Inhuman Swill : Page 145
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Hey, anyone know some good

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Hey, anyone know some good cheap Windows software for converting AVI files to MPEGs?

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Saffron river

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So Laura, Ella, and I went to Central Park Saturday morning with Barbara Lynn, [info]bobhowe, [info]steelbrassnwood, and Christopher to see the unraveling of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates. In a word, it was spectacular. But I'll let our pictures do the talking.

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Knives out

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I wonder how many units Shop at Home moved after this little demo?

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Dumb all over

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Was just listening to a little live Zappa here at the office, and my inner stenographer took over for a moment or two:

Listen, we can't really be dumb if we're just following God's orders. After all, He wrote this book here, and in the book He says He made us all to be just like Him. So if we're dumb, then God is dumb—and maybe even a little bit ugly on the side.
Then, guitar solo.
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From the New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series mailing list:

A brief reminder and revision for tonight's (Monday, February 7th) NY Review of SF Reading:

Since a total of 7 people from this group (named after Jules Verne's birthday) have stepped up to perform, we are splitting the event into two nights, the second part most likely to be our April offering. Tonight's readers will be:
Richard Bowes
Jae Brim
Robert J. Howe
David Barr Kirtley
Bill Shunn will host.

Monday, 2/7/5
Doors open at 6:30

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The ice—

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An excerpt from my short story "The Ice Queen," which appears in its entirety in the Winter issue of the Canadian fiction magazine Storyteller, is currently available online.

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Net source of evil

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Poll #432676 Net source of evil

Open to: All, results viewable to: All

On the basis of material posted in this blog, would you agree with the following statement?  "Bill Shunn maintains that the U.S. has been a net source of evil in the world."

class='LJ_PollAnswerLink' lj_pollid='432676' lj_qid='1' lj_posterid='17832'
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Yes, I agree with that statement.
3 (20.0%)

No, I disagree with that statement.
7 (46.7%)

I don't have enough information to answer that.
5 (33.3%)

I don't care what Bill Shunn thinks.
0 (0.0%)

Bomb Iran!
0 (0.0%)

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Maureen Dowd can sometimes be a windbag herself, but I'm in complete agreement with her today:

Inherit the Windbags

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Truth or fiction?

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The other night at dinner, I was discussing books and culture with [info]bobhowe and several other people, when Jared Diamond came up. I put in that was thought Diamond seemed pretty sharp on a lot of points, but that I didn't care for remarks he had made about what seemed to me to be the relative merits of fiction and non-fiction in describing the world. Here, copied from a recent Salon interview, is the exchange to which I was referring:

Have you heard of Michael Crichton's new book, "State of Fear," and its premise that a bunch of environmentalists are upset that their cause isn't getting the attention it deserves so they go around staging environmental disasters? Crichton has said publicly, as well as in his heavily footnoted book, that global warming is bunk -- which would be laughable were not the print run of his book one and a half million copies.

Everything you say is true. There are a couple of things to be added to it. One is that my previous book, "Guns, Germs, and Steel," has sold more copies than Michael Crichton's one and a half million, so I think my new book will get to more readers. And the other thing is that Michael Crichton is a very skilled writer of fiction. And fiction is, by definition, the telling of stories that are untrue. He's very good at that. And I'm a writer of nonfiction, which aims to be the telling of stories that are true.  [full interview]

It seems to me that, regardless of the merits of Crichton's work, all fiction is being tarred here, and disdained as a form that cannot allow for the transmission of anything true. I was so bothered by this idea, in fact, that I wrote a letter to Salon about it.

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Oh, the places I haven't been!

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My visited countries map is rather more pathetic, though I'll be adding France this summer!

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn