April 11, 2021

April News

*Overheard in the store:

"He's hardly some Svengali. I don't think he could mesmerize a Pet Rock."

"When I sit down to read a Terry Pratchett novel, I know that nothing can hurt me until after I'm done."

(Small Child, to stranger): "You look like a witch!"
(Guardian of Small Child, shocked): "[child's name], why would you say that? That's really not a nice thing to say!" (To Stranger) "I'm very sorry."
(Small Child, totally confused): "It IS a nice thing! Witches are pretty!"

#1: "Oh my gosh -- it's a wall of Tolkien!"
#2: "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
#1: "YES!"

* This was a tough month for literature lovers:

RIP Norton Juster: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/09/norton-juster-author-of-the-phantom-tollbooth-dies-aged-91

Larry McMurtry passed away at age 84: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/31/larry-mcmurtry-obituary

And we lost beloved "Ramona Quimby" author Beverly Cleary at age 104: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/beverly-cleary-obituary-cmwnfx38t

* Photosynthesis without sun! https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/deep-sea-bacteria-spurn-the-sun-instead-using-earths-internal-heat-for-photosynthesis

* This was completely amazing; the real life (and much better!) "Lord of the Flies" -- what actually happened when six schoolboys were shipwrecked for 15 months: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months

* Have you ever wondered how they did the special effects in that particularly gross scene in John Carpenter's movie "The Thing"?https://filmschoolrejects.com/the-thing-chest-chomp/

* We're all thrilled that brilliant fantasy author Peter S. Beagle has regained control of the rights to his work following a lengthy court battle with his criminal former manager Conor Cochran!  Read the press release here, and if you'd like to follow him on Twitter (@Peterbeaglever1) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Peter-S-Beagle-107876501377186), please use the official links listed: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-last-unicorn-returns-home-renowned-fantasy-author--screenwriter-peter-s-beagle-prevails-after-multi-year-legal-battles-against-elder-abuse-and-to-regain-control-of-his-literary-legacy-301254107.html

* Esteemed science fiction author John Varley is recovering well from recent heart surgery, but could really use some financial help.  Varley is a favorite writer of the staff not to mention being an all around lovely person.  A Gofundme campaign has been started by Spider Robinson and Steph Herman -- https://www.gofundme.com/f/helpjohnvarley

* Sure, this isn't creepy AT ALL -- "Dark Watchers" in the Santa Lucia mountains: https://www.sfgate.com/local/editorspicks/article/dark-watchers-santa-lucia-range-stories-steinbeck-16012812.php

* The hyperreal life of Chen Qiufan: https://www.wired.com/story/science-fiction-writer-china-chen-qiufan/

* 13 times science fiction accurately predicted future tech: https://studybreaks.com/tvfilm/science-fiction-predicts-future-technology/

* NASA hopes pirates don't steal the new space telescope: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/03/nasa-james-webb-space-telescope-pirates/618268/

* We thought this was fascinating -- "Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn't fully confined within the head.": https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-thoughts-of-a-spiderweb-20170523/

* Seven (sailing) ships that disappeared without a trace: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/84242/7-ships-disappeared-without-trace

* High school student Dasia Taylor invented sutures that change color to detect infection: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/high-schooler-invented-color-changing-sutures-detect-infection-180977345/

* "Today I am monumentally fed up with the idea of writing." "Writing can be good. You attack it, don’t let it attack you." Douglas Adams' 'General Note to Myself' (& other thoughts) on the writing process: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/22/douglas-adams-note-to-self-reveals-author-found-writing-torture

* Well, THIS is a fun headline -- "Uranus is belching X-rays and is weirder than we ever thought": https://www.space.com/uranus-emitting-x-rays-chandra-observations

* Growing better lettuce -- in space: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-26/growing-better-lettuce-in-space-may-improve-agriculture-on-earth

* The Guardian (UK) talks with physicist Michio Kaku: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/apr/03/string-theory-michio-kaku-aliens-god-equation-large-hadron-collider

* A few things about WorldCon this year -- it will take place in person (!), the hotel has changed, and it's been moved to December (!): https://discon3.org/news/new-dates-new-hotel/

* A 30-year-old Soviet adaptation of "The Fellowship of the Ring", for your viewing. . . pleasure? (Also, while you're at it, breathe deeply over the fact that 1991 was THIRTY YEARS AGO): https://www.tor.com/2021/04/06/soviet-lord-of-the-rings-1991/#more-640635

No comments:

Post a Comment