Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘America

Impeach Trump Now (and Other Links)

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* I haven’t done a post like this in a while, so of course you have to catch up with the horrors of America collapsing around our ears. Charlottesville. Charlottesville. Charlottesville. Russia. Russia. Russia. The NSC memo was only last week! Republicans, Remove This Madman From Power.

* And then there was today.

As White Supremacists Wreak Havoc, a University Becomes a Crisis Center.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: White Far-Right Terrorists Pose a Clear Danger to Us All.

* Slouching towards death squads.

* Defense fund for the protestors in Durham who pulled down the Old Soldier last night. A history. Gov. Roy Cooper calls for Confederate statues to come down in North Carolina. “We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down.”

After Obama’s 2008 Win, Indiana GOP Added Early Voting in White Suburb, Cut It in Indianapolis.

Who’s truly rebuilding the Democratic Party? The activists.

Stop Calling Millennials the Facebook Generation. They’re The Student Loan Generation.

8 Times The World Narrowly Avoided A Potential Nuclear Disaster. This is how easy it would be for Trump to start a nuclear war. Averting Annihilation. Notes on Late Exterminism, the Trump Stage of Civilization. The Annihilator. Computer Models Show What Exactly Would Happen To Earth After A Nuclear War. Analysts are trying to work out what happens to the markets they cover in the event of an all-out nuclear war. Nuclear Imperialism and Extended Deterrence. The national security establishment versus the “madmen.” And from the archives.

The underlying logic is quite uncomplicated: unless America is the best and the most powerful, the entire world is forfeit. This is of course the brutish proposition that sustains American hegemony—that has sustained since it since the get-go. It’s the same threat whether it’s mouthed colorfully by Trump, or stated matter-of-factly by a career military officer like Defense Secretary James Mattis, who warned that “the DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” But as with so much else, hearing it laid out so baldly, in yet another unplanned and unvetted Trump ad-lib, has an arresting effect. As out of the mouths of babes, so out of the mouth of our President: the truth brings us up short. We move from an initial, disavowing reaction of “This. Is. Not. Normal” to a nauseous, self-implicating “Oh God, this is what normal always was.”

* Timely! Ava DuVernay is developing Octavia Butler’s sci-fi novel, ‘Dawn’ as a television series.

Now More than Ever, We Wish We Had These Lost Octavia Butler Novels.

The “Weird Thoreau” on ecological fiction and the cult of climate-change denial.

Half the GOP Base Say They Would Support Cancelling the 2020 Elections. The Other Half Won’t Admit It.

* The Women of the Alt-Right.

* Right-leaning media outlets have moral culpability for what is happening, if not legal culpability. They created this. The coming Civil War.

Mom Deported Because She Didn’t Change Lanes.

On Tuesday, they will reluctantly split up their family, flying to Mexico with their 12-year-old son to start a new life, while leaving their three older daughters — who are 16, 21 and 23 — behind in the U.S.

Healthcare workers rally to halt Oakland nurse’s deportation.

* How ICE Is Using Big Data to Carry Out Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Crusade. Private prison companies are saying Trump’s immigration crackdown is looking good for business.

Thank you, Wisconsin, for the beautiful gift. Editorial from the Chicago Sun-Times.

How to Tell If Your Eclipse Glasses or Handheld Solar Viewers Are Safe.

Romance Novels, Generated by Artificial Intelligence.

* Better Business through Sci-Fi.

People in rich countries are dying of loneliness.

The Story of the DuckTales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music. Is it possible to swim through coins, Scrooge McDuck style?

* Where is your god now?

Forever Yesterday: Peering Inside My Mom’s Fading Mind.

* Biohackers encode malware within a strand of DNA.

Side effects kill thousands but our data on them is flawed.

Why do some people get so upset when we talk about how diverse the ancient Greek and Roman societies were? Because if Classical antiquity is the foundation of western civilization and they were multiracial/multiethnic societies, then the idea that western civilization is a white accomplishment based on a history of white superiority is called into question.

