Manifesto overload – May 1, Modern Times Bookstore

Steven Schwartz and I are hosting a Manifesto reading for SF in X (SF in Exile) at 7pm tomorrow night, May 1, at Modern Times Bookstore. It will be ALL MANIFESTOS. Come by and join us in raucous, fiery polemics!

While you’re there, buy lots of books at Modern Times, which is a great neighborhood bookstore that supports progressive politics and activism.


Annalee Newitz – Cyborg Manifesto
Danny O’Brien – Futurist Manifesto
Daphne Gottlieb – a wild rant of a poem, and the SCUM Manifesto
Liz Henry – bitch mutant manifesto
Naamen Tilahun – an original manifesto
Nick Mamatas – a short story to set you on fire
Steven Schwartz – Dadaist Manifesto
Zuleikha Mahmoud – Femme Shark Manifesto


With excerpts from the following extra fantabulous other manifestos:

Dada • SCUM • Provo Bicycle • Slut • Communist • Futurist • Unabomber • Art of Noises • Infernokrusher • Dogme 95 • International Werewolf Conspiracy • Surrealist • Bitch •
Vorticist • Turku • GNU • Femme Shark • Raver • Genderfree • Bitch Mutant • Headmap • Cyborg • Cluetrain • Anarchist • Yippie Voting • Up Against the Walls Motherfuckers • Declaration of the RIghts of Man • Bauhaus • LOL_MEME Bill of Rights • Cannibalist • And some too new to make it into this list!

Doors open at 6:30, reading starts at 7. $10-20 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of money.

AND! The party moves to Zeitgeist afterwards for Sarah Dopp‘s birthday.

I’ve loved manifestos for ages and ages. They don’t pull any punches or pussyfoot around. No qualifying maybes, no disclaimers, no apologies, no hedging your bets. Take a position and state it with extreme fervor. Say it like you mean it! Rant and declare!

A few years ago Steven and I talked about editing a manifesto zine or an anthology, and that’s still a possibility. For this reading, I’m excited that so many of the manifestos being read or excerpted are feminist ones!

Here are two of my favorites, done in beautiful flyers – the Why Cheap Art? and Cult of Done manifestos.

Cult of Done Manifesto

Why Cheap Art? manifesto


Things to do with rubber bands

Moomin’s friend “Good Landru” has a toy that is basically a board with some nails around the edge and a bunch of different colors and sizes of rubber band. This is going to be my next craft project with Moomin. I ordered this to start with,

Rubber Band Ball kit

Which is nifty looking in itself and he might enjoy. Clearly it is just a big pack of rubber bands with instructions that say “Wrap these suckers around each other till they’re all gone” but unlike so many gimmicky toys, it’s cheap – only 4 bucks. So, I ordered it, it’ll come in the mail as a surprise, and then I can rummage around for a board.


rubber bands

We got the rubber bands! I still don’t have a board, but we made a great shoebox guitar and a sort of giant box-zither thing. I realized that Moomin doesn’t know anything about scales, or what a third is, or anything about music theory. He might like it.

My plan for the board is:

1 board about 1 foot square and maybe 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick
32 nails (I think finish nails will work best)

9 nails to a side, gives good scope for making complex rubber band patterns.

I’m not sure if finishing nails, with almost no head to them, will be best or not, so I might get a few other kinds for an experiment.

Anyway, I highly recommend a big bag of multicolored rubber bands – it has a lot of possibility for projects.

Watch out that your cats don’t eat the rubber bands!

The elusive kilogram!

Last night I had this conversation with Moomin. “I just want to make sure you actually understand this metric system stuff rather than doing the problems blindly. So let’s draw a little chart. How many grams in a kilogram?” “Um… ummm… ummmmmm…. Oh yeah! 1000!” “Okay, how many centigrams in a kilogram?” “There’s no such thing as a centigram.” “There is!” “No there’s not! They didn’t tell us that! Look, I wrote it down… Can you just let me finish this page? It’s my bedtime!” Bedtime is not a good time to explain the entire concept of the metric system so I gave in.

Later a certain person assured me that Moomin was right! Well, they are wrong! 8-P

And then led me into a delightfully pointless reading: Wikipedia: Kilogram.

The kilogram is the only unit not defined off a physical constant – it’s defined from this particular object, the 130-year-old International Prototype Kilogram or IPK. And a whole bunch of other metric units are defined using mass, like newtons, pascals, joules, amperes, couloumbs, volts, teslas, webers, candelas, lumens, and lux. (The plural is not “luxes”. I looked it up.) It was created and then defined as the standard. But some replicas of it were created, like the Kilogram of the Archives, and over time they have diverged from each other. The story of what they’re all made of, and how they’re periodically compared and verified, is pretty cool. And sort of insane. Is that a whole bunch of people’s life work? Making sure that we know how wrong our kilograms might be? Eeeeeee! That’s so hot!!!!!!

And so are multiple bell jars over a brass-looking pedestal thingie! It’s like The International Geek Thingamajig on a Steampunk Cake Stand of Awesome!

Burrow deeply into the kilogram article and you will get to the proposed alternatives that would tie the kilogram to a constant. Atom-counting approaches (I liked the Avogadro project, which would use a silicon sphere); Ion accumulation; and the rather sexy sounding watt balance method: the electronic kilogram!

I am tempted to show all this to Moomin but not until he finishes today’s tedious homework, which is three pages of textbook problems of temperature conversion. No one needs that many examples – it is very pointless. At the least I will wow him with the revelation that there are exagrams, zettagrams, yoctograms, and zeptagrams which I will prove through the irrefutability of Wikipedia because we all know the important thing to teach 4th graders is that Wikipedia is totally true.

Flip fantasia!

After Moomin’s school choir concert — in which 50 kids sang Nickelback’s “Rock Star”, “Time After Time”, “I’ll Stop the World”, and (again) Bohemian Rhapsody — I tried to get him to think of some very silly songs for adaptation for a kids’ choir. He was underwhelmed by the Langley School Project version of Space Oddity, and didn’t think that Sleater-Kinney’s Words and Guitars would translate well to choral adaptation. I disagree, it would totally rock and has great lyrics.

Anyway, after that I was treated to this improvised dance to Cantaloop:

After the first minute the dance gets amazingly interesting! I like Moomin’s improvisations very much. At some point I couldn’t resist dancing a little bit with him so it’s rolling shaky-cam time.