Second Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 Scroll Up And File Right

Here’s a bonus Scroll, healthfully free of references to rocket-shaped awards. Well, except for that one.

(1) THE DOCTOR. Vulture provided an introduction for this clip of David Tennant and Stephen Colbert doing their own version of “Who’s on First”.

David Tennant is currently playing Richard II in a cycle of Shakespeare history plays at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and on Wednesday night, he stopped by Stephen Colbert’s show to tell him all about it. But before he could, he had to take part in a very silly “Who’s On First” spoof with late night’s most verbally gifted host, one that wrapped in Doctor Who, Doctor Strange, and Benedict Cumberbatch (who, coincidentally, is about to play Richard III on British TV).



(3) GIVE FORWARD. When Ed Dravecky III passed away at WhoFest last weekend, away from home, a crowdfunded appeal was launched on behalf of his partner Robyn Winans seeking financial assistance to help with the transport and funeral arrangements.The target was $2,000 – over $5,000 was raised.

(4) FREE PAOLO BACIGALUPI STORY. Joey Eschrich, Editor and Program Manager for the Center for Science and the Imagination as Arizona State University, and Assistant Director, Future Tense, has something for you —

I just wanted to share this new (free) short story from Paolo Bacigalupi about artificial intelligence, pleasurebots, and the ethical and legal quandaries of human-machine interaction – I’m hoping you might consider sharing it with your community!

The Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, where I work, commissioned and edited the story along with’s Future Tense channel – it’s the first in Future Tense Fiction, a series of short stories about how technology and science will change our lives. The story is accompanied by a response essay from Ryan Calo, a robotics and law expert at the University of Washington.

(5) FULL FURY FIVE. The “Wasteland Weekend” video features people cosplaying entire cars in Mad Max-esque styles.

For Mike Orr, a.k.a. “Sweet Lips,” escapism comes in the form of Wasteland Weekend: an annual four-day post-apocalyptic festival held in the Southern California desert that attracts thousands of people from around the country. It’s basically a giant celebration of end-of-the-world culture, where, per Sweet Lips, “people can do whatever they want.” This includes everything from hand-to-hand combat to burlesque to bonfires that set the night sky ablaze.

But most of all, people come to Wasteland for the cars?—?DIY war machines that look as though they’ve rolled right out of Fury Road.


(6) TO THE PAIN. The New York Times explains why “Ramsay Bolton of ‘Game of Thrones’ Is the Most Hated Man on TV”.

Like many successful actors, Iwan Rheon, better known as the blithely malicious Ramsay Bolton on “Game of Thrones,” arguably the most hated man on television, admits he’s concerned about being narrowly defined by an indelible character. But ask a logical follow-up question — what else are you working on? — and the scale of his challenge becomes clear.

“I’m playing a young Hitler,” he replied, referring to the British television movie “Adolf the Artist.” Then realization took hold, and his face crumpled in mock despair: “Oh, I’m typecast already!”

(7) KEEP YOUR YAB BANG CHUT. A side-effect of the studio’s suit against the producers of Axanar is this story: “Paramount Pictures sued over copyright of Klingon language”. Notwithstanding the headline, what’s been filed is an amicus curae brief, which, as Chris Meadow explains, “Is a legal brief in which a party not directly involved in a case puts in a few words about issues that could nonetheless affect them depending on how the case is decided.”

A group called the Language Creation Society is suing Paramount Pictures in federal court over its copyright of the Klingon language from the television series Star Trek, arguing that it is a real language and therefore not subject to copyright.

The suit, filed by Marc Randazza and the Language Creation Society, argues that while Paramount Pictures created Klingon, the language has “taken on a life of its own.”

“A group called the Language Creation Society claims in U.S. federal court that Paramount Pictures lacks the ‘yab bang chut’ or ‘mind property law’ necessary to claim copyright over the Klingon language,” Randazza wrote in the brief’s description.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the issue had previously been brought up in a lawsuit between Paramount Pictures and CBS over a crowdfunded Star Trek fan film that made use of the language.

Ken White at Popehat did his own analysis of the question.

The legal point is a fascinating one: if a language is created in connection with a copyrighted work of fiction, can there be a copyright on other use of the language, even if it’s not to speak the lines from the copyrighted work?


  • April 28, 2007  — Ashes of actor James Doohan, who portrayed engineer “Scotty” on Star Trek, and of Apollo 7 astronaut Gordon Cooper soared into space aboard a rocket.


(10) SINFUL STAR WARS. CinemaSins covers Everything Wrong With Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and reminds us: “Remember, no movie is without sin!”

