neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Originally posted to fandom_wank on Journalfen and awaiting moderation posted here.

Wochit sets the stage for this wank by professionals in The Force Awakens Receives Late Nomination For Critics' Choice Award For Best Picture.
After an unprecedented vote by members, the Broadcast Film Critics Association had added Star Wars: The Force Awakens to the list of nominees for the 2015 Critics' Choice Award for Best Picture. When Critic's Choice Awards nominations came out last Monday, most of the critics in the association had not seen the latest Star Wars movie, since Disney had refused to release copies for early screenings. However, the strong positive reaction to the film led the BFCA to take a vote on whether it should be allowed in as a late inclusion, and apparently the BFCA voted in the Force Awakens' favor.
The film was absent from the Golden Globes nomination list as well because advance screenings for critics weren't available in time for the nomination deadline. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who run the "drinky Oscars" didn't accomodate the film, but the Critics' Choice Awards did. Considering that the American Film Institute honored "The Force Awakens" as one of its top ten films of the year and this decision follows the precedent of adding 'Castaway' to the list in 2000, the BFCA probably made the right call.

Not all members of the BFCA agreed as Collider reported in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Critics’ Choice Awards Nomination Sparks Outcry. )
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

Twenty-five years ago today, I left California with my son and ex-wife as we moved to Michigan so that I could attend the University of Michigan to earn a Ph.D. in Biology. That happened. However, the original plan was to move back to the west. That never came to pass. All of us, plus my younger daughter, are still here. I repeated that with my second wife, who moved here from Wisconsin to marry me. Looks like I've been doing my part to reverse the trend of people leaving the state during the past few decades. The result has been something like the image below, except that the heart in Michigan should be in Detroit, not Grand Rapids.

While people moving into Michigan, particularly from California, has not been much of a trend* people moving out of California during the time I've lived here has been. Click on the link below for the relevant excerpts from two entries on The New York Times' The Upshot blog that give the details.

Leaving California at Crazy Eddie's Motie News

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


I ended Driving update for December 2013: My car by postponing making good on a promise.
Also, I made a promise at the end of the last report.
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.
Instead, I explained the name of my wife's car.
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.
Well, my car turned over 220,000 miles today, so it's time to tell her story.

My previous car, a Nissan I called Molly, died in October 2003 after she turned over 210,000 miles during a drive back from an anime convention in South Bend, Indiana, although I didn't realize it at the time. I heard the engine knocking, which it did when the oil was low. I put in two quarts of oil (!) and continued driving home. Within a week, I had to put in more oil, and the engine began to sound just horrible. I took it in for service, and found out that all the seals had blown and the engine was getting ready to throw a rod. That was the end of my driving Molly. I had to get a new car.

About this time, one of the local Kia dealerships was advertising its deal. "Got a job? Got $100? Get a new Kia!" I qualified, so I rented a car and drove over to the nearest Kia dealer and got Yuki. It wasn't even the right dealership, but that didn't matter. I picked out a car from the previous model year that had a rebate to entice people to get it off the lot. I was able to roll that rebate into the down payment and was able to drive Yuki home without paying a cent. Ah, the long-gone days of easy credit!

As for Molly, the dealership accepted her as a trade-in worth $50 and had her towed away. At least I was able to get scrap value and free towing. Best of all, Yuki's interior looked exactly like Molly's. From the inside, it was as if I had just gotten a newer version of the same car with an automatic transmission. As I wrote back in 2011 and again in 2012, it was a concession to comfort and age.
When I needed to buy a car, I got a Kia instead. It got 32 miles to the gallon, but it was an automatic. I was willing to sacrifice a few miles to the gallon so that my left foot and right hand could rest. Yeah, I'm a sucker for convenience, too.
At least it wasn't the Aztek my son wanted me to buy. That would have been an environmental and economic disaster.

