Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Late Night Monday

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* In a post-employment economy, many are working simply to earn the prospect of making money.

John Scalzi: 

So when a publisher comes to you and says “We like your book, can we buy it?” do not treat them like they are magnanimously offering you a lifetime boon, which if you refuse will never pass your way again. Treat them like what they are: A company who wants to do business with you regarding one specific project. Their job is to try to get that project on the best terms that they can. Your job is to sell it on terms that are most advantageous to you.

When People Write for Free, Who Pays?

* Kafka wept:

Oakland Police kept a man on its Most Wanted list for six months though he was not wanted for anything, the man claims in court.

And the most amazing part:

After “nearly a week of hiding in fear,” Van turned himself in on Feb. 13, “to resolve this devastating mistake,” the complaint states.

He was held for 72 hours, never charged with anything, then released, according to the complaint.

Yet on Feb. 14, the Oakland Police Department released a statement, “Most Wanted Turns Himself In,” which began: “One of Oakland’s four most wanted suspects has been taken off the streets. Last week, Oakland’s Police Chief Howard Jordan named Van Chau as one of the City’s four most wanted criminals. Today, the Oakland Police Department reports that Van Chau is off the streets of Oakland and is safely behind bars after turning himself in due to media pressure. Chief Howard Jordan said, ‘A week ago I stood with community members and asked the community to stand with me to fight crime and today we have one less criminal on our streets. Today a victim is one step closer to justice.'”

Via @zunguzungu.

The State Department’s latest environmental assessment of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline makes no recommendation about whether President Obama should approve it. Here is ours. He should say no, and for one overriding reason: A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem. Good conscience! Good conscience! Hilarious.

The Inevitable 2014 Headline: ‘Global CO2 Level Reaches 400 PPM For First Time In Human Existence.’ The melting of Canada’s glaciers is irreversible.

Arizona’s Law Banning Mexican-American Studies Curriculum Is Constitutional, Judge Rules.

*  “It’s not for everyone”: working as a slavery re-enactor at Colonial Williamsburg.

Where banks really make money on IPOs. Via MeFi, which has more.

* Nation’s Millionaires Agree: We Must All Do More With Less.

* The world’s most useless governmental agency, the FEC, is still trying to figure out fines for crimes committed three elections ago.

* Anarchism: illegal in Oklahoma since 1919!

* Also from the Teens: Dateline 1912: The Salt Lake Tribune speculates about “vast thinking vegetable” on Mars.

Teacher Accidentally Emails Students Secret School Document Revealing What Faculty Members Really Thought About Them.

* Marvel declares war on the local comic shop, offers unlimited access to their comics for $10.

* Charlotte Perkins Gilman was right: New Experiment Suggests Mammals Could Reproduce Entirely By Cloning.

* Does the loneliest whale really exist?

* The Senate is the worst, and the New York Times is ON IT. Meanwhile, really, the Senate is the absolute worst.

* Neil Gaiman remembers Douglas Adams.

11 More Weird & Wonderful Wikipedia Lists. Don’t miss the list of fictional ducks and the list of films considered the worst.

CLEAR Project Issues Report on Impact of NYPD Surveillance on American Muslims.

* And let freedom ring: Judge strikes down NYC ban on supersized sodas.

Wednesday 2!

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* “If banks wrote down all underwater mortgages to market value and refinanced the homeowners into 30-year, fixed-rate loans at current market interest rates, that would pump $71 billion into the national economy”—and create one million jobs. But the banks won’t do it.

* NPR has scientifically determined the top 100 SF and fantasy books of all time. Don’t get me wrong: I’m very fond of Lord of the Rings, and I love Hitchhiker’s Guide, but they’re really not the very best the genre has to offer…

* Cyclops as Magneto, Wolverine as Professor X? That really doesn’t seem right. Via TNC.

* Why does Obama keep making these terrible jokes about his wife? It’s embarrassing, and about three decades out of date to boot.

