tablesaw: Ration Hornblower, from the cast of Smile Time, peeks his horn nose out at you. (Ratio Hornblower)
So this week didn't work out so well.

After an initial flurry of activity filing for unemployment insurance and sending a few e-mails to staffing agencies, I fell into a funk of avoidance, leading to a mini freak out on Thursday. I talked with friends and family who reminded me that it's ok to be freaked out about being unemployed for the first time in over a decade, and that a few days of not doing anything productive is fine.

I'm going to try to set myself onto a daily working schedule come Monday. While it's nice to sleep in until 11 or noon, I'm not actually productive when I stay up late. Once it nears sunset, I start feeling like my work day is over, and I stop doing other things. I think that forcing myself to at least be awake by nine every morning will add a few hours to my "working" day, at the very least. More measures will probably be forthcoming.

I did manage to do a lot of nonproductive things, though. I entered a local crossword puzzle tournament and participated in a sudoku contest at Logic Masters India. boardgaming night (played Roll Through the Ages), role-playing-game night (beta-testing a game by Josh Robern), a party to read and mock Fifty Shades of Grey as a group, and an NPL party. And in addition to that, I saw a bunch of friends at different times. I joined the site Quora despite its "real names" policy, by hacking together a form of pseudonymity out of its nascent system. And I sauteed chicked without freaking out.

Starting Monday, I'm going to add DW to my list of daily things to do. For reals.
tablesaw: An indigenous American crucified on a cross crowned by a bald eagle. In the background stands a Mesoamerican temple. (América Tropical)
I used to do reviews of the Escape Artists podcasts. Maybe I should do that again. Recently, I've been meaning to post more, but the days slip by without me even noticing I haven't posted again. (On the other hand, my exercise is staying fairly regular, despite wisdom-tooth disruptions, so that's good.) But I really wanted to talk about one particular Podcastle episode I listened to last week. So I'll preface by saying that on the whole, the quality's been good from the shows that I was listening to (though I listen anywhere from a month to a year behind release, usually).

The story I was listening to on Monday was Podcastle 156, "Household Spirits" by C.S.E. Cooney (full text available at Strange Horizons, where it was originally published. I stopped listening halfway through.

Skipping episodes is actually common for me—due to audio issues, substandard performance, or stories that are simply not my cup of tea—not usually anything to remark upon. With "Household Spirits," though, I had to turn it off because of the relentless parade of tropes forwarding racism against Amerindians.

As I was listening to this story, I felt like I was ticking off a checklist, or filling in a bingo card, about how to use harmful racist imagery to not!Amerindians in science-fiction. I spent a while looking for such a checklist. I mean, there's got to be one, surely, what with Avatar, and all that. The best thing I could find actually wasn't related to speculative fiction, but was simply the criteria from How to Tell the Difference: A Guide for Evaluating Children's Books for Anti-Indian Bias by Doris Seale, Beverly Slapin and Rosemary Gonzales, published online at

Let's take one section:
In these hills called Seven Quails by the Kilquuts, back in those days there still was Kilquuts. Our ghost don't talk much. When he does, it's to Jessemee.

I shouldn't say ghost. Jessemee says the better word (just like you with your better words) is genius or numen. I've heard other words too, by other settlers. Ghoulog. Scabby. Shadekin.

Got to tell you, Del, to me it just looks like a boy.

His name, so far as I can coax one, is Mimo.

I know I got that wrong. There are other sounds in between the ones I can hear, but that's close enough for letter writing. Mimo looks a bit like this old Kilquut farmhouse we bought sight unseen. Skinny and leaning, with dirt on it so thick I don't reckon a bunch of bachelors like us'll ever get it scrubbed clean.
What can we check off?
  • Are Native peoples portrayed as . . . simple tribal people, now extinct?
  • Are there insulting overtones to the language in the book? Are racist adjectives used to refer to Indian peoples?
  • Are Native cultures presented in a condescending manner? Are there paternalistic distinctions between "them" and "us"?
  • Are Native peoples discussed in the past tense only, supporting the "vanished Indian" myth? Is the past unconnected to the present?
Or how about this:
About ten years ago, the Kilquut elders had a sit-down at their meetinghouse (big ramble of a place the Gladstones have overrun), and said, They're coming. We can't fight them. We can't become them. We can't leave.

