Monthly Archives: September 2022

Who Can Play Who?

I was born in the Bronx and became a young man in Los Angeles, so I lived in racially mixed neighborhoods during my formative years. I’m aghast at the pain we cause over what are essentially paint jobs and accessories. It’s a vast and vital topic — a needed ongoing conversation. For now, suffice that “race” should never be the answer to any important question.

Such as the question of who can — as in “is allowed to” — have what acting roles in movies and TV shows. Specifically, the issue of “race swapping” in previously established roles. Complicating the matter is an asymmetry; swapping X for Y isn’t the same as swapping Y for X.

There is also the question of “gender swapping” and the “strong female character” in modern writing. We’ve forgotten Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor.

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Sci-Fi Saturday 9/24/22

The Sci-Fi Saturday posts lately have reported on books by Robert J. Sawyer, my new favorite science fiction author, or on books by Ben Bova, one of the notable stars in the SF firmament. A couple of posts recommended interesting movies (this one and that one).

This month I’ve been exploring other things. For instance, other parts of YouTube than I usually frequent (see yesterday’s post). Relevant here, other science fiction authors. (And maybe a TV show if there’s space.)

Today’s post reports on books by: Isaac Asimov, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, and James S. A. Corey.

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Friday Notes (Sep 23, 2022)

The older I get the more surprising it is to find myself in whatever MM/YY it happens to be. And a bit more surprised with each one that passes. 09/23. I did not expect to make it this far. Surprise!

Those with a weekly schedule know the rhythm of the days. (Rainy days and Mondays. Hump day. TGIF!) The months have a rhythm, too, and September was always a pivotal beat for me. The Autumnal Equinox — the portal into fall (my favorite season).

This particular September has been interesting enough to distract me from winter’s dark approach and to call for yet another edition of Friday Notes.

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Sideband #76: Fun with Op Amps

Last November I posted about electronics “shortcuts” — rules of thumb that help interpret, even design, a circuit. These are approximations of more complex behavior but work well enough for a first cut at understanding a circuit.

Do not confuse these electronics shortcuts, which are generally good, with electronic short-circuits, which are almost always bad. While both offer shorter paths, that’s not a good thing in the latter case. Sometimes the journey is the only reward.

I intended to continue with op amps but kept putting it off. There are other Sidebands pending, though, so it’s time to drop the other shoe.

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Lee Child on Jack Reacher

Lee Child (James Grant)
[from Wikimedia Commons]

The last three Mystery Monday posts have all mentioned the Jack Reacher books by Lee Child. I’ve really taken to the character and his stories since I met him in the first Tom Cruise movie. (Which is actually the second-worst way to meet Reacher. The worst is the second movie, and even that’s not awful.)

Last week I stumbled across the Mysterious Profiles series published by Mysterious Press (founded by Otto Penzler, owner of The Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan). Each volume is a short essay by a mystery author. Based on the titles and the one I read, they’re about how the author conceived and built their series character.

The one I read was by Lee Child about Jack Reacher.

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