Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rudy Rucker on "True Names"

Ego-googling harvest of the day: over at Rudy Rucker's blog he is talking about my and Cory's novella "True Names"...

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Monday, April 19, 2010

A Question

So how much longer would this volcano have to keep erupting (a year? five years?), for us to get commercial zeppelin travel?

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New meme/party game/practice for cons other than Wiscon

First, some background.

About a year or so after 9/11, when that tragedy started getting abused to justify a massively increased security state, the discarding of centuries-old American civil liberties, a heedless urgency in projecting American force abroad, etc., I came up with a rule, which I tried to propagate to as many of my friends as I remembered to.

It was kind of like a drinking game, without the drinking. The rule was that whenever anyone said "9/11" -- and specifically if it was evoked in with that cantankerous right-wing Clash of Civilizations Now We Must Bomb them pseudo-piety -- you had to say loudly, "Gay Rugby Player Saves White House!"

Like this:

Q:"As everyone knows, since 9/11..."


See, "Gay Rugby Player Saves White House!" is just as true, as a summary of 9/11, as all those grim, paranoid things about terror and clashes of civilizations. But it evokes a whole different story (more on this after the cut below)

So anyway! Now that I've explained the kind of party game/meme/practice I'm talking about, here's the new one.

Whenever anyone starts talking about "the graying of fandom", or "the aging of the literary science fiction readership", or "the aging of convention attendees", or otherwise moans about how, even though all the kids are reading Twilight and Harry Potter and Leviathan and manga and going to DragonCon and doing cosplay, they are no longer doing the things that proper fen used to do back in the day, please everyone shout:

"One dollar childcare!"

Childcare actually makes a convention accessible to three groups, all of which are important. First, to children: duh. Second, to parents, which means to a good chunk of your potential attendees aged 25-45. And lastly and perhaps most subtly, to teens too old for childcare. Why? Because one obstacle to teens attending a convention is parents' concern for their safety, but it's hard to be worried about sending your 15-year old to a space in which there are plenty of 8-year olds running around.

And, this, in fact, is why no one ever complains about the graying of Wiscon.

In other words, if you make it very hard for people under 50 to hang out with you, it is then rather odd to complain that no one under 50 wants to hang out with you.

I'm, ahem, looking at you, Readercon. To paraphrase David Moles, it's indeed gonna be your father's readercon if your mother has to stay home to watch the kids.

So, are we clear on this? Moaning about the greying of fandom is to be answered by the immediate, drinking-game style chorus:

"One dollar childcare!" Click here to continue reading "New meme/party game/practice for cons other than Wiscon"
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cowboy seder

We had the in-laws over for a wonderful (and very fast-paced, due to the Haggadot being in English and the presence of small cousins -- who were however really into Elijah and the afikomen) Seder.

As you can see, we ran out of kippot, so I was forced to lead the seder in a Country-Western accent. Yee-hah!

Although you can see the storebought matzah on the table, we actually also made our own matzah, which was incredibly delicious.

Homemade matzah

Preheat oven to 250°C
1kg light spelt flour
4 tsp salt
optionally some flax seeds
enough water so that the flour turns into a non-sticky but pliable ball

Mixing small batches of flour and water at a time, roll dough onto baking paper as thin as possible, then put into oven on a metal tray until brown around the edges, something like 5-10 minutes. Take out and balance somewhere around your seder-preparation-disaster-area-kitchen to cool.

If you manage under 18 minutes from mixing in the water until balancing it on the top of a dirty pot or dish-drying rack, it's even kosher!

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