Category Archives: Popular Culture

My Own Postrel Moment

I went out last night with two delightful young ladies–sisters, nineteen and twenty years old.

OK, get your minds out of the storm sewer–they’re nieces, attending USC.

It was at the Beverly Center, and afterward, with another of their uncles, we wandered the mall. There was only one store open–Victoria’s Secret.

They took us in and showed us the latest thing (at least it was a latest thing to me). Custom-designed underthings. And it’s not just for teeshirts any more.

You pick out the color, and then you pick out a typeface and font and style and hue and sparkle quotient of letters, fill out the form in block letters in the boxes, and they apply them to the derriere upholstery in the proper order, to convey the intended message to your amour du jour.

Has Virginia heard about this?

[Update on Friday]

I should hasten to add, in defense of their honor, that I didn’t mean in any way to imply that my nieces have amours du jour. As I said, we were in that particular store only because it was the only one open at that hour.

[Another update, spurred by another comment, an hour or so later]

Sigh…I should also point out that they showed them (i.e., pointed them out to us on the shelves). They didn’t model them.

Didn’t I already warn you folks about the locale of your minds?


Via Geek Press, the ultimate grand list of overused SF cliches. This should be a mouse click away from any aspiring SF writer, if you don’t want to add to the burgeoning pile of turgid and laughable dreck out there, and further decrease the percentage of non-crud in Sturgeon’s Law.

I particularly enjoyed the cliched settings and characterizations:

Cities of future are depicted as though sanitation workers have been on strike from now until then.

Planets with the same exact climate planet-wide (planets without atmosphere excepted).

Alternative Earths where society is just like some society of the past, with some technodoodads added.

Bad guys who miss everything they shoot at.

Beginning warriors who hit everything they shoot at.

All genetically superior humans have an innate drive to rule, conquer, or kill everyone else.

And silly science:

A hole the size of a barn is made in the hull of a space ship; decompression of the ship’s atmosphere takes a half minute or so.

A hole the size of a dime is made in the hull of a space ship; decompression of the ship’s atmosphere takes a half minute or so.

A large nuclear explosion can be obtained by putting several smaller de-vices together.

The same energy beam which causes rocks, buildings and robots to violently explode produces only a puff of smoke and a bit of burnt flesh and clothing when used on a living being.

These are by no means the best–they are merely representative–go read the whole thing.