There’s been a lot of talk about airborne lidar recently, because it has once again been used to find archaeological ruins in a jungle, as opposed to the standard topographic mapping it gets used for day in and day out. It has even gotten into the pages of the comics, ever the spot for cutting-edge news and science, in the form of Mark Trail:
The professor here makes a common error, and we need to push back on it. Lidar is not an acronym, it is a portmanteau of “light” and “radar” (or RADAR, if you prefer, RADAR actually being an acronym for RAdio Detection And Ranging or RAdio Direction And Ranging). Of course, people writing papers in the academic and business world can’t bring themselves to talk about portmanteaux, so they engaged in some revisionist history to turn the word into an acronym so they could just stick that into parentheses after the first use and move on with their lives. Like radar, there was disagreement about exactly which words went into this putative acronym (“LIght Detection And Ranging” or “Laser Imaging Detection And Ranging”) but unlike radar they don’t both have that awkward way of using two letters from one word, so convention has it that the former acronym is expressed as “LiDAR” with a lower-case i to differentiate it.
So shame on you, Mark Trail, for perpetuating the myth that lidar is an acronym, and an extra “tsk” for, having made that error, not picking the version that would fit with your all-caps font.
We’ll save the thrilling discussion of why no one bothers using all caps for certain acronyms like radar and scuba for another day. Also, maybe we’ll get to why that kid Rusty looks like Ted Cruz now.
The other Garfield
Today is the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of Garfield! To celebrate, please enjoy some favorites of Internet Manifestation, Garfield Minus Garfield, which gets to the very heart of what makes the strip so deeply melancholy and unsettling, and the horrifying Lasagna Cat, where Garfield strips are acted out by real live people.
Like me, you may have experienced feelings of dread when listening to Uptown Girl, or seen visions of cyclopean ruins when Captain Jack comes on the radio.
Well, now we know why.
Once you’re done working your way through twenty-six years of Galaxy Science Fiction, another possibility is working your way through Tangent Online’s recommended reading for 2017. The fact that my story, Peddler, in Grimdark Magazine happens to be on the list is, of course, incidental.
I’m a bit late to this, since it happened a while ago, but did you know that, thanks to archive.org you can read a good chunk of the run of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine for free?
Well, you can. So go ahead and do it if you enjoy Bradbury and Asimov and so an (and who doesn’t?)
I’ve got a story in the latest issue of Grimdark magazine, and as you can see from the image over there, I’ve maintained my streak of only being published in magazines with unsettling cover art (seriously, check out the ol’ publication page for a gallery). This one isn’t as lighthearted as There Are Rules, which was also under a spooky-pants cover, but it isn’t exactly scary either. Just a bit dark and grim (oh, hey, I just got that).
Anyway, I encourage ya’ll to pick up a copy, in whatever digital format you prefer.
Here, some links to make it even easier for you:
If you’re like me, you agree that there is nothing more annoying than reading a book in a series out of order. It’s almost as bad as being prevented from compulsively reading the foreword, afterword, and author’s notes.
So you, too, will rejoice in the website Order of Books. It lists different series of books in their proper order, both by publication (which is the easy part), and by chronological order, for those series where the author gets all famous and successful and either a) can finally indulge in exploring origin stories, or b) realizes they need to go back in time because they ran too far forward too quickly and risk their characters getting to old to jump from car to car during a freeway chase or whatever.
So now, with a quick check, you can read in comfort, secure that you won’t suffer the horror of reading Sharpe’s Eagle before Sharpe’s Havoc (seriously, Bernard Cornwell – when you give every book in a series a two-word title, and make the first word the same for all twenty-three titles you aren’t giving us all that much to go on)
Not to reopen the never-ending battle between advocates of literary vs. genre fiction, but I assume by now everyone has heard about the girl that saved a friend’s life using first aid techniques she learned by reading The Hunger Games. I’d always assumed The Hunger Games was more useful for information on shooting people with arrows, but there you go.
But what useful skills has anyone ever picked up from reading literary fiction? How to make cutting remarks? How best to map the travails and grievances of previous generations of your family?
I’m just sayin’.
Once again, it takes a book by Carrie Patel to break my long silence in the blogosphere. As you can tell by comparing the cover to previous entries in the trilogy, things have taken a less chaotic turn, but things are still very exciting indeed. And now dirigibles are involved!
Thanks to my long delay in posting, of course, you may have already read about it elsewhere, but in any case, pick up a copy today. It makes a great Father’s Day gift.