Thursday various

  • I don’t know why I find this particularly interesting, but I do:

    The post office ignores the return address for Netflix DVDs and sorts them separately for a Netflix truck to pick them up early in the morning for processing.

    Discs are shipped back to the nearest processing facility, regardless of the address on the return envelope; that address is there just for legal reasons, apparently. This seems like something I maybe sort of already knew, but it’s a reminder of the volume they (and by extension the post office) have to process.

  • John Seavey’s Open Letter to Zombie Story Writers:

    In essence, the human body is a machine, like an automobile. You are trying to describe the ways this machine can malfunction to produce a specific effect, and that’s good, but please stop explaining to me how it keeps going without wheels, gasoline, or a functioning engine.

    He raises some interesting points, although I don’t think they apply to the “zombies” in films like 28 Days Later, as he seems to. At least from my recollection — and I re-watched the movie pretty recently — the infected population there a) don’t act at all like George Romeroesque zombies (i.e., no human flesh, no brains), and b) don’t continue acting beyond physically believable limits. Beyond normal pain tolerances, sure — there’s the one guy who keeps running even though he’s literally on fire — but into the realm of sheer impossibility.

  • “What is, come with me if you want to live, Alex?” So you may have heard: a computer has won at Jeopardy. (There goes that Weird Al remix idea!) I’m still looking forward to the televised rematch next month, though perhaps not so much to the subsequent robot apocalypse.
  • It’s worth it for Goodnight Dune alone: Five Sci-Fi Children’s Books. [via]
  • And finally, Jeff VanderMeer on Everything You Need to Know to be a Fiction Writer.

1 comment to Thursday various

  • Well, the 28 Days Later zombies were not really dead – more just that they were people infected with a virus and acting kind of kooky. I always figured it worked on the principle of anaerobics. But I don’t even play a mad scientist on tv.