Monday, September 19, 2016

About Last Weekend

Yes, there was an explosion.
No, I didn't see it. It was two miles away.
No one was killed. Thank God.
Yes, it was a bomb set by some inbred POS. His biggest achievement in life was to use Internet instructions to build an IED out of a pressure cooker. That is all he ever contributed to this world, and all he ever will contribute - because he showed up on video cameras, and he will not be able to hide.
And tomorrow I will go out and take care of my business, because this is New York City. And unlike Kansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee, where they piss themselves about ISIS and shriek about Mexicans and pass laws about sharia *without having to face terror themselves* - I know that the appropriate response is to go out, deal with my fellow citizens, and let the cops find that one devolved shitstain who thought this was good idea.
Because that's what people do when they're adults, and not shrieking baboons.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pizza Points

  • There is no such thing as healthy pizza. All pizza is loaded with grease, fat, salt, and carbohydrates. To eat pizza that isn't also delicious is a terrible waste.
  • The kind of oven doesn't matter.
  • California Pizza Kitchen isn't the only reason New Yorkers hate Los Angeles; but it is the best reason.
  • If you're going to have a test pizza, it should be a plain cheese slice. If they can't get that right, no amount of toppings will fix things.
  • Salt! There should be a little in the cheese and in the crust.
  • Calzone is paranoid pizza - you can't actually tell what's inside that dough until you bite...and then it's too late.
  • Plastic utensils were invented specifically to prevent meatheads from trying to eat pizza with a knife and fork.
  • Good Brooklyn pizza tends to have a crust that's a little sweeter than Manhattan pizza. Alas, Manhattan pizza tends to be less flavorful.
  • The age of the establishment has little to do with the quality of the pizza. Just ask them at [name redacted].
  • The best slice I've had since I came back to New York cost five bucks; it came with a second slice and a can of soda.
  • A man's measure can be taken from his pizza habits.…/me-lover-s-pizza-with-crazy-br…
  • As of three years ago, La Lanterna had a pretty good Pizza Margherita; also Pino's in Brooklyn (although the crust is too thin there). I know people who swear by John's pizza...but they are still my friends.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Another Teleplay - "Northern Exposure"

Yep, time to put up another spec teleplay from the '90s. This one was for Northern Exposure, and I was actually pretty proud of it; I thought I caught the tone of the show.
Click here to read.
Hope you all enjoy it.

NASA Just Released All Its Research Online for FREE, And-

Eclipse photos and more!
-I had to learn about it through BRITISH media, not United States sources.
Here's the link to the NASA site.
British media, not American. SMH. We are truly a no-good, ignorant-ass nation. Why do we cooperate in making ourselves more and more stupid?
It is a mystery.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Conjure Man Status Report

I am now at 60,000 words of the first draft of Conjure Man, my contemporary fantasy.
For some perspective, the word count for traditional paperback novels hovers at around 80,000 words. The Wrong Sword is 95,000; Murder on the Orient Express is 66,000; The Hobbit is 95,000 (although it feels like less); and Fahrenheit 451 is only 46,118. More contemporary novels (especially bestsellers) tend toward length.
Anyway, I'm basically halfway through.
My protagonist has discovered that there's a terrible secret, but he doesn't quite know what it is, yet.
He's about to meet someone who might clear it up, if he weren't lost to booze and madness, adrift on a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean.
There's also a question game involving demons and forfeits.
And maybe magical party drugs.
You know...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Jeremiah 5:21

Creationists have always flummoxed me. Back when I was a story analyst in Hollywood, I had a boss at a big talent agency who was a serious evangelical Christian. The Boss Who Shall Remain Nameless actually told me that science and technology didn't matter. She said this while sitting in an office with the latest computer on her desk, with soft dichroic lights shining down and the fierce Los Angeles summer heat kept at bay by clever manipulation of the laws of thermodynamics. Her entire life, from a career in an industry that wouldn't exist without technology, to the birth of her children,  to the car that got her to the office, to the vaccines that protected her from polio and tetanus, relied on science. But science didn't matter.

What did matter? The "pleasant poetry of Genesis."

Now, I'm a Jew. And from a strictly parochial standpoint, I'd like to point out that
1. Jews wrote the Book of Genesis;
2. The original is in Hebrew, our language; and
3. Even WE don't take it literally.

Really. There is an ancient principle in Judaism that states that "the Scriptures speak in the tongue of Man" - in other words, the Bible uses metaphors and parables to describe sacred realities that human beings aren't prepared to completely understand. So we are nowhere near dumb enough to believe that one must take the Garden of Eden as the literal truth in order to be a faithful, believing Jew - or Christian, for that matter.

Now, considering how science has enriched all of our lives, and how megachurches and Christian broadcasting networks would not even exist without it, I'm continuously astounded by Creationists. They sit surrounded by the proof that science works, basing their entire lives on technology, the daughter of science, and then simply abandon it when it points to a conclusion they find distasteful.

O foolish people, and without understanding! Who have eyes, and see not; who have ears, and hear not! - Jeremiah 5:21

Thursday, August 18, 2016

More Nerd Politics

Wired has endorsed Hillary Clinton.
And Scientific American has condemned Donald Trump.
Neither one has endorsed a presidential candidate before. Not ever.

So if you support science, technology, and, well, know who to vote for.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Apophenia in Political Journalism!

It's no secret that I, like most folks, am not a fan of Candidate 345, aka Donald Trump. (BTW, "345" stands for three marriages, four bankruptcies, five draft deferments - not exactly the markers for a responsible life.) However, this is a NerdBlog, and for the most part I've tried to keep politirants out of it.

Something occurred to me recently, though, that deals with a pretty nerdy topic: apophenia, the tendency to perceive meaningful patterns in random data. It's what gives us faces on Mars, conspiracy theories, and the "Hot Hand" fallacy. And I think that political journalists, whether they are for, against, or detached from Trump, have been epic apophenists.

It occurred to me while I was reading this article about Trump speaking at a rally in Connecticut. The author, Katie Glueck, seemed

Monday, August 8, 2016

Who's Up For Some Rhino? Yum!

A team of archeologists at a dig in Azraq, Jordan, have been conducting science with teeth. They uncovered a cache of ancient stone weapons and tools used by proto-humans about 250,000 years ago...and these tools still had "residue" from the animals that were killed. This allowed the team to figure out what the protos were munching.

It seems back in the day our early Jordanian cousins (these folks weren't Homo sapiens - maybe H. neanderthalensis? Erectus? Rhodesiensis?) liked them some meats. We're talking horses, cows, ducks...and rhinos.

Dr. April Nowell, who leads the team, can't yet explain how the protos brought down a rhino using only weapons like this:

Neither can I.
Much respect, my prehistoric brothers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rarely, Rarely Do I Shill

"Where there's a subspace quantum flux,
there's a Nakamura-Sordak isolinear chip!"
But this is so goofy, you might want them.
Especially if your home is already decorated in '70s retro-future.