Pixel Scroll 7/4/16 Pixeled On The Fourth of July

The three actual LEGO minifigures of Jupiter, Juno and Galileo on the Juno probe as seen before launch. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/LEGO)

The three actual LEGO minifigures of Jupiter, Juno and Galileo on the Juno probe as seen before launch. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/LEGO)

(1) LEGO AND JUNO. CollectorSpace tells about three hitchhikers aboard the Juno mission to Jupiter.

The Juno minifigure holds a magnifying glass to signify her search for the truth and her husband holds a lightning bolt. Galileo, who is credited with several important discoveries about Jupiter, including identifying its four largest moons, holds both a model of the planet and his telescope.

The three figures stand along a ledge on the spacecraft’s hexagonal two-deck body, which also houses Juno’s eight primary science instruments, 29 sensors and a first-of-its-kind shielded vault to protect the probe’s electronics from Jupiter’s heavy radiation environment.

“We put these LEGO minifigures on board Juno in order to inspire and motivate and engage children, to have them share in the excitement of space exploration and reaching for the best goals that you can,” Bolton said.

To that end, NASA and LEGO have partnered on “Mission to Space,” a new design challenge that invites children to use the toy building bricks to imagine the future of space exploration.

(2) FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA. HowStuffWorks offers “The 1950s Sci-Fi Movie Quiz”

Even though I scored 24 out of 30, Tarpinian will be disgusted that I got the Ray Bradbury question wrong. So am I!

(3) AUSSIE SF SCREENWRITING COMPETITION. Australia Writers Guild members (only) have until August 22 to enter: “Call for Entries: John Hinde Awards for Excellence in Science Fiction”.

The award was established to encourage, reward and foster creativity in the development and showcasing of science fiction writing for feature film, short film, television, radio and interactive media. It also provides an avenue for unproduced works to enter.

Jesse O’Brien, the 2015 winner in the Produced category for his screenplay Arrowhead, says, “We’re only a few movies away from a significant genre resurgence and if Arrowhead can inspire the imaginations of other writers, then it has done the very best thing movies can do,” he says. “Thank you to John Hinde for leaving this treasure for us to find, and to the AWG for presenting it.”

The Prizes

The competition will be split up into two separate categories – produced and unproduced. Each category will have its own specific prize.


  • $10,000 cash prize


  • The winning script will be read by an experienced genre producer and the writer will be set up with a meeting with an industry professional hand-selected for your specific piece of work. Associated travel expenses will be covered by the AWG/John Hinde Bequest.
  • The winner and all shortlisted applicants will be provided with entry into the AWG Pathways Program – an initiative that provides networking opportunities for writers and the chance to showcase their ideas to industry professionals thereby giving those industry professionals access to quality scripts.

(4) NEILL OBIT. Known for playing Lois Lane in The Adventures of Superman, actress Noel Neill died July 3 at the age of 95. She was a popular guest at media cons, where many fans got to meet her over the years.

Noel Neill and Kirk Alyn (another screen Superman) at Equicon II in 1974. Photo by Dik Daniels.

Noel Neill and Kirk Alyn (another screen Superman) at Equicon II in 1974. Photo by Dik Daniels.

SF Site News adds:

She retired from acting when the show went off the air, but appeared as Lois Lane’s mother in the film Superman, as well as bit roles in the television series Superboy and the film Superman Returns. She also played Aunt Lois in Surge of Power.

Bleeding Cool’s obit includes other details of her entertainment career.

With the help of Bing Crosby, Noel signed a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures in 1941. She initially made several short films, then appeared in mostly non-speaking roles, gradually gaining leading lady status beginning with 1944’s Are These Our Parents?

In total, Noel made close to 100 films in her long and incredible career, and surprisingly, most were Western films made in the 1940s and 1950s. She worked with many noted directors such Cecil B. DeMille, Vincent Minnelli, and Hal Roach, and starred with actors Bob Hope, Crosby, Gene Kelley, Clayton Moore, Johnny Mack Brown and William Holden.


  • July 4, 1862 — Lewis Caroll first told Alice Liddell the story of Alice in Wonderland.


  • Donald F. Glut asks, “Did Forry say, ‘Harpy Fearth of Ghoul Eye’?”

