On Repeat

I’m babysitting a child with limited mobility this weekend. That means a lot of television as entertainment. That means a lot–an awful lot–of theme song over and over and over again. Like this one.

At least I have one show she likes that has a decent theme song. [Read more…]

How It Is Pronounced

There is an excellent chance you’ve already seen this video elsewhere on FreethoughtBlogs. I post it here as well, because you may not have seen it but still want to know how a bunch of us here talk about this when we get together. There is also one thing I’d like to draw your attention to.

A number of people have been mispronouncing my name lately on the radio and in Google+ hangouts and the like. They’ve been doing this despite me doing a radio show on which I introduce myself approximately every other week.

Now, I’m used to this. People who hear the radio show regularly still mispronounce my name. Still, if you want to know how it’s done, let this discussion be your guide.

Just make sure you pay attention to how I pronounce it, not how that Meyers guy does.

Saturday Storytime: Shadow War of the Night Dragons: Book One: The Dead City: Prologue

If you don’t know who John Scalzi is, you may not read enough science fiction, follow enough silly people on Twitter, read enough blogs, or have gone to enough W00tstocks. Last April, very, very (very) early in April, Scalzi wrote a story for Tor. That story has since been nominated for the 2012 Hugo Award.

Night had come to the city of Skalandarharia, the sort of night with such a quality of black to it that it was as if black coal had been wrapped in blackest velvet, bathed in the purple-black ink of the demon squid Drindel and flung down a black well that descended toward the deepest, blackest crevasses of Drindelthengen, the netherworld ruled by Drindel, in which the sinful were punished, the black of which was so legendarily black that when the dreaded Drindelthengenflagen, the ravenous blind black badger trolls of Drindelthengen, would feast upon the uselessly dilated eyes of damned, the abandoned would cry out in joy as the Drindelthengenflagenmorden, the feared Black Spoons of the Drindelthengenflagen, pressed against their optic nerves, giving them one last sensation of light before the most absolute blackness fell upon them, made yet even blacker by the injury sustained from a falling lump of ink-bathed, velvet-wrapped coal.

With the night came a storm, the likes of which the eldest among the Skalandarharians would proclaim they had seen only once before, although none of them could agree which on which one time that was; some said it was like the fabled Scouring of Skalandarharia, in which the needle-sharp ice-rain flayed the skin from the unjust of the city, provided they were outside at the time, while sparing the just who had stayed indoors; others said it was very similar to the unforgettable Pounding of Skalandarharia, in which hailstones the size of melons destroyed the city’s melon harvest; still others compared it to the oft-commented-upon Moistening of Skalandarharia, in which the persistent humidity made everyone unbearably sticky for several weeks; at which point they were informed that this storm was really nothing like that at all, to which they replied perhaps not, but you had to admit that was a pretty damn miserable time.

Which is to say: It was a dark and stormy night.

And in that dark and stormy night, upon the walls of Smaelkaven, the imperial castle of Skalandarharia, two guards stood, upon a watch.

Keep reading.

The Sex Lives of Trees

…really shouldn’t involve me, but they do. Pollen counts are high today and expected to be high all week. That means my body is intensely busy doing absolutely nothing productive. Since I still have to get a bunch of other stuff done, I offer you this little ditty in lieu of a post.

Too bad the Muppets never did a song about refraining from clawing your eyeballs out so you could wash them.

Dana and the Message of the Rocks

It pains me to announce this. It really does. Once upon a time, and not really all that long ago, I recommended Dana Hunter for Freethought Blogs. I wasn’t the only one by any means, but I started the ball rolling. Today, however, Dana is leaving us.

That isn’t the truly painful part, though.

Maybe we should have seen it coming. Dana has always been something of an “evangelist” of the rocks. Her post on Sunset Crater, the paean to geology that earned her a spot in OpenLab, both communicated the strong connection she had with rocks.

It really wasn’t until this week, though, that the nature of that “connection” started to become clear. That was when Dana started talking about the “mystery” of the rocks. That’s when she started drawing diagrams pulling out features that were kinda, sorta visible in the picture–if you squinted right.

I don’t usually comment on Dana’s geology posts. I don’t really know what I’m talking about, so I don’t have much to add. It was the same here, but the post left me uncomfortable enough that I felt I should say something. So I sent Dana an email with a little joke about mystical rocks.

Dana’s response floored me. [Read more…]

Aim Like a Drunkard

I have quite the weakness for good stage/screen combat. I’ve seen it up close, and I know how much work goes into making it work. This…is not that. Still, if you don’t make it to the scene with Lucas himself, you’re missing out.

Thanks to Felicia for a good giggle.