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From Issue #39 March 27, 2014

Editor’s Note

Planting the future by saving seeds, our book, and more.

By The Editor Twitter icon 

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The cover of issue 39

Scarlet runner beans. Photo by Glenn Fleishman.

The book ships!

After weeks of work and then sorting through the complexities of getting all the details aligned for printing, we have an actual, palpable book! I received a shipping copy for my approval on March 24, and I approved!

If you’re a backer, the book should be in your hands between March 28 and April 5, with most books delivered on the early side. Overseas, you should start receiving books by March 31, although it may take two to three weeks for copies to arrive in rural or distant locations.

We have three free evening in-person book events scheduled on the West Coast in April where you can come and chat with us and purchase a copy of the book, too! We’ll be in Seattle on April 2, San Francisco on April 3, and Portland, Oregon, on April 30. See our book-event page for locations and special guests.

We’ve halted “pre-orders” at the moment, as we will soon be able to take actual orders! We’ll update our book-ordering page and send out a short email when we have the new mechanism ready for orders.

The book will have a list price of $30 and be fulfilled in the US through Amazon using whatever shipping method you like, including Prime and Super Saver. We will continue to accept a limited number of international orders, which cost a total of $45 a copy due to the high cost of shipping.

Those of you who purchased the hardcover after the Kickstarter (which included an ebook in every print book bundle) can get the ebook for $5 extra. We just ask for proof of purchase and then add the download to your account.

All our ebook formats are DRM-free: you can download in PDF, EPUB, and Kindle-compatible formats, and read them on any computer, mobile, or ereader that supports any of those formats.

In this issue

Twitch Plays Pokémon is one of the strangest phenomena to arise out of the Internet in recent years. The site Twitch allows videogame players to broadcast their games; this includes some of the best players of some games. Such broadcasts can garner hundreds to tens of thousands of simultaneous viewers.

When someone, still pseudonymous, wired an old handheld version of Pokémon Red for the Nintendo Game Boy to be played via commands entered in the chat room for a Twitch broadcast session, it got a little crazy. As many as 120,000 people watched at one time, and many participated in group play through “anarchy” and “democracy” modes, which determined whether commands were executed as fast as possible or through periods of polling. Tens of millions of people watched over the 15-day initial run until the game was won. The unknown programmer has since wired up subsequent games.

Beyond Pokémon, Twitch racks up tens of millions of monthly visitors for live broadcasts, and YouTube tens of millions more for recorded and often well-edited playthroughs and other explorations.

John Moltz examines the financial gain for Attention Mining, in which Minecraft videomakers have built huge audiences. There’s a fair amount of money for those with big followings, but it requires an incredible commitment of time and effort to keep viewers’ attention.

Back in the world of atoms and molecules, Jen A. Miller writes about the good news for those with egg allergies who also want to receive the flu vaccine. Vaccine makers have managed to Eggs Terminate the conventional process of incubating viruses and create a process that’s safe for people like Jen but that also allows for a vastly faster turnaround in cases of pandemics. Everyone benefits.

Not far off from eggs, we find that gardeners and growers are Going to Seed: turning to seed savers and exchanges to preserve and expand the reach of heirloom plants and crops. Renee Brincks takes us on a tour of how the past is kept alive — and genetic diversity is being ensured for future generations — even in the face of disaster or cataclysm.

Finally, most of us had a lovey or a snuggle animal that was cherished and one day lost, taken, or simply given up. But before a child is ready, Chris Stokel-Walker says that a toy may be Lost and Fond through social networks that reconnect friends with their owners.

After a year or so of running five articles an issue, we’ve found that that number outstrips our ability as a small publication to pay the fees we feel writers are due and to produce at the level of quality that we want without overwhelming ourselves. Rather than raise our price, fewer articles an issue seems the right course, based on reader feedback. Thanks for your feedback.

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You can purchase our complete archives, almost 300 articles, as a DRM-free ebook in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. We ceased publication of new work on December 18, 2014.
You can purchase our complete archives, almost 300 articles, as a DRM-free ebook in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats.
©2017 Aperiodical LLC. The Magazine's online ISSN: 2334-4970. We ceased publication on December 18, 2014. You can purchase our complete archives, almost 300 articles, as a DRM-free ebook in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats. Read our privacy policy. Learn more about us. Billing troubles? Email us. Talk with us on Facebook and Twitter. Consult our FAQ for more answers. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.