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misce stultitiam consiliis brevem

People of Color in SF

A friend of mine pointed out that the 12th Annual People of Color in SF Carnival is seeking submissions now–they’re looking for weblinks, blog entries, and the like. They’ll then weave them together to give a sense of what the present conversation is when thinking about race in SF/F. You can check out the call here or see an example here. It seems pretty cool, and it’s already pointed me to a new webcomic (Magellan, for those who are interested in superheroes). So if you know of any links related to the theme (or wanted to write one for hrsfans.org), send them to mvelazqu AT umd DOT edu by 2/27/09.

From http://thehathorlegacy.com/books/poc-carnival-yay/:

This month’s theme focuses on the role PoC characters have in the products of our fandom — as accessories, as absences, and as convenient plot devices. This issue of absence is particularly important — what does it do to fic to have the “real” experiences of PoC constantly referred to but never there? What does it mean that series like Xmen or [Harry Potter] draw on specific histories of race and violence, but do this without themselves referring to racism or anti-Semitism in text? Here, we’re focusing will be on science-fiction and fantasy, speculative fiction, and other types of mediated imagery, including webcomics and movies.

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Sixth Senses

I love our posthuman future. I want a heads-up display that tells me what I’m looking at, a radar sense of objects around me, and an internet hookup in my brain. In the meantime, I’m interested in smaller mechanical ways to give additional senses.

The classic example of this, for me, is a magnet in your finger which gives you a sense of metal and electricity. I don’t remember hearing anything about it in the years since the WIRED article, though, and the most recent information I could find was in BMEZine about how they needed better sheaths for the magnets before it would really be safe. Does anyone else know how our posthuman future is progressing?

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Fun with road signs

This takes five seconds to read and will make you laugh, unless you work for the highway patrol.

(via Ben Goldacre)

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Drinkin’ Settlers of Catan on QuestionableContent

Jeph Jaques has hit upon the only HRSFAn drinking game that I know of.

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HRSFANS Board Appointment

Congratulations to John Abbe ’88 on his appointment to the HRSFANS board!

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Escher in LEGO!

Ascending and Descending

Ascending and Descending

I am so excited about this: Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu are reproducing M.C. Escher drawings in LEGO! Escher is one of my favorite artists because of the fantastic ways in which he plays with tilings and with perspective. Lipson and Shiu have taken on the seemingly impossible task of reproducing these, using a combination of sophisticated LEGO construction technique and clever photography manipulation. Of the five they’ve done so far, my favorites are Relativity and Ascending and Descending. In addition to providing comparisons of the LEGO photos with the original Escher drawings, they explain various technical details of the models’ construction. I never realized how much advanced technique could be involved in playing with LEGOs! In fact, Lipson has constructed all sorts of crazy LEGO sculptures, including an impressive collection of mathematical constructions (such as mobius strips, knots, a klein bottle, and some others that I had never heard of).

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Neil Gaiman wins Newberry Medal

…for The Graveyard Book. The Washington Post has more details.

It’s always nice to see excellent genre authors gain acclaim in the mainstream literary world.

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Applied Philosophy

Neil Sinhababu from Donkeylicious explains how modal realism allows us to be in love with someone in another universe. He even discusses how you can make sure they’re in love with you too, and why it’s not cruel for you to break up with them to start a relationship with someone in this world. Basically, it’s Parallel Universe Dating for Dummies, as published in a respectable philosophy journal. It’s pretty short and very fun to read, so go check it out!

(Neil in fact keeps two blogs: Donkeylicious is a political blog, while The Ethical Werewolf is a philsophy blog. Somewhat counterintuitively, I’m linking to a philosophy paper discussed on his political blog. Also, Neil is a member of HRSFANS, which gives him extra cool points.)

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KHAN!

Generally we try to write some about why a post is interesting, but this one speaks for itself.  It looks like you could even use a regression to attach an inverse-exponential equation to it, or something.

I would like to say that that moment in Star Trek 2, when Kirk screams “KHAN!” and then “the camera backs out” to include the entire moon, and he screams “KHAN!” again, is one of the more fun moments in SF cinema to thnk about.

Also R.I.P. Ricardo, we’ll miss you.

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A crafts blog for HRSFANS

I’m starting a collaborative blog at http://craftsblog.wordpress.com, so that HRSFANS with an interest in arts and crafts can write about the various projects they’re working on, detailing their travails and displaying their triumphs for the benefit of friends who live far away. So far, we’ve got posts on origami, cabling, two-sided embroidery, crocheted potholders, and a gryphon tapestry.

I know there are lots of HRSFAlums out there who are interested in crafts of various sorts, and you’re all welcome to join in the fun. Whether you’re an expert or a dabbler,  whether your particular passion is portraiture, papier-mache, spinning, or smithing… we’d love to have you.

You have to join word-press in order to become a member of the blog (though fortunately, this is quite painless). If you’d like to be added, comment below and I’ll send you an invite.

Kibbitzers are also welcome. We’ve got an RSS feed, and are syndicated on livejournal as “hrsfanscrafts”.

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