Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

Fiction River

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The Fiction River anthology series is doing a subscription drive on Kickstarter, and they’re already into stretch goals. They’re offering various subscription levels at various prices, including a single electronic issue for $5, some multi-issue genre packages, up through a year’s subscription in electronic or print or audio. Some packages come with extra stories — electronic or print — by anthology authors, and one lets you choose a character for each of three anthology stories Dean will write for up-coming issues.

There are also special packages left for writers that bundle some online lectures in with your Fiction River subscription. One that lets you choose a future anthology theme and co-edit it with Dean has already been snapped up, as have all the subscription-plus-online-workshop bundles.

If you’re looking for a new tablet anyway, there’s a Kobo special package that comes with a Kobo tablet, codes to download the previous ten volumes of Fiction River, plus ARCs to the two Kobo special edition issues coming up (with extra stories), plus three up-coming issues.

And like I mentioned above, they’re already into stretch goals.

Since they passed $7500, everyone who supports the Fiction River subscription drive at the $5 level or higher will receive one additional electronic copy of Fiction River from the second year.

They hit $10,000 recently, so they’ll create a special edition of Fiction River called Debut Writers’ Showcase. This will be a separate ebook of Fiction River authors who were published first with us. Plus, we’ll extend their biographies and ask them really cool questions such as, “Since you’ve been published in Fiction River, what’s happened in your writing career?” One of the goals of Fiction River is to bring you fresh voices in storytelling. We’ll send this edition to everyone who supports the Fiction River subscription drive at the $5 level or higher. (I’m one of their debut writers, so that’ll be fun to do. :) )

This is a great project, with a lot of awesome writers. It’s well worth supporting, especially since you’re already getting a couple of extras. Check it out.

Angie

Combat Juggling

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

So you’ve got a couple of characters who have a dispute, and you need a way for them to resolve it. They could shout at each other, or start beating on each other, or go old-school and settle it with pistols or even swords. Or you could do something different and let them have a juggling fight.

No, seriously, this is a thing. :)

Two guys, each has three juggling pins. They start juggling, then approach and try to mess each other up while still keeping their own pins going. There’s quite an audience watching, too, and they’re having a great time. First to seven points wins. Check it out.

This Woman Rocks!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

I’ve said a few times that I don’t have any age issues. This video is a great example of why.

This woman is 86 and can still do that. O_O I couldn’t have done that at twenty. Health and fitness often vary with age, but if you’re unhealthy or out of shape it’s not necessarily because you’re old. You might not even be old. And you can be old and still be able to do a pretty darned impressive gymnastics routine, if you work at it and have good genes. Being healthy is great and being unhealthy sucks, and you can be either one at any age.

Okay, maybe the lady wouldn’t win any Olympic medals with that routine, but damn! She still rocks! :D

Angie

Who Owns the Selfie?

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

So this monkey stole a wildlife photographer’s camera, dashed away with it and took a bunch of pictures, including this really great selfie.

The story went around about three years ago (and I missed it somehow) but more recently David Slater, the photographer whose camera was swiped, requested Wikipedia to take the photo down, that it was violating his copyright. Wikipedia said no, it doesn’t, the photo is in the public domain because a monkey took it.

According to David Post,

If the monkey took the photo — and Slater is himself the source of the story that the monkey snapped the photo using his (Slater’s) camera — nobody owns the copyright; nonhumans cannot own copyright (or, as far as I know, personal property of any kind). Slater has no copyright claim, because the photo was not his original work – it was the monkey’s. But monkeys can’t own copyright. Furnishing the monkey with a camera no more gives him a copyright claim in the work than Microsoft’s furnishing me with a word processing program gives them copyright in what I write.

It makes sense to me. If, say, a friend of mine sees something awesome happening right that minute and grabs my camera to take a picture, do I own the copyright to that picture? I wouldn’t think so. If he ends up selling the photo for $10K, I might want to have a discussion about rental of the camera [cough] but I wouldn’t expect to argue over actual ownership of the copyright.

