neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)



Original here.

Continuing with the Happy New Year from space theme, here's NASA Sends Out of This World New Year's Greeting in Times Square.



For more, see the fireworks at Happy New Year 2014! on Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)

Stephen Kunselman with his daughters Sophia and Sabrina
The Michigan Daily's endorsement of Stephen Kunselman and other candidates for City Council was the top story about local elections held during 2013.
There is also a slideshow: Looking ahead to Washtenaw County elections in 2014
The five most shared stories about Washtenaw County Elections for 2013 all looked ahead to 2014. Here are the politicians running for federal and state office to watch next year based on the Facebook likes of the readers.
Top Washtenaw County election stories of 2013 look ahead to 2014
As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to look back on the top stories from the past year. Based on the number of Facebook shares, five stories stood out, all of which share a common theme, looking ahead to 2014.

All of them were also about elections for federal or state office, such as Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor, even University of Michigan Regent. No county or municipal candidates or issues broke into the five most liked list for 2013.

Three more tied for sixth. Two of those were also about next year's elections, while one managed to be the most popular article about local elections actually held in 2013. This last got an honorable mention in this year's countdown.

Here are the five most shared stories on Facebook along with an honorable mention.
1. Walberg losing to generic Democrat by nine percent: poll
2. Schauer declares 'he's in' the race for Michigan Governor
3. Michigan Democrats already campaigning on Labor Day for 2014
4. U-M Regents: Gratz considers running while Weiser consolidates support
5. Peters endorsed by Stabenow and Levin for U.S. Senate
Honorable Mention: Michigan Daily issues endorsements for city council, millage renewal

In addition to the two commonalities I mentioned in the article, four of the articles (1-3 and 5) are good for Democrats, while only #4 is good for a Republican. May that be a sign of things to come.

Now, I shall close out my calendar year here the way I did in the article.

"So long, 2013. On to 2014!"

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Crossposted to Michigan Liberal.
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And now, an entry from Crazy Eddie's Motie News that I can't believe I didn't cross post over to DW and LJ. It's exactly the kind of thing I used to post over here regularly. Seven months later, here it is, Finally, a Ringworld movie!

I've been a huge fan of Larry Niven's Known Space ever since I watched The Slaver Weapon. I thought the Kzinti were really cool and promptly checked out a copy of Ringworld from the library. I read through all the Known Space stories I could lay my hands on during the years since, right up to Ringworld Engineers and The Patchwork Girl. After those books, no new Known Space stories appeared for a decade.

All was not lost, as Chaosium Games, the publishers of Runequest and Call of Cthulhu, purchased the game rights to Ringworld. I convinced Chaosium that I knew enough about Known Space and tabletop role-playing games to let me develop a scenario for an adventure module. I wrote the scenario, playtested it, submitted it, and was about to revise it when Chaosium told me to stop. It wasn't because what I wrote was bad; in fact, it had nothing to do with me. It turns out that Niven had sold the movie rights to Ringworld and the movie company asserted that it now held the game rights, not Chaosium. Chaosium was too small to take on the movie company and its lawyers, so it gave up.

I was pissed. Not only did it stop publication of a game that I really believed in, it meant that all my effort, about $300 worth in 1984 dollars, went right down the drain. I decided to never buy another Niven book new ever again. To add insult to injury, Niven used the game guide as source material for the Man-Kzin Wars series. Worst of all, there never was any movie. All that loss was for nothing.

That may all change, as Entertainment Weekly reports.

Ringworld' miniseries in the works at Syfy -- EXCLUSIVE
Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) is adapting Ringworld as a four-hour miniseries. The story follows a team of explorers that travel to the farthest reaches of space to investigate an alien artifact called Ringworld – an artificial habitat the size of one million Earths. As they crash land on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth.

For Ringworld fans, this news might cause some deja vu. Syfy previously considered making a Ringworld miniseries under a different production team nine years ago.
I might finally get a movie--30 years later. Maybe I can get some comfort from that.

neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)
Fat Cat goes Galt


I've been a regular commenter over at Kunstler's blog for years, but I haven't been much of a participant over at The Archdruid Report until the past few weeks. There were three reasons for this. First, John Greer he Archdruid wasn't giving me what I couldn't already get at Kunstler's blog or The Oil Drum. Second, his comments are heavily moderated, while Kunstler's are only weakly so. Third, while he posts Wednesday P.M., he's just not a predictable as Kunstler. The latter two meant that I couldn't lure readers from his blog the way I could Kunstler's. So, I read when I had the opportunity, but didn't comment.

