William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Hot News Saturday: Worst Science Fiction, Sheffield Devolves, Sainted Liberals

Great News!

Buck Alice and the Actor Robot will soon appear as a radio drama. This is not to be missed!

Buck Alice and the Actor Robot

The Colonial Radio Theater will produce Walter Koenig’s—Chekov, from the original Star Trek—surreal novel as a radio play. (This had been announced before, but the production appears closer to reality.)

I hesitate to pick on Mr Koenig, because I have heard of his grief, but Buck Alice is, without doubt, the worst science fiction novel of all time. I mean it. Of All Time! I can prove it—and I have. I wrote a review of Koenig’s masterpiece several years ago, which can only be read by the bravest.

If you have any sense of humor, you, like me, cannot wait to hear the following dialog rendered:

‘Take off your clothes.’

‘No.’

‘Take off your clothes.’

‘You don’t have a neck.’

‘What?’

‘You don’t have a neck and you always carry that case and you speak funny.’

‘I don’t…’

‘I ain’t going to do it with somebody who does all those things.’

‘I have a neck.’

‘You do not.’

‘I do.’

‘You do not.’

‘I do.’

‘Where?’

‘Where everyone has one.’

‘Point to it…I still don’t see it. Make it come out.’

‘There.’

‘Where?’

‘Can’t you see it now?’

‘Is that all there is? I ain’t going to do it with somebody with such a little neck.’

‘My neck isn’t little.’

‘Then I’m not going to do it with you because of what my mother told me.’

‘She told you…?’

‘Never trust anybody who hunches his shoulders.’

‘Why?’

‘He’s hiding something.’

‘I’m not hiding anything.’

‘Then you’ve got a little neck.’

‘MY NECK ISN’T LITTLE!’

‘Prove it.’

‘Huh?’

‘Take off your shirt.’

‘Take off my shirt?’

‘So I can see your neck.’

‘No.’ …

And bad sex scenes? None beats this:

How could he have overlooked her stomach—her belly, her tummy, her tum-tum—how could he have missed that the first time around? He had an almost overpowering urge to bury his face in it and wrap it around his ears. She kept coming. ‘She has no will, no choice, her body is making her come to me…like little Italian women who hate American G.I.’s but love their candy bars? No, no…because…Yes! Because although her body does compel her, Loinine wants to come, wants me, wants me to hold her, to protect her—to do anything I wish with her. Closer still. My God, those breasts, that tummy, so near. And now the thighs. The deep of the thighs, the feel of that against me, Jesus! What, still more? Some yet undiscovered ultimate wonder more than the breasts and the tummy and the thighs? Some final ultimate wonder…oh yes, OH YES! (ellipsis original)

Sheffield University Breaks Taboo

Or something. How else can you explain this picture (larger version) sent in by my number one son. My guess is their enrollment goals have been met and that they are filled to overflowing, hence this picture to discourage new applicants.

Sheffield University

Actually, they claim that this photo is from a dance to explain Darwinian evolution. Given the political contentiousness of that theory, I don’t think they’re helping their case.

Liberals Good, Conservatives Bad

(Somebody sent this to me, but I cannot rediscover who. I apologize to this person. I kept the link and accidentally deleted the email and my mailer purges trashed emails daily. This also appeared on HotAir.com.)

Blogger Kathleen McKinley, was watching over the Texas Textbook Wars and was sent a flier prepared by a tenured Texas teacher delineating the difference between liberals and conservatives.

A snippet is below. Astonishingly, it is as if it were written by a conservative as a parodying liberal thought.

Liberals generally approach human nature with a great deal of optimism. They think people…are not evil…Liberals [have] great confidence in the ability of the enlightened citizen to make wise and prudent choices at the ballot box.

Conservatives, on the other hand, have a more pessimistic opinion of human nature. Because they believe people have been tainted by original sin…they expect less of people. They are more reluctant to provide welfare programs such as aid to dependent children…Liberals welcome reforms because they feel that human history is one of continual progress…Conservatives are distrustful of the average citizen’s ability to direct a government…

But what about the children!

We also learn that conservatives, unlike liberals, do not “advocate utopian (perfect) forms of government.”

Amen to that.

Update: Think I should apply?

The Democratic National Committee seeks a Lead Modeling Analyst and one or more Modeling Analysts. The Modeling Analyst / Lead Modeling Analyst will assist in statistical analysis of new and existing data, constructing and analyzing models and designing, implementing and analyzing controlled experiments.

10 Comments

  1. “…Darwinian evolution. Given the political contentiousness of that theory..”: only among Americans and Muslims.

  2. Think I should apply?

    Yes, I think you should apply. So act like a true liberal: not afraid to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new ideas and new thinking; to boldly go where no conservative man has gone before; and apply for the job. ^_^

  3. Briggs

    April 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    dearieme,

    True (but not with this one). I just can’t imagine what’s on that guy’s mind.

  4. “I just can’t imagine what’s on that guy’s mind.”

    Like on every dancer’s mind, when they are up in the air: The Landing.

  5. What kind of controlled experiments is the DNC contemplating? Liberal rats in a maze? I think you MUST apply just to find out what they’re up to.

  6. I now think I understand why Koenig’s character on Babylon 5 was named Alfred Bester. Koenig wrote the worst science-fiction ever, while the real Alfred Bester wrote possibly the best. Someone’s joke. Some of the quotes from the old Buck Alice review even sound just like some the speeches Bester gave in B5.

  7. ‘Think I should apply?’

    Depends how comfortable you are working with lead. Cumulative poison you know, like heavy.

  8. Now, I sure as hell “get” evolutionary theory. I also believe it is the best explanation we have for the origins of life today.

    But when we see fit to make it into a dance, I start wondering if maybe the Flying Spaghetti Monster had it right all along.

  9. See that dancer? That’s that Bez from Happy Mondays, that is. Someone’s half-inched his maracas.

  10. Would make a great Christmas card dontcha think? They could sell it with stickers for fund raising. Describe it as some fictional disorder and Liberals will happily support the cause.

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