Category Archives: Wobosphere fun

Momentary Thought on TwenCen Short Fiction

A thing which always surprises me: people who can read Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” nonparodically. The title character

  • is seven feet (2.13 m) tall,
  • carries three hundred pounds (136 kg) without effort,
  • can easily tear straps meant to withstand 5000 pounds of force (the weight of over 2 tonnes),
  • can sing beautifully whilst waving musicians like batons, and
  • neutralizes gravity itself through the power of sheer awesomeballs.

But to a certain mindset, which fancies itself much put-upon and misunderstood, Harrison Bergeron could burst through the door waving a BFG9000 and riding a T-rex, all to nary a chuckle.

Why I Gave Up On Elementary

This is probably as good an evening as any to ask if anyone I know actually watches Elementary. I gave up midway through season 1. Even at their best, the episodes read like House fanfiction with the serial numbers filed off. The mysteries were predictable, even if, like me, you didn’t watch enough contemporary TV to recognize actors (and guest starring: the guy who did it!).
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In Which J.J. Abrams is Chosen to Direct Star Wars

“We need someone to direct the new Star Wars. Who’s hot?”

“Well, there’s this guy who made a movie about a cute farmboy in the boondocks who never knew his real father, dreams of outer space, fights in a bar full of crazy aliens and then goes up against the evil overlord who killed his father—this really nasty guy with Roman Empire trappings, favorite color black, lots of glowy green energy—and who flies around in a giant ship bigger than anything else in space blowing up planets. He blasts the home planet of one of the heroes early on, so we know he’s serious, and at the end, it’s a race with the clock to stop him blowing up the planet that’s really important. But the good guys win and there’s a flashy award ceremony to wrap it all up.”

“Sounds great! Is there stuff which only makes sense if, like, Fate or Destiny is willing it?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe!”

“Perfect!”
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Academic Spam

I’ve received several invitations to be listed in a “Who’s Who”, over the years. As far as academic spam goes, it’s been slightly more common than the invitations to attend fraudulent conferences or to publish in fee-gouging, unrefereed vanity journals. (Memo to academic vanity publishers: I know LaTeX. I’ve wrangled two volumes of conference proceedings into shape. I’ve done six books through three different print-on-demand services. I handled the production editing and the typesetting for two editions of The Open Laboratory. I can do your job myself, and I can do it better than you.) I’ve gotten several e-mails with basically identically repeated verbiage in recent weeks. Take a look:
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