Take a moment to appreciate these good COVID-19 statistics

May 1, my state had the third-highest per-capita C-19 infection rate. A little over a month later, Pennsylvania now has the fifth-lowest rate. I am privileged that I have access to good healthcare and that my income hasn’t been affected by the lockdown, and that my school has taken the initiative to require this fall’s students to show evidence of vaccination (or to apply for accommodations). The pandemic is not…

We Tried to Do Vanlife Right. It Broke Us Down.

Shortly before I got married, my sister rented an RV and we spent a couple weeks driving around Arizona and visiting the Grand Canyon. We had no particular agenda, other than to drive around and have a sibling road trip. It was so relaxing. Great memories. My wife likes to plan things out, so “driving around looking at stuff” was never something we did on family outings. There were times…

Steampunk flag for the United States of Britannia (from the alternate history my kids and I made up during bedtime stories)

In the steampunk world my kids and I made up for bedtime stories (from about 2007-2013), Benjamin Franklin’s discovery of ether technology was the bargaining chip that forced King George to grant the 13 colonies full membership in the new kingdom of United States of Britannia. I’m working on a Blender3D model of the flagship where most of our interactive stories took place, and I realized I needed to design…

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A Successful Failure: The TI-99/4A Turns 40

My family had one of these when I was 12 or 13. The games I remember include a Pac-Man clone called “Munchman,” but I think I remember learning BASIC, blocky computer graphics, word-processing, and using a speech-synthesizer. The TI-99/4A was a great computer to learn on. I remember making a Star Trek combat simulator (based on the text-only battle games that were popular at the time), and I remember being…

Narnia board game — enjoyable family activity (but it’s weird that the Pevensies compete against each other)

It’s weird that in the Narnia board game, the Pevensies compete against each other. I thought it would make sense that they would have to work together to defeat the White Witch, but no. Why do they all work against each other? In the book, Edmund betrays his siblings — but they don’t betray him! Before Edmund’s visit to Narnia, we read, “The others who thought she was telling a…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

In April, 2001 I was blogging about interactive fiction, Roget’s Thesaurus, John Lennon, HTML Frames, and C.S. Lewis

A student newspaper article about interactive fiction (quoting Emily Short and me) Blaming Roget’s Thesaurus Finding the URL of a framed HTML document My visit to the John Lennon Artificial Intelligence Project HarperCollins re-issuing the works of C.S. Lewis Dave Winer on “The Web is a Writing Environment“

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Identity Crisis (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season 4 Episode 18) The Case of LaForge’s Disappearing Shipmates

Rewatching ST:TNG An enjoyable mystery follows LaForge as he investigates the disappearances of his former shipmates. Visiting Cmdr. Susanna Leijten shows video logs from a USS Victory away team, noting that members of that landing party from 5 years ago— which included herself and LaForge— are disappearing. One has stolen a shuttlecraft and is on his way back to the site, Tarchannen III. A good character scene in Ten Forward…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu Logo

For the record, if I should happen to be murdered by someone with a gun…

For the record, if I should happen to be murdered by someone with a gun, I grant all supporters of sensible gun control legislation full permission to politicize my death — as quickly as they like.   I reject any notion that the months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes after a violent firearm incident are “not the time for political debate.”   It’s everyone’s First Amendment right to criticize the…