Is My Favorite Martian’s “Uncle Martin” a Jedi?

September 22, 2016

Is My Favorite Martian’s “Uncle Martin” a Jedi?

My Favorite Martian was a popular “mermaid out of water”* sitcom which aired from 1963 to 1966. I’ve recently been re-watching it on Hulu, and it got me thinking.

“Uncle Martin”, the Martian (whose real name is Exigius) has a number of “unearthly abilities”. They are fairly well established in the first season (although they arguably expand in the third season).

Some of them seemed a bit familiar to me, and then it struck me: they reminded me of the Jedi abilities in Star Wars.

Now, let me be very clear: I’m not suggesting that George Lucas copied My Favorite Martian! Certainly, it seems likely that he saw the series (he was 19 when it debuted), but was undoubtedly familiar with the themes through other science fiction. Nothing here originated with the John L. Greene/Jack Chertok’s sitcom.

It’s more the idea for me that “Uncle Martin” may be a Jedi…even though Star Wars takes place in a galaxy far, far away, a long time ago (perhaps the Martian Jedi philosophy was a survivor from an ancient time).

Let’s take a look at what Uncle Martin can do, and compare it to Jedi.

Telekinesis

This is one of the most obvious parallels. Uncle Martin uses his “levitation finger” to move things with his mind. It may look sillier (this is a comedy, after all) when he wiggles his finger, but it’s actually less effort than when a Jedi makes full arm swings. Darth Vader comes close when he chokes someone. There are certainly limitations…Uncle Martin can’t influence things which are very far away, and neither can Jedi. If they could, they’d be able to take fighter spacecraft out of the sky with a gesture. Martin, who is quite a techie, did create a levitation machine with an extended range…something we don’t see in Star Wars.

Telempathy/reading minds

Martin can sense emotions from somewhat far away…a “disturbance in the Force”, so to speak. However, again, Martin would win in a contest…he can read actual thoughts. If Lord Vader could do that, they would have a much simpler time fighting the rebellion. It’s not easy: he needs to be close, and generally, the other person has to concentrate (as does Martin). Martin sometimes tricks people into thinking about a topic (by asking questions) so he can get the details of it as he reads their minds.

Talking to animals

Interestingly, the Martian can speak with non-human animals…perhaps not surprising, since his telepathy already crosses species with humans. The animals appear to be cognitively much more advanced than would generally be accepted, but their motivations and perspectives are generally reasonably appropriate. A cat may be motivated by food, but hides an object to affect future events and understands what that object is and its importance. Can Jedi speak with animals? There are a lot of species involved in Star Wars, in addition to artificially intelligent droids. I can’t say that I’ve seen Jedi have the kind of communication Martin has with dogs and cats…they don’t appear to ask Tauntauns for specific information, for instance.

Jedi mind tricks

As is the case with Jedi, Uncle Martin can’t possess someone and control their actions. He can push them physically around with telekinesis, of course. However, he is also able to confuse them…we see a scene quite a bit like the “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” scene. Martin is speeding (to help Tim), and two police officers chase him. He slows them down, and after they catch up, they can’t figure out why they were after him.

Invisibility

Uncle Martin can actually become invisible at will (unless something like a lightning storm messes it up). That’s an ability that Jedi don’t have (they do a lot of sneaking around in the movies which they wouldn’t have to do if they could just go transparent). That appears to be an inherent Martian ability, though…Martin needs his (metallic appearing, but apparently biological) retractable antennae to work for that. They may be implants of some kind, and the invisibility might be technological, but it’s clear that Martians generally have them. Martin is clearly not a Homo sapiens (for one thing, he is about 450 years old…and those are Martian years, not Earth years), but neither is Yoda.

Those are really Uncle Martin’s signature abilities. Now, Martin doesn’t have a light saber and isn’t a warrior (he’s a professor of anthropology), but do you have to have that to be a Jedi? If a Jedi loses their light saber, does that make them not a Jedi any more? It might make it hard for them to be a Jedi knight, but isn’t it possible there are Jedi who aren’t knights? If not, why add the term “knight” at all?

There are other parallels with Uncle Martin and Yoda: they are both relatively long-lived; they both dispense advise (Uncle Martin advised many famous humans over the centuries, on return trips to Earth…as far as we know, he just hasn’t been stranded on Earth before)…although Uncle Martin probably physically resembles Ben Kenobi more.

Could the Jedi philosophy have survived on Mars a long time later? By the way, Martin makes so many references to the actual planet Mars (trying to hideaway on an Earth probe there, for one thing) that it is hard to argue that he really isn’t from Mars…unless he has some form of transportation there that gets him to the actually more life-friendly location he describes.

What do you think? Is Uncle Martin a Jedi? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

 * “Mermaid out of water” is a term I use for a situation that is like the classic “fish out of water”, but the outsider is magical, from another time, from another planet, or something otherwise outside of the human norm

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All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Star Trek: its 50 year mission…to boldly keep on going

September 8, 2016

Star Trek: its 50 year mission…to boldly keep on going

September 8, 1966: the first episode of Star Trek debuted.

