A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘science fiction

[NEWS] Four science and technology links: LIGO, Neanderthal genes, Kazuo Ishiguro, AI gods

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  • I bet that, as numerous reports have indicated, LIGO picked up a neutron star collision, with EM traces. D-Brief reports.
  • Neanderthal genes seem to have had a big influence on modern human health. I would be surprised not to have some. National Geographic describes.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go may evoke crises of bioethics, but I’m not sure it relates to genetic engineering. VICE reports.
  • These apocalyptic visions of technophiles who want to create an artificial intelligence to become god are notable. The Guardian takes a look.
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[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Anthropology.net notes that the analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton from Croatia reveals much common ancestry.
  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares some stunning photos of Jupiter taken by the Juno probe.
  • Crooked Timber considers the differences–such as they are–between science fiction and fantasy literature.
  • After a conversation with Adam Gopnik, Cody Delistraty makes a case for the importance of high-brow culture.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a paper arguing that Earth-like planets can exist even without active plate tectonics.
  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas argues that operating systems relying on instinct hurt human thought.
  • Language Log considers Twitter post limits for East Asian languages.
  • The LRB Blog considers trench fever and the future of nursing in the United Kingdom.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a study suggesting people actively look out for bad and threatening news items.
  • The NYR Daily examines the reasons why Uber ended up getting banned by the city of London.
  • Drew Rowsome reports on an exciting new staging at the Paramount Theatre of Salt-Water Moon.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel looks at the very low proportion of planets in studied exosystems actually detected by Kepler.
  • Strange Company tells the story of John Banvard, a 19th century American who lost everything in mounting panorama exhibitions.
  • Towleroad reports on how PREP contributed to an 80% fall in new HIV diagnoses in London and wider England.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the worsening of HIV/AIDS in Russia, aided by terrible government policy and bad statistics.

[NEWS] Five links about vulnerability: parrots, Uighurs, indigenous peoples, fangsheng, Jones Act

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  • Hundreds of parrots in a Surrey sanctuary are still waiting for permanent homes. Global News reports.
  • NPR reports on how many Uighurs in China find success through their racially mixed appearances, as models.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer explains the rationale behind the Jones Act, with its stiff shipping charges for Puerto Rico.
  • The Chinese Buddhist fangsheng ritual, involving the release of captured animals into the wild, has issues. The Guardian reports.
  • Tyson Yunkaporta’s essay takes a look at the appeal of SF/F, and post-apocalyptic fiction, for indigenous peoples.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that asteroid 2006 VW139 is not just also a comet but a binary object, too, while Centauri Dreams also reports on 288P. (Multiple names, here.)
  • D-Brief reports on a study intended to answer the question of whether or not our galaxy is normal.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper suggesting TRAPPIST-1 might provide a threatening environment for its planets, links to another simulatingthe environments of TRAPPIST-1 planets to find d most likely to be Earth-like, and links to another finding that panspermia between the different planets of TRAPPIST-1 would be quite easy.
  • At A Fistful of Euros, Douglas Merrill notes one study of AfD voters finding former non-voters contributed most to its vote surge.
  • Hornet Stories notes an anti-gay “Straight Lives Matter” gathering in Australia that got only 30 protesters.
  • The Map Room Blog links to a crowdsourced map showing earthquake damage in Mexico.
  • The New APPS Blog considers Foucault and Marx and their thinking about spare time, and its reduction to capital.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the recent German election and the rise of the AfD.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at a proposal for a solar sail deployment on the new Deep Space Gateway station.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel has a fairly critical, but I think ultimately hopeful, review of the first episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that the latest Trump travel ban has many of the same fatal flaws as the others.
  • Arnold Zwicky notes the Instagram account “Boys With Plants.”

[NEWS] Four pop culture links: Moana and Maori pride, gay bookstores, a fake German beach, gay Trek

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  • io9 has an interesting article looking at how the success of Disney’s film Moana is driving Maori pride in New Zealand.
  • New Now Next lists eight of the top LGBTQ bookstores of North America and Europe, including Toronto’s Glad Day.
  • 24 hours on an artificial beach, sheltered under a hanger deep in east Germany, turns out to be quite fulfilling. VICE reports.
  • NOW Toronto notes that Star Trek: Discovery is a belated attempt to catch up with LGBTQ presence in pop culture.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shares stunning deep-field pictures of intergalactic space.
  • Centauri Dreams shares the second part of Larry Klaes’ analysis of Forbidden Planet.
  • D-Brief suggests that controlled kangaroo hunting may be necessary for the ecological health of Australia.
  • Bruce Dorminey notes a new radio telescope in British Columbia that may help solve the mystery of fast radio burst.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that quasars can irradiate a noteworthy fraction of potentially Earth-like planets.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money comes out against the idea of giving Amazon massive tax breaks for HQ2.
  • The LRB Blog bids a fond farewell to Saturn probe Cassini.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting new ideas–hence, new sources of economic growth–are harder to come by.
  • Maximos62 recounts a quietly chilling trip to East Timor where he discovers a landscape marked by genocide.
  • The New APPS Blog is quite unsurprised by news that Russians may have used Facebook to manipulate the US election.
  • At Out of Ambit, Diane Duane bids a fond farewell to colleague Len Wein.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw does not think Australia is committed enough to affordable housing to solve homelessness Finland-style.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports from the Suwalki Gap, the thin corridor joining the Baltic States to Poland.
  • Peter Rukavina looks at how a storied land rover was recovered from St. Helena.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel lists the top six discoveries of Cassini at Saturn.
  • Towleroad notes fundamentally misaimed criticism of new AI that determines sexual orientation from facepics.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at contemporary Russian fears about the power of rising China in Russia’s Asian territories.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Acts of Minor Treason’s Andrew Barton reacts to the series premiere of Orville, finding it oddly retrograde and unoriginal.
  • Centauri Dreams shares Larry Klaes’ article considering the impact of the 1956 classic Forbidden Planet on science and science fiction alike.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper wondering if it is by chance that Earth orbits a yellow dwarf, not a dimmer star.
  • Drone360 shares a stunning video of a drone flying into Hurricane Irma.
  • Hornet Stories celebrates the 10th anniversary of Chris Crocker’s “Leave Britney Alone!” video. (It was important.)
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wonders if 16 years are long enough to let people move beyond taboo images, like those of the jumpers.
  • The LRB Blog takes a look at the young Dreamers, students, who have been left scrambling by the repeal of DACA.
  • The Map Room Blog notes how a Québec plan to name islands in the north created by hydro flooding after literature got complicated by issues of ethnicity and language.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the rise of internal tourism in China, and soon, of Chinese tourists in the wider world.
  • The NYR Daily has an interview arguing that the tendency to make consciousness aphysical or inexplicable is harmful to proper study.
  • Roads and Kingdoms has a brief account of a good experience with Indonesian wine.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell links to five reports about Syria. They are grim reading.