Pixel Scroll 9/26/22 They Sentenced Me To Twenty Years Of Scrolldom, For Trying To File The Pixel From Within

(1) IT’S A HIT! NASA’s DART mission crashed into the targeted asteroid today.

And CNN reports “After DART’s successful collision with an asteroid, the science is just getting started”.

For the first time in history, NASA is trying to change the motion of a natural celestial body in space. Now that a spacecraft successfully hit the asteroid Dimorphos — the science is just getting started.

To survey the aftermath of the impact, the European Space Agency’s Hera mission will launch in 2024. The spacecraft, along with two CubeSats, will arrive at the asteroid system two years later.

Hera will study both asteroids, measure physical properties of Dimorphos, and examine the DART impact crater and the moon’s orbit, with the aim of establishing an effective planetary defense strategy.

The Italian Space Agency’s Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids, or LICIACube, will fly by Dimorphos to capture images and video of the impact plume as it sprays up off the asteroid and maybe even spy the crater it could leave behind. The mini-satellite will also glimpse Dimorphos’ opposite hemisphere, which DART won’t get to see before it’s obliterated.

The CubeSat will turn to keep its cameras pointed at Dimorphos as it flies by. Days, weeks and months after, we’ll see images and video captured by the Italian satellite that observed the collision event. The first images expected back from LICIACube could show the moment of impact and the plume it creates.

The LICIACube won’t be the only observer watching. The James Webb Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Lucy mission will observe the impact. The Didymos system may brighten as its dust and debris is ejected into space, said Statler, the NASA program scientist.

But ground-based telescopes will be key in determining if DART successfully changed the motion of Dimorphos.

(2) WSFA AT 75. The 75th anniversary of the Washington Science Fiction Association will be celebrated this weekend at the club’s annual Capclave.

(3) OCTAVIA BUTLER GOES INTO HALL OF FAME. The 2022 induction ceremony for the National Women’s Hall of Fame was held last weekend, honoring Octavia Butler, Hidden Figures’ Katherine Johnson, and other 2021 inductees. See a video of the ceremony here.

(4) WILD BLUE AND OTHER YONDERS. “Sharp-Eyed Viewers Notice Stunning Addition To Key U.S. Intelligence Logo” at MSN.com. Oh, yeah. Check for yourself on the U.S miliary’s NIM-Aviation Homepage.

A federal intelligence office charged with matters related to aviation has a new logo ― and it suggests the organization is tracking more than just known aircraft.  

The logo of the National Intelligence Manager-Aviation shows a series of aircraft as well as a UFO…. 

(5) WHERE CAPS BELONG. In a way it’s more of a thought experiment, interestingly constructed by Max Florschutz: “Being a Better Writer: The Problem With Proper Nouns in Sci-Fi and Fantasy” at Unusual Things.

See, the genesis of this post comes from my editing on Starforge. This titan of a book is now in the Beta phase, which means looking for typos, misspelled words, misplaced quotation marks, and all that jazz. However, it also means going through and ensuring proper capitalization of proper nouns. At which point, I ran into a bit of a conundrum. Said conundrum led me to Google, which in turn pointed me to this post from 2009 concerning a similar issue in Fantasy writing—though note that it does as well address Science Fiction as well.

Anyway, what is this conundrum? Well, before we dive into it directly, I have a sort of pop quiz for you. You can do it in your head, but if you’re really determined you can bring out a pen and pencil and do the classic grade-school exercise. It’ll only take a moment either way, but here we go. Correctly capitalize the following sentence:

“The terran vehicle rolled up the hill, backed by dozens of terran marines.”

That’s it. Got it? Placed those capital letters where they belong? Okay, check out the answers after the break….

(6) FIGURES OF FUN. Cora Buhlert brings us another “Masters-of-the-Universe-Piece Theatre: ‘Peeping Mantenna’”.

… Here we have He-Man and Skeletor in the style of the 2002 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon (currently streaming here), for which the designs of the characters were updated. I don’t normally buy all of the He-Man and Skeletor variants (and there are a lot of them), but I like these two, since they are quite different from the standard versions, including redesigned accessories. Though I’ll give 2002 Skeletor’s sword to my Keldor figure, since it actually is Keldor’s sword.

