Articles about Personal Stuff
There is an art to gift-giving in long-time relationships. This is not it.
The conundrum of meta-interaction in the digital age.
The most important changes take more than a year.
Many people think that being combative, abrasive and contrarian is “courageous”. They are wrong.
I tried to help her, and she took advantage of me. This is what I did next.
Friend of mine, who happens to be a successful writer and online personality, recently told me: “I don’t write for stupid people, and neither should you.” As I’ve been spending the winter holiday season reflecting back on the year, and contemplating life, love and happiness, I’ve also spent time reflecting on this bit of advice. And I’ve decided I disagree. So in the spirit of the holidays, I’m going to share with you 12 random bite-sized little thoughts — little meditations, if you will — on why I disagree: one for each of the twelve days of Christmas.
If you are like most people, you celebrate your birthday on the same calendar date each year. For example, since I was born on May 4th 1973, you probably consider today, May 4th 2015, to be my birthday. But this is extremely arbitrary and culturally biased: calendars vary from culture to culture, and change over history. Wouldn’t it be nicer–both more objective and more natural–to celebrate the anniversary of your birth in a way that was more connected to the natural movements and rhythms of the earth and the universe?
This is one of my favorite “micro-fiction” short stories from Fredric Brown. He went through a phase in 1954 where all he wrote was science fiction short stories that were less than a page in length. Generally they just contained a single joke, a single cool or thoughtful idea, and that’s it. Of the many, many short stories he published in that year, this is my favorite. It’s shorter than any of my other readings, so you should be able to make it through to the end! And make sure you do: the entire point of the story is the “twist” in the very last line.
For this installment of my science fiction reading project, I wanted to share with everyone a chapter out of one of my favorite “fantasy-like” science fiction novels: The Celestial Steam Locomotive Volume I of The Song of Earth. I found this novel quite randomly when I was 15. I was wandering around the school library in the science fiction section, and the cover and title of the book caught my eye. So, I picked it up and started reading. This chapter stands on its own as a fable that teaches a lesson about jealousy, explains continental drift, and explains the name of a particular animal….
The latest installment of my science fiction reading project is up on Youtube Channel! It’s a very cool classic short story from 1945, and it really shows off how ingenious and inventive some of the sci fi authors from that time period were. I also put a lot of production work into this one: sound effects, special effects, and even a little voice acting for different parts. Check it out and let me know what you think!
I’ve started a new project on my Youtube Channel: I’m going to start doing little dramatic readings of some of my favorite old, classic short science fiction stories. The first one I decided to do is an abridged version of “Trurl’s Machine” by Stanislaw Lem. I know that being read to isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, and honestly I don’t expect any of these videos to get tons of views. But if you like classic science fiction, or maybe if you just like the idea of me reading to you, please go check it out, and subscribe to my Youtube Channel. Leave a comment, and we’ll have some fun. P.S. Yes: I have a very deep voice. I know.
A friend of mine in college was accused of sexual harassment. Let’s call him Mike (that’s not his real name). Mike was six foot three, with a lean well-defined muscular body. Athletic and fit without being bulky, like a runner or a swimmer. He had tanned skin, shoulder-length shaggy hair, and a boyish face that radiated innocence and charm. He constantly smelled of patchouli, and wrote poetry in a little notebook. He was also hyper-sexual. He slept with a lot of women, and flirted with everyone. This is a story about how his sexuality and flirting got him into trouble, and lead to him sexually harassing a woman without even realizing it.
I’ve always loved “The Holidays” in America: that period of time from Thanksgiving through New Years when people unironically listen to cliche music, eat food that is considered “seasonal” even though it’s available year-round, and randomly decorate the crap out of every inanimate object in sight. Personally, I choose to celebrate Thanksgiving in the spirit that our modern culture intends it: a time to reflect on my good fortune. So this is a collection of some of my thoughts this morning about what I feel it means to be a secular atheist who enjoys celebrating Thanksgiving.
For Halloween this year, Jon and I were feeling lazy and so we re-used costumes from several years ago. I was excited because I broke out my old Aquaman costumer from 2011. Wait, no: allow me to be more specific. This costume was the Smallville variation of Aquaman…. who is very different from, well, basically any other Aquaman.
The Kernel is now in its third incarnation, if you count from the very beginning. This time it is being conceptualized as a Sunday magazine with in-depth reporting that attacks a single subject each week. This format provides an opportunity for real insights and discussion on complex issues, rather than just “chasing headlines” like many daily publications do. In my personal opinion, this could allow the new Kernel to get back toward its original mission statement of “fixing journalism.” But I will admit I’m excited about the re-launch for a much shallower, more personal reason. It means my author page and the archives of all of my older work for them from the last 3 years is back up.
The sonic boom appears at the wrong time in “I am number four”. The explosion of the Death Star is unrealistic. Those robots in Pacific Rim could never walk underwater like that. And the SR-71 can’t hover. I don’t know why Jon and I pick up on these little things when we watch science fiction movies. In some ways, of course, it’s just a lark. It’s fun. But in science fiction movies, I think there is actually an interesting question about why some things seem “fine”, while others are not. What exactly determines what phenomena are part of the fictional universe, and what are just “bad physics”?
I added my newest digital painting to my DeviantArt profile under the title “Migration”, although I wasn’t totally satisfied with that name: Migration by GregStevens on deviantART So, I decided to turn to social media to help me find something better. I posted the image to my Facebook profile, with this comment: “I have not […]
I made a video about the whole issue of “Happy Holidays” versus “Merry Christmas”. It’s actually kind of dark, but I think it’s something that needed to be said. This video is a first for me in a few ways. It’s the first time I’ve been this negative or aggressive with a political message – usually I opt for being sarcastic or funny in some way. This is also my first video doing the “talking to the camera” style of monologue. So check it out, and let me know what you think. Is it too much? Does it get the point across?
Those of you who follow this blog know that I’ve done amateur video production on a number of projects, including political videos for Liberal Bias Video and random weird stuff for my personal Youtube channel. Well, I’ve branched out again, and this time shot a funny “spoof” interview video for Kernel Magazine. I’m doing a […]