Pixel Scroll 8/16/18 Ralph12FifthC41+

(1) MUNDANE COVERAGE. The San Jose Mercury-News tells how “WorldCon brings science fiction’s best to San Jose”.

Thousands of fans and creators will celebrate science fiction and fantasy at the “World’s Fair of fandom,” which includes presentation of the prestigious Hugo Awards.

(2) WORLDCON 76 FASHION NOTES. I like these hats.

(3) MEXICANX INITIATIVE. Photo from W76 Opening Ceremonies:

(4) BIG HEART AWARD. Here’s Mike Glyer finding out from Greg Hullender that he won the Big Heart Award – at the File 770 meetup at the Forager. Photo by Eric Wong.

Greg Hullender and Mike Glyer

(5) IT’S ALIVE! Electric Lit features “Jeff VanderMeer and Nick Mamatas on the Death and Rebirth of the Short Story”. The occasion is the release of Nick Mamatas’ latest book, the story collection The People’s Republic of Everything.

Jeff VanderMeer: Short fiction was dead. Then it wasn’t. Let’s assume it’s alive. Why is it alive, if so?

Nick Mamatas: It’s alive for a couple of reasons. One is that just over a decade or so ago, bookstores finally understood that they could sell anthologies of short fiction by treating them as though they were non-fiction. People really do wander into bookstores and say things such as “I love The Walking Dead. Got any books about zombies?” or “I’ve been hearing a lot about steampunk?—?got anything that’ll explain it to me?” and a big anthology with reprints by prominent authors and new or at least obscure material by less well-known authors is basically a textbook designed to answer those questions. Phonebook-sized anthologies by you and Ann VanderMeer, or by John Joseph Adams, really grew a generation of readers.

(6) MARVEL, ESPN TEAM UP. These are pretty good. From CBSSports.com, “Look: ESPN, Marvel create College Football Playoff comic covers”. The headline is misleading. Not playoffs… opening weekend.


Some cat humor (or is it?) at Maximumble.

(8) POUL ANDERSON ESTATE SALE. Karen Anderson passed away earlier this year, and all of Poul’s and her household items, books, pictures, etc., are on sale this weekend. Public notice on Facebook. Tons of pictures of items on sale here.



SAT. & SUN. AUG 18 & 19

8:00am – 2:00pm




8:00AM – 2:00PM




(9) TODAY IN THEOLOGY. The Guardian — among other sources — has noted that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not recognized as, well, as a church in the Netherlands (“Spaghetti injunction: Pastafarianism is not a religion, Dutch court rules”).

The Dutch council of state has ruled that Pastafarianism is not a religion, denying a follower of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster the right to wear a colander on her head in her passport and driving licence photo.

Mienke de Wilde is now considering taking her case to the European court of human rights.

The Netherlands’ highest court said de Wilde, a law student from Nijmegen, could not be exempted on religious grounds from a ban on headwear in official identity photographs, because Pastfarianism was essentially a satire and not a serious faith.

…De Wilde said the church was humorous but that did not mean it was not “very serious in what it stands for”. She was disappointed by the decision, which backed Nijmegen authorities’ rejection of her ID photos.

“I can imagine that it all looks very odd if you don’t believe,” she told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. “But that’s the case with many faiths if you don’t believe in them – people who walk on water or divide themselves in two, for example. I find other religions unbelievable.”

(10) MYSTERY AUTHOR. Wait, we’re not talking to JDA here?

(11) NO, THIS IS WHERE WE’RE HEARING FROM JDA. If you want to see footage of JDA wandering around the San Jose Convention Center today until he found somebody to kick him out, he’s happy to oblige:

(12) GROENING’S NEW SHOW. NPR’s Glen Weldon says: “In Matt Groening’s Fantasy Series ‘Disenchantment,’ The Humor Is Elf-Referential”

Disenchantment, Matt Groening’s new animated series that hits Netflix on Friday, August 17th, does for our mythical past what Futurama did for our imagined future, but it does so in a manner so closely reminiscent of that other show’s wryly cynical sci-fi hi-jinks that it could have just as easily been called Pastarama, if that didn’t sound quite so much like a seasonal promotion at Olive Garden.

(13) ANCIENT MIXOLOGY. Take 2 tbsp. myrrh… “Ancient Egyptian mummification ‘recipe’ revealed”. Major finding: mummification in Egypt is much older than was thought.

Examination of a mummy has revealed the original ancient Egyptian embalming recipe – first used to preserve bodies.

A battery of forensic chemical tests carried out on a mummy that dated from 3,700-3,500 BC revealed the recipe and confirmed that it was developed far earlier and used more widely than previously thought.

The Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy, is now home to the mummy in question.

The findings are published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Dr Stephen Buckley, an archaeologist from the University of York, told BBC News that this mummy “literally embodies the embalming that was at the heart of Egyptian mummification for 4,000 years”.