The third new arrival is Mantenna, a member of the Evil Horde and the closest thing Masters of the Universe has to a bug-eyed monster….

(7) TODAY’S RUNNER-UP. Steve Davidson suggested a Scroll title based on a children’s toy. He even provided art!

The Cow Says “Moo!” The Cat Says “Meow!” The Pixel Says “Scroll!”

(A “modified” image of a See-N-Say is below.)

(8) SUCCESSFUL CASTING. Gretchen Rue discusses her favorite TV witches. “The Most Underrated Witches in Media” at CrimeReads.

Supernatural is a hard show to discuss without needing to put an asterisk on all the things it did wrong. It was frequently toxic, misogynistic, and struggled mightily with its female characters who were all either victims or the embodiment of pure evil. Not exactly the most fertile grounds for growing relatable characters who fit the bill for underrated witches. And yet Supernatural has not one, but two of the most underrated witches in all of modern television. There is ongoing antagonist Rowena, who pesters and plagues the Winchesters over the course of multiple seasons, but Rowena, played by Ruth Connell, defies the regular run of the mill baddie legacy most other female villains on the show get saddled with. She Is funny, she has sexual agency, she is emotionally complex and has her own deep backstory that drives her to do the things she does beyond the standard demon-possession fare of most other women on the show. Rowena is a match for the Winchesters, and often an unwitting ally, and she gets to be smart, beautiful, and charismatic season after season. She is only underrated in that she has been somewhat overshadowed in popularity by similarly love-to-hate/hate-to-love demon Crowley….

(9) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.  

1987 [By Cat Eldridge.] ALF: The Animated Series (also known as ALF on Melmac) premiered on NBC thirty five years ago on a Saturday morning. Though it lasted two years which you would think would give it over fifty episodes, it had two seasons of just thirteen episodes instead. 

WARNING: PREACHING MODE ENGAGED

Interestingly it has a long runtime of thirty minute in an era where most cartoon series had twenty to twenty six minutes of time so that as much junky product as possible could be pushed unto the young viewing audience. Buy! Buy! Buy! Who cares about your teeth! 

PREACHING MODE OFF

It was created by Paul Fusco (the only acting talent who returned here.) He is the puppeteer and voice of ALF on ALF and was the creator, writer, producer, and director of the series, and Tom Pratchett, the co-creator of ALF who shows his most excellent taste by being involved in the writing of The Great Muppet Caper. If you’ve not seen the latter, it’s on Disney + right now.

(No, I’m not plugging Disney +. Just noting the Angry Mouse has a lot of interesting product in his vast pockets. I personally am avoiding Him like the bubonic plague for the time being.) 

Why the human characters didn’t appear is rather simple — the shows premise is that ALF is traveling to various places on his home-world of Melmac.  It was a prequel to the ALF, depicting ALF’s life back on his home planet of Melmac before it exploded. How well they did this ive no idea as I’ve not seen it.

Now want weird? Really frelling weird? It was paired with ALF Tales, a spin-off of this series, that had the astonishingly weird premise of characters from that series were playing various characters from fairy tales. Now this series only lasted twenty-one episodes. 

It apparently never got reviewed by the critics, not altogether surprisingly.  Amazon and Tubi, should you care, are streaming it. Personally I’d go watch ALF instead if I were you as it’s actually really great. 

