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. @Lenore

    I just had a nuclear stress test. No guarantee your procedure will be exactly the same, but here is what mine was:

    First I had a scan, a machine moving around me while I lay still. Then I was injected with the nuclear material. Some down time while the material took a tour of my body. Then a bunch of ekg-like leads were stuck all over me and I ran on a treadmill. The goal was to get my heart-rate to a certain point, which I did not achieve. So they had to get me there chemically. They injected me with something else that made me feel terrible. This was bad, but passed very quickly. (Literally just seconds.) Some more down time, then a repeat of the machine scan. More down time, then I was released. A follow up with my cardiologist a week or two later (who said everything looked good), one slight change to my medication, and that was it.

    Good luck to you!

  2. @Jeff Smith, sounds like an ordeal, but I’ll cope. Thanks for the description – it’s helpful to know.

    @Everyone, thanks! Your support makes me feel more cheerful all the time.

    ETA @Lis, good luck with yours as well!

  3. @ Lenore Jones & Lis Carey

    My echocardiogram was a pretty standard ultrasound – like for pregnancy, only with your chest instead of your belly, and they spend more time complaining about your breast tissue and/or ribcage getting in the way of getting a good signal. It wasn’t much like any of my ECGs (EKG in USA-speak, I think). Little bit uncomfortable when they pressed hard with the wand, but basically fine; I’ve had more painful blood pressure tests. Hope they go well for you both!

    (Also, probably not something either of you need to worry about, but check what their privacy procedure is if you’ve got any body-shyness or just plain prefer privacy. Felt like half the doctors in the hospital were ignoring the sign not to come in while tests were in progress until I made a pointed remark about it. Which, you know, by that time I’d spent a couple of years having my heart checked out pretty regularly, so I didn’t really care, but I was a bit miffed on behalf of people less accustomed to getting their kit off for random medical personnel. And it’s not like they ought to have been ignoring the sign regardless, even if they had inexplicably decided to put an important test results computer in the same cupboard.)

  4. 4) Congratulations Mike, it’s a very well deserved award. And I very much appreciate everything you do.

  5. @Meredith–Thank you, that’s reassuring as to the process. But how annoying that they so ignored basic privacy that way! I’m glad you spoke up. It may help the next person, who may not be so confident.

  6. Cassy B: We didn’t have snipe hunts. Instead, we had a guy named Snipes. We hunted *him*.

    Lenore and Lis: I had an echocardiogram recently–with just some discomfort from the pressure of the instrument. Hopefully, it will go well for you both.

  7. (11) I just want to say that Lori is my new hero. She is polite, friendly, cheerful, non-confrontational, and firm. Pitch-perfect response. Good on her, and whoever chose her for the task!

  8. @Lydy:

    I tried to watch that section of the video, but it seemed to skip over the actual attempted transaction. Did it do the same for you?

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