* Congratulations to all the Hugo winners! Measuring the slow death of the Rabid Puppies.

The Table of Contents for Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 has now been revealed, as selected by me (series editor John Joseph Adams) and guest editor Charles Yu.

On Game of Thrones, the Cracks Are Beginning to Show. It’s bad y’all.

* The Soul of the Gamer under Communism.

What are the ethical consequences of immortality technology? To Be a Machine: Adventures Among the Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death.

* When Bill Murray Saw the Groundhog Day musical. UPDATE: Nothing gold can stay.

* Taylor Swift for President.

A map for extraterrestrials to find Earth.

“I came home because I believed what they said about the new system and that it was supposed to be the best in the world,” said Williams, 67. “But now it seems if we get hit by another Katrina, the city will be gone.”

* Learjet Liberalism: Advocates for climate action should stop defending the rich.

* The kids are all right.

* And in a dark time, the eye begins to see.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Closing All My Tabs Before the Nuclear War Links

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* Welp. Here we go. To Launch a Nuclear Strike, Donald Trump Would Follow These Steps. Could Trump help unleash nuclear catastrophe with a single tweet? As one Republican Hill staffer said to me, “if we get Gorsuch and avoid a nuclear war, a lot of us will count this as a win.” Does Donald Trump Believe Nuclear War Is Inevitable? In North Korea, ‘Surgical Strike’ Could Spin Into ‘Worst Kind of Fighting.’

* Meanwhile, in the war that stopped being fun.

* President Trump has sent private messages to Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. How Will The Mueller Grand Jury Handle Classified Information?

* thisisfine.jpg

* Unlearning the myth of American innocence.

♫ Butterfly in the sky, I can fly twice as high… ♫

The modern suburb in America began as a means of providing abundant and comfortable housing to white Americans and has now evolved into a carefully tuned media surround — replete with ubiquitous screens running alarmist commercial media — that seeks to sustain that apartheid at any cost. But just as the media elevated a man to the presidency only to have him turn around and name it the “enemy of the people,” the built environment of suburbs is riven with contradictions that will ultimately be its undoing.

* It’s so strange to me that anyone talks about anything in The Handmaid’s Tale *but* the epilogue. That’s the whole thing.

* Say it again: The Problem Is Capital.

* Worrying development for academic freedom.

The JCC Bomb-Threat Suspect Had a Client.

Basic Needs Security and the Syllabus.

Can You Distinguish These Real British Places From Fake Ones an AI Made Up?

Automated accounts are being programmed to spread fake news, according to the first systematic study of the way online misinformation spreads.

* Ideology at its very, very purest.

* I’ve said this about movies like Pacific Rim, and I think it’s absolutely the fantasy at the heart of Game of Thrones as well: The ultimate enemy of all humanity is coming—climate change—and we will stop it by dropping a nuclear bomb on it.

* Maybe the media should stop doing free promotion for all the worst creeps in the world.

“Respondent did not realize that advertising a ‘women’s-only’ screening was a violation of discrimination laws,” the theater wrote to the city. “Respondent has a very strict non-discrimination policy in place, but this policy did NOT include a specific prohibition against advertising.”

* Another streaming service you’ll have to subscribe to. What does this mean for the Daredevilverse?

This head-spinning optical illusion will melt your brain.

* American Chess Is Great Again.

* Finally, the movie you can barely remember has four sequels you’ve find incredibly stupid…

Tuesday Links!

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* I put up my Fall syllabi yesterday, if you missed it! Courses on Tolkien, Hamilton, and “Utopia in America” this time out.

* Jaimee has two new poems out in Mezzo Cammin: “Good Women” and “Perseveration.”

* SFRA Review 321 is out, with a interview with Cory Doctorow.

* Octavia Butler, remembered by her friend Shirlee Smith.

* A bar joke. Simulationism. Dadproof. Honestly, how did you miss this?

* A nice interview with Adam Kotsko about his book on the devil.

Somewhat surprisingly, in the early centuries of Christianity, there was a durable minority position to the effect that the devil would be saved. Ultimately that view was condemned as heretical, and what interests me is how vehemently theologians rejected it—the emotional gut reaction always seemed out of proportion to me. And the argument, such as it is, always boils down to the same thing: if the devil can be saved, that misses the whole point of having the devil in the first place. It is as though Christian theology gradually came to need a hard core of eternal, unredeemable blameworthiness, a permanent scapegoat who can never escape.

* CFP: Utopia and Apocalypse (SUS 2017, Memphis). And there’s still time jump on our “After Suvin” roundtable at SUS, if you get something in to us ASAP…

* CFP: ExRe(y) 2018. Exhaustion and Regeneration in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture.

Gender Issues in Video Games.

* Tenure track job in carceral studies.

Professional romance novelists can write 3,000 words a day. Here’s how they do it.

Yes, Your Manuscript Was Due 30 Years Ago. No, the University Press Still Wants It.

* The backfire effect failed to replicate, so it’s safe to be a know-it-all again.

* The grad school horror story of the moment: Why I Left Academia.

http://academiaiskillingmyfriends.tumblr.com.

Undergraduates Are Workers, Too.

“Grade Inflation” as a Path to Ungrading.

The idea of white victimhood is increasingly central to the debate over affirmative action.

* UCI has reversed itself on rescinding admissions. Good!

* “The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe”: As the Voyager mission is winding down, so, too, are the careers of the aging explorers who expanded our sense of home in the galaxy.

A Trip To The Men’s Room Turned Jeff Kessler Into The NCAA’s Worst Nightmare.

* Race and reaction gifs. Race and speeding tickets. Race and dystopia. Race and police dogs.

* Privilege and video games.

Google Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes ‘Internally Viral.’ Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences.

You Are the Product.

The guiding principle in Mr. Trump’s government is to turn the politics of white resentment into the policies of white rage — that calculated mechanism of executive orders, laws and agency directives that undermines and punishes minority achievement and aspiration. No wonder that, even while his White House sinks deeper into chaos, scandal and legislative mismanagement, Mr. Trump’s approval rating among whites (and only whites) has remained unnaturally high. Washington may obsess over Obamacare repeal, Russian sanctions and the debt ceiling, but Mr. Trump’s base sees something different — and, to them, inspiring.

We have a political problem no one wants to talk about: very old politicians.

No One Should Have Sole Authority to Launch a Nuclear Attack. No one should have that authority, period.

* Rules don’t matter anymore, stupids. What the Trump-Russia grand jury means. The very thing that liberals think is imperiled by Trump will be the most potent source of his long-term power and effects. If you want a vision of the future.

* 2018 won’t save you. Really. And obviously the Democrats won’t. Obviously.

* But sure I guess everything is fine now.

* Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Abolish ICE. Shut these guys down too.

* Fired/Rehired: Police departments are often forced to put officers fired for misconduct back on the streets.

* Also it’s weird how we don’t have a State department anymore and no one cares.

* After #TheResistance.

* When Trump trumps love.

* Can the subaltern vote?

Big Data Is Coming to Take Your Health Insurance.

How Trump’s FCC aided Sinclair’s expansion: Use of a regulatory loophole will allow Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households after buying Tribune’s stations.

* Y’all ready for debt ceiling? Democrats should do exactly what is described here.

Hey Marvel, please don’t take away female Thor’s hammer. Don’t give Confederacy the benefit of the doubt.

* For the dinosaurs, ten minutes separated survival and extinction.

* On names.

* Neurolinguistic programming: how to win an argument edition.

* More on Amazon and anti-trust.

* A short film about Chris Ware.

* “Karate Kid but the bully is the hero” has been a go-to joke for years, but only Netflix could make it real.

* Disconnect your Internet-connected fish tank now.

“Adversarial perturbations” and AI.

* How close are we to a Constitutional Convention?

