A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘peter watts

[CAT] Five links about cats: Peter Watts and Minion, Toronto, Alberta, sea lions, Marrakech

  • Author Peter Watts bids farewell to his noble companion cat, Minion.
  • Narcity notes that Toronto Animal Services is offering cats (and dogs) at a discount.
  • An Alberta organization aiming to rehouse cats from older owners has found itself overwhelmed. CBC reports.
  • A parasite spread by housecats, Smithsonian reports, is responsible for mass deaths in sea lion colonies in California.
  • The suffering of the stray cats of Marrakech, Morocco, prone to all sorts of illness and cruelty, sounds terrible. Morocco World News has it.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 31, 2019 at 3:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait notes that far-orbiting body 2015 TC387 offers more indirect evidence for Planet Nine, as does D-Brief.
  • Centauri Dreams notes that data from the Gaia astrometrics satellite finds traces of past collisions between the Milky Way Galaxy and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.
  • The Crux takes a look at the long history of human observation of the Crab Nebula.
  • Sujata Gupta at JSTOR Daily writes about the struggle of modern agriculture with the pig, balancing off concerns for animal welfare with productivity.
  • Language Hat shares a defensive of an apparently legendarily awful novel, Marguerite Young’s Miss Macintosh, My Darling.
  • Lingua Franca, at the Chronicle, takes a look at the controversy over the name of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, going up to the recent referendum on North Macedonia.
  • The LRB Blog reports on the high rate of fatal car accidents in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia.
  • Reddit’s mapporn shares an interesting effort to try to determine the boundaries between different regions of Europe, stacking maps from different sources on top of each other.
  • Justin Petrone at North! writes about how the northern wilderness of Estonia sits uncomfortably with his Mediterranean Catholic background.
  • Peter Watts reports from a book fair he recently attended in Lviv, in the west of Ukraine.
  • Jason Davis at the Planetary Society Blog notes the new effort being put in by NASA into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on some beer in a very obscure bar in Shanghai.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on the performance artist Lukas Avendano, staging a performance in Toronto inspired by the Zapotech concept of the muxe gender.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps examines the ocean-centric Spielhaus map projection that has recently gone viral.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the question of whether or not the Big Rip could lead to another Big Bang.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the harm that global warming will inflict on the infrastructures of northern Siberia.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell considers the ecological fallacy in connection with electoral politics. Sometimes there really are not niches for new groups.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes part in the #BadStockPhotosOfMyJob meme, this time looking at images of linguists.

[WRITING] “Sigmoid”, by Peter Watts

Peter Watts has a wonderful, terrible short story up at his blog.

I cried for the Chimp, once.

I was there for his birth. I saw the lights come on, listened as he found his voice, watched him learn to tell Sunday from Kai from Ishmael. He was such a fast learner, and an eager one; back then, barely out of my own accelerated adolescence and not yet bound for the stars, I felt sure he’d streak straight into godhood while we stood mired in flesh and blood.

I didn’t feel the slightest hint of envy. How could I? He seemed so happy: devoured every benchmark, met every challenge, anticipated each new one with a kind of hardwired enthusiasm I could only describe as voracious. Once, rounding a corner into some rough-hewn catacomb, I came upon a torrent of bots swirling in perfect complex formation: a school of silver fish, in the center of Eri‘s newly-seeded forest. The shapes I glimpsed there still make my head hurt, when I think about them.

“Yeah, we’re not quite sure what that is,” one of the gearheads said when I asked her. “He does it sometimes.”

“He’s dancing,” I told her.

More there.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm

[LINK] “Black Wedding: The Re-emergence of Lenie Clarke.”

Canadian science-fiction writer Peter Watts notes that two Polish fans of his latest, Maelstrom, have cosplayed a character. Cosplaying dark dystopic SF universes can be interesting. (Peter Watts fan, here.)

Today’s headline, though, hails from Poland, where Adam Rotter took a gorgeous-yet-macabre turn from his usual day job as a wedding photographer to cast his partner, Karolina Cisowska, as Lenie Clarke.

Together they’ve done a 16-shot spread[1] inspired by specific passages from Maelstrom. It’s over on facebook under the project heading “Syrena” (which I assume translates as “Siren” and not the more biological interpretation involving manatees). But I have, with Adam’s permission, posted the pics here at rifters.com, together with the associated inspirational snippets o’prose, over in the Rifters Gallery. View. Enjoy.

And my profound thanks to Adam and Karolina. From the in-your-face black rotting skull right down the telescoping shockprod in Lenie’s hand, these are just gorgeous.

Photos are available here

Written by Randy McDonald

February 11, 2015 at 10:50 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the search for exomoons and links to another looking for very widely-separated exoplanets.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel shows some unusual Japanese words.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog notes, in the context of recent riots, that Vietnam is an important player in global supply chains.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the opening of a museum in New York City dedicated to the September 11th terrorist attacks. Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly can’t bear to visit.
  • Language Hat notes the new Russian laws banning profanity.
  • At his blog, Peter Watts discusses his experience speaking at a conference about the origins of revenge.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, target of the ESA’s Rosetta probe, is now growing a coma.
  • Towleroad notes that the Centers for Disease Control in the United States have released guidelines for the use of truvada to prevent HIV infections.
  • The Transit Toronto blog notes that there’s a TTC subway car ravaged by Godzilla down on Yonge Street.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy deals with the complex copyright case of a man who killed himself after a nasty divorce and whose ex-wife is trying to remove his writings critical of her from the Internet.