What do you think?

Thanks to Passive Guy for the link.

Angie

Looking Forward

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Yesterday was my birthday — I turned fifty-one. Which makes today the first day of my second half-century.

It sounds pretty neat, actually. I’ve never had any age hang-ups, and thoroughly agree with this cartoon by The Oatmeal, but being fifty-one feels unusually cool. The Start Of My Second Half-Century sounds like a beginning, and it’s a beginning to something pretty darned big. There’s an excitement in that, like I’m starting a new slate and I can write whatever I want on it. The past is even more past than usual, and this is the first step into the future, like I’ve come to a whole, huge beach of fresh sand to leave footprints on.

That’s what it feels like, anyway, and I’m looking forward to the next chunk of my life.

Angie

Day of the Doctor in Lego

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Thanks to Jim Hines for linking to this — a The Day of the Doctor tribute in Lego, posted on The Mary Sue. This is completely awesome; just the music alone got my heart pumping and made me want to watch the whole episode again. :D Check it out!

Angie

HELL NO: The Sensible Horror Film

Friday, November 1st, 2013

This is awesome. Why aren’t all horror movies like this? I mean, okay, there’d have to be some more actual danger to make a good movie, but that just means the writers have to work harder to put characters with functional brains into dangerous and scary situations. Is it really that hard? I do think this is a writing issue, although I get that in Hollywood, the writer is generally the omega dog in the pack and isn’t allowed to do a good job even if he/she wants to and is capable. I wish Hollywood would let its writers create characters who don’t have great, gaping chasms between their ears. I might watch more horror movies if they did.

Until that happens, check this one out. :)

Thanks to Pam Singer for sending me the link to this!

Angie

NaNo?

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Is anyone else around here doing NaNoWriMo this year? I’m all signed up — if you want to be NaNo buddies, I’m here on the NaNo site.

I’ve done NaNo a few times, only won once so far. The years I didn’t participate, I was already working on a novel when November rolled around, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have 50K words left. I didn’t want to stop to start a new one for fear I’d lose my momentum on the old one. If I’m basically free, though, I’ll jump into the NaNo pool, mainly because it’s fun, but also because I’ve found that even in the years I don’t win — and I’ve had some pretty spectacular crash-and-burn experiences — I learn something about myself and my writing. That’s always valuable.

Anyone else in?

Angie

Ten Things I’ve Done That You (Probably) Haven’t

Monday, October 28th, 2013

John Scalzi’s been posting these lists on his blog and suggested other people post their own with a link, so here we go. John has obviously done a lot of things most people haven’t, since this is his fourth iteration of the list, but I’ll try to come up with ten.

1. Chaired an SF convention, twice. The second time from a wheelchair after tumbling down some concrete steps at speed and mangling myself.

2. Spent fourteen years getting an AA degree. (I finished that sucker, too! Never give up, never surrender!)

3. Brought a layer cake made of two failed chocolate cakes (neither rose, for completely different reasons) frosted together into one, for an office birthday party, and BSed everyone into believing that 1) I’d meant it to be like that, and 2) that it was really good.

4. Got stitches in my head twice before starting kindergarten — once when our dog bit me for taking its bone away (I wanted to throw it so he could fetch it, hey, I was three), and another time when I was lying up on the shelf by the back window of the car when my mom had to stop suddenly, back when seatbelts were completely optional and kids routinely played all over the back seat area.

5. Spent two hours physically holding up a pair of panels forming one of the stage wings at a convention masquerade, because the tech guy had forgotten the wire needed to fasten them together. They drafted a bunch of gofers to hold them up for the whole show. I was smart enough to grab a chair. :)

6. Wrote a personal check for a whole long-weekend convention’s worth of soft drinks, because we didn’t know the guy wouldn’t leave the tanks with us unless we paid in advance. O_O Then got the con chairman to run me to the nearest branch of my bank ASAP so I could deposit the check he wrote me from the convention account so the check I gave the nice soda man wouldn’t bounce. [laugh/flail]

[Yeah, most of my weird-and-unique experiences came from working conventions, what can I say?]