The Only Place in the World Where Sea Level Is Falling, Not Rising. American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why. Wildfires in Greenland. Coming Attractions. The Atlas for the End of the World.

Yes, we’re angry. Why shouldn’t we be? Why aren’t you? Why Does Being a Woman Put You at Greater Risk of Having Anxiety? Suicides in teen girls hit 40 year high.

* Your labor in the process of being replaced. Your opinion is increasingly irrelevant. Your presence on Earth will soon no longer be required. Thank you for your service; the robots are here.

* Jeff Goldblum is The Doctor in Doctor Who (dir. John Carpenter, 1983).

* The question of Klingon head ridges has officially become pathological.

* Agricultural civilization may be 30,000 years older than we thought.

* A People’s History of the Gray Force.

* A People’s History of Time Lord Regenerations.

* A People’s History of Westeros.

* The Dark Tower: What The Hell Happened?

* Pitching Battlestar Galactica.

* Littlefinger for New Jersey is tough to argue.

When Will Humanity Finally Die Out? There’s always death to look forward to.

* Smartphones and The Kids Today.

* Zero at Rotten Tomatoes.

* Twitter is bad, YA edition.

* Time for some game theory.

* More scenes from the collapse of the New York City subway system.

Africa has entered the space race, with Ghana’s first satellite now orbiting earth.

* Are you ready to LAUGH?

Reminder that Kurt Russell probably wrote the IMDB trivia section for Escape from L.A.

* I knew it.

* Same.

* And please consider this my resignation.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 8, 2017 at 10:10 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Fall 2017 Syllabi! Tolkien! Utopia! Hamilton!

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I’ve put the syllabi for my fall classes up at my professional site:

HOPR 1953: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

ENGLISH 4610: J.R.R. Tolkien

ENGLISH 6700: Utopia in America

The Hamilton class is new, a one-credit pass/fail seminar for the honors program. The Tolkien class and the Utopia class are both revised a lit from the last times around; for the grad class, I’ve swapped in two Kurt Vonnegut and two Octavia Butler books for Utopia, Sula, and Man in the High Castle, in part due to known student interest and in part because I have some ideas about sequelization and utopia that I want to start exploring. For the Tolkien class the changes were much more minor; by moving a few things around and not going on as many trips this semester I was able to squeeze out about an extra week, which I devoted to more time to discussing the ending(s) of Return of the King and more time on The Silmarillion (the second change strongly desired by some of the students last time!). I also changed some of the language I used around the final assignment, including adding a creative option, and added a bit more architecture to the syllabus regarding suspense and spoilers. I thought the class worked great last time around but this will give me a chance to structure the initial discussions in the class a little more inclusively than I did last time (I hope).

Really looking forward to the next couple months…

Wednesday Morning Links!

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* Coming soon! Star Wars and the History of Transmedia Storytelling. I have a short piece in this one ruminating on Rogue One and the problems of multiple authorship in contemporary franchise production.

The computer simulation hypothesis reveals how the American liberal elite questions everything except the insufficiency of liberalism itself.

Seriously, what I find far more ominous is how seldom, today, we see the phrase “the 22nd century.” Almost never.

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

Not half-light, not dimness, not relative dark: total, pitch darkness. Darkness so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face, or even be sure whether your eyes are open or closed. Lost within an ancient cave, the man and woman started off separate and alone, confronting mind-bending isolation that played tricks on their senses and produced ever-more-disorienting hallucinations. Fumbling and crawling, never sure which next step might break their necks or worse, they navigated through an alien environment marked by vermin, severe cold, tight confines, sudden drops, yawning pits, and sharp rocks. Eventually, they found each other deep below the earth, then painstakingly made their way to the surface. And the entire time, circling silently about them in the darkness, intimately near yet incredibly far away, has been a crew of producers and camera operators documenting their every move.

By the time Noura Jackson’s conviction was overturned, she had spent nine years in prison. This type of prosecutorial error is almost never punished.

