January 30, 2010

Pee-wee Gets an iPad!

I've loved Pee-wee since the Eighties, when our whole family watched Pee-wee's Playhouse every Saturday morning. I'm so jealous that he got an iPad before I did!

January 14, 2010

Me and the Scorpion

When I was about ten or eleven years old, my family took a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas. I remember my brother Frank and I prowling the area around the motel we were staying in. I turned over a piece of shale, and found a scorpion, which promptly stung me. It burned like anything, which scared me greatly, 'cause I didn't know how potent the toxin was. Probable Truth: under the influence of scarey Western Movie Nonsense, I thought I might die if untreated.

My dad, though, was pretty much guaranteed to fly into a rage if I came clean with the fact that I'd gotten stung. So, real casual-like, I initiated a conversation with the adults in the group about scorpions, and real, real casually checked out what they knew about scorpion stings. It sounded to me like it was about as bad as a bee sting, so I decided not to say anything further on the subject. I'll never forget the day, though.

Here's the guy who got me: "The only scorpion known to occur in Arkansas . . . the common striped bark scorpion."


"Death and severe allergic reactions have been attributed to the striped bark scorpions, but such claims have never been substantiated by reputable sources."

January 03, 2010

Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2010

They've been doing this for eleven years now, at the beginning of every year. It happens on The Well, one of the earliest open-to-the-public Internet communities. Chairman Bruce, as he's known to old-hand science fiction fans whose memories go back to the first days of the cyberpunk movement, plays Delphic Oracle. All the rest of us get to ask questions, and kibbitz. Thoughtful, challenging, wonderful, fun.