Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Alex Gibney (with thanks to PBS for the image)
Alex Gibney (with thanks to PBS for the image)

It’s rather annoying. A lot of people I know are talking about the HBO documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and I haven’t seen it yet. I live in Northern Canada, and we just don’t get the same access to stuff that those in the south get.

But I’ve heard it is amazing, and if you haven’t seen it, and can, do so.

Meanwhile I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD.

Regards

Wayne Borean

Wednesday July 22, 2015

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Why Johnny Can’t Code Redux

David Brin  David Brin

A long time ago (BK – Before Kids) I was lucky enough to meet David Brin at Ad Astra, the Toronto Science Fiction convention. It’s easy to meet people who have opinions. It isn’t often that you meet someone smart enough to explain to you exactly why the opinion is right. David Brin is one of the few I’ve met who are that smart.

A long time ago in Internet Time (2006) David wrong an article for Salon called Why Johnny Can’t Code. It’s a great article, and I recommend everyone read it, and share it.

Got reminded about the article when Michael (our oldest – he’s 28 now) and I were out yesterday picking up plumbing parts – the downstairs bath tub faucet was leaking hot water.

While he was driving (I wasn’t in shape to drive yesterday – heck, I barely managed to get into the car) we were talking about games. Michael is good at games. Really good. And he reminded me of one of the reasons why.

Apparently (I’d forgotten) a long time ago I’d taught Michael how to use a hex editor to view (and change) save game files. We’d done a lot of fooling around with the old Gold Box AD&D game Pool of Radiance, making things like a ‘Shield of Fireballs +5’…

Why does this all hang together?

Because it is getting harder for kids to learn how to code as David Brin pointed out, and it is getting harder for kids to learn how to use a hex editor too. I’m serious. The big growth area for games is phones and tablets. Have you ever seen a hex editor for IOS or Android? How about for any of the Playstation or XBox game consoles?

So we are moving further into a culture where people use things that they don’t understand, can’t play with to understand, and where it is often illegal to play with stuff in that matter (read up on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – it makes it illegal to modify ‘copyrighted works’ without the consent of the ‘owner’ and yes, this does include save game files).

Which is sad. Really sad.

Regards

Wayne Borean

Tuesday June 2, 2015

 

The Robert Anson Heinlein Discussions

Robert Anson Heinlein, image from Wikimedia
Robert Anson Heinlein, image from Wikimedia

A lot of people have been writing about Robert Anson Heinlein recently. This isn’t surprising since he was one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century.

But most of the people mentioning him don’t seem to:

a) Have read Heinlein

b) Have understood what Heinlein wrote

I was never lucky enough to meet Heinlein. I wish I had, his writing has had a huge impact on my thinking, and writing. I’m going to try and, well, untangle things.

Continue reading “The Robert Anson Heinlein Discussions”

FilKONtario 22 – April 20 – 22 2012

FilKONtario, Ontario’s Filk Music Convention is only two weeks away. This year the con is April 20 – 22, 2012.

There are still some rooms available in the convention room block as of today, but not many. For more information on the convention, please visit the website.

Filk is the music of science fiction and fantasy, but also includes songs about cats, computers, and um, other things. One definition of filk is that it is what Filkers do. Instruments are usually portable. It is hard to lug a grand piano onto an airplane …

Come on out, and have some fun.

Regards

Wayne Borean

Thursday April 5, 2012

Outback Zack's Australian Animal Fire Victims Appeal

Outback Zack's Australian Animal Fire Victims Appeal
Outback Zack's Australian Animal Fire Victims Appeal

I’m looking for a video. Does anyone have on VHS, Beta, PVR, or whatever, a copy of Outback Zack’s Australian Animal Fire Victims Appeal that they could send to me? If so, you’ll earn my undying gratitude for all of five minutes (I have a short attention span).

Regards

Wayne Borean

Sunday February 5, 2012

 

The Great White North

I’m on holiday this week, visiting my mother-in-law, the poet laureate of Temiskaming District. I’m also recuperating from fixing my computer, and other stuff. No, it didn’t include a hangover. I gave up drinking twenty-five years ago, and I have to admit I’m surprised that Molson’s Breweries didn’t go when I did.

Continue reading “The Great White North”

What Scares the Boogeyman?

John Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare painted in 1781
John Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare painted in 1781

Here’s something that should have horror fans shivering in their boots. John Manning is editing an anthology titled “What Scares the Boogeyman” for Perseid Publishing!

Since John is a friend of mine, I prevailed upon him to send me some of the stories he has accepted for publication. Folks, you are in for a treat!

What Scares the Boogeyman will be published in the Autumn of 2012. Halloween may never be the same. Some of the stories John has accepted and issued contracts for are:

I also know about some of the ones that haven’t had contracts signed yet. All I can say about those is that you will be blown away, totally and utterly blown away. I mean what can you do with Bad Mustard?

Regards

Wayne Borean

Wednesday December 7, 2011