(11) FUTURE DSC AWARDED. SF Site News learned ConCave to Host DeepSouthCon in 2018.

(12) WE NOW KNOW. In 2016, the planet Mars will appear brightest from May 18 to June 3. NASA has the scoop.

Mars Close Approach is May 30, 2016. That is the point in Mars’ orbit when it comes closest to Earth. Mars will be at a distance of 46.8 million miles (75.3 million kilometers). Mars reaches its highest point around midnight — about 35 degrees above the southern horizon, or one third of the distance between the horizon and overhead. Mars will be visible for much of the night.

There is a nice animation at the above site showing how Mars’ appearance embiggens during the approach…

(13) UNEXPECTED VACANCY IN HALL H. “Fox Movie Studio Pulls Out of Comic-Con Main Event Over Piracy Fears” at The Wrap.

20th Century Fox will not showcase its upcoming movie releases in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con this year.

The studio feels it cannot prevent the piracy of custom trailers and exclusive footage routinely screened for fans in attendance, an individual familiar with the decision told TheWrap.

A representative for Fox declined to comment. SDCC was not immediately available for comment….

(14) THE PLURAL OF NEMESIS. The Verge introduces Batman: The Killing Joke trailer.

The first full trailer for Batman: The Killing Joke, Warner Bros. Animation’s first R-rated Batman movie, is finally here. Based on the acclaimed and highly controversial graphic novel of the same name, the film will explore Batman’s relationship with the Joker, and drive home the fact that they represent perfect arch-nemeses for one another.

Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, released as a one-shot back in 1988, is considered by many fans as the greatest, and perhaps most terrifying, Joker story ever written….


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Glenn Hauman, JJ, Will R., Mark-kitteh, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File770 contributing editor of the day Heather Rose Jones.]

119 thoughts on “Second Pixel Scroll 4/28/16 Scroll Up And File Right

  1. Wow, crazy that there’re now 2 parks funded! Way to go!
    Ancillary Bench is an awesome name. And God Stalk Park has a certain ring to it; it just slides off the tongue. Or maybe “Second Fifth Park”?

  2. File770 Bench – You can sit on it.*

    * For those of you alive for the madness that was Happy Days.

    I was reading The Last Word interview with James Taylor in The Rolling Stone (May 5, 2016) and thought this was of interest:

    What was your favorite book as a kid?

    I like science fiction, so I’d say the Foundation trilogy, by Isaac Asimov. It was a series of books about a galactic empire and the future. The empire is falling apart, and a brilliant statistician predicts what’s going to happen. I loved the way it made a new sort of alternate world. I was and am, a science nerd.

  3. [ticky]

    I vote for Ancillary Bench myself (and please get Ann Leckie there for a pic).

  4. Gah. I despise the lazy snark of Cinema Sins, because the “writers” either don’t understand the language of cinema and/or context, or just flat out ignore it. I prefer Honest Trailers, which derive their humor from an intelligent and contextual read of both the subject film and the genre. They are also truly honest. Which only makes them funnier.

  5. Would love to hear any thoughts on Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers. It keeps looking at me balefully from Mount TBR. How does it stack up against other Powers books? The Anubis Gates is probably my favorite, but I also enjoyed Declare and the Fault Lines trilogy.

  6. I’m looking forward to seeing The Killing Joke. As a long-time fan of Batman: The Animated Series, this is like a little Christmas present—one of the best-known Batman stories, adapted with the archetypal animated Batman cast. (Really, they should use Conroy for Batman in every animated movie.) So they can’t imitate the comic book style exactly; so what? They weren’t able to do that in Dark Knight Returns, either, but it was still a decent adaptation.

  7. @Beth: I liked it — not as stunning as Declare IME, but a well-put-together story with interesting historical hooks. I was less than impressed by Hide Me Among the Graves, but this was a return to Powers’s previous level of work.

  8. @chip @beth It’s tempting me, as it sounds like it’s mining the same veins as Three Days To Never, which I loved.

  9. “Second Fifth Park”?

    My local minor league baseball team plays at Fifth Third Park

  10. @Paul Weimer: are you assuming that Welles intended the broadcast to be taken for real? John Houseman (in Run-Through, part 1 of his autobiography) argues that it was not; he says that a lot of channel-flippers (dial-twiddlers?) dropped into the middle when a variety show on another station shifted from a star to a minor performer, missing the frame that made clear this was a story like others in the series.

  11. Any Bench calls for the presence of Susan R. Matthews. (Though the confluence suggested by an Ancillary Bench is interesting, in a terrifying way.)

  12. @Mark: Cheers for the heads-up on the Polansky novel. Every time I’m in the UK I eye that series up and eventually decide I’ll get to it later. For £0.99 I’m willing to get to it now/soon, though.

  13. > “I despise the lazy snark of Cinema Sins … I prefer Honest Trailers …”

    Totally agree.

  14. (4) FREE PAOLO BACIGALUPI STORY: the story bugs me the more I think about it. It leans on the Kafkaesque idea that a thinking being who kills someone could just be an issue of ‘product liability’ so heavily that it has the characters treat the product liability at issue as no big deal. If a robot kills someone, it’s going to ruin the company that made the robot, no matter how good their lawyers are. They should be in panic mode, not casually lecturing the protagonist on his foolish sentimentality at the idea that a robot deserves legal rights.

  15. I had totally forgotten that one of my nephews just moved to Kansas City.
    (To be fair, there are a bunch of nephews all doing stuff.)
    My sister was going to go out to visit him this summer anyway, so we are just inviting me along as well.
    And the two of us are going to go to the con!

    I mean, I know that full-emersion – staying in a hotel/no sleep/do it all – is the approved method, but this is going to be two little old ladies managing it on the cheap.
    And, besides, this way we can come rolling in at 3am and scandalizing the young folk, which is always fun.

    I will SEE the benches!
    We will serpentine our share of EPH voting.
    I will get to Thelma and Louise the heck out of stuff with my favorite (shhhhh, I did not say that!) sister.
    This is going to be great.

  16. If we fund a third bench I’m of the belief it should be named Richard and include a hump back scroll:

    @Jack Lint

    Favorite book as a kid: probably a ratty copy of Falcons of France in the school library (by Nordhoff and Hall – fictionalized WW1 aviation story, by a pair of actual WW1 aviators. They’re more famous for writing Mutiny on the Bounty). I checked it out several times in the course of elementary school. The school librarian actually gave it me when it came time for it to be discarded. It’s still on my book shelf now (complete with check out card!).

    Favorite Sci-Fi as a kid: probably Red Planet by Heinlein. Adventure, Science (flashlight and cabbage), and the kids were treated as grown ups.

  17. And beehives in each park, with a sign on one saying ‘wretched’ and on the other saying ‘more wretched.’ One of them will lie when you ask it a question but you don’t know which one.

  18. Once and Future: For the parks: File 770: Scum and File 770: Villainy

    I hear where you’re coming from, but let’s not put a troll’s label on these parks.

  19. @Mike Glyer
    I guess you missed my comments on the Mike Glyer troll sign. It’s in the Park Bench post* comments. 😉

    *Why are so few people commenting there so the ideas are in one place? What’s the link again I accidentally closed the tab.

  20. Iain Banks? (Bench can be translated into bank in a few languages.)

    The only other one I could think of was James Bench Cabell.

  21. @Tasha Turner

    Mike Glyer troll sign

    Now that brings an opportunity to mind for the park! You’ve seen kissing booths, and dunking booths, but how about a trolling booth? Unique! (Entirely not serious here…)

  22. Books!

    An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel: Yulric Bile—the Cursed One, the Devil’s Apprentice, He Who Worships The Slumbering Horrors—awakes in the modern day and discovers, to his absolute horror, that vampires are now considered beautiful and nice. Hilarity ensues as old-school and new-school vampires clash. (If you’re worried about this being one long Twilight joke, don’t be. If anything, it’s more interested in mocking things like Vampire: The Masquerade.) Overall, a highly entertaining read, and absolutely recommended, so long as you’re in the mood for something a bit lighter.

    Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: A mysterious statue, broken up into many pieces and scattered throughout the world, gets discovered and assembled by a secret government project; the book is told as a series of interviews between the principal figures behind this project and a mysterious, unnamed interviewer. I was . . . a bit underwhelmed by this. (The Goodreads description is somewhat . . . skewed in focus. To say more would be spoilery.) The structure of the book kind of siphons off some of the tension, though there are some benefits to that structure that become clearer as the book progresses. I’ll probably pick up the sequel, but I won’t be rushing to grab it.

    The United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas: Japan successfully invades the western U.S. during WWII, leading to a technologically advanced, highly totalitarian state. There’s a lot to enjoy here, but speaking overall, this was . . . not entirely my cup of tea. I can’t really put my finger on why. I loved the worldbuilding and the characters, but something about the prose style just didn’t completely click with me. Be aware that the opening section is not very well done—if you pick this up, I’d recommend pushing through that opening, because the writing post-prologue is of a much higher quality.

  23. @Emma

    Interesting! I was on the fence after the amazon sample of The United States of Japan, which is mostly the prologue, so if it improves later on then I may give it another try.

