Pixel Scroll 8/8/17 Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Scrolls Of Summer

(1) THE FLAG IS UP. Kevin Standlee and other selected members of Worldcon 75 attended a reception hosted at the Helsinki City Hall to welcome Worldcon to the city.

Worldcon Reception at City Hall

(2) INDEPENDENCE DAY. Did you notice that Hoboken, New Jersey, is a sovereign country now? At least, it has a line of its own in Worldcon 75’s membership update, just like the Vatican City State.

(3) STAR TREK FAN FILM ACADEMY. “Post-Axanar, CBS unveils first official fan filmmaking initiative in Trek history”ArsTechnica has the story.

After pushing a nearly year-and-a-half copyright battle with fan filmmakers toward a settlement earlier this year, CBS and Star Trek New Voyages Producer James Cawley announced the creation of a Star Trek Film Academy equipped to train interested creators and produce future fan films.

This marks the first official, CBS-sanctioned fan filmmaking effort in Trek‘s 50-plus year history. The academy will start business in the fall with the first films expected in Spring 2018. Unlike prior Trek fan films or those made under newly announced guidelines, films done through the Star Trek Film Academy will be able to employ people who’ve worked on professional Trek productions.

These Academy fans and films will also have access to the New Voyages sets and facilities [on Ticonderoga, NY]. New Voyages is a fan-made Web series Cawley helmed from 2008 through 2015, creating about one episode per year. Though the series was not officially a CBS production, sets constructed for New Voyages became licensed as a “Studio Set Tour” beginning in July 2016. Throughout its run, New Voyages featured contributions from major Trek players like George Takei (reprising his role as Sulu) and Eugene Roddenberry, Jr. (as a producer).

(4) LOVE FOR DRAGON AWARD NOMINEES. Congratulatory posts show where some of the nominees have their strongest support.

Inkshares for one:

Congratulations to the Five Inkshares Authors Nominated for the 2017 Dragon Awards!

DragonCon, the pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention based in Atlanta, has announced their round of 2017 nominations for the coveted Dragon Awards. Previous winners include Terry Pratchett, Naomi Novik, and Neil Gaiman.

This year a whopping five Inkshares authors have been nominated! These talented authors will be representing Inkshares in their respective categories and we couldn’t be more proud!

And the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance for another:

“Multiple CLFA Authors on Final Ballot for 2017 Dragon Awards”

In only its second incarnation, the Dragon Awards have already shot to prominence as one of Science Fiction/Fantasy’s most consequential fan-powered awards. Here at CLFA, we are bursting with pride at the significant number of our members who have reached the Finalist stage of the contest. Scroll down to see which CLFA’ers made the cut; click on any book cover to read more and shop.

(5) ANOTHER COUNTY HEARD FROM. N.K. Jemisin seems to have learned about her Dragon Award nomination…today?

(6) CHANGING OF THE GUARD. BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow reports “Toronto’s amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian”.

That new head librarian is Sephora Hosein, a “lifelong fan” who has vowed to bring in younger readers and a new generation of fandom by connecting the collection using “social media and programming for people who maybe love science fiction and fantasy, but never dove deep into fandom.”

I think Judy Merril would have loved this approach. I was trepidatious when I heard Lorna was stepping down as the library has been such a fixture in my life, but Ms Hosein sounds like a brilliant successor.

Hosein has taken the reins from longtime collection head Lorna Toolis, herself having moved from managing another formidable research collection — Toronto Public Library’s Canadiana Collection at the Toronto Reference Library.

Gregg Calkins in 2013: a photo from his old blog.

(7) CALKINS OBIT. Longtime fan Gregg Calkins died last week after suffering a fall. He was 82. Gregg got active in fandom in the Fifties and his fanzine Oopsla (1952-1961) is fondly remembered. He was living in the Bay Area and serving as the Official Editor of FAPA when I applied to join its waitlist in the Seventies. He was Fan GoH at the 1976 Westercon. Calkins later moved to Costa Rica. In contrast to most of his generation, he was highly active in social media, frequently posting on Facebook where it was his pleasure to carry the conservative side of debates.

