Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

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Following Chunky's suggestion, let's continue the discussion of bolognium here. :)


What an efficient moderator!

((oooo's and ahhh's to follow.))

A Pathetic Writer

I purged the chatroom of spirits, pthom, come on back, y'all!


Aw, gee. Thanks, li'l mac. Trying to figure a way to move just the bolognium posts here...don't hold your breath, but I think there's a just requires time travel, telepathy and perhaps a grass hut or two...

Stay posted.
Film at eleventy.

A Pathetic Writer

Perhaps we could build a browning mustard sheath to protect the bolognium?



Does bolognium come with cheesium, lettucium, and white breadium?


Isn't bolognium a star trek term as in bolognium shielding?


Wow, I have no clue what thread bolognium came from. Sounds like a place in the Roman Empire.

"And after leaving Londinium the legions marched to Bolognium, where they defeated the Britons at the Battle of Mons Salami."*

*By the way I have no pretensions to any knowledge of Latin, in case you can't tell.




That sounds like something out of an Asterix comic, Ravenlocks.


Ah, gotcha. I wasn't following that thread.

Yeshanu, yeah, it kinda does sound like Asterix, now that I think about it. I love Asterix, he cracks me up. :)


Re: hungry

I would like mine with wheatus breadium and a tomatus!


Re: hungry

So -- when does the bolognium count become excessive? I offer up for an example, something I like to call the Laforge Rabbit.

I think you know where I'm going with this. Picture the Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is trapped in a temporal flux. (lots of that going around) Time is short, the episode is almost over. Captain Picard is adjusting his jerkin much more often than the need for mere comfort would dictate.

Then, Geordie Laforge leaps up and says something like:

"Captain! What if we cross-pollinate the dilithium matrix with Data's emotion chip and feed the result through the warp plasma conduits? It would cause a feedback loop that would repel the flux at the temporal node, instantly transporting us to the next episode."

Picard: "Data?"

Data: "It could work, Captain."

Picard: "Make it so."

Of course, Laforge and Data rush down to engineering using up valuable seconds as the clock ticks, despite the fact that even in today's world we can plug a computer into any hub on a network and gain access so why can't they just jack Data in on the bridge ... but I digress.

Anyway, the plan, heretofore un-hinted at in this or any other episode of any Star Trek series, works and the Enterprise is saved. Laforge has once again pulled the proverbial rabbit out of his hat.

This kind of thing makes me cringe. Magical technical solutions are bolognium of the worst kind in my opinion. How 'bout you?


Re: hungry

Would this be a variation on the ever popular deus ex machina, then?


Laforge Rabbit, Data, "the Computer" and bolognium

The things characters do in a TV episode, of course, are limited by time and perhaps bugetary restraints on hiring good screenwriters.

In your example, Chunky, there is a lot of bolognium, but much of it is, as someone suggested before, essential to the story line, ie: dilithium, warp plasma, temporal node, Data and his emotion chip. Given those things, their actions are expected. That they waste time taking a turbolift (which, have you noticed, always go up and down, like elevators, even though the Enterprise is for the most part, a horizontally oriented vessel?), is for whatever dramatic effect can be accomplished in a 45-minute-long show.

Lori Basiewicz

Re: Laforge Rabbit, Data, "the Computer" and bolog

(which, have you noticed, always go up and down, like elevators, even though the Enterprise is for the most part, a horizontally oriented vessel?)

And yet they never have to hike a mile or so through the corridors, do they? They always end up just outside their destination when they get off the turbolifts. I mean, the bridge is towards the ship's fore and engineering is in the aft sections...


Just in case anyone wanted artwork


I canna' make her go any faster, Cap'n!


Re: Just in case anyone wanted artwork

They don't only go up and down. They go side to side as well.


Re: Just in case anyone wanted artwork

So my resident Trekkies told me when I mentioned that anomoly to them...


Re: Turbolift anomalies

Right. In the diagrams of the Enterprise that were provided for trekkers. But on TV, the lights indicating motion only go up or down. Now before I get yelled at, I realize there are explanations for this. Inertial dampers, artificial gravity plates in the floor, etc. The point is that it's all bolognium to explain or technical effects.

I think such stuff works okay for TV. Works some of the time in the movies. Doesn't always work well in written fiction. I think the reason we buy more bolognium in TV and movies is that it goes by so fast and when done well, supports the storyline...or in other words, the story wouldn't work without it. In writing though, the reader can go back to check up on you... "Hey, that doesn't work. That's bogus." And that is why Niven and Gerrold (and Chunky) say to keep bolognium in your written fiction to a minimum.

MacAl Stone

Re: Turbolift anomalies

huh--I would have sworn that my first encounter with the term bolognium was in the Turkey City Lexicon...but upon rereading the page, I don't see it.

Early senility is so very unpleasant. *sigh*


Re: Turbolift anomalies

I think you hit on a good point Pthom when you talk about bolognium 'supporting the story'. The viewer/reader will tend to be more forgiving in a case like that.

An example of a movie where bolognium-like stuff was flying fast and furious is the recent 'Alien vs Predator'. (spoiler alert)

- a beam fired from space to dig a tunnel leaves the sides of the tunnel 'ribbed' like a vacuum cleaner hose, not smooth. No purpose shown for the ribbing.

- said tunnel angles down at a 45 degree angle, reaching a depth of 2000 feet. The surface opening of the tunnel is supposedly directly over a subterranean structure, yet when they get to the bottom, the lower opening is right in front of the structure. That would require a tunnel going straight down.

- a winch used to lower equipment down this tunnel is miraculously able to pull a human and an adult Predator alien (somewhere around 700+ pounds) up the tunnel at race car speeds.

- the blood of an Alien is rubbed on a human's cheek, and instead of eating completely through her head like you'd expect, it only leaves a small mark on her skin.

And on and on. Some of this probably isn't bolognium as Niven described, but it's the kind of thing that would make a reader toss a book in the trash. They don't support the story at all, they just make it ludicrous.


Re: Turbolift anomalies

Haven't seen it.
Don't intend to.

But...I can surmise why some of the things you describe are the way they are:
tunnel 'ribbed' like a vacuum cleaner hose, not smooth
Might be due to the fact the scene was filmed in a culvert ...
the lower opening is right in front of the structure.
Might be due to the fact the back lot where it wasn't big enough for both the catering van AND the set. And on a film site, the catering van is way more important than the set is.
up the tunnel at race car speeds.
Another instance of fitting three chapters of fiction into a 3-minute-long scene...
it only leaves a small mark on her skin
Holes in cheeks are really tough to cover up with pancake makeup...
the kind of thing that would make a reader toss a book in the trash.
refer to my second comment above.


Re: Turbolift anomalies

All good points, Pthom, but both you and CC have failed to take into account the most important reason for the quantity of bolognium...intended audience. Teen-aged boys (and my husband :( ) don't generally care if it works or not, it just needs to be cool and scary and gross.
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