Hollywood bemoans its lack of experienced writing producers.  And, presumably, Starbucks coffeehouses: http://www.deadline.com/2014/05/showrunners-wanted-networks-grapple-with-lack-of-experienced-writing-producers/


Drew Magary (author of the terrific The Postmortal) confirms what we’ve all suspected for a while now: Facebook is dead.

“Apart from the long-standing complaints about privacy and insufferable people posting pictures of their own feet from a fucking beach, it’s really only useful as a one-time thing. You make your account. You look up old classmates. And you either a) see if they still look good and then go gratify yourself to any long-dormant sexual fantasies, or b) contact those people, re-kindle your friendship, and then continue that relationship in a place that is NOT Facebook. You meet them for a drink. You email them. You text them. You ask them for a job.”  http://theconcourse.deadspin.com/facebook-is-dead-1569469413


Pro-pizza Jimmy Kimmel takes on anti-gluten adherents:


The gang at SFSignal offer their list of The Top 10 Greatest SF Movies Ever Made: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/05/watching-the-future-the-top-10-greatest-science-fiction-movies-ever-made/#more-93376.  Agree?  Disagree?  I’m surprised Alien didn’t make the list.  And that Monsters and Melancholia almost did.


Looking to make your own liquid olives?  Here’s how:


Trailer for the documentary How To Build A Time Machine that follows two men in their attempts to build working time machines.  Are they successful?  I guess you’ll have to watch the movie to find out:


Game of Thrones’ Producers Aren’t Listening To You, And That’s A Problem.  Or is it?

36 thoughts on “May 8, 2014: News of Note!

  1. Hey, wait a minute… *I* know a good writer/producer! Who do I call?

    Without watching that movie, I’m going to guess a no on that time machine. Unless his name is Teddy Hawkins, I suppose.

    Meanwhile, I just cut a huge gash in my finger while trying to replace a baseboard heater in the entry hall. OUCH. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go apply pressure to the wound.

    Once again – “OW!”

  2. So it sounds like the author of that last article — the one about the GOT producers not listening to their online critics — would have Liv Spector reading our discussion of her masterpiece and contemplating our criticism with an eye toward her betterment as a writer. I’m not sure that would be entirely to her benefit, however. Perhaps if someone else were to read our reviews and then distill them down for Liv with a slightly less snarky delivery, that might be better. A buffer zone, so to speak, to pass the constructive criticism along, without completely destroying her self esteem.

  3. The “liquid olives” look like egg yolks that have gone a bit off. Not exactly appetizing.

  4. Given the success of The Blacklist, some of those NBC pickups didn’t surprise me much. I’m really looking forward to Emerald City the premise sounds really amazing.

  5. RE: Liquid olives. Hmmm. Looks like an awful lot of work for something that doesn’t require that much effort to enjoy. I love olives, but one thing I especially like about them is the texture (and sucking on the pits!), and that’s something this doesn’t offer. It’s a novelty, that’s all.

    RE: Gluten-free eating. Unless a person has celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity they should not go on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free does NOT = weight loss, or even better health (the fiber in wheat, rye, and barley are necessary for healthy bowel function). I went gluten-free after dealing with tummy issues for many years, most of which have now been resolved (including, but not limited to, daily indigestion/stomach discomfort, heartburn, and gerd). I did it on my own, something doctors do frown upon (they prefer to go the biopsy route, but that can be inconclusive for gluten sensitivity, so I opted out of a medical procedure in favor of the process of elimination).

    That said, and for all the idiots in California, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, and rye, and it’s what makes dough stretchy and bread chewy. It’s like bread glue. A similar protein is found in oats, but most gluten-sensitive people can handle the protein in oats, though some cannot. Still, due to a high rate of wheat cross-contamination found in oats grown and processed in the US, it’s best to eat only certified gluten-free oats to avoid problems.

