Tuesday various

  • I actually don’t have a problem with new Winnie the Pooh stories by a different author, even if that means the introduction of a new character. I’m not in love with the idea, and would prefer to see something new — if Lottie the Otter is a worthy character, give her her own damn book? — but I’m more concerned with this being done to extend copyright, to prevent other new stories from being told.
  • So if God didn’t create heaven and earth, that begs the question: who did? (From a Biblical standpoint, that is. If you take the there-is-no-God, the-universe-was-not-created route, obviously it’s sort of a moot point altogether.) This seems more like a case of semantics, but interesting semantics nonetheless. [via]
  • “A van carrying beehives crashed into a truck on Monday, and huge swarms of bees broke free and stung the injured and rescue workers at the scene.” Yikes! As if the car crash wasn’t bad enough. [via]
  • Next week, my mom and I are going to see Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are sold out, but you still have time to bid on a pair (for charity) if you’d also like to be there.
  • And finally, I really loved these Superhero Status Updates. [via]

Thursday various

  • The Wiseline Institute imagines the (surprisingly Stephen Baldwin-heavy) Creation Science Fiction Channel fall lineup:
  • With the schedule set, King plans to go on vacation until the end of the season. “There won’t be any changes, since CreSyFy has a rule against things evolving,” King explained.

  • “The thing I dream is this: That some night, a hundred nights, a hundred years from now, there will be a boy on Mars reading late at night with a flashlight under the covers. And he’ll look out on the Martian landscape, which will be bleak and rocky and red and not very romantic. But when he turns out the light and lies with a copy of my book, I hope, The Martian Chronicles, the Martian winds outside will stir, and the ghosts that are in my book will rouse up, and my creatures—even though they never lived—will be on Mars.” – Ray Bradbury
  • Evolution of The Martian Chronicles cover. I think the 1950 (original?) cover is my favorite, although a battered copy of the 1984 version is what I own. Though I’d love a copy of the new one. [via]

  • So…first Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, then Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and now Wuthering Bites. I guess it’s officially a trend now. With this, and the Twilight connection, I have to wonder: has Emily Brontë ever been this popular before?
  • Speaking (sort of) of popular vampires, I have to say I think I prefer True Blood as a sitcom to the alternative. I guess you almost have to admire its willingness to be flat-out batshit crazy, but I lost interest after the first couple of episodes.
  • And finally, with today being Support Our Zines Day, I found this questions — is it a bad thing that small presses are usually built around one individual? — worth considering. Kaleidotrope, after all, is a one-man operation…
  • Monday various

    • Michael Chabon’s essay on the Wilderness of Childhood got a lot of attention when it was first posted, back in July. (It’s been sitting in my saved links since then.) I think Chabon made some interesting points, but I also think Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky’s response is worth repeating [via]:

      I’m not really arguing with Chabon here: he may be right that all children are instinctively adventurers, and he’s certainly right that limiting their exploration of the world in the name of safety threatens their creative imagination. But let’s be clear: the maps we draw for our children are not the maps that guide their lives. They draw their own maps, but it’s a mistake to confuse them with the nostalgic – or anguished — images produced by adult memory. Childhood is a foreign country to us. We once knew its landmarks, but they’ve grown wild in our imaginations, so that the “adventures” we remember are now just stories we tell. Adventure is what we call it when we show the slides. The natives just call it life.

    • Leaving aside the silliness of a religion based on Star Wars, or the questions that are maybe raised about established religions when you ask why this one is silly and they’re not — or even Tesco’s valid point that plenty of Jedi(s?) in the movies don’t walk around in public in their hoods — why can’t you wear a hood in their store? [via]
    • Well, at least he wasn’t wearing this flip-top zombie shirt… [via]
    • Permanent Bedtime, which plays a complete recording from BBC Radio’s late-night Shipping Forecast. Warren Ellis describes it as such:
    • The latenight edition of the Shipping Forecast has long been praised by the British as a gentle aid to restful sleep. And dream-filled sleep, too, because the Forecast is famous for listing “places” that are entirely notional, a virtual geography inhabited only by ships and the wondering minds of people drifting off into sleep. Sleep districts of the British imagination: Fastnet, Rockall, Dogger, Cromarty, Viking…

      It’s quite interesting to take an afternoon nap with that playing in the background.

    • And finally, I’ve only watched a couple of episodes, but I quite like NASA’s IRrelevant Astronomy video podcast, particularly the Robot Astronomy Talk Show. [via]
    • I quite liked the most recent episode with Linda Hamilton and Dean Stockwell, super genius:

    Found in translation

    Jeffrey Ford on undoing the will of God:

    Today it struck me that, considering the curse that God places on mankind by fracturing language so that we can never conspire en mass, the work of translators is, in a mythic sort of way, an undoing of the will of God. I had this day dream where after the fall of the tower, even though most flee in fear, a group of architects and workers determines to stick together, overcome the obstacle of language and eventually see the project through to completion. In order to be successful, they will first have to learn to communicate with each other. They study the new languages they each are now stuck with and then work to understand one or more of the other new languages. This takes place over centuries — there’s a secret society of Architects of The Tower Of Babel. Eventually they come to see that the actual tower isn’t necessary, but that their efforts at translation are rebuilding it spiritually one invisible stone at a time. In the process of undoing the will of God, they have entered into what could be considered a religious pursuit.