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Heinlein's FAQ

Jimmy O'Regan [joregan at gmail.com]

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:22:01 +0100

Knowing there are at least a couple of Heinlein readers here, some of you might be interested in this Slashdot story: http://entertainment.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/10/0216202&from=rss (pointing to this: http://kk.org/ct2/2008/09/heinleins-fan-mail-solution.php)

"In the days before the internet, Heinlein's solution was to create a list of frequently asked questions, answer them, and remove the questions. Then he, or rather his wife Ginny, checked off the appropriate answer(s) and mailed it back. Some of the entries in Heinlein's answer sheet are quite illuminating and amusing. Our personal favorite: 'You say that you have enjoyed my stories for years. Why did you wait until you disliked one story before writing to me?'"

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Your marriage essay

Rick Moen [rick at linuxmafia.com]

Mon, 1 Sep 2008 16:14:08 -0700

[Jimmy was kind enough to mail me, out of the blue, commentary on an essay I wrote recently, http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Essays/marriage.html .]

Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):

> 2008/9/1 Rick Moen <rick@linuxmafia.com>:
> > Quoting Jimmy O'Regan (joregan@gmail.com):
> >
> >> I just read your fascinating essay 'Kudzu and the California Marriage
> >> Amendment'; one niggle, however: 'Stanlislawa Walasiewiczowna' should
> >> be spelled 'Stanislawa Walasiewiczowna' (or, with full Polish
> >> diacritics, 'Stanis?awa Walasiewiczˇwna')
> >
> > Thank you, sir.  I was copying a third-party source, and it didn't look
> > quite right, but I forgot I had a Polish-speaker I could check with.  ;->
> >
> I actually found your essay while trying to take a break from Polish -
> I'm currently wading my way through 'Pan Tadeusz', first in English,
> then in Polish, proofreading the scans as I go to possibly send to
> Project Gutenberg. It thus came as something of a minor shock to find
> yet more Polish in your essay - and I was already in 'error checking
> mode', so... :)

It's good to hear that the tragic historical trainwreck caused first by the "liberum veto", and then by Poland being in harm's way and attempting to be a liberal parliamentary democracy midway between three of the most powerful of Europe's autocratic dynasties (Catherine the Great, Frederick II and Frederick William II of the Hohenzollerns, and several Austrian emperors) produced something good.

Anyway, one of the reasons I hastened to finish that essay is that my family is going on holiday, starting tomorrow, on a cruise ship. We're going to be visiting London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Talinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, and London again, and arriving back on Sept. 19th.

My apologies for not having had time to help copyedit the September _Linux Gazette_: I've been busy getting ready to leave.

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Published in Issue 155 of Linux Gazette, October 2008