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Posts Tagged ‘science fiction

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • At Anthrodendum, Elizabeth Marino takes issue with what she identifies as the naively and fiercely neoliberal elements of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now.
  • Anthropology.net’s Kambiz Kamrani takes a look at an innovative study of the Surinamese creole of Sranan Tongo that uncovers that language’s linguistic origins in remarkably fine detail.
  • Architectuul examines the architecture of Communist-era Hungarian architect István Szábo
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes the nearly naked black hole at the heart of galaxy ZwCl 8193, 2.2 billion light-years away.
  • The Big Picture shares photos from the 2018 Paralympics in South Korea.
  • Gerry Canavan has an interesting critical take on Star Trek: Discovery. Is it really doing new things, or is its newness just superficial?
  • Centauri Dreams considers the impact the spectra of red dwarfs would have on biosignatures from their worlds.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at Australia’s Darling River, a critical watercourse threatened by extensive water withdrawals.
  • Inkfish notes that patterns of wear on the tusks of elephants indicate most are right-handed.
  • Joe. My. God. links to a study suggesting a relationship between Trump rallies and violent assaults.
  • JSTOR Daily links to a paper examining why people drink Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Language Hat takes a look at the use of Xhosa as the language of Wakanda.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money mourns Alfred Crosby, the historian whose work examined the epidemiological and ecological changes wrought by contact with the Americas.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a map showing indigenous placenames in Canada.
  • In the aftermath of the death of Stephen Hawking, Out There had a lovely idea: what nearby major stars emitted life than arrive at the moment of his birth? Hawking’s star is Regulus, and mine was (nearly) Arcturus.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests AI will never be able to centrally plan an economy because the complexity of the economy will always escape it.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel examines Stephen Hawking’s contribution to the study of black holes.
  • Supernova Condensate shares a list of moons, fictional and otherwise, from Endor on down.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kamzib Kamrani looks at the Yamnaya horse culture of far eastern Europe and their connection to the spread of the Indo-Europeans.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the predicted collision of China’s Tiangong-1 space station. Where will it fall?
  • James Bow notes a Kickstarter funding effort to revive classic Canadian science fiction magazine Amazing Stories.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the impending retirement of the pioneering Kepler telescope, and what’s being done in the time before this retirement.
  • D-Brief notes how nanowires made of gold and titanium were used to restore the sight of blind mice.
  • Russell Darnley takes a look at the indigenous people of Riau province, the Siak, who have been marginalized by (among other things) the Indonesian policy of transmigration.
  • Dead Things reports on more evidence of Denisovan ancestry in East Asian populations, with the suggestion that the trace of Denisovan ancestry in East Asia came from a different Denisovan population than the stronger traces in Melanesia.
  • Hornet Stories paints a compelling portrait of the West Texas oasis-like community of Marfa.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how indigenous mythology about illness was used to solve a hantavirus outbreak in New Mexico in the 1990s.
  • Language Log praises the technical style of a Google Translate translation of a text from German to English.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that, under the Shah, Iran was interested in building nuclear plants. Iranian nuclear aspirations go back a long way.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the unsettling elements of the literary, and other, popularity of Jordan Peterson.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the continuing existence of a glass ceiling even in relatively egalitarian Iceland.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the unsettling elements behind the rise of Xi Jinping to unchecked power. Transitions from an oligarchy to one-man rule are never good for a country, never mind one as big as China.
  • Drew Rowsome writes about Love, Cecil, a new film biography of photographer Cecil Beaton.
  • Peter Rukavina celebrates the 25th anniversary of his move to Prince Edward Island. That province, my native one, is much the better for his having moved there. Congratulations!
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a strange story of Russian speculation about Kazakh pan-Turkic irredentism for Orenburg that can be traced back to one of its own posts.
  • At Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, Frances Woolley takes the time to determine that Canadian university professors tend to be more left-wing than the general Canadian population, and to ask why this is the case.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • At Anthropology.net, Kambiz Kamrani notes the Qesem caves of Israel, where four hundred thousand years ago hominids learned to make tools.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that star S2 is about to plunge to its closest approach to Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the heart of our galaxy, and what this means for science.
  • Centauri Dreams takes a look at research done on Earth about the atmospheres of super-Earths.
  • D-Brief takes a look at the recent research done on the regions on the edges of supermassive black holes.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes that the Juno science team thinks that Jupiter probe has exceeded expectations.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the evidence for a massive migration from the steppes into Europe circa 3300 BCE.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas makes the argument that the idea of humane technology is something of an oxymoron.
  • Imageo notes evidence that permafrost will melt more quickly than previous predicted under the impact of global warming.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at explanations for the unusually strong activism among high school students in East Los Angeles in the 1960s.
  • Language Hat looks at evidence for the close relationship, in vocabulary and even in grammar, between the Turkish and Western Armenian languages now separated by bad blood.
  • Lingua Franca notes how easy it is to change conventions on language use–like pronouns, say–at a well-functioning institution.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at the economic progress made, after a recent lull, by Ghana.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the growing involvement of the United States in small wars in Africa, starting with Niger and Cameroon.
  • Justin Petrone at north! reports on a family visit to his ancestral home of Bari, seeing what little remains of the past there.
  • Peter Rukavina wonders, apropos of a very successful experience shopping online at Amazon, how anyone else will be able to compete.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers the difference between mathematics and physics. Where is the line to be drawn?
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs maps obesity in the United States and in Europe.
  • Towleroad reports on the apparent interest of actor Cynthia Nixon in becoming governor of New York.
  • John Scalzi at Whatever is a big fan of A Wrinkle in Time, a movie that is not perfect but is still quite good. I’m curious to see it myself.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on food riots in isolated Turkmenistan.

