Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. You incredibly complex man, you.
I’ve seen many good folks sharing all sorts of stories about Ellison. Three that stuck out: John Scalzi’s piece for the LA Times, Neil Gaiman’s heartfelt blog post about their friendship, and this wild thread where Ellison publically plans a conspiracy to commit murder at Dragon Con. I’m sure there are many more.
If you are interested in reading Ellison’s work (there’s a reason he’s an SFWA Grand Master), I recommend starting with either I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream or Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman. He also wrote the greatest episode of Star Trek ever.
This summer, PBS launched The Great American Read—a show about the best-loved books in America. You can see the top 100 list over here. Along with this series, you can also vote for your favs, which you should. (Sadly, none of my Bell Forging Cycle made it, sorry folks.)
Along with the launch, PBS Digital Studios—creators of some of the best content on YouTube—released a Great American Read-themed video on the comparison of films to the books they were based upon. It’s good. Watch it here:
The narrator is the very talented Lindsay Ellis. I’m excited to see her work with PBS and hope this is the start of more collaborations. I’ve been following her work since her Channel Awesome days, and I consider myself a fan.
For those who don’t know Ellis runs a channel where she does longer-format deep-dives into specific films or movie concepts. Her observations on storytelling are wonderful—a big reason why I am drawn to her videos. Some of my favs:
You can find Ellis on Twitter, Patreon, and of course YouTube.
It will come as no surprise that I was delighted by Fabrice Mathieu’s mashup of John Wayne’s The Alamo and Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. It’s the combo I never thought I needed and I found it delightful and incredibly well done. I shared it on Twitter earlier today, but it needed to be shared here as well. Someone give Mathieu the funding to make this a feature-length film, please.
You can see more of Mathieu’s work on Vimeo and make sure to follow him over on Twitter.
I love history. I love board games. So I was intrigued when I saw this video from The British Museum about the national board game of ancient Mesopotamia, the Royal Game of Ur. In it, Dr. Irving Finkel (noted philologist, Assyriologist, and the discoverer of the rules) takes on Tom Scott in the ancient race game.
If you’re interested in learning how Dr. Finkel discovered the rules. Make sure to check out this Curator’s Corner video where he goes into detail.
I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.
Some mornings you wake up and need Sir Alec Guinness to read one of the most amazing pieces of modern poetry ever realized. Behold, T.S. Eliot’s epic The Waste Land. Follow along here. It’ll be the best 24 minutes of your day. I promise.
I’ve long been interested in the origin (and evolution) of language and accents. In this quick video, Jonathan Strickland from HowStuffWorks’ series BrainStuff breaks down the Mid-Atlantic accent. It’s worth checking out.