Archive for November, 2016

Loren Coleman needs our help

November 24, 2016

Loren Coleman needs our help

It isn’t easy to ask for help.

It can especially be hard when you are known as someone who helps others.

Loren Coleman, the world’s leading cryptozoologist, founder of the

International Cryptozoology Museum

did not contact me personally about his current medical expenses.

He could have: we’ve never met, but we’ve had some correspondence over the years. I always remember decades ago when I started using the term “Weird World”, and Loren contacted me to let me know he had already used it…and to magnanimously tell me I was free to use it. There wasn’t any real public awareness of me at the time; there wasn’t any need for this well-known author and investigator to simply clear that issue for me. It was done out of generosity. I have always used the term “Bufo’s Weird World” since to separate it, but I have always been grateful.

I’m by no means the only person that Loren Coleman has touched in that way.

It’s common to see pictures of visitors to the museum or at other events in smiling pictures with Loren Coleman.

That’s happened during the past few years, despite medical issues.

This is an author and his fans…and a significant author. While I first read Loren Coleman in the paperback editions of The Unidentified and Creatures of the Outer Edge in the mid 1970s (40 years ago), he has continued to be very active to this day, posting on social media, appearing on television documentaries, writing, and running the museum. You can get Loren’s books through Amazon here:

Loren Coleman’s Amazon Author Central page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping* (the International Cryptozoology Museum is my current beneficiary))

It might surprise you, then, to know that Loren has had to ask for help with medical expenses. You can donate here:

Loren’s Medical Fund

If you can’t give anything, you can promote the campaign from there as well.

This is the man who coined the term “The Dover Demon”, who wrote about “Creepy Clowns” a generation before the current interest, intrigued us with “Phantom Kangaroo” reports and the Fortean “Name Game”, who is an expert on “The Copycat Effect” and suicide clusters, and who is preserving cryptozoological exhibits with a non-profit public museum.

Thank you, Loren, for all that you have done, and I wish you and your family the best in the future.

Note: I give permission for this specific post (Loren Coleman needs out help) to be reproduced freely without prior permission or compensation, in an effort to inform the widest possible group about this situation.

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.

2016 Critics’ Choice Television Awards nominees: recognizing geek-friendly acting

November 15, 2016

2016 Critics’ Choice Television Awards nominees: recognizing geek-friendly acting

Acting in geek-friendly roles has generally not been recognized for awards because, you know, it’s so much easy acting in something which isn’t only outside of your actual experience, but anybody’s actual experience. 😉

It’s not that it never happens: Leonard Nimoy was nominated three times for a Primetime Emmy for playing Spock on the original Star Trek, Peter Dinklage has twice that (with two wins) for Game of Thrones, and Tatiana Maslany has been nominated twice and won once for a Primetime Emmy for Orphan Black (batting 500).

The latter two have also been nominated for The Critics’ Choice Television Awards (which weren’t around when ST:TOS was on). Those nominations are out for this year, and there are quite a few geek-friendly acting noms:

http://www.criticschoice.com/critics-choice-awards

It feels like a real move in the direction of the continued mainstreaming of geekery. Not only are geek-friendly actors being nominated in the drama category (often seen as the most prestigious, although that’s a debatable impression), but this time, there is actually more than one nominee in some categories…making a non-win not only probable, but virtually inevitable (outside of ties). 😉

Before we look at those nominees, it’s worth noting a couple of factors which may be influencing the choices.

First, there is the rise of non-broadcast television in nominations…HBO leads this year, Netflix tied with ABC for second, and FX was fourth. Subscription television is regulated differently, and isn’t dependent on mainstream advertisers in the same way.

Second, this year there has been a split in the critics in the pool, because it has aligned with Entertainment Weekly. That reminded me a bit of special effects artists bowing out of the Academy Awards when the 1976 was nominated.

That might not have directly impacted these nominations, but it shows an evolution that might have changed the direction a bit.

Okay, geek-friendly noms!

  • Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Will Forte in The Last Man on Earth
  • Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series: Christine Baranski in The Big Bang Theory
  • Best Animated Series: Archer | BoJack Horseman | Son of Zorn | South Park | The Simpsons
  • Best Structured Reality Series:  Penn & Teller: Fool Us
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington in Game of Thrones | Christian Slater in Mr. Robot
  • Best Actress in a Drama Series: Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey in Game of Thrones | Thandie Newton in Westworld
  • Best Actor in a Drama Series: Sam Heughan in Outlander | Rami Malek in Mr. Robot
  • Best Actress in a Drama Series: Caitriona Balfe in Outlander | Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black | Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld
  • Best Drama Series: Game of Thrones | Mr. Robot | Stranger Things | Westworld
  • Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series: Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead
  • Best Actor in a Movie made for Television or a Limited Series: Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Congratulations to first-timers Westworld (which did quite well in noms), and Stranger Things (where some might have expected more noms)!

I would say that many of these acting nominees have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, although, of course, many actors featured in EW weren’t nominated.

Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 11th with T.J. Miller (Deadpool) hosting.

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.

 

Amazon Echo’s 2nd birthday: almost $40 off, and the Alexa Skills store at Amazon.com

November 8, 2016

Amazon Echo’s 2nd birthday: almost $40 off, and the Alexa Skills store at Amazon.com

Today is the Echo’s second birthday, and Amazon is offering the main Echo for $140.39 instead of $179.99 ($39.60 off)

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

That’s likely to just be today (it says it is for a limited time only).

I use an Echo every day (and an All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – White (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) and an Amazon Tap (at AmazonSmile*) on weekdays, but you know…). 😉

It turns my lights out on and off, place music, gives me the weather, tells me what’s on my calendar, and more.

When I say more, there is a lot more!

Amazon has now put the

Alexa Skills store on Amazon.com (at AmazonSmile*)

on Amazon.com, making it much easier to search the close to 5,000 skills!

For example, right now, I’m trying the

Earplay skill (at AmazonSmile*)

I’m a fan of Old Time Radio, and I have to say, the demo was fun. It is sort of like Choose Your Adventure, in that you are given choices of things to say and the story continues based on what you say. It does feel like OTR, although not quite as surreal as most of it.

Here are some of the stats:

Alexa Skills
Business & Finance (67)
Communication (20)
Connected Car (8)
Education & Reference (899)
Food & Drink (144)
Games, Trivia & Accessories (1,187)
Health & Fitness (132)
Lifestyle (390)
Local (97)
Movies & TV (82)
Music & Audio (48)
News (701)
Novelty & Humor (319)
Productivity (136)
Shopping (14)
Smart Home (114)
Social (51)
Sports (122)
Travel & Transportation (94)
Utilities (76)
Weather (462)
Avg. Customer Review
  • 4 Stars & Up (690)
  • 3 Stars & Up (1,086)
  • 2 Stars & Up (1,439)
  • 1 Star & Up (1,727)

Now, that’s a lot of one star reviews! It’s the most popular selection.

That may change in the future. It seems clear to me looking at this that they are going to enable paid Skills (as opposed to everything being free). I think that would be a good thing. Right now, there are two main types of content producers…hobbyists or people who are generally content creators and hope to use this to promote their other works, and companies using it as advertising/access (Uber, Domino’s Pizza, and so on).

Paid Skills would change that, with people being able to expect a return on their investment specifically from the Skill. Think of it like paid apps in the appstore…some of them are worth the payment.

Overall, these are good developments and a good sale!

Happy birthday, Alexa!

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! Do you have what it takes to be a Timeblazer?

* 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.


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