A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘cartoons

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait reports suggestions the bizarre happenings at Boyajian’s Star could be explained by an evaporating exomoon.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at how the crowdsourced evScope telescope is being used to support the Lucy mission to the Jupiter Trojans.
  • The Crux explains the phenomenon of misophobia.
  • D-Brief shares suggestions that an asteroid collision a half-billion years ago released clouds of dust that, reaching Earth, triggered the mid-Ordovician ice age.
  • Dangerous Minds shares video of a perhaps underwhelming meeting of William Burroughs with Francis Bacon.
  • io9 makes the case for more near-future space exploration movies like Ad Astra.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a Trump retweeting of the lie that Ilham Omar celebrated on 9/11.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how fire could destroy the stressed rainforest of the Amazon.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes how few judges in the US have been impeached.
  • The LRB Blog looks at how the already tenuous position of Haitians in the Bahamas has been worsened by Dorian.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at the importance of the integrity of official maps in the era of Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the political importance of marriage ceremonies in Lebanon and Gaza.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews the Zakar Twins on the occasion of their new play Pray the Gay Away, playing in Toronto in October.
  • The Russian Demographic Blog shares statistics on birthrates in the different provinces of the Russian Empire circa 1906.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel reports on the first experiment done on the photoelectric effect, revealing quantum mechanics.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at growing anti-Chinese sentiments in Central Asia.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at “The Hurtful Dog”, a Cyanide and Happiness cartoon.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that mysterious Boyajian’s Star has nearly two dozen identified analogues, like HD 139139.
  • James Bow reports from his con trip to Portland.
  • Caitlin Kelly at the Broadside Blog notes the particular pleasure of having old friends, people with long baselines on us.
  • Centauri Dreams describes a proposed mission to interstellar comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov).
  • The Crux notes how feeding cows seaweed could sharply reduce their methane production.
  • D-Brief notes that comet C/2019 Q4 is decidedly red.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes a claim that water-rich exoplanet K2-18b might well have more water than Earth.
  • Gizmodo reports on a claim that Loki, biggest volcano on Io, is set to explode in a massive eruption.
  • io9 notes that Warner Brothers is planning a Funko Pop movie.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the claim of Donald Trump that he is ready for war with Iran.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at how people in early modern Europe thought they could treat wounds with magic.
  • Language Hat considers how “I tip my hat” might, translated, sound funny to a speaker of Canadian French.
  • Language Log considers how speakers of Korean, and other languages, can find word spacing a challenge.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the partisan politics of the US Supreme Court.
  • At the NYR Daily, Naomi Klein makes a case for the political and environmental necessity of a Green New Deal.
  • Peter Watts takes apart a recent argument proclaiming the existence of free will.
  • Peter Rukavina tells how travelling by rail or air from Prince Edward Island to points of the mainland can not only be terribly inconvenient, but environmentally worse than car travel. PEI does need better rail connections.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examines how different countries in Europe will conduct their census in 2020.
  • Window on Eurasia shares the arguments of a geographer who makes the point that China has a larger effective territory than Russia (or Canada).
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell looks at a 1971 prediction by J.G. Ballard about demagoguery and guilt, something that now looks reasonably accurate.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers models of segregation of cartoon characters from normal ones in comics.

[URBAN NOTE] Ten city links: Montréal, Lac-Mégantic, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton …

  • Tracey Lindeman writes at CityLab about how Montréal is trying to keep the redevelopment of the Molson-Coors Brewery site from killing the Centre-Sud.
  • In the Montréal neighbourhood of Park-Extension, evictions–renovictions, even–are on the rise. Global News reports.
  • Lac-Mégantic now has a train depot that bypasses the heart of this traumatized community. CBC Montreal reports.
  • Halifax is now celebrating the Mosaic Festival, celebrating its diversity. Global News reports.
  • Jill Croteau reports for Global News about Club Carousel, an underground club in Calgary that played a vital role in that city’s LGBTQ history.
  • This business plan, aiming to bypass long lineups at the Edmonton outpost of the Jollibee chain, is ingenious. Global News reports.
  • The Iowa town of Pacific Junction, already staggering, may never recover from a recent bout of devastating flooding. VICE reports.
  • Avery Gregurich writes for CityLab about the Illinois town of Atlas, a crossroads seemingly on the verge of disappearing from Google Maps.
  • The proposal for Metropica, a new sort of suburb in Florida, certainly looks interesting. VICE reports.
  • Guardian Cities shares a cartoon looking affectionately at Lisbon.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • The Crux looks at the australopiths, not-so-distant ancestors of modern humans.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes the interest of NASA in exploring the lunar subsurface, including lava tubes.
  • Far Outliers looks at the politicking of mid-19th century European explorers in the Sahel.
  • io9 notes that the new Joker film is getting stellar reviews, aided by the performance of Joaquin Phoenix.
  • JSTOR Daily explores how, to meet censors’ demands, Betty Boop was remade in the 1930s from sex symbol into housewife.
  • Language Log reports on an utter failure in bilingual Irish/English signage.
  • Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money shows that a history of slavery in the US (Canada too, I would add) must not neglect the enslavement of indigenous peoples.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a paper studying San Francisco looking at how rent control did not work.
  • The NYR Daily considers growing protest against air travel for its impact on global climate.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the queer romance film Bathroom Stalls & Parking Lots.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the influence of Russia in the former Soviet Union is undone by Russian imperialism.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers the striking imagery–originally religious–of “carnal weapons”.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Bad Astronomy shares Hubble images of asteroid 6478 Gault, seemingly in the process of dissolving.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly writes about the experience of living in a body one knows from hard experience to be fallible.
  • Gizmodo notes new evidence that environmental stresses pushed at least some Neanderthals to engage in cannibalism.
  • Hornet Stories notes the 1967 raid by Los Angeles police against the Black Cat nightclub, a pre-Stonewall trigger of LGBTQ organization.
  • Imageo notes the imperfect deal wrought by Colorado Basin states to minimize the pain felt by drought in that river basin.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the cinema of Claire Denis.
  • Language Log reports on the work of linguist Ghil’ad Zuckermann, a man involved in language revival efforts in Australia after work in Israel with Hebrew.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders if the Iran-Contra scandal will be a precedent for the Mueller report, with the allegations being buried by studied inattention.
  • Marginal Revolution makes a case for NIMBYism leading to street urination.
  • Justin Petrone at North! looks at a theatrical performance of a modern Estonian literary classic, and what it says about gender and national identity.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw makes the case for a treaty with Australian Aborigines, to try to settle settler-indigenous relations in Australia.
  • John Quiggin looks at the factors leading to the extinction of coal as an energy source in the United Kingdom.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that we are not yet up to the point of being able to detect exomoons of Earth-like planets comparable to our Moon.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the occasion of the last singer in the Ket language.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares some cartoon humour, around thought balloons.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Sherbrooke, New York City, New Orleans, Nottingham, Cape Town

