2007 — Day 67 - is it me, or is it warm in here?

A line used more than once by the divine Nancy Banks-Smith in her marvellous TV reviews for the Guardian whenever she's commenting on some particularly steamy episode of a soap or suchlike, and which will lead me nicely into my first topic du jour:

Remember Mr Postie popped the DVD of An inconvenient truth through the letterbox yesterday? Well, having been glued to it, and the 30-minute update on it late yesterday evening, all I can say really is that everyone should try to see this film, and/or visit its associated website. I have already donned an extra sweater, turned down the room thermostat, changed the boiler timer settings, and switched off all the A/V kit downstairs, apart from my beloved NPR feed (I've rigged up a separate power line just for that one satellite box).

Particularly fine, in the context of describing how various unqualified Bush-appointed White House officials had been editing scientific reports to introduce doubt and uncertainty where none really existed, is the Upton Sinclair quote: It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary is dependent on his not understanding it...

And this from the chap who used to be the next President of the highest per-capita energy consuming and pollution producing nation on the beleagured planet. The same nation that, alongside Australia (and no other), has failed to ratify the Kyoto agreement on climate change. (Any guesses?)

Cheering myself up again department

Having read today's Guardian headline: "Carry on flying, says Blair — science will save the planet" and having heard it reported by the BBC that the gentleman believes you cannot tackle climate change by damaging either the UK's economy or the world's economy I had to turn for lighter material to the Sticks and Stones department of amazing writing... Number #78 caught my watering eyes. It was submitted by Jim Hintzen in Phoenix, Arizona who added: "I have to submit this as the worst metaphor ever for the act of making love. Written by Robert K. Tanenbaum, in one of the Butch Karp novels (i.e., Enemy Within, Act of Revenge) ... I swear to God I'm not making this up. Robert must be a lonely man."

"And then he was fully socketed to her, like a pipe wrench in a crock of warm chili."

You can discover this, and similar gems, at "Thog's Masterclass".

Who killed science fiction?

Jolly good question. And there's a fascinating answer here by Earl Kemp. My first exposure to this fine gentleman occurred on 19th September 1970 (sorry for the possibly excessive detail) when I bought his book describing the proceedings of the 20th World SF convention in Chicago (in 1962). This could have been on one of my Wednesday afternoon (Polytechnic sports-dodging) excursions to London's Dark They Were & Golden-Eyed bookshop except for the minor detail that it was a Saturday.

9 January 2007