MPR Midmorning on Books

MPR: Programs: Midmorning
On Midmorning (an MPR program) this morning, the topic was “voices of this generation” as regards to books.
At about the 40 minute mark, the host reads an online question from “Paul in Circle Pines”, suggesting SF as a genre for our generation.
The audio should be up soon, and besides the fact that my question was used, the program is worth a listen to.

Stranger than Fiction

Stranger Than Fiction
A trailer for a movie coming out this fall about a writer whose character seems to be as real as she is. Its clearly being marketed as a comedy, and while I am not a huge fan of Will Farrell, I think he did well in the remake of Bewitched opposite Nicole Kidman. And the rest of the cast, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, makes this movie appealing to me.

Goodbye to Guardians of Order

RPG Blog: R.I.P., Guardians of Order
Guardians of Order, publishers of games including Nobilis, the new Tekumel, the Game of Thrones RPG and others, is shutting down operations.
I am an acquaintance of Mark’s (through the Amber gaming circuit of course) and so I hope he gets through this madness with his sanity intact. I also wonder what exactly will happen to the properties currently held by GOO, from Nobilis to GOT, to, of course, Amber.

Drought, Drought, Drought

Well, the Great White North is now in the worst drought they have seen up here since 1988 (long before I moved up here, of course).
The Mississippi is at its lowest levels in the same time period. From my window at work, I can see exposed shoreline that I couldn’t see last summer. Water restrictions abound, and crops are taking a major hit.
One interesting thing that I’ve learned from this drought, though, is that most of the cities along the Mississippi get their water from the river. Back in New York City, getting water from the Hudson was impossible because of the pollution and the estuarine flow of salt water up the river. So, it came from hundreds of miles away, up in the Catskills. And of course, when I lived in So. California, water came from hundreds of miles away, from the Owens River and Colorado River flows.
This is the first time that the source of water for where I live has actually been local.

Blog Jvstin Style, Japanese Style

Some time ago, a reader of my blog in Japan asked me very nicely for permission to translate one of my entries into Japanese for educational use on his blog. I was slightly confused but I agreed, since its not like I am publishing my novel here or anything.
A week and a half ago, the same reader asked me if he could translate an entry once ago, the entry on the Manhattan Sunset Alignment.
I once again agreed, and if your browser supports Japanese characters and you can actually read Japanese,you can see the results.

Las Vegas makes it illegal to feed homeless in Parks

From the NY Times:
Las Vegas, whose homeless population has doubled in the past decade to about 12,000 people in and around the city, joins several other cities across the country that have adopted or considered ordinances limiting the distribution of charitable meals in parks…The ordinance, an amendment to an existing parks statute approved by the Council on July 19, bans the “the providing of food or meals to the indigent for free or for a nominal fee.” It goes on to say that “an indigent person is a person whom a reasonable ordinary person would believe to be entitled to apply for or receive” public assistance.”
And here, I would prefer to give food to the indigent rather than money that might be spent on alcohol or drugs instead. Trying to prevent the socially minded from giving food to the homeless will *not* reduce the number of homeless, unless you are advocating a Swiftian notion for keeping them fed.

Minor Fame

The Washington Monthly
Kevin Drum mentions some ideas for “minor fame”.
I know that I wouldn’t mind being tuckerized, even under a pseudonym of some sort, into someone’s novel or short story. I know that if I actually ever did write a novel (with all of those ideas running through my head), I’d be strongly tempted to do it to other people.