Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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37 Responses

  1. Glyph says:

    I binged all of X-mas gift Penny Dreadful S2 this past week. It had some issues with seasonal pacing, but man, there is nothing else like it on television. The atmosphere is amazing, and the show ain’t afraid to get weird. Now I have downloaded (paid) S1 of In the Flesh to fill my British horror-drama needs.

    Reading John Higgs’ The KLF: Chaos, Magic, and the Band Who Burned A Million Pounds. Like his Stranger Than We Can Imagine, it’s a great read, laterally linking all kinds of seemingly-disparate concepts, and it’s really funny too.Report

    • Maribou in reply to Glyph says:

      @glyph Knowing that the guy you were recommending for his history book ALSO wrote a whole book about the KLF makes me want to read his history book so much more *kicks it a few hundred up the queue*.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Maribou says:

        In re: the band (in its early incarnation as the JAMs), being threatened with legal action for lifting a large ABBA sample:

        Drummond and Cauty took legal advice and were informed that it would cost them 20,000 pounds to fight this in court. And that they would lose.

        Publicity-wise, of course, this was terrific. Drummond had initially thought that if he met with ABBA, and explained his reasons, then they would be able to come to an agreement as artists. It quickly became clear that no meeting would ever be granted. Nevertheless, Cauty and Drummond headed to Sweden with the NME journalist James Brown in tow. Here they played the offending song outside ABBA’s publishing company and presented a fake gold disc (marked ‘for sales in excess of zero’) to a prostitute who, they argued, looked a bit like one of the women from ABBA. Then they destroyed most of the remaining copies of the album by setting fire to them in a field and were promptly shot at by a farmer for their trouble. On the ferry home they threw the remaining copies into the North Sea and performed an improvised set on the ferry, the only known live JAMs performance, in exchange for a large Toblerone.

        Closing out a a chapter discussing Alan Moore’s thinking on “magic” and the Jungian collective unconscious, and how it relates to the KLF:

        Alan Moore would also later say, “I like Bill Drummond a lot, I really do, but you have to understand that he’s totally mad.”

        Speaking of Moore, do you watch Penny Dreadful? Because it’s the only good League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie we’re gonna get.Report

  2. I heard that one as “This is my grandfather’s knife. I’ve replaced the blade three times and the handle twice.” Either Heinlein or someone like Varley who does his best to sound like Heinlein.

    My favorite Dick (so to speak) is The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, which I discovered, long after first reading it, to be based very closely on the life of the Episcopal Archbishop James Pike.Report

  3. Chris says:

    Parfit’s is of course the most well-known recent serious philosophical exploration of that sort of think for ordinal identity. E.G.,

    Reasons and Persons is a rewarding read if you’re into that sort of thing.Report

  4. Aaron David says:

    My favorite Dick would have to be would have to be the short story We Can Remember for You Wholesale.(Thats a PkDF if you have never read it.)

    Right now I am reading N by E by Rockwell Kent. Writen in 1930 about a sailing trip he was on from the Northeast to Greenland. Very interesting and exciting, and with excellent woodcuts by the author (who is famous for his illustrations.)

    Watched Rosemarys Baby this week, forgot how good it was.Report

  5. Chris says:

    We’re watching Person of Interest again, after an extended hiatus. I’ve finally restarted Hannibal for real (maybe).Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

      Season Five (presumably the final season) is scheduled, apparently, to kick off this summer.

      I’m getting excited already.Report

      • Chris in reply to Jaybird says:

        I hope we are up to there by then. The teenager and I are really slow with TV shows.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

        No. Season 5 of Person of Interest is a mid-season replacement, not summer.

        Coincidentally, knowing PoI was scheduled for mid-season, and knowing it *is* mid-season, I searched for it yesterday, and while it’s still not on the announced schedules, I’m also fairly sure it hasn’t moved to summer, or, if so, they haven’t announced it…or they just did that in the last 24 hours or so.

        I am really hoping a) They knew it was ending when they filmed the end, and b) that the ending is…not crappy.

        I’m very worried they’ll go with the incredibly cop-out of destroying everything. Or winning, and then Finch pulls the plug. Which, under the premise of that show, simply can’t work…in a decade or two, someone else will invent an AI, and *it* will take over.

        The show paints itself into a corner. You cannot put the genie back in the bottle.

        Actually, I’m not sure why I’m worried. The show has actually always been smarter than I expected, sometimes to the point of astonishing me. (Where the Machine was hiding, for example, was *outright genius*.)

        1) Until the end of this season, my expectation was that the series would end with both the Machine and Samaritan being destroyed, and the last shot would be Finch sitting down to rebuild the Machine, with the realization he *has* to make one that is more active and willing to fight, and programmed to keep people from making other AIs. Whether or not the Machine is a moral idea, it is a *necessary* one, if only to keep *evil* AIs from existing. But, the Machine side of this….sorta just happened, and I think the Machine is going to be rebuilt that way, and we get a season of that. So, props for me guessing that, but a bit too early.Report

        • Chris in reply to DavidTC says:

          What’s your source that says it is a midseason replacement?

          We’d never catch up in time for that.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Chris says:

            CBS said it was going to be a mid-season replacement back last summer. Here’s one article:


            Of course, it’s not actually *on* the mid-season schedule, which has a lot of people somewhat confused. But as far as I know, there’s been no official word it’s been moved all the way to this summer.

