I think everyone is crazy, but rich and famous people don't face any social punishment for being so. Also, they can afford to buy things (like fish tanks full of vintage baseballs) that make it stand out more clearly. In other words, they can show their crazy off to a better degree and no one calls them on it or… » 9/09/14 7:38am 9/09/14 7:38am

This was one of those things I realized in the midst of writing my first novel. I've accepted it makes sense for that particular story (though it might be part of the reason I'm still editing the thing), but the couple of outlines I'm working on now are all much, much smaller stories. Saving the world isn't all that… » 9/08/14 9:28pm 9/08/14 9:28pm

Patricia Cornwall had a TV show where they did DNA testing on stamps (and failed to do it on a painting — why there'd be DNA on a painting is still beyond me). I think, if accurately described in the book, she makes a very convincing case that Sickert wrote a lot of the "Jack the Ripper" letters, but all sorts of… » 9/07/14 6:23pm 9/07/14 6:23pm

I read the "Portrait of a Killer — Jack the Ripper Case Closed" about Walter Sickert and I felt Patricia Cornwall made a very good case that Sickert wrote the letters. (With the forensics of the paper.) She made a pretty terrible case that he had actually killed anyone. » 9/07/14 4:50pm 9/07/14 4:50pm

One of the things that most people don't realize about publishing is just. how. slow. it. is. A friend of mine who is going through the process was completely and totally done with her book back in May. I mean done with the copyedits, done with the title and cover. And her publisher's not releasing it until… » 9/04/14 9:24am 9/04/14 9:24am

School districts have lawsuit insurance (as do most large companies). I suspect that the idea you need to fire someone who needs a psych eval is either in the teacher's contract or is mandated by the insurance company. (That's one of the reasons why schools now have sucky playgrounds nowadays: lawsuits about monkey… » 9/01/14 1:24pm 9/01/14 1:24pm

You have hit the nail on the head with "took two seconds and looked at the socioeconomic indicators." At least one theory about the difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are interested in systems, in interconnected causes and effects and conservatives are more interested in individual behavior. » 8/29/14 4:46am 8/29/14 4:46am

Disney's "specialness" depends entirely on how easily a character or idea can be marketed. Finding Mulan stuff is soooo hard. Finding Mulan stuff that isn't super girly princess stuff is harder. Mulan stuff is, therefore, very special. Cinderella — not so much. » 8/27/14 9:15am 8/27/14 9:15am

Okay, I know you commented in May, but I'm bringing this up now. I can't find this quote attribution before 1978/The Alien Script. Auden wrote about sci-fi, science and modernism multiple times, so it's very believable he'd say something like that. I just can't figure out where. Do you have any other sources,… » 8/27/14 5:14am 8/27/14 5:14am

Welcome back to the states! There was a rape/violent porn/dead dog .gif-posting-troll over on Jezebel. They reasonably complained. Gawker said they'd fix it. And then the troll or trolls went all crazytown on pretty much every forum in the Gawkerverse. So for a whole day there were NO COMMENTS AT ALL. And then… » 8/26/14 5:30pm 8/26/14 5:30pm

That has been the case in the past. It's also true that in the past companies sitting on lots of cash at the end of recessions did lots of hiring, rather than up shareholder prices. This time they upped shareholder prices. So sometimes things that see to be fundamental are not. » 8/23/14 5:51am 8/23/14 5:51am