The Kilquut argument, what Jess calls "their focal tenet" (which puts me in mind of you, Del, and those radical ideas you call religion), is that it's always better to die than kill. Easy way to wipe out your species, I say. I told you that before.

So the Kilquuts gathered themselves in a valley. All but the young'uns, who the elders hoped might grow up with no memory of how things'd been. Then the Kilquuts spoke some words they all knew, and the green lightning came down and killed them. The sky opened and poured a month straight, filling up that valley of the dead.
In addition to some things we've already checked off:
  • Are Native Nations presented as being responsible for their own "disappearance?"
  • Does the story encourage children to believe that Native peoples accepted defeats passively?
Continuing on:
After making sure Mimo was okay and not puking anymore, he went outside and cut a switch, then came back in and explained to Mimo, let's see if I can remember the words . . .

"Son, those arrows weren't rightly yours to . . . to . . ." Dad pointed at the green fire but couldn't say burn. "And someday, Mimo, maybe not tomorrow, but someday in the future, if I don't show you right now how it's wrong to break other people's things, it'll go bad for you."
Let's check off:
  • In modern times, are Indian people portrayed as childlike and helpless? Does a white authority figure – pastor, social worker, teacher- know better than Native people themselves what is "good for them?"
And this is just in the first half of the story before I turned it off. And it's not even all that was in the part I listened to. And Oyate doesn't have anything on their list about being magical.

It's not a new idea that there's a problem with speculative fiction writers who attempt to "subvert" or otherwise "neutralize" racist tropes by using their authorial control to make those tropes literally true in their world. So the Navi are literally connected to the earth. Patricia Wrede writes about pre-Columbian Americas that are literally "empty of people but full of dangerous animals, many of them magical." The beings that South Africa are subjecting to apartheid are literally insects. This is not subversion; this is entrenchment.

Finally, there's a general criterion on the Oyate list:
  • Is there anything in the story that would embarrass or hurt a Native child?
It's a question best answered by [personal profile] moniquill:

They hurt PEOPLE LIKE ME. The especially hurt CHILDEN LIKE ME. They hurt me because they are part of a cultural narrative that erases the reality of my existence. That claims that This is what NDNs were and Now they Are Gone isn't it Sad? But if our good readers had been there, OH IF ONLY THEY HAD BEEN THERE, they would have been some of the Good White People and would have Joined The Natives. Yes they would. Which neatly absolves them from having to think about the fact that their ancestors didn't and the lasting ramifications that has on native people living today. Everyone weeps cathartic tears and insists that they'd have helped the Na'vi fight to keep out the unobtamium miners, but precious few of them then go home and help the REAL FUCKING LIVE Dineh (Navajo, to those playing the white name game) fight the uranium miners TODAY in the REAL WORLD. And why should they? The story already absolved them.
Moniquill wrote this and much more because I bugged her about this story before I wrote up this post. As a result, she wrote a far more amazing response than I could hope to come up with, from which I took the above quote. She also subjected herself to the entire story, so if you want to get a taste of even worse things in the story (and even I was shocked at some of he quotes from later in the story), she's your person.
tablesaw: A redshirt says, "I'm just here to pay off my Academy loans anyway." (Academy Loans)
Your book is called "Nerd Do Well." Is there anything out there that's too nerdy even for you? Have you ever met somebody who's in some culture or subculture so weird you're like "oh my god, that's just too strange?"

Babylon 5.
—"Actor Simon Pegg Plays 'Not My Job'," Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me, June 18, 2011.
tablesaw: Machete reveals his personal armory. "They just fucked with the wrong Mexican." (Wrong Mexican)
My ire was raised today reading [personal profile] kate_nepveu's writeup of her Arisia experience, specifically being on the panel of "Idols with Feet of Clay."

