Your Happening World (September 25th through October 3rd)

  • BBC News – Cat Watch 2014: What’s it like being a cat?
  • The Radical Ellen Willis | Dissent Magazine – Maybe we’re oblivious, or maybe just stretched thin, but not enough people are talking about this. The late cultural critic Ellen Willis did—and years before the worst of it hit. With a clarity of thought and the kind of fury that pangs and never scabs over, she diagnosed, snarled, and illuminated what she considered a central plague of her day: the way our economy limits our creative expressions. As she put it in her essay “Intellectual Work in the Culture of Austerity”: “On the crudest level, the lives of American intellectuals and artists are defined by one basic problem: how to reconcile intellectual or creative autonomy with making a living.”
  • Black and Blue. – Free Online Library – The violence perpetrated by the P.G. cops is a curious development. Usually, police brutality is framed as a racial issue: Rodney King suffering at the hands of a racist white Los Angeles Police Department or more recently, an unarmed Timothy Thomas, gunned down by a white Cincinnati cop. But in more and more communities, the police doing the brutalizing are African Americans, supervised by African-American police chiefs, and answerable to African-American mayors and city councils. In the case of P.G. County, the brutality is cast against the backdrop of black America's power base, the largest concentration of the black middle class in the country.
  • kankedort: On Diversity: Two Sadnesses and a Refusal – don't refuse the issues. I accept them fully. But I refuse the sense of scarcity and shrinkage. I refuse a world this small. I refuse to believe that there are only so many seats at the table, that I have to fight for scraps against all other possible representatives of diversity. You guys, I refuse this EVEN IF IT'S TRUE. Daniel José Older and Saladin Ahmed, who were mentioned in the Nation piece, are my friends. I'm thrilled for them. Is it possible to recognize that there is a problem with women of color being ignored, and still be thrilled for them? I intend to believe the answer is yes.
  • Marooned Off Vesta: Confusion and understanding: one post about The Stone Boatmen – Though I try always to extend sympathy at least, it is difficult for me to approach any new work of sf with anything other than suspicion. But very early on in my first reading of Sarah Tolmie's The Stone Boatmen — I am no longer able to say when or where, exactly — I decided to trust: to have faith in the work, and in Tolmie's ability and above all responsibility in pursuit of it. Or — can this really be characterized as a decision? Perhaps better to say that I found myself trusting her, that something palpable but not quite locatable in or between her words made such trust not only possible but natural, even unavoidable. Tolmie does not betray this trust.

Your Happening World (September 22nd through September 24th)

  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds – The Daily Beast – Fixating on a woman from afar and then refusing to give up when she acts like she’s not interested is, generally, something that ends badly for everyone involved. But it’s a narrative that nerds and nerd media kept repeating.
  • #GameOverGate (with images, tweets) · strictmachine · Storify – Zoe Quinn blows #GamerGate wide open.
  • Timothy Snyder’s Lies | Jacobin – In Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands, Hitler and Stalin are one and the same. And the partisans — Jewish fighters included — only encouraged German crimes.
  • Whirling Nerdish: Asthma and THE MIRROR EMPIRE – I’m particularly interested in how Hurley handles this character because all my life, I was told by movies and TV that people with asthma were nerds. They were geeks, dweebs, losers. Pathetic little wastes that fly into a wheezing, gasping fit when things get difficult while, meanwhile, the HERO goes and kicks the bad guys ass and handles his shit.
  • A few disjointed thoughts on other cultures and diversity in SFF – Aliette de Bodard – Researching another culture is freaking hard work, PLEASE do not undertake it lightly (and when I say “freaking hard work”, I don’t mean a few days on Wikipedia, or even a few days of reading secondary sources at the library). And PLEASE do not think you’ll be exempt of prejudice/dominant culture perceptions/etc. No one is.
  • Public Domain Super Heroes – Public Domain Super Heroes is a collaborative website about comic book, comic strip, film, literary, pulp, mythological, television, animation, folk stories, etc… Characters in the public domain fitting in genres such as the masked vigilante, caped crusader, villains, scientists, magicians, robots, jungle lord, and their supporting characters.
  • Pioneer winners — Butler: Thirteen Ways of Looking at the British Boom – “There certainly seems to be something of a boom. To a certain extent these things are always artefacts―there’s no objective criteria by which one can judge ‘boom-ness’ (boomitude? boomosity?―so the fact that everyone’s talking about it is to a certain extent definitional of the fact that something’s going on”

Your Happening World (September 18th through September 22nd)

