This week’s word for Wednesday is Brennivin, an unsweetened Icelandic schnapps flavored with caraway that is considered the country’s signature beverage. It’s is marketed in the US as akavit. I’d like to say that after today there will be no more Icelandic words, but I can’t guarantee that.
This may be outdated by the time the column is posted, but this site allows people to donate diapers to families affected by Hurricane Harvey. Diapers are not considered an emergency supply and generally not provided by government or non-profit emergency relief groups.
Portlight.com is a non-profit dedicated to providing emergency assistance to the elderly or people with disabilities. They are assisting in the Texas/Louisiana areas.
UPDATE: Today dawned sunny and rain-free in Houston, but they can still use donations and help.
Then there was that time that Corpus Christi almost got a seawall designed by the man who designed the Mount Rushmore memorial.
Books and Writing:
This scandal wended its way through Twitter last week. Someone bought multiple copies of a basically unknown YA book in order to make sure it got onto the NYT bestseller list. The sleuths of YA Twitter got onto this and uncovered the scheme. I’m sure the miscreant growled, “I’d have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those pesky kids!” Here is EW’s recap of the caper.
Chicago Magazine shares some new faces of the art of the African diaspora. (Thanks to File770 for this link.)
Ben Winters’s book Underground Airlines took the Sideways Award for best novel using alternate history.
J.P. Sullivan won this year’s Baen Adventure Award with the story “The Blue Widow.”
Just who is that Prince Charming guy anyway? Jack Heckel, over at Tor.com, really wants to know.
Texas A&M University is inviting Game of Thrones fans to search its George R.R. Martin archive (300 boxes of documents donated by the author) for clues to the upcoming Winds of Winter.
Also from Tor, Lish McBride provides a heartwarming story about Terry Pratchett.
The U.K. Guardian provides a roundup of upcoming books for teens and youngsters.
Oh, that’s what those “First WorldCon” ribbons meant. Scott Edelman has suggestions for how WorldCon (and cons in general) can be more welcoming.
Timothy the Talking cat shares his WorldCon experiences. His did not overlap much with mine, but I can see that our tastes are very different. (Thanks again to File 770.)
TV and Movies:
The Guardian breaks a story that the 13th Doctor’s first companion has been cast. The actor is a bit of Renaissance man.
According to IO9, the early reactions to the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s It are scary good. Who’s going to go see it? I’m not going to go see it. Nossir.
James Damore says he was fired from Google for his “Ideological Echo Chamber” e-mail in which he complained that men were being discriminated against at Google, and claimed that the gender gap at Google is not based on discrimination but on biology and women biologically are not as good at coding as men. Gizmodo reprinted the original memo here. The Economist imagined what would have happened if Alphabet’s CEO, Larry Page, had written a “detailed ringing rebuttal” of the memo. Then they wrote one. Here it is.
Bad Astronomy introduces us to the “loneliest nearby galaxy,” Wolfe-Lundmark-Melotte or WLM. Unlike our own Milky Way which is “consuming several small galaxies even right now” (eeuww!); WLM has not interacted with other galaxies. Poor galaxy. It doesn’t even have a Facebook page!
These are some of my vacation photos. I hope you enjoy them.