Inhuman Swill : Page 49
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.
            

I busted a gut watching Marc Shaiman's short revue "Prop 8: The Musical." Among the many celebrity cameos herein, my favorite is Jack Black's, who may be my favorite Jesus since Graham Chapman didn't play him.

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Roscoe Orman

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Hey, that was Gordon from Sesame Street on S5E4 of The Wire!

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Apostate

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This may be heresy, but I just don't feel as much compulsion to blog now that it's my own time I'm stealing as I did when it was my employers'.

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They call him Bruce?

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Friday night we headed over to the Landmark Theater at the Century Centre for a late-night showing of the Bruce Campbell–directed Bruce Campbell flick My Name Is Bruce. My review is over at SciFi.com.

If you have any scintilla of interest in the Campbell oeuvre, you should see this flick. Campbell is currently on a promotional tour, and you can check here to see if he's coming to your town (or, um, if he's already been and you missed it). His live, faux-hostile Q&A sessions after the movie are possibly more entertaining than the movie itself, and should not be missed.

We were lucky enough that Campbell's Burn Notice costar Jeffrey Donovan, who is in town appearing in Don't Dress for Dinner at the Royal George Theater, joined the Q&A here as a surprise guest. Laura, who is a big fan, just about lost her mind. Campbell and Donovan together were as funny and profane as fuck. My 13-year-old son, in town with us for Thanksgiving, was beside himself, and actually held his own with Campbell in an exchange about the movie Congo.

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The Flame

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We had a fine, fine time at the SFWA mill-and-swill last night, saw tons of great people. But what we appreciated most about the evening was that when we got back to our hotel—not even drunk!—and found that room service wasn't answering its phone even though it will still supposed to be operating, we just walked around the corner to one of those all-night Greek diners and ordered a couple of gyro platters. Midnight dining in midtown, man. It really hit the spot.

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Bridge and tunnel

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We're back. Not five minutes on the street, as we're walking down Ninth Avenue, a guy leans out a car window and asks, "Do you know where the Latin Quarter is?"

So I put on my best wiseguy and say, "Yeah, it's in fuckin' New Orleans."

I know, it doesn't make any sense, what I said, but we're fucking back.

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"Retrogression" progression

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Retrogression progression
I'm not one to announce my daily word count, but I will say that progress is beginning to be made. Today it was made at a Starbucks on Greenview after I got my B12 shot at the doctor's office. Yes, it turns out I have quite a B12 deficiency, which might explain the tingling I sometimes feel in my back and legs, not to mention my frequent fatigue and general lack of energy. I think it's too early to chalk today's productivity up to the vitamin boost, though.

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"Retrogression"

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Of the Six Fundamental Machines inscribed by the Builder in the Cornerstone of Time, the Wheel and Axle lends itself to perhaps the most stupendous domain of potential recomplications. Picture the sky as a giant clockwork mechanism—each planet a semiprecious stone set in the rim of its own great wheel, ticking about the axis of a star that is in turn a chip of diamond studding the rim of its own greater wheel, one that inscribes a unique but interdependent path about the center of gravity of a galaxy that is itself less than a cog on a still greater wheel that in concert with hundreds of billions of others drives the engine of the Universe. Fractal geometry on a scale to beggar the imagination.

Now zoom in again to picture yourself on the rim of your own planetary wheel, observing the progress of a friend on the rim of another wheel in the same system. Assuming different rates of travel, to watch that friend is sometimes to see an apparent reversal in his course. This loop of retrogression, as it's known, stems from the fact that you the observer are yourself a passenger on a body in motion.

All things in the Builder's creation serve not only their own functions as objects but also as lessons for his children. Thus does the Wheel and Axle teach us that to move forward is sometimes to appear, perhaps even to ourselves, to slide back.

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A suggestion for Rand McNally

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There are plenty of sources that list the distances of various stars from Earth, but does anyone know of a source for looking up the distances of stars from one another? If not, I may have to dust off some spherical geometry that I would rather leave in its rusty box.

Specifically, I need to know the distance between Tau Ceti and Van Maanen's Star.


Update:  I found the specific answer I needed—Tau Ceti and Van Maanen's Star are 6.2 light-years apart—but I'd still be happy to be pointed toward a more general resource.
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Don't let the mothers get you down

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"Hello, and what seems to be the problem with your 1-800-FLOWERS online order, sir?"

"Well, I'm not really sure. All the voicemail told me was there was a problem and I should call."

"All right, sir, I can help you with that. Let me just look up your order. One moment."

"Thank you."

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

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that even a
missionary
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Order yours now!

William Shunn

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