Monthly Archives: September 2011

All the World’s Pleasures in a Single Post

I don’t think I’m usually in danger from the Flesh and the Devil, but every bibliophile is securely attached to certain parts of the World.

Michael Dirda on the wonders of Conan Doyle and the beauties of the Scholastic Book Club.

Via American Digest.

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Why I Might Buy a Kindle Fire

1. Apple puts out a new device that is at least three times more expensive than anything else on the market.

2. Early Apple adopters with cash, rich kids, and kids with extremely permissive parents buy the thing.

3. When the price should go down, Apple puts out another new device instead.

4. Any Apple device released within a normal price range (or twice a normal price range, anyway) will lack essential features, memory, processing power, and a screen, but will still be thought of as “cool” by the really serious Apple-lovers.

And then, they run stories about non-Apple devices like the Kindle Fire targeting the “bargain hunting” market. Sheesh, people, that’s not looking for a bargain. It’s looking for something not sky-high expensive.

It’s pretty clear that Apple doesn’t want my business, never has, and never will. The last time anybody not living the upper-middle-class life could maybe afford an Apple without serious scrimping, it was the computer spelled with brackets. (That’s the Apple ][e, for you young’uns.) I’m sure as heck not going to scrimp for a phone with unnecessary features and exorbitant phone bill attached, or a dweeby little tablet, or an mp3 player.

So yeah, I can seriously consider any computer product that isn’t from Apple, because there’s actually a possibility it won’t cost too much.

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Close Your Eyes in the MRI

A new study shows that MRI magnets can make your inner ear goo slosh around, affecting your balance and sometimes making your eyes whirl around like Pinkie Pie’s. (OK, not that bad.)

So no, you and your relatives weren’t imagining that. Generally it takes pretty powerful fields, though, so not every MRI will probably cause you a problem.

It wouldn’t work so much with water, unless you had a whole lot of ions in the water for the magnets to do funky stuff with. If MRI’s weren’t so expensive to run, I suppose one could play… er, run interesting experiments with various fluids.

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Some People Are an Embarrassment to Atheists.

Obviously a lot of people are embarrassments to a lot of beliefs, but today on Volokh, on a post quoting a Bible story solely as an example of the rhetorical use of sentences starting with “And”, we get a guy refusing to believing that Greek and Roman and Egyptian taxation could possibly be based on where your clan was from.

And of course, five seconds later some classics guy posts just such an order for people to get taxed at their nome of origin, and the guy still doesn’t believe it. Because apparently, in ancient times, he thinks bureaucracy was _more efficient_.

It’s the beautiful idealism of this kind of atheist, that I admire. Ponyville has onerous bureaucracy, Wonderland has onerous bureaucracy, but ancient Rome is where bureaucrats sing, dance, and give you chocolate marshmallows.

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Well, the Postscript Wasn’t Pleasant.

So I’m home sick, and I watch this show about a big hostage situation from the Seventies in the Netherlands. A school and a train were held hostage for more than two weeks. It took a huge operation to free these folks, and people got killed.

Guess how long of a prison term the surviving terrorists got.

Nine years. They were out before disco was dead.

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Dead Sea Scrolls Online

Very cool if you read Hebrew. I don’t, but it’s still cool.

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What Susan Dexter the Author Has Been Doing

Apparently she’s now Susan Dexter the weaver and fabric artist, and she goes to festivals and stuff.

Unless there are two Susan Dexters in New Castle, Pennsylvania, which seems unlikely.

Gotta say I wish she’d write stories for us again, but the impression I got back when I saw her at a Pittsburgh con eons ago was that she wasn’t much into e-stuff, and that maybe she just didn’t have a great urge to write more novels. Of course, a lady can always change her mind. And apparently she has enough interest in Kindle to have put up her backlist — or at least her first trilogy and one of her Wildside Press books. Yay! (Presumably the other books are either still in her old publisher’s hands, or she’s just not in the mood for proofing everything at once.)

Here she is weaving. Her hands, anyway.

Here’s a photo gallery about her work called Weaver Fever and a newspaper story about it.

Also, she’s got horses and dogs and she paints portraits. (Scroll down below all the sad stuff about Remi the lost dog.) So yeah, maybe she’s just having too much fun doing other stuff to write books for us. Snif.

Also, she makes dolls. Here’s some for sale on Ebay from an estate sale. You can buy your own little Scottish warband.

Argh… Cuteness or novels? How to chooooose?

(Actually, my consistent policy has been to avoid Ebay, as I spend way too much money without giving in to the collector impulse and the competitive bidding impulse at once. But those are beautiful art dolls.)

But yeah, she does have an actual job job, like most of us. Apparently works in a Catholic parish office doing admin, which would probably take an awful lot of time and energy out of you. So yeah, gotta say that totally answers my questions as to where she’s been and what she’s been doing.

And yet, I still want novels. (Whine cry cry whine.) Medieval fantasy, Catholic parish urban fantasy, fabric artist fantasy: I’m not picky.

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