Cat Rambo is offering a class on how to use old tales to tell new stories, taught with Rachel Swirsky.
A guest post on Chuck Wendig's blog, Gareth Powell on things he learning writing a trilogy. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)
"Not all galaxies sparkle with stars. Galaxies as wide as the Milky Way but bereft of starlight are scattered throughout our cosmic neighborhood. Unlike Andromeda and other well-known galaxies, these dark beasts have no grand spirals of stars and gas wrapped around a glowing core, nor are they radiant balls of densely packed stars. Instead, researchers find just a wisp of starlight from a tenuous blob."
The problem with "news as entertainment," an article about "mysterious jelly-like creature washing up on a beach." There's lots of speculation by people who have no fucking clue. About two-thirds down we get this, "Christopher G. Lowe, a marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach who is the director of the university's shark lab, told KTLA that the the school's resident invertebrate expert says they are sea cucumbers…" and then a little by a semi-expert who says, "''There’s all kinds of weird things happening.' So, one expert who can say what they are, buried in the article after the "space alien" comment, and it's not even the guy who knows, but someone who knows someone else who knows what they are, and then another who basically says, "weird shit, man." Dear news, this is why you're fucked. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)
"The Somali-born student who carried out a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University complained on his Facebook account about U.S. interference in countries with Muslim communities, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press."
I'ma just gonna drop this hear for the record. "The Internet Archive, a digital library non-profit group that stores online copies of webpages, e-books, political advertisements and other media for public record, is fundraising to store a copy of all of its contents in Canada after Donald Trump's election to the presidency."
"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says work will begin immediately on a complete renovation of the 'shameful' statehouse… He says the portion of the building used by the Legislature won't be affected." Because fuck those guys.
"Before Obamacare, women were also generally charged higher rates for health insurance than men on the individual market. According to the law center's analysis, 60 percent of best-selling individual plans in 2009 charged a 40-year-old nonsmoking woman more than a 40-year-old man who smoked, even in plans that didn't include any type of maternity coverage." Won't it be great when we go back to that! It hasn't been that long ago, but obviously a lot of people forget what a shit-show health insurance was before Obamacare. It needs some fixing, but let's not toss everything. Also Obamacare is, as some people have said, a Jenga puzzle. It only works in the whole, start removing parts and the whole thing falls down eventually.
"The Environmental Protection Agency has released a list of toxic chemicals that will be the first reviewed under a recently enacted law that gives regulators increased authority to ban substances shown to endanger human health." Any guesses on what the first policy initiative it is that Trump tries to stop?
"There is always a strong argument." On cooperation and co-opting autocratic and authoritarian rule. "What separates Americans in 2016 from Europeans in the 1940s and 1950s is a little bit of historical time but a whole lot of historical knowledge. We know what my great-grandfather did not know: that the people who wanted to keep the people fed ended up compiling lists of their neighbors to be killed. That they had a rationale for doing so. And also, that one of the greatest thinkers of their age judged their actions as harshly as they could be judged." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
"Liberal White people, however? You’d think someone told them their favorite gluten-free bakery has been using wheat. And some of their reactions to this have been quite telling, particularly in regards to how they feel about race and America’s relationship to it. Liberal White men, in particular." (Grokked from Joshua Parker)
"Civil rights groups say President-elect Donald Trump should forcefully and publicly denounce racism and bigotry. They are pointing to more than 860 bias-related incidents recorded in the 10 days following his Nov. 8 victory."
"When people start throwing Nazi salutes in public, it has a way of clarifying where everybody stands." Basically, a lot of people who joyously embraced the Alt-Right label and vociferously denounced "PC culture" and liked to "not censor themselves" (i.e. finally could say all the racist shit in their heads out loud) are now a little uncomfortable with their compatriots tossing the fascist salute. Dear fucking idiots, did you not pay attention before? Also, Nazis took over Germany not so much because they were the majority (although a significant population were if not party members, party supporters), but because the vast majority of people aligned with at least some of their philosophy and didn't feel the rest of it was worth bothering about as long as they got what they wanted (although some of the politicians who tried to play that game found themselves hanging from piano wire once they were no longer needed, this is a lesson many GOP members should learn as they all bend over to kiss Trump's - and his inner team's - ass). As for "alt-lite"… seriously, "Nazi-lite" is still a fucking Nazi. They don't understand there isn't a middle-ground here. Once you've accepted the social programing, the path is determined and it's a slope downward into mankind darkest histories (Nazis weren't the first, nor are they the last, the Khmer Rouge for example). America (and much of the world) toyed with philosophies of eugenics, of "racial superiority", and in some ways we are still dealing with the aftermath and echoes of that. Fortunately we stepped back (slightly) from that brink. What I (and it appears a lot of other people) worry about is that we haven't taken enough steps away from that brink that we can't topple over into the abyss with a few nudges in the wrong direction. (Grokked from Elizabeth Bear)
"In the first days after the 2016 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project administered an online survey to K–12 educators from across the country… Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact. A full 80 percent describe heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families." (Grokked from Cherie Priest)
On the business conflict that Trump will have when he's sworn in as President, specifically the GSA lease to his Washington DC hotel. You know the one. It's were he held two "press conferences" during his campaign which were really "here's our soft-open tour" and "here's the ribbon cutting" events.
Penn & Teller burn a flag in the White House (on The West Wing). Just as an aside, of course they vanished the flag and used flash powder in the roll of the Bill of Rights, that's how that trick works. (Grokked from Dan)
Tweet of my heart: @scalzi Creative people: Assume any Twitter account telling you not to opine about politics is a Russian tweetbot and proceed accordingly.
Double dip: @lizzwinstead So Trump will have someone else sign checks? Got it.