It’s now fifty years later…and the Trek universe is still a major part of pop culture, with a movie this year and a new series in the works.

I thought I’d share my own perspective…I go back a long ways on this.🙂

I actually remember watching part of one episode when it was first aired. I was on my parents’ bed, and the TV was sort of stuck in a closet, where you opened the doors to be able to watch it. I don’t remember which episode it was, but I must have been being allowed to stay up late to watch it.

The series was almost canceled, but Bjo Trimble and her husband launched a fan campaign to keep it on the air. They used the tech available…encouraging a letter mailing campaign, not just to the studio and the network, but importantly, to the sponsors.

Star Trek got that third season.

Now, fans (or “fen”, if you want to use the fannish plural) generally consider the third season to be the worst…”third season” has even been a dismissive assessment of something. “How was that movie?” “It was so third season.”

Without that third season, though, there wouldn’t have been enough episodes for the show to be syndicated…and that could have been the end of the story.

This was all pre-home video…

While most syndicated shows had more episodes, it didn’t hurt that maybe we were seeing them a tad more often. The show would run five days a week…and if possible, we’d watch every one. Once we would get into the third season, I remember calculating how long it would be before it would start over. That’s not to say that the third season is entirely without its charms, but the early shows were better for me.

It was during this time that I, and many of my age, became deeply immersed in Gene Roddenberry’s vision. It was when, as a bumper sticker of the day had it, that I learned to “grok Spock”. Spock would become one of my fictional heroes (along with Doc Savage and Kwai Chang Caine). All three of these had things in common: other people saw them as “super”, but they all personally thought they were failures. They all valued emotional control. They all wanted to help others, but were always perceived as outsiders.

Spock, especially, exemplified this internal inferiority/external extraordinariness concept. Spock was, objectively, better than his crewmates in many ways. He was physically stronger, intellectually advanced…but felt himself to be weak, flawed, and unable to meet his father’s expectations.

Spock, though wasn’t as good as Spock plus Kirk…and McCoy was essential as the third point in the triangle.

We embraced all the characters (even “bad guys”, like Harry Mudd), and the tech, and the settings. We had Star Trek “tracer guns”, which fired small plastic discs. We read the Mad Magazine “Star Blecch” parody in 1967 (which was reprinted).

In 1970, Spock Must Die! by James Blish was published…and started a phenomenon of original Star Trek novels (not adaptations of episodes) which is still happening today.

By 1972, the first Star Trek convention was held. There had been fan conventions for decades, but this one was dedicated to this one series.

The success of syndication brought us the first follow on series: Star Trek: The Animated Series, starting in 1973.

It was great to hear almost all of the bridge crew back voicing their roles (only Walter Koenig didn’t make it as Chekov…although he would write a script for the series).

Quite a few of the elements of the original series returned…includes tribbles and yes, Harry Mudd.

It didn’t have the same feel for me, though. I particularly remember the music being intrusive.

Fan culture was big…there were fanzines, in particular, and fan clubs.

1977’s Star Wars suddenly made science fiction mainstream in a whole new way. Naturally, Star Trek, which already had a thriving fandom, made sense for a big screen adaptation.

Once again, the original bridge crew was reassambled…but the movie was, for many of us, disappointing. Some of it was so slow! In my area, rumor had it that Paramount allowed a local film student to re-cut it…for one thing, reducing the amount of time that we just were supposed to stare in awe as the Enterprise was onscreen. It retrospect, that almost certainly wasn’t true, but it was a widespread belief.

Fortunately, in 1982, Nicholas Meyer saved us (and the future of the series), with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Sure, it was almost operatic…but Ricardo Montalban was so good reprising a one-time role from the series! It had great moments, and many of us still reference the Kobayashi Maru. Okay, so Saavik never really became a fan favorite, but it was still a great movie.

Star Trek III simply wasn’t as good. Star Trek IV, though, the one with the whales, was fun! This created the mythology that every other Star Trek movie was going to be good.🙂

1987 brought a new phase, with first live action follow on TV series, and it didn’t focus on the original characters…Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I wasn’t a big fan of the first season. I remember thinking that the way they solved things was by researching what the original crew did.

It grew on me. Picard and Data are iconic, and Q and the Borg were excellent additions to the universe.

From there on, we got more series and more movies. I’d say a standout for me was Kate Mulgrew’s Captain Janeway (I was already familiar with Mulgrew), although Voyager wasn’t my favorite series.

When Star Trek was rebooted…I was pleased. I think Zachary Quinto is a charismatic and intelligent actor, and Chris Pine is always fun. It seems to me to be much more about action than thought, though, which takes it away from the core strength of The Original Series.

In particular, there seems to no moral ambiguity. The Federation was certainly imperfect, and so were the main characters. Kirk and Spock in TOS could be in the wrong…and could realize it.’

The 2016 Spock seems way too confident…he would not have become my hero in the way that the 1966 Spock did.

That doesn’t diminish my relationship to the Star Trek universe. For decades, it has been important to me and to the geekiverse…and society as a whole.

Thank you to Gene Roddenberry and to every single person involved in making Star Trek what it has been and what it will be.

Live long and prosper.

For links to many Star Trek resources, including searching for streaming options and public libraries, see the entry at The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip for September 8, 1966.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Why we love Gene Wilder

August 30, 2016

Why we love Gene Wilder

Gene Wilder has reportedly died.

A brilliant actor, who was also a writer and director, Wilder was a study in contradictions, with eyes that were both twinkling and pools of sadness, optimistic and pessimistic, a believer in magic and doubter of the ordinary.

From One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on stage to two Oscar nominations (for acting in The Producers and screenwriting with long-time collaborator Mel Brooks for Young Frankenstein), there is no question that Gene Wilder was respected.

He was, though, also beloved, especially by geeks like me. We have a special place in our hearts for Gene Wilder.

Why is that?

Three of his best-known roles reveal a theme that helps explain it.

Willy Wonka, the Waco Kid, and Dr. Frederick Frankenstein have some significant similarities (although Wilder’s talent and skill clearly make them distinct characters).

In all three cases, they are superior individuals. Willy Wonka has created an unparalleled business, and appears to have almost magical powers. The Waco Kid may be the greatest gunslinger ever. Dr. Frankenstein literally brings the dead to life again.

They have also all rejected society. If they “played the game”, they could be the toast of the town, the top of their respective fields. Willy Wonka has actually withdrawn from the world. The Waco Kid has crawled into a bottle and  taken a nap there. Dr. Frankenstein has tried to fit in, but once at the castle, casts all that aside to continue his grandfather’s work.

None of that would make them especially endearing.

However, each of them also champions someone rejected by that same society which they have rejected. Willy Wonka does not minimize Charlie, who is poor and not the social equal of the other kids. The Waco Kid recognizes Sheriff Bart for his intrinsic value, unlike many others who at the least discount him out of prejudice. Dr. Frankenstein believes “The Monster” is as much a human being as anyone else.

That’s a clear appeal for geeks and for anyone who has considered themselves the underdog. The powerful person who doesn’t use that power to exclude, but to reach out to those on the fringes.

None of them are perfect. They can all be angry, and cynicism isn’t pretty. That helps, though…we see characters overcoming personality flaws (flaws which they know are there) to help someone who has been denied acceptance.

Again, that’s not to say that Gene Wilde replayed the same character. Those three each have distinct personalities…which wouldn’t have liked each other. In other performances, we don’t always see these three elements…and while the actor could be equally good in those roles, he wasn’t as beloved.

As Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder said, “We are the dreamers of dreams.” “We”…not “I”. There is a kinship offered. “I am like you, and we are not like most people.”

The dreams will live on.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Stupid pitch: Ozpocalypse (Oz Squad #1)

August 19, 2016

Stupid pitch: Ozpocalypse (Oz Squad #1)tent

This may be the first in a series of humor pieces where I propose what I really think are stupid ideas for movies, TV  shows,  and so on. The purpose is to shine a light on something serious with humor.

Studio executive: “Okay, whaddaya got?”

Moviemaker: “It’s got everything you like. It’s perfect for the summer!”

Studio executive: “Blah, blah. Why is it safe and how will it make me money?”

Moviemaker: “It’s a reboot of a well-known property with a built-in fanbase. Yet, it’s been modernized to swim with the blockbuster tentpoles.”

Studio executive: “Three minutes.”

Moviemaker:  “What’s the most beloved movie property of all time?”

Studio executive: “Porn?”

Moviemaker: “The Wizard of Oz. We–“

Studio executive: “We’re done here. Disney just did it. it wasn’t a big hit, and they claim infringement when somebody makes Mickey Mouse pancakes for their kid. Disappointing box office and Disney lawyers? I’m out.”

Moviemaker: “I can see where you are coming from, but the source material is public domain…nobody owns it. That also means no author to pay. Ours isn’t like theirs at all. It’s a mismatched group of heroes fighting a big CGI baddy who uses magic…The Avengers meets Harry Potter!”

Studio executive:  “I’m listening again. Two minutes and thirty five seconds.”

Moviemaker: “Dorothy Gale is a tween in Kansas. She’s using an augmented reality program like Pokémon Go, where she follows an avatar of a little black dog. It’s called TotoGo. She gets caught up in a weird virus thing called Twister, and finds that her social media history has been deleted. A mysterious figure says she should go for help to a government official, The Wizard.

Along the way, she connects with a legendary hacker who uses multiple identities and only appears wearing a mask, like Anonymous…called The Strawman. Despite that name, we want to cast a woman in the part…maybe Jenna Ushkowitz, Aubrey Plaza, or Michelle  Rodriguez.

The Strawman brings along an artificially intelligent war robot which failed to follow instructions, not going into dangerous situations when its existence was threatened. It’s a quadruped, and they call it the Neurologically Enhanced Remote Vehicle Experiment: NERVE. We’ll use Google’s Big Dog robot, and we’re thinking Kevin Hart for the voice.

They also connect with a former Special Forces soldier who favors an axe in battle. Code name: Heartless. His catchphrase: “I couldn’t do this if I cared.” We want Dwayne Johnson. Hart and Johnson already have a hit together.

