Here, Have a Spontaneous Podcast

I asked people on Twitter for questions that I would answer on a podcast today. Here is that podcast. I discuss cyber security, Nutella, harassment, socks and many other very important topics. It’s 33 minutes long. Enjoy!

https://whatever.scalzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/jssp081613.mp3?_=1

(or if you prefer, a direct link to the file)

22 Comments on “Here, Have a Spontaneous Podcast”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    changterhune

    But you fail to cover Nutella harassment which is a very heinous crime in and of itself. What are you trying to hide?!

  2. I used to like Nutella, but then I made the mistake of reading the ingredients, and discovered that it’s basically margarine.

    I like margarine, but I spread like a thin layer of margarine on a piece of toast. I do not slather it on like I would peanut butter, which is what Nutella calls for. And I just can’t eat that much margarine at a go.

  3. It’s good that you point out the big problem with a privacy amendment to the Constitution affecting the abortion debate. In Florida we had exactly that situation happen when an amendment to the state constitution guaranteed the right of privacy, and it has mostly been used to strengthen abortion rights. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth by right-wingers–the same ones who are now screaming bloody murder about Obama reading their e-mails (although curiously, they didn’t seem to have a problem with Bush reading e-mails. Huh.). They have seriously been trying to convince the populace that pregnant women should not have an expectation of privacy. They have started to succeed on that with pregnant teenagers.

  4. I follow you on Twitter because you’re funny and smart. You amuse me. Something tells me your novels aren’t extremely long tweets. One day I might try one though. In the meantime, thanks for the merriment and insightful discourse.

  5. Something I had never heard of before I moved to the Bay Area from Ohio: Chocolate Coconut Water. Same basic deliciousness as chocolate milk, but none of the syrupiness or fat!

  6. Gotta say I’m right there with you on the brontosaurus. The best-loved dinosaur that never was.

    I’m told something also happened to the triceratops family, wherein what was once believed to be two separate species turned out to just be a juvenile and an adult of the same species.

    So basically I think there’s a cabal of scientists somewhere that just has it in for Land Before Time.

  7. So basically I think there’s a cabal of scientists somewhere that just has it in for Land Before Time.

    Alas, you have discovered our evil plan. Please don’t tell anyone.

    Sincerely,
    The Society of Scientists who were Traumatized by Littlefoot’s Mother Dying and Have Since Dedicated Their Lives to Undermining Land Before Time
    (SSTLMDHSDTLULBT)

  8. FIFTEEN YEARS NEXT MONTH!!

    Will there be a massive celebration or are you going to hold off three years until the Whatever is old enough to vote?

    (And why don’t I remember the massive celebration for your tenth Whateversary?)

  9. aetherize: I KNEW IT. The Fools At The Academy laughed, but I knew one day I would SHOW THEM ALL.

    In unrelated news: I can’t back you up on chocolate milk, Scalzi. It’s only syrupy if you make it wrong. And chocolate almond milk might be evidence that almonds as a species have attained their highest state of being.

  10. Annalee – chocolate almond milk +1. That is perhaps one of the greatest marriages of flavor! I would trade nutella and bisquatti (sp?) for it.

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