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Tables of contents have been published for upcoming best SF, fantasy, and horror collections edited by Neil Clarke
, Gardner Dozois
, Paula Guran
, Rich Horton
, and Jonathan Strahan
. The Nebula Award suggested reading lists (previously
) for novella
, and short story
are well-populated. BestSF.net has selected its shortlist
. At Strange Horizons, Rachel Swirsky has comments on her favorite short fiction
of the year. And at r/Fantasy, the Stabby Award winners
have been announced. Many stories suggested by these sources can be read for free.
shows videos from Youtube with zero views. Beautiful and surprisingly refreshing.
What is weird? 366 Weird Movies
(not yet complete but has over 200 entries) is a substantial tribute to celluloid oddities and unconventionals, loaded with interesting essays and outside links. Some good, some bad, and some very
bad. Here's just a few: Buckaroo Banzai
, Robot Monster
, Rocky Horror
, 5000 Fingers of Dr. T
, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats
, Evil Dead II
, Glen or Glenda
, Pan's Labyrinth
, Time Bandits
, Pink Flamingos
, Uncle Boonmee
, and good lord Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny
New York Times
President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning.
Capitalism without opposition is left to its own devices, which do not include self-restraint. The capitalist pursuit of profit is open-ended, and cannot be otherwise. The idea that less could be more is not a principle a capitalist society could honour; it must be imposed upon it, or else there will be no end to its progress, self-consuming as it may ultimately be. At present, I claim, we are already in a position to observe capitalism passing away as a result of having destroyed its opposition—dying, as it were, from an overdose of itself.
Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?
, New Left Review
, 87 (May–June 2014).
"New Impossibly Intricate Embroideries by Chloe Giordano" Colossal
: "We continue to be enthralled by the work of Chloe Giordano
[...] who produces everything from tiny coin-sized depictions of woodland creatures to entire book covers typography and all. The Oxford-based illustrator is entirely self-taught, learning her craft “through a lot of trying things out and messing them up.” Each piece is deeply connected to her pencil drawings, as she works out many of the details on paper before turning to thread. Giordano frequently fields questions on her Tumblr
and you can follow more of her progress on Instagram
Physicist Enrico Fermi famously arrived at the approximate strength of the Trinity test explosion by dropping pieces of paper and watching how far they drifted. Estimates with little or no data are now called Fermi problems
, including the famous "How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?" and the Drake equation
. Fermi Questions has been an event in the Science Olympiad, a competition in American K-12 schools, where competitors must estimate amounts such as the number of playing cards it would take to equal the mass of Betelgeuse (2x10^34, or twenty decillion). Practice your wild estimates at FermiQuestions.com
BBC Radio 4 has served up five 45 minute programmes of high quality brain food.
Where intelligent and informed people present shows exploring the topics of; Politics, Power, Population Demographics, Globalisation and Truthy-ness at the start of 2017. It's the Demography, Stupid!
, David Willetts investigates how is population change transforming our world? (Wow! The problem with all those baby boomers.) Us Versus Them
, John Harris examines the international rise of anti-elitist or 'populist' politics. (Including Trump and Farage.)
Now, I never paid any attention to this. I had no interest in reading an obscure spy novel just because Trump liked it. But then over Christmas after the election, I was visiting family in Bozeman, Montana. And there it was, in a used bookstore:
The Twentieth Day of January.
THEORY OF EVERYTHING: And? Is it good?
“JOSH GLENN”: No, it’s terrible. The plot is ridiculous.
In Search of Ragu - Matt Goulding
(Roads & Kingdoms) The beauty of ragu is that it’s an idea as much as it is a recipe, a slow-simmered distillation of what means and circumstances have gifted you: If Zia Peppe’s ragu is made with nothing but pork scraps, that’s because her neighbor raises pigs. When Maria cooks her vegetables in a mix of oil and butter, it’s because her family comes from a long line of dairy farmers. When Nonna Anna’s slips a few laurel leaves into the pot, she plucks them from the tree outside her back door. There is no need for a decree from the Chamber of Commerce to tell these women what qualifies as the authentic ragu; what’s authentic is whatever is simmering under the lid.
Remember the Mirai botnet that took down Dyn and made most of the Internet unusable for a day back in October of 2016? Internet security expert (and also Mirai botnet victim) Brian Krebs, author of excellent blog Krebs on Security, has a massive, four-months-in-the-making investigation unmasking the creator of Mirai
, and it reads like a really good thriller novel.
The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics
- "The introduction of probability into the principles of physics was disturbing to past physicists, but the trouble with quantum mechanics is not that it involves probabilities. We can live with that. The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities
. It is just as deterministic as Newton's equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?
explores the work of Finnish/American architect Eero Saarinen
), who designed the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport, the main terminal at Dulles Airport, numerous buildings for iconic US corporations, and campus buildings for Yale, MIT, Vassar, and the University of Chicago. Previously: JFK's TWA terminal
, Bell Labs
, Michigan Modern