7. As basically a senior gofer at a tech conference, authorized a rather large expenditure I totally didn’t have the authority to okay, because a vital piece of equipment failed during set-up of our premiere evening event, and all the Committee people were up in their rooms putting on their tuxes and evening gowns, and nobody (including the guy nominally in charge of the event) thought it was important to bring a radio up with them. The other senior gofer who was de facto in charge of the tech set-up was about to melt down right there, and wasn’t dumb enough to get the new equipment on her own authority, so I did it. And I was ready to chew a new asshole into any committee member who dared even glance at me about it, ’cause folks, this is YOUR show and it was YOUR responsibility to have someone with signing authority available at all times, and I don’t even want to hear it.

8. Went walking through the woods gathering firewood while wearing three layers of ankle-length skirts, while camping, several times. Whether anyone else has ever done this probably depends whether anyone reading this is or was a woman in the SCA at any point. :)

9. Kept a pet spider in a home-made cage (cardboard box with a piece of screening over the top, with a little hinged door cut into the screening and secured with a twist-tie) in my backyard one spring. I caught mosquito hawks in a butter tub to feed the spider. I’m actually rather arachnophobic, and I did this when I was twelve while trying to fight the phobia. It didn’t really work, but I was proud of myself for doing it anyway.

10. As part of my job from back when, got to go climbing around under a large piece of equipment of National Importance, something I could tell you about, but then I’d have to track you all down and kill you, and that’d be a lot of work, so, anyway. Funny thing — Workplace Health and Safety requirements required me to purchase a pair of steel-toed shoes for working out on the floor. I got steel-toed sneakers, which I didn’t even know existed until my boss took me to the store that sold them, just because the idea of steel-toed sneakers is kind of funny-cool. The thing is, I was on my back underneath a ridiculously heavy unit, checking off serial numbers on the underside while it dangled over my entire body on a winch. If said winch had failed, the steel-toed sneakers wouldn’t have really done much to prevent damage to my person. But by gosh, the rules said I had to wear them, so I wore them. Luckily, the winch held. :P

If anyone else wants to do this, feel free to either comment here, or post to your own blog, with a link back to Scalzi’s post. Or at least, go read his list, which is a lot more interesting than mine.

Angie

Fun Halloween Stuff

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Half the fun of late October is buzzing around the net, checking out what people are doing for Halloween.

Josh Sundquist is a paralympic ski champ who only has one leg. He’s pretty awesome, and has done some amazing Halloween costumes — a gingerbread man with one leg bitten off, a leg lamp (remember A Christmas Story?), and this year he’s going as a flamingo. O_O Seriously, check out the flamingo. No matter how many limbs Josh has, he’s an incredible athlete.

Rob Cockerham’s done some great Halloween costumes in the past, and I think I’ve linked to them once or twice before. This year he’s going as Disneyland. This isn’t my favorite costume of his, as a costume, but watching the work that he put into it, constructing each ride and building, figuring out how to do water and jungle, how to make the roller coasters actually roller coast — that was pretty cool.

My favorites from his previous years: Dr. Octopus, holding Spiderman’s body over his head, a Fandango paper bag puppet, a vampire of course, and a crowd of paparazzi — all the cameras actually flash.

And here, Tom Mabe turned a radio controlled quad copter into a flying Grim Reaper, then flew it around a park (some parks? can’t tell) scaring people. I don’t know how many people were running from the flying, black-robed skeleton and how many were running from the huge flying thing coming at them, but either way it was pretty cool. :) Although as someone in comments said, if he’d done that at an SF con or some other geeky gathering, the thing would’ve been surrounded by folks who’d run toward it to check it out and see how it was built. [grin]

Hope you’re all gearing up for a great Halloween. Have fun!

Angie