But specifically, I want to address one particular argumentative tack, seen in Ian Randal Strock's own recounting of the con and the panel:
On the programming side, I was on five panels (I was scheduled for two more, but missed them due to traffic). The most lively was the first, "Idols with Feet of Clay". It was a discussion of the question: "Can you still read the works of someone with whom you are on opposite sides politically?" The panel write-up specifically mentioned James P. Hogan's Holocaust denial and Orson Scott Card's opposition to homosexuality. Of the five panelists, I was the only one who said one ought to be able to divorce the art from the artist, and read the fiction regardless of one's view of the writer.
(Emphasis mine.) The phrase "divorce [or separate] the art from the artist [or vice versa]" is pretty key in these debates, and it is singled out on both sides of the debate. For example, [personal profile] nojojojo responds
Naturally he would be shocked, shocked I tell you, that people who are harmed by bigotry might not be able to divorce art from its artist, or "artistic" bigotry from its real, dangerous effect on the zeitgeist and law.
Nojojojo also links to an old post by [personal profile] catvalente which sarcastically says:
Oh, but it should be about the art, shouldn't it? We should separate the art from the artist.
But here's the thing: I think the phrase is a smokescreen.

I mean, when I think of "The Death of the Author," I'm thinking of an outlook that is designed to fundamentally empower readers over authors. So when it comes to, as Yuki_Onna calls it, fuckmuppetry, why is this pulled out as a defense of authors?

Clearly, these writers aren't referencing the same theory I'm thinking of. In fact, they're calling back to New Criticism. New Criticism also plays with the idea of the Intentional Fallacy, but it couples this with the Affective Fallacy, which says that an individual's reader's impressions have no place in interpreting art. Thus interpretation of art is decoupled from both the author and the reader (and history and a whole host of other things) so that it can just be capital-A Art.

And thus the sleight of hand. When writers like Strock call for everyone to divorce the art from the artist, they're actually calling for everyone to divorce the reader from the art.

Now, one can argue that this is appropriate when constructing formal criticism (though, be careful if you do so here, because there are some pretty heavey hitters reading). But the real problem is that the context of all of these previous statements—and of various other discussions regarding social justice issues and author fuckmuppetry—is not of criticism but of reading. The actual physical act of reading, and of the concommitant decisions of what books to buy or request. Reading is not a context from which one can divorce the reader.

And so this is why I'm officially calling bullshit on the "separate the art from the artist" line in these discussions. And I call for others who agree with me to not buy into the framing of our opponents, and call this tactic what it really is: separating the reader from reading.

Am I being unfair to Strock in particular in this analysis? I don't think so. From later in Kate Nepveu's report:
And then—well, I'm pretty sure I didn't actually shout this time. But Strock said something about sensitivity training and how it's supposed to keep people from saying offensive things, and he thinks that maybe we should having training in how not to be offended at things people say, because it just gives the speaker the power to upset you, so why not just ignore it, why get upset.
I mean, this is just the logical extension of divorcing the reader from the reading—divorcing the listener from the listening. I mean, surely, there must be some sort of instruction that may be given such that, in communication, one may receive the communication without reacting to it. That's how the brain works, after all.
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
Hey, let's restart the inventory. I've been putting this off, but can't for much longer. You see, last season, Hulu kept five shows on backlog, and so I would write these to catch up with the episodes disappearing from the cite. But the new season is coming, so Hulu's about to take them down, so I've got to finish this off fast.

Let's see, how did this work . . .

An explanation of 'Full Inventory' )
Anyway, last time I promised to "look at the word missing from my icon and grapple with a form of oppression that I'm not very good with." If you look at the icon, and compare it to my inventory of the pilot, you'll see that there's a word missing: crazy. In between writing that post and making the icon, I read a post discussing the word and its relation to persons with disabilities. Don't remember what it was, but this similar post just popped up on FWD, so that's helpful.

But another issue, the one that resonated when I watched this episode, was the way that "crazy" becomes an umbrella term that labels all persons with any type of mental disability as dangerous.
Lewis Caroll's Alice . . . was as mad as a hatter. And Charles Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Caroll, was not writing books, he was chronicling this young woman's descent into a sociopathic madness in all of his books. He didn't write these books, these are warehouse fabrications.
It's not uncommon to read the Alice stories as referring to the view of a person with a mental disability, but that view doesn't correspond in any way with the Alice portrayed in the episode, except under the umbrella concepts of being "crazy," "mad," and "insane" to link one form of mental disability to another and then to criminality.