    Gluten is also added to many other products, sometimes to improve texture, or to increase the protein content (it can be found in canned chicken broth, for instance). It can also find its way into products through various additives (‘modified food starch’, for instance, may be wheat-based, especially in countries outside the US). Recently a child with celiac disease was still having digestive issues on a gluten-free diet, and it was discovered that the plastic in her retainer contained gluten. Yes, it’s everywhere, and that’s why in this age of over-processed foods and questionable food additives SOME people have developed a sensitivity because they’re getting bombarded with more gluten then their digestive systems can handle, triggering an auto-immune response in the body (which can include everything from digestive issues, to brain fog and dizziness).

    Some grain-based additives, such as maltodextrin, are usually made from corn (in the US), or are so processed that the gluten is destroyed in the process. But to know which additives are safe, and which are not, takes a lot of research. Other grain-based foods, such as vinegar and distilled alcohol, are usually safe because the gluten is destroyed in the distillation process (with the exception of malt vinegar, and some alcohols that may add malt or other flavorings after distillation).

    I don’t know if gluten was my only problem, but I do know I feel much better with it out of my system. One of these days I’m going to muster up the courage to eat a piece of bread, and see what happens. But for now I’m just glad that my ‘nervous stomach’ – as doctors called it – feels better and I no longer have to carry around pills and candies and apples to settle my tummy whenever I go anywhere. Yes, there are still times when I have issues, but once in a while is a whole lot better than nearly every single day.

    So, I hope that people like Kimmel – while I appreciate them poking fun at people jumping on the gluten-free band wagon as a fad – also educate themselves as to what gluten can do to someone with celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It’s no laughing matter, I can assure you.


  6. I agree with Kathode. I would not want Liv Spector reading my comments to help her improve her writing.

    @gforce hopefully you don’t need stitches 🙁 I hope you heal up quickly.

    I helped Allie renew her passport today. Then we went home to find an email stating that Allie was accepted into the program for Thailand this summer. She’s do lucky! I’m so proud! She’ll get to work with elephants, learn to cook Thai food, learn scuba diving, get to go kayaking AND earn college credit! She’s going to have a blast. And I’m going to miss her badly.

  7. @Joe on The Top 10 Greatest SF Movies Ever Made:

    I noticed “The Blob” didn’t make the list. I’m also a little skeptical about the inclusion of “Her”…it seems a little too soon to include it in a “10 greatest” of anything, especially when it knocks off some of the Near Misses. I’d tend to vote “Khannnn!” over “Her” any day.

    Answer: If only YOU had been her editor instead of whoever “edited” her book (Her father? Her best friend? A table lamp?).

    Hey, maybe I can add “Online Editor” to my CV! Then I could get a job as…um…as a…hmmm.

    Maybe I better think about that a little more. 😉

  8. @whoviantrish:

    The next BOTM has arrived. Anyone else feeling a little apprehensive? No? Just me? That’s fine. I’ll get over it. Probably. The chances we have two lemons in a row aren’t that high. . . … right?

    Now you’ve gone and jinxed it! Maybe I should go read “Old Man’s War” instead… 😉

  9. @das THANK YOU! That is information so many people need to read/hear/be hit over the head with, etc.

    I need gluten. I’m not allergic to it. So it’s frustrating when I see so much gluten-free food. David Blue tweeted a while back asking if anyone new a guy who could get him some gluten. He’s pretty funny. But It’s worrisome it could get THAT bad. Unfortunately it’s become a fad and I DO NOT get it! o.O

    @ jeffw Noooooo it’s not my fault! I take it back. 😉

  10. The Sci Fi movie list is a joke. While I agree with a couple in the top 10 (like The Day the Earth Stood Still), most would never make my list.

    Though I haven’t seen it, I agree that Alien should be in the list, along with Star Wars – both were the foundations of successful franchises, and the latter the foundation for an entire religion! The first episode in a franchise, even if it’s not the best, is usually the most inspiring, and Star Wars certainly inspired a generation – generations, even.