When they get to The Wizard, he sends them on a suicide mission against the cyberterrorist believed to actually be behind Twister: the Wicked Wicked Witch…Triple Dub, like the World Wide Web.

Turns out Triple Dub is actually possessed by an ancient demon. There’s a huge battle…we’re thinking at least 45 minutes of CGI action. Triple Dub sends flying  monkeys against the four…lots of scenes of Heartless chopping monkeys out of the air. Strawman overcomes NERVE’s programming resistance temporarily, and the robot is fearless and also splashes the screen with monkey guts, which should look great in 3D.

During the battle, we destroy the Yellow Brick Road and knock down large parts of the Emerald City.

The monkeys dismember Strawman. Heartless rides on NERVE to fight a Big Bad Henchman…a flying gorilla, like King Kong size.

That lets Dorothy get to Triple Dub, and the Kansas Kid dumps a sulfuric acid tank on her…we see that death scene in detail.

Heartless, NERVE, and Dorothy are celebrating. Strawman is dying, but manages to croak out, “This is wrong. No computers…no Twister.”

Dorothy realizes that The Wizard must really be responsible:  why would a demon use software?

Dorothy, Heartless, and NERVE head back to expose The Wizard.”

Studio executive: “What about that mystery figure who sent her to The Wizard in the first place?”

Moviemaker: “Good ear! We get shots of her in a monitoring center following Dorothy’s adventures, but she only calls her the ‘asset’. She uses the Magic Picture and the Great Book of Records to track her.”

Studio executive: “Is that going to make the fanboys mad?”

Moviemaker: “That’s one of the best things…Glinda actually does just that in the original books. She has a magic picture which shows her anything she thinks about, and a book that records everything that happens in the world. She really is a magical NSA.”

Studio executive: “Twenty seconds.”

Moviemaker: “Totogo helps Dorothy find The Wizard. They reveal him as a fraud, and he gets kicked out of power and sent to prison. Glinda mysteriously helps Dorothy restore everything (“There’s no page like homepage”) and we set up future Oz Squad movies. Oh, and Strawman survived and is now outfitted with prosthetic limbs.”

Studio executive: “Sequels? Prequels?”

Moviemaker: “Tons. We’ve got a major trans character, a feminist overthrow of a city…diversity and action.”

Studio executive: “Give me one trailer: trailers are key.

Moviemaker: “I’ll give you two. The ‘Carnage’ trailer uses the Tim Curry version of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” as a soundtrack, and shows quick cuts of Heartless fighting, and the melting, but we don’t show who that is. The ‘Conspiracy’ trailer plays up the mystery and the tech…maybe Domo Arregato, Mr. Robot, but we include dialogue. Not too much, of course.”

Studio executive: “Done. You get $125 million, and I want it in theatres in May.”

Moviemaker: “2020?”

Studio executive: “2018. We have an opening.”

Moviemaker: “That’s…um…not enough time to do it right.”

Studio executive: “Who cares about right? Just make it make money.”

Moviemaker: “Are you sure that’s worth the risk? What about those sequels? I’m just thinking about your future profits.”

Studio executive: “Bull. You want to make art. It ain’t about art…there’s a reason it’s called show BUSINESS, not show art. Get down with that, or get out.”

Moviemaker: “You’ll get your movie.”

Studio executive: “You bet I will…and your little avatar, too.”

The Measured Circle thinks this is a bad idea for a movie…and of course, only good ideas are ever made into movies…

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Going to Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum? See my Jenny Haniver

August 7, 2016

Going to Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum? See my Jenny Haniver

image1 (1)

I was very pleased recently to donate something I bought in my travels from a street fair and have had for decades. It’s a “Jenny Haniver”, which is a ray or a skate (both are a type of flat fish) which has been altered to look like a humanoid. My understanding is that they are dried, carved, and coated in varnish.

For many years, I have had it sealed in a box with “DO NOT CRUSH” written boldly on the side.

Well, I wanted to support

Loren Coleman‘s

International Cryptozoology Museum

which is moving into a new location.

Not only have I been interested in cryptozoology since I was a kid and borrowed Gardner Soule’s The Maybe Monsters from my school library as I described here:

A book that changed my life: The Maybe Monsters

but Loren has been kind and generous in the few interactions we’ve had. We’ve never met, but we have had some correspondence. I started something called “Weird World” and it turned out Loren had previously used that name. He graciously said that I could use it (I wasn’t a known writer at the time), but I did change it to “Bufo’s Weird World” to avoid confusion.

It’s better that other people get to see the Jenny Haniver, and I trusted that the museum would take reasonable care of it.

So, after asking Loren if they wanted it and getting an affirmative, I took it down to my local UPS store to have it sent to the museum at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Maine.

They needed to see what they were shipping (not an unreasonable request), and I had quite a conversation with the clerk. I proudly described it as a “museum specimen”, and explained the origin and destination.

They packed it up securely and it arrived safely.

You can see it in the picture at the top of this post, which I presume was taken by Loren, and he granted me permission to share it with you.

The one which I donated is the upper Jenny, fully lit.