So, what about the stuffs:

Artifact: Studio 54 Disco Ball
What does it do? It represents "trapped desires refracted by light, sound, sex, mind-altering drugs into a disco ball." In the Warehouse, it reflects light in a sparkling pattern and plays "I Will Survive" (though the online version didn't get the rights to the song). In the wild, it "projects yearning and craving. . . . It imparts a grim stampeding inhumanity against anything decent."
Is it in any way accurate? A bit fanciful, but nothing out of the ordinary. One special note, though: as a stinger to the episode, Arite revelas that Steven Rubell, who was one of the co-founders of Studio 54, he considered calling his club "Wonderland." (We'll get to why that's apropos.) When I heard that, it had an urban legend too-good-to-verify feel to it. So of course I tried to verify it. I expected to find it everywhere, because it's that kind of interesting trivia, but instead it was nowhere. Apparently this factoid was made of whole cloth. If it spreads, remember that this is where it started.
Does it belong in America's Attic? Studio 54 was definitely in the United States.

Artifact: Chip from the Jubilee Grand
What does it do? Allows the holder to see for a brief period into the future. The experience is probably addictive, and repeated use causes burn damage to the holder.
Is it in any way accurate? The Jubilee Grand is a completely fictitious casino, but the Warehouse 13 wiki (which has bulked up a bit since I last wrote these) suggests that it's a reference to the fire at the MGM Grand Casino.
Does it belong in America's Attic? Nothing about the fictitious history suggests otherwise.

Artifact: Lewis Caroll's Looking-Glass
What does it—wait didn't we do this one already? Yes, we did. During the Full Inventory of "Resonance."
What . . . did it do? It allows a person to interact with a "double" of some sort, and lets objects pass through to the other side. This is useful for playing table tennis without a partner.
And now what does it do? It . . . I don't even know. The spirit of Alice Liddel is trapped inside it for some reason that is apparently not related to her knowing Caroll as a child. And when there's multiple mirrors, it can escape into the body of someone else, which gets trapped in the mirror.
Is it in any—what? I know, right? There's just nothing cohesive about it.
Seriously. But is it in any way accurate? Who even knows anymore?
Does it belong in America's Attic? Despite having been ripped to shreads narratively, I'm still going to go with the previous conclusion of no.
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
An explanation of 'Full Inventory' )
When I first saw the previews for "Implosion" I was really excited. The featured line of dialogue was teasing that the Warehouse had "competition," the artifact in question was a Japanese sword, and I got the slight impression that the mysterious competitor attacking Myka and Pete with another Tesla might have been Asian. "Aha!" I thought, "perhaps Japan will be another nation with a Warehouse 13–like initiative. That could do a little bit to relieve the Americentrism of the show's concept."

It could. But it won't.

I'm not going to go into spoilery detail about the fucked-uppedness of what happened in the show, but here's a bit of casting news. Dennis Akayama, the Asian-Canadian actor featured in this week's episode, will not appear again, while the Welshman that married Kirstie Alley on Cheers will have a recurring role.

So, status quo it shall be.

This week's show spoilers are separated by an open letter . . . )
Dear Warehouse 13:

While it's odd for a geeky show such as yours to have so few people unable to spend a few minutes researching on the Internet, I understand that's mostly par for the course. However, your show seems to have a desperate need for someone who can do basic arithmetic. I graciously offer my services as someone with decades of experience subtracting numbers accurately. I will, of course, expect an exorbitant consulting fee.

. . . followed by more discussion of the show mimicking the history it denies. )

As a final note, it only just occurred to me, in thinking about this episode, that "samurai sword" is something said in English, but "knight sword" is not.

Next week: I look at the word missing from my icon and grapple with a form of oppression that I'm not very good with.

Also, Gloria Gaynor.
tablesaw: Gaff, from <cite>Blade Runner</cite> (Gaff)
The links keep on coming. For those confused by my recent failk, here's an executive survey of "PervySurveyFail" (so dubbed by someone [ profile] ithiliana can't remember).

Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam have landed a lucrative book contract (publishing grapevine says US$250,000); as part of that project, they designed a survey to find out more about slash and fandom. The survey, their handling of it, their interaction with fans and critics has been both stupid and offensive in multiple ways.

There are, essentially, two lines of outrage in this whole thing. There's the political outrage at the horribly sexist, heteronormative, transphobic attitudes of Ogas and Gaddam in their survey and their interactions. And there's the outrage about the horribly bad science—the lack of clear methodology, patently biased questions, an ignorance of previous research in the area, etc.

The political outrage has played out in form much like other BlankFails. Which is not to say, again, that it is unimportant or uninteresting. [ profile] rm has pointed out some very good threads about the harmful assumptions Ogas and Gaddam have been making about transsexuals and people who otherwise fall outside of the male/female sex/gender binary. Earlier today, Ogas and Gaddam (apparently in response to objections to their construction of "transsexual" in their work and the use of the word "tranny" in discussions) "corrected" their FAQ to replace "transsexual" with "shemale."

As [ profile] rm said, "You have not yet begun to see wrath, although the cat macros are now out to play." And in apparent response to the escalation of failout, Ogas has now locked all of the posts that were originally intended for feedback and discussion of the project (thus rendering over a thousand comments invisible).

But because of the ostensibly scientific and academic roots of the survey and the project, many fans who are also academics soon began taking issue with the incredibly shoddy "research" being conducted. Objections were raised that there was no control preventing minors from participating, there did not seem to be adequate safeguards protecting respondents, that questions were being changed while the survey was still continuing. (Sadly, most of these discussions that I know about them are currently unavailable, because they were made in Ogas's journal.)

Eventually, the Institutional Review Board of Boston University was reached. (Ogas identified himself as "a cognitive neuroscientist at Boston University" in his initial approach to [personal profile] eruthros.) The IRB is responsible for maintaining ethical standards when researching human subjects (including when that research involves social, not medical, science). In the words of [ profile] deadlychameleon, they responded that Ogas "is no longer in any way affiliated with Boston University, except as a recent graduate. They have asked him to stop using his official Boston University email address in connection with this project, or his website. He is officially on his own, and this project is NOT IRB APPROVED."

Deadly Chameleon continues:
The problem with this is threefold:

1. The researcher has no expertise in the area he is researching, nor has he recruited anyone to give him guidance.

2. The researcher has substantial profit motivation to produce work in this area (book contract with Penguin) which may lead to unethical conduct/a tendency to misrepresent his results.

3. The research is in no way overseen by any external body which can examine it for potential unethical conduct.

In addition to all of these, the researchers have now alienated their participant population, who are now very likely to become unreliable participants.
This explains much. Many people, myself included, wondered how two scientists or academics could behave so unprofessionally. Our error was in assuming that "scientist" or "academic" was their actual profession. It is clear that they are not. But if their profession is "hucksters peddling junk science for profit," it really would be unprofessional of them not to act the way they have.

Finally, this has been a surprisingly creative -fail. In addition to my own offering, there have been macros, parody surveys, Ogi Ogas/Sai Gaddam slash fic.

Other key posts:
tablesaw: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie from <cite>Labyrinth</cite> (Labyrinth)
[ profile] ithiliana suggests that the "unified fabric of human desire" must be some sort of plaid. Which got me thinking about kilts. Which led me to writing this:
I just wrote up a short abstract.
(It's weak but it scored a book contract.)
But the bloggers told me what I lacked:
"Ogi, where's your trousers?"

Let the wind blow high, let the wind blow low,
The better for my arse to show.
Fen cry, "Oh, John Ringo, no!
Ogi, where's your trousers!?"

I posted a web survey,
But I took it down right away.
Now I'm afeard of all El Jay
Because I nay have on trousers.

I went down to a comm with kink
To have some fun seeing what they think.
All the ficcers gave me eyes that stink,
Saying, "Ogi, where's your trousers!?"

The backlash hasn't been dismissed,
But they've no reason to be pissed.
You can't put ethics on a scientist,
Saying, "Ogi, where's your trousers!?"
tablesaw: -- (Default)
An explanation of 'Full Inventory' )
When fans are confronted with the problematic and uncomfortable aspects of their favorite things, they often reflectively say, "Well, you're just looking for things to be offended by." This is not generally the case ("Pilot" and "Elements" were pretty offensive on their face), but with this episode, I have come to realize that I am in the place where I'm looking for things to be offended by, as evidenced by the fifteen minutes I spent freeze-framing my DVR to copy the list of possible artifacts on a blackboard in the background.

Yeah, I'm looking for things. In my defense, the show seems to waver between wanting to reward viewers for knowing history and expecting viewers to know fuck all about history. I never know when I'm going to be pleasantly surprised and when I'm going to be pleasantly disgusted. The board was mostly fun, the MainGuffin made me yell at the screen.

'Saracen' Does Not Mean What You Think It Means )

Next week: a Samurai sword.
tablesaw: Weremerican! (Weremerican)
An explanation of 'Full Inventory' )
Remember how, earlier today, I was kind of impressed with the research and presentation of history in "Claudia"? Yeah, that's not going to happen again. "Elements" deals with several interconnected artifacts related to Native American culture, specifically, the Lenape tribe, also known as the Delaware. (It appears there are currently two tribes currently recognized by the U.S. government.) And it goes about as well as you would expect when you're dealing with agents of the United States government trying to take control of native culture and keep it "safe" without any actual Native Americans involved. The best thing that can be said about this episode is that it looked like somebody read a book before writing all of this horribly wrong BS.

Spoilers for 'Elements' )

And, you know, if I'm going to keep doing these, I'm totally going to need an icon of the Crazy Mexican Murder Rock.
tablesaw: Weremerican! (Weremerican)
I'm going to go into a bit more detail about the appropriation and misrepresentation of culture and history by looking at the artifacts mentioned in episodes of Warehouse 13. For a brief overview of what I'm talking about in this series, read "An Extraordinary Rendition of History; Items in Warehouse 13 that Don't Belong in "America's Attic". I won't be going into too great detail of research; if I prove something horribly inaccurate, I do so using only minimal Googling. Corrections and clarifications are thus welcome.
I'm doing both together because they're relatively low on things and things to say about those things.

Spoilers for 'Resonance' )

Spoilers for 'Magentism' )
tablesaw: Weremerican! (Weremerican)
I was originally going to do this as part of the Pilot inventory, but they didn't play the credits in the pilot, so I decided to keep them separate. There was enough to say in that post anyway.
I'm going to go into a bit more detail about the appropriation and misrepresentation of culture and history by looking at the artifacts mentioned in episodes of Warehouse 13. For a brief overview of what I'm talking about in this series, read "An Extraordinary Rendition of History; Items in Warehouse 13 that Don't Belong in "America's Attic". I won't be going into too great detail of reasearch; if I prove something horribly inaccurate, I do so using only minimal Googling. Corrections and clarifications are thus welcome.
Since these items are in the credits sequence at the beginning of each show, I'm going to assume that they aren't spoilers. But on the other hand, because it's just the credits sequence, things are short and kind of sketchy. We only get a few seconds to look at the artifact, along with some associated images. The credits also feature the Tesla gun and the Pharnsworth from the Pilot.

ETA: An embedded video of the credits, from Hulu. (U.S. viewers only; how appropriate!)

Artifact: Egyptian Scarab Carving
What does it do? IT'S ALIVE! We don't see it doing anything else.
Is it in any way accurate? It looks accurate enough to me entirely untrained eye.
Does it belong in America's Attic? Egypt's been demanding the Rosetta Stone and other Egyptian antiquities for quite some time. I imagine they'd also want to take a look at the living stone that's flying out of their past.

Artifact: East-Asian Sword (probably Japanese)
What does it do? No idea. All we see is a photograph that appears to me to be Japan, then there's a sword, being swordy.
Is it in any way accurate? I couldn't begin to tell.
Does it belong in America's Attic? The image seems to situate it in a non-U.S. culture and history, so no.
Update: This sword appears to be the Honjo Masamune featured in "Implosion." You can find a lot more information about it in that entry.

Artifact: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Pen
What does it do? I don't know, but I think it's covered in blood.
Is it in any way accurate? To the best of my knowledge, the Brothers Grimm did in fact use pens.
Does it belong in America's Attic? While "Grimm's Fairy Tales" forms a bedrock for much fantasy and children's literature in American, the Grimm brothers were German, as were the various storytellers who lent them their words. Another no.

Artifact: Camera with Native Americans Trapped Inside that Possibly Makes Them Disappear (see update below)
What does—wait, what did you say? Look, I don't know any more than you do, and I've been studying those three seconds of the credits for a while now. There's a camera, like it's from the nineteenth century. In the lens, you can see a photograph reflected. That photograph appears in the next frame, where you can see four Native Americans.
But what does that—what? I'm just telling you what I saw. There's a artifact camera that appears in another episode, but I have no idea if the two are supposed to be related or not.
Is it in any way accurate? If I had some sort of standard to judge accuracy, I might be able to tell you, but this thing is just a mess.
Does it belong in America's Attic? I have no idea, but you know what, I'm going to go with no just to be safe.
Update: [ profile] portnoyslp points out that one of the Native Americans in the picture is disappearing. Well, that's much better.