This year, that all changed. First, Kunstler moved from Peak Oil to finance. Then, The Oil Drum closed down. Finally, The Archdruid moved to a topic that he is uniquely suited to address, the role of belief systems in societies and how resource depletion would affect both societies and their beliefs. It was enough that, after two years, I finally found something of Greer's that I could feature on my blog, the description of civil antireligions in The Fate of Civil Religion that I excerpted and commented on to compose The Archdruid on Objectivism as civil antireligion. Then, he wrote an essay that I actually had something to say in response to, An Old Kind of Science, which I turned into A conversation with The Archdruid for the Solstice. The next week, he engaged in A Christmas Speculation, in which he called the GOP a bunch of closet Satanists who were hiding their true beliefs behind their devotion to Ayn Rand. I commented on that and converted the result into A conversation with The Archdruid about Objectivism, Satanism, and the GOP. I despise Objectivism, and couldn't resist a comparison between it and an unpopular religion. After all, two years ago, I posted Objectivism and Scientology: a sublime to the ridiculous comparison.

So, Greer isn't directly good for driving traffic. He is good for inspiring my writing, which is proving to be good for bringing readers in. I posted a link to the most recent entry about the Archdruid to Kunstler's blog this morning. So far, I've pulled in 400+ page views to that post, moving it up to the second third most read entry this calendar year and the ninth most read in the history of the Crazy Eddie's Motie News. That only took 12 hours. I think I'll keep reading and responding to The Archdruid after all.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
In my previous entry, I wrote that I was going to reblog some of my more fannish or personal entries over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Here's a fannish portion of an entry that is otherwise not about a fannish topic--Second driving update for December 2013: Other car:
Yes, I bought this car in October 2003. I have a story about that, but I'll save it for the next report, along with why I named my car Yuki. Stay tuned.
I’m going to take a rain check on this promise. These look like the kind of stories I would write to post while I’m traveling, which I might do over the next two weeks.
It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not up to it. Besides, this report is about my wife's car, which I call Ruby (my wife doesn't give her cars names). I gave her that name because of the car's color and because my wife and I are fans of "Once Upon a Time," which had a character named Ruby, who is really Red Riding Hood, for the first two seasons. Here's a picture of her as Red Riding Hood.


neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
I've decided to come back to both journaling platforms, if only to reblog some of my more fannish or personal entries over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  I get a lot of page views over there that I can track for free, unlike having to pay here, whether "here" is DW or LJ, for the ability.  However, I just don't get the feed back there that I get here.  Both DW and LJ have a livelier commenting culture, and I definitely have more friends on LJ than I have followers on Blogger/Blogspot.  So, here I am.  Besides, I miss those of you who aren't on either Facebook or Google Plus.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)


Young Indiana Jones and T.E. Lawrence in "Young Indiana Jones." More here.
I wasn't finished with news about the historical world with Health news from archeology and history. I have two news items about a real archeologist named Lawrence and an actress named Lawrence who might play a fictional archeologist, both of which have appeared in my Overnight News Digests on Daily Kos. Not only are they connected by their surnames, but the character she might play has met the real archeologist and adventurer, as seen in the photo above.

Surf over to Crazy Eddie's Motie News for stories about the real Lawrence of Arabia's archeological exploits and speculation about Jennifer Lawrence playing Indiana Jones.

Yes, I'm back, even if my blogging home is somewhere else.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I've been observing Star Wars Day.

Happy Star Wars Day!

Darth Vader on Dubstep

As I wrote last year "May the Fourth be with you!"
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Happy New Year!  What's the theme for the first month of 2013?
ENERGY

It's the first month of a new year, and it's time to get energized. This month, we'd like you to think of ways that you're going to gather energy to use throughout the year as well as stave off any energy drains by realizing what is taking away from your productivity. Of course, we'll also be doing a lot of daydreaming about superhuman powers -- for instance, the ability to never sleep... would you take it if it also meant the chance removed to ever dream? -- and how well we'd do with an extended power outage.
...
So start thinking about how to best utilize your energy and ways you can change the world in 2013.
Based on the description above and the prompts, the theme refers more to motivation and inspiration than it does to energy as I use the term on this blog.  Take today's prompt, for example. "From where do you draw your energy?"  When it comes to motivation and inspiration, it's my love of knowledge and teaching that knowledge so that people can improve their lives, along with my intense desire to perform and be appreciated.  But that's not how I'm going to treat this theme.  Instead, I'll take the part about "how well we'd do with an extended power outage" and run with it.

When I blog about energy this month, I'll write about how many calories of food I metabolize, how many BTUs of natural gas is burned on my behalf to heat my house, heat the water I use, and cook my food, how many gallons of gasoline and diesel move me and all the things I need to where I need them, and how much dirty coal and Uranium-235 it takes to keep the lights on, refrigerate my food and drink, and run all the electronics.  On top of that, where does all of this come from, how much does it cost, including all the hidden environmental and human costs, and what happens to all the waste that is produced.  Finally, is there a better way and, if so, how can we get there?

