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austin_dern

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May. 6th, 2012

Last weekend my brother from Massachusetts, his daughter, and her mother came down for a brief visit. They figured it'd been too long since they saw everyone, particularly as my niece is growing so rapidly, and besides his favorite football club was playing the one that apparently operates out of the northern New Jersey area, so why not? That's why my Sunday started out with the visit up to my brother, his wife, and their daughter. Also along for the ride, one of my aunts --- the one from Long Island --- who'd spent the day before over, going with my parents to a museum exhibit in Philadelphia.

My parents, aunt, and I got up there first, which gave us a little time with my in-law and my niece and made me realize I'd forgotten about Rutgers Day, the day before. I'd had vague plans to go there, but thought that my brother's visit would conflict with it, and then found out the visit was for Sunday, not the Saturday, and somehow that change didn't make me realize what day I should have been there. Too bad, particularly since my sister-in-law took her daughter to it and let her have great fun running around all day, and get sufficiently exhausted as to actually go to bed at her bedtime.

I also brought something kind of like gifts to them. My sister-in-law is organizing some multi-family garage sale set for a couple of weeks, and I asked whether she'd want my pile of videotapes for it. She was willing, and so I got the several dozen tapes out of my storage locker and brought them up. She thinks a dollar a tape is a fair price; I don't really care. I'm mildly curious whether anyone would actually be interested in, say, the VHS version of Apollo 13 since I'd think anyone who did want it either has it already or got the DVD edition. My sister-in-law picked out a couple of what she considered scores --- I'm not sure if she was serious about wanting King Kong Versus Godzilla --- but what the heck. As long as someone enjoys.

Trivia: James Gordon Bennett launched the New York Herald in 1835 with his last five hundred dollars; he had three times before attempted to publish a newspaper, without success. Source: The Paper: The Life And Death Of The New York Herald Tribune, Richard Kluger.

Currently Reading: The Clockwork Rocket, Greg Egan. Book One of the Orthogonal series. I love that the book not just starts from the idea of ``what if the speed of light depended on its wavelength?'', but goes from there to building up a weird Nightfall-ish parallel-world with a mishmash of About To Discover Quantum Mechanics state of scientific development, but goes on to --- well, it's a spoiler but, man, they launch the kind of rocket that would make Doc Smith happy. (The book even involves colliding universes.) Plus every couple chapters the book interrupts with diagrams and potential wells and so on depicting what the Clockwork Rocket aliens draw using their own cuttlefish-like abilities to make light. And Egan apologizes that he hasn't worked out the details of this alternate universe's biochemistry to make sure it actually hangs together.

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