where did i say you could purchase the spectral zoology cards?

Not Amazon. Not right now. Amazon, in its finite wisdom, mailed me today and said,

As we announced earlier this year, the Holiday Selling Guidelines for the Toys & Games store go into effect on November 18, 2014. Sellers must meet those guidelines to sell in Toys & Games store through the remainder of the year.

We regret that you do not meet the Holiday Selling Guidelines and may not sell seller-fulfilled items in Toys & Games during the holiday season. You may sell in Toys & Games again on or before January 3, 2015.

Of course, I only posted my product there five days ago, so I didn’t get an announcement earlier this year. I only experienced my product being wiped from their site without warning. One of the guidelines I didn’t fulfill was having sold something prior to September 18, which of course was impossible.

The company’s rules also don’t enable me to place my product in a different category to escape their Holiday Toys & Games rules. (Unless I wanted to try to pass my cards off as clothing or garden supplies.) The only alternative they provided was to ship them a pile of card decks and then pay them a monthly fee to fulfill the orders for me. This would wipe out any prospect of even breaking even on my small-time biz gambit.

So I’m selling my cards right here on the Spectral Zoology home site. They will also return to Amazon in January.


some “what the heck?” items from the Interstellar movie

Astronauts set off to locate habitable planets that are orbiting a  black hole. Really? Not a nice happy warm sun? A black hole doesn’t seem like a nice place to call home. We get a look at three viable hole-orbiting planets, and the sky in these planets look much like earth’s. You would think that having a black hole for your light source would make things look a little different. Maybe you’d see hellish radiation from the infall of matter. I don’t know. One of the planets has frozen solid clouds – if you run into them they crunch. What keeps them in the air?

The future of NASA is grim (and weird) in this movie. People think NASA is gone, but it’s actually operating secretly with a small staff and dismal budget. Amazingly, it’s just a short drive from the home of the one astronaut they seem to need the most, but they don’t know he’s there. Not until he appears at their door thanks to a message from his future self, which arrives thanks to a message from his future self (insert eternal loop here). Somehow the secret NASA has managed to launch massive manned rockets without anyone noticing. The leaders of NASA meet in a boardroom. Open a boardroom door and right there is a warehouse where they’re preparing gigantic rocket engines. The engines are just a couple meters from the meeting room and would burn the room to a crisp if they ever fired them up.

Another wacky point involves god-like five-dimensional beings from the future. They comprise a kind of strangely hobbled deus ex machina. They can create a wormhole in the vicinity of Saturn and save an astronaut and robot from being crushed in a black hole, but they are unable to simply send a message to NASA that says; “Here’s the information you are looking for – see attachment for details.” By the way, why did they save the life of a robot and not the astronaut who drowned on the water planet? They work in mysterious ways.

There are more mysteries to consider, but why bother? It’s another “go for the special effects” but never mind the plot details movie.