Sunday, March 30, 2008


James Bond as Fantasy Hero

One of the challenges when defining what 'counts' in a science fiction and fantasy convention like CONvergence is that there's stuff that you think should count, but it sometimes is a bit difficult to get there at first glance.

James Bond is one of those franchises. It's one of those things that I know that I want to include -- but it's not obviously Science Fiction or Fantasy in the conventional sense.

So it is interesting to read an article about how James Bond is a fantasy character -- which is different from the usual handwaving that I and other people would give about how all of James Bond's gadgets push him into a high tech science fiction.

Very interesting little article.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


CONvergence Call For Panelists

I'm no longer CONvergence programming head - and they won't formally report to me until 2009 when I take over as Events Director, but this year's list of CONvergence Panels is now available. With the larger scope of this year's convention it's especially a good chance for people to sign up and participate in panels -- the one thing about a convention like CONvergence is that in order for a programming item to happen we need participation.

There are a lot of excellent ideas out there this year -- I certainly encourage checking it out and emailing programming for panels that you want to participate in.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


A More Perfect Union

I'm very pleased with how Sen. Obama handles the issue that is really just underneath his whole campaign -- and it hits me as a direct, sophisticated, and honest approach to the issues of race in this country. I'm as hopeful as ever that he can make it through this campaign as we look towards making our country better.

(full text here)

Of course, in the less serious fashion, it is fun to know that the Obamas have been watching Heroes on the campaign trail as well. One of the things that I enjoy about Science Fiction fandom -- and why it is important to me that MISFITS takes its non profit status seriously is that while at times it's not *the most* diverse population around, it is also more diverse than many communities of choice that I've experienced -- we don't all share the same racial background, or religious background, or political background, or economic background -- but we can all work for common cause by choice. It may be "just for fun" -- but really, the pursuit of happiness is a good goal.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008



If you're waiting for Jonathan Coulton to return to the Twin Cities on May 1st, you can keep an eye for him here...

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Sunday, March 09, 2008


Gary Gygax created the world

I recommend the New York Times tribute to Gary Gygax -- as many of these things are, it says what I wish I had said myself.

Very good stuff.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008


Lost Again

I'm really enjoying this season of Lost. I know that some people find the never-ending mysteries of the series frustrating -- but I think that is part of the fun.

It is amazing that a series over three series has been able to avoid explaining even some of the most basic rules of the universe that it is in. It is obvious that it is some sort of fantastical premise -- but it is not clear whether it is a science fiction or fantasy series, or "how much" of either of those it is. It is not always clear who the good guys are and who the bad guys are -- and certainly people do bad things for good reasons, and may do good things for bad reasons.

But despite being so vague about the rules -- I rarely feel that this is a show that "cheats" -- it seems to be consistently playing by the rules that they've set out. Even though we don't really know what those rules are.

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Friday, March 07, 2008


Too early for lawn mowing?

It's too expensive at this point in time -- but I am still very interested in this solar lawnmower and am very excited.

Though I'll admit that sometimes mowing the yard is one way to make sure I exercise...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The Geek Gods

Every now and then one will get into one of those late night convention or web forum discussion about the people that everyone on the slightly geeky side look up to.

In every one of those discussions, Gary Gygax would end up as one of those names on the list, no matter how much or how little role playing games you actually did. If you're in this sort of subculture -- Gary Gygax had an influence that reached beyond just the hard core gaming community.

So his legacy is there -- even if you, like me, haven't role played in a very long time.

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Monday, March 03, 2008


Do the Math

I'm enjoying CNN's Delegate counter game which lets you work out how the delegate scores have to break for each candidate to win, and let you analyze the campaign. Pretty neat.


Sunday, March 02, 2008


Messing with Texas

I know that there has been a lot of ink about how confusing Texas's Texas Two-Step Primary and Caucus system is -- but I've got to admit I like it.

I agonized a little about my problems with Minnesota's caucus system -- but I also recognize that there are some virtues to the caucus system, and I'd hate to have a rush to eliminate the good part of it.

One of the challenges we have is that we don't ever really have a system where one person equals one vote -- a person in a larger state, after all, will have less impact in the senate. Congressional districts don't all have the same amount of voting participation, even if they're about the same size in population.

It may be a bit nerve wracking to have something as close as this presidential nominating process be impacted by the rules in a state like this -- but one of the things that is often true, especially when you have a very large voting population -- is that the rules tend to dictate the winner just because you're always going to have some error in the election result.

So sometimes, when it is close enough that a coin flip might as well decide it -- it's going to be the team that has the rules that will decide it. Sometimes, that'll be frustrating (like it was in 2000) -- but that's really almost inevitable at times.


Saturday, March 01, 2008


The real campaign, however

is for Harvey Dent as District Attorney.

He might be a little two-faced for me though....


Impressive Political Response

One of the good things about a healthy primary season is to see how well the political organizations respond to each other. One of the challenges is that primary battles aren't quite the same battles that you see in a general election -- one thing that was very noticable when you compared Republican and Democratic debates from earlier this year was that there were times where it looked like the two parties weren't even on the same planet, as the subjects and tone of the debates were often very, very different.

So when the Clinton campaign has an ad (that could very well be an ad that John McCain would run in the general election) like this:

It's nice to see the Obama campaign counter it with an ad like this in a matter of hours:

If Obama is the eventual nominee, I think he's going to be a better general election candidate because of his campaign's experiences in the primary season.


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