After the trial, Weirich spoke to the local news media. ‘‘It’s a great verdict,’’ she said. Noura was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years and nine months. Weirich’s victory helped start her political career. In January 2011, she was appointed district attorney in Shelby County, after the elected district attorney left to join the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam. Weirich, a Republican, became the first woman to hold that post. She then won election in 2012 and 2014 with 65 percent of the vote, running on a law-­and-­order message against weak opponents. A friend said her husband, who is also a lawyer, began talking about moving the family into the Governor’s Mansion one day.

Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment.

* A soccer star from Gaithersburg won a college scholarship. But ICE plans to deport him.

* 18 Texas sheriffs sign up to join forces with federal immigration officers.

All U.S. Catholics are called to oppose mass deportations under Trump. Here’s why.

‘The moment when it really started to feel insane’: An oral history of the Scaramucci era.

The Rise and Fall of the “Freest Little City in Texas”: How a libertarian experiment in city government fell apart over taxes, debt and some very angry people.

Coast Guard ‘will not break faith’ with transgender members, leader says.

* The fire next time.

* The president of golf.

* The chaos, legislative fumbling, and legal jeopardy should not obscure the ways that the administration is remaking federal policy in consequential ways. Evergreen headlines: The Past Week Proves That Trump Is Destroying Our Democracy.

Trump helping his son draft a misleading statement could be witness tampering.

* Always, always: unreal that it’s still this high.

* Cory Booker gets one right.

America’s former envoy to Afghanistan says the war can’t be won. Is there even a strategic goal at this point?

* The plate tectonics of Middle-Earth.

* White Capital, Black Labor. We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning. In many ways, it did.

* This has got to be illegal.

* Squishy sentience.

With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals.

* And happy birthday, Brittle Paper!

Tuesday Morning Links!

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* CFP: Disasters, Apocalypses, and Catastrophes: PCA/ACA 2018.

* When Universities Swallow Cities.

UC Davis’ Katehi will teach one course per quarter, conduct research in $318,000 position. Ah, so the standard rate.

What appears to be still difficult, even as it gets told in ever finer detail, is the simple and immense situation that America and Nazi Germany are two instantiations of a single history of white supremacist rule.

* The Last Days of New Paris is China Miéville’s novella about a surrealist Paris magically overlapping with our realist Paris. At the back of the book, Miéville offers endnote citations of the surrealist art that inspired his writing. I corralled all the art in this post.

* SF, Down Under.

* Liking What You See will be an AMC series. Interesting!

* Khaaaaaaaaan!

This Is the Way the College ‘Bubble’ Ends.

* I don’t like this: U.C. Irvine Rescinds Acceptances for Hundreds of Applicants. If Admissions guesses wrong it seems to me the college should have to bear the burden of solving the problem.

Border Agency Set to Jumpstart Trump’s Wall in a Texas Wildlife Refuge.

* The Fifty Year Ache: The Milwaukee Housing Marches.

* We seem to be entering a terrifying new moment of Trumpism. This October, Trump Will Try to Start a War with Iran. A Few Reasons to Impeach the President, Just From Today. How the Trump Administration Broke the State Department. You think? The Presidency in Exile. Kleptocracy. Here comes the pivot.

* RNC PR BS — no more! Inside the end of the Priebus era.

* This guy is on-brand. Aaaaaaand he’s gone. It’s gone to be a record.

* A good day for bad guys getting what’s coming to them.

* Has Jeff Flake really, truly had enough? I bet it’s bluster, and perhaps defensive, but we’ll see…

* All these “ha ha loser POTUS” pre-mortems forget that Trump hasn’t faced a crisis not of his own making yet.

* I thought this Russia subplot was over.

* No exit.

Immigrant mother of three with no criminal record to be deported.

Trump’s travel ban keeps orphan kids from US foster families.

Bawitdaba da bang da bang diggy diggy diggy.

