Random Randomness, 2/21/2014

Because when you’re out of ideas, it’s go random, or go home.

Mascots Candlehead and Adorabeezle Winterpop...or something.
Sochi Humanoid Mascots: Candlehead and Adorabeezle Winterpop…or something.

до свидания, Slushy Sochi: This Olympiad’s Winter Games have been most notable for their eerily non-random consistency with the event’s prior history. Logistical problems, check. Disgruntled reporters, check. Embarrassing technical glitch, check. Bad weather and poor snow, check. Civil unrest and terror threats, check. New events imported from X-Games, check. Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, check. Figure skating drama-rama, check. Journalistic pratfalls, check. Disappointed politicians, checkcheckcheck.

As always, the media’s spent much way too much time focused on the awards podium, but the kids have not failed to amaze in the face of numerous random distractions. I’ve enjoyed two weeks of never having to wonder if there was something good to watch on television.

UPDATE: The Closing Ceremonies were pretty cool, with some lovely tributes to Marc Chagall and Russia’s literary giants and a witty reference to the Opening Ceremonies’ missing-ring technical glitch, but the real show-stopper was when Sochi mascot Mishka Bear extinguished the Olympic Flame, which managed to be sweet, whimsical, eerie, and creepy-cute, all at the same time.

Misha

UPDATE (4/21): I’m reminded of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the U.S. boycott, and another mascot criticized as a clumsy attempt to wrap the oppressive Russian bear in cuddly plush. As events continue to play out in Ukraine, the icy breath of Misha’s “grandson” Mishka now seems to foreshadow the squelching of freedom’s flame, accompanied by a crocodile tear. Creepy and cynical.

Sochi, having served its purpose, is already a crumbling ghost town.

UPDATE (22 Oct 14): It’s still a ghost town, even though the summer resort areas some miles down the coast are doing a brisk business.

Random Olympic Metallurgy: Olympic Gold and Silver medals are 92.5% silver. Gold medals must be plated with at least 6 grams of gold. Bronze medals are 100% bronze, but you probably knew that already.

bugsfeud
Everybody promenade!

“Is You a Hatfield Rabbit, or a Coy Rabbit?” Speaking of drama-rama, both Christian and secular spec-fic writing communities revisited their respective intra-clan feuds this month.

On the secular side, we have the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) membership and other interested parties divided between free-speech and filtered-speech factions over some less-than-PC dialogue and art presented in a recent issue of their Bulletin.

On the Christian side, there was heated argument over whether dystopian movie The Book of Eli, starring professed Christian actor Denzel Washington, and loaded with overt Christian themes, metaphor, and imagery (plus R-rated displays of intense violence, profanity, and immoral behavior), should be considered a Christian film and/or suitable for Christian viewing, and by extension, whether any movie or book with offensive content could qualify.

Both debates are still simmering. Load your shotguns, pick a side, and fire at will. On second thought, don’t.

Random Word of the Day: Brouhaha. From the French, possibly by way of Hebrew—a state of social agitation when a minor incident gets out of control.

If a Book Drops Into the Market and Nobody Reviews It, Does It Make a Splash? There’s still a free book waiting for the first person to read and review Splashdown Books’ latest multi-author anthology, Aquasynthesis Again. Get a copy and post your review on Goodreads, your blog, your vendor of choice’s website, whatever, then let Splashdown know about it, and you’ll get a free book of your choice from the Splashdown inventory.

I say again, FREE BOOK.

UPDATE: We finally got that first review. You can read it here: http://www.amazon.com/Aquasynthesis-Again-Splashdown-Vol-2/product-reviews/1927154332/ref=dpx_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

The reviewer mostly enjoyed the anthology but wasn’t enthralled by my connecting story, which is fine by me…it was meant to support the anthology and link it to the prior volume, not take center stage.

pest_opossum
Not the one in my yard. Mine was bigger, and it had a tattoo.

Random Wildlife Sighting: Opossum. Last night. In my front yard. Laughing at me. Resembled giant rat with mullet. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

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