"We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words. And if we want all those things at once — a sense of escape, a sense of injustice, a sense of mortality and an ear for language — we can read the stories of James Tiptree, Jr.
," the reclusive, award-winning author whose vague biography started out in the Congo, routed through a period as a painter, then service as a photo intelligence officer in WWII, and finally a researcher and teacher of "soft" sciences before getting to writing science fiction
. There was another facet that was only guessed at by some, dismissed by others: the fact that "Uncle Tip," and his reclusive friend, the former school teacher Racoona Sheldon, were the same person. And they were Alice Bradley Sheldon
. [more inside]
Renegade Studios, the team behind the 2008 fan film "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men
", has released a teaser trailer for their next web series project: Star Trek: Renegades
. [more inside]
Pioneering Dutch electronic/tape composer Dick Raaijmakers has died.
Raaijmakers was an early adopter of electronic technology for music production, and his work in the field expanded far beyond the laboratory to include film, theater, installations and visual art, and literature. He wrote for orchestras, percussion ensembles, educational and industrial films, Satie-inspired ambient and background environments, and unorthodox "musical" objects such as tractors and bicycles. He was also a noted essayist and author on new concepts and applications related to sound. [more inside]
"Entering into one of the fiercest competitions in existence, I found art."
Sixteen mushers. 120 dogs. An adventure across one of the longest mushing trails in the world: the Beringia, a dog sled race stretching 683 miles across eastern Russia. Twilight on the Tundra [more inside]
the subtext of the London Skyline through a journey
down the Thames with Caryl Phillips
and an exquisite photographer
Chick-Fil-A is known as much for supporting anti-gay organizations
as it is for its tasty chicken. Nevertheless, drag queen divas assure you it's okay to Chow Down (at Chick-Fil-A)
The Phillips Machine
, also known as the Moniac
, is a early analog computer for economic modeling with an unusual twist: all of the computation is done by water flowing through its pipes. The flows represent taxes, income, and so on, and the chambers
represent balances held by various bodies. Floats attached to pens can provide graphical output such things as GDP and interest rates, and valves can be opened and shut to change the state of the system in real time. You can listen to a BBC radio segment
on the origin of Phillips machine, or see a demonstration
of one of the only extant working models at the University of Cambridge. [more inside]