Artifact: Moon Rock
What does it do? Levitates, at least.
Is it in any way accurate? It certainly looks moony.
Does it belong in America's Attic? Either the moon rock has powers related to an American astronauts who collected it, or the moon just generally has weird powers like that. But since the moon is (to our knowledge) empty, I think it can probably stay.

Artifact: Mirror Ball
What does it do? Gets the party started! I guess.
Is it in any way accurate? Unless mirror balls were somehow different a few decades ago, I'd say it's accurate. The images seem to be evoking a - vibe.
Does it belong in America's Attic? There's definitely an issue of appropriation of disco into the White mainstream America, but without more knowledge about where this disco ball came from, I'm going to lean on it being a part of American history and culture.

There you have it; America == moon rocks and disco balls.
tablesaw: Katsuhiko Jinnai, from El Hazard (Jinnai)
Well, technically not NASA. Defying Gravity is a new show on ABC about a group of astronauts in the near future taking a tour around the solar system. It's . . . meh.

Anyway, in this weeks episode, two crewmembers see a planetary lander being updated from the International Space Organization (the "ISO," not NASA). On the computer screen there's a prominent window that reads "RECEIVING UPDATE FROM MISSION CONTROL." Behind it is a larger window that is scrolling "computery text."

Or at least, I assume it's supposed to look computery. Even before I froze the screen I could tell that it was scrolling through a list of IP addresses for Wikipedia. No wonder they're having so much trouble on that ship; it's the massively complex interplanetary space mission that anyone can edit!
tablesaw: Weremerican! (Weremerican)
Following on with my previous posts, I'm going to go into a bit more detail about the appropriation and misrepresentation of culture and history by looking at the artifacts mentioned in episodes of Warehouse 13. For a brief overview of what I'm talking about in this series, read "An Extraordinary Rendition of History; Items in Warehouse 13 that Don't Belong in "America's Attic". I won't be going into too great detail of reasearch; if I prove something horribly inaccurate, I do so using only minimal Googling. Corrections and clarifications are thus welcome. This post obviously contains spoilers for the pilot.

Crazy Mexican Murder Rock, No! )

It's been pointed out that last night's episode includes a "Native American artifact" and "a sacred place that [Pete and Myka] deem worthy of protection."

There's no way that could possibly go wrong!
tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
Watching the finale of The Fashion Show, which is apparently a combination reunion show and results show. One of the things they did was to show the "decoy" collections of people who were still on the shows being aired when Fashion Week came around, but had been eliminated when the show was filmed several months earlier. Here's one by eliminated designer Merlin Castell:

All the Super Saiyans will be wearing Castell next season.
tablesaw: -- (Default)
I'd like a copy of Mulder's "I Want to Believe" poster where the UFO has the Clippers logo on it.
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And now it's time for everyone's favorite game: Internet Headline or Random Nouns?
Crash Mars Iran Quake Rescue Bid
(pointed out by [ profile] jrw)

Also, I am claiming creation of the words "philosotheory" and "commassacre". A commassacre is a flood or drought of punctuation that completely kills the meaning of a printed text. I don't know what the other one means, but it's mine. MINE!


May. 1st, 2004 12:07 am
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1. Go into your LJ's archives.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
I think that this meme is pretty stupid, so I've been avoiding it. But just now, I went and looked up my twenty-third entry, and I found it pretty amusing. It's from the twenty-second of March, 2002:
hay,i am onhere becouse i would like to meet somone, fun,smart,spearatuale and kind harted.i realy love animals i have a horse and a dog, i enjoy,going to the movies watching plays, painting, photagraphy, hanging out with freinds, and i read palms.
i would like to meet somone, funny, rtistic, a litle speratuale and kind harted,. somone who has an imagination, and i have never been with a real romantic guy id like that.
tablesaw: "The Accurate Tablesaw" (Accurate)
So, one of my coworkers just tried to send out an e-mail. The settings for Outlook causes a spell-checker to run when a message is sent. This time, a misspelling of the word "inconvenience" was flagged. However, the coworker accidentally accepted the first suggestion, and the e-mail was sent before she could change it.

The message was sent out with the final sentence:
Thank you and I apologize in advance if this causes you any incontinence.


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