* Waywiser Press has two new MP3s of Jaimee reading from her first book, How to Avoid Speaking: “Derrida Eats a Dorito” and “On Beauty.”
* New SF from Cixin Liu: “The Weight of Memories.”
* Duke Lit is hiring. And Georgetown has a cluster hire in African American studies.
* Automatically preordered: Kim Stanley Robinson’s next novel, New York 2140. China Miéville’s October: A History of the Russian Revolution. The Miéville- and Le-Guin-fronted new edition of More’s Utopia. Box Brown’s graphic history of Tetris.
* I love this Oulipoesque writing game from Steve Shaviro, on writing like a pundit.
- Every sentence must be a cliche.
- There must be no logical or narrative connection among the sentences. Each one must be a complete non sequitur.
* Supporting Transgender Students in the Classroom.
* Reevaluating Teaching Evaluations.
* Can grad students unionize? Academia awaits major labor board ruling.
* Univision buys Gawker for $135m, shuts Gawker itself down.
* Conservatively, counting just the biggest chunks of staff time that went into it, the prison story cost roughly $350,000. The banner ads that appeared on the article brought in $5,000, give or take. Had we been really in your face with ads, we could have doubled or tripled that figure—but it would have been a pain for you, and still only a drop in the bucket for us.
* Relatedly: Justice Department says it will end use of private prisons. Some immediate effects.
* The new Star Trek distribution model in a global context.
* 15 Technologies That Were Supposed to Change Education Forever.
* Foundation 124 is out, with a special focus on More’s Utopia.
* I feel this now about a lot of things I read: Why Scott Snyder Doesn’t Write Damian Wayne Much.
* Unfortunately, Landis — the director who co-wrote and executive produced Clue — and the studios were completely wrong about there being any box office appeal for a film with three endings. As Lynn explained, “The audience decided they didn’t know which ending to go to, so they didn’t go at all.”
* Meanwhile, from the death of culture.
* It was the deadliest massacre of disabled people since World War II. How do we honor the victims if we don’t even know their names? Remembering the Sagamihara 19.
* Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary: ‘No one believes me now, but I knew nothing.’
* Something unexpected I learned recently: the practice of giving presidential candidates classified intelligence briefings began in the 1950s with President Truman, who didn’t want his successors coming into office without knowing crucial information (the way he hadn’t known about the Manhattan Project).
* Donald Trump is assembling gathering the Legion of Doom. (The ubiquitous Twitter joke was calling it “the hospice stage.”) Trumpism: first as tragedy, then as farce. The Presidential Debates Will Almost Definitely Exclude Third Parties. Finding Someone Who Can Imitate Donald Trump. Battleground Texas? The short, unhappy life of the Naked Trump statue. #TrumpExplainsMoviePlots.
* The GOP’s Chances Of Holding The Senate Are Following Trump Downhill.
* A digital exhibit from the Milwaukee Public Library on the history of race and class in Milwaukee. Milwaukee by the numbers.
* Frodo’s trip to Mordor as a Google Map. Via Boing Boing.
* Aetna to pull out of the Obamacare markets, apparently for revenge. EpiPen Price Hike Has Parents of Kids With Allergies Scrambling Ahead of School Year.
* Diagnoses of 9/11-linked cancers have tripled in less than 3 years.
* Why gifted kindergarten is 70 percent white. How schools that obsess about standardized tests ruin them as measures of success.
* “Clickbait”-esque titles work for academic papers too.
* Why aren’t there more women in Congress?
* What crime is the robbing of a neighborhood, compared to policing it?
* These Researchers Are Using Reddit to Teach a Supercomputer to Talk. In a panic, they try to pull the plug…
* The Original Plan for Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four Sounds Completely Amazing.
In addition to Annihilus and the Negative Zone, we had Doctor Doom declaring war against the civilized world, the Mole Man unleashing a 60 foot genetically-engineered monster in downtown Manhattan, a commando raid on the Baxter Foundation, a Saving Private Ryan-style finale pitting our heroes against an army of Doombots in war-torn Latveria, and a post-credit teaser featuring Galactus and the Silver Surfer destroying an entire planet. We had monsters and aliens and Fantasticars and a cute spherical H.E.R.B.I.E. robot that was basically BB-8 two years before BB-8 ever existed. And if you think all of that sounds great…well, yeah, we did, too. The problem was, it would have also been massively, MASSIVELY expensive.
