Tuesday, September 22, 2015


(Not a typo. What were you thinking?)

As happens from time to time, I'm posting today with eclectic items of interest -- interesting to me, in any event -- that are, despite their esoteric variety, nonetheless  germane to this blog.

First up: the latest progress to be reported by the nascent DC-area Museum of Science Fiction (MOSF). I figure that I should -- before the third quarter ends -- pass along the MOSF's second-quarter report.

And an MOSF preview: I suspect that an item to be reported for the third quarter, when its progress summary becomes available, will be the "MOSF Journal of Science Fiction." In brief: the museum, in partnership with nearby University of Maryland, is setting up an academic journal focused on SF.

Now meaningfully available
And the one commercial update within this stream-of-association post ... For entirely uninteresting reasons, the print edition of my time-travel-themed chapbook, A Time Foreclosed (2013), has been available -- using the modifier ironically -- only with a weeks-long shipping lag. Big surprise: people don't care to wait that long for a book. Today I'm happy to report that, as of a few days ago, Amazon is offering a new ATF print edition -- without that delay, and for a mere $4.99. (ATF remains available as an ebook, of course, for your instant gratification -- for just 99 cents.)

And speaking of said dominant etailer ...

A few months ago it came out that "Amazon Cracks Down on Bogus Reviews." Kudos to Amazon for working to make customer reviews more useful and meaningful.

Sorta kinda like the problem of bogus reviews -- but way more serious -- consider bogus pollution tests. As Newsweek put it, "EPA: Volkswagen Used Software in Cars to Cheat on Clean Air Rules." When the cars' on-board electronics determined that testing was underway, their engines ran in a different (less polluting) mode than when on the road. The CEO of VW has admitted to this deception. You'll be glad to know he's "deeply sorry." Not as sorry, I predict, as when the EPA sets its penalty. Under current law, the fine could go as high as $18 billion. And there is also the prospect of criminal charges ("Fallout comes fast for Volkswagen"). Guess whose stock is tanking.

And speaking of things that are expensive, this might amuse you: "The 8 most expensive PCs in computing history." If nothing else, it'll be a trip down memory lane.

A flash in the (brain) pan?
And in another look back, consider that a recent study showed "Only One-Third of Psychology Findings May Be Reliable." (This is why it pays not to become too invested in initial reports of scientific breakthroughs. If it's not corroborated, it's not science.)

That, methinks, is enough exotic reporting for one day; back I go to exotic storytelling. If the latter works out, you'll read about it here first :-)

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