Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Fun with packing materials

Jed was talking about styrofoam peanuts, so I feel I should add this:

We recently got some package or other which was extensively padded, not with peanuts, but with those sheets of connected paperback-sized transparent plastic air balloons. They're quite tough -- you can't pop them like you can bubblewrap -- and, having a martha stewart/geek moment, I constructed a matress for Aviva (who thought they were really cool) by taping them down onto a big sheet torn from a roll of drawing paper.

Aviva -- who insists on sleeping on the floor in a pile of blankets, resolutely enough that we have gone ahead and put her bed in the attic -- is now sleeping on this creation. It's very comfy.

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Monday, September 27, 2004

"The Orange" in French and Romanian

Bogdan Stefan was good enough to translate my story "The Orange" into Romanian, and to arrange for it to be translated into French by Michaël La Chance, a professor from Quebec.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

Killing Comment Spam

If you haven't been reading a lot of comments in this blog from a guy named bob about various male hormonal supplements, or inviting you to play games of chance and meet eligible singles through your browser, it's because I have written a little tool to help me clean up comment spam.

Click here to continue reading "Killing Comment Spam"
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Thursday, September 23, 2004

War of the Monkeys

There is nothing sadder, perhaps, than seeing otherwise sensible and mature young speculative fiction writers, who should know better, dueling with badly drawn monkeys.

One can console oneself, perhaps, with the thought that it is all for a good cause.

Perhaps this fellow would approve.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Aviva's Song for Noah

The other day, Aviva started spontaneously singing this song (of her own invention) to Noah in the supermarket. Esther wrote it down, and I have translated it into English here:

Always, always, always I want to live with you
you are my brother for always
I love you so much

You are so nice
Do you want, when I'm seven,
to go to school or kindergarten next door to each other?

I always pick you up
when you fall in the water with your clothes on
I pull you out

What do you want?
Always, always I love you
Always, always I love you
I'm always your sister
I am your heart
I am your heart

When I'm ten and you're seven
then we'll go in a restaurant
without Mommy and without Daddy
then we'll be so big
as big as our Mommies

What do you want?
What do you want?

Oh, I love you so much
that I always want to go where you go
where you go
where you go

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

More Ego-Loot From

A review of "Abraza-lo-nuevo" in what appears to be the Spanish-language slashdot. Looks like they liked it well enough.

I also found Broken Lines, a poem not by me, but by my namesake, an Iowa poet who published in the 1920s. I like it. (I alluded to this Benjamin Rosenbaum (and all the other Benjamin Rosenbaums I know about) in my story that's coming out on Halloween in that Zeppelin anthology.)

A reference to "Prigrliti-Novo" -- that's "Embracing-the-New" in Croatian -- the story doesn't seem to be online, only a bio, which I find tantalizingly close to being comprehensible.


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Monday, September 20, 2004

Pictures of Other Cities

Today I stumbled across (for once, not with Google, but with this strange and beautiful series of illustrations, apparently by hidenori watanave:

1   2   3   4   5

From the context, I assume these are illustrations of the "Other Cities", from when they were reprinted in the special slipstream issue of Hayakawa SF, Japan's leading speculative fiction magazine.

They're amazing!! Do they go with particular cities? Wowzers.

Who is the illustrator? Is he this hidenori watanave? Is he the same as hidenori watanabe?

There are a bunch of illustrations for Ted Chiang and Charlie Stross stories on that page, too.


I love the web.

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Friday, September 17, 2004

L'Shana Tovah

(a little late, but...)

May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life for a very good year.

We had a lovely family Rosh Hashana -- the highlight was the children's service early in the morning at Temple Micah, which managed to hit the essential structure of the Rosh Hashana service (call to prayer, torah reading, shofar, etc) in fifteen minutes while amusing and delighting a crowd of one-to-twelve year olds -- a marvel of conciseness and clarity, flourishing amidst and feeding off the chaos and noise of lots of kids being kids -- the best part of which was singing "Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday Dear World, Happy Birthday To You." After which, there was cake.

Aviva, however, sang "Happy Birthday Dear Round" instead.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because the world is round," she said.


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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

How can one resist this quote?

" "I hope too that I will be able to begin serving my sentence in the very near future because I would like to be back as early in March as possible in order to plant the spring garden." -- Martha Stewart, on why she wants to go to jail now.

You go, girl.

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Ivan the Terrible

Boy, I bet that pun has been made a lot this week.

Fellow SF author and Blue Heavener Toby Buckell is asking for your help and giving away/auctioning off cool things.

(If for some reason you have a lot of canned food and generators and things and you drop them off at my house, I will take them downtown to the dropoff center.)

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Monday, September 13, 2004

Bacon-Erdös numbers

I had come up with a variant on this, and was amusing some people at Worldcon with the notion (and bewildering others -- but Cory Doctorow, at least, laughed his ass off). As usual, Google reveals I'm a couple years late to the party.

My proposal was to find someone who had both an Erdös number and a Kevin Bacon number, and use them to produce a conversion function. In one glorious stroke, a thousand lifelong dreams could thus be fulfilled -- everyone in Hollywood could have an Erdös number, and everyone at MIT could have a Kevin Bacon number.

As it turns out, the preliminary work has already been done. Brian Greene, for instance, has an Erdös number of 3, and a Bacon number of 2. Thus, my proposed conversion function (allowing edges in the unified Bacon-Erdös graph to represent two people either appearing together in a movie or coauthoring a paper) is as follows:

Finding: an actor with a Bacon number of N has, at most, a Baconized Erdös number of N+5. Similarly, an academic with an Erdös number of M has, at most, an Erdösinated Bacon number of M + 5.

(My initial lines of research, proposing to go through Dolph Lundgren or Natalie Portman, would surely have yielded much less powerful results.)

The emphasis of previous Bacon-Erdös research, however, has not been on unification, but rather on those individuals with authentic claims to both direct Erdös numbers, through actual academic coauthorship and to direct Bacon numbers through actual screen acting. Thus the canonical Bacon-Erdös number is the sum of an individual's separately earned Erdös number and Bacon number, and this --we learn -- is what is devoutly to be sought. The aforementioned Brian Greene and Dave Bayer are tied for the world-record lowest Bacon-Erdös sum of 5.

Strictly construed, my own Bacon and Erdös numbers are both infinite, since I have never coauthored a paper for a refereed academic journal, nor acted in a major Hollywood film. If we extend the definition of coauthorship, though -- allowing, say, coauthorship of unpublished novels to count toward Bacon numbers, and coauthorship of letters to the editor and the like to count toward Erdös number, we could be nice and award me an extended Bacon-Erdös sum of 6 -- going through my novel co-author David Ackert, who has a proper Bacon number of 2, and my Dad, who has a proper Erdös number of 2 (he's listed as D.M. Rosenbaum, co-author of Daniel Kleitman).

This is a bit iffy, however, I must admit.

If Ramin (aka David Ackert) were to co-author a scientific paper with my Dad (aka David Rosenbaum), however, Ramin would tie for the world record Bacon-Erdös sum. If they also acted in a film together, my Dad would also tie for the world record Bacon-Erdös sum -- which seems a reasonable quid pro quo.

I think you guys should get cracking.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2004


Thank God for Google -- check this out! Looks like "Embracing the New" was translated into Spanish! (And I even made the cover in the Spanish version).

Donde puedo encuentrar una copia? Quiero leer mi cuento en Espanol!

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