  But he’s still fighting valiantly.”

“Larry Correia,” says the older announcer, “Is still running, though he is QUITE literally covered in fans demanding his autograph.  Look at him move!  That’s why they call him The Mountain Who Writes.”

“If mountains moved, of course.”

“We have the first author to escape the melee, ladies and gentlemen.  David Drake seems to have evaded the fans by the expedient of pretending to be lost and asking for directions, then fading away.”….


(7) HOW TO HIT BILLIONAIRES IN THE FEELS. Renay at Lady Business outlines a plan for action in “Captain America: Steve Rogers – The Only Power Left to Us is Money”.

Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 drops on June 29. I’m not getting it because I dropped it from my pull list and didn’t buy #1 due to A) my HEIGHTENED EMOTIONS, expressed by this thread on Twitter by readingtheend and B) the behavior of Nick Spencer/Tom Brevoort in the media, which included laughing at upset fans, and generally being dismissive, cruel, and gratuitously smug on Twitter (the failure mode of clever is asshole, etc.). I placed my funds toward other comics instead (Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur is super cute, y’all). But I’m just one fan. I’ve never advocated a boycott before, but there’s a first time for everything!

Boycotts work when they target specific behavior. A wholesale Marvel/Disney boycott is ineffective; they’re diversified (curse them for being smart at business, and also, billionaires). Refusing to buy and removing from your pull or digital subscription list Captain America: Steve Rogers #2 (June 29, 2016) and all subsequent issues will be more effective than swearing off all Marvel comics. Also, it doesn’t punish other creative people at Marvel who had no control over this situation. That sends a message to Marvel, The Company: this comic/plotline is not profitable! That’s easier for them to grasp than nuanced discussions about history and cultural respect that it’s clear they have no interest in listening to at this particular time. Although it doesn’t hurt to tell them, either, by writing emails or letters to outline exactly why you aren’t supporting the comic. This post has a longer list on how to make financial decisions that impact this specific comic that are active rather than reactive.

(8) WESTWORLD TEASER TRAILER. Westworld is coming to HBO in October 2016.

(9) ORDWAY. Universe Today features “Finding ‘The Lost Science’ of 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

The film 2001: A Space Odyssey brought space science to the general masses. Today we may consider it as common place, but in 1968 when the film was released, humankind yet to walk on the Moon. We certainly didn’t have any experience with Jupiter. Yet somehow the producer, Stanley Kubrick, successfully peered into the future and created a believable story. One of his methods was to employ Frederick I. Ordway III as his science consultant. While Ordway has since passed, he left behind a veritable treasure trove of documents detailing his work for Kubrick. Science author and engineer Adam K. Johnson got access to this trove which resulted in the book “2001: The Lost Science – The Scientist, Influences & Designs from the Frederick I. Ordway III Estate Volume 2“. It’s a wonderful summary of Ordway’s contributions and the film’s successes.

Johnson’s book was released this month.

(10) TABLE TALK. Black Gate’s John O’Neill gave his neighbor a lesson in marketing psychology, as he explains in “Total Pulp Victory: A Report on Windy City Pulp & Paper 2016, Part I”.

I learned a great deal about selling at my first Windy City Pulp show. And most of what I learned was the result of one fateful purchase.

When I noticed I was running low on paperbacks, I glanced across the aisle at the seller across from me, who had hundreds in big piles on his table. He was charging 25 cents each for the books he’d stacked on the floor, but wasn’t selling many. I’d rummaged through them and found he had a lot of great stuff, including some rare Ace Doubles in great condition, but no one seemed to be taking the time to dig through the jumbled stacks on the floor.

So I offered him 10 bucks for a box of books, and he was happy to sell it to me. Back at my table, I slipped each book out of the box and into a poly bag, and slapped a $10 price tag on it. The vendor watched me wordlessly as I put them prominently on display at the front of my booth. I’d put out less than half of them when a buyer wandered by, picked one up excitedly, paid me $10, and happily continued on his way.