(10) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born September 26, 1866 Winsor McCay. Cartoonist and animator who’s best remembered for the Little Nemo strip which ran between The Wars and the animated Gertie the Dinosaur film which is the key frame animation cartoon which you can see here. He used the pen name Silas on his Dream of the Rarebit Fiend strip. That strip had no recurring characters or theme, just that a character has a nightmare or other bizarre dream after eating Welsh rarebit. What an odd concept. (Died 1934.)
  • Born September 26, 1872 Max Erhmann. Best remembered for his 1927 prose poem “Desiderata” which I have a framed copy hanging here in my work area. Yeah big fan. Genre connection? Well calling it “Spock Thoughts”, Nimoy recited the poem on Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy, his 1968 album. (Died 1945.)
  • Born September 26, 1941 Martine Beswick, 81. Though she auditioned for Dr. No, she was instead cast in From Russia with Love as Zora. She also appeared as Paula Caplan in Thunderball. She would appear in One Million Years B.C. opposite Raquel Welch.  She made several Hammer Studio films including Prehistoric Women and Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde.
  • Born September 26, 1944 Victoria Vetri, 78. I do have a very expansive definition of SF and she definitely gets here by being in the Sixties pulp film When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth as Sanna, and a lost world film called Chuka playing Helena Chavez. She’d also in be a bit of forgotten horror in the role of Rosemary’s Baby as Terry Gionoffrio. But actually she enters SF lore by way of a role she didn’t do. Vetri has been incorrectly identified in myriad sources as playing the role of the human form of a shape-shifting cat in the Trek’s “Assignment: Earth” episode, a role actually played by April Tatro. As she notes, she has brown eyes and that actress has blue eyes. She had a handful  of genre appearances — The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Batman as Florence of Arabia, Mission: Impossible and Land of Giants.
  • Born September 26, 1956 Linda Hamilton, 66. Best known for being Sarah Connor in The Terminator film franchise and Catherine Chandler in the Beauty and the Beast series. She also played Vicky Baxter in Children of the Corn, and Doctor Amy Franklin in King Kong Lives. She would be Acacia, a Valkyrie in “Delinquents” of the Lost Girl series, a role she would reprise in two more episodes, “End of a Line” and “Sweet Valkyrie High”.
  • Born September 26, 1957 Tanya Huff, 65. Her Confederation of Valor Universe series is highly recommended by me.  And I also give a strong recommendation to her Gale Family series. Let’s not forget the cat friendly Keeper’s Chronicles series. I’ve not read her other series, so I’ll ask y’all what you’d recommend.
  • Born September 26, 1968 Jim Caviezel, 54. John Reese on Person of Interest which CBS describes as a “crime drama”. Huh. He was also Detective John Sullivan in Frequency, and Kainan in Outlander. And yes he played Number Six in the unfortunate reboot of The Prisoner
  • Born September 26, 1985 Talulah Riley, 37. Miss Evangelista in “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead”, two Tenth Doctor stories. She also portrays Angela in Westworld, and she shows up in Thor: The Dark World as an Asgardian nurse. 

(11) COMICS SECTION.

(12) ROCKY HORROR. Today’s also the anniversary of this movie’s release:

(13) HIGHER GEAR. Inverse reminds us that “40 years ago, one sci-fi show had the most bizarre beginning in TV history”. Video clips at the link.

…Michael Long, we’re told, has a metal plate in his head — “probably from military surgery” — and this metal plate deflected the bullet away from his brain and into his face. He later emerges from reconstructive surgery all Hasslehoffed-up at the 11:57-minute mark. This means there’s been at least one commercial break before we even see Hasselhoff in Knight Rider.

Frankly, the fact that the show needed a talking car after that setup is fascinating. Today, if the premise of Knight Rider were floated as a prestige drama all about the nature of identity and the existence of false identities, you can’t imagine a studio executive saying, “Yeah, but what if he had a talking car, too?”

The soap opera-esque origin story of Michael Knight’s face was actually a brilliant starting point for the series. By Season 2 episode “Goliath,” we learn that there’s an evil version of Michael Knight — Garthe Knight — also played by Hasselhoff, with a small, sleazy mustache and a soul patch. (The fact he looks like Michael Knight is because Michael Knight’s new face was based on Garthe’s, not the other way around.)…

(14) IT’S ELEMENTRY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Entertainment Weekly discusses what happened when a scientist visited The Big Bang Theory set and found uranium!

…. During the tour, the physicist noticed one of the props in Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment. Prady says, “People always ask what that thing on the wall post was, it was this wooden box that was actually an antique Geiger counter. The physicist looks at it and goes, ‘That’s an old Geiger counter.'” (A Geiger counter is a device used to detect radiation).

It turns out the Geiger counter was more than just a unique prop….

(15) SCARY FOOD. Fortunately, these horrifying “Hallowieners” are baloney says Snopes.

(16) A WORLD UNBUILT. Arturo Serrano finds one that’s not so good: “Nanoreview: The Paper Museum by Kate S. Simpson” at Nerds of a Feather.

…The Paper Museum is a frustrating read. The microcosm inside the museum is described in abundant, at times excessive detail, while the world outside of it is a nebulous blank that may as well be made of air. Since we only follow Lydia, who basically never leaves the museum, the significance of a world without paper is lost because we never get to see that world…. 

