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Summer reading list

This afternoon after picking up my students’ exams (and spending far too much time wandering gourmet food shops in search of the perfect bar of Earl Grey-infused dark chocolate, and then even more time trying on dresses in shops whose soundscapes were punctuated alternately by concrete drilling, poetry slams, and un-medicated raving), I decided to send them a summer reading list.…

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Speaking of cities

Somebody cut a square out of a shopping bag just so that they could smuggle this footage out of China in 1990. It depicts the Kowloon Walled City. The Walled City was an act of spontaneous, collaborative architecture in response to political and social upheaval — a spatial harbinger of what the internet would eventually look like. Naturally, China destroyed…

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What fandom can teach us about cycling:

C. Wess Daniels has a great post wherein he explains Henry Jenkins’ definition of fandom thusly: Appropriation – A person appropriates in their own life a particular text, work, and practice relating to their fan object. Often these objects are reinterpreted in their own life. Participation – There is an openness for people to participate at all levels within the…

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Samuel R. Delany on slash fic:

Still, the “K/S” material confirmed something that I already knew from my own life: that there are just as many heterosexual women who are turned on by the idea of men having sex with one another as there are heterosexual men who are turned on by the idea of women having sex with one another — that the engines of…

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Star Trek: the capsule review

I commented with these thoughts over at SF Signal regarding the latest Star Trek movie. They’re the sum total of what I’ve been telling people about it since Thursday, when I saw it with my nearest and dearest: I really felt that the film was a great intertextual essay about Star Trek. While the other films/series in the franchise tried…

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Quotable quotes:

Today, I thought that I would share this article on the death of rave culture and how Frederic Jameson predicted it, originally posted by Bruce Sterling. But then at Scalzi’s I saw, this, er, piece on why human penises look the way they do. Which led to this particular money shot: Hopefully you’re thinking as an evolutionary psychologist at this point…

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the rules of fitness

I’ve been thinking about natural selection a lot, lately (and not just because I picked up Natalie Angier’s The Canon the other day). Turns out Bruce Cohen explains Darwin’s concept of “fitness” pretty well: Survival or mortality selection – Organisms that survive at least to the end of their reproductive phase are fitter than those who don’t, because they’re likely…

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