By coincidence, we watched the actual Trank Fantastic Four tonight and I was utterly shocked to see that there was almost a decent movie lurking in there somewhere.
* Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered.
* The spectacle of mixed gender racing unravels fascistic models of sex/gender difference and sex/gender purity. Every woman runner competes with the lie that men are faster than women. That fiction can only be maintained by ensuring that men and women never run with each other — when men and women run with each other, they scale down each other’s understanding of their differences. The Life and Murder of Stella Walsh, Intersex Olympic Champion. Capturing Semenya.
* The Forgotten Tale of How America Converted Its 1980 Olympic Village Into a Prison.
* That time NASA accidentally sold a piece of irreplaceable Apollo history for less than $1,000.
* Nothing gold can stay: The Heidelberg Project is coming down.
* Allow me to recommend the Julia Louis-Dreyfus portion of this episode of the Katie Couric Podcast, where she talks Veep, Hillary Clinton, and Trump. The Al Franken episode is pretty good too.
* This episode of Criminal, on the founder of The Leaky Cauldron’s experience of being cyber-stalked for eight years, is also a really fascinating listen.
* I’m sad about this, but it’s probably time: Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman Announces End of Long-Running Superhero Comic Invincible.
* “Distance from center of diagram measures explanatory generality, comprehensive power, & potential banality”
* Perhaps, once at a summer barbecue, when both were still alive, Maude grabbed Marge’s hand under the table and held tight.
* Meritocracy and system dysfunction. Meritocracy and system dysfunction and free tuition at public colleges.
* One of the biggest crime waves in America isn’t what you think it is: wage theft.
* The race of the police officer doesn’t matter. The race of the mayorimplementing the policy doesn’t matter. What matters is who enjoys a “right to the city” — and who gets thrown up against a wall and patted down.
* New Museum Connects History of Slavery to Mass Incarceration.
* Elsewhere at Jacobin: Jacobin vs. Scientology.
* google sugar high truth
* Scenes From the Terrifying, Already Forgotten JFK Airport Shooting That Wasn’t.
* Stranger Things, Parallel Universes, and the State of String Theory. And an interesting proposition from Chuck Rybak: Is the ubiquity of cell phones driving the nostalgia craze in film and TV?
* Please don’t mess this up: Marvel And Hulu Announce Runaways TV Series.
* Or this one either: Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar return for animated Batman movie.
* What killed The Nightly Show?
* When Nixon almost implemented universal basic income.
* Understanding the Harambe meme. Understanding the bees are dying at an alarming rate meme.
* A list of 150+ SF Writers of Asian Descent.
* Terraforming Mars without Nukes.
* Gins often said that the reason she and Arakawa made art and architecture was to “construct optimism.” Their whole philosophy began there, in the desire to embrace being alive and to shift their focus away from the certainty of death. Gins made the choice to believe that art, and her work, were strong enough to do that. It was her version of faith, and her work made that faith solid, physical. Her life, like all our lives, was often filled with sadness and difficulty. There were periods of depression, anxiety, sick parents, financial problems, her husband’s illness and death. Through it all, she insisted not just on continuing to live, but on living forever. Trying to build a world where fewer people suffered made her own suffering bearable. A year and a half after Arakawa’s death, Gins recalled in a letter to a friend her struggle to move forward. “Despite my shattered state,” she wrote, “in spite of the gaping hole that had been punched into my optimism, I asserted that nothing is of more interest than to be alive.”
* J.K. Rowling announces new Harry Potter short story collections.
* Stop me if you’ve heard this one: In the 136 years scientists have been tracking global temperatures, there has never been a warmer month than this July, according a new NASA report.
* Arctic Cruises for the Wealthy Could Fuel a Climate Change ‘Feedback Loop’.
* RIP John McLaughlin, who I watched with my father every week for a decade. Bye-bye.
* Dune, as it was always meant to be experienced.
* Feet of clay: Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland vs. the unions.
* Exercise we can believe in: Watching horror films burns nearly 200 calories a time.
* And physicists may have discovered a fifth fundamental force of nature. This is the one that gives people superpowers, I know it.