(7) FOURTH WITH. Damien G. Walter wishes us a jolly holiday:


(8) HUGO NOM COVERAGE. Lisa Goldstein sent a note that she has reviewed “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” at inferior4+1, and wishes everyone, “Happy Fourth! And Fifth!”

(9) GAME OF THRONES. Via ScienceFiction.com “Cersei Lannister Lets It Go In ‘Game of Thrones’/‘Frozen’ Mash-Up”. How ill!


(10) METAL MEN. Jennifer Ouelette at Gizmodo says a “New Study Busts the Myth That Knights Couldn’t Move Well in Armor”.

Daniel Jaquet of the University of Geneva and several colleagues aim to bust that myth with a new study examining the range of motion and energy cost while fighting in medieval armor. They published their findings in a recent paper in Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History.

Medieval scholars have long known that armor worn by knights of that era allowed for far more mobility than most people realize. There’s even a 1924 educational film created by the Metropolitan Museum of New York to address the popular misconception. But until quite recently, little quantitative data was available to support that stance.

(11) JAPANESE CULTURE CON. NatsuCon runs July 22-24 in St. Louis:

NatsuCon is a Saint Louis metro-area based anime convention possessing the sole desire of expanding the appreciation, understanding, and acceptance of Japanese pop-culture in America. By the use of media ranging from art, to music, to visual screenings, NatsuCon strives to present attendees with an accepting, friendly environment allowing guests of all ages to meet and express similar interests. The staff and volunteers of NatsuCon all share the common wish of providing attendees with a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Through educational panels and interactive presentations and events based around precepts of Japanese culture, NatsuCon will offer its guests with an opportunity to empower themselves by increasing knowledge, diversity, and strength of character.

(12) SPOCKUMENTARY SCREENS IN BOSTON. Adam Nimoy’s tribute to his father was shown to Kickstarter donors in Boston last week.

“Star Trek” fans like the character of Mr. Spock because he’s low-key and emotionally detached. But it turns out Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played the Vulcan with the pointy ears, was the same way in real life, which wasn’t so great for his son. That’s the sense one gets watching Adam Nimoy’s documentary about his dad, “For the Love of Spock,” which screened at the Revere Hotel this week. (The movie, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, comes out Sept. 9.)

Monday’s invite-only screening was for Trekkies who contributed to the filmmaker’s Kickstarter campaign, an effort that raised a whopping $660,000. (That ranks as one of the crowd-funding platform’s most successful campaigns ever.)

Introducing “For the Love of Spock,” Adam Nimoy said it was a special treat to screen the film in Boston, where his dad grew up. (The elder Nimoy was raised in the West End and hawked newspapers in Boston Common as a kid.)

(13) YABBA DABBA DUDE. Michael Cavna, who writes “Comic Riffs” for the Washington Post, brings word of a Flintstones comics reboot.

DC COMICS reached out with a mission for Mark Russell. How would he like to write a reboot of “The Flintstones”?

His prompt reply: “I kind of hate ‘The Flintstones.’ ”

The DC editors’ response: They liked his humorous take for his award-winning comic “Prez,” so his distaste for the old animated Hanna-Barbera TV show was not a dealbreaker.

“So I knew from the beginning,” Russell tells The Post’s Comic Riffs, “that it would be a satiric, edgy response to ‘The Flintstones.’ ”

Next month, DC will debut “The Flintstones” No. 1, which slyly unfurls Russell’s sardonic take on the “modern Stone Age family” from the town of Bedrock.

[Thanks to David K.M. Klaus, Hampus Eckerman, Lisa Goldstein, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day John King Tarpinian.]

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79 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/4/16 Pixeled On The Fourth of July

  1. Nancy Sauer: That’s funny. I’d already seen the explanation before I got a look at the figure. Your idea is funnier than what I’d have wondered — was it one of those big bubble-making wands for toddlers.


    Check out the Google Doodle right now. Go Juno!

    Delightful! Clicked on it, followed the first link:

    “‘Through tones Juno sang to us and it was a song of perfection,’ said Rick Nybakken, Juno Project Manager, referring to the audio signal the probe sent to indicate it was in orbit.”