As for the name, my younger daughter suggested Yuki after Yuki Saiko, a character in the manga and anime "Silent Mobius." The character's image is the one I used at the head of this entry. It's the same one my younger daughter downloaded as a wallpaper on the computer I owned at the time. Why Yuki? In addition to "Silent Mobius" being a mutual favorite of ours, my daughter picked her out as the kind of woman she'd want for me; she was sweet, pretty and owned a coffee shop.* Yes, I love my coffee. Besides, the artist who drew the manga was named Kia Asamiya. My daughter wanted to name a creation of one Kia after the creation of another Kia. It stuck and that's how a Korean car got a Japanese name.

...
Now to celebrate my finally following through on something I've been teasing since March 11, 2010, when I was still posting these updates on my LiveJournal, I present the opening to Silent Mobius. Yuki Saiko appears at 0:45.



*Yuki wasn't my favorite character from the anime. That was Lebia Maverick. Even so, people who know the series would understand why a real person like her would have been a bad match.

**That was the day the renewal of my car registration was due. It was also my ex-wife's 65th birthday. That's as much as I'd like to think about her, thank you very much.

Adapted from Driving update for April 2014: Yuki, a longer entry at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)

For tonight's season finale of "The Walking Dead," I present the above macro and the following links about the show and zombies.

Norman Reedus AKA Daryl Dixon of 'The Walking Dead' on the Tonight Show and Late Night
The Archdruid and his readers on zombies
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 1
Drink and drive with "The Walking Dead"
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)
The deadline to register to vote or update one's address for the February elections in Michigan is Monday, January 27, 2013.
Credits: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Deadline to register for February election is Monday
While the next elections in Michigan are a month away, the deadline to register to vote is tomorrow.

All those who wish to vote on February 25th must be registered to vote by Monday, January 27th. Michigan residents can find out if they are already registered by filling out the online form at the Secretary of State website. However, if one has moved to a new city or township, one must re-register. Also, if one has moved from one residence to another within a city or township, one must update the address. Normally, that happens when the address on a driver's license is changed at the Secretary of State's office.
...
In Washtenaw County, residents of Salem Township will be joining others in the Salem-South Lyon Library District in voting on a millage proposal.
More details at the link in the headline. Also, welcome to the next installment of Save the libraries, save civilization.

Originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)


As part of the opening to Debate, endorsements, and a poll from KPBS in San Diego, I observed in passing that yesterday (at least here in Michigan) is a holiday. I made no further mention of the day, which is odd, because I stated in Happy Festivus! that I love holidays, including fake ones. I realized that I should have posted something about Martin Luther King Day, at least as much as last year, when it was combined with Obama's Inauguration. Today, I'll mark the occasion by describing my most vivid memory about the holiday, which ironically has nothing to do with the intended meaning of the day. Instead, it's about experiencing the Northridge earthquake from afar through television, a story I tell my students.

Before our daughter was born, my ex-wife and I had agreed that I would take the second feeding of the night, which means that she was bottle-fed. After several years, that meant that I was in charge of my daughter's breakfast. On the morning of MLK Day, my daughter woke me up by saying "Daddy, I'm hungry." So I got up, prepared her breakfast, sat her down in front of the TV in the basement, and then put one of her favorite Disney tapes, which was either "Sleeping Beauty" or "Cinderella," I forget which. Just before the tape started running, I saw the announcement on Good Morning America that there had been an earthquake in Los Angeles. "Yeah, yeah, what else is new," I thought. Then the movie started and I lay down on the couch to sleep. After all, it was a holiday, and I didn't have to go to school or work. When I woke up, Regis and Cathy Lee were not on, as I expected, but news coverage. I recognized immediately that this was a bad thing. The last time I saw news instead of the mid-morning show was when the Challenger exploded. I grew even more horrified when it was about the earthquake and the location shots were all of places I knew and had been. There was damage at the university I had attended before I moved,* damage to the apartments my sister had lived in, damage to the mall where I had shopped. I may have been 2,000 miles and five years away, but it still struck close to home.

I could go on, but I'll let Peter Jennings and the ABC Evening News do the showing instead of me doing the telling in 1/17/94 1st Segment of "ABC World News Tonight" Northridge Quake.

