Pterry Psnippets #1

HogfatherAs a memorial to the loss of my favorite voice in fiction, I’ve been doing a Sir Terry Pratchett Discworld memorial read. I’d been planning to read the Witches novels again anyway, so I did that and then went on to read the Rincewind novels. Now I’m working my way through the rest in chronological order. I just finished Hogfather.

This time, as I go, I’m leaving tape flags behind to mark bits I especially liked and plan to share (and record) here. Part of what is so engaging about the Discworld novels is how intelligent and perceptive the writing is. Pratchett was a brilliant writer. After reading these books many times I’m still learning to appreciate his genius.

Today I thought I’d share some of those flagged bits with you.

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BB #45 – Jerky Jerks

If you live in the USA and watch TV, you’ve probably seen the “Messin’ with Sasquatch” commercials advertising Jack Links Beef Jerky.

Sasquatch 1

But have you ever really thought about the message behind these commercials?

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Plutonic Star Tar!

There comes a time when words fail, and all you can do is stare in amazement. The Friday press conference from the New Horizons team had that effect on many of us. (I’m not the only one who wept with sheer joy.)

Pluto haze

From behind the planet, the Sun illuminates Pluto’s 100 mi layer of haze.

They say pictures are worth thousands of words, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking (click on any image to go to the source)…

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Movies: Oddballs & Eyeballs

Bunraku-0As I’ve said many times, when it comes to storytelling: Take me someplace new! Last night I watched a rather unregarded movie, Bunraku (2010), and it delighted me by doing exactly that.

Now when I say “rather unregarded” what I mean is that both critics and audiences haven’t reacted at all well to it. It has a dismal 19% (critics) / 48% (audiences) rating on Rotten Tomatoes and only a 28 (out of 100) on Metacritic. That’s pretty unregarded. But I’m not sure they judged the movie on its own merits so much as against their own expectations.

It’s possible I’ve mellowed in my old age, but as far as I can tell, I’m still the same old highly critical SOB I’ve always been!

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BB #44 – Striking Things

BrainFireIt’s been ages since I posted any Brain Bubbles! That’s not for lack of my brain bubbling so much as various other “real world” (ha!) sharp pin bubble-popping things intruding. I thought it was high time I returned to effervescence!

There are some older bubbles queued up — they’ll surface eventually — but I was recently struck by a couple of brain bubbles recently (to the point of serious bemusement in one case and serious amusement in other).

Not feeling like a long post, so instead you get a pair of tiny bubbles!

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Pluto Presents!

Hot off the press! Check out Pluto’s first close up:

Pluto Surface 1

The young surface of Pluto (the planet)! [click for NASA source]

Those mountains are up to 11,000 feet high! And the surface looks to be roughly 100 million years old — extremely young compared to the four-and-a-half billion year age of the solar system (and not a crater in sight!).

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Pluto Surprises!

Recent careful analysis of the early images from Pluto have turned up results that are astonishing and yet, perhaps, not surprising:

Pluto dog

This explains a great deal…

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Pluto (the planet)!

Pluto 2015-07-13

Pluto… like no one has ever seen it before!

(At least no one on Earth!)

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Pluto, All Stars, & Twins

New HorizonsOh, my! I mentioned last time that the Minnesota Twins, after a surprisingly good month of May, cooled down big time in June. Fans held their breath wondering how far the team would fall from the height reached in May. Now, with June behind us and July well under way, we can start breathing normally again.

The Twins lost ground in June, but remained above the .500 mark (by five games!) by month’s end. But July seems to have brought an end to the ice-cold bats. The Twins are 8-4 in July as we begin the All-Star break.

But more importantly: It’s Pluto Day!

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Continuing Continuing

WP 4 Years!“Four score and seven…” (Ahem.) Excuse me, I meant… “Four years and seven (or more — it’s gotten hard to keep track) lifetimes ago, I brought forth upon this WordPress (dot com) a new blog, conceived in lunacy, and dedicated to the proposition that all blog readers would subscribe eventually.”

“Now I am engaged in a great deal of introspection, questioning whether that blog, or any blog so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. The truth is, the world will little note, nor long remember what I write here. It is for us the bloggers, rather, to be dedicated here to adding a few more drops to the ocean. Tiny cries of small critters in a very large wilderness.”

And at this point, I’m way off script[1]

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