Sexism, Racism, and Homophobia
The Rape of James Bond: You know how when people complain about the prevalence of rape in grimdark fantasy, people argue back with, “But, REALISM!!!1″? This article makes the INCREDIBLY good point that the logical extension of the “but, realism!” argument is that we need way more rape of men in media. But . . . people don’t seem to be complaining about not having that in their books and movies at the level it happens in real life.
Straightwashing GLBT Characters: “Now we’re getting Da Vinci’s Demons, that would be Leonardo Da Vinci, he was repeatedly accused of sodomy, never married, was never connected to a female lover, but repeatedly with men, drew erotic pictures of them and left his most valuable painting in his will to one of his live-in “apprentices” Da Vinci. It’s an act of wilful ignorance to not realise Da Vinci played for our team. […] Well his love interest has been cast (a woman) and the trailer shows lots of naked sexy times between them. But, fear not, the writer has assured us that there may, sorta, kinda be some male flirting. FLIRTING!”
Microaggressions. This site is a stark demonstration of the concept.
More on microaggressions. I didn’t know there was a name for this before I found these links, but I love that there is, because it helps to have language to be able to point to what’s wrong here when people come back with, “Oh, but that’s not a big deal; get over it!”
For something else striking: Groups that are 100 percent men.
To (All) the White Girls Who Didn’t Get Into the College of Their Dreams: “By your logic, if a white girl with your background doesn’t get into an Ivy League college, it’s because there weren’t enough spots for white students that year. But, if a non-white girl with an identical profile is rejected, who do they blame? No one. They don’t have the excuse; they simply weren’t good enough. We don’t get to make ourselves feel better by engaging in a smear campaign against the fictional Cherokee girl that took our Ivy League slot.”
Anti-gay rights activists say they are the real victims. Because, y’know, fighting marriage equality is taking so much time, and they’d so much rather be doing something else.
On Math and Science
Programmable goo helps solve the traveling salesman problem. SO COOL! Though like one of the commenters, I want to know how they find the Hamiltonian circuit . . .
Mars is faaaaaaaaaaaar. Love this!
What happens when you wring out a hand towel in space? (Awesome video.)
On Writing and Publishing
The differences in expected plot structure in different cultures: not all traditions say plot needs conflict. Fascinating.
A bestselling author pirates his own book, and finds it helps his sales.
A TechDirt smackdown of author Scott Turow’s rant about the changing wold of publishing. I skimmed the original rant; the smackdown was much more informative and interesting.
Jane Goodall accused of plagiarism. And shoddy science. Sigh.