Of course, I'm subverting the monthly theme to mean what I want it to mean, and what I do here anyway, except in a more intense form than usual.  But that's OK.  As the theme description always says:
The theme and writing prompts, as always, are there as a guide if you want some structure to your month, though you can always sign up for NaBloPoMo and chart your own path.
...
NaBloPoMo is what you make of it. At its core, all you need to do is post daily on your blog. The point of NaBloPoMo is not to be restricted by the theme, but instead to either take it or leave it. If you'll do better blogging every day based on what's happening in your world, throw aside the daily prompts.
Fair enough, although I had enough fun subverting today's prompt that I might just do it again.

Crossposted from Crazy Eddie's Motie News.


neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
Better late than never.

NaBloPoMo September 2012

Time for this month's theme.
EYE

Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, and what else are you doing on your blog except baring your soul by writing about your hopes and interests day after day? This month, we're going to explore what we see... and what we don't... with our eyes. We're going to think about how we build memories, and which senses we use to access them later. And in delving into our Wordsworthian "inward eye," we're going to explore how you see the world around you.

This is NaBloPoMo and we love to play with words, so as much as we're going to be examining that body part, we're also going to think about how often you use the word "I" when you write and focus on your unique point-of-view.
...
So start thinking about what you're seeing around you and whether you have your eyes wide open.
I'm a visual person, and this blog is full of myself and my point of view, so I don't have to do much of anything different to accomodate this theme. All I have to do is be sure to include a image or video in each posts, something I almost always do anyway. In fact, since the Nablopomo badge for September is part of this entry, I've taken care of my self-imposed requirement already. Lucky me.

Originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)

NaBloPoMo August 2012

The final entry is current the second most popular I've posted since the first anniversary of the blog and the eight most popular of all my posts there so far.

That's it for August. Now on to September,
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)
As I mentioned yesterday, It's time to get back on track with my weekly summaries, although I'm planning on making up for lost time and posting them daily. Here is the first week of posts from Crazy Eddie's Motie News in between the monthly theme post, which I mirrored here yesterday, and the Happy Wester post, which I mirrored here a week ago Sunday.

NaBloPoMo October 2012


neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

NaBloPoMo October 2012


So, what's the theme this month?
MASK


Whether it's as common as make-up or feigning happiness, every person spends time wearing a figurative mask, concealing features, thoughts, or feelings. This month we're taking off our masks and laying bare the truth beneath: how we feel about growing older (and whether you'd ever cover up the effects of aging with plastic surgery), how much of ourselves we reveal online, and why we chose the picture in our profile.

Of course, it's also Halloween, which means that we have to talk costumes and candy.
...
So start thinking about what you're hiding, and what you're ready to reveal by taking off your mask.
At first I looked at the theme and thought it would be another one I'd pay lip service to, but then I read the prompts and changed my mind. Here's today's: "When you saw the word mask, was your first interpretation protection, covering up, persona, or performance?"

Without the prompt, I might have responded with "persona," but with the prompt, my answer is "performance." I've been online since January 1990, and very early on I realized that I was performing for an audience.* I'm still performing here. My strategy with this blog, just as with all the rest of my public online communication, is to inform or persuade while entertaining, even if I'm only entertaining myself. As I've discovered when I'm teaching, if I'm bored, my students are bored. If they're bored, no one is learning. I try to keep that in mind while I'm writing here, too. May I succeed more than I fail.

*I shouldn't be surprised at this. I spent years around drum corps, where performance is king, and I can't even get away from the activity here.

Above orginally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Because of a change in my online habits resulting from a double health crisis,* I haven't been posting my weekly summaries here for about two months. Time to get back on track.

*I'll get around to writing about it in a friends-only entry later. Those of you who are my friends on Facebook will have read about at least half of it already and some of you will have had to opportunity to read about all of it.
neonvincent: Ambassador Vreelak from DS9 (Fake!)


Solstices and Equinoxes

Adapted from my original 2007 post: Happy Wester Everyone!

Yes, you read that correctly--I wish you all a happy Wester! What is Wester? Well, it's the mirror image of Easter, which is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox. Therefore, Wester is the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Autumnal Equinox, which is today.* In the northern states of the U.S. and the southern parts of the Canadian Provinces, it is usually one of the last days of pleasant weather before the full chill of Autumn descends. As such, it's a good excuse to enjoy summer activities outdoors one last time.

Although I'm probably the first person to wish any of you Wester (correct me if I'm wrong, as I'd like more documentation), I did not come up with the idea. It originated in Berkeley, California, during the 1980s, and the message was brought to Michigan by my colleague Tim Pearce. Tim invited me to a Wester party in 1991 and explained the holiday to me. The party was a blast, and I've been eternally grateful to him for introducing me to the concept. Therefore, I am sharing this meme with you.

One last time, Happy Wester!
Thanks to [info]berkeleyfarm and [info]etrangere for pointing out that Wester usually falls during Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles) and to [info]popesnarky for claiming the holiday for Discordianism. Hail Eris!


*This timing assumes that the Eastern Hemisphere sets the date. If it were set locally, last Sunday would have been Wester, as the Harvest Moon was on Saturday of last week.

This year's greetings also posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

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