I was pleased with the “neighbors”: a Jackalope, a fur-bearing trout, and a poster for Albert Koch’s Hydrarchos. None of those are really cryptozoology, the way that I would use the term, but that’s an important mission of the museum: to educate the public. That’s not only about cryptozoology, but about the popular culture impact of it.

What is cryptozoology to me?

It requires that there first be reports (which includes local knowledge) of an animal apparently unknown to science, which is then investigated.

For me, the discovery of a previously unreported species (and there are many of those each year) is not cryptozoology…but it has a bearing on it by showing that there are undiscovered species (which you would think would be common sense, but…some people think we already know everything. As  far back as 1812, Baron Cuvier thought there were no large animals left to be discovered).

Similarly, “creative taxidermy” has a bearing (fur-bearing, in the case of the trout)😉 on the topic.

Here’s an enlargement of the picture above:

Jenny Hanniver

As you can see, it looks like it has two legs, a tail, and wings. Even though the “face” is clear, the anatomical features are not what they appear to be. I’m impressed with the art of making it, even though I would not want to encourage the production of them.

If  you do get to the museum, say, “Hi!” to Jenny for me.😉

You may not have a specimen to donate, but you may want to support the ICM in other ways. Information is available on their site, and you could set them as your non-profit (the museum is a recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit by the IRS, so donations are generally tax deductible, although you always want to confirm that for your specific situation) at https://smile.amazon.com/ (Amazon is making the donation in that case and gets the write-off). When you do that, Amazon donates half a percent of eligible purchases, at no cost to you.

Join thousands of readers and try the free The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard !

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

My take on…Star Trek Beyond (and the three-screen Barco Escape system)

July 25, 2016

My take on…Star Trek Beyond (and the three-screen Barco Escape system)

This is the fiftieth anniversary year of Star Trek. It has been a big part of my life: Spock is one of my fictional heroes (along with Doc Savage and Kwai Chang Caine). There are several Star Trek related events in The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project.

So, naturally, my Significant Other and I watched Star Trek Beyond this weekend.🙂

Before I talk about the movie, I want to talk about the way we saw it.

We saw it in “Barco Escape”.

What’s that?

It was one of the choices at our local movie theatre. We could have seen it in 3D, or in another digital format…but we chose to pay $3 extra per ticket to try out a new option.

In the theatre, there was the regular screen (a bit smaller than the largest screen, I think…and two more screens, angled at something like 30 to 45 degrees. You had the screen in front of you, and then two “wings”…sort of like giant goggles.

You can see it here:

Ready2Escape.com

The idea reminded me a great deal of the old Cinema 150 concept. I saw a movie in a Cinema 150 once (The Rocky Horror Picture Show): they took a 70 mm print and magnified it to make it cover the 150 degree curved screen…and it was a tad fuzzy at the edges.

Why 150 degrees?

I remember that it was supposed to cover all of your peripheral vision.

For the Cinema 150, it was effective, even though I still ended up turning my head from side to side some times, and seeing the edges. It was pretty immersive, though…sort of like primitive and “practical effect” VR (Virtual Reality).😉

Barco Escape?

Not as good.

The first issue is that the screens had very distinct edges where they met…there was no seam, like standing three decks of cards in their cases up on their long edges next to each other. That meant you were constantly aware of it…and that it interfered with the suspension of disbelief.

This may be a temporary installation, but it wouldn’t have been hard to have cloth cover those seams, so you didn’t see the shadows.

The other thing was that the additional screens were used intermittently, not all the time. It might be in a scene where a lot was happening…imagine a meteor storm. The two screens would have additional meteors…and then they would go dark again.

That was very distracting…and the people next to us felt the same way (we talked about it a bit afterwards). My SO, when I asked, also used the word “distracting”…and pointed out that there was no added value. You didn’t see something creep along the extra screen…you kind of can’t do that, since most people who watch the movie don’t have those screens…you can’t have that different an experience.

Bottom line: we wouldn’t pay extra for Escape again.

Now, the movie itself:

While I’m not going to spoil specific plot turns, I am going to say some things which you might prefer to wait to read until after you’ve seen the movie, so

MILD SPOILER ALERT

Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty in the new continuity) co-wrote this movie (along with Doug Jung). Pegg has done brilliant work in the past (I’m especially fond of Shaun of the Dead and Spaced), and clearly knows Star Trek inside out (it’s worth noting, Pegg also appeared in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie…and was given special thanks).

That had given me hope for a strong entry, and I had been hearing it was like the original series (still my favorite).

While there aren’t false notes, it didn’t feel much like TOS at all.

The key thing is that this is pretty much non-stop action…we are in crisis mode virtually the entire movie.

That means that there is really very little strategic thinking, or philosophizing…yes, there are tactical decisions, but what might have been ten minutes of a TOS episode was basically the entire movie.

Also, people are clearly good or bad. No one seems at all unsure about their motivations…there is some mulling about future actions, but no consideration about what current actions might mean.

I miss that.

I also miss them having conversations…or  there being a real mystery.

