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SFnal Saturday

There's a fast paced serial going, for free, from author Leigh Kimmel: Alternate today, mixing astronauts in a very different space program, terrorists, clones and a beleaguered cop trying to make sense of it all . . .before we even get to the threat from space.

Via james_nicoll, a crow using tools, which I think is delightfully sfnal.



( 14 comments — Comment? )
Feb. 15th, 2014 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the story link.

That's a wonderful video. Stephen told me last night about a video of a crow solving a very complex puzzle. He was amazed.

I remember last year, at ConDor, the discussion about crow intelligence and how they "spoke" in dialects and accents. Fascinating stuff.

Amanda found the 8 step puzzle link for me. Same crow.
Feb. 15th, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Feb. 15th, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the signal boost. I'm hoping to get Chapter 8 up sometime early next week. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to balance "A Separate War" with my other projects so I can keep everything moving forward instead of having progress on one thing come at the expense of everything grinding to a halt. And with convention season soon beginning in earnest and our taxes still not finished, that may become a challenge.

It's not the taxes per se I get upset about -- I understand about all the important things our taxes pay for. I just wish the process of paying them didn't involve so much work (especially for a right-brained person like me, for whom dealing with numbers requires a lot of effort just to get my mind in the necessary left-brained headspace), and all the acres and acres of awful anxiety about making sure the right numbers are in the right little boxes and we haven't blown a simple arithmetical operation, because with taxes there is no such thing as an honest mistake. Our business is right where the process of doing taxes becomes a monster hassle, but we're not big enough to justify paying someone to do it all for us -- and there'd still be the hassle of keeping all the necessary documentation in a findable place and orderly arrangement so they can do the necessary calculations.
Feb. 15th, 2014 11:26 pm (UTC)
Good luck with that! We two left-handers learnt the hard way that it behooved us to pay someone.
Feb. 16th, 2014 04:44 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, our business is so complex that, to keep the charges affordable, we'd have to do so much of the preliminary work ourselves that we wouldn't be buying back any meaningful amount of time, or the mental and emotional energy required to Apply Willpower and force oneself through a dreary, tedious task. Unless we get into dealing with much larger sums, it's just not cost-effective to go to someone who'll take several boxes of papers, sort through them and do the necessary math, and file our taxes for us.
Feb. 16th, 2014 04:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we have a good deal of sorting to do as well, though probably not to the extent that you do. Quicken was the only solution the spouse found, as both of us are pretty hapless with numbers.
Feb. 16th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
Somewhere on the internet is a BBC broadcast (in several parts, at least one of which is only really available by jumping through hoops, I think the show is called somethinglike 'Animal Planet') on the Kia of New Zealand. They are scarily smart -- and destructive with it. But facinating to watch.
Feb. 16th, 2014 05:55 pm (UTC)
I wonder if it might be on Netflix? Will check that out. Thanks.
Feb. 16th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
I saw the longer version of the crow video that queenoftheskies references--really amazing! When I saw it, I thought to myself that I'd be unlikely to do such clever problem solving…

I remember when Jukepop started up, I thought, what a cool idea--old-style serialization. This story looks like an interesting one. Thanks for the link.
Feb. 16th, 2014 10:37 pm (UTC)
If you like the Jukebox story, do pass along the link--the writer doesn't get paid, so readers are all the more appreciated.

Feb. 16th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
Will do--gotta actually *read* it first (I was intrigued by your description, though).
Feb. 16th, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2014 11:11 pm (UTC)
Actually, we do have the option of setting up a button to collect money from readers, either voluntary donations, like a literary equivalent of the busker's open instrument case, or requiring readers to unlock the later chapters of a serial. However, right now I want to develop a readership, and don't want to make people feel hit up for money, as opposed to being offered an opportunity to support a writer they like.
Feb. 16th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the correction!
( 14 comments — Comment? )

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