(17) VIDEO OF THE DAY. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] This clip of Alasdair Beckett-King satirizing a “popular space show: appeared last year. “Every Episode of Popular Space Show™”.

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, John King Tarpinian, Cora Buhlert, Hampus Eckerman, Jeffrey Smith, Daniel Dern, Andrew Porter, Chris Barkley, Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Matthew Johnson.]

24 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 9/26/22 They Sentenced Me To Twenty Years Of Scrolldom, For Trying To File The Pixel From Within

  1. EDITOR’S NOTE: No subscriber notification for this Scroll. “Too-long” titles are one of the unproven suspects for triggering this bug — I used it anyway. They can’t stop me!!!12!!

  2. 5) Writers in German have it easier, in German All Nouns are capitalised.

    First!!

    Now about spelling…
    Honor–Honour
    Color–Colour

  3. DART YES! (And no wildcat oil drillers on Shuttles with Gatling guns need apply).
    As I noted in a comment on his website, it’s Spaniards, not “Spainiards”, as he repeats a number of times. And why not capitalize Terran Marines?
    Media birthday preaching mode: when we were recording on VCR in the early nineties, hour long shows were, IIRC, in the 40++ min. range. By the mid-oughts, it was down to barely 38 min – so, 22 min of commercials. Gee, I’m so old that I remember when cable was coming in, and you were promised that if you bought cable, you’d never have to see commercials again. (Yes, this was for real.)
    No. Just no.

  4. Mark, cable is a delivery vehicle. Nowhere did I remember anyone saying it would be advert free.

    I have four streaming services now — Acorn, BritBox, Paramount + and Peacock. At the level that I subscribe at, there are no advertisements. It costs me around fifty dollars a year. I also spend another twenty five over at Audible. Collectively it’s less than I spend on my houseplants every month.

    Yes, I could save on Paramount + and Peacock about three dollars per month each if I took the cheaper option with adverts but why the frell would I?

    Acorn and BritBox do not offer a cheaper advert filled option.

  5. Cat – right, a delivery vehicle. But the length keeps getting shorter. I haven’t time the only show we’ve watched recently, Strange New Worlds, but I probably should.

  6. (1) Your spacecraft hits the rock. The rock alters its trajectory–More–You have defeated the rock.

  7. Sorry, hit submit too soon. I can remember around ’81? seeing ads saying just that. And the few times I saw cable before ’92, there were few ads, and they were between shows.

  8. @mark: Pretty much all of the original-to-streaming shows I’ve watched (such as Strange New Worlds) run ~ 50-55 minutes, occasionally a few minutes longer or shorter. (One of the advantages of not having to fill a broadcast time slot is that every episode doesn’t have to run close to the exact same length.) So they’re around the same length as broadcast television shows of the 1960s/70s.

  9. @Mark, I remember those promises as well.

    @Cat Eldridge more than 50 annual. Paramount plus annual alone is 49.99. Britbox is 69…peacock is 20 and Acorn is 60 annual (rounded up)

    That’s 250 annually. Either your math is off, you dropped a digit or you know a secret you now have to share

  10. “You’re telling me a pixel filed this scroll?”

    (9) I watched ALF when it aired, but not the cartoons and I haven’t seen it since.

    The ‘Nymphonema’ comics used ALF as a background element, most explicitly so in ‘Your Earth Cats are Delicious’ (http://swardybangbang.blogspot.com/2018/12/your-earth-cats-are-delicious.html) by B.Swardlick.

    (Nymphonema was a set of short comics by several indie authors, most notably (imo) Colleen Frakes, about a particular memetic infohazard and the people affected)

  11. @mark: First run or rerun? I’ve noticed that some channels broadcasting reruns will remove material to make room for more commercials as well as lengthen the interval between episodes. I’ve seen half hour shows (Mom, for example) that started out 20+ minutes cut down to 17-18 minutes & then aired in a 35 minute time slot, resulting in nearly 50% commercials. OTOH, I’ve been recording reruns of MythBusters recently (which started approximately 20 years ago) and they’ve been in the 40-41 minute range.

  12. The original promise of cable was that since you were already paying for it, there was no need for commercials. That lasted until the cable companies figured out that they had a captive market. And CDs used to cost more than vinyl because they were more expensive to manufacture, and then because people were used to paying more. Is my age showing much?