That’s why we thought of TOS as being like literary science fiction…it wasn’t just visual with snappy repartee, it got you thinking.

There was one bizarre scene…I’m still not sure what they were trying to do. Early in the movie, there is a scene between McCoy and Kirk. It clearly appeared to me that this was after the death of Chekov. I appreciated that…a way to pay respects to the current actor who played Chekov, Anton Yelchin, who recently died tragically.

Dr. McCoy has a bottle of alcohol, which he says he “found” in Chekov’s locker. If a crewmember had died, naturally, the locker  would be cleaned out…and items would be found. Otherwise, why would McCoy be in Chekov’s locker…and take something?

When they drink they pour into an “absent friend’s” glass…another way to pay respect to a colleague who has died.

However, Chekov is in the rest of the movie.

Ambassador Spock (not Mr. Spock), played by Leonard Nimoy in this continuity, has died (reflecting the heart-rending loss of Leonard Nimoy recently)…but that doesn’t appear to be known to them at this point in the story, from what I recall.

Why the absent friends toast? Why steal from Chekov? I don’t know.

In terms of the acting and the characterizations generally…Karl Urban nails McCoy again, and that’s not an easy character. I like Zachary Quinto, I like his performance as Spock…but I’m not crazy about this version of Spock, who is a lot more emotional and isn’t struggling with two halves. It makes him as confident as the rest of the world (with the possible exception of some of the Bridge crew) thought the TOS Spock was…but we knew better.

Chris Pine, who I also like, is having a lot of fun as Kirk…Shatner would, I think, have loved playing an early scene. That does work, even if it isn’t quite like what we saw on TOS most of the time (it’s like every episode was A Piece of the Action). That’s fine, though…it is an alternative timeline.

I like Uhura in TOS a lot better…in this series, she seems to be largely defined by her relationship with Spock, where in the original series she was a powerful, independent person.

Sofia Boutella, as new character Jaylah, is charismatic. However, the character will seem quite a bit like Rey in The Force Awakens to many…she’s been on her own, scavenging from a crashed ship, and is a powerful warrior. Obviously, that’s not enough to say it is a derivative character, and I could certainly believe that it was conceived before the release of The Force Awakens…but some people will see similarities.

Idris Elba is already at the top of our

2016 The Measured Circle’s Box Office MVPs

list (with roles in Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Finding Dory, to mention three), and this will only cement that position.

I wouldn’t say that there was much that especially stood out about Elba’s big bad role of Krall, though. It was also quite jarring to hear him refer to Kirk as “my old friend”…when it appears they have just met. I’m guessing that’s an homage to Khan in the Wrath of Khan, who says the same thing, but it made sense there: they had a history.

END SPOILER ALERT

Overall?

I enjoyed seeing the movie, but it was really one long CGI fest, where combat scenes vastly dominate over character scenes. For that reason, it didn’t feel much like a 1960s Star Trek episode, but it wasn’t an affront to that legacy, either.

Generally, I think most people will enjoy it…I just suspect we haven’t seen the best of this new crew yet, and I hope people also watch TOS (although, you know, don’t start with the third season…that’s another whole story).😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Emmy nominations 2016: not your grandparents’ Emmys…or, um, your older sibling’s

July 18, 2016

Emmy nominations 2016: not your grandparents’ Emmys…or, um, your older sibling’s

Primetime Emmy nominees were just released…and it feels a lot fresher than we saw even just a few years ago.

Sure, no question that non-broadcast network shows have been dominant in recent years, but this year we’ve got nominees you might never have seen on anything bigger than your phone. Both Epic Rap Battles of History and Honest Trailers were nominated in the new Outstanding Short Form Variety Series category. Yep, YouTube series nominated for Emmys!

It also seems like more geek-friendly (GF) artists and works are nominated this year…it was just recently that the Clone Club was lamenting the omission of Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany…but she does appear in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category this year (and no, not as all of the nominees). Yes, this is the second year a row, but still.🙂 Since Game of Thrones is really an ensemble show, look for the acting nominees in the Supporting categories…where a third of the total nominees are from that one show! You want an Emmy as a guest star? Take a look at Big Bang Theory! That’s a testament in part to the security of a cast who has been working together so well for so long.

Let’s take a look at GF nominees:

  • Outstanding Drama Series: Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot
  • Outstanding Comedy Series: Silicon Valley
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Rami Malek (Mr. Robot)
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth)
  • Outstanding Television Movie: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie: Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: The Abominable Bride)
  • Outstanding Reality Competition Series: American Ninja Warrior
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Christine Baranski (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Laurie Metcalfe (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Kit Harington (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Max von Sydow (Game of Thrones)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Hotel)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Kathy Bates (American Horror Story: Hotel)
  • Outstanding Structured Reality Program: MythBusters
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Jack Bender (Game of Thrones: The Door)
  • Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones: Battle of the B*stards)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones: Battle of the B*stards)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot: eps1.0_hellofriend.mov ((Pilot)))
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Mike Judge (Silicon Valley: Founder Friendly)
  • Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Alec Berg (Silicon Valley: Daily Active Users)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe: Episode 1)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Alec Berg (Silicon Valley: The Uptick)
  • Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Dan O’Keefe (Silicon Valley: Founder Friendly)
  • Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series: Patrika Darbo (Acting Dead)
  • Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series: Michelle Ang (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462)
  • Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series: A Year in Space
  • Outstanding Short Form Variety Series: Epic Rap Battles of History
  • Outstanding Short Form Variety Series: Gay of Thrones
  • Outstanding Short Form Variety Series: Honest Trailers
  • Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special: Robert Smigel, David Feldman, RJ Fried, Michael Koman, Brian Reich, Andy Breckman, Josh Comers, Raj Desai, Jarrett Grode, Ben Joseph, Matthew Kirsch, Matthew Lawrence, Craig Rowin, Zach Smilovitz, David Taylor and Andy Weinberg: Triumph’s Election Special 2016

