Weird Wednesday: Broken Windows Fallacy

If you’ve heard this expression, and wanted to know what it was all about, it comes from the first part of this essay by Claude Frederic Bastiat. Version at the link below has been translated into English; link is provided for educational purposes. I leave you to make up your own mind about the merits and demerits of Bastiat’s perspective.


1984 and Sobering Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

This isn’t explicitly religious (the source material is anything but religious in fact), but I thought it more appropriate to post the Weird Wednesday material yesterday, and put this up today.

This is a story about how people who have no values beyond their own desires and sense of mistreatment are easily destroyed by people and organizations who have no values but the will to power. The main character may be the product of his environment, but ultimately, being Winston is a choice.

Don’t be Winston or Julia. Understand what matters to you, do your best to cultivate habits of virtue and live up to whatever code of conduct you’ve managed to discern. Pray. But also, don’t feel smugly superior to Winston. Look at St. Peter the Apostle, virtue signaling about his courage and loyalty on Holy Thursday, and then denying his Lord that very night. We all have the opportunity to rise or fall. What will we do when that opportunity comes?

Weird Mardi Gras: Rachael Aaron and the Time-Knowledge-Enthusiasm Triangle

This article’s advice is: know what you plan to write, find a way to get excited about what you plan to write, find your must productive writing time/place and use it. It’s about the most useful thing I’ve ever read about the writing process.

Weird Wednesday: Hot Rodding the Silmarillion

Many people are aware that the published Silmarillion was compiled by J. R. R. Tolkien’s son Christopher, with an eye towards consistency and concision at the expense of poetic detail, from a wide-ranging variety of incomplete (and often mutually contradictory) manuscripts left by JRRT. I have read some volumes (not all) of the History of Middle Earth, which includes many of the source texts Christopher Tolkien used, but I have only recently become aware of the third-party scholarship showing how it all came together, in books like Arda Reconstructed. Also interesting are the fan attempts to construct more comprehensive and poetic-sounding Silmarillions than the one published by Tolkien’s son. These can seem a little dry, because for copyright reasons, they are basically citations to texts compiled in the History of Middle Earth.

This one is a “finished” one-fan project:

This one, the work of many hands, has been ongoing for twenty years:

Weird Wednesday: The Pride & Prejudice Comparison Videos are Back!

In 2021, Mistress of Pemberley created a series of comparison videos on youtube for the many surviving* film and TV versions of Jane Austen’s most famous novel, and I had great fun following along. She’s run into some account troubles, and had to restart the series from scratch, now with improved video quality and chapters. I encourage you all to like and subscribe!

* There are around four or five lost hour-length “digest” TV versions of P&P, including a Canadian version which featured Patrick MacNee as Darcy, plus two lost miniseries length versions broadcast by the BBC in 1952 and 1958 (with Peter Cushing and Alan Badel, respectively, as Darcy) plus a lost Castilian-language miniseries from 1966 (with Pedro Becco as Darcy). If you have copies of any of these lurking in your parents’ attic, please digitize them and put them up on Youtube, Vimeo, Rumble and Bitchute before handing the originals over to the rightful owners at the BBC, CBC, or TVE. My inner P&P completist would thank you for any of them, and one of my many inner fangirls would be particularly grateful for the 1952 version.

Weird Science Wednesday: Benedictine Sisters Demonstrate Hydroelectric Power in the Congolese City of Miti

If you have the water and the technology, it’s hard to beat hydroelectricity as a source of power. African-born Sister Alphonsine Ciza, who had studied mechanical engineering, teamed up with the rest of her convent, the Benedictine Sisters of Agnes, and built a small hydroelectric dam to power their facility in Miti. The Democratic Republic of Congo suffers from rolling blackouts, and relying on hydroelectricity allows the sisters to teach computing programming on actual screens instead of just showing their students the underlying principles in a textbook.

I don’t have a lot of use for the National Catholic Register in general, but I liked this article, which links back to the original Reuters account, complete with pictures of Sister Alphonsine, and also to information a similar hydroelectric plant built about thirty years prior by Benedictine monks in Tanzania.

Hat-tip to Caroline Furlong

Weird Wednesday: Audiobooks!

Thanks to the auto-narrator function at Google Play, I now have audio book versions of four of my novels available:

Shadow Captain
Marrying a Monster
Waking the Dreamlost
Loving a Deathseer

Right now I am working on polishing Shadow Captain’s sequel. I hope to have it published by late December of this year, at which point it will spend 90 days in Kindle Unlimited so that the KU readers of the first book can enjoy it. The audiobook for the sequel will be made available around the time it comes to Google Play, sometime in 2023. Once I have Shadow Captain’s sequel completed, the focus will be on re-editing the Ancestors of Jaiya novels in preparation for their audiobook release, and on a new project to be announced later.

Happy Listening!

Crossdomain “Transmedium” Threats

The Pentagon would have you believe that the truth is out there, although I am not entirely clear on when we started taking the Pentagon’s word for this stuff. I don’t know whether the truth is out there or not, but some days I suspect Robur the Conqueror is.

(Please Note: the film version of Master of the World features Robur’s much more generic airship from the prequel, Clipper of the Clouds. If you watch the film, you will get to see both Vincent Price and Charles Bronson doing their thing, but you won’t get to see any Steampunk Triple Changer that can function as an aircraft, automobile, and submarine.)