  24. The Animal Kingdom is rebelling.

    Weasel Apparently Shuts Down World’s Most Powerful Particle Collider

    These sorts of mishaps are not unheard of, says Marsollier. The LHC is located outside of Geneva. “We are in the countryside, and of course we have wild animals everywhere.” There have been previous incidents, including one in 2009, when a bird is believed to have dropped a baguette onto critical electrical systems.

    Nor are the problems exclusive to the LHC: In 2006, raccoons conducted a “coordinated” attack on a particle accelerator in Illinois.

    It is unclear whether the animals are trying to stop humanity from unlocking the secrets of the universe.

  25. Nor are the problems exclusive to the LHC: In 2006, raccoons conducted a “coordinated” attack on a particle accelerator in Illinois.

    Someone, anyone: please write this book.

  26. They’re trying to save us from the black hole the thing is going to create! Go, rodents!

    ETA: Realizes raccoons aren’t rodents and weasels probably aren’t either. Go, smallish, gnawing mammals!

  27. Emma on April 29, 2016 at 11:27 am said:

    Nor are the problems exclusive to the LHC: In 2006, raccoons conducted a “coordinated” attack on a particle accelerator in Illinois.

    Someone, anyone: please write this book.

    I think RedWombat kinda did?

    Ah, yes. There it is. “Bird Bones” . It was in the Rochita Loenen-Ruiz fundraiser story packet.

    Not an attack on a particle accelerator by Combat Raccoons trying frantically to stop Humanity from destroying the planet. But close enough. 😉

  28. @Emma

    Nor are the problems exclusive to the LHC: In 2006, raccoons conducted a “coordinated” attack on a particle accelerator in Illinois.

    Someone, anyone: please write this book.

    Raccoons are Earth’s Treecats. Highly intelligent and have played dumb for years. Being so smart they’ve let the less intelligent humans do the work of creating civilization. We’re ripe for the picking. We’ve reached our peak, as people keep saying, for technological and scientific breakthroughs. Now comes world domination led by the raccoons.

    I’m thinking they can’t be worse than Trump.

  29. @Tasha

    I thought that was cats. Mine’s just wrangled another bowl of food by mind control looking pathetic.

  30. @Mark
    Before my latest cats died there was no question in our house:

    1. They believed they were g-ds

    2. We behaved as slaves not owners

    That’s normal… Right?

    But I never got the feeling they wanted to exert themselves to do anything. These raccoons on the other hand don’t mind getting their hands dirty… Oh geez the cats are controlling the raccoons, birds, weasels. My brain still isn’t working. If someone finds my brain please return it I’m in desperate need.

  31. weasels probably aren’t either

    Mustelids in fact.

    It’s a case of nursery rhyme nominative determinism.

    Pop went the weasel…

  32. There is a link in the article to the Fermilab report in question, from the last week of May 2006, which read as follows:

    At 1:24 a.m., Operations reported a raccoon attack in the Linac gallery. It seemed to be a coordinated effort. Fortunately, by 1:53 AM, a joint force of operators and Pbar experts managed to drive the raccoons out of their hastily made fortifications. Then at 4:18 p.m., the raccoons made what some thought to be a counterattack on the Division Headquarters, but others believed it to be only a simple reconnaissance incursion. No raccoons were either injured or captured during these encounters. Operator losses were low.

  33. #11) I went to ConCave back in…. 2004? 2003?

    I have never been to a boozier convention. It was held in Horse Cave, KY which is a dry county. Which only means you can’t sell liquor. Giving it away is fine.

  34. Recs needed! Mr Dr Science is still recovering from his heart attack (and associated tests, surgery, etc.) and that means I need to feed him a book every other day, AT LEAST. There’s old stuff, of course, but right now he’s really in the mood for new Science Fiction of the In Space! type, to counterbalance the Fantasy he’s been reading. 2016 titles preferred.

  35. Now comes world domination led by the raccoons.

    The Architect of Sleep, anyone?

    I’m thinking they can’t be worse than Trump.

    That’s a pretty low bar to amble over.

  36. (and then I find that there is a 2014 collection of the Steven Barnes arc of Fusion under the title The Soulstar Commission. Damn that south American river and its free book delivery service.)

  37. @Simon Bisson:
    No, no, you’re definitely not the only one who remembers Weasel Patrol. I’ve got a few friends that I can still get to respond just by saying ‘Escondido!’ (the response being ‘Aieeeee!’, of course).

    I’ve got all the issues of Fusion. You’re right that the Eclipse bankruptcy has a lot to answer for; a lot of fairly good comics went down with them.

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