He is survived by his wife, Carol.

(8) COMIC SECTION. John King Tarpinian found a real fish story in today’s Bizarro.

(9) THE MERCURY 13 STILL AIM FOR THE STARS. An early astronaut candidate, rejected for being female, may finally go into space: “This Pilot Is Headed To Space With Or Without NASA”.

Wally Funk has spent her life in pursuit of a dream. The pilot, flight instructor and almost-astronaut longs to go to outer space.

In 1961, she was part of a group of female pilots who took part in tests to determine whether women were fit for space travel. The project was run by the same doctor who developed tests for NASA astronauts and the women became known as the Mercury 13.

“I get a call said, ‘Do you want to be an astronaut?’ I said, ‘Oh my gosh, yes!’ And he said, ‘Be here on Monday to take these tests,’ ” the 78-year-old Funk recounted to her friend and flight student, Mary Holsenbeck, during a recent visit to StoryCorps in Dallas.

…. Funk bought a ticket for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial spaceship and hopes to be on board its maiden voyage into space. Holsenbeck plans to be there, cheering Funk on when she finally blasts off.

(10) NEW VIEW. Using glass may be the best way to fix broken bones.

Thompson’s answer was to build the world’s first glass implant, moulded as a plate which slotted in under the patient’s eye into the collapsed orbital floor. The idea of using glass – a naturally brittle material – to repair something so delicate may seem counterintuitive.

But this was no ordinary glass.

“If you placed a piece of window glass in the human body, it would be sealed off by scar tissue, basically wobble around in the body for a while and then get pushed out,” says Julian Jones, an expert in bioglass at Imperial College London. “When you put bioglass in the body, it starts to dissolve and releases ions which kind of talk to the immune system and tell the cells what to do. This means the body doesn’t recognise it as foreign, and so it bonds to bone and soft tissue, creating a good feel and stimulating the production of new bone.”

For Thompson, the results were immediate. Almost instantaneously, the patient regained full vision, colour and depth perception. Fifteen years on, he remains in full health.

(11) STICKER SHOCK. Langford’s basilisks vs. AI: “The tiny changes that can cause AI to fail”.

The year is 2022. You’re riding along in a self-driving car on a routine trip through the city. The car comes to a stop sign it’s passed a hundred times before – but this time, it blows right through it.

To you, the stop sign looks exactly the same as any other. But to the car, it looks like something entirely different. Minutes earlier, unbeknownst to either you or the machine, a scam artist stuck a small sticker onto the sign: unnoticeable to the human eye, inescapable to the technology.

In other words? The tiny sticker smacked on the sign is enough for the car to “see” the stop sign as something completely different from a stop sign.

It may sound far-fetched. But a growing field of research proves that artificial intelligence can be fooled in more or less the same way, seeing one thing where humans would see something else entirely. As machine learning algorithms increasingly find their way into our roads, our finances, our healthcare system, computer scientists hope to learn more about how to defend them against these “adversarial” attacks – before someone tries to bamboozle them for real.

(12) STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. ScienceFiction.com transcribed the show’s new intro.

In case you didn’t catch it all, here is a transcript of Martin-Green’s narrations:

As we stand at the edge of an unknown universe, we know our greatest challenges lie before us, that our future is not bound by fear and that our mission is not to conquer, but to discover. That is our destiny, a destiny written in the stars. So, we boldly go where we have never gone before.

And yesterday CBS put out these brief videos of the crew and characters in the new series.

  • Our mission is not to conquer, but to discover.

  • Captain Philippa Georgiou of the U.S.S. Shenzhou

  • “We are creating a new way to fly.” -Captain Gabriel Lorca

  • “My people were biologically determined for one purpose alone: to sense the coming of death.” – Saru

  • Meet Voq!

(13) THOSE AREN’T BABY BUMPS. Nicole Weaver, in “‘Star Trek: Discovery’: Cast Reveals Why the Klingons Look So Different”, reveals, among other reasons, that these Kilingons have ESP!