While you can always come up with “snubs” (and feel free to mention them by commenting on this post), I think this year’s list is continuing evidence of the mainstreaming of the geek.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

Shop through your Echo  device and get a great deal on a Tap today

July 8, 2016

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160708005141/en/

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the Measured Circle blog

Dear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: here’s my advice on playing Doc Savage

June 22, 2016

Dear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: here’s my advice on playing Doc Savage

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Oh, actually, I don’t know…do I call you The Rock? Dwayne? The? Please pick whatever appellation you would prefer.

I believe you make intelligent choices as an actor (being a former actor myself), and that you’ll possibly appreciate some insight from a fan of Doc Savage.

You see, while Doc clearly inspired Superman and Batman (and others), you’ll need to find a way to make him stand out, to be different from all those other heroes out there.

He is…and you can be, and still make it appealing and commercial.

You see, Doc is vastly superior to most of us, but believes that he will never be good enough.

That’s the key.

He is intensely introspective, and acutely aware of anything he sees in himself as an imperfection. Of course he is self-sacrificing…perhaps, he thinks, even in dying, he could contribute in some small way to make the world a better place…and what right does he have to stay in it?

Where does he get this attitude?

It goes back to his childhood…not to get all Sunday Supplement psychological on you.

Doc’s mother died when he was a baby. Does Doc blame himself for this? Possibly, but it’s what happens after that which shapes his sense of unworthiness.

Doc’s father was already an adventurer, a world traveler. Clark Savage, Sr., makes the decision to raise his son to be a “superman”. Doc is raised on an island, and (exclusively male…he doesn’t see a woman until he is an adult) experts are brought in to tutor him, to make him into Homo superior.

Pressure, much?

Any slight failure proves to himself that he has not achieved his father’s life’s purpose for him.

Once he gets into the real world (fighting in World War I), his obvious physical and mental superiority (in part derived from an incredible self-discipline and commitment to improvement) becomes apparent to him. He becomes a leader to a group of extraordinary friends.

In the first few adventures, he kills people right and left, perhaps a bit overwhelmed to be that superior…he may actually believe he has a chance to make the difference he was raised to make.

Then he fails.

He comes to believe that his killing people was a weakness…a proof of his flaws. He vows never to kill again, and would rather die than kill even a villain.

He is driven to, as the Doc Savage oath (not part of the original adventures, but from that time) says, “…strive, every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit from it.”

He can never be good enough. Not as a brain surgeon. Not as a pilot. Not as a leader. He can, though, be better than he is now.

That’s the core.

It explains a lot of things.

It’s why he ignores questions about what he thinks is happening in a mystery, until he is sure. He thinks he could be wrong, and his error could be disastrous.

It explains his two hours of exercises a day…exercises which include mental and sensory exercises. Why does he do it even when imprisoned by a bad guy? He’s not worth surviving as he is…he needs to be better, to closer to the goal his father had for him. If he dies, the world might be better off without him.

He risks riding on the running board of cars…his being able to see better and possibly help his associates is worth the risk of his life.

It shows his anger at being told he was more useful at home in World War II than being in the thick of the fight.

It’s why, in the later adventures, he abandons many of his gadgets…if he relies on them, he isn’t getting better, no matter how useful they are.

That’s not to say he wants to die. He doesn’t: he wants to make the world a better place, and dying for its own sake doesn’t do that.

Dying in the service of others would.

He’s not illogical in this…he knows the value his skills give to his team and to society at large. He’s not going to throw his life away on a small item.

To play Doc, work with this motivation: “I can never do enough to be as good as I should be…but I can be better than I am.”

I hope that helps! You’ll get a lot of advice about being Doc Savage, and some of it will be contrary to this, I’m sure. No doubt, there will be some who suggest you play him as supremely confident. I would say this: on the surface, he can appear confident, because he knows it benefits others that he seem to be so…but that unconscious trilling will show you that there is an uncontrolled undercurrent in Doc Savage’s thoughts.

Take the opportunity to make Doc as complex as he is…we don’t need to see it overtly on screen, but I hope to see it inform your performance in a movie I have anticipated for years.

No pressure, though…I’m not Clark Savage, Sr.😉

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Geeky reference books on a great sale!

June 5, 2016

Geeky reference books on a great sale!

