August 9th, 2011


Interstate 80 Road Work

If you're driving from California's Central Valley or the Bay Area to Reno for Worldcon and haven't been up that way lately, be warned that there is ongoing significant construction work on I-80. In particular, between Emigrant Gap and Cisco Grove westbound eastbound traffic is limited to one narrow lane and is subject to significant delays. Also, the Donner Summit rest areas are closed, so plan your rest stops accordingly.

Be patient and give yourself extra time to get over the hill to Reno.

Update, 2200: Corrected direction. It's traffic from Sacramento and the Bay Area toward Reno that is affected.
End Of Block

Photography Is Not Illegal

As you know, I am one of the people who has been hassled for taking photographs of trains by people who make up "secret laws" and say "9/11" whenever you ask what law you're violating when they tell you it's illegal to take pictures of trains.

Thanks to Adam Savage tweeting the link to the video below, in which six photographers (shadowed by six videographers) set up to take photographs (on public property like sidewalks) around different parts of London and to see what happened.

Note that in every case, private "security" types showed up and insisted that photography of their buildings (and of them personally) was prohibited, citing all sorts of made-up rules like declaring that photography of private property (even when the photographer is on public land) was illegal. In several cases, the police were summoned. I'm pleased that apparently the police actually did get the memo reminding them that photography isn't a crime, and none of the photographers were cited by the police, because the people weren't doing anything illegal.

I do wish they'd been able to include footage of the officers in question telling the "security" people, "Stop hassling people who aren't doing anything wrong." I'd love to see those "security" people's eyes bug out when they were told that they aren't allowed to make up new laws.

We need more people doing things like this and pushing back against the War on Photography.

Business Meeting Papers Released

Renovation is starting to publish those reports and proposals that will be coming before this year's WSFS Business Meeting on their Business Meeting Page. Besides the current Constitution and Standing Rules, you'll find the 2010 Updates to the Resolutions of Continuing Effect, including for the first time resolutions passed by the Mark Protection Committee (MPC).

Also here is the minutes of the 2010 MPC Meeting in Australia, where a barely-quorate meeting managed to squeeze through a vote of 5 of the 14 total MPC members (8 present) that voted to prohibit MPC and MPC subcommittee members from being eligible for a Hugo Award. As I wrote last year, this resolution had the net effect of forcing Cheryl Morgan, the person who had done more work than anyone else on the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee, to decline nomination to the HAMC. It was, in my opinion, a slap in the face to her and indirectly to me, and I continue to be angry about this. I think that the rule is actually unconstitutional because it applies eligibility rules to MPC members above and beyond that defined in the WSFS Constitution. The rule passed by the MPC is numbered MPC-2010-1 and is not only in those minutes but in the Resolutions of Continuing Effect.

The deadline for submitting new business is about 5 PM on Wednesday of Renovation (two hours after the Official Opening, and the Opening Ceremonies are at 3 PM), but some people have smartly submitted business in advance, and those advance submissions are also posted. Of relevance to what I wrote above is a resolution overturning MPC-2010-1 (the Business Meeting is superior to the MPC and can override it) and ordering the MPC to not adopt rules more restrictive than those imposed by the Constitution. If you think the action of the MPC in disqualifying Cheryl (and anyone else who might be plausibly eligible for a Hugo Award) from membership on the MPC or the Hugo Awards Marketing Committee was wrong, please come to Thursday's Preliminary Business Meeting (10 AM, Convention Center A02) and vote for this resolution.

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And that's just the stuff I know something about. There's usually at least one proposal that surprises me.