Tuesday various

  • I see the dead Tauntaun wedding cake. And I see the zombie wedding cake. But what I don’t see is the obvious next step: the zombie Tauntaun wedding cake. Get on it, cake-makers!
  • The movie(s) may still disappoint, but I’m genuinely excited by the new Harry Potter trailer.
  • Martin Scorcese, meanwhile, has never seen the Harry Potter movies. I think they passed up a great opportunity to have him direct one of them. Seriously, can’t you see De Niro or Keitel as Voldemort?
  • I’ve been saying this about emoticons for years and years. [via]
  • And finally, today through Thursday marks the third Harlan Ellison Rare Book Purge. I’m tempted, though mostly by the stuff that’s a little outside of my price range. Say what you will about the man — and heaven knows there’s a lot to be said, both for and against — there’s no denying that he’s written some phenomenal work.

The same old doggerybaw

Today’s Forgotten English is “doggerybaw,” meaning nonsense. I’m just going to toss that one out there without comment.

It was a pretty ordinary day, actually, fairly light on the nonsense. We had a guest speaker at work, at one of our monthly “brown bag lunches,” Drew Levinson formerly of CBS News. He talked about his career and some behind-the-scenes stories about reporting on Jack Kevorkian, Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina. It was actually really quite interesting…which these lunches are not always guaranteed to be.

Beyond that…well, I started reading Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, needing a break from the nonfiction kick I seem to have been on recently — and also with an eye to maybe being able to make some kind of informed vote on this year’s Hugo Awards. At Frederik Pohl’s suggestion, I bought a supporting Worldcon membership recently, getting with my fifty bucks not only the right to vote, but also access to this pretty amazing voter packet, with electronic copies of pretty much all of the work nominated this year. I don’t know that I’m going to be able to get through it all by the end of July — of the novels, the only one I’ve already read is China Miéville’s — but so far I’m quite enjoying Bacigalupi’s book.

So it seemed almost like fate when I read today that he (along with Jon Armstrong, whose novel Grey I quite liked, and Scott Westerfeld, of whom I’m a big fan) is going to be doing a reading in New York tomorrow evening. Alas, I think I’m going to skip it. I’m not sure I feel like hanging around in Manhattan for several hours, and trekking all that way downtown, for an hour’s event and some possible autographs. I haven’t exactly made up my mind yet, but I’m leaning towards just coming home after work.

We’ll see what kind of doggerybaw tomorrow brings.

Thursday various

Thursday various

  • I was sad to see that J.D. Salinger had passed away. I think John Hodgman said it best: “I prefer to think JD Salinger has just decided to become extra reclusive.”
  • I’m much more sad to hear the terrible news about Kage Baker, who has apparently lost her battle with cancer and has only a few weeks to live. I haven’t read a lot of Baker’s books — just the first two in her Company series — but she’s a real gifted talent taken much too soon.
  • Today in banning: first, a Wisconsin jail bans Dungeons & Dragons:

    Singer was told by prison officials that he could not keep the materials because Dungeons & Dragons “promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling,” according to the ruling. The prison later developed a more comprehensive policy against all types of fantasy games, the court said. [via]

    And a California school district bans the dictionary. [via]

  • In much happier news, a story of a Haitian man rescued from beaneath the rubble 11 days after the earthquake — “and hours after the government declared search and rescue operations to be officially over.”
  • And finally, Zack Handlen watches the horror movie Orphan so the rest of us don’t have to:

    …just playing creepy music and panning over a room isn’t creating mood, it’s giving the production designer a clip reel…