  1. Klingons will have heightened senses because of their new features

According to the designer, Neville Page, the ridges act as extra-sensory receptors on the Klingons’ heads and backs. Per io9, this is because the Klingons are “apex predators” and would need this to make it to the top of the food chain. One of the Klingon actors, Mary Chieffo, went into detail about this new development.

Obviously the hair was the biggest thing people noticed, or the lack thereof. And I will attest to the fact there is a reason my ridge goes back the way it does. There are sensors and pheromones…There is a whole reasoning behind it that is adhering to what has always been true in Klingon canon…So I deeply believe we are in line with what has come before but is also adding a new kind of nuance.

(14) CAMEO. New York Mets pitcher “Noah Syndergaard was on ‘Game of Thrones.’ He died.” says NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra.

The Dodgers absolutely killed the Mets this past weekend. As they were collectively dying yesterday evening, Noah Syndergaard was dying individually over on HBO.

It was on “Game of Thrones,” which featured a blink-and-you’ll miss it cameo from Syndergaard as a member of the Lannister army. His big moment: he threw a spear and killed a horse. Best throw he’s had all year given the injuries that have sidelined him since April. He’s likely done for the season when it comes to baseball — he hasn’t started throwing yet — but he’ll never come back to Westeros, as he was burnt to death by a dragon. That’ll put a guy on the 60-day DL for sure.

(15) NOT THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE. Adweek finds the drumsticks are bigger in Georgia: “The Giant Chicken From KFC’s Marietta, Georgia, Store Springs to Life in W+K’s New Film”.

It’s not every day you get to see a building in the shape of a giant chicken, let alone one that can get up and walk away. But that’s the delightfully hallucinogenic conceit of a sweet little five-minute animated short from KFC and Wieden + Kennedy, celebrating the renovation of one of its marquee restaurants with a story of a little boy who befriends a roving animatronic fast-food store.

Marietta, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb, is home to The Big Chicken, a KFC franchise famous for its unusual architecture—namely, a towering, 56-foot-tall, angular red hen with mechanical eyes that roll in slow 360 degree circles, and a beak that opens and closes in sync, like some deranged obstacle in an 8-bit video game.

 

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, JJ, Andrew Porter, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Rich Lynch, and Cat Eldridge for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

80 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/8/17 Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Scrolls Of Summer

  1. (10) NEW VIEW
    Wondering if it could have been an option for my knee.

    (13) THOSE AREN’T BABY BUMPS.

    Well that’s clearly Fantasy!

    “Scrollpathy for the Pixel” by the Scrolling Stones.

  2. 9) Hope she makes it, although there is no scheduled launch date yet…

    11) Seems a little alarmist? Right now, someone could alter or move the stop sign nearby, but it’s not something I worry about people doing. The sign is much more likely to be damaged in a storm. Similarly, self driving cars need to be able handle bad weather much more than they need to be able to deflect a deliberate attack

  3. (8)
    ROFLMAO!
    (13)
    Yeah, right. Only after they got to ST:TNG.
    They keep retconning the newer series and losing the original. (I’m not sure what universe they’re in, but it’s not 10 or 20 years before TOS.)

  4. I wouldn’t worry as much about the particular issue of the stop sign, since the placement of all the traffic signs is likely to be in the database to begin with. The system is then given the much easier task of answering the question “given that I expect to see a stop sign here, is that it?” A simple sticker won’t mess that up unless it covered the whole sign and looked like a different sign.

  5. (4) Consequential. I do not think that word means what he thinks it means. Maybe in his tiny little bubble.

    (5) Yes, the Dragon Awards are really well-run! If you get a nomination, they won’t tell you about it! If you find out, you can’t decline it! Kwalitee!

  6. (15) I still remember getting The Big Chicken as a promo card for SimCity: The Card Game, lo these many moons ago. There were a ton of different promo cards, and no way to even come close to getting them all, but it was fun to get recognizable ones from places/businesses you knew.

