Update and items

Went to Jay's memorial gathering for Peter yesterday. Planned to just stop by for half an hour or so, but ended up spending about four hours there, mostly chatting with the parents of one of Jay's childhood friends and with one of Jay's former housemates. Jay showed a montage of photos of Peter, including several I had never seen before, and video clips of Jay and me speaking at the memorial in Tacoma. I also spent a while talking with Jay and Holly after most people had left. (I'm really having trouble with pronouns and sentence construction in this paragraph; apologies if it's confusing.)

Thought I was doing fine; decided to go have dinner with Kam, hang out with her for a while, then go home and get some magazine work done. The dinner part went fine; then she drove us up to Windy Hill (a magnificent view of the Bay Area), and I completely fell apart. She held me and listened to me for a while. Eventually I commented that my back had suddenly started hurting, and she suggested going to Watercourse Way for some soaking in a hot tub, so we did that, and we got back to my place around 11:30 p.m., and I went to sleep utterly exhausted, just totally wrung out.

This morning Kam headed off to Santa Cruz (whence she'll be departing on the drive to Texas tomorrow), and I picked up Mary Anne at the airport. Spent the day hanging out with her. She went to sleep early—she's been up since 3 a.m. California time—but I'm still in no shape to get anything useful done. Maybe after I post this I'll try again to finish editing a story.

However, the items keep arriving. I toss most of them in my ever-growing to-post-later list, but while I'm here I may as well post the ones that are currently sitting in open browser windows. I'm not even going to begin to try explaining the in-jokes involved in several of the following.

  • Dalek arrested outside Parliament. (Thanks, Will!)
  • The Secret Diary of Frustrated Slush Reader #72, by Beth Bernobich. (See also the rest of the editor/writer Secret Diaries, not to mention Camelot: The Very Secret Diaries, and of course Cassandra Claire's original Very Secret Diaries of Lord of the Rings characters, which started it all.)
  • David M has posted Ben's Hugo-nominated novelette "Biographical Notes to 'A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-planes' by Benjamin Rosenbaum." Probably my favorite non-SH novelette of the year, though Rowe, Moles, and Bacigalupi also provided candidates for that title. Ben's story may well be entirely inaccessible to people unfamiliar with things like the Alternate History subgenre, WisCon (the world's only feminist science fiction convention), and so on; I can't judge it from that point of view. But I utterly adore it, start to finish, and I'm very glad it's on the Hugo ballot. I've been meaning for months to write a review of it that would do it justice, but that'll have to wait for a time when I have more brain. Anyway, for more related discussion (before I had read Ben's story), see my entry from last June about the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. Also see David M's upcoming novelette in Strange Horizons, "Planet of the Amazon Women." (Link is to David's blurb for the story.)
  • Article describing meeting Harlan Ellison and seeing his house.
  • I knew that it was recently determined that there's an octopus that can walk on two legs. What I didn't know until Kam told me is that there's a video on the web of an octopus walking on two legs.
  • This almost seems related: Snake-like Robot Conquers Obstacles. "A virtually unstoppable 'snakebot' developed by a University of Michigan team that resembles a high-tech slinky as it climbs pipes and stairs, rolls over rough terrain and spans wide gaps to reach the other side." There's also a downloadable video. (Thanks, j7y!)
  • Turns out there's now an online version of The Roots of Consciousness, a book about "the history, folklore and science that shapes our understanding of psychic capacities" written by an old family friend (he was there when I was born) who also happens to have received what I think was the first (and possibly only) Ph.D. in Parapsychology from UC Berkeley, many years ago.

Hrm. I think that's all for now.

3 Responses to “Update and items”

  1. Lola

    2 things; maybe 3. Great Harlan Ellison article — thanks for the link! What a guy!

    Octopus walking on two legs: mind-boggling. Stewart says on the Discovery Channel website there is also a short clip of a Coconut Octopus, which wraps its other 6 arms around itself in order to look like a coconut while it’s walking (apparently it lives in a place where there are lots of coconuts which end up on the sea floor). I don’t have a link, sorry.

    Jed, missing word in your last note about _The Roots of Consciousness_: You wrote, “written an old family friend.”

    Also, get some sleep. See you Tuesday.


  2. Kam

    Here’s the full article, including a video of the running coconut octopus.


    I wouldn’t call myself wise, just someone who knows the value of getting in hot water. 🙂


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