austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

When I crossed that room

On reflection, there is not any reason I couldn't sleep in the guest bedroom, where the air conditioning works.

My students for the programming course have, apparently, finished all their other finals: I got twelve e-mails over yesterday and today. The biggest concerns so far are the topics I covered the very last day of class which I'd said then weren't going to be on the final; what the function of the srand() command is; and the obscure details of print format commands, a subject which I find endlessly uninteresting. The final is Wednesday. I can't wait for Tuesday.

Trivia: The pay for a Roman Legionnaire in Augustus Ceasar's time was 225 denarii per year. Source: The Romans, Donald Dudley.

Currently Reading: The Fellowship of the HAND, Edward D Hoch. 1981 mystery/spy/thriller thing set in 2050, although its sensibilities are much more Goofy Sixties Spy Movie. I think we're supposed to be impressed the protagonist takes helicopters everywhere, including from New York City to Washington. Finally, though, one of the underlings thinks the boss has picked a right silly name for the organization. It had been HAND, Humans Against Neuter Domination (by ``neuter'' they mean ``boring, humorless people with computer analyses of everything ever''), in the backstory, unless this is a sequel to something. There're a lot of references to a previous adventure, but the title page says nothing. The leader, following a brief stint in Ineffectual Jail, the official jail of arch-criminals everywhere, changed it to ``The Fellowship of the HAND'', reminding the underling of Tolkein and getting a question of whether that name wasn't a bit juvenile. He's not killed, then or later.

Other amusing little bits: one of the groups (not the important one) which hopes to rule the world (I think that's their goal; it's not clear, but it seems like a safe bet) plans to do it by assembling a gigantic searchable com-pu-ter database of all available information. There's a group called ``Trekers'', fans of some old late 20th-century TV show who are pretty harmless, but a fine source for a young woman who wants sex to go to for it. And the plot involves -- if you can imagine such a thing -- the threat of electronic voting machines being tampered with. The computer guy explains if one candidate is represented with a dot and the other a dash, electrical interference could make dots into dashes. Fortunately, we're far away from anything like that happening. Earth's colonies on Venus are an important supporting detail, in that they're places a person can disappear to for a long time and be physically affected in unpredictable ways by the experience, not to mention go for years without being seen by anyone on Earth.

Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments