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Ursula K. Le Guin documentary on PBS

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If you’re in the US, most PBS stations will be showing the documentary Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin on August 2nd, so that’s your Friday night sorted.

Features interviews with the author, her family and friends, and the generation of sci-fi and fantasy writers she influenced, like Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, and Michael Chabon, as well as gorgeous animations illustrating her work as she reads.

One comment I noted when she passed in 2018:

One of the many, many things Le Guin gave us was a subtle one: that the “science” in science fiction could also be the social sciences, and that, indeed, without it, no science fiction could be entirely complete.
Catherynne Valente on Twitter

And this great thread by Jeet Heer, including:

Le Guin was part of a great shift in science fiction, often called New Wave, which had many dimensions (literary, countercultural, feminist) but was also a move from xenophobia to xenophilia.

I loved this from her Rant About “Technology” which, sadly, seems to have gone offline when that site was redesigned.

Technology is the active human interface with the material world.

… But the word is consistently misused to mean only the enormously complex and specialised technologies of the past few decades, supported by massive exploitation both of natural and human resources.

And of course this great acceptance speech when she received the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

(Via Eliot Peper / Neil Gaiman.)

Tags: documentaries   Ursula K. Le Guin
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TimidWerewolf
125 days ago
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Watch - cheese infested with live maggots is a delicacy

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Even though cheese is pretty disgusting when you think about what it is, most cultures enjoy eating the coagulated mammary secretions of hoofed animals. Even bleu cheese (which is little more that moldy fat) is considered good eating by a lot of people. But when it comes to cheese infested by maggots, most folks draw the line.

Not the residents of Sardinia. They go for casu marzu, a festering pile of rotten pecorino cheese teeming with squirming fly larvae. Stashed away in cupboards and under counters at open-air markets due to its contraband status, casu marzu is a cheese in which flies have been permitted — actually, encouraged — to deposit eggs. When the thousands of eggs hatch, the maggots eat the cheese and release an enzyme, triggering a fermentation process that causes the fat in the cheese to putrefy. By the time the cheese is ready to be consumed, it’s a gluey mass that creates a burning sensation in the mouth. Because the maggots will attempt to leap into the cheese eater’s eyes, conventional wisdom dictates that you should cover the cheese with your hand when you raise a piece it to your lips.

Squeamish casu marzu gourmands who don’t want to ingest live maggots can first place the cheese in a paper bag and seal it. When the maggots become starved for oxygen, they jump out of the cheese and writhe in the bag, making a pleasant pitter-patter sound.

When the sound subsides, that means the maggots are dead and the cheese is ready to eat.

A Sardinian government health department official who was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal said anyone caught selling or serving the black market treat could be slapped with a heavy fine, "but as a Sardinian and a man, let me tell you, I have never heard of anyone falling ill after eating this stuff. Sometimes, it tastes real good."

(Text from my book, World's Worst)

Image: Great Big Story

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TimidWerewolf
344 days ago
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Fascinating
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In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream About Ripley or Newt Almost Being in The Predator

io9
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The ending to Shane Black’s The Predator was weird, wacky, and completely out of left field, introducing a weapon that could change the game in possible sequels. But what if the new killer wasn’t a thing, but a person? From another movie universe? Apparently, The Predator shot two alternate endings that would’ve…

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TimidWerewolf
344 days ago
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14 Rules for Maintaining Your Sanity Online

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In an issue of The Discourse, Sean Blanda shared a list of rules for interacting with others online while maintaining your sanity. Among them are:

4. Take a second.

6. If an online space makes more money the more time you spend on it, use sparingly.

8. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, be charitable in how you read people’s ideas.

10. Create the kind of communities and ideas you want people to talk about.

12. You don’t always have the moral high ground. You are not always right.

Tags: lists   Sean Blanda
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TimidWerewolf
344 days ago
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Solid advice!
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The Hidden Beauty of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch's Best Ending

io9
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Netflix’s latest television experiment, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, has several possible endings to the story. Some quick, others more detailed. But one of them stands out, giving us a poetic story that—unlike all the others in the film—was only made possible through its interactivity. It may not be the only way the…

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TimidWerewolf
347 days ago
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Io9 Nails it. This episode and this ending did it for me.
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Kevin Spacey's creepy Frank Underwood video: now with Director's Commentary

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This director's commentary of the bizarre Kevin Spacey video that heralded his being charged with felony indecent assault and battery this week doesn't explain what in the hell Spacey was thinking when he filmed it. It is, however, an absolute improvement over having to listen to the cornered megalomaniac blather in that tired, far from endearing Frank Underwood drawl.

Thanks to James Urbaniak (AKA Skip Sullivan) for bringing us all a little holiday cheer.

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TimidWerewolf
348 days ago
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This is a masterpiece!
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