    Galaxy Quest would also be in my top 10 because it’s just so damn funny! And a perfect parody of the entire genre. Others would be there, too…I’m just too tired to think of which ones. 😛


  11. Facebook is dead? I guess I’ll take back my status I just wrote about what I would do if I won a huge lottery payout..because I’m so close to that possibility, of course.

  12. Hollywood bemoans its lack of experienced writing producers.

    to whom should you send your résumé?

    and why would anyone bother making liquid olives? what’s wrong with the regular ones? i guess it’s one of those foodie things that i will never understand.

  13. @ whoviantrish – Trust me, there will never be a shortage of gluten-containing foods. 🙂

    For those people who have celiac disease (and to some extent those suffering with non-celiac gluten sensitivity) eating gluten-containing foods is like eating poison. Dining out is the hardest since most restaurant foods are deep-fried (gluten from wheat coatings permeate the oil, contaminating everything that is fried in the same fryer), or covered in gravy (thickened with wheat flour), or cooked on a grill that is contaminated by foods containing gluten previously grilled on it, or contain some sort of wheat noodle or pasta. Most desserts are totally off limits. Croutons in salads. Gluten in chicken and beef broths used as soup bases. Salad dressings, sauces, and seasonings may all contain gluten, so if you can’t read the label, best skip it when dining out. So the reason you see more gluten-free foods is because wheat is such a HUGE part of our diets (and rye and barley to lesser degrees), making it very difficult for people with gluten issues to enjoy the dining experience. In some ways, food becomes the enemy.

    For me, I can no longer just blindly accept a dinner invitation – I have to ask my host what’s on the menu. That’s embarrassing. So I will often offer to bring my own food. I can’t eat at picnics or buffets or pot luck dinners anymore – I eat before I go, or bring my own food. Going gluten-free because you have to is no fun at all.

    That said, those who go gluten-free because they’ve been sucked into the ‘fad diet’ scene probably aren’t really gluten-free at all. Most have no idea what contains gluten, and what doesn’t. They think if they avoid pasta and bread they’re gluten free, not realizing that beer they’re drinking, or that energy bar they’re eating is full of gluten.

    My point? Gluten-free foods are NOT being produced for fad dieters. They are being produced first and foremost for people who have celiac disease, and also for those who have gluten sensitivity issues. These are foods made for people who cannot eat the same foods most other people enjoy without experiencing major digestive issues, as well as other physical and even neurological problems. Trust me, I would much rather be eating a good slice of pizza on a good doughy crust than a gluten-free pizza on a rice-flour slab of cardboard. 😛


  14. Over 1 billion users.. of course growth has slowed but Facebook isn’t dead by any means.

    Few people actually have celiac disease and few need gluten free. It is the “I’m allergic to it” fad of the moment. BUT if it helps get more gluten free foods MADE so that those who actually DO need it can get it more cheaply and in vast variety, go hypochondriacs.., for once your problem is helping someone other than padding fad pushing gurus’ pockets. 🙂

  15. My son-in-law has celiac. My daughter has diagnosed gluten sensitivity, and their daughter, my granddaughter, breaks out in hives when she inadvertently eats gluten. There are lots of folks jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon who don’t need it, but there are so many who do. Cross-contamination is a big issue. Inadvertent gluten exposure could land my son-in-law in the hospital.

    I disagree that Facebook is dead. Since it gains subscribers every month, that is a pretty good indication of at least some health. Arecthe younger generation switching to other social media? Yes, but this is the way of youth. The $ are still with the slightly older generation.

  16. About “Showrunners wanted” i liked the comment of black chick to another: “Your agent is lying to you to cushion the blow. Sorry. It’s true. Agents lie. And Santa Clause isn’t real.” 🙂 I can account for an diversity slot? I make a very good Coffee. 😛
    The film list not is bad but like JeffW i dont include Her. And if the list want to be value accurate, about its importance in the genre. I put Primer like Near Miss because you know is fantastic but lake the importance of Alien & star wars i put in the list. Understand me the list of near misses is really huge.


    The buffer zone people who care about her self esteem, there is already.
    Here we call them agents.

  17. Re: Facebook is dead. I run* several reasonably popular Facebook pages. I get sent weekly statistics about them and one thing I’ve noticed recently is that “total likes” for the pages are going backwards even though I’m getting many new “likes” each week. I can only assume that the numbers are going backwards because people are deleting their accounts.

    * And by “run” I mean I created them years ago and haven’t touched them since.

    Re: Anti-gluten. If you’re a coeliac sufferer then it’s fair enough. If you get a little upset tummy when you eat bread then you might eating the wrong bread. Try sourdough. The longer fermentation helps break down the gluten. Plus, the chewier texture stimulates saliva production which helps to digest the bread properly. Stay away from the mass produced pap that is sold as bread . . . particularly in the USA.

    Re: 10 greatest sci-fi movies ever. Meh. Everyone is going to have a different list. I agree that some of those moves are great but the greatest?

    Re: Liquid olives. *gag*

    Re: How to build a time machine. I travel in a time machine every day. It’s called a car. While I’m driving my car time is actually happening slower for me than the pedestrians I’m driving past.

    Re: Game Of Thrones. I actually got to the Jaime/Cersei sex scene in the book about a week after it was shown on TV so I was aware of the controversy about it and was looking forward to comparing the two to see how outrageous the TV version was. In my opinion there wasn’t much difference. Cersei was stronger in her protestations in the TV version but she still protested in the book. I put it down to artistic license and the writer’s interpretation. As for the writers/producers listening to fans . . . the hard-core fans of the books that I know all like the TV series as well. I’ve yet to ask them about how they feel about recent episodes where the TV show seems to be diverging more and more from the books. Personally I think the TV show is doing a good job. I’m finding the middle of the third book a bit dull and the producers of the TV show have done a good job of leaving out most of the boring bits.

  18. I discovered a pudding tin with lid in the pantry. Now I can make steamed cakes! … once I figure out how to reduce ratios to fit things in it…

  19. A few of my friends are on the gluten free band wagon. I have auto immune issues and people are always pestering me about going gluten free. Next time I see my dr I’m going to get tested for gluten sensitivity. Me and gluten go way back and it would be nice to have confirmation that gluten free is not for me. However, the ONE good thing that comes out of this fad is that people are reading labels. As Das stated, there is a lot of cross contamination but ….reading labels is a step in the right direction.

    Galaxy Quest should be on the list! I didn’t know Monsters was a sci-fi film. Are we talking about the same movie? “Model-turned-actress Charlize Theron leaves her glamorous image behind for this gritty drama, in which she plays a disturbed prostitute who becomes a serial killer.”

    Back to yesterday, any suggestions for cooking rib-eye well done (and keep the tenderness)?

    Tomorrow is my son’s high school graduation! He keeps his emotions low key but I saw him showing his college ID around, so he is excited.

  20. These gluten-free hacks drive me crazy. A gluten free diet is not healthy unless required.

    I have a niece who is into it because it’s the latest fad. I constantly tease her about it on Facebook. She’s an idiot.

  21. Given yesterdays renewals from ABC, there’s only probably a couple of shows left at most looking likely to be renewed the rest will be cancelled.. There will probably be a lot of heartbreak among the fanbases of shows that haven’t had a renewal yet.

  22. I actually feel unwell if I don’t have some grains, preferably whole grain, at the start of my day. But no one gets off easy, do they? My sensitivity is nightshades, which make my joints miserable. Tomatoes are the worst cooked into a sauce, even more so. I can get away with small amounts, so while I am careful, I can have a bite of potatoes and not feel like death. What bothers me a lot is I have discovered calcium makes my joints ache; I tried calcium supplements and thought my knees were going to explode. As with nightshades, I can have a little, so some cheese or yogurt in modest amounts are okay. No more glasses of ice cold milk makes me very sad. So sad. And so brittle.

  23. About 3 million Americans have celiac disease, and an estimated 18 million Americans have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Both groups need to stay away from gluten – that’s over 20 million Americans that cannot properly digest gluten-containing foods. In celiac sufferers the gluten attacks the small intestine (often resulting in severe weight loss and failure to thrive, esp. in children), while in non-celiac gluten sensitivity sufferers the reaction is more akin to other auto-immune disorders (inflammatory issues that can affect the entire body, not just the gut). Neither should be taken lightly.

    That said, for anyone who suspects they have a problem they really should go through a doctor. They would have to be eating a gluten-containing diet for proper tests results. First the doctor would test for celiac, which includes blood tests and a biopsy of the small intestine. If these tests rule out celiac, then they would test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This is done by eliminating all gluten from your diet for about 3 weeks, then reintroducing gluten foods and taking note of your body’s reaction.

    I did it the wrong way – I was feeling so ill and could trace my tummy troubles back to several gluten-containing meals (including a slice of pizza that sent me to the hospital with what I thought was a heart issue, but turned out to be an esophageal spasm). So I stopped eating gluten on my own, but doctors seriously frown upon doing it that way even though my personal results have been great.

    A big problem facing people who truly have issues with gluten are those who think EVERYone is doing it as a fad diet, and refuse to take sufferers of celiac or gluten sensitivity seriously. If someone in your family or circle of friends has cut gluten out of their diets for health reasons, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not harass them for their decision. If they are truly gluten sensitive they will stick with it, but if not they will lose interest on their own and go back to eating like everyone else.

    It is very important that people do not intimidate someone who MUST eat a gluten-free diet into eating gluten foods just because they think it’s a stupid fad diet (this can be especially true when it comes to children and disbelieving or ill-informed older relatives). You’d be surprised with what my friend (who has been diagnosed with celiac disease) has to deal with sometimes when it comes to skeptical & critical family and ‘friends’ – especially those who accuse her of ‘faking it’ for attention. it’s brought her to tears many times. Remember, at least 20 million Americans have celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity – those people cannot have gluten, period – so don’t assume that everyone who is gluten-free is just on some crazy fad diet. They may be gluten-free because they have no other choice.


  24. @Tam Dixon on Medium/Well-done Ribeye Steaks:

    You might try smoking them:


    Read on in the comments; one commentor did medium with this method. For well done, I might add a water-pan in between the logs and/or a small aluminum foil pan to put the steaks in. Some experimentation may be in order.

    I’m a medium-rare kind of guy, so I usually pan/grill sear at high temperature and serve (if it’s thin enough) otherwise, I bake in the oven for a period of time and then sear.

    I’ve smoked beef brisket to great success, but never ribeye. I think I’ll give this a try on Sunday (for the medium-rare version of course).

    Good luck! And let us know what method you end up using; I’m curious!

  25. Gluten-y PS: Some people question why there has been a sudden spike in gluten sensitivity. From my readings most have concluded it’s the result of the modern diet. One study (using frozen blood samples taken 50 years ago) found that intolerance to gluten is four times more common today than it was in the 1950’s. This increase of gluten-sensitivity is thought to be the result of our highly-processed diet, with the (non-GMO) hybridization of wheat also possibly playing a part. Gluten is now being added to many naturally non-gluten foods to increase their protein content (much like when China added the poison melamine to pet foods to boost their protein content in an attempt to increase the value of what they were selling to pet food companies), or to improve their consistency.

    Gluten is also a difficult protein to digest. However, the longer it’s processed, the easier it can be absorbed. Sometimes this is due to the gluten actually being destroyed in the process (such as in distillation). And sometimes it’s because the gluten is broken down into a more digestible form. When foods are commercially mass produced they are processed more quickly, especially baked goods, and this doesn’t allow time for the gluten to break down before it’s consumed. So when you eat a slice of commercially-produced bread today you’re getting a much higher dose of gluten than your grandparents did when they ate fresh-baked homemade bread that took an entire day to prepare.

    Another theory is that, like with many other auto-immune disorders common today, our worlds are just too ‘clean’. Without parasites and other invaders for out immune systems to fight, the immune system turns on the body itself, often turning small irritants into major, organ-destroying illnesses. For some, gluten can be that irritant.

    So, if you don’t have issues with gluten, be grateful, and don’t be too quick to judge those who do.


  26. Facebook IS dying – though it isn’t dead yet – and they get the privacy aspect right, but everything else is BS. FB is the only way I keep in touch with *any* of my classmates (and other people I’ve met in life). People don’t live near me. Isn’t that the reason for social media, generally? FB would never have exploded like it did if everyone lived close enough to visit their high school/college friends. Why FB is really dying stems from the youths (I love that word, sorry) not getting on because their parents and grandparents already are. I don’t blame them. FB is only for classmates and family now (for me); if I want true social media experiences, I go elsewhere.

  27. @Line Noise: I find my office cubicle is my time machine. When I’m sitting there, time goes by MUCH slower than it is for the people walking by out in the sunshine on the street.

    Also, I survived my massively bleeding (i.e. slightly cut and merely seeping) finger last night. A little first aid expertise (i.e. pressure for 10 minutes and then a band-aid) and everything is right as rain!

  28. Quite an interesting day for renewals, pickups and cancelations. NBC has shed itself of a lot of deadwood shows, CBS has picked up another NCIS show and a whole bunch of random shows. Going by the premises, it should be interesting to predict how well these do in the fall.

  29. Well, NBC in their infinite “wisdom” has cancelled Community. I fail to comprehend their cognitive dissonance in canceling a sitcom with an uber-dedicated fan-base and also asking for ideas for new sitcoms since they’ve said they’re “out of ideas”.

    That Time Machine movie looks interesting, should be enjoyable. I’ve heard about that black physicist before, fascinating story.

    My only problem with time machines and time travel in general is a simple piece of physics everybody conveniently leaves out: The position of the Earth. If, like in the new series Contimuum, one were to travel back in time one week, you would essentially leave the Earth’s current location and show up where it was one week ago. Only thing is, I’m not so sure the Earth would be there. I don’t know how such a device would take into account spatial relations since most coordinate systems use the Earth as it’s zero point. If you used the Sun as the zero point, then it could be a bit more feasible. I don’t know, I’ll have to work the physics of that out to see if I’m even correct in my own assumption about the Earth’s spatial relation to time travel.

    Of course, if you use a wormhole to do it, you’re safe from those technical inaccuracies since the wormhole basically folds space and has fixed endpoints.

    -Mike A.

  30. @Mike A.

    It was simply rating badly in its timeslot and hit as low as a 0.9 18-49(And didn’t budget from a 1.0) this season which isn’t great for a show on its 5th season. At the end of the day, the network believed it could do better.

  31. Das: If you really want to experiment, don’t have a piece of bread. Instead have someone feed you some sort of food with gluten mixed in (you can buy powdered gluten from some stores). Have it done when your not aware, two or three times. If you have a spouse who cooks (and is a good actor) have that person slip you some gluten in your food three times over a period of six months. Tell them not to say anything until the six months is up. Meanwhile, you keep a diary of how your feeling, and if you think you got sick or problems from being slipped gluten.

    Ideally it should be a double blind. In other words someone should give your spouse the food pre-made to feed to you, with the person giving you the food ignorant of the content of the food. But that would be a major pain in the butt.

    Otherwise you could talk yourself into getting symptoms. The placebo effect works both ways.

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