(14) WINGS OVER PANEGEA. “Winged reptiles thrived before dinosaurs”.

Palaeontologists have found a new species of pterosaur – the family of prehistoric flying reptiles that includes pterodactyl.

It is about 210 millions years old, pre-dating its known relatives by 65 million years.

Named Caelestiventus hanseni, the species’ delicate bones were preserved in the remains of a desert oasis.

The discovery suggests that these animals thrived around the world before the dinosaurs evolved.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, Kendall, and James Davis Nicoll for some of these stories. Lots more material, but I’m tired tonight! Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

62 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/16/18 Ralph12FifthC41+

  1. I guess that press is a step up from “zap! zap! atomic ray passé with fiends!”

  2. (1) Nice article. I enjoyed it.

    (3) Cool!

    (4) Congratulations, Mike! Well deserved!

    (11) I hope WorldCon is aware that a banned creep is trying to get in, and takes steps to ensure he does not.

    (14) Interesting!


    JDA will be disappointed. Everyone he spoke to was friendly and helpful, and then the staff member who asked him to leave was unfailingly polite. How’s he supposed to sell his books with outrage marketing if no-one will actually outrage him?

  4. If this scroll had included birthdays, it might have mentioned Madonna. She turned 60 and was in the Dick Tracy movie, and used Metropolis imagery in her video for “Express Yourself.”

  5. (4) Yay!!

    (11) with apologies to 1776:
    Get out, Jon! Get out, Jon!
    For God’s sake, Jon, get out!

  6. @Mark: the idiots and bots that follow him will eat up and spew out any lie he tells them that feed into their persecution complex, so really it’s not a lot of effort to keep the outrage machine stoked and firing. All he needs to do is say something like he’s banned for being Hispanic, or banned for his politics, and they’ll devour it with absolutely no critical thought on things that run absolutely counter to his obviously bullshit narrative.

    Anyway I know we all already know this.

  7. I read that article about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. One point included there is that the court said that their decision doesn’t stop her from following the rules of her religion, because it doesn’t have any rules/commandments, only suggestions.

    If so, that sounds like they’re deliberately avoiding the larger question of “is this really a church, for whatever that means by Dutch law?” Not quite on the level of the Massachusetts court ruling I saw quoted recently, which includes

    The question before the court is not whether Defendant’s actions in aiding and abetting efforts to demonize, intimidate and injure LGBTI people in Uganda constitute violations of international law. They do. The much narrower and more technical question posted by Defendant’s motion is whether the limited actions taken by Defendant on American soil in pursuit of his odious campaign are sufficient to give this court jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s claims.

    That got publicity because the defendant in question was just told that he can’t appeal a decision in his favor, even if it said unkind things about him. (And that in turn is news because said defendant is running for governor.)

  8. @11, tickets? Really? <eyeroll> No wonder he couldn’t get in, if he was looking for a ticket booth. But perhaps along the way he found a left-handed smoke shifter. Or a snark. (Oh, please, let him find a Boojum Snark….)

  9. Congratulations to OGH on a long-deserved award.

    Re JDA- I really wish that he would put more time into writing instead of this nonsense. His earlier works were almost readable.

  10. @Cassy B: Is a left-handed smoke shifter anything like a left-handed smoke bender? I haven’t been camping in decades. Or millennia since it’s now 4904.

  11. Jeff, I’m pretty sure that they’re the same thing, but by different manufacturers. They were intended for different markets; we Girls Scouts got the smoke shifters, while I understand that the Boy Scouts generally used the smoke benders. Gendered marketing was a thing even forty years ago… <noddy-nod>

  12. Laura Resnick on August 16, 2018 at 11:14 pm said:

    (11) I hope WorldCon is aware that a banned creep is trying to get in, and takes steps to ensure he does not.

    Yes, they are. Very much so.

  13. (11) JdA seems determined to change the reaction to his name from “Who?” to “Oh, that jerk.” At least he’s succeeding at something.

  14. @OGH: this time it’s not my typo: PANEGEA s/b PANGAEA. However, @P J Evans gets the appertainment.

    @11: to everyone who clicked on that mess: better you than me — my life is relatively OK but I still don’t have the headspace for anything he puts out.

  15. @Rev Bob — Some people never get over the whole “all publicity is good publicity” thing.

    I am sitting in LAX waiting for my flight WorldCon-ward!

  16. 1) That’s a pretty good article. I hope somebody posts pictures of the Callahan’s Place exhibit — that’s one of the things I’m really missing about not being there.

    13) I can’t be the only one thinking about a particular Shadow Unit story right now…

    @ MSB: *snerk*

  17. Mark-kitteh: I definitely wish his child good health and good recovery.

    I almost wish I was there so I could entirely fail to miss him in his absence, though. (Although it may be a reason somewhere below about 2300 other reasons I almost wish I was there.)