    Through tones Juno sang to us. Oh, wow. Gorgeous.

    (Also: The Probe Who Sang!)

  3. @Bruce Arthurs

    Hmmm, motive and target are eerily right but I’m sure I’ve never read The White Plague. I’ve seen it on bookshelves but didn’t know the plot. It’s possible my memories are jumbled I suppose. My recollection though is the Irish plague that mutated was backstory and the work was around novella or novelette length. Maybe someone riffing on Herbert for their world building?

  4. @Robert Reynolds, I, too, watched the DVD of “1776” yesterday. And I may or may not have sung along…. (Glad the DVD restored “Cool, Considerate Men. I’d owned the VHS before I saw the play, and I was dumbfounded that there was a song in the play that wasn’t in the movie. The restoration makes the movie make more sense continuity-wise, too; never could figure out why it jumped to the whole Congress coming into the chamber when Richard Henry Lee got back….)

  5. @Doctor Science:

    Any thinking about biological human “races” is inherently suspect, but thinking of Africans as a “race” is *super* suspect and counter-factual.

    This is used exactly once, to my knowledge, in a way that is scientifically accurate and important to the plot: The Human Factor, by Grahame Greene.

  6. Doctor Science:

    WTF? I double-checked with Mr Dr Science, a fencer (competitor, teacher, referee) and he’s never heard this terminology, though he thinks it possible it might have been used in the 18th century or earlier.

    The paragraph explaining “Agent” was where I began to suspect that the outline of the book had somehow been sent back in time to be ghostwritten by Robert Lionel Fanthorpe in his Badger Books days, and I didn’t even know any of it was factually incorrect.

    But I’m afraid it does jibe with my experience of the book– it’s full of bits where the author has gotten hold of a cool-sounding buzzword or bit of science or technology and then applied it in a way that demonstrates that his enthusiasm is in no way matched by his understanding of it.

  7. Re 1776: Even the supposedly fully-restored version lacks the third verse of “Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve”.
    They can’t agree on what is right or wrong, or what is good or bad;
    I’m convinced the only purpose this Congress ever had
    Was to gather here specifically to drive John Adams mad!

    @ Johan P: Sadly, there are still plenty of people who believe that for it to be science fiction, there have to be rocket ships and blasters. And not all of them are in junior high.

  8. @Lee, re: 1776:

    The full version of “Piddle, Twiddle and Resolve” is included as an extra on the Blu Ray release which came out last year, in the “Deleted and Alternate Scenes” section of Special Features. I watched it last night, after I watched the film.

    I must confess that the resolution of the print used for the Blu Ray played on my set was a bit daunting at times. A 4K master played on a 4K set occasionally gives more detail than you expect, particularly from a film made more than 40 years ago.

  9. Just a little side note that some of you may find of interest.

    After a doctor’s appointment, I was browsing in the outside $1 carts at the Brattle Book Shop, as one in wont to do, and came across a book which immediately demanded that I purchase it. And I did so.

    The demanding book?

    GOD STALK by P.C. Hodgell. The Atheneum edition.

    So, thank you all!

  10. (2) FIFTIES MOVIE TRIVIA – I’m hanging my head in shame at 22 of 30, because I know better.

    And well you should. I would have had 23, but for the H.G. Wells story I chose the Verne.

    rgl has heard of some fascinating developments from the brothers Lumiere

  11. I re-read “The White Plague” after some discussion here a month or so back. The science is horribly dated. After the initial outbreak is over, most of the remaining plot is a straw-man polemic about the IRA. Wish I’d remembered it better; it was far worse the second time around.

    And re film test – 27 of 30, and I should not have missed “The Fly” sequel question.

  12. I have finally finished my review of the Hugo-nominated Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. I’m not sure what is at the top of my Hugo list in this category, but this book is certainly one of the three contenders.


    Well, I only got around 2/3 on the 50’s and 60’s quizzes, but I got a kickass 29/30 on the 70’s quiz (guessed wrong on 1 of 3 Gojira questions, about which I would not have a clue).

  14. The “everything AND the kitchen sink” Criterion laser disc version (not the regular LD) has a couple small scenes that don’t appear in any other, even the Blu-Ray. Both it and the BR have the full version of “Piddle, Twiddle”, and the you thought he was gone but nope! reprise of “The Lees of Virginia”. And RH Lee’s horse is pretty funny along with being well-trained.