For the rest of the entry, including two embedded videos, surf over to Twentieth anniversary of Northridge earthquake at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

I tried to put together a serious entry last week at Crazy Eddie's Motie News and failed. Instead, I present Vladimir Putin on His Little Pony from JollyJack on DeviantArt.


Yes, Pooty Poot as a Brony. As if that's not enough to twit Vladimir Putin, the Most Interesting Man in the World, here is the music I decided to listen to when I saw this: "Go West" by the Pet Shop Boys.

More at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
I had a second snow day today, which I didn't expect, but it was enough to make me tired of blogging about the storm and its aftereffects. Instead, I decided to post about the intersection between science and sports, climate, and the latest developments in Detroit.
That should get my desire for a change of pace out of my system, so I might write about the weather after midnight. If not, I have some more D&D war stories to share.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

The second paragraph of Mid-storm update on Ion in Detroit read:
Then, at 6 PM, my workplace closed, along with dozens of other schools. As the Detroit News describes the situation, there will be "no school from Lincoln Park to Clarkston, Ann Arbor to Utica and Lincoln Park to Grosse Pointe." Snow Day!

Time to post the fantasy and reality of snow days in Michigan like I did in First major snowfall and it's already late January. For the fantasy, I present Pure Michigan's Snow Days.

Remember snow day when the schools were closed and the day was wide open? The first step into fresh powder was like stepping into a new world.

Now the reality from John Kerfoot of Not So Pure Michigan: Pure Michigan: Snow Days.


If this looks familiar, then you read to the end of Hercules leaves behind a snow day. If you did, you should also remember my punchline.
At least we got more than five inches, and I got a snow day. Vacation extended until tomorrow!
What do you expect? I'm an environmentalist; I recycle!

Originally posted at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

I was very busy elsewhere blogging about Winter Storm Ion yesterday. At Crazy Eddie's Motie News I opened Metro Detroit bracing for Winter Storm Ion with my experiences shopping yesterday.
Last night, I told my readers Winter Storm Ion is on its way. I just returned from the grocery store and, as I expected, the place was crazy busy. This was as bad as the night before a major food holiday, and the workers there said it had been worse earlier, with lines for the butcher going down the aisles and sales 50% above normal. Fortunately, the clerks were busy stocking, so the shelves were full and I was able to find everything I was looking for that the store normally carried.
An hour later, things got worse, so I posted Warning issued for Ion in Metro Detroit after WXYZ uploaded Winter Storm Warnings.


Then over at Daily Kos, I headlined Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Winter Storm Ion) with this article from The Weather Channel: Winter Storm Ion: Rockies, Midwest, Great Lakes, Mid-South Snow Followed by Brutal Cold
By Chris Dolce
Published: Jan 4, 2014, 10:46 PM EST
Winter Storm Ion is spreading a swath of snow from the Rockies to portions of the Midwest, Great Lakes and Mid-South this weekend. Following closely behind Ion will be a blast of brutally cold air in the Midwest.

Ion's upper-level energy, which brought snow to the Rockies through the Central Plains and into the Great Lakes on Saturday, will pivot eastward into the nation's midsection through early Sunday. As a result, low pressure will begin to develop over the Southern Plains and then head towards the eastern Great Lakes by Sunday night.

This will lead to the development of widespread accumulating snow from Missouri to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and southern Lower Michigan through Sunday morning. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for portions of these states.

The snow will be heavy at times and will be accompanied by increasing winds, which will lead to low visibility and very poor travel conditions Sunday.
Stay warm, everyone.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

I just came in from shoveling the sidewalk and driveway and digging out my wife's car Ruby, so I'm cold and tired and in no mood to compose something serious. Instead, I just want to whine about the weather. WXYZ just happens to have the videos to let me indulge myself.

First, here's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He4iXIQ-pQQBraving the cold in Detroit with T-Baby from yesterday.


T-Baby is the star, but the guy shoveling his driveway looks like me.

For more videos, including a parody of a Pure Michigan ad about snow days, surf over to Hercules leaves behind a snow day at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
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.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
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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