Thought for the Day

Her lips were red, her looks were free, 
Her locks were yellow as gold: 
Her skin was as white as leprosy, 
The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she, 
Who thicks man’s blood with cold. 

— “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I got into a long conversation about silverware while I was in Portugal last week. When you were growing up, did you learn the way to set your silverware on the plate to indicate that you were done or indicate that you were still eating?

Nothing But Blue Skies

I still like and prefer Mastodon, but I accept that there are segments of the communities that I follow that never migrated. So I’m giving BlueSky a try.

Beyond Videodrome

I mentioned, the other day, doing a live stream as part of the Continuing Conversations 100th anniversary special. I think I even squee’d on Mastodon about sharing a screen with Dr. Erin. Anyway, the full video is now available. Full of RPG nerding.

Icon-Filled Self-Promotion

I’m doing a livestream for a Star Trek Adventures Podcast/Videocast today.

🌌 🌟 Join Me for Continuing Conversations 100th Episode Extravaganza 🌟 🌌

🖖 Attention all Star Trek Enthusiasts! We are ecstatic to beam you up for a spectacular celebration of all things Star Trek Adventures RPG as we commemorate their 100th episode! 🚀

 📅 When? October 7, 2023 
⏰ Time? 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST 
📺 Where? Live-streamed on Twitch at Studio Tembo

🌠 Event Highlights:

  • 🌟 Stellar Guest Lineup: Join industry leaders Jim Johnson, Thomas Marrone (Star Trek Online), Aaron Pollyea , Nathan Dowdell , Michael Dismuke, and freelance writer Al Spader!
  • 📚 Literary Contributions: From acclaimed Star Trek writers like Dayton Ward, Scott Pearson, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Derek Tyler Attico, author of the much-anticipated ‘The Autobiography of Captain Sisko’!
  • 🧪 Expert Wisdom: Star Trek science advisor Dr. Erin McDonald and STA character creator manager B.C. Holmes will share their expert insights!
  • 🎥 Special Appearance: By Star Trek Adventures YouTube sensation Bill Barbato!

🎉 Major Giveaways:Dive into the chance to win PDFs, hard copy collector editions, novels, and more! Answer our Star Trek-related trivia questions correctly in our LIVE chat first, and the prize is yours!

🎁 How to Win:Be the first viewer to type the correct answer in the chat and bag the prize!

Produced by Studio Tembo, this interstellar event promises a feast for every Star Trek lover! So ready your Star Trek knowledge, invite your fellow Trekkies, and let’s traverse the stars in the universe of Star Trek Adventures together! 🌟🌌🛸

Mark the date, engage with us at warp speed, and let’s boldly go where no fan has gone before! #StarTrekAdventures #ContinuingConversations #100thEpisodeExtravaganza #StarTrekFan #LiveLongAndProsper

Second Post

This is a second attempt at playing with WordPress -> Mastodon stuff.

One Social Media Platform to Rule Them All

I’m trying out a plugin to propagate my posts from WordPress to Mastodon. Not sure if I’ll want to always do this, but I thought it’d be interesting to have that option.

I didn’t like the default template. Will this update?

Thought for the Day

The committee examined five areas of relative deficiency that are likely contributing to the U.S. health disadvantage: (1) unhealthy behaviors, such as our diets and use of firearms;(2) inadequate health care and public health systems; (3) poor socioeconomic conditions; (4) unhealthy and unsafe environments; and (5) deficient public policies. The last category especially exerts a powerful influence on the other domains — and helps explain why other advanced democracies are outperforming the United States on almost every measure of health and well-being.

“American life expectancy is dropping — and it’s not all covid’s fault”, Washington Post

Dis Agreement

I was thinking, recently, about a topic that I recall being discussed in the old Usenet days: that the dominant social mode, for in-person conversation, is to agree. Either through direct statements, or through body language or other verbalizations. And that when discussing things online, there’s a stronger bent toward disagreement. If you agree with what someone else has said online, there’s no need to add anything; you’d only reply if you quibble with something or outright don’t accept an assertion.

I remember folks saying that a lot of people interpreted Usenet forums as “hostile” because they expected the same sort of social norms as in-person conversation: that they could say things and mostly expect to hear agreement, and instead being confronted with people’s critiques. I feel like I haven’t seen that kind of analysis out of all the “the world is more polarized than ever” thinkpieces that keep popping up.

The Internet is a different place, now, what with weaponized hate engagement and all that. But it felt useful to recall that discussion.

2022 in TV

Okay. Now let’s do TV shows. There were a lot of good shows this year, but after several years of The Expanse being something that I adored, I feel like none of these shows really fit the bill. And it’s true that I could keep The Expanse in the list, as its last episodes aired this year, I mentally think of it as something from last year.

Anyway, here are my top five TV shows and a handful of also-rans.

Number 5: Yellowjackets. My friend, kalmn, categorized this, approvingly, as “grim, grim, grim and also lesbians.” And, yeah, that’s probably not inaccurate. Yellowjackets is a show that takes place in two time periods. In “the past” — the mid-90s — an airplane carrying a team of high school sportsball players (“Yellowjackets” is the team name) crashes. We learn (in scenes set in the present) that the kids were stuck in the wilderness for 19 months, and we know from the creepy opening scene that things go bad and there’s ritualistic cannibalism. But beyond that opening scene, we mostly don’t see the past storyline being too horrible (just horrible enough). In “the present” — essentially the current day — we follow four of the survivors, now adults. We’re clued in pretty early that although they were eventually rescued, they mutually agreed to a somewhat light-on-details story of how they managed to survive. One of the survivors is Misty, played by Christina Ricci, who is upbeat, cheerful, super resourceful but also clearly a sociopath. And as much as the other three adult survivors want nothing to do with Misty, Misty is not the sort of person who doesn’t get her way. Through the first season, we get to see the slow devolution of the community of high school students stuck in the wilderness. By the end, things are becoming bad but it hasn’t gone too far off the rails. But, like I say, we’ve had a peek at how bad it ultimately becomes. In the present, we’re seeing that none of the adult survivors are in a good place either. And there are lots of other characters from the past that we don’t know anything about: did they survive? Did they get eaten? It’s similar to the Amazon Prime series, The Wilds, but I enjoyed Yellowjackets a lot more.

Poster for Yellowjackets
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