Over the next few hours, the seller across the way watched furiously as I did a brisk business with his books, selling a good portion of his stock and making a very tidy profit. In the process, I learned two very valuable lessons.

  1. A 25 cent book in a jumble on the floor is worth precisely 25 cents, and a prominently displayed $10 book in a poly bag is worth $10. Simple as that.
  2. One the whole, it’s much easier to sell a $10 book than a 25 cent book.

(11) STEVE FOX. Somebody on eBay will happily take $12 for “1986 sci-fi fanzine FILE 770 #60, Challenger disaster”. However, I included this link for the opportunity afforded of showing you a cover by Steve Fox, a Philadelphia fanartist who, quite unreasonably, was voted behind No Award in 1985.

steve fox cover f770 60

(12) CHARGE REVERSED. Vox Day, at the end of a post otherwise spent extolling the views of John C. Wright, took issue with the popular acclaim given to a massive battle in the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

The battle scenes in the most recent episode of A Game of Thrones were so shockingly inept and historically ignorant that I found myself wondering if Kameron Hurley had been hired as the historical consultant.

As one wag put it on Twitter: A cavalry charge? I’d better put my pikes in reserve!

And while I’m at it, I’ll refrain from ordering my archers to fire at them as they approach. Then I’ll send my infantry in to surround the survivors, so they can’t break and run, thereby preventing my cavalry from riding them down and slaughtering them from behind. And when the totally predictable enemy reinforcements arrive just in the nick of time, because I’ve been busy posturing rather than simply destroying the surrounded enemy, instead of withdrawing my army and retreating to my fortress, I’ll just stand around and watch them get entirely wiped out before fleeing by myself.

It was the second-most retarded battle scene I’ve ever seen, topped only by Faramir leading Gondor’s cavalry against a fortified position manned by archers in The Return of the King. I was always curious about what the cavalry was intended to do if they somehow managed to survive the hail of arrows and reach the walls that no horse could possibly climb.

(13) STOP MOTION DINOSAURS. The Alex Film Society will show The Lost World (1925) on Sunday, July 10th at 2:00 p.m. at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA.

The Lost World poster

When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was not writing Sherlock Holmes stories, he often wrote history, fantasy, adventure and science-fiction tales. One of his most successful novels was The Lost World, the story of adventurers who find a South American plateau – where time stopped 65 million years ago – inhabited by dinosaurs. In 1912, when the book was published, movies were still in their infancy and technology wasn’t available to do the fantastic story justice, but by 1925, Willis O’Brien had begun to perfect stop motion, a form of animation that would allow him and his small team to bring these long dead creatures to life, blending them convincingly with real actors. It created a sensation when people saw, for the first time, believable prehistoric creatures on the screen, and remains a cinematic milestone today.

Featuring some of the biggest stars of the silent era, including Wallace Beery, Bessie Love and Lewis Stone, as well as no less than a dozen different species of dinosaur, our print of The Lost World is a fully restored version from the George Eastman House collection. Famed composer and pianist Alexander Rannie will accompany the film with the musical score that was written for the original release.

Preservation funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Hugh Hefner.

(14) NEWS FOR THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER? Yahoo! Movies has a Frozen franchise update: “Olaf Forever! Disney Introduces ‘Frozen Northern Lights’ – Including Brand New Character”.

Think of it as the Frozen sequel before the Frozen sequel. Disney has just unveiled Frozen Northern Lights, a multimedia expansion of its hugely popular princess franchise that will include new books and Lego animated shorts. The adventure revolves around Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven — joined by their new friend, Little Rock — on an mission to fix the Northern Lights in time for a special troll ceremony.


frozen art

(15) JESSICA F. JONES. Whatever you thought you heard, you apparently didn’t. ScienceFiction.com has the story — “She Don’t Give A @#$%: ‘Jessica Jones’ Executive Producer Reveals Marvel’s Restrictions In Season 1”.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporte, ‘Jessica Jones’ executive producer Melissa Rosenberg spoke candidly about producing the show, and what restrictions were placed on her by either Netflix or Marvel. As suspected, Netflix did not put a lot of restrictions on the show, but it seems Marvel had some very specific Dos and Don’ts that she had to abide by during Season 1 of ‘Jessica Jones.’ In her words:

“The beauty of working at Netflix is that you don’t have those limits. I also work with Marvel, and Marvel has a brand and their brand is generally PG-13. They’ve kind of let us go to PG-16. No F-bombs! And if anyone was going to say ‘fuck,’ it would be Jessica Jones. Sometimes I would be like, ‘Please just let me put one!’ Never. But what’s funny is that people said, ‘Wait — she didn’t say fuck? I could have sworn she did!’ Ritter can deliver ‘fuck’ with her face. Her look says it! She can be saying ‘potato.’”

[Thanks to JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Rob Thornton.]

164 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/21/16 Everybody In The Whole Scrollblock, Dance To The Pixelhouse Rock

  1. Aaron on June 22, 2016 at 1:09 pm said:

    It is even worse than that. The English did advance on the French, pulling up their defensive stakes, moving forward a few hundred yards. Any French commander would have obviously launched his attack during the time Henry was moving his army and their archers weren’t protected by stakes. The fact that the French didn’t just shows how dunderheaded the producers of this show are when it comes to military tactics.

    Well there you go. It is nearly as stupid as that other series called “Ancient Greek History” where the Persians decide that they need to go through a narrow pass defended by Thesbians (and some Spartans as well it seems but as I understand it mainly Thesbians) instead of going around them. Who writes this history stuff?

  2. Paul (@princejvstin) on June 22, 2016 at 1:29 pm said:

    In re Techgrrl1972

    ” No law and no custom in my whole adult lifetime erected a barrier to women based on sex, nor none to blacks based on race. ”
    – John C. Wright

    Yeah, that’s the passage that stunned me with its total ignorance of reality.

    Are you agreeing with me or him?

  3. Aaron: Proves once again there’s no predicting what will stir debate — today, it’s the stackability of bodies.

    There are sources that say at Agincourt the casualties in the French front ranks would get trampled, and more casualties fall on them — but since they weren’t dealing with our topic, they don’t say how many layers resulted. No too many, I expect. And it took awhile to happen.

    Those Civil War engagements placed soldiers in ranks, trying to bring massed firepower to bear. High-casualty encounters would be produced in a way that would make people drop where they were hit. So no heaps other than exceptional situations (like the “wall of dead” at Fredericksburg). One factor about photos, though, is they only show the dead. There would have been a multiple of that number wounded, who would have left or been moved before photographers showed up.

  4. Indeed, has it not been decimated-and-a-half?

    Other acceptable metric units include 15 centimation, 150 millimation, and 0.15 mation.

    On a different note, there are plenty here who are interested in languages, so here is an useful foreign phrase link I stumbled across today. Now, if I ever meet someone Welsh-Portuguese, I can say “Mae bronnau ardderchog da hi. Devo engoli-los inteiros?”

  5. @Mike: That’s one reason I cited the Bloody Lane, because multiple assaults were repulsed there. If there were ever going to be piles of bodies in a U.S. Civil War battle, that’s one of the places one would find it. Other candidates would be the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania and the narrow front at Cold Harbor, but I’m not aware of any battlefield photographs from the aftermath of those engagements. Grant’s aide Horace Porter, writing about the Bloody Angle, did say that at places the bodies were piled four deep, which he found to be remarkable enough to comment upon. I doubt that you could find bodies on a battlefield that would be stacked much higher without someone doing it intentionally.

    Fair point about the wounded. They would add another level of clutter on a battlefield that would not be captured in the photographs. Porter’s account talks about the wounded mixed in with the dead.

  6. I was with a group touring Bosworth Field once, and the guide quoted someone saying there were something like 25,000 combatants. I was amazed, because the damn place wasn’t very large. Where did they all stand? Maybe they were stacked before they died at Agincourt, if it was like that.

    We stood on the hilltop there, not far from a visitor centre. Something was making large puffs of vapor in the valley below. I asked if it was a Stanley Steamer.