  • The 2023 Jeux de la Francophonie, originally planned for New Brunswick, have been taken up–provisionally–by the Québec city of Sherbrooke. HuffPostQuebec reports.
  • Carmen Arroyo at Inter Press Service writes about Pedro, a migrant from Oaxaca in Mexico who has lived in new York City for a dozen years without papers.
  • CityLab notes evidence that natural disasters can indeed advance gentrification, looking at the example of New Orleans.
  • Guardian Cities shares some cartoons by Carol Adlam about the English city of Nottingham, neither northern nor southern.
  • Civil servant magazine Apolitical takes a look at how Cape Town managed to escape its threatened water crisis.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Architectuul takes a look at a new exhibition exploring women architects in Bauhaus.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares a photo of Chang’e-4 taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the power of perspective, demonstrated by photos taken in space far from the Earth.
  • Far Outliers notes the role of the Indian army, during the Raj, in engaging and mobilizing peasants while allowing recruits to maintain village traditions.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a new study from the Netherlands suggesting the children of same-sex parents do better in school than children of opposite-sex parents.
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the astonishing plagiarism and sloppy writing of former NYT editor Jill Abramson.
  • Michael Hofman at the LRB Blog takes a look at the mindset producing the Brexit catastrophe.
  • Marginal Revolution takes a look at the decline of the wealth tax in recent decades in high-income countries. Apparently the revenues collected were often not substantial enough.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares missions updates from Chang’e-4 on the Moon.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews the Cirque Éloize show Hotel.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one call for Tatarstan, and Tatar nationalists, to abandon a territorial model of identity focused on the republic, seeing as how so many Tatars live outside of Tatarstan.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes a look at the play in language involved in a recent Bizarro comic.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Buzz celebrates Esi Edugyan’s winning of the Giller Prize for the second time, for her amazing novel Washington Black.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the unusual rings of outer-system body Chariklo.
  • The Crux looks at the long history of unsuccessful planet-hunting at Barnard’s Star, concentrating on the disproved mid-20th century work of Peter Van De Kamp.
  • D-Brief notes evidence that Mars knew catastrophic floods that radically reshaped its surface.
  • Bruce Dorminey visits and explores Korea’s ancient Cheomseongdae Observatory.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog notes the death of long-time contributor Peter Kaufman.
  • L.M. Sacasas at The Frailest Thing considers the things–quiet, even–that modernity can undermine before transforming into a commodity.
  • Imageo notes that global warming has continued this American Thanksgiving.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the sour grapes of the Family Research Council at the success of the moving film about “gay conversion therapy”, Boy Erased.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper considering if the zeitgeist of the world is into major monuments.
  • Language Log considers a news report of “arsehole” geese in Australia. As a Canadian, all I can say is that geese are birds that know they are dinosaurs.
  • The LRB Blog reports from the scene of the recent unrecognized elections in the city of Donetsk, run by a pro-Russian regime.
  • The Map Room Blog reports on how Atlas Obscura is exhibiting some amazing maps produced in Dungeons and Dragons campaigns.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper noting how black teachers can help boost achievements among black students.
  • The New APPS Blog looks at how the political economy of our time combines with social media to atomize and fragment society.
  • Nicholas Lezard at the NYR Daily talks about his experience of anti-Semitism, as a non-Jew, in the United Kingdom.
  • Casey Dreier at the Planetary Society Blog suggests families would do better to talk about space at Thanksgiving than about politics, and shares a list of subjects.
  • Drew Rowsome talks about the frustrations and the entertainment involved with Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that fifty thousand ethnic Kyrgyz are being held in the Xinjiang camps of China.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares some Thanksgiving holiday cartoons by Roz Chast.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait is skeptical that the Trump-era EPA will deal well with global warming.
  • Discover’s The Crux considers the challenge of developing safer explosives for fireworkers.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering the (real) possibility of Earth-like worlds orbiting neutron stars.
  • Language Log notes an odd use of katakana in Australia.
  • The LRB Blog considers the possibly overrated import of George Osborne’s move into the newspaper business.
  • Marginal Revolution notes one observer’s suggestion that China could sustain high-speed growth much longer than Japan.
  • The NYR Daily shares Eleanor Davis’ cartoon journal of her bike trip across America.
  • Peter Rukavina does not like the odd way Prince Edward Island made its library card into a museum pass.
  • Starts with a Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the odd galaxy MACS2129-1, young yet apparently no longer star-forming.
  • Strange Company explores the strange death of 17th century New England woman Rebecca Cornell.
  • Unicorn Booty looks at how early Playgirl tried to handle, quietly, its substantially gay readership.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian proclaiming Russia needs to stop an imminent takeover by Muslims.

[LINK] “What the %@&*! Happened to Free Speech?”

Torontoist’s Mark Mann reports on Art Spiegelman’s recent lecture here in Toronto on cartoons and freedom of speech.

Art Spiegelman’s reputation doesn’t do him justice. Most people will recognize his name from his Pulitzer Prize–winning graphic novel Maus, a devastating, multi-layered account of the Holocaust. But Spiegelman produced iconic work before and after that work was published—though many people won’t have made the connections. He’s a shape-shifter, comfortable in many different styles and formats, so it’s easy to overlook the range of his accomplishments.

The retrospective of Spiegelman’s work now on at the AGO does a fine job of showcasing all the varied parts of his career, from his invention of the Garbage Pail Kids as a young graphic artist to his many memorable covers for the New Yorker later in life. But Spiegelman’s lecture “What the %@&*! Happened to Comics,” hosted by the Koffler Center of the Arts at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on January 26, dealt with an equally relevant aspect of his life’s work: namely, his advocacy for free speech in an age when cartoonists are being gunned down at their desks.

The talk began with a short introduction to the essence of the comic-book style, exemplified by the redacted expletive in the title: little abstract symbols that take on meaning because we invest them with meaning. Spiegelman asserts that comics are a “co-mix” of art and commerce—which seems like a coded way of saying that comics aren’t as pretentious as fine art (what art isn’t mixed with commerce?). The AGO exhibit is preoccupied with this aspect of his work, and the way he uses comics to blend high and low art.

But the most important thing about comics, in Spiegelman’s formulation, is that they get straight into the brain, moving faster than we can think about them. Comics are so condensed that we can understand them instantly, the way a baby recognizes the symbol of a smiley face before it can distinguish even its own mother’s face. And therein lies their power—and their threat.

Woven in with his broader history of the medium was Spiegelman’s story of his own love affair with comics. He described how he taught himself to read while trying to figure out if Batman was good or bad (“Maybe if I understand these words, I’ll find out,” he said), how he learned about sex from contemplating Betty and Veronica, and how he discovered philosophy from Peanuts. Most important to his development, though, was Mad Magazine, which he says taught him about ethics, aesthetics, and everything else.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2015 at 11:33 pm