[NEWS] Five sci-fi links: Annihilation, Blade Runner, The Telling, Sandman, Deep Space Nine

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  • If Annihilation is the start of a wave of interesting new sci-fi films, looking at the genre from new angles, this is good. I just hope distribution can be solved. Rolling Stone has it.
  • This essay on the role of memory in the Blade Runner series, as a marker of identity and more, is superb.
  • The Telling, last of Le Guin’s Hainish novels, is set for a movie release. io9 reports.
  • That Neil Gaiman has authorized DC Comics to release four comics set in the Sandman part of their universe is amazing. io9 reports.
  • This extended take on how Deep Space Nine revolutionized the Trek format, looking at the universe from new and very creative angles, says what needs to be said. This is the reason it is my favourite Trek series. io9 has it.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the oddly recognizable shape of the Horsehead Nebula, and the reasons for this.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes how exceptionally difficult it is for current astronomers to track the transformation of stardust into planets.
  • Gizmodo notes a new theory for the formation of the Moon suggesting that, instead of condensing from the debris left by a Mars-mass object’s collision with the Earth, it condensed along with the Earth from a synestia.
  • JSTOR Daily notes an Indian entrepreneur who developed a generator transforming rice husks into electrical power for an entire village.
  • Language Hat takes a critical look at some of the claims made in a recent article suggesting Icelandic is at risk of extinction.
  • Elaine Showalter writes at the NYR Daily about the power of feminist fantasy and science fiction literature.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the apparent detection of the earliest-forming stars in the universe and their relationship with dark matter.
  • Strange Company notes the mysterious 1885 disappearance of New York City editor Samuel Stillman Conant. What happened to him? Why did he apparently abandon a happy life?
  • Whatever shares an idea for a fantasy universe from Tobias Buckell, imagining a world where magic has individual benefits but a terrible cost to the world at large. How would it be used?
  • Arnold Zwicky notes the death of Broadway and television star Nanette Fabray.

[NEWS] Three links on Black Panther (@theblackpanther)

  • Brian Lowry at CNN suggests that the success of Black Panther, like Wonder Woman, can create new opportunities for minority and female talent.
  • VICE suggests that Black Panther is probably the biggest Afrofuturist story out there.
  • Radheyan Simonpillai at NOW Toronto argues the biggest problem with Black Panther is its rooting in the imaginary Wakanda, away from the actual black world. “[C]an Oakland and Wakanda ever share the same space?”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 16, 2018 at 11:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Buzz recommends twenty-four different novels for Valentine’s Day, drawing on the recommendations of employees of the Toronto Public Library.
  • Centauri Dreams links to a new paper suggesting there are thousands of objects of extrasolar origin, some tens of kilometres in size, in our planetary system right now.
  • D-Brief notes that cryptocurrency is hindering the search for extraterrestrial life, as miners buy up the graphics cards SETI researchers need.
  • Lyman Stone at In A State of Migration notes how unbalanced the marriage market can be for professional women in the United States interested in similar partners, especially for African-American women.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how deeply the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. for racial equality in the United States were driven by anti-colonial nationalism in Africa.
  • The LRB Blog notes how the life and writing of Penelope Fitzgerald was influenced by two decades of living on the English coast, suspended between land and water.
  • At the NYR Daily, Melissa Chadburn tells of what she learned from counting, and queueing, and perservering in routines.
  • At The Numerati, Stephen Baker shares an excerpt from his new book, Dark Site, describing a teenager’s attempts to control a cognitive implant.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer takes issue with elements of the timing of Lyman Stone’s schedule for immigration controls imposed in the United Kingdom on Caribbean migrants.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Emily Lakdawalla explains how scientists are keeping the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in good stead despite its age.
  • At Roads and Kingdoms, Timi Siytangco explains the history of the Philippines through nine Filipino foods.
  • Drew Rowsome is impressed by the power of The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang explains why black holes have to contain singularities, not merely superdense normal matter.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the rather misogynistic essay of ideologue Vladimir Surkin about women and power, timed for Valentine’s Day.