  • Black Men Need To Support Black Feminism | Media Diversified – Being a black man over the past couple of weeks has been interesting, as it always is. I’ve stood in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri – both virtually and in a march at Notting Hill Carnival. There is a long history of black women leading movements for change and the most inspiring occurrence to come out of the recent protests has been the support black men have received from black women. However with that, it revealed a harsh reality, we aren’t always there for black women.
  • The Most Feminist Moments in Sci-fi History — The Cut
  • For women, heart attacks look different – and so do heart health outcomes – The study also found that women often fail to realize that they are having a heart attack – and so do doctors. This is because heart attack symptoms in women can be different than they are in men. The symptoms we most commonly associate with a heart attack, like pain in the left arm and tightness in the chest, don’t always occur in women. The study found that 42% of women who have heart attacks never experience the “classic heart attack symptom” of tightness or pain in the chest. Instead, they may develop pain in the back or jaw, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath.
  • Don’t be like Jennifer Lawrence, girls – it’s bad for your health – Fleet Street Fox – 3am & Mirror Online – There’s only one way women can avoid the stuff every woman on Earth has to deal with daily
  • Sultana’s Dream — Rokheya Shekhawat Hossein – Sultana's Dream was originally published in The Indian Ladies' Magazine, Madras, 1905, in English. This edition is transcribed from Sultana's dream; and Padmarag: two feminist utopias by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain; translated with an introduction by Barnita Bagchi. New Delhi (India) : Penguin, 2005.

Your Happening World (September 10th through September 16th)

Your Happening World (August 26th through September 1st)

Your Happening World (August 22nd through August 25th)

Your Happening World (August 22nd)

Your Happening World (August 20th through August 21st)

  • African sf recommendations from Nine Worlds
  • Comet Flyby Missions for Mars Rovers | The Planetary Society – On October 19, the Mars rovers—like their orbiting cousins—will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 kilometers of Mars. This is less than 20 times the distance from Mars to its smaller moon, Deimos. Those distances provide a sense of scale: Deimos appears only a few pixels across to the rover cameras, so the nucleus of the comet will effectively a point source. The coma of the comet, tens of thousands of kilometers across, will take up a substantial fraction of the sky.
  • Loncon 3 – The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) – Renegade Revolution – To be perfectly honest I had no idea what to expect when going to Loncon 3. Until recently I hadn’t heard of it but the more I looked into it, the more interested I became.
  • Flat Out: Worldcon on Wheels – I rolled up at the Excel bright and early on Thursday 14th, and I have to say Access was excellent. I was greeted by one of the volunteers before I even reached the registration queue, which they told me was 45 minutes long at that point, and whisked away to the Access Desk, where I was given a seat while the volunteer dashed off to pick up my badge and registration packet. Even the failure of the Access ribbons to appear was being dealt with courtesy of improvisation with tape and a marker pen in the best traditions of fandom.
  • WorldCon: some thoughts | Writings from Otherworld – Well, tonight we’re off to Dublin for Shamrokon. Before I haul myself onto the plane, tail-end of conflu and all, here are some thoughts about my first WorldCon experience.
  • The Story of FRES – A Summary – Think Defence – What FRES is remains a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, an enigma that wears clown shoes.

Your Happening World (August 12th through August 20th)

Your Happening World (August 7th through August 12th)

  • Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest – David Dobbs – Aeon – This raises a question: if merely reading a genome differently can change organisms so wildly, why bother rewriting the genome to evolve? How vital, really, are actual changes in the genetic code? Do we always need DNA changes to adapt to new environments? Are there other ways to get the job done? Is the importance of the gene as the driver of evolution being overplayed?
  • Water and air are all you need to make one of world’s most important chemicals | Ars Technica – Licht's method claims to use only two-thirds of the energy of the Haber-Bosch process. Along with the elimination of the need to produce hydrogen from natural gas, the overall carbon emissions are reduced quite significantly. The whole process also takes place at milder conditions (Haber-Bosch needs 450°C and 200-times atmospheric pressure).
  • The Canadian Priest Kangaroo
  • Every Day Is Like Wednesday: Re: That movie that’s probably well on its way to making tens of millions of dollars already – And, if a lot of people make a lot of money and there are a lot of accolades being thrown about, then a lot of credit is going to go to a lot of people, from whoever cut those winning trailers to the designers and animators who got Rocket's fur to look just so to Gunn himself. If comic book people get any credit, chances are it's going to be as a collective (i.e. "Marvel") or under a "Special Thanks" near the end of the end-credit scrawl (IMDb has comics writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lannning receiving writing credit; if that's on the screen near the "written by" credit, then that's awesome).
  • ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Character Creators Fight for Cash and Credit – NYTimes.com – As Michael explained in a telephone interview, the focus on his brother has encouraged the studio to reconsider its obligations to him. “The more often Bill’s name gets mentioned, and the more often he is given public credit for something that he did, the easier it is for me to go to Marvel and say, ‘You might want to consider raising your offer.’ ”