            OTOH, I don’t know if they can change the schedule this late, so it might *have* to be summer at this point. Is there a *mid-*mid-season point they can start a TV show? Are they waiting for something to flop after three episodes?

            I’d be rather upset if PoI needed ratings to keep from being cancelled…but it’s already been cancelled, so, frankly, it doesn’t matter. I can live with four and half seasons.

            The studio actually did already finish *producing* the episodes, so they will air somewhere, sometime. (Or, at worst, end up on DVD.)Report

        • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          I always got the feeling that the writers spent a lot of time in the weird PoI forums where people got into really weird theories about what would happen next… and, of course, out of every 100 ideas, 95 of them were crap, 4 of them were pretty good (if predictable), and 1 was ABSOLUTE GENIUS.

          And so they cribbed from the ABSOLUTE GENIUS idea.

          Top thread day after show: “I can’t believe that FlutterShyGuy96 called it!”Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            I always got the feeling that the writers spent a lot of time in the weird PoI forums where people got into really weird theories about what would happen next…

            Oh, no, they had this planned out. Watch Zero Day again, and notice the misdirect about what the Machine created a fake identity to do, and how the audience is supposed to assume it’s about *payphones*, which getting to one at a certain time is a vital part of that episode. The Machine’s actions do not pay off in that episode, or in any way, and I’ve sorta regarded it as a minor plot hole since then. What did the Machine want to do to payphones?

            It wasn’t payphones. And it wasn’t a plot hole. And it paid off two years later, and the writers knew where the Machine was the *entire damn time*.

            And where the Machine was hiding *also* answers the question ‘How does the Machine still have access to security feeds?’

            Security cameras, especially analog ones, tend to be rather poorly isolated, electronically, and it’s not past the realm of possibility that a ‘power conditioner’ between the transformer and the building could pick up signals and decode them. In fact, you can pick up a *lot* of things by tapping power…there have been some evidence that you identify specific keystrokes that way.

            Additionally, assuming those things can connect to wifi networks, the Machine now has a bajillion untraceable (Or, rather, traceable to random houses) internet connections, which explains why Samaritan couldn’t find it.Report

  6. Roland Dodds says:

    I just started The Man in the High Castle today. The first episode was great, and I hope to get to the rest of the series this month.Report

  7. Autolukos says:

    Finally read The Forever War during my holiday travels. By which I mean, read most of it on a plane and ignored my hosts for the first hour at their house to finish it.Report

  8. Maribou says:

    I haven’t really been reading because all I have been doing is writing bookposts. Caught up on June-September in the last couple of days. Fewer than 150 books to go! I’ve been dabbling in an Antonia Fraser anthology from the 80s that collects lots of famous-ish British people’s essays about their early reading and favorite books. It’s pretty neat – gift booky but in the good way. I also set a bunch of utterly ridiculous reading goals like reading 700 books next year and getting all my library checkouts from both libraries down to a combined total of less than 10 and then keeping them there. Madness! And there’s a bunch more like that. I would be shocked if I achieve ANY of them, which is sort of the point.

    I watched the rest of Skins and started Nurse Jackie, which I really dig so far. Watched a movie, Odd Way Out, that I thought would be way less emotionally intense and more goofy than it was. (It was still good though.)

    Podcast wise I found several new ones to love thanks to reading Jessica Abel’s fabulous book Out on the Wire (oh! I guess I did read one book this week :D. Y’all should read it, it’s super interesting.) and have also been catching up on my old ones. The mechanical part of the bookposts (adding links, etc.) is good for that.Report

  9. Pinky says:

    If you get the chance, you may enjoy the film version of Impostor. Gary Sinese played the lead, and Vincent D’Onofrio is always good. Good action and genuine suspense, and the production and special effects were solid. It won’t change your life, but it’ll entertain you for a couple of hours.Report

  10. Burt Likko says:

    When I tell myself I’ve had too much Fallout to play and am not busy entertaining guests or brewing, I’m reading Harry Turtledove’s Agent of Byzantium based on a recommendation from a past edition of this very forum. It’s pleasurable — not world-altering, but enjoyable despite powerful melancholy in its second story. Buy your copy through the Ordinary Times A-Store and support your favorite website!Report

  11. Christopher Carr says:

    I love PKD. I read all his works in high school. I enjoyed both the novels and short stories, but I think I prefer the short stories more, because I was always more taken with my own imaginings of the concepts he introduced than with what actually happened to his characters.Report

    • Whenever I finished one of his short stories, I felt like I had taken a very small dose of a consciousness-altering drug. It felt like a very small break in reality had just happened and it took a couple of hours for everything to tilt back to normal.

      I always walked away thinking something like “there are entire universes in there because this one guy is not even close to the only guy that experienced something like this.”

      But then his books that were a lot bigger usually failed to provide a larger dose of the drug. (That said, the movie “A Scanner Darkly” was like taking a fairly large dose of whatever drug it was.)Report

      • Christopher Carr in reply to Jaybird says:

        I wasn’t much of a fan of that movie, nor the book, inasmuch as I enjoy all Dick and A Scanner Darkly just slightly less. Maybe it was the rotoscoping.

        Apparently there is a French version of Confessions of a Crap Artist, which I need to see, as that is one of my favorite Dick novels.Report

  12. Kim says:

    So long as one retains sentience, one is the same person as when one started, only with more knowledge and wisdom. Few retain their sentience long, however, and when it is gone, it doesn’t return.Report