On becoming an Expanse fan

Back in 2017, I watched the first five episodes of The Expanse, but bounced off of it. I was intrigued by the plot and a couple of the characters, but the show overall just didn’t grab me. I was especially put off by it being yet another TV show where the writers had apparently decided […]

Read-aloud recommendations?

Short version of this post: I’m looking for recommendations for books to read aloud that feature more character diversity and less wince-inducing prejudice than my longstanding favorite read-aloud books tend to have. (But I have more criteria than that; see below.) Longer version follows. I’m looking specifically for books that meet all of the following […]

What does 95% vaccine efficacy mean?

I’ve seen several web pages that explain how to calculate vaccine efficacy, but most of them explain it in terms of a formula rather than explaining what the formula means. Here’s the simplest conceptual explanation I’ve seen: a VE of 90% indicates […] a 90% reduction from the number of cases you would expect if […]

Solstice

The winter solstice arrived in the northern hemisphere about six hours ago. (And the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere, of course.) Here’s my usual reposting of some winter-solstice verses. First, an excerpt from T. S. Eliot‘s “Burnt Norton” (1935): At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor […]

Last chance to play old Flash games!

Flash Player will stop working at the end of the year. (It’s already been shut down in some browsers.) So if you want to revisit any old-favorite Flash games, now’s the time. For example, there’s the lovely flOw, made by (at least some of?) the same people who made Journey and Sky and Flower. Microbes […]

Impossible Quasi-Ganache: a recipe

A while back, I found out that ganache is basically chocolate mixed with cream, and ever since then I’ve been occasionally making this tasty quasi-ganache in my microwave. Here’s an approximate recipe. Short version: Put some chocolate in some cream, warm it up in the microwave for a minute, and mush it all together; then […]

Hilary Bailey and New Worlds

Today I learned about British sf writer and editor Hilary Bailey. I just read her 1964 novelette “The Fall of Frenchy Steiner.” I read it in The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women, in which I had previously read a couple of stories that I would classify as non-fantastical literary fiction, by a couple […]

Zoom games

It turns out that it’s possible, and fun, to play various kinds of games on a video call (such as Zoom or Google Meet). Note: In this post, I’m talking about games to play with friends and family. The topic of playing games online with randomly chosen strangers is a different thing, and not something […]

Lemonade

A few weeks ago, I got some lemonade at the store. I almost never buy or drink lemonade, but I do like it now and then. And at some point after buying that, I thought: Wait, I have a lemon tree in my backyard! I could make my own lemonade! So I mail-ordered a low-tech […]

Jokes about characters being queer

In fiction (in various media), I occasionally see jokes in which one presumably-straight character jokingly implies that they or another presumably-straight character aren’t really straight. I feel like there are kind of three levels of such jokes: It would be a bad thing if character x weren’t straight. It would be totally fine if character […]

Donations 2020

Here are the organizations I’m donating to in 2020. Much of this is repeated from 2019 (and earlier years), but since that last post I’ve removed a couple of organizations and added a couple of others. The list is categorized for ease of scanning, though the categories are somewhat arbitrary in some places. Some items […]

Still more free books!

Books! Free to a good home. Let me know if you want any of these. Also some VHS tapes. (At the end of this post.) This list contains about 60 new items since the previous list I posted (in July). A total of about 230 items here (minus however many have been claimed since I […]