I have had a great couple days listening to the boundary 2 conference. And after a productive and interesting week teaching Dear Esther (2012), Gone Home (2013), and Jennifer Egan‘s Look at Me (2001), I’m going to take the day to deeply immerse myself in football. So, I have a bit of time for some links.
Science and Environment
Rob Nixon reviews Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.
Margalit Fox, “Jonathan Schell, 70, Author on War in Vietnam and Nuclear Age, Dies.”
Mark Landler, “US and China Reach Climate Accord After Months of Talks.”
Geoff Brumfiel, “New Clock May End Time as We Know It.”
Annalee Newitz, “It’s Looking More and More Likely That We Live in a Multiverse.”
Don Koenig, “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Caused by a Nuclear Explosion High Over the United States – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 1.”
Jason Schreier, “It Took Two Years To Make Final Fantasy VII‘s Midgar in Minecraft.”
And more in huge fantasy worlds created in Minecraft: Laura Hudson, “How Fans Created Game of Thrones in a Minecraft Map the Size of LA.”
And I think this may very well be the death-knell of the age of superhero blockbusters (but also a megatext I’ll be writing about in, say, 2022): Dee Lockett, “DC Announces 10 New Superhero Films in Next Six Years, Including Wonder Woman“ (and Suicide Squad [!?] and Shazam [!?] and Cyborg [!?] . . . this can’t go well).
As predicted, I have been quite busy indeed and have not had a chance to post anything over the past couple of weeks. A bunch of fascinating stuff has been happening, a bunch of interesting books are coming out, etc., so I’m sad that I’ve been remiss in my duties. Hopefully this large batch of links will make up for that.
Apocalypse and After
George Dvorsky, “Have Humans Already Conquered the Threat of Extinction?”
Or not. Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander, “Limits to Growth Was Right: New Research Shows We’re Nearing Collapse.”
One of the first reviews of Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.
Jessica Corbett and Ethan Corey, “5 Crucial Lessons for the Left from Naomi Klein’s New Book.”
Eric Holthaus, “New Study Links Polar Vortex to Climate Change.”
Eugene Thacker on Radiolab.
And who knows where to put this one: Alison Flood, “Margaret Atwood’s New Work Will Remain Unseen for a Century.”
More adventures in nuclear incompetence (feeling like a broken record). David Willman, “$40-Billion Missile Defense System Proves Unreliable.”
The inverted nuke in the garden (seriously, a broken record) . . . : Dylan Matthews, “A New Report Shows Nuclear Weapons Almost Detonated in North Carolina in 1961.”
Alex Wellerstein found this, wow, simply amazing document: assessing post-apocalyptic land values.
Robin Wright, “A Third Iraq War?”
Lawrence Wright, “ISIS’s Savage Strategy in Iraq.”
Elliot Ackerman, “Watching ISIS Flourish Where We Once Fought.”
Rod Nordland and Alissa J. Rubin, “Massacre Claim Shakes Iraq.”
Rod Nordland and Suadad Al-Salhay, “Extremists Attack Iraq’s Biggest Oil Refinery.”
David Frum, “Iraq Isn’t Ours to Save.”
J. M. Berger, “How ISIS Games Twitter.”
Moíses Naím, “The Rise of Militarized NGOs.”
Jeffrey Goldberg, “The New Map of the Middle East.”
And Greg Shupak at Jacobin, “No More Imperial Crusades.”
The first evidence for cosmic inflation–i.e., the Big Bang–was discovered this week.
Megan Garber at The Atlantic, “What It’s Like to be Right About the Big Bang?”
The search for Flight MH370 is revealing one thing: the ocean is filled with garbage.
Kim Stanley Robinson alert: Paul Rosenfeld, “Would You Take a One-Way Ticket to Mars?”
And as part of his forthcoming 3 million page novel, Breeze Avenue (2015), Richard Grossman has buried a crystal ball deep inside of Princeton Mountain in Colorado. The ball, “made of synthetic sapphire, which is almost as indestructible as diamond,” has the Ten Commandments inscribed on it in Hebrew, and in “20 million years, as a result of natural forces carefully calculated by the geologists, the Torah Ball will emerge from its eroded resting place and bear the Ten Commandments down the mountain.” Hyperarchivalists of the deep future rejoice!
Richard Grossman, The Torah Ball (Synthetic Sapphire, Princeton Mountain, 20 Million Years of Erosion, 2011).