    We capitalize Spain, and by extension Spaniard, because it’s the name of a specific country. There is only one Spain, unless we’re imagining a future where they can be built to order, like a texas in a John Varley story.

  13. The original promise of cable was that since you were already paying for it, there was no need for commercials. That lasted until the cable companies figured out that they had a captive market. And CDs used to cost more than vinyl because they were more expensive to manufacture, and then because people were used to paying more. Is my age showing much?

    It all depends on your location. In the southern Willamette Valley here in Oregon, cable brought us networks that weren’t available otherwise (at the time, Eugene had only NBC and ABC stations–and I’m old enough to remember when the ABC station came on line in 1959). One of the very first cable systems was in Astoria, Oregon in 1948, where the mountains blocked any signals from the larger cities.

    There was no promise of no ads, until HBO came online.

    On the other hand, there were promises that CDs would become cheaper than LPs or cassettes, once the production ramped up. That didn’t happen (at least until LPs left the market and then came back as more of a niche product).

  14. @Jim Janney

    We capitalize Spain, and by extension Spaniard, because it’s the name of a specific country. There is only one Spain, unless we’re imagining a future where they can be built to order, like a texas in a John Varley story.

    Yeah, Varley’s deliberate lower-casing of what are now proper nouns was a nice way of indicating that what was unique is in his universe a commodity. “I will not buy this texas, it is scratched.”

    Speaking of commercials, Rick and Morty has going back to a 1950s strategy, in which commercials feature the program’s characters (making fast forwarding through the commercials rather difficult).

  15. Interested in a sci-fi application of that satellite impact on an asteroid? I recommend “Mammon” by Rob Kroese. Entertaining and well written. He comes close to violating Jim Butcher’s dictum about preaching harder than you can entertain once or twice, but it is otherwise a great read.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. – Rudyard Kipling

  16. Steve Davidson says That’s 250 annually. Either your math is off, you dropped a digit or you know a secret you now have to share

    Math and I get along just about as well as colors and I do.

    I’m having physical therapy fir my unfortunate tendency to fall down to left. Yes it’s related to the head trauma that killed me eleven times. The therapist today had me doing something that involved colors.

    I looked at the ball and said that is a nice shade of pink. He got a odd look on his face and said try again. I said it’s pink. “No, it is orange.” Not in my universe, I said.

  17. @Cat, I sympathize; I have great difficulty telling certain shades of blue and green apart (when people around me are looking at me in puzzlement because apparently the difference is blindingly obvious).

  18. @7 – many years ago, my husband and I were visiting some friends of ours who had two young children; one about 2 and the other about 6. My husband saw their “See-N-Say” and solemnly declared to the two-year-old “The horse says ‘Moo’.” The six-year-old immediately came to her sister’s rescue: “Don’t listen to him! He’s LYING!”.

    It was hilarious. My husband declares to this day that he was teaching a valuable lesson in critical thinking….

  19. @Cat:
    I had cataract surgery on one eye. The new lens has a slight tint to it, which threw off my color perception in that eye. It makes it hard to color correct the thousands of photos I still need to digitize and color correct for posterity. I haven’t even started on the Ren Faires!

    Imagine looking at a brick wall in the shade in the afternoon. In my left eye, the cement walk is bluish, and the bricks are blue/purple! In my right eye, the cement looks like cement in the shade, and the bricks are the ruddy reddish brown that one would expect. There are still certain shades of blue/purple that make my eyes go buggy!

    In fact, the “Leave a Reply” graphic shows gray in my right eye, and bluish gray in the left! Going bionic ISN’T easy!

  20. Cassy B. says I sympathize; I have great difficulty telling certain shades of blue and green apart (when people around me are looking at me in puzzlement because apparently the difference is blindingly obvious).

    I apparently deeply insulted a worker at a folk bank I was at when I complemented him on his neon pink sneakers, he said they were orange and I said no, they were very pink.

    Remind me to tell y’all about they the counting of the leftover Thanksgiving turkeys at the food bank and discovering that I couldn’t reliably count above five. There were twelve frozen turkeys; no, there were seventeen, and now, there were fifteen. That got me into brain retraining.

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