* Redefining pedophila as a sexual orientation? I find it’s very hard to have any sort of open mind on this.

* Another reality TV suicide.

* And I admit I didn’t see this coming: Bachmann Staffer Arrested for Terrorism in Uganda in 2006.

Still Unhappy About It

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Let Us Think the Unthinkable, Let Us Do the Undoable, Let Us Prepare to Grapple with the Ineffable Itself and See If We May Not Eff It After All

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Hitchhikers, be glad: The BBC has announced a Dirk Gently TV show.

UPDATE: Hitchhikers be doubly glad; I’ve fixed the link.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 25, 2010 at 8:14 am

Sunday Night in Brussels

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* We’re in Brussels tonight, which as I mentioned on Twitter is my kind of town: obsessed with french fries, chocolate, and comic books. We’ve really been enjoying the comics murals walking tours and I’m hoping to snag all 38 by the time we leave. We should have time, because unbeknownst to the person who planned our trip the entire country of Belgium shuts down on Mondays. Somebody really Belgiumed this thing up big time.

* Stay in the same expensive hotels. Don’t live close to the people. Produce lots of stories and make money. Pull up in your rented SUV to a camp of people who lost their homes, still living under the wind and rain. Step out into the mud with your waterproof boots. Fresh notepad in hand. That ragged-looking woman is yelling at you that she needs help, not another foreigner taking her photo. Her 3-year-old boy is standing there, clinging to her leg. Her arms are raised, mouth agape, and you can’t understand her because you don’t speak Haitian Creole. How to write about Haiti, via MetaFilter.

* It’s rare to see Malthusian arithmetic drawn out so explicitly. How many of the world’s poor do we need, really?

* Somebody finally let the New York Times know that the Roberts court is ultraconservative. Via OpenLeft.

* Ph.D. Comics is visiting Comic-Con (1, 2). Part 3 will be posted tomorrow, I think.

* And thirty-forty-five years ago today, Bob Dylan betrayed us all. See also. Via Neil.

Friday!

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* Presenting the best Ask MetaFilter thread of all time.

* Marginal Revolution had my favorite comment on the Craig Venter artificial life story: The Slartibartfast Principle.

…the evidence for intelligent design ought to be readily available in the graffiti of DNA. “Slartibartfast was here,” or perhaps “3.14159265,” or given what we know of economics, “All rights reserved, MegaCorp. Call for a free estimate.”

The fact that, as of yet, we don’t see this kind of signature in the data is evidence against intelligent design.

* Fellow HTC Hero users may be interested to know that we can finally download Android 2.1.

* Laughter shall be penalized by the deduction of one point per episode of frivolity. Laughter after the conclusion of the game will be met with retroactive penalizations and may alter the game’s outcome. Rules and Regulations for Benehmen!, the German Board Game of Discipline.

* Krugman threatens us with a lost decade. If we vote in Gingrich we get two.

* Rand Paul on Deepwater Horizon: “Accidents happen.” Rand Paul on the Massey coal mine collapse: “Accidents happen.”

* Undercover at the Apple factory. Via Vu.

* Happy birthday, Pac-Man. Happy birthday, Empire Strikes Back. (A little surprised the one and not the other scored the Google doodle.)

* And last but not least: Lost: The Radio Drama. (Thanks Kate!)

A Few Missing Links

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A few links I’ve missed over the last few days.

* xkcd discovers the secret origins of the Kindle.

* RIP, Philip Jose Farmer. More here, especially about Venus on the Half-Shell, the book he published under the name Kilgore Trout. It’s not half-bad.

* ‘Las Vegas Running Out of Water Means Dimming Los Angeles Lights.’

* Spider-Man is taking a job at McDonald’s in these tough economic times.

* And Joss Whedon explains why DC Comics movies don’t work. He’s right and wrong about this; there’s something to be said for the “pain” thesis, but mostly it’s a failure of writing and directorial ambition, compounded by corporate cowardice…

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm