…in Pog form:
Hey-hey, all my Best Belovéd:
Just a quick heads-up that Chapter 8 of my novella Expiration Date is now available free online (as are the discussion questions, the Ann Arbor District Library Summer Games points and badges—all that).
This chapter brings us a chemical event, a reunion, a revelation, Bram’s magic chopstick (of limited utility), and something mysterious high in the sky. Come grab your copy of Chapter 8 now!
And please spread the word: If you know someone who might dig this, drop them a link. Thx!
This is a commercial/charitable fundraising situation. The Humble Bundle folks and No Starch Press have bundled together a bunch of awesome books. Pay as little as $1 to get a few, $8 to get a bunch, and $15 to get them all. If you go in at the $15 level, you get ~$300 in books (all digital, all in multiple formats, all totally DRM-free, so you can read them however and wherever you like). It’s a really awesome deal (I bought plenty of Humble Bundles way before I ever was part of one—and, I’ll be straight with you: Being part of one as an author is a really big boon for me, too; my last Humble Bundle put an additional 30,000 copies of my book in front of eager makers, and helped me make enough money to stay afloat that year).
Even if you only drop a buck for the first five books, you’re getting some great stuff—Medieval LEGO is fun, the Scratch book is solid, and my son loved Lauren Ipsum (which is sort of a modern computer-science take on Phantom Tollbooth; he’s easily read it a half dozen times). Moving up to the $8 tier doesn’t just get you my book (which regularly sets you back ~$20), but also two of my favorite intro programming books (I learned Python from Teach Your Kids to Code, and Scratch Programming Playground is what taught my kid to code) and a really great manga book that’ll explain electricity to anyone. And, of course, going whole hog just piles on the awesomeness (again, I’m especially pleased to see a couple DIY hands-on electronics books here, especially since Arduino has gotten so dirt-cheap to get into). Every purchase doesn’t just benefit my publisher and me, but also Teach for America.
… and, SPOILER ALERT: the *FAKE NEWS!1!!*, “ghost SWATs” and Boltzmann brains have arrived!
Chapter 7 is here, as is every every previous chapter—free online and downloadable as PDFs, courtesy of the fine folks at Arbor Teas (who’ve also furnished discussion questions for book groups and connected with the Ann Abror District Library for special Summer Games points and badges.
Also, I’ll be doing a little Q&A here once the final chapter of Expiration Date drops, so if you have questions, please feel free to drop me a line.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to post an update from our man in
Brussels, Arthur Lacomme. As you’ll recall he and his pals built some frikkin’ awesome! costumes/instruments/noisetoys for the Carnaval Sauvage de Bruxelles. You can see more pics and vid on Arthur’s website.
I love a lot of things about both this Carnaval Sauvage de Bruxelles thang and Arthur’s contribution to it, bot most of all I love their costumes. When I was very little my mother was a docent at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and so my earliest memories are of that museum, and especially their collections of Native American and African ritual art and “material culture.” I’ve always loved the dance costumes they have in their collection (similar to those shown below, which are in the AIC), and the dances that went with them, which were exuberant and otherworldly to me (much like the sounds that I like to dig out of unsuspecting electronics).
Arthur also pointed me to a few of his fellow Brusselers (Brusselman? Brusselsprouts?) similarly pushing out into the fringes of the Good Noise. I’m loving this!
Here’s Why the Eye:
and this is Hoquets:
PRO-TIP: Get both of these vids playing simultaneously in separate windows on your computer; the sounds layer-up in a fun way.
The good news is that there are plenty of signs that there is finally some bipartisan appetite to roll back the unhealthy post-9/11 ballooning of Executive power in the federal government (a less noted, but more significant, example is explained here and here).
But our specific current PotUS needs some specific, itemized reigning in. Here are two legislative items (the first a House Resolution, the second an actual bill) that aim to do just that. Both could use more cosponsors—and could likely get them from either side of the aisle right now.
- H.Res.456 – Objecting to the conduct of the President of the United States (the name kinda says it all on this one)
- H.R.3228 – Free Press Act of 2017: “To require the President to provide frequent press briefings covering the official business of the President to the White House press corps.”
In light of the President allegedly drafting his son’s fake excuses for meeting privately with foreign agents to coordinate with smearing a political opponent and, prior to that, his alleged involvement in coordinating with Fox News to produce a Fake News story smearing that same opponent, compounded by the President’s ongoing public (not at all alleged—’cause we all saw him doing the public parts, and confessing to the private parts in newspaper interviews) attempts to channel, limit, and outright detail the FBI investigation into his coordination with Russian agents to smear and defeat his opponent, these two legislative items are just about the least congress can do right now.
So call your reps and ask them to do them—or, at the very least, call them and tell them what you think about what’s going on. Today, during your lunch break or on your commute or whatever. It literally takes under five minutes; you can just call, say you’re a constituent, and ask:
“Is Rep. So-and-So cosponsoring H.Res.456 and H.R.3228, which seek to hold the President accountable for questionable actions and force him to regularly communicate productively with the press?”
If so, then thank them for their work. If not, then thank them for their work and reiterate that you really, really think your rep should be cosponsoring these items.
Now go! Hit the phones!
This is an easy one: the budget currently under consideration cuts the Environmental Protection Agency’a funding by ~30%. Right now the EPA has one (1!) toxicologist serving the six-state region that includes Michigan (where we just had an enormous lead-tainted-public-drinking-water problem). That’s down from four toxicologists a few years back—and even with 4x the staff they were overburdened.
It simply isn’t possible to assure safe air and water with the EPA running at two-thirds power—and if we want to increase domestic manufacturing, then we’re going to need to be even more diligent than we are today. Call yr reps and urge them to push for full funding of the EPA.
… and it’s got a humdinger of a hook at the end! I don’t want to ALERT your SPOILERS, but Columbus, Ohio is gonna have issues, folks. Serious, serious issues. Just sayin’!
You can read this chapter—and every one that preceded, and every one that follows—for free online, courtesy of our dope-fly pals at Arbor Teas. If you’re down with book groups, Arbor Teas is even furnishing discussion questions. If you’re an Ann Arborite, you can earn special EXPIRATION DATE points and badges in the Summer Games!
The good folks at Arbor Teas have now released the first fifth chapter of my latest novella, Expiration Date. (All current chapters are available for free online in both a lovely web versions and nice, tidy PDFs, perfect for offline, ebook, and tablet reading—click on the chapter’s “Print” button to open and save that PDF).
What’s more, the good folks at the Ann Arbor District Library have included Expiration Date in this year’s Summer Games: You can earn points and badges by sussing out clues found in each chapter (scroll down to the “Expiration Date” section of the badge list to get started).
We have four chapters to go, oh my Best Beloved—and, trust me, you have no frikkin’ clue where this one is going (but, SPOILER ALERT!: Bram and Lizzie do indeed die on October 10, 2017, around 8am.)
BONUS: Wanna know more about how the sausage gets made? You can check out this interview with Gabie at Tea End blog.
If the man who said this had never amounted to anything more than the local pay-toilet impresario, I’d still be appalled that someone with so little appreciation for the rudemnts of American politics had risen to such a station.
“I’m not going to own it”? Pathetic.
Meritocracy? Fuck meritocracy.