    I’m not sure which is weirder – this video, the KFC romance novel, or the KFC comic books. Maybe the Colonel’s been testing out some new “spices” lately…

  7. “Penric’s Fox” is out!

    And I still haven’t finished re-reading Ninefox Gambit, haven’t even started Raven Stratagem, and The Stone Sky is next week. Aaaugh.

  8. Well, gosh, the Dragons shouldn’t have to notify anyone. Surely everyone is just waiting around with bated breath to find out if they’ve been nominated! I mean, with an award that prestigious, how could you not?

    Whoops, hang on a sec. I think my sarcasmometer just blew a fuse.
    —-
    The Pixel, The Scrolled Watch, and Everything.

  9. Slightly off-topic, I sent a message to a friend in Finland today. If the nukes start to fly she’s agreed to gather up all the filers at Worldcon and take you north to live under Santa’s protection.

  10. @Iphinome: “and take you north to live under Santa’s protection.”

    …but I don’t live north of Finland…

  11. I hope all y’all Filers currently slouching toward and/or chilling in Finland have a blast!

    Currently reading:
    Sundown Towns (a long and disheartening read)
    River of Teeth (when I need a break from the above – so far a quick and fun read)

  12. The Dragon Awards are the only award so prestigious that they can entirely leave the author of one of its winning categories out of the list of “recipients” (not winners?), and keep another one mis-spelled for a year on their website.

  13. @Iphinome–

    Slightly off-topic, I sent a message to a friend in Finland today. If the nukes start to fly she’s agreed to gather up all the filers at Worldcon and take you north to live under Santa’s protection.

    Now, that’s planning ahead!

  14. #2 – that was me! I edited my badge second line from the rather non-specific “USA”. I didn’t realize it would show up in the stats that way!

  15. Lenore Jones: the Jefferson Davis of Hoboken.

    Rather encouraged by 3): it shows the Trek IP owners are at least willing to meet creative fans part-way (or, at least, creative fans who don’t behave like the makers of Axanar.)

    (Still cautiously standing in front of my piles of Star Trek Online fanfic, though.)

  16. On an award-related note: I just started listening to LeVar Burton Reads – the first story he does is “Kin” by Bruce McAllister, which he notes was nominated for a Hugo Award!

  17. Note to self: read the whole scroll before commenting

    (10) holy crap that is amazing! Apparently we’ve been living in the future and nobody told us.

  18. But don’t worry! “We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting …”

    Effect? Effect?!

    Also, are the Dragons SFF’s first popular-voted non-consensual awards? Ugh.

  19. The Razzies, an award for the worst in filmmaking, that I find to be close to bullying, would not be a good award to compare to the Dragon.

    Certainly not if you want to pitch the Dragon as a popular-voted prestigious award of the “good stuff”.

  20. I suppose one can’t actually stop the Dragon Awards people from putting authors on their list of finalists… but leaving people on who’ve asked to be taken off, well, it’s not exactly going to make them any friends, is it?

  21. (11) Ken Liu has a story called “Saboteur” where a truck driver tries to sabotage self-driving trucks by putting a special pattern up on a sign to cause a bug, though it backfires on him for reasons. (It’s in the December 2014 Analog).

  22. David Langford on August 9, 2017 at 3:19 am said:

    But don’t worry! “We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting …”

    The “justice warriors”? What the flippin’ flip is the “justice warriors”?
    This has to be the ultimate in false balance

  23. CLFA: the Dragon Awards have already shot to prominence as one of Science Fiction/Fantasy’s most consequential fan-powered awards.

    Oh, they’ve already shot to prominence, all right — prominence as possibly the spec fic awards most easily gamed by someone with the time and ability to create numerous e-mail addresses.

    It’s funny how the Puppies think that if they repeat this canard often enough, they can somehow make it come true. 🙄

     
    Dragon Awards: We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting

    Well, that right there is confirmation that the award is being run by Puppies. A neutral party would have said “We are aware of the efforts by special-interest groups to affect the voting.” Anyone who uses “justice warriors” in a non-ironic way like this is a Puppy in philosophy, if not in name.

  24. Soon Lee on August 9, 2017 at 3:54 am said:

    Certainly not if you want to pitch the Dragon as a popular-voted prestigious award of the “good stuff”

    I intend no such thing.

  25. What the flippin’ flip is the “justice warriors”?

    New spinoff team from the Justice League, I think.

  26. I’m not sure why y’all are knocking the Dragon Awards. I’ve already voted for my selections. Eight times. And I did so even before I had time to read any of the nominated works.

  27. Ahem. I think you’ll find, Mike, that the title of today’s Pixel Scroll has been misattributed, and that the glory is mine.

  28. Prestigious award that’s run like some random site’s half-forgotten blog poll.

  29. The Dragon Award statement – apparently from the president of Dragon Con direct – is a disgrace. Whether or not they have a technical obligation to honour the wishes of finalists, it is utterly unprofessional for them not to do so.

    We are aware of the rabid puppies and justice warriors efforts to effect the voting and we go through a number of steps to avoid ballot stuffing or other vote rigging behaviors. While we didn’t start the Dragon Awards to foil these two groups, we believe that as we add voters, they will become irrelevant in the our awards.

    So, the president of Dragon Con believes – correctly – that “rabid puppies” were trying to affect the voting, but he also believes that “justice warriors” were doing exactly the same thing?
    On what grounds? You can find plenty of evidence online of the slate campaigns from the RP and the various alt-marketeers who got involved, but where is this mysterious “justice warriors” slate? (and why wasn’t I informed?!?)

    I’ve been trying quite hard not to assign to malice that which can be explained by naivety and misguided optimism, but I think that just tipped me over the edge.

  30. I’m not a pixel scroller nor a pixel scroller’s son, but I’ll scroll pixels ’til the pixel scrollers come.

  31. Aw hell. Gregg Calkins. Got to know him a bit through his snarky posts on FB, where he was clearly a Trump supporter and a devil’s advocate for his views. I wasn’t always in agreement (and clearly he often just stirred up verbal trouble because he could). He’d written recently he’d taken a fall before and wound up needing some care.

    *sigh*.

    RIP, guy.

  32. In happy news, Sophia Rey Tiberius made her long-awaited debut on 8/8 and in my wholly unbiased opinion is completely adorable.

  33. It’s knowing that your pixel is always open
    And your scroll is free to walk…

    (7) Semper Fi, brother. PCS orders have been cut for barracks duty, guarding the streets of Heaven.

    Regards,
    Dann

  34. Congrats on the new arrival, Aaron, and all the best for mother and baby.

    Meanwhile, I also attended the same reception as Kevin Standalee in 1) and am having a blast at WorldCon. Already met a couple of Filers.

  35. Rev. Bob on August 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm said:

    (15) I still remember getting The Big Chicken as a promo card for SimCity: The Card Game, lo these many moons ago. There were a ton of different promo cards, and no way to even come close to getting them all, but it was fun to get recognizable ones from places/businesses you knew.

    I’m not sure which is weirder – this video, the KFC romance novel, or the KFC comic books. Maybe the Colonel’s been testing out some new “spices” lately…

    Not to mention shooting a chicken sandwich out into space for some reason. I think they’re really trying to get a handle on viral marketing by going with the ‘throw everything at the wall and see what sticks’ technique.

    Still wont be as weird as the Sneak King video game from Burger King.

    Mark –

    You can find plenty of evidence online of the slate campaigns from the RP and the various alt-marketeers who got involved, but where is this mysterious “justice warriors” slate? (and why wasn’t I informed?!?)

    Your cat was supposed to tell you.

  36. Aaron on August 9, 2017 at 7:00 am said:

    In happy news, Sophia Rey Tiberius made her long-awaited debut on 8/8 and in my wholly unbiased opinion is completely adorable.

    Congrats!! Hope all is well for the mom and child.

  37. Congratulations Aaron! And 8/8 is such an auspicious birthday too 🙂

    I enjoyed the Worldcon membership statistics, especially the youth member who decided to write “Germany” in Chinese just to keep everyone on their toes…

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