The Academic “Success Sequence” – Get Lucky at Birth, Mostly.

* Left with Rage: What Happens When Trump Is Gone.

Democrats Will Do Anything To Win…Except Change. Democrats Can Abandon the Center — Because the Center Doesn’t Exist. Guys, they’ve got this.

Dogs probably domesticated us, not the other way around.

Oakland gives pot convicts first chance to open marijuana businesses as part of reparations for war on drugs.

* And I say 137 years is too good for ’em!

* Oh, so that’s what happened.

* Amazon and anti-trust.

Why millennials cheat less than their parents.

* Class action?

* Of course you had me at pop culture detritus illustrated as abandoned, overgrown ruins.

Close roads so children can play in the street like their parents did, say public health experts.

The Ultimate Playlist Of Banned Wedding Songs.

* A brief history of speedrunning.

* All these worlds are yours, except…

* And I have just one piece of advice for you.

Sunday Morning Links!

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* Somehow this one dropped out of the link post yesterday, but you know it hits all my buttons: Senate Parliamentarian Challenges Key Provisions of Health Bill.

* itshappening.gif. Democrats should be prepared to litigate pardons on every level, in advance. This is good too: Can the President Be Indicted? A Long-Hidden Legal Memo Says Yes. We’re on the Brink of an Authoritarian Crisis. The Crisis Is Upon Us.

Five poll numbers that should make Democrats uneasy. The fire next time. Signs of sanity from Chuck Schumer of all people, who’s been saying such things lately. 6 Months in, Is Trump’s America Living Up to Liberals’ Worst Fears? If Clinton Had Won.

Connecticut mother facing deportation seeks sanctuary in local church.

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer.

* The Millennials Are the American Earthquake.

* The year is 2525. All life on Earth is extinct. Jared Kushner has just submitted a final corrected SF-86.

* Presenting Anthony Scaramucci’s deleted tweets. Inside Hunt & Fish, where beauties trawl for sugar daddies. One last time. And of course.

* Why does DC Comics hate Superman? It’s bizarre.

Game of Thrones’s Medieval Crap.

* Rhapsody for the Anthropocene.

The Unacknowledged Costs of Academic Travel. Against Academic Conferences. I’m a long-married introvert who doesn’t drink, so if they outlawed conferences I’d probably come out pretty far ahead of the game — but I will say that #notallconferences are like what Matthew describes here: when I give a talk at the specialist conferences I usually go to there’s usually at least 20-30 people in the audience at each panel. (Maybe not at the early morning slot, but…) If panels are being that poorly attended as a rule, it’s likely a problem with the organization of the conference itself. I know my career has benefited a lot from finding out early which conferences were the right ones for me to be attending, and all of the opportunities that have made my career what it is came out of them. So it’s tough for me to say they’re not worth doing.

* I Studied the Humanities, and Now…

Is the person naming these colors of yarn okay?

* CPS and the New Jane Crow.

Mapped: the United States and Canada at the same latitudes as Europe.

* Cool world history visualization project at chronas.org.

* Adam Roberts previews what everyone says is the best European SF no one in America has ever heard of, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

* Die old and leave an incredible story.

From this point of view Strange is perhaps the first postcolonial superhero, the first who taught the youth to ‘provincialise the West’, to paraphrase Dipresh Chakrabarty’s slogan.

* 29 minutes from New York to DC is a thing that is never going to happen.

Chipotle Suffers Another Setback As Rats Fall From Restaurant Ceiling. Still, when you’re in the mood, Chipotle can really hit the spot.

* 7 Black Alt-History Projects That Would Be Better Than Confederate.

21 Today: The Rise of Speculative Fiction in Africa, year by year.

* Comic-Con seemed fun this year: Star Trek! Westworld! Stranger Things! Thor! Infinity War! Ready Player One! Ted Chiang! Flashpoint? Even Justice League looks reasonably competent. This seems… important for the sequel? And the dream of the 90s is alive in Captain Marvel.

* Lean in.