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2:12:39 AM Ben: What part of space is the closest analogue to Athens?
2:12:51 AM Lewis: athens
2:12:57 AM Ben: Other than that.
2:13:05 AM Lewis: crete?
2:13:17 AM Lewis: or, umm, persepolis?
2:13:36 AM Ben: OK, what if we exclude all locations on Earth?
2:13:48 AM Lewis: lunar athens?
2:13:56 AM Ben: No such place.
2:14:02 AM Lewis: oh you want real places?
2:14:10 AM Ben: Yeah, but in space.
2:14:19 AM Lewis: alpha centauri?
2:14:34 AM Ben: How's that like Athens?
2:15:19 AM Lewis: well, you had me rule out all the places that have something like "is/was a cultural center" in common with athens
2:15:38 AM Lewis: so, the bar is pretty low
2:15:51 AM Lewis: i went with "likely to have been heard of by a reasonable proportion of people"
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I'm about to start reading The Raw Shark Texts, based on a recommendation on a podcast.

It opens with a quote from Jorge Luis Borges, which makes me think it's going to be a good read. The other authors I can think of who've done that are John Hodgman (More Information Than You Require) and China MiƩville (The Tain*), both of whom I really like.

Anyone have any more examples of books that have a prominent Borges quote? I'm especially interested in finding out whether it's possible for a bad book to do this.

*Actually, turns out that quote is at the end, not the beginning. I'm going to count it anyway.
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Is anyone who reads this at Comic-Con? If so, could you pick up this year's Choose Your Own Adventure handout from the Kingdom of Loathing guys for me?
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Attention people in or near Palo Alto: I will be there from July first to seventeenth.

And let me know if you're interested in coming over for my family's big Fourth of July party. It's a pretty open thing, but ideally I'd like some idea of who's showing up ahead of time. It'll be on Saturday from 7 to whenever.
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My songwriting friend Mike (not [livejournal.com profile] karlean7, the other one) wrote a song about me the other day! As is usual for songs about me, it's quite good. You should go listen to it.

I transcribed the lyrics, because none of my favorite lyrics websites had them yet:

Warning: lyrics may contain spoilers for the song )
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The last few days have been pretty eventful. Capucine's gone back to France for the summer, my parents visited me, and I solved a cryptic crossword for the first time.

Tomorrow I'm going to try the Washington Post Hunt with Claire and Brad. Should be fun.
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Remember when Randy Milholland asked Something Positive readers to match his yearly salary in donations, and they totally did? I'm going to see if Request Comics readers can pull that off too.

I'm unemployed, so the target value is $0.

If you want to support request-based photocomicry, come check out the donation drive at http://www.requestcomics.com/donate.html. Even if you donate nothing, that'll go a long way toward my goal. Especially if you donate nothing.
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You've been following guest week at Tall Comics, right? Well, in case you haven't, you should be aware that it's finished off with a guest strip by me. There are a few details that you might not get if you don't regularly read Tall Comics, but you should regularly read it anyway, so that isn't an issue.
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Unlike most people with webcomics, I'm not going to be at the New England Webcomics Weekend thing this weekend.

I am, however, going to be in a Scrabble tournament. My first one! I should be able to get an official rating out of it. Probably a low one, since I hear they tend to start out that way.
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Conversation with a housemate a few minutes ago:

"It's Daylight Saving Time now!"
"Oh, right. This is a big thing for you, isn't it?"
"It's a big thing for everyone."
"Of course. Well, happy new year!"
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I bought a bag of marshmallows for this strip, and I'm not really sure what to do with the ones that are left. Any ideas besides the obvious s'mores?
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Ask me a question about each of the following:

1. Food
2. Webcomics
3. Scrabble
4. Other Webcomics
5. Whether I'm wearing socks right now
6. LiveJournal

I will either answer the question honestly or give an annoying joke answer that doesn't really address it.

Comments may be screened.
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The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- What I create will be just for you.
- It'll be done this year.
- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry. I may draw or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.


Jan. 2nd, 2009 03:18 am
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Barely 24 hours into the new year, and I've already broken one of my resolutions: the prohibition on saying the word "steal," or derivative forms such as "stolen" or "stealing." ("Steel" was allowed.)

I'm usually better than this. In past years I've been able to go without saying "bagel" and "agility." Those are a bit less common, true, but I still thought I could manage this.

I do have several other resolutions:
* Stop complaining about which tiles I get in Scrabble
* Write LiveJournal posts about each book I read
* Apply for at least one job per week until I get one
* Keep my hair long (this resolution suggested by Capucine)

Obviously, none of those are as important to me as the one about not saying "steal" was, but they have the advantage of still being possible to fulfill.
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Public announcement: I'm going to be in Palo Alto for Thanksgiving week, from Sunday to Sunday.
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  • Salami hog, go him! Alas.

  • Panama plan: a canal, Pam, a nap.

  • Adam, I'm Ada.

  • No melon and lemons, no meld nano-lemon.

  • Was I able? Elba I saw.

  • Do nine men enter? "Et nene men," I nod.

  • Dork cats, may Eva have yams tack Rod?
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I got two bingos in one game of Scrabble today: MOLDINGS and MAGICIAN. I didn't use blanks for either of them. Oh, and I managed to play MOLDINGS on two double word score tiles, getting the elusive quadruple word score effect.
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This post is mainly aimed at people who will be voting in California. I think that's a large portion of my readership.

Marriage is under attack this year, on a scale that, as far as I know, is unprecedented. Literally thousands of marriages in California are going to be annulled if Proposition 8 passes.

What's worse, this attack on the constitutionally guaranteed right to marriage has a real chance of passing, according to polls. It's a sad comment on the standards of society today that destroying marriages is even on the table, much less that a significant number of people might vote for it.

I know this isn't the first time you've heard warnings about the need to defend marriage, but this goes far beyond what California has faced before. Yes, even worse than the unconstitutional Proposition 22 back in 2000. The threat this time is that actual existing marriages will be made no longer valid. If you care at all about protecting the sanctity of marriage, please vote no on Proposition 8.

APE envoy

Oct. 13th, 2008 12:23 am
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Anyone going to APE next month? I'm going to miss it this year on account of being far away from San Francisco. There are enough nice webcomics people there that it would be handy to have an envoy to say hi to them for me and such.

If you're into comics and not too busy November first to second, it's a pretty fun event with lots of exciting indie cartoonists. And if you're not too put off by the idea of me referring to you as my envoy, I can give you a list of all the coolest people to go talk to / inform that I regret not being able to see in person at this time.
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Finished Blocks With Letters On, a puzzle game based around forming words by arranging blocks with letters on. Does a good job of steadily increasing the difficulty as you progress. You should play it.
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