    Little Bosworth humor, there.

  7. Indeed, has it not been decimated-and-a-half?

    Quindecimated I suppose.

    Shouldn’t that be sesquidecimated?

  8. Jenora Feuer on June 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm said:
    Indeed, has it not been decimated-and-a-half?
    Quindecimated I suppose.

    Shouldn’t that be sesquidecimated?

    My fake latin is neither good nor consistent but I’m worried that either suggestion might mean one-fifthteenth (i.e one and a third out of 20) instead of 15 out of 100 (i.e 3 out of 20).

  9. Kip W on June 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm said:
    I was with a group touring Bosworth Field once, and the guide quoted someone saying there were something like 25,000 combatants. I was amazed, because the damn place wasn’t very large.

    Not very large – but can you find a horse when you need one? No you can’t.

  10. @idontknow, @Aaron, @Mike Glyer

    Affirming Camestros’ analysis, a few more points about Agincourt’s lack of historical realism:

    1. Averages are averages. SOME medieval battles had over 15-25% casualties–in particular, Agincourt, where even the FRENCH estimates show over 8,000 killed or captured (75% of the casualties KIA) out of a force of perhaps 25,000, including almost all of the French field commanders (though some probably died of embarrassment at being forced to simulate such military stupidity or else wanted to get in on the Spartacus pilot).
    2. And while the total length of the battle was 3 hours, the vast majority of the casualties occurred in a span of 30-45 minutes during which the French cavalry (armored knights) followed by THREE waves of heavy infantry, mostly (like the knights) wearing freaking plate mail, attacked through heavy mud on a narrow front into spikes and pikes. The English archers flanked them on the high ground on both sides.
    3. The weather conditions + visored helmets apparently made it hard to see what was ahead, so the infantry waves rolled up into the backs of their own forces and got crowded together–in effect, voluntarily creating a Cannea-like kill zone. Those who went down suffocated in their armor or waited for English archers who had run out of arrows to come slit their throats. Those who stayed upright had a hard time wielding weapons and got forced into the pikes by those behind. Several eyewitnesses reported that some of the infantry remained standing in death, leaning against their fellows or dead horses.
    4. Anyone ever conducted experiments on how high one can stack corpses in plate mail and dead horses? I still think six feet is an exaggeration, but you could use the base of the flanking hill to help get it started, I suppose. Did the MythBusters ever check this one?

  11. Anyone ever conducted experiments on how high one can stack corpses in plate mail and dead horses? I still think six feet is an exaggeration, but you could use the base of the flanking hill to help get it started, I suppose. Did the MythBusters ever check this one?

    You have to plan ahead. Get a couple of horses to fall so that there’s a space between then. If the bodies are in armor, perhaps the piles could be made higher through the judicious use of magnets.

  12. K-choll – already in Hell down here, so i forgot to mention the ten perfect days we get each year – you found ’em!

  13. I’m assuming the stacks were caused by an internet comment section dogpile during the battle – possibly due to somebody proclaiming spoilers for the Canterbury Tales.
    ‘Thou knave! Proclaim such only in rot-of-the-thirteen!’

  14. PoI finale: Apparently my house was full of onion-chopping ninjas. I actually watched it in real-time, with ads and everything because I could not wait. Good ending.

    @Soon Lee: June, July, August are summer. Actually Memorial Day through Labor Day, like Kevin said. Of course it’s foggy in the morning in June, and winter is when water falls from the sky, like Heather said. Solstice is just one of those pedantic things, more for the length of the day.

    @Bonnie: JCW must have a different set of TV channels than me. I get SWMM on all my channels all the time. He should talk to his cable company and local theaters instead of whining on the internet.

    @Stoic Cynic: You tell that to the kids today, they won’t believe you.

    @Aaron: Teddy doubling down on stupid? Quel surprise.

    Hell, “feigned retreats” (trick plays with fake handoffs and multiple short passes) hardly ever work even in football, when there’s 22 guys in a limited area and they can all see and hear each other and there’s no weapons.

  15. @Kip W

    Good thinking! I like the cut of your jib, man! I can see this written as Competence Porn.

    For our Euro-sports-loving friends: think of Agincourt as the Hillsborough FA Stadium but with pikes at the ends of the tunnels and ramps–and for fun, let’s put archers on the next level instead of people attempting to lift others out of the crush.

  16. Jenora: Sesquicentennial means 150 years, so I think you’re correct. Sesquidecimated would be 15% of your army dying.

  17. @Camestros:

    “Not very large – but can you find a horse when you need one? “


  18. Apparently the phrase “Competence P**n” gets you sent to moderation. I stand properly abashed, but I still refuse to put my Agincourt spoilers in “rot-of-the-thirteen,” Camestros.

    SWM engineers can solve that problem in the blink of a laser, Kip W.

  19. Hal Winslow’s Old Buddy: Did the MythBusters ever check this one?

    Battlefield Detectives devoted an episode to Agincourt, which I haven’t seen. Don’t know what all they investigated.

  20. @Mike Glyer

    Thanks–inquiring minds want to know!! I shall check it out.

  21. Apropos of nothing in particular, there is a development near me called McLean Hamlets. The street names are all Shakespearean, of course. I dearly wanted to buy a house on Agin Ct, but there were only five, and we didn’t like them. Sigh.

  22. Plus, bodies don’t stack well in any event. Human bodies are floppy and will slide off of one another when one tries to pile them up unless one does it fairly carefully. The kind of spontaneous “stacking” in the battle probably would not happen.

    So what Aaron is saying is that the writers made a stack overflow error…

  23. @ BethZ

    I dearly wanted to buy a house on Agin Ct, but there were only five, and we didn’t like them.

    Ah, the dangerous attraction of a cool address! When I was shopping for my current house, I dearly wanted to fall in love with something on Rose Street, but failed. Besides, I think I used up my cool address allotment when I was in college at U.C. Davis and spent most of a year living at #5 Baggins End.

  24. On the subject of stackable bodies, I submit to you evidence A: Stackable Bards. See 3:45.

  25. Hal Winslow’s Old Buddy: Lately all of your comments are being thrown into moderation, and I have not be able to deduce the cause. Pr0n would do it, but that only explains a very few instances.

  26. @rdf: “So what Aaron is saying is that the writers made a stack overflow error…”

    That’s what they get for sallying Forth across boundaries.

  27. Camestros:

    That episode of “Ancient Greek History” wasn’t filmed on location, of course; the stage set is much narrower than the actual pass.

  28. Ah, the dangerous attraction of a cool address!
    There’s a tract in San Jose with names out of Tolkien.
    (There is no effing way I’d live on Angmar Court without getting in an exorcist.)

    My job had me looking at maps, many many maps, so I saw a lot of street names that were good for a laugh. ‘Cul-de-sac Avenue’ is still one of my favorites, along with ‘Paseo Cerveza’.

  29. * The Westworld trailer is much more interesting to me than I was expecting. Not enough to subscribe to HBO, but still. What we see has interesting resonances of the original very early Michael Crichton, without much sign of a lot of his usual tics.

    * I’m not going to check, not on a day with health problems like this one but am fairly sure there are photos of stacks of bodies on the lips of trenches, in large shell craters, and right against barbed wire from the Western front of World War I. I am less confident here, but think there may be some photos of bodies piled on top of each other as they were killed in some encircling engagements in the wars against the First Nations in the latter 19th century.

    * I’ve been listening to successors to the original British series Survivors. First I listened to Terry Nation’s own novelization, read by the actress who played the original Abby Grant. It diverges substantially from the broadcast show’s series 2 and 3, keeping Abby as a major character and in general keeping the focus much more local to southeastern England. It is very good, not really darker than the show but, like I said, more closely focused, and it ends with one of the most devastating emotional blows I’ve felt in a long time – I might have to go back to my first time seeing All Quiet On The Western Front on TV, with Ernest Borgnine as the old veteran and Richard Thomas as the narrator. Dang. It’s a fair, earned tragedy, too, as with All Quiet, arising from the whole situation and the elements converging in those last few pages.

    * Then on to the Big Finish “box sets”, which since I’m getting them as digital downloads are just sets of four one-hour episodes with 10 minutes of goodies each. But hey. Props to Big Finish, by the way, for providing for-real download options – mp3s and m4as with no DRM at all, so nearly as I can tell. Anyway, series 1 of Big Finish’s Survivors runs in parallel to the first few episodes of the original show, starting with the outbreak of the plague and taking place almost entirely in London and environs. Some characters from the original show up in places where it makes sense. Delightfully, the original actors for Greg and Jenny are here to play Greg and Jenny, and in interview bits both comment on how nice it is to be on an audio stage rather than in the mud of the west counties. 🙂

    Wouldn’t you know, this series manages that overwhelming, tragic, colossally surprising yet fair kind of dramatic climax? It is, again, fairly set up. It’s just devastating, in the best kind of way. Deeply satisfying. On to series 2….

  30. Just occurred to me that “ahistorical” is a particularly awkward criticism of fantasy coming from a chap whose novel appears to be “Knights vs. Romans”.

  31. @Snowcrash:

    I’m surprised no one is lambasting the ahistorical usage of Wun Wun.

    Wait, what is the historical use of giants in warfare? 🙂

    I know Gene Wolfe entertains the idea that Genesis’ reference to giants was historically correct, but I thought that was an eccentric view!

  32. There’s a tract in San Jose with names out of Tolkien

    And it’s been the ruin of many a postman, and, God, I know I’m one.

  33. @Another Laura: I can recall seeing someone quoted by the Houston Chronicle (in an article on their web site) as saying that the four seasons here are Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas.

  34. @Stoic Cynic, long ago on page 1- yaaaaay! I love a good tale of blood and vellum.

    @Heather Rose Jones – There is a street in a nearby town called Wild Weasel Way. I covet the address deeply.

  35. @Aaron: Any French commander would have obviously launched his attack during the time Henry was moving his army and their archers weren’t protected by stakes.

    From what I read (when playing several small parts in Henry V, the French stood between the English and safety (Henry having tried to bite off more than he could chew) and figured the English would have to go through them. This plan broke because the move put the French forces in range of the English longbows but didn’t put the English forces in range of the few French range weapons (mostly Genoese crossbowmen). Also, it’s not clear how many archers were protected by stakes rather than high ground; they could have stopped moving and started shooting if the French had moved.

  36. @Techgrrl1972

    but is JCW seriously and with a straight face claiming that women and POC have not suffered discrimination i. His adult life? That racism and sexism have been eliminated?

    Yes, you read that right.

    That is just disgusting.

  37. Jim Henley on June 22, 2016 at 6:08 pm said:


    I’m surprised no one is lambasting the ahistorical usage of Wun Wun.

    Wait, what is the historical use of giants in warfare? ?

    As psychological warfare maybe – didn’t Alexander have huge armour constructed to be casually abandoned so that enemy scouts would report back that his warriors must be enormous?

  38. Vicki Rosenzweig on June 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm said:


    That episode of “Ancient Greek History” wasn’t filmed on location, of course; the stage set is much narrower than the actual pass.

    Also, the Persian GPS had sent them that way because the rush-hour traffic was really bad on the other routes.

  39. Thanks for that one, David Goldfarb! I’m going to quote it.

    Also, I want whatever drugs JCW is on. His world sounds so much nicer than the one the rest of us inhabit, except for the whole beating gay men with tire irons thing, of course. I guess while racism and sexism no longer exist there, homophobia still runs rampant. So maybe I’ll stick to my own meds…

  40. I’m not going to check, not on a day with health problems like this one but am fairly sure there are photos of stacks of bodies on the lips of trenches, in large shell craters, and right against barbed wire from the Western front of World War I.

    Sure, in trenches and ditches and the like, bodies can pile up. I recall a few U.S. Civil War photographs like that, but that’s usually the result of people falling into the trench and others falling on top of them after. On flat ground, bodies don’t spontaneously pile so well.

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