Sunday, October 22, 2017

Essays , Commentary, and Insights

Change, or die: that’s the stark choice most protagonists face in literature, whether they recognize it or not.  Change is constant, and stasis is only an illusion.  What is true of people is also true of civilizations.  Cultures evolve, or they follow the lead of Ozymandias. Neal Stephenson’s epic and ...

**WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Secret Empire storyline. Proceed at your own risk** Captain America, Marvel Comics’ stalwart sentinel of liberty, has been at the center of controversy since he was revealed to have been a lifelong agent of the terrorist organization Hydra on the final page of ...

Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for the movie The Love Witch. Read at your own peril. Witches have been part of literature from the very beginning. Female connection to supernatural powers can be drawn directly from Medea all the way to modern stories such as The Witch and Charmed. ...

Speculative Insights from the Web...

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  • A Viral Game About Paperclips Teaches You to Be a World-Killing AI
    _Paperclips_ is a simple clicker game that manages to turn you into an artificial intelligence run amok. ... Read more...
    Source: Wired – Science – AIPublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017By Adam Rogers
  • ‘Lights-Out’ Manufacturing Hits Main Street
    Robots toiling day and night assembling widgets and thingamabobs in pitch-black warehouses isn’t some mustache-twirling industrialist tycoon's fantasy. It’s here, it's the future of manufacturing, and it’s not just the multinational conglomerates that stand to benefit from the robot labor revolution. Main Street will, too. Voodoo Manufacturing, a small 3D printing farm in Brooklyn—OK, so not quite mom and pop "Main Street"— was running up against a problem every small business wants: They ... Read more...
    Source: Discovery – Technology – AIPublished on Friday, October 20th, 2017
  • Free Money at the Edge of the Tech Boom
    The latest experiment in a universal basic income will be coming to Stockton, California, in the next year.With $1 million in funding from the tech industry–affiliated Economic-Security Project, the Stockton Economic-Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) will be the country’s first municipal pilot program. As currently envisioned, some number of people in Stockton will receive $500 per month. That’s not enough to cover all their expenses, but it could help people with rising housing costs, paying student loans, ... Read more...
    Source: The Atlantic: TechnologyPublished on Thursday, October 19th, 2017By Alexis C. Madrigal
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  • Lavar Munroe’s Mixed-Media Narratives
    Bahamas native Lavar Munroe's 2D and 3D works blend real-world, bleak experiences and mythology. His works can appear at once visceral and intimate in their execution. Through his sculptures of humans and canines, as well as his mixed-media scenes, the artist "maps a personal journey of survival and trauma in a world of gang violence, drugs, murder, self-discovery, development and overcoming obstacles through self-determination," Jack Bell Gallery says.More ... Read more...
    Source: HiFructose (myths and fairy tales)Published on Friday, October 20th, 2017By Andy Smith
  • A Gift from King Shulgi: A Pair of Gold Earrings
    Gold is a treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world, and succeeds in helping souls into paradise. Christopher Columbus.   On June 22, 2005, the Sulaymaniyah Museum of Iraqi Kurdistan purchased a pair of gold earrings and on the same day these jewellery items received a registration number of “SM 2892“. They cost the bargain price of 7,000.00 USD ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Friday, October 20th, 2017
  • Luoyang
    Luoyang (aka Loyang) was the capital city of many ancient Chinese dynasties, a position it frequently swapped with Chang’an, usually whenever there was a change of dynasty. Located in the Henan province in the eastern part of China’s central plain, the city was noted for its fine buildings, pleasure parks, and literary culture, particularly regarding Confucian scholarship.  On &amp ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Friday, October 20th, 2017
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  • Batman the Drowned #1: The Sea-Bat
    Batman: The Drowned #1 8 Reviewer 0 Users (0 votes) BC Rating Summary Writer: Dan Abnett, Artists: Philip Tan, Tyler Kirkham, Color Artists: Dean White, Arif Prianto, Letters: Tom Napolitano, Cover by: Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson, Editor: Paul Kaminski, Associate Editor: Jessica Chew, Publisher: DC ... Read more...
    Source: BleedingCool (comics and superheroes)Published on Saturday, October 21st, 2017By Joshua Davison
  • EXCLUSIVE INSIDE LOOK: The BIG Chief Studios JAMES BOND Figures
    Chief. BIG Chief… — Back in February, I was wandering about the show floor at Toy Fair when I casually looked up to my left and saw this: And that was it. I stopped dead in my tracks. Here was, without a doubt, the most striking James Bond collectible I’d ever seen. Fast-forward nine months, and UK-based BIG Chief Studios is getting ready to release its first wave of 1/6-scale 007 figures, featuring ... Read more...
    Source: 13th DimensionPublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017By Dan Greenfield
  • SNEAK PEEK: SILVER SURFER #14
    All things must pass. — Until 2014, I never read an issue of Silver Surfer. Never. Not once. My comics interests tend toward the street level and when I do venture into sci-fi or the fantastic, it’s usually with characters who are still recognizably human(ish), like Superman or Green Lantern. Silver Surfer? Just way too out there for me. Maybe it’s a failure of my imagination. I don’t know, it’s just how I’m wired. ... Read more...
    Source: 13th DimensionPublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017By Dan Greenfield
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  • Life in the fast lane: how quickly can a new species evolve?
    The world is changing fast, and evolution is not staying behind. The curious case of a new species of flower that evolved in the north isles of Scotland shows that evolution can create new species in a matter of years. The environment around us is changing rapidly as a human population of seven billion consumes resources more quickly than the planet can replenish them, and technology helps us reach the most remote corners of the ... Read more...
    Source: Oxford University Press – Science and MedicinePublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017By DanP
  • Bullying beyond the schoolyard
    When you stretch a rubber band, even after many times, it will likely return to its original form. We call this resilience. When children are stretched and bent out of shape due to bad experiences they encounter, we expect they will be resilient too and snap back to their previous self. However, after various types of difficult or traumatic interactions, children are not the same. The analogy of the rubber band does not hold up. ... Read more...
    Source: Oxford University Press – Science and MedicinePublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017By DanP
  • Is gene editing ethical?
    Advances in molecular biology are bringing the possibility of editing the human genome ever closer. But do we think this is ethical? ... Read more...
    Source: Medical News Today – GeneticsPublished on Friday, October 20th, 2017
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  • Opportunity spends the week imaging Perseverance Valley
    Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 23, 2017 Opportunity is continuing her winter exploration of "Perseverance Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. Although winter conditions are constraining activity, rover energy production has improved slightly, and more of the earlier relay passes from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are helping, as well. Opportunity has been able to avoid having to dedicate any sols to battery rech ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017
  • Mine craft for Mars
    Paris (ESA) Oct 23, 2017 If there are habitable conditions on Mars, they may be underground. Scientists from around the world are now testing how to search for life in extreme environments by venturing a kilometre beneath the surface in a UK mine. ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer has joined the expedition. For two weeks, nearly 30 scientists and instrument specialists are venturing deep below for the fifth Mine Analo ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017
  • Space will see Communist loyalty: Chinese astronaut
    Beijing (XNA) Oct 23, 2017 Jing Haipeng, the first Chinese astronaut to go into space three times, has voiced his desire to go into space again as a further demonstration of his loyalty to the Communist Party of China (CPC). "I'm eager to go to space again, be a pioneer in the battle one more time," said the 51-year-old major general and delegate to the ongoing 19th National Congress of the CPC. "Let the vastn ... Read more...
    Source: Space TravelPublished on Saturday, October 21st, 2017
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