    Onion-slicing ninjas always sneak into the room during “Mama, Look Sharp”. Nobody sings along; all you hear is occasional sniffling and a lot of hard swallows.

    One thing that I feel doesn’t get enough attention is the lyrics of Abby’s song about the saltpeter delivery — that it’s compliments of the ladies sewing circle, the women of the synagogue, the women of a Protestant church, and the Sisters of St. Somebody’s convent.

    “Not everyone’s from Boston, John.” And New York abstains; courteously.

  15. (2) Only 19/30, rather disappointing. There were quite a few “why would I want to know that” questions, e.g. “American directors of 50’s films” (I would never know). “Clint Eastwood’s first speaking role” (WTF) , “Woody woodpecker” (!)… but that’s not much of an excuse, even if it was all before my time. I definitely take my hat off to the rest of you, especially those in the high 20s!

    re: agent/patient

    The description pretty much matches the use of the terms in linguistics, though.

    wow one learns something different every day. OTOH I was not aware that linguistics counted as one of the martial arts… (if I study harder maybe I can get to brown belt in linguistics!)… I must get on to Seveneyes so that I can throw my ereader at the wall… or, maybe not.

  16. Aaron: “I have finally finished my review of the Hugo-nominated Fifth Season ”
    Psst: It’s orogeny and orogene, not ore-.

  17. One of the Filers — I think it might have been Doctor Science — posted a detailed breakdown analysis here of the problems with the genetics and evolution as described in Seveneves. I’ve tried some targeted Google searches for File770.com but haven’t been able to find it. Does anyone have a more cogent memory of that comment, that might lead to me locating it?

  18. Regarding 1776: We have the LD (not DVD) version as well, with the extra scenes that aren’t on the DVD. I’ve also seen the play performed about six times in different contexts (but not the Broadway versions, always small local theatre shows).

    I have fiddled about for years on a fannish version of the musical, especially inasmuch as “Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve” translates well to the WSFS Business Meeting, but the practical difficulty of staging it holds me back from doing anything more about it. I play the Richard Henry Lee role because my name scans into the relevant song:

    My name is Kevin A. Standlee, and fandom is my home!
    My name is Kevin A. Standlee, and fandom is my home!
    And my my corflu turn to glue, if I can’t deliver up to you,
    A resolution on independency!

    The “independence” would be of the NASFiC, and the sticking issue would be the site selection rotation scheme — which of course has now since been abandoned — thus leading the Rutledge character this song complaining about how the Americans dominate the Worldcon:

    From Boston, Chicago, L.A….
    Oh, what a beautiful waltz!
    You dance with them, they dance with you,
    Out of Boston, Chicago, L.A.

    Who runs the cons out of Boston,
    Laden with fanzines and SMOFs?….

    There’s a fair bit more, although I’ve never written it all down in one place. “Momma, Look Sharp” would be from the point of the view of the poor overworked convention gopher. The two items the Adamses would be talking about in “Yours, Yours, Yours” would be “bidstickers” and “pins” in the sense of promotional pin-back type pins, not the sewing type.

  19. Ladies and Gentlemen of the File 770, I say ye, Kevin Standlee!

    (Great applause and cheers ensue)

    Mr. Standlee, for likely the millionth time, here’s your Internet.

  20. &LT;cheers> <stamping on floor> <general cries of “give that man a rum!”>

  21. pounds on table

    Presumably “He Plays the Violin” will feature the filkers?

  22. jayn: I wrote a blog post after that Seveneves discussion summarizing my thoughts in it – so there’s a lot of repetition from there, but I also added some additional thoughts about biology in Seveneves. I wouldn’t call myself an expert in biology, though.

    Maybe not, but it’s just that sort of in-depth analysis I was looking for. Thank you.

    “It was fantastic! I loved it!” and “It sucked!” don’t really add to the dialogue. 🙂

  23. Stoic Cynic: Could it be this thread, starting around here

    Yes! I think that’s it! Thank you!

    Here, appertain yourself a beverage of your choice:
    🍷 🍺 🍾

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