In my I Love My Kindle blog, I recently wrote about getting an alert from eReaderIQ that

Universal Horrors (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

was on sale for $3.99 (the digital list price is $29.99).

I’d had that one on my Amazon Wish List for some time, and snapped it up at that price.

What I didn’t realize was that this is a sale on many titles from the publisher McFarland!

I know McFarland best for producing high-quality reference works on topics that generally get short shrift. You aren’t going to find a heavily researched book on “monster movies” (as is Universal Horrors) from most university presses.

Typically, the books are not inexpensive. $29.99 is a lot for a Kindle edition, usually, but this falls into that category for me where it’s a legitimate price. It’s not like a novel.

These books will make excellent gifts! You can delay delivery of a Kindle store book for the appropriate gift-giving occasion. Even though I don’t often buy books for myself any more, since we have

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

but some of these are too good not to have in our library.

Here’s a search for 885 (!) McFarland books for $3.99 each (those seem to be the ones on sale…not all McFarland books are) in the USA Kindle store right now. Some of these may be false positives…Amazon’s search sometimes seems…imprecise, and an author of “McFarland” may be returned when I searched for the publisher McFarland (using Amazon’s own advanced search):

McFarland books for $3.99 (at AmazonSmile*)

I have no idea how long this sale will last, so check the price before you click or tap that sale button. I might be getting some gifts for other people, too.🙂

Oh, one other note: these are often “coffee table” type books…they will be large files to have on an EBR (E-Book Reader, and may have color pictures which render best on a tablet)

Here are some that caught my eye:

  • The Literary Monster on Film: Five Nineteenth Century British Novels and Their Cinematic Adaptations by Abigail Burnham Bloom
  • Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edition by Bill Warren and Bill Thomas (I bought this one)
  • Illuminating Torchwood: Essays on Narrative, Character and Sexuality in the BBC Series (Critical Explorations in Science…by Andrew Ireland and Donald E. Palumbo (put it on my wish list…love the show, but this interest seems too narrow for me to buy right now)
  • Italian Horror Film Directors by Louis Paul
  • Visions of Mars: Essays on the Red Planet in Fiction and Science by Howard V. Hendrix and George Edgar Slusser (bought as a gift)
  • Sounds of the Future: Essays on Music in Science Fiction Film by Mathew J. Bartkowiak (wish list)
  • Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566 by Robert E. Bartholomew and Bob Rickard (Bob Rickard is a driving force at Fortean Times) (bought as a gift and wish list)
  • Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography by Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio (wish list)
  • In the Peanut Gallery with Mystery Science Theater 3000: Essays on Film, Fandom, Technology and the Culture of…by Robert G. Weiner and Robert G. Weiner
  • Super-history: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present by Jeffrey K. Johnson (wish list)
  • Inside Gilligan’s Island by Sherwood Schwartz (wish list)
  • A History of the Doc Savage Adventures in Pulps, Paperbacks, Comics, Fanzines, Radio and Film by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter (bought this one! I just wrote a piece on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson being cast as Doc Savage…Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Doc Savage: a fan’s view)
  • Creating Characters: A Writer’s Reference to the Personality Traits That Bring Fictional People to Life by Howard Lauther)
  • Encyclopedia of Television Pilots, 1937-2012 by Vincent Terrace (digital list price $99.99)
  • Fright Night on Channel 9: Saturday Night Horror Films on New York’s WOR-TV, 1973-1987 by James Arena
  • Teaching with Harry Potter: Essays on Classroom Wizardry from Elementary School to College by Valerie Estelle Frankel
  • Of Bread, Blood and the Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy (Critical Explorations in…by Mary F. Pharr
  • The Body in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays on Middle-earth Corporeality by Christopher Vaccaro
  • Encyclopedia of Imaginary and Mythical Places by Theresa Bane
  • Respecting The Stand: A Critical Analysis of Stephen King’s Apocalpytic Novel by Jenifer Paquette
  • The Wizard of Oz as American Myth: A Critical Study of Six Versions of the Story, 1900-2007 by Alissa Burger
  • A History and Critical Analysis of Blake’s 7, the 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure by John Kenneth Muir (this show came up in a comment recently on this blog)
  • Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century by Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley
  • Kermit Culture: Critical Perspectives on Jim Henson’s Muppets by Jennifer C. Garlen and Anissa M. Graham
  • The Heritage of Heinlein: A Critical Reading of the Fiction: 42 (Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and…by Thomas D. Clareson and Joe Sanders
  • America Toons In: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter
  • The Video Games Guide: 1,000+ Arcade, Console and Computer Games, 1962-2012, 2d ed. by Matt Fox
  • The American Popular Novel After World War II: A Study of 25 Best Sellers, 1947-2000 by David Willbern
  • Marketing Your Library: Tips and Tools That Work by Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia

I could keep going and going, but I’m worried about the sale ending while I’m writing this.🙂

I’ll get this out, and I might add to it later. If you are thrilled (or puzzled) by any when you go to check it out (which I recommend) feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. Update: I did add…I couldn’t leave off the Vincent Terrace book(s)…I have some in hardback, and they are terrific!

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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