The h2g2 Post 12.10.20

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Posted: 12th October 2020

Taking the Long View

The Allegheny River, by God, photographed, by DG.

'If you could hie to Kolob', goes the Mormon hymn (the tune's in the video on your Pliny page), but we do not have to hie ourselves to a distant planet to appreciate a wide vista. Our contributors have painted our world on a broad canvas this week, from sunrises and -sets to rolling waters to…well, take a look and see. You need this visual stimulation, if like most of the sane people on this planet, you've been avoiding travel for the sake of everyone's health. We applaud you and remind you: if we all take a picture of what's in our own neighbourhood, and share it, we don't have to narrow our horizons one little bit.
Another view of the Allegheny River, by DG.
You will notice that this month's Create topic is sharing editorial-page space with next month's Create topic. That's because we want you to think extra hard this month. (Don't strain anything. Take it in spurts, and remember to hydrate.)

First, an uncharitable observation: so far, most of us make lousy ancestors. Seriously. The ideas we've come up with – good and bad – are:
  • Plant trees. MVP is actually being practical here, and gets points for good thinking. Planting trees is long-term planning.
  • Teach the kids and pay the expertise forward. Caiman Raptor Elk is good at this, and he has practice. Let him tell you a tip in his new series, starting this week, called 'Pacifying the Offspring'. We expect good things.
  • Survive. Er, we think you missed the point. It's not you, or your genes, we're interested in. It's the future.
  • Write up all our vast wisdom and 'bless' the future with it. (I'm afraid I may have inadvertently inspired this one.) While it's important for us to save every scrap of whatever we nincompoops think we know about reality, just on the off-chance it might possibly be useful to somebody down the line, it is also important to remember our other favourite hashtag, namely: #homohumilis. Humility looks good on geniuses, you know…

So far, that is IT. That's what's come over the virtual transom. Now, you know you can do better than that. Tell us how to be a good ancestor, or at the end of October, I shall fat-shame your lazy imaginations. There, that's off my chest.

Now, to next month. November has 'traditionally' been a marathon writing month. 'Traditionally' means somebody did it twice. h2g2 is nothing if not persistent. (Or inertial.) So, although that writing group that started it all is now begging people to stop – nobody needs all those flash-fiction novels – we're going to do it again. But this time, it's different.

Stop whining. I know you hate change. That's why I do it.

This year, if you want to write in your journals every day, go ahead. The Post will not attempt to follow them, or feature them, although you may submit excerpts in suitable form through the regular channels. Nor will we be writing a group novel, like last time. (Remember: You can still buy that one online on Lulu. And you will still have to promise that you're old enough to read our 'adult' novel.)

What we will be doing is inviting each volunteer to compose a 30-episode story for the project 'Holes in History'. You find a lesser-known piece of space/time, stake it out, and write a story in it. You may make things up, but you may not-not-not put in any faeries or space aliens or whatnot. Particularly not the whatnots. Rules are contained in the link below. Be thinking about it, and if you want to sign up, use the space at the bottom of that page. I hope you'll decide to give it a try. Right now, most of us want to be anywhen but here.

The rest of this week's issue is full of fun Stuff, like stories and jokes and cartoons and comics and an essay and a cinema review you won't want to miss. In other words, the usual falderol. Please enjoy, and let the contributors know you did.

And have a good week!

Dmitri Gheorgheni

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Quote of the Week: The universe is under no obligation to operate in a way that we find mechanically intuitive.

– Lewis Rockliffe (@r0k_life), Twitter

Create October 2020 by FreewayridingCreate November 2020 by Freewayriding
October Create Challenge:
How to Be a Good Ancestor
November Create Challenge:
Holes in History

Video Extra: Mind Trip

Mountaineering with Kids

Pacifying the Offspring by Caiman Raptor Elk.



MVP Plants Trees

Where MVP wants to plant her trees.

(He's not Scottish, himself.
It's a Suzy Q sort of thing.)

Flower of Scotland
A thistle in flower, by Paigetheoracle.

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