Here are 10 simple and fun science experiments you can do at home with young children, once you buy a gallon jug of distilled white vinegar. We’re in our sixties; we do not have kids or grandkids, and I’m thinking of doing a few of these myself.

Awards and Conventions:

For inquiring minds everywhere, File 770 has provided a chart of when the Hugo voting packets and ballots usually come out.

WisCon 2020 has been cancelled. They are working on an online event, though.

Dahlia, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. Photo my M. Deeds

Dahlia, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. Photo my M. Deeds

Books and Writing:

McSweeney’s imagines Henry David Thoreau’s follow-up letter to university professors everywhere.

Zoom can be more than a critique-group tool for writers, as Cat Rambo points out here. She is using the application a number of different ways with her writer friends.

Shelf Awareness provides a roundup of news about bookstores and booksellers during the pandemic.

Joshua Gillingham once again raises the strawperson argument of “people say genre is bad, but I say…” Let me know what you think.

NPR excerpted gems from several podcast interviews with Random House copy edit chief Benjamin Dreyer. “You have to choose your irrational battles,” won me over. (Thanks to File 770.)

Over at Whatever, A.J. Hartley writes about transmuting a terrifying experience into fiction; his horror novel Impervious sprang in part from his time in lockdown with a group of his students during a school mass shooting.

Chuck Wendig will release a middle-grade book next year.

A decades-old incomplete African American cookbook still inspires, to this day.

Bookfair news from Publishers Weekly; one large midwestern book event, which rescheduled from April into June, has now cancelled its 2020 event completely. One other has converted to online, with proceeds to James Patterson’s Save Indie Bookstores campaign.


AMC will air Season Two of NOS482. It does seem to be following the book.

Begonias, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. Photo by M. Deeds

Begonias, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. Photo by M. Deeds


Airports, military and many large entities rely on facial recognition, even though it doesn’t work well on women or people with darker skin (in other words, the majority of people in the world); now FR faces a new challenge. Can it identify a person wearing a face mask? My original question was, “Why is this a question?”

And would it recognize you if you wore one of these Disney masks?

Gilead Pharmaceutical Company is donating 1.5 million vials of Remdisivir to fight the coronavirus. In early testing the drug eased symptoms and reduced duration of the disease of about 30% in patients.

See the image that was declared NASA’s most spectacular image of earth from space.

You’re missing fight choreography about now, aren’t you? At least, Zoe Bell thinks you are, and wants to fill that need for you. This video is pretty funny… but the jigsaw puzzle pieces? Nooooo!


This fiddle piece is called “Blackberry Blossom.” The band playing it is called Blackberry Blossom Farm. It’s two and a half minutes long.


  • Marion Deeds

    Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town.