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{ Category Archives } Flotsam

Dispatches from the Age of Electracy: Obsolete before it ships

Charles Stross reflected on the relentless pace of culture and the difficulty of writing about the near future or the present in a post about his book Rule 34: There is a certain pub in Edinburgh that I’ve used as a setting for some key scenes, because it’s quarried out of the side of a […]

Whither game reviews?

How shall I write about games on my blog? As you’ve surely noticed, I’m playing a lot of board games lately and would like to write something about them on my blog.  I hesitate to do reviews because there are lots of good game reviewers who give games several plays before they review them, and […]

Sous Chef

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney, narrated by Fred Berman Sous Chef is part detailed explanation, part memoir, part battle narrative.  It recalls a day in the life of the assistant chef at a mid-level “star rated” restaurant in New York.  Gibney does a great job explaining both what the day […]

February 25, IN HISTORY

This year, for the “Wednesday photos” feature, I will be including photos that reference the date of the post in their description or when they were taken. Also (from Wikipedia): 1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver. 1901 – J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation. […]

Random tidbits

A few bits of stuff that have floated across my transom. I’ve watched “Shia Le Bouf Live” many times, but only recently realized Rob Cantor was part of Tally Hall.  It explains so much. Castle Dice is one of the more fun / infuriating games I have in my collection.  You make a plan that […]

On Trigger Warnings and Empathy

Neil Gaiman’s recent short story collection is called Trigger Warnings.  Scott Kenemore (author of Zombie, Indiana among many others) wrote about how horror is supposed to cause feelings of discomfort: in recent years a threat has emerged—a sinister shadow falling over our community, you might say—leaving us even darker than usual.  And I believe that […]

February 18, IN HISTORY

This year, for the “Wednesday photos” feature, I will be including photos that reference the date of the post in their description or when they were taken.   To be completely honest, this second photo was posted on February 18, but there weren’t any other good ones with the date in their actual information. Events […]

On modern humor

A few observations without a conclusion. 1. “College Kids Can’t Take A Joke” by Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune (link) Clarence Page writes about how Chris Rock doesn’t perform for college audiences any more because they’re too sensitive. Page writes: I marvel at comedians as varied as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Dick Gregory, Freddie […]

February 4th, IN HISTORY

This year, for the “Wednesday photos” feature, I will be including photos that reference the date of the post in their description or when they were taken.

January 28th, IN HISTORY

This year, for the “Wednesday photos” feature, I will be including photos that reference the date of the post in their description or when they were taken.

January 21st, IN HISTORY

This year, for the “Wednesday photos” feature, I will be including photos that reference the date of the post in their description or when they were taken. Lt King listed his occupation as “Scholar.”  I can just tell his classes would have been awesome. I bet IT help calls were a lot more fun in […]

The Thing

One of my students stared agape at me when I admitted, last week, that I’d only just watched The Thing for the first time.  “Really?” he gasped. Really. But oh man, it’s pretty damn great. I knew the story before I went in, but I think it would be great for the film to be […]

Thinking about dead bodies: Stiff, by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, narrated by Shelly Frasier As always, Mary Roach explores a topic of interest and (perhaps) disgust with tact, verve, and lots of humor.  In this book–the first of her science books–Roach explores the myriad ways we deal with death and dead bodies, and explains how […]

One more week

The busiest time of the year, for me, is early January.  It’s crunch time over at the PCA, where we’re solidifying our schedule, finishing registration, and getting ready for the conference.  We’re preparing for a new semester at Columbia College Chicago, so there are syllabi to finalize and other administrative work to do.  And I’m […]

January 14, IN HISTORY

This year, for the “Wednesday photos” feature, I will be including photos that reference the date of the post in their description or when they were taken.