Friday, August 31, 2012

Christian Science Monitor Needs Letters

What's missing?

My Visit from President Obama

I was surprised, not to mention delighted, when President Barack Obama appeared in my office this morning. (Gee, after actor/director Clint Eastwood's speech last night, I'm seeing the president everywhere, it seems.)

While I sat in my office speaking with the president, I asked if I could take a photo. He was kind enough to allow it, so the photographic proof is above.

I was nervous – this was the first sitting president I've actually met – so the photo isn't that great; Mrs. InvisibleObama got accidentally cropped on the right side.

Barack to Clint: Right Back Atcha

We've all known Clint Eastwood is a Republican. He's been a public (and at one point publicly elected) GOP person for decades. And he's earned respect even from his political opposites because of his integrity and independence. I'll say I agree with him on a lot of things; disagree with him on a few important things, so we'll each be voting for different candidates this November. Fair enough.

But, oh dear, did he not do himself or his legacy any good last night with his speech to the Republican National Convention. Worse for him, he didn't do his preferred candidate any good.

The Democrats are having a field day. (I liked the simple "Wow" of one deputy Obama campaign manager in response to the speech, or the campaign's statement that they would refer questions about Eastwood's speech to surrealist Salvador Dali.) And here's President Obama's response to Clint Eastwood's empty-chair ramble:
Courtesy Towleroad.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Edit Discover

So, I still think it was a good idea to bring the editorial staff of Discover magazine to suburban Milwaukee from New York, as owner Kalmbach Publishing has done.

But everyone doesn't appear to think so; I just received an electronic job alert: Discover magazine is searching for a new editor-in-chief. Hmmm....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Galaxis Hits 5,000

The second issue of Galaxis magazine, my digital science fiction/science magazine, has reached 5,000 readers.

I'm still hip-deep in putting together the third issue; I clearly have missed the ship date for Galaxis three (or Galaxis drei, as I refer to it internally, keeping with the German name). But this third issue will be the biggest yet, and it will include an analysis of Star Wars' mythic roots, a complete episode guide to the original Battlestar Galactica (as a complement to my guide to the new Galactica in Galaxis two – or Galaxis zwei, if you're still with me), an update on Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, checking in with rising young science fiction author Charles Yu, a look inside the Hadron collider at CERN, presidential SF preferences, my review/analysis of Prometheus, the search for Earth-like planets, and a ton more. Look for it in the next couple months.

In the meantime, click on the image above to see/read/print/download the second issue of Galaxis, featuring the SyFy Galactica episode guide, a trip to Saturn, the world's first science fiction story, Lyle Lahey's Bunky comic, building the first real starship, German science fiction history, and – again – a ton more.

Keep reading!

Friday, August 17, 2012

News Quiz: Romney, Ecuador, & More

What did the UK threaten to do to Ecuador? Whom did Jerry Brown quote? How did Mitt Romney describe President Obama's campaign?

Find out how much you know about the week's news in my latest Week to Week news quiz at Huffington Post San Francisco.

All that – plus Helen Gurley Brown!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kalmbach Lets Employees Discover Wisconsin

Kalmbach, the suburban Milwaukee-based publisher that purchased science magazine Discover two years ago, is reportedly closing Discover's New York office and shifting the editorial staff to its Midwest base, according to Folio:.

Just wanted to say, I told you so. Kalmbach was a good company to buy Discover, and now it's making a good decision regarding location. The only points-off moment was when the company's president used the word "synergy" to explain the move.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bad Ads, Part I

The ad box to the left of this text is from a Washington Post news article page. It's one of those omnibus ads you see syndicated across many websites, containing a number of different ads made to look vaguely like intriguing news-trendy stories.

Now, read the ads. Do they sound like reputable companies to you? It's fully possible that they are; but if so, then they should fire their ad copy writers and promotional team. These read like fly-by-night scams that try to trick you into clicking through to bad websites.

I know, I know; there's a sucker born every minute.

But here's a better slogan to keep in mind: caveat emptor.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

DC3's Newest Copilot

Also in this issue of the Marina Times, I spoke with rising local politician Kat Anderson.
Kat Anderson’s task for DC3: Unity  
by John Zipperer 
With the election of Marina resident Kat Ander-son to San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee (DC3), the City’s Democrats have put one more piece in place for ending what has been at times a destructive intraparty contest. 
Anderson, who was sworn into office July 25 for a two-year term, said it is time the City’s left-wing and moderate sides of the Democratic Party stop fighting ...

Interview with Author Cara Black

Cara Black; photo by Steven Fromtling
Cara Black, author of the Aimée Léduc series of mystery novels from Soho Crime, is profiled by yours truly in the current edition of the Marina Times:
Cara Black: International woman of mystery novels  
by John Zipperer 
If you walk down Market Street with mystery novelist Cara Black, what else do you talk about but murder? As she chatted about the chilly late July weather, she occasionally flipped her hair away from her eyes, only to have the wind blow it back. But at the mention of a real unsolved murder case here in San Francisco, Black’s eyes widened and she asked for details. She then shared a true story about another unsolved murder here, a locked-room killing in her own neighborhood involving a victim from France.  
France and death are not far from the surface when Black talked with the Marina Times about ...