  18. May Mr. Del Arroz’s child recover quickly from their illness, without issue or incident.

  19. Indeed, I hope that the child, whether Mr. Del Arroz’s or not, recovers rapidly and completely from their illness. If the child is a long way away from San Jose, that’s just a bonus.

  20. Cassy B: How true, even fifty years ago (give or take a few thousand). I wonder if they’re the same companies that made the #3 tent stretchers?

  21. Lurkertype stole my phone and says hi Scalzi is a great DJ haven’t seen JDA, yay. Filer meet up was fun. Off to next panel !

  22. (3) MEXICANX INITIATIVE. & (4) BIG HEART AWARD. Great photos! Am I missing something, or is MRK being facetious about “reading” the statement (and the picture is really the point)?

    (6) MARVEL, ESPN TEAM UP. Yay for the furries! 😉

    (12) GROENING’S NEW SHOW. They’d better have Centaurs. After all, “Futurama” did! 😀

    @Cassy B.: So Boy Scouts were a little bent? 😉

    @Mark: OMG thanks! I forgot to do my now-annual (even when I’m at Worldcon) finding/following of Acks’s liveblog of the biz meetings!

  23. @Rev. Bob

    JdA seems determined to change the reaction to his name from “Who?” to “Oh, that jerk.” At least he’s succeeding at something.

    Seems determined to? As far as I am concerned, he has already succeeded.

    Though I do wish his child a speedy and complete recovery.

  24. @Cora:

    Well, he’s succeeded on a small scale. I think he’s trying for household-name-level infamy.

  25. Jeff Jones, I woudn’t know about tent stretchers of whatever number; they weren’t an item in my Girl Scout camp. But I do believe that they sold the special bags for snipe hunts….

  26. It may be just as well I didn’t try to do worldcon this year (though canceling made me very sad). I was diagnosed yesterday and today with atrial fibrillation (“aFib”), and will be getting an echocardiogram and a stress test in the next few weeks. I’ve already started on medications for it. Review in mid-September after the tests come back.

    While this was pretty shocking, it explains a lot of things, and makes me hopeful that I might get some of my missing energy back once it is (I hope) brought under control. And I found out today that another family member has it as well – I had no idea. So I’m not feeling very good just at the moment, but I am hopeful that things will improve.

    And I, too, hope that JDA’s child will recover well and soon.

  27. Lenore Jones, on the bright side, now you know about it, it can be treated…

    Like everyone else, I hope that del Arroz’s kid gets well soon. But my preference would be that the child recovers far, far away from San Jose; smoky California air being bad for a sick person….

  28. I have retrieved my SJW cred and am trapped in my room with him until the kittysitter arrives. He finished off my room service and now he is hogging all the pillows. Tomorrow we will search for cred-friendly parties.

    Wishing you health and luck Lenore!

  29. @Lenore Jones
    The echocardiogram shouldn’t be too bad, depending on what they want you to do during it. (I got one in June, in the same-day surgery ward, on the bed they’d assigned me for the day. Guy showed up with a laptop and a handful of leads.)

  30. P J Evans, like an EKG? Interesting. That does sound easy.

    They said to allow 3-4 hours for the stress test. The word nuclear was part of the test name. No idea what that means, but I’ll find out! I have time for research.

    I’m feeling quite hopeful at this point, though prepared for it to take a while. As Cassy B says, now we know it’s there we can treat it.

    I’m heading to my dad and stepmom’s in the morning unless I feel worse than I do now. (My cousin/roomie will take care of the credentials.) My stepmom had plans to be away for a few days with friends, and I dearly want to give her the opportunity, because being a full-time caretaker is so hard. My dad is 93, and he needs someone with him all the time now. But we’ll see in the morning. I may discover that I can’t deal with hauling a suitcase around NYC in my current condition, but I hope I’ll be fine. Ish. She has already said I should do what’s right for me, so no pressure.

    Thanks, everyone, for the good wishes!

  31. Lenore, I miswrote. The echocardiogram was at the hospital – they needed to do it in their radiology dept. It was outpatient, basically; I was there for maybe an hour. But it’s similar to an EKG: fewer leads, and, with luck, you can watch the screen with the images. What they did in the same-day ward was a real EKG, and it didn’t take long. (I don’t know what that found. The echocardiogram saw early signs of future problems, mostly wear/age, I think.)

  32. @Lenore Jones: I hope for the best for you! My dad has had aFib for years, though I don’t believe he’s had an event in quite some times (medication?), so I almost typed “had aFib” instead of “has had aFib.”

  33. @Lenore: “They said to allow 3-4 hours for the stress test. The word nuclear was part of the test name. No idea what that means, but I’ll find out!”

    If they try to get you to polish the fuel rods, run! 😀

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